Sunday, 19 October 2008


Hels and I arrived in Geneva last night to celebrate my Dad's birthday, which was today, by spending some quality time together. Sadly, time is once again refusing to wait and with a wonderful day behind us all I already find myself sat in bed, with the alarm set suitably early for us to take the ten minute walk to the airport in time for our morning flight. To make things worse H has already written her blog and is snoring away peacefully next to me (Dad and I spent the last few hours playing around with his new MacBook Pro) as I try and think of something interesting and thoughtful yet short and sweet...

As Hels has already talked about in her post, our six months of Lanzarote training starts on the 1st of November and as much as I too am fed up with sitting around not doing much training (only four hours this week) I'm extremely aware of the challenge we both face between the end of next week and May the 23rd. I sat down with Jack on Thursday and we put together a rough 'basic week' to follow throughout the winter and one thing really struck a chord with me... the level of commitment required!

Lanzarote will be my fourth Ironman, having reflected on the previous few years I am confident enough to consider myself a serious contender for a Hawaii slot and having spent the last week or two following the coverage from this year's world championships my desire and drive to achieve my dream is stronger than ever. I'm determined to step up to the plate this year, will be holding nothing back over the next six months and will be racing for a top ten in my age group and automatic slot. Don't get me wrong, I'd be delighted to accept a role-down but this year is about making it happen and not having to rely on someone else turning their place down is very much part of that. Over the last few years I've helped quite a few people to train for and complete their first marathon and have often pursuaded them to sign-up for the race by asking them not 'do you think you can run a marathon?' but 'do you want to run a marathon?'. Once the comitment to race is made we can then start working on the 'how'.... So what will it take...

Last year in Lanzarote the final Hawaii qualifier (thanks to a four place roll-down) in M35-39 finished 14th in cat with 10:15:56, the 10th M35-39 however crossed the line in 10:02:50 and 52nd overall out of around 1300 finishers. So there it is... as crazy as it sounds to get within four minutes of my Germany time on a course at least 40 minutes slower, having committed to my goal I'm no longer interested in 'can I do it' and am 100% focused on 'how will I do it?'...

From studying the results it seems the swim is quick, t1, bike and t2 slow and run about average, so am thinking of something like this to get me close to ten hours...

Swim 55
T1 4:30
Bike 5:35
T2 3:30
Run 3:20

Total 9:58

As I said, that may sound crazy but my goal is automatic Hawaii qualification, that is what it will take on the day and I'm fully committed to doing what it takes from now till then to acheive it!

Over the next week or so I'll be putting together a more detailed training schedule and so next Sunday will try and outline just how I intend to transform myself from my current Homer Simpson like state to someone capable of finishing in the top few percent of the toughest Ironman race in the world... how hard can it be?

Anyway, time waits for no man so I'm outta here for now...

Remember, all that matters is desire the rest is easy ;)



Jevon said...

morning mate. I reckon the times are do-able. The trick will be staying fit enough to run 3.30 after what will be a grueling 5:35 on the bike. I reckon every second will count on the bike, every ounce of free speed... have you thought of being wind tunnel tested for position on the bike? May seem mad but I read that even a degree or so out on the torso position can increase drag significantly and with the margins you're setting yourself then it would be worth it.
As for the course and times etc, don't for a minute kid yourself. I (and I'm sure you) know you were in 9:25 shape in Germany last year... just wasn't to be on the day. So to get to 10 hours on 40 minute tougher course is a 5 minute increase on your levels of last year. 10 at most. Still a lot at your level but again, do-able.
I think a lot of it will be in your race build up - how many hard races you take on before. I'd go for less than you did last year and trust your training, using Lanza to vent your frustration at the decrease in racing and ensuring nothing is left behind prior to the race...
Anyway, I'm sure we'll go through it in fine detail at the weekend :-)

Russ said...

Commitment, that's what I like to see. I'll look forward to seeing your training structure, hopefully I can work out a good way to put mine online.

You've got me looking at the past results to see what I'll have to do. Sub-10 seems to be the requirement for a slot so I guess I better be turning up with that in mind. I didn't realise you were in M35-39, we won't be competing for the same slots then!

Tom said...


Totally agree with everything you say, although not sure even Southern's could stretch to wind tunnel testing ;) can't wait to chew it all over at the weekend... need to run 3.20 by the way ;)


Great to catch up with you last night, sorry I had to dash, and I'm loving your 'if that's what it takes' positive attitude. Hopefully you will have already bagged your slot by Lanza and will be kicking back prior to your build up to Kona... if not, then I'll meet you at the run start after about six and a half hours and we'll drag each other round to glory ;)

night all,


Ben G said...

Tom "Commitment" Williams, Hey mate don't worry about commiting to the training load, commitment is your middle name. Looking forward to bouncing around some training ideas.

runtilyoudrop said...


You are a shoe in for a slot but you need to follow the "patience phase" and have a good day. Remember not to burn all those matches before raceday.

2 things I learnt from IM lanza last year.

1. get there as early as you can it is hot and takes some acclimitising from the english weather.

2. it is a tough bike but should suit you with all the steady climbs. So put in the hours on the dales so that you can bike 100 miles and still feel fresh.

See you at Luton if Achilles allows

Tom said...


Great to catch up yesterday, don't think I've ever been so excited about getting stuck in to training... bring it on ;)


thanks for points one and two, both taken on board... I think we fly out on the Monday and I already have several hill sessions ready to roll ;)

we've scrapped our usual autumn and spring marathons to concentrate on the bike though so won't be at Luton in December.