Sunday, 27 September 2009


 Although I did manage an Ironman marathon pb at Switzerland this year (3:24) I felt a long way from my 2008 running form (2:49 at London) and by the end of this triathlon season I found myself consistently getting off the bike at the pointy end of the race and reversing rapidly through the field! Chatting with jack about my training for 2009 we decided that any improvements in Ironman running would come from increased bike volume, as such we kept run volume the same as for 2008, stuck an extra four weekly hours on the bike and beat my previous run pb (3:40) with 3:31 in Lanzarote then again in Switzerland. This coming year is about taking the next, and perhaps final, step towards my best possible Ironman performance and as I stand here my running is firmly my weakest of the three disciplines and someway short of where I'd like it to be.

So, whats the plan?

Looking back on the last year, my only running race of 2009 was January's Brass Monkey half marathon, although I pb'd with 1:19 that was eight months ago and by the time I got to my A races would no doubt have struggled to get close to that level of performance. This coming year I've therefore decided to get stuck into as many running races as possible, certainly over the winter, with the aim of getting in the best running shape ever by the London marathon (not sure how I'll approach that yet but am definitely going to run) and then holding on to that until Lanzarote four weeks later. With this in mind yesterday morning saw my first running race since the Brass Monkey back in January!

Having only got back into training on Monday and with the scales showing me over a stone heavier than when I ran London last year  I wasn't expecting a pb (18:10 some years ago) performance. I was expecting around 20 minutes of lung-busting effort though, and can assure you that I delivered that in style! Just looking at my Garmin data I see a max HR of 180 and an average of 172, numbers the like of which I haven't recorded for several years. I was so blown by the end that I forgot to press stop and as the results haven't been published yet I'm not certain of my finish time but I think I snuck under 19:50 but to be honest this season isn't about times, even at Lanza where a sub-ten will almost certainly be required. Over the next 12 months I'll be going as fast as I can and training to achieve that, whatever performance values that produces will merely be an outcome of that process, nothing more nothing less.

I'll be racing parkrun every week that we aren't racing somewhere else, next week we're doing the Harewood 10 mile trail race and in 14 days I'll be back on the Hyde Park start line and looking to take another step forward a couple of weeks lighter, stronger and faster.

On a different note, and somewhat more excitingly, Hawaii edges closer and two weeks today we'll know all the 2009 Ironman answers. The race will be shown live on and with coverage pretty much as good as Auntie's and a strong British contingent I thoroughly suggest logging on and staying up. In Chrissie Wellington we have the strong favourite to take the women's title and in a young Mr. Graves we have perhaps the most exciting Ironman talent to come out of the UK in many years. I've been fortunate enough to be part of the team helping Phil out with his Hawaii preparation and can assure you that aside from his awesome physiology he is a truly special athlete. Champions possess qualities that cannot be measured in a lab or on a track, and I can assure you that whatever the outcome on October the 10th a young lad from Yorkshire will be at the pointy end of the process ;)

Hold on tight,


No comments: