Ironman Switzerland 05 - Garr’s Diary

My Tri Profile
Age.... 25
I have been running for... since Feb 2004
Strengths... Determination once in an event, and a loathsome view of quitting. Natural athlete, swam lots as a child, cycled loads all my life
Weaknesses... A mystery problem resulting in a dodgy left knee that packs in at random distances, and finding time to train in between work, study and drinking my life away
Ironman experience... Very little, I usually go for non-crease. I've only just learnt to do shirts, but still find it easier to iron creases in than out!
10K - 48mins
Half-Marathon 1h 56mins
b>Marathon 4h 27mins
See my RW profile

About me
Always go to the gym at least 3 times a week. Aiming to cycle 50 miles a week, swim 5K a week, and run 21 miles a week as habit, then add to that.

My training so far

Well, I could quite easily run off a load of excuses for why my training's been sub-standard, but the truth is, I've only got myself to blame – well, except for the running.

I've been fairly lucky in that I used to do a lot of cycling and my muscles haven't forgotten their previous form entirely, so even with just a few months training I hope to complete the cycle in around six hours. That said, my triathlon hinges on a good ride. I expect to get on the bike fairly tired after the swim, and get off the bike fairly refreshed and ready to run. Although I've not found the time to put in any good speed training, I have managed to get hill practice up some gruelling slopes which should be comparable to Heartbreak Hill, and I finished my long rides two weeks ago with a 130-mile ride at an average of 18.5mph. What a boost to the self-esteem that was!

Running... hmmmm... I have trouble with my right knee, so although I can run a half-marathon in around 1:50 without suffering too much, I usually have to ease off before then due to pains in the knee joint. Something I'll definitely have to get checked out after the Ironman. I'm hoping to be left with about eight hours to get my regretful bum around the marathon course; if my knee does pack in after 10 miles I should still be able to walk/jog the remainder before the final cut-off. I guess it will mean I can spark up my Cuban a bit early too.

Swimming has really been on the back burner for most of the training. I figured if I don't do much training I can get around in about 1:30, and if I swim like a lunatic in training, I might just make it in an hour. So energy got diverted toward running and cycling, since there's far more time to be made up in these disciplines. But then I've not tried open-water swimming, or swimming in a wet suit yet, so let’s just hope I take to those like an Ironman to water, eh?

Finally, the worst point of my training was a couple of weeks ago when I twisted my knee. With the top of my calf now unusually tight, my running has come to an abrupt halt, and I'm just hoping to have the muscle back to normal for judgement day.

My plan is to finish the Ironman with a nice fat cigar in hand, and go for decent times in future years as I reach my physical peak for such events. After all, I all the baby of the group! Assuming I come away from Switzerland unscathed, I'll be booking myself in for another pirate raid next year. It looks like Austria better think about insurance and locking away it's national treasures, ‘cos the jolly roger may well be heading that way in 2006!