Ironman Switzerland 05 - Imp’s Diary

My Tri Profile
Age... 35; depends on the day.
I have been running for... 3 years
Strengths... laugh at adversity (aka being stupid), no off-switch, the support of some very good friends, my disarming charm and having webbed hands.
Weaknesses... 1/16 of an ounce of common sense, a voracious appetite for cake, my left knee, my right knee, can't run, can't swim (no really; learning as I type), I'm scared of speeding on a bike. I can't stay serious for more than 20 minutes.
Ironman experience... Zilch, I'm a softy
PB's Don't keep a record; I'm happy if I feel I've done my best on the day. In any case, I'm a slow runner.
Favourite Races... 2:30 at Aintree. Followed by 1/2 Marathon and anything that involves relatively slow motion on uneven terrain or a mad dash through fields with a couple of river crossings chucked in for fun.
See my RW profile

About me
Started running to regain fitness after injury and for a change from my main activity. The multifaceted nature of triathlons appeals to me and Ironman's are simply silly - hence, I knew my lack of sense would prevail and sooner or later I was going to take the plunge.

I'm looking to finish and have fun after the event, even if during the event I hate every second. If I care I put a lot into what I do and expect a high payback from it.

I changed jobs and moved to a new part of the country recently so that has impinged on how much time I have had for training. Up to early - mid September I was running an average of 40- 45 miles per week at a comfortable pace.

Now (October) I've cut back to anything between 15 and 25, as the last race I'm signed up for this year is a fun 7 mile run in November. I won't win (the field will be way too fast for me) but I'll have fun, feel encouraged to carry on running and having a race to attend motivates me to get out after work no matter what the weather is like (secretly, I quite enjoy it when it's foul!).

As an aside, I'd like to say that I find running for the sake of it quite lonely and disheartening. Running in an event, however, is FANTASTIC! and makes all the hours running in the dark, when you'd rather be asleep, worth it.

Since signing up for IMZH, I have had to find a pool and some instruction on self-propelled water motion. Currently in the acclimatisation stage, I'm hoping to be able to swim over 1000m none stop by Xmas.

My trusty bike is about to get a dust down and a bit of a service before I start putting it to serious use. Since my move, it has only been used to go/return from the pub; a round trip of 1.8 miles.

There you are, I'm a slow runner who is hoping not to have too much trouble building up to marathon distance, I swim like lead and I have to build up my cycling from 0.9miles to 112miles (minimum). EAZY!!

Ironman target: I will finish - before Friday. Seriously, Target 1 - Get to July feeling 'I can do this', Target 2 - Make the time splits, Target 3- finish. Overall - Have Fun.


My aims for November were to build up my endurance, learn to swim and increase my cycling distance. I haven’t been too concerned with training schedules and opted for training in an unstructured fashion instead. Rather than distance, I have been concentrating on time per activity.

Typical training week: My typical training week this month has involved running for 3 hours, cycling for 3 hours and swimming for 1.5 to 2.5 hours. No activity has been assigned to a specific day of the week; thus allowing for flexibility in what I chose to do.

The only definites have been that (a) I run twice at least, (b) cycled three times; be it outdoors or on the turbo, (c) swam at least twice and (d) had 2 days off a week; other than for last week when I had the entire week off so as to prepare for the rigours of the Christmas event.

This month's highlight: I managed to swim 2000m none stop. Who said pig headedness doesn’t pay off?

This month's lowlight: I spent all my money on kit, flights and entering competitions. It got dark and the wind driven rain arrived. Cycling outside is much of a no-no. Also, in a sober moment I realised what an undertaking IMCH really is.

What I learnt this month: I've learnt that I can do anything I put my mind to as long as I take 5 minutes to think about it. I’ve also realised I am going to have to come up with a training schedule soon; not sure the haphazard way will do for much longer. On a motivation note, I have learnt that once I run out of money, all I can afford to do in the evenings is… train. Doh! Almost forgot about my Archimedes like discovery: Cake helps you float; lack of cake makes you low.


Typical training week:
I usually find time to go running after work. Typically 40 - 90 minutes, 4-7 days a week, depending on what bit of my life takes over and stops me running on any one day.

October's highlight: I've entered IMZH, the Bath Half Marathon and posted my form for the FLM ballot.

October's lowlight: I've entered IMZH (I must be mad!).

What I learnt this month:
I should leave my credit card at home and stay away form sweet talking, Orange, Hairy, Candy Ollier and that Pirate - DD.