Yesterday I completed a half ironman. This is something I never thought I’d do – just the name sounds ridiculous. Maybe that’s why they call it that – to put people off. Because actually, I found it easy. Well, as easy as swimming 1.2 miles, cycling 56 miles and running 13.1 miles can be.
This ridiculousness began around Christmas time, when I decided that I needed a challenge this year. I’ve always wanted to do a triathlon but there needed to be something more to it than that – a standard tri seemed, well, too normal. So I started researching the Ironman, and pretty soon decided this was the event for me: a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 56 mile run. Having never taken part in a triathlon before. Long distance appeals I suppose.
So, since Christmas I’ve been training regularly and have been steadily building up the distances (I’ve written about my running journey here). And yesterday I completed the half iron, my test event, with very little trouble. It all goes to show that anyone can do anything, if they put their mind to it. I don’t see myself as particularly strong, or as an athlete, but I somehow managed to run a half marathon as well as cycle 56 miles and swim 2k. It was all in the preparation: I knew what I had to do so I prepared for it.
My training schedule has been: run three times a week (one long run and two short), swim twice a week (I’m a member of a Masters swim club), cycle as much as I can (which basically means to work and back), strength training every day. I’m now going to step up my training to include three focussed cycling sessions a week and some outdoor swimming.
The full Ironman is in June and if I enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed the half, I’ll be doing fine! (again, using the word ‘enjoy’ for an endurance event seems so wrong. But I did!)
These are my times:
Swim: 38 mins 45 in the pool (time allowed: 1 hr 10 mins)
20 mins transition time! Need to work on that!
Cycle: 4 hrs 5 mins on the road (time allowed, 4 hrs 5 mins + whatever is left over from the swim)
28 mins transition time (I needed a rest and to eat!)
Run: 2 hrs 15 mins (time allowed: 3 hrs 10 mins + whatever is left over from swim/cycle)
Total time, including transitions 7 hours 48 mins (time allowed: 8 hrs 30 mins)
The full story is on Twitter here (I even found time for selfies on the road)