With over 20 days on warm weather training camps in Club La Santa –Lanzarote this year. My coach Richard Hobson and I were feeling confident about shape and form to race Ironman Lanzarote. It’s a strange feeling.... but as an athlete, you feel channelled, directed and focused especially when things have been going well. I was really excited at the prospect of laying the smack down…
My training camps in Lanzarote, were all about acclimatising and adjusting to the heat and ferocious wind that Lanza is famous for. Richard Hobson had organised two 10 day camps one in February and the other in April. This was the perfect opportunity to train with a great group of athletes.
I returned leaner and stronger, having dropped down to my race weight. All in all the tide was turning and my body was transitioning to a weight and body fat content that I’d only be able to hold for a couple of weeks. Carrying less weight really impacts on my run. A few less kilos’ on the marathon and it makes for an easier day.
In the build up to a race Richard reduces my training mileage, which allows my body to recover, but introduces a few tempo sessions to make sure my training doesn’t go stale. This called a taper.
I’ve heard Richard say many times that
‘The hardest thing about racing is making it to the start line’.
And he’s right; there are so many things that can go wrong – Illness, injury etc
I’ve always been very fortunate on this front as even when I’ve picked up injuries and had to take time out, I’ve recovered well. In the run up to this race, I seemed to be on fire, I clocked sub 33 mins for two laps of Richmond Park (an undulating 24km) so I knew I was ready.
It was 5 days out from the race and I was on a 20km training run into work, it felt good as the sun was out. Mentally I was in a good place as I was already rehearsing my race in my head when suddenly I turned my ankle over on an uneven paving slab. There was an audible crack and I was reduced to a hobble….
That was it…. Game over!! It was X rayed and fortunately it was just the ligaments. I’ve had this sort of injury before so I knew the routine and the method to improve recovery. I saw the Physio and started my treatment.
I travelled out to Lanzarote, not as an athlete ready to race, but to support my coach Richard who would be racing an Ironman for the first time in 17 years. It was a difficult decision to make to tavel and when I arrived, I was asked by so many friends ‘What was wrong?’ and ‘Why can’t you race?’ My friend Vince said I should tell them
'I slipped on a lime in salsa competition….'
Despite this it was great to get out on the course to cheer on my friends, Tim Bishop,Lee Holdaway,Kit Stokes, James Pete, Steven Lord, Pete Slater, Tom Newman and of course Richard. It was a super day and in his first Ironman race for 17 years..... Richard smashed it!!! coming 41st overall, 2nd in his age category and qualifying for the Ironman World championships in Kona - Hawaii. My good friend Tim Bishop also put in an awesome performance notching up Pb’s in both the swim and the run on his way to being the fastest British Amateur in 37th, also qualifying for the World Champs. Congratulations Tim - I know how much you wanted this.....
So with three of us already qualified … there’s just Declan Doyle, Lee Holdaway and James Pete to go…
Come on fellas...
Congratulations must also go out to Pete Slater & Steven Lord both qualifying again to race in Kona. Both raced with their heart and soul and deserved the result.