Friday, 15 March 2013

2012 round up

2012. My season started early with my first attempt at a double Ironman in February on the island of Lanzarote. The weather conspired against the race, but my goal to finish was achieved with 15th place. A double ironman is a 7.2km swim, followed by a 360km bike ride and then a double marathon. The event ended up being a double duathlon with the swim replaced by a ½ marathon run due to safety concerns with under currents in the sea. So I still have a ‘true’ double as a goal. This is now planned for 2014 as next year I have decided to concentrate on ultra running. Full race report here:!race-reports

March saw me attempt my first 100 mile run. I believe this was harder than double iron. Maybe because it was too close to the double iron for proper recovery between the two events or maybe because it’s all running so no changing events over the 30 hours it would take me. I pulled out at mile 71 when the sun came up and the weather changed to very cold and wet (later to snow and the race was pulled due to unsafe weather) I had done the hard bit and run through the night! It felt so good to be challenged and because I didn’t complete it I had found a goal that needs to be beat. Next year I have signed up for all 4 centurion 100 mile races.

In June I entered an Olympic distance tri in Greece. The logistics were easy for me as we have a family summer house where the race was and my spare road bike is left in Greece. So it was a just for fun race. Sometimes the without the self imposed pressures things work out better than you could plan for I came 3rd in my age group.

Later in the same month I had a rather flooded and muddy ½ iron dist in Marlow. Again it was just for fun as I live near Marlow and just wanted a training race. I was 3rd in age group.

In August I found another localish ½ iron distance race and ran that coming 5th in Age group.

During the year I had seen an advert for a 12 hour bike ride around brands hatch. The thought of cycling on near perfect tarmac for 12 hours appealed to me so even though it was 4 days before my A race – Challenge Henley on Thames I signed up for it. I realised near the end I was possibly in the top 5 and was correct as I finished 3rd over all. Full race report here:!race-reports

Challenge Henley an iron distance triathlon 3 days later was interesting. A faster swim and run mixed with a slower bike, as my legs were still feeling the 12 hour effort left me with an Ironman and course PB up by an hour on my previous years time. Full report here:!race-reports

After Henley my knees were starting to feel the year’s efforts and on my training run I started to get a lot of pain at 7 miles. So I stopped running and kept fit by cycling. 4 weeks later in October I ran the Henley ½ Marathon. Still injured and a little disappointed with the time. Originally it was going to be an A race where I planned to beat 1:30, but it wasn’t to be.

The season finished with Athens Marathon in November. I was still not training due to my knee, so the 3:30 target time had to be forgot and anything under 5 hours was going to be ok. On a hot day I ran the marathon for fun and thoroughly enjoyed it. This year my swimming has improved and I think this was from a coach telling me ‘Paul has an unorthodox swimming technique, but I wouldn’t try and change it as he gets the results he wants with it and can swim the distances he wants to.’ This helped because I relaxed and just started to enjoy swimming rather than worry about technique all the time. The same with running. I now don’t really plan exactly what I am going to do. I do have training pencilled in a diary, but if I feel like it on a weekend I will just make up a 4 hour or 5 hour route and go and enjoy myself on the local national trails, I am lucky enough to live near.

My knee is better now and I have started training for my first 100 mile which isn’t that far away in March. My schedule for next year is heavier than 2012, but the plan is that the races between the 100 milers are all just long training sessions. I have planned 2013 and 2014 in full already and every race is a step to the next one. My mantra has always been: how can you complete an ironman if you can’t complete this (when running a ½ iron to keep me going). Or: how can complete a double iron if you can’t complete this (when in an Ironman). Which means, I always need the next longer race planned! So watch this space. My 2013 plans can be found here:!2013

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