Ironman Wales Review & Barcelona Preview

It’s really been quite an eye opening year for my racing. I’ve been the most adhoc ever in my training for Triathlon. My choice to only train if I wanted to (i.e. I would enjoy it) meant that running has taken a back seat. This means as I write this my total run mileage this year is a mere 396 miles. A quarter of that mileage has come in three races. That means training running has average a monster 7.5 miles per week.

The net result of this has been very low expectations for races which in turn has resulted in thoroughly enjoyable races. I think this is because I knew I had to be conservative on the swim and bike to hope to even get to halfway on the run before major discomfort sets in.

My race performances have far exceeded any reasonable expectations I could have had. To have been only 4 minutes of Kona at UK is pretty unbelievable given the work I’d put in. I guess swim and bike fitness can carry you a long way. In terms of race execution so far this is probably my best season so far.

Ironman Wales was no exception.


My big mistake here was to place myself to the right at the start to avoid the aggro going round the first turn buoy (it was a nightmare last year). At the time I thought it wouldn’t make much difference but during the race I was surprised how far in to the race I was still passing swimmers ahead of me at a fair pace differential. Seeing the coverage I see the mistake, those to the left if they were quick enough in got round the buoy before they even start swimming. Other than that I just cruised with long strong strokes and actually enjoyed the swim right in the moment.


By not going flat out I find my mood is a lot better and I ran through T1 with a purpose resulting a decent split


Massively conservative. I was pretty sure I could run the risk of imploding if I went too hard. So I ignored everyone passing me and just kept a lid on my efforts. I enjoyed it feeling I had a smile on my face throughout and when there was a headwind I was always able to stay aero. It’s a sign  I’ve over done it when I can’t hold aero later in a race.


I decided at 120k I was allowed to increase the effort. This I did and felt great. I wondered whether my bike fitness had returned quite rapidly. Still my slowest bike split and first time over 6 hours but arrived in T2 wanting to run.


I managed to get in to a rhythm after a few KMs and held good pace.


Got through halfway in a little under 1:50 which kept me smiling. I focussed on the 3rd lap thinking the last would take care of itself. It didn’t. I felt I was determined to keep running but clearly not determined enough. Something to address at Barcelona hopefully.

Given the running I did I can’t complain about this. I’ve ran as bad as this on far far more run training in the past.


Another Ironman 3 weeks later was perhaps not wise but it sounded like fun. Following Wales this is what I did.

Week 1 – Mon to Fri I did nothing other than a 1.5hr squad swim on the Wednesday. At the weekend two rides totally 94 miles. Both nice and easy. I’d decided not to run for at least a week

Week 2 – I decided during the week that I would not run at all before Ironman Barcelona. This was not a logical choice but instead that I really wanted to see how I would go if I did nothing. It seemed to round off my running this season quite nicely. I did three 90 minute squad swim sessions and 288 miles of riding across 5 rides and a turbo. The turbo and one of the rides were really hard. In fact the turbo was on the tuesday night and it wiped me out that the next three days were rest (other than swimming)

Week 3 – this week. Three squad swims again (the last tomorrow morning).  110 miles across two rides, Mon and Tues. From here on in other than tomorrows swim it’s full gas resting.

So … predictions


Swim speed seems to be returning so we’ll go with 54:59


Never done the race before but looking at previous times we’ll pluck 2:59 out of thin air


I’m in a dilemma here. Every ride I’m feeling stronger and am wondering whether I can get a good bike split. I feel pretty sure that if on the day I feel that sub 5 hrs is realistic after the first 60k I’ll go for it and think blow the run.

So… 4:59:59


Just feels like I’ll take 2:04


Can I tough it out. Flat course, fresh having not run in three weeks. What the hell: 3:59:59

Spookily that gives 10:00:00 … now where am I going to shave off a second.

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