Ironman UK Preview

This feels like I’m finishing off the rehab from my FHL surgery back in 2009. Perhaps it’s because I’ve started running a bit more seriously or my thoughtless decision a couple of months ago to start using a pair of flip flops I found in a sort out for knocking around the house and going to swimming in. I knew they’re not good for your feet but the combination with my poor big toe function meant my first ever case of Plantar Fasciitis. Helen at 10-Point yet again came to the rescue and diagnosed a lack of mobility in my ankles and gave me exercises to do which seem to help a lot.

It also finally dawned on my something else about that foot. No idea why I didn’t think of this when I first had problems. When I was young (single digits) I had surgery on the foot which involved cutting a tendon to my little toe. It could be coincidence. Anyway, the outcome of all this is I need to relearn how to pronate properly on that foot.

This all happened ahead of Wimbleball and prevented me running in to that race. In the race it massively limited my running and I could hardly walk afterwards. I changed my plans for Four Trails and took my bike. This almost certainly was better for my IM UK prep. I wasn’t that disappointed about not racing till I was there and could see what I was missing. The foot had improved and was pain free so I decided to start the first day as it would be easy to pull out after the first climb. This I ended up doing, it clearly wasn’t right. Luckily it recovered more rapidly than after Wimbleball.

My aim is to arrive at UK much more rested than I did for South Africa. It was three weeks between Wimbleball and IMUK. The first week was very easy followed by a good week all biking in the Alps and then this week has been very light indeed.

So … predictions


Was swimming very well in to Wimbleball but circumstances have meant I’ve swum very little since. Felt pretty strong on the sessions I’ve done this week …



Done a great block in the Alps and felt good and rested this week. I will probably push harder than last time…



If I’m honest I really don’t feel I’ll be able to finish the run. I reckon that my heel will get too painful. I’m hoping I’ll have the sense to stop… we will see. If I finish it’ll be because I managed to keep running and was relatively pain free…


This gives me:

0:54:59 - Swim
0:03:59 - T1
5:29:59 - Bike
0:03:59 - T2
3:59:59 - Run
10:32:55 - hopefully in ballpark for Kona ;o)

Final comment is on the rolling start Ironman have put in place. It seems to me this is pretty much acknowledgement that they view Ironman as an “event” not a race as how can you race someone beside you when for all you know you started 20 minutes apart. I am torn between two options:

  1. Start near the front. This is what they want to happen as I’m a fast swimmer. It’s also what will give me my most enjoyable race
  2. Start near the back. This is I”m sure by far the best approach for best time and position. It would mean swimming through water that is all nicely moving by a couple of thousand swimmers already in there. This was demonstrated at Barcelona last year by myself and Matt Molloy who started in the last wave. It also means loads of motivating people to chase on the bike. Then finally when on the run and perhaps chasing or being chased for slots you would know that you were definitely ahead of anyone you passed.

It annoys me I have to make this decision but I’ll probably go with 1.

What could they do instead:

  1. Just go for age group waves. In the past it felt that they didn’t do this as the mass start was part of Ironman. Well… clearly it isn’t with them doing rolling starts
  2. Have a mass start for all those wanting to podium or get Kona slots. Then rolling start for everyone else. Kona slots would only roll to the rolling start people once they’d rolled through those in the mass start.

If it wasn’t for Kona I wouldn’t race Ironman events anymore.

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