The end is near....23 days to go

By PaulChristie on 15 August 2013

So, on Sunday it will be three weeks until I take part in the Challenge Henley Ironman, a gruelling endurance event of 2.4 mile open water swim in the River Thames, 112 mile cycle followed by a 26.2 mile run, and its safe to say that I am concerned (see below for full route details) …..

It seems like a long time since October last year when I signed up to do it, still on a high from completing the Ride Across Britain, but the time couldn’t have gone quicker. I don’t feel like I have done enough training in preparation for this event, and its going to hurt. I am confident I will be ready for the swim, know I can complete the bike ride but the marathon at the end is worrying me. To date the furthest I have run is 15 miles, and the last to half Ironman distance events I have done, I have struggled at the end of the run, so in my mind the closer it gets the more panic I feel.

I am going to complete it, there is no choice for me, as not only do I have to do this for myself, but I am also doing it for the NCCA!

Both half ironman swims have not been that bad, and I have not been wiped out at the end of the swim, so I know I can be ready in time (or hope to be :o) )

I have done the distance in the bike ride so know the effects, and even though I haven’t cycled more than 86 miles in one go this year, I know I will complete it, just maybe not as fast as I would have done last year.

I have bought a new triathlon bike which arrived last Friday, and have had a couple of outings on it and made a number of adjustments, so the plan is to cycle on it as much as possible over the next 2 weeks, and also on Sunday when I will be doing a recce of the course and then make a decision as to whether to use it or use my road bike which I am used to using. For those that don’t understand the difference, the Triathlon bike uses slightly different leg muscles as with the geometry you sit more forward and the position is a lot more aggressive and aerodynamic, adding strain to you neck and back, but unless you are used to this, it could be a hindrance!

Now the run, oh the run, the focus of all my thoughts and worry…. Will I be ready to run a marathon after the swim and cycle… I have never run a  marathon on its own, let alone doing this distance at the end of a swim and bike, so its going to hurt and will take every bit of grim determination I have to drag my body over that finish line!

My plan is not to aim for a quick time, but to just complete the course, which I have 16 hours to do. My ideal time plan would be a 90 minute swim, 7 hour cycle and 5 hour marathon, but like all good plans I also have a plan B (worst and probably realistic case), 2 hour swim, 8 hour cycle which leaves me with 6 hours to die on the run.

You may ask why a plan B, well the reason is this, if anything happens (puncture, swim or cycle takes longer than expected) and you are behind your planned time then psychologically you are in a bad place, as it will de-motivate and hamper the race, I am not looking to get a personal best, as its my first Ironman, and therefore I have 16 hours to finish, and this is the target, to finish in 16 hours!

So, enough of my ramblings, in just over three weeks its do or die!!!!!

Bike route

Run route