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August 2013 Review

I spent the first third of August in Japan with the Scouts. The weather where we were staying ranged from 38 to 41 degrees, dropping to a positively chilly 34-36 overnight. Suffice to say I didn’t get much training in, barring a quick jog round Tokyo on our first day, 12 hrs going up and down Mt Fuji, and a quick dip in the lagoon at the Jamboree site.

Once back from Japan I was straight into racing with doing the Sprint distance at the return of the Salford Triathlon. I placed relatively well in a weak field (all the fast boys were in the Standard distance race which was won by Man Tri’s Alex Lawton), and it was a nice return after a month of not doing very much. I enjoyed the multi-lap bike course, although the twisty turney run course just seemed to go on forever. I also had the chance to take a bunch of photos which can be found here.

The following week saw me pull the trigger on something which will shape much of the coming year. I entered the 10th edition of Ironman UK (Bolton). Whilst not quite as focused or detailed as a John Newsom 3 year plan, or Tom William’s 5 year plan, my long term triathlon goal is to ride the Solarer Berg whilst “racing” Challenge Roth in Germany.

Step one was complete a marathon, step two was complete a Half iron-distance race, step three was complete a UK based iron-distance race, and then step four is Roth. I’ve completed 4 marathons to date, with Milton Keynes booked in for 2014. IMUK was my second choice for a UK iron-distance race. Really, I wanted to do Outlaw in Nottingham, but in 2014 it is the same weekend as Cub Camp, and as I missed 2013’s camp to go to Japan, that was out. So I’ve settled for doing the Outlaw Half as a training race ahead of IMUK in Bolton. I settled on Bolton as my UK race as it is so very local to me, and no other race really grabbed my attention. There’s also the lure of it being an M-Dot race, which ticks that box.

So, I’ve done the hard part and actually got a place for Bolton (it sold out in record time), now for step two, completing an iron-distance race. My race of choice was The Vitruvian, probably the most highly rated UK Half on the calendar. And it didn’t disappoint. The swim was a very pleasant two lapper in Rutland Water, the bike course was a rolling two lapper, essentially around the perimeter of Rutland Water, and the run was a two lapper (sensing a trend?) out and back along the Rutland Dam. My swim time was OK, especially since I hadn’t been in a pool for nearly 8 weeks in the lead up to the race. The bike leg was tough, as I’m rubbish on the bike, but I was pleased to do it in 3hrs (I had thought I might be closer to 3.5hrs), although slightly gutted to have been only 50 secs away from going sub 3. And I did a 1:49 for the half marathon to finish it off. Happy Days! My overall time was 5hrs 27mins, making it my longest race to date of any discipline – my slowest marathon being “only” 4hrs. I was very happy to have beat my goal of 5:30hrs, and I felt comfortable throughout the race, with only the last 5K of the run feeling tired – and that was possibly because I did my usual trick of going like a bat out of hell out of T2!

Posted in Triathlon.

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