Triathlon; Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball

Before you gasp and ask, "did she?!", I certainly did not. My boyfriend along with 2 of our friends/ training partners did however. Before I write anything, I have to say a huge well done and congratulations to all of them because they were absolutely incredible. I mean seriously amazing! Here's a little recap of this weekend's Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in Wimbleball.

First let me just say that Exmoor National Park, where the event is held, is probably one of the most boring places on Earth. If you can find a phone signal there you must have some kind of direct line to God because I couldn't get one for love nor money. There is nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

Kiss Me

A kiss can say a thousand words but those words should not be "eww, chapped lips!" Spending a lot of time outside training does inevitably lead to dry, cracked lips. This doesn't make for a pretty picture. I've put a few of my faves together to ensure you remain kissable even after those long  work outs!

Note- this post applies to boys too because no one, repeat no one, likes to kiss dry lips!!

The Toughest Bit...Getting Started

So recently I've been posting my run times on my Twitter and Instagram and people have been asking me how I got started and how I've improved. I've just made a note of a few bits that have helped me, it's not a definitive list but it's working out for me so it might help you! Let me start with a bit about me and running...

Triathlon; Race Day

Yesterday was the Mid Sussex Triathlon. This was my first ever triathlon last year and I absolutely loved it so when it came to entering again, I was there! Let's be real, doing your first triathlon is bloody terrifying. A million things go through your mind; can I manage all 3? What if I'm wearing the wrong thing? What if I get lost? What if I just..can't?!

Believe me, a year later I still worried about all the same things. I felt sick with nerves. Okay so I'm going to be really honest, I didn't really prepare nearly as much as I should have done. I hadn't swam for about 3 weeks, I had been on the bike course once and I hadn't practiced running right after a bit of bike at all. I had been lazy and now it came to the moment, I was bricking it.

The thing I love about the Mid Sussex Triathlon is that everyone is just so nice. Seriously. They are the loveliest people you can imagine- cheery, happy, supportive, full of advice. The race director, Steve is really personable and has a lot of time for every single person. They make you feel so welcome. Even the people participating- from the aero helmeted racers to the brand new sparkly kitted newbies- everyone is so kind. The man next to me in transition even gave me some tips as to how I should set myself up in order for a speedy changeover. This dude was going for a sub 60 min time and he stopped to help me out, me!


So let's get to it..

The 400m Swim, 7.30- not bad considering my lack of pool action.I got overtaken by a lady so the second she went ahead I tried to jump on her feet and swim behind her to preserve a bit of energy. She was fast! It'll teach me not to forget about swimming 3 weeks before the race!

The 25k Bike, 1.03.55- my most dreaded part of the triathlon, I really do not like the bike! I just find it so difficult, I don't have much power in my legs (maybe because I avoid it like the plague?! Hmmm) As I said I'd done the route once so I knew what to expect. The first 10k or so is a steady uphill followed by a nice downhill and then relatively flat back to the start. I did it faster than I thought I had but I think that if I just got out on my bike a bit more often (blahh) I could definitely push to get it done in under an hour.

The 5k Run, 31.13- I am happy! I have been working on my run a lot lately and recently did my first ever sub 30min 5k. I was hoping the make it in under 30mins but as I hopped off the bike (well more like stop, swing one leg over and then the other) I just couldn't feel my feet at all. My legs were numb. I just started running because my brain was telling me "put one foot in front of the other". Around about 1.5k into the run my legs came back to me but it was a struggle. It felt like the longest 5k of my life!

Overall time, 1.42.38
2013 time, 1.52.19

My Tips
  • Catch Up; as I did, no worries if someone overtakes you but if they do jump on their tail and use them to gain a bit of advantage! 
  • Change it Up; the reason my run felt so long was because I always do the same route. Add some variety and do different routes in order to keep it fresh and stop you from getting used to the same old route.
  • Bricks; practice running right after your bike or running right after your swim. It sounds so obvious but i'm almost positive my lack of was the reason my run felt so lacklustre. 

Fitness: P is for Parkrun PB!

Saturday mornings are no longer for laying in bed. I don’t hang around in my pjs any more watching old episodes of Sex and The City while I sip on my tea. Instead I find myself in the local park with around 300 other morning keenos at the start line of a 5k run. Who am I?!

Parkrun is a free event run in parks up and down the country. It’s a timed 5k run open for walkers, joggers and runners. It’s open to all ages and abilities. All you have to do is register online and print out your personalised barcode. Take the barcode with you to the run and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

My local event has grown massively and it recently celebrated it’s 100th run! I started going around Run #20 and due to the low numbers I found myself 2nd in my age category. I went a few times before I injured my knee. I got lazy and pretty much stopped going. However I returned a few weeks ago and have seen so much improvement since.

Run 98 - 36.57

Run 99 - 32.39

Run 100 - 31.33

Run 103 - 29.07

In the space of 5 weeks, I’ve knocked off 7 minutes from my run. I have never ever run a 5k in under 30 mins before! And to top it off, I'm back to being close to the top of my age category!

I’ve been doing longer runs in the week with my gang as detailed in my previous post. I think this has helped a lot as mentally I don’t look at 5k anymore and think of it as an impossible task. It’s a lot more manageable and knowing that I can do 10 makes 5 much easier.

Hopefully I can knock my time down to sub 25 mins soon!

My Tips
  • Go for longer; as I said going for longer will make the shorter distances seem easier.
  • Laminate; I’ve laminated my Parkrun barcode so no amount of sweat can smudge it. There’s nothing worse than when you’re barcode doesn’t scan.
  • Get Warm; it’s important to still remember to warm up and warm down before and after the run. With so many people and chatting it can be easy to forget but it’s important

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