Good performance, bad performance, good performance…. 

Hey! It’s been a while since I’ve put pen to paper (fingers to keyboards), and scribbled any results or thoughts down!

IMG_9782It’s been a tough few weeks and I’ve taken on a couple of the U.K.’s more viscious 70.3 races. Ironman staffs was quickly followed by Swansea half marathon, which in turn rolled in Hever Castle Gauntlet.

We’re just over 2 weeks out from Hamburg, and I’ll say it straight. I’m in the shape of my life. 

I won’t lie in that I’m not where I wanted to be this year in terms of a complete triathlete, but as we move forward, I’m happy with where I am. There’s still a lot of work to do on my swim & transitions. And we can definitely squeeze some more speed out of the bike/run moving forward, but for now I’m satisfied.

3 half Ironman races in 5 weeks, and I seemed to go from strength to strength. I start a bit flat and sluggish in Slovakia. I couldn’t quite string the bike performance together that I know I’m capable of, but ran well.

_MG_1848Staffordshire my swim let me down, but I biked strong on a limited gear set and managed to put a strong run on the end to make the podium and pick up a 70.3 world championship spot.

Two solid performances in the space of a week immediately indicated that the fitness is there. Better performances than any I put together in the 2018 season and nice to build on a slow start to the year.

I rolled out of Stafford with some good recovery, and it was time to build towards the next focus, Ironman Hamburg. On the way I did Swansea half marathon. I woke up the morning of the race really not feeling myself. Dizzy, sick and a nose bleed just before the start. The 5 hours in the car the day before, and 95 fairly spicy miles on the bike, might have had something to do with it! 

DSC_5749My heart rate was the second highest it’s been in 6 years, and my speed was down below how I ran in Stafford. Without the swim, bike or hill on the course. 

Ruling it straight out as a bad day, I had a couple of days to let the body recover before getting stuck into a big week and a build towards the Hever Castle Gauntlet. 

A middle distance race with 1500m of elevation on the bike and 300m on the run. By far the toughest 70.3 course I’ve ever lined up on, I knew I’d have to try and stay in contention on the swim to have a chance of making the podium.

Quickly shuffled backwards, I left T1 with a touch and go timing. Right on the edge of what was acceptable to keep me in the race. Unfortunately Matt Brooke managed to catch Brett before I managed to catch Matt Brooke. The duo worked well together to hold me off the bike coming into T2 with a 2-3 minute lead over me. I knew I’d have had to come off the bike in the mix to have a chance of keeping up on the run.

_MG_1599After a quick toilet stop I ran really strong from start to finish. Never really opening the taps, I managed to pull the gap to Matt back to 1 minute, the same he held over me in Stafford. Ed Castro finished 11 seconds in front but it was a place I was happy to let slide. I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone ahead of Hamburg, the hard work has been done.

Coming in 5th overall and putting yet another solid performance together, the confidence is building.

I feel like as a complete athlete I’m fitter than I was last year, though there’s still work to be done. I’ve gained a bit of extra speed on the bike from some tweaks here and there. My run is back to strength, and the swim is going from strength to strength.

_MG_1871Though I’m not naive enough to think that there’s no work to be done, the focus this winter will certainly be trying to get the swim down right into contention with the top athletes. 

But for now the focus is all eyes towards Ironman Hamburg as we enter the final stages. Looking to improve on my last two disappointing ironmans, and go comfortably under that 9 hour barrier.

20 minutes and 1 second under if you’re here looking for a time.

That being said, I’ve learned first hand how fast an Ironman can go down hill. So I’ll take the confidence from the races of the last few weeks, build on the form and make sure I’m completely ready to leave it all out there. And excited to see just what my body is capable of!

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