I’ve completed 7 ironman distance events. Zurich (1998 & 1999), Almere (2002), The Longest Day (2003), Roth (2008), The Outlaw (2010) and Challenge Henley (2013). Almere I'd go back to. Roth is a must. And The Longest Day was fun (photo below). By far the best experience based on organisation, logistics, the course and how I felt was at The Outlaw.
So I'm going back with @lukeemuir in 2018. And I'm psyched. I still can't believe it. I thought I'd just stick to short stuff for fun. I even wrote this. However, I still love the cameraderie and adventure of a long distance triathlon. So why not do one in a minimalist-style every couple of years? Here's what I'm planning to do this time:
Go steady. Enjoy the day. Keep my powder dry. Be prepared for anything.
More Than The Result
After 30 years of triathloning, training and racing purely for performance doesn't really interest me anymore. The training is a fitness and relaxation thing. The racing is a racing thing. Going hard.
I want to enjoy everything about race weekend from prepping the bikes on Saturday to having a beer and big sausage post-race. But mainly, helping my sons train and then race.
I'm also trying to document as much as possible. By writing on this blog. By taking more photos. By collecting audio and maybe finally getting this project off the ground.
Two swims, three rides, two runs and two lifts every week. No more. No less. My swims are with the club that I've joined in Munich. They're great. I'll ride a bit with them too. Here's my training diary. I've built in other personal hobby goals and family stuff too.
There are loads of low-key races around Munich. And, unlike in France, they start early in the morning! Much better for me. Probable races are also in my training diary. I've prioritised races that the boys can do too. I'll also be back at the BTS Champs for the first time since 1994!
I'll be heading off for a single-overnight camping trip in late June or early July. Maybe built around the Tegensee Triathlon. The goal is to ride 200-250 fully loaded kilometres on my race bike over the two days while stopping en route to swim and run.
A few longer sessions. 1 * 45-60 minute race pace lake swim. 3 * super-early longer TT rides (maybe 3-4 hours). 2 * longer runs (maybe 2 hours) with Elliot sagging for me on his bike.
Gradually reduce carb dependancy from April, like in 2010. It works like Obelix's magic potion.
I posted details of the build for the bike I hope to use here. Although I do have a back-up. I spent 3 days building the frame in Berlin. Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. I'll start on the wheels soon. Although I might use an old disc wheel at the back.
Tuesday 17th July - drive to UK. Sunday 22nd July - the boys race the Billingshurst Triathlon. Friday 27th July - drop the boys at Heathrow for flight to Bordeaux. Saturday 28th July - drive to Nottingham with Luke. Monday 30th July - back from Nottingham. Tuesday 31st July -drive back to Munich.
I know this sort of stuff stresses people out. And it would stress me out too if I didn't analyse everything and take only what I need. Not loads of extra kit.
- Morning. Pre-race: Vaseline. Plasters. Breakfast.
- Race Kit: Wetsuit. Running shoes. Cycling shoes. Race socks. Cycling shorts. Singlet. Race helmet. Race spares pack. Number belt. Cap. Cycling jersey.
- To take on race morning and give to parents if / when not needed: Another innertube. Spare goggles. Arm warmers. Gilet. SS Helly Hansen. Gloves. Rain cape.
- Finish Bag: Phone (off). Cash. Sandals. Mini-Towel. Soap. Toothpaste. Toothbrush. T-Shirt. Shorts. Jumper. Audio recorder.
- Also take to Nottingham: Saturday and Sunday PM clothes. Race license. Book. Notepad. Pencil. Wallet. Passport. Phone charger. Seat bolt. Track pump. Carradice or Ortleib backpack.
Bike Maintenance (2 weeks before race)
Home mid-season service with new chain, brake pads and tyres. Change cleats? Pre-race checks and ride before racking bike on Saturday.
What's in my Behind The Seat Pack?
2 or 3 (?) * innertubes. 2 * Tyres levers. CO2 Inflator. Mini Pump. Mulit-Tool. Magic Link. Cash.
What food and drink will I carry?
Gels in a bottle. 1g of CHO per hour per Kg. On course water. A few energy bars. A banana. Small bike bottle of expresso or coke for last 20km.
Yikes. Is that everything?