Reset: The October Stoke…

20 10 2012

I would opine I didn’t have a very good season. I had a couple of good results in sprints along the way, but UK70.3 kicked my ass, and the attempt at riding London to Paris <24 hours took over 25 hours. I could blame the weather, in different ways, for both of these but also my heart and my head have not really been in it this season. Read the rest of this entry »


My first IronMan, by Iain MacNaughtan aged 28 ½

9 02 2012

I wrote this quite a while ago, but sort of forgot about it. Here it is, 3,470 words about my first IronMan, at IM UK in Bolton; it’ll probably take you as long to read it as it took me to do it, but there’s an exciting twist at the end so it’s worth reading just for that…

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s starting to look a lot like a season…

26 01 2012

So, slowly but surely, I’m developing what could loosely be called a Season Plan.

 Until recently it was looking quite different to the last couple, there wasn’t much running in it at all, but slowly things are creeping in that might just change that.  Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Brain…

7 12 2011

Dear Brain,

Please stop being weird.



Or, in more detail…

So after a couple of weeks of feeling pretty miserable about everything I concluded it was time to buck up my ideas. Do something proactive about next year and have some goals; after a conversation with my Mother (hello Mum!) and some consideration I decided to enter IronMan UK 70.3, a half-iron distance race at a place called Wimbleball. I’ve done it three times taking 6:55 (’08), 6:22 (’09) and 5:48 (’10). Last year I took the year off, and I missed the event.

After entering the change in motivation was almost instant! I finally had a goal again, and I got on the training like a tramp on chips. 

Honestly, this is fun - Wimbleball 2010

And this was followed by another slump. I’m not sure what brought this one on, conversation with my coach was that it was just “another one of those weeks” I was very mildly ill, not even worthy of the term Man Flu, but skipped sessions as a result. I have the remainder of this week and next week with some pretty light training, enough to keep me sane and to keep my body moving, then I’ve got two weeks away where I’ll be active every day with skiing and the like, but won’t be training specifically. I’m looking forward to this break, the only focus during this time will be to keep up with the exercises the physio has given me, and see what, if anything, else I fancy doing. 

I’m finally feeling optimistic about next year again, I’m starting to think that training isn’t such a bad thing, I just need to get my body fixed up and go from there. 

Oh yeah, the weird brain thing…

Apart from this up and down changes in feelings about the task ahead, there’s also the dreams! I had an incredibly vivid dream the other morning that I was in the Transition area for IronMan UK, but suddenly I noticed it was all a bit quiet around me. Everyone was already swimming. I got to the water, with my wetsuit on, and I was an hour late for the swim; the commentator looked at me and said “Well, give it a go, jump on in, but I’m not sure I like your chances” and as my face went under the water I woke up. Cut off time’s 2 hours 20 minutes and I swam 1:07 there, so I’d like to think I would have made it. But where did this come from?!? There was a similar story (though only about 10 minutes late) on The Age Grouper Podcast recently, that might be it.

So come on brain; stick with the optimistic outlook on the training, stop having weird dreams, and maybe we can improve on 2010’s 33rd in Age Group next year…

 (Oh, and don’t let me catch you looking at the Ultra trail du Mont Blanc website again, you silly brain!)

Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie

30 09 2011

In the footsteps of the Dukes of the Savoie

Warning: this is 6,955words long. That’s LONG

Warning 2: Contains profanities, from early on, but not huge in number.

Col du Joly, >80km run, vert. climbed ~5,530m, alt. 1,989m, running time ~19.5 hrs

26th August 0424, text from Dad:   “Daylight soon ”
26th August 0430, reply:     “Can’t come soon enough, this is fucking grim…”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Blues

6 09 2011

I survived the TDS Ultra Marathon, Just. It ended up being 120km around the alps. It took me 31 hours and 4 minutes.

It was, by a long way, the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Now that it’s done I’ve noticed what a huge part of my life the TDS and IronMan UK had been over the last few months. I’m not complaining, I enjoyed the training (mostly).

Now they’re done I don’t know what to do with myself. I can’t properly train at the moment, recovering from the TDS is taking its time.

In short, I have the post-race blues; and I’ve got them hard. According to Wikipedia:

Melancholia… is a mood disorder of non-specific depression, characterized by low levels of both enthusiasm and eagerness for activity

According to Hippocrates I’ve got an excess of Black Bile, since I wasn’t aware of the colour of my bile before my month of silliness I don’t feel qualified to comment! I do have a low level of enthusiasm for activity. Almost any kind of activity, with the exceptions of sitting down, drinking beer, and eating junk – but I’m not sure they count as activities.

I’ve been here before, but never to quite this extent. After most races I can train again (at least a little) after a day or two’s rest, and often there’s another event to be training towards but the TDS has been different; it’s completely knocked me about. 11 days after and I’ve finally given in to the fact that I now have to go and see someone about the numbness in two toes on each foot!

I summoned the energy to go for a bike ride on Saturday with a friend; it was a relaxed affair involving coffee and cake and enjoying the sunshine, and while I felt pretty good on the bike (apart from my bum – it’s been a while since I last spent 3 hours in the saddle!) when I got home I was exhausted and had to have a nap. The same thing happened after a 30 minute swim.

The other things I’ve lost motivation for include writing race reports. I’ve pretty much finished my IMUK one, I should proof read it and put it up I guess, but the TDS one is something else; at last count I was 2,400 words in and only about 50km through the race. It needs cutting down, but when a race takes 31 hours it feels like there’s a lot to say!

Next event is the Beacons Ultra – 45 miles around the Brecon beacons; a few people have said “after that last race, this should seem simple” and I guess they’re right to some extent, but 45 hilly miles is never actually going to seem simple. It’s in November too, so should be nice and warm .

Planning next season always helps, though I don’t quite know what it is I want to do; another bash around the alps? Another IronMan? Both (but further apart this time!)?

The IronMan Cometh…

28 07 2011

I’ve not written on here for a while; I’ve been trying not to think too much about the IronMan, I’ve been trying not to be whelmed by it. I’ve succeeded some times, I’ve failed at others; I’ve had weird dreams where I’ve missed swim starts and others I’ve woken up falling off my bike.

It’s been a long journey, but the time is coming; soon I will take part in my first IronMan.

In early 2007 Triathlon had been in the back of my mind for a little while, when a girl in a queue for a nightclub seemed impressed that I “did” triathlon it wasn’t long before I entered my first sprint and was in awe of even the idea of an IronMan. Each part of it seems like a pretty big undertaking:

  • 2.4 mile swim (equal to 152 lengths of a pool, but in a lake, with about 1,800 other people)
  • 112 mile bike ride
  • 26.2 mile run

No breaks, just change of footwear/headwear and from one to the next.

 The world record stands at 7:41. The cut off time is 17 hours. I intend to be somewhere between them.

My Argon-18 E-114 with some borrowed wheels, which I sadly won't be using because they don't fit 😦

 The plan is to paddle, pedal and plod. Enjoy the good bits, and remember in the bad bits that “this too will pass”.

 How do I feel?

I’ve missed most of the last week and a half’s training, I’ve had a cold, Man-Flu some would call it, but feeling really light headed and nauseous in any significant efforts – climbing the stairs has been about my limit. So I would summarise how I feel with:

  • Fat
  • Tired
  • Snotty
  • Underprepared

But I’ve read several times that it’s better to turn up for a race under trained than over-trained, and I certainly don’t feel over-trained!

How should the day pan out?

The perfect day would be a 1:10 swim, a 6:59 bike and a 3:49 run, just sneaking under the 12 hour mark. First time out I think I’d be pretty pleased with just completing it… though I know I expect more from myself than just completing it.