Swim, bike, run, write.

The Training Diaries #IM703

I guess you could say the inevitable has happened. Less than 2 years ago, whilst supporting my other half at a middle distance triathlon, I told my mum that I would 'never be caught dead' doing a triathlon. In my defence, we were standing by a pretty murky, duck poo filled lake, I'd been hauled out of bed at 4am and at this point I hadn't set foot (or should that be arse!?) on a bike for a good 10 years. A lot has changed since then, and after taking on a couple of sprint distance triathlons last summer, I'm all signed up to do my first half Ironman this year.

So, lobotomy aside - what happened to change my mind? Really my boyfriend is to blame for my now ongoing love affair with triathlon. I first spectated an Ironman when he raced Bolton in 2015. It's so hard to explain, but watching all of those people push themselves and overcome so much to cross that finish line woke something up in my brain that made me say 'I've got to do this.' (I can only imagine it's the same 'something' that made me follow my parents around yelling 'I want to do ballet' incessantly at the age of 2.) I think it's important to me to see what my body can do, to see how far I can push myself. Plus, it turns out open water swimming is amazing (which makes up for the stinky lake water and the duck poo), riding a road bike can actually be kind of fun and once you get over the jelly legs situation, the post-ride run isn't so bad. There's something special about triathlon; the training, the community and really getting to see what your body is capable of. It's an opportunity to test your limits - plus you get to gallivant around in lycra and spend most of your time smelling like chlorine, what's not to love!?

On to the race. A half Ironman involves a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike followed by a 13.1 mile run. I figured if I'm going to swim, bike and run my through a 70.3 mile race course I may as well go somewhere with decent scenery so at the end of August we'll be making our way to Zell-Am-See, Austria. Mountains, good food and an excuse to belt out 'the hills are alive' at the top of the climb on the bike course - I'm so excited!

Training is well underway - today marks the start of my phase 3 training plan. So far it's been all about building a base of strength and endurance ready to start working on power, speed and performance. As always with this kind of thing, there's been a few hiccups along the way - a niggly little shoulder injury, busy weekends rushing into London for my Pilates instructor training course and most recently a lovely cold that really kicked my butt. All of this aside, I'm definitely feeling stronger already and I'm genuinely looking forward to ramping up my training to see what I can achieve.

I'll be documenting my Ironman 70.3 journey here so stay tuned!

*stock image from pixabay - I can't wait to take some photographs of my own come August!

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