My Last Ironman Event?

With one more 70.3 race scheduled for 2017 (Ironman 70.3 Pula, Croatia), I've been reflecting on the Ironman brand events I've done so far.  

I started these because I wanted to do an Ironman.  It was a genuine challenge and at the outset I didn't know whether I'd succeed.

Having completed Ironman Maastricht in 2016, 2017 year has been something of an anti-climax.

At the start of the year I decided that a second Ironman would suffer from the law of diminishing marginal returns - the first would always be the best.  So I focused on 70.3 half-Ironman events and tried to go faster.

Aberfeldy 70.3 Triathlon - Notes to Self

August 20th 2017 saw the 21st Aberfeldy Triathlon, but the 1st run by Durty Events, and the first on a brand new course.

Which doesn't go within six miles of Aberfeldy.  Is this the RyanAir approach to triathlon naming?

The over riding impression of this triathlon is of outstandingly beautiful countryside.

I say this as someone who lives amongst lochs and mountains in the Scottish Highlands, so it takes a lot to impress me.  This course did.  If you're from anywhere in England or Central-belt Scotland, this course will blow you away.  In a good way.

Review - Pearl Izumi Short Sleeve Triathlon Suit

Triathlon Plus magazine recently tested a range of male and female triathlon suits, narrowed them down to twelve, then reviewed these as the 'best of the best'.

I confess, I'm quietly delighted my Pearl Izumi triathlon suit did not make the top twelve, and that the sleeveless version was not one of the top picks.

In a race where every other person has a Huub, 2XU, Planet X or Zone 3 outfit, it's nice to wear something a little different.

For Pearl Izumi, it sucks.  For me, it's brilliant.  Because I love racing in this suit.

Running Injury - Elastic Laces and Why I Ditched Them

Greepers - way better than elastic
It took me a year to realise it but elastic laces were slowing me down in transition.  

That's exactly the opposite of they way it's meant to work!  

I'll explain why, explain the best solution I've found (Greepers.com that's them alongside) and the story of how I got that pair from one of the top British female triathletes.

When training in running in trail or road shoes I always used laces in shoes.  I wear orthotics to correct over pronation, so my foot is at risk of sliding around, and I felt laces held the shoes better on my feet.  

However, for races I switched into elastic laces so I could pull them on faster.  I trained a couple of times in the elastic-lace versions, but mainly saved them for races.

Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh Race Report

Before the race I explained the four reasons why it would become a classic.

Now I'm sure of it.

Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh will earn the reputation as one of the hardest 70.3 races.  That will be both an attraction for some and for others a definite reason not to attempt it.  Not hard per se, but hard compared to others of its kind.

I spoke to an fellow competitor afterwards, one who qualified for the world championships and has raced all the UK events including full Ironman, who told me, "that was harder than any of them".  Objectively, the half-iron event could not be harder than a full Ironman.  By any objective measure, the distances involved do NOT make this a hard event compared to others in Scotland such as Celtman or the Kindrochit Quadrathlon.  However, yesterday's conditions prompted a subjective response.

Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh, A Future Classic?

I'm sure I'll look back on this race and say "I was there at the first one".

The new half-iron distance event has all the ingredients for a classic.

More people want to race this distance, so there are more events to cater for them.

That means a new event, even one with the Ironman brand, needs something special, a Unique Selling Point.

Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh has four special somethings, and the theme which connects them all is this - it's going to be a tough, tough race.

Great Lessons From My Bad Race at Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire

"If you learn more from a bad race than a good one", I wrote to my coach after finishing Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire last weekend, "then I've just had a great lesson".

It was an eight hour drive home, giving me plenty of thinking time.  I then poured over the metrics from my Garmin and know a lot more about what went on.

But there's something more basic than that.

It's all about expectations.  Another athlete, with the same coach, was jubilant about her result yet she was slower than me.

Stupidly, I expected to improve on my result at Weymouth IM70.3 last September.

I conveniently ignored the facts that I had gone into Weymouth much fitter, fortified by a year of full ironman training and competition.  Not only had I lost fitness over winter, I'd managed minimal training in March and April due to a virus.

All this I ignored.  Stupid.