Ironman Sweden 2013

We all have different aims for our sporting achievements. For some it is a 5km Run, for other an Ultra Marathon is the one. I settled on wanting to do an Ironman by the end of my 12 months sabbatical. The race chosen was Ironman Sweden in August this year. I m not a stage yet where I can head out for a simple run; I need to the motivation of having signed up for a race to train properly. An Ironman Race would be the motivator.

In the past 11months I have gone from not being able to swim 50m without stopping to swimming 3.8km albeit in the pool nonstop, doing long cycling training sessions, and being able to run 20km without stopping after struggling to run even 2km. This is mainly thanks to Will Newbury from 9 Endurance Coaching who creates my training plan and Yolanda my partner who looks after my nutrition and generally keeps me motivated.

Yet something is missing that has resulted in me cancelling my entry to Ironman Sweden. I have followed an Ironman training plan, I have put the hours in, I put extra hours in, and I have been told that I m ready and that I will get through it. And this is the key part: I don’t just want to get through it, I want to step into the water knowing and feeling that I m ready to rock it.

I don’t feel I m there yet for two key reasons. I m scared of open water swimming and mass starts, with me having only done three triathlons until now, with one swim section cancelled and one swim section cut in half due to weather conditions. I have never cycled 180km and run straight off it and I have never run a marathon. This may sound like an excuse, but for me it is a reality check. An ironman is not something you do casually. It takes endless preparation, hard physical training and most importantly it requires a strong mind. My brain tells me that I feel that I m not ready yet. I believe that I need to swim more consistently, cycle stronger and run a marathon before I get to my first ironman.

When will I know that I m ready? I have another 12months of training until Ironman Sweden 2014, and that includes in the run-up my first marathon, three half-ironman and a few local open water competitions. I don’t just want to get through an Ironman. I want to do well and I want to race, albeit suffering included.

Time will tell!