March I have been working as a triathlon and cycling coach in Mallorca,
whilst at the same time pursuing my own training towards my primary goal
of the year......to win my age category at IM Lanza.
started off by running a couple of seriously steep 'Mountain
Marathons' to enhance my run strength and overall core/
conditioning, but ended up falling over more times than I care to
remember, cutting myself up quite badly, calling into question the
wisdom of this decision.
Next up, in early April, was a great little triathlon race in a
little fishing port on the East coast of Mallorca called Porto Colom,
with a pretty lighthouse on the headland at the mouth of the
harbour. It is the perfect season opener, offering two
distances, the full 111km ( 1km swim, 100km bike, and 10km run) and
the 55.5km 'half' version. I finished 2nd to a Belgium guy who
informed me from the top step of the podium that he owed his victory
to the Tagliatelle 'Wiggins' that he'd eaten in Tolo's the evening
After this I rode a long distance sportive, the Mallorca 312km,
round the island ride, with a group from a large club in Kent.
Although not strictly a race it offered a pretty intensive workout
which took over 12hrs........that's a tough days training!!
Next up was the biggest Half Ironman race in the World, the Mallorca
70.3, had over 3500 athletes competing this year. One step lower on
the podium for me, a third place, against stiff competition left me
happy enough with my form (following a chest infection, cough and
cold a couple if weeks before) see Mallorcaman picture of me in my
pointy silver aero helmet leaning my bike over Valentino Rossi style
on one of the descents......well almost......
weeks later followed my primary goal IM Lanzarote the full distance
event ( 2.4miles, 112 miles and a marathon run). I flew home from
Mallorca the week before the race to hook up with my Thomas Cook
flight and hotel package the next day, to stay near the race
start in Puerto Del Carmen. The winds blew really hard In the week
leading up to the race so I was pleased with my decision ( based on
past experiences in Lanza that you don't need to be wrestling the
front wheel for the whole bike ride in the crosswinds) to bring a
normal shallow section front wheel. I met up with Trevor (Simmons)
and partner Lucy for a leg massage at his Athletes Prepared By
Clinic (APB Works) in the village of La Santa on registration day.
Now I was ready to race.....
the 'B' of Bang I knew I was on for a good day as I was never too
stressed in either the swim or even on the bike although the wind
was often brutal. Coming from a mountain bike background, grinding
up hills is basically what I can do.
Plus, I was super hydrated, needing to have multiple wee's whilst on
the move on the bike ( even more important than normal to check the
wind direction first) which is always a good sign in a hot ironman
race like Lanza.
start of the run was daunting, with the thought of running a
marathon into strong winds a first for me, but I was determined to
endure and just keep running, even through the aid stations, to lose
as little time as possible to my competitors. I was asking various
'faces' that I recognised for time gaps, but all I was getting back
was 'your winning', (my age category). Finally after 26km
someone told me that I was over 20 minutes ahead. This info had
actually come via Blackheaths own Jim Phelan following the race
online at home in the UK, he'd text to say my gap was 23 mins and
increasing. Good solid info at last. I was spurred on by the news
and just kept
the nutrition to keep moving forward and energy coming through
into the legs. It came in waves, sometimes I felt ok and at others
was just creeping forward. I held that 20 minute gap until the
finish line to achive the number 1 spot on the podium for the first
time this year.......in my most important race.......my primary
goal......how did I feel........relieved and delighted!! I think the
photos tell the story better than I.