Build Phase


As a former Chartered Physiotherapist, and given the events of the week, it seemed apt to reflect on the following. To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone. This week started poorly, so I needed all three.  On Monday, I managed to get in the programmed 1 hour speed skill bike session, and then on Tue and Wed I just crashed!

Listen to your body

For the first time since starting this journey and my training programme, I had to pass up on training two days in a row. I think there was a bug in the air as my daughter had suffered the week before. Still, it was a good excuse to get to bed early and sleep, which I did from 8:30pm through until 6:30am on both days!

Getting back to normal

Feeling much better by mid week, it was time to play catch up. Not wanting to miss another session (slightly obsessed now!), I rejigged the programme. I was able to get a session in before and after work on Thu and Fri. Thu was a bike turbo session and an evening swim, and Fri was a morning run and an evening swim.  The highlight of the week’s sessions was the Thu morning 10km run. Catching the sun rise on the South Shields Leas at 6:00am was magical.  They often say that you should adopt positive habits first thing in the morning to set you up the day. Well it worked on Thu.

It’s the weekend again

By Sat and Sun I was good to go for the long sessions.  Energy levels were still running high, and I thank my nutrition plan as much as anything for this.  I managed a gentle 22km run on Sat and a steady 4hrs on the bike on Sun.

I was motivated for a few reasons this week. Firstly, a few training colleagues were competing in the Outlaw Half Iron Distance in Nottingham; they were up and in the water at 6:30am for a 5-6hr event, so I had not excuse! Unlike the competitors, I could at least stop for a tea cake and coffee at one of my favourite pit stops (Broom House Farm).  Secondly, I was told about the tragic story of a young man my father had spent a lot of time with, who unfortunately passed away.  His funeral was this week. It was a very sad and tragic story but one that I somehow related to. His name was Chris Stirling and he was one of the most accomplished extreme triathletes of his generation.  Such a talent and someone who pursued triathlon as an escape, and for the physical and emotional rewards it can bring.  Chris’s story was another reason to get up and be grateful for the opportunity to train.

Chris Stirling’s nominated Trust

I have decided to raise money for Chris’s nominated charity, The Brathay Trust, as I head towards Ironman Wales. I had been struggling to settle on a cause that had some real personal connection but this felt perfect. Hope comes from people believing in you and you believing in yourself. I feel passionately that if you can instil this at an early age, then the magic can happen; whatever life throws at you.  Thank you very much if you decide to donate just a few pounds. It will help to motivate me and more importantly, it will teach other young people belief. The link to my charity page for the Trust on my Facebook page.

Keep your chin up and plan ahead

The lesson this week was that even the occasional set back doesn’t need to stop you in your tracks, so long as you plan ahead, stay flexible and draw on the inspiration of others. You will always find the latter when you least expect it. Embrace it, and it can empower you to stay positive and keep going. It is just a skill that requires practice, as I am discovering.

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