Ironman is a name that has become synonymous with the triathlon event:swimming, cycling and running. The first Ironman event took place in Hawaii in 1978. Since then it has become a global phenomena. In 2010 there will be 25 Ironman races held in 16 countries worldwide.
“Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life” Ironman registered trademark.
Top athletes can compete the course in just over 8 hours, however to finish the race, participants must complete all three sections within 15 hours. All finishers are entitled to call themselves an Ironman!
This gruelling event is not for the faint hearted. Anyone must be crazy to even think about entering. So this year I abandoned all reason, coughed up the £305 entry fee and have signed up! After entering the Liverpool Triathlon last year I felt greater things lie ahead, since it was not as hard as I had envisaged. When it was suggested to me that I enter Ironman I was initially sceptical, but now I’m confident that I can pull it off.
The Liverpool Triathlon is an Olympic distance event, that is a swim of 1.5km, bike ride of 40km and a run of 10km. I completed it in just over 2 hours and 33 minutes, putting me in the top 27% of competitors. Its a good background but I’ll need to step up a gear or two if I am to complete Ironman, which is being held in Bolton on the 1st of August 2010. There will be a lot of training for me over the next 8 months, but by signing up for other events along the way I will be able to build up my stamina with no excuses for ducking out of the training.
What with the Christmas plus the snow and ice, my training volume has been lower than I would have liked. I’ve only been doing about 3 hours a week. I’ll need to be doing 8 or 9 hours a week if I’m to become an Ironman! My training will include running or cycling 13 miles to work. In addition to that I’ll be doing other personal challenges. For example, on my day off last Friday I rode 50 miles on the bike then ran a half marathon. This was quite a testing, but I got through it ok. Swimming is will be the toughest part of the challenge for me. The training is addictive so I should be able to keep it up.
I’ve signed up for the Torelli Jodrell Bank Cyclosportive Challenge on the 14th of March. This is an 80 mile bike ride round the beautiful country lanes of Cheshire. This part of the Cheshire countryside is relatively flat so I’m hoping to be able to keep a good pace throughout this cycling event. For those of you who have never heard of it, Jodrell Bank is a space observatory as opposed to a financial institution. The Lovell radio-telescope that has been observing distant stars for 50 years and is a familiar sight on the Cheshire plains.
Following on from the Jodrell Bank Sportive, is the Verenti Cheshire Cat Cyclosportive. This will take place on 28th of March and will be a slightly tougher challenge for me. This bike ride is going to be 100 miles long, 20 more than the Jodrell Bank Sportive. There will be a steep climb or two and plenty of undulating country lanes!
As well as keeping up with the Ironman training, I’ll be posting updates about my progress here on the CheapTents.com blog.