Cotswold 70.3 is a month away

I thought it was time for a little catch up on this.

So we know why, coaching and knowing I would be there somehow I thought this would be fun!!!!

Fun is an interesting word for someone who love competition and who is totally rubbish at a certain element of a tri.

Lets have a look at the training

Back in January I decided to have another go at actually fixing the swimming so I attended Adult swim. When I say fix I just mean get through 1.9kms in under and hour and not in huge amounts of pain. Pain, yes pain. What people don’t fully understand is years of contact sport has left me with 2 shoulders/collarbones that have been broken. I have rotator issues in both as well. So for you swimmers imagine getting in the water and being in pain on every stroke as your arm goes through the water. Add to that my concrete legs. So as you can see a modest goal was to improve my technique to limit the pain and get out the water alive and well enough to go racing.

Things really stepped up when I moved over to work in Hinckley and met Jai from Swim Station. I joined his Monday group and started swimming regularly with the pull buoy on a Thursday morning. He worked on technique/body position, pointed out that given my time window breathing to one side was fine as long as I could sight in the Open Water. It has been a disappointment to me that he has had pull issues so Mondays have not always gone ahead. Fortunately Jai runs an OW session on a Tuesday and I can attend before time trials which has all sorts of training benefits.

OW has been a real rough with the smooth process for me with panic attacks and actually not swimming due to the weather being so bad but in recent weeks it has also seen indications of where I am. A 3 lap TT showed that I may be on target for 51 mins which is a lot better than my hour initial prediction. At this point for those that don’t know I have actually done 4 70.3 events before and have a best swim of around 52 mins and I admit deep down 52 mins was my target it was just that I didn’t want the pressure and to end up on the line broken.

To close off on swimming

1. I am still in pain in the water but it is manageable

2. I can swim for 52 mins

3. As much as I hate it I have pretty much swum every week since January

4. I have never committed more than 2 sessions a week as I believe I can make more time up on the run and bike and frankly I hate swimming and didn’t want to break myself

My current hope is that I may actually break 50 mins!!!! If this happens and I get out the water fresh then things could get very interesting.

So this cycling thing, I do a lot of it so really on the bike it is just a case of how hard can I go or am I prepared to go when I still have to run afterwards.

I have been putting in base miles, doing a little racing(to be honest thinking about Cyclocross) and also time trialling on either my road or my tt bike. My form has depended on my fatigue but my ability to put out 290-300 watts even when tired has been confidence inspiring.

I did an open 10 slightly rested and put out 311 watts winning a vets prize on the way with a long 21. On H10/8 a long 21 is nice. I also had a trip to the E2/25 which is probably the best (not fastest probably 2nd fastest) course for an honest ride, on a windy(again not the worst wind) day put put 300 watts for a 55 min effort

I did a 50 mile sporting 50 mile TT in around 2.09, it was a strange day as I felt easy yet not happy all at the same time. I did get off the bike and go running with no drama and I guess knowing that the bike course at Cotswold should be easier had instantly concluded my bike should be no worse than 2.20. The reality is I want a 2.15 or quicker. There is another TT in a few weeks where I will go a little harder and run a little harder afterwards .

To close off cycling – after initial concerns causing a visit to Gary at Sportstest I like to think I am on track. Training has been focused and I have my eyes firmly on the mission.

So finally running, my inner runner is keeping me moving nicely. I haven’t raced this year. Ok I paced my friend to a 1.22 at the Wokingham half and I have run a few 17.xx parkruns but as a rule I have relied on Cycling for my hard sessions and am doing enough running to know I feel I will have no trouble covering the distance.

Hahaha, does anyone really believe I want to just cover the distance? My wonderful interval group has been inspiring and although they don’t see me run hard often it is great to suffer with friends on occasion. From these sessions and the parkruns I can confirm that my basic leg speed is sound. My weekly 10 milers confirm to me that my engine is also sound but right now what you all want to know is what is my target pace?

Funny you should ask as I have tested what I think will be race pace. A few weeks back after 2 high volume training days ending with a hard TT the night before  I went out for 12.5 miles including a last 2 miles at race pace. If all goes to plan I expect to do the run in around 1.25 but even if it goes wrong I can’t see it taking any longer than 1.35.

So the recap and write up on target with the range I can expect


Ideal – 49.xx Worst case 59.xx


ideal – 2.14.xx Worst case 2.24.xx


ideal 1.24.xx Worst case 1.34.xx

Transitions included will hopefully see me home in 4.35 and at worst around 5hours, surely I cannot hit worst expectation on all 3 disciplines?

I haven’t focused on transitions as I am happy that I will not be fast but I am organised so expect the biggest issue will be cocking up getting out of my wetsuit.

I haven’t focused on brick sessions, anyone coached by me knows I do not believe they are that important, you do a few for piece of mind but not many.

I’m nervous really, the OW swim still scares me but I will enter the water as well prepared as I wanted and possibly quicker than expected, I will still start last and away from the crowd but am actually confident I won’t be the slowest swimmer.

I’m still surprised I entered, the racer in me likes to be at the sharp end and with my swimming it isn’t possible but thanks to my friends we have a race within a race and I can live with that.

See you on the start line



1 Response to “Cotswold 70.3 is a month away”

  1. July 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Good luck mate, it will certainly be interesting seeing your swim position compared to your final position. My mate was 1720th out of the water at IMUK and 73rd after the bike.

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