It Has To Start With a 12!

Posted on October 15, 2013. Filed under: brain training, cycle, ironman, Ironman Austria, ironman regensburg, Klagenfurt, run, swim |

0036_46525Fourteen hours, fifty eight minutes and eighteen seconds.

As I ran in the dark through the woodlands of Regensburg I came to terms with missing my target time.  God knows, I had few options but to accept my fate as I dodged in and out of the most foul Portaloos and bushes in Southern Bavaria.  As my target time came and went I focused purely, simply and doggedly on becoming an Ironman and when I crossed the line I was elated.

However, like a grain of sand in the chamois of my cycling shorts my finish time preyed on my mind.  First an awareness I had not reached my potential, then an irritation and then I knew that I would have to do something about it.

My target time for Ironman Austria is the same as the one that I had optimistically hoped for in Regensburg – to finish under 13 hours.  My time has to start with a 12!

As they say, “it all starts with a dream”, but unless you open your eyes and stare the dream down in the daylight it will never become a reality.  So what does all that mean for Project Austria 2014?

I followed a “just get around plan” for Regensburg, as initially that was the extent of my dream but as time went on I wanted a good time.  However, I never changed my plan.  There is a expression that I am very fond of that “if you keep doing the same thing, don’t be surprised if you get the same results”.  Having spent my whole career in corporate planning, and more latterly, having worked as an executive coach I know a number of things to be true:

  1. You need a clear tangible vision of what you want to achieve
  2. Sharing the vision increases your attachment to it and the likelihood of doing it
  3. You need a plan. A vision without a plan is just another pipe dream.
  4. Behavioural change is needed or you will end up where you have always been.

This is a two part post – this one is WHAT? What am I going to achieve and how will I know on 29th June 2014 if I am on track to do it?  The next one is HOW? How will I change my behaviours, my approach and my relationship with the target to put myself in control of the wheel?

So here it goes…….




Let’s take a look at the pieces…


In Regensburg, other than avoiding a black eye, I couldn’t have had a better swim and I finished in 1:06.  But I can do better……with about 6 weeks to go I got really frustrated with “black line fever” and stopped pool swimming altogether. As a consequence I was only  really doing two short open water swims a week – no drills, no tempo efforts, no strength work – just open water plodding.  This time will be different.

In Klagenfurt I will come out of the water in 59 minutes at the very slowest.  As an ex-competitive swimmer, and in the first event of the day I have no excuses – this is my joker.



In Regensburg I was flying on lap 1 and fell to pieces on lap 2.  Two things did for my race on the day – bike position and nutrition.  However, it didn’t all go wrong on the day.  With hindsight, I didn’t start that bike ride in the best condition that I could have done.  In training I had focused on endurance and had neglected strength and speed – it seems obvious now if that was how I trained then that was how I would race – I would go the distance, but slowly.  I was also about 5kg too heavy which just sapped my energy climbing.  I finished slightly the bike over target last time out at 7:23 but, more importantly, I left myself mentally and physically crippled for the marathon.

Ironman Austria will see me finish the bike, fit to run, in 6:30.  There I’ve said it.  I have to do it now!


Transition went alright in Regensburg with the exception of refusing to let volunteers help me change my socks.  I will aim for the same total transition time in Austria – 17minutes


So the Regensburg run was pure purgatory.  A badly set up bike had crippled my back and poor nutrition execution drew me irresistibly towards the Portaloos. It took me a glacial 6 hours and 10 minutes to run 26.2 miles.  I can actually walk it faster than that!

When all else runs to plan, that will leave me 5 hours and 14 minutes to complete the marathon. I have no intention of taking that long.

And that is it – an Ironman time that starts with a 12!  All I need to do is get faster, lighter and stronger.  How I do that will be the next post.

Leaving nothing to chance, I have started already.


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

6 Responses to “It Has To Start With a 12!”

RSS Feed for ironman39 Comments RSS Feed

Dougie- Never done an IM and probably never will, so I admire you no matter the first two digits!

Having said that, you obviously know what’s needed and sounds attainable to me. Better to stay in and sleep than do garbage training!

GOOD LUCK. I enjoy your posts.

PS- Have some appreciation for your descriptions of your training. London lived up to its weather reputation last month, but we still had a blast. An acquaintance & team mate won his AG & was 2nd overall in the Olympic distance race.


Cheers Gerry. I’m sure you will come across to the dark side before you retire! As they say “if you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon”. And the experience is doubly so with Ironman.

I am very glad that London treated you well!


Love the power of saying something will happen as a motivational tool toward ensuring it does.

Completing Ironman seems like an amazing achievement to me, regardless of how many hours it takes. Completing in a time starting with a 12 looks to me like a superhuman effort, so good luck!


First you have to say it out loud and then you need to work out how to do it! Creating the habit is the challenge!


Go get that dirty dozen in 2014 🙂 Aaaggghhhh you can do it.
I’ll be getting around Bolton – my first IM
Pirates are tough you’ll crack it next time.
Red Stripe


Cheers Zoe – it won’t be for lack of trying!

Good luck with Bolton!


Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...



Trainers, Tantrums & Triathlons

A journey through parenthood, perseverance and picking up new skills. All things swim/bike/run and everything inbetween

Wild Woman

Adventures of one lady and her dog


Doing your first Iron Man a few wrinkles short of fifty...

Teacups & Trainers

Running through life, drinking as much tea as possible


A great site

%d bloggers like this: