On the 11th September Dave completed his first Ironman Triathlon in Weymouth. Dave has been using Sandbach Leisure Centre for over 18 months for early morning swim sessions which has helped towards completing the Ironman Triathlon.
Dave shares his amazing story with us:
“The Ironman is a 2.4 mile sea swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride (with over 2,000m of climbing) and then a full 26.2 mile marathon. There were time cut-offs for each section, 2 hours for the swim, 10.5 hours to complete the swim/bike (including transition) and then a total of 16.5 hours to complete the whole event.
I was aiming to get around within the cut-offs and thought i’d be really happy if I did it in 15+ hours or so. As it was I completed it in 14 hours 53 minutes and 16 seconds which I’m really pleased with!
It was more of a lifestyle change than training. I’ve done some marathons, triathlons, long bike rides and endurance challenges in the past but nothing on this scale. My training proper started in October last year and ramped up from circa 9 hours/week peaking at 16 hours/week.
Sandbach Leisure Centre is a really nice friendly crowd in the pool in the morning, both the staff and the swimmers! I’ve had some informal tips and help on making my swim stroke more efficient and the training has helped immensely! My swimming has improved dramatically! I did a similar distance swim in July 2015 in just over 2 hours so knew the pressure was on to reduce my time. On event day I did a personal best of 1 hour 30 minutes for the 2.4 mile swim.
I trained six days/week, early morning swims and runs alternating weekday mornings, runs in the evening and cycling to work one day a week to Manchester. ‘Bricks sessions’ at the weekend of, long swim to bike and long bike ride to runs. My biggest training session was a 1km pool swim followed by a 124 mile bike ride and a 3.5 mile run on the same day but there were lots of 6 to 7 hour weekend training days too.
I’ve fundraised for the RNLI Lifeboats since being rescued following a sailing accident in 2007. The fundraising challenges have gotten progressively bigger each year. At the moment i’m not sure how i’ll top this next year and quite fancy another endurance adventure challenge (I’ve previously canoed coast to coast along the Great Glen’s lochs and canals in Scotland and also done the National Three Peaks but cycled between Snowdon, Scafel Pike and Ben Nevis ~ 450 miles over 4 days).
This year with the help of Sandbach Cycling Group and Sandbach Rugby Club I also organised my first Cycle Sportive event in Sandbach for the RNLI, #ThreeShires. The leisure centre helped promote that and we had over 330 riders ranging from 4 years old on the family ride to 70+. We’ll be hoping to repeat that again next May all being well and I might even get to ride it next year!
Ironman have a motto of ‘anything is possible’ and I believe that! Ironman is 80% training and 20% stubbornness to finish! You’ve obviously got to put the right training preparation in and get the nutrition right but I’ve had some great training days. I have watched what I’ve eaten, lots of carbs before and during training and protein afterwards, cut down on the alcohol but didn’t exclude it completely except for the last few weeks before the event. I’ve been burning between 2,500 – 5,000 calories a week so no matter what I ate I’ve pretty much burned it off (so if I fancied the occasional pie I had one!). I’ve lost 9kg in weight since Christmas where I didn’t think I really had weight to lose.
Most of all, I’ve had huge support from friends and family. Without my families support in particular I don’t know how I would have done it!
The #EBChallenge to match the 800 miles covered by the Tour of Britain coincided with the peak in my own training and was a huge help in motivation for that final few weeks too! I’ve been keeping the swimming up since the event. It’s become a routine and a great way to start the day!
If you’re going to do a personal best, it’s great to do it on event day!”
Thank you Dave for sharing your blog with us, congratulations and well done for all of your hard work, we look forward to hearing about your next challenge!
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