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'With nearly 500 races behind me as a runner including a few marathons it seems the right time to turn my attention to an Ironman triathlon. It’s not a matter of being too old it’s more the case that I’ve been training for 36 years for this moment. My triathlon career goes back to 1992 but when bikes started getting a bit more technical than an old Raleigh I thought better of it and continued running. An operation in 2015 and a chance to refocus plus seeing someone I know do the Austria Ironman gave me the impetus to come back stronger and take the plunge. So, the target is Klagenfurt, Austria, 2nd July 2017 and the mental approach is a day out doing things I enjoy – just that it’s a 2.4-mile swim, then 112 miles on the bike and a marathon to finish. Then pizza.' Ean Parsons.
10th Jan 2017
In truth training, specifically for 2.7.17 started around July 2015 when I needed to get off the couch after a hernia op and get back to fitness. In 2014 I did two marathons – badly; my body just gave up. You can’t do marathons continuously with them coming back and biting you with injury or problems. So I came back with a strength and flexibility routine, mainly to build core but also to improve my overall flexibility; not just for sport but mainly for long-term health. This refocus led to less running and improved quality swimming (I’ve always swam). My weakness with regard to triathlon is cycling. Although I already had a road bike (by now the Raleigh has gone) I needed to do more time on it. Up to the turn of the year my aim was simply to get fitter and stronger and consolidate what I’ve been doing with running, cycling and swimming. In October 2016 I benchmarked my cycling with the 52-mile hilly Durham Beast sport if – taking over five hours and coming home near the back of the field after two punctures – another learning experience. At the end of October I ran the Morpeth to Newcastle marathon in 4:25 – an hour slower than my best; but it wasn’t about the time, it was about testing my endurance not having run anywhere near a marathon for two years. Then I did two open water swims over half-Ironman distance of 1900m (1.2 miles) in 45mins and felt very comfortable. I was very happy with all of that. In December I did more time on the bike and set up my turbo-trainer at home, then I made a plan for 2017. As well as increasing every discipline simultaneously month on month I intend to focus on a different discipline each month Jan: running, Feb: cycling, Mar: swimming, Apr: cycling, May: running, Jun: taper; and in the meantime, keep up the strength and flexibility routine. I’ve no idea how this ties in to an Ironman training plan; all I know is that I’ve got to allow for recovery because if I don't I'll get injured and if I get injured I can't train.
Running January got off to a good start with a half marathon in Egmond, Holland; 5 miles along the beach, 2 miles on trails and 6 miles on trails. Like with the Morpeth to Newcastle the trick was to hold myself back and run steady so as not to get injured and to train myself for running purely for endurance and taking my time over it. I ran in on 1:54:55 which is 20 mins down on what I would have been doing two years ago, but I felt strong and ran well – and I did a negative split by five minutes. Recovery has been good and there’s no reason why I can’t be out training again tonight.
Keep up to date with how Ean is doing with his training. We will up date this blog once a week with how the week has went for Ean and any half marathons, marathons, cycles and swims.
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