Tag Archives: Ferndown try a tri

Where am I now? Assessing my progress.

10 Sep

Just over five months ago, I came up with a basic five year strategy: https://fatgirltoironman.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/failure-to-plan-is-like-planning-to-fail/

Year Swimming Cycling Running Triathlon
2013 800m swim √ 42k cycletta or 82k Marathon Novice – Newbury
2014 1600m swim 63 mile sportive (IoW) Marathon Sprint
2015 2k swim 86 mile sportive Marathon Olympic
2016 3k swim 100 mile sportive Marathon Half Ironman
2017 4k swim 127 mile sportive (Chichester) Marathon Half Ironman
2018 2.4 miles/3.9k 112miles/180k 26.2 miles Ironman

I thought I should assess my progress so far…


I’ve just got one swimming lesson left, and then I’m going to move on to doing swimfit (and am even considering having diving lessons, although that might be a challenge for 2014). I’ve managed to swim 1750m in the lake and in a swimfit class I managed to do 1400m in just under an hour. I successfully completed a 1200m sea swim in Fowey. I’ve also learned how to do tumble turns and am determined to perfect them by the end of the year 🙂


On Friday I am doing the Garmin Sharp Ride Out, which is 50 miles long (80.4km). Next summer I would like to do some time trials, so that I can compare my speed with others. I’ve completed a few long (30 miles+) bike rides, but I think I really need to work on my cycling. Doing 10k to and from work every day is good, but it’s not enough.


In just under a fortnight, I’ll be doing the New Forest marathon. I don’t think I’ve trained as well as I should have for it, but I believe I can complete the distance. I will allow myself a couple of weeks to recover form it and then I want to start working on my 5k and 10k times.


At the end of the month I will do my first triathlon at HOWSC. As usual, I’ve gone for the value for money option, so I’m doing the sprint distance instead of the novice distance. My goal is to complete it, rather than to worry about the time. I am likely to find it hard as it is so close to the marathon. I will then have a a fortnight to recover before doing Ferndown Try-a-Tri.

So, to sum up, by mid-October I’m hoping to have completed most of my goals for the year, and have build a firm base for achieving next year’s goals. I’m not complacent, but my ultimate goal is starting to seem like it may just be achievable. Now I just need to tackle my poor nutrition…

Should I enter Ferndown try a tri?

20 Mar

Wow, my glutes hurt today! I think it must have been the hopping that we did at RunCamp yesterday. Owwwww. It aches to move. Anyway, despite the pain, I battled on this morning and managed to get myself to the pool for another morning swim session. I practised doing lengths of various strokes, and timed myself for a few of them as the digital clock is working again – thank God! It’s so difficult swimming when you have no concept of time. I managed to do a length of freestyle in 30 seconds, which is my best yet, but as soon as I get slightly tired, my form goes and I struggle to breathe. I also realised that 400m is 16 lengths, not 8 as I foolishly thought earlier this week. I need to swim 400m non-stop before I can even contemplate entering a triathlon! (I guess there may be novice events with 200m swim; 10k cycle; 2,5k run, but it seems silly to enter an event like that when I’m confident about the two other elements. What do other people think? Should I go for a novice event, given that I am a novice?)

I’ve looked up the results of Ferndown try a tri from 2012 and found that only two swimmers posted times of greater than 20 minutes. The bottom quarter of swimmers finished in just over 14 minutes, so I’m really going to have to work hard. I will need to be able to consistently swim lengths in under 53 seconds (including any rest periods that I need)… and I’ve realised that the time in transition one is also included in that <gulp>.  Maybe I need to start doing time trials on a Friday morning where I time myself to swim 16 lengths freestyle. What do you think? Am I being too ambitious? Before I started having swimming lessons, I did 32 lengths every morning – admittedly, it was slow ‘old lady breaststroke’, but I did it. Now I rarely swim that far in a session as I’m so focussed on doing drills and getting my technique right.

The good news is that the bottom quarter of runners finished in times of 31-50 minutes. Even including transition time, I’m fairly confident that I can beat that time for a 5k run. My slowest 5ks have been around 31 minutes (excepting tailrunning), and I’m pretty confident that even if I have new bike shoes, it won’t take me 20 minutes to put on my trainers and take off my helmet!!!

The bike portion took the bottom quartile 41-67 minutes. It’s shorter than the cycle at Winchester Duathlon (that was 22km, which is about 13.5 miles), so I’m confident that I wouldn’t be the last finisher. However, I would still have to use my hybrid bike as I didn’t get my bike until the start of November, and I can’t get a new one on Cyclescheme for a year.

So, on balance – there’s no hope of me being anywhere near the top, or even the middle, but I reckon that  if I can drastically improve my swimming, I should be able to regain some ground in the bike and run portions, so that I don’t finish last. Maybe there’s a bit more hope than I realised!

The other part of the jigsaw is my nutrition. I religiously filled in my food diary for the nutritionist, and then realised when I was cycling to work that I had left it at home 😦 My husband is going to bring it to work for me, and then I can update it with last night’s naughtiness (committee meeting = 4 biscuits, 3 pieces of flapjack, 2 jelly babies and a fairy cake – man, I sound like the hungry caterpillar!!!)