Having been a member of Fareham Running Club for almost 9 years, I've seen a number of running club colleagues transition from pure runners to being triathletes and then become Ironman competitors. It's not really ever been a focus as initially my running was about quick times over 5k and 10k and then moving up to marathon distance.
However, having supported two friends at the Bolton Ironman, it started to enter my mind that it might be worth having a crack at Triathlons and then possibly Ironmans. Initially I thought this was way beyond my abilities, but then I thought that with marathons and I've run seven of those.
In 2021 my focus was still on marathons but then I picked up a shin injury from too much endurance running, so at the end of that year made the decision to start training for triathlons as the swimming and cycling will keep me fit, and less running would reduce the load on the shin.
At the beginning of 2022 I could only swim two lengths without stopping, my technique and swim fitness were very poor. So I started lessons to improve my technique, and then in the summer bought my first road bike to get used to cycling (I hadn't been on one for 10 years!)
I joined Bayside Triathlon Club in the autumn as I wanted to start training with like minded people. Its a great club and, like Fareham Running Club, very friendly and welcomes all abilities.
So, having enjoyed the training, and also having completed two sprint triathlons last year, one being Challenging Events Holly Hill Triathlon, I'm now looking to up my game and complete the standard distance. I had already booked onto the Huntsman (sprint distance), Eton Dorney (standard distance), and then Swashbuckler (standard distance) when I saw your promotion for the training programme with TTT, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some guidance, advice, and tips from very experienced triathletes/coaches; and my chat with Louella backed this up.
While I get good advice from friends that have been doing this for a while, I felt that working with established coaches will help me move up to the next level. Identify gaps in my training and ability that only people with their knowledge will spot. For example, Louella has advised I need to eat more protein to build muscle strength. And Jules from TTT has given me advice on nutrition and diet. This is the kind of knowledge and information I need to make the necessary progress.
The aim this year is to complete a standard distance triathlon, next year will be Half Iron distance and then 2025 will be all about the full Ironman distance (probably Bolton). My shin is much better but I've not run further than 10k since the injury, so in addition to building up strength endurance for the respective distances, managing my shin will be key.
If all goes well over the next 8 weeks then I well may consider a full time coach as I'm already picking up a lot of tips from Louella and her colleagues, so its been a very positive start so far.
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