When it starts to get real

I’m at that point in my training where race day is looming and the doubts are setting in, 6 weeks to go until my first ever triathlon and all I can think is I haven’t done enough cycling. Or running. Or swimming. Although I am probably more worried about the cycling, I can do the distance but not sure on speed, whereas my run target time is way below my PB so should hopefully be reasonably comfortable. But is that going to matter if I slowly grind to a halt on the ride? Argghhhhh!

Turbo trainer in the garden to fit it all in

I try to remind myself that I’ve done as much as my training budget will allow, sure I probably could have pushed harder in some sessions but by and large I’ve ticked off every session I planned and have made a huge change to my swimming and cycling fitness. But still, reality bites sometimes doesn’t it? That’s ok as long as I get a grip before race day arrives, you can’t go into these kind of endurance events with doubts can you? You have to be confident (and realistic of course) in your abilities.

Do I sound like I believe myself?

If I’m honest this feeling right now is precisely why I, and probably many others, take on these challenges. I like that it scares me and that I’m nervous, that I’m out of my comfort zone and doing something that I might not succeed at. It’s extremely addictive taking on a challenge and completing it, you can’t beat that feeling as you cross the finish line.

Threshold Sports who organize the Race to the Stones amongst other things have ‘More is in you’ as their slogan. I think it’s a great approach to take no matter what your challenge is, our bodies are capable of so much more than we might think and we shouldn’t be afraid to try.

I was reminded of this at the weekend when I was marshalling at the Cotswold 226, an Iron distance triathlon. My brother and I were at mile 25 of the 2 lap bike course and it was incredible seeing the wide variety of people taking part. From the almost professional looking guys at the front on £6k time trial bikes who whizzed past right down to the two 18 year old girls towards the back who were struggling in the wind and rain. In between were many different ages and abilities but apart from a handful all finished the race. I find the concept of an Ironman hard to digest, I know how hard a marathon is to run so I can only imagine what it feels like after the other 2 sports.

Wet marshalling at the Cotswold 226

But these people did it, there is little glory in a small triathlon that takes place on quiet country roads in the Cotswolds, no cheering fans or even many competitors to keep you going. These people did it purely for the challenge and I find that quite inspiring.

There are many more examples like this every weekend, endurance sports have grown so much over the past few years and people are taking on some incredible challenges. Why shouldn’t I be one of them?

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