Passion. Life is a lot blander without it. Be it work or hobby I’m a big believer that you should do things you’re passionate about. It doesn’t always need to be full on ‘I want to change the world’ passion, but work in particular can be a very dull place if you have no passion at all for the company or the work that you do. Every day becomes an exercise in just getting through rather than feeling excited about what you might achieve.

The same applies to any hobby or sport that you do and perhaps none more so than running. If you don’t have some passion for running and it’s simply something you ‘should’ do then the chances of you doing it regularly and for more than a few months is slim.


Cotswold Classic race review

It’s official, I’m a triathlete! Cotswold Classic middle distance triathlon – done. Another bucket list race ticked off, although as ever when you complete a challenge you’ve been building towards for a while it feels a little anti climatic. I probably spent more time getting my kit prepped for the race than actually doing the race, not to mention the many many hours of training. However (and I’ll whisper this quietly) despite saying after the race I’m not doing another one again I think I might add this race to my calendar for next year also.

I thought just doing the race would scratch the triathlon itch, but having done it I think I have a real chance to go quicker by making a few simple changes. I generally come away from races happy that I’ve done the best I can but this time it’s really nagging at me to have another crack. My plan was to try to improve my marathon time next year so we’ll have to see how it fits in.


Who needs a race?

Completing any endurance challenge is as much about being strong in the mind as strong in the body. You have to go into the race with the mind set that you can do it, you can complete the challenge. Even if that requires you to lie to yourself a little about the reality of how prepared you are or even how capable you are. All through training for this triathlon I’ve been telling myself that it’s ok that my first triathlon will be a half ironman, that I’ve done plenty of big challenges now so my body knows how to get through it.

But I’ll be honest Mr ‘I’ve done 2 ultra marathons so a triathlon will be easy’ freaked out and panicked. Often happens as you approach the end of a training plan but still not something to ignore a month out from race day. Which is how I ended up standing next to the lake last week with my brother and 2 of his mates ready to do our own Olympic distance triathlon.


Maximising your training budget

Chrissie Wellington wrote a great blog post a few months ago called Juggling Balls all about how to fit training for a triathlon around your work and personal lives. We all know that we have to manage around the other priorities in our lives and as much as we’d like to train whenever we want few of us have that luxury, but hearing a former pro triathlete talk through the decisions she’d had to make really resonated with me (incidentally it’s rare to find someone who is both a top athlete and a good writer so do recommend you have a read of her blog).

Being mentally committed to your training is so important and reading her blog made me face up to the realities of my training and what realistic goals I should be setting myself for my half Ironman in August. When a challenge feels too big it’s easy to avoid facing up to the reality of the training you need to do and not set good goals.

Chinese philosophers came up with Yin and Yang to symbolise the 2 opposite forces in our lives but when it comes to training there are (quite aptly) 3 competing forces you have to balance; work, family and training. All 3 pull you in different directions and you need to find a way to balance them if you are to be successful and I generally find it’s hard to achieve what you want in one area without also achieving in the others.


Do we really need to run like the Hulk?

When exactly did running become such an aggressive sport? Or to be more specific the talking about running, it seems that whenever people talk about running on social media they use phrases like “go hard or go home” or “I smashed that run”. Perhaps it’s my polite Britishness coming out but why does but does a tough run have to be so aggressive? Do these people go out for a run so full of testosterone that they look like a boxer about to enter the ring? I have visions of them snarling as they approach other people and then chest bumping each other when they finish.

I can understand sprinters needing to get into a mindset like this but keeping it going for even a 5k would be exhausting wouldn’t it? Wasting all that energy on being aggressive is just pointless and likely to make you tense up not perform better.