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Not in full training mode yet but determined to get some good mileage on the bike. A great 5 hours out with route master, John.

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At the start of 2017, like a lot of folks I made a few resolutions. One of them was to get up to swimming a mile freestyle.

The aim was to do this year's Staffordshire 70.3 event freestyle, but that plan never came to fruition and I ended up breaststroking the whole way round [the swim course!]. Well, that's not strictly true because I actually started off freestyle but after about 20 strokes I realised I couldn't see a thing; I'd left my goggles on top of my head! After putt...ing them on I reverted to breaststroke, and got round with about 20 minutes before cutoff.

Anyway, where are we now? Well, since Staffordshire in June I hadn't swum at all, and only went back into the pool last week I think, with a completely different mindset. Previously I'd always stressed over the 'opposition' in the pool; they can be a funny bunch of people sometimes, each one with their own unique swimming personalities. Now though I think that concern has gone, and with it a new desire to make the freestyle dream a reality this year.

The hardest part for me is the first 400m I think; once past that little milestone it will start coming together. Well, it better had come together - it's a 2.4 mile swim next July! OK, it's split into 2 sections with a run in between but it's a looonnngggg way to go still.

I'll keep you posted!

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Well, yesterday was the #greatnorthrun, so if you were wondering why there hadn't been any posts during the week, now you know; it was a tapering week, and as usual I just had no enthusiasm whilst tapering.

The GNR went well. I finished in a time of 2 hours and 53 seconds. That was quite disappointing in reality, and I'd have dipped under 2 hours if it wasn't for needing a toilet stop within 200 yards of passing the start line - they keep you penned up for so long at the GNR ...that no matter how many times you've used the free toilets on site, it's always likely you'll want to go again on the run itself. Once I'd gone though the rest of the run was fine; a bit uphill at times, but hey, where I live it's just the same, so the usual Peak District running routes really come into their own training for this run.

This week starts with the usual Monday rest day (I may have a quick 5k jog later to recover from yesterday) and then the rest of the week we start to ramp training back up, which should be fun.

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If you're out eventing this weekend you might like to follow the wise advice of Nick Littlehales. His words have already started to transform my sleep quality.

http://bit.ly/2iPgLkm

On the 2nd September at The Victoria Embankment, 600 athletes will begin their Triathlon journey; the event will include a 300m pool swim, a 12km bike ride and a 3km run.
sportsleepcoach.co.uk

Been a bit quiet this week because it's the Great North Run next weekend, and I've only managed to get in 2 runs and one bike ride.

At this stage there's no point in stressing about training; that can wait a month or so. No surprise then when 2 days ago I was up at 04:45 dressed for a ride, had coffee and porridge, got the bike and drinks etc ready, had a look through the curtains and just went back to bed.

Made up for it today though with a 05:00!start and 72k on the bike in the Peak District; a lovely morning it was too.

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23.6k along the Monsal Trail yesterday, 30secs/k slower than 3 months ago but that'll come back.

This is what lunchtimes are for! Just as I was leaving, someone quipped "put a mile in for me, so a quick blast up Herringthorpe Valley Road, navigate back the long way and then finish off with that extra mile; a run up to the sewage works and back. 10.3k in the bag; just had to be done. (I was going for 10k anyway, he can have the 300m)

https://www.strava.com/activities/1149658977

Well, today was my first ride out to lay the foundations for my plan. After not riding for a couple of weeks, the going certainly wasn't easy, but sometimes that's what 5.15 AM starts do to your training!

The original plan was to ride out to Castleton and turn round, then head up to Edale and over Mam Nick, but as I got to Castleton my left-hand brake hood started to part company with the handlebars, meaning braking was nigh on impossible (apart from front of course) and pull...ing on it on a climb was also out of the question.

So, basically the Mam Nick plan was abandoned and I came back over Bamford/New Lane (long hill!)/Stanage/Burbage which was interesting to say the least in the circumstances.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1145796975

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Back in the UK after 2 weeks holiday and ticking over. This actually meant 5AM starts if I wanted to go running, to avoid the heat and humidity.

Being away did give me the downtime I needed to develop a training plan. There's still a lot of detail to add, but the important thing to remember is that Mondays are rest days.

Tuesdays: Bike and swim...
Wednesdays: Bike/run transitions. S&C
Thursdays: Bike and Swim
Fridays: Run & S&C
Saturdays: Bike
Sundays: Run. S&C

Interestingly I've decided to ditch the majority of the training plan content suggested by Don & Melanie Fink in their book "Be IronFit." I'll never be a great athlete, but when I look at the work I did in the run up to the Staffordshire 70.3 this year it wasn't massively different so the decision was made to ditch their bike, run and transition training. I'll follow their swim plan though because I need some structure to work to for the commitment to freestyle, which *has* to happen now. In fact it starts tomorrow!

Incidentally I've decided to do the 2018 Ironman in aid of Sheffield Children's Hospital. If you're interested there's a link to my fundraising page somewhere here, but more on that later; there's plenty of time for that.

Weight was 13st 1lb this morning, which isn't too bad considering 2 weeks holiday in the US. Time to shed a few pounds though.

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Working my way through Nick Littlehales' (Sportsleepcoach) book 'Sleep' currently and trying to plan foundations for what's to come. Coping with sleep apnoea and a difficult home schedule isn't going to be easy but no-one said it would did they?

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Hopefully back to ticking over today with a standard 10k run at lunch. It was supposed to be 7AM this morning but the alarm got er... switched off

In the meantime, there's a plan crystalising for a 30-week (3-phase) schedule starting in mid-December, backed up by a 'get-back-into-it' phase beforehand.

No-one said this was going to be easy, but unless it's planned, it's just not going to happen.

Even though it bucketed down and there had to be an unscheduled stop to put a jacket on, cycling in the Peak District does take you to some fantastic, moody places. This looking left from Barber Booth, along Edale valley, in the direction of Hope (I think!).

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I make it 349 days between registrations opening and race day, so today there are 348 days to go.

Putting a training plan together this far out isn't easy, but there's a plan coming together. The final push will begin in mid-December with a 30-week intensive effort, but until then it's a matter of keeping fit, building the miles and endurance, and always moving forwards.

I know from past experience that Triathlons and Ironman events aren't just a case of swimming, cycling an...d running, there are other disciplines to master. Basically there are a total of 6 disciplines:

1. Swimming
2. Cycling
3. Running
4. Core strength and conditioning
5. Sleep
6. Diet and nutrition

Over the next 348 days I'll try to keep this page up-to-date with the trials and tribulations of each and every one of these disciplines. There will be small gains, big gains, small negatives and HUGE slumps in each, no doubt about that.

For now though, after a good 40-minute core session in the gym yesterday, I was up at 05:15 this morning for an early bike ride out to Barber Booth (up to Mam Nick), and returning via the Froggatt loop. It didn't go well, and started throwing it down on the Barber Booth climb, but hey ho - still had to get home!

https://www.strava.com/activities/1113421079

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