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Doing it properly

Doing it properly

With the "slothfulness" of Christmas behind him, Peter Phippen gets serious in his bid to race Ironman 70.3 UK exactly a year after a triple heart-bypass

I’m now getting into the training for Ironman 70.3 UK. The slothfulness and over-indulgence of Christmas and New Year are becoming a distant memory. The twisted knee from skiing is also behind me.

First, I’m trying to lose weight. I’m aware that I’m dragging a completely unnecessary stone, at least, up hills… and I don’t want to do that over the whole Wimbleball course. I don’t know how that weight crept up on me… well, I do, but it still came as a surprise. I’d lost weight in hospital and then I had imagined that if I was training, I could eat and drink what I liked. Clearly not. I’m trying a low-carb diet for the first time in my life.

I’m also joining a cycling club, with the first ride this weekend. Because I’m doing the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, I’ve got to keep one eye on that beyond Wimbleball. I need to learn to build the miles, way beyond what I’ve ever done before. I’ve also entered a couple of Sportives, my first ever.

And it became obvious that I needed help with the motivation tri behind my training. My wife pointed out that since I’d signed up for this thing, I needed to do it properly. Can’t argue with that.

So I’ve signed up to an online training programme advertised by Ironman UK. It was eye-wateringly expensive for a simple bit of online communication… but I have to say it already seems worth it. I get an email every day telling me what I should be doing that day. Two weeks in, I’m following it nearly to the letter. I’m doing the ‘easy/low time commitment’ version. At the moment I’m only doing about seven hours a week.

Looking ahead, I can see it will build to 11 to 12 by March. But it’s really clever psychologically. Frequently the message is something like “go for a gentle jog for 40mins today; enjoy it”; and you do it and don’t feel guilty because it’s part of the programme. On my own I found that if I did something ‘easy’ I felt guilty….but I rarely pushed myself to do something more challenging, which was the worst of all worlds.

I think someone should create an online coaching programme for the rest of our lives: “Today, it’s time to suck up to the boss, buy your wife some flowers, check in with the children about their homework and don’t forget to treat yourself to that well-earned time watching the football.”

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The 220 Triathlon team is made up of vastly experienced athletes, sports journalists, kit reviewers and coaches. In short, what we don't know about multisport frankly isn't worth knowing! Saying that, we love expanding our sporting knowledge and increasing our expertise in this phenomenal sport.