Training Blog: New year, new challenge

Tom Wheatley of ShortList blogs about his progress so far

Monday, 14 April 2014

Tom WheatleyIt would probably be fair to say that my triathlon attempt in 2013 didn't go as well as I'd hoped. Taking myself from non-swimmer to triathlete over the course of a few months was always going to be a tough order. One fraught hurdles in the guise of weddings, holidays and various other non-training based distractions.

Last year's ShortList triathlon, held at Nottingham's watersports centre, was my first foray into the sport. For the past few years I've been a keen runner, gym-goer and occasional cyclist, each of which I'm passable at. Triathlons however have always eluded me as a complicated specialist event, one that I decided I wanted to understand. I decided to push myself and find out why they're so popular and if they're actually as hard as they look. Turns out for me, they are.

As expected I struggled with the swim, even after numerous lessons I still resorted to mainly using breaststroke when faced with the choppy open water. My cycling was fine, albeit not in any way impressive, and the run was close to my normal times. It was a learning opportunity though, a chance for me to see how a triathlon works. Now, eight months on I have a much clearer understanding of what the sport requires and, more importantly, what I need to do to be good at it.

So now I have the best part of five months to turn myself from a man who scraped a sprint triathlon into a real competitor. This time I'm not just going to focus on my swimming, I want to train for the whole event. When I run a race I don't worry about finishing it, my concern is that I beat my previous time, and that I understand why.

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