Friday, 7 March 2014

When David met Daley

So like many triathletes, last weekend I made my way down to Sandown Park in Esher to the 220 Triathlon show. There are several ways to describe what the Triathlon show is like. One would be like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory for triathletes. Another would be like one of those boring industry work conferences your boss makes you attend but this one was actually interesting and fun.

Like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory there is temptation everywhere but unlike Willy Wonka's chocolate factory the goods aren't free. Despite having been paid the day before I managed to exercise remarkable restraint and only spent £32 on some new swimming fins and goggles. Despite having been paid the day before there were a number of training aids that my budget still wouldn't have stretched to.

I did have the family credit card in my possession and while Pre-school Trihard is becoming a highly proficient swimmer, which we are obviously encouraging, I don't think Mrs Trihard would have been too pleased if I had come home with one of these:

Retails at approximately £15,000

And while Mrs Trihard is currently in training for the East Grinstead Ladies Try-a-tri I'm not sure she would have even supported any decision to buy one of these:

Retails at approximately £2,250
Anyway, as well as enticing you to buy lots of expensive triathlon gear the show also included talks by professional athletes and Triathlon experts in the 220 Theatre. I was lucky enough to grab a place in the Q & A session with none other than Dave Scott. Perhaps the best way to describe Dave Scott is the Muhammed Ali of triathlon. He's won the World Iron Man Championship in Kona six times and unlike Muhammed Ali's public persona is perhaps one of the most down to earth people you could ever meet.

When Dave first started racing the sport was very much in its infancy. So much so that when he competed in his and possibly one of the very first triathlons in 1976 the first prize was apparently a frozen turkey. For his first four World Championship wins at Kona (between 1980 and 1984) he told us that the amazing achievement was marked each time by being presented with a t-shirt.

It'd be impossible to recount all the amazing stories and advice Dave gave during the session but the one that stuck with me the most was his 20 minute rule. To paraphrase: Even if you don't feel like getting out for a run, swim or cycle just doing 20 minutes will make you feel so much better than doing nothing. And the majority of the time those 20 minutes will develop into to a decent training session.

Anyway Dave now coaches in Colarado. While this involves training some of the very elite triathletes in the world he said that in some ways he gets more enjoyment working with everyday folk like the majority of those in the theatre audience. But he didn't rush to offer me any training sessions when I accosted him for a photo.

One of these Daves is a six times Iron Man World Champion

Anyway, one of the main reasons I was at the Triathlon show was because I was offered the chance to interview Daley Thompson for my 220 Triathlon blog. Meeting a world class athlete who has inspired millions can be quite overwhelming, but I told Daley that I was a normal guy just like him and not to be too awestruck.

Anyway you'll have to wait for the next instalment of my 220 blog to find out what training advice he gave me, otherwise I might get in trouble. But here's a nice photo of the two of us for you to enjoy in the meantime.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Eye infection of the tiger

It's been rather a tumultuous couple of weeks. After abandoning the 1km swim I had a few days off training but then was able to motivate myself into a 12 mile run in preparation for this weekend's Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon.

This was followed up by another event in the Winter GP calendar the 500m swim/5km run where we literally bash out 20 lengths, get out of the pool grab our trainers and run 2.5km down the road, turn round and run back.

At 7.30am. On a February morning.

After the disastrous 1km swim two weeks previously I was feeling nervous and right up to the last minute was considering giving this one a miss. While the aim of the Winter GP is to assess progression from one year to the next I decided I'd not push myself to the limit in the swim and see how things went from there. It was more about psychologically getting over the failure of the previous swim than worrying about beating last year's swim/run time.

So to cut a long story short I did a lot better than expected and took 50 seconds off last year's time.

However during the next few days things started going horribly wrong. On Sunday evening I started feeling a bit blocked up and by Monday morning was doing an uncanny Darth Vader impression.

Just a minor sniffle
As a result training was written off for a week as I effectively developed a sinus infection that then moved in to my left eye. Sexy stuff.

Unsurprisingly I thought it would be sensible to give the half marathon a miss.

But this didn't ruin my weekend as on Saturday I attended the 220 Triathlon show where I got to meet several triathlon legends, including Dave Scott (yes, Dave Scott!) as well as interview none other than Olympic hero Daley Thompson.

But it would be a major injustice for me to include a summary of the day's events in a post about me getting ill so I'll leave that as a cliff hanger for the next exciting instalment which hopefully I'll get round to writing some time this week.