I’m beginning to like this triathlon game and to think of myself as a triathlete. After years of knocking out marathons and doing the miles, I started to feel a bit stale and experienced a two year-lull: tiredness increased, speed decreased.

Becoming a triathlete is waking me up. There’s so much to learn – and a lot of training to do, so I’ve set myself some must-dos to see me through the next nine weeks and get me round the Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon.

  1. Count hours not miles. I’m going on holiday to the US in August so as much as I’d like to hit 20 hours I think I’ll probably peak at 13 and average 10.
  2. Race myself fit. As I’ve got very little triathlon experience – and time is precious I have booked in some standard distance triathlons and I completed my first ever standard distance triathlon at Dorney Lake on Saturday in 2.36.03 on a hot and humid day. I was delighted with the time and to be in the top 10 – just (I was 10th placed woman). The more racing experience I can get the better – transition is a very big weak spot! Here are Saturday’s results.
  3. Run off the bike every week and make sure the run off the bike includes a hill.
  4. Do a long off road run on the hilliest part of the South Downs, every week. And either do park run or intervals once a week.
  5. Do more rides! Since starting triathlon training seven weeks ago, I’ve done a total of 10 bike rides. Over the next six weeks this needs to hit 18. Of these I plan to do at least four 4-hour hilly rides and to do one other quality session, either time trial or turbo.
  6. Swimming. Get in the sea twice a week and aim to swim for 2K plus, and start to swim without wetsuit (brrr) to acclimatise to the cold. And do one swim club session in the pool.
  7. All the threes. Aim to do three runs, three rides and three swims every week.
  8. Practise transition. After swimming in the sea on Friday mornings with Tri Tempo, I’m going to start practising transition!
  9. Rest and recover. It’s very easy to get over enthusiastic, and over trained! As Mark Kleanthous says in The Complete Book of Triathlon Training (Meyer and Meyer Sport, 2012), “Continued muscles soreness, lethargy or waves of sleepiness during the day are signs that you are doing too much.”
  10. Eat, drink and be merry. That’s eat healthy food, and a good balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats, drink lots and lots of water especially through the summer and enjoy the whole experience of training for the Big Ben.