Military 1st Fitness

To Iron Or Not To Iron (by Dave Rudland)

Dave, Outlaw Half Ironman
Dave Rudland, Outlaw Half Ironman 2013

A quick history to put me in context. As a kid and youth I played football and rugby but considered myself quite fit. At 40 I rupterd my achillies tennon playing ‘middle aged fat man’ football, about three years later I damaged my shoulder which required major reconstruction – again playing ‘middle aged fat man football’. I was told the best thing I could do was swim – only problem being I am appalling at swimming. I enrolled in swimming lessons – and remember my assessment swim where I only managed three lengths. The target was the 2011 Leeds sprint triathlon of 12 lengths swim, 20K ride and 5K run. I tried a run and managed 1.5K non-stop before I collapsed gasping and wheezing, bike? I didn’t have one. This was my introduction to Triathlon.

086After a couple of sprint triathlons, I figured I’d have a go at an Olympic distance race, doing the Ripon triathlon in 2012 -. I’d noticed ‘Half Iron’ races and entered the 2013 Outlaw race, finishing it in just over six hours. Not believing I could do a half iron I did the same race for the next two years. All the time the question of ‘to iron or not to iron’ started to bother me. This is where I am now, except I’ve entered the Outlaw Iron distance Triathlon next year, I’m commited, and I don’t think I can do it. Full Ironman triathlon? 2.4 mile swim (that’s 160 lengths), 112 mile bike ride, marathon distant run, all of which has to be finished within 17 hours.

I’ve started my training and its consisting of two sessions a day, one in the morning before work and the longer session in the evening, with a longer run and ride at the weekends. I get Fridays as my rest day. I run, swim, ride, do m1st and a pt session. All this adds up to just short of 10 hours a week and its only going to increase. Those who know me, know I’m not a runner, I’m not a cyclist and I’m not a swimmer, what a stupid ambition then! But that’s my motivation, ‘I don’t think I can do it’. I want to challenge myself, stretch myself. I don’t compete against others as I’ll lose, I compete against myself. Do I want to impress people? No, I want to impress myself.

by Dave Rudland

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