Review of the Year – 2014

This year I became an Ironman!

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That should be all there is to say. That should be my year summed up. But it wasn’t THE event of the year for me.

I felt ready to do it. I had been ill over the Winter and I lost a good three months of base training so I think I knew, whatever I did, or however I did, I knew I could have done better with that Winter training in me.

In fairness to Mark (my coach) he did the best with what I gave him – which was 5 months to get an average athlete in shape to finish an Ironman.

Finish was the name of the game and that is what I did – 2015 will be ‘IM the sequel’ (or IM distance as I am planning to do a full distance Challenge event)

I say this because 9 weeks after Ironman Austria I did Vichy Half Challenge and I felt in better condition for this event, fitter, stronger and . . . well . . . better prepared. 9 weeks later being the three months I missed.

But I thoroughly enjoyed the IM event. The atmosphere, the crowds, the build up etc. Racing on closed roads, packed run routes with crowds cheering you all the way.

So number one achievement has to be IM Austria.

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Others are all a close second for different reasons:

Bedford Middle Distance I did in May as a practice race. It turned out to be a duathlon due to Algae on the lake so the swim was cancelled.

This wasn’t the best spectator course all ‘out and backs’ but for me this event was a bit of a turning point as I paced the half marathon to perfection. All that I had tried to achieve in previous races clicked into place. I went off easy and kept that pace for the duration and even pushed at the end, rather than the usual go off hard, struggle and hang on for the finish. A PB on the bike split and a PB on the run, means this was a special event for me.

Challenge Vichy Half – great event, great bike (another PB) and good run course (another PB) and I will be back there in 2015 for the full distance. We went with the Tri Topia mob and that made the weekend good as well. Supporting the ladies from Tri Topia in the Olympic distance the day before.

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The Ball Buster – This had been a bit of a jinx event, as soon as I book it I end up with a cold and have to pull out. But this year the Winter cold happened early so I was ‘fit’ for the race. I say that as I wasn’t able to train the three weeks leading up to the start, so I did it on the training I had built up before that period.

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A good event, hard, very hard – but that makes them all the more pleasing when you finish. The lack of training took it’s toll on the last 8 mile run especially climbing Box Hill for the final time where I really struggled – unfinished business there I think.

Another good event – was the 100K Nightrider cycling sportive. This event wasn’t for me, I was the support rider for my step-daughter who signed up for this in a fit of madness and asked for my help with training and to ride with her on the day (or through the night).

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Leigh trained hard, kept at it and come through to finish and did her charity proud.

Other ‘C’ events in 2014 included:

Half marathon at Dorney Lakes practicing pacing.

Two SRS sportives – the Springtime Sportive and the Brighton to Brighton.

Three Egypt Boot Camps:

–           The first in April where I clocked up 27 hours training in the two weeks I was there.

–           A week in October with 12 hours of training.

–           And I have just got back from a 6 day break there where I did an ‘easy going’ 5 and a half hours.

So another good Ironmate year. My first IM, two PB’s on the two half IM distance races and solid performances in other runs and Sportives.

This year I did a total of 352 hours training split as:

  • 50 hours swimming,
  • 203 hours cycling,
  • 85 hours running
  • and 14 hours body conditioning and Yoga

31 hours more training this year versus last year.

Finally, as always, acknowledging that none of this would have been achievable without the support of my wife. Fitting holidays in around events for blocks of training, the endless meals at 9pm – 10pm when I have finished training, the support at each and every event – no matter the time, weather or temperature (The Ball Buster in the pouring rain took the support to another level!).

So thank you Sam x.

Also thanks to Mark, my coach, for being the person guiding me to and through every event listed above.

Darren Webb Ironmate Mark at finsih line BB event 2014

And thanks to my readers for reading the blogs and the comments of support. It’s much appreciated.

Here’s to 2015.

Thanks for reading

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