I can be a bit impulsive! I watched the London triathlon on the television in 2005 and said to myself:

I want to do that next year!

The only long distance experiences I had done before having this “road to Damascus” moment was:

Waking up the morning of the 2000 St Albans half marathon and remembering that I had agreed to do it the night before and coming joint last

Running the Great North run with my mate Ian after a similarly drunken challenge and almost as little training, which we completed in just over two hours (and another two hours to “walk” to the car!)

running and finnishing the London triathlon in 2hrs 45mins
Finishing the London Triathkon in 2h:45m

I actually took the London Triathlon quite seriously, I trained for four months and finished in 2hrs and 45 minutes. And just so you know how spectacular that was, had I wouldn’t have come last in the previous Commonwealth Games in Manchester!

Hoorah!

Since then I have competed in a couple of sprint triathlons and super sprint triathlons, 10km runs and half marathons but there has always been the spectre of the full triathlon distance hanging over me.

Of course that is a completely different beast! The full triathlon, or Ironman is four times what I did in London! I mean it’s ok pottering around London docklands for a couple of hours but could I be up to completing what could be 16 hours plus of gruelling physical activity? And think of the training involved!

There was only ever one way to find out!

Could I really do a full Triathlon?

2014 was a year of baby steps…

…well two actually

I was testing the water to see how likely it was I could complete a full triathlon – 3.8km swim, 112 miles ride and a full marathon.

The least likely to be possible was the last disciplin: the run!

Like many triathletes I came to the sport after a few years of knackering my body in a more contact sport. For me it had been football. Years of dodgy tackles had taken their effect on my knees and my ankles, so I have always been doubtful about my ability to tackle a full marathon: not only the event itself but the required training.

But it is amazing what you can get talked into after a few pints and one morning in July of last year I found myself waking up having agreed with my mate Mike to run the Lisbon Rock and Roll marathon with him.

So I was finally going to find out whether my body was up to the challenge!

london to brighton bike ride
Me and my mate Al in Brighton

The other baby step followed a call from my buddy Al in Swansea who wanted my advice about the London to Brighton Bicycle ride. The call ended by me saying “look its probably easiest if I come with you!

Without going in to details, by the end of 2014 I knew I could train for and run a marathon and I knew I could cycle miles.

Now all I had to do was add a 3.8km swim, double the bike ride and do all three on the same day… well there was no point in doing it by halves and there is no such thing as a half ironman.. is there… is there…?

Doh!

Well it is too late now.

Chapter 1 – finding the right race