Aged 50-54 (F)
"Firstly, the training plan was clearly spot on! I felt like I needed a few more weeks (nerves and that constant 'never feeling quite good enough'), but I was clearly ready for it! The swim was relaxed and steady, I was thinking of long strokes, rotation, 3/4 catch-up etc. and I actually managed some draughting this time! My swim time was faster than I anticipated so I’m pleased thanks. My confidence was boosted with * and * still being in transition, at least I wasn’t feeling completely left behind. The bike was great, having increased my speed during the shorter training rides it gave me the confidence to keep those legs spinning and push it faster than the anticipated 14mph. I got down on the Tri bars for the majority of the ride and enjoyed a few good overtakes. The concentration on cadence also ensured that my legs weren’t too tired; I was able to keep a good average pace throughout. I started the run pretty well doing my general average speed, my legs felt absolutely fine when I got off the bike! Again, I was able to just carry on with only a short walk (20m or so) at around mile 11 to focus my brain elsewhere as the balls of my feet were painful; my feet seemed to get so hot at about mile 9. I was really pleased to be able to just about run the whole thing and still overtake during the last mile and finish with a sprint. I never dreamed I could do this!"!
"I could have probably knocked 5-10 minutes or so off my time if I’d busted a gut but tbh I’m pleased that I completed it without any problems and an hour faster than anticipated!! I felt as though I gave it my best and didn’t come away kicking myself for not trying harder or embarrass myself by walking etc. and I was just so amazed at how comfortable I felt throughout! My breathing was great, legs felt fine etc. so the training clearly worked! I enjoyed the variety of training over the last few months, ie. short faster rides along with the steady enjoyable Wednesday ride, (the short faster rides did wonders for my confidence). The variety involved in the running was also great, it did me good to do some interval work (rather than my usual plod) and it was quite nice that it never took more than an hour. I also enjoyed the long off-road runs as there was no pressure put on pace and you stated that I should just enjoy. It was good to just think of the time that I was running for rather than the distance. I think it just makes you relax and settle into a sustainable pace; the distance you’ve covered is a surprising bonus. It was great to have a variety of swims too. All in all it was kept interesting and I clearly gradually built up my fitness almost without realising it. The mention of rest, stretching, nutrition and hydration was also useful; equally important to the training itself. I’m sure this all prevented injury along with any post race fatigue etc. I felt really well with no adverse effects afterwards apart from slightly aching quads for two to three days.
Cheers! I achieved something I never dreamed I could do!"