I managed to get a place at the beginning of April for Ironman China which takes place on Sunday 29th May 2011 in Beijing. Though participated in triathlons since 1995, including a number of half Ironmens, this is actually the first full IM I will be doing. Mainly because I find swimming somewhat of a drag - both in the mind and, more importantly, with my heavy body which isn't naturally boyant.
6 of us from the UAE going and, for me, just 8 weeks to get from fitness challenge fitness - short explosive stuff of 23 minutes - to a slghtly different matter of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42km marathon distance run to finish with.
How do you train for such events? Doing what your going to be doing is the obvious first answer - you dont train for a marathon by concentrating on 100 mtr sprints.
However I have always trained and competed using a motto first given to me by old mate and Dubai/UK based Osteopath Bruce Smart back in 1995 - "quality, not quantity". And see no reason to change that now.
By quality, I mean, yes, for polar expeditions you have to drag tires for many hours to build up your hauling capacities. But I do 4 hrs hard, rathet than 8 hrs easy. For weights, I don't dawdle in a gym checking Blackberrys and chatting but work hard. And for this 8 weeks of Ironman training I am cycling 3.5 hrs max and running 2 hrs max hard, rather than 6 hours and 4 hours respectively.
Will it work? Who knows - we'll see in 4 weeks time!
Whatever the result in Beijing, however, as in polar or mountaineering expeditions it's not about the destination but about the journey - having the goal, training hard, svouring every day and experience. And, surprisingly in some ways, I'm actually loving this experience.......