Here we catch up with Richard, Colin and Huw as training continues for Ironman Wales…

Training diary: Ironman Wales

You can read the first instalment of this training diary here.

Training diary: Ironman WalesRICHARD MANNING 47, Richard is a design engineer living in Llandeilo, South Wales.

Training is coming on OK, I guess! I’ve been struggling with a niggling calf injury that doesn’t want to go away. It doesn’t stop me cycling or swimming but affects my running. This means it gets put on hold for a couple of weeks every time it happens. I probably ought to be resting it far longer than I am, so that it heals fully. I’ve invested in some calf compression sleeves in the hope they speed up recovery and protect from injury.

My swimming is progressing. I’ve avoided lessons so far (relying on youtube videos!), but I’m hoping to get some tips from fellow triathletes with open water swimming. I’m swimming in Tenby with the Tenby Aces, joining Colin and Huw every Friday evening.

I suppose cycling is my strongest discipline. I’m trying to get out for at least one 100-mile ride each week, with a few shorter ones thrown in as and when. I’ve entered a 24-hour race (Mountain Mayhem) this month (June at time of writing) on my fat bike and the following weekend with two friends I’m riding from the top of Anglesey to Llantwit Major – roughly 350km, with over 5000m climbing. I’ll make the next day a rest day.

I’m going to have a fitness test at Cycle Specific, to see where I am and to set my training zones. I’ll be tested again a few weeks before Ironman Wales to hopefully see an improvement, and to review my zones, ready for the big day.

Training diary: Ironman WalesCOLIN BARRETT 43, Colin in a peripatetic brass instrument teacher for Pembrokeshire music service.

Training is going well. I have two 13-week training plans that I’m sticking to pretty well. My cycling has really come on over the last couple of months – a new bike and specific training has helped.

My swimming has also improved loads, considering I couldn’t manage one length of the pool in November! I’m now feeling stronger and more comfortable with each training session. I had a bit of a set back recently though; it was my first sea swim with the Tenby Aces. Instead of going at my own pace and concentrating on my stroke, I panicked and tried to keep up. This resulted in inhaling water into my lungs and it was game over. I couldn’t swim back in and had to be dragged to safety. After much coughing I was OK but really had serious doubts about everything, and it went through my mind about pulling out of Ironman.

After feeling sorry for myself I knew I needed to get back in the sea as soon as possible to help me get over it. Luckily Huw and Hunchy (his other brother-in-law) knocked on my door with their wetsuits on. I jumped at the chance and had a really good swim. I’ve been out with the Aces again recently and this time went at my own pace and really enjoyed it.

And my running…training partner and friend Richard Gardiner is an elite runner – he’s represented Wales and GB many times. Richard has been a great help and my running is now coming on really well. I ran for 90 minutes recently non-stop, which considering my prior non-existent exercise background is a massive improvement.

Training diary: Ironman WalesHUW BENBOW 41, Huw is the deputy head teacher at Cleddau Reach Cc Primary School.

My training is going well, particularly swimming. I’m only open water swimming, normally at North Beach, Tenby – avoiding the jellyfish has been a challenge! Nausea was also a problem up until now, but this seems to have passed and I’m feeling good. I’m banging out a mile in around 30 minutes. Cycling-wise I’m riding twice mid-week, and doing a long ride on Saturdays. I’ve had issues with the backs of my knees on the longer rides but changing my cleats seems to have sorted that.

Running is going steadily; I just need to resist the temptation to push the pace too much as I need to run longer and therefore slower. I’m feeling comfortable up to 10 miles and need to push through that now. I’m also working hard to sort my nutrition out and this includes maximising my electrolyte intake to try to reduce some of the cramps I’ve been experiencing during brick training.

WORDS & PICTURES: Anthony Pease

You can catch the first part of the training diary here