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Starting triathlon – My training log.

-By: Tomas Swift-Metcalfe

Last modified: January 2, 2014

a little intro to my re- starting triathlon project, feel free to copy, criticise or comment!

I started running at 11, it came very naturally to me. I remember the first real ‘buzz’ I got of sport was at a thing called ‘standards’ in athletics at school. Basically all the pupils in the school was pitted against one another in athletics and the results posted on a board.

Without training (I was twelve) I ran the 1500m bear foot one rainy afternoon on a 300m grass track and felt amazing… It seemed so easy to go fast. The others, an array of kids of all ages didn’t bear up a lap, but I kept going and going. With about 150m to go I unleashed a sprint. I suddenly felt I was a foot taller and going faster than ever before in my entire life. I ran it in 5:30 which seemed pretty quick.

At Loughborough University, I suddenly found I was one of hundreds and the fee to join the athletics club was huge -£150. I couldn’t afford it and went to the triathlon club which charged a much more reasonable £30. I was lucky to be a part of this great group and meet people like Conor Murphy and Martin Yelling. Martin actually took me under his wing -it’s thanks to him more than anyone else that I am an athlete. Thank you Martin.

I did multi-sport rather successfully. Working 10 hr a day in the summer of 2004 I’d train around these hours, cycling to work and riding late at night. My mother had just passed away and it was a very lonely and difficult time. But necessary. I managed to win my first Duathlon, come 9th in the British elite championship, won my Age-Group at the nationals, and came 4th in the European age-groups because of a 90″ penalty -I’d have won otherwise. That little incident by that marshal was enough for me to loose interest in the sport. I wasn’t even riding the bike, I was wheeling it through to rack it and I removed my helmet. What’s ridiculous was that it was not dangerous and I gained no advantage from it, where as I has to ride a normal bike with clip on bars while the rest of the pack rode full £5000 time trial bikes.

I went on a triathlon camp in California with Chuckie V and I caught a serious case of the cycling bug. In fact, I came back and won a bike race, my second bike race ever. That summer in Portugal I asked a team if I could race to train for triathlon and the rest is history you can read about here and here… 8 year later I’m back to my original objective.

Figueroa Mountain
My first step into cycling as a 20 year old on Figueroa Mountain, Santa Barbara, California

Chuckie V was a huge influence. And one of the things I remember him saying is ‘you need an endurance base to be good at IronMan, it takes years’ and I kind of set out with this as my mission. Cycling professionally has been a way to achieve this. Of course I wanted to take cycling as far as I could, but the human aspect of the sport means it isn’t possible. Not to beat round the bush, cycling is corrupt. But beautiful none the less. Triathlon on the other hand is more individual and as such corruption is more limited in the damage it can inflict.

Cycling professionally
Cycling professionally at the Tour of Britain 3 years later -crashed out of the break that won the race. Pushed by another rider (and terrible at bike handling at that point).

Anyway, this blog is going to be less about story telling and more about training and basically a public training log. On your marks… get set… GO!

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