i'm starting triathlon

I've been a pro cyclist for 6 years, and previously did well at duathlon, now I'm aming for the big one... IronMan! See how I get a long.

Ironman Mallorca race report

A day of many firsts: First pro race, first Ironman distance race, first Ironman brand race.

Ironman is different to any other triathlon, the organisation is second to none, slick and fast, there is absolutely nothing amiss. It has a hard commercial side that is not so evident in European events where the business side of things is usually more toned down, although present all the same. This customer focus is the main strength of Ironman. The pro race seemed merely a garnish and that surprised me somewhat because it is the pro race that provides the great narratives to so many Ironman events, such as “the crawl” by Sian Welch & Wendy Ingraham or Mark Allen and Dave Scott’s epic battle, to the achievements of Chrissie Wellington.


This was my first Pro event and ironically also my worse triathlon in over a year. Pro in triathlon more or less equates to “elite” in road cycling, it means you have doping control and have access to prize money. It doesn’t mean necessarily that you live directly from the sport, although I do in a roundabout way.


Getting up at 04:00 in the morning and stuffing lentil pasta down my throat is one of the things I most dislike about triathlon. I hate waking up earlier than 07:00, it’s a proper chore for me. Unlike other races where we follow a routine I was so nervous about the race that I was endless going through things and being generally forgetful, so much so I had to go back to the flat we rented twice to get stuff on the morning. The transition was enormous, so forgetting something literally means a 15 min walk just to get through transition, plus the 10 min or so back to where we were staying.

Thunder clouds at Dawn

Thunder clouds at dawn

The morning was dank, cold, ominous thunder thunder clouds lit up the sky with occasional lightening. As the the sun came up the sky looked spectacular with these dark clouds and golden light breaking through. I was already shivering at this point and I hadn’t even begun to swim. As a pro I had to contend with a non-wetsuit swim. I had received a fantastic Zone3 Vanquish wetsuit which I tried out the day before and it was incredible. It fit like a glove due to them having the ST (Small Tall) which suits lanky ectomorphs like me. The Age-Group athletes were lucky enough to have a wetsuit legal swim, we were not. I did one of my best swims in triathlon, taking 1:01 to complete the course. Not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve never been good at swimming. I had barely trained swimming as my local pool was closed the entire month of August and half of september, I probably had 10-12 open water swims and 3 pool swims before the race, so I was pleased with that. That cold swim led to under performance on the bike. Leaving the water cold into that also “fresh” morning air as well as my propensity for hypothermia meant I never found my rhythm on the bike.

Sunrise at IM Mallorca

Sunrise at IM Mallorca

I had chosen Mallorca hoping for a warm race. In the Algarve in the days, weeks and months before and where I live especially it had been very warm, even this past first week of autumn it has been very warm.


One thing that got to me was the amount of cheating in plain sight: drafting, coaching, course cutting all happened in front of our very eyes. One guy sat on my wheel and literally free wheel on the false flats for about 30 km, it was absolutely shameless. Very few people wont cheat no mater what (are 100% honest), many people cheat to a degree they think is reasonable, what they can get away with and that they can justify to themselves be it to “level the playing field” or whatever, then there are those that cheat and lie compulsively. It’s important in my view to make rules such that it’s harder to cheat, i.e. make them enforceable. Using time gaps of say 2s (easy to measure with timing gates, easy to control as an athlete) rather than eye balling 12 m to control drafting would help. Or possibly using a GPS transponder to make sure people don’t cut the course. Motors in bikes are a reality and already have been detected and are now controlled in cycling, it would seem sensible to do the same in triathlon.


At about 30 km to go on the cycle the skies opened and it pelted it down. So much so there was about 10 cm of water on the road in places, sewage (the smell of) and lighting falling all round. Here the air was so charged I actually got a shock off the bike. I was wondering whether it was wise to continue.


The run was more of a ceremony for me. I was not in the mood to hurt myself, it was quite wet at the end and I finished it just to see what it was like. I’ve felt worse after events one tenth as long as that, simply because I went harder. I’d say if you’re quite fit, healthy and you train well for 12-14 weeks you can finish an Ironman. It’s as hard as you make it. Personally, I am angry I didn’t leave everything on the road: Why didn’t I bloody race the second half of the race? Argh!


It took 9 h 31 min to complete 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42 km run, or about 40 min more than I would have liked, but within expectation.


I didn’t know what to expect before the race and left Mallorca quite disappointed in myself. I had been doing far better in training than this race performance reflected. Key issues were the lack of references since my heart rate monitor wasn’t working (or any sort of reference), the cold and not knowing what to expect: These are the usual bullshit excuses I clutched to, trying to externalize what was in fact an internal problem. Psychologically I was all over the shop. I felt like an impostor, like I shouldn’t be there. It clicked only yesterday, a week later while listening “Breath” by the Prodigy, which has long been one of my favourite songs: Breathe the pressure, Come play my game I’ll test ya.” That was me the cyclist, cycling was my game and I feared no one and nothing in the sport, my crazy sport. I loved it in fact, the tussles, the descents, redlining it up climbs, reeling in the breakaway. Ironically I would often ride a bike race with no references, just on feel and do it very well. Triathlon is not my game (yet) and the one breathing the pressure last weekend was I. Next time I race an Ironman I will be a triathlete.

Long distance triathlon championship Portugal (Vilamoura)

Racing in the Algarve, my 4th and last long distance triathlon of the season.

I only decided to enter this race right at the last minute. Lots of work work and academic work meant that I had somewhat neglected my training (certainly not enough for a long distance triathlon) in the past few weeks, “excuses”, yes certainly, however each of us is limited by constraints and they tell part of the story.

Triathlon top tip: Goal setting should be contextual and account for the constrains on a particular performance. Goals should also be intrinsic: you cannot account for extraneous circumstances and the actions of other people. 

Racking the bike at dawn

Racking the bike at dawn  Photo credit: Catarina Lopes

I was somewhat apprehensive about what the weather would be like, as at the beginning of November there is about a one in four chance it’s going to be bad weather here in the Algarve, I fancied that by the end of the month it was likely to be worse. As it happens, the weather was nearly perfect, with a spectacular swim at sun up, long by a bit judging by the ‘slow’ times, followed by a spectacular bike ride with a few hills. I saw huge jelly fish on the swim about 1.5 m bellow me. I’d never seen anything like it, except on TV. It gave me such a fright I practically jumped out of the water and onto whoever was swimming beside me.

The bike was unique in that it was on a ‘proper’ bike course: It didn’t just go round a flat course a couple of times as tends to be the way in long distance triathlon. It had a few hills, some bends and favoured people who can actually ride a bike well.

I love racing and I love racing a bike particularly. Even with shit form there’s something fun about it.

We arrived at the venue the day before and to listen to the briefing, something I find useful. At the registration I was hit with a typical bit of Portuguese bureaucracy: I didn’t have a valid sports medical. Rather, I had done one in February and even went a step further and had bloods and stress ECG done. Anyone will that a normal ECG (not a requirement) wont usually pick up issues associated with exercise, so a stress ECG is a wise precaution.

Triathlon top tip: ECG + stress ECG if you plan to do any racing. 

Anyway, the issue was that they changed when a sports medical was required from each calendar year, to each year of life (i.e. after your birthday, get a medical). What this meant in practise was that I couldn’t technically contest the national championship. I could however run in the “open race”. I was left wondering if that left me in the running for “best foreigner” or “best algarvean” (since I was born in the Algarve), both prizes announced, but bizarrely were not attributed (to my knowledge). Now while I don’t really care about titles, I do care about prizes: I sincerely hope that I get the prize money.

I’ve found the way triathlon is organized odd and it puzzled me that a non-national can contest a national championship: This would happen in open national championships (e.g. USA nationals) in cycling, however the title of national champion was always attributed to the first national, not first person to finish the race. I am British and Irish in the paper work, so technically and depending which one I chose to represent, at least in cycling I could only contest those titles.

Anyway, I did the race, my objective being a top 15, I’d missed 2 weeks training and so expected a performance similar to that in Cascais in September. However after loosing many minutes in the swim and a further minute and a half in transition drying myself off (to avoid the cold) and changing clothes I rode up to third in the overall by about 50 km of the bike. I surprised myself with this. I then rode away from the David Caldeirão, my “rival” for the race and to my surprise was later caught by him near the finish. I was particularly surprised because I was riding fairly well, not just noodling along.


The bike leg: the bike makes a difference! Photo credit: Joana Hipólito

The run merged with a half marathon running race and this caused me confusion. I had 108 km on the clock and there were 4 laps to the run, however they had only two marked: 10 km in and 20 km in. A hot head altered my perception of distance and confused, I sprinted away on the second lap thinking it was the finish. That meant cramps, so I stopped and waited for the next along. I was able in the remaining 10 km to then open up a small gap, but in last 500 m got passed by two other competitors, meaning I finished fourth overall, which was a tad disappointing given the circumstance, but far better than I expected before the race, so I was very happy, despite very sore legs that I could barely walk on afterwards.

run vilamoura triathlon

A running suffer fest; racing for 2nd place. Photo credit: Luís Santos


podium Portuguese long distance triathlon

Podium, a bitter 4th place (2nd in my category). Photo credit: Joana Hipólito

I was pleased to get the fastest bike split, which given the little biking that I had done, was excellent. The run was a disappointment… I think in future I wont race these harder races without being diligent.

Plans for the future

Now it’s time to work and plan.

Next year I am planning to race pro in long distance triathlon, though I might skip Ironman distance. So far I’ve only got permission to race pro in 70.3, so I will need to race a marathon to show aptitude for full Ironman. ‘Pro’ in triathlon essentially means being able to win prize and having presumably won my first prize last weekend, it seems appropriate. Triathlon is not like cycling in this either either though, there is no salary arriving every month and as such most pros have other occupations and are lucky to get even all their equipment sponsored. There are some who do very well, but they are few and far between. Sponsors would be dearly welcome, but I feel slightly churlish as 31 year old man about asking people for things or money so I can ride round on a bike.

This project does need some major tweaks though and frankly I don’t know where I will go come next summer. I want to finish the project, sew it up and have something that runs smoothly and provides the best services to endurance athletes anywhere on the planet, it’s a dream at this stage.

I finish my degree by April and so will have a good few extra hours to invest and all should be more relaxed. I can get back to tinkering, coding, coaching and training properly.

I haven’t chosen which long distance triathlon circuit to race: Challenge or Ironman, or both or something completely different. I kind of fancy the Alp d’ Huez triathlon. There’s a lot to choose from and obviously costs involved need to be considered. I have chosen locally what I will do: a few ‘masters’ cycling races (yes I miss cycling that badly) for a local club, running races for a local club and a new local tri club.

Race wise, I am going to start the Seville marathon on the 21st of February, then I will see. I don’t like training for marathon, so I will probably stick with 70.3 distance for the foreseeable future

Challenge Paguera 2015

It was exactly a year ago that I did my first big triathlon: Challenge Paguera that was also an ETU European championship in 2014. And it’s basically just over a year and a half since I started triathlon. My progress hasn’t been mind blowing, nothing like when I started in Cycling many moons ago, rather it’s been steady. I suppose the main difference is that now doing triathlon I am also working and studying, rather than doing just that. I don’t think I’d change that though, as living just from sport is not easy.

This race was many times easier than last year. Being familiar with the place and how things are done helped a lot. I find it strange a lot of triathletes chop and change their race schedule each season, to me it makes more sense to get to know a race. Even a cycling race like the Volta a Portugal that never has the same course, has a familiarity and rhythm to it that makes it, not easier, but certainly easier to tackle year on year.

We didn’t stay in Paguera this year rather we stayed in Santa Ponça, about 10’ to the south east of Paguera and literally a 5’ walk through the woods to the transition zone if you knew where to park. We stayed in little studio apartment the first three days and it was fantastic. Nicely furnished, on the first line in front of the sea, about 20 m from the beach. It really helps having this type of space on race day. My Chef made the customary lentil burgers and pasta which I chowed down at 5:30 in the morning, so far, hotels have been thoroughly unaccommodating in this regard. Triathlon top tip: self-catered accommodation is better before a race, you have the privacy to do all your weird pre-race rituals such as eating the A1 jet fuel that are lentil burgers at 05:30.

I was nervous for this race and I don’t typically get nervous about races. Sometimes I get focused, sometimes irritable, sometimes indifferent, but this time it was different. I think it’s the huge financial outlay involved in these expeditions that gets me, there’s a lot on the line for the sake of getting a puncture and dropping out, or having a crap performance.

Although I hadn’t trained more than last year, I went a lot better this year. My run was 16 min quicker, the bike about the same and everything else was a bit slicker. I was battling to be the top age-grouper and it was close, I was 3rd overall non-pro and took a few pro scalps despite being in a different heat. The bike was fine, except the handle bars coming loose a bit and the saddle sliding, so I raced most of the course quite gingerly to avoid splating myself and the monster (bike).

the monster bike

The Monster in going into T2.

The guy who beat me to “win” the 30-34 age-group got away on the twisty section through Magaluf. The bars came loose because of the paint under the bolts and the saddle, well, obviously their recommended torque isn’t high enough. I am a little bit precious about “Frankenstein’s monster” and scared to break any of the custom pieces befitting it. Triathlon top tip: Yes gear is expensive, but you can’t be too precious about it; that may well prove to be a false economy! On the plus side, the bike had a proper 55 t chainring on it, so that was a huge improvement on the previous race where I had to make do with a 52 t. Triathlon top tip: a relatively large gear can save energy by making it more economic to ride at ‘terminal velocity’ on the downhill sections. I was bothered by someone drafting off me for most of the last lap, I can understand people slipping into the slip stream when it bunches up on a technical section, or even a hill, but some people seem to be adamant in doing it, it’s really weird.

running in Paguera

the run is getting better…

My swim was utter crap. I have no idea what happened there… well I do now. I felt good, excellent even in the water and I have recently been loving the sensations afforded by swimming. But my time was crap, a whole 3 min slower than my best times. What had gone wrong? Well, I went a and did a bit of open water swimming today with Chef walking parallel on the beach and I was swimming pretty well, under 1:30 and without feeling breathless or tired. But actually swimming in a straight line and sighting was super difficult… The goggles have a sheen on them and are built up in such a way it’s very hard to discern colour and shape and they cut off peripheral vision terribly. Triathlon top tip: make sure your goggles provide least colour distortion and minimally obstruct your peripheral vision. In the swim not once did I get a tow on someone’s feet, so that wasn’t good either. When it comes together (if!) I imagine I can do a fairly handy swim, ironically.

I met the most remarkable character in the rest zone after the race, a guy called Sérgio Marques, a Portuguese triathlete who has come 3rd in the European Long Distance Championships this year, winning Ironman Barcelona a couple of years back and going to the World Championships in Hawaii 5 times.

On the last day we went for a drive along the north coast and over the mountains. It was a breath of fresh air to see the less touristy and more dramatic side of the Island. It would be great for a bike race… or a triathlon.

So, on to the numbers

17th overall, 3rd Age-Grouper, 2nd 30-34 age-grouper. 4:23:11 overall time, 19:45 behind the winner Filip Ospaly, a triathlete for 23 years, 3 time olympian and with 7 70.3 distance wins to his name. And 29 min quicker than last year. The next objective is the Vilamoura triathlon on the 28th of November.

Performance wise the run was about 5′ slower at 4:04 per km than the very fastest at 3:47 per km, although I started out that that pace. Bike wise there is still a fair bit of speed to find, that’s just a case of training it. I’m doing the right power output and all that, it just need a little tuning. Swimming… well, I’ll just practice it and see.

The results:


…and P.S.

According to the British Triathlon website, I’ve finally cracked the mark (by the skin of my teeth; 7.79%) to get a PRO licence “IDEALLY be an Age-Group athlete who has come within 8% of the winner’s time in a recognised long distance triathlon event (such as Ironman or Challenge event) in the last 18 months.” I’ve met the standard, now lets see what they say. That was on pretty bad training (no swimming, no specific bike training in the summer), so I’m looking forward to having a proper crack at it and actually be professional about it, rather than fit training in here and there as before.

Age-Group podium

Podium for the Age-group

I suppose that’s it, I can now I’ve done it, I’ve met my original goal in starting triathlon. Maybe I should rename this blog?

Cascais triathlon

The first person race report:

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. This summer was hectic with work and study, so hectic it feels weird now Autumn is here and things have slowed down a bit. It’s a strange life, that of an “Algarvean”, everything boils down to those summer months and at least I as someone attempting to do business here, that means working 10 h a day, 7 days a week from April till the October.

Now I’m trying to get back into the groove; trying to get back into racing and trying to improve a little bit on before. I’m finding it harder and harder to achieve my original objectives in triathlon. Conciliating life and triathlon just isn’t easy. And I can’t be so easily fooled as when I was younger, into giving absolutely everything for the sport… I am not so easily enticed any longer: I have nothing to prove and beating other people really doesn’t interest me. I suppose ultimately it’s training people and looking after bikes that’s proven a far more reliable way to get fed! What I do love though, are those rare moments of freedom away from it all, either on the bike, or running or even swimming. You know, those moments when the body works like clockwork under the strain, ticking over at a solid rhythm, preferably somewhere beautiful. The other part I love, is the song and dance around races. Races are nearly always in peculiar places I would never go unless there was a race, places like Bahrain and Dubai, or swimming in the Tagus, or any of the countless kilometres I passed when I was cycling professionally. That’s why I wont give it up.

the birth of frankenstein’s monster

I had been collecting  parts for a bicycle for quite a while now basically  my objective being to build a triathlon bike for the least money possible and so it was I got a tt frame,  which is branded “Viner” and sold by planet X. The frame has a few key points: It’s comfortable, has integrated cables and breaks as well as stacked extensions. I’ve been longing for a “competitive” bike since I did 2:10:30 in Bahrain  on the old “Tri-Dog”; a 6-7 year old bike I “inherited” (in lieu of salary) from the cycling team that was both David Blanco’s old spare bike and my TT bike and the bike I gave up cycling on. The new bike, all assembled by me in the the two days before the race only tested briefly the day before was nearly perfect except for a couple of bolts for the extensions that came loose due to there being some paint under the screws. Savvy to the fact I was likely to have this sort of issue, I had brought Allen keys with me, so I stopped and tightened them losing about 3 min.

last tt in Volta a Portugal
I gave up bike racing on Tri-Dog (it wasn’t called “Tri-Dog” back then), very sick and fed up at the Volta in 2013, now he’s retired.

Franknstein's monster
And Frankenstein’s monster was born. The new bike frame… pretty nice, very very fiddly. What looks like a top end bike like a Stevens, Fondirest, etc, but many times cheaper. 

In the past few months I haven’t trained anything but running. While my loses weren’t too dramatic in the swim (I was about 2 min slower than my previous best at 31 min), on the bike I really felt it. Obviously the fact I had never trained on the bike and had only trained sparingly on the road bike before than and not at all in the week prior to the race conditioned my performance somewhat, I was happy enough to get the 11th quickest bike ride on the day in a time of 2:24. That included a 3 min stop at the bottom of a hill to tighten the tri-bars that came loose -I put it down to there being paint under screws, but planet X just e-mailed me saying they’ve posted new screws… I’m guessing it’s happened to more people than just me!

What was interesting and a top triathlon training tip, was that although my running is now good (it’s the one thing I fought tooth and nail to maintain over the summer), if you get to the run tired, it’s hard to run fast… I know this sound silly, but it’s true. You need to be cycling well to get to the run in a condition to run fast. I started off running at 3:30 but quickly realized I was cramping up in certain muscles, so I eased of to 3:45 and then progressively drop time till it hovered at about 3:57. On the plus side I felt I could run at that pace for a whole marathon: it was comfortable.

So this raises another triathlon conundrum: you do need to train on the bike quite hard and quite a lot. So specific periods and sessions are needed. The other triathlon conundrum is that you have to swim often. So when you’re planning out your training, it’s a case of putting in several swims per week. As a swim coach I’ve worked with Ricardo Correia used to say, Even if you just go and splash around for a bit that will keep your CNS primed to the environment and the movement in swimming. So that’s another top tip.

The place itself, the organisation and the people.

The race itself was exceptionally well organized. Think no frills, but also no faffing about and minimum hassle. At least with me this is what I like in a race. The place was wonderful, basically a Portuguese version of the Côte d’Azur; a preserved sea side town with some classy looking hotels and tasteful restaurant, none of which seemed over priced either. On the downside however, the public present (can’t really call them spectators) were shocking. There were people walking right across runners running into runner, running on the bike course when a running/walking/cycling path is provided adjacent, cycling on the cycling course, walking across with dogs and children and so on. It was just irritating. I was wondering at the race, why it is that for certain sports, like cycling, people adulate and glory worship, while for something like triathlon people present contempt and I figured that in triathlon basically you have people trying their best, for themselves and no one else! Normal people, not super athletes (although there were super athletes present), the fact that one guy has a bit of a belly is enough for the person too scared to push themselves to be better to sneer, even jeer them: It’s the mediocrity cult that braces a lot of society. I get sneered at by the middle aged women in the park although I can do things they can only dream of… They are just too scared to stand apart from their buddies and push themselves to be better. If you give a shit what people think, you’ll never do anything. Don’t give a shit what anyone thinks, just enjoy the freedom, the health, the strength that ‘momentum’ sports can afford you… and those ‘super athlete’, they are human too.

We were treated to two exceptional performance by Bruno Pais and José Estrangeiro, which added some glitz to the race.

Anyway, I’ve been training pretty well and I am back to studying again (this seems to be have been a constant through my whole adult life). Fingers crossed I do a good race in Challenge Paguera in a couple of week. I’ll have some swimming done by then and a few miles on Frankenstein’s monster. You can read how the race went last year, when it was my first big triathlon: Challenge Paguera 2014. Obviously if I am (ever) to race pro I’ll need to put more time into it, so lets hope this extra little bit of training I’ve done at least gets me closer. Molinari, last years winner and European champion is racing there again this year and if he goes as well as last year, I sincerely doubt I can get within 5% of his time.

You can find the full results here “Cascais triathlon results“.

Lisboa Triathlon

This was the first triathlon I did as an elite. I literally jumped in the deep end here. The field was pretty much as good as gets: Hector Guerra (ex-pro cyclist, whom I had said would win it), Bruno Pais (Ironman Pro and Silver medal in last years European championships) and Gustavo Rodriguez Iglesias another former cyclist and Bronze medal from last years European championships.

This last month, with a lot of work with the business I hadn’t swum or cycled much and even struggled to get the running training done. I had very specific ambitions for the race: Try and break 4 h, stick with the pros in the swim and do a good run.

Transition opens

Swim -29:42

In the swim the first group went off like a rocket, it was incredible. I’m used to seeing slowly edging away, this time I was just left standing. I looked around and found my group so just stuck on some guys feet. It was an odd sensation. Swimming on his feet it all felt easy.  On the second lap of the age-group heat was mixed in and things became serious complicated, I lost the guy I was marking and just came in as fast as I could manage.

Bike -2:34:00

The bike had been a nightmare from the previous day… I had a clunking at the bottom of the left pedal stroke, which I though was the bearings, so I changed them; no easy task pushing out the press fitting bearings from the bottom bracket cups and carefully putting new one’s in. After finding the cranks still clunked I changed the pedals, still clunking. The carbon crank arm had become detached from the aluminium attachment. The ancient Corima 8 spoke wheel was also making a strange noise. Anyway, I figured I’d just muddle through and not worry about it.

The Garmim too was causing issues and not giving me any info of any useful type. I think it’s time to drop the 910 and go back to the 110 with is simple and works.

On the bike my form was pretty good. I have trained much on the bike at all, 2 in the past 2 weeks, plus one guided training with a client, so I was happy to catch a few elites quickly and control my losses to the front of the race which were oscillating between 4-5’ to Gustavo and 5-7’ to Bruno Pais. On the last hill, on the last lap right at the farthest point from the transition park I got a puncture in the tub (tire) on the disk wheel: Game Over. I wasn’t angry, I just felt it was fate talking.

Bike leg

It’s the bike I dropped out of the last Volta a Portugal with the infection and the rest. In Challenge Paguera where I was also doing okay I got another 2 punctured, now this. I haven’t had much luck aboard this bike.

Run -1:17:21

As tempting as it is to give up after everything goes to pot, I decided on a couple of things after the puncture: I was roll in carefully not to break the wheel and I was going to try and get some training references from the run, but my heart wasn’t really in it and the busy course and uneven ground just made it frustrating.

Wrapping up

It wasn’t all bad: It allowed me to piece together a strategy for the future. It’s not going to be this year that I ‘go pro’. Triathlon is resource and time expensive and this year with my business picking up and finally wrapping up my degree my priorities have to go that way. I discussed with my wife my options and I simply can’t justify spending 5K on competitive equipment, there are things like a house, business, education that are more important.

On the performance front there was good news too: I no longer fear the swim, I have hardly been in the water in a month and finished in a group (the last group admittedly) of elites. Biking, sure it needs work and investment, but I know that part and my running is getting there swiftly.

‘What if’s’ don’t count for much, but had things gone well and I had not punctured then realistically I would have come in 7th. That’s based on the time difference to Bruno Pais on the bike 15km from the finish (7′) and my run time (about 7′ slower than Bruno), in my own glorified brick session.

I was an honour to race in such a field and next time I do so, if I do so, I will be prepared. It won’t be something cobbled together round 80 h work weeks and done with crap equipment.

Basically the plan is now to train for my health and enjoyment, without pressure and without objectives at least till the summer is out. Once the summer is out I will be writing my dissertation so it might not even be then that I pick it up again. Next year however I will finish studying by March and that means that it will this time in one year, at Lisboa Triathlon that I will be racing with the proper form and conditions.

Results can be found here: