Andrew L
Posted by

My first race of the season

Andrew L
Posted by
19 May 2014

A little jolly in Majorca

Well, first race of the season is over (well, 2/3rds of one). Competed in Half Ironman Majorca last Saturday.
It's an annual pilgrimage from my club, but the first time I've attended.
It comprises a 1900m sea swim, a 90k bike ride and a half marathon run. Having had a hip replacement 8 months ago I decided that a half marathon was not a good idea just yet, so i entered as a relay and asked my friend Jenny to do the run.
Come race day and a warm day was predicted...expecting to peak about 30 deg C. 
I put lashings of suntan lotion on before slipping on my tri suit and wetsuit. Basic mistake ....lotion not water proof so I was destined for some interesting tan lines by midday.
This was the biggest half IM in the world with more that 3500 competing. The 100 odd relay teams were the last wave to go. It was a beach start with a 50m run through shallow water until it was deep enough to swim. Running through shallow water is a bit weird and involves lifting your feet out of the water to the side of you - exactly the movement I'm to avoid with my new hip, so took it very gingerly. (As an aside I will now always bleep at airport security, even though my new hip is ceramic- apparently guns can be made of the same material!).  Anyway, when I did get going I completed the swim in 31 mins...not too shabby for an old codger :-)
The bike course was pan flat, which suits me as I like time trialling. Unfortunately, at 1/3rd distance they stuck in a mountain - 1000m climb over 12km felt like one! - I still lack leg strength here and lost a few of the places I'd gained on the flat. The descent was fun mind even if my TT bike struggled at the switch back bends. Back to the flat and went well til about 10miles out where I basically fizzled out, probably due to lack of bike training miles. My split was 3.02 which I'm sure I improve by about 15 mins as I get stronger.
I then passed the baton to Jenny for the run, a 3 lap course. After the first lap I was cheering her on but got a look back that said "how the hell did you talk me into running a half marathon in the midday sun at 30C !" Everyone was suffering mind, it was tough out there....I was even struggling to eat my ice creams before they melted :-) But Jenny successfully completed the run in a time only 8 mins off her PB. She completed the Brighton marathon a few weeks ago for LLR and was still in good form.
Ironman events are a little pricy but this is certainly one of the best around. Many stay for a few days to explore the cycle routes of the beautiful northern part of this island.
Next race the Blenheim Super-sprint Triathlon....from one extreme to another!
Other recent blogs that are worth a look at are 'advice to first timers' from Joe Beer - one of the best coaches in the country and some things to remember from top referees Duncan Hough and Sarah Taylor.
Happy training - Andy



Great effort Andrew! Congratulations to you and Jenny!

I hope your hip is bearing up ok and that you didn't get too sunburnt - I fell victim to the sun at the weekend too but don't have the far more impressive mitigating circumstances of taking part in a half iron man which is an epic achievement by the way.

I'd love to give an iron man a go one day but not sure if my lungs are up to it. I'm also a terrible swimmer! Getting involved in a triathlon would be a good starting point. Got any tips for a very poor swimmer on how to get started?


Thanks Andy, it was a great day.

swimming is 75% technique and 25% strength/ fitness, so you must address the technique of the swim stroke first. Study's books and follow swim technique DVDs - that's what I did. But the better option is to get some swim lessons. You'll then come on leaps and bounds. Then try a tri! You'll love it!



Thanks for the tips Andy - looks like I need to get down my local pool. The irony of it all is that my Mum was a swimming teacher!

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