2015 – A Big Year

January 20th, 2015 Posted by News No Comment yet

Well as it’s been a while since my last blog so I thought I would do my first one of 2015 which is a big year for me.

Last year was a mix of emotions but I had some really great things happen in my personal life. I gained permission to travel abroad for the first time in 10 years and went to a French training camp in the Alps with Hywel Davis who is an athlete I admire and respect.

I also had opportunities to work with some big charities  – helping kids to escape a life of crime using sport as a vehicle to better their lives and hopefully realise their true potential.

But 2014 was soured by my race at Ironman UK. I sacrificed so much of my life to compete in the race and even though I beat my previous time it was essentially meaningless – and it was hard to take for weeks afterwards. I badly wanted to be really successful at something in my life since leaving prison but I became blinded by the obvious in my training and made so many schoolboy mistakes in the final few months before the race – I over trained, got sick, then bombed badly when it mattered.

After the race I had to go and have an ECG done at hospital as my heart rate was all over the place. My normal resting heart rate is 39bpm but it had elevated to 67bpm – to say I was a little concerned was an understatement but the doctors said that being over trained, having a virus and then doing Ironman was the cause. I just needed a month off training and to rest. Words I had heard before from people I trust and something I probably knew myself but this time I listened…I learned the hard way.

So I spent a month enjoying myself with friends and getting a little chubby in cocktail bars in South West London – I’m not sure if that’s the type of rest the doctors meant but it worked well and the mental and physical break did me the world of good. I was refreshed and raring to go!

Then my mind started to turned back to 2015 as I had signed up for Ironman UK the moment the entries were opened. I did not do myself any justice on July 2014 and refused to leave it on that note. I had unfinished business and I know what I’m capable of.

I then had to over come a massive issue. I find it very hard to trust others to help me but I put my ego aside as I realised I did not have the real life experience or deep knowledge to train myself to the highest level physically. I’m very fortunate to train with some top, successful, athletes who have Olympic medals under their belt but sadly, none in triathlon. So I was looking for a coach and to be really honest I don’t give care about levels 2, 4, 5 etc……. in coaching I wanted someone who had been there and done it.

Then a stroke of luck! I was in contact with a guy I meet before Ironman UK – Keith Saunders – who I had trained with a few times. He went on to win my age group at Wimbelball 70.3 and place 2nd at Ironman UK in my age group and qualified for Kona. Needless to say I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and liked his approach to training. I was asking him about coaching and if he knew anyone? His response was “I will help coach you” so I jumped at the chance.

Like I said I had to put my ego aside and started to train really smart –  always wanting to beat everyone on every training session is not ideal – its good to be competitive but at the right time and I do now understand this. Keith and performance coaching will get the best out of me physically this year as my mental aspect is nailed.

I feel very positive about 2015 and even though I didn’t race well last year I was putting some decent numbers out in training. One positive is that I did build up a very solid base to carry forward this year and I’m looking forward to achieving what I know I’m capable of in 2015. Watch this space!

I would also like to thank Serco and Craft UK for their continued support of me this year.

Thanks for reading.

John.

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