Posted in Triathlon and tagged Training
split image of Ben's living room and his training road bike

Let the training begin!

Ben GrayExcluding my brief participation in a relay team at Portsmouth Triathlon (where I did 2 of the 3 legs…) it’s been well over a year since my last competitive triathlon. With this year being the 25th Anniversary of Windsor Triathlon, a truly iconic event, it seemed as good a reason as any to jump back into the sport after a year and a bit of sporadic frolicking. A year of one sportive (they’re not for me), a 24hour off road run race, a few outdoor swim events and a run where I was dressed as Santa Claus I really felt like jumping back on the Tri-Horse and to try and replicate the dizzying heights of a 3rd place finish at one of the Dorney Triathlons.

In typical fashion for me, my training plan started a little less relevant by signing up for a Marathon in April, getting addicted to Squash at completely the wrong time and then accidently breaking my one and only geared road bike. Not to be defeated, I got some mudguards for my homemade single speed (I even did the brazing!) and hit the winter roads. Currently as it stands this will be the race bike for the big day. Crack on a pair of TT bars and I’m sorted, looking forward to the faces of the TT bike riders as I go whizzing past! Cycle training started? Check.

Ben Gray's homemade bike  

Now that I was on the road to Windsor (no pun intended) I thought I’d better get my feet sorted. Especially with a marathon lined up for before the Tri. A new pair of shoes with a gore-tex outer for the wet weather and I was away. I went down to Cornwall to stay with my parents over Christmas so had ample hills, quiet roads and breath taking scenery to inhale. I even sneaked in my first ever parkrun at Lanhydrock. I really enjoy winter running, being out in the elements makes it such a raw experience. It also means I get to light the woodburner to dry the kit out afterwards! Running training started? Check.

Balck and white photo of Ben Gray's running shoes in front of a woodburner       

With the wheels rolling and the feet plodding, that only left the arms to start splashing. Sadly the closest I came to swimming before January was a kayak on Christmas day with the family, which I’m classing as cross training for upper body… (I think I can get away with that??)

Upon returning home however I could put it off no longer. Myself and a brave friend went for a coastal swim on New Years day to (literally) shake off the winter blues. With Windsor swim being in the Thames, getting some outdoor swimming in the wetsuit was essential and something I will keep doing whilst trying to avoid the crowded public pools as long as possible! It was great fun as swimming in the sea always is. Good practice for sighting and fighting tides, tides which can be pretty strong in Windsor! Swimming training started? Check.

Black and white photo of the River Thames from Windsor      

With all three disciplines now under way I’m really looking forward to getting on that start line race fit and raring to go. As serious training starts to ramp up over the coming weeks, keep tuned for updates on my progress!

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Ben Gray
Published on: 19 Jan 2015