ironman Wales – Stick or Twist ?

Is it possible to train for an ironman in 15 weeks ? Not any ironman but ironman Wales which deserves the utmost respect for the course and conditions.

Decision time for me, why am I at this point ? Well I started a new job 8 weeks ago and training can be counted on one hand – a few bike rides, one lake swim and one run in two months. Let’s say training hasn’t just gone off track it’s been lost in the woods.

My fitness score on Training Peaks has plummeted, I have a sea of red incomplete sessions and I’ve got fat ! This alone should tell me to hit the button and take the deferral option now ! But…….. I still like a challenge.

So I am looking at breaking the 15 weeks down into two 7 weeks phases with a race taper week. I will set stick/twist targets to reach at the end of the first 7 weeks as well as weekly targets based on sessions and mileage. The first phase finished with LCW – a full distance deconstructed ironman based mostly on same course as ironman Wales. Then have a few days after LCW to decide if I finally stick with 2018 or twist and defer to 2019 ( early entry now allows deferral).

Phase 1 –

  • FTP test – every 3 to 4 weeks to monitor progress
  • Double my current fitness level based on TP stats
  • Lose the lard, 2.5kg
  • Hit 85% of all my training sessions – I need an ocean of green
  • Training Events – Dragon Sportive, Lakesman Half 70.3, Solstice 100 Sportive these will mostly be on my road bike.
  • LCW, Tenby will be my ultimate fitness test and depending what my accumulated time is will be the basis of if I defer ironman Wales.

Phase 2 – after an honest talk with myself, I will hopefully enter phase 2 or I will defer and give myself a fighting chance next year.

Time for 100% commitment and focus or bow out and enjoy the summer and get fat again.

  • Get that fitness level higher – tracking on TP
  • Lose the remaining 2.5kg Need to get power /weight ratio sorted.
  • Keep hitting the green targets & checking FTP testing on Wattbike
  • All about the bike and hills. Switch to race bike for training with dinner plate sized rear cassette added for those hills.
  • I’m ignoring the seasickness when swimming for now ! Managed to master being sick and keep swimming technique from Bournemouth Pier to Pier. Then need to keep fluids topped up on the bike.

ironmans hurt, Wales is one of the toughest, but DNF would be harder for me to take if I didn’t finish after having a bail out card to use that I decided against. Wales is likely to be my last hurrah and then I can retire from long course – so I want it to be a good one. I see 70.3 & aqua bike as my future ( never really liked running 🏃‍♀️! ).

I fully intend to use the allotted 17 hours on this course but I want a finishers medal not to become a statistic lost in the archives.

On the plus side my asthma is under control, the new combined Fostair inhaler & prescription hayfever tables are doing their stuff. Passed my asthma 6 month review with flying colours – peak flow, oxygen levels & blood pressure all spot on ( just that excess weight to lose).

So time to change and get this training started. I will report back in 7 weeks as I doubt I’ll have the time to write, work, train, walk the dogs and volunteer but I may need to have a bit of a discussion with myself or vent and what better place than my own blog.

From now on every session counts, each event has a purpose and every mouthful is considered fuelling.

2018 or 2019 ??? It’s a tough one for sure.


  1. I’ll follow this with interest.

    Personally, I’d defer to 2019 (as I have with Hamburg) as I don’t think I could do myself justice in 15 weeks.

    But this is personal to you! Look forward to your updates!!

    • Hamburg is a great race and city location with countryside bike loop
      Loved the inaugural race

      I’ve set myself a half way bailout option to see if I can commit to the training and get fitness levels back
      50:50 at the moment

      • As soon as I made the decision re Hamburg, I knew I’d done the right thing. I was really not enjoying the whole process.

        Having said that, I also instantly recognised that deferring rather than cancelling altogether was the right thing to do and, actually, I can see myself wanting to do it next year, all things being equal.

        Anyway – enough about me… I’ll genuinely follow your journey with interest since it resonates with me right now.

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