Wow what a race that is…..
Challenge Roth is a:
🏊♂️ 2.4 mile swim followed by
🚴🏽♂️112 mile bike followed by
🏃♂️26.2 mile run
✅ 5500 athletes taking part
✅ 250,000 + spectators
✅ 84 different nations represented
✅ 7500 volunteers
✅ coverage across 168 TV stations
Sorry for the delayed communications post race….. I went pretty hard and struggled a bit post race….nothing major just battered!
What an occasion…..
Up at 4am to get parked up near the race start.
Breakfast and hydration kicked in around 5am and then racing for the pros started at 6:30am.
My wave was at 7:20am.
Thousands of people lined the canal and the canon goes and we are off!
A moment I will never forget as I led the wave for the first 600m.
Clear water and then we soon caught the waves in front of us, which did make things a little interesting for sighting and rhythm….man it was “busy” in that canal!
I felt great and was consistent with my swim splits for each 500m within the swim and found myself saying “I am loving this”.
The last 600-800m seemed long and I think most swims were around 150m long on average from the competitors I spoke to.
Looked at my watch and it said 1 hour 25s ….obviously I was annoyed about the 25s but at the time I didn’t realise I had done 3990m not 3800m.
Next job… The Bike (this is the hill we cycled up between these supporters)
Into transition and out onto the bike….I allowed myself 5 mins for each transition so being done in 4 mins allowed me to gain back the time lost on the swim.
Bike….. wet to start on the roads due to a good dose of rain around 5:30am!
This made conditions a little slippery for the first 20km of the bike but then it dried up.
The bike course is rolling, with some bits I was averaging 27-28mph for a 5 mile period and then others nearer 19mph due to some good hills!
After the first lap I knew it was going to be tough second lap as I could see the wind picking up and my average speed was a little lower than my ideal target even though the power output was about spot on.
Second lap…..yep glutes and lower back knew about it! I had to back off the power a bit otherwise I could see the run becoming a misery! This did play with my mind a bit as was heading for around 18 mins slower than I wanted! Which of course was eating into my allowed run time.
Wherever I could I was trying to keep my speed around 40km/hr on the flats to keep the benefit of the disc wheel I use; as this is the speed where you get the benefits of such a toy! Dragging it up some of the hills wasn’t fun but flying past people on the flats was great! 178.5km done!
So into T2 (transition 2)…..I knew I had around 3 hours 38 mins to get round the marathon! To be honest I didn’t feel too bad….but I knew my preferred strategy of run:Walk every 2.5km just wasn’t going to get me home in the time I was aiming for; under 10 hours.
So it was a case of buckle up and go after it!
One of the best parts of these events is that you go to some dark places and your head says all sorts of things to you but overcoming them is what makes you resilient and builds that mental toughness!
That is priceless!
Seeing a few of the guys I know out on the course was great and running with an Irish lady “Nicola” was a great crack….the Irish are brilliant value, especially when you are in pain!
So the first 10km I was bang on target for 3:30 marathon….then the time started to slip as a head wind on the canal and the heat increased!
I began to realise I was going to need to walk to prevent my run mechanics breaking down! Then along came Nicola who ran with me for the next 15km keeping just the pace I needed and we started to get quicker to around 30km, then the hills started……
Going up one of them it felt like someone was stabbing me in both quads….I thought to myself “if I stop and walk here, I might be done”…..push on!
The hills in the last section of the run were savage! I could see with 3km to go that unless I could find something miraculous I wasn’t going to be able to make up the 1 min 20s I was behind my target!
Bit annoyed…. but to be honest I gave it EVERYTHING I had! I can’t ask anymore than that and I know I left it all out there yesterday!
Here is a little video of a couple of parts of the course where Jo managed to film the pain :
https://youtu.be/EgfbzGDjIEU ( 1 min 12s)
The crowd was insane! I think that is my season done…. the body needs a rest, time to put some weight back on, strength train and time to recover for some big races at half iron distance next year to try and get to the world champs in NZ in November 2020.
Thank you for all of your messages of support and well done to the guys I know who raced… Toby, David, Adam, Kit and Mat who got it done on Sunday as well!
p.s. If you need that little bit extra to help you achieve your goal….no matter how big or small you perceive it….don’t be afraid to ask for help. I do, I get coached and know how valuable it is to have someone helping me every day.
Owner of MattLuxtonHealthandFitness & The Tamar Performance Centre
Voted Cornwall’s Best Fitness Instructor 2016
Voted The UK’s Most Innovative Fitness Entrepreneur 2012
International Best Selling Author of The Fad Free Fitness Formula
Author of The Hot to Trot Cook Book and The Equestrian Athlete Plan
Email: Info@fa-fitness.co.uk / Phone: 07841 136302