Sunday, 4 March 2012

The London Tri Show

So I went to the Tri Show. This is a big deal because previously I was a bit sceptical or indeed cynical of people needing to run, bike and swim. This is mostly because I thought it was short distances and therefore it's completely achievable, it's just about being fast. I am less into fast (because I am not fast!) and more into grindingly long days full of sweat and soiling yourself. These are the days when it's good to be alive, and when you learn something about yourself.

Cue Ironman. How did I stumble on this event? I sort of always knew about it. I have had Julie Moss crawling on my home page for a while. I read Ironholg's book with the fabulous title: Can't Swim, Can't Ride, Can't Run. He made it seem accessible, though maybe if I worked and lived where he did and had access to the uni pool, I thought! I ordered a book about real people doing Ironman as an inspiration for the Ultra. Then I ran 50km and felt like anything is possible. Really, you should be able to bottle and sell that feeling. I figure if you can run 50km you can probably run more, you can probably run day after day. So I needed an extra challenge.

I'd been inspired by Lena (also with a fabulous blog title: Invincible until proven otherwise) and who had been on a Run With Chrissie event. Because of her, I signed up to the next Run with Chrissie. I defy anyone to meet Chrissie Wellington and not leave wanting to do something with your life. As she was going to be at the London Tri Show the following weekend, I thought I would mosey on down there. Such a stalker.

So what was it like? First session I went to was listening to Chrissie talk. This was done as a media interview and I felt that she was much more media savvy than personal as she was at the Run With Chrissie event. Some of the questions were a bit tough too. Next up, a session on what it takes to do an Ironman. This was delivered by experienced competitor Mark Kleanthous. I thought his presentation lacked a bit of structure and so I didn't take away much that I didn't already know. He seems like a nice cheery chap and he has just launched a book.

I was really interested in the seminar on the Science of Tapering as this something I don't always get right and I figured if I understood it I would do it better. Unfortunately this presentation was a bit dry and I didn't stay to the end. Sounds a bit like my approach to tapering!

The best seminar was by Swimsmooth on the 5 most common undiagnosed swimming flaws. It was well explained and there are lots of videos on their website. I felt a bit miffed that most of their swim videos and training are done in my home town - all the way in sunny Perth Australia! This session was packed which said a lot about how comfortable people were with swimming!

In terms of exhibitions, it was a great place to pick up event leaflets - from aquathons, to duathlons, open water swims, and women only events. I also talked to Saucony and Brooks about their less chunky running shoes and will be testing some in anger once pay day comes. I skipped all the bike stands (but did pick up a lot of stickers - old habits die hard) and learned that you need to get a bike fitted. I keep telling myself that this will soon make sense in the way choosing a running shoe makes sense to me. I also had a good chat to the Ironman event organisers - actually I think I burbled at them excitingly, and to a personal trainer course provided - though this will have to wait till 2014 now.

The best part of the day was twitter connected. How geeky. I had planned a surprise for Lisa, a new ultra runner who I have found really inspiring (more on this to come!) and also met up with triathlete and speedster Eddie from Run with Chrissie, and ultra running, cross country speedster Eric from Istanbul Marathon. It's great for me to hang out with people with more experience, but also to chat to people who have the same passion, nerves, and excitement for pushing themselves into the unknown. It's not that we run similar or perform the same or have a shared speed - but that we understand the desire, be that to talk sneakers for hours, to stroke a new wet suit material or to dream of being able to ride until you vomit. And that was definitely worth the trip to Esher. Where's that? Exactly.

1 comment:

  1. I take Ironman is now on your bucket list too. enjoy its an amazing feeling progressing to new levels.