Seven Races In Seven Weeks

I want to write this post for two reasons, the first being so you, the reader can see what crazy situation I’m getting myself into and secondly for you also to see what is possible with a little bit of ‘Just Do It’ attitude.

‘Seven Races In Seven Weeks’ has happened basically because of the London Olympics’ schedule being in the middle of summer, races that were normally done then have been put back and fall very close to others that I want to do.

It all started with the desire to ‘do a triathlon’. I’ve had it for years (so much so that I paid to do one about 4-5 years ago and never did it) but never got round to actually doing one. The London Triathlon was the one that I wanted to do but it always fell on the weekend of my birthday which for some reason I used that as an excuse not to sign up.

A client and now great friend Paul and I decided to look at each year and set targets that we must achieve. 2011 was to make it ‘Our Fittest Year’ yet and 2012 is ‘All About A Tri’. Combining this with twitter, a platform where we can hold ourselves accountable to strangers who became ‘followers’ and with it, add a wee bit of pressure on me as a personal trainer to lead the way. I use twitter to push me harder to achieve things I may have once ducked out of. I feel that I now have a role to push myself so you guys can do too. In no way do I regard myself faster or better but what I do think is if I push myself out of my comfort zone then you are more likely to too and so ‘Operation 3’ was created.

‘Operation 3’ is my own personal mission for 2012. It is about doing a triathlon (3 events), setting 3 new personal bests (all achieved, so far, 5k – 17.42, 10k – 36.02, half marathon – 1.21.41), doing a sub 3 hour marathon (Edinburgh marathon 3.08.22…It WILL happen at 2013 London marathon!) and swimming 3km (Sunday 26th Aug). If you want to set an ‘Operation’, make it cryptic so people ask you about it therefore adding more pressure on you to achieve and you sound more committed than just saying ‘drop a dress size’ etc.

So I sit here writing this blog on Friday 17th August 2012 forcing myself to rest before it all kicks off on Sunday. Tomorrow, I will wake up and take Sam in his buggy to do the local Parkrun…I want to get my ’50’ t-shirt asap so I take every opportunity to run it. Afterwards we’ll have his official birthday party and then I will prep everything for my first race and first triathlon.

Race 1 – As London is my main triathlon, I want to do a smaller one and also I have a 57-year-old client doing her first triathlon before I do London so I want to give her as much advice as possible.  Thanks to a twitter follower @janejones444 I’m doing the Concorde Triathlon out near Reading. It’s a 400m swim (16 lengths of the 25m pool), 20k bike ride and 10k run. My aim first of all is to complete it…my ‘grow some balls’ aim is to be in the top 10…and my serious ‘kick ass’ goal is to do it in under 60mins. Targets are there to be aimed for so we’ll see! 😉 My son and girlfriend are coming to watch and as Sam loved the Olympics so much (screams “BIIIIIIKKKKEEE” at every cyclist) I can’t wait for his to see Daddy ride his BIIIIIIIKKKKEEE!!!

Race 2 – I needed to kick my ass and get swimming, so last year I checked out Human Race and found this…Marlow. It gave me 3 options, 750m, 1500m or 3000m. I’m doing the Olympic Distance in the London Triathlon which is a 1500m swim so I should have opted for the 750 or 1500 but no…I clicked on 3000m. My thought process was to go for something that you think right now is impossible and make it possible. After initially struggling to slow down and having a ‘wobbly moment’ on my first open water swim session, I swam 1500 at Shepperton Lake last weekend and feel to do another 1500 I just have to be more focussed and pace myself. We’ll see, but the thought of getting a ‘swimming medal’ is driving me on. I’ve joined and do the swimming training with Thames Turbo Triathlon Club to help make this target achievable.

Race 3 – Is the London Duathlon. I needed some motivation to get a bike and to get out on it. Also I believe the toughest part of a triathlon is to run after blasting about on a bike so what better way of testing myself than to run 10k, cycle 40k and then run another 5k?!?! If that wasn’t hard enough then it’s in Richmond Park involving a hill some call ‘Challenge Hill’ and my clients call ‘Cardiac Hill’. I acquired the bike that my Mum got for me to use when I did the 2011 First Monster Duathlon (she said she’d use it after but has since bought her own) and have been out riding quite often. I feel I was doing quite well until I was overtaken by people looking like they’re out for a leisurely ride…frustrating, however it’s a good job I can run (before the cycle part!).

Race 4 – Is a new addition to the original line up. It was called ‘Six Races in Seven Weeks’ but I couldn’t attend one of my client’s first triathlon and miss out on the opportunity for another race so along with 2 others I’ve entered the HSBC Triathlon ‘Olympic Distance Relay. Sean Tierney who swam the 3km Marlow swim with me will do the 1500m first off then hand over to Leeson Medhurst who is a very keen cyclist to do the 42.4km ride before handing over to me to hopefully do a sub 38 minute 10km run! No pressure! 😉 As I said earlier a client will be doing a race later in the day and it’s Caroline who’s 57-year-old. She’s doing the super sprint distance which is 400m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run. Great distance for a beginner and what a thing to say over coffee with your friends…”I’m 57 year old and just became a triathlete”…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

Race 5 – It’s the biggie. The one I ‘ve been looking at since it started and the one 2012 is all about, The London Triathlon. It’s hosts 13,000 triathletes over 2 days and the excitement I have for doing this one is huge. We go in waves of 250-300 so the swim start is going to be incredible, we cycle along the closed off streets of London and finish with laps that involve us running through the Excel centre where the noise and atmosphere is supposed to be deafening. I can’t wait…can you tell?!

Race 6 – Is the Ealing Half marathon and more importantly the 1st Ealing half marathon. I want to run it to say I did the first one. It’s not far from where I live but also it will help me get back into running before I tackle Race 6. You can still enter now so if you fancy a challenge go online now…see you there!

Race 7 – The final one of the ‘Six Races in Seven Weeks’ is the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon. I did this last year and have a score to settle. I got a charity place from Paul’s company Beyond Analysis which was great however, I didn’t realise that I was in the 1hr50-2hr10 group. Bearing in mind I had run the week before a new PB of 1hr24, I was annoyed when after lots of dodging slower runners I crossed the line in 1hr25m58s…I now am quite pleased as I probably ran about 13.5 miles compared to 13.1!!! My aim for this year’s race is to finish this on a high and that would be to firstly go under last years time. What I’m actually aiming for is for a new PB which is to go under 1hr21m41, but if the truth be told I’m again gunning for the magical sub 80 club. I failed to achieve this in Bath this year so maybe, just maybe this is where I could do it!!!

Please, if you feel slightly motivated, go to any of the websites and take a look. A great place to start is ParkRun check it out, it’s 5km, it’s weekly and it’s free!!!

As well as all of this I’m also taking part in the 5×50 Challenge which starts on 9th Sept. Take a look at their website and please join the #FitTeam12 Team.

Finally, I’ve joined the Beyond Analysis team to raise funds for Rett Syndrome Research Trust UK. It’s to do the Royal Parks Half but I want to try to raise a few pounds by doing the ‘Seven Races In Seven Weeks’ challenge.

Please donate here >

Many thanks,



3 thoughts on “Seven Races In Seven Weeks

  1. Go for it! You are an inspiration to the mere mortals who follow you, well done!

  2. Good luck and all the best! Very jealous of both the London Duathlon.

  3. Fantastic effort Stu, as they say in France ‘ça mérite un coup de chapeau mon vieux’!

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