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Wed 24th Apr 2019
Bob Holloway: back... again?!
Posted by: Bob Holloway
Posted on: Wednesday 3rd July 2013

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It's been a while - and there have been a few aborted attempts - but this time, fingers crossed, Bob Holloway is on the way back to fitness and racing triathlons again in 2014.

Since suffering a serious bi-lateral pulmonary embolism in 2009, Bob's focus has been as much on regaining his health as well as his fitness, but this time, the omens are good, progress is beig made and - being a true triathlete at heart - moving up and Age Group next year has provided added incentive to dust off the trisuit once again...

You can follow Bob's column on tri247 HERE.

I don't know who holds the record for the most come-backs, but I'm pretty sure I must be in with a good shout. I haven't counted, but I think this must be the third or fourth blog here on where I've announced that I am once again about to take the triathlon world by storm. Well, we can dream can't we?

As you might have guessed, I am back in training again so what is different about this time? Will it all fizzle out again? The honest answer is that I very much hope not but that like most things in life, nothing is ever certain. Make no mistake, triathlon is in my blood and I miss it like hell when I'm not training, racing and above all, sharing time with the great people I have met over all my years in the sport since 1989. So if all goes according to plan, I will be competing again next year and hopefully crossing swords with some of my old adversaries.

So what sort of shape am I in? People often talk about “apple” or “pear” body types. “Orange” would be the most apt description of me at the moment. At the London marathon in 1987 I tipped the scales at nine stone and my ideal racing weight for triathlon was a shade over ten stone. A few weeks back I weighed in at 13st 4lbs but even after just one week of run training, I am now a leading candidate for slimmer of the year having recorded 12st 13lbs!

So yes, I am fat and unfit and can manage to hold nine minute miling for two or three miles. Oh how I long for those days when I could hold sub six minutes per mile over any distance. But that was then. Now, I need to concentrate on plenty of aerobic training to get the weight off and to improve my endurance base. Running was always the strongest part of my triathlon racing so the plan for the rest of the year is to slowly build up to running 30 miles or so a week including one hill session, one interval session and one long weekend run. These will be interspersed with easy, recovery runs. I will also be hopping on the turbo trainer to help minimise any running overuse injury. As for the wet stuff, it will be some time before I even dare to think about slipping on the wetsuit so open water swimming may have to wait until next year. But who knows, if I shed enough weight over the next month or so, I may be tempted to pop down for an early morning open water swim sans wetsuit!

Despite my determination and motivation, I am mindful that all might not be plain sailing. After five major eye operations, my vision is remarkably good given what I've been through, but I have only about 20% peripheral vision in my right eye and I have no idea yet how this might affect swimming and navigating in open water. Swimming in a straight line was never one of my better points and I always took comfort in the knowledge that my slower times in the water were due entirely to the fact that I had swum twice the distance as everybody else! So far, my running doesn't seem to be affected by my poor vision and I have yet to venture out on to the open roads on the bike yet, so that is another unknown.

In 2009, I suffered a bi-lateral pulmonary embolism. It's just about the only thing I share in common with fellow triathlete Marc Jenkins. It could have been fatal, but my consultant at the time was convinced that my fitness and training over a prolonged period had saved my bacon. Thankfully, there has been no hint of any relapse, but despite numerous and detailed tests, no-one has ever been able to explain why I developed the DVT in the first place. Above all else, it is that uncertainty that, up to now, has held me back. It has taken some four years for me to bite the bullet and say, life's too short to worry about things that you will never understand. From now on, it will be a case of training as hard as my ageing and ailing body will allow and seeing where things end up.

I've been fortunate enough to hit the podium on a regular basis in all the age groups I've raced in, except for the 55 to 60 group. Next April, I will be 60 not out. Moving up to a new age group is always a massive motivation and so it is with a great deal of enthusiasm and confidence that I look forward to next year. I'm trying hard not to think about racing at this stage, but the competitive streak inside me, already has me looking at winning times of my new age group and thinking to myself “yeah, I could beat that”.

So don't be surprised if I turn up next year at the local Thames Turbo Sprint races. The Windsor Sprint is also part of my plans, unless of course it has sold out already! As for this year, if all goes well, I might consider having a go at the Thruxton Duathlon. It wouldn't be pretty; it wouldn't be fast, but it would be a race and that will suit me right down to the ground!

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Re: Bob Holloway: back... again?!
Posted by 400m
Posted at 10:55:42 3rd Jul 2013
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Best wishes Bob