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Fri 17th Sep 2021
Simon Ward: the training partners
Posted by: Simon Ward
Posted on: Saturday 26th April 2014

Tags  Hawaii 50  |  Ironman Lanzarote  |  Kona 2014  |  Simon Ward

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Just three weeks to go now until Simon Ward gets to see whether his planning, preparation (and of course, training...), will be enough to produce the desired result at Ironman Lanzarote, as his Hawaii50 project is rapidly reaching deadline day.

We've been following Simon's progress through his column since he initially announced his target, almost one year ago. In this latest update, rather than Simon himself, his 'training partners' have decided to give you their perspective on his preparations. Meet Hattie Helix, Fabrizia Fondriest and Sammi Skechers...

Hello everyone, we are Simon's training partners and we wanted to give you a different perspective on how he is preparing for Ironman Lanzarote which is just under three weeks away now.

I'm Hattie Helix from Blue Seventy and I'm Simon's wetsuit. I'm a bit like and on-off lover because I live in Lanzarote and while he's here we have a torrid affair, hooking up most days for an hour or so of frolicking in the water. When he's back in the UK he has a permanent girlfriend called Jemima Jammer who he sees three times a week but it's me he loves most and I'm the one who's going to help him get to Hawaii, although he says if he qualifies I wont be able to go with him.

In 2013 I last saw Simon at the Great North Swim. We had a good day out but then he just went off the radar for six months. I didn't see him until November when he came back to Lanzarote for a few days. He must have enjoyed my company because he's been back every month since then. I must say I have noticed a big change in him since then. He's lost so much weight and we fit together much better now. It used to be a bit of a struggle to get me on but now its so easy.

I've noticed that he's also a lot fitter and his open water swimming is much better. This must be due to the two Alan's (his swim coaches in the UK), but I've also got a part to play because he only does pool swimming with them. If he wants to qualify for Kona then I'm the one who's going to be there for him in the whole swim. The way he's swimming at the moment I reckon he could go sub 55 minutes. Not super-fast by my standards (one of my old boyfriends could swim 48 minutes), but pretty good for an old guy. Last year one of my friends was going out with the fastest 50-54 year old men and he only managed 59 minutes. Anyway less than three weeks to go and I'm super excited. Its going to be a blast.

Bongiorno, my name is Fabrizia Fondriest and I'm Simon's bike. We've only been together for a few months and I'm what you might call his “bike on the side”. Like all Italian women I am beautiful and a bit of a handful. I don't want to be a full-time “wifey”. In fact his English wife, plain old Priscilla Planet X is welcome to him. I just want to spend quality time with Simon and be with him for special moments, like Ironman Lanzarote in a few weeks time. I am a thoroughbred and I like to go faaaaast. In fact I'm not sure if he can live with me for more than  few days at a time. At his age he is probably best off with a slower old English woman.

You see, I have a sleek aerodynamic frame with a very low front end and amazingly quick AMP wheels. The combination of my low front end, slippery shape and the super smooth roads will help us to be real quick on race long as his old body can stay the distance

But I can tell you this. In his last visit to see me in Lanza he was much faster on some of our training rides. Early on in the year we averaged 24-25kmh on long rides but recently we have been averaging nearly 28kmh. In fact on one ride we nearly averaged 30kmh for two hours, but on race day we'll have to do this for six hours. Simon has promised me that he'll be well rested when he gets here and he'll need to be because like any Italian woman, I'm going to wear him out. I know he loves me and he's told me that on his next visit for the race he'll be wearing a super sexy outfit for me. I don't know what it will be yet but it's super sleek and skin tight and I know its gonna be just what an Italian goddess wants to see on her big day. Let me tell you this. When he left me the other day he looked great and he was riding so strongly. He powered up Fire Mountain in the aero position, although I don't want him doing that on race day. In fact I might bring along a friend to make sure he doesn't go too hard. Sarah Stages, the power meter has offered to lend a hand and I might take her up on the offer. So, less than 21 days to go now and I cant wait.

Hey there, I'm Sammi Skechers and I am arguably the most important woman in Simon's life. You see no matter how important Hattie and Fabrizia think they are, I'm the one who is going to get him to the finish line. Running has always been Simon's weak link and that's why we've been spending so much time together. I don't just see him in Lanzarote. I live with him in Yorkshire as well. I must say that the Lanzarote climate is warmer than Leeds but its also much harder on us both. The heat and the hard roads mean I'm really going to have to look after him on race day. The key thing is for me to make sure that we don't go too fast at the start. I really must have a word with Hattie and Fabrizia (we are all good friends and only too aware that this is a team effort), to make sure they don't push Simon too hard in the early stages. I'll be waiting in T2 wanting him to arrive feeling fresh and like he's only just done a warm up. Then I'm going to have to slow him down for the first few k's and it is after 20k that I'll really do my stuff. Whispering sweet nothings and giving him confidence in the second half will be so important.

We've done more miles together in the last 12 months than he has ever done before with any of his previous girlfriends but I'm still not sure if it will be enough. His running technique is so much better this year: we've done lots of technique work and I'm convinced its working. We even ran a section of the course the other day after a 70km hilly ride. We averaged 5m 23s/km which is about what we need to do on race day. I think he felt good. I couldn't hear him breathing but I know he had tired legs and I could feel he was landing a bit heavy. That said, he'd done a big ride in France the weekend before and I know he was getting over a slight cold so perhaps that was the reason why.

He's got just three weeks to go until race day so we wont be doing much between now and then. Just ticking over but more importantly letting those legs rest up..

So were are nearly there. The first act in the Hawaii50 project is nearly complete. My taper is underway and I'd like to say thanks for all the support that I have had so far to the following people involved with the Hawaii50 project...

  • Andy, John and Paul at Tri247 for the opportunity to write this blog and especially to Andy for his hard work in helping put together my sponsors
  • Tom Whitfield and the guys at Blue Seventy - Guys, I love your wetsuits
  • Brian Stanwick (Impact Cycles) for the Fondriest Chrono TT - This bike is awesome
  • Mark at AMP Hoops - These wheels are so light and super fast. I love them
  • Brett Worth at Skechers. Thanks for the shoes guys. They are comfortable and light. Just what I need in Lanzarote
  • Colin McNeill at Raceskin - Thanks for putting the kit together at the last minute. the shorts are lovely and pink IS a great colour

Supported by the following brands

Hawaii Sponsors Sketchers Impact CT FondriestLe Beau VeloAMP Vekta Velosport

Simon Ward About the Author

Simon Ward is the founder of, the most experienced group of coaches in the UK. You can contact him on 08700 418131, by e-mailing [email protected] or by visiting

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