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Paul Hayward: Mallorca awaits...
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Friday 6th May 2016


Tags  Mallorca  |  Paul Hayward  |  Race Force


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70.3 Mallorca – The night before the race…

With a bit of time to kill in the countdown the start of Ironman 70.3 Mallorca tomorrow, Paul Hayward (@PabloSquire) reflects on less than ideal preparations – but is taking inspiration from the buzz of the athletes village


Two months on from finding my feet again finally, I find myself in a hotel with Ironman 70.3 Mallorca tomorrow morning. The last two months have been a mix of excellent training to weeks where I have struggled to hit 10 hours training; this was not meant to be the preparation I wanted. Surprisingly though, my cycling has hit a good standard, due to a lot of winter commuting and weekend riding, and the running has been maintained somewhat. That just leaves my arch enemy smirking at me, the swim.

March started with a rude awakening via the Brutal Duathlon, through Swanage. I thought, naively, that the event would be some excellent training and give me an assessment of where I was in the grand scheme of things. However, Brutal do not appear to do “normal” events and the duathlon consisted of two 5-mile runs through Dorset’s crippling countryside split by a 23 mile bike ride with a number of hills that led me to believe I was back in South Wales. Whilst the run started well and I managed to keep a good pace, the bike kicked my arse meaning that the following run served as a sharp reminder that you can never take fitness for granted and I barely made the finish line.

Enter some much needed time on the bike, running at lunch time and back to the pool twice a week and by the end of March, and the start of my triathlon season at the Radley Triathlon, I was looking and feeling half decent. To such an extent I decided to try and be one of those “athletes” that cycled to the event (10 miles) and then cycled back wearing my medal. After a 400m swim (pool), 22k bike ride and 5k run I felt fine and I really enjoyed feeling some form of fitness again to such an extent I smiled all the way home!

Just as things were looking good for me as I entered April, work and family issues all got in the way and I struggled to string two or three days of decent training together. I managed one lake swim, two 40-mile rides (on top of the weekly commute), and by the time I hit the end of the month I was asking serious questions again. I feel heavier, despite being quicker on the bike, and fatter - which is not good given the demands of an Ironman.

With one week left, I was seriously questioning if I am good enough to do this. Yes I am an Ironman, yes I did Ironman Wales and proved I could swim, cycle and run to meet Paul Kaye and the party at the finishing line. However, you can never take that for granted, that was then and this is now. Fortunately I was able to get some vital last minute training and tips with the Race Force training weekend and took faith in my cycling, swimming and running. I know I can do it and do it well, but the mile swim still looks horrendously long (despite being so warm compared to UK water), and the bike has a descent with hills that can only be described as beyond technical.

Related Article - Getting to know the RACE FORCE

So, where does that leave us? I guess it would not be normal if I was not nervous, or really nervous, but I have to have faith that the adrenaline will set in and will take over enabling me to set off at a decent pace in the swim to make the finish line once again. Fate brought a chance meeting with Paul Kaye and he told me he would be there, waiting!

Related Article - Paul Kaye: The Voice of Ironman Europe

That is it really, I have to make this for more than one reason. This has not gone to plan, as many similar journeys no doubt have, but within minutes of being in the athlete’s village you cannot help but have butterflies. Ironman does something to you and every time you feel it, you cannot help but want to be part of something special and I need to push as hard as possible to make that line!

More information on racing abroad, the logistics and support can be found here: www.raceforce.co.uk


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