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Getting over the Ironman blues
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 8th March 2016


Tags  703 Mallorca  |  Mallorca  |  Paul Hayward


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Paul Hayward's Road to Mallorca, Part One

More regularly seen clambering up ropes and over obstacles in the mud (about which he writes for our sister site, www.run247.com), Paul Hayward (@PabloSquire) added triathlon to his sporting CV in 2015, when he trained for an finished Ironman Wales.

Like many before him, Paul found that the "Ironman blues" followed some weeks later, eventually going to a "dark place" - mostly containing cake! Eventually, mojo has been found and a new target set. Here is his first update on the road to Ironman 70.3 Mallorca 2016.


I have read a lot about the “Ironman blues” or the “hang over” that happens once you have done an Ironman. I was warned that my life would become somewhat empty without the rigorous training regime and the end goal of the red carpet. Once you get over the immortal words of Paul Kaye, “you are an Ironman” echoing in your ears - nothing quite feels the same and you become disheartened.

Related Article - Paul Kaye: The Voice of Ironman Europe

Paul Hayward ©Marathon Photos

I did not experience this or at least, I did not see it coming at the beginning. I finished the Ironman in September and I had a week off training, or doing any form of exercise, and I just ate a lot of chocolate trying to take it all in and catch up with the many people that I had neglected. Despite being exhausted from Ironman Wales, naively I started training again and pushing myself by entering a half marathon and taking on some more Obstacle Course Racing. To start with it was fine, I wasn't energised but I was not slow and lethargic. I was still doing respectable times and feeling fit.

Related Article - Paul Hayward's Ironman Wales 2015

Paul Hayward ©Marathon PhotosThis was fine for a month or so, then the wheels truly came off and through November and December 2015. I experienced an awfully dark period where I was short of energy, for example I struggled to do a parkrun, and truth be told I fell out of love with exercise in general. I just could not be bothered anymore, there was always something better to do. I did not even return to my favourite circuits class, something I was looking forward to doing and 80 lengths in the pool was a distant memory. Yet I continued to eat cake most days of the week and wait for the backlash from my waistline.

I am not sure of the turning point, but it came in January 2016 when I realised I was taking on the original obstacle course race, Tough Guy, and that I would need to run again. If I did not then I may well die given the dropout rate of a third. I also bought myself a winter bike in the sale to cycle to work on as I could not face the turbo again. On sitting on this bike and my first ride to work; something inside of me wanted to push again, wanted to go back to the pool and most importantly feel that elation when you were at the red carpet.

Related Article - Tough times at Tough Guy

The issue was - I would not get away with training for Tenby again. As much as I would love to go back, no doubt be scared all over again and be humbled at every part of that race, I could not do that to my girlfriend. I had promised her that I would spend more time with her this year and that meant that I needed a half distance, but with a “pull” that would mean I could take the girlfriend to minimal objection and give her some sun. 

The idea of Ironman 70.3 Mallorca was born. Warm sun? Check. Sangria? Check. A 70.3 event? Check. On looking on the Facebook page there were less than a 100 entries remaining and I felt that I had no real option but to enter. I had heard about the hill and the heat but it sounded idyllic. I would worry about the logistics later (which thankfully would be handled through the excellent RaceForce), and firstly sell the idea to both the girlfriend and more importantly, to myself.

Related Article - Getting to know the RACE FORCE

I am pleased to say that since the beginning of February I have got back in the pool and, along with all the new swimmers, put my hat back on and started pushing again. I will not lie, the break has not done me any good and I think three months out of the pool has done more damage than good. But getting back in the pool has given me some focus and I realised that Ironman Mallorca 70.3 was not going to be enough, I wanted to go back to an Olympic distance too and banish the memory of being the last bike out of transition.

That memory still haunted me and one race seemed apt, WTS Leeds and my season was born.

Related Article - Enter WTS Leeds Olympic Distance and save £10

On visiting the Triathlon Show: London, I got the chance to test the new Zone3 2016 Aspire wetsuit. Last year I competed in the Zone3 Vision and, due to the extra buoyancy on the legs, I thought it was an incredible suit for the price, it just picked you up and exuded confidence. The Aspire was a different level, I seemed to glide through the water and it felt natural. I could not believe how lightweight and smooth the suit was, but just how much it performed.

I've got a winter bike and a new wetsuit, if anything I am becoming more and more of a triathlete as the time passes. If I can just go part time then I have a half a chance of doing well.


The 2016 Zone 3 range can be viewed here: www.racezone3.com and more information on racing abroad, the logistics and support can be found here: www.raceforce.co.uk.


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