2019 Race Planning
So there I was, making my way around the halfway buoy during the swim portion of Ironman Copenhagen with cartoon stars whizzing around my head after a good old-fashioned kick to the face from someone who’d spontaneously started doing breaststroke right in front of me. A sensible, rational human being would probably be thinking something along the lines of “whose stupid idea was this!?” and “never again”. This little swim-bike-run obsessed weirdo? I was thinking about next time. I wasn’t even a third of the way through my first ever Ironman and I already knew this was going to be the first of many. I’ve yet to experience childbirth (I once accidentally killed a cactus so I don’t think I should be allowed a tiny human to raise quite yet), but I’m convinced your body must release a similar hormone after an Ironman that makes you forget about the pain (and the portaloos, good grief) and suddenly you find yourself thinking that signing up for another one is a really, really good idea.
In the days after Ironman Copenhagen, I did a lot of eating, a lot of complaining about my blisters and even more watching of Ironman race videos. I was itching to plan the next adventure, so I had a decision to make – where next? My general rule of thumb with endurance racing is that if you’re going to do something painful you may as well do it somewhere picturesque and with a good post- race food selection. My Ironman ‘to do’ list gets longer by the day (I’m going to be racing them until I’m 80 at this rate!) but eventually I whittled my options for 2019 down to four choices: Barcelona, Emilia-Romagna, Vichy and Zurich. Whilst I kind of liked the idea of another fast, flat course for the sake of going for a time, I soon realised I wanted something slightly different to the course I’d just tackled at Copenhagen. The bike course at Ironman Zurich has a couple of climbs to tackle – giving me a chance to unleash my inner goat – whilst the swim and the run look really rather civilised. Add in beautiful scenery and the promise of cheese and chocolate? Sold, to the girl with the extensive tri-suit selection!
Given that Ironman Zurich isn’t until July next year, it would be easy to get complacent over the next couple of months. But I’m determined to really make the most of the off-season this year so that I can push harder than ever when it’s time to start full Ironman training again. I’ve set myself specific things to work on in each discipline over the winter – my training is going to involve some super sweaty turbo sessions, plenty of running intervals and spending more time than I’d like picking things up and putting them down again in the gym. Operation fitter, faster, stronger is on. It’s definitely not all work and no play though – thanks to the toasty warm Stolen Goat AW18 range I’m actually planning to venture outdoors on the bike this winter for some fun, social rides. I’ll be the one in the SG Quint jacket (the shark design), probably racing to the cafe stop to nab the best cake. It’s all about the mid-ride tiffin slice.
I love being nosey when it comes to other people’s race plans, so feel free to come and chat to me over on Instagram: @jennifersophiee. Make sure you check out the new AW18 range too – the Climb & Conquer winter tights are so fleecy I’m half tempted to start wearing them as loungewear.
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