The AJ Bell London Triathlon may be over for another year, but there are plenty more challenges of its kind coming up.
This was my first triathlon - in fact my first fitness challenge that went beyond the egg and spoon races we did at school. I took it on with the hope of sorting out my fitness.
I competed in the sprint, which is ideal for a first-timer and comprised a 750m swim, 10k cycle and a 5k run.
Then I sat down after the event and gave myself a good grilling on what health benefits completing the challenge afforded me.
How was your fitness coming into this?
Not ideal. While I love a good swim, my nickname of Bish the Fish may have more to do with my enjoyment of a drink or two than my profeciency in the pool. I also have a worrying addiction to potatoes.
Fair to say then, that you weren’t in ideal health for a typical 28-year-old?
How rude, but yes.
So what has been the main benefit you’ve taken away?
It’s given me a regular exercise routine. When you know you’ll be competing in front of hundreds of people, you are pushed to not make a complete fool of yourself by making sure you have at least a base level of fitness to blend in among the athletic gods and goddesses.
That doesn’t sound completely positive...
It doesn’t feel that way to start, but once you’ve begun the training and you feel yourself getting fitter it’s such a great feeling. I did workouts little and often, with one rest day a week.
Loads. I have a new found love for running (and I hated it before), a better understanding of actually how fit my body is and a new drive to reach my peak fitness level. I even drink less too.
It is also a great way to get more in tune with your body (if I hadn’t I would’ve injured myself for sure).
People sounded stange to me before when they chirped “just listen to your body” but I am now one of them.
What did it not achieve that you’d hoped it would?
I was keen to lose weight through the whole process, but coming out the other side it’s clear this isn’t wise to do that before or during the challenge.
However, with that goal in mind the discipline gives you but a strong backbone to build on. Fingers crossed.
Any last words?
This is the last thing I ever imagined myself doing but it was great.
If anyone is vaguely considering something like this my honest advice would be to do it. Take things at your own pace and hopefully you’ll love them like I did.
The variety of a triathlon is such a good experience as well – it’s a great way to improve your fitness across your whole body and possibly force yourself out of your comfort zone.