One month to go and what have I learned? Ursula’s final training blog


One month to go and I am so happy that I am not injured, have not emigrated, and am still ready to do what is billed as the hardest ironman distance triathlon. A few more days and I will be 50. Everything just gets better!

ursi in running vest

This time last year I had a crazy fear of swimming with my head immersed.  I had just bought a road bike. I had never contemplated doing a marathon. One year on and things are very different.

This is what I have learned:

  1. Swimming is a lot easier with your head under water
  2. Windermere has big scary waves.
  3. Cycling mountains is much easier out of the seat in a higher gear
  4. Sports drinks give you tooth decay. Ouch.
  5. The pain involved in riding up Hardknott is nothing compared to toothache!
  6. Run tall and relaxed….always
  7. Train specific
  8. Relax your shoulders, breath from your abdomen and stay in the moment.
  9. Positive self-talk. Don’t let doubts drag you down.
  10. If it scares you, keep doing it, until it doesn’t.
  11. Train with others for fun but train by yourself to make the biggest progressions so you can stop when you want, eat when you want and pee when you want.
  12. Say thank you for every amazing moment.
  13. Stay away from Mark Blackburn if he comes up with any other ideas for endurance events.
cyclists ascending

“The pain of riding up Hardknott is nothing compared to toothache”

As a Personal Trainer, if I can’t train myself, who can I train? It has been great to see my own progression in things I never dreamed I could do. I genuinely hope this experience will help me improve the way I train others.

Thank you to all the people who have given me invaluable tips along the way. I hear your voices every time I’m out training…

  • “Get really quick at changing gear”. Thank you, Martin Brotherton.
  • “Use the whole of the road when climbing passes”. Thank you, Louise Beetham
  • “Ride as though you are wiping dog muck off your shoes”. Thank you, Paul Dixon
  • “Change up gear when going uphill”. Thank you, Lee Black
  • “Keep your feet together at the end of each stroke”. Thank you, Katie Marston
  • “Bring your head out of the water before your arms”. Thank you, Lee Read
  • “Run tall and increase your cadence” Thank you, Paul Tierney
  • “Don’t peak too soon” Thank you, Chris Stirling (to be honest, I’m not going to peak at all!)
  • “Enjoy it” Thank you, Mike Durkin

There have been many local people who have been amazing. Thank you to Pete from Swim the Lakes for the wetsuit that has enabled me to train in all weathers.

Thank you to Adam Smith for his magic massage hands.

Most of all thank you to all the local people who believe I can do it.

I have decided to raise money for Nurture Lakeland because I believe being in nature promotes health. The Fix the Fells project in the Lake District enables us to walk, cycle, run, gain wheelchair access to many spectacular places that really do improve the quality of our lives.

If you would like to donate, please go to Mydonate pages or on my FB page.

I don’t expect to see you at 4.30am on the  June 25 at YHA Ambleside, but if you are there, can you have a hot chocolate waiting for me when I get out of the water or even better, a pair of flippers and some armbands before I get in!

A better time to be around will be from 3pm at the YHA when 220 Ironmen will be coming back from their epic bike ride. I only wish I was there to see them.

Hope you can be there on the day. I think it’s going to be a fantastic spectacle and everybody likes to cheer on the underdog. So go for it, Paul Davies!







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