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19 August 2016

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It has been a while...and lots of swimming...

14 June 2016

I keep starting these updates with "it has been a while"...well it has, nearly 18 months since my last post...a lot has happened, I have finally started running again, now up to 6k (wow....) and I have put triathlons on hold for the meantime....well I cannot run enough for an old let alone a half or full....and

I have entered and completed my second Thames Marathon (formerly the Bridge to Bridge) and the Dart 10k. Also I am currently training for my Windermere One way in Sept, as well as a few other races....

Jun - Great East Swim 2016 - 5k (
Aug - Inn to Inn Swim 2016 - 2.8k (
Aug - Thames Marathon 2016 - 14.8k (
Sept -  Windermere One Way 2016 - 16k (

From the bottom to the top....10miles.....that is a long way - over 5-6 hours continuous swimming...just try to think about that....640 lap of a 25m pool....and in variable conditions depending on the weather...

All in all a fair number of swims - plus I have raised £748 for FRANK Water (You can donate here :-) far :-)

As to training...a lot of swimming....yes that is a lot in May...

Over 60km....just wish I could find the time every month....

I will try and update this again a bit later :-)

What my ankle did next....recovery

26 January 2015

So 2014 came and went, a year that was spent mostly swimming and in physio trying to sort out my ankle (peroneal tendonopathy). Sadly by November it was clear that physio was not going to work so I booked to have the surgery in early January, with the hope that only part of the year would be written off., at the same time I sadly had to part ways with and my coach Mike Redshaw - he has been a fantastic coach and I hope that when this injury is sorted I can think about going back and working with him again, but for the meantime I could not justify having a coach whilst not triaining properly for several months.

The day of the surgery came and after feeling very hungry I was eventually walked down to the theatres (or OR in US speak), I was maked up for surgery:

The initial diagnosis of peroneal tendon tendonopathy was only partly correct, when the surgeon opened the tendon sheath, apart from the synovial overgrowth (that causes a lot of the issue with tendonopathy) there was a nodule near one of retinacula (which hold the tendon in place) and it was rubbing, in addition there was a split in the tendon itself. She removed the nodule, sutured the tendon and removed a lot of the synovium, before closing. Once the procedure was finished my leg was put into a back plate splint cast which held my foot at a slightly extended angle.

I was in this for two weeks before the wound was reviewed. So I went and got a CastCover ( this made a big difference as it covered the bandages, kept them clean, dry and most importantly meant I had warm toes!

During this time I was on copious amounts of ibuprofen, paracetamol and codeine phosphate, partly due to the sickening pain but also as the sutures were rubbing the inside of the cast - not nice.

Last week the cast came off and was replace by a sexy neoprene and plastic ankle brace/boot.

I am in this for another month, with the hope that I can rehab quickly once the would heals. This is slow going as the wound reopened over the weekend, but we are getting there so what does it look like now?

After the sutures came out.
After it started to reopen


Fingers crossed this can improve and I can can get back to training as I feel very unfit!

Races planned this year so far are: The Henley Classic and The Henley Bridge to Bridge, and the Dart 10K - yes all swims and yes all long distance 2.1km, 14.1km and 10km is another swimming year...


When the Le Tour came to Cambridgshire and training for a long swim

15 July 2014

With July came a step up in distance for training for the Henley B2B. They average time I spent in to pool increased dramatically and the 16-1800m lake swims seem a distant memory. This week I have my first 6km swim planned, currently my longest has been just over 4km..but as you can see from the images below there is a big difference in my focus in this year compared to last -

Whilst the percentage may have gone up a fair amount, my distance has doubled, in 2013 I swam approx 19km in the period June to July and in the past 28 days I have hit 42km, this is over 10km a week which is almost as much as I used to do when I was a little sprog training in Carrick Sharks in Truro....

It feels great, my stroke is improving, I am more comfortable zoning out when swimming, I am gradually getting used to the idea of what I consider uber long swims (10km+) and I am enjoying it...

As for my ankle - it is improving gradually. I had a brief hiatus of improvement when I cycled Jules to the TdF on the tag along (she really is a bit big for it) but it was fun :-)

We had a great spot on the route out from Cambridge to Saffron Walden, below were the two riders who led for all but the last 5km on this stage:
 and the eventual winner, Kittel, mid shot:
 and the KOM:
They looked like they were not going fast - but they were doing 40+kph at the time...seriously good riders- an amazing day :-)

So June is almost over

29 June 2014

As June draws to a close my main race of the season is looming like a big scary thing, just over the brow of the hill...the 14km Bridge to Bridge swim....Aug 10 2014....

So what is it? Another year, just another challenge? 

Well, yes and no, the Bridge to Bridge swim is an endurance 14km swim from Henley to Marlow Bridge on the Thames. To give you some perspective, the swimming equivalent to a running a marathon is the 10km race – this is longer, almost half as far again, although it is with the current so on a good day it feels like a 10km (apparently)...

The reason I have this opportunity is I am not training for a triathlon.

My racing season finished before it started, not due to work or time pressures but just due to my body failing. During training, I developed tendonopathy in my ankle so I am out of running for 4-6 months and never being one to sit about and do nothing I started looking for a new challenge. I had looked at the Bridge to Bridge race several times but training up to swim that distance takes more time than I could afford, but not training for running means this year I have that time.

So far the swimming has progressed fairly well, I finished 5th in my age group at the FT Eton Swim (1500m) on 26 May and 9th in AG at the Great East Swim (1 mile).

For the first time since I raced IRONMAN Switzerland I am trying something I don’t know if I can finish. 

Please help by sponsoring me, so when I feel like quitting I will know that there is a good reason to keep going! I have this great opportunity due to FRANK Water Projects, they had a late spot when the regular entries had sold out. FRANK Water Projects ( is a small charity (Registered charity no. 1121273) that funds sustainable clean water projects in developing countries across the world. Since it started in 2005 it has funded 116 village projects. In a world where more than 4,000 children die EVERY DAY from a lack of clean drinking water, it’s clear that help is needed – please help me support this worthwhile small charity go to 

And the words of Dory.....just keep swimming, just keep swimming......

A new bike position

17 April 2014

A couple of days ago I headed up to Bridgtown bikes (our tri club sponsor) to get a bike fit. I saw James, he and Mike (the owner) are the two senior fitters there. He spent a few hours watching me spin and tinkering with the fit, no computers were involved and the brief of improving head position and back position seem to have been sorted.

The results are above, so far they look pretty good :-) feel good on the turbo and I hope the end result will be very good when I get out on the road this weekend :-)

I cannot recoment them highly enough, a lot has been written about Retul fitting, but that depends significantly on a computer package and tends to be one dimensional, and often without the experience of someone like James or Mike.

If you need a bike fitted I would go here: /


So that was 2013....

14 March 2014

I had intended to write this blog in early 2014, i.e. January at some point butI failed miserably probably due to the fact that despite having two weeks off I spent most of it trying to do home stuff and looking after the girls...

How was 2013:

Lost weight 98kgs by Aug for Ely (after I had identified my cushionoid syndrome)
Riding was improved - more consistent >200W output
Running was better when it worked
PB'd at Ely (although the bike was short I would have still PBd)

Gained weight at the end of 2012 (108kgs in Jan 2012)
Didn't run enough so when I did I was plagued with injuries
Good swim/bike at Ely killed by a poor run...
Races entered and cancelled
Swiming suffered

However I have managed to get some training in too, just not as much as I would like

Training has been pretty good. I have, in the most part, got in one swim and a couple of runs/rides per week. Most of the riding has been on the trusty turbo - as the nights are too dark and the roads too slippery... Currently I am critically reviewing what I need to sort on the TT bike before the Sierakow Middle Distance race (my first of the year...). It needs a strip and clean, but most things seem okay, however I need to revisit wheel choice, I am finding that I can flex the H3 rear on the turbo, I am seriously considering a disc, which means a limited choice as I run clinchers and would prefer an alu brake track, currently the Circo[check spelling] disc is looking good - will just have to see.

As for the running this has been equally split between on and off road running. The run at Sierakow is a trail run. I purchased a pair of Brooks PureGrit2s early on this year and decided to get off the asphalt - what a revalation! Off road running is hard! It is so much harder than road running, and I thought I was going to break something on my first outing, the mud was ankle deep and the paths slippery even with trail shoes.

As for the Brooks PG2s I have read a lot of mixed reviews on them. They are good - really comfy running, the grip is adequate on mud but I expect it to be superb on dry dirt track. The majority of criticism for it is around wet/mud grip...wet grip on asphalt is good but on deep mud it all goes a bit squirly, however I doubt Innov8 or Salomon shoes would have been better in the stuff on the trails over the past few weeks - spikes would be good!

Overall at the moment I would rate them a 7/10 for performance, and a 10/10 for fit, not surprising as the last is the same as my Brooks PureFlow2s which I love :-) Finally, on running, this week I managed an experience I had not tried before - snow running! I was in Espoo, just outside of Helsinki and I did a (sadly) short run in cold snowy conditions. The snow trail was lightly packed by skidoos and I had taken some Yaxtrax Pro snow grips for my trainers - they were amazing. All in all great fun, hard work, but fun. Plus the birds and animals are different there so it made for a really enjoyable run.

The Monster Middle Distance 18 Aug 2013 - please support me!

13 August 2013

So this year has not gone exactly as planned...I had great ideas about doing a full IM distance race didn’t happen due to a whole host of reasons, then I thought let’s do several 70.3s (like a couple of years ago) – this also did not happen due to work commitments, so finally I thought I would enter a couple of swims and do a half ironman distance race. The swims were cancelled which left a half ironman....The Monster Middle Distance ( that is this weekend...18 Aug 2013!

Unlike previous years where I have emailed everybody LOTs before a race I thought I would leave it to the last minute this year – I am not sure if that was a good choice this year but we will see! Unfortunately my training has run in a similar vein and this year I have managed a whole four weeks building for this – so anything could happen...

The race is a standard half ironman distance race - 1.9km swim in the River Ouse followed by a 90(ish)km bike around the Fens topped off with a half marathon (21.1km) around the beautiful town of Ely (with its amazing cathedral). It is not a big event – 350 participants – but it is close to home and looks aim is to try and beat my PB for this distance – in 2009 it took me 8hrs 53mins last year 6hrs 7mins – let’s see what 2013 brings.

Now for a little bit about the charity I am supporting with this race. Last year I met Andrew Howden (another member of the BCTTT triathlon club) and he inspired me to try and raise a little cash for the charity that supports his daughter, Beatrice.

Beatrice has a life limiting disease, Type II SMA – Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This amongst other things means she will never walk, run or play in the same way other children do. She is bright and into everything, eager to explore the world around her and she is always happy and ready to greet everyone she meets with a big smile and a wave.

Unfortunately, the Government does not offer funding for the powered chair that was designed specifically for what Beatrice needs to be mobile at this early age. The early years for Beatrice, as with all children, are very important in learning and development, therefore early access to mobility is imperative. One of the key attributes of children with SMA is that they are exceptionally intelligent. Limited mobility at an early age, however, can limit opportunities for learning and exploring the child’s environment.

So why am I telling you this? Well, every year since I got serious about triathlon I have tried to raised a little cash for good causes please help me to do the same this year.

I am not keen of sending money to an anonymous organisation who loose significant amounts in admin costs and don’t pass as much as they can onto those who need it most, but instead I prefer to find a charity which is small and needs support for the hard work they do. I am raising funds to support Beatrice and her family through the charity A Smile for a Child (Charity Registration No. 1123357).

Any amount large or small will help this small charity immensely so (if you can) please be generous! Please go to my just giving site ( and donate. You can also follow me on my blog or on twitter @isainsbury.
Thank you in advance,

Best wishes,
Iain. there goes my plans for the year....

3 May 2013

Well as I guessed would happen, my year of racing is well and truly in bits.....for once not due to injury but instead because of...guess I was asked to step up and support one of the global directors and now my diary is in freefall...between now and mid June I have three trips to Chicago, one to Madrid (for over a week) and one to Mexico City (for two days)...unfortunately these clash with at least two of the races I was planning and another clashes with my eldest daughter's play....

So....where does that leave me...well...I think I need a new challenge in my diary, I am seriously considering the Bridge to Bridge swim (, their description of it is:

BRIDGE TO BRIDGE is a 14 km endurance downstream River Thames swimming event, from Henley Bridge to Marlow Bridge. This event is more relaxed than a race, and is aimed only at serious open water swimmers who would like to include a long distance challenge in their summer open water swimming season

14km...hmmm....can I do it? Well the longest I have swum 'open water' is between 4-5km when training for IMCH...and the furthest I have ever swum is 10km but I was in my teens and it was in a 14.1km.....could be interesting - I reckon I could keep up with the silver pod or at a stretch the gold pod....hmmm....

Two weeks after this is the Monster Middle....a 70.3ish race near appeals as it is biggest concern though is training....I just seem to be in a complete training vacuum...whenever I think things are getting better I seem to take two steps back....either through injury/work or illness...

Regardless I am still keen to race this year and I would like to do at least one 70.3, a long swim and maybe a couple of Oly distance races....let see what happens....

On the plus side the new Huub Archimedes is simply stunning...a 1.8km swim in it was executed with little effort in is supple, buoyant well fitting (in size SS) and the bicep/calf release panels really do seem to is light years ahead of my old Orca Alpha...and I really mean that...

Once I have had a bit more experience I will write a more complete review


Over 10k visitors and a long ride

8 April 2013

Wow - today the blog went over the 10,000 visitors milestone - I must say I am a little amazed!! Okay some of them will be from accidental clicks/webots but a lot of them are repeat offenders - if you are one of them - THANKS!

So "a long ride" I had a few mins waiting fro a Kwik-Fit man to turn up to sort the tyres on Liz's Volvo I thought I would put a few notes down on my longest (outdoor) ride this year. On Sunday I went out and did what seems to me a slow 50km/2hr ride. It did however include a number of local hills (some of which might almost be called climbs...) hence the low speed - also I was doing a set program of:

30min W/U Easy

5min easy effort (RPE 11)
5min tempo effort (RPE 13)
5 min overgearing (RPE 17+)

The full route can be seen here:

But I thought I would focus on a few of the best bits (hills). The first 30mins is a gentle climb to the A505 and then the ride properly starts with a steady climb to Barley (the first hill of the day). This begins easily and winds up in the last 200m or so:

Once into Barley the route takes a left and heads for the only windmill for miles - obviously at the top of a hill!

This is a simple steady hill which is just long enough to make you puff if you are in the wrong gear - as I was!!

However it is at this point the toughest hill of the day appears - just down hill a little and then up to the infamous Passo d'GranChisell

The last 100m of this is deceptive - all in all a good climb. After this it is a relatively simple bike route which zips down some good descents (ruined yesterday for me as someone had smashed a glass on the road so a few bunny hops saved me...) and skirts along beside a river (where I saw a family of hares - very cool and fast!), before going up again to Wendons Ambo, a really short climb hidden round a corner:


After this it is a simple run back to home via some fast main roads - including my favourite stretch between Littlebury and Great Chesterford - great tarmac quality and lots of false flats. The data showed some good efforts on the hills - I use a CycleOps PowerCal HR strap (Powercal at Wiggle) - I was seriously sceptical about it (There is a great review here) but I have to say I am constantly amazed how it computes an extimate of power - I have checked against my calibrated turbo and RPE and it all seems pretty much bang on - seriously impressed!

Anyhow - back to reality, today was a hard run (see below) - nothing in the legs - probably as I worked hard yesterday but at least tomorrow is a core set (and I have a couple of days off to spend time with the girls - they are on school holiday) :-)

Thanks for reading.

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