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The aim of this post is to give you an insight into my training and mindset to compete in my first triathlon in May 2016.

I was looking for a project to keep me in shape over the winter and to help me focus on my fitness. I will be 50 later on this year and wanted a challenge to help me into my 50th year. I thought about a triathlon as it is considered the ultimate in endurance events. My inspiration to complete a triathlon came from a very unusual source, the breakfast tv presenter Louise Minchin. She is a bit younger than me and now represents her country in her age group, my thoughts were that if she can do it then so can I. One of the guys that I know does Iron Man events but I thought that was beyond me so I opted to do a sprint event (400m pool swim, 26km cycle and 6.4km run). For me that was a scary prospect as this was well out of my comfort zone. I also wanted to do it for a worthwhile cause so I opted to raise money for a local hospice having met the income generation manager at a networking event.

Training was not easy. I have never really been a runner so I had to work on that. My swimming was not very clever either whilst my strongest discipline was the cycling. So, what did I do? With one of my clients I joined a running group to work on that and started swimming regularly. The running was initially hard work. My locality is quite hilly and is an excellent training ground to build up the strength in the legs. I started swimming regularly in my local swimming baths to improve my technique with limited results. My cycling had always been strong so I developed that through the winter. Was this easy? No, it wasn’t. I had to do a lot of my training early in the morning (before 6.30am), due to commitments with my day job, when it was cold, wet and still dark. There were times when I came home either soaked through, unable to feel my fingers or toes or both.

I kept plugging away with my training and slowly but surely got better and stronger. My stamina increased as did my performance and I started to have the self belief that I could put all this together and make it happen. I started to put the bits together and my performance improved again and it was at that point I knew that I could complete this event.

Come race day I wasn’t nervous. I was excited and couldn’t wait for the event to start. I knew the swimming would be my weakest part and fortunately that was the first section. I did my best but was last out of the pool in my wave. I was about 5 minutes behind a good friend of mine who is a personal trainer and had been encouraging me throughout my training. The cycling went well. I didn’t catch her up but I knew I was going well as I passed several people who had been in my wave. The run seemed hard, even though it was relatively flat, after the cycle but once I got going I got into a steady pace and kept plugging away. Before I knew it I was coming back to the start point and there was the finish line. I turned up the power and sprinted for the finishing line only to find out that I had caught my friend up and finished only 45 seconds behind her. My aim had been to complete the event in under 2 hours, I actually managed to do it in under 1 hour 45 minutes :)

Throughout my training I was eating a very “clean” diet and using Herbalife core products as supplements to enhance my training and support my nutrition to ensure that I got all the nutrients I needed. In addition I was using the Herbalife 24 range of sports products. These are formulated to do specific jobs as part of an athletes training and competition programmes. I now consider myself an athlete having completed a triathlon and will continue to use the products to aid my performance.

Will I do another one? You bet I will!! I may not have “the bug” but I have already signed up for the same event next year. In addition I have several other events planned for this year to continue to raise money for very worthy causes.