Paul’s #mycooppledge journey

Posted by Jo Baldock | 04/10/2016 | Category: Community

Why did you enter the half Iron Man Challenge?

“In July 2015 I completed the full Ironman Challenge which is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run and I loved it, I was doing something for me which I enjoyed. However, I injured myself after I completed the Ironman Challenge and over a short period of time put on one and a half stone. I knew I had to do something about it and at the same time Bloom was launched. I decided to make a #mycooppledge commitment to complete the ½ Ironman Challenge in September 2016. As I had made a #mycooppledge commitment and shared it on Twitter, the pressure was on and I knew I could do it. 

“I am a great believer that if you put your mind to anything you can do it. It is truly amazing what our bodies can do and what we can achieve when we challenge our mind and body – a positive attitude goes a long way.”

How did you train? 

“I had a training plan and I had always completed longer distances for each, expect the running. I had only managed a 10-mile run due to previous injuries and the pressure it put on my joints. I have had three operations to my right knee and one operation to my left knee. It is safe to say running isn’t my forte!

“I knew I had to build up to the 1.2 mile swim, 53 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run and documenting my journey through Bloom certainly helped. I pledged to get quicker, fitter and stronger. I started to see improvements to my fitness levels and the encouragement from colleagues at Central England Co-operative and my training buddies at Belper 10:20 certainly gave me a much needed boost and helped massively.”

How did you find your first ½ Ironman Challenge?

“I found it amazing! At 6.15am around 300 of us had our race brief, at 6.55am I started my 1.2mile swim, then 53 mile bike ride and to finish a 13.1 mile run.

My splits for each:
Swim = 43 minutes (43:38)
Bike = 3hours 12 minutes (3:12:23)
Run = 2 hours 28 minutes (2:28:19)

“I encountered a puncture along the way which frustrated me, but it didn’t knock me off course. I was there to complete this and a puncture wasn’t going to stop me.

“I finished my first ½ Ironman Challenge in 6 hours 48 minutes, which was under my 7 hour target.”

Belper 10:20 – what’s it all about?

“Belper 10:20 is our triathlon squad. 10:20 comes from, 10 seconds to respond and 20 seconds to save a life.

“We encourage health, fitness and wellbeing in the local community. Last year, a young girl joined the club with Crohn’s disease and, as a team, we taught her to swim. So far she has completed three challenges and raised over £2,500.

“We have team members who competed in the Rio 2016 Paralympics, one of ours guys came fifth in the triathlon. At Belper 10:20 we are proud to work together, support each other and we will continue to look for opportunities to improve health, fitness and wellbeing in the local community.”

So Paul, what’s next?

“For 2017, I hope to complete the ½ Ironman Challenge again, but I aim to beat my 2016 time and do it in 6 hours. For 2018, I plan on completing the full Ironman Challenge in less than 13 hours.

“But first, I plan on going to the pub and enjoying a few pub lunches.

“Wish me luck!”

About The Author: Jo Baldock

Learning and development

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