Created On: 14 May 2011

Ben Butler one of the winners of a free place at this years Challenge Henley has sent us his latest update on his progress on his road to Henley…

It's been a long time since my last update, so one would expect a lot might have happened... and yes, quite a lot has happened.


Between January and the start of April I was unable to run due to periostitis in my right tibia. Fortunately I was able to cycle and swim so I kept my fitness up by hammering the bike and pool. At first when I did my injury, 3 months of no running seemed like a lifetime but it actually hasn't been that bad, there are bigger things in life to worry about than how long I have to take off running.


Anyway my cycling and swimming is going well. Getting fitter every day... Almost. The local time trials have just started up, I've done a couple so far, placing 1st and 4th, and I've also come fifth in a couple of local road races. There's nothing quite like a road race or TT to get the legs burning and the lungs puffing.


I've been swimming training with the local Arfon Masters a couple of times a week and this has really helped my technique and swim speed. It also makes swimming slightly less monotonous and lonely than doing it by yourself, I highly recommend it to anyone! In the last week I've braved the cold waters of Snowdonias lakes for some open water swimming... which is lush (once you lose the feeling in your feet, hands and face)


Swim - in article


A couple of weeks ago a friend and I headed to the South of France for a triathlon training camp at tri-topia. We hammered the training- putting in around 20 hours of hard swimming, cycling and running. No sightseeing. We hit some open water swims in the local rivers and lakes which was pretty nice... even if all you can see is brown! All the training meant we needed to replenish the calories- and that we did with copious amounts of French bread and awesome food cooked for us by the couple that run tri-topia; Sam and Lee.


I'm back up and running a few times a week now- gradually building up my run distances which feels good. And also what I've found quite interesting is that I'm not as slow as I thought I would be. I equalled by PB of my local 6k course without meaning to on Friday- which is pretty cool! But I still need to work on my endurance a fair bit.


It's now around 3 weeks until my first triathlon- The Snowdonia Slateman, and I can't wait. The course suits me, with a 750m open water swim and a very hilly bike leg. The run sounds like a killer; an 11k trail run up a slate mine and through a country park (the garmin route from a friend running it shown below). All in all it should be awesome and hopefully I can get my running up to a good level in the next few weeks.

Slateman Run Route - in article

As for Challenge Henley- The more I train the more I realise how demanding it's going to be. On June the 12th I have a middle distance Triathlon in Bala, which is pretty much half of what Henley will be- so it will be a good test! One little step at a time seems to be the way forwards. I don't want to get injured again, it sucks!



Read part 2 of Ben's journey HERE

Read part 1 of Ben's journey HERE

Tags: news,lifestyle,beginners,justracing

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