10 reasons why you should never do an Ironman… – Long distance – 220Triathlon



Urban Running

Some useful information on these infographics and, if you’re in the USA, the best cities to go running in.
Source: Fix.com

It’s All Over!!

Don’t panic. I haven’t ditched my challenge but I do have a new website and web address.

From now on everything is going down on www.7days7irons.com

If you are subscribed to this blog and website please update to use the new domain name.

I hope to see you over at the new web home soon.

Making Light Work of Running in the Dark

Those of you who follow my exploits will know that not only are the early mornings and late nights the best opportunities for me to train but I also prefer it. I love the quiet and the cool that each end of the day offers. One of the challenges of running at these times, especially as we head towards winter, is the lack of light. Some roads and pavements are well lit but others parts of my running terrain are in darkness. I often run on the beach or sections of trail and these areas are almost always void of any real light. So, when I got the opportunity to try the Unilite PS-H8 Prosafe Headlight I was keen to see how it could shed some real light on this situation.


Run 1: 16 miles. Mostly pavement and roads with some small trail, small beach sections and Tynemouth to North Shields Promenade.

Initially the light, battery case and strapping felt heavy in the hand but the weight distribution meant that after a small amount of time I couldn’t feel it and forgot it was there. The kit had a snug fit with quick and easily adjustable straps. I’ve found with other head torches that there was a lot of bouncing around or movement due to sudden head movements but I had no issues at all with this set up. The light and battery pack remained completely still and in place every step of the way.

The lights are very easy to control and adjust on the move with raised rubber buttons for ease.

The LED lamp offers a brilliantly bright beam. Even the lowest brightness setting, of which there were 3, was bright enough for the most part. A focus wheel also made the pool of light small or widely dispersed which is a great feature to have and I found myself widening the angle when in unfamiliar territory just so I could see more of the surrounding area.

The spot also easily adjusts upwards and downwards depending on whether you want the beam mainly at your feet or into the near distance.

With winter coming up I will be wearing this more and more. It’s not always needed especially in built up areas but it does give that extra comfort and level of security. A red LED on the battery pack at the rear is a great feature and will mean you are clearly seen by motorists, cyclists and fellow runners.

I have used a few different lights over the last 12 months from a budget ‘pound shop’ headlight which, even at £1 was overpriced, to some more expensive models. For my money though this pretty much has it all – brightness, comfort, adjustability, sturdiness and did I mention it looks good as well! If you run in the dark get your hands on one of these.

Great for running and cycling where night vision or visibility is important. Light, comfortable, adjustable and very bright.

You should: BUY IT

I will keep using the light during the winter and will update this section to talk about things like battery life and durability including how it performs in adverse weather.

To buy the Unilite Headlight CLICK HERE

Or visit their website HERE

Be Part of the #7days7irons Challenge

Watch the video and then follow the links on this site to Join #Team7

Join the #7days7irons Challenge


This is your chance to become part of the #7days7irons challenge. Dive in to one of the swim legs, pedal on part of the bike route or dash along to one of the marathon runs.

If you have been inspired so far by the challenge of 7 iron distance triathlons in 7 days then why not join in for part of the event? You can swim, cycle or run. At the same time you will be helping worthwhile charities and you can say ‘I was there’.

So…will it be #Team7Swim #Team7Cycle or #Team7Run ? And, if you want to be part of the buzz but don’t want to get involved in the real thing you can still join the team…read on to find out how…

Go for STANDARD membership and you can join one of the teams without being part of the main #7days7irons challenge. Join Now and you will get:

  • Membership to one of #Team7Swim, #Team7Cycle or #Team7Run an online and real life community of like-minded, active people
  • Exclusive Discounts to Swim, Bike, Run related Products & Services
  • Priority Challenge Updates and Regular Newsletters
  • Discounted Entry to Virtual #Team7Tri Events (Coming Soon) –You WILL NOT want to miss out on this!! Who will win? The swimmers, the cyclists or the runners? Compete for Real anywhere in the world!

Join Now Button

Standard Membership £25.00 (Includes donation to the #7days7irons children’s charities)

(Get in quick ONLY £20 for a limited time only!)


Or, Go for ULTRA Membership if you want to join part of the #7days7irons Challenge!! Join NOW and get all of this:

  • Membership to one of #Team7Swim, #Team7Cycle or #Team7Run an online and real life community of like-minded, active people
  • Exclusive Technical Running T-Shirt with your chosen #Team7 design
  • Exclusive Discounts to Swim, Bike, Run related Products & Services
  • Automatic Entry into Regular Prize Draws
  • Priority Challenge Updates and Regular Newsletters
  • Discounted Entry to Virtual #Team7Tri Events (coming Soon) –You WILL NOT want to miss out on this!! Who will win? The swimmers, the cyclists or the runners? Compete for Real anywhere in the world!
  • Certificate on Completion of Your Participation in the #7days7irons Challenge
  • and more…

Join Now Button

ULTRA Membership £40.00 (Includes donation to the #7days7irons children’s charities)

(Get in Quick! Only £35.00 for a limited time only!)

You don’t have to join up at all to come along and swim, cycle or run in August 2015 but only by joining as an Ultra member will you literally get the T-shirt to say that you were part of the #7days7irons challenge

Team7 Whitle





*Please note that the main #7days7irons challenge is NOT an organised event and that your participation is at your own risk. Monies from Membership will be used to cover costs of tshirts, prizes and materials and a proportion will be donated to the nominated charities.

Getting Faster

Twice in the space of less than 2 weeks I have run personal best times. The first for 8 miles and the second was for a 12.59 mile late Sunday evening run.

Slightly worrying is that I am getting faster whilst suffering a leg injury. Do I need to have an injury in order to increase speed? Hopefully it does mean that when my injury is put right that I will be faster again!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still painfully slow and even though I would love to be faster it is still more important to focus on distance.

Still, it’s good to get a virtual medal…


Sink or Swim!

An almost perfect training triathlon

I’ve already done quite a few events this year. I have enjoyed them all hugely even though some have not gone to plan.

During these events I have made mistakes; going off too quickly in new trainers at the London Marathon and stepping on a tree root breaking my toes at the EnduRun24 are the 2 that standout. Although wearing new trainers for the London Marathon does not fit the category of ‘mistake’ it was just downright foolish!

Then, a chance to put everything I had learned into practise. An opportunity to build on what had previously worked and to ditch everything that hadn’t. The idea was that by doing all of that I should have a perfect event.

The Newcastle Triathlon had a great build up. The thought of swimming in the Tyne with a backdrop of famous bridges then cycling and running on the closed roads of my favourite city had me very excited.

Unfortunately, at least this year, it wasn’t to be as the venue had changed to Woodhorn Colliery. Something to do with the Port of Tyne Authority withdrawing permission for the swim. Shame.

Woodhorn it was then and, to be fair, as a venue it is perfect for triathlons. It already hosts other events and I’m sure will continue to do so. A cool clear lake is on the edge of a spacious transition/start/finish area. There are loads of open, flat roads and the path around the lake makes for a brilliant run course.

I kept it to myself exactly how nervous I was about this event going into it. I harboured fearful doubts that I may not finish it. My leg still hadn’t recovered from injury and I hadn’t put in the swim training that I should have done. In actual fact, I had never done an open water swim in a lake under competition conditions. I was told that the water would be less buoyant and the reeds were very long. Without the experience of swimming in a lake at speed and with other arms and legs flailing all over the place I had visions of not making it round. To top it off when I saw the swim course mapped out with buoys it looked very long, especially as it was 2 laps.


I walked nervously into the water and felt my feet sink into the sludge, I had to tread water and wait, along with all of the other competitors, for the start horn to sound. I took a moment to focus. I knew the distance wasn’t a problem. I was comfortable swimming over a mile in training even if I hadn’t done it lately. I told myself that if I could quickly find a rhythm and stay out of the crowd that I may be able to finish. I was also conscious that I had to pace myself as there was a lot of cycling and running to do afterwards.

The swim turned out to be fantastic. I really enjoyed it after I had settled into a relaxed pace. I managed to pass a fair few people and I finished with plenty of energy feeling that I could have gone a touch faster. I didn’t notice a buoyancy issue, I reckon my Blueseventy Helix wetsuit had a lot to do with that. And the reeds, although annoying, didn’t distract me. I used a new swim technique which I had tried a couple of times beforehand. Over a long distance it really seemed to work. I managed the swim in 28 mins 13 secs which is a very promising pace that I’m over the moon with.


A poor transition of over 2 minutes set me up for the 43k bike ride. 2 laps of fairly flat Northumberland roads taking us out to Widdrington and then down through Cresswell along the coast back to Woodhorn. The course felt quite quick overall. There were a couple of very shallow inclines and 1 short hill all of which uncovered my leg injury. Although this didn’t effect me directly (I sprinted the hills) I did ease off at times knowing I was going to have to finish well on the bike and then get straight into the run. So I allowed myself respite on some of the flats and slopes.

Once finished the 1:30:26 bike I got through transition and out onto the 3 lap run course of just under 10k. Anyone who has run straight off the bike will tell you how strange and awkward it can be. It was evident immediately that the injury was going to prevent me from striding out and it was also evident that I hadn’t trained on the bike enough. I didn’t have the run that I expected despite more than ample training miles. I had to pause twice to stretch out my leg and keep it moving. Injury aside, if I had trained a bit more on the bike I would have had more strength remaining for the run. My 10k was just over an hour. Although a bit slow I would be more than happy with that kind of pace over an ironman distance as it would equate to around 4hrs:20mins for a marathon.

Looking at the results and having had time to reflect I am delighted with the way I paced myself. I felt great during most of the event and once my leg is treated I am sure that my weak areas can be addressed.

What’s more it is performances like this that motivate me to keep pushing ahead and give me masses of confidence in the #7days7irons challenge next year.

Now I’m looking forward to the Great North Run in September and to completing an Iron Distance triathlon before the end of the year.

Thanks for reading as always and keep following, sharing, tweeting, donating and all of the things you do so well to help raise awareness.


The Newcastle Triathlon

On the 19th July I will be taking part in the very first Newcastle Triathlon. This was due to take place in Newcastle with the swim being in the Tyne and the cycling and running around the edges of the City. You may think that the last place you’d want to swim is in the River Tyne but I have to say I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately due to a recent incident involving some swimmers not connected with the event, the Port of Tyne Authority have withdrawn their permission. In this event the trithlon has been moved up to Northumberland and will now be based around Woodhorn Colliery and the QEII lake.

Newcastle TriathlonI am entered into the standard distance triathlon which entails a 1500m swim in the lake, a 40k bike ride and a 9k run. These are all distances that I am very comfortable with and I am hoping for a good time. Having said that, it will be a great test of where I am with my training to date as I haven’t done a standard triathlon since 2011.

It is 13 months now until I undertake my main challenge, 7 iron man distance triathlons in 7 consecutive days across the UK and it really is now that I must start to raise the bar in training. In my last post I spoke about joining up with others in order to stay motivated and listen to advice. But, I am also keen to raise awareness of my challenge in order to hit my charity target of £50,000 by the end of next year. With a little under 18 months left I haven’t even reached the £1,000 mark despite ‘shaking the bucket’ for a number of months and for quite a few events so far. I realise that there are so many requests from so many charities and that I have a lot of competition. I will need to address this.

Thank you very much to those who have already donated. Your support helps to keep me going!

If you haven’t donated yet then PLEASE do so by visiting www.virginmoneygiving.com/7days

Roll on Saturday 19th July

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7 Iron Mans in 7 Days – Lands End to John 0'Groats

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