My Virtual Ultra Triathlon

Whilst I was dreaming up what challenges I could set myself in 2016, I came up with the idea of completing my very own triathlon.  I knew it was going to be extremely difficult for me to get away in person, so the challenge would only be achievable if it were virtual.  If the challenge was going to last for the duration of 2016, then it would need to have  ultra status.

My challenge is therefore the following:


About 5 years ago a colleague of mine wanted to cycle across the UK from the most westerly point to the most easterly point.  The venture never materialised, however the concept stayed with me.  Therefore the running element of my ultra-triathlon will be from the most westerly point, Ardnamurchan Lighthouse in Scotland, to the most easterly point , Lowestoft in Suffolk.

I have done a few variations of the route but have settled on the below version.  This route avoids all motorways and should, in theory, be achievable to run.  I could have planned a route that stayed to footpaths, however the distance was starting to get too high and I wanted to ensure the target was achievable. In total my route comes to 855km.

Run2 Ultra Triathlon Map


The route I have chosen for the cycle element of my ultra-triathlon is the UKs greatest distance event, traveling from the north to the south or John O’Groats to Lands End.  Trying to stay true to a cycling challenge, the route I have chosen is one that avoids all motorways and is therefore achievable by bike.  In total my route comes to 1550 km.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 22.06.23



Ok this is not quite a swim, but my virtual challenge has to be something that I am capable of achieving.  Unfortunately I do not have regular access to a swimming pool, but I do have access to a rowing machine.  After running west to east and cycling north to south, I wanted to do something that was recognisable, covered a suitable distance and was achievable.  I spent some time trying to think what rowing challenge I could take on, such as rowing the channel but in the end I came up with rowing the length of the Thames.  In total my route comes to 346 km.

Row Ultra Triathlon Map

Monthly Targets

The below table shows what my totals should be at the end of each month, if I want to be on track for completing my challenge by the end of 2016.  As long as  I cycle to and from work every day and go for a run three times a week I should be close to my targets, the only area that I will have to really work hard at maintaining is the rowing as this is something that I do not naturally do.

Event Running Cycling Rowing
January71.25 km129.17 km28.83 km
February142.50 km258.34 km57.66 km
March213.75 km387.51 km86.49 km
April285.00 km516.68 km115.32 km
May356.25 km645.85 km144.15 km
June427.50 km775.02 km172.98 km
July498.75 km904.19 km201.81 km
August570.00 km1033.36 km230.64 km
September641.25 km1162.53 km259.47 km
October712.50 km1291.70 km288.30 km
November783.75 km1420.87 km317.13 km
December855.00 km1550.00 km346.00 km

Updates as to my progress will follow, hopefully on a monthly basis.


New Year Resolutions 2016

As 2015 was coming to a close and I had a look back on my Resolutions, it was time to look at what I should set myself for 2016. What was evident from 2015 was how important the family is and they will always come first.  My running is also important to me and I am lucky that I can fit most of my training and running into work time.

So for 2016 and I have set myself the following:

1.  Family Holiday and Three Long Weekends.  This was the best part of my 2015 resolutions and I want it to be the most important resolution in 2016.

2.  Communicate more with the Family.  Not sure how I am going to quantify this one, but it is something that needs to improve.  I appreciate I am not the most communicative of people, but I will endeavour to address this over the next year.  It needs to be reciprocated if it is going to work.

3.  The Physical Challenges.  This year I have been extremely optimistic, but I am a firm believer that we need to constantly push ourselves just to see what we are capable of.  Therefore my physical challenges are broken down into the following:

a.  Run a total of 1000km.

b.  Cover a total of 2016km (Run, Cycle, Row, Walk).

c.  Complete my Virtual Ultra Triathlon:

(1).  Run.   Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft. This is the most Westerly point to the most Easterly point in the UK.

(2).  Cycle.  John O’Groats to Lands End.  This is the most Northernly to the most South-Westernly point in the UK.

(3).  Row.  The Length of the Thames.

d.  Complete an Ultramarathon.

4.  Read Eight books.  This didn’t go too well in 2015 so I have therefore revised it down, but only slightly.

5.  Write a Blog on average once a fortnight.  In 2015 I was far too ambitious so I have revised this down by half in the hope that I will make a good attempt at this.

So there you have it, five resolutions, some of which may seem straightforward but after the last year nothing is ever simple.  I know the physical challenges will be tough but then some resolutions need to be  a challenge:

We shall go always a little further: it may be beyond the last blue mountain barred with snow…