by Steve Law
I have been a triathlete for a few years now and last year (2013) I decided to attempt the ultimate challenge which is an Ironman. This consists of a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile cycle followed by a marathon. The time limit for this is 17 hours. As someone who has suffered from arthritis for 30 years, the effect that the training would have on my body was not to be taken lightly. I am lucky to have a new treatment which helps alleviate many of the problems but the extreme training was still going to be an issue. After doing some research it was clear that strengthening my core muscles would be crucial to avoid pain and injury.
The very first steps in my training were taken at Karen’s pilates studio and since then I have taken regular pilates classes. The improvement in my core strength has made a significant difference in allowing my body to cope with the strain of substantial training.
Unfortunately due to a chest problem, I had to pull out of my race with one week to go. However, I am back in training and will be trying again this year in July. It’s going reasonably well so far and as ever, pilates is a central part of it.
Although I had a few late complications this year, I made it to the start line this July and as you can see from the photo, I made it across the finish line!
It was a very long day with a 3.45am rise and a 6am race start, this photo was taken at just before 10pm so I had been swimming, cycling and running/walking for 16 hours. Running up the finishing chute and crossing the line was an unforgettable experience.
As someone who is approaching 50, training for this sort of (many would say, including my mum daft) endurance event must be taken very seriously and core strength is critical in order to avoid injury. Pilates was key to this and will continue to be, no matter what craziness I get up to in the future.