29th October 2015 Nick Buckfield

My Iron Man Journey

So just a little insight to what I get up to in my spare time outside of the kung fu school. So after my sport I needed a goal which needed to be physical as I’m partly wired that way. Probably if I look back was to do with a very active childhood which has continue throughout my life.
I took up Triathlon about 5 years ago for staying in shape and that it was a new challenge. This was not with the intention to compete at a high level but more of a challenge for me and my own demons!

So at first I started with a novice sprint race which consisted of a 375m swim, 6 mile bike and a 3 k run. I’m the first to admit the swim has always been the hardest event as it did not come naturally. I used to go swimming a lot as a child but this mainly consisted of messing around on the diving boards and just swimming to the side to go out to repeat the same movement pattern.ironman

I really enjoyed the event which was held down in Brighton and I remember asking a friend what’s the hardest distance in Triathlon and he said Iron man…. Asked him what was involved … Decided that’s what I wanted to achieve.

The reality of it was about 2.5 years after the seed was set that I decided to train for one.
I really didn’t comprehend what was really involved. There is a lot of mileage you have to put in in all three disciplines which take up a lot of time..a lot of time. The weekends are the days which most of the long mileage has to take place if you have a mon- Friday job or get up very very early.
The commitment doesn’t just come from the person who decides to participate in one but also for the family and love ones.. As sacrifices are made from both parties.

My family time was reduced one for the obvious reason length of the training sessions but also the tiredness that comes from it and the occasional mood swing lol.

So with that all in mind and my completed goal ticked off , this year and not far away I’ve decided to do a 70.3 or what its better known as a half iron man. As much as I wanted to do another full Iron man I couldn’t commit due to work and family commitments.

So This september I will revisit a journey that took a lot of physical and emotional energy. Atleast I have the thought that it will only be half the time as last time .

So I have been training before and after work and I’m training somewhere between 12-20 hours a week and on two days a week twice a day. I’ve found it hard this time just with trying to get enough sleep and to fully recover from the training sessions. Also I’ve had to pay a lot more attention to my diet to refuel properly and making sure I’ve been drinking enough…if you let any of these slide it can make quite a difference to your performance.ironman3

I will be totally honest its been really hard to stay motivated when you’re really tired at the end of the day , get in late and then having to drag your butt out for a run ,ride or swim. When a nice Dinner and a cider it’s just in the waiting.

I found the Best way to deal with this is going out straight away and listening to some motivational music before you get home. The longer you stay in the house the more you will talk yourself out of it…..

Every person can go through the same fears, just in different degrees throughout their journey. One thing I’ve learnt is with the Tools you require to overcome problems, situations that are different to the task ahead can help you later on.

I had a huge fear in the open water swim in a lot of my Triathlons , mass start with other swimmers just going over the top of you, being kicked or generally just squashed between other swimmers. You start to panic breathe, I had to come up with a plan .. to try and stop this happening.

I did a lot more open swimming and positioned myself better in the start of the races. I still have moments but have to take a step back, even if it means I stop for a short time to regain my thoughts and breathing pattern etc.

So the 70.3 half Iron man is only a month away which 6 months ago seemed ages away and it’s crept up very quickly. I am excited as i feel there’s no pressure on me this time as Im with a team to share the pain and delight the event will bring.

I ll shall keep you posted on the race and the experiences it will bring.

buckers out!


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About the Author

Nick Buckfield Nick has been a full-time professional athlete for over 20 years and loved sport even before that. As a boy he played for Crystal Palace schoolboys and was a county judo player. He took up the pole vault at the age of 15 and by 22 he had broken the 14-year British pole vault record. The following year Nick broke the indoor pole vault record that had stood for 17 years. Nick held the 17-year records for both indoor and outdoor records at 5.81 metres which was only beaten last year. He was the first British vaulter to jump over 19ft (5.80m) and holds the record for the best British performance at a World Championship (5th place at Athens in 1997). Nick's career has also taken him to three Commonwealth Games, where he achieved 4th place in both 2002 and 2006; three European Championships and five World Championships. Plus, he has been a double Olympian in 1996 and 2004 After fracturing his pelvis in the 1998 European Championships, Nick was impelled to take up sports massage Therapy and is now a qualified sports massage therapist. He is also a Level 4 athletics coach, and a multi-skills and athletic coach for primary schools. He 'relaxes' by reading..materials on improving knowledge,fishing and just messing around with his children.He Took triathlon up 4years ago for fun and decided train and complete his first an IRONMAN! Nick joined the Kung fu school last year as he has a deep passion for Kung Fu and Martial arts. one of he's child hood heroes was Bruce Lee. I'm enjoying my recent project on working on the improving the physical attributes of our students, with agility, speed and explosive power into the classes. Working along and with world class athletes and coaches during my career ,I was always gaining knowledge and a new ideas. I love learning and using anything I can to better an individual and human performance. You will see in the class content some subtle changes which is to help the development of the student. Best regards Nick

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