Chris Wild Part 2 – Planning an IRONMAN – in Lancashire

Chris Wild Part 2 – Planning an IRONMAN – in Lancashire

Last time we found out all about Chris Wild. How, as a teenager, he’d discovered Club La Santa (or La Santa Sport as it was known back then) and how that started a lifelong love affair with CLS and the island of Lanzarote. This week, Chris goes on to explain how his idea to complete his 15th IRONMAN Lanzarote from home was born, and how exactly he completed a 3.8 km swim without access to a pool, lake, river, or indeed the ocean.


I don’t really remember what life was like without doing an IRONMAN in May

I don’t really remember what life was like without doing an IRONMAN in May, so Plan C had to be hatched!

I currently live 50k (30 miles) south of my triathlon club in Lancaster, and the same distance north of my work. I’d seen a video of some guy swim training in a paddling pool, with stretch cords around his feet.  I thought that would save me a lot of travelling, and some money on gym membership, so I decided to set this up for myself! Almost immediately after I’d bought it however, I started working at a university with a sports centre, so began swimming there!

My ‘home pool’ has always been really cold, and really hard work to swim in, especially in gloves when it’s particularly cold. I’d pretty much chalked it up to a failed experiment, but useful for an occasional session. Until lockdown. I knew I could use this for the ‘swim’ part of my virtual IRONMAN. 3,800 strokes would be a good estimate, but I decided going for the same time I swam last year would be fair.

Many cyclists, and it appears almost every triathlete, use indoor cycle trainers for winter training. It’s warm (er), safe, and you can put some decent effort in without the fear of disappearing down a pothole on a dark road. The last 20 years has seen the growth of realistic trainers, where the resistance is controlled by computer software to replicate hills. I started on the Dutch Tacx software a fair few years ago; you can actually follow a route on a map. Awesome; I love maps! Every winter I’d set out to do a virtual Land’s end to John O’ Groats, meticulously mapping all the routes via interesting places, and rarely getting into Wales. Through a friend, I ended up with a Bkool virtual trainer. Awful name, but the software was similar, you could upload courses from anywhere in the world. I was hooked.

Come back next week to read about how Chris got on with his homemade race, and to hear all about the future plans for Chris ‘the IRONhippy’ Wild!