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My last sub-40 10k was back in 2015 in a time of 39.59. I can’t even believe it’s been 6 years! Fast forward to 2021 and I’m now at a point where even doing a sub-45 min 10k is going to take a lot of work and effort.

It took me what seemed like an eternity to go sub-40 minutes for 10k. It was a mental barrier as much as a physical one and I came agonizingly close so many times.  In 2008 I finally did it. After that, I went sub-40 countless times, it seemed easy all of a sudden with my best being a sub-38.

That mental and physical barrier is back. This time it’s in the form of a sub-45 min 10k.

Now it’s time to get to work. The excuses I had for not training as much are not so numerous as they once were. It’s time to get back in shape and clock a sub-45 min 10k before the year is out.

This article will be added to every week in the section ‘Weekly Training Diary‘ with the previous week’s training. This means you can keep tabs on my progress and I’m more motivated to keep pushing on with this.

How long to do it?

As I hinted earlier I want to have done this before the end of the year. However, I also have a more specific target date in mind. I aim to compete in a local half-marathon on the 29th of August and that’s the ideal date I would like to have completed a sub-45min 10k by.

As a secondary target, I want to go sub 1:45 half marathon in training before the race itself.

I started training toward this on the 22nd of May. This gives me just a little over three months.

Where I’m starting from

For the last couple of years, I haven’t run competitively at all. The last competitive exercise I’ve done was in 2019. My last competitive 10k result was 46:15. The best 10k time I did in training last year (2020) was 46.42, which was a hard all-out effort.

My training so far this year has consisted of unstructured, leisurely-paced cycles, runs, or paddles once a week at most. The maximum duration of any exercise has been 2hrs, however, I’m hitting all kinds of walls at around 1hr 15m. The longest runs I have done are 10k.

What’s the plan?

I plan to train with consistency as much as possible. This is the area I have been lacking in the most. I need to get to a point where I’m consistently training two or three times a week. This will most likely require very early morning starts. Something I’m admittedly terrible at and don’t like in the slightest, I’m really not a morning person but that’s what needs to be done.

Each week I will gradually increase either duration, distance, or intensity to achieve progression.

Completion criteria

I need to go sub-45 min(44m:59s or less) on the test course I specified earlier, or in an actual 10k race. However, I would prefer to do it on the test course as a training run.

Test course and equipment

To record time and distance I’ll be using a Garmin Forerunner 30. I’ll be using the same relatively flat 10k loop to test and record my progress over time. The full loop is a little over 10.2 km but obviously, I’ll be stopping the clock when the distance reads 10.00 km.

I’ll be recording and making notes of heart rate for each session also. However, I have found the heart rate function on the forerunner 30 to be a bit hit and miss at times.

Weekly Training Diary

A record of each week’s training toward my sub-45 min 10k goal.

I will include links to the Garmin stats for most (but not all) sessions.

Trackable sessions will be underlined and color-coded for easy reference. By trackable I mean sessions that are timed over the same course and distance. These trackable sessions are the ones to gauge my progress with.

Week 1 (17th – 23rd May)

  • Brick Session (bike-run)
    • 27.92 km cycle – 1hr 33m stats->
    • 1.96km run – 10:23


  • A brick session generally refers to back-to-back bike and run sessions.
  • The cycle was a pretty hilly one.
  • The run was straight off the bike and it was a struggle. It should stand to me next week I hope.

Week 2 (24th – 30th May)

  • 1 hr kayak (estimate) easy paddle session
  • Brick Session (bike-run-bike)
    • 5.46 km cycle – 15:22
    • 10.00 km run – 52:50  stats->
    • 5.49 km cycle – 19.27
  • 2-hour hilly hike with a heavy pack


  • The paddle session was part of a stop-start kayak fishing trip where I was out for about 2 hours in total.
  • Cycles were just to take me to and from the run session. Very easy pace.
  • Felt pretty OK on the run, better than expected.
  • 10k run was done on the test course. Conditions warm with a light breeze.
  • 52:50 is my first baseline 10k time now.

Week 3 (31st May – 6th June)


  • The long hilly run was the first of the early morning runs. It was also a bit longer than it should have been. Should have been 12k at most, I totally misjudged it. The last 3k felt way too hard. Hopefully, I won’t suffer any consequences from this rookie mistake!
  • The brick session was done on my TT (time trial) bike. First time in a long time (too long) so a shorter session to get used to the aggressive position. My TT bike avg speeds will be a good gauge of where my cycling power is at. I hope to see this improve significantly over the next few months.
  • The 2.3 km run course is one that I use to gauge my run-off-the-bike fitness. My best for that course is 9:06, sub-9 min always eluded me. I hope to get this time down to 10 something.

Week 4 (7th – 13th June)

  • 40 km cycle – 1:59:58 stats->
  • 15 km run (Hilly) – 1:22:14 stats->
  • Strength and conditioning session
    • 3 * 25 reps of sit-ups
    • 3 * 25 reps of floor back extensions
    • 3 sets bicep curls with dumbells
      • set 1 – 20 * 6 kg
      • set 2  – 20 * 8 kg
      • set 3 – 18 * 10 kg
  • Brick Session (Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 5.85 km cycle – 16:16
    • 10.00 km run – 48:17  stats->
    • 5.59 km cycle – 17:56


  • Felt good for the 40 km (2hr) cycle. I didn’t get that sudden hitting the wall shock. Last 3 weeks of training starting to pay off.
  • Suffered in the last 1-2 km of the 15 km run. Very warm day with a light breeze.
  • I intended to use a water bottle belt for the 15 km run. Wouldn’t sit right and I took it off after 1 km, too annoying. Need to get this sorted, runs over 16 km will definitely need some kind of hydration strategy.
  • A new season-best for 10 km, and over 4 minutes of the last time! It was a bit of a perfect storm with a runner to chase in the first kilometer and then a group of runners to chase down for about the last km and a half. This was a hard effort but I’m happy with the progress so far.

Week 5 (14th – 20th June)

  • 11.6 km run – 1:05:55 stats->
    • Interval session
    • 2 km easy/1km hard * 3
    • 5:17, 4:22, 4:28 (hard k’s)
  • Strength and conditioning session
    • 3 * 25 reps of sit-ups
    • 3 sets of resistance band lateral raises
      • set 1 – 20 * light band
      • set 2  – 20 * heavy band
      • set 3 – 17 * light + heavy band
    • 3 sets of resistance band Rear Delt Rows
      • set 1 – 20 * light band
      • set 2  – 20 * heavy band
      • set 3 – 15 * light + heavy band
  • Brick session (Bike-Run)
    • 27.11 km cycle – 55:43
    • 2.3 km run – 11:18 stats->


  • An early morning interval session to start the week. The first hard interval was half uphill and quite steep hence the much slower time. Intervals two and three were pretty much on the flat. Totally spent by the end of the last hard one. Overall a hilly run but a good start to the week.
  • The pace reading on my Garmin watch was reading way off at points for the second kilometer. Either that or I was flying and it felt like I was cruising (definitely not the case). It just goes to show you shouldn’t put too much faith in the pace reading of a GPS watch, especially for races. I always think going by feel is a better way to go.
  • Another brick session with time trial bike and run straight off it, new season-best by 48 secs for that 2.3 km run. I felt much stronger overall on the bike this time.
  • Would ideally like to have got in another session this week but time was not on my side. Overall the progress towards a sub 45 min 10 km by 29th August is on track I feel.

Week 6 (21th – 27th June)

  • 16.7 km run – 1:34:31 stats->
  • 17.5 km cycle 1:01:59 stats->
  • Brick Session (Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 5.84 km cycle – 16:23
    • 10.00 km run – 46:45  stats->
    • 4.81 km cycle – 17.38


  • Week off to a good start with a long hilly run. This run was a bit different in that it was about 50% off-road up into the hills, talk about fresh air. Was even able to push it out for the last kilometer.
  • The 17.5 km cycle session should have been longer by about 30 mins, it was an early morning session though and I slept in. Early morning starts are starting to take their toll. need to get to bed earlier!
  • New season-best for 10 km, bettering the previous by 1m:32s. This really surprised me if I’m honest as I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated to push hard at the start of that run. For me, this is a good sign that the training is definitely paying off big time. Getting closer to that sub-45 min 10k and looks like a real possibility with 2 months still to go.
  • This week I registered for that local half marathon at the end of August.
  • A 10K race will be run over part of my test course at the end of July. I might enter that assuming everything stays on track.
  • Thankfully after 6 weeks of training, I have no injuries or niggles to worry about.

Week 7 (28th June – 4th July)

  • Strength and conditioning session
  • 46.68 km cycle – 2:29:06 stats->
  • 2 hr kayak session
  • 14.02 km run – 1:10:54 (timed 5k – 22:32) stats->


  • This week’s cycle session was a long and hilly one. A real tough climb to get to the very top. Some parts were so steep and loose that I had to dismount and push. It was even a struggle doing that! What a view at the top though and what a descent on the way back down. Worth the pain!
  • The kayak session was part of a fishing and exploration day trip. There’s a small island across the bay I usually kayak in, I’ve never been on it so I decided to check it out and explore it a little. An amazing experience, talk about peace and quiet. Done a straight run from there back to my start point and it was a 45 min steady non-stop paddle. I really felt it in my arms that night. All in all though a great day.
  • On the 14 km run session, I did a timed section over a local 5 km course. I warmed up with around 6 km easy effort, then the hard 5 km effort, ending with around 3 km steady cool down. My hope was to be able to go a little faster than 22:30 (quicker than 45 min 10k pace) for that 5 k. I was more or less bang on that pace at 22:32 but it was a VERY hard effort. Notably, it was a very hot day.
  • Went camping this week too. This involved two 40 min hikes with a very heavy pack into and out of where I camped.

mountain bike on top of hill

loch salt needle mountain bike and me

Week 8 (5th – 11th July)

  • 10.97 km run – 56:40 stats->
  • 18.07 km run – 1:34:46 stats->
  • 2 hr kayak session


  • Early morning 11 km run to start the week. Fartlek session, this basically means intervals when you feel like it and as hard as you like. Less structured and more ad-hoc than a regular interval session but still a very good workout. Season bests for 1 km (4:12.5) and 1 mile (6:52.3).
  • I’m starting to feel like I have some kind of speed ability in my legs now (at long last). Still a long way off sub-45 min 10k though. For that, I feel like I’m going to have to able to go under or close to 4:00 for 1 k, and be able to hold 4:15’s for 5k.
  • The long run of 18 km over a relatively flat course. Tried to hold a steady pace throughout. The last 3 km felt tough. For hydration on the run, I  resorted to carrying a small 250 ml bottle of water out to around 5k, dropping it, and then collecting it on the way back. A pain but still better than wearing a belt that won’t stay put.
  • The kayak session was again part of a fishing and exploration day trip to the same place as last week. Got to witness an amazing sunset on the water on the paddle back. I’m beginning to notice a speed up in the recovery of my arms after these long kayak sessions which I’m pleased about.
  • No cycling at all this week, I’ll have to make it up next week perhaps.
kayak day trip camp spot
My kayak day trip camp spot

Week 9 (12th – 18th July)

  • 30.58 km cycle- 1:32:33 stats->
  • 30.14 km cycle – 1:34:32 stats->
  • 12.62km run – 1:04:41 (timed 5k 24:30) stats->
  • Brick session( Bike-run)


  • A big week of cycling. Required to get my cycling miles back on track for the month. Cycling definitely helps with my running and helps to maintain a good balance between left and right and the quads and hamstrings. It also breaks up the monotony of doing only running.
  • The first two cycles of the week were early morning sessions. Felt good on both sessions and strong the whole way through.
  • The 12 km run was done in very hot conditions. Showing as only 16.7 degrees celsius in Garmin stats but was actually around 25 – 28 celsius. Again as with two weeks ago, I did a timed section over a local 5 km course during this run. Not a flat-out effort as it was too hot but a steady hard (80%) effort.
  • The 48 km bike was done on my time trial bike followed immediately by the good old 2.3 km killer run straight off it. The longest cycle of the year so far with a steady sustainable effort throughout. Felt hard for the last 20 minutes which surprised me. Possibly the effects of 3hrs of cycling this week already and running in hot conditions the day before.
  • The run off the bike was as always an absolute pain session. Even worse my time was exactly the same as the last run over this course, what’s the chance!
  • Priority next week is getting a timed run over 10k.

Week 10 (19th – 25th July)

  • Brick session( Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 5.6 km cycle – 15:58
    • 10 km run – 46:14 stats->
    • 3.07 km cycle – 12:33
  • 35.12 km cycle – 1:38:19 stats->


  • A blistering hot week, 25 – 30 degrees celsius for most of it during the days. Very tough for doing hard efforts.
  • Done a timed 10k over the test course. It was by far the toughest timed 10k yet but thankfully I took a very hard-fought 30 seconds off my PB for the year.
  • The weather conditions for the run were very hot with a light breeze. Most of the time gains I made were in the first 5 km so it was a case of hanging on for the last 5 km. Weather conditions dictated this a bit too. Wind and sun in my back on the way out and in my face on the way back in.
  • Incidentally, the 46:14 I ran is the best 10k time I’ve run since early 2019, and that was in a race. Training is bringing progress but time is ticking down too!
  • Felt good on the cycle, a relatively flat one though to recover the legs from the previous day’s hard run effort.

Week 11 (26th July- 1st August)

  • 59.13 km cycle 2:53:50 stats->
  • Kayak session – 1hr 30 min
  • Brick session( Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 5.49 km cycle – 16:07
    • 15.15 km run (last 5k in 23:14)- 1:15:12 stats->
    • 5.21 km cycle – 17:39
  • 10.22 km run – 54:49 stats->


  • The priority this week was to do enough to better last month’s cycling and running totals.
  • Got the week started with the longest cycle I’ve done this year. Close to three hours, and almost 60 km. Took 1 gel at the 2-hour mark and felt pretty decent the whole way through.
  • I wanted to go longer this week than 18 km. Things didn’t work out in terms of available time. Instead, I did a 15k with a harder effort for the last 5k. I ended up going sub-5min kilometer pace for the entire run which I’m happy about.
  • The final run of the week was an easy pace hilly 10k. Legs were pretty stiff from the previous day’s hard effort of 15k.
  • Milage totals for July are now well above last month’s totals.
  • 3 weeks of training left before half marathon race week. This effectively means 3 weeks to hit that sub-45 min 10k!
  • Done some camping this weekend too which involved a few kilometers of heavy pack hiking.

Week 12 (2nd – 8th August)

  • Brick session( Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 5.76 km cycle – 15:57
    • 10.35 km run (5 * 1k intervals, 1k easy 1k hard)- 49:10 stats->
      • 4:20, 4:15, 4:19, 4:09, 4:11
    • 4.74 km cycle (quite hilly – 114m of climbing)- 17:08 stats->
  • 32 km cycle (hilly – 474m of climbing) – 1:37:24 stats->
  • 800m (estimate) Open water lake swim – 20 mins
  • Brick session( Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 3.99 km cycle – 11:01
    • 21.00 km run – 1:43:08 stats->
    • 3.84 km cycle – 13.29
  • 73.49 km cycle (hilly) – 3:07:28 stats->


  • An interval run session to start the week with the aim of getting some speed endurance into the legs. The target was to go sub-45 min 10k pace for each interval and ideally around 4:15 per km. Some k’s were a little under and over. Overall average pace for all intervals was around 4:15 so I was happy with that.
  • The cycle back after this interval run was short but hilly.
  • This week I signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon on the 21st of August and a half ironman distance race on the 11th of September.
  • Swimming will need to be added to the training plan now too.
  • 32 km hilly cycle session was tough enough toward the end and very wet. Didn’t eat before going out so perhaps that had an effect, or perhaps the previous day’s session either.
  • First swim session of the year. A short open water session to get started. The water was pleasantly warm and I felt pretty good throughout. Just need to get the distance up and I’ll be happy.
  • Finally got my long run to 21k. Surprisingly I managed to hold a sub-5 min km pace for the duration and even in the last kilometer! I am very happy with this as sub 1:45 half marathon in training was my secondary target to a sub-45 min 10k.
  • This week, an extra-long cycle (73 km and 916m of climbing) as training toward my half ironman in a little over a month. The race itself involves 1006m (3303 ft) of climbing. I ideally would like to get to 100 km in distance and around 1200m in climbing.
sheephaven half bike elevation
Bike elevation chart for half ironman distance triathlon race (Sheephaven Half)

Week 13 (9th – 15th August)

  • 17.70 km cycle – 56:12 stats->
  • Brick session( Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 5.54 km cycle – 14:52
    • 10 km run – 44:05 stats->
    • 5.53 km cycle – 18:36
  • 1200m open water lake swim (estimate) – 35 mins
  • 35 km cycle (hilly 587m of climbing) – 1:33:25 stats->
  • Brick session( Long Bike-Run)
    • 92.80 km cycle – 3:39:57 stats->
    • 2 km run – 9:59
  • Brick session( Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 5.10 km cycle – 12:44
    • 15.10 km run (Race)- 1:09:26 stats->
    • 5.08 km cycle – 17:51


  • A race every weekend now until  11th Sept.
    •  15th August (this week) – 15k run race. (completed – 1:09:20)
    • 21st August – Olympic distance triathlon. (completed – 2:43:19)
    • 28th August – Half Marathon run race. (completed – 1:40:57)
    • 5th Sept – 10k run race. (9.94km on garmin, completed – 44:41 )
    • 11th Sept – Half iron distance triathlon. (completed – 5:33:44)
  • Short and easy 17 km cycle to start the week. Want to keep as fresh as possible before the sub-45 10k attempt.
  • SUB-45 min 10K TARGET ACHIEVED !! Finally, and pretty much just in the nick of time before my race season begins. Check out below for a more detailed analysis of it.
  • My second swim of the year didn’t feel comfortable. I think my wetsuit is too tight overall and particularly around the neck. New (lower spec, less expensive) one ordered and hopefully a better fit. It’s a fine line between being a good fit and being too tight.
  • 35 km cycle as hilly as I could make it. Poured rain from the start until about halfway in. An early start and a tough morning overall.
  • The 92.8 km cycle went well. I expected to fade badly after 80k but felt strong the whole way through. Most likely because I fueled more than normal on the bike, possibly too much though. Got some new gels and bars and needed to test them before using them in a race.
  • I hadn’t planned a run straight off the long bike. Decided to do a short 2k though to get my body somewhat accustomed to it before the upcoming triathlons. The half iron distance in particular.
  • The first race of the year went well. A little harder-paced than I had planned maybe. Very hard to hold back at the start of a race, particularly the longer ones. Went through 10k in around 46min. Paced it well enough though with a negative split race and sub-70 min (1:09:20) for 15k.

*Sub 45-min 10k analysis

This was my first real attempt at sub-45 min where I knew I was physically capable and had it in my mind as a real possibility.

I expected to be shaving just under the 45 min mark considering my last all-out 10k was 46:14. I certainly didn’t expect to be almost a minute under. Actually coming close to a sub-44!

In terms of pace, I managed to get it pretty much spot on being just about able to maintain my pace in the last kilometer. A slight negative split run too with the first 5k in 22:06, and the second 5k a little faster in 21:59.

The weather was mild with a light breeze. It rained very heavily for most of the second half of the run though and I got totally saturated. However, I don’t believe the rain hindered my effort in any way though.

Overall, I am so happy to have achieved this personal goal of a sub-45 min 10k. The fact that I’ve been able to achieve it in a training run is the icing on the cake for me. It took a lot of effort, hard work, and personal sacrifice at times. However, just like most other things in life that hard work really paid off in the end.

Looking forward, a sub-40 min 10k now seems like a possibility again. When I can achieve that is another matter. The 10k run race on the 5th of Sept is going to be interesting now in terms of how much under 44 mins I can go.

sub-45 min 10k on watch


Week 14 (16th – 22nd August)

  • 16.58 km run – 1:28:26 stats->
  • Brick session (Bike-Run)
  • 1500m open water lake swim (estimate) – 43:50
  • Brick session (Bike-Run)
    • 27.53 km cycle – 1:03:32
    • 1.97 km run – 9:16
  • Olympic distance triathlon race – 2:43:19 results->
    • 1500m swim – 35:16
    • t1 – 2:01
    • 38.62 km cycle – 1:16:51
    • t2 – 23 secs
    • 10 km run – 50:47


  • Started the week with a 16k run. I intended to do less so soon after the 15k race last week. However, I felt good and actually had to pull myself back from doing more. Done two 1k intervals in the latter half of the run. With a best of 4.10 on the flat with a strong wind behind me, I soon discovered It was too soon after the race for intervals.
  • The second session of the week went better. A 45 km hilly ride on my TT bike followed by my 2.3 km run straight off it. Bettered my last time for the run by just over 40 secs which surprised me. The main purpose of this session was to get a feel for the hillier stuff on the TT bike as the upcoming half iron race bike course has a few fairly severe hills and a lot of climbing. Overall, a good session.
  • Later that evening I did a longer swim in the lake to ensure I could cover the distance for the Olympic distance race later in the week. This was also the first test of my new wetsuit which I got the day before. The water is getting colder every week!
  • A short easy bike-run brick session the day before the race. Done the cycle over part of the bike course too.
  • For the triathlon race itself, I decided not to wear a watch. A perfect day for racing with just a small bit of rain a the start of the bike. Very calm and warm conditions. The swim was pretty cold and I took it very easy, emerging from the water 48th out of 53. I pushed hard on both the bike and run and worked my way up to 29th by the end.
  • The triathlon run felt faster to me than the 50:47 I ended up clocking. I hoped at worst to run 5 min k’s or a 50 min 10k. I may have just pushed too hard on the bike. Either way, I can’t confirm because I didn’t wear my watch. I want to go back and check the run course distance with my watch to confirm.
triathlon run stage
Me around the 5k mark on the triathlon run.

Week 15 (23rd – 29th August)

  • 18.92 km cycle – 1:00:00
  • 12.62 km run – 1:04:24 (Fartlek session) stats->
    • 1 mile (mostly downhill)- 6:28
    • 500m – 1:57
    • 800m – 3:07
  • Brick session (Swim-Run)
    • 1200m open water lake swim (estimate) – 29:00
    • 5.36 km run – 28:46 stats->
  • 42.10 km cycle – 1:41:53 stats->
  • 89.83 km cycle (long, hilly)- 3:25:11 stats->
  • Brick session (Bike-Run-Bike)
    • 5.15 km cycle – 12:14
    • 21.15 km run (half marathon) – 1:40:57 stats->
    • 5.15 km cycle – 18:00


  • Short easy 19 km cycle to start the week. A recovery session after last weeks triathlon race.
  • A 12k run the next morning. Felt tired to start but better later into run. Decided to do a fartlek session to mix it up a bit with some shorter sub-4 min km pace intervals.
  • Done a shorter swim session later that evening. Warmer water but some chop on it. Good experience for the sea swim in the upcoming half ironman.
  • After the swim, I ran one lap of last week’s triathlon run course. It confirmed my suspicion of a slightly longer than 10 km run split with 1 lap coming in at 5.26 – 5.36 km. That means the course was a minimum of o.5 km over or just over 2 mins of running for me.
  • 42 km cycle was on the TT bike and once again as hilly as I could make it with 657 m of climbing. Felt pretty strong throughout.
  • A long hilly ride the following day. Almost 1200m of climbing. A tough ride I have to say. Happy with the avg sped though.
  • The half marathon went well. Paced it well and was surprised to do my fastest km of the race at the end of it!
  • Overall a big week’s training that will hopefully pay off in two weeks’ time for the half ironman.

Ok, so at this point, we are now past the original target completion date for the sub-45 min 10k. My intention at the start of this article was to document no further past this point. The article is already very long. However, I am now going to go up to the half ironman on 11 Sept and finish there. The reason is just that it will be the natural end to my current training block, and to keep you informed as to my progress.

Just two more weeks and then a well-earned rest!

Week 16 (30th August – 5th September)

  • 23 km cycle – 1:10:33
  • 38.13 km cycle – 1:29:15 stats->
  • 1900m (estimate) open water lake swim – 45:04
  • 11.28 km run – 1:00:12
  • 69.16 km cycle – 2:24:24 stats->
  • 12 km run – 1hr (10k race – 44:41 stats->)


  • Legs were pretty sore after the half marathon last week, both calves and left hamstring. Left it until Tuesday before doing a very easy-paced recovery cycle on the mountain bike.
  • Took another rest day before doing another cycle. This time a hilly hard session on the TT bike. Over 600m of climbing in just under 1 hr 30m. A good session.
  • Long swim session for the upcoming half ironman. Finally starting to get a decent feel for the water and a more relaxed stroke. Not getting any faster but it’s starting to feel easier.
  • The 11 km run the morning after the swim felt REALLY hard. Legs obviously still hammered after half marathon last week. Not feeling too optimistic about the 10k race in two days’ time.
  • The 69 km bike was a longish but easy effort on the TT bike. A hilly enough one too. I somehow held an average of 28.7 kph (around 18 mph) for it. Either I had a very good day, or my bike fitness has finally kicked in. I’m hopeful it’s the latter.
  • The 10k race didn’t go great. The speed just wasn’t there in my legs. Still happy to have gone sub-45 min 10k though.
  • Racing the last 4 weekends in a row is definitely starting to take its toll. Particularly on my run speed. Next week is going to have to be an easy one I think. Better to be fully recovered and rested going into the half ironman than slightly overtrained.

Week 17 (6th – 12th September)

  • Brick session (Bike-Run)
  • Brick session (Swim-Run)
    • 1600m (estimate) open water lake swim – 40:56
    • 2.5 km run – 13:03
  • 15.29 km cycle – 38:51
  • Sheephaven half ironman triathlon – 5:33:44 RESULTS->
    • Swim – 40:36
    • T1 – 2:19
    • Bike – 2:57:01
    • T2 – 1:25
    • Run – 1:52:21 stats->


  • A short, hilly, and easy-paced cycle. Done it round the first section of the half-ironman bike course. A good average speed at 26 kph (around 16 mph) for an easy effort.
  • Intended to do my 2.3km run loop off-the-bike but had too much tightness in my left hamstring. Cut it short and done 1 km instead. Hopefully, it’ll be ok by race day.
  • An easy swim-run session the following day. Still a little tightness on the hamstring during the run but definitely improving.
  • The 15 km cycle was just a very short and easy session the day before the big race.
  • The half ironman went well overall. Expected the sea swim to be cold but wasn’t actually too bad. Into transition in just over 40 mins. The bike went great. Way faster than I thought possible averaging over 19 miles per hour for a very hilly course! The run felt tough for the first lap and horrendous for the second. Check out the stats and you’ll see what I was going through. Completely spent and glad to be finished at the end.

sheephaven half swim exit


So all in all it took around 13 weeks for me to achieve sub-45 min 10k. I’m happy with that if I’m honest and it feels good to be getting back to a high fitness level again.

After hitting that milestone I raced five times (15k, Olympic distance tri, half marathon, 10k, half ironman), five weeks in a row. An observation from doing this was that although my bike and swim fitness level went up it was at the expense of my run speed. My legs were progressively getting more tired and sore from the racing meaning I couldn’t run in training as much.

I still managed another sub-45 min 10k in that period. However, it took far more effort, felt much harder, and done more damage to my legs than that original sub-45. The moral of the story being not to over race. Exercise caution, listen to your body and back off on the racing when you need to.

Luckily I have come out pretty much unscathed in terms of injuries, aside from tight muscles here and there. I’ve hit all targets I wanted to achieve and learned that a consistent steady training plan pays off and does work. Slow and steady wins the race as they say!

Completing this challenge has now ignited a fire in me again that had reduced to little more than an ember over the last couple of years. The fire of extreme fitness, competition, and triathlons. My sights are now set on a sub-40 min 10k once I recover properly so keep an eye out for my road back to a sub-40 min 10k.

As always, feel free to leave a comment if you have any thoughts, advice, questions, or opinions related to this article.


Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness, or exercise.

Michael Duffy
Michael Duffy

Fitness, health, and outdoor enthusiast! 2 decade of experience training for, and competing in different sports. Boxer, runner, road cyclist, triathlete, and XC mountain biker. More about me here.

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