Tagged: ironman

The 145km Giant Salamander Ride

I’ve said before that I have a tendency to overdo things, and despite being so restrained over the last few weeks I got carried away and made a sudden decision to cycle farther than I ever have before. With little planning, I left home just before 5am and headed north into the mountains on my Giant Defy road bike.

Top Of the Otoge Pass

The idea was to head towards Gujo, cross the Otoge pass over the mountains and cycle through “Giant Salamander Land”, an area where the huge, 1.5m long giant Japanese salamander is protected.

I’ll skip the details since you can just watch the video, but I finished the ride in eight and a half hours, covering 145km and climbing anywhere between 2,500 and 3,500m, depending on which app you go by.

Elevation chart

Later this year I hope to tackle a solo, full Ironman-distance triathlon which will see me swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and then run a full 42.2km marathon. The most daunting part of that trio was the bike stage. Until today, my longest ride was 113km and I remember suffering from a very sore bum and back for the second half of that ride.

Today’s ride was quite a confidence booster. I did have a sore bum, back, neck, knees and my ever-present Achilles tendonitis and 2nd metatarsal injuries hurt a fair bit, but not until very late in the ride. I was also very pleased with how long it took me. I didn’t go too hard, and took quite a few rest breaks including breakfast and lunch at convenience stores, but still completed the distance in a reasonable time – probably because my new road bike is a lot quicker than my mountain bike!

In September, I will need to do 180km over even bigger mountains. After today, I’m pretty confident I can do it… but running a full marathon afterwards is another matter altogether. Today, running even 5km was totally out of the question.

Ramsay’s Round Up – March 22, 2013

Lots to talk about this week, so let’s jump in with the big stuff first.

JTU Membership and Imizu Triathlon

Last year I did the Ebie Triathlon in Toyama prefecture and had such a great time that I wanted to do it again. This time around, I wanted to step up from the beginner’s “Challenge” race to the Olympic-distance “Standard”, but that required registering with the JTU (Japan Triathlon Union). I managed to do that online and then signed up for one of the 450 spots available in the race. Interestingly, they’ve renamed the triathlon from “Ebie” to “Imizu” which is the city in which it’s held. I guess that means the race won’t just be around the Ebie marine park, but will cover more of the city, maybe including the new suspension bridge they were building last year. That would be cool.

Hokkaido Ironman

Now this is really exciting. There used to be a full, official Ironman event in Japan, but it was moved to Korea, I think because of Mad Cow’s disease here, or was it Foot and Mouth? Anyway, until this year, there has only been a half-Ironman in Japan. It’s by the Chubu International Airport in Tokoname, just south of Nagoya. I know that area and it doesn’t appeal to me at all, especially for the 42,000 yen asking price.


Hokkaido, on the other hand, is somewhere I have never been and would dearly love to visit. Mami, my wife, would love to go there, too, so I’m tentatively penciling in Ironman Hokkaido in August 2014 as the goal for this whole “Long Countdown” journey. I’d love to say “I WILL DO IT!”, but the 2013 event sold out in three days so there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to get in next year, no matter how much I want to. But, I’ll give it a go! Entry looks likely to open in February 2014.

300km in 7 days Challenge

Chris (@Cicirunner) challenged me to run, bike, swim, hike or walk 300km in one week when I get 300 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I foolishly agreed, but then it isn’t something I should shy away from because when I do a full Ironman, I’ll have to do 226km in a single day! Doing 300km in seven days will be a good test. I’ll have to plan it out carefully so you can expect another blog post on that nearer the time. I’m at 259 subscribers as I type this.

Kakamigahara Half-Marathon

This Sunday is the 1st Kakamigahara half-marathon. Until now they’ve only gone up to 10K, but this year they’ve extended it over a new bridge which we get to run on before it’s even opened to cars! I’ve been thinking about my race strategy and think it’ll be wise to attempt a negative split – something I haven’t done in my last three races. Because of the heat (it’s an afternoon start!) I’ll start off at around 4:30/km pace and try to step it up 5 seconds every 4 kilometers. That should get me to the finish very close to 1:30, if I can follow the plan strictly and last the distance.

Injury-wise, I’m okay except for what feels like bruising on the ball of my right foot. It could prove a problem on Sunday, but I’ll probably just run through the pain and worry about it afterwards.

A Week in Training


With so many races in February and March, it’s hard to get any kind of routine going, so I’ve just been trying to do something active everyday. I felt good enough after last Sunday’s 10K race in Seki to go for a 3.6km walk on Monday. On Tuesday I hiked up Mt. Gongen (2.6km, ~250m ascent) followed by a fantastic 2,000m in the pool. On Wednesday, I went on a 70km round-trip bike ride with a friend to Gujo Castle. The return trip was in the rain! I ran a slow 11km on Thursday with a big hill climb at the end, and cycled 32km to the Mt. Kinka Driveway on Friday (pictured above). I’ve skipped swimming this evening and will take Saturday off before Sunday’s race.