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During 2016, we will be following, Emma Kirk-Odunubi, in her journey from ‘Fitness Fanatic to Iron Woman’ as she attempts to complete an Iron-distance triathlon.

Raising funds for Cancer Research
“An indoor Iron Man sounds do-able!” That was a phrase I uttered at the end of last year with hope and slight fear.

A 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 mile run – all indoors, all in the name of charity.

Every year since the death of my Dad from brain cancer back in 2012, I have pledged to do a fitness challenge to raise money in his memory for Cancer Research.

Last year I completed 24 hours of burpees – 7015 of them, so you can see why my declaration was said so confidently as I don’t think anything can be as hard as that…right?

24 hours of burpees

Experienced at training, novice at triathlon
Currently I train five or six days a week as part of my normal routine. On average, I run twice a week (7-10km), do a HIT style workout such as Barry’s Bootcamp or Kobox, as well as one weight session a week.

To some this may sound a lot, but growing up I trained multiple days as a thrower and university level netballer. Occasionally I even trained twice in one day, so to me five days is the norm!

But when it comes to triathlon, I am a COMPLETE novice.

My running journey has seen me complete several 10k races as well as my first half marathon last December. I was chuffed with my time of 1:49 for the half, so I’ve a solid run base to build on.

But this kind of training will be a whole step up!

Psyching myself up for some hard training
Having previously done some swimming, water is not completely alien to me, but by no means am I ‘Free Willy’. And when it comes to the bike, I’m hardly a Chris Froome.

An Ironman is no small task, but I’m psyching myself up for nine months of hard training to get me in the best condition I can be.

As I write this it’s the start of February and throughout January I have been researching what I’ll need to help me train for this massive event.

Remember, remember the 5th of November
With a location and date now confirmed at the YMCA club in central London for 5 November 2016, I can truly knuckle down and start my training.

I am following a training programme created by British Athletics coaches in association with the Nike Run Clubs that take place for free every week across London.

This programme is available on their website for all and I used it successfully to achieve my half marathon time. As part of my programme I have entered the Hackney Half Marathon in May and Amsterdam Marathon in October.

Training starts now…
For the swim and cycle, I have a programme which initially starts me doing an hour a week. It then advises adding 10% extra time for each until I’m six months out from race day and a new phase begins.

This seems a realistic amount for me to ease myself into the training load and try to avoid injury. I shall keep you all updated on my progress, be it injury (let’s hope not!) or little successes along the way.

My first steps are about to be taken to being an Iron Woman!

We wish Emma all the best of luck with her challenge and we’ll be updating the site with her blog posts along the way so you can follow her journey.


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