Fe=Iron Male=Ironman Training

With the disappointments of 2016 behind me, I decided to have a ‘Gap Year’ from Para-cycling in 2017, and pursue the goal of completing a 70.3 Ironman in Haines City, Florida. My racing wheelchair ‘Chameleon’ was dusted off after a three year hiatus, and I started swimming regularly again, relying on my Coach Dr.Ralf Lindschulten http://www.lindschulten.de to juggle my workouts and schedule.
I was lucky to be invited to Florida with my Coach and other European hand cyclists to join a training camp run by Paralysed Veterans of America (PVA Team ) in Brooksville, Florida, in February. The Withacoochee State Trail, 46 miles of paved trail, was ideal for doing my long 4:30 hr endurance rides on my hand cycle, and I clocked up an incredible amount of training over two weeks, as well as being Lactacte Threshhold tested by Ralf in ‘Das Pain Cave’ whilst there!
The next warm weather training was in Portugal in March, where I stayed with friends of Mark Rohan, the Irish Paralympic Handcyclist, for two weeks. I had access to the City public pool and 1.6km park path, so was able to train in all three disciplines for two weeks.
A friend, Luke Delahunty, an Invictus Games competitor, was very fortunate to win a weeks cycling holiday to Greece offered by greekcycleholidays.com on the Island of Evia, and asked if I’d come. It was two weeks before my Ironman race and involved taking all of my race equipment with me, including spares and race wheels for both my hand cycle and race chair, as my flight to the U.S. was the day after we returned. But sorting difficult logistics for races are my speciality after years of solo competing!
Steve Frost, the owner of @GCHols, and assistant Lilian Pitsa were amazingly helpful-from the delicious ‘athlete food’ served daily, the lifts down to the seafront for my ‘brick’ sessions, and making the Villa completely accessible with hand-built ramps- I was able to put the finishing touches to my Ironman preparations, with lots of great riding, scenery, food and weather.
I arrived in Orlando, Florida, a week before my race, to high temperatures and humidity. Luckily, all my specialized equipment arrived intact thanks to my specially constructed box: http://www.dssmith.com/plastics/about/newsroom/2017/2/handcycle-box-for-world-ranked-para-cyclist. Unfortunately, I had to get my hand bike fixed at http://bikeshopofwinterhaven.com after my previous flight had caused damage. The mechanics were amazing, staying late to sort my gearing and Di2 so that my bike was race ready. I was kindly taken out to the Fraser Trail by Kris who works at the shop, to do my final hard interval training just days before Ironman 70.3 Haines City.

Six months of hard training were over, the rest was up to me…


Training by the sea in Portugal

Athlete Food

Protein bars

Protein bars

These little squares of yummy-ness are from a recipe given to me by Duncan Shea-Simonds (@DSS123) an Ironman Triathlete, whose recipes and food on Facebook  I have admired from afar 🙂

I’ve included a Vegan option, as well as the standard Vegetarian one. Both are equally good. You may have to play around with the amount of protein powder to get the right consistency to the bars. I’ve decided to chop my dates, rather than risk losing the other half of my tooth to another stone…

The mixture makes about 44 small squares, so I suggest making half the quantity at your first attempt! They keep for weeks-well, they would if I didn’t keep eating them! Warning: About 300 calories for a twix sized finger!


  • 100g cashews
  • 100g almonds
  • 50g oats
  • 30g chia seeds
  • 100g whey protein (or mixture of hemp/pea/etc)
  • 50g dessicated coconut
  • 1 tsp Maldon sea salt
  • 40g dark chocolate
  • 200g dates
  • 50g apricots
  • 50g cranberries
  • 100g coconut oil
  • 50g honey
  • 40g dark chocolate (more depending on how thick you want the topping to be)
  1. Blend dry ingredients to a coarse mix in a food processor or liquidiser
  2. Chop dried fruit finely (alternatively use food processor)
  3. Melt coconut oil, honey and chocolate in a bain marie (a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water)
  4. Combine all ingredients
  5. Press into a baking tin approx. 12”x 9.5”
  6. Chill in fridge for a few hours, then cut into small 2” squares

Eat and enjoy!