The Challenge Peguera-Mallorca is a world renowned Half Iron-man Race that this year celebrated this year its fourth edition. It consists of covering a grueling 70.3 miles through a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile cycle, followed by a 13.1 mile run. The race set in some of the most picturesque part of Mallorca is a must for many endurance athletes. Smart Fitness member Tracey has recently returned from having successfully completed this years event. Tracey has overcome some major injuries making this achievement even more sweeter.
Tracey started training at Smart Fitness almost 9 years ago after coming back from completing a half ironman in Monaco which in her words ‘just about killed me, it was my third half iron man and my body was literally falling apart’. This culminated in two 2 hip operations in the last 6 years and numerous shoulder issues which have prevented her from swimming for large amounts of time.
‘Training at Smart Fitness put me back together and made me strong enough to get through my triathlon training’ Tracey explains. ‘So what the Smart Fitness team thought of my plan, less than a month after my last hip operation, I decided to sign up to do another half half iron-man which was to be almost a year to the day after the op I’m not really sure. They took it in their stride and set about helping me gain the strength and flexibility in my hip and my body as whole.’
‘The first 8 months of my training was for Sprint Triathlon as I’d qualified the previous for the European Championships. All went to plan. I wasn’t last by a long way so exceeded my expectations. That then freed me up to start the real training.’
‘With 4 months to go I started my half iron-man (70.3 miles) training. I had to more than quadruple the distance of both the bike and the run in that time. Within a month I’d managed half the run distance but still no where near half the bike distance. Then a severe chest infection put me out of all training for a month. I had to start again, not looking at the end point, but only focusing on what my body would let me do. Miraculously, the enforced rest helped improve my hip. In the gym we saw steep changes in my mobility and strength. Being able to show the coaches that I could lift my leg up 20cm to step up on to a box without falling over was a huge achievement at this point.’
‘By the time Race day came round I had completely run out of time to train properly but I decided to give the event a go as I was going to Mallorca for the holiday as well. The bike was 2 laps and the run four, so I figured I could drop out at any point if it stopped being fun.’
‘I had a few tears as I started the second lap of the bike (28 miles per lap), 56 miles on the bike is a realy long way for me these days. But the course was almost ideally designed for me as all the uphill work was in the first 10 miles of each lap with the final 18 miles being net downhill and was so much fun to sweep round the hairpin bends. I was so happy with my strong bike section that I kind of forgot I was going to have to run 13.1 miles and that one of the things missing from my preparations had been running off the bike.’
‘It took less than a mile of running before my legs went on strike. Cramp in hamstring and quads in both legs left me completely immobile, it felt like a lifetime stood besides the side of the road, certainly enough time to contemplate all the missed training which would have prevented this frustrating situation.’
‘I got going again, dreading every little uphill section but as I got through the first 3 miles, the fear of cramp subsided and was replaced with very small niggles in my hip. I kept running. I got to half way. I got through the third lap and I still didn’t think I would be able to bear the heat and pain to get me through the last 3 miles (lifting my bad leg was becoming quite troublesome by this point) but as I started passing the marshals for the last time, I thanked them and I wanted to thank them all so I kept going. All the way to the finish line.’
‘I managed to complete the whole event in 6 hours 21 minutes I only missed my target of 6hrs 19 min by 2 mins. 6 years ago I’d have cried at being out on a 70.3 mile course for that long. Now I cried because I couldn’t be out there longer.’
‘I know it’s me that does the training but without the team at Smart Fitness making me do all my rehab, strength work and mobility work, I’d not be in any fit state to do my sport specific training so thank you Smart fitness and here’s hoping my next 9 years are less of a challenge for you!’
Well done Tracey we’re all super proud of you.