Sub 9 Hour Journey

I hope that this thread will inspire others looking at the pointy end, or at least be a source of Lionelesque amusement for the wider tritalk community.

On 3 July 2022, all going well, I will take part in Challenge Roth. My aim is to complete the race in under 9 hours, and maybe even take a podium spot in the 50-54 Age Category.

Lets commence in true Lionel style with being at my least fit and heaviest weight since Feb 2020. On Jan first my CTL was 91 and weight 74kg, I also haven’t fully recovered from foot injury (Jan 1 2021 CTL was 136, weight 69kG and injury free). So I am starting the season a little be tubby and well rested.

Week one I really threw myself into training, with a full on 24 hours

My attempt at a sub 20min Parkrun ended up with a 20:30… and I was pushing. Luckily foot held up well, but need to be really careful.

I did a 3 hour Zwift ride with Robbie Britton, my friend and mentor. Discussed training approach for this year. Given my 5 months Gardening leave, I should use the opportunity to train at much lower intensity, but for longer. Robbie thinks that I would really benefit from regualar 3 hour rides but keeping my HR below 120bpm, in addition, Zwift racing is important for my high intensity workouts. My weekly Parkrun shouldn’t be a flat out 5k, instead keep it around marathon pace. Only time I should be running flat out should be on the track, I also need to be careful not to run too much, replace some of my running sessions with swimming

The week was mostly low intensity work focusing on building a base, The first half of the week I felt unfit and sluggish, but as the week progressed I began to feel better. My weekly Parkrun was 22:30, I chatted to a new member, and it felt like a really nice pace. On Sunday I did a 72km Zwift race, and was really pleased to average 280w for 1h45m without feeling too bad

I only managed 2 swims in the week. Going forward I have set myself a target to swim at least 4 times a week.

Week commencing 2 Jan
Bike - 405 km, 15h
Run - 41km, 4h
Hike - 7km, 1h30m
Swim - 4830m, 2h
Total 23h30m

Height Gain 7889m
TSS 1170
CTL 110
Weight 73.6kg (-0.5kg)


So is the the life of an unpaid Pro?

What’s the time between sessions?

Any physio/massage scheduled in, or just on the fly?

24 hours seems huge for three sports :exploding_head:

I’m on Gardening leave, I’m being paid a lot more than most pros… at least for a few months


I don’t think I have any advise to add that you don’t already know but just want to wish you the best of luck with it, i’ll be rooting for you & following with interest.


This I am looking forward to watching!

i am croud sourcing my training plan… so all input welcome


At the sort of volume I know you’re likely to push yourself to, you need to make sure under pain of death, that you TAKE IT VERY EASY! Otherwise you’ll overtrain, get injured, or both. I would take some time to research the sort of training that the likes of Mark Allen did at his peak (in terms of intensity). Ignore what LIONel does.

But you know this :sweat_smile:


You can afford to be a little more conservative…

Indeed you do. No need to take such risks. One misplaced footstrike (Not knowing what your njury was) could cost you weeks…

Ultra Britton?

Yes, probably, - hence no needing that park run - although I don’t know your physiology…but this approach makes sense early on at least…

Define flat out? Thee is a balance between rep distance/pace and recovery interval that will make the best use of track time.

As it happens, i am coaching a chap with similar ambitions at Roth…but a different approach…


yes, but everyone forgets how he got such a good engine in the first place…


1:13 was the slowest swim split of sub/9 finishers in 2021.

4:40 bike
3:02 run



Christ, that’s slower than me! I went 1.10 in Wales and i’m shite!

1 Like

100% Behind you,

You’ve got this.


that about sums up where i’d be if i’d entered…… :joy:


The words smash and legend are absent here.


Just trying to show support, I have nothing that can help him on the journey.


all I could add is it’s the most straightforward long distance swim out there, and advise that you don’t do what a couple did when I was there and swim past the turnaround point and kept on going


Of the 81 sub-9 finishers in 2021, four were over 50:

2021 M50-54 podium
Christophe Bastie 8:42
Ex-pro triathlete with a PB of 8:19

Thomas Grünberg 8:54
Regular guy. Good work :clap:t3:

Arnaud Selukov 8:59
Regular guy. Has won Ultraman Australia before.

M55 winner
Bent Andersen 8:59
Former Elite Danish National Champion 1992


It’s more psycological than needing to do 24 hours from a training perspective. After a pretty relaxed december I need to get in some good hours just to remind myself that I can still do it


Good point, Intervals at roughly 2mmol and 4mmol pace… I have not done or planning to do any blood test, however, I find structured intervals on the track very useful.

Would be interested to see how he gets on as well. I know I have the bike and run to do it, but swim is big weakness

I am looking for splits

Maybe a minute or 2 faster on the run and bike


The bar is nice an high… I did come 6th in 45-49 last year, so in the right ballpark


Gives me a bit of confidence too