Meet a triathlete friend – Ian Fearon

It’s time for another ‘meet a triathlon friend’ post and today’s is from Ian Fearon.

Ian is another friend that I met through parkrun and a very keen triathlete (although I only found out about this fairly recently!)

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What do you do when you’re not competing or training?

Dream about competing and training! It’s a constant thing, as are all passions. Aside from that I work damn hard at work and also love spending time with the kids and family. Oh, and I play Candy Crush. Way too much!!!

How long have you been a triathlete?

Since 2010. I did a marathon in Eindhoven and suffered massively with ilitotibial band syndrome. So I told myself no more marathons, but I needed something to do so I took up cycling and then convinced myself to give tri a go. I couldn’t swim for toffee and remember the first day in the pool, 4 lengths almost killed me!

What got you hooked on triathlons?

Lycra. Love the stuff 🙂 And you can run around in public in it and no-one bats an eyelid! Aside from that I have no idea. It’s just something that grew on me and constantly made me want more, to go further, and the irony is that I started tri to do something else other than marathons and ended up doing iron distance! Perhaps one thing for me, as the worlds biggest introvert, is the solitude of long-distance training and the time it gives me to be with myself. And maybe it’s the feeling of achievement that you get from setting yourself a big challenge and then doing something amazing.

Who are your triathlon inspirations?

Dave Scott and Mark Allen; possibly the two greatest Ironman athletes the world has ever seen. The book that tells their story, Iron War, is a compelling read and puts you right into their heads. They are amazing athletes, totally committed, hugely competitive but in two totally different ways. And they achieve what they have for little reward compared to some of the overpaid athletes and sports stars who achieve far less.

What have you been particularly proud of achieving in triathlon?

Iron distance at Outlaw. Finishing an iron distance race was such an amazing feeling , and the pride came from setting myself a target, putting the hours in, and achieving something I will never forget. I finished it in 12:16, a time to this day I still wonder how the hell I did it!

What does your typical training week consist of?

I have a very rigid structure and routine so I always know what I am doing on a given day and my family always know where I am! I find that way I can fit in everything else that I need to do. That said, I’m not running at the moment due to a bad knee injury, which also stops me cycling too far. Typically I swim open water at 6am every Tuesday and Saturday at Eastleigh Lakeside and do a long pool swim on a Thursday night. I bike to work most days (commuting in a car is such a waste of training time!) and do a slightly longer ride on a Saturday. But battling broken bones in my back and a bad right knee has made me cut back on training time. I will be back in full swing soon I hope.

What’s your favourite triathlon discipline and why?

Running. Love it. Which is why I’m so frustrated currently as I can’t run due to injury.

What’s your least favourite triathlon discipline and why?

Everyone’s least favourite is the swim and I’m no different! But I’m improving though and better technique learned in SwimExpert lessons has taken me a long way.

What triathlon targets do you have in your sights?

I don’t have any currently as I want to focus on healing. If I were to dream and be injury free, I would say I want to do a sub-12 Ironman. If fully fit I know I have it in me. One day……

What’s your favourite triathlon event (e.g. sprint, Olympic, Half or Full)?

I have to say full. The training is a challenge in itself, and the day itself is a complete roller coaster of emotion which ends in a feeling of elation that is totally amazing. And you get to do lots of everything you love!

What’s your favourite triathlon event so far?

I don’t like the big events, the mega ones that are way too commercial and designed to cram as many triathletes in as they possibly can to make more money. I fell foul of that in a tri last year – the organisers cut so many corners when it came to safety which I feel was a major factor in a bad accident I had in transition.

I know I keep saying the same thing but to answer the question I would have to say Outlaw, an iron-distance event held in Nottingham. It’s so well organised, numbers are sensibly capped, and spectators are catered for brilliantly in all of the three disciplines so the family really felt like a big part of my day. I even stopped for a chat with them half way through the run 🙂

If you could share one triathlon tip or secret to success, what would it be?

Leave no stone unturned and plan everything. Have a plan and stick to it, unless you get an injury and then you need to adjust sensibly. And pay attention to every last detail – for Outlaw I even found out what hydration they were giving out on race day and used that exclusively in training. Little things like that can affect your body on race day with big effects.

What’s your favourite triathlon related gadget, piece of equipment or web site?

I have to say my trusty Garmin 910XT. It does everything with me, tells me how many lengths I have done in the pool (counting is so hard!) and tells me how fast I on on foot or wheels. And as a compete statto it gives me lots of numbers I can use to plot pretty graphs :-).

What’s your next triathlon and what are your goals for that event?

As I say, injury means I don’t have one. But in my dreams…. I am going to cross an Ironman finish line….as the clock says 11:59:59……

Many thanks Ian. Great answers and advice. I have to say that Outlaw is definitely on my to-do list after Ian’s recommendation and I have to agree that Garmin 910XT is a major bit of triathlon tech which I couldn’t live without.

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