The Fierce FIVE – or should that be stupid Paul’s Fierce FIVE

OK so I have thought long and hard about setting myself challenges for this year. It started off with “hmmm I could do more running/swimming” etc and “I could trim/build up here and there” but thought this isn’t really a target.

So then it hit me, I’ll submit myself in an event this year and get some charity money (ah nice feels right there!) so OK what is there? Well the first thing that came into my head was the Great North Run Manchester 10K on 18th May, but I do 10Ks anyway on a week night. Perhaps I could target a fast time ie 40-45 minutes rather than my typical 55-60 minutes. I could do this with the AFC Masters players and coaches as they were going on about it last year and the money could go towards the club. Nice Idea!

As I went on through the day at work being busy as usual (HA) I thought I need to do something which I can’t do at present but something I could train for – Hmmm perhaps involving my swimming? How about swimming the English Channel? I could do it couldn’t I? Well – it turns out that after a lot of research – NO PAUL not a chance even with a load of training, coughing up the money for a pilot boat etc you wouldn’t be at least ready for it this year. I swim only breast stroke, covering 2-3 miles at best each session – the Channel is 22 miles of ice cold treacherous water – not warm pool water.

OK so that was put to bed – but I thought I could do an outdoor swim? What about The Great North Swim (14-16 June) at Windermere? I could do that? 2 miles in freezing cold open water? I spoke to my swimming expert Hellen and she said STILL I need to do a lot of open water training. She said she’d look to help me with some training and some open water training up to the event. Sounds good to me.

What else is there? Well I got talking to my boss about doing an event which people really are going to sponsor me to do. Something people will say “You are absolutely nuts, OK I’ll sponsor you”. He said Iron Man, which made me laugh as no way on Earth I’d be ready for that in 5 years never mind this year – I don’t even do triathlons.

We kept talking and something I’ve always wanted to do is the Coast to Coast after my great friend Rick and I attempted many years ago AND FAILED COMPLETELY due to being ill prepared with no food and no bike chain repair tool (god that was a fun day pushing a bike 5 miles). Still, I didn’t see this as challenging enough – I could do it over three days which is mega tough but I want something which is going to make people think “That is tough” but still stick to the Coast to Coast idea. How about doing the 3 day cycle Coast to Coast from St Bees to Robin Hoods bay… and then run back? That sounds mad and stupid? 3 day cycle there one way followed by 5 marathons back again, one day after the other making it an 8 day horrible, gruesome, stupid challenge. People might give me a quid to do that?

Then I thought more about doing the Tough Mudder (2-3 August) but this is a very very tough event which one of the dad’s of AFC Masters who also help out a lot with the training etc completed. He told me I could do it if I trained hard for it. I’ll speak to him about it on Saturday at training.

This makes four, but I also wanted an endurance challenge which involved swimming since I was looking at doing running and cycling with the C2C. I could take my time, regular pee breaks, taking in nutrition during the day. Going back to the Channel Swim, how about doing the length of the swim but in a public pool… hmm calculations time.

22 miles = 35,406 meters, so that’s 1,417 lengths of a 25 meter pool. God that seems a lot. I’m averaging at about 1.5 lengths per minute which means this would take me 945 minutes or 15.7 hours. Well, unfortunately most public pools are only open for 15 hours a day, plus I’d need lots of breaks. Hmmm, how about just doing a standard 1,000 lengths? Well I’d do that in 666 minutes (AH A SIGN?) which is 11.1 hours. I could do this!?!? Starting at 7am and going for it? I’ll definitely look into this. Interestingly this event would equate to me burning 9,182 calories. I’m going to need a lot of energy shakes for this?

OK OK, so that makes

  • The Great North Run Manchester 10K
  • The Great North Swim
  • Coast to Coast to Coast (back again)
  • Tough Mudder
  • 1,000 pool lengths swim

Maybe some of these are simply not going to be achievable. What I’ll do is I’ll keep these secret, train really hard, ask a few experts about what they think and I’ll decide if I’m doing these events and announce as they come up?

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