One year of never giving up

Last year around May, I said to myself: Nicklas you seriously need to get off this couch.
Background story: I was one of those people that only worked out 1-2 months to look good for beach “2012” etc.
An ongoing thing since 15 years.
Vacation fit 🙂
Previous birthday I had been given a giftcard for 1 month of training with Nordic Military Fitness, by my friends. The validity of this giftcard was running out so it fit perfectly with my goal of not becoming another victim of lazyness.
The first day I showed up at NMT (nordic..) it was test day.
Burpees, pullups and crunches were some of the tests that were administered, and they were timed. Meaning one should do as many as one could do within a certain time frame.
Being the idiot I am, of course I gave it my all and then some 🙂
For the first time in my life, I threw up due to pushing myself over my limits. I didn’t do the last test which was running 2km (or something like that, can’t remember).
But I came back next session and the next session after that. I had a lot of fun but NMT was not really for me.
I wanted something else!
My mistress Triathlon whispered in my ear: Come back Nicklas. You never did an Ironman.
I checked.. yes my old team was still around (Helenholms IF Triathlon). But now, they were an separate division and not under the orienteering section.
May 28 2013 on Heleneholms IF Tri Team facebook page you could read:
Hej alla, jag är nog HTTs nyaste medlem  Kondisen är inte på topp men med ett mål på att göra Kalmar Ironman nästa år så hoppas jag med er hjälp att lyckas. Kommer ni på 20:00 simpasset på Söndag får ni gärna peppa mig! (summed up in English: I’m the newest member :))
My Goal: Become an Ironman in 1 year.
“One year of training” sunk into my head. How the hell would I manage to train for that long of time? Given my trackrecord of 1-2months working out and then loosing interest?
No, I set my mind. This time it would be different. I had a clear goal. There is no way I will complete an Ironman without having trained hard.
I started running with our Long Runner section every Tuesday and Thursday. Since I was in such a poor condition I was always running alone. I was doing my endurance workouts while all the others were running race season workouts. But I did my workouts and when the others had finished their workouts which pretty much lasted 1:30h, I usually still had 30 minutes to go.
Every Wednesday and Sunday I swam with my swimming section in the open water. When the weather was bad and no one else showed up, I still went there and did some laps between the piers.
I bought a bike and every time time my team had a session I would show up. If there were no session, I went to spinning classes instead.
Was all of the above easy? Heck no..
The first months I had such pain in my legs and body I can’t even begin to describe it.
But I endured it.
The pain slowly disappeared and results were showing instead.
First session with the Long Runners section was intervals of running 1km 5 times with a break of 3.5 minutes. I was running hard at that time and was very out of breath with a 5:10min average per 1km.
My coach said to me: Nicklas, it’s better you slow down and come back to us rather than think this is too much and stay at home next tuesday.
Today I can run a half marathon easily with 4:30min per km without a break.
Back then I could barely swim 50m crawl without stopping because I was so fatigued. 4 weeks ago I swam 1.9km using crawl in 37 minutes.
Biking is somewhat special because it is so exposed to weather conditions and road situations, but one of my first sessions with a fellow team member, he had to drag me home when we went for a 80km trip. We were doing an average of 27km/h.
I feel I can comfortably bike over 30km/h average on any bike tour nowadays. Note, 4 weeks ago I did 90km in 2:47 whereas 10km was a 700m ascent (7% incline!).
It was impossible for me to imagine 1 year ahead where I would be today.
But when I look at my results, this past year was worth it!
And the fact that I never gave up makes me smile.
Everything is easier when you do it with a smile!

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