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This month's magazine question

…on, in Bristol anyway, this rather wet and miserable day. Climatically anyway.

Hope we're all well and not suffering too much from the multitude of lurgies flowing around the UK.

After your kind help once more with our March issue's (out 8 Feb) Tri Talk section, with this month's question as follows…

What or where have been the most extreme conditions you've trained in?

We're talking down to the weather, terrain, altitude… Whatever it is, you've never looked forward to that home finish line quite as much.

Was going to throw in my personal anecdote but our revered art editor Paulo has insisted on giving you his…

"Hi everyone, trust we're all having a wonderful day. I know I am. My most extreme session was striding through the Yosemite Park on a scorching hot day. Every step felt like wading through treacle and sweat dripped from every pore but the views were the sort that would wrestle the most apathetic hermit from their bittersweet slumber. It was the best goddam training session I've ever had and I must confess to being a little naughty and knocking back a couple beers afterwards. A memory I'll never forget."


  • Pre-christmas 2010 snow. Went out for a little run with my neighbour, we both normally run alone, but felt a little moral support given the conditions. Turned out to be the most extreme run both of us had ever been on. 19km in knee deep snow, very few other people out and about, a dog walker, and two idiots on MTB's. On any uphill section it was almost impossible to run, and felt like you were running in water. A really good leg workout, and so glad I ventured out.
  • Doesn't sound like much but training for Tough Guy 2009 meant a mile run down to Herne Bay sea front in early January, hill sprint followed by total immersion in the sea x3 then home. Never been able to look at a button mushroom since...
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    my most extreme was the Kentish Killer cyclosportive i was using as part of Ironman training in February 2010. It had already been posponed due to floods, so i should have known. The route was supposed to be 100k (with a 75k optional) but due to the road having been washed away on the extra loop everyone was restricted to the 75k.

    It was raining when i woke up that morning, and continued to rain all the way there. It didn't stop and rained really heavily the whole time. Within 5 minutes of starting i was soaked to the bone despite all the waterproof gear i was wearing, my hands were numb and feet were getting there. About 30k in there was a section between some fields where the mud was running down from one, across the road and onto the other. It was too deep to see the road, in fact for 3/4 of each pedal sturn my feet were completely underwater. it was more like fording a stream on a road bike, than a training ride, it was absolutely horrible. I saw lots of punctures because people could't see the pot holes beneath the water. I have never been more glad to see the finish of anything in my life...i was so cold wet and misrable. My hands and feet were still numb for about 2 hours after the event - probably 3, which made driving home interesting.
  • TrisurferTrisurfer Posts: 228
    12 mile route round cheviot (Northumberland National Park 810m) and over the summit December 20th 2009, around 6 inches of Snow at base camp, 3ft on the summit!

    Just 2 (Me = triathlete and my friend Sean = Cage fighter) of us took 4 hours including a 10 min sandwich stop in a rescue shelter before the final push to the summit! No water after about 1 hour as the camel back pipe froze solid!

    There's a vid on youtube of sean doing Burpee's near the summit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BWNuPVwa40

    The decent proved tricky and we both hobbled off the mountain with the victory but making it a summer session for next year!
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    Rode through thunderstorms, crappy spray from industrial roads and recently on Jan 2nd swam in an icey canal so kind of tolerent to weather but.....
    Isle of Mann End to End MTB 2010.
    Go there a lot for the bike racing and see friends and thought it would be a laugh to enter....well I'm not that bad on a bike and its "only 75km"

    4hours in still loads of miles and climbs to go I got the first of several episodes of cramp that would lock my quads up so bad I'd just fall to the side. Barely able to unclip myself I'd lay face down (in mountain foilage if i was lucky -most of the time not) unable to even roll over to beat my thighs as other riders rode over me, my bike and my shattered ego.

    5hours to finish vowed "never again".

    After 4 months I,m only considering changing my mind.....
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Christmas in Minnesota 2008, ice storms on arrival, deep snow around. Post festivities the rellies start to whisper about me, apparently showing signs of cabin fever. So a walk in Como Park is announced, except I am apparently to run...max temp of -10c, just about enough clothing to cope, cleared, but icy paths to keep the focus & beautiful snowscapes to enjoy. A cheeky hot chocolate with maybe a smidge of rum in it at the end.
  • Morg007Morg007 Posts: 54
    Today! Went out for a 100km ride. The first 23km took me along a road known as the ridgeway due to being along a long ridge. Problem was it was very windy and the side winds on top of the ridge nearly took me off the road on a number of occasions. Then when I turned towards the wind I couldn't get above a pace a slower runner would be embarrased to run at..... It felt like someone was I was riding through treacle or someone was physically pushing me back.
  • JonhinioJonhinio Posts: 289
    Marathon training in France in 2008. Father In Law has a nice house near some disused railway tracks, so we planned a long run. This was Easter weekend so imagine my surprise when about half way into a 21 miler it started snowing..... and continued so that on that way for the rest of the run.

    What was good was getting back and and sitting in front of a log fire
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Training run around the Yorkshire Three peaks,thick cloud,horizontal rain,very little visibility,deep snow on the summits,and then missing the path junction coming of Ingleborough,putting a hard 24 miler,upto a low 30 mile killer.But hugely satisfying.
  • JonhinioJonhinio Posts: 289
    ... And that was in the height of summer
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Jonhinio wrote:
    ... And that was in the height of summer
    You guessed correctly,typical Yorkshire summer,Northern sunshine.
  • Worst 40 minutes of my life were the Jack Straits famous Menai Strait swimming race 2010, which see's swimmers swim from Anglesey back over to Wales in the extreme waters.

    We had to be accompanyied by a kayaker, but most capsized and had to be dragged out, of the 30 odd swimmers on 18 made it across, it was without doubt the roughest seas conditions the race ever saw it been allowed to start in! The swells were up to 8-10feet, and not just rollers, but actually breaking over our heads. It was more a question of fighting for my life rather than winning a race, I managed to get all the way across in 11th position, the mayor of caernarfon was at the other end meeting swimmers as they got out, but he had to take a back seat as swimmers were ushered to paramedics to be foil wrapped due to hypothermia and being violently sick due to too much salt water being taken on board! I threw up twice, once half way across and once at the end, I also got stung 7 times by jelly fish in the water.

    Interestingly I have checked the BLDSA calendar of events for 2011 and funnily enough that race has been removed? which is a shame as it has been going for so many years and I would do it again, obviously hoping for calmer waters, why an earth the promoters didnt postpone it in 2010 I will never know as due to that decision alone the race may never take place again!

    But if it did, you can bet your bottom dollar id be in there!
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  • risris Posts: 1,002
    i'll happily train in the snow and even on ice, but it was in a race where i had the worst conditions - cricklade tri in 2009.

    despite it being june, the weather was cool and a bit blustery and there were some suggestions of rain in the forecast and the clouds. i was doing the oly (my first attempt at that distance), and as i came back toward the town to finish the first lap on the bike the heavens opened - dumping torrential hail all over me. it only lasted 5 or 6 minutes, but at the time i was trying to pick up some speed on some new-ish tarmac.

    the road was awash with hail, which did nothing for my confidence in handling. going 20+mph didn't help with the shower hitting me - they were also pounding my bare arms and legs. i had a scatter of tiny bruises for about a week after!

    it cleared almost as soon as it started, but there was another sharp hailstorm at the start of the run, which sunk me into a new low as my shoes collected the icy shards. at the end of the race it started to rain properly, there were a few competitors still out on the course completing the run who i really felt for, and all the finishers and organisers were huddled in a wind-buffeted marquee waiting for it to abate.

    all i could think at the time, particularly through the hail storm, was that this was JUNE!
  • dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
    Running in foothills of Pyrenees. Very hot day, route was 4 miles up steep hill, and was running with a longstanding running partner so no question of copping out. Was returning to running after a long gap so not an ideal start. Threw up at the top. Only time I have ever done that!
  • vybermanvyberman Posts: 28
    Not sure if this counts because it wasn't for a tri. But so far I have only done one tri at the end of last season so I haven't got much tri history to draw from...yet!
    My hardest ever training was for a mountain bike trip to Mount Fuji (among other Japanese stuff)

    5 times a week I was doing what could be described as a brick session (although I would call it a concrete block more than a brick)
    It involved riding 20 miles on a mountain bike, with deliberately low pressure tyres and a 25L ruck sack full of washing, to Leicester's only real hill. Once there I would strap the bike to my ruck sack and run up the hill, ride it back down, then run up again....I increased the number of reps from one to six as time went on.

    I would then ride to my mums house another 5 miles away, wash the washing (thanks mum) then ride 23 miles home with the bag of now wet washing...it really really hurt, not as much as Fuji itself did though!
    But the sunrise, the standing ovation from the walkers when we arrived at the summit, and the descent, made every bit of it worthwhile!
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