Deca Update

Unfortunately, I had to withdraw from the UK Deca Ironman due to a busted achilles (right) that I picked up towards the end of Day 3. Having won the first three days and comfortably leading the event, it was an extremely difficult decision to make.

However, as a coach I think it's important to know when it is time to take the sensible option to preserve yourself for future races. It got to the point where I had to take a lot of painkillers just to get around the course. Masking injuries in this way is never a sensible option and you're only setting yourself up for permanent damage.

Having decided this, I took the bike easier and walked the marathons for the next two days to achieve the quintuple ironman, which is a fantastic achievement I'm very proud of.

I went to the hospital yesterday and they have confirmed a minor rupture to my achilles and said it could take up to 12 months to recover. The pain I am now in when trying to walk is further testimony to the fact that I made the right decision.

Guy's lent me some crutches...
Guy's lent me some crutches...

Anyone who has had to pull out of an event will understand what I went through. I sat in my tent on the morning of Day 6 listening to those (now friends) still left in the deca go down to the lake for the swim. I thought about joining them and lost it when I heard my name being called out by Steve taking the roll call. Thankfully, I had Rachael there to re-assure me (stop me) that I was doing the right thing. If I'd have gone down to the lake that morning I would have seen the pain the others were going through and forced myself to continue. We band of brothers (and sister!)...

Would you believe it..!!!
Would you believe it..!!!

We didn't have a great web link in the New Forest, which made uploading to a daily blog a bit difficult. I do have lots of notes, pictures, videos and experiences to share so I'll put these up over the next few days/weeks as I recover (it'll give me something to do now that I can't train).


  • I can imagine pulling out must have been an incredibly difficult decision but you made the right choice Toby. To be quite honest what you acheived is still pretty much super-human from my point of view over here on the couch. Well done mate!

    Posted Sunday, 12th June 2011 by Bob Chocolate

  • Really sad to hear you had to pull out of the event - but clearly you took the right decision. You'd have made matters much worse had you gone through the fourth day.

    So it'll be lots of swimming for the next few months?

    Even though it's a shame you couldn't do it all, what you did was incredible - and before you got the injury, you were leading on both days. that's a great achievement.

    Posted Wednesday, 15th June 2011 by George Cory

  • Thanks George

    I completed five days in total and lead for the first three until my right achilles let me down.

    The training plan I followed was spot on so it was a crushing blow to pick up an injury when I felt so fit. I biked with my left leg and limped the marathon to complete the quintuple ironman, which I am very proud of...I've never walked a marathon or completed an ironman in over 12 hours so I am pleased that I toughed it out.

    Pulling out was a hard decision but the right thing to do. In fact, to be honest, I should have pulled out earlier, which may have meant that I could have still completed other events I have planned this year (Lakeland50, Embrunman, Long Distance World Championships). That'll teach me to get caught up in macho bullsh1t.

    Rehab is hard (RICEing) and I'm already getting frustrated at not being mobile. The longer I'm not training the more fitness I'll lose (reversibility), which is also getting me down.

    It might be a while before I'm out with the Paragon again.

    Enjoy your rides. I wish you all the best of weather.


    Posted Wednesday, 15th June 2011 by Toby

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