At the start of every year there is always the pressure to make the yearly promises of how you are going to ‘change’ the way you either view your life and the way you ‘run’ your life. It is very easy to try and enter in to the new years resolution mode, without even trying.

Looking back, 2017 was a big year both challenge wise and personally. Personally a new arrival in June with a new baby girl to join a four year old who had already well and truly established herself within the house. Admittedly this required another period of ‘adjustment’ from a training point of view, however I think the fact that prior to the arrival I managed to complete the Belfast Marathon in 3:24 two days after a 100 mile cycle meant I had mentally ticked off some sporting challenges in May before the arrival, with a see how it goes attitude in place for the rest of year. However admittedly, fitting these in prior to the new arrival put some strain on my wonderful wife and I am sure there are times she wanted to put my bike and runners on gumtree and sell them, or altneratively strangle me in my sleep. Both of which I wouldn’t blame her in any way.

Whenever our first daughter came along, nearly five year ago, my wife asked me to change my training pattern from evenings to mornings. Admittedly this was tough at the start however eventually it became easy, getting to bed early and setting the alarm and not simply hitting snooze is the hardest part. Building training in to the work day has also been a challenge however there are things that you can do, especially cycling to work, it saves fuel costs plus you get in to work feeling refreshed!

The one thing I am honest about, and will say this anyone when they are thinking about putting in new year ‘challenges’ is that you cannot do them without the support of your other half. Although I am not great at taking this piece of advice, talking to your other half about the potential challenges as early as possibly is the best way to ensure your other half is ‘ok’ with you undertaking the challenge. You will not be able to do it without their support, especially if you have a family and kids. My wife has been unbelievable in this, sometimes I have thrown events and challenges that I want to do last minute at her (even though I have been training for them for quite a while and never admitted to her that’s the goals I am setting) and she has never been anything but supportive, even though I can sense in her that she thinks “Oh god, here we go again!”

This year will be another big year of challenges, with another 70.3 on the horizon. Training plans will need to take over especially come April (race in August) however hopefully without causing my wife too much hassle!