We invited Ian Orme to tell us more about himself and his love of competing in Triathlons.
What is a Triathlon?
It’ll be worthwhile introducing Triathlon – firstly, the sport involves 3 disciplines – a swim, followed by a bike and then finally a run. There is no break in-between. Similar to running, there are a range of different distances involved in triathlon – these can vary between a Sprint all the way up to Full Ironman distance. Below is a brief summary of the distances involved;
My Dad, Mike, worked in the oil and gas industry all his days (he retired recently in September 2015). During my very young days we moved around wherever the work took my Dad – not before too long we settled in Westhill where I spent most of my childhood. I attended Crombie Primary School before heading off to the “big boys” school at Westhill. I loved my education, I know that sounds geeky, but I absolutely loved my schooling. Especially the later years at Westhill Academy. From there I went on to University to study sports and leisure management at The University of Aberdeen. I am currently working for an oil service company called Chemical Injection Utilities and live in a tiny town called Keig, Aberdeenshire.
As a kid I had always swum. But it was never necessary something that I enjoyed. I did swimming more as a social thing. I had a lot of mates that did it so it was a good way to spend time with them whilst keeping fit I guess. Even though being fit was never in my mind. I just did it as part of my daily routine. My mum was a decent runner as well. So I’d join her on runs around the infamous Westhill “2 Mile Block”. Mum was really good at running, so if anything I slowed her down but I swear this gave me the initial idea of endurance at a young age. It hardened me to it from an early age.
My true love as a kid, and into my teens, was football. All I wanted to do was run about with a ball tied to my foot and pretend I was the next Steve McManaman! I continued to play football throughout my university. But soon began to want a new challenge where I could be responsible for my own results and performance. Where there were to be no blame but myself if things went wrong (or right). I heard about a “thing” called a triathlon – which involved a swim, bike and a run. I called my mate up and told him we should do it… the rest is history.
His First Triathlon
This was way back in 2008. My time at my first triathlon (London) is very average but the buzz I got was incredible. I was on cloud nine. Before I knew it I had kicked the football to the side and decided to keep going with the triathlon.
What Training Is Involved?
I am a member of Triathlon Scotland. And myself and a few mates of mine decided to start up a race team at the start of 2016 – we are called TrYthan. Although we all compete at a relatively high level (European and World Championship Age Group level) we have always just had the mentality and culture of being a bunch of guys who share similar interests and, generally, just get along – we are a close nit team who know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. Which helps enormously with training and also when competing as we have the measure of each other – it keeps us sharp all year round.
There have been a many a time when we have been out on a training run and then one of us starts to kick the pace in. Suddenly we are really driving and pushing each other one for fear of being dropped (and for sake of our own egos!). We’ve done some incredible efforts this year whilst training together. I know for a fact that I would have struggled to do these on my own. One of the guys in the team, John Soutar, is current Age-Group European Champion for Sprint Distance. so I really am training with the best age group talent in Europe.
However, saying this, I also do a lot of training by myself as well. I think it’s important to have the mix of training with others but also to pull back and train at the intensity you want. One thing I swear by is to improve every day. I want to wake-up better than the day before. Train hard, eat well, recover well and most of all – enjoy it.
On average I am clocking up around 15 hours per week training. It depends on work commitments, family commitments etc. But as a general base line this is what I aim for. What I have learnt over the years is to squeeze out every bit of quality during my training sessions I have as I do not have the luxury of time. I have a goal and target for every session I undertake. There are no wasted miles or time.
What Equipment Do You Use?
When it comes to the equipment I use. I’d say I don’t have enough equipment. But my wife would say I have too much equipment!!! When you get involved in triathlon you can totally get carried away with getting the latest gear. But in reality you need these basic items to complete a triathlon;
1) Swim – Goggles, Wetsuit, Swim-Hat
2) Bike – a Bike (!)
3) Run – Running shoes
4) A Supportive Wife!
Obviously you’ll also need a triathlon suit or shorts t-shirt etc. Otherwise you’ll be kicked off the course for being a little too streamlined!
How Many Triathlons Have You Done?
I would say that I have taken part in too many triathlons to count…!
But the hardest Triathlon that I have taken part in has to be the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas 2012. The course it’s self was nothing too tasking but the heat eventually got to me during the run (42 degrees). I ended up in the medical tent at the end, completely wasted. Nonetheless I was pleased I pushed myself to the limits. But it was scary!
Finding sponsorship has been difficult. It’s been a case of me approaching numerous companies and kindly asking for further support, I literally sent hundreds of applications. Triathlon is a very expensive sport. From the equipment, to the travel /accommodation costs, to the amount of nutrition I need to take on board daily. It all mounts up, I love the sport – but if I want to keep doing it at a high level within my age group then I need as much support as possible. Thankfully the sponsors I have – Elivar, SteakSnacks (Striptsnacks) and CurraNZ help on the nutritional front.
Our Chosen Charity
The charity that I support is called “Kayleigh’s Wee Stars” – www.kayleighsweestars.co.uk . This Charity was started by one of the guys in my triathlon team – Johnathan Cordiner in memory of his daughter who sadly past away. So it makes it just that little more personable. We have the charity logo spread across our race kits to raise awareness wherever possible.
Kayleigh’s Wee Stars provides financial support for families where there is a child with a terminal illness. In the last 3 years, Kayleigh’s Wee Stars has donated over £250,000 to almost 100 families across Scotland. Myself, and the other guys on the race team, to our utmost to promote the charity at events. Kayleigh’s Wee Stars need continued support to ensure they can continue to help brave families make every memory count.
Represented GBR at Age-Group category for:
- 2012 Ironman 70.3 World Championships – Las Vegas
- 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championships – Mont Trembland, Canada
- 2014 British Middle Distance Championships – Aberfeldy (3rd in category)
- 2016 ETU European Sprint Championships – Lisbon
This year’s results thus far (main events)
- 2nd Knockburn Standard Triathlon (overall)
- 5th at ETU Sprint European Championships (category)
- 13th Ironman Norway 70.3 (category)
- Scottish Middle Distance Championships, Aberfeldy in August 2016 – I came in 4th overall – relatively pleased considering it was a national event.
- Worthing Standard Distance in August – I came in 6th in my category… I crashed on the bike at the half way point (see below photo) My shoulder, arm and leg took the brunt of the damage. Wet conditions and the bike just came away from me. I lost a few places but managed to get myself together for the run. I am not sure if it is enough to qualify for the Europeans.. luck wasn’t on my side that day.
Braveheart Middle Distance photo’s
- Huntly Standard
Next years – Key Races
- July 2017 – Challenge Roth (Full Ironman Distance). Really excited about this race… it is an amazing spectacle (worth a google / you tube).
- September 2017 – Ironman Wales (Full Ironman Distance).
My dream is to qualify for the Full Ironman World Championships – Kona, Hawaii.
How Can I Get Involved?
How would you recommend someone gets into Triathlon? Enter one. That simple… make the commitment and then train – otherwise you’ll put it off. You will not regret it. I’ve not once met someone who said they hated the experience of a triathlon. The sense of achievement you get from completing a triathlon is brilliant. It’s one of those sports you can’t just “pitch-up” and do one. So there is an entire period of training that builds up to that one-day event. There are various regional events that take place throughout Aberdeenshire – just have a look over the council website for more details (local races are known as the “McIntosh Plant Hire Series”). I can’t recommend Triathlon enough for any newbie tempted with the idea of doing a triathlon – it is one of the friendliest sports going. From the professionals, to solid age-groupers to the newbies – I have never met so many nice people willing to share training tips and generally encourage each other – even during races. At a recent race I was lapping this lady on the run when in 2nd place overall. She took the time to shout “go get him!!” as I went past her. Just brilliant! She’s suffering just as much as me but had the time to encourage. I made sure I congratulated her at the finish line. I love this sport, the people involved and everything about Triathlon. My only regret is that I didn’t take up triathlon when I was younger. I really regret this – so please people go and do one! I am happy to speak to anyone thinking about doing one for tips / advice – just drop me an email at Ian.Orme@ciu.uk.com
Get the entire family involved as well – to complete even a short distance there is a need to train a fair degree. So it’s important that the family are bought into, and are part of the journey to the finish line. There is absolutely no way I could of achieved what I have done in triathlon without the support of my family – everyone sees the athlete on the day. But what they don’t see is the support of the family on the side lines in the build-up to race day. Especially at long distance when the training commitment is huge.
Exercise at Home
One Leg TRX dip
A good one I do when I am travelling with work is strength development – I take my TRX with me all the time. One leg dip’s using a TRX is a killer but. it works a treat –
Do three sets of 15 reps on each leg.
Read more about TRX training by clicking HERE
I also do a lot of core work which can be done anywhere – the plank 30 seconds as normal and each side – then bounce for 5 reps on each side
– then straight into 40 x sit-ups with rising legs after 10. Repeat this 3 times.