Liz McMaster (Rockley Point’s Chief Instructor), Alex Dodds (Rockley’s Development Manager) and Lucy Horne (Rockley’s BTEC Administrator) will be taking part in a 70.3 mile race in Staffordshire on 2nd June. We talk to them to find out why!

Why have you all decided to embark upon this challenge?

Alex: Just to be clear I had absolutely no intention of running an Ironman, that is until I ran a 5km last year as part of the New Forest marathon. Half way round the course there was a sign that said “I run because I really love to eat” – well I REALLY love to eat! That and the fact that Liz forced me in to it!

Lucy: Why? I don’t know why? I ask myself this every day! I wanted to challenge myself, I wanted to learn a new sport and Liz did a great job of convincing me it would be a good idea.

Liz: I needed a challenge for the year to motivate me. Having done a marathon in 2015 and a few long (81 mile+) bike rides it was time for something different – and it’s on my bucket list!

Liz, you seem to be a common theme as to why people are doing this, is it all your fault?!

Liz: Yes, I decided that I shouldn’t go through the pain alone! Lucy wanted a new challenge and it’s never too difficult to rope Doddsy in to these kind of things!

Which of the disciplines do you currently love/hate?

Alex: I can ride, I’m trying to run, I can’t swim!

Lucy: I hate swimming – actually it’s the hardest but I’m having swimming lessons once a week which is really helping me with my technique. I enjoy running along the seafront and the cycling is a great team effort. I had to buy a road bike for Christmas and have just purchased some clips. You should have seen my Christmas list!

Liz: The one I find easiest is swimming but I used to do a lot when I was younger. Running is hard but easier to fit in. With the cycling it's purely the fact that you need so much time - like a good few hours to do a decent distance.

You’re very much in this together – training together and supporting each other. Does it make the whole process more fun?

Alex: Yes we are like a little team and we are all really focused. I can have a conversation with Liz and Lucy that I can’t have with anyone else because you have to be immersed in the sport and the training. They understand that every time you go for a run or ride or swim and you push yourself, then it’s a little achievement. They understand that I wake up every morning and my knees ache and there is almost no way of making that go way and that we are always tired, we are always hungry and that we are always wanting to go to bed!

Liz: I’m loving that we’re a team but I just need more time in the day. I look at strava and see that one of the guys has gone for a long run and it’s like now I need to go for a long run. On Tuesday Lucy sent a picture of her watch showing that she’d done 10km which made me feel really guilty so then I was like right, now I’m going out. So I have to go out and do the same distance or more, but it’s great because it means we are spurring each other on - we’re all in it together.

How fit were you all before you embarked upon this challenge?

Lucy: In November when I agreed to this crazy challenge I had only ever ran 1km. The other day I did a 12km run and really enjoyed it.

Alex: I’ve always done some running – 10km and half marathons, the odd cycle round the harbour but this is really a step up.

Describe a typical day

Liz: I’m usually up at 6am and either go for a run or swim. I’ll do the normal school drop, go to work and then after work go straight to the gym and either sit on the turbo or run or something. The hardest thing is getting the work, home and training life balance right - I try and fit my training in around the kids activities.

Alex: I also get up at 6am, take the dog to the park and will maybe do hill interval training for 40 minutes. Shower, work and then try and get a 30-40 minute swim in at lunchtime. If not I’ll do a further hour and a half of training - riding or running after I put my three year old to bed.

Lucy: I do most of my training after work. I don’t have any children so I don’t have the hassle of trying to juggle family and finding the time to train.

Are you loving or hating the training so far?

Alex: Definitely loving it! As long as you are chopping and changing the type of training you are doing and intensity it keeps it interesting. There’s always a different type of challenge ahead of you. I’m also learning so much about techniques, nutrition, stretching and recovery. I am knackered though - I’m doing my intervals and do you know what, the dog is absolutely exhausted and if the dog’s tired – he’s got four legs then I’m definitely knackered!

Lucy: I ache all the time! I have however just started doing hot yoga once a week which is great for my muscles. I was very sceptical about going but I’ve been proven wrong. I seem to be doing a lot of new things during this process!

Are you reaping the mental benefits that comes with exercising?

Liz: It’s definitely given me a more positive outlook on life!

Lucy: I am loving it and mentally, I feel much more positive and raring to go.

Alex: It takes my focus away from being purely work or purely family. I feel it allows me to process my thoughts and relax. It’s time to myself and time with my friends. Physically I may be tired but mentally, it allows my brain to calm down.

So the sign that says you can eat more – have you, and if so, has it been nice?

Liz: It’s more about eating the right stuff. I thought the weight would disappear but it hasn’t whereas with Lucy, I’m always catching her eating, literally all day and it’s just dropping off her. And she eats absolute rubbish sometimes, it’s not fair!

Lucy: I lost loads of weight at the start which meant I had to eat loads but I’m a grazer so that suits me fine.

Alex: You really have to eat the right things, so my intention of eating more cake.....well there is no cake!

In the lead up to the main event, the dynamic trio will be running the Bournemouth Bay Half Marathon in April. We wish them luck!


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