Jim Doughty entered the sporting world at a relatively late age but this hasn't stopped him from achieving some incredible feats. From sprint triathlons to Iron Man events, he has excelled at the sport and tells us a little more about his passion.
Have you always been into sport?I made it back into sport when I was 40 years old, but have always been very active: between the ages of 18 and 22 I cycled for a team in the north-west of England but work and family life took over and I stopped participating in professional races.
What made you decide to enter a triathlon?I was participating in a charity cycle event with work in December 2010 and a work colleague was impressed with my speed and endurance and challenged me to enter a sprint distance triathlon. I took up the challenge, and four months later I was racing my first Triathlon in over 20 years. From then on I was hooked.
What’s been your best race to date?It was probably “A Day In The Lakes” Middle Distance Triathlon in 2016. The race takes place towards the end of June in the Lake District; the swim is 1.9km in Ullswater and the conditions were near perfect, I had a good solid swim and headed into T1 and onto the bike, the bike course is a fast 2 lap loop crisscrossing the M6 motorway on both laps. I made it back into T2 with a really fast split, so fast in fact that my family were really surprised to see me so soon. I headed out of T2 onto a fairly unique Half Marathon run course which took in two mountains to ascend and descend. I crossed the finish line with a massive smile on my face to my waiting family.
And your proudest achievement?It has to be Ironman UK which was in 2015. I and one of my training partners spent the best part of a year training specifically for the event, out in all weathers throughout the Scottish winter and spring cycling and running and training in the pool until the weather warmed up enough for us to hit open water.
Ironman UK starts with a 3.8km swim in Pennington Flash reservoir, then onto a 180km bike which winds through Greater Manchester & Lancashire for two laps ending inside the Macron Stadium just outside Bolton. From here I ran the full marathon which was a three lap run into Bolton City Centre.
I finished the Ironman 1 hour and 35 seconds faster than my training partner.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
Yes, I’ve had a few disasters, I raced at a Sprint Distance Duathlon a few years ago and punctured out on the course. As it was only a sprint distance, by the time I had replaced the tube and made it back to T2 I was last on the final run.
As for my toughest race yet, all of the races I have done are my toughest yet, every race I do I get stronger and wiser and am constantly learning to race faster and smarter.
However I think this coming year (2018) I will face my toughest challenges in the form of an Ironman including a sea swim as this is my worst fear.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I never give up, no matter what I am faced with; I overcome every hurdle I come across as they only make you stronger. I am constantly learning and I use every setback as a learning curve. If I make a mistake I try never to make the same mistake again.
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?Train with the same equipment and nutrition that you intend to race with, for me this is the most important piece of advice that can be given to everyone competing as you will know how your equipment is going to feel and react to you.
What are your goals for 2017?I have a couple of major goals for the coming year, the first one is at the end of May and is the Edinburgh Marathon, I have never run a marathon as a standalone event; I’ve run ultra marathons and I’ve run the marathon distance as part of the Ironman so am intrigued to see how I perform over the distance.
My second goal for 2017 is The Long Course Weekend in Wales. This is an Iron Distance Triathlon but over 3 days; you complete the 3.9km swim on the Friday evening, the 180km bike on the Saturday and the marathon run on the Sunday. This event is as much about the recovery between the events as it is about the distances to be covered.
Who do you take your inspiration from?I am inspired to perform by so many different people from some of the best cyclists in the world such as Chris Froome, Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond, to some amazing triathletes such as Scott Tinley and Mirinda Carfrae. All of whom are truly inspirational and owners of their own destination, in every race they have ever participated in they all have one common goal…..They all want to WIN.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?I love the fact that Sundried care; they care about the environment, they care about the people who wear the brand, and they care about being an ethical choice. I love the fact that they turn coffee grounds into fabric, I always knew that caffeine could improve my performance but pair that with Sundried's branding and you have the best Men’s Pro Tri Suit money can buy. From the comfort afforded by the Dolomiti pad right through to the hydrophobic coating to help in the drying process when you exit the swim, for me this is the must-have piece of kit for every event.
Everyone knows the first rule of Crossfit is you must always talk about Crossfit, in fact, this is probably most Crossfitters, second, third, and fourth rule.
But whilst most of us probably struggle to get get a word in edgeways with a Crossfitter, how much of what they’re saying goes in one ear and out of the other? How much do we actually know about Crossfit, what it is and what is all this hype about the open for?
What is Crossfit?
“The sport of fitness”, according to their website. Crossfit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. CrossFit attempts to optimise physical performance in 10 fitness categories:
- Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance
A combination of gymnastics, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, kettlebells, plyometrics and advanced conditioning workouts form the basis of each Crossfit WOD. WOD? In case you hadn’t already noticed Crossfitters have come up with their own lingo and WOD is probably the first translation you’ll need, it stands for “workout of the day”. The workout of the day is posted online for Crossfitters to complete in their Crossfit ‘box’, or gym to you and I. The regime follows three days on, one day off. The CrossFit program is driven by data, accurate scores, weights and times are recorded on the website by participants on a leaderboard that can be viewed at anytime. Another rule of being a Crossfitter, you must know your position on the leaderboard at all times and show non-Crossfit outsiders at every (and any) given opportunity.
You can find the WOD on the Crossfit website and anyone can try it, although to earn your bragging rights for your position on the leaderboard you need to register and obviously have a high level of fitness.
Crossfit Lingo: How to tell your Pood from your Snatch
Believe it or not, these acronyms are not as crude as they sound.
AMRAP: As many rounds or reps/rounds as possible.
ATG: Ass to grass.
CFWU: Crossfit warm up.
EMOM: Every minute on the minute.
GTG: Greasing the Groove - Doing multiple sets of an exercise throughout the day, but not to failure.
HSPU: Handstand push up.
MetCon: A metabolic conditioning workout. Usually with lighter weights at a higher intensity and speed.
Pood: A weight measurement used by the Russians for kettlebells. 1 pood =16 kg/35 lbs; 1.5 pood = 24 kg/53 lbs; 2 pood = 32 kg/71 lbs.
PR: Personal Record
Rx’d: As prescribed; as written. WOD completed without any adjustments.
Snatch: Not the movie or anything else, The snatch overall goal is to use a wide grip to lift a barbell from the floor to an overhead position in one fluid and lightning-fast motion.
T2B: Toes to bar.
WOD: Workout of the day.
Crossfit Heroes get all the Girls
Confused? Don’t be - it's more Crossfit lingo, no wonder they talk about it so much, it's hardly in short supply!
Girls - Crossfitter get through all of them. The ‘girls’ are a series of benchmark workouts, created by Crossfit HQ that are universally known amongst the Crossfit community.
Heroes - A Hero workout is a tribute workout in honor of a fallen CrossFitter (either Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, Firefighter, Police officer) that died in the line of duty. They are tough and among the most difficult of WOD’s.
The Crossfit Games Open 25th February 2016
The Open is the biggest event on a Crossfitters calendar and promises to find the “fittest on the earth”. 27,2661 athletes aged 13-84 entered their scores last year with a whopping 9,400 of 13,000 affiliates worldwide hosting the weekly events in 2015. This premier test of fitness begins with a 5 week warm-up, every week for 5 weeks a new workout is released on Thursday. Athletes then have from Thursday through to Monday to complete their workout and submit their score, by either competing at a registered affiliate or recording and uploading the proof of their workout. The Open is designed to be accessible to all athletes while rigorous enough to challenge the world's fittest. The week's workout is released each Thursday at 5 p.m. PT. Each time a workout is released, athletes will be given two versions: Rx'd and Scaled. The Scaled option is designed to be accessible to the vast majority of athletes, with reduced loading or less challenging movements, whereas Rx'd will challenge the world's elite.
The Open is really a chance to celebrate fitness, for all athletes to come together and show what they’re made of as well as learn new skills. After 5 gruelling weeks the best of the 17 regions worldwide qualify for the second stage of the competition—regionals. The regionals are a live, three-day competition held over three weekends in May (May 13 - 29, 2016). The top athletes from two or three regions combine, and compete for five qualifying spots in the CrossFit Games. The season ends with the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games grand finalé at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on July 19 - 24, 2016. At this point in the season, the field has been whittled down from hundreds of thousands of athletes in the Open to the world's fittest 40 men, 40 women, 40 teams, 40 teenagers, and 200 masters. The CrossFit Games rank the world's fittest, and determines who is the “Fittest on Earth”.
The beauty of the games is that no-one knows what’s coming next, competitors can watch previous years, but no event will ever be the same. Each year the games develop to surprise and challenge the competitors in new and exciting ways from dusty hill sprints to sandbag carries to ocean swims and endurance events.
Even if you're not brave enough to enter, the Crossfit games are great to watch and the leaderboard can be viewed at any time throughout the competition via the website.
Crossfitters have compared the feeling of RX’ing their first workout to their wedding day or the birth of their first child, so I’m guessing it’s a pretty good feeling. If you do give it a go, I’d say we’d love to hear about it, but I’m certain once you’ve become a Crossfit convert, you’ll tell us anyway!