Can Sean keep pace with Andy in the ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly swimrun?

By Sean O'Mahony | 2 Minute Read

Last week Andy wrote a thought-provoking article on whether your hydration strategy needs to change as you get older.

At 58, I'm (by far) the oldest member of the team here at Precision Hydration and that article got me thinking about the challenges I face as I train for my upcoming events.

I've been roped into racing the ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly swimrun race with Andy on June 10th. When I say roped into, I'll literally be tethered to him, so I've got to be able to keep up! Andy's using this as prep for the ÖTILLÖ World Championships in Stockholm in September this year, which he's hoping to qualify for with Paul Newsome of SwimSmooth.


Otillo Scilly Isles

The Scilly Isles event includes about 28km of running and 9km of swimming, broken up into multiple segments. To say I'm intimidated by the challenge would be an understatement. You might say I'm downright scared. But, Andy has created a fantastic environment here at PH where we all push ourselves — both professionally and physically — to see what we can achieve.

Not only am I 20 years older than Andy, but I'm not even close to being able to keep up with him in a swim session - or on a run - although I can quite comfortably drop him on a bike... ;-) 


Sean's bike


However, as the clue in the title 'swimrun' suggests, biking won't help me, so I need to focus on improving my swim and run pace.

With this blog post and one every month up to the event, I'll keep you updated on my training progress. Basically, how will an old geezer new to swimrun survive this?!

As I sit writing this, I have about 18 weeks to go until race day and this is training launch day. I'm not going into this entirely 'cold'. Since racing in various events last season I've been ticking over through the Autumn and Winter - just keeping fit and working on strength & conditioning.

That's something I discovered when I turned 50; I can no longer just stop doing stuff, I need to keep everything moving all of the time. Stopping and then going back to training cold is just asking for trouble because a) it's really painful and b) I invariably end up injured.


Sean budgie smuggler

I won't be wearing these down in the Scillies, that's fo' sho'...


Today I start an 8-week swim block. I'm very comfortable in the water - in my teens I was a regional and national level swimmer. But, it doesn't matter how long you've been swimming, you always need to go back to technique...

So that's what I'm doing. I signed up to use the SwimSmooth Guru and I'll let it guide me through my training. My current swim CSS is 1:48/100m (ouch!) and I'm planning on reducing that to around 1:30/100m by race day. Later in this block, I'll join an early morning swim squad to develop my speed.

On the running front, things are looking a little better. My current best 5km time is 19:45 and 10km is 39:31. I need to add some muscular endurance work to my training, so I'll be running the Vancouver Half Marathon on May 6th as part of my training.

Sean podium

Can AB and I get on the podium come June?!


Complicating the situation is the fact that I have a duathlon I want to do on May 12th to try and qualify for the 2019 World Championships in Pontevedra in Spain, so I need to continue my bike training, but that will support my running, so it's not a negative.

As you can see I have a lot to do! So I'll stop writing and run off down to the pool for a swim.

Feel free to follow my progress over on Strava at or join our Strava group and see what some of our amazing PH athletes are doing around the world...

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