What a manic time its been recently, Within the last 2-3 weeks I managed to complete a big Ironman preparation training weekend with Energy Link Coaching, entertained 20 family/friends from the UK, got married and competed at NSW Club Champs…… surely Ironman will be easier than that?????? With my fast approaching debut Ironman on May 5th, I wanted to spend time reflecting on my experiences in the build-up to the race and all the amazing events I have been part of recently.
This season has definitely been a journey and one that came with surprises, and without the support of family, friends and sponsors I’m not sure I would have made it here in one piece!
Here are some of my recent thoughts on my build-up to Ironman and the busy last few weeks:
1.LET PEOPLE HELP YOU - I could not have remained as motivated, healthy, and functional in my Ironman preparation without the massive support of some amazing people in my life. A HUGE thank you is in order for Energy Link Coaching, Science in Sport Australia, Saucony Australia, BTC and my wife Dani who were generous enough to support me in meeting the demands of my training and racing. I have been very lucky and blessed to be associated with such great people who have got me to this point.
2. TRAINING WITH OTHERS - One of the hardest parts of this process was the early starts and late finishes of training. Try and incorporate meeting other in your program for enjoyment, shared experiences and to keep you sane! It makes it easier to get up and work hard if you're not the only on doing it, and you can learn a lot by training with other triathletes.
3. YOU HAVE TO ENJOY YOURSELF – I got married last week and honestly there are a lot more important things than just one triathlon race. I have had a lot of fun in the build up to Ironman, and I always try to remember why I signed up and try to stay realistic and honest with myself throughout training and racing, and appreciate the successes I have been lucky enough to have had this year!
3. TRAINING IS JUST TRAINING - Things got tough at points, especially in the last couple of blocks. I always felt that I could manage the volume, but in the last couple blocks I did feel physically and mentally that I was getting to my limits at times. I tried to focus my training as leading me towards my goal and not to rest my entire motivation and improvement on every single session, the consistency of combined work and effort over time is more important to me.
5. KEEP HEALTHY - This has always been a key part to my training success, and being fairly light and lean, sometimes my health can be affected by higher volume training. With increase in vitamin, supplement and calorie intake I have managed to maintain weight during my preparation and stay relatively healthy. Pay attention to make sure that if your volume of training increases that you match this appropriately in your diet and lifestyle (my secret weapon in times of despair were ice-cream and SIS REGO).
6. BE PREPARED TO MOTIVATE - It’s strange how quickly motivation can fluctuate over so many different stages of the preparation and not just block by block, or week by week, but for me it was often session by session. The amount of times I was in high spirits after a good workout in the morning and completely drained and in need of motivation in the afternoon. I think it’s important to have individual strategies to cope with this in the likelihood that it occurs and places to draw motivation from (like past successes/training with others).
Matthews Wedding - 04/04/2013
Among all the Ironman madness and the family demands Dani and I managed to get married 4th April and I had the most amazing day of my life. A hundred medals couldn't make up for the time I had this day.
It was a wonderful experience to share the celebration of your relationship with friends and family (while eating and drinking all day, NOT ON MY PROGRAM!).
Thanks to the WIFE for keeping me grounded and feeding me up during Ironman training (the mid morning appetisers you make me go down a treat).
NSW Club Champs - 06/04/2013
Forster was the location and BTC were out in force with their spotted t-shirts and the usual fun-filled weekend package courtesy of the great organisation skills of Josh and Jodie.
I was looking forward to racing although feeling a little deflated after a busy couple of weeks. I started with a solid swim (in my newly borrowed Orca wettie) and after making some ground steadily on the technical bike course (fueled expertly by SIS GO) I managed to run myself in to first place in my Age Group.
As a club we enjoyed the weekend frivolities and were even lucky enough to have nice weather. BTC did amazing considering being out numbered heavily by Hills and Warringah – but as usual we were the best dressed and most enjoyable crowd!!! Bring on 2014.
Looking forward to the start and finish line of Ironman Australia in a few weeks, I hope to see and hear the BTC crowd out there. After last year's experience this is truly the reason why I signed up for this crazy and challenging event!