Adsy here on another adventure!
I thought I'd take this opportunity as I find my way to Penghu Island in Taiwan, to give a bit of a recap on 2016, which has outdoubtedly been by far the toughest and yet most satisfying year for me in my triathlon journey to date.
2016 races so far:
- 1x Sprint
- 1x Olympic
- 1x Duathlon
- 5x Half Ironman
- 3x Ironman (soon to be 4 on Sunday)
- 3x Running races
- 4x Bike races
It's been quite the year with new adventures and the birth of little Leo. Even now I still can't quite put into words just how special he is for Jackie and I.
Heading off to Ironman Cairns and trying to get those last points for Kona, it was evident that I needed a break/change/recharge as I was completely overwhelmed with life in general and turning into one grumpy Ads. I was starting to pull away from the sport and and the same time it was starting to push me away.
Cairns Ironman left me feeling somewhat broken, and I decided to take a few good weeks off to just sit down and think through WHAT I was doing with my racing. Speaking with good friends Cliffy and Norris through a number of beer-induced “brainstorming sessions”, I came to realise that I actually needed to look deeply at the “WHY” rather than the “WHAT”. I slowly began to rediscover why I fell in love with the sport of Traithlon, and how so much of that love resulted not only from my own racing, but through sharing and contributing to the journey of my athletes. That was my “WHY” and now as I sit on a train headed to Ironman Taiwan, whilst having had a massive year of racing already, as crazy as it sounds I feel I am in better shape physically and mentally than I have even been.The Game changer?
My coach Grant and someone I had worked with a few years ago brought my focus back on the mental and spiritual aspect – something I had been missing. Physically I could complete each session to the letter and never fail to do what was instructed. What I needed though was that someone in my corner - someone I could rely on throughout to keep me focussed and accountable. For that, Grant was my go-to man. Collaborating with Grant and swim coach Tracey, I have found my purpose, and the hunger to put my best performance together come Sunday.
Since starting back with Grant we set goals and structure and a general visualisation of just what I wanted from this preparation and what it would take both physically and mentally. Leading into Ironman Taiwan we used the Qld Duathlon, a bike race and the 70.3 Worlds as races to practise and insert race-specific strategies for ironman Taiwan. All races that I feel have set me up mentally to be in a good place.
My application in this prep has been intense with work hours. With young Leo teething, sleep has been very minimal and coffee intake high! To get a quality 15 hrs of training in has really made me focus on each session and block out the incessant “you’re tired” chatter that enters your mind, I have 15 hrs a week to train that gives me some degree of a Family:Work:Training balance and that's it. Never any more. I’m not one that responds well to big miles as work is very energy-outputting, and in terms of recovery - well there ain’t much time for that so Grant has really made the best out of the time he has with me.
Things I have done that I may not previously shared that have made differences to my preparation for this race and life in general:
- Getting a coach that you can communicate with that cares about you and being there for you with no restrictions on contact and genuinely will give me time when I need it.
- Meditation and Sauna 2x10 min - 20 min spa at 38 degrees every second day for 6 weeks as I wanted to prepare my body for the heat and work on levels, plasma etc.
- Yoga - Approaching each session in the moment and not thinking ahead to the end of the session and what was to come of the next hour or days training, This awareness to the present moment has made me a lot more connected to the task at hand.
- Swim - has improved out of sight! To have never swum before I was 26 years old, I now am able to swim 1.10s in the pool without a wetsuit, and this is all thanks to Tracey, the lads at St Hilda's and Grant.
- Bike power is great and my oxygen capacity at race-effort has decreased and something I'm very much looking forward to unloading Sunday.
- My run is my “Happiness” and with a real focus on run prep, I’ll be really interested to see just what I can pull out in the heat and humidity of Taiwan. High ambitions with this leg..
So there is definitely no hiding here…. I’m fit, I'm getting my “Adsy Happy” back and to say that I am more physically and mentally fit and feel like the goal posts are not moving now and I feel it's time to go and download the work would be spot on.
Ironman Taiwan will be an epic race on Sunday as Penghu Island sits between Taiwan and China in the middle of the East China Sea. It’ll throw up wind gusts of 40-50kph, is a choppy non-wetsuit swim, provides 1,450m of climbing in the 180km ride, has a hilly run leg, and will have us running early afternoon in what feels like high 30 degree temperatures – OUCH!
Thanks for reading and be sure to keep updated on my travels/racing through my social media channels and via the website.Adsy