A year ago today I was on a cruise outside of New Caledonia gorging myself with the premium drink package and eating anything I wanted with my wife Fiona. There was plenty to celebrate coming off of 2015 with our first year anniversary and she qualifying for Kona with a 9:59 at IMWA only a few weeks prior. Coming into 2016 I had one goal: Qualify for Kona and join my wife.
That goal was achieved in June when I went 9:46 at IMCairns. I took 9th in my A/G and got the final spot of 6 that rolled down; it was meant to be. Soon, we were back at training for Kona and embracing a whole-food plant based diet. We went there with our close friend Karen McPherson and we all finished and got it done. Just getting to this event was the goal that I had for the past 6 years since I became a triathlete and it took a lot of time, money, and discipline to get there. After Kona we headed to the USA at Thanksgiving for a 2 week gorge fest. We came back both up several kg’s and quite unfit. As we came into the end of the year we both were mentally struggling in our training for IMNZ in March of 2017. But, I advised Fiona that by sticking to our plan, we would get our fitness back and become motivated. Ultimately, it’s easy to say my goal is to get back to Kona and do better but that is so new a goal, I’m not vested enough in it yet. But, I know it is coming because I love this sport of triathlon and all it has given me.
Swim: 479km (PB), Bike 10,353 miles (PB), Run 1,495 miles (lowest in 3 years), Hours: 944 or 18/week (PB). These are some great numbers but ones that have been building consistently for 9 years now. I disagree with less is more. Of course, you have to train smart and have quality but most Professional don’t put in just a few hours per week. Triathlon requires investments from all angles.
Alice Springs Running & Walking Club: Australia Day Fun Run, 5.1k Time Tease, Intersport Race 1 & 2, JDFR Run for a Cure, Alice Springs Marathon (2nd place 3:19, marathon #28)
Alice Springs Triathlon Club: Sprint Triathlon (win), Get Physical Team Triathlon (win), 32nd Alice Springs Sprint Triathlon (win #4), Olympic Triathlon (win PB), Tavis Johannsen Ultra (win #3), IRONMAN Cairns (9:46, IM#8, 9th A/G, 48th Overall), IRONMAN World Championship (10:21, IM#9, 125th A/G, 673 Overall)
Swimming: Koala 3.8km Swim Race in Kona (1:02)
Running: Reindeer 5K Franklin Lakes, NJ 21:30
Alice Springs Masters Games: Duathlon (win, unofficial course record), Triathlon (win, defended from 2 years prior)
This year I bought a brand new Argon 18 E119Tri+ machine; I love it! I also signed up with BestBikeSplit and after Kona started using TrainingPeaks for the first time. I’m still a self-coached athlete and this season Fiona as grabbed a run program from Sean Foster of Fluid Movements who is a former pro triathlete that has performed well at Kona. It’s been great supporting other triathletes, however, and the kudos received from Fiona and Karen, owing much to me, as well as very kind words from IM Newbie Jarrod have been humbling.
One of the great pieces of triathlon is the challenge. It’s taken me years to get here and I’m continuing to learn. My biggest mistake from this year and my biggest take away is that while running indoor on a treadmill can be good to dial in the pace, be low impact, and keep you out of the elements, if your HR is not in the zone, you’re wasting your time. I always wear a HR monitor and knew that my training HR was too low. Had I actually trained properly (HR based run training), I may not have had such an aweful marathon in Kona.
So, it has truly been a great and memorable year with plenty of highs and lows. But, I am excited about 2017 and the possibilities. This year will include: IRONMAN New Zealand, IRONMAN Cairns, IRONMAN Arizona, running races, local triathlons, overall improvement, and God-willing, a return to the IRONMAN World Championship.
Hopefully some of this can inspire you and if it does, great! It starts with doing. But, this is the passion of Fiona and I; it’s what we do.
As you look at your own year past ask yourself what worked, what didn’t, and if you want something out of 2017 better than 2016, then say yes, and make that goal.