Another week and another blog. I am going to name and shame my wife today. Why? Because I have seen her over the last 6 months do something that I think a lot of other people who are getting into exercise do wrong. What is it? She consistently sets herself up for failure.
I am sure many people, maybe even some of you reading this are guilty of it. There are a number of different ways in which you can do it. You set out towards a goal or target and fail. Not because you were doing the wrong work but because at the start you made an often simple error which meant it would be extremely difficult to achieve your target. What does my wife Dez do? She always goes out too hard. It must be difficult living with me because I spend a lot of my time training and almost as much time talking about it. Dez is a pretty active person. She has a full time job which keeps her busy and is pretty good at making time for her exercise.
So what do I mean when I say she goes too hard. I think in the last 12 months she has probably trained for about 8 of them. Probably in 2 month blocks with a month off in-between. She gets super motivated to do something or lose some weight and off she goes to the gym. Now when we lived overseas Dez was extremely active. The fact that she worked at a gym probably helped but she trained consistently for a good 18 months. So when she goes to the gym now she starts hard. She doesn't accept that her body is not at the same level that it was at. She starts to lift heavy weights, run longer distances and train too often. Yes she manages to maintain this for a little while. But eventually she gets either sick, injured or fatigued. What do you think is the first thing that stops when that happens? Her exercise. Now I am not shaming my bride because I miss my days of being single. No I think it is important to show this as an example of something which can easily be avoided.
The other big problem I often see with people embarking on a fitness journey is that they set unobtainable goals. This is when you decide right, "I am going to run a marathon in a month" or "I am going to lose 20 kgs in a month". When I hear this goals it automatically sets off alarm bells. Very quickly it will become obvious to these people that their goal is outside their reach. If by some chance they are motivated to actually work towards them chances are they will hurt themselves or get sick.
So how can this be avoided? Simple. Take it easy to begin with. Set realistic goals and don't forget to set both long and short term goals. By doing this you are able to track your performance and adjust any goals you may have. If you are on track you can also find it extremely motivating to see your improvements. But what about the people like my wife who go out too hard. What should I tell her so that I don't get relegated to the couch tonight? Simple. Realise your limits and ease back into it. There is no other person for you to compete against or measure yourself by except yourself.
Training benefit comes from consistency. So by setting yourself up to train consistently over an extended period of time there will be better benefits. If you are unsure how to structure your load or volume don't be afraid to ask. There are a number of great sources out there. It doesn't have to be one of the pushy gym PT's who will tell you to train with them twice a week. That is rubbish. Ask a friend or someone you know who has had training success. Yes, even start with a PT but do it on your terms. Take responsibility for your journey and its success and you will reap the benefits.
To tri now. I picked up a little bit of a niggle over the weekend which I think is caused by my soccer training. I did a lot of volume last week and was going to those sessions a little fatigued. I am trying to manage it with ice and using my roller which seems to be helping. I also picked up an absolute bargain today. Got myself a new Rudy Project Wingspan 57. Looking forward to trying it out over the next few months. I am planning on signing up for Tri the Gong this week too so I will keep you all updated.
Anyway that is it. If you have any comments or questions about this or even just want to find out whether my wife cracked the shits after reading this feel free to leave a comment or check out my Instagram feed.
Have fun, stay consistent and remember to TRI!!!
Sorry about the delay this week. No excuse, just been busy with real world things like work and family. I thought I would write about my race plans for the rest of this year. As I have previously mentioned I am hoping to qualify for next years 70.3 World Championships and I want to do so while I am still in the 25-29 age group.
So I have done my first race for the year which was Challenge Melbourne and now I have nothing booked until August. I am planning on doing a few smaller races like some Olympic Distance and sprint races but they are more for fun. The first race I have is Cebu 70.3 in the Philippines. This is the race where I am hoping to get my slot to the WC's. I believe that an overseas race will be my best chance of qualifying as quite frankly I think every Aussie will want a WC slot if they can get them and as much as I have improved in the last 12 months I am still not quite at the same pace as the top age groupers here in Oz. So I am going to Cebu and hoping to capture a slot there. Although I must give a disclaimer here, I am considering changing this race to either Korea or Taiwan 70.3.
Following Cebu the next race I have entered is my favourite race IN THE WORLD, Sunshine Coast 70.3 and the location of the 2016 World Championships. What can I say, I love this race. It is a great course and the whole community gets behind it. It probably doesn't hurt that last year I stayed with a group of friends and had one of the best weekends away I have ever had. I plan to do this race every year as long as I can. It is beautiful part of the world and I would encourage anybody who is reading this to stop reading, open a new tab and sign up for this race. It is that good!
After Sunny Coast in September I have Challenge Phuket. This will be a big race because my triathlon team, Team MaccaX will have a camp in the week leading up to the event where 30-50 of my friends will be there to train and race together. Last time I did this race I loved it. It is a brutal race with some extreme climbing and challenging swim conditions in the Thailand heat. Plus I will get to train and race beside Chris 'Macca' McCormack and my coach Ben Hammond. I didn't go last year because I tried Western Sydney 70.3 and it was a disaster. I am going there to have some fun and maybe try and podium. It will just depend on how many nights we end up in Pathong...
My final race for the year is the inaugural Taupo 70.3 and this is the race I am most excited for. Ever since I became mates with Mike 'Robo' Robinson and have seen his amazing Instagram photos I have been desperate to get over to NZ for a race. Unfortunately Auckland always fell right near my birthday and I didn't want to travel that time of year. Taupo is going to be amazing. The same site as IMNZ and 65 slots for the WC. From what I understand it is the same weekend as another 70.3 race in Australia so there is a good chance of a slot here if I don't get one earlier in the year. There are a number of my friends travelling to this race too so I am really looking forward to it.
Of course there is a goof chance I will sign up for some other races. Depending on which Asian race I go for I may return to Forster and try and podium there and if I do go to Cebu and fail I may just chuck Taiwan or Korea on my credit card and try again. I am really excited about what this year has in store. I am going to take my training over the next 6 months very serious and I hope to make some big improvements especially in my run and swim. Keep reading to see how I go.
Another thing which I am really excited about this year is 2 of my friends are planning on attempting their first triathlon. It will probably be at the Nepean Tri and I plan to stick with them all day and support them all the way to the finish. Why? Because my friend did that for me at my first triathlon and it changed my life. I am hoping I can do the same for someone else.
Anyway, have a fun and safe week with your training. I know I am planning on. If you are thinking of trying a triathlon look at Sunny Coast 70.3, Yes it is a little long for your first attempt but it is an amazing race. If you do let me know. I promise to stay out there and cheer you on!
Have fun, stay safe and remember to TRI!
Hi everyone, not a whole lot going on here. I have been pretty sick in the aftermath of Challenge Melbourne last weekend. Typical to see the perfect weather they had at Geelong 70.3 yesterday and an amazing performance from Sam Appleton coming in second to Crowie. I have included a link to Sam's blog about yesterdays race here.
This week I thought I would write about something that I think is important to people whether you are an athlete or just someone trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. How to remain motivated and how to develop the mental toughness to get the sessions done that you really don't want to do.
I am at a point in my athletic life where I very rarely miss a workout or even take a day off exercise. As I have mentioned previously, I have a coach who sets my weeks training for me and I complete the sessions he sets for me. There have been many times where I get my session on a Sunday night and I know that the Thursday run set is going to be horrible or that the lat thing I am going to feel like doing after a day at uni is that 5km swim set. But come Thursday, I am there doing the run set or I am in the pool after uni. I do it automatically, maybe I am lucky that I am driven and motivated but for me it honestly isn't that hard. I make reference to this occasionally but I openly admit that there are some negative psychological side effects of the massive weight change I experienced. One of which is my fear that I will go back to how I used to be. Now I am not sure if that is what gets me to do the sessions I don't want to or if it is because I have big goals in this sport. I generally don't find it that hard. For me it isn't a question of should I do a session. I simply have to. No ifs or buts. It is on my program, it will be done. So how can you get to that point?
One of the biggest tips I can anyone is to set yourself a target. I normally say to people make it a race and no a local 5km race will not do. Pick something which will force you out of your comfort zone. Shameless tri plug here but something like a 70.3 triathlon. Why? Well look if you can swim without drowning, ride a bike without crashing and are literally able to walk you will probably get through an Olympic or Sprint triathlon. However a 70.3 is a long way and there are cut off times. It means that it is not so much a matter of just getting through it (which is fine). It means you will have to work hard in your training to beat the clock and make sure you finish. I once tried to convince someone who is incredibly out of shape to sign up for a big running race in Sydney and they said to me that they would not sign up for something that they didn't know they could finish. That sort of attitude is the exact opposite of what I am trying to get you to understand. One of the most successful ways to gain the mental toughness to train is to introduce an element of fear by signing up for something outside the scope of your known abilities.
I mentioned fear and that is my second tip. Use the fear. Whether the fear is that you will not be able to do a certain session or that you are scared of being judged at the gym because you are a bit bigger. More often than not, our fears highlight areas of our own life that we are self-conscious and unhappy with. If you are scared of going to the gym, go until you are not scared anymore. Wear your fear as a badge of honour. If anyone has a go at you for being at the gym because you are out of shape laugh at them and do your own workout anyway. It is your own journey and you will be the one laughing at the end of the day. So to recoup where we are at. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and embrace your fears and use them.
The final tip I will give to anyone struggling for motivation is to be honest with yourself. You are the one who has to go home everyday and look yourself in the mirror. All the coaches and trainers and training partners can tell you that you are working hard or you are putting in the handwork but only you know whether it is true. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and feel guilt free then you are putting in the effort that you know you can. If you look at yourself and feel like you have taken it easy or your fear has gotten the best of you than you are the only one who can do something about it. I love helping people turn their life around and get in shape. I have had more failures than I have had success but do I feel guilty? Not at all. I know that when I set people a program I am equipping them with the tools they require to be successful but I always say to them that the ultimate responsibility rests on their shoulders. I did it by myself and I never thought I would. I do things now that I never thought I would be able to do. I am at a point in my life where my training is less of a burden and more of a critical component of my life balance. I look at myself in the mirror and I do not feel guilty. I see myself and I am happy with who I see looking back out at me. Not because I think I have a rocking bod but because I live the life that I want to.
I hope this little write up will help some of you. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. Let me hear if you think I am completely wrong.
As for me, I am still struggling to get better. I have nearly completed my antibiotics and my cough hasn't cleared up. Whatever I got it hit me hard. It is ok though. The performance I put in at Challenge Melbourne was worth it. I am looking forward to getting better and starting to build for 2015. I am also excited because my soccer team started training this week. I love playing soccer and it is one of my little tri off season rewards.
Let me know how you all go with developing some mental toughness. Especially if you decide to take the plunge and sign up for something. Good luck, train hard and remember to TRI!
Challenge Melbourne, what can I say other than it lived up to its name...
So you may or may not have been aware that I raced my 11th 70.3 triathlon on Sunday. Going into this race I didn't feel like I was ready for it. The timing of this race makes it hard as you would need to train solid through the festive season. Chuck in my birthday in mid-January and yeah I have been feeling a little out of shape.
I headed out to Brighton on Saturday afternoon to collect my rego pack etc and was slightly concerned as it was windy and there was a big swell in the water. I told myself that the race starts so early it won't be an issue. I went to bed feeling optimistic. When I got up on Sunday morning it was grey and windy and I knew it was going to be a long day. I got to the race start and racked my bike and set up transition. I put my wetsuit on almost immediately to try and stay warm. When we made our way down to the swim start my heart sank. It was CRAZY out there. They announced that you had the option of skipping the swim. You just had to wait for the last person in your age group to leave the water before you could head up to transition. I was seriously considering it. To be honest I came the closest I have ever come to just packing my stuff up and leaving. It was horrible. But I thought I would have a go and see what happened.
When the gun went off I was fairly conservative. I tried to hold a good line to aim for the first buoy but I soon realised that sighting was going to be a huge issue. The swim course was set up in an 'M' shape. But all the turn buoys were yellow and very close together meaning it was easy to get them confused. I had to switch to breastwork several times and it became a matter of survival rather than speed. I was disappointed to see that my Garmin had gone onto auto-pause or something during the swim because I would have liked to see how far I actually swam going off course as often as I did. It was wild and I swallowed so much salt water I vomited twice in the water. I was happy to reach the shore. SWIM TIME 33:17.
My transition had turned into a giant puddle and I had left a wind jacket there for the bike but it was so wet that I didn't bother. There was also a change from last year with a long run to get your bike out of transition. Why they made this change I do not know but the race suffered as a result. T1: 3:39
Out onto the bike. I had big plans for this bike split. I rode a 2:19 here last year and was hoping to improve on that. But as I knew as soon as I had seen the weather it would not be happening this year. If it wasn't raining it was windy. With parts of the coast being protected by trees you would be riding fine and then nearly blown off your bike the next second. It was just tough out there. I ditched my sunnies as they were covered in water and battled through. I was very happy to come off the bike without having a crash or any mechanical issues. I saw many people pulled over with punctures so I considered myself lucky. BIKE SPLT: 2:27:32
Hoping off the bike into T2 meant the same long run with my bike which was made even worse by the fact I had numb feet. Other than that I had a quick T2: 2:44
Early in the day I had decided if I as going to get anything out of the day it was going to be a solid run split. Having raced this course before I had decided to attack the flats and conserve on the hilly sections. I wanted to run consistantly and I am happy to report that I did. Infant I felt really strong on the run. I focused on my technique and nutrition, all the things that I could control. When I reached the final 3kms I put the hammer down. I have always said that I am able to tolerate pain on the bike more than anything else. Those last 3kms of the run was exactly the same. It hurt, but I embraced and enjoyed it. I also wanted to try and enjoy the finish line a little bit. I high-fived all the children and even spotted my wife. I crossed the line really happy. RUN SPLIT: 1:33:41 (PB run split)
I had expected to finish the race in about 4:50ish (based on when I thought I started etc as my garmin hadn't captured my swim) and was so excited to learn I had finished in a time of 4:40:55. Once again I missed going sub 4:30 but I was never going to in those conditions. I felt like I had done a PB as that was the toughest race I have ever done. I pushed myself hard and as a result I have been sick as a dog ever since. Even though I didn't reach the time I wanted, I now know that I will. If I can pull off that race in those conditions than it is only a matter of time. I really enjoyed Sunday. It was wet, horrible and one hell of a challenge but it was hard for completely different reasons to 2014. Anyway if I had to give any feedback I would say the changes to transition were for the worse but other than that it is a great race.
I am not too sure when my next race will be. I have signed up for Cebu 70.3 in August but I might try and change that for Taiwan or Korea. There is also an Olympic Distance race in March I do nearly every year. Who knows. It has been a big 6 months of racing and I am looking forward to a bit of a break.
Anyway that is all for this weeks write up. I hope you enjoyed it.
Train hard, stay safe and remember to TRI!
I lost 50kgs though triathlon and completed the 2016 70.3 World Championships. Aiming to hit 4:05 for a 70.3, the same time it took me to complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I want to bring as many new people to the sport as possible. Whether you are fit and active or want to make positive changes to your life.