Training since Port Douglas had been patchy to say the least, still getting sessions done but ride/run quality was down and for probably the first time in over 10years of triathlon training, my swimming was going great. For some reason over the last few months my quads, lower back and hamstrings seemed to be constantly restricted. I had lost power on the bike and stride length/cadence on the run, which all had me frustrated.
That all changed when after a few months of complaining, I finally said to Tash (my partner)who is 5 weeks from being a qualified Physiotherapist, “I need your help”! She had been away on placement for a few months then since being back busy with final exams/study and job applications, but I neither wanted or could afford anyone else as she is amazing at this stuff and only gets better as her knowledge, experience and confidence grows! (Yes I’m slightly biased, but I’m sure once she starts practicing others will confirm!)
After a good hour of assessment’s that had me frustrated and fatigued due to a lack of neural activation, the issue was found and after some negotiating a plan was devised!
The next few days were spent anxiously tapering the training and seeing how and if the body would respond in time for race day. Come Saturday and my final ride/run prep, the legs started to feel free again and some fluency returned to my pedal stroke and run stride, but were they good enough to get through a half ironman?
Lastly I made a final call to Mr Nutrition, Phil Smith from Mass Nutrition Townsville, He has recently started helping me with getting the body from good to optimal and clearing up some crazy ideas I’d started implementing. Ironically upon reflection, a few words still haunt me from this call as I didn’t follow exactly what he recommended, which lead to some pit stops on the run.. Lesson learnt!
Come race morning and I woke feeling good, heading out for a quick jog to get a feel for the morning and check the legs before getting pre-race nutrition in (upon review with Phil I got this wrong). As I walked down to transition the excitement built, but unfortunately so did the burbles in my stomach and after setting up my bike, the search was on for a vacant toilet. After about 15mins of searching and nerves rising finally I was right to wetsuit up and get to the start line (lesson #2 Always allow ample time to WARM UP PROPERLY).
After swimming so well for a couple of weeks I was really disappointed with my time, never finding any rhythm and lost direction a couple times again my own fault for not looking over the course! That said once on the bike I felt good, building nicely as confidence returned and finishing really strong with my best average power for a long time! Importantly once on the run the legs felt good and energy was there, passing both the second and third overall males, (obviously a lap in front of me) however at about 13km the stomach again decided it was time for a stop off, I slowed to try and let things settle but got to 15kms and the dash to some public toilets was on, and let’s just say getting a one piece suit off in a hurry is awkward!
Once back out and running the last 5kms were a little deflating as I tried to again catch those that I’d already passed. Overall the race was a big step forward with many positives and a couple of valuable lessons. I did qualify for the 70.3 World champs again on the sunny coast however didn’t take the spot; at this stage there is still plenty of improvement needed to be competitive with the best.
Lastly thanks to all those that supported me in this journey, I’ve received so much positive encouragement which is much appreciated. Special mention to Kymbo from Paleo Café Towsville city, my new sponsor Mass Nurtition Townsville and Phil Smith, this guy knows nutrtion and I’m excited for whats to come, ETPA and coach Darren (congrats on qualifying), and John from Fusion Multisport for the new race suit which looks and feels amazing! Can’t wait to try it out over the full distance!
For now, not to sure what the triathlon future entails for me, but some big exciting life changes will no doubt keep me busy!!!!! Stay well