A Return to Training - My Simple Tips

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As I sit back here in the Melbourne winter, I thought it fitting to put together my guide to returning back to structured training after an extended break. To begin, however, I have the exciting news that I am on board as a coach with Scientific Triathlon! I am very happy to be working alongside Mikael and James as a coach at Scientific Triathlon and I am very excited to already have a diverse group of athletes based across Australia, Austria, Norway and America so far. I see this as a great opportunity and welcome any enquiries to lachie@scientifictriathlon.com.

Now, on to my tips!

A break, for me, meant 6 weeks galivanting around Europe, creating amazing memories and eating great food. This provided a much needed mental and physical break from the structure of training, something I haven’t done for longer than two weeks in the past. It has, however, provided me with a reminder of a few things that I think deserve sharing. So, whether you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and a return to training is imminent after winter hibernation, you’re coming off a post-race break, or, you just want some tips for the next time you do have a break, here are my top tips:

1.        You are not the ‘old’ you.

Your swim times, bike powers and run speeds are simply not going to be where they were pre-break. To train to these same zones simply means that you are likely to be using different levels of each energy system than you were previously and thus creating a different stress from the work. So, be realistic with yourself and even consider doing some baseline testing to get a fresh set of numbers from which you can work. They will be lower, but don’t fret, it will come back!

2.       Train First, Weight Loss Second

There is every chance that when you come back from your break, you’ve put on a few kgs. Honestly, that is a good thing! However, don’t jump back into training head first and also try to run a calorie deficit from the get go in order to shift the weight straight away. You are already putting your body under stress that it hasn’t felt for some time and it needs to have good energy availability in order to not only hit your sessions but also in order to recover. Take some time when you start back to simply focus on getting the training right before you think about getting back to race weight!

3.       Do Things That Make You Smile

Whilst I always advocate that training should be an enjoyable process, as you return back to training after a hiatus, I believe it is important to set yourself up for success by creating an environment free from too much structure and full of opportunities that make you smile. This might mean things like getting out on the mountain bike, running a new trail, swimming more in the open water or even trying something a little different like that strength program you’ve forever been putting off! Little goals within sessions and weeks that are outside your usual realm are also great for mental stimulation such as trying to get a certain amount of vertical ascent in a ride or seeing if you can improve your times across other swim strokes. Lastly, use this time to get out with friends and socialise whilst you train!

4.       Patience is a Virtue

With time, you will get ‘fit’ again. It will come around far sooner than you think. Whilst day to day the improvements may be minor, you will soon notice that in fact you’re nearly back. Don’t be tempted to keep adding as much load/intensity as possible, simply let your body adapt and give it time to do so. Consistency (as always) is your friend here, not the big, once off, sessions.

5.       Recover, Recover, Recover

Whilst training load is relatively low, use it as an opportunity to start implementing good recovery techniques that you may have otherwise missed previously. This includes things such as good nutrition, adequate sleep and importantly, remembering to make time for things outside of sport and work that make you happy, i.e. spending quality time with loved ones. The latter will provide you with and opportunity to de-stress that sometimes we can miss for long periods of time with the busy lifestyles that many live amongst the chaos of work, training, family etc.

So, get out, enjoy it and most importantly, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses every now and then!

Lachi

Coaching - My Personal Fundamentals

“Coaching is an action, not a title, and actions result in successes”

Success is undoubtedly a relative term that can only truly be defined by the athlete themselves, albeit with guidance from a coach who understands their performance parameters. Throughout my time as both an athlete and a coach, I have developed a coaching style which I unashamedly stand by and which I hope to outline below:

1.      Communication is Key

Coaching is neither art nor science in my opinion. Rather, it is about utilising functions of both in order to ensure the best outcome for the athlete. Whilst purely objective measures such as power data, HRV etc. provide fantastic insight into the athlete and their levels of fatigue, the simple question of “how are you feeling?” can often provide more insight into the athlete then all of them combined. In order for a program to be truly adaptable and personalised to an athlete’s needs, I aim to ensure communication channels are constantly open and that feedback is a key foundation of our relationship so that the stressors outside of the simple physiological load of training can be accounted for and reflected in the training prescription.

2.       Don’t be Afraid to “Copy and Paste”

No, this doesn’t mean giving two athletes the exact same program out of pure laziness! What it does mean, though, is that there is nothing wrong with prescribing an athlete with the same session or even same week more than once. Coaching is not about trying to create value through selling magic sessions and a program where one never does the same thing. Coaching is about identifying the needs of an athlete and developing a structure whereby these needs can be met. Consistency is the underlying factor amongst all stories of relative success and therefore should always be the key goal.

3.      Stress is Stress

This is a point oft reiterated by coaches around the world, however I’ve still seen many programs that seem to ignore it. Understanding that each individual has a unique lifestyle that brings with it a completely different set of daily stressors is important in order to ensure that the overall balance is right from athlete to athlete. This furthers on from point 1 in that these factors must be clearly communicated between coach and athlete through constant feedback channels. Whether it be a crappy night’s sleep, a long day at the office, travelling for work, sick children or any of a million other things, don’t discount it and make sure the program changes to reflect it!

4.      Don’t be Afraid to Try

As an athlete, I have tried many approaches and what works for me is completely different to what works for other athletes I know. The same goes for the athletes that I coach. The reality is that sometimes a bit of trial and error will need to take place before the right balance is struck and ensuring that the athlete is aware of my thought process surrounding decision making creates a foundation for us to take that route. Furthermore, I want my athletes to learn. My goal is not to coach them forever but rather to entrust my knowledge and skillset in them so that they can develop their own skillset. As a coach, this also means learning from each athlete and not falling into the “same old, same old.”

I am truly passionate about the work that I do as a coach in endurance sports and I have been extremely lucky to learn from some of the best throughout my journey. I only hope that I can help others achieve their goals and develop their own knowledge base through my coaching endeavours.

If you have any questions or enquiries, please shoot me an email at lachie@i4coaching.com.au

In my next blog, I hope to delve into my own “n=1” experience with a high fat, low carb approach to diet.

Until then,

Lachie

Ironman Busselton - A Solid End to 2018

Photo - Korupt Vision

Photo - Korupt Vision

Busselton is a place that I have been lucky enough to race at in the past, starting with my Team Vic days at the National All-Schools Championships. Over the last few years I have raced in Busso for the May edition of the 70.3, but this was the first time I would be in December for the full-distance and excitement levels were at an all-time high.

The lead in to Busselton essentially started the day after Shanghai 70.3 in October. After a great six week block leading into that race I was able to put together a strong performance which, due to the tactics of the race, may not have been reflected in the placing at the finish line (8th), but was certainly evident in the post-race analysis of the data. With six weeks until Busso, it was decided with my coach (Prof Paul Laursen), that we would use the form from some of the bigger sessions that I’d been ticking off and put in a good block of training to target Busso. Along the way, three weeks out, I was able to jump in on my favourite race on the calendar, Challenge Shepparton. I am extremely privileged to have raced at Shep six years in a row now. I always love to go down and hang out with my yearly homestay family, Steve and Belinda Ayton. Although Shep threw a few curve balls, with a career worst swim and a small mechanical on the bike, I was happy to walk away unscathed and with a 4th place, all eyes firmly on Busselton three weeks down the line.

The recovery from Shep proved to be fantastic and I was able to put in a great week until the Friday, when a deep blister on my foot got infected and unfortunately rendered me pretty much unable to train for a few days. Luckily, the podiatrists were able to get it sorted and with that the season was still on and a marathon off the bike loomed…

The trip down to Busselton with my grandpa remained stress free and we were able to settle into a nice little routine in the proceeding days, knowing the town from previous year. Thus, making the race that much easier.

Race morning began with a relatively unappealing 3.30am wake up call before we headed down, made the last adjustments and donned the wetsuit for a 6.15am start in the brisk WA morning air. I made the mistake of not starting far enough left and as such, hit the deeper water a little earlier, whilst some of the other boys got a bit more sand bar to work with, instantly leaving me half a stroke behind. After settling on some feet whilst turning to go under the jetty, a gap opened up ahead and I simply didn’t have the fire power to make it across. Balancing swim, bike and run form at once is always a fine line and that next gear in my swimming is something that I really need to ensure I have dialled back in once we roll into next year… For the rest of the swim, I simply lead the second pack at what was a relatively pedestrian pace but I knew that I was in this race for the long-haul and didn’t want to burn any matches early on.

As an athlete, my strength usually lies on the bike over the half-distance. However, I had decided well before this race that patience was the key and that I was not going to race it with the aggressiveness that I would usually do in a half-distance, where I 100% back myself to get to the front. This meant watching Matty Burton ride off into the distance after about 10km, reiterating to myself the mantra that Prof had given me, “how will this impact my marathon?” In all honesty, I found the first lap quite frustrating, with a couple of the euro boys putting in big surges and me seeing my power shoot well above my desired range just to keep them in sight. However, after approximately 105km, they seemed to have blown themselves apart and after re-catching Blake Kappler, I went to the front and simply sat on a nice, comfortable wattage for the remainder of the ride and felt in control and strong. For those interested in my power file, it can be viewed here (ignore heart rate as unfortunately the strap had a complete meltdown)

http://tpks.ws/E3TQUREDNRQKA6KJACP5JJWWG4

After catching Cunnama in transition, I knew that all of a sudden the patience was paying off and I was just inside the money starting out onto the run. I felt fantastic and without heart rate as a guide, it was simply a case of settle in to what felt like a sustainable pace and aim to hold it. Throughout the first lap, I tried to give encouragement to as many of the 70.3 athletes as possible, as ultimately this sport is about the comradery that we all have and I have immense respect for everyone out there giving it their all. This kept me in a great headspace as well and allowed me to truly enjoy the run. Coming through the crowd a couple of times per lap was also a major highlight and I really made a point of enjoying it. Before I knew it, I was at the 32km mark, I had no gut issues and my legs felt alright! Fuelling has been something that I have been working very hard on with Prof, who is an advocate of a Low Carb, High Fat approach to diet on a day to day basis. This certainly doesn’t mean no carbs ever and is something that has taken me a while to get used to and work out how to strike the right balance. It does mean, though, that this entire race was fuelled on 55-60g carbs/hour on the bike and about 50-55g carbs/hour on the run. This is less than many other athletes may strive for but left me feeling strong throughout the race and without gut issues that have plagued me throughout my journey as a triathlete. Back on track, I hit the 35km mark still with a great opportunity to run sub 3hr and forgetting that I had stopped my watch for approx. 1min earlier in the run to do up my shoes! The last 7km home proved to be a bit of a mental battle with a big gap to 5th and a big gap behind to 7th. I walked the last two aid stations to make sure I got myself home without an implosion and really took the time to enjoy the last few km. Ultimately it cost me a sub 3hr run (3:00:20 official time) but I was so happy to cross the line with a consistent day over this distance for the first time that I really didn’t care. Run file can be viewed here:

http://tpks.ws/LLDI25V3FWQHANYUE42JRAXNWQ

In the end, I came away with a 6th place, overall time of 8.23hr and a head held very high knowing that I executed a pretty good day. The reality is I was 5.7% off one of the best athletes in the world but I have a renewed confidence that I am chasing an achievable dream and that I can make the jump to the next level in the future with motivation higher than ever. For now, it is time to take December as a month of unstructured training, just doing what feels right by the body. I’m also extremely excited to be officially getting on board with a new bike sponsor in the very, very near future!

For now though, a big thank you to all those who support me. Kaiting, my parents, my family, you all support me fully and for that I am so grateful. Also, Parcours and Cyclespeed, thank you for continually ensuring I have the best equipment possible to race!

A Breakdown of Ironman New Zealand

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Photo: Korupt Vision for Australian Triathlete Magazine

Firstly, what a beautiful part of the world Taupo is. If you ever have the opportunity to go there, whether it be for racing or otherwise, I would highly recommend making the trip. Now, for a race report…

Rolling into Taupo on Wednesday before the Saturday race, it would suffice to say that I was rearing and ready to go. The numbers in training had been fantastic, the mind was in a confident space and I felt extremely comfortable in the surrounds of Lake Taupo. After a few days of relatively short and sharp sessions, race morning arrived in what seemed like a blink of an eye. If you follow my social media channels, you may already know that the race did not end up panning out the way I would have hoped with an eventual DNF at the 17km mark of the run. Therefore, instead of a blow by blow of what happened during my time out on the course, I thought I would use this blog as an opportunity to put forward the positive learning experiences that I have taken from the race as I have had plenty of time to mull over the negatives.

  1. Everyone goes hard at the start of an Ironman swim.

I have found myself to be so wary of the long day that lies ahead that the start of Ironman swims has always been a slow one. There is no doubt that I should have swum with that front pack at IMNZ but through complacency in the first 400m I ended up 3min behind and leaving myself with a lot of work to do. I am a better swimmer than what I showed on Saturday and I’ll be working hard to improve my takeout speed and also back myself to push the first stretch without burning too many matches.

    2. I can ride.

After some great rides over the 70.3 distance in the last 18 months as well as the numbers I see in training, I know that I can ride with some of the strongest guys in the world. However, after riding the first 40km in 55.50 on what is not a flat course, charging to the front of a huge bunch straight away and trying to attack was not a great idea. This Ironman game is one of utilising one’s strength over a long stretch of time and there were some guys who did it fantastically. I’ve now seen firsthand how guys who had great overall races carefully managed their energy across the day and I’ll be looking to implement a better strategy come Port Mac to utilise my strengths without over doing it.

    3. Patience, patience, patience

Simple, but effective. I’ll be backing ‘patience’ at Port Mac and whilst I will still be utilising surges throughout the day, as is a necessity in most pro races, they will be more thought out and likely create a better opportunity for a great overall result.

    4. Look after your body

With a little niggle appearing in my glute on the Thursday after Geelong 70.3 during what was a great bike session, I honestly should have been more proactive in reaching out for support in settling it down. Ultimately, it was this that flared up in the last third of the ride and the consequence was losing 8min to leaders in only 60km. The hips, back and glutes are so important in our sport and any issues will come up over the course of such a long day where you are pushing to your absolute limits. I’ll be working very hard to be a professional and stay on top of body maintenance as we get into some big volume over the coming weeks.

 

Whilst a fair bit did go wrong for me outside of my control last Saturday, the truth is that things likely went wrong at some point during the day for most people. As such, these uncontrollable situations are not worth dwelling on as Ironman racing is about overcoming such obstacles and continuing to push forward. What is important, however, is to address the things that were in my control and ensure that come Ironman Australia in 8 weeks’ time, I have done everything to rectify them. I am looking forward to diving head first into a solid training block now as Gilesy is taking it back to ‘old school’, no BS work. I’ll be fit and ready come Ironman Australia and I look forward to attacking the race with a clear mindset of being consistent across the day.

Thank you to my sponsors, Parcours, Zone3 Australia, Fusion and Cyclespeed for their ongoing support and help. These products allow me race to the best of my ability and for that, I am grateful.

Also, to my girlfriend, family, friends and coach, a big thank you. You give me the opportunity to chase a dream and I will always honour that by giving my absolute best.

Until next time,

Thanks,

Lachie

Saddling up for 2018

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There’s something about preparing at home. Routine, family and friends, familiar training routes, plenty of training partners, always something to do and knowing where all the facilities are to cater for any occasion. When you throw in summer weather and your own bed, it doesn’t get any more conducive to getting fit and loving training.

 

After a tough summer of racing and training over in Europe followed by a tough day riding an O Bike in Challenge Iskander Puteri and a solid 5th at Challenge Shepparton, I pushed the year one race too long with Western Sydney 70.3 in late November. Going into a championship calibre field not at the top of your game makes for a long day, however it was a good lesson in never giving up as in the end, due to a DQ, I was unknowingly in a sprint finish for 10th ($1000) and can honestly say I gave up as I thought it was for 11th and no prize money. I am more than willing to say that I am disappointed that my motivation slipped to simply money, albeit a small amount, and this was very representative of the fact that my motivation to race simply to achieve the best out of my body on the day, as I usually do, was not there. Anyway, onto what’s up ahead...

Since December I’ve had my head down and have been slowly ticking away at putting together a consistent block of training leading into a big 11-week race schedule whilst also continuing with university study and also a small amount of work experience at Six Park (a robo-advice company founded by Pat Garrett, a former triathlete and all around great bloke). This, coupled with many adventures with my girlfriend Kaiting, has provided me with a great balance between everything and I’ve learnt that having more than just training is extremely important for me as an individual to stay stimulated. Without doubt, this is a different kettle of fish for each individual and there is no right or wrong, but for myself it is what I have found works best.

In terms of my upcoming race schedule, the plan until May is as follows:

-          Geelong 70.3 – Feb 18th

-          Ironman New Zealand – March 3rd

-          Challenge Melbourne – April 22nd

-          Ironman Port Macquarie – May 6th

Potentially I’d like to throw in the Tour of Mansfield (cycling) on March 17th/18th as well but we will see.

Thank you for reading and I hope to keep you all updated as the season progresses. If you have any questions or would like to follow along give my social media channels a follow for updates on my training leading into races!

Lachie

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A European Update

Well, what a whirlwind five weeks it has been here in Europe. Having passed through both England and Scotland, I am now here enjoying some warmth and sunshine whilst logging some solid training days in Girona, Spain. From a racing perspective, I am ‘half way’ through my trip with two races down and two to go in the form of Challenge Iceland this weekend and then Ironman Hamburg a further three weeks after that.

 

The first two races of my European adventure did not necessarily play out the way I would have hoped when jumping on the big bird over here. Unfortunately the first race, at Staffordshire 70.3, ended up finishing with a DNF due to myself poorly handling the situation of losing my nutrition at the start of the bike leading to me completely overloading my gut with foreign nutrition and ultimately a complete shutdown ensued. Moving on from Staffs, I made the drive up to Edinburgh where I was able to score some great weather during my two week stay. Apparently a miracle I have been told given the ‘summer’ that they have been experiencing. After a great little two week training block including recovery and a small taper, I was excited to have another hit out over a tough course (nearly 1000m vertical on the ride and 300m on the run) whilst also being joined by my mum and step-dad, a big bonus! On race day we faced a very stiff wind coupled with chilly temperatures and as such the swim was shortened to 950m. After swimming very poorly into the chop I was able to claw back a little on the way back yet still found myself well back on where I wanted to be. One of my strengths on the bike in the last six months is my ability to push solid power for the first 30min or so. When I come out with the lead group, this gives me a great opportunity to get away (i.e. Husky Long Course), however, when coming out over a minute back it unfortunately only usually gets me back up to the front of the race with some matches already burnt. This highlights to me the importance of improving my swim to ensure that my day starts well and whilst here in Girona I have been grateful to be able to swim with a few of the ITU guys and girls a couple of days a week which should hopefully pay some dividends. Back to the race, after getting myself up to the lead bunch of 8, with Raelert off the front, I attempted to go straight past but was faced with some pretty blatant drafting and began to get frustrated. To keep it short, this basically led to me smashing my legs a bit with big surges to try and get away followed by hardly pedalling once I couldn’t. This type of riding doesn’t lead to a fast pace and whilst eventually I managed to carve out a small 40sec or so lead on the big group by the end of the ride, Raelert was already in another post code and barring disaster had the race pretty well covered. I was able to take the first couple of kilometres reasonably steady until the big bunch came charging through. After latching onto Fraser Cartmell’s hip I found myself in a nice battle, however at 15km the hills got to me and I found myself slogging home to a 1.24hr run and a 9th place, not what I know I am capable of yet still a much better outcome than Staffs two weeks prior.

 

Now, that leaves me here in Girona, Spain. The training has been going well, however, living here alone has made me realise how good my support network is at home and how supportive all those around me are in helping me achieve my goals. This realisation has truly fuelled me to ensure that in these next two races that I race all the way to the finish line and push harder than I ever have before. I owe this not only to myself but also to all those who support me. The outcome, right now, is not the objective, rather the goal is to leave it all out there on the course and cross the line knowing there is nothing more I could have done. I look forward to heading to Iceland this weekend to do just that before being joined by my girlfriend for a trip to Germany for Ironman Hamburg, I truly can’t wait.

None of this adventure would be at all possible without the support of my partner, my family and my friends. They drive me to reach for my goals and for that I am forever grateful. Furthermore, my coach Grant Giles at Aeromax. Grant, I feel, is taking me in a great direction and I look forward to continually pushing forward under his guidance.

 

Also, a lot of thanks must be given to my sponsors, without whom this sport would be all the more difficult. Thank you to Jaggad, Dimond, Parcours and Zone 3 for the continued support and belief, hopefully some strong results are on the horizon!

 

Time for 2017 (Even Though It's Already March)

Well, it has most certainly been a while since the last time I put some words down in relation to how my triathlon career is progressing. My last post, whilst upbeat, was honestly a hard one to accept. An injury is never fun and no matter how positive you may stay on the exterior, it is always on the back of your mind. Since my “stressie” though there have been a few changes and honestly I am truly proud of how I have bounced back.

In August last year, I decided a change of coach was needed in order to try some new things and move away from the way I had been doing things. It’s quite intriguing how quickly your view of the type of training that “works for you” can change. I was always seemingly a proponent of “more is more” and undoubtedly I love this type of high volume training which still has its place at times, however, after starting with Grant Giles at Aeromax, I have come to realise that doing it all the time is not necessarily what is best for me and for my performance. Over the last 6 months with Grant, I have improved throughout all three disciplines despite being on a very limited run load due to being very cautious in the come back from injury. I am thoroughly enjoying the training that I am doing under Grant and the results have already begun to reflect this. At the end of last year I was able to finish off with a 3rd at Challenge Shepparton and a 6th at Taupo 70.3 before starting this year with a 1st at Nagambie Sufferfest and a 4th at Huskisson Long Course (very narrowly missing the bike course record). To be in the money in my past four races has been a big confidence boost and it has been great to see my bike riding fast becoming a real weapon in my arsenal. Instead of heading into races telling myself who WILL beat me, I now head into races thinking that I can take it to everyone in the field. Since Husky Long Course in February, Grant has really allowed me to tuck into some solid running for the first time and I’m excited to try and show the big increase in form that I have had when I line up at Challenge Melbourne on April 9th. It is going to be a stacked field and some fast, hard racing but I am truly ready to put it on the line and take it up to everyone there to the best of my ability.

A race plan for the next 6 months has now been set in place and I’m truly enthusiastic about going to races that I want to do and that I believe suit my strengths. Therefore, my race schedule for the near future is as follows;

-          Challenge Melbourne – April 9th

-          Vietnam 70.3 – May 7th

-          Noumea International Tri – May 14th

-          Staffordshire 70.3 – June 18th

-          Edinburgh 70.3 – July 2nd

-          Challenge Iceland – July 23rd

-          Ironman Wales – September 10th

-          Various Sufferfest Races post September

This schedule will see me heading over to the UK for June before basing myself in Girona, Spain for July and August to prepare for one of the toughest Ironman courses around in Ironman Wales.

2017 also brings with it a fantastic group of core sponsors who I am extremely grateful to for supporting me. Jaggad, my longest sponsor, will continue to support me through 2017 and their continued support makes a huge difference. I have also been able to secure the support of two new sponsors in Dimond Bikes and Zone3 Wetsuits. Having ridden the Dimond now for a couple of weeks, I am confident it is FAST! Whilst it is easy to simply write things and not substantiate them in anyway, I hope that I can do so through how I ride over the next 12 months. If you see me around training and you want to see for yourself, say hello and I’m more than happy for you to jump on and have a spin (given we are of similar size of course!) to see for yourself. Zone3 Australia have also decided to back me this year and hopefully into the future and I am passionate about making all of these guys proud and confident that they have made the right decision.

None of what I do would ever be possible without the support of my girlfriend, family and friends. My support network is second to none and 2017 is about proving to them that I am a true professional and start to make my goals a reality.

Till next time,

Lachie

The Winter Break

Winter time, injuries and looking forward.

Well, it’s been some time since I last put some words down in relation to triathlon, be it training or racing. After Noumea International Tri (5th) and Busselton 70.3 (15th) in the space of two weekends, I was most certainly a little tired but I knew I had just one more race to get through at Japan 70.3in order to gain some extra qualifying points for 70.3 worlds… Then it would be time for a little break. Unfortunately, however, my “little break” has come earlier in the form of a stress fracture in my sacrum (pardon the pun). Although I have had a few little injuries and sicknesses throughout the last 4-5 years, this is well and truly my first major injury and something that was undoubtedly tough to take on the chin. The aftermath of this is essentially no running for 9-12 weeks before a gradual build back into running. So where does this leave things now?

A few days before the news of the “little break” came to light I was happily informed that I had been selected for the ITU Long Course Worlds in Oklahoma on September 24th or as I’m now looking at it, 19 weeks after finding out about the stressie. Is there a lot of confidence that I will be at full running fitness for it from the doctor, not really… Do I think I can be? Yes. I will not be at all trying to push the injury at a faster rate than I should, however, I will be doing everything in my power to make sure it is healed and that I’m in a position to be on the start line safely.

So, what then lays ahead? Lots of swimming, lots of riding, there is no other way to put it. With the colder winter months ahead in Melbourne town it’s time to look at the positive. Will I be swimming like Andy Potts and riding like Lionel Sanders after the next three months? Probably not. Can I use the next three months to try and build my swim up to a level where I can confidently back myself to make front packs consistently and continue to build upon my ride which I truly believe is already moving in a good direction? Absolutely. If I am healthy enough to race worlds, I think this approach will give me a great shot at having a good day, if not it will leave me in good stead for a hopefully long career ahead.

Watching my good friend and fellow triathlete just get on with job of doing what he could through a recently broken hip, I am no longer worried. Complaining and feeling sorry for yourself is useless, using the time to work on other areas of your game is not. I cannot wait to get back on the bike and I look forward to being back at it later this year, through this injury, stronger and faster. Apologies to all those who have dealt with me being a miserable bastard over the last week and thank you to all those who have, and continue, to support me. I’m refreshed, revitalised and ready to be back racing hard at some point this year.

Time to dig in.

Lachie