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.
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,