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2019 Port Mac 70.3

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I was never going to write this race report - this 70.3 race was meant to be a build up for IM Cairns, where I could really test myself physically and mentally like never before, and then I could tell everyone how awesome it went (ha!).

But alas, fate takes you in a different direction - I tore my left hamstring on the Monday after Port Mac 70.3 which effectively ruled me out of Cairns (yeah sure, I’ll fill in for your touch footy game - idiot). Through a good mate, I was put in contact with some of Brisbane’s best sports medicos to see what could be done, and yes while I could have toed the line in Cairns in a few weeks - I would be underdone. I did not want to put my family through the stress of rushing a recovery and then risk it all on the marathon in Cairns. Plus I never do anything half baked. So after some lucky breaks with travel cancellations and transferring race rego to IMWA - I’m actually happier with the outcome.

There’s actually not that much to say on the 70.3 race itself - I swam well (27min, 2nd in AG), rode well (2:33) and was tough on myself (in the head) on the run (1:40) - so a total of 4:45 incl transitions. Because I now don’t wear a watch in the swim I had no idea on time or where I was placed. I like this approach because I don’t get stressed anymore about a slow or long swim (its the same for everyone), and can concentrate more effectively on the bike and run individually. I was pleasantly surprised with 7th in M40-44, and as a result of the roll down I got a place in the 70.3 World champs in Nice. So things have worked out great, just differently from what I first planned.

The training is really important to reflect on here, because I had genuinely committed like never before for the IM. It all commenced on New Years Day and week in, week out I had put in the yards. Whatever the coach told me to do, I blindly followed - the phrase “thank you sir may I have another” comes to mind. By Sunday evening each week my coach would set up my plan for the week, I’d then go through it with my wife, figure out work arrangements, meals, diet - then just tick them off. Simples. Getting a “green” in TrainingPeaks became a mental game for me and by the end of April I was loving the training, particularly running which was always my weakness. I believe there are 3 things that made achieving consistent 15-20 hour training weeks possible for me.

Firstly my wife, who basically cleared the way for me to make it happen. Yes it’s me who has to get up at 3am to get my long trainer ride done before the kids are up, or has to back up tired and sore from the previous day’s double run, but she was the one that paved the way and ensured family life with young kids was never affected. Amazing. Secondly my coach - I don’t know how he does it but it just works. He’s not big on giving diet advice, technology or technique - which I’m ok with, but he’s awesome with how he designs my programs and fully understands family commitments, etc. Finally, I changed my own work arrangement to be a consultant again rather than an employee - it created flexibility that allows for training twice a day - which I believe is broadly what you need to aim for (plus a rest day). I’m also happier work wise. The only other thing I’ll add is I was just really organised each week.

In terms of each discipline - my coach pretty much left me to my own devices with swimming. I can swim ok (not the quickest, but I go alright) - I focus on swimming less than the other two, but before each swim session I added 10min of core strength and stretch cords which I think really helped. Bike was all about volume and strength - all but one of my weekly rides is on the Kickr. Usually 250-350km per week, reached a max of 460km. For the data geeks my FTP just prior to Port half was 281W and FTP/kg 3.85 on 73kg. Running was also about volume, but a lot at low HR and one killer session each week: 1 hour treadmill at 160-165HR (I get nervous just thinking about it). There were also specific gym sessions, usually once a week.

The plan from here is basically re-do what I just did, once the hamstring is right. For the Nice 70.3 worlds I’ll need lots of hill work apparently, then its Noosa Tri #10 and finally Ironman WA in December which I’m really looking forward to. It’s ironic because it was watching Busso (and not Kona) that first got me interested in IM. I remember watching my now coach come 2nd in 2010 IMWA - so its kind of poetic I guess.

I don’t really say much on transitions, I tend to keep my thoughts to myself but I do like writing the race report (and reading others) as its nice to reflect on the good and bad, and learn from others. The one thing I will share is that last year was not great for me, some pretty challenging work-related stuff, but IM training keeps me here and makes me the best person I can be. Without it I would struggle - and the race is a celebration of that. Not just for me, but for my wife and kids.

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On 21/05/2019 at 2:51 PM, k3vski said:

Thanks for sharing and congrats on the 70.3 World Champs slot! Just my opinion, but I think Busso fits better in terms of timing with the worlds compared to Cairns.

Thanks - yes, really looking forward to swimming with the sharks now!

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On 21/05/2019 at 3:01 PM, pieman said:

Thanks for the report on a great race. also good for a bit of background on how you managed/balanced things as looking at your training on Strava I was curious.. 

Yes mate - the change to consulting instead of employee has created flexibility and less impact on the family.

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