Gerrard and dmitri and world championships 2017 Rotterdam

What Message do we Pedal?

What Message do we Pedal?
Gerrard Gosens

Gerrard and dmitri and world championships 2017 RotterdamI recently wrote about the chain reaction that led to me participating in triathlons, and the opportunity to represent Australia at the Para-triathlon sprint World Championships in Rotterdam on the weekend.  I learnt many lessons from the race – one being that it is important to know, “what message we pedal.”

A message that was pedalled to me ten months ago was that it would be “impossible” to be selected to represent Australia at the 2017 Para-Triathlon World Championships.  I of course didn’t back-pedal from these comments, but just put the foot down and got on with our goal of qualifying for the 2017 World Championships.

I increased my training cadence across swimming, cycling, and running, creating an internal message of, what if?  My teams’ support and commitment to cranking up this output achieved good results in our performances over the next eight months, and selection for the 2017 World Championships.  The earlier “impossible” messages which were being pedalled had gone a complete circle, and were derailed.

Our arrival into Rotterdam was met with very cold, wet and windy conditions.  The first training session on the bike and run course was a good opportunity to experience the many sections of cobble stones and many corners on the bike course.

Our only opportunity for a swim session was in a 25m open air pool, and with the water temperature at 16 degrees, and air temperature 12 degrees, it was a mental and physical challenge. I reminded myself of the many 5:00am swim sessions I had completed during winter, at my local swimming pool (Yeronga), when the air temperature was six degrees.

The swim and bike course familiarisation was held in horrific weather conditions the day before the race.  I had many internal messages being pedalled through my thoughts, as I swam through the angry chop of waves. Our cycle over the bike course in cold drenching rain magnified the many sections of cobblestones, and sharp corners we would have to negotiate throughout the course.

The morning of race day, I was pedalling many thoughts, the unpleasant weather conditions, our race plan and processes, equipment checks and transition set up, race registration, pre-race energy intake, toilet, and race warm up.  The very cold and wet conditions delayed the race start by an hour, which increased the speed of the messages that were being pedalled through my thoughts.

The only thought I had while walking to the jetty for the start of the triathlon was how I would feel for the first five seconds of the race.  I blocked out any thoughts of the rain, wind, and cold water. Our start of the race was an explosion of energy with the single thought of getting to the front.  After the first 5 seconds, I refocused my thoughts onto each swim stroke, my body position in the water, and tension on the swim tether, with my guide, Dmitri.  I had no room for any thoughts on how far we had gone, or where my other competitors were in the water, as these would only be distractions.

I contained my thoughts to tiny pieces of the triathlon, going from the swim to the transition area, to the cycle, to the second transition, and then onto the run.  Each internal message had to be clear on what I had to focus on, at that moment of the triathlon.

We placed ninth overall, and I was the third totally blind athlete competitor, which was a great result at a World Championships after only 20 months in the sport.

The internal messages in triathlons are very different to my past pursuits as a Paralympic distance runner.  While the intensity, energy output and goal of winning are the same, our internal communications are structured and pedalled with a different cadence.

Ironman Cairns

Ironman Cairns 2016

IM New Zealand

March Newsletter

Race Results

IM New ZealandWe had a particularly big weekend of racing with many squad members racing locally and overseas. Full results can be viewed on Facebook but we have a few special mentions from the weekend:

Tweed Coast Enduro

Chris Bailey 1st place 35-39 and 5th overall in 4:21. Chris’ family and work commitments make training extremely challenging but he works very closely with head coach Mark on a very specific program to ensure when he races he is fit. Next up is Malaysian 70.3 in an attempt to qualify for the Age Group World Champs.

Stella Foley 2nd place in 30-34 and only her second long course race in 5:01. After doing our beginner course late last year and having come from a marathon running background Stella clearly has some natural talent and is now working with Mark on getting ready for Ironman Cairns. 

Sue Meehan 2nd place in 50-54. Getting back into the long course game and also getting ready for Cairns , Sue is working with coach Brad to have her fit and firing for her third Ironman. 

Jane Saxby completed her first half IM in 7.22.  The family that plays together stays together as fiance Ian Parnell also raced. Next is their wedding. 

Thanks also to Ian for taking the tent to Tweed for squad members to use. 

Coffs Harbour
Paul DoddNew Tri Nation member, ex pro and World Age group medalist Paul was 7th overall in his first triathlon at Coffs Harbour tri yesterday since Sunshine Coast 70.3 last year. Paul is aiming for 70.3 Worlds later in the year. 

Ironman New Zealand
Christy Collis. First time Ironman finisher in the 45-49 age group. Christy balances 4 kids, working at QUT as a professor and training and did it with aplomb in 13 hours flat. Great effort and smiled the whole way.

Craig Stocks. First time Ironman finisher and in the process has lost around 12kg and did everything right to finish in 11:41. Is now looking towards Cairns Ironman as he enjoyed it so much.

Kate Wardrope. Another first timer, married to Dave and mother of 2 kids that balances everything very well. Came across in 11.56.

Sarah JonesMother of 2, wife to Brad and delivered a personal best time by over an hour to come 8th in 10.48 on the back of a 3.44 marathon. Very impressive. 

Amanda Lucas. A 30 min PB and 3rd in her age group just missing out on a Kona spot. Will only get better and executed the perfect race.

Kristin Muir. Has been struggling with a knee injury leading in but ran tough to record a 30 min plus pb and looked great all day.


March is race month for many athletes in the squad and sessions will work towards fine tuning the body in those final weeks. With such a busy month of racing and the conclusion of two of our major long course events, the Saturday morning sessions will take a break in March returning after Easter. 

In April the Cairns Ironman and 70.3 athletes will be focused on their last 12 weeks of training with Saturday sessions planned out accordingly. We have also now introduced a monthly short course weekend cycle. This ride will be with Ray and the date/location for the first ride will be released shortly.

Changes to the training timetable will be in place starting the week of the 21st March. These changes allow us to offer more in our cycling program as well as allowing the week to balance out better for most members.

Six Week Beginner Triathlon Course

Obeginner tri courseur last beginner’s course for the season will start on Tuesday 29th March. The course runs for six weeks and covers all aspects of the swim, bike and run. There is no minimum fitness or ability level required and all sessions have a technique and skill base.

At the end of the six weeks course participants will take part in the Byron Bay Triathlon weekend which includes Tempta and Sprint distance options. Full details are available online (click here).

Cairns Training Camp

Due to popular request we will be running a training camp in Noosa that will target the Cairns Ironman and 70.3. The camp will run over the Anzac Day long weekend and start late afternoon on Friday 22nd April. As we only have limited accommodation booked please ensure you register as soon as possible to confirm your spot. 

We now have over 10 athletes entered in the Ironman at Cairns and many more planning on travelling up for the 70.3 event so it should be a great weekend. Full details are online (click here).

Thanks Tim!

Tim ColesUnfortunately with our new timetable changes and Tim’s commitments to his new shop and trail running group he is no longer able to continue coaching with us at Tri Nation. 

We are very sad to say goodbye to Tim in a coaching role as he has been a great asset to the team over the last 2 years. With 3 sessions left, coffee post run next Tuesday will be an extra special one as Tim’s last Tuesday run session.

8 IM in 8 Days Around Australia

Our good friend Craig Percival is currently doing 8 IM in 8 days in 8 States to raise money for the John McLean Foundation. This Saturday he will be doing the Brisbane leg of the event starting at 6am from Healthstream. If you’re not at Mooloolaba for the Tri he would love for people to join him. It will be the 7th of his 8 IM events so no doubt he will need all the support he can get. The ride will be 6 x Riverloops and the run will be out and back from Healthstream to the Regatta along the bike path.

Beginner Triathlon Tip

Rest and recover. To get the most out of your training sessions you need to ensure you are recovering adequately. This includes not doing too much training too early, getting enough sleep and having something to eat within the first 30 minutes after a hard session. 

It is common to find people not recovering properly after they train. To see the best results, get your rest right and you’ll not only make improvements but stay in the sport for years to come.

Beginner Course Gear Checklist

Custom Bike Fit

Custom Bike Fit

mike bakerHi, my name is Michael and this is a picture of me doing what I love – riding my bike. I’ve been riding for well over 40 years but it wasn’t until I embarked upon my 2nd Ironman campaign back in 2004 that I first considered getting a professional bike fit. I’m glad that I did because it helped me shave 1hr 10mins off my overall time, from 11hrs 24mins down to 10hrs 14mins. Clearly the bike fit wasn’t responsible for all of these time savings, but it certainly had a positive impact both on my comfort on the bike and my ability to run off. If I wasn’t hooked on triathlon previously I certainly was now.

In 2010 I went through what some would call a mid-life crisis. I quit my comfortable, well paid corporate job and moved from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast where I built a business out of my love for cycling and triathlon – that’s how Custom Bike Fit was formed. Since its inception I’ve performed over 1,000 fits, the majority being with age group triathletes.

A bike fit is a collaborative process and, in my opinion, the best tool available to a fitter is empathy. I’ve been racing triathlons for over 20 years, and still compete in events from Olympic through to the Ironman distance. I know what it’s like to ride with knee pain, back pain, shoulder and neck pain, numb feet and saddle sores. I know what causes these issues and I know how to alleviate them through the fit process.

The most common feedback I get from my clients post fit is that they are more comfortable on the bike, and that they run better off it. Comfort goes a long way to improving a triathletes performance as do aerodynamics and the ability to produce power. I have the experience and tools to measure, optimize and make recommendations around all of these aspects.

As a member of Tri Nation you are now entitled to a 10% discount on my fitting services. I have a fully equipped studio on the Sunshine Coast and will be making quarterly scheduled trips to the Healthstream Fitness Centre. I’d be happy to work with you from either location.

My primary service offerings are:

  • 3D motion capture Custom Bike Fit – $295 (less 10%)

o   Includes fit, analysis of aerodynamics, power/efficiency, equipment optimization/recommendations, electronically measured bike geometry

  • Video Analysis Custom Bike Fit – $195 (less 10%)

o   Includes fit and equipment optimization/recommendations

  • Bike Fit Optimization – $95 (less 10%)

o   This service is limited to athletes I have fitted previously who require a ‘tweak’ – your flexibility has changed, your goals have changed, you have travelled with your bike and/or had it serviced and it no longer feels the same

For further information about Custom Bike Fit please visit my website, send me an email or give me a call.



Studio: 07 5479 3091

Mobile: 0400 510 515


beginner triathlon

October Training Update

Beginner Courses

beginner triathlonOur first beginner course of 2015 recently finished their 6 week program at the Raby Bay QTS event on October 11th.  We had 10 lovely ladies complete the course and really bond together to form some strong friendships and overcome some new challenges.

They have already started coming to some of the squad sessions and we look forward to working with them into the future for more challenges.

Welcome to the squad Stella Foley, Sarah Flanagan, Aymee Hogbin, Cassie Matcham, Ornaith Hanna, Brittany Gardiner, Anna Carrick, Caren Biddulph, Peta Peterson and Rebecca Ward.

Our latest beginner program started this week with another 8 keen and excited participants. This time we have 7 ladies and one lucky guy, Brad who will have the pleasure of working with the girls for the next 6 weeks.

Noosa Triathlon

The biggest event on the Australian triathlon calendar is undoubtedly Noosa.  The location, the events on offer and then the party make it a must do each year for thousands of people.  The Tri Nation team will be there as usual getting amongst it.

As per other years we will have the Saturday morning ride and breakfast/coffee after. The ride is at 6.30am from the Tri Nation tent on Noosa Parade. It will be an easy 45 min spin to turn the legs over and then enjoy the company of good friends with breakfast and coffee afterwards. We will be heading to Café Le Monde for a 7.30am start.

The ride will be an easy ride and all abilities are welcome. There will be 2-3 groups depending on numbers. There will be a group with Suz for those members that are newer to cycling.

On Sunday afternoon from 3pm at the Reef Hotel we’ll be getting together for some post-race drinks. We’ll be giving away some Mizuno shoes and Shoes Feet Gear vouchers via a lucky door prize so it would be great to see everyone there including family and friends.

Engagement and babies

Congratulationss to Michael Zink and Alana Taylor on their recent engagement. Michael and Alana are another couple who met through the squad. We get as much joy out of people meeting and forming life long friendships and becoming partners as we do with people completing their first race.

Also a big congrats to Vina Hess and Jess O’ Sullivan who both gave birth to their first child recently. Vina had a little girl Scarlett while Jess had a little boy Hamish. Hamish is also grandson to Jan Avery-Spoor. Vina and Jess have both been long time supporters of the squad and we wish them all the best.

 2016 Training camp, Noosa

Our first training camp for 2016 will be in Noosa from Saturday January 23rd to Tuesday January 26th. We will be staying at the Sun Lagoon resort on Quamby Place, Noosa. It is located on the Noosa River and only 1km from Hastings Street.

The camp will cater for those people focusing on long course events and also for those targeting events like the Mooloolaba Tri.  All abilities are welcome and encouraged to attend.

These training camps are a great for getting in some quality training in the best training location in Queensland but also for getting to know many of the other squad members. We can guarantee quality training, great food and lots of laughs.

Full details are at

Long Course Program

Our Long Course program from 2015/16 has commenced.  There will be programmed rides and runs on the weekends through the season now to help prepare athletes training for the different long course events on offer.

We had athletes compete at the recent Port Macquarie 70.3 and then in 3 weeks Hervey Bay 100 plus athletes competing at IM Western Australia, Ballarat 70.3, Hell of the West, Geelong 70.3, IM New Zealand, IM Australia and Cairns 70.3 and IM Cairns.

Additionally at sessions during the week such as Tuesday morning run and Wednesday morning WT/treadmill we will have different sets for the long course athletes

New Sponsors

We would like to announce three new sponsors to Tri Nation.  As part of our commitment to trying to provide a team of experts for our members all of these new sponsors are there to benefit our members and improve your race performances.

Gerrard Gosens Sports and Remedial massage.

Gerrard is now operating a massage service out of Healthstream at Gardens Point.  Along with being a duel para Olympian Gerrard is an accomplished athlete, public speaker and successful businessman.

He understands athletes and what they go through.  Tri Nation members will receive a discounted rate of $75 per massage. Bookings can be made by calling Gerrard on 0407 144 211.

Each month we’ll be giving away a free massage to a Tri Nation member as a prize.

In the near future you’ll also be able to book online through the Healthstream website.

Gerrard will be joining the Tri Nation team on the upcoming 500km Road relay and acting as team masseuse.

Custom Bike Fit

Many of our members already know Michael Baker from Custom Bike Fit. Michael provides bike fitting from his studio in Maroochydore.

As part of his commitment to Tri Nation Michael will now be travelling to Brisbane on a regular basis to offer bike fitting with 10% off to our members at Healthstream. The first of those will be on Saturday December 5th.

Michael’s website is

Alderley Chiropractic

Matt from Alderley Chiropractic has also come on board to support Tri Nation members. Some of our members are already seeing Matt and getting great results including the coaching team.

Matt specialises in treating athletes and being an athlete himself he understands the demands on your body.

The first treatment is free and then afterwards is $45 per session for Tri Nation members. Bookings can be made on line by visiting the website at

 Tri Nation Christmas Party

christmas beachSave the date, the time to party is here. Sunday December 13th at the Charming Squire is the date for the Tri Nation Christmas Party.

The $2,000 won as part of the Club Championship will be used to put towards the expenses. Tickets are $15 per person and partners are invited.  We will start collecting the money for the tickets from the end of November.

Canapes and a bar tab are included as part of the price. It will be a great way to finish the year so please join us to celebrate.

mark turner

Triathlon Coaching – What Do I Stand For As A Coach?

What do I stand for as a coach?

mark and tarynIt’s important for anyone in the coaching game to have a set of guiding principles. As a coach, I’m in the fortunate position to help people change their lives and achieve amazing accomplishments.

The highs of success are weighted by a sense of responsibility to do the right thing by the athlete. Sometimes in the pursuit of a goal an athlete might not always be thinking clearly so it’s a coach’s duty to educate the athlete to make the right decisions.

The 10 principles I base my decision-making on:

  1. I don’t know everything when it comes to training. Any coach who thinks they know everything about training clearly isn’t informed enough to realise there is always something to learn. I am an avid reader of everything training-related as I continually seek to soak up the latest research.
  2. An athlete’s health must come first. I have had athletes part ways with me because I won’t compromise on this stance. Some athletes will do anything to achieve a goal. While I admire their determination and desire to work hard, I have seen too many athletes burn out physically and mentally. Tangibly this can mean contracting a virus resulting in permanent fatigue, career-ending injuries, relationship breakdowns, financial hardship and job losses. I advocate a lower volume approach for the majority of age group athletes as I believe it’s best for their overall health. I am also very cautious when guiding an athlete through their return to training after a major injury or health problem.
  3. Consistency is king. There are so many bells and whistles when it comes to training e.g. GPS, power, functional threshold, lactate readings, periodisation. Consistency trumps the lot.
  4. Triathlon is not three sports but one sport comprised of a swim, bike and run but each leg has a unique demand. Getting the balance right is the challenge and this means juggling volume, intensity and recovery.
  5. Society pushes us to work in seven day cycles but that doesn’t mean the body works best that way. For some athletes, the best approach may be a ten day or fortnightly cycle. What works for one person won’t work for everyone. Stand alone for the right reasons rather than run with the pack for the wrong reasons.
  6. Easy on the easy and hard on the hard. Polarised training in my opinion improves fat burning capabilities, muscular endurance, metabolic efficiency and makes a sometimes complicated process actually very easy. Keep it simple stupid.keep it simple stupid
  7. Triathlon is a hard and demanding sport both physically and mentally. Take regular breaks to let the body and mind recover. This approach will increase longevity in the sport and make it part of your life not your whole life.
  8. Strength endurance work has the single biggest impact on performance. Paddles and pull buoy in the pool, big gear and hills on the bike, and hills on the run should be the cornerstone of any triathlon program from sprint to Ironman. The athletes who slow down the least win the race and the key is to build fatigue resistance which is done through strength endurance work.
  9. My job as a coach is to guide, educate and challenge athletes. It comes with great responsibility to do the right thing by the athlete and not the coach. The athlete always comes first, not the coach. A coach doing it for themselves and not the athlete should get another job.
  10. Be willing to change, learn and grow. Stay ahead of the game by becoming a student of the sport.
Kelvin Grove Gym

The Benefits of Strength Training for Triathlon

The Benefits of Strength Training

20150527_180817Triathlon is a strength endurance based sport.  To perform at your best you need to develop specific strength to ensure your body can perform the same movement repeatedly.  Remember it is those that slow down the least that win the race.  No one speeds up towards the end of a race, the faster athletes just slow down less compared to their competitors.

There are a number of ways to develop specific strength to improve your triathlon performance.  These include paddle work in the pool, big gear efforts on the bike and running hills.  These are all proven ways that will make you a faster athlete.

I am also a firm believer in regular strength work in the gym to compliment your triathlon swim, bike and run training.  This type of gym work can come in many forms including circuits, pilates, yoga, boxing, weights and group fitness classes.  All depending on the athlete can have a direct benefit to improving your triathlon performance.

Here are 5 benefits of regular strength work in the gym:

  1. We know that after the age of 35 we start to lose lean muscle mass which is our productive tissue that we need.  Regular strength work can delay that process.
  2. Overcoming and preventing injury. I know myself that a strength routine in conjunction with my physio helped me to overcome achillies and knee injuries last year.  In fact some of the latest research according to my physio, Paul Fien from Brisbane Sports and Spinal is advocating specific strength work in the gym to overcome tendon type injuries.
  3. Improving movement patterns through specific training .  This includes things like pilates, reform classes, yoga and specific strength work designed to improve movement patterns to make your more efficient.
  4. More variety in training.  By hitting the gym 1-2 times per week it gives you something else besides swim, bike and run.
  5. Vanity – everyone likes a buff body!