What Message do we Pedal?
I 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.
Byron Bay Triathlon
Byron Bay put on another great weekend with many of the Tri Nation team making a weekend of it. One of our biggest celebrations was watching our latest beginner course graduates finish their first triathlon. Competing in the Tempta Tri we had Alex Munoz, Fabrice Turpin, Lakis Zeniou, Brooke Brown, Heidi Walker, Renee Williams and Caitriona Murray. With many smiles all round and medals to boot it was a great way to finish off the six weeks.
On the podium we had Sue Meehan, Stella Foley and Paul Dodd all winning their age groups with Paul 2nd overall in the Olympic Distance. Both Sue and Stella had fantastic races to give them a confidence boost heading into Cairns Ironman in less than 4 weeks.
Congratulations also to Geoff Miller for his first podium and first place in the Sprint event and Catherine Sharpe winning her age group in the Sprint.
Many Tri Nation members were following long time member Tim Franklin as he competed at Ultraman Australia in the weekend. An Ultraman is a 3 day event consisting of a 10km swim, 421km of cycling and an 84km run. Tim set a new course record of 2 hours 35 minutes for the swim on day 1, was placed 2nd after the conclusion of the cycling on day 2 and finished up 2nd overall with a 7 hour 24 minutes double marathon.
Congratulations Tim, an outstanding effort and just reward for the many hours of training you have put in this year.
With four weeks to go the Cairns team are now in their hardest week of their campaign. This weekend is their last big brick session with a swim, bike and run at Suttons Beach in Redcliffe.
Post Cairns the training will ease back a bit as our focus turns more towards maintaining our fitness over winter, taking time out to work on your weakness or just to enjoy staying fit and healthy.
With Cairns the last long course race for a while the weekend sessions will change to alternate fortnights of group rides and brick sessions at Healthstream. The next group ride is the weekend before Cairns on the 4th of June.
With numbers reducing overall in the pool as people start swimming less often the only change to the winter timetable will be the Wednesday evening swim will take a break from the 1st June. This is only a short term break over winter and the session will be back in August/September.
End of Season Party
This year our End of Season party will be held at the Regatta Hotel on Saturday 18th June. The evening will include a 2 course dinner, drinks, awards, prizes and celebrations and we would love for your partners to join you for the evening.
Tickets are $90 including drinks and $60 for dinner and non-alcoholic drinks. Tickets can be paid for via direct deposit into account:
BSB 014 696
Account 2114 76308
The Scody shop is open until 5pm today for running t-shirts and singlets. All Triathlon Queensland members will have received a $25 voucher from Scody which you can use in the online store.
We’ll open the shop again in early August for kit orders for the new season.
We also have the following kit and sizes currently in stock:
Hoodie – Medium only – $30
Visors – $25
Trucker Caps – $20
Swim Caps – $5
Triathlon Jersey – Med/Large – $100 Triathlon Knicks – Large only – $100 Tri Suit One Piece – Med/Large -$170
Cycling Jersey Race Fit – Large – $125
Cycling Bib and Brace – Large only – $125
Ladies: Tri Suit One Piece – Sizes 8 – $170
Tri Suit Lamina One Piece – Sizes 8 and 10 – $190
Cycling Jersey Relaxed Fit – Size 10 – $110
Cycling Bib and Brace – Size 10 – $125
Noosa Training Camp
The Noosa Triathlon training camp is booked in for the weekend of the 10th and 11th of September. The camp will start in Brisbane on the Friday morning and finish in Noosa at lunchtime on the Sunday.
Lock the date into your diary now. Full details will be released in June/July.
New Member Profile
Each month we will profile one of our new members to introduce them to the squad. This month is Hailey Cutts. Hailey moved from the Gold Coast at the end of last year and is currently training towards the Noosa Triathlon.
Hailey often attends the windtrainer and run sessions as well as the Wednesday night swim.
Keep your eye out for her at training. We’re sure she would love a friendly hello!
Beginner Tri Tip
What races are suitable for beginners?
The Queensland Tri Series is one of the best triathlon series in Australia and have distances suitable for everyone. They have just released their dates for the new season starting at Raby Bay on the 25th of September.
Check out their full event calendar online at www.qldtriseries.com.au
Upcoming races until the end of July that Tri Nation will be at are:
- Cairns Ironman & 70.3 – 12th June
- Gold Coast Marathon Festival – 2nd/3rd July
Monthly Prize Draw
Starting this month we will now have a monthly prize draw for all our current training members. The winners for May are:
* $50 Shoes Feet Gear voucher – Garry Notridge
* Massage with Gerrard Gosens – Greg Epps
* Mizuno running shoes – Cassie Matcham
To claim your prize just send us an email and we’ll arrange.
We 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.
Paul Dodd. New 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 Jones. Mother 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
Our 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).
Unfortunately 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.
TRAINING SCHEDULE CHANGES
The training schedule changes we announced on facebook last week come into effect next week. These changes are as follows:
– Windtrainer session is now a Wednesday morning with Mark
– A new beginner swim on a Wednesday morning with Jan
– Group ride focusing on skills and aerobic conditioning on a Friday morning with Brad and Alberto
We felt that the risk of crash was increasing too much to continue a hard interval bike session on a Wednesday morning in the CBD area. The amount of traffic and other cyclists is increasing all the time in the CBD area. Finding safe locations to do hard bike intervals is becoming more difficult.
A wind trainer session allows the same conditioning effect if not better than a road session. By having the new ladies only ride on a Monday morning and the group ride on Friday, members will still be able to work on the skills side of cycling but in a safer environment with less risk of a crash where speed is not the focus.
For swim sessions now that we have separate times for beginner and intermediate/advanced swimmers, please try and swim in the appropriate session for your ability. As a general rule you need to be able comfortably hold a 2 min cycle for 100 repeats to swim in the intermediate/advanced session. The Friday morning swim with Ray is the all abilities swim for the week.
On a Saturday morning through to IM Cairns in June there will be a long course ride most weekends. These are non-coached sessions that anyone is welcome to attend. The rides vary between 3-5hrs and members need to be self-sufficient in terms of changing a tyre, hydration/nutrition and knowing the proposed route that will be posted on FB in the week prior to the ride.
Where appropriate on the racing calendar we will also include a monthly brick session which will be held in a mix of locations including QUT and Redcliffe.
Due to many members racing Kingscliffe and the Noosa club half this weekend there is no ride scheduled for this weekend.
Our next monthly breakfast will be on February 28th in conjunction with a swim, bike and run session at Suttons Beach Redcliffe. For the IM Melbourne athletes this is their last key race specific session. For those athletes competing over short course and half distance events this session will be modified to accommodate the different racing needs.
We are right in the peak racing season at the moment with a race most weekends involving Tri Nation members. This weekend is the Kingscliff Tri and the Noosa club half. In 2 weeks is the next QTS race at Raby Bay while in March we have Mooloolaba, IM Melbourne and the Tweed Enduro.
In April is Luke Harrop, the last QTS at Raby Bay and then in May we have Byron Bay, Port Macquarie IM and Ultraman Australia and finally finishing the season at Cairns for the 70.3 and IM events on June 14.
Everyone has been working hard for a few months now and racing is all about testing our limits physically and mentally. Training is great but nothing beats a race.
SMILING FOR SMIDDY
Our charity partner Smiling for Smiddy do a fantastic job raising much needed funds for cancer research. Over the last couple of years we have had many of our squad members participate in various Smile for Smiddy events. This year is no different with Tri Nation members registered to participate in the different events Smiddy organise.
All of their events are listed on their website at www.smiddy.org.au Also remember that fundraising is not the only way you can help. Jobs such as road crew at their events and training rides is also another really useful way to contribute.
Over the coming months we will be holding some events and functions to contribute towards this. We would love to see as many of our members be part of these events as it is not only a great way to raise funds but it also builds moral within the squad.
Also this week Smiddy presented a group of people their inaugural Smiddy Ambassador awards. These ambassador awards were presented in recognition of the contribution these people have made towards the Smiddy program. Head coach Mark Turner and ladies cycling coach extrordinaire, Claire Schneider were extremely thrilled to be bestowed with these ambassador awards.