The journey to IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns: Part Four
Checking in on Nick as he nears the end of his half ironman training experience.
In September 2013 be. magazine began following Nick’s progress to the 2014 Cairns Airport IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns, reporting back each issue on how he was tracking. Going into this experience with a plan to establish a structured training program, improve his fitness and work towards a personal goal, Nick has come a long way in his training. Let’s see what he has made of the last nine months as we hit the tail end of his training journey.
How have you found the training process?
When I’m training I feel like it’s such a natural part of my day-to-day life now, and it’s strange that I could have gone a full year doing absolutely nothing. I think all people who regularly exercise realise the benefits mentally and physically, which honestly make for better decisions in your life. The training has given me a better daily structure as
I know that it’s a part of my day which is non-negotiable – even though some days bed still seems like a better option at 5am!
What have you most enjoyed?
My favourite thing has actually been talking about what I’m doing with people and building the camaraderie with my swimming and running squads. Finding like-minded people that enjoy discussing triathlons has given me the motivation to improve.
What have you least enjoyed?
Missing sessions without good excuses. It feels like I've let myself down. Most people say it’s your body’s way of telling you it needs a day off, but I’d prefer to say it’s mental weakness.
What have you learnt?
Planning is everything when embarking on this sort of a training goal – and make sure you stretch when you hit 30+.
What would you do differently?
I would probably spend more time training on my worst legs as opposed to putting too much time into where my strengths lie – much easier said than done.
What health changes have you noticed?
I guess a little less adipose tissue around the bum and stomach, but I haven't felt like I'm a completely new man. I had a lot of weight I wanted to lose through the training and I think my nutrition plan needed to be actioned a little earlier to see the results I’d hoped for.
How are you feeling about the event?
I’m now looking at it as just an accomplishment to finish as opposed to trying to get caught up in the competitiveness of the day. I did a mini event recently and was absolutely exhausted at the end of it, even though it was only half of the half-Ironman distance. The anxiety of just finishing now is taking over any thoughts I had about where I could place in my age group.
What does the future hold?
I’m committed to the training now and don't want to lapse back into old habits post-event. I want to just get over this one in Cairns and start planning the year out for some smaller sized Olympic-distance events.
What advice do you have for others looking to train for an endurance event?
Plan, stretch, adjust your diet and be prepared for some dirty looks from your partner when you’re heading out at 6am waking the house up!
Two minutes with Nick
3 things I have learnt training for a half ironman
1. Planning is everything.
2. Nutrition management is critical.
3. Focus on your worst events, not your best.
5 positive health changes I have noticed
1. I have a clearer mind when making decisions.
2. Carrying a little less weight makes for looking and feeling better.
3. More energy throughout the day has made me more productive at work.
4. Drinking less alcohol has improved my wellbeing.
5. Starting the weekends with an early training session helps you fit more in.
3 events I would like to tackle one day
1. Lorne Pier to Pub.
2. 3 Peaks Challenge.
3. Another half ironman.