40 days…

31 Jul

This weekend I was blessed to be able to attend the T:Zero Multisport Sunshine Coast 70.3 Training Camp.  This camp was a 1 day event incorporating a ride, run and an open water swim. On the day I did a 60km ride, a 5km run, and 1km swim. It was designed specifically for those of us, who in 40 short days (if the rest of the year is anything to go by) will be standing at the start line of the Ironman Sunshine Coast 70.3. A 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.

I’m not going to give away all the secrets of the training camp I attended, but if triathlon is your hobby (or more than a hobby!) then I’d highly recommend getting along to one of their sessions.  I learned a few things during the day particularly.

I’m more confident on the bike than I realise.  I haven’t done too much group riding, and when Rich said “we’re heading out to the hills circuit in a peleton, two abreast, keep it tight” I think I started having palpitations.  I’ve been fortunate to ride with some friends lately, and where necessary (insert: when I get tired) I may have drafted from them a time or two. This involves sitting close to their back wheel.  When you’re travelling at about 30km/hr this takes some concentration, commitment and a heck of a lot of trust in the person in front.  For example, I trust the likes of Kim and Ki with my life (almost literally).  I know that when I’m in behind them, following their wheel, that they will point out any obstacles in my way.  I didn’t know the people in this peleton, having never cycled with them before and I was a bit concerned about doing this. I was also concerned about my ability to hang on.  My friends know my pace and my ability and set their path accordingly, but what about the T:Zero group?  Well, my concerns were unwarranted.  With Em and Rich doing all the pulling at the front, we set a nice, comfortable pace out to the hills. We hit our tight lines pretty well (if I do say so myself) and even with plenty of stopping and starting for traffic lights heading out of town, we covered the route incident free.

Part of the 70.3 course bike leg is the “Hinterland Loop”.  One of the biggest advantages to this training camp for me was being able to get out and ride this part of the route.  I’m an okay cyclist on the flat, but hills have never been my strongest suit.  I had been concerned that there were lots of short steep climbs and with 50 km (ish) of riding in my legs when I get there on race day, I was really concerned I would struggle in this section. While I didn’t have the kilometres in my legs prior to hitting the hills Sunday, I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some pinching ups and I know it won’t be easy, however I am more confident now that I will be able to make it up all the hills on race day.

Once we arrived back from the ride it was time to put the runners on and get some km’s in the legs… no better place to do that than by the ocean, and of course up and over Alex Hill… we have to do this hill 4 times in the half marathon… so I was thankful for the tips and words of caution given out by coaching staff about this leg of the event. The “easy” run back to our camp base saw me bringing up the rear at about 6:15min/km pace… not really my easy pace, but hey I made it back 😉

I’m quite happy in the open water swimming once I’m past the waves… so practising some ins and outs was a very useful part of the training camp.  I got whacked by a wave, but dusted myself off and kept going, just like I’m going to have to do come race day.  So it was all good practice…  So thankful for the addition of my wetsuit as without it, it would have been mighty fresh in that ocean! We did get a few strange looks as 30 wetsuit clad people made their way down to the beach for some swim practice – but that was just part of the fun 😉

Perhaps one of the biggest things I got out of the camp though was all about controlling what I can control and not worrying about anything I cannot control.  I cannot control waves, weather and cut-offs.  But I can control my training, nutrition, attitude, self-confidence and so on. If I just focus on the now – each stroke, pedal or stride I will get there.  I’ve done the training, and I have to have confidence in myself that I have the fitness and endurance to get it done.

So in 6 weeks time, you’ll find me (probably lathered in fisiocrem because of my tired muscles), but, all being well, I will have completed the Sunshine Coast Half Ironman.  That’s my goal. So for the next 6 weeks I’m going to focus on what I can control and work hard on each attribute. I’m going to endeavour to not stress about the things that are out of my control, and come race day, I’m going to give it a red hot go and do the very best I possibly can. So watch this space!!

PS One final tip – no matter how much you’re hurting, if you see family, friends or a camera it’s also time to find a smile!


One Response to “40 days…”

  1. Jane July 31, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    Awesome work Jen! Can’t wait to cheer you on 😊

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