So 2017 was a massive year! I turned 40 & decided to celebrate by attempting to complete 3 Ironman triathlon’s! If you’ve followed my journey at all you will know it wasn’t all smooth sailing this year, but I did have an absolute blast. I introduced a coach to help oversee my program about half way through the year and the results have spoken for them self, I’m running better than ever and certainly swimming stronger and more efficient. I bought a power meter to help improve my bike and it is paying dividends, with much more controlled effort when I need to focus on it. I started coaching at a new club and am loving the impact I am having on fellow athletes, both young and old and even across Australia! I’ll try to summaries some of my the racing highlights right here!
- It started in Goondiwindi at Hell of the West.
- Then onto Taupo for Ironman New Zealand.
- Next was up north in Queensland for Ironman Cairns the Asia Pacific Championships, this was my best race for the year!
- The came a change of club and coaching structure, I started racing with Starfish Tri Athletic at the Springfield Duathlon, with a pleasing result.
- I raced at the Sunny Coast 70.3 Ironman in September.
- I completed my 11th Noosa Triathlon becoming a legend!
- Then season 2017/18 continued and I have raced more this season than any other year! With a highlight being a double race weekend including the Kawana Aquathlon (Queensland Championships) & Hervey Bay 100 race.
- I finished the year with Ironman WA in Busselton, which has been well documented as a modified event that hurt more than any other race I have done!
The strava annual summary video paints a pretty cool picture,
- 287 days active in the year!
- Top training partners Ian (198 hours) & Anna (63 hours)
- Longest activity 181km in Taupo
- Most Kudos Activity – Sunny coast 70.3 run!
- Biggest group activity – Cairns Ironman Swim!
- 790 new PR’s
- 5 new KOM’s (almost sure they are all gone now)
- Total distance 10,152km
- 203km swim, 8,858 bike & 1073km run!
- 465 hours of activities made up of 57 swim, 94 running & 313 on the bike!
So I also use Garmin to track all my activities and its summary is based around the annual goals I set, it’s not as detailed but it is interesting none the less.
Achieving the annual goals in both the swim & bike, but missing the run goal. There are plenty of reason for not getting the run goal and most simply it is based around injury.
I also use a simple spreadsheet to track my session, data and annual targets. They are also interesting to look at.
So my volumes were solid, achieving some epic goals in 2017. I raced 3 Ironman triathlon’s, which I doubt I can or will do again in the near future. 2017 saw my focus for Ironman training switch from simple zone 2 to adding some high intensity speed work to increase my maximum power and out puts! As many of us know, Ironman racing is all about operating at as high a percentage of your maximum output for as long as possible without bonking! Obviously the higher my maximum, the higher I can sustain for longer, in theory. Noting there is a definite need to have a base as solid as Cape Canaveral rocket launching pad!
For each Ironman I have completed I have tracked my data and monitored what has worked and what hasn’t. 2017 revealed so much to me,
- while volume of training is important, targeted hours / session can gain you more benefit than 10 times the junk kilometers and hours!
- When you think you have endurance racing (Ironman) mastered, it bites you on the ass & bites hard!
- If you think you have drunk & eaten enough you probably haven’t, and this can bite you on the ass hard!
As you can see volumes and hours vary from race to race, there is no real distinct pattern! However I do believe that my 10 hours a week is far from exhausted yet. I think with the approach from the 2nd half of 2017 I still have room for improvement. Perhaps the most exciting achievement for me was achieving All World Athlete status of GOLD for my efforts in 2017. My final ranking is 119 in the world and 10th Australia in the 40/44 age group!
Thank you Ironman for putting together a program that recognizes and rewards athletes that continue to support your brand, races and programs. The Challenge for me now is to try to maintain that status for 2018!
Before we move onto my goals for 2018 I need to take a quick moment to look back at the Strava Challenges from November & December and how I went in those. During November & December I entered (and attempted to finish) the following Strava challenges:
- Nov Distance Challenge – complete 49km finishing 98,679 of 151,412 participants
- Dec Distance Challenge – complete 57km finishing 74729/127165 participants
- Nov 10k Race – Complete twice, my best average pace was 5:03min/km, finishing 39,310 of 156,936 participants
- Dec 10k Race – Complete once, average pace was 6:56min/km, finishing 90,849/143,962 participants.
- Nov Half Marathon Race – I didn’t complete this month, a calf injury is hampering my running.
- Dec Half Marathon Race – I only complete once this month, at a pace of 6:56min/km, finishing 29,464/87,935 participants
- Nov Climbing Challenge – 235m/2,500m, finishing 66,913 of 84,473 participants
- Dec Climbing Challenge – 47m/2,500m, finishing 61,778/70,376 participants
- Nov Climbing Challenge – completing 4,833m/8000m finishing 68,033 of 137,871 participants
- Dec Climbing Challenge – completing 6,200m/8000m finishing 34,531 of 100,070 participants
- Nov Gran Fondo – 120km was my longest ride finishing 40,114 of 155,025 participants
- Dec Gran Fondo – 179km was my longest ride finishing 6,245 of 114,760 participants
- Nov Distance Challenge – complete 778km finishing 30,993 of 171,178 participants.
- Dec Distance Challenge – complete 1,065km finishing 12,090 of 129,504 participants.
- Rapha Festive 500 – completing 548km of 500km finishing 5,915 of 83,139 participants
I love that these challenges give me something fun to watch and monitor during the heavy loads of training. During November they provided the perfect motivation to get out there ticking over the k’s and hours preparing myself for Ironman WA, in December they were there to help me find my groove post WA Ironman race!
So now i time to look at a few goals for 2018. Here is a brief outline of what I’m hoping to achieve:
- Rolling out my on-line coaching with the assistance of Training Peaks.
- Introduce training camps to my program, both as an athlete & coach.
- Enhance and improve our my coaching skills.
- Here are the races I’ve already entered for 2018:
- Hell of the West, Goondiwindi
- Mooloolaba Standard Triathlon
- Luke Harrop Memorial Gold Coast Sprint Triathlon
- Moreton Bay Sprint Triathlon
- Port Macquarie Ironman
- Noosa Triathlon
- I have changed my career and am now working for myself.
- Support my family, with my wife continue full-time teaching, our eldest daughter commences high school, our middle girl heads into year 5 and my little man start year 1!
- Be the best husband I can be, supporting my wife in every facet of her life and goals.
- Be the best father I can be to my 3 children, increasing my patience & leading by example with my way of life!
So my plan for 2018 is pretty basic at this stage, but it will evolve through out the year and my include a 2nd Ironman (if I can fit it in out program and plan). I have a skelton and framework ready to launch into 2018 with full gusto, excite by what I have done and even more excited by the prospectes and outlook for 2018. Together with the support of my family, my club and my coach, ‘ANYTHING IS POSSILBE’. Stay tuned for future updates on my plan and where I’m heading. If our paths ever cross please reach out and say hi, I’m always up for a chat and coffee!
If you ever have any questions please reach out, I’m only a message away.
If you’re not active at the moment & need some inspiration, follow me on Strava, Instagram and like my facebook page and let’s get back out there swim, bike or running. Make sure you subscribe so you never miss a blog post from me! The biggest regret we can have in life is to not TRI!
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!