Knowing your ‘Why’; a coping mechanism for dealing with injury

Knowing your ‘Why’; a coping mechanism for dealing with injury

“Why are you in this sport?”, “Why do you do this?” When I get asked those questions or when I ask them of myself I have an answer, I know my why. “win against the best.” That is my why. It is simplistic. It is meaningful to me and it provides me with purpose. What about you? Do you have a why more so do you know why? Why are you training? Why are you racing? Why are you wanting to better yourself? With all these why’s being thrown around why do we need a why? It is no secret that I am currently rehabilitating a chronic knee issue. The issue has sidelined me for longer than I would have liked. Yet now we have light and an understanding of what is needed. As I wrote a few weeks ago this period sidelined has resulted in me not being on the start line of this months IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships. A race I was wanting to contest for the win. A race I felt, on my day, I could challenge for the win. I won’t be there now and quite frankly it sucks. But…I have a why, I’ve always had a why, and it is this why that has kept me motivated through a difficult time. It is this why that helps me deal with forced rest and a period away from the daily routine of swim, bike and run. It is this why that will see me on a start line, fit, healthy, stronger and faster, back at my best competing to win against the best. Ever since...
My Championship Journey: jubilation, $100.000 and a crippling ‘red card’

My Championship Journey: jubilation, $100.000 and a crippling ‘red card’

I contemplated how best to write this post as it covers two very contrasting events and two very different sets of emotions. There has been no easy way around it. I’ve not wanted one event to out way the reality of the other. Yes I won Hy-Vee and claimed the biggest prize purse in the sport this year, $100.000. Yet on the other hand, 7 days following my biggest career achievement I found myself on the roadside of the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, in tears, crippled by emotion and suffering an overwhelming sense of disbelief. I’m going to give this a shot. Tell a short story that is my first hand account of what it took to claim that elusive $100.000 Hy-Vee cheque. More so tell a story that covers the events that lead to my withdrawal from the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Insight into my mind I train to become a recognized champion, a champion of the world. This is my pursuit in life at the moment, my drive day-in day-out. It is a pursuit that will not last forever, I know that, we all know that, but it is a pursuit I will remain on whilst I continue to get faster and stronger. I’ve sacrificed a lot to be in the position I am today. I know what I want from the sport and I know what it takes to get there. I may never get there but I want to leave this sport knowing I committed everything I could to get there. In summary this is who I am. “I did not train specifically to win...
Becoming a racer; hard work trumps data

Becoming a racer; hard work trumps data

Data; it is everywhere. HR, pace, cadence, calories burnt, steps taken, strokes per length, watts, the list goes on. There is so much data available to us, but what is data? To many, and seemingly a lot, data is what matters. Experience tells me data is best referenced as a tool. Providing for us the best opportunity to master our crafts. Lets take a craftsman, as my trusted digital advisor Wikipedia points out; “A craftsman or artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative.” But what makes a skilled manual worker good? His tools? I bet not. How about his experience? His feel for what he practises? The understanding of his craft? That library of trials, errors, failures and successes? All of these things, to me at least, are what make a craftsman good. Not tools. Tools, known in sport as data, contribute to an athlete’s performance, allowing us to better understand what is possible. Yet tools, whether it is a wattmeter, GPS device or HR monitor can never substitute the human bodies feel for, and adaption to, hard work. I am a fan of this sport ever reading, researching, following races, athletes and coaches, both professional and amateur. Stories, development and processes intrigue me. Yet I feel so many out there are not, or will not hit their potential in sport because they are controlled by data. Data is great, but physical and mental training in the form of raw hard work, trumps data every time. We train to race, and racing needs to be mastered. It takes time, experience,...
San Juan 70.3; Giving Our Best Matters

San Juan 70.3; Giving Our Best Matters

So Ironman 70.3 San Juan has been and gone. Back-to-back champion and it feels great. Puerto Rico and that town of San Juan is a special place, filled with special people and a great race atmosphere. I highly recommend this race for atmosphere alone. As we reflect on San Juan I provide my account of actual race sensations to the entire team around me. Re-live the race, good points, bad points, physical sensations, areas that need work etc. Joel, Ben and I then determine what lies ahead. What races, what training, the focus points etc. Victory or no victory, delivering absolute best performance on race day matters, for all of us. Whether something is going your way or not, giving our best matters. Testing our body under actual race conditions is something that can never be replicated in training. Racing is key to building towards future performance goals. Sunday I was on the start line with an intent to deliver on all that we had been working on. I was out there for reasons focused around long term success, rather than short term success. Part of the much bigger process; to be a recognised champion. As a collective we need an understanding if the work we are engaging in is working. Joel needs to know exactly what the limitations are at this point in the year, what are my sensations out there etc. The only way I can provide this feedback is by racing, and racing hard. This reflected in my performance on the weekend. In this race, on this occasion I was racing hard for reasons other than...