A New Beginning – Looking Forward to the Second Half of 2015
I write this whilst sitting in ‘Common Man Coffee Roasters’ in Singapore, getting my daily fix of the closest thing to Melbourne’s thriving coffee scene as possible. I am currently in Singapore for a couple of days en route to Bintan 70.3 this weekend for what is promising to be a hot, humid affair that is boasting a very strong, albeit reasonably small, field.
This weekend promises to be an interesting one as it is my first race since Ironman Australia, which I DNF’ed, in May.
Luckily for me I was able to spend five weeks travelling around Europe with my girlfriend over June/July and to my surprise it turned out to be exactly what I needed. At first, the thought of going five weeks with no bike and very limited access to pools seemed quite daunting and there was a somewhat insecure feeling within that I would come home fat, unfit and in no shape to race. What my Europe trip proved to me, however, was that in actual fact I was simply a little bit ‘cooked’ from triathlon and the break did me absolute wonders in returning my drive, renewing my focus and giving me an opportunity to set some new goals and determine my direction for the next 12 months. Obviously, though, it was also just a simply amazing trip and a truly once in a lifetime type experience!
The first step in my bid to a lot of racing in the second half of 2015 was to set some short and long term goals and whilst I won’t bore you with the details of each and every one of those, I will say that garnering enough points and being on the start line of 70.3 Worlds on the Sunshine Coast fit and ready is certainly my main aim at the moment. That quest, therefore, begins at Bintan this weekend. In order to continue developing as an athlete (I believe there is a hell of a lot of development left in me at 20!) I have also been lucky enough to start working with Cameron Brown. Cam is a true legend of the sport and has seen firsthand the way racing has developed over the past 20 years over all distances, something that is extremely helpful when it comes to coaching. Cam is pretty committed to keeping me away from Ironman for a fair while yet and after coming to realise how much of a hole I had put myself in with Melbourne and Port Mac, I fully understand why. It’s been extremely refreshing to put a lot more intensity into my training at the expense of some volume and I am enjoying donning the goggles, hopping on the bike or slipping on the runners more than ever before. At this point though, I would also like to say a big thank you to my previous coach, Andrew Sleeman, for everything over the past four years. Andy was honestly like a 3rd dad to me (I already have a dad and a step dad!) and helped me out more than I ever could have imagined. He always went absolutely above and beyond and I will be forever in his debt for what he has done for me as both a coach and a best mate.
So, what will the next 6 months hold? The plan is simply to try and get as many 70.3 ranking points as I possibly can by years end in order to set myself up next year with a focus on being as fit as possible come September. At the moment, that plan includes Bintan 70.3, Sunshine Coast 70.3, Rottnest Long Course/Port Mac 70.3, Noosa, Challenge Shepparton and Ballarat 70.3. Seemingly, with every week of training under the belt, more improvements come so hopefully the next six months will follow suit in that respect.
I would also like to take the opportunity to highlight the importance of a bike fit. Luckily, I have been able to build a strong relationships with Urban Pedaler in Melbourne who utilise the Guru Fit system. Having never done a proper bike fit before, the results were astonishing. The biggest change was moving my seat up…. 55mm!! Even if you don’t know much about cycling, it’s pretty easy to tell that moving your seat up 5.5cm is a big change and to quote, “that was being conservative.” This change has instantly lead to some fantastic gains when combined with the forward movement of my saddle has opened my hips up drastically, an important aspect for triathletes. The moral of this story is a simple one, get your bike fit sorted!!! (Especially if you’ve been using the same position since you were 15 and haven’t listened to your friends and family trying to tell you your seat is too low for the last year or two…)
So, that’s a quick update on where things are at. Hopefully I can provide some more witty and enlightening pieces in the near future but sometimes it is also good to write down simply where you are at for the mere fact that it can be a somewhat soothing thing to do for oneself.
A big thank you to all my sponsors including Jaggad, Cannondale, ENVE, SRAM, Bell, Fizik, and Urban Pedaler for their continued support and guidance. It is always so helpful and provides me with the best possible opportunities to grow, and therefore, succeed as an athlete. I look forward to a solid upcoming 12 months and attempting to do all your support justice at any opportunity.