Want to succeed? You're asking the wrong questions...
You want to be successful in this sport. We all do. So if I asked you what your goals are, I would assume that the vast majority would be “I want to qualify for X next year’ or ‘I want to break X hours in my next race’.
These are appropriate answers to the question. But I believe we are asking the wrong questions.
For success does not ultimately lie in the ‘what do we want to achieve and how quickly can we achieve this’ sphere. Ultimate success, I believe, requires the opposite of these questions being asked. That is:
You go deep into your self and find the answers to those questions, then success becomes a whole lot easier…that is, if you are answering them correctly.
The Level of Sacrifice
Everyone loves a great view at the top of a mountain. I am currently writing this blog at the foothills of the Switz Alps, so it is hard not to be inspired. The top of a mountain is a great analogy for ‘success’. When you have ‘made it’. The views are breathtaking. Everyone enjoys this. But what does it take to actually get to the top of that mountain? Do you actually desire that? The sacrifice, the hard work, the very early mornings, the opportunity cost of your time and money – this constitutes the ‘climbing up the mountain’.
A lot of us have mountainous dreams. It is a mile high climb though and unfortunately a lot of people don't like to climb much - they just like to imagine the summit.
The sacrifice and preparation is what drives successful people, not the actual goal itself. Too many people want the ultimate success in this sport, the end game. Whatever that means for them. I guess this means to break a certain time, or qualify to race or win a world championship or even turn professional and have a successful triathlon career. But far few people actually yearn for the journey. For the sacrifice for the day in day out struggle that we face.
Accept that quality long term results require quality long term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.
So the first part of the question that needs to be asked is not what is your end game goal, but what is the level of sacrifice are you truly willing to endure. Because I guarantee, you revel and embrace the sacrifice, the journey – then the so called ‘end game’ will take care of itself. In fact, the end game quickly becomes obsolete as you realise that the objective and the most satisfying part of the entire journey has been the climb, not the view at the top.
The Duration of the Sacrifice
The second part of the question is about how long you are willing to endure. This is equally about your actual development/improvement as a triathlete as well as the sacrifice to achieve such improvement.
"So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act" - Dr Seuess
You know when life is singing. When all the balls in the air, (be it family, work, relationships and of course the sport) are being managed with great balance. It is not an easy prospect and unfortunately the way many of us are wired we push the boundaries of everything. So the first sign of having the balance sorted, we inadvertently think…”how could we get more out of the day/week/month” often to the detriment of what was a perfect balance of balls in the air.
Longevity in this sport is key. If there is one tip that all very successful age group and professional athletes go to is “consistency”. And you cant have consistency without sustainability.
The environment that we live in today is one of ‘now’. If we don’t know an answer to something, we are literally 15 seconds away from knowing it. If we want to chat to friends we can do that instantly, regardless of where we are in the world or what we are doing.
While these things are wonderful, it brings frustrations to the concept of sustainable growth. Long term improvement in this sport (and really, ourselves as individuals) is not something that can be googled or downloaded. It takes time, effort, sacrifice and dedication. But most importantly, the improvement or growth must be sustainable.
Will there be hang ups and bang ups? (Thanks Dr Seuss) Of course. It will all not be smooth climbing on the ascent to the mountain top. Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something that every single person has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process.
You want ultimate success in this sport? After working out the level of sacrifice you are wanting to endure, the only other question you should be asking is how long are you willing to endure?
I truly believe that anything is achievable in this sport. My progression from an unfit pudgy teenager is a testament to that. It requires far more ‘endurance’ than skill. But to reach your best and for you to live your potential, you need to be very clear about your drive. It should no longer be “what are your goals and how soon can you achieve them” but instead “how much are you willing to endure and how long for.” Because, I guarantee that if you are willing to endure more and for longer than everyone, anything becomes achievable. Anything.
Train safe, stay the course and remember that to obtain better answers you must ask better questions.
Nutrition - who to follow - what to believe!
By Coach (and qualified Nutritionist) Scotty Farrell
My journey into the deep worm hole that is nutrition started way back when I first got into triathlon. I was mid twenties, I’d never really worried about what went in my body and never really cared to be honest. I’m just lucky I was raised by a wonderful mum in an era where meat and ten veg was the order of the day, erry day. So I enter into the world of triathlon and start reading articles in magazines about recovery and performance blah blah. And I’m sure like everyone else I started smashing protein powder like it was Milo (we all did it) after every session, even a 20 min recovery jog, cranking carbonara every other night and chugging chocolate milk (cause Crowie said it’s good) as well!
Fast forward ten years to now, a million google searches, a three year nutrition degree, a lot of trial and error and hundreds of books later, you can safely say I have gained enough knowledge and made enough mistakes to know a little about nutrition. And you know that saying… “the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know” well that rings true too (kinda) ;-)
One of the key skills I have developed over the years is the ability to decipher fact from fiction, filter the good scientific research from the bad and more importantly in our ever evolving world of online social media instant information, who to follow and truly trust in regards to nutrition information.
So, for your benefit, I have comprised a list of well educated, researched and trustworthy people and businesses for you to follow. The who’s who of online and who’s Podcast to listen to to receive quality, common sense information about nutrition and performance. I figured nobody has time to endure the depths of Google Scholar, Pub Med and every nutrition journal article out there to form your own conclusions, so let’s trust me and follow these experts below who have already done it for us. If you follow someone you think is awesome, trustworthy, speaks a common language etc, then please paste a link in the comments.
Here’s my list: happy ready ;-) See you in ten years hehe
I’ll leave you with that for now. If you’re ever not sure about an articles credentials, flick it through to me, I’m happy to critic and steer you in the right direction or say thanks and claim your link.
Happy searching team!
By Coach Lisa Spink
With some massive races coming up, including the world championships for ITU, 70.3 and of course Ironman - these are the times when it can be easy to get distracted.
Here are 3 simple tips for staying focused and staying in the moment--
Enjoy the process, stay in the moment and live your potential
Want to know more about Coach Lisa Spink? Click HERE
How to know when you need new running shoes
The other day I was running and I felt a bit flat and in a bit of discomfort. I went and had a look on Training Peaks and discovered my shoes were around the 500km mark and therefore needed to be changed. I know for me 500km is about the time they need to go and it got me thinking how many of us actually record the mileage of our shoes in order to make sure they are replaced regularly. You can record this information in Training Peaks under equipment in the settings section or in Strava.
Running in old and worn out shoes can cause injury. Your shoes lose shock absorption, stability and comfort via cushioning. When we run in old shoes it increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints, which can cause overuse injuries which means sitting at home on a rehab plan!
Here are 5 signs that your trusty kicks need to be replaced.
1. The mileage you have done is high. As mentioned it is the distance you have run but also the terrain can impact on their used by date. Keep the distance travelled recorded for accuracy.
2. You feel pain. Generally when the shoe loses its cushioning capabilities you will start to feel muscle fatigue, possibly shin splints and joint pain particularly in the knees. If you feel any of these things have a look at your shoes and perhaps make a wise investment.
3. The shoe fails the retwist test. If you hold you shoe top and bottom and then twist them they should feel firm. An old shoe will twist easily highlighting the need to get new ones!
4. Treads. Check the bottom of the shoe for the tread and sole region. If the sole is worn down get a new pair before you do some damage. Rule of thumb is to never run in shoes with the sole worn down.
5. Newer shoes feel awesome. Some experts recommend having two pairs of shoes that you rotate. This allows you to feel subtle differences in the shoes stability, cushioning and performance. Having two can be advantageous… if you can afford two pairs!
Representing your Country
With the 2018 ITU sprint and Olympic Distance World Championships being held on the Gold Coast a mere 2 hours from us here on the Sunshine Coast there are a lot of athletes showing interest in the ever growing event. Racing for your country is something so special and what makes this event so great is that your friends and family can come and support you as well.
I myself have been lucky enough to compete at 2 ITU world championships both being for Sprint Distance where I have raced the aquathon also. My first world championship was in 2012 in Auckland the second being in 2013 in London. These are two completely different countries, which of course brought 2 completely different playing fields. Auckland was predominantly Aussies vs the Kiwi’s across the ditch. Whereas, London played host to a stack of Europeans and some crazy talented American athletes. Both events were amazing in their own unique way but one thing is for sure putting on the green and gold suit is something special.
I have also had the chance to step up the distance a little and race at the recent 70.3 World Championships right here in our backyard. Completely different again, but the level of nerves and the feeling you get never changes.
Regardless of which country you are representing to me, putting on the green and gold put a whole new meaning of pride and excitement to my racing. I think it is honestly underestimated just how much of an impact a particular race suit can have. It truly is an honor to represent your country and do that very best that you can.
Here is what coach Emma said racing worlds meant for her:
‘For me it means the pinnacle of racing as a high performing age group athlete. It's an opportunity to race against the best (age groupers) in the world and to do something I love and have a passion for whilst representing my country.’
If you have even a slight thought about racing some of the qualifying races, I 100% think you should give it a go as you have nothing to lose, but the chance to earn your spot racing for your beloved country. If you want some help on how to plan your races, talk to your coach now :)
Click here to find out more about Coach Bon!
6 tactics to get over your post race slump
By Coach Monique Ralph
Given that T:Zero Multisport has recently had a massive number of athletes completing serious distances and races, I felt it timely to look at the phenomenon known as ‘post race blues’ and examine why we feel this way and discuss some strategies to quickly overcome the blues and get back your mojo!
We all know the feeling, we finish a race, celebrate the massive achievement of reaching the goal and then a few days later you are tired, sore, hungry and you get hit with a dose of blues. The high of the past few days fades and is replaced with a low. Generally this occurs because the intensity and duration of the preparation for the race hits us, the magnitude of what we have achieved sinks in and we start to realise the depth of fatigue from the training blocks and the race itself that we are feeling!
Some people think the blues are rubbish, but there is some science to back this up and if you think about the research it makes sense. Researchers suggest that the emotions we feel post race closely resemble loss. “There is a loss of the physiological and chemical high we get from training, and there is a loss of power and energy as we are physically and emotionally depleted”. The other big reason for the low is that you have completed the goal that has consumed your mind, time and world for the past several months. You, and perhaps your friends and family have made massive sacrifices to get the training done and focus on the single goal of finishing the race. Sometimes when the goal is achieved we think we will be happy, don’t get me wrong there is the elation of achieving the goal. However, it is suggested that it is actually the process that is far more fun than the goal itself! Therefore, it is feasible to suggest that there a multiple layers of ‘loss’ post race.
Typically we don’t spiral into the depth of despair post race, rather we often times ponder what is next, what to do with all the free time we are experiencing and perhaps question your ‘why’. This is an excellent time to do what you have been putting off with the classic ‘after the race’ line and check off the task list. This is a time to reconnect with family and friends and maybe enjoy some varied light training like hiking, paddling, surfing, social rides or whatever it is you do when you are not being an awesome T:Zero athlete.
So where to from here you ask? Well here are some tips and strategies to get you back training with a new goal and a fresh mind.
Enjoy your recovery and train smart!
That Green and Gold Feeling
Photo Cred: Witsup.com
By Head Coach Em Quinn
For many athletes, regardless of the sport you participate in, representing your country is the pinnacle of success, it is what drives the early mornings, the late nights, the lack of social life and often the low bank accounts. In many sports, this opportunity exists only for the elite, the top of the game individuals who are those athletes dominate the on the world scene. One very unique attribute to the sport of triathlon is it’s nature of racing, whether you are Gwen Jorgensen or Alistair Brownlee, Mirinda Carfare or Jan Frodeno, Holly Lawrence or Sebastian Kienle, no matter what distance you are choosing to compete over, the elite and the age group athletes all race on the same course. We all face the same challenges on course, brave the same weather conditions or tackle the same technical descent. One other unique and simply awesome aspect of this sport is that every year the International Triathlon Union in conjunction with the hosting country holds the World Triathlon Series Grand Final, for age group athletes this race is also known as the ITU Age Group World Championships and offers the sprint and Olympic distance style of racing (there are also Long Course ITU World Championships held each year).
Now this is where things get even more exciting, in 2018 the Gold Coast will be the host city of the championships meaning that you have the opportunity to represent your country on home soil and slide into your very own green and gold suit (yep, it even has your name on it :)). Below are some of the reasons why I think this opportunity is simply too good not to strive for.
At the age of 21, I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent Australia over the sprint distance at the World Championships on the Gold Coast Australia. Having only been involved in the sport for 2 years I was very sceptical as to whether I would be the team. I still remember opening the email that informed me of the news, I was just over the moon, I jumped straight on the 2XU website with Mum’s credit card and ordered every piece of green and gold apparel there was on offer (nope I am not joking). I thought, I am likely only ever going to make the team once so I must have everything! Little did I know that my love and passion for triathlon would only grow over my mid to late 20’s and as I write this today I am very honoured to have represented Australia in six ITU World Triathlon World Championships, all over the world and placed as high as 6th place in Beijing, China in 2011.
For me, this yearly venture was the reward for lots of hard training, it was the opportunity to mix it up with the best age group athletes from across the globe but even more importantly it was an opportunity to do something I loved doing alongside others who shared the same passion and strived for the same goals. I have made friendships from these events that will last a life time, I have had many sensational races on the world stage and some not so sensational races and I have been so very fortunate enough to wear the green and gold and run with an Australia flag down the finish shoot, memories which when I look back on now were some of the best times of my life :)
So if you have ever dared to have that dream, or contemplated “what if”, then stop and start making your thoughts into a reality! 2018 will be one of the most competitive years to try and make the team, however there are some important factors to consider for those aiming to have a crack at selection:
As I like to say to those I coach, why not? Why not strive for something that today may seem unachievable but tomorrow can become a reality. I have no doubt that for those who do decide to aim for selection and are successful, that you will absolutely have one of the best experiences imaginable in the triathlon world. You will meet athletes from around the world who will undoubtedly make you laugh, push yourself to the limits and inspire you to be the best version of you when lining up on that start line in September 2018. And then once the racing is done, you will experience one of the best after parties ever to have graced triathlon, sadly this blog leaves me no more room to elaborate on those stories from the past 7 years :)
Happy training, happy planning and happy racing.
“In order to succeed we must first believe that we can” – Nikos Kazantzakis
By Coach Bonnie Carman
Being there is a 1 day training camp approaching developed by T:Zero Multisport I thought that I would put together a short little blog about what I feel the benefits are by attending training camps and also how I feel they help me during my training builds for particular races.
There are multiple types of camps but the main two I feel are multi day camps (3-7 days) where it is all about increasing training load, focussing 100% of training, eating and sleeping without distractions and another which is a course specific training camp that usually only goes for 1-2 days.
The latter camp is exactly what the upcoming T: Zero Multiport camp is all about. It is a 1-day camp that focuses on the Sunshine Coast 70.3, which is fast approaching in September. These camps allow you to focus on key techniques (getting the ins and outs of the course), gaining confidence on the course,
Personally for me I feel that biggest benefit of a training camp is to keep me motivated either over the winter months or to re-ignite the fire in the belly when you’re knee deep in a build phase and ready to pull the pin because you’re physically exhausted. It helps to give people something to look forward to, it allows people to spend a day training with like minded people and allows you to actually train in a group when usually most of our athletes are doing the solo miles. You also have access to your coach for the day where you can ask all those little questions that you felt were too silly to bother them with.
I absolutely 100% recommend attending training camps if you can organise a day off family life or a day off work. Our camp in particular at the end of July is 6 weeks out from Sunshine Coast 70.3 and is the perfect timing to bring forth the energy in you for the final build or give you the kick up the butt you need to get moving as there’s still plenty of time to make improvements in 6 weeks.
See you all on July 29th
By Coach Em Quinn
It is a little bit of a general consensus that as athletes move into longer distance racing (70.3 to IM) that there is less of an “importance” placed on transitions. To a degree I agree with this, in sprint and Olympic distance racing you cannot afford a second to be lost and usually the things you need to consider are minimal. In longer distance races, there is more that an athlete needs to consider (nutrition, wetsuit off, appropriate bags, change of clothes, sunscreen application etc). I am always in favour of checking and rechecking you have everything you need in T1 and T2 in long course racing, however I also think it is of equal acknowledgement that an athlete can ultimately get “free time” in transition. If you are organised, controlled and most of all proficient in your execution of T1 and T2, the time you will spend in there will no doubt dramatically come down.
I think it is something we are all guilty of, neglecting the smaller things, the things that don’t involve swim, ride or run within our race. However, what if you could save yourself 2, 3, even 5 minutes by perfecting this fine art? The key is to practice, even the small things. Practice getting the wetsuit off, practice mounting and dismounting with shoes on the bike, practice running through a transition simulation. No doubt these elements won’t make or break a well-executed race but they will no doubt contribute to saving you some time, time that could mean a PB, a podium, a step up in placings or simply nailing cut off times. No matter the level of the athlete, this is a component of racing that we can all improve. So talk to your coach about fine tuning these skills a few weeks prior to your key races or the start of the racing season, once perfected you will only improve and will be in and out of T1 and T2 like a flashJ Below are my top 5 tips for perfecting T1 and T2 over all distances of triathlon from sprint distance through to Ironman.
Happy training and racing and I hope everyone is surviving the cooler months :)
Going All In- Why in 2 days I will no longer be a lawyer
Life beings at the end of your comfort zone – Neil Donald Walsch
Ever since I can remember, even in primary school, I wanted to be lawyer. My grandfather was, my dad still is. But aside from that, I am not sure where the desire came from. The older I became the less and less I gave I questioned whether I actually wanted to be a lawyer – it was just what I was going to do with my life. It was, safe.
Throughout high school, I didn’t push my own boundaries much. I played a lot of sports but rarely went outside my comfort zones. I mean, I loved being a wicketkeeper and goalkeeper but the hand-eye coordination came rather natural to me. Like my sporting ability, in the classroom I was above average but again I never went hard at it. I did just enough.
I commenced uni doing both Law and Accounting. I guess back then I wanted to be a lawyer, or maybe more, I wanted what being a lawyer represented.
I had done a few triathlons in high school, but once I was in Uni I started taking part in long course racing. I had done two Ironmans by the time I was 21 and both times missed out on a Kona spot by one place. While I was frustrated after the second attempt, something happened to me as I was leaving the roll down ceremony, again, empty handed. I made the decision, for the first time in my life, to be ‘all in’.
I often tell my athletes that whatever your goal is – every decision you make in life is either bringing that goal towards you or taking you away from it. Every decision.
So in 2007, I was all in. Doing my absolute best to ensure that each decision I made in that six month preparation was bringing that goal of qualifying for Kona a reality. It worked, and at 22years old I won the age group in IMWA 2007 in 8:55. While it was the fastest M18-24 time in Ironman history in the country, more importantly to me I was off to the Ironman world championships. Lesson learnt. Going ‘all in’ worked and set a very important precedent going forward.
Fast forward to last year, and after five years of a rather successful start to my legal career, it was obvious to me that coaching is what I was passionate about. I had been coaching part time for 7 years and I wanted to do it full time.
My last day in a law firm was 1st September 2016. I walked out that day and became, by default, a full time triathlon coach. A massive step. But I still had my practicing certificate until 30 June 2017. So my safety net was in place if things didn’t go to plan.
Looking back, I have been able to achieve great things in the sport not because I was the best athlete (far from it really) but because I was prepared to be ‘all in’ and have no safety net. Sub 9hrs at IMWA, winning the age group in Hawaii, the world record at Ultraman Australia this year– I had no excuses, I was 100% committed to the process and everything that was in my control was going towards achieving that goal.
So today, here we are. 2 days before end of financial year 2017, and 2 days before my licence to practice as a lawyer expires. While it wouldn’t take much to maintain the licence, I have let the Queensland Law Society know that I shall not be renewing. I do not want that safety net. Our T:Zero athletes have achieved some ridiculously amazing things over the past 8 years – what they do on a daily and weekly basis is truly so inspiring. As coaches we are constantly learning and improving and if my past has taught me anything, when we go all in, the world is the limit and our athletes will be the primary benefactors of that.
What is seriously amazing is I am not alone in T:Zero. Both Coach Em and Coach Scotty have given up their prior professions (cardiac scientist and teacher respectively) to become full time coaches. It is a gamble but one they are willing to take because they too are so dedicated to help out athletes achieve their potential. In addition to the full time coaches, we also have some really talented part time coaches. They are just as passionate– but they are even more amazing as they coach along side doing jobs which they love to do –jobs that also make a real difference in people’s lives – nursing, police service etc. The coaching culture in T:Zero is brilliant and something that I feel very privileged to be a part of.
So expect the bar to be risen even higher from us - T:Zero is all in.
So, the takeaways …
1) Whatever your goals are, be crazy passionate about achieving them; and
2) Be ‘all in’. No safety net, no excuses. Be naked with that goal and stay the course until you achieve it.
Simple as that.
So what are you waiting for!?
#formerlawyer #nosafetynet #allinfortzero