By Head Coach - Scotty Farrell
Based on the title above you’re probably thinking WTH is this guy on? I ask myself the same question daily. Jokes aside, the titles sums up nicely what’s been happening in my life the past three years and a large portion of the reason why I haven’t raced a full Ironman. Three years ago marks my last full Ironman and the birth of my second boy. It also marks the last semester of my nutrition degree and uni life. In hindsight, what a hectic year that was! No wonder I have all of a sudden gone grey! And any wonder I kind of lost a bit of mojo for all the training hours… a bit of burn out maybe!? More than likely yes.
In the ensuing years, the second little person turned out to be one those babies that has only really had a handful of full nights sleep (still to this day actually), I finished uni and I started coaching full time (T:Zero) with my good mate RT and now four other awesome coaches as well. There are always people out there doing it far tougher than me- I’m not feeling sorry for myself I swear. But it has been a good patch of rebuilding the Ironman mojo. Also in that time, based on the reduced training capacity, I took a bit of time to run around in the bush and get right into to trail running. Which worked pretty well with a couple of Blackall 50 wins under my belt and a few other little races around the place. Nature, it’s good for the soul.
Fast track to 2017 and the lure of another Ironman, coinciding with my old man body coming back to life, and I signed on for Ironman Cairns as a chance to get back to the fitness I was at a few years ago with the main goal of 2017 being about rebuilding and adding some layers from there. I should also mention here that I have been working with a strength and conditioning coach for the past 18 months (once or twice a week). Kerry Keightley has been instrumental in getting my body back to where it should be. I’m a big believer in functionally specific training and strength is so key! Thanks Kez!
So why the hiatus from doing the full distance? I was a bit burnt out to be honest. The mental and physical investment of 2014 took it’s toll and the mojo went a walking. Plus the sleep deprivation didn’t/hasn’t helped, although I’m learning to manage that - like a shift worker does I guess!?
Lesson: In order to race a full Ironman, not only does it take a big time investment and sacrifice from everyone in the household, but you need a ‘why’, your ‘mojo’ comes from your ‘why’. The reason you are doing this sport has to be clear, otherwise, what’s the point!? For me it’s about conquering (or rather, attempting to) the fear of the unknown. As no matter how much you train, how well you prepare physically and mentally, there is always that little bit of unknown out there on race day and that’s what draws me to long course racing... it scares me a little and I’m always keen to shake some fears!
Hunger- The desire and want to do all the training that is required to be at your peak has to be strong enough to want to get of bed early and hit the road. It has be strong enough to draw you away from your nice warm bed and porridge around the kitchen table with my ravenous little boys at 7am every morning. Your why has to be front and centre.
Lesson: it takes time for wounds to heal and mojo to return. You can’t force that stuff, it has to come back all on it’s own. Some time away doing other events or smaller racing is ideal and also more manageable with everything that goes on in a modern family’s daily life. I’m not making excuses here, I’m just saying… dad life is tough man and I need my sleep.
Sleep deprivation: I keep coming back to this. And to a certain point this is well under my control and in the same sentence, it isn’t. I could go to bed earlier, but then when would I get to meticulously scroll through Training Peaks looking at the daily sessions of the amazing athletes I coach? Know what I’m sayin? There are only so many hours in a day and when your child wakes up sporadically across almost every night of his life, you ain’t banking the REM baby!
Lesson: Don’t have kids and go to bed earlier (jokes). Seriously though, the earlier I manage to go to bed, the more sleep I get, even if it’s intermittent, the more productive I am with my time and subsequently, the happier and more soulful I become. Sleep deprivation is a silent killer. Get more of it... hasta pronto.
I may have repeated myself above but that’s because that stuff I repeated is important- take some notes.
Why am I writing this? Because I want to make sure you:
Want to know more about Coach Scotty Farrell? Check him out here!