Goals that have already been achieved

5 12 2015

I’ve never really thought too long or hard about planning a race before.

The most complicated plan I’ve had in a half marathon was to think of what time I wanted and therefore what pace I needed to run at.

Other plans have been “get round”. I’ve even had a “run with a friend to help them get round”.

But a half ironman is a whole different ball game.

It’s like three races. On the same day. One after the other. I’m going to be on the go for something like seven hours. Not just two. And three different disciplines. How you approach each aspect of the day can have a significant impact on the outcome, so you need to think ahead.

First off, start with your goals. Now, for a first timer there really is no point whatsoever in having a time goal. You’ve never done this before so how can you even have any idea what your body will be going through on the day?

The advice from The Boss is to focus on process goals instead. These are the things that you will do that should mean it’s a good race for you. You could have goals specific to one particular discipline, or maybe an overall achievement, or it could even be about your race build up and your preparation in the week before. But they will be personal to you.

It will come as no surprise that the swim is a particular goal for me. Having a good, relaxed swim is going to set me up for the rest of the event. I know that if I get out of the water having completed that to plan, I’ll gain a lot of confidence entering my two better disciplines. So my goal is simply that – a good swim that is a sustainable effort for me and won’t leave me feeling knackered.

I’ve also got overall goals that I follow my nutrition plan and getting that right. If nutrition goes well, it sets your body up for what you’re putting it through. There’s still no accounting for nerves though and that can still play havoc with your innards! You can’t plan for that. So how you deal with it then becomes your goal.

And my last goal is to have fun! What’s the point in doing it if you don’t enjoy it? I’m not expecting it to all be a barrel of laughs. In fact I expect there will be some pretty lonely and hard moments out on the bike course, so mental strategies to overcome those are vital. But for me, one of the benefits of training with the squad is that I will know heaps of people out on the course and I know that when I see them, we’ll be dishing out support and encouragement to each other. We’re not in competition. We’re a team ourselves.

When it comes to the run course, we’ll have all the supporters cheering us on, and no doubt there’ll be lots of high fives from squad mates. Hell, we have those in training runs! So I know that will help me through the pain.

Of course it’s very hard not to think in terms of time, so if you must, tier it. For me, just to finish will be a monster achievement and one I’ll be very proud of. I’ve come a long way, especially in the swim. So just to get round will be immense.

I’ll be really happy if I can get under 7 and a half hours. That feels achievable right now, but like I say, who knows what will happen on the day. If I get under 7 hours I’ll be ecstatic! Based on my training, it doesn’t feel beyond the realms of possibility, but I’m not getting hung up on it.

Taupo 70.3 isn’t strictly a race to me. I’m not taking on anyone else. Except for Ironman. I’ve heard that one mental strategy to get over the tough times is to tell yourself that Ironman won’t beat you. Ironman becomes your only competition.

But no, Taupo 70.3 is a vehicle for me to look at how far I’ve come, and how much I’m capable of.

That in itself, is a goal that’s already been achieved.

How far Ive come

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22 12 2016
Getting to the start line | A little old blog, by little old me

[…] While this is only my second half ironman, it’s amazing how different it was planning this year’s race compared to last year. […]




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