A couple of weeks ago, I was back on home turf, running and riding around Port Macquarie with my old mate Robbo. And I had one thing on my mind – Ironman Melbourne.
IM Melbourne is definitely on my list of challenges to conquer and it’s really my first serious race since Kona last year. I’ve been working hard over the last couple of months, both physically and mentally, to get prepared for it. And it’s a great course- a single lap for the swim, two laps for the bike on a freeway and then the run leg takes us all the way up Beach Rd from Frankston to St Kilda.
Pushing it in Port
Training has been going well. Down in Port, Robbo and I put in some solid days on the bike- in fact, that was really our focus for the week, getting some kms into our legs in preparation for the Melbourne course on March 22nd. Had a couple of great days (180km one day, 212km another) going over some of my old training rides and hitting some of the hills out the back of Port Macquarie. Great for building power and aerobic capacity and all good practice for Melbourne.
The IM Melbourne bike leg runs along the Eastlink freeway, which they close off for the day. It’s probably one of the best surfaces we get to ride on in IM competition and it’s certainly flat and fast. A good bike split is going to be critical for success in Melbourne.
Prepared for anything
Last time I was in Melbourne, earlier this year, the weather was brutal! Very choppy swim conditions, then sidewinds and rain for the rest of the race. We even had athletes pulling out with hypothermia! But that’s Melbourne for you – you never know quite what you’re going to get and often it’s four seasons in one day. You’ve got to be prepared for anything and everything.
And I think that’s the key – preparation. My aim when I race is to be able to stay present in the moment – being in the zone or in a state of ‘flow’, whatever you want to call it. The more prepared I am, the easier it is to get into that state and the less distracted I am by other stuff.
It’s about physical preparation- knowing that I’ve done the hard work, but it’s also about the practical stuff – nutrition, hydration, confidence in my gear, etc. Get the nuts and bolts stuff sorted and then it’s easier to focus on the mental game, which is where races are won. Before a race, I work on staying relaxed and loose, so that I can take that into the water with me.
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Good luck to everyone competing in Melbourne. I’ll see you at the finish!