Monday, July 27, 2015

A Long Overdue Update

Its been over 9 months since I last posted here. A fair bit has happened in that time including finishing 2 Ironman triathlons. First off was Ironman WA. The race plan here was pretty simple, one of patience. Things went to plan right up until the run where the goal pace was thrown out the window early as I started to struggle with the heat. I came out of that race with bad sun burn on my arms and legs, cold burns on my lower stomach and most importantly the confidence that I can follow a race plan.

With this confidence and after pulling up race in fairly good condition, I decided to race Ironman Melbourne. Looking back at this decision now, it may have not been the best option but a number of important lessons were as a result. The race started going down hill around 100km into the bike when back and hip issues started to flair up once again and finished with me in the medical tent on an IV.  After Melbourne I was pretty much destroyed both physically and mentally. I went deep in both the leading to the race and on race day to finish.

Once I started to recover it was time to start looking for answers. Looking back I made a few big mistakes with the basics. This is something that I am improving with, but just not quickly as I would like. With this in mind and discussing this with my coach, it was decided that it would be best if I took some time off from the Ironman distance and focus on racing over shorter distances. The idea behind it was simple, practice doing the basics and gain more experience.

This decision was made easier once I learned what the probable cause for my hip and back issues. Long story short I have Femoral Anteversion (google it) which pretty much makes the perfect shit storm for things going wrong in my lower back and hip muscles. Its something that I’ve known I have since I was a kid but now aim only learning the complications associated with it.The good news is that its something that is completely manageable. To over come these issue its a fairly simple concept, improve strength in the muscles effected as well as muscles above and below the area effected and work hard on keeping a good range of motion in the hip joint and lower back. While this is considered somewhat optional for athletes, it becomes one of the basics that I now have to do to perform. Thankfully through the network of coaches and sponsors that TEAM tri coaching have, I am able access to people that can help guide me though this on going process.

With this new information in mind and to help keep me motivated long term, I have been giving the chance to race Powerman Zofingen again in 2016. This is a race that motivates me like no other and will keep me focused to do the basics to a high level. Now on paper a 90kg athlete has no right to perform at a race like Zofingen, but I’m not going to let that stop me trying. I deep down believe I have the ability to perform here as long as I do things right. For this reason planning for the race started a few months back and is continuing forward. I have already found some areas where I can make some major improvements over past performances with relatively minor changes.

For me now its to start building back some fitness after a few minor setbacks in the past 3 months. Depending on how I progress, I may make it back to racing for the end of the duathlon season and then it will be onto some short course tris and maybe a 70.3 over summer. I will aim to keep updating here from time to time as I progress throughout the next 13 months until Zofingen. Finally I would love to see more Aussies across racing this event, so if you are interested or want to know more feel free to contact me.

Until next time

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