There are two 5 o’clocks in one day

When I heard in April that I had qualified for the Hawaii Ironman in Kona, it gave me 5 months to prepare and plan for the biggest race of my life. However now with only 8 weeks to go I am in the middle of a heavy few weeks of training. Last week I swam for over 2 hours, rode over 9 hours and ran over 50 kms. This was in addition to presenting client sales and management training workshops, running a business and spending time with my family
People often ask me how do I fit it all in and still find time to train 16 hours a week leading up to a race.

I simply say that we all have the same amount of time every day – it is what you do with it, and how disciplined you are. Just as in business. Often the most successful people are the ones who just get on with it and do the hard work needed to be successful. They don’t take short cuts or look for the easy ways out or find excuses and blame others.

That is all I do with my KONA Group client training and Kona triathlon training.  I build my day around whatever sales training workshops, business development, swimming, cycling, strength and/or running I have to do that day and don’t get involved in low value activities or ‘stuff’ (I also mention that there are two 5 o’clocks in one day, and while I often see them both though please don’t expect me to be out partying after 10pm !!)
If you had to take your partner or child to the doctors next Wednesday you would make time in your diary so if your desire to achieve something is big enough you can always make time rather than excuses.

Race overview – Swim leg
Ironman Triathlon races start with a 3.8 kms swim and in most races you are allowed to wear wet suit. Most races that is except at Kona. Having grown up in Yorkshire swimming isn’t my strong leg so a Triathlon wetsuit, which is made of a 5 mms thick neoprene rubber, and is a lot tighter and smoother than surfers or water skiers wet suits, gives me a lot more buoyancy than just swimming in speedos. They also give plenty of extra protection which is absolutely needed.
Imagine being in the middle of 1800 people, all treading water, spread in a group no wider than the length of 2 tennis courts. Then the starting cannon goes off and the whole area turns into a mass free for all, like an industrial sized washing machine, full of thrashing arms, legs and bodies as we all swim over and into each other, trying to get to the first marker buoy without drowning.

To compound the situation your heart beat has suddenly been given a massive shot of adrenaline, mixed with fear of the day in front of us, and with your head submerged under water you gasp for breath trying to gulp in air rather than lungs full of salty water. All the while trying to not get kicked in the face or hit by a flying arm from a faster swimmer.

All pretence, bravado and BS is left behind as it is race on!

A few years ago I raced in the UK IM with a broken hand and a cracked rib which I’d damaged 6 weeks before the event having stupidly gone boxing training with a KONA Group client at EPAC in Adelaide. 200 metres into the swim start, no breath, no vision, and no direction I threw my right arm over and smacked it into the back of another swimmers head, bringing a scream of pain from my tortured oxygen starved lungs, in the spilt second before I wrenched a mouth full of air. That was a long day out.

Kona is unfortunately a non wetsuit swim which means no added buoyancy and probably an extra 10 – 15 minutes onto my usual swim time of 70 minutes. So in preparation I am spending time in the pool or gym with an aim of getting stronger and to come out of the water unscathed. Plus save as much energy as possible that I will be needing for the 180 kms bike leg and 42 kms marathon that follows.

In between planned trips to New Zealand, Singapore and around Australia running training workshops and Motivational Speaking at Client Conferences I plan to increase my swimming, running and cycling with a goal of swim training 6 kms a week, 400 kms on the bike and 60 kms a week running in the last 4 weeks leading up to my taper 2 weeks out.
And that is why there are two 5 o’clocks in one day!