Have you entered an event and then said, “OMG I don’t think I do it”? This is more common than you think, when a new athlete joins me and suffers from this anxiety, I treat it as more of “I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’ll find out”. The great thing about entering an event outside your comfort zone is that you will finish because mentally you are prepared to finish!
The last weekend in June I organised another Swim Smooth weekend with New Zealand Swim Smooth coach Russell Smith from Hamilton. What an awesome weekend of swimming and learning. The morning was spent videoing and then analysing the video’s and the afternoon we were in the water correcting technique. It’s not often that you come across someone who has a great way with people and an awesome ability to coach. So while driving to the Sunday session I asked Russell a few questions about some of the things he had seen on Saturday.
Starting out in any multi-sport event is definitely a challenge and can be quite daunting. I remember my first triathlon in Clontarf, Dublin. Believe it or not I was wearing speedos and a t-shirt in the race! I had no idea what to wear and what to do, but I loved it and was instantly hooked.
My transitions must have been the slowest in the world, it was a pool swim and trying to put on a t-shirt after the swim was an absolute nightmare. It fell like someone was holding onto my shirt and rolling it up! I was so excited about doing the race but had no idea about training. I was cycling to work . running and swimming so progression to a triathlon didn't seem that unrealistic. I had an old 10 speed road bike with a steel frame and the gear change levers were on the frame of the bike! Still I guess we all started somewhere.
That's where Tri-Planet evolved from, Richard Cattle and I came up with the concept, as we realised there was very limited support for beginner athletes. So we put together some beginner Boot camps to cater for triathlon, duathlon and multi-sport.
And its been so rewarding seeing people achieve their goals or complete something they never believed could be possible. The best part is that we are there with the athletes on the day of the race to not only help them to prepare for the race but to also be their number 1 supporter. Its so amazing seeing people from all walks of life finishing a triathlon, and then there is the post race party which is always great fun and a chance to swap some race stories.
Being able to train, advise and support the athletes as well as share knowledge that has been gained over a number of years of training and racing in triathlon, is an important part of coaching. We also provide some weekly coached Tri-Planet club training sessions, due to the demand of our Bootcampers who wanted to continue training and take their racing further. It really is a great community of fun, dedicated people who give up a lot of time to take part in one of the most rewarding sports you can do.
So don't be afraid to take that step and do something that your friends might tell you is crazy, its very achievable doing the 'swimming, running thing', and it really gets you fit and improves your general well being. I've always been involved in multiple sports at one time like swimming, cricket, basketball, mountain biking so triathlon has really helped me to focus on one sport (but still train for multiple disciplines!), plus I can race at my level and just compete against myself if I want!