THE T:ZERO BLOG
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Coach Cheyne Murphy
‘Consistency. So many people ask me how I improved myself and that’s the simple answer. Consistency across all three disciplines with a structured plan leading to an ‘A’ goal is a recipe for success.’
This month, we’re changing things up a bit and featuring Coach Cheyne Murphy for Fast Five! Coach Cheyne has been participating in triathlon and endurance events for 15 years and coaching with T:Zero for the past 2.5 years. Cheyne’s favourite distance is Ironman – in his experience the longer he goes, the more competitive he gets, with the training load still manageable around life outside the swim-bike-run.
Throughout his 15 years in the sport to date, Cheyne has completed a host of races, starting out with Bribie Tri and then evolving into 20+ Ironman 70.3s, Hervey Bay 100, Hell of the West (HOTW), Cairns and Port Macquarie Ironman four times each (back-to-back between 2014 and 2018). He’s also completed Ironman Melbourne (2015), qualified for Kona Ironman World Championships in 2018 and Ultraman in 2021.
When he’s not swimming, riding or running, Cheyne coaches baseball (each of his three kids’ teams plus head coach of the club). From a coach’s perspective, Cheyne believes the most successful athletes have a supportive partner and family, strong will, a vision, a “want” to achieve and the ability to be comfortable with being a little uncomfortable.
Cheyne is inspired to train and race by achieving results that he sets his sights on – whether that is a finish line or a spot at the World Championships – and likewise for his own athletes. Cheyne’s athletes inspire him with their courage and hard work, and he hopes that what he does in the sport inspires others to give it a shot too, and chase down those big dreams. His own proudest triathlon moment to date was running down Cairns Esplanade knowing he had put together his best race possible and was in a position that would qualify him for Kona. His sense of achievement on that red carpet far outweighed the World Championships race itself.
Looking towards 2023, Cheyne is focussed on keeping a base of fitness while he takes a well-earned break post-Ultraman. Coaching-wise, he wants to continue to help his athletes achieve their goals by putting together high quality, enjoyable, individualised programs to work in with their lives, to help them achieve whatever it is they have set their sights on.
Why and how did you get into triathlon/endurance/multisport?
I worked for a footwear company for many years and was around all the major triathlon and running events and watching the sense of achievement on people’s faces inspired me. I bought a bike to lose some weight and joined a local triathlon club to ride with them… soon enough I was running and attempting to swim, and it just snowballed from there.
Favourite race? Why?
I think Ultraman was my favourite race because of the team element, and the challenge of holding it all together for three race days, not just one. Especially when you are at the pointy end of the race, and you are the target.
What’s your favourite thing about triathlon/endurance/multisport?
The challenges it throws at you and the compassion that is in the sport for each other. After always playing team sports growing up, I loved the individual pursuit of triathlon, personally seeing the results of the work you put in. And there was no one else to blame if the result wasn’t what you wanted / expected.
Any funny or embarrassing race/event memories or stories you’d like to share?
There’s a few. Haha. My first 70.3 in Yeppoon, I wore my tri suit backwards. Drove myself nuts all race as to why I couldn’t find the pockets on the back to put my gels in. Didn’t work it out until I went to the toilet after the race and noticed that my chamois was pointing the wrong way. And one more… coming out of the water at the Sunny Coast 70.3, running up the beach pulling my wetsuit down to realise that I hadn’t put my tri top on, and it was still in the car. Good times.
Do you have a race day mantra? Or something you think about to get you through tough periods during the race or calm your pre-race nerves? Or something you might tell your athletes?
There’s no use being nervous on race day, it’s just wasting energy. The only time you should be nervous is if you haven’t done the work to warrant being on the start line, and we know that T:Zero athletes are always ready to go.
Turn up prepared, and you will be able to handle whatever the race day throws at you. Tough times on race day just need to be treated as a moment in time, it will pass, and it’s just your mind going into protect mode… there’s always more to give when your mind is telling you to stop.
Another thing I’ve been told and tell my athletes is to not look at your swim time, it can set the rest of your race up for failure. Coming out of the water, you won’t be aware of whether it has been a fast or slow day with currents etc, so as long as you have stuck to your plan the time will be what it will be, and remember that the race is not won in the swim.
And one more for good measure (and a big head) …
What is your favourite thing about being a T:Zero coach?
The support we receive from the team, and the discussions we have, to continue to learn as coaches.
Why do you love being part of the T:Zero Multisport team?
I feel like it’s a bit of a family - although we don’t live in each other’s pockets, we are very connected through our racing and social media, and I know we have created many lifelong friendships between athletes as well as coaches and their athletes. I certainly have.
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An amazing collection of training and racing advice from the T:Zero Multisport coaches- with the occasional guest blogger! Read this blog to help you live your potential!