THE T:ZERO BLOG
Free advice, content and media for all. It's our way of giving back to the tri community who have given so much to us. Enjoy!
Sunshine Coast, Queensland
‘Have fun. Enjoy the feeling of completing self-challenging events and being surrounded by likeminded people. It’s amazing that the more training you do and more effort you put in, the luckier you get.’
This month, our Fast Five feature athlete is Greg Woodward, who has been graced by Coach Lisa’s gruelling swim sets for the past two and a half years!
Greg’s been participating in endurance events since taking on the Yeppoon Half Ironman in 2006 (after which he vowed never to do anything like it ever again …). After a brief five-year hiatus, he returned to endurance events to compete in marathon swims and Surf Lifesaving and hasn’t looked back, completing numerous events including winning the iconic Magnetic Island to Townsville swim in a shark cage towed by a fishing trawler!
Greg’s favourite thing about endurance swimming is training (yup, he said it!), believing there is nothing better than looking at a set which you know will be challenge, but once complete – has entirely transformed your mindset. Also, being able to eat whatever you want with minimal guilt gets his big tick of approval! On the downside, his least favourite thing about long distance swimming is the chaffing (which is “the pits” – pardon the pun!).
Greg counts his proudest moment as anytime he races and finishes where his family is at the finish line, in his own words “there is not a larger emotion enhancer than when your wife and kids are standing there cheering for you after you have given 100% in a race”. Outside of swimming, Greg is the head of Surf Sports at Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club. He regularly competes in local branch titles, endurance, state and Australian titles.
Greg’s current focus is completing the Australian Triple Crown, which comprises three of the toughest swims in Australia – 25km Port to Pub Ultra Marathon from Fremantle to Rottnest Island (WA), 27km Palm Beach to Shelley Beach marathon swim (NSW), and The Big Swim – Derwent River Marathon in Tasmania (34km) (Fun Fact: only 8 people have completed the Australian Triple Crown). Let’s go, Greg!
Why and how did you get into triathlon/endurance/multisport?
To be honest, in 2004 I was very ‘happy’ in my own skin. Tipping the scales well over the 100kg, I needed to take responsibility for the past couple of years and get into shape. After surrounding myself with likeminded people, I found the triathlon community supporting and encouraging. I made the Australian team for the Age Group World Championships which was a highlight, and something that 5 years previous I would have scoffed at!
Anything 10 – 20km. Yes, it hurts, but embracing that hurt is all part of the challenge. Long distance swimming to me is more than physical. Training your mind to know that hurt is going to come, and when it comes, how to react, takes as much training as completing laps in the pool.
What motivates or inspires you to train/race/participate?
The main reason I started back training and racing was to ensure my kids had role models that didn’t just stand on the sidelines. They get just as much out of the racing as I do. I believe this is paying dividends now as not only are my kids competing, but so is my wife.
Any funny or embarrassing race/event memories?
Too many to remember, however in my first half ironman at 18km into the run, I grabbed a water and flat coke from the aid station. I definitely drank the water and put the coke on my head. Less than ideal. If I said I did not turn back around to get another coke I would be lying…
Since becoming a T:Zero athlete, what is the one new belief, behaviour, habit formed or skill honed that has most improved your athletic (or everyday) performance?
Definitely a growth mindset. There are times during training for open water swims where your mind wanders, and the self-doubt/talk begins to take over, let’s be honest 3-4 hours swimming by yourself could do that. It is having the ability to ignore the negative and turn on the positive mindset to get through what is required.
And one more for good measure (and a big head) …
Why do you love being part of the T:Zero Multisport team?
I feel like Lise is in this with me. My programs do not always get complete due to other commitments and this is taken into consideration the following week. Lise just gets it…
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!