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!
‘I tell everyone that triathlon is not just for people who are “good” at swimming/riding/running. We are usually only just ok but do it anyway. Triathletes are such a positive, encouraging crew. No one really cares how fast you are, they just think it’s great that you’re having a go. Don’t be self-conscious or think that you’re holding people up or don’t deserve to be there’
This month, our Fast Five feature athlete is Meg Cook, who has been participating in triathlon and endurance events for the past six years and started her journey with T:Zero and Coach Mon in 2021.
Over the past six years, Meg has participated across a whole range of triathlons – from Longreach Tri enticer through to Roma Double Tri, Hell of the West, Mooloolaba OD, Battle on the Balonne (St, George) and Torture on the Border (Texas). Meg’s favourite race is Hell of the West – where the longer distances, hot, open roads, savage crosswinds and perils of a rural highway provide a great (yet tough) challenge, made bearable by the commitment and support of the whole town and resultant jovial vibe.
While she could give the early, cold mornings and long travel times (at least six hours in most cases) to races a miss, Meg’s favourite thing about triathlon is finishing a race! She also enjoys the individual nature of the sport – you get out what you put in. Meg is partial to long ride sessions and is particularly enjoying recently switching to training by HR which she says makes it “feel like the kilometres just melt away”. It has also led to her a more heightened awareness of her body and how she is feeling.
With a demanding job, husband and two kids, Meg’s life is understandably pretty busy at the moment (mostly geared towards the kids – sport, school, activities etc.), which makes her commitment to training and racing as something she sets aside for herself, all the more important. On race days, Meg’s mantra is to breathe and go steady in transition – slow and steady is actually fast – which is a great tip for any new triathletes reading along at home!
Looking forward in 2021, Meg’s lined up a number of endurance events on her sporting calendar, including Warwick Pentathrun (all five races), Sunshine Coast 70.3 and Hervey Bay 100. In 2022, she’s got big ambitions to tackle UTA50 or Larapinta Trail to celebrate the year of a milestone birthday! Go Meg!
Why and how did you get into triathlon/endurance/multisport?
God knows. I started running with a group in Longreach, QLD, and found I could cover six kilometres easily when I had never been a runner and thought I never would be. The Longreach Tri Club were putting on a five kilometre colour run as part of their tri and I nominated for that. I was talking with some mates about doing it too and by the end of the conversation I was signed up for the enticer tri and had a lend of a bike. Training and racing was a lot of fun so I just kept doing it.
Triathlon (and parkrun) was also a great way to meet people when we moved to Roma at the end of 2015. Runners and cyclists are a bit cult like in that we are always trying to recruit more people and they are so positive and encouraging no matter the ability.
Proudest triathlon moment?
My first HoTW. My husband parked out on the highway at about 60km and I saw my two girls waving and heard them yell out “Go Mummy!”. Best moment ever.
Closely followed by finishing my first HoTW. This was way bigger than anything I had attempted and scared the crap out of me but I got it done. The smile stayed on my face for a loooong time after that.
What motivates you to train/race/participate?
I’m not a strong swimmer and never get a chance to train in open water so knowing I have the fitness to complete the race is hugely important and even when it gets tough, if I know I have done the training I’ll be fine.
I love the feeling of finishing – especially when it’s been a tough race and I love seeing familiar faces on course and looking forward to racing with my mates. This is why I really like local races in particular.
Have you ever had an apparent training or race day “failure” that has set you up for later success?
I completely stuffed up nutrition for Hell of the West run in 2016. I took the 20km run in 36 degree heat way too cheaply, took a gel too early as another cyclist told me my teammate wasn’t far away – she was – and managed to drop a gel out of my race belt and completely bonked. I finished but was seeing stars. Since then, I have paid MUCH more attention to keeping up nutrition.
Do you have any tips for athletes struggling to find some motivation or who may have temporarily lost focus?
Pay big $$ for a race!!! Set a goal and work towards it. Also changing it up is great. If you’re getting stale from tris, try adventure racing or UTA or something different.
And one more for good measure (and a big head) …
Why do you love being part of the T:Zero Multisport team?
Monique is a very supportive and understanding coach.
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!