THE T:ZERO BLOG
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‘Find what sparks joy for you. You’ll naturally want to do more of it and from there enjoy the process.’
This month, our Fast Five feature athlete is Melanie Shakespear, who has been training with Coach Scotty and T:Zero for the past eight months. Melanie first dabbled in sprint distance triathlon about 10 years ago, before having her two children. Running has also been a part of her life for many years, with the last two more focussed on triathlon and scaling up the distances!
Throughout her triathlon and endurance career, Melanie has completed a range of races, including Geelong and Cairns Ironman 70.3, Mooloolaba OD, numerous sprint triathlons and the Canberra Running Festival Half Marathon. Her favourite distance is 70.3, which she’s recently come to realise is her jam, recognising that each individual leg is enough of a challenge to keep her motivated but achievable in terms of training time and maintaining that balance.
Melanie’s favourite thing about triathlon and endurance is the variety of the three discipline that keep her motivated and interested – there’s always something to work on. She also enjoys connecting with other likeminded humans who are pushing their own boundaries through these sports and using it to explore new places. For Mel, swimming will always be her first love and favourite leg, because it’s what comes most naturally for her. However, her love for the run leg is strong too – mostly because, in a triathlon it means you’re on the home stretch, nothing went wrong on the bike and who can deny the boost of the crowd atmosphere?!
Melanie’s currently training for Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast coming up this September, and the Queenstown Marathon in November. Looking forward into 2023, Mel is focussed on Ironman Copenhagen which takes place in August (her favourite city + birthday month = meant to be!!). All the best, Mel!
Why and how did you get into triathlon/endurance/multisport?
Swimming was my main sport growing up so it has always been something I can come back to and build pretty easily. I got into running a little later in life whilst going through a huge life upheaval and wanting to try something new to show myself that I could do hard things. Running longer distances gave me an outlet to process through some difficult times. Then I went to Kona in 2019 to support and being amongst that atmosphere lit a fire in my belly that prompted me to declare I was going to do a 70.3! It’s a slippery slope…
Favourite race? Why?
Geelong 70.3. After all the COVID disruptions in the years prior, I was so excited to finally be able to get to a start line at Geelong and put together all of the hard work and see what I was capable of. Throughout it I felt strong and consistent and finishing 6th in my age group at my first 70.3 was a nice bonus 😊
Do you do other training outside the normal swim/bike/run? If so, what do you do?
Reformer Pilates is a regular in my program at the moment. I’m also very much into trail running. My best friend and I are currently running the 145km Canberra Centenary Trail by breaking it up into 7 sections. Four sections down, three to go! It’s been a very special way to explore the ACT.
What motivates or inspires you to train/race/participate?
Sunrise is my favourite time of day, so getting outdoors to witness that motivates me!
Moving my body each day is also my way of creating a little time for myself and spending time with people who bring out the best in me. And I’m motivated to demonstrate to my two kids that with focus, consistency and the right people in your circle there are no limits to what you can achieve.
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?
I definitely use a mantra during races but it changes depending on what’s going on for me in broader life at that point in time and what’s motivating me to get through the tough times. It might be internally focused – like gratitude that my body is allowing me to do something that I love and that I’ve worked hard to get to this point or it might be externally focused like knowing that family, friends and/or Coach SF are supporting on the course or watching the tracker from afar.
And one more for good measure (and a big head) …
Why do you love being part of the T:Zero Multisport team?
The custom programming and holistic support that factors in my lifestyle, mental and physical health is above and beyond. It’s a truly supportive environment.
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!