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’ve got a symbol tattooed on my wrist that means “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” That’s my little reminder that no matter what you’re going through, if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to do it.’
This month, our Fast Five feature athlete is Irene Margaronis, who has been working diligently with Coach Courtney for close to four years (as a T:Zero athlete ~ 12 months). Irene is a Melbourne-based personal trainer who fell in love with running in 2018 after taking up a position at a PT studio where the running culture was strong. Feeling a little left out, she decided she had no choice but to assimilate, and she hasn’t looked back!
Since 2018, Irene’s smashed a bunch of running races, tackling anywhere from 10km to 21.1km distance at Run Melbourne, Gold Coast Marathon, Melbourne Marathon, Geelong 70.3 (Team Relay - run leg) and a whole lot of smaller races in-between. Her proudest endurance moment to date is running her first half marathon, admitting there was once a time she never would’ve imagined running at all, let alone 21.1km!
Irene’s weekly training schedule includes two to three runs and two strength and conditioning sessions a week, as well as a specific stretching session. In her spare time, she loves traveling overseas, but given the current state of all things international travel, she’s taken to embracing simple day trips to the countryside.
Irene’s inspired to train and race by the challenges she sets for herself to reach new dimensions and knowing that not only does she believe she can do it, but that she’s got a wonderful support network and coach who also believe in her to achieve the goals she sets for herself.
Irene's currently working towards taking on her first full marathon in October this year, and we can’t wait to see what she can do over the 42.2km distance. Go get ‘em Irene!
Why and how did you get into triathlon/endurance/multisport?
This one is a bit of an interesting story, when I got my job as a personal trainer, the studio I work for has a very big running culture. When I started working, I definitely was not a runner and felt slightly left out of the studio culture by seeing clients and my teammates completing these running events. I decided that it was time to change that, so I began the journey of running and then caught the ‘running bug’. It only started out with the smaller distances until my second year working, the team decided on a trip to the Gold Coast to participate in the Gold Coast Marathon – there was a catch, you could only run the half or full marathon. At this stage the furthest I got was 10km but I started working with Coach Courtney and in 8 weeks we got the kilometres in the legs and I ran my first half marathon. I was hooked. Then more endurance running began...
What’s your favourite thing about triathlon/endurance/multisport?
The feeling of accomplishment once you finish the event and knowing that all the ups and downs you had during the training stages were all worth it to get you across the finish line.
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?
Believing in myself – this has been a really big step for me since joining T:Zero. Trusting in the process is also another one that I’ve come to accept and believe in.
Any funny or embarrassing race/event memories or stories you’d like to share?
I was running the 2019 Melbourne Half Marathon and around the 19km mark I could start to feel myself cramping up in my calves. I knew I was really close to the finish and if I stopped, I would cramp so I kept going. On the final stretch before you enter the MCG for the finish line, there are all the teams in the team’s village cheering you on. I was hanging out to see my team from work. I reached them and saw Courtney and I yelled at the top of my lungs “MAGNESIUM, GET MAGNESIUM READY, I’M CRAMPING.” I passed them and just made it to the finish line, I hobbled to back to team’s village and everyone was in hysterics because they actually couldn’t understand what I was yelling. (yes I got the magnesium in the end!)
Best piece of advice for someone starting out in the sport? Or best advice you’ve received?
If you don’t give it a go, you won’t know what you’re capable of. This is exactly what I was told when I started and it’s been true. I gave it a crack and now I’m setting out to complete a full marathon. Four years ago if someone told me to run I would have laughed straight in their face and told them to go away, but now, I say bring it on.
And one more for good measure (and a big head) …
Why do you love being part of the T:Zero Multisport team?
There’s a great sense of community and people from all walks of life. I’m looking forward to being able to meet more of the T:Zero team at future events.
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!