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!
Redland Bay, Queensland
‘The hard work you put in when nobody is watching is always rewarded on race day’.
This month, our Fast Five feature athlete is Ben McKenzie, who spent seven years in the sport as a junior and returned after a nine year break. Since returning to triathlon just over two years ago, Ben’s upped his game, joining T:Zero 12 months ago, training with Coach Andrew.
Ben grew up watching his dad compete in Ironman, so he’s always been around triathlon and endurance events, watching and participating. Last year, Ben completed Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast where he says he made his proudest triathlon moment to date – being able to run consistently despite 21km of cramping!
Ben is motivated by seeing how far he can push himself, using his race day mantra “pain is only temporary” to get him through the inevitable “challenging segments” of a race. Putting his best advice “what you put in is what you’ll get out” to the ultimate test, Ben’s favourite training session is 800m L4 repeats. His best tip for athletes who might be struggling to find some motivation or focus is a good one too – “zoom out for a second and see how far you’ve come”. Sage advice!
Outside of triathlon, Ben coaches rugby union and likes to get involved with the team to keep his skills up. He also coaches girls touch football and boys’ rugby at the school he teaches at and helps out with the boys’ cross country team too.
Ben is currently training for Ironman Western Australia, with his eyes firmly set on a 2022/2023 goal to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Go Ben!!
Favourite leg? Why?
As a junior I loved riding but now I love the run. I feel like the run is the hardest leg of the race and you really have to go into the pain locker which I enjoy.
What’s your least favourite thing about triathlon/endurance/multisport?
When it rains on my long ride day and I have to do a 5+ hour Zwift.
Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I always have a golden gaytime ice-cream the night before a race.
Have you ever had an apparent training or race day “failure” that has set you up for later success?
Hasn’t directly set me up for success later but I once had Chinese food before a race and was up all night sick because of it. I will never eat Chinese the night before a race ever again!
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?
Probably trusting the process. When I started with Andrew, I would get incredibly frustrated with all of the Zone 2 running. I honestly felt like I wasn’t gaining anything from it. After speaking to Andrew and trusting the program I’m really starting to see the benefits this is having.
And one more for good measure (and a big head) …
Why do you love being part of the T:Zero Multisport team?
I always have someone in my corner no matter what. It helps you get through the tough times when you feel like you’re making no progress.
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!