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Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifier, Coach Em Quinn, details what it takes to go from Olympic Distance triathlons to toeing the line of your first Half Ironman. So take notes, dream big and shoot us an email if you have been thinking about making the jump to this awesome distance.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to give a little chat and presentation at Triathlon Specialist Store Swim Ride Run Faster in the Northern suburbs of Brisbane. Shop owners Michelle and Damian are triathlon and multisport lovers and have a strong following down in Brisbane of likeminded individuals whom are all striving to reach difference goals across this sport. When asked if I would like to give a workshop, I jumped at the opportunity and thought that I would like to give my thoughts on stepping up from Olympic Distance Racing to 70.3. Having only made this step up myself in 2014 after racing 6 years at a National and International level over the Olympic Distance, I felt as though I could pass on some knowledge and personal experiences which may help anyone contemplating taking on a 70.3 in the upcoming season. It was a fantastic afternoon and I was welcomed with open arms and may even be beginning to not be as petrified of public speaking Below are some of the topics I discussed and what I feel are the most important take home points from the presentation:
• Pick a race that you and your family will enjoy going to. Make a holiday of it, make it fun and enjoyable. After all your family will be the ones on the sideline cheering and motivating you for 5-8 hours, spectating is exhausting (be kind to them).
• Have a structured/periodised plan in place which is centred around a 16-20 week time frame (if you have previously completed an OD in the season)with both training blocks and lead up races appropriately included (aka get a coach to take all the guess work out of this for you)
• Be prepared to spend more time training on the weekends. In comparison to Olympic distance, the major change to training is the volume of the weekend long rides and long slow runs.
• Be sure that your weekly plan includes an Aerobic, Heart Rate/Tempo type sessions as well as Aerobic sessions. Ones greatest gains in aerobic capacity and endurance (which is the main energy system utilized in endurance sports) are made from low heart rate, low intensity training. In order to become fast and strong, one must become proficient at going slow.
• Get strong! Becoming a stronger more efficient rider will not only make you a better cyclist, it will also make you a better runner off the bike. This means having a phase of training where you spend time in the hills and completing heavy gear sessions. Learn to love them, they will become your greatest asset.
• The most important element: have fun! Enjoy your training, be excited about the journey and the changes that your body will go through. Embrace the ups and downs, the peaks and troughs, endurance sport of any nature is a rollercoaster of a sport and one will become a better athlete from experiencing both the ups and downs (both physically and mentally). Be patient and enjoy and trust the process you set out to complete.
I encourage anybody whom has ever thought about taking on a 70.3 to have a go! You will be amazed at what your body is capable of, you will form friendships from training partners that will no doubt last a life time (who knows you may even end up calling one of them your husband one day) and when you cross that finish line completing a challenge that you never thought possible there will be nothing sweeter. Join the 70.3 experience this 2016/2017.
Stay safe and happy training.
T Zero Multisport Coach
LIV Ambassador Sunshine Coast