THE T:ZERO BLOG
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Coach Steve Wehlow
“To me, it’s all about attitude and commitment to your goal. Inevitably life is going to get in the way sometimes, but over the long term, athletes with the right attitude and commitment are the ones who succeed”
In our February edition of Fast Five, we’re rounding up the spotlight on our coaches with a feature on long-time T:Zero athlete (one of the very first, in fact!) and coach, Steve Wehlow. Steve’s been a T:Zero athlete for 10 years and a coach for four.
Coach Steve’s debut in triathlon occurred at the 1994 Chinchilla Melon Festival at the tender age of 11. After a long hiatus, he decided to relaunch his triathlon career at the Noosa Tri in 2007 and hasn’t looked back, participating in triathlons and endurance events in one form or another every year since.
From sprint and Olympic distance, to numerous Ironman 70.3, long-courses and six Ironmans throughout Australia, Canada and Mexico, Steve has endured and enjoyed his fair share of triathlon. Add to the mix a few Peaks Challenge cycling events and Ultra Trail Australia 100km and it’s clear he’s got a lot of endurance experience to offer.
Training, early mornings and time away from his family are Steve’s least favourite things about the sport, but these downsides are countered by the positives of comradery with old friends and meeting new friends along the way, as well as providing an opportunity to visit new places.
His favourite session is called “Treadmill Gold” (sounds ominous) - which he says his own athletes will know well. It’s tough, but keeps him honest and in a heaped mess at the end of the session more often than not! While he’s not currently training for any events, he’s firmly focussed on making sure his stable of athletes live their potential in 2020 and beyond.
Favourite race? Why?
IM Western Australia 2010
My first Ironman - had a great day out on course and achieved something I never thought I could do (also proposed to my now wife).
IM Cozumel 2011
A race where anything that could go wrong did (e.g. running over my race wheel heading into check-in, getting 4 flats and no way to fix them). Yet I also saw the best that people had to offer and why I enjoy the endurance events so much including (long story short) being loaned a bike mid-race from another competitor unable to make the cut-off time themselves, allowing me to complete my race. Add some torrential rain and a few dizzy spells during the run … it was quite an emotional finish!
My first race after my daughter was born. And while the views are spectacular, the highlight was being able to see her at the check points. Especially in the bad sections, it pushed me to keep going knowing I’d get to see her again soon. Also getting to spend the weekend away with my family as an encore to our IMWA trip three years earlier.
Proudest triathlon moment?
Finishing the Long Course World Championships in Las Vegas, being able to wear the green and gold and having my parents there watching as I’d been living in Canada for 11 months prior.
Since becoming a T:Zero athlete or coach, what is the one new belief, behaviour, habit formed or skill honed that has most improved your athletic (or every day or coaching) performance?
Be willing to continue to learn. This holds true as an athlete and a coach. From the athlete side, I am constantly learning more about myself and what I can accomplish both in training and racing. And that’s not always about how hard or fast I go, it’s also about control.
As a coach, I am constantly learning new ideas from a range of sources, but especially from the other coaches in our group. Each has come with their own history/experience knowledge and the diversity enables all of us to grow. I’m also learning from my athletes. Each one is different and has different needs and while I may not have all the answers immediately, I aim to learn so I can.
Have you ever had an apparent training or race day “failure” that has set you up for later success?
I don’t know if failure is the right word, but I have had some tough training days - from riding in rain so hard you can hardly see what’s ahead, to training indoors next to a heater because it’s zero degrees and raining outside and then changing into three layers to run off the bike in freezing temperatures (all because I decided to do a race in Mexico while I was living in Canada … not my best idea in hindsight!). Knowing I’d been through this meant that come race day I could honestly say it can’t get much worse!
Best piece of advice for someone starting out in the sport? Or best advice you’ve received?
Consistency is king. You DON’T need all the fancy gear. Sure, some of it is helpful and fun, but there were people going around twenty years ago without all the fancy equipment and they were still going faster than a lot of the pros these days.
And one more for good measure (and a big head) …
Why do you love being part of the T:Zero Multisport team?
It’s a supportive and inspiring group to be a part of, as both an athlete and coach. Whether you’re a competitive age-grouper, weekend warrior, first-timer or somewhere in between - there are no egos. Everyone is committed to achieving their own goals. What’s not to love about that?
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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!