The journey to IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns

Documenting the physical and mental preparation for a half ironman.

The road to the Cairns Ironman 70.3 is long. Less than a year away and with distances of 1.9km in the swim leg, 90km on the bike and a 21.1km run, it’s an endurance event requiring peak fitness, dedication and commitment.

Medibank member Nick has his sights set on the 2014 event held on Sunday 8 June. While exercise has always played a central role in his life, his focus has shifted over time as work, travel, family and lifestyle factors crept in. Keen to restore the balance and improve his health and wellbeing, the journey to Cairns is an opportunity to set a challenging fitness goal and a plan of attack on how to achieve it.

be. magazine will document his journey to the big day, tracking his progress, monitoring his fitness and over time learning how his commitment to training is impacting those other parts of his life.

It’s day one and Nick tells us why he has signed up, his lifestyle and fitness history and what physical and mental challenges lie ahead.

How would you describe your health currently?

Poor to fair. I’ve always done a little bit of exercise, maybe two days a week, and over the last two years maybe one day a week. It fell away over the last two years and I’m trying to get back into it. The bigger you get, the harder it is to run so hopefully with this, it gets a lot better.

Describe your health over the last 10 years?

I’ve never had any health conditions that have prevented me from being able to train. I’ve trained from when I was 12 years old and I used to umpire football, I was pretty much running six days a week then up to when I was 18. Then with age and the old booze, things fell back a little bit and now I’m trying to get back into it.

Why Cairns 70.3?

I’ve always been a ‘gonna’ – I’m gonna do a triathlon, I’m gonna do a marathon, and it’s seeing friends who have gone and done it, friends who I’ve always thought I was fitter than, that has motivated me. I’m 34 years of age and I just want some sort of milestone event that I can hang my hat on. It’s also about getting back to a level of fitness where I can feel good about myself as opposed to feeling like as I get older, I’m getting bigger. I don’t want to be that person, I want to get back to the fitness I had when I was 18 or 19.

What challenges do you think you will face along the way?

Making sure the training remains consistent despite having to work and travel. I think it’s key not to feel like I have to plan for the whole year, I need to look at everything in six-week blocks so that I can manage and maintain it. Routine is crucial, also managing injuries. Making sure the training plan is right and not too overloaded at the start will play a bit part in this.

What support will you need to reach your goals?

I think the biggest support will come from family, friends and training partners. Things like making sure everyone is okay if I use an hour of the family time we would have had together to train. Training partner support is also really important because you need to have someone pushing you. If I don’t, by December I’ll already have lost the want and the need to continue doing this.

What will motivate you along the way?

Improvement and weight reduction will be biggest motivating factors. If I feel like I’m not improving or getting quicker or not losing any weight, I think I will start to feel like why am I doing it? On a more serious note, the motivation to finish and do it well is a huge part. I don’t just want to finish, I want to do a good time. I don’t want to finish it with a torch, I want to finish it in daylight!

Join Nick and sign up for IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns at ironman.com/cairns70.3

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