and now for my next trick…

so the dust is beginning to settle, and the legs are beginning to function again… and as is usually the case after an event or milestone, the brain is working overtime… where to next? what’s the next challenge?

well the fact is, what happens next has been on my thoughts for quite a while. even as I prepared for the Australia Day Ultra, I already knew, broadly speaking, what the next steps would look like. These have been modified slightly, in light of the failure to reach the 100km goal (this time), but the overall picture remains the same…

less distance, more speed

I have never been a fast runner, to be fair I wasn’t even a runner until less than 5 years ago! however, towards the end of 2013, and the beginning of 2014, I was running close to 25 minutes at parkrun (5km), had gone under 60 minutes for 10km, and was seriously training for a sub-5-hour marathon (with an outside goal of 4:30)

injury, then doing a lot of very long and slow stuff, has seen me go backwards in terms of pace and running fitness. the original plan was to hit the 100km goal, then go faster and shorter for a while. The revised goal is to go faster and shorter, get the fitness up and the weight down, and get in the best possible shape to have a crack at 100km again some day…

more cross-training

to help achieve those goals, I had decided to do more cross-training, be active on a number of different fronts; gym, swimming, and cycling. As a kid, and a young adult, I rode a bike everywhere, and it’s something I need to do plenty more of now. It’s a really good way to rack up minutes and kms, great for lower intensity aerobic work, recovery, as well as higher intensity if desired.

similarly, swimming is something I enjoyed as a kid. I can’t recall doing any proper swimming in the last 30 years. It’s a bit daunting, but I would really love to re-learn to swim properly and use it to improve fitness and help me work towards my goals.

I also want to do a lot more trails and hills. because it mimicked the ADU course quite well, I ran a lot of my kms recently on the shared path along the Roe Highway. It’s nowhere near as much fun as a Perth Trail Series event, or simply heading out for a training run on the trails… and the hills are really good for strength and fitness.

Overall it is time to shake up my training, get serious again about nutrition (I was a bit shocked to find that my weight has crept back up to 127kg this morning!), and set some new goals that will help me to focus…

swim, ride, run, repeat…

all of this led to a natural conclusion; it’s time to give tri a try… more specifically a triathlon novice training course being held by the Perth Triathlon Club, starting this Saturday!

It’s a 10 week course, and will achieve everything I described above, as well as giving me an introduction to the sport of triathlon. Because as you can probably work out, that’s one of the goals I have set myself; to complete a triathlon, and ultimately to complete a full Ironman!

For now it’s just about the cross-training, shaking things up, and having fun. Once the 10 weeks are up, I will be working with a coach (David Alley) on a sub-5 hour marathon goal at Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

After that (in July this year) there will be yet more goals…

big hairy audacious goals

so the triathlon and Ironman goals are out there – but there is also a matter of the 100km distance. alongside all of this there is also the small matter of Hearts Across Australia challenges…

so it got me thinking more precisely about what I want to do and when…

Ironman and Australia Day Ultra 100km have now been identified as goals to reach before I turn 50 (May 2019)

A multiday ultra on the Larapinta Trail (Northern Territory) has been identified as a possible HAA challenge

There is the Ultra Trail Australia (formerly The North Face) 100km… a beautifully located trail ultra with a generous 28 hour cut-off…

so the list looks a little like:

  • Gold Coast marathon – sub-5 hour – July 2017
  • UTA 100km – May 2018 – outside possibility
  • Sprint and Olympic distance triathlon – some time after July 2017
  • Larapinta Trail – August 2018
  • Australia Day Ultra 100km – January 2019
  • Full Ironman – May 2019 (event to be determined)

but why??

Now why set these goals, you may ask… well the thing is, as I blogged about before, it really comes down to the answer “because I can”. But within that is a whole host of other reasons; to stretch myself, to push myself out of the comfort zone, and then to push myself out of the new comfort zone and so on… to give me focus that will bring with it the side benefits of improved health & fitness, a sleeker physique, and massive sense of personal achievement.

Another reason to do all this is because in doing so I can prove to everyone and anyone that you really can set your mind on something and achieve it, no matter what “it” happens to be!

I look forward to sharing the next phase of this incredible journey with you all, through blogs, Facebook posts and videos… I also hope to see some of you at Gold Coast this year – and if you’re interested in running 10k, half marathon or the full marathon for “Hearts Across Australia” then please get in touch!

onwards and upwards we go – let the next part of this amazing journey begin!

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