WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REFLECTIONS FROM AMBASSADOR ASH
Most of us are goal driven individuals, we set our sights on a target and do our best to get there. It doesn’t matter how big or small your goal is, it’s your goal, so whether you’re aiming to complete you'r first 5K or setting your sights on an Ironman Triathlon it’s no less important.
But when we reach that goal what happens if the final stages aren’t what we’d hoped for? SFE Ambassador Ash shares how she had to change her mindset mid way through her biggest goal and so far the most important race of her life, the Age Group Olympic Distance Triathlon World Championships.
SFE: Your goal a year ago was to qualify for the Worlds Champs on the Gold Coast. Tick. Goal reached. So tell us about the race, did it all go to plan?
AM: “The race”. Did it go to plan... in one word, no. But was I disappointed, absolutely not.
It went wrong from the very beginning. They put us in the water 8mins before the gun went off. So we were treading water and shivering while we waited. The water was murky, cold and super choppy. If you looked to your left, you got blinded by the sun, if you looked up to see where you were going, you would get smacked in the face by a wave and if you looked to your right, you’d mostly get a kick to the face. I had a massive panic attack not long after we started and my wetsuit felt a lot tighter then usual. The swim was awful and I just needed to get out of the water. I came out nearly last which was disappointing as my swimming has come a long way. When I got out of the water I had to change my mind set from ‘race’ to enjoy every minute.
Once I was on the bike, I got my breathing under control and started to relax. The wind on the ride was horrific but it was hard not to smile when everyone was calling out your name :) I had high expectations of the run. I had been working hard on my running and speed but it just wasn’t meant to be. It was one of the slowest races I’ve done but it was by far the most memorable. It’s a race I will never forget !!
SFE: What did it mean to you to represent your country at home?
AM: To wear the green and gold, is indescribable! To have a suit with my name on it, and everyone cheering ‘GO AUSSIES’ is something that will stay with me forever. Makes me smile every time I think about it or see photos.
SFE: How many hours were you training during a typical week in the lead up to the World Champs?
AM: Training varied each week depending if I was in a build week or an adaptation week. But usually around the 10 hour mark.
SFE: When we first spoke to you, you told us how as a mum training had to work in and around looking after the kids - imaginative run sessions would turn into trips to the ‘enchanted forest with fairies’. Are they still your closest training partners or are they starting to grow out of hanging out with mum?
AM: We made a big move in January and I went back to work full so spare time isn’t my friend, and where we moved to is just one hill after another, so my training went to early mornings (very early) just so I could get it done and get on with the day (daycare, school drop offs and then onto work)
SFE: Did you remain injury free in the lead up to Worlds? If not, what were your issues?
AM: I sure did! I really concentrated on my weakness and listened to my body. When I was tired, I backed off a bit.
SFE: How did you schedule strength sessions into your week? Did your coach (DGC) designate specific times or was is more of a ‘little and often’ approach and just part of your daily routine.
AM: It was scheduled in but I also did bits here and there as well. It’s all set up in the garage (StrengthForEnduranceKit) so if we got home some afternoons and the kids wanted to play or ride their bikes, I would get in a quick workout or do a bit of conditioning work.
SFE: Did you struggle to stay motivated with the SFE sessions? If so how did you overcome this?
AM: No, i actually enjoyed incorporating it into my training. Especially when I could see my speed increasing in my running, I knew it was going hand in hand.
SFE: What benefits, if any, do you think it’s had to your swim, bike, run performance?
AM: I’ve really focused on my core which has ultimately changed my running posture, again increasing my speed and I can feel more power in my legs. Check out our Triathlon Specific Strength Program
SFE: Lining up to represent your country is a massive achievement, and not an everyday occurrence. What advice would you give anyone looking to set a goal on something they would love to achieve?
AM: Be realistic. Life is life and it continues no matter what you choose to do. If you set realistic expectations (i.e. training times) then it very much can be a reality. I didn’t have all the time to train. I’m a full time mum, full time worker, errands still needed doing, the house didn’t clean itself. I was just smart and used what time I had, to do exactly what needed to be done.
SFE: Whats on the cards for you next?
AM: What’s next... going to New Zealand in February to run an 85k ultra trail run...😬😬 I haven’t even run a marathon before but surely I’ve got this right?? And then onto Ironman Australia in May 😁😁😁