It was just one month ago, on April 16, that I ran for the first time in 6 weeks. That run consisted of three 100m sprints, and a walk back to the start with eyes closed. This was the culmination of four days learning a new approach to allowing my body to heal itself and how to keep my body healthier and as stress free as possible.
When I asked my instructor at the end of the course about whether he thought it was a good idea to race Honu Ironman 70.3 in 6 weeks time I was tentative for fear of him saying no. Of course his answer made perfect sense, as he explained how there is no need for a certain length of training or tapering before racing. Being relaxed and training instinctively means that I can race whenever I want.
The Big Island of Hawaii has almost always been a place of joy, prosperity, and growth for me. I have always felt comfortable, relaxed, and at home when I have been to Kona (raced 6 times, visited once), and I am very excited and it seems fitting that this will be the place where I test my new approach. I won’t be as fit as I would be when I normally arrive in Kona, but my mind has more control over my body than it did before, and my body is stronger due to a gym program that I have never done before.
Jaimie was in a similar boat to me, having been injured with plantar fasciitis since Philippines 70.3 in August last year. We have both only started training recently, but we are doing much of it together, relaxed, happy, and it doesn’t even feel like training. Racing together in Hawaii will be incredibly special. Jaimie races age group and would love to one day race in Kona at the World Championship, but with my plans to race there every year it may be tricky for us both to compete on the same day, but I won’t say it’s impossible. For now though, racing together in Honu 70.3 will be something I’m sure we will remember forever, especially if I can have the sort of race I normally have on the Big Island.
Hawaii’s position on the globe also means it is a favourite race for Australians, and I’ve got plenty of friends racing in age group, and most of the pro male field is Australian too – although for them it’s either a stop on their way to mainland US, or they are coming from the US. Craig Alexander is the main threat, and he obviously has a strong connection to the big island too. Along with Paul Mathews and Luke Bell who both have very strong 70.3 results, Jordan Rapp will be trying to fly the flag for USA against the Aussie invasion.
I’ll be racing my own race – in control, patient, and going hard when I feel good – just like I did in October. Although my prep has been short, the Brownlee brothers just showed that 6 weeks is all you need to get in great shape. Next week I’m heading to the place where I did my pre Kona 100km time trial, and I’m really interested to see what I am capable of compared to 2 weeks before the Ironman World Championship.
Train smart, & relaxed.