Photo: Ironman Taiwan
Sunday’s Taiwan 70.3 was my first race under TriSutto Australia coach, Cameron Watt. I wanted to use this blog to write a little about my decision. I have also included a short video of some parts of the Taiwan event at the end of the blog. Taiwan really is a lovely place with great event crew and fantastic atmosphere. It’s a race you should consider adding to your calendar.
1. Ratio Decidendi
I had grappled since Cairns IM in June last year with the idea of turning professional for the second time.
I figured that as I knew a lot about professional-level olympic distance triathlon and I’d had a fairly successful crack at my first IM that I could continue to adapt a broader group training plan to suit my race needs. I love training with the Red Dog Triathlon Training crew, they’d reignited my love for triathlon. I was torn between staying with the group I love and leaving them to find my limits. I was learning that I didn’t know enough about IM training and I knew even less about it at the professional level.
Not to say the training I was doing was wrong - I managed fourth place on IM debut- it just wasn’t right. Thing was, I had to think so much about my racing schedule and my training program that I was constantly double guessing if what I was doing was right.
Two key things made me realise I was ready for a change. Firstly, was my flip-flopping between races and race distances late last year (ie. Ironman 70.3 Gurye, Duathlon Worlds, IM Malaysia - all within 5 weeks) and secondly was the number of times I got fourth (IM Cairns, IM Malaysia, IM 70.3 Sunshine Coast). Something had to lift. I knew that if I wanted to race professionally the programming and racing decisions were best made in conjunction with a coach.
2. The process
Around Christmas I interviewed a number of coaches of professional triathletes. They were all fantastic coaches with lots of experience and any of them might have been the right choice. I also spoke to my peers, athletes who had been trained by these coaches, to gauge their thoughts, as well as Phil Stoneman and my Management team at M5 Management. The team at M5 have a great understanding of all the personalities in the industry and were able to help me sort the list down to some coaches that would 'fit' well with my personality and stage of development.
3. The criteria
I had five things I felt were important to me:
Technical - This was the number one priority. Did they understand what I might need to work on as a long distance athlete?
Location and ability for face time - I needed lots of feedback. I wanted to see and speak to my coach as and when I needed.
Training environment / access to facilities - I prefer an environment where I can train with others in the group from time to time either during a camp or as a couple of regular sessions.
Autonomy for me as an athlete - the flipside. Whilst I enjoy being able to train with other athletes - I like to maintain some autonomy - to train with my friends or on my own.
Magic - I was really after someone that could bring the magic. Someone that I felt connected with me as an athlete. Ultimately this would turn out to be the deciding factor.
4. The decision
As for making the decision, it became pretty clear after talking to Cam that he would be the right choice for me. The timing of my turning professional and Cam becoming a part of the TriSutto team worked perfectly for both of us. At the end of the day it just felt like the right thing to do.
5. The other spanner in the “work”
So that leads me to the final piece of the puzzle - work. Fortunately, my employer, Deloitte, have once again chosen to support me by allowing me to take a leave of absence to give long course triathlon a red hot go.
As you can see this decision has been a long time in the making. There were a lot of difficult conversations along the way - Trent (Red Dog coach), some amazing coaches, my boss (Rob), colleagues and friends and family- but not one person was a naysayer or a knocker. I am so grateful that everyone was immensely supportive and I think that is what made me feel most comfortable about my decision.
I am so thankful to have such fantastic people in my court. Cheers!
Taiwan 70.3 Video Blog
In other news, below is a short video from Taiwan. Some random Taiwanese history for you the soundtrack to the video is by Dfang a Taiwanese born Aboriginal. The song is called “Circle of Life” from the Album “Elders Drinking Song”. A sample of Dfang’s main chant was used in the very popular Enigma song “Return of Innocence” without the singers' permission. This later resulted in a court case and and out of court settlement. To cut a long story short, the music is Taiwanese! Hence the adds which provide money to the original artist. Feel free to click the cross to remove the adds.
The Ironman.com race release can be read here.
Hanging with Whit..
Photo: Ironman Taiwan