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The Watch

11 August 2016 No Comment

 

In recent years with the rise of social media and triathlon forum, chat sites, I’m amazed at the number of “experts” on Ironman triathlon that have come out of the woodwork. There are some, quite a few setting themselves up as coaches, and have never before either coached someone to an Ironman, or even had the “courage” (if that’s the right word) to even enter one, to see what it’s like.

Anyone who has raced an Ironman, and I say “raced” as opposed to dragging their sorry arse through one just making the cutoff, knows what goes on in an athletes mind during the day. The key to racing an Ironman is clearly, heavily dependant on holding it together mentally, and having the preparation which delivers you to the start line mentally and physically in 100% shape. Most successful athletes will agree that the day is seventy percent mental, once you arrive there without illness or injury.

Free advice is so plentiful in this sport. So plentiful that one has to wonder about the quality of the advice. Very often the “adviser” is simply repeating something he/she has heard or read on the internet. It’s a little like someone advising you on how to cook a special dish, after watching a professional chef prepare the dish on one of the TV cooking shows.

There’s one simple question to ask someone who offers free advice on racing an Ironman. Ask the adviser if he/she has a placegetter’s watch from Hawaii. Whether the adviser is a coach, another athlete, or just some random person who has become an expert from the internet.

“The Watch” – Each year in Hawaii, the top ten pros, and the top five of any category receive a “wooden bowl”? and a special edition Timex watch. If your coach, or your random adviser doesn’t have one, his/her answer might be interesting. They don’t have to have one, but it would be interesting to hear why not, seeing they have it all figured out.

Getting to Kona is hard enough, only the top 1-2% of any category get there, but once you’re out on the lava field everyone in your category is fit and strong. The athlete’s who manage a top five position in the worlds best company have it worked out.

Australia has several Hawaii Ironman winners actively involved in coaching, there are also several coaches who have won the Australian Ironman or placed highly in it. We have quite a few very experienced coaches who have prepared many athletes to great races, I do really shake my head in disbelief at some of the “experts” who have emerged, with no background.

Just ask the question. Or even glance at the adviser’s left wrist.

 

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