Monday, April 30, 2012

Ironman Australia Age Group Tips & Pro's "Who cares Ironman"

My Age Group predictions:

No doubt I will miss 1-2 athletes here or there as I only gauge these tips on who I remember and on what performance.  No I don't scroll through every person on the entry list!

18-24 Male - Matty Burton by a long long way.  A/G World Champ 2011, However I do know that James Kuyper will lead him out of the water by a good 5-6 minutes and lead for around 40-50k's on the bike.

18-24 Female - Alicia Johnson.  Purely based on previous results

25-29 Male - Paul Roberts. Once again based on previous results, and has raced on this course with a solid performance. Wouldn't surprise me if someone else gets up though!

25-29 Female - Liz Gordon A/G champion from last year.

30-34 Male - My A/G!!!  With no Chapman's this year, time someone else won this A/G!!  My pick is Matty Craft (multiple IM World Champ finisher) and in 9hr 28 last year and is in good form so far this year!

Along with Craft, Daniel Eisenhuth (4th 2011) and Jason Nuttman (looks like a late entry from IMNZ 4hr 27min).  There could be a roughy get up here, but these are my picks. 

30-34 Female - Two girl race....Anna Francis from VIC or Kristy Craft (Could it be a Craft 30-34 double??)  This should be close for a long long way!

35-39 Male - Mark Janson (3rd Hawaii 2010 9hr 5min) with Nathan Fitzackerly and Andrew Vicary trying to topple him.

35-39 Female - Once again am tipping a Two girl race between Jodie Barker & Catherine Thiele.  Both have experience here and will be a great race to follow.

40-44 Male  - Matt Koorey for me.  2nd in 2011 behind Matty Lewis.

40-44 Female - Leanne Southwell comfortable here.

45-49 Male - Chris Southwell, straight up.  Did have Ricky Jeffs to lead off the bike but heard he will be supporting.

45-49 Female - Between Angela Clarke & Allison Coote.

50-54 Male - Couldn't decide between 3 Ironman Australian legends Stephen Bingham (20 time finisher), Mark Moro (11) & Allan Moustakis (14).

50-54 Female - 3 way here also between 13 time finisher Janet McAfee, Rosie Spicer & Leanne McPherson.

55-59 Male - Plain and simple for me.....John Hill, unless something goes wrong he will be done a long long way before the rest.

55-59 Female - Nancy Cullen with a similar result to John.

60-64 Male - Just for finishing, these guys are FREAKS!!  But to pick a winner, I can't decide between, Peter Williams, Ron Wilson and 17 time finisher Rod Howitt.

60-64 Female - Helen Freer

65-69 Male - If Patrick got his genes from his father, I would have to go with Guy Vernay, however I think  that 23 time finisher Geoff Thorsen or 13 time finisher Dieter Reithmeier could be challenging.

65-69 Female - Orginally Karla Mckinley, only starter...but I have found out that she qualified from Ironman Melbourne, so unsure if there will be any starters here.

70+ Just phenomenal that  there is actually a entrant let alone a couple.

For me, the Japanese entrant Hideki Iishi.

For Overall AGE GROUP honours, Matty Burton & Jodie Barker (although this will be close)

Now let's not forget the Pro's... Now they usually get all the spot light, but not for me.  By having only 7 males and 4 female entrants just shows that they are not the heart and soul of the sport.  The age groupers are, so the age groupers are the ones that get my focus.

In my opinion of the Pro's, this race is the "Who cares Ironman"!!

I am going to pick Leon Griffin as he is a Vic and the Vic's need to win one up there and he has every opportunity.  However I do have a soft spot for Jason Shortis.  Mr 40+ and still giving the young ones a battle.

For the women...4 starters...terrible..But Michelle Mitchell for me.

For Now...


For the record...I am heading up for the weekend and after hearing a rumour that it might be the last Ironman in Port Macquarie, I might start just to be part of an inaugural and final race in the same year (Melbourne & Port).

I managed to get a little bit of training done over the weekend and today, so I will definitely not be racing, just finishing!  I got my blood tests back today being all clear and I will post them this week.

Ironman Australia Predictions..

Tonight I will include all my Age group predictions for Ironman Australia next weekend.  I recently did these on twitter, however will post on here this evening.

My goal....

To predict more than the 5 a/g group winners from Melbourne.  I am even going to try and predict a few older age groups this time.

Stay Tuned...


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Prepare to Succeed, Don't Chase the Fail!!

What does this mean?  You might ask!!

What is the difference between the two?

The difference is reaching your ultimate goal vs not reaching it!

So to "Prepare to Succeed" means making sacrifices, withdrawing from events that don't fit into the overall scheme of things.  This is where I am at and have been for the last few years, picking and choosing races to benefit my goals, changing focus whenever needed.

Building for the long term, not just the weekend has also been the goal.  Having rough times on the training track but understanding what/how & why I am doing it makes it easier for me.  It has been all about getting the goals ticked off.  And on looking back, I am pretty sure that I have able to achieve these to date.

This can takes YEARS to achieve!  Years of consistency, years of building up your training base to be able to dig deep into it when required knowing that you have plenty there to choose from.

The caption says, "If Rome wasn't built in a day, how long did it take?"

This is the same with endurance sports....How long can it take?

There are so many relevant factors to this question.  What is your back round? How long you been in the sport? What is your history of injuries?  These 3 amongst a list of so many more.  It just takes time and as time ticks by you start to understand how long it takes.

I dug up an old Cairns Half Ironman from June 2000, which was the first 1/2 that I did.  Some of the names that I see on the results list are still going today.  I can say that these people definitely "Prepared to Succeed".

One guy who finished runner up on this day has gone one to become one of the greatest Ironman Athlete in recent times....Craig Alexander.

Other names that raced back then and to my knowledge are still competing well now are:

Rebekah Keat 1st Fem
The Grangers (Justin & Belinda 3rd Fem)
Rebekah Keat
Shane Reed
Chris Lee
John Hill (A/G'er)

Chris Hill won the race, Jason Metters 3rd & Rina Hill 2nd Fem

My whole point is that a base takes a long time to build, success doesn't happen straight away, and if you are patient with the right guidance you can get there in time.

For the record I snuck into 39th place outright (4hr 43min), qualified for Forster Ironman, but the thought of Ironman was way too daunting for me at 21y.o.

"Chase the Fail" is for all those people who expect results all the time, compare themselves to others and lose focus on what they want to achieve.  Wanting/expecting to race all the time and achieve PB's or podiums although they might only be in the infancy of a training program.  Not compromising to achieve the overall goal, changing their program to suit there wants not their overall goal.  Having extended periods off during the year and only do the minimum required to get through the race.

I think you get my drift.

So next time you look at a race schedule, ask yourself....Which races are going to benefit my overall goal?

Now as far as personally, I have still been struggling with illness.  Ironman Australia is becoming more of a no go, however after re-reading the above, I know that I am "Preparing to Succeed" so this doesn't worry me at all. I will still be up there supporting the boys!

The below picture says it all:

For Now...


On this Great Day for Australians, I thought it very relevant to post the below pictures:

Lest we forget.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The tale of 2 years!

The title of this blog could have had different variations, however this was the best I could come up with. As you will read below you you know that my last 2 years of Ironman training and preparations have been nothing short of...


Granted, both years/results have been amazing and far from what I really expected. However, I can really separate the last 2 years into 2 categories... Pre-Kona and Post-Kona.

So, in the categories, I will focus on the Pre-Kona first.

For me, it was exactly what the below photos indicate.

Smooth sailing & living the dream.

I was injury free, free from illness and was just ticking off sessions left right and centre without any dramas (besides fatigue building up) and getting results. I broke the 80min mark for a 1/2 Marathon, got myself a top 10 overall in a 70.3 race and had a great race at Hawaii.

I almost felt:

Nothing was stopping me getting my sessions done, heck, I even was doing 5hr Indoor Trainer sessions, doing double 4hrs rides with 40min runs, running 100k a week became the normal.

The only thing I was suffering from was general fatigue and soreness. I was right on top of this and was getting treatment twice weekly.

Fast forward into Post Kona time:

I started to have feet trouble, developed plantar fasciitis, tried to train and race through it, still got results and didn't give it the respect it deserved. I managed my first Overall win (Murray Man), and then things turned south. I headed to Phuket 70.3 to try and jag another spot for Kona, got off the bike in 1st in my a/g, however just had to walk the run leg, well run walk. If you read my Phuket race report you will see that it was a bit of a run/walk thanks to winner Michael Raelert spurring me on!

A long December followed without being able to walk properly, taking time off to enjoy some normality in my life. I started back around Christmas with the boys just riding with the occasional run thrown in. 1 run, 2-3days off running, frustration.

So we re-jigged the program to try and manage the PF and get some running done in the lead up to Ironman Melbourne.

There was nothing smooth about this race build. Just a total management of my body, my motivation and my training. Having good weeks, bad weeks and weeks in between meant the I was very unsure about how I would fair in the race. I gained some confidence very late in the build after getter 2 100k run weeks in the legs.

The most frustrating thing about my build was that there was no pattern for when my feet were so sore I couldn't stand. It wouldn't necessarily be after a 2.5-3hr run, it might be after a run free day, or it could be after an easy 30min run, or even off the bike which prevented me from completing the session.

So heading into Melbourne, I decided just to lay everything on the line as it was such a special day for me for so many reasons! I got through this race with a result that I would only ever dream about with having a ride/run and overall PB. Joining the sub 9 club and then earning another qualification for Kona was just the icing for me.

Since then I recovered and starting getting back into it, a bit of inconsistency for family reasons (my choice and one that I loved making) and now this week falling sick. Heading to bed Tuesday night at 9pm (normal time) looking forward to swimming the following morning (Did I really just write that??).

The alarm going off at just after 5am, I tried to open my eyes and my body just felt dead. No energy, nothing, I even struggled to move to find the alarm to turn it off. I fell back asleep and before I knew it, 8am, same feeling, decided to take the day off as I just couldn't move.

Next thing I knew, midday, then 3pm, then 5pm. I forced myself to get up and try and move around. Sitting with no energy on the couch hoping that I was just tired and then tried to eat, just a small meal is all I could consume, a bit of water and some strepsils that my sister got for me.

7.30pm, lights out. Boom, 7am wake up. So from 9pm the Tuesday night until 7am Thursday morning I think that I was awake for a total of 4hrs. Now, that's not like me at all.

I decided to head to work to get active and maybe just try to fight it off naturally. Nope, 1pm, exhausted, off to the Dr. The verdict...Tonsillitis for now. 5 days of anti-biotics to follow along with Echinacea, garlic, Zinc & vitamin C tablets and blood tests if I am no better over the weekend.

Will this stop me?

As much as I listen to my body and am a big advocate for it, until I am told to stop I will just tick over and keep myself in shape. Right now I have stopped, into day 3 of nothing, just letting the body recover.

Am I getting a big Nervous?

For sure. I am never one to want to race ugly, but I might not have any choice! I know that mentally I just need to tick off a few big sessions to rebuild my confidence. With only 2 weeks to go, time is running out for this, however I am always up for the challenge!

Although I might get to the start line looking like the above, the motto is exactly what I will be about. I might be underdone, but I sure do know what it takes to fight out and Ironman race!

And like with anything:

So for me, it is more rest & recovery, pumping drugs into my body and trying to get myself ready to go again sooner rather than later. I am not going to force it that's for sure, I do it because I love it!

For Now...


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nutrition - The easy excuse!

The first of many topics that I have been thinking about to blog on.

In the 5 or so years of being in the "Ironman" caper, I have found this to be the main "excuse" for people not getting the outcome they expect or desire!

Like with the 3 disciplines in the world of Triathlon, nutrition is no different in getting the preparation right. If you prepare correctly in training, there is NO reason why things can't go right on race day.

So, why do people fall back to this??

In my opinion, there are a few reasons and will list them below:

1. They never really try to get it right in training, just touching the edges in exact race quantities. I have also found that people like to see how much training they can get done on such little nutrition. Like it is a "bragging point". Why?? I have no idea, many people use lack of nutrition as a way to lose weight. But when it comes to race day, you try to load your body up and the body is just not used to it. So common sense comes in here and if your body is not used to the quantity that you are trying to consume, clearly something is going to go wrong!

2. Not researching what is on course for race day. Purely and simply, if you don't do your research, you are not preparing yourself for the best race you can have. If you don't prepare, you prepare to fail.

3. Failing to have a race plan to accommodate changing conditions. In my last 2 Ironman races, I have vomited for a good portion of the bike leg. Why this is, I am unsure, I think in Hawaii, it was that the weather was so hot and the fluid so cold, so a shock reaction. What did I do?? I let the bottle warm a little on my bike before I started intake..... Now over there, it was only 1k or so before I could stomach it. Rather than use this as an excuse, I altered my tactic. There is nothing wrong with changing things on race day to suit how your race is going.

4. People never admit that they maybe just do enough training in general to get the result they wanted, so it is just easy to blame "stomach issues". Simply, if you do the correct preparation, you get the result you want. If you are using excuses, you haven't prepared properly. I am not saying everything goes right all the time, but if you have a few options up your sleeve from previous situations, you can adapt quickly and get on with the job at hand.

5. Last but not least, the one that baffles me the most. Trying NEW things on race day. The biggest no-no in this caper. Partaking in this is just the perfect recipe for disaster, or the easy one to make an excuse for. What I don't understand is that part where people think that the body can handle something new under race conditions, under race stress. If you have never tried it in training, why on earth would you consider it on race day? What makes you think that it could possibly go right?? Yeah, maybe you will get away with it 5% of the time, but the other 95% means you are just wasting all that time, energy, dedication and commitment by a stupid decision.
I found this little motto and think that it just sums up the reason why people make excuses:

One thing that I have also learnt in this sport is those you have decorum and understand that not everything can go right in every race or situation are those you get results. They are the people who change things up until they get the right combination. The people who go searching for something different to get a different result.

As the great Albert Einstein quoted: "The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

So why not try and change your mindset, your strategy and ultimately..... YOUR RESULT..

For Now...


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Life Balance

So, I write this blog early on Saturday morning where in many cases I would be out training. I have decided to stay in today as it is the last full day that I will have with my kids for a little while. They have been over from Adelaide since last weekend and I have had an amazing time with them.

Getting used to near teenage fashion has been a reality check. Does indicate that I am getting "old" or just have no idea about the fashion??

Like with everything in my life, me support network is amazing, having Dad, Naomi and the kids grandmother to assist during the week whilst I worked was wonderful. I put my training on hold for a lot of the week unless one or both of the kids wanted to join me.

A lot would say that if I hadn't already qualified for Kona this wouldn't be the case. That is just
crap. Before Melbourne I went to Perth for a mates wedding and had 4 days off with no training at all around the same time before that race.

The below 3 pictures sum up my life, however in the first one, career is replaced by training. The middle one just indicates how even my life balance is and the last one replicates people looking for it, not quite clam, not sure what to do.

Which one are you?

I don't think that there is any secret is what I do, just pure enjoyment, just knowing when I need to go hard in training and when the balance needs to be the even.

Does it mean that I have different goals moving forward??

My goals haven't changed nor will they, I just know that with the mindset that I have developed since Kona, everything is in perspective and if I maintain a consistent, even life balance, the results will still come my way.

Next weekend, I fly to Adelaide to become a God Father once again. The honour of this once again out weighs training. Now, I don't know if my mates are starving for friends or I am just the best of a bad bunch, but I will take and accept the honour either way!!

Another amazing thing that is happening for me is getting messages like the one below:

Tell ya what mate you talk about motivation... I'm in the best pace right now than I have been for over 10 years now.. It's been 4 weeks and 1 day on straight and narrow... Finally have some serious goals in sight and making awesome progress and truth be known a majority of my motivation has been from following your posts.... Without sounding corny mate you have made me realise how confidence and strong will can take you anywhere.. You've done amazing things in the last 10 years

Really helping my find the motivation to kick the old ways and start finding myself again... Cheers Xman

This from a guy that I met many years ago and we were on the same path, I just changed paths and started to set goals. To read this message brought tears to my eyes and to realise that I am impacting on some great mates and helping them achieve small goals is just fantastic. The message then proceeded like this:


thanks mate really appreciate it, I have found myself also and decide to have a really good crack at this as I found myself going no where a change of direction and wrote a few goals down and worked out a way to start ticking them off. nothing to big to start with, just found my feet and as it all rolled on, the goals just keep getting bigger!


No mate seriously Thankyou was a massive kick in ass seeing what you have achieved and how stagnant I still was your a champion big man keep up the great work

  • I am not going to name him as the hardest part to changing is realising. Then once you have realised, you have to put plans in place to change, for this guy, who is an out & out superstar to realise, accept and change is so pleasing!

  • I have also received other messages from mates that I didn't think would come my way, but just shows with the right attitude you can help others without even knowing. This is not my driving force but is a great motivator.

  • For now...

  • X-Man

  • PS, no idea why my font goes all funny at times!! I have never been one on presentation, more just the content!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A simple but effective formula!

Now I haven't blogged much lately, but have been thinking of blogs to do, so stay tuned....

Just a short, simple but very effective formula to think

Find some:

work on getting:

Will mean you will:

My above photo didn't happen in a short time, it has taken me 4 years of consistent training with a program that suited my needs. Never in my right mind did I think that I could break 9hrs, but with the right guidance and the trust and confidence in my coach, it just happened, not just for me, but for Gregory Farrell also.

I know that come this time next year I will have a couple of athletes really giving the 9hr barrier a nudge as well as the 10hr, 11hr and 12hr. It is not all about the fastest for me, it is the person who is the most consistent will get the best result.

For now...


Monday, April 9, 2012

Recovery Over, Time to start training!

After all I have an Ironman to get fit for!

In the last few weeks of recovery and now just starting to get the body kick started I have heard so many comments about me backing up for Ironman Australia in 4 weeks!

Comments like,"You are crazy", "Why are you doing this, you have already qualified?" and many others along this line.

Don't get me wrong, I have received just as much support (well I think it is support) as what I have received negative comments about me backing up to race.

What I say to people is that if you knew my build to Ironman Melbourne, like "really" knew it you would understand why I am making this decision. I do know 1 thing for sure, it is going to be fun. The build, the weekend away with mates that I love being around (bromance at its best) and the fact that once again I enter the unknown for me. Doing 2 Ironman races in 6 weeks!

I have seen many people do it in the past, backing up from Kona to WA and having great results and that is off the back of a perfect build, 16+ weeks of solid training and focus. For me I didn't have that, I have suffered from and managed Plantar fasciitis since not long after Hawaii and had to deal the best I could with it.

Not being able to walk at times due to the pain, having days off training for the same reason and the motivation absolutely destroyed. (Many would remember those posts) I actually just flicked back through them and realised low my motivation was, how much the injury affected me.

So with all this in mind, I want to have a really solid 3weeks, head to Ironman Australia and have another cracking race. Having the weekend with the boys who I did my first Ironman with is going to be special for me also. Not the most flattering photo, but the memories of that still last a life time!

To have the opportunity to do it over, is exciting....The 3 of us are all still going along our journey and have different stories to tell, however to experience the finish of my 1st Ironman with Benny & Ronnie is still fresh. Throw in a few 1st time travelling buddies and I am....

Yep that's right excited to race in this race... To see what I can produce after a short time, but most of all to see a few more of my athletes complete their first Ironman race.

All the factors above give me the drive to be in good shape for the race and to tick off another goal. I want to win my Age Group. I am not going there for any other reason. I am not going to just go around, I am going there to succeed.

Going so close in Melbourne was amazing, but this time I am playing to win.

Now, coming from Victoria, I thought that the above clip was more than appropriate! Seeing old VFL footy at its toughest reminds me of some of the hurt in Ironman racing...I now know how far I can push my body, how hard I can go and still go on. And this race is going to be no different!

After being so excited to finish 2nd at Melbourne I discovered a desire to win my age group. These races are so competitive and only 1 person gets the honour of being the winner. I want that! I have experienced a few feelings like it, however I train for Ironman and want the feeling in Ironman.

To achieve it, everything has to go right on race day, everything has to go right in training, the 1% things count. That's what the next 4 weeks are going to be about.....the 1% er's, the small things that others don't think about, that get disregarded along the way. That is going to be the difference.

On that note, it is time to get out there and get this show on the road!

For Now...


Monday, April 2, 2012

My Ironman Race Predictions - updated!

So, as many of you were aware, I tweeted about my age group predictions for Ironman Melbourne.

Just to recap, I will put my tips below and the results next to their name!


25-29 - Kimberley Russell 3rd
30-34 - Rebecca Preston DNF
35-39 - Kristy Hallet 1st
40-44 - Michelle Boyes 1st
45-49 - Christine Jell (top 3 ) 10th

I didn't post about any others as I think it is just amazing what people can achieve.


18-24 - Matt Burton - DNS
25-29 - Greg Farrell - 1st & fastest Age grouper
30-34 - In this one I did mention a few, but also got 7 out of the top 10, including the top 5, so will take that as a 1st
35-39 - Sam Hume 3rd
40-44 - Mag Michellson 2nd
45-49 - only had Ron Ziessler to lead out of the swim 3rd out of swim
50-54 - Kevin Fergusson 1st
55-59 - Tom Velena - 10th

Once again didn't pick anyone over this age group, too amazing for words!

Not a bad effort I must say!

Now this leads me onto something that I promised a few people at the awards night.... The people from WA. After copping a grilling from them about mentioning Michelle Boyes and not David Boyes (who mind you finished 2nd in the 50-54 a/g) I thought that I would pay my dues and mention all the great results from the crew from WA. (apologies if I miss anyone).

So in my research this is what I came up with:


Scott Thompson 25-29 4th including a 2hr 55min marathon
Tom Bakowski 30-34 5th
Charlie Low 35-39 4th
David Boyes 50-54 2nd (Special mention as I didn't consider him in my original predictions!)
Murray Bridgeland 50-54 7th

Throw Matty Burton (if he was well) and would have been a pretty handy stat!


Lauren Jones 25-29 1st
Nera Jareb 30-34 2nd
Caroline Ashby 35-39 2nd
Michell Boyes 40-44 1st

Now clearly the women out classed the men here. Well done to all of you and was great meeting you and making some new Ironman friends!

I will attempt to pick more than the 5 winners I choose at Ironman Melbourne in the upcoming Ironman Port Macquarie.

On another note, my main sponsor XOSIZE ACTIVE has informed me that he has set up a code for his online shop. To take advantage of this, go to and at the checkout enter code XMAN to receive a further 15% off all purchases.

Thanks heaps Scott.

For Now...