Ironman Cairns - 6 Weeks until D Day

6 Weeks To Go - Cairns Ironman 2019

In April 2018 I moved to the Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia for a fresh start. New surroundings to focus on what was important to me, my training and coaching athletes around the world achieve their big goals. 

So far it’s been a huge success! I have no reason to believe this momentum won’t continue going forward thus indicating this is the single best decision I’ve ever made. 

On April 20th 2018, I drew a line in the sand with my own fitness. I’d lost direction after my Ride Around Oz challenge in 2016 and I realised after hitting 100kgs for the second time in my life, that I needed to take big action. There was a variety of factors that lead me to this point including; residential instability, a lack of motivation to go big again with my goals and a general mental let down from achieving such a huge goal. I let it all drag on far too long. It was time to start training and setting goals again. 

For the past year now, it’s been a heck of a journey towards Ironman Cairns. For the first time I’m able to share a decent amount of my training and preparation with my partner as she tracks towards a huge goal for herself in Cairns also but in the 70.3 distance. Her drive and determination to grow, achieve and succeed in triathlon has helped me dramatically on days where it would just be easier to stay in bed. 

I’ll be sharing my experiences over the next 7 weeks on a week to week basis as I think it will provide a good insight into not only the physical side of training, but also the mental preparation that goes into finishing an event like an Ironman triathlon. I’ll share how I’m feeling, how my body is coming along and anything else that comes up along the way.   

Where Am  Today?

  1. I’m fitter than I have ever been leading into an endurance event - While the Ride Around Oz challenge also saw me at the finest I’ve ever been, it was an unsustainable level that with applying into ‘everyday life’ is impossible to maintain. 

  2. My training has been so consistent week in week out in relation to the volume, however, like most age group athletes I’m happy to admit it’s been far from perfect - My endurance coaching business has grown significantly in the past 6 months which is a positive of course, but it has also meant that at times the priorities have been shifted from training to work. This is a normal affect for most people juggling life tasks, but it’s important to be conscious of it so when you see it happening you can make readjustments. Then the whole puzzle becomes easier to handle by making small changes as they happen rather than ignoring or denying they are happening which can lead to it being too late to rectify. 

  3. I’ve also been injured - This is something new for me. My left foot has been quite angry with the running component and although I’m trying absolutely everything I can to increase the run volume slowly, it still remains an issue that I will carry and work through on race day. As a coach I have learnt so much through this preparation that will help others also looking to achieve success in an endurance sport. 

I often get asked why I ride so much. Well, wouldn’t you do something you enjoy as much as you can? I really enjoy getting out on the bike and have found my cycling home on the Sunshine Coast. There’s hills, flats, good road, bad road which is good for training and much less traffic issues than anywhere I’ve ever ridden which all makes for the perfect mix to enable me to cycle most days. 

My swim and run still need dramatic attention over the remaining 6 weeks before the race, but I have no doubt I will get there on race day and be ready to the best of my ability. 

I’m actually a little nervous about doing my first Ironman in 5 years but who wouldn’t be right? I’ve done 2 of them before so I know how to get it done for this one I’m more excited about what Ironman Cairns will mean to me personally; I’ll be in the best shape I’ve ever been in and also can’t wait to share the course with over 25 Koa Sports athletes who I work with and/or follow. The support, the encouragement, the shared pain. That alone will be awesome!

Over the next 6 weeks, I encourage you to ask any questions you might have about training and doing an Ironman event. I welcome anything at all. Let me know your thoughts. Are you doing the event also? Will you be there? The more people I can share this journey with and connect with, the better. 

Here’s where I was in April 2018.: 102kgs, a little unhappy and totally out of shape. 

Today I’m 81kgs, never been fitter and extremely happy with the life I have created. 

I look forward to sharing more with you as the journey continues.

Greg McDermott

Endurance Sports Coach

Koa Sports