PHUKET: I’ve spent the last few issues telling you about what I’ve achieved so far in my personal odyssey of health and fitness leading me to my goal of completing the Laguna Phuket Triathlon on November 27.
With only weeks to go before race day dawns, maybe now its time to talk about what actually goes into learning – from scratch – to train for a triathlon, and the techniques that my trainer Darren Hancock of Royal Phuket Marina gym has taught me along the way.
Stage one of my journey was way back in May, when it was all about finding out what I was – and was not – capable of doing.
There were fundamental questions to be answered. How did I walk? How did I run? What exercises worked for me? What didn’t?
To give you an example, Darren had me try a rowing machine at the beginning of my training regimen. Five minutes into the exercise my back was in so much pain that it was clear this was an exercise that clearly was not going to help me.
However, the cross training machine was something that I settled into very nicely, with no problems at all.
It was vital to find this out during the first stage of my fitness journey, as clearly a pain-filled routine was only going to give me reasons not to keep going and follow it through to race day. Structured program
I have been following a structured program of excise activities over the weeks since beginning in May. This has been combined with a sensible eating regime to achieve a weight loss of around 12kg.
I won’t pretend that it’s all been plain sailing. There were glitches in September when a combination of sickness, business travel and a knee injury knocked my program off kilter.
But the value of following a dedicated program with a trainer such as Darren is that new-found mental discipline quickly gets you back into the groove. Even when I took a holiday in July, traveling with the family back to Australia, I stuck to my diet and kept up my training.
Journey of self-discovery.
It’s all been a fantastic journey of self-discovery, but the highlights have to be conquering the infamous Laguna Phuket Triathlon bike course over Nai Thon hills at the first attempt in September, followed by the 70.3 bike course over Ao Po hills in October.
I’m now in the final stage of my program as the countdown to the Laguna Phuket Triathlon gathers pace.
It’s comforting to know that I have all this training under my belt and the sense of achievement is going to be made all the more sweeter when I cross the finishing line.
In my next column, due on the eve of race day, I’ll outline the medical benefits my new-found lifestyle has given me.
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