After my final race of 2015 (Ironman Western Australia), I was able to give my body a chance to absorb a busy racing year and have some “down time”. This included catching up with family and friends as well as rejuvenating the mind and the body. The plan for the next few weeks post IMWA was to build a solid aerobic fitness base before my return to Phuket mid January. This included mileage weeks with focus on the run – mostly low intensity, with no specific structure. It enabled me to fit in other activities such as golf, paddling and diving, which was a good change.
By the time January 2016 came around I was energised and ready to head back to Phuket. My first few weeks comprised of a triathlon specific bike tour organised by Siam Bike Tours and my coach Jurgen Zack. In 10 days I rode just under 1000km between Bangkok and Phuket as well as fitting in 120km of running and 10km of swimming. Having completed the tour the year prior, this enabled me to gauge my overall fitness and strength that I had attained after 12 months of full time training.
With a successful few weeks of base training under my belt, it was time to sharpen up for my first race on the year – the inaugural Bang Sean Triathlon hosted by Thailand Tri League Series. It is a great opportunity for me to be part of the local triathlon scene here in Thailand. Kobkiat and Ben, organisers of the event, have really put a lot of time and effort to make their events better each and every time. They have made their events very safe for amateur and professional athletes with a swim that is well marked and contained, as well as 100% road closures on the bike and run.
For me, it was the first time in many Olympic distance races that I fully tapered and felt somewhat fresh heading into the event. It was also a great opportunity to see if the hard work had paid off over the last few months. Having a competitive field of female athletes also gave me no chance to think the race was won. My race plan was to swim hard and see if I could produce a personal best time, which I did. This put me in front of my closest rivals so from there I set out on the bike hard and fast to establish a good lead. From there I was able to enjoy the moment on a awesome run course and celebrate with friends and fellow competitors.
I am happy to say that the race itself was a huge confidence booster for me. Not only to have a win, but to see that the small changes I have made in recent months, have put me in the direction of wanting to be competitive with top world class athletes. There are so many elements within the sport that you need to consider, but one take home message for me is training smart. Training takes a lot of discipline and a good understanding of what the session is set out to achieve. By knowing this I know when I need work on different body systems so when it comes to race day I can adapt the the race conditions. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do for my first half distance race of the year in less than 2 weeks!
Before closing I would just like to say a big thank you to my sponsors new and old who will be assisting me in 2016. I would like to welcome back Z-Coaching, Xterra Wetsuits, Sponsor Nutrition, KMC Chain, Reize, Soundwave and Thailand Tri League Series. To my new supporters including Alaska, ON running, Bont Thailand, Wasp Peformance (Including Casco and Xlab) and Jiakina clothing – I look forward to working with you and promoting your products and services!