“The Only Way Is Up!”

Reflecting on my recent race on the weekend, I am happy to say that I feel I am heading in the right direction! 70.3 Ironman Subic Bay, Philippines was the start to assert my authority in the long course triathlon scene in 2016. I am starting to feel I belong as am known to be the “consistent performer in the Ironman Asia-Pacific ranks”. Yes, I may have only come 3rd overall (I wouldn’t say I am happy finishing on this step of the podium all the time but I will take it) but it was a result which came with taking some risks and actually seeing what I could do racing the best in the business. The top 2 women who I finished behind are world class champions with multiple accolades to their name including Olympic representation, 70.3, long course, and ironman podiums and wins.

12805798_1161044253908327_1589375162412759460_n

The Xterra Speed Suit stands out in the pack!

I was not going to be deterred or so called “psyched out” of racing these fantastic women who I admire both on and off the race circuit. I am a strong believer that no one is unbeatable! I already knew I was going to be a few minutes down coming out of the 1.9km swim. Instead of worrying about it (I was dropped from the lead swim pack after 300m) I focused on my form and technique and was able to produce my fastest swim time over that distance swimming solo! (maybe it has something to do with my Xterra Speed suit :)). It was then a matter of getting onto my bike and closing the 3min gap to the leaders.

Onto the bike and the strategy was to obviously bridge the gap. I had worked hard over recent months on bike setup and form and it paid dividends! My coach Jurgen Zack, suggested I use the top male age groupers who were potentially stronger on the bike (they started 2 minutes behind the pro women) as a pacer to make up some time. It took them 60km to catch me so once this occurred, I sat my legal 12 meters behind the group and conserved some energy. I was feeling great until I made a silly error by missing the final 2 aid stations for water…not completely my fault but one I will also take blame for. I knew then I was potentially in trouble and within the next few minutes I started to cramp badly in my upper legs. Trying to reduce the problem I immediately took some salt tablets hoping that would ease the problem. Fortunately it did somewhat and I was able to ride relatively strong for the remainder of the ride which also produced my fastest time over the 90km distance.

DSC4088-800x533

The run segment which is usually my strength didn’t show today

Heading out of transition 2 and onto the 21.1km run I was just under 4mins down on the leader. For the first few kilometres I tested the legs to see if they were ok but immediately knew that my mistake with hydration on the bike would pay the price. Every time I tried to pick up to my race pace I would feel cramp was imminent. Being an out and back run course I used the first 10km to get in the adequate hydration and calories from my Sponsor gels. In the event the front girls had gone out too hard I felt this way I may be I could bridge the gap on the second half of the run. Unfortunately to my disadvantage and full respect to the professionalism of the top 2 women, no mistake was made and I had made up no time on them. So for me it was a matter of consolidating 3rd place and surviving to the end. It was disappointing to finish my race this way as I knew my running form has also been good. Never less, I am happy I stuck it out and finish respectfully in front of a welcoming Philippine crowd.

12790906_1160995787246507_1748783455568234466_n

I love being part of the Alaska Ironkids! Just one of the commitments I am part of with racing in the Philippines.

I am always impressed by the standard of the races in the Philippines. The Sunrise Events team run by Alaska CEO Fred, and his leading hand – Princess, do an amazing job looking after the athletes whether they are the Alaska Ironkids, age-group participants and professionals. I look forward to supporting their events over the next few years!

12439383_930015090385619_7841269401647851706_n

The Z-coaching team dominated with multiple podium results across all age groups including securing their spot for the 70.3 Ironman World Championships!

So now it’s time to get back to the training track with the Z-Coaching team and continue to strive forward. With my next race coming up in 7 weeks time, it is a matter of fine tuning and working on both my strength and weaknesses.

Stay tuned….

 

 

Advertisements

“The Off Season”

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.

12784503_10153822089186206_1779978286_n

 

 

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.

12717843_922211777832617_5261716085837619214_n

 

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.

12324936_187290644973048_766813303_n

 

 

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!

“The  Duke”

 

Patience

Welcome to my new blog which is now available on line! I would like to thank my training partner Imogen Simmonds for helping me get my website up and running. I hope you find my site easy to use and easy to access and I look forward to your feedback and comments!

My 2015 race season has come to a close and what a whirlwind of a year it has been! Looking back now it has been a crazy but memorable year which I will never forget. One that has defined me as I feel I have finally found who I am and who I want to be. Living in Thailand for the last 12 months has made me see life in a different perspective. Keeping things simple, uncomplicated and most importantly being happy with who I am, and being around positive, like-minded people are what I appreciate. I have met so many amazing people, from all walks of life whom all have shaped me into the person I am today.

The last 3 races of 2015 will also be ones to be remembered. From my first 5150 win in the Philippines, to a 3rd place at Laguna Phuket Triathlon on what I call “my second home turf” which included racing alongside my z-coaching training partners was awesome! I then finished off with a 4th place at Ironman Western Australia in front of my official home town crowd – a sound result which was satisfying after such a heavy race schedule post Ironman World Championships.

Writing this post, Ironman Western Australia is still quite fresh in my mind. It was my 8th consectutive time racing the event and one that I still find to this day quite hard to master! Expecting the usual radiant heat, I was greeted with sub optimal cooler conditions. The swim around the famous Busselton Jetty was quite difficult for some athletes and with choppy conditions encountered, this made it harder than usual to master. Thankfully, my new Xterra Vendeta wetsuit and home town knowledge enabled me to exit the swim in 2nd place. Onto the bike, I struggled to find efficient form heading into the headwind which made me lose time on the eventual front runners. Onto the run and with limited running volume over previous weeks, I was able to maintain my position but unable to bridge the gap on the top 3 place getters. Being the fastest Australian women over the line and being acknowledged as the fastest Western Australian female athlete was a great highlight.

To say I have raced a lot in 2015 is a understatement and most likely too much with some people’s way of thinking. It was a personal choice and something I don’t regret. To me, I considered this year as a “apprentice year” and I was able to see how my body coped and responded to the full-time training and racing testing my limits, capabilities and finding out my strengths and weaknesses. I now know what I need to develop within myself as an athlete heading into 2016. Next year, working with Jurgen Zack and the Z-Coaching team in Phuket, I plan to have my schedule much more well structured so I can perform to my best at key races. The ultimate goal of reaching top 10 at the Ironman World Championships will include qualifying races in the Asia-Pacific region as well as Europe. With some new sponsors coming on board including Alaska Milk Corporation in the Philippines, On Running, Sportsmaster Thailand and my continuing partnership with previous sponsors, 2016 looks to be even bigger and better!

I know I need to be patient…persistence, perserverence and some perspiration will reveal more positive results! Onward and upward!

Stay tuned…..

 

 

IM Western Australia

A day to be remembered! Ironman Western Australia threw me a curve ball today with low temps and strong winds instead of the usual crazy radiant heat. Never thought I would come 2nd out of the swim but used my home town advantage well! Onto the bike and was simply out classed by faster women – I didn’t think I rode bad in the conditions but I just need to go back to basics and get stronger! Onto the run I tried to bridge the gap but to no avail. To finish 4th place in my hometown event in front of my friends and family was amazing!


I have an incredible year and have had a lot of races to digest. It has been an amazing journey and I have loved every minute of it.

12360123_10153335014768366_8622354071702168737_n

The mongrel dog is hungrier than ever to keep improving and be competitive with the best female athletes in the world! This is only the beginning!


I know I have the best team around me including my coach Jurgen Zack from Z-Coaching, my training partners and my wonderful sponsors.
Next year will be bigger and better!


“The Duke”12311082_1274901629203670_5126958689919569788_n

Dim’s Diary – Ironman World Championships 2015

The 2015 Ironman World Championships will be a day to be remembered. A result that I have learned from and one that has made me more confident than ever that I am heading in the right direction to achieve my personal goals as a professional triathlete. Although it was not the race result I was looking for, it has been one that has defined me – who I want to be, what makes me tick, and what keeps me motivated to keep pushing my limits and boundaries both physically and mentally.

I know 20th in the world isn’t something I shouldn’t discredit as I am sure there are athletes who are out there that would love that result, but I cannot deny my frustration and disappointment that my day didn’t go to plan. And yes, I can honestly say that I was lucky to even get to the start line with a roll down slot allocation. Looking back though, I made some critical errors in the final few days of preparation that cost me dearly. As an elite athlete you can’t afford to make these mistakes. That is another reason why I love Ironman Triathlon – there are so many elements that can make or break you on race day. But the ones who succeed are the ones who keep fighting and never stop trying.

12132713_825051534282819_1449565542_n

“Those who succeed are not necessarily the most gifted. They are the ones who never give in. Whatever the obstacle, however long it takes”

I honestly couldn’t have had a better preparation leading up into the final weeks before the event. My training partners in Thailand kept me in check and pushed me when I needed to find that extra motivation. There were days that didn’t go to plan for various reasons but I had felt I had put myself in the best shape I could with the time and circumstances. I arrived in Kona, Hawaii with my coach Jurgen 10 days out from the race to get the feel of the climate and the conditions. Being able to have Jurgen by my side given his credentials is a privilege and something I am truly grateful for. I have never felt so calm and excited heading into a championship event.  

11988426_1243725555654611_7100597860203398265_n

Slower than expected, my swim actually went to plan and I kept to my competitors feet who I targeted with minimal energy expended. It was then onto the bike were things turned pear shaped earlier than expected. After only 65km into the 180km bike I started to cramp in my upper legs – not a ideal situation when you still have a marathon to run as well! For the rest of the race I was trying to get my body back into some form to actually race against my competitors. Unfortunately this was not the case and I merely battled my own body focusing on fuelling with electrolytes and nutrition to salvage a reasonable result. Looking back, a few subtle changes including bike set up and pre-race nutrition would have put me where I wanted to be. But knowing that these issues can easily be rectified with a few minor adjustments, I am excited what is in store with future races!

12140558_1244329472260886_7269767321489239403_n

The support from my friends, family and even people I don’t know have been overwhelming! I am also grateful for the opportunity to partner with ON running shoes – whom I was also able to meet the owners and athletes whilst in Kona. To my loyal sponsors whom have assisted me this year and in previous years, I can’t thank you enough for your support and I am proud to have represented you on the world stage.

I still have a few more races to conclude 2016. I was able to back up from racing in Kona six days later with a win at race 3 of the Thailand Tri League Series. My goal for next year is to get back to the Ironman World Championships and race with my winning formula. I have another 12 months to get faster, stronger and gain more experience racing at the professional level. I know anything is possible!

12079323_1244329322260901_8757669727328314098_n

Dim’s Diary – Race Strategy 2015

Racing 3 events in 6 weeks, and in 3 different countries over the past few months has made time fly so fast! I really try and embrace every little moment and put it into my memory bank for future reference. The pictures I receive from local photographers not only tell the story but it  is something I look back on time to time. The pictures I have included in this report can tell a thousand words alone!

11826028_1206769332683567_7438593751804549754_n

I won’t bore you to tears though, just talk about one theme that resonates from all 3 occasions, and that is race strategy.

But in saying that I am not going to tell you all my race tactics and secrets, merely only highlight that it is something that I have noticed as an important in professional triathlon racing:

To not only highlight your competitors’ strength and weaknesses, but also
 acknowledge your own!

 11813492_1206769442683556_8406287767991210935_n

My last few races required some thought and process to achieve the results I did.

Now onto the races…

My first race was Thailand Tri League Series Race 2 in Bangkok. As a short distance event (just over Olympic distance), I knew I would have to race at a fairly high intensity to be in contention for the top spot. Knowing my competition, I took the race in my stride and pounced in the final few kilometres on the run to take the overall win. Coming off a fairly solid run training block in the week’s prior, I knew that I could run well if I had a small deficit to chase. The win gave me not confidence for my upcoming Ironman, but a prestigious perpetual trophy donated by the king of Thailand.

Thank you to Tom and Ben from Sportsmaster for your support and your passion to triathlon in Thailand!

A week later and I was on my way to Zurich, Switzerland to prepare for my 2nd Ironman for 2015. Feeling fit and relaxed, I knew that a good result would put me in good stead of  qualifying for the Ironman World Championships later on in the year.

Unfortunately I made a early race error in the swim putting me well back off the front-runners. Not also knowing what I was in for on the bike course, made me ride conservative for the first lap, which once again made me lose considerable time. To finish 4th in my first Ironman in Europe looks good on paper but wasn’t enough to secure a spot on the World Ironman Championship start line. My disappointment was only short lived though when I was told a few days later that I had received a roll down to race this prestigious event! I am very excited to have such opportunity to race the best professional female athletes in the world and am looking forward to training hard in preparation for the next few  months.

Apart from my race in Switzerland, I would like to thank Evelyn, Rebekah, Sandro, Barbara, Gilbert, Sabrina, Raphael and Letizia for their hospitality and showing me their beautiful country. I would also like to thank my coach Jürgen Zack who took the time to support me out on
course.

I was also lucky enough to schedule an afternoon visiting David, Marcel and the team at the BMC headquarters. To see how bikes are researched and developed, as well as viewing the new 2016 range was awesome to see. To be partnered with such a professional bike company and riding the fastest time trial bike on the planet gives me confidence. Two weeks in Switzerland flew by way too fast but there was no rest for me. It was time to recover and get ready for my next race, 70.3 Ironman Philippines.

Cebu would be the host for the event and having raced there last year, I knew I would be in for a treat! All I can say for my fellow triathletes that this is the best half distance ironman events on the race calendar outside of Championship events.

11855695_1205491246144709_4188065415521129913_n

You have to see it to believe it! The crowds and the atmosphere will blow your mind! With the announcement of the race to be the host for the Asia-Pacific Championships in 2016, this will be a race not to be missed. Full credit must go to Fred, Princess, and the Sunrise team and Alaska for making the athlete’s young and old feel welcomed and well looked after.

Now onto my race.Off the field Beth and I are great friends but on the field we are very competitive opponents. Over the last 12 months we have raced each other a lot and knowing Beth being the better runner at the moment,I knew I would have to find her weaknesses on the swim and bike to have any chance of taking a step above her on the podium. I was able to hold her off for 16km into the run and maintain a short distance behind to finish in 3rd position. A great confidence booster heading into Ironman World Championship preparation over the next few months.

So now I am back in Phuket ready to take on the next training block to get fitter and stronger than ever!

With the support from my ongoing sponsors as well as friends and family, I look forward to being a true contender at World Championship level.

I would like to welcome my new sponsors including Sponser Nutrition and ON Running shoes for their trust in me and look forward to being a great ambassador for your products. With more new sponsors to be announced soon, I will have a great team of people heading into the future!

Onward and upward!

Dim