Sunday, October 21, 2012

Preparing For Your First Ironman Triathlon (IMWA), Part 1

Leadership Lessons From: Clifford Lee, Kona-Finisher (Ironman World Championships) 2012 & 14-time Ironman finisher

Mahalo Enrico!!!

The theme for this year's Kona is 'Aa Na Maka O Na Aa'. It means 'The Sparkling Eyes of My Roots'. It's a meaningful theme to remind us of our roots! No matter how successful you are, think back on how you started...think about your roots.
The Voice of Ironman, Mike Riley.
On 2 December, this will be my third Ironman Western Australia. I completed the first two in 2006 and 2008. Initially, this was a standby race if I didn't make it to Kona this year. Since I had to suffer a DNF (Did Not Finish) in Ironman Texas 2012, due to an accident on the bike leg, I will be doing this race. This would be my 20th time at the start-line. On successful completion, it will be my 15th Ironman; a goal I set for myself back in 2006, i.e. to complete 15 IMs by age 45. I am on-target.

As you would have known by now, I take my sweet time for each IM except for those with 16-hours cutoff times. *Laughs* I do swim in my office, on alternate days, to cushion bike and run sessions. I joined my colleagues in the SAF healthy lifestyle runs every week, except when I have to cover longer distances.
For bike training, I rely on Mandai-LCK loops and my Desaru, long-haul, rides. I must say those Desaru rides contributed to many of my IM successes, including the recent Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. As an average-man-on-the-street, this is what I can do for my IM adventure, bearing in mind that I am a single parent with two great kids to focus on. Ironman Western Australia 2012 will mark a temporary end to these endurance adventures. There will be no more races in 2013, as my son is having his PSLE examinations. But then again, I do have some urge to do one more IM, say end-2013, when my children’s exams are over.

To me, race day is really just a day of experience. The experience you get is really how much preparation you have put in: Setting aside organisation efficiencies. Great experiences from an Ironman race are absorbed only by a clear and steady mind. A good and clear steady mind comes from good race preparations. I do a lot of mental rehearsals before each race. I familiarized myself to the race location and course, via satellite pictures and street pictures. I study weather (temperature, and wind directions) and course elevations prior to each race. These are useful tips to prepare your race in the right direction.
Do not listen to people who scare you about the course. Trust your Inner-Self. Trust your training preparations. It will be a fair ending, if you have put in the requirements. Good luck!!!

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