Raynard Tissink Triathlon Coach
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Operation Hawaii - Weekly Update 18: Brought to you by Velocity Sports Lab

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Aloha from the Big Island, one of a chain of eight islands making up the second non-continental US state, Hawaii. After seventeen and a half (sometimes long, sometimes where the hell did the time go) weeks, we finally arrived in Kona.

The purpose of this whole life experience has finally arrived, well almost, there’s still six days until the big dance in the lava fields, but being on the island and seeing hundreds of machine like athletes racing up and down the roads, lets you know that the time has come.

The first half of the week was dedicated to putting the finishing touches on the Kona preparation. Monday was long and easy, Tuesday, short and hard. Wednesday was the final “brick” day and also the last big test session. It’s a session I do before all my races to assess what shape I’m in as I can compare it to previous sessions that were done in the exact same phase of training. After a 100km cycle with a few 5min threshold efforts, I finished up at the track for a 10km run. The object of the exercise is not to see how fast you can go, but rather to see how comfortable you can feel. And running 37:30 was certainly the most comfortable and easy effort I think I’ve ever felt before any race. So with all the training done and dusted, I think I’ve come through in probably the best shape of my life, now all I need is a little more luck than I’ve previously had in my life.

After training, it was a mad rush to get everything packed for our 6am drive to Phoenix to catch a 10am, 6hour flight, to Kona. Upon arrival, we were pleasantly surprised by the cool temperature (the heat acclimation in Tucson must have helped), but it seems that there hasn’t been very much sunshine about lately, and temperatures hover around the 30degC mark most of the time. I’m sure race day will still have plenty of heat in stall for all of us.

The last few days have been all about resting, and there has definitely been a lot of that. I’ve been hitting the sack around 8pm every night and getting out of bed around 7am. It must be the sea air, making me lazy and tired all the time. Today will be a bigger training day to try and get the body to function properly again, because with all that rest comes the lethargic, heavy feeling, and it will be nice to feel like an athlete again.

Finally, we come to the part that everyone is so inquisitive to know, What are your expectations? Naturally, I have dreams. Dreams of winning the Ironman World Championships. I’ve certainly trained hard enough to deserve to win. But this is not a dream, and in reality, nobody deserves anything in life. Everybody comes here with their A++ game. Everybody has a dream of winning. Everyone has trained hard enough to deserve to win. But there can be only one. And the fact is, there are a lot of seriously talented athletes out there that weren’t doing Ironman in 2005 when I finished 7th. So, below I’ve listed the goals I’ve set for the race that would make me happy if I achieve them.

Finish the damn race this time

Beat Chrissie Wellington, (or whoever wins the ladies race)

Get into the top 10

Better my 7th place

Get into the top 5


This will be the last update on the weekly trials and tribulations of an unknown triathlete travelling the world in search of ultimate glory. Next week’s report will be dedicated entirely to the last race report of the year.

Victory or not, remember, if you’re not good enough without it, you’ll never be good enough with it.




Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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