Helen Went Faster at Ironman 70.3 Taupo Despite Being Injured In The Build Up
At the end of the 2020 triathlon season I identified a major flaw in my training regime – consistency. I decided if I wanted the best chance possible to complete the Rotorua Suffer Half, and the Taupo 70.3 in 2021 in faster times than the last couple of years having a coach would be the way to go. In comes Coach Ray. Ray had previously coached me to accomplish my goal of completing an Ironman, so I knew he would be able to help me again.
Roll on August 2020 and I’d injured my right knee – swelling, no stability, clicking and pain. Thank goodness these events involve two other disciplines other than running. Ray made sure that my schedule followed what the physio was comfortable with me doing. Lots of riding and a very gentle easing back into running when I could. This must have been as frustrating to Ray as it was to me (especially when I didn’t follow the zones as well as I could).
When I could start running my left Achilles decided it had been “holding the fort” (overcompensating) for the right knee and started being really tense and sore – back to no running, then gentle run/walking….
December 2020 and its time to head to the suffer-fest that is the Rotorua Half. Starting at the beautiful Tikitapu (Blue Lake) with the swim, then the notoriously hilly bike course. I was feeling great, but somewhere along the way the ride felt a lot harder than it should. I found myself walking in a couple of places where I’d never had to before (I’ve done around 8 here). I finally get back to transition and head out on the run, but by 3km I knew I was in danger of serious damage to my Achilles as it was super tight and painful. Pretty sure this had flared up again due to pushing harder on the bike, so I pulled the pin and DNF the Half. On a positive note – when we were putting my bike in the car to depart we noticed that my rear brake was hugging the wheel – no wonder things were tough!
March 2021 Taupo Ironman 70.3 v2 – amazing effort to the event for being able to reschedule due to a community Covid-19 flare up during the original event date. I was ok with this, as it allowed more time for my Achilles and knee some more time to recover and build up ready to go. As the date got closer I did check in with Ray as to would I really be able to complete this – my longest run had been 10km with only a handful of 8km runs. Without hesitation or false hope Ray assured me that I would, that the extra biking had kept my fitness to a level to do this. I was weirdly calm and happy to get to the start line – I believed I could do this, accepting that my run was not going to be my best, but it would do. I had my best swim, bike and both transitions, ran the same time as in 2020, but finished 4mins qwiker. I was ecstatic. Post race on Saturday evening I was looking at my bike doubting that I would do my recovery ride the next day, but I knew from previous events and planning by Ray that it would be really good for me, and so it was. I headed out and felt ok on the bike and was even able to walk close to “normal”.
Here’s hoping for no more injures and better consistency in the future – and many thanks Coach!
– Helen Majorhazi