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Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast – Blog II

Hi All! Welcome to another blog, and the end of our first 2 weeks in our 17-week block. I’m not going to lie! These first two weeks have done a number on me mentally. I was so excited to get stuck into this block of training, and the realities of juggling a full plate and being exhausted have gotten me down. All of those feelings of self-doubt crept in and I had my own little pity party for one! So hence this blog post and the truth about fitting it all in. Here’s what we got done in the last fortnight!

  • Swimming: 5hrs – 11,200m
  • Running: 3hrs 50mins – 24.5kms
  • Cycling: 5hrs 20mins – 39km (blend of road and wind trainer)
  • Strength training: 1hr
  • Stretching: 2hrs

Our weekly routine covers 3 swims, 3 runs, 3 bikes, strength training, and stretching. The plan just varies depending on length and intensity and our goal at the moment is to do a slow consistent build to where we need to be. So we got a good chunk of training in during the fortnight, but I found it hard to juggle.

I get asked a lot if I actually sleep, how I juggle the commitment to training and how do you actually get out and do exercise when it’s the last thing you want to do. Well, I’m no superhuman, and I certainly haven’t got this all figured out. But I’ve learned a lot, both from the juggle and learning how my crew handles it.

So what makes you feel like doing any kind of training when you really don’t want to?

1. I think about how this time is just for me. It’s hard not to feel drained with a lot on your plate, but my training is the one time in the day for me. I can put on my favourite music, a podcast, video, or nothing at all and just have QUIET. And that brings me peace. I know if I get some downtime, even if it means burning some calories, it actually makes me a happier person. And hello, how good are endorphins?!

2. I think about how far I’ve come through training! Reflecting on the little gains here and there keep me positive and excited to see what’s next. I actually don’t know what this body is capable of, and rather than being terrified that actually electrifies me. What will we be able to achieve with a boatload of hard work? I don’t know but I’m sure as hell sticking around to find out! What an adventure!

3. I focus on how I’m going to feel when the session is over. My sister said to me recently that you don’t really ever regret a workout once you’ve done it, and I have to agree! Being able to tick something off and go “done” is so gratifying, and I love that feeling of a job well done. And it doesn’t have to be the prettiest session, and everything could’ve gone wrong, but just sticking it out and doing it is a big WOOHOO

4. And at the end of that if I really can’t get it together … I message Coach and ask for the day off. There has to be balance. I am not in this for podiums, I am in this for the journey of a lifetime and I don’t just want to survive it. I want to enjoy it! It’s okay to be kind to yourself, listen to your body and have a rest. In fact, rest is bloody brilliant! And sometimes your body just needs it. Also, I’m more likely to make a silly mistake if I’m bone-tired, and that could lead to injury and just put me further behind. So, we rest, regroup, and come back tomorrow. It really isn’t the end of the world.

It’s challenging to fight those inner thoughts of not feeling good enough, and doubting that we’ll make it or be fit enough to hit this goal. But this is the thing: triathlon (and indeed life) is all about the mental game. He who conquers the mind, wins. And this is the gritty element of triathlon that I love. For me, I can’t let my brain get too far ahead of itself. Yes, I can’t actually fathom swimming/cycling/running for all that craziness but that’s not what is important right now. My job, right at this minute, is to put one foot in front of the other. Head down, bum up, put in the work, lay the foundations, and build the god damn road that’s going to take me through the Ironman finishing arch at Mooloolaba in September. This wasn’t meant to be easy. It’s no shock that this is actually really hard work, but isn’t life? And isn’t it for any life-changing goal you’ve ever worked for? Last time I checked no one’s handing out silver platters with everything we’ve ever wanted.

So this is it. I’m turning my pity party around and I’m recharged to knock over this next fortnight of training, and hell I may even find a staircase and do a Rocky jive to celebrate. I am going to get this done if for no other reason than because I can.

So what’s up next? We enter weeks 15 and 14, and we’re going to be doing a focus on interval work and intensity. Coming up in the next fortnight some of our RTT crew also head up to Ironman Oceania to conquer Cairns so I’ll be getting out the popcorn and cranking the Ironman app up to watch those superstars for sure!

Thank you for continuing to share this crazy journey with me!

Until next time …. peace out!

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Elyse is coached by Stuart Payne

Stuart has competed in triathlons from Sprint to Ironman distance. As a qualified Triathlon Australia, Australian Athletics Run Coach, and a certified Ironman coach, he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complementing other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments, etc.).

Contact Stuart at



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