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Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast – Blog IV

Well, wow. So much has happened since we’ve last released our blog!

TOUR DE BRISBANE Medio 75km – Tick!
JETTY 2 JETTY Half Marathon – Tick!

The time feels like it’s flying now and I am getting super excited. These last few weeks Coach has put me through my paces, and it’s paid dividends. I’m feeling strong and the fittest I’ve ever felt in my life. It’s quite incredible now to look back, I definitely did NOT think I’d be where I am now. It’s amazing how much has changed since starting the #trilife back in January but I’m forever grateful I did, because I feel like there’s an endless road of opportunity ahead!

There’s been some tough sessions recently – particularly on the bike. We’re focusing on building strength so there’s been lots of hills. LOTS of hills. But hills are our friends, and they make us stronger and more resilient so back to the hills we go. I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful part of Brisbane where hills are just right on our doorstep so there’s plenty of opportunity to get near vertical and feel the burn! But in all seriousness, having done some tough rides recently has helped me toughen up mentally.

I’ve been reflecting on mindset and what you say to yourself when you’ve reached that limit during training or a race. Some people have mantras, some sing (just ask my fellow RTT’er Nic for a rendition of “Simply the Best”), some people count – whatever it is – everyone has their thing. I’ve had some sessions that pushed me to my limit mentally and I found myself digging through my arsenal of pick-me-ups to get through. Mantras are my thing. Short affirmations I can go over and over again in my brain that make me feel like I’ve flipped the switch from the happy me to GET THIS DONE version of me. If I was physically capable of talking at these moments, I’d say them out loud, but mostly these are reserved for when my heart is out of it’s chest and I’m channeling my inner David Goggins (if you’ve never done yourself the favour, he’s worth a YouTube search! Just make sure no kiddies are within earshot!).


They may sound kooky but it works for me! Especially when riding up those tough hills. And at that point, I’m really not caring what anyone else thinks. I feel like it’s me versus hill and there’s only one possible outcome. Me getting to the top of that hill.

A blessing in disguise (I think) is that I’m still fairly new to clipless pedals. And I’m clumsy. I had some good stacks as a kid so staying upright is a challenge! Since I’m still building confidence with the clipless pedals, once I’m in a climb I’m committed. I haven’t tried unclipping mid-climb but I’m thinking I’d end up horizontal before I unclipped, so there’s no option to get off mid hill. There’s been some memorable hills recently where if it wasn’t for my mantras and inner David Goggins, I don’t think we would’ve made it up but what you say to yourself in those moments makes all the difference. Now I store those memories in my arsenal for more pick me ups as we continue down this journey!

The bike leg is by far the longest leg of the 70.3, and I’m finding the more strength I grow on the bike the more it’s helping my other disciplines. So putting the time and effort in focusing on the bike has definitely been rewarding. I’m also learning it’s easy to get carried away with the cycling bling. There’s all the fancy bikes, the kit, and the crazy socks. But the reality is, you don’t need the $15,000 time trial bike to be a successful triathlete. Two wheels and a heartbeat and you’re pretty much set. When I went to buy my bike, most of the stock around the world had been depleted due to COVID. Everyone was getting bikes! It just happened that a lady had traded in her road bike that very day and it was my exact size and favourite colour. It had to be fate! That day, this little Fuji became my girl. She may be second-hand, but she’s speedy and light and exactly what I needed to get into this sport.

I took the time to do bike handling drills, practicing figure 8’s in the carport (sorry neighbours), running over cones, practicing getting water bottles out of the holders and scratching my ears. Slowly but surely, I gained confidence in handling the bike and it continues to grow. We get to mix up bike training with road rides and wind trainer time (ouch but yay for TV time) and the strength I’m gaining in my legs and endurance definitely crosses over to the swim and the run.

So as we enter the last 7 weeks of training, we are going to keep focused on those hills and we are going to climb our way to IM70.3 and I am genuinely loving every minute of it – even if it’s hard, and I’m tired. This is what we train for – so we can enjoy the race.

Coming up around the corner are some exciting events! RTT goes to Winter Training Camp 2021 up on the Sunshine Coast, which is a great opportunity to focus on training and a bit of reccie for the course. The SC Half Marathon in August will also be run on a majority of the IM70.3 course so another great opportunity to get familiar with the course. And then Race Rehearsal, where our RTT crew get together and do a full race run through.

Training Camp – 7 days
Sunshine Coast Half Marathon – 23 days
Race Rehearsal – 30 days
Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast – 51 days

Very exciting times ahead and we’re at the business end now, so head down, bum up, let’s get this done!

Elyse is a 33-year-old, North Brisbane local diving into all things triathlon! Starting January 2021, as an irregular Parkrun-er, definitely not a cyclist or a swimmer, to going out on a limb in the world of Ironman. Elyse has struggled with being overweight most of her life, and eagerly sought ways of getting out of PE throughout school but as an adult, has tried to reinvent her relationship with food and sport for a better life. 92kgs down post gastric sleeve, Elyse loves a challenge and seeing what magic this new life holds.

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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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