Only 12 Days Until the Greatest Challenge

Nga Milner-Olsen (middle) with husband Carl (left) and friends enjoy keeping fit and active with triathlon.

I can’t believe there is only 12 days until the big day: Ironman New Zealand in Taupo on Sat 5 March. I’ve had six months of dedicated preparation for the race, using the Four Corners of Health to help guide my training.

Most people would see I spend my time and focus on my physical conditioning, but I actually also place a lot of focus on my mindset, nutrition and sleep as well. These components are the important factors that allow me be physically ready and train effectively.

With the race nearing I haven’t had too much time to think about race day with work, training and family keeping me occupied. I think it’s good not to think about the race too far out, but at this moment as I write this blog, a mix of emotions run through me. I’m a little nervous, but also excited as I get to share this race with many clients and friends who are competing for the first time.

This is my second full Ironman, and I’m pleased as I now have experience as my gauge. When attempting something for the second or third time you’re always wanting to better your score, time or distance – as humans we are competitive and I do like having a little pressure on myself, and that pressure only comes from me.

I don’t take on any external pressures or people’s expectations except for my coach, he knows how my training has been tracking and sometimes you need someone else to put some measures in place for you to be able to see what could be possible, I have always said “you never know unless you try”. I don’t go into any race with expectations, but do expect myself to give it everything I have trained for – if I can remain focused on the process the outcome will be the outcome.

I head into taper next week (2 weeks out) and in this phase it’s important to sharpen up my physical readiness and through the Four Corners of Health.

Nga DinnerSleep will be number one on the list, to get as much rest as I can to help my body recover.

Nutrition: I need to replenish all my nutrition stores, and my training volume will decrease which will help top up my glycogen stores ready to use on race day.

Physical: trust in the training I have done over the past 6 months. These two weeks are about keeping my muscles firing without adding fatigue: short sharp sessions and include lots of recovery sessions, foam rolling, massage and stretching. When I put it like that I’m thinking why is taper so difficult?

Mindset: this can be a tricky area especially in taper phase. This is an unfamiliar territory as we’ve been training and building for so long and now it’s time to recovery and rest and this is when you can start doubting yourself and your preparation, for me it’s important to have my training notes and race plan to keep me focused.

I’ll talk with my coach and discuss my race day so I’m clear about my race execution – I only focus on me and my processes. I stay as relaxed as I can and will surround myself with my family, they keep me relaxed and in the state of mind I want to be in leading up to an event.

Thanks to Maddy, Vijay and Proactive for all your support and assistance over the past 6 months, ensuring I am injury free, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you all, your knowledge and expertise have ensured my body was always in the best possible state to train and now is ready for the start line in two weeks – Thank you!

Proactive are proud to support professional triathlete Ngarama Milner-Olsen in her lead up to competing in Ironman New Zealand 2016.

Nga and child

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