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Camp whanau for blog siteNicola Grace is the current Ironman NZ Tony Jackson Scholarship recipient, and Proactive look after Nicola with physio and injury prevention. The supportive group  around Nicola has been one of the things that helped her get active with triathlons in the first place. She trains with a fantastic group of like-minded budding triathletes as part of TriPōneke – they rely on each other to help keep procrastination at bay. Nicola tells us more…

TriPōneke is a group in Wellington established to support each other in training towards triathlon, particularly IronMāori and other long distance events. We regularly train together and many of us attend training camps together. Training in a group environment has made preparing for Ironman easier than it would be if we were training by ourselves.

We know that we have to do some trainings alone to build on our mental strength and we have to keep our distance when out on the bike because our events do not allow drafting. However, being part of a whānau who are on the same journey helps particularly as we understand how tiring life can be training towards a goal like Ironman.

Labour weekend saw a group of us budding triathletes head over to Masterton to take part in a training camp that was geared towards building on our strength and conditioning, particularly for those working towards upcoming Half and Full Ironman events. Ngarama Milner-Olsen, Director of Mobile Fitness Solutions, ran the three-day camp.

Day 1 consisted of a one-hour swim, 78km hill ride and a 30-minute run off the bike. Day 2 saw many of us completing the longest cycle we had ever done. There was definitely some nerves and we were all quiet that morning. We ticked off 157kms (some did more) and a 30-minute run off the bike. I thought day 3 was going to be easier especially as the distances did not sound that long (compared to what we had just done) but I forgot about the fatigue factor. The 90-minute run and the one-hour swim was super tough but having mates in front of me in the run and next to me in the swim made moving forward the only way to go.

Not only do we support each other’s training but you can guarantee the whānau are keeping an eye on anyone who has injuries and rest, recovery, nutrition and our mindset is a constant topic of conversation when we are together or catching up on line. The whānau understand how important these aspects are for performance and for our overall wellbeing and our ideas are consistent with Proactive’s Four Corners of Health philosophy of looking after our physical function, mindset, nutrition, and sleep.

At camp, this meant we warmed up before we started our sessions, stretched afterwards, and used the foam roller at night. I had to change my mindset about the hills. I thought they were hard, and so they were. Once I changed my thinking after a talk with Nga, I enjoyed them a lot more; it was all about thinking positive thoughts. Nutrition plays a big role in our training and so we had an important workshop about fuelling for performance. Many people shared what they did nutrition-wise and why, and we were able to try new things over the weekend. Sleep – my roommates at camp will tell you I need my sleep! It really is something I enjoy and it is a bonus that it is important for our recovery and performance so I never fight that and always try to get enough.

The camp was invaluable. Our whānau went home tired but excited at what we had achieved, and confident in what lies ahead, training and event-wise. Many of us have just completed the IronMāori ¼ event and have the ½ Ironman coming up in December. We are now preparing for that event as well as inching closer and closer to IRONMAN NZ in March 2016.

Training and Ironman event preparation currently consists of:

3-4x swims, 4x runs, 3-4x bikes, 2x strength (Personal Training)

1x physio session with Proactive physio Vijay per week

1x massage with Tashie Wilson every 2-3 weeks

Nix for blog site

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