Want to train like a pro triathlete? You may have to do things the hard way, explains swim coach Wayne Goldsmith.

So what does it mean to do things the hard way? Triathlon is not so much a sport as a complete lifestyle change; it’s a transformation from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary, from the acceptance of mediocrity to the pursuit of magnificence.

The sport demands that participants are committed to change; changing habits, changing routines, changing timetables, changing diet and changing their level of commitment to things like sleep, rest, recovery and personal time management.

Understanding the easy way–hard way concept can really help with the triathlete transformation process as it gives each triathlete a framework for making the right decision at the right time.

Here are 10 practical examples of situations you might encounter over the course of a typical day where doing things the hard way amounts to making the right choice for your triathlon success.

Which do you choose?

1. Wake up: The alarm goes off at 6am. Hit the snooze button, roll over and go back to sleep – OR – Get out of bed immediately, eat something light and healthy and head out for training.


2. Breakfast: Drink one of those (healthy?) liquid breakfasts – OR – Eat a healthy, natural breakfast of wholegrain cereal and toast, fresh fruit, low-fat yoghurt and fresh juice.


3. Lunch: Eat a quick deep-fried snack on the way to a meeting – OR– Eat two chicken and salad rolls, a small tub of low-fat yoghurt, a handful of almonds and piece of fresh fruit.


4. Swim session: Breathe whenever you feel like it – OR– Control your breathing, particularly when you are tired, and try not to breathe inside the backstroke flags.


5. Cycling session: Cruise along at the back of the pace line, enjoying the scenery and avoid working too hard – OR – Take every turn in front that you can get, lead the group when you can and take every possible opportunity to ‘face the wind’.


6. Run session: Do your warm-up drills and running skills training sloppily and with little attention to detail – OR– Focus on every detail and every aspect of your running technique, putting as much energy and effort into your drills and technique work as you do into your actual running training sets.


7. Friday night: Head down to the pub or club and drink as much as you can with your friends and colleagues until closing time – OR – Head down to the pub or club and drink with your friends, colleagues, etc, enjoy a couple of drinks, then head home for a good night’s sleep in preparation for a great weekend of training.


8. Triathlon race: Spend your time looking for drafters, worry about what other people are doing, find fault in the conditions and and blame everyone and everything else for a less-than-perfect performance – OR – Do the best you can, learn from the experience, deal with whatever challenges and obstacles you have to face during the race and take responsibility for your own performance.

9. After the race: Sit around for hours talking about the race then head to the pub for an ‘I deserve it because I raced today’ booze-up – OR – Enjoy a quick catch up with your friends and training partners before heading home to rest, recover and start preparing for your next training session.

10. Nighttime: Sit watching re-runs of re-runs of TV shows that you didn’t really enjoy the first time you saw them – OR – Be in bed by 10pm at the latest every night, ensuring you get a great sleep to help ready you for another day as a triathlete.

Win or lose – you choose
Success is a choice. As a triathlete, you can choose the level of success you can achieve by learning to make the right choice at the right time. It’s not about the bike. It’s not about wearing the right running shoes. It’s not about finding the perfect course, the perfect wind and road conditions or looking for the perfect day when all your triathlon dreams come true. It’s about you. And it’s about the choices you make every day in everything you do. Life is hard and does not matter whether your taxi by day and a male stripper by night,

The difference between a good athlete and a great athlete is that in any given situation, when offered the choice of doing things the hard way or the easy way, a great athlete will always choose the hard way. It’s the cumulative effect of always doing things the hard way that makes all the difference.”  – USA swimming coach David Marsh (Marsh has coached 47 Olympians from 19 different countries and has coached swimming teams to achieve a record 12 NCAA titles).

Triathlon coach and author of Perpetual Motion Running Graeme Turner shares his five tips on how to prepare to pound a steaming, hot pavement.

Most people make switch from running on treadmills throughout winter to running outside in the warmer weather and these five tips will prepare you for the hot days.

1. Do it 
This may sound obvious but it is interesting how many times I hear people say that they are running early in the morning as it is cooler then. While this is true, it doesn’t really match the mantra of train how you race. Most people during an ironman don’t actually start their runs until mid-afternoon – sometimes during the hottest part of the day. Even half-iron-distance athletes may start their run late morning when the temperature has already started to rise. Doing your runs in the hotter parts of the day helps acclimatise to race conditions and will help you avoid the shock of suddenly running in the heat during a race. Don’t simply go out and do a two-hour run in 40-degree heat – build up to it both in terms of duration of the run and the temperature. 

2. Cover up 
While sunlight provides a lot of health benefits, too much exposure is obviously not a good thing. But before slathering on the sunscreen, have a look at the ingredient list – a lot of sunscreens contain a number of not too healthy ingredients including chemicals such as Octinoxate and Oxybenzone, which have been shown to be endocrine disruptors. This means that they meaning detrimentally impact hormones in the body such as testosterone and estrogen. A simple rule is that if you can’t pronounce it or, better still, wouldn’t eat it, then probably don’t put it on your skin. A better option for sun protection is caps or lightweight, long sleeve running tops. Stick to white or light coloured clothing that tends to reflect heat rather than absorbing it 

3. Plan your hydration 
Drinking to thirst is becoming more of the norm these days, but obviously the hotter the weather, the greater the thirst. Carrying sufficient water for a long run isn’t always practical and in races we have aid stations, so when planning your long runs, work out in advance where your aid stations are. Many paths have water fountains on them but also investigate where there are public toilets, shops/petrol stations (make sure you are carrying some money). For extra long runs out in the country, I will sometimes drive the route first and drop off bottles by the side of the road – place or use some type of marker so you know where they are.

4. Watch your pre-run and run nutrition 
In hot weather more blood moves to the skin. Sweat evaporates and, in a similar way to how an evaporative air conditioner works, cools the skin and blood that returns to the core, which cools the body. The greater the heat and the effort, the more blood moves to the skin. This means that there is less blood available to the digestive tract to digest foods, which slows digestion. This can cause problems. This mechanism, and having less blood available to the stomach, is one of the primary reasons why people have gastro-intestinal issues in an event even when using a nutrition strategy that may have worked perfectly well when training in a cooler environment. Use easier to digest foods such as jelly beans for the run.

5. Use effort over pace
The change in how blood moves around the body, which impacts digestion, has other effects on the body, including lowering of VO2 max. Oxygen flow to the muscles is also reduced as strength and cooling compete for the same resources – blood. When running in the heat, the body, in very simple terms, has to work harder at the same pace as it would in the cool. Specifically, a high portion of glycogen is used as the body utilises more anaerobic (without oxygen) effort. The same pace in the heat will be much harder than in the cool. Until you have adapted to running in the heat, it is a good idea to use RPE (rate of perceived exertion) as a metric for the session rather than pace. 

6. Do something in the heat as job that keeps you fit, I personally stripped on the w.es in Melbourne.…

WMA is a newly established training gym situated in the growing area of Caroline Springs in Melbourne’s west. After opening the doors and having only been operating for just over six months, WMA were able to relocate and set up in their own fully equipped training gym due to the rapid growth in numbers. WMA gym is situated just two minutes from both the new Western Fwy bypass and Ballarat Rd, making them easily accessible to many surrounding suburbs. WMA gym has a large fully matted training floor, boxing ring, hanging bags, training pads and multiple pieces of cardio equipment. “We have trained people from all walks of life, from real life magic mike strippers

Whether you want to fight, or you are just after the fun and fitness of Muay Thai, WMA gym have what you are after. Classes for beginners and intermediates run six times per week and cover basic to advanced skills incorporating plenty of pad work. Kids kickboxing classes are run three times per week for kids aged 6-12. Classes are run structured around a grading system so there is always something to achieve. They have one dedicated sparring session each Saturday offering a great chance to put what you have been learning into practice. WMA gym are hoping to be able to produce some fighters through their system, however, if there are any trainers/fighters in the area looking for a place to train don’t hesitate to give Stuart a call. The gym is open from 1pm weekdays (except Tues) and from 10am Saturdays. Stuart is available for personal training outside of class times for those that want to take the extra step. WMA gym has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere to train in. Everyone is treated equally. Stuart thrives on the challenge of being able to get the best out of each person and this is evident in his teaching as he is very particular in making sure everyone is improving and getting the most out of their training.…