Just two more sleeps until the Ironman World Champs kicks off for 2013.
Excited … very much so.
Year after year more and more people really want to make it to the Hawaiian Ironman in Kona, the
granddaddy of all Ironmans, the Ironman World Championships. Competition is fierce to secure one
of the 2000 coveted spots to the Big Island and the qualification times seem to get faster and faster.
The Hawaii Ironman holds an allure that is irresistible to many people and drives their desire to
participate. Some want to find out if they have what it takes to battle the infamous trade winds and
the heat that radiates up from the solidified volcanic rock and others want to be able to run down Alii
Drive to the cheers of thousands of spectators as they cross the most famous of all Ironman finishes.
Some are there to race, while others just want to finish.
(I use the term battle loosely as you’ll never win a fight against whatever Madame Pele decides to
dish out on race day but you do get to combat yourself.)
Being in Kona in race week as an athlete is definitely one of those LIFE experiences. The beat to the
place is crazy. The hype is cool if kept in check. The place just oozes with inspiration.
So you want to get to Kona eh.
To increase your chances of getting one of those slots I have listed the top 8 things you need to be
#1. First you just need to decide. And I dont mean one of those half-assed decisions that you know
just won’t stick – it has to be a decision that you are going to back 100% with consistent action.
If you really want to be there you have to take the goal way more seriously then you may have in
There will be many times along the journey where you might question if you can do it – just keep
moving forward, push through adversity and you will succeed.
Back yourself. Believe in you. As the tag line goes “Anything is Possible”.
#2. If you really want to fast-track this, you need to get a coach or at the very least consult with
people that regularly make it to the Big Dance. Make sure you ask all the tough questions and
obtain honest and realistic answers – not just the ones you may want to hear. Some people will get
there sooner than others but everyone should have a long-term view.
#3. Once you have a good coach or people to consult with, make sure you follow the advice and
plans given. If you continually jump ship on the ‘next best thing then you pretty much kill your
chances. Long-term consistency is king in this game.
Want the magic “get to Kona pill”? Long term consistency my friend and not giving up. There will be
challenges and things will not go to plan. Giving up, doesn’t get you there.
#4. When I first wrote this back in 2009, I said don’t put all your qualifying eggs in one basket.
Unfortunately these days you have little choice with races selling out before it even gets to general
online entries. So what is of utmost importance is choosing your qualifying race wisely: make sure it’s
suited to your strengths and gives you the greatest chance of getting a spot (whether its qualifying
outright or through a roll-down). Then you just need a great plan, discipline, and consistency to give
yourself the best shot of making it happen.
You have to learn how to RACE an Ironman and take a risk. There are no easy spots.
#5. Look after your body. Maximise your chances by getting 7 to 8 hours sleep every night fuelling
your body well and hydrating correctly. Your body is an amazing machine but if you treat it like junk
then that is what you’ll get back! As the saying goes — Garbage in garbage out.
I’m amazed at the multitude of athletes that spend their dollars chasing speed with aero helmets, light
components etc but don’t think about what foods they shove down there throats. Results are much
more than just the training and equipment.
#6. Give some loving to your muscles with daily self myofascial release (SMR) using TP Therapy Tools
and, if you can, a weekly massage. Don’t forget that loving your muscles includes good fuel, electrolytes
and working the great things daily.
#7. Develop absolute certainty that you’ll get here. (*I wrote this article in Kona before race day 2009.)
Then take massive action daily, and always do your best. It took me three very focused race attempts
over 15 months to finally get my place. I missed by one spot twice and one of those was 6 seconds! I just
never gave up.
One of my athletes racing on Saturday in Kona for his first time, had a long term view of qualifying and belief
it would happen. When IM Melbourne swim was shortened his mindset shifted to game on. While others whinged
about the race. He mentally gave himself a chance. The shortened swim greatly increased his chances.
He took the punt is will be racing his dream in a couple of days. You got to take the bull by the horns when
#8. Ensure your training and lifestyle has anabolic (growth) stimulus, because if it’s all catabolic you will break
down it wont be a matter of if, but when. What is catabolic? Massive amounts of aerobic training, sleep
deprivation, high work and family stress, a diet high in processed foods and sugars.
#9. No matter what ‘others’ are publicly stating… It does not mean giving up your life for 18+ months and 7
months of hard 20+ hour training weeks. That is B.S. It might take 18 months of focus and dedication to the
dream, but this doesn’t mean giving up your life.
Get a plan developed to your life circumstances, and one that develops you in such a way that you have a shot.
This is not only the way I have got many athletes qualified for Kona, but how I’ve helped athletes podium and
even win their age group there.
Have a great weekend. Dream Big. If you’re racing – live in each and everyone of those awesome moments.
Release yourself to the Island and be greatful. Do your best.