SCTA Junior Scholarship 6-Month Race Report
The first six months of the season has been full of action as well as having its ups and downs. However, I have been able to overcome many hurdles in my way with the help and watchful eye of coach Toby Coote of the Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy (SCTA).
So far, I've learnt to incorporate racing strategies that suit my style of racing with the combination of new tips and tricks, and I look forward to learning more and executing them in future races. I must emphasize, I have been very fortunate to have sponsors such as the SCTA/Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship in my corner as this has helped me tremendously.
The SCTA / Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship is made possible by the ongoing support from both local businesses from the Sunshine Coast and organisations such as the Event Management Company the Event Crew.
Nutrition, Equipment and Coaching:
This season started earlier than usual, after qualifying for the 2019 Age Group World Champs in Lausanne Switzerland. Instead of doing the usual strength-building pre-season, I was already beginning the speed work. I was looking forward to the race already receiving some of my new gear including my super sweet Vanquish wetsuit provided by SCTA sponsor Titan Performance Group/Zone 3 Australia.
The new Zone 3 Vanquish wetsuit is a quality product made for triathletes. It is much easier to put on, fits excellent, maximum flexibility, glides over the water, is super fast and ITU compliant. I highly recommend this product to anyone looking for an outstanding wetsuit.
Vorgee an Australian owned and managed company located here in Queensland are just fantastic, and at nearly every event I have attended. They are always on hand to give advice and answer any questions I may have. Vorgee, have provided me with my essential training equipment and a vast range of goggles to suit all my racing. I change my goggle regularly to adapt to the swimming conditions.
For me, I love wearing the Vorgee Stealth Mk11 Mirror Lens goggles as my first choice for sunny conditions both in the pool or out in the ocean as they provide great visual clarity and adapt to the glare. The Vorgee Torpedo Silver Mirrored Lens goggles is my second choice, they are fantastic to swim in, fit well and great visual clarity also. Thank you again, Vorgee for your continued support throughout the season you have provided not just to me but SCTA.
Training for three separate disciplines puts a considerable strain on any athlete's energy reserves. I have been very fortunate through the scholarship to work with Tara Leanne Nutrition and Unique Health products. Tara provides me with fabulous recipes and advice on how to maintain my nutritional requirements for training and racing throughout the season.
In addition to the above nutritional advice and meal plans provided by Tara, I was given the opportunity to visit the company Unique Health products located at the Sunshine Coast with Coach Toby Coote and SCTA Female Junior recipient Ella Woodridge. It was a fantastic opportunity and experience to see all the healthy products they distribute nationally.
Unique Health products are distributers of CLIF Bar and Company products. The Australian CLIF journey continues to play a significant role in my pre and post-training and race day preparation. I have been using these products for the past 18 months. I am a student and training starts both before and after school for me. I always have the CLIF Bar – Chocolate Chip or a Crunchy Peanut Butter bar in my sports bag as they are two of my favorites and are consumed daily as part of managing me energy level before training and racing.
I love the CLIF BLOKS – Energy Chews, I would have to say, I probably overuse these items as I like really like them, they are easy to use during racing for the quick energy find, taste great and are made up of 95% organic ingredients. Thank-you CLIF Australia for the great products.
I had my first hit out at the Rainbow Beach Double Triathlon Sprint Distance, two weeks before heading overseas. I was successful in taking the win both days for my age-group; this was a good confidence booster for me mentally and physically.
My goal for Lausanne was to finish in the top 20 as the age category I was racing in was 16-19 years, and I had only just turned 16. I acknowledged it would be challenging to achieve this goal in a massive field of 90 other competitors from across the world in which I knew very little about my competition. On arrival overseas, I knew I would have some jet lag, so, I made sure I caught up on sleep before following the training program provided to me by Toby. While abroad, I had to maintain a balance of training and school work as well, so time management was essential for me to learn and manage as part of my training.
Race day arrived, and I was feeling pretty nervous but confident at the same time. I finished ninth overall from a field of 90+ competitors, the racing was hard and fast, and I loved every bit of it. I left Lausanne with a craving to do more.
Now it was time to start building the strength for the rest of the season.
Intune Sports and Physio: Brodie Gardner, Director and Head of Sport Science & Exercise Physiology provides both myself and my younger brother with strength and conditioning sessions each week. These sessions are designed to produce physiological adaptations that help improve stability, strength, speed and power needed for the three disciplines of triathlon which I can now see the benefits filtering through in my racing and training.
It was great to have the EVENT CREW on board with the SCTA scholarship, allowing for an entry into the Queensland Triathlon Series (QTS) races. These races are great training races for early in the season. Under the guidance of Toby Coote I stepped it up and have been racing in the Open category to try and improve my mental stability and push myself. This has been a great learning experience, and I have taken away some valuable lessons and tips.
During the season, Mizuno Running Australia has provided Demo days for all SCTA Team members to test their range of performance/running shoes. These days are great opportunities for SCTA members to trial shoes and work out what best suits their feet. I have been racing in the Mizuno Duel Race Flats for triathlon and have found them light on your feet and fast.
The Recovery Room located on Level 1, The Sports Hub, Bokarina, for great advice and the use of its sports science-based recovery methodologies. My favorites are the Normatec compression therapy and use of the cold and hot water therapy and the view while using this equipment.
What is in store for the next six months?
The next few months have several important races planned, including AJTS Canberra, Devonport, New Plymouth and QLD All Schools Championships. There are still a few of the QTS preparation races, thanks to the support of the event crew.
As mentioned, none of this would be possible without the continuing support from SCTA/Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship Sponsors. Working closely with all these sponsors has enabled me to improve my skills and provide the equipment to develop and strength physically and mentally. Also, maintaining my nutrition and managing my recovery so that I am physically fit each time for my next race.
Thank you to Tara Partridge| Tara Leanne Nutrition and Unique Health products| CLIF Bar Australia for the excellent CLIF Bars, Gels and Blocks. Recovery Room - love the ice baths, Intune Sports and Health for strength and conditioning training. Titan Performance Group/Zone 3 Australia for wetsuit and Vorgee for all my swimming essentials. Mizuno Running Australia for supplying my running needs and Cannibal Australia for as always a reliable and comfortable suit that fits well and always looks good on.
The Event Crew for providing great races in the Triathlon Queensland Series for 2019-2020 season. I would also like to thank ongoing support provided to SCTA throughout the season - Rydges Hotels and Resorts, Ironman Oceania, Allez Sport Mooloolaba, Davey and Associates Optometrist, Felt Bicycles Australia, Kawana Aquatic Centre and Rackley Swimming.
Thank you again, Grant Symes - Group General Manager at Protector Aluminium for the continued support and Coach Toby Coote SCTA for making this opportunity possible.