ROAD TO KONA – Diary of an Ironman, November 2016

Triathlon & Open Water
Written by: Laura Strappaveccia at 19 December '16 0
You are reading: ROAD TO KONA – Diary of an Ironman, November 2016

I want my dream to come true.
I want Kona.
So I will go to Kona.

No, I have not gone crazy or at least not totally! But you know what they say: you have to be the first to believe your dream can come true or that you can achieve your great goal, even when everybody else says it is impossible because you dream is overambitious… that is why I am saying I will go to Kona.
And there is no doubt about that!

I have already completed my first month’s training. My latest adventure that will take me to Hawaii began on 10th October.

ROAD TO KONA – Diary of an Ironman, November 2016

This year I have completely changed my training: new coach, new training plans and new training methods.
I have realise that killing myself with excessive mileage and intervals right from the beginning of the season is not very productive and is actually really stressful both physically and mentally. There is a real risk that when the day comes round when you have to give everything you have got, you suddenly realise you have already given everything – or almost – over the previous months and the consequences in your race will be unpleasant to say the least. The reason I am saying this is because it happened to me, unfortunately, during my last Ironman in Zürich. I literally lost it mentally and when your head goes then it is game over!

And so that is why I am embracing this new approach and all the changes!
On a practical level this means calling everything into question. When I say everything, I mean “everything”: how I swim, run and ride the bike.
So I am now trying out a whole array of technical exercises and drills I have never tried before or at least only superficially or very occasionally.
Put like that, it might sound easy, but in actual fact it takes lots of dedication, humility patience and a willingness to change in order to improve.
I find myself doing simple bodyweight exercises, but the day after my muscles feel as if I have done two hours’ weight training at the gym. Or I run a few miles trying to focus on my body and stride rate.
And it is the same on the bike and in the water……lots and lots of drills.

Sometimes I might even spend an hour and a half in the water trying to lengthen my stroke, make my leg kick more efficient or improve my swimming position. And it is really hard work! I used to think I was a “reasonably” good swimmer, but I now realise I swim like a “duck”!

All this left me rather shell-shocked and slightly disoriented over the first few days, as is always the case with anything new. But now I am beginning to enjoy myself and I think I am, perhaps, heading in the right direction.
Of course I am only at the beginning of my journey and I have still got a long way to go, but there is one thing I am certain of….

I want my dream to come true.
I want Kona.
So I will go to Kona.


Written by:

Laura Strappaveccia

Laura Strappaveccia started her Triathlon adventure three years ago. Her life is divided between training for Ironman, her family and her full-time job. Laura is a multiple Ironman finisher (she competed in South Africa, Austria, Italy and Spain). She is currently training for the Zurich Ironman in July and her goal for this year is to qualify for Kona.