If someone tried to tell me a year ago I’d be going to the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, I would never have believed it. Today, I’m proud and excited to say, that is exactly where I am headed.
A year ago, I had just completed my first IM 70.3 in Cairns. I was really disappointed with the fact that I did some stints of walking on the run leg. I think this was the result of my running training in the lead up being affected by injury and going out at a pace that was a little too quick. These are both legitimate reasons why a run in a 70.3 might not quite go to plan, but my default was to hammer myself both during the race and after it with negative self-talk that chipped away at my confidence.
A few months later, I noticed a female athlete I train with was working with Kellie Pritchard-Peschek of DrKellieRose Performance Science. I had a look at her website and read about her ability to work alongside my triathlon training program and provide support strategies to help me manage my non-training life, and to allow me to optimize my training and achieve my performance goals. I made contact with Kellie and organised to have coffee with her and discuss where I was at, where I wanted to be and what she could do to help me bridge that gap.
“I signed up with Kellie that week, and it was THE BEST decision I have ever made.”
What struck me when I met Kellie was how she managed to be so friendly and approachable, whilst really clearly demonstrating she was a professional who understood how to utilise her extensive knowledge and skills to support female athletes to achieve their performance goals. I signed up with Kellie that week, and it was THE BEST decision I have ever made. We have gone on to develop numerous strategies to help me address the issues that have arisen over the past 9 months.
Prior to working with Kellie, I recognised that I didn’t handle stressful situations well. I have always struggled with confidence and when I was faced with a stressful situation, like getting dropped off the back of a hard group ride and not being able to get back on, I gave myself a really hard time and allowed self-doubt and it’s powerful negative voice to undermine the positive work I was doing in my training and how I felt about my ability to achieve my goals. With the benefit of Kellie’s expertise I now have a better understanding of why I was doing that, and we have developed strategies to re-direct my thinking so that this negative self-talk doesn’t get any ‘air time’. I have started using these strategies and have been successful in remaining calm, continuing on with whatever it is that I’m meant to be doing and not ‘going negative’. I have more work to do in this space given the fact it’s a habit I have engaged in for many years, but there is an obvious improvement in the way I now deal with these types of situations.
“I have completed two more 70.3 races, achieved a huge PB and earned a spot at the World Champs in France in September.“
Working with Kellie has resulted in me feeling calmer and being far less reactive to stressors on a day-to-day basis. I am more confident about what I’m capable of achieving as an athlete. With the benefit of her support and expertise over the past 9 months, I have completed two more 70.3 races, achieved a huge PB and earned a spot at the World Champs in France in September. I am confident that with Kellie’s guidance I will continue to bridge the gap between where I’m at and where I want to be. I cannot sing her praises highly enough.
Update from Kellie: Allyson went on to conquer her first World Championships in Nice, France in 2019. This year, Allyson is stepping up to race her first Ironman at Cairns, 2020. Way to go Ally!