So often when you think everything is going well in life, something comes up that puts a spanner in the works. Perhaps you get injured training for a big race, something happens to a close friend, or work suddenly becomes mega stressful. But do you adjust your goals as a consequence?
This week we hear from someone who has become an expert at setting and adjusting goals and managing expectations.
Over the last few years, Ruth Astle has juggled a really busy job in the City alongside training to be one of the best Age Group triathletes in the world. This year, she set herself a goal of becoming overall Age Group World Champion at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
But earlier in the summer, Ruth had a bike crash and had to re-adjust her target. But she actually went on to achieve her original aim.
In this episode, I travel to London to get Ruth’s perspective on
- Getting into the Zwift Academy and being mentored by Sarah True and Tim Don
- Becoming age group World Champion
- Finally turning Pro
- The decision to continue working one day a week
- The benefits of working with Alan Murchison to dial in on her nutrition
She also reveals her guilty pleasure on the turbo!
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INTERVIEW TIME LINE*
*interview times, not the whole episode
01.00 Juggling full time work and training to become the best Age Group athlete in the world. I don’t think it is that hard when you know what it is that you want. I think if you organised about it and you know what your priorities are.
02.30: I get up between 4.30-4.45 and it’s working out how I can fit things into my day and I have a really understanding boss.
03.30 I have had times when busy training weeks have coincided with busy work weeks and when that happens, it is horrendous and I feel brain fired, but I know those weeks aren’t every week and I just kind of get through it.
04.25 – Fuelling properly. This year I have worked with Alan Murchison. On working with Alan Murchison it made me less anal about what I was doing. He got me more into the mindset of balancing my meals well and I was eating more carbs than previously. I started to feel much better from it. I’ve been make his energy balls and surprise surprise my training on the early morning sessions has been a lot better.
05.25 I love chocolate, wine and gin and I don’ like to deny myself things.
06.00 - keeping things fun. I think people are choosing to do it If I was trying to control everything, I would have given up a few years ago.
06.30 – on Kona this year. I think it was better. Having set that goal of becoming age group world champ. I adjusted my goals and tried really hard to not get carried away. I don’t think I would have been fine had I not achieved it, but I was trying to convince myself I was.
07.45 - The year before I had been run down, and I was quite nervous on my run. I got a split from my friend on the side who said I had a ten minute lead. I looked at my watch and tried to slow myself down.
09.00 – The point I struggled was around 30km and I bumped into a lovely south African guy who kept me going and wouldn’t let me slow down or walk through the aid stations.
10.00 – Crossing that finish line in Kona, I had the biggest smile on my face. It took a while to sink in and if you are in top 3, they take you off to doping and I was sitting there with Lucy Charles and Anne Haug and I was thinking this is quite cool.
11.45 – Setting the goal of age group world champ. That was my goal last year and I came quite close, so I wanted to give it another go, but I don’t think I would I
14.00: I tried to do not much at all between breaking my collar bone and surgery, but Will Clarke my coach was good and he had done similar the year before. Don’t think about your bigger goals, just focus on what you can do.
14.45: Was the crash actually beneficial ? A lot of them have had long term injuries. There is a lot to be said about enforced rest and all I would think about was ok what can I do today that will make me better than yesterday? I think mentally it was good for me.
16.00 – On getting the pro card. I have been thinking for a few years. I applied a few years ago, after the 70.3 World Champs in Australia, but I didn’t get it and thank goodness and the more I have thought about it, the more Ive thought I want a chance to be competitive. As soon as I got into the Zwift academy, I thought right let’s go back to Kona and tick it off
19.00 – Looking forward to seeing where I rank. People have said I would have been 17th in Kona, but it’s a totally different race. I’m under no illusion that it’s a completely different race, but I’m looking forward to getting better.
20.00 – Recovering like a pro. Initially I wanted to go full-time pro, but Ive thought about it a lot and I’m going to do one day a week, so I can keep my brain ticking over and take some of the financial pressure off.
21.00 – I’ve taken a few people who have gone pro from full-time jobs and it is interesting. Most of the advice from people who are used to being full-on have suggested it’s good to have something.
23.00 – I’m going to do Ironman Western Australia. I think it will be quite nice to do it with less pressure and expectation and it gives me the bar straight away and where am I versus it. My result in kona has made me think I’m not a million miles off, so I think I should go for it.
24.00 – On being in the Zwift academy - we get to keep the bike and everything they gave us, so I have no excuses for not having the best kit. The biggest decision is what colour I’m going to paint my bike. I’m talking to a few people at the moment about kit and that will influence what colour the bike it.
26.00 - The level of support we’ve had has been insane and it’s probably better than 95% of the pro. We could just drop the mechanics a message about which tyres to use for example. In kona they did everything for us. We had a chef, we were driven everywhere. Part of me isn’t sure whether I’ll be able to go back to Kona! . I’d like to see if I can make my way back there!
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