Have you ever thought about challenging yourself to be the best that you can be in an event but Mike Roigard training for Ironman New Zealand 2013 didn’t think you’d have time. With the right team around you and self belief, determination and balancing priorities anything is possible even while working in the corporate environment –here is some inspiration from Mike Roigard - then it’s up to you to create your own story.
Triathlon is a sport that is achievable for all levels with a variety of events that cater for multiple abilities. Often it is the completion of smaller events that inspire an individual to throw down a challenge like ironman or a half ironman event. The work that goes into an event like this can vary quite considerably but one athlete that has embraced the challenge to get the best result he can is Mike Roigard.
I have been lucky enough to work with Mike for the last two years and seen him develop as an athlete over this time. While I will talk about his development as an athlete, I do have to mention he works full time for Telecom and keeps up his family commitments with his daughter Kate and wife Deb, so a multi-tasking male may be a myth but not in this case J
Never create limitations to your own challenges based on your work and life – these challenges are achievable, the outcome that you get at the end will be a result of the time that you can dedicate toward the challenge.
2013 has been a great year for Mike – he conquered his first Ironman (3.8km Swim, 180km Bike, 42.2km Run) in March finishing in a time of 10:04 being just a few seconds shy of a roll down spot to the World Champs in Kona. In January he won his age group at Lake Wanaka Half Ironman (2km Swim, 90km Bike, 21.1km Run) in a time of 4:43 and this included a run time 1:26 just 3min shy of his PB set at Auckland Half Marathon in October of 1:23. His result in Wanaka was a 23min improvement on the previous result at this event. In December he achieved a top 5 results in his age group at the Taupo Half Ironman. Only results like this can be achieved with hard work and dedication – it can be easy to press SNOOZE on the alarm and wait for another day but I know that wasn’t the way Mike achieved his results.
With Mike’s results he was selected to represent NZ at the upcoming Long Distance World Champs inMike Roigard running home to complete his first Ironman France on the 2nd June 2014. The race is held at Belfort France is a 4km Swim, 120km Bike, 30km Run – over a course that looks like an amazing challenge (hilly) check out the bike profile if you dare. So as the weather changes and the days get shorter there is no rest now for Mike as he hits full steam ahead toward the World Champs.
Mike’s bike and run is a real strength and his swimming is the weakest of his three legs and while it has improved over the years he could simply just continue doing what he does in the water and he might see small improvement, but complacency is not his style. This is what I admire about him, his continual drive for improvement in his swimming and looking for swimming efficiency. Together Mike and I have worked through a swim stroke analysis so he can see his stroke on top of the water and underneath and we are working through a hierarchy of changes to make improvements. These improvements are made through specific swim drills and focuses throughout his session so that each time we meet for lessons I see improvements, then we can progress through to the next area. This stepped focus has helped Mike to prioritise the changes needed and I am sure will result in a more efficient stroke which will mean that he will come out of the water fresher to attack the rest of his age group competitors when he hits the race in France.
If you want to review your swimming whatever your ability then drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or chat to me at the pool about making improvements to your stroke so you can get more out of your training – just like Mike.
It doesn’t matter what your ability is you have to start somewhere, but you do have to start!
Make sure you wish Mike all the best when you next see him at the pool or in the gym.
I wish you all the best with your training.