Martina Hanna

22nd August 2016

Top ten tips: author/triathlete

Mum-of-four and author Martina Hanna is a member of the TRI10 team a group of 10 triathlon newcomers attempting to complete 10 triathlons for 10 local charities. You can read how she went from the ultimate low to discovering a new lease of life in triathlon here. Below are Martina’s 10 tips for triathlon success…

  • 1, Just do it! It’s the best personal decision I have made for mentality, my health and myself. Decide to decide. To do or not to do. There can be no sitting on a picket fence. Making the decision leads to commitment, which results in action. This is first and fore most a Game of Mental Attitude
  • 2, Commit to your first triathlon and then choose very wisely whom you share your dreams, goals and fears with. My fears were brought up so many times I had to work harder to keep my thoughts and mindset real. Fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real and in my head each time I got into the water JAWS was waiting.
  • 3, If you are like me and you have made the commitment and then realise a you have no gear at all and, oops, it all cost! Don’t panic, borrow what you need until you can buy your own, that’s what I did. I did my first race on a mountain bike, I fell off, I was very slow, but the good news is that I finished.
  • 4, Start moving, pick a discipline that you either don’t like or have fears about. I got my place on TRI10 on the 28th February and on the 29th I went into the sea minus a wet suit. Why? I made the commitment and I didn’t own a wet suit! If it’s raining don’t let this story put you off. Turn it around and become a kid again and go run and splash in the puddles.
  • 5, Find coaches/people you can train with. Johnny Carroll (aka The Fitness Guy) coaches us in swimming and he is both firm and kind. Johnny helps me to get the best out of myself. As Deric often reminds me, when I started in late March I could not swim one length without stopping, only last week I mastered putting my head in the water!
  • 6, Good quality foods and plenty of hydration. The food element of my training clicked with me slowly. In the past I have had issues with food and I found that turning my relationship with food around came on my fifth triathlon. I was amazed at what my body was doing and allowing me to do. I became the observer of my life and body and looked at how I was treating my body and it was not as the temple it is. I turned it around and now I make conscious food choices and I drink plenty of water.
  • 7, Monitor your thoughts and the stories playing in your head. The difference between deciding, going into training and completing a triathlon rests with your thoughts which reside in the muscle between your two ears. Choose your thoughts wisely, keep them lit to an ‘I can do this” glow; Affirm I’m doing this, focus on the prize which is to complete a triathlon. If the negatives come to visit tell them to get lost, its like that saying ‘if your past calls don’t answer it, it has nothing new to tell you’.
  • 8, Move every day, apart from the fact that it is necessary to improve fitness levels, it will make the world of difference to your mentality. Every time I come out of the sea I say the same thing, I feel like a new woman! Martina’s triathlon experiences were not built in one day; going into my eighth triathlon I am now practising my transitions from cycling to running. I find this the toughest on race day and decided to train harder.
  • 9, Race day prep. I have three bags for my transitions. I keep everything to a minimum. I pack my bags four days before each race. I started off on this journey being a nervous nelly in the days before and on race day and so I had a good chat with myself and I made a plan for pre and race day and I stick to it. I have my pre and race day rituals going on. Clean, good foods, plenty of hydration, race day foods. Plenty of rest.
  • 10, Remember to enjoy the journey and the experience of race day and all that goes with it. The people you will get to meet and if you are like me and coming in last you will be amazed at how loud the cheers can be! Offer a kind word of encouragement as you go along, you just never know who needs it, as you cross the finish line pat yourself on the back and smile. You did it and it’s a great feeling. Anyone can be a ‘coulda, Shoulda, woulda’ person. Vow to be a doer. So many people think about doing a triathlon and never do one. Why not you? Why not? If you don’t have an answer to this question, then just do it!

Want more from Martina? Read her story here.