Anna Cleaver is driving, swimming, biking and running her way from Queenstown up to Taupo in preparation for Ironman in New Zealand, showing you just how Ezi it is for you to combine a road trip with your NZ racing experience.
Here is a few questions we asked her pre-race.
1. How many Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman’s have you completed?
I have completed 5 Ironman races but numerous half distance races.
2. What is your goal for this race?
NZ is very special to me and racing in Taupo at an Ironman that I watched friends compete in for years is going to be amazing, regardless of the result. My goal for this race is to put together a solid race, handle the ups and downs that Ironman racing throws at us, and finish strong. I have a tendency to start the swim and bike quite fast, so I’d like to pace myself a bit better for this one!
3. What are your tips and tricks pre-race?
Stick to what you normally do, as much as possible. Try not to change your diet, your equipment or your routine too much.
Know the course, and be prepared but also don’t over plan for everything on race day – long races like this can be unpredictable and part of the challenge is dealing with those unexpected things.
4. How do you think this road trip will help you prepare for the race?
The last few weeks are about more specific training with less volume, and lots of rest.
A road trip leading up to Ironman NZ is giving me all of these things. If planned well, you can keep your current training routine, enjoy the journey and be inspired by the scenery. Yesterday I did a beautiful lake swim in the morning, followed by a run to a glacier view point, followed by an ice bath in a freezing cold creek. After refuelling the next few hours were spent in the very spacious car, resting my legs and hydrating, while enjoying the scenery (a great distraction from the nerves that start to come before a major race!).
Tomorrow will be a similar day, but I will ride some of the journey.
5. Where is the best spot to train while you are on the road?
That is impossible to answer! NZ has so many amazing training spots. Personally, I love the lakes. The crystal clear lakes with mountains in the background provide for perfect swimming training. I am about to swim in Lake Tekapo which is stunning!
Usually, the lakes have run paths around them so friends and family can walk while you swim and watch you.
6. Do you have any advice to athletes considering entering this race in 2017?
Enter it! If you are from overseas NZ is more beautiful than the pictures you have seen. Travelling to NZ is not too difficult and travelling around NZ is very Ezi! The race itself is very well run, on a scenic but challenging course, and has excellent spectator support. Taupo’s location provides for a great road trip around the event – pick up a car in Auckland and drive to Taupo. After that, explore NZ from your rental car with your friends and family.
Follow her epic adventure on Facebook, Instagram, and on her blog (Swimwithanna.com/blogs).