Amy Corrigan and Daisy Brey, both members of Team FitLivin set a big goal of qualifying for the 2017 Ironman World Championships 70.3 (half ironman). They put in the work and checked off one short-term goal at a time and were able to achieve this big time accomplishment over the weekend at Ironman Chattanooga 70.3. Amy is a sports physician and Daisy Brey is a health coach. Get inspired as Amy and Daisy tell us a little bit about their journey...
Qualifying for Chattanooga 70.3 Worlds came about last year after I was beat by a girl by 5 seconds at Muncie 70.3 and I missed out on qualifying for 70.3 Worlds. After the race, I was disappointed but it drove me to re-evaluate my lifestyle and become driven not to just make it to worlds but to win my age group so I could get there. I set little goals along the way to challenge myself to work on my weaknesses (swimming), as well as building my confidence. I became stronger mentally as well as physically and learned to have fun with my training! I challenged myself to train by applying the 80/20 rule. Often people questioned me because my easy days were SUPER easy haha but I trained HARD on the HARD days! But I began to focus on my own training vs what other people were doing and learn to listen to my body.
I challenged myself again with focused nutritional habits, by eating organic, and minimizing processed foods. As well as a whole list of other nerdy things I learned about nutritional habits and feeling better. I realized an athlete is made in the kitchen.
I think as an athlete, if you are a Kona qualifier or just starting out you must stay humble, never doubt yourself and be confident in your decisions! Also remember, NOBODY can tell you that can't do something, if you set your mind to it then it can be achieved So, this is for all the people that have been told that they couldn't amount to something because of a weakness that they have, I CHALLENGE you to build on your weaknesses until they become strengths.
Last year, I decided to sign up for Chattanooga 70.3 with a very specific goal in time. First time since college that I actually had a very specific goal besides finishing. My mindset was just different this time and I think that is what motivated me to get up before work when I was tired and complete every training session when before I did not have the motivation and would hit snooze.
I remember emailing my coach once I signed up and said I want to qualify for Worlds 70.3. I looked at the times from the last two years and figured I needed to go under 5 hours. Prior my PR was in 2015 at 5:07 in Muncie. I then looked at each of the three disciplines and knew I needed to improve on all, particularly swimming and biking. For swimming, my least favorite and one I have struggled with the most. My goal was to improve speed but knew if I could become more efficient it would safe energy and I would have more power on my bike and run. What I had been doing since 2010 when I first started swimming was not working so instead of continuing to train the same way without results I decided I needed a change and joined Indy Aquatic Masters. This put me outside of my comfort zone and it was exactly what I needed to do. In the winter, I just made myself go 1-2x/week. For the bike, my focus was purely on power. I trained with power and adjusted zones as my FTP increased. On race day, my goal watts were 160-175 and I made sure I hit each 5 mile interval within those ranges and never paid attention to speed. And for the run, I just tried to be consistent with each mile. On top of that, I made sure to hit my nutrition before, during and after the race and really dialed that in during training and new what worked for me and stuck with what worked for me on race day!
A few things I did outside of training were making sure I got 8-10 hours of sleep each night to help with recovery and worked hard on my diet. Two years ago when I did Louisville Ironman, my body fat % was 19 and by race day this year was down to 15.2%. No fad diets or starving myself but really paid attention to the quality of foods I put in my mouth and to the hunger scale to not over eat after big workouts. I really cut out sugar and processed carbs and increased vegetable intake and protein intake. This was an important goal for me to reach for several reasons: 1)I felt like I no longer was feeling like the athlete I used to be before my life got busy with residency and work and believed that I still had it in me and wanted to prove that to myself. I had been struggling with a lot of self doubt. 2.)Last year was very frustrating with achilles tendonitis from May to November and that really took me out of training and was very frustrating. So, it's good to be able to get back training strong again pain free after doing a long course of getting manual therapy and doing a lot of boring rehab exercises focused on foot strengthening and hip strengthening. 3.) I learned I can push myself a lot harder than I had though previously and definitely feel more confident to push going forward. Self doubt can be a serious limiter and hoping this will help with that!
Goals going forward leading into Worlds 70.3:
1.)I am not a bad swimmer but an improving swimmer. Not giving up on that yet and even more determined to improve and plan to keep going to masters!
2.)Bike - continue to increase my FTP going forward with even more specific power based workouts.
3.) As far as time at 70.3 - hard to say since my race was actually 69.9 but a sub 5 hour is in my mind!