BRADEN’S COUNTDOWN TO THE IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPS
written by Jon Forder
With the hard work already done, Braden Currie tapers his training in preparation for IRONMAN World Championship – Kaluia-Kona, Hawaii.
In 1977 the concept of IRONMAN was born, a Honolulu-based husband and wife came up with an event concept to test athletes’ endurance in swimming, cycling and running. The couple proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawaii; the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon into one event. On February 18, 1978, IRONMAN was born.
Back then only 15 competitors hit the start-line, unaware they were competing in what would become one of the most famous races in the world. Almost forty years on, the race now sees thousands lining up to start in various categories and variations of the original race format. One thing remains, IRONMAN is still one of the toughest races out there and Kaluia-Kona, Hawaii sees the world’s best triathletes battling-it-out in humid, hot temperatures that push competitors to their absolute limits.
For Braden Currie, IRONMAN World Championship – Kaluia-Kona, Hawaii has been his focus for the last eight months. Grueling training regimes and wins at IRONMAN New Zealand and Taupo 70.3 gave him a chance to qualify for Kaluia-Kona, Hawaii. Braden brought his dream to fruition with a final 3rd place at the Ironman Asia Pacific championship in Cairns in June, just 19 days before the end of the qualifying period. This gives him one chance, to race the race of a lifetime. For a win, he will need to do exactly that. The competition is fierce in Kaluia-Kona, Hawaii, only the best endurance athletes in the world make it to the start-line and course conditions make racing super tough.
Putting in the work – Imagery by Roy Schott
In two week’s time on October 15 (NZST), Currie will put all his training and endurance to the test as he takes on the world’s elite in what will no doubt be his toughest race yet.
Ahead of the competition, Currie has completed training blocks in New Zealand and Noosa, all focusing on preparing himself mentally and physically for the inaugural race.
Over the last month, Braden has based himself in Boulder, Colorado; taking advantage of the altitude and locations on offer for his last training blocks and tapering sessions.
Getting amongst the Boulder mountain ranges – Imagery by Roy Schott
“We’ve been in Boulder for three weeks now. To start-off, it was just about recovering from Santa Cruz 70.3 by keeping my legs turning over and trying to freshen up. From there I moved into some larger volume three-day blocks where I worked really hard. I then had a lighter day off to refresh, and started the three day cycle again. The majority of the work has been around volume and race simulation. This last week we have started to taper off and bring in some speed work.”
Being pushed to the limits on the windtrainer – Imagery by Roy Schott
“We are shortening everything up and I’m pulling it right back for our last four days here in Boulder. I’ll probably only do around 50% of what my normal training schedule would be. We are bringing some intensity to the shorter sessions though to try and replicate what we might encounter during the race.”
Putting in the work one stroke at a time – Imagery by Roy Schott
“It’s hard to judge overall fitness levels at this time, but at the moment I’m injury free and feeling good. I’m in the best condition I’ve ever been in and I’m feeling happy with where I am. At the moment, it’s resting and staying healthy, preparing to bring the energy levels up for race time so I’ve got what I need on the day.”
Exploring the local trails – Imagery by Roy Schott
Physical training is only one aspect of preparation, Braden meticulously plans everything he puts into his body as fuel.
“Getting into this last week, it’s incredibly important to stay healthy. It’s the point in time when you really can’t afford to get sick, for me nutrition and good food is such a big part of it. I’m eating healthy, keeping away from eating out, keeping it simple and eating what my body is used to, we are cooking all our own food. I try not to introduce any new foods and keep away from complex carbohydrates.”
Getting into the fresh muesli – Imagery by Roy Schott
“My diet is pretty simple, I tend to eat a lot of Paleo style foods. In the morning, it’s a protein nutrient dense smoothie with Paleo muesli on top. Lunch is a salad usually with protein, dinner is similar but with some form of vegetable based carbs such as roast vegetables – kumara, pumpkin, roast beets.”
Cooking up a storm in the kitchen – Imagery by Roy Schott