With just under 2 weeks until Kona 2016 TPS has one athlete that has qualified. This guy is no ordinary athlete, this man is a bit of a machine. Minky took up triathlon after doing a marathon in 2012. Before that he was a bit of a surfer carving up the waves around the world.
He started triathlon training with a just over 7 hours a week. By May 2013 he was up to 16-19 hours a week during peak periods of training. Minky stuck to the plan religiously. He never tried to make up any missed sessions and always stuck to the Heart Rate zones set out for him. If he felt tired or any sign of sickness or injury he would back off. Minky did his first Ironman in 2013, he completed IMUK in over 10.05hrs, he was 3rd in his age group. He qualified for Kona that year but decided not to go. The following year he then went on to win his age group in both the UK 70.3 and IMUK and that year took his spot and headed over to the Big Island with his family, wife Lisa and daughter Darcey.
What a lot of people don’t know is that Minky’s wife Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer during this time which no doubt was a tough time for the whole family let alone Lisa. Lisa is a bit of a fighter and got through this tough time and is now a cancer surviver. Minky finished Kona in a time of 10hrs 3min, 40th in his Age Group, his splits were 1hr 14min/5hrs 20min/3hrs 20min. A seriously impressive achievement when you think that he had just been doing triathlon for two years while Lisa was being treated for cancer.
Have a look at Minky’s Performance Management chart (PMC) from Training peaks. What is interesting with Minky is that over the last 4 years he has actually trained less each year while his performances have improved. Take a look at the blue line in the PMC, this is his load of training. You can see that Minky has had recovery after each season and major race. During the off season strength and conditioning has been an integral part of his program while maintaining S and C through each season. What we did with Minky was overload him in his first year and then introduced more intensity into his training as he was training for the Island Games in 2015 in Jersey which was an Olympic distance event. This really lifted his performances and shows how important it is not to just do massive miles but to keep intensity in the program. Minky is now extremely strong on the bike and run’s off it pretty solid each race. He is in tune with how he should be feeling during the cycle leg always keeping a bit in the tank for the run. He watches his heart rate and power on the bike while at the same time racing it and is the master of controlling what he can control and does not get flustered by anything else that is out of his control. More importantly he loves racing as well! What can be better than smashing yourself and coming out the other end knowing you left it all out there.
In 2015 Minky set out to race IM Vichy in France. He won his age group (45-49yrs) in a time of 9hrs 22min, his splits were 64min/4hrs 58min/3hrs 13min in super hot conditions of above 35 degrees C. Winning in France or Europe is not easy. He qualified for Kona once again and heads out this week. Minky has had a great lead up to Kona racing three 70.3’s coming 4th at Aix en Provence, 1st at UK70.3 and 5th at Vichy 70.3. All very competitive races. He also did the Jersey Triathlon but was not at his best as can be seen by the picture below. He got out the swim and in a moment that he cannot remember headed out on his bike with his wetsuit on. The days forecast was for thunderstorms so perhaps it was a good idea! He ended up stopping and taking it off. Lucky Kona is non wetsuit.
Be sure to check out the coverage and send Minky a good luck message. Whatever the result on October 8th be sure that Minky will leave everything out there. The Big Island can throw all sorts your way. Heat, wind and humidity with the added pressure of the best Ironman athletes in the world coming together to compete hoping to have the race of their lives. Best of luck to all of them. Look out for Tom Burkinshaw who heads out for the second time who I coached int he past. He qualified in South Africa. Best of luck to one of my best mates Tim Don and the lovely Heather Wurtele.