Rugby Player to Ironathlete #part3

Rugby player, teacher and three-time league and Grand Championship winner Olivia “Coady” is taking on her most difficult challenge to date by competing in this Years Taiwan IronMan. Coady understands hard work, dedication, and resilience having played for the Black Ferns, taught in China and now runs her school rugby program at Harrow International School.

Coady is the second “Habitual Athlete” receiving training programs, nutritional advice, mental skills and race day support.

This is her story of a rugby player turned Ironathlete…

[Written by Olivia] Another good week completed all my training.

Highlights- Swimming 19.45 for 1km- and I know I can go faster got stopped about 6 times so 19 minutes is a realistic goal. My first 1km timed swim was 22.20. I definitely think the latest improvement is due to technique- I have learned to pull for longer and I am better at my stroke when i turn to me breathe.

I learned how to look up efficiently in swimming using crocodile eyes, before this i was trying to do i while i breathe. This was is so much easier and far more efficient.

Swim trainings have been easier with a friend and if I have two trainings that day I swim second as I can then relax in the spa afterwards.

Running is going well- not breaking any records- I haven’t mentally made myself do this yet- I think in the next week or so I will see if I can crack 12km an hour again.

Biking- we had a storm this week so all biking was inside except for the big ride. What I found interesting was that my heart rate was higher than usual- I was on a spin bike so different positioning- interesting how easy it is for my HR to get high.

The four-hour bike ride was FREEZING- there was a lot of self-talk and I even had to go back and put on a puffer jacket. I have never felt such pain in my hands before.  I am now always biking with a thick jacket- if I get too hot then I’m replicating the race conditions.  The four-hour bike ride ending up going almost 4h 40 of bike time. My watch died so didn’t know the time. Also, my friend got a flat tire and pumping issues so that adding a bit of time on as well, in total I was out for 5hr 40. It was good to be challenged this way, shows that you can do much longer than you think.

Recovery- the spa is a good go to and have now got chiropractor and physio and hopefully massage soon. Also, I have been doing a good amount of rehab- I could be better but relatively happy.

Nutrition- I got off to a really good start being home- it was so easy to say no to things and I dropped below 73- which I haven’t seen for a while. when week two hit it was freezing and I got a little sick so I went to comfort food a bit more and warm food which meant a lot of toast- so I have identified that and have said I can only have bread at lunch and I need to find healthy warm snacks- so I got mum to make mash veggies and soup which is so yummy! I have also made some healthy cookies so I don’t feel like I’m missing out when mum and dad have a cup of tea with a biscuit.  When I’m home there is a little more eating out as I catch up with friends and family- If I control what I eat at home then these events I can be a little more relaxed. I also have lunch with Nana once a week and I buy sandwiches and this super yummy carrot cake- I halve the cake between us so I don’t eat one to myself and this is something I’m not really wanting to give up as both me and my nana really enjoy it.

think that’s all for this week!

What we can learn from this…

  1. Priorities – No matter whats going on in life its important to have basic principles you will not give up on. A carrot cake with Nana once a week is a lovely sign of the person Olivia is. #Familyfirst
  2. Measure – Whether it’s distance/time/weight/number of times toast is eaten… measure something. Measurement gives Coady facts, facts can lead to…
  3. Taking Action – Make veggie mash, limit toast to lunch time, make oatmeal cookies, make arrangements with a friend, swim later in the day. Actions from measurements, not talk and wishes.
  4. Mental scripts – Training isn’t easy, but you can see the self-talk of “That’s okay because…” It’s cold – I’ll wear a jacket as it will be hot on race day. We had a flat – good practice for the race. My watch died – a chance to cycle for longer. Finding why an event is good is far better than dwelling on what its bad.

Until next time, find your challenge, deal in actions and find what works, a little grit and a little resilience always helps.



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Chris the founder and Chief Kickstarter is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach and is currently finishing his MSc in Applied Psychology. With a background in teaching and high-performance sport, he get’s the difficulties in juggling life whilst maintaining a level of personal health and wellbeing, in fact In his last two years of teaching, Chris completed an Iron Man alongside coaching International Rugby and starting his Masters!

Habitual has been created to help you achieve personal health goals without turning your life upside down. We don’t offer short term quick fixes, as they simply do not work, instead we deal in long lasting Habit development building upon existing schedules and routines.

Habitual offers individual support in getting your health back on track through #FOOD (nutritional habits), #FUN (exercise programming) and #FOCUS (mental skills, grit, sports psych, lifestyle and organisation coaching).

The Lifestyle Kickstarter is our flagship course, combining all the elements of #FOOD #FUN and #FOCUS into a fully bespoke plan of action.

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