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European Wrap Up

By October 5, 2021No Comments

The ego always takes a hit when you get beat.

A few years ago, a very intuitive guy working at the top end of the sport said to me that I had to ‘learn to lose before I would win’ and I sort of flogged it off because at the time – I was winning. Those sort of things come to light when you start to lose and you have to face up to some raw truths during that process – it hasn’t been easy. There have been highs and lows over the past seven weeks here in Europe. But overall, it’s been an epic and valuable experience.

Braden Currie Ironman Athlete Running In Spain

Image credit: James Mitchell

The Collins Cup was a highlight – I was stoked to be part of it in its first year. Already, it is changing the face of this sport and I have no doubt it will go down in the history books as a pivotal vehicle for the industry. With PTO supporting all types of events, the sport becomes financially viable which makes people hungrier and you see a lot of movement in and around triathlon – there’s depth in every field now. It’s new, different and cool to see the sport evolve as the competition gets tougher.

 Photo credit: Professional Triathletes Org (PTO) 

My time here has made me realise I still have a lot of fight in me and I’ve found a new level of commitment within that before now I think had wavered from time to time. To be honest, I feel like I’ve trained harder than I ever have over the past two years but in reality, I’ve also taken a bit of time off. I guess in the back of my mind I felt like I had the space to do this amidst lockdowns, uncertainty and the inability to plan like we normally would. The last few weeks have been a wake-up call – training with Jan Frodeno in Girona and noting that after big races he doesn’t stop. His recovery weeks still require 20 hours per week of work. Compare this to the treatment I have been giving my recovery over the last couple of years; I would stop, give my body a break and spend time with my family. Although this would, at times, go against my coaches wishes I always felt quite strongly that having that balance was more important for longevity in the sport and believed I would pull it off anyway when in hindsight I really should have continued to build on what I had achieved in my training block before the race.

Braden Currie Start Line Challenge Salou Spain

Image credit: James Mitchell

I’ve always been an individual athlete and not ever trained as part of a team or system so never had a benchmark to work off of. We’ve always put the pieces of the puzzle together as best we can to figure out what it takes. The insight I’ve had through training with Jan has made me more motivated. I realise there is a lot more to be gained than I have been gaining on in the past. After racing three events here I know I’m definitely not at peak fitness and glad to have realised this.

Braden Currie Cycling Challenge Salou Spain
Image credit: James Mitchell

I met a guy in Germany called Paul Reszel who is a triathlon coach and have been working with him for the last month with a sole focus on the bike (he’s a bike guru). He’s been a great asset in addition to my coach Val Burke (in Wanaka) and I’ve learnt a lot. There are quite a few areas where I can make some big gains which is really motivating.

Paul Reszel – Your Resource.

I’m at the typical peak age for Ironman distance and have many learnings and achievements over the last few years under my belt that have been exponential really – looking back. It’s time now for me to get stuck in, bring it all together and get it done. My family and I will do what we have to do, base ourselves where we have to, to make next year a success.

Overall, everything seems to be lining up – there are now two chances at the Ironman World Championships next year (one in St George in May and one in Kona in October). I’m now on my way home which will be met with two weeks in MIQ before being released back into the real world. I have a great team behind me and the support of my family – I’m ready and genuinely excited.

Red Bull Ironman Athlete Braden Currie Cycling

Image credit: James Mitchell