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Alise Selsmark back in action

22 September 2020

Alise Selsmark
Alise has returned to competitive sport after giving birth to her first child Taj (left).

Queensland triathlete Alise Selsmark is extremely grateful to have been able to race at the Iron Man Oceania Sunshine Coast 70.3 given the current state of the world. It was her first long course race in 22 months since she took a bit of time away from the sport to give birth to her first child, Taj, in November. Alise swam her fastest 1.9km swim in an Ironman 70.3 race, in a time of 24.11, which is a great achievement given her reduced training hours. She was pretty pleased to have managed to hang onto the feet of race winner Amelia Watkinson until their feet touched the sand.

She feels that performance-wise it wasn't her best day but she counts it as a "run on the board after a bloody long hiatus." Organising everything for a race with a tiny baby is a huge logistical task and Alise believes "it really does take a village to be able to do sport and be a mum at the same time, and I'm so grateful for my support crew." For new mums returning to competitive sport, Alise has shared some great tips:

Firstly, have a think about your major life priorities. Like many of you, this changed for me when my first precious small person arrived earth side, and I'm okay with that. Once you have clarity around your priorities, you can formulate some specific goals that align with your priorities.

Alise Selsmark
Her training schedule may have altered, but Alise still manages to find the time for her sport.

Next, I think it's important to find your "sweet spot" in terms of achievable training hours each week. This will be hugely individual based on work commitments, family commitments, sleep patterns (or lack of, for parents of babies) and your ability to manage fatigue and recovery. These hours can obviously vary depending on what phase of race prep you are in too. For me, my "sweet spot" in terms of hours that I can consistently commit to my training, currently sits at around 18 hours per week. For you it may be 10 hours, or it may be 20 hours.

Once you have figured out an achievable weekly schedule, be confident in your decision, commit to these hours and own it! You have the power to commit as much or as little as you like to your sport. Making a conscious decision around these things helps to prevent the victim mentality of "it's not fair that I can't train as much as competitor XYZ". We all have choices around our priorities and goals.

Then, use those dedicated hours well! Quality over quantity is key here! Are you spending 30 minutes of your allocated long ride time sitting in the coffee shop? Do you scroll through your phone mindlessly on the indoor trainer? Are you chatting for 10 minutes between swim sets? I'm personally aware that my training hours are on the lower side for a professional triathlete, but I'm perfectly confident with what I'm doing because I use every minute of these hours well. When you train, be present, be consistent. Commitment = results. The equation is usually that simple. Go get it.

 
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