“Before I met Nic I had only competed in half marathons and each time recovery was painful and took nearly a week to get back to normal. Hitting my forties I decided to do something ‘large’ to prove to my forty year old body that I was really still 20.
I looked on line at difficult marathons one I had noticed a year before was the lake to light house challenge in lake Waikaremoana it would took a few days to totally complete but I just wanted to do the marathon over the mountain. That year they cancelled it. So started looking for something else. I met Nic at this time and he said get back to me when you found something.
While online hunting down my 20 year olds race I kept coming across triathlons and the Ironman. I just kept saying no way to myself and moved on but one morning feeling stupid and brave I just decided to “do something that scares the hell out of you” and I signed up to do the NZ Taupo Ironman. It was exactly one year away. I went to Nic and told him, I think he smiled and said something like ‘That’s more like it.’ The three things I asked of Nic were that I wanted to complete it, I wanted to enjoy it on the day and I didn’t want any injuries.
The next year was very difficult juggling training and travelling extensively overseas for my job but I managed to train almost every day of that year with help from Nic guiding me and from his training plans. With his extensive background in strength and conditioning, he stripped me back to the basics and started getting my body ready for the long training sessions ahead. When I first met Nic I had all the usual niggles a forty year old wanna be athlete would have. Knees, hips aching, a bad shoulder, posture and neck strain. It goes on.
Nevertheless, I completed the 2014 Taupo Ironman in 13 hrs and 1 minute, exceeding my expectations of around 15 hours. And I did it completely injury free. I had an amazing year and was amazed in what I achieved. I realised at the end that actually doing the event was only a confirmation of the hard work and journey I went through during that year. But I would not have enjoyed or even achieved what I did without Nic’s help. With that I had the confidence to wake up each morning with that day’s training in mind knowing that I would reach my goal. I had to deal with the mind and its questions but Nic’s program gave me confidence in that also. Nic made sure that my body never had any excuses to say no to training.”
Mark Burch – Ironman