Thursday, September 12, 2013

Brad Hoskings ... Kona Bound Again

No doubt one of he legends of triathlon in WA . Consistently good , fast and dedicated . Brad returns to Kona again this year .Here is a glimpse of what it takes. I first met Brad at North Coast Tri Club. He had already got a win at Busselton and a slot to Kona. One of the endearing memories was the Fire Truck parked outside Sorrento Surf Club when North Coast had its annual Max Grieves run with Brad making a quick appearance whilst on duty (I presume) . He has gone on to coach in recent years and the dedication to detail and training is the stand out characteristic I have learnt from Brad .There are many more stories to tell. The memories are of the relentless training and races . As I am maxing out trying to maintain a hard pace on the bike or run , Brad saunters through with words of encouragement . Another great tale is Brads record Painathon result. Besides this small insight into Brad , he has kindly sent me his race report from his first Kona race which I will post soon .It was first posted in the old North Coast website (but has now gone) It is worth re posting for the many who are preparing for Kona or dream of racing there.

1 Full name: Bradley Hosking

2 Age group: About to do my first race in the 45-49 at Kona.

3 Profession: Firefighter.

4 Years in profession: 20

5 Brief Background: Born in Ossie Park hospital, raised in Nollamara, grew up in the same house up to leaving home. Had a fantastic childhood that I wish I could have all over again. Loved sport in general but grew up living and breathing Australian Rules Football.

6 When did I realise I had been bitten by the Triathlon bug? Like most people it was pretty much after my first race, which was the Point Walter sprint distance back in 2006. Besides the obvious fun aspect there is that inescapable element of learning so much with each race and just wanting to come back and put that new found knowledge and experience to the test.

7 Triathlon experience: Now in my eighth year, but the participation factor has slowly been giving way to the coaching side of things over the last few years. Kona will be my 10th IM, I think I’ve done 6 or 7 halves, Long course and OD worlds and a stack of short stuff.

8 Average day training for an IM: Post race when I sit down and collate all my training data, I generally end up with an average over the 18 weeks of around 16 hours per week. At first glance it probably doesn’t seem that much but you’re looking at just shy of 2.5 hours every day for 126 days. Of course there are a bunch of days in there where I am either doing a swim only or stand alone plyometrics type session or having the day off (usually Sundays) completely. So the hours per day of actual training on those REAL training days is somewhat more. I am always trying to keep my training fresh firmly believing that there are many ways to go about a preparation, but in saying that, at the end of the day you still have to swim X, ride X, and run X, so with that in mind I generally try and aim for 2.5 swims per week, 4 Rides (incorporating a brick) and 4 runs (incorporating a brick)

9 Maintaining balance of work, life and family. What life?  A very difficult thing to do indeed and the primary reason why Kona will be my last IM for the foreseeable future. I guess if I chose to step back and just ‘participate’ rather than ‘compete’ then I would certainly enjoy some more longevity in the sport, but I’m not in that place right now, though one day I hope that I can make that transition, because I love the sport and would hate to think that it wouldn’t be a part of my life again. That aside though, the necessity to find the best balance I can,  has forced me to continually assess a way to get the best time effective bang for my training buck. Something I believe I’ve finally got a pretty good handle on.

10 How does an active physical lifestyle tie in with my work? There’s barely a day that goes by where I don’t pinch myself because of how lucky I am to have the job that I do and there’s not a day goes by where I don’t thank the good Lord that I don’t have a 9-5 office job (no disrespect to those that do) I’m a fit healthy and active guy and the fire brigade offers the perfect environment in which to exist along those lines. It demands a level of fitness and is capable at any moment of delivering physical tests to almost any extreme. Our fire stations are equipped with gyms and at certain times during every shift, we are allocated periods to utilise it (fire calls not withstanding) For someone into health , fitness, self challenge etc…you couldn’t ask for a better job.

11 How many years did I train to qualify for Kona? My first triathlon which was the Point Walter sprint, was from memory the fourth last race of the 06 season. That following December I did Busselton IM and was very fortunate to qualify there, so I guess I was around the sport for about 8-9 months at that stage.

12 Standout moments, memories or accomplishments of my triathlon career: I guess for me it will always be the 09 Busselton IM. Whilst it wasn’t a PB, those who raced that day can attest to the conditions that prevailed during the later part of the bike leg and throughout the marathon. I remember hitting the front of my age group before the end of the first (run) lap, so for the first time was racing to hold my lead and fend off any charges. The conditions became pretty brutal and I can honestly say I’ve never taken my mind and body to that place before or since. I held tough for 8th place outright and back to back overall age group win (from 08)  It was a real fitting end to many months of hard work which included the Gold Coast OD world’s and the Perth Long Course world’s.

13 What do I enjoy most about the sport? Without hesitation…the people. I spent my whole life up to starting triathlon around footy clubs and whilst I enjoyed every minute of it and have no regrets, the type of people and accompanying attitudes that exist between the two cultures  are like chalk and cheese. It’s such a positive, healthy and empowering environment…triathlon that is 

14 What is my favourite race and why? At the end of the day, my experience doesn’t really extend that far, but from the sheer fun and enjoyment of running around a course with a stack of your mates and people you know, with even more standing on the side line supporting and cheering you on, then you just can’t go past the Busso full or IM 70.3 and to see how big those races have become in such a short space of time is awesome. I thought the inaugural Mandurah 70.3 was a cracker (again for a lot of the same reasons) but having done Kona, you can really appreciate why it enjoys the status that it does. It’s a special race in a special place and the yanks really do throw on a show. I can’t wait to be back there again.

15 Who or what in triathlon inspires me: It may sound corny, but it always has been and always will be the regular population, particularly the older generation and physically challenged, that get out there and have a go. I never ever miss getting back to the finish line to watch until the last person crosses that line. I hope that I can continue to enjoy the health and motivation that will see me still being both able to and wanting to…challenge my mind and body like that whatever age or circumstance I find myself in.

16 Do I have a favourite workout and what is it? Even though I love to ride and have so many great sessions that I enjoy, I love to run more, so it would have to be a cross country circuit I do up around my place with some max effort hill repeats to finish off with.

17 What is the best piece of advice that I’ve ever been given? I love this story and if you knew the guy who I refer to in it, then it would certainly be a lot funnier than it seems, but in my fourth ever race of my inaugural season of 06 which happened to be the Busselton half ironman, I managed to qualify (as you had to then) for the 07 Ironman Australia which was moving from Forster to Port Macquarie for the first time. I honestly had no idea of ‘Ironman’ at this stage and whilst I was debating the merits of whether I should take the slot or not with my wife, a mate from work who had been in the sport for many years and had chalked up 4 IM’s himself sauntered up. Here’s a chance for some good advice  I thought. So after seeking his counsel, I was met with this blank lifeless stare which seemed to go on for many moments, finally and with a dead pan expression -  he spoke…”I hope your marriage is a good one” And so it shall come to pass…that it is! 

18 What’s one unique thing you might find if you peeked inside my training bag? Sorry, nothing to offer you here, just the essential tools for whatever session it may be that I’m embarking on.

19 What’s my favourite pre race and mid race fuel? Pre race (and I know I’m not an island here) is mashed banana with honey on toast or fruit toast…homemade of course and a super chocolatey milo  Mid race? Just the good old tried and tested favourites of Shotz gels, Shotz or Powerbar energy bars and Powerbar gel blasts. Reliable, transportable and they taste good too.

20 Do I have any rituals or good luck routines I do before a race? Nothing with any superstitious context associated with it, just plenty of tried and trusted routine. The days preceding a big race like IM can be a funny / difficult time, even more so if you don’t systematically address the final elements of your preparation i.e. cross the T’s and dot the I’s so to speak. You’ve come too far by that point to not have a routine in place that you can rely on to finish off the work and get you to the start line in the best possible shape to deliver on your race. I’m all about those small one percenters; ensuring every single thing within my power is addressed, so as to remove any doubt, stress or worry. The one ritual I guess I do have, is the day before I race I will always head down to a nice quiet secluded spot overlooking the swim course and sit and meditate/ visualise the coming race.

21 What’s my favourite triathlon discipline to compete at? As I mentioned before, I love to ride, but I love to run more, so superficially you could say running. But as we all know there’s more than three disciplines to triathlon, particularly Long course or Iron distance racing, so in that respect and in all honesty, the part or discipline of ironman racing that I love and thrive on more than anything else, is the testing of my mind and character…the mental discipline!

22 What music keeps me motivated during training? Has anyone met my kids yet?? Let’s just say they are feisty and full of character, oh yea…and they’re loud and they never stop talking  so consequently I have learnt to covet silence over the past few years. Where once I would have always had head phones in my ears, these days I’m all about the silence.  Mmmm… silence! But (and there’s always a but) most times when I’m on the treadmill or doing an ERGO session I’ll revisit all the upbeat tunes from my indie / grunge days to hurry me along.

23 What’s something people might be surprised to find out about you. I’m quarter Italian 

24 When I’m not training or competing, people can find me… planning my next holiday or being involved at some point with my coaching. I’ve also dusted off my trusty guitar from my pre triathlon days (when I had a life) with the intention of having that fill the post Kona retirement hole.

25 What’s one race I haven’t done yet that I would like to do someday? We are so spoilt for choice these days that it’s ridiculous. On the Iron distance front, it would have to be Roth, on other fronts, the Antarctic marathon…actually that’s all I can get my head around at the moment…did I mention I’m retiring 

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