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Tri-Me Tape 105

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Mindset, motivation and multiple sports, the Tri Me Tapes are the audio journal of an amateur athlete, Abi Dawson.

Seeking a new challenge and an opportunity to improve her mindset Abi made the commitment to try new sports and compete.

Initially, she identified triathlon as a true test of grit, physicality and most importantly mental fortitude.

Join Abi and her partner in crime Matt as they discuss the journey to competition, the highs, the lows and lessons learnt along the way.

In this tape of Tri-Me Tapes Podcast, we unpack the relationship between coach and athlete, overcoming excuses and how to take life lessons from bike crashes.

If you are a new listener to The Tri Me Tapes, we would love to hear from you. Please visit our Facebook Page and share your athletic adventures!

In this episode, we discuss:

01:00 Coach catch up + Swimming Drills without the correct equipment

03:40 Making sure you know what the coach expects of you

04:58 Being Coached & communication

06:24 Excuses and reasons not to ride

07:45 New Direction, Abi’s previous sporting experience Hockey

12:35 Bike training crashes, & still scared of clipless pedals

14:31 Dad Advice about crashing

14:53 First long ride with clipless pedals and their fate

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Matt: Why are we doing Tri-Me tapes

Abi: Why we're doing Tri-Me tapes to deliver a message

Matt: Yeah

Abi: Yeah

Matt: A message of what

Abi: Not messages Gooo

Matt: It's a good message Welcome to the Tri-Me tapes an audio journal of an amateur athlete I'm Matt

Abi: And I'm Abi

Matt: And we're here to discuss Abi's athletic adventures Tri-Me tape number five

Abi: Yep

Matt: Yep You ready

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Okay This is Abi's journey into being accountable for things she says she's gonna do

Abi: Yeah An evidence of that in now

Matt: Yeah it's good to look back and work out what you've done what you've learned and we'll find out what you're going to do next

Abi: We're on

Matt: Week three

Abi: Week three Coach catches up So every week I caught up with Jimmy just over the phone and we would go through my program for the rest of the week and basically discuss anything that I wasn't sure of or

Matt: I laugh with that

Abi: Or My wait or my basically just Like injury just solely holistic how are you and what's been going on

Matt: Yeah

Abi: go on

Matt: My favourite quote from this is swimming last week was bloody hard Jimmy I think I'm a dominant arm swimmer If there is such a thing it's an interesting concept that you're a dominant arm Swimmer Yeah Jimmy then went on to ask you were you using the fins when you were doing this session Your little feet fins

Abi: So let me explain the training session

Matt: Yeah

Abi: 25-meter pool And you're supposed to swim on your side and kick your legs One arm the arm that's stretched out in front of you So if I was swimming on my right side of my right arm would be stretched out in front of me and my left arm by my side And you're kicking in the wards trying to keep that balance You have to kick quite a lot and quite hard Without using your arms to try maintain that body position and actually propel yourself through the water to get to 25 meters which just feels like fucking forever And the reason that I swallowed so much water and found it so difficult I must have looked so stupid especially on my left side Which is why I'm saying that it must be a right-side dominant I didn't want to actually turn round and go on my left side because it just kept like collapsing into myself He said did I wear fins I had purchased fin No I hadn't purchased fins at this time No I hadn't That's in the picture but I hadn't

Matt: Oh Okay

Abi: I'd picked up some of the other necessities that he'd put on the lists but fins weren't one of the list because previously in the training sessions I hadn't had them and he hadn't mentioned them And so he was kind of he is apologetic because he just assumed that I would know that this training session would require fins that which I did not And they did make a lot of difference

Matt: Yeah I can imagine

Abi: And

Matt: Programmed that way for a reason

Abi: Yeah it's a it was almost like half the effort twice as quick Didn't swallow as much water you can really focus on where your hand is in the water as well Like in front of you Yeah

Matt: So this is probably one of the landmark moments of learning To clarify what your coach expects of you

Abi: I don't think it was my fault

Matt: Um

Abi: how was I supposed to know that the session required fins

Matt: I don't know Haven't we said in other tapes that you hadn't sort of clarified what you were supposed to do

Abi: maybe but I don't think this one is one of them Actually

Matt: You don't think this is one of them

Abi: No

Matt: So it didn't say anywhere wear fins

Abi: No

Matt: So this isn't the same as when you got the levels wrong on the bikes

Abi: No

Matt: And they were heart rate levels not actual physical like resistance levels

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Okay

Abi: And in this case, it was just a miscommunication Like he assumed that I would know just by generally speaking to his other clients maybe you would have done the program before or he may be able to work with before or why I had no experience when I actually used them They were horrible I hated them because

Matt: The fins

Abi: Yeah They rubbed and they gave you a horrible blister but like later on in my training, I actually found them really useful and they were quality

Matt: Yeah Did you learn something about yourself and how you engage with coaches Cause this is the first personal coach you've ever had

Abi: This is no offence to Jimmy but I really hate to catch him every week

Matt: Did you every week you'd rather what every two weeks or maybe just a once a month

Abi: Like once a month

Matt: Really

Abi: But when I did it I felt like it was really valuable

Matt: Yup

Abi: And it was almost like had to push myself out my comfort zone and

Matt: Which we've been doing a lot of

Abi: yeah To make sure that we had this clarity and that we did know what like what level each other were on like what he expected out of me and what I was getting out of it especially as I was new to everything because I didn't want to I wanted it properly which is the whole reason why I got coach in the first place So yeah that wasn't a Jimmy That was just that's anyone I hate phone calls I'd rather speak to anybody over email

Matt: So at this stage where end of week three or beginning of week three and week three Overall how was your like training What were you saying on those coaching calls Yeah I'm all fine It's all great Or

Abi: No it was really honest I actually just said the bike was tough but like I really liked it I liked enjoying the difference in the challenge I think I was still really sceptical about getting out on my bike on the weekends So I would

Matt: that confidence thing

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Confidence in the brakes

Abi: Yeah it was winter time So motivation to get outside in the cold and wet anyway

Matt: It was a darker time

Abi: At like the excuses that I would go through my head of good ones that would actually

Matt: okay Let's hear your excuses What excuses were you giving yourself to not get on the bike and go out

Abi: The weather That would have been one of them

Matt: Weather

Abi: Yeah

Matt: How bad would the weather have to be

Abi: Windy

Matt: To be just windy

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Okay

Abi: If it was windy like if I could hear the wind Naah

Matt: Doesn't mean it cool So you even gave yourself a measurement scale

Abi: Yeah

Matt: You said if I can hear the wind

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Then naah

Abi: Yeah A wet cause they want to slip Cause I didn't know how good my tires like all the brakes I wasn't confident in brakes What else Tired probably I'd been training like loads right Quality time with you

Matt: I ok I became an excuse as well This is nice

Abi: So we could go on a bike ride together but we couldn't go on the road bike together Could we Because we don't have road bikes

Matt: I couldn’t keep up if you're on a mountain bike

Abi: I have to go on the road on the mountain bikes but at least it'd be cycling

Matt: Still cycling yup

Abi: Clipless shoes don't want to wear them

Matt: Didn't wear them

Abi: that I didn't want to admit that I was too scared to wear them for a while And then I just

Matt: and you just yielded it and it just rolled over

Abi: Threw them ou the door I ain't wearing them

Matt: So that was the coach's catch up That's where you're at week three

Abi: a little bit of a skip

Matt: Yeah a little bit of a skip in time

Abi: Eight weeks of training

Matt: So this is the new direction blog

Abi: I think this was just a touchpoint of being honest about what I had previously done in sports my background and that even I'm sharing my experiences I wasn't being very technical I kind of I'd still do it now whereas if I'm new to something I'll do as I'm told until I'm at a point where I think why am I doing it And then I have to get the information to be able to proceed

Matt: So you're not instinctively curious

Abi: No

Matt: But after a while, you seek to clarify why you're doing it

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Right

Abi: And then I would like to see progression or I'd like feedback on how to make it better But like first off I don't want to know anything about it because I want to just throw myself in the deep end rather than putting expectations And then they're not maybe not being able to meet them

Matt: Yeah That's kind of a good approach I think I think too many people build things up or take people that are in the limelight and be like Oh well they did it like this So That's what I'm aiming for as opposed to just looking at whether they enjoy the process and enjoy the training So eight weeks you've decided to sort of look back at your past in sport

Abi: Yeah I was a hockey player for a long time and nothing really serious but I think team sports is slightly Well quite different to being a triathlete maybe not in the sense of when like your a bit more in with the sport So if you're in a club or if you're a competitor you might see the same people So you might then train with them You get together that way but this is definitely more like you see each other on A weekday to train You see each other on the weekend That's kind of your social time and your sport time like competitive time fitness time So there's a big part of my life

Matt: So you said here taking the hockey player who recently started a career as a massage therapist and personal trainer Meanwhile using the gym to develop strength training I have stepped into quite a different world What do you mean by that

Abi: What I just said really Yeah Yeah It was it was quite different doing training on your own and trying to make motivate yourself So if you're not pulling your weight in on hockey pitch like you've got other people to answer to really

Matt: Yeah That collective effort together you can almost benchmark yourself against how everyone else is performing

Abi: And then you've got a win and a loss So

Matt: there's an outcome

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Immediate

Abi: Yeah And you know if you're playing really well like sometimes when my training especially doing it on my own and I had nothing to measure against I didn't know if I was training well or not as well as like in the gym Like you know when you're training well like you can lift something you can't you can increase your weight You can't You just know that instantly Whereas I think with triathlon training with just being very new to it Yeah It was a bit like on not sure where I am

Matt: Yeah So after you wrote this blog looking back at sort of how you used to train and playing hockey one did you miss hockey after you wrote this

Abi: Um

Matt: It's just a bit reminiscent

Abi: I think I'd always miss hockey but I think that I'm a very different person now I think I'll still have that competitive edge I don't think I was very nice when I played hockey

Matt: Do you think you have a nice now

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Okay

Abi: I think I was fun at the end but I think lots of people especially

Matt: I think I'm always fun at the end

Abi: Yeah I think not any screen stick Cause I was nervous I couldn't really be a dickhead but especially towards the end of my and when I was in Crowborough I just took it a little bit too seriously Mate that's why I changed you

Matt: Maybe you take yourself too seriously

Abi: I changed clubs because I just I thought like I can't expect all these people to try and put in like the effort that I want to put in When it's like club level where we want to turn up for like their fun Saturday whereas East Grinstead are a little bit more like training to win train to get like up the ladder and it's a bit more serious So that's what that is why I changed ultimately at the end of it just because of my attitude But um

Matt: it was before we even started this triathlon journey you think you took a gear shift with your attitude there and acknowledged that It's not the club It's me

Abi: Yeah

Matt: So you move clubs to give yourself a new challenge

Abi: Yes

Matt: And then going on That's why you gave that was before this even started

Abi: Yeah True

Matt: Yeah So it was there it was coming through

Abi: glimmer of hope

Matt: Yeah The birth of a new Abi She will be a nice person One day We promise you she'll go into her cocoon and come out like a beautiful butterfly

Abi: I am nice now

Matt: Yeah Yeah that's what everyone says at the gym A month and a tumble

Abi: This is very short one We went out for a celebratory ride again not on the road bike on a mountain bike

Matt: Covered in dust just like cobwebs all over it

Abi: Every now and then I'd sit on it and just try put my feet in the cleats You'd hold the front of it Well Such that pedal pedal unclip pedal pedal pedal unclip

Matt: Yeah It was a dark time in our lives where I had to hold the bike for you to practice clipping in and clipping out

Abi: Clips so loose as well I could basically slip my foot in and out anyway

Matt: Clipless amazing technology Out on our bikes having a little ride

Abi: celebrating a month of training got way too cocky pulled the back brake and did a rad skid around the corner

Matt: 360 spin

Abi: 360 spin

Matt: Do a really brief blog about crashing your bike

Abi: I think it was just to be a bit relatable and just say like

Matt: trying to reach my audience

Abi: You know when people will kind of just say everything's going great This is what happened to me This is a training day for me Like it wasn't always like that there was

Matt: So the purpose of these tapes is exactly that isn't it but it's not all sunshiny

Abi: No

Matt: So you crashed the bike I was with you It was humorous because it wasn't a nice easy corner But did that make you want to ride the road bike even less

Abi: I didn't associate it to be honest It didn't really bother me that it fell off I think we'd spoken about it so much that there's going to be a time where I'd fall off My road bike and it's it's gonna hurt and it's going to be bad but that's something that I think everybody every athlete would have experienced

Matt: Yeah My dad says that about riding a motorbike He says it's not if you crash it's when you crash And the moment you aren't considering the possibility of shit happens is probably the moment that shit will happen So just be aware that there's always a tumble to be had

Abi: and it can't it's not always going to be your fault either So

Matt: Yeah

Abi: And then we went out on a trail ride with the bike and the shoes I shit my pants

Matt: You swore at me

Abi: I swore at you a lot

Matt: you didn't want my help support encouragement

Abi: Screamed Whenever anybody came near me especially dogs

Matt: dogs

Abi: Oh my God Dogs They don't look out like that I get out of the way

Matt: You can't unclip your feet and the dog is so excited to see you He's hurtling towards you You can't pull the brakes because they're too far away from you You can't balance and your feet are stuck to the bike

Abi: Yeah

Matt: that was lots of swearing of dogs

Abi: Yeah Trying to start on a Hill as well and clip the shoes Unbelievably hard

Matt: Even though you can't do it

Abi: No no I'm not gonna to bullshit I actually never developed peddling with clipless shoes I wanted to take out that variable that was stopping me from going out on the bike And so I just decided if I was training on the bikerg or indoors that I was on flat pedals then I could ride outside with flat pedals And I'd looked at some kind of comparisons online

Matt: More research

Abi: More research And they said like obviously there's going to be a some difference But the level I was training at I was just wanted to get out there and do it without pooing my pants

Matt: So trying to remove the excuses we were talking about this was one of them This was a big one

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Putting on those shoes

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Clip in the bike and off you go

Abi: Yeah

Matt: So they went and we ended up buying Quite a few flat pedals So we just ended up finding some mountain bike ones at work

Abi: Yeah Something thats grippy is quite good because obviously, you can still get that pull motion

Matt: Yeah The level you're anticipating to compete at I don't think the amount of pull motion you would be losing would really make a difference to where you placed and how your race went because there was so many obstacles to overcome including confidence and not understanding where to go on the bike would be more important than whether your feet on the pedals or not So That was a choice that was made to modify the bike

Abi: A good one I think

Matt: Yeah You did ride it a little bit more when you had the flats on

Abi: Yeah Lots more

Matt: Good for you

Abi: Yeah

Matt: Yeah And Abi tape five

Abi: That's the end of the tape five Yeah

Matt: End of tape Five. click.

Thank you for listening to the Tri-Me tapes Don't forget to subscribe to hear the rest of the tapes If you'd like to give us a review please head to or to share your athletic adventure Join us on Facebook at

Abi: Well you're gonna to start the end

Matt: I don't know

Abi: Yipppppeeeeeeeee Waaaaahhhhooooooo

Matt: Yaaaaaaayyyyy

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