With only eight weeks until my first race of the year it seemed timely that I talked about this year ahead and the plans of building COPD Athlete into a comprehensive respiratory website with a emphasis on lifestyle choices.
My first race of the year will be a ½ marathon Twilight run on 20th of March in my home town of Brisbane, the race will run along the Brisbane river and surrounding areas. I’ve picked this race as its one I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time but haven’t been able to due to the date. This race is also a good lead up race to my first marathon of the year.
I will be a little under prepared for this race due to interruptions in my training schedule. We are in the middle of our summer and the conditions have been hot and humid, not ideal training weather for someone with COPD. I find myself doing most of my runs at night but even then I’m finding it difficult to run more than 8k in a single session due to the heat.
On the 3rd of July I’ll be running Gold Coast marathon with one main goal and that is to break that 6 hour mark. I just missed going under 6 hours in the New York marathon so now I’m even more determined to get there. We learnt some valuable information about training a respiratory patient in the New York campaign and we’ll apply that knowledge to the Gold Coast race. A few adjustments to my training program from coach Doug along with some new eating habits will mean a leaner, stronger and faster me, which will get me under 6 hours.
In August I have been approached to be an the ambassador for a corporate cycling challenge here in Australia. A week after on the 4th of September I’ve been invited to a cycling race in France as part of a awareness campaign for COPD. The race is only 50 kms long, however it takes in some hilly terrain which I’m sure will be challenging. This event, if successful will be followed by 5 races in 2017 around the world to promote more research and awareness for COPD.
When I arrive back in Australia it’s straight back into Ironman training which I started on the 11th of January. It’s been a goal to race all four Ironman events in Australia. The only one remaining is Ironman Western Australia in Busselton. The marathon and cycling training that I’ll be doing through the year will give me a great base for Ironman W.A. which I hope will produce another PB.
We are still looking for corporate partners to bring all these events together, so for any businesses looking to promote your brand we can certainly help with that.
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The races I have planned this year will be a great opportunity for me to spread my lifestyle message to COPD patients around the world – medication, healthy eating and exercise. Each event I do helps shine a light on COPD and other respiratory diseases in the hope that more money will be directed to funding research and better patient programs. The table below graphically shows how underfunded COPD is in relation to other chronic diseases.
The COPD Athlete website will undergo changes this year that will include online training programs for all levels of patients, podcasts with a range of healthcare professionals related to respiratory disease, an online shop for respiratory products and some knew innovations with Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
Of course this all takes time and money which means the website will develop as we receive funding. The end result of the website will mean a huge resource centre that will fulfil many of the missing pieces for patients.