As February rolls around, many people will be kick starting their working year with a New Years resolution – some sort of fitness promise to themselves that this year will be different. But for me, Catherine Allison, Osteopath and Pilates Instructor at Beyond, February means recovery from a long season of triathlon racing.

Last weekend I competed in the inaugural Challenge Melbourne – a half ironman distance triathlon. For me this marked the end of a season of racing and time to reset my sights for 2014. Lucky for me I finished on a high with a podium finish for my age group. But more importantly I had survived my first year training for triathlon, with a 10 minute personal best.

As I unwind for a few weeks of recovery, I will be reflecting back on the year that was – what worked and what didn’t. During this time I will be sharing with you a training blog to give you an insight into the life of a triathlete. I hope you will find inspiration from my blogs and hopefully learn a thing or two about your body on the way. So let’s go back to where it all began…….the start of my journey in January 2013.

A year ago this month I decided, while lying on a beach in India, that I would like to train for a triathlon. After all I was fit – I ran and played netball, but I hadn’t swum a lap of a pool since I was in primary school (17 years ago) and I had ridden a bike a mere handful of times in the past 10 years. But I wanted a challenge and I definitely wasn’t going to line up on that start line if I wasn’t going to finish!

With little or no idea how to train for anything other than running, I trained for two weeks before I competed in my first mini triathlon – a 250m swim, 10km ride and 3km run. Two days prior to the race I went to the swimming pool still unable to swim 250m without a break – I was so far out of my depth that I was almost in tears on race day. But I put my doubts aside I completed the race and I remember crossing that finish line with a huge smile on my face. I had achieved my goal – to finish a Triathlon and what an adrenaline rush – I was hooked! That week I enrolled for my next challenge – an Olympic Distance Triathlon (1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run) nothing like easing into the sport!

A year on I look back at that first race and can’t help but laugh at how under prepared and nervous I was! I’m not saying I no longer get nervous, and I’m definitely not saying I find triathlons easy, but I have come a long way in 12 months. Since March 2013 I have completed four Olympic Distance Triathlons (1.5km swim/40km bike ride/10km run) and three Half Ironman events (1.9km swim/90km bike ride/21.1km run). I have finished on the podium in three of these events which has gained me automatic qualification into the Australian team to compete in the World Championships in both Olympic Distance and Half Ironman Distance Triathlons in Canada this year.

So while I may be enjoying the down time this week, it won’t be long until the build to the 2014 season begins, so stay tuned for further information on training methods, recovery, stretching and strength training to help you to move through life .

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