My reflection of 2016

2016 started out with World Championships on the horizon. That was my main focus. However as life never goes to plan, I broke my jaw at the end of May. This meant for six weeks I was unable to eat properly, train, work or talk. Those weeks felt like forever! I was losing muscle and had the World Championships in the Netherlands looming ahead of me. I was keener than ever to get back into training. Having forced time off made me realise how much I love being fit, strong and striving for my goals.


I started training with 8 weeks to go leading into the World Championships. This was less than ideal preparation but it was all that I had. I was more motivated than ever. My whole mental state during that time was focused around training smart. I did this by gradually building up my training load and then training harder than I ever had before to make sure my body was ready to race. I focused more on the process of training rather than the injury or how unfit I was. I just took each week as it came.


I have been focusing more on gym this year and have been trying to build up my strength and power. One of the biggest challenges when training for a surf Ironwoman and Summer of Surf season, is to try and fit in all the disciplines into my week. My weekly program includes; surf ski paddling, board paddling, swimming, gym, running and Pilates. Keeping focused on my goals and what I want to achieve, helps me stay motivated to train each week and push myself just that little bit harder.


I managed to convert hard training into becoming the World Ironwoman Champion in the Netherlands, a goal I have been aiming for quite some time. This was definitely a highlight of the year. Another highlight was travelling to Fiji with the Australian team for the International Surfing Association SUP and Paddleboard World Championships. I was a late call up to the Australian team to travel to Fiji. I hadn’t been training for an 18km board race and was so nervous, as I thought I was way out of my depth. I managed to surprise myself and win both board races in Fiji and also find a new love for distance paddleboard racing.


The Northcliffe girl’s squad, has been awesome this year as we continue to push each other at training. We have had some great success this year in Summer of Surf, especially in the Aussie Bodies Taplin.


From a broken jaw to winning three world titles, my year has certainly been filled with many highs and lows. The events that occurred last year will certainly be some I’ll remember forever. In the past I have focused a lot on controlling everything from my training, to what I eat and my work. I have started to realise that like the surf, life can be unpredictable and you just have to ride the currents and waves you are given.


Ups and downs are inevitable. I’m excited about all the new adventures and challenges to come. I am pretty excited to see what new waves are on the horizon.

Harriet Brown