Goals and Motivation

Column for Surf Coast Times Dec 2016

I feel privileged to be asked back to write a weekly column in the lead up to the Surf Coast Times Jim Wall Ironman Challenge. Growing up in Victoria, the Jim Wall Ironman was always one of my favourite events in the summer surf season. In this article I will share some tips and advice that has helped me through my training and competition.

Before starting any kind of training program, it is important to have a purpose and goals. As a young athlete, I used to shy away when my coach would ask me to write down my goals. I used to believe that if I didn’t achieve the goals that I had set then I was failing. However, I started to learn that once I set achievable goals I had created a focus which gave me the motivation I needed to turn up to training and go hard.

Working towards a goal, challenge, race, swimming or running distance, or event is what helps inspire us to keep focused to do all of the little things correctly each week. As a Surf Ironwoman, I train up to three times a day. Some days when the surf is clean and the weather is nice I just can’t wait to paddle; other days when it’s cold, windy and I’m tired my motivation isn’t very high. During those times I look to my goal to push me through.


When creating your goals, it’s important to have short, medium and long term goals. Short term goals may be to swim train four times a week, or aim to run 8km. Some examples of medium term goals are to improve technique and stroke efficiency, swim at a certain time cycle and win a race. Long terms goals should be about what you ultimately want to achieve. Set these goal high. After winning the World Ironwoman title, my season goal is to win the Summer of Surf Ironwoman Series and Australian Championships. 


No matter what your goals are, the important thing is that you have to put in the hard yards, done the work and kept focus. There is no better feeling than arriving on race day knowing that you are prepared and ready to do everything in your power to achieve your goals. 

Harriet Brown