There’s been a permanent “Flood Warning” for Manly and its surrounds for over two decades now, and the locals wouldn’t have it any other way. The cause? Naomi Flood.
“Wednesday is my biggest day; I’ll usually come off a Tuesday night ski session and into swimming the next day. In the morning I’ll do gym and Wednesday night we’ll do races/Ironman changeovers. Sometimes I’ll box as well. So Thursday morning I’ll go to the pool and swim easy. I’ll go kayaking and just work on technique. Rest is really important. I need a lot of sleep. Most nights I’m off to bed before 9pm because I’m up at 4.30am to go swimming again. I’ll sneak a bit of a sleep in after swimming in the mornings before I go to work. Sunday’s a day of rest, so is Saturday afternoon if I’m not racing.“Massage is really important, just to keep on top of the lactic acid and keep the body well oiled and ready to go. It’s almost as effective as sleep for me. It recharges the batteries. Rest is always something beneficial. Hanging out at home in front of the TV is still good. After training I’ll have dinner and basically fall asleep on the lounge.”
ALL FIRED UP
“The week leading into a race I just try to think about the beach and visualise the whole environment. I know most of the beaches we race at, so I try to visualise the stands and all the hoo-haa that goes with the day – getting introduced to the crowd, etc. Whatever the order is, swim/ski/board, board/ski/swim, I just try and go through the race mentally and think about skills, how I’m feeling and basically just visualise the whole thing. It’s good to go through it all, just so you know what to expect.“I’m known as a bit of a larrikin, so on race days I kind of muck around a bit, crack a few jokes and try and have a good time and enjoy the experience. It’s very serious racing but you need to enjoy it. It’s your job but it’s also your passion. I enjoy rocking up to the beach, getting those butterflies, getting nervous and just getting ready to race.“I’ll go through the different spots on the beach of where the rips are with Trent, where the water’s moving, different breaks, sandbanks, how deep the water is, what the tide’s doing … ”
BANKING ON IT
“I work for St George bank as a bank teller part-time. I work roughly 21 hours a week. I’m there for four-five hours in between training in the middle of the day to cover lunch breaks at the branch I work at. The bank has been really good to me over the past few years. They’ve sponsored me and helped my development. It’s been good for me to be off the beach and out of the sun, to have something away from surf-lifesaving. My Ironwoman racing isn’t going to be there forever for me. They’re really understanding and are very lenient about me being an athlete and my training and racing. I spend a lot of time throughout the year overseas or away doing training camps and racing at different parts of the world and they’re really accommodating.”
– James Smith