#SundayStories, Claire Doherty from water panic attacks to Kona IM

This fortnights Sunday Story is Energised Performance Ambassador and Gain The Edge Ambassador & Athlete, the Courageous Claire Doherty. You may have read her blog updates about her training and qualifying for the prestigious Kona Ironman World Championships this year, below is an update

In July this year I qualified for what some consider is the Holy Grail of triathlon, Kona. This was unexpected and I was nervous, in fact I was scared! I had heard how brutal the conditions could be, the heat and humidity and the wind. I was also slightly nervous about completing my first full distance sea swim in water that could be very changeable.


In the lead up to the race I practiced all the techniques that Kim had taught me, I visualised myself being calm and strong, I ran through scenarios in my head and how I might feel and what I would do if things didn’t go to plan, what I would do to ensure that I remained focused and I practised seeing positivity in some rather suboptimal training sessions! I had a few health issues going into the race, but mentally I felt ready. I had worked with Kim and adjusted my expectations to factor these in.

When I first started working with Kim I was a very un confident swimmer, I had full blown panic attacks in the water and would start to get nervous even on the way to the lake and sometimes the pool. I could not be further away from my old self now. Although I am not a strong or fast swimmer I am no longer nervous. Kim taught me that to be comfortable and to enjoy something, I had to learn to like it! And I love swimming now. The Kona sea swim is the most amazing swim I have ever done; I loved that part of the race the most!


The race was brutally hard for me, the hardest thing that I have ever done, but one of the most rewarding. I used everything Kim has ever taught me out on that course and it pulled me along and out of dark places, keeping me focused on getting to the finish line. Things didn’t go to plan, do they ever in an endurance race? But that was ok, because I had prepared for the unexpected and unwanted, I remained positive, I had small mini goals that I set my self along the way and I congratulated myself after achieving each of them. I knew that I would finish and that is the real aim of any challenge – to complete it! I may not have completed it in the fastest time nor had the smoothest race, but the lessons I learned were many.

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”
Orison Swett Marden

If you would like to join our Gain the Edge, Mental Strength Team in 2015, do send us an email kim@energisedperformance.com, we have group and 1;1 training options, combined with online courses & workshops (dates coming soon).

We post tips and thoughts here: https://www.facebook.com/mentalstrengthcoaching?fref=ts & on Twitter @kimingleby @energisedcoach

Our most Recent features on Mental Strength can be found in Triathlon Plus and Dance Today Magazine, with our client stories.

From Increasing Confidence and reducing sabotaging thoughts, to complete your first race or win that medal, we are with you all the way. #RoadtoRio #Confidence #StrictlyComeDancing



If you have a story you want to share  (success, overcoming challenges, learnings, fun… whatever you want) then get in touch and you can get a £7 thank you voucher off our services for that week…