Ironman 70.3: Sam Appleton – Gearing up for the World Championships in Chattanooga

Sam Appleton placed 5th at last year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championships, but this year he looks set to do even better. Trizone caught up with Sam to discover how his preparation for the huge race in Chattanooga is going.

“After last year, I was left wanting more,” said Sam. “I was really happy with fifth, but I think I could do even better because I was in third for most of the race.”

In his second year of training with Matt Dixon, the Aussie athlete known as ‘Appo’ has had a huge year of impressive results. “After last year, there were a few things I had to work on, but I felt like I was improving,” said Sam. “I’ve shown I’ve been working on my form this year with strong performances, and I’m going to try and replicate these in the world championships.”

Consistency has been key for Sam in 2017

Appo is inspired by great Aussie Ironman like Crowie and Tim Reed. “Tim was fifth a few years ago, and now he’s world champion,” Sam told Trizone. “I’m only 27, so I’ve got at least a decade left to keep improving, and I already have,” said Sam.

Sam Appleton reckons consistency and building on a solid foundation of strength and fitness is key. “I think it’s a case of being consistent which is something me and Matt have been working on,” Sam told Trizone. “I just try to keep nailing those sessions, that’s no secret though. You just go out there and get the work done.”

Appo’s taper leading up to the World Championships

“It’s about making sure your body isn’t getting stale,” said Sam, “you’re not going to get any fitter in the last two weeks. It’s about getting that last boost of confidence and making sure the legs are feeling good.”

Appleton’s program in the past week has been centred around recovering from key sessions, and now with one week to go, the volume is dropping significantly. “Then you travel to the race and before you know it, it’s the night before the race.”

How does Sam Appleton manage nerves before a big race?

“I try to calm myself down by remembering it’s just sport,” laughed Sam. “I try to ground myself in that regard. I remind myself I do it because I love it.”

It’s this incredibly mindful approach that may take Appleton to the podium this weekend. “At the end of the day, I’ve still got food on the table, a roof over my head, and family and friends who love me,” said Sam.

While the perspective Sam describes is true, it’s not always easy to practice. “It’s easy to get consumed when you try to peak for one race,” said Sam. “Sometimes I try to look back and see how far I’ve come,” grinned Appleton.

After a huge year in 2017, Sam Appleton is on the road to the podium at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Now we just have to wait and see what happens next weekend.

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