Tom Davies is an INCUS Enabled Athlete who joined INCUS while studying at Loughborough University. Tom is now an accomplished triathlete and took silver in the Age Group IRONMAN World Championships. Tom spoke to us about dealing with setbacks - after a hectic couple of years building up to the World Championships in St George, Utah.
How did the multiple IRONMAN World Championship race postponements affect your mindset and training?
The first postponement, from October 2021 to February 2022, was actually a welcome one for me. There was so much uncertainty about the race happening that it was nice to have something confirmed either way. I also got hit hard by Covid in the summer of 2021, so it gave me more time to prepare.
I was less enthusiastic about the second change from February to March, and from Kona to St. George. There was nothing I could do about it though, so I focused on the extra time I had to prepare and got myself excited to visit a part of the world that I’d not seen before.
As it happens, much of St. George and the surrounding area is stunning - even if in a different way to Hawaii!
Did you have any other setbacks in the lead up to this race?
About 6 weeks before the race, I got hit by a car that was driving on the wrong side of the road. Whilst I escaped any major injuries, it was definitely a significant setback both mentally and physically. Thankfully I still had long enough to recover and regain some fitness before the race.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Honestly, I’m not sure I’m completely over the physical effects of that crash yet, even 4 months later. I convinced myself I was at the time, as I think it was important to believe I was absolutely at the top of my game. However, on reflection, I’m still struggling to find the form I had before the crash.
Regardless, at the time I did everything possible to get back on track. I rested immediately and focused on healing properly before worrying about training again. I sought professional advice when it came to the injuries I’d sustained, which proved invaluable, and I think the impact would’ve been far more significant had I not done that early on.
What advice would you give to others who are currently facing athletic setbacks?
You can’t change what’s already happened. You can only focus on getting the best out of your current situation. Try to focus objectively on the best path back to success from where you are now and try to stay positive. Often, setbacks force you to spend time on areas you’d otherwise neglect, allowing you to come back even stronger.
How did you use your INCUS device to prepare for St George?
I’ve been using an INCUS device since I started triathlon just over 3 years ago. It’s allowed me to progress from a total novice swimmer to the stage I’m at now. It’s been a great tool in informing my training approach and areas to work on.
What's your favourite INCUS metric and why?
I love what INCUS now offers for running. Run Power is something I’m a big fan of. I do a lot of my running up hills and mountains, so to be able to have a metric that accounts for this is really valuable for my training.
Do you have any top tips for recovering after a race?
I think it depends on the race, the individual, and their plans for future racing. If you’ve just ticked off your big season goal, go enjoy some tasty food and chill out.
If you’ve done something as demanding as an IRONMAN, don’t rush back into training too soon. There needs to be a period of rest; how long that period is will be specific to each athlete.
There are lots of little things that can aid the process, but ultimately nothing else matters without proper rest and proper nutrition.
Do you have any tips or advice for levelling up performance?
First and foremost, sleep more.
Secondly, a device like the INCUS | NOVA is a great tool. Use it to enhance and inform your training decisions, but make sure you also listen to your body too.