Race hard, recover harder: Expert tips from Ky Hurst Posted by Gemma Christie - 11 March 2015 Seven Australian ironman titles, a former Australian Olympian, a member of Australia’s surf life saving hall of fame and over 30 Australian surf titles – that’s simply a handful of the achievements Ky Hurst can proudly tuck into his belt ... or speedos. Ky is without a doubt one of the most accomplished Australian swimmer and ironman of our generation. Born and raised in sunny Queensland, as a youngster Ky couldn’t get enough of the water. Since then, no one has been able to drag him away. Ky’s killer determination has lead him to push his body to the absolute limits and as a result, achieve physical feats many of us could only dream of. If anyone knows how to race hard and recover harder, it’s Ky Hurst. A passionate Hamilton Island Endurance Series competitor, Ky is pumped and ready to do just that as he takes on several of the five sporting events within the highly anticipated 2015 series. Hundreds are currently doing the same as they battle ocean waves or pound the pavement in preparation for the upcoming events. If you’re one of these game competitors set to push yourself to the extreme, or you’re pondering giving an event a go, here is some expert advice from Ky himself to give you that added touch of killer motivation. To win as many titles as you have over the years takes an immense amount of commitment and focus. What fuels your inspiring drive? Waking up every day knowing I have goals that I'm working towards has always been a huge motivator of mine. Knowing that getting up early to get in the water or head out onto the road to keep my fitness up and working towards an event is such a great feeling. It’s always great to see you pushing yourself to the limits on Hamilton Island. What do you enjoy most about the Hamilton Island Endurance Series events? For me it’s about sharing it with friends and family. What a great location to take the family so they can enjoy everything the island has to offer. At the same time, I get to compete knowing that they are perfectly fine. It's always nice to be able to rest, race and then recover in such an amazing place. When you’re not racing in Whitsundays island paradise, what does a normal day of training look like for you? I usually have a swim session in the morning from 5am through to 7am. I'm then at the gym at 10am and finish the day off with a board or ski session later in the day. From ironman champions like yourself to the newly converted exercise enthusiasts, the Hamilton Island Endurance Series attracts all types of competitors. What are your top three training tips for those entering a Hamilton Island Endurance Series event for the first time? Preparation is always key to getting through any event. Make sure you are training correctly for your event. Eating the correct food. Be aware of the food you put into your body as this will be the fuel that drives you through your day. Always make sure you recover and stretch. This will help you go from session to session and also increase your ability as an endurance athlete over time. What three foods should every competitor try to incorporate into their daily eating to help their body perform at its peak? The three things I try and put in my body every day are protein, vegetables and plenty of fluids. I also always try and get food in within 30 minutes after training to help my body with recovery. What do you normally eat before a big event – the night before and morning of? When it comes to race day, how long should you leave between eating and racing? Depending on where I am in the world, I always try and stick to what I eat at home. I think if you have something you eat on a regular basis before your training sessions and it doesn't repeat on you, then you should stick with that. Ideally you shouldn't be putting food in you before a race that you're not used to. When travelling, go to that extra effort to find the food you eat all the time. Before a race I generally try to eat 2-3 hours before a race, but I also try to have a snack closer to the race. When competing on Hamilton Island or taking part in the Whitehaven Beach Swim, what does your race day warm up routine look like? A good warm up is crucial before any race. The Whitehaven Beach Swim attracts some great swimmers so I need to make sure I'm always ready to race. I'll try and cover at least 1km of warm up before I swim the 2km race. So you’ve fuelled up food wise, warmed up your muscles and you’re poised at the starting line. The gun goes and you’re off. Before you know it, the pain and exhaustion begins to set in. What’s your advice for Hamilton Island Endurance Series competitors to help them push through and find that motivation to keep on powering to the end? Most of the time over any long race you will get to a point where you ‘hit the wall’. However you always find a way to get through it no matter how painful it is. Getting to the finish line no matter the result is always such an amazing feeling. A little bit of pain never hurt anyone and we always have after the race to recover and reflect on what was a great event. Finishing any race is no doubt an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment. However the challenge doesn’t stop here. What do you eat, drink or do after a big race to help your body recover? There are many ways to recover on Hamilton Island and that's totally up to the individual. The way I recover on the Island is lying by the pool enjoying some great food and drinks and spending time with the family. Make sure you take the time out for your body to recover. Having raced in so many destinations across Australia and the world, how does Hamilton Island compare? What do you enjoy the most about racing your hardest and recovering even harder in Whitsundays paradise? It's a place I've been going to for many years for holidays so to be able to go and race in a location like the Whitsundays is a dream for me. I get the best of both worlds – racing and resting. There aren't many places around the world that compare to the Whitsundays and for Australians to have it at their doorstep, we should count ourselves lucky. About the Author Life as one of Hamilton Island's blog contributors suits Gemma perfectly. She is passionate about both writing and all things to do with Hamilton Island tropical island paradise so sharing all the news, insights and interesting stories from the destination perfectly combines both loves. When not writing, Gemma can be found dancing for no reason, going out for breakfast, soaking up the beach or spending time with her family doing all of the above.