As many of you know, IRONMUMS is run by our gorgeous leader, Naomi (or Coach Nac to those under her expert guidance!). We thought it was about time that we shone a little light on this lovely lady, as she is not one to blow her own horn (or even toot a tiny whistle really!).
Starting from nothing but a passion to build a community of fellow Mums doing triathlons, Nac has grown her following steadily over the past couple of years and loves nothing more than chatting training, nutrition and all things racey! She lives in Victoria with her three kids and her long-suffering husband :) and spends her days moonlighting as a Kindy teacher, hassling the shit out of Clancy with endless questions about social media, online content and everyday nutrition and Emma about all things business! But our days would be shit without her!
Over to you Coach!
What inspired you to start IRONMUMS?
When I was 36wks pregnant with my third child I signed up for my first 70.3 never having
completed a triathlon before. After having my third it was time to start training. The days were long and tiring I almost threw the sport in, it was so hard. I searched the internet looking for other mums in the same situation as myself, juggling family, work and triathlon and although there was some amazing websites out there supporting women, I couldn’t find one that I could relate too. I thought there must be other mums out there doing what I was doing so I started a Facebook page thinking I’d only get a few people interested. Unbeknown to me, there was a whole lot of woman feeling the way I was.
What does a typical training day look like?
It actually starts the night before. I make sure all my gear is set out so that I don’t have to rummage around the house in the early hours waking the family. I usually get up between 4 and 4.30am and, depending on the day, the sessions last between 1-2hrs. Then its home, showered and changed before the tribe wakes. I work three days as a kinder teacher so it’s usually off to work on those days. The days I’m at home, I'll have training sessions to complete during the day between school drop off and pick up. I train 7 days a week with most days having 2 sessions.
Whats your favourite leg?
I love the bike. I’ve been riding a bike since I was young, racing with my dad when I was a young teenager. My dad is an amazing bike rider and a strong role model for me so naturally, it was always going to be the bike that I found easiest. I’ve worked hard with my coach to continue to build this strength too which is exciting.
What has been your best race?
My most memorable race has to be my first IRONMAN event in 2014 Melbourne. I shared the day with my brother, who also competes, so that was special for being my first. I had no expectations, no goals just the desire to finish a race I had been spectating for years. My family was out on course the whole day with friends popping up along the way. Total randoms calling my name was such a motivator too. My dad rode the run leg with me, bunny hoping the whole course, whilst my husband and sister bunny hopped on the motor bike. As I was 5km from the finished I told everyone to meet me at the finish line, I didn’t want them to miss the end of this race I worked so hard to get too. The last 5km I ran with many athletes pushing each other through the tough times chatting to each other about the day that had unfolded and how we were so close but still so far. As I saw the finish line, tears formed in my eyes. I was going to accomplish something many thought a mum with 3 kids was stupid to even consider. My eldest brother and his family had surprised me 500mts from the finish line and then I saw my hubby and three kids. The look on their faces, they were so proud of what mum had done. I cried!! Turn another few corners and there here my younger brother and sister ready for a sweaty hug, hi-5 and a cheer. My kids popped up again for another hug too! As I crossed that finish line I couldn’t believe it I had done out; what I achieved. I heard my dad’s whistle as they announced. “NAOMI WOOD you are an IRONMAN! I was greeted and hugged by my brother in recovery and we captured the moment with a photo. I was stoked with my time and overall finish. I'd caught the bug hard!! My best race though? Its still to come!!!
We've all got them! What are your dreams and goals?
My goal is to build a community where mums feel supported and guided by people they can relate too. I want mums to be able to reach their goals and not feel guilty about pursuing these. A support network for like minded ladies where its OK to do a bike session instead of folding the washing without worrying what others think. I think IRONMUMS will be able to do this. Personally my dream is to pull the best race together so that I come away feeling proud with my achievements on the day knowing that I left nothing to chance and I was mentally able to deal with every situation thrown at me. To walk away with my head held high, feeling that I accomplished everything I could.
What makes you the boss? (background and quals)
I’m now coming on racing 5 years in triathlon and have competed in a range of events and distances. I come from a team sporting background but transitioned over when my knees couldn’t take the constant change of direction. I'm a qualified teacher and Level 1 Triathlon coach.
How's the fam?? Do you get the support we all so desperately want/need?
I'm married with 3 kids and my husband supports me in following and helping me to reach dreams in this sport, both as an athlete and coach. He comes to most races when finances allow it and I love seeing them out on course cheering me on. My siblings are encouraging and supportive and are often at races cheering from the sidelines. My dad comes to many of my races and I know he’s ever-familiar whistle that I can hear from a mile away so it’s great to have him there also!
We love you Nac! Cheers to you and your awesomeness, hot stuff!