By Radix Team 2/03/2017 2:32 pm
Preparation going into 2017 Ironman New Zealand  

Mark is one of New Zealand’s top triathletes specialising in the long distance Ironman and half Ironman formats (Ironman – 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run). Mark has been performing at the top of his game for several years now. Considering his young age of 27 he has a very exciting career ahead of him as most athletes peak in their mid 30’s. 

Mark has a long list of world class performances to his name. One of the most impressive was his debut at Ironman NZ 2016 where he placed 10th in a time of 8hr:29min:38sec.  Since his 2016 debut Mark has worked extremely hard to prepare for the 2017 edition of the great race. He is determined to finish close to,  if not on top of the podium. 

Leading up to Ironman NZ on March 4th, Mark sat down to answer a few questions about his preparations for the race and how he benefits from using Radix meals.

Last year you competed over the Ironman distance for the first time and you would have no doubt learned a lot.  What were a couple key takeaways from the race? 

MARK BOWSTEAD:  Yes, I learned a huge amount before, during and after the race. The biggest lessons involved nutrition, expectation and pacing. On the nutrition front I made a few mistakes leading into the race (not so much during the event itself). I ate too much complicated food and fibre and that took its toll at 15km and 19km on the run. I had multigrain bread race morning…. not sure what I was thinking. Talking to other pro’s I have learned that they adopt a very simple diet during the final days leading into a race. 

On the expectation front I was told going into the race by many people of all abilities that “the bike should feel easy”. I consider myself one of the better riders and last year I took a conservative approach on the bike, but it did not feel easy. I think I took it a bit too literally and expected the wrong thing. I was racing a great field (which they all are now) being in the front group is not easy. 

Another mistake I made, was pacing on the run. I got off the bike, felt great, and just went too hard straight away. I ran with Terenzo in 3rd and 4th for the first lap (14km) and we went through 10km in a bit over 37 minutes which was too fast.  I got caught up in the excitement and paid for it a bit later.

What changes have you made to your training this past season to help improve your performance at this year’s race?  

MARK BOWSTEAD:  One of the biggest changes I have made is the mindset. Last year even though I am a pro it was more about finishing without disgracing myself and learning what I can from it. This year I have confidence and belief that I can do well and race it to the end.  It’s no longer an unknown and I am prepared for more than to just finish. Physically I have not changed too much from last year except doing a bit more.  I am a year older and can handle a bit more total volume.  I have done a handful more 180-200km rides and pushed out my longest runs.  I think last year my longest run was 32km, this year I have done a couple around 36km with some decent pace in there around the Waitakere ranges. 

You had the misfortune of picking up an injury during the early part of 2016/2017 New Zealand triathlon season. Can you explain what the injury was and how it has impacted your season so far including preparations for Ironman NZ 2017?  

MARK BOWSTEAD:  I unfortunately picked up a soleus tendon tear in my right leg the week after winning the Tinman Triathlon. This was very frustrating and caused me to not finish two of my favourite NZ races, Taupo 70.3 and the Tauranga Half. With any injury there is often a bright side and in this case I just had to work on the things that I could, which was the swim and the bike. So I built up a good early base fitness in these two disciplines, which definitely paid off later when I started to incorporate running back in to the programme.  It also allowed me to race the bike leg of the Tauranga Half and set a decent time of 2.01.41.  

When I started introducing the running back in on New Year’s Eve it was a slow process, but combined with the rehab exercises I had to do I found the fitness came back quickly.  I have been running at full capacity now for enough time that I will have no excuses.

Mark Bowstead - Radix Athlete


"Radix has helped me improve my nutrition program around training and recovery"


During 2016 you partnered with Radix Nutrition, how has this partnership helped you? 

MARK BOWSTEAD: Partnering with Radix has been hugely beneficial to me. I now have access to extremely nutrient dense, 100% natural, nutritious meals in the most convenient format. This has dramatically improved my recovery because now I am flooding my body with high quality ingredients straight after training. I save huge amounts of time which I can dedicate to other areas of the high-performance sport puzzle such as increasing the amount of sleep I get between training sessions. 

I know that the training I am doing is putting a huge amount of stress on my body and to compensate I need to be putting the best nutrition possible back in to my body. This has been very hard to achieve in the past but now I am using Radix products I am confident I am doing this. Even though we as pro’s have all day to train, sometimes after a 6-8hr brick session, the last thing you feel like doing is preparing a meal, so the Radix meals have been ideal. 

Ironman takes place this Saturday, March 4th 2017. What are your goals and expectations for your second attempt at the distance? 

MARK BOWSTEAD:  My goals are based on each discipline and basically I want to do better overall.  In the swim, I want to race smarter and conserve energy but still come out around the 46-minute mark which should be front pack. On the bike my goal is to ride to a higher more constant power than last year. On the run I want to be smarter and hold it together mentally and physically for longer. If I can do all these things, I believe I will put together a better performance than last year and be right in the mix at the front of the race.

Mark Bowstead - Radix athlete