2021 and all that

So part way through January and there are still many sports taking the stage – speed skating/ cycle-cross/ skiing just to name a few . It’s the elite who are able to take part and recently I have been watching some different sports on Eurosport and its been an eye opener to watch and appreciate from an athlete viewpoint- the enormity of the strength and core stability that these sports require. Triathlon is no different and it is not just for the elite of our sport- it is for everyone. So this is the time of year whilst we are preparing for competition , hopefully later in the season, where we can prioritise S & C work. There are numerous YouTube videos , but be selective in what you choose to do and make it individual to your needs for improved core stability. Doing the work now will pay off not just this year but for the future especially if you make it part of your weekly schedule. A couple of sessions a week are sufficient – change the programme after 6 weeks to address areas of the body you have omitted in the first series of plans. It’s easy to get into repeating the same exercises and missing out on say some weaker elements of your body. Have fun and get in touch is you want to come on board with me for your training and racing.

2020 to 2021

Soon you will have to be writing 2021 and I bet many will be glad it is no longer 2020. What do we have in store – no one knows to be very honest. So my message is to keep smiling/ keep zooming/ keep safe/keep phoning/ keep training/ keep doing silly things ( as long as they are safe!!). Whatever, the main thing for all is to keep moving as for our wellbeing it is really important.

I read today on twitter “ When making plans think big. When making progress think small’. This is a great quote that I think we could harness for our training – little steps towards greater things. The little steps maybe frustrating at times but the bigger picture is ‘wow’ I can get there.

On a personal note and I am sure most have been there at times. I cannot swim at the moment because of a shoulder issue. So think outside the box- I can mountain bike as the bars are straight. My road bike ( drop bars ) aggravates the shoulder after 2 hours on the bike. I can run so big plans for 2021 maybe but using the quote above little steps and I am still moving.

Whatever your plans keep in touch and hope the rest of 2020 goes well and catch up early in 2021.

No gadgets?

A question that many , many coaches are asked and agonise over. So I may be old school by saying no gadgets – but there DO have their uses. So I can honestly say that I am not completely old school I suppose. One of the main things for me is for my athletes to know how their body works; not in depth through studying human biology etc; but just by listening to their heart / working out how many hours sleep they have each night. The list can be endless. Several of my athletes has been using no gadgets over the last few months on occasions and this last weekend one of my athletes – Brian Sherras – from Vermont recorded a fantastic pb for a half marathon of 1 hr 34 mins ( he is in the 60+ age group). He had planned to take a watch for curiosity , but he actually forgot to take it with him. He messaged me to say I was right. Great to hear that feedback.

The one time coaches do feel that athletes do not need to use a watch all the time is in the pool especially if it is a technique session. Why does an athlete need to time 25m finger drag drill. I have asked this and the reply has been to know the distance they have swum— it’s on the board!! I have run swim sessions when I have collected watches before they swim – with choice comments and then again with some positive comments at the end of the session when they have surprised themselves with times. After all you do not use a watch during the swim of a triathlon – you understand your pace for the distance. So a watch could be useful in the pool and again swimming without a watch and listening to your breathing can also be extremely positive. Try it during the winter and let me know how you feel it.

August 2020

This would have been the time when we would all be looking to Tokyo and the Olympic Games but we will have to wait another year ; and then they may not happen. Hope that does not sound too negative, but I listened to one of the IOC members today on the radio and they cannot guarentee anything. They did say that they would be looking at different formats should they have to alter the actual games. So it a case of watch this space.

On the lighter side, things are slowly beginning to happen and sport which we all love to watch and do is returning. We are now taking sport out the 4 walls and exploring new avenues. For some of us we may well include some of the things we have tried during lockdown. For me Yoga has been great to do whilst the gyms have been shut and I know that I will continue with Yoga both for the mind and the body. Think what you will keep on with and let me know how it has helped you and if it is okay to share?

Whatever training you are doing it is more for you, than for the next race , so enjoy it and make the most of being able to get out whether it is on your bike / feet/ a kayak/ open water swimming etc. Still look to explore those hidden treasurers – maybe take a lane that you have not cycled before and see where that takes you- hidden gems hopefully.

Train and stay safe.

Longest day passed.

The longest day was the 21st June and I know loads of folk who did something that added up to 21. I cycled 21 miles – a nice ride on a sunny day. So still no races on the horizon, but keep a check as longer distance races are on the calendar for late August onwards. Challenge Family is the web site that are updating with info’ . In the UK, Tri Society sponsored by HUUB are hoping to run the National Club Relays in Nottingham at the end of August. Entries are open so fingers crossed it will happen.

Still time to keep training and trying new ideas or going back to the drawing board to look at what you have been doing over the last few years and see where you can improve. For me its been Yoga and I will keep this in my training going forward. For you it could be long walks- whatever fits with you.

Keep those messages coming in and I will get back to you. For those wishing to sign up, I have reduced my rate by £10 per month until Christmas. Although there may be few or no races later this year we can still look positively forward to 2021 and new challenges.

Train safe and speak soon.

’n’ weeks into ‘lockdown’

So where ever you may be you will be training within what is available. You may have discovered something new that has, and will enhance you sport when you are able to train/ race again. I have taken up twice weekly Yoga and definitely feeling the benefits. Think outside the box with regards to training and you may surprise yourself with what you can do. The most important thing is that we all enjoy what we are doing and hopefully cash it is when races are up and running again. A coach colleague in a conversation a few weeks ago suggested that we look at this time as an extended period of base training. Great idea. The occasional HIT session on the turbo or run intervals can be included for physical and mental wellbeing. Races into 2021 maybe is what we will be planning for and now is the time may to consider what you want to do then. Is it that Ironman you have promised yourself or to have a go at an extreme triathlon- Celtman for example. It gives a focus and those conversations with family with regards to support that will be required. Keep everything in perspective and stay happy and safe. Keep those massages and questions coming in as always good to hear how things are.

Thinking outside the box

Hi everyone,

Hope this message finds you okay? For those of you who are not able to watch the Giro there is a great series to watch on Netflix- The Least Expected Day- about the inside of the Movistar Team 2019. I will be watching cycling and the stars differently when it all begins again. For now we are all extending out winter base training because this realistically is all we can do. One HIT session each week or tapping into the occasional training session on one of the media platforms is great but think if its right for you. You can set yourself a challenge – mine is to master rollers and start Yoga. Fallen off the rollers a few times and argue whether the let go of the wall( lovely greasy mark now!!). But managed 30 mins last week. They were my two ‘ thinking outside the box’ ideas and to be honest feel quite proud that I have done it. So my challenge to you guys is to look at something that will challenge you and will also benefit your training and eventually racing. Whatever you choose enjoy it and if you want to run anything passed me look forward to hearing from you and keep those messages coming in. We may not be racing for many months yet but we still want to remain fit / active /healthy and happy. Take care and training wisely.

February 2020 and the season ahead.

Hello everyone who taps into my web site. I hope that you do enjoy what I send out. You can always take a look at my facebook page as occasionally and maybe not enough put things on there. For some out there it will be lovely and hot. I know that Tom is in sunny Australia with first race AbuDhabi the first week in March. For us back in Europe the weather is somewhat different. If you had seen the world cyclo-cross championships from Switzerland it was mud , mud, mud. A great sport to do when the triathlon season is over and brilliant for learning new bike skills. You have got to like mud and cleaning bikes ( unless you can charm someone to do it for you). So this is the time of year when hopefully you will be planning your 2020 season. Don’t over load with lots of races that you want to have as ‘A’ races as that will not happen. Have some which are training races, ‘B’ races .Maybe look also at peaking for a race early summer then having a slight break to race again well at the end of the season. The triathlon season can be long and you definitely cannot perform well for the whole season. Get in touch if you want to check this further with me. Drop me a message if you have some training you are doing and you are not sure it is working for you. I can support or point you in the right direction. Look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime enjoy your training.

End of the season for 2019

Hi all,

Well nearly the end of the season for most- a few people are still racing in warmer weather ( lucky them). It is time then for those who have finished to take stock of the 2o19 season and to plan for 2020( keep that quiet for now though). It is also time to get on with the jobs that you have been putting off decorating/ gardening etc. It is definitely time to say a few thank you’s too family and friends who have put up with your up’ s and down’s over the last few months. Time as we say ‘ get out of shape 4 weeks’- eat cake and enjoy and it is okay to put on some weight. Helps the insulation during winter – don’t feel guilty at all. When you are ready think carefully about 2020 and what may be achievable and also what is realistic. If you are unsure then feel free to get in touch – message me on facebook or drop me an email. Here to support and point you in the right direction. Let me know your achievements and any advice for other athletes. Catch you all again soon.

When part of race has to be cancelled – or the whole event.

Hi all,

I had the pleasure of being a Technical Official at the Long Course Outlaw Race a couple of weeks ago. The British summer was playing out the usual game in trying to confuse everyone. So this particular weekend it was rain as we have never seen it before. Driving there through roads that were already covered with surface water. So to cut a long story short – during the swim the race organiser and chief TO agreed that it was too dangerous for the bike to happen. Telling the athletes as they got out of the swim was not ideal but it had to be done. I would say that most athletes were understanding and those who were not soon understood that it was the best decision. So no bike , but it was decided that the marathon would still happen with a break before so all could sort out physically and mentally what they would be doing. Out of 1200 athletes 1100 stayed to run the marathon. If this happens think how would you approach the marathon. Quite a number clearly went off too quickly and paid the price in the latter part of the race. The point I wish to make is how to adjust/deal with decisions that are out of your hands. With climate change happening this is occurring more and more. In the Tour de France two stages in the last week were changed because of the weather. So maybe it is worth looking carefully at the weather charts for you race and think of what you would change should part of the race be altered or cancelled.

In the meantime I hope the season is going well for all of you and please don’t hesitate to get in touch for advise or comment on what I have posted.

Be back soon – Hilary