2022 is just around the corner and already there are many races advertised and which look tempting. Think carefully before you tick the enter box. Ask your self how realistic is the challenge / have you the backing of your family/ have you the time to put in the training/ can you afford it and so on. The list is long but worth while while considering the cost of a race and also the logistics around getting there especially if the race is in a lovely warm country. The way the climate is changing that can apply to Great Britain. Do check the refund part as a just in case scenario!
So now you have entered consider what you need to do – sort out a loose timetable to train/ clear a space for the turbo if you are using one during winter/ check your bike and again the list goes on. Maybe buddy up with a friend especially for the long bike rides. Be aware it’s not a racing ride as that does happen in groups – racing to the village signpost – yep it fun and allowed. Maybe you need a coach or even a club – cycling / running /swimming. Or maybe you are happy to train alone.
Equipment – check out the things you will need and look at the kit from last year. Does it still fit and was it stored okay? Might sound daft but I have known folk pull out a rather mouldy wetsuit from the cupboard. With Covid kit is not so readily available so think ahead.
The main thing is take it steady as we are still only in mid November and most races are not happening until maybe April/ May of next year. If you are unsure about planning or just want to run a question by me then as always use the contact form and I will get back to you. Stay safe and enjoy your training.
I think there has been a good end to the season and that event organisers have put on a good show. Thank you. And now for most who have finished their season , it’s time to chill take time out and reflect on the season you have had. And dare I say plan for next year which is not that far away. Scary how time passes so quickly. So reflect on your races or training if you have not raced and think what worked well and areas where you could change. Within a small group of coaches we call this ‘ get out of shape’ time of 3-4 weeks of down time to maybe do those jobs you have put off – take your partner out for a meal and thank them for supporting you – then ask for next year too!! Get in touch in the way that suits you to have a chat about plans for next year and let’s enjoy a journey together as some have done with me this last year. Go on celebrate your acheivements in style and it is absolutely okay ‘get out of shape’ for a few weeks. It will do your body and head a lot of good- down time to relax. Catch you again soon.
What can I say only that it’s happening and the work that the athletes and support staff have put in over the years is now on display. It’s a huge pleasure to watch not just the sport I am involved with, but all the other sports from across the globe. I watched some of the opening ceremony and I was embarrassed not to know of some of the countries when the athletes entered the stadium. It made me think of the global importance of sport. I do hope that the Tokyo games will be held in esteem even in these times of uncertainty. Sport and coaching sport is returning. It’s been great to get back to coaching and also a technical official at races. Explaining to those new to the sport what ‘ transition’ is in triathlon and it importance. We call ‘transition’ the 4th discipline and it’s useful to incorporate it into you regular training. The same applies to open water swimming. Don’t just get out of the water and have a natter with a mate. get out as though you are in a race – goggles and hat stay on your head as you run to transition. As you are heading to T1 take your wetsuit down as far as your hips. Then when you are at your bike( you can imagine) take the rest of your wetsuit off at speed—- then have a natter with your mate. Have a challenge with you mate — who can get the wetsuit off the quickest. Triathlon and sport is fun and let’s keep it that way. As always great to hear from you.
In times of uncertainty we need to focus on what we feel is important and this some of us will find quite daunting. We are all feeling the effects of the pandemic in some form or another. As athletes and human beings we need to where we can develop resilience. It can come from within, but sometimes we so need to check things out with a friend or coach. Do not try to be strong if things are not going to plan – have a chat with a mate. Between you, you both will help each other and improve your resilience to the situation you find yourself in. It is not weak but a strong move to make and this will take you forward in a positive way. Good luck with racing this year and if the race is cancelled or postponed then try to look at the positives that you have made in your training- this of course will be after the initial disappointment and annoyance. There will be things that you can do and all this helps build up your resilience not just in sport but in life generally.
Have fun and keep the chats coming in. Always good to hear from you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.