Crunch time

Crunch time for Triathletes

Posted on Posted in Coach's Diary

This is "Crunch Time!"  If you live in the southern hemisphere, you really need to start putting your training in for the upcoming 2017/18 Triathlon season.

When I was a swimmer I used to swim 10-12 times a week.  It was what was expected by my coach.  My Dad would wake me up at 5am three or four mornings a week.  Drive to the pool, I would eat a 'Club Biscuit' and drinking orange juice en route.  I used to hate being late.  I was one of the first through the doors, changed, stretching, loosening off and using stretch chords on the pool deck.  Everyone had to do ten minutes of this before we got in the water.  You didn't want to get in late!  I remember having a strip torn off me by one of my coaches in front of all my piers for being late.

Pool time was limited.  I swam in a club with 8 or so squads, some of those split into two.  So if you were late, you were missing out on training time.

Triathlon training is also about time management.  But it also about balancing everything, working on your weaknesses and training sustainably.  As Brett Sutton says, "Hurry slowly."  It takes time to develop endurance, fitness and as a consequence your triathlon performance.

Triathlon is three disciplines.  Swimming, Cycling and Running.  To be good in this amazing sport, you have to manage your expectations in any single discipline.  We are training for Triathlon... not for swimming, cycling or running.

Remember it is all about Consistent, Sustainable and Balanced training.

Winter is THE time to fix issues: swim technique, bike position, run niggles, new shoes and other equipment

Consistency is key to develop your training.

I cannot stress this enough.  You don't get fit in a fortnight for Triathlon.  It takes weeks, months, even years, to get ready for Triathlon.

Rocking up at squad sessions two weeks before your race season starts is not the way forward.  Its also quite disrespectful to the rest of your team.  They have been working their arses off all winter.   They are ready to go fast... why should they wait for you if you have not put the time in.

Swim squads are easy to manage... For example, at our local club, we have a number of lanes.  Swimming is a key discipline in your Triathlon.  You may not win a Triathlon with a great swim, but it will set you up for the rest of the race.  If you can be efficient through the water, save energy for the rest of the event... why not?  If you need to be out of the swim with the front pack for a draft legal race, when do you develop your swim?  In the off season.

Cycling groups can be split on ability, who is racing what.  But if its a smaller group that gets hard to manage.  Developing a strong cycle leg through the winter, will enable you to improve your Triathlon performance.  Getting out in the wind, the rain... I would say ice and snow, but that doesn't really apply here... getting out in inclement weather will strengthen your mind, develop your skills and improve your confidence.  You need to ride in the winter.

Running in rubbish weather is much more fun.  You get muddy, you slip, you slide, it can be fun.  You can work on your strength and technique.  You can do this through drills, certain types of repetitions.  Again getting out in inclement weather will again strength your mind and resilience.

Crunch time: The off-season is the time to build your season

Need to spend some time doing stretching, strength & conditioning - when are you going to do that?  When can you lay out your training, down time, family time with out races every weekend.  I am not necessarily stating that you should miss sessions, just schedule them around what everyone else is doing.  Balance everything.  Your coach can help you with this... but this only works with feedback.

So what's been happening in WA... lots of managing and time management.  I have sat down a prioritised things I need to focus on from a coaching point of view.   I am looking forward to seeing the athletes reap their rewards from a long winter's training this season.

We did a little fun run at weekend, (by the way: the 1.5km uphill on sand was a bit mean Break Your Limits!).  Was nice to run somewhere different in a lighthearted but competitive environment.  Young Trigg impressed with his resilience and toughed out a good finish. The event was nice to catch up with several athletes who we see almost every weekend in the summer but hardly at all in the winter.

Its also nice to receive confidence boosting items.  Seeing Claire set a new PB in a half marathon reassures me her training is on the right track.  Getting notes from athletes saying how grateful they are also helps.  Coaches are human too... I don't do this for mega-bucks or medals... I do it to enable athletes to do well.

Golf update - I haven't been as disciplined as I should have been with my bats, simply too many other things to manage.  The first of which is the weather... I know I cannot manage that... but I moved to Australia to avoid weather like Scotland... which probably suggests I have some psychological issues with the weather!!

Spanish is going much better though.  I am still practicing everyday.

Now... does anyone know how to make a 10 month old baby sleep a whole night through?


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