Its been an odd kind of week or two. Most of it has been a blur! So here we are approaching the holy grail... its Ironman Hawaii in Kona weekend. I think it only right I continue my (not completely) useless predictions for these big events. I'll come to that later.
Our sessions have changed from doing longer slower stuff to increasing the pace. As the pace goes up... it means race season is approaching in earnest.
National Duathlon Championships last weekend. It is so rewarding when you see athletes that you coach receive the awards they deserve. We don't celebrate peoples successes enough. Instead its easier to knock people down. You can only ever beat whoever toes that start line with you - if such and such is not there... simply they cannot win. A first and two seconds.
I'll take that.
Most of the athletes I coach in WA were taking part in the Phoenix Tri Club Aquathlon event... a good fun hit out... a brilliant little club event. Now the race season is upon us and it is time to up the intensity in training. I was once told, "It ain't no picnic up front!"
The squad run session yesterday early morning hurt... but if you want to improve, these are the sessions you have to do. Tempo running on the oval, increasing the pace each lap to finish with a max effort and repeat and repeat. You absolutely need these sessions and there were a couple of the athletes demonstrating up-chuck reflexes.
Anytime we train at F4L, we work on skills and technique. This includes our 'longer' group rides. This week we hit the dirt... no, we all stayed upright... gives you a chance to practice bike handling and gaining confidence as you go. We are not talking jumping logs, or really boggy stuff... just unsealed roads. I am not sure some of the athletes would have even dreamed of big-ringing it along the trail a few months ago. Now... they don't even bat an eyelid.
And so onto Kona, Hawaii and Jonesey's (priceless) Kona predictions
I suspect many will say Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf for the wins... and whilst I cannot see past the Angry Bird for the women, there may well be a surprise in the men's race.
In the women's race there are a several women who could get a podium but, I don't see anyone who can touch Daniela Ryf if she is on top form. Potential women to hit the podium include: Heather Jackson, Sarah Pampiano, Linsey Corbin and Lucy Charles. But if you scroll down the women's start list then there are a number of IRONMAN winners in there... that makes for a potentially exciting race.
As for the men. I was going for Tim Don for the title. Gutted for him that he was run over by a car this week and is now out of the race. Apparently he doesn't need an operation but he will be in a neck brace for 6 weeks. Get well soon Tim.
So now you might get a German 1, 2, 3 including Frodeno, Kienle and Lange (or Stein). There is a fairly large american contingent of medalists in there: O'Donnell, Hanson, Potts and Hoffman. To be honest... it could go anywhere. But watch out for Lionel Sanders and James Cunnama. It will depend on the Kona winds, nutrition and the leg sapping energy lab on the day. It might also be fun viewing watching Harry Wiltshire and Jan Frodeno in the swim... they don't like each other.
If the winds are right we might get the first sub-8 hour Kona Ironman. The record stands with Crowie at 8:03.56... if it goes... we might even see a 7:50.
SO putting it on the line, for the women I am going with the following:
- Daniela Ryf
- Michelle Vesterby
- Annabel Luxford
And for the men... if the wind is right...
- Tim O'Donnell
- James Cunnama
- Jan Frodeno
To watch the race live you can go to Red Bull TV: HERE
So to that incident with the dog.
Only in WA... OK probably not, but it was funny!
Running on the trails near Kalamunda, WA, coming towards the end of the run cool down one morning, the group met an older lady with a small dog.
Dog was on the lead. It took one look at us... and then wasn't!
Now the lady in question had zero chance of chasing down this elusive hound. So being the noble creatures that we are... we chased this damned four legged creature for approximately 20 minutes. Now when using the word chased - read sprinted (we were already pretty well done post run!). It ran this way... that way... into the bush... out of the bush... towards cars... into houses... through gardens...
Eventually we cornered the little bastard behind a shed. Scooped him up (he was now knackered... soon to be stuffed) and handed back to the old lady. At this point we suggested a harness for the dog. She said, "I only got him on Friday... I haven't had a chance to get one yet. I didn't think he would run off!"
Paul is an IRONMAN Certified Coach based in Western Australia. Paul is also a British Triathlon Federation Level 3 Coach and a Triathlon Australia Development Coach.
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