At our recent Busselton Camp we did a whole seminar entitled, "All the little things."
It was about all the things, which you as an athlete can control, that have the potential to improve your performance. This is not about getting necessarily stronger or more fit, it is about all the other things. Obviously this carries over into general life as well and it was really interesting. In an attempt to re-iterate to the athletes and also keep the readers interested I thought I would go over some of it here.
So what can you control that might help your performance?
- Time management
- Recovery techniques
- When do you eat
When you start to think about it... there is A LOT OF THINGS. I am not going to go through them all, but if you take the time it is worth.
How can you improve each of the above?
Sleep - oh how I love this one. Do you go to bed on time? Is your room cool enough? Do you have a bedtime routine? How long before going to bed do you switch your phone / tablet / computer off? If you don't, then the simple reflex of flicking the screen up to read something, sets your brain off.
Time management - it sounds simple but it can be made oh so complicated. Plan your days, plan your meals, when are you going to get your training done? Set time aside for you... there is time... but you have to make it. Can you get everything ready the night before to save time? These are simple things but essential to help your performance.
Attitude - do you turn up at training with the right mindset? Are you on the pool deck 5-10min early to loosen off? Are you ready to start the bike session? Do you roll into the turbo session as everyone else is already starting? Are you affecting other athletes pre-session? Do you set an example?
We can all set an example.
Take me as a coach. I try to be there on time (I screwed up once this week - sorry, my fault). I try and appear in a professional manner. Dressed in F4L kit, well presented, session prepared, ready, equipment to hand. I try to always start on a positive. The session starts on time - remember: the race will start even if you are late.
Recovery technique - do you use a foam roller? What about compression gear? Perhaps you have specific recovery drink post training? Do you do it every session. Do you allow time to rest? Do you actually rest on your rest days? When was the last time you had a massage?
Plan your eating! Make sure you eat either plenty in advance of your training or soon enough after your training. What are you eating (don't get too hung up on this - but keep it balanced).
Equipment - when did you last clean your bike? No... when did YOU last clean your bike? Its important to look after your equipment, check your swim goggles, do you have a spare pair, have you used them? How fast can you change a puncture - practice. All of these things make a difference. If you puncture in transition just before a race, you won't be too stressed if you can change it in a couple of minutes. But we have all seen the athlete running around, panicking when they have a flat on race morning. Don't let that be you!
Skills - do you practice transition? What about cornering on a bike, practicing dead turns, chasing to get on a pack (if you race draft legal)? How about getting out the saddle going up hills? Riding a bike is not just about how fit you are, down on the tri-bars... I have been doing triathlon since 1995 (I think) and I have yet to see a course that did not involve a corner! What about setting out on the run at the right speed for a sprint race... do you practice that?
At the next team meeting we will do more on the little things - using the experiences of some of our athletes who have had international or national success outside of triathlon.
So how are the athletes?
Well, Sveta is flying, down in Albany, WA she was third overall... Matt was strong and finished 7th in his age-group. Trigg went up to Geraldton and won his age-group.
All of our seniors are starting to gear up to their big races for the year, be it Busselton 70.3, Cairns, Jurien Bay, the remainder of the SunSmart Series or Karri Valley in March. As always though, we try to make it fun too.
In Europe the weather is playing havoc, with their training but they continue to persevere. There will be some strong performances later in 2017.
Back in WA, the juniors have been hit with a mallet. They had to go back to school last week... school comes first... Rockingham Sprint is coming up next weekend... so we will keep working on sharpening them up... getting ready for that, then Way Out West, and then onto the Inter-State Schools.
As for me... well I am sticking to the plan!
After my "Treat myself more like an elite athlete" blog last week... just in case you didn't think I was actually going to do something non-triathlon... I did. 80 golf balls, not many down the middle, mostly airborne, blistered fingers, mainly with a (deliberate) slight draw... I reckon a couple more practice sessions and I'll be ready for the PGA Tour!