Monday, May 21, 2012

Not much training, but ALOT going on!

So, after making the call on not racing Ironman Port Macquarie I have just rested, as in done nothing.  I have really enjoyed being "social" again and attending functions, catching up with friends and just having that "normal" (well kind of) life.  I have only had 2 training sessions since just within the last few days, a small run and a 2 hr REALLY easy ride on the weekend.

I am really happy that I made this decision and that I have given my body the chance to fully recover from a solid training program since the new year, albeit a little inconsistent with a few injuries.  Getting the niggles out of the body has been a very important part of me resting.

However during this time, there has been a fair bit happening.  I have been the subject to a University Assignment, invited to do a Rotary Talk (tomorrow night) and also working closely once again with my athletes who are upcoming their races at Cairns both Ironman and 70.3 races as the season comes to close.

With the addition of another few athletes, my motivation and enthusiasm for success for ALL that I coach is as high as ever.  With this I have been reading different articles from other more coaches to continue my education within the sport.  Also reading a few articles about long course training and my approach for my athletes.

This also leads from my blog Prepare to Succeed, Don't Chase the Fail about preparing yourself to have success.

Whilst reading a blog from Sean Foster (Fluid Movements Melbourne) he talks about balancing all 3 disciplines and planning.  A paragraph from this blog is:

Finally, the period of time you allocate to train for your goal race is critical. The longer the block, the more latitude you will have to strategize within the periodised plan.

This is something that I consistently talk to my athletes about.... Not rushing, this is the key.  Sean has coached a girl by the name of Kristy Hallet from her first triathlon to her recently turning pro after having the fastest female age group time at Ironman Melbourne.

Another paragraph from his blog is:

The longer the period of time you allow yourself to reach a goal, say 30-50weeks prior to your ‘A’ Race, the more gradual the increase in effort can be and the more effective the end result.  

This is something that I am finding also.  The more time you have to prepare for you main race, the more success.  Those you understand this, go a long way is achieving their goals.  Those who drift in and out, become consistent, then fade, have a very inconsistent race career.  I can attest for this by the year I "tried" to self coach.  Training was very inconsistent and my result at the end of the day replicated that.

After understanding this theory, my results have also reflected strongly.  As I talk to more and more athletes every day, it becomes easier to understand and pick the ones who are preparing to succeed vs those who are trying to chase it!

So, my whole point of what I have said in previous blogs is across the board from all successful coaches in gaining success.

As with anything success breeds success, starting with a beginner who completes their first race to an Ironman wanting to qualify for Hawaii.  As it has with TMC, we have grown to over 60 athletes and had to add an extra coach to the stable and now have 4 coaches and also having a female coach Kim Michell, it gives us the ability to continue to grow and cope with the enquiries that we are receiving.  This year we have 2 athletes (at time of writing as we have a few more racing) competing at Hawaii (myself included) and by the way the performances have gone, I would expect this number to double for next year.

Throw in a qualifier for the Olympic Distance World Titles in New Zealand, it has been a rather successful period for us.  This can only be achieved by people committing to not only TMC, but also to themselves in what they want to get out of the sport.  Everyday I am communicating with my athletes who are at various abilities, builds and expectations, however one thing is those who have committed are on the right path to ticking off their goals.

I cannot say how much I enjoy not just coaching my athletes, but getting out there when the weather is good, bad or indifferent and just slugging it out with them.  Getting to know them better, know them when they are fatigued, hurting, or even travelling along smoothly.  This continues my passion and want to help people achieve what they want to as I have been fortunate to have ticked off some pretty significant goals in my fleeting triathlon career.

So in saying that, there are more athletes that I need to call, including another potential "newbie", also have to put the finishing touches on my talk for tomorrow night and even commence my core strength program.  This was the 2nd of my New Years Goals as stated in this blog.  So, once this becomes consistent, I will have ticked off both of my new years resolutions.... How have you gone with yours?

For now...


PS.  I have reactivated my comments section, so please feel free to comment, even if anonymously.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ironman Australia Round up.

Ironman Australia holds some mixed emotions for me, some for really good reasons and other for "smart" reasons!

Firstly, I wanted to explain the reasons why I didn't start.  I went to Port with a very mixed mindset of wanting to start the race or not.  I did really want to start and do the race with many close mates, a boys weekend away with an Ironman race, what more could I ask for??

On the other hand, by not racing, I wouldn't risk upsetting the virus that I was getting over and potentially delay my Kona preparation by anywhere up to 3months post race.  I decided to go through my normal routine, register, check my bike in, carb load etc and just see how I woke up race morning.  This was my plan that I had discussed with Andrew for the previous few weeks.  I had more to loose than gain from this race.

So, landing in Newcastle on the Thursday evening, the 5 of us, Scott, Steve, Ronny, Benny and myself had accommodation organised and took the opportunity for a good night sleep before we convoy down to the home of Ironman Australia, Port MacQuarie.

Arriving on the Friday, getting our apartment, everything was as normal.  I actually enjoyed these few days before the race compared to Melbourne as I felt like it was an Ironman, Melbourne just didn't have the same feel for me.

Fast forward to race morning, once I woke, I just knew that I shouldn't race.  I felt really sluggish, tired and something just told me to enjoy the day.  So I did just that.  Remember this blog: Prepare to Succeed, Don't chase the fail? Well that is what my mindset was about.  Do this race and risk putting myself so far behind for no reason then ego, or rest and get my body/health right for the start of my Hawaii build.

So, Nathan (younger bro) and I went to the swim start with the boys and did our bit as supporters to help where we could.  A few nerves from the others, but I knew and said to Nathan that I had made the correct choice.

It would have been easy for me to suit up and go out and race, it was harder to make the correct decision by not starting.  The hardest thing was seeing my bike still waiting in T1 after everyone had collected theirs, usually mine is pretty close to being first in T2, not getting packed into a truck and transported to T2.

So we set up just up from the turn around point on the bike and saw all the boys go through.  Little did we know, that Andrew, Billy, Mitch & Greg made a surprise visit to support which made our group even more vocal.

By the end of the day and many cold ones later, I could not have been happier about my decision.  I am still giving my body a chance to fully recover before I put it through another serious Hawaii prep however I do know that when I commence it, I will be ready.

Putting on my coaches hat, I had 4 athletes race Ironman Australia, 2 first timers, a newbie to me and an old friend and training partner.

The 2 first Timers, Tim Tingiri and Adam Kelsall, both had outstanding races and had a wonderful experience through their first Ironman Journey.  I know that both learnt a lot from their first race and might just have even caught the bug called "Ironman"!

Adam Kelsall, who has had an endurance back round through some silly sport known as 24hr mtb had a race to remember with the following stats:

Swim: 1:00:58
T1: 5:28 (I might have to ask how many course he had to eat in T1)
Ride: 5:47:14 This was our plan to set him up for a solid run.
T2: 3:07 (must have been excited to start the run)
Run: 3:41:12 (not bad for a guy who only started running consistently 6months ago)

Overall: 10hr 37min 59 sec

From where I watched, he smiled all day and soaked it up, an outstanding first Ironman!!

Tim Tingiri also had a great race and learnt a few lessons he can take with him moving on.... Main lesson.... Ironman isn't easy and if is was, everyone would do it.  Tim was a little hard on himself post race, but after explaining the significance of his achievement and what he put his lovely wife Deb through ;-) I think he got it!!  Great effort mate.

Swim: 1:10:36  The guy couldn't even swim 1k 1 year ago, amazing turnaround. We both thought a 1:20 was the time that he would do.
T1: 3:21 Impressive
Bike: 5:59:24 Same deal as above, coming in very raw, still a  good time
T2: 2:07 - Nailed it
Run: 3:56:26, not as fast as we both thought, but still a great first up Marathon off the bike.  A bit of experience and nutrition, things WILL be quicker next up!

Overall: 11hr 11min 54 sec

Benny Robinson had to withdraw through injury after the bike and by the emotion he showed he will be back faster than ever.  Was cruising after a 1:05 swim and a 5:20 ride, injury took hold and the unfortunate DNF prevailed.

New comer to me (after IMMelb) James Monahan was backing up after Ironman Melbourne only 6weeks earlier where he went 10hrs 12min put him through a run focus for the 4 weeks we had and got his run time from 4hr 6min to 3hr 47min and an improvement overall by 10min on a course where the winning time was some 30min slower.

Big signs to come from James as with a full year under his belt with the right focus, there WILL be only 1 result.

Now onto what I enjoy before the Ironman races in Australia, my little "tip the a/g winners".  At Melbourne I managed to tip 5 a/g winners and was determined to up this at Port, maybe not as much as I did though.

From this blog, the below was the result of my tipping:

Matty Burton 1st 18-24 M
Alicia Johnson 1st 18-24 F

Matt Craft 1st 30-34 M

Leanne Southwell 1st 40-44 F

Angela Clarke 1st 45-49 F

Stephen Bingham 1st 50-54 M
Leanne MacPherson 1st 50-54 F

John Hill 1st 55-59 M
Nance Cullen 1st 55-59 F

Ron Wilson 1st 60-64 M

Karly McKinlay 1st 65-69 F

Michelle Mitchell 1st Pro W

Throw in Matty Burton to be 1st a/g across the line I think that I had a good day!

Other honourable mentions:

Paul Roberts 2nd 25-59 M

Kristy Craft 3rd 30-34 F

Catherine Theile 2nd 35-39 F

Helen Freer 3rd 60-64 F

Guy Vernay 2nd 65-69 M

Ah the fun of it all, next predictions for me Ironman Cairns!!

To rest and recover!