Coach’s Corner with Coach Slim – Brain Training

We all spend many hours training our bodies each week for triathlon, but how often do we train our brain?

I read a great article by Daniel Ricciardo, Perth’s only Formula One driver. He was saying how he was watching the Eagles v Power game last week and when the game went into extra time all the coaches and support staff went out onto the field to coach and advise the team.

Like Formula One drivers, this does not happen for us as triathletes so we need to be able to deal with any situation that may arise at any time.

My first advice on this subject is “If in doubt, don’t!”

What that means is that if you are not sure whether you should or should not do something, then you probably shouldn’t do it.

All sorts of things can happen to us during both training and racing and we have to roll with it and keep a good attitude.

An example that has happened to me a number of times is getting a flat tyre during a race. In this circumstance you have two choices – you can calmly change the tyre and carry on with your day; or you can curse and swear and ruin the rest of your day. But ultimately, it is your choice and you are in control.

This is where ‘brain training’ comes into effect. Brain training is teaching yourself to think before you act and if you can do that when things aren’t going to plan then you can cope with it mentally and not ruin your day.

Novice Program Launch

In August 2017 the Club welcomed triathlon veteran and coach Rob ‘Slim’ Wiles into the wolf pack and he was keen to get straight into it and start a novice program.

Slim has competed in triathlon for 24 years including representing Australia in the world long course championships twice. He has coached novice programs for five years and helped 150 athletes break into the sport. He is also a triathlon technical official with 20 years experience.

“I love teaching novices and current triathletes to see them improving themselves and helping people get over their own fears and insecurities,” said Slim.

“Anyone can have a go at triathlon, I once coached a lady in her late 50’s and she hadn’t ridden a bike in over 40 years.

“The novice course will teach budding athletes the core swim, bike and run skills to build their fitness levels and help them reach their triathlon goals while having fun.

“I like triathlon because of the friendship and support of the entire triathlon community and the Perth Hills Triathlon Club members are an awesome bunch.”

The Club novice program commences on October 7 and runs for 10 weeks.  For more information head to our Novice Program page.

 

Nikky’s Pumpkin Soup

“Coriander?  Really?  Actually yeah, that works!” – Travis Bentley


Ingredients

 

  • 20ml oil
  • 1 small butternut pumpkin peeled and chopped into 4cm chunks
  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 3 carrots chopped into 1cm slices
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100mls cream

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot then add leak and fry gently for 2 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin and fry for 1 minute
  3. Add all ingredients except cream.
  4. Simmer gently for 60 minutes with the lid on.
  5. When all vegetables are very soft, add cream and puree.
  6. Add additional stock if the soup is too thick.
  7. Serve with cracked pepper and crusty bread

This recipe can be done in the pressure cooker or slow cooker. If you are being healthy, skip the bread and serve this as an accompaniment to your main meal to boost the veggie content.

Changes for the 2017/18 season

As you all know, PHTC prides itself on being a club run for and by its members.  We always have and, at least for as long as I am leading, always will strive to be as accessible as we possibly can.  Our goal is to remove as many barriers as we can to participating and enjoying triathlon and other multi-sports whether they be cultural, social, emotional or financial.  Looking around at the variety of people we get at our sessions I hope you’ll agree that so far we seem to be doing a good job.

One of the ways that we have achieved this is by trying to operate exclusively using volunteers.  We believe that this works for us in a number of ways:  firstly and most obviously it keeps our costs down which means not only lower fees for our members but also that we don’t need to constantly worry about fundraising; secondly it instils a real community feel in the club, it encourages everyone to help out and be an active participant rather than a passive receiver; lastly but certainly not least it means that the people who choose to be involved do it because they love it and I think we all can agree that one of the keys to success at anything is passion.

So by now I guess you are asking yourself “where is he going with this?”  Well following this ethos all of our coaches work on a volunteer basis.  There is not a single hour of session coaching that this club has paid for since December 2015 and it’s our intention to continue this.  This is great for our members but our coaches have costs involved in volunteering their time which I think you would agree is not ideal.  It’s one thing to give up your time but to be expected to pay for the privilege is perhaps a bit much.

So starting the first of July we will be doing our best to ensure that all coaches who regularly contribute to the club are compensated for these costs that they incur, primarily things like the cost of their ongoing coaching accreditation with Triathlon Australia.  To encourage more people to become coaches we also want to offset the financial cost of their training so that it isn’t a burden that negatively influences their decision.

For coaches that are already accredited with TA the club will reimburse their membership and accreditation after they have volunteered 20 hours of coaching time to the club.  For coaches that have taken the more expensive option of a professional license that allows the club to host non-members the club will pay not only the initial payment after 20 hours but also an additional payment covering their professional license when they have volunteered a further 30 hours of coaching.  Newly trained coaches will get 50% of their course cost reimbursed on gaining their accreditation and the remainder after an extra 15 hours.  There is no “per session” payment to coaches, only these staged reimbursements.

Of course to do this and remain sustainable the club must find a way to pay for these costs and rather than raise the membership price we favour a user pays model.  To this end every session (except weekend rides) will increase in cost by $2 for members.  Social or non-members will pay $5 for run or turbo sessions and $10 for swim sessions in recognition of the fact that we must pay for professional coaches to accommodate them within our insurance.

Our club membership fees will remain as they are (there is a slight increase in the Triathlon Australia portion) and we will still have the lowest cost training in town.  The new fee structure for the 2017/18 season is set out in the tables below, we hope you understand the need for these changes and as always appreciate any feedback (positive or negative) that you have for us.  You can do so directly to the coach at training, by email to contact@perthhillstri.org.au or through the anonymous form on the bottom of our committee page.

We’re looking forward to building on the success of the last twelve months with you all in the new season.

Travis Bentley

President

 

 

Brizy’s Season in Review (including Busso 70.3 Race Report)

How it all started…

My season really started in august when like most people I had a rush of blood to the head and a tax return burning a hole in my pocket 😁  I went and bought a brand new TT bike , the reason was I wanted to do Busso 70.3 solo, I had done it as a team cyclist in may 2016 And had got the bug!!  By September I had entered it as well……another rush of blood.

Once I had the bike I then was committed, I joined our club and started a strength training program.  This season for me was to get into club life and finish all the events I entered, all had their challenges but were met and completed.

The training

So to get a bit of a look at what I needed to do this season I was doing a bit of training….what I thought was good enough.  Hahhahahha how wrong I was, I couldn’t swim 750m with out switching to breast stroke, couldn’t run 1k with out my lower back giving up on me, my cycle was my strongest leg but I was pushing too hard and my legs and back were even worse.  All of this was made very clear at the interclub event at Mandurah.  So I spoke to the club and got some training plans and loads of advice and the improvements came in big waves, kept to the strength program and the results were coming, all the work was starting to come in results in the way of being able to complete the distances.

Kicking goals

Because the goal was Busso 70.3 I needed to do more distance races to get used to them, so I did my first Olympic distance in Busso in January and also did Karri Valley (the hardest day in the office…) and the longer distance in the legs was paying off again.  By now I was well into the club 70.3 program with Peta and loving the structure and club life, I could now do the full sessions in the pool and swim all distances and my lower back issues were gone.  Roll on May and Busso 70.3.

Race day (with added shark!)

All was well with the body, I think I was the only one with out man flu that week hahaha.  With everything set up and ready to race I was very calm and soaking it all in , a few bouts of banter before the race with Trav and other competitors was fun, until some one mentioned a shark in the fun and banter (you know who you are…..)  Well needless to say everyone know Mr Shark did come to say hello to the the competitors in the last wave, yes my wave… I got pulled from the water like a fish and dumped onto the deck of the boat, 300m from the beach.  I didn’t think too much of it once I was on the boat however the heart rate says different when told to get out the water!

The bike leg was good for me I did it in a personal best time and also had another first on the bike (I peed for the first time on the bike) LOL.  Into the run, I knew it was going to be a long hard leg.  I had never ran more than 16 km and it was always my worst leg, I cramped at about the 2km mark and then managed it at every single aid station with all they had to offer.  It stayed away but was always in the front of my mind, then when I pushed it would come back.  I settled into my plan and made it to the finish, but not with out the help of Trav.  He helped me through the last lap and a half and made the hardest leg so much fun, the beer and pizza helped as well but having all the club there supporting everyone and myself was amazing. 🙂

To the coaches Trav and especially Peta, thank you for all your help this season and getting me through my first full season.  Onwards and upwards from here for me.

Brian Stearn

#MPFP 😁

That Dams Ride

The “Not a Race” Report by Sue Thomas

I had originally entered the 3 Dams as I had unfinished business from a couple of years ago when I entered but then pulled out before the event. Then I changed to the 5 Dams event the day before, after being inspired by the distances being ridden daily by the riders in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, and as a tribute to fallen rider Mike Hall.

Dam one – Mundaring Weir

The 5 Dams riders rolled out at 6 am from Curtin University in groups of around 20 riders, leaving every 30 seconds. I joined up with a group containing Belle and Stephen, who Monica had put me in touch with the night before. I stayed with this group until we hit Greenmount Hill, where we began to string out as people climbed at different speeds.

We rolled through Mundaring and turned at the lights to head down to the weir. It was here that I began to feel the first twinges of fatigue in my legs. Hmm – I’ve only done 40k – shut up legs, you still have a long way to go. What followed was a nice 7k descent to Mundaring Weir which had my legs feeling good again. A quick stop, refill the bottles, eat a banana, go to the port-a-loo, then I was back on my bike and heading up the hill. My group had all split up by now, so I rode on my own but there were always other riders around, and the faster 3 Dams riders were coming past me now too.

Two and three – Churchman’s Brook and Wungong dams

The next checkpoint was Churchman’s Brook at 84k. The 3 Dams riders had turned off earlier, so there were fewer riders around me now as I climbed the hilly road up to Churchman’s Brook. A quick stop here to refuel, then off again up an even steeper climb. I am so glad that my new bike has such low gearing. I would really have struggled with my old bike, as many around me did.

It was only another 10k to the lunch stop at Wungong Dam, which was 93k into the course. Here we had a choice of filled rolls and banana cake. I ate a cheese and salad roll, and put some cake in my bag for later as I wasn’t that hungry. Another big climb took us up to the dam wall which we then cycled across. This was pretty cool and I stopped for a selfie. More climbing to get out of the dam, whilst the 3 Dams riders came whizzing down the hill on their way into Wungong. It was starting to become hard work by now, and I made sure to eat and drink regularly. I also took an Endurolyte tablet every hour to boost my electrolytes and ward off cramping. I broke the ride into manageable sections between check points, rather than thinking about how far I still had to go. It was only another 17k to the next check point.

There’s always time for one more dam selfie!

Canning Dam – four down but not yet half way!

Next up was Canning Dam, at the 110k mark. To get there we turned onto Albany Highway for a short stretch of a kilometre or two, then turned onto the road to Canning Dam. This road was in poor condition, and was the bumpiest, bone jarring ride ever. As with the other dams, there was a long descent down to the dam, and a long climb back out. Here they served up Winners bars, and I ate one and put one in my pocket for later. I climbed the bumpy road back out towards Albany Highway, feeling the fatigue mounting throughout my body. There were many 3 Dams riders around me on this road, and they too seemed to be suffering in the heat on this awful, bumpy, hilly road. At the junction with Albany Highway, the 3 Dams riders turned right to head back towards Perth, whilst the 5 Dams riders were directed left, to ride 15km along Albany Highway to the Jarrahdale turnoff. This was the section I was dreading the most as I don’t like riding on busy roads, and the memory of Mike Hall’s accident was still fresh in my mind. I hugged the edge of the road as much as possible, gripping the handlebars tightly whenever a vehicle flew past. That 15km couldn’t go by fast enough for my liking, and eventually the turn off to Jarrahdale came into view and I thankfully turned right off the highway. I stopped and had a little stretch here as my lower back was beginning to ache.

Serpentine and doing fine

This section through Jarrahdale and on to Serpentine Dam was probably the toughest for me as it was hot with little breeze and I was beyond tired by this time. Riders were very strung out and at times there was no one else within sight. It crossed my mind more than once that I could call someone to come pick me up when I reached Serpentine Dam if I felt I couldn’t go on. Eventually I reached the dam at 154km and tried to force down some pasta but I was too tired to eat much even though I knew I had to eat to give me the energy to continue. I looked at my phone and had to chuckle when I saw there was no service. I had no choice now but to keep riding. I took a Nurofen and a No Doz tablet, downed a bottle of electrolyte, and set off for the final stretch home.

I rode past Karnet Prison Farm, but they were all inside. I enjoyed the fast descent down to South West Highway. OK, I was on the brakes most of the way down the hill to keep my speed in check, but it was a nice relief to not have to pedal for a few kilometres. A short 100m or so along the highway, then we turned right and onto some quiet back roads which were flat and enabled me to ride along at a decent speed. I had been worried all day about making the 6pm cut off, and was very happy to be able to get my average speed up again and try to hold it there.

The familiar freeway

The painkillers and caffeine seemed to be doing their job as I maintained a good speed all the way down Karnup Rd to the freeway where I happily joined the cycle path. To my pleasant surprise, I met two of my friends who had been tracking my progress online and had ridden out to meet me on their bikes. We rode together for a while, enjoying a slight tailwind on the cycle path towards the city. At the 200km mark I stopped at the Freeway aid station, refilled my bottles and ate a killer python to keep my energy up. Steve told me that at this pace I would likely finish around 5.30pm. I was relieved to hear this and kept the pace going. My friends peeled off at the servo and I rode the rest of the way by myself, my spirits having been lifted by their company.

The kilometres ticked by, I crossed Mt Henry bridge and onto the path beside the river. I knew we had to ride across the pedestrian bridge to get over the freeway, but I wasn’t looking forward to this as I knew my legs had had it and it would be a struggle. Soon the bridge came into view and as I started up it I noticed a bike coming across the top towards me. It came down around the corkscrew bend on my side forcing me into the railing. I clung to the railing as my legs cramped, and I was stuck – unable to lift my leg off my bike due to cramps. After a few moments I started crab walking the rest of the way up the bridge, then sat on and rode down the other side.

Thankfully the cramps stayed away for the rest of the way back along the cycle path to Curtin University. I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch – it was 5.30pm, just as Steve had predicted. My friend Karen was there to congratulate me as I pried my tired body off my bike. I had done it. 5 Dams, 240km, over 2500m of elevation, in 10hrs 18mins. Box ticked – Mission accomplished.

Job done!

How slow do you go?

photo credit: rainydayrunner.com

I’m sure that athletes get as sick of coaches telling them to slow down in their easy sessions as we coaches are of saying it.  Why is there such an issue with what is fundamentally a pretty simple message?  Here’s my take on the situation.

The message

The first part of the problem is directly attributable to the coach and their ability to communicate.  If the athlete doesn’t understand what the coach is asking they can’t be expected to execute the instruction.  It’s one of the reasons why really good coaches are so few and far between, you not only need to have the technical expertise but you need to be a master communicator.

Where an athlete has quantifiable metrics that they can use while training (e.g. pace, power and heart rate) the message should be exact.  “This is an easy run, hold between 5:50 and 6:30/km” might be the instruction and, hopefully, the groundwork has already been done to give the athlete the skills to execute the session correctly.

Other descriptions may relate to physiological feedback such as breathing rate but in my experience using perceived exertion for these easy efforts is futile, athletes ALWAYS get it wrong.  If your coach isn’t already giving you precise instructions you need to take responsibility to ask, any coach worth their salt will appreciate that you care enough about following their plan to ask.

This isn’t work

The second part of the equation is directly down to the athlete’s mindset, easy is just too damn easy.  A well executed easy session shouldn’t feel like work at all, you can almost finish feeling as fresh as you started.  I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been told “I don’t think I can even run that slow” after setting a pace.

Both novice and experienced athletes struggle to come to grips with the fact that something that feels so easy could do any good.  We’ve all had drilled into us the ethos of “no pain, no gain” and “hard work pays off.”  Now I could go into all of the effects these low effort workouts have (and I have many times before) but most of you would remain unconvinced and head out and do the next session too hard again.  Instead I’d like to illustrate with an example of a top level marathoner Yuki Kawauchi.

Yuki has a marathon PB of 2:08 and a half marathon best of 1:02, making his threshold pace somewhere just under 3:00/km.  So what do you think his “easy” pace would be for his long runs?  3:30/km?  4:00/km?  Not even close.  Yuki Kawauchi runs his five weekly long runs (typically 20km) at 5:00/km pace!  This is the equivalent of someone who runs a 50minute 10km race doing their easy sessions at 8:18/km pace.

Now I’m not advocating that our athletes run quite that slow compared to their threshold, I think Yuki is a bit of an extreme example, but the principle still holds.  Your easy sessions need to be ridiculously easy, trust me you will reap the rewards in better aerobic fitness, reduced injury and better recovery.

What about me?

So if you’re not coached how do you know what your “slow” is?  With cycling it’s tough, unless you have a power meter you really only have heart rate as a reliable indicator and even that is quite variable depending on many factors that are not part of your training.  With running though I strongly advocate the use of pace, either by treadmill (boring and often inaccurate), a known course and stopwatch (again boring) or a GPS based device.

To get your right pace for any session I recommend the use of the calculator at this page with a recent race result (parkrun is perfect.)  Simply enter your time, hit the calculate button and find your training paces.  Be disciplined and execute these on training day and I can guarantee you will be setting new PBs throughout next season.

Train smarter, not harder.

Coach Trav

Nikky’s Asian Crispy Beef Salad

“This is a great family recipe with heaps of veggies and it can be deconstructed for fussy little people” – Nikky Brock


Ingredients

  • Meat 700gm rump steak sliced in strips
  • Marinade
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • l tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Chopped chilli to taste

Salad

  • 1 Baby cos heart chopped
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 lebanese cucumber deseeded and sliced
  • 1 carrot shaved
  • 1/2 red capsicum sliced
  • 1 packet crispy noodles

Method

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients and marinate the meat for 30minutes.
  2. Prepare the salad in a large bowl.
  3. Heat wok to hot and fry meat quickly (remove meat from marinade and reserve marinade).
  4. Put meat aside to rest and reduce the marinade by a quarter.
  5. Add the noodles, meat and sauce to the salad bowl, toss and serve immediately.

You could make an even lighter version using well drained vermicelli rice noodles but the crispy noodles are not too bad if shared between 4.

Lessons from a five year old – find your why

Start on January 1

We’re a day into 2017 and if you’re like many people the new year’s resolutions that you made on the stroke of midnight have already made it obvious that they were perhaps not as well thought out as they should have been.  Whether it was to quit something, take something new up, eat better, lose weight, train harder, hit a tough goal or achieve a new mindset you’ve now had time to think about the reality of the work it will take and perhaps there are second thoughts.

Of course if you need help with the “how” of meeting these resolutions there is no shortage of advice at this time of year.  From businesses targeting people with your aim (notice the step up in ads from weight loss companies, gyms, PTs and coaches?) to magazine and internet articles on goal getting (SMART/SMARTER goal anyone?) you can waste a lot of time and potentially money chasing something that is little more than a dream.  The same resolution you had at this time last year and will probably be using next year too.  Why is it so hard?

The reality is that most people set themselves up for failure long before they even define their goals, let alone formulate a plan to achieve them.  All worthwhile goals, as new year’s resolutions surely are, take perseverance to accomplish and that needs sustained motivation.  But that won’t be a problem will it, because this year we really, really want to do it…don’t we?  Maybe not.

For those that have gone through the fun of raising a child we all know that there’s one word that we dread.  One simple word that can cause endless frustration and throw our thought process into turmoil and a five year old just loves it.  The conversation normally goes something like this:

“Why?”

“Because of…”

“But why?”

“Because…”

“But why?”

“Because I said so.”

“But why?”

“Grrrrrrrrr!!!”

When  it comes to setting goals and resolutions we need be to more like a five year old.  Don’t stop with the thing you think you want.  Ask yourself why and you’ll often come up with the reason behind the goal.  Keep asking until you find the root of what you really want.  Sometimes it leads you in unexpected directions, away from your original thought, but it will always provide you with your true desire and thereby the motivation you need to achieve it.

Happy new year everyone.  Here’s hoping that 2017 brings you everything you desire.

Coach Trav

Sports Nutrition Seminar – 10th of November 7pm

catalystlogo

Perth Hills Triathlon Club is very proud to be bringing one of Western Australia’s premier sports nutrition experts David Bryant to the hills region to help you maximise your racing and training performance through his tried-and-tested dietary advice.  This session will be specifically targeting the needs of triathletes but will also be suitable for those single-sport athletes wanting to improve their knowledge.

David is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Sports Dietitian with Catalyst Dietitian.  He is currently working with WAIS world class athletes to improve their dietetic skills and has helped hundreds of his clients achieve their sport-specific, weight loss and dietary goals without resorting to extremes.  You can find out more about what David has to offer by clicking his logo above but this is what some of our current members have to say about him:

“When I went to David I weighed around 94 kilograms which isn’t huge for someone as tall as me but there was a fair amount of useless fat in that.  I had been to other dietitians before with some short term success but regaining the weight when I lost motivation to continue their prescribed regime.  David worked around my goals, lifestyle, likes and dislikes to provide me with the tools that I needed to lose 10kg and keep it off in the two years since.  He also helped me develop a race nutrition plan that has worked to help me set new personal best times at all distances up to Ironman.  I would highly recommend David’s for anyone looking to make positive changes to their sport through diet.”  –  Travis Bentley

“David was able to individualise my pre-race & race nutrition in order to satisfy my sensitive stomach and ensure that I was in top condition & running as quickly at the end of the race as I was swimming at the beginning! Diet & nutrition should never be the reason that you don’t do well in a race and since I have been working with David I’ve never had to worry! ”  –  Peta Woodland

“When I started out with triathlon I had no idea about endurance based nutrition especially in regard to daily nutrition required to sustain daily training.  All my previous experience had been with high protein low carb nutrition required to sustain 3-4 strength workouts a week.  After a couple of months triathlon training I hit the wall.  David showed me how to balance my nutrition for endurance training and to maintain race weight using everyday seasonal fresh food.  His knowledge and understanding of triathlon training and it’s impact on the body is excellent.  I highly recommend him.”  –  Mike Burns

Topics covered in the hour long seminar will include:

  • Body composition
  • Daily nutrition to support training and recovery
  • Nutrient density and diet quality
  • Race preparation and taper
  • Fuelling on race day

The nutrition session will be held at Hillside Farm Education Centre at Lot 41 Hayward, Martin (Gosnells.)  Follow the signs on arrival.

Entry is $10 including provision of healthy snacks, however as part of our members benefit program all Perth Hills members secure FREE ENTRY if they RSVP by email before the 6th of November.  All others please pay cash at the door.

RSVP by email to seminars@perthhillstri.org.au