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.

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 😁

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

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

Show Us Your Kit

show-us-your-kit

Ever wished you could be a model with people throwing cash and gifts your way for doing nothing but looking amazing?  Well now you can!

Triathlon WA has just launched its Show Us Your Kit competition and it’s your opportunity to demonstrate the undeniable fact that Perth Hills Tri Club has the best looking kit in WA, if not the world.  As well as winning a Fly6 rear light and camera if your photo is chosen as the winning image you will also get $200 cash and the club a further $300.  How good is that!!!

To enter all you have to do is:

  • Follow Triathlon WA on Instagram (@triathlonwa)
  • Share a photo to Instagram showing off your club kit
  • Include the hashtag #showusyourkit2016 and tag Triathlon WA using @triathlonwa

Terms and conditions

  1. The Show Us Your Kit competition is being run by Triathlon Western Australia (TWA).
  2. Entries for the Show Us Your Kit competition open on the 20th October and close at 5pm on the 17th The winning individual and winning club will be announced on the 21st November.
  3. The competition is open to all current TWA members and triathlon clubs affiliated with TWA.
  4. To enter the Show Us Your Kit competition individuals need to follow Triathlon WA on Instagram (@triathlonwa), share a photo to Instagram that shows off their club kit, include the hashtag #showusyourkit2016 and tag Triathlon WA using @triathlonwa.
  5. Chance plays no part in determining the winner. An independent panel will assess all competition entries on creativity and originality.
  6. The individual who submitted the winning entry will be awarded a Fly6 rear LED light with built in HD camera, RRP $199, and $200 cash (total value $399). The affiliated club that the winner belongs to will also be awarded a prize of $300 cash.  The total value of the prize pool is $699.
  7. The Show Us Your Kit competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Instagram.

Training Changes

Spring has really sprung, though somebody seems to have neglected to tell whoever controls the temperature gauge!  In spite of the cool weather the return of daylight to hours that we might have forgotten existed over winter has brought athletes out in droves.  It has also brought with it an influx of new members with enthusiasm and varying levels of ability.

We would like to congratulate Peta Woodland on becoming the first registered Development Coach (TA Level 1) at Perth Hills Tri Club.  This allows her to provide her coaching services not only in a club environment but also in a personal capacity and offers our club a great deal more flexibility in the delivery of coached sessions.  It is our aim to develop more coaches within the club in the near future.

Perth Hills Tri Club has always been about helping to grow the sport in the hills, foothills and associated regions and for that reason people new to the sport or wanting to “try before you buy” have always been welcomed at training sessions as if they were regulars.  That will not change.  However with limited resources (and particularly coaches) this has sometimes meant that our full fee paying training and racing members have been subsidising others or not receiving their fair share of resources.  It would be unfair of the club to let this continue so changes have to be made.

From this Saturday, the first of October, the committee has decided that anyone attending training who is not a registered training and racing member of Perth Hills Tri Club will pay a flat rate $5 fee for all sessions.  Attendees who are members of other tri clubs and PHTC social members will also be subject to this fee.  This money will go towards running costs, the purchase of equipment and other member benefits.  All coaching is still provided on a volunteer basis.

If you wish to avoid these fees and save some money in the long-run simply go to the club membership page and sign up as an adult or junior member (NB: non-member session fees still apply for social members.)  If you are already a training/competing member of another club you will only be charged for the PHTC club fee, currently $45 for adults and less for juniors as set out on the membership page.  As you can see, this is fantastic value.  Alternately you can get a one-off trial membership that will exempt you for 14 days only through TWA here.

Finally when you look below at our October training calendar you will see some big changes.  There are some new sessions and some moved in terms of location and/or time.  There are now three opportunities to swim with the club every week.  Open water swims, trail runs and brick sessions all return to the calendar also.  As always we welcome feedback from our members with respect to the training calendar, individual sessions and all other aspects of the club.

 

The training calendar can be found here.

Announcing the new Club Champion award

We are pleased to announce that we will be presenting a club champion trophy this year (amongst other awards) and we’d like to let you know how it will work.

Firstly you need to be a full racing/training member of Perth Hills Tri Club.  Each MULTISPORT official race during the financial year will have points up for grabs! These points will be based on the position that you finish and the number of starters in your category. We will be promoting the races run by other tri clubs to help keep these viable and these races will also contribute to Perth Hills Tri club points in the TWA Club Challenge so you will receive bonus points for any of the club run races listed below.  If you send us a photo from the race wearing club kit you will also receive bonus points.

The point system will be calculated as follows:

Points = Category size – Position + 1

Club race bonus = + 10

Club kit = + 2

e.g. come 5th in a club run race with 40 in your category but not wearing club kit = (40-5)+1+10+0 = 46 points

 

We should be able to keep track of the main races in the calendar but we may need some help to make sure we get it all right.  We have an excel document that does all the calculations for us but it isn’t going to be able to do it’s magic if it doesn’t know that you raced and as volunteers we won’t be able to check every results list.  You will need to notify us of a race and send us a link to the results if possible within a month of the race to get those points added to the tally.  Of course, much of the time we will already be aware of those results but best you check and then we know we have it right!  At the end of the season there will be no adjustments made if you have missed points because we weren’t notified.

Send your results to clubchamp@perthhills.tri.org.au

Happy Racing and good luck!!

 

Club run races eligible for bonus points are:

ClubRaces2016

 

 

Club Swim Sessions starting June 12th

Oasis pool

Announcement

Due to popular request Perth Hills Tri Club is very pleased to announce that we will be commencing club run swim sessions this Sunday the 12th of June.  These Sunday sessions will be held at Belmont Oasis starting at 3pm with two 50m lanes for our exclusive use and guided by one of our senior members.  All levels of ability are encouraged to come and join in.  The centre’s cafe has already been trialed and found to be satisfactory for post-swim coffee and conversation.

Starting on the 22nd of June PHTC will be adding a Wednesday 7:00pm session at Swan Park Recreation Centre for those unable to make the Sunday and those who would like a second swim session.

Session Fee

The aim of Perth Hills Tri Club is to encourage participation and bring the benefits of endurance sport to a wider audience, therefore we will always keep costs to our members to a minimum.  To assist in recovering our lane hire costs there will be a fee of $3 for each participant paid to the club representative, pool entry is payable as usual.

Support Your Club

These sessions have been created at your request and are being put on for your benefit by our volunteers.  If they are not adequately supported they will not continue in the longer term so please stand by the people working hard to make this a fantastic club to be involved with.

Training for the week beginning 11th of April

Congratulations to all of those who completed their final race for the season last weekend.  Hopefully this year has brought you progress and personal bests or at least shown you that your limits are not where you thought they were.  For many there is still at least one race left before they can take a (short) well-earned rest or unstructured training.

Tuesday April the 12th:  Run intervals

With fading light it’s important to make sure that we don’t court injury so this week we will again be using Riverside Park in Woodbridge for our run intervals.  The even, paved surface allows for a reliable footfall even in dark conditions.  Meet at the start of the path near the corner of the playground for a 6pm start.  If you have a head-lamp or small handheld torch it would be advisable to bring it along with something warm to wear when you  are finished.

Thursday 14th: Indoor cycle training

6:45pm for a 7pm start. 37 Brunswick Bend, Jane Brook. Total session time around 1hr finishing with a 5-10min run off the bike to get used to the sensation.  BYO turbo trainer and bike, limited additional trainers are available, please contact us to reserve one for you.

Sunday 17th: Group ride

Meet at Yahava Coffee car park in the Swan Valley at 7am for a tour around the valley.  As always the rule is that nobody will be left behind so bring your TT, road or mountain bike and complete as many or as few laps as you feel inclined.  The group ride is meant to be an easy session, it’s not a race and if it were it would be one of those ones where everyone gets a prize and results aren’t recorded.  Bring cash or card for coffee and/or breakfast afterwards if you wish.