The Diary of a T:Zero Coach on Camp...
By Head Coach Em Quinn
It was an absolute privilege to have been contact by the St George triathlon club a few months ago asking our interest in conducting a training camp in their home town. Having received a grant from Triathlon Queensland, the club was looking at having a weekend that would expose the athletes to some higher knowledge, some quality training and some educational tools that can be ingrained within the future training plans of the club. This was an opportunity simply too good to refuse :)
Friday 10th November, 8am saw the head coaches roll out in Scotty’s black van that looks as though you are travelling with hitmen from the Mafia! As we loaded in the bikes, bags and endless amounts of merchandise and snacks, we were all super excited and a little nervous for our venture west. Breaking the trip up with a pit stop in Dalby and a catch up with T:Zero athlete Shane Lee, we were back on the road after an amazing lunch from Urban Paddock (seriously one of the best cafes we have ever set foot in). We arrived in St George at 3pm Friday and checked into the Riverland hotel, a very simple little motel ran by super friendly staff who were very excited to see some new faces. After a little rest and some social media catch up (no reception for 4 hours can take its toll!), it was time to meet the athletes from the St George triathlon club. As we introduced ourselves and spoke about what we had planned for the weekend the nerves immediately vanished! It was evident from the moment we met the crew that this weekend was going to be super fun, relaxed and a learning experience for not only the athletes but also the coaches.
After handing out the welcome packs and going through some formalities, the evening was then spent with coach Scotty conducting a dry land/core session and Coach Em leading a technical swim session finished off with some variable pace work and some relay action to create a little inter club banter. It was evident that the athletes took a lot away from the drill/technique focused session and even in only one hour were amazed at how some little changes can make huge differences in stroke rate and efficiency.
The evening came around very quickly and it was out to the Saint (local St George pub) for dinner. It was so wonderful to share a genuine country pub meal with the locals and hear all about what they do, their work life and learn more about this quite, cute little country town we were in. After basking in the excitement of local raffles and money wheels and a few drinks, it was time to head back to the motel and hit the sack.
5:15am Saturday morning rolled around very quickly, Coach Scotty and Em were on the bikes riding with the group, whilst Coach Rich had decked the Mafia hitman van into what looked like a Tour De France cycling support vehicle! All athletes were ready to roll out at 5:30am and the 2 hour ride consisted of a group warm up and cool down, with some individual race pace and above race pace efforts. Nothing can describe the pure bliss of these country roads, they were simply sensational and with no traffic lights and only one or two cars seen during the course of the ride, we could really enjoy the country air and hit some speed! Following the ride athletes quickly transitioned into running gear for a short 15 minute run off the bike. 8am rolled around and the local pool began to be inundated with little ones! Kids from as young as 4 through to 12 wheeling their bikes in and setting up a transition area more precise than any adult we have ever seen! 8am every Saturday morning see’s the local St George Triathlon club host a kids race. The juniors raced in distances from 15m/1.6km/800m through to 50m/3.2km/1.6km and each and every one of them gave it 110% with the biggest smile. It was such a wonderful experience to not only be involved in this event, but to also meet and run alongside some of the little ones as they grit their teeth to tick off a personal best or even just run a little further than last time. The coaches were so impressed by their attitude that not only did we award two prize packs on the day, but shall also be express posting all of the St George tri kids a T:Zero swim cap for their race this Saturday. This really is what the sport is about, grass roots, healthy, happy and active little faces of our future champions!
Following mini tri’s it was time to hit the local café for some much needed breakfast, again this felt more like a catch up between friends chatting and laughing than a triathlon camp. Following breakfast it was over to the local school for some presentations. Rich spoke about goal setting, mental toughness and of course his recent race of UM Australia and current world record holder status. Em spoke about the training and planning associated with stepping up from the Olympic distance to the 70.3 distance and Scotty rounded off the session with a chat on race day nutrition. A delicious lunch was catered by the local school P & C and this provided another opportunity to better get to know each of the athletes. Following lunch it was down to the Ballone River from some running drills and functional strength exercises, before putting athletes through a fast paced mini triathlon, which each athlete completed twice with a 5 minute break between each. A super fun, yet tough way to round out an awesome day two of camp!
Heading back to the Riverland motel it was time for some serious tracking of the T:Zero athletes in IM Malaysia and some much needed food. As luck would have it, the local Gala ball was being held tonight and saw people from right across rural Queensland hit St George to dress up and party! Whilst working, trying to sleep and frantically tracking athletes, it seemed only fitting to have quite a few roudy ball goers drinking XXXX from the back of their utes in the car park whilst blaring Kenny Rogers and other country mash ups as they got themselves well into party mode! 7pm rolled around and we were lucky enough to hit the local Chinese restaurant “ The Asian Pearl” for what was likely the worst meal any of us had ever had, not to mention the impeccable service :) However, we weren’t going to let that dampen our spirits and were looking forward to the 1am wake up when our motel residents came home from the big night and shared a few nightcaps out in the car park :)
Sunday morning and it was time to meet at the pool, today was an easy 60 minute spin, a long run off the bike (30 or 45 minutes), followed by a final presentation on the T:Zero Multisport philosophy and a few little prize packs awarded to some of the athletes. We were truly humbled by how genuinely passionate, caring, enthusiastic and kind the crew of the St George triathlon club were. Not once did we feel as though we were not immersed by a supportive, ready to learn and an enthusiastic group of athletes. We were so impressed by everything this club is and is trying to be and the support that it provides not only to each other but also to the local kids of the town who each Saturday travel into town to try a triathlon, that T:Zero Multisport has pre purchased 10 entries to the St George Olympic Distance “Battle of the Ballone” event March 25th 2018. The three of us cannot wait to get back out there and race and support such a hard working club! Stay tuned on how you can secure your free entry and also follow this even on social media for the latest updates.
Leaving town and buckled in for the 6.5 hour trip home it was as though we were all leaving with 15 more friends. Friends who shared the same passion, desire and commitment as we all do within the T:Zero Multisport staple. We are extremely grateful to have been given such an opportunity and we have no doubt that this will be the first of many successful regional T:Zero camps!
Thank you for having us Tri St George!
Em, Scotty and Rich!
Live Your Potential
Me?? A Coach? - Guest blog by Liz Butler
At the beginning of 2016 the seemingly ludicrous notion of entering an Ironman crossed my mind, and before I knew it, I’d made a date with Bussleton!
It's baffling and embarrassing in equal measure to now admit that I'm really not sure what I had in mind with regard to training when I entered. I must have envisioned some kind of progression over the year, as I did enter Cairns 70.3 at the same time, but beyond that, who knows?! I knew I could run a bit as I'd done a few marathons over the years. I knew I could ride a bike in some regard as I'd just done a Smiddy ride from Brisbane to Townsville; and, despite being a Pom, I don’t drown in a pool. Surely I just had to do lots more of all three, right?!
One thing that would never ever have entered my head was to get a coach. In my mind that was only for the pros and young scary hard-bodied types who (rightly) take themselves very very seriously! For a not-quite- so-young, nearly 50-year-old, with more of a hard-worn body, a more than full time job and complete inability to take myself seriously, to get a coach implied ludicrous notions of grandeur and crazy misplaced pretentions!
The universe obviously had a different plan though, when the son of a beautiful friend of mine offered to coach me! Incredibly that chap happened to be T-zero’s very own Rich!
Rich could not have been more lovely, or despite his incredible sporting CV, no less intimidating when I first spoke to him. Nonetheless I was still balking at the idea of ME having a coach, so much so that I only signed up for 2 months to start with. As well as the vague unease that I might be a strange kind of pro bono case for Rich, otherwise why would HE coach ME, I’m sure I actually asked him if he needed a crazy old lady for his coaching portfolio!
It seemed such a frivolous expense too. It took some work colleagues to remind me that a) even though I’m not ‘serious’, these dubious sporting endeavours really are my thing so why wouldn’t I pay someone to give me advice and keep me safe and well and b) the going rate for a PT is apparently $80 PER HOUR - and Rich would be tolerating my madness (their words!) pretty much 24/7!
Ironically now, all of those meandering crazy internal dialogues that nearly persuaded me that I wasn’t good enough and someone like me didn't need a coach, I now see are some of the very reasons getting a coach was a brilliant idea and signing up to t zero specifically was one of the best decisions I ever made.
My personal aim with Bussleton was to get to and be smiling at the start….and the finish! In speaking to Rich there was simply no doubt in his mind that that was completely achievable. The positivity and confidence was infectious!
In my first couple of weeks under t-zero guidance, I’d look at all those as yet uncoloured boxes on training peaks with a sense of bafflement as to how I was going to manage it all, but I did. It really is amazing how quickly following a program becomes a way of life.
I work more than full time in a pretty demanding role, so I was sure that I would struggle to fit all the training around this. However, my being honest with Rich from the start, amazingly meant this turned out to be mostly completely manageable. He knew I could never do more than a couple of hours before work and would struggle to commit to squads. In the end, the only change I made was to move my usual work start time to 9am whenever I could. Ironically what ended up happening was that committing to the training actually helped me attain a better work / life balance, which mercifully has endured. When I’m ninety-five years old (aim long as Rich would say) I’m pretty sure I won’t remember working those 10hour days, but there’s no question that I will remember completing my first ironman and the amazing friends I made along the way!
Being ‘on program’ is undoubtedly a challenge because you definitely do a lot of training and there definitely are sessions you’d probably rather go to the dentist than choose to complete! Really and truly though it’s no more than I might have aspired to do but that perfect combination of conscience / coach looking over your shoulder and the knowledge that someone else thinks that you can manage that session no matter what’s gone before, means you actually do the session!
It’s also amazing how much time is freed up by not fannying around / agonising / debating and bargaining with yourself about what training to do. If it’s in training peaks, you just do it!!
From what I can see, what t-zero do unbelievably well, is they work to get to know you as an individual. They can judge, often before you, when you’re getting fatigued mentally or physically and need a break. They really work with your own individual resources with regard to time, base line fitness, other commitments and as time goes by they really get to know how you tick and use that to help you achieve whatever goals you have set.
I was totally convinced in the early days that Rich thought I really didn’t take things seriously enough at all. I just couldn’t help using my training peaks feedback as an outlet for my comic genius!
It didn’t take too long however before I realized that Rich totally got me!
One evening I had taken a tumble out running and mentioned in my feedback that I had therefore taken it easy on the way home. Big brother really is watching you, as Rich immediately sent a text to check I was OK. I replied that all was well, although all plans to wear a miniskirt at the weekend had been scuppered by my purple knees, but let there be no panic as I’d still be OK to wear a boob tube by Tuesday! The SMS from Rich a few days later wishing me “happy boob tube Tuesday” was when I realized he was totally on to how my particular brand of madness worked!
Since the start of my time being coached by tzero 18months ago, sure there’s been days when I’d really rather have stayed in bed, but despite cumulatively doing (for me) a monumental amount of training, thanks to Rich’s skills, I manage to stay totally well, I don’t get injured, I function completely normally at work and in all other areas of my life.
T zero has many incredible talented committed athletes on its books that are super competitive and deservedly do incredibly well. But it also has many ‘regular’ people like me who want to do as well as they can with whatever resources they have at their disposal. Our goals are just as enormous and fantastic for us as someone aiming for a world championship.
I'm sure if I had just run, ridden and swum more, I might have got through Busso in some regard: but would I have been totally stoked with how I went on the day; still be employed; not have sustained any injuries; and still had a few non-sporty friends?! I doubt it.
As a footnote, I’m not sure whether I should admit that in describing Rich to other people, I still actually refer to him as “the guy that coaches me”. Still haven’t quite progressed to “my coach” but all these things are a journey, right?!?
Comparison - The thief of joy
How many times do you catch yourself making comparisons? These comparisons can be of you physically and someone else you are training with or racing, a pro or even the athlete you used to be. It can be a comparison of times, efforts, what food someone else is eating, what new gear they have or what podcasts they listen to. I have fallen into this trap on far too many occasions across my sporting and professional career and it is only recently that I have been able to see the damage that it does mentally and how it can cast future doubt on your abilities. In essence comparing yourself to anyone else really steals your joy and hope.
Back in the day when I was a handy cricketer, we played NSW constantly in the national final and lost 7 years in a row, it meant that Queensland only ever had one or two Australian representatives and it was safe to say mentally they had the edge over all of us. We got a new coach and we all bemoaned to him that it did not matter how hard we trained as they were so much better across all cricketing disciplines. Our coach listened and watched us all get caught up in the dreaded comparison of the NSW girls. When it came time to go to the nationals we had trained well and were physically ready. We saw the NSW girls warming up and our coach stopped and said “wow is that NSW? Here I was thinking they were some amazing machines but it turns out they are just girls like all of you”. The switch was flicked in all of us and we instantaneously removed them from the pedestal we had them on and looked upon them as equals. We went on to win the nationals that year and for the next 5 straight and we managed to get 6 Queenslanders in the Australian team and literally changed our mindsets with one simple comment.
I have recently fallen back into the trap of comparing myself to the athlete I was before my two accidents earlier this year. I find myself looking at the ‘Monique before Busso’, or the ‘Monique before IMNZ’ when looking at fitness levels, weight, physical conditioning and splits. What this comparison does is makes me depressed to think that I was at one point and now I am at another. What I need to do, and have been working hard on, is being the best version of the Monique today and striving to get a bit better each day not only physically but mentally. If you suffer from a bit of comparison here are the top 3 reasons why you need to stop comparing yourself to others.
1. It’s damaging your sense of self.
Research indicates that comparing self to others can breed envy, low self-esteem, confidence and depression as well as dinting our ability to trust others.
2. What you are comparing against is inaccurate information.
Generally what we seen in others is an edited version of themselves. Have a look on social media to see people only post great things in their lives, not the mundane dramas that we all endure. The next time you are doing a comparison of someone else stop yourself and ponder if it is really fair to compare when you don’t have all the information to make an informed opinion.
3. It doesn’t actually help you accomplish your goals
Ruminating about others and how awesome they are is really time consuming and ineffective. When you are self-admonishing it decreases your motivation and decreases goal completion. Think about when you are doing laps in the pool and someone flies past you and you think you are not good enough and lose motivation. The truth is you don’t know what training that person is doing and where they are in their training. Getting upset and frustrated can derail the entire session and make you lose confidence by thinking someone else is better than you. You are better off dedicating your time and energy to your own goals and values.
If comparing is how you evaluate your worth in this world, you will always be losing. You will never reach a point where you are better than others in every way and really why would that be a goal? Instead of trying to be as good as or better than others, focus your energy on being the best version of yourself and working hard towards your goals and your targets!
Want to know more about Coach Mon? Click here!
By Head Coach Scotty Farrell
As a coach, in a nutshell, I’m in the business of getting my athletes to go faster. Most of us just want to go faster and this is great in all… but the longer I’m in this sport, the more I realise it’s about so much more than just that.
Going back ten years to when I started in the sport, I remember being so hung up about not seeing any improvements right off the bat. Week after week, my mates keep dropping me and it seemed like I wasn’t getting any faster, despite training my backside off and being super consistent. Sure, there were the old tri crew that passed on the occasional piece of wisdom like ‘just keep spinning’ or ‘stick at it, it’ll happen’ but at the time, those were never the words I wanted to hear. I was so focussed on the end result that I really ignored the fundamentals that in hindsight, are the crux of what really matters in triathlon and life for that matter.
I see it regularly today… we are all so into the numbers and ticking off times to massage our egos, that we neglect to fall in love with the process of it all. I’m by no means discounting the amazing feelings of notching up a PB or cracking a goal time… but what I am suggesting is that we need to take a moment to remember how lucky we are and how good it is to be doing such a healthy sport and dig a little deeper than the numbers to focus more on that magical thing we call ‘the process’.
Coach Rich recently wrote about the need for sacrifice, sustainability and consistency in order to achieve success and I’m 100% behind those ideals! Today though, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture… cast your views over the process of it all and how awesome it is! It’s easy to get caught up in the doldrums of our daily routines and forget to see the roses amongst the thorns. Celebrate the small things, enjoy the moments and the smiles, they are what you’ll remember just as much as the victories.
When life get’s the better of me and the stress levels rise I try to ground myself by regularly writing down the things I am grateful for… the little things, the water in the tap, the light in my fridge, my bike ;-). I’ve also recently gone back to training in a swim squad environment… for me this is a couple of sessions per week where I get to switch off, do as I’m told, go hard and smile my way through it with some likely legends. We’ve talked about it before, but we really are the product of the people we spend the most time with… so why not surround yourself with gurus and guns… it’ll eventually rub off right!? I think it will. Maybe one day you’ll be the gun or the guru too!
I challenge you to think about your goals and the way you approach your next race with a grateful attitude and a new found love for the process. For if you focus your attention on all the little things along the way and you practice consistently, you will achieve success in your life. The feels that come from finishing a session, a big week of training or a race knowing you nailed the process along the way, can be just as rewarding if we remember to smell the roses and feel the feels along the way.
Internalise it, control your journey, love it, be grateful and it will give back to you all that you deserve!
“It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up”
What goes on at a T:Zero Training Camp
On the 29th July, 29 athletes gathered on the beautiful shores of Mooloolaba for our T: Zero Multisport one day camp focussing on a course familiarisation of the Sunshine Coast 70.3. The group consisted of a wide range of abilities and it was wonderful to see such a large number of athletes coming from outside our current T: Zero family.
The morning started with a brief introduction and safety chat before we made our way out towards the hinterland section of the bike course. By far, the most talked about and nerve racking component of the new 2017 course is leaving some of the “challenging” section in the bike course from the 2016 70.3 World Championship course. Athletes were given a debrief about the two loops as well as some helpful hints and tips about how best to approach the course from head Coach Rich. After a smooth, controlled and “fun” loop as small groups, athletes were then given the opportunity to test the legs and complete either 1, 2 or 3 more loops, before we headed back to basecamp.
Following the 3 hours bike, athletes then took off for a run off the bike, heading out 20 minutes to re-group at the bottom of alex hill to have Head Coach Scotty share some of his expert tips of running gait and form when attacking this beast four times on race day. We then cruised back to the tent where the wonderful Erin had prepared a delicious, healthy and wholesome BBQ lunch.
After lunch we then moved into some educational talks by Richard, Scotty and Emma, where topics from the mental game to how best to approach race day were discussed and athletes were given the opportunity to ask questions and seek any clarification on any course or general 70.3 concerns. Before we knew it was mid-afternoon and time for Coach Bonnie to run through an open water and wetsuit tutorial before hitting the water for a 30-40 minute session where things such as positioning, OW techniques, sighting and ins and outs were all practiced.
The afternoon concluded with Jarred from Acai Brothers providing some of the best afternoon treats around, whilst Coach Scotty, Bonnie and Emma gave our best hint/tip for how best to approach race day. We had an overwhelming amount of praise and positive feedback from this camp and it was genuinely such a wonderful day to be a part of. As coaches, we are all very excited to see all of the athletes out on course in less than 4 weeks’ time. A special mention and thank you also to Hannah Hogan who captured some epic photos from the one day event.
So what’s next…. T:Zero are heading out to Western Queensland in November to have an amazing training weekend with the St George Triathlon Club. In January we are headed to Victoria for the T:Zero Bright Camp to be held from the 20-27th January 2017 in (of course) Bright. This one will no doubt be an amazing, challenging and rewarding week for any athlete wanting to get more out of their training and set themselves up for a cracker of a season. Coaches attending this week shall be Richard, Scotty and Emma and the three of us are very much looking forward to this camp!
Stay tuned as we are also in the early stages of planning camps in Adelaide and Cairns before the end of the Summer!
We are all about feedback from the camp attendees too. In the bid to improve the service we provide, we surveyed each athlete who attended the camp. While 100% of the athletes said they would very likely or extremely likely recommend the camp to their friends, here was a few of the testimonials provide by the athletes about their experience:
"Overall, Tzero camps are always well organised, professional and extremely enjoyable! The coaches are very knowledgable and most of all friendly and approachable for any advice or tips. Would recommend 100%!!!"
"All the coaches on the day had their own little piece of the puzzle that they could offer to the athletes there were so many take aways no matter what level or experience the athletes had on all things about Triathlon, Racing, Nutrition & mindset that could be used not just for the SC 70.3 but in any race or goal that the athletes have their eye on in the future."
"The T:Zero Training Camp was an excellent addition to my training program, perfect timing and has added so much valuable information to my race prep for the upcoming 70.3. The coaches were passionate, extremely knowledgeable, relaxed but very professional and more than happy to share their extensive knowledge with everyone involved. The content shared and topics discussed were relevant and covered such a variety that it would suit a newcomer to an experienced athlete. I loved my experience at the training camp and couldn't recommend it more highly! Thanks guys!"
"Thank you to all of the coaches and people behind the scene at T:Zero for putting on a fantastic training camp for Sunshine Coast 70.3. Everything was organised so well and the extra effor you went to - from having a support vehicle for the ride, photographer, support bicycle for the run and paddle boarder for the swim - these little things really make such a big difference and make the camp feel professional and safe. The schedule was a perfect balance between training, information sessions and downtime. Thank you for your support and encouragement and of course the great food!"
Want to succeed? You're asking the wrong questions...
You want to be successful in this sport. We all do. So if I asked you what your goals are, I would assume that the vast majority would be “I want to qualify for X next year’ or ‘I want to break X hours in my next race’.
These are appropriate answers to the question. But I believe we are asking the wrong questions.
For success does not ultimately lie in the ‘what do we want to achieve and how quickly can we achieve this’ sphere. Ultimate success, I believe, requires the opposite of these questions being asked. That is:
You go deep into your self and find the answers to those questions, then success becomes a whole lot easier…that is, if you have the right answers.
The Level of Sacrifice
Everyone loves a great view at the top of a mountain. I am currently writing this blog at the foothills of the Switz Alps, so it is hard not to be inspired. The top of a mountain is a great analogy for ‘success’. When you have ‘made it’. The views are breathtaking. Everyone enjoys this. But what does it take to actually get to the top of that mountain? Do you actually desire that? The sacrifice, the hard work, the very early mornings, the opportunity cost of your time and money – this constitutes the ‘climbing up the mountain’.
A lot of us have mountainous dreams. It is a mile high climb though and unfortunately a lot of people don't like to climb much - they just like to imagine the summit.
The sacrifice and preparation is what drives successful people, not the actual goal itself. Too many people want the ultimate success in this sport, the end game. Whatever that means for them. I guess this means to break a certain time, or qualify to race or win a world championship or even turn professional and have a successful triathlon career. But far few people actually yearn for the journey. For the sacrifice for the day in day out struggle that we face.
Accept that quality long term results require quality long term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.
So the first part of the question that needs to be asked is not what is your end game goal, but what is the level of sacrifice are you truly willing to endure. Because I guarantee, you revel and embrace the sacrifice, the journey – then the so called ‘end game’ will take care of itself. In fact, the end game quickly becomes obsolete as you realise that the objective and the most satisfying part of the entire journey has been the climb, not the view at the top.
The Duration of the Sacrifice
The second part of the question is about how long you are willing to endure. This is equally about your actual development/improvement as a triathlete as well as the sacrifice to achieve such improvement.
"So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act" - Dr Seuess
You know when life is singing. When all the balls in the air, (be it family, work, relationships and of course the sport) are being managed with great balance. It is not an easy prospect and unfortunately the way many of us are wired we push the boundaries of everything. So the first sign of having the balance sorted, we inadvertently think…”how could we get more out of the day/week/month” often to the detriment of what was a perfect balance of balls in the air.
Longevity in this sport is key. If there is one tip that all very successful age group and professional athletes go to is “consistency”. And you cant have consistency without sustainability.
The environment that we live in today is one of ‘now’. If we don’t know an answer to something, we are literally 15 seconds away from knowing it. If we want to chat to friends we can do that instantly, regardless of where we are in the world or what we are doing.
While these things are wonderful, it brings frustrations to the concept of sustainable growth. Long term improvement in this sport (and really, ourselves as individuals) is not something that can be googled or downloaded. It takes time, effort, sacrifice and dedication. But most importantly, the improvement or growth must be sustainable.
Will there be hang ups and bang ups? (Thanks Dr Seuss) Of course. It will all not be smooth climbing on the ascent to the mountain top. Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something that every single person has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process.
You want ultimate success in this sport? After working out the level of sacrifice you are wanting to endure, the only other question you should be asking is how long are you willing to endure?
I truly believe that anything is achievable in this sport. My progression from an unfit pudgy teenager is a testament to that. It requires far more ‘endurance’ than skill. But to reach your best and for you to live your potential, you need to be very clear about your drive. It should no longer be “what are your goals and how soon can you achieve them” but instead “how much are you willing to endure and how long for.” Because, I guarantee that if you are willing to endure more and for longer than everyone, anything becomes achievable. Anything.
Train safe, stay the course and remember that to obtain better answers you must ask better questions.
Nutrition - who to follow - what to believe!
By Coach (and qualified Nutritionist) Scotty Farrell
My journey into the deep worm hole that is nutrition started way back when I first got into triathlon. I was mid twenties, I’d never really worried about what went in my body and never really cared to be honest. I’m just lucky I was raised by a wonderful mum in an era where meat and ten veg was the order of the day, erry day. So I enter into the world of triathlon and start reading articles in magazines about recovery and performance blah blah. And I’m sure like everyone else I started smashing protein powder like it was Milo (we all did it) after every session, even a 20 min recovery jog, cranking carbonara every other night and chugging chocolate milk (cause Crowie said it’s good) as well!
Fast forward ten years to now, a million google searches, a three year nutrition degree, a lot of trial and error and hundreds of books later, you can safely say I have gained enough knowledge and made enough mistakes to know a little about nutrition. And you know that saying… “the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know” well that rings true too (kinda) ;-)
One of the key skills I have developed over the years is the ability to decipher fact from fiction, filter the good scientific research from the bad and more importantly in our ever evolving world of online social media instant information, who to follow and truly trust in regards to nutrition information.
So, for your benefit, I have comprised a list of well educated, researched and trustworthy people and businesses for you to follow. The who’s who of online and who’s Podcast to listen to to receive quality, common sense information about nutrition and performance. I figured nobody has time to endure the depths of Google Scholar, Pub Med and every nutrition journal article out there to form your own conclusions, so let’s trust me and follow these experts below who have already done it for us. If you follow someone you think is awesome, trustworthy, speaks a common language etc, then please paste a link in the comments.
Here’s my list: happy ready ;-) See you in ten years hehe
I’ll leave you with that for now. If you’re ever not sure about an articles credentials, flick it through to me, I’m happy to critic and steer you in the right direction or say thanks and claim your link.
Happy searching team!
By Coach Lisa Spink
With some massive races coming up, including the world championships for ITU, 70.3 and of course Ironman - these are the times when it can be easy to get distracted.
Here are 3 simple tips for staying focused and staying in the moment--
Enjoy the process, stay in the moment and live your potential
Want to know more about Coach Lisa Spink? Click HERE
How to know when you need new running shoes
The other day I was running and I felt a bit flat and in a bit of discomfort. I went and had a look on Training Peaks and discovered my shoes were around the 500km mark and therefore needed to be changed. I know for me 500km is about the time they need to go and it got me thinking how many of us actually record the mileage of our shoes in order to make sure they are replaced regularly. You can record this information in Training Peaks under equipment in the settings section or in Strava.
Running in old and worn out shoes can cause injury. Your shoes lose shock absorption, stability and comfort via cushioning. When we run in old shoes it increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints, which can cause overuse injuries which means sitting at home on a rehab plan!
Here are 5 signs that your trusty kicks need to be replaced.
1. The mileage you have done is high. As mentioned it is the distance you have run but also the terrain can impact on their used by date. Keep the distance travelled recorded for accuracy.
2. You feel pain. Generally when the shoe loses its cushioning capabilities you will start to feel muscle fatigue, possibly shin splints and joint pain particularly in the knees. If you feel any of these things have a look at your shoes and perhaps make a wise investment.
3. The shoe fails the retwist test. If you hold you shoe top and bottom and then twist them they should feel firm. An old shoe will twist easily highlighting the need to get new ones!
4. Treads. Check the bottom of the shoe for the tread and sole region. If the sole is worn down get a new pair before you do some damage. Rule of thumb is to never run in shoes with the sole worn down.
5. Newer shoes feel awesome. Some experts recommend having two pairs of shoes that you rotate. This allows you to feel subtle differences in the shoes stability, cushioning and performance. Having two can be advantageous… if you can afford two pairs!
Representing your Country
With the 2018 ITU sprint and Olympic Distance World Championships being held on the Gold Coast a mere 2 hours from us here on the Sunshine Coast there are a lot of athletes showing interest in the ever growing event. Racing for your country is something so special and what makes this event so great is that your friends and family can come and support you as well.
I myself have been lucky enough to compete at 2 ITU world championships both being for Sprint Distance where I have raced the aquathon also. My first world championship was in 2012 in Auckland the second being in 2013 in London. These are two completely different countries, which of course brought 2 completely different playing fields. Auckland was predominantly Aussies vs the Kiwi’s across the ditch. Whereas, London played host to a stack of Europeans and some crazy talented American athletes. Both events were amazing in their own unique way but one thing is for sure putting on the green and gold suit is something special.
I have also had the chance to step up the distance a little and race at the recent 70.3 World Championships right here in our backyard. Completely different again, but the level of nerves and the feeling you get never changes.
Regardless of which country you are representing to me, putting on the green and gold put a whole new meaning of pride and excitement to my racing. I think it is honestly underestimated just how much of an impact a particular race suit can have. It truly is an honor to represent your country and do that very best that you can.
Here is what coach Emma said racing worlds meant for her:
‘For me it means the pinnacle of racing as a high performing age group athlete. It's an opportunity to race against the best (age groupers) in the world and to do something I love and have a passion for whilst representing my country.’
If you have even a slight thought about racing some of the qualifying races, I 100% think you should give it a go as you have nothing to lose, but the chance to earn your spot racing for your beloved country. If you want some help on how to plan your races, talk to your coach now :)
Click here to find out more about Coach Bon!