Expert Opinion, Expert Voice.
As we all know training changes with time. It doesn't stay the same week in week out forever. One way that coaches organise and structure these changes is with periodisation. Periodisation is simply the sequencing and prioritisation of different training focuses or stimulus into blocks of training at different times of the year or in the case of Olympic Cycles: years – four to be precise!
For many people, they set themselves time targets for an IRONMAN a common one is sub 4 hours for the run. Like in a normal marathon this is no easy feat. Below we look into what that actually takes and make some suggestions on how to realise that goal.
Whether it's first thing in the morning, or last thing at night it can sometimes be difficult to physically get out of the door, or into your kit to train. Don't despair, we've come up with ten tips to help you start that training session.......
Emma Wardall joined us for our inaugural training camp in Greece last June. In this blog she discusses her training experiences, the difference to her previous experiences on our Portuguese training holidays and reflects openly on what was a pivotal point in her training for that season. She also fails to mention that she actually won the overall event (5.5km swim, Standard Distance triathlon and 10km run, coming second in the triathlon and 1st in the 10km!). Read below to hear all about her experience.
AG draft Legal racing is here to stay. With this in mind we have put together a training holiday week that will give you all the experience you need to settle any nerves around draft-legal racing that you may have! At the end of the holiday week, all participants will have the option to enter the draft legal Quarteira AG triathlon to gain first hand experience of draft legal racing.
This article takes you from your first week of an IRONMAN or long course training plan and settles you into the initial few weeks of training. Think of this article as your “first step” towards your end goal of completing an IRONMAN later this season!
The aim with this series of articles is to help you negotiate the highs and lows of IRONMAN training.
Where to start? You've just signed up to your first IRONMAN. Now what?
Training camps can often seem like an expensive week of torture, however if you put some thought into what you want to gain from attending a training camp then you could set yourself up for your most successful season to date. Below, we have set out a list of the reasons you should attend a training camp this year.
Coach Philip reflects on how to help get the most out of athletes and how most of the work a coach has to do is almost intangible and may go against the common stereotypes of coaching that modern representations have characterised. There are some interesting learning points here for both coaches and athletes.
It's that time of year when, if you live in North of the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is basically awful. Dark mornings, dark evenings, grey and/or wet in between means the thought of training is less than appealing. It takes a great deal of motivation and commitment to get out and complete the sessions.....especially if you are in the base or preparation phase of a training plan where the sessions are building the blocks for later.
What to do? How can you magically motivate yourself to come home, change and get back out there, or not hit the snooze button in the morning? Here we explore how your local club may be the answer to your problems!
Often it can be amusing that people claim that they need a coach. Clearly, as an owner of a coaching company, I would be crazy not to agree! Is it worth it? Are there any times that you can identify a measurable difference as to how much coaching helps? As a coach we constantly try and highlight the usefulness of a coach and identify how the empathy, structure and camaraderie will make a difference along with having the right plan for you. However, all to often a coach's ability is determined by the number of podiums, qualifications or victories that their athletes have achieved and not that all important athlete-coach relationship or the process that got them there. You never hear what happens when athletes fail to hit their target but have still progressed. This article attempts to look at some measurable difference in performance which doesn't necessarily result in an obvious black or white outcome of success and this makes the demonstration of the success a lot more subtle. We look forward to hearing what you think!
This is the busiest time of year for fitness business, getting people into sport, into shape and into the beach body they have dreamed of since they were 22! Interestingly, March is the busiest time for physios dealing with running-related injuries...with several key city marathons happening in Spring, it is a fair conclusion to say that there is a distinct correlation between the two. Over-enthusiasm and eagerness not matching reality and what are more achievable goals can often literally (in some instances) be the Achilles heel of the poor athlete! As one of our former coaches Gordon Crawford has said frequently ambition can get mixed up with ability.
We watch swimmers a fraction of our age gracefully slice through the water or faster runners effortlessly stride round the track. Each movement looking precise, exact and deliberate. Are they naturals? Why do you have to keep re-visiting technique all of the time? Why is it necessary? For the purposes of this article let's specifically look at swimming, but understand that some of these principles can be expanded to your running and cycling, and other sports outside of swim, bike and run.
In many situations those who are performing well in sport, become role-models or leaders to others wishing to perform to a similar standard. On some occasions, these model athletes sometimes do make excellent coaches. However, there is a key distinction: coaching skills and athletic prowess are not the same thing even though there may be overlaps. However, in our experience of working with developing coaches, these overlaps are made through the character and attitude of the athlete as they make their move to coaching and not the achievements themselves nor knowledge which just can't make that gap from great athlete to great coach. Frequently a coach's empathy, interpretation and compassion go a lot further than fitting athletes into a mould to become better.
As we get to the holiday season, we look towards the general free-flowing of alcohol that goes with it. Helen Money of The Bosworth Clinic talks to us about just how alcohol can impair our training. Drinking in moderation can have its benefits, though the Christmas indulgence over a prolonged period will have it's negative impact on training; a one of session with the family may be part of your holiday season rituals. Don't let your alcoholic tolerance get in the way of enjoying yourself with the family but be mindful of when too much can show its detrimental effects!
Our partnered Nutritionist, Helen Money, from The Bosworth Clinic talks to us about Christmas day and just what this means in more digestible format than calories: triathlons. We also consider just how good (or bad) Christmas can be to triathletes. There is no point in getting bogged down in this one-off feast, as some people can do – have fun and enjoy yourself, in our experience you should be more concerned by the after dinner games, charades and overly-competitive family cardboard box games than how much you eat on Christmas Day!
Power meters are the rage now with many companies offering more and more competitive prices on power meters. Furthermore, understanding and analysing the data becomes easier with some great pieces of software. Coaches have a far greater understanding of it all too so the question we ask now is "Do I need a Cycle Power Meter?"
Quite often I find it amusing when I meet people for the first time. After the initial question of "What is your name?", the follow up is always the tricky one to explain. "What do you do?". When you say "coach", immediately, your new acquaintance says: "Oh, a PT!" proudly as if they know what you do. Though both a professional coach and a professional PT work with people in a sports and leisure environment, the reality is they don't have as much in common than first appears. It like when someone says they work as Civil Engineer. To say they shovel tarmac is their job...is indirectly what they do, but it is a different role completely. Clearly, the athletes we work with do physical activity but as a result of what we do not as our purpose.
Christmas is nearly upon us and we are here to help with some Christmas suggestions for every triathlete who seems to already have everything out there. These are all gifts recommended by us to help get the best out of your training – we aren't looking for the next bit of bling, rather we want to ensure that you are able to continue training and get the gift that keeps on giving!
Chris Ashford has had an outstanding season, read more about it here. However, now we want to get to grips with who Chris really is and what were some of the defining factors for this year. In this article both Chris and his coach Philip talk openly about the season and provide some useful insights to both sides of the coaching relationship
A lot of people choose to go to the warmer climates for training and as the days get colder, so what better season to consider when is the best time to go abroad and how to capitalise the benefits that 'fun in the sun' gives you. There are so many positive reasons to go away for some training, but the key point is to make sure you understand when you are going and what training effect you are trying to generate. Finally, you must ensure you use the time away effectively to come back stronger and ready to go to the next phase, not broken, fatigued and knackered. Read on to find out more.
Well it's December so unless you are suffering the luxury that is some sunshine outside of the UK or the heating is turned up to the max there is only one thing that gets any of us hot and that is indoor training! Particularly so when it comes to cycling, ice and rubber just don't go well together.
About a year ago we mentioned we were going to start using running power meters more and had them available to try in our Portuguese training holiday location. A year on we thought we'd pass on our views and experiences of them and see if you want to run with power.
Have you ever come back from the off season and had your trusty triathlon buddy come back better than you? You know the scenario, you were always neck and neck in training sessions, that one person you could gauge whether you were improving or not by being able to keep up with them....and then suddenly, come Spring time - it's like they have been secretly training all winter and have left you behind!
Elaine Garvican opens up about how she has spent two years improving her running economy and some of her honest frustrations about not running for the sake of long-term good. A very frank and insightful read with a definite conclusion that you need to believe in the process to seek the long term gains. "Don't stop believing" is not always an easy task and in the day of social media where everyone seems to be putting in killer run sessions, doing hops, and jumps doesn't really seem like you are ever going to succeed. Read on to find out more!
Sharon Simpson, one of the physio's who has worked with us for a couple of years in Portugal and now resides at The Bosworth Clinic is always on hand to help with her insight and expertise. Below she explores three very common injuries she sees and likely causes to help you avoid them and stay consistent with your training.
This blog looks at three simple strength and conditioning exercises and demonstrates how you can use them to become a more efficient cyclist and fundamentally get faster. These are great as strengthening work, or as a bit of fun/challenge to add to your cycling training routine.
With 'coaching' being a norm for triathletes, it shouldn't be a taboo subject to suggest that it may not be working for you in the way you expected it to. With most advertisements talking about why you 'need' a coach, you can easily become withdrawn from the coaching process when you don't feel it is working for you. Athletes are a proud breed, always striving to improve but sometimes pride gets in the way. Here we discuss a few different indicators to watch out for that may mean you should sit down and have an honest conversation with your coach.