Another year has gone by and things have been very busy on the Tri-Planet front. I’ve been doing a lot of work with athletes on swim and run technique, keep an eye on the website and Facebook next year for useful pieces of information that will really help you. I’ve also had the privilege of helping with the TriNZ High Performance Junior South Island development weekend as well coaching and training the juniors for the Canterbury Triathlon Club.
This Years Spring Challenge was epic for me. It took a long time to get a team sorted for the event. For some reason there's not that many woman I know who are chomping at the bit to do a 6hr adventure race! There were a few women who said they'd love to but couldn't afford the entry, a few who said it sounded great but they'd never be able to do it. So after registering 1 team and pulling out, I slotted into a friends team who had an injury. After weeks of training together and only 3 weeks from the race 1 of the team members pulled out due to pregnancy. We were really lucky to get a another woman to join the team at such late notice, especially one who was such an athlete.
I've had a lot of people ask me about nutrition in recent months so Tri-Planet has teamed up with NutriFit to bring to you a Nutrition Workshop that will help improve your diet and understanding of nutrition. I have used the Nutrifit principles and meal plans and find these easy to use and easy to maintain. Before using the Nutrifit principles I was training twice a day and couldn't work out why I wasn't loosing weight. What I realised was that I had my diet and eating regime completely wrong. I was eating the wrong type of food at the wrong time of day, doh!
This summers session saw a lot of people making some great progress with their fitness and also their weight. As the muscles have strengthened people have been able to run who previously couldn't; still have to work on those burpees though! I was even surprised last night by how fast Woodsey is over 50 yards! Interesting to hear that he only seems to run fast for his own quick singles in cricket?!
We had a great eight weeks of coaching and training for all the participants in the Summer Triathlon and Duathlon Boot Camp. Learning techniques for swimming, cycling and running as well as things such as how to sight during the swim, mount and dismount the bike and pacing for the run were to culminate with the North Canterbury Triathlon. During the last few sessions before the race we had covered everything they needed to know about setting up and performing transitions, racing and open water swimming.
Unfortunately the cancellation of the North Canterbury Triathlon meant that the team were not going to be able to race. However Tri-Planet to the rescue with a simulation race out at Pegasus. And they thought they would get off lightly without doing a race. no way! Carefully plotting the course the wheels went into motion.
The outcome was a triathlon with a 200m swim, 20 km bike and 2.5 km run, a duathlon with a 2.5 km run, 20 km bike and 2.5 km run (approximately!).
Woke up on Sunday morning to a very cold and strong southerly wind and headed out to the course. The Canterbury Triathlon Club had also been informed about the simulation race as it was a good opportunity for them to practice ahead of the national champs in Wellington. When I arrived everyone was wrapped up warm and uncertain about the weather conditions. After the race briefing we set up transition and discussed who would be racing what, some were doing a triathlon, others a duathlon and others an Aquathlon (swim and then run). There were a few that decided not to race in the conditions, but not the boot camp disciples they were keen as mustard to race!
So under starters orders, on your marks....get set.... GO! And they were off, lots of splashing and running as you would expect at the start of a race. The first person out of the water was Debbie, 'Geez its warm in there' as she sped through to transition. The lake is heated so I'll be testing that out in winter.....not! Wetsuit off, shorts on, shirt on, jacket on, socks and shoes on, helmet and cool sunglasses. So under starters orders, on your marks....get set.... GO! And they were off, lots of splashing and running as you would expect at the start of a race. The first person out of the water was Debbie, 'Geez its warm in there' as she sped through to transition. The lake is heated so I'll be testing that out in winter.....not! Wetsuit off, shorts on, shirt on, jacket on, socks and shoes on, helmet and cool sunglasses.
Then out of transition and off on the bike into a nice head wind! At least there was a back wind at one point to push them along. Daniel was first in on the bike after a blistering effort, then hammered out on the run determined to race to the end. Jacqueline was next in but too far behind Daniel who was way out in front. Debbie arrived next very casually with a big smile on her face and then off on the run with high knees. Oops I think she took the coaching a little too much to the letter!
A great race by all with a strong finish by Daniel and a determined run from the rest. Thanks to the athletes for making this happen and also to the supporters for braving the weather to shout support and encouragement.
Thanks also to Lynette from the Canterbury Triathlon Club for the coffee and tea and some mighty fine cakes and savouries, I think you have set a precedent for the future! The photos are courteous of Paula who did a mighty fine job!
Congratulations to everyone for graduating from Boot Camp, I know that some of you are racing the Contact Tri Womens race on the 03rd April. All the best and remember its not how you start but how you finish!
6th February 2011 at QE2 Christchurch
It was the third event of the Physiomed series, the biggest of the three, with a 250m swim 20km bike and a 5km run. Not a huge event with too many people but for me it was going to be a huge challenge. I had been training over the Christmas break while everyone was relaxing and getting in the Christmas spirit, I would be hitting the pavements or splashing in the sea to keep up my level of fitness while away on holiday and not too many wines or Christmas treats.
The morning arrived gear was packed and nerves had hit as well as heat wave of 29 degrees at 7am. Arrived at QE2 with the men getting ready for their race which started at 8am, already complaining about the heat, so off to transition to set up the bike etc, I was already sweating and hadn’t even raced yet! Lots of nervous women hanging around fighting to find shade until 9.30am start time, temperature rising now 32 degrees!
Lined up at the pool thinking we are the lucky ones going to have a dip to cool off unlike our duathlon counterparts who had to 1.5 km run in the heat. The hooter went and we were off swimming 5 lengths of the pool, trying to remember all the techniques from bootcamp Craig had taught me in the pool, (slow arms, strongkick, relax the shoulders, bilateral breathing), well it all went out the window but I managed to make it to the end.
I checked my watch and to my surprise only 5.15 minutes had past and I was out of the pool and running to transition, WHAM straight into the heat of 37 degrees! Into transition; found my bike, rushed to put shoes on, quick sip of water and don’t forget the helmet. Approx 2 minutes later (very slow in Craig’s standards) I was out of transition and on the 20 km bike ride and flying down marine parade, yippee tail wind not looking forward to head wind back and the HEAT did I mention the HEAT? I must be mad. Before I knew I was at the turn around point and slogging it back in the head wind, mouth dry passing people giving as much encouragement as you can thinking when will this end.
Approximately 45 minutes later I was back into transition thinking another one down I am alive and still standing but how am I going to run 5 km in this heat, not much left in the reserve. But as you do off come the bike shoes and on went the runners and don’t forget to take your helmet off. People cheering you on so I knew I could finish it. Out of transition legs like lead and running like I was going nowhere, I set off to finish the race. It was getter hotter and hotter people were walking and stopping, the water at each drink station would just melt off you like an egg frying in a pan. One lap down saw my hubby and said got nothing left,
he said you can do it, you are doing awesome, you haven’t done all this training to quit now! So I dug it in and determined to finish I made it to the finish line with heaps of cheers and a shower of water waiting to cool avery dehydrated body.
With a big smile on my face I finished in a time of 1.24.02 I completed the series and in extreme conditions. All I can say it is very character building. If asked would I do it again YOU BET I have the tri bug.
Natasha Marshall (Boot Camp Graduate)
The transition from swimming in a pool to swimming in open water can be a daunting one for some people. Once you get into open water, you no longer have lane ropes or a nice line down the centre of the lane to keep you swimming straight. Those of you that can only breathe to one side probably find that you tend not to go straight but instead veer to one side. There are many factors to consider; below I have listed 10 tips to help you with this transition.
- Always swim with a buddy, if you get into trouble its good to have someone there to help, plus you can work on techniques like drafting and open water starts.
- Be aware of the temperature of the water, do not spend too much time in very cold water, you can get disorientated and your swim stroke will no longer be effective.
- Check for visible signs of water currents and rips before entering, also be wary of dangerous conditions such as crashing or high waves.
- Warm up on shore by swinging your arms around. When you enter the water its a good idea to let the wetsuit fill up with water before you swim. The wetsuit is designed to work with water between you and the wetsuit to provide warmth and also to suck the wetsuit to your body ensuring a tight fit.
- Use non-petroleum based products such as body glide for lubrication (these do not damage the wetsuit), apply to the back of your neck to prevent chaffing and also to the top of your feet and ankles to aid in wetsuit removal.
- Breathing in open water is different to that in the pool, in the pool you should look to the side, but in open water you need to be looking to the sky.
- Bilateral breathing has a number of benefits so start doing it! Not only will it help you to swim straighter but when you have waves crashing in on your left or right side you have the ability to breathe away from the waves. Breathing into the waves is not a good idea, you either get a mouthful of water or are unable to take a breath!
- Sighting is important, practice, practice, practice! Sight regularly in a race so you can adjust your direction of swimming. I’ve seen a lot of people waste energy zig zagging on a course. Look for landmarks behind the buoy, this makes sighting much easier.
- Drafting behind someone is the most efficient however be weary that not all swimmers swim straight. So although you are getting a great draft they could be going off course. Always sight while drafting, if they are off course then drop them and try another swimmer.
- Race preparation is vital, make sure you know the entry and exit points and the course, look for landmarks that you can use for sighting. For the start of the race make sure you position yourself in the right place, do not start at the front if you are not a strong swimmer. If you are unsure start at the outside.
Use your time wisely in the open water, practice the techniques you will need for racing and get use to swimming in a wetsuit. The more people you can get together the better, swim as a tight group so you get use to having other swimmers around you. Most importantly smile, there is nothing better than swimming in the sea!
I'll be doing an open water session at Pegasus Sunday 27th March, contact if you are interested in joining.
"I struggle to breathe, my shoulders are sore, when I swim I feel like I'm getting nowhere!", sound familiar? The problem with swimming is that its about 90% technique, and if you've never been taught to swim then generally your technique needs work. I see a lot of people swimming that are not relaxed because they panic about breathing, and people who lose momentum because they are not using the correct swimming stroke. These factors and many more can cause our swimming to be frustrating and also waste precious energy.
So how do you correct these? Obviously the easiest way is to get swimming lessons, or join swimming sessions with a qualified coach who can help correct your stroke. However to help those of you who aren't able to do this I've listed four points below to focus on.
1. Body Balance - this is a major part of swimming and is the starting point of many stroke issues. To be balanced in the water you should have four points of contact with the surface, your head, shoulders, hips and heels. When you are swimming think of your lungs as being a buoy and you are swimming over the buoy. If your legs are dragging in the water then they act as an anchor, therefore your head is too high and needs to be lower in the water (but not completely submerged!) to raise your hips.
2. Kicking - Yes the dreaded kick! What I've noticed in most swimmers is that they kick with a scissor type action or kick with a lot of knee bending. Stop it! We point our toes and kick from our hips with a whip like action. The knee bend should be about 10 to 15 degrees, if you kick with more knee bend than this you'll be pulling water towards you and slowing down (you want to kick water away to push you forward). The best way to practice kick is vertically in deep water holding onto a kick board across your chest. Kick from the hips with a whip like action (think of how a dolphin flicks its tail), and make sure your legs are not too far apart.
3. Breathing - First thing is don't lift your head forward before turning to breathe, your hips will drop and this makes breathing more difficult. Turn your head to the side with your arm stroke and breathe into the pocket that is created by your 'bow' wave, you should be looking directly at the side of the pool when you breathe (not at the ceiling or behind you!). Most importantly breathe out in the water (blowing bubbles) and don't hold your breath and then try to breathe out and in when you turn your head to breathe. This is snatching breath and you won't get enough oxygen.
4. Arm Stroke - Once you have all of the above working then its time to start on arm stroke. There are four elements to your arm stroke, catch, pull, push and recovery. Catch happens just after the hand enters the water, pull occurs as the arm moves from a 45 to 90 degree point with the body , push occurs by your hips and recovery is when your arm is out of the water. At all times throughout the stroke your hand should be lower than your elbow.
- Catch - I encourage people not to stretch forward parallel with the surface as you enter your hand into the water, this causes the elbow to drop and immediately weakens your stroke. Instead think of pushing your hand down into the water as it enters, like an archer.
- Pull - Keep your hand deep and fingers pointing to the bottom of the pool, elbows bent.
- Push - This is the power element of the stroke and where all your focus should be, push the water behind you to drive you forward.
- Recovery - lift from the elbow and arc the hand around to re-enter the water. Above all you must be relaxed, that's way its called recovery :o)
- So you have a few things to get you thinking, my advice to you is only think of one element at a time. If you try to think of everything at once then it generally all goes wrong.
I'm taking some morning swim sessions on a Thursday at Amberley Pool, if you need help with your stroke come along and we'll get it sorted!
I’ve had plenty of time to think over the Christmas break, which is sometimes bad news for my Tri-Planet athletes, but after too many bowls of Christmas pudding and too much beer I’ve come up with a training programme to work off those Christmas mince pies! The Outdoor Fitness programme is designed for people of all abilities and is ideal for anyone wanting to lose some weight or get back into fitness after an extended period of inactivity. It’s also a good way to start getting your fitness up to speed for the winter sporting season. Unlike the triathlon programme this course requires nothing other than a drink, shoes and some cloths to exercise in, although when the sun is out make sure you bring your cool sunglasses.
This programme involves a variety of training techniques and principals that will involve resistance training, circuits, running/walking, plyometric and more all done outside (rain or shine). These are designed to get you fit, lose weight and build some core strength, however I do advise that if you have not done any exercise for quite some time then please check with your doctor first to make sure all is in good working order. Furthermore I’m going to organising a few social outings along the way to add some fun to all the training.
Nutrition is an important part of any training so as part of the programme I will also provide you with some basic nutrition information to help you get the right food into your system, the right fuel = more energy and a healthier body. It will also aid muscle recovery after exercise and helps with weight loss. For professional nutrition advice I recommend you go to NutriFit and purchase the ebooks, they provide excellent in-depth nutrition advice and nutrition plans.
The programme will be run in Dudley park, Rangiora for 8 weeks and will involve 3 training sessions a week, for more information or to book go to the Outdoor Fitness programme. If you have any questions feel free to contact me here: https://coachcraigmoore.com/contact/
The triathlon festival held out at Pegasus Bay on 19th December was a fantastic day. With around 400 competitors and a range of races that catered for all levels including children, beginner, intermediate and elite triathletes this certainly was one event I couldn't miss out on...
Only recently returned from 2 weeks in Denmark at temperatures well below 0 degrees I had 4 days to acclimatise and also recover from jet lag. I did manage to get a few swim sessions and running sessions done while away but my fitness levels were not great. Still this would be my first race in New Zealand and not far from my home town, so I couldn't say no. The day before the race temperatures soared to the mid 30s and I had visions of the Barcelona Half Challenge where we had high temperatures and I got heat stroke (managed to finish that race though). Luckily on the day the temperature was cool and perfect for racing.
I cycled out to the race and set up in transition, talking to some of my fellow competitors. Everyone seemed to be donning their wetsuits even though the water was warm enough to swim without one. So it looked like I was going to have to wait a while longer to do my first non-wetsuit triathlon. Having entered in the Pegasus Classic I was in the first wave so we were the first event of the day. Beach start and a short run into the water and then the chaos of an open water swim began. Settling into a good rhythm I managed to get a draft off a few people but my swimming was sluggish and well below my best. Still I was racing and loving it. Out of the water and a short run to the transition area. This is where the fun began; I didn’t quite get my foot out of my wetsuit and did a sort of wetsuit dance nearly tripping over myself as I tried to kick my foot out again. At least I didn’t hit my head on the bar holding my bike up like I did in the Dublin City Triathlon one year! Helmet on, out of transition and then there is the jump on the bike and then fumbling my feet into the bike shoes as I cycle away. The bike course was a fast 3 laps and was very enjoyable, a good surface and some great marshalling keep it safe on the unclosed roads. Keeping my cadence up and my legs pumping I flew around the course. Some of the other races had started so there were a few people starting on their first lap as I was about to finish my last. So it was feet out of the shoes and then off the bike, and into transition. No drama this time so a quick transition and out on to the run course. Unfortunately I had strained my hamstring training in Denmark so I knew my run was going to be slow (well that’s my excuse anyway!). I focused on keeping a good tempo and maintained that throughout the two laps around the lake. Felt good but knew I couldn't push myself like I normally would, it was very difficult to resist chasing anyone that passed me. Finished the race (without a sprint finish) and was happy with my overall performance.
A job well done by the race organisers, they really put on a great event. There were plenty of supporters and sponsors there selling products and you could even buy a fresh coffee! Congratulations to all the athletes that finished the Try a Triathlon race for beginners, perhaps I can tempt you to join our boot camp and learn some valuable techniques and build your fitness?? Anyone that braved the rain and waited for the Elite race was in for a treat as Tony Dodds and Andrea Hewitt showed everyone how to race. A definite race for next season’s calendar.