Team Nagi Coaching Newsletter – November 2020
Is it just me or has the last month in lockdown just simply flown by?
I can’t quite believe how quickly the time has passed. Especially when you consider how much we were all dreading lockdown 2.0 in the first place. By the time it arrived it was just so much easier than I thought it would be, it was more the doom and gloom of waiting around for it which seemed the most frustrating part. I guess that’s what an experience of a 3-month lockdown can do to you, this time we were so much more ready for it. It felt easier to slip into that routine once more by keeping ourselves busy with all manner of things that would help us get through the day.
But thankfully we are nearing the end of it and life will somewhat return to normal from tomorrow onwards. I for one can’t wait to be poolside once again with my squads. I know for many of you diving back into that water once again will be a godsend. When it’s not there it’s highlights how important swimming is to your bodies as athletes. That time off your legs is massively important, it also aids recovery for biking and running like nothing else due to it’s low impact supported nature. Just remember no matter how fit you have kept yourselves through this period with other things you will have lost a lot of swim fitness and feel that needs to be rebuilt. The key is to ease back in and take things nice and slowly. Keep the sets short and just enjoy that sensuous feeling of being back in the water again, there is no rush. It will take 5-6 sessions before you start to really find your groove, so just keep getting in the water as much as you can and just watch that fitness return pretty quickly. Frequency is key through these first couple weeks not intensity so keep getting in there when you can.
With most of my athletes now back in training for 2021 it’s been a great month where we’ve entered the ‘get fitter & have fun’ phase of training. With many of you making great gains in the biking and running department. We’ve also used this month just to explore specific elements to each athlete’s progression and development so that we set each one of you with the best fitness & strength foundation to take you into 2021. Building strong robust bodies through targeted specific strength & conditioning plans is crucial in this phase of training. By doing this you provide the strong foundation your body needs to handle a greater cardiovascular training load as the season progresses. Thereby reducing the risk of injuries further down the line.
Looking ahead now with much excitement for the Christmas period (now it’s finally been agreed!) I expect this Christmas will be like no other. I know how much I have missed my own family and simply can’t wait to see them. I don’t think we have ever needed this more so whatever you are doing use the time wisely to soak up all that positive energy your family, friends and loved ones provide you with. This will be the perfect kick-start before we get down to the real business in 2021.
It’s also a timely reminder to start to think of how you want your Christmas training to look. Some of you will have more time to train, other less so just be sure to prioritise what you feel is specifically needed by you. I would also highly recommend reading this article I wrote below a few years ago on how to get through this Christmas period to give you some good ideas:
One thing is for sure I think we all have so much more to look forward to in 2021 after what this year has thrown at us. The light is there at the end of tunnel and we just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. These next few months will go by in a flash and race season will be upon us once again. So look forward with great positivity, 2021 could be a year to remember.
Team race news
Ironman Cotswolds (Solo distance finisher)
- Andrew Reardon
- Splits: 30min run / 5:33:15 bike/ 3:38 run
- Category: 40-44
- Total Time: 9:41:15
Just wanted to say a huge congratulations to Andrew for this stunning debut Ironman performance. As many of you know Andrew had been one of the lucky ones this year with 2 of his earlier races going ahead. Unfortunately that luck ran out when they cancelled his A-race Ironman Portugal which was at the beginning of November. The good news was we had talked many times of the possibility of it being cancelled so we knew what our plan B would be if that happened. That was to do it the hard way, a solo attempt at home. Not once did his motivation waiver in relation to taking on this new challenge which was great to see and to say he put in an outstanding performance on a miserable day would be an understatement. To run 3:38 after never running a marathon distance before off such a tough bike can only be applauded. It also shows tremendous potential for the future as he pursues his Kona dream.
Bravo Andrew, you have now joined an Elite club of 3 Team Nagi athletes who braved and conquered a solo Ironman debut this year!
Andrew: Like so many of us, I lost this year’s chance to compete in my first Ironman with IM Portugal being cancelled and IM Florida being out of bounds to UK based participants. Fortunately, we had a plan C which was to do a solo ironman locally. Initially the plan was to head up to Cotswold Water Park and use the course I’d raced well on back in August but very chilly water temperatures and Lock Down pt 2 meant a home-based effort was the favoured option.
The weather on race morning was misty and cold but the forecast promised sunshine and a balmy day which might even scrape double-digit temperatures! We’d decided I’d go for a 30min easy run in place of the swim so I headed out at 0700 to get the day underway. It was a good leg stretch and I’d wrapped up warm to stave off the chilly morning air.
Coming in from the first run I had all my thermal bike kit ready to go which was a big contrast to the light layers I had hoped to be donning in warmer climes. It was a swift transition without the urgency of a race setting and I headed out with warm water bottles and lights ready for an epic on the local roads. It took a good few miles to get properly warmed up and then it was a case of pushing through the six out and back laps on the main road. I’d hoped the traffic would be light with it being the second day of Lock Down pt2 but unfortunately it was as busy as normal which was great for having some company but less than ideal for staying in the aero position for any distance. The forecasters had got it right and around 1030 the sun burned through the mist and I was lifted to keep going. My support crew came and cheered me on at various points which was always very welcome and especially so in the closing 30 miles when my lower back started tightening up.
The bike course was hillier than I had anticipated, and an easterly wind was ever-present which slowed down proceedings slightly, so I rolled into T2 about 35mins behind plan but feeling ok. I was a little concerned I hadn’t drunk enough or taken in enough calories as the low temperatures meant I wasn’t as thirsty or hungry as normal.
I got changed into my running gear and stretched out my lower back before heading out on my local running route for another 6 lap course. The first few km felt great as I was so happy to be off the bike. I really had to rein myself back and stick to the planned race pace to prevent potential danger later on. The support crew were out with me again from the halfway point and I needed them as my leg’s got more fatigued. The last 5km were really tough in the dark with rapidly dropping temperature and needed all the mental strength I could muster as every step felt it could lead to cramp in either calf or hamstring. The support crew was amazing and followed me in the car with lights on and motivating tunes blasting from the stereo. The poor locals must have wondered what on earth was going on. I finished feeling thoroughly spent but elated I had finished my first Ironman distance effort without any major hiccups. I finished the run just 8mins slower than planned which was brilliant considering the conditions.
Here’s hoping we all get a full race calendar next year!
2 films about 2 extraordinary runners who took on 2 almighty ultra-running challenges in the Lake District. Watch Nicky Spinks and her incredible attempt at the 132-mile Double Bob Graham Round and Paul Tierney Paul Tierney set out on an epic adventure to summit all 214 Alfred Wainwright Lake District peaks in one go.
His goal was to try and beat the record time of 6 days 13 hours and 1 minute, set five years earlier by fellow fell runner Steve Birkinshaw. Needing to cover a distance of approximately 318 miles and ascend the equivalent height of four times Mt Everest, Paul knew this was his biggest challenge to date and enlisted the help of friends and family. Battling sleep deprivation and everything the Lake District weather could throw at him, what transpired was a story that gripped not only the fell-running and ultra-running communities but also the wider sporting world.
What I loved about both of these films was the way an amazing community of runners came together to help both athletes attempt these formidable challenges. It was hugely inspiring to see and it highlights what sport should be all about. As much as you need to be a little bit selfish when pursuing your own athletic path there is equal and if not greater rewarding helping others to theirs too.
If you want to get a terrific insight into some of the greatest sporting stars the world has ever seen then this book will open a window into that world for you. For those that don’t know Jim Gray is an award winning sport-caster/ renowned interviewer who could be considered one of the greatest of all time himself. The access he has had to these athletes (and Presidents!) over the years is quite astonishing with many of them becoming extremely close friends with him. A thoroughly riveting read.
Athlete Q & A
Name: Charlotte Drummond
Star sign: Virgo
Years in triathlon: 2
In another life you would have been a..? Music Teacher
Who is your athletic alter ego? Simone Biles – she’s so sassy
Favourite training session: Long xc run with my Dad
Least favourite training session: Easy ride on the turbo
Favourite training track (music!): Will have to be something from my ever-growing 90rpm playlist. Recent additions are “My Shot” from Hamilton, “Never Give Up” by Sia and “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen… all motivating in their own ways.
Favourite book: The Spy and The Traitor, Ben Macintyre.
Favourite training venue/location: Swimming in Lake Bled.
Favourite race experience:
Hook Norton kids’ 2-mile fun run 2002. Beat all the boys didn’t I!
Dublin 70.3 2019 was good but Alistair Brownlee showed up so didn’t quite beat all the boys there.
Favourite mantra: All the gear and a vague idea?
If you could choose 3 famous people to come to dinner with you who would they be & why?
Esther Perel – relationship therapist whose books are honestly life changing. Her voice is also very soothing I could listen to her all day.
Kim Philby – A soviet spy who I would like to quiz for an evening.
Bridget Jones – Without her this dinner party is a little serious. She could probably do with Esther Perel’s advice, and would give Kim Philby some grief, the “balding, upper-middle-class twit!”
Training hours per week:
It was about 14, not sure what it will be… I’ll just do as I’m told!
What are your training & race goals for 2021?
Not get injured and have a good race @ 70.3 World Champs in Utah.
Instagram post of the month
Team Nagi out & about
Swamp creatures getting their early Saturday morning open water swim endorphin fix come rain or shine!
Really not sure why Alex decided to move to Barcelona
New bike, new man….watch out 2021 for JJ 2.0!
One athlete, 2 pairs of trainers…there maybe an alter-ego at play here…
Work in progress…building the pain cave for 2021!
Great words of coaching wisdom (from an incapacitated Coach!)