Team Nagi Coaching Newsletter – February 2021
As I said in my last email, when you received this newsletter it would be a welcome sign we’d be another 4 weeks closer to where we want to be. This has been backed up with the government’s announcement that finally showed our path out of lockdown. Just to hear those dates was such a welcome relief.
There’s no doubt that this lockdown has been the toughest for many of you for all sorts of different reasons. It has tested even the most positive amongst you. Three lockdowns does that to a person and is to be totally understandable with the repetitive Groundhog nature of what we’ve all been going through. So to have dates to work towards is a new source of motivation to see us through the weeks ahead. We are very nearly there gang so hang tough, ride these next few weeks out as best as you can and we will be back where we all want to be before you know it.
What has been abundantly clear this past few weeks is how much you’ve all been missing swimming. I’m getting messages almost daily about it. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder so keep thinking of how much you will appreciate it when you get back in there again. It’s going to feel so very good.
I often say the beauty of triathlon training is that your mind & body gets something a little bit different from each one of the 3 disciplines. Runners often talk of the great euphoric high they get, the cyclists talk of the how the world seems a better place after a long ride in the countryside and for swimming there is a meditative quality that is unsurpassed. Just to be able to put your head under that water and close off to the ‘noise’ of the world is such a welcome relief. We all need that right now.
With all this talk of missing swimming it was interesting that a book and podcast came my way this month that will tantalise your taste buds for that return to the water. I first listened to Bonnie Tsui author of ‘Why we swim’ on the Rich Roll podcast. It’s a worth a listen if like me you are sick to death of TV. As ever with Rich it’s a long one but it’s fascinating insight into Bonnie’s swimming journey and why she decided to write about it. There will be something in there that you all connect with if you are a swimming lover. It’s a very poetic look at the history and world of swimming from pool to the open water. She also intersperses this with really interesting stories of some of the great swimmers of our time and her own families unique relationship with the water. One thing is for sure is that if you aren’t suffering with a severe case of swim ‘FOMO’ after the first few chapters you definitely will be by the end of it.
With our re-entry to the world of swimming I can also hear a collective sigh of relief from all of you triathletes who have toiled these past few months training as duathletes. Hooray I hear you say! It hasn’t been easy for you just focussing on two sports that’s for sure. But it’s a challenge many of you have risen to with gusto, even if there have been quite a few meltdowns along the way. The pressure and stress on those legs muscles has been immense, not to mention the additional load created from all that turbo work on the old ‘undercarriage’. A nice dip in the pool will be just the antidote your mind and body will need.
The final piece of the jigsaw puzzle is nearly in sight now so keep thinking of that first cool dip you take, it’s going to feel otherworldly. I for one can’t wait to see you there.
Film of the month
I put off watching this one for a while because to be honest as much as I admire Serena Williams as an athlete I’ve never quite warmed to her on the tennis court. But this insight into her and her life outside of tennis shone a new light on the person she actually is. It shows two very different peopIe, the force of nature she has to become on the tennis court to win and the real Serena that seems so very different off it. This is a fascinating insight into one of the world’s greatest ever-female athletes.
Podcast of the month
I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts of late some good, some not so good. Seemingly they all seem to get a bit samey after a while, especially when athletes have been locked up for so long and have been out of competition! But every now and again you come across one that is pure gold. This short 45minute podcast with top Sports Psychologist Bill Beswick is one of them. In it he talks to Simon Mundie about the important quality we all look for in our athletes – character. Some have it in abundance, other develop it over time but what is crucial is to get to where you want to be in life you have to demonstrate it over and over again to achieve success. This is a fascinating look at what he considers character to be and how he helped to develop in some of the greatest sports teams and individuals of our time.
A worthy cause – can you help?
If one thing is for sure, triathletes sure do love their kit. Especially when it comes to the latest technological gadgets (no names mentioned, you know who you are). Even I have a draw full of watches, tempo trainers and the like that have gone unused for so very long that could be put to good use. Then I saw a post from Connie on Instagram that peaked my interest as she’d be sent some rather cool hand made Kenyan bracelets in return for a good deed. On learning why I thought we could really do something here to help these guys out. You never know you could end up part sponsoring the next Eliud Kipchoge one day…over to Connie:
Connie: Last year, Rod and I came across a budding distance runner in Kenya, over social media, named Daniel Gekara. Like many Kenyans, he and his community of athletes aspire to become full-time professional distance runners but the lack of tech, kit, and the financial means to support themselves and their families (especially during the pandemic when all races have been cancelled and any opportunity to earn a living had vanished) has meant a tougher and more challenging year than ever. So what we did was we decided to try and help and we sent off unused bits of electronics/small bits of kit that were collecting dust and sitting idly in our drawers (GPS watches, bike computers, headphones, electronics) in the hopes that they could help the runners in some way, shape or form but also to give our once loved devices a chance at a second life.
If you have any unused watches/electronics or kit (i.e. socks or singlet’s) that you would like to donate, you can donate them to the address below (unfortunately, at the moment, bigger items like shoes and clothing cannot be delivered as Gert can only carry so much in one go(!) but maybe one day it will be possible!):
C/O GERT BRIENNE
1671 MJ MEDEMBLIK
Gert is an avid runner, a long-time friend of Daniel’s and a commercial pilot who flies regularly to Kenya.
If you would like to connect directly with Daniel, you can find him on Instagram @runwithdaniel or Strava at https://www.strava.com/athletes/12309867. To find out more about this project, please check out their website at https://connectthetracks.org/donate/ or join their Strava club at “Connect the Tracks” and see the speed of these human gazelles!
In the words of Daniel and his community in Ngong, they send a heartfelt thank you for your generosity (Asante Sana!)
Instagram posts of the month
Team Nagi out & about
No sweat…I got this
Not sure what I’m more impressed by…Rod’s ability to bounce back so quickly despite breaking his elbow or that sexy bike storage pole in the background…
Fire FOMO! Hopefully we wont need these too much longer….
The value (or curse) of a wife that think’s she’s David Goggins when all you want is a bit of sympathy!
Character personified. RIP Sir Tom, you will be missed but never ever forgotten