First newsletter of the year and what a start to the new year it’s been (cough, cough, cough!)
I hope your Christmas was better than mine as I spent 3 weeks of it with the worst case of the flu I have ever experienced. It was like the worst bout of covid with a few bonus extras. I thought London was bad in early December for illness, Cardiff was on another level. It was definitely one to forget.
For all the training I had planned frustratingly I got absolutely none of it done and the return to training has been incredibly slow. Only now after about 6 weeks has my heart rate started to return to normal levels. Before this it would just shoot up quickly even when going slow. It’s been a case of Coach taking his own medicine and taking baby steps one day at a time. I’d say this one has knocked me back about 2 months.
If you managed to avoid all of this, then you’ve been one of the lucky ones. It was without doubt the worst December-January period for illness I can ever remember in 22 years of coaching. Athletes were going down with things left, right and centre. You have my full sympathy if you did it as it’s never a good time to be ill.
The build back into training post illness should be slow and measured, the longer you are ill the longer the recovery will take. There is absolutely no point in rushing back in and it’s important to build back in slowly until your body gives you the signs it’s good to progress again. The last thing you want to do post illness is jump back into hard sessions, be sensible, play the long game and you will be rewarded for it.
So here we are in 2023, it’s the start of a new and exciting year of racing ahead of you. It’s time to take your party head off and put your game head back on because the next few months will zip by in a flash. You’ll be on your first starting line before you know it.
Wishing you all every success for your challenges ahead in 2023!
Some of my favourite things this month…
One of those books you just don’t want to end, to say this true story is extraordinary would be doing it disservice. For those that don’t know Brian Clough was one of the most successful British football managers of all time. Charismatic, outspoken and controversial there will probably never be another one like him, he was a total one off. But this book focusses on much more than football. This book is about one of the most extraordinary acts of kindness Brian and his family showed to a young boy called Craig Bromfield (the Author). It defies belief what Brian & his family did for this little boy who came from an abusive home in Sunderland. It’s a book that has everything, it will make you laugh and cry in equal measure and will warm the cockles of your heart like never before. You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy this book but just remember this man was the most famous face in football when their paths so serendipitously crossed.
A fascinating insight into the world of top-level tennis. From the makers of ‘Drive to survive’ this 5-part series (there are more to come) shines a light on the world tour of tennis and its many players and characters.
As far as Coaches go, I put Philipp right up there in the best in the world and this is one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to with him. A Coach that talks so much sense and so many can learn from his messages. Worth listening to for his views on recovery alone (and its importance in the future) but he also gives an amazing insight into the decision-making process when working with some of the best triathletes in the world (Laura Philipp is his wife). Too often triathletes try and find the magic solution and answers from listening to what others do, in his message he quite clears states why this is a huge mistake. The reason for this is it all comes back to context, what will work for one won’t work for another, it’s all about finding the process that works best for you.
Team out & About
Best of luck to this tough guy who has been training for the British Ice Swimming Champs in February next month. Last few weeks before an event are the toughest especially when you have to get in freezing cold waters in the Serpentine a few mornings a week. Best of luck Sami, nearly there now!
I sent David to Cape Town, South Africa this month to find his triathlon wings for 2023…I think he well and truly found them!