Team Nagi Coaching Newsletter – March 2022
Well, what can I say about the month of March? It’s pretty much been a wipe out for many athletes. I think in 21 years of coaching athletes and tracking illness patterns from one year to the next this past month has been far and away been the worst I’ve ever seen. Covid, colds, chest infections and the like have been spreading like wildfire. The other trend I’ve seen is the athletes who have had covid have really struggled when restarting training again. Many have seemingly reached that point of return and start to feel ok, then the moment they start to push they quite quickly realise the body still isn’t fully recovered as symptoms quite quickly return. If you are suffering from this take comfort in the fact that I’m seeing this right across the board, it just takes a little bit longer to get over this one.
My message is always clear when athletes get stuck in this illness loop and it keeps dragging on longer than expected, step away and forget about training for a while and just let the body rest. You can’t put a time limit on this as the body will come through only when its ready to. You will know when that time is right so don’t keep fighting it by coming back too soon. Listens to the signs, be patient and you will be back doing what you love doing before you know it.
On far more positive note I do feel that every year that April really is the turning point when we start to see far less illness as the weather warms up and we head towards the summer. This is the time training consistency start to improve right across the board and you can start to build some terrific momentum for the racing season ahead. Already we have had many athletes dipping their toes back in this past month and getting the reward. Huge congrats to all who put in some superb early season performances, I’ve been hugely impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Let’s keep that ball rolling!
I couldn’t write this newsletter this month without writing about something that affected me deeply, that was the tragic passing of cricket legend Shane Warne at the age of 52. Rarely have I ever felt such a loss & sadness as the parting of such a sporting icon. What this man could do with a cricket ball was quite simply astonishing and might never be seen again. But he was so much more than a bowler, he was a master of psychological warfare, a fearsome competitor, a team mate to do die and was a born entertainer. His personality was larger than life and he never ever pretended to be any other than who he was. He was as human as all of us and never pretended to be anything less and people loved him for it.
I was never the biggest cricket fan but he made me want to watch cricket when he played, then in later years when he retired I could listen to his cricket commentary all day long. I think that says everything. The way he saw the game and could articulate it was simply astonishing. He was a true genius in every sense of the word and was taken from us far too young. But what memories he leaves behind, he was a one off and how privileged we were to be able to see such a craftsman at work. One of the greatest athletes that has ever lived with a personality to back it up, a true rare gem indeed. He will be so missed.
Meta-sprint Aquathlon Singapore (750m swim / 5k run)
- Vicki Hill
- Splits: 15:52 swim / 21:32 run
- Total Time: 37:59
- 1st in 45-49 category / 5th female overall
So amazing to see this girl back in action after what can only be described as a ‘trying’ few years going through covid whilst living in Singapore. But as she always does she met the challenge head on and has now started to come out the other side and is already starting to find her form. 2 races in close succession and 2 wins has reminded of her the talent she has once again. Good on you Vicki Hill, couldn’t be more proud of the way you addressed these past few years of no racing, let’s keep that momentum rolling!
Meta-sprint Duathlon Singapore (20k bike / 5k run)
- Vicki Hill
- Splits: 34:48 bike / 22:48 run
- Total Time: 1:03:36
- 1st in 45-49 category / 1st female overall
- Next up: Ironman Cairns
Hampton Pool Chilly Sprint Triathlon (Sprint)
- David Rueda
- Splits: 8:42 swim /34:50 bike / 22:37 run
- Total Time: 1:09:56
- 1st in 45-49 category / 5th male overall
- Next up: Oliva middle distance triathlon
What a moment from our favourite Spaniard, his first triathlon age group win…whoop whoop! A brilliant performance to kick off the season. More importantly this performance was all about getting a better balance between work, life, training and recovery. You’ve shifted those goal posts in the right direction and already it’s paying dividends. Bravo Daveed!
Oulton Park Duathlon National Champs (Standard)
- Steve Phillips
- Splits: 32:51 run / 1:04:50 bike / 16:17 run
- Total Time: 1:56:57
- 45-49 category
- Next up: Ironman World Champs – St George
A nice little hit out for Steve at the National duathlon championships as he prepares for the Ironman World Championships in St George next month. With no real specific preparation finishing 14th in this class of field was a great performance to build on.
Swindon Park 5k run
- Andrew Reardon
- Total Time: 19:38
- 2nd in 45-49 category / 13th male overall
- Next up: Worthing Half Marathon
Another athlete who has completely changed his approach to the work, life, training and recovery balance this year. A new PB over 5km is again testament to this approach. A great start to the year and plenty more to come from this one!
Film of the month
This is an interesting swimming film about the 20 year career of one the world’s greatest female swimmers Federica Pellegrini. Olympic gold medallist and world record holder over the 200m freestyle. Federica was the darling of Italian swimming over 5 Olympic cycles. She was always one of my favourite swimmers to watch with her beautify flowing aggressive swinging style of stroke.
For an athlete of her standing this film deserved a far greater budget to be thrown at it. If you can look beyond this what is more fascinating the highs and lows she experiences over her 20 year career. Take comfort in the fact whilst watching this that the highs and lows you experience as an age grouper as exactly the same at sport at the highest level.
Book of the month
If you have ever read the book ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland this can only be described as the cycling version. The Beach was a rite of passage for all young travellers before heading out on their adventures in Asia which ultimately led to making the film of the same name with Leonardo Di Caprio. This book is pure escapism as you follow 22 year old Charlie Walker on his 3 year cycling adventure around the world. Brilliantly written and observed, this is travel writing at its very best.
Instagram post of the month
New Athlete Q & A
Name: Neil Rowe
Star sign: Pisces
Years in triathlon: As an American would say, “my rookie year”.
In another life you would have been a.. Professional free skier in the winter and surfer in the summer. Or skier all year round!.
Who is your athletic alter ego? Have absolutely no idea sorry!
Favourite training session: Swim or long easy cycle out into the country roads.
Least favourite training session: Runs but starting to embrace them.
Favourite training track (music!): No real favourite. Mostly house, currently for ease, Defected podcasts are my go too or if I’m in a different mood the parenting hell podcast with Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe offers some laughs and reassurances.
Favourite book: Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. Read it 3x. being an arsenal season ticket holder helps though.
Last book you read: Having a 3yr old and a 1yr old, it’s been a while sadly since I’ve finished a book. Halfway into Raising boys by Stephen Biddulph. But I’m also halfway through three other books too, a David Goggin’s, an Ant Middleton and Nirmal Purjas beyond possible.
Favourite training venue/location: Would always be outside. Rain or shine or snow!. Liking Epping forest at the moment for the runs in the early mornings. Looking forward to the experience of an outdoor lap pool abroad and open water swimming soon too.
Favourite race experience: Newbie/rookie/race Virgin!. does the London marathon 16 years ago count?
Top 3 race bucket list: Sadly, not enough knowledge or experience to know yet!. Open to guidance.
Favourite mantra: “Hope for the best, plan for the worst”. Or the navy seal, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast”.
If you could choose 3 famous people to come to dinner with you who would they be & why? I’m sure everyone’s changes, at this moment in time. Nirmal Purja, David Goggin’s and Ant Middleton for what I’m sure would be the ultimate positive pep talk!
Training hours per week: Not enough!!!. 10-15 hours.
What are your training & race goals for 2022? Realistically, complete Ironman Barcelona and the sprint/Olympic/middle distance I enter. Ambitiously, with respectable times!
Team out & About
Betty girls on tour
When aero, fashion, location collide
Iron body taking shape…let’s kick some ass
Lanza triathlon celeb spotting
When in Lanza
If you know you know…(I’ll take 3 scoops please)
And yes she got back up and finished her run!
Living the good life in the Scottish Highlands
Taking keeping your cycling shoes warm to the extreme