Team Nagi Coaching Newsletter – Feb 2022
Hope you’ve all had a good February and are starting to get excited about the spring months just ahead of us.
As we move into March many of you will have seen (or will be about to see) quite a big change in the nature of the training you are doing. Especially those athletes with big early season ‘A’ races. For both short course and long course athletes the countdown has well and truly begun. When you work out the number of weeks left before your races you might be in for a bit of a surprise! The season is closer than you think and your training and mindset should start to reflect that. This next phase for many will prove to be an exciting turning point where the specific demands of your races are targeted.
For many of you that are doing early season Ironman’s you will have had some sessions towards the end of this month that made you really sit up and take notice. Those of you that are doing Ironman Lanzarote will have had many! This transition is where we start to add the ‘long stuff’ that will start to challenge you both mentally and physically. When you consider that an Ironman will last most people between 9-17 hours you can see why those bigger days take on huge significance.
One of the main reasons I start to add these sessions now is to help athletes blow out the mental and physical cobwebs of doing the shorter more intense work through the Winter. It can be a shock to the body but it’s important to do this to kick start the learning process early. It’s also a test to see where each athlete is strong or where they need to make improvements.
More importantly I’m looking at the athlete’s processes and how they respond to the challenge set. You can’t just expect to wake up one morning and expect to nail a very big session without giving it some thought. Just like a race it needs planning. You also need to find the processes/routines that helps you set up for the best day possible and then refine it over time. That’s the whole point of big days, you need to feel the butterflies once again. They also make you question can I actually do this? You then have to find a way through when challenges are being thrown at you. Each time you experience this you grow both physically and mentally if you do your best to find a way through.
These sessions are usually experienced in 3 ways:
- They go to plan and you absolutely nail it
- They feel hard all day and you have to battle in each and every moment
- They like a roller coaster with highs, lows and everything in between
This just sums up what can happen in any kind of racing for you in a nutshell. With all the best training, tapering and preparation there are absolutely no guarantees that you will feel good on the day you want to. Frequently the stars won’t align for you so better be prepared and mentally strong enough to deal with things when they don’t feel good. If you are strong and mentally resilient you can and will find a way through and even when it just feels hard all day you can still produce some of your best ever performances…even if it doesn’t feel fast!
Many of my athletes experienced all 3 of these this past weekend. One had one of the best sessions of his life, the other went through mental and physically purgatory to complete the session (just one of those days), another had a Teddy Bears picnic on the bike and ended up throwing up on the run then had a little cry at the end because she was so happy she found a way through. The most important factor that I was hugely impressed with all of them was they found a way through. Each experience had its little bit of magic in the way they reacted and we learned a lot. They didn’t give in and they all came through the other side becoming wiser, stronger, tougher athletes for these experiences.
You also can’t complain when the longer more mentally challenging sessions comes into the training because this is what it is all about if you pursue this path. Remember you’ll be out there for 9-17 hours, if you want to get good at it you have to learn to relish the challenge of these bigger days. If you don’t the distance will eat you alive on race day. This brilliant quote from a book I’m currently reading sums it up perfectly:
“In the morning we parted at a fork in the road. Bruce laid a hairy, brown hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye. ‘Things’ll offen get tough on yer ride, mate. But just yer remember, it was your decision to make this journey. Naabody else. Yours! Yer took a long hard think and decided that yer wanted to do it, that yer had the courage fer it, and that yer was up fer it. When yer think yer wanna quit, just yer remember that. Good luck to yers.” (from “Through Sand & Snow: a man, a bicycle, and a 43,000-mile journey to adulthood via the ends of the Earth” by Charlie Walk)
Before that big session…
Great to see you two of our athletes kick off the season early this past month with two really good performances. Huge congrats to JJ for setting a new marathon PB by quite some way and to David for nailing a terrific first duathlon. What was even more impressive was that he got his pacing right and went faster on the second run, a proud Coach moment!
- Total Time: 3:40
- 4th in 45-49 category
- Next up: Ironman Hamburg
Dorney Duathlon (5k run/ 20k bike/ 5k run)
- David Rueda
- Splits: 23:13 run / 37:11 bike/ 22:32 run
- Total Time: 1:24:40
- 5th in 45-49 category
- Next up: Oliva Middle Distance Tri
Youtube film of the month
The Impossible Route is a must watch film for all triathletes or cyclists out there whilst doing an indoor turbo, if it’s got climbing even better! This is the astonishing 75minute film of 2 bike rides who take on the challenge of riding the world’s toughest climb. Until this point no one had ever completed this climb. Little did I know that this climb was actually on the same Island as the Ironman World Champs in Hawaii. I had always wondered “what was over there?” when I had looked down the Polulu valley. Now I know. If you want to know how tough this is look at the image above that compares the cross sectional area of this climb to Mount Ventoux, the notorious climb that we so frequently see in the Tour De France. This only makes it to number 85 on this list for context!
Film of the month
If you enjoyed the climbing film Free Solo, you’ll absolutely love this film. And if you think that guy was brave & crazy this guy takes it to a whole new level. I never dreamed I would say that after watching Alex Honnold climb El Capitan without a rope. This is a beautiful film about an extraordinary climber, as terrifying as it was to watch him do what he does the beauty in it is for all to see.
“Marc-André Leclerc climbs alone, far from the limelight. On remote alpine faces, the free-spirited 23-year-old Canadian makes some of the boldest solo ascents in history. Yet, he draws scant attention. With no cameras, no rope, and no margin for error, Leclerc’s approach is the essence of solo adventure.”
Instagram post of the month
New Athlete Q & A
Name: Ollie Jansen
Star sign: Aries
Years in triathlon: 6 months training!
Occupation: Aspiring medical student
In another life you would have been a..? Cricket Player, because I love the game.
Who is your athletic alter ego? Joe Root – he’s such a nice guy who works so well in a team.
Favourite training session: Endurance run around the Thames
Least favourite training session: Long sessions on the Wattbike
Favourite training track (music!): Lose yourself – Eminem
Favourite book: How We Die – Prof. Sherwin Nuland
Last book you read: Vaxxers – Prof. Sarah Gilbert
Favourite training venue/location: The Surrey Hills
Favourite race experience: none yet!
Top 3 race bucket list: I haven’t got a top 3, but my dream is to go round the world doing Ironman races.
Favourite mantra: I never lose. I either win or learn.
If you could choose 3 famous people to come to dinner with you who would they be & why? Martin Luther King Jr for the resilience and leadership, Thomas Edison for the innovation and creativity, and Sherwin Nuland for his perspective on medicine.
Training hours per week: Not hugely consistent at the moment, but in a good week 8-12.
What are your training & race goals for 2022? I want to do my first race, which is the IronMan 70.3 Lahti.
Team out & About
Things definitely got a bit windy this month…guess who?
A true gent in his element, with a lady under each arm. Standard
That’s one way to show Coach your newly developed oblique muscles!
No matter what the weather…getting it done. Running for the soul at it’s finest
Get well soon Sweet Pea, hope the shoulder heals quick…swim squad is missing you! X
Think this is the first time i’ve seen these two out of lycra & bikini’s…looking good ladies…you earned your cakes!
Sweet 18 and on the Ironman trail already…what a journey lies ahead…
“There she is” she said…”who” I replied…lol