Team Nagi Coaching Newsletter – May 2021
Does anyone remember that thing called racing?…well its well and truly back if this past month is anything to go by!
In just these past few weeks we’ve had more athletes racing than we did in total for 2020 and it really couldn’t be more welcome. Even as a coach I’d almost completely forgotten about the excitement that is generated knowing your athletes are going to be able to put their training to good use and do what they love most. We even had 7 athletes doing the same race, which as usual generated a mixed bag of drama!
The excitement amongst the guys racing was palpable, I can only liken it to little kiddies at Christmas time. The venue might not have been exotic, the weather was pretty awful and the lake was freezing but you know what? It didn’t matter to them at all because they were out there racing once again. What I loved most was the attitude on display, performance didn’t really matter there was just an enormous sense of gratitude to be out there once again. If Covid has given us one thing it’s the appreciation of doing things that we once took for granted.
As with all race performances there are things that they did well and things that can be improved next time round. A lot of these things (and this a lesson for all triathletes out there) were related to sighting/ direction control in open water, getting wetsuits off (Dusting off the wetsuit) and transition issues…you know all the things most triathletes don’t practice in training then expect it all to come together on race day. It’s these little things that come back to bite you but it is also the easiest thing to practice, get right and improve…because guess what? It takes the least effort. I always say there should be no reason why any athlete of any ability can’t have the fastest transitions in their age category because it requires the least amount of genetic talent! It’s simply a skill that can be easily acquired if you are prepared to put the work in and be a little bit creative.
There are also stand out moments in any race where athletes do something a little bit special. I have to say I was super impressed with the two of our guys that punctured on the bike (Tony Jarvis & David Rueda). It would have been so easy for them to throw in the towel and give up but they didn’t. They resolved to get back to T2 and headed straight out onto the 5km run and ran hard without giving it a second thought. Proper Team Nagi tough guys on show, loving your work gents.
There will be many lessons learned by all but that’s the whole purpose of racing to see what’s missing and can be improved. All the best training in the world doesn’t guarantee a great performance on the day you want it to come, but your hard work and determination will increase the chances of that happening. But remember improvement isn’t linear, it can be wild and fluctuating and can an incredibly elusive goal to chase. That’s what keep us coming back for more. The most important thing is to be relentless and to keep chasing because that moment and time will come. There is no easy way and you have to be prepared to earn it.
Team race news
Eton sprints (Saturday)
- Andrew Reardon
- Splits: 13:16 swim / 34:01 bike/ 20:13 run
- Total Time: 1:12:24
- 1st in 45-49 category
- Next up: Outlaw Middle Distance
Think the look on his face says it all! Huge congrats Andrew on taking the age group win with a superb performance. He then backed this up only 2 days later with a 3rd place finish (23:36) at the Newbury Velo 10 mile TT. With a few small teaks in bike position and pacing he went over a minute faster than just a few weeks ago.
Eton sprints (Sunday/ GB qualifiers)
- Rod Hamilton
- Splits: 14:11 swim / 33:25 bike/ 20:55 run
- Total Time: 1:12:22
- 3rd in 55-59 category
- Next up: Outlaw Middle Distance
What a way to start the season, huge congrats Rod on a podium finish at the UK qualifiers. A performance that was in doubt due to a calf strain in the weeks leading into the race but he came through with flying colours.
- Tony Jarvis
- Splits: 13:42 swim / 38:07(puncture lap 3) bike / 21:55 run
- Total Time: 1:16:55
- 31st in 45-49 category
- Next up: Eastbourne Sprint Distance
First qualification race for TJ and oh so unlucky to puncture on lap 3 of the bike course. He showed his metal though by heading straight out onto the run to finish the race and finish it well. So much learned and so much to take forward. The gloves are well and truly off.
- David Rueda
- Splits: 15:20 swim / 38:01( puncture lap 3) bike / 22:53 run
- Total Time: 1:19:42
- 14th in 45-49 category
- Next up: Eastbourne Olympic Distance
Another tough guy performance from our tough guy Spaniard. Yet another puncture on lap 3 and yet another athlete that didn’t let it fluster him. Bravo Dr on a fine first performance to blow off the cobwebs.
- Robert Hutchinson
- Splits: 13:23 swim / 38:23 bike / 25:55 run
- Total Time: 1:21:10
- 10th in 60-64 category
- Louise Hutchinson
- Splits: 15:08 swim / 43:06 bike/ 25:13 run
- Total Time: 1:29:13
- 5th in 60-64 category
Always great to see the Hutchinson’s out there doing their thing. As usual solid performances from both to finish in the top 10 in their age categories. A class act.
Cotswold Olympic distance
- Helen Burton
- Splits: 23:34 swim / 2:13:38 bike/ 1:07:51 run
- Total Time: 3:55:18
- 1st in 60-69 category
Marlow Middle Distance
- Helen Burton
- Splits: 30:26 run (swim cancelled) / 3:51:12 bike/ 2:36:26 run
- Total Time: 7:02:41
- 1st in 60-69 category
- Next up: Eastbourne Olympic Distance
2 races and 2 wins for our H! A terrific start to the year as she prepares to take on her first Ironman. Weather conditions for both races would have challenged many but not this tough girl. We’re hoping for a bit of sunshine for the next one!
Books of the month
It’s been a long, long time since I was this gutted to finish a book. This one had me hook, line and sinker. ‘The Dynasty’ is without doubt one of the best business/ sporting books I have ever had the pleasure to read. It follows the story of 3 amazing people that came together at the right moment in time to build one of the most successful sporting teams the world has ever seen – The New England Patriots.
The first is the visionary businessman Robert Kraft, the second is the genius Coach Bill Bellichick and the third is one of the greatest sporting stars of the modern era – Tom Brady. Between them they won 6 Super Bowl Championships and rewrote the history books along the way. If you like American football or not, this one hell of a story. Hugely inspiring and uplifting and a real fly on the wall insight into the business of sport at the very highest level.
This is a book that any athlete from any sport should read. The reason being is it will provide some incredible perspective on how to deal with injuries and adversary. Hillary Allen was one of the best sky/ultra runners in the world when she plunged 150ft off the side of a mountain during a race. Many thought she was dead, at the very least they thought she would be so badly disabled that she might never run again. But against all the odds Hillary survived and this book is her story of the journey she then to took trying to recover. Brilliant written, incredibly insightful and hugely inspiring at the same time.
TN Swimmer Q & A
Name: Louise Scott
Star sign: Sagittarius
40 (with a 20 year gap from the age of 20-40)!
Former tax lawyer. Now counsellor, taxi driver, PA, teacher, cook, laundrette manager, referee, general slave (aka looking after our 5 kids)!
In another life you would have been…
Something much more people-focussed than tax law!! Possibly a psychotherapist (I have recently trained to be a Samaritan and this is going some way to scratching that itch).
Who is your athletic alter ego?
Denise Lewis. I don’t excel particularly at one sport but I’m up for having a go at most things, a bit like a heptathlete (but less talented).
Favourite training session:
Long, slow endurance (bike, swim or run) as it takes the pressure off the pace and you can just get into a rhythm and lose yourself in some music or a podcast. Meditative and good for the soul.
Least favourite training session:
Pace progression when the final, fastest section is really looong (eg 200m “mad” at the end of one of Julian’s sessions meaning you’re absolutely wasted by the time you finish). Having said that, the least favourite session comes with the biggest sense of achievement, so there’s something to be said for that…
Fanny Durack. The first female Olympic swimming champion. Female swimming events weren’t added to the Olympics until 16 years after the first modern games so she blazed an important trail! She also held every record in women’s swimming, from the 100m freestyle to the mile. I’m not sure that’s been done since (but I’m sure Julian will correct me if I’m wrong)!
“One Day” by David Nicholls. Perfect balance between funny and poignant.
Last book you read:
OMG this question is embarrassing. I seriously can’t remember the last time I finished a book. I never seem to have the time and then just fall asleep when I start reading. Shameful I know. I do have good intentions though – I have a copy of the Wim Hof Method just waving at me by the bed, which I really want to read.
Favourite swim venue/location:
It’s got to be the DL. It’s great to feel part of the gang and have someone devising the session for us (and which I would never have the self-discipline to do alone)! Although I do love a sea swim – too tough to call.
Favourite event experience:
A 2.5k race around an islet in Greece. Gorgeous warm sea and turtle spotting on the way round! My husband and some of our older kids swam too – I feel really fortunate to be able to do that kind of stuff as a family (with the smallest ones cheering us on).
Added bonus was that we went around anti-clockwise (since I’m hopeless at breathing to the right this made quite a difference to staying on course – it would not have been as fun the other way round)!
If you could choose 3 famous people to come to dinner with you who would they be & why?
Freddie Mercury. Just a total legend and would have been amazing to even see him live, let alone meet him and hear his stories.
Michael McIntyre because he never fails to make me laugh and you always need someone funny round the table.
Princess Diana. Having watched The Crown, I’d love to ask her how accurate it really was and get the inside track on her life. Royal family gossip is one of my guilty pleasures.
Training hours per week:
Atm around 6-8. Have pared back the training since having Covid but looking to build it back up.
Goals for 2021?
Listening more to my body and knowing when to have a break. Build on training hours and fitness as the year progresses with a view to starting 2022 ready to compete again! This year has turned into a bit of a write off but I’ve learned a few things about taking the pressure off myself. It’s been quite nice to have a year of just training for training’s sake, but I’m looking forward to getting the tri-suit back on.
Instagram posts of the month
Team Nagi out & about
Wet T-shirt week winner (you want to try triathlon coaching sometime!)
Crazy weather & skies poolside this month
10 secs for wetsuit strip at the end of swim squad…bravo Dr!
‘Getting It Done’ in all weathers, who says you can’t turbo in the rain?
…or even run! Nothing stops these gals
The glorious British Summer continues…A bit fresh in there TJ?
Now this deserves a round of applause for creativity (that’s a pretty heavy head you know)
‘X’ marks the spot…congrats to our new underwater swimming champ. 45m at the end of a tough session..bravo Phil
All smiles before…
Time to fly Black Beauty
Yep I’d say my niece & her best bud Max are happy to be back in the water too