Saturday, 14 May 2011

We are just too popular!

It's been another big week for the club in more ways than one. Our popularity has caused an explosion in the number triathletes wanting to join our sessions. From this weekend we will be offering Saturday and Sunday morning swim sessions to try an accommodate everyone. I would still encourage people to take part in the open water swim sessions at Fairlop to help boost your confidence in open water and improve your open water skills.

The Hillingdon Triathlon is on July 17 and last time I checked there were still places available. This is the second to last of the London League events and a great chance to race a different format with an open water swim too. The event is one of the longest running triathlons in the country and has a swim, run, bike format. The event does sell out each year so get your names in this week to secure a spot. We are sitting in fifth position on the London League table. I would love to see if we can get ourselves up into a top three position in our first year. It's an ambitious goal but hey let's do it!

Congratulations to Gabriel Sayer who won his age group at the Marshman Middle Distance Triathlon. I think I am right in saying that this was Gabriel's first age group win which is fantastic. This weekend Ailanore Harper is racing in the Eton Sprint Triathlon. This is an age group selection race for the world championships. It is a very spectator friendly course and if you feel like a day out in Eton it would be great to support Ailanore during her race. Support at races is something we do very well as a club!

I love these guys. Check out a this video diary of Michael and Andreas Raelart. It's gold especially the wolf pack analogy! This brings back memories of our training camp in Lanzarote. May be next time we'll add in some bounding up mountains too! Does anyone else think that Herfried and Michael Raelart have a lot in common?

This Saturday and Sunday is our technique focussed swim session. Bring your fins and pull buoys (you must have these for the session) and paddles (if you have them). The run session will continue to help you improve your race pace with high intensity intervals.

See you Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday! Tim (LFTC Coach)

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lessons truly learnt.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to start with a gripe but will finish on a positive note. Sometimes certain things just have to be said. Last week we were massively over-subscribed for the swim. Even our club captain and club chairman missed out! Five people on the list did not show up. If you are ill or injured you have a legitimate excuse. If you felt like a sleep in, couldn't be bothered or didn't like the look of the weather you don't! It's not fair on your club mates and as a coach it is disappointing. Enough said.

Wow, what a difference a fortnight can make. This weekend at the Kingfisher Aquathlon (our third London League event) the LFTC crew turned up knowing more about the course than the coach! It's amazing what a little stirring via the blog can do. It was a simple twelve lap swim and four lap circular run course though with very helpful marshalls and plenty of route markers so much less tricky than last time.

Everyone put in great performances. Amanda did go cross-country again but thankfully this time it was part of the run route. In fact she ran herself into 10th female overall. There were no warnings for throwing rubbish at officials either! The event suited 'G.I.' Joe Dale with a relatively long run. He moved from 89th after the swim into 7th overall and had the 2nd fastest run of the day. Rob Boulding was very impressive even with only a few hours sleep after wedding celebrations the night before (Rob is still single by the way as it wasn't his wedding!). Tim Smith and Seb Balcombe were locked in a tight battle. Seb made his move on the 3rd run lap and won by a little over a minute. The only extra effort Seb put in this time was that required to beat Tim who had been trying to psyche him out over the previous 24 hours. Paul Thompson, Sam Hart, Alex Cooper, Colin Streater, Russell Webley and Nathan Dytor also had superb races.

Pre-race anxiety is common and can really affect your performance on race day. People often panic in the swim. I have certainly been in this situation in the past. Having been involved in sport in some capacity for a number of years I am convinced mental skills training is vital to overcoming such anxiety. Visualisation and mental rehearsal are both techniques worth trying. Visualisation involves imagining yourself performing the way you want to, cool calm and in control, from the start of the swim to the end. A good time to do this is just before going to sleep when you are hopefully in a relaxed state already. Mentally rehearsing what you will do should anxiety get the better of you on the day is also useful. For example, you might stop at the end of the pool, take three relaxed breaths and say to yourself 'cool calm and in control' or similar and then set off again. Rehearsing this in your head will make it easier should you have do it on race day. Practice the two skills separately.

This weekend is our threshold swim. Dig out your CSS results as we will be using these. If you have not done our CSS tests before have a look here to find out how and why and see if you can get it done before Saturday. We'll also be using fins for our drill set so bring those too. We will continue to work on building 5km run speed as we head towards the Blenheim Triathlon.

See you Saturday, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Thursday, 5 May 2011


(Sorry, this post is a week late)

It been surely our biggest month of competition in the short history of the club. Remember, if you race, let us know and we will give you 'big up's' all round

The big event was our own race – full results from the Aquathlon can be seen here, but even higher praise must go to the event organisers and marshalls!

Scott McKenna and Ellen Greaves are now the club record holders on the course, finishing in 25.09 and 27.05 respectively.

We've started our inaugural London League season...

1st race... The Ful-On Duathlon. A nice, well run event if slightly repetitive. This was just me. I both arrived on time and finished without hurting myself. Result!

2nd race... The Dragonslayer Duathlon. It sounds like it was a bit of a lung buster. This didn't put off Tim Smith who finished an impressive 23rd. Kath Brasier was also 2nd in her category, well done! Rob Boulding, Mick Cairns, Gabriel Sayer, Seb Balcombe, Russell Webley, Catherine Emmett and someone who may, or may not, have been Amanda Wilmer also finished! No dragons were harmed during this race.

3rd race... Over to Karl G for a summary of the Thames Turbo race...

A 4am start is a tad early for any race, but I think with such a great bunch of athletes it made up for the early start, and seeing everyone in their London Fields hoodies really made us stand out as a professional ‘looking’ team. Although if there were a prize for loudest team we would surely have won, and that would have been with Seb on his own.

A staggered start is always a bit strange, but it did mean that there was always someone on the side of the pool encouraging the swimmers (oh and checking out tactics, swim technique, and any other ‘stand-out’ features of the racers).

I think my ‘hero’ for the day was Joe Dale. In the pool he must have overtaken about 12 other racers, and with style! And for his category, he was 98th in the swim, 54th in the bike, and a spectacular 4th in his category in the run. Now if we can just get him a bit faster in the water....

A few minor errors may have been made by the team, but I think everyone has been able to learn from the errors and (hopefully) won’t make them on the next team outing. I think Tim is going to be putting a bit of a blog entry together about how and how not to do a race.

Well done all who took part! Joe Dale, Tim Smith (Coach), Paul Thompson, Karl Grainger (Coach), Tim Pratt, Amanda Wilmer (F Captain), Jane Dennyson, Seb Balcombe (M Captain, Coach), Christina Rabbini, Simon Austin, Daniel King (Events Co-ordinator).


There was a 2nd Thames Turbo race a week later – well done to Alex Cooper, Clare Shakespeare and Nathan Dytor for braving a very windy course.

And finally, two people that deserve big mentions...

Alex Adames completed the London Marathon, raising a big bundle of cash for charity. Well done!

And Rhodri Gabe has cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Please offer him a cushion if he sits down near you... Well done!

And that is all – If you finish a race – let us know by emailing the club with 'RESULT' in the header.



Club Sec

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Come on you vets!

With only a week to go we still don't have a veteran signed up for the Kingfisher Aquathlon (previously Morden 6n6). In order to get maximum points for this London League event we need one of our veterans (over 40) to sign up. You have until 9pm Thursday May 5th before entries close. Even with all the hiccups of the last event it was still a great day out (as well as providing great material for a blog!). A pool based event like this is a great introduction to multisport. The swim is followed by a 6mile traffic free run in Morden Park. Don't be shy come and join us!

The men’s and women’s triathlon events were evidently one of the first events to completely sell out in the first round of ticketing for the London 2012 Olympics this week. Triathlon ticketing will go to a ballot process after more people applied than there are tickets available. This comes as no surprise to me given the explosion in popularity of the sport and the fact that GB athletes are very like to feature on the podium if not with a gold medal around their necks. Surely this adds more weight to the argument that the 3m blue wall around the majority of the course limiting spectator viewing is a bad idea.

This weeks swim session is our long swim to improve aerobic endurance and to help give you the confidence that you can cover the distance required in your next event. We will continue the open water skills theme as well to get you used to swimming in close proximity to others. I'll add details about the run later in the week so stay posted.

I thought it might be useful for those who struggled with the sighting drills to see how it is done. Have a look at this video from Swim Smooth. There are 5 triathlon and open water swimming tips with the 4th being 'The Art of Sighting'. Also if you struggled with the 'Unco' drill have a look at the description of the drill from Swim Smooth here. It is a great drill so persevere in your own sessions until you master it.

Loving these short weeks, long days and plenty of sunshine! See you next Saturday. Tim (LFTC Coach)