Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Injuries and expectations

While I do not believe injuries are an inevitable part of participating in triathlon they are certainly common. Running is the discipline most often associated with injury but injuries do occur across all three disciplines. One of the biggest risk factors for developing an injury is having had an injury in the past. The reason I bring this up is because as coaches it is important you talk to us about a previous injury or an existing injury if you have any concerns about your participating in a session.

I do not routinely ask the entire group if they have any injury concerns prior to a session. The reason I don't do this is two fold. One, some people may not feel comfortable acknowledging that they have an injury in front of the group. Two, it is not practical to discretely ask every single person as an individual if they have an injury concern before we start.

My expectation is that if you have an injury concern you will approach me or Karl prior to a session starting or during the session should you feel any discomfort develop during it. That way you can be as discrete or open about it as you like and we are kept informed and can advise you accordingly. You can of course approach any of our coaches but Karl and I have specific training in this area. Ultimately whether you participate in a session or not or whether you stop participating part way through a session due to injury or not is up to you. Our role is to help you make that decision not make it for you. You are the one that knows your body best after all!

It is a little bit technical but if you are interested in reading about triathlon related injuries take a look

This week we will be looking at breath timing. The most common observation from the poolside with regard to breath timing is the tendency for people to breathe two late in the stroke cycle. This often results in a quick flick of the head
after the body has started rotating. You might also try to lift your head to create more time for the breath in. Check out the blog from Swim Smooth here for some great pics to help explain what ideal timing should look like.

See you Sunday. Pool buoys and fins are a must for this session. See ya, Tim (LFTC Coach).

AGM 2012

The club announced this week that the next AGM will be Saturday 14th January at 1pm, at Pub On The Park. All members should have received all relevant information by email this week.

For more information, please drop us an email

Friday, 25 November 2011

Sunday session

I'm keeping it short and sweet this week. Our swim sessions on Sunday will continue to focus on stroke timing. If you didn't look at last weeks blog which covered stroke timing take a look before Sunday here. It would very useful to look at the different timing faults that we see and an example of perfect timing to aim for. You will need both fins and a pull buoy so please don't forget yours. The run will see you hitting 1600m and 800m intervals.

The latest round of the ITU Triathlon World Cup hit Auckland (NZ) last weekend. This is the venue for next years ITU World Championships so if you like the look of it make sure you sign up for the GB qualifying races next year. Click here for a list of the events. Don't miss out. Take a look at the Kiwis cleaning up both the men's and the women's races! A little sneak preview of what is going to happen at the Olympics eh? How about that mo on Kris Gemmell!

We narrowly missed out on the Club of the Year award at the Hackney Sports Awards but may be we could go for the 220 Triathlon Awards 2012? Cast your votes here people. Let's crash the site with the shear number of votes!

I'll see you Sunday for a wee dip, Tim (LTFC Coach).

Friday, 18 November 2011

Stroke timing

It was a great way to finish the year last weekend at the POTP. Thank you to everyone that came along and made it such a fantastic night. Thank you especially to Chris Skinner, Seb Balcombe and Amanda Wilmer for getting up and saying a few words. You all did a great job. I was very pleased to hear people discussing plans for next season, taking on bigger challenges, racing longer, going faster, going for team GB, very exciting!

This weekend in our swim session we'll be looking at stroke timing. Timing is so important and hopefully Sunday's session will demonstrate this. What we are aiming for is front 'quadrant or ¾ catch up timing'. Let's look at a couple of examples of timing faults first. Take a look at these Swim Types.

The first is the Bambino. Here you will see rotary timing with the arms 'windmilling'. Developing front quadrant or ¾ catch up timing in this type of swimmer gives better support and time to breathe, plus more time to develop an effective catch.

Now take a look at the Overglider. You will see in the first three videos that the swimmers almost swim with a 'catch up' style meaning both hands almost 'catch up' at the front of the stroke. For a swimmer with full catch up timing, developing a ¾ catch up removes the dead spot giving better rhythm. The increase in stroke rate, without increased effort, can also allow bilateral breathing in an Overglider who breathes unilaterally.

Now take a look at Mr. Smooth himself, Jono Van Hazel, demonstrating front quadrant timing. Catch up and variations of this drill are commonly used drills. You can see that for one swim type it might be very useful and for another it may be reinforcing bad habits.

During the session I want you to think about your breathing, your kick and your perceived effort with each drill. Hopefully the importance of timing will be revealed and you'll finish the session swimming like Jono! You will need pull buoys and fins so please don't forget them.

Coach Seb will be escorting you on a long run down to Victoria Park and back. Best to leave your kit in a locked locker and pick it up when you return. Take care crossing the road kids!

See you next weekend. Tim (LFTC Coach)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Race report - Jekyll and Hyde Park Duathlon

There were some great results from the Jekyll and Hyde Park Duathlon a couple of weeks ago. Sorry about the delayed race report. This race is stacked every year with top London based athletes so these guys and girls from LFTC did incredibly well.

Joe Dale was our highest placed male with an 11th place overall. Next across the line were James Ralph, Andrew Finn and Stuart Hitchcock in 20th, 29th and 42nd respectively. Sarah Allen was 5th female across the line but more importantly she was the first one wearing fancy dress! Ellen Greaves was 10th female across the line. Well done Wendy Musique and Sebastian Arroyave and anyone else who raced that I have missed. Great photos of Sebastian in action here and here.

Bean counter Rob Boulding finds counting laps more challenging than counting beans obviously and he miscounted his bike laps resulting in a DNF. Earlier in the year he completed an extra lap in a race so it all evens out in the end. NOT! Perhaps we could chip in for a bar mounted abacus to present to Rob at the club awards to help get him through next season without any DNFs. I really hope he doesn't make the same mistake at the Ball Buster Duathlon this weekend. It might be a little more costly....hence the name! Sorry Rob, just taking the Brett Sutton approach to coaching, you'll be mentally tougher as a result I promise. Just look what he did for Chrissie.

Unfortunately Seb Balcombe was out with a toe injury. Doesn't sound like much but you should have seen the pictures. Actually knowing Seb you probably did! I could not make it as I was on a coaching conference which was a shame as this ws supposed to be my last race for the year. We didn't have a veteran racing either which is necessary to get maximum points from the race. That was a real shame given how well everyone did. Next year we must
try to get a full team in every event we enter. We're going for a podium finish for sure!

Our swim session this Sunday is one of the toughest sessions I have ever put together just in case you were thinking of partying Saturday night at our end of year shin dig. Just joking. We will have the same technique focus as last week but with a little less of the drills and little more of the full stroke.
Take a look at this link from Swim Smooth if you have not already. While our swim session is not about breath timing this blog entry from Paul Newsome at Swim Smooth is also well worth a read. You will need fins and pull buoys as usual. I wouldn't say the run is going to be easy but we will take into account the miles you put in on the dance floor on Saturday night.

See you Saturday night at the Pub on the Park. Tim (LFTC Coach).

Saturday, 5 November 2011

It's been quite a year.

The Hackney Sports Awards were on Wednesday night. Sadly we didn't pick up any of the awards we were nominated for. It was a great night though. I've never seen such a big group of happy healthy children and young adults in Hackney in one place. I can't say that I wasn't disappointed though. While I was incredibly happy to be nominated for the Coach of the Year Award winning would have been very special indeed. It was however very humbling to see what other coaches in Hackney have achieved especially with young athletes and athletes with disabilities.

When I think about the past twelve months though I am amazed at what we have achieved as a club in only our second season.
We have run our own very successful race. We have competed in the London League and done very well in our first year competing. We have had people complete their first triathlon across all distances from super sprint to Ironman. We have set course records. We have had age group winners in some of the biggest races in Europe. We have started a junior section in the club. We have run an overseas training camp with great success. We have had our first GB representative. We have had our first top ten placing at a World Championships and we have had great fun doing all of it!

This weeks technique session is all about the catch and pull phases of the stoke. You'll need both your pull buoy and fins so please don't forget them. We'll be looking at trying to improve your propulsion with each stroke while minimising the effort thus maximising efficiency. This requires a good hand entry, good extension (without over-gliding or 'putting the brakes on') followed by a good catch and pull through. Take a look at this link from Swim Smooth. Watch the videos, looks at the pictures and read the text. Soak it all up! The session will make much more sense and you will get more out of it
if you do. In the run we will be slowing it down a little and hitting some longer intervals now that the race season is all over.

Interested in some free stuff? You can get three free digital copies of Triathlete Europe just by following this link! See you Sunday, Tim (LFTC Coach).