Friday, 19 October 2012

Update from the World Championships

Well NZ has really turned on the weather...not! Howling winds, driving rain, rough seas and a sprinkling of sunshine. It is still a very cool vibe here in Auckland though. I've never seen so many fit people wearing pointy hats in one place. Shared a shuttle from the airport with and Jodie Stimpson and Anne Haug when we arrived. Saw the elite triathletes coming back from their bike course recce under police escort this morning. 

The girls (Sarah Allen, Amanda Wilmer and Ailanore Harper) and my twin bro (Nathan Smith) are all looking good and preparing well. They are out there braving the weather today checking out the swim, bike and run routes. Tomorrow we will have another sea swim in the morning and a final hit out over the run course before settling in to watch the U23 men and women and women's elite races.

Came across this great little video from Ironman Europe 2012. It's one of those videos that make you say to yourself 'this is why we do triathlon'. Love it!

More updates over the next couple of days. See you in a few weeks time. C'mon LFTC at the World Triathlon Championships! Tim (LFTC Coach).

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Well done!

A fantastic race today!

Congratulations to all entrants and our thanks to all those who made it happen.

Results will be here shortly. Pics to follow

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Winter (and Kona) are coming.

Unfortunately the darkness is closing in and it is time to move our Tuesday run session back to our winter training base, Well St Common. The upside of Well St Common is that it is well lit. The downside is that it is not as secure as the Victoria Park running track and in training we are sometimes a considerable distance from our starting point.

If you bring a bike to training please bring a lock. I also suggest you keep any other equipment to a bare minimum and please do not bring any valuables that you are not prepared to run with.

With our own aquathlon approaching we will continue to emphasise 5km race pace development in our Tuesday night session. We will then look at altering the session as we have the Jekyll and Hyde Park Duathlon coming up, the last of the London League races and a number of you have signed up for running events from half-marathon to ultra-marathon distance over the autumn and winter.

Congratulations to all those who took part in the London Triathlon over the weekend. Well done especially to those who braved the conditions on Sunday afternoon which were positively awful!

I came across an article the other week and thought it would be worth sharing. It is an interesting theory as to why consistent progressive training with adequate recovery leads to improvement in performance while minimising risk of injury. It also explains why fluctuations in training load, often the result of not following s structured training plan, can and often does lead to injury. Click here to have a read.

The Ironman World Championships are only a few weeks away. It looks like both the men's and women's races are wide open this year. The recent Ironman 70.3 World Championships provided a little insight as to who is currently in form. Leanda Cave won the women's pro race. You might have seen her training at the Lido in the past with Red Top. Sebastian Kienle won the men's pro race with an incredible bike leg that set up the win. Here are a few interviews with some of the favourites for Kona (Sebastian Kienle, Leanda Cave, Craig AlexanderMirinda Carfrae).

So, who is your favourite to win Kona this year? See ya, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Sunday, 9 September 2012

How we structure our training and other club activities

With a massive increase in interest in our club and many new members signing up each week this seems like an opportune time to explain how our sessions are run.

Over the summer months our swim sessions take place on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. On Wednesday we have a 7pm session and an 8pm session at King's Hall Leisure Centre. The 7pm session is our 'beginner's technique' session. This is ideal for those looking to learn the basics of front crawl. The 8pm session is more fitness based. We call this our 'threshold session'. The focus of this session is developing sustainable swim speed. The distance covered in the session will be 2km to 2.5km.

Saturday at 7am is our 'long swim' session at London Fields Lido. The focus of this session is the development of aerobic endurance. There will always be an element of technique however the focus here is biased towards fitness development. The distance covered in the session will vary from 2km to 2.5km depending on the lane you swim in and the session plan for the day.

Sunday at 7am is our 'technique swim' session at London Fields Lido. The focus of this session is refinement of your front crawl technique. There will always be an element of fitness however the focus here is biased towards technique development. The distance covered in this session will vary from 2km to 2.5km depending on the lane you swim in and the session plan for the day.

On Saturday and Sunday we have a 'high volume' and a 'low volume' lane so that we can cater for the different abilities within the group. You should bring fins (flippers), a pull buoy and hand paddles to each session. These pieces of equipment are used not only to develop technique but also to develop different elements of your swim fitness.

Our run sessions take place on a Tuesday night at 7pm in Victoria Park and Saturday morning at 8:15am in London Fields after our swim session. Tuesday night is high intensity intervals and Saturday morning we have an option of high intensity intervals or a long aerobic run. These sessions last approximately an hour and include a structured warm up, technique drills and a cool down.

Thursday night we have a 'spin class' taken by Coach Karl at Fitness for Less on Cambridge Heath Road. There are also group rides, open water swims and various other group activities arranged by members of the club. Our Facebook page is the best place to get info about these. 

All our sessions, with the exception of our Tuesday run, require you to book in advance so that we can control numbers and ensure the right coach to athlete ratios. You must complete a registration form if you wish to attend any of our sessions for health and safety reasons. Registration forms can be obtained by contacting the club via email.

Each year we take part in the London Triathlon League and choose a number of races of varying distances to compete in as a club. Over the last two years we have also run an early season training camp at Club La Santa in Lanzarote which has been very popular. So there we have it. A bit of an outline as to how we run our training sessions and other club activities. While I didn't mention socials these also from an essential part of our club not to be missed! 

See you at training. Tim (LFTC Coach)

Friday, 7 September 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


The SportPursuit Splash & Dash took place at West Reservoir and was a big success for the club. Many raced for the first time, there was a win for Ellen Greaves and plenty of team members generously volunteered their time to help make it work. Here are the results


Our London League Aquathlon at the lido takes place on 7th October and entries are open! It's a really great race (this will be the 5th!) - sign up here

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Nice work Team GB triathletes!

Well what an amazing 16 days we had! It is such a pity it's all over. Next time around at least we will have three days of triathlon racing to look forward to! 

I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the women's triathlon. The race had everything, a break away, a catch, crashes and one of the closest finishes in the entire Olympic Games. It was a real pity that Emma Moffatt crashed out early in the race. Helen Jenkins did amazingly well considering her preparation had been less than ideal due to an injury. It was also sad to see Paula Findlay so badly affected by her injury. Did the Team GB tactics work? It was going to be difficult with the GB number one not at full fitness and perhaps a less than ideal pontoon draw. It would have been great to see Helen Jenkins exit the water and T1 with the lead group. They might have been caught but the slippery roads would have made for a difficult chase. You can't argue with the results though and I do believe Nicola Spirig, Lisa Norden and Erin Densham fully deserved their medals.

The men's triathlon was also a fantastic race. Unfortunately Simon Whitfield crashed out early in what was quite a spectacular accident. Again I am not sure the Team GB race tactics worked exactly as planned. The breakaway didn't seem to affect Alistair but I get the feeling it left Jonny with a little less gas in the tank. When the break away was eventually caught Stuart Hayes did a great job leaving only Javier Gomez with the legs to stay in touch with the Brownlees. The penalty Jonny incurred for mounting his bike before the line probably didn't affect the outcome. He seemed to be dropping off the pace before taking the penalty. Psychologically it is hard to say what effect the penalty had on Jonny. It may also have given Gomez a little boost. While I would have loved to see a GB gold and silver, Gomez did have a great race and deserved silver and we really should not complain about gold and bronze to the Brownlee bro's! 

Here are some fantastic images from the London 2012 Olympic Games Triathlon.

This weekend is the Hackney Quest Challenge for all those taking part in our training on Saturday. Sunday is our technique swim. You will need fins and pull buoys but no paddles required this time around. It is going to be hot so please no wetsuits this weekend to avoid any mishaps.

See you this weekend. It seems like forever since I last saw you all! Tim (LFTC Coach)

Friday, 3 August 2012

One day to go!

Just one day to go until the London 2012 women's triathlon! Good news for Canadian fans, Paula Findlay is fit to race it seems, not so great news for anyone else as Findlay proved last year if it comes down to the run she is incredibly dangerous. She has not competed at the elite level all this year due to injury so we'll have to see what shape she is in Saturday morning.

Andrea Hewitt got to pick her pontoon position first. She chose position 55 on the left side of the pontoon giving her the most direct line to the first turning buoy. Most of the other big names including Jenkins, Findlay, Moffat, Morrison, Riveros Diaz, Holland, Spirig, Bennett and Norden will line up just to her right. Erin Densham, the Aussie number one, goes in position 40 and Lucy Hall in position 6. It might be difficult to perform her role as domestique in the swim from the other end of the pontoon! Remember the women's race kicks off at 9am GMT on Saturday. I couldn't pick a winner, it's going to be a very close and exciting race!

Saturday it's our 'long swim' session. You'll need fins and pull buoys. The main set is 200m repeats at CSS pace +5sec/100m. It will feel easy at the start but will get progressively more difficult. Sunday is our 'technique swim' session. It's a technique pyramid, a great set with plenty of variety. Bring your fins, pull buoys and paddles if you have them. We might have to cut the run session a little short to make sure everyone can catch the women's triathlon at 9am. The big screen in Haggerston Park anyone?

Have a great weekend! C'mon team GB (and the Kiwis)!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Southern Hemisphere athletes in great form

It's not long now until the best triathletes in the world hit Hyde Park and unleash four years of training in one race. In the final ITU WCS race before the Olympics the Southern Hemisphere athletes proved they will be in the mix come August 4th and 7th. Richard Murray used his strong duathlon background to outrun the rest of the men's field in Hamburg. 

In the women's race Erin Densham, one of the fastest runners in the sport, and Emma Moffat, former world champion, beat a very strong field to take first and second place for the Aussies. The Kiwis, well I am sure they were just 'playing possum' as we say back home, lulling their competitors into a false sense of security before the big day.

Good luck to Andrew Finn this weekend in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Andrew will be putting on the GB tri-suit for the first time this weekend when he competes in the ITU Long Distance World Triathlon Championships. The format for the race is 4km swim, 120km bike and 30km run. Give it heaps Andrew!

If you are coming along to one of our swim sessions this weekend remember to bring fins and a pull buoy. We always mix a little technique work into our sessions using these basic bits of swim kit. Saturday is our 'long swim' day with a focus on aerobic endurance and Sunday is our 'technique swim' with a focus on refining your stroke technique. 

Haggerston Park to watch the opening ceremony anyone? Bring on the Games! See ya, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Race round up.

Congratulations to all those who have been competing over the last couple of weekends. Here's a little review of how the team went.

The forecast was pretty awful for the Cowman Middle Distance Triathlon. Thankfully the weather gods chose be kind to the LFTC crew that headed to the race which was also the National Middle Distance Triathlon Championships. When we registered on Saturday the transition looked more like a bog than a setting for a race. A very substantial feed of Italian (thank you Steve Marks) on Saturday night set everyone up nicely for some massive performances on race day. It was an early start with the first wave heading off at 6:30am and the second wave at 7:00am.

Richard Jelfs was the first of the LFTC lads to exit the water in 30:51 followed by Jamie Kerr in 32:31 and Nick Hill in 32:38. The big man held his lead with a solid bike leg of 2:47:36. Stuart Hitchcock was gaining ground though and posted the fastest bike split of the day from the LFTC crew with a 2:43:00. He passed Richard at the end of the first lap of the run and held the lead into the second lap of the run. Joe Dale came storming through the field with the fastest run split of the LFTC team in 1:13:53. Unfortunately a school boy error from Simon Tulloch ment his time was not registered. How many ways can you go wrong with a timing chip? Probably just the one. You put it on your wrist and not your ankle!

Gail Wilkinson was the first of the LFTC girls to cross the finish line. She went on to finish 6th in her age group. Remember this was a National Championships so that is a fantastic achievement. Kristel Pous was first out of the water in 35:05 followed by Jane Dennyson in 39:37. Gail had the fastest bike split of the girls, she took the lead with a 2:57:53 bike, she was followed by Amanda Wilmer in 3:15:37. The fastest run split of the girls went to Gail in 1:33:44 followed by Amanda in 1:36:03. Deborah Coyle finished first in her age group. Middle Distance National Champion female 35-39! While she was racing in Grenwich Tritons race kit but we will claim her as one of ours as she comes to our Saturday sessions on occasion. Nice work Deborah! May be we'll let your wear the LFTC colours next time. Well done to all those LFTC athletes that raced the Cowman. It was a great day out with such a big team involved.

The Hillingdon Triathlon was last weekend. The last of the triathlons in the London League Series. LFTC had a sizable team participating again. Unfortunately Felipe Almeida suffered a puncture on the cycle leg (which comes last by the way) and had to pull out. Amanda Wilmer was the first of our girls across the line and Jamie Kerr was the first of the lads. Am I right in saying this was Shahab Udin's first triathlon? Again well done team. Two more races to get the club on to the podium!

Ironman Switzerland was also last weekend. Unfortunately Guy Holbrow had to pull out due to illness. Gabriel Sayer, Joe Dale, Nathan Dytor and Tom Picking all completed the event. Joe, Nathan and Tom were competing over the Ironman distance for the first time. Gabriel was the first man home, then Joe, then Nathan and Tom on the exact same time. Nice work fellas. You are all now Ironmen!

This weekend we go back to the short stuff. It's the latest round of the ITU WCS for Hamburg. This is a great event that attracts a massive crowd to watch the best triathletes in the work race around Hamburg's city centre. There are no Brownlees and no Helen Jenkins but otherwise the men's and women's fields are stacked with talent. A win in Hamburg in the final race before the Olympics will give a couple of athletes a huge psychological boost. It is a sprint distance race so it is guaranteed to be fast an furious from start to finish.

You'll need pull buoys and fins for this week's swim sessions. Saturday is our long swim. We'll be mixing up some long intervals and short sprints. Sunday is our technique swim session. It's a great little set with a mix of drills to tune up your stroke and improve your breathing control.

See you in the weekend, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A new race!


LFTC and Capital Tri will be hosting the first open water triathlon event in Hackney on 25th August. It's a race we have been hoping to make happen for over a year and we are finally there - so it's over to you...

Taking place at the stunning West Reservoir, there will be an aquathlon with two race distances - 1500m swim/10k run and 750m swim/5k run

Sign up here

There will be no LFTC training sessions that weekend so get your name in and join the fun!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Go the LFTC crew at the Cowman!

It's another huge weekend for triathlon this weekend. There is a massive group of LFTC athletes taking part in the Cowman Middle Distance Triathlon. For some this will be their longest race yet! It's going to be great fun being surrounded by so many team mates. It's my first race of the season too...eeek! 

This weekend is also Challenge Roth. Roth is one of the most legendary long course triathlons in the world and is a course on which may elite athletes have posted world record times. It attracts crowds as big at the Tour de France and is definitely a race for the bucket list if you fancy long course racing. There is no sign of Lance Armstrong on the start list as yet but I'll keep my fingers crossed! Actually it is looking more and more like he might be caught up in court battles.

We've go our newly qualified coaches taking the Saturday and Sunday swim sessions. Bring your fins, pull buoys and paddles as there will be drills to clean up different aspects of your stroke and a fitness element as well. Check out this blog from Swim Smooth's 'Feel for the water' for a great technique tip about the 'basic extension drill' i.e. kicking on your side. This drill forms the base from which many more advanced drills are built and is therefore a key drill to really get nailed.

It is not uncommon to feel a little faint when you exit the water in a triathlon or in training. In fact sometimes people do faint. The reason is postural hypotension - a sudden drop in blood pressure when you go from a horizontal position to a vertical position. The risk increases when swimming because blood had been directed to the working muscles, predominantly the upper body and then all of a sudden it has to be redirected to the legs once you are able to stand. If your body temperature is also elevated blood is directed towards the skin to assist cooling and the risk of faint may be increased further.

What can you do? Prepare yourself by increasing the effort you put into your kick for the last 100m or so. This way you start to redirect blood to the legs before moving from horizontal to vertical. Don't allow yourself to get too hot. Choose appropriate days and venues to practise swimming in your wetsuit and if you are getting too warm flush some fresh water through it to help cool off or finish your session without it.

See you Saturday poolside or at the Cowman! Tim (LFTC Coach)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Alistair is back!

Any fears that Alistair Brownlee might not be fully fit for London 2012 can be well and truly laid to rest as he won the latest round of the ITU WCS in Kitzbuhel Austria. Jonny Brownlee was second with Javier Gomez taking third. The Browlees made a break on the bike along with Denis Vasiliev (RUS) but they were chased down by the pack. Stuart Hayes (GB) came to the front, performing his role as domestique and drove the pace on the bike. Did the team tactics make a difference? Who knows, the Brownlees certainly had a comfortable gap on the rest of the field.
Nicola Spirig (Sui) sprinted away from Lisa Norden (SWE) in the final 400m of the the women's elite race. Andrea Hewitt (NZ) was third. If the women's triathlon comes down to sprint finish, at this point if Nicola Spirig is one of those athletes going for gold, she might just be the favourite. No team tactics in the women's race. Just good hard racing. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Emma Snowsill race in the end and we will have to wait to see what kind of form Paula Findlay (Can) will bring to London 2012.
This weekend, on Saturday,  is the Zone3 demo session. We would like everyone to either bring their own wetsuit to the session or use one provided by Zone3. The focus of the session will be on open water skills as well as putting on your wetsuit properly to ensure comfort and efficiency and getting it off quickly to minimise time in transition.

It's not just the LFTC club members racing well this year. Proof that great athletes can make great coaches, coach Mick Cairns won his age group at the Forestman Triathlon on June 24th. This is a tough ironman distance event in the New Forest. Nice work Mick! Why weren't you running Tuesday night though?

If you are keen to watch some fast and furious live triathlon check out the GE Canary Wharf Triathlon Thursday night. Races will run from 6.15pm until 9.30pm and will feature Tim Don and Liz Blatchford as well as other international elite athletes.

Have a good week and see you in the weekend sometime. Tim(LFTC Coach)

Friday, 22 June 2012

LFTC raising the bar!

Another huge weekend for LFTC athletes last weekend. The results below show place in category. Pretty impressive reading huh?

UK 70.3 Wimbleball
5:21:59 17th Gabriel Sayer
5:35:04 24th Nathan Dytor
5:47:01 7th Gail Wilkinson
6:33:23 10th Shiz Gerami

Lakeside Triathlon
1:09:04 2nd Felipe Almeida
1:28:51 1st Hannah Moora

Dambuster Triathlon
There were some impressive results in very testing conditions. This was a world championship qualifier and if you have not raced in a race like this it is a whole new ball game. You can check out the results here.

Fritton Lake Triathlon
Stuart Hitchcock and Ellen Greaves both won their categories at the Fritton Lake Triathlon. Stuart set a new PB and Ellen came within seconds of running a sub 40min 10km!

This weekend is the WCS race from Kitzbuhel. It's a beautiful race in the Tirol region of Austria with a tough bike leg. Both the Brownlee bros will be back in action along with Stuart Hayes. It will be interesting to see if GBs 'domestique' tactics may be tested here. It will be intriguing to watch just the same as the field is stacked with talent.

Last time I checked there was no Helen Jenkins on the start list. However, Olympic champion Emma Snowsill (Aus) has a chance to show the Aussie selectors they were wrong to leave her off the team. She may find herself having to chase down the likes of Nicola Spirig (Sui) and Andrea Hewitt (NZ) among others who might be able to breakaway on the bike. Both races are live on the BBC red button on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.

If you don't already know your CSS pace, at some stage during the week it would be good for you to establish it. Have a look at an earlier post to see how. We will be using CSS to pace our swim sets in upcoming weeks. There are alternative ways of pace setting such as using a 'rating of perceived exertion' (RPE) but CSS is more accurate and I know how much you all love checking your watches at the Lido!

On June 30th Zone3 are paying us a visit for a wetsuit demo session. We would like to see everyone in wetsuits. You can bring your own or use a demo suit from Zone3. We will go through getting a wetsuit on and off properly, discuss modifying your stroke when swimming in a wetsuit and hopefully we'll get a chance to test how much faster you are (if you are indeed faster) when swimming in a wetsuit. So remember June 30th for the Zone3 wetsuit demo.

Have a good one! See you in the weekend I hope. Tim (LFTC Coach)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

London Fields Triathlon Club are delighted to be a part of Hackney 1000, raising money for Hackney Quest, an amazing local charity offering opportunities to young people in our area.

On August 18th 2012, we'll mark out a 1km route around Well Street Common. We will be asking people to travel that route in any way they can - from a jog through to a hop to whatever method you feel you can use!

More info to follow over coming weeks and months but you can follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

A controversial week in triathlon

Triathlon has seen it's fair share of controversy this week. Liz Blatchford is appealing against not being selected for the GB Olympic team. Lucy Hall, ranked over 100 places further down the world rankings, was chosen over Blatchford. Lucy Hall may have been selected to perform the role of 'domestique'. She will sacrifice her own race, I presume, to assist Helen Jenkins. In my opinion Helen Jenkins doesn't need the help. She is one of the fastest women in triathlon in the swim, the bike and the run. I can see why Liz Blatchford is appealing the decision.

Will Clarke was also overlooked for the GB Olympic team in favour of Stuart Hayes. Last time I checked the men's Olympic rankings Will Clarke was ranked 12th and Stuart Hayes 46th. Was Stuart Hayes selected as a 'domestique' for the Brownlee brothers? Stuart Hayes is a strong cyclist. He may be asked to sacrifice himself on the bike for the Brownlees, chasing down breakaways should they happen. In my opinion the Brownlees don't need help. Just like Helen Jenkins they have the strength needed in all three disciplines to take gold and silver. Speaking of the Brownlee brothers, both were in action at Blenheim last weekend, they finished 1st and 2nd in the same time and two minutes ahead of the field.

It seems Lance Armstrong can't get away from the doping allegations that have plagued his career as a cyclist and threaten to ruin his career as a triathlete. He has unfortunately been banned from triathlon until the resolution of an investigation brought against him by USADA. I am a big LA fan. I think it is a great tragedy that he will no longer be competing in triathlon at least for the duration of the investigation. I don't know if there were any transgressions in his career prior to being diagnosed with and over coming cancer. I very much doubt anyone who has survived cancer would jeopardise their health in order to succeed in sport by doping of any kind.

On a much more happy note, LFTC has it's first male age group representative! Andrew Finn, last year's LFTC triathlete of the year, qualified for the GB team to compete at the Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain at the end of July. Nice work Andrew! Best of luck to all those competing over the weekend. Especially those of you up against Macca in Wimbleball. Go get him, Nathan!

Our newly qualified triathlon coaches will be putting you through your paces on Saturday. We will be using fins and pull buoys so please bring your kit to training. Saturday is now our 'long swim' day. But don't be afraid. This just means it's geared towards aerobic endurance development with longer intervals but with just the right mix of technique and triathlon specific skills too.

See you in the weekend. Tim (LFTC Coach).

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Jonny runs away from the field in Madrid!

Just in case you missed the latest race from the ITU WCS in Madrid, Jonny Brownlee was again in formidable form. He ran away from the rest of the men's field after a fascinating race not without a little drama. A small group broke away on the bike, working together they got a sizable break on the rest of the field and with Olympic Games qualification up for grabs they stayed away all the way to T2. The little Colombian, Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero, ran himself into tenth making him the first Colombian to ever qualify for the Olympic Games triathlon. Go Colombia!

It seems I jinxed Andrea Hewitt by calling her the favourite in the elite women's race in Madrid. She had a terrible start but cycled and ran her way up to ninth in the end. There was no Helen Jenkins in the field but Vicky Holland and Liz Blatchford both finished in the top ten which was great for GB. It was a totally different race compared to the elite men's race with almost the entire field entering T2 together. With 400m to go Nicola Spirig had the best sprint and she pulled away to take the win.

Lance Armstrong is really looking like becoming a formidable force in triathlon. Over the weekend he won the Hawaii 70.3 beating Chris 'Macca' McCormack's course record in the process. It was in the tough and windy bike that Lance did the damage clocking 2:01:46. He is no slouch in the water either exiting in third place in 23:22 and had the fourth fastest run split of the day finishing the 21km in 1:22:30. You can read a post-race interview and check out some pics here and race highlights here. Anyone up for Hawaii 70.3 next year? With Macca blowing his own trumpet before this race and saying he is going to 'smash' Lance Armstrong in the Hawaii Ironman later this year I get the feeling LA will be very motivated come 13 October. Will get to see how LA goes over the Ironman distance as he tries to qualify for Kona at IM France - Nice on 24 June.

The next London League event, Hillingdon Sprint Triathlon on 22 July, is now full. The good news is we have a full team! The next event after that, Clash of the Tritons Aquathlon on 19 August, is a great race, very well organised, very friendly and with a fast flat off road run. I don't think entries are open yet but you can keep checking here and I will keep you posted too. I have also mentioned to Jodie McCallum, organiser of the North Norfolk Triathlon, that we will be bringing our biggest and best team yet. There are 55 entries already so don't miss out and get signed up here!

We have some exciting new training sessions in the pipeline with our new coaches getting the chance to plan and deliver their own sessions over the next few weeks. More details to come about bike specific training sessions. We have had a lot of interest in the club with new members signing up each week. If you are new and attending your first swim session you will need fins and a pull buoy for most sessions so please bring them. You can bring hand paddles too and we may use those or at least show you how you might incorporate them into your own training.

Enough from me. I hope you have had a fabulous long weekend celebrating the Queen's Jubilee!

See ya, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Friday, 25 May 2012

Lance wins his first 70.3 race

Another big weekend this weekend! It's the ITU WCS race from Madrid; the last chance for athletes to qualify for the Olympics. There are a lot of GB athletes racing in the men's race including Tim Don, Will Clarke and Jonny Brownlee. It's looking far more like Alistair Brownlee's first race of the year might be the Olympics. With no Helen Jenkins in the field Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand is the race favourite in the women's event. Both races are live on the BBC so check them out. There is talk of GB using domestiques in the Olympic triathlon. Would you be prepared to give up your chance of having the race of your life at the Olympics for someone else?

Last weekend Lance Armstrong won his first Ironman 70.3 race in Florida. By the time the rest of the field were exiting T2 LA was the best part of 2 miles down the road. His bike split was 10 mins quicker than anyone else and he ran a very respectable 1hr 15min half-marathon. It looks like LA is turning into a real triathlete. His body shape has certainly changed over the past few months. Check out the photos.

A number of you were talking about following The Time Crunched Triathlete (TTCT) training programs last weekend. This is a great book that goes into the science of triathlon training in quite some detail. A word of warning however. The training programs are based on making the most of high intensity training with a limited amount of time. If you are trying to squeeze in club sessions on top of the TTCT sessions things might come a little unstuck due to inadequate recovery or too many high intensity workouts. 

Our new coaches are getting into their session planning and delivering to you over the next few weeks. Make sure you give us feedback about how you thought the sessions went. Remember you will be using fins, pull buoys and possibly paddles so bring all your kit to get the most out of the sessions.

Lastly good luck to all those competing this weekend. There are a number of LFTC athletes competing in the 3km swim and triathlons at Dorney Lake this weekend. Give it heaps!

See ya, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Jenkins and Brownlee smash the field in San Diego

If GB weren't favourites already for Olympic gold in the men's and women's triathlon they certainly are now. Both Helen Jenkins and Jonny Brownlee ran away from the rest of the field in a dominant display over the weekend. There were a few big names missing from both the men's and women's line ups but there was still a lot of talent racing. Without wanting to put too much pressure on the GB triathletes I can't think of a better result in the Olympics than seeing Alistair and Jonny Brownlee finish one and two and Helen Jenkins number one in the triathlon. While I would love to see the Kiwi's getting a few medals I would be happy with bronze in the men's and silver in the women's if it meant GB took two golds and a silver. It's a tough pill to swallow. 

In the Kingfisher Aquathlon over the weekend the team did a fantastic job to finish second in the mob match for the second event in a row. We didn't quite make it into the league top three but we can't have been far off. Sam Burch was the fastest finisher of the lads and Hannah Moraa was the fastest of the girls. Well done to all those competing. There were some very close finishes amongst the team providing a little extra motivation for the next event. This weekend is the Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon and then there is a bit of a gap until the Hillingdon Sprint Triathlon on July 15.

We will be giving our budding coaches the opportunity to plan and lead our swim and run sessions over the next few weeks. Any feedback from you would be great to help them on their way to becoming fab triathlon coaches. Make sure your bring fins and pull buoys to each session as we always have an element of technique in our swim sets that may require using one or both of the above.

Over the past few weeks I have been videoing a number of you in the pool. A common fault that I have observed is the tendency to over-rotate. This happens most often during the breathing stroke but not always. When it does occur on the breathing stroke most of you will say it is when breathing to your 'weaker' side. That sensation of weakness is probably caused by the over-rotation. To get a better understanding of body roll/rotation have a look at what the guys from Swim Smooth say about it here

There are a number of causes of over-rotation, some are quite simple like looking to the sky when breathing or pressing down on the water and others are more complex like stroke timing issues. Body rotation is essential for good freestyle technique but excessive rotation is just as detrimental as too little. Finding the cause in each individual is key but once fixed you will be more efficient in the water and reduce your risk of injury. Here's Jono (again!) to show you what you are striving for.

Good luck to all those competing this weekend. See you later, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Friday, 11 May 2012

Zone3 visit postponed

Unfortunately due to vehicle problems Zone3 are unable to visit us tomorrow. The session will still go ahead but obviously we won't be able to provide wetsuits for those without wetsuits of their own.

Sorry guys but it is out of our hands. See ya, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Zone3 visit this weekend...test out a wetsuit.

We all new it was only a matter of time before the LFTC lads started to show the potential we all knew they had. At the Marshman Middle Distance Triathlon last weekend Nathan Dytor was 3rd in his age group and coach Mick Cairns was 1st in his age group. The chilly conditions meant that the swim was cancelled and the race was run as a duathlon. Both are strong runners and made the most of the altered race format.

At Park Run on Saturday we took first, second and fourth place (Joe Dale, Paul Cashman and Andrew Finn). We had 6 out of the top 10 athletes (the three above plus Ruth Ashton, Jonathan Pollard and Abigail Swales) and there were 7 PB’s for the group (Paul Cashman, Abigail Swales, Rohan Byles, Colin Steele, Sarah Paterson, Sarah Deeney and Claire Tomlinson). So the girls contributed a little to our great results over the weekend it must be said.

I have look forward to see how the team go this weekend at the Kingfisher Aquathlon. We have 16 triathletes in the team which is fantastic and it's a mix of strong swimmers, strong runners and those lucky enough to be great at both. Good luck team! Remember there are more London League races to sign up for. The Hillingdon Triathlon is an awesome event, one of the longest running triathlons in the country, with a different format (swim, run, bike). I did the race last year and loved the course. It is race three in the Hillingdon Triathlon Series on July 15th.

Everyone loves an acronym these days. The acronym for this weekend's training is RST - Race Specific Techniques. Starting with the Saturday swim then we have Zone3 coming to visit and let you test their wetsuits out. The swim will be a compulsory wetsuit swim. You can either bring your own or try one of Zone3's wetsuits. We will be looking at deep water starts, drafting and sighting techniques as well as getting a wetsuit on and off properly. 

Gabriel will be taking us through changing an inner tube and using CO2 cartridges before we look at mounting and dismounting your bike if we have time before heading down to Victoria Park for the mob match (or should that be grudge match) against the big group that take over the track on Tuesday nights...only joking Mick! Yes it's the VPHTHAC (another great acronym) 3.5 mile Championships. The race starts at 10am and you must be registered by 9:30am. Let's spoil the party and get LFTC on the podium!

This weekend is the ITU WCS race from San Diego. It's shaping up to be a great race as it is the second to last chance for athletes to qualify for the 2012 Olympics if they have not already. There is only the Madrid race at the end of May to qualify after San Diego. The race will be live on the BBC Red Button so check it out on Friday 23:00 (women) and Saturday 22:30 (men).

For those of you who like a little geeky tri stuff and performance analysis check out this analysis of Lance Armstrong's IM 70.3 results so far. How much pressure is on LA to perform? 

See you in the weekend, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Thursday, 3 May 2012

LFTC takes second place at the Dragon Slayer Duathlon

You know it's been a bad week when you get a puncture on the turbo trainer! I kid you not. Anyway, all was made good when I checked the results of the Dragon Slayer Duathlon, part of the London Triathlon League, which a hardy bunch of triathletes from LFTC took part in last Sunday.

LFTC finished second in the league. Whoop, whoop! Our highest finish ever in a London League event. Anna McNestry led the way with a third place in the open women's event. This is our highest individual placing in a London League event also and it was only Anna's third duathlon ever. Optima Racing Team here we come! 

If you have forgotten how miserable Sunday's weather was let me tell you it was absolutely awful. The race had to be shortened due to the conditions and the offroad run became a bit of a mud fest. Well done to all those who braved the conditions and took part in the race. 

This weekend is the last of Seb's linked swim sessions. Those in the high volume lane be prepared for a real test. In the low volume lane we will be mixing up a little more technique and fitness for you. Lastly, remember it is Park Run this Saturday so make sure you register before the weekend. A chance to stretch the legs against your fellow clubbies and see where you are at with your running fitness.

Another little video for those Javier G fans. A typical training week for those at the top of the sport is pretty hard to comprehend.

See you in the weekend, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Junk miles

We had some very interesting discussions at the two education sessions on Saturday morning. My plan is to run a workshop on 'Planning Your Own Triathlon Training Program' in the near future. This will be more of a practical session where you will put together your own six week training block. We will certainly run some transition practise sessions as well with the first one on May 12th when Zone3 will join us at the Lido to allow you to demo their wetsuits. You can practise getting out of the suit as fast as possible. Your goal is to beat Sarah Allen's record time set last year when she whipped her suit off in under five seconds and got to keep it!

After my talk about 'Planning Your Own Triathlon Training Program' someone at the education session asked 'What are junk miles?' Some people would say there is no such thing as junk miles and that all sessions are beneficial because they add something to your weekly training volume and the fact you are adding volume is the most important point. I'm not so sure.
As an example, if you have a 10km tempo run planned after work but you have had a really tough day, get home late and decide to just run 5km instead, is that junk miles? It could be if you decide to run the 5km in such a way that you feel there has been no benefit and the way you ran actually makes you wish you hadn't bothered at all. How might you make the session more beneficial?

Start the session with a structured warm up. An easy jog, some drills and some strides. This will hopefully get you in the right frame of mind for a better session. You might find that after you warm up you actually have more energy to put into the session than you thought. Even if you stop at this point you have worked on technique with the drills and running efficiency with the strides and the session has not been a waste of time. Now run your 5km. May be you're still tired so decide to take it easy, focus on a technical aspect of your running instead of intensity. May be now you have a bit more energy, so you do a 5km tempo run and finish feeling positive about the effort you put in. May be your running mojo just isn't there so you treat tonight as a recovery session, have a nice easy run that clears your head and rearrange your session plans for the week so you do your 10km tempo run when you have a little more gas in the tank. 

Some take home points then. 'Easy' does not necessarily mean 'junk'. An easy run that helps clear your head, reduces non-training stress allowing a peaceful nights sleep is not junk. Junk miles are sessions performed without any purpose and without any real benefit. Flexibility within any training plan is essential and while your goal should be to complete all the key workouts within your training plan sometimes it just can't happen. Hopefully the suggestions above will help you modify your own sessions when circumstances force you to and allow you to get more out of your training by training with purpose and remaining consistent with your training.

This week we will have a technique focus in the swim session with some open water skills as well as working on correct hand pathways in the catch and pull phase of the stroke. Videoing the group has shown up some interesting hand pathways from hands sweeping right under the body to hands pulling very wide of the body. We'll be using pull buoys and fins and you can use paddles for some of the session if you have them.

For those that like mind games, here is an interesting article about 'The Mental Game (And How to Win It)' with contributions from Brett Sutton, former coach of Chrissie Wellington. Lastly, for those Javier Gomez fans, a nice little video to watch to get you motivated to train...and buy Oakley sunnies! 

All the best to those Slaying the Dragon this Sunday.  See you Saturday (and Sunday...lucky me!), Tim (LFTC Coach).

Friday, 20 April 2012

The ITU WCS kicks off in Sydney

The ITU World Championship Series kicked off in Sydney over the weekend. It was a good chance to see who had early season form. Those who have already qualified for London 2012 were never going to be at the top of their game but there are still a large number of triathletes trying to pick up final qualification points.

Both the men's and women's races were closely fought. Erin Densham from Australia looked very strong and certainly had the run speed over the rest of the women's field. She pulled away from Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and Helen Jenkins (GB) in the final stages of the run. In the men's race it came down to just three athletes in the final stages of the run. Stefan Justus (Ger) took the win followed by Richard Murray (SA) and Laurent Vidal (FRA). You can watch video highlights of the women's and the men's races by clicking on the links.

Just a reminder that we have a couple of experts in to discuss transition training and planning your own training program after training. Karl and I will be giving you the low down at The Pub on the Park at 10:30am. Speaking of training, this week's swim session will be a mix of steady and hard efforts for the high volume group and some negative splits for the low volume group. We will of course be throwing in some technique and open water skills so bring your fins and pull buoy. The run session will have one group heading out for a tempo run and another working on technique and high intensity intervals.

Oh by the way, if you have not read Chrissie Wellington's autobiography you should. It was recently given 10/10 by Triathlete Europe. I have also read the book and it is a fantastic read. She is very open and honest about all things, from ablutions to anorexia and there are some very interesting comments about Brett Sutton's coaching methods. A Life Without Limits is seriously good reading and not just for those long distance junkies.

Bring your wet weather kit we could be in for some down pours! Tim (LFTC Coach).

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


LFTC now offer a FREE coached juniors session for 11-16 year olds that runs alongside our Saturday session (7-9am, Saturdays).

The session consists of an hours coached swim, developing technique and fitness, followed by a run. We have a small group already involved and are hoping to develop a a new and enthusiastic juniors team.

As long as you can already swim, you are more than welcome - we're not just about elite athletes! For more information please email us!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Get your speedos on boys!

For two races in a row our girls have beaten the lads in the water. Sarah Paterson in fact had the second fastest swim time in the entire field at our aquathlon. She was even quicker than our Red Top rivals! If you haven't seen Sarah swim she's like our very own Jono Van Hazel. That's a very big compliment Sarah. Just ask Coach Amanda 'Minky' Wilmer about Jono!

It was newcomer Joe Edmonds who was the first LFTC member across the line in our aquathlon in a very respectable 6th place overall. Ellen Greaves was the fastest female from LFTC and she came in 12th overall. Both were 4th in their respective categories. It was another great event. Congratulations to all those involved in the planning and organisation.

Ellen had the fastest swim time of the LFTC crew at the Thames Turbo Triathlon last weekend. Rohan Byles was only 10sec off the pace (You'll get her next time eh Rohan?). Ellen was our fastest female and Felipe Almeida our fastest male in the race. Nice work everyone who got up early on Easter Monday to brave the awful conditions.

We still need people to sign up for upcoming London League events including the Dragon Slayer Duathlon and Kingfisher Aquathlon. The Dragon Slayer will suit those strong cyclists and the Kingfisher Aquathlon has a great long off-road run with a short swim so ideal for those strong runners. I did both events last year and can thoroughly recommend them.

It's a big session this weekend. A full house! Please get to the Lido to start the session on time with your fins, pull buoys and paddles if you have them. We'll need your cooperation with such a big group for things to run smoothly. Our soon to be Level 2 coaches, Seb Balcombe and Amanda Wilmer, are planning the sessions for the next few weeks. Let then know what you think of the sessions. With regular feedback from our members we can deliver the kind of sessions you want.

For those of you that have been videoed recently and watched videos of others you might have noticed the various head positions people hold while swimming. Swim Smooth posted an interesting blog about this very thing. Take a look here. Being told to swim 'downhill' to get a better body position is something you might have heard before. It can do terrible things to your technique for some swimmers. Test out a few different head positions this weekend and see how it feels.

See you this weekend, Tim (LFTC Coach).

Friday, 23 March 2012

LFTC bust up the dam

There should be a little more space in the lanes this weekend with half the club living like pro's by day and wreaking havoc by night at Club La Santa for the next week. I'm expecting big things from all of you when you return and hit the London League events coming up.

Time will tell if Rob Boulding will dominate the race scene at La Santa again this year. His efforts at the Dambuster Duathlon recently suggest his winter training has been spot on as he posted a very respectable 36min 37s for the 10km run and 18min 17sec for the 5km. Well done Rob you were only beaten by two girls! Amanda 'Minky' Wilmer was the fastest of our girls placing 10th in her age group. Nice one Minky! She's one of about four or five girls in the club that could break the 40min 10km milestone this year. Congratulations to Steve Marks. I think I am right in saying that he completed his first multisport event as an individual at the Dambuster.

We have another national representative in the club too! Sarah Allen qualified for the New Zealand team to compete at the ITU Age Group World Championships later this year in Auckland, NZ. She finished 8th in her age group at the NZ National Championships in just her third race over the Olympic distance. So the girls are off to a flying start once again this year.

Good luck to those competing in the Brentwood half-marathon this weekend. Guy Holbrow and Gabriel Sayer will be going head to head for the first time this year. Both are aiming to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in October and will be doing battle again at Ironman Switzerland in July. Just stirring up a little healthy competition fellas!

This weekend at the Lido we'll be performing a little test. A broken 1500m can be used to estimate your true 1500m time. It's a great exercise in pacing so ideal for those entered in the aquathlon and a good chance to get an indication of where you are at with your swimming before we enter another phase in our training. We'll be using fins and pull buoys so don't forget to bring yours to the session.

See you Sunday. Remember to put your clocks forward Saturday night! Tim (LFTC Coach)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Click the poster to enter this fantastic race.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Learning to ride long... with Gabriel Sayer

As we are currently coming out of the depths of winter I thought I would share with you my thoughts on riding long as part of your triathlon training. No matter what distance you do the bike is always going to be a significant part of your race and as such it should also be a significant part of your training plans. Even a so called “sprint” triathlon will take a good athlete over an hour to complete, an Olympic over 2 hours and you are doing well to get under 5 hrs for a middle distance. There is clearly a need to develop your aerobic capacity, your ability to keep going at a sustainable pace for a long time, and the question is how you achieve this. In addition building your strength at the same time so you can cycle faster is going to be a good thing.

Looking at how we build aerobic capacity it seems clear that can be achieved by working at a steady state of around 70% of your maximum heart rate. If you are working harder than this then you are probably going to fade during the session and there is some evidence to suggest that this will limit your ability to train your aerobic systems. So if you want to race an oly distance race it seems sensible that you should be training your aerobic system to be comfortable for at least 2-3 hrs continuous exercise at the ideal heart rate and the easiest way to do this is to get out on your bike and go for a long ride. Riding for 3 hrs at 70% of your max heart rate is tiring. To get to this point you need to build the strength in core muscles to support your legs as they do all the work, and you supporting muscles in your bum to allow you to sit in the saddle for 3 hours or so!

You also need to make sure you have got your bike position sorted so that you are not putting unnecessary strain on yourself through poor bike fitting. If you have never had anyone look at your bike set up now is the time before you start building up your training. A new position often feels uncomfortable at first but if you are fitted to your bike properly it can make a lot of difference in the long term. Then you need to start riding your bike!! 2 or 3 rides a week of an hour or so, or regular commuting will get your muscles getting used to your bike. A weekend ride starting at an hour or so and building up each week will soon start to have you feeling comfortable on you bike.

You wont necessarily notice but your back, neck and so on will all be getting stronger which means you will fatigue less quickly and therefore be able to sustain your riding for longer. Once you can sit and ride your bike for you target time then you can start aiming to keep the tempo up for 20 min blocks during the ride. Perhaps the best way to do this is to ride with someone a bit stronger than you and hang onto their back wheel. Simply put, if you can hold a normal conversation you are going to slowly if you are gasping for your next breath then it is too fast. If you get to thinking how few words you need to answer your training partner’s question, because you run out of breath, then you are probably going about the right pace.

Hopefully then by the first warm spring day you will be ready to head out on a solid tempo ride, sustaining your goal pace and get the feeling of strength and rhythm as you pedal out into the countryside and this will return you a great favour come raceday when your strength and fitness will carry you longer and faster!

One last thing, every cyclist should carry all they need to fix 2 punctures and should know how to do this. If you don’t then it is time to learn!!!