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Intelligent Triathlon Talk, Issue #19 -, 2015 News and Athletes
January 06, 2015

Intelligent Triathlon Talk


6th January 2015, Issue No 19


Welcome to Intelligent Triathlon Talk.

In this issue:

  • Coaching Services
  • Coached Swim sessions - local to Loughborough? Come join us!
  • Training Camps - looking to get away in February or March? Come join us!
  • ITT Athletes - Meet our new athletes
Happy new year to you all!

It has been a busy past few months – so busy that we didn’t realise we hadn’t sent a newsletter out since the end of August.

So what have we been up to?


Coaching Services


The main thing we have been up to is getting the coaching services up and running.

Mark has been busy getting new athletes on board and into their new training. Over the next few newsletters we will introduce to these athletes, and keep you updated with their progress and training as well.

Some of these athletes are local, but others are scattered around the world, so Skype and the internet are the main means of communication.

We still have space for a few more athletes to join the ‘team’, so if you’re interested, get in touch, or have a look at our Coaching Services page for more information.


Training Plan Competition


Our competition to win a consultation with Mark and a 6 week training plan was won by Zane Ma Rhea, of Melbourne, Australia.

She will be embarking on her new training plan shortly, and letting us know how she got on in a future newsletter.


Coached Swim Sessions


Apparently missing the early-morning starts for swim sessions from his old job, Mark is now running swim sessions three mornings a week in Loughborough, open to the athletes he coaches but also anyone else who’d like to join in.

So if you live local to Loughborough (UK) and are interested, please get in touch.


Training Camps


We are in the process of putting in place the final details for some training camps, which will take place in February and March in southern Spain.

These will be coached camps, with technical input for all three disciplines, six swim sessions a week, up to two quality run sessions per week and lots of riding. The sessions themselves can be adapted to suit many abilities.

Whilst these camps are not for novices, if you are reasonably fit and train regularly you would benefit.

If you’d like to get some warm-weather training in, in a fantastic location with quiet roads and great trails for running, please get in touch, and keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter for more details.


ITT Athletes


Since launching our coaching services in October, we’ve had a great uptake from athletes. The biggest name on our books is Will Clarke, British triathlete racing for Uplace-BMC Professional Triathlon Team.

Will is a 2008 Olympian, who took the step up to 70.3 after missing out on the 2012 Olympics.

Position testing in Belgium

In 2014 he was 10th at 70.3 worlds after a puncture cost him a higher place. This year he is aiming for 70.3 worlds and stepping up to full Ironman.

Mark and Will first worked together back in 2003 when Mark was Sports Scientist for the British Triathlon Federation, and Will was an aspiring elite junior.

Will came on board in October, saying,

“I'm really excited to start working with the inspiring Mark because I'm convinced that a smarter and more scientific approach to my training will close the gap to the guys winning races.”

Since then they have been on a couple of trips to Belgium and Switzerland to work with the Uplace team on a range of things such as physiology testing, physio screening and aero testing.

Aero testing at the velodrome in Switzerland

You can see a couple of videos of the trips here:
BMC Physiology video
BMC Aero testing video

We will introduce two of our other pros, Joel and Cat Jameson in our next newsletter.


We also have a number of age group athletes on board, and first up we will introduce you to Adam Williams, from Melbourne, Australia.

Name: Adam Willams
Age: 37
Lives: Melbourne, Australia
Occupation: Project Manager
Family: Em, Finn and Fraser
Riding: Avanti Kona
Technology: Stages Power Metre, Garmin 310 xt

Secret Weapon: Super Wife

First Triathlon – Milo Junior Series in 1990 – finished 6th. Post race, thought my foot was a bit sore, removed my sock to find a chunk of glass.

Favourite Leg – Bike, then Swim and the Ironman shuffle. Not the best runner but Mark is working on that.

How Have You Found Mark's Coaching – Well, two weeks after our first Facetime session, I implemented Mark's wonder drink (Sodium Chloride, Salt, Water, and some more salt for good measure). Raced cramp free and scored my first ever podium so obviously I think Mark is pretty good.

I’ve never had a coach before, so Mark naturally has to be the best I’ve had, even if he lives on the other side of the world.

Always look forward to the Facetime chat, particularly the changing backgrounds, it's like going on a holiday.

Favourite Training Session – Mark's most recent Level 3 Bike session: after the usual warm up, 3 x 20min hill reps holding 280-300w. Would never have done this previously.

Not So Popular Training Session – Probably the wind trainer but Santa bought me a super strength fan so it's training into head winds from now on.

Favourite Post Training Meal – Triple Choc Protein Shake (thanks to http://paleomg.com/) - 1 tbls Cocoa Powder, 1 tbls organic choc protein powder, 1 banana, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup almond milk, half an avocado, tray of ice and two dates, blend it up.

Training For – Currently training for Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie in May, 2015. This will be my 3rd Ironman and all going well should see me break 10 hours.

I have set myself the goal of trying to qualify for Hawaii by the age of 40 so I have a few more chances yet to get there.

But if I don’t, no stress, love the discipline of the sport.

People Are Surprised By – my golf handicap (+1). Something had to give, golf or ironman. Cant practice golf in the dark and it sucks up the weekend so ironman it is. Easy choice really.

How Did You Find Intelligent Triathlon Coaching – I subscribed to Rhona’s email a few years back, stumbling across it during some web surfing. When coaching became available last year, I made contact, had the introductory chat and the rest is history.


Nick’s 10 Marathons in 10 Weeks


If you read our last newsletter, you will remember that one of our athletes, Nick, was doing 10 marathons in 10 weeks to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

Not being a challenge we have ever under-taken (or can imagine doing!), we asked him to tell us about it:

The main goals I had worked out with Mark for 2014 were to race a sub 3 hour marathon which I achieved at Brighton (2.58) and to achieve a respectable time (10 – 11 hours) at Ironman Austria; I achieved 10:50 which was pleasing given conditions on the day.

However at the back of my mind I wanted to raise funds for charity, particularly The Brain Tumour Charity having lost my sister Eleanor to one.

Earlier in the year I started toying with the idea of running 10 marathons in 10 weeks which I felt would be a big enough challenge to make it to make it a worthwhile fundraiser.

The hard part initially was finding 10 marathons on 10 consecutive weekends; the itinerary became a combination of different sized events ranging from road, trail to cross-country from West Yorkshire to Dorset!

Starting on August 17th, my first marathon was Cheddar Gorge which I ran with a friend, Barry from my running club and involved a ridiculously steep climb to get to race registration complete with mountain goats!

Described as having ‘lung aching ascents’ the race was relatively low key but absolutely stunning scenery even if the route did measure in excess of 27miles.

The fact that only 2 runners recorded a sub 4 hour time should give you an indication of what the course was like. I ran the Thames Meander ) a week later on my own. A very well organised event but the romantic notion of a run in the sun along the banks of the Thames quickly became a dull repetitive footpath with any views blocked by trees and bushes for most of the route. A fast route though as it was pancake flat but probably not one I’d bother with again.

Number 3 saw me head up north to Halifax to take part in the augural Halifax Marathon which was not the best organised with fairly lacklustre marshalling. A tough two loop course, the first half of each saw several cobbled hills and dirt trails that I think even the Hovis boy would have baulked at.

Marathon number 4 was my first ‘local’ run at Wolverhampton This was the second year I had taken part in the event and ran with 2 running club friends, Ian and Tim, for the duration. The course was two loops around Wolverhampton- that’s pretty much all I can say!

The following week was another race fairly close to home and another inaugural event, the Chesterfield and Derbyshire Marathon ). This was the first closed road event I had run and was ably supported by a fellow club runner and Ironman Steve. A tough one lap but a superbly run event with hot showers and massage at the end!

Half way!

Another trip back down south on my own for number 6, the Farnham Pilgrim , a multi-terrain route along the scenic and ancient Pilgrims Way/North Downs Way. One I’d definitely go back to.

Number 7 was my first big city marathon of the ten in Nottingham and once again I ran with Ian.

Of the ten this was one that I was especially looking forward to, as it was the first marathon I ever ran. A red hot day, fast course and fantastic crowd support.

Number 8 was another large marathon at Bournemouth which had fantastic crowd support and a great route. Only thing that was confusing was the half and full marathons were run at the same time but using different starting points so the mile markers were all out of sync and you ending up running across the finish line at 17.6 miles in and then again at the end!

Looking back the penultimate marathon at the Forest of Dean was one I was initially not particularly looking forward to as it involved 8 laps of the same trail but a large number of my running club came down to support and run with me so it turned into one the most memorable for the right reasons.

The organisers let them run as many loops as they wanted and not consecutively so I was lucky enough to complete the last lap with everyone together.

My final race on October 19th was Abingdon Marathon in Oxfordshire. My legs still felt quite strong so my race strategy was to start comfortably and run each descending 5km quicker than the last, which I managed. It was quite emotional running into the stadium and finishing the lap but quite a relief that they were over as well.

Trying to fit in my other training and rest my feet as much as possible was difficult and working with Mark at ITT without a shadow of a doubt made it possible and I think was the major factor in not getting injured.

Another key I think was having bi-weekly physio appointments for a once over. As far as the running was concerned, it was enjoyable running mid-pack and ending strongly, and I think I now have my nutrition and hydration strategy pretty well sussed. Looking back now the accumulation of the runs probably took more out of me when I ended that I had realised as it was only towards the end of November that I started feeling fresh again.

I also somehow managed to put on 8lbs from the start of the marathons to the end as I don’t think I stopped feeling hungry for 21/2 months!

I also was lucky with the weather as it didn’t rain once (although flying to Lanzarote a month ago and having the marathon cancelled there because of freak storms was obviously karma). Although I didn’t have a specific target in mind, I was aiming to raise at least £1,000 through sponsorship.

I paid for accommodation and entry into all the events myself so all monies raised could go directly to charity and I’m really pleased to say that I raised over £2,200 by the time my justgiving page had closed.

As ever, nothing I do is possible without the support of my wife Amy.


That's all for this issue - a slightly longer one than normal.

Next time we'll get back to including a training tip or training session for you to try.

To keep up to date with all our news, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.


If you like this e-zine, please forward it to fellow triathletes who you think might be interested. If a friend did forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting this page. By doing so you'll also receive a copy of our free triathlon training planner.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us.

See you next time!

Rhona & Mark

© 2015, Intelligent Triathlon Training, published by Rhona Pearce. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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