Intelligent Triathlon Talk

1st November 2011, Issue No 4.

Welcome to Intelligent Triathlon Talk.

In this issue:

  • News Update: Mark's squad for the year
  • Training Advice: Work on your weaknesses this next month
  • New On The Site: Gear reviews and equipment advice

Mark's Squad News

When our last newsletter came out we were about to head off on holiday.

Whilst we were away Adam Bowden finished his season with a fantastic 7th place in the World Championships Series race in Yokohama.

After a revitalising couple of weeks in and around the French Pyrenees, it was back to work for us, and the start of Olympic year preparations for Mark and his triathletes.

Welcome to new squad members, British Triathlon talent transfer programme, 'Tri Gold' graduates Mark Buckingham and Matt Gunby both of whom are exceptional runners with a big winter of swimming ahead of them to get them ready for World Cup assault next year.

Lucy Hall moves from the Loughborough University elite squad onto the British Triathlon World Class Programme. Lucy has had a mixed season of promise and frustration. Still a junior, she competed in her first World Championship Series races, leading out a number of swims. Unfortunately, whilst leading the World Junior Championships in Beijing on the bike, she had a collision with a dog which ended her race.

The only athlete leaving the squad is Mark Threlfall who is going to pursue non-drafting and longer distances.

So now, after being back in training for 3 weeks, Mark is off with the squad on a little experiment!

Mark explains...

We are going on a high volume swim training camp in Spain, with Great Britain Olympic swim captain from 1996 Alan Rapley leading the technical development. We'll be leaving the bikes behind, so that the athletes have enough energy to focus on 70km per week of swimming. There’ll be a few runs thrown in too though!

Time trials have been done over the last week and will be repeated on our return to see the effects of the camp.

Training Tip Of The Month

As Mark is demonstrating with his squad, early winter is a good time to start to look at weaknesses - particularly those that may take some time to improve. Technical areas like swimming can often take a long period of work to really see a difference in performance.

Also during this time, don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t be afraid to concentrate on one specific area of training at the expense of others, especially if you have a bigger picture plan which means that you will still do all the training you need to do, just in a different manner.

So, for example if your weakness is:

Swimming technique: Invest in 1 – 1 swim coaching fro a reputable swim coach. Do short periods of high volume swimming (up to 2 times more than normal) over a week, once or twice through the early part of the winter. Drop other sessions so that your overall training load isn’t increased too much.

Bike technique: Struggling with race position or technical skills? Seek out an expert in those areas to help you. Then go practice! You don't need to ride more, just pick your routes so they allow you to maximise practicing your technique.

Running injuries: Now is the time to see a physiotherapist and get yourself sorted out. Strengthen key areas eg glute, core, lower limb etc. It is probably a good idea to start a strength and conditioning programme anyway even if you don't struggle with injuries.

Have a look at our strength and conditioning pages for ideas of what to do.

What we have listed here are really technical issues, not fitness issues. If you simply aren’t fit enough to go as fast as you want to go or you just want to get fitter in a particular discipline focus more training time/volume in that discipline now.

The idea at this time of year is to kick-start your training. You will need to carry on technical work and conditioning work through the winter, but after the initial month or so of focussing on your weaknesses, your training can regain a slightly more balanced look.

Mark In The Media

He’s getting quite the media pro now – this time Mark has featured on the BBC Radio London in an interview with Matt Sharp (U23 World Champ). You might be able to catch a replay here:

New On The Website

Since the last newsletter (you can find back issues here) we have added several pages:

Using an aerohelmet, is it worth it and how to get best out of it.

GPS running watch reviews

There are also more training camps in our directory, so check it out if you're thinking about going on a camp later in the year.

We have also been answering visitors' questions, most recently helping people choose a wetsuit and the right sized bike.

Oh and we’ve taken the plunge and signed up to Twitter…. If you’re a Twitter fan you can find us here:!/search/realtime/intellitri

Race Review Contest

Our race review contest ended on the 10th October.

We had some great entries, and the prize of a Swimsmooth DVD boxset went to the Nice Ironman entry, with special commendation to the Wildflower Long Course Review ("the run is the redheaded step-child of the race") and the Pacific Coast Triathlon Review (for great tips and encouragement to other first-time triathletes).

If you’re trying to decide on races for next year, check out all the entries here.

Ask the Coach

Got a question for us? Submit it to the website and check out other people’s questions - and our answers.

Coming Up

As mentioned in our last newsletter, out next project is to get some coach and athlete interviews on our site. We have a few in the pipeline, but if you are a keen triathlete and would like to be interviewed and feature on our site, or you think your coach would, please contact us!

In addition Mark is putting the finishing touches to our Ironman Training Plans so look out for that over the next few weeks.

To keep up to date with every new page on the site subscribe to our RSS feed or ‘like’ us on Facebook.
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

© 2011, Intelligent Triathlon Training, published by Rhona Pearce. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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