Coaching 101 – Triathlon Review

With race one of this season triathlon season done and dusted I always enjoy sitting down with my athletes and talking through their experience post-race.  Yes we look at the numbers HR, power, pace but I am equally interested in how the day unfolded and where they can find free speed. That way we have something specific to target in training in the lead up to race 2.

On the whole I thought it was awesome to see so many people out braving the cool conditions, attacking the race with real purpose. But there were some things to explore

  • Swim straight, I am not sure if it was deliberate or not but even Steve McKenna turned the final buoy and took a sharp turn to his right. Maybe he was allowing for the wind chop to push him back the other way but on the whole everyone would benefit from sighting more regularly and always endeavouring to swim the shortest distance possible
  • I don’t know if I have missed something here but it did surprise me that most of the open competitors stopped to put their race belt on in transition. For me the simplest option is to wear it under your wetsuit – it’s one less thing to worry about
  • Have a checklist of things you need to bring and also do on the morning. As Sam Tebeck found out when he went to get on his bike only to realise he had left his helmet in his bag
  • Do a walkthrough of transition so you know the flow of everything and where your bike rack is. There were plenty of people heading off in the wrong direction or unaware of the flow of the course through the entire day
  • Practice transitions. From an age group perspective I would always use Clayton reeves as my bench mark for Transitions. Lachlan Ryan did a great jog in T1 but most lost plenty of time
  • If you are new to the sport don’t rock up late and throw your bike against the end of the rack and then proceed to sit down for 5 minutes putting your shoes and socks on as this competitor did. No socks and elastic laces will save you a lot of time.
  • Practice your mounts and dismounts. Poor old Allen there at the bike mount line was left a nervous wreck by the end of the day as he watched people attempting to mount and dismount their bikes with varying degrees of success
  • Make sure you can exit the corners at speed. We want to hold our speed into and out of the corner, which means we minimise braking and set the bike up to take the corner at speed. Although maybe not as quickly as James Hammond who unfortunately came off taking the trimmer and SportsMans corner a little too hot
  • Set your bike up to be as aero (and comfortable as possible). Steve Mckenna is a powerful rider but he is just super low on his new bike and has found a way to seriously reduce his drag. If you were on a road bike then a pair of clip on bars will save you a lot of time. Most either weren’t on their aero bars or they weren’t set up to be as aero as possible. Elbows Akimbo is great for getting the balance right between comfort, power and aerodynamics.
  • Practice running off the bike and work on your leg turnover. Maybe instead of a post ride coffee every so often run straight off the bike when you have some fatigue in your legs. The Saturday TTT and run off from Trimmer and Military is perfect for this. Otherwise explore ways to minimise overstriding and work on a shorter more compact, high cadence run style. This was the standout difference between front and back of the pack runners.

To help you refine your skills the Lakers early season development program has been designed to help. Over the next 6 weeks in the lead up to Moana we will be running a number of development sessions

  • Open water skills swim on Monday the 23rd of November  with Verity and Nigel at 6pm at Tiranna way West Lakes
  • Bike handing skills on Saturday November 28th with Nigel and Mike at West Lakes shopping centre car park SE corner 7.30am
  • A transitions session on Saturday December 5 after our Largs bay ride and park run (or Lakers 5km) – with Nigel and hopefully Mike

Stay tuned for more details. Investments in the basic skills of the sport is where you make the big gains 


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