Monday, February 1, 2016

Geelong 70.3 New Course Recce Notes 2016

Hi there,

The swim bike and run courses have all changed for the 2016 edition of the race.
  • The swim course only has a small change to the distance to the first and second buoys 
  • The bike course's major changes comes in the first few km's using Hearne Pde and heading clockwise on the Eastern Park Circuit and some extension to the turnaround points on Point Henry and Portarlington Rd.
  • The course changes for the run will see competitors run along the waterfront for the duration of the final leg with slightly less hills.
All in all the changes make for safer and more flowing course and Race Director Adam Renn should be congratulated for this.

Course specifics
Swim Course (1Lap)
Points of Note : A wide starting area and ample swimming room to the first turn. Possible sun glare along the 700m stretch from the first to the second turning buoy. Generally a sheltered course from the elements.
70.3 Geelong Swim Course

Course Details
Little has changed from last year's edition except you now swim 800m to the first turning buoy instead of 850m, and 700m to the second instead of 650m. Conditions are normally very good in sheltered Corio Bay with water visibility excellent. The start is wide and its a long straight drag to the first turn, so if you are a nervous swimmer there is plenty of time to hit your swimming rhythm. 
There will be guide buoys along the course between each major turning buoy so its easy to hold your line. 
Once you turn 800m in, you will have 700m to the next turn in a south easterly direction. If it is sunny you will encounter some sun glare along this stretch. My tip, use the outer edge of the swimming enclosure to sight and head just to the left of it to stay on track if its a sunny day.
From there it is a turn to the right for a further 300m to the final buoy. This is where a lot of competitors will accelerate so stay aware if you have a nice sit on someones feet and want to maintain it.
Final turn will see a 100m drag into the beach. There is a very gradual gradient to the shore at Eastern Beach and you will encounter some sea grass in the final stages. The best advice would be to swim until your pull through hits the sand, then its time to stand up and wade out of the water. 
The run up the beach and along the full length of the transition area is quite long, so you will have plenty of time to get the wetsuit to your waist, so no need to rush this. Athletes will enter at the rear of transition which is fully grassed and run along the racks to your bike rack position. 

Bike Course (2Laps) 
Points of Note : Think about your strategy of getting your feet in your shoes out of T1, as there is a hill 400m into the bike up Eastern beach, so feet need to be secured into your bike shoes by the start of the climb.
Be very careful on the corner exiting the Eastern Park circuit a few km's into the ride, its sharp and you will hit it at speed coming off a down hill. The wind if any will likely be a cross headwind from the right shoulder on the way out along Portarlington Rd, and you will cop a headwind returning from the Point Henry turnaround, so pace you initial stages of each lap of the ride if its a windy day. When coming off Portarlington Road and entering Holt St near the end of the lap, slow down. It can be easy to over shoot the corner, which is not good with riders coming the other way on a tight corner.
70.3 Geelong Bike Course

Course Details
There are a few changes to the bike course this year. After climbing the Eastern beach hill 400m out of transition, one of the changes is competitors now turn left onto Hearne Pde staying on the right hand side of the road, until you climb a short hill of 200m before connecting onto the Eastern Park Circuit. As mentioned be careful at the end of this descent as there is a sharp left turn into Holt St at the bottom of the hill which you come into at speed.
From there you turn left again onto Portarlington Rd and head east for 4kms along a flat section. Any wind will likely be a cross head wind over your right shoulder (southerly) and this will be the case all the way out along Portarlington Rd. After 4kms athletes turn left onto Point Henry Rd and head out along a dog leg left to Gate 5 of the Alcoa Plant for 5kms before turning around and heading back along the same road. This area is flat and exposed with salt flats on the left and the road can tend to have a patchy surface in areas.

From there you turn left back onto Portarlington Rd. The main hill on the course is a further 4kms along, its about 800m at 4-5%gradient, so stay within yourself up this ascent so you are able to maintain your intensity over the crest without the need for recovery. From here there is a further 6kms of fairly fast slightly rolling roads before the far u-turn at the Curlewis Golf Course. Athletes then turn around and head back for 18kms along Portarlington Rd. Any wind will be behind along this stretch so expect a fast return.
Once competitors reach Holt St they keep heading straight for a few hundred meters before a u-turn where they head back to the left turn into Holt St.

Remember to watch your speed into the left turn as athletes are coming off a downhill and will be turning into a 2way road with riders coming the other way and this corner can easily be overshot. Caution is required on this turn.

Turn right into Eastern Park Circuit, up the climb and veer left staying on the circuit till a right turn into Podbury Crescent. Then athletes are down Eastern Beach with a sharp 180degree u-turn into Richie BLVD. Please again watch speed on this corner as it is sharp and can catch you out.
Bike turnaround end of Lap 1

Head along Richie BLVD on the hill side of the road to transition before a another 180degree u-turn to start the second lap. The position of the u-turn is a new addition to the course and is just past where athletes got onto their bikes out of transition. See the map on the right
Please note that there are two aide stations each lap of the bike course
One is at the corner of Portarlington and Wilsons Rd at 5km and 50km in, and the other is at the corner of Portarlington and  Hermsley Rd at 26km & 70km in. Bike aide stations will offer water, Endura electrolyte – pineapple flavour, Winners gels, Winners bars, vaseline (situated in toilets), ice, sunscreen, insect repellent and toilets.

A challenging bike course with something for everyone, the 2016 changes to the course only make it more enjoyable and safer for all athletes. Pace your ride, watch your intensity on the climbs and build as you go.

Run Course (2.5laps)
Points of Note : The run course has been altered, which will see slightly less hills on each lap with the omission of the Eastern Park Loop section. There are still four punchy climbs on the course to take note of though; the gradual climb running north along the Esplanade, the climb onto Hearne Pde once you pass the swim enclosure and two climbs at each end of Hearne Pde.
The course has been extended on the northern side, right up to Rippleside Park at the end of the Esplanade.
On each lap competitors will also run out and back along the length of the Geelong Pier, and will run an extra section at the end of lap two including the pier before turning to come up the finishers chute. As a result competitors will be running along the water line for the duration of the run leg. This will add to the spectacle for competitors and supports alike.
70.3 Geelong Run Course

Course Details
From transition, competitors first head north past the Ferris Wheel and the finish line and up the gradual climb along Western Beach and the Esplanade, which will be a test for competitors not yet into their run rhythm. The course takes the competitors right to the end of the Esplanade where they enter Ripples Park and run behind and around the restaurant, before heading back along the boardwalk and shoreline. This 2km section is relatively flat and will help competitors settle into a steady pace.

From there there is a left turn and a run along the left side of the pier, and back along the tunnel on the right. Back onto the foreshore, the course goes past the Ferris wheel and along the left side of transition and the swim enclosure before a short sharp climb up onto Hearne Pde which will test the power in the legs.
Once up there competitors must stay on the left hand side path running around 750m along Hearn Pde, up a sharp 250m climb to the turnaround on Limeburners Rd. Staying on the same side of the road as on the way out, athletes run back along Hearne Pde and then up a gradual ascent and then down along the steep path behind the Beach House restaurant. This brings competitors back past transition for the end of lap one. The second lap is the same as the first, and upon the completion of two laps, then its a run up past the Ferris wheel and the finish line again, but this time a sharp right straight out and back along the Pier and then left and a short run to the finishing tape.

Please note there are 4 aide stations on each lap of the run 
R1 – Eastern Beach Rd (Double) (.6km, 6.4km, 10.1km, 16km, 19.6km)
R2 – The Esplanade (Glenleith roundabout) (Single) (2.6km, 12.1km)
R3 – Western Beach Boat Club (Single) (4.8km, 14.3km)
R4 – Limeburners Rd turnaround (Single) (8.3km, 17.8km)
Run aide stations will offer  Water, Endura Electrolyte - Pineapple flavour, Cola, Winners Gels, Winners Bars, Bananas, Watermelon, Red Bull will be supplied at the Eastern Beach Rd Aid Station only and served in a diluted formula of 50% Red Bull and 50% water. Vaseline (situated in toilets), Ice, Sunscreen, Insect Repellent and toilets

A very scenic run by the water, a few hills and some flat. A fair course that will test every runner following a strong bike course.

For a run down of the full course including transition and tips on how best to compete the course on race day please come along to the 3 IRONMAN transition tours with Coach Foz at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm.
For more info or to contact Coach Foz prior to the weekend, go to   

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Triathlon : Turn your run leg into a weapon no matter what distance you race

No matter what distance a triathlete specialises in, the run is where the race is won.

My squad Fluid Movements have been buoyed by how well our athletes have run in their events in 2015, from Sprint and Duathlon through to Ironman this year.

Vanessa Jackson on way to a World Duathlon Sprint title
In the lead up to Duathlon Worlds in 2015 our short course Duathlon squad scored state champions in SA and QLD, in an event dominated by the need to run fast.

At the recent  Duathlon World Championships in Adelaide our athletes won 2 Worlds titles in the sprint duathlon distance, and also 2athletes finishing top 5's in age group.
Steve Guy on Ali'i Dve Hawaii on way to a 3:06hr marathon
Then in the Ironman arena, Fluid athlete Steve Guy had the 30th fastest overall run split at the Hawaii Ironman, running a 3:06hr marathon off the bike. Finally Fluid saw its first coached age group athlete Chris Rancie not only finish 12th overall at the recent Busselton Ironman including pros, but also ran a stunning 2;59hr marathon off the bike.
Chris Rancie, finishing Busselton with a stunning 2:59hr marathon run
No matter what the distance, the run is the discipline that seals the deal on the finish line.
Results speak for themselves, run training in a squad environment reps great results.

Come join the squad that can give you the results you need.
Email Foz at for a chat.
We are based in Melbourne Australia but also do correspondence programs.

Coach Foz

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Triathlon Sprint Racing Season - back into it in Victoria

I certainly picked a great day to do my first sprint event in years. A group of old warriors from 80's triathlon chose to make their comebacks and race this event in their own wave, namely the Old Hands Triathlon group. They were some big names in their day and seeing them out there brought out some old faces and memories.

I racked my bike pre race, and across from me low and behold was one of my first ever bike sponsors Robin Tullett (Triathlete bike store) from back in 1998. Robbie was a great athlete himself back then and looked as fit as ever, which wasn't surprising as he has always kept himself in good nick.
Pre race

I got all my pre race duties done at our club tent, then found a quiet spot to don the wetsuit. Wasn't nervous at all and excited about getting it on come race time. So on schedule walked to the start line about 15mins prior to my age group start.
I had a number of my athletes that weren't racing doing their session along the course, and i think they had the impression i would go well. I didn't want to make excuses so didn't try to talk their expectations down. I have never really excelled as a sprinter, my strength was long course and my race speed varied minimally from a Sprint to a 70.3.
Got a great start considering my swimming has been a little amiss lately in the training pool. i tried to temper my effort over the first 200m, as i knew id pop if i went out at my usual pace. Found some feet and settled in behind a guy who was weaving through the remnants of the wave ahead with panache. i liked his style!
Coming out of the water

Coming into the beach did a couple of duck dives and was on the sand. i heard our unofficial squad photographer Jan Dean call out some encouragement but didn't have the energy to acknowledge her as my heart was in my mouth. Think i was third out of the water in 45-49 and i knew there would be some stiff competition with alot of ex champions from back in the day turning up to do this event. I managed to compose myself enough for some trash talk, coz as i was running to my rack in T1, the leader in my age group Grant Gilbert was was a bit of a gun had managed to drop his goggles in front of me, having to run back to get them (must have been exe ;) ) i gave him a bit of a rev up by yelling there goes your lead..... he gave me nothing in return. Touche'!
Onto the bike, clean mount and out of the saddle to get up to speed. 2laps of 10kms on the bike, and we had a slight cross-tail wind helping on the ways out and the opposite on the return. My wave was 15mins in so the road was pretty clear on lap one. I gunned it for about 5km then settled a bit and brought up the cadence as i knew there would be headwind to come. I rode solid, the little bike tweak pre race i did nearly had me dialed in, but was a bit long in the top tube on the into the wind sections; note to self for the next race. I managed to not get passed on the bike and alot of the second lap i was yelling rider back and having the squeeze past 2-3riders wide. Gained some real energy from the crowd near the end of each lap which was nice and was clean coming into T2 with no hiccups on the dismount.
Running in with my bike i tried to make some places and snuck past a few lads. Some smartass from over the fence yelled out "you used to be faster than this" DRRR i thought and got back to the race. After a little bit of a wrestle with the runners i was out and onto the run.
Now some might say i am not the prettiest runner, especially when I'm on the rivet and gasping for air. Today my lack of style was amplified by a few extra kilos and a small lack of condition. For the first 2kms i felt like i was running on the spot with no forward drive at all. I kept waiting to hear runners come storming past me, but in reality only one did as i was surrounded by guys my age or the age group below. So i was holding my own.
Finally i got into my strides at the 2.5kms turnaround. My strides started to lengthen a bit and i felt a touch more relaxed. I saw fellow squad coach Aaron Keeffe about 100m back at the turn so that was what i needed to put the foot down.
With about 1.5kms to go i was blowing hard and i was seeing glimpses over of my shoulder of a black figure gaining from about 50m back. i have never been a kicker at the end as i am usually sitting right on my terminal speed so i just nailed myself from 1.5kms not knowing if he was in my age group. Gave it everything but he got me with about 100m to go, and thankfully he was not in my age group. 
I am never one to start a watch for an event, so I worked out coming up the chute that id done around a 1:02hrs based on the finishing clock, which was confirmed post race. In the end i was pretty chuffed with that and finished 4th in age, not bad for someone who can't sprint.
Adam Conquest, Damon Moloney and me
I wasn't a patch on the squad athletes i coach though, we came away with 2wins, 3seconds, 2thirds and a number of top 5's on the day. We also performed very well at some other events being held simultaneously too. 
It was great to get out there and mix it up, i love a good hitout and i cant wait for the next one.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Triathlon swim training with a Pull Buoy, Friend or Foe?


Thought i would give you our take on pull buoy training at Fluid swimming.
Swimmers come in many shapes and sizes and especially so with triathletes; large and small, some float and some don't.
This provides the key to whether each individual should be using a pull buoy in training.
The pull buoy does two things, it provides artificial flotation to the lower limbs and also cuts out the kick and all that provides the swimmer.

If a swimmer naturally has a 4-6 beat kick then i would not be encouraging the swimmer use a pull buoy outside of drills or recovery work. The pull buoy would likely take away the kick drive and body balance the swimmer relies on and effect the position of the swimmer. When a swimmer has an effective kick then their legs and hips usually sit higher in the water. The pull buoy would be counter productive to this and effect the swimmers natural stroke kick balance.

If the swimmer naturally has a 2 beat kick, then it is more likely that the pull buoy would assist the swimmer with buoyancy and body position. It would bring the hips and lower limbs up and reduce frontal drag. So i would encourage these types of swimmers if they feel it benefited their speed to use pull buoys in training.

The other aspect that must be accounted for when setting pull sets for swimmers is the difference in natural flotation between the sexes. Typically women tend the float more as they have a more even distribution of fat through the body, whereas men, especially triathletes who have a low percentage of fat in the body tend to sink especially in the lower limbs. Couple that with low drive from the kick, and this has a bearing on whether a pull buoy assists or hinders an athletes swimming speed and efficiency.

Swimmers come in many shapes and sizes, so the pull buoy can be a friend or foe in the training pool. I find as a coach it's best to ask the swimmer if they like using pull buoys, and if they don't then i do not use them with that individual.

For the most part, our squad uses pull buoys for recovery and drill purposes, but if a swimmer really benefits from using a pull buoy outside of those times, i don't necessarily discourage its use. You will see them swimming longer and stronger with the pull buoy attached, and lets face it, a wetsuit is really just one big pull buoy anyway.

So don't be a pull buoys Nazi and ban them from the deck.

Coach Foz

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Its Race week!

We are creatures of habit, and when it comes to athletes we are especially so.

Our personality types that gravitate us to sport thrive on routine and maintaining it. Slowly over the last 8 months i have come back to this routine that gives me great joy.... regular structured training.

Its a routine i know well and have been in the way of for nearly 2 decades. My routine in that period has taken me to some crazy hours, upwards of 34+hours a week on the track when it was at its most intense. 

This year was about getting out, racing and being involved instead of just watching from the sidelines. I raced Port Mac in May more so just as a jolt to wake me up and get me moving again. 
I limped over the line in a time i have erased from my memory thankfully, but it did the trick.
I continued on and had a bit more fitness coming into Sunny Coast 70.3 in September where i was in the race a bit more finishing in 4:30hrs and 10th in age group.

Since then the local triathlon season has slowly been looming since Sunny Coast and i really wanted to get back to regular racing via Sprint events where it all started for me. I love it that as a sprinter you can get out and race every other weekend. All your eggs aren't just in one basket.

This weekend will see me suit up again for a Sprint race at the Gatorade Tri series race at Elwood. My last 'sprint' was a Mini tri at Port Arlington in 2011 which was turned into a Duathlon due to weather. It was so short and intense but was great fun all the same.

Cant wait to get out and amongst it at Elwood. I'd like to thank Dave Hanson for encouraging me suit up this weekend with an entry to the event.

Ill be looking to use racing to get me fit with a number of events over the next few months. 
My main event will be Geelong 70.3 where ill give it a nudge and hopefully score a 70.3 Worlds spot for next year. But really if i beat Amy Williams from IRONMAN i will be satisfied 
See you on the weekend at Elwood, come and say hi.
Good to be back in the routine.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Post Ballarat 70.3 Recce Updated Notes

Well we ventured up to Ballarat last Saturday to swim ride and run a lap of the new Ballarat 70.3 course. The weather was cool in the morning, and the wind was blowing S/SW at 24-31km/hr, so we were to get a true indication of how the course is affected by the wind.

The Swim Course
This is the same swim course as last year. The lake is only a small inland lake, and it will likely be around 20degrees for race day, so definitely a wetsuit swim for competitors. The wind was up for the Recce but this had little effect on the water surface so there will be no need to worry about any real choppy conditions for race day.
Swim start area

We got in the water for practise and the first thing you will notice is reeds under the surface in the warm-up area. Don’t let this bother you though, as you move to the start line and all the way along the course the water is deeper, clean and surprisingly clear.
There is not a lot of sighting opportunities from landmarks on the shoreline at Ballarat, but due to the flat conditions you will have no problem sighting the well- marked guide and turning buoys put out by Ironman.

It’s not like a salt water beach swim but as close to pool conditions as you will see. The rowing lane guide ropes about a meter under the surface also will help competitors swim straight, doesn’t get more pool like than that!  

The NEW Bike Course
The new course is fairly sheltered for the first 8-9kms of each lap with the out and back section along Sturt St, and then around the Victoria Park Circuit. Competitors will need to be conservative in their riding style with a few of the corners on the circuit and to stay left unless overtaking.

The real bones of the course is on Remembrance Drive along a 17km section out to the far turn around under the Western Hwy.  It is pretty flat and exposed with farmland on either side and is generally slightly downhill on the way out and the reverse on the return.
If any, historically the wind will be coming from the South / South east. It will provide a cross tail assistance on the way out and cross head wind on the return
Victoria Park Circuit 

I think the more novice riders should consider their wheel choice for the race, especially the front wheel.  Don’t have too deep a front wheel if you are light and less experienced on the bike.

I would be moderating my intensity early in the ride and build gradually to a sustainable race pace to ensure you have good legs for the final parts of the ride.

With 34kms of mostly flat road for the final part of each lap, it will be important to periodically get out of the saddle along this section to change position and give relief to the back and hamstrings.

As the event will have a full road closure, ride within the left car tyre marks on the road unless overtaking for the smoothest ride, and avoid the shoulder on the left hand side of the white line. The shoulder has a rougher surface with loose stones in sections.
All in all a power course, so include some long sustained aero riding to prepare the body for race day.

The NEW Run Course
As I mentioned in the last blog, the run improvements have been a real plus. Three full laps of the lake gives this course a flow; it’s one the competitors will love.  Here are a few things we noted from the recce day.
The Moneghetti Track

There are some bitumen sections on both sides of the lake, and a section on the far side that has a bit of both. Make sure you run on the black stuff along here, it will help with traction and run speed.  The hard packed gravel sections also provide some shock absorption relief for tired legs with minimal loss of traction on your foot fall.

There are a few little undulations, short and minimal but if you are on the bit, you will notice them and on the far side of the lake you can cop some headwind if the day is windy.
All in all it’s a picturesque run around the lake, nice and cool being next to the water and a lot to keep you occupied with.

Can’t wait for Ballarat 70.3

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

BALLARAT 70.3 Run Course Preview

Ballarat Competitors,

The 21.1km Ballarat run course has been updated after last year’s inaugural event. This year will see 3x (7kms) full laps of the Wendouree Lake on the Steve Moneghetti Track which borders it, with a slight deviation around the North Garden to make up the necessary distance.
Last year's course recce run
With these improvements athletes will experience more of a flow to their run instead of having to negotiate out and back sections near transition which was the case on last year's 2lap course. This will add to the enjoyment of the run for the competitors on this flat picturesque course.
The run follows the hard packed gravel track around the shore line of Lake Wendouree. The track is named after local Ballarat running legend Steven Moneghetti who represented Australia many times at Commonwealth and Olympic level in the marathon

Competitors will get to see some great sights and scenery along the way including the Olympic Rings monument which was erected at the finishing line of the 1956 Olympic rowing, kayaking and canoeing course on the Lake. This was in recognition of Ballarat's participation as one of two host city for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
The Finisher Chute
For the most part the run is a completely flat track and is well shaded in parts with overhanging trees. As the course follows the water line for the majority of each lap, there will likely be a cooling effect for competitors in case of a hot day.
The race will finish with a run up one of the longer finishing chutes in Ironman racing. If last year's atmosphere up the chute is anything to go by, the finish line will be one big party celebrating the great efforts of all competitors.

To the run times from last year
Last year's run times were pretty swift with winner Michael Raelert clocking an impressive 1:13:53hrs run split to take out the event. The weather were conducive to a fast run with cool conditions and his time compares favourably to the time he clocked at Mandurah 70.3 weeks earlier in 1:12:45hrs.
I will be expecting some fast run splits and overall times from competitors this year. Ballarat is a qualifier for 70.3 Worlds in Queensland in 2016, so athletes will have extra motivation to score one of the coveted qualifying spots on offer at Ballarat.
Should be a great race come December.
If you want to get one up on your competition, then come along to the official Ballarat 70.3 Course Recce day on Saturday 7th November from 8:00am to 2:00pm. You'll get a chance to ride one lap of the course under supervision.

To book, email me Sean Foster at