Monday, September 24, 2012

Triathlon Coach Sean 'Fozzy' Foster: Fluids New Zealand Triathlon Worlds Campaign

Triathlon Coach Sean 'Fozzy' Foster: Fluids New Zealand Triathlon Worlds Campaign: FM qualified 11 athletes for the New Zealand World Championships this October. After a build period following the end of season break, we se...

Fluids New Zealand Triathlon Worlds Campaign

FM qualified 11 athletes for the New Zealand World Championships this October. After a build period following the end of season break, we set the athletes from June on a path to Worlds.

We have gone through 3distinct phases of training.
Run Strength phase 1 - strong but long steady state and interval running training, plus using targeted races as training, including the Salomon Trail series and the Victorian Duathlon series.

During this phase alot of the early mid week ride sessions were hill based strength sessions at or slightly below FTP or TT style steady efforts just under FTP.
The majority of our long rides included efforts of some kind, be it hill climbs, long flat intervals or on adaptation weeks a brick session with the intensity mainly on the bike part.

Specific Preparation Phase 2 - our emphasis on the strength bike workouts remained with the hills, as the Auckland course is quite lumpy with some sharp gradients and technical cornering, a bit like the Amstel Gold climbs in the European Spring Classic. There was also an emphasis on descending as much as climbing to develop our skills.

Sean Smee and Steve Hadley lead pack

Lots of our running was close to our aerobic threshold, and our sharper runs were distinctly aerobic power style fartleks, at threshold but just below MVO2 with float recoveries to keep average heart rate high. Chewing nail style sessions.

Through this period we continued with the Duathlons as training and our combo sessions.
One distinct point is that our long rides and runs were lower in duration to ensure they didn't require too much adaptation time post. The training is all about training hard often being very mindful to train for the next session.

Race Specific Phase 3 - a style of race phase training that FM developed last year during our China and Hawaii Worlds campaign. Sessions that included regular quality bike to run training.

Crit Style efforts with David Fitzsimons leading the pack
The sharp bike set each week would contain either base speed intervals with lots of recovery or short intervals with increasing recoveries so the athlete freshens up or maintains leg strength throughout the set. Then fast speed play fartlek running (change of pace) immediately off the bike.
Then the other runs are base speed accelerations, to maintain top end speed and power then a strength speed endurance style workout later in the week.
The second bike session again is hills or hard sustainable to ready the athletes for the testing Auckland course.

How are they travelling
It has been great to have Stephen Hadley join our squad, a quality athletes who has been self coached. He has worked very well with our existing athletes in training, including Sean Smee and David Fitzsimons.

We have quite a range of athletes racing from relatively new athletes like Natalie Wong and Aine O'Connor to seasoned athletes like Ken Murley who has podiumed at World Championships previously. The other athletes on our team are Joost VanVliet, Paul Speed, Zoe Ferguson, Cyrma Hearn and Rob Grummitt

Final Hit out
We have the Hazelwood triathlon this weekend, so it will be great to get in the wetsuit and see how they swim in open water. Then its downhill to Auckland.  

Should be alot of fun and they are pretty ready to race.

Coach Foz

Triathlon Coach Sean 'Fozzy' Foster: You ARE ready

Triathlon Coach Sean 'Fozzy' Foster: You ARE ready: Less than 3weeks now to the 'Big Dance' at Kona Hawaii. On Saturday after training, i caught up with our 6 Hawaii Ironman debutants to cha...

You ARE ready

Less than 3weeks now to the 'Big Dance' at Kona Hawaii.

On Saturday after training, i caught up with our 6 Hawaii Ironman debutants to chat about what makes the race on the Big Island such a special race.
Kristy Hallett who i did Hawaii with last year came along to also add to the conversation over coffee and a muffin in Port Melbourne.

Their commitment since Melbourne Ironman where they all qualified has been awesome. Each athlete has done everything that has been required of them, and with a great attitude.
Channelling that enthusiasm was so easy, half the time I was trying to hold them back even in the dead of Winter!

We have had a couple of hiccups along the way with Stephen Natoli being cleaned up in a bike crash, being knocked out and cut up badly.
Alex Houghton had a couple of days in hospital with a stomach issue, but both are back and firing and ready to go in a few weeks.

The perceived pressure of a big event like Worlds can add to the athletes levels of anxiety as the event comes closer. There is many a story of Kona wind, heat and lava on YouTube or in magazines

We chatted about the added elements that a race in Hawaii brings. Radiant heat off the lava, the logistics of a non wetsuit swim, and the course, but they only have to be aware, but not daunted by the prospect.

Each of them so deserves to be there. They have prepared very well, which brings an inner confidence that can't be diminished.

Come race day, concentrating on the process and the executing each of their own individual plans is whats its about. Its still all about how they pace and eat/drink, but with just a little more sunscreen!
It is just another ironman and this one happens to be in Hawaii. poor buggers ; )

A great piece of advice
Macca in his book talks about using his sunglasses to go into his own little world out there. 
Fellow Hawaii athlete from last year Jo Coombe had a great tip to assist with that. Earplugs. 
It can have the effect of placing you in a protected world, away from the whistling of the wind or the tension of other competitors. No negative distractions

Either way, next week will see Cyrma Hearn (2nd ever ironman), Stephen Natoli, Alex Houghton (2nd ever ironman), Steve Guy, Mark Johnston (2nd ever Ironman) and Darren Phelps flying to Hawaii to begin their tapers.

And all their friends and families, coaches and their mates in our little training squad couldn't be prouder of them. They will do awesome and have a great experience, whatever their results.

Coach Foz