What an exciting month we have had in May with just about every athlete in some form of competition, all within a narrow band of two weekends and much of the action happening on the same day. Keeping track of everyone proved to be a complex business – not least because, on the busiest day, I was in Southport working in my triathlon team manager role – and the review of data and performance is a time-consuming process so I am just taking a quick breather from this task now as I type. However, mostly expectations have been exceeded, and in every case positives can be taken which always makes it a far more pleasant experience for athlete and coach alike!
I had a few topics outstanding last month to consider as the key message in in this newsletter. These included the Loughborough University study of the relationship between running performance and running efficiency – sigh; the correlation between age and marathon performance – oh for heaven’s sake; or the challenge to fledgling medical companies and researchers who are unable to fund medical Gold Standard research – just don’t even ask! However, as last week’s action unfurled, I felt the urge to focus on the outstanding performances of our athletes instead. Long-term readers of these newsletters, and those who follow me on FB, will know that only very occasionally do I report on athlete success. This is not because our athletes are not often successful, nor is it that I do not like to read of athlete success myself. In fact, I always love to read about athlete performance and there is no better distraction from doing my work for this experienced and highly capable procrastinator.
However, whilst travelling home from Southport and reflecting on the racing I had watched and tracked, I was following the football on the radio as the Premiership football season came to a close. Some twenty-six minutes into the champion team Chelsea’s match, the game came to a temporary and somewhat comedic halt. The reason was to celebrate the end of a long career of one of the participants, and his departure from the pitch was greeted with deference not only by his own side, but in almost sickeningly flattering terms by the opposition and the commentators on the radio. It seemed to me, that the most professional of sports was demonstrating just how unprofessional it can be. This peculiar interlude brought to mind the previous day’s news report that the long-running (and possibly last?) US circus, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, had closed. Listening to the reporting on that Premiership match, I realised that modern football has probably replaced the circus as today’s entertainment with the commentators performing the joint roles of ringmaster and announcer. This self-ingratiating reporting is way too sentimental for me and similarly, when I read about athlete success from coaches, it comes across as ever so slightly narcissistic, seemingly more concerned with promoting coaching prowess rather than athlete achievement.
I prefer to read about athlete performance, good or bad, from the athlete. Although I’m sure you all like to be reminded occasionally of how well you are doing, as you all know, I provide this to the individual not to the wide world. Therefore, despite the temptation to sing your praises, I have decided not to buck the trend this month. Suffice to say that it was a very positive weekend in sport for us all and we all appear to be continuing in the right direction with good progress towards our objectives.
In the background, as I am sure you are all aware, we have been awaiting completion of the purchase of our new home. As sad as it will be to wave goodbye to Blue Pines, we completed on Damson Cottage in Helmdon last Friday and are in the process of moving as I type (or at least Sarah is currently busy packing)! We will try to make the transition as seamless as possible with the office move scheduled for Tuesday 6th June. The testing equipment will move on the same day and I will arrange athlete testing and training programme production around the move dates.
In addition to the move, June is scheduled to be a busy month. Once again, I will be leading a Natural Running Form workshop at the Ultra Festival over the weekend of 3rd/4th June and I will also be away with the Team GB Standard Distance Triathlon team in Kitzbuhel from 14th – 19th June. Where possible I will be preparing training plans before I go, but I will also be working on improving communication facilities for use whilst away. This should allow me to both communicate and deliver plans more successfully than in recent months where hotel and/or train and airport wifi has been too slow to facilitate access or blocked access altogether. This busy period will also require some tight scheduling between calls or testing. Therefore, please ensure that you contact me as soon as you can to ensure that I can support your training.
That’s all for this month. Please keep up your hard work and great performances!
Invoices are on their way. As ever, we appreciate your prompt payment.