Well, what a month this has been. Sadly, in most cases, we have not been able to put all the hard work in training into practice this month due to the weather which has resulted in multiple race postponements. In duathlon in particular, we are used to the weather interfering with races, but I do not recall an occasion when so many events have been cancelled or postponed. Not only does this cause problems for scheduling the re arranged events, we lose out on the opportunity of proving the effectiveness of the winter training. All is not lost however, as you have all worked very hard to ensure that you have maintained your training wherever possible. Training indoors may not always be as effective as getting outside but I am confident that many of your fellow competitors have simply been striking through their training with another missed session and so I am very pleased that you have all continued to stick with it despite the conditions.
That said, we have seen some strong racing performances this month both before the weather deteriorated and yesterday at the National Duathlon Championships. Progress has been made across the board and, the training data has supported the potential for improved performance where athletes haven’t been able to race. Therefore, we must push on and realign the training for the next set of objectives and rely on the training data assuming that this would have translated into improved performances in every case.
What then still awaits us this year? Next up are the early season marathons with athletes running at both London and Manchester – good luck guys! Then the focus switches to the European Middle Distance Duathlon championships followed a few weeks later by the World Standard and Sprint Distance races, both events being held in Denmark. During this period, I will continue to run bike lactate testing from the clinic at Weedon and will be leading bike recces over the UK Ironman course at Bolton for those who are targeting this as their main event this year. For those aiming to race in the triathlons at Tartu and Glasgow in July and August (or Bolton) or trying to qualify for next year’s triathlons, I have now confirmed the booking at the 50m heated, open air pool in Banbury on Monday evenings. This session is available to all levels of swimmers with an emphasis on stroke improvement initially, followed by conditioning later in the season. There may be the opportunity for video analysis, but this is still being negotiated at present. For those awaiting a swim video analysis session at Tiddenfoot, this has been penciled in for Saturday 14th April. Any takers for either sessions should contact me soonest, please.
For the Long Distance Duathlon team, the first round of qualification has now been completed – congratulations to all. Please note that the next cut off for discounted race entry is in a few days’ time. Please don’t miss out! I will soon be trying to get confirmation of the second run course from the race organiser for this year so that we can prepare the appropriate training. The last-minute changes last year certainly affected performances across the board! More news on this will therefore follow.
A much less controversial newsletter this month and I will have to postpone the answer to the question received a couple of weeks ago as to why we test for lactate threshold and turn points rather than VO2. There is a short answer to this question, however, I would rather explain it in more length in my response. What spare time we currently have has been taken up with both coaching and reviewing my work on Natural Running Form. We continue to operate a programme of continuous improvement on all the work we undertake and I have recently returned to the topic of running form to both improve the quality of our analysis as well as improve the clarity of the reporting. The ultimate objective is to not only report on what we discover on each individual athlete within our analysis, but also to produce a visual model of what we perceive good running form to be. This is no small task and is certainly proving to be one of the most challenging and yet exciting tasks we have undertaken. It will certainly save me from having to do some of my own training for a while and so I will have to continue to train vicariously through all your efforts!
Please keep up the hard work.