So my prediction was right. I should have been an Ironman Live commentator clearly. Craig Alexander was in a class of his own in Kona setting a new course record, albeit by just 12 seconds, on his way to winning a third Ironman World Championship title. It was looking pretty ominous when one of the sport’s fastest runners posted the second fastest bike split of the day. It wasn’t all plain sailing though as ‘Crowie’ started to suffer severe cramps in the last few miles of the race. Fellow Australian Pete Jacobs crossed the line in second with a very impressive 2:24:29 marathon finishing just under two minutes ahead of Andreas Raelert of Germany.
Chrissie Wellington didn’t have it her own way for a change. After a slow start in the swim, a result of injuries sustained in a bike crash two weeks earlier, she was 21 minutes behind race leader Julie Dibens after the bike. Mirinda Carfrae was another 4 minutes back. These two are super quick runners although with very different styles and it was not long before both started eating up the time gaps to the girls in front. In the end Chrissie set the second fastest time ever at the Ironman World Championships and finished just 2:49 ahead of the Aussie battler Mirinda Carfrae who got in the way of a GB 1, 2 ,3. This is the closest anyone has got to Chrissie in her entire Ironman career. If Mirinda ‘Rinnie’ Carfrae can improve her bike without negatively affecting her run she will give Chrissie a real run for her money next year.
So you know you have chosen a drill people hate when they start asking ‘Why are we doing this?’. The dolphin kick on your back is a good warm up exercise to stretch out through the shoulders and chest, to engage the muscles of the trunk and lower limbs and it requires a touch of coordination too. The ability to relax the legs allowing the knees to flex (bend) slightly as the hips flex, and extend (straighten) as the hips extend is necessary to generate propulsion. Swimming with very stiff legs does not make for an effective kick. Watch this video of the dolphin kick underwater so that you are clear about the movement patterns you are trying to reproduce. Get it right and maybe one day you’ll swim 50m underwater in 25secs like Ryan Lochte… without fins! We will be doing this again this weekend so be sure to give it some practice to impress the coaches!
This weekend we will continue our technique focus in the Lido. I hope you read up about breathing, exhalation and kicking last week. This week have a read of the Swim Smooth webpages looking at body position, posture and stroke rate. You will need to bring your fins again this week as we will be repeating the drills from last week to consolidate what we have learnt so far. Our run session will be geared towards improving your ability to maintain race pace as we head towards the Jekyll and Hyde Park Duathlon. Once the duathlon is out of the way we will introduce an optional long run on Sundays for those that would like to leave the confines of London Fields for a change!
All the best to those of you competing in Barcelona this weekend. Give it heaps. I hope you find the same cava bar we did. It was the perfect place to ‘relax’ pre-race with very tasty 1 euro glasses of cava. And I mean very tasty!
See you Sunday, Tim (LFTC Coach).