Lessons truly learnt

Unfortunately I’m going to have to start with a gripe but will finish on a positive note. Sometimes certain things just have to be said. Last week we were massively over-subscribed for the swim. Even our club captain and club chairman missed out! Five people on the list did not show up. If you are ill or injured you have a legitimate excuse. If you felt like a sleep in, couldn’t be bothered or didn’t like the look of the weather you don’t! It’s not fair on your club mates and as a coach it is disappointing. Enough said.

Wow, what a difference a fortnight can make. This weekend at the Kingfisher Aquathlon (our third London League event) the LFTC crew turned up knowing more about the course than the coach! It’s amazing what a little stirring via the blog can do. It was a simple twelve lap swim and four lap circular run course though with very helpful marshalls and plenty of route markers so much less tricky than last time.

Everyone put in great performances. Amanda did go cross-country again but thankfully this time it was part of the run route. In fact she ran herself into 10th female overall. There were no warnings for throwing rubbish at officials either! The event suited ‘G.I.’ Joe Dale with a relatively long run. He moved from 89th after the swim into 7th overall and had the 2nd fastest run of the day. Rob Boulding was very impressive even with only a few hours sleep after wedding celebrations the night before (Rob is still single by the way as it wasn’t his wedding!). Tim Smith and Seb Balcombe were locked in a tight battle. Seb made his move on the 3rd run lap and won by a little over a minute. The only extra effort Seb put in this time was that required to beat Tim who had been trying to psyche him out over the previous 24 hours. Paul Thompson, Sam Hart, Alex Cooper, Colin Streater, Russell Webley and Nathan Dytor also had superb races.

Pre-race anxiety is common and can really affect your performance on race day. People often panic in the swim. I have certainly been in this situation in the past. Having been involved in sport in some capacity for a number of years I am convinced mental skills training is vital to overcoming such anxiety. Visualisation and mental rehearsal are both techniques worth trying. Visualisation involves imagining yourself performing the way you want to, cool calm and in control, from the start of the swim to the end. A good time to do this is just before going to sleep when you are hopefully in a relaxed state already. Mentally rehearsing what you will do should anxiety get the better of you on the day is also useful. For example, you might stop at the end of the pool, take three relaxed breaths and say to yourself ‘cool calm and in control’ or similar and then set off again. Rehearsing this in your head will make it easier should you have do it on race day. Practice the two skills separately.

This weekend is our threshold swim. Dig out your CSS results as we will be using these. If you have not done our CSS tests before have a look here to find out how and why and see if you can get it done before Saturday. We’ll also be using fins for our drill set so bring those too. We will continue to work on building 5km run speed as we head towards the Blenheim Triathlon.

See you Saturday, Tim (LFTC Coach).

6 responses to “Lessons truly learnt

  1. I think you forgot to mention your swim PB Tim and 10th place finish!

    Great morning l strongly encourage everyone to take part in these events.

    One, because of the team camaraderie, you are never alone and there is always someone there to offer words of encouragement or race just push you to your max …aka Tim Smithy & Seb!

    Two, because these events really do help with the nerves for bigger races that you are training for now. As everyone knows my first race was a mess this season and although pre race planning had a lot to do with it nerves also paid a huge part. I was like a headless chicken pre and during the competition and this is why l made so many mistakes. Thankfully it wasn’t during a Blenheim or Dextro big one. Yesterday l was still anxious but better planning and a lot of support from the LFTC crew meant it felt like a whole difference experience to the nightmare l had two weeks ago. The only way is up right?!

    Special thanks to Anna for keeping up the LTFC cheerleading squad tradition!!

    See you at training.

  2. Nicely put Amanda. We’ll have to get you on that coaching course! It was a great event. I loved the trail run especially. How about those homemade cakes and slices at the finish? Yummy. Tim (LFTC Coach).

  3. Well done everyone! great race on Sunday. Even if we were up at 530AM!! A word on the intra-club competition. I love it! It’s a great way to push ourselves faster. Both Seb and I pulled out PBs on the swim, but hats off to Seb this time who had a great run too!! good work. The homemade cakes were great too – although Sam, they didnt even come close to your flapjacks. legendary

  4. Yes it is all about the homemade cakes!

    We are thinking to enter this London League race. It is a Sprint Tri and there are spaces available. It takes place 17th July so perfect for those not doing London or Dextro (or even for those who want a warm up race!).
    It is a 600m Open Water Swim, 6km Run, 25km Cycle (Swim-Run-Bike format).
    Any questions give me shout, already we have Dan, Scott and Seb A on board!! x

  5. Hi everyone! Its Felipe here, I havent been to a training session in ages, first for work and then for holidays… but I am training, and keep checking out the blog…Can feel the excitement of the beginning of the season on it!!! I am back in London next week and will join in a session as soon as I can.
    Anyway, I am also in for the Hillingdon on 17th of july. And I wil be doing the one now on the 29th of may, wich is not part of the London League but it is in the same venue.
    See you guys soon!!

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