Skiing again

Only 1 week after our ski trip to Glencoe saw us return to Scottish skiing slopes. This time we headed for Glenshee. The forecast was mixed with a low chance of some sun but wind dropping during the day. We got held up on our way there as there was a jackknifed lorry on the approach to Glenshee. Luckily we were only stationary for maybe 20 minutes and basked in the sun while there. Once we hit the slopes we hardly got out of the sun and had a fabulous day.2016-03-03 15.08.13 2016-03-03 15.04.04

As already mentioned in the previous round up, these trips are mainly to get Fiona skiing more as this is a new sport for her and one day we’d like to advance this to ski touring. Our friend – and one of my athletes – Carolyn joined us for the day and as she had been taught to ski – as opposed to myself – she was able to provide Fiona with some very useful tips to improve her skiing, such as brushing your teeth on one leg to improve one leg balance and putting weight on the lower ski.

I am refinding my love for skiing with these trips too as for a few years I’d definitely lost interest in the sport.

Longer training sessions

As my early season races are now over and with that the cross country season my focus is now turning to longer sessions as I have the Highland Fling – a 53 mile ultra marathon at the end of April.

So on Wednesday I did a 28km run over 4 of the Pentland hills in 3 hours which was a good start to the longer distance work only 3 days after my double race weekend.

Calves got a bit sore towards the end of the run but over all this was a good session with good pace.

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Spylaw Bank – looks easier than it is.

I did also do a 14k recover run the day after Bowhill Duathlon which was very unpleasant on the calves but as long run went on the calves improved.

I continue to try and alternate biking with running and with that did one of my favourite bike hill rep sessions on Tuesday before the swim coaching at Wester Hailes. The climb out of Colinton Village up Spylaw Bank is ideal for this as it is an approx. 90 second climb with around 2-2:30 min recovery which you can do as a loop. I did roughly 10 of these on Tuesday, until my quads were fatigued enough that it was better to call it a day. It was only 2 days after Bowhill but a good fitness test.

I ended the week on 18 hours of exercise incl. the skiing and a combined distance of 237 km.

Transition Practice

The 4th discipline in triathlon is one that is too often neglected and one where a fair chunk of time can be saved. I have spent the last couple of years marshalling the mount/dismount line at Lochore Sprint triathlon and cringed more often than not at the way the athletes would try and get on/off their bikes. It is a skill worth practicing even if it has no strength element to it.420393_254744484607908_1035322639_n

Fiona and I spent Saturday afternoon working on her bike mounts and dismounts on the Silverknowes Prom and made good progress. It was done in a fairly sterile environment so we’ll have to see how things pan out in the heat of battle. We’ll also add a bit more practice sessions for this into her training.

My intention is to do some group sessions for this over the late spring summer.

Team News

House of the BInns Finish line

Carolyn and her daughter at the House of Binns finish line.

First off, I have 2 athletes rejoining the team: Gordon W. who is training for the River Spey 10k in July and Victoria who is training for Celtman in June. Gordon’s training with me has already kicked off whereas Victoria’s has got a bit stuck due to internet issues at her end so I have now resorted to providing her sessions by text until the problems are sorted which hopefully is soon. The advantage of what I do and the ability to provide the couching through an internet media means I can coach people away from the Edinburgh area, the disadvantage is that if the internet fails it is a bit of a problem. Something we take for granted nowadays.

Carolyn ran the House of Binns 5k Cross Country race on Sunday in glorious but cold conditions while Fiona and I were running up Allermuir. It was one way for her to spend mothersday with her daughter who also ran the XC event.

Carolyn crossed the line as 9th female, out of 25 and excellent result for someone approaching 60.

Client Communication

I am quite strict about how regularly I respond to emails as I find that using mobile devices for this can be very distracting. If I get communication via email then the urgency to reply isn’t that great in my opinion. I have scheduled times in the day when I deal with emails and for that reason also haven’t installed any email clients on my mobile devices.

If something is urgent then I prefer to be sent a text to which I will respond very promptly assuming I can access them. I’d expect to get a text from my athletes if there is a sudden change in plan and they need advice on what the best course of action is or if there is a query about the training plan that has been set for that day. Most non-emergency communication I prefer by email.

Thankfully Training Peaks have a notification system built in which allows me to stay on top of any training activities my athletes are doing.


That’s all for this week. Next week I should have some news for you on some overseas coaching, some highland running and some team racing action from the Foxlake 13k trail race.

Have a great week all.