I have been a week behind on my weekly roundups for a few weeks now so instead of always being behind I have decided to right a 2 week one to get back on track.
This week will be mostly about the races that my athletes have done over the last 2 weeks with an insight on mind set within these.
I had 2 athletes racing at Gala on 17 April, Fiona and Lynn. After the race I got this text message while waiting for an update: ‘We are on our way back. We are not happy people.’
Neither the message I was expecting nor the message I was hoping for. It transpired that both had poor swims for very different reasons which affected the outcome of their races in different ways. Both of them had made good improvements in their swimming in training so this message left me even more confused.
In that respect Lynn’s reason for the poor swim was positive as it wasn’t performance related. Without going into too much detail there was an altercation between 2 athletes in Lynn’s swim lane which led to Lynn’s swim being interrupted for a period of time. The altercation continued in transition. It is difficult in hindsight to understand how much time Lynn lost in the swim but the numbers would suggest it was significant. She also lost some time in T1 for the same reason.
Lynn didn’t have a great week leading into the race so her mind set probably wasn’t in the right place in the first place and the incident just made things a whole lot worse.
Could you deal with a situation like this better? Quite likely, as Lynn was already expecting trouble before getting in the water due to comments that one of the athletes made.
If you are able to shut out what is happening around you both before and during the race then you will have a much better ability in concentrating on your own race and dealing with situations as they arise. It would have been likely that Lynn would have been able to swim through or past the 2 squabbling swimmers and get on with her own event.
It was unfortunate that the incident was neither picked up by race referee or race organiser.
This though is something that will only work if you prepare yourself mentally on how to deal with such situations. Many age group athletes have a tendency to only really start thinking about a race around 12 hours before the race instead of giving this some thought in the days leading up and preparing mentally for the day.
The incident affected how Lynn felt about the rest of the race which is a shame as her numbers for the bike and run were good and she did finish 2nd in her category something that she wasn’t aware of until 24 hours after the race.
In the race debrief we discussed how Lynn prepares mentally pre race and how she prepares mentally for situations like those that arose during the Galashiels Sprint.
Fiona’s race on the other hand was incident free in that no other athlete meddled with her performance which left us puzzled as to why she was 90 seconds off her swim time from Tranent Sprint a few weeks earlier. We have some possible explanations from fatigue, over pacing to changed technique. Selkirk in a few weeks should answer those questions.
Her bike performance was not quite there yet but she is performing better on the new TT bike on what is not an ideal course for this and eventually landed the fastest run time in her category to finish 5th.
Both Lynn and Fiona will be on the start line of Selkirk Standard Triathlon which over the longer distance will suit them better.
Also that weekend was the Edinburgh 10 mile run known as the Great Edinburgh Run. Gordon Watt and Simon Nicholls were entered but in the end only Gordon went on to run it as Simon father duties to attend to as his wife was also racing. He went out and did a standalone 10 miler later in the day. Gordon ran the course in 82 minutes and in his own words felt surprisingly strong with the last 2 miles being his quickest. A testament to the endurance he is building up. Simon’s solo effort saw him run an 84 minute 10 miler which with competition would have been close to Gordon’s time or a fraction better.
St Andrews and London
I had put 4 month plan together for Brendon so he wasn’t on my weekly athletes plan as the others but having worked with Brendon before I had a good idea what would work for Brendon and put a plan together to suit. And suit it did as Brendon put together a very solid effort to finish the London Marathon in 3:52:59 hrs. Having gone through half way in 1:55 hrs his pace hardly dropped off in the 2nd half.
It was the first time the St Andrews Uni Triathlon was put on and accordingly the field was quite small with just over 40 entrants. Carolyn though managed to top her age group even though the swim was a bit off the pace she made up for that with a strong bike and run. Considering the focus is for longer distance events this year this is a very promising start.
Hopefully I can get back into a weekly routine from next week. I’ll close with a few pictures from my flight back from Austria after the birthday celebrations. Events wise you can look forward to some reports on the Kinross Sportive, the Selkirk Mountain Bike marathon and the Highland Fling although I may do a separate race report for that. There are also Training Camp reports to come.