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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Triathlon in Australia


My 1st trip to Australia. I have been working my tail off & I have only just got here. I love the country. Reminds me so much of South Africa. I apologize for the lack of posts recently, I know it's been a while, but plenty of work & inter-continental travel will do that. All the usual suspects - triathlon training, running, sport psychology being the order each day. Juniors, age-groupers, aspirants & pros - all looking for that extra edge.


This is a great sporting nation & it's easy to see why; every level of athlete is out there every day working at their skills & fitness.

I have often wondered why certain circumstances that logically would be a limiting factor in an athlete's development turn out to be a reason for success. Take the British dominance of middle distance running in the 80s. Training in traffic & wet miserable weather gave the world Steve Ovett, Sebastian Coe & Steve Cram, plus a few others. In South Africa it is generally the rural kids, from areas that have very little of what you would call opportunity, that produce the great athletes.

In triathlon it's nice to see that despite the super sport powers like Australia & the USA, that there is a healthy mix of top athletes from unexpected corners of the world.
Here are some themes that I am working on with coaches as we lead into the world triathlon championships:
· Training progresses linearly & logically from baselines
· Work from actual, repeatedly verifiable data
· Distinguish between open running ability & OTB running ability
· Physical training should always be viewed also as mental training & be designed as such
· Specificity is the overriding principle
· Variety overcomes plateauing – even the triathlete can easily lose effective stimulation from excessive repetition of the same workouts. Not to be confused with phasal emphases
· Maintain perspective
· Differentiate athlete & event/situation/sport performance requirements from personal /ego desires. Be brutally honest


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