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Amateur Age Group Triathlete
Amateur Age Group Triathlete

8 Weeks to Auckland: Aerobic week 2/2; Emergency Swim Workshop

roborobby roborobSep 2nd 2012
Despite the break in the training plan for the 4 days in Italy, the past two weeks of Aerobic training have gone pretty well, with a slight degree of 'cramming' either side of the break making up the otherwise lost sessions. The plan i'm following assures me that it's okay to move sessions around at this stage, although it warns that this kind of behaviour in the 2-3 weeks before the race will definitely have a detrimental effect on performance. With this in mind, i made sure to make the most of the holiday, with lots of resting, eating, drinking and even a bit of dancing! The thing about Tuscany is that it's quite hard to derail your training. The food is amazing out there, with loads of fresh, natural and nutritious choices on offer, and the terrain and weather were perfect for a bit of trail hill running. I decided it was time to test out the state of the healed stress fracture with some hill repeats, which is a good way to reduce impact whilst still getting a good run (as long as you take it really easy on the descents). Our hotel also had a surprisingly good pool which was good enough for a few lengths.
8 Weeks to Auckland: Aerobic week 2/2; Emergency Swim Workshop
Back in dreary London, and the training highlight was a 1-2-1 swimming lesson with Ray Gibbs from Swim Canary Wharf. Despite the hours of swimming i put in every week, i've hit a plateau in distance swimming pace that i cannot break out of, regardless of the effort i put in. I've been getting away with a strong bike and reasonable run at local races, but these won't be enough to make up for a poor swim at top age group level. You might think that looking for a complete technique reassessment at this stage of the season is a sign of someone starting to panic a bit, and, well, in my case you'd be right!

Ray confirmed that it would not be wise to make any changes at this late stage, and all we should look at now is debunking some of the conflicting advice on some of the aspects of an efficient stroke, and see if there are some easy fixes that i can quickly incorporate without too much disruption. Luckily there were: it turned out that my shoulders were dropping in the recovery phase, which made my catch come in at an angle, and also made my hips drop and legs drag low. Just by working on drills to encourage the shoulders to stay high for longer, all three of these problems were addressed at once, with the adding benefit that i am now using my back muscles to pull rather than the smaller shoulder rotator cuffs. Ray is a fantastic coach, and i look forward to employing his services early in the next off season. For now, my swimming is still pretty shocking, but a hell of a lot better than it was!



After 5 continuous weeks of fairly hard training, the prescribed 'Active Recovery' week starting tomorrow could not come soon enough. This will involved cutting the volume by half, keeping all sessions nice and easy, and fitting in a sports massage - all to help the body to heal so that i can start the Endurance phase fresher and stronger (which i'll kick start with a jolt through the Bala Triathlon next Sunday).
 
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