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Intensity Measuring Tools – Pros and Cons

Intensity Measuring Tools – Pros and Cons

A few of our gadgets.

Intensity is the measure of how hard we are going. As endurance athletes we need to care about intensity because we don’t want to go out too hard and explode, or too easy and leave time on the table.

There are multiple ways to measure intensity; heart rate monitors, GPS units, pool clocks etc., but the most important one that all athletes should strive to master is ‘perceived exertion.’ I highly recommend it because we have it with us all the time and it doesn’t need batteries or recharging. I also really like the fact that it makes us pay attention to what’s really going on in our body – it engages you and this engagement is what helps us raise our level big time. Why is that? Because focusing on perceived exertion makes you pay attention to your breathing, to your muscles and to your fatigue level. Yes, it can very subjective (particularly when just learning) and that’s why I have no problem with beginners using the technology during their first couple of seasons.

My veterans on the other hand always get “the look” by Coach when they are fussing about with their power meter zones or heart rates during workouts and races. I like to remind them that when you are gadget oriented you are susceptible to letting the numbers tell you how you are feeling. If you’re an experienced athlete and are still relying on a piece of equipment to tell you if you are executing properly then there has been a breakdown in the process already.

It’s a hard sell, but I often tell my age-group athletes not to waste 30 valuable minutes every day downloading and analysing every day activities on their Strava or Training Peaks accounts. Truth is it’s completely unnecessary, and 99% of the sub 8:30 Ironman triathletes I know don’t bother with things like that themselves. Why? They say they are too tired to be fussing around with it and instead would rather sleep the extra 30 minutes a day. To me that sounds like an excellent choice!

Race smart, but be brave in trusting yourself and your training.

Coach Luis Villavicencio had 7 World Championship qualifiers in 2015. online triathlon coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Luis_SquadSome of our Thursday morning swim animals this week! 

The Importance of Proper Pacing

The Importance of Proper Pacing

Race day pacing: Athletes at the Home of Triathlon race earlier this month.

I really try to stress to my athletes the importance of getting your pacing right. Get it wrong and your race will fall to pieces no matter how fit you are.

Racing for an entire day requires one to be smart enough to know your limitations. You also have to be humble and disciplined enough not to let yourself get caught up in someone else’s race. Do this and you are going to pay later, in fact it’s one of the main reasons we see so many folks doing the Zombie walk at the 70.3 and 140.6 events.

If you look hard you can even find them at your local sprint triathlon. I know for sure back in 1991 when I did my first sprint triathlon I walked the last kilometre of the run.

When we race long we have to put a lot of thought on controlling emotions, fuelling, dealing with discomfort and remaining focused. That’s why I tell my athletes that they are there to do their own thing. If they are near the prize-money or the World Championship slot after the 32km mark, then, and only then should they start to race the competition. Because age groupers, including top age groupers, shouldn’t be putting it all on the line so early in the race. We save our best efforts for the end. Anybody can do well until they get to halfway through the run and then reality hits them and the excuses begin… ‘I got cramps, I was dehydrated, I dropped a bottle with some of my race day nutrition.’

I honestly don’t think I’ve heard anybody say they went out too fast too early and because of this rookie mistake they bonked.

Trent athlete Trent Simmons completing a Brick workout.

So what I do to prevent this happening to my athletes is prescribe them Brick workouts that will have them relatively tired when they get off the bike. Sometimes that bike ride comes in the form of a 3 hour 30 minutes workout (moderate, medium, mad), it’s a brilliant workout that the Doc (Brett Sutton) teaches. That way we work on bike pacing and running on tired legs. With this workout they also learn about their own limitations because usually they blow up the first time they do it.

The reason is because they get off the bike and start running at their normal running half marathon pace, they feel good for 30 mins and then Bam! They bonk and the walking begins. So after an hour of crying on the phone with me I explain to them that they should add 15% to the open half marathon pace – for example a 1:40 half marathoner, add 15% and that’s 1:55 min, that is their 70.3 run guesstimate. So next time they get off the bike in the middle of a Brick that’s how they start. To their surprise fit athletes always end up feeling better and running faster after executing correctly the first 50% of the run.

I have heard many coaches use a phrase which I have also adopted: “go fast when the race is slow”. To me that pretty much summarises what we want to do, but also we have to keep in mind that it’s what we do in the first “slow” hours that will determine what happens in the later stages of the race. So my advice will be stay focused all the time, create and trust your strategy and trust your training.

Coach Luis Villavicencio has coached 7 World Championship qualifiers this year. Sign up for online coaching with Luis here.

Coach Luis TeamCoach Luis and some of his Squad.

Born Winners – Victories for Squad

Born Winners – Victories for Squad

Mary Beth Ellis – 2015 Ironman Mont-Tremblant Champion.

She’s just a winner. Yesterday’s Ironman presented every conceivable obstacle for Mary Beth to have a bad day. Trained to dog tired condition, she raced Alpe D’Huez two weeks ago, which in itself was a follow up to her runner’s up position at Ironman Zurich. A plane trip, a change of time zones, no sleep the for two days as we arrived late as we could. Lesser human beings would have just raced this one for training. However they’re not the Honey Badger. When the gun goes off it doesn’t just start the race – it defines what MBE is, was and always will be: ‘The ultimate competitor’.

A little over 9-hours of giving it every thing she had. And when her body said no more? She just dug deeper and did what very few can do – improvise and overcome. Make no mistake Mary Beth is a born winner and is going to finish her career with Ironman Titles into the double figures.

Carina_BThird place for Carina Brechters at the Allgäu Triathlon Half Distance.

This weekend I was also very happy with Carina’s second attempt at the Half Ironman distance. We are working towards teaching her to ride a bike like the big dogs do. This takes time, effort and commitment. She is now showing the latter two. Time will tell if she has what it takes to do that for three years.

Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Andrej V1

Embrun, France – Andrej Vistica’s already impressive 2015 season continued today with a fantastic win at the 32nd edition of Embrunman.

In addition to it’s long tradition Embrunman is famous for it’s very difficult course. With more than 3800m of ascents on the 186km bike leg and a run course that is far from easy, this race is formidable and known as the toughest iron distance event in the world. The race has cult status not only among French triathletes.

As per tradition the race started at 6:00h, in complete dark. For the first 20 minutes participants need to follow a boat with a light reflector. Vistica exited the water with Victor del Corral and with a 3 minute gap to lead group with all the main favorites.

After the first 40km of the bike ride Vistica caught the lead group and went for a solo break. His lead grew steadily and he reached second transition with 6 min lead to James Cunnama, 9 min to del Corral, while all others had double-digit gap. The ride was made even harder by the rain that started on top of Col d’Izoard. The temperature on the top was only 5 degrees Celsius.

Although Andrej’s lead was reasonable, the race was far from decided. Both Cunnama and del Corral are known as very strong runners. In the first 3km Cunnama took a minute out of his gap and it looked like a matter of time that he would take the lead. However, by the half-way point Cunnama only managed to get another 45s closer and then Andrej’s lead started growing again. At the end, Vistica added fastest run split (2:53h) to his fastest bike split and won the race with a huge margin of 12 minutes to Victor del Corral and James Cunnama.

At the finish line, Andrej was very pleased with his effort:

“This is my best race performance so far! I’m very happy! Coached by Jo Spindler, I spent the last 4 weeks in St. Moritz preparing for this race in Brett Sutton’s group and it obviously paid off.”

Andrej PodiumMen’s podium: James Cunnama, Andrej Vistica and Victor del Corral.

At the German Allgäu Triathlon (Olympic distance) our Philipp Gubler placed 2nd in his age group, beaten only by Sebi Kienle. Philipp placed 6th overall only a few seconds behind Faris al Sultan who came in 5th!

Steffen Warias raced ICan Nordhausen in Germany. The gourmet chef from Merseburg raced hard and the work paid of with a 3rd place in his Age Group. He had a solid swim and bike and at the end he hammered the half marathon in 1:36h which ended up in a 4:57h total. After a broken collarbone we’re looking forward to his first long distance at Cologne226 since 3 years now.

Thomas_SThomas Schäfer second at the ICan Nordhausen.

Finally, our para cyclist Thomas Schäfer raced the ICan Nordhausen as well but only in his parade discipline: cycling. Thomas team achieved the 2nd place in the relay category. He hammered the bike and had the 2nd fastest bike split of 2:10 over 90km of the day. Well done to all our athletes competing today.

Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:

I feel happy and I have a big smile on my face today because we had some very, very good performances this weekend. The winning will come when these people work as hard as they do.

This weekend Esther and Victor were our role models for the kids at TriActiv Lanzarote.

Victor_DCVictor del Corral: Runner’s Up at Embrunman.  

I have competed in tough races all over the world, but having also raced Embrunman many times I know it is one of the hardest iron distances out there. Starting the swim in the dark at 6am, a 190km ride up and down the French Alps including the Col d’Izoard which is over 2300m, then the marathon up and down the hills of the village of Embrun. Victor has been dealing with an annoying niggle in his ankle since Ironman UK, so although we had planned to go to Embrun we knew the ankle may make the race difficult.  He had a very good swim and bike, finishing the bike in 3rd place ahead of race favourite, Marcel Zamora. After 18km on the run his ankle began to get sore and difficult but he kept his concentration, he ran 2.56 with the bad foot, passing James Cunama to come 2nd!  Congratulations Andrej Vistica who was the champion of the day with a great race. On the podium were all athletes who have been helped by Brett or by Brett’s coaches!

EstherEsther Rodriguez 2nd at TriNautico sprint distance.

I took Esther Rodriguez on at the beginning of the summer, I am very happy to be working with Esther because she is a gutsy and hard working girl, but in the need of being pointed in the right direction with some solid training.  I am really enjoying seeing Esther take this training on board and getting stronger by the day. I work with Esther at Sands Beach, she helps me with the kids training so we are a little Team. TriActiv Lanzarote continues to go from strength to strength.

Esther came 2nd at the TriNautico sprint triathlon on Lanzarote yesterday, after a solid swim bike and run.  She was a great role modal for all our juniors also racing. Now we continue with the training for her upcoming Spanish Championships and 70.3 Lanzarote.

Bella Squad

James Mitchell raced the same sprint triathlon. After some injury problems it was lovely to see him enjoy the afternoon race with no problems. Hollie Craddock racing also back on track after some recent injuries.

Mia Leadbeater raced the adult sprint race continuing to show her hard work and dedication to us all.  Congratulations Mia on your great race. Marcos Knight, Jorge Wilkes, Adrián Rodríguez Hernández, Juanma all raced the kids race showing us all how it is done. Well done all of you. Lots more to come from all of you and I’m very proud of you all,

Aya Stevens came 4th at the Slovakian Mountain Bike Championships as training in preparation for the upcoming Xterra UK! Richard Newey smashed his 50mile TT pb by 4 minutes in England while he continues to prepare for 70.3 Worlds then Hawaii. Great work Richard.

Recap from Coach Susie Langley:

MarianaMariana winning the 10km event at the Maratona de Santa Catarina.

Congratulations to Mariana Andrade for another win this week, this time in the 10km event at the Maratona de Santa Catarina. Sharpening up the run legs before heading to Challenge Maceio next week.

Jessie Donavan and Anne Basso both raced at Ironman Mont Tremblant. Jessie rode very strongly through the field and fought on hard to secure a 6th place finish.

Anne performed consistently across all 3 disciplines and finished in 11th place. Encouraging signs for both women. team member, Trevor Desault, representing the boys in Canada also finished a solid 6th. Great job guys.

Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

Lottie Riddle


So proud of our Squaddie Lottie Riddle who in her 3rd Half Ironman distance has achieved something very special. She did a great job doing a PB and winning her Age Category! Well done Lottie, very happy for you.

Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

GiselaReichmuthGisela Reichmuth was 1st place in her category!

Well done to two of my Swiss athletes racing this weekend in cool and wet conditions in Switzerland and Germany.

Sandy Benz was 1st place female overall in the Rhyathlon at St Gallon, a local sprint triathlon.  A training race for Sandy, as she prepares for the ITU World Championships in Chicago in September.

Gisela Reichmuth was 1st place in her category, and 6th female overall at the Allgäu sprint triathlon in German.  A good results off the back of Ironman training this season 🙂

Well done to all of our athletes competing this weekend. online professional coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Inspiring Weekend of Results

Inspiring Weekend of Results

Diana Riesler winning Ironman 70.3 Gdynia this weekend.

This weekend saw the squad throw their full support behind the Home of Triathlon initiative here in St. Moritz. It was also a spectacular demonstration to our young pros about what it takes to be a true all round professional and champion.

On Saturday Nicola Spirig spent all day shaking hands, giving high-fives and signing autographs for the 119  competitors at the Kids Cup series that holds her name. This year they doubled the number of competitors in what turned out to be a terrific event. After starting the race, being on the finish line to watch every competitor finish and then presenting the awards ceremony – who do you think Coach spots on the bike at 6pm, swim bag over the shoulder preparing for the next day’s race?

NS-KidsCup17Nicola Spirig Kids Cup presentation ceremony.

The Top of the World Triathlon

On what is now home turf the squad were out in full force for the adult’s race on the Sunday. One of the reasons we have the success we do within our squad is because of the mutual respect our athletes have for each other. Respect in that while everyone remains friends off the course, all know when the starter gun goes off no-one takes any prisoners. So there was no walkover in this race with our Honey Badger (Mary Beth Ellis) sticking it to the short course champs on the swim and bike. swept the podium with Ritchie doing a good job to run away with it, chased home by the impressive up-and-comers Alan Carillo and Reiny Brown. The latter being given a little lesson is aggressive race riding by the female World Long Course and Olympic Champ.

In the women’s race, Nicola, weathered the early onslaught to take out the inaugral Home of Triathlon race and was followed in by Eimear Mullan and MBE.

Well done to all.

Race Recap - HoTThe squad in action at the HoT Triathlon this weekend: Ritchie Nicholls (1st), Alan Carillo (2nd), Reiny Brown (3rd), Mary Beth Ellis (3rd), Eimear Mullan (2nd) and Nicola Spirig (1st).

Elsewhere, congratulations to Julie Derron who took out the Swiss Junior Championship in Nyon this weekend riding down the top girls and proving to strong on the run. Trent Simmons also did a great job with a solid performance to take the 2nd fastest run split in the men’s race.

Finally, very happy for age group athlete Alicja Medak, who won Ironman 70.3 Gdynia this weekend taking her age group in her home country of Poland.

Alicja RRVictory in colours for Alicja Medak this weekend.

Race Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Diana RRSecond time within two weeks Dian Riesler has found herself on top of the podium.

It really looks like Diana likes racing in Poland, as she has now won the 2 most prestigiuos races there within only 2 weeks! This weekend, she backed-up her performance at Challenge Poznan with a win at Ironman 70.3 Gdynia. Diana exited the water in 2nd position, only 45 seconds back to first. Thanks to her traditional super-strong bike performance, she took over the lead at 10km on the bike course and extended her margin to second place to 5 minutes when hopping off the bike. She continued to gain time on the run course and won the race with a superior lead of 13 minutes. At the finish line, Diana was very happy:

“Finally I could win my first Ironman 70.3 title! That is fantastic! We worked very hard to get my speed up so that I am not only competitive at long distance races but also over shorter distances. I’m glad that the hard training of the past months paid off today.”

Coach Jo was also pleased with Diana’s performance:

“In Poznan she won the race with a strong run, but she almost lost the race on the swim. Today she won the race with strong swim and bike performances. Since Posnan we adjusted some things in the pool and found the ‘missing link’. I’m happy that today her swim is back to what it should be.”

Well done Diana!

Oliver RROliver Klaus blazing away at the Top of the World Triathlon this weekend.

Oliver Klaus was the athlete who stood up for my squad at St. Moritz Top of the World Triathlon in St. Moritz. He hit the podium in 3rd place – despite coach gave him a 5hr bike ride the day before to tire his legs for the race. The tiredness of that ride should protect him from going to hard on this sprint distance triathlon. However, it looks like Oli outraced his legs. 😉 Oli enjoyd the race very much. It’s just a fantastic landscape up there! Great job, Oli. Nice way to start the training road to Kona!

Race Recap from Coach Lisbeth Kristensen:

Kitty RR1st place and onto the World Champs for Kitty Perle.

I’m a very happy coach this weekend! Kitty finished Dublin 70.3 and won her age group, 30-34, in 4.59.03!! It seemed as if it was a tough course. She was a bit back on the swim but then she hammered on the bike and she had the fastest run and bike split. She qualified for World Champs in Australia next year! She’s been working so hard and I’m very proud of her!

Fran Bungay also just became the European Champion in her age group, 40-44! She’s just brilliant on the bike. She had a good swim too and the run is come nicely along too!

Here is Fran’s take on the race:

After a great bit of training in the Alpes and the short course Alpe D’Huez triathlon race, (winning my age group, top 10 finish and posting the third fastest bike split up the mountain), I headed over to Germany to race in the European 70.3 Championships in Wiesbaden. I was disappointed to learn that the swim start was changed to a rolling start, turning the race into a time-trial, and resulting in a horrible messy swim, worst I have experienced in a long time in terms of being pulled at the ankles, swum over, hit, etc. However, was pleased to hit the hilly bike course and put some time between me and my fellow competitors! 10 minutes faster on the bike than last year, (which must have something to do with those mountain hill reps!) the key was to keep the legs moving on the run! With still a fair bit of work to do on the run due to a few years of injury, I have to really focus on being positive, and Coach Lisbeth has given me a few aspects to focus on which were working really well… Until on lap 3 I fell on a manhole cover, twisting and damaging my ankle. With only a lap and a bit to go, I obviously carried on, and on finishing headed to First Aid!  Really pleased to have finished as European Champion in my age group! So heading to physio tomorrow to assess the damage. With under three weeks to go until the World Championships I’m hoping for a quick fix!!

Fran RRFran at the awards ceremony.

Race Recap from Coach Andres Castillo:

Brian Moya RRHe’s back. Great return to racing for Brian Moya!

This was a good weekend for my athletes, starting with Alan Carrillo with a second place at the St. Moritz triathlon in his preparation for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 3 weeks. In Bogota, Brian Moya returned to triathlon world after a broken collarbone 2 months ago with a win in the Colombian National cup and just 2 weeks after his 2nd place in the duathlon Pan American Championship. In the same race Juan Herrera was second in his age group. For my US athletes, Rob Straznitskas was 3rd overall at the Maine State Triathlon and Walter Rhee did a good training race in Texas in his preparation for Ironman 70.3 Texas.

Well done squad. Keep up the good work.

Race Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

Very proud of my athlete Daniel Barrundia competing in the Collegiate Nationals this weekend. Daniel is an incredible kid, he attends a very prestigious university in the US (Georgia Tech), has a computer science major plus an internship with IBM!

Today he placed 30th from over 410 males beat 90% of the field! This is his recap:

This weekend, my teammates of the Georgia Tech Triathlon and I competed in the Olympic-Distance National Championships in Milwaukee, Wis. This was for all an A-Race and a great way to finish up some really hard training we put over the summer.

Less than a year ago when I started training with you my mind set was completely different. I was just starting with triathlon and I was trying just to finish up races. Hard to believe that this weekend I had a plan set in mind and goals that I wanted to achieve!

Like my coach always says: ‘trust your training and race smart’. Thanks to your advice and training I was able to accomplish these goals and have a new PR.

I can’t wait for the upcoming races of the season and specially my first Ironman 70.3 in Miami at the end of October.

Race Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

MelanieBensonAndNicolaPool RRMelanie and the champ at St. Moritz.

A super weekend again with my athletes racing in Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.

Melanie Benson after a 12 day visit to train with us in St Moritz headed into 70.3 Weisbaden. I can’t be happier with Mel’s attitude and progress this year.  Despite a race morning stumble, resulting in a suspected broken toe, she had the fastest swim in her category, and a solid ride before calling it a day early in the run. We can do a lot with Mels ‘improvise and overcome’ attitude 🙂

Sarah Keller returned to St Moritz (after attending camp two weeks ago) to race in the Top Of The World Triathlon, in St Moritz.  Sarah was first female out of the swim in her wave, and did a super job all day. Sarah improves ever week, as she builds back to full fitness after some time away from the sport.

Neil S RR

Neil Scholes secured a 5th place finish in 70.3 Dublin. Coming from a background of 30 years marathon running Neil has worked diligently on his swim, and was in good company today right from the gun. Still work to be done, but we are on our way.

Gisela Reichmuth, her brother and her husband raced Flumserei Duathlon, placing 2nd overall team. A ‘fun in the sun’ race day, and a reminder that there are some super local races out there to enjoy 🙂

SarahKellerLeadFemaleWave2TopOfTheWorldTriathlon2015 RRSarah Keller exiting the water this weekend.

Congratulations to all athletes competing this weekend.


Weekend of Podiums and PBs for Squad

Weekend of Podiums and PBs for Squad

One of my favourite races: Alpe D’Huez Triathlon 

For the first time in many years I was not able attend the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon this season. A very special race to me, having first spent a season there in 1992 and making the pilgrimage back with the squad every year since 2007.  However, were well represented in spirit with many former squaddies making the journey back and our own Honey Badger (Mary Beth Ellis) and Ritchie Nicholls competing in the spectacular but gruelling long distance event.

While riding in a solid second position Ritchie Nicholls suffered a puncture, which put him out of the race, while I was very happy with the all day training hit-out for Mary Beth Ellis who took 2nd behind an impressive Emma Pooley.

Alpe D Huez1Ritchie and Mary Beth at one of the most spectacular race courses you’ll see.

This weekend also saw our emerging pro, Carina Brechters, continue to improve her run and take a solid Top 5 in the Triathlon Bundesliga series. She’ll now return to St. Moritz where we’ll get to work on that final leg as we progress to the podium.

Carina_BCarina Brechters competing this weekend.

Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Steffi Jansen had a fantastic day at Ironman Maastricht! She not only won her Age Group, but placed 5th overall in the women’s field. Steffi had a personal best swim, exiting the water in 9th place. She executed her race plan very well on a tough and windy course and made up a lot of ground. Coming off the bike in 2nd position already, she quickly took over the lead in her age group and worked herself into the pro field with a strong run. Steffi is a dedicated athlete with a high degree in self-organization and self-discipline and I’m very happy she was able to pull off such a good race!

Steffi JansenTerrific performance by Steffi Jansen.

Thomas Schäfer had his season highlight – the Paracycling Worls Champs. He raced himself to 2 fantastic 6th place finishes in both the Time Trial and the Road race. Initially, he was a little bit disappointed, as he hoped for a medal in at least one of the events – and he was really close as well, missing the podium only by a few seconds. Especially during the road race, he pluck up courage tried to break away from the field, but at the end was caught by the peloton again. Even more impressive that after this effort he could do so well at the sprint to the finish line! Compared to his last World Champs, he improved his performance and competitiveness by a huge amount and now is really in the mix at the very top end of his sport. At the end, it’s only your imporvement and performance, which one can control. And if you’ve done the best what you could on that day, you can be proud of yourself. With his great performance he emphasized again that would be a competitive nomination for Germany’s team for next years Olympics. Well done, Thomas!

Thomas SchaferGutsy breakaway performance by Thomas Schäfer.

Chris Nitschke had a tough and humbling experience at his ‘home’ race Ostseeman. He clearly came to defend his title there and was on the way, taking over the lead at the start of the marathon and leading till 10km. But unfortunately, already at the beginning of the marathon an old hip injury broke up again and restrained him from running fast or running at all. He suffered a lot of pain and wouldn’t have finished the race, if there wasn’t so much support from the crowd at the course. It was a very emotional finish and we all wish him a speedy and fully recovery!

Christian NChris Nitschke competing at Ostseeman.

Finally, Carole Fuchs had her first race under my guidance. She raced Ironman 70.3 Cebu, had a personal best over this distance right away, placing 6th in the pro women’s field and earning herself a bit of money. We worked hard on her swim over the past few weeks and that improved swim fitness already paid off. Carole’s strength is her bike and she showed this by riding the fastest bike split of the day, followed by a good run. There is lot of work to do for Carol, especially in the water, but Cebu was a great start of our coaching relationship.

Carole FuchsA personal best from Carole Fuchs.

Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:

Over the past 2 weeks there have been some great training races.

Esther Rodriguez won the women’s race at a 12km trail race at Tahiche, Lanzarote, while Justi Perez came 4th, close to the top 3 in the same race as Esther.

This weekend Esther came 2nd woman in a 2km competitive open water swim race on Lanzarote. Well done Esther.

Bella Squad1

This weekend also saw Lucy Biddlestone winning the 10km Barranco del Quiquere trail run in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote. While my junior, Marcos Knight came 13th overall in the 5km race.

Keep up this great work Everyone 🙂  I am proud of you all.

Bella Squad2

Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

I’m delighted for my athletes who raced this weekend. Competing on 3 continents they had performances that encourage me in many ways.

Jason Ramdeen raced in the Loggerhead Triathlon in Florida, with yet another podium and 2nd in his category, and 10th overall. Another solid result from ‘Team Ramdeen’, with his wife and young son there to support.

Jason RTeam Ramdeen out in full force.

Jason Richter was the overall winner of the ‘Down to Run Full Moon Endurance Challenge’ 10 mile trail race in Florida.  This starts after sun down on an off road course, lit only by runners head lamps. Jason took an impressive overall win on a water logged course. Earlier this year Jason decided to change focus from triathlon to running, has embraced our ‘White Kenyan’ run program, and is achieving super results – all while making a career change with a heavy study schedule on top of a full working week. His goal is to run the Boston marathon in 2016, and he is well on his way.

JasonRichter1stOverallDownToRun10mileTrailRace1Impressive win for Jason Richter.

Frank Matthews, raced at 70.3 Durban. Traveling from UAE for the race, Frank gave it a red hot go. He put himself in the mix with an outstanding swim / bike combination, and with that attitude he is one to watch for a podium at any race. We can do things with athletes that have Franks drive, and work ethic.

Finally, Chiin-Hooi Tan was overall winner of the Vikingman in Denmark!  Chiin continues to go from strength to strength, backing up after recently qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships.

ChiinCongratulations Chiin-Hooi Tan taking out the  Vikingman Championships!

Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

A weekend of exceptional performances for my athletes this week. Firstly, my online athlete Stewart Mackay overcame a 5 minute penalty to still beat our pre-race goal of a sub 6-hour 70.3 race in Durban, South Africa by nearly three quarters of an hour! Well done, Stewart. The next goal a sub 5-hour is definitely on the cards!

Stewart M

Also, our squadie Jose Iturbide used his Triathlon fitness training to help take out his third National Race Car Championship crown in a row.

For those who may not be familiar with Jose Jorge, he is a champion race car driver who started training for half marathons simply to improve his fitness and become an even better race car driver! After success at the half marathon, I started to convinced him to try out triathlons and now he has qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria in August! What an athlete.

Jose Iturbide

Congratulations to all our athletes competing this weekend. online professional coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Goal Setting for Triathlon

Goal Setting for Triathlon

I often see athletes signing up for races or talking about breaking personal bests, but their actions don’t match the level of commitment achieving their goals require.

Now that the race season is in full swing it’s a good time to sit down and re-evaluate our goals and our daily routines:

Are we doing what it takes to succeed?

What do you need to do or set in place to give yourself the most chance of success?

When evaluating you need to make sure you are being true to yourself and decide if you really are willing to make the sacrifices required to meet those goals – because every time you fail at achieving a goal your self-esteem suffers a mini defeat. Those mini defeats build up over weeks, months and years and end up taking a terrible toll on your self worth.

Many times I see athletes signing up for races or talking about how they want to smash their personal bests, but then their actions do not match the level of commitment achieving their goals require.

If the athlete isn’t willing to do the work or make the sacrifices that it takes to reach his or her goals then as a coach I remind them about our goal setting conversations we had at the beginning of the coach-athlete relationship. Sometimes that works, like giving them a little kick in the butt that jumpstarts and refocuses their motivation. As we know motivation is everything

What I also suggest in some cases is for the athlete to re-evaluate his or her goals – maybe skip that Ironman 140.6 due to the fact that time is very limited, but instead perform really well at an Olympic distance event where later on we can lay endurance over that speed and have race a great Ironman distance race. This alternative is a lot better than showing up to an Ironman completely underprepared and having a disappointing race. As a coach I like reminding my athletes that being consistent the whole year round and racing well at the Olympic distance is better for them than not being consistent in training and racing a full Ironman.

I know it won’t impress your friends at the party as much, but your health and your fitness will thank you for it, also the peace of mind you’ll achieve from following a balanced and realistic program will pay its dividends in all aspects of life.

So to avoid issues you need to think and ask yourself honestly – am I willing to commit? Once you decide attack your goals like there is not tomorrow. But remember, whether you achieve your goals or not make sure you are enjoying the process!

Coach Luis Villavicencio has coached 7 World Championship qualifiers this year. Sign up for online coaching with Luis here.

Coach Luis Squad1On the way to the top!