Our squad program has an underpinning foundation of training SMART, with aspirations to see improvements, make measurable gains over time and line up for races each season posting vastly better performances year on year.
SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Time Sensitive
A positive performance cycle perpetuates further improvements as the athlete’s confidence levels rise, stretch goals are considered and new skills or strategies are acquired to allow better performance. As a coach planning the sessions, progression and providing technical and motivational feedback, focusing on what the athlete ‘can do’ helps scaffold areas they need to address, utilising a positive mindset. I overtly encourage any of my athletes NOT to focus on anyone else’s performance delivery but their own. It is a complete waste of energy to worry about what your competitors are doing, far better to develop confidence and competence in what you can produce under pressure, when you are in the shape of your life or peak form on race day! Advice from others should always be contextualised by asking how this is relevant to you, as an individual? Remember the #1 rule of training SMART, focus your training on being specific, not generic!
I’ve been very impressed with some of the incidental feedback from numerous squad regulars, who have surpassed their expectations of performance in races the past few weeks. Podium placings, PB’s and a common theme of ‘exiting the water into T1 and being pleasantly surprised at seeing so many bikes’ has been coming through on the emails and post-training discussions on the pool deck.
Our recent squad CSS testing allowed individual swimmers to make comparisons on their improvement over the course of the Winter and Spring training, and as ever, consistency is paramount for delivering results across all of our lanes. This has been demonstrated as ever by swimmers who are new to triathlon in Lane 6, working at ~2:00 per 100m pace through to our fast lane swimmers in Lane 1, fine tuning their cruising speeds at sub 1:20 pace per 100m. We are talking sustainable threshold pace here, to train at or slightly below, in order to increase the athlete’s speed efficiency or CSS (Critical Swim Speed) NOT their all-out 100m sprint pace (although we measure this from time to time for interest and confidence). The trainable metric we focus on in our SwimSmooth squad training sessions for triathlon, multi-sport and endurance type swim events (1500m through to 10km) is the ability to sustain 100m threshold pace for the goal event distance.
Niall O’Rourke – CSS 2:10 (March 2014) to 1:59 (May 2014)
Thomas Reynolds – CSS 2:05 (Feb 2014) to 1:49 (May 2014) – Tuesday 10 week improvers fast track squad attendee!
Clive Smith – CSS 2:09 (Jan 2014) to 1:57 (May 2014)
Trishia Ward – CSS 1:55 (Jan 2014) to 1:45 (May 2014)
Luke Tyburski – CSS 2:02 (Jan 2014) to 1:45 (March 2014), then in wetsuit to 1:33 CSS (May 2014)!!
Jim Hoadley – podium at BTF Sprint Triathlon Championships
Kate McCombe – ‘Thank you – I had the best open water swim I’ve ever had today! I couldn’t believe it when I got into an empty transition!! I’ve never had a swim like it…’ 3rd out of her swim at BTF Sprint Triathlon Championships
Gareth Moore – completed half IM distance swim in 33 mins. ‘There were a lot of bikes left in transition when I got out of the swim which was a unique experience and great to see!!’
Graham Ross – nailing his IM70.3 Mallorca swim easily in sub 30 mins (Lane 2 super-improvers)
Ian Williams – another awesome Lane 2 swim at half IM distance in 28 minutes!
More improvements and performance highlights to come from the next training cycle, through a combination of race specific open water technical training, focused CSS pace development and endurance/ conditioning sessions each week. Availability for squad training can be found by clicking on the image above. Currently Monday evening squad training (open water skills) has a lengthy waiting list, as it is a very popular session and there is limited availability on Wednesday and Friday evenings, based on your current CSS. Please contact me to find out whether we can offer you a place and register you on any particular squad evening session you might want to add to your current training schedule to significantly improve your performance!