December newsletter

Recent Sessions:
November and early December have been reasonable busy for on-going sessions with about a dozen athletes getting involved. The sessions were the Swim Video analysis session at Steyning pool on December 1st, the on-going ‘Pace Awareness’ run group and the NLP/visualisation workshop at Dragonfly clinic followed by a few ‘end of season’ drinks at ‘The Blue Man’ around the corner. Upcoming activities:
– Pace Awareness session to improve your control so you stay within the correct Heart Rate zones:, last session on 20th December
– Delivery soon of the wearetri tri-suits, I am Soooo excited about these
– Planning for sessions for 2013 which will include: ‘Cycle Pace Awareness (Jan-Feb)’; ‘Run Pace Awareness (Jan-Mar)’; ‘Swim Video Analysis (Feb?)’ plus anything else you may suggest so please, let me know what you need help with.

Zeina Clare, wearetri NLP/visualisation workshop, 16th December
Last night I was very humbled to be in the company of triathletes and Ironman athletes. All focused and dedicated and displaying alarming levels of endurance, not only in their constant training but also in the competitions they chose to race in. We were brought together for a Wearetri seminar on how to obtain positive thought, assisting us in our training, racing and life journey in general. The aim was to dispel the negative, which causes us not only to doubt our ability but makes us tired and anxious, therefore affecting performance greatly.

Cormac Davey took the group and is a professional NLP practitioner. So what is NLP? Well it is complex and simple at the same time. Also referred to as the ‘science of human excellence’ and used heavily in sports psychology, NLP is broken down into three principles: Neuro – How we interpret information via our senses creating a mental map (our unique reality). Linguistic – language and its use. Programming – allowing us to change our patterns of thinking and behaviour. I’m not going to go into detail about the night because I feel if anyone wants to know more they should attend the next seminar and experience it for themselves.

However, we discussed the principles, vocalised why we were all there and what we hoped to achieve by the end of the night. The session was very interactive, with a fair amount of time spent practising visualisation techniques. I think all of us were quite profoundly moved and affected by the experience. The mood in the room was one of quiet and intense contemplation. I myself felt fairly emotional, in an inspired and positive way.

I felt as though in the short space of time I had learned not only a coping tool, but a tool to take my mind into a more informed and stronger place. Talking afterwards with the others who attended it was clear to see we had all gained something from the night.

Some of us decided to take this air of excitement and positivity, to the pub! There we talked about races past and present and of our hopes for the next season. I for one am not an Ironman nor Half Ironman, so the talk of swimming 150 lengths three times a week, running endless kilometres and cycling for miles and miles, went somewhat over my head! However we were all brought together by a common denominator. The fact we all train hard, and have decided to compete regardless to what level. Something drives us to the start line and sees us across the finish, time and time again. After the seminar it was booze that drove some of us on! I myself came home in the early hours. I blame the others. I did still however make it to swim training the next day, just. There’s going to be another one of these NLP sessions next year I believe. If you can, come. Not only to learn something new, to hang out with like minded people, gallivant about the streets of Brighton afterwards if you wish, but first and foremost, to get the feel good factor that we all took away with us that night.

Simon Wickenden, Swim Video Analysis at Steyning pool, 1st December
Today I received my report from the swim video session organised by WeAreTri at Steyning Leisure Centre. I opened the files with some trepidation as in the same way as your belief in your ability to dance seems inversely proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed. I was confident that what in my mind’s eye was a smooth and effective swim technique would prove to be more akin to aquatic daddy dancing. Having attended a number of WeAreTri swim training sessions I was keen to see for myself the numerous flaws in my technique that had been highlighted and that I am still struggling to master, so it was with little persuasion that I found myself on a cold and still winter’s evening in the pools reception waiting for Darren and the other attendees. Steyning Leisure Centre is a relatively small facility but boasts a 25 metre pool and benefits from better than average staff and management for a public swimming pool and as such is always a pleasure to use, although a word of caution it is quite easy to fall foul of the aggressively enforced parking disc system run by Horsham District Council.

Upon arrival a brief conversation with the other victims helped to reassure me that I wasn’t the only one who was feeling slightly nervous at having my technique so closely scrutinised. In spite of this I was keen to get started and having changed, we each chose a lane and swam a few lengths to warm up. The session started with a couple of leg only lengths followed by the main pyramid session and finally a couple of lengths flat out. As we swam Darren videoed each of us in turn from both above and below the water allowing analysis not just when we were fresh but also as we tired. All too soon the hour was over and it was time to leave but before we did Darren gave us a brief preview of some of the video.

The big question is was it worth it? The answer for me and in my opinion for anyone looking to improve their swimming is an emphatic YES. There are several immediate benefits, being able to clearly see what Darren had already highlighted has made it much easier for me to understand why and to focus on those techniques. It has also enabled Darren to identify other areas to work on which he had not been able to clearly see during our previous sessions. Having it in writing always makes it seem more substantive and in the future I am sure it will prove useful as a reference point as my swimming improves. Now I just need to spend the time in the pool to put all the information into practice so that I am better prepared for future training sessions and next season. As to my concerns about how bad my technique is, well, let’s just say that there is definitely room for improvement.

Shawn Timmons, Pace Awareness run group, Nov and Dec
I ran my first Marathon last year 2011 which was Brighton, it was bit more than a mid-life crisis, more I caught myself saying I am going to do that one day as I sat and watched yet another London Marathon. And never doing much more than talking about it!! I could not even run for a bus without getting out of breath. I followed a book I found on the web and trained myself. I was nervous come race day but as I got half way round Preston Park I knew I would be crossing the finishing line. I finished a respectable 4.06, not bad for a beginner. I then followed that with The Downland 30 which I found harder. This year I have got some tough off road marathons under my belt, 5 to date one being London 2 Brighton. I had planned to run 1 marathon only in the beginning. This year’s Brighton I got down to 3.42.51 so my target now is 3.30 for a Road flat.

Running on my own I was told I will only teach myself to run slower! So I tried the pace sessions Darren was starting at the end of November, now let me tell you I am not one to be put off by the weather which was good as these sessions were based down on Hove lawns. The first session I found a little difficult as it was quite windy and not used to running at a consistent pace made me pushed myself that bit harder than I would have not done this if I had been training on my own, Sam another runner was running at the same pace which bought out that bit of competiveness in me and helped me to keep going. By the 3rd week I found the session easier but we ran in horrendous conditions that night driving ice cold rain stung the face as we ran past the peace statue. Wind hit us head on and we could not hear Darren shout out are times as we passed him. Bad weather I believe helps you to train better as your more focused at getting it done. (Well done to Darren for being stood out in that weather) Overall I have found the sessions really helped. Joining the pace sessions I found I am able to push myself that bit more and as a result I know I have more in the tank. I went for a run cross country last Sunday and did a usual 9.5 miles, plenty of hills I kept a faster pace and just pushed through any thoughts of slowing down. What I found with the pace training I have started to build a good foundation of strength to keep a good consistent pace and feel comfortable with keeping this up my body just seemed to adapted to this well. I shall be trying this out this week end when I head off to finish the year with The Portsmouth Coastal Marathon. Let’s hope the rain and wind is not too bad!!

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Level 2 Triathlon coach 3 x Ironman finisher British National Formation skydive silver medal winner (2004) Father of 2 boys
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