Entries For: July 2011
I have a lot to digest
I've come back from Adelaide, and am trying to settle back into the Real World again. The week with the junior worlds guys was amazing, a huge learning curve, a lot of really good discussions with some of the best sprint coaches in the world (Gary West & Sean Eadie) and some great bull-sessions as well.
It'll take a few days for it all to sink in, I expect to be busy writing ...
It's good to be home. I missed my aboc Sprint Squad guys, and training myself (and I had FAR too much beer, 4kg worth of lard I now need to shed!). Overall, a very productive, intense time.
I love my job!
Do you look forward to a big race, or the break afterwards?
I had a debrief conversation with one of my sprinters recently, long after the dust had settled from a tough national titles campaign.
One of the things that came out of it was a key element of mental preparation. When you're thinking about race day, and it's a major race day (nationals, states, grand final etc) - how do you look forward to it? Do you think "here's my chance to do my absolute best,to put into practice all the things I've trained", or "I'll be so glad when this is over so I can have a break"?
The answer to that is important. I think, putting it in that context, that the answer that will lead to your best performance is obvious.
Is not what you think
When we think of endurance, we usually think of long things, long rides, long efforts on the track, long runs (urgh!) etc. That's part of it, sure. In the context of sprint training, endurance is two things - the ability to produce power over the duration of our races (short times, not a lot of endurance required and it's very specific) AND, importantly, repeatability.
It's not enough to be able to ride a flying 200, you have to be able to repeat the effort, over and over.
So how do we train for that? In the gym? Yes, you can, we do multiple sets, anyone who'se trained with me in the 'Haus, knows we do 3x3 and 5x5 etc rep ranges, why? The intensity comes from the first couple of sets, the last set is strength endurance, in a useful context.
On the track? Repeating efforts, not making them longer.
Rant ends here!
The things you learn through casual conversation
A few quiet beers, and the company of other sprint coaches. You can't document it, you can't really quantify it. I wrote in a previous blog entry, and in The Book, about sprinters being isolated and that extends to sprint coaches. We're a very rare breed. If you're a sprinter, you might have a dozen or so compatriots, if you're a specialist sprint coach, you might have two or three, and chances are they're interstate or overseas.
So here I am in Adelaide, and I've roomed with Clay Worthington (WAIS sprint coach) and now with Sean Eadie again, and while we've spent some very productive time looking over each other's notes and programs etc, I think the biggest value has been talking sprint philosophy, and also just the general "you are not alone" side of it. My ideas about sprint training buck the old school, often I feel quite isolated and wonder if I'm just plain wrong, but then I spend a night with Sean and we thrash out ideas and concepts and we're meshing on so many levels, I start to realise that I am not alone, and there's others, with proven track records and a genuine pedigree, who agree with (and inspire!) what I'm doing with my guys, This is not to say that I'm not learning lots from Hilton, but that the chance to swap ideas with Sean and Clay and if I get the chance, with Westy, is worth so much, but is so hard to measure.
I'm rambing, but this time I'm spending here is immensely valuable. Thank you to Josh and Hilton for giving me this opportunity.
So here I am in Adelaide for another week
I've been very lucky in this sprint coaching caper. Right from the start. So here I am in Adelaide again, after a weekend's assisting Hilton with the Vic VIS and TID kids at a sprint camp. Now I'm spending this week (I'm here for the first week of a three week junior worlds preparation camp) with Sean Eadie, assisting him as much as I can, working on The Book some more. Amazing opportunity to learn and develop, and hopefully be a tiny bit useful to Sean for the week too.
The water here still sucks, and finding an open supermarket on a weekend is a challenge, but that's Adelaide for you!
The weekend's racing was good - everyone learned a lot and developed skills and confidence. The format was similar to the SSS, which as we know, works!
totally off-topic - Canoe Vic whitewater rescue training ...
My next purchase will be a dry suit ...
I'm going to be away for three weekends in a row, and one full week
aboc's sessions, however, will be in capable hands. Nathan's looking after our DISC sessions this Sunday and the Sundays of the 24th and 31st of July, and Spin on Tuesday the 26th will be taken care of too (but the details are yet to be arranged).
It's good to have some variety, those of you that go to these sessions will be well looked after!
Laps of DISC yesterday, on the CBF250 ... Motorpacing doing 250m MAC's. Can anyone say "bloody cold"?!
Well, you know, we all want to change the world ...
Tonight at Spin we tested the Lemond Revolution under Dino.
To paraphrase :
It's much harder to spin up than the Kurt Kinetic, but it's too easy once it's going.
That's Dino's thoughts - given that we care about the acceleration phase, this might be a good thing. It's noticeably less stable than a KKRM, and a LOT noisier (as you'd expect, it's a wind trainer after all, albeit a fancy one). I will try it under a few other guys and see what they think.
A good night's training
Tonight at DISC Nathan did some good motorpace work for us. I got my second fastest speed ever, a paltry 63km/h, but for an old guy with no talent, that's ok!. Pmax wasn't a PB, at 1351w, but my P5 was the best I've done this year, which I'm pleased with. I did some reasonably heavy squats yesterday and my deadlifts on Thursday were PB's, things are coming together ... We also had a really good turnout at DISC after last week's 4, we had I think 11 or so riders, thank you to all of you who came and to Nathan in particular.
I have a Lemond Revolution on order to try out
Ok, we won't get power from it, at least, not acceleration, although it may be calibrated for steady state (enduro) training, but I have one of these coming which will hopefully be in time for this Tuesday's ergo.
Interesting bit of kit ...
We'll review it once we've tried it out. Rumour has it it has a decent flywheel in it, and if so, and direct drive, it might be a game changer for ergos. If they made one with a built in powermeter ...
What are we doing wrong?
To run my Sunday evening DISC sessions over winter, I need to cover the costs of hiring the track (currently $55/hr) and the lights ($20/hr) and the motorbike if we use it (~$0.50c/km). Over the last few weeks we've had pretty low turn ups for these sessions. To break even, at $20/head, I need 8 people to show up. That's no profit to aboc, that's just to break even. The ergo/spin sessions we run on Tuesday subsidises Sunday DISC, but it can't afford to do that forever, or for more than a few tens of dollars (spin is cheap, too, $10 includes dinner!).
We sometimes get 10 or so people, which pays for the session and my dinner (CHICKEN!), and that's good - it also means we get a decent group of riders to match up with sprint work, and some enduros to do endurance work while the sprinters recover.
So .. Why are less of you coming? What am I doing wrong? I need your input on this, if you're not coming, please tell me why.