Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Things that go "BLEEP!" in the night!

Dear Athletes

Many of you have now had chance to use the little beeper we call a "Wetronome" during your training sessions over the last couple of weeks. The Wetronome is a great little product designed and created by our very own Mr Andrew Holmes (Lane # 1 @ 5.30am).

We have been using it recently to help you pace out your efforts a little more effectively than normal. We do this by giving the leader of your lane a target 100m pace. For example 1'40" per 100m breaks down simply to 25 seconds per 25m. We therefore set the Wetronome to beep at you every 25 seconds, setting off on the next available "beep-beep". The aim is to swim at a consistent pace such that you swim through each and every 25m mark at EXACTLY the same time as when the beep goes. This is the most efficient way to swim an interval (of any distance) and is interestingly how most world records in the pool and on the track are broken (i.e. either perfectly paced or faster in the 2nd half).

Many of you have realized that you are actually starting your efforts way too fast as a result, being ahead of the Wetronome significantly at the 25m, 50m and even 75m markers, but then finding that the Wetronome is "catching you up" by the end of the interval. This is a very inefficient way to swim a series of intervals. You might ultimately hit the same target time (1'40") but if you've done that with the first 25m in 22 seconds, the 2nd in 24 seconds, the 3rd in 26 seconds and the last in 28 seconds, you are seriously hurting your performances over a longer distance swim compared to holding consistent 25s.

We have heard comments such as "the Wetronome is broken, it keeps getting faster!" and "I need to get ahead of it in the first half of the interval in order to make it to the end in time!" - both of these statements are incorrect. The next time you use one in the session, don't be afraid to set off a bit steadier - it will really help and you'll feel much better at the end of the session.

In fact, I personally used the Wetronome for my 2009 Rottnest Channel Swim campaign. I knew I had to be really efficient at swimming 1'30" per 100m for two hundred 100m 'intervals' continuously (!). I have a habit of going off too fast, so the Wetronome ensured that in my training sessions I was pacing myself appropriately and therefore developing the correct energy systems to be successful in the marathon swim.

To use a final example, Don (from Lane # 1 at 6.30am) recently had a 1-2-1 swim session with me. This was a follow-up after a previous video analysis session. Don's stroke was looking much better, but he was still finding it hard going in some of the longer sessions, often blowing up by the 60% point. As in the first example, Don was swimming way too quick in the first 25m (~21-22 seconds) but then actually averaging closer to 27-28 seconds per 25m for the remaining markers. All of this was at a high stroke rate of ~72 strokes per minute (essentially "fighting the water"). We used two Wetronomes to control Don's pacing strategy - one to keep him at a steady 60 strokes per minute and the other to keep his 25m splits at 26 seconds. As a result, he has made a tremendous improvement in his pacing ability...something which we can all do quite easily!

Don't be afraid to ask to have a go with the Wetronome in your next session - you really will find it useful. Considering that both the Australian Institute of Sport and British Swimming use these units with their top swimmers is saying something for Mr Holmes's (and the rest of the guys at Atamo) foresight in this area of swimming!



Sunday, June 28, 2009

And the morale of the story is...

...don't trust what the weather man says!

Dear Athletes

Just reporting back from our Cyclo Sportif efforts today over in the Swan Valley. We managed to assemble an 8 man team (oops! make that 7 men and 1 very fast woman who pushed us all along!!) for the 64km flat-to-undulating course over at Herne Hill. The talk on Saturday was that the event should have been cancelled with the forecast being as it was, but giving it the benefit of the doubt, we all decided to make the final call on the morning of the event, and it actually turned out pretty nice indeed! We felt quite virtuous just being there knowing that many others chose to pull out the night before!

The 4 lap rectangular course saw us tackle the toughest undulating section up Campersic Road directly into a testing headwind which forced us to really test our group cycling skills. As Glen (the "Shepard") rightly pointed out, had Phil Ligget seen us in perfect echelon action he would have been proud!

The group worked really well together and we covered the distance just under 2 hours at an average speed of 33km/h - not too bad given the gusty conditions and the fact that none of us would claim to be super-fit right now. What's more we passed a dozen or so teams and only got passed by 3, so we were pretty chuffed with our TEAM effort on the day.

Congratulations to David, Matt, Jess, Trevor, Glen, Andrew, and Dan - you guys did a great job and did us proud! Thanks also to Lenore and Jamie for their support on the course and for Jamie supplying the photos.

The next event is on Sunday 26th July in York and it would be great to get a few more people involved and hopefully create a 2nd or 3rd team. Please let me know if you would be keen to participate in this event. With a bit of team work, you'll be amazed by what you can achieve!



Saturday, June 27, 2009

All on for cycLing this morning!

See you under the Narrows Bridge at 7.30am.



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Saturday Ride

Dear Athletes


As you know, this Sunday will see some of the TEAM CORE competing together at the Swan Valley Cyclo Sportif event. Full details of this event can be seen at http://cyclosportif.com.au/docs/Swan_ValleyTeam_Briefing_20091.pdf for those of the TEAM who are competing. It will take ~ 40 mins to drive from the city following this route. We shall meet at the Midvale Speed Dome for registrations at 8.00am and our race commences at 9.15am. There is a Team Managers meeting at 8.15am which I shall attend. Please don't be late. Bring some warm, wet weather gear as the forecast is not looking great. David L has promised to keep us entertained en-route with various uplifting song renditions to keep team spirits high!


Depending upon how nasty it is looking on Saturday, we shall meet at 7.30am for a shorter ride this week out towards the coast for a little bit of group skills work for those who would like to join us. Whole ride will be ~ 45 to 55km and will be a perfect warm-up for Sunday. We shall meet under the Narrows Bridge on the north side of the river, but south side of the road immediately adjacent to the river. I will notify the Blog by 6.30am on Saturday morning, confirming if this ride will proceed with the impending stormy weather that is due.

Rug up kids, it's going to be wet and wild!



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Its raining, its pouring!

Dear Athletes

Another large weather system is moving through with strong winds and thunder (according to the radar) and as such I'd suggest we don't ride this morning and save that wet weather enthusiasm for this weekend's Cyclo Sportif event!!

Just for your reference, the TEAM CORE Blog's are posted out between 9am and 11am each morning to your email address. Its just the way our service provider "Google Feedburner" works. However, the actual Blog feed goes live immediately, so, if you're ever in doubt about whether a session will go ahead or not, check out http://theteamcore.blogspot.com/ each morning 30-60 mins before the scheduled session where I will confirm if the session will be going ahead given weather warnings and the like.

If all is looking good and no really nasty weather is forecast, always assume we'll be there!

With respect to swimming, these sessions will ALWAYS be on, irrespective of rain etc, the only time they would be cancelled is in the event of a lightening storm.

Just so you know...



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cyclo Sportif TEAMS

Dear Athletes

This coming Sunday is the Swan Valley Cyclo Sportif event out at Herne Hill. We are still compiling a list of people to make up the two 5 to 9 person teams that we are hoping to enter. Currently I have the following on my list:

TEAM # 1

Mary Tennant
Helen Masson
Liz Beeck (for other CS events, but not Swan Valley)

TEAM # 2

Glen Blackwell
David Laidlaw
Paul Newsome
Matt Lowth

...so as it stands, we don't yet have two full teams. If your name is not on the list but you wish to join in on this fun event, please let me know by midday today so that I can let those who want to race whether its a "yay" or a "nay". Thanks


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ride going ahead this morning!

Dear Athletes

Just to confirm that this morning's ride at 7am from the Bell Tower WILL proceed as normal - see you out there!



Friday, June 19, 2009

Weather warning & Friday morning swimming!

Dear Athletes

Please be advised that swimming today at 5.30am, 6.30am and 9.30am will all proceed as normal despite weather warnings of a large storm coming through. In the event of lightening the pool will have to close, but please know that we WILL be down there and that you DO have to get wet anyway, so why not come and join us for some Fresh & Fruity action!



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday evening swim sessions now at 6.15pm

Dear Athletes

Please be advised that from Tuesday 23rd June onwards, our Tuesday evening swim session will now start at 6.15pm and finish at 7.15pm in order to allow you to use the showers and changerooms after finishing and to also feel like you're not being rushed out of there! Hopefully that all works for you!



Saturday Ride & Cyclo Sportif

Dear Athletes

This Saturday we shall be taking a ride out into the Swan Valley to have a quick whizz around next weekend's Cyclo Sportif Swan Valley course. The 16km looped course itself is at http://www.mapmyride.com/route/au/herne%20hill/384124522890282539 (of which you will do either 4 or 5 laps) and we'll be riding out to the course (24.5km) following this route: http://www.mapmyride.com/route/au/perth/618124522953594156

Plan is to meet at the Bell Tower at 7.00am this week (note the slightly earlier start) and ride out steady as one group, then split up and do 1, 1.5 or loops of the Cyclo Sportif circuit in full team formation, before returning home. Total distance will therefore be in the 65 to 81km region as a guide.

The actual Swan Valley Cyclo Sportif event is next Sunday 28th June, usually around midday. You can enter and pay at http://www.cyclosportif.com.au/enter.htm

This is how it works:

You can either -

1) pay for this race as a one-off for $60.00 (this includes a one day race license valued at $15.00)


2) pay for 12 months membership to Cyclo Sportif which includes 12 months in / out of racing cycling insurance (a bargain and highly recommended for anyone riding this year - it could just save your bacon). This costs $75.00. The race entry fee is then just $45.00 for this event and includes lunch.

We are hoping to enter 2 teams for the 64km and/or 78km events, with the recommendation being the 64km event for our first hit-out. These teams require 5 to 9 people in each to compete, so we really need to know ASAP if you wish to book a spot in our two teams. Team 1 will hope to average ~30 to 34km/h and Team 2 ~34 to 37km/h (weather dependent). To achieve these speeds riders will work together in a draft-legal formation. This is lots of fun and also great for your cycling skills. 

So please let me know if you wish to be considered for a team, even if you've mentioned it in passing over the past week or so.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Party on!

Dear Athletes

I'd just like to say a quick thank you to all of you who were able to attend our Annual TEAM CORE party on Saturday night up at Hillary's. It was a great night enjoyed by all. Justin Palmer did us proud with the hire of Bar One Twenty and also provided a good amount of free drinks for all the crew - thanks mate, much appreciated!!

The night started off with a quick run-down of the year gone by - the first full season for the TEAM. Athletes were commended for really living up to our "three C motto" of "Commitment, Consistency and (most of all) Camaraderie" - demonstrating that it is not only possible for a wide range of abilities to train successfully together for a wide range of events, but that this process can be very enjoyable and some great new friendships can be made too. Well done all!

Winning the special awards this year were:

Dark Horse* (female) = Jess Huston for her outstanding performance at the recent Busselton Half Ironman in May.

Dark Horse* (male) = Mike Bowles for his outstanding return to the sport, also at the recent Busselton Half Ironman in May.

* the Dark Horse award is given each year to a quiet achiever who has either just returned to the sport after several years off, or whom shows real potential in their first year in the sport. 

Well done Jess and Mike!

The Captain's Award = Judi Clemie for her help and assistance throughout the year with those new to the sport and to TEAM CORE.

The (aptly named) Shepherd's Award = Glen Blackwell for his help and guidance with those new to the cycling sessions in particular.

The Top Coach Award = Adam Young for all his help and assistance on pool deck and behind the "scenes" over the past 6 months.

Michelle Newsome also received a special thank you for putting up with Paul for the last year whilst the TEAM CORE has been developed!

I'd just like to personally round off by saying a HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed to the very generous gifts for myself and Adam - we were simply blown away by your generosity and are very grateful indeed...enough to be "soft" on a couple of Fresh & Fruity Fridays??? Hmmm, grateful yes, soft no! Hahahaha!!! ;-)



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Its all happening on Saturday!

Dear Athletes

3 fun events for you to enjoy this coming Saturday 13th June:

7.30am = ride from the Bell Tower out through Welshpool, up Welshpool Road to Kalamunda. Quick Cafe stop at the Paris-Brest Cafe at 22 Haynes Street. We will start off as a large group but split into 2 groups of ability as we start to climb. I will take the faster group on an added route of a further ~10km up a 2nd hill once at the top of Kalamunda before we meet with the rest of the group for coffee and ride back down the hill together. Check out the map here. This is the shorter of the 2 routes at ~ 63km. Remember, this is a FREE session.

1pm = squad swim session at Claremont Pool. Fun and frivolity developing your openwater swimming skills! A must for those with the need for speed!

8pm (sharp) = The TEAM CORE Annual Squad Party at Bar One Twenty, Hillarys Boat Harbour, Sorrento Quays. ALL invited - please come along with your partners for an evening of fun and merriment! Many thanks for TEAM CORE sponsor, Justin Palmer for having organized this again for us!

Cheers - better go off and polish my dancing shoes now!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Final Call for KIT!

Dear Athletes

Due to a slight delay with receiving some of the proofs for the new Winter Clothing, you have until midday today (Wednesday 10th June) to get in any final requests for our new Winter range of cycling and running gear. Full details / photos of the kit can be found at: http://theteamcore.blogspot.com/2009/05/end-of-season-party-team-kit.html

Also, we now have the last remaining pieces of summer gear left - if would like any of the following, please let me know asap - thanks!

Women's JERSEYS:

1 x S, 1 x M

Women's SHORTS:

1 x XS

Men's JERSEYS (ladies would find the Small / Mediums fit well - try if you wish!):

2 x S, 5 x M, 1 x L


2 x S, 2 x L, 2 x XXL


2 x L, 1 x XL, 2 x XXL



Thursday, June 4, 2009

Saturday's TEAM ride

Dear Athletes

Just a quick reminder that we will be meeting at 7.30am on Saturday (6th June) at the Bell Tower for a short ride down to our main sponsor's store (The Kitchen Warehouse) on Armadale Road in Cockburn. We will stop there for a quick coffee and a bite to eat before returning back to Perth. This will be a nice ride of ~45 km total to brush off the cobwebs and to have a nice social ride down the Freeway Bike Path. We'll average in the 26-28km/h range I would have thought, but the focus will be very much on fun. This will mark the start of our winter program, where you can expect to see some challenging hills rides on a Saturday morning from here on. Expect to be back in Perth ~10am (you can turn back sooner if you need to be back early). We'll look at formulating some teams as well for the upcoming Cyclo Sportif events.

Please wear your TEAM CORE cycle kit as we'll aim to get a couple of group photos outside the store.

Oh, and don't forget, next Saturday's TEAM CORE Annual Party at Bar One Twenty in Hillary's Boat Harbour from 8pm sharp. Please let us know if you will be attending!



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Winter Development Program

Dear Athletes

Myself and Adam have been talking and planning over the last 4 weeks about how best to cater for everyone's interests over the winter period (i.e. June to October). We want to be able to offer you a program which is fun and exciting and also offer a little variety from what you have been doing over the summer. We also realize that many of you are probably keen to just keep ticking over and maintain your fitness rather than engage in anything too serious. All of this is OK (obviously!). 

Many of you have now had 4 weeks off after the Busselton Half Ironman and are seeking inspiration and motivation for the short Auzzie winter ahead (!) and have kindly provided us with feedback of some of what you'd like to see over the next 3 to 4 months. In a nutshell, this is what we've rounded it down to and will be using as the base of our Winter Development Program:

  • Encourage athletes to choose one of the three disciplines to really concentrate on over the winter. Typically this will be your weakest discipline, but it doesn't necessarily have to be so. You might even like to split the next 16 weeks into 2 chunks - one where you focus on the bike, and one where you focus on the run. Our suggestion is that you seek to maintain your efficiency in the pool with some solid technique work as you'll find that this will have the least impact on the other two disciplines. Adam wrote an excellent article on this very topic which can be read at http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=21000 
  • We have made some slight modifications to the Program to enable you to do this. Most notably is the cancellation of the Monday evening cycle wind trainer session, but replacing it with a Monday evening long continuous tempo run as requested by many of you. With the Thursday night run session, this now gives us 2 squad run sessions per week (Monday and Thursday nights) and 2 squad bike sessions per week (Wednesday and Saturday mornings). This new schedule can be seen at http://www.theteamcore.com/weeklyprogram.html and is effective from Monday 8th June 2009 onwards.
  • Our suggestion is that if you choose to concentrate on the bike, that you complete 3 cycle sessions per week plus 1 run session for maintenance. This could be the Wednesday and Saturday morning rides with the squad plus one other with a cafe ride or similar. If you choose to concentrate on the run, you should attend the Monday and Thursday evening run sessions and do a long run by yourself on Saturday morning. We'd still recommend you one of the squad cycle sessions per week though to keep tabs with this discipline. This would probably be best done on Wednesday morning.
  • The best news about these changes (for you guys at least!) is that until the 7th September, we have decided to make all 4 of those non-swim squad sessions entirely FREE! Yes, we know that's very generous, but here's why: 1) many of you will naturally have limited commitment over the winter and probably require limited feedback on a session-by-session basis for the bike and run disciplines - you just want a guide of what you should be doing and are happy enough to get on with things, enjoying the break from the "full structure" of the Busselton Program and saving the pennies in the process! You do however like training with your mates and so still want to be involved as much as you can. We think that's great and we want to continue to build the TEAM CORE's atmosphere even in these typically quieter months!; 2) in order to be most effective in my capacity as "coach" with respect to guiding effective group cycling techniques (a-la: http://www.cyclosportif.com.au/docs/bunchriding-article08.pdf) for the Cyclo Sportif events and even trying to push you guys along in the dark on some new running routes that we have lined up, I need to be out there with you. Not being too fit myself at present I will need to lift my fitness by training alongside you as one of your TEAM mates if I am going to be part of the TEAM at these events. As such, I have decided that for the next 12 weeks that these sessions will not incur any cost. Cool hey?! Post September 7th, we will go back to more of a "standard" coaching arrangement, and your support of this venture by attending the paid-for swim sessions would be much appreciated in the meantime and allow us to do this! Thanks.
  • Use a variety of different events to test your growing "prowess" in your chosen discipline. We have prepared this excellent simple guide to what's on over the next 17 weeks with respect to events in WA, how to enter them, how much they cost and even a compilation of tips as well. Check it out here: http://www.theteamcore.com/documents/WinterDevelopment.pdf
  • Each week we'll try and keep things as varied as possible - welcoming your feedback as we go. Surprisingly there was limited interest in the squad for learning and doing some of the other strokes, however, for those who were / are keen, we will run several "opt-in" sessions for those who want to, with a special lane for those guys trying the other strokes.
  • Subject to ongoing interest, we will also look at running a mid-winter "Boot Camp" getaway, probably focusing on some off-road MTBing and X-Country running - watch this space! You can bet your last dollar though that it'll be a whole heap of fun!
  • Those who have expressed an interest in training more "seriously" over the winter for events such as the World Long Course Championships, the City-2-Surf marathon and the Busselton Ironman have now approached me with respect to what you should be doing and how etc and we have spoken about options. You will still be encouraged to partake in the sessions on the new schedule as they will still be appropriate for you too - we just might make you run an extra 20km to get to the session in the first place! LOL! ;-)


So check out the Winter Development Plan and decide which discipline you feel like you'd benefit from by improving this winter whilst the "pressure" to perform is off a little bit. Look at the events that you would like to do to keep you interested and motivated. Check out the entry and cost information for these events. Sign up for a couple (the best way to commit you to getting out there when the weather is poor!). Let me know if you want to be part of one of The TEAM CORE's Cyclo Sportif teams and which races you can do. Finally, get along to some of those new sessions!

See you out there, its going to be a great winter!!



Monday, June 1, 2009

Saturday Ride this week 6th June

Dear Athletes

Please be advised that we shall be riding on Saturday morning out to the Kitchen Warehouse store in Cockburn for a coffee and breakfast at the new store run by fellow TEAM CORE athlete and sponsor, Chris Murphy. The ride will leave the Bell Tower at 7.30am and aim to get down to Cockburn just before 8.30am. We'll then ride back up the coast together. Please wear your TEAM CORE gear where possible as we'll get some team photos in front of the store. Many thanks for your support.

Coming up:

Stay tuned this week for details of some proposed "variety" changes to some of the bike and run sessions over the winter as part of our new "Winter Maintenance" initiative. This will provide you with plenty of variety and lots of fun over the cooler months. Part of this program will involve non-compulsory participation in some of the local cycling and running events, i.e. Cyclo Sportif and the City to Surf - guaranteed to turn you into uber-athletes over the winter! Cool bananas.