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, WHERE TO NOW?
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!!