I just wanted to say a quick thank you to you all for providing me with such excellent feedback over the last 10 days, both on the running of our various multi-sport programs and also on your preference of training sessions over the winter. We have been quite literally overwhelmed by the response and are currently in the process of planning the next 4 months as we speak.
The following are a couple of pointers that have arisen. This is a relatively long post, but hopefully very informative for those of you wondering "what next" over the winter period:
1) SQUAD NUMBERS
No sooner did we cancel the Tuesday and Friday 7.30am sessions for the winter period than do we need to look at the potential of bringing them back! As you know, we like to limit the attendance in any given session to ~24 people. Between two coaches, this amounts to an excellent coach:athlete ratio and thus excellent levels of individual feedback and stroke correction. This is something which you have all commented on as a real plus point of the squad. Thank you. The 5.30am & 6.30am TUE / FRI sessions look like (on paper) that they will be as popular over winter as they were over summer. In reality it hasn't yet panned out this way and the plan is to see how things go over the next couple of weeks before we make any final decisions to bring the 7.30am sessions back. We'll keep you posted, but request your understanding and support if we do get a 'rogue' session with a big turn-out in the meantime.
This is one of the more difficult sides of managing a program which gives you the athlete the ultimate in flexibility to only pay for the sessions you attend with your PAYG cards as opposed to committing you to a set block or period. Again your support is much appreciated here.
Don't forget, we are also maintaining the Tuesday evening session from 6.30pm to 7.30pm which is exactly the same as the early morning sessions for those who might like to try this one.
2) SATURDAY OPEN WATER SKILLS SESSION
Similar to the Tuesday and Friday morning sessions, this session at 1pm every Saturday is also proving to be one of our most popular. This actually assists in the running of this particular session due to all the partner, trio and group drafting work we do in this session. Should this become particularly busy, we have been granted a 4th lane to manage these numbers. As yet, we have not had this confirmed for our Tuesday and Friday morning sessions, but are still pushing for this.
As a foot-note, myself and Adam will not be here this Saturday for this session, but Ceinwen will run this session with one of my programs. We have been asked to run a full Swim Smooth Clinic for the Sorrento SLSC this weekend, so please excuse us. Adam will take next Saturday as well whilst I take a weekend off down south.
3) PROGRAM OPTIONS
Of the programs which I highlighted as being potentials over the next 12 months, the most popular have been the City-2-Surf 12k, 21.1k and 42.2k events; the Rottnest Channel Swim; the Sprint / Olympic Distance Calendar and the 2010 Busselton Half Ironman. There are also a good number of you more experienced athletes who have expressed an interest in some assistance with your preparations for the World Long Course Triathlon Championships in Perth and Ironman WA in Busselton. Our conclusion for all of these programs in order to continue to run the most efficient squad sessions possible, is to provide a range of skeleton programs for these events, with full programs being in operation for the Busselton Half Ironman 2010 and the Rottnest Channel Swim.
We envisage this working like so: we shall arrange a date over the next 4 weeks to run an evening or weekend seminar on the principles of good training practices and how these can be applied to your specific event. We will look at goal setting, relative quantities of volume for the 3 disciplines, training zones, recovery practices, periodization and getting your taper right. It will be an excellent opportunity for those involved to formulate smaller sub-training groups over the winter periods for sessions such as the long run and long bike / brick sessions which many of you have commented that you'd like a little more support with. We will then offer up a range of templates which you can each use and then obviously individualize for your chosen event through participation and direction on a daily basis at our squad sessions. We are very confident that this will be an excellent way for you to keep motivated over the colder winter months - if and when they come! Watch this space!
4) OTHER COOL IDEAS
Other ideas proving popular at this stage are: some x-country running and cycling sessions, possibly as part of a boot-camp-style-getaway-weekend; a swim session with the last 20 mins devoted to learning how to tumble turn (for those interested); the addition of a weekly tempo run session; a half-day Swim Smooth Clinic with full video analysis for each participant. Again, we'll keep you posted on proposed dates.
5) TRAINING THIS WEEK
Here are some pointers on a couple of sessions some of you have been querying:
Thursday evening run session - this will be at McGilvray Oval behind Challenge Stadium this week, meeting at 6pm for a group or solo warm-up and starting at 6.15pm. We are looking at changing this venue from next week, so watch this space!
Saturday morning cycle session - no official ride this week or next. However, if anyone is keen, you can meet at the Bell Tower at 7am for a ride around the river. Starting on June 6th, we shall be running some Saturday morning group hills rides up into the Kalamunda region - more details to follow soon! In the meantime, get on them there hills! ;-)