Tuesday, April 8, 2014

First Quarter Coaching Report.

Hey readers - woah sorry for not writing much lately, my original plan to blog more often got hindered by struggling to find a good routine in past weeks/months as I been very busy with coaching new athletes, attending a few races, consolidating our teams sponsored equipment, start of summer training camp & planning the months ahead!

In fact, my run training took a down, where running only running a steady 5km with stride is often a reality.

Every so often I keep to get questions on how my athletes are doing since I now focus on coaching full time now, basically, some are doing well, some are doing okay & others need to get going. My current dilemma is that it's now summer here in The Philippines, which means it gets very very hot/humid & pools get busy with kids/family's!

There's a part of me that's keeps being reminded it's only the start of April, many of the key races are mid to later in the year. Locally here there's an ENORMOUS BOOM of triathlon, which I kid you not, have at-least 50 multi-sport events this year alone!

The current goal has been to train away quietly, maintain a  consistent routine & limit displacement.

The first big race in The Philippines this year was Challenge Philippines in Subic Bay in February, where Joyette won the Filipino Elite Division that came with a good paycheck & The Farmer was first male age grouper overall across the line over a very difficult course, of which set him up for a solid 10h28 first Ironman in Melbourne a few weeks later!

Photos Credit: Leo Diaz's wife.

I also enjoyed guiding another athlete to his first Ironman in Melbourne! As much of a 'performance guy' that I may appear, I always enjoy helping athlete who go through the preparation process while working long hours, have regular business travels & care for a family.

Very often, that's where the true enjoyment of 'switching off' while training happens & focusing on the moment because it's a release from the hustle & bustle of every day life!

Some must break old habits, become better @ time management, find better ways to rest/relax, be more disciplined with their diets or simply overcome self doubt.

This in the end, sum's up to a healthier, stronger & more balanced human, where race day is simply a validation that quantify's the efforts you put in your tedious preparation according to the given circumstances!

Once March came along, it was X-Terra Philippines time on Cebu Island where Joyette once again stood a top the podium & got another nice paycheck for her efforts, our latest scholar Noemi, showed a lot of courage by fearlessly tackling the very hard course in her first season as a triathlete as well to racing with flat pedals & run shoes, finishing 2nd Filipina Elite, getting run down by Joyette in the final few km's of the run, to finish 2 minutes behind & get a nice 2nd place paycheck as well!

The big take away for Joyette was a smashing run split that was competitive with many of the top age group males, on a very hard 10k course that will transfer & extend well into longer distance out on the road later this year!

Jonard, another new scholar, was in 4th place overall starting the run after a very strong swim/bike, only to get confused while tired & run an extra loop of the course, missing out on an easy paycheck...

Banjo who's been busy with college over the past 6 months had a bad crash & 1 flat tired, where he managed a mediocre finish - Jonard actually lapped him on the run!

Also the Pinoy bulldog was in action again & missed out on the podium in the ever competitive 40-44 age group, only to win his first over all race 2 weeks later that came with a small pay check!

Then last Saturday was the Aboitiz Triathlon in Pico De Loro, a race I have won twice in the past, where Jenny was doing her first triathlon since October last year & Jonard was there to shake off his silliness @ XTerra Cebu.

They ran the last 5 klm shoulder-to-shoulder!

Well Jonard did not disappoint, by having a breakthrough swim, fastest bike split & then getting caught half way into the run, showed true determination by hanging-on, then win in the sprint in the final 200m in a field that included the top 2 short course triathletes here in The Philippines!

The men's race was very exiting to watch for the spectators, one guy in a yellow shirt was very exited & loud, continuously shouting the surnames of the top 3 males!

In the end, it made both athletes involved raise their racing game for the future - I also preferred seeing that, than seeing Jonard win by 3-4 minutes with ease.

In the end, The Pico Tri title is still in the team for 1 more year - hehehehehehe!

Jenny managed a solid result to start the year, repeating her 2nd place finish from last year.

2pm start in April in South East Asia = HOT where even as a spectator is was uncomfortable...

Jonard "The 2nd" is now Jonard the first - this is why Elite athletes need a podium shirt with their sponsors!

Now, moving forward in April & May it's basically an ITU focus for my scholars, as this it's the Asian Games & Asian Beach Games later this year, where it be great to have an athlete or 2 representing The Philippines overseas!

Last but not least, I observed some interesting things by being on the side lines during races, watching the events un-fold, the age -groupers, the pro's, the organizers, the volunteers, sponsors, spectators, ect

It reminded me of the first time I volunteered @ an Ironman event @ Ironman Canada in 2004 & then again @ Ironman Nice in 2007, where it truly helped me in my first Ironman in Lagkawie in 2009, since I already had a good idea what to expect around the event venue, what small mistakes I saw some pro's do or what small things some age groupers did better than pro's!

A good piece of advise: volunteer @ an Ironman event before doing your first 226k race, or just volunteer at a triathlon to observe & see what it's like, how it goes down & get a feel for the atmosphere  as it will motivate you!

Anyway, back to work - I really shouldn't be writing blogs when i'm coaching ;)

Evening trainer session on the balcony!

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