Monday, April 28, 2014

SUBIT ITU Coaching Report.

Hey readers - this past weekend I had 3 athletes (1 X Junior - 1 X U23 - 1 X Elite) competing at the 20th edition of the ITU Continental Cup in Subic Bay.

It been years since my last ITU event as an athlete & it really open my eyes to it's evolution!

There’s a lot of technical aspect involved with the ITU race suits regulation & bike restrictions for draft legal events! All went fine for us, but I can imagine how frustrating it could be for somebody who's poorly prepared - whoever accompanies the athletes needs to be diligent with these details to avoid hassles!

There were other things different from non ITU events like no race bib numbers for Juniors/U23/Elites, there’s start protocols to be followed, there’s penalty box for transition infractions & there’s even a wheel pit!

Friday was pretty stressful with the 11th hour arrival of our new gear & first day of briefings & inspections. Saturday morning started off well, with the team’s youngest member @ 15 years old: JC Abad managed a 3rd place in the Junior Elite division, behind 2 foreigners & was top Filipino as he managed to swim/bike with the front group & then held on to finish strong on the run for the final podium stop!

Day 2 was Banjo & Jonard - while they both have a ‘slow’ swim I was never-the-less determined to make sure they challenge themselves, by pushing from start to finish regardless, as well to have them gain racing experience with their 2nd international event this year already after X-Terra, where they toe-the-line with Elite athletes of other countries, of which is imperative to their long term development as athletes.

Last year, when Jonard was still on the National Philippines Team, he had a terrible race, so I saw it as a chance for him to OVERCOME his fear of ITU racing & that even though he’s gonna be in the bottom half of the race across the line, he still needs to give his all from start to finish & fight for every second!

As expected, he was back out of the water, he time trialed up to a few dropped foreigners & pulled them to T2, where on the run, he ran strong, but not too fast on a very hot/humid day, to dip under the 2 hour barrier for the first time in his career!

He was visibly happy with his effort @ the end of the race, so now I just have to manage those around him who think that a 1h59 Olympic distance is ‘fast’ for an Elite male triathlete. 

This is where the perspective of a coach will trickle down to his athletes, so having a well adjusted view of sport in general, is key to pushing personal limits - realistically & gradually. 

Over-celebration, hype or idol talk over mediocre results has, will & continues to render athletes into content & self satisfaction....Of which is rampant here in The Philippines.

Banjo who had been MIA for a few months as he was back in college & showed up 3 weeks ago here in Laguna 10 pounds overweight from last time I saw him. But after 3 weeks of consistent training & back on a proper diet he manage a solid swim/bike combo with the main U23 group, only to blow up on the final 3rd of the run, where he got passed for 3rd place & rendered him back to BANJO THE 4th.

Last year, Banjo accumulated a bunch of 4th places in the first half of the year, thus earning him the name: BANJO THE 4th  but eventually that evolved into Banjo the panalo of which means champion in tagalog ;)

The good news is - he’s fitter/faster at this time this year than he was last year!

It’s only April, so pushing their Olympic distance speed, in training & racing is key for them to be able to laid down faster half Ironman event later in the year, of which is a distance/format that suites them both much better than a draft legal ITU race on a flat bike course!

Anyway, I’m now going on a short vacation in Coron Palawan this afternoon to shake out a pretty hectic 6 months after the TeamTBB split last November.

Now that we got our new race/training kits last Friday, I feel like we have officially moved on, turned the page & that we can continue to relentlessly pursue our mission to develop elite Filipino triathletes!

Since I will not be racing triathlon’s this year & nobody will see me wearing our new F2P race suits - here’s a few picture bellow of me wearing it - it's the same sportswear brand that does world champion Pete Jacob's & Caroline Steffen's race/training kits!

Cycling kit from the side!

Long course tri top from the back!

In 'air' aero position ;)

Long course tri top from the front!

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