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Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Clinic a success!

I had so much fun yesterday I didnt get around to some time for my blog.  I like to capture my thoughts each day as it allows me to recall some fo teh detail of what took place that day.  When I read this in the future it will be a lot of fun to see what happened at this point in my life, and the more detail that I can have in it the more fun I am certain it will be.  from time to time I go back and read old travel logs that I had kept and it is the silly detail that only I can remember that brings the smile to my face from the moment past!
Yesterday was an awesome day at my first ever coached triathlon clinic.  I have searched all around for an opportunity to attend some type of clinic for a little direction on various skills aspects.  This clinic was a hit form the swim perspective for me.  We started the day with a decent warm up and an opportunity to meet other athletes that were at the clinic.  It is a great environment being with other like minded people.  Like most group activities there are all levels attending.  It was cool to speak with people who could barely swim, and to the others who have completed multiple IM and are there for improvement.  Once the warm up was over, the format was quite simple. They set up a video and asked each of us to do a 25 meter all out swim.  Fairly simple and seemed a little to easy to start out.  After we all had video complete we joined together to review video of our swim in a group environment.  As a coach(skiing) I find it very useful to gather with a group to do assessment and development exercises.  It helps in learning more about your swimming(or sport) as well as an overall development of the technical aspects of the sport in general.  Over the course of the analysis, it was quite consistent amongst all of the swimmers were our greatest opportunity for improvement was.  Almost all showed a cross over of the arm(s) at some point in the stroke, for some it was at entry for others, under the body at the end of the stroke, but, it was a consistent area for improve.  The second area was swimming to flat.  Although many of the group showed use of the hips to lead a rotation, many stopped as soon as they started.  As the coach suggested, your hip should be almost facing the wall at 90 degrees to each side.  For me, I need to show more rotation, as well as making certain that my fingers face the bottom of the pool throughout the stroke.  I will continue with the swim content and go back to other parts of the day later.  When we returned to the pool later in the day, the format was awesome.  Sean Bechtel, who is an elite level long course trialthlete led the session(he is coached by Barry Sheply who is a Hall of Fame Tri coach, ie, Simin Whitfield and others) who introduced the session.  We did a 15 minute warmup and then it was followed by a series of drills. each drill was designed to address the most critical factors in the body balance and swim stroke.  Here is the great part with the format;  he introduced and reviewed the drill.  then we were in the pool to practice it.  Each of us had an individual coach who was observing our practice and giving 1-1 feedback.  As an athlete with zero swim background, I found the 1-1 to be extremely helpful and produced some immediate results and sensations to keep me progressing in my swim.  As we completed the drills, Sean as well as other phenomenal athletes and coaches made there way on the pool deck and gave individual feedback as they could observe.  Although the time spent was not long, it was a tremendous success from my dollar spent in having some tools and concepts to take with me to continue to improve my swim.(it was also great to have high level coaches acknowledge my swim, remember 4 months ago I could not swim a length)  Thank you to Tim sauve, Sean Bechtel and Taylor(McMaster swim coach) for the time and attention in a great swim  sesssion.
As well as swimming we spent some time with Nat Faulkner who is a leading elite cyclist.  he currently holds a record for Race across America which was set in 2004.  He spent an hour with us talking about the facts and science of cycling.  With winter coming for most of us, indoor trainer riding begins.  If you are like me, I would rather experience a root canal than sit on my bike for 2 hours.  SO, as he put it, make all of your indoor training excellent.  He reviewed some key drills and training concepts to bring us through the indoor training winter. A very interesting part of his talk was on the concepts of bike fit and aero dynamics.  In the sport a lot of emphasis is on being in aero position.  Well, why the hell are we are bent over for 6 hours on our bike, to get out of the wind, right??? He talked in more detail about the finer points of bike fit and why we stay in the position we do.  I am lucky to be at a shop that is committed to fit the bike for me, I highly recommend that every triathlete should make the investment.  It will make you faster and it will prevent injuries.
The third and valuable session to our day was a Yoga session.  I say it is valuable, however, the content for me was light.  As I have been doing Baptiste Power Yoga for a while now, our session yesterday was on the light side.  BUT, I believe that any form of yoga or stretching/strengthening practice is an integral part to long term tri success.  I have taken my Yoga time into my running and swimming now as a tool to help my breathing as well as to 'suck it up' when it gets tough.
Overall, yesterdays clinic was a resounding personal success for me.  Not that I am not normally enthusiastic about going for a workout, today i am particularly pumped to go and work on my drills and enjoy progress in the pool.  Thanks Barrie and team for a great day!  Being in the presence of excellence has served to stoke my fire more than ever!
With every great day comes the rewards at the end.  Yesterday was so plentiful I did not have time to get to my daily blog!  It started with a cold beer watching the world cup downhill from Lake Louise Canada.  As you might know, I am a ski nut, yesterday stoked my ski bug huge as Canada for the econd day in a row had podium finished from the girls team!  Go Canada Go!  This is awesome on home turf and leading into the Olympics to see the team progressing!  Cant wait until February to see the team on stage!
The next great part of the day is not having to go shopping with Trish and her mom and sister.  The stories they shared with me were crazy.  People pushing each other with carts,   shoving each other out of the way, being rude....WOW doesnt that sound like fun.  Too bad I had to miss it!
then we had a bunch of friends over for dinner yesterday evening.   Trish and I love to entertain, it is great to share stories of our week with people and to sit and unwind after the chaos that we run around and do all week.  I an earlier post I mentioned Trishmas season(my wife;s birthday), this was also one the many gatherings in order to observe the season!  :)  Hey, if she wants to have a party every night, so be it!  She puts up with me and that in itself is deserving of whatever she wants!  LOL
And one other great thing about yesterday........wait, what is it........can you  guess.......MOTHER NATURE has pulled her head out of her a%^ and started the snow in ski country!  Sorry for all you warm weather people, but it is winter where I live and the only way to do that properly is with snow!  Wahoo!  By the end of this week I should on the snow doing turns.  Next weekend I am part of a group leading training sessions for instructor and the following weekend I am one of the course conductors for a CSIA Level 1 instructors course!  It's about time, winter is here!
I hope that all of your weekends have been full of fun, stories and some training.  I have to run and get the honey-do list done and off to the pool!
And remember, the snow dance is a form of training!  Start shakin' friends!!


  1. It sounds like a blast and you learned alot, I'm glad it was a success for you! I noticed you said "Barrie and team .." Was the clinic in Barrie? (I'm in the general area)