Youtube video – ITU Gold Coast 2018 Age Group bike course

ITU Gold Coast 2018 bike video

ITU Gold Coast 2018 bike video

Video of the ITU Gold Coast 2018 Age Group bike course

Two laps of the course.

Please bear in mind…

  • The course will be vehicle free so I couldn’t take the racing line (unless safe to do so).
  • As a competitor, you’ll be carrying a lot more speed in and out of the turns.
  • I edited out traffic lights as best I could.

Please leave a comment if this was helpful.

 

Route and racing tips – ITU Gold Coast 2018 bike course

GC ITU 2018

 

ITU Gold Coast 2018 Strava route

Please use the link to download the GPX file from Strava. If you don’t have a premium Strava account leave a comment or contact me and I will send you the .gpx for your Garmin or alternative device.

Hints and tips:

  • Flat and fast so rear disk and deep section front will be okay.
  • Strong riders will benefit from large front rings and 23 cassette. Use your preferred TT combination.
  • Wind will play a role so check it on race day and adjust your pacing strategy accordingly. It’ll be headwind out to Paradise Point or vice versa.
  • Depending on race day barriers, ignore the road markings. Don’t get sucked into the bike lanes and everyday white lines (there are a lot).
  • Recce the transitions for mounting and dismounting.
  • Turnpoint at Paradise Point was not obvious. I would question the ITU map. Recce this.
  • Recce all lines in/out and through roundabouts.
  • Standard distance competitors should choose an early line (on the right-hand side) before the right hand into Steven St for the second lap.
  • Recce turns back on to GC highway as there are opportunities to hold good speed if you get this right.

If you’d like any more tips, please get in touch.

Have a great race!

Is riding ‘easy’ hard for you?

In order to examine this issue and for you to answer the question for yourself, let’s define what I mean by easy.

An easy ride in this sense is the amount of effort you apply to the pedals while riding your bike.

Think in terms of every second of the ride. That’s every second. Not just when you’re going downhill or on the flats. I mean every second. Yes, that includes the inclines.

But, that’s impossible, you reply. You can’t go uphill at an easy effort.

This might be true but here lies the challenge…can you? The challenge is to go easy or maintain your easy effort up your particular incline.

It is this that makes the ride hard for some people.

Can you maintain an easy effort whilst riding uphill?

Coached Events…

I have had the pleasure of coaching athletes that have taken part in the following events:

140.6/Ironman/Challenge/long course triathlon
World Championships (Kona)
Lanzarote
Embrunman
Norseman
Deca/quintuple
UK
Roth
Port Macquarie
Barcelona
Coeur D’Alene
St George
Melbourne
Western Australia
Lake Tahoe
Arizona
Nice
Zurich

ETU/ITU long course triathlon
Long Distance Triathlon World Championships (GB age group team)
Long Distance Triathlon European Championships (GB age group team)

70.3 triathlon
Vineman
Geelong
Big Kahuna
Zell am See
St Polten
Lisboa
Outlaw
Swashbuckler
Vitruvian
Mallorca
Henley
Oceanside
Day in the Lakes
New Forest Middle
Lake Stevens
Wildflower
Hellvelyn
Wales
Hever Castle

Standard Distance triathlon
World Championships (GB age group team)
European Championships (GB age group team)
Escape from Alcatraz
Wildflower
Little Beaver
London
Silicon Valley
Donner Lake
Dambuster
Stowe
Shropshire
Deva
Bedford
Strathclyde
Marlow
Eton Dorney
Worthing

Sprint triathlon
Blenheim
Schongau (Germany)
Morgan Hill
Moraga
UC Davis
Hever Castle
Eton
Thames Turbo series

Ultra Running
UTMB
Western States 100
Winter 100
Fellsman
Lakeland 50 & 100
10 Peaks (Wales)
Lakes in a Day
Rock ‘n’ River 50
London 50K

Marathon
Boston
Chicago
Tokyo
London
Barcelona
San Francisco
Milton Keynes
Marathon (Greece)
Brighton

Half Marathon
San Francisco
Marrakesh
Barns Green
Kaiser
Walnut Creek
San Ramon
Richmond
Wokingham

10 miler
Tadworth
Cabbage Patch

10K
Chevin Chase
Richmond
Bromley
Abbey Dash

Cycling Sportives
Paris Roubaix
Tour of Flanders
Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Etape (TdF)
Marmotte
Nove Colli
New Forest 100
Surrey Rumble
Ride 100 London
Around the Bay (Australia)
Three Peaks (Australia)
Mt Taranaki (New Zealand)
Lake Taupo Challenge (New Zealand)
America’s Most Beautiful
Hell of Ashdown
Fred Whitton
Etape du Dales
Dartmoor Classic
New Forest Rattler
Etape Pennines
Exmoor Beast
Etape Caledonian
Dragon Ride
Soth Downs Way (MTB, two days)
Etape Cymru

TT
Mt Diablo Summit

Open Water Swims
Hampton Court

Thinking fit world qualifier

“Forget gym membership, get a coach” is the view of 36 year-old, Dr Rachael Addicott who has just qualified for the 2013 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships (4km swim, 120km bike, 30km run), 1-2 June Belfort, France.

Rachael, originally from Melbourne, Australia has dual citizenship and has been living in the UK for eleven years. She was keen to race on an international stage, but qualifying for the Australian national team meant competing in her home country, something that Great Britain doesn’t insist on for the long distance team.

She said: “I just want to see how far I can take this. It’s a shame I can’t wear the green and gold of Australia. With the success of the Olympics and the popularity of triathlon in England at the moment, getting in to the GB team is a real achievement.”

Like many city workers, Rachael used to suffer running to try to shed the pounds and was very image conscious.

“Now I’m more interested in how my body works rather than how it looks to others. I still feel like my legs are quite big, but I am more concerned about whether they can get me up hills rather than into a pair of jeans”.

Rachael qualifies for the GB Long Distance Triathlon Team - Big Kahuna, California 2012

Rachael qualifies for the GB Long Distance Triathlon Team – Big Kahuna, California 2012

“When you work with a coach and have a plan then you are training with purpose not just jogging around a park at the same speed, frustrated at not getting any faster”.

“I used to enter events like ‘Run to the Beat’ and the ‘Nike 10k’, which are great, don’t get me wrong. But now I have a plan I’m more race focused rather than just turning up and surviving it along with thousands of others”.

Like many age-group triathletes, Rachael fits her triathlon training around a busy working life as Senior Research Fellow at The Kings Fund, a health policy think tank.

“I used to dream about being able to do a triathlon but the swimming held me back. So, when someone pointed me in the direction of city-based swim coach, Stephanie Ellis from Stroke Works, I decided to learn to swim (properly!). That was three years ago and now I’m competing on a world stage. No-one’s more surprised than me”.

“These days I’m 10 kilos lighter just from following my weekly training plan not by counting calories like I used to. I now look at the skinny girls in the city who I used to compare myself to, and just smile. As a woman, I feel very liberated by sport and as a bonus…I know that I’d kick their arse..!”

Chris podiums..!

On his way to his first Ironman next year, ONEraceTEAM’s Chris Wilson scored his first podium, with a 3rd overall place (1st, 30-34 age-group) at the AustralianMurrayMan last month.

Like many of the age-group athletes in ONEraceTEAM managing training and a busy working life can be a tough challenge.

“Working full time and studying for my professional accountancy qualification means I’m pretty time poor. I simply wouldn’t have the time or knowledge to invest in putting together a robust plan like Toby prepares for me.

“I have a tendency to over think problems with training, especially if I have missed a session. Toby is a calming influence on me and seems to always know the right thing to say to bring me back down to earth! This whole experience would have been much more stressful without him!”

Chris fits his training around management accountancy

Chris fits his training around management accountancy

Proving that coaching is truly a global business, Chris lives and works in Melbourne as a Management Accountant.

“Being in Australia, we’re obviously on the other side of the world from each other, so communicating face to face can be difficult. Skype sessions really help with this and make the coaching relationship much more practical.

“Using Training Peaks is a brilliant aid as well. Toby can set up a period of my training and I can keep up to date online or through their mobile app.

“These bits of technology have really helped maintain the communication between Toby and myself and give me everything I need to be able to train consistently week in week out.”

As he continues his preparation for Ironman Melbourne next year, Chris’s next test isCanberra 70.3.

Time to Plan

Coming to the end of a calendar year can be an ideal time to take stock, look back on what you have achieved, celebrate your successes and plan for next year.

The media is full of stories about more and more people taking up sport and leading a healthier lifestyle. This is particularly evident in the UK at the moment, where the success of the British Olympic team, especially in cycling and triathlon, has meant an increased interest in these sports with events selling out faster than ever before.

Don’t miss out

Last year, Ironman Melbourne sold out in record time, many of the legendary trail runs have decade long waiting lists, sportives have huge waiting lists.

From personal experience, I just missed out on registering for next year’s Vitruvian triathlon, by two days, which now means the earliest I can do this event is 2014..!

Create a wish list of events

Since 2008, I’ve had a list of events/races/courses that I would like to do and have fortunately been able to tick a number of these off every year. The list continues to grow and event priorities change due to my circumstances.

The main point being, start a list and capture every event you’ve ever wanted to do. Research the sports that you like and pick out events that appeal to you, your budget, family, travel, etc.

Chart your events

The next step is to write all the events down by month, day on a page of A4 or next year’s calendar if you have one. Depending on your sport and race season(s) you’ll soon notice popular months.

Categorize

When I’ve put everything down I then assign an A, B or C category to events based on my desire to do the race, travel, family commitments and a whole host of other personal circumstances. If you have a coach talk to them at this stage and together agree the objectives for these A races and what the training implications are.

Working backwards from my A events (I usually pick two or three per year), I can start eliminating events that will interfere with the necessary training plan. For example, if you want to be competitive at Ironman Wales then you won’t be doing Challenge Henley, which is on the same day, but The Dragon Ride could be an option if worked in to your training plan.

Talk to your partner

Before I start paying for events, travel and accommodation, I always ask those around me that might be impacted by my decision to do a race. This should be your partner but may also include your wider family and friends if you’re planning to stay with them because they are close to the start line.

Get help from your coach

When creating your plan get input from your coach who will be able to give you ideas about training implications and what other events might fit around your A races.

Register as soon as possible

Once I have all my races down on paper, decided which ones I really want to do and got agreements from my support crew then I set about registering.

This may not always work out, as you may find you’re too late, in which case go back and re-assess your priority races, Challenge Henley might now be possible.

Once you’ve registered your A races the next thing to do is book accommodation (or make sure there is availability at the same time as this may decide whether you do a race or not). Being close to the start line will ensure you get as much sleep as possible. Being close to the finish line will mean less faff and a quick getaway if this is important to you.

Find out when registration opens

It’s a good idea to research your desired events years in advance and find out when they open for registration. My calendar is populated with events I’ve registered for or the date registration opens with calendar alerts to make sure I don’t miss opening times, which can be midnight, 4am, 9am, etc. the day after the event finished that year.

In the UK, for cycling, triathlon and ultras my current thinking is to start trying to register for next years’ events on 1st October the year before.

I was a little late this year and paid the price but having now drawn up my plan for 2013 I’m looking forward to the exciting challenges ahead. I just hope it keeps me motivated through the British winter.

Gardner achieves Iron vision

Last month, James Gardner from Danville, San Francisco (California) conquered the 140.6 mile Coeur d’Alene course in 12 hours to become a first-time Ironman.

Like many age-group triathletes James had never followed a structured training plan before but knew he needed to if he was to juggle family time, career, business air-travel and a house move, if he was to make the successful leap from short course and half-iron distance racing to a full Ironman.

James with family in San Francisco

James with family in San Francisco

“As a family-man time is precious and I just needed someone to take care of the planning and make the necessary adjustments to my training should something come up”, said the 39 years-old marketing vice president. “Toby kept my training consistent, which meant some creative sessions given the limited facilities in some hotels. Communication was key, I told him in advance when issues arose and he tweaked my plan to keep me training.”

Training consistently is key to a achieving success no matter what the distance. If you don’t train consistently then a coach can’t plan appropriate progressions and you won’t continue to make the necessary adaptations to increasing training stimulus.

If you’re trying to juggle family, a busy working life and your training, cheap off-the-shelf training plans don’t work. A coach is there to revise your plan when your circumstances change.

James with his marketing team

James with his marketing team

“Long distance training can be quite a challenge. It’s good to know someone’s got your back, has managed training and a stressful job himself and is there every step of the way with you. I’d often just pick up the phone and chat just to make sure I was on the right track. You can’t expect your family and friends to understand what you go through if they’ve never followed a proper training plan before.”

Achieving that Iron dream is a team effort and like all successful teams, two-way communication plays a key role: 1-2-1 training and meetings are not always possible, but email, Skype, videos of training/racing, data uploads and qualitative feedback all go towards tailoring a plan that works for each athlete.

Build your base

Training and working with athletes this year I’ve come across a couple of interesting issues around base training and testing.

Like a lot of European/US endurance athletes my Annual Training Plan (ATP) is made up of periods or phases (see Sports Periodisation and Tudor Bompa), typically Preparation, Base, Build, Peak and Taper.

My Preparation phase for the 2012 season began in November and transitioned into the Base training phase (see Base Training through the winter months. I tend to have a month off at the end of every season, so the preparation/base phases help me to slowly get back in to training, preparing me (mentally and physically) for harder work to come.

Whatever you use to measure your training effort (Borg’s Rate of Perceived Exertion – RPE, heart rate, power, etc.) the Base training phase is basically the time to keep things nice and easy (lower RPE, HR Zones 1 and 2, etc.), focusing on perfecting technique and improving biomechanical efficiencies (single leg drills, skip drills, finger drag, etc.).

Surprisingly, over the years, I’ve found that Base training seems to conflict with the human psyche. When I’ve been discussing it with others, whether on group rides, whilst coaching or in the pub. It often amuses me how many people aren’t convinced.

In an increasingly impatient, ego-driven global culture, convincing someone to take their time to slowly build their fitness over 20-30 weeks can be very difficult. Unless that is…they have ever followed a plan before.

Working with athletes that have never followed a periodised training plan is a challenge for athlete and coach. Typically, the first thing to do is convince them that their Zone 4 lunch time blasts around the local park, not getting passed by another runner; and weekend club rides, beating Dave to the top of a climb and ascending theStrava rankings, are at an effort level that is not required to build their aerobic endurance base. In fact, early high intensity efforts carry a high risk of injury before the season has even started.

Walk before you run…literally!

Base training is the most important period of an endurance plan and should not be reduced, rushed or corner-cut. Even if this means being overtaken by one or two joggers with purple-rinses from time-to-time or giving up the group ride in favour of non-stop constant efforts rather than drafting in the bunch and waiting for Dave et al at rest stops or at the top of a climb. Think how much more satisfying it’s going to be to be passing people on race day – there are no prizes for beating a mountain-biker up a hill on an average Tuesday afternoon.

Get used to long solo efforts to build your base

Get used to long solo efforts to build your base

If you want to be successful in endurance sport you better get used to your own company. Riding solo is the best way to maintain steady constant efforts. Unless you have a training partner that is doing the same race and following the same plan, but even then there’s still the issue of drafting. If you’re disciplined enough you could practice riding the draft legal distance when training with others.

From experience, your ‘bank’ of base training will come back in spades on race day when it matters most and you realise you have the aerobic endurance to run that marathon, or complete that Ironman. It will be especially noticeable towards the end of your race when you are passing other competitors that have not invested the time to lay their fitness foundations earlier in the season.

Be careful what you wish for…

Another amusing observation I’ve found is when athletes approach a testing week. This is the time to test whether you are improving and all the previous hard work is paying off.

With experience, I look forward to these weeks less than I used to. Basically, I recognise a testing week for the catch-22 that it is.

“Great, it’s a reduced volume week (more rest/recovery! I can catch up on things, etc.), but I have to go all out to get some data to measure. Ahhhhh, but the test is only for a short period of time, that’s okay”.

So, you test in each sport and the good news is…your times improve; the plan is working; etc. Now, for the bad news…your next month’s training zones increase and the next three weeks sessions are all going to be harder!

And then…joy! Finally, it’s time to go in to the Build phase. You can finally show the purple rinses what you’re made of and Dave’s going to get spanked on the climb of his choice!

“But hang on…you realise the sessions are harder, faster, testing is brutal and you don’t always get a better result!”

Training properly (in Build) can be…on your own, in the rain, grinding in to a headwind, gritted teeth, snot all over your face, burning pains in your legs, back, arms, neck…desperately trying to maintain the effort of your fourth two-minute rep in a set of ten during a muscular endurance brick ride of five hours as you pass a car full of pointing and laughing teens.

It is at these times that you are further tortured with memories of your base training, and reluctance to follow your planned easy long slow ride in Zone 2 and the promises you make to never go harder than you need to, ever again!

Yet, we still, foolishly, wish away our base training days in favour of faster, harder sessions…and why…because (un)fortunately…pain has no memory!

Perhaps an answer to this might be to write two sessions into week one of next year’s plan right now…a 45-minute Z1 easy trail run versus a five hour-hour muscular endurance ride, with 10×2 minutes hard efforts.

Wraysbury Open Water Swim Training

Once upon a time, I’d be asleep at 7am on a Sunday morning the inevitable hangover waiting to pounce. Now, I’m on an early train heading for Wraysbury Dive Centre to coach recreational and triathlete swimmers. Such is the attraction of open water swimming.

I’ll be supporting Serpentine swim coach, Stephanie Ellis working with swimmers to improve their open water confidence, safety, sighting, drafting, swimming in a group, turning, entry and exits.

It’s very intimidating at first but with time and the right support swimming in fresh non-chlorinated waters makes the Sunday morning effort worthwhile. In fact, I find it difficult to get back in the pool during the week.

If you’d like to try open water swimming at a location around London then drop me a line.