Coaches Corner – A Way Out of the Slump -Planning Your Sporting Year

Cycling, Running and Triathlon are essentially seasonal sports, they need to be as endurance training and racing is hard on your body, but it is generally due to the short days and poor weather limiting available events.  As the season closes you will need a rest to allow your muscles and joints to repair, but it is easy to lose motivation as your mind and body take the opportunity to recover.  This is not helped by the dark cold days and adverse weather which also reduces enthusiasm to train.  For some a few weeks pass then normal service is resumed, unfortunately for many it is not quite so easy.

If you find yourself in this slump, you may feel tired but it is actually a mental state and it is your mind not your body which needs to recover.  The best way to turn this around is to take your mind forward to those long sunny days of the event season and plan your next races or challenges.  Once your mind starts to focus on the events ahead, you will have a reason to train, your mind will connect with the good feelings your sport brings and your desire to train will return.

With this in mind, now as the season comes to a close, is the ideal time to start thinking about next year.  Read more

Coaches Corner – Don’t let rain stop training

Let’s face it we live in England, it rains regularly in the summer so you can be sure it will rain more in the coming months.  Riding in the wet can be a miserable and uncomfortable experience, purely social riders can choose whether to ride but many riders book their events days, weeks or months in advance and there is no way to anticipate if it will be wet or dry.  You can decide not to start the event but you may have invested significant time and money getting to that start line, a DNS may not be an option.

So if you are going to complete wet events you need to train and prepare for those conditions.  The rain doesn’t have to spoil a beautiful day if you have trained and prepared to ride fast and stay safe despite the water.  So how do we adapt to cope well in the bad weather?      See more


What is Pilates? by Teresa Harman

Pilates is a safe and effective way to train the mind and body using a floor mat and a variety of equipment. Pilates focuses on building a strong core through the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine.

Pilates builds strength without excessive bulk creating a streamlined and toned body helping towards achieving slender thighs and a flatter tummy (isn’t that what we all want!).

Pilates teaches body awareness, good posture with easy movements, whilst improving flexibility, agility and sound movement patterns. It can also alleviate back pain.

Pilates can be so beneficial to the older population as it reduces the risk of injury that weight bearing exercises can cause and is not as severe on the joints like other workouts can be. It also helps with a variety of age related ailments such as osteoporosis, lumbar stenosis, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

As a fully qualified instructor with 12 years’ experience, I offer a range of exercises to suit all ages and abilities and offer variations to existing well known Pilates exercises by using a variety of equipment to make the exercises as easy or as hard as you may like.

Read about why I enjoy Pilates here.

Salou 2015 – Not Everything goes to Plan

Not everything will go to plan when you set out to complete a race.  Sometimes things go wrong long before you even reach the start line.  This fact you cannot change but how you react to the challenge is up to you, can you salvage a success against the odds?

We holidayed in Salou, Spain with the children some years ago, a nice beach resort just south of Barcelona.  When Teresa saw Challenge were putting on a Half Ironman distance triathlon there in May it seemed an ideal early preparation for IM Barcelona.  Challenge organise good events in a similar style to Ironman but not quite as expensive.  The credit card came out and soon we had two entries and a week holiday in the sun arranged.

Time passed and the training was not really going as expected.  Teresa had an enduring foot pain which it seems stemmed from a lumbar disc pushing on a nerve.  This was not going to be a quick fix and a half marathon run was out of the question.  She would still start the race but at best walk the run leg.  My training was going better but work on the house was eating into my time and the bike miles had suffered.  A personal best was no longer an option so what would success look like?   To find out click here.

Mark and Teresa’s Coaches Corner

There is no substitute for good old fashioned coaching from and experienced coach, one 2 one or in a group of like minded people. However there is much to learn reading the experiences of the coaches as they race and train.  Mark and Teresa share these with you in their Coaches Corner.  These are updated regularly so it is worth checking back from time to time.

You  will find the first article dealing with the importance of bike set up posted here, just  to give you an idea what is coming.

Mark and Teresa

Pilates with Teresa

Teresa is a highly experienced and successful Pilates instructor, teaching for more than a decade.  She offers a number of group classes across North Norfolk helping all abilities to improve their core strength, flexibility and mobility.  The classes are run on a ‘Pay as you Go’ basis so there are no long term commitments.  Give it a try, you will be surprised how quickly you feel stronger and better.

Check her list of local classes here.