Winter Training

By | January 23, 2018

As part of the Blackwater Triathlon Club’s ongoing commitment to improvement we have arranged a number of different types of training to keep our members fit and focused over the winter. These sessions give Blackwater Triathlon Club members access to high quality coaching where they can focus on improving their technique in each of the different core triathlon disciplines as well as maintaining their strength and stamina over the winter period. They also serve as a social outlet in the club giving members an opportunity to meet and train with one another. This is very important as triathlon training can often be quite a solitary pursuit as members try to fit training in to busy lives, especially now as more new members join the club. As 2018 begins and the new Triathlon season rapidly approaches our current club training regime includes pool based swimming sessions, turbo training sessions for indoor cycling, two weekly core training sessions to help improve general strength and fitness, running coaching sessions and clinics and, weather permitting, Saturday morning group cycles. These sessions are all aimed at the full spectrum of club members, whether a “newbie” aiming to compete in their first sprint triathlon or a triathlon veteran in training for yet another Ironman.

Saturday Morning Cycles.
While the weekly turbo training sessions are an invaluable training tool during the winter months, nothing really beats getting out on the road on your bike. Unfortunately due to short days and inclement weather at this time of the year it’s not always possible, or indeed safe, to get out on the road. In order to encourage members to get out on their bikes the Blackwater Triathlon Club organises weekend cycles where groups of members can get together and head out in one or more groups, depending on numbers and fitness levels. As is the case in all of the club’s events we aim to cater for everybody, from the least experienced to the members who virtually live in the saddle. Each week a number of routes of varying distance and difficulty will be chosen and a different group will tackle each route. Members can select which group and route best suits their own particular level. Details of each weekend’s routes will be up on Whatsapp and Facebook each week. All members are encouraged to take part.

Triathlons usually begin with the swim section and for a lot of people swimming is the most difficult part of the event. Nearly everybody can cycle and run but for a lot of people 750 metres in a river or a lake is a step too far. Swimming coaching sessions are currently being held every Monday and Thursday night at the swimming pool in Fermoy at 8pm. Swimming is a highly technical pursuit and small changes to a swimmer’s technique can result in big changes in performance. Unfortunately many of us just end up swimming lots of lengths of the pool without paying enough attention to the small details that can make a huge difference. Swimmers of all levels are catered for giving the participants various drills designed to improve efficiency in the water. They also get plenty of laps in during the session ensuring that core fitness is maintained.

Running Coaching.
The final part of a triathlon is the run section. Running on its own can be challenging enough but facing into a 10km run having spent the last couple of hours swimming a mile and cycling 40km is not for the faint of heart. There is an opportunity for members to train with top international athlete Sergiu Ciobanu on Wednesday evenings at 7pm at St Coleman’s. Sergiu narrowly missed out on qualifying for Ireland in the marathon at the last Olympics and is a highly respected and sought after coach.

Core Strength and Condtioning.
Core strength is an important element of all three of the disciplines in triathlon. The Blackwater Triathlon Club has introduced two early morning core strength and conditioning session for members. Core conditioning is a lot more than just doing crunches to expose that six pack. The core is composed of multiple muscle groups including the abdominal and low back muscles, diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, latissimus dorsi, hip flexors and the gluteal muscles. All these muscles work in concert to stabilize the spine while moving your limbs.
The core is the link between the lower and upper body. The core transfers forces and power between the lower body and the upper body. For optimal performance the core needs to be solid, to avoid energy leaks within the kinetic chain. A dysfunctional core that ineffectively transfers forces will put more strain on the limb muscles and tendons, resulting in overuse injuries. Another function of the core is to stabilize the body’s centre during movements that require a high degree of balance or body control. A solid core keeps your back healthy, helps you to maintain good posture, improves your balance, enhances performance and prevents injuries. A strong core helps keep the legs high while swimming and the torso upright while running. Deidre has been putting the participants through a range of highly effective exercises with a specific focus on flexion, rotation, lateral flexion and the posterior core to address all three planes of motion. Bridges, planks, knee tucks, rollouts and leg raises are just some of the exercises the participants have been doing in order to provide sport-specific core conditioning. It’s hard work but once again the members attending the sessions are seeing the benefits.