Thursday, May 7, 2009

Triathlon Clinics

I've been a busy bee with various triathlon clinics this spring. The first one was through Utah Masters Swimming and the focus was Open Water Swimming Skills and Drills. The idea was to take triathletes through various pool exercises that you can practice to become a better open water swimmer. In Salt Lake there is a severe lack of convenient open water swimming venues so we must do what we can until the weather warms up. It was a great clinic with FANTASTIC coaching talent. The overall numbers were lower than I expected but it was fun and everyone learned a lot.
A big thanks goes out to our sponsors...PowerBar, Rudy Project, Trigger Point Therapy, Pool 'n' Patio, Wasatch Running Center, and Poco Loco for their support.

The second clinic was through the Desert Sharks Triathlon Club and I was a guest coach. Again, the focus was on swimming and open water techniques. I got to work with one of my favorite people, Brad Gale, who manages Pool 'n' Patio in Salt Lake (the BEST place to go for swimming and triathlon gear in Utah). We had a lot of fun taking the intermediate/advanced group through some swimming drills then analyzing videos of each swimmer's stroke.

The most recent clinic was this past weekend and was the second in the series supported by Utah Masters Swimming. It was divided into three parts: Nutrition, Transitions, and Mental Toughness. My friend and swimming buddy Barb Sherwood, R.D. presented information about nutrition as it relates to endurance athletes. Melinda Houston, a sports psychologist from the University of Utah did a segment on the importance of mental strength in sports. Then I got on my soapbox and taught the group about transitioning. We set up a mini course in the side parking lot with bike racks and all (courtesy of Wasatch Area Race Productions) and had them run through a 50 yard swim, 2 lap bike, and 1 lap run course with the focus on setting up a good transition and moving quickly from one discipline to the next. It was a booming success despite---despite a torrential downpour all day! Thanks to Barb, Melinda, Brad, Keena, Andrew, Rob, and Kevin for the help in making it a success. And a thanks goes out to our sponsors: PowerBar, Biker's Edge, Pool 'n' Patio, Wasatch Running Center, Trigger Point Therapy, and Poco Loco for their support.

I will try to scrounge up some good photos from these clinics and post them soon.

Now I can turn my attention from clinics!!! This weekend I'll be taking a little trip to AZ for the Tempe SheRox Triathlon on Saturday. It's part of the Danskin/SheRox all-womens race series and should be a great event. I've raced in the area before and since it's a sprint distance it should be a good chance to blow out the cobwebs. The following weekend I'll be heading to Tennessee for the Memphis in May Triathlon. This race is always a blast with its unique time trial start and great post-race BBQ. The triathlon crowd in Memphis is really enthusiastic and I'm looking forward to hanging out with the Terrapins again!

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