The coach was flown down to Clermont, Florida (just outside Orlando) from April 7 to April 11 by one of his triathlon clients. It was a trip well worthwhile on many fronts. The goals were to:
- help my client achieve a personal record in the Clermont 5 kilometre Park Run
- help my client achieve a sub 2:30 1/2 marathon time as part of the Florida iM 70.3 competition
- train some of the trainers from the National Training Centre in Clermont as to my training techniques to ensure safe, efficient barefoot running
By utilizing my muscle and joint unlocking drills in combination with the Functional Chain Trainer system (see below), I got my client, Michelle, ready to attack the Park Run & the Florida iM 70.3.
Saturday morning broke sunny with temperatures in the low 80s Fahrenheit and no humidity – a perfect morning for a personal record. I was to pace Michelle during the
5 kilometre event. The goal was to average below 10 minutes per mile. Michelle locked onto my cadence early and held on wonderfully to finish in 29:12 – the 1st time she’d ever broken 30 minutes for 5 kilometres and her personal record by over 2 minutes.
The next morning (Sunday, April 10) broke almost the same as Saturday weather-wise but with quite a strong wind. The challenge would be to manage the heat in the peak of the day during the 1/2 marathon run section of the iM 70.3. The swim and bike course were challenging but Michelle controlled both of them well, setting personal best times.
I picked her up at the 1 kilometre mark of the run and paced her to a 11:25 minute per mile pace for the 1st 4 miles. This would put her under 2:30 for the 13.1 mile course. The combination of heat, fatigue and a lack of enough pre-race bike-run combination training (brick workouts) got the better of Michelle as we hit the 2nd loop of 3. In spite of this, she persevered and beat her personal record for the run segment of a 70.3 iM by a whopping 22 minutes. She never walked – not even on the 3rd loop of 4 consecutive tough hill climbs – AND completed 10 of the 13.1 miles barefoot till putting on her Sockwas to finish. This was a medal well-earned (along with 1448 AWA points!).
Excuse the thumb in the photo above of Michelle with her racing colleague, Mac Brown (a 4th place finisher in the men’s 70-74 age group). Post race, Mac & Michelle relaxed with key support team member, Jeff (Michelle’s husband) prior to heading out for a tour of the 10 mile clay trail used by triathletes training out of the National Training Centre to prepare for key races.
During my stay, I spent time training some of the local trainers in the use of my unlocking techniques, barefoot-science inserts, specific triathlon training drills and my Squat-Scoot technique of barefoot running.
The trainers were categorically impressed with my programme as well as the injury-free and instant recovery capacity of the barefoot-running Michelle. All in all, the trip was a success with potential for future training sessions both in Clermont and in my home base of Port Credit, Ontario, Canada.
I look forward to a greater exchange of knowledge between trainers and coaches at all levels – not only in North America but around the world. After all, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!