IM 70.3 Zell am See-Kaprun Cycle Profile

With the recent announcement that the IM 70.3 Zell am See 2015 is to be the World Championship event the organisers have changed the Cycle and Run routes for the 2014 event in preparation for the World Championships. The 90 km Cycle route is now 1 long lap instead of the previous 2 laps.

With this change I decided to look at the profile of the route which will provide athletes stunning views of the Austrian Alps. According to the event website the 90 km bike course offers 900 meters of climbing and some speedy sections on  fast roads. Just before the spectacular climb up the Hochkönig you’ll have a  chance to replenish your energy stores thanks to the new aid station that’s been  added to the course.

There are 4 sections which are considered as climbs with the first coming at 20km and has a gradient of 1.8% lasting for just short of 1000m. So not too difficult but a good warm up for the next climb which is just shy of 13.3km at an average gradient of 4.3%. This comes at 22 km into the cycle and climbs 571m. Following this there is a good overall downhill section of near on 15km with a few small uphill blips to slow down your descent. At the 51km point there is a 1.5km climb at 2.7% average gradient. Then finally just before the 56km point there is a 1.2km 2.2% average gradient short climb. After this last climb the course is fairly flat and undulating.

Below is the profile view from Map My Ride.
Zell am See IM70.3 Cycle Profile

good luck to all those already entered for the 2014 event and hopefully I will see you there.

Happy Training



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Wondering about Phone Hacking

Well I’ll keep this fairly brief,

I was on Twitter this morning on my mobile and followed  a link which took me to an article in the Daily Mail – all well and good you might think. Just as I’m about to start reading a pop up window appears informing me that the best way to read the Daily Mail was to download their FREE app. Cool this would make life a bit easier I thought so I clicked the OK button and went to the App Store where the App appeared and provided me with the download screen. I clicked download and the next screen – which is failry standard allown you to accept and install. Just before I did this I decided to read the permissions that the App was asking me to accept. On the surface it lookd fairly straight forward, however when you click on the line stating that the app requires access to your phone details you can see that what they are actually asking you to accept is that they can track when you are on the phone making a call and believe it or not who you are calling.

What in hell does the newspaper want to know that for other then to get information that you would not normally divulge. What a bloody cheek – the problem is most people won’t check down to this level and will just install the app, and the Daily Mail and no doubt other newspapers who probably use similar apps know that. Hey presto you have allowed them to do this because you clicked Accept and Install.

I strongly suggest everyone remove this APP and looks very closely at other Newspaper APPS.

Be Warned…….

Till next time

Coach Gordon

Posted in Rantings | Leave a comment

Training and other musings

To understand the impact training has we should first look to nature:

Take the Chinese Bamboo tree – do you know what happens after you plant the seed of this tree?
Absolutely Nothing, for 4 to 5 years absolutely nothing. You water and feed,
water and feed, but you see no visible evidence of anything happening. Nothing!
You see for 4 to 5 years (sometimes longer) after planting the seed of this tree you get no satisfaction. At this point your patience is really tested, in fact quite some time before this.
There must be something wrong, a dud seed perhaps, not feeding it correctly, even self doubt about your ability to grow bamboo.

Now If you didn’t know about how the Bamboo grows you would think all of the above and give up right?
But, in reality, what’s happening is that hidden from your eyes underneath the ground there’s a massive root
system that’s forming. Then, all of a sudden in the 5th year, the Chinese Bamboo Tree grows and grows and grows, really tall in a very short time.
Now you might think what has this got to do with Running and Performance, well performance improvements sometimes grow like Chinese Bamboo Trees.

You train and train regularly, going out on your training runs, doing varied sessions, giving your all, even contemplating giving up as self doubt creeps in, but sometimes it takes months, even years before you SEE the growth.
Like the root system of the Bamboo tree all the while you’re making deposits into a secret account that all of a sudden begins to pay off.
You suddenly start to perform brilliantly, posting PB’s, running light and easy feeling really good.

You’ve started to grow………..
Provided you are running with correct style, doing the correct and right volume of training and resting you will improve no matter what age you are. Remember you need to be consistent and above all patient.

I will shortly be running a few Run Clinics at various venues across the UK concentrating on running Style/Posture
These clinics will be combined with training sessions incorporating performance improvement.
Watch this blog for more details coming soon.

Till next time


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Visualisation in Sport

Most athletes and sportspeople turn to some additional aids of one sort or another, in their search for improved performance.

Scientific technologies, including equipment, training advances, nutrition and even applied sports psychology, which will usually include focusing and visualisation techniques for improvement, are all used.

Hypnosis in sport has been used under different names, mental or autogenic training being two. Almost all sport has top performers using hypnotic techniques to improve performance. The reason most don’t talk about it is because of the unfounded fear of having ones ‘power’ taken away. This is in fact untrue; all subjects have total control over their minds and bodies.

Suggestion is not something that works only on the unconscious mind; its use can be just as effective at a conscious level. Countless experiments by psychologists and physiologists have proven that the human being can change his or her own beliefs significantly enough to alter the body in some astounding ways. Pain is eased or physical ailments cleared up. Likewise athletic and sporting performance can be increased dramatically in many areas including style correction, technique, speed and strength enhancements

In therapy, hypnosis is used to bypass the critical consciousness to gain access to the powerful subconscious mind. It is then that Psychotherapy is undertaken to release undesirable subconscious behaviour.

In suggestion therapy Post Hypnotic suggestions are used, they act after the therapy is discontinued, usually in the form of positive affirmations to assist in self-esteem, performance enhancement etc.

Remember hypnosis is a state of altered awareness, a state where the consciousness is more focused. The effects of suggestions are greatly increased in these states, what psychologists’ term ‘hyper-suggestibility’. It is this state that athletes and sportspeople, with the help of a hypnotist, can use suggestion to help improve performance, style, posture, confidence etc.

This state is also used when using hypnosis to help speed recovery, remove negative feelings, self-doubt, stress and other hindrances to peak performance.

During visualisation where the athlete is asked to imagine doing something – it requires, at times, tremendous effort to maintain concentration.

Taking this to the next level and introducing a Hypnotist specialising in Sport Hypnosis we could achieve far greater results, as the hypnotist can help the athlete achieve a state of hypnosis and thus a state of higher awareness, thereby enabling far greater concentration and also improving the ability to visualise.

Under hypnosis a person would be able to better ‘see’ themselves performing the tasks with the advantage of the correct expected result being placed into the subconscious where it would form part of the individuals ‘programming’.

It is known that self-doubt is one of the contributors to poor performance on the day of an event – even when everything else is done correctly; personal doubt can foil the best athlete. Imagination is powerful and can override reason. Similarly self doubt or negative thoughts can bring about an injury or cramp just at the crucial moment.

Using Hypnosis in Sport particularly where the Practioner is from a sporting background could have many benefits to athletes at all levels.

Media Coverage Extracted from the article written by Gordon Manning for Successful Coaching:

Posted in Performance | 9 Comments

Correct Running Form

With so many new runners having joined our club recently and also as a reminder to all of us I have decided to write a short article on Correct Running Form. I often observe others running and regularly see improper posture even in our accomplished athletes. By adopting a better running form/style it would not only improve your running but could also help to prevent strains and stresses caused by improper balance. Proper form will also help to keep those all-important airways open by ensuring your lungs have as much space to expand as possible
Keep your back straight and your chest high. Bend your elbows at a right angle, but do not lock them in this position. Hold your hands loosely, so your thumb and forefinger touch. Don’t clench your fists or point your fingers stiffly. Rotate your wrists so your thumbs are on top and keep your wrists relaxed. Hands should not cross the midline of your chest. Imagine your arms are pendulums. On the downswing, your hands should drive to just past your hips. Tuck in your buttocks so your hips are under and forward. There are three types of foot strike: heel-ball, ball-heel and mid-foot, (the whole foot comes in down in one unit). Stick with the foot strike that is the most comfortable for you. Your foot should strike the ground under your center of gravity and while your leg is moving backward to minimize braking. (I call this body flight – where you lead with your center and not your chest or your legs) Foot strike ends as you push off the ball and toe of your foot. When you kick your leg behind you, try to lift your heel to almost knee level. Point your toes straight forward so your feet land in a straight line.

Running Uphill
Quicken your arm drive ensuring that the arm movement is straight forward and backwards – not across the body and use them to give you the momentum to get up the hill. Keep your body at a slightly forward lean (be careful not to bend too much at the waist as this will restrict the space for your lungs making it harder to breathe). Shorten your stride. Lift your knees higher so that your feet come off the ground a little more. The steeper the hill, the more you should shorten your stride and lift your knees. Keep your head up and eyes focused on an object 20 to 30 meters ahead.

Running Downhill
Most people tend to lean backwards when running downhill which causes extra stress on your legs especially your knees. It takes practice to run downhill effectively and to overcome the fear of falling on your face. The action to use when running downhill is the same as for running on the flat (see above), only you will need to actively concentrate on ensuring the body is straight and that you are leading with your hips – see body flight. All to often I see athletes get to the top of a downhill and change their posture by leaning backwards. Let gravity help you and by lengthening your stride you can remain in control. Remember that most people tend to run legs first downhill, which effectively puts the brakes on – valuable time and places can be gained if you run freely downhill.

Till next time


Posted in Running | 2 Comments