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January « 2013 « Sam Warriner's Blog


Archive for January, 2013

2013 is going to be an exciting year!

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Well Christmas has come and gone – and I’d love to say Lola-Rose will remember her first as the fun day it was….but to her it was just another 5 bottle day with a couple of sleeps thrown in…….. and some wrapping paper to crunch and crinkle!

My own training has been going particularly well of late. Doc set me a goal back in December to beat 17:30 for 5000m’s on the track – I failed miserably but have since redeemed myself.

I made the mistake of confusing myself with a certain athlete I used to know well ‘Sam Warriner’

17:30 was the goal and my instructions from the Doc were simple (in hindsight!) ‘settle into a group and build. Simple you’d think. Not to an old battler like me though. ☺

The gun went off and a group of 5 or 6 gazelle like teenagers sprinted away from the main group. The predator in me sparked back to life – I found myself running well under my planned pace. It did feel good…for all of 3 or 4 laps….slowly but surely though the pace took its toll and before halfway I was running alone and finally crossed the line around 60 seconds down on my prey.

To say I was annoyed with myself would be an understatement. 17:30 was the time needed to start ‘talking triathlon again’ as Doc put it. And a short 18 just didn’t cut it. I felt like I was in exile – a technicality keeping me from the place I love…. The racecourse?!

I wasn’t kept in the cold for too long though – a couple of weeks solid training and New Years Eve and Brett instructed me I needed to find a Sprint Distance race to bring me on – well he didn’t need to say that twice.

4 days later I was racing in the first Contact Triathlon NZ Sprint race of 2013 – and I won the event convincingly.

“Excellent work by Sam Warriner, great 2 see her open race comeback with excellent win don’t be fooled it was fast look 2 men split congrats” @TriSutto

It’s great the confidence you get from a solid performance, and it’s amazing the strength those 140 characters on Twitter gave me.

We’d planned a couple of weeks holiday in Taupo – after commentating at the Tauranga Half Ironman we headed down to the lake with the intention of getting in some solid training. I say ‘we’ because I’ve managed to get Stephen back out on his bike and he’s even been swimming in the lake too. Stephen’s parents came with us to Taupo so Lola spent lots of time with Granny & Poppa.

I coach some kids here in New Zealand and we had a couple of days where they came down too and we did some solid sessions. The youngsters are always good to train with as they’re just so raw and take it to you on every session!

This coming year I’ll be coaching for Team TBB and the age group athletes who take advantage of the wealth of knowledge the team has available.

I’m new to the structure but excited by what I see. As it really is a supportive team with everything in place and proven results to back up the coaches.

I hear a lot of people say that athletes who coach are merely subsidizing their own expenses – but I’d disagree that’s not always the case. I’m in a position where I really don’t need to be coaching – I want to be coaching. I love helping others and I love being part of their goals and achievements. There are 24 hours in any given day and I need balance in my life – I can’t train for 24 hours a day and love talking with others, helping them plan their training and racing, and following their progress.

I’ve coached since I was in my late teens – that’s over 20 years now! I’d gained the highest (as it was then) swim teaching accreditation in the UK by the time I was 22.

Coaching does interest me – working with an athlete whether it is for triathlon or any individual sport. I actually spent some time as a teenager coaching Jonny Wilkinson the famous English rugby ‘Fly-Half’. It wasn’t his kicking though – I coached his tennis, as that’s another sport I love to play.

Coaching ‘Philosophies’ is a buzzword that athletes like to talk about and ask you about when considering if you’ll be of help to them. And I think sometimes ‘Philosophies’ cloud what is good coaching.

Coaching to me is getting someone out the door – day in day out. It really is that simple…but a whole lot more complex at the same time!

I started my triathlon journey at 29 years of age. I entered a local woman’s type triathlon here in New Zealand; I was a High School PE teacher and kept myself fit doing the odd bike ride, run and swimming in summer in the sea.

I managed to win the event and a free flight to anywhere in New Zealand courtesy of Air New Zealand. The flight had to be used within 3 months so I took off to The New Zealand Age Group Champs just 8 weeks later and qualified for the 2001 World Age Group Champs in Canada.

A podium in Canada and the day following my Age Group race I sat on the roadside watching the elites race it out and I set myself a goal there and then – next year I’ll be in that elite race.

2002 I was an elite and finished 28th in the Elite World Championships in Cancun.

Since then it’s been a case of small steps – setting goals, working toward them and then re-assessing.

2 x Olympian,

14 ITU World Cup Podiums,
7 ITU World Cup wins,
1 x Commonwealth Silver Medal,
2008 ITU World Cup Series Overall,
7 x 70.3 Wins,
Ironman New Zealand Champion.

I don’t list these results to brag…although it does look good on paper ☺

But my point is – coaching really is a no frills business. It’s about setting a goal, figuring out what’s needed to get there…and then doing the work. Plain and simple – Doing the work. If you’re willing to commit the time and effort it’s amazing what you can achieve.

I wasn’t a Jodie Swallow or Emma Snowsill as a youngster – I use these as examples of hugely talented athletes who also worked damn hard from a young age. I had very little ‘natural talent’ – but I did have a love of all sports. Growing up in the UK my mother used to take me to local triathlons and ‘biathlons’. I was told by a talent development coach from British Triathlon that I had little ‘talent’ and would do well to find another sport if I wanted to succeed…I think I was about 17 at the time.

Hence the break from triathlon until I was 29 – we didn’t fall in love instantly. ☺

And now I’m in the position that I’m able to help others toward their goals – and I get a huge amount of satisfaction out of that.

So 2013 will be a year of establishing myself as a Team TBB coach and re-establishing my international racing career.

I have my first Olympic Distance Triathlon in just over a week – yes we’re allowed to ‘talk triathlon’ again now since I broke the 17:30 barrier for 5km’s just this week.

Doc told me to find an Olympic Distance Tri I could enter and when I emailed him back ‘What do you think to the Erin Baker Triathlon’ here in NZ, his reply was short, succinct as always and gave me the green light to go after it:

‘There’s the name of a serious World Champion Hard Arse’

Well that was enough of a challenge to me – time to prove I can be a hard arse too next weekend. ☺

Talk soon,