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2017-2018 Season Review

Season Review by Coach Foz...


I took the opportunity to update the results for the year and reflect back on how the program faired in 2017/18. Below is a bit of a snapshot of what our Fluid/MTC athletes got up to over the calendar year. Hope you enjoy it.

New Athletes and Beginners
Over the season Fluid/MTC ran three courses, introducing 17 budding triathletes to the sport. We had 6, 5 and 6 starters over the 3 courses, and 14 of those athletes enjoyed it so much they continued on training following course completion and are now hooked and loving the sport.

World Championship Representation
Sprint/Olympic ITU Worlds, Rotterdam – Fluid had 4athletes represent their nation in short course racing in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Leigh Anderson, Joseph Paterson, Lance Bos raced the Standard distance and Camilla Forss raced the Sprint distance. Leigh had a race to remember, picking up the Silver Medal in 35-39age. What an awesome accomplishment for Leigh, he becomes the 6th Fluid athlete to place in the top 3 at World Championship level as per my records.
Camilla was 13th in age and the 2nd Aussie home, Lance was 30th in his age group and 1st Aussie home, Joseph was 74th in age and 6th Aussie home

70.3 Worlds, Chattanooga – We had 6athletes race in Chattanooga. There was a massive field for that race with a really tough course. We had Roger Witz Barnes, Laura Armstrong, Juan Torres, Jenny Zenker, Janet Livesey and Mel Avery representing us. Roger was our best finish, 5th in age group after coming off the bike close to leading. Jenny was 13th in her age group, Laura 30th, Juan was 168th, Janet 65th and Mel was 152nd in her age category.

Ironman Worlds, Hawaii – We had 2athletes represent Fluid at the Iron distance on the famed Hawaii Ironman course. They both qualified at Cairns Ironman, Kristy Hallett and Steve Guy. Really tough race and competition and they both finished. Kristy had her second fastest Kona from 3attempts, and finished 19th in age in 10:56hrs, having had a great race. Steve had a tough day out, finishing 61st in age in 10:00hrs.

Racing around the World
Triathlon takes you to many exotic and exciting paces and over the past year Fluid athletes have raced far and wide. Here is a list of places where our crew has raced OS. Rotterdam NED, Hawaii & Chattanooga USA. Singapore, Edinburgh SCOT, Regensburg GER, Arizona USA, Bahrain, Mumbai IND. And of course the most exotic, Maroondah…. eh Chiggers! ; )

Movers and Shakers
Real improvement doesn’t come without sustained consistent effort. There is no magic pill that you can take, its just a matter of doing the right training again and again over time, remaining un-injured and listening to your body and your coach to ensure you keep adapting to the training and improving.
This season I can name a number of athletes that have made breakthroughs just by doing things right, day in and day out. I have chosen these athletes because they have been on the program for some time and that’s how long it can take before you see the real benefits.
Sam Willersdorf is one athlete. Sam did a run block for the marathon with me to improve his running and then came back on the full tri program and has excelled due to the work he put into his weakness.
Isabelle Claxton has also made great gains this season. I just think she has put some things in place away from training and it has helped her to better adapt to training. She for the first time has consistently been on the podium at 2XU events.
Jo Ritson has just kept improving over all three legs. Jo worked hard to shake off a persistent foot injury whilst really working on her swim and bike and this has seen her excel this season with training and race PB’s.
Rob Chignell is another. Rob has vastly improved his swim efficiency, he has learned how to regulate his effort better so now he has the tactics and strength to do well over Sprint and up to 70.3 events. This was shown with his Sunny 70.3 performance and last weekend’s sprint podium at the 2XU event.
I could continue on but will leave it at those 4.

Taking the Tape
There is no better feeling than winning an event overall. That feeling of taking the tape, it doesn’t happen very often and for some of us it may never happen, but here are the athletes that did just that in 2017/18
Jenny Zenker – Bintan 1000m swim, Bintan Olympic triathlon, City 60 Duathlon Singapore, One North 10k run, Bahrain 70.3 (Middle East Champs)
Lesley West – Forster Ultimate Triathlon
Leigh Anderson – Maroondah Duathlon, Yarrawonga ITU Qualifier
Ken Murley – Masters Games Individual Time Trial, Tasmania
Laura Armstrong – NZ National Standard Championships (ITU Qualifier)

New Fluid State / National Champions
Always special when you take a state or national championship and we had a couple this season
Jenny Zenker – Middle East 70.3 Champion (Bahrain 70.3)
Ken Murley – National Standard Distance Champion (Mooloolaba)
Laura Armstrong – NZ National Standard Championships (ITU Qualifier)
Leigh Anderson – Vic Duathlon Sprint Champion, Vic Sprint Triathlon Champion (Portarlington)
Kathrin Wardlaw, Isabelle Claxton - Vic Sprint Triathlon Champion (Portarlington)

Milestone Sessions
Both Coaches and athlete alike take great joy in seeing athletes achieve a milestone in training, be it riding to a destination or setting a new training PB like a lap of Kew or TT/FTP PB. This is especially the case with our athletes that come from the Beginner courses. As their strength develops the program develops with them, and we set challenging but attainable goals. Recently I was on a ride where we had a number of athletes complete their first Frankston return ride. It was great to the satisfaction of achievement from Holly Boland, Andree Parker, Matt Jelen, Tenille Oien, Barry Curran, Daniela Leupold and Claire Harris on that day.
There are also lots of highlights this year of athletes completing their first 70.3, such as the big group of debutants we had complete Sydney and Geelong 70.3’s for the first time. They were Steve Brooks, Rylie McLoughlin, Paul Lyons, Sarah Bate, Will Teare, Gillian Turnbull
Athlete development is a cornerstone of our coaching structure each year, it’s about bringing the next group of athletes through the program. These athletes soon become the backbone of our future squad and the next champions that everyone’s talking about.

The Fluid Program – Continual Refinement
If you are standing still you are going backwards. Each year the Fluid squad program is reset, refined and developed. As head coach I am proud to say that I have never just repeated a past program, there is always room for refinement and improvements in the formulation and delivery of the training program.
Intensity and Monitoring Tools
This year Fluid started using Training Peaks to monitor the load of the training program to assist in setting athlete adaptation and recovery between sessions. It has assisted coaches to keep check that athletes are correctly following the prescribed intensity set and are recovering adequately before the next session. As we get more comparable data on race and training performance from this year’s programs, this will assist Fluid coaches into the future to set even more effective plans.
Programming Performance
This year at the top end, our programs had to go to a new level. Fluid had a few athletes move into the Elite Age / Open level of racing and the program had to go to a new level to ensure their continued improvement. Track sessions, double ride days etc, those 1percenters that will give a higher level athlete an edge had to be set into the programs. Sessions were set using sound existing training principles, but for me as head coach it was a fun and rewarding coaching challenge, and this sees me a better coach than I was 12months ago.
The trickle-down effect – Program Development at the top of the program benefits every level of program we set as we gradually integrate new training sets and principles into all Fluid programs where appropriate.

Club Series Awards
Fluid athlete’s success means the MTC has success come race day. The club came away with lots of awards in 217/18
MTC was 2nd only to a Queensland club in its division at Cairns Ironman 2017.
MTC won the best club award at Challenge Shepparton
MTC won its division at Geelong 70.3.
As always we encourage every Fluid member to become an MTC member, there are so many benefits and one of the best is to race as a Fluid member for our club at competitions. If you didn’t become a member this season, we encourage you to for the next one.

2017/18 Summation
Most people are aware that the last year has had its challenges. But in the face of that though we banded together and it has actually made us stronger.
I am most proud of the culture that we now have within our squad/club. Its most evident when you see how supportive everyone is of each other as team mates and friends. We spend a lot of time together, so the positive environment of our training is very important, and something we want to nurture and strengthen into the 2018/19 season.

I really want to thanks Coaches Lyndsey Foster and Jan Dean for the effort they put into coaching our athletes this season. Lyndsey Jan and I are really looking forward to the next year and what it brings for Fluid and our great club MTC, and hope you will be along for the ride too.
We hope you can come along to the MTC awards at the end of this month and help us celebrate all of the above.

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