Cold & Flu & Training

Cold & Flu & Training

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    Exercising Sick –…

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Schools Cycling 101

Schools Cycling 101

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As one aspect of the sporting year comes to a close another begins.  While I figured that I…

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Why Get a Coach

Why Get a Coach

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I am constantly approached for coaching advice from people of all abilities and ages.  Some of them know nothing about…

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Training for Taupo – putting together a plan

Training for Taupo – putting together a plan

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  I am quite often approached by budding fun-riders with the same goal…”to beat my mate around…

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Cold & Flu & Training

 

 

Exercising Sick – good or bad idea?

 

Winter is nearly upon us and the risk of getting colds, flus and infections starts to impact athletes training schedules.  I have therefore been prompted to do a little research on whether the advice I give my athletes is sound or not.  I’m happy to see that not only has my cautious approach got plenty of merit but there is increasing evidence that exercising when you have certain systemic illnesses is potentially harmful in the long term.

What type of illness?

In this article I am referring to common winter ailments such as colds and flus with symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, fever, aching muscles, headaches & coughs.

 

Obviously these ailments have varying degrees of discomfort and how we treat each of them is dependent on their severity.  A simple cold without systemic symptoms is a far cry from a full blown flu presenting itself as fever and aching bones.

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Schools Cycling 101

As one aspect of the sporting year comes to a close another begins.  While I figured that I would have more free time in September after the time poor months watching too much Le Tour and Olympics, how wrong I was.  I’ve been coaching the Senior Boys Cycling squad at Auckland Grammar School the last 3 years and September was crunch time for us.

Some intriguing dynamics became apparent to me over the last 5-6 weeks whilst helping the next generation of cyclists do their thing.  Some made me laugh; some made me want to cry.  A few things I thought I would pass comment on in order to demonstrate some realities to young and old athletes alike.

The first reality check for my teams came in July, when they failed to live up to their own high expectations at the North Island Secondary Schools champs.  Having won the previous four TTT’s in the Auckland TTT series the A team went into the North Islands with plenty of confidence.  8th place put a big dent in that.  Losing 1min16 on a dominant Hamilton Boys team was something that had us contemplating what a huge mountain we had to climb to be competitive at Nationals.  We had a bad day, but even so, we had a lot of work to do.

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Athlete Profile - Mel Burke

Mel Burke – no challenge too tough

Back in 2008 BikeNZ came up with an idea to uncover womens cycling talent with a programme they called “Power to the Podium”.  100 or so applicants applied from a wide range of relevant sports.  All were put through a series of tests to ascertain whether any had the physiology to be potential medallists on the track in 2012.  The hope was to uncover an athlete that showed untapped potential.  Perhaps they weren’t even involved with cycling yet.

 

One of the few such athletes to be uncovered was Aucklands Melanie Burke.  Such were her numbers in some of the tests that they invited her to undergo further testing on the track in Invercargill.  Having never ridden a track bike, she was at a bit of a disadvantage and failed to progress any further.  Obviously she had some talent on a bike though and BikeNZ put her in touch with me to see if we could get her competitive on the road or time trial.

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Why Get a Coach

I am constantly approached for coaching advice from people of all abilities and ages.  Some of them know nothing about cycling, whereas some of them believe they already know everything.  All of them want to know what benefits there would be in getting a coach and how it’s going to help their performance.  While one coach won’t necessarily suit every athlete, I believe that every athlete can benefit from finding a coach that suits their needs and personality.

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The Grammar Hammer – a tough act to follow

 

Secondary Schools cycle racing in New Zealand has enjoyed a relatively short history but in that time one school has consistently been near the top of the heap in the boys races. Auckland Grammar School cycling team, it cannot be argued, has won more than any other school.

Both Senior and Junior boys teams are the current NZ Secondary Schools Team Time Trial champions. This event is considered the most highly sought after event of the Schools calendar. As if this is not impressive enough, AGS Senior Boys claimed the Sir Bernard Fergusson Team Time Trial Trophy, awarded to the National Champion for the 20th time in 2010!

In the big scheme of things cycling, you may be thinking that all this emphasis on winning at a young age may not be a good thing. Are we burning them out too young? Does success at school lead to success after school? Well in the case of AGS the recent crop of talent that has ridden through the ranks is currently enjoying a reasonable level of success on the International stage, so I think that this in itself indicates that they’re doing something right. Recent AGS cyclists include:

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