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Lesson One: Training with the Guv'nor - Define the Goal

Planet X 2014 Athletes Ritchie Nicholls, European 70.3 Champion, and Eimear Mullan, UK 70.3 Champion, report back on their new start with us.

Our 2013 campaign has begun, a totally new team supporting us with a more focused and targeted season ahead. In mid-January we headed off to the Spanish sun for our first block of training under our new coach. But not before we were forced to take a back step and do the exercise that every athlete should do at the start of a season, be it serious age grouper, world class professional, or fun weekend warrior.

When it was suggested to us that we train under the guidance of three time world champion Spencer Smith it soon became apparent that his ideas and methods would be poles apart from those we had been used to under Brett Sutton and indeed previously. The first discussions were simple, forthright, direct - WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS - define these and we can start. Without these we cannot and will not start.

 Eimear Mullan half ironman 70.3 racing Planet X champion

Thus we had a very difficult week in early January when we had to " pin our colours to the mast”. No more racing without structure or clear targets - laying it down in black and white, deciding and committing to the races we want to win in 2014. Make no mistake this was no easy task and Richie and I both struggled with the concept of naming the races we wanted to win but once down and agreed a pressure was lifted and a clarity of purpose established. This was our first lesson from Spencer Smith who soon became "The Guv'nor" to us.

Carbo loading... Spencer Smith style

And so with this task completed and lesson number one learned we packed our bags and gave up the British weather for the training roads of Spain and a first steady solid block of training. Much like training with Brett Sutton who insists that consistency is the key to success, Spencer adopts a similar methodology of consistency day in day out , never missing a set, "just get it done ", every session, tick it off . However, the main difference is that we now have very specific goals, targets and much more structure within each session.

Ritchie Nicholls training with Spencer Smith for Planet X

Slowly but surely our form is coming , the excess kilos Ritchie gained since October are dropping off, the boxes are being ticked day in day out and we are starting to see some signs of form.

The goals are set, the foundations are being laid down, it’s going to be a tough hard season.

Ritchie Nicholls and Eimear Mullan contemplate the new season

10 February 2014


  • Gary H
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    Not that knowledgeable about Tri, what is 70.3?

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