Top Young Triathletes in Kapiti

By Roger Childs

Triathlon trainingThis is an outstanding opportunity for these young athletes to benefit from world class coaching and development in their pursuit of elite triathlon status.

Murray Ashley, Kapiti Running and Tri Club Triathlon Coach

Teenage Triathlon Talent on the Coast

 About 30 budding young triathletes will descend on Waikanae next weekend for intensive sessions of training and tuition. Aged 15-17, they come from all over the North Island and have been selected on the basis of their potential to become top performers in the three discipline sport of triathlon.

This Tri NZ Performance Youth Training Camp follows on from successful programmes run in Cambridge and Christchurch. The objectives are to

  • develop efficient, fast, injury free athletes
  • identify a National High Performance Youth Squad for 2014
  • pick a team to compete in Sydney in mid January 2014
  • have Kiwi triathletes selected in the Oceania team, alongside Australians, for the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China,  in August 2014.

The Training Camp is based at El Rancho and will use the new Kapiti Aquatic Centre, Waikanae Park and the Paraparaumu Domain.

A High Powered Coaching Team

 Tim Brazier TRINZ National Talent Development Coach is the lead coach at the camp, and he heads a top group of New Zealand triathlon experts.

  • Rick Wells and Jen RosePrevious world champions Jen Rose and Rick Wells
  • Ien Hellemans, who will speak on Nutrition
  • Simon Pearson, who is an expert on video analysis
  • TRINZ Sport Development Coach Brett Reid
  • Cam Durno from Taupo
  • Local coach Murray Ashley.

 It will be a full-on programme from the evening of Friday 4 October to the afternoon of Sunday 6 October. There will be an emphasis on strength, conditioning and nutrition, relating to  the swimming and running disciplines in particular.

The importance of swimming and running

 You need to swim well to get into the leading pack for the cycling leg and in the end the fastest runner will win if he or she is in the front bunch off the bike. Murray Ashley

In most of the top triathlon races, the following pattern emerges.

  • Swimming: athletes go as hard as they can and aim to be out of the water in as high a position as possible. It is essential to be in the front group on the bike to have any chance of a podium finish.
  • Biking: Unlike the other two disciplines, the field usually works in packs. Top runners may conserve energy by draughting in the group and leaving the setting of the pace at the front to others.
  • Running: This is literally the run to the finish, so speed is of the essence. If he or she is off the bike with the front group, the fastest runner will win gold.

Gomez winsResults in the elite level of 2013 World Triathlon competition: the ITU series, bear out this theory. Amongst the men this year, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, and Javier Gomez (pictured), were the fastest runners and between them won all eight races because they came off the bike in the front group.

In women’s events Jodie Stimpson, Anna Haug and Gwen Jorgensen won most of the races because of their running speed. Jorgensen is the fastest runner, but is weaker in the swim, however her speed on the run has enabled her, in some events, to come from up to two minutes behind and win the race.

So for Kapiti Training Camp the emphasis is on swimming and running. Some of those attending have been selected on the basis of being talented swimmers and runners, as coaches know that top teenage athletes can quickly add cycling to their repertoire.

Mitchell Rutter is the top young Kapiti triathlete

SONY DSC Mitchell has made great progress in recent years. At just 16 years of age, the Otaki College student has had impressive results in 2013:

5th in the New Zealand Under 19 Secondary School Triathlon Championships in Christchurch

4th in the New Zealand Under 19 Duathlon Championships in Taupo.

The camp will give Mitchell the opportunity to gain the knowledge to improve his overall performance, by enhancing his technique and increasing his speed.