Hello Team USA,
I first would like to say congratulations to each and every one of you. As a former Team USA athlete (2005), I know how excited you are and exactly how much you have invested in your goals and dreams. As the official Team USA Coach, I have been entrusted to help all of you reach the starting line as well prepared as you can be. Some of you may remember me as the Team Coach for Team USA 2010, Budapest and Team USA 2012 in Auckland.
Over the next several months, I will be submitting to you articles and information which I believe will help you best prepare for London. We have planned webinars and interactive webchats where you can pick my brain and that of USAT staff. There are always questions that people have and I will try to make it my duty to answer as many as possible. I am working on creating a Computrainer course so that you can best prepare for race day. It is my hope that you will know every corner and straight like the back of your hand.
I have been doing some recon for London and have created some helpful training points for you to consider over the next two months.
Swimming – The Serpentine (the body of water we will be swimming in) is a dark body of water with limited visibility. If you can find open water that is not crystal clear this would help with acclimation to the type of water you will be seeing on race day. We will have time to swim in the water, although not on course, before the race at the Serpentine Swim Club. If you are still looking for races this summer, try to add some murky swims in your schedule.
Biking – The course is deadpan flat with some nice tight corners. Expect the course to be busy and crowded. Plan your gearing accordingly for the day. In your training I would suggest focused TT efforts in the aerobars with corners. Staying strong in the aero position and being able hold speed through corners will be vital to placing on this course. If you are planning on racing a disc wheel, please remember to bring a second back up non-disc wheel. We have learned in the past that the ITU can make last minute equipment limitations based on weather, so it is better to be safe than sorry. In the past we have had the luxury to do pre-race course rides and previews; that will not be the case this year. We have been told that Hyde Park will be off limits to pre-race riding and so will the bike course. We are currently working on a viable alternative. My advice is to not sweat this fact since it is the same for everyone else in every other country. I know there are some of you out there who are reading this and saying to themselves, “yah right, I am going to ride alone and do it anyways”, I would ever so strongly discourage this because the actions of just one of us could jeopardize the entire team. Please think about everyone else and not just yourself. I am currently working on getting a video and photos of the course from a source in London. Yes, I have spies all over the globe!
Running – The run course is ever so slightly rolling and nicely shaded. Be prepared for a fast run. Keep up with your track and brick workouts this summer. A good song to add to your iPod playlist for running is “London Calling” by The Clash. This song was everywhere during the summer Olympics last year. We should be able do some preview runs in Hyde Park. These runs should help give us a glimpse of the bike course and transition area.
There are a ton of professional photos out on the web, I suggest you try and view as many as you can and also check out Google Maps to get a good look at the course from an aerial view.
Coach Kris Swarthout