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sportsister the heartbeat of female sport in the uk

Issue 11: March/April 2011

Triathlon superstar

*win*

Hollie Avil

a fitness retreat to the Alps worth £1500

+ Find the perfect swimsuit for you Get ready for the most exciting summer in women’s football Everything you need to know to get started in yoga Follow our triathlon swimming training plan – by leading coach Dan Bullock Run like the wind with our top spring running fashion

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inspirational

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motivational

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accessible

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start-line

Sportsister the heartbeat of female sport in the UK

Welcome

What’s inside

There’s such a buzz around the sport of triathlon right now. It has gone from being the domain of the super hardcore to a sport that now attracts the whole family. And the rise in popularity amongst women has been staggering thanks to team relays, sprint distances, women only races and children’s events.

5. News and views

We couldn’t think of a better poster girl for the sport than Hollie Avil. This bright, talented and determined 20 year old has stormed through the junior ranks collecting World, European and National titles along the way. We spoke to her (page 10) about becoming a superstar in the sport of triathlon.

8. Runner’s Notes

For many people the swim leg of a triathlon is the weak link, so we’ve worked with top coach Dan Bullock to bring you an eight week training plan (page 32) that will mean you are in top shape come race day. Even if your time in the water is not spent building up for a tri you’ll still love our pick of the best swimsuits and accessories to train in (page 9).

Rising star Hollie Avil talks triathlon.

For the runners among you we’ve got top spring fashion (page 20) and our new dedicated running page (page 25) with all the latest news, advice and products.

It’s the most exciting launch in the sport of women’s football – we take a look at the new FA WSL.

Enjoy, Louise & Danielle

What’s been done and said in the world of women’s sport.

7. Take the plunge

Find the right swimsuit for you in our swimwear kit bag guide Our new running page has all the latest news, products and advice from the world of running.

10. Superstar in waiting – Hollie Avil 13. Wellbeing

The latest news and products to keep you in tip top shape. Including out test the best muscle soaks to ease your tired limbs.

15. On The Ball

17. The knowledge: triathlon

Get the latest product news, event guides and insider tips on the sport of triathlon.

18. Half time

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Our guide to what’s new...what’s good…what works…what’s worth spending your money on…what’s fun…

20. Run like the wind

Nothing beats running in the spring. Check out the latest run styles to keep you looking fresh.

22. Getting started: yoga

Our beginners guide to this mind and body sport.

25. Cyclist’s Notes

Our new cycling page has all the latest news, products and advice from the world of cycling.

26. Competitions

Win a fitness retreat in the Alps worth £1500 and entry to the Great North Run.

27. 4 Stars 5 Questions

See what Helen Jenkins, Heather Watson, Katy McLean and Jo Healy have to say.

29. Nutrition

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Campervan cooking, plus top teas.

30. Travel

Make for the lakes, or reach for the mountains with our travel ideas.

32 Training – triathlon swimming

Follow Dan Bullock’s swim plan to improve your triathlon swimming 33. Put to the test: Find out how Sportsister Nell Darby got on at the Cirencester Off-Road Duathlon

34. What’s On?

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Get inspired with our pick of the best sporty events to do and watch.

What’s online at sportsister.com Competitions Head to our competitions page to see all the latest giveaways

Sportsister Newsletter

Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter

Sportsister blogs

Read our exclusive blogs written by both the Sportsister team and also top sports stars. Sportsister founders: Danielle Sellwood and Louise Hudson Editorial Director: Louise Hudson Creative Director: Danielle Sellwood Commercial Director: Gary Cole Advertising Sales: Bessie Shoreland London Sales Agent: Nick Edgley Business Development Director: Sally Lockyer Contributors: Nell Darby, Sally Lovett, Kim Mogg, Amy Swan and Jessica Whittington. Address: Sportsister, Regency Offices, 2 Wood Street, Queen Square, Bath. BA1 2JQ Tel: 01225 326 430 Email: info@sportsister.com Printed by: St Ives (Plymouth) Ltd

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news and views Sportsister the heartbeat of female sport in the UK

News bites

See your sporting hero in a health club near you

Netball: England go down 3-0 to New Zealand

Can you imagine running on a treadmill and looking across to see an elite athlete running next to you?

In the Fiat International Netball Series, we saw strong, exciting performances from the England team but the Silver Ferns proved to be just too good. July’s World Championships look set to be gripping.

Cricket: England lose the Ashes

David Lloyd Leisure is inspiring its members by inviting elite athletes in to its clubs to use its range of facilities, as part of the Team Family campaign, to encourage families to take part in sport.

After making history with a 4-1 series win over Australia down under, Charlotte Edwards and the England cricketers went into the Ashes Test brimming with confidence. However they came home disappointed leaving the Ashes urn in Australia.

Hockey: Bowdon Hightown win the national indoor title

A tightly fought Super Sixes final between Bowdon Hightown and Reading completed the women’s indoor season. After a nail-biting, action packed 40 minutes it took 22 penalty strokes to separate the sides with Bowdon Hightown winning for the second time in three years; 9-8 on penalty strokes following a 5-5 draw.

Athletics: Golden girl Jess Ennis starts 2011 with a bang

The world champion heptathlete got her indoor season off to a flying start with victory over world indoor champion Lolo Jones in the 60m hurdles at the Avia International in Glasgow. Jenny Meadows also ran a stormer to win the women’s 800m.

Get set for the FIFA Women’s World Cup

The first match kicks off in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on 26 June, when hosts Germany face Canada. England will face Japan, New Zealand and Mexico in the group stage. Head to www.fifa.com/womensworldcup to buy tickets.

Views: school sport funding cuts I just want there to be opportunities for young people. I believe there is a sport or activity out there for everyone and if we don’t provide it, then how are young people going to find it? We have a duty to create well-rounded people at schools and providing positive attitudes, not by forcing children to do something they can’t do or hate. For once, schools are listening to what the students want to do and so therefore creating a better physical education environment.

Gail Emms,

Youth Sport Trust ambassador and Olympic silver medallist (badminton)

Try something new – Sportsister courses There’s still time to sign up for one of Sportsister’s courses. If you are looking to try a new sport, this is the perfect chance to have a go in a female friendly and encouraging environment.

Golf – March 12 – World of Golf driving ranges in New Malden and Glasgow

Photo: British Turkey

Head to Sportsister.com for daily news updates on all your favourite women’s sports

With the announcement of budget cuts for school sport, as part of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, it is more important than ever that parents encourage their children to take part in physical activity during their leisure time. Olympic gold medal winner, Denise Lewis, OBE and Team Family ambassador, says: “It is one thing to watch an athlete compete on the television but to have the opportunity to work out alongside them is something else. What a great source of inspiration to keep you motivated in the gym!” Rob Beale, Group Health and Fitness Manager at David Lloyd Leisure, says: “We will be keeping a close eye on the progress of all our Team Family athletes and hope that, come 2012 we will be sharing their sporting success with them.” For more information visit www.davidlloyd.co.uk/teamfamily

Mountain Biking – May 15 – Get Mountian Biking in Milton Keynes

Kayaking: May 21-22 – Nomads Kayaking in Clevedon, North Somerset

* Everyone who attends a Sportsister course will receive a fantastic goodie bag packed with sporty treats!

Just head online to Sportsister.com and click on the Sportsister courses button for more information about each course and details of how to book.

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Speedo Fluid Dive Powerback Suit £29.00

Take The Plunge Swimming offers a fantastic all over body workout, and because it is low impact it suits all ages and offers great injury rehabilitation. Maybe you are training for a triathlon or perhaps you just enjoy doing your lengths to kick start your day. Whatever your motivation it’s essential to pick the right suit for your style and shape.

Zoggs Silicone Red Cap £4.99

Speedo Mariner Mirror Goggles £11.00

Speedo Multi Colour Silicone Cap £5.00

adidas by Stella McCartney Performance Print Swimsuit £72.00 Zoggs Fusion Air Goggles £14.99

Zoggs Deluxe Stretch Purple Cap £3.50 Diana Ziva Swimsuit £30.00

Speedo Sports Towel £10.00

Arena Madleys Swimsuit £34.00

Aqua Sphere Cairns Swimsuit £34.99

Love swimming?

Don’t miss our fantastic subscription offer in this issue (just turn to page 28). For just £10 you will receive six isues of Sportsister delivered to your door plus a pair of Aqua Sphere Kayenne Lady swimming goggles worth £18.99.

Head Jaguar Laser Mirrored Goggles £28.99

Training for a tri? Turn to page 32 to follow top swimming coach Dan Bullock’s training plan to turn your lengths into real progress.

Sweaty Betty Dynamo Swimsuit £55.00

Havaianas Flip Flops £18.00

H2O Audio Amphibx Waterproof Armband – Medium £49.95

Zoggs Poolside Back Pack £19.99

Sweaty Betty Pace Bikini £28.00 and Pant £23.00

Zoggs Wyomi V Neck X-Back swimsuit £37.99

Stockists: adidas by Stella McCartney www.adidas.com Aqua Sphere www.aquasphereswim.co.uk Arena www.mailsports.co.uk Diana www.simplyswim.co.uk H2O Audio www.simplyswim.co.uk Havaianas www.havaianas.com HEAD www.surfdome.com Speedo www.speedo.co.uk Sweaty Betty www.sweatybetty.com Zoggs www.zoggs.com

Speedo BioFUSE Aquatic Earplug £5.00 Speedo Aqua Bullet Bonded Splice Swimsuit £50.00

Arena Cobra Mirror Goggle £23.00

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Runners notes

Go minimal

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Race Day Tips

For years it’s been all about cushioning and stability, but now we’re seeing the emergence of the minimalist running shoe – a stripped back style, originally aimed for race days. One of our favorites is the Brooks Green Silence. This light, flexible race shoe is made from100% recycled materials, and now comes in a fab womens’ colourway too.

Have a race day plan: when you will wake, what you will eat, how you will look, feel and think through each mile of the race. Plan when you will drink (and eat) along the route, have mini goals and strategies if you start to feel tired or things niggle… then be calm, focused, relaxed and enjoy it. Pace: pace yourself through the race and start slowly at the beginning. It is better to go slowly to begin with and pick up your pace in the last 6 miles if you feel strong. Comfort: wear a pair of trainers you have run in for at least four weeks, with a pair of socks you know are comfortable. Wear clothing that you have tried and tested and know is comfortable - have a couple of options depending on the weather conditions.

Brooks Green Silence Price: £55.00 Stockists: www.brooksrunning.co.uk

Fuel: eat what you usually eat for a longer run at least 2 hours before the start, then only take gels and drinks that you are used to so you have no stomach worries. Self belief: believe that you can do it – it is your race so enjoy it, listen to your body and have fun – be that completing your first race or getting a PB!

Photo: Gore Running

Kim Ingleby: Energised Performance www.energisedperformance.com

Stay on track. The latest in a line of gadgets from Nike to get

If you are keen to get started with barefoot shoes, but are not yet ready to go the whole way with pioneering brands like Vibram Fivefingers (with individual toes), opt for this great design by Merrell. It combines the benefit of a grippy, minamalist Vibram sole, with a more traditional style upper.

you running further and faster is this running watch. Known as the Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom, it is being released on 1 April. And you’ve guessed it, Nike has teamed up with the gurus of GPS Tom Tom to ensure your miles are logged accurately. With touch screen functionality it records location, pace, heart rate, laps and splits, giving you encouragement along the way. We love the ‘run reminder’ that prompts you to pull on your running shoes if five days pass without a run being clocked. All the data can also be downloaded onto the Nike + community website, which allows you to set goals, track progress and meet other runners. Price: Yet to be announced

Ask the expert! Emily Mason BSc (Hons) MSc (Chiro) DC LCC Doctor of Chiropractic at The Spinal Answer Chiropractic www.spinalanswer.co.uk

Merrell Pace Glove Price: £82.00 Stockists: www.merrell.com/uk

More info: www.nikerunning.com

Q. My heel hurts at the base of my calf, the more I run the worse it gets. The pain starts once I stop running.

I have noticed a tender swelling at the back of my ankle just above my heel bone and now walking is painful, and I am more comfortable wearing a slight heel. What is the most likely cause of this pain, and what can I do to help myself?

A. Whilst there are several reasons for heel pain the most likely cause of your pain is from achilles

tendonitis (inflammation of the achilles tendon). The achilles tendon attaches the gastrocnemius and soleus (‘calf’) muscles to the heel bone and gets tight if the calf muscles are tight – often caused from over training, unaccustomed repetitive stress through the heel, improper warm up and cool down or a sudden stretch/curb injury. Wearing heels helps because the heel of your foot is kept at an angle minimising the stretch and pull on the achilles tendon.

Recommendations • Give running a break for at least 2 weeks. • Avoid plyometric training, sprint or incline training until pain free. Incorporate pool jogging and cycling to maintain cardio fitness.

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Ice the tendon regularly for 10 minute intervals 3 times a day (wrap the ice pack in a thin cloth). Do a proper warm up and stretch your calf muscles, be sure to cool down after exercise. Foam roll all your leg muscles paying attention to the back and sides of your lower legs.

If your heel pain is non-responsive to the above recommendations seek professional advice from a registered health care professional. You may need treatment including muscle release, joint manipulation, taping and compression and biomechanical assessment of your feet and gait. Do you have a question that you would like answered by our team of experts? Just email us at expert@sportsister.com or post on our Facebook page.

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Superstar

in waiting

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Hollie Avil

She’s one of the rising stars of the triathlon world with National, World and European titles to her name. But after a year plagued with illness and upset Hollie Avil discovered the darker side of being an athlete. Now with a new coach and a new city to call home, the 20 year old is back on track. Sportsister’s Louise Hudson caught up with this superstar in waiting. “I have realised that it’s the lows that make you a stronger person. Every elite athlete goes through them, and its how you deal with them that makes you the better athlete in the long run. You have to learn from your experiences, that’s what my 2010 season taught me,” Hollie sounds relaxed and positive as she talks about how difficult the last season was for her. It must have come as quite a shock to this young-gun triathlete, to suddenly start producing disappointing results; as before last year, Hollie’s racing just kept getting better and better. She had only been competing at triathlon for two years when she had the kind of season most athletes can only dream about. In 2007 she was crowned both the European and World Junior Champion, a year she modestly describes as “pretty special”. The following year she started competing in senior events, whilst still technically a junior, and came 3rd, 2nd and 4th in her debut World Cups. This ranked her world number one at just 18 years of age; and made her the youngest ever athlete to podium in successive debut World Cup races. “I’ve always said that age is just a number,” Hollie states, “and your age should never stop you from doing anything,” She certainly hasn’t let it stop her. Her strong performances led to her selection for the Beijing Olympics. Finishing fourth at the Madrid World Cup secured this. She tells me, “that was my most memorable moment in triathlon. I’ll never forget that day, knowing that I had qualified, the feeling was just immense.” But things in China did not go to plan, and after catching a stomach virus that swept through the athlete’s village Hollie was unable to finish her race. She completed the 1500 metre swim, but pulled out of the event a few kilometres into the 50km bike ride. Afterwards she was quoted as saying, “When I was on the bike I was sick and every time I took on fluids I was sick again. It’s not great when you’ve got sick down your arms and your new white shoes are ruined. I have always told myself I would never not finish a race and it’s hard to describe how I felt having to pull out.” Despite the obvious disappointment, Hollie soon picked herself up again and came back stronger than ever, and at the 2009 Triathlon World Championships in Australia she dominated her race to be crowned the Under 23 World Champion.

With a junior and now an U23 world title under her belt it seemed everything was back on track, but after her first race of the 2010 season, a 22nd place finish in Soeul in May, she was in hospital diagnosed with a bad case of gastroenteritis. It was the start of a season that would turn out to be punctuated by illness.

line is, a triathlete needs to be assertive, our race is full of uncontrollable and unplanned situations. I have to be able to make quick decisions by myself and trust them. I need to start doing this with my training too.’ So with change on the horizon, and another two disappointing results on the board, 40th in the final World Championship Series event in Kitzbuhel, and a ‘did not finish’ at the U23 European Championships, plus yet more illness and niggles to deal with, Hollie was happy to put the season to bed. Which is how she now finds herself living in Leeds and training under two new coaches. “Leeds is a centre for British Triathlon and I am good friends with (top triathletes) Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, who are both based up here,” she says. “They always said it was a great place to train. I came up to visit and just fell in love with it instantly. There are lovely training routes; the hills and countryside are beautiful. Plus top coaches Malcolm Brown and Jack Maitland are here.” Inevitably Hollie is now focused on London 2012 and this and next year’s seasons are all about building up to that, and gaining qualification. Not surprisingly she is being touted as one of Britain’s’ medal hopes.

I see it as a real compliment, that my country is behind me, wanting me to do well.

And unlike many athletes she is not afraid to speak openly about her

ambitions, “In every race I take part in my goal is to win. You hear a lot of athletes whose aim is just to get to the Olympics, but that is not my goal. I want to get on the podium, and I don’t want to settle for a bronze, I’m definitely going for a gold. I know it’s easy to say and it is a lot of hard work to get there but, that’s what these next 18 months are for.” And despite the rollercoaster that she has been on recently, it’s not hard to believe that this could happen. She’s tasted success, but she’s also tasted failure and it’s having experienced both of these, and come out the other side a stronger person because of it, that just may well catapult this superstar in waiting to the very top. Hollie is fuelled by Lucozade Sport – Supporting British Performance. Find out more at www.lucozadesport.com

fast Facts Date of birth: 12/04/1990

When she was still struggling a month later she and Ben Bright, her coach, made the decision to pull out of the World Championship Series race in Madrid and concentrate on the Senior European Championships, which was at the beginning of July. A solid 10th place finish there seemed to suggest the form and fitness was slowly returning. But after following this up with a 43rd place finish at the next World Championship Series event in London it was clear things weren’t right in Camp Avil.

Sporting hero: Paula Radcliffe

The decision that this wise-beyond-her-years athlete came to was to turn things on their head. She wanted to change coach and leave her base in Loughborough.

race diary

She had been coached by Bright since starting in the sport, and together they had achieved great things but as Hollie wrote on her blog at the time, ‘For a while now I’ve been thinking about change. A change of coach and a change of environment. I feel I’ve been a very passive athlete for the past few years. I accept that as a 15 – 18/19 year old who’s new to the world of triathlon I needed a lot of guidance. But I feel it’s now time for people to let go of my hand. I need to become more of an assertive athlete. The bottom

Hollie will be racing some French Grand Prix and ITU WCS races throughout the summer with her focus being Hyde Park WCS and Beijing WCS Grand Final, where possible Olympic nomination can be obtained with podium performances.

Triathlon idol: Tim Don Mantra: ‘It’s not the training you put in; it’s what you put into the training.”

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Wellbeing

Treat those weary muscles We’re all wising up to the importance of recovery as part of a training regime – well this is the nice bit! Soak in a warm bath with our favourite muscle ease products and feel that weariness float away.

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FIRST AID

5. Arnicare

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Rub into over-worked muscles, legs and ankles to cool, revive and invigorate. Combines the natural benefits of arnica with refreshing grapefruit oil and menthol to cool and soothe. Price: £4.85 (30g) Stockists: www.arnicare.co.uk

1. Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak

£32.70 (400ml) This powerful aromatherapy deep heat treatment really feels like it is working. The sea salt base detoxifies and cleanses, juniper reduces swelling and rosemary boosts circulation. It smells great too. www.timetospa.co.uk

2. Organic Blue Relaxing Mood Blend

£8.95 (100ml) Organic Blue is a range of soothing and uplifting, natural beauty and mood enhancing treatments, and this bath soak is designed to wash away the day’s aches, pains and stresses. It contains balancing geranium, soothing lavender, grapefruit which is renowned for its ability to steady and calming/soothing chamomile. www.healthqueststore.com

3. Energys Resonance Exceptionally Rich Bath Oil

£19.50 (150ml) The blend of bergamot and lemon scented tea tree means this smells divine and the extra rich formula is great if you suffer from dry skin. A wonderful treat that is ideal for after a hard training session. www.highernature.co.uk

4. Kerstin Florian Krauter Heublemen Bath Oil

£25.50 (118ml) This oil has a very beautiful, but unusual scent of wild flowers, and our tester thought it felt and smelt like a genuine spa product. The combination of sage, thyme and lavender soothes aching muscles and joints and leaves you feeling totally refreshed. www.kerstinflorian.co.uk

Ear Calm

‘Swimmers’ ear’ affects over 600,000 people in the UK every year. This spray is the only anti bacterial over the counter remedy available to fight mild outer ear infections. Price: £6.59 (5ml) Stockists: Your local pharmacy

Sportsister loves 5. Tisserand Muscle Ease Bath Oil £8.10

£8.10 (100ml) A great value choice that is our top pick. The combination of ginger, lemongrass and rosemary melts away tension and muscle aches and thanks to it being rich in vitamins, antioxidants and omega 6 and 9; skin is left conditioned and moisturised. www.tisserand.com

6. Radian B Cranberry Muscle Soak £2.99 (750ml)

Ask the expert!

This is a good budget choice. It foams up really well and the combination of essential oils, chamomile, lemon balm and spa minerals Is pleasant. The cranberry extract and cinnamon oil helps skin feel cleansed and muscles feel warmed and relaxed. www.radian-b.co.uk

Q. I need some advice about heart rates. I am confused as to what is the best heart rate for

working out at, and the best way to read my own heart rate. I know this is an important part of training but am baffled by all the conflicting advice out there. Can you please help?

A. Measuring your heart rate can be a useful tool in identifying cardiovascular effort and prescribing training. It can also be used in weight training to measure how strenuous an exercise is at a certain point and thereby access work capacity.

Liquorice & Melissa Lip Gel

This new rescue lip gel contains lemon balm and liquorice, two ingredients which according to studies reduce both the intensity and frequency of cold sore outbreaks. Price: £9.99 (30ml) Stockists: www.skinshop.co.uk

Which “training zone” to select or how strenuous your training should be is determined by your end goal. For example muscular endurance is obtained at 40-60% and strength and power at 70-100% of your maximum heart rate. Exercise should always be specific to the demands of your sport or what you are trying to achieve. Long distance runners will be looking for endurance gains and sprinters will require strength and power. Other sports, like boxing or tennis may require both. My tip would be to look at the demands of your sport or the body shape you want and tailor your training zone appropriately. Just like in the weights room you select the weight, reps, sets, and overall volume of your work to suit different purposes. The optimum exercise or heart rate zone is the one that fulfils your objectives and enhances your sport performance. Victoria Herman, Personal Trainer www.victoriaherman.com

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sportsister.com the heartbeat of female sport in the uk

If you enjoy reading Sportsister don’t forget to head online to www.sportsister.com. Updated daily it is packed with training tips and plans, athlete interviews, daily sports news, competitions, nutrition and much more. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter, follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. Get inspired by the heartbeat of female sport in the UK.

kit reviews

training plans athlete interviews daily news

competitions

blogs

event guides + loads more *

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On The Ball The FA WSL, the new women’s semi-professional football league, kicks off for the first time in April. Timed to take place over the summer months, the most talented female players in the country will line up in the eight team league. Lasting for 14 rounds, with a mid season break for the World Cup, the league looks set to herald a new dawn for women’s football. Get involved! The FA WSL is asking fans to get involved in what is set to be the most interactive football league around. So if you fancy having a say on what goes on at your favourite team, just search for ‘Call the Shots’ on Facebook to find out more about the campaign and WSL. Check out www.FAWSL.com for more information.

On the box The FA has agreed a deal with ESPN to broadcast exclusive coverage of The FA WSL when it kicks off in April. A weekly highlights show that will keep fans up-to-date with all the latest action, will air on Tuesday evenings. In addition to this, five matches throughout the season will be shown live. The first live match will be the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal on 13 April. The coverage will be presented by ESPN presenter Kelly Cates, the daughter of Kenny Dalglish.

Meet the teams Arsenal Ladies FC

Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies FC

Home ground: Meadow Park, Boreham Wood FC Captain: Faye White Rising star: Jordan Nobbs Fast fact: They’ve dominated women’s football in recent years. In 2007 they did what no other British team – men’s or women’s has ever succeeded in doing – they won the quadruple (Domestic league, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup). Quote: “I’m not sure if it [women’s status in football] will ever develop as high as the men but it’s definitely progressing massively. The FA WSL is going to help develop this.” Jordan Nobbs. First home match of the season: Thursday 21 April K.O. 7.45pm

Home ground: Keepmoat Stadium Captain: Vikki Exley Rising star: Naomi Chadwick Fast fact: They have won the FA Cup 6 times and reached the final a further 7 times in their 40 year history. No other club has matched this record. Need to know: There will be an international flavour at Keepmoat Staduim this season with signings from Sweden, Canada and Ireland. First home match of the season: Sunday 24 April K.O. 2.00pm

Birmingham City Ladies FC

Everton Ladies FC

Home ground: The DCS Stadium, Stratford Town FC Captain: Laura Bassett Rising star: Kerys Harrop Fast fact: The Blues have tempted England stalwart Karen Carney back from the Chicago Red Stars to play in the debut FA WSL season. Quote: “The FA Women’s Super League will be a fresh start for women’s football and will really show the high quality of the game. I really wanted to come back to be involved in this and continue my love for football.” Karen Carney. First home match of the season: Thursday 14 April K.O. 7.45pm

Home ground: The Arriva Stadium, Marine FC Captain: Jody Handley Rising star: Toni Duggan Fast fact: Last year Everton lifted the FA Women’s Cup at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground, beating closest rivals Arsenal 3-2 in extra-time. Need to know: Following their Cup victory last season, Mo Marley’s side are now focusing on their Women’s Champions League quarter-final clash with German side FCR 2001 Duisberg in March. First home match of the season: Wednesday 20 April K.O. 7.45pm

Bristol Academy Women’s FC

Lincoln Ladies FC

Home ground: Filton College WISE Campus Captain: Corinne Yorston Rising star: Jenna Rose Fast fact: Look out for Dutch star Anouk Hoogendijk, who signed for Bristol just minutes before the international transfer window closed at the end of January. Anouk has 59 caps for her country. Team nickname: The Gas Girls First home match of the season: Saturday 23 April K.O. 6.30pm

Home ground: Ashby Avenue, Lincoln United FC Captain: Megan Harris Rising star: Lucy Staniforth Fast fact: Captain Megan Harris has been playing for Lincoln all her football career. Megan has taken two years out of her teaching career to live her dream of not only playing top flight football but to work full time for the club too. Team nickname: Lady Imps First home match of the season: Thursday 14 April K.O. 7.45pm

Chelsea Ladies FC

Liverpool Ladies FC

Home ground: Imperial Fields, Tooting & Mitcham FC Captain: Casey Stoney Rising star: Drew Spence Fast fact: New Zealand captain Hayley Moorwood has signed for Chelsea Ladies and will no doubt draw on some of her experience from the 2007 World Cup and 2008 Olympics. Need to know: Captain Casey Stoney joined Chelsea Academy, aged 12. She then left the club to join Arsenal in 1999 before moving to Charlton in 2002. She joined the Blues again in 2007 and went on to win the Nationwide International Player of the Year Award for the 2007/08 season. First home match of the season: Thursday 14 April K.O. 7.45pm

Home ground: Skelmersdale United FC Captain: Vicky Jones Rising star: Sam Chappell Don’t miss: Liverpool derbies are always must-watch matches, and the FA WSL kicks off with one, when FA Cup holders Everton travel to neighbours Liverpool on the opening day of the season. Quote: “We’ve brought in some experienced players for the new season and along with our young, upcoming talent we’re feeling positive about our chances this year.” Vicky Jones. First home match of the season: Thursday 14 April K.O. 7.45pm

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The Knowledge Train with the girls

Triathlon

A training camp is a fantastic way to prepare yourself for an event. If you are a beginner it will equip you with the knowledge and skills so that by the time race day comes you’ll be fully prepared. For more experienced triathletes it allows you to fine tune all three disciplines and pick up tips from the best in an intensive but fun environment. We’ve picked our top three women only camps to get you ready for the upcoming season. And don’t think that warm weather training is just for the pros, these camps cater for all levels.

Poppy Sports

Organised by the brilliant team behind e-tailer Poppysports.com, this seven day camp in held in Boulder, Colorado, an area home to many elite athletes and with a climate perfect for training. You’ll be coached in all disciplines as well as learning about nutrition and recovery. This all inclusive camp even includes entry into a local event. Date: June 26 – July 4 Price: $1300 More info: www.poppysports.com Photo: British Triathlon

Top tips for choosing a triathlon bike Consider your budget and choose a bike which suits your needs, and that you’re going to get the most use out of. If you’re going to use it for commuting on as well as racing and leisure purposes then make sure it’s a good all-rounder. Triathlon specific bikes have an aggressive riding position with a different handlebar set-up to traditional road bikes, which affects the handling and steering of the bike and makes them less suitable for everyday use.

A pair of tri-bars and clipless pedals can be added when you are confident on the bike. The clip on tri-bars that mount on the top of the handlebars will help you achieve a more aerodynamic position and by wearing clipless pedals with bike shoes you are able to generate a much more efficient pedaling motion. Many brands now do specific women’s road and tri bikes that are offered in more feminine colours and have slightly different geometries, as well as smaller and narrower bars. The Blenheim Triathlon Date: June 4-5 2011 Location: Blenheim Palace, near Oxford Website: www.theblenheimtriathlon.com Why tri? A stunning location in the grounds of the Blenheim estate. It’s a must-do on the UK triathlon circuit.

Located in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie region of the Rhone-Alps in France, this retreat provides specifically tailored training, nutrition and technique sessions based around women’s physiology and psychology. Date: 11- 17 June Price: £799 More info: www.adventuresinthealps.com

*Don’t miss our competition to win a holiday with Adventures In The Alps on page 26 * Joe Friel Barcelona Camp

Although slightly less aerodynamic, a road bike is the best option for a novice triathlete as you can comfortably and safely use it for both training and racing.

4 tri’s to try

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By Gareth Evans from Evans Cycles (www.evanscycles.com)

Femme Forte Tri Retreat

Top triathlon coach Joe Friel will put you through your paces in Calella, north of Barcelona – home to the half and full distance Challenge Barcelona events. The area boasts great trail runs, beaches, an excellent mix of cycling terrain and an Olympic sized swimming pool so you’ll be spoilt for choice with training venues. This is an all inclusive package that even includes recovery massages. Date: April 8-15 Price: £1305 More info: www.tridynamic.co.uk

3 of the best suits

Shock Absorber WomenOnly Triathlon Date: July 2 2011 Location: Dorney Lake, Eton Website: www.humanrace.co.uk Why tri? Great for beginners, this event is known for its friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The Durty Triathlon Date: July 30 2011 Location: St. Mary’s Loch, Scottish Borders Website: www.durtytriathlon.com Why tri? This off-road triathlon is perfect for those who prefer mud and mountains. Two distances are on offer and the swim in the loch is spectacular. Dextro Energy Triathlon London Date: August 6-7 2011 Location: Hyde Park, London Website: www.london.triathlon.org Why tri? Fancy yourself as an aspiring Olympian? This is your chance to compete on the Olympic triathlon course ahead of the 2012 Games.

Pearl Izumi SELECT Tri Suit Price: £79.99 Stockists: www.madison.co.uk

Craft Performance Tri Suit Price: £60.00 Stockists: www.sheactive.co.uk

Orca Core Race Suit Price: £85.00 Stockists: www.sheactive.co.uk

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half-time

....what’s new....what’s good....what works....what’s worth spending your money on....what’s fun....what’s hot....what’s special....what’s new...what’s good....

Barefoot

Wade

If you want to get involved in the barefoot revoluton, then the Fivefingers Classic is a great place to start.

We live in their flip flops during the summer, and now we’ll be wearing their wellies in the wet. Exclusive to the UK from April, these Havaianas wellies come in eight fab colours, and will definitely be coming camping with us this year.

This slip on style takes a minimalist approach to barefooting and allows your feet to connect to the ground whilst protecting them from sharp objects. Not only that, but they are a lovely ‘on trend’ shade of purple. Style: Classic in Chilli Peach Cost: £84.99 stockists: www.primallifestyle.com

win

Freya Active sports underwear worth £40 We are giving away 5 sports bra and short sets. This collection’s unique high performance design, shapes and lifts your bust rather than compressing it, whilst still providing the ultimate support and comfort. Offering a short and two different bra styles: a full coverage soft cup (32C-40H) and medium coverage underwired style (28D-38H), in a variety of 5 colours, there is something to suit every woman’s fitness needs. Stockists: www.leialingerie.com 01904 658 035 www.freyalingerie.com

If you would like to win one just head to sportsister.com’s competition page to enter. 18 www.sportsister.com

Smartshake As the name suggest this is one smart idea! This drinks bottle comes with two handy compartments that can be used for storing your keys, an energy snack, your gumshield, your jewellery, or even an MP3 player. Keeping everything safe and in one spot whilst you train. Price: £9.99 Stockists: www.smartshake.co.uk

Price: £45-£50 Stockists: Selfridges (www.selfridges.com) and Office (www.office.co.uk)

Energy kick Perfect for on the go energy, Mule Bar’s Summer Pudding energy bar is packed with real raspberries, apple, cranberries and apricots. This is our favourite of the seven flavours but you may prefer Mango Tango, Hunza Nut, Strudel, Liquorice Allsports, Chocolate Fig Fiesta or even Pinacolada.

Price: £2.49 for a triple pack Stockists: www.mulebar.com


Sportsister loves...

Sportsister has fallen in love with these cute bike necklaces from French brand Les Nerides. Its hard to choose our favourite .....but if we have to then it’s going to be the soft pink racer. Don’t be fooled by high street imitations as this is bike chic at its best. La Petite Reine necklaces: £75.00 Stockists: N2, 73-75 Monmouth Street, London Tel: 020 7836 7940

Read: 70% of runners every year sustain an injury serious enough to stop them in their tracks. This book dispels the myth that these injuries are simply an occupational hazard and instead demonstrates that many problems are down to basic errors in training and technique. Running Well by Sam Murphy and Sarah Connors Price: £14.99

Recover:

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Look after your feet with this new recovery shoe by Sole. They claim to help everyone’s feet recover from activity but are particularly good for runners, anyone with ‘flat’ feet and those prone to plantar fasciitis. Sole Exhale in Jet Black, Java, Lithium or Plum, sizes 3 – 7 Price: £55.00 Stockists: www.yoursole.co.uk

Trend alert....skirts

Sports skirts have been around for a while but this spring/summer sees them enter the mainstream. If tight lycra isn’t your bag then a skirt is a flattering alternative. Often they come with a pair of shorts built in underneath, or you can layer them over leggings. Give a skirt a go, and you might be surprised to find them replacing your trusty black capris in the warmer months. Left: Casall Airborne ¾ Tights + Skirt Price: £49.00 Stockists: www.casall.com

Cosy toes Above: Sugoi Moxie Skirt Price: £41.00 Stockists: http://sugoi.com Sometimes it’s all about getting the basics right. Balega socks have just hit the UK, after taking the US by storm and becoming their number one selling sock brand. We love the Women’s Enduro style which has a deep heel pocket so the sock fits better and doesn’t move around when you run. Price: £10.00 Stockists: www.fitbrands.co.uk

Above: Pearl Izumi Select Superstar cycle Skirt Price: £54.99 Stockists: www.madison.co.uk www.sportsister.com

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1. Nike

Cruiser Women’s Running T-Shirt (£15.00), Tempo Two-In-One 10cm Women’s Running Shorts (£22.00), Nike Free Run+ Women’s Running Shoe (£67.00) and Nike+ Armband V6 iPhone (£24.25) Stockists: www.nikestore.com

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2. adidas

adiZero singlet (£31.00), adiZero split shorts (£31.00) and adiZero F50 runner (£77.00) Stockists: www.adidas.com/running

3. Saucony

Left: LX Tank (£36.00), Ignite Tight Capri II (£36.00) and ProGrid Kinvara Trainers (£87.00) Right: Ignite LT Shimmel (£36.00), Ignite Tight Short (£31.00) and ProGrid Triumph 8 Trainer (£103.00) Stockists: www.saucony.co.uk

4. New Balance

Sequence Jacket (£35.00), Tonic Top (£21.00), Control Capri (£35.00) and 759 Trainers (£75.00) Stockists: www.newbalance.co.uk

5. Sweaty Betty

Velocity Jacket (£155.00), Finish Line Longsleeve Top (£55.00), Zero Gravity Tight (£75.00) and Run Bottle (£5.00) Stockists: www.sweatybetty.com

6. Gore Running Wear

Left: Sunlight Lady Shirt (£29.99), Sunlight Lady SO Vest (£69.99), Sunlight Lady Short Tights (£29.99) and Magnitude Compression Socks (£29.99) Right: Sunlight Long Lady Shirt (£44.99), Sunlight Lady ¾ Length Tights (£39.99) and Magnitude Compression Socks (£29.99) Stockists: www.gorerunningwear.co.uk

7. Asics

Top Impact Line Women’s Vest (£35.00), Top Impact Line Women’s Knee Tights (£40.00) and Women’s Kinsei 3 Trainers (£135.00) Stockists: www.asics.co.uk

Run like the wind Spring is a fantastic time for running, so make the most of the milder temperatures, ditch that treadmill and head outside. Look fresh in shades of apple green and sky blue and favour grey as an alternative to classic black.

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2.

3. 5.

6.

4. 7.

Right: Protest Cranwell Jacket (£109.99), Hopkins Trousers (£74.99) and Birley Gloves (£23.99) Stockists: www.protest.eu

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Getting Started Yoga classes explained Hatha yoga is the general term used for yoga in the west and is a great place to start if you’ve never done any yoga before. Most hatha classes will slowly flow through the classical poses, alongside pranayama (breath work) and a short meditation to end the class. Vinyasa yoga (also know as flow or dynamic) is a more vigorous style than hatha. Meaning ‘breath synchronized movement’, vinyasa yoga flows through a series of postures, linking the breath with all movement.

Yoga

Iyengar yoga is based on the teachings of BKS Iyengar and places an emphasis on body alignment. Iyengar practice encourages the use of props, such as blocks, blankets and belts, in order to bring the body into alignment.

Yoga is fantastic for both mind and body, and more and more people are discovering the benefits of including yoga sessions as part of their regular training regime. There are many different disciplines so you can be sure to find one that works for you. Plus new hybrid classes are springing up all the time – some are tailored specifically to a sport such as skiing, running or cycling, to perfectly complement your existing fitness routine. Here Sally Lovett’s beginners guide tells you what you need to know to strike that first pose.

Ashtanga yoga is faster paced, more intense, ideal for those who have mastered the basics of yoga and seek a more physically demanding practice. A series of sequenced postures synchronized with the breath move you from one posture to the next. Ashtanga also forms the basis for Power Yoga classes. Bikram/hot yoga is a series of 26 postures performed in a room heated to 95 degrees - allowing for the loosening of tight muscles and cleansing sweating. Much like Ashtanga, it’s best to begin with an understanding of the basic postures.

What’s it all about? There are hundreds of definitions describing yoga, but traditionally it’s the union of body, mind and spirit. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to yoke or join. On the surface, yoga is a series of physical postures (asanas), pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation – and this is what a typical class will entail. It’s a deeply relaxing, yet invigorating practice which will benefit your wellbeing inside and out. On a deeper level, yoga is something which makes us feel great. By practicing and reinforcing the connection between our bodies, minds and hearts, we feel more in tune with ourselves, others and the world around us. What are the benefits? Many people come to yoga for the physical benefits – strength, flexibility and tone. While this is all a welcome reward of a regular yoga practice, there are other, often unexpected benefits too. Yoga makes us feel more balanced and mentally and emotionally more stable. A regular practice brings an inner peace, calm and clarity which will help you concentrate more and make better decisions. Is it difficult? Some forms of practice can be strenuous, however yoga teaches us to be non-competitive and respect and honor our bodies. So you work within your own capabilities of that day and accept where you are, rather than pushing yourself. A teacher will often offer different levels of a pose to those who wish to take things slower or push themselves slightly further. Don’t let a lack of flexibility put you off going to yoga – many other beginners in the class will be echoing the same concerns. Yoga will address tightness within your body, lengthening out your muscles and improving flexibility and strength. What do I need to get started? Although studios and gyms will provide mats, it’s advisable to have your own so you can establish a regular home practice. Yogamatters.com stock an extensive range of yoga mats and their sticky mat (£18) is a great value choice. Once you progress your practice, you may wish to invest in some props. A belt will help with challenging stretches – extending reach without sacrificing good posture.

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A bolster will help you relax comfortably into seated or reclined poses – to enable you to delve deeper into the posture. Sit on a block to raise your hips and sit up straighter and use the extra height of a brick if your fingers can’t touch the floor in forward bends. What should I wear? It’s important to choose clothes that allow you a full range of movement as you don’t want to be restricted in your poses. A form fitting vest that is long enough to cover your stomach and stays put even when you’re upside down is a good idea, anything too loose will just get in your way and be a distraction when you hold dynamic poses. Layer this with a long sleeve, looser top for before and after the class. Leggings, or fitted trousers, are best for your bottom half, either full length or cropped is fine. Some styles come with a fold over waistband to help keep your midriff covered. During hot yoga, like Bikram, you may prefer to wear shorts. Many yoga vests come with an in-built bra support and for small busts this may be enough, but you may prefer to wear a sports bra as well. You can opt for a low to medium support bra for yoga, many brands offer yoga specific bras. Always choose soft, natural fabrics which feel good against the skin. Bamboo is increasingly popular thanks to its natural anti bacterial properties and eco credentials. Some of our favourite yoga wear can be found at Sweaty Betty, Wellicious, Yogamatters and Asquith. Classes and courses Find your nearest class: www.yoganearby.com. Stretching the City offer London-based 6 week beginners courses, drop-in vinyasa classes, private tuition and corporate classes: www.stretchingthecity.com. To read more about yoga, Yoga Journal have a great range of free articles: www.yogajournal.com. Sally Lovett, is a London-based yoga teacher and founder of Stretching the City (www.stretchingthecity.com)


Cyclist’s notes

Cycletta Olympic Gold medallist Victoria Pendleton has launched Cycletta supported by Sky and British Cycling, a unique series of women-only, mass participation events, created to inspire more women to take up cycling. Two events are scheduled in 2011; Cycletta North on 26th June near Manchester and Cycletta South on the 11th September near London. Thousands of women are expected to take part, inspired by the opportunity to cycle alongside Victoria and take on a new sporting challenge. Cycletta events will take place on 40km course, a distance specifically designed to provide a fitness challenge, while remaining achievable and accessible. Cyclists of all abilities will be tackling the challenge, from committed enthusiasts looking for a blast on traffic free roads, to women who are eager to regain their confidence back in the saddle.The Cycletta experience will begin from registration, with regular training tips, equipment and nutrition advice, including personal anecdotes of support from the current Olympic gold medallist.

Love cycling? We do! And so do British Cycling, which is why they are looking for inspirational women to become local champions and get involved in a brand new network of group bike rides for women, by women. You don’t need to be a hardcore cyclist, just enthusiastic and supportive to women who might not have been on a bike for a while. You will receive free training, kit and support from British Cycling. The rides will be free, short, informal and local, and will take in cafes, paths and parks. Sound like fun? Well then, If you’re interested in becoming a local champion then British Cycling would love to hear from you. Email: womensnetwork@britishcycling.org.uk The new Women’s Cycling Network, funded by Sport England, launches in April 2011 and is the start of a three year programme to get more women cycling over the next three years. We can’t wait!

More info: www.cycletta.co.uk Photo: RB Create

Diva 100 The Diva100 women only event in aid of Action Medical Research offers two circular routes through the Sussex countryside in May. Endorsed by, and taking part is Davina McCall, Photo: Lee Collier Photography

Sportsister Course: Mountain Biking Date: May 15 2011 Location: Milton Keynes Cost: £60

I’ve been involved with Action since I was a child, but this is my first cycling event for the charity. I hope lots of ladies saddle up and join me for this new fundraiser. It’s going to be a fun day out and a great way to help such a special charity raise much-needed funds.

What to expect: This is an introductory skills course suitable for

beginners. You will learn the basics of mountain biking, including basic hill riding, front wheel lifts, drop offs, braking techniques and positioning on the bike. Then your new found skills will be put to the test with a group ride. You must bring your own bike and helmet. The course will be run by Get Mountain Biking. www.getmountainbiking.co.uk

More info: Head online to Sportsister.com and click on the Sportsister courses button to find out full details and how to book.

The Event

100km: Hard and hilly, the 100km is more of a challenge. 50km: Gentle and shorter, the 50km is still impressive. The course: The route takes you through the picturesque Sussex countryside and is all on the road. Both rides start and finish at the Cowdray Park Golf Club.

Costs: The registration fee is £28.00 and there is a fundraising target of £50.00. As an added incentive to raise some much needed money for Action, the top fundraiser will win the Vita bicycle designed especially for women and kindly donated by Specialized.

When: May 8 2011 More info: www.action.org.uk/davinas_diva100 www.sportsister.com

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Competitions

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Win a Fitness Retreat with Adventures in the Alps worth £1500 We’ve teamed up with Adventures in the Alps to offer you a chance to win a fabulous, all-inclusive week out training in a luxury chalet in the French Alps. Whether you are looking to run your first triathlon, lose weight or you are competing on a serious level and want to fine-tune your technique and turbo-boost your training, Adventures in the Alps has a retreat for you. The trainers are all current or former professional sports stars. You could brush up your swimming technique with Sharron Davies and Karen Pickering, get your running up to speed with Liz Yelling, cycle the Tour de France cols with Yanto Baker, lose weight with former Gladiator, Caroline Pearce and even bring the family out for a fun week with Sally Gunnell. The retreats are based in a beautiful catered chalet in the heart of the French Alps. Most of the activities are held in the Great Outdoors, making fitness fun, and with a spa and sauna onsite and a free one hour treatment by the therapist; you can relax in style after the training is done.

The prize is for one person and includes flights and transfers.

How to enter: Go online to www.sportsister.com, click on the Competitions button in the top-right hand corner of the homepage and follow the instructions. There are new competitions each month - good luck!

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Win! Entries to the Bupa Great North Run with ActionAid

The iconic Bupa Great North Run takes place on 18 September 2011 - and here’s a unique chance to enter. As all serious runners know places are always in high demand, but ActionAid has managed to nab two places and they are up for grabs for Sportsister readers. Now in its 31st year, the Great North Run is an extremely special event that always draws massive crowds of spectators who line the 13.1 mile route giving it a unique festival atmosphere. This half-marathon race is one of the most popular annual races in the UK calendar with more than 50,000 runners taking part. If you are the lucky winner, you and a friend may be ready, steady and waiting to go at the start line in Newcastle on Sunday 18 September. If you miss out this time, why not think about running with Action Aid anyway. ActionAid offers a wide variety of runs both in the UK and abroad. Visit www.actionaid.org.uk/running. ActionAid is a partnership of people in rich countries and people in poor countries, all working together to end poverty and injustice. Come and be part of our team.

Where can I pick up a copy of Sportsister? Sportsister is free to pick up at selected retailers, events and sports facilities. Check out the list at www.sportsister.com to see if it is available in your town and if not, why not encourage your club or local retailer to apply to distribute it? We also offer a direct to your door subscription, that way you can guarantee your copy each issue – see page 28. If you would like to distribute Sportsister or include a copy in your event goody bags please email distribution@sportsister.com for more details.

Retailers

Evans Cycles: www.evanscycles.com (12 flagship stores) JJB Sports: www.jjbsports.com (flagship stores) Runners Need: www.runnersneed.co.uk Sheactive: www.sheactive.com Sweaty Betty www.sweatybetty.com (selected stores)

Sports and leisure clubs

All David Lloyd Leisure clubs across the UK

Events

The Better Half Women’s Half Marathon: www.womensrunningnetwork.co.uk All VOTWO events: www.votwo.co.uk This is just a small selection of our distribution outlets, head online to search for your nearest pick up point.


45 stars questions 1. If you weren’t a volleyball player what other sport would you choose? I think it would be basketball. I played at a high level as a junior before focusing solely on volleyball, and I still like to have a shoot around when I get the opportunity. 2. What essential item is always in your kit bag? Besides my knee pads and shoes, wow, there are so many things that are essential! I think if you were to ask one of my teammates they would say I always have moisturiser with me. However I also couldn’t be without my iPod and a bottle of squash. 3. How do you prepare before a big match? Do you have any superstitions or rituals? I will always stand a drink bottle up if it has fallen, not sure if it is a superstition or just a habit these days. Before a match I always listen to music with a strong bass to it. You’ll probably see me bopping up and down the corridor in my own little world before I go out and warm up with the team!

5. Now we’re one year from London 2012 tell us what the Games means to you. The Olympics is going to be our opportunity to put volleyball on the map in the UK. I think it will be great to leave a legacy for younger players to aim and aspire to. It is also going to signify the journey that we have had together as a team, it is going to be something very special.

2. What essential item is always in your kit bag? Being a triathlete I always need lots of kit! But one thing I use for all sessions is my heart rate monitor which is a pink Suunto watch. I love it! 3. How do you prepare before a big race? Do you have any superstitions or rituals? I have a few superstitions like painting my nails or having my lucky key ring on my bag. My main ritual is to be relaxed; I like to have everything sorted for the next day’s race and have a nice, stress-free evening. Although I’m usually pretty nervous! 4. What was the last film you saw? Do you have a favourite film? I haven’t been to the cinema for ages! I watched The Wedding Singer the other day with my friend Kerry Lang (who is also an elite triathlete). We were on the turbo trainer as it was raining too much to ride outside! Watching a silly film is a good way to make the time go quicker. I don’t have a favourite film, although I love watching Disney films with my sister; she always makes me laugh as she knows all the words - she’s 23! 5. Now we’re one year from London 2012, tell us what the Games mean to you. I just want to be there! An Olympic Games is very special and 2012 will be even more special as they are in London. It would be such a privilege to compete at a home Games. I’m training hard and hope I make it. Photo Courtesy of Speedo International www.speedo.co.uk

4. What was the last film you saw? Do you have a favourite film? The Book of Eli. I don’t have a favourite film in particular but anything with Denzel (Washington) in it is guaranteed to be good!

1. If you weren’t a triathlete what other sport would you choose? I always wanted to be a swimmer when I was growing up and then switched to triathlon a bit later on. But now, out of the three disciplines, I love running the most so it would have to be a runner.

Jo Healy, Volleyball Helen Jenkins, Triathlon 1. If you weren’t a rugby player what other sport would you choose? I would choose hockey or football. I love being involved in teams sports, I really enjoy the camaraderie and would definitely get bored of my own company if I did an individual sport! 2. What essential item is always in your kit bag and why? Probably my hair strengtheners, oh and my kicking tee!

Heather Watson, Tennis 1. If you weren’t a tennis player what other sport would you choose? Another sport, hmm... golf. My best friend, Hee-Jeong, is a golfer and she’s trying to teach me and she says I’m pretty good! 2. What essential item is always in your kit bag? I always have a spare change of clothes as I sweat so much! I have my racket, always something to drink and a banana. And my lucky teddy bear. 3. How do you prepare before a big game? Do you have any superstitions or rituals? Oh yeah definitely! The night before I grip all my rackets. Once I’ve got changed I do all my drinks because I put Lucozade in my drinks. I also eat a banana, even though I hate them! I always eat one banana and then I listen to my music. 4. What was the last film you saw? Do you have a favourite film? It was on a plane - I saw Takers and then Buried, it’s with that really hot guy but I forget his name! My favourite film... I like Leon. 5. Now we’re one year from London 2012 tell us what the Games mean to you. Oh, it’s massive for me. I’m always thinking about that, that’s one of my goals, one of the targets that I’ve written down. I really want to get my ranking up there so I can play and compete for Great Britain.

3. How do you prepare before a big match? Do you have any superstitions or rituals? I’m pretty relaxed before games. I used to not put my shirt on before I got outside but since we’ve had live TV coverage I’ve had too! I survived the game in one piece so I got rid of that. It made going out to play a lot easier!

Katy McLean, Rugby

4. What was the last film you saw? Do you have a favourite film? The Season of Witch - and I hated it. I don’t like scary films but I didn’t know it was one! I am a Harry Potter fan - I like easy watching! 5. Now we’re one year from London 2012 tell us what the Games mean to you. Very excited - at times like this I wish I did an Olympic sport. But I think it will be a great spectacle and a great opportunity for all our athletes to show all the hard work they have put in. I’m very jealous but I wish them well for it.

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Photo credit: Loeka

next issue

Game, Set and Match – let more than your game do the talking on court with this season’s top tennis trends. Keep on pedalling – with our pick of the best cycling kit for women. The Knowledge - Open water swimming Ditch the pool and head for the great outdoors. Everything you need to know about wild swimming. Getting started – football Inspired by England’s new football league? Looking forward to this summer’s World Cup? Why not start playing yourself with our beginner’s guide. Looking for holiday inspiration? Dive in to our fantastic water sport activity trips. Delicious. Super smoothie recipes to keep your nutrition on track

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Nutrition

Camper Van Cooking If your usual campfire cooking doesn’t stretch beyond marshmallows over the fire, then take a look at The Camper Van Cookbook. Packed with inspirational recipes to satisfy any foodie, they are all designed to be cooked in your van or on the campfire.

Spring to Summer Minestrone

This soup should be eaten as soon as the green vegetables are cooked. For a little meaty something, try adding shreds of dry-cured ham to the bowls before pouring in the soup. You could even stir in a little pesto.

Ingredients

Serves 6 olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 6 young spring carrots 2 handfuls (about 100g) fine green beans 3 handfuls (about 150g) asparagus tips or whole spears cut into three 1.75 litres hot vegetable or chicken stock bite-sized florets from 1 small head broccoli (about 200g) 10 spring onions, white part only (or tender baby leeks, cut into short lengths) 500g peas in the pod, shelled (about 200g), or 3-4 handfuls shelled peas 1 x 410g tin cannellini beans, drained (drained weight 240g)

To finish

3 tbsp each finely shredded basil and mint 6 tbsp olive oil 6 tbsp grated parmesan

Instructions

Heat a slug of olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes until soft, stirring in the garlic towards the end. Meanwhile, scrub or peel the carrots and dice them. Trim the beans and cut them into short lengths. Add the carrots and stock to the pan, bring to the boil and boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the beans, asparagus, broccoli, spring onions, peas and cannellini beans. Bring back to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender - don’t overcook them. While the soup is simmering, mix the shredded basil and mint with the oil, parmesan and a pinch of crushed sea salt. Season the soup to taste and ladle into bowls. Add a spoonful of the herb mixture to each one and stir it into the soup as you eat. The Camper Van Cookbook by Martin Dorey and Sarah Randell is published by Saltyard Books, priced £16.99. One Man and his Campervan, featuring Martin Dorey, is currently being shown on BBC2 Monday nights at 6.30pm.

Time for tea! Bellvue Rooibos Herbal Tea Using leaves from the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa, this tea has a mild sweet and nutty flavour. It’s is naturally caffeine free and is especially good as a soothing nightcap. Price: £2.00 Stockists: www.bellevue-tea.co.uk Storm Tea Pure Organic Peppermint Tea Peppermint tea is fantastic for stomach complaints, and this variety is light, aromatic and super refreshing. Price: £3.79 Stockists: www.stormtea.co.uk Pukka Morning Time Tea Organic and naturally caffeine free, this tea is a perfect pick me up for the start of the day thanks to the red ginseng. Price: £2.19 Stockists: www.pukkaherbs.com

Milk – helping athletes go from strength to strength

** ** **

Physically active women are turning to milk as an effective, natural and inexpensive drink following research revealing its positive sporting potential. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can impair performance. Skimmed milk not only is 91% water but also naturally contains electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which are lost through sweat. A number of scientific studies notably from Loughborough University suggest that drinking low fat milk following exercise is effective at rehydrating the body and helping fluid balance. Strength building: Milk including chocolate milk is a nutrient-packed product that provides high quality protein, essential to increase lean muscle, promote recovery and repair damaged muscles after exercise. Milk is a great source of calcium, essential for bone health, particularly important in young female athletes. Balanced nutrition: Low fat milk and chocolate milk can support the nutritional requirements of active people as part of a healthy balanced diet.

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Travel

Mountains and Lakes Mountain and lake holidays are known for their stunning sights and enchanting experiences - but, choose the right trip and you’ll get more than just a bit of a view and some flowing water, as Jessica Whittington discovers.

Horsing around in the hills, Spanish style! If the thought of riding out in the hills appeals, then how about riding in the hills and mountains above Sotogrande, Southern Spain, looking out across to North Africa? Just seals the deal, right? With Arbuthnott Holidays you get more than just a riding holiday - based at Almuña, the stunning house owned by the Arbuthnotts, you’ll be completely catered for, with a daily programme organised for you - no decisions and no responsibility. There are sensational riding routes around Almuña, taking you along the old caminos and smugglers’ paths. Each morning will see you face a new adventure - along with a noble and sure-footed Andaluz horse, led by Hughie Arbuthnott. As a part of the equestrian week guests have the opportunity to watch the ‘espectaculo’ at the Riding School in Jerez, returning via a ride through one of the most famous bull farms in Spain. With a stunning terrace and pool perfect for catching a few rays, Almuña is a wonderful place to spend a holiday. Price: €2200 per person sharing (single supplement €225) - all food, drink and accommodation (six night stay at Almuña and one night at a boutique hotel in Jerez) is included. Available dates: September 18-25 and October 1-8, 2011. More info: www.arbuthnottholidays.com

Walking the fjords Norway’s fjords are a stunning natural phenomenon - few visitors can fail to be inspired by the contrast of snow-capped mountains, steep green hillsides and powerful waterfalls plunging into the calm, clear waters of the fjords. The Walking the Fjords experience, organised by Health and Fitness Travel, is the perfect trip for trekking and walking, exploring these landscapes on foot, giving unique access to areas of tranquil beauty and high mountain viewpoints. The holiday starts with a flight to Bergen, where you’ll stay overnight in a hotel in the city. The next morning will take you on a sightseeing tour of Bergen, before you take the scenic journey to your base, a cosy family-run guesthouse on Lustrafjord, nestled between the Jotunheim and the massive Jostedalsbreen Icecap. For the rest of your stay you will discover remote valleys, glaciers and some of Norway’s highest peaks. Offering much more than just a holiday in the mountains, the week draws to a close on a more cultural note, with a visit to Feigumfoss waterfall and Gaupne stave church, one of the few old wooden churches remaining in Norway. Price: from £1,699 per person - including flights, accommodation and meals. Available dates: July 3-10, July 10-17 and August 14-21. More info: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com

On your bike! The German lakeside way What better way to enjoy the unspoilt countryside of the Salzkammergut than by bike on a tour taking you through Austria and Germany, passing not one, not two, but 10 different lakes? A lake break with a difference, the Cycling Tour of 10 Lakes organised by Compass Holidays is an eight day, 265km long tour through some of the most scenic and unique routes Austria and Germany have to offer. From day one you’ll be enchanted by the unique landscapes, departing Salzburg to travel through the soft hills of the Salzburger Voralpenland. As you cycle through pastures and moorlands along the River Salzach to the Silent-Night town of Oberndorf the tour will see you head towards lakes Trumer and Wallersee and on to either Lake Mondsee or Lake Attersee. Further along the trip you’ll experience Orth castle in Gmunden as well as a bike museum in Altmunster and the Dachstein Ice Caves. Taking a ride on the Schafbergbahn, a rack railway, you’ll climb from St. Wolfgang to the summit of the Schafberg mountain, where the peak offers beautiful panoramic views of the Salzkammergut mountains and lakes. Price: From £635.00 per person, based on two people sharing. Available dates: Many dates between April 16 to October 9, 2011 More info: www.compass-holidays.com

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Event review:

Nell Darby tests the Cirencester Off-Road Duathlon (February 13, 2011)

At the pre-race briefing for the Cirencester Off-Road Duathlon, the words, “the bike leg might be a bit muddy,” were greeted with a loud wave of laughter from competitors on the start line. This was followed by shouts of, “Can we just go now? Can we get it over with?” Despite the poor conditions – with many entrants’ legs and feet mud-splattered before they had even started – this spring’s duathlon filled up quickly. Usually, entries are taken on the day, but hopeful competitors turning up with their bikes were regretfully turned away. So why is an off-road duathlon, held twice a year, once in November and once in February, the most unpredictable of months in terms of weather, so popular? The location must be one reason. Cirencester Park, in the rural Cotswolds, is a wild expanse with a mix of terrain – grassland, gravel paths, and forested areas. But another reason is the organisation. A low-key event in terms of facilities – toilets in a small block at the far end of the temporary car park, a van selling hot dogs and bacon sarnies, but not much else – it is impressively managed by the small team behind Tri Ferris. The race always starts on time; this year, a marshal visited every car in the car park to advise competitors on where best to place their race stickers on their bikes to avoid them coming off in the rain; and the slowest competitors are welcomed at the finish as much as the fastest ones. Race registration is efficient and despite the local feel of the race, chip timing is provided, and every year, the inscribed memento given to all finishers is different. Another reason for its popularity is the fact that two race distances are offered, thus providing both novices and experienced duathletes with a challenge. The short course is a one-mile off-road run, fivemile mountain bike ride, and then another one-mile run; the long course is twice the length. But don’t be fooled in thinking that the short course is therefore easy. There are hills aplenty, and in muddy conditions – which the Cirencester event often has – athletes have to be careful. The first run is the most capable of giving you good times, but by the time you do the second run, 400 other duathletes have run it, making it incredibly muddy and slippy underfoot. The run, though, is still easier than the bike ride. I am not a great mountain biker, only owning a racing bike, so had to negotiate the mixed terrain and hills on my husband’s unfamiliar bike. Although the first couple of miles were relatively flat and straightforward, the last mile of the route takes the longest, comprising downhills and uphills in abundance. Oh, and, of course, plenty more mud. Yet despite the mud, the rain, and the sheer effort of finishing the final run leg without losing a trainer to the sucking quality of the sodden ground, every competitor I saw reached the finish line with a smile on their faces – and that is probably why the Cirencester Off-Road Duathlon gets so many people entering the race year after year.

Good points:

** *Bad points: * * *More info: www.triferris.com

Nice rural location, with varied terrain. Friendly atmosphere – encouragement to newbies. Ample, easy, free parking.

Watch out for alpha males on narrow parts of the bike route, ignoring the pre-race instructions to overtake on the right. There are few marshals en route so nobody to keep an eye out for the above or to correct them. If you don’t like mud, don’t come!

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SWIM FOR TRI TRAINING PLAN A small improvement in efficiency results in a significant improvement in time. And an efficient swim will save you energy and leave you feeling fresher when transitioning onto the bike leg of your triathlon. So you need a good swim coach and a solid swim training plan. If you’re a competent swimmer who’s taking part in an Olympic distance triathlon then this is the training plan for you. It involves 2 sessions per week for 8 weeks, with each session’s structure being warm up, sub set, main set then warm down. Make sure you leave enough time to include all 4 parts of the structure in your swim session, whatever time you have available.

WEEK ONE OBJECTIVE: The early weeks of a training plan are focused on drills and technique. All strokes should consistently keep good technical elements. Session one: 3 x 8 lengths, of which 6 lengths are at 60% effort and 2 lengths are a drill of your choice. Between each set of 8 lengths rest for 45 seconds. Total distance: 600 metres Session two: 2 x 8 lengths, of which 6 lengths are at 75% effort and 2 lengths are arms only with a pull buoy. Between each set of 8 lengths rest for 20 seconds. Total distance: 400 metres

• A warm up should be easy swimming of any stroke, the aim being to

WEEK TWO OBJECTIVE: Continuing to work on technique and keeping the pace slow will mean greater stroke improvement later.

• A sub set is used as an extension of the warm up to build heart rate levels

Session one: 6 x 4 lengths all with fins, of which 2 lengths are extension drill swapping sides on each length and 2 lengths are full stroke. Between each set of 4 lengths rest for 30 seconds. Total distance: 600 metres

mobilize and encourage blood flow. This should make up 15 – 20% of your session. or to introduce some skills that needs to be practiced while “fresh”. This should make up 10 – 20% of your session.

• A main set is a sustained period where the heart rate is elevated. This should make up 40 – 50% of your session.

• A warm down This should make up 10% of your

session.

This plan is based on one length being 25 metres, so if you’re in a different length pool, adapt the distances. Worth bearing in mind is that sessions and plans taught poolside by a coach are much more in depth than what is represented here and will be tailored to your individual needs. This is a general guide to get you started; we advise that you consult a qualified and experienced triathlon coach to reap the real benefits. This simplified training plan has been put together with top swim coach Dan Bullock from Swim For Tri. www.swimfortri.co.uk

Terminology Pull buoy: A small float that sits between the legs, adding buoyancy. Fins: A swim aid for the feet that creates more propulsion/speed. Paddles: A swim resistance aid for strengthening the arms, worn on the hands. TRIFLY: A stroke with front crawl arms and butterfly legs which works the timing of the stroke and your core muscles. BP3, BP5 etc: BP: Breathing pattern, number = the number of strokes to take between breaths. Extension drill: With a steady kick, put arms in the superman position, one arm in front outstretched, the other by side of the body. Hold for a few seconds before switching arms with a single stroke while the body rotates to the opposite side. Head down, turning to the side to breathe. Extension switch drill: Swim 3 strokes of normal front crawl between 3 - 5 seconds of the extension drill (explained above). Catch up 0 drill: Single arm alternating stroke, hands catching up at the front of the stroke before the next stroke starts. Catch up -1 drill: As above but with near ‘catch up’, the following stroke starts just before the hands catch up at the front. Finger trail drill: The fingers slide along the side of the body in an attempt to promote a high elbow recovery. Use this warm up, sub set and warm down on each session Warm up

12 lengths of a stroke of your choice. 4 lengths of front crawl alternating between fists clenched and fingers spread. 4 lengths of kicking only with a float.

Sub set

6 x 2 lengths of front crawl with the first 2 lengths swum easy, the next two swum medium, the next two hard, then repeat.

Warm down

At least 3 minutes of a stroke of your choice (not front crawl if possible) to allow the body to return to its rested state.

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Session two: 16 lengths of catch up - 1 drill at 70% effort, then rest for 1 minute. 12 lengths with paddles at 75% effort, then rest for 1 minute. 8 lengths with fins, legs kicking, and arms outstretched holding a float, head down. Then rest for 1 minute. 4 lengths with BP5 (1 breath every 5 strokes) or BP3 if you are struggling. Total distance: 1000 metres WEEK THREE OBJECTIVE: Longer steady swims begin to build whilst good technique is maintained. 1000 and 1200 metres in the main sets keep your heart rate elevated long enough to benefit your fitness. Session one: 3 x 12 lengths with 45 seconds rest between: First 12 lengths at 50% effort with finger trail drill with catch up -1 drill. Second 12 lengths at 60% effort with paddles. Third 12 lengths at 70% effort – be consistent with the number of strokes it takes to complete one length. Then 4 additional lengths of easy swimming, preferably backstroke. Total distance: 1000 metres Session two: 2 x 24 lengths with 45 seconds rest between: First 8 lengths at 65% effort with paddles. Second 8 lengths with 3 lengths controlled technique and long stroke and 1 length hard, then repeat. Third 8 lengths at 75% effort with fins and finger trail drill with catch up -1 drill. Total distance: 1200 metres WEEK FOUR OBJECTIVE: Focus continues to be on technique and control to reinforce good habits before the hard work of subsequent weeks. Practice makes perfect! Session one: 4 x 4 lengths at 70% effort, the first 2 front crawl, the second 2 with paddles. With 20 seconds rest in between. 4 x 2 lengths at 75% effort, the first 2 front crawl, the second 2 with paddles. With 10 seconds rest in between. 8 x 1 length at 85% effort with 5 seconds rest in between. Total distance: 800 metres Session two: 6 x 1 length with each length getting faster and with 10 seconds rest in between. 2 lengths easy effort. 6 x 1 length with a pull buoy between the legs and with 10 seconds rest in between. 2 lengths easy effort. 6 x 1 length at 80% effort with 10 seconds rest in between. 2 lengths easy effort. 6 x 1 length alternating between pull buoy between legs and pull buoy in hands legs kicking. 2 lengths easy effort. 6 x 1 length with each length getting slower and with 10 seconds rest in between. 2 lengths easy effort. Total distance: 1000 metres

cut out and keep

Unlike the other two triathlon disciplines, the key to a great triathlon swim is good technique. Putting in the miles is a sure fire way of improving your bike or run, but a greater understanding of the correct swim technique will pay dividends with your performance in the water, writes Amy Swan


WEEK FIVE OBJECTIVE: Increased volume and less rest time will start to gear you up for the demands of faster swimming. Session one:16 lengths at 60% effort with fins and paddles. 3 x 4 lengths at 70% effort with a pull buoy, with 20 seconds rest in between. 2 x 4 lengths at 75 % effort with finger trail drill with catch up 0 drill and 25 seconds rest in between. 1 x 4 lengths at 80% effort. Total distance: 1000 metres Session two: 12 lengths at 75% effort with catch up 0 drill with a pull buoy, then rest for 45 seconds. 12 lengths at 75% effort with paddles, then rest for 45 seconds. 12 lengths at 75% effort with fins, then rest for 45 seconds. 4 lengths easy effort. Total distance: 1000 metres WEEK SIX OBJECTIVE: Mid volume distance but still with a focus on good technique. Session one: A timed swim: Swim as far as you can in 20 minutes. Repeat this every 8 weeks to gauge improvement. Session two: 8 x 4 lengths with BP3, resting for 30 seconds in between. Total distance: 800 metres WEEK SEVEN OBJECTIVE: The start of the hard work! Session one:7 lengths at 65% effort then 1 length fast, then rest for 45 seconds. 4 lengths easy effort with catch up 0 drill. 2 x 8 lengths, of which 6 lengths are at 75% effort and 2 lengths are fast. Rest for 45 seconds in between. 4 lengths easy effort with catch up 0 drill and finger trail drill. 3 x 4 lengths, of which 3 lengths are at 80% effort and 1 length is at easy effort. Rest for 30 seconds in between. 4 lengths easy effort with catch up 0 drill and finger trail drill. Total distance: 1200 metres Session two: 4 x 12 lengths, the first 12 lengths at 60% effort with a pull buoy, the second at 70% with paddles, the third at 75% with a pull buoy and the fourth at 80% with paddles. Rest for 45 seconds in between. Total distance: 1200 metres

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Why use it Carbohydrate intake improves performance by providing the muscles with the energy they need to maintain a high work rate or intensity for the duration of your sport or exercise. It’s proven to help you work harder, longer and feel better. It has become the sports drink of choice for athletes, footballers, runners, and those who enjoy sports and exercise at any level.

When to use it Use Lucozade Sport Body Fuel before and during short high intensity sport (30 minutes) or longer low intensity sport (60 minutes or more) for increased energy, alertness and reduced fatigue.

Find out more at www.lucozadesport.com

WEEK EIGHT OBJECTIVE: The final week sees the hard work continue. Session one:16 lengths at 60% effort with BP3 with a pull buoy. Rest for 30 seconds. 8 lengths at 80% effort. Rest for 30 seconds. 8 lengths at 60% effort with BP3. Rest for 30 seconds. 16 lengths at 80% effort. Rest for 30 seconds. Total distance: 1200 metres Session two: 16 lengths at 80% effort – record your time. 8 lengths easy effort with catch up 0 drill with a pull buoy. 2 lengths at 100% effort – record your time. 10 lengths with extension switch drill. 4 x 2 lengths easy effort alternating 2 lengths back stroke and 2 lengths TRIFLY. Total distance: 1100 metres

Swim for tri: Q&A

cut out and keep

What are the differences between swimming in a pool and in open water? The main difference is how much you can see. In a swimming pool there are lines on the bottom of the pool and lane ropes to keep you swimming straight. In open water there is only the occasional buoy to guide you. To overcome this, learn the correct sighting techniques. Also, pick some large, immovable landmarks on dry land to guide you. Do I need to adapt my stroke when wearing a wetsuit? Not much should have to change with the mechanics of your stroke. Wetsuit manufacturers put a lot of effort into making very flexible suits. But making sure your wetsuit fits properly will reduce drag and improve buoyancy. Should you practice in open water prior to race day? Absolutely. Perfect practice in the right environment with the right sized wetsuit makes for a perfect open water swim event.


what’s on? Events to watch and do

events to watch: March 8-13 2011

YONEX All England Championships. Held in The National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, the All England Open Badminton Championships is one of the oldest and most prestigious tournaments in the world, showcasing some of the best badminton talent from across the globe. All eyes will be on pairs Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork and Anthony Clark and Heather Olver after their surprising early departure at the quarter-finals last year. More info: www.allenglandbadminton.com

March 11-13 2011

ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships. Over 200 participants from 34 nations will descend on the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, for an action packed three days of competition in distances of 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m and team relays. All of the world’s best short track speed skaters and many of the Olympic champions from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games will be in attendance, battling for the prestigious World Championship crown. More info: www.worldshorttrack2011.co.uk

March 13 2011

Women’s Rugby Six Nations. England v Scotland. An exciting tournament which will see England’s newly appointed captain, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks fly half Katy McLean, lead the reigning Six Nations champions to a fierce battle to protect their crown. Entrance to Twickenham Stadium is free, so what better opportunity to see two of Britain’s teams go head to head in their campaign for Six Nation success. More info: www.rbs6nations.com

March 19 2011

Women’s Head of the River Race. This year will see the Women’s Head of the River Race, which is arguably the largest female rowing race in the world, celebrate its 70th race. The event will see 2,700 women led off by Leander Club, which has double Olympic medallist Debbie Flood on board. With a mix of race favourites and new starters, the event will see a number of GB Team members in the line up including triple Olympic silver medallist Katherine Grainger, which should make for an exciting and open race. More info: www.wehorr.org

events to do: March 20-27 2011

The British Snowboard & Freeski Championships. The award winning resort of Laax in Switzerland will once again play host to the BRITS Music and Winter Festival, with seven days of top snowboard and ski action and seven nights of live music and DJ sets. More info: www.the-brits.com

March 27 2011

Kingston Breakfast Run. The Kingston Breakfast Run is a perfect warm-up event for the London Marathon and offers the choice of a 16 mile or an 8.2 mile loop from Kingston’s historic marketplace to Hampton Court and back. Taking in some wonderful sights along the River Thames it’s also a great motivator if you’re not quite yet ready for the big one. More info: www.humanrace.co.uk

April 3 2011

Dorney Lake Duathlon. Dorney Lake offers super flat, fast and smooth tarmac roads and paths, making it a perfect location for novices and pros alike. The Dorney Lake Duathlon includes two distances to choose from, a Super Sprint (2.5km run, 10km cycle and 2.5km run) or the Sprint (5km run, 20km cycle and 5km run). Entry includes free cake and a USN goody bag...what more could you ask for? More info: www.votwo.co.uk

April 8-10 2011

Swimathon. As the world’s biggest fundraising swim, Swimathon encourages people to get in the water and raise money for this year’s chosen charities - Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Swimathon Foundation. Participants can sign up for the individual 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k challenges or the Team 5k challenge if you fancy a bit of team support, with events taking place in pools across the country. More info: www.swimathon.org

April 17 2011

The Virgin London Marathon. Taking part might still be a distant ambition, but why not head to London to spectate and still be a part of the action? You never know, being roadside in 2011 might just inspire you to pull on your trainers for 2012! The London Marathon began back in 1981 and 2011 marks its 30th anniversary, so what better reason than to support those taking part and help celebrate 30 years of marathon action! More info: www.virginlondonmarathon.com

March - May 2011

The Netball Superleague. The 2011 Netball Superleague promises to be a sizzling competition with Team Bath looking to secure a hat-trick and everyone else looking to stand in their way. With matches taking place throughout March, April and May at locations across the UK, it’s even easier for you to catch a part of the action. Tickets start from just £4 for juniors and concessions, so why not go along and see some world class netball on home soil. Head online to Sportsister.com and see the what’s on calendar for all match listings. More info: www.netballsuperleague.com

April 16-17 2011

ONER - Trail Run. This event is the mother of all trail runs. A triple coastal marathon over the world famous Jurassic coast line in Lyme Regis that will see you self navigate through the night in a 24 hour challenge. The Jurassic Coast is famed for its undulation - possibly more up than down and a mixture of shingle, sand and mud terrains! More info: www.votwo.co.uk

May 8 2011

Davina’s Diva100. Join Davina McCall for the DIVA100, for what is set to become the biggest women-only bike ride in the UK. The DIVA100 offers both 100km and 50km options. The two circular routes head out from Cowdray Park Golf Club, Midhurst and wind their way through the pretty Susssex countryside, finishing at the Golf Club. Its all in aid of Action research, the charity saving and changing children’s lives. More info: www.action.org.uk/davinas_diva100

October 2 2011

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon. We know the event itself is a while off, but with the deadline for entries on May 1 you’ll need to get your skates on if you want to take part! It’s the biggest marathon in Scotland and will take you along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, across the River Ness, and finally into the centre of Inverness. More info: www.lochnessmarathon.com

For lots more ideas of events to enter and all the events to watch all year round log on to www.sportsister.com

Photo credit: Back Page Images

34 www.sportsister.com


Sportsister March/April 2011  

Featuring Holli Avil, our triathlon issue is packed with great articles. Check out our new dedicated runners and cyclists pages as well as t...

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