Kennedy Cooper – Young Achiever

11 year old diving superstar, Kennedy Cooper, has been awarded North Shore Times’ Young Achiever award for her accomplishments and hard work in diving. Kennedy who started out in gymnastics, has now it seems found her sport, illustrated by both her success and passion for diving. Kennedy will be busy this month with competitions every weekend, all in the lead up to qualifying for Nationals later this year.

Kennedy - Young Achiever Award

Photo credit - Melvyn Knipe

Check out the full article here.

Yoga Poses for Swimmers

Yoga Poses for Swimmers

Photo creditCourtney Home

You may have heard it through the grape vine that yoga is awesome for swimmers! Yet, perhaps due to time, money or will power, you just never seem to be able to make it to an actual yoga class. Whatever your reason, you can still get some of the physical benefits of a yoga without ever stepping foot into an official yoga class. By doing these following poses you’ll stretch out muscles that get especially tight in a swimmer’s body.

Passive Chest Opener

This relaxing pose requires minimal effort from you, but it provides a huge opening to the chest and shoulders. Roll a blanket into a cylinder shape that is the width of your shoulders and about five inches in height. Lay on the ground, so that the long side of the blanket is horizontal to your shoulders. Sit down about five inches in front of the blanket with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Slowly lay back with the goal of getting your shoulder blade tips on top of the roll. Lie back on to the roll and allow the arms to go out into a t-shape or ninety degrees for a deeper stretch. Stay in this position anywhere from two to five minutes.  

Eagle

The Eagle is a challenging balancing pose that opens up the shoulders and hips. Take your left elbow under the right, so that your forearms form an x-shape. Next, try to connect close the hands in towards one another. Ideally you want to try to cross the wrists, so that the fingertips of the bottom hand touch the palm of the top hand. Next take your hips back as if you’re going to take a seat. Lift up the right leg then cross it over the left thigh. If you can, try to hook the foot behind the calf. Stay in this pose for six breaths then when you are ready, squeeze everything in, then unfurl and release.

Downward Facing Dog

This is the one stop pose for all of your ailments, because it accesses just about every part of the body including your ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders, chest, spine, triceps, chest, neck and more. Come to your hands and knees with your wrists below your shoulders and your knees slightly back from your hips. Tuck your toes under, then push up with your hands and feet to raise your hips towards the ceiling. Try to hollow out your armpits to bring the shoulders on the back. Push down between the space of your index finger and thumb. To really get a leg stretch, try to sink the heels to the floor. Stay in the pose for as long as feels comfortable to you, remember to take deep and cleansing breaths.

Also, Try A Video!

There are tons of *free* online resources that take you through the basics of a yoga class. We recommend DoYogaWithMe.com as a good site with tons of videos with experienced instructors taking you through a yoga class in the comfort of your own home.

Laura Dennis January Update

AMANZI Girl Laura Dennis in Abisko

Summer is almost gone – or is it? I am excited because this year I get to enjoy 2 summers! One in Brisbane and one in Europe! This May I leave for France to train and compete in my first European series and French Grand Prix series. I will spend 4 months in Europe and hopefully I will find some down time to enjoy the northern hemisphere summer.

December and January saw this body push through some big blocks of training. After a few days ‘slightly’ easier over Christmas, training is back in full swing. Last week I received my new amazing bike which is a Cervelo R5 and a nice sponsorship/ambassadorship with River City Cycles, of which I am very grateful for.

This weekend, 21st February, the first race of the season is on in Devonport, Tasmania where I am competing in the Oceania championships and hope for a good race. In early March it’s off to Wollongong, NSW to compete and after that back for my first Mooloolaba triathlon on the Sunshine Coast in mid-March. It will be a big year, but a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it with a great support team behind me.

Laura Dennis x

7 Tips on How to Take Care of Swimwear

No sitting on rough surfaces Laura!

No sitting on rough surfaces Laura!

Getting a nice piece of sports swimwear is an investment in our love of swimming. To keep it in prime condition for as long as possible is ideal, but to do so requires a little bit of effort on our part. These tips will help you keep your swimwear in tip-top shape for longer.

1. Chlorine Resistant Swimwear
When you have swimwear that offers high quality materials and durable cuts to begin with then it is going to naturally last longer. In the long run investing in better swimwear will save you money, because it does not deteriorate as quickly as swimwear of inferior quality. All AMANZI Swimsuits are made from AMANZI Armor Chlorine Resistant Swimwear Fabric which has been designed and milled in Italy.

2. A Swimsuit for Every Activity
Having separate swimwear for the hot tub, beach, sun bathing and athletic swimming is a good idea. The first three activities mention on that list are particularly hard on swimwear materials, so maybe consider having swimwear you don’t like as much on hand for those activities. For sports swimwear always choose chlorine resistant fabrics like AMANZI Armor.

3. Multiple Swimsuits
Rotating swimsuits between swimming sessions allows the material of the swimwear to dry and recover between swim sessions, so that the material of the swimwear will stay like-new for longer.

4. Rinse and Wash with Every Use
Rinsing and hand washing your swimwear after every use can make all the difference. Bacterial, chlorine, salt water, etc. all break down the materials of the swimwear. The sooner you can wash the swimwear once you are out of the water, the better.

5. Lightly Wring Out
If you must wring out your swimwear after washing it do so very lightly. It is best just to let it air dry indoors.

6. Washer or Dryer
Even if your washer has a hand wash cycle chances are that it is rougher on it than you would be with your hands. As for the dryer, just NO, don’t do it.

7. Avoid Rubbing Against Rough Surfaces
Sitting on concrete, the blocks, pool deck etc. all are abrasive on the material. Swimwear is for swimming not for sitting anyways! Speaking of rough surfaces next time you see AMANZI Girl Laura Dennis sitting on rocks at the beach (like she is above) be sure to tell her that it’s a huge no no!!!

Do I have to warm down after a swim?

Laura Dennis

AMANZI Triathlete Laura Dennis warms down after a hard set

Do you ever get sick and tired of doing your warm down after a race or hard training session?

SwimSci, a blog dedicated to the science of swimming, recently featured an article entitled “Are Warm Downs Necessary in Swimming?.” In this article they discuss various studies that examine the effectiveness of warm downs across various sports, but they especially wanted to find out if warm downs are still necessary after swimming.

If you are interested in the details of studies, you can read the full article here. For those of you in a rush or for those who have little interest in the science side of things, we’re just going to go ahead and skip to the conclusion!

It turns out that warm downs do enhance performance in between events at swim meets according to a recent study. The conclusion to their scientific inquiry is that while cool downs may not be as relevant to dry land sports as once thought, it is still definitely important in swimming. The scientific experts at SwimSci will be following the latest research on this topic to make sure that if there is any change in point of view of the scientific community about cool downs, they will let us know!

Most of you may not be all that surprised that warm downs are a necessary part of the swimming routine. After all most swimmers regularly include a warm-down into their swimming routine, because that is just what we do! Stay tuned to our blog in the future for the perfect warm downs to add to your swims.

 

 

 

14 Funny, Inspirational and Quirky Triathlon Quotes

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Here are some silly, inspirational and fun triathlon quotes for all our triathletes out there with one from our very own Jacqui Slack.

“I still have a big problem with confidence if I don’t have a good race it always used to get me down and still does a little. Now I tell myself to learn from the experience everyone has bad days but you have to move on. I try to surround myself with positive people my family and sponsors are always understanding and supportive whatever happens. There is always another race around the corner to prove yourself ” - Jacqui Slack (Amanzi Triathlete)

“If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it’s up to you.” - Dave Scott (Triathlete)

“You can keep going and your legs might hurt for a week or you can quit and your mind will hurt for a lifetime.” - Mark Allen (Ironman)

“I’m not slow, I’m just enjoying the race longer.”

“Almost drowned, crashed the bike, puked on the run. When’s the next Tri?”

“The faster you run, the sooner you’re done.”

“I’d quit racing tri’s, but I need the T-shirts since they’re most of my wardrobe.”

“You don’t play triathlon. You play soccer; it’s fun. You play baseball. Triathlon is work that can leave you crumpled in a heap, puking by the roadside. It’s the physical brutality of climbing Mount Everest without the great view from the top of the world. What kind of person keeps coming back for more of that?”  – Chris McCormack (Two-Time Ironman World Champion)

“You can quit if you want, and no one will care. But you will know the rest of your life.” – John Collins (Ironman Founder).

“It’s easy to get caught up in our little world (what?!) of triathlon, talking about the relative dorkiness of specific activities and attire choices. But I’ve got news for you guys. According to the 99.9 percent of the population outside of the sport, we’re all big ’ol dorks. The coolest triathlete out there hovers somewhere between captain of the chess club and Steve Urkel on the world scale of coolness. Don’t worry — I don’t think it’s entirely our faults. It’s the nature of our sport, being the outcasts of not one but three more popular and established sports. That’s a lot of nerds jockeying for position.” — Jesse Thomas (Triathlete)

“The one time, and only time, I will shush my wife without getting in trouble is at mile 14 of an Ironman Marathon.” — Trevor Wurtele (Triathlete)

“Failure is failure only when we stop trying anymore.”– Sri Chinmoy

“We are judged by what we finish, not what we start.”

“It never gets easier, you just go faster” – Greg Lemond (Racing Cyclist)

Sophie Coldwell: October Athlete Report

480358_10200699900491663_527330759_nSeason done, break had and tomorrow marks the start of training for 2015! This has been my 11th year competing in triathlons, I raced my first one as an 8 year old, where I couldn’t even swim 50m freestyle, biked on a mountain bike (which weighed close to 10 stone) and then ran around in one of my mum’s t-shirts! So it does seems weird 13.03.05 003that I have finally done all the children, youth and junior races and in 2015 I take the next step to becoming a fully fledged senior as I become an under 23 and have to master the art of the Olympic distance!

My last race of the season wasn’t what I wanted in terms of overall position but there were still some positives. I think people sometimes get too caught up in a finishing time or position and maybe if it’s not what they were wanting or expecting they feel as if it was a bad race or a waste of a weekend. My last race was out in Cozumel but unfortunately the couple of days into the race I wasn’t feeling 100%… probably all the Mexican food! Come race day I was determined to give my first senior world cup a good go so from the start I got my head down. The water was so warm and so clear I had to keep focused on swimming and 10321711_10152283181160728_5188780099835865493_onot on all the fish, I did and I was rewarded with the quickest swim. The bike however wasn’t quite as fun and it ended up being a roll around with 55 others and the run was even less fun than that! I was overly hot, my legs were sore, my head was pounding and I was getting stomach cramps – not ideal but I was not going to get a DNF next to my name! I finished (just) and was relieved as it meant I could finally chill out, have a break from training and a holiday!

I’m now back, enjoyed my break, caught up with Uni work and am now ready to return to training tomorrow!

Hope everyone enjoys their winter training but remember…. ‘let’s be careful out there!’

Sophie Coldwell: September Race Report

September Race Report by AMANZI Girl Sophie Coldwell

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So here I am writing this blog on the way back from Canada after what I can describe as, for me, a successful World Championships.  The trip started last Sunday when myself, Chis Perham and James Teagle (who were selected only two days before due to the cancellation of the boys race at Liverpool) traveled down to Heathrow.  After the usual airport duties the nine hour flight to Minneapolis began, I can safely say after watching nearly a whole season of Friday Night Lights and the movie Draft Day my American football knowledge has dramatically improved from nothing to basically being a right know it all!  A quick interrogation in America and then it was the shorter two hour flight to Edmonton of which I don’t recollect anything as I was asleep the whole way.

Edmonton is a very big city which meant for cycling it really wasn’t great and I succumbed to just riding on the rollers.  We ran down by the river which was pleasant and swam at the local university or the very very nice pool which had two 50 metre pools next to each other as well as a diving pool. The week leading into the race I was feeling horrific, I think it was a combination of jet lag and the actual journey itself – I was waking up at 5am and having to wait for swimming, I used the time wisely though and face timed David and my mum (however trying to get my mum to work the iPad was unbelievably difficult!). The usual pre-race track session where you feel really good and running feels easy was incredibly hard work and making the normal ‘comfortable’ times at home was proving impossible and swimming was just feeling sluggish. Safe to say a couple of days out from the race I was panicking slightly, but with the work done there was nothing else I could do.

Race morning came round quickly and with the race in the afternoon I jumped onto the rollers in the morning to wake up the legs before heading down to the race. I was doing alright nerves wise until we got down to the course and everyone starts staring each other out!  It was a wetsuit swim and since I’ve now found a suit I can swim in (Huub Aura) I’m confident in that scenario. I did my usual swim warm up and then got lined up. With my spot chosen, it was a wait for the  and then time to get my head down and swim very hard!

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My swim was good and saw me enter transition 3rd, I wanted to make the first section of the bike hard to try and split the group which fortunately happened and a group of seven of us got clear – going into the race I said I would be satisfied with a top eight so here was a very good opportunity to make that happen.

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No surprise the group didn’t really want to work but as a few girls pulled the odd turn I was prepared to pull more turns to gap the next group . We came into T2 with over a minute, a small group quickly formed but after the first kilometre the podium trio from Europeans broke away and I knew realistically I was racing for 4th.  It was getting close towards the end with America’s Everson close behind but I held on for 4th so was over the moon with that result.

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I had two days between my individual race and the relay so I tried to recover quick and get ready to race again – this obviously included a trip to a enormous shopping mall complete with a pirate ship, sea lion show, ice rink and water park!  I was excited to race again and with GB’s track record in relays, hoping to bring back some bling!  I was first leg and after a very very short triathlon passed over to Chris in 4th, he had another solid leg and handed over to Lucy still in 4th – Luce had a great swim (as expected) and came first with a little lead which she  on during the bike meaning Gordon was handed a 30 second lead.

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He had another great race after medalling in the individual race and held the gap back to the Aussies and Canadians on the swim/bike meaning he didn’t have to work too hard on the run! He crossed the line and that was it… we were world champions!  We stole the finishing had a little grove on the podium and ate 48 doughnuts between us so all in all it was a very good day!Bwe3UNMIUAEufBY.jpg-large

I still have two more races left, this Friday I fly out to France for my last French grand prix of the year for Team Metz, then back for my last block of training with some heat lab work before heading off to Mexico for my first world cup followed by a little end of season holiday!

Thanks to everyone for their messages over the Championships, all your support has been great and really appreciated but a special mention to my housemates who have been little gems and my lovely mum!

Also thanks for the continued support from Huub, Zoot, Raleigh and Amanzi.

5 Footcare Tips for Triathletes and Runners

Taking care of feet can be a huge obstacle for long-distance runners and triathletes, but with a few preventative measures the worst of problems can be avoided. The importance of taking care of feet cannot be understated, since neglecting the feet can lead to plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and other serious injuries. Triathletes especially have a challenge due to the fact they often run on tired legs that compromise their form. Since runners use their feet so much for the sport they love, they really should take the time to keep their feet happy. The following tips will help ward off foot problems for runners.

1. Experiment with Socks

Every runner has a sock method that they swear prevents blisters. The truth is since every runner’s body is different, what works for one runner will not work for the next. The best way to find socks that work the best for your feet is to try out different methods. There are special moisture-wicking socks that pull away moisture from the feet. Some runners wear single-layers or double-layers of socks. Some runners don’t even wear socks. Figure out what makes your runner’s feet the happiest before committing to any single method.

2. Consider foot lubricants

Trislide and other foot lubricants really can help ease the parts of the foot that are really just not happy about the idea for running this long. Under the achilles, on the toes, on top of ankle, anywhere that really bothers you, slather lubricants on to make running a little more comfortable for the feet.

3. Dry feet after showering, swimming, sweating, etc.

Letting any moisture sit on the feet can irritate already sensitive spots. Also, drying the feet helps avoid building up any of nasty bacterial growth on nails and on the skin. Take the time to really towel down between the toes and the entire surface of the foot anytime they get wet.

4. Foot Massages

Runners really give their feet a hard time- why not give the feet a much deserved treat? If it isn’t possible to get someone else to massage your feet, it is easy enough to do yourself. It is even probably a better idea to do it yourself if there are blisters and other sore spots that a person may not know to avoid.

5. Right shoes for cycling and running

Telling runners or triathletes to invest in good shoes probably seems a bit redundant. We already know about your serious running shoe addiction, but just in case you needed the reminder… Make sure to have shoes with good support arches. Replace running shoes as soon as the midsole starts to break down. This may mean spending a little less on the absolute best shoes, so that you can afford to regularly replace your shoes.

Sophie Coldwell: August Athlete Report Part 2

August Athlete Report (Part 2) by AMANZI Girl Sophie Coldwell

Well, what a crazy weekend it’s been! It started with a very stop-start drive up to Liverpool with mum for our last road trip of the year – the slow journey was bearable due to the fact I had Percy pig and his pals to keep me company. After getting to the hotel it was time for a quick interview, check the logistics of transition and have the athlete briefing where we were told that the weather for the following day wasn’t going to be great with hurricane ‘Bertha’ coming over from America and that we should expect the worse… I’d be lying if i said i wasn’t secretly pleased and the prospect of a slightly colder and wetter race but what we ended up with was far from ideal!

With an afternoon race there was plenty of time to chill in the morning and have a good catch up with Georgia TB who I have missed travelling and racing with this year but I’m sure will be back up and running in no time – I must say her delivery of Cornish fudge was greatly received! After a short delay, a pray to the weather gods and a dance to ‘I can see clearly now the rain has gone’ we were announced down to the start with current world number 1, Gwen Jorgensen heading in first. The start line was crammed so I knew a quick start was going to be vital to set up the rest of the race – I got out well and found myself clear of the field with Jess Learmonth. I quickly dropped onto her feet as I knew this wouldn’t affect her swimming and she would also knock all the jelly fish out of my way! 10599372_10154431505575551_8668933616409168542_n

We got away on the swim with a gap of about 15 seconds to the main group, I knew Jess was a real strong rider too so after transition it was time to get our heads down to try and stay away on the bike.

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We got working straight away and managed to increase our lead on every lap. Coming into T2 we had just over a minute to Jorgensen, I knew this wouldn’t be enough to beat her but was confident it would be enough to end up on the podium. By this point in the race the wind had seriously picked up and as some points i’m sure I was running horizontally!

10610812_920155024667533_6337715903167676883_nThe inevitable happened on the final lap as Gwen over took me, I was surprised to hold on for as long as I did and to finish the race in 2nd was more that I could have hoped for. For me the race couldn’t have gone any better, my training has been geared around breakaway scenarios so for it to actually work and pay off was great!  I want to thank everyone who was cheering for me – it was honestly incredible to have all of that support out on the course!

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Unfortunately though, as the weather was deteriorating through our race so it became to dangerous for the men’s race to continue which is a real shame as it would have been a good show down!

I had my call up for the world champs yesterday so will be heading out to Canada next Sunday :D

A quick thanks to Raleigh, Zoot, Amanzi and Huub for helping over this year and to Nixie Turner and Hannah Johnston for letting me steal their photos!