Challenges on near and far

00:00, Feb 08 2013

It's February and the events are piling up. Hundreds of Nelsonians are on the West Coast - in Westport or Kumara - for the Buller half and full marathon and for the Coast to Coast.

Closer to home it's the third swim race in the Clements Endurance Series - the Ironman Challenge - on Sunday.

That's a distance of 3.8km starting and finishing from Tahunanui Beach. There's also a short option of 1300m from the Richardson St steps straight back to the beach.

In two weeks it's the third and final sprint triathlon of the season at Rabbit Island. The short option will be a good rehearsal for the team tri the following week.

Team Evolve was one of the first entries for the March 2 team race, winning the training package for a two-month buildup.

None of them were strong swimmers, but part of their prize was swim training with coach Lionel Padial.


"Since the first session with Lionel I've been swimming every day," says team member Suzi Hume.

From swimming one length at a time, with breathing breaks at each end, Suzi Hume's progressed to 40 consecutive lengths and took on her first Port Nelson sea swim last week, something she really enjoyed.

After their running session with triathlon coach Nige Burgess, the team also had plenty to think about when it came to technique.

Justine and Lou Perkins continued their training through a family holiday at Totaranui.

"We swam every day [out to the buoy and back] two or three times a day. About 400 metres return. We love sea swimming, even though a bit chilly it was like silk.

"We ran the tracks every day but one. Love those tracks. When running we were concentrating on technique, which Nige went through with us.

"Lou found Nige's session great for understanding the mechanics of running and how to train to be a more efficient runner," said Justine. "I quietly enjoyed watching Lou being pushed a little bit more by Nige in the speedwork [being the faster runner of the three of us, and a man!] His thighs were quite tender for the next few days after. But he's managed to use this new style of running in his training this week and says it has been progressively easier to practise."

The third facet of the team training package has been physiotherapy with Sports Therapy.

All athletes find they need help at some stage and this is especially so when introducing the body to new experiences.

Both Justine and Suzi have been seeing Olivia Batchelor at the clinic. Justine has an ankle injury that Olivia has been treating.

"My ankle has been doing well so far with doing the exercises Olivia gave me and I've been treating it with icy cold water after running," says Justine.

Suzi found the physio a great help with a knee injury that has been put under pressure with the extra workload.

"Olivia gave me a thorough assessment and provided me with a doable exercise regime, which I perform every day," she said.

On a holiday break, Suzi took on a nine-hour walk to Gordons Pyramid, building on the rehabilitation.

A bike session with Nige Burgess has given them even more to think about. There's also another swim coaching session with Padial and a general triathlon session with Burgess to go, so even if this team doesn't have a lot of experience, they'll be right up to the mark in theory and in targeted training.

Information and entries for the Nelson Mail Team Triathlon are at To find out about sea swims, and for triathlon information,

The Nelson Mail