ATAC March 2016 Newsletter
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Welcome to the March ATAC newsletter.

In this newsletter:
  • Seasonal Kick Off event! (including E-AGM)
  • First ATAC RBR team race by Mark Touwen
  • ATAC Spring Training camp #1 at camping De Roos
  • ATAC Club Kit Shop opening soon
  • ATAC Swim-clinics hosted by Personal Swimming
  • Q and A with ATAC's experienced triathlete and L2 GB Triathlon coach Matt Warnock of Endurance Rebel Coaching in the coach's corner
  • Mechanics corner on changing a flat
  • Calendar highlights and brief updates
The ATAC newsletters are to be found on the ATAC website under newsletters:

Seasonal Kick Off event!

ATAC is going to Kick-Off the season on the 14th of April in Cafe Kostverloren! Hear what we have planned for the year, as well as enjoy a beer with old and new members. 

1900 starting time, be there! You don't want to miss this.

Café Kostverloren
2e Kostverlorenkade 70
1053 SB Amsterdam

Extraordinary Anual General Meeting

We would like to move our Annual General Meeting (AGM) from November to February and to do this we require an Extraordinary General Meeting. We will hold this at the same time as the Seasonal Kickoff.

What do you have to do: Turn up at the Seasonal Kickoff and we will do the rest
14 April 2016 at 1900 at Cafe Koostverloren

ATAC first Run Bike Run team race

By Mark Touwen
On March 20th, ATAC had its first of many things. Its first team run bike run. Its first incomplete team, my first meeting with Joe and Howard. Joe's and Howards first Run Bike Run. We all had our own personal goals. Now the race itself consisted of a 5,4 K run (4 off road laps with twists, turns and hills.), a 20K bike ride and 2 more laps of running.  As all the top teams off the country were present we knew the competition was going to be though, so everyone was keen on going all out!
The Race
The run felt like a 5K sprint. Although I was doing 18min47sec on the 5,4k run I lost 2min30 on the winner. To keep motivated I tried to find other goals which were within my reach. In this case staying ahead of the first female runner! After achieving that goal I found my second goal: having a fast transition. This however, went down the drain when the strap of my helmet got stuck. Finally the bike part which is my strong point. A TT bike ride is completely different after a 5k run but luckily I soon found my next goal: keeping Armand van der Smissen behind me (don't know him? Than google) and in the final run I was going all out to stay within the hour: 59min and 43 sec. (19th).
Joe finished in 1:06:39 (53th) and happy not to have been troubled by his hip. and Howard in 01:11:16 (65th) really happy not finishing last (69 finished). Not enough to be at the top of the leaderboard for teams, but it was a lot of fun!

Spring Triathlon Training Camp #1 - April 9-10

We’re one week away from our first Spring training camp at Camping de Roos. There are still plenty of available spots in case you want to join us. There's no better way to start the race season then a whole weekend of hard training.
Check it out at our Meetup page for more info and registration.

ATAC Club Kit

The store will be opened very shortly for kit orders. A small summer offering this time. We will bring samples for you to try on at the Seasonal Launch event, and then we will close the store shortly after that, for a delivery around 20th June. We will send a short email when the store opens.

Swim clinics

We've been in talks with the guys from Personal Swimming about hosting a regular swim session for ATAC. This would be done in two sets of 3 lessons spread over the next 6 months on Wednesdays, 20:15 at Sloterparkbad.
Price is dependent on number of people but it will be something in the range of 25€ to 30€ a person per lesson.
We’re now gathering the interested people to set up the training groups so be sure to check it out at out Meetup page for more info on dates and to register.

Coach's Corner

Q. "I really want to race a half Ironman well this summer but I have a lot of commitments due to work, travel and kids. Do you think my goal is possible and what can I do to achieve it?"
A. Of course you can, but it may not be easy. You should think of race day as an expression of your fitness; you get out just what you put in. In that sense, the majority of goals are realistic, if you’re willing to be flexible in how you reach them. So, can you train for a Half IM on 6 hours a week and expect to race well? Probably not if you’re counting on the traditional 8-10 week build. But 25 weeks of 6 hours per week is a different story…
In my opinion, there are five keys to success for the time-crunched triathlete: communication, time, intensity, time hacks (efficiency) and mentality.

Speak openly and honestly to all those affected by your training – your significant other (most important), your kids, your job. Find out what they need from you and where there may be some flexibility. For me, with a 9 month old baby boy, for example, disappearing on a week-long training camp is simply out of the question. But a training weekend, or a few days of dedicated riding tacked onto the end of a family holiday..? That might be workable.
This is the clichéd answer to this question, but that makes it no less true. Sit down and look at your average week and identify when there are opportunities to train – and then sanity check these with your other half. Could you get up early twice a week to train before work?
Is there an opportunity to get a session in once the kids have gone to bed? Is there a nearby gym or pool that’s convenient for lunchtimes? Could you even cycle or run to work once a week?
You can often find time where there wasn’t any before. Be creative – maybe the better half would prefer you to go do your thing all morning on Sundays in return for you being completely present on Saturday… or vice versa.

The renowned Australian triathlon coach Brett Sutton is famous for his saying: “If it’s not long, it better be hard.” With Ironman champs Chrissie Wellington and Daniella Ryf on his roster, you’d have to say that Sutto knows a thing or two about endurance.
So, not every ride needs to be a 3h endurance session; a 1h balls-to-the-wall session on the home trainer is just as valuable. For that matter, if you’ve only got 30 minutes available, smashing out a 30m tempo run is much, much better than nothing. Racing is the ultimate in high intensity efforts. Make sure you’ve a few sprints and Olympic distance races on the agenda before your Half IM.
Racing is the very best training, you’ll be confident and race-hardened ahead of your big race (with silly mistakes out of the system…), plus a local sprint is usually a nice occasion for the whole family. A 4h group ride isn’t.
The hacks
  1. Home trainer – if you don’t have a home trainer already, get one now. It’s much more efficient and means you can train any time of day whatever the weather.
  2. If you can only get to the pool once or twice a week, supplement your training with swim chords. They’re cheap, can be set up just about anywhere, and a weekly 20 minutes will really help your swim strength.
  3. Hills or a treadmill – let’s say you can only run for an hour twice a week… make sure one of those runs is hill intervals, to blend strength, muscular endurance and aerobic endurance for a ticks-all-boxes efficient workout.
Finally, a good mentality can turn your limitations into advantages. If you can only train four days a week, don’t fret: it means you’ll recover well each week
and you may not need recovery weeks like those who are training 6 days a week will require. You can/should also start your build earlier. Make consistency your mantra – you are Mr/Mrs Consistent – you may train less than others but you never miss a session. Then there’s really no reason why you can’t achieve great things this season.

If you have a question for next month’s newsletter, email

Mechanics Tip

Changing a flat tire....

This month’s mechanics corner is focusing on a core cycling skill. How to change a flat tire. If you ride all summer chances are you will get a flat tire. When this happens you have a few options:
  • Call a taxi (wrong answer).
  • Smile sweetly at a passing cyclists and hope they help you. (Might work for a select few of members but likely to fail for most).
  • Confidently change your tire, and get back on the way again.. (RIGHT ANSWER).
So how do you change a tire? The link  is to a good video, and you need to know the points below. (Fast forward to 1:41 as this is where it gets more interesting) 
  1. Remove the wheel
  2. Remove the tire using tire levers
  3. Pull out the old tube
  4. Check the inside of the tire for something might have caused the puncture. (Glass, wire or other sharp objects poking through the tire)
  5. Put a little air in you new tube. (Just a little)
  6. Put the tube inside the tire, with one side of the tire on the wheel
  7. Careful put the tire back onto the wheel.
  8. Inflate about 20% of the way, then make sure the tire is seated properly onto the rim by punching both sides of the tire all the way around the rim. You are making sure you have not pinched the tube between the outside of the rim and tire.
  9. Inflate the rest of the way.
Before you ride this summer, make sure you know how to use the tools you carry to change a tire. PRACTICE at home!

Calendar highlights and more on Meetup

Mondays - Running intervals going strong
Tuesday morning rides - weather permitting
Wednesday night FAST rides - from 13 April
Thursday evenings - Bootcamp in Funepark
Weekend rides as posted on the Meetup
(anyone can post)
9-10 April: Spring triathlon training weekend (#1)
16-17 April: Amstel Gold Weekend
5 May: Kilm Classic in Maastricht
21-22 May: Spring triathlon training weekend (#2)

Brief Updates

  • Summer is coming and there are more and more events and trainings happening. Join the fun
  • Anyone can lead a ride, not just the usual suspects. If you are heading out, please post the ride, as it is much easier to ride with friends when it is cold out
  • Keep an eye on MeetUp for all of our events
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