Merry Christmas December update

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hope you all have a very good Christmas and a break away to enjoy some extra time with family and friends.

Here is a quick update from me.

To catch you up with where I am at since last time, most of you will know I spent 6 weeks in Canada with the triNZ team to be close to the triNZ SUPER physio Rone, get some summer training in and hopefully if things went really well make a couple of the last world series or world cup races for the 2015 season.

It was established early on that this time was a critical time for my rehab (12 weeks post-surgery) and things didn’t work out too well over there. I was trying to rush things so that I could make the last couple of races but even 13 weeks post-surgery I couldn’t manage a little jog without pain.

Every week or so I would have a couple of good sessions only to blow out again and be back to the start, the steps I needed to take were so small that we decided to take it back to the minimum and build things from the ground up, a solid foundation to start from. I started running barefoot and found quickly that I was able to manage running (jogging) pain free and all of a sudden I was away. I progressed from 20km to 40km to 50km then slowly brought it up until 60km. At 60km I started to notice that it was a little much for my feet muscles to handle so at this stage I went back to wearing shoes. Luckily I was able to transition back to the shoes without any problem and then was able to venture further than the grass fields and found another gear - I was away again.

Of course things were managed very closely with Rone and almost every day I would get treatment. She really was amazing during this time and I can’t thank her enough – I think she ended up almost knowing more about my legs than I did! We thought that after having so much time off that my muscle firing patterns and activations had shut down a bit so running barefoot made me listen to my body more closely allowing me to pick up on and re-find what parts were working and what small bits weren’t hence what I needed to work on. It’s amazing how much you can learn from your body by listening carefully.

I am very excited to report that I am now back at about 90% of full capacity training for this time of year, things are well in truly in the base building phase as Rio is my primary focus for the next 8.5 months. It’s great to be out there again and getting amongst it, catching up with all my training groups and feeling some fitness and form come back. I haven’t done much training that’s long or hard yet but have started to do some tempo sessions with some nice signs of early progression. It’s really good just to be getting that base training in and ticking along again, I’m now back to around the 26 hour a week mark and up to 85km of running with a body that is coping with the training stress again and building strong.

Since I have been back in NZ I had about 10 days at home followed by 2 weeks in Cambridge as we started to fast track things a bit as we introduced each new training load and build back to full training. From there I’d rotate between 2 weeks of good training in Wanaka, then around 5 days of serious treatment in Cambridge (it’s great being back to my training ground down South!) and repeat that process. This has worked really well as we all know how well training in Wanaka works for me combined with the truly world class treatment available in Cambridge. After 3 months of this I have (literally) just got the “pass” and I’m officially ready to roll J. When Rone said, “you don’t need me anymore, we should be having coffee instead” that was the best news I have had and coming just 2 days ago is the best Christmas present I could ask for, all the perseverance and disciplined training & treatment has worked - Look out 2016!

Over the last few months I have also picked up a couple of amazing sponsors – well worthy of a mention, firstly I would like to make a special mention to Deda Elementi for providing me with the most amazing bikes and componentry (for those who haven’t met “Pinky” yet I looks forward to showing her off in the New Year - only Italians can pull this bike off ;-) ), as well as Rosti cycling apparel for backing all that up with some incredible Italian cycle wear.

I have also a big welcomed High5 sports nutrition to my team to help me fuel and recover – one of the few nutrition companies with no artificial sweeteners so for those of looking for the best fuel head to the High5 website!

Recently I spoke at the Cromwell College sports awards-there is lots of amazing Central Otago talent coming out of that school I look forward to watching develop as with the two amazing young boys I am coaching in Wanaka at the moment which week in week out continue to impress me, go Janus and Julius!

I must thank those who have stuck by me in this year being away from the racing scene - Thanks heaps to: KiWAMi, Rhino Racks NZ (Pinky looks good up there!), Giro Helmets NZ, Holden NZ and Cooke Howlison in Dunedin, Adidas Eyewear, ROKA wetsuits, and of course triNZ and HPSNZ. I really appreciate every bit of help you give and can’t wait to get lots more training in and 2016 underway!

I have also just this week been named in the tier 1 podium team with Andrea Hewitt for the Triathlon New Zealand national team, so look forward to being a part of that for another year.

Thank you and Merry Christmas to all.

Nicky Samuels

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