The Engine Room: Coaches Of The World’s Best & Their Take On Super League Triathlon
Super League Triathlon (SLT) is without question the pinnacle of endurance competition. Even Jonny Brownlee quipped,
“Super League is a new format of racing, it’s super exciting, and also super hard!”
There is no room for weakness or a lack or preparation – nothing else comes close.
Our athletes are finely tuned racing machines, and know it all comes down to the the most marginal of gains come race day to win – the difference between success and failure is minimal, and to reach the top they can’t do it alone – they need the very best team behind them. Their coaches are the best in the world, providing knowledge, experience, guidance, and a level of insight money cannot buy. All of their efforts are designed to get their stars to find hidden depths and get the very best out of themselves come race day, so we decided to interview some of them over the course of the season for their insights on SLT!
Coaching since 1994, Jono Hall, who looks after Kirsten Kasper amongst other top level triathletes, is vastly experienced when it comes to endurance sport, himself an ex-athlete he knows the demands of triathlon but also sees how much SLT has brought to multi-sport.
“When I first heard Super League was being launched I was excited for multiple reasons. I saw it’s potential and I knew that it would be something special. Once I saw who was involved, I knew this was going to be something put together by people who know what they’re doing, and know where they want to take it. I could see it was going to be entertainment – that is what the sport needed.”
Joel Filliol is one of the worlds best known and established elite level coaches, with Katie Zaferes and Mario Mola currently amongst his athletes. He began coaching in 2000, inspired by triathlon’s inclusion in the Olympics, he developed in the wake of Canadian success. He has a firm grasp on what is required to be an SLT athlete.
“One thing that has become clear is the requirement for endurance, the fitness, the conditioning, and the kind of robustness to finish the weekend well. Obviously, it’s fast and furious racing, but you need the conditioning to finish the job. You’ve got to be very fit, have resistance to fatigue, and you can’t have weaknesses – on day two can you back it up across the disciplines? Those athletes that have prepared well, and have a good level of conditioning to start with, along with being able to manage the race, will ultimately be successful.”
You may recognise the surname of our next elite level coach, Joe Schoeman. He’s coached his son Henri since he was 18, but has been his full-time coach for the last two years. He believes Henri has taken to SLT not only because of his abilities but also due to the type of training they do.
“Super League is actually the way we train, we do a lot of pace work, we do a lot of precise training; basically you want to swim a fast 1500m, ride fast on the bike, and you want to run a 30 min 10k, and that’s it.”
Henri has undoubtedly proved a force to be reckoned with so far, so their methods must be paying off.
Louis Delahaije on the other hand, has been coaching since the early 90s. Balancing professional cycling and triathlon, he brings a depth of knowledge to his athletes Rachel Klamer and Richard Murray, that could be considered unrivalled in our group. The Ducthman sees the allure of SLT for the younger generation, both as athletes and as fans.
“Super League is very attractive, especially with the combination of the three sports; you have to be innovative, and the new formula is exciting for me as a coach as well. Super League is completely new, but everyone has embraced it, all the athletes and all the coaches.”
Over the coming weeks we will be spending more time with each of these elite minds, we’ll discuss what it takes to be the very best, but also how to approach SLT as an Age Grouper balancing life and training. The Super League Triathlon Grand Final in Singapore is fast approaching on 23/24 February, we’ll keep SLT content coming hard and fast until then, but just in case you’re wondering where your attention should be that weekend, Jono Hall knows what you should be doing!
“When you’re watching Super League, you’re glued to it, because it’s changing all the time, and at any given time something can surprise you. Then you finish a race, and you’ve got 5 mins to get your cup of tea, and then they’re racing again. It’s very compelling because it isn’t scripted, you don’t know what is going to unfold, and when things happen, they happen dramatically!”
If you’ve missed the news, Super League Singapore is happening on the 23rd and 24th of Feb! Check out what’s going on at the event here.