Dare Valley Country Park Fell Run.

Well. They call it the Bwllfa Dare for a reason. As Vicky, Gerwyn, Sarah Adams, Jay Goulding and I were soon to find out.

Yet again, Vicky Jones had suckered me into another fell run, now that I had finally thawed out from our previous experience on Craig Yr Allt. Vicky mentioned today that she’s looking for a fresh career challenge: think there might be a few Arabs who could do with some more sand. They just don’t know it yet. 

This one was in my local stamping-ground, the Dare Valley Country Park, March 8th. I’m think I’m right in saying that it was the very last race of the Welsh Fell Runners Association’s Winter Series. It actually felt like more like the start of their Summer Programme. The weather was glorious. The sun truly shone on the righteous: I know, because I was stood next to them. 

The route was just under 10k, with over 300m of climbing. The race category was described as ‘BS’, which I can only assume means ‘Blinking Steep’. Previous victims of my prose may recall my description of the types who enter in these events. They’ll also recall the dog who beat me home last time, despite simultaneously taking part in his own 6-legged race. He was there again: I’m sure the bit when he cleaned himself was an attempt to pysch me out. But this time I was more prepared. I’d actually read the race pack and brought the proper kit, with some shiny new trail shoes, and even a whistle. An ACME Thunderer for the cognoscenti: nothing but the best. The shoes were the cheapest I could find in Sports Direct though.

Start-time was again a very civilised 14.00 hours, and entry-fee a remarkable £4. These races are amazing value, but with the organisation behind them of far more expensive commercial event. The love the fell racing community has for their sport shines through.

On the hooter, and with absolutely no preamble the race headed north, up the steepest broken terrain. I swore that this time I would run all the way, unless of course scrambling on all fours was required. In which case I’d allow myself to use my teeth as well. I’m proud to say that I met this objective. Admittedly, to the untrained eye it may have appeared a shambling walk at some points, but I never stopped running. Not even when I felt like being sick. 

I’d love to say that the terrain levelled off at the top. Running across the heath felt even harder somehow, and not even the views could distract from the effort. We were heading for a Trig marker at the top. I expected a 20 year-old broomstick, with a 5 year-old brush and 2 year-old handle. Turns out it was a big, concrete navigation aid. Who knew? Jay Goulding, evidently. He flew past me on his way back down the mountain whilst I was still trying to make it out in the distance.

If I thought the way back was going to be easier, I was sadly mistaken, The terrain until now had been uneven, slippery, rock-strewn and sometimes boggy: and that was the main path. Now came a near vertical drop, even including streams and railway sleepers (?) to hurdle. Once again, I can’t stress how awesome the regulars are at descending. They seem to flow down like water. I had all the grace of a tumbling watering can. I’ll confess to being relieved to get back onto the comparatively level. Even then, challenges remained. I’d thought that the organisers had slipped up as I’d not gone through every patch of mud in the Park. But then I realised I’d missed a turning. The kind of ground where you don’t check if you’ve left a trainer behind: you wonder about an entire leg.

I wouldn’t like to say I was glad to see the finish and the rest of the gang. It was exhausting, but great fun, and part of me didn’t want it to end. Admittedly, only a small part. Writing this tonight I can’t believe how much the whole of me aches. 

But I’ve also got the glow from another great experience. I’ll join Vicky in encouraging all club members to enter one of these events. They’re a great workout, and a great adventure. You might even finish ahead of that blinking dog.

Simon Morgan

New Swim Session

Big news, we have secured an extra hour of swim coaching for the club. This is a new session and currently there are no plans to move people around the sessions until at least after this block of bookings, please be patient with us.
This session is for those who have been waiting to join swimming and have put their names down on the waiting list. We welcome other enquiries though, as we wish to fill the session as much as possible.

The new session will be at Rhydycar Pool in Merthyr and will start on Sunday 16th February, it will be for Adult swimmers. The coaching is for those who already swim, but need to improve their technique and fitness.
The session will be from 5pm to 6pm and will be coached by Tony Dally and Louis Adams.
The cost will be £30 and will cover the sessions from 16th Feb 2014 to 6th April. Swimmers will need to join the club too, forms can be downloaded from the fb page.
Any questions please feel free to get in touch.

Run Training for Intermediate Triathletes

Run Training for Intermediate Triathletes

Are you an intermediate? If you think you are a beginner then take a look at the run guidance for beginners page. If you are from a running background and run your 5 or 10 km races at less than 6 min/mile or equivalent, then you will already have the running talent or understand enough to coach yourself through a triathlon. However, you will probably find you have to run less than you are used to in order to fit everything else in.

As an intermediate, you will get around a triathlon, but unless you really sort out your running, it is unlikely you will nail the run and finish very strong and high up the field in a race. If running really is a weakness and you find yourself being overtaken in the run by a lot of triathletes you overtook earlier, then spending a period of time sorting out your running should pay dividends in terms of improving results.

As with all training you have to decide how much time you have available to run. If you can spend between 7 and 10 hours a week training, then the good news is, it should be possible to focus your run training with targeted sessions. However, before you decide how many sessions and how far and fast to run in them, you need to establish your base level. A simple way to determine this is to undertake a time-trial on a relatively flat surface. If you like to run races outside of triathlon you probably already know how long you are likely to take for a standard distance given your current level of fitness. The time taken in minutes and seconds in a race or time-trial can yield training paces and speeds for all distances. One of the tried and tested methods to improve your running on this basis is to use VDot tables of paces, as proposed by Jack Daniels (one of the foremost exercise physiologists to work on endurance running) and his VDot values (arbitrary units) are easy to apply. Basically the concept of VDot values is designed so that the higher your number is, the faster runner you are. To give you a idea of how good you have to be for particular VDot values, if you can run 5km in 24 minutes, you will have a VDot of 40, whereas if you can run it in 18 min, you will have a VDot of 56.

Whilst Daniels designed the VDot with pure runners in mind, they are very applicable to triathletes as long as you don’t try to run like a pure runner and train hard for the other disciplines at the same time. Injury or burnout will be the most probable outcome if you do.

Daniels’ VDot tables are easily found on the web and downloaded as spreadsheets. One that is very clear is http://www.runbayou.com/jackd.htm. Input your time and distance run in a recent race and you are given training paces and speeds for a variety of distances, based upon your own VDot value. It really is very simple.

Typical sessions for someone running three times a week could include one based on Intervals or Threshold pace and two based based on endurance at a slower pace. As a triathlete, you might find that working on your running for a few months or mesocycles (e.g. two or three weeks of progression followed by a recovery week) can yield great dividends.

One of the common pitfalls that a lot of triathletes fall into is to undertake hard sessions too frequently. As a general rule, less than about 20% of your total distance should come from your fast-paced Intervals and Threshold workouts combined e.g. <10% each. Most (around 80%) of your total distance or run time should actually be conducted at slower paces. These are also worked out for you in the VDot calculator. Pacing is key and if you are inexperienced, learn to use the technology now available, such as a stopwatch, or alternatively, a running GPS with its many functions. Ensure you run at the paces given and not faster.

Interval sessions are based on a number of short fast runs with plenty of rest in between. You can opt to do your Interval sessions at a local 400 metre track where distances are easily known. Set a pace for a distance, typically 400 metres up to 1600 metres or 1 mile maximum and work out around 5 km race pace with an easy jog for about the same amount of time to recover as you take to cover the interval. An alternative to the track is to find a straight flat trail or cycle path and set up the laps as a particular distance on your GPS or other speed and distance device to record your time e.g. stopwatch, for the Interval. As a track example, a triathlete who has recently run an accurate 5 km in 24 minutes exactly has a VDot of 40 and should aim to run a 400 m Interval in 1 min 52 seconds (pace of 7 min 28 seconds per 1600 metres or mile). The total session distance for Intervals run at this pace should be from 2 to 3 miles, or 3200 to 4800 metres, not including warm up, cool down or recovery between Intervals. Remember if you are running up and down hills these paces do not apply. Other important aspects that you should include in your Interval sessions are a dynamic warm-up and some drills to improve your leg speed and body posture.

Threshold sessions are usually continuous efforts of 20 minutes or longer run at a pace that is at least 25 sec per mile slower than your Interval pace. There should then be enough recovery after this effort to bring your breathing and heart rates back to that of easy paced running. If your Threshold efforts are longer than 20 min, then slow your pace by a few seconds per mile. Again as an example, a triathlete with a VDot of 40 should aim to cover a flat 2.5 miles at a Threshold pace of 8 min 12 seconds per mile, a total of 20 min and 30 seconds, not faster.

Most of your other sessions should be run at much easier paces as longer, continuous runs. The paces are defined as Easy pace and Marathon race pace. The slower of these is Easy pace, which for the example VDot 40 triathlete is 10 min 11 seconds per mile, whereas Marathon race pace is 8 min 46 seconds per mile. Running most of your miles between these paces will help your aerobic system develop and also allow your body to recover.

To reiterate, around 80% of your time or distance should be run at a sustainable pace that feels relatively easy. All of your longer sessions should be run between the Easy and Marathon race paces and the 80% guidance on the time or distance spent at these paces does not change whether you are a pure runner or triathlete.

By Ed Morgan

AGM Minutes 2013

Date: Tuesday 10th December 2013
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Abercwmboi Rugby Club

Committee Members:
Adrian Colley (Chairman)
Helen Colley (Secretary)
Ros Edmonds (Treasurer)
Tony Dally (Club Welfare Officer)
Ed Morgan (Head Coach – BTA Level 3)

1. Chair’s report

AC welcomed all to the meeting and confirmed the club committee members as it currently stands.
AC noted club achievements through the year, including club member race results, coaching awards (Ed Morgan receiving RCT Coach of the Year Award) and a newly qualified coaching team. To date this includes:

BTA Level 1 – Helen and Adrian Colley, Des Devlin, Louis Adams and Martin Davies
BTA Level 2 – Tony Dally

2. Treasurer’s report

RE confirmed the summary of membership which has increased significantly over the year.
A summary of income and expenditure was confirmed. The club is currently in a positive finance position but could be doing a little better. RE confirmed that the club swim fees have not increased over the past few years. It was confirmed that this would be addressed in a later agenda item.
RE confirmed that a second round of Community Chest money was won by the club, and this would be put towards further Level 2 Coaching qualifications.

3. Ratification of Club President: Phil Gibbon

EM confirmed that Phil Gibbon is our Club President and that he sent his apologies for the meeting. Phil is a founder member of the club.
It was voted that Phil remains in the position of Club President.

4. Club Fees for 2014 – 2015

RE proposed that the Club swim fees for 2014 increase to £45.00 per quarter for adult members and £23.00 per quarter for the junior members.
This proposal was put to the vote and carried.

5. Web-site developments, social media, FB, Twitter

Louis Adams explained the developments of the recently launched club website:
Louis encouraged all members to actively start using the website as a source of information. The club would also like to ensure that any race reports are completed after events, so the website is currently updated with current activity. Louis reported that there were 500 hits on the website during November.
EM confirmed that he has added content to reflect coaching tips. EM has also created Twitter accounts so regular coaching information is communicated.
Louis will also be creating Drop Box sites, which will assist the Coaching Team and also a members only site will be created for future use. This could include swim video analysis etc.
Louis confirmed that new membership forms will be available from the website.

6. Triathlon Events for 2014/Social Events/Committee

Various suggestions were made for the club championships for 2014. Votes confirmed the following:

Ammanford Sprint Triathlon – Novice Championships – 13th April 2014
Tata Steel Olympic Triathlon – Club Championships – 1st June 2014

AC proposed that he would like to see a social committee developed, which can include friends and family of club members. It was proposed that a club social secretary is voted in and will be addressed in a later agenda item.

7. Coaching Developments/sessions

EM confirmed the current coaching team (noted in item 1). EM confirmed that Adrian Colley and Louis Adams will be taking the Level 2 BTA qualification, and Darren Hancock will be taking his Level 1 BTA qualification in 2014.
EM confirmed that the club has purchased a new camera to use for swim analysis, which can benefit members considerably.
EM proposed that TD steps down from coaching the junior session due to a conflict of interest, as Tony is the Club Welfare Officer.
The club offered an extra swimming session on a Wednesday evening (for inexperienced swimmers) to assist with the current demand and is proving to be very successful. This will continue for 2014.
EM confirmed that the Tuesday night bike sessions will be repeated, once the lighter evenings start.
Des Devlin will also be starting a new run session in Treforest Industrial Estate in January, details will be posted on FB.
Saturday and Sunday bike rides will be posted on FB as usual.
Members agreed that run sessions for the juniors would be welcomed during the spring/summer. It was suggested that these sessions could be run before the swim sessions on Sunday.
Details of any confirmed sessions will be posted on the website and FB.

8. Safeguarding changes

TD explained the recent changes from CRB for DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service).
Welsh Triathlon are reviewing their own internal procedures for DBS at present, and these procedures have not been confirmed to date.
TD confirmed that we are registered with RCT as a “safe club” and follow all policies and best practice.
Louis Adams asked if the safeguarding logo could be placed on our website. TD to confirm.

9. Committee expansion

As the club is rapidly expanding new committee members need to be voted in. EM proposed that the new committee should include: Membership Secretary, Website Co-ordinator and Social Secretary.
RE further explained that the role of Treasurer had increased over the year, and she was finding it very hard to oversee the volume of work involved. It was proposed that a committee role is developed which would split the current Treasurers role in two, therefore, having a Treasurer and Membership Secretary.

10. Following a formal vote the 2014 Club Committee is represented below:

Chairman – Adrian Colley
Secretary – Helen Colley
Treasurer – Ros Edmunds
Membership Secretary – Louis Adams
Website Co-ordinator – Des Devlin
Welfare Officer – Tony Dally
Social Secretary – Chris Armstrong

11. Community Chest application

TD confirmed that a second round of community chest funding had been awarded and sign off had been completed.
ED thanked all involved in the application process.

12. Club Kit – update

AC highlighted the recent problems that we have had in connection with our new suppliers of Club Kit. Currently there are 10 cycling jerseys waiting to be sent. New suppliers are being approached and we hope to have confirmed details for ordering in the New Year.
Chris Armstrong confirmed that he can also repeat the t-shirt order if demand is there.
Discussions also took place for the design of an official Club banner and possible sponsorship. This will be looked into by the committee.

13. Welsh Tri membership and other affiliations

TD confirmed that there are many benefits to joining Welsh Triathlon, one being the insurance and public liability. The full membership details can be found on the Welsh Triathlon website. www.welshtriathlon.org

CTC Affiliation;
Members agreed that they are happy to continue with the cycling affiliation to the CTC for Time Trialling events.

Welsh Athletic Affiliation;
Members agreed that they were happy with joining the Welsh Athletic Association. A fee of £50.00 is required along with an official running vest.
This would allow members to enter running events as TET

14. AoB

The pool time has been confirmed for Wednesday and Sunday at Abercynon. Reports have been made that Abercynon may be cutting its pool times. In light of this point and the increase in the number of enquiries to join the club, members of the committee are currently looking into pool time at other leisure centres and its viability.

AC thanked all for attending and wished all club members well for 2014!

Attendance Record:
Darren Hancock
Chris Armstrong
Vicky Jones
Jamie Massanet-Nicolau
Simon Morgan
Richard Morgan
Louise Ward
Nick James
Paul Figgins
Lee Rossiter
Allan Gill
Stuart Grant
Gemma Devlin
Des Devlin
Marie Claire Hopkins
Donna Hunkin
Ed Morgan
Alan Edwards
Adrian Colley
Helen Colley
Louis Adams
Tony Dally
Ros Edmonds

Coaching Changes for 2014

The coaching team have met and agreed the following developments for the next year. Junior Head Coach is Adrian Colley, Lead Swim Coach is Tony Dally, Lead Run Coach is Ed Morgan, Lead Cycling Coach is Louis Adams, Tony will also look after novice adults and I will look after other adults. We have split the swim sessions amongst all the coaches. As a result of another community chest grant (Rhondda Cynon Taff / Sports Wales) we will be training up more coaches. We will therefore be putting on more sessions – please keep an eye on our Facebook page and Club Website for announcements. We are excited about these developments and look forward to another great year for Taff Ely Tri club. Happy New Year to all.

Glynneath 5 Mile Boxing Day 2013

This race report was kindly provided by Chris Armstrong who had a fantastic run on the say as you will soon find out.

Over to Chris.

Travelling down to Glynneath with Lee, Louise and Donna, I was a little apprehensive with what I was about to do. Deciding only the night before to run and after a good few months of taking it easy and indulging in beer and whiskey, I did not really know how I would get on. I checked out the route on the internet the day before to see it was a fast flat course, which made me feel a little easier. Arriving to register and relax early I started to feel better and was confident on a sub 50 minute run. I got my number and pinned it to my club top and started to relax a little more. We again got in the car to get to the start and I announced I would be happy to run 10 minute miles. At the start it was freezing and getting quite busy, meeting Simon and Sara and some of the Dragons we moved into a position closer to the front of the pack. Without warning a whistle sounded and we were off. Starting fast to catch Louise who had gone like a rocket, I was running faster than I thought I could. Myself and Lee looked at the pace and decided it needed to slow. Instead of slowing I ran faster and faster, fearing that I could not hold the pace and my body screaming to slow I pushed on and on. Soon I realised that it was not flat and on the way back would have to tackle the inclines I enjoyed running down like a lunatic. Hitting the turn I started back for the 2.5 mile return leg and was soon met with a shout from the other side of the course of “ten minute miles my bottom” or words to those effect. The sound of laughter spurred me on a little more and soon I came to the inclines and slowed slightly. Sara and Simon came past with words of encouragement as they started to put a gap between them and me. Finally seeing the 4 mile sign I managed to go a little quicker then came the signs I had been waiting for, 800 meters, 400 meters and then 200 meters. A little push and I managed to put a final sprint in at the finish to achieve not only the sub 50 minutes I had been looking for but something I never though possible, a sub 40 minute run!!

Merthyr Mawr Christmas Pudding Race 2013

Jay Goulding has kindly written a race report for the  Merthyr Mawr Christmas Pudding Race 2013. The race was also attended by Taff Ely Tri members Vicky Jones and Ros Edmonds.

Over to Jay:

By the end of this review, you will have learned that I won the race up the hill and that I hold the course record. Neither of these are entirely true, The Merthyr Mawr Christmas pudding race is the race of legends, or as I found out leg- ends! The race which has been running since 1990 is a Brackla – Buy one get one free! The overall race is a 10k cross country race, the free bit is the not so easy sprint to the top of the “big dipper”, the winner of which gets a Turkey ( more on that in a bit).

As I headed down the M4, glad that I didn’t stay out for the extra beer, I began to question my own judgement as the sat nav sent me passed the normal junction for Bridgend and southern down. Had I looked at the postcode the night before or even followed my own sense of direction, I would have noticed that the postcode provided, by the otherwise well organised race team, had sent me 6 miles from the actual race. Luckily a bloke with running kit on, directed me and the 6 other cars following me (these cars had clearly not consulted any of TET about my sense of direction) in the right direction and the sight of Ewenny Pottery told me I was back on track.

Just enough time to get my kit on and run to the start line where I was greeted by the smiling faces of Vicky Jones and Ros Edmonds two other Taff Ely triathletes .

The race starts with the “Big Dipper” which is one big sand dune. Once you get there, if you’re legs still work, you have the prospect of another 9.8km of a proper cross country course which has everything. It takes you over hills, through mud, sand, water and gravel.

The start line was busy with athletes of all abilities most looking fearfully at the hill ahead, and many dressed in fancy dress. Until this point I hadn’t really thought much about the race. My normal strategy is to start slowly a few rows back and feel my way into a race. But today, for some unknown reason, I found myself at the front, thinking “I’m alright at hills”. This thought was about to be my undoing.

When the race official started us off, it felt more like a 5k park run on a beach up a hill, we all just went for it. 50 metres in and the thoughts were turning to high knees and good form, which would have  been drilled into me if I attended more Monday night sessions with Ed.  Another 50 metres in and I can see a few people on the grass cheating their arses off, but in the middle, on the sand, I was going alright.

Soon, a small number of us congregated just before the top, just in front of the tv camera. Two people were ahead of me (both had been on the grass, so should be disqualified and banned from racing for ever) and they are both struggling big time, using their hands to make their legs work. I can taste victory, if I can just get around them.

And then…my legs just stopped working and I too resorted to pushing my knees with my hands just to get them to move. One of the lads in front fell over and I found myself in second place. Could  I get the victory? Where was the line? Could this have been the greatest success of my career so far? No. Just as i thought I was about taste the poultry smell of moist Turkey I realised,  I was till about 100 metres from the very top and my legs didn’t work. It was the worst form of Jelly legs ever experienced in the history of the world. I wondered if I would even finish the next 1k, never mind the whole race.  And then… the humiliation began… “you went off too fast didn’t you lads” is the only thing I remember hearing as the wiser runners, slowly but surely overtake me and the other carcasses lying decimated on the floor.

The next few kms were a test of whether I could recover and still get some speed back in my legs. Although not planned, it was a good exercise in recovery which will hopefully hold me in good stead for the next Triathlon season.

The rest of the course was amazing, more sand, but this time downhill, streams, plenty of marshalls who stopped the traffic, and offered friendly encouragement. By the 7th Km, my legs were working again and I started to overtake people again. By the time I hit the river, my feet were wet, but I was home and dry. The goody bag at the end contained Christmas puddings which I ate for my supper after some great Chinese food, with the TET lot. Great day! Next stop Nos Galon.


Oh yes, when I checked my watch after, I could see that I reached the first peak in 1min and 16 seconds. I didn’t run on the grass. the course record is 1.22. I am claiming a moral victory, even if i didn’t get the Turkey!!

Run Training Advice For Beginners.

If you are starting out running and haven’t done much previously, the secret is slow and steady, you need to give your body time to adapt no matter what your fitness level and history in other sports. If gentle running is an issue and finds you out of breath as soon as you start to jog, then a flat run and walk strategy is the way forward. Take heart, we’ve all been there but try to be consistent in your running and Increase the number of times in a week you run before increasing the time you spend running at one go.

Don’t worry about the distance, simply focus on the amount time you spend out running until you feel confident to keep going. Only once you are confident to run two or three miles or about thirty minutes non-stop on flat terrain, should you start to build the mileage.

Your shoes are probably the most important piece of kit in the whole of your triathlon armoury. They have to be right for you. Most of us don’t have perfect biomechanics and you may need an assessment of running form to determine which of the several types of shoe is right for you. There are good running shoe shops around that offer video analysis of your running gait and will offer to do this for you, although beware the Saturday boy or girl who may have little experience and whose aim is to sell you the most expensive pair. It is worth getting it done professional especially if experiencing issues such as shin splints or knee pain. There are lots of confusing terms about over- and under-pronating, cushioning and stability shoes, natural running gaits etc. The general rule here is don’t spend too much money on your first proper pair of running shoes until you are confident that they are the right ones for you.

Most triathletes will have gone through periods of running injury which are more or less debilitating. However, the most common cause of the injury is building up the mileage when the body is not ready for it. Of course, if you are otherwise very fit, your body may well be able to tolerate increases, but the general tried and tested rule is not to increase your running mileage or time on your feet running by more than 10% from one week to the next. It is especially important not to increase the length of your longest run by more than about a mile and a half or 2.5 km in one jump. Always allow a day or two recovery after a long or hard run before you undertake another similar session. You need to allow your body time to recover and running is the most damaging of all triathlon’s disciplines. You also have to avoid the surprisingly common mistake of over-training. Also, If you find yourself getting niggles which don’t go away after a couple of days, there may underlying issues with your core of biomechanics which may need addressing. It is usually better to back off on the running to sort out the problem. Whilst pushing the running can mean you make advances in your running and help with fitness gains, and result in faster triathlon races, it is also a risky strategy for older triathletes or the injury prone.

One really good way to work on your run training, especially as you move towards the race season is to undertake back to back training sessions, commonly known as brick sessions where you cycle for an hour or two and then get straight off the bike and change into your running kit/shoes and go for a run. If it is your first go at a brick session, then keep the run short for a mile or two at most. You will quickly understand that there is no feeling quite like the jelly legs you experience when you start to run after cycling hard. However, if you build even short runs immediately on to the back of a hard or long bike ride you will run faster during races as a result of increased strength endurance.

Pool Swim Etiquette

Firstly, try to pick a lane that matches your speed.

Make you sure you have enough room to swim the stroke you intend to swim. Therefore if you are swimming breast-stroke or  butterfly, be careful of your wide arm swings and pulls either above or below the water.

If you are using equipment, ensure that you will not hinder or injure other swimmers. For example, if using paddles or fins, take care not to hit other swimmers. The life guards will often have issues with you should you look like you are flailing around the pool.

If you are swimming one or two lengths at time, try to pick a gap at which to join in, preferably behind a swimmer who is faster than you.

If you do catch up with a slower swimmer, then go around the swimmer to the centre of the pool aiming to complete the length before the overtaken swimmer has touched. This can often be challenging as it may involve a sprint.