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Episode 33: Eney Jones: Surfing and Salsa Dancing

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On today’s episode, Eney Jones stops by to discuss the recent Boulder camp. Sam and Eney dive into the swimming discipline of triathlons. She recalls her experiences at Kona and helping develop the skills of today’s triathlete. Eney shows Sam a few training tools she utilizes and explains the importance of surfing and salsa dancing.

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Summary

Prologue
Intro
Eney’s Story
The Success is in the Enjoyment
Race Experiences
The Psychology of the Start
Tools and Techniques
Body Types and Posture
Building Your Swim Stroke
Simulating Open Water
Collect Experiences
How Kona Has Changed
Relationship with Mirinda Carfrae
Find Your Power Source
Swimming at the Next Level
Outro
Epilogue

Transcript

Intro
Welcome to Triathlon Research, the podcast that brings together the world’s best Triathlon coaches, athlete, equipment experts and medical professionals to get you the right information that you need to race pass your personal best and get more enjoyment out of your Triathlon journey. Triathlon Research where we teach you how to train smart, here is your host Samuel Cook under our Triathlon Research.

Samuel Cook
Hello again Triathlon Research listener, my name is Samuel Cook the founder of Triathlon Research and welcome to another episode of Triathlon Research radio where we’re going to explore the best that triathlon has to offer and this episode is on the world of swimming in Triathlon and I am sitting here today with a very interesting and accomplished swimmer and swim coach, Eney Jones who we just worked with for a week at the Boulder Colorado Camp with Mirinda Carfrae and Siri Lindley, and Eney has a very interesting background in swimming which we’re going to here and without too much more introduction am just going to get right into with
Eney. Eney how are you doing today?

Eney Jones
I’m good, thank you.

Samuel Cook
So first thing I would like to go in today is, you know, what I would like the listeners to get today is a lot of your tips as a competitive swimmer. I think you done a lot of pool and open water swimming and the difference between those two, then your experience as a coach and how you worked with the lead athletes and then finally just go over a little bit of your background or your experiences recently we just had at the camp working with athletes in some of the intensive session you did cause I know we got a lot of great feedback from the athletes on what you did with them and see if we can give the listeners some ideas on some specific things they can do to work on their swimming. So the first thing let’s just talk about your background, tell me a little about story and how you got into coaching athlete swimmers and triathlon, how did this start as a swimmer?

Eney Jones
I swim growing up from Siesta Key, Florida and my father is Doctor Berwald Jones and he still holds a world record because they changed the event so they got rid of butterflies so he’ll always hold the world record for 150 IM and I swam at the University of Florida and I came out to Colorado. I was working at a TV station and I came out to Colorado thinking I want to try to be a triathlete so that was in the 80’s. Came out the weather was phenomenal, the people were great, I had some relatives here, no friends became a triathlete and race and absolutely loved it and fell in love with Boulder and I stayed here. After I was done racing I still kept fairly current in swimming and it’s been.., recently the last few years that I’ve gotten back into open water and I’ve also worked as a teacher and a coach, so having been an athlete and then an elite athlete and a teacher educator coach it kind of combined a lot of different points that I can work from where a lot of people can’t seem to get something across, I somehow can bypass people’s brains and get into their body.

So that’s how I got into coaching triathletes because really I would say about 80% of the tria athletes that I come in connect with, the swim doesn’t make their race but it sure hurts their race and most of them need help in the swim and they don’t have time to really increase their swim training fitness so we have to work on technique. And one the best ways to work on technique is working through tools and this is something that Siri Lindley is also a big believer in and she’s using tools to teach technique.

Samuel Cook
So you definitely carved out a quite of niche for yourself from the triathlon swimming space here in Boulder and I know that you didn’t go into it, but you had some big successes as a swimmer. I know Erin was telling me you’re a champion swimmer had some big successes. Where was your greatest success? Was it in the pool? Was it in open water races or as a triathlete? Where do you think you were best as a swimmer?

Eney Jones
You know, I actually think that my success is that I still really enjoy it and I see people that I use to race with and they haven’t come gone anywhere near a pool or they don’t run or they don’t ride their bike, and I still really like all three disciplines so I wouldn’t say I had success, I mean I swim during the 1980’s which was the boutade of the US and it affected my life but it also made me realize that you can’t just live your life for a few minutes of time and then keep beating after that, so to me I think my greatest success is that I still love the sport and I still love swimming and there’s a lot to learn and it’s a great way to age.

Samuel Cook
Yeah, I know talking to Terry Laughlin of Total Immersion; he said he just enjoys it more and more as he gets older. It is a very kind sport to you and your body as you get older and actually many people get faster as they get older, you know.

Eney Jones
I wouldn’t say I except that to happen to me and many people get faster if they hadn’t been at really high level but I would really be surprised if I got faster, but the enjoyment definitely has gotten a lot higher.

Samuel Cook
So you don’t feel like swimming, you don’t go to the pool out of obligation. It’s much more out of just enjoying the sessions now.

Eney Jones
I’ve been enjoying the sessions but I’m also a great believer in discipline and hard work and I think swimming is one of those things you can do in your sleep, you can do in the dark, you can pretty much if you get yourself out there you can get it done. So I think that discipline has a big big part, you know, when you riding you have so many other factors and sometimes, you know, running you don’t have to worry about safety, and if you can find a pool or even open water and lot of things I do you don’t even have to be in a pool.

Samuel Cook
Well, so you said you did triathlon in the 80’s, what races you were mainly in?

Eney Jones
I have had done Kona 6 times and all 6 times I was the first woman out of the water. Usually the top 5 over all, they had a funny rule that if you weren’t top 15 or top 10 you didn’t get your swim time but my swim time still hold has the fastest but being in the early days of triathlon were phenomenal because all these people that are legends are just friends of mine. So growing up with that and having that be.., at that time it seems really abnormal to be doing triathlon but now everyone knows what they are and has done one, so I absolutely loved Kona because so many things can go wrong but guess what? So many things can go right too. So when Winnie said the other night, you know, if you fall down 7 times, you get up 8; I mean that’s a long race where like something happen and you just.., there’s a place between what happen and the stimulus and your response, you actually can create your reaction in that time.

Samuel Cook
Yeah there’s never going to be a race, especially when that long where you don’t have challenges or obstacles and figuring out how to get pass. It’s definitely one of the skills that you developed as an athlete.

Eney Jones
Yeah, and some of the skills that I work on are not only physical, there’re mental, there’re also different systems in your body, there are different ways to thinking, things that are actually tricking yourself to having good body position to make it faster, easier and also to use everything. Draft not only in the water but in the air too, there’re some many things that people don’t look at; where you can find some easy time.

Samuel Cook
Eney, you participated obviously in the most pressured field race in the triathlon 6 times and you were obviously very successful in your swims. I think there’s a funny story talking to Mark Allen who you obviously know from your days as an athlete and also a coach now and I said to Mark, you know when I first camp at Boulders last year I said, “Mark I like you to dress with the age group because I think lot of them struggle with this thing where they panic at the start of the swim and they hyperventilated and have a hard time getting into the water,” and Mark lean over to me and said, “Well so does the pros have the same problem.” Talk little a bit about the psychology of the start of the race and the nerves and how as a swimmer you could really get into this, because I had that problem in few of the races. I did when was racing and I had some very good start but how do you get people psychologically ready to start to the swim.

Eney Jones
There’s a few things going on that freak people out; the dark water, what type, wetsuits, being close to someone but I realize that you can work on one of the things and I’ll talk about this when we talk about Winnie, but working on different systems so when a bi-athlete is skating and then shooting, they manually drop their heart rate when they stop to shoot and that’s one of the things you can start working on in the swim, and so when the gun goes off rather than inhaling right away, if you’re alarm clock goes off you work on exhaling right away, so that you relax before you inhale, so you’re not starting to hyperventilating and getting really tight and then you also the first two hundred yards I’ll have people breathing through their mouth and then shut their mouth and slowly exhale through their noise just to get in a more rhythmic pattern.

So there is certain things you can do across the board, I also just have people float and just feel nurtured by the water and also realized really they pretty blessed and luck that these are their problem, that they get to do this but they’re having a problem in a race in Hawaii in their sphere times so you’re really really fortunate and its pretty much a first world problem and to realize that it’s a celebration any time you’re still racing with people, moving your body in a gorgeous place. It’s really a celebration of your fitness, of your training, of your being so taken that focus more internal and being grateful it’s a great way to work on that. I’m also a great believer in pasture so I don’t know if you saw recently the psychology today pasture where they talked about the superhero pasture and head stand like for two minutes it increases very soft work and their confidence goes up.

Samuel Cook
And you have your hands on your hips as you talking.

Eney Jones
Exactly, but I also teach super hero swimming with the lifted chest and it’s like a superhero taking off and it’s the same thing it open your chest. It’s like Eden Murk said, he wanted people to hinder the hips so they kept the diaphragm open, it’s like Roger Bannister breaking the tape, your diaphragm is open and people don’t realize swimming they have a tendency to clasp. When actually you really need that superhero pasture that stretch to the chest and then I called it superhero dropping the cell phone cause soon as he taken off you’re still stretch but he’s dropping that hand down.

Samuel Cook
So that’s the hand entering the water.

Eney Jones
Yes, that’s the hand entering the water

Samuel Cook
So have you had athletes coming to you with that problem at the beginning of the swim and you show them how to do that?

Eney Jones
Oh and actually some of them, one of them was Erin. So I worked with Erin and sometimes
Erin Carson and she was an Olympian basketball player but you realized there’re so many things you don’t have control of but I have people started to look at what they do have control of like you can stop, you can roll over, you can go faster, you can slower, you can drop your heart rate, you can manually drop your breathing, you don’t have to stay in the mix and the punch up, and I try to get people on land. If somebody is bothering you on land, they’re going to bother you in the water. Sometimes for me I much rather swim 50 extra yards just to have my freedom and personal space, but with that being said I always tell people to work strengths because I called it Chinese takeout. That first part of the race it goes and you got to get in there and then relaxed into it, so you do have to work on sprinting. You don’t just get into the water and swim every day; you really need to change things up.

Samuel Cook
So you need to work on your first 200 yards and get really fast and build your high end speed.

Eney Jones
And then settle in to that speed. Get into that easy speed where you go okay I’m where I want to be now I can relax, I can settle, I can manipulate myself and put myself in a place that I like, but everyone has it. I did a race rock water swim which is the race they took the ironman swim for and they have a cannon that goes off shore and we run to the water and then you go through a cut in the coral and some young 17 or 18 Australian guys zip lined me, where they grab your foot and actually pull you under and then the group is swimming over your back and that was one of the first moment I thought, wow I understand people panic because so many people were swimming above me I didn’t know how to get up, where to get up. And that’s that thing where you have to work on, that was your stimulus then you have a choice to work on your response. You don’t just react and we have that tendency to just react. One of the last days at the camp here we work on the B formation and the reason I like that for drafting is, yes you study birds, you draft on the hips but they also find that birds sink their wings so there’s actually uplift in air draft and it’s the same thing swimming.

If you’re swimming with somebody on their hips and you sink with them, you actually practicing non-engagement, you getting almost a little air draft because the air is moving of all these people. So there’s different ways to think about things that are so away from the norm of a lot of times when you talk to different swimmers they’re saying the same thing and I’m like really. Because there’re other ways of doing things where you have more freedom and you can actually take more control, but it’s kind of like Thomas Jefferson said on the Bates, “believe in lot but the harder I work, the more I have of it.” So really the more prepared you are, the better your opportunities, and that’s things you to get yourself in a really good spot.

Samuel Cook
And that’s the old saying that I’ve always heard, lucky is preparation meeting opportunity

Eney Jones
And that’s Sonica, but it is true because you really need to be prepared because then you have more options and that’s what you want. You want as many options in the water as possible and you also really want to work on your poise and composure and that’s of stuff. And your pasture, you can work in day to day life. So I would actually work on your swimming right here, is work on stretching through the front, rowing is a good exercise that’s stretching through the diaphragm because as we get older we get more and more rounded, your diaphragm gets tighter and tighter, we sit, we drive, we fly for swimming you really need the opposite so

Samuel Cook
You lean the shoulders back

Eney Jones
You lean the shoulders back then stretch out chest and then what happen is you’re higher in the water and you talk about the differences between pool swimming and open water swimming. The pool swimmers they talked about pressing the T- pushing forward, but air is.., water is 800 times denser than air, so if you could be higher without any effort and that would be by lifting your chest, you are not sinking into the water, you’re actually higher in the air. So if you looked at really good open water swimmers and you’re in salt water or you’re in wet suit, you actually want to be higher, but not from your neck from your chest.

Samuel Cook
So you just brought up something interesting and this strikes me as working with Bobby McGee last week watching him with the runners and you were with the swimmers, and you just actually as we’re sitting here you had me lift my shoulders up because I was sitting there with runners’ pastures rather than swimmers pastures. So Booby when he was talking he wants people to kind of collapse and lean over for a bit for good forward line on the run, where as what you just showed me just leaning back for the swim.

Eney Jones
But does he have your chest open? Is it open in your diaphragm or you leaning with the stretch?

Samuel Cook
Well your shoulders are certainly rolled forward as Bobby says, “When you’re running for good centered gravity so you can fall over your feet,” but I don’t think he’ll have you collapse on your diaphragm, but he just don’t want your shoulders back where you want them.

Eney Jones
Well the reason of that the more movement you can have in your upper forearm the more reach you can have, the more drawing down you can have and we do get really tight in this area so then people.., it sounds really counter and too differ to be lifted and reach at the same time but you actually do want to be lifted.

Samuel Cook
Yeah and it’s what interesting and this would I observed about triathlon coaches, every different disciplines has its own pasture, its own body position, its own ideal body type. So the swimmer you really want that long torso and short legs and for the runner you really want the long legs. Yeah, I think there was a pet talk where the cannon marathon gold medalist Michael Phelps 8 inches different in height but has the same inseam with their pants, so there is different body type for runners, swimmers and even cyclist. So what you get to see as a swim coach is maybe someone is a really good triathlete but they don’t have the ideal body type for just being a pure swimmer, so how do you work with that?

Eney Jones
Will there be pool swim coaches that say, “Yeah distance foot strokes, stretch it out and Winnie, she’s not going to wake up tomorrow and be Miss Franklin. She’s not going to wake up with size 13 feet, so what she has that she can work with is tempo, an easy tempo where you get it right, you get it running but I actually work with split tempo and I trademark that myself because running and riding you’re dealing with the same element, but swimming you’re dealing with water and air. So you could actually slower and more deliberate under water and a little longer and then really take up tempo through the air through the recovery and change your recovery. So that’s one of the reason I work with seashells and sand dolls because it teaches people the difference between holding and being really deliberate underneath and then it drains through the air, so it teaching them to be faster on the top so it’s a different tempo.

Samuel Cook
So yeah talk about that, I saw you doing that during the camp with the athlete. You have them hold seashells while they were swimming, and why is that?

Eney Jones
So I went to the Bahamas and I was making salt dishes out of some conch shells and then I say get the little ones and I saw these little ones and I thought maybe I can make some little shells from them, and I went down and grab them and I put them in my hand and was swimming to the boat and what they do is they fill up underneath so you’re getting the power, you’re getting that feeling of really pressing the water back then they drain through the air, so it gives you that faster feeling through the air, so it was famous through with conch shell and a brisket scandal and my touches thing working with triathletes and runners and cyclists is they think they’re doing something and they see it on camera, but then how do you teach them how to feel it and these are where tech tools really come into play.

So one of them is my buoys, because you can change the buoyancy in it, you could put water in it, you can make it heavier, you can put water in the bottom which actually kind of stretches your soax keep the top, you can have it empty which increases your tempo, you can fill both of them which actually increase your temp or your strength, so that’s doing different things and these are just different tools where all of a sudden people could…, the other thing I use is rocks a lot, really good rocks because trying to get people there is more surface area in your forearms and your hands to get people to actually use their forearms cause we’re so proprioceptively connected to our hands that people feel as crave and trying to think hand but really want to think forearms. So those things could just get people to feel things really fast.

Samuel Cook
So what’s really.., and the rocks are probably more exaggerating version like the fist drill or some other

Eney Jones
They’re more exaggerating, but they are also heavier because if you get into a race like kona and kona always happen when the tide goes out and the tired goes back in which means the top put of the water is always moving. So you have to get down to that still water to get that depth and stay up at the same time and keep connected left to right, so you’re holding your line. So the rocks are really good because they get people to go, wow I can get down here without locking my elbow and just feeling what that is like. So they’re actually moving like that keeping the integrity of the catch. So I said swimming is like surfing and saucer dancing at the same time, that’s why it’s hard cause its had to do both things at the same time but that’s what you’re really doing, your surfing and you’re saucer dancing. And if you’re saucer dancing it actually keeps your hips up and your feet up so you’re able to kick and move at the waist.

Samuel Cook
And you were just talking about how kicking, so lots of people have a problem with their hip sinking, how do you work on that in your swim strokes?

Eney Jones
I actually first I start working I lift the chest then I start working with their navel. They force on their navel and go 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock while their swimming so even right now I’m sitting in this swiveling office chair and this is why I said a lot of the stuff you can do at work, my chest is staying and this is very different from the Terry stuff cause he ask you why, but there is more power in your leg. You can stay like this, but then to get this out of the way with the swivel not only does it get my hip out the way, it lengthen my strokes in the back, but then also I can fan my feet so it keeps my feet up, so you actually working your body from the waist down.

One of the things I had them on also the swivel board to teach them to finish their strokes and get their heads out the way and that are also a little different than some people had even though you want to keep it still, but you want to use everything you can. The more you can activate and get this thing out the way the easier your body position is. Yes there’re some hard ways to do it, you can do a 6 feet kick to get good body position, that’s a ton of energy and you’re going to need your legs later, and that’s what Winnie working on. How do you have easy speed? So you can get out and have your fastest run, you can get out and have your fastest ride and so out of that is manipulating your body and working with the things you have. She has great pasture; she has great tempo and then also working with kind of things like positioning, placement and staying aware, which is also easier to do if you’re higher in the water.

Samuel Cook
So really, you’re probably coach the two big athletes when they’re not in the strength of the beginning or…,

Eney Jones
No, actually it’s more like a two beat cross over, and it’s kind of coming back and it’s natural for a lot of people, but with some triathletes are so tight in their I.T.B.S they almost goes kick kick out but then that shorten their strokes. So to turn a crossover kick, I’ll have people with fins and these are my favorite fins, the DMC fins because they are super heavy, but I’ll have them doing vertical kicking and the d-bend swiveling at the waist to kind of almost learn that cross over, so when I coach I coach in a very different way. People do pull sets, I’ll put and not pull pull not pull, cause you want to check your body to having the best position ever, so you want to when you’re not pulling, it go well pulling felt so good, how do I feel that again. Same with kicking, you all have people do it good 2 beat kick, 2 beat crossover, 4 beat kick 4 beat crossover just so they learn different movement even doing breast stroke with dolphin kick to lift their strength and stretch through their soax cause so many cyclist and runners are locked in their ITBS and their hip flexors, and it’s really important to get those moving. I mean not only for racing but for long gravidity, life and movement.

Samuel Cook
Well you brought up a lot of I think very specific things and as we’re talking, you’re demonstrating so of the stuff which the athletes can’t see but luckily we recorded a lot of your.., all of your coaching at the camp so we’ll be able to give people who are interested in some of these opportunity to see Eney in these specific drills in the videos we did from the camp, but let’s talk a little bit about open water swimming as opposed to pool swimming. I think a lot of triathletes don’t get a chance, or don’t make the time or don’t have the water near them to practice open water like here in Boulder. There’s three good months out of the year when you could do open water swimming in the reservoir. How do you stimulate in the pool for those athletes that can’t do open water swimming regularly? How do you teach open water skills because you went from beginning a courageous swimmer, very high able courageous swimmer to transiting that skill in open water and lot of people don’t have that success in open water after they been really good pool swimmers.

Eney Jones
And that’s come back to actually, I equated a lot to golf like if you’re on the edge of the green, you can use a pitching wedge, you can do it, you can use a sand wedge; people never think about changing their strokes in swimming and I’ll look at things for my swimmers in open water and go, “hey there’s a lot of wind lower your recovery or hey it’s a flat lake go ahead and do your pool swim, stretch it out but learning to change your body position is actually really providable and that’s where using tools in a pool and also doing different kind of drills and I use things like cables or tedders where they actually pulling somebody on your ankles, so they’re actually really learning how to pull and then the person in the back is holding on to the ankles learning kind of that letting go and recovery and not being able to control the environment which happens in open water, that relaxation because you really need to be engage and relax at the same time.

I always say that open water swimming is this academy because you have to be relaxed and you have to be aware, you have to be fast but it has to be easy. You have to have a good tempo because that will help you hold your line and you can really be reaching in the front diving in the back and have it be easy. So there’s drill that people can do in a pool, you don’t have to always have open water. With that being said I do tell people to collect experiences because when you go to open water here at triathlon, every race your biggest goal should be to collect experience because I can give you all my knowledge and things that I’ve gone through and you can help somebody but you need to start collecting your own experiences and things that work for you and things you liked and how you actually transcend and recover in a race. So that’s where sometimes your worst races can be your best races because you learn what not to do or what can happen or what you never want happen again.

So as a learning experience it’s really good, so the other thing to do is to mix it up enough in the pool so you’re actually using a lot of your body and that being said there still times in the pool where there’s a lot of people and that’s open water experience. We’ll get people sometimes that want their own lane but then they go; I went to triathlon and somebody was touching me, so it’s like well get yourself in the mix but then actually to protect yourself in the mix and realize what you can do.

Samuel Cook
Yeah I think one of the things, we saw you do in the camp was putting four or five people on lane and teach them how to swim in very confine environment together it’s not so bad, you know when you do in a pool when you can see that can teach you, you know not to be scared to situation when you’re in the dark water were can’t see anyone around you.

Eney Jones
Exactly! And Synchronicity is really important because if you’re clipping somebody every stroke, stop for just that second and get in rhythm with, like rhythm is so important not like your own rhythm but the rhythm of the people around you, so the more you can not engaged with people the better it is. It’s like when somebody catch you up in traffic the worst thing you can do in respond and that’s way in the open water, if somebody more than likely they didn’t do it on purpose, but it’s going to happen. So how do you find your own reboot button you know either by dropping your heart rate or exhaling or moving a little bit over or trying to sync your arms stroke so your not clipping somebody, or if you’re behind somebody and you’re hitting them just getting yourself a little bit out to the side going to get around this person and that’s where I talk about that heightened awareness because in pulley or in a totally control environment and you can’t let yourself go or put yourself out of comfort zone swim with some old ladies, swim with some kids.
You know swim is some slow people so that you’re constantly passing them, you know every fourth line everybody always trying to get in the same line that everybody in the same speed but really for the open water I lap because now I do some races and they have me in the back of the race because I’m a 54 year old woman and the whole time I’m swimming over people going wow, why they did not put in time but that’s thing going, why don’t I like this because I can’t let go you know and I can’t pull back. So when I’m swimming in a pool you can checkout and that is the same thing as a long distance runner. You know on a bike you have to have that heightened awareness so that’s where I call a lot of these transference because the heightened awareness you have on your bike, you need to have that in open water.

Samuel Cook
Yeah! that’s a great point about you have to come from behind on the swim, you probably getting out with the front pack age grouper on most of your races and must be pretty interesting for them to see you swim by or swim over them.

Eney Jones
And it makes you miss racing pro and women used to swim with the man because I personally use to like that because there would be people to swim less, you know having that space at the front is really really nice, but that being said as a teacher and a coach starting the race at the back of the race has help me realize what people are dealing with? and how they have to overcome? and what their options are? And what kind of skills can they do? You know working their sprints to get away from somebody or learning to just work to your composure and go a little bit to the side and find your rhythm and your space again.

Samuel Cook
Yes. So you’ve really – and you’re just talking about Kona, so the the men and women use to start at the same time in Kona?

Eney Jones
Yeah! And I actually really love that because you know you always knew all there’s Mark, there’s Dave, you know who you could line up with, who started together and actually some of the early races I did everybody started it together. You knew the front line people.

Samuel Cook
Yeah! Where do you usually fall on that pack?

Eney Jones
Usually top 5, always first woman but usually sometimes Rob Knuckle will be the ahead of me or Wolfgang, or even Mark, but it’s always the same group of 3 or 5 of us. And there were races like St. Croix, where they had 25 hundred dollars swim and in that race I have definitely would have 6ft kick coming out to the water and those are those things you don’t want to lose those activation point. You still want to do kicks set because if you want to get away from somebody it’s really easy speed, it’s hard to maintain for 2.4 you know absolutely, but one the things that the campers learned here was watching serious squad and all that different styles and the speed and how they did things with not only serious enthusiasm but the tools and the technique that they use, they use the buoy they use bands or string, you know they tie a towel to the band even for to make it heavier when you’re pulling, so it increases strength that much more.
So there’s ways to work your swim in the pool that really help in open water and there’s people that go but I need to get an open water, that’s true but sometimes you live in a place like Boulder, Colorado, you’re just like a mermaid and you’re I really like, I really want to but that being said I want to live in a creek here and there’s times in the end of June beginning of July you can swim in place so you can tie yourself up by either using a different apparatus in the pool to actually get that open water experience and long pulls open and the lakes will start opening in the next month.

Samuel Cook
Yeah! So Eney you had a – you’ve been working with Mirinda Carfrae few time in World Champion for a while now, explain to me how that relationship started and what you’ve been able to help her with and how you’ve seen her grow as a triathlete over the last few years.

Eney Jones
I actually reached out to her because I’m a big believer and transference, I call it not really cross training but crossknowledge. If your body knows how to do one discipline really well it can learn how to do the other discipline, so I actually had her start coming to rally and I was really – when she first came in Boulder, Siri was really protective because Boulder can be very intense with all the athletes and triathletes and really has this grace and this presence, and the strength that’s just amazing. She can walk through a crowd and smile and being engaging and it’s really beautiful and powerful to see.

So when I starting working with her here, I loved some of her own personal principles. One, she never did any struck changes during season and I’m like, ” That is so smart, it’s phenomenal!” Because I get people that say, “Hey I have race next week, can you look at my stroke?” and really you can get out with a bad stroke, your shoulders might get hurt later and you might reach the point you might not get any faster, but I love that she held to her own principes and she didn’t want to do stroke work during season because your training during season but off season she was very opened to different things.

So one year she was going back to Australia, and being from Australia she never surfed and I said you know with T.O just go out and get on the surfboard and paddle, get in your lats, lift up here, get feeling what that feels like using your forearms and your lats getting strong in that stretched position through your diaphragm, and she did that. And then next year we were working on her autonomic nervous system a little and so all people usually thinking about it as their muscles and their training and your autonomic system is your breathing and you heart rate and you manually learn to drop those things. Yeah! you can and you do it through focus and through intent, so she was getting married up in double stump the ranch which is interesting because that is where I got married way years before, but she actually went skate skiing which is a very very hard anaerobic activity and then she would shoot, you know to just experience it and I’ll do sometimes things when I coach high schoolers will swim and play darts and they think were goofing around but between sets, if you’re stopping and focusing you can have a high heart rate when you’re shooting a dart, so you start to combine.

That’s why I said she was open to looking at some of these things, not just about the classic way, into me some of my – if you ask me about my best races, some of my best races are when I get beat by a hundred of seconds to go. Wow! I need to look for something really obscure that no one else is doing that will help me just get that little bit more. And so she’s been so enjoyable to work with not only on a personal level but to watch how she deals with it’s fame in Boulder when she walks to the club here or to the grocery store, it’s like Dustin Hoffman walking through Fred Seigle’s in LA. I mean people point, people stare, people come up and ask can if they can go on a bike ride with her and she’s always very she’s very positive, and she moves through things with such a beauty and grace that it’s nice to watch.

So I really enjoyed working with her that she’ll work in the off season and then take things a step further to look for those you know not leaving any rock and turn like what do you think I can do with it. So sometimes it’s not always about getting that faster time, faster time come absolutely and that happens a lot through training but with your technique you can get lot of easier speed, you can get relaxed and you can also start working with a lot of mind stuff because it comes up in open water. And to me, one of my worst experience was a plastic bag in La Joya that I thought was something terrible. And one of my best experiences was I had a shark rolling into me in the surf line and I thought I was Wendy Ingram, so I wasn’t freaking out but it shows you the power of your mind to realize if you’re a good mental space you can almost handle everything.

So your thing is find your reboot button, How do you do drills? How do you drop your heart rate? How do you – do you count you know Mark Allen was a big counter to be able to let go and focus. How you work on focusing? And those things are really important in open water because there are some things in open water that aren’t going to get you on a bike ride, you know aren’t going to get you on when you’re running, so those things are becoming really important but sometimes your fears are really bigger than those things. So how do you tame your fears, and it’s really important.

Samuel Cook
Yeah, I think the nerves that people get at the beginning of the race get tested – your ability to handle that is you know in the water with a 2nd or 3rd discipline, your people be in their flow and it wouldn’t be or maybe is nerve racking to get into the water, but when everyone’s stood in the beginning and you’ve been cold and getting ready…

Eney Jones
And sometimes they don’t allow warm ups so you have to get yourself ready and activated in a best physical and mental space, and that being said race directors early on talked about putting the swim last, but then you’ve been dealing with dust and people falling apart I know like finish line thing so really safe becoming big factor and heightened awareness is really important to me because safety is a factor, so I want people to be higher in the water because I want them to see people, to see any kind of race changes to see any kind of animal that can be coming at you. You do need to have your awareness height, but you need to have your awareness heightened and then actually have your relaxation just be able to drop into that and drop into the flow of it and that’s where things like yoga can help you because it just like swimming, stressful situation, exhaling before you respond and realizing why are you able to do these things that you’re able to do these things that most people can really only dream about. So when you look at Rene’s tag line “Live your Dream” that’s what it is, you’re living your dream. So to be able to experience that and relish on that should be enough for you to get yourself in a space that is enough for you to really experience it and enjoy it.

Samuel Cook
I love what you said at the beginning and you just came back to which is the problems you’re having in the open water swim as even life threatening or traumatic as it seems, your race results flashing before your eyes or even sometimes your own personal safety, it’s really not that bad and you’re doing something that you love that most people don’t have the time, money or the fitness to pursue and keep all the perspective and its great mental mindset to go in to the beginning of the race with I think it’s very easy to say and probably harder to do, something you have to train your athletes to do.

Eney Jones
Well! And I always look for people’s power sources. If a kid is really religious, that’s their power source but to me the biggest thing that helps me going to a race is a sense of reverence. Reverence from my fellow competitor, reverence for the race. Centering myself because so that you’d really respecting it, and when people say you shouldn’t fear the swim and I’m like when you should have some kind of fear but also the sense of reverence. So I have – have you ever seen a gladiators with white horse and a black horse and they’re standing up? and I’d say the black horses your fear and the white horses your hopes, so you really want to virtualize harnessing your hopes and your fears and let them carry you. Do you want to be scared? Absolutely! because otherwise you wouldn’t be aware and do you want to be hopeful? Absolutely! because that’s why you’re doing it to able to harness your fear and your hope together and let that energy take you, you’re longing for the ride, so get yourself in that position where you’re getting it together, you’re acknowledging you’re scared, and you’re hopeful, and you’re going for it.

Samuel Cook
I love that constrict and I think that anyone who you know says they’re not afraid is probably lying to you at beginning and trying to – instead of saying you’re not afraid or that you’re fearless it’s the people who being brave is not a lack of fear, that is foolishness. Bravery is being able to face your fears and not giving into it, you know putting hope next to fear is a great idea for people to do that.

Eney Jones
And you can also take it to the night before because in the 1700’s they use some – have you heard the saying, “That really gets my goat?”

Samuel Cook
Yeah!

Eney Jones
Do you know where that’s from?

Samuel Cook
No!

Eney Jones
So what happen is horses are just like triathletes, the night before race they’re all heat up, and what they found is that they used to put a goat in a stall with the horse and it would really calm them the night before, so the horse would sleep a little bit better, it will be little more center, it will be a little more rested. The people you should go around the night before and steal the goats from the stalls so we realize like what is your goat? Whether it’s your family, whether it’s your coach, whether it’s keeping to your same team, whether you’re just feeling unlucky because you got to do this and see great places and meet new people to actually find your goat the night before to go. Ok! I’m centered, I’m relaxed and then – and really protect your goat not let anybody take it from you.

Samuel Cook
Yeah! And the other thing that you just brought up which is really interesting was talking about Rene who’s definitely you know well known in many circles especially any triathlete knows about her, but you know not like some A-list hollywood star but in Boulder obviously very well known and seeing the way that she operates and watching her last week at the camp with all the athletes, she was so genuine and so over just wanted to expose yourself as much as possible and take pictures of all the athletes. I think that was really interesting to see because not all champions are pro’s or that way, and it’s really refreshing to see someone has been that successful still stay grounded and really want to connect and give back.

Eney Jones
And she’s very authentic and really genuine and you’ll even watch her in a club when somebody stops her and workout and it’s annoying yes, but she doesn’t freak out she really has one of the highest composure pieces I’ve ever seen you know, not only in the race but to be able to navigate through all the things that annoy you in life and I think that part of it is just great sense of humor, and that’s where you start looking at the things you have to dissipate stress and those – she posted a picture today of a shirt she shrunk of Tim’s and said, “I never promised to be a great house wife.” but it was so funny because he put the shirt on and it came to like here.

So to be able to use your sense of humor, but also even by giving back before it’s time. It’s easy to get back when you’re not in the sport anymore and you have time but to be able to do what she’s doing and at the same time give back and help for even you know the foundations that she believes in, world bike belief and her time is also the hardest thing she has but she’s very giving of her time and you saw in the camp last week but I see it on a daily basis and she’s very grounded, very genuine and it’s really refreshing to see.

Samuel Cook
Yeah. Well talk a little bit you know, we had this camp and you were working with athletes 1 on 1 at the camp or really in small groups you had a of 8 athletes. Just talk a little bit about you know – I said hey, here’s 8 athletes you got 4 hours go make them better swimmers in the best way that you can. Talk a little bit about the sessions, what you talk to them about, and how you work on them 1 on 1. Just kind of describe that’s that people get a sense of how you brought some of these athletes to the different place. I know a lot of them have been emailing you on what to do.

Eney Jones
Yes! I’m just reading an email right now and I’ll read part of it to you it said, “The camp was an awesome experience and I learned a lot everyone at Rally sports we interacted with was very dynamic, engaging and extremely motivating. It’s clear to see why you are developing champion, your teaching style is very unique and creative and I found the teaching is the right way to engage and motivate your students and not everybody gets it the same way and you were able to hit many different ways. When I got back to my local pool, one of the lifeguards who’s the master swimmer commented how much better my stroke looked. I shared my experience with you and he was really impressed and has been looking up all your stuff. Thanks again for all your efforts on a long hours you put in with us, it was much appreciated.”

One of the things I work with after talking to Siri was really using two rolls to have them learn to feel. So that being said Rebekah Key worked with them in a workout. She had them using any buoy, she had them using any bands. I had them using rocks and konks and sandalers. We also worked and we talked to them a little bit about posture then a little bit about hand speed and then combination of the surfing and salsa and doing that at the same time. Is it different in anything out there? Absolutely! but it’s a very much of a snow boarding curve. I worked with Aaron just in the club a few years ago and really when people swim it usually takes them forever to learn to swim. And somehow as bizarre as some of this stuff is, it’s been able to take people from beginner novice to actually really competent on short period of time and even when this man that wrote in, he’s felt like change just a few sessions, but as a teacher and an educator I do try to visually have people see something and I’ll try different ways to teach because not everybody learns in the same way and we could both say the same thing and they might hear you and not me. So lot of times the tools are the best way for them to experience it and go, “Wow! Not only it is easier, but it’s a lot faster and then when they get stronger, it’ll be even more faster.

Samuel Cook
Yeah and that is great to see I know that you spoke for about an hour and a half at the beginning which we tape this all and how you talk about swimming and your philosophy and different things with them to think about, and that’s what I loved about the way you did it was there is some theory and some mindset things, but then what’s going to pull and put it in the right action because until you feel that it’s doesn’t really sync in. Theory has to be followed by application and that tactile experience of doing something, but I think the fear at the beginning people – tons of triathlete some of them don’t want to know why but lot of them very inquisitive and smart people want to know why they’re doing something before they do it, but you have to get them ready for that mental shift and the different ways you want to know about them.

Eney Jones
And some of them searching, some of them has tried something and they’re like my shoulders or I have flat towed, what would be my next step? And that’s where you do take them do some account of types because having a long tour of some long swim span you can swim you know differently and then somebody that’s very small.

Samuel Cook
Yeah Definitely! Well Eney, there’s really awesome experiences. Great to see all the athletes on behalf of all athletes who came to the camp, thank you for giving them really a master class in how to think about swimming, and especially open water swimming and then also I really enjoyed just listening to you talk about the mindset around swimming, because that is the most emotional part of the race because it is at beginning and then you know a lot of triathletes aren’t native to the water as a swimmer, to put their life in the water or is I think it’s great to hear your insight on that.

Eney Jones
It is solitary confinement, so it can be either be the best experience or the worst experience and that’s where swimming you really do need to get more into your internal dialogue, What are you thinking? What are you saying to yourself? Because in everything else you can dissipate it. If somebody passes you on land, you can say something but the water you’re dealing with the 2×4 in between your heads really need to control and regulate not only your thoughts but also your

Samuel Cook
Yeah! Well thank you again Eney for joining us and I know that all the listeners are definitely going to get a lot of this, and thank you triathlon research listeners for taking this time to invest in your education and understand not only you might have started listening to this to understand maybe some tips on how to swim better, but leaving with much more in terms of how to approach swimming and triathlon and life. I think the great thing about triathlon is it gives you a safe place to experiment with yourself in ways it can help you in the rest of the sports in the rest of your life. So thank you again for joining us and I look forward to having you join us for the next episode, Iif you haven’t already done. So make sure you download Triathlon Research on iTunes so that you get notified on the next episode in your sleep and make sure you have done so go to our website and enter your email in so you also get an emails notifying you about this episode as it comes out. So thanks again.

Eney Jones
Thank you!

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