Friday, November 20, 2015

Freakin' A Friday!! 003: It Burns!

You're at the pool enjoying a tough, but successful swim set. 

Half way through the main set, you're feeling accomplished and pumped to finish if off strong. 

Then all of a sudden you want nothing more than to turn this into a hypoxic set and stop breathing all together.

OMG!!  What is that?!

The lady who recently finished (and thankfully left an open lane for you to take over), must have hopped into the shower.  With every breathe you are gulping in fumes of the strongest fragrance of a body wash/shampoo known to man!! 

Ohhh!  It burns!!  
How is that not eating away at her skin right now?

But because your are a triathlete (read: Type A personality), you finish off your workout anyways. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

Freakin' A Friday!! 002: Beep! Beep!

The following was a flow chart I found posted on Facebook for helping motorists understand when it is okay to honk at cyclists.

It is simple and to the point.  DON'T HONK!  I don't care if you're a moped or a semi-truck (I've had them both honk at me).  I've had the long "OMG, get out of the way" honk and the quick double tap "Excuse me, but could you move over a bit more?" honk.  No matter the intention, it only does one thing; scares the heck out of me!  It is neither helpful nor safe.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Freakin' A Friday!! 001: Maintenance Ruins It All

Your whole day is planned; before sunrise to well past sun down.  Everything will fit perfectly as long as nothing slips. You get through work.  You get through scheduled errands.  And with the 90 minutes you scheduled for your 60 minute workout, you rush to the gym and arrive 15 minutes behind schedule (now down to a 15 minutes of wiggle room), to find the following sign...

The pool will temporarily be closed for maintenance.

"Ohhhh...  No worries" the attendant says.  "It should be done in an hour or two.  Just give us a call."  He is clearly not aware of your evening schedule!  Of course, the only other option is a 15 minute one-way drive and putting me in rush hour traffic.  Ugh!!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Triathlon Research Coaching Clinic - Day #3

Day #3 at the Triathlon Research coaching clinic was (sorry Lance)... "all about the BIKE!"  We were led by Shane Eversfield of Zendurance Cycling.  Shane is an ultra endurance athlete (many Ironmans, the only person to do an Ironman with Power Cranks, has done a triple Ironman, ultra marathoner, and plenty more!), a Total Immersion coach, owns Zendurance Cycling, and does it all from the central principle of Zen and being more in touch with your own body than any parameter that gadgets can measure.

However, before we started with the bike, a group of us went for an open water swim.  Up at 5a to leave at 5:15a!  You can tell we all look wide awake!

We arrived to the swim site and it was still quite dark when we signed in.

The sun was j-u-s-t coming up as we went out into the water to start.  And it had risen over the trees by the time we finished.

To one side we had the sunrise.  To the other, we had the mountains.  Gorgeous!!


Back at the hotel, we got a quick breakfast and headed into the conference room for an overview of the bike.  Today was going to be a lot of outdoor work, but we had to go over the basics and set up what we were going to do later.

In the morning session, we went out into the parking lot and worked on a number of tips and drills.
  • Athletic Pose
  • Cycling Dilemma
  • Saddle Silence
  • Single Leg Drills
  • Double Leg Drills
  • Turns
  • Slaloming

Then in continuing with our coaching education, we broke into groups and rotated through the above points teaching one another as if we were running our own clinic; making assessments, adjustments, going through cues and helpful tips. 

When we were done, we rode over to the eNRG Performance Lab for lunch thanks to Chef Adam and Kelsey.  Delicious yet again!

Inside, Shane continued going over topics concerning the bike. 

We then headed out to give some practical feel to the ideas we just learned.

In the Ken-Caryl Valley, we worked on hill repeats.  We focused on the athletic pose, saddle silence, body alignment and positioning, adjustments to position to address muscular changes, and methods of climbing.  Not only did the elevation have our heart rates spiking, but the repeats were tough thanks to the expertise of Bob Seebohar picking the locations.

After the second session, we had roughly 2 hours before dinner.  My training schedule listed a 75 minute building long run.  I fully admit that I was nervous about this workout at altitude, but I headed out anyways to see what would happen.  I also did an experiment and took a packet of Generation UCAN, a complex carbohydrate source, before the run.  It turned out to keep me plenty energized.  If only it alleviated the affects of altitude. 

I headed out through the Ken-Caryl Valley...

Took a turn off the roads onto the Coyote Song Trail in the South Valley Park...

And quickly discovered that it was both beautiful and rather hilly!  These were not the types of "trails" I'm used to in CT.

Littleton, Colorado

Simsbury, Connecticut

At the end of the trail, I found a warnings posting of Rattlesnakes.  Good thing I don't run with headphones.  

I can't say I hit my run targets on that run (I did while going downhill!), but it was good to get out for the run.  It also solidified some of the points from earlier in the day and yesterday concerning focusing on the neural system instead of the metabolic and/or mental systems. 

Things are already getting put to use!

It wouldn't be Coaching without some homework.

Before bed, we had another opportunity to put the material to use - two homework assignments.  The first was an analysis of our run weaknesses, what the root cause was, how to address it, and our perspective on the video analysis software.  The second was a similar analysis of our own and our partner's bike weaknesses, the root cause, and how to address it.  As always, the more we can repeat the analysis methods and receive feedback from other coaches, the better we can be.


1.  Do you run on trails, road, or both?

2.  Do you have any specific weakness or strength on the bike?  

3.  How in tune with your own body do you feel you are?  Can it be improved?  How can you work on it?


Triathlon Research Coaching Camp - Day #2

Welcome to Day #2; the run!  As always, it started out with breakfast.  Bob Seebohar (founder of "Metabolic Efficiency") may not approve much of the options, but he at least provided us guidelines of how to make the best choice with the options provided.  If only they could get more hard-boiled eggs!

Then we headed to the hotel conference room to go over an overview of the run.

Off to the South Valley Park in the Ken-Caryl Valley. 

Reem Jishi, who has worked extensively with Bobby McGee, took us through a number of activation exercises and running drills.  As coaches, we paired up and retaught our partners as if they were our athletes.  This is by far the best part of camp; the practical application of the skills and getting experience with different types of athletes (we're all different) along with getting input from everyone else at the same time.

We also took videos of everyone's run so that we could analyze them later in the day as well as get used to how to video tape and some of the software that is available out there.  

The Ken-Caryl Valley was a beautiful backdrop to our morning.

Back at the eNRG Performance Lab, we had yet another delicious meal.  The food is beyond amazing and all in line with the Bob's Metabolic Efficiency principles.  I would switch right now if I could have these meals every day! 

Our afternoon session involved analyzing our videos from the morning run.  We went through what to look at, how to identify weaknesses, how to show our athletes, and how to address their weaknesses.

Before dinner, I headed out for a bike ride through the Ken-Caryl Valley and snapped a number of pictures.  I think it's easy to see that I love scenery photos and the mountains!

The wind REALLY picked up on my final interval.  Once I got back into the Ken-Caryl Valley, I saw why the wind had picked up.  RAIN!  I even saw lightning.  I ended up with an extra interval trying to get back to the hotel before the weather got to me.

But you can't go out with the required selfie.

Back at the hotel, dinner was served!  Each meal seems to outdo the last. It's incredible!  Chef Adam is amazing.

Day #2 was an incredibly in depth view of the run, drills, and analyzing methods.  They left us quite well prepared to go home and coordinate a run clinic as well as how to identify weaknesses in our athletes to address.

Homework time!

Tonight, we had to perform an interview and assessment of a partner's food log based on a recall from Sunday, the day on which most of us traveled.  After obtaining the meal timing, what they ate, and why they ate it, we were required to assess what and why they ate.  While I am by no means a dietitian, it was eye opening to really pick apart not only WHAT my partner ate, but the WHY.  With Bob's guidelines for nutritional advice, the question of why became much more important in coming up with our comments and suggestions.

Wednesday is the bike!


1.  Do you do any run drills regularly?

2.  Have you ever attended a run clinic?

3.  What is the most beautiful place you've ever trained in?


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Triathlon Research - Coaching Clinic Day #1

Hello again from the foothills of the Colorado Rockies!

I am back in Colorado for Triathlon Research's coaching certification clinic in Denver.  This program is an intensive six days of instruction; unheard of in the realm of sports certification and education.  Day one was yesterday (Monday) and this week is shaping up to be quite packed with information.  Having completed my USAT Level 1 certification course the Friday and Saturday prior, it is going to be a rather information packed week altogether.

We began Day #1 with breakfast at the Hampton Inn and then moved to the conference room for our morning session, Exercise Physiology and Athlete Monitoring.

The session was led by Bob Seebohar from the eNRG Performance Lab, who is an incredible presenter and very well versed exercise physiologist and sports dietitian.  He began by pulling us outdoors where we got a visual example of what coaching vs. writing training plans was.  He also put three coaches on the spot to put us through a warm up.  Great experience!

 Back inside, we went over 4 hours of exercise physiology and athlete monitoring including testing methods, when to test, what use testing has, what use monitoring your athlete plays in their progress and your business, and so much more.

For lunch, eNRG performance chef Adam (chef, sports dietitian, and culinary professor and Johnson & Wales) made us food specifically based on the Metabolic Efficiency principles

Our afternoon session was inside the eNRG performance lab and covered nutrition.  You can tell that Bob would go on for DAYS without getting bored.  His passion for the subject is incredible!

Dinner was back at the hotel.  Chef Adam grilled salmon on the back porch along with various salads; again based on the metabolic efficiency principles.

At the last moment, we were offered the opportunity to get in a local pool for open swim.  Five of us jumped on it.  The Foothills Park & Recreation District is an INCREDIBLE facility!  I am excited to get back in later this week for the swim portion of the week.

You also cannot be in this area without looking in awe at the beautiful Colorado Rockies!  What a beautiful back drop to the week.

Today is the run; a morning lecture and afternoon activity session.  I can't wait!


1.  What certifications have you earned and how did they relate to six full days of instruction?

2.  Where would your ideal location be to have your next certification?  Would it be tropical, mountainous, or remote?
I love the mountain back drop!  ...not so much the altitude acclimation.