Monday, February 12, 2018

USMS Certified Coach

I attended the Level 1 and 2 certification course in Austin this year. The course was structured as a 1-day event and hosted by three of the top professionals in the industry.

During the morning session, we covered topics relating to the mindset of a coach and adult learner, coaching triathletes, and writing workouts. The afternoon session was focused on stroke progressions and technique, starts/turns/transitions, and drills. 

There were over 30 coaches in the room that ranged from triathlon coaches, swim coaches, and swimmers that want to eventually coach on deck. The group was cohesive and open to sharing experiences.

Although I have been coaching swimmers for many years, I enjoy building my toolkit and earning additional recognition in the sport. The feeling when you see a swimmer make progress is amazing and I truly LOVE being a coach!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Put Your Mask on FIRST

As many in my area are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we have lots of emotions about the recovery effort. Those that were spared the flood damage suffer from "survivors guilt" and the communities hit hard have a sense of "death" for the life that had. As we wake up each morning prepared to muck out homes, deliver meals, wash clothes, and rebuild our city it is easy to become consumed with the effort ahead. 

A recent plane trip comes to mind....when in a stressful situation, put your own mask on FIRST. 

It's easy to feel guilty for taking the time to exercise, relax, enjoy a healthy meal, etc. You need to take care of yourself so that you can be your best self for others.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Are you working out too much?

Have you noticed that your workouts feel harder than before or that the results of harder intensities aren't creating change? Do you feel like you are constantly battling uphill to get results? If so, you may be overdoing it.

Many of us continue to workout more often and at higher intensities to get RESULTS! But that is not always true. Your body may still run into problems even if you gradually increase intensity and duration/frequency of your workouts. 

The idea of over-training is simple. You aren't getting enough rest to allow your body time to recover, or you are repeating the same exercises expecting different results (sounds like INSANITY).

Below are some common symptoms of over-training:
  • High resting heart rate
  • Decrease in performance
  • Insomnia
  • Body aches and soreness
  • Headaches  
If you have been over-training, it’s not too late to get back on track! Follow these three steps:

1. Your first priority should be rest. Just a day or two probably won’t do it. Depending on how severely you’ve been pushing yourself, three to five days should give your body enough time to recover—both physically and mentally.

2. Eat a balanced diet. Focus on getting adequate amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates and lots of colorful fruits and vegetables.

3. When you are ready to return to your exercise routine, start off slowly. Most research shows that it is okay to return to that same level of intensity, but you may need to cut back on the length and frequency of your workouts for the next few weeks. After that, you should be able to resume normal activities.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Are you the right client for me?

Triathlete looks for a coach but doesn't know WHAT they want. Triathlete talks to friends and social media (btw, everyone LOVES their coach). Triathlete HIRES a coach but feels to intimidated to ASK for what they want and need. Triathlete continues to PAY a coach who is not providing them with the information and skills that they want. Triathlete finishes season but doesn't feel SUCCESSFUL.

I often focus on teaching clients to ask themselves questions to determine what they are looking for in a coach. BUT as a coach, I'm looking for traits that make YOU a compatible client too. All coaches want their clients to be successful but many coaches are stretched thin with a long list of clients to serve. I select clients based on our ability to work together because I VALUE their commitment. My list of WANTS is short. 
  1. Consistency and Motivation
  2. Honesty (regarding availability, reasons for missing workouts, and workout results)
  3. No Frills (I don't do kits, tents, cheer squads, etc)
My goal in coaching is to provide an INDIVIDUAL and PROFESSIONAL plan for each client. I pride myself in providing HONEST feedback and PERSONAL attention to each client. I keep my roster short so that I have the resources to continually CHANGE and provide ONE-on-ONE assistance as needed. I hope to EDUCATE triathletes regarding skills, training periodization, injury prevention, strength development, and efficiency. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Support Your Local Bike Shop

We live in a society where it is easy to compare prices and expect to receive goods/services quickly. I recently upgraded my bike with pedals for power at the bargain price of about $1200. Yes, I could have saved a few hundred dollars by purchasing through the internet but I chose to shop at my local bike shop. I knew the shop would be installing the equipment and I trusted them to take care of my bike.

After a couple of months of frustration due to reliability of connection, I decided that I didn't want the pedals. I had visited the shop several times to trouble shoot battery power and connectivity so they were familiar with my concerns. Because we had worked together, we were able to find a solution that included an exchange of the pedals for a hub based power meter.

I have been a loyal customer of my Local Bike Shop, LBS, since I started in triathlon in 2008. I have purchased bikes, received tune ups, and attended group rides and sponsored events. I continue to return because I NEED them to keep my bike in working order.  It's great to have a knowledgeable staff that is willing to listen to your issues, then work together to find a solution.

For those that purchase equipment and bikes then go to the LBS for fixes or warranty claims, shame on you. Why should the LBS show you loyalty and quick service when you didn't support them in the community?  Bottom line. When you support your LBS, you will receive friendship, knowledge, service, and maybe even enjoy a small discount for your loyalty!

Thanks to Northwest Cyclery and Jim Osbon for being my LBS and bike gurus!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Puerto Rico 70.3 Race Report 2017

March 20, 2017
Total Time. 6:30.37

Travel to San Juan. 
We flew direct on Southwest on Thursday evening. The airport was about 20 minutes from the host hotel, Hilton Caribe, where we stayed. 

Friday morning started with a practice swim in the lagoon. The water temperature was about 78 degrees and the lagoon doubles as a manatee sanctuary (we didn't see any). There was a current and some wind but nothing that seemed too strong. We attended the athlete briefing, led by the race director and head race official. Main discussion points included course maps, aid station contents, and a review of new rules. It's always nice to hear the highlights of the athlete guide but we also learned some tidbits that were useful (ie water bottles would likely not fit in bike cages, cobblestones on the run course could become slippery if it rains, etc). 

Swim. 38.01
The swim start was about .5 miles from transition. It was a water start with waves separated by 4 minutes. Buoys were on the right in a saltwater lagoon. During the athlete briefing, the race director mentioned that once swimmers passed the bridge, it would feel like an endless pool. After the practice swim that morning, I thought he was exaggerating. I quickly learned that I would have to work extra hard during that last 400 yards to the swim finish!
Bike. 3:13
My friend Pablo did the bike portion of the race. I ran about 1/2 mile from the swim finish to the transition to meet him. There was a tent in transition for relay teams to exchange the timing chip. The 2-loop course was windy and hot but mildly rolling hills. Pablo had a fl

at on the front wheel, near an aid station, where the mechanics quickly fixed it and he was back on the ride. He also dropped his chain, an issue that he thinks resulted from the rear derailleur getting bent during transport.

Run. 2:31
The run was a 2-loop course heading out to El Morro. The day had become hot and humid. I had been told that the run would prove to be a challenging course due to hilly terrain and cobblestones. By the start of the second loop, I had already consumed all my salt and had started using ice to cool down. I was thankful that I had decided to run with my hydration backpack, I needed every ounce of water. Although the course ran out of ice, it was replenished while I was still onsite. I was thankful for the spectators that provided hoses to help cool us down.

Transition 1. 4:44
Transition 2. 3:07

Monday, November 7, 2016

Oilman Aquabike 2016 Race Report

Outloud! does an excellent job putting on a top notch race. I have worked with the directors as a race official, spectator, and participant. They value the experience of each athlete and keep safety at the top of their priority list.

I arrived at the venue about 5:45am and parked in the dirt lot at the front entrance.  Definitely a hike to transition, the worst part of which is knowing that you will have to hike back after the race. Transition set up was easy and a large number of race officials were in transition.

The swim is historically wetsuit legal. I donned my gear and headed to the swim start. It is a beach entry into a protected cove before hitting the open water of the lake. Conditions were a bit windy but otherwise great racing weather. As an Aquabike, I was seeded in the last wave with the relays. My strategy was to start closer to the back half of the pack to attempt to let those fast relay swimmers get ahead. I chose a line that was closer to shore, less crowded, and what I thought was a shorter tangent to the first turn buoy. The open water was choppy with a cross-current. I was happy to have my wetsuit and worried about the weaker swimmers. Overall, had a good swim. I remained focused on my breathing and pacing, sighted the buoys well, and finished strong.

I utilized the wetsuit strippers, they are a Godsend! Entered transition one row too far but luckily, since I was in the last wave, I was able to dive under the racks to get to my gear. Did great on time and focused on getting out on the course as soon as possible.

My goal on the bike was to ride in less than 3:00 hours and push as hard as I could. I remember getting to mile 30, and thinking that it would be a great time to end my ride on a high note. I was anticipating the headwind that soon reared it’s ugly head. I know I did my best on the course, but I wished I had spent more time in specific preparation for the hills and distance.

I had a great effort on the course and in the race. I placed 4th in the women’s Aquabike, missed the mark by 3 minutes! Although I’m beating myself up for those THREE minutes, I honestly can say that I don’t think I could’ve given it more.