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SW inspiration for the everyday athlete!

12 Sep

The SW and how she represents the everyday runner!

This morning like most mornings I got up and went outside for my morning workout. Today was a simple little 8.5 mile recovery run. The beauty of running for me is the freedom it gives me, the alone time, the quiet time with my thoughts (as I don’t run with music) and today on my run I started thinking about my amazing wife Shannon. (otherwise known as SW) This weekend will mark our 17 year anniversary wow can you believe she has put up with me for 17 years!
The SW started running later in life when a good friend of ours got her out the door starting with 5k then 10k then half marathon then into the marathon! She has now been a very dedicated and serious runner for the past 8-10 years maybe?
SW is the glue that holds this crazy Buenting house together, she supports and is a wonderful Sherpa for our 15 year old daughter Bella and myself ( MB). Bella and I race a lot and the two of us are quite successful from Triathlon and Duathlon to any distance of running events! Bella is also a high school swimmer now after three years of being a Varsity high school Cross country runner. Most races you will find Bella and myself on the podium and we just seem to move at a little faster pace than the SW. So Bella and I get to train a lot together and not as much with the SW. So one might think living around people like Bella and I could be tough and maybe discourage you? Or just not lend to much time for yourself because you have to take care of us all the time.
But it’s completely the opposite. SW is dedicated and passionate! She is tough I mean tough! She runs in pain often times, she never quits or backs down and she is always fighting and chasing after her goals! SW does not let vacations get in the way of her running her miles, logging her workouts and staying fit. She does not let getting up early to be at work at 7am stand in her way or a busy life of supporting a high maintenance 15 year old and maybe even a higher maintenance 43 year old husband. SW is like superwoman to me!

What I love about the SW and what makes her an inspiration, and a person so many of you in the world should look after and be inspired by is that the poor woman comes up short so many times but she never lets that get her down and quit. Running, training, racing all this stuff that we do is not always about the podium finishes, the fast times, and so on. It’s about the pure joy and love for getting outside and being healthy! It’s about that fire that burns inside you knowing that if you keep fighting keep believing you will achieve that goal! And that is the beauty of SW! She wants to qualify for the Boston marathon, she has been trying for a few years now and has been so close but either hot weather, a late season injury something has always comes up that does not let her have the day she is capable of and trained for.
Now a lot of runners would be discouraged and quit. (trust me I’ve seen them and tried to coach some of them) but not SW she gets up the next day laces her shoes and gets out there and starts chuka chuka I like to say! And she looks damn cute doing so!
I have run the Boston marathon 9 times, I have had loads of success on that course and simply embrace everything that race is about! But I would trade them all just to get SW her chance to line up in Hopkington and run down Boylston! SW is one of those people in life that just deserves a break, deserves one day of success for all the hard work and heartache they have endured over the years! SW well that girl has HEART! And because of her HEART and never quit attitude one day she will succeed and she will reach that goal and she will be on the start line in Hopkington with me and I will shed tears of joy.

So to all you runners out there chasing dreams! Chasing success and wondering will it ever happen? Am I capable? Let SW be your inspiration.

stay focused and passionate and believing and chasing just like SW does every day! Don’t let negative thoughts get you down, don’t let bad races, slow training runs any of that discourage you and make you not believe.
And hey if it never happens, so be it! At least you can say you had FUN! You trained hard, you believed and did everything possible to give yourself a chance!

SW- Bella and I love you very much and thank you for all the sacrifices you make to support the two of us in the pursuit of our goals! You inspire me and Bella, SW you may not be the fastest; the one on the podium, but you work so hard and have such passion and trust me the two of us notice and it makes us want to work that hard also! Keep believing in yourself as we believe in you and soon you will earn that Boston marathon celebration jacket!

Best of luck to all you athletes out there who roll out of bed each day chasing goals, who never give up and who believe (even after several failed attempts) that the dream is still alive and one day you will capture it!

Coach MB


Letting go of disappointment!

27 Aug

Letting go of a disappointing race.

We all have these moments in life, these moments of disappointment and heartache. These moments that leave us frustrated, and sad. As athletes we spend so much time training, and focused on chasing dreams to have that success and to rise above the competition and then when it does not happen the chrash comes, the disappointment and the million questions of “what if”, “where did it go wrong”, “what could I have done different”. Our minds flow with emotions and we spend the next few weeks trying to let go of these feelings move past that performance and move into the next phase of our training and racing with a new fire, a new focus!

In the book “How bad do you want it” Matt Fitzgerald writes a chapter called “The Art of letting go” I like using that title for talking about the post race blues. Letting go of a bad performance is really hard, endurance athletes, multisport athletes we are all so intense, and driven, type A people with goals and focus and it does not matter if we are 25 year old elite athletes or 43 year old age group athletes. We all have are goals, and what we view as success we all want that chance to stand on a podium or to run that qualifying time standard like a Boston marathon qualifying time. But sometimes the day is just not ours, sometimes it is things within our control that limit us and cause the failure, but often times it is things out of our control that cause us to come up short of the goal we set.

Much of this is fresh in my mind right now because a week ago at ITU World Championships for my main sport of the standard distance Duathlon (10k run, 40k bike, 5k run) I came up short of my goal, I came up disappointed and sad. But I also came out of this race being proud of myself, and developing a new mental toughness, a new strength knowing I can overcome some really hard and painful things. So my emotions all week have been quite the mixed bag. Yet here I set writing about the art of letting go and this is typically a process I myself must go through after every major race, at the end of my seasons this is part of my healing process.
My race came up short last week in Penticton, Canada because of an injury. I had tweaked my hamstring a few days prior to the race and even after all the treatments from the TEAM USA staff I could not get it to release and heal and be ready to go at 100%. And even with this pain, and knowing that my hamstring could explode (and it did) at any moment I still toed the line that day with a confidence and I am going for it attitude!
I raced in pain, I endured a new level of pain to fight through and I found a new mental toughness, a never give up, never quit toughness that pushed me through the race and over the finish line. For that I am proud but again here I sit trying to learn to let go of this performance that was far shy of my goal, my dream for the past year and now move on into the next phase of my training and racing. Letting go of these feelings and emotions is hard and what I will say to each of you that needs to go through this same process is flow with it, have the moments of sadness, have the moments of disappointment, but yet have the moments of happiness and success as well! Because not always is success measured in a podium finish or a BQ time on the marathon course. Sometimes success is measured in the small battles, the things we overcame just to finish a race. And even when you come shy of a top 3 in the World (podium) finish like I did you can still have a quality result and find something to be proud of and build on like my race I might have missed the bronze or silver medal but I can say I was the top American! And I was the top American and still 12th in the world with an injured hamstring and not racing at 100%. This will give me confidence to build on as I progress into next season, set new goals and chase my dreams. This is what you need to do also as an athlete and as you let go of the heartache of a bad race and move onto the next one. Find the positive in the failure and use it to fuel you and help you grow as an athlete and as a person.
When failure happens, or you come shy of the success you wanted. Don’t blame others just look at yourself say it’s now in the past and then move into the future.

It’s not easy to let go, but once you can let go and move on with a smile, and a proud confidence in you then the growth can begin and the next chapter can start.
Best of Luck everyone! Keep chasing dreams, don’t ever give up! Don’t let failure make you doubt yourself because we all go through these low moments in life to reach the high moments.
Coach MB


BC2017 MB run

2017 ITU World Duathlon Championships!

24 Aug

The ITU multi-sport festival landed in Penticton Canada for 2017 and hosting a week of World Championships races! It kicked off with Sprint distance Duathlon and will end this coming weekend with Long Distance Triathlon.
If you have never been to British Columbia and especially the Penticton (Okanagen Valley) area you must visit!! It’s simply beautiful and well pretty much the most amazing place I have raced or vacationed!

2016 USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships was the qualifying race for this event, and I had one of my best races there that year as I won the National title for the Male 40-44 race and was the 2nd overall Master that year. So 2017 ITU Worlds were my goal race of this season! This was the race I focused on all year, and trained myself to peak at! However this all went south when the Wednesday morning before I flew out west to Canada I tweaked my hamstring running a simple 400 at 85% effort level on a track. I can’t explain what happened other than just the Saturday before I had been in Omaha and raced USA Triathlon Nationals had a solid race qualifying for Team USA in Triathlon for 2018 in Aussie land! Felt great early in the week but when I rounded the last corner of the track that morning a sharp zinger shot down my leg and I knew something was wrong! I stretched, iced did all the recovery things I could think of but no way I could get it lose again to run. UGH!!! Once I arrived in Penticton on Friday afternoon I went straight to the Team USA massage room and had our massage therapist start working on me, she worked hard to loosen things up and could feel the tight ball and strain in my hamstring. The next morning I got up to run a little and bike some, I was able to run 2 slow miles with tightness and some pain then I came back to the Team Hotel and got treatment from the Team USA chiropractor she really worked on my low back as often times things like this stem from low back and a chain of pulling things out of whack. Sunday morning came and up again to go run and see how things felt. The night before I soaked in Epson salts, and did my stretches as the chiro instructed me to. This morning I squeaked out 3.5 miles again in pain with tightness and not fast. Then I went on the Team USA course familiarization bike ride. (biking did not bother me too much it was the run motion, the pressure and strain of running and trying to open up a stride into a race pace) after the bike ride was another trip to the team chiro and more treatment this time she taped me all up with Rock tape so I could try and get through the race the next morning.

Monday August 21st, race morning!! It was go time! I woke up full of excitement and nerves! It was World Championships! It was the best in the world toeing the line chasing a spot on the podium and some bragging rights! I was optimistic about my hamstring that morning even though during warm-ups I could feel the tightness and dull pain that was very local in one area of the hammy. But this was World Championships and no amount of pain was going to stop me! We all loaded the start corral and I visited with athletes from the other countries and kept things light giving cheers to everyone! When the gun went off and race started I eased into my pace and did not just drop the hammer, but I also was trying to run a good tempo. The first run of this race was 10 kilometers and was broken into a 4 lap course. So lap one went OK I was holding a 5:45 pace effort and really felt relaxed breathing wise but I could feel the tightness in my hammy, as we started lap two of this 10k run boom! My hammy sent a zinger of sharp pain down it and I screamed! It sent me into a spasm and bit of a stop as I grabbed my hammy, but again this was World Championships and nothing was stopping me from crossing the finish line that day. So as my pace slowed to manage the pain and find a stride I could run with I kept screaming in pain at times but I kept fighting. I pushed through 3 more laps of that run to complete the 10k and get to my bike! I got on my bike had a decent transition not a fast one cause my run motion was hampered. But once I was on that bike it was game on and I rode like hell! Pushing my limits, and working hard to chase people down was what I was doing the course was fast! With a gradual accent going out to the turn around and a gradual decent coming back. The bike is a 40k total distance broken into 2 20k laps. It had a really slow and tricky little turn around section but overall I just rode hard! Average 24.8 MPH for the 40k and now came the final phase of this race the 5k run!!
When I dismounted my bike my legs screamed!! The hamstring was so locked up and cramped and did not want to run with my bike through transition. But I endured the pain, I suffered and I kept running and out onto the 5k course I went pushing my limits and going for that finish line. Each step of that 5k was pure torture and some of the most pain I had ever ran in. But again this was the ITU World Championships and I was representing Team USA!! So I had to go I had to run and push and fight for every place in the standings I could climb. When I crossed that finish line I pretty much collapsed and needed assistance as my legs just locked up and hurt like hell!
When the dust settled and results were posted I ended up 12th in the world and was the first American in my division! This was a far cry from my goal but I felt a sense of pride as I knew I laid it all on the line that day and that I competed with the most guts and heart I ever had! I had endured loads of pain but mentally stayed strong and in the game chasing that finish line! I never quit, never gave up and never backed off no matter how much it hurt and that I’m very proud of! Sure the next day when I really looked at the results I was very sad as I saw the bronze medal winner times and I was easily capable of that had I been healthy! But that’s how it goes somedays, somedays the victory is not in the podium it’s in the battle we overcame to cross the finish line! It’s the mental battle that goes on in our head when things go south and we must overcome adversity that becomes the true victory! As a coach, as an athlete and as the father of an athlete all I wanted to do that day was inspire others! Show courage and fight and a will to persevere when the pain set in and things got really, really hard!

2017 ITU World Championships did not end with me on the podium as I dreamed but they ended teaching me that I can overcome some serious dark moments and that I can endure a lot of pain! They taught me how to mentally stay positive and fight and it was some of the most fun racing I have ever had! Such a world class event, in a world class city that allowed my wife and I to have an amazing vacation! So 3rd place or 12th place or whatever place you might finish does not always matter just find the pride in the finish line, find the strength to fight and overcome tough times and keep pushing! Congrats to all the amazing athletes who toed the line that day gave all they had and crossed that finish line! You are all simply amazing and inspiring!

Thanks to USA Triathlon and the TEAM USA staff! From the team managers, to the bike mechanics, to the massage and chiro staff that worked on me daily! They all made this experience top notch! Thanks to the beautiful city of Penticton for hosting and putting on a world class event! You have a beautiful city and I can’t wait to come back!

Thanks to my super amazing friends that train with me and help push me to be the best I can be!
And especially a huge thanks to my wife Shannon! and all she does supporting me as I chase my goals and dreams! SW you are the best!
Cheers to all the new wonderful friendships I made with fellow Team USA athletes and ones from other countries!

2017 ITU World’s hurt a lot but also brought so many smiles and so much joy!

Coach MB “Mike Buenting”BC2017 Team USA

MPLS Triathlon 2017 with Bella!

9 Jul

Yesterday was the 2017 edition of the MPLS Triathlon (Life Time Fitness Triathlon) it was a beautiful sunny day and racing conditions were overall pretty great!

I had not done this race in a few years, but have a long history of doing this race. Bella raced this event last year and was excited to come back!

My 14 soon to be 15 year old daughter Bella is the best, just love her to pieces and for us to share this passion of Triathlon together and race together is so much fun!

Bella and I get to share a lot of quality time together training for Triathlon. This is time that no matter how busy I am I will adjust my schedule and make the time for. I don’t let my work or anything get in the way of my precious time with Bella training and racing Triathlon because these are just so amazing! They are why I live!

Now MPLS Triathlon 2017! Since we had just got home from vacation in San Francisco and had not really been training all week, really was not sure what was going to happen? And on Thursday 2 days before the race Bella woke up with a fever of 101 degrees and was quite sick that day. Also a week of walking the hills of San Francisco and eating desserts and drinking wine well not the perfect race week diet. Anyway, for me it was a training race, but for Bella she wanted to give it a go!

Bella as I said is 14 and still learning her way and getting stronger and comfortable with bike handling, nutrition all of that. The biggest thing is she is nervous to take one hand off the bars when riding and grab a water bottle to drink. So she does these Triathlons with basically no fuel! Hardly even any water and on hot days like yesterday at MPLS it catches up with her during the run. It’s really hard to swim half mile, bike 15 miles, and then go into a 5k run with no water so after mile one of her run the cramps set in and she had to gut out pushing herself at a much slower pace run than she is capable of. Lucky for Bella she can swim! And swim fast! With the second fastest swim split I believe of the sprint distance, passing all the 29 and under males that helped set her up in a good position. She also had a nice bike split for a girl who rides timid still and since she does not know the course perfectly and rides safe not all crazy she still averaged just under 21mph on the bike. She ended up winning her division of 19 and under females and was 8th overall in the sprint race. Pretty impressive for a 14-year-old girl still finding her way. Of course, as a dad I was so proud of her! The fun part for me was I was on my second lap of my 10k run and I caught up to Bella with a mile to go in the course and was able to cheer for her and then when I finished I knew she was coming just behind me, when Bella crossed the finish line with me cheering loudly I was able to give her a big hug and tell her how much I love her and am proud of her! Best moment of the race for me!


Now my race… well let’s start by saying I better start practicing my swim! Swimming maybe one day a week is not going to get it done! I swim like a log not a fish! And well this was my first Olympic distance race of the year and my longest swim of the year. I sight like crap as my swims look more like a drunken sailor stumbling down the pier than a well-oiled Triathlete swimming machine! Needless to say, I had to play a lot of catch up and chase on the bike and run! Now the big blunder of the day, and the dumbest thing I have ever done in my many years of multi-sport racing! I leave my shoes clipped into my bike, attach them with rubber bands to the bike then run out cross the mount line leap on my bike and ride away and put my feet into the shoes as I ride. What did I do yesterday? Well I clipped my right shoe into my left pedal and left shoe into my right pedal so had my shoes all backwards. So here I am leaping on my bike flying down the parkway thinking I’m all bad ass and as I try to insert my foot into my shoe it won’t go in right, the buckle on my shoe is all back the other way and I’m like what the hell? I look down and notice the wrong shoe on each side and say UGH!! I have to stop along the road get off my bike unclip each shoe, put the shoes on then mount my bike and ride away. I rode angry! And well even with the added time of dealing with this bone head mistake I still cranked out a bike split of one hour which is 24.3 miles per hour average so had I not lost that time I wonder what my bike split would have been? Then came the run now this is my strength except in hot sun then I melt.  I took off 5:53 pace for the first 1.5 then started to slow more like 6:05 pace but by my second loop of the 10k I was wilting and my pace dropped into the 6:20’s and I limped in with a slow 38 minute 10k.  Not what I was looking for but 6:15 avg. pace. I ended up finishing 2nd in my age group which is fine but overall my time was not so impressive based on my awful swim, and my blunders in transition.

The day was not so much about my race, but it was about the amazing memories I will have of racing with Bella! The day was about the time Bella and I shared together, having us both finish on the podium, and that special hug I gave her as she crossed the finish line!

Bella you are the greatest gift I have ever been given and sharing the passion of Triathlon with you and all the pain, sweat and good times we have together with this wonderful sport simply is awesome!

Love you Bella!!



Dad.. Coach MB

BB MB MPLS Tri 2017 

Sharing your passions with your kids.

5 Jun

Finally I’m back writing my blog. I’m sorry to all my wonderful followers that I’ve been away but life has been nuts!

This week I have something special to write about and that is the joy I share getting to train and race with my 14 year old daughter Bella.

Having the same passions as your kid and getting to share these moments together is simply heartwarming and amazing! I just spent the weekend training with Bella as we prepare her for her first Triathlon of 2017 and dad’s first as well.

This coming weekend is Trinona Triathlon and Bella and I will be down south racing the sprint distance in what we call the daddy vs. daughter showdown!

Bella has been racing Triathlon since she was 7-8 years old and until last year she was just in youth/kids distance races like the Iron-Kids series. 2016 as she was 13 turning 14 she finally aged up to enter into sprint distance races (adult ones) which meant her and I could start training together more, and racing together!

One of the best moments of this training season was a week ago taking Bella out on a 26 mile bike ride with a group of women I coach and having her keep up and even push the pace on them! Sharing moments like this with your kid, simply put a huge smile on my face! Sure we have our moments out there because we are both a little stubborn and it can be hard to be dad and coach at the same time. But overall we have a blast together and we learn from each other!

So this weekend in Winona Bella and I have a small bet on who will win. Sure we have to create a bit of an equalizer time standard. But Bella is a way faster swimmer than I am, she bikes pretty strong and she can run. So it shall be an interesting race against the clock and each other. We both have just a bit of competitive nature in us. Ha

For me as dad it will just be so awesome to be in transition with her, and walk to the lake for that swim start together! Hopefully I can catch her on the course and give her a cheer! And when we both cross the finish line get our medals and are able to hug each other well that is going to be priceless.

Find things you can do with your kids like this, introduce them to your passions and you might find out they have a passion for it also! Because sharing moments like this with your kids is simply the best!

Bella and I have a full summer of racing together including USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in August in Omaha NE.  So it’s going to be an amazing summer, a fun one filled with a lot of heart and guts but one we both will remember forever! As we push each other to our limits!


Best of luck this weekend to all the athletes doing Trinona!



Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.comMB and BB Freewheel 2017 

Let go of the past, focus on the future!

12 Feb

As athletes especially competitive athletes who set goals and chase goals we often times get lost in the past chasing our success of yesteryear. This can be OK if we keep the right mindset but it can also be mentally draining and have negative effect on us.

This thought got brewing in my mind this morning on a run, reflecting back over data of several years of racing and training and asking that question inside ourselves “why can’t I get my times back to where they were three years ago?”

So that question has many different answers and paths, and it’s not that even as we age that we can’t get back to our youthful days of performance it’s how we do things, how we believe in ourselves mentally (confidence) and how we progress and keep moving.

As a coach I meet a lot of athletes without a lot of years of experience in racing or training for endurance events like marathon or a Triathlon. So as I meet these athletes and coach them and train them in a proper way to make improvements they make these massive gains and improvements over the course of the next 3-5 years and it builds all sorts of confidence in them which is wonderful. But as time goes by as an athlete gets faster and faster the rate of gain becomes smaller, now instead of every race being a PR time, it’s every few races or maybe one race per year and the others are still solid strong performances but just not at that rate of gain like they had in the early years of a focused training plan.  I have found with age group athletes and this equates to myself as well. That for many years we do this leisure way of training we just sort of workout at one level of intensity, we do things as we like with no true plan or understanding how to push our limits and get better. Then we decide to take things to another level, we hire a coach we begin to read some and learn and change our patterns for training. We now do interval sessions, we cross train, we increase mileage, we do slow recovery efforts and so on. As we make this shift we see these rapid changes within ourselves we watch race times quickly make huge leaps and get faster and faster and we are glowing with confidence and happiness/excitement. 

But as time goes and that PR in a marathon goes from 10 minutes shaved time to 10 seconds we start to have doubt in ourselves, doubt in our ways of doing things and methods. It can mentally drain us and make us feel down and less confident. This is that negative effect that can only be fixed with a shift within our mind. A new approach to things and believing in ourselves.

As athletes we have to understand that in the early years we will see massive gains in time drops but as we get faster and stronger those gains become smaller because the athlete is performing at such a high level all ready. We can’t take this as a negative but yet stay focused and positive and understand it.  Many of us age group athletes like myself had some really fast good times for the marathon etc… in our late 20’s and early 30’s but as we keep going and get into our 40’s then 50’s things change our bodies are a little different and we don’t quite have some of the speed like we use to. (This is not to say that past 40 you are done because I know a lot of wicked fast 40 and 50 year olds out there people who keep on getting faster and can stick it to the young kids) So don’t think you are past your prime and past setting personal best times because you are not. You just have to sometimes say it won’t happen as often, you need to be even more focused about your training, your sleep, your diet all the little things. Things that we could skip and short change a little in our younger days but as we get older we can’t.

I also find with athletes that struggle in this area of comparing times and fitness too years past is that most the time they still have it in them and they still have all that speed to get faster but because they trained so hard for those early years they get to the end of a season take a mental break and some time off (which I think all athletes no matter what level they are need these breaks at the end of the season) but they extend those breaks they say I’ll take one month relaxed and easy and not focused, one more turns into two and then into three and next thing they know their friends started training and getting focused a month or two ago and now they are lagging behind trying to catch up and mentally this bogs them down and makes them lose confidence. This is the point the athlete needs to let go and start pushing their limits, less thinking and just stay within themselves, keep training hard with passion and focus and in due time they will catch up to the others and then pass the others because deep inside them is all the speed and strength they just have to dig it out again. So these “end of season time offs” can be a good thing and a bad thing if not managed properly.  So when you take a break take a week or two off then enter back into building fitness with moderate workouts but if you have goals the next season and want to get back to work you can only allow these breaks to last so long before you get back into a routine otherwise you play catch up half the year and will set yourself back from continuing to grow and set personal bests. The movie American Flyers had a great line a quote at the training center. “Once you got it up, keep it up” I live by that and love it.  As an athlete myself I allow mental breaks, but fitness breaks I don’t allow much of that I just find a new way to do things to keep myself engaged and staying fit. Try this approach to make sure you don’t lose too much fitness and spend months or trying to get in shape again before your training cycle kicks in and that race approaches that you want to excel in.

But at the end of the day, no matter our age, our years of training and racing, our experience level all of it. We can still chase dreams, we can still get faster and stronger, and we can still set personal bests. Because the root to continued success lies within us, within our mind! It’s all about mental toughness! It’s all about how bad do you want it, how hard are you willing to work, how much pain are you willing to endure? When the workout is hard, the intervals are fast are you going to keep pushing your limits and fighting? Or are you going to make an excuse and back off and quit? At the end of the day the answer to any growth and success is all about your mental toughness, and How Bad do you want it! How much are you willing to work for that success because the success the growth the PR times don’t come with half hearted efforts, and just thinking about it, thinking it will come easy. They will only come if you have passion, desire, fire, and a relentless forward motion and positive attitude to push even when you think you can’t push anymore.


Go be great! Never stop believing! Never think your days are over and you can’ grow!

Because it’s all crap! No matter your age or fitness level you can always grow, always get faster and always keep having success chasing dreams and goals!



Coach MB 

Just because you are down, does not mean its over!

6 Feb

This past Sunday I saw two incredible displays of never giving up even when you are down and it seems like things are over. Sport is an amazing display of pushing limits, challenging yourself and learning a lot about what you are made of.


Sunday morning I was watching college wrestling (I’m a Iowa Hawkeye) and they were wrestling Minnesota. Iowa’s 125 pounder and #1 ranked wrestler Thomas Gillman was flat out getting his butt kicked! In the first period the Gopher wrestler got a take-down then back points and was soon up 8-0 then he rode Gillman the entire 2nd period racking up over 3 minutes of ride time. I would say most of his though not good Gillman is going down. But never once did Thomas give up and quit wrestling, He kept fighting, he kept after it and taking his shots. Soon Gillman was on his offense got momentum shifted his direction and next thing you know he pins the Gopher wrestler and wins the match! It was a crazy amazing turn of events and one of the best wrestling matches I have ever seen.

Then came Sunday night and the Super Bowl! Now I know all most all of you watched this and were stunned when the game ended. If you watched the first three quarters you saw Atlanta Falcons pretty much dominate the Patriots and take a 28-3 lead with 2 minutes left in the third.

But Tom Brady and those Patriots did not stop believing and they did not stop playing. Most teams or athletes would have folded and quit assuming no way we can overcome this many points with just 15 minutes to play. But the Patriots showed an amazing never die, never quit attitude and stayed the course stuck to what they do and just kept chipping away at the Falcons as the Falcons kept making mistakes and wilting. Next thing you know the game is headed to overtime and the Patriots won the game! Simply an amazing comeback!

Both of those events showed such strength, such mental toughness and fight to keep going even when all the odds everything in the world said quit! And well that sums up how an endurance athlete needs to respond and act and think as well.

As endurance athletes we endure all types of things, things that kick us down take us off our game out of the race and make us want to quit. The lessons we need to learn is that if you’re a fighter, if you believe in yourself and you have passion and desire then no way you should ever let something try and slow you down and take you off your game.

It’s like a marathon runner who has been running a great race nailing all their splits staying tough and then mile 20 comes along legs turn to concrete the mind starts to say “Hey wait this does not feel good let’s quit” You slow for a mile maybe two and things appear like you will do the death march to the finish line, but since you’re a fighter and a positive thinker you keep pushing, pushing your limits, pushing through the pain and no quitting not giving in and you cross that finish line maybe still with that goal time, or place on the podium you wanted or maybe not but you are a lot closer to that goal time and with a finisher medal because you never quit! Had you given into the pain accepted defeat when those miles slowed you might have had a crap time, maybe not even finish as you walked along the final miles depressed and with a bad attitude. But when you keep that relentless forward motion and just keep fighting its amazing what can happen!

The same thing goes when you are an elite competitive racer and you are fighting for a top finish a podium spot and you fall back right away to your competitors and they look strong do you make excuses? Quit and drop back and say guess I just can’t beat them today or do you fight and dig your way back into the race from the hole you’re in? If you’re an athlete like Thomas Gillman you keep fighting and pushing and believing in yourself! Because you never know what can happen if you stay strong, stay focused and never give up!

So this season as you train remember these words, think of these examples of athletes being kicked and beaten and down that it appears they have not shot to bounce back, but then all the sudden they overcome the odds and they succeed!

When you have passion, desire, and a positive attitude! When you have confidence and believe in yourself magical things can happen! So don’t let anyone or anything kick you down just keep fighting and have that success go for the win!


Happy Training, Racing and being inspiring!


Coach MB


You have to Fight for it.

30 Jan

In life you set goals, you have dreams and things you want to achieve. These goals and dreams and success you want never comes easy and if it does come easy then we want to set a new challenge one that is much harder and makes us work that much more for it. Because the harder the challenge the happier we are when we reach it! the more pride we have the more confidence.


Now it is easy to set goals and it’s easy to talk and dream and say we want things. But when it really comes down to it we have to want it! And we have to be willing to fight for it. I had a run last week when this thought process starting building in my head. It was windy out and I was a touch tired but my workout called for me to hit some paces and have some periods of harder efforts. As I ran my miles solo down the winter roads and fighting the elements I kept telling myself you want it so you have to fight for it. The mind was trying to tell my body to quit and slow down and give in, then the other side of my mind would fight back and say no you must fight for it and earn it. Now I might not have hit all the paces I wanted to that day but I had a mental break through in that my effort was there. My effort was such that it felt like I was working harder than if I had actually hit my goal paces and that never give up quit I had that day was positive for me and gave me the confidence I need and want during a training cycle.

Every day we get up we have to fight for things, maybe it’s a promotion at work; it’s a fitness goal whatever it is we won’t have that success unless we fight and push our limits and earn it.

I meet people all the time that can talk a big game but when they get into the workout and the pain sets in things get hard they can easily back off the pedal and give up not push that wall back and make progress toward the success they dream and speak of. These are those big moments when as an athlete you have to fight for it. When you dig deep inside yourself and you push as hard as you can go that day and you stay mentally engaged and strong and chase that success you dream of.

In a race I’ve seen it so many times, one athlete gets out front and then sort of goes on cruise control, but then another athlete from the pack surges forward takes the lead and goes on to win the race. Now maybe that athlete who had the lead really try and had nothing left to match the other athlete, but I would bet more times than not the intensity of that race got so high that the one athlete was willing to fight for it more than the other and endure that pain and therefore win the race.  It’s all such a mental battle and telling yourself things like “fight for I” “how bad do you want it” etc… questions that you can ask yourself and use as motivation are key in truly reaching your success.  So stay positive and keep fighting! Don’t give up or back down when things get hard, embrace the pain and feel that sense of pride when you complete it!

The same type of mantra fight for it applies to those who can easily skip a workout, make an excuse of why they can’t wake up, why they can’t squeeze in their workout even if they have to cut it short because of time or something. When something matters to you then you will always find away to make it happen and fight for it. So on those days during those times when you can make lame excuses and not follow through and fight for it and you skip your workout ask yourself does it matter to you. Do you want it? And is it worth fighting for!?


Be inspired, stay inspired, stay motivated and remember you are motivating and others are watching so fight for it!



Coach MB

Gotta Have Heart Training




Setting Goals! Chasing Goals!

19 Jan

Any competitive athlete or any athlete or person for that matter needs to be goal driven. Setting goals is ways to help keep you focused keep you on task and committed.

When it comes to setting goals as an athlete; and thinking about your race season, thinking about a goal within a certain race here is how I do things and maybe some tips to help you.


Every year about December or January I start thinking about the upcoming race season I think about the races I want to do and which races are my “A” races the ones I have goals for and what races are my “B” races that I just train through and take a little light hearted.

As an athlete you can really only peak a few times a year and you can really only look at having a few big races that you focus you’re training on and chase within a year.  But many of us like to race a lot as its fun! So we must look at many of our races as having fun no expectations and just train right through on our way to the big picture goal of the season.

But your goals might not be a certain race or time at the race or even place? They might be about weight loss or just finishing the distance or whatever you choose.

The Steps you need to follow to reach goals and have success.

Commitment! You must be committed to what you are doing, what you are chasing. You can’t be a person who talks but struggles to follow through. If you want to have success you must wake up each morning with a positive attitude and you must chase it!

Passion; you need to have passion for what you are doing as this passion will help you stay focused and on the path to reach your goal. This passion helps you stay committed.

Consistency; this is a huge one! Be consistent with your training, your diet all of it. You can’t cheat and skip workouts, you can’ change things around all the time. If you are training for a marathon you have no choice but to run the miles or reaching that goal won’t happen!

Set the plan and follow it; this goes with consistency. You need to design a training plan, hire a coach who does his for you something along these lines. You need to have a clear plan in place and then you need to follow it with consistency. How are you going to achieve that goal?

No Excuses; OK this one comes with an (astric)  because yes things can happen. Not that they are excuses but sure we get sick, we get injured, work, family things can come up and mess with us but overall we can’t make excuses we just have to get up and put the work in!

Adapt and change along the way; Life tosses us curveballs all the time and when I race I always have a few different goals my A,B,C goals. This way if weather is bad and I have to dial back the pace I can adjust my goal on the fly and still find the positive in the race. If an injury occurs during training, or some other outside factor you did not see coming and it gets you off course step back adjust and move forward with a new goal in mind. Be willing to always adapt to things and do it with a good positive attitude.


Setting goals makes life fun! Chasing goals makes life even more fun! To me it’s the journey it’s the hard work I put in each day to make myself better! I love to compete to get on that start line push my limits and see what happens. So my life is all about the various goals I want to chase and how I’m going to get there. The goals help me with my consistency, my commitment and staying focused!  My passion and desire for sport is what keep me motivated and setting new goals and always pushing my limits.

Find what you love, what makes you smile and get out of bed and keep doing it!

Don’t be afraid to get out of the comfort zone, don’t be sacred of hard things and accept a hard challenge and do your best in taking on that challenge!


Be inspiring, be amazing! Stay positive! And see you on the race course!


Coach MB 

You just never know? Stay in the moment! Believe!

16 Jan

My inspiration today for my blog post comes from two different people with two different outcomes that happened over the weekend with their races.


I’ll start with my friend Julie an athlete that I coach. Julie is an inspiring mom of three a very focused and dedicated athlete who for the last several months has been training for the Houston marathon. She had been working so hard putting in the time, the miles she even changed her diet to get healthier and shed a few pounds. Julie was fit and was ready and focused! But what happened this weekend in Texas was not her fault and it was something she could not control mother nature choose to be rude to marathon runners and brought in warm temps in the 70’s and 96% humidity and if you run you know that is absolute death to overcome! The race had sent participants and email on Friday before the Sunday race warning people of the warm weather and to slow down. What I loved about Julie was she said screw that I’m fit and I’m bad ass!! Let’s run! She was going to plan hydration and nutrition a little different to deal with the elements but pace strategy was staying the same she was going to attack that course and push her limits as planned and hold on as long as she could. Julie ran a strong race through 13 miles but by that point the temps, the humidity all of it just took its toll and she had to slow down. The next 13 miles of that marathon became what I call a death march. But Julie finished, she earned that finisher medal and she did herself proud! And Coach and her teammates on Gotta Have Heart Training are so proud and inspired by her. Now the point of this is people that we can train for months we can do things right be in amazing shape have our mental game all dialed in and then something like weather something that is out of our control can mess it all up. So what I say is we just need to focus on the things we can control, and let go of the things we can’t control. Weather is a huge factor in racing that can make or break our success. Now Julie did no PR or even come close to her PR marathon time. But what she did do is not quit! She stayed strong, she stayed tough and she kept a POSITIVE attitude and a relentless forward motion and she crossed that finish line! Sure as competitive athletes we might have some disappointment the next day trust me I have been here many times. But the success lies within us for pushing through the pain the torture of bad elements and chasing that finish line! I never regret finishing a race even when my time stinks and I miss my goal. I had one DNF once in a marathon because of a bad hamstring and that day haunts me all the time that now I push and push until I cross that line. And even on the worst of days when my mind tells me to quit a 100 times out there I don’t and I keep pushing until I finish. That is exactly what Julie did Sunday and you know what it will make her stronger and better and she will learn from this! So to all of you when adversity kicks you, when things out of your control slow you down and get you off your game adjust and stay positive and focused and never quit. Then reflect back learn and move onto the next day, the next race!


Story two of my weekend inspiration comes from my 14 year old daughter Bella. This weekend was a huge and very competitive swim meet at the University of Minnesota. The weekend started out rough as Friday night she swam the 500 freestyle and well she might have kept her time the same as she was seeded with it was way short of her goal and she had a bad swim and was very upset. The frustration was in her and we still had two more days of swimming. Saturday was a new day and she swam 3 more events and posted best times in 2 of the 3 events so things were showing some progress. But then came Sunday morning and a very cranky wake up from a 14 year old girl who was not feeling well and was thinking about scratching and not even swimming that day. After an intense morning at home her mom and I convinced her go swim give it a go and hey if you aren’t feeling well we can scratch your last event the 200 butterfly that you don’t like swimming anyway. So we were kind of thinking she might not even swim the 200 fly that day but just crank out her 200IM and 50 free see what happens and go home. The first two events went OK but she did not really improve time and just sort of stayed the same. She decided hey I’m going to swim this 200 fly as coach would not like me to skip it. Well she got on those blocks dove in and cranked out a best time in the 200 fly and made finals that night!! Her mom sent me a message because I had to leave early and miss that event for work. We were both in shock that she made finals but what we had now was a little girl smiling, happy and full of confidence! Now that evening we needed to go back to the pool late so she could swim in the finals of the 200 butterfly and what did she do but drop another 3 seconds on her time and move up the overall rankings from where she started finals. Another smile and happy 14 year old girl! It was a great way to end a long weekend a weekend full of ups and downs. The point to this story is sometimes we might not want to do something we might not feel so well and we might be scared but if we just go out give it a go and try our best with no expectations just let go and swim, bike, run whatever it is who knows what can happen! I know some days we just don’t feel well some days it seems like our head is not in the game but we have this race we signed up for on the calendar and we don’t want to let ourselves down, our coaches down whoever so we try and rally ourselves to get up for the challenge! And I know even on days when I’m sick and lacking energy the moment I get into the race or workout something clicks and you pull some performance out of your butt that leaves you scratching your head. So don’t ever quit or give up on yourself and when you have those bad races like Bella did on Friday night that left her frustrated you need to quickly turn things around find your positive energy and your groove and just get back out there and go for it!


We all fail more times than we win, there are always things out of our control that want to mess with us and get us off our game.  What you need to do in these moments is let go and focus on what you can control and a major thing you can always control is your attitude! You can control believing in yourself and having confidence and when you bring the right positive attitude a level of confidence to any race and any workout well you have now set yourself up for success!!


So stay in the game! And you just never know what might happen? So never quit, never give up!

Keep a relentless forward motion going and be proud of just finishing sometimes!



Coach MB


FYI: all the athletes I coach and train with inspire and motivate me so much! And I thank them for that. I just happen to write about Julie and Bella today as my inspiration because they raced this weekend.