Tag Archives: cycling

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!

 

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.com 

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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!

Cheers

Coach MB

 

Training by perceived effort.

5 Dec

In today’s world of technology and gadgets so many people get focused on buying more gear and then focus training, racing and so on around the technical data things like power meters, heart rate monitors, GPS watches and so on produce. Now as a competitive athlete and coach yes of course I love these things and I love data and using the data to coach an athlete and help them improve. But not everyone can afford all of these things and not every athlete likes to wear monitors and gadgets of these sorts and that’s OK.

So as a coach I like to take things back to basics often times and teach athletes to train by perceived effort level. Cycling this can be really crucial because so many own a kinetic trainer which does not go by watts, and they don’t have power meter crank sets etc… so I can’t hardly prescribe them a workout based on FTP and watts. This is where I use a scale for perceived effort for them.

Perceived effort works really well; because it allows the athlete to train based on how they feel on a certain day and to the conditions of the day. When you get so focused on paces, or power outputs it can leave you sometimes either not pushing hard enough, or it can leave you feeling dejected and frustrated because for whatever reason you were not feeling so good that day and it was a struggle to hit your paces or power output. But when you go on a perceived effort scale it allows you to train based on how you feel that given day at that given moment and does not mess with your mental game it keeps you positive because you know you pushed as hard as you were suppose to for that given interval/workout.

Perceived effort also allows you to just run, bike, swim and not stare at a watch or computer. It allows you to free your mind some and focus on body cues not data that your fancy device is kicking out for you to see. I like this a lot for hard effort runs, runs on the track when you want to just open up and see what happens and really push you. Running shorter intervals like a 200 or 400 I really like going by a perceived effort level some days. Same goes with hill running; because hills are typically challenging and make our paces slow down if we focus on what the goal pace is suppose to be we will go nuts on hills and run them too hard and burn too much energy. But if we focus on a effort level scale and run them under control more based on the grade and length of the hill based on how we as an athlete feel it will allow us to stay more under control not burn too much energy and be able to get back into pace easier and recover easier once the road flattens out.

Heart rate is a great tool to use in coaching an athlete and training I do enjoy it but I also find it to be a limiting tool. Heart rate is affected by so many things; sleep, caffeine, heat, and humidity and so on. If the athlete try’s to focus their workout on heart rate they could really limit themselves especially if it’s a hard effort day or race. So again this is another great reason to use perceived effort level as a way to gage things. However I do really like using heart rate on Recovery days for athletes to slow them down and make sure they don’t push too hard and that they truly do perform at an easy low intensity recovery effort.

So if you can’t afford all the fancy tools out there for sale it’s OK you can still find a method to train. Race and accomplish the same types of efforts. Years ago athletes did not have anything but a simple stop watch and perceived effort to push themselves and train by just because the world has evolved and we now have access to a lot of fancy stuff does not mean we can’t remain a little old school now and again. So as much as I love fancy toys and data, and everyone truly does use the perceived effort method to train by until that sugar mama comes along and buys you a power meter and the other fancy tools to record every little piece of data you can.

(I do train very much by watts and power meters with the bike if an athlete has access to those things, I do still like to train athletes by goal paces, and within a running pace structure also, and I do use heart rate with them as well sometimes) So this blog was not supposed to discount those tools but give you an alternative way to think sometimes when training. A more old school method that is still very effective today!

 

Happy training, stay focused and make it happen! No excuses!

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.com 

 

 

 

Sometimes you fall before you rise.

21 Oct

Today’s blog and message is inspired by song, by lyrics from a song on the new Alter Bridge record “The Last Hero”  I’m a huge Alter Bridge fan and love this song and it’s message!

“Sometimes you fall before you rise
Sometimes you lose it all to find
You’ve gotta keep fighting
And get back up again
My champion
Oh, my champion

You’ve lost so many times it hurts
But failures made are lessons learned
Cause in the end what you are will be much more
Than you were”    ~  Myles Kennedy Alter Bridge

Those are some of the lyrics in the song. Now let’s apply this to multi sport and athletes and how so many times we fall and fail and just flat out under perform.

A passionate athlete will fall more times than they will rise. Now I’m talking about people who truly are runners, truly are Triathlete not just the bucket list seasonal athlete that says hey i want to do a Triathlon or a marathon they do one then retire and hang up the shoes.

I’m talking to those of us who live for sport, those of us who day in and day out grind and fight and enjoy our passions. Those of us who set goals and chase them; you don’t have to be elite you can be that 5 hour marathon runner or the Ironman finisher who sneaks in before the midnight hour. But you do have to have the passion, fight and will to keep doing this stuff year in and year out.

So think about the lyrics, “Sometimes you fall before you rise” as passionate athletes we fall during training, we fall during races we miss our goals and have all sorts of frustrating failures along the way. The key is you keep rising you keep learning from those failures and you keep fighting. Every time you fall you must get back up again and say bring it let’s do this! I’m going to win eventually I’m going to reach my goal eventually. I can say I have fallen many times. I had two key races in my 2016 season that I fell hard and if I let those keep me down and discouraged then I would not have had the success I ended up having this season because I would have quit. But I fell and I kept rising I kept getting up and fighting and I learned a lot from my failures.

Boston marathon 2016 was a disaster for me, it was the first time ever at the Boston marathon I did not break 3 hours. I tried to run smart on that warm-humid day but by the 18th mile I was having some breathing issues, heart/chest pain etc… and from that moment on it became a grind. I finished in like 3:28 or something awful for me and it crushed me. I went out that night sad but I knew I had to quickly shrug this failure and get focused on my real 2016 goal and that was USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships in June!

So that is what I did I let go of Boston marathon 2016 I came home and that failure fueled me it made me hungry to focus and chase after my #1 goal for the 2016 season and that was win a National title in the sport of Duathlon. I had some races along the way that went well like Buffalo Triathlon Olympic distance being over all Master’s winner and win my age group and with a pretty solid time of like 2:04. Then came Duathlon National Championships and I had my mind and body ready and I reached that goal! Once I reached that goal I felt a huge weight lifted from me because of the pressure I had on myself to perform at that event. My next goal was Toughman 70.3 distance Triathlon and this turned out to be failure number 2 of the 2016 season. So once again I fell hard during the run portion of this race and failed to meet my goal. However like I’ve done many times before I just picked myself back up learned from it and made adjustments in how I raced my nutrition etc… and got myself ready for the next events in my 2016 season. USA Triathlon National Championships were next and they went much better and all though my times were flat, my swim was donkey I competed with guts and with smarts.

I ended my season a couple weeks ago with Twin Cities marathon and all though this was not a PR marathon for me and not even a top 5 fastest marathon times for me it was a good solid race and was about exactly what I planned to go out and do. 2016 started out rough it started out with an awful race and if I had let that keep me down and give up I would not have continued on my journey to reach all the success I ended up having in 2016.

So as the song says “Sometimes you have to fall before you rise, Sometimes you lose it all to find, you have to keep fighting and get back up again”

So when you fall when you fail and miss those goals and struggle and think about giving up, quitting whatever enters your head when that happens. You need to look at yourself except that failure, learn from it and march forward with a positive attitude and a passion and fire to succeed and reach those goals you failed to achieve.

Anyone can be a champion they just have to be willing to work hard, and when they get knocked down get back up again and keep fighting to gain that success they had dreamed of.

 

Happy Training, Happy Racing! Live in the moment! And be a champion!

Cheers

Coach MB

When you can’t control what’s happening

5 Oct

“when you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is”
Finally a new blog post I know all my followers have been like dude get with it, bring us some wisdom!! Well here we go and inspired by this caption I saw on the positive coaching Facebook page.  These are words sometimes I struggle to follow but I do believe in them. We so often let out emotions get the best of us and take us into a direction we don’t really want to go but because we get so caught up into trying to control things out of our hands or negative energy we need to let go. When we do that and don’t control ourselves things spiral quickly and typically no good becomes of it.

As a coach of endurance athletes I often speak about saving energy for what you need, performing in the race and letting go of the negative energy that can come with trying to control bad weather, maybe one bad mile split, various things like this. These are exactly those types of things we can’t always control but how we react when those things happen and want to send us into a downward spiral that we can control. That we can say hey big deal one bad mile, or hey one hill done 3 to go in this course and then it’s flat running to the finish so let’s stay strong, stay focused and keep the positive thoughts flowing instead of. Man these hills suck, I hurt, this is painful, screw it I’m going to walk this race is going to crap. Things like that.

Sometimes we take such offense in how others treat us, or as a coach sometimes I get too caught up in a bad performance by one of my athletes and I let some thoughts and actions fly that should not. We are human it happens, but the more we can control it and stay focused on things we can control and staying positive and in the moment the better everyone will be.

The lesson is we can’t control others thoughts, perceptions, or actions towards us but we can control how we act when they do toss us that unwanted curve ball. We can’t control what mother nature brings us on race day, but we can control out attitude and actions as to how we will handle things and adjustments we might need to make. These are the types of things that will be tough to do sometimes but the more you win the battle of controlling what you can and letting go of what you can’t the better you will be.

 

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.com

Sometimes you don’t need a finish line to have the journey.

8 Sep

Today’s blog comes to me after a morning phone call with one of my athletes and then an after of deep random thoughts.

As a coach, as an athlete I so often speak about “The Journey” and then the race being the carrot the prize at the end of it all. I think the real joy often times in racing and doing long endurance races like Ironman distance (140.6) Triathlon is the training, the long many months of training and hard work you put in, the sweat, blood, tears, laughs you share with friends and teammates and people you train with. The journey the ups and downs, the good days, the bad days and the in between days; early morning wake up calls and all the sacrifices you make along the way to prepare yourself for race day.

We all focus so much on the race it’s self and that’s good truly we want that race, the goal time, the finisher medal all of it! That really brings us joy and confidence. But many times when you train for long distance event things can happen along the way, road blocks or sometimes road closures! Things that either slows us down and we have to overcome or things that flat out stop us in our tracks and don’t allow us to finish the journey or maybe compete in the race and get that carrot we have been chasing.  Injuries are most often times what takes us out of the game! Injuries happen no matter if you are an age grouper or an elite no matter if you do everything right or you do some dumb stuff it’s just part of life, it’s just part of training and racing.

This morning phone call was with my buddy Stu, and Stu has been training for IMWI but couple weeks ago Stu found out he has a fractured sacrum and the pain is intense as you can imagine. Now for two weeks Stu has been wrestling with do I still try and tough it out and do IMWI? Or do I just give up and rest heal and get back in the game faster. This has been a tough thing to answer for him. Of course the smart thing, dude rest!! And heal and forget about IMWI and just get healthy, then the other side is dude it’s Ironman!!  Toughen up and go earn that $650 T-shirt and medal! You can do it and how bad ass is that to say you did IMWI on a fractured sacrum. So there you go the two thoughts going on. Well after a lot of soul searching I’m happy to know it sounds like Stu is going to make the smart choice the one the voice of reason angel is making and that is REST don’t do IMWI and risk more damage to yourself. The reward for doing IMWI is small compared to the risk that could happen during such a grueling race in the condition he is in.

So this is where I speak about “The Journey” and how the journey is what this is all about! Stu can to experience an amazing journey that began back in January. Stu got to make loads of friends this past 9months training, share in 100 mile bike rides with friends, long early morning swims, some running miles, beers, concerts, funny text chains and even some racing all in prep for his big day at IMWI. So people as you enter into long distance events like an Ironman know things can go south and things can take you out of the game or slow your game down. But know that if you embrace the journey embrace the comradely with the people you train with, if you log the miles, build the fitness and have months of fun along the way but get within reach of home plate but just can’t quite get home and do the race it’s OK. Yes it will sting, yes it will make sure sad but find the positive in it, think about the journey think about all the great moments you shared with people with yourself as you prepared for that race and then smile and be at peace. This won’t be easy to do I know, I’ve been there and understand these things but I do know we can’t control many things, and I do know failure happens more than success but if we shift our thoughts our mind to look at failure as a positive we can become stronger, smarter, better and be much happier! And I’m not saying that Stu or anyone who does not make a start line after the journey is failing. I’m just saying that as an athlete we might think that way and so we have to take the negative thoughts and spin them to positive ones.

We have to reflect back on all the things we enjoyed along the way and that if we did not commit to that race that then prompted us to hire a coach, join a training group, make new friends with people training for same or similar events we might have missed out on a lot of fun, on life! And it’s this that I call “The Journey” and why the Journey is so powerful and so special!

So hopefully you all stay strong and healthy and reach your start lines, achieve your goals and success! But if something happens and spins you off course and stops you dead in your tracks hopefully you got to experience a journey along the way and can find happiness in that.

Best of luck!

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.com 

(photo is from this past summer The Journey of Stu, Manuela and I post a 100 mile ride)

 

stu-manu-coach-100 

I admire crazy! and Respect toughness!

6 Sep

Today’s blog is inspired by two athletes I coach… but actually many of the athletes I coach inspire me and fall under the category that inspire me to write this blog. Just happens that the two that got me think this way did some amazing things over the weekend so they are front of mind.

 

To me life is about taking risks, not setting any limits, doing crazy stuff! Not being afraid to chase things that seem unattainable and just flat out showing toughness and guts!

Well Sunday one of my closest friends and athlete I coach Manuela took on a race that scared the crap out of her. A race that when she registered for it left me thinking, Is she nuts? What the heck? OMG she might die! But it also left me jealous that I was not going to be able to do this race with her and experience this crazy challenge! The race compete for Team USA at World Championships long course Duathlon! (Powerman Zofigan Switzerland) This race is a 10k run, a 150k on the bike and a 30k run at the finish. All done on crazy trails and in the Swiss mountains with some serious elevation. Now Manuela had never done a race of this distance or anything close to it. She has run several marathons and very fast and successful so the running OK… she did bike a 56 mile bike race this summer as part of a Triathlon relay team so that was her farthest bike race to date. But putting all of that together was brand new to her so I understand her fears! I also coach her and train with her daily so I understand her pure strength and toughness and passion and desire for this! And of course I respect the heck out of her for wanting to take on this challenge and do this race and for her to step way outside her comfort zone and into the unknown! How did she do you ask? Well she went on to win the Silver medal and finish 2nd in her age group and be the 11th overall female! I’m sure many people were surprised including Manuela, was I? Not at all I knew she would rise up and be bad ass! I knew Manuela had it in her to compete at that level with that type of success! I believe very much in that mighty little one just like I believe very much in many of the athletes I coach. So when these athletes accomplish amazing results most times I can say “Told you so”

Now for an athlete to reach this type of success and have these amazing moments! These “I told you so” type of moments it takes some serious commitment, dedication, passion, desire, and focus! You can’t be a person who makes excuses, you can’t be a person who does not follow the plan, you can’t be a person that lacks motivation, drive, passion and focus. If you are a seasonal type of athlete that occasional runner, cyclist etc… that person who lets outside distractions derail training and you don’t follow your coaches plan and communicate with your coach well.  Then there is no way you can go have this type of success and expect amazing results, those results that your coach says “I told you so” because believe me as coach I know who is going to excel and who is not. I see it in their eyes, in their behavior all of it.

 

So figure out what type of person you are? Then go out and chase crazy whacky insane things and set no limits!

The next little thing that has me going down this path is my friend Stu that I coach. This dude found out a couple weeks ago he has a fractured sacrum!! Yep it’s bad! And once we figured this out it explained why we have been taking so much rest and why his back hurt so bad when he did do workouts etc… Stu has shown insane amounts of toughness lately and I love it! his guts his heart and his focus simply amazing! This past Sunday with a fractured sacrum and all Stu rode 26miles on the bike with some of us Triathlete peeps who have been training with him all summer. O yeah on Saturday he did a one hour swim! Talk about toughness! I can’t think of many people who would go out and do these workouts in the shape that Stu is in. And what is even more nuts and I just love it!! Stu still wants to do Ironman Madison this weekend!

Now doing Ironman with a fractured sacrum is maybe not the best idea but it’s not an awful idea J I just love his toughness! And I wish more athletes would show this kind of toughness sometimes maybe not race on fractured bones, but be able to suck it up when things get tough, fight through cramps, some muscles soreness the little aches and pains that come with hard training etc…  Manuela also endured some serious hard times in her race and had to show her toughness! She was cramping, and hurting and thinking how could I ever finish this race yet alone hold off that German girl and win the silver medal! Yet she never gave up, she kept fighting and she kept pushing! Love that spirit and determination that these two show!

What I’m saying to you people is, sometimes it hurts, sometimes you have to embrace being uncomfortable, and sometimes you have to suck it up and live in the pain cave and push your limits!

And most of all you can’t be afraid or scared to do crazy hard stuff! Things you dream of things that will make everyone around you say what the! But things that once you accomplish them will leave you feeling strong, confident and amazing!

So challenge yourself, but remember in order to reach success you have to be committed you can’t just go through the motions or say you want to do something and yet not keep the focus and follow the plan.

So go be great! And best of luck!

Cheers Coach MB

Overcoming obstacles!

30 Aug

“Obstacles are put in our way to see if what you want is really worth fighting for”

That quote says a lot and means a lot.  It’s so true and it’s something I try and ask myself, and ask each athlete I coach daily and get them to answer.  

 

An obstacle can be something as crazy as a person with his stress fracture, or someone with cancer, or a person fighting back from a serious bike crash.  Those three examples are extreme serious obstacles that slow people down but don’t have to make them quit or stop pursuing dreams and their passions.

So when an athlete is positive, so mentally tough, so competitive and driven they will beat the odds and come back sooner than anyone will tell them! This is the kind of person that can answer “It’s worth fighting for” it matters and I’m overcoming that obstacle.

 

Sometimes an obstacle can be as simple as “I can’t leave my kids for 45 minutes” or “Work is so busy and stressful” or whatever outside noise is slowing you down from staying focused and enjoying your passion for even 30-45 minutes a day.

 

Obstacles can be minor injury like a calf strain, or tight sore legs, maybe a tweaked hamstring something like that in which maybe you can fight through the pain, or still do some form of exercise to stay fit and not completely derail your training and future goals.

Sure they slow us down, maybe make us take a few extra rest days or alter how we do things.

But again they don’t have to make us quit and give up! Unless of course it’s not worth fighting for and it does not truly matter to us.

 

But what I’ve learned over the years is that if it really matters to you if you truly want it! If you want that goal you set out for you will do everything you can to overcome the obstacle, you will fight and be mentally strong and make it happen to jump that hurdle do what you need to do and find that success, reach that goal!

 

Life is hard and certainly training for and competing in endurance sports or anything even a 1 mile running race is hard! And we have to fight daily to make our schedules work to fit in our own personal time for training, to get proper sleep, alter diets so we recover and stay healthy and don’t gain a bunch of weight.  But when something is hard to obtain it makes obtaining it that much sweeter! When we have to endure all sorts of pain, sacrifice, and overcome some obstacles to reach our goal and we do then we cherish that goal even more.

So don’t be afraid to fight for something that matters to you, don’t be afraid to overcome those obstacles and stay focused and positive.  Don’t let outside noise or life get in the way and slow you down because I honestly believe if something truly matters to you if you commit to something then you find away to see it through and complete it! You don’t let obstacles get in your way, you go around those obstacles and you keep pushing for the end result you want!

 

Go be great! Go chase goals! And stay positive and in the moment!

 

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.com 

 

 

Maple Grove Triathlon/Duathlon 2016 = success!

29 Aug

This past Saturday was the Maple Grove Triathlon and Duathlon. They have an Olympic or Sprint distance Triathlon, and then last year added a Duathlon which is also of the sprint distance being two 5k runs with an 11 mile bike in the middle. I found this to be a really nice event, nice course, location and well run event. The weather could have been better and could have been worse. We all woke up looked at our weather apps and thought yay!! Looks perfect then sometime between leaving transition and race start we got sprinkles, and we had light rain at times during the race making things wet and even at the end of the bike portion rains got a touch heavier. But the cloud cover and temps made for great running weather!

The downer was post race the skies really opened up and poured on us and of course with no dry clothes or extra clothes to put on after the race everyone was freezing cold and soaked. Which made for an uneventful let’s just bail from the awards ceremony. And that was tough to do since my crew of amazing gifted athletes all rocked podium spots!

MG-Tri was a goal race for two of my athletes Krisana and Liv as they were both doing the Olympic distance Triathlon in hopes of being fast enough to qualify for USA Triathlon National Championships in 2017. Mission accomplished!  These two young ladies are so dedicated, so strong, and show such passion for sport. As their coach I get to spend a lot of time with them and train with them and it’s very special! They are also my very good friends. This past summer Krisana, Liv and myself along with many others on Team Gotta Have Heart (the group of athletes I coach) spent hours pushing each other, motivating each other and having a lot of success on the race courses! It’s fun because each of them has their strength and their weakness and as a team we can all improve on these things and help each other.

So race day in Maple Grove left both of these women having PR performances for the Olympic distance! Liv went a 2:18 breaking that elusive 2:20 mark so many women in Triathlon chase, she did it with a great swim, monster bike and a solid run! Krisana (in only her second year as a Triathlete) went just over 2:20 that day with a swim that needs work a monster bike and one amazing super fast run! These times put Liv 3rd overall female, and Krisana #1 in her age group and 6th overall female.  And both have secured spots in 2017 USAT Nationals! Mission accomplished!

Another athlete I coach Michelle (who is not a swimmer) decided to do the Duathlon at this event and coach thought hey good idea! So Michelle and I did that took on this little Sprint Duathlon course.  It was a great course and really fun, just wish I had someone to race with and push me a little. I lead the race from the get go and ended up the overall winner of the Duathlon in 1:04:30 not pushing my limits still kicked out a 17:10 first 5k, 24.2mph bike leg, and another 17:50 5k  felt great and had fun! But the next closest person to me was Michelle who was 2nd overall and then of course #1 female but she was 10 minutes back from me so I never saw her.  She equally crushed that course!! With some blazing 5k runs and a solid bike. The 2nd place female was also 10 minutes back of Michelle.  We had fun earning our first place coffee mugs.

Race day turned out to be a great success and everyone reached their goals so you can’t ask for more than that. But the real beauty in days and moments like this is the months we share training together. The journey I like to call it, and then the traveling to the race site together, the warm-ups the post race coffee and all the great friendship time we share. It’s truly special for me to have moments like this with my friends, my athletes. Really makes racing, training all of it so much better!! So I say thank you to my girls!

Maple Grove we will be back… I enjoyed your event we all did! And of course having Jerry McNeal as the announcer makes it all that much better! He is the encyclopedia of Minnesota multi sport!

So stay focused everyone, stay committed, stay dedicated to your training; the plan and set those goals and chase them! Live life without limits! Live life with no regrets! And take on challenges that scare you!

 

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.com

 

Training on tired legs! Suck it up :)

23 Aug

As a coach I hear it all the time, “I’m so tired” “I lack energy” “I can’t do that I just ran yesterday” and blah blah blah.  Sure sometimes we do need to listen to our body and shut it down not saying you always need to push through. But often times we do need to push and do that workout the day post long run or hard effort. This is why a training schedule a coach sets for you is so important to follow and keep in-tact not altering days all the time. Because as a coach we know the progressions for you to build, how much to push, when to push and how to space out the certain workouts that is going to be hard and the key workouts. We know how to mix in the recovery workouts and how to keep those easy and used to recover your body. So as an athlete try and really communicate well with your coach, and follow the plan and structure they give you because it had thought, and it makes sense. And when you think you can alter things and just randomly move workouts around it often times leads to trouble and injury and no good.

But now back to training on tired legs.  I’m of the belief and have seen it with my own body that sure as we make the adjustment to train this way, increase volume and increase some intensity it has to be done in a slow progression you have to have patients and you have to understand that you will be sore and tired at first but if you stay focused, dedicated to the plan and stay mentally strong it will get better, you will get over the hump and soon your body will be able to handle this type of volume better.

When I’m training myself or an athlete for a longer type endurance event like marathon, 70.3 or 140.6 distance Triathlon etc… we often times will slow down some of the hard efforts, but increase that volume and I love to push longer stretches of workouts before a rest day to wear down the legs, make the body tired and then throw some hard workout in there and see if the body can respond and hit the paces when it’s tired. That workout becomes more of a mental battle than a physical one often times. We must train the mind to believe we can do the work we can push even though the legs and body are screaming hey I’m tired! If we give into the legs and that weak feeling of I’m tired we can’t grow and get stronger and faster so we must focus the mind to be tough and to push through. When I race a marathon I’m never feeling fresh and good at mile 21 so I train myself to be tired and then hit paces tired just like how I might feel at mile 21 of that marathon.  Make sense? A key type of workout for me during a goal marathon cycle is, long run on Saturday 17-22 miles which might be done more aerobic and not any race pace miles in it. So the intensity is a touch lower but it’s still a long time on feet and running that it will fatigue me. Then on Sunday I bounce back with a shorter run 8-10 miles but done with intensity like after 2miles warm-up I will push to try and run the remainder of my miles at race tempo.  The goal is to hold and hit goal race paces when I’m exhausted from a long week of training with no rest and the day previous was a big workout. If I can hit those paces on Sunday it gives me such a major mental boost and confidence that I’m ready come race day to succeed!

Now doing these types of workouts and efforts is not easy, and certainly can’t be done early in a training cycle but once you are into the middle of a cycle have your endurance up and the body has been responding well then it’s great to mix in and really test yourself.

The next part of going more like 10 days of consecutive workouts before a rest day; (this is my favorite way to attack things if the athlete is able and willing to do this sort of work) is that after weeks of this type of hard training when they roll into “Taper” and get the extra rest, backed off mileage etc… of a good taper come race day they are so fired up and ready to race the legs recover the body feels good and typically the race goes well! But for an athlete to handle this type of work load it takes a really strong mind, a very focused and dedicated athlete and someone who can embrace a little pain J.  For most athletes I coach I always give them one rest day per week so 6 days on and one day off.

 

The main point I’m trying to express today is train that body to perform when it’s tired, because those days become more of a mental toughness day which we all need! And when you succeed with your workout on those tired legs it gives you such confidence and then you grow as a person, an athlete and get that much better! So don’t be afraid to take on these kind of challenges your coach might give you and know this is the reason why we do that to you. We don’t do this because we are mean and trying to kill you.. ha ha it’s to teach you some things about your body, your mind and prepare you for race day and those tired dark moments!

 

Happy Training, Happy Racing! Best of luck!

And hey if you want a coach or a new coach let me know always looking for new dedicated athletes to work with.

 

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.com