Tag Archives: #nevergiveup

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



Love to Train!

16 Nov

This morning Pro-Triathlete Andy Potts posted something about how you need to love to train.

It said; “Love to train, Everyone loves to race. You gotta love to train. The daily quest for self improvement and the constant drive knowing that you can and will get better.”  

That quote simply made me come alive!! Because as many of us I love to race I truly love all about racing. Seeing my friends in transition, the excitement and thrill of competition and that taste of success!

But in order for us to expierence all of those things we must train and we must find passion and love in training. The no glory hours spent in your basement on a bike trainer the countless hours spent running in the dark or the monitnoy of lap after lap in the pool. But those people who find joy in this and can stay commited and passionate during those lonely hours of training those are the people who become stronger and make themselves better in so many ways besides just on race day!

The real success and improvement within ourselves happens on training day! It happens when we rise at 4:30am and hit the pool at 5:30am and swim lap after lap trying to hit our intervals. Or we crawl into our basements on a dark winter morning turn on some music and ride that bike on the trainer with the sweat pouring off us as we look at the same stuff posted on our walls. When you can find joy in that wow the things that will happen to you are quite amazing!! It’s within these moments of training that the magic happens!

I’m a coach and use “group” training as part of what I offer this group training can help make athletes love to train more. If you have friends and other like minded nuts to meet up with on a dark morning and then go do your workouts together pushing each other that can really spark a love to train inside you. Because then the training becomes more than just a lonely workout it becomes building lasting sweat filled freindships! The group helps give the athlete the motivation they might need to get out of bed and do the workout and the group can help the athlete push outside their comfort zone as well.

But not always is a group avail or needed or even good. Sometimes we just have to have the passion within ourselves to train the passion and dedication that makes us wake up in the morning and go rock that workout our coach gave us! These athletes I find build something else besides a fit body. They build mental toughness! They build an enternal strength that come race day pays off in a big way. This type of athlete is use to being alone, use to pushing themselves beyond limits and how to hurt without that paerson next to them holding their hand. Sure it can be lonely some days but it’s also very good! If you can pry yourself out of a warm bed in the winter time and go log the workout, esepcically when it’s a hard tempo/interval workout and you need to really focus and push through the pain cave that is huge!

I like to call training the “journey” and I love the journey! The journey to me the training is a mix of both group time and solo time. I do a nice mix and match with my workouts of sharing time with friends and sharing time alone.  Sharing time training with friends is amazing! I have built so many good friendships over the years with athletes I coach and train with; because face it when you are sweating and working hard and pursuing goals things just get simple they get down to the essence of life and if you have a person or group that you can share that with day in and day out and always be there for each other to lift each other up well those can become some pretty powerful friendships.

But I do love to train alone and work on the mental focus the focus to push into that pain cave when I really hurt and nobody is watching. Sometimes it’s those moments during my training that really shape me as an athlete and give me some great stuff to reflect back on during tough moments of a race.


So there is many ways for an athlete to train and get through the journey to race day. And at the end of it all the athlete just simply has to love to train! They have to love getting up in the morning and pushing those limits when there is no medal, no finisher shirt and nothing more than simply some sweat and a satification feeling inside of I just did that and it felt awesome!

Find your passion, your love for training and watch all the changes happen!


Coach MB


#findfaster #lovetotrain #noexcuses #gottahaveheart


Proud coach!

9 Nov

I love coaching athletes. I love helping people set goals and then achieve those goals. I love taking your everyday age grouper and making them believe in themselves, building them full of confidence that they can accomplish some pretty amazing things! And how to live life without setting limits.


I use Training Peaks as my way to write training plans for the athletes and then communicate with the athlete through notes in Training Peaks after I review their workout data and read their notes about how it went. One of my favorite times of the day is in the morning after I have finished my workout and I make my smoothie sit at the computer log into Training peaks and start coaching.

The success these people have is remarkable, nothing makes me smile more than when an athlete the day before talks with me scared about their workout, scared about their paces and then the next day when they complete that workout and nail it, maybe even go little faster than planned and actually feel good after. Now that is success and that is awesome! When I read the notes that ooze with confidence and makes that athlete glow that is some powerful and cool stuff! And it’s the simple things that go along way with me also like the word “Thank you” when that athlete accomplishes something really hard and does it with great success and has that confidence in them then they say thanks coach. That really means the world to me and you can’t put a price on that.

As endurance athletes we love a good challenge, we are goal setters and we like plans to follow and be pretty strict about. But we also get very scared and we have many fears about some things we dream of or inspire to accomplish. When we limit ourselves like this with these fears, the fear of failure really is what it is or the fear of pain because most of us don’t love that painful feeling. We hold ourselves back and never really see all the potential that lies within us.

So as a coach I find my soothing easy ways to encourage the athlete to not be afraid, to take on that challenge and if they fail so be it; who cares! I pump them up full of belief and confidence even if the goal they are chasing seems like a long shot and all the scientific data says nope they can’t accomplish that. Because that data can often be wrong! And the only true way to find out what you are capable of is to try it, swing for the fence as I say and just let loose and go for it.

As a coach I love nothing more than when an athlete does exactly that gets way outside their comfort zone and just goes for it with a positive and care free attitude. When the athlete does this they almost always come back to me with a huge smile and say Thanks! Wow I did that!

And that is when coach smiles with pride!

Today after many of my athletes did their workouts I read some seriously awesome notes that made me smile with that proud coach smile! Because I could see the happiness and confidence that was just built inside that person!


So keep believing in yourself! Don’t be afraid to let loose and just go for it as you will never know if you can accomplish something unless you try. You will never grow and become the person you can be unless you push limits and live without fear!

So go be great, make yourself proud and make coach proud!


Coach MB

Keep It Loose!

1 Nov

The last few weeks have had me thinking and opening my eyes to things. I see things on the outside world and then try and think about how to apply and bring it into my own world. All though what I’m going to talk about today I feel is something I have been very good at and do implement well.


As a coach we have many roles it’s not only the science behind writing the proper training plans and having athletes do the right workouts to be physically fit on race day and peaking at the right times for the goal races. We also have to mentally help the athlete stay focused, believe in themselves and build confidence within the athlete. And we need to make it fun and keep things loose.

As a huge Chicago Cubs fan this has been something floating in my head all season and until just recently after another season of watching how my daughter high school cross country coach handles things it did not hit me. Joe Madden the manager of the Cubs brings a fun real loose atmosphere to the Cubs clubhouse and with a team loaded full of talent but young talent that is so crucial to get these guys to perform at the level they are capable of. Sure the old seasoned veterans like John Lester might not need as much of this loose vibe Joe brings but the young guys like Kris Byrant and Javier Baez I bet it helps a lot! The pressures athletes put on themselves and certainly at a Major League baseball level can be un-needed stress that sucks energy from an athlete and has them so nervous that they clam up and can’t perform.

I believe this is where coaches can be set apart. Take out the X’s and O’s so to speak the workouts and look at the little things the X-factors that can make or break a season a performance.  Athletes will put enough pressure on themselves to perform they will be full of nerves and especially in young athletes like high school level this can become too much and really overwhelm them. Sure there is the exception of that athlete that has ice for veins and that killer instinct but even still with those traits that athlete might be even better if they had a bit more of a let it go kind of vibe in them.

How I like to approach things with an athlete is and I guess this hit home this morning when my daughter compared me to her swim coach of many years that she loves. Bella connects very well with Coach Dan her amazing swim coach that gets so much out of his swimmers! But as a runner (and she loves to run) her coach for the last three years is more rigid less fun and more of a put the pressure on the girls instead of keep things fun and loose and show some heart.  So the two coaches have had a major impact on her one in a positive direction, the other in a more negative direction. So when my daughter compared me to Coach Dan and said I’m like the Coach Dan of running it made me smile. I took that as a huge compliment because of how much she respects Dan.

So back to my approach, in training we have to work hard, we have to be focused and we have to be dedicated. Things will be hard and some days I might be a little harsh or firm with the athlete to make them do their best at the workout. But even when I’m on a track with runners doing a hard interval workout and everyone is embracing the pain cave I still bring high energy, fun and some humor to the workout to try and relax the athlete I still try and pump them up with praise even when missing paces but I can see they are working hard. The goal is to keep them feeling positive and having fun! The goal is to try and take their mind off the hard work the pressure of trying to hit certain paces and let them perform a little more; loose.

Yes when an athlete has time goals, etc… certain paces will need to be hit, they will need to be able to step up and perform at a certain level but if you take the pressure off them and just focus them on giving a solid hard effort and keep them positive and believe in themselves you will see that eventually it will all click and that athlete will be crushing it and doing exactly what they need to do and without even knowing it or focusing on it.

So as a coach we train hard and we focus. But come race day we relax we take the pressure off ourselves and we try and just be loose laugh, sing songs and get ready to go race. As a coach you can’t put the pressure on the athlete but you need to take the pressure away from the athlete. This is what Joe Madden has done so well all season for the Cubs. The players know what they need to do to win, the players know they need to win to stay alive and advance and reach the goals they have set so why does the coach have to put extra pressure on them to go do this? Nope the coach needs to try and relieve that pressure and make the athlete loose and relaxed and let them just go out have fun and take what the day gives them.

Stress is such an unhealthy emotion, stress causes so many problems and affects people in negative ways more times than not. So as a coach we need to take that stress away from our athletes and make them smile laugh and go have fun. The results will follow if we do this.

Runners especially can be very type A and want strict plans to follow stare at their watches and if the paces deviate from what the plan say they freak out. This is why come race day I like to give a little direction to the athlete about how to run the race and the paces they need to reach their goal but I also tell them to just relax settle in and embrace the moment run by perceived effort and what the day gives you. This is where shedding that watch and just go for a  run can really come in handy because if you look at the watch during the race and you have one bad mile split it can alter your state of mind make you think too much and then bring on that stress and negative feelings that can destroy your race.

So in the end you need to just let go a little stay loose smile relax and have fun. If you do that thing will work out and the success will happen! The goal is don’t add any extra stress to yourself or an athlete that can suck energy away from what they need to do.


Happy Training, Racing and having fun enjoying your passions!


Coach MB



Hard work and consistency and some patience will pay off!

15 Oct

That title is what I tell all the athletes I coach; they are words I have lived by throughout my endurance sport and even professional career.

I’ll talk a bit about my story to hopefully give you all some hope if you’re struggling to show you that those words in the title are true.

I fell in love with running back in high school my at the time basketball coach was the cross country coach and since I was a skinny little dude who did not play football he made me run cross country to get in shape for basketball. So I did and I quickly found out I had some talent and so did coach. But my high school career was actually quite a mess and I have many regrets from that time in my life. I did have talent but I never truly used that talent. I would come to practice and typically goof off and not always run the workouts as hard as I should etc… I mean sometimes I did but more times than not I was just a goof off. Then the meets would come around and I was very competitive so I would want to race hard and could. I found myself as a young runner always floating between JV and Varsity. If I ran the JV meet I would either win the race or finish in the top 5 overall always. If I ran the Varsity race I would do well and could score for my time but never be that front runner like in a JV race. This would frustrate my coach because he knew I had so much talent but I was not applying myself in practice. I never raced scared or nervous I always had confidence and was quite lose during and before meets but my lack of performance in the Varsity races was from my lack of focused training. During high school I also ran track and to this day I’m part of my high school 4 x800 meter relay team that owns the school record. As you can see I had some talent and passion for running at a young age I just did not use it properly.


Years went by and my commitment to running floated away as I played music in a rock band, and then started working in the music industry and promoting concerts touring with bands etc…

I would still run but just the 5k-10k distance and race the fun races of that distance occasionally. But during this time I had gained a lot of weight and was not so healthy.

Now let’s speed things up to about 2005/2006. I’m working as a Realtor and I meet this amazing couple moving here from Colorado. Dave was into cycling and his fiancé Shannon was into running. Dave got me going on cycling and then began my quest to do a Triathlon and start make changes in my diet to get healthier and start competing in sport again. Shannon was training for a marathon and one day said she was going for a 12 mile training run around the lakes. I said hey can I join you? Sounds fun! That was the turning point of my life.  (Dave and Shannon to this day are still my very dear close friends and I love them to pieces) So off Shannon and I went for this 12 mile run we were cruising along chatting clicking off miles and not at a fast pace by any means but as we could maybe 9-10 miles in I struggled to keep up and she took off ahead we got back to their house and I realized I just got my ass kicked on this 12 mile run! That was the day I said I need to get serious and make some changes. (Thank you Shannon for being my inspiration to start running marathon)

Next sign up for the Twin cities marathon (2007) I have this race posted, medal, my bib and the card with my finish time on it framed and in my home office staring me in the face everyday as a reminder of where I came from. As motivation to always believe in myself and stay consistent and focused.

I started training for this marathon all by myself and just self coaching myself study books and websites etc… I would meet some running groups along the way to do some runs with but mostly I was solo. Now Twin cities marathon 2007 was a wicked hot and humid year a year they almost cancelled the race because of heat index so that was a struggle but none the less I was not so fast and I learned that day you have to respect 26.2 miles!  I ran that day in 3:53 that’s an 8:55 per mile pace. I was hooked on the marathon and after that race my goal was qualify for the Boston marathon!

2008 became a year of more consistency in my training, more focus and dedication and a lot more learning. I continued to slim down and now have gone from my heaviest before 2007 TCM of around 185-190 to now 145 pounds. From waist 34 to a 28inch waist; Becoming leaner certainly helped me run faster paces. I also became a more efficient runner and started to get my stride and form back from when I was in high school. My second marathon ever 2008 TCM I ran a 3:03 and qualified for Boston! In one year I had just taken 50 minutes off my marathon time! Because of dedication, passion, commitment, and consistency!

Boston marathon 2009 my first Boston! I was so excited! This was also the first time I broke 3 hours in the marathon! I believe I ran 2:58 that day in Boston and ever since that day have never looked back stringing together lots of marathons and all sub 3 hour times. (except for two marathons… one where I paced a runner and dear friend I coach NYC 2014, and then Boston 2016 when I blew up with heart issues and other stuff but still finished) other than those two races every marathon I have run since 2009 has been a sub 3 hour. I have now run 8 Boston marathons in a row and 2017 will be Boston 2017. I have done two Ironman distance Triathlon’s with my debut 140.6 in AZ 2012 in time of 10:05, 2016 I won a National title at USA Triathlon Duathlon National championships, I finished the 2016 Duathlon race series ranked #1 in points for male 40-44, in 2013 I raced Duathlon World championships in Canada and won the bronze medal.  My marathon PR was 2012 Chicago marathon in a time of 2:39 and my half marathon PR is a 1:16.  I have many other accolades along the way but this highlights some of my most proud moments.

So the point to all of this gets back to the title of this blog. And how if you are consistent, if you are passionate and focused, dedicated and goal driven with a little bit of competitive fire in you. Anything is possible you just have to believe and you have to be willing to work hard! You have to be willing to put yourself out there make sacrifices and push limits. And most of all you just have to be consistent in what you do! Follow you’re training plan, listen to your coach etc…

Because I have been that way for years, because I respect “sport” respect these distances and races and I stay training and fit 365 days a year I continue to grow as an athlete and now as a very successful coach! Since that 2007 Twin cities marathon I have studied and become certified with USA Track and Field and other organizations as a coach and have built a great and positive coaching business Gotta Have Heart Training that coaches athletes all over the world.

So if you are struggling and running 4 hour marathon time and have a goal of running a 3:30 or the Boston marathon whatever it might be. Stop and think about your training, think about how consistent are you? What is your commitment, passion, and how bad do you want it.

Then go make it happen! You can do it and make all the changes within yourself you want, you can go from that 3:53 marathon time to a 2:39 marathon time just like I have done. You just have to remember a few key words.

Consistency! Believe! Passion! Commitment! Heart! Hard work pays off!


Best of Luck

Coach MB