Tag Archives: racing

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



Twin Cities marathon 2016!

10 Oct

Twin Cities marathon 2016 happened yesterday Oct. 9th 2016. This is my hometown race and a beautiful course but a race I have not done in 5-6 years so it was very exciting for me to be back out on this course with all the local support. We woke up race morning to cool air temps in the upper 30’s mild wind and sunny skies! It was going to be a great day for running 26.2 miles!


Twin cities marathon day is always special for me as I coach so many athletes that run either the TC-10 mile race or the marathon. It’s the celebration day of months of hard work training, hours of dedication to preparing our minds and bodies to complete the distance we have picked to race! Sometimes celebration day is glorious and sometimes celebration day leaves us a little bitter, sad, and feeling unsatisfied. But in the end we always have to smile, feel proud, feel grateful and be happy when we cross that finish line. As runners we are competitive and we set time goals to chase but the marathon is such a beast so much can and most likely will go wrong and because of that we need to embrace the power in having the guts the heart to even get on the start line and then to cross that finish line and earn that medal! As so many people are scared to take on challenges like this in life, so many look at us like we are crazy and we look at them like they are the crazy ones.

Running a marathon is more about mental toughness than physical strength. I found my mental toughness again on TCM 2016 race day as this has been sort of lost for a couple years but now as I sit the day after the marathon with confidence and a new attitude of how I will take on my next marathon and my next marathon training cycle I have a lot of excitement.

Racing, training all of that is a learning process and you have to be open and willing to learn and grow and I can say that I do a good job of that and implicate that into the training of the athletes I coach. If you get stuck in your ways and not recognize the errors the things that maybe caused you to fail and not reach that time goal you never grow and become better because if you reach your goal and have that success you kind of just keep doing the same thing and not mixing it up. But as I see it failure breeds change, and failure breeds success. Sometimes change is not needed, or at least major change but more of minor change.

One minor change I learned from TCM 2016 is the shoes I race in. For years I have been running in little racing flats, shoes with not a lot of cushion but very light weight. As I look over a few years of training logs and how I feel during the race likes yesterday at TCM the one thing that might be the difference maker for me is my choice of shoes. TCM 2016 was going pretty darn smooth for me (other than my Garmin being way off and completely inaccurate) my body felt great, my breathing, my heart rate all of it was in such control I kept my paces in check and my cadence was dialed in. At times I would think maybe I should slow a touch but it just kept feeling so natural to run how I was so I stuck with it. Until about mile 21! That’s when the legs really began to hurt! That is when my legs felt like concrete like little needles just poking into them the pain was becoming massive and really messing with my head. My lungs and everything else felt great and amazing my legs just hurt!! And would not move.

This is when the race became a major mental toughness battle and this is the part of my 26.2 mile run that made me smile with massive pride and has me confident. In my last few marathons when my body starts to fail me like my legs were I have lost the mental battle by walking, giving into the pain and letting the demons take me out of my game. but TCM 2016 I won the battle! I fought back with positive thoughts, I fought back with strength and I said not today! Today I don’t fail, today I win! I kept saying to myself “gotta have heart” run with a relentless forward motion these kind of positive affirmations over and over to push me.

My pace might have slowed some but I never quit, I never walked, I never stopped I just kept running and fighting and going for that finish line!

The next part of this race that made the day very successful for me was no trip to the medical tent, sure when I finished I asked if I could sit in a wheelchair for a bit and get a push to the bathroom so I could change into dry clothes but no see the DR’s and getting probed and IV’s jammed into my arm. I seemed to have managed my nutrition quite well all thought the last two miles of the race I was pretty sick to my stomach and felt like puking. I think it was maybe too many gels, chews, PowerAde drinks etc… But I was not completely dehydrated and I was able to still function; so success!

My pacing strategy; goal was start slow then pick it up then hang on! I was not chasing a PR time I knew my limitations, I knew my fitness and if I chased a sub 2:39 time it would leave me in a bad place so the goal was Run smart! Run with heart! If I had a time goal which I guess I did it was around 2:42-2:44 I felt like that was my zone. So my first 5k was quite slow much slower than I typically run at a race like this and then after the 5k I eased into a pace that felt smooth and in control and that pace turned out to be faster than I imagined but still a pace I had run a lot of during training 6:03-6:06 zone I stayed here for a long time just clicking off miles focusing on even effort. And I feel like I did a good job of this until mile 20-21 when I felt things getting harder, the legs saying dude we are done! This is where everything got off track. When I hit the half marathon mark at 1:19:58 I said perfect I can positive split the second half by up to 4 minutes and be within goal. Well that positive split became 6 minutes and left me a couple minutes outside my goal. But any of you that know the TCM course the second half of this race is way harder than the first half! So most likely a runner will positive split this course.  But 6 minutes was too much, so like I said the legs just failed me and the only thing I can think of based on how the rest of me felt was the shoes, the light racing flats finally just gave out and the pounding my legs had been taking for so long just accumulated and caused them to hurt like hell.  So the finish fast and strong part of the plan did not happen.

But TCM 2016 was one of my better marathon times in a couple years so I was pleased!! 2:46:20 is not a bad marathon time and finishing 67th overall in a field of almost 9000 runners!

As for all the athletes I coach.. well like I said earlier the marathon is a beast it humbles the fittest of athletes and it can leave us empty sometimes. So some had a lot of success and some were left with some disappointed of falling short of goals. But to me everyone was a major winner and inspiring! Because they all had the guts to get on the start line and finish even when the body quit on them. And for that they all need to be proud!! Because coach is very proud!

I think it’s this great challenge of the marathon, how hard it is, how humbling it can be that keeps us runners coming back for more and more. Chasing time goals, taking on new courses and always trying to win beat the distance. The marathon needs to be respected! And then the marathon will reward you with success! To complete a marathon and especially in time goal fashion you must not ever cheat your training, you must always stay dialed in, passionate and committed to it! There is no short cuts with the marathon you have to take it head on and hope you can be stronger than it on that day! Step one to beating the marathon begins in your head so train the mind, build that mental toughness and once you have that then and only then do you have a chance to beat the marathon.

Twin cities marathon 2016 will be a day remembered a great day with friends and a day that I won the mental battle! A day that I never quit, never gave in and for that I’m very proud today!

I left it all on the roads….


Happy Running

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.



Coach MB


Your race season!

31 Jan

Your Race season

Whether you’re an age grouper or an elite athlete and the beginning of every year you have to lay out your season look at the calendar and think what is going to me my few key goal races? And what will be my tune up races or my races just to go out and have fun. It can be very hard to attack each race as an “A” race a race you expect to PR at so you need to be OK with having some slower times once in awhile and using those races as a way to measure your fitness and things that you can improve upon for when the goal race comes up you are ready!

The mental game is huge during the season and this is why I think it’s good to focus on only a couple key races each year and the others become measuring sticks to help you fine tune your training to be ready on the day of the goal event. So keeping your mind focused and that main goal if you have a bad race at this tune up event is key!! I have been there before and know many athletes who have. We feel well trained and the body feels good we show up at this race which is not the focus event on the calendar but we still want to do well and see where we are at. Something happens during the race and our time reflects a so/so finish and then the mind games start and we stress about it and let it affect us too much. Instead we need to let it go learn from it and move on put it in the past. When we become confident enough to do this when we hit that point that mentally we are able to learn, forget and move on then we have reached a great place within ourselves. Racing is just not a sound and strong body but it’s a sound and strong mind and I would venture to say the mind needs to be stronger than the body.

I break up my season into segments for races and training. Typically the first half of the year if more focused on running because my “A” race is the Boston marathon however I keep a very good balance of cycling and swimming in there as well. I’m a huge believer of cross training and even if you’re focus is running you must cross train and to me cycling is one of the best things to do for cardio strength, and to just active and use different muscles. Then after Boston I get more focused on my Triathlon season and start to even out the swim, bike, run workouts and focus on transitions, doing more brick type workouts etc… By mid-summer I’m still in full on Triathlon race season but now I also switch a little focus back to marathon running to prepare for a fall marathon. So now my training looks a little more like it did the first part of the year but still maintain a very good balance of swim and bike workouts as well. After the fall marathon and my race season is done I move into the “fun” phase. I take this time to recover enjoy rest days but also just enjoy running and cycling for fun. No hard workouts, I don’t worry about mileage or pace or any of that I just put on the shoes and run to stay fit. I really do a lot of trail running during this time. That’s pretty much how my year lays out think about how your year lays out? Think about what the goal races are? What the tune up races? And what races you do just for fun and don’t care about the end result. Which I highly suggest doing some races just for fun. Maybe you have a friend who is not as fast as you are and you could run with them for an event help them through it, maybe you run a 5k with your kids? That is my single most fun race of my season every year when I run 5k’s with my daughter Bella. If you are not exposing your kids to fitness and taking them running and biking and trying to be active with them like this you are missing the boat!

As I talked about throughout this blog how to set up a season let me give you a quick example. Let’s say the “A” goal race is a marathon typically this is a 16-18 week training cycle to prepare for the marathon and say about week 10/11 of the training cycle there is a 10 mile or half marathon event you can do. I suggest you do it and this becomes a “B” race this is that event that yes we want to do well at but more importantly we want to learn from it. We want to test ourselves see how our fitness is and see what mistakes we make and what things we need to improve upon to be ready for the marathon the goal event. This is also that race that if things fall apart and don’t go so well that we need to move on quickly from and get right back into our training and keep out focus.

So 2012 is here and race season is fast upon us! If you are running Boston we are 11 weeks away which means its game time! Get your focus stick to your plan follow your coaches’ orders and nail that goal on race day.

Don’t over train and don’t race to much be safe and take care of that body so you can keep doing this for years to come.

Cheers and best of luck this season
Coach MB

Beautiful weather here in Minnesota!! Jan. 30th I got out and ran 6 miles in the fresh air it was amazing then went and coached a group of runners on the track for a nice workout that everyone nailed and did amazing at! I got another 4.5 miles of running there which gave me a 10.5 mile day of running on Monday and I also taught brick class at 5:30am which gave me 45 minutes of hard cycling intervals. I have another 10 mile run planned for today after a Real Estate closing.