Tag Archives: Swimming

Let go of the past, focus on the future!

12 Feb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



Coach MB



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

6 Feb

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Happy Training, Racing and being inspiring!


Coach MB


You have to Fight for it.

30 Jan

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


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

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

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

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

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


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



Coach MB

Gotta Have Heart Training




Setting Goals! Chasing Goals!

19 Jan

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


Coach MB


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

16 Jan

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


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


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


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


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

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



Coach MB


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

Emotions… How they can affect performance.

28 Oct

Emotions are part of being human emotions can be positive and they can be negative the can enhance our performance and decrease it. Emotions come in many different forms emotions are our feelings and reactions to things that happen to us.

When we have negative, sad emotions things that are building up inside of us from some outside frustrations maybe how a person has treated us, maybe that sadness of a fight/argument with a friend or family member. Those types of emotions that come from that will decrease your performance it will suck energy you need to perform and make you feel tired and strain during the workout or race. I love running for letting go of emotions like this but I also know during this time my performance lacks. I run and all of us run for various reasons and one of those reasons I think a lot of people use running for is to let go of some emotions of the sad variety and just clear their head. Running is a wonderful tool for this just be warned that all that extra energy used being emotional inside about what is troubling you will decrease performance and make the workout feel hard.

The goal and key is to hopefully eliminate these types of emotions around race days when you need your max energy and focus for the race.

Using Emotions as fuel can be powerful. Anger and that internal fire to prove someone wrong can be huge in motivating an athlete to push through pain and really perform at a high level.  The emotion can start out as a negative maybe a coach or a outside source is making you feel a little bad and not believing in you that you can rise to the challenge and so you take that emotion and turn it into fuel into a positive of angry energy to push through the race and come out with another kind of emotion Smiles and sense of confidence and a little I told you so.

Sometimes I have used this approach in coaching I have tried to anger the athlete in a touch of a way that it motivates them and fires them up to go kick ass and really perform strong. Now one must be careful with this approach as depending on the person you are trying this with it could backfire.

I love to race and push on emotions on the powerful passionate confident angry type of emotions that become good fuel and don’t drain my energy. Those days when you feel your back is against the wall and everyone is rooting against you and hoping you fail that is sometimes when I really shine and I’ve seen a lot of athletes really shine here! There is something to be said for performing with a chip on your shoulder so to speak.

The emotions of arrogance and feeling over confident these are very tricky. We all need to feel confident and believe in ourselves in our ability to perform and reach goal. But we also can become quite lazy and maybe not give that 100% effort when we have our emotions going so much in this direction. These types of emotions don’t per say drain your energy level but more don’t use all your energy and typically leave you saying ugh I had more in the tank and I failed because I did not prepare myself for this event because I thought it would be easy because I’m so good. I’ve seen this as a coach often times athletes that have a lot of success and are truly talented that they don’t always get up for each event and then when another athlete comes in riding that crazy emotion of anger and the chip on their shoulder the athlete with that emotion of arrogance gets beat. So be cautious if you fall into this zone be confident as you need that but never under estimate your competition and think you can slack off cause you have the race won.

So as humans as people who have hearts, and many different emotions that flow through us and rapidly change assess what emotions are happening inside of you, think about how you can try and control your emotions and either ignore the negative sad ones that drain so much energy from you that it becomes a struggle to move your legs, or how you can take the anger focused, driven type of emotions and turn them into fire to kick some butt and perform at a high level reaching goals.

The goal is to find out how you can take your emotions and turns them into positive fuel not have them suck your energy away.

Make sense?


Go be great! And run high on emotions!!


Coach MB


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!


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!



Coach MB




4 life lessons a coach can teach you.

15 May

Coaches and endurance sports teach people a lot about themselves not only making them stronger and better athletes but help them with other aspects of their life. Here are 4key lessons you can learn from a coach.


  1    A coach will teach you that success both in endurance sports and in life requires hard work.

To achieve anything worthwhile, you have to put in hard work. You have to be dedicated and disciplined. To complete whatever endurance sport you choose to pursue if going to require a lot of hard work and the same goes for anything you want to achieve in life.  As they say you will get out what you put in.


 2     Your coach will teach you that your passion still counts for something.

In a culture where we expect to get rich, get paid, and do it right now, it is good to see that some people still do what they do because they have a love for it.  Most coaches are not in it for the money, but rather, the satisfaction and pleasure that comes from seeing athletes develop and accomplish things greater than they ever thought imaginable.

  3     You will learn how to cope with disappointments.

For each and every one of us, there will be times where things go completely awry. There will always be trying moments where we don’t perform to expectations and it’s how we cope with these moments and how your coach helps you cope with these moments that will allow you to grow and move on and become better.

 4      You will learn to push yourself past yourself imagined limits.

As a coach I always help people dream big, dream often and chase crazy goals that they never would have thought they could reach. And they always reach and surpass those goals and limits that they had set for themselves. Most people are scared to push beyond a certain point, people are scared of failure. But as a coach I teach people to push beyond those limits and break down those walls and help them realize they can go farther and faster than they ever dreamed!


I love being a coach and these are 4 great reasons why!


Coach MB


Never satisfied

24 Jun

Never be satisfied and always believe you can do more

Friday night after my daughters swim meet she displayed a side of “wanting” more being frustrated and not satisfied that I had not seen a lot of out of her but I really liked witnessing this. The meet Friday night started out well for her as she got best times in the first two events she swam but then came the third event the 50 butterfly and she is only less than 2 seconds away from a state qualifying time in this event. She knows inside herself she has the talent to get that time and better herself but for some reason that night something went wrong and she did not better her time. She was mad and frustrated “she was not satisfied”.

Now I was building her up saying how proud I was and how great she did but she was not accepting of that because she knows she did not swim to her potential in the 50 fly and that she can and will do better. Having small failures like this in life is OK this is the kind of fuel we need sometimes to say hey I can do better I am better than that and now I’m focused and going to work harder to prove it.

When you get settled and feel satisfied you stop working hard, you get a little unfocused and you just kind of cruise through things. Doing them well yes but never really taking that next leap and finding out truly how great you can be. You never grow as a person because you are satisfied and think you don’t need to improve. When you think you have no room to grow then you’re done. You need to always stay hungry you need to always strive for more and know that you are capable of much much more!

To go along with this the word “Practice” comes to mind because as we all know to improve ourselves to get those state qualifying times we need to practice we need to put the time in and we need to work hard. As a runner if my goal is to run a marathon in the 2:30’s that is going to take a lot of work and some serious dedication to my training. I know I have the talent to do so but if I get complacent and just think I’m good enough I’ll never get there. So having that ever driving hunger inside me is key! You must stay hungry!

In one of my favorite books “Running within” they talk about practice and mastery a little excerpt from that book that I found very cool is this.
“Mastery is an endless journey that requires one small step at a time. Your success on this journey is measured by the quality of those steps and your attention to the practice.”

That is a great line out of the book. There is no quick fix, no magic pill for success. Success comes with hard work, dedication, and the hunger of never being satisfied.
Another little piece out of the book to help you with some focus; “The Chinese symbols for practice first show a young bird flapping it’s wings, then depict the bird in flight once it feels confident enough to fly”. That is a great metaphor for you to visualize as you go through life as you train for your next event. See that little bird trying to fly (you) and as you gain confidence in yourself you begin to lift off and fly.

So as you prepare for your next event as you go through life stay hungry, never feel full or satisfied and know you can always have more. It’s going to take some time, it’s going to take some hard work, and it’s going to take a lot of dedication and positive thoughts. But if you have the believe and the hunger then anything and everything is possible and you will continue to grow and set the bar higher and higher for yourself reaching new limits and chasing new goals.


I love writing about my little girl Bella as she is so much like me but also so much better than me. I love her more than anything in the world and just watching her grow and do things is such an eye opening learning experience for me. Bella inspires me and makes me want to push myself harder and harder to make her proud and to show her that with hard work you can achieve great success. Her display of not being satisfied Friday night was something I’ll always remember.

As for my workouts and how is my body? Well I’m feeling quite good! I’m feeling strong and I’m very focused on my next event. 2012 is a long season for me because my “A” race the one race that everything else is preparing me for is Ironman AZ in November. So yes I still want to do well at all my other events and I still push myself hard but the goal and the time for me to peak is at Ironman AZ so if I stumble along the way like at 70.3 Kansas I’m OK with that because they are just training runs, and races to learn from and help me fine tune my training. But believe me I’m hungry and I’m not satisfied and the next event on my schedule I will be coming out guns a blazing and showing myself that I do have it in me.
Saturday’s workout was a 19.5 mile run with the marathon/half marathon group I coach. Now only I ran that far and that’s because one of my friends who I coach G wanted a long run before he runs the Montana marathon in a few weeks so he and I busted out 7.75 miles before the group arrived we kept very even splits of a 7:56 pace for that part of the run. So nothing too fast for me. Then we picked up the group and set out on the next route again I paced everyone nice and easy keep it slow for us and relaxed. But about mile 16 I started to slowly pick up the pace on them. At mile 18 I started breaking away as I ran a 6:15 mile here, then at mile 19 I just went into race pace and busted a 5:42 mile and closed the run out that way. The 5:42 pace did not feel hard and in-fact it felt really good. So this tells me I’m in a decent place right now because I had just spent all that time on my feet and yet was able to jump into pace and not feel tired, not feel labored in my breathing and could have jammed out that pace for awhile. It gave me great excitement in my training. Today is a big swim workout, and a long bike ride I’m looking forward to it.