Tag Archives: #USATriathlon

NCAA Triathlon Varsity sport!

21 Nov

NCAA Triathlon emerging sport for Women!

As a competitive age group Triathlete and huge fan of the sport I choose to write about NCAA Triathlon for Women today. So many people do not even know that Triathlon is an NCAA Varsity sport now for women and that 34 schools across the country have it and within the next year or two that number should hit 40+ making Triathlon a sanctioned sport by the NCAA and then look out as it explodes!

This past weekend in Tempe, AZ was the National Championships for NCAA Triathlon. They broke things out into two races. The first race was Division 3 schools, the second race they combined Division 1 and Division 2 athletes all though scoring only counted in their respected division they were out on the course at the same time as each other.
NCAA Triathlon is a sprint distance race. 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run. The courses are always a loop style course and the bike portion are draft legal just like they race at the Olympic and ITU elite levels. It makes for very exciting racing and spectator friendly courses.

The National Champion team titles went to some familiar schools again in 2019.
Division 1 Arizona state University won again, Division 2 Queens University of Charlotte won, and Division 3 North Central College took home their 4th straight team title! Those Three schools have really set the standard in NCAA Triathlon over the last 3-4 years with taking home team titles consecutively at Nationals.

But with that said, Early National signing day opened last Wednesday 11/13/19 and schools have been announcing athletes that have signed! It’s been really fun to follow and see where girls end up. Like I said I’m a huge fan of the sport and follow it closely, also my daughter Bella has been racing against a lot of these girls for many years. Coach Gina out at University of San Francisco had a great signing day! Looks like she signed 5 athletes for her new program and grabbed what has got to be the #1 recruit in the nation Gillian Cridge. The University of South Dakota grabbed Paige Horner out of Johnston, IA who is an amazing athlete and will certainly help boost that team in 2020! Both South Dakota and San Francisco are D1 schools and I believe will have some fire power now to make the race a lot more interesting in 2020 against ASU.
Also Wagner University (Stanton Island, NY) signed two really great athletes, and ESU (Eastern Tennessee university) grabbed some quality athletes like Sade (who is a sweet kid, Bella and her have raced and met) This is what I have seen out of the Division 1 schools so far.

Daemen Tri announce 2019
In Division 2 I have not seen a lot of the school’s post about athletes signing to help bolster their teams and chase after Queens University. Except for Daemen College (Amherst, NY) where my daughter Bella signed. Bella is one of the top athletes coming out in this 2020 class and could have went Division 1 at some of the schools mentioned above and has beaten a lot of the girl’s head to head that did sign at those Division 1 schools above. But Bella choose her schools based on other factors that just being a Division 1 athletic program school. The athletics was very important but what was more important was her degree and the education piece of things. She also loves the girls on the team and Coach Metz! And so, does dad! I believe with the addition of Bella to the Daemen roster and whatever else Coach Metz has coming in that this team is going to really contend in 2020 for a podium spot at National Championships and maybe even dethrone Queens! And that is very exciting!

In Division 3 I have not seen a lot here also about athletes that have signed. But I know a couple of these coaches well and they are amazing!! Bella almost went to school there.
Coach Kim out at Northern Vermont University I’m sure will have some good talent coming in, and she is a great coach! If you like a rural campus in the mountains this place is beautiful! And Coach Jenny at NCC (4-time team National champs D3) is an outstanding coach and great person! I guarantee you she has some talent coming in to make that very strong team even stronger! So, it will be exciting to see over the next few months where girls go and what the rest of these schools add to their already strong teams!

The last message I want to get out there to anyone who reads my blog. High school girls’ coaches and schools are looking for quality athletes, and quality people. You don’t have to have past experience in Triathlon. This is why USA Triathlon has been supporting and helping put on combines across the country at high schools so that we can build a list of girls that have swim or run backgrounds and would be interested in talking with a Triathlon coach. I plan to host a combine in Minnesota come spring of 2020! A lot of these colleges especially D2 or D3 level are looking at athletes with strong swim or run background and then coaching the rest. Did you know that 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Gwen Jorgenson came out of a program like this? She was a cross country runner and a swimmer never did Triathlon and got recruited into a program and coached up and then boom became the best in the world! Same for current #1 in the world Katie Zafares, she was a steeple chase runner at Syracuse university and now is #1 in the world on the ITU circuit. So, girls you don’t have to have the past Triathlon experience like some of these girls listed above do coming out of junior elite cup races and what not. If you have a solid swim or run background you can Try a Tri and join an NCAA team and compete in college! Think about it, and please reach out to me if you want help? I’m happy to coach, mentor, and educate on Triathlon and the NCAA process and introduce you to coaches.

I love the sport of Triathlon and I love what USA Triathlon has started! Tim Yount is passionate about this and that is exactly what we need! So, I ask any of you out there to just get out and support the sport of Triathlon as a parent doing age group races or a child that maybe wants to work their way onto a NCAA team! And to any Colleges needing to hire a coach I’m avail and looking! I would love to coach a NCAA team, or a youth development team that helps funnel kids into the NCAA system.

No Limits, Never Give up, anything is possible!
Coach MB
Mikebuenting74@gmail.com

National signing day! and NCAA Triathlon!

14 Nov

National Signing day and Women’s NCAA Triathlon!

Yesterday November 13th was National Signing day for high school athletes to sign national letters of intent to attend a college and compete in sport. This is always a very exciting day and schools around the country do big ceremony’s and then the college that the athlete is attending sends out announcements of excitement that so and so will be attending that college to compete in the sport they do.
Here in Minnesota the Star Tribune newspaper posted a list of all the athletes in Minnesota that were signing yesterday and on that list was my daughter Bella Buenting a Minnetonka High school senior. What is unique about Bella is that she was the only athlete listed under the sport of Triathlon and too be honest I don’t know of any other athletes in Minnesota (well actually maybe one 2 years ago as I think Taylor went off for NCAA Triathlon) So in the state of Minnesota it’s rare to see an athlete sign for the sport of Triathlon! I mean Triathlon is not even a high school sport here in Minnesota, but I would love to change that!
Bella has run on the Varsity cross country team for Minnetonka since she was in 7th grade, she did take her 10th and 11th grade years away from cross country so she could do high school swimming (since the seasons are at the same time) and then came back this year as a Senior to do cross country again and won the “RAD” award as reliable and dependable because as a senior she might not have been a captain but she was someone coach could always lean on to lead the younger girls. Bella has run Varsity Track for Minnetonka since 7th grade and this year as a Senior Bella is a captain of the track team.
So, she has the swimming and running background and has gained that coaching from her Minnetonka high school coaches but how did she get into the sport of Triathlon and learn the biking piece, transitions and all the other little things that go into Triathlon. As her father I have been competition in Triathlon and running marathons for many years. When Bella turned 8 years old and was able to enter some youth Triathlon events, we signed her up and got her hooked on the sport! Bella was swimming competitive at age 8 and by the time she was 11-12 years old was winning national awards in swimming and setting state records with her medley relay team. Bella also ran her first 5k race at age 6 so again swimming and running were very natural for her. And as dad I can’t take a lot of credit in her swimming and run development, I give that to her coaches at Minnetonka. Coach Dan for swimming and Coach Jane and Kristine for running. But the bike that is something that Bella and I have shared together all these years and continue to train together and she has become a very strong rider! Her watts to kilo ratio is above a 4 which is in the elite level!


So, there is the back ground on Bella, now NCAA Triathlon. USA Triathlon the governing body took an initiative several years ago to approach colleges and get them to add Triathlon as a Varsity sport for women. Colleges and university’s can apply for grants and through a fund USA Triathlon will give schools as much as $225,000 to help start their programs by getting the equipment needed. USA Triathlon also produces a number of the races during the season like this weekend in Tempe, AZ for the NCAA National Championships of Triathlon. Right now, Triathlon is an “emerging” sport with 34 schools across the country currently with Varsity Triathlon programs. And soon Triathlon should hit 40 schools at which time it will be sanctioned by NCAA and then the future of Triathlon at the Varsity NCAA level will really grow! Most every college around the country has Triathlon as a “club” sport and it’s very popular and competitive as a club sport but as a club sport there is no scholarships for the athlete and each athlete covers their own expenses to compete unlike the schools that have it as a Varsity sport where the school covers the travel expenses, and uniforms, and all the things needed to compete at the NCAA level. Now of course Triathlon is just like any other sport when it comes to athletic scholarships Division 1 and Division 2 schools can offer scholarships to the athlete and Division 3 cannot. But that is not to mean a D3 school is not a great program or fit! I know some amazing coaches at the D3 level and Bella visited some D3 schools.
Now you have background on NCAA Triathlon and a little background on how Bella got into Triathlon now her decision for the school she picked and signed with.
Bella signed with Daemen College in Amherst, NY yesterday. Coach Metz is pretty great and Bella really found a connection with him so that was a big piece in her choice. Bella also on her official visit got to meet the current team and hang out with the girls and just really liked them! She bonded with them and felt like they would make great teammates and be fun to hang out with! It also was nice that 3 of the girls on the team are freshman this year so Bella will have 3 years of competing with them. But the biggest piece of why Bella choose Daemen College over other schools she had offers from, and she had offers from larger Division 1 schools and other Division 2 schools and a lot of Division 3 schools was the Academics! I’m really proud of Bella choosing her school based on Academics and not just the athletic piece, and some big school focused on National titles and all that. Sure, Daemen is focused on being a great team and going after National titles, and Bella will be focused on an individual National title but first comes school and the Academic program she wanted and felt like was a great fit! Daemen college has an amazing PT program among other programs but their world class PT program is what Bella is entering. It’s an accelerated program where in 6 years you come out with your PHD. It’s an intense program and one that will really set her up nicely for life after Triathlon.
Finding Daemen College, how Bella ended up at Daemen College is pretty cool and maybe some fate. Daemen was not on her radar in June when we met Coach Metz. We had been off touring several other schools and were talking to some more. Then as I was personally working on hosting an NCAA Triathlon combine here in Minnesota working with Tim at USA Triathlon, I got introduced to Coach Metz via email to help me with the combine. During our email exchange he asks is your daughter Bella Buenting? I said yes, she is and he said he had been trying to reach her and talk to her about coming to Daemen. Bella researched the school, the town and had a couple talks with Coach Metz and then realized let’s take a visit here! The rest is as they say history!
That is the biggest piece of advice I would give a young athlete looking at schools for any sport really is not just the size of the athletic program and how good they are (those things matter yes) but the academics and the degree you will earn while attending that school! Find a school that offers something you are passionate about and want to earn a degree in. This was something Bella taught me during this process and something I’m really proud of her for. Bella is a very smart kid and works really hard for things she is driven both athletics and academics.

 
A personal goal I have with all of this and why I write about it, and promote it and let people know about Bella is that I want to see the sport of Triathlon grow! I want more young ladies to know this is an option for them to be part of an NCAA program, it’s a great sport they can learn and become passionate about and do the rest of their life as an age grouper or professional. It’s an Olympic sport so why not pursue lofty dreams like that and get top coaching and travel the country to compete against the best athletes during college and have fun! Triathlon is a hard sport because it’s three sports all in one and it takes extreme discipline and dedication to become successful. Bella has spent her life dedicated to this sport, training hard traveling and racing with me and getting to see the world! I put this out there to anyone who reads this call me, email me and let me help you learn the sport, and learn about NCAA Triathlon I have years of experience as a coach, an athlete and now going through this NCAA process.

Thanks to Coach Dan and Erich at Minnetonka Swim club! Thanks to Coach Jane and Kristine Minnetonka cross country and track for all you have done to help mold Bella into the strong young lady she is! And thank you Coach Metz and Daemen College for adding her to the Triathlon team and allowing her to future her education!
Future is bright for both Bella and NCAA Triathlon!

Cheers
Coach MB

Daemen Tri announce 2019

 

Recapping Bella’s 2019 season!

10 Sep

As a proud father I’m blogging today and making my case for my daughter Bella Buenting to be the junior female athlete of the year! 2019 was a very impressive season for Bella, sure it had some ups and downs but overall, she rocked it!
I simply love that myself and Bella share the passion of Triathlon together and that we spend our summer training and racing together! She is an amazing kid and the hours we spend, swim, bike, run (mostly biking together she swims mostly with Minnetonka swim club) is just awesome! I live for these moments and our workouts together! Racing with her is so fun as well! Especially events that I compete in the Olympic distance, and she competes in the sprint and we see each other along the race course, or at the finish line! Nothing better than a sweaty hug at the finish line from my daughter! Bella also teaches me some things in transition and at race sites, she is a very smart kid and sometimes gives me a nice fresh perspective on something I maybe miss.
The future for Bella is exciting! Triathlon is an emerging sport at the NCAA level for women and Bella is being recruited by several schools and has been taking visits all year long to visit schools, meet with coaches and so on. It’s also a lot of work and stress for her as she has to check in weekly with all of these coaches giving them updates, they call her, text her, email her often making their sales pitches for their schools and programs. It’s fun but it’s also a lot of work for her but she is very blessed to have so many great options to choose from!

So let’s talk Bella’s 2019 season!
Race #1 kicked off in April down in Greenville, SC for USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships. This would be the first ever Duathlon that Bella competed in and it came in the middle of high school track season so she was not 100% dialed in to Duathlon mode, and it was her first outdoor bike ride of the season since we had a harsh winter. But against the fastest girls in the nation in a draft legal event Bella finished 4th at National champs! 2 of the 3 girls that beat her had won athlete of the year awards in 2018 from USAT so you can see the competition was stiff!
Race #2 Buffalo Sprint Triathlon in Minnesota. Again this was coming right after she ran in the high school sections track meet doing the 1600 and 3200 (she finished 6th in 3200 at sections and ran a PR time for the season) So training for Triathlon was a little limited. But she cranked out a new junior female course record! Crushing the old mark, she finished 4th overall female and won her age group by a lot!
Race #3 Lake Minnetonka Triathlon; this is a sprint race but it has a longer swim and longer bike than a typical sprint. This might be Bella’s premier race of the season her performance was amazing! Bella finished 3rd overall female, within 2 minutes of the winner who has so many Triathlon wins in her career! She crushed the junior female course record and of course won her age group. Her splits were outstanding here and she really had a great day beating some of the states best athletes!
Race #4 Junior Elite Nationals in Monroe, WA This was not Bella’s day. Draft legal race against 75 of the nations fastest and best athletes. She got a bad number draw so lined up in a tough spot on the beach got bottled up in the swim so could not get into the lead or chase group on the bike and if you get caught in a small group of 2 riders out of the lead groups in draft legal it’s just really hard to fight back up to the front. She still beat about 30 girls that day but certainly not the result she wanted. Time to move on and shake this one off.
Race #5 Mpls Triathlon (sprint) Bella bounced back and had a strong race here! It was really hot and humid so she rocked that swim/bike combo to create a lead gap and then just survived the run. But she finished 3rd overall female landed on the podium and had a great result! Of course winning age group again.
Race #6 Heart of the Lakes Triathlon (short course)
Well Bella was back at this race! She had her top junior female competition in the field and Bella came out racing hard! She was the overall female winner! Crushed the junior female course record! And has the 3rd fastest female time on this course in the races 30 years.
Race #7 USA Triathlon age group National championships in Cleveland, OH (sprint)
This is a deep and competitive field again with the best of the best in the country racing! Bella came out and put together a good swim, solid bike and not a bad run. She finished 10th out of a deep 60 girl field and qualified for Team USA in 2020.
Race #8 Maple Grove Triathlon (USA Triathlon regional championships)
This was a last-minute sign up for Bella. She had been gone all week at cross country camp with her high school team Minnetonka and had not done any swimming or biking for two weeks since her last race in Cleveland. But she thought hey I have a Saturday free so why not crush one more Triathlon with my dad this year! 😊 Bella did not have the race she wanted her legs where just dead. But she was still good enough for a 3rd overall female finish against some great older athletes! She crushed another junior female course record by over 5 minutes and of course won her age group. So in the end it turned out successful!

That’s a pretty busy summer for a 16-17-year-old kid but she handled it well and loved it! Of course, mixing in a bunch of college visits as well! Hopefully she did enough to win the junior female of the year I mean 4 course records! And never losing to another junior female all season! And really crushing her competition at each race! I think they should also give a junior male of the year award to Kyle Swenson also as he had an amazing season and is a great kid! Bella and Kyle have become friends and now chat at cross country meets when they see each other!
Bella so proud of you and all you accomplish! You work hard, have passion and dedication and it pays off! Enjoy senior year of high school and so excited to see what the future brings!

Cheers
Mike “Proud papa” Buenting

NCAA Triathlon emerging sport for Women!

27 Jul

USA Triathlon is excited to announce that there will be a triathlon combine in Minnesota for anyone interested in considering triathlon at the collegiate club or NCAA level. We are reaching out to Minnesota’s USAT members between the ages of 14-22. The wide age range is to inform students currently in high school, undergraduate and postgraduate about the opportunities to compete. We created the combine to assist our NCAA varsity triathlon and collegiate club programs in recruiting athletes.

The event will take place on Saturday, August 17th between 10:00am – 1:00pm at Minnetonka Middle School (17000 Lake St. Exit, Minnetonka, MN 55345). Please see the attached flyer for more details. The main pieces will be a short time triathlon in swim (100 meters in a pool) and run (1600 meter on a track). No experience needed. Athlete coaches are welcome to also attend with their athletes. For information, please reach out to Mike Buenting at mikebuenting74@gmail.com.

Here is the registration link: https://www.active.com/minnetonka-mn/triathlon/races/usa-triathlon-mn-women-s-triathlon-athlete-recruitment-combine-2019FINAL MN FLYER

 

Eye on the Prize!

25 Jul

The summer of 2019 has been loaded with success and fun racing Triathlon! I’m so blessed that my 16 year old daughter loves the sport of Triathlon like I do and that we can train and race together!
Things have really clicked for Bella this summer, she has set 3 junior female course records, has won her age group in all 4 of her Minnesota races and has placed #4 overall at Buffalo sprint Triathlon, #3 overall at Lake Minnetonka Triathlon, #3 overall at MPLS (LifeTime) Triathlon, and was the #1 overall winner of Heart of the Lakes Triathlon. And doing so in some pretty impressive times!
Mom and dad could not be more proud!
So here I sit on Thursday July 25th reading the race pre-view and predictions from Minnesota Tri-News about one of my favorite local events the Chisago Triathlon and then going why are Bella and myself not on the start list? We had planned to do this race early in the season but never registered and then as July rolled around we re-thought our plans and goals and choose against doing it. Why? Well both of us just raced two weeks in a row and if we did this race it would make 3 weeks in a row. Sure we could do it and handle it, but I know both of us are a bit tired and both of us wanted to have a big training week this week and not taper/rest for another race. So as we struggle not to be on that start line and go take on some great competition we have to remember what the ultimate goal of the summer and season is! And we must keep our eye on the prize!
In 2018 Bella and myself raced ITU World Championships in Australia as a father/daughter duo and it was amazing! So the 2019 goal is to qualify for 2020 ITU Worlds and get back to having another amazing experience! And in order for us to qualify it means on August 10th and 11th we must be in peak shape, and be rested! Which means no Chisago race this weekend and keep our eye on the prize and that goal we set out at the start of the year chasing!
Racing Triathlon we make so many sacrifices, from skipping nights out with friends, so we can get sleep and rise and grind bright and early and so on. But it’s all worth it because Triathlon is a family way of life with us and we just love the sport and all it gives us and teaches us! We love the Triathlon community! So as hard as it is right now to sacrifice and give up doing a race that we really love, we both know that we must do so in order to be prepared for USAT AGNC in a few weeks.
So best of luck to everyone racing this weekend! Myself and Bella are sad we won’t see you in transition or get to chat and hear Jerry call our names as we cross the finish line! Instead we have a big weekend of training ahead of us and some rest!
Eye on the prize! Cleveland, OH and USA Triathlon age group national championships! And hopefully another spot on TEAM USA and a trip to ITU Worlds!

Cheers
MB and Bella (daddy/daughter Triathlete dynamos! )

 

Team Buenting = Team USA

16 Apr

Team Buenting = Team USA 2019 Duathlon National Championships!

April 13th and 14th 2019 USA Triathlon (USA Duathlon) brought National Championships to Greenville, SC. If you have never been to Greenville I suggest you go visit it is a beautiful city and the people are so very kind and wonderful! Before I share the success of the weekend I want to say thank you to USA Triathlon for producing an amazing event, to Tri Bike Transport for getting out bikes safely to the race site and to Camp from Tri Bike Transport for all his service and help and just being a great guy! Thanks to F2C Nutrition for their support and the fuel that keeps Team Buenting hydrated!

I am so blessed that my family shares the healthy way of lifestyle that I live by and am passionate about. My wife Shannon who aged up to 50 this year, my daughter Bella 16 years old and myself who also aged up to 45 this year circled this event in the fall and said let’s get the entire family qualified for Team USA and World Championships 2020! We all knew a race in early April coming out of a miserable and brutal Minnesota winter was not going to be easy! When you can’t get outside much and run because of snow/ice/cold and you are stuck indoors on a bike trainer all winter it’s not ideal for having yourself in peak shape to compete at an event of this level! But it is what we had to deal with so Team Buenting just focused and adapted to conditions as mother nature gave them to us and got ourselves ready to compete.
I think Bella had the hardest time to prepare for this event because she is a junior in high school, taking ACT tests for college, she swims competitive on high school and club teams and is on the high school track team. So for Bella to navigate all these things in her life and find extra time for bike workouts and Duathlon specific training was tricky but she did her best and was very dedicated as she has passion for multi-sport and a drive to succeed! All winter long she would sneak in bike workouts on the Wahoo kicker between swims, or track practice, between tests and studying, get up before swim meets and get a quick ride in whatever it took to log a few hours each week on the bike. But Bella’s first outdoor bike ride of the year was her draft legal sprint race that she competed in so some of the bike handling skills were a little rusty just like myself. I could tell Bella and myself had not raced or been outside since Sept. in Australia for Triathlon Worlds. Transition onto the bike were not as fluid as they are after some practice, and the handling of wind, other riders, rain, hills the confidence of controlling the bike was not there as it will be in another 4-6 weeks. But we dealt with it, and pushed our limits with no excuses!
Saturday morning was the draft legal sprint duathlon (Bella race) this is a 5k run to start into a 20k bike that is draft legal, and finish with a 2.85k run. This was the first time Bella had ever done a duathlon! Bella is a swimmer and loves Triathlon because she likes getting started with a swim. The start of a 5k run was tough and the pace for her race was wicked fast! She had to compete against girls that are state champions in high school cross country, former champions in Duathlon and Triathlon and have been racing this year all ready. She went out chasing them and held her own but by the end of the 5k run they began to break away from her which meant when Bella got on the bike she needed to find some new women to work with in a pack and try to catch up. And once Bella hit the second run and realized she was not catching the few ahead of her she dialed it back some and secured her position. Bella finished 4th in her division and 15th overall in the race (no matter of age) which is really a great performance! She secured her spot on Team USA and 2020 World Championships! I was so proud of that little girl and how she pushed her limits, dealt with the heat, humidity and adversity of the race we are not accustom to yet. Now that Bella secured her spot it was time for Shannon and I to do the same on Sunday.
Sunday morning kicked off with my race the standard distance duathlon a 9k run, 40k bike, 5k run. I just aged up to the 45-49 group but that is the fastest age group I believe in the race! I have Lee Piercy (who is the World Champions last two years) in my division, I have Dave Slavinski who is former National Champions and podium finisher at Worlds and some new guys I’ve never raced that showed they are in great run shape! The bummer for our race was just as we loaded the corral and the countdown to start was on the skies opened up and it poured rain! So we were soaked, our gear was soaked and the roads were now wet. The rain did stop during our first run before we jumped on bikes, but I’m a really cautious and nervous biker when roads are wet and we have rain so I took the start of the bike pretty cautious to how I normally would ride. This was not good because I had lost a bit of time to the leaders on that first run and needed to chase them down on my bike! The first run was fast, and I knew I was not in peak run shape yet as I only had a couple speed sessions all training because of Minnesota winter. So when we hammered out the gates at 5:20 per mile pace I knew ouch! I managed to hold strong in the 5:58 pace for the 9k but that lost me a little time to the faster runners. My legs took 6k or so before they felt the groove on the bike and then I began to hunt passing riders from the earlier waves and moving closer to my competition. The course is really great not too technical but very hilly it’s always up or down not much for any flat at all. And the winds were tricky as the course is very exposed so lots of wind to deal with and those wet roads. I’m not happy with my bike split, but it’s again about were I am right now based on my current fitness and my skills. Now came run #2 the fight for the finish line! When I came off the bike my calves, my hamstrings all were cramping!! The aero bike position, the warmth, the humidity all that had my legs just not right so that second run was a battle, and I had to often adjust my run stride and not open up to go faster cause of the cramps and locking up on my muscles in that hamstring to glute attachment area. So I ran what the body gave me and finished as strong as I could. I can say that I gave my best that that day had to offer, I know I have more in me and will get faster but on this day I have no excuses, no regrets as I went out and pushed it. Those other dudes are just really fit right now! I finished 4th in my division and 15th overall just like Bella and secured my spot for Team USA and 2020 world championships!
Two of us are in, now what will Shannon do? Shannon never races multi-sport as she is really just a runner. She has not done a duathlon in 3 years or so and does not have the confidence that Bella and I typically have. But Shannon worked so hard on the bike all winter logging those hours doing Sufferfest workouts on the Wahoo kicker and getting herself fit! No matter how Shannon did I was just so proud of her and how hard she worked all winter! But again indoor training then going outside to race, especially for someone who is inexperienced is not great. Shan would have really benefited from some outdoor rides for sure to get her bike skills down.
Shannon was signed up for the non-draft sprint race on Sunday afternoon, but mother nature came in strong and the skies opened up and it poured rain for awhile before her race, winds picked up more and some very severe weather was on its way! The race officials did a great job to make a race happen by taking the sprint and making it a super sprint. The adjusted the course so that we could squeeze this thing in before the severe storm hit! Shannon went out on the first run hard, pushing her absolute limits at the front of the pack and actually ran her fastest per average mile times ever! For the 1.5 mile first run she cranked out 6:48 pace! Had herself in podium position! The bike course was tricky and congested and again Shan does not have the bike skills of racing like Bella and I but she handled it great, avoided crashes around her and safely made it back to transition for run #2. She was still sitting in a podium position but the other women were coming for her! Shannon crossed the finish line and boom!! Podium finish with a 3rd place and bronze medal! Shannon had secured her place on Team USA!
Now that 2019 Duathlon Nationals were over we could all relax a little and celebrate! Team Buenting now equals Team USA the goal of qualifying all three of us for 2020 World Championships has been met and it ended in amazing fashion with Shannon landing on her first podium ever!! I was so proud, I beamed with excitement when Shannon was racing, I was texting her friends back home with updates and to see her finish and get that podium finish just made everything worth it! That is a priceless moment! Shannon supports Bella and myself so well and typically Shan does not race just takes care of us. To have Shan race and reach her goal when she had not confidence or making Team USA was so awesome! I’m just so damn proud of her! I’m so proud of both of my girls!! They worked hard, they took on a new challenge as they had never competed in Duathlon before and they both had success! I have been on Team USA 4 times, and have been a National Champion in Duathlon before so my race and my success is not as exciting as what Bella and Shannon accomplished!
The family had an amazing weekend in Greenville, and then before we flew home Monday had a great college visit at Queens University of Charlotte, and a great meeting and tour with the Triathlon coach of Queens.
Now hopefully spring will arrive and stay in Minnesota and we can get back to some focused training and a successful season of multi-sport racing family style!
Congrats to all the finishes and amazing people who competed this weekend! We made a lot of new friends got to reunite with old friends and just enjoyed the wonderful and supportive community of multi-sport! Truly nothing like a bunch of Triathletes/Duathletes some of the best people anywhere!
Team Buenting now can say we are Team USA as all three of us will be able to represent in 2020! Also a big shout out to our good friend Ann Lendino who trains with Shannon and competed in the draft legal sprint race on Saturday Ann also qualified for Team USA with a 7th place finish and will join us in 2020!

Bella, Shannon I love you both so much! And am just so proud!!
Cheers
MB

 

Letting go of disappointment!

27 Aug

Letting go of a disappointing race.

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

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

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

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

 

BC2017 MB run

Sharing your passions with your kids.

5 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.comMB and BB Freewheel 2017 

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!

 

Cheers

Coach MB

Gotta Have Heart Training

 

 

 

Training by perceived effort.

5 Dec

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Cheers

Coach MB

www.gottahavehearttraining.com