Fitness Planning Through the Holiday Season

As the 2017 season comes to an end for many endurance athletes, it’s important for athletes, casual fitness enthusiasts, and “weekend warriors” to understand what their “off-season” goals should be. More importantly, they need to understand where to focus to be set up for an optimal 2018.

Most of us are casual fitness buffs and weekend warriors. Therefore, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why should October, November and December be any different from other months of the year?” It’s a valid question. The answers are simple: holidays. Yup. Most either love them or hate them. Regardless of how you feel about them, you can bank on one truth: they’re going to happen. Not only that, they are going to be here before you know it. As each year passes, it seems to get just a smidge shorter. I was in Costco last week and saw a Christmas display—trees, lighted moose, reindeer, nativity scenes—the works. Seeing this dazzling spectacle merely affirmed the above thought.

Notice I said, “reasons” (plural) above. The other primary reason these months should be different we call periodization. If you’re not familiar with the term, perfect. You are among the 99%. Simply put, in this context it refers to cycling through different focuses of fitness building to enhance physiological adaptation of the type of exercise we are doing.

Fitness is not tangible and the biggest gains occur during rest/recovery. Is that an excuse to sit on the couch, watching bad TV while eating Bon Bons all through the fall and winter months? Rather, the opposite. However, the focus of workload should change to maximize your time and effort and allow for you to engage in those pesky holidays without throwing your body into a whirlwind of bad habits and stunted metabolic adaptation.

Setting yourself up for a sustainable exercise plan for 2018 should be the goal. This is where most plans fail; they are not sustainable, and frankly, they weren’t designed to do be. Consider the recent trend of Low Carb, High Fat and/or Ketogenic Diets. Most will take the principles of these “diets” and implement them to extremes and decide after a limited amount of time, it’s not for them. If you take nothing else away from anything I’ve written this year, please take this: The goal of ANY fitness plan or “diet” should be sustainability, if long term-results are desired. Period.

Considering the above as it pertains to fitness programming, the following must be considered: sustainability is built by allowing for adaptation to input (stress/resistance) stimulus while keeping the host interested over time. This means we must allow the body and mind to recover in both short and long term cycles. Hence, periodization and the impending “off season.”

Most of us follow a pattern or routine that we follow at the gym. Leg day, back and arms day, cardio day, etc. The problem is the body learns to adapt to these routines and gains become less and less evident because what once required an adaptation response is now routine and the system is not stressed in a deliberate manner to achieve the desired effect. To this same end, the runner who runs four ten minute miles every time they run will not get any faster.

If you’ve any questions about the seeds I’ve (hopefully) planted, feel free to contact me at


Old World vs New World Coaching

While recently attending an educational summit in Boulder, Colorado, the question arose, “Are we developing a fear of perfection within our athletes by utilizing too much technology?” It’s a fair question. After all, technology has come a long way in a very short period of time. Heart rate monitors, GPS devices, power meters, software that tracks athlete fatigue levels, isolated and cumulative stress of training sessions, recovery time, number of steps per day, hour, minute, or even seconds, vertical oscillation, swim cadence, time of arm recovery, oxygen saturation levels, muscle mapping, etc. The list of metrics is endless, all with a common goal: to optimize athlete performance.

Endurance (and most other) athletes are either driven or haunted by three common fears: fear of commitment, fear of disappointment, and the fear of the unknown (failure, success, and perfection). Is the advent and growing presence of technology in the endurance world adding to these fears by predicting the level at which athletes are expected to perform based on an algorithm that is calculated on a single session or performance (IE: functional threshold)?  If so, what effect is it having on their psychology? Or, does it provide them with the push they need to dig deep in search of a predicted number, as applied? If an athlete has a “bad” day, and is unable to hit their prescribed numbers calculated by said algorithm on any one (or more) of these fancy metrics, have we set them up for failure (psychologically) by relying on technology to predict human performance? And, what long term effect does this have on an athlete’s confidence level? These are all valid questions.

Many say technology is helping athletes understand and believe in a potential they may have never known they had in the first place. As a coach, that is part of my job: to tap into or find the intrinsic motivation that helps an athlete believe they can achieve beyond what they thought was possible.

Effective coaching is made up of two basic skills regardless of sport. The best coaches possess the ability to create and implement a perfect marriage of sorts, of art and science into an athlete’s training plan. All the metrics in the world will not help a coach or athlete if the implementation and practical application in a training plan is mishandled, mismatched, or misunderstood by athlete or coach.

Technology allows us a deeper understanding of application and physiological adaptation and can serve as a predictor of current and future performance. Numbers rarely, if ever, lie.

Endurance athletes are a strange lot. Admittedly, we are “not right.” Many even take pride in it. Often driven by a hundred forms of insecurity stemming from some deep seeded childhood fear, we search for validation through various forms of extreme exercise that often place unthinkable demands on one’s mind and body. Ask any seasoned endurance athlete how many times they’ve been told they were “crazy” or insane and chances are they will tell you, “too many to count.”

For the endurance athlete, good, bad, or indifferent, technology can serve as a useful tool in helping us reach new heights, achieve new goals, and tap into our innermost desire to be the best we can be.

I’ve no doubt that the growing presence of technology and science in the endurance world is imperative to maximizing performance. However, I caution against losing the human element and place a high value on learning what racing/training intensities “feel” like, as we continue to dig into the numbers. But, we can talk more about that next month. After all, what fun would it be, if it were easy?

Bike vs Car

I’ve seen it time and time again—a group of cyclists blow right through a red light or stop sign at a busy intersection. On more than one occasion, awestruck by what I was seeing, I’ve felt a sense of responsibility as the self-designated “bike police” to rescue these cyclists from themselves. I’ve pedaled feverishly to catch them screaming at the top of my voice, “What in the ‘heck’ were you thinking? Don’t you know it’s riders like you that give us all a bad name!” Only to be scorned for my efforts as if I’d lost my mind.

Some might say, rarely, if ever, “I hold my mud,” but, on this occasion, rather than pursuing further, I was so dumfounded that I simply turned around and pedaled home thinking, “If they want to die, it’s on them. Idiots.” I found out a few days later, one of them was hit by a car later in their ride.

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. Spend any time biking on the road in the Bay Area, and chances are you’ll see or experience a dangerous scenario of bike vs car. It both frustrates me and makes me sad because in the end, someone pays the price. It’s dangerous for the cyclists and the motorist. Whether cyclists are aware of it or not, the fact is that many Bay Area motorists are fed up with cycle traffic on the road. Frankly, given scenarios like the one above, who can blame them? Unsafe and inexperienced riders are all too common making things even worse. The same goes for motorists. We are a highly congested area; lots of people equals lots of traffic and lots of bikes.

The number of serious injuries and fatalities in car vs bike “accidents” has escalated dramatically over the past five years. Especially in the Bay Area. We live in an amazing place. We have beautiful terrain that allows us to ride up hillsides, mountain sides, around lakes, and every kind of scenery and topography you can imagine. Avid cyclists and triathletes view many parts of the Bay Area as “hallowed ground” for training—Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tamalpais, Three Bears, Redwood, Skyline, Grizzly Peak, Mines Road, just to name a few. All these locations are fed through a few main thoroughfares which are riddled with gobs of cyclists on any given weekend morning regardless of weather, time of year, etc.  Just drive your car down Danville Blvd on a Saturday morning in the summer and you will see hundreds of cyclists. Riders riding solo, couples on townies, pelotons of riders out for a group ride, and everything in between.

The bottom line is that no matter how experienced a rider is, they will lose the fight against a motorist in a car. Period. Common sense tells us that a 2000 lb piece of metal going 35 plus MPH on four wheels has a distinct advantage over a two wheeled bicycle weighing 15-22lbs with a rider wearing spandex (basically underwear) and a Styrofoam helmet. Yet, some neglect this principle.

Do cyclists have the right to ride on the road shared by cars? YES! The law even says so. After all, we even have our own lanes to use—some recently made safer by highlighted green paint and signage for which the cyclist community has fought hard for years. However, that doesn’t change the fact that we will still lose a confrontation with a car, regardless of who’s at fault. 

At the end of the day, it is up to us as cyclists and motorists to be safe, look out for ourselves, and look out for each other. After all, who wants to die because they lost a fight with a car in a fit of self-righteousness? Ride safely, drive safely.

Athletic Performance

People often ask me, “Why triathlon—what possesses you to race an Ironman?” My standard reply is, “Easy; it requires no skill, just hard work for long periods of time.” Of course, this is not entirely true, but you get the idea.

What successful endurance athletes really possess, in addition to a big aerobic engine, is mental toughness—the ability to forge ahead through long, painful training days and a race is one of the most valuable tools in the belt in preparing for ultra-endurance events. Sure, the physical pain brought on by numerous hours of swimming, biking, running, paddling, climbing, etc., is enough to make a billy goat puke, but it is equally, if not more important, for newer athletes to understand the degree of mental toughness required to get through those long, hard training days and for a successful consummation of the sport.

The mind and body are marvelous mechanisms. The ability to compensate, improvise, overcome, and adapt has evolved over millions of years as part of the evolutionary process. Yet, the mind will mostly likely be the first thing to shut down when things start to hurt. The accumulation of lactic acid, a climbing heart rate, fatigued muscles, rising core temperature, etc., can cause the mind to go to some pretty dark places as the body begins to reject the task at hand. By teaching one’s mind how to cope with the physical discomfort—or flat out pain in the body—we can endure more for longer,and raise our performance level to new heights.

The only guarantees in the world of endurance sport is that something will go wrong during the race day, and it’s going to hurt (some things can be practiced in training). Whether it’s a flat tire, launched water bottle, a fall, dropped salt pills, GI distress, accumulated fatigue, lactate accumulation, bike crash, or any one of a thousand other potential pitfalls that can plague an athlete on race day, having the mental capacity to stay present and make the adjustment separates average athletes from great athletes. How an athlete responds to any of these things can be the difference between a good or bad day.

When it comes to our physical and psychological self it is also important to understand the mind/mind relationship, to know our breaking point and teach one’s self how to break through the hurt and soldier on. The rule is simple: given the mind will almost always give in before the body, when we call on our body to deliver the goods, it is essential to know exactly what you are asking it to deliver so you can mentally make the adjustment to push the hurt aside, trusting that the body has the potential to deliver. This is, perhaps, the greatest skill we can possess in our sport.

In training, it’s important to address “the hurt” in sessions specifically designed to do so, as a means of testing your mental and physical limits. Further, the execution and even failure at these sessions can be your most valuable assets going into race day.

Many age groupers are unwilling to explore these deeper caverns of the mind and will back off when they think they’ve had enough or when a session is no longer “fun.” These sessions are not designed to be fun. In fact, fun and performance rarely go together in the context of “real time.” The fun comes afterward in reveling in the accomplishment of knowing you were better today than you were yesterday—even if just a little bit.


Training Without Injury

I recently conducted a running clinic for a group of athletes who had approached me asking a number questions such as, “How do I stay injury free?” “How do I get faster?” “How should I run hills?” How often should I train?” “How often should I run fast?”, etc. These are all valid questions with very different answers, rooted in the same basic principles.

The focal point of the answers to all of these questions is rooted in a two basic concepts: Fitness and biomechanics—these are not mutually exclusive. It’s important to understand that when we talk about fitness we are talking about two types of fitness: aerobic and neuromuscular. When we talk about biomechanics, we need to understand these are rooted in neuromuscular fitness and adaptation. By practicing proper movement and mechanics we can gain neuromuscular fitness, just as by repeating poor movement patterns engrains poor mechanics which leads to a poor level of neuromuscular fitness.

Neuromuscular fitness is a process that has four stages or parts: activation, mobility, stabilization, and load. In order to create proper movement patterns (good mechanics) and long-term sustainability a muscle/group and/or kinetic chain must be properly activated. It’s only then that it can be properly mobilized and become stable, at which point it is in a position to receive and move “load.” The body is an amazingly adaptive mechanism that will usually find a way to complete the task at hand. As an example, if we are asking our body to bench press a large amount of weight (resistance), or to run a given distance at an elevated pace we are not trained for, the above process doesn’t necessarily have to be engaged and operational for the body to find a way to get it done. However, without the four step process (above) being properly developed we will often see a result in the form of injury, or very poor neuromuscular adaptation that leads to problems down the line. Further, many sports injuries are compensatory and are the result of the host trying to “muscle through” said task, causing an injury in a part of the body that one would think is not even related to the initial problem or mechanical breakdown.

Many runners continue to run through injury and nagging aches and can get away with it, provided their mechanics are sound and have not been compromised. If they have, it’s only a matter of time before the tail starts wagging the dog and something is going to give. This is the injury train that plagues so many athletes who insist on “muscling through” workouts for the instant reward of “getting their sweat on” or the need to feel accomplished at the risk of sacrificing the big picture.

A good portion of my work revolves around damage control and working with athletes to remain injury free, and if injury does occur, to return from injury safely and in a healthy manner keeping the bigger picture in mind. Often times, this means sacrificing short term objectives for long-term goals. It’s a trade off I encourage. Most people begin their quest for fitness because they want to be “healthy.” But, when it comes down to it, they are sacrificing their long-term health for a short-term reward without even realizing it.




The Great Cadence Debate

Over the years I’ve had countless dialogs and debates about cycling cadence and performance. I’ve read copious amounts of research and literature advocating for high cadence easy effort to “save the legs,” “easy stroke,” “light on the pedals,” etc.  

In my view, if an athlete has not had competitive cycling experience, the ability to learn how to ‘feel’ the pedal stroke, which enables a rider to spin effectively, is lost to all but an exceptional few. Not only that, but there is an aerobic cost that gets lost in the process as well.

Indeed, many professional cyclists who train between 750km to 1200 km a week never acquire the ability to use the high-cadence technique effectively. So if professional riders spending six days a week training a minimum of four to five hours a day are not able to find it, then what hope does someone with no cycling background putting in a maximum of 200km have of mastering the ‘Lance Armstrong high cadence’ model? In my experience, very little.

Yes, there are exceptions, but how many do you think? I tend to train not for the exception, but instead make adjustments when they come along every generation or so.

Many field and lab tests have attempted to show that high cadence spinning is more efficient to the newcomer than just stomping the big gear. Yet the results in nearly all cases only serve to prove that the exact opposite is true. In fact most tests show that tri-athletes produce more torque/power between 78-84 rpm without sacrificing aerobic cost putting them in a stronger state for the run to follow. Any higher and the efficiency is lost. I’ve seen studies from USA, Australia, England and even France that all come to similar conclusions.

A common theme across all studies is that the heart rate began to climb at the various cadence levels and that once the riding novices were asked to hold 100 cadences, not only did their performance diminish, but also their heart rate rose to levels approaching 15 % below maximum for the entire test. The data on this is pretty clear cut and I would hope to any reasonable person, it’s not a debatable point.

So how does this knowledge inform my opinion on using low cadence work?

In triathlon we have to train not one, but three disciplines and our actual bike hours are limited for training compared to cyclists.

Most, if not all triathletes are not ex-professional cyclists with an innate feel of the pedals. Thus the style of spinning may be detrimental to them riding to the best of their ability.

In triathlon, the race is not over once the bike leg is finished. Riding with an elevated heart rate close to one’s anaerobic threshold is not advisable if one wants to jump off and run at an optimal pace. Hence the reason I advocate using low gear, moderate cadence training. Over the years, experience and results have proven this effective as all age-group athletes I have worked with have gone on to make rapid and sustainable gains on the bike.

Tri-Active Endurance is more concerned with function than form. What works for the individual is what’s right. Watching a 100kg athlete spinning down the road at 100 cadence makes me want to cry, as does watching certified level coaches teaching 50kg, 5’2 females how to swim like Michael Phelps for their upcoming tri races. It is not right. Phelps is 6’6 and has the wingspan of a small jet. What works for the top 1% of athletes at the top 1% of their sports is not the model that is going to improve your triathlon.

Construct a plan for the athlete, don’t put an athlete in a plan.

The Value of Motivation

Motivation (the “M” word) comes in many different forms and is, oftentimes, disguised as a deep-seeded fear, insecurity or desire that we may or may not be aware of. Conversely, it may be nothing more than an innate drive to be the best you can be at a given sport, skill or discipline.

Over the years, I’ve learned that when people are not clear about their motivations to carry out a specific task the risk of mediocracy runs high. Especially if the task is daunting or seems somewhat out of reach, as can be the case with many endurance or ultra-endurance related goals. Further, when the dog days of training/work come around, some will be more likely to bow out of tough or long sessions because the motivation just isn’t there.

This is also where the idea of success comes into play. Too often in racing, success is correlated with a top spot on the podium or winning. While I would be remiss to say “winning” a race, event, or prize, is not success, I fear most athletes don’t take other successes into account when engaged in self-assessment. Therefore, I train each athlete as an individual. Learning what techniques and strategies best suit an individual will solicit much better results that are sustainable over time.

While many want to “just train,” the mechanism by which they do so will be different for most athletes. Training an individual athlete to meet their own goals within their own mentality, skill, and ability supersedes training an individual to a group. Sure, my squad does a lot of group work, but within that are the individual objectives that are the motivators for each, not a group norm. Working with athletes to stay inside themselves, stay married to the process and recognizing what their successes are and what they entail is not always easy for them or me. But, it gets the best results.

When an athlete becomes driven by a group mentality they begin to work outside themselves and will undoubtedly end up reaching too far toward an unattainable goal, or underachieving. Either way, they won’t get the best result and maximize their time and effort.

Triathlon/endurance sport is hard. Sprint distance, Ironman distance, 5k or 26.2 miles. Whatever the distance, it doesn’t matter. If you do it correctly, it hurts and takes work. However, if it were easy, the payoff would not be as impactful as it is. Triathlon is not three different sports. It is one sport consisting of many disciplines and should be treated and trained for as such.

As a coach, it’s my job to understand that each athlete has a different set of variables with which to work; whether physical gifts or limitations, life circumstances, job and family obligations, etc. The point is, there is no level playing field. Some are at a disadvantage; therefore, training must take these things into consideration to be effective and successful.

As you measure yourself, think objectively in terms of what qualifies as successful (or not). Consider some of the following: Does training/racing help alleviate stress in other areas of your life? Is the goal to become physically fit? Has the sport helped do this? Are you helping to set a positive example for your kids? Are you better today than you were yesterday?

I would argue that if you can answer yes to any of these, you are becoming quite successful. Perhaps, it is also worth noting just how successful you can become may depend upon the source of your motivation.




Getting/Staying in Tune: The 15 Minute Rule

As a student in college I remember living by what we used to call, “the fifteen minute rule.” The rule applied whenever a professor was 15 minutes late to the listed start time of class. When fifteen minutes had past and the professor had not yet shown to begin class, students would invoke the rule and leave. Uncertain of any actual credibility, the rule was heralded as unwritten law and nearly every student lived by it.  I like to apply such a rule to my athletes training when it comes to understanding in their body. Below is the beginning of when and when not to consider the fifteen minute rule in your training/workout sessions.

Experienced athletes know that there are going to be days that we call on our body to deliver a certain intensity and/or effort, and it simply won’t respond at a level that we know (or believe) it’s capable of. In fact, there times that it may not respond at all, raising the questions: 1) What the heck is going on today? 2) What do I do now?

The key to being able to answer these questions lies within the ability to differentiate between a mental shut down and a physiological response (or lack thereof) in the body. The mind is a powerful thing; it can will the body to do amazing things, but it can also will the body to not do amazing things—or even ordinary things. It can also trick us into thinking “I’m not strong, I’m not fit”, etc. Enter the fifteen minute rule.

As you begin any kind of exercise session, begin with a good warm up routine as I know everyone does (sarcasm). This should consist of some dynamic stretching, mobilizing and easy aerobic work dictated by perceived effort; add a few short eclectic bursts as a means of activating all energy systems and muscle fibers. Total warm up time should be a total of 10-15 minutes.

If, after your warm up you’ve gotten 15 minutes into the “main set” or focus of your workout session and you’re finding it nearly impossible, it is important to do a quick self- assessment. I like to begin with questions like: How was I feeling before I started my warm up? How did I feel when the day started? What have I eaten today? What activity did I do yesterday and or the day before that? This allows me to peel the onion that hides the answers to the two questions above. Further, I might ask: How was the work day? What’s up at home? What other stressors do I have? These are all valid considerations.

The idea is simple in concept, but not always in application. Depending on how you answer these questions, you will get a clearer picture telling you if it’s your mind or body rebelling. As a rule of thumb, if you are mentally tired, go ahead and work through the session. Chances are you will find as the session progresses, so do you and you will be back to your athletic self by the end of the session. These can even lead to “breakthrough sessions” that we never knew were in us.

On the other hand, if you conclude that your body that is waving a flag in surrender, it is usually best to call it and live to fight another day. Ignoring signs and symptoms from the body has taken down way too many athletes, sometimes for long periods of time.

Learning to differentiate between a rare mental or physical hiccup is an art that requires a quick, honest self-evaluation in that moment. Often times, it is the difference between progress and injury. Stay tuned for more on getting the most out of yourself and staying injury free.


The Power of Strength Training

As an endurance coach and athlete, I was skeptical about the value of lifting heavy as it pertains to endurance performance. After all, what good is toting around six plus pounds in upper body mass over the course of the 140.6 miles of an Ironman triathlon? I mean, I worked my butt off to drop those (and any other) extra pounds to improve my power to weight ratio, right? This is just one of the many misnomers I have found that exist in the perceptions that many endurance athletes have about strength training. Specifically, what I call, “lifting heavy.” Granted, this is a relative term, but the reality is, many endurance athletes don’t do enough strength training. Period.

Triathletes, in particular, are often characterized by their lean, slight frames with little to no extra physical “baggage” along with a Type A personality—both of which are counter-intuitive to the culture of the large, “bunchy muscled Lifters” who are often much more laid back. Let me explain.

Triathletes and most endurance athletes (with the exception of ultra-runners who are a different breed altogether) opt for the latest technology that can tell them how many watts, how many strokes or strides are being delivered at what heart rate and level of exertion, right down to vertical oscillation, and contact time everytime their foot hits the ground, while their “heavy lifting counter-parts (especially in CrossFit) opt for a back to basics “box” containing copious amounts of very heavy weights, tires, steel rigs, and little else. Diets and nutritional strategies could not be more polar opposite: One group opting for animal proteins, fats, and plants. While the other live and die by the nemesis of the muscle builders and Crossfitters; grains and sugars wrapped up in a million different favors, energy gels, drinks, and chewables. The two are deft by comparison.

Yet, there exists a physiologically synergistic (though often mentally volatile) relationship between these two disciplines that too often is not explored, exploited, or capitalized on nearly enough by either camp. True, on the surface it appears a clash of the cultures. However, when explored at a deeper level, the benefits for “Lifters” and CrossFitters to train like endurance athletes, and visa versa, are undeniable. The value in accessing and exploiting both the anaerobic and aerobic systems is hugely beneficial for those looking to become better, well rounded athletes, if/when prescribed properly. Additionally, since when is building balanced, functional strength not an asset to any athlete? I have had extraordinary success with my athletes by including strength training of all types as part of their endurance programming, regularly during the race season and using it as a primary exercise medium during the off season.

The natural relationship between the development of slow twitch muscle fiber, also known as Slow Oxidative (SO) and aerobic fitness is where the endurance athletes make their living. Conversely, development of fast twitch muscle fibers:  type IIa, also known as Fast Oxidative-Glycolytic (FOG) and type IIb, Fast-Glycolytic (FG) is the bread and butter of the “Lifters” who rely upon developing this group for maximum strength gains that can be used at the high intensity required by CrossFit and many heavy lifting programs. It is important to note that muscles are made up of all these fibers and distribution of these fibers is dependent on training, genetics, and the function of the muscle it serves. Without getting into what could a be a painfully tedious biology diatribe, suffice it to say that since muscles contain all of the above mentioned fibers, in order to achieve optimal athletic performance it is imperative for endurance athletes to develop both the FOG and FG muscle fibers in addition to SO fibers to help maximize the potential to access all sources of energy within the muscles. On the other hand, more “Lifters” would be well served to develop the SO (resists fatigue) muscle fibers to help build the capacity of sustainable energy release for longer periods of time to help offset the rapid rate of fatigue that occurs in the FG fibers (easily fatigued) and to a lesser extent the FOG (some fatigue resistance) group.

Oh, and let’s not forget the undeniable value of developing more aerobic capacity which is a health benefit for anyone! Bottom line, strength helps to build speed, prevent injuries, and helps create a well-balanced musculature and skeletal system.

If you’re looking for personal training, body composition change, strength training specifically for triathletes & endurance athletes, metabolic efficiency training, or triathlon/endurance coaching contact me at


Sticking to Your Fitness Goals

January, a glorious month filled with resolutions, renewed commitments, a million different diets, and good intentions pertaining to health and wellness. It is also the time when the triathlon and endurance community begins to set its sights on the 2017 race season ahead.

For both endurance athletes and fitness minded (or intended) individuals, January marks a new year of promise.

At your local gym/health club, you will experience the usual January debacles of limited parking, waiting for your favorite machines, and a lack of proper “gym etiquette.” I won’t get into locker room faux pas. Newcomers and “resolutioners” will jam up parking lots, locker rooms, gym floors and partake in a wide array of “what are they doing now” moments as they show off their fitness prowess in an attempt to prove to their counterparts they belong. The unfortunate truth is that statistically, nearly 80% of these folks will be nowhere to be seen in March as their resolutions and fitness dreams are dashed by any number of reasons.

The above is a picture by which we can set our watch (or calendars) by every year. The road of good intentions. Kudos to these folks. They mean well and often the inability to maintain their path on the fitness trail is quite valid, indeed. Viruses, accidents, illness, family matters, that pesky job thing, and more all come into play—often in a manner we just can’t plan for. Welcome to “real” life. Such is the same for my triathletes. Or, any age group endurance athlete, for that matter.

This is another reason why working 1:1 with a coach or trainer can be invaluable. It’s flexibility—not in a biomechanical sense. The ability to meet you on the terms that your life dictates and designing a plan that is not only flexible, but one you can take with you and doesn’t expire.

Triathletes, ultra-runners, cyclists, swimmers, and the like, understand the value of having a coach for these same reasons. They form a relationship with their coach. One that extends beyond the gym floor. It’s an invaluable one, really.  Someone who will be honest; push them when they need to pushed and pull them up if they stumble. Someone who will hold them accountable, be objectionable, and supporting. One who understands the demands of “real” life, and how training and/or fitness goals and plans need to be tailored to be effective and sustainable.

As a coach, my role is to provide such a plan. As a psychologist…my role is to motivate by reducing mental/psychological barriers and keep you on track to help ensure you will still be on your fitness quest in March, April, May and beyond.

Tri-Active Endurance is currently offering special introductory pricing on coaching, personal training, and group class memberships through January, 2017. Contact us for a cost-free assessment and introductory first group class.