Sunday, March 25, 2012

This post stemmed from an athlete who posted the following on our forum:

"Learning to let go of something may be worth more than giving up something.  Freeing yourself from anything that controls you; now THAT can take you somewhere."

Very insightful post.  That is the ultimate message and power behind doing something that you deem "impossible."

We realize that anything is possible...if you believe, if you want and if you work.

I couldn't swim, ride or run with any of you in 2000. I raced Ironman Wisconsin for the first time in 2002. Since that time, I have wanted to win this race, we are now 11 years down the road and that is very real possibility.

The last 11 years has been held up by belief that nothing was too big to overcome; bad races, injuries, finances, my anxiety and psychy, other's opinions, nothing.  I always remembered and repeated that the time when you accomplish what you want is just past the point when everyone else would have given up.


With YOUR goals

Set a plan, remind yourself daily (pictures or saying's on the fridge or mirror). What motivates you in the face of impossibility and adversity? What saying', what video, what thought?  Recall feelings you will have when you accomplish what you want. Visualize what you want to accomplish before everything that you do and you will greatly improve your chances of doing it.

We are only limited by our minds.  Our potential is far beyond what we believe it to be. I know at least a dozen of my athletes who are already far past what they thought possible 2 years ago.  Just imagine what things will be like in another 2,3 or 5 years down the road.

Enjoy the process, welcome each day and be open to the fact that there will be some days when you are down in the dumps, with everything feeling like it is going in the wrong direction.  Know that when this happens, the only way for things to go is back in the right direction.

I have always been told that it's the "bounce back factor" that makes a great athlete.  Who deals with sickness, flats, a bad training block, adversity, etc., the best.  THAT athlete will excel at the end.

Want more good news?  There is no physical genetic component that plays into this. It's learned through practice.

Remember that the only thing that stands between not doing something and making something habitual (something you always do), is repetition.  Do anything enough and it will feel like second nature.  Identify what you want to become second nature, then practice it. First force it, then do it again and again, until it's what you always do. It works!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Groove Officially Found

Just a training update for you all.

Cliff and I have been working closely on identifying patterns in life (both inside and outside of training) that work well for me and patterns that don't.  As a result, we have made some changes to both the training plan and racing schedule that I am really pleased with.

- Anxiety = nothing good for me. I have always struggled with it, so it's time to face it. For me, eliminating big sources of this inside and outside of training help things go much more smoothly.  Think about an interstate in comparison to a city street with stoplights.

- I am no longer training for long periods of time on days when I have to coach in person.  This has eliminated a lot of stress for me.  A more relaxed approach to daily training makes a big difference for me.

- Longer training blocks before key races are going to be the rule this year. This will help me train well going into each event, which in turn will build confidence.

- Race schedule change.  I am now starting my season on April 22nd down at New Orleans 70.3, then backing it up with a bigger and the more important race of Wildflower on May 5th.  My first Ironman will now be Coeur d'Alene in late June.  The rest of the schedule should stay the same.

*If you feel that your schedule isn't working for you, or you are not racing well, it's worth taking a look at why this is happening.  After you identify the big reasons, make changes and I am guessing you will surprise yourself.

That's all for now!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Targets Within Your Training

Most of you reading this will have a training plan or a coach.  But many of you might not have detailed specifics with some of your workouts prescribed.  What I mean by this is that your training might read something like this:

300 moderate on 15sec rest
100 easy on 5sec rest
2x300 mod-fast on 30sec rest
100 easy on 5sec rest
3x300 fast on 45sec rest
100 easy on 5sec rest

...or perhaps:

"20minutes easy to start this run."

...or maybe:

"60minutes easy to start this ride."

If this is the case, take it upon yourself to set targets that fit the descriptions.  What is a reasonable pace for moderate effort in the water over a distance of 300m? What paces  and watts fit the "easy effort" description on the bike or run? If you are unsure, ask your coach.

Why?  Because sometimes 220watts on the bike feels easy, while other times 160watts feels like a struggle. If you know your zones/paces and stick to them, it will help keep the easy, easy and go along way when helping you hit your specific interval targets when they might be given to you.  In addition, it will help keep you from racing yourself on a daily basis and going for best average for general pace/effort descriptions.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Budgeting Your Time

A lot of athletes have asked me what my daily routine consists of and how I get balance everything. So I thought I would give a little bit on insight that many of you can take and apply to your lives, as well as a glimpse into my routine.

1) PLAN! This is the number one downfall that I see with most individuals and athletes.  They may be able to tell you everything they need to do, but rarely do they have a REALISTIC plan on how it will get done.

  • Set up a plan and hold yourself accountable.  Make a LIST, write down certain times that you will do things and make sure that you budget enough time for the most important tasks that you need to get done.

2) BE PRODUCTIVE! In general, people are more productive in the morning; use this to your advantage.  If you have a task that takes a lot of brainpower, get it done first. If you have to deal with other people, try to do it in the morning.  You will likely find that a task which takes 60min in the morning, will end up taking 2 hours or more in the evening or when you are tired.

  • Get the stuff that you DON'T want to get done, FIRST.

  • Plan your more complex tasks in the morning and save the "mindless work" for when you are tired.

  • Stay focused.  When you are training, focus on training. When you are working, focus on working and when you are a family man/woman, PLEASE DON'T be thinking "how long until I get to ride my bike?" :)

3) HAVE AN OFF SWITCH! This is a tough one for me, but it has made a huge difference in the quality of sleep I get at night.  Set a time where you don't do anything work related. I like something around an hour before I plan to go to sleep.

4) GET AWAY REGULARLY!  For those of you who are type A, it is likely that the number of days within your week where you do nothing, is zero.  Change this!  Try spending a day doing nothing outside of the necessities. If that's not practical, then set a time; an example would be nothing after 10am on these days.  Spend the day with your spouse or family.  You will be AMAZED at how much lower stress the rest of your week will be if you make sure that this is a priority.

5) STICK TO IT! It's great that you make a list, but it's important to stick to it. Hold yourself accountable and if you find that you are not accomplishing what you need, consider reducing the amount you are trying to get done on a daily basis by yourself and see if you can find an alternative way to accomplish some of these tasks.



6:00 - 7:00am wake up
  • 7:00am - Coffee and breakfast. A challenge that I give myself is, "how much can i get done before the coffee is done brewing?" Dishwasher, laundry, core work, stretching, garbage out, something to fill the time.
7:00am - Answer emails and get most of my writing done in the morning. KEY WORK TIME!

8:30am - Start first training session.  Usually about two hours from door to door.

10:30am - Stretch, eat and answer emails and start on any coaching plans, KEY WORK TIME!

12:15pm - Training session #2, again about 2hrs. Bank or store stop on the way home.

2:45pm - Ice, eat, nap. Never sleep longer than 45min.

3:30pm - Quick look over any urgent emails, before last session of training throughout the day.

4:00pm - Final training session of the day. About 60-90min.

6:00pm - Dinner, start to unwind. Answer the last few emails for the day and shoot for being offline after 7:00pm.

9:00pm - Start thinking about bed.

10:00pm - In bed

* Obviously this doesn't happen every day, but you can get the gist of how I plan my day.

Triathlon is a lifestyle.  It requires that you integrate it into your lives when it works for YOU. Make a plan (perhaps with your spouse) and give it a try!!


Sunday, March 04, 2012

New Site & Back To Winter

If you haven't checked out our new BBMC website, make sure you take a look (  The site is now geared toward athletes and will not only give information on services, but also act as a resource for athletes to be educated.  Feel free to post feedback here on what you feel would be beneficial to add onto the site.


Since arriving back to Madison, mother nature decided to give us all one last taste of winter.  The roads were clear and clean when I returned, but now, not so much.  This was what the greenway looked like from my porch doors; not exactly ideal for training outdoors on anything other than skis.

Training was geared toward recovery for the first 4 days back.  I completed about 54hrs of training over the 2 weeks I was in AZ and needed to absorb that work.  I ALWAYS feel terrible during recovery blocks and this one was no exception.  30min runs are daunting and I seem to forget how to pedal a bike.  

From experience I know that I come out of this after about 5 days and sure enough, Friday I was back on top in the pool.  Not swimming my fastest, but I was consistent throughout the session.  In addition to swimming, cycling and running, I am also addressing a few muscle imbalances that I have neglected for a long time.  None of them are causing issues, but I am looking to get that extra 1% out of my body this year and need to make sure I am firing on all cylinders.

So now I have about 7 days of solid training to go before our first race block of the year.  I am fit, not in tip-top form, but fit enough to race well and I am looking forward to the next 4 weeks. I will race in both Puerto Rico and Texas, they are branded 70.3 events with competitive fields; especially Texas, which is receiving buzz from Lance Armstrong coming and the fact that it will act as the US Pro Championship over the 70.3 distance.

That's all for now, enjoy your last taste of winter and I will check in before San Juan!