These days, it seems a lot of times when I get inquires from athletes I sense a lot of fear and skepticism in their emails that I am going to be one of those coaches who dishes out cookie-cutter programs, ignores their individual needs and falls off the radar with communication after the first month or so. I’ve had athletes tell me how they “caught” a previous coach giving the exact same workouts to various athletes. It makes me sad that apparently many coaches are doing this and making athletes become skeptical. I don’t blame athletes; I would hate to feel like I’m being treated as an anonymous person in a coach’s roster, or worse, feel like I was duped or ignored while sending this person money! So I can understand why an athlete would want to ask a lot of questions up front (and I encourage it!) to make sure they’re making a smart decision on a coach. I love the questions, as you’ll see below.
When I was in grad school I was at the peak of my triathlon-obsessed days, and it always saddened me that I had to dig so deep for peer-reviewed research specific to triathlon, ultra, and other endurance sports. It was there, but sparse and nowhere near as relevant as research surrounding traditional sports—football, baseball, etc, and strength training.
Fast forward to now, and it’s refreshing to see multiple studies coming out on triathlon, ultra and other “more obscure” endurance sports topics. In particular, The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by the NSCA is rocking it. A couple weeks ago I woke up to the latest issue with a few new studies that were directly relevant and significant to endurance sport, and a few more than have their place for triathletes and runners.
We discussed three of the studies in the new ATC 202 podcast, if you want the verbal commentary featuring Lucho and yours truly, and below are my notes that recap the main points for ya’ll to get the bottom line and the takeaways, as well as notes on a couple other studies I enjoyed:
“Thanks to Tawnee’s cutting-edge coaching theories and approach, along with her nutritional advice (including her in-depth grocery lists, guide to fats, info on becoming fat-adapted, etc), and of course her wonderful recipes she has sent along the way, I was able to transform my body from a carb-hungry sugar-burning monster into a lean, mean fat-adapted machine! I have come such a long way nutritionally speaking and I look back at where I was just one year ago, and I cannot believe the vast improvements in both my nutrition and performance, as well as the well-being of my son. He and I now cook together and he’s adopting healthy habits at a young age.”
A little “case study” of the fat-adapted+MAF training approach in action and working for long-course triathlon. This data is on an athlete I’ve now been coaching for more than a year. When he came to me and I knew I had my work cut out. Bring it.
We’re doing things different with this post! I’m opening up this newsletter for a guest post written by the intelligent and talented athlete, Milly Wade-West, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. Actually, I’m not coaching Milly full-time, instead we do regular consultations (and have been since last year). Consultations are a great idea if you don’t need full-time coaching but you still need an expert to help guide your training, provide feedback and suggestions, be that objective voice of reason, and so on. (Consults may also save you money!) If you’re self-coached, good on ya, but even I know from experience that we all sometimes need to step outside our own head to make sure we’re doing things “right” and not being stubborn in our subjective viewpoints.
In my last post I mentioned it takes a long time to build fitness and you can’t expect overnight results nor a coach to work magic for you. But that’s not to say you should continue to just build build build and beat the body down without adequate recovery and breaks from your usual sport to do something else instead. There’s a definite point of diminishing returns with training, in which more is not better, and, in fact, in the process of getting fit over time, recovery is the most important factor in achieving success. Without recovery we simply can’t get stronger. How much should you do then? Read on. Read more…
A longtime athlete of mine recently sent me some race stats from a sprint triathlon he’s done three times now. You can see the data in the chart below. It shows his splits from those three years from 2011 to 2014; the most recent race was just a few weeks ago. That chart inspired this post, as there are multiple awesome conclusions I draw from this data that all lead to one big message: Read more…
Last winter, life came full circle when my former high school volleyball coach, Michelle Kyman, contacted me about wanting to get into triathlon. She was in the market for a coach Read more…
Last year I had the pleasure of coaching a lovely triathlete on the East Coast for her return to IM Canada (she had unfinished business there, and we took care of that). Erica always had a way of making me smile and laugh, and I got her to push herself to new levels that even had her hubby going, “Whoa!” So after IMC, her hubby, Damon, approached me saying it was now his turn to hire a coach and have an epic year of racing, as he and Erica sort of trade off years as to who gets the green light to do a big race. Damon (aka “D”) saw the successes that Erica had, and he wanted in. I was thrilled because D’s A race of choice was something I was stoked to coach: an epic 7-day mountain bike stage race through the singletracks of British Coloumbia. I myself was getting into more MTB at the time, and had been dying to coach a MTB athlete. (Note: D is also a veteran triathlete.) Read more…
Happy Monday! I’m chowing down on a post-swim “mega” salad right now with two of my favorite ingredients: avocado & sardines! Mmmm!!! Love me some good fat. Have you tried that combo yet? If not your missing out… seriously.
Anyways, before I get too off topic… Do you have your 2012 race schedule figured out? Still looking to add something in epic?? I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Wildflower triathlons, which are coming up soon on the first weekend of May! The race weekend is put on by Tri Calfornia, who also have other cool races like the Alcatraz Challenge Swim and SF Tri. Well, I’ve been lucky enough to make friends with the folks at Tri Cal and they’ve given me a special gift to give away to one lucky person:
A FREE entry to the Wildflower Olympic Race on Sunday, May 6 (a $180 value).