Thursday, December 28, 2006

A few thoughts for the new year...

The new year is coming up, and no doubt you're getting excited about the races, back to training, and your schedule. I was sitting, reflecting on some lessons I've learned and how I need to remember them for next year. Here's what I came up with, and I hope they help you.

- Though we measure champions by the titles they win, they show their champions by overcoming obstacles and tough times, many of which we never know about, or get to see from the outside looking in. When you're facing tough times in 2007, because they will happen, be a champion.

- Injuries can be a blessing in disguise.

- Don't be afraid to ask for help, you never know what it can do for you until you try it. I asked Peter Reid for help, and he did more for me than I ever could have imagined.

- When your motivation is lacking, or you think you're too tired to get in the next workout, just focus on getting out the door. Don't think about anything beyond getting your clothes on for your run, ride or swim, and getting out the door to start it. You never finish 100% of the workouts you don't start.

- Set goals. Don't be afraid to reach higher than you've ever reached. If you're satisfied with what you've already done, it's time to move on to a new challenge.

- Make a motivational poster, and put it where you can read it everyday, to remind yourself of your goals.

- Lastly, avoid negative people, and conversely, associate more with positive people.

Have a happy new year!


Friday, December 22, 2006

A great story about a client...

As many of you know, I coach people for triathlon, as well as running and cycling. I have a client who came to me back in mid-summer. I will call him Tom, (although this is not his real name.) Tom came to me with a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. His personal best time was just under 4 hours, and he would need to run 3:10:59 to qualify.

Tom had done some triathlons, but his real motivation came in wanting to qualify for Boston. Tom and I worked together a plan which had him squeezing in runs on his lunch break, and some serious runs on the weekends. Tom's job is crazy demanding, and I wasn't sure he was going to be able to keep it up, but he did.

The real amazing thing about it, is Tom had people in his life who really felt he was wasting his time. His wife, who had plenty of running experience, told him she was worried he was working so hard, only to set himself up for disappointment and failure. Some of his friends told him there was no way he could cut off nearly 50 mins from his personal best.

When I look back on it, I never told Tom he couldn't do it. Honestly, I don't think I ever doubted he could do it. He wanted to do it, and that was good enough for me to believe he could. Tom decided on the race he wanted to do, and made his attempt.

Tom's final time...3:11:16. Gut wrenchingly close, missing Boston by 17 seconds! I called him up, and left a message, bummed for him, but so proud of the improvement he made and how hard he worked.

We talked a few days later, when he was feeling more like talking. He told me, "If my goal was to run 3:10, I would be ecstatic to have such a huge improvement. But my goal was Boston, and my attitude is negative because I didn't get it." He was extremely thankful for all my help, but I felt bad. That is until he told me about what the people around him were saying. That's when I really felt better. That meant more to me than anything else. His goal, his run, his reaching for something which seemed soo intimidating to others around him, really was a great life lesson for all those people. Heck, it was a great lesson for me. I love coaching.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Busy Times with Sponsors and Wedding

So things are still very busy, as I am trying to finalize things with sponsors, train once a day, coach my athletes, and finish plans for my wedding. Here's a photo of my future wife, Orlanda and I, enjoying the Nebraska at USC football game...

For those who are wondering about my sponsorships for next year, I will wait until the contracts are signed before announcing them. I expect this to be complete by the end of January. Stay tuned! I'm pretty excited so far though!

I am also writing some articles which I will post on here regularly, and hopefully at, where I've been offered the opportunity to write for them.

If you haven't seen the articles on me lately, there's a couple of cool ones, here: - Written by Matthew Dale, on my decision to leave teaching, sell my home and chase my triathlon dreams and goals. Cool article.

Union Tribune - Local, San Diego newspaper, with a similar article.

That's all for now...

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Return to training...

So I'm back from Vegas, and back in the swing of things, sort of. Earned an Ironman title with the level of partying I did in Vegas! 16 guys, and I was the last man standing at his own bachelor party! Impressive, but I've been sleeping a lot now!

Pete has got me on a one-workout per day only plan. Kind of nice, because it helps me get back into things slowly, and hopefully injury free. It also allows me a lot more free time to get things done which are totally unrelated to training, (like my wedding and coaching!)

Training right now for all my clients is similar, except they train more than once a day on a few days of the week. For them, the focus in December is all about technical development. This includes swimming, biking, running and even transition work. Volume and intensity are secondary. There are no intervals really this month, or tempo runs, etc.

If you're reading this, and hammering out volume right now, I would suggest backing off and doing something more along these lines. With the holidays coming up, little to no racing happening anywhere, this is not a time for training to be at the top of your priority list. Keep your workouts fun, and with a specifc technical focus, and enjoy swimming, biking and running! Use them to alleviate a little stress, but save the big efforts for 2007. Enjoy time with your family, friends, eating junk food, etc. Not too many times can you get that kind of green light!

Enjoy yourself...