Sprint – stay as close to the redline as possible without going over. If you cross the redline you may feel unable to breathe, your form will fall apart and panic may set in. In a sprint go as fast as you can while maintaining control.
Olympic – .9 miles is a long swim and the race that follows will take 2-3 hours. You want to be well below threshold. Zone 3 is ideal, but what is zone 3 in a swim? Zone 3 should feel like a strong, fast, and controlled effort comparable to your effort in the pool for a set of 10×100′s on an interval that you could get a smooth 10 seconds rest on throughout.
Half- 1.2 miles is not much different than the Olympic distance but your total race is hours longer. At this distance you want to cruise. Picture those long pull sets of 8×200′s and how you would settle in to your “get it done” pace.
Ironman- the 2.4 miles swim is the warmup for a very long day. Think zone 2, easy swimming but focused on form, efficiency, and sighting. No surges and no burning matches. Steady! Steady! Steady!
Full throttle for Sprint through Half Ironman distances. Keep it simple: helmet, sunglasses, shoes, and go. Transition for Ironman requires some nutrition and sunblock. Be methodical and get out on that bike.
Sprint- Zone 4-5. Your legs are burning, your tongue is hanging out, and you’re panting like a puppy dog. You’re in the biggest gear on your bike that you can hold a 90 cadence. It takes constant focus and self talk to hold your power or speed.
Olympic- Start the bike in zone 3 and finish it in zone 4. Doing a gradual negative split will ensure you have enough juice left to run. Depending on your fitness level you have 1 hour or maybe a little more of time you can spend in zone 4. So for most athletes that makes the majority of your ride a zone 3, steady good working effort. It will feel like you are holding back slightly. Use your zone 3 time to eat and drink.
Half Ironman- Zone 3 ALL. DAY. LONG. No spikes. No surges. You’re in aero ALL. THE. WAY. Control! Control! Control! Eat and drink the entire ride getting ready to race a half marathon.
Ironman- Zone 2 ALL. DAY. LONG. Ride easy. Ride without ego. Let the masses pass you in the first hour then reel them all back in, one at a time at the latter part of the ride.
TRANSITION/T2 – Again, full throttle from Sprint through Half Ironman distance. Shoes and race bib/ belt is all you need. For Ironman go through your bag and apply everything you brought then get out of that tent and start moving.
Sprint- Pacing for a sprint does not exist. You run as fast as you possibly can. You may have a number in your head but it won’t matter. You will run what you can, turning those legs over quick, quick, QUICK!
Olympic – Once on the run you are at threshold all the way. Threshold is the fastest pace you can hold for about an hour. In an Olympic, run pace should be close to your half marathon open pace.
Half Ironman – Settle in at your open marathon race pace. Try not to let the excitement of transition get to you as you start the run. Steadily click the miles off one after another getting in your hydration and nutrition at each aid station.
Ironman – Just run easy. Take walk breaks every mile, and be patient. Your pace should be marathon pace plus a minute per mile. Take it out cautiously and when you get down to the final hour YOU. CAN. GO!
FINISH LINE- ALL DISTANCES
Celebrate, soak it in, and be proud of yourself. Every race has it’s challenges and requires a well trained body and a confident smart execution
And the winners are (we realized that we did not get any names so this could be tricky but here goes nothing):
jdnoutdoors at gmail.com - Grand Prize 3 months free coaching
marcus.lewis at att.net - 2nd Prize of 2 months free coaching
erik_wright at live.com - 3rd Prize of 2 months free coaching
Contact us through our facebook page via message, Mind Right Endurance, to get this party started! Congrats on being super lucky and welcome to the family!
Coach Nickie Luse is a dynamic woman who has a lot of experience in both sport and life. As a registered nurse and professional triathlete, she understands the complex systems of the body, biomechanics and how it all comes into play in endurance sports. She currently resides in her hometown of Dayton, OH and attended the University of Cincinnati where she competed at the Division I level in soccer.
She is not currently practicing in the field of nursing but she works at the local running store, Up and Running in Dayton, helps mentor the local running community and coaches for the local high school's cross country program. When she's not mentoring, training and racing, you can find her volunteering for a charity in Hawaii, yet another outlet for her to continue to give back.
"I credit many of my life successes to sports and to my coaches that have helped mold me as an individual. Coaching has become a passion and a way for me to give back to the endurance community, as I helps others chase their goals and dreams through coaching and mentoring."
Nickie is currently accepting athletes looking to increase their progression in all parts of endurance sports. She is excited to be a part of the Mind Right family and is excited about the future
"I was drawn to coach with the Mind Right team because of their all inclusive spirit. They've figured out the secret to the work, life, and play balance. If you race where there is a Mind Right presence you won't forget the energy their coaching staff and athletes bring to a race!"
You can reach Coach Nickie through our facebook page or by contacting us through the website.
Coach Johnathan LeJeune is based in Greenville, SC. He is a professional triathlete who also works as a full time salesmen for Superfeet Worldwide. When he is not traveling for work he enjoys spending time with his family exploring the outdoors and being active. Here is what Johnathan had to say about his career, family and triathlon:
"I am a husband, a father, and a triathlete. I have big dreams and a drive that is big enough to pursue them. I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember, participating in almost every sport under the sun. Sports is life and life is sports. My life revolves around the sport of triathlon, and I hope to show my children that anything is possible with hard work and determination."
Johnathan's family is the cornerstone to his life so he deeply understands the day to day juggling act of a serious athlete. He understands the balances needed and the sacrifices required to meet your goals, no matter how high they are.
I push my body daily asking it to find new limits time and time again whether that be mentally or physically. My guess is it gets pretty tired of me always asking it to cooperate. Therefore, I'm kind enough to give it an ice cream season, aka off season.
Two common questions I field...
Are you taking time off?
What does time off exactly mean?
Here are the answers, the important parts of my off season. Take my answers with a grain of salt, as you could ask 10 different athletes and get 10 different answers. All individuals have different needs for down time depending on our physical and mental stress load. The important part, we need to be honest with our individual needs, zero days off is not an honest answer. One thing is consistent amongst most athletes and highly driven individuals. When you push your body and brain whether you workout competitively or casually, whether you work full time or part time; you must take time in life to recover and give yourself a break, you can't ride the wave of top notch mental and physical fitness year round.
My ice cream season aka off season consists of 5 key factors:
Disclaimer: The first race of my upcoming season typically dictates the amount of time I take off. However, I'm pretty adamant for a month off regardless!
1. 2 weeks of NOTHING, NO EXERCISE! The most I will do is chase my nephew around the kitchen island or climb around on the jungle gym, I may be coerced into a walk, maybe.
2. 2 weeks of PLAY TIME! This consists of working out if and when I feel like it. It has to be considered FUN. NO WATCH, NO HR MONITOR, NO POWER METER. Most all of these workouts are with friends and the only must is we chit chat most the way. They get to dictate what we are doing, because I HAVE NO PLAN but to have fun. Trail shoes and mountain bikes are a must in this 2 weeks. Sometimes this two weeks turns into two months, it just depends on the year ;-)
3. No alarm clock. I know real life for most of us dictates an alarm clock, even for me. I do still have a "real job" at Up and Running that pays the bills. You get the point, no setting of the alarm to wake up and "fit life in or workouts in" before work! Wake up and drink lots of coffee and read the comics or something!
4. Icecream and adult beverages is a must! I know you all are twitching reading this right now. I don't eat a gallon a day and chase it with beer or wine, not to worry. Moderation moderation, just a pint! Relax and enjoy your favorite indulgences! For me it's ice cream and a good local brew with friends. P.S. I eat ice cream during the season too, just sayin...
5. Re-aquaint with my hobbies and spend lots of EXTRA time with my family & friends. More energy and less workouts lets me fill my time with hobbies! Call me old, but I like to read and knit too! My favorite days are slumber parties at my sister & brother-in-law's place...my nephew is the bonus ;-) Waking up to play time with a two year old is pretty much perfect. My family and friends sacrifice quite a bit given the time I dedicate to my workouts so spending extra time together is priceless and much needed.
Real life happens too, and the off season goes by in a flash! I get busy just like all of you, but I try to keep everything a bit more in moderation and make my 5 must do's a priority! I tend to work more at my "real" job Up and Running catching up on my to do list. Time off is good for the soul, you should take some too! It only hurts for a couple of weeks when you start working out again. You'll come back rested and stronger both mentally and physically! The off season goes by fast and the alarm clock will be ringing early once again, recovery boots and compression socks become a typical Friday night and my eyes will be closing by 9pm...not to disappoint though I'm still eating ice cream.
Cheers to a fast and healthy 2018!
So you have a race coming up? Whether it’s a local 5k, a sprint triathlon, or you are traveling half way across the country for an Ironman event you have to make sure you are prepared. Just in case you are wondering I’m not referring to being physically or mentally prepared here. I’m talking about making sure you have what you need to compete that day. No matter if you are a seasoned athlete or competing in your first race, forgetting items you need for race day happens at all levels. Realizing when you get to your destination or even worse, on race morning that you forgot something can cause unnecessary stress and throw you off your game. This is why being prepared is critical. The easiest way to ensure you have all the items you need for your big day is to make a checklist.
You can create your own custom checklist (recommended) or find one online like the one here, https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/triathlon-checklist.html. Creating your own list has its advantages because everyone is different and may have their own special items required on race day. If you are new to racing, especially triathlon then you can start with a checklist found online and tweak it as you learn more about your individual needs on race day. The distance of your race and distance traveled to the race will dictate how much gear you will need. Longer races and further travel to your venue will obviously require more gear and planning so allow yourself plenty of time based on your situation. With that said don’t get over confident and skip the checklist just because you are doing a 5k a few blocks from your house as this is often when you are most comfortable and will end up forgetting something.
Traveling great distances for a race brings in added stress which is when a checklist is very handy. This often means more items for the days you aren’t racing and chances are you might be packing for family members such as kids or a spouse. Don’t wait until a few days before you leave to begin packing, especially your race gear. The closer you get to race day, especially if it’s a new distance the more nervous you will be and more likely to forget something. A good tip for these cases is to pack your race day gear several days (5-7) before you leave. Lay your items out and check them off as you pack them into your bag and leave it alone until you leave. If you are new to endurance sports, especially triathlon, the amount of gear needed on race day may be a bit overwhelming. Laying out your items as you would in transition and going through your checklist a few times will ensure you have everything you need as well as ease your mind. Being prepared will allow you to focus on your mental preparation and will avoid stress and panic when you realize you have forgotten something. Trust me, I am speaking from personal experience of forgetting things and not just from horror stories I have heard and seen.
For more tips and articles check out our MRE Coach’s Blog @:
- Coach Brandon
Coaching is a delicate blend of art and science. There are many factors that go into it.
Things to be considered in the coach/athlete relationship:
- Athlete Goals
- Athlete Strengths/Weaknesses
- Personality of athlete and coach
- Key races picked and coach's experience
- Geographical limitations
A few of these opportunities are easily overcome and others require a more delicate approach and relationship development.
Coach Derek worked with elite junior Reese Vannerson for the 2017 season. The logistics and schedule of working with a talented 12 year old 1000 miles away will make your head spin. A close relationship, frequent communication and trust are 3 of the key factors for the athlete's success outside of the work that must be done.
The following 3 blog posts will be dedicated to the recap and keys to that success, to help you get a better understanding of how important that relationship is.
Random ramblings from a random coach who was on a random Ironman course recently:
What is it that captivates us about an Ironman? What about the distance, the challenges and the journey drives us to learn more, buy more and go faster?
This answer will be different for each person but one thing will always remain. The sacrifice that is required is deep. Social life, friendships, relationships, money, family and a list of many other things. I am not telling you anything that you do not know.
What I do want to discuss is how I have personally seen so many athletes become so enveloped in the process that we overlook the sacrifice by others, not ourselves. Granted at times we need to really dive in but where I see the problem is when people ignore or do not acknowledge the sacrifices. I am not talking about a post on FB and "thanks". I mean on the course. In real time. In the heat of the moment.
When you are on the race course what will it cost you to stop and hug your child or kiss your spouse? Thank a volunteer? Appreciate the support of a team?
I am afraid that I have seen these type of underappreciation all too often and even more so when the athlete isn't "performing" like they expect or can.
This isn't meant to be a gripe session but a call to action. When you are doing what you do give time to those there for you. Give up 10 minutes over the course of an Ironman to show those who are there for you that you love them! What if I told you it is almost scientifically proven how acknowleding those around you will make you feel better, even in the darkest of miles in an Ironman.
Like I always say, be more than just good at exercise. Be good at life :)
- Coach Jeremy
Regardless of how gifted of an athlete you are, there will be times in your career where you struggle or can’t seem to generate the same performance as you have in the past. This is normal, yet can often be regarded as a “slump” or “rut” by most athletes. If we simply think about the law of averages, it will say that you must have bad performances along with your strong ones to generate an average level of play/performance. While this is the case in every athlete, its often the times spent on the bottom that will dictate how far we advance in the future.
Its extremely difficult to be on form year round. While some may say it’s impossible, I would refrain from using that term as people said breaking the 4:00min/mile, hitting 60 home runs, or scoring 100 points in a basketball game were impossible as well. While I won’t say its impossible, I will acknowledge that the odds are against it. While its statistically likely that athletes will have low levels of performance throughout the year, for some reason they fail to acknowledge this. While hard work does often lead to success, it should be assumed that “smart work” is built into the equation. If “smart work” is built into working hard, then it implies that an athlete understands the process and can work hard in whatever the task may be. Even if that means the task is recovery.
In most situations, athletes will reach peak performance and begin to chase better and faster numbers. Inevitably they will fade as the peak passes and athletes will be left in a “slump” of working hard (but not smart) and seeing lower numbers in return. While numbers are extremely useful and powerful in the build up to a peak, they can often times be the downfall of an athlete once their peak has past. Athlete “X” will begin to think why should I work so hard if my numbers continue to fall. Am I not good at this sport? “I will never get better at this rate.” Its thoughts like these that can devastate an athlete and leave them in a bad spot heading into their valley or off-season period.
The Trap of Extrinsic Motivation
Using the numbers as your sole indicator of success is going to leave you miserable as they start to decrease. Mix that with telling individuals your numbers all the time (social media) and you will be in a world of hurt when you think not hitting numbers is making you look vulnerable to others. This is real, I’ve seen it happen many times. When we begin to only discuss numbers as a form of improvement, then eventually those same metrics will begin to work against us and our enjoyment of the sport. What is a better approach to numbers is to know that they are key in your build, but just noise in the off-season. A good coach will pay attention to your numbers for you, but they should move far outside of the cross-hairs on your journey to an off-season.
While a number of 200 athletes isn’t significant in the grand scheme of things, there are some tactics I have found useful across many of the athletes I’ve coached the past several years. Here is a quick list of ideas that could possibly help you.
1. Pre-Season Build
- Numbers are added back into athlete discussions and begin to set goals
- Numbers progress in terms of workouts and target interval training
2. Peak Season Build
- Numbers are a driving force in performance
- Steady discussions on increasing performance
3. Race Season/Maintenance
- Numbers are goals for optimal performance
- Specific training sessions based on numbers
- Focus shifts more towards race tactics as needed
4. Post Season
- Numbers are discussed for a final time in terms of year progress
- Specifics fade away quickly
- Numbers collected for coach, but not looked at by athlete
- Generally no structure
- No stress
If you can understand the power of numbers and their purpose in a training cycle, they can make a world of difference. While they are powerful, they can often lead to chasing numbers well beyond an athletes peak and therefore wreak havoc on their mind. As soon as athletes open up regarding numbers to others, they often feel pressure to constantly produce them or otherwise feel inferior. While there is plenty to be gained by data and building into the peak of your season, it takes a smart, dedicated athlete to continually make progress by often times taking a step back when the time is right.
For questions, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
When looking to build an athletes ability or potential for events, a coach must look at both the macro and micro levels of the athlete, but also the athletes plan and their race schedule. When looking from both angles, you begin to see a clear picture of where the athlete is and where they want to go. This blog will serve as an inside look of how the day-to-day training and the yearly goals come together to help shape a training plan and athletic results.
Big Picture View
The most important part of actually starting to design an athletes season. What are their goals and where are they starting from. From this point, a coach should be looking at a calendar in a way that periodizes their training between base, build, peak, recovery. These are generic terms that you would find in any strength and conditioning textbook, but they serve a purpose as an athlete can only peak and build for so long. Although we all wish we could constantly build and get better everyday, we often need rest periods mixed in to adapt and prepare for another build in the future. Once the athletes goals and race schedule are put in place, a general idea of how to build the athlete and when should take place. In other words, a yearly idea of what the athlete will be doing begins to take shape.
I’m going to be honest here. You ever go into a science lab and look through a microscope with 20 different zoom levels? That is basically what an athlete is as well. An onion with many layers. At the mid-level view, an athlete will begin to show their strengths and weakness in terms of power, pace, training volume, history, thresholds, v02, etc. This is basically what makes up an athlete at any given time, the things you can see from a general look at weekly data. From this view as a coach, you start to see what you may focus on in the big training blocks of the season. You may start to see that this athlete needs more run volume or swim volume and therefore that will be the dominating focus of the base/build season. Essentially, where an athlete currently is starts to help give the big picture view a focus.
Alright, lets start getting down to the nitty gritty of the athlete and looking at numbers such at FRC/FTP/TTE. These are main indicators of success/limitations for a cyclist and should be kept track of daily or weekly. At different parts of the mid and macro levels, these numbers will be the focus for day-to-day training. They will guide daily workouts and be the main focus for short term improvements. To track this you will be looking at time in training zones, stress put on the body at different parts of the workout, and looking to train specifically for demands that are needed in races or to achieve the next training level. This is where a coach with data analysis comes in to ensure that you are maximizing your day-to-day training and getting the most out of your time.
An area that takes a lot of digging, but can often shed light on bigger things happening within an athletes performance. How much time did they spend above v02 max in a workout, How many watts are contributing to aerobic vs anaerobic, what is the athletes efficiency rating at 80 degrees vs 90 degrees. At this level its easy to get paralysis by analysis. Thats why I would strongly recommend any coach only look at a couple key charts that are useful to the athlete at certain times of the year. This is where it can become very easy to overcoach during the wrong portions of the year… but it can make all the difference in the correct portions of the year.
Painting the Total Picture
Possibly the best thing about all of this is that as you look deeper and deeper into each athlete, they begin to look more and more different. Sure, the big picture view for many athletes is the same. “I want to peak for Summer Months or “X” race”. However, one athlete may be a sprinter while the other may be a TT specialist. As you peel each layer away, you start to see where each athlete is individually and how to best cater to their needs. At that point, you have many different things circulating between big goals and periodization along with daily metrics and weekly focus. Its a handful to keep track of, which is why I often feel that coaching is more of an art than a science. Yes, science guides us in our decisions for maximized results, but how you put that science together is the true key to coaching in my opinion.
As an athlete and a coach get started, there are many different layers that should be peeled back in order to properly build towards the athlete’s goals. By looking at the big picture you can get a good idea of how to train generally speaking, but its only when you start to dig deeper that the true progress can be made. While I understand the need for generalized plans, a customized coaching plan will look at an athlete from many different angles and ensure that progress and performance are matching up with the overall intended outcome of the year.
Mind Right Endurance coaches are here to address the many question, issues and topics that endurance athletes encounter all the time! Check them out and share them with your friends!