Nov 5, 2018, 8:42 AM
Alright, so four days in... I feel surprisingly strong. All the workouts so far have been geared towards just getting out there and moving again, but I expected some soreness and aches and pains, especially after having done so little and then stringing together consecutive days. Thus far though, I feel great.
It's way too early to draw any conclusions, but there are a couple of things that I have been more mindful of in my approach--feel like they certainly can't be hurting and am curious to see how they translate as the workouts start to pile up. First, I've been more deliberate about stretching. I struggle with tightness, mainly in my hips and calves, and too often that limits how hard I can push on long runs. So for this five week period, I am trying to make sure that I set aside time for not only the workouts, but also the prep and recovery for the workouts (I'm terrible at this). In a similar vein, I've been trying to pay better attention to my nutrition throughout the day so that I am actually fueled before heading out for a workout. (As you know, I have a bad habit of just taking off for a workout whenever I happen to free up, and a lot of times that leads to me crashing 30-45 minutes into a workout.)
I know that both of these things are super basic, but I'm awful about actually following through with them. What tends to happen is that I'm pretty much always "on" with my job, so it can be tough for me to plan specific times for my workouts. I tend to get up in the morning, check my email, get sucked into putting out fires, and then just squeeze my workouts in whenever things cool off for an hour or so. That's always going to happen, but I know I can plan better throughout the day. I'm hoping that by focusing on this with a relatively short-term goal in sight, I'll pick up some better habits.
Other than that, I'm just excited to see where this goes. I am a little nervous about the prospect of seeing how little running we can actually do going into the 50-miler. I find myself feeling like I should be running all of the time, but am going to trust the process.
The focus of the week was for getting Josh re-acclimated to consistent exercise and creating a routine. We started the week, mid week and he had 2 runs and 2 rides. No strength training last week.
In any experiment, you have to understand the baseline, the objective and the hypothesis.
Here is a brief look into an “experiment” with an athlete. We will call it “5 weeks to 50”
Josh Davis by the numbers
Starting CTL - 39
Previous CTL Peak in last 365 days - 88
Lifetime CTL Peak - 125
2018 Cycling Mileage and Hours - 1958 miles - 112 hours
2017 Cycling Mileage and Hours - 2412 miles - 164 hours
2018 Running Mileage and Hours - 676 miles - 102 hours
2017 Running Mileage and Hours - 1352 miles - 198 hours
Running mileage in last 90 days - 161 miles
Current running threshold - 6:51 min/mile
Peak 5k - 6:06 pace (9-27-17)
Peak 10k - 6:49 pace (8-22-18)
Peak HM - 8:02 pace (1-15-17)
Peak Marathon - 8:42 pace (1-15-17)
PR’s and other notable accomplishments
2017 IMTX - 11:28:xx overall with 4:28:xx run split
Has completed a couple of Ragnar/relay style runs/races
That is the baseline of this athlete at this point in time. You can see that this is an “experienced” athlete with a history of some string runs but has not had the consistency this year like in years past.
We enter this experiment with the appreciation that the athlete has a moderate running base and a history of no significant injuries.
The objective is to complete the Brazos Bend 50 mile race in early December.
My hypothesis is that while the athlete can withstand lots of running at a lower intensity, we are going to take 2 weeks to build him into running (volume) shape while leveraging a strong focus on strength work that targets the primary muscle groups that are used when running. Our goal is to build up the endurance of those muscles to support the overall system during the 9-12 hours of running he will have to be prepared to endure.
Since this athlete has a history of long (8+ hours) endurance events, his cardiovascular demand will be manageable. Our primary focus in this process is targeted strengthening of key muscle groups (and their supportive tendons, ligaments and tissues) while building up a few more “acute” base miles.
The athlete knows the risks, has a high level view of the goals and objective outcome. He is willing to put in the time with a focus on strengthening and recovery first, running second.
Away we go,
Winter isn't too far off in some parts of the country while others are just now starting to cool off. Here are a few of my ideas and tips for the transitional season riding. So let's talk about it! I know a thing or two about winter riding. Some may say I’m an expert, while others may say I just live in Seattle. Either way, the following is my take on how to survive.
When it comes to riding outdoors a good rule of thumb, and a saying that we all will live and die by is, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”. Or to use the Boy Scouts of America motto… “Be Prepared”
The following is a general layering guide.
70 Degrees + (21C): Shorts and short-sleeve jersey, optional short-sleeve base layer.
60 Degrees (15.5C): Shorts and long-sleeve jersey, optional short/long-sleeve base layer.
50 Degrees (10C): Tights or leg warmers; insulated long-sleeve jersey with sleeveless or short-sleeve wicking base layer; or lightweight long-sleeve jersey with long-sleeve base layer.
45 Degrees (7C): Tights or leg warmers; long-sleeve wicking base layer and lined cycling jacket; thin full-fingered gloves; headband covering ears; wool socks and shoe covers.
40 Degrees (4.4C): Tights or leg warmers; long-sleeve heavy base layer and lined cycling jacket; medium-weight gloves; headband covering ears; winter cycling shoes, shoe covers, wool socks.
35 Degrees (1.7C): Heavyweight tights; long-sleeve heavy wicking base layer and heavy cycling jacket; heavy-weight gloves; headband covering ears; winter cycling shoes, shoe covers, wool socks.
30 Degrees (-1C): Heavyweight tights; long-sleeve heavy wicking base layer and heavy cycling jacket; heavy-weight gloves; lined skullcap; winter cycling shoes, shoe covers, wool socks.
25 Degrees (-3.9C): Winter bib tights; long-sleeve heavy wicking base layer, long-sleeve jersey and lined cycling jacket; mittens or lobster claw gloves; balaclava; winter cycling shoes, wool socks, shoe covers
20 Degrees (-6.7) and below: Winter bib tights; long-sleeve heavy wicking base layer, long-sleeve jersey and lined cycling jacket; mittens or lobster claw gloves; balaclava; winter cycling shoes, wool socks, shoe covers.
Another thing to consider about the temperature range you may find yourself riding in is the wind chill factor. Not just what your local weather man is telling you, but what speeds you will be riding at. Below is a comprehensive chart detailing just how much colder it is when you are riding. So take that into consideration when deciding just how much, or little, you will wear.
Another consideration is knowing your own body. I, for one, naturally run a little warm. Some of us may be more reptilian. So a little trial and error may need to take place to find that optimal layering combination to get you through your ride. This will really come into play if you find yourself riding in variable temperature zones. So you may want to opt for arm/leg warmers to pull up and down as needed vs tights and long-sleeve jersey.
Living in Seattle, I see my fair share of rain for the majority of the year. In fact I see so much rain up here that I have a bike dedicated to winter training. The main piece of equipment that you should outfit your bike with, if you find yourself riding in a lot of rain, would be a full set of fenders (buddy flaps are a must when riding with friends). The majority of water that we soak up as cyclists comes off of the road itself and not from the sky. Fenders will keep water coming off of your front wheel from spraying in your face and chest, as well as keeping your feet much dryer. Your rear fender will save your backside from getting blasted with water and road grime. Trust me when I say that the last thing you want to be dealing with on a wet miserable ride is road grit all up in your chamois. Think about that for a second…. yeah, it ain’t pretty!
Pro Tip: winterize your shoes. A trick I learned is to tape up any vents, especially on the underside of your shoes. Another thing I do is wrap my insoles with tin foil. just be sure to wrap them tight so as to not have any wrinkles or creases in contact with your foot. While I don’t have any scientific data to back this up, there is something to be said about placebos.
But it’s too cold and/or wet to ride outside, Jordan, what do I do now?
It’s time to bust out the trainer and/or rollers. I, for one, spend the majority of the winter riding indoors. I have no issues riding in the cold, but I save the cold and wet for race days, and for when cabin fever has gotten the best of me.
Part two coming soon....
- Jordan Bressler
USING GARMIN CONNECT AUTOSYNC WITH YOUR TRAINING PEAKS & STRAVA ACCOUNTS
With the abundance of training logs and data analysis tools available from websites and apps, here at Mind Right Endurance we focus on 2 primary ones, Training Peaks & Strava. These two web based training sites allow us to effectively and efficiently communicate with our clients & athletes by collecting vital training data for analysis, feedback and scheduling. They are an essential part of our communication for our coaching service.
However, there is also a 3rd site that we use for the sole purpose of making it easier to upload your workout files to multiple sites, and that is Garmin Connect. Garmin offers several very popular multi-sport GPS watches & devices which require a Garmin Connect account as well as the Garmin Express app for your computer that allows you to sync data and keep your device software up to date. So if you are a Garmin user, then you have access to the very useful tool called Garmin Connect AutoSync which requires a 1 time setup (done in under 30 seconds) to sync multiple accounts.
Garmin’s AutoSync allows you to upload your training data or workout files to your Garmin Connect account which will then automatically be pushed to your Training Peaks & Strava accounts once they are connected. This means that you only need to upload to one site! Before we get into how this works, below is a brief description of the training sites we use if you're not familiar.
How to Setup Garmin AutoSync
This works by first signing up for a Garmin Connect account if you don't already have one and then connecting your Training Peaks & Strava account to it. This only needs to be done once. So now whenever you upload your workouts to Garmin Connect, whether wirelessly or through USB, it will automatically send those workout files to TP & Strava. No longer is the need to upload to multiple websites. Follow the links below.
Each of these sites has a mobile app, download it and login with the username and password. Visit the Apple App store, Google Play or Window Apps and type in the “search” bar, Training Peaks, Strava and or Garmin Connect, download and login. You will need to do this just once.
When you are finished creating your accounts and linking them together, get outside and have fun adventuring! Be sure to press the start button on your watch, gps device or mobile app and hit the stop button when finished. Then allow your phone or mobile device access to Garmin Connect and or share it to the app. Take your time learning and exploring these great apps and sites. You will become more familiar each time.
Let us know if you have any questions.
It is that time again. The time of year where the Mind Right family finds two people who are interested in changing their lives, growing internally and doing epic shit!
Those two people will receive 6 months of free coaching from a Mind Right coach to help support and propel them ONWARD!
Tisha has been working with us for abut 6 months now and here is her story:
"My story is nothing special. In fact, I was surprised when Jeremy asked me to write this. Part of me is convinced that he just wants to use this as a cautionary tale for others on what NOT to do. Well either way, here it goes!
Some people would say, making your very first triathlon a ½ Ironman is crazy. Well those people wouldn’t be wrong. But I've come to find out that following through with crazy ideas is sort of a theme around here. This all started as a small seed of an idea that slowly grew because of the inspiration and encouragement from others.
A very small bit about me. Many moons ago I played basketball and swam on the swim team in high school. I went on to play collegiate basketball for a small school in SA for 2 years before transferring to Texas A&M University to study Exercise Physiology. I'd always been pretty fascinated by the human body and all it is capable of. I guess you could say that fascination led me to my profession and to this sport.
Last year my cousin, who has been like a sister to me, signed up for her first ½ IM. She had been doing sprints for years but this was her first extended distance. I was so excited and proud of her.
A few months later I walked into my neuro class for PTA school and met the newest member of our faculty, Dr. Kendall Gill. This aspiring PTA student couldn’t get questions out fast enough through the semester. If I wasn’t asking questions about physical therapy then I was asking questions about triathlons. I'm still surprised she never locked me out of her office!
The Monday after Kendall's IM Florida I came into class early to set up some things and write Congratulations Dr. Gill on the board. I remember sitting down and thinking "I wonder if someday I could do something that epically cool?" If you know Kendall at all you know that she was the very first person to tell me that I could and that I should. Not only that, she wouldn’t let me get away with "someday".
She gave me the dates for both the 70.3 team races and asked me to pick one. There's something indescribably motivating when people you admire and look up to believe and invest in you. After the semester was over, she introduced me to Jeremy and to Mind Right. I told Jeremy that I admired everything he was doing, but I had to confess that I could not afford to join until after my clinical rotations (aka..unpaid internships). He told me about this Onward Scholarship opportunity and encouraged me to consider applying.
Fast forward a couple of months later and I am getting on a bike trainer for the very first time (and getting off walking funny), having my mind blown with Target HR equations, and standing on the edge of a freezing pool with Kendall saying "Don't touch the water. Just jump in and go!"
I have learned so much over the last few months and I have had the most patient teachers. I wake up at 415 every morning, do my workout(s), drive 75 min to my clinical, where I'm critically observed and graded as I work my butt off for no pay for 8-9 hours. Then I drive home eat and study up for the next day's patient case load before doing it all over again. If I have any extra time at all I am studying for my state board exam. This includes time on the trainer or treadmill.
To the outside world I seem crazy to have taken this on during such a stressful time in my life. What they don't know is that this sport and these people came into my life at the perfect time. They are what has helped me get through this with a smile on my face every day. I haven't crossed any finish lines yet, but I am having a blast along the way!"
Now if that doesn't inspire you, I do not know what will!
If you are interested in our ONWARD scholarship program or talking to one of our coaches for some tips or one on one coaching, check us out at:
Its finally that time. Race seasoning is here; boy did I jump into the deep without my wetsuit. It’s that time to either fight back or die trying. Finally, I am excited and nervous.
It’s been 9 months since I have raced last. 9 months, has to be my record. I look back and get a bit frustrated that I did that to myself, but I also needed it. My off-season started with watching my bff finally get his reward for working his tail off. Then I went into family, much much needed family time. My family gives so much for me to follow this dream, that I couldn’t do it without.
December came and it was time to start moving again, much needed time in the water (20K a week blocks) to 115-mile bike ride Christmas eve tradition.
January and February we continued the theme of 20K a week blocks, but had the added stress of increasing job responsibilities, expo season and balancing when I get to spend time with family.
March was in my opinion the best and worst months of my careers as a triathlete. Camp was one of the best thing to happen to me, I saw gains in fitness in things that, for me, hadn’t grow in a while. I met new family members and even accepted a new friend into my ever so tightly woven circle (cough cough Mart). SO much good came from camp that I got home and crashed.
The camp high didn’t hold on to me long… I came home to roughly a 5 week block of 4/5 nights on the road and weekends were major training days. My burnout was written all over the wall and boy did I run head first into it. We pushed were we could, pulled when we couldn’t, but getting me through that block was a huge struggle for the circle. I have probably never missed so many workouts in my life. I questioned “why”, I hated the sport and even thought about retiring.
IMTX week brought the balance back into my life. Work settled, family time came back and with that my desire started to rise …
Now it’s time, it’s time to show the struggle, show the pain, the investments. Yes, getting here was ugly (probably my worst as an athlete), but the growth is unprecedented. The work is done, the dust will settle and no matter what we will all come out the other side.
Let’s geaux Raleigh, let’s do epic shit.
The key to "Leaning into it" is the coach/athlete relationship. Athletes react 1 of 2 ways when faced with adversity in training. They either lean into it or they back off, generally speaking. Both of these are mental tasks that must be practiced to gain.
Generally speaking when an athlete backs away that is a good indicator that they do not trust me as a coach or they lack the crucial self belief that it takes to grow when being pushed. These actually go hand in hand and need to be addressed.
Every athlete is different. Every athlete responds differently physically, mentally and emotionally when tasked with things that may be beyond their current comfort zone or their current scope of belief in themselves.
Often times the athlete pulls away because of their own self imposed limitations. It is in those moments when you must lean into your support system. The group you have around you (family, friends, training partners, faith, coaches, mentors, etc) is there for when you need something to lean on. USE IT!
- Coach Jeremy
In the last blog I covered the times of the year that I see as very common and recurring pitfalls for endurance athletes. In this one, I want to identify what I did as an athlete, and what I help, as a coach, athletes do, when these times occur.
While it may seem simple, it takes patience and perseverance to remain progressive during these times. The easiest thing to do is a trap, more often than not. It is waiting for you to walk down the path of negativity. The battle wages within us daily during these periods in our training. That constant back and forth of "am I progressing" and the ever-present comparison to those around us are pitfalls that are easy to slip into. To avoid those or combat them, here are my tips:
1. Circle of Life - No not the song from "The Lion King". This is the group of people (friends, family, training partners, coaches) that we develop relationships with and entrust with the power to help bump (some of us need to be kicked) us back on the path we told them we want to be on. These are very powerful influencers in our life because we have deemed them loyal and important in our journey. Use them.
2. Goal Setting - This is a very important task to take on either at the beginning of the year or between races. I don't mean the goal setting of "I want to PR" or "to get more fit". I am talking about very specific goals that include outcome goals, performance goals and process goals. These are the ways you set yourself up for success and they come in very handy during the tougher times.
3. Accepting Goals - Setting goals is one thing that is important, but the most important piece with goals is to recognize them. Place them in 3 places you will see them. Car speedometer area, locker at the gym, bathroom mirror, pantry door, outside of your dresser drawer, etc. This will ensure when you hit a rough patch, they will be in your face. The trick is, your goals must be high enough that it will take work and consistency to achieve them.
4. Believe and Trust - Seems simple, right? When times are tough these are 2 of the hardest things you will encounter. These will seem nearly impossible, (refer to #1 for people that can get you to the place where these are achievable) but something that you must seek out. Try to tap into the times you had solid workouts, felt strong, and believed. Remember those feelings as if they are real and in the current moment.
5. Patience - This one is by far the hardest to attain on a consistent basis. In a time where everything is available at your fingertips, it is becoming increasingly harder to put in the work consistently and then sit back waiting for the results. Think about the farmer just planting his corn. If he doesn't see it full grown in the first 4 weeks, does he set the field on fire? No, he waits, waters it, and is patient. Grant yourself the gift of patience and watch what happens!
In conclusion you can see that there is no magic bullet for breaking through the tougher times. It is a sequence of events that are set in motion when things are going right. Seeds planted when you are in that good confident place. Seeds like our circle, goals and the trust you have in them.
Sow the right kinds of seeds and the droughts won't seem so long and your goals will remain achievable!
- Coach Jeremy
In the world of endurance sports there are always opportunities for growth and development. As a coach does work with hundreds of athletes over the years my job is to spot trends and patterns. The trends and patterns that seems to be recurring every single year like clockwork are, to me, two of the biggest opportunities to fall into a trap.
In a not so distant past there were several times during the year that I, as an athlete, would struggle. When I would enter these moments I would not have the perspective to understand why these times occurred and what I can do to prevent them. Fast forward to my coaching career and I fully recognize, understand and appreciate the power of these two times a year.
The first opportunity we cross is the late winter/early spring season. The majority of athletes are far enough removed from their last race or accomplishment and yet not close enough to the next race or goal and they get stuck in no man's land. This is a great time for the mind to wander and question if you're putting the pieces together to get to your next goal. This is the time of year where the fruits of our labor aren't always seen because we have no measuring stick that we deem of value. Typically that measuring stick is a race or some type of competition and so we neglect to see or appreciate the gains that we have made to this point.
The next one is what I like to call the Midsummer lull. This, like the winter/early spring, is one that we get caught in between our last event and our next event. The dog days of summer on us and every single mile that we log seems to be in the sweltering heat with no relief in sight. We become tired of hydrating and sweating, creating the piles of laundry that need our attention.
The other thing that seems to compound the problem of these two times a year are the holidays and summer/vacation travel. Often times we get caught up in what we are not doing or not able to do and we do not appreciate the progress we are able to make. In my opinion this is one of the key times that it is very vital for the coach and athlete relationship to be strong. The coach has access to several different data analyzing platforms and pieces of information that can help dissect even the smallest of gains.
In part two I will discuss with you my strategy as an athlete and a coach for overcoming these obstacles and turning them into opportunities that we can win in.
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!