Monday, April 20, 2015

Not In Kansas Anymore...

Holy cats... where to start? So this past weekend I had the honor of having two of my athletes from Kansas come out to work/train with me in person. I kind of can't say enough about how great this kind of opportunity is... While I've definitely had some success guiding athletes from afar, getting to know them the way you can when you spend time training together in person is priceless. Ok, well it's the price of a plane ticket and a car and a place to stay for the weekend... But worth so much more than that!

We basically spent the last 4 days swimming and biking and running... I pretty much lived out of my car. Here's proof! (It still looks like this, yes.)
I figured that since they were coming from their Kansas-winter-dark-little-basement training caves,  starting off our training weekend at this location would be pretty cool.
So we did a little Aloha Friday morning swim/run along this beach and the giddy looks on their faces assured me it was a good call. :) Welcome to Hawaii, boys!

A big focus for our weekend was swim speed/technique, and in good news, I think it's safe to say we were successful on this front. We spent a bunch of time in the pool on 3 separate occasions and with some new technique, they both dropped 10-15"/100 off their old paces. I found this process *really* interesting. Especially in Todd's case. Here's a guy who's been working *diligently* on that damn swim yet not seeing any improvement at all in his swim times. In good news, he was swimming plenty of yards consistently every single week, so his fitness was there. He was capable of swimming for a long time at the same steady pace, but he wasn't capable of swimming faster, even for a single 50yd. In a scenario like this, it's 100% technique that is the issue. I know there are a bunch of athletes (and coaches!) who think that an athlete shouldn't just keep swimming if their technique is not good, but here's where I will completely disagree with that. In Todd's case, yes, his technique left something to be desired. Swimming a bunch was frustrating for him b/c he wasn't seeing improvement, but he kept chipping away at that fitness anyway. And you know what? When we finally managed to tweak his technique so he was actually able to move through the water more effectively, all that fitness showed right up, and his 'new' pace was a pace that he could *hold* because his fitness was already in place. So all those hard yards were not for nothing! On the other hand, if/when a swimmer is capable of swimming fast for a 50 (let's say 45" or better), then like it or not the issue is fitness/endurance, so that athlete has to put in more time/volume and that's where the money will be for him/her. Anyway, I'm super proud of the progress we made in the pool this past weekend and will look forward to continuing to push these guys so they get even faster down the road!

Friday afternoon I took the guys for some sightseeing on our local mountain... Apparently in Kansas they have a hard time finding a hill that lasts more than a few minutes, so we looped Tantalus a few times so they would have an opportunity to climb continuously for 30+'. Plus, the views from up there are amazing.

Day 2 started off at the beach again, this time with a lesson on "What is a Portuguese Man-o-war?"
I found a couple of these critters on the beach and feared that our morning swim might end prematurely (and not without some electrocuting pain) but all's well that ends well and by some miracle we all managed to avoid getting stung. We spent a good chunk of time practicing open water starts and finishes and sighting and torpedo turns... super fun and we ended that session with lots of smiles.

The rest of the day on Saturday was pretty much spent on our bikes, where the boys from Kansas got a taste of Hawaii winds, which aren't altogether different from Kansas winds, except that there's no wind when you'r riding on your trainer in your basement because its 30 degrees outside. Regardless, the ocean views were great and we (somehow?!?) didn't even get rained on. #winning

Sunday morning started dark and early. Hey boys! Find your legs because we've got a little race to do! Lanikai Triathlon was Sunday morning, and the race was officially closed, but in a show of Aloha, Raul and Hina graciously let the boys from Kansas into the race, which was a bit of a thrill.

I raced too and it was my first triathlon of 2015. Decent showing I suppose, though if I'm honest I'd admit it left some things to be desired... but it's all good! I have both the time and understanding of where my weaknesses are at the moment so am setting about fixing them... :)
I'm pretty sure this is where I was telling my friend Mike about how much I am completely 100% IN LOVE with my new Enve wheels... Yesterday was the first time I'd tried them Don't try anything new on race day but from the first pedal stroke I knew I was IN LOVE...

In good news, my swim was decent (thumbs up for my new Roka speed suit, which I tested out for the first time at this race Don't try anything new on race day) and my bike didn't suck. Ahem, we just won't talk about that run! This picture makes it look like maybe it didn't completely suck, but don't be fooled- it completely sucked. ;) Ok, well except for the views. The views didn't suck.

In good news, Coeur Sports was well represented on the women's 40-44 podium. Yay Coeur Sports! (and yay Shannon!) These 2015 kits are the bomb. Really, the whole line is just awesome. I train in this gear all.time.time because they are simply the most comfortable kits I have.

My Kansas boys had a blast racing too. Todd ended up on the podium for his age group (!!) and Greg was this.close (4th!). Was a super fun morning but it was all done by 8AM, which meant we had plenty of time for another bike ride, followed by lunch, followed by another pool swim session. #TeamBSC #WeTrainForDurability

Anyway, one more swim/run this morning (where Todd PR'd his 100 swim by like 10 seconds and then hugged me instinctively) and my Kansas boyz are on a plane heading home right now...  I'm sitting here pretty much glowing just so stoked about how great that weekend was. Not only was it fun and beneficial for Todd and Greg, but it was confidence building for me as a coach. More and more I see/feel that coaching is what I was meant to do. Helping athletes the way I get to is 100x more rewarding than standing on that podium.

The last few days were a whirlwind but have found their way onto my list of top lifetime experiences. You planned a great schedule, sacrificed valuable family and professional time, and shared expertise, optimism and patience beyond words!
You are so passionate about what you do. Your statement about being invested in your athletes is so true. I have a passion for triathlon and want to push myself. You know this and I believe you know a little more about what makes me tick after seeing me in person.
Thank you so much for a great trip. It's just the start of going even higher.

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