We at Pursuit Athletic Performance are very proud to share this story of our client, triathlete Susan Ford, who will be racing the Ironman in Kona this October! The Ironman website featured a great article about Susan, a 15-time Ironman competitor, who was chosen to receive a Kona “Legacy” slot for the race.
The Legacy program is new, and is designed for athletes who have raced 12 or more IRONMAN races over the years–”These athletes make up an important part of Ironman culture; though they may not be fast enough to officially qualify for the marquee event, their dedication to IRONMAN was worth acknowledging with a chance to race on the historic course.”
You can read about Susan, her history, and her training here.
Susan also gave Pursuit and Coach Al a nice shout out in the piece saying, “I’m coached by Al Lyman at Pursuit Athletic Performance. He has helped me make enormous gains in my performance and ability to resist injury.”
Said Coach Al, “No one is more dedicated or works harder than Susan. I am looking forward to seeing her through her training, getting her stronger and faster still, and cheering as she fulfills her dream of racing in Kona.”
I have another GREAT interview to share with you! Lauren Novakowski is an athlete I coach who recently WON the Rev 3 Quassy Aquabike event on June 3. Anyone who has raced Quassy knows that course offers quite the challenge. She went on this weekend to post the fastest female bike split overall–for triathlon, aquabike and duathlon–at the Litchfield Hills Triathlon/Duathlon. She is on a roll, and I just see her getting stronger and faster!
No doubt, Lauren is a talented athlete. But I think you will find another aspect of her story equally compelling. Lauren tells of her recent journey to redefine herself as an athlete. A serious knee injury keeps her from running “for now,” as Lauren likes to say. Hers is the story of a deeply committed competitor who did not give up, but chose to evolve and find joy and challenge away from triathlon by focusing hard on the aquabike discipline. Lots to learn here for many athletes who, perhaps, find themselves in a similar situation.
Central to her message in the interview is the effectiveness of our work together. We created for Lauren a focused, dialed in, and structured training program that got her fit and ready in 12 weeks to RACE HARD at Quassy. Our strategic, targeted plan was holistic in its execution as well. Lauren not only learned how to maximize her time spent training, she also developed serious functional strength that allowed her to work hard and recover quickly. AND she did the lion’s share of preparation for Quassy INDOORS–training the swim on the Vasa Ergometer, and riding workouts on the Computrainer.
Lauren is an inspirational example of an athlete not only willing to train outside the box, but of a competitor who finds ongoing fulfillment in training and racing despite bumps in the road. For her, training and life balance are not mutually exclusive propositions, even as she strives to reach her ultimate potential. For me as a coach, it doesn’t get much better than that.
It is my true pleasure to introduce you to one of the outstanding athletes I coach, ultrarunning champion Debbie Schieffer Livingston. I think you will really enjoy this interview as we cover a host of topics including how Debbie prepares for running distances up to 100 miles, how she recovers, her thoughts on the value of functional strength training (hint: she says it makes a “huge difference”), fueling and hydration, and the mental challenges she faces when running such long distances.
Debbie has been running ultras for more than a decade. She is equipped with with a wealth of experience and broad perspectives. Plus, she is the nicest person you could ever meet!
We filmed this interview in the Massachusetts Berkshires at the Mt. Graylock Trail Races Half Marathon where Debbie was third woman overall. That’s impressive enough, but what is truly mind blowing is that she did the Mt. Graylock race only SIX DAYS after her record-breaking performance at the Laurel Highlands 70.5 Ultra! In that race, Debbie smashed a 22-year course record by 12 minutes! (You can see her Laurel Highlands race report here.) Her results tell you this is an athlete who has learned how to put all the pieces together.
Debbie is truly an elite athlete, but as you listen I think you will see that issues regarding smart training, recovery, strength work, flexibility, fueling, and taking the long view apply to all of you too. At least that is how we guide and train ALL our athletes at Pursuit Athletic Performance, whether you are breaking records or gearing up for your first 5K.
Enjoy the interview. And wait until you hear what she has planned for the rest of the season!!! ~ Coach Al
We have an outstanding group of runners, cyclists and triathletes doing AMAZING things. Here’s a sampling of the latest racing results from the Pursuit Athletic Performance team.
Debbie Livingston Zane Grey 50 Mile Endurance Run, Highline Trail, Arizona
Champion ultra-runner Debbie Livingston had an amazing start to her 2012 season with a 5th overall finish at the Zane Grey Endurance Run, the most difficult 50 mile race in the country. As the organizers claim, “This race is HARD!” Debbie survived a tough patch mid-race, and at one point went off course for a bit. Despite all the challenges she faced, Debbie pushed toward the finish line like the true champion she is. Her 5th place finish came against a field stacked with some of the nation’s top ultra runners. We are so proud of her effort and tenacity in this epic event!
7 Sisters Trail Race, Amherst, MA
A mere two weeks later, Debbie placed 2nd at the 7 Sisters Trail Race. The race is 12 tough miles with 3,700 feet of climbing and many steep, rocky sections with hazardous footing. Outstanding result after the Zane Grey 50! (See? We tell you our strong, stable athletes recover well!) Congrats Deb! Rest up! 2012 is looking like a great season for you.
Tim Ahearn Tour of the Battenkill, America’s Toughest One-Day Race, Cambridge, New York
Those of you who are not local to the Northeast may not be aware of this “Queen of the Classics.” The field is as deep as the course is rough. The race is unbelievably brutal, and the competition is the deepest many face in all of their racing careers. Just FINISHING with the pack is a huge accomplishment. Our Tim Ahearn finished 6th in the Cat 3 division, just seconds off the podium. Outstanding is an understatement!
Blue Hills Classic, Blue Hills Reservation, Milton, MA
Two weeks after Battenkill, Tim had a podium finish in the Blue Hills Classic. He placed 3rd in Cat 3. Huge congratulations to Tim on two incredible outings!
Bob Meikle Miles Standish Road Race, Plymouth, MA
Masters cyclist Bob Meikle placed an impressive 11th in the Miles Standish road race. A day marked by typical bike racing tactics, Bob, unfortunately, got boxed in by a competitor’s team in a breakaway, and no other riders were willing to help reel them in. Bob tells us with good cheer, “sometimes that happens in bike racing!” Congratulations, Bob, on a solid day.
Susan Ford Rev 3 Knoxville, Olympic Distance Triathlon, Knoxville, TN
Fantastic age group win by Susan Ford at the Rev 3 Olympic Triathlon in Knoxville! Susan works her butt off, pays attention to the details, and is seeing outstanding results. The Kona slot she covets remains her true motivator. We are super proud of you, Susan! Way to rock it!
Steve Kohler Ironman St. Croix 70.3
In a day that included lots of rain on the infamously tough St. Croix course, Steve Kohler raced to a 9th place finish in his age group at Ironman 70.3 in St Croix. Top 10 in that race is a true accomplishment. He not only conquered The Beast, but a tough day overall!
Ironman St. Croix 70.3
PAP client Rebecca Stephen won the 40-44 AG in St. Croix–and it was her first ever 70.3! Interesting story… Rebecca is one talented lady. But when she came to me, she was very injured, and believed her running days were behind her. I consider her gait analysis, followup, and my work with her as a coach to be among my greatest success stories. She also provides one of our most compelling testimonials. Thank you Rebecca and congratulations! We wish much continued success.
Margee Clarke Charron
Boston Marathon, Boston, MA
Margee’s Boston Marathon finish is particularly sweet to us. She came to PAP with chronic iliotibial band syndrome (ITB) just a few months before the race with little hope of being able to run it. She put her trust in our process, and worked hard on our prescriptive training for her. Not only did she overcome her injury, but put herself in a position to do some specific marathon training. She finished Boston strong, and in the top 1/3 of all finishers. Three cheers, Margee! We could not be happier for you!
TRAINING NEWS Ken Marker
In training for Ironman Florida 70.3, May 20, Haines City, Florida
Ken Marker is looking super ready for IM 70.3 Florida in a couple of weeks. He just tested, and he has a new FTP (functional threshold power) of 257w. That’s a 3.77 w/kg, an all time high for him at this time of year! Ken is prepping for a GREAT season!
That’s it for our racing news for now. Lots more to come as the season goes on!
One of our great clients, Glen Elliot, does a terrific job explaining the frustration most runners face when trying to improve their form. He tried to work on every cue in the book while running–cadence, land on forefoot, good posture, etc.–and came to the conclusion, “this just isn’t working.” A few weeks after his gait analysis and subsequent training with us, Glen returns to the lab for a tune up. What you will hear is his “lightbulb moment.”
Great job, Glen! You are really fitting together all the pieces of the puzzle!
We are pleased to present another in our series of before and after gait analysis videos. This one features long-time triathlete John Crocamo, a very smart athletes who got tired of trying to train through injury and falling short of his true potential. We say it over and over again, cramming fitness n top of dysfunction NEVER works, and you will never release your best performances if you are locked up in bad movement patterns.
John says he thinks of us as “the holy grail,” and what he has been searching for for many years. We are truly flattered. We also know that what we do WORKS. Take a look at his before and after video, and see an athlete who is ready to respond to training, get faster, and be much more resistant to injury.
Thank you, John, for your kind words. We are so proud of the work you’ve done. When you reap the benefits of your compliance and dedication when racing triathlon this season, you will deserve every bit of success coming your way.
We are very pleased to be working with triathlete Brian Czak. We met Brian at the Multisport World Expo in Boston a few weeks ago. While talking with Dr. Strecker at our booth, Brian had an “AHA! moment.” During their discussion, Brian came to a clear understanding that the best way for him to compete at his fastest, and to stay his healthiest, is to understand his movement patterns and shore up weakness and instabilities BEFORE piling on the training.
This guys gets it.
Even though Brian is new to the sport of triathlon, there is no doubt that going through our gait analysis and taking on the subsequent training, he is setting himself up to crush his former racing self. We hope you take a moment to listen to his wise, proactive perspective. We’re ready to stand with Brian every step of the way! This athlete is doing it right!