Archive for Testimonials

Maryann Martinez: Before and After Gait Analysis and Subsequent Training

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It was great to see Maryann Martinez in our Gait Analysis Lab! Maryann came back in for a video re-shoot, to see what progress she has made since her last visit. Check out the photo for one example of the super progress she’s made! Nice work, Maryann! That picture is worth a thousand words, for sure. You have to admit, that just by looking at it, you can intuitively see how her running is now more powerful, and her risk of injury diminished.

To summarize her results, Maryann is much more stable in left leg stance as evidenced by less drop of her right hip. She’s stronger through the glute and entire posterior chain, as evidenced by less cross-over of the left leg – it is now landing more under her left hip, resulting in better “stacking.” She’s also stronger through the entire hip musculature as evidenced by a “straighter” left leg, e.g. less movement toward the midline of her left knee.

Also, notice how much more stable she looks in her shoe. Better alignment and therefore less SPEED and energy leakage!

After we posted Maryann’s photo on Facebook, she wrote this great testimonial. Thanks, Maryann! Nice work. Keep it up! Come back and see us soon. You rock!

Pursuit Athletic Performance

Carly Stroich-Eisley: Vermont 50 Ultra Run–This Is How Recovery Should Be!

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Hello Everyone!

One of the ultrarunners in the Pursuit Athletic Performance family is Carly Stroich-Eisley. Last weekend, Carly took on the Vermont 50 ultra run. While I hope to be able to share her race report soon, I had to share her recovery check-in only three days post race. Read her words and know this is how recovery is supposed to be! A real testimony to the power of BEING STRONG.

In years past, before our training together, Carly would have carried injury and pain from an effort like this for weeks on end. Instead, she knocked it out of the park. This is how an athlete who is strong, stable, balanced and durable is able to crank out year after year of performance without breaking down.

How does she feel so good after a race of 50 miles through the mountains of Vermont?

Many of you know my coaching philosophy is based upon restoring authentic movement and building a base of balanced strength from the ground up so that athletes can train and race to their true potential.

You simply cannot train and race to your ultimate best with a body that is unbalanced, weak, and broken.

Cultivating speed and outstanding personal performance is what we expect all our athletes to be able to achieve–and they do. By rebuilding the athlete’s body from the inside out– so that it is injury resistant, durable, and able to withstand more training load–we create the perfect confluence where fulfillment in sport and personal happiness is greatly enhanced. Carly is a great example of just that.

Thanks, Carly! You have a great and bright future ahead of you!

From Carly:

I am amazed at how well I was able to do in the Vermont 50, and how well I am recovering given the amount of training time I really had for this! I am walking normally, quads feel much better and I can get up and down steps and from a sitting position with no trouble today. Just had the normal post-race soreness which is mostly gone, no real pain anywhere. My right calf and Achilles were tight, lightly massaged and stretched it and feeling much better there too.

I stopped and thought about it the other day, after the race… I essentially had no quality running whatsoever from the end of March until July (and the quality of my running before that is very debatable…) And I was able to bust out the Vermont 50! And in a fairly respectable time. Insane!!

Strength training rocks!!

I can’t wait to see how I can do with additional time to train and prepare. :-)

Todd Wilkins Testimonial: From Broken Athlete to Masters Half Ironman Winner!

Hello Everyone!

Pursuit Athletic PerformanceI just have to share an extremely gratifying testimonial from triathlete Todd Wilkins. Todd was a broken athlete when he contacted us. You can read in his own words below the trials and tribulations he endured dealing with severe iliotibial band syndrome. He was a dispirited athlete, and had just about given up hope on racing again. He did not expect to be able to return to long-course triathlon, that’s for sure.

Todd lives afar from our lab, so we began with our work together with the virtual on-line gait analysis. The more athletes we work with through the online analysis process, the more we know how incredibly effective the system is. We were able to pinpoint Todd’s problems in movement quality leading to compensations, dysfunction, and, ultimately, to his unending cycle of injury. We got him on a regime of prescriptive exercises, and created a training plan for him. He put his head down, believed in the process, and did the work to rebuild his body as a strong, stable, mobile, and durable athlete.

Recently, Todd went a 4:48 in a half Ironman–the first race of that distance he has been able to do in 2.5 years! He was fifth OVERALL, and took first place in the masters category. It is a super, super result. Not only are we over the moon at Todd’s finishing time, but Kurt and I are extremely gratified that Todd is uninjured and pain free! Think about that! He rocked the house with a super solid result, and got on the podium. Thing is, now that he’s a stronger, more stable and durable athlete, he can begin to REALLY TRAIN and unleash his true potential. There are many great races and results ahead of him, no doubt in our minds!

Thanks for the kind words, Todd. Kurt and I are both so happy for you!

~ Coach Al

Coach Al and Dr. Strecker,

I just needed to send a long overdue note to thank you for getting me back to running and racing triathlons. You will remember I had severe ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome). For the last two years, I had gone through self treatment with rest, stretching and yoga. Then I went to see a sports medicine specialist getting MRI’s, injections and physical therapy. When that didn’t work, I went to see a different sports medicine specialist and got more of the same. Finally I was told I would either have to stop running or consider surgery.

You know surgery for ITBS has pretty poor results. I am a physician myself, and am pretty comfortable with most standard medical therapies, but was not going to have surgery. I had pretty much given up hope of running more than a couple of miles ever again.

Then I saw you for a gait analysis.

The program is fantastic! I have run several triathlons this summer that include both Olympic distance and sprints. I just completed my first half iron distance race after two-and-a-half years of being out of racing. It went great thanks to your gait analysis, the Return to Running program, and Coach Al’s awesome coaching this summer. I was able to post the second fastest bike split in the half iron distance race, and still run a decent 1:37:xx half marathon on a hilly course. I could not be happier.

I think I see an Ironman in my future now, something I had given up on not too long ago.

Thanks so much!

Todd Wilkens M.D. F.A.C.S.

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PS–You too can find and unlock your potential. 20% off all gait analysis packages AND 30 days FREE on our triathlon team. Click here to learn more.

Jeff Merriam: Coach Al Is My Competitive Advantage!

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Pursuit Athlete Jeff Merriam. (C) Robert Berkley of Robberkleyphoto.com

Hello Everyone!

My name is Jeffrey Merriam I am 41 years old and live in Connecticut. I am a triathlete, and am coached by Al Lyman.

In the fall of 2010 I had became more active and began running. I quickly found that running was a great outlet for stress relief, and it fostered a healthy life style. After several months and few local 5k races, I decided it was time to get some help. I own two Hyundai dealerships in Connecticut and was familiar with seeking training and coaching in the business world, and I know how effective it can be. It was now time to get the same kind of support for my running.

My sister had a friend who was coached by Al. She was very happy with her training, was doing well, and that was reference enough for me. I was thrilled to find he was local too, although I know he works with athletes from all over the country. But I took advantage of the proximity, and quickly made an appointment for a visit.

We began the coaching process with a gait analysis and a functional movement screen. I quickly learned about my weaknesses and my personal configurations of compensation and dysfunctional movement patterns. This process of learning was incredibly eye opening to me, with light bulbs going off left and right! There was so much to learn about how to be the best athlete I could be. What potential did I really have lying in wait? I worked hard with Coach Al to fix my form and get stronger. With my passion cranked up full tilt, we began an ongoing coaching relationship. The rest is history.

During my visits to the lab, I noticed the Ironman posters and the pictures of Coach competing all over the world. Boy, that’s what I wanted to do next. So, patiently, he took me through the steps of becoming a triathlete. From our first swim lesson together, to my first wet suit purchase, to my first sprint, he held my hand through the process. That winter, he included me in his annual Arizona cycling training trip–and I learned to ride. Again, he patiently taught me how to ride correctly, efficiently, and powerfully. I learned how to ride with a group, what to drink, what to eat, what to wear. I quickly fell in love with cycling as well.

That following spring I was ready for my first triathlon. Long story short, I began racing with a local sprint, then moved up to the Olympic distance, and, finally, in July of that same year, I raced the Amica Ironman 70.3. I finished the 70.3 with a respectable time of 5:30.

Here I am now, less than two years later, placing in my age group and having blast. I continue to learn from Al every day. Most importantly, I am durable and can race week after week injury free. Coach has given me the confidence with each race that I belong in the world of triathlon–and I can be successful.

Al is not only my coach, but he has become my friend, my mentor, and so much more. Without a doubt, out on the race course, Coach Al is my competitive advantage!

 

Online Virtual Gait Analysis Testimonial

Our online Virtual Gait Analysis (VGA) is getting more popular with each passing week. Coach Al and Dr. Kurt Strecker designed an outstanding “virtual” analysis system for those of you who cannot make it to the Gait Lab. We just had to share a great (unsolicited) testimonial we received from a recent VGA client, Scott Krizek. We are very pleased that he finds great value in the VGA process and follow-up prescriptive training. Thanks, Scott!

If you have questions about our VGA, here is a blog post that covers questions we regularly receive. We also have a video on the topic if you prefer that format. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to be in touch!

From Scott Krizek

Wow!

I have been to many very good PTs, and I will say this was by far the most useful and informative summary of my issues. All of the weaknesses etc. have been pointed out at one time or another, but they have not been brought together holistically as you have done.

The quality of the video and other technology is very impressive as well.

Most importantly, I love the complete plan. “JUST do this” is very helpful because, historically, I have been given exercise that stack on top of another exercise, and soon I have enough good exercises that would take hours to complete.

I am getting to work tonight!

Again, I am very impressed and would tell people it was well worth the cost.

Badwater Ultrarunner Jason Rita Preps for Grueling Race with Pursuit Athletic Performance [Video]

On July 16, Pursuit client Jason Rita will begin the the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet–the legendary Badwater Ultramarathon. Jason will run 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130F (55c). When he takes on the beast known as Badwater, our own Coach Al will be by his side as one of the support crew. We’ll fill you in on details of the race as they unfold!

Jason has accomplished incredible feats in the world of ultra-endurance running including an unassisted speed summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the Himalaya 100-mile stage race, which included a third place finish at the Everest Challenge Marathon. He finished third in the Leadville 100 “Leadman” competition, which is comprised of the Leadville Trail Marathon, a 50-mile mountain bike, a 50-mile trail run, 100 mile mountain bike, and a 100 mile trail run. The list goes on and on.

gait analysis, Jason Rita, Badwater, marathon, ultramarathon, ultrarun, Pursuit Athletic Performancegait analysis, Jason Rita, Badwater, marathon, ultramarathon, ultrarun, Pursuit Athletic Performance

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how does an athlete with such an amazing and accomplished running pedigree begin his prep for Badwater?
By running?
Nope.
By learning how to MOVE through our Gait Analysis.

Our hope is that every athlete learns how important it is to begin their own epic journey–whether it be taking on a 5K or Badwater–with solid functional strength, and stable movement that is the foundation for conquering your hopes and dreams. Let’s hear what Jason learned from the experience in this video.

Best of luck, Jason! We’ll all be cheering!

Runner, Once Frustrated, Learns How to Refine His Form

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!

Fantastic Improvements for Triathlete in Only Four Weeks

We are turning over the blog today to one of our athletes, Lauren Novakowski. Since we could not better present the progress she has made with our training in only FOUR WEEKS, we will let Lauren tell you herself.

We will be following her progress through the season, so stay tuned. Thank you Lauren for taking the time to share your fantastic success! As we keeping telling you, you’ve only just begun!

NEW LEARNING FOR A SEASONED ATHLETE
By Lauren Novakowski

I started training with Pursuit Athletic Performance (PAP) four weeks ago, and I am thrilled to share my results and progress.

I have been an athlete since childhood, and have spent the last last five years in the world of triathlon. Over the past year, injuries and age have messaged that it was time to fundamentally change my ways. I decided that this year I was going to acquire a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, develop training to specifically address those weaknesses to improve overall athletic performance with greater efficiency.

A wise athlete once said that If you come across superior way of training today than what you were doing yesterday, you have an obligation to implement those changes and share with others. Coach Al Lyman and Dr. Kurt Strecker have been instrumental in teaching me a superior way of training yielding positive performance results, less fatigue in fewer training hours.

For the last five weeks, I have been training with Pursuit Athletic Performance. The first four weeks of targeted work have resulted in measurable improvements in my bike, swim and overall strength (see results below). I have documented all training via various metrics, and I am fortunate to have kept performance measures from my last few years of multisport training for baseline comparisons.

Below is a snapshot of my results after initial four weeks of work with Pursuit Athletic Performance:

? Various metrics include time, speed, power (watts), HR, cadence, calories burned. Training tools include bike power meter, PAP CompuTrainer ergometer, HR monitor, PAP Vasa swim ergometer, 25 yd pool.

? I started with a solid bike, swim, and strength base prior to initiating training with PAP. Four weeks into my current 12 week plan, my cycling functional threshold power improved 10 watts and my swim 100m Vasa threshold time decreased by 5 seconds. I have also experienced more consistent and improved pool time intervals.

? Executing proper functional strength movement has significantly improved existing injuries. For the first time since I can remember, I was able to cycle outside for 2 1/2 hours with no low back pain.

? Better results with improved efficiency. In a four week time frame, I allocated 2-3 fewer hours per week following the Pursuit Athletic Performance program versus going to spin classes, strength training with weights, swimming in the pool 100% of the time.

I am writing this to tell all athletes if you are looking for maximum return on investment, take a moment to check out all the services that Pursuit Athletic Performance has to offer no matter what your sport. I look forward to sharing additional progress in the near future.

Lauren Novakowski is not only a triathlete, but a mom of three (son, 11, and twin daughters, 9). She is a Senior Corporate Account Manager for Amgen. She lives with her husband of 15 years in Old Saybrook, CT.

 

This Triathlete Gets It! Meet Brian Czak

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!

The Results Are Amazing! A Wonderful Testimonial

We were delighted to receive this testimonial from one of our rock star clients, Steve Arendt. Steve came to us with a litany of injuries, and a spiraling downward trajectory in terms of running performance and training consistency. Instead of continuing to try and cram fitness on top of injury and dysfunction, he put his head down, did the work to get strong, stable, balanced and mobile. He is now seeing the benefit of his dedication, and it’s just the beginning of an athlete unleashed!

Thanks, Steve! We know there are great things in store for your training and racing!

From Steve:

I’m a runner and triathlete — I love the lifestyle and the feeling of being strong and fast. About two years ago I started on a downward spiral of running injuries: SI joint, piriformis, calves, and Achilles tendons. I grew to fear running — even when I took time off, it seemed like yet another injury would crop up as soon as I started running again. It was ruining my races because I couldn’t train with consistency. I tried all the usual things: massage, compression, stretching, icing, but the injuries just kept coming. I knew something bigger was wrong, but I didn’t know what.

So I flew out to Al and Kurt for a gait analysis. What a revelation! The Functional Movement Screen was eye-opening — I couldn’t believe how weak I was in some areas. I’ve been following Al and Kurt’s program for about 3 months now, and the results are amazing. I’ve been able to restart running and am slowly building back up (without injury). Running feels completely different now — I used to feel like I was plodding, but now I feel like I’m gliding along, light and easy. And my pace is about 30 to 45 seconds per mile faster with the same effort. The program is a lot of work, but its worth it.

Most importantly, with Al and Kurt’s explanations, I understand what I am trying to accomplish, so I know what to focus on. No more random exercises that might help or hurt the problem. And since I know what I’m trying to do, I can feel when I start losing form due to fatigue or lack of focus, and I can correct it.

Oh yeah, the swim. I went to Al and Kurt for help with running, but their program had an immediate effect on my swimming. I gained a nice bump in speed just from the improved core stability and strength. That was an unexpected, but very welcome, benefit.

I’m VERY excited for the coming race season, when I can try out my new run on the competition!