Archive for coach al lyman

Can You Be Better Than Your Best?

Coach Al sharing his positive vibe!

Coach Al sharing his positive vibe!

Happy Friday! I thought I’d share a tidbit with all of you this morning, that has drawn some interest on Facebook…

An ironman triathlete I coach, in her unending quest to be a better athlete and achieve her (for now) ultimate goal of qualifying for Hawaii, asked a question on her Facebook wall, hoping that all of her friends might chime in with a “golden nugget” or two of wisdom, that would help her answer THE question.  And what was it that she posted?

“I am looking for a way to be better than my best.”

Ironically, we had discussed this topic in an email exchange prior to her posting this, but she was looking for more!  Yes, she is determined!  And I love that!

So, to get to the point, I read through a litany of responses from her friends, and was amused to read all of the things that had been posted, such as “try P90x,” or “dig deeper,” and even “let me know when you find the answer.”  At the end of a long string of responses, I posted a single word: “interesting”….

Of course, this athlete posted something which in hindsight, I should have expected: “Give me your thoughts, Coach!”

Since she had reached out and asked for more thoughts, I chimed in. Here’s what I posted on her wall; I hope you all find what I had to say valuable AND interesting, and I hope you find something which applies, as you ALL embark on your own hero’s journey….
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I found all of the comments your friends left, as quite interesting, that’s all. You work very hard, certainly as hard or harder than many athletes out there whom you’re competing with for a coveted Hawaii slot. “Digging deeper,” or trying some fad training program that is sold to the gullible masses, not as a way to “train” smarter as an athlete, but as some kind of magical “workout,” designed to carve a “six pack” and make you like yourself more when you look in the mirror, is NOT the answer. In my humble opinion, what you are looking for is a way to short circuit the “grind.” The process. And in my experience, that rarely – ever – works.

What it DOES often do, however, is cause us to be impatient, and look for an easier, or in your case, “better” way.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it) it takes a long time to get good in this sport, and we ALL have our own unique adaptive abilities, which we aren’t in control of, as hard as that is to accept sometimes. Rather than look for ways to press on the gas pedal HARDER, why don’t you step back, and with respect to your LIFE, take your foot off the brake.

In other words, try to see if there is a way to enjoy the process, the grind, more, by not looking beyond the task at hand.

Look for more ways to balance your life away from the sport, and then what might be the hardest thing of all – accept that IF YOU continue to train smart, work hard, recover harder, and stay the course, that you will get where you want to go……because you will.

The “problem,” is that you don’t get to hand pick when that will be. Life isn’t like that.

Mental toughness isn’t just about gritting your teeth and hammering more…..it’s also about being focused on the task at hand, and not looking for any specific result from the process, EXCEPT for the process itself.

Smell the roses. Enjoy the grind. Be present. Learn every day, about yourself and about the sport. Accept that you CAN’T control much of the results of what you do, despite your desire to. And while you are working very hard, and recovering as hard as you work, just let everything else take care of itself…”
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Have a great weekend everyone!
~Coach Al

 

Triathlon in 2015: The Challenge of Changing Beliefs and Perceptions

Coach Al on the run at the 2004 Hawaii Ironman World Championship

Coach Al on the run at the 2004 Hawaii Ironman World Championship

Hey Everyone. Coach Al here. Thanks for joining me today.

I want to to share with you today some thoughts on the challenge of changing beliefs and perceptions in athletes. It’s a view from my side of the fence, the perspective of a long-time coach who has dedicated many, many years, not only to studying movement and the powerful roles strength, stability, mobility, and flexibility play in unlocking ultimate athletic potential, but simply put, on what it takes to stay healthy and go FAST on the race course.

Let’s start with this: Are the bullets below, true or false?

  • Pain in the joints or muscles when training is normal.
  • Being “tough” and training through pain or injury is sometimes necessary, and should be considered a source of pride.
  • Strength training is a luxury, and not really “necessary” for runners or triathletes.
  • Stretching has not been proven to be beneficial, so why do it?
  • Stretching has been proven to be beneficial.  However, to receive the benefits and remain healthy from stretching, one must stretch the whole body.
  • The way to get faster and improve future performance potential is to focus on continually increasing volume and intensity.
  • The way we move ultimately has no bearing on training or performance.

There is no doubt that some of you reading the statements above think many, or all of them, might be “true.” In fact, from my point of view–and the view of renowned athletic movement experts–NONE of them are true. They are but a few examples of harmful and erroneous notions that have deep roots in the minds of many athletes, even in 2015!

At Pursuit Athletic Performance, we face the challenge of helping athletes discard commonly-held beliefs about training that are injurious and destructive. We ask athletes to open their minds, and let go of outdated and disproved ideas about what it takes to excel in sport.

Our message is a simple one, and it is this:

If you want to perform better, get faster, avoid or recover from injury, have longevity in sport, and have a healthier quality of life you must FIRST restore or develop MUSCULAR BALANCE, and THEN GET MOBILE, STABLE AND STRONG. Period. You MUST make your body MOVE like a champion athlete. That quality movement MUST COME FIRST before serious sport-specific training can then take you to the zenith of your potential.

One thing I know for certain: movement patterns filled with compensations lead to dysfunction, and dysfunction absolutely destroys the potential to train and race fast. I have dedicated my coaching career to helping athletes learn this life-altering truth, and break free from perceptions that undermine their true abilities and push attainable goals out of reach. It’s not easy to change or upend the beliefs most consider gospel. It demands a paradigm shift. Some get it, some don’t.

IF YOU ARE BATTLING injury and want to finally turn things around for you can have your best season ever, why not begin anew and start by checking out our new VIDEO series on avoiding and recovering from the most common running injuries. You won’t be disapointed, that is for sure!

If you are not injured and want to stay that way, or you’re a seasoned triathlete but frustrated because you aren’t improving or getting faster, then get in touch with us and we will show you how to achieve your dreams!

Got questions? Fire away on Facebook or email me directly at coachal@pursuitfitness.com.

Have a great day!

~Coach Al

 

In Training, Be Purposeful!

“For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.”

–Henri Frederic Amiel, 1821-1881, Swiss Philosopher, Poet, Critic

 

“It is a psychological fact that you can influence your environment and thoughts. If you do so consciously and with high purpose, you can change your habits and attitudes for the better.”

 –source unknown

 “Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.” 

–John D. Rockefeller, 1839-1937, American Industrialist, Philanthropist, Founder Exxon And last but not least!:

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

 –Sir Cecil Beaton, 1904-1980, British-born American Photographer

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Monday Excuse Busters!

 

10153250_10203154876609771_265784320_nHello everyone. Coach Al here! In a relentless effort to inspire and motivate you to reach your true potential, I’ve put down some common thoughts that many of us naturally have from time to time, and I follow with my reaction. Do any of the below ‘themes’ or excuses sound familiar?  Read on…

 

“I not sure I have what it takes to finish an Ironman or”….”You see, I could never”…
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Why not? What do you mean, “I could never”? Of course you could. You could indeed. If it can be done, you can do it. Finishing an IM or even an Olympic distance race has been done the “first” time by many before you, who are just LIKE you.  You’ve got to want it, of course. And if you want it enough, you’ll do it. “I could never” is usually said wistfully, meaning “I wish I could, but I can’t.” That’s preposterous. You can if you really want to. Free yourself from your own limitations. What do you want to do? What will fulfill the enormous potential of your life? Certainly not hiding behind “I could never.” You are capable of truly extraordinary accomplishments. You can do whatever you decide you’re going to do. You can find a way. Have the courage to live your possibilities.

 

“I’m overwhelmed with too many responsibilties and I”…

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Sometimes you’re just so overwhelmed, you feel like throwing up your hands or crawling into a hole and curling up in the fetal position. WRONG!  That’s exactly what you must not do. When you’re overwhelmed, that’s all the more reason to start taking the actions that will rectify your situation. When you’re overwhelmed is when you’re the most frustrated and the most motivated. Now is your chance to really take action with dedication and commitment. Don’t blow the opportunity. The frustration you feel is good, solid positive energy waiting to be released. If it is not released in a positive direction, there is a very big danger that it will become destructive energy. Use that frustration to your advantage. You’re overwhelmed?  GREAT! Do something about it right now. Quit complaining and start taking positive action. If you’re overwhelmed it means that there are plenty of things which can be done, things which will most likely make a difference very quickly. Pick something and start doing it right now. As soon as you get busy your frustration will start pushing you forward.

 

“I’m just an average athlete and not very experienced, and I don’t know if I really deserve to succeed”…

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You are just as good, just as worthy, just as valuable as anyone. No one can intimidate you, no matter what kind of car they drive, or what their business card says, or how big their house is, or what their “personal best” time for an Ironman is. No one is better than you. You are the best there is. Inside you is the potential to do, or be, or have anything you desire. No one has more than that. Some may have progressed farther down the path at this moment, but that doesn’t make them any better than you. If you start to take action right now, you will be working your way down that same path. No matter what anyone says, or does, no matter what your situation — personal, financial, social or otherwise — you can choose to live your life in your own way. And there is no greater success than that. But you must be the one to achieve your success. Though no one can hold you back if you’re determined enough, by the same token no one can do it for you. You’ve got to step up to the challenge, believe in yourself, and do what it takes. Right now is a great time to start. You deserve the best that life has to offer. Do whatever needs to be done to make it happen.

 

“It’s just too hard”…

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Anything worth having, or doing, or being, requires effort. What if you could have whatever you wanted, again and again, just by snapping your fingers? And what if everyone else could, as well? How much would you value and appreciate the things you had? What would you do with your life, if there was no need for effort? Where would you find meaning, what would give you satisfaction?  The value of effort is not only in what it produces, but also in what it demands of you. The greatest opportunity in life is not for a free ride. The greatest opportunity is to be fully challenged, and to meet challenge with effective effort. The things we value are the things to which, and for which, we give of ourselves. There is no way around that. Some of the hardest working people are those who are wealthy enough that they don’t need the money. Some of the most dedicated athletes who constantly strive to get better are also the most talented.  However, both of these types of people know they do need the effort, and the accomplishment, and the challenge. We all do. Without it, life is shallow and empty. Make the effort. Do it now. Start today to meet the challenge.  Remember, if it was easy to do what ‘we’ do, then everyone would do it.  But that’s what makes that finish line such a special place…………

 

“I’m just really too tired”…
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What are you tired of? Doing nothing can be just as tiring as taking action. If you’re physically tired, then go to bed and get a good night’s rest. Then get up in the morning and get started. Whatever you do today, you’ll be tired tonight. You can be tired after a day of effective effort and accomplishment, or you can be tired after a day of getting nowhere.  The choice is yours. If you’re going to be tired anyway, it makes sense to get something out of it. To put forth your best effort, to move in the direction of your goals, to make a difference, to make a life of excellence for yourself and the world around you. Take action toward an exciting goal, and instead of being tired you’ll be exhilarated.

 

“It won’t matter anyway”…
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What you do, matters. You can make a difference if you choose to do so. If there’s something that needs to be done, doing it will make a difference.  You know that. Thinking that is won’t matter is just a petty rationalization. Of course it matters. If it doesn’t then find something else that does. You are a creative, effective person who is full of possibilities. The job at hand or your most immediate racing goals may not be the most important thing in the history of the world, but if it gets you into action, then it matters very much. Because no matter how small the effort or consequence, it is a start. It revs up the momentum of the intelligent, creative, productive, and energetic person that you are. And once you get going, there’s no telling how much you can accomplish. It all starts with taking action. Don’t hide behind the thinking that it won’t matter. Jump in and get started. It does matter. Do it now.

 

“I’m afraid I might fail”…

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You can never fail — if you just show up you will always succeed in producing results. If you don’t like the results you are producing, then you can learn from your mistakes and change your strategy. By taking action, you will not fail. In fact, the only way to fail is to not take action. By taking action you always achieve a result. The result could very well be the achievement of your goal, or it could be a learning experience that will eventually bring you to the goal you desire. But you never fail. After Thomas Edison had tried 9,999 times to perfect the light bulb, and had not succeeded, someone asked him if he was going to have 10,000 failures. Edison replied that he had not failed — that he had just discovered another way not to invent the electric light. Failure is simply not an option. Everything you do has a result and eventually those results will lead you to the achievement of whatever you desire.

 

“I’m too busy”…

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What are you accomplishing with all that busy-ness? Simply being “busy” gets you nowhere. Stop being busy, evaluate your priorities, and start taking focused, directed action. Anyone can be busy, but so what? Accomplish requires more than just burning up time. Accomplishment demands action and results. Stop being busy and start doing something today.  Remember, thousands of athletes just like you have daily responsibilities, and all of them manage to get the job done.  Refine your priority list, throw out the garbage, and focus on that which will bring the results you desire…………………

 

“I can always try “it” later”…

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Yes, that’s right. You can always try it later. And when it’s later, you’ll probably say the same thing. Nothing gets done by putting it off until later. The fact is, you are alive and making decisions right now. Right now is the period of time over which you have control. Right now is the time that’s available for you to take action. Action that is not taken now, doesn’t get taken. As you’re reading this, try to do something next week. Really put out all the effort you can to get something done next
week. Were you able to do it? Of course not. Because next week isn’t here, and it never will be. It is always now, and now is the time to act. Do it now and it will get done.

 

“I’ve already tried that”…

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Trying is not enough. The only way to accomplish something is to do it, to do whatever it takes, to keep making the effort until the goal is reached. If at first you don’t succeed, you’ve still learned something valuable about how to proceed. If you’ve already tried, that’s fine. Keep going. Make use of that experience. You’ve got a valuable perspective on what works and what doesn’t. Stop trying and start taking whatever action is necessary to reach the goal. Learn from the mistakes and appointments. Keep going. Start right now to really make it happen.

 

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST!…..drum roll please!  :)

“But why not”…
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Whatever you wish to accomplish, there’s no reason why you cannot start right now. When you’re truly committed to reaching your goal, there will always be something that can be done right away, to get started. Action will get you where you want to go. Excuses will hold you back. The choice is yours. What are you waiting for?

Make it a great day!

~Coach Al

Baby Steps: A Runners Guide to Feet, Shoes and Dating (FREE Ebook)

pursuit athletic performanceThis little piggy…hurts! We know how it is. Feet can often be a source of big trouble for runners. Here is a direct download link for Baby Steps: A Runners Guide to Feet, Shoes and Dating, our free (somewhat humorous) guide to your feet, how they work, and how to–finally–pick the running shoe that’s right for YOU.

Orthotics? We cover that. Dating? Well, really, not so much! 8-)

Here’s an excerpt:

Pick up any running or triathlon magazine and you won’t read too many pages before a bold advertisement displays the shoes you really need if you truly want to be your best. Some claim to make you faster or prevent injury, others tout the benefits of “running more naturally.” One thing’s for sure, all of them look cool. And they come in the flashiest colors. And there’s some (paid) uber-athlete sporting said (complimentary) foot gear. You know the one. She just posted a new course record at IM Antarctica. She is sweaty and sexy and appears to have been chiseled from a solid block of marble. Not some cheap, domestic marble, mind you, the expensive Italian kind.

You, too, could look like this, race like this and maybe even get a date on Friday night if you wore these shoes.

Then we get serious, and take you on a tour of your foot function, foot form, and mechanics, leading you to figure out how to pick the right running shoe. Hit us up with comments or questions here in the blog or on our Facebook page. Enjoy and let us know what you think!

Coach Al Asks: Fast Athletes, Where Is The Speed Coming From?

pursuit athletic performanceLet’s talk today about fast athletes. They are the speediest competitors who wow many of us with their superior athletic performances–triathletes who race Ironman in 10 hours or less, runners who break 40 minutes in a local 10K, and marathoners who complete the distance in well under 3 hours. These athletes are gifted, no doubt. Much of that gift lies in winning a genetic lottery that endowed them with a Mack truck like engine that is often housed in a Volkswagen body.

In my work as a coach and as a movement and strength expert, I look at these fast competitors a little differently. And I have some questions. The first among them is…

Where is the speed coming from?

What do I mean?

If a very fast athlete is relying solely on their genetic gift of being able to consume tons of oxygen and race very quickly because of that engine, but they ARE NOT MOVING WELL, are not strong, and present with some level of dysfunction and compensation, I contend they are NOT PERFORMING AT THEIR ULTIMATE POTENTIAL.

That’s right. If a nine hour Ironman finisher comes into out gait analysis lab and presents with dysfunction and compensation in their movement patterns, has little demonstrable functional strength, I say that same athlete can go A LOT FASTER. I would bet they could go 8:30, maybe even faster! But without a frame that is truly functionally strong and built under the umbrella of quality movement, the chassis of this gifted athlete will absolutely break down. Top performers often compensate better and can perform with dysfunction for longer than athletes with fewer natural gifts, but injury is in the offing. Once the chassis is in pieces, the athlete’s enormous engine will no longer be able to apply the same force to the ground or the pedal stroke. When that inevitably happens, what you see is those fast times ebb, plateaus begin to set in, and predictable injuries start to creep in, first as a minor “tweak” or niggle, and soon as outright pain. Longevity in the sport rapidly declines. Athletes of all abilities seem to accept this as inevitable and normal. It is neither.

By contrast, if an athlete with a much smaller engine and much less innate natural speed and talent moves well and stays on top of that quality movement to eliminate dysfunction and compensation while becoming more functionally strong, stable, and balanced, that athlete can get better and better over the track of many years. The fast athlete can do the same, but often feel they are already at the pointy edge of their ability when, in fact, there is room for continued significant improvement.

Of course there is a limit to how fast any athlete can go. Improvement is never infinite. But I believe most athletes, even the most gifted among us, sell themselves short. At the end of the day, what I ask to myself is, how much faster can that athlete be?

So to all athletes–including the fastest among us–I say this…

Take the time to learn what it takes to unlock true speed and powerful performance. You can begin your study with our free ebook, Unleash Your Potential 101. Invest in a gait analysis by a reputable provider, then commit to their prescription for better movement quality and functional strength development. Understand worn out, destructive training paradigms. Find a coach who will properly design progressive, challenging, and effective training–but with a focus on health, durability, and results over the long term.

By taking the steps outlined above ANY athlete–whether Kona bound or at the back of the pack–can experience the thrill of athletic triumph far longer than they ever dreamed possible.

Ask Coach Al: Nutrition Made Simple

Hello Everyone!

Coach Al Lyman, Pursuit Athletic Performance, Gait Analysis and Functional Strength Training Expert

Coach Al Lyman, CSCS, FMS, HKS

Coach Al here with a post inspired by a conversation a couple of my athletes were having regarding nutrition. Their talk began as a lament about how confusing it is to navigate all the conflicting information about how to eat well and fuel for performance.

There is no doubt that nutrition can SEEM complicated with all of the information “out there.” My advice always is to simplify as much as possible. With that thought in mind, let’s let’s look at some of the topics my athletes were confused about and distill things down to the basics.

The basics of good nutrition and healthy eating are simple:

a. Avoid processed, packaged, and sugary foods as much as possible.

b. The great majority of what you eat should be fruits and veggies.

c. Good fats are not only good, they’re great. Has anyone ever asked you how much “fat” you ate today? They should. It is essential to get in good fats.

d. Eat more calories earlier in the day, and less as the days goes on (king, queen, pauper).

e. If you’re an endurance athlete, you NEED carbohydrates! Perhaps as much as 60-70% of calories, mostly from fruits and vegetables.

Paleo
My thoughts on Paleo? If eating a Paleo diet means you’re eating more fruits and veggies, and less junk and starch, then yes, it is a good thing.

Is Gluten Bad?

If you experiment and eliminate gluten from your diet and you feel better, then it, perhaps, may be “bad” for you. If you consume it on occasion and you don’t notice adverse effects, it is likely perfectly fine for you to eat.

Is Rice Good?

YOU NEED carbs, and rice can be a good source of carbohydrate. Sports physiologist Allen Lim wants the cyclists he works with to be fully glycogen loaded when training, prompting him to recommend a source of concentrated calories from carbs as a staple in the diet. Rice fills that bill perfectly.

Dairy?

It is my personal opinion that it is not normal to drink the milk of another animal. Let me reiterate–that is my point of view. As with gluten, if you eliminate it from your diet and and you feel better, there is your answer. We don’t necessarily NEED dairy to get enough in the way of minerals and protein. Much of our needs for those things can come from fruits and veggies–leafy greens especially.

Bread?

It’s about balance. In moderate quantities, whole-grain breads can be a good source of carbs. Sometimes we can go overboard and eat way too much carbohydrate in this form. A couple of slices with a sandwich? No harm in that.

Protein?

In this day and age, athletes have become more aware of their protein intake than ever before. I would venture to say we have been “sold” on the benefits of a high-protein diet, both by the companies selling us protein powders of every description, as well as from the diet companies selling us on the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet. My opinion is that we may be over doing our intake of protein, and maybe sacrificing the carbohydrates necessary for energy, as well as the good fats necessary for optimal health

Quality proteins, which can be found in many whole foods as part of a balanced healthy diet, should make up no more than about 25% of total daily calories for the typical hard training athlete. Individual needs may vary, of course. Excessive protein intake WILL NOT make you recover faster, or get “ripped” more easily, despite what the bodybuilding world would have you believe. Great recovery from training happens for many reasons, including making sure not to deplete carbohydrate completely (glycogen saturation). Recovery is also greatly enhanced by having a strong, stable body that moves well so you’re not routinely shredding smaller muscles as they try to do the job of larger ones. Sleep is hugely important, as is a smart training progression. All of these things, and more, add up to great recovery. It is not about pounding large amounts of protein powders, seeking the magic bullet for fast results!

Inflammation

It seems clear to me that ANY kind of food that increases inflammation and/or increases the acidity of the body–starches, processed foods, sugars, and “bad” fats–is to be avoided as much as possible.

Keeping It Simple

We could go in depth for days on any one of the topics outlined above. But the purpose of this post is to help you keep it simple, and, therefore, executable in your life. The keys are:

  • Eat fruits and veggies of all varieties and in copious amounts.
  • Don’t overdo protein intake at the expense of good carbohydrates.
  • Get plenty of good fats from nuts, seeds, fish, etc.
  • Time your meals to limit insulin and maximize fat burning.

Pretty simple.

Easy? Not always.

Shopping for fresh foods is work, and most quality foods are more expensive. Breaking habits and sticking to a plan, even if you know it is best for you, can be a challenge. Experimenting to find what works best for YOU, is also sometimes a chore.

Is this all worth it in the end?

WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT.

In my opinion, we really are what we eat. What we eat matters more than what kind of exercise take part in when considering long term health and longevity.

Hope this helps. Coming soon, I will be posting more in-depth information about the issue of good fats in the diet.

Get strong, train smart, eat well!

-Coach Al

Live from Badwater! Coach Al on Three Keys to Successful Racing In The Heat

Badwater ulatramarathonHello from Furnace Creek, CA–Death Valley!

It’s the day before the start of the Badwater Ultramarathon! I’m here in Death Valley to serve as support crew for friend and client Jason Rita who will take on this epic 135-mile beast of a race starting tomorrow.

Badwater is the hardest footrace on the planet. As Jason will face temperatures as high as 125?F, I thought it would be an opportune time to post a few tips to help you in your summer racing. As Jason’s crew, we need to help him handle the fundamental triad needed for racing in the heat–hydration, electrolytes, and calories– or Jason will have no chance of finishing this race. A DNF or poor performance can happen to any of us as we face racing in the summer–even if the heat is not as extreme as what we’ll face in Death Valley. The video below gives you my thoughts and guidance.

We will be posting updates as we can from Badwater to give you an insiders view on such an epic event, and to let you know how Jason is doing. He is dedicating the race to raise funds to help alleviate the effects of “bad water” in Haiti, and we are teaming up to help him do that. You can read about our efforts here.

Signing for now with three keys to successful racing in the heat!

Coach Al

Coach Al: Race Day Pep Talk

Coach Al Lyman, gait analysis and functional movement expert, Pursuit Athletic Performance

Coach Al Lyman, CSCS, FMS, HKC

Hello Everyone!

Coach Al here with a race day pep talk! I am always very confident about my athlete’s preparation going into races. They toe the line ready to have a great day.

I always like to leave them with some important thoughts that I know, if they apply them, will help them on race day. These are skills we work on every day in training. I hope these words of advice will help you to have the best race you’re capable of and that you’ll enjoy it more as well!

1. STAY IN THE MOMENT, BE TASK ORIENTED, AND EXECUTE. A great race only happens if you keep your emotions in check AND remain present where you ARE at any moment in time from the minute you wake to the second you cross the line. Being task oriented keeps your mind focused, not allowing it to move ahead to something in the future, or spiral backwards to something which is past. BE IN THE MOMENT. Execution means doing the things you need to, when you need to, to ensure the best chance for success.

2. EXPECT DIFFICULTIES TO COME AND BE READY TO DEAL WITH THEM IN A POSITIVE WAY. In a race like Ironman or in any race that you will feel challenged to complete, it isn’t a question of IF things will go wrong or become difficult, it is only a matter of when. That is racing! So, expect it, and decide ahead of time how YOU are going to deal with those difficulties. Decide in advance that your response is going to be POSITIVE. Every single challenge can be framed as having a positive element, if you decide it is so, and allow yourself to see it that way.

3. BE MENTALLY STRONG AND PHYSICALLY STRONG when it matters most. Every athlete out there on the race course is “tough” during the early and middle stages. Few, however, are truly mentally strong and resilient when it gets really difficult in the late stages of the competition. Decide you’re going to dig deep and have NO REGRETS. Be strong.

4. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR THOUGHTS– act accordingly. You are in complete control of what you do, how you think, and how you react to what happens out there. Make a choice to respond positively, to THINK positively, and to believe in yourself. Have that powerful tool at the ready when it gets most difficult or challenging.

Be great and enjoy every moment of elation, suffering, and boredom. Walk away with pure joy!

My best to all of you!

Coach Al

Why Being Stable Is SO Important, And Tips to Train It

Pursuit Athletic Performance On Core Strength and Stability

The lumbar region in the human skeleton

Let’s start with a simple question….

Why is stability so important?

Stability is the basis upon which you develop POWER and SPEED. Without it, you will never be able access your true and ultimate potential. Stability also greatly contributes to lowering your risk of injury.

Do I have you attention now? :) As a coach and movement expert, I feel passionate that athletes understand what stability is, what it isn’t, and its incredible importance no matter what your sport.

In this short video I review the role of stability in athletic movement so you can begin to understand how essential it is to cultivate it as part of your overall training. Using the split squat exercise as an example, I teach you how to train the movement for STABILITY vs. strength. There is a big difference.

Enjoy, and fire back any questions.

~Coach Al