Coach Al and Dr. Strecker were in fine form on a recent Spreecast discussing off-season training for triathletes! A lot of give and take with the athletes, and a TON of info you’re just not going to get anywhere else. If you missed it, here’s the replay. Have questions, hit us up in the comments, or on Facebook. Enjoy!
And, remember, 20% off all gait analysis packages AND 30 days FREE on our triathlon team. Check it out here! Offer good through January 6, 2013.
It’s the off-season, and now’s the time to get ready for you best triathlon season ever! Join me for what is sure to be a jam-packed discussion on how you can get strong, get powerful, and get FAST in order to UNLEASH in 2013! A short video below gives you an overview of what I’ll be discussing.
Click the image below, or this link, and sign up through our “FREE TRI WEBINAR” tab on Facebook! As soon as you claim your seat, we’ll get you all the details and the private link to our Spreecast.
It’s the off season! And NOW is the time to join the Pursuit Athletic Performance Team. It is the most effective time of year to begin laying the foundation for the 2013 triathlon season, which could be your most successful yet! Start NOW so you can experience the full benefit of our sophisticated, integrated training programs.
Click HERE to go to our website to find out more about the team and how to join!
This is always an exciting time of year at Pursuit Athletic Performance! Pursuit athlete Lisbeth Kenyon will soon be on her way to defend her age group championship at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on Saturday, October 13. Not only is Lisbeth the two-time defending champion in the 45-49 age group, she is also the record holder having shattered the previous mark by more than 20 minutes.
Lis and Coach Al have been working together for a number of years. Not only did they tackle Lis’s preparation for Kona this year, but Al also coached her to a record-breaking performance at the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon this past August.
The Ironman website recently ran a preview of the Age Group Women’s Champs, and we just had to share Lisbeth’s comments. This is a phenomenal athlete who works incredibly hard at training to her ultimate potential, yet never loses site of life’s priorities while keeping a sense of humor!
GO LISBETH! We are in your corner all the way, and will be cheering!
[Lisbeth] says her strength is definitely the ability to be in more the one place at a time and her second hobby is laundry. A quick glance at Lisbeth Kenyon’s “typical” day and I would have to agree. At the crack of dawn, Kenyon begins to wrestle her three children out of bed. Two are driven to school and the other catches a bus. The family dog is along for the car ride as she is deposited at daycare so she is not alone all day. In between working and training, Lisbeth delivers her kids to saxophone lessons, swim practice and golf. The kid’s activity time is her chance to go back to the office and catch up on work before she retraces her steps to gather up the clan to head off for dinner and homework time.
For Lisbeth, it is all about family first so it was no surprise to see she scheduled in the Norseman Xtreme, which takes place near where her family live in Norway. After reaching the top of the mountain and earning the coveted black t-shirt, she took some time to be with her loved ones before she changed gears and focused back on Ironman training.
Besides having her family in Hawaii, Lisbeth says she is most excited to reunite with the pull apart cinnamon buns at Lava Java.
Pursuit Athlete Jeff Merriam. (C) Robert Berkley of Robberkleyphoto.com
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!
Norseman Series: Coach Al’s Debrief: Four Principles Guiding Lisbeth Kenyon’s Training for Norseman Xtreme Triathlon can be accessed here.
Pursuit athlete Lisbeth Kenyon shared some of the photos taken during her race at the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon on Sunday, August 5 in Eidfjord, Norway. I think you will enjoy them.
Lisbeth had an outstanding day racing in the most challenging long course triathlon on the planet. She was third woman overall, finishing in 12:47:42, and together with the first two women finishers, demolished the existing course record. Needless to say, we are still on cloud nine–so happy for, and so proud of her.
These photos also give a glimpse into the kind of athlete she is to coach–upbeat, funny, and very, very determined!
3:15 am! Lis readies to board the ferry that takes the athletes to the swim start. Athletes jump off the ferry deck into the Hardangerfjord when it is barely light for an in-water start. The water temperature during the 2.4 mile swim was 56F. “Not bad at all,” Lis said, “someone smart told me being cold is just in your head, and he was right.”
Said Lis, and I quote, “Too late for regrets.”
The end of the swim in the Hardangerfjord.
The bike is 112 miles from Eidfjord to Austbygde. The race organizers warn, “Don’t push too hard during the first 40 kilometers.” The first hill takes you from zero to 1,250 meters above sea level. The ride wends through the Hardanger mountain plateau before the riders hit 45 kilometers of steep climbs and descents. The last climb is up the “Imingfjell” mountain, peaking at 1,200 meters above sea level, the steepest part of the bike leg. A 30 kilometer descent brings the athlete down to T2.
Said Lis, “I rode through all kinds of weather and temperatures ranging from pelting rain and bone-chilling cold to pleasant, sunny sections.”
Climbing is the word for the Norseman marathon. After 25 kilometers the steep hills begin featuring a 10.5 mile climb.
Always full of spirit, she says, “If you can’t cry, you might as well smile!”
Says husband Todd Kenyon of TTBikeFit–”Norseman run…this pic says it all: 23k into run, and the massive Gaustatoppen looms over a tiny Lisbeth. She/we are headed to the very top edge of picture over the next 19k – a mile vertical.
4752 meters from the top. ‘Nuff said.
“The mountain is not really a mountain, but more of a pile of rocks,” says the race manual. But the path is steep and difficult, and competitors are not allowed to walk this part alone. It takes the average competitor about 1 hour and 20 minutes to make it to the finish line from entry of the Gaustatoppen.
“An unbelievable journey,” says Lis. There is no doubt about that!
So what could possibly be next, you wonder? Lis will continue her incredible race year defending her age group title and course record at the Ironman World Championship in Kona on October 13. Stay tuned!
One of the athletes I coach pointed me to an interview with triathlete Sami Inkinen in Inside Triathlon. Sami gained quite a bit of attention after his sub-nine hour performance (8:58:59) at the Ironman World Championship in Kona–a result achieved on very low training volume.
It’s a great article, and I encourage you to read it. Once you do, here is what I like all of you to take away from the piece:
First and foremost is Sami’s focus on RECOVERY:
What I’ve been super-conscious about this year is this idea that if I don’t improve in almost every single workout, it’s not because I haven’t trained, but because I haven’t rested. Literally, that’s been my thinking,” said Sami. In other words, he rejects the notion that you have to train through months of hard, exhausting workouts to improve. Instead, he followed the principle that he should literally get stronger and faster every week, if not every day, and that his numbers should improve during every intense workout.
I coach Lis Kenyon, Ironman World Champion and reigning age group record holder (40-44 and 45-49). Lis tells me all the time that my words that stick with her and help guide her are: “Your next workout is only as good as your last recovery.”
Sami Inkinen uses RestWise to track his recovery. My opinion on this tool reflects my view on just about any training device. If you use it, and it increases YOUR OWN awareness of how you are recovering, then it could be a good tool.
I do not think RestWise is absolutely necessary to gauge how you are recovering. Each of you can do it with increased awareness, and honesty with yourself. I believe it all begins and ends with being truthful, and engaging in quality, open communication with your coach.
Ask yourself: Are you improving week to week, and even day to day?
Let’s face it, very few of us have Sami’s innate talent. BUT, as a long-time coach and competitor, I do think there is a great deal of value in this mindset about both recovery and improvement.
Renowned movement experts (our own) Coach Al Lyman and James Wilson of Mountain Bike Training Systems present an outstanding talk about the fundamental importance of becoming a strong, mobile, and stable athlete in order to reach one’s full performance potential in sports as diverse as running, triathlon, and mountain biking. This podcast is loaded with information and inspiration for ALL athletes, no matter your sport. Coach Al and James give you the no-nonsense truth about what it takes to excel to the best of your personal ability. A few of the topics they touch on are:
Why functional strength matters greatly in activities normally viewed as endurance sports
Training the miles is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of unleashing ultimate performance
Why “just train more” is just plain wrong
Why “strength training” is a misnomer, and what it really is
How training outside of your sport manifests itself in your sport
Training as a lifetime endeavor — longevity vs. short-term gains
Our downloadable podcast is below. Direct download here. Enjoy!
Coach Al Lyman, CSCS, FMS, HKC
Coach Al Lyman, CSCS, FMS, HKC is the co-founder of Pursuit Athletic Performance, a movement-based sport training company. He is a nationally-recognized coach of endurance athletes from novice to elite, since 1999. He coaches the reigning 45-49 Age-Group Ironman World Champion and course record holder, Lisbeth Kenyon. As an athlete, Coach Al is a 25-time marathon finisher with a personal best of 2:39 at the Boston Marathon, and a nine-time Ironman Triathlon finisher, including three finishes at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
James Wilson is an author and professional mountain bike coach dedicated to using “strength training” to help athletes climb better, descend faster and “basically dominate all aspects of mountain biking.” He trains all levels of cyclists including world cup mountain bike racers. He writes for Decline Magazine, and has built a following for his writing and his training program from coast to coast.
One of our clients, and a triathlete I coach, had a terrific day at Ironman Coeur d’Alene on June 24. Her super finish is all the more sweet when you consider that she came to us last winter a seriously BROKEN athlete. For the previous few years she had followed a training plan that focuses on daily intensity, actively discourages athletes from strength work, and promotes a “just train more” philosophy. Like most athletes, our triathlete did OK for a while on this kind of plan, putting up gains and getting faster.
But then the inevitable kicked in.
Without proper strength, stability, mobility, flexibility to support ANY kind of training–much less the kind of program she was on–our athlete fell apart. She could not absorb the training, she was not recovering, and her times got slower. End result? Injury. (Unfortunately, we see this scenario in our Gait Analysis Lab every day.)
Our triathlete came to us for a gait analysis last winter. Through our findings, we went to work to rebuild her, and then train her hard, but sensibly, for her Ironman. She took our work together seriously. As the months passed her body became functionally strong, durable, and resilient. She was able to train with appropriate intensity, absorb the training, and recover. She made serious gains in power and speed. And as we said, she had a great Ironman race day.
But take a look at how she feels now, only a few days out from the race:
“I have to say that this has been my must amazing post race ever. I was walking and sitting yesterday like it was 2 or 3 days post marathon. Unbelievable. It’s strange, every time I sit or stand I brace myself for pain but it isn’t there. I guess this is what being healthy, balanced, and functionally strong is all about! Essentially pain free post IM. Un-frickin-believable!”
This athlete emailed me to ask WHY she felt so good? Here the reasons, all of which are very obvious to me.
1. She was not remotely injured going into the race.
2. She was and is stronger than she has ever been. Hence, her body was able to deal with the stress of race day much more easily.
3. She was more balanced and more “fit” in a holistic sense, than ever before.
4. For the first time, she went into a race with a training plan that was designed to bring her fitness along smartly, rather than destroy her into injury and poor health submission.
My partner, Dr. Kurt Strecker, and I are thrilled for this client. We know how far she has come from the broken athlete that walked into our Gait Analysis Lab last winter. As her coach, I am thrilled at where she is at this point in time. Now, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, she can now unleash and get faster. Why?
Strength, stability, muscular balance, and good health are the basis for a training program designed to get you fast. That’s right, it’s not punishing intensity or the latest-and-greatest secret-sauce training. Movement quality FIRST is the only way to get fast, stay fast, and get faster over time.
It’s like we tell athletes all the time, when your body is working as it should, it will race well AND also recover quickly and completely. It’s how our athletes race again and again, year after year.
We wish every competitor, from Ironman to 5K runner, the same sense of accomplishment and good health our triathlete here is experiencing. She has a heck of a post-Ironman glow, and we are so happy for her
Coach Al is not only a renowned movement expert, but also our poet warrior here at Pursuit Athletic Performance. He gave the talk, Triathlon Training for the 21st Century: Movement Quality First at the Boston multisport expo, and we are still receiving outstanding feedback and questions from athletes in attendance that day. We have put the talk together to share with all of you.
Triathlon Training for the 21st Century is Coach Al’s “I Have a Dream” speech. His dream?
That every athlete, whether a triathlete, runner, cyclist, swimmer, gymnast–whatever the sport–will learn how quality movement patterns MUST be in place FIRST in order to unlock full potential.
That seven out of 10 runners won’t be injured every year.
Finishing an Ironman triathlon will not mean creating major health problems like arthritis that last a lifetime.
Athletes learn to train in ways that not only create balance in the body, but balance in their lives. We don’t have to give up our lives in order to achieve our athletic goals and dreams.
That athletes experience finish line euphoria every day of their lives by waking up without aches and pains, ready to train, race, and excel year in and year out.
That workouts you do for your health do not end up sacrificing your health.
These are just some of the deep and probing issues Coach Al explores in this talk. He also takes you inside the physiology of the “deep front line,” an astounding view of the inextricable connectedness of our entire body from the lower extremity, through the torso, and up into the cervical region–the entire core–all of which is impacted by the breath. The deep front line plays a major role in unlocking our overall ability to move properly. There is a lot of learning here about what true athleticism entails.
We know you will learn a great deal when you watch this talk. We think you will be inspired. Our hope is will begin to extricate yourself from the false training messages that bombard us daily, and begin to see that true athleticism, true power and speed isn’t hiding in a box of fancy running shoes. It’s hiding deep within YOU. It’s there ready waiting to be unleashed through “quality movement first.”
Click on the photo above, or click here to access the seminar. Enjoy! And feel free to get back to us with thoughts and questions.