Archive for kona

049: Coach Al visits with Triathlete Rachel Beckmann, Ironman Coeur d’Alene 30-34 Age Group Winner [Podcast]




Rachel on the run in Kona!

Rachel on the run in Kona 2013, sporting her signature trucker hat!

Today I'm really pleased to welcome on to our podcast the winner of the women's 30-34 Age-Group at Ironman Coeur d'Alene, Rachel Beckmann.

Rachel is an active duty commisioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard presently stationed in Alexandria Virginia. Amazingly, I managed to catch her not moving for a few minutes while she was out in Las Vegas on vacation visiting family (AND training for the 2014 Ironman World Championships in Kona).  This woman doesn't stop and sit still for too long so I feel really fortunate to get her on our podcast.

Rachel and I go way back to her days as a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy. (I was also at the Academy playing percussion as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Band).

In the time we spent together as coach/athlete, I really learned so much from her. Honestly, I still had so much to learn about coaching (and still do) and I think she was too young to really see it!  🙂  I also learned about her relentless work ethic and inner drive to succeed, and that she is truly as intelligent, fun-loving, kind hearted and just wonderful to be around, as anyone you will ever meet.

Rachel has blossomed from that enthusiastic young collegiate newbie into a full-blown Ironman age-group champion, who has certainly learned a thing or three on her path to multiple Ironman finishes and numerous overall race wins.

In today's podcast, she looks back on the journey and shares some thoughts on the fun she's had, the difficulties, what she's learned, and what it's like to live life as a young female officer serving our country while also pursuing her "personal-best" in the sport.

Among the topics we discuss on today's podcast:

  • How did her childhood, as well as her experiences as a female cadet at a military academy impact her development as a triathlete?
  • How does she balance her career as a Coast Guard officer with her triathlon lifestyle? What has she learned that could help YOU?
"Rach" knows how to keep it FUN and can rock the mountain bike too!

Rachel knows how to keep training FUN, and can really rock the mountain bike too!


  • What are her most important training, racing, and life "secrets to success?"
  • What about the challenges she faced during this year's Ironman Coeur d'Alene. How did she respond that ultimately lead to her age-group win?
  • What are the two or three things she thinks are the most important, to both have more fun and achieve greater success? (You won't want to miss these!)
  • And so much more!
Rachel and Coach Al catching up on one of her recent visits to Connecticut

Rachel and Coach Al catching up on one of her recent visits to Connecticut

Thanks for joining me Rachel, I enjoyed our chat!  Make it a great day everybody!

~Coach Al

Ironman AG World Champion Lisbeth Kenyon: What We All Can Learn From Her

Lisbeth Kenyon, Ironman World Champion

Lisbeth Kenyon, Ironman World Champion, W 45-49. 10:03:26

As some of you know by now, one of the athletes I coach, Lisbeth Kenyon, again won her age group title in the Ironman World Championship yesterday in Kona in a time of 10:03:26. I could not be happier for this extraordinary woman, friend, and competitor. The word "congratulations" hardly seems tribute enough.

In many ways, Lisbeth's win is beyond amazing, and is a reflection of a ton of work this season. And I will tell you this...everything that has happened over the past year—including a painful bout of shingles in the past month, and the fact that she has three growing kids that keep her incredibly busy—is a testament to the relentless work she did to again become the champion she is. The best in the world in her age group.

I also want to share this with all of you....

Everything emphasized with Lisbeth in her training—from when we started in earnest in January, right Lis Kenon and Coach Al, Pursuit Athletic Performancethrough her race day—reflects what we do with EVERY athlete who trains with the Pursuit Athletic Performance team.

 You want to know what made the difference for Lis this year? It's this....

 Yesterday she raced with:

  • Better balance
  • Appropriate and improved flexibility
  • Stronger hips and glutes
  • A clear race nutrition strategy
  • A clear race execution strategy

She did all the work in training to get there, and she executed a near perfect race. 

Lisbeth, truly, is a living example of what can be accomplished when an athlete follows the whole-athlete, integrated training we lay out for ALL competitors who train with us.

ANY ONE OF YOU—at ANY LEVEL—can replicate what Lisbeth did to get to YOUR optimal result.

No, not everyone has the innate talent of a world champion athlete, but that does not matter. You simply need the ability to learn the TRUTH about what works in training, act on it, be willing to let go of counterproductive methodologies, and DO THE WORK. It's as simple as that for your greatness and success to be realized.

Congratulations again to Lisbeth! And may all of you uncover the champion within.

Be Great!

Coach Al

P.S.--Mid-Ironman, Lisbeth got tossed over her handlebars and off of her bike at an aid station, landing on her back! She brushed it off, got back to her race execution strategy, and got down to business. The mark of a true champion!

011: Kona Through the Eyes of a Champion–Lisbeth Kenyon (Podcast)



LisWaik09Pursuit Athletic Performance triathlete Lisbeth Kenyon joins us live from Alii Drive as she gets ready to take on her 7th Kona this Saturday, October 12. For those of you who don't know, Lisbeth is an Ironman Age Group World Champion in the 40-44 and 45-49 categories, and she holds the record in the latter.

Lis shares her reflections on what she enjoys most about being in Kona and doing Ironman. She reveals some of her most notable and memorable points along the course. She talks about the Kona vibe this week, as well as how she is preparing for race day on the heels of long travel. And she gives us the inside scoop on the race favorites on the pro side. 

Coach Al has been training Lisbeth for the past 5 years. Theirs is a special relationship, and he has this to say, "Last week, I had the extreme pleasure of spending a few hours with Lis to dial in her strength focus prior to traveling to the Big Island of Hawaii, to once again take on the best 45+ yr old women in the world at the most famous triathlon of them all. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. THIS woman is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I can't begin to express in words how honored I am to KNOW her, let alone coach her. She IS an amazing mom, friend, citizen, professional, colleague, and champion triathlete. I know Todd Kenyon would say she's also an amazing partner and wife. No matter what happens on race day, October 12th, she is a true CHAMPION in my book, and in every sense of the word. More good wishes to come as we get closer to race day, but for today, I just want to say THANK YOU, Lis, for everything you've given me." 


Ironman Age Group World Champion Lisbeth Kenyojn and Coach Al Lyman

We hope you enjoy our podcasts and find them useful for your training and racing. Any questions? Hit us up in the comments, or on Facebook. Let us know of any topics you would like us to cover too.

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Coach Al in Kona–Dedication and Perseverance: Triathlete Susan Ford [Video]


Susan Ford, Ironman, triathlon, Pursuit Athletic PerformanceCoach Al here, and I am having a wonderful time at the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona. Two of the athletes I coach are racing here today. Lisbeth Kenyon is defending her 45-49 age group championship and course record. (Go Lis!) Susan Ford is making her Kona debut.

I was so pleased to have a chance to sit down with Susan for an interview. I knew our talk would center around a discussion of dedication and perseverance, two qualities imperative to athletic success. Susan, without question, possesses both those attributes more than just about anyone I know. Her passion for the sport of triathlon, and long-course racing in particular, drives her relentless pursuit to be the best she can be.

Susan unfailingly believes there is always a way to reach her goals. The word "can't" is not in her lexicon. She is always willing to listen and learn, facing her gifts and limitations with the kind of truth and honesty I discussed in yesterday's post. This allows her to set increasingly higher standards of personal excellence.

Susan is so deserving of the opportunity to race here in Kona. To say I wish her the best is an understatement. She will earn her PhD in triathlon out there today--another step in the evolution of this incredible athlete and friend.

Coach Al in Kona: Truth, Honesty, and Ironman [Video]

Hello Everyone!

Kona Ironman, Coach Al, Pursuit Athletic Performance Coach Al checking in from the Kailua-Kona on the eve of the Ironman World Championships. This is such a magical place, and those of you who have visited or have had the honor of racing here, you know what I mean.

Thoughts about truth and honesty that I want to share with you today came to me while walking through, of all places, the race expo. I was struck that the biggest challenge facing my partner Dr. Kurt Strecker and me, as we work to build Pursuit Athletic Performance, is that we tell the TRUTH. This may sound harsh, but the hard fact is the expo is full of products of little value, coupled with vendors hawking pseudo-science and false claims all in the service of THEIR agendas. In fact, telling the partial truth has become so common place, we have been domesticated into believing the partial truth IS the truth.

My point?

At PAP, we offer the honest truth, to every person who walks in the door. We walk the talk. We do what we say. We have no fancy gadget or magic fixes--we start with a simple mirror. We ask each athlete to take a hard look at what we uncover through their gait and movement analysis and face the TRUTH. It may be difficult to hear, it may not be what you want to be told, but we ask you to see your own "raw reality." We know it is not easy to look our weaknesses squarely in the eye. But once you do, the reward for being honest with oneself is nothing less than the chance for incredible growth, and an explosion of your performance potential.

Susan Ford and Lisbeth Kenyon are two incredible athletes I coach who are racing here in Kona. Lisbeth, in fact, is here to defend an age group championship for the fourth year in a row. I can tell you that both of these incredible athletes looked into that mirror, faced the truth, worked hard to erase their liabilities, and have reached truly amazing performance peaks. The truth can do the same for you.


Coach Al

Our Client, Triathlete Susan Ford, Featured On

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."

Kona Legacy Profile: Susan Ford, Ironman, triathlon