Archive for pursuit athletic performance

001: We ARE Pursuit Athletic Performance (Podcast)


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Welcome to launch of the Pursuit Athletic Performance podcast! We are totally PUMPED about jumping into this weekly podcast series.

Our goal is to share HONEST, effective training tips and information from the nuances of triathlon, to the rigors of ultrarunning. We help clear up confusion about nutrition, and help you get your mental game in the most powerful place possible. We want YOU to train, race, and live to your ultimate potential.

In this podcast we:

  • Tell you about the genesis of Pursuit Athletic Performance
  • Introduce you to Coach Al Lyman and Dr. Kurt Strecker, the experts behind our training company
  • Articulate our philosophy regarding:

• Our dedication to movement quality and functional strength in athletes
• Our unwavering commitment to smart progressive training
• Our vow to get athletes stronger and FASTER in the safest ways possible
• Our commitment to do it all with 100% honesty

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.

Be great!

Coach Al and and Kurt

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Disappointed In Your Triathlon Season? Coach Al Weighs In

 Hey triathlete peeps!


Disappointed_banner_textCoach Al here with a mid-season check in! are things going for you?


After all of the off- and early season hopes and dreams, are you achieving your goals at this point in the season?


Are you truly feeling strong, injury free, and ready to tackle the most important events that are coming up for you?


If you’re even a little bit disappointed so far this season, then read on!


Even though it is mid-season, I'm going to ask you to turn your thoughts to looking ahead to 2014, and let me share some thoughts on how that one can be your best season ever!


You know, the athletes at Pursuit Athletic Performance, coached by me and my partner Dr. Kurt Strecker, do things differently.


We consider the athletes we work with on our team and in our lab, enlightened.


By enlightened, I mean:

• They don’t seek to display “toughness” by pushing stupidly through injury. They listen and respect that little voice inside their head telling them how dumb and short sighted that is.


• They don’t add hard repetitive training to their bodies without first looking at their movement quality. They understand that being strong, stable, and mobile ensures the hard work they do actually lifts fitness and results in true, long-lasting improvement.


• They embrace the fact that—finally—an age of enlightened, smart training is here. They understand that as endurance athletes they no longer have to think of getting stronger (functional strength training) and going longer (endurance training) as opposing or dueling training concepts.


• They understand that smart, holistic, and effective triathlon training bridges gaps between the strength world and the endurance world to create happier, healthier, FASTER athlete. Their progression and results provide that living proof.


 Biologist J.B.S. Haldane noted that “there are four stages of acceptance":

1. this is worthless nonsense
2. this is an interesting but perverse point of view
3. this is true, but quite unimportant
4. I always said so


In my opinion, this succinctly sums up the way every other coach and triathlon team in the world will eventually react and respond to what we at Pursuit Athletic Performance are doing NOW!


As I look to the future, I am 100% confident that other smarter triathlon coaches will be saying what I have been saying since I first started coaching in 1999:


• They will be recommending that you take the time to LEARN HOW YOU MOVE, before you begin to train your ass off.


• They will be waxing poetically about things like “balance in the body,” “getting compensation and dysfunction out of the body,” and “addressing your individual movement quality first” before getting on with race-specific training.

To be an enlightened, smart, healthier athlete in it for the long haul, and someone who might be a good fit for our triathlon team, you will have to be comfortable with one thing.


One very important thing.



Kurt and I are 100%, completely honest with our athletes.


You won’t ever get any BS from us.


We value your trust, money, and health and care about you as people, not just athletes. We won't waste your time—or ours—by giving you an “easy button,” or some simple training plans designed to destroy you, and thus, make you “feel” tough.


Yes, we are direct and our MISSION is to help athletes be the best they can be.


But...we don’t work with people who seek easy solutions, a quick fix, or the latest fad to try and get faster. If that's your profile, you're not a fit for our coaching or our team. It's as simple as that.


If you choose to join our team or come to us for a gait analysis, you will be asked to look at yourself honestly. We will challenge you to look at and act on the reality, not fantasy, when it comes to how your body is working to handle the rigors of training.


You’ll be tasked with smart work to address the obstacles preventing you from exploding your potential.


You are going to be doing hard work, and plenty of it!


Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m as passionate as any coach on the planet about helping others to succeed and reach their goals and dreams in this sport!


If you come to see us (or see us virtually by using our Virtual Gait Analysis) or join our triathlon team, you won’t find fluff, filler, or BS. We won’t try to “sell” you on anything, except to believe that the best is locked within you, and if you are willing to look closely and do the work you can be better than ever.


Take a look at our team. Ask the folks who are already members about their success.


If you like what you see and want to learn more, get on our wait list by signing up below. Be in touch and ask questions. GET STARTED ON BEING BETTER THAN EVER!


The future is bright. Get enlightened, make it happen!


All my best,

Coach Al

Oakland Raiders Offensive Lineman Zach Hurd Returns To Train With Pursuit Athletic Performance

Welcome back Zach!Pursuit Athletic Performance Client Zach Hurd signs with Oakland Raiders

Our client, Zach Hurd--an outstanding young man and exceptional athlete--recently signed with the Oakland Raiders! We were so pleased to hear from him through our Facebook page, and learn that he will soon be returning to work with us again, now that his season is over.

Said Zach, Can't wait to be back in town so we can get started training for the 2012 season. Had a great finish to this years season and I couldn't have done it without you guys. See you soon!

Zach did amazing work with us here at Pursuit Athletic Performance, and he is a GREAT guy to work with! An NFL offensive lineman, no doubt, has to be strong (now there's the understatement of the day). But he understands the power of becoming truly functionally strong and balanced in all the right ways to prepare his body for the rigors of professional football.

When Zach first joined the Raiders he told us, "I couldn't have had the best workout of my life with the Oakland Raiders if it wasn't for you guys helping me become more explosive and stay lower... With the same methodology, we train runners, triathletes, cyclists and other athletes--of all levels--to excel in their specific sport by helping them regain authentic movement and eliminate compensations, dysfunction, and imbalances. Zach unleashed his true potential, and you can too.

We look forward to helping Zach become an even more powerful, explosive, and agile professional NFL player!


A Quick Fitness Boost Now…Or Faster, Lasting Results in the Long Run?

Coach Al Lyman, gait analysis and functional movement expert

Coach Al Lyman, CSCS, FMS, HKC

Don't put fitness on top of dysfunction. -- Gray Cook, PT, co- creator of the Functional Movement Screen

If you are like most endurance athletes in the northern hemisphere, you've put the 2011 season behind you, and are anxiously looking toward 2012 hoping to make it even better. Among the things you might be pondering is whether to add a new piece of training equipment or whether to start a new training program. Before you decide which new tools or tricks you want to add to your training mix, I highly recommend you take a step back for a moment, and begin your path to a great 2012 season by first taking a focused look at the quality, rather than just the quantity, of your movement. More miles or reps at the beginning stages of training, if some aspect of your movement is inefficient, causes pain, or is putting you at higher risk of injury, is short sighted and will surely end up slowing your ultimate progress. In short, avoid adding progressive fitness elements to your training (positives) before you resolve lingering sources of pain, inefficiency, or dysfunction (negatives).

More specifically, the "negatives" might be:

1. A restriction in movement or lack of appropriate mobility where it is needed.

2. A lack of stability or muscle balance.

3. A nagging injury that you've been nursing for a while resulting in other tissues being forced to compensate or absorb more stress than they were designed to handle.

Even a subtle lack of balanced strength and flexibility around the hips/pelvis, or in other joints in the body, will prevent you from achieving the desired results from challenging workouts. In a way, it would be akin to a farmer trying to plant seeds on gravel. They (the workouts) simply won't be landing on fertile soil and will have little chance of producing a bountiful harvest. And a bountiful harvest--results-- is what matters!

The bottom line: You have to move well before you throw reps, high heart rate, and miles at your movement pattern.

My suggestion to you: choose to reverse the "negatives" now!

Here are some TIPS to help you do just that:

o Know this: when you massage or use a foam roller on "healthy" muscle tissue, it shouldn't be painful. If doing foam roller work is painful, the tissue has lingering micro-trauma and damage. Be smart and take care of the soft tissue work now to ensure normal muscle elasticity when you resume more progressive training.

o Get screened and/or evaluated by a knowledgeable professional who knows (and can show you) the difference between core "strength" and core "stability." There is a difference! The best "screen" I know of is the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which is an excellent way to learn what your weak links, asymmetries, and overall risk of injury is. Find a certified provider near you.

o If appropriate levels of flexibility are an issue it is going to interfere with training at some point. Remember, you might be "inflexible" in certain places because your body is creating stiffness due to a weak synergistic muscle somewhere else. Things aren't always as they seem. Learn about Active Isolated Stretching and focus your flexibility work on muscles that are tight due to your lifestyle (sitting at a desk or behind the steering wheel for example).

o Poor mobility, stability, or balance will interfere with training. Get them cleared at the beginning of your training, so that they won't limit your progress or create greater risk of injury moving forward.

o You can visit me and my partner, Dr. Kurt Strecker, at our Gait Analysis Lab and get a full assessment of all of the above items, starting with a detailed exam, FMS, and 3D-video analysis. We also do online assessments also for those of you who cannot make it to the lab.

o Besides being assessed by a professional, start videotaping every exercise you are doing in your routine. Learn and study what good movement is and improve your awareness of how you are moving.

All of the above applies whether you are a novice or elite athlete. We know that the central nervous system (CNS) of talented high-level athletes is much better at compensating than the average person's CNS. However, an elite or a top age group athlete could still have a restriction in movement, or a lack of basic core stability or compensation that is holding them back. Here's a prime example.

Lis Kenyon, who I coach, WON her age-group in Kona this year (and set a course record doing the same in 2010). She recently visited our Gait Lab. We discovered a number of issues related to stability, muscle balance, and strength. Despite the fact that she handily beat the best in the world in her age-group, she still has room for improvement and can be even healthier--and faster. As her coach, I feel that is exciting and is something that we can all learn from.

To summarize, this is a little bit like the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. You could start out now with workouts designed to achieve fast fitness benefits. OR you can decide to learn how to move better now, and increase the chances of finishing stronger and better later in the season. If you get it right in the beginning of the training process and progress steadily forward, you will most certainly increase your chances of "winning" in the end, beating the hares every time. Improving how you move NOW will pay big dividends in the long run, in the form of improved vitality, youthfulness, and much faster race results!