Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Big Rocks and I had a great trip to Arizona. Well, I cant speak for him, but he seemed to enjoy the time. Each day, weather wise, was a carbon copy; sunny and in the low 70’s. Weather doesn’t get much better. They just need some water in Arizona. And not water like the Tempe Town Lake where they swam for the IM. First, this lake looks more like a river. Next, it looks more murky than a mud puddle which has to correlate with pollution, right? There is a beautiful running path around the lake though and I took advantage of this and ran each day for an hour to 90 minutes. Right next to Arizona State University's Stadium is a huge piece of dirt called “A” mountain or “A” hill – it looks more like, well as I initially mentioned, a big piece of dirt. Theres a trail that goes up this and I ran it each day. It’s short but a son of a bitch. I’m guessing the gradient is maybe 20%. There is a great 360 degree view of the city and surrounding area from the top. On Saturday, the day before the IM, I was running bounding hill repeats up a short section of this hill when a guy walking up stops me to ask if I’m racing the next day, to which I said “yup. Gotta cram in one more last minute session”. Saturday afternoon, Big Rocks and I went out to Scottsdale and hiked up Camelback Mountain which is a short (1.5 miles) hike to the peak, yet very steep and technical. Amazing views at the top of this as well.

Race day is always busy, whether you are racing or spectating. We walked down to catch the swim start and I ran into some familiar faces who were also there spectating. This venue is ideal for a spectator as you can walk along the river, I mean lake, watching the swim and can actually see people you know swimming. You also get a great birdseye view from above the overpasses as the athletes swim under you. I was pointing out to my father the diversity in swim strokes amongst the front four guys. The lead swimmer was super-efficient, with a nice long, powerful stroke, while the swimmer on his toes was just an engine, like a wind-up toy, taking three strokes for every two of the front guy. Both were getting the job done quickly. We met some guy who I guess is a pro and has been first swimmer out of the water at a bunch of IM’s and made sure to tell us this plenty of times. He seemed to know all the pro athletes racing and also not racing and according to him he also taught them all.

I then headed out for a run and ran 30 minutes out onto the bike course and turned around to run the 30 minutes back. As I ran back, cyclists zooming at me heading out on the first of the three loop bike course, I witnessed the pros come by first in a nice tight little group. Jordan Rapp and TJ Tollakson shortly pulled away, however the rest of this group I'd guess liked staying as a group. Jordan and TJ were on their own for the majority of the bike – they really earned their one two finish. Next came the pro women who were together but spaced out very legit riding legally. Then the front age groupers. I’d guess these were the swimmers who were in under one hour. They were spread out quite a bit and getting into their rhythm. Then, the masses came. I’d say the swimmers who did between 1 hr and 1 hr and 20 minutes – yes, that long a time gap. This is where the majority came out and it seemed like one long two or three abreast train on the way out. I think this Arizona course is actually more flat than IM Florida. There wasn't much wind making for fast bike times. I guess there was a bit of a headwind one way, however, it didn't seem bad. This is a course where it pays to pay extremely close attention to the aerodynamics of your bike set-up and position. Sure, it does for all courses, but many courses are more of a balance between power output and aerodynamics and you cannot go extremely deep with wheel selection because of wind gusts and cross winds. Not so here.

Big Rocks and I got some frozen yogurt - the frozen yogurt places out here are all self serve! Brilliant! Then we went out onto the run course ad hung out on the backside of the loop and cheered on the athletes. All my athletes were running and looked great actually. It was very cool to see - I'm extremely proud of them. Many did prs and all finished and finished well. I think that because of the mid 70's temps, many may have underestimated the amount of salt that they needed to take in in general out there. Winner Jordan Rapp took in close to 2000 mgs per hour! Jordan also had a pigeon toed running style and didn't look like he was running fast, yet knocked off a 2:55 marathon. Very well done on his behalf.

Spectating an IM event never fails to provide motvation. As I watched everyone out there driving themselves towards the finishline, I thought with excitement about some new coaching ideas and about the 2010 season, and about the fact that without a goal out there, we are just status quo. Try to convince yourself otherwise, but justifying not setting goals is playing it safe and staying comfortable which gets us no where, thus defining status quo. Congratulations to everyone who competed in IM Arizona and any race this year and especially my athletes and friends who raced. Keep up the great work! By the way, I picked up "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy at the airport on the way out - man what an intense read, and great book! The movie is coming out this weekend for those who don't want to read it, but I highly recommend the book.



Friday, November 20, 2009

In Tempe

I am presently in Tempe as the title of this here blog already states. Arizona has some great Mexican food, so the first thing I like to do when I arrize in AZ is go to my favorite Mexican food joint, Chilis. Truly authentic!

The weather here is ideal; in the 50's early in the morning warming up to low 70's during the day. It's very sunny and very dry. It's also very flat here - probably flatter than IMF!

I did a great run this morning around Town lake which looks more like a river. For those who get nervous in open water, this is the race for you. The swim is cold, but it's also very calm water and if you get nervous, you swim 10 meters to the side and you are on shore. Big Rocks is here with me and also got in a run. We also got in a nice strength session this afternoon, so decent training day here.

I wasn't really looking forward to coming out here. It's been a busy year, and although back in September when we planned this it seemed like a fun idea, the last thing I wanted to do yesterday was get on a plane. I realize today though that you don't get too many opportunities to spend quality time like this with your parents as an adult. To get this time is a gift.

Tomorrow, I am meeting with all my athletes racing here in the morning for a last minute race pep talk and to review race strategies. I'm looking forward to watching the race Sunday. Yes, I'm actually looking forward to spectating. I did my big race recently and so I'm content on the race front. At the same time, spectating will inject some motivation to kick up my own training over the next month.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2010 EH Camps

Hi All,

I know many of you are busy planning your 2010 already. Here is some information on the camps I have planned that you won’t want to miss:

February 5-7th; The Cleveland Winterfest Camp

I’m teaming up once again with Angela Forster for this fun filled, jam packed weekend. Yes, it’s Cleveland, and it’s cold and you’ll be amazed what we get done!
Go to for more info.

February 27th – March 5th; Tucson Winter Base Camp

There are only a few spots left! If we haven’t received your deposit, your spots still open. This camp will inject the base and motivation you need to get you through the rest of the winter and on the starting line of your first race primed.

May 13-16th; Connecticut Camp

This will be the 11th year of this amazing, all inclusive camp. Of all the camps offered, this one is still one of the favorites for most and tough to beat in regards to not only the amazing training and atmosphere, but also the fun surroundings and great food.

June (exact dates tba); Lake Placid Camp

Of course, if you are training for the Lake Placid IM, this camp is a must. However, this camp will also set you up for any summertime or early fall event. Even if you don’t have a specific event planned, this is such a great place to train that you don’t want to miss it!

July 11-18th; France Alps Camp!!!

Two years ago, I went to France and trained while the Tour De France was taking place. It was one of the most memorable experiences I have had to date and I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to not only do this again, but share it with a small group. I am teaming up with Greg Pelican and Bethel Bike shop to offer this amazing experience – one that we are opening up to athletes and their spouses/significant others as well. We will have sight seeing trips arranged while the athletes are out training. Plus, we will get to see a few stages of the Tour! We will be staying at the all inclusive Chalet Merlot which sits nestled in the French Alps.

I will also be conducting two Strength Clinics, one next month on a Saturday in December, and one on a Saturday in January. These will be, like last year, at my house. I have a new strength routine out designed for endurance athletes and it is a real ass kicker. We will follow up the clinic with an easy trail run.

Anyone interested in any of these camps and/or clinics, please contact me at or check out in the next few weeks for fully updated information on all of these experiences.



Monday, November 16, 2009

Fair race?!

Clearwater this year. Looks like the time trial start broke up the drafting. I know that there are some very strong guys in their 60's but a 61 year old rode 2:08 there (please!).

Does anyone still really want to do this race? And it's supposed to be a world championship. Move the venue.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Back In The Saddle

It's been four weeks since Hawaii. Four weeks that flew by incredibly fast! In regards to training, I've done very little. OK, I can actually lay it out quite simply exactly what I have done; two easy runs, three fun mountain bike sessions and seven strength training sessions. That's it though. My plan has been to wake up and see if i felt like doing anything. If I did feel like moving a bit, I would limit it to only one session and keep it low key. Muscularly, I recovered fairly quickly from Hawaii. However, i definitely felt "off" for a good three and a half weeks since that race. Waking up in the am has been a bit more challenging than it typically is, and systematically i just felt a bit f'd up as though I'm slightly hungover yet didn't get to enjoy the fun of the previous evening that may lead to a slight hangover.

Today it was sunny and in the 60's and just beautiful out, and the official kick off of some more regimented training. Nothing too intense, but back on a routine. I got out and ran the trails today for an hour, and felt a bit sluggish but better than I anticipated. It felt great to be out there and great to be back in a routine and that's exactly what I wanted coming off of this off season - I wanted to be out there enjoying it and feeling ready to go.



Saturday, November 07, 2009

Perfect Fall Day

Today was a perfect Autumn day in CT. Sunny and in the 50's and just great to be outdoors. I started the day with some strength training - I developed a new strength routine that's just kicking my ass. My son was at a sleep over and Lisa and Kate went to go pick him up, so I jumped at the opportunity and headed out on my mountain bike. I rode a mix of rail trail and single track and had to remind myself often on the single track that I have a family and my own business that I need to report to and that my technical skills aren't nearly as good as I think they are. Nonetheless, it was a blast. I lost track of the time - 90 minutes went by so quickly that I had to time trial home in order to make my daughters soccer game. We then hightailed it down to New Caanan for my sons game. Man, I'm amazed at how much the parents vocally get into these games! I walked over towards Ryan's bench to meet him after the game and found him choked up. He's an emotional kid and I asked "what's wrong bud, is everything ok?" He answered with "yeah, I'm just happy." as he tried his best to hold back the tears. He had a great game and also scored both goals, the latter tieing it up late in the game. It was a memorable moment. Now I'm relaxing, watching Braveheart. My daughter is at a sleepover but my son has two of his friends here so it won't be that relaxing. A great day though!



Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I was contacted recently by an acquaintance who wanted to tap my brain about becoming a tri coach. I asked him the first question I always ask someone wanting to become a tri coach; "Why?" I think that the thought of being a tri coach sounds much more romantic than actually being a tri coach. For one thing, it's hard to make a good living being just a tri coach. I always considered my endurance coaching business as a hobby rather than a career. Don't take this as meaning I'm not serious about it. On the contrary. I love coaching. However, my primary income comes from my other business situations.

The next question I ask is "What background do you have that would make you a good coach?" I ask this one because it seems like everyone that gets themselves in somewhat decent shape and has a few decent results takes on coaching. As I mentioned above, I take coaching very seriously. It's not rocket science but guess who gets the finger pointed at them when a race goes wrong? I feel that being a solid athlete has little to do with being a great coach, or even a good one. The first thing I look at in others that coach is how well they read people. This is most important. Next, I look at their education. Did they go to school for exercise science, human performance, or exercise physiology? Finally, how up to date are they on current training platforms and methods, how well do they know old training platforms and methods, and how flexible are they? In regards to certifications, I feel that the triathlon coaching certifications are more bureaucratic bullshit than anything. I apologize if I sound a bit bitter about the abundance of coaches out there at the moment. I have just spent a lot of time becoming educated to coach and those that just jump on board with no education or experience besides being an athlete themselves diminishes the position. It's hard to watch athletes trusting a coach and then getting injured or hurt because the coach doesn't really know what the hell they are doing or just uses a generic plan that they themselves follow(ed). On the opposite end though, there are also some really great endurance coaches out there at the moment and a lot of great ones to choose from.

One of the things that I discussed with this person though is that if they do pursue coaching, make sure that they work with athletes they enjoy and want to work with. Interview your athletes as much as they interview you. Look for signs of loyalty, and personalities and morals that you appreciate in others. I have been coaching since the early 90's and have worked with all different types of athletes, both ability wise and personality wise. The group that I am currently working with are all terrific people. Well, all except Gus. Gus and Brennan. And maybe Molson. But the rest; the rest are amazing people and good friends. Well maybe not Kenny. Or Annmarie. Or Scooter. Or Jeff...