Monday, April 3, 2017

Complete Human Performance Sponsored Training Update

I have had some ups and downs this month with my training. All winter I piled up the swim and run miles, basically doubling, and in some cases tripling, the volume that I’ve done before. Based on some workout “tests," I made some really good aerobic and strength gains in these areas and I’m happy with where I’m currently at prior to my first 70.3 race next month in Chattanooga.

My winter block of training culminated in a really great training camp with Endurance Corner. Although I was an assistant coach, I still clocked roughly 29 hours over the course of 7 days. Prior to camp, I found myself with a low grade cold which most likely came from the flight down to AZ. I was able to train through it, but wasn’t feeling 100%. When I returned to CT, I realized that I needed a solid couple of weeks of rest. Usually I only take about one week of a spring “break” but this year I was still feeling a little run down and demotivated going into the second week post camp. I ended up taking about two weeks training on the low end of my aerobic endurance which allowed me to overcome my cold. I am feeling much better now and have had a real upswing in my training over the last 10 days. It helps that the weather has improved in the north east and I’m finally getting to spend some more time building my speed!

I thought I would log some of the notable things I've done in the past month…

Hardest workout:
6 mile TT up Mission Rd in Tucson. I have not put that sort of effort up for a while and ended up misjudging the effort and coming up about 2-3 minutes short. I pushed my way through those last minutes anyway and ended up throwing up my breakfast! But… I did not get passed by Ironman Champ Justin Daerr, he didn't know we were racing…but in my mind we were racing.

Heaviest Volume Week
29 hours

Lightest Volume Week
13 hours

Longest Ride
Kitt Peak- 114 miles  

Longest Run
20 miles 

Longest Swim
6k

Favorite Workout
5:30 Brick as…
4 hour ride including two rounds of (6x4 minutes (1:30) at OD race pace + 5 minutes easy + 40 minutes at IM-HIM race pace effort + 10 minutes easy)
Fast transition to 1:30 run as (20 minutes easy + 10x3 (1) minutes at 10k race pace effort + 5 minutes easy + 15 minutes at HIM race pace effort + 10 minutes easy cool down

Most Calories Burned In One Day
7,000 calories for workouts + 3,000 calories to live = 10,000 calories

This Month’s Netflix Binges
The People VS. OJ Simpson, Rectify, That 70’s Show

Books Read/Am reading
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris, 1776 by David McCullough, The Hybrid Athlete by Alex Viada

Favorite Beer this Month
Left Hand’s Milk Stout- need to get my last Stouts in before the Spring Beer Season gets rolling!


Thanks to the Linder Family for allowing me to stay at their house while in Pheonix! They went above and beyond and I felt part of the family! 

JJ, Nina, Luke, and Kara Linder. Each one has done a triathlon. Currently, Luke and Kara are World Class Junior Fencers. 

Kara Linder Kicking Ass! I didn't make it to a competition, but Luke and Kara helped me learn a few steps during my stay. 

I love elite performance in all sports. I love watching other athletes crush it!

Run with Jon Fecik Coached Jennifer Landsdowne at camp.

Happy after finishing a very steep climb. 

Most important session of the day... Katy Perry's Music Video Review...Verdict...Good Form...

Loved swimming in this pool!


Wake up, smile, workout, eat, sleep, repeat.

The Views in Tucson are extraordinary.


Ironman Pro Lisa Roberts, left, and my Coach Marilyn Chychota, right. 

Waiting for that next interval...and the next...

Best part of the swim sessions...chatting...

Run up to a great view!

Promising young pro Laura Mathews getting stronger.

IM Winner Justin Daerr (laying in blue) is already tired...and we haven't done Lemon yet!

Fun up Lemon. It took about 2 hours to ascend this time.

Outdoor pool, under water action!

Bringing the Branford Road Race to AZ!

Another beautiful view captured by Jeff Fejfar

Dive start gunning for a 50PR!

Ironman Champ and Coach Marilyn reminiscing about the time she would allow herself to eat more than one donut hole. 

Walter McCormack pulled me up Lemon like a Mack Truck! 


Final ride with some new friends.

Rolling around the CT Salt Marshes and feeling better post camp!

Almost time to swim around the island!

Thanks to Endurance Corner for having me on as an assistant coach. Thanks to Jeff Fejfer for so many great camp photo's. 

Looking for a coach? Don't hesitate to reach out. Don't worry, I wouldn't prescribe you as much volume as I do! I coach each person as an individual and prescribe workouts in a way that will help you get the most out of yourself! E-mail me at jafecik@gmail.com for more info.  You can also check out the Complete Human Performance Website at https://www.completehumanperformance.com/.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Results

Congrats to Amy Margolis on a PR in her 50k this weekend. She's on her way to a 50 mile race and the big dance at Ironman Kona! How does she do it? She trains consistently, she is open to new training approaches, she lifts for strength, and she shows her mental toughness on every one of her workouts! Way to go Amy!



Congrats to Tom Burland who had a great 4 mile race in NYC! Despite some challenges in race week, he still squeezed out one of his best 4 milers yet! 


Looking for a coach? Don't hesitate to reach out to Coach Jon at jafecik@gmail.com 


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Training Update

I always think it's cool to see what sort of training Pro athletes are doing. This is just to give you an idea of what a pro athlete's week might look like. My average weekly load is around 15-23 hours which is probably the average to the lower end for a Pro triathlete. My training is swim heavy right now because I'm trying to improve my muscular endurance in the water. Most of my training comes from Coach Marilyn Chychota, but some of the swim workouts are from Yale Masters. 
Note: I would not ask just any athlete to handle this type of load. My training over the last 10 years has allowed me to do this. But... I think its cool to see what is possible.

Saturday:
2:45 minute ride:
Warm-up: 20min easy ;
- 5min, build to HR of 150 bpm ;
- 2min easy ;
- 4 x [30sec fast / 1min easy] ;
- 2min easy ;
- 4 x 15min HR 150-155, 80-90rpm, 5min easy between.
Cool down: easy
Power was around 280-300 watts for the efforts, easy stuff is around 100-150 watts.
45 minute run off the bike
Build each 15min
Start out nice and easy and each 15min build pace and effort. Last 15min should feel like relaxed steady work.
Descended from 8-6:30 pace
Sunday: 
AM Run 1:30, HR 140, 8 minute pace
Mid-day Swim Set 1 hour
200warm up
8x 25 every 4th fast :30
6x 25 every 3rd fast :30
4 x 25 All fast :30
20x 50 paddles only :50
400 swim steady
4x 25 All fast :30
6x 25 every 3rd fast :30
8x 25 every 4th fast :30
400 pull steady
25's fast were around 13 and 50's I was coming in on :30
PM Run 30 minutes easy with 4x15 second pick ups
I descended from 12 minute pace to 8 minute pace over the course of the run.
Monday: 
40 minute run around 7 minute pace
25 minute circuit with weights
1:15 swim set by feel
12 x 25 Kick Dec 1-6 :45
1500m Buoy / Band/ Towel
1500m Snorkel, Fins, Paddles
1500 Swim Descending each 500m
12 x 25 kick fast with fins :30
100easy back
Tuesday: 
1:30 Ride including
 - 8 x 2min ;
- 60-65 rpm,
- Aero bars,
- HR 155-165
- 1min recovery.
- 5min easy ;
- 10x 1min power singles ;
- 53/11, stomp down and crank for each one.
- 1:30min recovery.
Power was 350 for the 2 minute efforts and 450 for the 1 minute efforts. All this felt pretty easy and my legs felt strong. 50-150 watts for the easy stuff.
Swim with Masters: 1:40 swim
8 x 100 Choice on 1:30- loose and easy
Kick 4 x 100 Choice on 2:10
Pull 400 Free - focus on technique, still head, good body roll to gain distance per stroke
Swim 8 x 25 Choice on 40 (odd 25s - Build; even 25s - Fast)
Swim 6 x 300 Free on 4:10 - Descend 1 to 5, Swim #6 loose & ez to recover
Swim 16 x 50 on 55, 1:05, 1:15
1-4 Choice not Free
5-8 Free
9-12 Choice
13-16 Free
On all reps, focus on strong underwater kick off walls
Finished with about 2000 pulling for a total of 6k
1 hour run
Jog to track (10min jog warm up)
Strides and drills- Butt kick, Side Side shuffle, High knees, Frankenstein walk.
Track: 10 x 200/200
Jog to cool down
200's done at 5-5:20 minute mile pace
Wednesday: 
3 hour aerobic ride, watt average about 190.
3 mile run off the bike

Thursday: 
1:15 treadmill set
including rounds of 2 minutes at 2%, 2 minutes at 4%, 1 minute at 6% all at 7:15 mile pace.
Swim with Masters: 1:40 swim
Swim 600 Free
Swim 8 x 50 (2 x around the IM) on 50
Swim 6 x 25 Free on 30 building each 25
(100 Free on 2:00 - focus on great technique first time thru, descend to 95% on 4th time through
4 x (200 Kick on 4:10 - strong effort
(300 Pull on 4:50 - focus on technique each time, allowing legs to recover from kick and preparing for next 100 Free
Swim 1 x 100 Free all out [following 4th 300 pull] on 2:00
Swim EZ 100 Recovery on 3:00
Swim 12 x 25 Choice on 30 - odds: technique, evens: FAST
Swim EZ 150 Recovery
Swim EZ 150 Recovery
1500 paddle pull descend set from 1:15-1:10 pace at the end for a total of 6k
25 minute lift circuit
Friday:
Easy swim with Masters, 1:20, legs day off

Swim 15 minutes loose and ez
Kick 5 x 150 Choice on 3:10
8 x 100 Choice on 1:30 - Go 50 Choice Drill/50 Swim focused on technique
3 x (4 x 50 Free on 40  then EZ 150 Swim on 3:00) 
3 x (4 x 25 Choice on 30 (40) then EZ 150 Swim on 3:00
Swim down
4.5k total


Looking for a coach? I have some openings on my roster. Don't hesitate to reach out to Coach Jon at jafecik@gmail.com 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reaction to Poor S&C Coaching at Oregon

Reaction to poor S&C coaching at Oregon: http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2017/01/oregon_ducks_workouts_hospital.html
1.) When you are screaming, it's hard to listen. When you aren't listening, you are missing something important. When you are missing something this important, you send athletes to the hospital. When they are in the hospital, they can't practice and get better.
2.) Mastering sport demands consistency. No one workout makes you that much better. The structure and timing of many workouts over the course of months and years does make you better. When one workout wrecks you for the rest of the week (or longer), then it just got in the way of the process which makes you better.
3.) Cultivating internal motivation within athletes is challenging for coaches, especially when working with team sports, but it will last longer than a single practice full of yelling. Yelling to motivate is just a band-aid that doesn't resolve a deeper issue.
4.) Yelling leads to a sense of dependency on a coach.It tells athletes that they need a coach in order to yell at them to motivate them to practice. This does not create robust athletes. Great athletes should want to get better-- master skills, eat healthy food, practice good sleep habits-- if the coach is present or not. Coaches should not be dictators that tell athletes when they are allowed to breath. Coaches should be supportive figures that help athletes learn to listen to their bodies and make better decisions that lead to positive performances.
5.) On being Tough: "People have a misconception on what toughness is. It isn’t about gritting your teeth and powering through an obstacle. It’s not about mud runs and silly things that look difficult but aren’t. Toughness is about making the right decisions under stress and fatigue. It’s about having the ability and wherewithal to slow the world down, make the right decisions or choose the correct coping strategy."
6.) Read this article: http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2017/01/football-is-holding-back-the-strength-and-conditioning-profession-a-reaction-to-the-oregon-fiasco.html

Three Health Benefits of Triathlon Training


running
“Oh no, are we out?” I asked my wife after I got home from a run. “Yes,” she said. “OK. I will be back.” I sprinted out again, this time to my car to speed to the grocery store and buy three packs of Hershey’s Chocolate Bars. Why? Because I like them. Like, REALLY like them. As I stood in the checkout line waiting for what seemed like forever, I found my attention zeroing in on a copy of Men’s Health magazine. There is nothing like a picture of a ripped, healthy looking dude next to the words “27 ways to get healthier” to make you feel a little guilty about going to the store to buy three packs of chocolate bars.
Shoot, I thought. Am I unhealthy? I generally think of myself as a healthy person. I do eat, on average, one chocolate bar a day, but other than that I eat my vegetables, I rarely get sick, I have the energy to do the things I want, I train daily, and I race triathlons at a professional level.  
As I savored the milky richness of my chocolate bar on the way home, I pondered over the question some more. If I am healthy, what makes me healthy? I always assumed that triathlon made me healthy, but does it? I came to the realization that health is made up of a whole lot of things that are constantly spinning through time; things like genetics, nutrition, physical fitness background, physical fitness ability, lifestyle choices, environment and even relationships. The one way triathlon primarily impacts my health, however, is through physical exercise. Exercise is fundamental to our success as triathletes. We exercise and we exercise a lot compared to the average American. We need to exercise in order to go as far and hard as we do on race day. When we exercise in an intelligent way (i.e. train), our bodies adapt to the stress. They become stronger and more resilient. In turn, we get healthy side effects such as a stronger heart or more efficient lungs.
Now, I am certainly not oblivious to the fact that triathlon training and racing can negatively impact your health due to things like overtraining, overuse of specific tissues or simply pushing the body too hard in hostile conditions. Athletes hire me as a coach, in part, to help them avoid these things. With that said, triathlon is a healthy sport to participate in due to its positive impact on our cardiovascular health, brain health and bone health.  
1. Triathlon Training Promotes Cardiovascular Health
A good working cardiovascular system is essential to our health. Our arteries are the blood vessels that take blood away from the heart and toward the muscles. It is very important for the arteries to work properly so they can bring nutrient-rich blood to our organs. When we are young, our arteries are elastic, flexible and open. As we age, however, our arteries become thick and stiff. Through a process called atherosclerosis, the arteries become blocked up with a substance called plaque. This plaque is the buildup of fats such as cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids. Plaque restricts blood flow to organs in the body, contributing to heart disease, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the leading cause of death in the United States (National Center for Health Statistics, 2016).
In triathlon, we do a substantial amount of training to support our racing. One major benefit of this training is that it staves off atherosclerosis by preventing and, in some cases, reversing plaque buildup. This works because of how exercise impacts the number of little carriers that deposit fat and remove it from our cells. These carriers are called lipoproteins. There are the low density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as “bad cholesterol,” which deposit fat into our cells. There are also the high density lipoproteins (HDL), known as “good cholesterol,” which remove fat from our cells. LDL can attach and deposit fat into the arterial walls creating plaque while HDL can remove the plaque from arterial walls. When we exercise as much as we do to prepare for triathlon, LDL levels decrease and HDL levels increase. The fat carried by the HDL is taken to the liver and repurposed. Ultimately, this process helps us maintain our arteries. Although our triathlon training does not necessarily make us immune to atherosclerosis, it helps to slow the process and sustain normal blood flow to organs like the heart and brain.
2. Triathlon Promotes Brain Health
The same exercise that helps us maintain good arterial health also supports our brain. When we exercise, studies show that the body increases blood flow to the brain, which contributes to positive structural and functional changes.
A study in Physiology looked into the impact of physical activity on adult rat hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) or, more simply, the creation of brain cells in the area of the brain associated with memory and higher thinking skills. Researchers tested three groups of rats, modifying their exercise program. The researchers compared a control group of sedentary rats to a group that did high intensity intervals and another group that did aerobic training. The scientists found that where there was no significant change of ANH in the sedentary rats, the high intensity trained rats showed a modest increase, and the aerobically trained rats showed the most significant increase. This suggests that the aerobic training we do as triathletes could possibly increase brain cell numbers and improve our ability to think.
Two other studies, both using human subjects, found that physical exercise is associated with improved white matter integrity. White matter is responsible for the speed, coordination and connections between parts of the brain and the rest of the body. Breakdown of white matter has been shown to be associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s (Bergland, 2014). Another study found that aerobic activity improved white matter integrity in active children between the ages of 9-10 (Chaddock-Heyman et al., 2014), while Zu et al (2014) found that aerobic activity improved integrity in “low fit” participants ages 60-78. Regardless of the age we begin training, the aerobic training we do to prepare for triathlon can help improve the structure of our brains.
Another study looked at changes in brain function by using the long-term data of a human study called Coronary Risk Development in Young Adults (Neurology, Burzynska et al., 2014). In the 1980s, participants did a treadmill test to exhaustion. The same participants repeated the test roughly 30 years later and followed it up with cognitive testing. This cognitive testing required them to remember lists of words and distinguish colors from text. The results showed that those who were fitter at a young age performed better on the cognitive tests later compared to those who were less fit at an early age. This is, perhaps, the most convincing study that suggests that the fitness that we build through triathlon, especially if we start early, can actually improve our memory when we are older.
3. Triathlon Promotes Bone Health
A third way that triathlon supports our physical health is by helping us build strong bones. Our bones are constantly remodeling themselves, which means they are continuously breaking down and building back up. When we are young, the body builds bone quickly, which leads us to have strong, dense bones. As we age, bone replacement slows and osteoporosis, the process where bone replacement is slower than bone removal, can occur. In fact, one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will end up getting osteoporosis fractures (Lawrence, 2011).
One way to prevent low bone density is by doing load bearing exercises like the strength training and running that we do to prepare for our triathlons. In their review, Layne and Nelson (1999) show that the majority of studies on load bearing exercises and bone health create denser bones and prevent fractures. Lifting weights is likely the best exercise for building bones and we can add this into our training once or twice a week. Just as exercise does not necessarily prevent the occurrence of atherosclerosis, weight bearing exercise does not necessarily prevent osteoporosis; however, if we eat nutrient-rich foods and do weight bearing exercises, we can help lower our risk of disease.
One thing that sets triathlon apart from other sports is that it has both weight bearing and non-weight bearing components. While other sports such as running or basketball require you to put force on your bones almost all the time, triathlon does not put as much stress on the bones since the training is divided between swimming (non-weight bearing), biking (non-weight bearing) and running (weight bearing). On the other side of things, triathlon training improves bone density unlike sports that are primarily non-weight bearing such as swimming or cycling. On top of this, if an injury that could lead to a stress fracture occurs, triathletes can modify their training by decreasing the volume of running and increasing the volume of swimming and/or biking. This keeps the athlete engaged and contrasts to other primarily weight bearing sports that might require the athlete to take time off from their sport.
A Final Note
Too often, I see people in the gym trying to get healthy and waging a war against their body to do it. I see them pounding out miles on the treadmill and limiting their calorie intake. They clearly hate every minute of it. One great thing about sport is that it can refocus your mindset. You come to your workouts with a purpose that goes well beyond improving your health. You work out in order to master a set of skills like ascending a hill or improving your catch to help you reach your goals. The focus toward mastering skills and improving performance holds our attention much longer and is more fun than working out for the sake of being healthy. Further, when you train as an athlete you begin to look at your body not as an enemy but as a tool. You listen to it and it teaches you what is healthy. You start to understand that it needs fuel, sometimes even Hershey’s Chocolate, in order to energize your workouts. You learn that it needs a certain amount of rest so that you can continue to improve. And when you don’t fuel your body well or give it enough rest, your body lets you know.
When we focus our eyes on sport, good health becomes a byproduct. This does not give you a pass to disregard your yearly checkup with your doctor or to avoid all fruits and vegetables because you can get by on just white bread; however, the great thing about triathlon is that, when you train consistently, you will improve your cardiovascular health, your brain health, your bone health and many other aspects of your health without really thinking about it.

Looking for a coach? Jon Fecik races as a professional triathlete, is a USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach, and works for Complete Human Performance. He guides a vast spectrum of age-groupers, from those who finished their first sprint triathlon to those who qualified for and competed at Nationals, Worlds, 70.3 Worlds and the IRONMAN World Championship. Follow Jon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram
References
Bergland, Christopher (2014). Why is physical activity so good for your brain? Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201409/why-is-physical-activity-so-good-your-brain
Burzynska, AZ, Chaddock-Heyman L, Voss MW, Wong CN, Gothe NP, Olson EA, et al. (2014) Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness Are Beneficial for White Matter in Low-Fit Older Adults. PLOS ONE 9(9): e107413. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107413
Chaddock-Heyman, L., Erickson, K. I., Holtrop, J. L., Voss, M. W., Pontifex, M. B., Raine, L. B., Hillman, C. H., & Kramer, A. F. (2014). Aerobic fitness is associated with greater white matter integrity in children. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 1-7. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00584/full
Lawrence, Jean (2011). Building stronger bones. Web MD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/building-stronger-bones#1
Layne, J.E., Nelson, M.E. (1999). The effects of progressive resistance training on bone density: a review. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 31(1), 25-30. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/9927006
National Center for Health Statistics. (2016). Health, United States, 2015: With Special Feature on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf#019
Nokia, M. S., Lensu, S., Ahtiainen, J. P., Johansson, P. P., Koch, L. G., Britton, S. L. and Kainulainen, H. (2016). Physical exercise increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis in male rats provided it is aerobic and sustained. Physiology, 594, 1855–1873. doi:10.1113/JP271552 

Zhu, Na, Jacobs, David R. Jr., Schreiner, Pamela J., Yaffe, Kristine, Byran, Nick, Launer, Lenore J….Sternfeld, Barbara (2014). Cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function in middle age. Neurology, 82(15), 1339-1346. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0107413

Friday, December 16, 2016

Four Huge Triathlon Mistakes that Will Keep You Slow

I wrote this piece for the Complete Human Performance Blog: https://www.completehumanperformance.com/four-huge-triathlon-mistakes-will-keep-slow/


By: Jon Fecik
Photo Credit: Wesley Xie
Even though I race as a Professional Triathlete and have coached for 9 years, it is not hard to remember the mistakes I made when I was first starting out as a triathlete. I came from a wrestling background where the mentality was that very hard, all-out work paid off. I treated those first triathlon workouts as if I were on the wrestling mat. I attacked the water and road, pushing as hard as I could for as long as I could.
I only kept up that intensity for a few weeks before my body started to break down. Eventually, I got injured. At that point, I started to look into basic triathlon training principles and eventually hired a coach. In hindsight, my mistakes are very clear. Here are four mistakes that I made which you can avoid.
Mistake #1: Going Too Hard Too Soon
The first mistake I made was that I went too hard, too soon.

While training for a sprint distance triathlon, I would go out for a 3 mile run or 750 meter swim and do it all at race pace. This tired me out and inevitably left me with a calf injury because I overloaded my body too quickly.
As an experienced athlete and coach, I have come to understand that we must build the body up slowly and steadily to get the best results on race day. This usually means beginning with very easy and short aerobic work (think 20-40 minute runs, 45 minutes swims and bikes) at a perceived effort of 5 out of 10. After the body settles into the program and gets stronger, I use the 10% rule to add mileage or intensity.
It is important to remember that no one workout makes you a better triathlete, it is the cumulative load that builds over time and supports great performances. My advice is to build slowly and conservatively. You can always do more at a later time, but if you do too much too soon, you are going to find yourself burnt out and injured.
Mistake #2: Expecting Daily Workout Gains
A second mistake I made early on had to do with my expectations. I expected to see better results during every workout.
So, if I ran an 8 minute mile pace for 3 miles on Monday, I expected to run 7:55 pace for my next 3 mile run on Wednesday. I thought that I would just continue to improve if I stuck to this type of training. I kept building and building until my body broke. As an experienced athlete and coach, I have come to understand that the body doesn’t work in this way. If we keep forcing PR’s during every workout, we will overload our muscle tissue and bone structure too quickly, which often leads to injury.
It is also possible to compromise the immune system which can lead to sickness. I learned that to train effectively, we need to look at the body from a biological standpoint. We don’t need to get overly complicated, but athletes need to understand that the body has three main energy systems (phosphocreatine system, the aerobic system, and the anaerobic system). We can use this knowledge to target each system at the right times to produce great results.

In endurance sports, we need a strong aerobic system in order to build the foundation by which fast racing is supported. This means that we need to spend a lot of time doing long slow distance miles to get the physical adaptions (increased mitochondria, increased oxygen affinity for example) that allow us to go long and fast on race day.
My advice is to treat workouts as the building blocks for race day success. Expect most of your training to feel and be mediocre compared to your workout PR’s. If a PR comes, enjoy it, but don’t force it. Trust in the process and you will continue to get better in the long term.
Mistake #3: Never Changing the Intensity
A year or two after I got into triathlon, I started to use a HR monitor. I then focused all my attention on aerobic training. If I was riding my bike, I averaged 154. If I ran, I averaged 164.  I didn’t do any speed work on the track and I didn’t do very much recovery work either. I did this for about 2 years straight. This style of training helped me develop a very powerful aerobic engine, but it did not maximize my ability to perform on race day.

As an experienced athlete and coach, I now understand the power of variation. Once I began to change my effort and speed and worked on developing my neuromuscular ability and anaerobic engine, I saw huge improvements in performance.

Experienced athletes know how important it is to work all systems all of the time. They may spend more time on one system during particular periods, like a lot of aerobic training in the “base” period, but these athletes will still do short pick-ups, tempo runs, and hill workouts that enhance the bodies’ ability to perform on race day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dynamic Run Drills

Here are a few dynamic drills that I encourage athletes that I coach to do. I suggest doing these before, during, or after long travel days and before, during, or after a workout. I find that they have a whole slue of benefits which include...

#1 Warming-up the mind
#2 Warming-up the body
#3 Increasing proprioceptive awareness (your place in space)
#4 Improving coordination skills 
#5 Stretching out the body

Key points:
#1 Loosen up
#2 Stay light on the balls of your feet
#3 Relax your upper body
#4 Keep everything in control
#5 Don't force anything
#6 Start slow and build your speed as you warm up
#6 Don't judge yourself or your form, just do what you can do, you will improve over time

You can always add different drills or do variations of these drills. I usually do these for roughly 5 minutes depending on how my body feels, what type of work I'm preparing for, or what type of work I'm recovering from.








Looking for an endurance coach for next season? Don't hesitate to reach out to me at jonfecik@gmail.com. If you are looking for a different type of coach for strength training, crossfit, obstacle courses, mental skills, etc, check out CompleteHumanPerformance.com.