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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Essential Tips

In 2014, don't let faith be the unique reason for the results you get for your races.  Check those tips I have for you to be successful in your competition, they are true for everyone, Olympian or first timer.

1. Goal setting – Short/Long term goals, you should write them down and have them displayed somewhere as a remainder.  Short terms goals should be easier to achieve so you have the chance to celebrate small victories.  Long term goals should be in sight so you remember where you are going and why you are making all those sacrifices.

2. Listen to your body – Push hard but remember to take easy days to recover. Train hard means race hard, but remember that you can’t race all out the whole race.  Well training is the same way, some days have to be dedicated to recovery, also known as Active Recovery or Off Load Training.  Those session are just as valuable as the hard work out, don’t forget that.

3. Get a Coach – It’s always good to have an outsider looking in, self coaching has never been a successful way to get where you want to go.  The coach can see what you are doing wrong, and can have a gut feel of what should happen next.  You as an athlete should spend that time thinking of what you are doing, not planning.

4. Listen to your coach – Although some days you feel like the world just crashed on your head, and you’re not going anyway.  Listen to your coach, there may be a reason to his madness.  But don’t be afraid to let him know how you feel, you might end up in a new plan.

5. Consistency – With a proper training plan comes a routine, I swim on the same day, same time every week and so on.  Things to think of are Macro/micro plan, periodization etc.  Hire a coach and this will be done for you.

6. Weather & Sickness – I believe that weather vs sickness is what creates many issues with the previous topic in different aspect.  When the weather is bad some athlete use that as an excuse to not train.  Many choices present itself to you, train inside or go outside anyway.  Both have their own challenges, you might
not be able to bike or run as long or as hard but the fact of the matter is, you did the workout while having to deal with variables which on its own help you to deal with curve balls a race might throw at you.  Remember that consistency is the key.

Sickness on the other hand is always dealt with the wrong way; I find that I almost always have a high before I get sick, so when I do get sick, I don’t want to stop to keep the ball rolling.  That is bad; you should always deal with your sickness like it was the most important thing in your life at this exact moment.  If you are sick and you push one more workout, you might set yourself back few more days.  Eat well, drink a lot and go to bed early, you might only need couple of days instead of a week or two.

7. Sleep – Go to bed early, it seems like a not problem going to bed late if the next workout is not word or if you’re not tired, but you might be very tired once the morning come.  A great rule of thumb would be to sleep at least 8+ per night no matter what.

8. Eat healthy – See how I didn't say: “follow a diet” athletes don’t diet they eat healthy; it’s a way of living.  Your sport shouldn't be a reason to eat healthy.  I say that because their actually nothing good in junk food, it doesn't help you performing, it’s very hard for your system to digest, and is the sole reason related to cardio/ vascular diseases

9. Be Strong – Being strong starts with you mental strength, which is followed by your physical strength, one doesn't come without the other, that being said, being physically strong won’t come first.  Visualization is a tool to help you being ready for what you will have to go threw in your event.  It is the key of success.

10. Stretching & Mobility – They are often believed to be the same which in fact they work on different aspect.  Stretching is the act of flexing or pulling on a muscle in order to enhance the elasticity of this muscle, mobility or to increase the range of a joint which only deal with ligament and tendon.  The end result is called flexibility.  Improve both are you will gain a tremendous amount of strength and it will also help you to stay injury free.

11. Train with groups – Training with others can bring a great sense of accomplishment and joy, the camaraderie will help fight the boredom of some long workout plus it will help you pushing that extra little bit that you might have had not otherwise.

12. Challenge yourself – When you have a tough workout, try and see if you can bring this to a new level.  Dare to see what would happen if I didn't stop there.  You could potentially be surprise by the results.  Also set some workout only about testing, it will help to see if you’re on the right track or way off line.  Your first races certainly shouldn't be your first test of the year.  Training session is too long to spend is in the unknown.

13. Stay hydrated – Water is good and a must, drink a lot of it, but also remember that water alone is not good enough.  On long training days and event you may need an extra help.  Electrolytes will do that for you, read more about it and try and choose one that best suits you.  Other than that, bananas, avocados and coconut water will greatly help you to become more hydrated by increasing the levels of potassium and sodium in your system without becoming harmful.

14. Control – Control what you can control, leave everything behind while you train, the important is you not someone else or work problem.  Dwelling on those will only bring bad energy to your training and losing control of what need to happen.

15. Use your Resources – Spread your network, you never know how far it will bring you, people are genuinely good, they want to help and make you reach your goals, talk to them, ask for their help, little things go a long way.  Social Network is also good to use, if you need info about a race or a place to stay, often local athlete will be very interested to host you of the weekend, you only need to ask.  Knowledge is power!

16. Have fun! 

Sunday, February 09, 2014


For many year I have struggled with managing my training and travelling for work.  Maybe because of the nature of my career, juggling with both makes it even harder.  But with proper preparation and dedication I have figured it out and now I know what to do before departure.

Where to train

It is important that you find out as many details as possible, don’t let any stone unturned.  The most important to start with would be the location and the dates of your business trip.  Next, find out what physical facility are available nearby.  Is there a pool, running track and others.  Can you bring your bike and do you need a trainer?  If you can’t bring them, look for a Spinning gym.  There are many other style of indoor cycling, they don’t offer the same level of cycling knowledge but it’s not a problem, many of those gym offer open classes that you can come and do your own workout.

Personally what I do is, find all the pools and gym in a 10-20km radius, because I know I likely won’t have time to drive farther.  Then I look at what they offer for organized classes, Lane Swim, Yoga, Spin, Crossfit, Pilates, etc.  I look at all the option, even if I don’t think this will fit to my schedule, I highlight them anyway, you never know your schedule might change and you might be able to squeeze a short valuable workout.

Look for local sports team.  I do triathlon, so I look for tri team, swim team, cycling group and running team.  They also may have a good training schedule that you might be able to take part of.  Send them a quick line by email, you never know, they might invite you to train for free.  It’s all about how you ask and who you are too.  Usually the coach is a very good person to ask.

If I get injured

Next I look at health service in the area, by that I mean, physiotherapist, massage therapist, chiropractor if you already see one and of course athletic therapist.  I’m only looking for those in case of problem, better be ready, you never know.  If you research those prior, you can always see what people are saying about them and pick a physician you believe would have the best results with you.

When I get hungry

Eating right is very important, most of us are following a eating habit very streaked, so your guess is right, you have to look for restaurants and grocery stores that will offer food you can eat.  But if you have the possibility to pick where you stay, you should choose a hotel room with a kitchenette.  That will solve most of your problem.  Personally I eat gluten free food, it’s a planning nightmare, but I make it work.  The important is to stay as close as possible as you can to your normal habit so you don’t get an unfortunate surprise once you return home with a gain of weight.

If you use supplements like protein bars and powder, multivitamins, etc.  You have the choice to bring enough for the whole trip or once again, locate the place you can find the brand you are already using.  When come to supplements, it’s even more important to stick to what you are using if possible so you do get digesting issue.  Plus there is so many brand out there, you will spend hours just trying to find something as close as possible to what you want.


If you are lucky and you can drive there, your only limited to the space in your vehicle, if you have a small vehicle and need to bring people with you, you can also rent a bigger vehicle for the time you are away.  Rentals are getting cheaper every year.

If you are flying, well this come with challenges.  Some company makes you pay for every piece of luggage’s and has special cost of specific items like a bicycle.  Inform yourself before you get to the airport because it could cost you a little fortune.

Social Network

Use them to inform yourself on any of the subject above, people loves to give their opinion, sometime too much, but regardless it’s good to know and they might open your eyes on thing you didn’t think of and they might invite you to join them which makes everything easier for you.