Coaching Philosophy

AIMP Coaching: Advanced, Integrated Mindset and Performance

Going long requires outstanding fitness and superior event day execution, combined with a healthy dose of self-control. In seeking to create the optimum training program, there are critical factors within the training plan and part of the coaching philosophy. Combined with an accurate snapshot of your current physiological state (testing), AIMP creates a personal, customized and proven coaching plan tailored to your individual needs.

Whether you’re an elite athlete looking to reach optimal performance or you simply want to finish feeling strong, AIMP will work with you to develop that plan. Here are the critical success factors that outline the coaching philosophy of AIMP:

Outstanding fitness

Ultra endurance events are different than any other sports:  they require both physical and mental strength.  More can go wrong, and rarely is the fittest athlete the one that crosses the finish line first. This is where outstanding fitness comes into play.  Once we know we can do the distance, have the fitness to complete the event; we can start working on executing better.  Having confidence in how we will execute the day allows the athlete to be mentally engaged as well.  The goal of training is creating outstanding fitness for the ability to maintain control and mental awareness on event day. Outstanding fitness allows for mistakes that can be reeled back in. Outstanding fitness creates a platform for confidence and execution of your strategy come the event. Outstanding fitness means we are not taxing the body and mind unnecessarily, we are prepared.  And, outstanding fitness prevents injuries since the athlete is not trying to push too hard in training and therefore risk overdoing it.

Superior event day execution

Come event day, nothing should be unfamiliar. Not only do you know your effort & intensity, but you have complete confidence in your hydration & nutrition strategy since you have repeatedly practiced, adjusted and modified it. This reinforces the overall focus of any endurance event – stay within ‘your’ day and try to control the things you can control. By continuously training your event strategy, your day is better prepared for the things you can’t control, like weather, course changes, volunteer mishaps, other athletes’ performances etc. Coaching should help you create, solidify and execute your optimal event day.

When I approached Chris about coaching me, I was more than twenty pounds heavier (my max weight ever), a heavy smoker (which I was too ashamed to even mention to him) and I had not laced up a pair of running shoes in over 5 years after sustaining a post marathon knee injury. I knew I needed a massive goal to get myself out of my current sloth-like state and when I stumbled upon the inaugural EPIC5 Ultra Run - I knew I'd found the proper motivation. Now I needed to find a coach!

I'd heard about Chris through the Rich Roll book 'Finding Ultra' and figured if anybody, he could get me prepared to tackle five 50k's in five days on five Hawaiian islands. I contacted Chris and he was confident that it could be done, therefore I too was confident. This was gonna be the hardest challenge of my life, I was eager to get started!

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Avoiding injuries

All the fitness in the world is useless if an athlete is sick or injured on event day. Coaching is about preparing you for your optimal event day. This includes remaining healthy and injury free during your training. The proper plan will build your season with the end result in mind – to toe the line at your ‘A’ race strong, healthy and with the confidence that all the necessary training and preparation was completed. Communication with your coach and accurate training logs help identify any potential flare-ups, while accurate execution of workouts ensures that the stresses of training can be absorbed.

Recovery & Rest

Many think that an ultra endurance training program requires a constant breakdown of the body in order to prepare you for the physical and mental challenges of that day. While the necessary fitness is required, the ability of the body to recover, adapt and reengage into a new training phase is critical. Constantly being tired and feeling flat is not training, it is overtraining and often the first sign of chronic fatigue. While it does not have to be this extreme, it is definitely a clear indicator you are not getting faster. AIMP coaching believes in continuous training cycles that factor in recovery, adaptation and then taking the training to the next level. That next level could mean faster, better, stronger weeks OR could mean longer, steadier and completing the training weeks at a lower RPE. Training should result in continuous growth and progression in a season, not stagnation.