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01.25.12- Weekly Word (formerly Coaching Update)

Hi all –

Back in town from a Coast Ride that was fantastic. Just in time to see the Giants go to the SuperBowl.

This week I want to touch on a few things: a new training camp, 3 coaching slots – but mainly your mindset for 2012 and how you will train to succeed.

4 days in a minivan gave me plenty of time to think while watching 48 cyclists ride down the Coast….

As we are now moving in the serious part of the 2012 season, I would like you to keep your 2012 goals in front of you. Basically ask yourself the question: What do I want my 2012 season to look like? When December next year rolls around, what is it in your results, training & progress that will feel good to you about the past season? Once you can identify what it is: a result? A time goal? A qualification? A healthy season of no injuries? A finish? Then start thinking today and EVERY day about what you are doing TODAY to help you achieve that goal? It does not have to be much, and maybe you don’t have time for the entire planned workout, but are you doing something, anything, towards those identified goals/feeling/markers for the 2012 season?

Important in this exercise is the attainability of your goals. Are they realistic? Can you do the training and commit the time/resources to meet that goal? If not, you have 2 choices. Either lengthen the time frame to achieve that goal, or modify the goal to something more attainable. Many of you have big intentions for 2012, but as we get into the day to day training and toiling of monotonous swimming, biking and running, it might not be as realistic as we envisioned. Modifying a goal is NOT giving up. It is taking what you have to work with and taking steps forward. You might not achieve your goals, but you will surely be a LOT closer by making a smart adjustment to what you can be successful in.

For those of you, whose goal it is to qualify for world champs, national champs etc., but even for those of you looking to move into the top 10 of your AG: what are you doing to leapfrog soo many talented and hard working athletes vying for the same spots? What are you doing to leap AHEAD of those athletes that are already in that place/spot/on that podium? It sounds like a daunting task, but the ONLY way to get there is to remain focused on your goal and take one step at a time. Soo many want to climb that ladder to reach that goal, podium, result, yet the only way to get up there is climbing one step at a time. What are you doing TODAY to continue to climb that ladder?

Lastly regarding this mindset for 2012, do not forget to challenge yourselves and recognize the incredible personal growth from that. If you all were already Kona qualifiers, AG winners or even winning Pros, then you would not be working with me. We started this coaching relationship in order for you to IMPROVE, to LEARN, to DEVELOP your talent. I am here to help you with that. If you continue to do things as you have in the past, whether it be train too hard, or not hard enough, or train too little, or too much – let’s get OUT of that fixed mindset and grow: let’s stretch your comfort zone (like try Zone 2 aerobic training?)…let’s get comfortable with the struggle of having to work REALLY focused toward your goals. The reason you are so dedicated to this sport and show such passion, is BECAUSE it is soo hard to be successful! Focus on the process, not the outcome. The outcome is a fixed aspect in the future. Only via the process (training) can you effect the outcome, so focus on the process…. As we start leaving the pre-season behind, and enter into the heart of the season, many of you will have more and more quality training sessions in your plan. It becomes even MORE important to share your training observations in the log with me. We need to keep you healthy, uninjured, and from overreaching, so please be diligent about the log. My BEST coaching can happen if I can see what you observed in the training, where you might grow and become stronger for the next time you do that kind of training. How can I help you become more successful in your training (process) and therefore make you faster (outcome)? – By seeing how well you executed the training & the roadblocks you might have encountered within them. Coaching is ONLY Value Add if I can help you grow and develop your talent.

WILDFLOWER TRAINING CAMP: I also wanted to let you all know about the AIMP Wildflower Training weekend. I will be down there from April 12 to April 16. We will be swimming, biking and running plenty every day. SAG Monkey will be support once again and we will make this a fun weekend of great training, good eats, fun times. Come for a night, 2 nights or all 4 nights. However you want. You can camp, rent a a cabin, or even stay within 25 minutes in town which has a solid hotel and great BBQ restaurant. No cost, just the usual division of expenses for food (SAG Monkey) and SAG Services (SAG Monkey)…Hoping to do the EPIC ride to the Coast and back again after a 5 year hiatus…

3 COACHING SLOTS OPENED UP: Unfortunately 3 clients needed to take a break from AIMP Coaching (no, I didn’t kick anybody out!) – so I have 3 remaining spots. We were full, but not any more. Just an FYI.. Sorry for the longer “word” this week, but January allows for some sports psychology, not just physiology!

Have a wonderful week!

Coach’s Weekly 01.10.12

Hi all –

Welcome to 2012. I look forward to such an exciting year in coaching you all towards your goals, as well as being on those race sidelines with you. It’s an Olympic year – which is always special in my world as I only ‘age’ based on the olympiad clock…

Despite us not having a winter here in California (yet?) – we are still in the preseason in most cases. Please remember some important principles in the preseason: form & efficiency.

Form at this time year is so important as we don’t have the time needed once we are getting closer to our events to work on the fine details of form. Whether swimming, biking or running – use this time of year to focus on a few (3) things that you might want to improve upon. These are not necessarily changes, these are subtle adjustments that we know will make us faster or more efficient. Form starts at slower motions and gradually gets incorporated in faster efforts etc.

Suggestions may be in Swimming: reaching further for untouched water, better kick with pointed toes, a faster above-water recovery or even something as simple as learning how to use the pace clock at the pool, NOT YOUR WRISTWATCH…! For Biking: what about those pedal circles and how you are pulling the one leg up vs. pushing the other leg down, or ensuring your toes are relaxed while cycling (not bunched up in the front of your shoes), or how your cadence is climbing, on flats and how to make adjustments to gain speed! For running: light on the feet? What about that footspeed at 88-92? Relaxed shoulders vs. recruiting too much arm swing? Or have you tried ‘falling’ into your running stride – does it make you faster?

So, slow down, and become more aware of what you are doing and how you are moving, recruiting, engaging etc. Can there be some free speed in those easy adjustments? Now that you have found some free speed, try to get more efficient at it – apply at all different speeds, apply in different scenarios and repeat, repeat, repeat. Start with specific time intervals in applying the changes, and increase that time as it becomes easier and your feel better about holding longer.

For many of you the regular season training is quickly approaching. We are only 17 weeks out from IM St. George, 12 weeks from Oceanside, and 19 from IM Texas. So those June IMs are almost within the 20 week window – this is when the training must shift to a more focused, specific and aggressive goal oriented plan. Why is 20 weeks out so important? Because with a 3-4 week cycle build around recovery weeks (individual for most of you) we only have 3-4 rotations to work through – then its time to rest!

Therefore – you should have tested by now. You need that for your indoor trainer workouts, your Z2 work and the 20 week window to go. You should have sent me your 2012 goals by now. Please be specific with them: is your goal measurable? Attainable? Realistic? Time specific? Many of you have heard the SMART criteria at work, it works really well in sports!

NOW is also when the log becomes important – is is always important. But – you just telling me you did the workout is NOT enough. And saying: felt good, did it, complete..that is also not enough. Want good coaching? Fill out the log with some detail and like you care about your performance. My coaching is only as good as your log. Want generic, boring, repetitive workouts? Keep putting into your log “did it, done” or nothing at all. My job of being a coach, as described in the coaching agreement, states I will deliver the workouts, but the ‘unlimited program adjustments and email feedback’ only happens if you fill out a thoughtful and detailed log.

With the Coast Ride this weekend, I wanted to remind you all that there are 2 ‘non-profit’ events on the AIMP training camp calendar each year: The Coast Ride and the Donner Tahoe Training camp. This year again Tahoe will be the first week of August, hopefully just as many can join then as this weeks Coast Ride!

Upcoming AIMP events:
This weekend: Coast Ride 2012
Feb. 16-22 – AIMP Spring Training Camp – Tucson, AZ
March 16-18 – IM St. G Mini Camp – St. George Utah

Lastly: please let me know your progress towards 1000/250. All of you should know how close you are to completing this aerobic platform, too much time and sacrifice towards this training & upcoming season to NOT know where you are at this point. Next comes a really high quality/high intensity/high risk training phase for most of you, so we need to know where we are with a healthy platform.

Thanks! Talk to you all next week – from the Coast Ride.

Coach Chris Hauth : Weekly Update 12/14

Hi all –

I am writing you all from a BIG shiny new Apple screen, 27inches of High Def perfect picture quality. Ride files look amazing this big…:-)

THANK YOU – thank you all for your kind gift for my birthday – I really appreciate it. I am quite lucky to have a great coaching group – all of you are very supportive of me as a coach and of each other as athletes. Which brings me to another point: the 2012 AIMP group is full. We have a great group of athletes and I look forward to a great season with all of you. This does not mean to no longer send me athlete referrals. I always have athletes dropping off after their ‘A’ race, and some of those races are early in the season. For now though, the roster is full. Good timing too as my rates go up January 1. $295 per month for new AIMPers, $275 for returnees that have taken time off…Those of you that have remained on the plan continuously remain at $250/month.

How will 2012 be different? We are going to add a LOT more quality and intensity to the training plan for those of you that have been with my coaching for a while. If you have been handling the training I have been prescribing for the past year, then you are ready to add more load, intensity and take more risk. For those of you with more injuries and general fatigue, we will progress slower, but still progress!

Therefore don’t be surprised with some of the training this year: track, lots of Z3 & Z4 intervals, explosive power, hill repeats etc! I know – dangerous but fun! How can you best prepare yourself for that newer, more intense load? 1000 Z2 HR cycling miles and 250 Z2 running HR miles…! Its really that simple. Get those in, and we have a healthy platform to work from. Also – from those base miles we will have a great testing insight as the data post those miles will be very accurate and allow for great specificity in the quality workouts. So, it remains very important to a) ride & run the easy Z2 miles…b) test!

This new focus on quality in the coming season requires a big commitment on your behalf and a lot of trust on my behalf: we must be good about going ez – real ez = on the easy days & in active recovery…because on hard days I will really need you to dig, both physically and mentally. So try to make a New Years triathlon resolution: I will go easy on ez days and hard on hard days. This alone will separate you from most of the triathlon pack: all of them go a bit too hard on EZ days and don’t challenge themselves enough on hard days: don’t be that and you will see great results. Be like the others, and be stuck in a gray area of very little improvement in your results.

Remember – we all don’t want to be January champions…Those are the athletes that are crazy fit early in the year, think they will have a breakthrough season, only to fizzle out early in the summer: too much too early. Too focused, too committed at the wrong time of year. And, often ones that can no longer train th hours in the summer because they burnt their support network too early too!! Stick to your current plan, allow for the balance and we will gradually line things up quite well in order to have a monster 12 week push into your races. Avoid early season fatigue!

Have a great week, please let me know of any questions.

Chris

Coach’s Weekly Word 12.07.11

Hi all –

Many things to get to this week. We have a lot of new athletes starting Dec. 1, and a bunch of returnees. It’s great to have you all aboard (again) and I look forward to an exciting 2012 season.

Last week we had some great Marathon results. We had an AIMPer just miss US Olympic qualifying cut by 4 minutes (but he PR’ed by 20, so we didn’t know!) and other drop 30+ minutes from their PR. As I tweeted, a big group of Boston qualified runners this year! By the way – nobody ran more than 18 miles in their prep for the 26.2: no need for that fatigue. Good clean running instead of slogging away for miles.

That brings up some training observations in general: as we look into the 2012 season, know that we want to train with purpose and integrity, not just exercise. Purpose means that IF we train, let’s make it specific, with a outcome in mind. Why is this workout going to help us and what do YOU want to feel like after? What is the intended outcome by me..? Ask me if this is not clear. And integrity means let make the time we train count. If we are going to sacrifice our time that could be spent with family or other personal time, or even work (!), lets do it right – with desire, focus and…again, purpose.

Too many athletes spend their days training for triathlon with the ‘exercising’ mindset – I must train every day! This is not a weight loss program – its a training program – and part of training is knowing rest and its benefits. Besides the mental break to keep hungry for the next good workout, the body must absorb and adapt. Daily training will not allow the body to absorb, and therefore we quickly fall into the hidden fatigue: flat – unexciting – boring – lethargic workouts. This is NOT the time of year to train tired!

Important is to also remember we don’t get ahead of ourselves and the training phase we are in. Many of you might be excited to get going, start a new season and train! But rev the engine too hard now, and it will be tired come the ‘heart’ of the season. Add to that the family & personal stress NOW, then by the time we NEED the big training, your goodwill with family and work and life might be gone. Be good to yourself and those around you at this time of year (duh) but also in this training phase.

So, don’t add training time, don’t look for more – don’t try to come up with some crazy additional training ideas. Just do the work, stay within yourself and the process.

Many of you have heard me say: Big training days are coming, don’t lose the support for them now!

And finally – we all have big plans in 2012. You would not be working with a coach (yup, me!) if you didn’t have serious goals. Big endeavors, big achievements all start small, with specific steps. We will move mountains, but we must move it one small rock at a time – there is no other way to begin!

As always, let me know of any questions. The roster for 2012 is almost set. I’ve had a few on radio silence, so their loss. If you know of anybody who wants/needs coaching – send ’em my way…but remember – no hugs, hand holding or high fives…:-)

Talk to you all next week.

Chris

Coach’s Weekly Update 11.30.11

Good morning all – I am writing this on the flight home from Kona. Being there the last few days, riding the course & running on the course, it gave me an opportunity to enjoy the surroundings without the stress and craziness of IM World Championships. It also allowed me to look at the year ahead and how to structure the season that lies ahead. Knowing that the last time I rode my bike on these roads I was having a great IM, running past the spots on the course where I stopped or felt awful, reminded me that it is just one day – I was able to feel good about passing those spots, I had left nothing out there I would question even today. And although that day means a lot to all of us, it is about how we got there, what sacrifices we made, and how we remained honest & true to ourselves that we left nothing on the race course. What are you doing today to feel better about ‘that’ day – whether in Kona or any triathlon goals you have?

Many of you are currently in a pre-season phase which seems off from your usual triathlon routine. I hope you all can understand that these are important steps in your journey to a successful 2012 triathlon season. Your focus is hopefully on the strength & core sessions during the week vs. the swimming, biking and running. We want to use this time to get stronger, set up the body to prevent injury, and improve our muscular movements of cycling, running and swimming. We all know there is plenty of time ahead for some serious training volume, but for now, enjoy a different routine, structure, surrounding (the gym!) and stress level. The endurance hours you put in now, will NOT translate to the season that lies ahead, it will only limit your potential improvement in strength – the goal is to do the current routine as best you can, not partial endurance and partial strength. That is what we are doing today to reach our triathlon goals of 2012. Once we get through this phase, you will not only be stronger & better prepared for the rigors of the triathlon season, you will also be fresher in spirit and physically. Limited hours now keep you hungry for the hard weeks that lie ahead.

I also have had a chance to work through a lot of IM AZ race reports this past week. One thing stood out to me: those athletes that challenged themselves beyond what they are familiar with, the ones that ran into uncertainty, those that focused on avoiding leaving any potential on the course, they had great days. IM is no longer a calculated training day – it is a race. It is about fighting hard for the result you want, and nobody can get in the way of that. The days of “it’s just a long training day” are over, since NONE of you would be pleased with that result. It is just one day, but then make it count – feel good about it, leave nothing on that course. Your day is out there – how badly do you want it?

Coach’s Weekly Update 11.22.11

Hi All –

A great weekend of personal bests in Arizona. A very fast day across the board, but great, consistent and courageous performances by all the AIMP (and former AIMP) athletes.

IM AZ reminded me about an important aspect of our season. IM performances are often fast late in the season (or feel good) because the amount of base work build up during the season. It works out to be natural base – where a summer of training and good weather helps build a giant aerobic platform. But many will also note that this can make us tired/fatigued, given the volume and then the additional race prep phase. IMPORTANT for all of us to understand is that the specificity of certain workouts must be understood and followed. A race intensity workout, with lots of steady state – Z3 – tempo intervals, followed with another harder ride or run, will gradually ruin our great natural base. Know that we always try to follow up an intense day with an aerobic, lower HR day. And if the weekend lines up only for certain workouts to be crunched together on Saturday & Sunday, stick to the plan of an easy/off Monday and a gradual progression into our training week. REWARD yourself with an easy/active recovery day after any hard intense day. Absorb the training, don’t force the training.

Some of you are well into the preseason and we are about to move into our next Strength phase. This phase will include the 7 core exercises & jumprope, but now add bench press, squats, dumbbell work, plenty of leg work and shoulder work (rows). Look for the detail in your plan as well as in aimpcoaching.com Athlete section.

Where do we go from there? Some of you have heard me say this in previous seasons, but the aerobic engine on the bike starts with a 1000 miles at Z2. Yes, that simple – give yourself a 1000 Z2 HR (!!) miles on the bike and BASTA, you have your aerobic base for the next test as well as for more intensity. Some of you will get this mileage in one month: Coast Ride plus a bit here and there. Others require 2 months (120-150 miles of cycling per week) – but either way – THAT is the magic number. Running? A different mileage, but similar sweet spot: 250 aerobic Z2 running HR miles. This needs to be a bit more careful as it requires more off days – but trails and the proper spacing between runs helps many of us reach this in 2 months too.

Therefore you can see: If you start this in January, by end of February you will have a great platform to work from. AND it allows you to have fun doing other zones/efforts as those miles won’t count towards your 1000/250. Simple right?

Of course we look to build different physiological concepts into the other workouts, as well as COMBINE aerobic training with some strength, interval, cadence and aerobic capacity work, but overall: if you can keep an eye on your aerobic Z2 1000/250 mileage – you’ll know where we stand!

Have a great Thanksgiving week, hopefully an enjoyable, rested, healthy and ‘somewhat’ fit one!

Talk to you next week from Kona!

Chris

Coach’s Weekly Update 11.14.11

Hi there –

I’ve gotten a fair amount of positive feedback from last weeks update so I am thinking we can continue.

Turkey Day Ride or Run: for those of you local – it would be great to get a big group together and go for a ride (in decent weather) or a run (in crappy weather). Please look for an email with details once the date gets closer.

IM AZ is this weekend. If following online, check out Joel Garza, Caroline Gregory, Felicity Joyce, Erik Svans, Stephen Sanderson, Jen Killian, Chris Kaster and Jason Russell for live tracking.

At this time of year, please remember – small chain ring and higher cadence than usual. Why? If you can spin the easy gears, it will make spinning the bigger gears a lot easier. Do not try to wind up the big gears, flip that approach to spinning the easy gears and gradually work your way towards spinning the 53-11 later this season!

Remember our goal for this time of year: training appropriately to increase our number of mitochondria, oxidative enzymes and capillaries, and improve our ability to preferentially burn fats, re-circulate lactate, buffer and tolerate it better at the muscle cell level/site.

I know – quite scientific, but basically doing above will help us reach our Threshold 1 (aerobic threshold) and Threshold 2 (anaerobic threshold) at higher percentages of our VO2 max. Also, this training will increase our VO2 max itself too!

More to follow – but know this: this time of year is about remaining aerobic – very aerobic…

Have a great week!

Weekly Update 11.08.11

Hi all – I figure we start a weekly update in here – as many of you have said you used to enjoy the weekly Monday Morning Quarterback email I sent out. Most of my commentary and observations go out on Twitter, so be sure to follow there for multiple inputs per week. And, no – I don’t tell you what coffee shop I am at and which scone looks good. I keep it 100% to training, coaching & goal setting.

This week I wanted to bring up some topics.

1) For those of you on strength and core training right now, please know that this is a quickly progressing plan. We will do the core as is currently Rx for only 2-3 weeks, then do a major endurance week, and then move on to a real lifting & power routine. So please do not think this is a similar program to past years. The next phase is 5 weeks and carries us into 2012! It is important to nail these workouts now – and not miss the important progression.

2) Most of you have sent me your goals & races for next year. If you have not already done so, please do since we only have 30 weeks until IM St G, IM Tx, IM Brazil and Hawaii 70.3 are in the past/over/finished/complete! The season is quickly coming.

3) Please check out the mini camps, Tucson and the Coast Ride if you can join. The Coast ride in 2012 will depart SF on Saturday Jan. 14th, and arrive Santa Barbara Monday, Jan 16th in the afternoon. Monday is a Holiday. There WILL be a front end option (Bodega to Tiburon/SF) and back end (Santa Barbara to Manhattan Beach) to make it 515 miles in 5 days. Email me for more details – and yes, Coast Ride remains FREE of charge.

Have a great week and please remember to email, text or call with any questions, input and thoughts.

Thanks!