All It Takes Is One Breath

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All It Takes Is One Breath

Learning to acknowledge the things you are grateful for is important. Not only for keeping perspective but also for creating self awareness. The single most impactful tool I have found that has helped me feel gratitude and develop self awareness is learning to breathe with a purpose

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It's Time to Get Real [Personal]

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It's Time to Get Real [Personal]

This is a challenging email to write. But what inspires me to share my story is I believe in my heart it will help someone. 

A few weeks ago I has some testing done as I just have not been feeling myself. I had been experiencing a number of physical and psychological symptoms which have been affecting many aspects of my life for some time.  

Now I realize by putting this information out there is a risk for me. I fully understand that my life's work and passion is helping other achieve their health and performance goals. In short, support and guide others to find their ideal self. Admitting where I have made some mistakes could change others perception of me.

This is me, so I would rather people learn from my reality rather than a perception.

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Marathon Performance Series Part 5: How To Recover From Your Marathon

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Marathon Performance Series Part 5: How To Recover From Your Marathon

Congratulations on completing your marathon! That is a massive accomplishment. Whether this was your first or you’ve done a few, recovering from a marathon is a critical component to your training plan that runners often neglect.

In the final part 5 of this series, Coaches Patrick and Jen will continue to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from athletes.

"What are the steps I should take to recover after my marathon?"

We are going to help you understand why developing the right recovery plan is critical. First, we will discuss the science behind post marathon fatigue and soreness, so you feel comfortable understanding what you are feeling post race and how to prepare your body for optimal performance down the road.

Finally, we will reveal how to get the 5 essential post marathon recovery strategies and plan to help get you back to running your best as soon as possible.

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The Sleep Fix

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The Sleep Fix

I'm up especially early today, not by choice, but I just woke up at 3am. Like wide awake. So instead of staring at the ceiling I thought I better get up and just get at it. 

This happens to me occasionally and its something I find is best remedied by getting my thoughts out. 

Do you struggle with this? 

I have found something that is really helpful in preventing these early morning wake ups is to have a day to night routine. 

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Marathon Preparation Series Part 2: Race Week Plan for a Successful Race Day

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Marathon Preparation Series Part 2: Race Week Plan for a Successful Race Day

In part 4 of this series, we are in race week of the Queen City Marathon. Coaches Patrick and Jen will continue to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from athletes.

"What do I need to do race week to set up a great race day?"

So it’s finally here. It’s Queen City Marathon race week and race day is only a few sleeps way. In the follow article, we are going to lay out some key strategies to help you be prepared to deliver a great race day performance.

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Marathon Preparation Series Part 3:  Nutrition for Training and Racing

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Marathon Preparation Series Part 3: Nutrition for Training and Racing

In part 3 of this series, as we get closer to QCM race weekend, Coach Patrick will continue to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from athletes.

"What should I be eating during my training and racing to help my performance?"

This question can and has been answered in a variety of complex ways. Just go to your latest scientific journal or running magazine you will come across numerous, and often different, recommendations.

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2016 Rise and Tri Course Map And Description

The First Annual Rise and Tri Triathlon will be on August 21st, 2016. Below are the detailed information and maps for the course.

Here are the directions of the course:

Swim Course

Here is the 50y Pool were the swim will be held: 

There will be 8 lanes of swimmers. With 5-7 swimmers per lane

Try a Tri participants will complete 6 lengths (300y)

Sprint will complete 15 lengths (750y) 

Bike Course

Try a Tri participants will complete 2 laps (11km)

Sprint will complete 4 laps (22km)

Turn by turn directions:

1. Exit transition at Wascana pool

2. Head south on Wascana Dr.

3. Turn left on Quinn Drive

4. Turn Right on Broad Street

5. Turn Right on Lakeshore Drive

6. Follow Lakeshore Drive to Legislative Building

7. Turn Left on Legislative Drive

8. Turn Right on Albert Street (north to college avenue)

9. Turn Right on College

10. follow to Broad street

11. Turn Right on Broad Street (continue to Lakeshore Dr until last lap then complete #12-14)

12. Turn Right on To Quinn Drive.

13. Turn Right on Wascana Drive

14. Follow Through to Finish

Run Course

Try a Tri participants will complete 3 laps (3km)

Sprint will complete 5 laps (5km)

1. Leaving T1 Heading west past the entrance of Wascana pool

2. Once past the pool turn left heading south toward Wascana Lake

3. Link up with the bike/walking path once at the lake taking a right heading west towards Albert Street.

4. Take a right following the path heading northwest towards Albert Street

5. Loop back on the park path heading east toward the Wascana pool.

6. Take right on Wascana drive

7. Continue for next loop or to finish located on Wascana Drive 

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Gear and Transition Set Up for Sprint Distance Triathlon

I put together a short video series below discussing what gear to bring and how to set up a transition with options or different set ups. 

Video#1 List and Description of Gear

Video#2 Road/Mountain Bike Transition Set Up

Video#3 Tri Bike Transition Set Up

Video#4 Warm Up/Post Race Gear

P.S. Haven't registered for the Rise and Tri on August 21st? What are you waiting for? 

Only 36 spots left! Register here to claim your spot before they are gone!

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Triathlon Open Swimming Skills In The Pool

I coach open water swim skills (sighting, drafting, turning, pack swimming, etc) with my athletes every week. Why? Swimming along a straight black line does not prepare you for open water racing. You need to simulate these conditions weekly in race season. This builds your skills and confidences to handle the environment of races. Get some friends together and get a coach to help develop these important and necessary skills.‪#‎maketodaymatter‬ ‪#‎endurancejourneycoaching‬

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Be Ready, Dailed In, Execute...

Be Ready, Dailed In, Execute

In any situation where you are asking your mind and body to perform, you MUST prepare it to do so.

The shorter the race, the more time you need to warm up.

Watch the video below and let me explain why, show you how to manage your warm up, and be mentally prepared to race at your best.

In summary, here is a great warm up strategy:

1. Get to the race early - at least 90mins to allow for proper warm up time
2. Warm up structure (30-40mins) 1. Bike - 5-10 min easy then 3 x 60-90sec at race effort (get a little burn in the legs) with full recovery after each effort. This should be 15 to 20 mins tops. Run 5 min easy then 3 x 30-60 secs at race effort with full recovery between each effort -10-15 mins tops. Get ready for swim. Swim 3-5 mins easy swimming then 3 x 20 strokes hard 20 strokes easy (make sure you are blowing bubbles when head is in the water - no holding breath). Finish this warm up 5 mins before start. If you can't bike prior just extend the running warm up with some dynamic exercises (arm circles forward and back, out to the side and back in 10x each) before your swim.

If in only a running or cycling race just extend the easy riding/running portion of the warm up to ~20min before beginning race efforts.

3. While waiting for the start: Deep breathing (on each exhale) - Believe, You Can, You Will

From the start to the finish line:
Be your best in THIS moment. Then your end result will really matter.

Your Coach,

Patrick

P.S. I will be holding my 4th Triathlon Performance Series webinar in on Sunday, June 26th @ 7pm CST specifically on the topic of Training and Racing Recovery. The purpose of this webinar is simple, cut out the noise and give you a simple strategy to develop a training and racing recovery plan to optimize your health and performance. This webinar is done live and you can ask questions during the presentation to get the information you want. By registering for this 60 min webinar you will get access to all 4 webinars in the series (1. Race Preparation 2.Nutrition 3. Prioritizing Training, and 4. Recovery). Over 5 hours of education to help you perform your best! These are all recorded so you access to the webinars, summary handouts, and action steps forever.

Register now!

https://app.webinarjam.net/register/27486/a71ef3e581

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The Power of Reflection

Looking back on this past weekend at Victoria 70.3 I was very happy with the performances of my athletes. However, some did have the opportunity to perform better. 

I was discussing this with some of my athletes last night. Great performances are a product of the execution of a plan and the ability to successfully navigate the challenges of the event. 

Most often when successful execution happens, the intended outcome (result) happens. However, in order to learn from successes, and also understand the reasons for falling short of our expectations, it is important to take a moment to reflect. Debriefing race performances is a very powerful tool I use with my athletes to learn from performances and make improvements.

In any situation in life that you have planned for, whether it be a race, important meeting or discussion, key training session, or important event, taking a moment to reflect on outcome is crucial to your own growth, development, health, and future performance. 

Simply put, you need to ask yourself 3 simple questions:

1. What was good about my performance (i.e., did I make any decisions that I feel positively impacted my performance)?
2. What was bad about my performance (i.e., did I make any decisions that I feel negatively impacted my performance)?
3. What do you feel are my most important action steps for improvement?

Notice how these are behaviour based reflections. Many athletes want to only evaluate pace and time as the only important reflection of their performance. However, its often the various decisions and subsequent actions made throughout the race that directly effect the end result (finish time).

Now look, having an outcome goal (i.e., intended result) is important. Outcome goals create motivation, challenge, and provide incentive and structure to the preparation for your target event. 

However, in the heat of the event it's the decisions you make and actions you take that directly effect the end result. 

So how do you dial in your optimal mindset to set you up for your best performance?

Here is a powerful three step action plan: 

Step 1: Identify the outcome you want to achieve in terms of good, better, best? This could be time, placing, rewarding of a contract, etc. 

For example: 

1. Good outcome is a result you would be satisfied with. You would be happy with this outcome as you feel its a fair reflection of your preparation and effort.

2. Better outcome is above your expectations. This outcome will be beyond what you thought realistic for yourself. 

3. Best outcome is your big audacious goal. This outcome would far exceed your expectations. Put is out there. Give yourself a chance to make it happen. 

Step 2: Identify the processes (i.e., behaviours and actions) that need to happen in order to achieve your good, better, best outcomes you identified above. For many this is challenging because this is about identifying what you need to be focused on and thinking about during the event to perform at your best.

If you just think it's about swimming, biking, and running at a certain speed/power/pace you are missing the reality that the environment you are racing in and situations you face during will impact these targets (heat, cold, terrain, equipment failure, etc.)

Let me make this very clear, it is having clearly outlined behaviours and actions that you will execute during the race that will lead to you achieving your intended outcome.  

Examples of behaviours and actions:

1. Technique focus (i.e. what about your form is important to focus on so you are as efficient as possible)

2. Mindset (positive thoughts, negative thought stopping strategies, when things get hard what are you going to tell yourself to persevere and thrive)

3. Hydration and nutrition plan (have a plan A, B, and C depending on various situations - heat, stomach trouble, loss of fuel, etc)

4. What if's (see my post here) - dealing with unexpected situations. 

5. Pacing and strategy - have plan(s) for specific terrain, environment, and conditions.

Step 3: Write these process goals down. Make them part of your race plan. Execute these during the event and you will give yourself the best chance of success.

Be prepared, present, and positive.

Bottom line - great performances and results happen when you execute your process plan to the best of your ability on the day.

Be your best in the moment you are in. Then your end result will really matter. 

Your Coach,

Patrick

P.S. One of the best ways to thrive in stressful situations is having the right perspective and mindset. I strongly encourage you to take a couple of minutes to read this article. If you choose, it will change the way you perceive and deal with stress. Dealing with a Killer Called Stress.

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"What If"...How to flip the script and your results

Have you ever gone into a situation with fear and doubt about your ability to achieve a good outcome?

I struggle with fear and doubt like anyone else. It can be paralyzing and really stop you from achieving your dreams. I know it kept me from beginning my coaching business for many years until I went through this "What if" exercise. 

I learned that by being proactive and anticipating the challenges fear and doubt get replaced by confidence and action. 

For every challenging situation that causes you to fear and doubt your ability, come up with two solutions to that situation. 

Proactive instead of reactive. 

Confidence followed by action instead of fear and stagnation. 

Choose your outcome.

Get after it!

Patrick

 

P.S. If you want to learn more about becoming race ready you can still register for my June Triathlon Performance Webinar Series. 

4 webinars 4 topics to help you improve your performance and become a healthier person.

Part 1: Own your Race!  Strategies you can put into action today which will help you develop a plan to be race ready. Learn how to dial in your focus and mental performance to maximize training and race outcomes. (June 5th - Recording and resources available)

Part 2: Nutrition for Health and Performance - what, when, how? Cut out the noise and develop simple effective nutrition blueprint that meets your needs. (Live - June 12th)

Part 3: Prioritizing Training During Race Season - How do you fit it all in? Strategies to make sure you do the right kind of training at the right time. (Live June 19th)

Part 4: Recovery Strategies for Optimal Health - how to use your time away from training to optimize how you feel and move. (June 26th)

And MORE...

Summary Checklists Provided - learning new strategies is great but will only help you if you put them into action. These tools will give you the guidance needed to implement immediately!

All Presentations are Recorded - So don't worry if you cannot make the live webinar. You will be sent a link to the recording immediately after each is complete. Listen at you own convenience!

All this for $99.00.  But hurry there is limited availability!

I'm even going to take the risk out for you. If you are not completely satisfied after the first webinar you watch I will refund your registration. No questions asked. 

Now what are you waiting for??  Make the commitment to improve your performance now!
Triathlon Performance Webinar Series

$99.00

Your Ideal Performance Awaits!

Patrick

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It's the present moment that matters

So I just arrived back home after spending the weekend with a team of 10 Endurance Journey athletes racing at Victoria 70.3. 

Really proud of this group who embraced the challenges of the course and were engaged in giving their best effort every step along the journey to the finish line.

Let me tell you, standing at the finish line you could sure tell those athletes that were focused on the end result during the race rather than being immersed in the process of being their best throughout the day.  For those people who did not achieve the result they wanted it was all about justifying it. "I had a crappy swim, I was tired, I had a problem with my bike, I couldn't run the pace I wanted"... Part of me wanted to go up to these people and ask "So how did you stay focused in that moment on what you needed to be the best you could be?" I would bet they would not have an answer because they had checked out. Their ideal result appeared to be no longer in reach. Race over.  Putting together a great performance is about being the best you can be in this moment rather than trying to be the best. It is a subtle statement with great meaning. Being the best in the moment will always allow you to get the most out of every race regardless of the circumstances.  I have learned through 15 years of coaching and competing that the best results always happen when you have no expectations of a specific result, you know you have the ability to race well, so you just let it happen, and trust that you have the knowledge and experience that will allow things to work out. This mindset takes the pressure away from trying to force a result. It not about the end outcome, its about being immersed in the present experience. The focus is on the process of being the best you can be in the moment. This is what you can control. When you adopt this mindset rather than trying to achieve the perfect outcome (whatever "perfect" is?!) you give yourself the best chance of performing at your best.  Time and time again, I have seen poor races happen when athletes try to control the results and force good things to happen. Trying to control the results causes anxiety, stress, and tension. So let go of what you can't control (results) and focus on the little things (the present process) that will help you perform well. So whether in sport or life, next time you are preparing for or are in a challenging situation, be your best in the moment rather than trying to be the best. Get after it! Your Coach, Patrick P.S. Big News - In the next few days I will be opening up registration for the Endurance Journey 6 week triathlon clinic and Rise and Tri Triathlon on August 21st. This is a great opportunity to prepare for and race a super sprint or spring triathlon. Stay tuned for the details...

Let me tell you, standing at the finish line you could sure tell those athletes that were focused on the end result during the race rather than being immersed in the process of being their best throughout the day. 

For those people who did not achieve the result they wanted it was all about justifying it. "I had a crappy swim, I was tired, I had a problem with my bike, I couldn't run the pace I wanted"...

Part of me wanted to go up to these people and ask "So how did you stay focused in that moment on what you needed to be the best you could be?"

I would bet they would not have an answer because they had checked out. Their ideal result appeared to be no longer in reach. Race over. 

Putting together a great performance is about being the best you can be in this moment rather than trying to be the best.

It is a subtle statement with great meaning.

Being the best in the moment will always allow you to get the most out of every race regardless of the circumstances. 

I have learned through 15 years of coaching and competing that the best results always happen when you have no expectations of a specific result, you know you have the ability to race well, so you just let it happen, and trust that you have the knowledge and experience that will allow things to work out.

This mindset takes the pressure away from trying to force a result. It not about the end outcome, its about being immersed in the present experience. The focus is on the process of being the best you can be in the moment.

This is what you can control. When you adopt this mindset rather than trying to achieve the perfect outcome (whatever "perfect" is?!) you give yourself the best chance of performing at your best. 

Time and time again, I have seen poor races happen when athletes try to control the results and force good things to happen. Trying to control the results causes anxiety, stress, and tension. So let go of what you can't control (results) and focus on the little things (the present process) that will help you perform well.

So whether in sport or life, next time you are preparing for or are in a challenging situation, be your best in the moment rather than trying to be the best.

Get after it!

Your Coach,

Patrick

P.S. Big News - In the next few days I will be opening up registration for the Endurance Journey 6 week triathlon clinic and Rise and Tri Triathlon on August 21st. This is a great opportunity to prepare for and race a super sprint or spring triathlon. Stay tuned for the details...

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Nutrition and a Can of Worms

I know this post is timely since you are probably just eating or have finished your supper. 

I had a very energetic discussion with another coach today and we were discussing the important components of healthy eating to support performance. 

I have always believed nutrition for health and nutrition for performance are very similar. Nutrition for performance just has to be quickly accessed and digested easily. 

Unfortunately, for most, the topic of nutrition is a can of worms. This is a figure of speech of course relating to the idea that the word nutrition can be defined a hundred different ways by a 100 people. 

What are the right things to eat?

How much should you eat?

When is the best time to eat?

And the list of questions goes on and on. 

Now let me propose a different way of looking at understanding your own nutritional needs. 

It begins with asking yourself one question:

Are you aware of how you eat?

In other words:

How fast do you eat? Are you distracted when eating?

Think about it, or do you even think about anything when you are eating?

Maybe you are busy having a conversation, reading your phone, a book, ipad, watch TV, etc

In my opinion there is one thing the leads to over eating or eating too much of something that does not support your health. 

Lack of awareness when eating. 

So I challenge you to take more time when you eat and remove the distraction when eating. You will soon notice:

1. You will be much more aware of whether or not you are eating what you need vs what you want. 

2. After you are finished eating slowly you will pay attention to how what you ate made you feel. 

Paleo, South Beach, 5:2, the list of suggestions on how you should eat goes on and on. However, these approaches fail to teach you to listen to your body. 

When you become more aware of what you are eating and how it makes you feel you will be able to develop a nutrition strategy that works for your health and performance. 

Tomorrow I will talk about how to simplify your nutrition for performance. 

Get after it!

Your Coach,

Patrick

P.S. I will be holding my second webinar in a few days specifically on the topic of nutrition for health and performance. My purpose of these webinars is simple, cut out the noise and give you a simple strategy to develop a nutrition plan that supports your health and performance. This webinar is done live and you can ask questions during the presentation to get the information you want. This will also give you access to all 4 webinars in the series (1. Race Preparation 2.Nutrition 3. Prioritizing Training, and 4. Recovery). These are all recorded so you access to the webinars and summary handouts forever!

Click this link to register now!

http://app.webinarjam.net/register/27486/a71ef3e581

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I hope "that" doesn't happen...

 
When I hear someone say "I hope that doesn't happen" I immediately think there is an exit strategy. 
 
It's way another way of saying "I'm choosing not to deal with that situation at this time. Maybe it will just go away."
 
I talked about this idea of doubt and fear being paralyzing yesterday. Hope is an avoidance strategy giving oxygen to doubt and fear. 
 
Whenever I catch myself saying "I hope..." I ask myself:
 
What can I do about it right now? 
 
You see challenging situations just don't go away with avoidance. They collect interest at your expense.
 
Taking action for the outcome you want is a strategy, hope is not. 
 
Even if you take action and fail you have gained a learning opportunity to grow and improve. 
 
Hope gives you nothing. 
 
 
Get after it!
 
Your Coach,
 
Patrick

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