boston qualifier

How to apply Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success principles to running

johnwoodenbrirunI like to listen to fitness, health and business related podcasts when I’m on the treadmill and getting ready for work in the morning, and one name in particular kept coming up on several of my favourite podcasts that warranted an online search to see who this wise and influential person was. This person had clearly impacted and shaped the lives of the podcast hosts and guests, so I wanted to know what he was all about.

If you’re a basketball fan or participate in sports of any kind, you may have heard about John Wooden. Wooden was an English teacher, American basketball player and coach who, during his time as head coach of the basketball team at UCLA, won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including a record seven in a row. No other team has won more than two in a row since.

It’s no wonder he was named national coach of the year six times and is one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports.

As a strength and conditioning coach, I’m always looking for tips and tools to not only help my clients reach their full potential in whatever health and fitness goal they want to achieve, but also to help develop myself to become a better coach and athlete.

During his years spent as an English teacher and coach, Wooden developed a guide to help his students and players become the best version of themselves that he called “The Pyramid of Success”. (more…)

Goodlife Victoria Marathon race recap: A tough race with lots of lessons learned

Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

At the starting line for the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

You didn’t train enough. You didn’t run your tempo runs fast enough. You should have gone up to 36K in training. You should have focused more on running and cut back on strength training. You should have tried harder to be at your racing weight. You went out too fast.

These were all the things swirling around in my head at kilometre 33 of yesterday’s Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon. I was having a good race up until that point, deciding to run by feel instead of constantly watching my pace. My quads were burning at about the 25K mark, but I was able to push through to find a comfortable pace again and feel confident about my race. It wasn’t raining, the sun came out, my head cold was almost gone, and I wasn’t injured going into the race. Conditions were seemingly perfect.

It was at the dreaded 30K mark when things fell apart for me. The 3:30 pace group, which I’d been just in front of for the majority of the race, passed me and I couldn’t keep up. There’s a yucky, twisty incline after the 30K mark that goes on for about 5K that usually slows me down, and even though I pumped my arms and legs as hard as I could, I just couldn’t stick with the group. As the shiny, sparkly 3:30 pace sign bobbed out of sight, I started to beat myself about everything I thought I did wrong during training. “If I’m not going to make 3:30, why bother?” I told myself. That’s when my legs and mind threw in the towel and I starting plodding along, walking through aid stations and looking back behind me expecting to see the 3:35 group hot on my heels, ready to overtake me and crush my BQ dreams altogether. (more…)

{thinking out loud Thursday} Changing up my marathon training plan and late night carb binges

sm4Happy almost Friday, friends! How was your week? Is anyone else training for a marathon right now and suffering through long runs in yucky, cold weather?

This weekend was supposed to be my longest run — 36 km — as I’ve found psychological benefit on race day by getting in higher mileage runs during training (I BQ’ed last time when I went up to 36 km for my longest training run). But I’ve decided to switch things up based on how slow and sloggy the previous weekend’s run of 33 km was. According to the research highlighted in this article, “your body doesn’t see a significant increase in aerobic development, specifically mitochondrial development, when running over 90 minutes.” And since my goal is to improve my aerobic capacity and get faster, it doesn’t make sense to risk the chance of injury associated with those slow and sloggy long runs right now. I’m in good shape, nothing hurts, and my legs feel strong — I’d like to keep them that way, so here’s how I’ve adjusted my training plan for the last four weeks before race day. (more…)

#WorkoutWednesday: A sample Boston Qualifier marathon training plan in honour of National Running Day!

IRun2014blankHappy National Running Day! Although I won’t be logging any miles today because Wednesdays are my resistance training days, I thought I’d put together a sample Boston Qualifier training plan in honour of the day! You can use the base of this plan (the Monday to Friday workouts) for 15 weeks to build up strength, speed and stamina leading up to the two to three weeks before race day. It’s very similar to the one I used to achieve my BQ this year, so I know it can work 😉

 

 

 

bqplan

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I DID IT! I qualified for the Boston Marathon!

I can't walk... but I did it!

I can’t walk… but I did it!

Holy crap — I did it!

Somehow, despite an ambiguous foot injury and a head cold that made life miserable during the last week of taper leading up the the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon on Sunday, I managed to squeak under the Boston Marathon qualifying time for my age group by a minute. I finished the race in 3:33:57 without breaking my foot, vomiting, or going down in a blaze of glory and ending up in the medical tent. Yes I felt horrible, yes I felt like vomiting, and yes my legs felt like they could give out at any minute. But I wasn’t going to give up; I had already made up my mind I’d be running as hard as I could and finishing the race, injury or sick or whatever. There was no way I wasn’t going to try. Not with a BQ that close. (more…)

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