medioFondo program featured

Friday June 17, 11

My MedioFondo training program was featured in Canadian Cyclist‘s June-July issue on training for a 100k ride!

This free program is available on their site!

A more detailed version with weekly goals and objectives as well as a detailed GranFondo plan is available through my Training Peaks programs and plans link.

Enjoy!


Triathlon Canada: Regional Training Centre | Vancouver

Sunday June 5, 11

The planning for the Triathlon Canada regional training centre has begun!  Right now I am collecting data from the various stakeholders such as Triathlon Canada, Triathlon BC and the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific.  I have also held some informal meetings with community stockholder, junior and youth coaches and Vancouver based high performance triathletes.

There are a number of topics that are common to each group and intertwined themes viewed from different perspectives.

Managing these into a viable project will be the main challenge!

If our Regional Training Centre is of interest to you, please feel free to drop me a line and share your thoughts.

Alan


Triathlon Canada: Regional Training Centre | Vancouver

Wednesday June 1, 11

June 1, 2011

Today, I start my new job as the Triathlon Canada Regional Training Centre coach for Vancouver. My main tasks are centred around developing up and coming junior elite and U23 elite triathletes! To do this I will be building community ties with the triathlon community in metroVancouver and the extended communities needed to support these athletes.

If you are interested in buying into this project as a supporter in some capacity, please contact me.  Who knows, I may be contacting you very soon!

Alan


to the faithful

Thursday May 5, 11

“Training is a religion: you have to believe in the outcome.”

Dr. Tim Noakes


GranFondo program update

Monday March 28, 11

After a fair bit of work my GranFondo Whistler plan is 95% complete.

They should be ready for launch Tuesday PM or Wednesday at the latest!

The plan(s) will be available through Training Peaks or as a PDF on the EAS linked program page

Click the image above to link over to the plans… when they are ready!

Alan


You can learn more from failure than success…

Monday August 23, 10

You can learn more from failure than success. In failure you’re forced to find out what part did not work. But in success you can believe everything you did was great, when in fact some parts may not have worked at all. Failure forces you to face reality.

Fred Brooks

I was reading an article on wired.com about designing and Fred Brooks Monday.  It struck me that design theory for technology industry is true in sport as well.

I’ll be debriefing a number of athletes after this past weekend’s triathlon National Championships. As a coach, I need to acknowledge the failures in order to help athletes improve.  At the same time, I need to recognize and reward success.  Its a delicate balance.

The toughest part in sport is contextual interpretation of results.  Was a poor performance really a poor performance? Or did everyone do poorly that day?  Was it wind, rain, temperature, course changes, etc.?  Similarly, was an excellent truly excellent? Or was everyone faster?

Separating facts from fiction and evidence from distractions is critical in the debrief.

I especially like the following  thoughts;

  • The critical thing about the design process is to identify your scarcest resource.
  • start with a vision not a list of features
  • You build a quick prototype and get it in front of users to see what they do with it.
  • constant incremental iterations

As I plan 2011, I’ll keep these ideas in mind- especially the first two.

Alan


competitor or opponent?

Friday May 21, 10

[intro- a few years back I heard Frank Dick (OBE) speak at a Sports Leadership Conference)  about the difference between competitors and opponents.  Listening to the trash talk and behaviour of some athletes at different events I thought it would be a good lesson to share, paraphrased into my own words but inspired from his talk]

Athletes need to know the difference between competitors and opponents. And more importantly, knowing that any individual can be one or the other and when to consider yourself and those around you as such.

A competitor is some in a competition the same time as you. There is a degree of mutual respect and friendship brought about by the event. If they take a long hard pull to drop the pack, you take your turn and don’t drop them in return. You’ll encourage them as they will you. You hold your line and give them room on turns. If they do the lion’s share of the work, you don’t out sprint them at the finish.

An opponent is someone you see to be defeated. You are looking for the ideal opportunities to do this as it sends a message that “I am the strongest- Do Not mess, with me. I can put you down anytime I want”. It is about sovereign authority and establishing yourself in the sport hierarchy. Not only do you have to defeat them, you have to do so decisively. If you see them struggling, you push harder and exploit any weaknesses you know or see. If they take a hard pull and drop the pack, you drop them when they fatigue or try to rest from their effort. You don’t encourage them, unless you’re using them for your purpose. You’ll force them wide on turns and do not give way on turns. If they are dumb enough to do all the work and save nothing for the finish, you will out sprint them. They take a wrong turn, you push harder. They miss a hydration station or drop a water bottle, you enjoy your next drink even more.

As Frank put it- when you have your foot on an opponents neck, you don’t back off on the pressure to give them a chance. You push down harder.

When are people competitors and when are they opponents? When it counts. A tiny nothing event doesn’t necessitate making opponents. An Olympic final does- as a triathlete you may choose to have competitors for the swim and bike, and then opponents on the run.

Cultivate your fellow competitors to help you in defeating your opponents. When the time is right for you, change your mindset and prepare to deal with your opponents in a subtle yet respectful manner. If you treat someone as an opponent too much or at the wrong times, they will cease to see you as a competitor and only an opponent.

A very important consideration in this is that the collective memory of a group, whether parents, spectators, collection of competitors, etc. can also label you as an opponent and this is not a good thing.

While you may be able to handle one or two opponents at a time, maybe even three, the social policing in a group may have the entire field viewing you as an opponent. This is a huge threat to your ability to compete to win as there is no way you can overcome so many individuals working together against you.

As an aside, if you can battle the entire field at an event, you were already outclassing your competition and you should be seeking out more suitable competitions and competitors, go pick on someone your own size!

Beforeand after an event  is not the time to recognize opponents. The sports ‘arena’ defines where opponents are found, nothing else.

Always respect that Olympic and World champions know when, how and who to make competitors into opponents.