4/1/16

Process focused, not outcome driven



Goals give you the motivation you need to put in the work.
If your current eating habits or training regime is inspired by a goal, be sure to not associate happiness with the end result, assuming that the present isn't a fun, enjoyable and happy place to be in.

Happiness isn't found in an outcome.
Happiness is the process.
Engaging in the process (rather than being overly focused on what the end result will feel or look like) will allow you to enjoy life more fully. You will also find it easier to be more flexible as you welcome many opportunities to experiment, learn and develop your skills and knowledge.

We can not control the future but you can control your current process. Rather than putting all your energy into the results, focus on meaningful changes that will give you better life satisfaction, empowerment, confidence and higher self-esteem.

Let's be honest - many times, life does not turn out how we expect it to. This can be good or bad.
This isn't a negative way of thinking but instead, a reality that we should not live life with the mentality that, one day in the future, happiness or success will come or life will be better.

Don't let success (or happiness) be tied with a specific outcome in the future.
Create success now.

Learn to be happy with the effort that you give, every day of your life.
Trust that with every best effort that you give in your process, you will experience a small change that will bring a favorable outcome.

What does a best effort look like today?
Are you making things happen or hoping things will happen?
Are you constantly aware of what you are doing (or not doing) that could bring a better outcome or do you find yourself constantly frustrated that you are always "messing up"?
Are you confident and passionate about your habits/changes or hating the process and waiting for happiness when you reach the end result?
Are you letting other people get in your way or doing what's best for you?

Are you processed focused or outcome driven?

3/31/16

The undervalued warm-up (and pre-set)



Every workout should start with a proper warm-up.

If you think your warm-up is taking away your precious training time or slowing your overall pace/speed of the workout, you are missing the point of a warm-up.

A warm-up is to help you execute better during your main set of your workout.

In as little as 5-15 minutes, you can increase blood flow, send more oxygen to the working muscles, prepare your muscles and nerves for an upcoming effort, improve range of motion, and most importantly, help your mind prepare for the upcoming effort. Although a warm-up will not prevent injuries it can certainly reduce your risk.

Even if your workout is focused on skills, form or recovery, it's important to give your body the time it needs to gradually increase the intensity/effort to ensure that you perform your best.
Now you may be thinking that a warm-up includes a little dynamic stretching or light foam rolling before you start your cardio workout and you are not incorrect in this thinking. A proper warm-up not only includes the mobility work that you do before your cardio and muscular systems begin to turn-on but a warm-up needs to activate key muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves that will allow for a smooth transition before your more specific "work" during your workout. Therefore, we also continue warming up with a pre-set after our "warm-up".
That's a whole lot of warming up! But trust us. It's all worth it when your body is prepped and ready for your main set. We learned about the concept of a pre-set (after the normal 5-10 min designated warm-up and before the main set) from coach Matt Dixon and coach Gerry Rodrigues (two great coaches/mentors). You'll really notice the benefits of a pre-set as the pre-set can often feel harder (or more uncomfortable) than the main set but this is simply because the body is getting primed to perform for the main set. If you skip a proper warm-up (or pre-set) you are simply asking your body to perform in a compromised state as you are not yet ready to push hard (or to perform with good form). If you are the athlete who feels like it takes 20, 30 or 40 min to feel good rhythm (or form) when you are working out or feel you are time-crunched and need to make every minute count in a workout, you'll get so much more, physically and mentally, from your workout with the right warm-up and pre-set. In other words, why use a main set to continue to warm-up and only have your last 5-10 min of your workout be your "best feeling efforts"? It's time to make every workout count. Stop struggling to get through your workouts because you aren't giving your body time to warm-up. We love the idea of a pre-set after the warm-up as it improves neuromuscular control, prepares the muscular and cardio system for what's to come later/next in the workout and gets the mind prepared for the upcoming effort. It also positively stresses the body in many ways, whether it's a form-focused pre-set for improved range of motion or a short intensity pre-set to boost blood flow. If you ever watch cyclists before a time-trial or crit race, track runners or swimmers at a swim meet, they spend a considerable amount of time warming up before they compete. You know you wouldn't start a race without a proper warm-up so why do it in training? And keep in mind that the warm-up and pre-set are still contributing to your overall workout time, distance and training stress so it's not taking away from your valuable "workout" time. (Certainly if you are obsessed with metrics, you will need to change this thinking that you need to get in x-miles or yards for a good workout. We always instruct our athletes to go by time and not distance as it allows for a more quality workout).

Here are a few warm-ups and pre-sets to include in your swim, bike and run workouts: SWIM: Warm-up: 8-10 min EZ swim 1-2 x 200 buoy 4-6 x 50's kick w/ fins (steady effort) w/ 10 sec rest Pre set: 12-16 x 25's (or 8-10 x 50's for more advanced swimmers) w/ paddles and ankle strap (optional snorkel). Descend in sets of 4 from 75-90%. w/ 5-8 sec rest. BIKE: Warm-up: 5-15 minutes EZ spin 9-12 minutes increasing effort from Z1-low Z3 (or 70-85% effort) every 3 minutes Pre set 2-3x's: 1 min z1, 30 sec Z2, 1 min Z1, 30 sec Z3, 1 min Z1, 30 sec Z4 No break, continue to repeat 2-3 rounds total. OR another Pre-set: 3-5 x's: all Z2 effort (1 min 70-75 rpm, 1 min 80-85 rpm, 30 sec 90 rpm, 30 sec 100+ rpm) No break, continue to repeat 3-5 rounds total. RUN: 3-5 min walking with 2-3x's 10-15 sec skipping 2-3 x 5 min EZ jog w/ 30 sec walk Pre-set: 1 min EZ, good form run 30 sec fast feet/pick-ups 1 min EZ run 40 sec fast feet/pickups 1 min EZ run 50 sec fast feet/pickups 1 min EZ run

60 sec fast feet/pickups 1 min EZ run 50 sec fast feet/pickups 1 min EZ run
40 sec fast feet/pickups 1 min EZ run
30 sec fast feet/pickups 1 min EZ run

The next time you are about to workout and question your energy, ability to execute or feel excited to challenge yourself, just remind yourself that you are only a warm-up (and pre-set) away from a great workout.

3/29/16

Your coach is watching you



It's easy to cut deals with yourself when you train alone. When no one is watching, you can go a little harder/easier when you feel like it and you can modify a workout based on your mood and energy. You can skip the parts of the workout that you don't like and you can add/shorten a workout based on what you feel makes you feel the best on that given day. Although coaches would like to assume that athletes follow training plans as written (with only necessary modifications applied based on time constraints and energy to ensure quality training), I think any athlete would agree that a group training environment (or having a coach with you when you train) forces athletes to give an effort that they wouldn't do on their own, not to mention complete the entire workout as planned. Seeing that training alone gives an athlete a tremendous amount of freedom to mentally check-out, modify or adjust a given workout as the athlete feels fit, you may find that you are limiting your athletic capabilities when training alone. An easy fix to this is to pretend like your/a coach is always supervising your workout.

Here are a few tips to bring to every training session.
-Show up "on time" -Don't cut the warm-up short
-Understand the workout purpose before you start the workout
-Don't make excuses
-Don't be afraid to fail
-Give your best effort, on that day
-Only compare yourself to a past version of you (not another athlete)
-Don't stop the workout until you complete the entire workout (unless you are sick, injured or form suffers)

Far too many athletes fail to reach their full athletic potential simply because they lack the motivation and discipline needed to execute well for every given workout. 
If you follow a training plan, it's important to not let yourself think that you know better than your coach and that it's ok to modify workouts based on what you feel like doing each day. 
It's important to trust your coach and trust your training plan as every workout (and week of training) has a clear purpose in your individual fitness journey. If your gut tells you that your training plan is not ideal for you, discuss with your coach before you begin to coach yourself by modifying your assigned training plan workouts. It's far too common that athletes will feel the need to do more intensity or volume thinking that the harder and longer you go, the fitter and faster you become. 
Sadly, this is not always true as specific workouts are needed at specific times in training. At Trimarni coaching, we focus on getting our athletes strong before we get them fast and then they are ready to go long. Too much volume and intensity will often lead to injuries or overtraining. 
A smart and well-laid training plan ensures development and proper physical adaptations to prepare your body and mind for race day.
Always give your best effort and hold yourself accountable to the work that needs to get done to help you get your fitness and health to where you want it to be by race day.
If you are interested in a Trimarni training plan, visit our website to learn more about our Olympic, half and full Ironman 20-week training plans. Every Trimarni training plan is designed to help you develop your skills and fitness to properly prepare for race day. We can assure you that you will never get bored with our workouts and you will be able to fit your training into your life as you prepare your body for your upcoming event. If you are in need (or love) triathlon education and are looking for a team environment (even if you train alone), consider joining our Performance Team with the purchase of your training plan. For only $50/month, you have access to our private Trimarni team Facebook page, Trimarni sponsor discounts, discount to our training camps and you receive a weekly educational "check-in" email (either as a handout or video) from Karel and myself. Every week we discuss an important topic that will help you become a smarter triathlete. Even if you join the Performance Team now, you still receive all past handouts (since December). Check-in topics already discussed include:
-Sport nutrition -Daily nutrition -Long run nutrition -Race day execution - olympic, half and full Ironman -Motivation -Bike skills - ex. riding in the wind
-Staying accountable to training -Swim skills -Planning a race-cation -Team approach to training -Training stress -Training metrics -Mobility -Sleep And more!

3/28/16

Healthy lifestyle habits




It’s quite the paradox but America is obsessed with eating healthy yet we are one very unhealthy nation.
Although what we eat (or don't eat) affects our health, healthy eating is simply part of a healthy life.

And a healthy life requires healthy lifestyle habits.

 If you are constantly looking for quick fixes after you realize that your unhealthy lifestyle has become a problem, it's time to stop the diet mentality so you can (finally) create good lifestyle habits to improve your health, body composition and performance/fitness.
Believe it or not, but by addressing your lifestyle choices you can actually improve your fitness, achieve/maintain a healthy weight/body composition, minimize GI distress (especially during workouts), improve recovery, have more natural energy throughout the day, reduce risk for injury and sickness and enjoy your athletic lifestyle a lot more without following a diet plan. 

I realize that it's much easier to gain control over your life by following a diet plan as it's easy to feel great anxiety, fear and stress around food.
Of course, a diet plan takes away the guessing and being told what not to eat is much easier than putting in the work to make better choices with your eating, training/
exercising and lifestyle but you can't live your entire life obsessing about what to or not to eat.
It's time to make peace with food and live a more healthy lifestyle. 


If you feel like you need a change in your life, I want you to select three of the following lifestyle habits that need improvement in your life.

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Restful sleep
Healthy relationships - spouse/significant other, family and friends
Healthy life, work and family balance
                                          Stress management                                     
Strength training and mobility work
Following a smart training plan
Following a smart training plan that fits into your life
Reduce sedentary time
Nutrient timing - timing food with workouts
Using sport nutrition wisely
Better recovery routine
More time warming up before workouts
Learning to say no more often
Prioritize real food variety - reduce junk food
Improve coping skills (stop using alcohol or food for emotions, stress, anxiety, etc.)
Meal planning/prepping
Staying hydrated
Developing a healthy relationship with food and the body
Goal setting
Mental strength/skills
Create structure with your life
Give yourself "me" time
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I want you to dedicate this entire week to exploring these three lifestyle habits. 
1) Why did you select these habits?
2) What's keeping you from making a change in this area? 

3) What will help you make a change (education, professional help, accountability, motivation)?
4) How will you maintain your changes for long-term success?5) What will you do when a set-back occurs? How will you get back on track?