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Showing posts from 2017

Motivation

At some point with every athlete, the question arises - why? Why am I putting myself through all of this hard work, devoting all my free time to this endeavor? It doesn't matter what sport or level of competition, if you don't have a clearly defined goal for the event or race, it's going to be difficult to see the point of all the training. That's only part of answering the Why. Without understanding the reasons behind your goals - your motivation - it's easy to give up and tell yourself that the goals are meaningless and there's really no point in trying anymore. Questioning the Why can happen after a bad workout, when time limits ability to train or even when friends and family start asking about the events. It can happen after a race when comparing finish times. It doesn't take much bring out the "why I am I doing this?" and it can quickly become a downward spiral as more workouts get missed, esteem drops and so on.

At this point, I ask my athl…

Garden of the Gods 10 Miler

June 11th was another big day for Thelen Coaching athletes, with the first race in the Triple Crown of Running for both Merideth and Shana. The Triple Crown of Running is a Colorado Springs tradition -  highlighting two city parks and finishing with the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon. Because of the challenge of the PPA, it's also one of the few races that requires qualifying prior to entering. The usual method is to run a half marathon faster then 2:25 with the Super Half earlier in the year being one of the favorite qualifying races. Shana had gotten her time there and was set to go. Merideth on the other hand hadn't had the best day and missed the time. She ran under that mark at a later marathon, but it was already past the qualifying window. That left her one option when registering for the Ascent - register for the entire series and use the Garden of the Gods 10 miler as her qualifier. There were no second chances with that option - it was run under 2:10 or forfeit the en…

Dirty Kanza 2017

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I'm a little late in getting this published, but it was another good year for Thelen Coaching athletes in the Dirty Kanza 200. While it was unfortunately not a 100% finishing rate, everyone rode hard and made the smartest choices they could during the race. I had four athletes in the event - two returning finishers and two rookies at the event. Three athletes finished, with one podium in the Tandem division.

Don Wood - captaining the Tandem with his stoker Jesse Ramsey finished one step higher on the podium this year, taking fourth in the tandem class. They rode smart and steady in the hot and dusty conditions this year, finishing in 16:45 and earning the Midnight Club patch for finishing before midnight. Over two hour faster then last year! Granted, it's hard to compare times in a race like DK as the the course changes slightly each year and weather has huge impact on the event. But two hours is a huge improvement and I'm very proud of both Don and Jesse. Even though I do…

Blue Dot Stalking

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March and April have been pretty quiet with regards to races for my athletes - but the races they have been doing have been big ones. Ones that spanned multiple days and utilized the Trackleaders platform to allow for monitoring and following all the athletes - blue dots for the guys and pink dots for the ladies. Hence the term blue dot stalking.

At the end of February, Judd started the Iditarod Trail Invitational 300 - racing from Anchorage to McGrath along the traditional Iditarod dogsled course. There are specific checkpoints that the athletes must reach and a recommended route. Each athlete has to have a minimum of survival and mandatory gear that they have to carry that is checked before the race. Judd is no stranger to winter racing and fat bike racing, with multiple finishes at the Arrowhead 135. But this was his first trip up to Alaska and over twice the distance as Arrowhead. As a rookie, the primary goal was to finish. He had some other goals of course, but finishing was nu…

Lost Time

It happens to everyone. At some point, something happens and the well thought out, perfectly built training plan is in tatters. It can be from injury, a prolonged illness or something else and the athlete is left staring at a training plan that is no longer appropriate, wondering how to recover from the setback. The first thought is to cram as much training as possible into the time left following recovery or clearance. Then come the thought of just abandoning the race and training because the fitness won't be there. Finally, the realization that the goals might have to change, and the training plan needs to be modified to reflect the new reality. Cramming sounds good in the beginning, since even a few weeks won't affect too much fitness - but it's a good way to get injured, especially following another injury. Abandoning the race might have to happen pending the timing and recovery status. The important thing is to balance the reality of the injury, current fitness before…

January and February

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The first two months of the year were busy for my athletes. Most people think of winter as the off season, but not so much around here! Between early season running races and fat bike races, there have been some outstanding performances.

In January, both Shana B and Merideth B took on the hilly 10k Rescue Run in Colorado Springs. Shana finished in under an hour and Merideth ran six minutes faster then her prior best time for that race. But the month wasn't finished for them. They both were running in the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series, a progressive four race series in January and February. The first race was a very hilly four mile race on the multi-use trails of Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Since this was Shana's first year doing the race series, we had no history and the goal was to run smart. We were also using the races as long training runs with extended warm up and cool down for prep for her goal half marathon. Merideth on the other hand ran the series last year,…

Goals

As a physical therapist, the first thing we are often taught is how to write measurable and functional goals for our patients. These goals need to be patient directed, addressing the deficits and prior level of function for each patient. Cookie cutter goals don't work in therapy because each patient is different. It is no different as a coach and assisting an athlete writing goals for the upcoming season and even the next few years. The goals have to be written with input from the athlete, directed towards the specific events the athlete has planned, and addressing the athlete's weakness and strengths. They should help the athlete reach the long term goal, but with short term goals along the way to reflect progress. But good goals are hard to write and that limits many people in their ability to achieve their goals. The goals are either too easy and don't challenge the athlete or they are too hard and nearly impossible to reach. The goals are often not detailed enough, mak…

Comparison is the killer of Joy

How many times a day do you find yourself saying "If I was..." or "I once could..." in regards to sports and life? You find yourself comparing yourself to not only the people around you, but the person you used to be. Both comparisons are mentally detrimental to performance and enjoyment of activities. The killer of joy and desolation of motivation. So how do you deal with this? It depends on the type of comparison you are making.

Comparing to others - it's really easy to do in this age of social media. Photos of adventures and travel flood the Instagram and Facebook accounts. Race results and epic rides litter the Strava feeds, with the real time comments. When all the photos and results published are curated to promote the most bad-ass image available, it's really easy to feel like nothing you do really matters and that your life is boring and drab. Remember, that everyone is posting the best of the best, with staged photos and the best runs made public o…