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Showing posts from 2019

Looking to 2020

December is an exciting time for athletes. It's lottery season for many of the big races - both running and riding. For athletes who aren't doing a race what requires a lottery, it's also when many races open registration for the next year. So many races, so few weekends and so little time to train. So how you decide what races to pencil in the calendar for next year? And if you do get lucky in the lottery or find yourself high up on a wait list, how you plan around those target races?

First off the lottery races. Yay! You got into your dream race.... Now what happens with all those other fun sounding events you were looking at? Time to break out the big picture calendar. I like putting the goal races down a bold color, then all of the other events in different colors based on timing and how much you really want to do them. Darker the color, the higher the priority. Look at the goal race, then consider your training. If you are doing a 100 mile race, will you really want t…

Enjoying the Off Season

For most endurance athletes, the racing season is wrapping up about this time of year. The major races are finished, the race reports written and reviewed. So now what? If you are like most endurance athletes, the off season is a hard time - not the needed recovery from a long training and racing season. We've spent the last number of months building speed, endurance and power - getting fitter and faster. And now? With every passing recovery week, the fitness feels likes it's slipping away. All those hard earned gains lost. It’s tempting to keep pushing to maintain current fitness so you start next season well ahead of this season

That’s an easy way to get injured and burn out. We cannot maintain the race fitness throughout the entire year. We need the time to recover from the stresses of training and racing. So the off season is actually just as important as the rest of the training season. Unfortunately, most athletes see the off season as either a time to for complete rest …

A View from the Sidelines

(After seeing Dianna many times throughout the day during the Sangre de Cristo Ultras, I asked her to write about how her day volunteering went. We always get the race reports from the athletes - never from the people out there helping. I know she'll get back to adventuring in the mountains soon, but meanwhile there's more ways to be a part of an event then just pinning on a bib number.)
To quote a blast from my college past, The Indigo Girls, “The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.” This is a different kind of race report. After battling with a health issue for 6 months, and many conversations with my MD and friends, I found myself making the difficult decision to sideline myself from any runs over 2 hours long for the near future.Eventually, I had to admit that the MD was correct, and I reluctantly emailed a Race Director, John Lacroix regarding my entry in the September Sangre de Cristo Ultra. I'd been looking forward to that race for al…

June Results

Some good racing in June for Thelen Coaching athletes - both on foot and on the bike. There were new races, epic adventures and new PRs. All the things I like seeing!

Andrew had a really busy June - racing in both the Dirty Kanza 200 and the Michigan Coast to Coast 200. At Dirty Kanza on June 1, his goat was beat to Midnight. It would be a tall order and require focused riding and good conditions. Last year, he finished in 20:09, so beating midnight would require taking over two hours off his time. Unlike with events like the ITI or the CTR, there's no blue dot watching. The only updates come when he reached each check point - talk about stressful as a coach! Blue dot watching might get boring, "Oh look! Another 400' in the last 10 minutes...." but you can see the forward progress. This year, Andrew reached the final check point - 12 miles out with about 90 minutes left to pedal to beat midnight. Easily within reach if there were no mechanical issues. The official ti…

Four Letter Words

We've all heard someone saying it "I'm only doing the 10k" when there's a longer race involved. Or "it's just a 5k,” as if that distance isn’t worth racing. Only and Just - we toss those words around, not realized the impact they have on the athletes around us. Only and Just are as much four letter words as something I won’t print here. But why? Why are those words inappropriate to use when discussing races or workouts? There’s a few reasons.

They minimize the athlete and the distance - regardless if you are talking about yourself or something else. “I’m only doing the 10k” can easily be translated into “I’m not a bad-ass like you are,” when someone is talking a runner doing a longer race. Any distance is a meaningful distance, regardless of what else is going on. Someone else might be doing the 50k race that same day, but that’s their race - not yours. Are they looking down on you for doing the shorter distance? No. At least they shouldn’t be! The race …

Early Spring Athlete Results

Spring may just have started a few weeks ago, but Thelen Coaching athletes have been out and about, turning in some solid performances at races all over the country.

Brenda traveled to Moab for the Mad Moose Events Behind the Rocks 10 mile race. This was a new experience for her, having never raced in Moab before. Trail running in Moab is a different kind of running - trail running, but more like concrete due to the hardness of the rock. She handled it well and had a great race, breaking 3:00 hours for the technical 11 mile race. Yes - there were some bonus miles at the race...

Jen returned to the trails for the Mountain to Sea Challenge, a 12 mile point to point race in Raleigh, NC. While the results wasn't as fast as she wanted, there were still some great lessons learned. And that's what racing is all about, learning things we can apply to upcoming events. She still managed to break 3 hours under some challenging conditions and beat her goal time for the race.

Dianna went e…

Iditarod Trail Invitational

Two Thelen Coaching athletes took on the Iditarod Trail Invitation this year. Dennis returned to the trail in the 150, a new distance this year that replaced the 130 he won last year. I'll have his report posted once I get it. After getting stymied by the weather at JP's Fat Pursuit, this was the goal for the winter. It wasn't about place or time, it was about reaching the finish line safely. It was also one step closer to the ITI 300 in either 2020 or 2021. Every race is an opportunity for learning and that becomes even more important with the extreme weather winter racing can throw at athletes. This edition of the ITI had some unexpected challenges including a sudden temperature drop and a malfunctioning tracker that required a longer then anticipated stop at the first check point. Overall, his plan of forward momentum and assessing the upcoming conditions at each checkpoint proved smart. Dennis reached the finish of the ITI 150 in second place this year.


Judd had some d…

Indoor Training

"It's sad to see anyone inside on the trainer." That was the comment attached to an article about riding outside all winter long. And yes, there is a certain joy to being outside in the chilly air, getting fresh tracks on a snowy trail. The terrain changes under the snow and old trails become new. But with the changes in terrain come the hazards associated with winter - ice to mention one. Like with everything, there is a time and a place for both outside rides and inside workouts. Instead of demonizing the athletes who choose to take the workouts inside, we all might gain some perspective if we really think about why.

Here are just a few of the benefits for taking workouts inside during adverse conditions.
- Time savings. There's no bundling up in three layers of clothes to ride inside, nor the extra time required to wash all those extra clothes. In order to get a quality workout inside, you just need to throw on bibs and jersey. You can be pedaling in 5 minutes aft…