Becoming an Endurance Coach for Runners and Cyclists
I learn the hard way.
Lessons need to beat me upside my head before they sink in.
And what I have slowly learned over a 35 year career of doing endurance sports is that the process of training our bodies and minds helps us become better people.
Run What You Brung – Or Be Grateful for What You Have
As a cyclist, runner, cross-country skier, and a rower, I was never blessed with much talent or lung capacity, due to asthma.
But what I do have is drive and determination, as well as a teacher’s mind of making learning fun. That was enough to get me some success on the bike, winning a state cyclocross championship and standing on quite a few podiums.
And sometimes that drive means that I continue to push to achieve the results I expect of myself.
For most of my time as an endurance athlete, even back in high school as a tennis player, I needed results as a way of validating myself, of proving that I had value.
That’s a longer story about my dad and trying to extract his approval.
But that made me miserable. My body might be capable of more, but I was never okay with simply doing the best I could, even given the asthma.
My expectations of myself could never be met.
And I only cared about the results, not the sheer joy of running and cycling.
It’s Taken Me a Long Time to Learn
I’m older now, happily married, and I’ve slowly learned that my happiness does not depend on my cycling or running results.
And I’m learning that the process of training has shaped who I am as a person. I am a stronger person because I trained my mind and body.
The process of getting good with myself will be a lifelong journey. Every day gets a little better.
Now, I bring the lessons and experiences of my life to my clients as a coach for runners and cyclists.
Not that I know everything, but because I know that focusing on the process IS the journey.
Results will come from training. The results are meaningless, though, if we don’t learn about ourselves and become better people along the way.
And how we define “results” makes all the difference.
Using Knowledge and Experience as a Coach for Runners and Cyclists
As a coach for runners and cyclists now, I am constantly reading and researching the most effective training tools, strength training information, and yoga sequences.
I have a USA cycling coaching license, a personal training and strength training license, and I am a certified yoga instructor.
The synthesis of all of this knowledge, plus my own long years of learning and experience helps me understand what a client might need to achieve his or her endurance goals.
And in training to reach their adventure goals, I can help clients learn to value the process of training and goal setting, lessons that can bring joy and health for the rest of their lives.
Where I’ve Come From
The addiction to endurance sports – riding a bike, running, cross-country skiing – started in high school. I added rowing (eight-man crew) in college as well. Racing bikes started back in the 80s with road, and cyclocross, mountain bike, and track came later.
And since I dislike cars, my bike is my commuting vehicle.
As a runner, I’ve done a lot of 5 and 10k races and finished one marathon – which was enough for my knees! I’ve done the Birkie and other long – and shorter – ski races too.
With a USA Cycling Level 3 Coach’s license as well as personal trainer (NCCA-certified) and Advanced Nutrition certification, I’ve been an endurance sport coach and done strength training for many years.
In 2020, I earned my Yoga Instructor Certification, and I teach classes online and at the WAC.
And 23 years as a middle school English teacher is enough for anyone!
My amazingly tolerant and supportive wife Kate and teenager Sarah continue to support my athletic addictions! We live in Greendale, WI, just outside of Milwaukee. Wisconsin is a great state for endurance sports!
Cycling has been a part of my family heritage for a long time. My mother grew up in the Netherlands, and I lived in Utrecht for a year during college.
Great-grandfather (groot opa) Jan J.L. Taminiau, who ran a jam factory in the Netherlands and is pictured here, used his bicycle to bring jam and fruit preserve samples to customers.
What are your goals? What adventures do you dream of? What kind of events do you really want to do? I love listening to ideas, and helping people turn those ideas and dreams into reality and a plan.