The What of Simple Endurance Coaching

Seven Reasons to Choose Simple Endurance Coaching

1. Experience Through Trial and Error – A Lot of Error and Learning

I’m that typical master’s athlete:

Flashes of brilliance and success during a typically middle-of-the-pack 35-year career. 

I’ve done running races, cross-country ski races, and raced all kinds of bicycles. I’ve won some, stood on some podiums.

How to choose a coach means looking for the full picture of your endurance needs: training experience and knowledge, mental health, nutrition, and mobility.


I love riding on gravel roads! I use my cyclocross bike, add wider tires, bring an extra water bottle, and go explore.

And I’ve been that athlete who has tried all the different training and racing strategies, different kinds of training, tried and broke a lot of bikes, shoes, and equipment, all while thinking that “this” was the magic tool.

I hope that whatever I was doing would help me be a better athlete.

Sometimes it worked. Most of the time, it was just different.

If you are thinking about how to choose a coach, consider experience and learning.

2. A Lifetime of Learning

I read everything I could find to answer my questions.

I hired my own coaches, read research, talked with experts, got licensed as a cycling coach, personal trainer and strength coach, and learned enough maybe for a master’s degree or two.

I’ve earned my coaching license from USA Cycling, a personal training and strength license of NCCA, an advanced nutrition certificate, and a yoga teacher license.

3. Strength Training

One of the biggest tools an endurance athlete often leaves on the table is strength training.


Sometimes you have to lift whatever is nearby.

And I mean lifting heavy things.

I am a certified personal trainer with an emphasis on strength for endurance athletes.

Strength training builds force that you use to run, ski, and bike faster, be stronger, and have more endurance.

We use strength training all year round, more in the base periods, and less in competition periods.

We focus on full-body exercises like deadlifts, kettlebell swings, unilateral leg and hip strength work, and Olympic lifts.

Endurance athletes are typically quad-dominant, so we spend a lot of time strengthening the posterior chain (back, glutes, hamstrings).

Strength training experience is a critical element of how to choose a coach.

4. Always a Teacher

As a middle school teacher, my goal was always to create first an environment where kids felt safe and secure enough to take risks in their work.

I taught English for 22 years, and getting kids to care about books and writing meant that I had to make it meaningful to them.

How to choose a coach means looking for the full picture of your endurance needs: training experience and knowledge, mental health, nutrition, and mobility.


I love the opportunity to teach littles how to ride their bikes. I taught my daughter to ride by taking off the training wheels and her pedals and getting her to balance. Once she mastered that, she was riding in minutes. Now she’s a teenager. The bike is getting dusty.

I could never just hand over an assignment, tell the kid to get to work, and expect good results.

We had to build a relationship, we had to set goals and decide the best way to get to a common outcome.

Coaching is the same. You’re going to make mistakes, I’m going to make mistakes, we’re going to have shortcomings. It’s life.

We keep at our goals the best we can, and maybe, we become better people for our training and work together.

5. Nutrition Fuels Your Success

We ride/ run/ ski for different reasons, and for some of us, weight loss or weight control is part of the process.

How to choose a coach means looking for the full picture of your endurance needs: training experience and knowledge, mental health, nutrition, and mobility.


Yes, coffee is part of your nutrition! Just like chocolate.

Plus, finding the energy to complete our workouts requires proper fueling.

Finding the right fuel for you is an individual journey. The basics of sound nutrition aren’t difficult, the personal application is more challenging.

6. Yoga and Mobility Mean More Comfort, Speed, and Endurance

For the most part, runners and cyclists move forward in one plane. That gets our muscles and body out of balance.

Yoga practice and mobility exercises provide the movement you need to keep limber, strong, and your muscles supple.

As a certified yoga instructor, I help you build strength and mobility as well as create more control through breath work.

Knowing what to do to help your body stay mobile is a key for how to choose a coach.

Plus yoga is a great tool for recovery and rest days.

7. Mental Grit and Goals

You name it, I’ve worried about it. 

Mostly I worried because I always felt that somehow results validated me as a person. (Maybe that has something to do with my dad, but that’s another story!)

So if I could perform better, I was a better person.

You know what I mean?

How to choose a coach means looking for the full picture of your endurance needs: training experience and knowledge, mental health, nutrition, and mobility.


Intensity and focus are skills learned from training. They can also be misused!

Honestly, I have always had challenges keeping positive. I’ve often raced to prove myself. But I didn’t always have a lot of fun, even when I had good results.

So like everything, I read, researched, did some therapy, and learned some good ways of just having fun during competition rather than worry about results or who I “should have” beaten.

I haven’t figured it out fully yet, but I share what I’ve learned along the way so that you can find tools to help yourself.

Polarized Training Offers a Great Training Tool

I first heard about polarized training during a Fast Talk episode that featured Dr. Stephen Seiler.

That led me down a deep rabbit hole of reading research about polarization.

While working through several years in a row of severe asthma and broken bones, I started to wonder:

What if I could use science and research-based methods to work hard, improve, get stronger, and have more fun? 

And the research pretty clearly points to a four-part approach with endurance sport training:

lots of long, slow distance

some challenging intervals

more strength training than you think

recovery/ rest/ mental fitness/ mobility

Seiler and others have researched what works in training endurance athletes. Simply put, polarized training is around 90 percent long, slow distance work and about 10 percent hard interval work.

So the principles of effective, research-based training for endurance sports are pretty simple: Go easy, go hard, or rest. This is Simple endurance sports training.

Let’s Talk!

At Simple, we’ll work on setting mostly process goals with some outcome goals so that we focus on building good foundations in living a good life.

Now I bring this simplified training approach to you through Simple Endurance Coaching. 

How to choose a coach can be challenging.

Let’s get coffee, or, in this pandemic time, do a phone call or Zoom meeting. I’d love to talk about your plans and goals.

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