Tag: Coaching

Choosing Simple Endurance Means You Want to Focus on the Process of Training, Not Just Results

Finding a cycling coach or a running coach to help you find your challenges and reach your biking, running, or endurance sport goals can be tough.

You need to find someone who understands your goals, your needs, and your past, someone who will push at the right times, and understand why you need to back off at others.

You need to find the right person.

Two things set Simple Endurance from other coaches: One, I have a broad collection of experiences from decades of endurance sports, including cycling, running, cross-country skiing, even rowing.

Second, I use a unique holistic approach to your athletic development, using your sport training along with strength training, yoga, and mental toughness work.

And the goal of finding a bike coach or a run coach is to learn and grow every step of the way, while having fun and challenging yourself at the same time.

When you hire Simple Endurance Coaching as your endurance sport coach, it’s important to know what you’re getting.

I am a USA Cycling-certified coach, a RYT-200 certified yoga instructor, and -certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition with Action Personal Training.

I was also a middle-school English teacher for 23 years, and I bring a teacher’s growth mindset to my coaching.

Step One: We Talk About Finding a Cycling Coach or Finding a Running Coach

By phone, coffee meeting, online, or smoke signals, we talk about what it is you want from a coach. Why are you finding a running coach or cycling coach in the first place?

We also discuss your goals, dreams, concerns, and challenges in our initial meeting.

Our goal is to first flesh out your reasons for finding a bike or run coach, and second, to determine if we think we would be a good fit for each other.

If you don’t think we’re a good fit, and there’s zero worry in that, you can either carry on, or I can refer you to another colleague.

If you think you’re ready to take the step with me as your coach, then it’s time for the next big thing!

Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

Step Two: We Talk Some More, And You Write – A Lot.

We set up another meeting, this one after you fill out an initial intake form.

This form asks you to think about your past endurance training and competition – if you’ve done races and such.

It also asks you to honestly consider your strengths and challenges as an endurance athlete – mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I don’t become your therapist, but it’s close!

After all of that, we talk about your goals for the next season or block of time – and what specifically you need to do in order to accomplish those goals.

While it’s good to have a specific performance goal, like placing in the top five in my age group at such and such race, we focus more on process goals.

For example, a process goal would be increasing a deadlift from 100 to 150 pounds, being able to complete a full set of intervals, learning how to corner on the mountain bike.

These are all goals that lead us to target event(s).

And these are goals that help us overcome our challenges.

Step Three: The Training Plan

I’ll set up a Training Peaks account for you. We’ll use TP to keep track of all of your workouts and various metrics, like heart rate, perceived exertion, etc.

We’ll start by creating two or three weeks of workouts. That initial time is going to be hit and miss as we figure out together what your needs are and what specifically works for you.

The workouts will fall into one of five categories:

  • long, endurance rides/ runs
  • short, really hard intervals
  • strength training
  • yoga or mobility training
  • rest and recovery

Most likely, you’ll be doing a lot of endurance workouts.

These are efforts at an easy to talk pace. The pace would allow you to talk, but maybe not argue about politics or religion!

Strength training will also always be a part of your training. If you have access to a gym, I’ll give you workout routines.

Otherwise, your strength workouts will be bodyweight with online videos or utilizing any equipment you have.

We can meet at the WAC if you’re local to Milwaukee, or meet online if you need help with form or execution.

I will also provide online videos of strength workouts that use bodyweight only to build endurance sport-specific strength.

You can do yoga online with my videos or do other classes.

Step Four: We Talk Again

You can see that communication is a key element of coaching!

I need to know how the workouts are going, how your recovery is progressing, how you’re sleeping, etc.

The more I understand about how your body and mind are responding to the training stress, the better I’ll be able to target the right workouts to meet your needs.

I work often with women, especially post-menopausal women.

We build our training programs for women based on menstrual cycles. And for post-menopausal women, we support the endurance training with lots of weight-lifting!

Step Five: Enjoy the Process

You do your sport because you like/love it.

I ride a bicycle nearly every day because I love bikes. If I’m stressed out, hours of pedaling calms me down.

Accomplishing the daily challenges of building the training stress is the great part of the training process.

Finishing a hard strength training session or a challenging set of intervals or coming to a rest week after a tough block of training is amazing.

We’ll celebrate those accomplishments!

Finding a coach for running, cycling, or cross-country skiing requires good communication and a clear road map toward success in your target event.

Step Six: Accomplish Your Target Event

Even if you don’t “win” in your target event, you are still successful.

And no, that’s not some kind of everyone gets a trophy thinking.

My most spectacular failures have become the basis of deep learning and understanding about myself.

You trained hard, you learned so much, you became stronger, more mobile, and faster.

And you will become more confident in your own abilities and strengths.

Finding a cycling coach and finding a running coach mean that you have someone by your side and behind you to guide and support you along the journey.

Finding a Running Coach or Finding a Cycling Coach: Let’s Start the Journey

Still curious? Finding a bike or run coach to fit your needs can be a challenging process.

I’m not a former pro. Nor do I have a degree in Kinesiology or Exercise Science.

My knowledge and understanding have come from a lot of research and reading, over three decades of doing the best I can in bike racing, running, and cross-country skiing, and a lot of learning up from failure and mistakes.

Contact me with the form below. Let’s start talking!

Improving strength and fitness requires changes in your lifestyle and daily habits, including how often you get to the gym.

However, research shows that many people don’t consistently continue with their fitness goals because it can be really hard to get to the gym, even if you’re paying the monthly membership.

But the beauty of life is that if you fail to make those changes, you can always come back and keep at it until working out becomes a habit.

Here are nine ways to get to the gym and stay on top of your fitness goals, even when it totally feels impossible to even get out the door.

Working with a partner to get to classes or workout can help you reach your goals

1. Meet a Friend

Many friends have a lot of fun together working out together, whether it’s a running group, a couple, or friends. And they keep each other accountable.

Meeting a friend is a great way to make sure you get to the gym, push yourself while you’re there, and enjoy some friend time in the process. And if you or your spouse needs a little encouragement, there’s a ton of research that says couples who work out together get fitter together.

2. Free Classes

One of the best ways to get into a fitness routine is to take complimentary classes at your gym. There are high-intensity cycle and cardio classes, strength-builders, and yoga classes.

Plus the classes are a great social tool. You’ll meet new people who might be struggling to get going just like you. Make a commitment to meet some people and tell them you’ll see them next week!

3. Create a Simple Routine

You can create a short, easy routine at any gym using machines. Doing a weight machine circuit is an easy way to get a solid workout in. For example, several clients do a circuit on the Hoist machines at the WAC. Others like to do a TRX routine. And many like the cable machines.

The bottom line is to be consistent. Working out three times a week forces your body to start to adapt to the new work loads. Give yourself enough time to recover, though! Muscles are not “grown” in the gym; they’re grown when you sleep!

4. Make a Date.

Go to your Google Calendar or your datebook and write down “GYM.” And, like any other appointment, get to it! Adding this to your calendar makes it easier to block out time to get a workout in, even if it’s only 30 minutes.

5. Trainers Keep You on Track

Working with a personal trainer means you get a workout buddy, someone to teach you proper form, someone to encourage you, and someone to keep you accountable. I have clients at the WAC who meet me three times a week and others once a week for an hour. What do you need to keep you on track?

6. Fake Yourself Out

An amazing amount of research suggests that if you just put on those running shoes or get dressed for the gym, you are more likely to get to the gym! It’s as if you’re telling your body, “well, we’re already dressed, we may as well go.”

This includes driving! If you plan your route to or from work to go past your gym, you’re more likely to say, “well, I’m already here” and walk in.

Just showing up can be half the battle.

7. Go Early

This one has always been a challenge for me. My wife loves getting up early on weekends to run. I would much rather ride or run after work when I can.

My wife says she wants to make sure she’s able to get the workout in, especially if things come up in her day. She’s now established a routine, so she’s more likely to get out of bed and put on her running shoes!

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

8. Set Reachable Goals and Visualize Them

Many of us, especially those of us who set New Year’s Resolutions, have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. We want to lose 30 pounds in three months or we want to break 20 minutes in a 5k when we’ve never broken 30 minutes.

Research into goal-setting suggests that if you have a long-term goal, do two things:

  • Break your long-term goal into smaller, shorter, and more achievable goals. For instance, if you want to run a half-marathon, set a goal of running one mile this month, three miles next months, and etc.
  • Visualize yourself achieving all the small and long-term goals. See yourself completing the mile, then the three-mile. Your mind and body then come to expect the change. Visualize your success, and it is more likely to happen.

9. Keep Track of Your Work

Writing stuff done, especially if you do it on paper with a pencil or pen, helps make it more real.

Get a small notebook or use your daily planner. (Don’t have one? Get one! Even if it’s just to write down your list of to-dos.) Write down those goals and micro-goals. Then write down what you’re doing.

Write down your mileage and time if you’re running or riding. Write down the weight you lifted on all the machines.

You can also write down your current body measurements, including chest, belly, and butt. You can write down weight and body fat, but these are not always going to be accurate.

This note-taking is another habit, but with it, you’ll see your progress. You will see how much more you can lift or run, or how your pants and shirts feel looser.

At Simple Endurance Coaching, we create strength-training and work out plans that help you meet your fitness goals. Plus when you have a coach, you are more likely to stay motivated and committed.