December 31, 2008

Its almost 2009...

Every year, towards the end of December and into January, I start playing the previous year in my head... look at what was good, bad, and ugly, draw some conclusions and move forward. I try not to think about past events for too long and just learn from both my mistakes and my successes.

This year is no exception...

I have been thinking about what was in 2008, but I am finding it very hard to wrap my head around all that has happened. Too much good, bad and ugly... Mostly it was good, with some bad thrown in there for some balance, and not a whole lot of ugly (just a bit...), which is good.

As I type, things become more clear and the pieces of the puzzle start sliding into place. At the end of 2007, I predicted that 2008 will be a bit of a roller-coaster ride, and it was. Perhaps I took a bit too much on, but GBGH, right? (see Dec 16th post!). I have learned who I can trust, and who I can't and since I always try to learn from my mistakes, I now have a sense of where my boundaries are. I will continue to push them in 2009, but a bit more gently this time around.

I have set some goals for 2009, and they are as big as always... In a nut shell, I will be traveling a bit more than last year and I will actually race too (running). There are more workshops, clinics and training camps planned, more coaches working with me, new partnerships, new website, and as always - a great group of dedicated athletes that are a pleasure to work with!

Happy 2009!!


December 20, 2008

Cool stuff!

How sweet is that... 2x Ironman World Champion testing the outdoor Retul motion capture bike fitting system. Pretty cool, I definitely want to upgrade to that one when it is released... Until then, the normal Retul system will do very nicely :)

Watch it on: (watch it in high quality)

December 16, 2008


I have been looking for an abbreviation/phrase that sums up the way I coach... something short and to the point... I haven't really thought of it too much in the last few months, But while going over some of the initial templets for the new website with Carolyn earlier today, she mentioned that I should check out for a bit of inspiration and a few laughs... and she was right!

Go big or go home
I often say that I strive to go big or go home, and add that its mainly due to the fact I am not entirely sure where home is. Is it Israel? Since I grew up there, most will say that is my home. But I am not sure it feels like home. New zealand felt like home during the 3.5 years I spent there, but now I think Victoria is my home. Hmmm... But I digress!

These are 2 definitions, according to urban dictionary:

1. an expression the speaker says to the listener to encourage the listener to be extravagant, to go all the way, and do whatever you are doing to its fullest - and not flake out.
2. A phrase describing a Champion's lifestyle. A way of life. An attitude. We never go home.

So there you have it, I found my abbreviation!



December 11, 2008

4 things you should sweat about :)

The previous post covered 5 examples of things you should not sweat about in training. But there are a few things that are too often overlooked and that is a bit of a shame...

Bike fit
Some may say I am a bit biased as I am a bike fitter. However, I have examined the effects various bike positions have on multisport athletes' VO2max and thresholds as part of my undergraduate thesis and my results showed that even though a lot more research is needed (thats the conclusion of ANY research paper though...), different bike positions have the potential to have either a positive or negative affect on performance. Not to mention the fact that an improper bike fit can result in injury...

What really puzzles me is the fact that some athletes choose to spend more money on the latest and greatest equipment in the hopes of getting faster and more efficient, but will not devote a couple of hours to get a proper bike fit. A couple of hours with me (using the Retul system) will only cost $140, which is significantly less than the physio/chiro bill they get if they get injured and significantly cheaper than most of the parts that can make their bike lighter. A bike fit should be done on a regular basis, as things will change through out the season... So in 2009 - start thinking about your bike fit...

Season plan
It is one thing to know where you are going, but how are you going to get there? Imagine that you need to get to a specific location, but have no idea of the best route to take you there... so you try a few roads, find out that they are not right, then have to back track and try another route. This takes time and sets you back. How about planning ahead? After you come up with some goals, create a plan so you can achieve that goal. If you are not coached, don't be afraid to ask the help of a coach you trust, and if you are coached - make sure that your coach is actually planning properly.

Note that a season plan is never fixed. It is flexible and will change constantly as things come up.

This is very important when it comes to training. The off season is very important to allow for full recovery, but taking 4 months completely off between seasons? Thats a bit too long in my opinion... However, this is very common; athletes that don't even maintain a healthy level of activity and then get back into training in January and expect to significantly improve their times from the previous year. This kind of goes back to my point about that season plan...

It seems that everyone is all about nutrition these days... but most end up falling into the traps of various "diets". I will not go into my thoughts about some of the common diets, I will simply say that too many athletes either pay too much attention to their nutrition (over-complicating things) or too little attention. The fact that there are so many so called nutrition experts around does not help either. A personal trainer is likely not going to have the ability to help an Ironman triathlete with his/her nutrition, and many coaches do not have the education or experience to do so either. To make matters worse, many registered dietitians do not have the training and/or experience to work with athletes. There are too few education programs in Canada (none?) that offer comprehensive sports nutrition education, separated from dietetics, which is a shame.

If you choose to figure out your nutrition needs on your own, try and read something a bit more advances that 'triathlete' magazine or VeloNews (very good magazines, but perhaps not appropriate for this purpose). If you decide to ask for help, there are better resources out there than online forums... As with anything else - choose the person you are working with wisely, according to their education and specific experience.

Just some food for thought... just in time for the new year :)

December 2, 2008

Don't sweat the small stuff...

In training.... 5 points :)

1. Consistency and dedication are very important for your progress. However, if you did miss a day of training, its OK. Nothing is going to happen... the ground underneath you will not open and swallow you all of a sudden, the skies are not going to fall, and things will be just fine... so don't worry about it too much and don't try to play catch up. Just move on to the next workout and try and stay as consistent as possible!

2. If you had a 2 hour ride planned, but you were out for 2:10, it will not mess up your program. The same applies if you only rode for 1:55...

3. Imagine this - you forgot your HR monitor at home, and you end up running without it... many athletes I know will be pretty annoyed that they could not monitor their HR during their run. Same as point #1; nothing is going to happen because one session was done technology free... besides - what if you had a "no technology day", where your HR monitor/power meter, don't work all of a sudden on race day? Its important to get the feel for your pace and effort without the aid of technology...

4. Recovery and a bit of down time are important. The off season is the perfect time to clear your head, get your batteries recharged, and relax...So why do so many athletes stress out because they are not in peak condition during that time of the year?! You can't possibly be in peak condition all year round, so what is the point of stressing out about it...??

5. Control what is within your control. Since you can't control everything, there is no point in worrying about the things that there is nothing you can do about, right?

These are just a few examples of things that you should not sweat too much about. But there are also a few things that many athletes pay very little, or no attention to. Things that do make a difference. More on those later :)