Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pacing for triathletes




Learn to try & do things as easily as possible in races at race required intensity – so often, especially at altitude, the way out of a hole in a race is not to push hard into the limitation, but to back off & then, once recovered, build into it again. In the short races, often athletes go out too fast, blow up & then push as hard as they can, in a sort of survival mode, to the finish, where they could have gone much faster overall if they had backed down, recovered (patiently) at a lower intensity & then, once recovered (heart rate, breathing), slowly built back into pace. This pace would be much higher than the “survival” pace & the overall result, though not as good as the one that a realistic pace from the start would have brought, will bring a better result than the hanging-on-for-dear-life after you’ve popped, would have brought. This is tactically & mentally also a much better idea as athletes that passed you now come back into your sights & you are more in control. You are doing the racing – the race is not doing you!

To this day, my best Olympic distance triathlon result was achieved in a race where I flatted & had an enforced rest for about 2 minutes as I repaired my flat. When I got back on the bike I was able to realize that the frantic pace out of T2 that I maintained (I was a really poor swimmer) was highly inefficient & put me in an anaerobic state which I just hung onto for the duration of the ride. The rides were typically characterized by a breathing rate & power output that showed a clear “decoupling” – where I was working too hard for the power I was producing.

I then normally, being a much more experienced runner, knew to back off out of T2 till I achieved steady state & then could race from there. Thereafter I was able to recognize that the swim & T1 had put me into a state of fatigue which would, if not readjusted, give me a slower bike time & run. I figured out that by getting into a more balanced rhythm & a perceived effort that felt somewhat easy initially, I was able to maintain better power throughout the ride & transition into a run that far better reflected my ability.

Dorsiflexion, plantarflexion - triathletes listen up


It seems that you can't have both - the more plantar flexion you have (swimmers), the less dorsiflexion you have. Good swimmers need to be able to point their toes so much that the top of the foot (instep) & the shin form almost a straight line. This forms a natural flipper that provides the swimmer with the best ability to propel & balance their swim stroke with their legs. In exact opposition to this, runners require strong dorsiflexion, at least being able to sit on their haunches with their heels on the ground without falling over. Of course you can have too much dorsiflexion as well, reducing the elastic "loadability" of the ankle joint for effective running propulsion. If you come from a swimming background & have reduced dorsiflexion, chances are you run very upright & have to twist the foot either inwards (internal rotation) or outwards, (external rotation) to accommodate this lack of functional mobility. Every time you kick while swimming you increase your plantar flexion, while running incorrectly does not counter balance this - you MUST work on regaining, maintaining the optimum level of dorsiflexion. I have recently seen so many injuries to high level pro triathletes who are strong swimmers, but not necessarily strong runners because of this situation. Of course there are other factors involved too - most critically a inflexibility or even rigidity in the big toe joint (does not bend sufficiently) - this is called flexor hallucis limitis & also needs to be addressed. Remember I am speaking from the point of view of a running biomechanist & not a physical therapist, so if you do suspect these are issues that are impacting your running, then see a pro. Other than the suggestions of such a professional, there are a number of ways that flexibility issues can be addressed. Using a technique for the soleus & gastrochnemius muscles (the calves), called active release stretching should prove very helpful.


For further information on stretching for runners & triathletes you might find my booklet, Running Sports Essentials, quite useful in this regard. It also has some advice of activation & facilitation, dynamic warm up procedures & some suggestions on core strengthening. A new video on running form will also soon be available. For further information & to purchase please see my website, http://www.bobbymcgee.com/

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bobbysez Blast 4


USA’s got milers! Anna Willard won the 1500m & Shannon Rowbury was 2nd at the same meet in London.

Aviva London Grand Prix
(IAAF Super Grand Prix)
London, GBR, 24-25 July 2
Mile):
1. Bernard Lagat, USA 3:52.71 SB
2. Leonel Manzano, USA 3:53.01 PB
3. Lopez Lomong, USA 3:53.35 PB
4. Collis Birmingham, AUS 3:54.30 PB
5. Nate Brannen, CAN 3:54.57
6. James Brewer, GBR 3:54.80 PB
7. Johan Cronje, RSA 3:54.84 PB
The 5000m had Tirunesh back to her winning ways again:
1. Tirunesh Dibaba, ETH 14:33.65 SB, WL
2. Sentayehu Ejigu, ETH 14:40.00 SB
3. Kim Smith, NZL 14:52.49 SB
4. Belaynesh Fikadu, ETH 15:10.52
5. Jen Rhines, USA 15:25.10 SB
The Kenyans had a fun 1500m at their world champs trials this weekend!
Kenyan World Championships Trials
Nairobi, KEN, 24-25 July
1500:
1. Asbel Kiprop 3:32.82
2. Haron Keitany 3:33.59
3. Augustine Choge 3:33.86
4. Gideon Gathimba 3:34.83
5. William Biwott Tanui 3:38.84

Of course I have been watching the women’s steeple & have high hope for Jenny Barringer at worlds this year, but I did not see this one coming – in a smaller meet in Barcelona no less. Wow!
Reunion Internacional Ciudad de Barcelona
Barcelona, ESP, 25 July
WOMEN
3000 s/chase:
1. Marta DOM├ŹNGUEZ AZPELETA, 1975 9:09.39 National Record (see pic at top of post)
2. Eva ARIAS AIRA, 1980 9:32.48 PB
3. Livia TOTH, HUN, 1980 9:38.79

WANJIRU WILL RUN IN CHICAGO
Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru will run the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon on Sunday, 11 October, according to David Monti in Race Results Weekly. It will
be Wanjiru's first marathon in the United States, and the 22-year-old is hoping for a fast
time on Chicago's famously flat and fast course.
"My only focus between now and October is to prepare and train aggressively for my
best performance yet," said Wanjiru, who has won the Fukuoka, London and Olympic
Marathons and has a career best time of 2:05:10 set in London this year.
The fastest time ever in Chicago was 2:05:42 clocked in 1999 by Khalid Khannouchi, a
Moroccan who became an American citizen the following year. Performances at Chicago
were held back the last two years by unusually hot weather, especially in 2007 when the
temperature reached 27°C by the time the men's winner, Kenyan Patrick Ivuti, hit the
finish tape in 2:11:11. In good weather Wanjiru could challenge Haile Gebrselassie's world
record of 2:03:59 run in Berlin last year.
Three other former Chicago champions were also announced by Race Director Carey
Pinkowski, including Ivuti, Kenyan Evans Cheruiyot (the defending champion), and Russian
Lidiya Grigoryeva (the defending women's champion). American women's record holder,
Deena Kastor, will also compete, Pinkowski said. It will be Kastor's first marathon since
breaking a bone in her foot before the 5 km mark at last summer's Olympic Marathon; she
was unable to finish the race.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the second-largest marathon in the United
States and helps raise about $10 million for charity. Last year's race had 33 033 starters
and 31 401 finishers. Only the ING New York City Marathon is larger with 38 832 starters
and 38 096 finishers last year.

KIBET WILL CHALLENGE GEBRSELASSIE IN BERLIN MARATHON
The two fastest marathoners of all-time, Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie and Kenya's Duncan
Kibet, will face each other at September's real,-- Berlin Marathon, reports Race Results
Weekly.
Gebrselassie, twice an Olympic gold medalist at 10000 m, has won the last three
editions of the marathon in Berlin, lowering his time with each effort and twice setting the
world record. In 2006 he was on schedule through 35 km to break Paul Tergat's then world
record of 2:04:55 set on the same Berlin course in 2003, but he faded in the final
kilometers in warm and windy conditions to run an Ethiopian record of 2:05:56. The
following year, helped by pacemakers Eshetu Wondimu and Rodgers Rop through 30 km,
Gebrselassie broke Tergat's mark with a 2:04:26 clocking. He came back again in 2008,
and lowered his own record to 2:03:59, which remains the world record.
Kibet became history's second-fastest marathoner at Rotterdam last April when he
prevailed in a thrilling sprint finish over compatriot James Kwambai. Both men were clocked
in 2:04:27, the fastest marathon times of 2009. Kibet only ran his first marathon in Vienna
in 2008, clocking a solid 2:08:33 to finish second. He won at Milan later that year in a
course record 2:07:53. Amazingly, the Rotterdam run was only Kibet's third career
marathon.

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY
This weekly column highlights a special race or event from the past that happened in the
current month.
40 years ago: 20 July 1969
Briton Ron Hill easily won the Maxol Marathon in Manchester in 2:13:42, beating Australian
Derek Clayton (2:15:40) by almost 2 minutes. Third was Jim Alder in 2:18:18. Earlier in
the year, on 30 May, Clayton had improved on his own world record when he ran
2:08:33.6 in Antwerp, but this course is generally regarded as having been short. In
September that year Hill won the European marathon title on the classical course from
Marathon to Athens in 2:16:47.8.

My thanks again to Riel Hauman of Distance Running Results

Intentionality


Chances are if you race regularly you don’t always set up a full game plan (as you should). Just know (be conscious) that there is always an intent & a level of self-belief regarding that intent, whether it is conscious or unconscious. Trick is to at least formalize a little discussion with yourself so that this is out in the open, somewhat considered & kept as objective as possible. By doing this you allow your logic to hear what you have come up with & to determine if there is any self-sabotage going on or not. Sometimes you might be unrealistic; sometimes you may unconsciously be trying to let yourself off the hook by aiming too low. Like I said you have some kind of intent anyhow, you may as well get transparent with yourself (& preferably someone else also) & frame the upcoming race in a clearer light, rather than having to deal with the disappointment (& possible long term effects) of a “failed” race because you set yourself up for a fall & may not even have known you were doing so. Losing a Boston qualifier by 45sec, or an IM slot by one place 8sec ahead of you because you didn’t know is inexcusable, why would you race with a gremlin in the machine if you knew it could derail your efforts & you knew it was there?
Get clear of your intentions, you’ll race better & feel better afterwards.
For more on this see my book, Magical Running, available on www.BobbyMcGee.com

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Deflecting Attachment


Over the years I have seen that most endurance athletes who race have higher expectations of themselves than most people who do not partake in competitive pastimes or sports. This of course is quite normal. However we tend to become attached to outcomes. In other words we measure success or failure based solely upon the outcome of an event. Should this outcome not fulfill whatever arbitrary measure we have set, no matter how subjective or ill-conceived, we end up feeling miserable. In other words on many occasions these outcomes are not based in reality, but on our rather unscientific & impractical (read unrealistic) determination of what will satisfy us. The ego is a loud-mouthed lout that sits in the peanut gallery & offers uncalled for comments & criticism of the Self, but does not lift a finger of support, while the Self gets out there & does the job!

The secrets to master are:

-Staying committed & responsible for achieving the targets you set yourself
-Being clear, through consultation with those that are both knowledgeable & objective, on what your targets are or ought to be
-Aim high, but be realistic
-Set goals on what attitudes will best serve you in the process
-Become attached only to the process, i.e. work on who you need to be in order to achieve a specific result & not so much on what you have to do in order to be satisfied
-Judge yourself less on outcome & more on how you executed the process
-Set numerous sub targets; like showing up, warming up well, having the most effective attitude, being attuned to your long term targets & goals & not just the short term that's right in front of you.


-Add to this the enjoyment of every minute of the process, being proud of yourself, being patient, being accepting & feeling the correct pace. Work on the reality of each step passing & not the perceived effort. So often perception will indicate the 1st mile as being easy & then 75-90% into the event participation becomes much less easy, & we consequently slow down. Being in the moment stops us from thinking of what's passed & what is still to come & empowers us to deal with the here & now
-Sense pace; do not go on perceived effort, but on actual effort by using velocity over terrain (include environmental circumstances & internal physiology as guides to how you are faring)



If you want to measure yourself, take all this into account. Instead of leaving only 2 possible outcomes as an option; success & failure or zero & 100%. Rather give yourself the option of getting 75%, or a C, rather than only an F (0%) or an A (100%).


See the big picture of your commitment & participation & positive life style. Recognize the often unconsidered values, like association with fun healthy people, being part of a special community. You have had the courage to show up & be measured-a rare & rewarding vulnerability few people have the courage to display! Allow the praise & support of those around you


Wholesome, real & lasting results will flow from this process. This approach provides the greatest value in any participation. Racing or pushing yourself to your limits in training is not a process of gaining something you do not have, but rather a process of allowing that which you do have, to come to the fore. Consider training & racing as an uncovering of your innate abilities & talents – the fittest most successful athlete you can be. Put down expectation & run free & light, why buy the lightest shoes that money can buy & then put two 5 pound bricks of expectation in your pockets!

Use this as a reminder of why & how we can gain more fulfillment from what we so passionately pursue.

Supplant effort with joy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Even the greatest changed his foot strike


After his 1st marathon (as an adult) in 2006, in which he was well beaten into 3rd place (2:06:35!) Haile Gebrselassie said, "I have to change a lot of things before I can become a good marathoner." One of these changes was to come off his forefoot to a more mid foot strike. He believed that the elastic sprinter-like stride (on the balls of his feet) he used to dominate on the track was not sufficiently energy efficient in the marathon.

Foot Strike


A coach from Malaysia recently emailed me asking about foot strike & I fished up an answer from my FAQ file. Thought I'd share it with you all today.


Let me start of by making it clear that I do not advocate either mid foot, heel 1st, whole foot or toe (ballet anyone?) running. I prefer to see what the runner currently does, what success they are having & what their injury profile is. Then I might suggest actions that increase performance, but at the same time reduce the incidence of injury.


Every runner has a “natural” way of placing their foot on the ground. Some place, some drop & how this came about is as a result of many things. Most hit heel 1st & this is fine & preferred by most PTs as it has the least probability of injuries. The only key with heel strike is that the foot contacts the ground almost below the hips & that the toe is not too high off the ground (fore foot should be on the ground very quickly after the heel strikes the ground – the shin should not have to work too hard to decelerate the fore foot as it is lowered to the surface). If there is a 2 beat foot strike - heel, then mid foot, the toe is up too high. The foot should form a partial wheel when heel striking & roll from heel to toe with no significant pause at heel strike.


Striking on the outside of the mid foot (lateral) is also effective & considered a more elite foot strike as displayed by many top Kenyan, Ethiopian & other African runners. As long as the heel settles onto the ground soon after as it loads & then toes off. Sebastian Coe speaks of the heel kissing the ground. Toe off is an elastic release, not a push off. This is probably preferable from a performance stand point, but remember many elite runners are still heel strikers & do just fine. A full forefoot strike that has the heel off the surface throughout the support phase till toe off is not recommended (i.e. the heel never touches the ground). Some folk can do this for shorter distances – like sprinters, but it carries a higher risk of injury, is strength predicated & ultimately much more fatiguing. This is not good at all for triathletes as they are already too fatigued here after the bike. Apparently about 85% of runners are heel strikers, but none of the greats run this way - they land mid foot & the heel touches the surface at mid stance.


Work with what you have & let performance & comfort be your guide. If you need more detailed specific attention, contact me through my website at http://www.bobbymcgee.com/

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bobby McGee's Run:Walk Protocol


This comes from something that I did for Endurance Corner in 2006, Gordo Byrne's website. Gordo is a good foil & great friend.

"Bobby is one of the finest coaches that I've had the pleasure of working with. If you get the chance to learn from him then take it!

I have been using this for all of my runs since getting back to balanced training. It is working very well for me".

Determining where to start with the walk run method would depend on your current level and volume of run conditioning. I generally subscribe the following guidelines:
· If you run regularly (4+ X per week), then use for runs longer than 35 to 45:00
· For experienced runners I would suggest breaking up long runs & tempo runs (the latter defined as half marathon to marathon pace/effort – not off the bike, but flat pure runs)
· I would also highly recommend using the method in your longer bricks where you run more than 35 – 45:00 off the bike
· The basic model I use is 10:00 of running & 1:00 of walking, but I easily adapt this to suit the athlete’s capabilities.
The following ranges are what I recommend from easiest to most skilled:
1. Phase 1: Beginner: This assumes no running at all prior to this. 1:00 run, 1:00 walk, build rapidly (weekly) to 5:00 run, 1:00 walk.
2. Phase II: This assumes low running volume (fewer than 4 runs per week) & looking to build volume. Add 10 – 15% to all runs weekly, but break runs up into 6 to 10:00 sections, with a 1:00 walk. If using 10% increases, then move closer to 10:00 run, 1:00 walk, if increasing by 15%, then stay closer to 6:00 run, 1:00 walk
3. Phase III: This assumes advanced runner looking to increase both volume in long runs & speed in quality workouts. Have the basis be 10:00 run, 1:00 walk & build from there.
I have had runners break runs into sections as large as 30:00, but sometimes find that on chunks larger than 15:00 some athletes have a hard time starting the run again.
In the majority of athletes this is easily rectified by ensuring that the walk stride rate stays high (rather shorter steps & high cadence), that the walk is brisk with a purpose to covering ground, rather than thinking, “ah, rest”!
Also ensure that the arms are kept in running mode—allowing the arms to drop down, slows the stride rate, increases the stride length, which in turn leads to “switching off” & the lengthened levers put the pelvis & hamstrings under increased stress.
By following these guidelines the runner stays facilitated & easily restarts the next section with renewed vigor.
4. Threshold Workouts: I usually break these up into fixed times or distances any way. I design these around a total volume of 30 to 40:00. I find that longer walks here ensure a more rapid progression, i.e. velocity at the same heart rate increases fastest when longer rest periods are incorporated.
Sample workout would be 3X1.5 mile at LT (heart rate or pace, depending on the phase of training) with a 5:00 walk between each.
If the athlete does not have the speed, for example, to complete the quality sections in under 40:00, or is fast enough that the quality work is less than 30:00, then I would either break it up into time sections for the beginner, like 3X10:00, or lengthen the reps for the advanced, speedier runner, like 3X2.2 miles.
5. Tempo Workouts: Here the workout goal would be determined by considering specific event requirements. In the earlier part of this preparation phase I emphasize time sections at a specific heart rate, e.g. for half marathon run 4X15:00 at ½ marathon heart rate, with a 2:00 walk between each. Then in the latter part of the final preparation phase I’d have the same athlete run 3X5km at goal ½ marathon pace with a 2-3:00 walk break between each. I suggest a similar approach to marathon pace tempo runs & IM & ½ IM brick/combo runs. With the marathon I generally keep total volumes below & up to 15 miles (25km).
6. Long Runs: The purpose of long runs is to develop muscle endurance & train the body’s ability to metabolize lipids as a fuel source. A coach can objectively measure increases in vascularity in long runs by observing the athletes decoupling rates, (i.e. when pace slows, while HR remains constant). The basic idea is to be able to increase long run pace while maintaining predetermined sub AeT (aerobic threshold) heart rates. This is by far the most easy to improve through using the walk/run methodology. I find best results when I keep the ratio at 10:00 run, but move the 1:00 walk down as the athlete improves (by 5 to 10sec per jump) until a minimum walk period of 15sec.
Gordo Note: "10:1 worked really well for me. I tried 11:15/0:45 and that really increased the demands of the session. For now, 35-40s seems to be "about right" for getting the reset that Bobby talks about".
7. Racing: For runners who run the marathon in slower than 2:30 (at least sub 3:00) & then, by virtue of IM world bests, all IM athletes, I strongly recommend racing the walk/run method during racing as well. Sub 2:30 marathons have been achieved by runners in this fashion. This implies that if you are going to race this way, train this way. However, for the runner who wishes to run considerably faster & is able to run sub 2:30, I would still use this approach on the majority of occasions, but there would have to be long runs & tempo runs that are continuous running.
ADVANTAGES OF THE METHOD:1. Increased volume (per workout & per week/phase)2. Reduced recovery time3. Mentally easier to train & race4. Faster in the majority of cases5. Improved lipid metabolism6. Increased functional leg strength
What’s not to like?
Gordo Note: "I noted #1 to #4 very quickly in my own training. The hardest part is the humility required to walk!

Questions from a top AG triathlete:
Moving forward, do I keep this ratio for all training runs over 30mins?***Yes
What does the protocol look like for 1/2 IM?***For an athlete like you... walk 15s every other aid station (drink on exit) -- walk 45s at the 10K mark // you need to train the walk -- remember how fast you saw me walk at Saguaro. If HOT then walk 15s every aid station as you'll need the fluids.
Is this the correct protocol for IM, first 1/3 15min:15s, second 1/3, 15min:30s, third 1/3 15min:45s?***Try it on your longest runs -- use the protocol that works best for your longest runs -- for me, I walk longer than 15s early in an IM as I want to settle from the bike and establish cadence.

Le Tour again


I have been following a sports science website, called The Science of Sport, for a while now & the stuff on the tour is fascinating. Here is a excerpt written by Ross Tucker:

"...doping has an effect on the repeatability of the performance, just as much as it affects performance acutely. Many will think only of the acute doping effect, but in fact, most of the doping products exert an even bigger effect on recovery, and hence the ability to produce this level of performance over and over. Think testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone, insulin - all are used to reduce stress response or improve post-exercise recovery. Even EPO would have this effect. Therefore, one cannot infer too much from a once-off performance. Rather, you have to look at a collection of performances, which also partly addresses variability provided by wind speed, temperatures and race situation."


When you consider performances & wonder whether they may be drug induced remember that recovery is the performance key. In the tour obviously it's a multi-stage race, but in most other endurance events the drugs help the cheats by allowing them to recover more quickly & thus train harder & sooner & more - so all 3 factors: volume. intensity & frequency are raised & optimal performances are possible sooner & more frequently.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bobbysez Blast 3



Highlight of the weekend was the Golden League Meeting in Paris, where Kenenisa Bekele showed just how good he is – even when not fully fit – by outkicking double world champion Bernard Lagat over 3000 m to keep his jackpot hopes alive. Lagat ran a personal best (7:28 to 7:33), but it still wasn’t good enough. The women’s 800 was an exciting affair, with US steeplechaser Anna Willard outrunning a stellar field in the last few strides in a PB 1:58.80.

Matt Tegenkamp, who I have long admired, but who has not quite come up to the standard predicted for him when he was in the running for a medal in the 5000m in the world champs a few years ago has run a 13:07.97 (Season’s Best) in the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden, BEL, 18 July, a good sign – I really think he can join Bob Kennedy & Craig Mottram as the only white guys under 13:00 for the distance currently. He was narrowly beaten into 2nd by Kenyan Jonas Cheruiyot. We have yet to see anyone match the Kenyans & Ethiopians in sub 12:45 clockings.

After having been beaten repeatedly, Olympic champ Pamela Jelimo is back to her winning ways, but only just, beating Kenia Sinclair 1:59.59(season’s best) to 2:00.77. But US steepler Anna Willard is having the season of her life, winning the 800m in Paris in the Golden League, a much higher profile event in a 1:58.80 personal best, (see opening paragraph).

It was great to see Lopez Lomong, the USA 1500m runner clocking a 1:46.72 for a season’s best 800m in Belgium.

Lots of 800s this weekend, but other than Anna Willard’s run in the Golden League, the pick of the bunch has to be the Tsiklitiria (IAAF Grand Prix) men’s 800m in Athens on 13 July – 3 guys sub 1:44!:

1. Asbel Kiprop, KEN 1:43.48
2. Ahmad Ismail, SUD 1:43.82 PB
3. Gary Reed, CAN 1:43.95 SB
4. Yeimer Lopez, CUB 1:44.76
5. Dmitrijs Milkevics, LAT 1:45.00 SB

Some short news tidbits from Athletics International:

  • Rashid Ramzi faces being stripped of his Olympic 1500 title after analysis of his “B” sample from Beijing confirmed a positive test for the new drug Cera, an advanced version of EPO. Ramzi claims he is innocent and the Bahrain Olympic Committee has hired a team of lawyers to fight his case.
  • It is reported that Catherine Ndereba will not defend her world marathon title as she does not think she is fully prepared for such a race. Running with an injury, she placed seventh in London in April in 2:26:22.
  • The kilometre splits for Meseret Defar in her brilliant 29:59.20 last weekend were 3:01.51, 3:04.13, 2:57.79, 3:00.56, 3:01.67, 3:02.04, 3:03.07, 3:02.38, 2:58.40 and 2:47.65. The second 5000 m took 14:53.54 (the first was 15:05.66) and the five fastest kilometres added up to 14:45.91 and the three quickest to 8:43.84. Her time shattered Paula Radcliffe's UK all-comers record of 30:17.15 at Gateshead in 2004 and moved her to fifth on the world all-time list behind Wang Junxia 29:31.78, Meselech Melkamu 29:53.80, Tirunesh Dibaba 29:54.66 and Elvan Abeylegesse 29:56.34.

33 years ago: 31 July 1976
Waldemar Cierpinski of East Germany denied Frank Shorter (USA) the opportunity to become only the second marathoner in history to win two successive Olympic titles when he beat the American in heavy rain in Montreal. Cierpinski won in 2:09:55, with Shorter second in 2:10:46 – more than 1½ min faster than he ran in Munich. As in Munich, Karel Lismont (BEL) was one place behind him. Lasse Viren (FIN), who won both the 5000 m and 10000 m on the track, finished fifth. Four years later in Moscow Cierpinski himself scored a second win. He was subsequently, almost 25 years later, discovered to have been on the East German state-run drug program & American Don Kardong who was 4th, lost out on bronze.

In 1998, Kardong was philosophical about the affair. "In the purest sense, the judgment of the IOC is irrelevant," Kardong wrote in Runner's World magazine 10 years ago. "It is the athlete's own measure of self that matters. In my moment of truth, I lost the bronze medal to Karel Lismont. I reached down and found … a well of fatigue. I can't change that, but at least I can claim my race -- what I did and didn't do -- as my own." See http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=joyce/080822

Again my thanks to Riel Hauman of Distance Running Results.


The great endurance athletes envision a moving masterpiece that pays homage to their training efforts. Yes there is ego in that, yes some part of the intent is to entertain, but does this detract from their desire to be self actualized? I think not; rather a complexity of motive driven with supreme confidence to an end more forseen by the protagonist than the observer. And therefore all the more entertaining!

Consider All


Since the very beginning of my coaching career I have been fascinated by the holistic requirements that determine success or failure in endurance events. I recall being adamant in the early 80s that if I could just discover the well guarded training secrets of the athletes & coaches who were my athletes' competition I would be able to better apply these & then my athletes would win. Then one of my mentors Tim Noakes said something that changed all this – if you train just like a past champion you will achieve the same results, all other things being equal! Why would I want that? I wanted national records, winners – I had to forge my own way.
Last week I was working with an Olympic aspirant & world class triathlete on mental skills. Previously I had worked with this athlete on running mechanics. Listening to the coach & watching the athlete race & reading the athlete’s race reports it occurred to me that there might be a run training component missing. This was based on the deterioration in mechanics as the run progressed, listening to what the perceived challenges experienced in the run portion of the race were & seeing how this confluence affected the athlete’s mindset.
What started off as work on bio-mechanics led to observation of races to see if the manipulations helped, which led to realizations of incomplete training perhaps leading to loss of form through fatigue, which in turn led to mental fatigue & lack of confidence in the physical components which ultimately led to loss of overall confidence.
The above is a very good illustration of why no amount of science or only an understanding of the psyche of the individual athlete is ever going to be sufficient. A full understanding of all factors involved in performance, plus an unsurpassed degree of relatedness between athlete & coach, with a willingness on the part of the coach & athlete to keep track of all components & to proactively recognize & act on possible “leaks” in any regard. See the diagram that goes along with this article.
Great coaches & athletes & great teams are the ones who take care of every eventuality possible. The team requires a constantly evolving, highly detailed & systematic master plan which is rigorously kept to in order to achieve consistent predictable timeous results.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Addressing Your Mental Game




Consider that all physical training is in great part a mental exercise through which the ability to do a certain amount of work embues within you the belief that you can race a certain way. This is the only real way to build self-confidence.




Secondly try the following approach: Physical training as a mental exercise is not the process of gaining something that is outside of you, but rather the process of removing that about yourself that is NOT performance. Just like excess weight lowers your VO2 max, & the loss of it increases your VO2 max (& if it's fat your power to weight ratio!), so too the loss of unfitness, through the increase of fitness improves performance. The quality, frequency & quantity of your training instill self-belief. View training as a shedding of limiters - leaving only lean, powerful performance available.




With every workout create a mindset that plays to this. Seek the following:




  • Resilience


  • Mental & emotional endurance


  • Consistency


  • Self belief


  • The ability to play when you train & race


Always show up on the start line with all you have available.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tour de France

As a coach I often get asked, each year, whether I believe the riders are clean. I don't know, but I like what Alexander Wolff from SI.com has to say: "You can leave Colorado or California with your water bottles and Clif Bars, but eventually you'll discover, as Mart Smeets of NOS Dutch TV puts it, "If you want to dance, you put on your dancing shoes."

Cracking the tough nuts who CANNOT get their cadence up


Those of you that know my mechanics methodology will recall that I insist that an increased cadence should not be sought as a primary objective, but should rather be a result of the forward lean & the unloaded downward application of force, until the foot hits the surface. Thereafter loading takes place as momentum causes the pelvis to continue forward, but the foot is grounded & the psoas, hip & soleus, & associated tendons & ligaments load elastically. While this is still completely correct in my estimation – I have the hardest time teaching athletes to fire the glutes & not the psoas concentrically. Today I had something of a breakthrough – while working with an older marathon runner (not the lady in the pic - she is a pro IM athlete!) for about the 6th or 7th session, who has a very slow stride rate: Despite doing the intermittent application of resistance across the pelvis from the rear with a harness which, as usual, increased his power application correctly, as soon as I backed off, he again engaged the psoas & started lifting again.
So I went against my better judgment & ran next to him & told him to match my cadence no matter what – i.e. move up stride rate as a primary objective. He popped upright, lost power, but looked great & the level of dissipation (& consequent reduced impact sound) decreased dramatically & all I had to do was have him reinstitute the lean & voila he was a racing machine!
Conclusion: Metronomes work as cadence guides, as long as the forward lean aspect is addressed & upward oscillation is limited/eradicated.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stride Rate - The Rhythm of the Run


Stride rate clearly is a wonderful indicator of performance. In any given race it is interesting to note that the runners with the higher stride rates are the most likely to be the fastest. They will definitely be better kickers & have less drop off of in pace in the closing stages, especially in the longer races. In discussions with elite African runners it becomes clear that what they tune into during a race is rhythm—not effort, breathing, heart rate or even pace. The cadence is the underlying drum beat of the run. When going slowly the stride length is shorter, when running uphill it is shorter, when running down hill it is longer, when running on soft surfaces it is shorter , when running faster it is longer – but the stride rate stays the same

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bobbysez 2


This week I’d like to get into an issue that has long intrigued me – ever since I got into the business of coaching as a school teacher way back in 1981: The whole issue of jargon.


Some of what I do is analyze training plans in an effort to optimize their effectiveness. Besides changing up the workouts to upgrade adaptation responses*, I almost always have to meet with the individual in order to understand their coding & language before I can give any input. The gap between exercise science & the athletic community is often quite large, hence the prolific existence of training myths & confusing terminology that was often birthed in the 60s & 70s.


Words like intervals, anaerobic, aerobic, fartlek (really old), VO2 Max and lactic acid come to mind. Add to this the more modern influx of concepts that are widely known, but somewhat poorly understood, like lactate threshold, OBLA (onset of blood lactate), tlim VO2 Max (The duration of time that a person can actually exercise at VO2max before becoming exhausted) & eccentric muscle contraction, & we have a community that in many instances may not really be doing what they think they are doing.


I think it is really important to compare apples to apples when designing training. Part of what creates a successful training plan is economy of repetitious work that provides diminishing conditioning returns with volume increase beyond safe adaptation limits & consequent increasing risk of injury. When athletes base workout intensities on a faulty understanding of a principle they can become injured, or may not get the intended response.

In my latest book, Run Workouts in a Binder for Runners & Triathletes I try very hard to move away from confusing terminology, by simply giving each type of workout a name that is an abbreviated definition of what the workout actually is, like 30min EP (30 minute Effort/Pace). In this way runners knows implicitly what they are doing, based on a correct understanding & based on a test that specifically determined that intensity. Now some may think this a somewhat renegade approach – but some of the best coaches have “created” their own language to meet the demands of the events that their athletes are training for. Coaches like Jack Daniels (see picture at beginning of blog) (VDOT tables) & Joe Friel (Training Zones) have helped countless athletes achieve success by closely defining workouts & intensities in this way. Sebastian Coe’s father, Peter was an engineer & approaches schedule design like an engineer from what he called “1st Principles”.
I suggest we take a careful look at our training, try to quantify it all down to 1st principles & make sure through regular evaluation & assessment of racing results that we are doing the best training possible in terms of what we can handle & the demands of our event. Shy away from doing “stuff” that we have a poor understanding of & that we are not sure is efficacious or safe.

Till next time train with grace, gratitude & guts

Bobby
*Better runners with plenty of experience & who coach themselves are often guilty of using tried & tested workouts, but their response to them is less & less effective as they master the workout & become a specialist of that workout, with less carryover to racing fitness

Bobbysez Blast # 2


June 13, 2009

At the British World Trials in Birmingham Meseret Defar (ETH) became only the fifth woman
to run faster than 30 minutes for 10000 m with a career best 29:59.20.
Aviva World Trials and UK Championships
Birmingham, GBR, 10-12 July
WOMEN
10000 (11):
1. Meseret Defar, ETH 29:59.20 PB
2. Aheza Kiros, ETH 31:21.22
3. Lineth Chepkurui, KEN 31:31.92 PB
4. Christine Bardelle, FRA 32:44.48
5. Claire Hallissey 33:10.73 PB


Only four athletes remain in contention for the Golden League jackpot: Kenenisa Bekele,
Kerron Stewart, Yelena Isinbayeva and Sanya Richards. The next meeting is this Friday in
Paris.
5000:
1. Kenenisa Bekele, ETH 12:56.23 SB
2. Mark Kiptoo, KEN 12:57.62 PB
3. Leonard Patrick Komon, KEN 12:58.24 PB
4. Lucas Kimeli, KEN 12:58.70 PB
5. Bekana Daba, ETH 12:59.22 PB

IAAF World Youth Championships (6th)
Bressanone, ITA, 8-12 July
BOYS
800 (11):
1. Johan Rogestedt, SWE, 1993 1:50.92 PB Gold
2. Peter Kiplangat, KEN, 1993 1:50.97 Silver
3. Nicholas Kipkoech, KEN, 1992 1:51.01 Bronze


This is a swift 1500m for boys!


1500 (12):
1. Gideon Mageka, KEN, 1993 3:37.36 PB Gold
2. Caleb Ndiku, KEN, 1992 3:38.42 Silver
3. Girma Bekele, ETH, 1992 3:39.88 PB Bronze
3000 (12):
1. Isaiah Koech, KEN, 1992 7:51.51 PB Gold
2. David Bett, KEN, 1992 7:52.13 PB Silver
3. Goitom Kifle, ERI, 1993 8:05.83 PB Bronze
2000 s/chase(12):
1. Hillary Yego, KEN, 1992 5:25.33 PB Gold
2. Peter Lagat, KEN, 1992 5:26.59 PB Silver
3. Desta Alemu, ETH, 1992 5:29.66 PB Bronze

GIRLS
800 (12):
1. Cherono Koech, KEN, 1992 2:01.67 PB Gold
2. Ciara Mageean IRL, 1992 2:03.07 NJR, NYR Silver
3. Rowena Cole, GBR, 1992 2:03.83 PB Bronze
1500 (11):
1. Nelly Ngeiywo, KEN, 1992 4:12.76 PB Gold
2. Gete Dima, ETH, 1992 4:15.16 Silver
3. Amela Terzic, SRB, 1993 4:16.71 PB Bronze
3000 (08):
1. Purity Rionoripo, KEN, 1993 9:03.79 Gold
2. Jackline Chepngeno, KEN, 1993 9:05.93 PB Silver
3. Genet Yalew, ETH, 1992 9:08.95 PB Bronze
2000 s/chase (10):
1. Korahubish Itaa, ETH, 1992 6:11.83 WYB Gold
2. Lucia Muangi, KEN, 1992 6:11.90 NR, NJR, NYR Silver
3. Halima Hassen, ETH, 1992 6:16.83 PB Bronze

I see that Bernard Lagat ran a 3:32.56 in Tangier on 1 July, so he’s coming into the kind of shape that had him win both the 1500m & the 5000m at World Champs – another good sign for US middle distance running this year.

The Moroccans are great distance runners from 800m to 5000m & beyond; seems they now have a steeplechaser whose figuring it out: Jamel Chatbi ran an 8:08.86 PR in a new Moroccan record at the same meet in Tangier.


However the 1500m for men is on fire this year! Check out these results:
Golden Gala (29th)
(IAAF Golden League)
Rome, ITA, 10 July

1. Asbel Kiprop, KEN 3:31.20 PB
2. Amine Laalou, MAR 3:31.56 PB
3. William Biwott (Jr.), KEN 3:31.70 PB
4. Tarek Boukensa, ALG 3:32.03 SB
5. Belal Mansoor Ali, BRN 3:32.10 SB


In this same Golden Gala, we saw another US woman go under 4 minutes for 1500m; this IS good news, perhaps Jenny Barringer has opened up the flood gates at last. Sub 4 was an almost impossible time in the past. Good for Christin Wurth-Thomas!

1. Maryam Yusuf Jamal, BRN 3:56.55 SB
2. Christin Wurth-Thomas, USA 3:59.98 PB
3. Oksana Zbrozhek, RUS 4:01.48 PB
4. Sonja Roman, SLO 4:02.13 NR
5. Viola Kibiwot, KEN 4:03.22
6. Mariem Alaoui Selsouli, MAR 4:03.76 SB
7. Kalkidan Gezahegne, ETH 4:04.04 PB
8. Lidia Chojecka, POL 4:04.83 SB
9. Irene Jelagat, KEN 4:05.11 SB
10. Anna Mishchenko, UKR 4:06.56 SB
Pretty deep race, 4:06 for 10th

Till next time – run loose, run light, run free

Bobby McGee

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bobbysez Blast 1


Bobbysez Blast

Every week or so I send out a Bobbysez Blast to a group of athletes & interested parties. It deals with mostly track & road running results. I have decided to place this in my bobbysez blog also, so that more people can have access to it.

Much of the information comes from my good friend Riel Hauman’s weekly results newsletter Distance Running Results, that focuses largely on South African running. I extract only international details mostly. Enjoy.

Thanks also to my regular readers of Bobbysez Blast, who have thus far not asked to be deleted from my circulation list; this of itself is a warm compliment! I sincerely hope that my blog will be added to your weekly reading on the world of running.

Here’s something you do not see in road running that often. At this weekend’s Peachtree Road Race (Atlanta, July 5, 2009) - An unsportsmanlike conduct protest was filed by Boaz Cheboiywo against fourth place finisher Tadese Tola. The Atlanta Track Club concluded that the protest would be upheld & disqualified Tola. Cheboiywo was elbowed by Tola in the last 30 meters to the finish.

Despite being a member of the 1500m elite (ran sub 3:30 this year) – Augustine Choge was again out-dueled at the Bislett mile by Deresse Mekonennen in a new Ethiopian mile record of 3:48.95. Watch this guy – he has phenomenal form – I picked him for the win in the 1st 200m just based on the ease with which he maintained an incredible forward lean.

Kenenisa Bekele – the man, stayed in the Golden League hunt by winning the 5000m, but he looked vulnerable & not in his best form.

Meseret Defar seems to be regaining her form after a poor showing in Beijing – she went 14:36.38 for the win in the 5000m at the Bislett Games.

The girls are flying in the steeple for the 1st year after an Olympics – our own Jenny Barringer will have her work cut out at worlds if she is to medal. 3 girls have already cracked 9:20, but with her new sub 4min 1500m clocking she has the wheels to win it on a good day, that would be spectacular for US distance running.

Carrie Messner-Vickers, whom I coach, ran a 30:05 5-miler at 8000ft. Here is her race report for a giggle: So my race went pretty well for not feeling totally up to par!! I won the women's side in 30:05 for 5 miles on a pretty stinking hilly altitude course. I was 6th overall. The first 2 miles were a gradual down hill...my first mile was 5:38, came through 2 miles at 11:17. I missed my splits from there. I ran the first 2 at what felt like a comfortable pace, then picked it up from 3 miles on. Of course that is where the hill started....and went until 1 mile to go. I definitely did not feel 100%, but am happy with the result. I was not trying to run all out and if I had I known I could have easily been under 30; I was pretty tired at the end. 8000ft is some tough alt to run in!!

Till next time – here’s to leg speed

Bobby

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Altitude Symposium


Each year the head exercise physiologist with the USOC, Randy Wilbur puts on this altitude symposium & it is a winner. Randy has helped me hugely in my years as a support coach to US athletes both in track & field & triathlon. His knowledge, skill, grace under pressure, absolute professionalism & high integrity sets a benchmark for my experience of US Olympic endeavors. In short - he really is da man! Then just take a look at the roster of presenters & their topics! I have corresponded with & met John Hellemans who has been a mainstay in the phenomenal triathlon program in New Zealand - if you just spent 5 minutes listening to him you'd be a better coach & athlete for it. Dr. Jim Stray-Gundersen's writings & insight into our sport, while pure science are miraculous in their practical implications - another cannot-miss speaker. The work Coach Terrence Mahon has done up at Mammoth Lakes with the likes of Ryan Hall, bringing US distance running into the upper echelons of the sport is a huge accomplishment - his insights will be invaluable. Coach Dave Jarrett has taken a sport that the US had absolutely no international cudos in, Nordic combined, to the very top - you'll enjoy his passion, no-nonsense, let's-do-the-work approach. He knows how to get a program onto the fast track. The other speakers are equally qualified to inspire you & get your coaching to the next level. I'm going & hope to see you there.

USOC International Altitude Training Symposium

Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

Wednesday 21 October – Friday 23 October 2009

SYMPOSIUM OBJECTIVES:

To bring together athletes, coaches and sport scientists who have a keen interest in the practical application of altitude training for the enhancement athletic performance.

To present cutting edge research on the applied aspects of altitude training.

To discuss practical strategies on how to utilize altitude training in preparation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the London 2012 Olympics.

To nurture collaborative research efforts among athletes, coaches and sport scientists for the purpose of understanding altitude training as it applies to athletic performance.

PROGRAM:
Wednesday 21 October . . . Mt. Everest
3:00 pm Registration

4:00 Welcome and Symposium Overview
Dr. Randy Wilber, PhD
US Olympic Committee

4:30 Open Forum

5:00 Mt. Everest: A Woman's View of the Summit from Nepal and Tibet
Ellen Miller

6:30 Reception

Thursday 22 October . . . Hot Topics in Altitude Training
8:00 am Hematological and Non-Hematological Effects of Altitude Training
Dr. Christopher Gore, PhD
Australian Institute of Sport

9:30 am Integration of the Hypoxic Dose and Training Dose
Dr. Jim Stray-Gundersen, MD
S-G Alter-G Center

11:00 am De-Acclimatization from Altitude: Implications of the “Off Response” for Sports Performance
After Return to Sea Level
Dr. Ben Levine, MD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Thursday 22 October . . . Altitude Training Around the World
2:00 pm Altitude/Hypoxic Training: The Canadian Model
Dr. David Smith, PhD
University of Calgary

3:00 pm Altitude/Hypoxic Training: The New Zealand Model
Dr. John Hellemans, MD
New Zealand Academy of Sport

4:00 pm Altitude/Hypoxic Training: The Kenyan Model
Dr. Randy Wilber, PhD
US Olympic Committee


Friday 23 October . . . Best Practices by Elite Coaches and Athletes
8:30 am Altitude/Hypoxic Training in the Preparation of Elite US Swimmers
Coach Bob Bowman
USA Swimming

9:30 am Altitude/Hypoxic Training in the Preparation of Elite US Nordic Skiers
Coach Dave Jarrett
USA Nordic Combined

USA Nordic Combined Olympic Athlete Bill Demong
2009 World Champion

10:30 am Altitude/Hypoxic Training in the Preparation of Elite US Distance Runners
Coach Terrence Mahon
USA Track and Field

USA Track and Field Olympic Athlete TBD
2004 Olympic Medalist

3:00 pm Tour of the US Olympic Training Center

COST:
Professional USD 175
Student USD 125

REGISTRATION:
OPENS 1 May 2009 Link: USOC International Altitude Training Symposium
Or contact Dr. Randy Wilber: randy.wilber@usoc.org

CLOSES 1 October 2009


AIR TRAVEL and GROUND TRANSPORT:
Denver International Airport (DEN) Airport car rental and drive to Colorado Springs (approximately 1.5 hr)

Colorado Springs Airport (COS) Connects with several major US cities including Denver
Airport shuttle provided by Symposium Host Hotel (Doubletree WA)
Airport shuttle not provided by most other hotels
Additional ground transport via airport car rental and taxi


SYMPOSIUM HOST HOTEL:
Doubletree World Arena Hotel
1775 East Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 USA
Phone: + 1 – 719-576-8900
Fax: + 1 – 719-527-4602
http://www.coloradospringsworldarena.doubletree.com/


ALTERNATE HOTELS
All of the following hotels are within 1000 m of the Symposium Host Hotel and several restaurants.

La Quinta Inn and Suites
2750 Geyser DriveColorado Springs, Colorado 80906 USAPhone: + 1 – 719-527-4788Fax: + 1 – 719-527-4789
http://www.lq.com/

Hampton Inn and Suites
2910 Geyser Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 USAPhone: + 1 – 719-884-0330Fax: + 1 – 719-884-0331
http://hamptoninn.hilton.com/

Residence Inn by Marriott
2765 Geyser Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 USAPhone: + 1 – 719-576-0101Fax: + 1 – 719-576-4848
http://www.marriott.com/




Fairfield Inn by Marriott
2725 Geyser Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 USAPhone: + 1 – 719-576-1717Fax: + 1 – 719-576-4747
http://www.marriott.com/

Crowne Plaza
2886 S Circle Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 USAPhone: + 1 – 719-576-5900Fax: + 1 – 719-576-7695http://www.crowneplaza.com/

Courtyard by Marriott
2570 Tenderfoot Hill Street
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 USAPhone: + 1 – 719-226-5006Fax: + 1 – 719-226-5007
http://www.marriott.com/

Comfort Inn
1410 Harrison Road
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 USAPhone: + 1 – 719-579-6900Fax: + 1 – 719-579-0897
http://www.comfortinn.com/

Best Western Executive Inn and Suites
1440 Harrison Road
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80905 USAPhone: + 1 – 719-576-2371Fax: + 1 – 719-576-4947
http://book.bestwestern.com/

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A New Beginning – Bobby McGee Endurance Sports & BobbyMcGee.com refresh their web presence

After some fitful efforts in the past & some good-natured ribbing from my colleagues as to the erratic nature of my posts, I am committed to regular blogging from now on. I will rely on you to keep me on track this time please. If you have ideas for future post subjects or comments, feel free to let me know. I look forward to some cyber-communication with all of you who are interested in the subjects that populate my professional world & with those that support my work through Bobby McGee Endurance Sports, or my website www.BobbyMcGee.com. My appreciation & good wishes go out to those of you who have been satisfied with the slim web pickings of previous years & still make time to keep up with what I am up to in the field of endurance sports.
This 1st new post celebrates the total reworking of my website & business logo. Many thanks to those of you who had a hand in helping me choose a look & feel that I hope will serve as an effective vehicle for the dissemination of information that has one purpose only – to help you become fulfilled as endurance athletes. Let me know what you think; suggestions welcome. I have been at it since December & as those of you who have websites know this can be a laborious process especially if you are not particularly talented on the web-design side of things. It goes without saying then that it will forever remain a work in progress.
The 3 main areas where I am going to place my most in depth efforts are:
1. Run Training – This will eventually include workout plans, training advice & the offer of customized training plans for specific events, ranging from beginner 5km run guidance to Ironman® training with regards to the marathon run portion. I will continue to assist individuals with the design & execution of training for their specific events. I will also maintain a very small group of athletes that I help with their continual training. I will continue running CEUs throughout 2009 in the US to teach triathletes & triathlon coaches how to best use my new book Run Workouts in a Binder for Runners & Triathletes in my stated mission to help ALL triathletes become better runners off the bike. My intention with this book is to simplify more advanced run training, by demystifying the terminology & providing pace & effort guidelines that are determined through field testing, rather than from tables & guess work
2. Run Biomechanics – This is a field where I have a very high demand & I hope to expand my reach to those individuals & groups who have been unable to attend or meet with me in some way regarding their run form needs. Besides continuing with the USA Triathlon (USAT) coach education courses, group lectures & workshops & my work with individuals, I am now offering more remote access services:
a. The opportunity to send in run video via YouTube, plus some pics, to have them analyzed & receive some suggestions & drills
b. A workbook to aid coaches & training buddies with the process of altering/improving your mechanics (still in the works)
c. And, finally, a run mechanics video that I am putting together with USA Triathlon – hopefully available this fall – the filming has been completed
My manual Running Sports Essentials on Facilitation, Dynamic Warm up Drills; Core Strengthening & Post Exercise Stretching is still be available & will soon be available in a new upgraded version
3. Mental Skills Training – despite amazing advances in the field of sport psychology, it still seems that the average athlete, even the pros, are losing out on great performances because they do not actually train mentally. In the years that I have worked with all levels of athlete it still amazes me that the only athletes that show up for mental skills training, even the Olympians, are those that ALREADY have a great attitude & comprehensive mental racing skills! This year I have been promulgating two themes that I am going to:
· Holding the amateur athlete responsible for their mindset
· Help athletes to be very specific & targeted with their mental development
I will continue to teach coaches the art & science of applying mental skills training with their athletes through my work with both USA Triathlon & the International Triathlon Union (ITU) in coach certification workshops & CEUs. I will still also take on a few individuals & assist with their mental plans for racing. I still firmly believe in the planned, detailed approach to improved performance through the psychological approach put forth in my book Magical Running. I am adding the following offerings:
a. Mental workout plans with evaluation & feedback loops
b. Articles & exercises that the athlete can immediately apply for improved performance
c. In an effort to meet the demands of the more passionate individuals who often want so much more than what I can provide in the public domain, I am considering the offer of a membership to www.BobbyMcGee.com. I will either do this as an opportunity for coaches & athletes who coach themselves, or simply to all individuals interested in running & triathlon. Please let me know your thoughts on this – I would like to meet the specific demands of my readership. Through this medium I hope to offer:
· More in-depth articles about the above subjects
· Exercises that accompany these articles through which the athlete can make these tools their own
· Regular webinars
· Regular podcasts
· A member forum through which I will comment, suggest & answer questions
· A member notice board
· And a sign up gift!
For further details watch the new website
Plenty to look forward to, plenty of work for me – so keep me honest & let me know where I can improve.

Compete & Train with Grace, Gratitude & Guts,

Bobby