Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Program design variables...

What you should keep in mind when developing a training program.

A training program is an essential part of athletic / fitness development and improvement, no matter what your level of participation. As a Trainer and Coach, I spend a huge amount of time developing training programs for individuals to assist them to reach their goals.

I have come to realize there a few "things" which, if kept in mind, can help make the process a little less confusing and time consuming.
  1. Needs analysis:

    Determine what elements the activity / sport demands of the individual? Is it Cardiovascular endurance or muscle strength or perhaps flexibility? Usually it is a combination of various elements.


    It is also essential to identify which energy system is the primary contributor and what the
    biomechanical requirements of the activity are (muscles involved, joints being used etc).The program should be aimed at enhancing these identified elements.

  2. Start at the "ultimate" goal and work backwards:

    The next step is to enter in the goal date. this might be a final weigh in (3 months) or perhaps an Ironman triathlon (8 months).

    Doing this will allow you to work the program backwards, see how many weeks you have to program with, and what the most effective way is to structure the progression of the progression.

  3. Availability of time / Training frequency:

    This is key because without knowing how much time is for training and workouts, the program is not going to be effective. This information must be acquired from your athlete or customer at the outset.

    Training frequency looks at how many training sessions per day / week are required to lead to success. Elite athletes train every day, sometimes 2 - 3 times per day. More common is to train every day, with one day as an "off" day. This is closely tied to how much time the individual has available.

  4. Progressive overload:

    Progressive overload is the process which will allow you to safely challenge the body to adapt to the training stress, using progressively increasing training loads and intensities over a period of time.

    Too much stimuli, too soon and the system will breakdown. Too little stimuli and there will only be a small (if any) change or improvement.

    A simple model is to utilize is 3 weeks of progressively increasing load assignment / volume and one week of reduced load / volume reduction. This will facilitate regeneration.


  5. Start general, end specific:

    Simply stated: At the commencement of any training program, the focus should be on developing overall conditioning - improving general cardiovascular fitness, strengthening connective tissue, enhancing range of motion and mobility etc.

    As you move through the weeks and months of training, activities should become more specific to the activity or the sport. This might include speed work for marathon runners or Plyometric training for football players.
There are any number of ways to approach the development of a training program, and no hard and fast rules - only guidelines that can and should be kept in mind to ensure the plan is safe and effective.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Fountain of Youth

Does anyone else find it ironic that, in the quest for eternal youth, our society of plastic surgery modifications and enhancements are actually making us look worse?

Take all of the Hollywood celebrities, whose endless needle, nip, tuck and cut attempts leave them looking so far and away from their original appearance that, in a twist of irony (and a touch of karma), they lose all of the external allure they previously possessed?

The truth is, the "magic bullet", the "secret" is already out there - and it's remarkably simple.

Eat right. And exercise.

Problem is, no one wants to hear that. Because, as I've said before - simple isn't easy. It takes effort, education and, most importantly - lifelong commitment. And the payoff isn't something that you see in a week, a month, a year - it's in the daily ability to head out to a pick-up game of basketball, to bounce back from surgery, to hold off that cold and to play with your grandchildren.

And these aren't found at the end of a knife, or a needle - their found in the daily trip to the gym, in the morning walks or runs, in getting off of the couch and discovering the joy of living.

So the next time you're tempted to invest some hard earned (and saved) money in one of the "instant" result methods, remember that age-old adage:

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is".

~Guy

Friday, November 26, 2010

Priceless


I was watching The Today Show and saw a piece on a fellow named, Braeden Kreshner, that I couldn't help but want to share.


At the age of 18, Braeden Kershner worked 11 jobs so that he could guest-conduct the Boston Pops. He had seen an ad on the Internet saying fans could conduct the orchestra if they donated big bucks. When asked by the reporter if it was worth the cost, his response was that he could have bought a new car, but it would probably rust and break down in 20 years whereas conducting the orchestra would be an experience he would be able to have for the rest of his life. He also simplified it further by saying that it was just money, and if you could buy the thing you wanted all your life, wouldn't it be worth it to you?


He prepared for his moment by learning to play every instrument in the orchestra. He said that if he gave the orders and didn't play the instruments no one would take him seriously. That night could have made Braeden Kershner a star; instead he joined the Marines and now inspires his students as a Band Director. He said in the interview that the idea was never to be famous; it was just to accomplish the dream and then guide others to theirs.


His biggest message to his students: Failure is forgiven, giving up is not.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

By the Numbers


According to Verne Harnish, author of "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits", business success boils down to 1% vision and 99% alignment.

That is, you need the inspiration and direction of brilliant visionaries; but either within the discipline of those leaders, or hired to balance them out you must have strategists who know how to execute and track progress towards that vision.

You need dreams and ideas... and you need plans and performance management systems.
You need goals and strategies... and you need progress reports and accountabilities.

Any business worth their price of admission is able to manage above, and while doing so make the numbers come alive for everyone from the boardroom to the mail room.

Jim Pattison's auto business, for example, was famous (if not infamous) for inspiring performance in their sales team because each reporting period, the bottom 10% of their sales team was let go. Whether it was fear-based or incentive-based, no one could doubt the impact of living by the numbers no exceptions allowed.

Other companies, especially internationally-known brands like Disney... have a tougher task. "Make people happy" is their vision. How? Well they have hundreds of ways, but each one, no matter how hard it is to do logistically, must be tracked in order for the Disney company to know they are delivering on their vision. And they are! Other than their direct competition, how many people frown when they see Mickey Mouse or consider a family Disney cruise?

One of the biggest challenges most leaders face is a disconnect between the management team and the team at large. One of the best ways this can be overcome is through a strong culture, and within that culture, making every effort to take all things complex and 'big' in the business and turn them into bite-size relevant chunks that every foot soldier in the business understands and wants (for at least some reason) to improve.

The how-to is as diverse as one business is from another, but some key pointers are as follows:

- identify your target market
- identify your business' key difference makers in attracting and/ or retaining this target market
- identify a numerical relationship between how improvement in the above 'X factors' improves your bottom line
- identify key departments and the driving force(s) they contribute to the success of the organization at large. Numerically track these
- identify key performance indicators for all staff (ideally similar, but if not, departmentally or positionally defined)
- set up daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting periods with as much rhythm of communication of all above data and how it ties to the big picture.
- ensure all above is communicated through every level of the organization regularly, and that incentives (financial and otherwise) are tied to meeting and exceeding goals set therein.

Numbers may not be a strong suit for all leaders, but whether they learn how to make numbers come alive, or hire someone who can do this - all companies are bound by numbers at the most fundamental level. Revenue - expenses. Either find a team of employees wholly motivated b y making you as much money as possible, or learn to motivate and educate through the power of making the key metrics in your business come alive.

The world is just too competitive today not to.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Fifth Rider of the Apocolypse Has Arrived

Along with War, Famine, Conquest and Death, I give you... Stupidity. And she arrives at the door of the White House on the multi-colored horse named "Media".

This is not a personal attack. This isn't even directed at her as a Republican. This is directed at those people in the United States, who hold her up as the "saviour" of their country and who not only support her but may very well get her elected into office. Who ignore the fact that her answers to real, in-depth questions relating to her country (let alone the rest of the world) are often almost as absurd as that of George W. Bush's. Who doesn't seem to have any sort of actual platforms, besides the fact that they'll be "different". Who supposedly stands for "traditionally conservative" (note: not my opinion) family values, but whose hypocrisy continually rears it's ugly head in the form of a grandchild born out of wedlock to her (still) unmarried daughter. And whose same daughter continues to be on Dancing With the Stars because of her mom's popularity, but despite the fact that her dancing is atrocious....

Mark my words. Sarah Palin will make a run for office in 2012, and she stands a frighteningly good chance of getting there. And as much as I'd love to sit back and let those who vote for her suffer through the consequences of their actions - I can't. Because her being in office will impact MY country as well.

I implore you, if you care about the world you live in - spread the word. Keep this woman's hands out of world economics, the U.N., global peacekeeping, domestic poverty and, most importantly, keep them off of the nuclear codes. I don't care if it's a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent that takes the oath in two years...

Just don't let it be her. Please.

~Guy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Are You Going?


'It's not so much where my motivation come from but rather how it manages to survive?' ~ Louise Bourgeois


What are you doing right now, and where do you see yourself in 10 years? It seems like a simple question, but now lets take it one step further, is what you are doing right now going to get you there? If not, what are you doing besides wasting your time?


If I told you that I would pay for you to travel to the one place, in the entire world, that you would like to visit more than anywhere and that all you would have to do is book your travel arrangements, would you do it? It's the same thing - you can be and do anything you want, within reason - I will never be a successful recording artist, but you're not going anywhere unless you start making some plans and book the ticket.


It's easy to picture where you would like to be, and what you would like to be doing. The challenging part is working towards that vision day in and out, and understanding that it's all of the little things that add up to the big things. Life, unfortunately, is not like the movies and not a series of montages - it's real, it's gritty and it's hard work and if you want to get anywhere you need to book the ticket and start packing.


~Sasha

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Use more of your brain.



If people had the ability to think long term, its safe to say they might be doing things a little differently today. This begs two questions, 1. how do we train ourselves to think long term and 2. Do we always need to arrive at the point of no return before we change the way we think?

History, nor science are our side.

History shows example after example after example of failed ecosystems directly related to our inability to factor in the long term ramifications. Fall of the Roman Empire, world wars, collapse of the worlds financial system, collapse of Europe's social system, destruction of the rain forest all have/had obvious outcomes (with foresight, in hindsight) based on the foundations they were built. Can you 'think' of any other modern day examples?

Science points to the fact that most human beings only use a fraction of their brain power while the rest is left untapped due to our inability to access it. Do we even try or do we let others do the thinking for us? Ironically we are fascinated by people with the ability to tap the 'hidden' parts of their brains; Socretes, Newton, Churchill, Edison, Chopin, Beetovan, Picasso, Van Gogh. You mean I have the capacity to be as brilliant as these people? Yes. They were simply people who trained themselves to use more of their brain than we do. [See them]

Marketing is not on our side.

Staying in business and profitability are all about 'now'. Even the 'freedom 55 campaign' is about taking your money 'now'. Our inability to think long term prevents us from realizing that we are being sold 'the dream' before it becomes the nightmare... at which point we buy into another quick fix dream and wonder why the cycle continues.

Human nature is not on our side.

We tend to operate in a circular pattern. Around. And around. And around we go exhibiting the same behaviors and expecting a different result. No wonder there is rampant insanity. That is the very definition. We tend not to even be compelled to take action until there are dire consequences. Did we not know better?

So if history, science, marketing and human nature isn't on our side - how do we intend to initiate & facilitate long term, forward thinking? There's no one answer, and our fast approaching reality is that we're going to be forced to start thinking about it very soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Set Your Mark


Just as this gentleman pictured may have a tough time hitting his target, it can be very hard to reach our objectives if we don't see (or can't envision) where we're going.

The word "legacy" gets tossed around a lot, and it stems from a generational trend. We have more and more needs met for us as (recession notwithstanding) we were lucky to be born during a time and region of affluence. Whether it's Maslow's Hierarchy of needs or common sense, the more basic needs we have met, the deeper and more metaphysical our desires become.

Our goals move from survival to philanthropy and/ or excellence in achievement. These are good things, and the analogous blind dart thrower is not in any way meant as a deterrent to setting goals. Quite the opposite.

The education that is meant is to have people think more clearly of how they want to be remembered, not just THAT they want to be remembered. In terms of a straight geologic record, the possibility exists millions of years from now that the only record of the human race may be our fossils. In other words, the written word, stories being told about you, even the Internet - there is no guarantee that any of it is forever.

What should matter is what the people closest to you, and the people you hope to inspire - say about you and your life's work. More importantly, defining success in your own terms, and being able to say YOU are proud of you and what you have done in your life and to help others.

"I want to be remembered" is like throwing darts blind.
"I will be remembered for ___________ by doing x, y, and z in __________ manner" is a LOT better.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Improving your running efficiency: Some food for thought

I found this 12 minute video looking at running efficiency extremely interesting and thought you would get something out of it too - enjoy!



Keep in mind that the variables discussed in this segment hold true for all runners - not just the Elites. I recommend taking one of the variables analyzed and work on improving it in your own running.

You will be amazed at the difference it make. Not only will you be able to run more efficiently (less fatigue associated with running), but your body will be far happier - less muscle soreness, less muscle fatigue and ultimately, fewer injuries.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Late last week, Carol Berner was sentenced for the crime of impaired driving causing death.

Her victim was 4 year old Alexa Middelear.

After she was sentenced to a shocking and offensively short 2.5 years in jail (which will amount to even less when you consider probation and time served), her and her lawyer had the audacity to suggest that the sentence was "too harsh", and that she "shouldn't go to jail".

Sadly, this is just another (even more vile and disgusting than usual) example of how our society continues to do anything it can to avoid any degree of personal accountability.

I don't care if she's a "good person at heart". I don't care if she "has quit drinking", and is "plagued by nightmares". And I really don't care if she "has something to contribute to society".

She made the choice to drink. She made the choice to get behind the wheel of a car. She made the decision to speed. And as a direct result of her choices, a 4 year old girl feeding a horse at the side of a road is dead.

And now that the time for penance, the time to pay the toll for her choices and the results of these choices, has come - she has the gall to try and appeal the decision, looking for sympathy and compassion from the court.

I think we really need to take a good, hard look at ourselves, and stop allowing ourselves, our family, our friends and our children to make excuses and justifications... because if we don't, then it's only going to get worse.

~Guy

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Job 101:




We are often called on to share advice with young people entering into the workforce based on our experiences hiring across the 20-25 age bracket. What is great about this is it allows us to provide insight & advice that doesn’t seem to be taught in the education systems. The biggest challenge in sharing this information is that it’s counterintuitive to what is being taught, hence understood as the expectation when people get to their 1st jobs. This false expectation can lead to people’s first months on the new job being a ‘re-training’ period instead of ‘integration’ period which can result in frustration, wasted time and wasted money.

Below are 5 solid tips that can accelerate a successful integration into the workforce.

1. Determine your passion & skill set. There are too may examples of people ‘stuck’ in jobs & careers they are not passionate about. This wastes all parties time, money and energy. If we are able to determine what we are passionate about and then base our job searches around that criterion, we (and the organization we end up in) are going to flourish. Also relevant to what we are passionate about is knowing what we are skilled at. We need to have, or study & gain the necessary competencies & skill sets in order to succeed and sometimes that may take extra work. In the end, those who are in jobs & careers they are passionate about and skilled at will have a much more prosperous (by every sense of the term) experience.

2. Understand personality characteristics. There are many great tools used to analyze peoples personality traits. Briggs & Myers, True Colors are two of the most widely used and what they do is a) identify your primary personality traits, b) outline how those traits are positively and negatively influenced in a team/work environment and c) identify other personality traits and outline how those traits are positively and negatively influenced in a team/work environment. If every employer / employee had a handle on this criterion, they would save billions of hours in time and billions of dollars of money managing personalities. Every job is a delicate ecosystem and EVERYONE has the responsibility of understanding their role and how it relates to the group.

3. Know what business you are getting into. There are many types of business, however for simplicity sake we differentiate by service based and product based. If you are applying for a service based business the success of the organization (hence you) will likely be determined by the quality of your offering vs. other offerings. As competition heats up, your organization (read: you) will need to respond accordingly if you are interested in keeping a share of the marketplace and this presents itself in the form of above and beyond and the extra mile. Different organizations will have different expectations around the extra mile and it’s important to understand what that organizations expectation is BEFORE you commit to the job vs. after you get hired and determine it’s not for you. If you are the type of person who prioritizes work as a means to an end or prefers to punch in and punch out, you should think about getting into a business where the product can speak for itself and doesn’t require you to speak for it. This ties in closely with passion, skill set and personality traits.

4. Understand the 4 key aspects in EVERY business. The 4 main aspects are self, team, operations & customers. Most people make the mistake of only thinking about themselves and the customers and this leads to BIG problems. Knowing your values, strengths & weaknesses, communication styles, baggage and how you prefer to be managed will prevent 99% of all self-related conflicts that can arise. Personality traits can really help facilitate a healthy team environment and despite the ‘be your own boss’ marketing campaign that is often over sold, the REALITY is that a great team will rival an enthusiastic individual every time. People’s lack of understanding around operations is one of the primary contributors to 1-5 businesses not making it past 5 years. Know your companies mission statement, code of conduct, bottom line. The more you familiarize and educate yourself on the operational aspect, the better position you will be in to contribute to the growth and success and the more likely you will be rewarded. When people take care of self, team and operations at a high level, the customers will be reflected in that success.

5. Don’t underestimate the responsibility you have in CONTINUING create a successful work environment. People prepare so hard to write the test, to get the degree to ace the interview to get the job and think that’s the end. It’s not the end. It’s not even the beginning. What people have a set of tools that now need to be selected, sharpened and modified in order to carve out continued success. Those who keep reinventing themselves, sharpening their skills and own their progress and success are more happier, more productive and likely more extrinsically rewarded than those who come into a job and try to hide or get the most for the least.


Matt Young is the founder of Innovative Fitness, a personal training company in Vancouver BC. He is a 2 time Ernst & Young entrepreneur of the year finalist, Canada’s Top 40 under 40 award winner and has authored & co-authored 7 books. Matt and his team have donated over 3.5 million dollars to charity and have a Guinness World Record for the fastest cycling relay across Canada. You can reach Matt at matt@innovativefitness.com

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?


Who does Kanye West think he is?


He's an artist, who makes good music and lots of money while doing it. He has accused George Bush of being a racist, hijacked the microphone from Taylor Swift at an awards show, and told Matt Lauer off, in a manner of speaking, in a recent interview on the Today Show.


Is it because he makes good music and lots of money that he feels these things are acceptable? Or, is it because he makes good music and lots of money that he just doesn't care. Whatever the reason, he's soon going to learn that the public does.


We are very forgiving of the entertainment industry. We appreciate a good apology and love nothing more than a great comeback. However, as our friend Kanye has tweeted, he is still waiting for an apology from us. Guess what Kanye, you're going to be waiting awhile.


Because although you may make good music, you seem to be forgetting the number one rule of being a celebrity - you are your own brand, and right now, you're not selling us. And, bottom line, if you're not selling us, you're not selling albums. Something to think about before you open your mouth again for something other than singing.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sobering statistics

While reading through a few back issues of the IDEA fitness journal I stumbled upon an a very interesting article on the culture of wellness and the need for self responsibility.

A side bar to the article looked at number of "sobering statistics" related to children, adults and corporations, and although the statistics regarding the health status of children are extremely alarming, they have all been written about many, many times.

I decided to present a few very interesting, if not shocking, corporate numbers from research findings over the last 5 years.

The reason for deciding to look at the corporate cost is because Innovative Fitness are now actively involved in developing and delivering corporate health and wellness packages and programs to organizations.



Here is some healthy and nutritious food for thought!
  1. As a result of the recent economic challenges, 60% of U.S companies have changed or plan to change their health care strategy.
  2. In 2009, employers were paying 29% more on health care than they did in 2004.
  3. Companies that have managed their health care costs effectively have saved more than $60 million since 2004. How?
    • Through financial incentive programs
    • Through effective delivery of information to employees
  4. The average cost of health care per employee in the U.S in 2008 was $7 173
  5. In terms of Dollar savings, companies that spent money of health and wellness programs, saved between $1.49 - $4.91 per $1 spent.
  6. $45 Billion - the cost of obesity on companies as a result of medical costs and work losses.
  7. In 2008, 40% of companies implemented obesity-reduction programs
Looking to the future:
  1. 50% of companies plan to introduce or increase investments in health and wellness programs.
  2. 32% of companies have or plan to introduce or increase financial incentives for health and wellness promotion activities, in the form of:
    • Bonuses
    • Premium discounts
  3. And if these programs are not adhered to or utilized by employees? 45% of companies plan to introduce or increase penalties for non-participation.
Effective strategies to lowering health care costs include:
  1. Offering appropriate financial incentives to those participating in programs
  2. Delivering information on health and wellness effectively and consistently
  3. Provide quality health care along the entire health and wellness spectrum
  4. Use metrics and evidence based feedback to support and develop programs
  5. Maximize health and productivity through the implementation of 1 - 4
It is clear that the health of the population in all areas of existence is being threatened, and not only is it costing us our health, but it is costing us billions of dollars every year.

Source: Idea fitness journal: October 2009, volume 6, number 9

Monday, November 08, 2010

Change Doesn't Happen Overnight

Sometimes I'm amazed by society - both by it's impatience and need for instant gratification, as well as it's ability to forget the immediate past.

An example of this is the results in the recent American midterm elections. We've seen the Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives - which, when seen overlaid with the "Obama hasn't accomplished anything..." interviews you hear with from the voting public, demonstrates the American people's frustration with the lack of results from Obama.

*Sigh*

They're missing three key things. Firstly - much as we'd like to see otherwise - things don't happen in the blink of an eye. They must be presented, debated, changed, adapted, presented again, debated again, and so on... the process is meant to prevent knee-jerk reactions (a good thing) but it also slows any sort of quick progress. Secondly, they seem to be forgetting that Obama's administration took over this problem from someone else - a Republican government. They are the ones who created this in the first place, and left it for someone else to clean up - sadly, a challenging (and potentially losing) situation to walk into.

Finally (and unfortunately), some of his other accomplishments have been missed or overshadowed - things like:
  • Expansion of Medicaid to all individuals under the age of 65 with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level
  • Requirement of health insurance plans to disclose how much of the premium actually goes to patient care
  • Significantly increased funding for the Violence Against Women's Act
  • Eliminated subsidies to private lender middlemen of student loans and protected student borrowers
  • Increased funding for national parks and forests by 10%

Now, these are just a small number of changes brought forward by the current administration, and in them they address healthcare, women's rights, students and the environment... and that's just two years into the term.

Might just be my opinion - but shouldn't we wait more than 2 years before we start considering Sarah Palin an option?

~Guy

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Transparancy


It is said that we are living amidst the "information age" or the "information revolution".
The fact is, more than ever before, relevant and (mostly) reliable information is a mouse click away in most civilized countries. The average citizen can click on Google Images, search 'Area 51' and get the following picture;


This used to be FBI classified info and now your 10 year old can learn that there are runways (debated to be for high tech aircraft or even space shuttles) and technology very present there.

Why is this relevant?
Well international law and the number of different photo- capable satellites orbiting Earth and other planets are making more and more types of information accessible - so this has become the new expectation. Whether it's weather or crime - keep me in the loop.

The one place this has not permeated the social fabric enough is the workplace. Somehow, companies are still in business operating as privileged 'in-the'know' clubs wherein the most hierarchically senior staff know all and anyone who knows a portion of that info is sacred. The many must produce results based on the insight and leadership of the few.

The notion of unanimous decision making is slow, and much of the time unrealistic. However, even in unilateral decisions, an informed public becomes a trusting public if they understand the factors leading to decisions and understand (not necessarily agree with) the decision itself.

The fact is some people are leaders because they are the best candidate; man or woman, black or white, Christian or Muslim, whatever. These people demonstrate high personal integrity coupled with the ability to lead through adversity and make the impossible decisions. These people remain calm in the face of information that would cripple lessor leaders, and find a way to communicate the realities while still motivating everyone to do the best with whatever they have.

The 'old boys club' of the privileged few making enormous decisions behind closed boardroom doors - is a dying breed for many reasons. First, no new influx or ideas or perspectives. Even leaders with long track records of success can begin to wear out their worth if they don't reinvent their methods. Next, it's hard to infuse a dynamic, passionate culture based on segmentation of power. Third, no one gets empowered 'how to' if the up-and-comers aren't exposed to, educated on, and led through the decision making and strategic planning process. Once the old leaders retire, their experience and vision retire with them.

Basically, in the age of blogs, social media, and smart advertising that sends over 100,000 messages at North Americans a day - the only way to lead anyone is to engage, re-engage, and in every encounter - use the motivational power of information to empower your team to work WITH you, not for (or even worse, against) you.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Get the most from your winter training.

The summer has drawn to a close and most of us are looking at the fast approaching winter with a little bit excitement and perhaps a little bit of trepidation.

For most endurance athletes, winter is a time to hang up the bikes, pack away the swimming cap and goggles, and after a long summer of training and racing, it is not always an easy thing to do.
Winter provides the perfect opportunity for us to allow the body and the mind to recover and regenerate after the summers’ endevours.

This does not, however, mean going into hibernation on the couch for 4 months, waiting for spring roll in – leave that to the bears!



We can however, use this “down time” to...
  • Look back at the season and identify what went well and what did not – write it down – try to remain objective.
  • Look forward to the new year and plan for next years’ season – establish goals and timelines
  • Work on rehabilitating any injuries that might have developed through the season – do you have a strategy to ensure they do not re-occur?
  • Allow your body and mind to “decompress” - this will ensure you are fresh and fired up when your new training program commences.
  • Get professional help with your training (guys – you do not know everything – contrary to popular belief) – a coach, a bike fit expert or perhaps a personal training coach.
  • Participate in activities you might not incorporate into your training – a new Yoga class, cross country skiing or ice skating – make it fun, not structured and non-competitive if you were highly competitive during the race season.
One thing I do strongly urge you to do is watch your waistline!

With the reduction in training volume, and the any number of festive celebrations taking place over the next 4 months, it is not difficult to pick up a few additional pounds along the way.

Adjust your food intake relative to your expenditure (Calories in VS Calories out) to ensure you do not have to choose weight loss as your #1 new years’ resolution for 2011.

Follow these guidelines and you will be amazed at how motivated, inspired and fired up you are to get back into training when the pre-season begins again next year.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Don't Ask Unless You Want the Truth

"People don't ask for advice - they're looking for validation..."
~ Michael Boyle

There are times in life, whether personal or professional, when people will seek your advice because you are seen (correctly or incorrectly), as an authority or expert. For those of you who haven't experienced this yet (at least, aren't aware of it anyway), a little insight for you: they don't want you to tell them anything unless you're simply confirming what they want to hear.

When this happens, you have two choices - be honest with them, and run the risk of losing, for example, a key sale, or say what you know they want you to and make that dollar.

Seems obvious, right? Path of least resistance which proves to be most profitable would seem to be the best choice?

Sure. In the short term.

But what happens when things don't work out - when they get home and realize that the pants don't fit, that they've lost money on a poor investment, or that they haven't lost any weight? Well, I can answer that right now - because the only thing society likes more than validation is a scapegoat, so that they don't have to be held accountable for anything. And if you've simply told people what they want to hear in order to avoid being "the bad guy" or to get that money in your pocket - then you're going to be the first one they look to when they're trying to find someone other than themselves to blame. So in the end, you're going to lose not only the sale, but your credibility goes out the window along with your principles.

Sometimes - you have to choose between doing what's easy, and doing what's right. And unfortunately, they're usually not the same thing...

~Guy