Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mustache March, Hockey Playoff Beards, a Mohawk and Staying Committed (Dealing with Success) Part 3

Make sure you check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Phase #2 has wrapped up and I’m already well into Phase #3.  I hit several PR’s in each lift over the last training segment and if you read any of my tweets during that time you know that there were a few weeks in a row where new PR’s were a daily experience.  I’m once again up in all my lifts and have been at a steady 198 – 200# for weight (about a 17# increase since May).  So far I’ve been able to show the same drive and intensity that I had at the beginning of Phase #1.  My goals now are to maintain my weight and strength (possibly continue increasing strength) while transitioning to more conditioning and speed work in Phase #3.  Once I’m done I may post some progression pics to show the transformation throughout the 3 training segments.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mustache March, Hockey Playoff Beards, a Mohawk and Staying Committed (Dealing with Success) Part 2

Please read Part 1 first.

Snowboard off-season is long here, lasting from mid-March often to early December.  The good news is it gives me and the athletes I coach a ton of time to train and get stronger, faster and more mentally tough for the new competition year.  I got back from Nationals in mid-April and started my off-season training at the end of the month with an initial combined goal of increasing my overall strength and getting my weight up to 200# (I started at a very lean 183#).  It worked out that I could fit 3 different training phases into the off-season and I immediately got started lifting, eating and sleeping.  Each phase would become increasingly difficult and more challenging, so no time for messing around.
Pre-Nationals workout February 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mustache March, Hockey Playoff Beards, a Mohawk and Staying Committed (Dealing with Success) Part 1

It all began last March with a visit to Colorado for USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain.  “Mustache March” was in full swing and I just happened to have 3.5 weeks where I didn’t have to shave - so I joined in the fun.  I kept everything going for a good 2.5 weeks and when it was clear the beard wasn’t quite happening I reduced it to just the mustache and even that looked a little sketchy.
Mustache March in Full Swing

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Warriors Fitness Guest Author Article

Considering it’s 90* and sunny out you probably haven’t thought about snow in a while.  I know skiing and snowboarding are several months off, but it’s time to get your legs and body ready for hitting the slopes this winter.

I have a few exercises that you can integrate into your normal ‘leg day’ at the gym that will help you prep for all the snow fun you’re going to have this season.  Keep in mind that theses exercises are good for general strength, power, explosiveness and fitness too!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Who is Your Coach? Part #2

Be sure to read Part #1.
Is your "Coach" really interested in what you're doing?
But what about the qualities you want to see demonstrated by your coach?  I often recognized them when I observed friends/colleagues training their clients, though I never put the characteristics down in words.  I just knew someone had what it takes from watching the way they worked with/talked to their clients or from what they did for their own training. These trainers weren't just avoiding the poor characteristics, they were active, interested partners in their clients' success and enjoyment. 

I’ve had a several instances in my career through clinics or with one-on-one training where I’ve realized during the session, though most often after, what great coaching I just enjoyed.  The colleagues/friends who demonstrated these qualities were always living examples of how I wanted to conduct myself as a coach.  The new breakthroughs, concepts grasped and overall experiences created for me were exactly what I wanted to share with my clients.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who is Your Coach? Part #1

Have you asked yourself this question before?  You should.  It’s important to know the nature of the individual(s) who you train with. 

Recently (twice in the past 8 months) I have been on the ‘trainee/athlete’ side of the equation which got me thinking about this topic.  First off, before snowboard season began last year, I wanted a new perspective for my pre-season conditioning.  Second, I was looking for expert feedback in creating the first portion of my off-season training that started in April, where I’d be focusing on gaining size and strength (a phase I’m currently working through).  The bottom line with both these training goals was that I didn’t want to create another program for myself and I didn’t want to use an old one (even if it was an effective routine).

The old saying that a person legally representing themselves in court has an idiot for counsel came to mind (not that I’m an idiot) but it occurred to me that more experienced coaches than I were letting colleagues develop training programs for them, so why shouldn’t I do that?  I also might be able to learn something new in the process.  
'Feel the burn?'

Friday, June 1, 2012

What It Takes #2

Be sure you’ve read Part I before viewing this post.

“…Summer training for me is a combination of plyometric, strength and conditioning training. I won't go into detail because every individual should have a plan custom for them. I try to run 4-5 miles, twice a week. Get in the gym at least 4 days and have a day of rest mixed in there too. It's real important to listen to your body and understand what it is telling you, if you can't then you will never be able to perform at your peak. Ample rest and nutrition is key, whether in working out or during competition season.
TGU's with 32Kg (70#) = Fun!

What It Takes #1

To what length are you willing to go on the path to reaching your goals? 
What are you willing to sacrifice to succeed? 
View from the Podium is always good!
Over the next 2 blog posts I’ll highlight a recent email conversation that got me thinking about these themes and share a large portion of the dialog.  The comments are from a professional boardercross athlete and are directed to an aspiring amateur racer. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

2012 USASA National Championships #6

After returning from Nationals everyone thought the season was over, but somehow 7 Springs opened up for a day on April 24th and we got to have fun with our snow friends under sunny skies one more time. 
Even "Stick Man" was there
Here’s our Year-end Race Season Re-cap video:

Ale (see Athlete Bio Page: here) did an awesome job editing and creating the graphics. 

We also were lucky enough to have a feature article written about our trip to USASA National Championships in the Tribune Review, which you can read here.

2012 USASA National Championships #5

Here’s a collection of random pictures and video from the 2012 USASA National Championships.  Videos are of us blowing off steam after the races and having fun on the last day of the trip. 
Ale on Practice Day #1
Ale's 1st Heat
Fully participating in Mustache March
Lining up for practice
Practice run on Race Day

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 USASA National Championships #4

The only change in schedule for the Masters Women and Masters Men SBX Race days compared to Open Class was no lunch break.  There were a few other age groups competing so there was plenty of time to get nutrition when you needed it though (food is very important!).
Practice Time
Ale (see Athlete Bio Page: here) raced on the only ‘snow’ day we had during the whole trip (it was 60’s and sunny every day).  The forecast was for rain and we thought “how appropriate”.  Considering that about a 1/3 of our training days were in the rain this year, we thought that no one’s going to be better prepared for these conditions – lol.  Thankfully no rain fell.  It was around 40 degrees and actually spitting snow and flurries with a few breaks of sunshine.
3/4's of Team Haleakala Racing

2012 USASA National Championships #3

We spent one of our ‘off’ days in between practice and racing up on the hill watching the Open Class SBX competition.  It’s always helpful to see how the best riders are handling the course, the line they choose, what gate is fastest, etc. especially when finalizing/confirming your race strategy.  And these guys/gals are pretty good.  On a relatively tight course the top men were hitting over 40 mph and the best time trial run was :56 for the Men and 1:02 for the Women.  Hopefully you’ll get a sense of what I’m talking about when you watch the video, though most of the footage is from the start and top sections. 

All race days start the same way; course inspection, practice time, and then time trials to set seeding.  After a lunch break, they began the heats.  I filmed some of the Men and Women’s time trials, their consolation round and final (commonly known as the Small Final and Big Final - Small runs first, then the Big Final).

The good news is that the races that day confirmed that we were spot on with our course strategy and plan and boosted our confidence for the upcoming races.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 USASA National Championships #2

This post chronicles our practice day experience from Nationals earlier this month.  There has been a ton of video to edit so it’s taken me a while to get things prepared for web publishing, but now that all the prep work is done, I’ll have a few new posts up in quick succession.

Ready for Practice

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012 USASA National Championships #1

The 2012 USASA Nationals journey has begun.  Coaching and competing at Nationals is more than just the event; it’s seeing old friends in Colorado, lots of snowboarding, homemade lasagna and other cool surprise adventures along the way (not to mention hours of board waxing).  I’m looking forward to training and coaching with the practice sessions for Boardercross (SBX) starting next Wednesday.  Be sure to check back for post updates with pictures and video during and after the competition.  I’ll also be tweeting throughout my travels @theMtnAthlete.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Seasonal Nutrition #4

Please read Seasonal Nutrition #1, #2 and #3" before checking out this post.

The second type of seasonality is the impact the actual seasons of the year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall) have on nutrition.  Late Fall and Winter tend to have a drying effect on our bodies.  We also endure colder temperatures during this time frame.  The Spring tends to be wetter and warmer.  Late Spring through early Fall tends to be warmer and somewhat drying (depends on what part of the world you live in too).    

I use Ayurvedic eating guidelines (food choices) to help address this type of seasonality.  Ayurveda is a traditional medicine of India and includes food/eating recommendations based on an individual’s body type and environment (one of the first resources I read on how to incorporate an Ayurvedic principles into your diet was Dr. John Douillard’s book, "Body, Mind and Sport"). 
Salmon w/ Organic Green Beans, Sweet Potato and Squash 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Seasonal Nutrition #3

Be sure to read “Seasonal Nutrition #1 and  #2" before checking out this post.

The first kind of seasonality we’ll look at is “Competition” vs. “Off-season”.  Right now, I’m in my competition season (SBX Racing) and spend approximately 4 hours on snow, 3 days a week.  I also weight train 2 times a week for about 2 hours each (depending on travel – some weeks I can get 3 days in).  So that’s 16 total hours of physical activity per week.  The remainder of the week is not that stressful activity-wise.  The lack of activity the remainder of the week means I’m only at a Moderate Activity Level (see post #2 in the series for more info about Activity Level). 
On Course in NY
During the off-season I weight train in the gym 4 days a week (2 hours each day) and mountain bike or trail run on another day (1 or 2 hours at the most).  My total activity time is about 10 hours per week, which earns me the Light Activity Level category.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Seasonal Nutrition #2

Be sure to read "Seasonal Nutrition #1" before checking out this post.

Once you’ve figured your Daily Caloric Needs, it’s important to determine what percentage of nutrients you’ll use for a guideline each day.  What specific percentage of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats make up your daily intake?  I use a simple 45% CHO, 35% PRO and 20% Fat breakdown right now.  Unless I’m really trying to ‘lean out’ I use this for most of the year.  Occasionally I’ll have a day or two with a slightly higher CHO percentage for when I know I’m going to have an increased level of exertion on that particular day or am trying to have a ‘re-feed’ meal.   Please do not take the percentages I’ve listed as a “rule”, they’re only what I’ve found that works for me.  The recommended percentage of each is different for everyone and should be tailored and monitored by a Professional (Nutritionist or Certified Personal Trainer) to be most effective. 
Egg 'mix', toast and Arabic Coffee @ Algebra Tea House

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seasonal Nutrition #1

I know what you’re thinking: “Great – can’t wait to read a blog telling me how what I’m eating is ‘bad’ for me.  And the super-technical breakdown of calories and macronutrients will be good reading.if I need help falling asleep.”  Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you eat crap; we both already know this – lol.  Kidding.  And I won’t go too deep into macro’s and calories, other than to describe what my food intake looks like and cover a few basic guidelines you’ll need to get started.  Not to freak you out any more, but this will be a 4-part blog as well – yes!

The initial focus of this post series is to describe some basic nutritional concepts that you’ll need to understand before I cover the more detailed seasonal-specific information (and no, there won't be a quiz later).  The follow-up posts will share some comments about how seasonal changes (the actual seasons of the year and being in/out of competition season) require a shift in foods and macronutrient content to match the needs of your body as it tries to adapt to new environmental conditions and different physical demands.  Whoa a little techie there, here’s a picture of food that might calm you down:
Ale's famous 5-chili chili

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Final 2012 USASA SBX Local Series Results

It was a little different experience this weekend at Snow Trails, OH for the last set of local USASA SBX races.  And by different, I mean it was actually winter again.  Cold temps, fresh snow and a fun course with 5-person heats made for a really enjoyable day of competition (Kudo's to Pete and his staff with the USASA Snow Ohio Region for running the event).            

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 USASA Race Results Update

So far this winter Haleakala Racing (see Athlete Bio Page for more info here) and the Mountain Athlete have traveled to 2 competitions.  The first was at Whitetail Resort near Mercersburg, PA (1-21/22 USASA Appalachian Region) and the second at Holiday Valley, NY (1-29 USASA Western NY Region).    Besides the normal excitement that brews before a competition trip, we had to contend with the fact that Mother Nature potentially was going to interfere with both events  - and not in a good way.  The spring-like temps and weekly rain showers put adequate snow conditions seriously in doubt.  Luckily both facilities were able to build courses and host the competitions each weekend.
Silver for the Men, Gold for the Ladies 
Solid last air @ Whitetail