Sunday, December 26, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The author of the TrainingBible book series, Joe Friel, has a new book out which I recommend. The book is called Your Best Triathlon - Advanced Training for Serious Triathletes.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
From line of fire in Iraq to defensive lineman at Nebraska
Tyrone Fahie, a two-tour Iraq veteran from Virginia Beach, is not on the campus of the University of Nebraska through a miracle, although his story does have that feel about it.
Fahie is imposing at 6 feet 2 inches tall and 255 pounds, but his voice lands softly on significant events of the past decade: his enlistment in the Navy at age 17, his rise to the rank of petty officer second class, his narrow escape from a rocket attack late one night in 2004 within Baghdad's Green Zone.
The 107 mm rocket launched across the bordering Tigris River landed 50 yards behind him and another man, but for some reason it didn't explode. Fahie (pronounced Foy) is mindful of that serendipity, pretty much every day. "It would've easily killed both of us," he says. "War became really personal to me at that point."
Gradually, Fahie's tale steers from that sober memory to the surreal. It's the part nobody really saw coming. The long-shot chapter in which a former Ocean Lakes High School drum major announces his nascent dream - to become a Division I college football player upon leaving the Navy - and then proceeds to live it.
What? How did Fahie become a backup defensive end - deep on the depth chart, but still - and a trusted voice within a traditional powerhouse that's ranked 17th nationally this week by The Associated Press?
Didn't Fahie quit football after his freshman season on the junior varsity to focus on the saxophone and the marching band? Well, that made sense to him at the time; Fahie was just 5-foot-7 then, and he loved his music, although, reflecting now, he concedes he wasn't motivated to take it very far.
So football became a casualty. Football was gone for good when Fahie gave it up.
Except, actually, it wasn't.
Music waned for Fahie, but not the lure of football. Even as he practiced his military trade in harm's way - an electronics specialist, Fahie helped SEAL team members communicate with each other - he nursed his goal, training a body that bloomed unexpectedly while he was in the Navy.
"My second tour in Iraq, my nickname was 'Nebraska,' " says Fahie, a 28-year-old graduate student due to earn his MBA in May. "I had a lot of support. Everyone just expected me to get accepted there and play football."
And so that part played out for him precisely as planned. Yet with one game - the Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl - left in his career as the Cornhuskers' oldest walk-on ever, Fahie still marvels at his journey.
"You couldn't tell someone this story," he says. "A Navy guy, 23 years old, walks onto the Nebraska football team after not playing football for 10 years? Yeah, right. That really happened."
Oh, but it did. Very much so.
In fact, the directors of an exclusive service organization and foundation in Newport Beach, Calif., known as The Pacific Club were so moved upon learning about Fahie's story that they voted him an honorary version of their annual award.
The club issues its Lott IMPACT trophy, named for former football star Ronnie Lott, to a top college defensive player judged that season's best combination of athlete, student and citizen.
Two others have received honorary awards: the late Pat Tillman, who left an NFL career and died in service as an Army Ranger, and Boston College's Mark Herzlich, who returned to the field after a battle with cancer.
"Tyrone represents the best of student-athletes in this country, and we're delighted to honor him," says Pete Donovan, a Pacific Club spokesman. "He'll get a hell of an ovation when he comes up, trust me."
That will be tonight in Newport Beach at a $20,000-per-table black-tie gala, with retired Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, set to introduce Fahie to the gathering of 250 people.
"I'm honored, but I'm baffled," says Fahie, an honor-roll student who also runs a nonprofit business, reselling his school's used computer equipment online as part of his graduate program. "I don't think I'm in the conversation" with Tillman and Herzlich.
There is little to discuss regarding Fahie's statistics, that's true. He has played briefly in just two games at Nebraska.
Still, his story drew attention and admiration early this season for one proud act: Fahie carried the American flag into Nebraska's Memorial Stadium, filled with its usual 81,000 fans, before a game Sept. 11.
He had asked school officials how he could help mark the day's significance to the military and others who protect Americans. They in turn asked him to lead his teammates out of their tunnel, in uniform, along with four flag-bearing police officers and firefighters.
The irony of that special walk isn't lost on Fahie: It was his longest on-field appearance as a Cornhusker. Fahie, in the language of the game, is a scout-team player. He has spent his idyllic career imitating opposing defensive ends to help prepare Nebraska's offensive starters for that week's game.
The nickname is incongruous to the Navy, but "Sarge," as Fahie is known to his teammates, has never gotten to run down the field to cover a kickoff or a punt. He's rarely traveled to road games. He has played only two snaps from scrimmage - one this year, the other two years ago - and made no tackles.
But his name on the roster - Fahie, No. 92, defensive end - and his credibility as a survivor of a cattle-call student tryout barely eight months after he left the Navy are all the validation he needs.
"It's pretty much amazing someone so young has done so many of the things he wanted to do in his life," says his mother, Dafney, who lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, Floyd. "I really think Tyrone is an awesome young man."
Dafney Fahie, who, like her husband, is a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, knows better than anyone the making of her son's plan.
It was born in boot camp after Tyrone Fahie, whose father spent 24 years in the Navy, enlisted the summer he graduated from Ocean Lakes. Fahie befriended a fellow enlistee, a native Nebraskan who talked endlessly of Cornhusker football, and he found himself intrigued by his new friend's passion.
Later, when they were stationed in San Diego, the men traveled to Lincoln to sample the spectacle of a game day, Husker-style. The intensity blew Fahie away.
"I mean, if you say something to someone out here about the Huskers, they can list the roster in alphabetical order," Fahie says. "They know every detail about the team. I was kind of impressed by that."
So impressed that Fahie, with his parents' can-do encouragement in his ears, began to talk openly of trying football again when he left the Navy in August 2006. Sure, it was illogical. But Fahie kept asking himself and friends two questions: "Why not me?" and "Why not Nebraska?"
The school, he'd learned, had a long tradition of accepting walk-ons. And he'd already decided Nebraska was the place for him, although he knew no one at the university.
"I'd always wondered, what if I had picked football instead of band, where would I have been?" Fahie says.
His shot to find out in front of Nebraska's coaching staff came in the spring of 2007, the second semester of his freshman year.
The coaches, who Fahie says did not yet know of his military background, put 85 hopefuls through various running and jumping drills to test their athleticism.
Fahie recalls being upset with his performance, even before he lost a shoe during his 40-yard dash.
"I was like, 'Awesome. That's exactly what I needed,' " he says with a laugh. "I beat myself up that night. But the next day I got a call to come to the coach's office.
"They said, 'We'd like you to be part of our team.' "
"Team" isn't a word Fahie takes lightly. To him, it is charged with meaning from military lessons ingrained by relying on others as they relied on him.
"The consequences there obviously are a lot more dire," he says. "If I messed up and got myself killed or shot, that's fine. But I didn't want to be the guy who got someone else killed or shot."
That attitude is why, according to Nebraska teammate Joe Broekemeier, a receiver, Fahie's "respect level is crazy around here. What Sarge says has merit, and people listen to him."
Broekemeier, though, notes that Fahie rarely references his Navy days unless asked. But he did volunteer to address the Cornhuskers during a rough patch last season, when he called on his military maturity to lend perspective and guidance.
We need to know we can trust each other, he told his struggling, younger teammates. No, our lives aren't on the line here. Rockets aren't falling around us. But we need to know we're all doing our jobs for each other, every day, on the field and in class, to better this team.
"I'm very competitive. I want to win," says Fahie, who estimates he's among 15 open-tryout players on Nebraska's 156-man roster. "So if takes me just being a scout-team player for us to win, I'm completely fine with that. I'm not the best athlete. But there are things I do that still help this team."
Nothing Fahie brings to the locker room, the weight room or the practice field, says Nebraska's defensive ends coach John Papuchis, is more important than his full effort and his presence as someone who's seen a side of life most of his teammates never will.
Says Papuchis, "Tyrone's maturity and discipline have a positive effect on the rest of our defensive line and people throughout our football program."
Ah, but in the end, there is another question to ask of Fahie: Which has served the other better, the man or the team? He is confident of the answer, and here's a clue to it: Fahie, who's engaged to be married in July, says he plans to coach football - at any level, even as a volunteer - and for a long time, to repay what he says he owes to the sport, his university and his teammates.
"I needed this team more than they needed me," Fahie says. "I need that structure in my life. I don't do well without it. And for me, being accountable to other people really pushes me further than I would probably ever push myself."
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
One of the great things about collecting data from training is that data always tells the same story, with the same details. Ask a friend about their best time, or a great season they had, and the chances of them remembering and telling the story as accurately as they used to, is highly unlikely. It’s natural for athletes to embellish a bit. So a ride where an athlete averaged 290 watts might actually become 300 a few seasons or months after it, if left to them telling the story. But if we refer back to past data, especially power and pace data, it will tell us the real story.
Athletes often get hung up in where their fitness is in a single moment. This is especially true after a few months of working back at training. Athletes can get impatient, wanting the fitness to get back to top form ASAP! They might even think the prior season they were much fitter than at the current moment in time, but is that really the case?
I hear many athletes ask questions like:
- Where was I at in my training and fitness last year at this time?
- How did my fitness look in the early months of that great season I had a few years ago?
- How am I doing right now with my fitness, compared to earlier this season?
With WKO+ software, we can actually get a direct correlation and comparison of where fitness is right now, and compare it with where we were at any other point in time, such as the exact moment last season.
How can we do this? One of the easiest ways to do this is with the Mean Max Curve graphs, for power or pace.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
- • 8-night stay at Coco Bay Estates (an $1800-$2400 value)
- • Option for private room or shared room available
- • 2 Meals provided per day, (catered breakfast and lunch buffet)
- • All sessions coached and led by a TrainingBible Coach
- • Entry into REV 3 Olympic and Half distance triathlons (a $450 value)
- • Low traffic, paved roads for riding
- • Coach on-deck for pool sessions
- • Incredibly beautiful open-water swimming in Coco Bay
- • Underwater swim video technique assessment for each athlete, ($115 value)
- • Run technique video assessment for each athlete, ($100 value)
- • Transition competition
- • Classroom sessions for individual learning
- • Complimentary airport shuttle to/from Coco Bay Estates from Liberia Airport only
- • View the Camp Itinerary
Camp Resort – Coco Bay Estates
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
- 4-nights hotel accommodations, private room, at Wingate by Windham Hotel ($475 value!)
- 2 Meals per day, (breakfast and catered lunch)
- All sessions coached and led by a TrainingBible Coach
- Training on St. George triathlon course
- Fully sagged rides
- Coach on-deck for pool sessions
- Open-water swim sets, (weather permitting)
- Underwater swim video technique assessment for each athlete, ($115 value!)
- Run technique video assessment for each athlete, ($100)
- 3 classroom sessions for individual learning, discussion, Q&A, totaling 4 hours in length
- Complimentary airport shuttle to/from Wingate by Windham Hotel and St. George airport
- 16-25 hours of training in 4+ days!
- Camp limited to 24 athletes
- FREE Skinfit products! Base layer shirt, tech-tee and beanie! ($145 value!)
- $1199 if registered by December 31st
- $1299 if registered between January 1st - 31st
- $1449 if registered after January 31st
- $849 if registered by December 31st
- $949 if registered between January 1st - 31st
- $1049 if registered after January 31st
- $50 off for TrainingBible Athletes
- $50 off for members of a triathlon club
- $50 off for previous TrainingBible camp attendees
- Discounts can be combined! (Up to $150 off for some!)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
In my past articles on the PMC charts and overall fitness monitoring, I discussed how WKO+ is a coaching and training tool which goes largely underused relative to its true value, which is seeing the overall picture of training and fitness progression.
If a coach or athlete is only looking at a single training file, then there is little value if it has nothing else to compare itself to. If the athlete has many files to compare the single file to, then there is even more information which can be gained.
The progression of an athlete’s fitness over the course of a season is not linear, and will always have ups and downs. However, the general trend, or slope of the fitness, is what we want to watch for. If the trend is down, or flat, the athlete has reached a plateau, and some adjustments to the training need to be made.
Read the rest at: TrainingPeaks.com
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Here are a few photos from a swim talk I gave at B+L Bikes last month, here in San Diego. You'll notice a lot of people. Why so many? I have a good reputation as a speaker and teacher, especially when it comes to the complexity of training and skills in triathlon.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
During this 'personal camp' there are five things you will do just as I do them with my athletes….
* You will be tested for VO2max and other important physiological metrics such as metabolic rate and body composition.
* There will be a head-to-toes assessment by a physical therapist identifying potential injuries and areas where strength, range of motion or other interventions could improve performance. A functional strength and stretching programs will then be created for you based on this information.
*A bike fit will be done by a professional fitter who I have worked with for years. This should be done every year even if you are riding the same bike you were fit for the previous year. Things change over the course of a season.
* We will also refine your speed skills in all three sports. This is a great time of the year to improve swimming, biking and running technique. Most athletes will improve more in this area of fitness than any other.
* And finally we will spend a lot of time discussing the keys to your success in the coming season. This last point starts with season goals relative to your limiters. You and I will sit down to discuss these in a private session. Evening classroom sessions address topics such as mental skills, nutrition, understanding how to train effectively and much more.
By the time the camp is done you will be a great deal closer to achieving your goals for the next season.
My TrainingBible coaching assistant for this camp is Adam Zucco, the USAT Developmental Coach of the Year for last season. Adam is a long time business associate of mine and a very knowledgeable coach. I will also be assisted by the staff at Endurance Rehabilitation and Chris Pulleyn, bicycle fitter extraordinaire, from the Bicycle Ranch.
This camp, along with my other US and European camps (see them here), is organized by Tridynamic in the UK. So all pricing on the website is in Great Britain Pounds. This camps starts at £1449 for double occupancy (at the Xona Resort ). That’s currently about $2234 or €1770. (To check currency exchange rates go here.)Scottsdale in late October is beautiful. Temperatures are typically around 80F (26C) with gentle breezes and blue skies. All swim sessions will be at the new, outdoor McDowell Mountain Aquatic Center.
As you can see at the above website, I have a lot of camps scheduled for this year, each with a unique focus. This one is guaranteed to get you started down the path to a successful 2011 triathlon season.