Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ironman and the Details

Ironman racing is all about the details. Focus on the details and late in the race they will pay off. Blow off a few details here and there, and late in the race, you're in trouble. Pay attention to the details in your training, and make them important then, not just on race day.

Coach Vance

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Great Quote #1

"If you can't win, make the person ahead of you break the record" -Unknown

Coach Vance

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ironman and Half-Ironman Training Keys Talk at Pulse Endurance Sports - June 21st

What: Ironman and Half-Ironman Training Keys
When: Monday, June 21st, 6:30-7:45 PM
Where: Pulse Endurance Sports
1020 A-2 Tierra Del Rey
Chula Vista, CA 91910
RSVP: Please email Orlanda Vance at if attending
Cost: FREE! Food and drinks will be served.

If you're doing a full-Ironman or half-Ironman event, and would like to learn the key training and planning considerations for doing these events, come join Jim Vance as he presents the concepts he uses to help athletes prepare. This includes:
- Aerobic base work, how much is enough?
- Long rides, how much? How hard?
- Long runs, how much? How hard?
- Designing a training plan relative to your strengths and goals
- Key training weeks before the event
- Peaking and tapering

Come with your questions and use the information presented to help you be better prepared for your big race!

Coach Vance

Thursday, June 10, 2010

WKO+ and the Bigger Picture of Fitness

This is an article I recently wrote for, and can be found at their blog.

By Coach Jim Vance

In my previous article on WKO+, I discussed how we can use the software to monitor athlete fitness and performance, and use the data to drive our training decisions as a coach.

This concept really shines as the athletes begin to accumulate a larger database of data of years and seasons of training and racing. Many athletes think back to times when their fitness was very high, and try to recapture it, or even surpass it, but their mental vision of how the season went is normally clouded. It’s hard to remember specific details, but with a collection of data reviewed over a time scale, such as the PMC, (Performance Management Chart), you can get a clear idea of where the athlete’s fitness was, and more importantly, how their current fitness level compares directly.

Read the rest at Blog.

Coach Vance

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I recently read an editorial piece on how a coach should be willing to give credit to whom they learned certain things from. I agree with the concept of giving credit to the people to whom a person has learned from, and think it is very important to clarify who is giving good information, rather than claiming it for yourself entirely, as a coach.

I always laugh at something they taught us in college, that as a student if you steal an idea, it's called plagerism. If you steal an idea and use it after college, it's called teaching. We all steal parts and pieces from other teachers, taking what we like, and building our own methods.

This concept actually made me take a step back and think about the people, coaches, athletes and figureheads I've had the privilege of learning from. I agree that who you've studied under is a big determinant to your success, and a major contributor to your thinking as a coach.

With this in mind, I thought I might share the coaches I've been blessed to be coached by, study next to, and learn from, because I agree they have helped to make me a qualified and confident coach.

Mike Holman
Jay Dirksen
Greg Welch
Peter Reid
Joe Friel
Bob Seebohar
Adam Zucco

Wow, when I look at this list, I really feel blessed. If you're a triathlete, you probably won't recognize the first two names on the list, but they were my high school and college coaches for cross country and track. Mike Holman serves as the Head of Junior Development for USA Track & Field, and Jay Dirksen continues to be the highly successful Head Cross Country and Distance Coach for Track, at the University of Nebraska.

A few other great names which people wouldn't recognize necessarily, would be Lydia Kualapai, who was my English Comp teacher at Nebraska, who taught me the value of writing and communicating effectively thru words. My teachers in the unfortunately now extinct, Physical Education Department at the University of Nebraska. They helped build the foundation of teaching strategies I use these days with all my presentations, lectures, coaching sessions, my TriJuniors Team, and how to effectively challenge and meet a vast array of abilities and skills when working with many individuals.

One of the forgotten groups of people we learn from as coaches is our athletes. I've always had the approach that I should consider learning from the athlete, seeing how they do, and not necessarily applying my beliefs of limitations on them.

I'm excited about the years ahead, and who else I will cross paths with, and learning much more from.

Coach Vance

Friday, June 4, 2010

Global Open-Water Swim Conference

I apparently forgot to mention on my blog that I will be speaking at the Global Open-Water Swim Conference this weekend. I've known for months, but forgot to post it here. If you can't make it to Long Beach, CA for the event, I will put my recorded talk and PDF of the presentation in the Coach Vance Store.

My topic is "Building the Mindset and Performance of a Front-Pack Swimmer", and will include the things I used to become a front-pack swimmer in the sport of triathlon, and the things I teach my athletes.

Funny, but this past Wednesday night we did our open-water swim intervals, and I really stepped up the game at the workout. It was definitely the hardest swim workout I've ever given to the athletes, and the 25 who showed up did not leave disappointed! I was applying all the things I will be talking about at the conference, even with the kids from my TriJuniors team.

If you're looking to learn how to improve your open-water swimming, there are a few choices you have. You can:
- Come to my open water swim workouts, every other Wednesday
- Attend my talk at the Global Open-Water Swim Conference
- If you're a youngster 13-19 years old, join my TriJuniors program
- Download the talk once it's in the Coach Vance Store
- Do combinations of all of the above!

I am passionate about swimming and improving swim ability, and I'm sure you'll see that.

Coach Vance