Monday, February 24, 2014

Powerful Glutes... Powerful Athlete!

Recently I was corresponding with a client that will be preparing for some triathlons later this year and we got to talking about strength training, in particular strength exercises for the glutes aka "the butt" and how important it was to have functional strength in this area for multisport athletes.  There are three muscles comprising the glueteal region Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius & Gluteius Minimus and a 4th smaller muscle the Tensor Fasciae Latae.  Click on the links below to read more about each specific muscle. 

Gluteus Maximus
Gluteus Medius 
Gluteus Minimus 
Tensor Fasciae Latae

There are many exercises for the glutes but here are three that she found to be very helpful in her strength program.  All these exercises do not require that much balance, can be done with body weight, then progressed to an unweighted Smith bar.  When doing an exercise for the first time, work on technique and check body position to create body memory before adding weight.

1.  Split lunges with back foot on a bench or ball with bodyweight or weighted on Smith machine.  Narrow stance works quads more, wider stance works glutes/hamstrings, push up through heel.  Knee do not pass toes.
2.  Sumo squats either with bar or on bosu ball.  Key is for thighs to drop below parallel to engage glutes/hamstrings, keep butt out (do not curve lower back or tail bone in).  This can be difficult for people with tight Achilles.  You can use plie squats with a landmine just to vary it up (this is a wider stance with toes pointed out like in plie).
3.  Wide stance leg press brings in more glutes/hamstring, narrow stance quads/vastus lateralis.  Try to bend knees past 90 and push through heels. 

Do the time in the gym NOW, so you can cut loose when its time to go fast later this season.

Make it a great week of training.

Coach Eric

Monday, February 17, 2014

Athlete Education...Never Ending!

Visited in Fall 2011 on my quest for more knowledge!

I have been coaching since 1991 and one thing I have always tried to do is keep and open mind to new ideas in ways to train and continue to educate myself on how the body really works as one unit.

Below are a couple of articles from the folks at Rebound Sports I think you will find helpful as you continue to amass your own knowledge.  They have been helpful reminders as well as some new information to add to my library. One talks about the the imbalances our bodies have and the other is about the feet in terms that you can understand.

Happy reading, make it a great week of training and never stop learning!

Coach Eric

Monday, February 10, 2014

Re-Post, Just Try... One year later

A little over a year ago, I decided to try and create content for a weekly blog.  This was a bit scary on multiple levels, but the pro's out weighed the con's and I gave it a go.  It is now early February and I am still at it. One week at a time in 2013, I chugged along like the little train that could with posts on different topics in the multisport world, general health and wellness and reader suggestions on new topics to explore.  At times it was a challenge to write, but I am glad I stuck with it and look forward to where this writing journey will take me this year.

Now, I would imagine that some of you have set new year's resolutions and may be struggling to maintain your focus and commitment after the first 40 days of 2014.  Maybe some of you were inspired to just start exercising, shed 10 pounds, or just eat a bit healthier.  Regardless of the resolution, you took the most important step, you decided to try.   Come to think of it, life is like a triathlon.  Below is slight revision of my first blog post back on January 21st, 2013 and a good reminder how far I have come in the past year.

By definition triathlon is “an athletic contest comprising three consecutive events, usually swimming, bicycling, and distance running”. What if we looked at it from a slightly different perspective and called it a try-athlon.  Would that help take some of the fear out of it?  What is it that prevents people from getting out of their comfort zone and trying something new?  I believe the answer is very simple.  The fear of failure is what stops most people from not only trying something new, but from leading the life they were meant to live.

This fear of failure paralyzes us from reaching our full potential as athletes, and experiencing some of life’s greatest moments.  We see this in sports all the time, but also in many aspects of daily life: work, school, and relationships to name a few, where fear prevents us from trying. What are we afraid of?   Are we too worried about what others may think or say?  Too vain as to how we might look in spandex? Being the slowest in a training group or last in race?  Look clumsy or awkward when first learning a new skill? I guarantee you, the Olympians we watch during the winter Olympics had plenty of awkward moments when they first started off.

What’s that old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again”.  The Front Range here in Colorado is an athlete’s playground with so many things to choose from. So, find a sport you like and just get out there and do it.  Life is far to short to be spending your free time doing a sport you don’t like. Give it your best shot and jump in with both feet and embrace the new challenge.  The only person you have to answer to at the end of the day is you so, do what makes you thrive.

In closing, the athletes we will have the opportunity to watch during the two weeks have failed on more than one occasion to reach the level excellence they are now at. One of the reasons they are champions, regardless of their final outcome is that they have learned from these failures along this long journey to Sochi.  It’s better to fail trying, than to not try at all.  Failing can be artistically beneficial and when we allow ourselves to become vulnerable by putting fear aside, we often times achieve the greatest growth.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Aquathon... Triathlon without the bike

Aquathon, no bike needed so why not decorate!
 Lago di Garda, Italy
One of the wonderful things about being a multisport athlete is there are endless ways to create workouts and have fun doing so.  One order to combine events is by doing a swim/run or the more common term, aquathon.  Competing in aquathon events is gaining popularity among athletes that are looking for new challenges in the multisport world.  Some people love to swim and run as part of the fitness regime but when it comes to the bike have no desire, do not have a bike or can't afford one.  Let's take a little closer look at some of the basics of aquathon.

Race Format - Typically is either run/swim/run or swim/run.  Of course swimmers would love to see a swim/run/swim event to even things out.  Hmmm.... idea for a future blog.  Some triathlons are now starting to offer an Aquathon as one of the formats to choose from on race day along with biathlons which are run/bike/run events.  For more listings of aquathons that may be in your area, check out

Race Distances - For the run/swim/run format will typically range from
Sprint 1.6 mile run, 1/4 mile swim, 1.6 mile run 
Intermediate 4 mile run .63 mile swim, 4 mile run
Long 8 mile run, 1.25 mile swim, 8 mile run
Ultra where they may run 18.6 miles, swim 2.0 miles, run 18.6 miles
For the swim/format, either a 1/3 - 1/2 mile swim, 3.1 mile run or 2/3 - 1 mile swim, 10K bike seem to be popular.  Really any combination of distances could work predicated on the venue you are using.  The swim part can be challenging because of limited access to water sometimes.

Time - It takes less time to train for an aquathon than a triathlon as the athlete is saving hours by not having to train for the bike portion of a triathlon which is close to 50% of most races.

Training - You can pretty much run anywhere it is just a matter of finding a lake, ocean or pool to swim in.  If you're lucky to live near a fitness center with a Vasa Ergometer or have your own, you can complete your swimming and even stay dry.  No cap, goggles, or bathing suit so you can already be dressed in your running stuff ready to go!

Variety - Along the lines of training, there are endless ways to combine events, based on distance, time or both to get a great workout and work on transitioning from one sport to another.  One thing I used to enjoy doing when I lived in Kona, Hawaii was run to the ocean or pool as warm up, then do my swim workout, then run home either as an easy cool down, or a hard run if I was feeling spry.  Just the opposite of that, some days a swim warm up, followed by a run, followed by a swim cool down was a great training session and swimming I have found over the decades is great way to finish off any run session.

If you ever have the chance to travel to Kona, head down to the pier for a swim, then a run along Ali'i drive.  Great way to start the day.  They have swim/run events from time to time their as well and they are free.  More info, check out

For more questions about Aquathon, how to set up a training plan for it or questions in general about training, please contact me at

Make it a great week,
Coach Eric