Weekly Update for July 21, 2014

Race Results
Congratulations to Laurel Sroufe and Mike Sanchez for their outstanding performances over the weekend. Laurel raced at the XTERRA Mountain Championships in Beaver Creek, CO and qualified for the XTERRA World Championships in Hawaii in October. Mike race in the Duathlon National Championships and qualified for the Duathlon World Championships in Australia.

XTERRA Mountain Championships
3:23:06 Laurel Sroufe (3rd AG F30-34)

Duathlon National Championships
1:43:21 Mike Sanchez

Challenge Roth
14:50:29 Scott Sherman

Chino Valley Sprint Triathlon
36:49 Sarah Plant (2nd Overall)
41:44 Emily Plant (2nd AG F19 and under)
42:17 Sophia Kosednar (3rd AG F19 and under)

Upcoming Races
This Sunday Jenna Farguson, Stacey Gibson, Elliot Kawaoka, and John Argue will be representing Durapulse and racing at Ironman Canada. We wish you four the best as your go for personal records and world championship qualifications.

Saturday Practice
There will be no team practice on Saturday. Follow your respective training plans.

Coaching Tips
Train for an Ironman Mentality
By Gale Bernhardt
In the final weeks before an Ironman, athletes begin to decrease training volume, add pre-race segments to workouts, and consume fuels to fill muscles with glycogen.

Decreasing training volume frees up time normally spent doing physical training. While this extra time is good for your body, it can be tough on your head.

Sometimes the mind strays toward thoughts of uncertainty. This thinking may include doubts about preparation, the amount of money spent on the sport, the time sacrificed to training, and the simple uncertainty that surrounds a pending race day. These thoughts can conjure up overall feelings of self-doubt, fear, anxiety and pressure.

For athletes, patterns of thought and self-talk are major influences on performance. Negative patterns can defeat an otherwise physically prepared athlete. The patterns that begin in the days prior to race day are typically repeated during the race. A race is easily ruined if these patterns are self-defeating.

The good news is you can change negative thought patterns and improve your mental game. Top athletes continuously work on mental toughness–and you should too. This column covers three tools to help you improve your mental assets. Think of it as training your brain to complement your physical training. While the column is focused on mental toughness in training and racing, these tools are directly applicable as life skills.


Take notice of your self-talk when you begin to feel the mental and physical strain of self-doubt, fear, anxiety and pressure. Recognizing the thoughts that drive these negative feelings is a critical first step toward eliminating them.

Below are a few examples of self-talk that drive strong, negative emotions just prior to and during a race:
* The swim course looks really, really long. I can’t swim that far.
* What if I have stomach problems? What if I can’t keep food or fluids down? My day is ruined.
* What was I thinking, I’m no athlete. I’m not an Ironman/Ironwoman.
* I should have done more training to prepare for this. I didn’t do enough.

Once you take notice of self-talk that makes you feel bad, ask yourself if those doubting, self-defeating statements are really true. Are they exaggerations or are the statements just plain false?

Can you replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk?

For example:
* The course looks long due to the situation. Something like an optical illusion. I’ve swum this distance before, in training and in previous races. I know I can do it. I will be fine.
* If I have nutritional problems, I will adjust. Everyone has tough challenges on race day; I am no different.
* I am an athlete and I’ve done the work to get here. I deserve to be an Ironman/Ironwoman as much as anyone else. Why not me?
* I did the best training I could manage, given my other commitments. I know others train more and some train less. The best times are not always achieved by the athletes who trained the most. Athletes must be smart about training and racing. I am smart.

Do Something About the Here and Now

Many mental meltdowns are due to thoughts and worries about something that has already happened or something you fear is about to happen.

In the case of things that have already happened, you must tell yourself nothing can be done about the past. Take the past and learn from it in order not to repeat the same mistakes in the future. Continually learning from past mistakes and making changes that improve your chances of future success is how you gain mental strength. Like physical training, mental training is a continuous improvement process and not a one-step-to-success program.

As for worrying about the future, the big question is: what actions can you take right here, right now that will have the biggest chance of positively affecting your future?

For example, some athletes worry about the training that other people have completed. Remember, on race day there is only one athlete’s training that you can influence–your own. You can do little to nothing about the consequences of someone else’s training. When you begin to worry about the past, recognize this self-defeating problem and bring yourself into the present.

Ask yourself “What do I have control over, here and now? What can I do to help me get closer to my goal?

During the swim, set goals of reaching individual buoys, perhaps doing it while overtaking at least one person or remaining in the draft of the fast swimmer ahead of you. When you reach that buoy, set a similar goal for the next one. On the bike, set goals to reach objects in the distance without dropping below a certain speed.

By breaking the race down into smaller segments, you can experience success every few minutes. These small successes are forms of self-reinforcement and can add up to a successful race day.

Keep the End in Mind

When you are evaluating the options of what to do in the here and now, keep the end goal stored in the back of your mind. This will help you make the best decision in the moment of battle.

For example, if you happen to drop your hydration bottle during the race, you might be tempted to keep going and not stop to pick it up. You reason that not stopping will keep your average speed high during the bike portion.

If you get behind in nutrition or hydration later in the race, however, you may be forced to slow down or stop for a while in order to recover. Taking a short-term action that negatively affects your overall goal is not a wise choice. Before taking action here and now, consider any potential negative consequences to your end goal.

Problem Solvers

These three tips are merely a start on mental-toughness training. The best athletes have multiple mental skills in their toolboxes. They are constantly improving on those tools while adding new ones. They view themselves as top problem solvers and love the process of overcoming potential performance obstacles by just thinking them through.

If you welcome the challenge of overcoming obstacles, you have an edge on athletes who fear problems.

Everyone is doing the physical training to complete an Ironman, not everyone does the mental training. It’s a long race to be alone with yourself. Train your brain to tackle problems head on and focus on moving forward to your goal.

Weekly Update for July 14, 2014

Race Results
Fantastic racing by the Durapulse Team over the weekend. Your hard work, race execution, and results make me a very very proud coach. Ryan hardy and Shane Arters both qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Canada in September.

Ironman 70.3 Muncie
4:17:00 Ryan Hardy (3rd AG M25-29)

Ironman 70.3 Vineman
4:24:45 Shane Arters (1st AG M45-49)
4:51:21 Hana Sykorova
5:55:53 Grant Hayzlett

Mountain Man Sprint Triathlon
1:01:37 Dmitry Baer (1st Overall)
1:13:27 Lowry Barfield (1st AG M55-59)
1:14:22 Tyler Barfield (2nd AG 14 and under)

Upcoming Races
AP News Wire (Phoenix, January 24, 2014); Sherman Set for Epic Challenge in Roth, Germany in 2014

Two Time Ironman Scott Sherman of Phoenix, Arizona shocked the triathlon and civilized world today when he formally announced that he will compete in “Challenge Roth”, which is the pre-eminent Iron-Distance event in Europe. Rumors have been circulating for months regarding a comeback of the athlete affectionately known as “The Shermanator,” and there have been various unconfirmed reports of Sherman swimming, biking and running throughout Southeast Asia, Alaska and on the moon. Challenge Roth consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike followed by a 26.2 mile run and takes place in the triathlon mecca of Roth, Germany which is located about 30 miles from Nuremburg. The event is world renowned for its community support with crowds of over 200,000 beer filled Germans cheering on the triathletes. The course highlight on the bike is simply known as “The Hill” with an ascent about 1.5 km long and up to 10% incline. The crowds literally part as the athletes climb and are cheered up the Hill in a manner reminiscent of the Tour de France.

Sherman last did an Ironman in 2009. When asked what would possess any sane person to try this again, Sherman responded: “Your answer is in the question….I am NOT sane, but I am crazy for the challenge of triathlon and the journey to get to the start and hopefully the finish of another epic adventure.” Sherman has been training with a new guru, Nick Goodman of Durapulse Performance Company. Under Nick’s secret training methods, Sherman will be ready to rumble (and hopefully not stumble) at Roth. Sherman will also be poised to unveil his newest weapon, the “Red Dragon”, when it arrives from the Trek Factory in February 2014.

What will make this event even more epic is Sherman’s son Zachary, a PhD student at MIT, will be taking a break from his chemical engineering endeavors and cheer his old man on to the finish. When contacted by the AP, Zach said he had the same advice for his Dad as he did before the last Ironman in 2009, “Dad, please don’t die!” Sherman hopes not to disappoint his son as they have further travel plans in Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich after the race. Sherman commented that “Beer is the recovery drink of choice in Bavaria and I will be in need of a lot of recovery.”

Roth Race Director, Hans Strudel, stated that “Sherman’s addition to Challenge Roth only adds to usual media hype and commitment that Roth draws the greatest and most unusual athletes on the planet. We wish him good training and look forward to seeing him in Germany.” Other spectators expected to watch Sherman in his epic quest are his cousin Heido Wags and CEO of Schuff International Scott Schuff (Sherman’s boss). More spectators are encouraged to see what Two Time Ironman World Champion Chris “Macca” McCormack calls “The greatest race and beer gardens on earth.” Challenge Roth is set for July 20, 2014.

More Information on Challenge Roth can be found at (http://www.challenge-roth.com/en/index.html); on Durapulse Performance Company at (http://www.durapulseperformance.com/). Follow Sherman’s quest at www.dumbasstriathlete.com

Saturday Workout
Tom’s Thumb trail run from Gateway Trailhead. Meet at the Gateway Trailhead at 5AM to start running at 5:10AM. The loop is 12 miles and takes good runners around 2 hours to finish. There are no services on this run, unless you have the survival skills to tap into a Saguaro Cactus for water and sweet berries so bring enough food and water for a 2 hour trail run. The Gateway Trailhead is located north of Bell Rd. on Thompson Peak Parkway. If a trail run is not on your plan and you would like to switch things around then contact me and I will adjust your schedule.

Coaching Tips
“Everything is AWESOME!!” Lego Movie Theme Song

Weekly Update for July 7th, 2014

Race Results
San Diego International Triathlon
2:01:21 Matt Gurtatowski
2:09:12 Joan Sommerlad

JCC Youth, Mini, Maxi Triathlon
17:22 Sarah Plant (1st Overall Female)
19:14 Jayda Price (3rd AG F9-10)
19:19 Emily Plant
20:00 Sophia Kosednar
20:37 Colorado Stanley
41:17 Shawn Bernardi (1st Overall)
46:37 Tyler Barfield (5th Overall)
55:51 Lowry Barfield (2nd AG M55-59)
1:05:01 JoAnn Barfield (1st AG F45-49)

Saturday Workout
We are headed north this Saturday to train in Flagstaff. If you would like to car pool then meet at the Target at the corner of Frank Lloyd Wright and the 101 Freeway at 5AM. The starting location in Flagstaff will be at the ranger station on Lake Mary Rd. about 1 mile south of the I-17 freeway on the way to the lake. Wheels start turning at 8AM from this location on Lake Mary Rd. The route will be around Mormon Lake on the Mountain Man course.

Upcoming Races
This weekend many Durapulse athletes will be racing in Flagstaff at the Mountain Man Sprint Tri and in northern California at the Vineman 70.3. Best wishes to all, especially to Shane Arters, Hana Sykorova, and Grant Hayzlett in California.

Coaching Tips
“Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic.”

Weekly Update for July 4, 2014

Race Results
Ironman Coeur D’Alene
10:46:50 Brandon West

ITU World Triathlon Chicago
2:10:26 Nicole Truxes

Prescott Mini Triathlon
56:31 Colorado Stanley (2nd AG M19 and under)
1:02:50 Sophia Kosednar (1st AG F19 and under)

California International Triathlon
2:02:22 Shane Arters (3rd Overall)

Saturday Practice
Meet at Rattle Snake Cove at Bartlett Lake at 11AM for an open water swim. Bring the family and some lunch. A Tonto parking pass is required to park at the lake. Carpool to save some money and the environment.

Coaching Tips
“No matter how well you know the course, no matter how well you may have done in a given race in the past, you never know for certain what lies ahead on the day you stand at the starting line waiting to test yourself once again. If you did know, it would not be a test; and there would be no reason for being there.” Dan Baglione

Weekly Update for June 23, 2014

Race Results
Durapulse has been doing A LOT of racing in June and below are the results. Stay motivated by the goals you have set for yourself. It is a tough time to train in AZ but if you keep working hard, and recover properly (see below), you will accomplish the results you have set for yourself.

Adrenaline Night Run, 27k Trail Race
2:37:51 Marvin Malkowski Jr.

City of Peoria 4 Miler
30:23 Connor Berntgen

Tri Monroe Youth and Junior Elite
1:00:03 Dmitry Baer
1:06:39 Matt Gordon
37:19 Tyler Barfield
40:30 Evan Barrick

Deuces Wild
1:14:35 Elliot Kawaoka (1st Overall)
2:04:38 Ryan Hardy (2nd Overall)
2:20:50 Bryan Dunn (2nd AG M45-49)
2:26:54 Shawn Bernardi (2nd AG M40-44)
2:43:57 Mike Hartman
2:52:03 Jim Dawson (2nd AG M55-59)
2:54:40 Laurel Sroufe
3:20:41 Tara Cormier
4:43:32 John Argue (1st AG M40-44)
5:37:40 Jenni Marshall (2nd Overall Female)
6:04:53 Jenna Farguson (2nd AG F20-24)
6:10:58 Teri Kelley (1st AG F35-39)
6:25:48 Scott Sherman

Firecracker Youth Triathlon
33:54 Colorado Stanley (2nd AG M9-10)

Syracuse Ironman 70.3
4:52:14 Hana Sykorova
Hubbles Lake Triathlon
2:10:00 Jason Sexauer (3rd Overall)

No Saturday Practice, June 28, 2013
Follow your individual training plans

Coaching Tips
With the higher volume and higher intensity training that most of you are doing right now it is very important to increase your recovery. For example, more sleep each night or day (naps are good), eating higher quality foods (think plants with color and low fat protein), ice baths and massage. If your plan calls for an “easy run” or a run that it not specific to pace or heart rate then it needs to be easy.

“Easy” is relative so to give you some guidelines you need to train on these days at the low end of your training zone or under your training zone with a focus on form and technique. Easy workouts are not long so do not prolong these workouts if you are feeling good. Too many people go too hard or too long on their easy days. Forget pace and distance on these days even if you feel like running faster. Your body needs to recover and easy runs, bikes, and swims help keep the muscles moving but allow your body to do it at a lower intensity and volume. DO NOT go too hard on your easy days or you will not recovery correctly.

Easy days are not key workouts so use the lower intensity workouts for rest so that you will be rested for your key workouts. Since quality is of the utmost importance in training you want to be rested so that you can put out high quality training during these key workouts. Rest is just as important as pushing yourself so take extra effort to get more rest and recovery during these months of training.