Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hawaii Tri-cation April 2012

What is a "trication" you ask?  It's my idea of perfect vacation!  Since we moved from Hawaii in 2003 we've tried to go back once each year in the Spring.  It's always the perfect time considering we've had 4 months of many cold, gray and 2012 brought too rainy days to count.  There are so many things about Hawaii that I love and often ask myself why I ever moved back to the mainland??

I highly recommend to any sun loving endurance enthusiast to spend a week or longer training and vacationing in Hawaii as it creates the perfect balance of everything that the fuels my soul.  I was able to feel like I could train like use to train since heart surgery last year! I felt great seeing all my consistent training this winter pay off.  I completed the week of my trication with great training totals swimming 8K, biking 202 miles and running 42 miles!  It's easy when you love to exercise and don't have to work.  I really enjoyed training on some of my old routes and open water swimming!

Most importantly I was able to spend quality time with my wife & son.  We were able to do many fun things while spending 10 days in Hawaii.  I've tried to capture a few of our many adventures in my pictures below. Enjoy!

Easter in Hawaii!

Sea Life Park

On of my many bike rides I took a picture of Windward Oahu.

Got to love the Hawaiian flowers!

Reece and his new friend.  We took a really cool night guided tour of the Honolulu Zoo which I highly recommend!

Reece, Sophia & Olivia Wolf playing on Waikiki Beach!

Reece enjoying the Waikiki!

Reece running from the North Shore waves!

Noooooo, my sand castle is getting crushed.  The cool thing about the beach is it allows all of us to play in the sand and feel like a kid again!  Reece loved making big sand castles.

Hiking Keana Point, Reece was trooper as it about 6 miles, although was saw monk seals, whales and cool birds!

Yes, shark sighting on the North Shore!

Reece turtle surfing in Waikiki!

Turtles get some sun on the North Shore!

That's right, look closely as this dolphin is blowing bubble rings! 

I think this dolphin at Sea Life Park was smiling at Reece and I!

Morning run sunrise!

My last morning run on my trication I had to capture the cool Hawaiian sunrise.  We had another memorable trip and it definitely makes me want to move back to Hawaii.  Some day we will return to the 808 paradise with one way tickets ready to live the simple life!

Thanks for visiting and remember to enjoy the journey!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Coaching & Hiring My Coach

I think sometimes in life we all search for our calling or place in this world.  Some people are fortunate to know exactly what they want to do and end up really enjoying their chosen career.  The reality is many people search their whole life trying to find something that fuels their soul. 

Ever since I started giving swim lessons at 13 yrs old I've always really enjoyed teaching and coaching.  Over the last 15 yrs. I've had several different jobs teaching and working in Public Health, however I've come the realization that ultimately coaching is what fuels my soul.  I feel blessed I was given the gift to share my passion and expertise with others.  I can't express how much I enjoy inspiring and helping athletes of all ages and ability levels to reach their goals.

As the 2012 triathlon season kicks off and Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club now has over 200 members it's great feeling to know that my wife Tristin and I started the club in 2004 with the idea of providing an opportunity for people that share our passion for endurance sports.  We're so fortunate to be surrounding by so many positive people, great sponsors and members that truly support each other.

Again this year I'm coaching 10 athletes for IM CDA, 20+ athletes for Boise 70.3, Boston Marathon and several other races.  I truly enjoy being able to share my knowledge, expertise and passion with others.  Ultimately I hope to one day coach full time as it's something that fuel my soul and helps give my life direction as I can help people change their lives.

So, why would I hire a coach?  I've had a few people ask me this question recently.  I obviously realize I don't know everything and most professional athletes have coaches as left to their own judgement they get injured.  

Motivation has never been an issues for me and I've always stretched my talents in any sport through consistent hard work.  I came to the realization that after 10 yrs in triathlon/running that after I went through heart surgery last year I wanted to hire a coach.  I hadn't been coached since I swam in college in 1995 as I thought I could do it all on my own.  I reached out to friends over the years for guidance, however I've basically coached myself and set all my own schedules reaching many of my goals with solid results until 2009.  At this time I started to notice my cycling was really not improving any more and unfortunately the injury bug struck me several times. So, I figured if I was going to train and try to do my best I would look into hiring a coach.

It was difficult decision to accept and trust the feedback from someone else.  I looked into several options and decided to ultimately hire someone I knew that has been an excellent example of working hard to achieve his goals.  My coach Aleck Alleckson with Summit PC in 5 years has gone from +80 lbs overweight to multiple Hawaii IM qualifier (9:26!), which is impressive, although it was the fact he's a father and works a full time job too that is really impressive.  

It's easy to be drawn to hiring a fast triathlete to coach you, however hiring someone that understands how to balance family, work and training is key.  Consistent communication and access to your coach for more than just workouts is critical to effective coaching.  If in doubt ask questions about the details of the coaching.

My initial observations have been positive as I started the training with a calf injury and I know left to my own judgement I would probably still have a calf injury.  He's provided me with great feedback to be able to get me healthy again and now I'm back to running pain free!  I've also realized I wasn't biking nearly enough and my biking intensity was seriously lacking.  I've spent the last 2 months doing more quality riding and volume than I would ever do on my own which I feel has also helped my running. 

I now more clearly understand the feeling of looking forward to the workouts for the week and accountability associated with having a coach.  It's great to have someone to discuss both the highs and lows of training/racing that really understands what it's like to juggle everything to make it happen.  I'm looking forward to the season ahead as Boise 70.3 is 16 weeks away!

If you're looking for a reasonably priced coach that truly understands how to balance family, work and training I encourage you to send me an email ( and check out my coaching web page for fee structure/testimonials from athletes I've coached.

Healthy training,
Coach Scott

Friday, January 6, 2012

Training & Life Balance

New Year's Run

I'm often asked how I balance family, work, coaching, and training.  It's a lot to juggle, yet worth it to me.  It makes the journey more rewarding when you share it with others.  It's a cool feeling to have my 6 yr old son ask, "how was your workout dad?"  I enjoy involving Reece in the process by taking him swimming or riding bikes. 

As we wake up each day we have thousands of decisions to make that impact our lives.  Some of these decisions are simple, "what to eat for breakfast?" and others more complicated regarding, "how to balance my day?"

If you have a family, get kids ready for school,  prepare for work, etc., I've found you have to be VERY organized with your time.  As I stated in my previous blog post you have 168 hrs in a week and 24 hrs in a day, so how will you manage it?  I've struggled with developing an effective schedule to try to not impact family time since we had Reece in 2005.  For me it's about finding a schedule that works for me and my family.  The saying, "if mama ain't happy nobody is happy" holds true.  I'm fortunate to have a spouse that has done IM and run marathons, so she understands the time commitment and supports me.  This still doesn't help with the guilt I felt in 2008 while training for IM Canada.

Polar Bear Plunge 2012

Let's face it, training for an Ironman or 70.3 can be a selfish venture.  It's a huge undertaking and requires more communication within the family than ever before.  I recommend althetes share their training schedule with their spouse in order to maintain the balance at home. 

I've completed 4 Ironman triathlons since 2004 and coached 250+ athletes to Ironman/70.3 finishes since 2005.  This personal experience has taught me many lesson about managing time and ultimately helping others learn to find time they didn't know they had to reach their goals!

Five key tips include:  

1) Maintain Life Balance  

Making time to spend with your family will make the experience mean more to you. Prioritize your family time, work and training. Remember the things that really matter in the overall scheme of life. You are never want to look back one day in the future and say, "I wish I would have gone to my son's game." If you have kids remember they are only young once.  Training for an Ironman/70.3 triathlon takes a lot of time away from the family and friends, however if you set a realistic schedule you can maintain life balance.   It's important to remember to do the best you can with the time that you have available to train.

2) Being Realistic

When I trained for my first Ironman triathlon I had already complete 75+ races including 3 half ironmans and run 4 marathons. I swam in college, so I knew that I could do it, although honestly looking back I was training out of fear of the unknown.  I knew a regular marathon was really hard, yet I'd never biked more than 70 miles.  Fortunately I was able to figure out how many hours per week I needed to devote to training. You have to take into account your family commitment, work and other time commitments. I recommend setting your triathlon training program around the hours that minimally impact your family schedule.  Trying to train more than fifteen to eighteen hours and work full time isn't realistic unless you're super structured with your time.

Try training in the morning when everyone is sleeping, use your lunch break to squeeze a run or swim and train early on the weekends.  In worst case, ride your bike trainer at night after the kids go to bed.

3) Specific Training  

I realize everyone has limited time, so the key is to plan out your workouts and communicate the schedule with your spouse.  Use a family calander to set a master schedule as this will help keep the peace at home and allow you to avoid stress. 

Be specific with workouts, use a plan and stick to the plan. Don't train out of fear or feel you need to do want everyone else is doing to reach your goals.  Training with purpose is far more important than just putting in the miles.  For example, many people training for IM think they have to do a certain number of 100 mile rides or run so many 20+ mile runs.  Remember you're not a pro and you want to enjoy the journey!

4) Consistency

Staying consistent is the key to reaching your life & triathlon goals. I've found most people that sign up for longer triathlons are motivated individuals, however sustaining this motivation is key to achieving our goals.  I feel how consistent you are is directly related to how organized you are with your time. 
5) Enjoy the Journey

I've found over the years that having fun and surrounding myself with positive people is key.  I encourage peopel to train with others by joining a triathlon club like Team Blaze Spokane or Ironheart Racing Team  By adding a social element to the training you'll have more fun, learn a lot and be inspired by those around you. 

I can honestly say that I enjoy the training with friends as much as I do the races. I feel enjoying the journey is about life experiences, developing positive relationships with others and helping to inspire others to reach their goals. At the end of my journey I know I'll remember the special life experiences and friendships that developed along the way more than the results.

June 9th

My training for Boise 70.3 started on Monday!  I'm really looking forward to having a coach (other than myself) for the first since swimming in college.  I know I'll be focusing more on biking than I have in past and look forward to seeing where training takes me in 2012!

All the best in the 2012 triathlon season! I encourage you to follow these 5 steps to maintaining balance and reaching your goals! I look forward to family time, coaching, training, racing and enjoying my journey in 2012!

Thanks for reading!