My Quest for LANE #1

We all set “stretch” goals for ourselves, or, I should say, we all should set “stretch” goals for ourselves.  My stretch goal for the next few months is to commit to becoming the best swimmer I am capable of being.  I have been dabbling in and out of the pool for the past 3 years.  Yes, I have been committed to becoming a better swimmer, but I have not been committed to doing the things that are actually going to get me to be the best I can possibly be.  Swimming is only part of the equation.  I must be committed to improving my flexibility, my swim specific strength, my technique, and my overall swim fitness.  Instead of getting to the pool, swimming,and getting out, there are a few aspects I must commit to.  I must commit to doing a proper “dryland” warm-up consisting of stretching and foam rolling.  I must commit to getting to the gym daily to improve the strength in those little muscle that help me float and cut through the water more efficiently.  I must commit to staying as long as needed to work on the drills that are going to benefit me as a swimmer.  Too many athletes just want to get in, knock out a few thousand yards, and get out.  I like the saying, “If you are going to do the crime, you must be willing to do the time.” Swimming well, will be my crime.  I have to put in the time.  The reason I share this with you is because  you are now responsible for keeping me accountable.  When I don’t want to wake up at 5 a.m. to get my pre-swim stretching in, I will think about you, my supporters, and this will invigorate me to do what I need to do.  I plan to keep you up to date on my progress and let you know if what I am doing is working or not.  Here is a list of the stretches I plan on practicing daily:

Foam Roll:

  • TFL
  • Adductors
  • Calves
  • Piriformis
  • Lats
  • Hip Flexors
  • Thoracis Spine
  • Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Psoas
  • Adductors
  • Lats
  • Glutes
For info on how I stretch/strengthen/foam roll each muscle group stay tuned for video or e-mail me at  RACE HARD!


I have been contemplating changing the name of my coaching company for some time now from Lube’s Multisport to something that is a little more all-encompassing.  I want my business to be a reflection of myself and my beliefs.  The name Lube’s Multisport was all about me. I felt as though I needed a company name that would remind my athletes, my coaches, my supporters, etc. why they are doing what they are doing.  I wanted  name that an athlete could wear on his/her chest and be proud to represent a coaching company they believed in.  I toyed with hundreds of names, but nothing really caught my attention and made me say, “Now that is what I want my company to be all about!”

While sitting in my aunt and uncle’s house in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, I thought of a saying one of my swim coaches used to shout at the beginning of each workout.  Before we dove in he would yell, “Let’s get RED!”  So I started thinking of the word RED and all of the things associated with the little three-letter word.

  • First I thought of what my coach was referring to.  When you workout and you work hard, your skin becomes red.  This is a sign that you are putting in the effort and you are getting work done.  A red glow to the skin signifies blood is moving.  The muscles are working and need to be replenished with fresh oxygen/nutrients at a higher rate because an effort is being put forth.
  • Then I started thinking of our blood and how important it is in bringing on the new and removing the old.  I thought of this as a metaphor for my coaching business.  I want the coaching services offered by R.P.M. to always be a new supply of energy that will bring in fresh ideas/thoughts and get rid of excess negativity and waste.  Red Performance Multisport will bring in the new, and remove the old.
  • Next, my thoughts moved on to, “The Red Line,”  which is the line an endurance sport athlete in recognized as the line separating control and chaos.  The red line is the point you go from aerobic to anaerobic.  It hurts to cross this line, but the closer you can hold your effort to this red line, the faster you’ll go and the more succesful you will be.  My saying has always been, “Get out of your comfort zone.”  It is uncomfortable to approach the red line, but once you get used to that feeling you learn to love it.
  • And finally I thought of all of the traditional associations with the color red:  Love, passion, desire, drive, determination, along with negative feelings such as anger and fear.  These are all feelings we have occasionally while racing/training/living and the color red is associated with all of them.

As I was sitting there at the kitchen table, I felt as if I had the perfect name that embodied exactly what I wanted my company to be about.  As I always had done, I Googled the name Red Multisport to see if anyone had a business with this name already.  What came up was AMAZING!

A link to a website came up that said it was Multisport R.E.D.  I clicked on the link and a bunch of foreign words appeared on the screen, but that was not the amazing part.  I looked at the picture at the top of the web page and I recognized the uniform the girl was wearing as an L.A. Tri Club uniform.  I thought that was really weird,  but then I looked at the person wearing the uniform.  IT WAS CORTNEY!  The picture was taken at the Palm Springs Half-Marathon we did last February and somehow this foreign web site had gotten the picture and used it as the banner on their site.  We could not believe it.  This had to be a sign that the name RED PERFORMANCE MULTISPORT was the way to go.

So there you have it.  Look for BIG THINGS coming from R.P.M.  We will be a company who only brings on knowledgable, experienced coaches who are dedicated to getting the most out of their athletes at all costs.  We will be a company that is known for giving back to the community through lectures/talks/clinics/etc. to help all athletes better understand their minds and bodies and we will help them better understand how they can get the most out of their training/racing to succeed, no matter what their definition of success my be.  RACE HARD!  LET”S GET RED!

For more info or coaching services provided by Red Performance Multisport, e-mail me at or go to

USAT Youth and Junior Development Camp, Scottsdale, AZ Dec. 27-30th

I recently agreed to head out to Scottsdale, Arizona December 27th-December 30th to coach at the USAT Youth and Junior Winter Development Camp with Coach Ryan Riell.  This camp is designed to provide 4 days of solid youth and junior based training and to teach 12-19 year old (as of December 31st, 2012) athletes the basic skill set needed to be approved to attend a USAT Skills camp,or to race in the Talent ID Series, F1 Youth Elite Race series and/or the USAT Youth and Junior National Championships.

I am looking forward to heading to Arizona get some experience coaching the future of our sport.  I think this will be a great opportunity to learn from some very experienced coaches, as well as, pass on some knowledge of experience with the attendees.  I know what it’s like to look at an athlete and say, “I want to get to that level!”  Hopefully I can answer any questions the campers may have and inspire them to take their effort/training/racing to the next level.

Kids grow up playing baseball, football, basketball, etc.  Why not get them involved in triathlon at a young age?  Triathlon is a sport they can compete in for a life time.  The earlier an athlete starts, the more time they will have to develop, and get the most out of their performances.  For more info on the camp click here, or e-mail me at


My Take on How to Gain Sponsorship

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Don’t Be Hasty

“Patience is a virtue” and “Haste makes waste” are two of my favorite sayings and, I can tell you, I am still trying to learn how to follow the core message of each.  For this I use another saying, “Easier said than done.”  I am writing this article for my own good.  Hopefully it helps you, but I need to put it on paper and hold myself to it.

I ran the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon a few weeks ago.  My strategy was to go out conservative and close hard.  What did I do?  I hammered from the gun and suffered in the end.  Granted there was a strong headwind the last three miles, but I had no gas to push through.  The same goes for my last Ironman appearance.  Ironman Wisconsin last season was a debacle.  I crashed and burned.  I went out hard on the bike, mashed up every hill, and ended up walking on the run.

I will be the first to tell you I need to mature as an athlete and I must learn to  have confidence in my speed and my fitness.  The term “negative split” is not thrown around so much because it doesn’t work.  The negative split is the ideal way to race.  You want to ease into it and close hard.  It is a lot easier to finish strong than it is to suffer through the last section of the race.

How would I have raced these two races differently?  At the Chicago R and R, I would have stuck with the lead group from the start.  I would not have pushed as hard as I did, and I would not have run off of the front at the start.  I went through my first two-mile sub-10 minutes.  This was way too fast.  I know this is not a pace I can hold for 13.1 miles.  I have to be more realistic with myself.  I should have started around a 5:20/mile pace and in the end, if I could run sub 5 min/mi, do it then when everyone else was suffering.  I would not only have run faster, but I would have felt a lot better.

At IM Wisconsin, it was all about patience.  I know my swim stinks and my run is solid.  I didn’t race my race.  I got out of the water close to last and I thought I could make up time on the bike.  I was wrong.  IM Wisconsin is a two loop course.  I was lucky to have finished the first loop let alone the race.  112 miles is a long way to race a bike.  I had my wattage right in front of me, but I may as well not have.  It was all over the map.  On the up hills I was above 350 watts, on flats I was at 275 watts, and that is just for the first loop.  The second loop drastically dropped off.  If I had been patient, I would have kept my wattage consistent the entire way.  I would have kept it low and within the same range no matter the terrain.  For example, if my goal wattage was 260 watts, I should have held 260 watts on climbs, descents, flats, etc.

I like to use T.J. Tollakson as an example when trying to make this point to my coaching clients.  T.J. won IM Lake Placid this year and had his fastest Ironman run yet.  This was not just by chance.  I looked at T.J.’s power file from the race and it looked similar to a flat line across the course of 112 miles.  T.J. stayed within himself and consistent.  This allowed him to come off the bike feeling fresh and close out the race hard.  T.J. is one of the strongest cyclists in triathlon, yet for IMLP he held his wattage around 260w.  He was patient and conservative and this led to an incredible run which led to an overall victory.

I personally find myself too caught up in the “racing” atmosphere.  I want to start hard because I am racing, but I must remember that this is not a 100 meter sprint.  Our races could last anywhere from 4-14 hours.  That is a long day, and strategy is what separates the winners from everyone else.  You could go out hard and have the lead for a bit, but “What matters is not how you start, but how you finish” and how you finish successfully takes patience.  RACE HARD!

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Strength Emphasis

Swim, Bike, Run! Swim, Bike, Run! We, as triathletes, seem to overlook aspects of training other than swimming, biking, and running. Ofter time, what we don’t realize is that it is the other aspects of training that allows us to get the most out of our bodies while swimming, biking, and running. One of the most important aspects we overlook is strength/flexibility training. If you look at any other sport, part of the training regiment is “hitting the gym.” Why should triathletes be any different? Sure, we will not be putting up the weight that a football player would be lifting or be doing the same dynamic movements as a golfer, but triathletes have specific areas of strength/flexibility that they can improve in order to get the most out of their training/racing.
Many triathletes say, “I don’t have time to strength train.” What that triathlete has to realize is that strength training is as vital to their performance as any swimming biking and running would be. I look at it like this: If you were an architect and you wanted to build the tallest skyscraper in the world, you would need the strongest foundation possible. Your body is your foundation. If you want to build up to the highest level of performance, your foundation must be built first.
Not only does strength/flexibility allow you to achieve higher performance it also helps prevent injury. The more solid your foundation, the less likely it will break down when put under stress. There are plenty of triathlon specific workouts you can do to improve your foundation and get strength in the correct places. For more info, or for time efficient strength training for the triathlete, contact me at

I will be holding a basic strength routine clinic at Triathlon Lab in Santa Monica on November 16th at 7p.m. RSVP at

Austin 70.3 Race Report

Austin 70.3 Race Report



 I hate the feeling of helplessness.  No matter what aspect of life helplessness is associated with, I can’t stand the feeling of not being in control and not being able to do anything to help the situation I am in.  Helpless is the way I felt last Sunday at 70.3 Austin.  I worked hard and left it all on the course, but my all was not nearly enough to compete with the best.

I have been training hard as of late and making big gains, but I have been run focused for some time now.  I have been biking and swimming a lot, but I haven’t really been “putting it all together.”  I have done one brick(bike to run, or swim to bike) workout in the past 5 months and I have raced one triathlon in the past 6 months.  This definitely showed on Sunday in Austin.  I thought I could just power through the race and come out with a superb performance.  I can assure you, this was not the case.  These races can not be taken lightly, especially at the level I need to perform.  Judging by the way my body feels today, my limbs were not ready for the stress of a triathlon either.

The swim was, well, the swim.  My goal going in was to stay relaxed and try to come out of the water with as much energy as possible so I could use the bike and run as my weapons to hunt down and take out the leaders.  The gun sounded and I took off.  I drafted off of another athlete most of the way.  We were by no means breaking records, but I felt good and smooth.  I kept checking in with myself throughout the swim to make sure I was relaxed.  I have been known to be a tense swimmer to say the least.  As of late, I have been trying to feel the water.  I cruised through the swim, way behind the front pack and got out in 32 minutes.  It seemed like a long way which was another example of my lack of triathlon specific training and racing.  Doing 4500 meters in a pool is one thing.  A 2000 meter open water swim is entirely different.  I was not accustomed to swimming that long because I had not done it in so long.  A lot of the guys in the field are Ironman competitors so a 2000 meter swim is nothing compared to the 4000 meter swim they are used to completing.  I had a lot of ground to make up.  Remember that helpless feeling I was talking about?  Here is a prime example.  I want to swim faster, with the rest of the group.  I just can’t do it.  I have been spending a lot of time in the pool, but everyone else has been as well.  I guess I have to remember that it is a process and takes a while to be a good swimmer let alone a swimmer who can keep up with the best swimmers in the sport.

Coming out of the water so far behind is a tough mental issue to deal with.  Although my goal for the race was to race “my” race and see where I was at physically, it is still a metal drain knowing that I am already 8 minutes down on the leaders with only one-third of the day completed.  I got on the bike and felt great.  I eased into my race pace, 320 watts, and felt as though I could hold that wattage all day.  The course was tough.  A lot of rolling hills and the pavement was absolutely horrible due to the massive drought in Texas.  There were cracks and bumps everywhere, and there were sections that had been repaved to cover cracks, but the asphalt that was used to repave was not the smoothest surface.  It resembled the surface of the moon, if you can imagine that(CRAZY BUMPY).  I was moving and feeling good.  I went through 25 miles in a little under an hour.  All of a sudden, I hit a bump and my left aero bar arm rest dropped down.  I could still rest my arm but it wasn’t the most comfortable feeling.  This is also when my power began to decline.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t maintain my previous wattage.  I was digging deep, trying to get back up to speed, but between the hills, the wind, the road surface, and, I guess, my lack of long, tempo rides(My max ride was 2:30 throughout the past 6 months, once per week); I started to suffer.  I tried to put my head down and get into a groove, but I just couldn’t keep up the pace.  Helpless!  I was working, but 56 miles is a long way.  I wasn’t used to holding a tempo effort for that long.  I came off of the bike in 2:23 with an average wattage of 279.

As I ran onto the 3 loop run course, the eventual winner Michael Raelert was just beginning his second loop.  I was a lap down on the leader, 4.5 miles.  He passed me like I was standing still.  I have been running focused the past few months and I couldn’t keep up with him.  I ran a marathon three weeks ago and I came through the halfway point at 1:10.  Michael ended up running a 1:11.  Although I knew I could run faster than he was running, I just couldn’t get up to his speed.  Once again, helpless.  It was starting to get hot and the course was a never-ending series of hills.  I made sure to keep taking in fluids and calories because I knew I would need those fluids and calories as the run progressed.  I started out around a 6 minute/mile pace, and that slowly tailored off to a 7 minute/mile pace.  I finished the half marathon in 1:27.  The same time I finished the second half of Twin Cities with two ailing IT Bands.  My overall finish time was 4:26 and I finished 14th in the Pro Division.

It was evident that I was not triathlon ready for this race, but the point of it was to see where I was at fitness-wise.  I learned a lot about myself as I always do on these tough days, but I also learned a lot about myself as a coach.  I never want my athletes to have the feeling of helplessness.  I want all of my athletes knowing that they can achieve whatever they put their mind to and when they ask their body for that extra effort it will respond.

I know what I have to do to be triathlon ready and I know the changes I will have to make in my training.  It’s not more or less of one thing or another, it’s just more specific to what I will be racing.  Thanks to my Mom and Dad for coming down to Austin and supporting me and thanks to Shane Niemeyer for giving me some great words of encouragement as I struggled through the run.

Up next, I have a decision to make.  Either I put the bike away and hone in on the California International Marathon for one more shot at qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials, or I dive back into full-time triathlon training and start making gains for next season.  I’ll let you know.  RACE HARD!