Strength —-its individual

I belong to several on-line tri training forums or groups.  Sometimes the groups offer support, share about races, provide virtual high-fives.   Inevitably,  the questions surround strength training routines.  What do you do?  What do you recommend?  And the page flurries with recommendations from various videos to weight training systems.   

And you know what, 

 I am SHOCKED!!! 


I shouldn’t be, but I always walk away from these conversations shaking my head. 



Regardless of the arena, it seems we throw caution to the wind and desire a one-size-fits-all solution to developing strength.   For individuals who are so specific on eating, on resting and all other aspects of training, we sacrifice our underlying training.   


Why is that? Seriously, why do we do that? 

First off, like fueling for training and competition, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!   One size does not fit most, actually.  

Programming for strength is as individal as a bike fit.   


Secondly, we like to make it way too complicated.   Simplicity does not mean mindlessness.  It simply means you dont have to run through the woods, around the barn and back through the woods to accomplish the goal.  The programming is designed around you, your goals and your needs. It’s all about YOU


Strength can be incorporated in your daily warm-up routine.   For example mini-band walks, and foot-tap/hip-lock drill before headinf out to run or bike, or medicine ball work before jumping in the pool.   Active movement designed to aid your performance, to prevent injury, to keep you stronger.   Strength can also be a specific training session, building off the previous one, encompassing (again) your goals, your needs, your training, and the time available.   Again, all about you! 

I am not certain why we settle for less, assuming these ready-to-use programs will get us where we need to be.   I am not certain why we don’t invest the time (and/or money) into meeting with someone who can assist you.   Take the time to invest in the strength aspect of your programming.  One size does not fit all.  You are an unique individual.  Your training should reflect that.  

Posted in athletic development, coaching, coaching tri, cycling, goal setting, goals, goals, goals, goals, running, strength, swimming, training | Leave a comment

Coaches Education — A Day With Team MPI

Yesterday, I had the privelege of spending the day with Team MPI as part of their Coaches Retreat.   The retreat was for their coaches designed for continuing education, networking and FUN!   And while I was the only represetnative of an outside coaching family, I was welcomed with open arms.  It was pretty cool to listen to other coaching perspectives, amd realize that regardless of where we are, we all have the same hurdles to clear.   I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, and share.

Presentations included discussions on bike fit, creating blocks of training to meet your athletes needs, metabolic testing (and we conducted a VO2 max test), swim coaching and stroke development, strength training, gadgets for measurement and running,  and some of the psychology of dealing with athletes.   Some was affirmation of my philosophies as a coach, others provided some clarity, and still others showed me I still have a lot to learn.   As I continue to strive to provide you with the best coaching.


The welcome:  I was embraced.   We were all coaches with a common  goal.  Learning and sharing to be better for our athletes.  This is a true testament to the coaching organization they are.

Metabolic testing:  Resting and then a VO2 Max.  (I love the Hannibal look).

I learned about another coaching platform, besides Training Peaks. I am still happy with Addaero, but am open to opportunities. I also learned more about some of the Garmin features, when you are sending me your training notes. I also discovered another watch Suunto, that provides similar stats to the Garmin.

Bike Fit: Some of the math involved. GEOMETRY! Yes, I loved Math and Science in school. Although, I struggled with it at times. Cycling and bike fit is about solving geometric problems. Pretty cool if you ask me! And I am investigating Bike Fit Education, so I can better serve you.

Building a Network: a team of professionals that you can reach out to, from sports medicine to massage to nutrition. I am building relationships for you in Houston.

And Running Gadgets: Using a métronome to develop a faster tempo.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and look forward to more opportunities like these to learn.

Posted in coacheseducation, coaching, coaching tri, commitment, community, motivation, networking, seeyouathefinishline, technology | Leave a comment

I am not sure I need a coach……

I was thinking back on the accomplishments of several of my athletes this year, and I am truly impressed by their fortitude, the challenges tackled and the overall WOW-factors.   I honestly love hearing the stories shared about their successes, as well as those that they gained so much from.    And I am humbled.   

As I write this, my intent is not to solicit coaching from you, but to share some insights.  

*I fail quite frequently as a coach —- at times I am distracted, late to respond or at a loss for words — but I genuinely want you to succeed in your goals.*  

I have been reflecting on the need to be coached at least once in our athletic careers, and coached or mentored in other aspects of our lives.  I have recently been approached about receiving life coaching or coaching in goal setting and plan writing, and I am honestly resistant to the prospect.    Because for lifecoaching, I am not sure I want someone wading around in my muck.  I appreciate the good intentions, but I am not prepared for what it entails.   And so, I digress…….. the point is, I understand resistance to being coached.   I had one friend say to me, but I want to do my own thing!  And a coach may take that away.   (Some coaches write days in where you the athlete choose the how, within the confines of the what, providing freedom.  For example:  swim x – your choice).  

My story takes us to a conversation with an athlete who completed her first half-iron this fall, transitioning from short-course to long-course.  A seasoned runner, and relatively new triathlete, I worked with her improving her swim confidence to handle the longer swim and develop open-water techniques to make her more competitive.  I was comfortable with her working with her husband in developing an overall training plan but was open to providing insights and answering various questions.  

She shared that she was NOT prepared for the hills in this race.   Let’s face it —Houston is flat, and at sea-level.  We have issues with hills and altitude.   Her race was in the Hill Country.   And so her biking was a challenge come race time.   


While she was thrilled with her performance, and completion of the first half-iron, I pondered as a coach how this could have had a different or stronger outcome.   The coach should investigate the course and determine strategies for training.  If implemeting the use of a trainer and a power meter, creating ride profiles within wattages can create strength for the hills of the ride, while complementing the endurance needs of the race.  The coach could provide strategies to tackle the hills in the race, when to drive, when to settle, and how to do these.   And the coach would teach decision making for race day, so the athlete can be prepared for the unexpected.  

Granted this particular athlete does not have a trainer or power meter, and is not ‘serious enough’ to make that financial investment. A coach may have taught her how to use a weekly indoor ride (on a spin-bike) to generate the same type of results.  

The coach should also be able to discuss nutrition and race day decisions about hydrating and nutritional needs, or have someone to refer.  

The coach can answer tough questions, provide insights and motivation, possibly direct for strength or resistance training as part of a warm-up or cool-down.  

And the coach may become a friend.   


I am here to assist when you are ready to make the commitment. 



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Goals, goals, goals, goals!

Sitting in my living room, watching a movie while reading a blogpost from Nick Symmonds, founder of RunGum, I was compelled to think of all the goals and dreams and aspirations I had for 2017.   And while many did not happen, I could not have dreamt of where I am now.   And then, looking ahead to 2018 and my dreams and goals for the year that is beginning to unfold.   

My goals for 2018 include some lofty athletic endeavors:

— swim 26.2(cumulative) before Patriot’s Day (boston marathon day); 

— #BQat50 (I am training for Jack and Jill Downhill Marathon in July).  

— And enjoy the JOURNEY.   The process.   


After all, to train for and complete a marathon takes a great deal of commitment and dedication.   And a focus to detail.   

I have endured the frigid temperatures of Houston this week, and trained inside biking and treadmilling so I can run outside today.   

It is certainly about the Journey!  


Professionally, I aspire to remain committed to you and sharing in your adventures along the way.  

What are YOUR GOALS?   And how do you expect to achieve these? 

How can I help you SUCCEED


Things to Be on the Lookout for:  

— womens tri group and swim.   

— kids swim group

—OTTERS spring registration 

— Race Schedules 


I look forward to seeing you at the finish line! 

Posted in coaching, commitment, community, goal setting, goals, goals, goals, goals, motivation, RunGum, running, seeyouathefinishline, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Levitate

When Brooks Running announced the name of their new shoe, the Levitate, I imagined little hoverboards inside the shoes.  

How else can one ‘levitate’?  In all seriousness, I was looking forward to receiving my pair to give these a test run.   

To start:  Sebastian, my youngest cat, loves the box!  And I couldn’t help but notice how blue the shoes are.  Putting these on my feet felt like slippers with laces….. very comfortable! 

 And off I went for an ‘easy 2.5mile run’, having skipped my run yesterday.   The run was actually after a challenging cycling class that I taught, so it was not as easy as I would expect.

As I began my run, I immediately noticed the cooshy feeling.  They supported my feet but had an extra spring to them.  

They are bouncy! 

I enjoyed the run as the shoe gave me a little extra push to be able to run a solid 2.5miles.  These are definitely going to be added to my training regimen.   I foresee using these on longer runs, if I am coming off tired legs or if I need to get through a longer run in a solid form.   

Visit Brooks Running to acquire your own pair.   Remember to Run Happy!  



Posted in BrooksRunning, Levitate, running, training | Leave a comment

Announcing OTTER Tri Team




I am thrilled to announce the launch of the OTTER TRI Team!  

Visit: for the most up to date information.  


After several hurdles related to changes and Hurricane Harvey, we are looking to begin with the bike and run segments:  

Saturday 23 September. 

Practices will be T/TH/SA.   On these days, practices will encompass bike and run skills and safety.  


At this time, we are only able to offer the swim progression in a private (up to small group of 3).   


Our practices will conclude for the winter months 15 October after the Try Andy’s Tri, and will resume in January for the 2018 season.  All levels and abilities are welcome.  


The following describes the team levels, fees and expectations.   




OTTER youth Tri Team 

Email: to reserve your spot.  


OTTER youth TRI TEAM requires a non-refundable registration fee to hold your space.  This fee is $50 until 1Sept, and $75 after that.


ALL athletes are expected to compete as an OTTER and for the OTTER TRI TEAM.  


For this time period:  September – October we are offering training for $150/athlete.   There is the opportunity for 12 coached practices and race support at the races.   Rates will return to monthly/punch card rates in January.   

 Paper work and registration and team fees due prior to your child’s first practice.  

The Team Levels:   

GROUP I: (Developmental group)  6-10years

Two practices a week  — T/Th– 4:30pm, Sa– 3:30pm

This athlete is:  new to triathlon.

                       Is able to RIDE  (bicycle) safely without training wheels.

                       Can SWIM 25 yards freestyle, proficiently

                        Can WALK/RUN 1/2 mile


GROUP II: (Youth Performance)  7-10years

Two practices/week — T/Th 4:30pm; Sa –3:30pm

This athlete Has some experience in triathlon. 

 AND           Can RIDE 3miles with safe bike handling skills

                   Can SWIM 100yards Freestyle proficiently

                   Can RUN 1/2mile in under 6minutes.

                   Has Coach Approval. 


GROUP III (Youth Performance)  11-15years

Two – three practices/week with the opportunity to participate in longer rides with the pre-elites.

T/Th 4:30pm; Sa 3:30pm

This athlete has triathlon experience (more than two races). 

                     Can RIDE 6miles

                     Can SWIM 200yards freestyle proficiently

                     Can RUN/WALK  1mile

                     Has Coach Approval


PRE-ELITE  9-13years

Two – four practices a week.  T/TH — 4:30pm; Sa –3:30pm

This athlete is Advanced or Experienced triathlete.

                     Can RIDE 6miles in a group

                     Has advanced bike handling skills 

                   Can SWIM 300yards proficiently

                     Has swum in open water

                     Can RUN 1/2mile in under 4minutes

                     Can RUN 2miles without stopping

                     Has Coach Approval.


Satellite Team 

This is for those athletes who want to be an OTTER, but are unable to participate in practices.  

Registration fee:  $50 until 1Sept; $75 thereafter. 

With weekly training schedule:  $75/month.

No training schedule has no additional fee.



The OTTER TRI TEAM website is currently under construction.

 If you are interested in starting your training now or for more information about the OTTERS, 

please contact Coach Meg: 










Posted in athletic development, coaching, coaching girls, coaching tri, coachingkids, commitment, community, cycling, kidsinsport, kidstriathlon, OWLTRITEAM, preparation, running, seeyouathefinishline, strength, swimming, training | Leave a comment

Starting the Day on Offense

The alarm goes off and the day is underway!  The cats have been walking across me for an hour, and the phone has a million messages waiting for me.   I start the day playing defense.   And I rarely get caught up.  The day is defense or a reaction to everyone and everything around me.   


At GAIN X this year, Wade Gilbert discussed starting the day on OFFENSE.


After the conclusion of GAIN X we were asked what we learned and what changes we made in our coaching.  I reflected on the details of the week, and the point that resonated most with me, was making time for me and being able to coach from a position of offense and not defense.  


How does one do that?  How often does the day start before we do, and we spend the day, week, month chasing after the events with little to no control over the events.  

I afterall am guilty.   I have five boys, of the feline persuasion and there are mornings that I am running at a pace I cannot maintain to manage the trouble they have created.  

I am guilty.  I put myself last.   I chase things in the pursuit of making money to pay my bills, instead of making choices that will impact my professional endeavors and those goals I want to achieve.   

I am guilty.  I wake to the alarm on my phone, and immediately check the drama that is occuring in the world.  

As a result, my day is reactionary and not decisionary (my word).  I am not making choices;  I am making responses.  


In this, I realized I have many half-started projects, half-read books, and no focus professionally.  

SO, my focus has been to start my day on OFFENSE.  In order to do this, I have changed ——-  


– I am stepping outside my comfort zone to meet and greet people who are doing what I want to do.  i am asking key questions for direction so I can learn from their path.  

– I have requested a mentor through USA Triathlon’s mentorship program.  It will be nice to be held accountable.

– I am finishing those half-read books.   I have a reading/podcast checklist.  I have booked these as appointments, so I can read, listen amd learn. 

– I am concluding my day with Yoga amd stretching.  I want to learn more about this discipline and it is helping relax so I can sleep. 

– I still sleep with my phone in my room (for safety, as I do not have a land-line), but I put it on DO NOT DISTURB and I do not check the details until after I have eaten. 

-I block time out of the day to read, write, prepare for coaching and do business administration. 


And through this……. I feel better, more confident, more capable of handling all the curve balls tossed my way.  




Posted in athletic development, coacheseducation, coaching, coaching girls, coachingkids, commitment, GAIN, goal setting, listeningwithintent, mentored, motivation, networking, planning the day, preparation, seeyouathefinishline | Leave a comment

Houston Kids Triathlon


The weekend of 21 & 22 May brought some excitement.   

The kids I was able to coach completed a triathlon.   For many, it was their first.  Congrats to them!   

Here are some pictures from the event:  



Posted in athletic development, celebrate, coaching, coaching girls, coachingkids, commitment, goal setting, motivation, preparation, seeyouathefinishline, triathlon | Leave a comment

Learning something New

One of my newest and youngest clients is a younger sibling of two kids I coach.   J wants to participate in tri….. and as the youngest, wants to better his brother and sister.    I wamted to share this clip, because he is learning to do a flipping turtle, amd is laughing in the process.  



It is a reminder that training, while challenging needs to be fun.  


Posted in athletic development, coaching, coachingkids, kidsinsport, kidstriathlon, motivation, seeyouathefinishline | Leave a comment


A seemingly quiet morning quickly turned into organized and loud chaos!  Saturday morning, I participated in my first GOTR 5K. 



 And what a treat it was…….. this 5K was unlike any other I have participated in.  This event was a celebration of the journey the girls had taken in empowering themselves to learn about themselves and relationships and to train for a 5K.  

And we had a party!!! Running through downtown Houston, we celebrated.   Wearing capes and tutus with glitter in our hair, we stomped and sang and ran.  We cheered for each other as we ran!   This could not be compared to any other race I have done.  

It was amazing!  

And while I may not be able to coach a team next season, I have committed to serving and supporting this program in the future.  Whether I serve as an adelaide, or partner as a sole mate, I will continue to support GOTR


Can’t wait until Fall?  GOTR Houston is running CAMP GOTR.  Registration is open.   



Posted in 5K, athletic development, celebrate, coaching, coaching girls, courage, GOTR, GOTR Houston, kidsinsport, motivation, running, seeyouathefinishline, strength, training | Leave a comment