Observations from Kona

IMG_0944.jpgI just spent the week in Kona, Hawaii, attending a USAT Level 2 Endurance coaching certification clinic with my friend and coaching colleague Molly Balfe.

3 1/2 days of solid work. We attended with 10 other soon to be Level 2 Endurance coaches from around the country.

We were also joined by a number of athletes & coaches from Portland who train and work with Molly. Some were here to complete Level I coaching certification as well.

All of us stayed the rest of the week to watch the IM World Championship & enjoy many Mai Tai’s.

Level 2 Coaching Clinic:

I was so impressed with the other level 2 aspiring coaches around the country. Everyone brought almost a decade of experience as coaches. It was an intense few days, integrating new ideas and refreshing older well known concepts. The presenters were terrific.

  • Jesse Kropelnicki, MS – USAT Level III, ACSM CpT,  NSCA CSCS
  • Ian Murray – USAT Level III, ITU & USAC Level II, Bike Fit Instructor: Cannondale’s Guru Academy & Dan Empfield’s Fit Institute Slowtwitch,  USAC Certified Race Mechanic
  • Karen Allen Turner, USAT level II, 2016 Team USA Coach

The final presentations by all the attending coaches showed how detailed our approaches have become. Each coach presentation brought out innovative problem solving strategies for a diverse range of coaching challenges. The presentations were the highlight of the week.

As is always the case when attending formal accreditation classes, I walked away a stronger coach with new ideas and approaches that will strengthen the start line coaching squad in 2018. More on the clinic here:

Kona Ironman world championship:

I have been to Kona few times. Always for pleasure rather than to race. I have had the opportunity to ride, run, and swim parts of the course on a few occasions. However, nothing quite prepares you for the actual race environment. This is a very well prepared group of athletes.

The tendency is for the race to be described as epic with athletes out until midnight and shots of athlete collapse. While this might be good TV, the race is actually full of extraordinarily well trained athletes that finish well before dark. The sport has moved to a point where Ironman preparation is quite sophisticated and that reflects itself in the strength of the performances of the athletes. The environment at Kona is hot, humid, and very exposed. Kudos to the athletes. It is no mean feat. When you go to Kona expect to race.

Cheers from all of us who went to Kona, albeit not to race (this time!)


17 Ironmans 1 Table. Many new friends

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