Startline Coaching

Register now for winter group training. Multiple options to choose from:

  • Prepare for early season (June/July) triathlons
  • Prepare for a half marathon
  • Build power on the bike

Join Startline Coaching to build a strong endurance foundation that will carry you into your early season races and beyond. A structured and time efficient training plan, fellow athletes to work out with, and direct instruction from a professional coach are game changers for athletes of all levels. Come out of the winter ready to reach your goals.

Act now!

Triathlon Training:

Group workouts kick-off this Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 8:00 am in Prospect Park

Half Marathon Training:

Group runs kick-off this Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 8:00 am in Prospect Park.

Bike Training:

The first group Zwift bike workout is this coming Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 6:30 am.

Coach Peter

Spring and summer 2022 races are open for registration. The off season is behind us and it is time to get ready to race!  Join Startline Coaching to build a strong endurance foundation to carry you into your early season races and beyond. A structured and time efficient training plan, fellow athletes to work out with, and direct instruction from a professional coach are game changers for athletes of all levels.

Join us! Register today

Spring Triathlon programs – Peak for Spring/Summer races!

  • 22 Wk Triathlon Training program – 1/22/22 – 6/26/22
  • 26 Wk Extended Triathlon Training program – 1/22/22 – 7/24/22

Running programs – Peak for the Brooklyn Half!

  • 13 Wk Half Marathon preparation program – 1/22/22 – 4/24/22

Cycling programs – Develop power!

  • 12 Wk – Indoor cycling FTP builder – 1/18/22 – 4/10/22
Our Approach

Athletes are streamed into training progressions based upon current fitness and capability. All programs offer structured workouts via Training Peaks, along with regular testing to set benchmarks for each athlete’s zones and efforts. Coached, weekly group training sessions (in Prospect Park for runners & triathletes, and on Zwift for cyclists) build camaraderie, accountability, and learning. Each athlete is equally valued by the group. We cheer one another on, offer support when the going gets tough and the spirit lags, and celebrate successes and breakthroughs. 

Not sure which option is best for your upcoming season? Hit the “Click to Schedule” button to schedule a call with Coach Peter.

Register now for a great season of challenges, fitness, and camaraderie. Don’t miss out!

Run Training:

Group runs kick-off this Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 am in Prospect Park.

Bike Training:

The first group Zwift bike workout is this coming Tuesday morning, October 26, at 6:30 am.

Coach Peter

The shortening days and dropping temperatures of fall and winter (did we mention rain and snow?) can make working out on our own a challenge. More importantly, we often do not know how to structure our off-season for the best results – what to do, for how long, in what order, and when. But the off-season offers an opportunity that comes but once-a-year to hone skills, increase strength and stamina, and set a strong foundation for the spring and summer. 

Startline Coaching is once again offering two popular off-season run and bike programs, this year with the option to extend beyond 12-weeks. 

Both programs offer structured workouts via Training Peaks, along with regular testing to set benchmarks for each athlete’s zones and efforts. Coached, weekly group training sessions (in Prospect Park for runners and on Zwift for cyclists) build camaraderie, accountability, and learning. Winter and/or spring races are included for goal-setting and testing our mettle. 

All levels are welcome: the beginner who’s gotten a taste of racing and wants to improve, the experienced athlete who wants to get back in shape after time away, the competitive age-grouper who wants to set their sights on new goals and challenges – and everyone in between. Each athlete is equally valued by the group. We cheer one another on, offer support when the going gets tough and the spirit lags, and celebrate successes and breakthroughs. 

Join us!

I am often asked by athletes about breathing technique for running. I’d like to address this with a three part answer:

  1. Principally breathe in and out through your mouth. During exercise, we are most concerned with Oxygen delivery to the lungs and blood stream and Carbon Dioxide expulsion from the lung and blood stream. Your nose can certainly participate, but the most effective method is to enable the biggest airway. Solely nose breathing is restrictive and decreases O2/C02 exchange. You have a big hole in the front of your head to draw in & expel air, you should use it!
  2. Belly Breathe. Chest breathing is also restrictive and does not make full use of the capacity of your lungs. Breathe in and out using your diaphragm vs. top of your chest. Your belly will expand along with your lungs enabling greater lung capacity.
  3. Adopt a 2-2 breath pattern. Most runners seek to achieve 180 steps/minute cadence as they run. A 2 steps inhale 2 steps exhale pattern has the benefit of enabling the greatest amount of O2/CO2 exchange and works well for paces up from EZ/Endurance runs to 10k/5K. Only during the finishing kick would you find yourself breathing with the more extreme 2-1 or 1-2 breath pattern. Note: For long EZ/Endurance runs, you should also periodically try a 3-3 breath pattern. This is not because a 3-3 breath is optimal, but because if you cannot hold a 3-3 pattern you are running too hard for the purpose of an EZ/Endurance workout.

Enjoy your running and check in on your breath as you run. I personally advocate running without music or other distractions. Yes! I can hear the whining and complaining from here, but this approach will allow you to stay in tune with your body and its physiological responses to exercise stress, and also toughen you mentally for racing. Your breath is a key physiological indicator and guide for pacing control. Listen to your breath and don’t shut it out. Your breath is a fully redundant pacing feedback system and, if you are in touch with it, it will no longer matter if your Garmin malfunctions or the battery dies – not that this ever happens.

Coach Peter.

Few things strike fear into the hearts of athletes than the dreaded run time trail that a coach has placed onto athletes training calendar. There is no question that these efforts are really very tough. They are also extremely valuable by providing insight into each athletes speed potential & athletic improvement. It is direct feedback to both coach & athlete on improvement. Moreover, they allow more accurate setting of training zones so training can be targeted more effectively.

This week, Startline athletes face their first Run TT test session of the training year. It is a preliminary test to capture where they stand today so that base training begins on a firm footing. Here is guidance for them and others undertaking these tests.

The test is simple. After a good 20 min warm-up and some pre-race facilitation drills and dynamic stretches, run as quickly as you can for 30 minutes. The goal is to cover as much ground as possible. Here are some key tips:

  1. Time trials are your fastest sustainable effort without injury. This is not the be all and end all run effort you will ever do. No good is ever done by running past your ability to absorb the effort. While the test is to see how fast you can run, it makes little sense to do yourself a mischief.
  2. Go out a little slower than you think you can run. A time trail does not really start to reveal itself in terms of perceived exertion until 4-5 mins into the run. Too often I have seen athletes fade about 4-5 minutes out. It is better to negative split and learn from that for next time. An overly explosive start followed by a fade is much less meaningful. Close hard is my best advice, just as in races.
  3. Use the same time, protocol, and route every time. To create meaningful data that shows progress over time, you need to do your level best to replicate your time trails. Be sure to be fairly well rested. If done in the morning, always do them in the morning. If evening, stick with that. Follow the same warm up routine. I like to use the same routine for races as well. If you intend to race with a wrist based HRM, then use that in the time trail. Finally, run the same route. Of course, there are many variables you cannot control that will vary between TT efforts, but by minimizing variation you will be able to see change in performance more clearly.
  4. You get better at this over time. Just like racing, time trials take practice and, with time, become increasingly manageable. Focus on the process, and understand the relationship between perceived effort, pace and duration vs. the absolute performance. This is especially true if you are new to doing these kinds of tests. Focus on mastery and if you have a bad test, move on. Trust me another test is coming in 4-6 weeks. Over time, you do learn to suffer and as every athlete will tell you, your ability to manage suffering is central to every race effort.
  5. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The old adage that which gets measured improves does apply here. You must continually reassess for two reasons 1) to ensure training zones are reflective of your fitness and performance and 2) to ensure that your training is delivering results. While performance improvement is not linear, a regular TT ensures that both you and your coach have time to reflect and be purposeful about next steps. I like to retest athletes every 4-6 weeks.

For more details on setting heart rate & pace training based upon run time trial efforts checkout this article from Joe Friel at Training Peaks.

Coach Peter

Photo Credit: Larry Rosa photography

This weekend’s NYC Marathon was quite windy and blustery. The impact of the wind is easy to under estimate. Studies have shown that the energy cost differential of running outside (even on a still day) vs. indoors on the treadmill is significant. This is because you are developing a headwind outdoors vs. running in still air on the treadmill. This leads to the scientifically supported recommendation from coaches to increase the treadmill to a 1% incline to simulate outdoor running.

That said, if you have a blustery day like yesterday the impact is even more significant. At points, runners would have faced 8+ mph winds, add in an average pace of 6-7 mph and everyone is pushing into a 14 mph headwind. If your day yesterday was tough, this may be a very good reason. The energy cost differential, while perceived as sustainable early in the race, will cost you dearly toward the end of the race unless you account for it in your race strategy.

All cyclists know the advantages of slippery bike shapes, deep section wheels, and reduction of frontal surface area on race performance and cycling economy. Moreover, at higher speeds the wind resistance impact curve gets steeper and steeper. It is not a linear relationship. Finally, a vertical runner in loose running clothing is far from an optimized aerodynamic shape.

So what does this mean? Hide in the lee of the pack as much as possible to reduce the impact of a windy day and get used to running closer to others in training. Channel the cyclist in you and be tactical about where you are in the group throughout your race. Hide behind the tall runners, make moves when the wind is with you and not against you and preserve your energy for when you most need it, which is at the end of the race. It’s fun and engages your mind throughout the race as well.

Run fast, run smart.

Coach Peter

Such a fun day for the first group training session. Weather was cool, sun was out. The key focus early in training is to strengthen connective tissue, build muscle, and do some aerobic conditioning.

The aerobic system can be developed fundamentally by time on your feet. This can be done very effectively at 60% of HR Max. To maintain & develop your aerobic engine, the bulk of your training plan should be relatively easy in effort. In addition, at easy levels of effort, the strain on your connectivity tissue is reduced and recovery is substantially easier, which reduces overall injury risk.

Squats, lunges, planks & bridges introduce load to the musculature and connective tissue. Over a course of 4-6 weeks, consistent body weight strength work will make you a stronger and injury resistant athlete.

Combine 4 short, 10-min runs with multiple sets of strength work and now you have a formidable, time-efficient workout that works everything you need to begin to set your running base and improve your durability as an athlete.

Be efficient with your time, stay out of the gym at least for now, and enjoy the fall weather. Bask in the glory of being outside during the changing seasons with your friends.

I had the pleasure of meeting & listening to the legendary running coach Dr. Jack Daniels PhD at the #BrooklynRunCo this morning. It was particularly fitting on the eve of the #NYCMarathon.

As endurance athletes, we must meter out the energy we have, specifically glycogen, across the entire duration of the race. The energy consumption curve at higher paces/intensities is significantly steeper and grows steeper as we increase pace. The result is that all too often marathoners burn out in the later miles, struggle to complete, and positive split.

Dr. Daniels’s sage advice is to hold back in the early miles no matter how good you feel. Conserve your energy reserves, and reduce the fatigue impact of the race. This strategy sets you up for a strong close and negative split even when the back of the race has more challenging terrain. The world’s best marathoners all negative split because, even at the ferocious paces that they run, they are all going out easier than they can run and intend to run.

Race well marathoners!

Coach Peter

Photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

It’s happening – 4 days to go. Get your shoes on and laces tied for the off season run/strength program. The team will meet at Connecticut Muffin on the corner of Prospect Park West & 15 St. in Brooklyn. On site registration is at 7:30 am or register now so you can sleep in a bit more.

Workout begins at 8:00 am! First work out is 30-40 mins of EZ running interspersed with body weight strength exercises. Come and have some fun in the park!

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