Being the Best: Helping the Hedgehog to the Other Side of the Dip

It always seems that a book or way of thinking is brought to my attention at just the right time when I need my thoughts redirected. Recently Dr. Susan Biali introduced me to Seth Godin’s “The Dip” which helps readers discover when they are in a Dip or a Cul-de-Sac and decide whether or not it is appropriate to quit or stick it out. The other book that is one of my favourites is “Good to Great”by Jim Collins.

The last two months have been challenging for my business and myself. Fitness World was once a place of growth, but it had become my cul-de-sac or dead-end.   After weathering the sale of our strategic partner for eighteen months we decided in June of 2011 that it was time to quit and find a new home.  Even though I had become lost and unmotivated, unclear of why I started Lifemoves others still knew what Lifemoves is about.

When I created Lifemoves I wanted to build a brand and company that stood for something, made a contribution to society and that had a unique selling position. Until recently I had forgotten how to articulate this.  It took speaking with a Physiotherapist, an outsider who believed in my business to help me reconnect to how unique and wonderful Lifemoves is, what we can be the best at and how much potential we do have. It is also clear from the enthusiasm from our clients, employees and her that the growth and changes are positive. Thankfully all of our clients have stayed with us.

The Dip is that period of time when whatever it is can be a bit of a slog, but there is greatness on the other side. During the Dip you might feel like quitting, but if you did you would be missing out. There were times over the last couple of years I thought of folding, however I knew that this was my calling and I still had a lot to contribute (I also couldn’t see myself working for someone else).

Godin explains that there are the serial entrepreneurs who love the rush of the start-up, but jump from opportunity to opportunity without building something truly great. Some companies try to be everything to everyone. I have seen this when Personal Trainers who want to cater to ALL clients with ALL goals; it just leads to mediocrity.  Godin believes there is no point in being mediocre.
Collins’ book delineates what differentiates Good Companiesfrom Great Companies and one of those things was the Hedgehog Principle (Collins, p. 90). Great companies were able to figure out the intersection between what they were best at, what they were passionate about and what could sustain a robust cash flow and profitability. The hedgehog realizes what is innately simple – being able to curl up in a ball of spikes to ward of attackers instead of being the fox that is chasing at things at multiple levels.

Clients value companies who are robust, who have been around for awhile and who deliver a clear simple message. Moving our flagship location in North Vancouver and opening a new clinic in Coquitlam created a Dip where I was lost in the transitions. Several conversations have helped clear the fog. To push us through the Dip we have to be consistent with our hedgehog message:

We are a health and rehabilitation company founded by

a Kinesiologist which is focused on getting clients with

medical conditions, disabilities and or injuries moving for life.

We are diverging into new markets, because our brand awareness is growing. I have often spoken to store owners who have heard of Lifemoves.  People and opportunities come to us because we have been around for five years and our message is clear. Everything that we do, we believe in, we breath and we deliver has to embody the above message. Now is the time to really push forward.
The Dip can be a long process or it be getting to other side can be accelerated. I decided to accelerate it now that our move is completed. Coquitlam is going to be phenomenal. We are not thinking of this as a start-up. We are a maturing organization. This is our opportunity to be GREAT
We all have it in us to be great at something (for me it isn’t being a mathematician). Are you stuck and in cul-de-sac or is this a Dip? Figure it out and make some changes.
What can you be great at? How can you simplify and stop being mediocre? What are you going to do differently right now and tomorrow?

Further Inspirational Reading

Collins, Jim “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t,” Harper Business, 2001
Godin, Seth “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick),” Penguin Group, 2007
Rufus, Anneli “Stuck: Why We Can’t (or Won’t) Move On,” Penguin, 2008
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A Breakthrough Grouse Grind: 90th Climb

Today my motivation was waning and I didn’t feel like going to Grouse Mountain, but I did. I ascended the Grouse Grind for the 90th time in my life (that is with the Grind Timer, which makes it more official). Now, the official count down from 10 begins on my quest to reach 100 by the end of the season to honour a client who passed away this year. This is a big audacious goal because the most I completed in one season was 35 (last year) and when I reach 100 it will be 49 climbs for the 2011 season.

The weather forecast for today was 90% chance of rain and sure enough, someone had posted on Facebook that it was like a monsoon in North Vancouver. I decided to get going anyways, because that is what Barb would do and because I always know that I enjoy myself once I am moving along the trail. Finishing one climb today is alson what was needed to stay on track.

My routine is to first release my hip and lower-back muscles, especially around the pelvis with a little trigger point therapy then had some myofascial release with a foam roller called the Grid, next are few upper and lower body fascial stretches to make sure that my body feels loose and ready to roll. If I don’t do this I will inevitably find that my lower-back fatigues around the 3/4 mark.

Missing the Seabus on a holiday is always annoying, because you have to wait for another thirty minutes. Finally arriving at the mountain around 10:00 AM, I noticed that I left my timer and pass at home – was today meant to be? Part of being an entrepreneur is being able to problem solve on the fly and sometimes make quick decisions. Guest services are great, they have all my information and they are able print a downloading ticket and manual input our Grind times. People forget to bring their gym pass every day at Steve Nash Fitness World.

After setting my watch for 10:30 intervals, a 42 min finish time I pressed the start button to begin my ascent. The time it takes to get from the start to the big warning is usually where I assess how my body is going to perform on that day – 3:00 minutes. Not to slow, but not super-fast. During the first quarter I felt like my legs were feeling loose and turning over quite well. That quarter flew by in 9:20 minutes, my quickest is 8:16 – today wasn’t fast, but it was still well under my daily goal.

My mind started to figure out how much extra time I had due to the first quarter cushion so, I begun to speed-up. The second quarter mark approached in a blistering time of 9:37 (best of 9:36). Alright, “Could I finish in less than 40 min today?” Pacing on this gruelling climb is very important. My hips, legs and lower-back were feeling great, I knew I could go a little faster. I learned the lesson of going off pace during Seak the Peak Relay ’11 in July when I had to slow down because of calf-cramping, which meant I nearly missed my sub 2 hour finish time.

“Keep a steady pace,” I repeated to myself.

To go faster the trick is to turn-over the legs more quickly, by taking advantage of the terrain by changing your tactics. One example is to sprint wider flatter sections. I knew I was on track for a faster time when finished by the 3/4 in 9:38. Now could I push even more get another season’s best on the last quarter? Only time would tell. Feeling charged-up I knew I had a little bit of extra energy, the faster I went the less time there was left to the finish line.

It took a lot of will power not too look at my watch. Technology is great, however there is tremendous power in also learning to run by feel. There is last set of stairs, where you either go left and it is longer and not as steep or you go steep and more intensely up. I chose right. The rest of the climb is scrambling over rocks – which is the most fun part of the Grind for me because I know I am almost finished and I can leap from rock to rock, even using my hands sometimes.

Since the last interval of 10:30 min had not gone off, I knew I was really close to finishing in less than 40 minutes. Sprinting up the last part of the gravel to the timer, I tapped the timer and pressed the lap button. The last lap is a cool-down; it is a measure of my recovery which can be 1-2 minutes. The point is to see how long it takes my heart rate to drop below 120 bpm.


Q1 9:20
Q2 9:37
Q3 9:38
Q4 10:32
(rounded)

Stunned I read my elapsed time of 39:07!

Follow heart beat by heart beat at TrainingPeaks.com- click here or my 2010 Personal Best

The last quarter was nearly 30s faster than my previous time. My official published time starts at 12 am because it was manually entered and is just shy of my season’s best.

This was an outstanding time for my 90th climb. Keeping reading as I go for 100 by the end of October. The Grind closes when the snow hits the ground and it becomes unsafe.

The lesson today is that you can gather all the data you want, but the decision is really completed with instinct and feeling. Some days are break through days while other are steady as you go. Either way keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep climbing.

Related Posts

  1. 2011 BMO Grouse Mountain Run
  2. Paying Tribute to a Client Who Loved the Grind

6 Ways to Elevate Fitness Professionalism: Post-Vancouver Think Tank Thoughts

Friday night I was invited to a meeting of the minds by Carmen Bott of Human Motion who is also the new provincial director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). This meeting brought together some of the top Strength and Conditiong Coaches, Personal Trainers, Physiotherapists, Kinesiologists, Yoga Instructors and Fascial Stretch Therapists in Metro Vancouver.

One big question that came from this gathering was “How can we elevate the standards of fitness professionals?” This was in order to figure out who we could invite to present at a provincial NSCA conference who would attract the veterans and the rookies.

I have been involved in the health and fitness field since 2000 and since that time have always surround myself with people who will motivate and encourage me to elevate my standards of practice. To raise our standards as a collective we need to lead by example, those who are poor or weak in one profession will eventually leave.

Anyone who is in the top echelon of their profession is there because they have they too have sought to be mentored by those who have been in the trenches for many years if not decades. I have been aware of a pervasive feeling of annoyance because many Personal Trainers are lured into the business with promises of a quick few weekends of study, an exam and then being able to bill out $65 per hour without really honing their craft and leading clients through exercise that they cannot execute properly – possibly doing harm soon or in the long-term. They quickly learn that after expenses their take home is not $65 per session and hopefully they learn that they are billing their time not their expertise.

The state of the industry is that young and easy to get into the fitness industry, but there is also a lack of mentorship afterwards. I have had clients, have used the services of trainers for years, say “Wow, I have never had someone teach me that,” with some something as simple as cueing scapular retraction and depression during a lat-pulldown (that scares me). Trainers get their certifications and then think they can become independent trainers right away – are you an entrepreneur? No, you own your job that is it.

The independent training studios are so full to brim that the experience of clients starts to decrease in quality. Does the consumer know the difference between an expert trainer and someone who is fresh on the floor – who is there to push you to your limits? Generally not. The culture of these studios is to hold on to the clients that you have, don’t coach other trainers – because they are the competition. Could they become better than you, maybe? If you have any business sense you will know that there are plenty of clients for everyone and that each professional has their own niche, or at least you should!

Six Ways to Raise the Bar

Is it up to us to elevate the game of those who do not wish to? You can only coach those who wish to be coached.

  1. It starts by creating an environment where we speak to each as peers whether you have 1 year of experience or 20 years of experience – we all have different life experiences, therefore different insights into human movement and how to teach people to become better at it.
  2. Surround yourself with peers who challenge your way of thinking (whether you end up agreeing or not).
  3. Be open to new ways of thinking, new ways of teaching, new ways of doing business – e.g. look at all the technological changes.
  4. We need to mentor the young ones who are eager to learn and are ready to be coached.
  5. Be proud of your profession. It doesn’t entirely define you, but shout it out!
  6. Learn from everywhere – books, peer-to-peer discussions, workshops, even outside of your profession

When I told someone I was going to be a Personal Trainer they asked, “When are you going to get a real job?” It took awhile to make a living, because I had to buck the trend that “there is no money in fitness!” What BS! By the way – I am a Kinesiologist (another pet peeve is Kinesiologists calling themselves Personal Trainers, just because not many people know what a Kinesiologist is or does).

Only those who really want to be the best at what they do will go out and meet the best at what they do. They follow in their foot-steps while creating their own path.

Today I met some of the leaders in our field in Vancouver as well become reacquainted with others who I haven’t seen in a long time. As Canadians are we too meek to step-up and say confidently “We know stuff! Let’s share!”? Today was the first step in sharing our knowledge. Step up and be confident, people pay us for expertise not our time.

Other thoughts from this meeting by my peers that were written in less than 24 hours:

Fit Pro Think Tank Sept 2011

Bridging the Gap Between Strength and Conditioning and Yoga

Using Technology to Keep Motivated with vV0(2max) Interval Analysis

Technology helps me keep motivated since my goal races of Seek the Peak and the Grouse Mountain Grind Race are 6 and 9 months away. Performance management tools (software and devices) have come a long way in twenty years. I started using Polar Heart rate monitors to ensure that I was in the target training zone, not too high and not too low. Heart rates had to be just right like Goldilocks. The problems with using a heart rate monitor alone are that they don’t show far you go or your pace for each zone. Last July, after using Polar monitors without GPS since I was a teenager, I was convinced to switch to a Garmin 305 Forerunner with GPS to track speed, distance and heart rates.

In business management there is a saying “what is measured, will be managed,” so what are your key performance indicators when improving your fitness? Mine are 1. Speed at lactate threshold increases; 2. heart rate at X speed decreases or speed at X heart increases. Recently my focus has been to boosting my VO(2max) and vVO(2max), the maximum amount of oxygen my body can process and at the pace that I can sustain that effort at.

Combining the GPS of the Garmin Forerunner 305 with Training Peaks WK0+ enables me to analyse each training session to see if my speed at certain heart rates is increasing. By comparing the same type of sessions over several weeks noticed some trends. Below is a comparison of the last three weeks of vVO(2max) interval sessions which were mostly completed on the treadmill at 8.9 – 9.2 mph for vVO(2max) periods.

Date

vVO(2 max) Intervals (Work:Recovery min)

Duration

TSS(IF)

Normalized Grade Pace

Min HR

Max HR

Avg HR

Recovery Pace (mph)

26/01/2011

3.0 : 3.0

24:11.0

38.1 (0.936)

7:55 (203.3 m/min)

115

195

153

5.1

21/01/2011

3.5 : 3.0

25:58.0

0 (0)

114

188

153

4.5

19/01/2011

3.5 : 3.0

25:58.0

0 (0)

108

189

154

4.5

14/01/2011

3.5 : 3.0

25:59.0

0 (0)

99

185

153

4

05/01/2011

3.25 : 3.0

24:59.0

0 (0)

100

187

152

4

03/01/2011

3.0 : 3.0

24:06.0

0 (0)

93

187

151

4

Today was such a beautiful day that I went outside on a fairly flat area of North Vancouver. It was quite a challenge to figure what 8.9 mph – 9.1 mph feels like on the road (see this workout on training peaks). This week is a recovery week, so the duration of the work period was reduced to 3.0 min. Throughout the last three weeks I was able to keep the average heart rate similar for each session, maximum heart is close to the same level, recovery pace increased without a big jump in heart rate while speed for each interval increased from 8.9 mph to 9.1 mph.

All of this data only becomes information when it is analysed and then knowledge when I use it to adjust my training. Over time next four weeks I will continue to complete these vVO(2max) intervals and retest my VO(2max) at near the end of February. Tomorrow I should have the Footpod for the Garmin which will log the indoor pacing more accurately during inclement weather.

Seeing these small increments and feeling the ease at which I am able to run for 40 minutes is keeping me motivated to continue training for Seek the Peak and informed that my workouts are having the physiological affect I want.

How do you keep motivated to reach your fitness resolutions or goals? How do you keep motivated to reach your business goals? What do you measure? How do you translate the data in information and then into valuable information that affects your decisions?

Related Posts

Getting Unstuck from Doing Long Slow Distance to Increase VO(2max)

Avoid a Mental Tantrum: Persevere and Be Resilient

On Christmas Eve I TRIED to go snowshoeing, some things that were out of my control got in my way, but I did not throw a mental tantrum. Resiliency and perseverance are traits of successful entrepreneurs. Every day we are thrown various curve balls that might also be on fire. How you handle them changes your perspective, outlook and feelings of success. What do you when your plans don’t work out? Do you have a plan B or C? Or do you adjust your goals? I chose to do both on Christmas Eve.

Heading up to Grouse Mountain with my new snowshoes in hand I was eagerly anticipating what the fresh snow would feel like under my feet. For the first time would I feel like a penguin, a duck or like I going for a regular everyday hike? It was drizzling, about 1° C and slightly windy in North Vancouver which often means it is snowing on the North Shore mountains. The resort was operating the blue gondola Christmas Eve because the red one “acts as big sail during high winds,” as quoted by a friendly Grouse Mountain staff member. He also informed the long line of Japanese tourists, locals and myself that there was a possibility of us being “stuck” up there for a couple of hours due to high winds.

This I didn’t mind, all I wanted to do was get up there – even if it was a bit wet; I didn’t have anywhere to go afterwards until later in the evening. Several gondolas later, it was now my turn; six minutes later I would be putting my snowshoes on. Just as the gondola doors were opening, they closed again. They announced that the mountain was now closed. Yes, I was disappointed, but why get stuck in this emotion? I turned around, thanked the staff, wished them a Merry Christmas and set a new goal of completing my 30 – 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise that day in the gym, after an early lunch.

However, when I tried to open up the doors of the lunch place at 10:40 AM, the owner said they were closed until noon. Not wanting to wait around I decided to console myself with a wonderfully sweet hot chocolate at Brazza then head to the gym. So, just like water flowing around a boulder in the river, I too went with the flow without throwing a mental tantrum. I finished with a solid 45 minutes on the treadmill and feeling great that I had moved my body during the holidays – a time when most people abdicate responsibility for their own health, chalking it up to “the way the holidays are.”

I didn’t mind not going snowshoeing, there would be another day. I managed do the second part of the plan for the day which was 30 – 45 minutes of physical activity, just on the treadmill instead of snow. Success!

Resiliency gives you the ability to bounce back and feel successful, while perseverance gives you the capability to accomplish great things!

(Author note: mental tantrum was coined by a Grouse Grind friend)

Breaking Through Plateaus to More Growth

This past week I hit a very frustrating brick wall and plateau and I was all out of ideas of how grow my business. I know this brick wall I am facing is a big opportunity to refresh my business model, but how to do it remains unknown. Lifemoves® is very successful thus far and I am confident that we have an outstanding concept, however just like athletic training, we have hit a bit of a plateau. When I hit plateaus in my career and training I know it is time for a change.

It is time to break the plateau to achieve even more outstanding results. This means breaking out of the mold and trying something extraordinary that challenges myself, my team and the industry. When I am fresh out of ideas I read or go to continuing education sessions. Can-Fit Pro this weekend in the spectacular Vancouver Convention Center was the perfect opportunity to meet up with fitness industry experts and regain some perspective so I could figure out how to break our current plateau.

Our minds are much like spider webs as each piece of new knowledge weaves itself into our current knowledge as we make connections and becomes a new ring on the web. This weekend I felt like an explorer, searching for some answers. Since this weekend was a last minute registration my session choices were more intuitive than deliberate. Each session had its own nugget or two which I could take away and apply. I still haven’t found the way to break this plateau, however I know that I am close.

I need to take some time to digest all the information I received, review my notes and attend “Building a Thriving Wellness Practice” on November 27th. All the stimulus of conferences with 1.5 hour sessions on different topics and then networking with colleagues takes a lot of energy. I will be taking time to recharge by going to the infrared sauna and yoga during the next week. After that it will be time sit down in a quiet space and re-write my business plan.

I know change is needed, I know change is happening. What does change look like? I will know when I am there. To achieve great change and break plateaus we need to disrupt our regular patterns. What do you to create disruptions?

How to Succeed by Winning Each Period

“Win each period,” was ingrained into my psyche while I was volunteering as a student athletic trainer for the University of Guelph Women’s Hockey team. This mantra re-told by their coaches during each intermission between periods, at every hockey game. When the team won each period, they won the game; this was about execution and taking appropriate action.

How do you “win each period” to succeed? Once the goal is set it is about doing everything in your power to execute the action steps necessary to get there. In ten years of kinesiology practice I always coached clients that by completing each step of their fitness or rehab program, their end goal will be reached.

This mentality is the same in business, life and sport. First, determine your goal, write it out and place it somewhere highly visible. Now take this goal and break it down into smaller action steps. How detailed you get is completely up to you.

What is a period? The periods are defined in various ways. David Allen of “Getting Thing Done,” fame asks people to align their 50,000 elevation goals with their runway action steps. In business your outcome is a result of your actions; even in-action is an action, because you are choosing to do something else. In sport strength and conditioning – your fitness level today is a measure of the training you have done in the 30-42 days previous.

A period is any length of time that you desire. Often in business we speak about Quarters, but quarterly reports are an after affect of what has happened in the months, weeks, days and hours that are part of that Quarter. Winning each period is about breaking down your goal into a set of actions, such as an Annual Plan. From there take the annual plan and break into to quarters, months, weeks and days.

There are often things that come up in the day that must be taken care of in that day however, set out each day and week with a few items that must get done for you to be successful. Ask yourself what are a few actions that you can take today that will progress you towards your goal.

How do I stay focused during each period? When evaluating new tasks and projects, ask yourself these questions –”will this _______ take me towards or away from my goal?” and “is this something that I can be the very best at?(my hedgehog)” We are on a path that is constantly diverging, with constant decisions to go left or right. How often do you evaluate that you are winning each period? Today I set out to complete a sub 40 minute Grouse Grind, in this case it is broken down in quarters. I knew that each quarter had a desired lap time. As well, that I had to be at the 3/4 by 31 minutes to complete finish under 40 minutes. At the start my Garmin Forerunner was set to alert me every 10 minutes. I had two places to evaluate my progress, every 10 minutes and at each quarter. Each time I reached a lap point or the alert chimed I adjusted my pace so that finished in 38:48.

How closely do I monitor each period? Don’t forget to review. The more closely you pay attention to your own metrics, the more adaptable you can be to changing environments. A win can be the fleeting moment of reaching your goal or knowing that your plan is working and progress is being made. You don’t have to scrutinize every detail, but look for trends. Are you wandering away or towards your destination? I didn’t pay attention to my financial metrics for awhile and then it was much more difficult to get back on course. The lesson is that the more closely you monitor your wins/losses the easier it will be to get that next win and stay on your desired path.

Resources

(two of my favourite business books)

Allen, David Getting Things Done

Collins, Jim (hedgehog) Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t

How do you evaluate success?

4 Strategies to Jump Start Your Motivation

How to Stick to the Plan and Get Things Done:
Sometimes sticking to the plan is difficult on those days when you are not motivated. I woke up this morning not feeling very energized, but I already had an ascent of the Grouse Grind planned. Even though it took me a while to get myself organized and out the door, I did get up the mountain today.

What got me going, even if it was later than I planned? It was remembering the feeling of being on the mountain, the feeling I have once I crest over the top and how empowered I am after completing another goal.

I remember training for Biathlon and there were days when I woke up not feeling like training, but I went anyway because I knew how much I enjoyed being out on the snow, at shooting practice or in the summer, on my roller-skis.

During times when you are lacking motivation or feel that all the tasks or training sessions that you are doing are not worth it, here are four strategies to boost your motivation:

  • Evoke Positive Emotions: Take time to evoke any positive memories and emotions you have with what you are about to accomplish. I remembered how beautiful it is to be outside moving my body and how amazing the view is from the top of Grouse.
  • Ask Why: Ask yourself why you are doing it. Maybe it is what is on the other side. Today for me the answer was, “I am training for the Grouse Mountain Run in September.”
  • Think of the Accomplishment: Sometimes just the feeling of accomplishment is enough. Just knowing how you feel after your training is done adds a little charge. I looked forward to the endorphins.
  • Change Your Voice: Change what the voice inside your head says from “I can’t do it” or “I am too tired” to “I can do it” and “I have lots of energy.” You will be amazed how changing your internal mantra can uplift your spirit, enliven your motivation and help you tackle anything that you previously really didn’t want to do.
  • Get Started: Build momentum by getting started. Take the Action Step, as defined by David Allen of “Getting Things Done,” towards what you planned to do. This morning it was gathering everything I needed to go up the Grind. This included my pass, water and heart rate monitor. Taking the first action lead to another action of me leaving the house. I got over the original inertia and now had momentum to get me to my destination.

Use these strategies the next time you are lacking motivation to get you kick started. Let me know how they helped and share your own motivation tips in the comments section below.

Learning to Adapt: Troubleshooting the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor

Using the Garmin Forerunner 305 for the first time up the Grouse Grind came with a little troubleshooting. In business, I often find I have to do this because most often something comes up that we didn’t anticipate or plan.

The Garmin looked like a “plug and play” unit that, like my previous Polar, I would be able to use easily. Training for Biathlon, I had always depended on my heart for training intensity. I had a great deal of difficulty using the new heart monitor. Once I returned it to the Running Room, they fixed it by exchanging the receiver.

My original plan was to purchase a Polar HR monitor with splits. However, I was convinced that for the price and the features, the Garmin was my best option. Saturday night I had difficulty sleeping because I was so excited to use my device after uploading the laps for the Grouse Grind. I tried all the steps I knew to troubleshoot the heart rate monitor before I started, including dousing it in water and using my own saliva. It just didn’t work.
After 10 minutes I resigned myself to not having the heart rates and to make do with what I did have. I did a quick warm-up as part of the advanced workout I created. My pacing has always been done by using my heart rates, but I still roughly knew where I needed to be at each section to get my desired time. I managed to get a heart rate of 153 bpm somewhere along the way for nearly a minute and then it went silent again. Keeping a quick pace was difficult without the heart rates because of the slower crowds and the fact that my legs didn’t have the turnover they needed to go quickly.
At the top I scanned my Grind Timer card and then looped around to the back-side of the chalet just like in the Grouse Mountain Run finishes. Even though I didn’t have heart rates, I do have a better sense of split times and I still managed a 43:54 time. This is 5% faster than the same time in 2009. One thing I noticed was that when I completed the Grind with a day in between, the second day was one minute slower. Hint: Going after your record time? Consider more rest days in between Grinds.
My history comes in handy as I complete more training activities and become more comfortable with using the Garmin.
I am looking forward to using the Garmin for many activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. This is the start of my chronicle as I aim to reach the top 5 in the 30-39 age category on the Grouse Grind.

Seeking the Peak: Staying on Track with 80/20

Staying on track with the 80/20 rule to maintain my Seek the Peak Training has not been easy. I work right down the road from the North Shore mountains and in a gym! Imagine my excuse being, “I don’t have enough time.” What will our clients think?

As an entrepreneur, I will do anything I need to in order to ensure that my business is successful. Sometimes that means putting in extra development, administrative and clinical hours. These past three weeks have been very full with interviewing, hiring and integrating three new Kinesiologists and one part-time administrator, while managing new and current clients. Once these new people are integrated, I will have more time to train.
In the meantime, July 4th is fast approaching. Here is where the 80/20 rule comes into play. When you have limited time, what is the 20% that will get you 80% of the way? Eighty percent is still very successful.
For me, the 20% that will give me an 80% return (an excellent investment) is being able to run for 2 hours or sixteen kilometers and have the power to stride up to the top of Grouse Mountain. My training sessions have dropped from six days per week to three: one power-endurance session, one Lactate Balance session and one endurance day. I am keeping my head on straight by focusing my attention and intention on improving my key performance indicators, just like I do in my business.
Today I came close to sleeping in, but instead I rolled out of bed and ran 11.2 kilometers in 65 minutes with an average heart rate of 15o bpm (approximately my MaxVO2), before training four clients. Including a two-week taper, I will still reach the 16 km distance before race time. What are your excuses? How do you stay on track towards your goals and stay confident?