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Patrick McCrann's Blog

February 2010

More Goosebumps

Posted by Patrick McCrann Feb 26, 2010

This Man Gives Goosebumps


Watching the Winter Olympics has been a really inspirational experience for me. Sure the events range from the exciting to the (apparently) mundane, but regardless of whether people are racing through the air or exploring the limits of their physical potential, one thing is clear: this is the event of their lives, the world is watching, and they have only one shot.


There is something incredibly powerful about watching people in their defined moment that is electric. Despite years of practice and analysis and probably a good measure of luck, it all comes down to one event. One race against the clock. One shot in front of the judges. One chance to let what we do define who we are.


It’s powerful precisely because everyone else is also in a similar position at the same time. Some of the best never make it to the finish line because of a fluke, because they pushed too hard, or perhaps because of equipment failure. That uncertainty is part of what makes living in that moment so powerful — the outcome is up in the air.

Of course these athletes compete at the highest levels all year long, dedicating their lives to the pursuit of Olympic glory. But there is no law limiting heart, dedication, drive, focus, or compassion to the Olympics…these are personal choices.


I think we compete in endurance sports because we have a chance to do the same. To train for a moment, a defined day, a place and time where we can put our preparation, body and mind to the test against the course…the elements…the competition. While the world might not be watching, it still means the world to us.


All of our hard work and focus builds up to one point in time. To that moment, standing on the starting line waiting for the gun to go off. You are nervous, alive. Full of anticipation. You have goosebumps everywhere possible. The countdown begins and your event is about to start…are you ready?




Of course, it’s February and your key event is probably a long way off. But being able to capture that moment and stay focused on it as you train, can be incredibly powerful. Get that starting line visual lined up and leverage it for your motivation. Know that there is a point in time this year when you will not be able to do anymore work; there will be no more time to prepare, only to act. That time can be yours for the taking if you are prepared. Get to it!

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Bike: The Return Trip

I have been a coach for a long time. Well, at least a long time in the game of triathlon. While I by no means have all the answers, I have seen enough to have built my own “sense” of how things work for the athletes I work with. Rather, how my approach to training affects the folks who follow it.


It’s simply part of how I put you, the individual, into the context of my coaching world. And for the first three years of coaching, I got it wrong every…single…time. Let me tell you why so you can fix your game too.


I had masterful plans. Season plans. Multiseason plans. Plans for plans…which I planned for. But the one thing I always glossed over was the individual athletes plan. The intake process was more of a formality than a discovery process; and it wasn’t until I had a client really put her foot down that I realized my mistake: I put my ideal schedule before their real one.


I needed to know not just when they usually swam (say Tues/Thurs) but a much deeper understanding of all their commitments. When do they work? Who knew they volunteered on Wednesday nights? And look at all that time on Friday.


Instituting this simple formality gave me a great deal more useful information than a family history or reviewing last year’s results. We aren’t talking rocket science here. No charts and darts. Just a much better understanding of the athletes schedule.


What about those all of those early athletes? Thankfully, most of them saw improvement simply by following a consistent program. The change was enough from the typical workouts they subjected themselves to, and the build across a season, while not perfect, did the job.


Please download your copy of the Weekly Time Sheet here.

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Patrick McCrann

Patrick McCrann

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