Sunday, October 26, 2014

Results 10/25-10/26

It was a great weekend of racing for Power On athletes!

Ned Nichols bested his previous PR of 6:20 with a 5:40 Half Iron

Maleana Spera took 3rd in her Age Group at The Devil Made Me Do It

 Bill Palermo took 1st in his age and PR'd in his half marathon in 1:52
Marley Joy completed her first half marathon in 2:09.

Natalie Kronick also raced this weekend. She PR'd by 33 seconds to finish in 23:25 in her 5k. She was 5th over all and 1st for her AG. Great job Natalie!

Congrats to you all!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

General Nutrition Resources for Athletes

Over the past couple of weeks, many of the athletes that I coach asked me how they might improve their diet. While some of them are interested in loosing weight, others are interested in improving their performance and/or finding new, healthy dishes to eat. I pointed these athletes to three resources I use for new ideas. Check them out!

The first resource is a website created by Dietitian Angie Dye called Carpe Diem Nutrition. This website has information about intuitive eating and also offers delicious, healthy recipes.

The second is USA Triathlons Multisport Lab. You can find articles on healthy nutrition, articles on what to eat to improve your performance, and simple recipes such as Almond Tilopia:

The third resource is the Team USA website. They offer a number of fact sheets and videos about athlete specific nutrition.

Here is one of the videos from Team USA:

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Two More Great Weekends!

There has been two more weekends of great racing for power on athletes! Last week, Marilyn Joy finished her first 10k with the help of Angie Dye. Ted Breault PR'd in Steelhead 70.3 to take 2nd in his age group. And Leslie Neff crushed the Steelman Olympic, almost breaking the 2:30 mark, to take first in her age group.

This weekend at Timberman 70.3, Natalie Kronick crushed he goal of 6:30 to finish her first half in 6:18! And Jake Stevens dropped over 15 minute off his best half time, riding over 20 miles/hr, to finish in 5:35!

Great work power on athletes!

Monday, July 21, 2014

More Great Results!

It's been another great couple of weeks of racing for Power On Coached athletes! Jake Stevens had another PR, running around 6:30 pace at a 5k in New London. Ted Breault PR'd in the Chicago Half Marathon, taking 2nd in his Age Group of 542 and 60th out of 5426 males in the race. Bill Palermo took second in his age group in a Sprint distance tri. Angie Dye PR'd in the sprint distance Catfish Triathlon and so did Natalie Kronick in her Litchfield Hills Olympic distance race. Leslie Neff PR'd at the Delta Lake tri, shaving off 2 minutes on her swim, 1 minute off her bike, and 1 minute off her run to take 4th female overall and first in her age group! Last, but not least, Nara Callanan finished off her first Olympic at the NJ State triathlon!

Congrats all around to all Power On Coached athletes! Can't wait to see what the second half of the season brings!

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Here's some solid information about Nutrition from Dave Scott. I found his discussion about sweets, like ice cream, really interesting. Check it out.

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Here's a great video on how to corner like a Pro. Check it out!

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Power On Coaching athletes are on fire this year! First and foremost, Bill Palermo and Ted Breault have both qualified for world Championships. Palermo had two strong half finishes this year and is racing in the half iron world championships in Mont Tremblant. Ted Breault also had some killer finishes, qualifying for both 70.3 worlds and, as of yesterday's performance at IM CDA, he will be racing at the Kona Ironman World Championships!

Other notable accomplishments: Jake Stevens, who had a PR in his last half at Rev 3 and has had some unbelievable PR's in his 5k's; Andrew Brooks, who completed his first half at Rev 3; Chris Nichols, who had a successful half and is really improving on his run; Ned Nichols, with his second half at Syracuse 70.3; Leslie Neff, who took 3rd place in her Age Group at the very competitive Philly Olympic Tri; Lucy Stevens, with 2 strong runs at her duathlon; Tom Jordan, who had strong showings at Gretna and Escape from the Cape; Angie Dye, who has had numerous run PR's and strong triathlon finishes, and Nara Callanan who finished her first sprint race in the beginning of June. 

Cheers to these accomplishments! I'm glad to be a part of your success!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Running on the road is no joke. Biking on the road is even more dangerous. To be blunt, people get hit by cars. Then people die. Let me share a story with you that was first published in Runners World:

As Elizabeth Dinunzio neared the end of her sunny midafternoon run last April, she turned onto Old Emmitsburg Road, a two-lane county road that is popular with runners living outside the Maryland city of Frederick. She was less than a half mile from the campus of Mount Saint Mary's University, where in a couple of weeks she was expected to graduate magna cum laude and go on to teach high school Spanish. DiNunzio was even more excited, though, about running her first 26.2-miler, the Pittsburgh Marathon, in five days.
At 22, she had no reason to doubt the road ahead of her.

DiNunzio stepped to the far left side of the mostly flat road, which had no shoulder and, at the time, little traffic. She was not wearing headphones, and she stood out in her pink top and black shorts. Thomas Powell, the president of Mount Saint Mary's, noticed her. At the end of his driveway, he had just started his car to return to campus when he saw her coming from his left . At the same time, from his right, he saw a red Nissan pickup truck approaching. Powell will never forget what he heard next: a loud, sickening thud, the hollow sound of senseless tragedy.

Moments later he spotted one of DiNunzio's shoes on the grass across the street, and then, about 10 feet ahead on the lawn, DiNunzio. Powell threw his car in park, left the engine running, and sprinted to her while calling the university's public safety office on his cell phone. The pickup slammed to a stop, and a slight 29-year-old man jumped out. Later, Powell remembered yelling to Joshua Wayne Cool to back away from the woman he had just shattered. 

Powell cradled DiNunzio in his arms, her blood blanketing his clothes and hers, her pulse growing fainter. "You are loved," he told her before she died. "You are loved." ("Collision Course").

Have i caught your attention? What happened here with the bright, young, Elizabeth DiNunzio happened pretty far away in Frederic Maryland. A similar situation happened a little closer in Preston, Connecticut to 39 year old Maria Pontes when she was hit by a 75 year old driver. And just yesterday, a young Branford resident was hit close to the Suppy Ponds--luckily, she is ok. My point: it could happen to you! 

Now, this should neither prevent you from going out for a run or ride, nor should it prevent you from going out to drive your car. But I want you to think real hard before and concentrate while you do these things... for everyone's safety.

As runners and cyclists going out on the road, we all know what to do to prevent these types of situations: Wear bright clothing; use lights; don't listen to music or make sure you can hear outside traffic if you choose to listen; look both ways twice before you step or ride into the road; be overly courteous and accepting of oncoming traffic; know the rules of the road; communicate with drivers vocally and visually; have an escape plan; expect the unexpected. All of this is substantiated in numerous articles such as "Collision Course " from Runners World, "Safe Bike Riding Tips" from Triathlete, and "Stay Safe in Traffic" from Bicycling. 

There are two important ideas that these types of articles frequently miss. The first is that athletes are drivers. What I mean is that it is our responsibility, as athletes who drive, to act as role models for other drivers. When you see someone biking or running on the road, slow down and respect them. Pass them cautiously and don't assume that they know you are coming up on them. In other words, pay the athlete the same courtesy that you would want if you were running or riding on the road. Hopefully, the drivers behind you will follow your lead. If not, at least you did all that was in your power to keep you and the athlete safe. 

A second idea not mentioned, mainly for cyclists, is to strive to improve your riding skills. The other day, I was leaving the YMCA and saw a cyclist riding erratically down rout 1. Although this athlete was riding on the side of the road, it appeared that he/she could not hold a straight line, did not have speed control while approaching a stop light, and clipped out entirely too soon before stopping. It is no wonder why drivers feel uncomfortable around athletes on the road, I certainly did at this moment. There are numerous events put on by local bike shops, YMCAs, clubs, and coaches--in Brandford, there is the Zanes/CCC ride, the YMCA first Tri program, Cycle Center and C3 tri club, and of course, me, coach Jon-- that have experienced riders or are experienced and can help you improve your bike handling skills. This will ultimately make for a safer experience for everyone. 

A final idea, that is almost always mentioned in articles about running and riding in traffic but needs to be remembered and repeated: Don't text and run, bike, or drive. Texting is not exclusive to drivers. I've seen runners and bikers texting as well. Texting takes our attention away from the road for way too long, causes way too many accidents, and takes away the lives of so many great people. Don't pick up your phone when you hear an incoming text. Better yet, turn off your phone so you aren't bothered by it. If you have to answer it, find a place to stop and answer the text safely.

Of course, none of this really matters if you aren't paying attention. Let me say it again. None of this matters if you aren't paying attention. YO! PAY ATTENTION! Taking responsibility could save your life.


Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Open Water Swimming

There are some great open water swim tips in this video. One tip I'd like to add is for swimmers to practice open water starts a week or two prior to the event. The start of an open water race can be extremely overwhelming, so it's important to know what that close physical contact feels like before you step into your race. First, practice running into the water from the beach, swim 200 meters hard, settle into race pace for 200 meters, and then swim back easily. Once you have done this a few times on your own, ask a few friends to do this start next to you. Try to stay close and really feel what it's like to swim in a pack. Also, have a plan of what to do if you panic. Most swimmers like to swim to the side of the pack and roll over on their back to catch their breath. If you do this, you will be much more prepared to start on race day.

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Race Recovery

Since so many people raced this weekend, the post today is of Craig Alexander talking about his race recovery. Check it out.

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Avoiding Panic at the Swim Start

The video below reviews tips on how to avoid panic at the swim start. I have four additional tips that aren't mentioned here.

First, train. If you don't do some swim training before your first triathlon event, you are at a much higher risk of panic. Be smart and prepare for the demands of the race.

Second, practice swimming with your wetsuit. Wetsuits are tight around the throat and can restrict your shoulders. Practice swimming with it on so you get use to the feeling of the suit.

Third, keep your head down more during those first moments of the swim. We have a tendency to pick our heads up with every stroke to see what's going on and to make sure we are swimming straight. Swimming with your head up makes it harder to swim because your lower body will sink deeper into the water and catch resistance. Swimming with your head up also makes it harder to breath because your head isn't creating that nice air pocket that it does when you swim in a streamlined position. To guide yourself in those first 200 meters, trust the group. Follow the bubbles and even reach out to lightly tap others feet. Consider sighting every 4-8 strokes instead of every other stroke.

Lastly, don't forget to breath out. In high stress situations, it's easy to forget to breath out. But you need to get all your air out before you can bring fresh air in. Breathing out will help prevent hyperventilation and simply help you to relax. Check it out!

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dealing with Heat

As the triathlon season progresses into the summer, it's important to refresh your memory about dealing with heat while training and racing. Usually, when we talk about heat, we immediately talk about hydration and salt intake. Here is a great video of Chris McCormack talking about how he deals with heat. McCormack enhances the discussion of heat by talking about ways to stay cool beyond hydrating. Check it out!

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pacing for Triathlon

Here is some great information on pacing from Dave Scott. The most important tip that I took from this video was Scott's advice on hills. Many age group triathletes tend to really push the hills and try to beat others to the top. It's easy to get caught up in this. That said, triathlon for age groupers isn't about winning every hill climb, it's about finishing the race with your fastest time. One of the most effective ways to have your fastest time is by pacing your effort evenly throughout the race. This usually means holding back a little on the hills and leaving some energy for the end of your race. Check out this video for more tips.

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ITU Racing

ITU racing is somewhat unfamiliar to age group athletes in the US because it tends to be an elite only style of racing. That said, it's definitely fun to watch. Today, I wanted to share this clip from the 2014 Chengdu ITU Triathlon World Cup to spread some awareness about this side of the sport. It's amazing to watch how fast these athletes swim, bike, and run.  It's all draft legal which makes for great sprint finishes. Check it out!

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nutrition: Have a Written Plan

The most important idea to take from this video is to have a race day nutrition plan. Write it down and practice it every time you train. You may have to modify the plan depending on the conditions of the course, but having a plan that details the number of bars/gels/bottles you will take in and the time intervals at which you will take them will help you have a successful race day. Check out this video.

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact Coach Jon and start exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Self Doubt

Even the best athletes in the world deal with self doubt. Jessie Thomas had some major injuries over the past year; injuries that could have ended his career. Thomas had to fight through that self doubt, even as he was finishing the last miles to win the 2014 Wildflower Triathlon.

That puts things into perspective. Everyone deals with doubt. It's part of who we are. The people who achieve amazing things are the ones who work through it. They are the heroes.

Check out this video where Thomas reflects on his race!

Looking for a Tri coach? Contact coach Jon and get started exceeding your goals today! / 717-368-7198.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Quality Training and Quantity Training

There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding both the quality training approach and the quantity training approach. Many coaches take a hard line on one side or the other. In the short article (I posted below) Matt Fitzgerald does a nice job laying out the controversy. He concludes that every athlete is going to react differently to training and should therefore figure out what works best for them.


I agree with Fitzgerald's conclusion and I help the athlete's that I work with find what's best for them. That said, the majority of athletes I work with are pressed for time. For those who train less than 10 hours a week, every mile--slow or fast--is a quality mile. And when time is that limited, a training schedule becomes more complex. As a coach, it becomes more challenging to bring out the athlete's best performance and regulate the rest to stress ratio. I work very closely with the athletes that I coach to make sure they are making the most of that time. We make sure that the athlete is focusing on the things that will allow him or her to have the fastest overall finishing time.

If you (or a family member or a friend) are in the category of "I don't have a lot of time, how do I make the most of it?" please shoot me an e-mail. I'm looking to coach more athletes and I'm confident that I can help you get to the next level. E-mail me at

Definitely check out this article:
"Is There a Such Thing as Junk Miles" by Matt Fitzgerald:

Image from:

Jon Fecik

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Congrats to Ted Breault and Bill Palermo for breaking through challenging conditions to finish strong at Ironman 70.3 St. Croix. What a way to start the season!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thinking about Recovery in Triathlon and Sport

I've been thinking about recovery a lot lately. It seems that in our culture, recovery is something to be earned through really hard work. Fair enough. The downside to this line of thinking, however, is that you start questioning if you did enough to deserve the recovery. When this idea get's in my mind, an unnecessary feeling of guilt swells inside of me as I spend time relaxing, sleeping, and preparing meals. I feel like I should be out working harder. I like the perspective Craig Alexander brings to recovery when he says "recovery is the fourth discipline." It suggests that recovery is not something to be earned as a bonus, but rather something essential to productivity. It's essential to getting faster.

Alexander also mentions that there is a "mental side of recovery." On a macro-level, this suggests that we need a mental break from training (i.e. the off season within the progression of periodized training; recovery days; days off; recovery workouts). On a different level, it involves actually allowing our minds to recover on our recovery days. We often tell ourselves to GO, GO, GO, so we can mentally keep up with our overwhelming lives and training (not to mention keeping up with everyone else who seemingly does more and better quality work than we do). This mindset may be good when we actually have to expend energy, but it slows down our physical recovery on our built in recovery days. The mental side of recovery involves turning off those "GO, Go, GO" sirens, allowing ourselves to rest, and enjoying that rest. 

Check out this video with Craig Alexander!

If you're interested in  a triathlon coach, contact Power On Coach Jon Fecik! He can help you reach and exceed your goals!

Jon Fecik

Image from:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Food Logging

The article I posted below entitled "Food logging: Is it worth the added stress?" contains some solid reasons to keep a food log. If you're trying to loose weight or attempting to increase your performance, tracking your food intake for a week or two can be illuminating. All information is good information and you might find something interesting about when and what you're eating that you've never noticed before. That said, make sure you are willing to analyze the information, make a plan to improve something, and stick to that plan. So often, we log information without the will to go any further. Logging--i.e. awareness--is the first step in a long process to improve part of ourselves.
Jon Fecik
USAT Coach
Facebook Page: Jon Fecik's Power On Coaching
Search terms: Weight Loss; Food Logging; health; triathlon
Image from:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mentally Strong, Successful Athletes

I'm posting this article, "The 9 Essential Habits of Mentally Strong People," on my coaching website because these habits are not only what make mentally strong people, they are the qualities of really successful athletes. The best athletes: see things as they are before they react to them; assume they will have setbacks; don't let the highs get too high or the lows get to low; assume that the situation is not always going to go as planned and is not always going to feel good; have a protocol on how to recover when things catch ...them off guard; assume there are options beyond failure, the best athletes know there is always more than one option to overcome any obstacle; are mindful to the best of their ability; persist; and let go of things they can't control.

One thing this article does leave out is that mentally strong people-- and best athletes--know that they are much more than one identity: The best athletes know that they are much more than their physical performance and career. Just for starters, they are also mothers, fathers, brothers, husbands, wives, children, readers, writers, thinkers, employees, etc. The best athletes know that they have these other identities to fall back on when things in their sport life aren't looking positive.

Read this article and try to apply some of these ideas to your own life and multisport career!

Jon Fecik
USAT Coach
FB: Jon Fecik's Power On Coaching Page
Twitter: @JonFecik

Image: Helle Frederiksen, taken from Slowtwitch Forum