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.