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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

5th Day and Counting...Volleyball To Come

Today was my 5th day in a row surfing, and today I went to Rincon. Not very big waves, but definitely, I was able to catch a lot. However, it was really cloudy and misty, and it just wasn't the best weather for it, and my toe still hurt a lot from the previous day's wipe out at C Street. I am not sure that I will have time to surf tomorrow unfortunately, but I will make time to run in the morning. I am training for the Catalina Marathon, so I have to keep putting in the mileage.

Tonight, we are having Club Volleyball Practice. I am the Head Coach and Director of the Montecito Volleyball Club. We have roughly 4 practices before our first tournament. We have a great team, very competitive. I am going to focus on ball control tonight, and being strong on the attack, regardless of the set. I am also going to work on defense and converting the ball for a sideout. I hope that we get put in a tough division to start off in for this year, but we'll see.

One note on surfing today. I went out by myself, and this is the first time back out since yesterday. I was a bit discouraged yesterday because the waves were so strong and I think I was in over my head. Today, getting in was a bit discouraging as well- not because the waves were big, just because it was my first time back in the water- and my toe was super sore. But, enough complaining. I just had to get back in again, and I am glad that I did. It was nice to stand up on 3 waves, but a bit hard to paddle out against the surf in that low tide and rocky bottom. I might get the urge to go out tomorrow- can't wait for the day when I am out for more than 4 hours. That would be great!

Tomorrow is New Years Eve...time to enjoy the rest of the year and get ready for the new o

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Surfing New Thing

So, I got a new surfboard for Christmas. I went out on Day 1 by myself. Only 3 other people out on in the waves- nothing too big. I had fun getting out there and just getting wet. I didn't quite stand up, but it was fun. That was 4 days ago. 3 days ago, I went out to Mondos- a great beginner spot. I had a blast there. Lots of waves to try to catch, and fairly medium tide. So, and, I went with Sherrie and I actually stood up twice. 2 days ago, we went to Leadbetter- which were 7-8 foot waves. Pretty big for my 3rd day out. I actually stood up once, caught a gnarly wave, and then got pummeled coming back in to shore. That was the hardest part of that day- just paddling out- even though the current wasn't too strong. This morning, we went out to C-street in Ventura. I knew just from the looks of it the waves were super strong, the current was so strong as well. I swam out, caught one wave, got washed up all the way into the rocks. And, needless to say, I didn't hurt myself too badly. I got a toenail ripped off, a gash on the other foot and a bruise on my shin. Not too bad I guess. But, on the 4th day, I don't have too much to report. I was only out for 40 mins, and had to get out. Too big for me. No pride hurt..I will try again- but, keep the waves at 3-4'.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Year for 2010

It has been a wonderful year, 2009, looking back. Athletically, I finished some amazingly difficult races and placed at most of them:

Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Worlds Toughest Half Ironman, Auburn CA
Ironman France
Pier to Peak Half Marathon, Santa Barbara CA
Endurance Challenge Half Marathon, Sausalito CA

I was busy training several athletes for their races- most notably, Anthony Barton qualified for Kona as a 40-year old, practically twice this year, but got the "earned" spot at IM AZ2. Marisa Lopez completed a grueling Marathon in Big Bear, CA. Amy Mayfield completed the Nike Womens Half Marathon AND the Pier to Peak Half Marathon this year. John Muse also completed a 4:07 Marathon in the 50-year AG and is going again in March for the sub 4 mark at the ING Marathon.

Being my own "boss" has also helped me to focus on what I have always known I was good at- and that is coaching Volleyball. I started Montecito Volleyball Club this year up here in the North County Region (SCVA). I have 1 team- a 16-1s team, and our first tournament is January 9, 2010. I was also the Head Volleyball Coach for the Girls Team at CATE School in Carpinteria, and we made playoffs for the first time in several years. That was a great accomplishment and I made many friends and was able to train many talented athletes there at that school.

Looking forward to 2010, I am going to enjoy my sister Taylor's last season as an Oregon Duck- she is a Senior guard for their basketball team and is going to set the record for all-time 3-point leaders. I am going to do the Catalina Marathon in March on my 31st birthday, and then do some smaller sprint and Olympic distance triathlons over the summer. I really want to focus on making the volleyball team and programs out here successful.

Hope that you take some time to reflect on your year and write down some of the things you are most proud of. I am blessed in that I am able to work with so many people each day that want to better their health. That is exciting for me.

Here's to a wonderful 2010!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Do What You Are Good At

Just had to throw in this picture of Macca and I from New Orleans...forgot I had it. Makes me smile everytime I see it- not because he is an Ironman Champion, but because it is a really good picture.

Hope all is going well in everyone's training. I am excited for McCray Miller and Anthony Barton at Ironman Lake Placid this weekend- tomorrow actually. Looking for some stellar performances- they have worked so hard.

I wanted to blog about a few things...mostly because I have had a few long runs this week, and they have not been super "planned" in any particular race program put together for myself, by myself. I, in fact, ran because I was enjoying it. In turn, I met a lot of people on my runs that I piggy-backed on, speed wise. I had fun chasing down 2 50-year old guys, doing intervals along the beach. Hung with them for 20 mins, had a wonderful workout. Copied the interval training workout with my athlete, Amy Mayfield, the next day. That was great. Had a sprint workout yesterday- jumped in at Platinum and did 20 30-sec intervals, in addition to some strength training in between. Then, this morning, ran 9 miles- this afternoon, rowed 4.5 miles. Felt great.

I know what I love- I love going fast. I don't particularly like the slow pace of the Ironman. I enjoy coaching at this level and the half-Ironman level. But, for Coach E- speed is where it is at. I am looking forward to Clearwater, and in the meantime- getting my new Kuota next week, and getting on that when I can. But, I really enjoy running with friends and then rowing- and definitely strength training again.

A new athlete of mine, Sherrie McIntyre, is a great cyclist- just coming off of a calf injury- and is enjoying getting herself stronger on land for her cycling. She will notice a big difference. I am enjoying doing some specific sport stretching and rolling for some clients to help them with range of motion, injury prevention, and overall relaxation.

Get out there and enjoy the fresh air when you can. Do the activities you truly enjoy while staying active and fit. You will be better for it in the LONG RUN.

Coach E

Monday, July 20, 2009

Why you should add ROWING to your workouts for cross training...

If you’re one to always head to the treadmill, bike, or elliptical machine when you get sick of the usual triathlon training regime - Check out why you should give rowing a shot.

1. Total whole-body exercise - your upper body, core and back strength is a huge part of the workout.

2. Improves your coordination, sense of rhythm/pacing, body awareness, and is actually very relaxing.

3. Talk about heart rate training- ou can easily vary the intensity of your workouts
Work harder by: Increasing your speed & rowing faster. Or,
pushing with your legs and pulling with your arms with more power and intensity.

4. Low-Impact to keep knees and thighs safe- injury free. Works both the quads and hammys, while giving your backside an amazing workout.

5. Works your joints in full-range of motion, in a less than full-weight bearing position- which, assists in building bone density.

6. Amazing core workout- your abs will be sore the next day if you do this correctly. Your back gets a great workout as well, which helps with that balance.

7. Rowing is fantastic for developing strong core muscles. If you do Pilates training, or other targeted core activities - rowing is a great additional workout activity to apply what you’ve been discovering about your body.

8. Row for 5-10 minutes before you begin your strength workout- that is also a great idea to break a sweat if you can't or don't feel like running.

Rowers are pretty easy to find at your local gym- and it is usually simple to get on one. Try one today!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back from Ironman France

Ironman France- 2009- Nice, France

I just got back from completing another Ironman- my 5th, and probably most difficult. I never thought I would do a race and want to quit as much as I did with this one, mainly because of the heat. Great swim, nice bike...and a run that felt like an ultramarathon without any aid. I am a tough chick, but let me just tell you- you can only see so many people puke and poop their pants in front of you before you really start questioning why you are not swimming in the amazing blue/teal water of the Mediterranean instead of completing this run/walk/jog...whatever it was. So, my hopes and dreams of completing this race in a sub 12-hour was now a sub-13 expedition. I did okay, and finished with a smile. I was fortunate to have done such a grueling race this year- now 2 under my belt (grueling-wise). I am starting to believe that 2009 is now the year of the toughest tris for one to complete in 1 year- I should add Silverman to the list, why not??

I promise to update this more about the other adventures we had in Nice. It was such a great experience to have met so many locals, who then remembered me everyday as I walked by- to the amazing people I met across the board from other countries and the USA alike.

Now, I can focus on my athletes as they are about to finish the most important race of their lives at the end of this month- IM Lake Placid. Keep up the great training and remember to cherish each day of health and happiness- after all, that is why we train and race.

Coach E

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Hosted by
Coach: Erika Lilley
USA Triathlon Coach, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach

WHO: Beginner and Intermediate level triathletes- all distances focused from Sprint to Ironman Distance athletes.

WHERE: Xantusia Endurance Playground, Valyermo, CA (will email directions and special map once signed up) Located roughly 1 hour north of Santa Clarita, 1.5 hours north of Los Angeles.

WHEN: June 12-15th, 2009 (Thurs through Sunday)

WHY? If you want to:

-More efficient in the water
-Practice open water technique and drafting
-Train at altitude- >5000 Feet only 1 hour away
-Bike on roads almost untouched by traffic
-Try your climbing skills up one of the most challenging 12-mile climbs, which starts less than 1 mile outside of camp
-Get ready for your upcoming Ironman
-Learn how strength training can improve your overall time and prevent injuries
-Maximize your nutrition timing in races and learn how best to maintain your weight during your off-season
-Brush up on speed training at the aqueduct and run the pristine trails up at Jackson Lake
-Experience training in every dimension possible: altitude, surroundings, and experience levels
-Cut time off of your transitions
-Have fun meeting other tri dorks


COST: $450/person*
*Includes room/board and all meals cooked especially for you by the most amazing triathlon chef ever, Mark “Monty” Montgomery.
**If you can only make a portion of the camp, we can discuss

Mark “Monty” Montgomery
Dan Empfield
Charlie the Wonder Dog
Nelson the Super Dog

ITINERARY (Rough and subject to only get better)

Afternoon Check-in
Sunset Run
Watch Ironman Videos from the early ‘80s

9:30- Run @ Jackson Lake
12 noon- Lunch
2 pm- Swim at the Palmdale Pool
5pm- Nutrition Seminar/Recovery
7pm- Training Program Essentials
Watch Tri Videos from the Mighty Hamptons Race and the 1st Catalina Triathlon (staring Monty and Emilio DeSoto)

9-12pm: Long Ride
12pm-Transition Practice, followed by lunch
2pm- Open Swim at the lake
5pm- Learn about Bike
7pm- Structural Integration/Chiro Recovery Presentation/Injury Prevention

9am: Long Flat Run at Aqueduct- work on speed work and technique
12pm: Lunch
2pm: Depart

Read more about Xantusia @

Friday, April 3, 2009

First Race of 2009 in 30-34 AG

I am sitting at LAX waiting for my flight to New Orleans, as my first race of the year is on Sunday- the Inaugural New Orleans Half-Ironman. It does not have Kona qualifying slots, but it is a qualifier for Clearwater and a great chance to check my fitness and speed- super fast and flat course. Not to mention- it is in New Orleans. I have invited a client, Marisa Lopez, to join me at the race. It will be a great experience for her to watch it and see what really goes down in this type of distance. I am training her for the Big Bear Marathon in September.

The swim is in Lake Ponchatrain, which is going to be a balmy 67 degrees and maybe choppy. The race starts at 7am, so in and out of the water by 8 (once my wave starts) and on the bike for a very fast course- 27 feet of total climbing. I hope to finish the bike in a little over 2 hours, then get on the half-marathon, and complete it in under 1:40. I can run a 7:45 mile or so for the half-marathon, I will be good. It is very flat, so I think that I am tapered and light enough right now to get a good result that way. I am just really interested to see how running off that bike will feel on my legs and glutes, so I am promising myself to get up and stretch the legs out a bit. The roads are not very smooth either...interesting. All is fun, though, all is fun.

Good luck to all of my friends at Oceanside this weekend, which does have Kona slots. I hope that you all get what you wish for and work hard for this weekend! Let's race hard so that we can have some awesome race stories at the end.

Coach E

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Q & A with Coach E

1. Thank you for the interview. Why don't you start by telling us a little bit about your current coaching/work commitments.

Currently, I work as a full-time strength coach at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. I train 40-50 clients a week and our main focus is strength training. 20% of my clients are endurance athletes and take part in some workouts that are specifically designed for an upcoming running race or triathlon. I have also coached Swim Masters programs and have taken part in several triathlon specific coaching clinics. I just received my USAT Coaching Certification in 2008, so I am looking forward to coaching more triathlon-specific athletes in the near future.

2. Can you tell the viewer your educational or previous career background and how you ended up working in this industry?

I actually have a B.A. in Economics and a Masters of Science in Education, but have always had a passion for teaching, coaching, and sport. I coached college volleyball at the NCAA-Div 1 level for 2 years while getting into competitive running after being a collegiate athlete myself. I then got a coaching job at Results Fitness after working in Marketing for 3 years and have learned that this is truly my calling. I will continue to work with the triathlon community, as well as clients who want to focus on strength training for fat loss and volleyball athletes.

3. And what is your training background?

How's your triathlon training going! i have been competing in triathlon for 4 years (since the age of 25) and have most recently transitioned to Ironman distance. I have now completed 4 full distance Ironmans since September of 2007 (is is Jan '09 right now), which also completed 1 Kona Championship. All have been completed in under 12 hours, which I am proud of, with an 11:01:30 PR set in Arizona 6 weeks ago.

4. What would you take from your training background that would be valuable for our readers?

First and foremost, strength training is necessary to become stronger, faster, and injury free during triathlon training. I could not have done this well without having a specific training program. Nutrition is also important- both during races as well as while training. I have done a good job with both and feel that I an speak to a successful program that would help an athlete get faster and stronger by using both in a more advanced, planned way.

5. What are your typical clients and personal achievements as a coach?

I have had clients reach many a goal of losing fat and getting stronger. Most of my female clients have focused more on performance goals- for instance, in our last 5K Team, all of the repeating members set PRs as they ran faster than the previous year that they had trained with me for. That was our most recent success at Results Fitness.

6. Can you describe a typical training session consist of for your clients?

In the gym, sessions are 1 hour. They begin with a 10 minute Dynamic Warm Up, then a 5-10 minute corrective phase. Then, 10 minutes are spent doing some more core endurance exercises, and then we focus on our resistance training for the remainder of the time. With most of my endurance athletes, I spend 30-60 minutes with them in the gym- depending on the time of year and where they are at in their training cycle.

7. What are the best general training tips for a triathlete?

1. Don't Overtrain
2. Log your workouts and learn from your successful races, and your not so successful ones.
3. Take more time off than you need in the off-season
4. Taper is so important- especially for Ironman Distance
5. Strength Train year-round
6. Limit Alcohol and Sugar when you can and eat whole foods
7. Enjoy other cross training activities to break up the monotony of training
8. Find a training group- don't always train alone.
9. Get regular massages
10. Enjoy your training- as you may not always have the best race day!

8. And the three biggest mistakes?

1. Overtraining
2. Thinking Strength Training will make you big or slow
3. Not tapering enough before a race

9. Do you have a “go-to guy”? Someone you can go to when you’re left scratching your head, have questions or want a second opinion about something?

Yeah, his name is Mark Montgomery and he is one of my dearest friends and an ex-pro triathlete. He is a bit old school in his thinking,but keeps his mind open to new ways of training. He is not necessarily "old school"- I call him more of a purist. He knows what works- and what doesn't. Overtraining doesn't work- so, don't do it. He is also not an extremist and keeps things pretty level.

10. What do you say to triathletes that tell you they don't have time to incorporate strength training into their schedule?

I say, "see you at the finish line"- I will be there before you. Just kidding...I say that if they have given it an honest try, and it hasn't worked in the past, that they try a different program. Perhaps that is what the problem was. Most athletes think that strength training involves heavy barbells all of the time, and they associate it with bodybuilding- not strengthening. Power is so important if you want to go fast- and I am definitely a believer- just look at my results over the last 2 years when I have been strength training to the 3 years prior- when I didn't. Granted I have had more experience, but bottom line- I have had much quicker times because I have had the luxury of a great strength training regimen.

11. Do you train males and females differently?

No, not at all. Actually, they are treated very equally. Programs are always based upon goals and the individual's needs and assessment. Gender doesn't have an issue- however, if you are talking about nutrition, needs for both men and women can differ- especially when considering age.

12. What are your thoughts on nutrition and the role it plays in athletic preparation?

Nutrition is the fuel that keeps us going. For triathlon, it plays such a huge role- during a race, before a race, post-race, and your everyday feeding during training. You get to know your body very well when doing multi-sport because you can actually feel in-tune to when you are deficient in certain nutrients. That is why supplementation is also very important. We can't always be perfect with our food choices- that is why we need good insurance policies in our supplements that keep us balanced. After all- it is all about balance- nutritionally speaking.

13. What the most recent thing that you have learnt that has changed the way you programme?

I have learned that you can't always follow your program 100%- sometimes, not even 90%. When you are doing multi-sport, including strength training- and most, with a full-time job, and most, with a family..balancing your overall physical and mental health can be strenuous. So, who wants to worry about following a rigid schedule for training? It is impossible. So, when you can (as both a coach and athlete) keep this in mind, it is very freeing and you can enjoy your sport and the training experience much more.

14. What are the top threemisconceptions/myths about physical preparation that you have faced when working with triathletes? How did you tackle them?

1. More is better.
How to tackle it? With a perfect periodization program. If you have the correct program in place that will build your volume at the correct pace, while getting you the recovery you need at the right time to guarantee your peak at the race, you should respect it and not do more than your program calls for. Stick to the plan and trust it. Don't do anymore- your body does better with less.

2. Biking is the most important event.
How to tackle it? Well, sorry- but, the race is really won on the run. Ask any triathlete and they will tell you- especially in the longer distances, that you can 'blow up" very easily on the bike and forget that you still need to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles. Remember that you can always run faster if you saved some legs off of the bike. Don't hammer the bike too much- you need to be able to run strong and finish the race- and pass people on the run. It is way easier to be passed on the bike and then pass people on the run than be passed on the run.

3. I need to train the week before a race.
How to tackle it? I raced Kona this year and let me tell you- I have never seen so much training the week before a race. Some of the best advice I have ever heard- from Alwyn Cosgrove- he says, "There is not a lot you can do the week before a race to prepare, but there is a lot you can do to f$%# it up". Enough said.

15. Where can more people read about your training theories and programmes?

They can read about them from the book I co-authored with Rachel Cosgrove, called "So You think You Want to Train for your Frist Triathlon". You can also email me directly to get some advice for your programs.

16. Bottom line - what's your training philosophy?

To develop a program that best matches the athlete's goals in the most efficient time period- combining smart strength training and nutritional philosophies, while remaining injury free.

17. I know you are always busy - what are you currently involved in that our readers may be interested in?

1. REsults Fitness (
2. USA Triathlon
3. Co-authoring a book with Nick Grantham
4. Training for 2 IM in 2009 and hoping to qualify for Kona in the 30-34 AG.

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!