In the news: “How A Utah Man Became A Triathlete By Changing His Morning Routines” – KSL TV Feature

Change your routines. Change your life.

Pleased that Aley Davis and the KSL (NBC) TV team asked me to share how routines helped me turn around my life and remain a core part of my success today. (If the video doesn’t show below, click here.)

Wanna try a tri? Come train with Balanced Art Multisport’s #bamtrifam and you’ll fall in love with training in a whole new way.

Or come to an Intermountain Tri clinic for a safe, welcoming space to learn basic skills in swimming, biking, running and triathlon.

Or if you’re not in the Utah/SLC region, check out (a project by USA Triathlon and IRONMAN) for tips and resources to give swimming, cycling, running and triathlon a go.

And you’re always welcome to ask me for ideas. I love when people reach out with questions about shoes, gear, training on heart rate, nutrition, what races to do, how to run faster …

Our bodies are incredible machines and a big part of my life is mastering mine and helping people celebrate theirs.


  • In Jan 2018, I co-founded Intermountain Tri and now serve as the president — join with just your email. Come just to swim, bike or run … or all three in triathlon.
  • When I talk about consistently being up until 3a and having no habits … I’m talking about 18 months into having started my marketing business (launched Aug 2012; 2013 was ROUGH and I kept sliding right into Apr 2014). With no boss to report to, no office to show up to, and so on, there was no fixed activity pushing against the demands of my time. So everything got very loose. I lost sense of the day of the week. Weekends were indistinguishable, as was afternoon from morning and “too late” from “time to go to bed.” And my lack of strength with managing my own time became evident. Just as I crammed assignments and studying in school, I tried to cram client work. Hence the late nights. So many days, I would give myself a huge pep talk that “I’m waking up at 6a tomorrow to reset the cycle!” And then I would surely sleep until noon or 1p. And the cycle continued. For months. Until I did these three things to hijack the death spiral:
    • Signed up for Ironman Maryland. I wanted to have a good experience and knew I had to train to succeed. I couldn’t just show up and wing it. It was too big a stress to waltz in.
    • Asked someone who was already really good at getting up in the morning and going to bed on time for help. Many thanks to Erica Wiley for her gentle and supportive texts as I got sleep on track, starting with shutting down and going to bed at a consistent time.
    • Committed to a training plan. I made half progress here with a half-marathon training plan I found and then peppering in runs and rides. But then I hired coach Alan Gulledge who really got me in gear.
Triathlon routines supported by group classes early in the morning
530a M/W all winter long at BAM’s tri training studio in Sandy
  • The cycling class I teach is the BAM Power Program.
    • The workouts are written by sports medicine doctor and pro-cycling coach, Dr. Max Testa, of Park City.
    • Anyone who rides any kind of bike for any purpose at any level of competition/interest/competitiveness can benefit from the classes because they start with an assessment of your present fitness and then are structured around helping you progress from there.
    • It’s very different from a traditional gym/studio “spin” class, which is structured to burn calories. And it’s not like riding on Zwift or Trainer Road because you don’t waste effort “racing” people. Yes, we’re all in the same room (you can join online too!), but each person is in their individual zone, and there’s no leaderboard. It’s just a cool crew of people working hard together and supporting each other.
    • Dr. Testa adjusts the classes each year based on his research and the real outputs of all his riders.
    • Bottom line: it’s the most effective method possible for gaining fitness on the bike that makes you stronger and more efficient.
  • The doc they interviewed is absolutely correct about momentum is your ally with routines.
    • The momentum also comes, as he says, from “feeling much better than you did before.” Once you experience the state change, you know you can get it and will work to get it again.
    • If your baseline is zero, just start moving. A gain of 1 is a gain from zero! Once you baseline is 1, then a gain to 2 is still a gain . . . and on and on, until you perform the routine 5-7 days a week no problem.
  • At USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Aug 2018, I finished 20th in the Olympic-distance race and 10th in the sprint. End of summer 2019, I will wear the red, white and blue on Team USA at the ITU Age Group World Championship in Lausanne, Swizterland.

Watch (2:04) and read the whole KSL story here:

KSLtv also did stories on BAM Coach Suz Martin and BAM Coach Bill Fowler and his family.

By |2021-01-15T16:40:55-07:00April 19th, 2019|General Life, Triathlon|0 Comments

Pick a Tri Coach – How to Hire the Right Person to Help You with Your Triathlon Goals

I was a tri coach for 2 seasons and then hung up that hat to focus on training and my work as a marketer. In the process of closing that up, people were still reaching out to me asking for help. I wrote 6 tips on looking for a tri coach for them, and now for you.

My tri coach history

From self-coaching thru 2 coaches and hiring a tri coach at BAM

When I did my first ironman in 2014, I first self-coached for 3 months. Then I met a tri coach and hired him for the last 3 months. It helped tremendously. I had no idea how much volume I need to lay down to be ready for the long distance. And by his prodding, I went and did a sprint 2 months before and a half the month before. I wouldn’t have thought to do that on my own.

After IMMD, I got another coach to focus on running speed. That worked off-and-on for awhile. Then life got nuts and I moved from Manhattan to Utah and focused on marathon. I worked my way through that the best I could … once again self-coaching.

At the end of that marathon year, I reached out to Wes Johnson, founder and head coach of Balanced Art Multisport (aka BAM). I had become FB friends with Wes and followed the progress and success of many of his clients. These were people making tons of a progress and some at the forefront going to Kona, filling local podiums, etc. We connected and I hired Andrew Stasinos, also a tri coach with BAM. That was late 2016. I’ve made so much more progress in this time than my first 4 years in triathlon.

My Tri Coach - Andrew "BAMDREW" Stasinos of Balanced Art Multisport
My tri coach Andrew and me at my first race under his coaching, Ice Breaker 2017

Another element about selecting a coach that doesn’t show up in my 6 tips is the value of group workouts. You want the chance to workout with your coach. That’s a huge upside to working with a tri coach from BAM. There are coaches around the world that know the sport and are pretty good with science and will give you time and support. I mean, not every tri coach makes this cut but of course you can find them.

It’s a whole additional category to find a tri coach with all those skills who also has a fun, large, solid, active community of athletes so you get a good mix of working out solo and a group session 1-2 or more times a week.

On that note, I invite you to join Intermountain Tri — a open community of 400+ people who swim, bike or run on their way to living the good life. Loads of weekly workouts, monthly clinics and a smattering of discounts and resources from team partners. Sign up with just your email at

It REALLY makes the experience a lot better to develop relationships with other people while progressing as an athlete. You can definitely make progress working out solo, but it’s really nice to get group time in. And unless you can shell out mega $$ for regular 1:1 time in-person with a tri coach, attending group workouts where your coach is there … that’s a great way to get more face time with them in an economically viable structure for you and them. The #bamtrifam was also a clutch asset in why I reached out to Wes and continue to stick with Andrew.

So … a lot here and in the list below, and I hope you find it helpful. I highly recommend reaching out to Wes. He, Andrew or one of the other 8 coaches could be a great fit for you.


  • my swim race paces dropped to 1:20/100y (was at 1:35-40/100y) in combination of being coached to swim more, swimming with faster people, and getting instruction and video analysis on basic stroke mechanics to correct
  • Between my first FTP/lactate test on the bike Dec 2016 and re-testing Oct 2017, I gained 40 watts (16%); this follows doing BAM’s Power Program which I highly recommend
  • I broke a 40-min 10k run in 2018, and even through 2017 I hadn’t broken 45

I mean, I had to do the work. But it was their guidance of how to smartly/reasonably/carefully go about all this without burning myself out, without triathlon taking over my life and without injury. On top of all that, I have never had more fun with triathlon and this is one of maybe 3 or 4 big pieces that has me very happy to have made the move to Utah.

Hire a Tri Coach: 6 Tips to Get it Right

I recommend every triathlete or one with more than a super casual interest in endurance sports get a tri coach.

You can find a plethora of options through the ‘Find a Coach’ directories hosted by Training Peaks or Ironman.

Here’s how I suggest finding a tri coach that fits you for triathlon, cycling, swimming and endurance events:

[1] Before contacting any coaches, get your life priorities straight as they are for you.

Write them down. And understand before going into it that a coach most often falls into the realm of “physical/athletic performance.” This is distinct from you being personally responsible to maintain baseline wellness. If you’re hiring a coach to help you with baseline wellness and you don’t care about performance, tell them. My priorities (more on those here), for example:

  1. Core relationships (dating & romantic partners, people I live with, people I interact with 6-7 days a week)
  2. Baseline wellness (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual)
  3. Material safety (do honest work for honest pay to cover my necessary material costs: food, shelter, transportation)
  4. Athletic performance (speed, form, strength, competition)
  5. Career success (fulfillment, growth, profitability, ongoing growth and development)

[2] After looking at all that, decide how much monetarily on a monthly basis it’s worth it to you to have a tri coach to support you as a triathlete or endurance athlete.

Write that number down. That is your maximum. That number ought to be a little uncomfortable, but it should not disrupt or strain you. It shouldn’t disrupt you taking care of the priorities higher on your list. If it does, you will resent your training and your coach. You will be spending money on a lower priority that ought first to be spent on a higher priority. That simply won’t work long term.

[3] Shop the platforms, make a short list (Target: 3. Five is fine. MAX 10) of people to contact.

Lean toward people that you could, without great expense, visit in person. Most of your interactions will be virtual. Keep in mind it helps to have someone you can meet with so they can look at your form.

[4] Contact all of them.

Let them know you are interviewing coaches. Have a tops 30-minute conversation with them. Ask about their training philosophy. Before revealing your life priorities, listen to them and see if it sounds like / feels like they have similar priorities. You should at least sense they respect that they are coaching a PERSON with a LIFE. If they sound like they are coaching an ATHLETE whose life IS training, run. Unless you are a pro athlete, that is not the case for you . . .

Endurance training with a tri coach is a LUXURY to be used to increase the overall quality of your life.

I highly recommend that endurance training NOT become your life. Relationships and work that adds value to society and your community are far more important than you going to Worlds or Kona.

In this vein, but secondary to matching priorities and values: you’ll also want to ask them about people they have worked with and whether they have had . . .

  • exposure and
  • success

. . . working with people similar to you. And in this case when I say “people” I mean “bodies”: age, injury, background of swim/bike/run and other sports, etc.).

There are so many variables, it certainly helps to have a tri coach who has familiarity helping people at whatever stage of the endurance sport journey you are at.

[5] Immediately rule out anyone whose price is above your # in [2].

If you really like them (they are a top 1-2 pick), say, “I got your price is X. When I started my search, I wrote down Y as my limit. To respect the work I did to look my priorities, I can’t go above that. And I respect your work as a professional, so I wouldn’t ask you to lower your number and diminish the value of your expertise. It’s OK if this doesn’t work between us right now. Are there any parts of your service that aren’t necessary, that you could cut or limit to make it work?” If so, cool. Figure it out. If not, cool … thank them for their time. Move on.

[6] Keep looking and then select.

Continue your tri coach search until you find a match for your priorities, what you’re looking for, healthy interaction where you feel respected and you feel you respect their expertise, and where their number is a match for yours.

Good luck!

By |2022-09-26T21:24:35-06:00September 1st, 2018|Triathlon|0 Comments