New Year’s Goal Setting

New Year’s is a time for many to reflect on where they have been and where they want to be next year. Let me ask you, did you accomplish your goals this year? Be honest, I’m not judging, I sincerely want to know. I know I didn’t hit my goal of running 1000 miles this year, and I have plenty of excuses why I didn’t make that.

This brings me to my next question, why didn’t you make that goal? For me it was because I just wasn’t that into the goal in the first place. I wasn’t really committed to it. Life happens to all of us and staying committed to a goal like that takes effort and a plan, I wasn’t really up to do either of those for this one.

All this brings me to my next point: how to commit to and accomplish your goals for next year.

It doesn’t really matter what it is. It could be getting a podium in an obstacle course race, qualifying for the World Championships, finishing a trifecta or even losing 10 lbs. The rules for goal setting stay the same.


1) Set a S.M.A.R.T goal. SMART stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. This is the beginning of your journey.

Specific be very clear on what you want. Don’t just say, “I want to be in shape”, find something to shoot for. We like Spartan races because they have specific criteria and are something very specific.

Measurable: know what you will use to measure success and how to measure it

Achievable: knowing how long something will take and being a little conservative will go a long way. When I decided I wanted a professional cycling contract, I was already a well known amateur, had over 1000 races under my belt, and was ranked nationally. Knowing the time line for something will be important.

Realistic: let’s be honest, most of us will not climb Mt. Everest. Set a goal you know you can achieve

Time-Sensitive: this is the most important part. Set a date for the goal. This makes it more real.


2) After you have set your goal comes the hard part. The work.

Having the goal is great, but if you’re not willing to put in the time and pain to get there it will never be realized. Our motto at RFT Coaching comes from our family crest “Aspera Non Spernit”. It means “Fear No Hardship”. Achieving a goal can be hard, but if you put that work in day in and day out, never shying from the challenge, you will have it.

Understand there will be good days and bad days, that you will have giant leaps forward and minor step backward. It’s all part of the process. Embrace that pain, embrace the suffering and you will learn to no longer fear it, you will look forward to it.

Having a coach who has been down this road before helps, especially when you want something challenging. We know the challenges you will face and we know how to get you through it. We are just as much invested in your success as you are.


3) Setting micro goals.

After setting your big goal(s) and committing to the work, setting micro goals is going to be even more important. This is your road map to getting to the big goal. If you goal is 12 month out, set a 6 month goal that has a direct relationship to the big one. If it’s an Ironman Triathlon, maybe do a half Ironman at the 6 month mark. Once you have the goal for the middle, set a ¼ time goal and a ¾ time goal. In this scenario it would look like this:

12 month goal: Ironman Triathlon competition

9 month goal: full Ironman distance for swim, bike and run in a single week

6 month goal: half Ironman Triathlon competition

3 month goal: full half Ironman distance for swim, bike, run in a single week

This is just an example, but you can see the clear roadmap to achieve the 12 month goal.


4) Don’t be afraid to change the micro goals

As you train and your benchmarks come and go sometimes you don’t quite make the micro goals. That’s ok. Remember that these goals are not the big goal; they are simply mini tests to ensure your training is on track. With a long-term plan you can make adjustments and still hit your goal. The trick is not to be so married to the micro goals that you forget the real goal.


5) Ask for help

Long-term goals and planning take time and practice; having a coach who knows how to set them and monitor them makes this process easier. No matter whether you choose to enroll in our group classes, our obstacle race classes, personal training or online coaching we are here to guide you and monitor you. Taking the work out of your hands and putting it into ours means all you have to do is the work, the planning and adjustments are up to us.


We are looking forward to an epic year at RFT Coaching and look forward to achieving your goals right along side you.

Happy New Year to you all, tomorrow is the first day of the new you!


Durability / Unloading Week

Warm: 4 Rounds: 10 shuttles, 10 squats, 10 situps, 5 chin ups, wall squat

Squat Clean Practice

6×5 Squat Cleans, hip flexor, 5 dislocates, banded triceps, ankle mobility

4 rounds: 10 hip raises, 1:00 plank, 10 banded rotations, 10 FDBE


Durability / Unloading Week

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 squats, 10 situps, 5 pull ups, wall squat

Rope Climb Practice

6 rounds: 1 rope climb, pec/lat, hip flexor, 5 laying shoulder rotations (each), butterfly

LB Complex


Durability / Unloading Week

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 shuttles, 6 grapevines, 10 pushups, 10 situps, pigeon

Overheard Squat Practice

5×6 Overhead Squats (PVC), hip flexor, pec/lat, toe touch

2 rounds: Jane Fonda’s, 50 SHJ’s


Durability / Unloading Week

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 shuttles, 10 situps, 10 bench dips, banded triceps

Rope Climb Practice

6 rounds: 7 towel pull ups, child’s pose, hip flexor, pigeon, 5 shoulder dislocates

LB Complex


Durability / Unloading Week

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 shuttles, 10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 squats, butterfly

Clean and Jerk Practice

6×8 Clean and Jerk (light), cross body shoulder stretch, hip flexor, toe touch, banded triceps

4 rounds: 10 situps, 10 Russian twists, :30 side plank (each), 10 good mornings


Work Capacity

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 squats, 10 pushups, 10 situps, 5 dislocates

“Tabata Be Testing Me!”

Tabata Drill*: pull ups, pushups, situps, squats, 40′ shuttles

*8 rounds each movement, 20 sec : 10 sec (work : rest) (4:00 each movement)

4 rounds: 10 hip raises, 10 banded rotations (each), :30 side plank, 10 good mornings

3 rounds: pigeon, frog, pec/lat

Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

There tends to be 2 different types of people who train. One lives for the gym, and the other centers on endurance sports. These two, for years, had never really had anything to do with one another. I still remember my old cycling coach’s answer when I asked about gym work in the off-season, he answered with a simple “does it look like George Hincapie spends any time in the gym?” With most endurance sports, the big worry is that the athlete will gain weight and become slower by lifting more. Well, let me say this, that’s complete bullshit.

That answer that I lived by my entire pro cycling career was an over simplified answer given to me by a coach who had no idea how to use the gym to further my goals. I don’t fault him for that, it’s how he coached, and I will never say he held me back. But I am older and wiser now in my training, I have been educated on how to squeak out that little more that will make the big difference later on. If I had known then what I know now, I may have been able to turn a sprint just that little bit harder.

Nowadays this same idea, that the gym is useless, has started to gain some traction, especially with the obstacle course racing crowd, after a multitude of videos and books on training by some who they look to as “experts”. No I’m not saying these people are not smart, nor am I saying it won’t work, it will, for a while. Eventually though, these athletes are going to need more and that’s where the gym and a coach who understands their needs as an athlete comes into play.  Below I’m going to detail several myths that have come up through the endurance world and why they are false.


Myth #1: I will get bulky by lifting.

The truth is, getting bulky takes a lot of work. People with this goal spend hours in the gym, and I’m not kidding. To get that physique requires a specific amount of reps at a specific amount of weight with a specific amount of rest. And, after they leave the gym, they eat all the time. It takes roughly 2800 calories to build a pound of muscle per week, that’s an extra 400 calories a day on top of what you’re already taking in. If you’re an endurance athlete, chances are you’re already eating a ton, I eat about 3500 calories per day just to maintain my weight, plus another 350-1000 to offset my training. The thought of having to tack on another 400 above that makes me nauseous.

The truth is that if you want to get bulky, you will, but as an endurance athlete, chances are that’s not going to happen. You will get more definition, which may look like bulk, but it’s really just muscles being more developed than they were before. Even if you do gain a little weight, you’re going to burn it off once the season hits anyway, so don’t worry about it.


Myth #2: I might get hurt.

Ok, I can see this one a little more, but only if you don’t know what you’re doing and you jump into something you’re not prepared for. Walking in cold off the street and suddenly trying to do a 1 rep max snatch is a sure fire way to get hurt (I’m looking at you, a certain program that will not be named). However, with knowledgeable coaches, a solid program, and knowing your own limits the weight room is a very safe place. And once you spend some time in classes (like our Mtn Fitness) you will develop the confidence needed to execute complicated lifts, lift heavy (within your abilities), and make friends too.


Myth #3: I don’t really need it.

Ok, there are some people that no matter how well I word this and lay it out, they won’t believe me, but here goes.

Last year how many overuse injuries kept you from participating, how many times were you sidelined due to a fall or other injury, or how many times did you find yourself just unable to keep going?

For most endurance athletes, they will answer at least once, probably multiple times if you get the honest truth. Strength training can help with all of those issues.

Injury prevention is critical for endurance athletes; by having stronger muscles and increased bone density, due to lifting, injuries decrease. This is especially true for obstacle course racers and trail runners. The type of pounding the body receives and the uneven ground these racers compete on is much different than normal runners or cyclists. By strengthening areas like the lower back, hips, legs, and shoulders they will find they are less fatigued at the end of a hard training session, and can compete better during races.

The mindset to keep going is strong in endurance athletes, arguably better cultivated than in strength athletes. The tricky part with this mindset is that once they are done, they are really done. This is especially true with obstacle racers where they are being bombarded with more than one mode of movement, and have different demands on their phosphocreatine system and anaerobic systems. The gym will provide a training medium for both of those, and will give them the knowledge that they can, in fact, handle whatever is being asked of them.


Myth #4: It’s too expensive.

My response to this is “how much does it cost for an overuse injury, or not finishing an event that you paid for?” To me this is so much more expensive than anything I could charge.

I know that there are gym memberships out there for $10 per month, and I know many people use them and get results. But that $10 per month gets you access, nothing else. When you’re looking for a coach to guide you through your goals, has knowledge of the sport, and will take responsibility for writing your training this is not going to be $10 per month.

To join us it’ll cost you 1 latté per day. That’s it. Skip your Starbucks in the afternoon on your way home, or maybe only go out once that week to dinner, instead of twice, for a month and you’re covered. As an athlete, you must think of it as an investment in yourself, as opposed to a cost.


Myth #5: I’ll get slow if I lift.

This is my favorite myth only because it’s such nonsense. During the off-season you should be a little slower than your peak season anyway. Even if you never lifted and only did your sport, you’d still be slower than in-season. The off-season is the perfect time to work on this, while still maintaining a base endurance level.

Matt and I are great examples of this. Matt squats over 400 lbs now, but is still able to run an 8 min mile pace for 5+ miles. I can hit all of our strength standards and still run a half marathon in sub 1:50. Those are not overly fast times, but they aren’t slow either. Our elite OCR athletes are starting to hit 9-10 miles for their hour time-trial and they lift heavy.

It’s more about how you lift, not if you lift. Putting on a lot of extra size and decreasing your body’s ability to transport nutrients to and waste from the working muscles is what makes an endurance athlete slow. We want you to lift heavy, for a few reps, build the strength up, but not put on a lot of extra size. That is the key, strength without extra size.

The bottom line for any training is to make the athlete better. For endurance athletes that means expanding their idea of what training is to include time in the weight room. Keep it focused on the sport needs, keep it heavy, and keep the reps within the proper ranges and you will have the best season you’ve ever had.

If you want to talk more about how we can help either through classes or our online training please contact us at


Aspera Non Spernit


-Coach Chris


Work Capacity

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 shuttles, 10 situps, 5 chin ups, hip flexor

10 min AMRAP: 10 sled tugs (125% BW/BW), 10 KB swings (53/35), 20 mtn climbers (each)

-rest 6 min-

ETOT (10 min): 2 4x’s, 1 suicide

LB Complex

3 rounds: toe touch, banded shoulder, 5 windmills



Warm: 3 rounds: 10 front squats (85/65),  10 good mornings, 10 bench dips, hip flexor

1 RM Front Squat

6×2 Front Squats (85% 1 RM), airplane seat stretch

6×5 Push Presses, 5 DB bent over rows, ankle mobility

6×5 Hang Cleans, 2 staggered leg box jumps (each), child’s pose


Work Capacity

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 squats, toe touch

5 min Burpee Test

-rest 2 min-

5 RFT: 5 pull ups, 10 hip raises, 10 lunges

-rest 2 min-

7-6-5-4-3-2-1: wall balls (20/14), pushups (x2)

-rest 2 min-

4 rounds: 10 leg lifts, 10 slashers (alt sides), 1:00 plank, 10 RDL (kb)

3 rounds: wall squat, 5 dislocates, pec/lat


Work Capacity

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 shuttles, 10 situps, 10 pushups, hip flexor

20 min AMRAP: 20 kb swings (53/35), 20 step ups, 10 sit-ups, 6 shuttles (50 feet)

LB Complex

3 rounds: pigeon, triceps stretch, banded shoulder




Spin Bikes:

7 min warm up

4 rounds: 2 min interval (zone 4), 4 min rest (zone 2)

4 min up/downs (30/30)

2 rounds: 2 min interval (zone 4), 4 min rest (zone 2)


2 rounds: Jane Fonda’s, 50 SHJs


Work Capacity

Warm: 3 rounds: 10 lunges, 10 situps, 5 pull ups, toe touch

7 RFT: 10 jumping lunges (each), 5 pull ups, 10 thrusters (95/75)

-6 min rest-

10 min AMRAP: 5 kb get ups (53/35), 10 pushups, 10 hip raises

4 rounds: 10 weighted situps, 10 Russian twists, :30 side plank (each), 10 good mornings

3 rounds: hip flexor, pec/lat, child’s pose