CHP Coaches Answer YOUR Questions! (Part Two)

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You asked? We answered! In part two of three, Sierra, Elise, Ollie, Jon, and Alec respond to your burning questions!



What type of programming is ideal for non-athletes with no specific goal other than longevity and health?

“I love using strength maintenance and Maximum Aerobic Heart rate training.  Easy to recover from but keeps your aerobic engine working.”


What’s the most efficient way for someone to properly learn running technique without access to a coach? 

“Read, read, read and watch lots of YouTube videos.  Get someone to video you and self assess!”


What is the physiological reasoning behind the mindset that endurance runners need to work on zone 2 time on their feet while endurance swimmers are told to work more on shorter speed sets?

“Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of spending a ton of time on sprint sets for swimming. I believe working zone 2 for running helps build your aerobic engine that will support speed work as races or training stresses increase. However, with swimming, I feel if athletes would spend more time on quality, slow swimming technique then speed sets (done with great technique) would be beneficial. For a swimmer with poor technique, I don’t feel speed sets should be a main focus because most of time technique goes right out the window the minute the word “speed,” “fast,” or “all out,” is used. So my advice is technique over speed sets!”

Learn more about Sierra Huber!




What is the training philosophy as youth age and bodies mature?

“The ultimate goal is to create long-lasting athletes. Whether that be through high school, college or the rest of their lives, it’s our job as coaches to give them the tools to be the best athlete they can. That means:

  • Allow them to try multiple sports. Don’t encourage single sport specialization from a young age. 
  • Give them opportunities to gain confidence. 
  • Encourage leadership and making decisions on their own. 
  • Allow them to make mistakes
  • Proper strength training. Increased strength = increase in power, explosiveness and speed translating to better sport performance.
  • Injury prevention. Less time injured = more time on the field.  

As far as training philosophies specific to younger athletes, I always like to remind coaches that they aren’t just small adults! There are a lot of changes that go on through adolescent years that should play a part in their training. Boys especially, in my experience, don’t grow “evenly”. Long legs (femurs) affect their squat stance and depth, and they go through numerous growth spurts that will change their proportions almost from month to month (at certain points in their development). Girls going through puberty, on the other hand, have more flexibility and more lax ligaments leaving them at higher risk for injury (if not accompanied by sufficient strength to keep their joints in a stable position).”


How do you implement training cycles with multiple sport individuals?

“The first thing I’d do with any of my youth athlete is take an assessment of each sport. I’m looking for sport specific movements (body limb patterns and muscular involvement), injury analysis (any weaknesses or imbalances specific to each sport), a physiological analysis (strength, power, muscle endurance priorities) and what the overlaps are across each of these. 

From there, you can build a program with movements that allows the athlete to focus on staying healthy, uninjured and that directly correlate to better performance during the sport season. 

If they have one sport that is their “main sport”, I prioritize this. Say a soccer player who runs track to stay in shape. Soccer season (fall) will be the lowest volume/intensity since there is so much sport practice. The days we have together, we’ll prioritize power and injury prevention. Winter and summer will be the highest volume/intensity and be inclusive of everything on my needs analysis. Despite the spring being track season, we’ll still focus on movements, which are specific to soccer. Track is very much linear where most of a soccer game is spent cutting, changing directions, jumping and landing. Thus, these are all movements we need to account for.” 


What type of programming is ideal for non-athletes with no specific goal other than longevity and health?

“I’d say there isnt one program that fits all here. The most important aspect is a program and environment that they enjoy. If this is missing, it’s much less likely they will stick to it.  Include a variety of exercises and modalities. Once they find something they really like, create goals geared towards it. Allow them to succeed and PR despite being a “non athlete” – that feeling of accomplishment is irreplaceable.”

Learn more about Elise Fugowski!




What type of programming is ideal for non-athletes with no specific goal other than longevity and health?

“I’m going to answer this as if I would do with the same question focused on nutrition – First off I would get some sort of goal to aim for rather than training mindlessly just to ‘train’, it helps to stay on track and gets you a bit of focus. Now, as in nutrition I would ask someone, “Can you see this training or diet as something you could be doing in a year or so”? If the answer is ‘no’ then it may not be what I would consider training for the long term (unless the goal is specifically short term for some reason or another). Even with health and longevity I would look to see what first off are we looking to help with – cholesterol, weight, blood pressure, more focus etc. and use one of these as a goal, which can be tracked in a certain way. 

The programming and nutrition advised in this case would be something that totally fits everyone’s schedule and their lifestyle, there may have to be some sacrifices or ‘compromises’ such as cutting alcohol down a little, getting healthier food items in there or something along these lines but essentially it allows you to really be aiming for high levels of full health (fitness, mental, social, family and business health).”


How much hindrance is chronic fatigue from lack of sleep? 

“If you’re averaging <6hrs a night are you better off having shorter workouts to recover when time is short?

Everyone deals with stress differently and in this day & age we seem to fight fire with fire ‘shit, it’s been a hard day at the office I’m going to smash the gym’ fighting psychological stress with physiological stress. Now, I would also look into how someone has been diagnosed with CF too, how certain is it CF and not just a short term lack of energy from reaching a little further in a certain block of training. Some people can get damn good quality sleep in 6 hours or less, some people can get very poor quality sleep in 8-9 hours so looking at the bigger picture with some factors to consider with sleep duration and quality being one area to look into. 

Other things I would look into would be something like performance markers and health.

  • Resting HR
  • Strength levels
  • Can you still get to the required HR levels in your efforts?
  • Nutrition quality – has it been as optimal as it could be and maybe this is why you’re suffering.

Having said that CNS being chronically fatigued will play a big part here too and sleep quality will help the recovery of this also.

So TL;DR – sleep quality can be a massive hindrance to CF but it is far from the only factor to consider and far from the only thing to look at to get out of a state of CF.


How long of a ride would actually require electrolyte/carb during the trip?

 “If we go by science in a fasted state this is something like 2 hours at 65% of your max, this is purely by science stated in the textbook ‘Sports Nutrition’ by A. Jeukendrup and M.Gleeson. Where I would look is to see what the nutrition and hydration are like in the days before a ride, if I am in a position to believe that the athlete is fully hydrated and stocked up on glycogen then again depending on the intensity of the ride I would say 90 minutes is where I would be certain to give more carbohydrates to them and usually 60 onwards if it is a really long ride. In my opinion, it is better to fill up a tank which is half full than start filling up once you hit empty.”

Learn more about Ollie Matthews!





What is the most embarrassing thing that happened at/during a competition?

“There was a really long walk out of transition at my triathlon so I decided to follow another Pro Triathlete’s lead and go under a fence. She held up the fence for me, I bent down, and my spandex race suit split in the crotch. Everything was hanging out…”


Would you rather fight 100 Duck Sized Horses, or one Horse Sized Duck? 

“One Horse Sized Duck. The meat will taste better.”


What is your favorite go-to lunch/dinner recipes?

“Sliced Steak & Mushroom Sandwich. Grill and slice up a good quality stake, cook mushrooms, salt, pepper, shallots thyme, sherry, and beef stock. Let simmer until boiled down. Toast rolls and rub with garlic. Put the meat and mix in the rolls. Enjoy.”

Learn more about Jon!




I know some strength training can improve one’s running but I want to add ~50 lbs to my squat and DL PRs this year, but also PR in the marathon/50 miles/100 miles/24 hours… is this really realistic or am I an idiot?  

“If you’re running training remains unchanged and all else is equal, improving your squat and deadlift should only be able to help your race performances. Of course, this is a huge oversimplification. If you’re currently committing very little time to training and could easily add more volume and intensity to the program without compromising recovery, then there’s absolutely no reason why improving your lifting strength would have to be detrimental to your endurance performance. On the other hand, if you’re already pushing your endurance training to your physiological limits, then even trying to make modest improvements to your strength could have serious consequences. You have to consider the opportunity cost of all the training that you do; if you skip a particular strength workout, how much more time and energy could you devote to a running workout, and vice versa? Could you run an extra mile today and still complete your strength training? My advice is to keep training hard in both areas. This is the only way to see what you’re capable of. Don’t sell yourself short and assume that your goals are too challenging. If you know that you can put more energy and focus into those goals, then spend more time doing that and less time worrying about what is and isn’t possible.”


 If there was only 1 compound lift and 1 form of cardiovascular exercise you could choose to get ready for general preparedness in life what would that look like?

“I’m not a big fan of general physical preparedness as a training goal; for the most part it tends to be a waste of time and recovery resources that could be devoted to getting better at your primary sport. In the context of general preparedness being a primary training goal, it’s hard to define what preparedness looks like since life challenges can be vary drastically among individuals depending on their occupation, hobbies, etc. However, we can still look at some of the most beneficial forms of cardiovascular training for the general population and what compound exercises give you the most bang for your buck. 

In terms of cardiovascular training, the most important aspect to consider for general preparedness is that it be something that you actually enjoy doing enough to engage in regularly. Really though, for your average person just trying to be healthy, finding something fun is crucial. Running, biking, swimming, rowing, rucking, and more can all be part of a healthy exercise program geared towards overall health and life preparedness. Along with this, consider your risk for injury; if you have an old knee injury flare up every time you try to run, running may not be the best form of training for you, although it might just be the best option for someone else. The second thing to consider is which form of cardio (if any) are you likely to encounter in daily life? For most, running and walking are the most common demands and some level of proficiency in these areas is desirable. At the end of the day, I’d recommend you try walking/running, but don’t beat yourself up if you hate it (or if your body hates it); there are plenty of other good options.

 Regarding strength training, similar considerations apply. Think about what movements you’re most likely to encounter in your daily life and choose a lift that you have adequate mobility and skill to perform safely. For the lower body, I am a huge proponent of walking lunges and would consider them even more important for general preparedness than the squat or deadlift. I especially like front rack reverse lunges when going heavy and dumbbell walking lunges when going for higher reps (with the added bonus of training grip strength). These lunge variations do leave out the upper body, though. If given the opportunity to add a second movement to the training program, I would incorporate barbell thrusters, or better yet, the bear complex. I have no doubt that you could become incredibly fit utilizing nothing more than lunges and the bear complex, though a more complete training program would certainly be advised!”


If you weren’t a coach, what would you be doing instead?

“My formal education is actually in Physics, not Exercise Science, so naturally I’d pursue a career there. I actually have plans to go back to school to get my PhD in Computational Physics; some day, I’d like to split my time between coaching and consulting. Of course, I’d still be an athlete too! I was an athlete long before I began coaching and can’t imagine myself not training for something. I sometimes dream of selling all my stuff and moving to the Himalayas to be a sherpa, so that’s always an option if the PhD thing doesn’t work out.”

 Learn more about Alec!


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Part 3 coming soon!