Check out this CNN iReport about my book!

Check out this CNN iReport about my book!

“Becoming Faster As A Master”
By bweisman | Posted 4 hours ago | Scottsdale, Arizona 56

It is not easy to do something extraordinary in life. We all start off the same, however there is a burning desire in some of us to be extraordinary. Some of us choose to overachieve early in life and some of us postpone that single moment where we might shine. Not everyone can be at the front of the pack, however we all have dreams of where we want to start and finish. What drives a person to become extraordinary and connect that to some life lessons? It is a hard fought journey to rekindle what you started and even harder to go back and latch onto that passion. Bruce Conner has dedicated significant time later in life to become and write about what it means to be “Faster As a Master”.

Who doesn’t want to be great at something? If you were great at something before why can’t you be great at it again? I suppose these might have been questions Bruce asked himself when he stepped on the ice and qualified for the Olympic trials several times. He wasn’t a kid anymore and it was clear his goals were just as focused as a mature adult as they once were at 19. He continued to qualify for the Olympic trials for speed skating on several occasions. This was not all happening at just 19, but in his later years (49, 53, and 57 years old). How does someone bring exceptional athletic prowess into their adult life they once had as a teenager? It seems like an impossible question to answer, but for Bruce Conner it is not. He realized to get there required changes in his life and still being fiercely loyal to himself and his family. He knew he could be great again and that was never a question in his mind.

The book “Faster as a Master” shows how age can perhaps enhance the many dreams we have. It teaches us all that we can extend our reach later in life. The book “Faster As a Master” by Bruce Conner is a recipe to be inspired to be great at something. Age does not completely define limitations and Bruce would be the first to tell you that. For those that want to follow a guide to be “great” again reading “Faster As A Master” provides direction. Even better, the book is written by Bruce who is living proof of his successful journey.

Bradley D. Weisman
Learn more about Faster As A Master:

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Faster as a Master Your best is yet to come!

Faster as a Master
Your best is yet to come!

This is what you (my loyal readers) are interested in, by order of preference…..

This is what you (my loyal readers) are interested in, by order of preference…..

Over the last 12 weeks I have been posting about principles of training and competition.  I can see how many of you are interested in certain subjects by viewing my posts.  I have compiled a list to show you what you are most interested in where training is concerned.  I posted an eight part series on training beginning with general principles in the first two followed by specific disciplines later.  I also sprinkled in a few other subjects about competition, training cycles, intensity and my book release.

Here are the results:

1.  Part 5 Periodization

2. (tie) Part 1 General Principles 1 and Part 4 Cardio

4. Part 6 Stretching

5. Part 3 Strength

6. Part 6 Rest

7. Book Release

8. Cycles Macro to Micro

9. Competition, Stress and Anxiety

10. Part 7 Mental Training

11. Zen of Intense Training

12  Part 2 General Principles

The top 3 were very close.  The bottom was about half of the interest of the top three.

I consider all of these subjects of equal importance in the balance of my training but I now know what is important to you by your interest.

Remember:  Your best is yet to come!

Faster as a Master Your best is yet to come!

Faster as a Master
Your best is yet to come!

Training Principles Part 8 : Rest (last one)

Training Principles 8 : Rest (last one)

Rest is just what it says, rest from activity. Rest is either passive or active. There are many parts to rest. I will address them in different contexts. Normal training consists of a few different cycles. The largest context is the four-year Olympic cycle. The shift in focus will change from year to year as the Olympic year approaches. As I change and my goals change, so will my rest requirements change.
Within the Olympic cycle is the yearly cycle that every competitive athlete goes through. The yearly cycle must include periods of rest. I generally finish my competitive season in the middle of March. I then take at least six to eight weeks off of training. During this time, it is important to let my body and mind heal from the intense work I did over the past ten months or so. I take a break in many ways, like catching up on the things I have put off due to my competition and training schedule. I am less active physically; this is my winter. I let the field rest so it can produce again later with more abundance, just as farmers do for their crops. During this time, I can do a number of things. One thing I like to do is to continue a little very easy biking and stretching.
I do nothing intense, everything just for fun! When I was growing up, my parents stressed that I should learn my sport the best I could, but also learn sports I could do for life. For example, I learned to play golf and tennis, and I still enjoy them today. Doing other sports will help me be a better skater because I will have a better, more rounded foundation to draw from. The important principle in active rest is to keep the intensity low. When I am ready to start the training cycle over again, my body and mind will tell me. I cannot force the issue! Starting back too soon or too fast will cause me to burn out again or get injured.
Because I am used to a lot of physical activity, stopping cold turkey will throw me off. It is still important to be active, just not as much and without any real intensity. My body needs the rest, and I must give in to it or suffer in the long run.
One very important element in my training regimen is periodic massage. Muscles need help to recover. One way to assist in recovery is massage. In order to keep up my training volume, I need recovery. The more quickly I recover, the more training volume and intensity are possible. My race results directly correspond to my training volume and intensity. I do self-massage and get great results. I use foam rollers, my hands, and a stick roller for self massage. I also hire a professional masseuse sometimes. I have a pretty good understanding of my own body and what it is going through, but using a trained massage professional brings another helpful dimension to my recovery.
Usually a massage therapist can find hot spots that I was not even aware of. After the therapist has found these spots and worked on them, my body then spends less energy on a “wound” and more energy on my general recovery. Ideally, a massage every week would be the best for me, but that is not always possible or practical.
Another tool that I use to gauge whether I am training to an optimum level is ithlete. I heard about ithlete from a fellow speed skater, researched it, and decided that this was something that might help me decide when to go hard and when to back off on my training. The ithlete device is an application on my smart phone that uses a receiver and my polar heart monitor to measure heart rate variability. I take a measurement immediately after waking in the morning to gauge my readiness to train hard that day. Illness and stress in my life will give me low numbers and tell me that I need rest or to train more easily that day. It reflects all of my life factors, including a very high training load. In the past, I would train right through these times, and my racing suffered as a result. This tool can give me physical feedback and validates the feelings I get when I am on track or over-trained.
When I look at my monthly training plan, I must plan my rest accordingly. Through trial and error, I have found that after working hard for three weeks I must reduce my intensity and volume and do an active rest week. I will decrease my intensity and volume for a week, so that I may avoid burn out or injury. In the weekly plan, I also include a rest day, usually Sunday. During the week, I will space my intense training out so that there are no two days in a row without a rest or recovery day. For instance, skating is like doing a hard weight workout. I will not do weights one day, then skate the next. That would be counterproductive. I will do a cardio bike recovery workout, swimming, or yoga in between skating and weights. In training, as in life, keeping everything in balance is the key to making progress.

Build the motor and learn how to apply it to your endeavor. Utilize the principles of practice, warm-up, cool-down, volume, intensity, strength, cardio, periodization, stretching, mental training, and rest.

Now I must take a hint from my dog Lilly and play.

Bruce and our dog Lilly on our front deck,  she is a Yellow Lab mix 95 lbs, about 3 years old and adopted. Who resuced who?

Bruce and our dog Lilly on our front deck, she is a Yellow Lab mix 95 lbs, about 3 years old and adopted. Who resuced who?