Dear All; I did a Radio interview last month on 6/26/2015. It was in three parts of 16-17 minutes long. They were combined into a 1 hour segment (including commercials). It aired on 6/28/2015 and again 7/5/2015 1100 am till 1200 noon. Here are the 3 segments (no commercials). I get to talk to the host Scott Lindblad on his show about my book. Have a listen, I think you will find this interesting, entertaining, and enjoyable…..
As far as injuries are concerned, my policy is prevention, prevention, prevention. I observe a number of basic principles when it comes to injury prevention and management. The first is listening to my body and learning to respond to it quickly and appropriately. Every time I train, I create some injury. Through the work I do, I deliberately break down my body. Our bodies respond by rebuilding themselves stronger than before. By managing minor, self-inflicted injuries (my training), I will grow stronger over time. Building up tolerance by increasing very slowly is crucial. For example, if I am going to run a marathon this year, I would need to have a base to start from. I would need to demonstrate consistent mileage without injury on the kinds of running surface I would be training and racing on. Injuries generally occur because the body is not responding well to the increase or not recovering quickly enough to do the increased volume.
Using the proper equipment can help prevent injuries. Analyzing body mechanics is another important tool for injury prevention. Using a professional trainer can be indispensable in this area. A trainer can show me how to set up a stationary bike to avoid injuring myself over the long term. A trainer can show me the proper way to lift weights to avoid injury and to gain the most benefit. Using a lower weight with good mechanics and low injury potential is more productive than using a higher weight that might look better to my friends but risk injury. Competing with others in the gym while lifting weights will be counterproductive in the long run. In fact, I apply this principle to almost all physical activity.
Longevity as an athlete is dependent on body mechanics. To increase my chances of a long, productive life, I treat myself as a finely tuned athlete at maximum performance. Poor body mechanics can set me up for injuries—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly over time. It is up to me. Using proper technique, for whatever activity, is essential to perform efficiently and to prevent injury. I believe in getting expert advice on as many of my activities as possible so as not to shortchange myself with an injury.
Goals then come into play. If I cannot increase my workload as quickly as I want because it would possibly cause an injury, then I must revise my goals. I may need to scale back to run a half marathon this year and a full marathon next year. This would be realistic.
I am not in the results business. I must keep moving my feet and trusting that the results are what they are. This includes injuries. If I really believe I am exactly in the place where I am supposed to be, then the lesson for me is waiting in whatever process I am engaged in. There will always be a timely solution and a gift from the issue. With this in mind, if I do sustain an injury, I can try many different solutions for my recovery. I know that being proactively involved in the process will help me to heal as quickly as possible.
Poor nutrition, unrealistic goals, misplaced priorities, uncontrolled ego—each of these can play a part in causing injuries. When an injury occurs, look at all the factors that surround it. Have I tried my own solutions? Is my injury beyond my help? Do I need a professional?
The acronym RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is the rule of first aid to follow immediately after an injury. After the initial shock wears off, I can then evaluate what to do next.
When I am injured, I have a whole host of resources to draw from. First is myself. I am the only true expert on my body. No else lives in my body or my head but me. Am I getting out of my own way? When analyzing a situation involving injury, I must stick with the facts as they are, not as I would like them be. No drama or minimizing. What kind of pain is it, and how is it affecting me?
I am not best judge of myself, so I use people around me to provide a mirror to see myself more clearly. For example, when I walked into my physical therapist’s office not too long ago, she told me within 10 seconds that I looked tired and asked me what was wrong. Because I was wearing my fatigue on the outside, she could plainly evaluate me and provide feedback.
Every injury teaches me a lesson. Protecting something that is weak only makes it weaker. Many times, a physical symptom is a manifestation of a deeper emotional issue that is surfacing and crying out to be dealt with. The underlying issue may not be evident for some time, but it is always there for me. Everything happens for a reason, and it is my job to figure out the lesson. Sometimes God is telling me to slow down, to change my thinking, to be more sensitive, or to be there for someone else. To think about the higher purpose, recognize it, accept it, and act upon it is the key.
I tell an in depth story in my book that deals with my knee surgery three months before the Olympic Trials and demonstrates all these principles and what I learned, good and bad.
Good Luck to all the Olympians in Sochi!
“Faster As A Master” Book Intro Part 2
We all want to be great. As I get older I want to be great again. Happy, loved, healthy, that is what I aspire to. To be whole in body, mind, and spirit, is the reward. We are more capable than we give ourselves credit.
Competing as a youngster from age 12 till 19, I achieved a great deal in the 1960s and 1970s. After winning a few competitions as a long track ice speed skater, I was on the US national team from 1974 through 1976. My younger brother Bart made 3 Olympic teams, 1976, 1980, and 1984. Bart is a 2 time Olympic Gymnastics Champion. My youngest brother Mike won the first national medal in our family in short track speed skating when he was age 13. I am very proud of my brothers and their accomplishments as they are of mine.
When I did not making the Olympic team in 1976, I was devastated. I worked harder than anyone, I deserved to be on that team that went to Innsbruck, Austria. Years later I can now look back and see that I trained myself into the ground. Athletes call it over-training.
Discouraged by the failure, I amputated that part of my life for 22 plus years. As a much older and hopefully wiser adult I returned to the sport that I loved. Opening up old wounds from my past was inevitable. Fear had held me back for decades. Was I ready to deal with the memory of my past? I had to find out, or those very deep wounds would never completely heal, and I would never be quite whole. Cautious about the pitfalls of my past, treading lightly as I returned, I decided making the same mistakes was not an option. Time heals wounds, but it also hardens scabs. Fear of more suffering was very real. Pulling off the bandage was going to hurt. Healing from the inside, from down deep was the only answer. The core of my being was screaming for help.
My mother had died from cancer the year before and I was still having a tough time accepting it and needing relief. I went through the five stages of grieving for her death as well as many other hurts in my life. Doing the work to heal from the inside was my task. Drowning my pain was not possible anymore; I had to face it. Going back to the old way of thinking was not an option. Striving for answers, from my youth, from midlife, from a broken marriage. How could I move forward?
Not sure what was around the corner, but willing to address my humanness, I knew my very survival was at stake. By returning to speed skating, this sport that has brought me much pleasure and anguish, I would ultimately be journeying toward wholeness.
My need to achieve was born in a very fertile environment, a combination of wanting approval by my parents and sibling rivalry. Was my struggle about the external achievement or self acceptance? Survival for me depended on what I was about to discover.
Ready to tackle my past, the time was right to do this work and start healing. The tangible evidence of my extraordinary achievement in speed skating is visible. What is unseen, and more important, is the internal work of healing the wounds of my past.
Now that my Olympics are over (the US Olympic Speed Skating Trials). I celebrated the achievement and journey. I took some time off to rest and reflect.
What now? I woke up a few days ago with an itch to move. I am built to move, and I heard the call.
My need to move is similar to my need to eat. Intuitive eating is eating when I am hungry. I have no lofty goals right now but I still need to feed myself and move.
So my goals are simple now. I will pay attention to what my body and mind tell me. When I feel the need to move and push, I will listen and obey. This wisdom comes from within.
Each week, one skate, one weight workout, one cardio bike workout, then some recovery work like swimming, tennis (indoor for now) and golf when the weather is better. All this is fun to me. No outside goals or pressure for achievement. If I feel like pushing hard, I will, just for the enjoyment. It feeds my deep down need to move and be active.
Then, I pay attention to the next lesson.
Today the Conners and Bergers get together to celebrate the engagement of my daughter Jamie Conner to Jamison Berger. Their wedding is planned for March 2015. We will also recognize Jamie and my son Brad’s birthdays.
Next month I will transition back to the 747-400 flying out of Chicago again.
I have a lot to look forward to.
Happy Holidays Everyone! Grateful for all who are in my life. You are all truly amazing. Thank you for all the support. I could not have come this far without you. Good luck to all my fellow competitors!
Here are the racing and TV schedules for the upcoming Olympic trials, enjoy.
I am racing Saturday 12/28 and Sunday 12/29.
|DATE AND TIME||EVENT|
|27 Dec 2013 – 3:30pm||Ladies 3000m / Men 5000m|
|28 Dec 2013 – 9:30am||Ladies 500m / Men 500m|
|29 Dec 2013 – 11:30am||Ladies 1000m / Men 1000m|
|31 Dec 2013 – 3:00pm||Ladies 1500m / Men 1500m|
|1 Jan 2014 – 1:30pm||Ladies 5000m / Men 10000m|
|* times are subject to change|
|Fri., December 27||Men’s 5000m and Women’s 3000m||NBCSN||8 p.m.|
|Sat., December 28||Men’s & Women’s 500m||NBC||3 p.m.|
|Sun., December 29||Men’s & Women’s 1000m||NBC||3 p.m.|
|Tue., December 31||Men’s & Women’s 1500m||NBCSN||6 p.m.|
|Wed., January 1||Men’s 10,000m & Women’s 5000m||NBCSN||5 p.m.|
He has qualified at age 19, 49, 53 and now at 57, the oldest competitor ever.
For the 4th time in his life, Bruce Conner has qualified to skate with the best in the sport. Narrowly missing the Olympic team in 1975 at age 19, he retired from the sport and pursued his other passion, flying. Now at the top of his field as a United 747 Captain, he flies all over the world. His other full time job is training to compete at an elite level of competition.
He is skating faster than ever, and able to maintain a very high level of training and competition for 9 seasons in a row. He will be competing in the 500 meter race on December 28th, and the 1000 meter race on December 29th, in Salt Lake City.
Nancy Swider – Peltz, Sr, has been his coach for the last 3 seasons. Nancy is a four time Olympian, 8 time competitor of the Olympic trials, and former world record holder. She also trains other Olympians. She says, “Bruce’s technical skill on the ice are close to perfectly efficient and surpasses all expectations I (or anyone else) would have for a 57 year old. It is this, and his training discipline, that has brought him to the level of qualifying for the Olympic trials with the young guys in “what the books would say” are distances most difficult as you get older.”
Conner”s family has experienced sports success in the past. Bruce’s younger brother Bart is a 1984 two time Olympic Gold medalist in gymnastics. Bart is married to Olympic Champion Nadia Comenici.
“The Trials are my Olympics. I know that my times will not be fast enough to make the US team. I consider this accomplishment a victory lap for all Master Athletes.”
Bruce’s accomplishments are a testament to his philosophy which is.
“Let age enhance your dreams rather than define them.”
“Getting better and going faster is more about intention and choice than age.”
For more information on Bruce Conner you can check out his website
For more info contact: Bruce Conner 847-370-5405
Productive on all levels. Sunday evening now, as I write this, on an airplane going home at 35,000 feet, reviewing the work done during the competition and the important validation of training, etc.
I left Chicago Wednesday morning for Salt Lake. Skating in the afternoon, getting in some speed work. At the altitude of 4650 feet above sea level the air is different from my usual training ground of 800 feet at Milwaukee. The ice was fast and the aerodynamic drag is less, this means we go faster with the same effort. Accounting for the increase in speed, turn entries are earlier, the lean in the corners is steeper and more dramatic. Mental and physical adjustments are made, sometimes equipment too. Not too much volume of training here, just enough intensity to continue the taper but make the changes.
Everybody in the US skating world is here. My skating family. Great to see old friends, coaches, officials. This an open competition so I have some fellow masters here but mostly they are Olympic hopefuls.
Thursday is a day just to touch the ice for about 40 minutes and cement yesterdays changes, building confidence.
This is the US Single Distance Championships, Fall World Cup Qualifier, and American Cup I. US Champions will be crowned in each distance from 500 to 5000 meters. The top spots will also be on the Fall World Cup circuit competing in Calgary, Salt Lake and Europe. The fall world cup events will determine how many spots are awarded to each country for the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi, Russia starting February 7th 2014. This an Olympic year, everything gets ramped up. In this country, our sport gets a nice bump in attention each Olympic cycle. Important to take advantage when the attention is here.
Friday is the 500 #1, also is the ladies 3000 and the men 5000. Saturday is the 500 #2, total time for both determines the champion, and the 1000. Sunday is the 1500.
I am racing all but the 5000. Friday is just the 500 #1, for me. First race of the season. Little bit slow to start, 11.31 for first 100 meters. I am a little bit tentative due to a low back issue that is aggravated by starts. Not great tempo. First outer turn building speed well, connected to the ice. Crossover to the inner, my pair was ahead and not a conflict. A little hesitant coming into the last inner turn, building confidence half way through, exiting strong. Great lap time of 28.85, fastest lap all year finishing with good technique at 40.16. Pretty good start considering changing airplanes in May and flying a full schedule to Europe and training. Rest is what I lack now, sleep will have to be later. I was not sure what to expect but this is a good start and something to work on.
Saturday is the 500 #2 and 1000. Inner lane this time to start, better opener at 11.23, but not really connecting on many strokes. Higher turnover but less good contact. 29.05 lap, 40.28 finish. Very consistent from friday, so I am pleased. Outer lane start on the 1000, pretty good opener at 19.13. Great next lap, smooth, powerful, in control, efficient. Settled down, this is where I excel. 29.61, then the lactate builds in my legs, heart rate at max, breathing to match. Last lap at 31.07, Nancy, my coach, shows me my spilt times on the backstretch and shouts reminders and encouragement. Right on schedule, only dropped 1.46 on the last lap, very proud of that. Good take aways from today, confident moving forward into Sunday.
Sunday is the race of truth. The 1500 taxes every facet of my being. The physical limit exertion of strength for speed and endurance to maintain self-propelled inertia. Mental toughness, emotional fortitude, and the spiritual conclusion knowing I have nothing left at the finish line. Based on the weekend so far, a 2:05 was realistic. Starting on the outer, getting good pushes into the first turn, smooth around the corner with nice pop in my cadence. Opening in 27.17, nice, better than planned but comfortable. Next fast lap at 30.53 right on target. Now the lactate starts to build. Maintaining good rhythm and technique to keep the speed two laps to go. 32.28 next lap, then a 34.16. Any drop less than 2 seconds per lap is a sign of good conditioning and validation of training. This is what I train for, skating with lactate heavy legs. The ability to rise up to glide after that last 100 meter strain for the finish line and know “That was all I had”, is satisfaction. A quick look at the score board shows a 2:04.14. Fifth fastest 1500 ever for me. Nice start to the seasons first racing for me.
Champions crowned. Fall World Cup Team announced. Many new personal bests and seasons bests. My hat is off to all those who made it possible, and to my valiant competitors that I get to share this hallowed ice. This Olympic season will be great fun! Eight weeks to the US Olympic Trials back here in Salt Lake. Stay tuned for a great ride!