Where have I been?

Honalulu Sunset

Where have I been the last couple weeks? When are started this I was sitting at a Hotel in Hawaii, and now I’m somewhere else. I’ve been around. Exploring life. Traveling, colaborating, coaching, being inspired. Some say adventure is the spice of life. I think the spice of life is whatever you sprinkle onto it that makes it uniquely yours.


IMG_0804.JPGAs the Cascadia Dirt Cup Enduro Race Series approaches I’m finding myself diving into modalities of cultivating optimism to heighten my athletic performance. Progressing from a successful 2017 season by cleanly finishing every race. Learning from last season where I could improve both physically and mentally. This season my intention is to cleanly finish every race and do the very best I can in each race. Physically, I’ve been in the gym training with intention focusing on my agility, power, and mobility. On the bike I’ve been focusing on bike specific agility and confidence with sprinting and high speed braking. Monitoring my performance and progression using power and heart rate has been a tremendous help in preparation. Mentally, I’ve focused on isolating areas where I mentally sabotaged myself before even starting a race. During transition (riding from one stage to the next) I stayed very calm and maintained a steady pace and heart rate, but when it came to racing stages I never made the shift to race mode. So, this seaon my focus is on shifting from Eco to Race when it’s time to race, and Race to Eco when it’s time to recover between stages. At the end of each stage, I was never really spent, at the end of a race I could have ridden the course again. My monitoring equipment showed a similar story. My heart rate never got that high, I never broke 800 watts, and my race times agreed with the effort. I’ll be elaborating on this section in MTB Strength Journal, but I’m introducing it here because I’m exciting about my growth from last season. I’m highly optimistic that my work will pay off and I’ll be satisitied with the improvements.

IMG_0718As I write this section I’m sitting in a cafe in Norfolk, VA called Cafe Stella at 9:00pm. I’m here because I’m attending the NSCA Tactical Strength and Conditioning Annual Training. It’s my first time at this event. It is very eye opening. I’ve always been intrigued by training the tactical population. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was open to whatever happened. My big take away is that the tactical population, specifically the military has a small group of people from varying companies with military experience doing their very best to implement the principles of strength & conditioning, and exercise & sport science to transform the way the military trains. It’s very inspiring and something I’d love to be involved with, but as I sat listening to the presentations with the urge to want to get involved, I reflected by on my projects and my path. I can’t add anything else to my load. However, I can support, encourage, and open lines of communication to show my support. I feel in my heart they’re pushing tactical strength and conditioning in a healthy direction. They need our support and encouragement.

Published by: Coach DanielH

Daniel Heller is a strength and conditioning coach, working in the field since 2007 where he began as an intern at Hope’s Gym in Monroe, Washington. In 2009, a month after graduating from Bastyr University, Daniel became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Since then, he has served as a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector, helping athletes from youth through college level in ice hockey, figure skating, mountain biking, football, and motocross. He works closely with each athlete’s physical therapists and doctors to ensure safety and performance improvement. In 2013, Daniel received the designation of Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach (RSCC) through the NSCA. On the side Daniel was the exercise physiology, biomechanics, and kinesiology consultant for the Advanced Products Development Team at Oakley Inc. He is the Cofounder and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Seattle Institute of Athletic Performance providing Functional Movement Screens, corrective exercises, athletic performance programs, as well as educating athletes and parents on the importance of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) and practice of heads up sports. Daniel’s passion for strength and conditioning stems from his days as a competitive ice hockey player and mountain biker, aside from the many recreational sports he participates in. He is the true strength & conditioning coach for competitive youths aiming for long careers as athletes but also the weekend warriors that train during the week to stay safe on the weekends. In 2015, Daniel took a year break from coaching in Seattle, Washington to pursue his dream of acquiring a masters degree. He returned to Seattle in September 2016 with a Masters of Science in Strength & Conditioning from the University of Edinburgh after living in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year. By immersing himself in the cycling community of Scotland, he was inspired to focus his dissertation on competitive cyclists from varying disciplines where he researched a potential method of improving stationary sprint start performance. He is excited to return to coaching mountain biking combining his childhood passion with his academic and applied expertise.

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