Presence Precedes Context by Coach Jamie Silber

 In Blog

Guest blog by Coach Jamie Silber

As some of you may know, besides my duties as your CFLA Triathlon and Running coach, I also moonlight as TeamUSA Triathlete.

Last year everything was coming up roses for me.  I took 5th at the US Triathlon Championships and followed that with a 7th place at the World Championships.  This year however, the wheels came off early with an debilitating injury and its been a lesson learned ever since.

In February I was on an easy run during a CFLA workout, when out of the blue, my calf muscle went – POP!  At 52 years old, I knew the recovery period for this type of injury would take longer than others.  I would invest time in therapy and augment my training accordingly.  But what I wasn’t prepared for, was my state of mind.  For several months leading up to my key events this year, I had to reevaluate the context of my training.  Normally 80% of my training volume is at 90% of maximum effort or what our community knows as “Competition”.  I spent the better part of the late winter and spring relegated to only “Practice” workouts in and out of the gym.  I found it very frustrating holding back the intensity and varying the elements to work around the injury.  As my key events were drawing near and my injury healing, I was not confident in my fitness nor was I mentally prepared to accept the results.  But that was not going to stop me, when you compete, its all or nothing, right?

My first race back was a disaster!

Shortly after getting off the bike and on the run, this time I herd a “SQUISH”, my calf muscle pulled again!  What was I thinking?  Well, after the fact, I can tell you I wasn’t present to my situation.  There’s no way I should have pushed that hard on my first race back.  Even though it was a competition, I should of been present to my recovery.  It’s a tough pill to swallow when you know what you’re capable of, but knowing full well what is presently realistic. I had a few more events on the calendar and vowed to change my mindset.  So, four weeks after the “SQUISH” incident, I was competing again at the National Championships.  This time, I decided to “PRACTICE” at a competition….whaaaat?

I set clear and obtainable goals for the event.  Yes, there was a little intensity sprinkled, but I had my do list:
Head down on the swim, exit to bike at an ez jog pace, manage 90rpms and chase no one, run off the bike with a stride rate of 30/per 10secs. and most importantly, have fun!

This was a game changer!  My finishing time was irrelevant and my spirits were off the charts.  Everything went as planned and I can’t remember the last time feeling that good about a performance.

The lesson learn was simple:  Presence precedes context.

(Shout out to Vivek for the title of this blog.)


Friday’s Workout

100m SB Front carry
60sec Handstand hold

200m Run
8 Power snatches (~55%)

3-5 x 3 (~85-90%)

Saturday’s Workout

Courtesy CF Rancho Cucamonga

For Time
800 M Run
50 sit-ups, 50 Deadlifts (135/95)
800 M Run
35 sit-ups, 35 DL
800 m run
20 sit-ups, 20 DL

Sunday’s Workout

“Tabata These Ones”

Wall balls
Double unders
Row for Calories
Push Press
Russian Twists

Monday’s Workout

200 Double unders
–1min Rest–
30 HR Pushups
–1min Rest–
30 Overhead squats (50-55%)
–1min Rest–
20 Inverted burpees
–22min Cap–


Front squats
3-5 x 3 (~85-90%)

Weighted chinups
Work up to heavy 5



Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search