Monday, July 16, 2012
Learn more bout Coach Lynnda Best- Wiss...
Meet an F4 Coach: Lynnda Best-Wiss
At FastForward, we are lucky to have a group of professionally trained coaches with unique backgrounds and experiences that they can share with our array of awesome athletes. One of those coaches is 61-year-old Lynnda Best-Wiss who—even as cliché as it sounds—proves that you’re never too old to be active and learning new things. Coach Lynnda is the current National Duathlon Champion (standard distance) and is leading one of the summer/fall running groups in Boulder.
Lynnda has been an athlete most of her life. She started running seriously at age 14 and ran track in high school. At 15, she held the National Junior Olympic record for the half mile. From ages 14-17, she held several state track and field records. In college in New Mexico, she discovered field hockey. After graduating, she married and continued in sports of some kind. “I had sort of quit running and my first husband was a pro skier, so my life got built around winter activities,” says Lynnda. A school teacher, Lynnda also got to share her love of sports with students by coaching middle school girls in volleyball, basketball, and track and field.
Unfortunately, her first marriage didn’t work out, so Lynnda decided to go back to school and moved to Texas with her son to attend University of Texas at Austin. There, she re-discovered running. “It was fabulous when I started running again,” she says. After graduating, she made her way to Boulder, where she got into running races and started cycling. She also met her current husband.
Over the years, though, Lynnda struggled with injury, mostly dealing with a cranky SI joint. “I went to the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and they fixed my SI joint,” she says. “They also recommended I try swimming for cross-training.” At age 52, Lynnda took up swimming and then jumped into triathlons the following year. She got hooked on the sport.
But she still struggled with injuries. She’d do a big race and then spend the rest of the year recovering. Lucky for her she discovered Bob Cranny, a physical therapist at Altitude Physical Therapy. “Bob helped me get through a number of races, but his best advice was ‘you need a new coach’,” says Lynnda. That’s when she met Scott Fliegelman in 2010.
“I had been training with a team of women that unfortunately fell apart, so when I met Scott I brought along as many of the women as I could to also join FastForward,” explains Lynnda. “Scott coached me and then he eventually invited me to join F4 as a coach. [Lynnda is a USAT-certified coach.] I started with guiding the holiday running program.”
This summer, Lynnda is leading one of the summer/fall running groups. “Part of my responsibility as a coach is to be a sounding board for my athletes, to provide advice and guidance, and to get them to the start line injury-free. I like to see what I can do to help people have realistic goals and to make sure that they’re not over-reaching or putting too much into their expectations that they might be too disappointed.” Lynnda adds, “I encourage my athletes to have good, realistic goals and explain that if they follow our program and don’t push their limits that they’ll get to the start line and have a great race.”
“I am so happy and grateful to be with F4,” says Lynnda. “Scott has been a fantastic coach and helped me train for the Hawaii Ironman last year. I missed the podium by three minutes, but I had the most wonderful experience. I was physically and mentally ready. The stars were aligned.”
Lynnda acknowledges that as you get older, you need to train smart. “When I was younger, I would run like the wind and my body healed more quickly after an injury. But Scott has trained—and challenged—me that sometimes you have to hold back. I have a 60-year-old body, but I want to go faster!” Lynnda laughs.
What she’s learned over the years and from Scott and fellow F4 coaches, Lynnda shares with her athletes to help them achieve their goals. “You’re never too old to learn,” she says. And she speaks from real-life experience.