Darcie Murphy Matthew Busche

The Four Questions Athletes Should Ask Before Planning a New Season

Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • The ‘4 Whats”
  • Questions coaches ask during season reviews
  • How to use the ‘4 Whats’ to plan the season ahead


Adam Pulford has been a CTS Coach for more than 13 years and holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology. He’s participated in and coached hundreds of athletes for endurance events all around the world.

Guest Bios

Darcie Murphy has been a CTS Coach for 20 years. While completing a degree in Health Education at Utah State University, she began competitive road and mountain bike racing. Racing at the national and international level took her to many parts of the US and gave her invaluable experience in the world of professional athletics. Eventually, bike racing turned into trail running and ultramarathon racing, and she has since added alpine ski and snowboard instruction and personal training to her list of teaching credentials.

Matthew Busche earned degrees in Exercise Science and Management from Luther College in 2007 and then committed to cycling full time. He signed his first pro contract in 2010 and spent 7 years riding professionally. Matthew won the US Pro Road Race National Championship in 2011 and 2015. He completed 3 Grand Tours, including the 2014 Tour de France, and was selected to represent Team USA at the UCI Road Cycling World Championships.

Darcie Murphy: 

Matthew Busche: 

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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Adam Pulford (00:01):

Everyone wants to start the new year, right? New goals, new energy, new focus, ready for anything with a clean slate. New year, new me, right? Well, kind of, but not really. On this podcast, I’ve made mention that everything builds off itself, or everything is linked to the here and now. As far as training goes, physically, all the training days, race days, rest days have brought you into the fitness form and fatigue that you have today. Mentally, we build on all of these experiences together to form our knowledge base on how to train, race, and rest into the now The new year provides a pivot point for us to simply start a new chapter in the same book that we are writing to write it. Well, you don’t throw out the previous to just simply charge forward. No, you keep with the same storylines and build on what you have done.


I guess that is to say if what you already have done is is somewhat good, but my point here is to spend more time reflecting on 2022 before burning it in the dumpster because of one bad race or a bad experience that you had. And then sign up for more races and more things in 2023. Why? What’s passed is prologue, right? So we should study the past to plan for a better future. In other words, before planning out your annual training plan and before stressing out about how long to spend in base one versus base two, or tempo versus sweet spot, did you simply reflect on your plan in execution from the past year? Did you ask the right questions? Did you learn anything from the successes and the failures? Did you inquire about what you could do differently? Next time? Today, I’ll provide a simple framework for how to effectively reflect on the past season, which will provide a more descriptive insight so you can plan better for the coming year.


I’ve got two great coaches to help us learn how to do this today, as well as learn from how they build athletes for success. But before we get into it, you may be listening to this just a bit after the new year. Don’t worry. The stuff we go over today will still help you in your planning process for the upcoming season. So you haven’t missed the boat on anything. If you’re listening to this mid-season or really at any point in your life, I think you’ll find that the framework and ideas that we discuss here can always be applied to your training and racing, because the process of good training and coaching are evergreen. A continual cycle of planning, executing, evaluating, improving, and then executing again for a better result. Intellectually, I think you know that, but emotionally, I want you to let it seep in this year. Spend more time reflecting, be slower to set big goals, challenge yourself to be a better athlete in the new year. All this today on The Train Ride podcast. Welcome back or welcome to the Train Ride podcast. I’m your host, coach, Adam Pulford. As promised, I have two wonderful coaches as guests with me today. Matthew Bouche, Darcy Murphy. Welcome to the show.

Darcie Murphy (03:24):

Thanks, Adam. Good to be here

Adam Pulford (03:26):

Before we get going, I, I know you both very well. I mean, we, we’ve been working, coaching supporting each other out at the tour of the Gila Matthew for I don’t even know what year that was, but 10 plus years in Darcy. I think you’ve been with cts longer than I have, but for our audience who don’t know as much about you could you tell us more about who you are? And I’ll just start with Darcy.

Darcie Murphy (03:50):

Hey, for sure. I’ve been with cts for almost 20 years, which is hard to believe. I started coaching predominantly. Yeah, that’s crazy cyclist. I was kind of a, a road racer, a little bit of mountain bike racing myself. And then maybe six or seven years ago I switched over. Not completely. I still coach cyclists but I’m also working with a lot of ultra runners and multi-sport athletes, so a little skiing in there. I kind of like to do it all, so it’s really fun to to work with athletes that have a little ADHD also. So.

Adam Pulford (04:25):

Perfect. Perfect. And, and Matthew could you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Matthew Busche (04:31):

Let’s see. Son, husband, father of three. That’s about it. No, I do

Adam Pulford (04:38):

You have, you have, you have a husband of three wives?

Matthew Busche (04:41):

Is that, sorry? Definitely been father, father of three, didn’t I say? Okay. I think, I dunno. Anyway, whatever it is, they make me crazy. But in my side time, I I do do coaching. In the background from the endurance side was growing up as a runner and then turning cyclist through injury and being fortunate enough to race professionally for seven years. Got to travel the world doing that. And through that and my educational background landed here at cts. And now I’m trying to help people maximize their fun and their return for their time and primarily doing cyclists.

Adam Pulford (05:32):

And as you can tell to, to our audience, it, you know, we have a, a good spectrum kind of of experience here with the coaches. I mean, they both have been coaching and competing for a very long time, as you can hear. Matthew spent a lot of time on the elite athlete side of things. Darcy raced at high level and can basically do it all. So I think when we, when I combine the forces here of all the knowledge and bandwidth I think we’re, I think we’re queuing up for a really good show. So in my intro, I talked about how a lot of athletes are really eager to get going for 2023. A lot of motivation. Real quick question to you both. I mean, is that what you’re seeing from your athletes right now?

Darcie Murphy (06:16):

I think early winter really starts stoking the fire you’re seeing, like races open up, lotteries are happening. It’s also natural that we should be seeing our athletes get really excited for the season ahead. I would say the excitement and the signing up for the race is the easy part, right? I’ve been victim to that myself. I just get back from a great day of skiing and I’m ready for my first a hundred miler. I don’t know how those two are connected <laugh>, but there’s something about, you know, like being really hyped for the season ahead. And I think that you should really embrace that and use that and be realistic at the same time, like starting to plot, like yeah, what does it look like to start to design your preparation?

Adam Pulford (07:01):

Totally. Matthew, how about, how about

Matthew Busche (07:03):

You? I’d say I have all sides of the spectrum. I got young, eager people who are probably doing too much too early. And I’ve got even you know, master’s level racers who just did a big, you know, season pushing all sorts of different events from long range events to crits and then then it’s swift season, you know, now they want us swift race, you know, like, okay, well now we, you know, when are we like gonna relax a little bit? So it’s always, yeah, it’s always a challenge to to find that balance for them. But yeah, I think the holidays is just kind of a welcome interruption sometimes and it’s good good for people to sort of be forced to take that break. So, yeah, I mean, if it’s it’s the whole whole run of run of the show for, for all my people from yeah, excitement to dragging their feet as winter actually really kicks in for people who are you know, in the, in the colder climates and they’ve been forced from some outdoor riding to now being forced indoors and take some few weeks to get motivated to do that.

Adam Pulford (08:19):

Yeah, I I’m seeing that too. I mean, I think it’s, it’s pretty natural. Like, like Darcy said you know, that November time period, people are getting real stoked about that, the holidays. Yeah. It’s that, that little pivot hinge point, but a lot of motivation, a lot of stoked to get going into the new year. But, you know, in my intro as well, it talked about how, you know, the industry as well as the athlete and the industry kind of pushes this because they want to capital, they want people to sign up. The lotteries are open, like Darcy said, in that holiday, kinda like spending mode and like planning mode for next year. You know, they want to capitalize on that, that, and it’s super easy just to jam into signing up for all the things, planning for all the things without taking too much time to reflect.


And today what I want to do is, is spend some time in reflection and using some examples, some real world examples from your athletes of kind of and, and then using that framework that I talked about to, to help in that reflection process so that the athlete the listener here can do it better for the next year. So if there’s anything that you do take away from those episodes is like, Hey, pump the brakes a little bit, chill out, reflect, then go Darcy, I’ll ladies first, I’ll give you the first question from an arbitrary standpoint. But what were some of the big races or events that your athletes did in 2022? Like, just give us a few examples and then we’ll go deep into one of ’em perhaps.

Darcie Murphy (09:51):

Sure. I had a couple of athletes do the Steamboat Gravel event. That was the first time I’ve coached athletes for that specific event. I had a, a lady race over at U T M B. She did tds, it’s 145 kilometer race, one of the, arguably the hardest race at U T M B. She did great top 20 finish. And then I had a couple of athletes I coached for 200 milers, and this was my first year coaching for that distance. And I was, I was pretty intimidated to be honest. It’s not just doubling what you would do for a hundred mile race, you know, body can’t really handle that. So it was a good challenge ended up successful on both accounts. And I can talk a little bit more about one athlete in particular that did coco donut two 50. That was kind of a I don’t know, just a really good story great outcome not conventional. So kind of it in a nutshell. Yeah.

Matthew Busche (10:55):

Are these time Crutched athletes fitting in training for 200 miles?

Darcie Murphy (11:00):

One of ’em, yes. One of ’em is a, a master athlete who’s retired. But the one was that’s impressive in his early, yeah, his impressive. Yeah, definitely.

Adam Pulford (11:10):

And it’s in his running races that we’re talking about, right?

Darcie Murphy (11:12):

Yep. Two 5,000 foot, foot races. Yep.

Adam Pulford (11:18):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Crazy. Okay. Yeah. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll double click on one of those examples here in a in a second. Matthew, what kind of flavor of races and events did your athletes have going for 2022?

Matthew Busche (11:33):

Yeah, again, it was, it was full spectrum. You know, on the, on the short end, I had some people racing for, you know, national events you know, national championships, things like that. But probably the, the biggest piece of pie went to one of my athletes who in, I think it was early July or late July, he retired from being an anesthesiologist and promptly left to ride across the US. So in the midst of working like a, what he called part-time, but it was still, I think 40 hours a week of, of work he trained and then managed to very successfully ride across the us. So wow. He did it with with truck travel. So it was, it was well supported, which I’m sure helped, but still a, still a big big endurance challenge.

Adam Pulford (12:31):

Yeah, for sure. How many days did I take them?

Matthew Busche (12:34):

I think it was 40 to 50, if I’m not mistaken. It was Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine.

Adam Pulford (12:41):

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So kind of from both of you. Some, I mean, kind of all the spectrums, but some of those big ones are really some ultra type endurance stuff. That’s cool. That’s super cool. Darcy, I’ll, I’ll go back to you and kind of stay focused on your athlete and kind of your process for the next four questions here. But, and then I’ll swing over to Matthew and ask him the similar questions. So first, what were some of the things that you and your athlete did really well to prepare for that big race

Darcie Murphy (13:15):

Managed the time and energy that he had available? So he owns his own business, and then his fiance is a wedding planner. So on the weekends, most often they would have one to two wedding events all evening. So he didn’t have a lot of time to train. Granted, he was a really talented athlete, so he ran in college, has that background had done maybe 100 miler or a 100 k, so new-ish to the ultra running scene. Right? So here’s the picture. Guy running own business, and then on the weekends working from, let’s say, one in the afternoon until midnight on his feet. Okay, so am I gonna send him out for seven to eight hours Saturday and Sunday? Once in a while, not very often. Right. so his average training, weekly time, all said and done for the, like, I wanna say four months leading up to coco donut. Two 50 was 10 hours, that’s like for a hundred mile race. I was nervous <laugh>, I was like, I don’t know if, if he’s gonna be able to get through this. Right? He not only got through pretty

Adam Pulford (14:33):

Low, trained him for such a huge

Darcie Murphy (14:35):

Exactly. Race for sure. We, we had him on the bike a little bit dealing with some lower leg injuries. So we did integrate a little bit of cycling, which I think helped. But he ended up placing 16th overall. Wow. Really smoked it 80, 87 hours of just moving in hindsight the weddings being on his feet after running 3, 4, 5 hours. That was part of his training ultimately, right? Yeah. You, you get done, ran, running, and then you’re on your feet needing to be cognizant aware of what’s going on, get up the next day, do it again. So his lifestyle rather than inhibiting his training, I think ultimately added to his

Adam Pulford (15:22):

Success. So managed time well, made good use of the, the hours spent training. That’s something that you guys did well. What did you, what did you not do so well in that preparation?

Darcie Murphy (15:35):

I think we had him race a little too frequently. He did a hundred K and a hundred miler in the two months leading up to that, did great at both of them, but the recovery from the a hundred miler I think took a little bit more than he gained from racing that a hundred miler. So it’s really tricky to, to set that timing and, and know if your athlete is gonna benefit from racing a b race a training race for the a event or not. And sometimes you won’t know right, until you get through it all. But if, if we had to do it over again, it would probably be dropping the a hundred miler that we used in preparation for it.

Adam Pulford (16:19):

And what is the top one or, or what are the top two things that you learned in prepping that athlete for that big race?

Darcie Murphy (16:28):

Less is more. You wanna give them every single minute that you can, right? Like overschedule them make sure they’re prepared. But we managed his injuries well, focused on quality a lot of weeks. There was one interval workout per week, which science says that’s arguably not enough to get the adaptations you’re going for. Right. But in the end, yeah, he had a really successful race, so I think we less was more in this case

Adam Pulford (16:59):

And less, less training time, less intensity, both of those less Yep. Define the both of those, yeah.

Darcie Murphy (17:06):

Okay. Less training time than you typically would for a 200 miler. And, you know, generally I would give an athlete two, maybe three interval workouts per week for this athlete. It was one, maybe two interval workouts per week.

Adam Pulford (17:21):

Okay. And final question what would you have done differently now knowing what you know now?

Darcie Murphy (17:31):

In addition to probably dropping the a hundred miler assure him we were doing enough. Like he told me <laugh> after the fact that he had a buddy that was prepping for the same race training alongside him oftentimes asking him, why are you training so little? This athlete, I think dropped at mile 60, went out really hot and, and was done. So, you know, yeah, plenty of people were questioning him, are you doing enough? Are you gonna be ready for this? And I think, I didn’t really know that at the time he told me this after the fact, but yeah, with a crystal ball, I would’ve said, Hey, you’re, you’re doing enough between what you’re doing in your work life and training, you’re prepared for this.

Matthew Busche (18:22):

It’s so hard to know that <laugh> that’s coaching

Darcie Murphy (18:30):

<Laugh>. Exactly.

Adam Pulford (18:31):

That is coaching. And, but I would say I get that quite often if I’m, if I’m coaching some athletes on a team or just their peers, something of that, especially juniors, it’s, it’s like I’ll get the, the question from the athlete. I’ll get the call from the parents, be like, you know, they, the, the teammates doing like 18 hour weeks and she’s only doing 15. Are we sure that’s enough or 12 or whatever the number is? And I’m like, nah, I think we’re good here. I think we’re good. You know, and, and so that less is more often I, I would say, or pertains to a lot of these type A athletes. But with, without getting kind of far down the road here, Matthew, I’m gonna turn to you and kind of ask you these, the, the same four questions about one of your athletes. And you can choose the athlete that rode across the US or you can choose some, someone different. But the first question is, what were some of the things that you and your athlete did well to prepare for that big race or that big event that they were gunning for in 2022?

Matthew Busche (19:35):

I guess just starting with the, the ride across the us you know, he was working a, a full-time three or four day block each week. It was either Monday through Wednesday or Tuesday through Thursday. And it, so it was helpful to have sort of a, a very, as opposed to a lot of you know, other medical schedules where it’s, the days are all over the place. It was helpful to have a pretty set schedule. And so we knew more or less what we were working with. Like, we weren’t gonna ride these days. We were gonna do something else and here’s what we’re working with and here’s what we can do. So I think we managed the, the time that he was available pretty well. You know, it’s tricky like Darthy said, you the propensity as a coach, or maybe it’s more as, as an athlete inside of ourselves I don’t know.


You know, I’m always wanting to do more, you know, it never feels like enough. And I, and I, it’s easy to let that trickle into the coaching side of things. So knowing when to say enough is enough and balancing you know, how much they’re working with, how much they need to see their wife you know, just that whole, the whole cycle of everything that we’re involved in and what your priorities are. That’s, that’s a hard thing to do. And I think, I think we managed that pretty well for him. Yeah. and, and, and had a, had a pretty good run. You know, he also, he lives in Colorado, so the winter, he loves to ski, so there’s not a ton going on in the winter. He is doing a lot on the skis, so, you know, you don’t maybe have quite as good of a, a fitness start coming outta winter, which, you know, when you’re gonna ride across the US might actually not be a bad thing. Right. So you kind of are just ramping up through things and and just generally building a lot of fitness going into that. So I think, yeah managing the amount of time he had and, and maximizing that I think we did pretty well.

Adam Pulford (21:54):

So if you did that well, what, what’s something that you didn’t do so well?

Matthew Busche (22:00):

Yeah, I mean, I think in terms of his fitness progression, I think we did pretty well. Things that we you know, it’s a lot more than just fitness, you know, what are we talking about with nutrition or how to fight through adversity if you got a horrible saddle sore on day 12. Things like that, you know, I don’t think we talked about that stuff too much. And, and also I think just due to some time constraints and, and things like that, I, you know, maybe I could have pushed a little harder to get a few longer rides out to test some of that stuff, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative> whether it was lucky or not, you know, I think that stuff didn’t come back to bite him. So thankfully just with his good level of preparation and then a lot of good support, I think I kept him kept him, you know, on the right track and successful.

Adam Pulford (23:01):

Yeah. Yeah. What are, what are the top one or two things that you learned coaching this athlete through that process and just gaining that experience kind of through, through him,

Matthew Busche (23:12):

Through, through this process? You know, this was the first time I had, well, I guess I coached some athletes who I did race across America, but that’s kind of a different little different animal. So this was the first time I think I had somebody do something this extreme. I mean, you’ve, we’ve riding at this point, riding something like B W R or Steamboat or all those, you know, tho those used to feel like the extreme events and now they seem like the everyday event. But you know, so an event to this caliber you know, just more or less picking up the experience of you know, what could you do differently? You know, Leadville would be a great example for, for you, Adam. I mean, you’ve, you’ve coached it so many times and you know, all the ins and outs and secrets of like, what are the little tips and tricks.


And so I think I learned a few things just from this one. And, and from others in general. Just, you know, what could you talk about differently on the front end? What could you sort of, you know, training is a, is the time to do testing and things like that to mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, see what nutrition strategies might work better for a long day on the bike or things like that. But, you know, ultimately this one was more let’s survive it. It’s not like, how fast could you do it? Not could anything like that. So certainly I, I encouraged him to start conservatively and, you know, just, just kind of make it through. And by the time his CTL climbed a whatever, 200 and, and you know, at that point it was like, well, he’s, you know, he’s, he’ll be just fine <laugh>.

Adam Pulford (24:53):

Yeah, for sure. And just to frame this up before I get into the, the fourth question here, but to frame it up, I mean, how long of days was this guy doing? And you said it was for like 40 days, right?

Matthew Busche (25:04):

I pulled it up here. So I mean, on the run-ins, it wasn’t until about, this is the end of April that we were starting to get some, some bigger weeks. And from there we were pretty consistently over, over 11 or 12 hours. But then when he started I think this is his first week, he’s like 23 hours 30, 30 hours, 44 hours. 34 hours, 30 hours

Adam Pulford (25:42):

Once he was into the event. Yeah.

Matthew Busche (25:44):

40 hours. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (25:45):


Matthew Busche (25:45):

Are big weeks. Twenties, yeah. 26 hours. So, I mean, you can’t, you can’t really train for that on your own unless you just do nothing else. So yeah, and I think we did, I think, you know, April May did, did a pretty good job, you know, preparing. And then actually there was a little bit of a lull kind of in July, August and I think that maybe actually probably served him well, just in fact, I think he got covid now that I remember. And I think that actually probably served him kind of, well, you know, it’s kind of one of those blessings in disguise, like an athlete made him. So how many times have we seen it where somebody breaks collarbone and then they come back and they wear the yellow jersey or something like that, so Right, right, right. You know, something of that nature.

Adam Pulford (26:29):

So, so, so going through that process and kind of reflecting on it, you know as you have over the past month or so, and reflecting on it now, knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently with this athlete and, and that, that the answer could be nothing.

Matthew Busche (26:44):

Probably in this case, there might be nothing because Covid probably, and his interruption made us pivot from the original plan. And I think we were pretty conservative about bringing him back and, and whatnot. So we just sort of like, we had ramped up and then Covid smashed it, and then we sort of just had to kind of ramp back in. So I, I think in this case it’d be nothing, but yeah, so maybe not a great example there. But I’ve got other athletes that we learned this year some, some things from the, you know, on a less extreme scale. So just in terms of how much rest that they might need and bouncing between, for example, triple bypass mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and, and intelligentsia Cup and things like that. So athletes doing all sorts of crazy things. So,

Adam Pulford (27:34):

Yeah. And I’ve had, I’ve had athletes like that, that do something huge and you kind of get lucky with like an illness or an, I mean, hate to say that, but you get lucky with an illness or injury or whatever that makes them stop and then they’re flying, you know, kind of toward the end of the year. So I think what I’ve learned like from those athletes is like, plan in, plan in the breaks and make them take it more frequently mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, right? So you know, a week or two, you know, off the bike two or three times a a year after something huge like that because it does help to, to hit the reset. And I think it’s always more fun when you’re resting healthy versus resting with a broken bone or something like

Matthew Busche (28:16):

Along the same lines as Darcy’s. Less is more. I think there’s, yeah. It’s just that propensity to do too much.

Adam Pulford (28:22):

Agreed. Agreed. So, you know, it, it was super fun to walk through that process with, with you both. I mean, I, I, I learn every time I’m talking to fellow coaches and, and this is, this is really, this is really cool in my opinion, in a very nerdy way. But to our listeners, you know, what you just heard are, are four simple questions that I asked each of the coaches and specifically there, I, I call it the four what’s, this is essentially a framework that I use with my athletes when we’re reflecting on a, a big race or like a big week in training sometimes. But it, it’s, it’s very effective when you’re you know, reflecting on 2022 and you were, you were trying to learn what worked, what didn’t, keep what works, change what didn’t, and move forward more intelligently rather than just move forward.


Right. And that’s really what I want our listeners to, to grasp in, into these like four questions. So to have a little fun too, cuz we still have some time. Darcy <laugh>, if you guys are up for it, I’m gonna go through those four same questions and it’s gonna pertain a little bit more to like your coaching practice. Okay. And that it’s gonna be reflective exercise for kind of all three of us, us. And, and don’t worry, there’s no one else in the room. It’s just us, you know, and the listener <laugh>. But, but it’s no pressure. I think it’s super fun. Yeah, no pressure, Matthew. And if you need a pass, you can always pass, but you can also just go for it. And I don’t know what we’ll get, but let’s see. And Darcy again, we’ll, we’ll start with you. You ready?

Darcie Murphy (30:00):

Fire away.

Adam Pulford (30:02):

So as a coach, what’s one area that you dove deeper into than any other this year? And that could be like, it could be self-imposed or like life imposed it upon you for whatever reason. So tell us what that topic was and why.

Darcie Murphy (30:20):

Gosh, gosh, there’s two, and I’m trying to decide between the two. I’m gonna go with the latter. I have been writing more consistently for our blog and then for Ultra Running magazine. It’s really fun to reach a broader audience with the stroke of a pen or typewriter, computer, whatever it is. It’s been pretty freeform. So I’ve been able to choose topics most of the time and speak to the audience, be it beginner master athletes females going through menopause and, and kind of dive in deeply and at the same time refine my writing and again, reach that broad audience. So that’s been something that is both challenging and super exciting to me. Like if you’ve written, you know, you, you hit those like creative writing blocks, nothing’s really coming and it’s not that fun to like write in that setting and then you’ll shift and then there’s this flow and this sort of cascading of ideas and I just like, you can’t wait to get to my computer and talk to that audience and, and share with them. Like Yeah, it’s

Adam Pulford (31:37):

Super flowy.

Darcie Murphy (31:38):

Yeah. It’s, it’s it’s almost like a high of sorts where you just, you know, you get to be creative and you, and you get to help more than just that one particular athlete that you’re training for a particular event. So that’s, that’s the thing that’s been an opportunity for me. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (31:57):

Yeah. Cool. So what, like, kind of on a, like quicker, cuz I, you kind of answered this already, but what did you do well in that process? Like, how did it like go well for you? What, what are you doing to practice that and, and kind of find that flow?

Darcie Murphy (32:14):

Con concise. I’ve been trying to be concise and pointed with my words, not using more words than necessary to make the point that I’m trying to make.

Adam Pulford (32:26):

What didn’t go so well for you this year while you’re doing that process?

Darcie Murphy (32:30):

You know, like when you get into that writer’s block and you force things, there were a couple <laugh>, this is just like my thing a few times where I noticed I did not edit my work really well and mistakes did not get edited out <laugh>. And I think one particular example is like second sentence obvious grammatical error. Yeah. And it just like grates on me. So, and attention to detail and that can like seep into other areas of coaching, right? Like attention to detail really matters in our in our profession. And it’s kind of obvious when you miss that attention to detail, you’re, you’re letting your athletes down, you’re letting yourself down.

Adam Pulford (33:16):

Yep. So what are, what are the top one or two things that you learned going through that process of going deeper into creating content for the past year

Darcie Murphy (33:27):

Being consistent. And this also bleeds into general coaching and fitness, right? Like, if you’re consistently practicing your craft, you’re going to become a better writer. You’re going to reach more people. And if you are the athlete that’s consistently out there moving your body, you’re gonna set yourself up for success. Are you logging 15 hour weeks every week? Probably not. And nor should you be, but if you’re really loving the process and you’re getting out there and you’re, you’re making it part of your lifestyle and being consistent and intentional with what you’re doing, you’re probably gonna make progress.

Adam Pulford (34:05):

So if you choose to keep on pumping out the content into 2023, what are you gonna do differently?

Darcie Murphy (34:12):

I’ll admit I’m not a goal oriented person, right? Like, the word goal is one of my least favorite words I can use objective <laugh>. But goal, let’s see, what am I gonna do differently?

Adam Pulford (34:25):

I’m really not either for, for the record, Darcy, if that makes you feel better. Like it’s, whoa.

Darcie Murphy (34:29):

Yeah, I would’ve not, I

Adam Pulford (34:30):

Mean, that would probably like shock. Yeah. A lot of people, a lot of people think that I’ve got like this list and like right here with all my goals from for the next 10 years, I’m, I’m not. So

Matthew Busche (34:42):

I think that makes three of us.

Darcie Murphy (34:45):


Adam Pulford (34:45):

Yeah, there’s, I have a lot of, a lot of secrets. A lot of secrets that blow people’s minds. That’s one of

Matthew Busche (34:51):

‘Em. I’m right there. <Laugh>.

Adam Pulford (34:54):

Okay, well that can be another podcast later. But for right now, Darcy if you’re not, even if you’re not a goal, and this is, I’d argue that you could even say, I’m not gonna do anything differently other than what you said before, where it’s like just create that content and, and kind of go into that process, right? Because that actually makes better content, right? Yep. So kind of like, keep practicing,

Darcie Murphy (35:19):

Give myself grace. Yeah, exactly. Like sit down, write down thoughts when they come. More often than not, my best ideas come when I’m out running or writing whatever, right? Those endorphins are kicking in. I’ve made myself stop, jot down that idea for an article on my phone and then come back to it mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, however many days later versus like, oh, I’ll remember, I’ll remember what I was thinking about when I was out running three days ago. I don’t, my memory’s very faulty. So it’s, that is like when ideas occur to me, jot that idea down really quickly.

Adam Pulford (35:57):

I had an athlete once tell me that he, he can solve all the world’s problems twice over on a four hour ride, but by the time he gets home Yeah. The world, the world has gone to shit again, <laugh>, this is the same thing. Yeah. Fact. Well that’s, this is super cool, Darcy, that’s yeah, that’s fun to hear you say that. And I know too, it’s like, just like knowing that you’ve been pumping out this content, you know, on that backside you can kind of like hear, you can hear your voice while when you read it, right? Like at least I can. And so it’s, it’s, it’s rich to hear that kind of from you in that process. Matthew, I’m gonna turn to you now. What, so kind of the first topical thing is like, what’s one area where you dove deeper and, and again, this could be self-imposed or was just imposed on you because of the nature of the job or whatever. What did you go deeper

Matthew Busche (36:57):

In on? Just the, I guess sort of the forefronts, not the word, but in the beginning stages of this was wanting to serve my female athletes better by understanding more about hormone cycles and all that stuff. And, and I just started to sort of look into some of that stuff and bought Stacy Sims book. And unfortunately it’s still sitting unopened because I have three kids. So that’s something that I did not do well. It’s a great book. That’s a great book. But I’m, that’s on my, on my to-do list. And I, I mean to the, I guess kind of, maybe I’m getting ahead of you here, but on the, on the good side of things, you know, I spoke with one of my athletes about it and we are trying to sort of work together to test things out.


And she’s at a different point in her sort of athletic endeavors. She sort of transitioned out of racing super competitively to more following the gravel events and the grand fondos and then buying houses out in the country that she needs to renovate and job getting crazy. So then training and life goals took in entirely different twists. So, you know, sort of exploring how we do all of those things with all the other things going on in women’s lives that us men don’t have to deal with. We’re trying to sort of experiment with some of that stuff and figure out what what we can do better.

Adam Pulford (38:31):

Yeah, no, that’s, that’s awesome. I mean, so, you know, what did, did you do well? I mean, you started a conversation, right? You started a conversation that would help your athlete improve her performance by talking about her monthly cycle and how it pertains to energy, availability, motivation, body feel on the day, that kind of stuff. And in terms of maybe what you didn’t do so well, probably just, maybe not, I dunno, you could say not have that conversation sooner, right? Right. Is kind of what I educe from conversation there. So as you’re kind of in that process now, what, what’s like the top one or two things that you know, you like, learn from that process? Just in terms of this topic in general or walking through that process? What are the top two things?

Matthew Busche (39:19):

I mean, I gotta get deeper into the topic. I mean, that’s, that’s number one that yeah. Needs to happen. But, but with, as far as what we’re doing right now you

Adam Pulford (39:29):

Learn, you need to read Stacy’s book. That’s what you learned. Yes. That’s

Matthew Busche (39:32):

One. Yes. Well, and then I need 25 hours on the day. But I mean we, so it wasn’t until, I guess just like this last week or two that we finally have set a, I guess, sort of test in place. She was traveling for work and just like, it was total chaos. So now she’s home. And we are putting a test in place as far as timing, training, intensities versus cycle timing some stuff like that. And, and it’s, it’s a very convoluted process cuz we’re also experimenting with some, some strength training and things like that. So we got a lot of different sticks in the fire, but we’re, we’re experimenting. We’re gonna see if we find something out for her specifically and take some notes and see if we might be able to apply it to some other athletes.

Adam Pulford (40:25):

Yeah. So the, you know, that final question is, you know, what would you do differently knowing what you know now? And I mean, Kaza kind of sounds like you’re in the throes of that, where you’re trying new things, trying to experiment and, and really communicate a little differently. So that’s awesome. And, and you know, I think that is, you know, that’s, that’s the essence of coaching, right? Of simply reflecting on, you know, what worked, what didn’t keeping what did change, what didn’t, kind of challenging yourself to do it better next time, right? And that next time could be a new year, it could be the next race, it could be the next month of, of coaching. So again, this, this process we’re talking about, it’s evergreen. Like, it just, it continually flows. And that’s what’s so cool about, I think what we all do as coaches, you know, we, we really get to plan, experiment, test, and do it all over.


So that said, again, these four, what’s the, the, that’s the framework that I’m trying to give to our listeners here as they’re planning their, their, their next year and their annual plans and all that kind of stuff. So I’ve got two final questions for you. We’re gonna get away from that framework but it’s still a reflective thing. So Darcy, throwing the ball back to you, what is the biggest coaching lesson that you learned this year? And it could even be like all time that you daily using your coaching practice. So in other words, what’s like the one thing that stands out to you that you know, you learned 20 years ago, <laugh> when you first started at cts, or you learned last year that’s like, man, I do that all the time now.

Darcie Murphy (42:07):

Communication, like in the absence of communication, there’s no coaching and it’s a two-way street. What your athlete says to you, insists that you’re gonna communication from them, communicate to them the theory, the intention behind what you’re doing, listen to what they’re saying. So like Matthew and you’re talking about this athlete and trying to integrate her cycle into that, like, kudos to you. Like, I celebrate that so much.

Matthew Busche (42:35):


Darcie Murphy (42:35):

<Affirmative>, that hinges on communication, right? Tracking, you have to measure in order to know how to adapt. So whatever, whatever that looks like. Text messages, emails, uploading files, tracking your menstrual cycle, like it’s all the platform is communication, I would say there’s arguably nothing more important.

Adam Pulford (42:59):

Well, Matthew, it’s pretty hard to follow up that answer, but I’ll throw, pitch the ball over to you and say, what’s the biggest coaching lesson that you learned this past year or in your coaching career thus far that you used daily?

Matthew Busche (43:15):

Well, Darcy, nice home run. I

Adam Pulford (43:19):

Will grand slam. Actually, I, I would call that a grand slam

Matthew Busche (43:22):

<Laugh>. Well, I was going for the grand slam, but, all right, that’s fine. So she, so she hit the grand slam. Let’s see if I can hit a single here. Or even a bunt. Let’s go for at least. Yeah, I mean the, the idea of, you know, what’s the latest and greatest training idea, technology, all this stuff. It, it can be very distracting. And just remembering fundamentals and basics and how far they can carry you. Whether that’s the fundamentals of, of training, how to do it, you know, energy systems or whatever, what have you. Or fundamentals of just being consistent and doing three right things, eat better, sleep better, and train consistently. Right? so just very fundamental basic things and not, not getting lost in this minutia of, of everything that’s being broadcast through social media and in our face all the time.

Adam Pulford (44:27):

You know, I might give you the Lionel messy like gold extra point, golden boot kick right there. Gold. The Golden Boot. Yeah. I’ll, I’ll give you that. I, I know very little about soccer, but you know, it, what he did was the basics of just like kicking it into the net man at the very end. And people are gonna hear this and be like, man, AP knows nothing about soccer. And it’s true. But he kept to the fundamentals. He kept to the basics. He won a World Cup. So there you go. Yes. the final question is, for everybody listening here who’s focused on performance self-improvement, what do they need to know right now listening as they’re just like, jazzed up about New Year or they’re jazzed up about the seven races that you just signed up for?

Darcie Murphy (45:15):

Circle the wagons, find your community contribute to it and pull from it. You know, it, it just one person alone there would be no races, right? You need the race director, you need the volunteers. You need the whole structure and contribute back, you know give back, give, it’s just a give and take. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And, and identify what and who that looks like for you and really create it and contribute to it.

Adam Pulford (45:49):

I like that. Matthew. how about for yourself? Like, for everybody listening here, they, they tuned in cause they wanna do, you know, a a better new year, make a better self, a better athlete. What do you think they need to hear right now before they turn the corner here?

Matthew Busche (46:05):

You know, taking that motivation and just finding ways to channel it, maybe not necessarily on the bike is a, you know, what can we do to better ourselves so that when we go to the bike or go to running or whatever that case, you know, whatever that sport may be preparing ourselves to be ready to conquer the world when we’re, when we need to. But it’s possible you have an event in March and April and you gotta be going and you gotta start, start going. But you know, there’s a lot of things that it’s a, you know, it’s a long, a long year and how are we gonna get there? How are we gonna be as resilient in Bulletproof as possible to get all the way to September, october again still in one piece.

Adam Pulford (46:55):

Yeah, that’s it. Yeah. I mean, fitness can make us better people if we do it intentionally, right? And, and through that process. And I think that kind of the reflective process of, again, what worked, what didn’t keep it work, change what didn’t challenge yourself to new heights. It’s really what we’re talking about here. And that process, I think, you know, can pertain really to anything, you know, from coaching, to building an athlete to becoming a, the best, I don’t know, Jenga, champion of the world, whatever it is, becoming the best husband, whatever you want, so you can really apply it to literally anything. And, but in the context of what we’re doing here, I hope that it helps, you know, our listeners go better into 2023 by simply pausing, reflecting a little bit more and asking themselves some of those harder questions come up with answers. So it was super awesome to, to have you both on like, and in this format was, was super fun. I’m glad you guys played along and I’m glad you guys carved out the time. We’re actually going a little bit over, so we’ll wrap this thing up now, but if, if people, man, if our listeners fell in love with you, Matthew and Darcy, I mean, are you guys on social media? Can they follow you there and are you taking on athletes?

Darcie Murphy (48:11):

I have room for a couple of athletes. I have a pretty full load right now, which <laugh> is is a good place to be. But yeah, like the new year always brings like new excitement, new athletes. And I, I have room for, for a couple I’m not super active professionally on social media. I think Adam will put my, my Instagram handle in the notes. My train write email is the best place to reach me. And I’m, I’m on the blog there quite frequently, so you can read my writings there. And then on Ultra Running Mag I contribute there as well.

Adam Pulford (48:50):

Sweet. Now I’ll post all that in our show notes so people can find it there as well. Matthew, how about you? Are you taking athletes where we find you on the socials or out in the, out in the woods or something of Brevard

Matthew Busche (49:04):

<Laugh>? Yeah. when I’m not distilling moonshine <laugh>, I I’m, I’m out. There’s, there’s Instagram and Twitter. I’m on there a little bit Instagram once in a while. Yeah, come ebbs and flows, you know, but mostly probably through, you know, through through our train ride stuff is, is the easiest way. And always, always willing and open to talk to people and you know, discuss if it would be a good fit and what works.

Adam Pulford (49:41):

Yeah, exactly. And, and to our listeners as well. I mean, you, the quickest way to find these two and any, any other coaches is train ride.com, click on coaches, and then there’s all of our beautiful faces right there. You click on, you can learn more about us if that, if that pertains to you. So that said thank you guys again. This has been super fun. Matthew, I’ll let you get back to the, the craziness of kids and in-laws and all moonshine making moonshine. I know that’s your other sign, hustle Darcy, I hope you find some zen in creating content more this week and, and get out there on a nice long run.

Darcie Murphy (50:19):

Thanks so much, Adam. It was a, it was a great platform. I appreciate your time.

Matthew Busche (50:23):

Yes, thank you. It was really fun.




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