Looking for a simple way to understand your fatigue curve to spot areas of weaknesses and opportunities for improvement? Coach Alan Couzens has developed a calculator to do it for you.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Experience is everything.” I’ve been hearing it from others as far back as Wildflower Long Course in 1998, my first year racing as a professional. I was 10th that year, Heather Fuhr had won and I was standing up on the stage next to Wendy Ingraham and a lot of other big names in the sport just smiling and being sort of amazed and overwhelmed thinking, “How am I going to get faster?” I said something to Wendy and she leaned over to me and said, “Gina, you're going to do great in the sport, just wait; experience is everything.”
At that time I thought “Wait, I want to be better now... Experience… what is she talking about?” But here I am 25 years later and am amazed at what years of experience can do.
In addition to my role as Endurance Corner’s content editor and site manager, my “regular” job is as a Registered Nurse on a busy transplant unit at a hospital in south Texas.
For anyone out there trying to balance endurance sport with long, stressful days and a potentially inconsistent schedule, I want to assure you that it can be done. Here is what I have learned.
Most athletes are at the end of their seasons and many are thinking about how they can break through in 2014. Now is the time of year where we often hear conversations about:
- Race distance focus
While these discussions can be interesting, I find them to be a distraction for most athletes seeking a breakthrough.
What really matters?
It’s that time of year again: most of you will have completed your “A” race for the season and will be left with a bunch of resulting powerful thoughts and emotions. Now is the time to use those thoughts and emotions to full effect by refining your training plan for 2014.
As the season comes to a close, many of you will be assessing whether or not it was a successful one. Regardless of the amount of success, it is helpful to look back on the season to see where you can make improvements. This is where an athlete and coach really benefit from a well-kept training journal. The more details you give in your journals throughout the year, the easier it is to take an objective look at your season and to give context (for example, how you felt) to the training you did.
With so many races to choose from and the example set by professionals racing more often, many age group athletes are also trying out the approach of racing more frequently in long course triathlon.
If you're considering stringing together more races next season, I'll offer a few thoughts for you to consider before choosing events.
It is that time of year. Weather is changing, holidays are starting and a new year is less than two months away. The triathlon season is all but wrapped up and with that comes the lull that follows hyperfocus for an extended period of time. Some people refer to it as the Ironman blues since Ironman is the distance that requires such an intense focus for 12 to 20 weeks. In reality anyone can experience the let down that follows a major build up and peak for a major event.
Scott Molina and I have a joke that we say to each other, usually before we do something silly... "We know more now." It goes like this...
"I live in Central Florida and have signed up for a mountainous Ironman next August."
"I live in Upstate New Your and have signed up for my first Ironman next February."
By the way, if you happen to fit the above, then I'm not teasing you. Scott and I are making fun of the fact that we all dream up insane ideas that seem good at the time (normally six to ten months out from the event date).
Triathlon is tough enough, even when you do it right.
A few months ago, I wrote an article about overcoming a bad race at ITU Long Course Worlds. During the race, I reflected on one of my earlier sports mentors, who taught me the importance of perseverance and maintaining your confidence.
History and reflection are how we learn and move forward to bigger and better things. Keep record of patterns, habits and thoughts to look back on as you progress through each season so you can learn what works and what needs improvement.