EC Guest Writer
Am I really okay with this?
Or another question is, am I okay with letting go of a result? My last two articles focused on giving myself permission to let it go and re-evaluating the actual importance of all of it. Am I okay being slower than I used to be? Am I okay with not winning or at some point perhaps being in the middle of the pack?
My last article was focused on letting go of the requirements to what we perceive as important. This piece revolves around asking how important is it? This slogan helps me focus again on what I feel I need to do, not only in triathlon, but in life in general. If I focus on determining how important is something, than I can decide what I need to do to accomplish my goal.
These three simple words can create a lot of space, happiness, serenity and freedom in my life. Letting what go, you might ask?
Letting go of the “requirement” to train, to race, to produce a result that often is not all that important. Letting go of the need for money, control, certainty or even relationships. I have often thought that triathlon was the answer to my happiness.
After Kona in 2011, my coach Kevin Purcell and I put together the game plan for 2012:
The plan was simple and realistic because we could expect four spots in my age group and flat bike courses suit me perfectly as I’m relatively tall and, at 83kg, I’m not the lightest.
“You need to take your team to the finish line with you.”
I use that saying often when talking to people about building a team for success.
You could use an example that a CEO might sit down at a boardroom with his team of directors and he gives them the grand plan. He would then talk about what he needs from his team and how they go about executing the plan. Each director has a roll and they all go to the finish line together!
When you are looking at taking on the challenge of something that takes as much commitment as an ironman you need to consider the same approach for yourself.
Almost five years ago, I wrote a piece for Gordo on taking a break from ironman. In that article, I wondered if I would ever do an ironman again.
Well, I’m signed up for IMC this year and appear to be stringing together some consistent training. In full disclosure, I have signed up for and cancelled out of two other ironman races in the last five years, but this one seems to be sticking.
In my trip back to ironman fitness, I’m attempting to follow the advice I laid out five years ago: to train as much as I can consistently train.
I've had the opportunity to work with a crew most recently at Ultraman Canada 2010. I have also worked with crews several times in long course adventure racing. I believe I've learned some best practices which I'd like to share with you.
To be fair, my crew might not agree with the "minimalist" part in the title. This guide is probably best for the MOP racer whose quest is to finish. The racers at the pointy end of the stick with the podium and sponsors in mind likely have a very different mindset.
Ultraman is like any other long race or adventure we sign up for where we have that little voice saying, “Crap I gotta start training for this race,” the second we hit the “submit” button. So off we go training hard until about a week before the race when we finally decide to pay attention to the small details such as packing, travel logistics and nutrition. For any ironman or 24-hour mountain bike race you can get by with this last minute planning. But in Ultraman it's not going to cut it.
On occasion I get asked the following question in one form or another:
"How do you make time for training with everything you've got going on?"
Before I try to answer this question, let me make one thing very clear: I do not consider myself out of the ordinary. While I do have a lot going on, I know plenty of people who have a lot more going on than me, and I amazed at how they manage to get everything done.
When travel becomes a necessary part of a dedicated triathlete’s schedule it “disrupts” the delicate balance we have created in our everyday life routine. I know the conversation that goes on inside most people’s heads when they look at an upcoming trip that in return takes them out of that routine. With a little creativity it’s not difficult to manage your training and fit it around travel schedules.
Work and travel always cause extra stress and sometimes it seems hard to manage training on top of everything else. I travel two to three days every week for work. It is a challenge, but with good planning it is possible to balance training stress, work stress and family stress to secure my triathlon training.
I turned 45 this year. I completed Ironman World Championships and after a long season of swim/bike/run, I needed a physical and -- more importantly -- a mental break. I find the break comes not from reduced training but more so from not obsessing about the training. In short, doing whatever feels right. I did not do much of a scheduled training load for the first 30 days besides swim and run occasionally with no biking whatsoever.
In the beginning of November I set my sights on a goal to complete a swim for 30 days in a row.
Limiters or “limiting” can be scary words as they reference something we may not be good at. The reality is, if we want to improve, we have to face that fear of what we aren’t good at -- or simply need to improve at -- and find a way to change it. One area I find lacking in most of the athletes new to me or that I continue to work on with developing athletes is what I call “back half race strength.”
For a long time, some of my limiters have been sugar cravings and a somewhat unhealthy diet. In reflecting on the reason why I started to do triathlon a few years ago everything was about looking good naked. It seems like it is difficult to stay on a healthy diet for a lot of athletes. I can still remember when my good friend Jonas Colting told me, “Jan you are fat.” It still hurts, but he was right.
Chase Hooley from BTB Sunglasses and the BTB Foundation asked us to help spread the message about testicular cancer.
Read on to learn more about the risks and symptoms for this highly treatable disease.
Guest writer Chris Johnson, PT, returns to Endurance Corner with a new series on common musculoskeletal issues that triathletes face.
To improve performance, triathletes must know thy goats. The bottom line is that once you’ve established a solid fitness base, resorting to increased volume and/or intensity can be a dangerous road when it comes getting faster. Rather, it’s critical to identify and address any musculoskeletal limitations or what I like to refer to as “goats.” While all triathletes have goats, the vast majority of us have not identified nor learned how to properly address them.
This piece will be the first of a three part series centered on the three most common goats that I see among triathletes seeking my services as a physical therapist and triathlon coach. Additionally, I will provide an approach to identify and address each individual goat through video demonstration so you can start tending to them in a safe and effective manner. It is my ultimate goal to help you optimize your training while minimizing your weaknesses.
Jan Hugo Svendsen recently finished second in the inaugural Ultraman UK after putting in some unique focused work throughout the year. Here, he shares an overview of his general approach to training and his build into the event. In keeping with our “What it Takes to Be Fast” theme for the month, remember that Jan is an example of the competition at the pointy end of the field.
It didn’t feel good to get my butt kicked at Oceanside. But despite my 15th place finish in my AG, I was happy because I was emerging from winter healthy, strong and keen. I felt like a raging bull about to be uncaged and I couldn’t wait to do my big IM training. And 12 weeks later I had my best race ever, finishing 2nd in my AG at IM Coeur D’Alene (up from 3rd in 2010).
I did it by following Gordo's oft repeated but rarely followed recommendation. I kept my training physically and mentally sustainable in the winter, to keep my powder dry to train huge and to hit it big in the last few blocks of training leading up to IMCdA, when it counts the most.
Our series on triathlon training around the world rolls on with Endurance Corner team member Luis Duarte's perspective on tri life in Brazil.
Alex Thompson, EC's newest columnist, shares what it's like to work with EC coach Alan Couzens as he develops on the path to becoming an elite athlete.
Who do the above stats describe? Who do you picture?
Do you picture someone with an eating disorder?
A dramatic change from yesterday's look at triathlon in the heat of Dubai, Jan Hugo Svendsen shares a little about triathlon life up north in Norway.
We continue our series on triathlon training around the world with EC athlete David Chambers' look at Dubai.
We continue our series on Endurance Corner team members living in areas away from the traditional triathlon hotbeds. Today, Alasdair Hall tells us about the island of Jersey, located in the English Channel.
Not everyone lives in the triathlon hotspots around the world such as Boulder, San Diego or Noosa. In a series beginning today and running through next week, some Endurance Corner team members who live far removed from those tri lifestyle areas share their experiences training without a solid multisport infrastructure in their communities.
Dave Jewell wraps up his series on running shoe production with this final installment looking at the sample, testing and production phases.
Congratulations, the hard work has paid off, you've climbed through the field and now you're finishing 30 minutes behind the Kona qualifiers in your age group. Where do you go from here?
The general definition of an audit is an evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product.
Whether in business, relationship, sport or life in general, having the magnifying glass glaring at our activities over a given period of time reveals how we are measuring up to that activities’ rules, expectations, goals or direction. It’s the “check” to the “checks and balances” of life and yet it never receives too warm a welcome when it strolls down off the horizon overnight and greets us one morning... scheduled or not.
This is the continuation of the second stage of the Dave Jewell's series on running shoe production: design and sample development.