2 weekends ago, I had the honor of doing my first tandem bike ride with my new friend Erich Manser. Erich is a blind triathlete from Leominster, MA. I heard about Erich from a mutual friend and I was immediately inspired by him and wanted to see if I could do anything to help him. I emailed Erich and we immediately hit it off and Erich seemed very excited for the opportunity for us to either do some training or racing together. We emailed a few times and setup a date to do our first tandem bike ride together. We ended up doing a ride together a couple weekends ago. I was a little nervous about driving the “big rig” but according to Erich, I did quite well and I had a blast. Erich is a great guy and I’m really looking forward to do some more training or racing with him. Hopefully more to come on this soon. As of right now, we’re planning to do our first race together the weekend after I get back from St. George.
Over the past weekend, I attended the Multisport World Expo in Cambridge, MA. This is an annual event that is always a lot of fun and is a great way to kick off the triathlon season. My friend Mark Walters on Sun MultiSports Events puts on the event and he always does a terrific job with it. This year was no different. The event includes a team competition and my triathlon club, NorthEast MultiSport, competed again this year. Unfortunately I was not able to compete because it was right during the continued education courses (CEU’s) I attended. Nonetheless, NEMS still did awesome and got 2nd place! Way to go guys!
During the continued education courses, there were 3 different presenters. This first presenter was Tim Crowley, one of, if not my favorite triathlon coach. Tim is a former USAT Coach of the Year and currently coaches the #1 ranked US ITU racer, Jarrod Shoemaker who is expected to be representing the US in the Olympics this summer in London. Tim has an amazing passion for the sport and it is very addictive! You can tell how much he cares about triathlon and helping his athletes and other coaches for that matter, which I absolutely love. I have also emailed with Tim a few times over the years and he always gets right back to me right away, which is really cool. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for some other coaches out there. Tim spoke about ITU racing (Olympic style racing), which is a lot different than normal triathlon because drafting is allowed on the bike. The training and scheduling for this style racing, for elite athletes anyways, is much different so Tim talked about how it differs and gave some advice on scheduling. I don’t see myself coaching any ITU focused athletes anytime soon, but you never know!
Jorge Martinez, a friend of mine, and a great coach from Boston spoke next and discussed run mechanics. Jorge went into great detail about running form and I learned quite a bit from his presentation. Lastly, another friend/coach from Boston, Matt Giunta spoke about WKO+, some training software for analyzing data. I knew most of the stuff he discussed already, but I did learn a few things that were pretty cool. Matt is an extremely intelligent guy and I was impressed with his presentation as well.
After the CEU courses were over, I got a chance to hear Mark Allan speak. Unfortunately, I wasn’t overly impressed with Mark’s presentation. For those of you that do not know who Mark Allan is, he is considered to be the greatest triathlete EVER. So yeah, he’s kind of a big deal! However, his presentation was really just a review of his career and watching him win his 6 Ironman World Championships. He did seem to be a very nice guy, but I just didn’t find his presentation all that special. He plugged his book and his coaching, but there wasn’t much that was insightful during his talk.
The next day, I took a half day clinic with Mark. I was a bit hesitant to sign up for the clinic, but decided that I shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend 3-4 hours with the greatest triathlete of all time, especially when only 20 people were allowed in the clinic. We started off in the MIT pool for a swim clinic. The MIT pool is absolutely amazing so just getting to swim in that pool may have made it worth while. Mark did give some very basic tips, but I didn’t find too much benefit in it. It was basically just like a technique focused workout I would give with minimal review from him. Nonetheless, I think some of the less experienced attendees seemed to find it helpful. It did make me feel good about the swim workouts I provide and the instruction I am able to give my clients and people in my triathlon swim class at the Y.
After that, we headed to the MIT indoor track from some running instruction. Again, most of the things he went over were relatively basic. However, I actually did learn a few things that I really liked during this part of the instruction. He gave some drills that work on strengthening your feet. PTC athletes, don’t be surprised if prescribe some of these for you in the near future.
Lastly, we went back downstairs to review bike fit. This was extremely elementary, but there were a few interesting things that I took out of it. After that, he did open things up to any questions and I did ask him a few questions. He kinda contradicted himself during one of my questions, but he did make it very clear that he is an extremely intelligent guy and knows a thing or two about triathlons. I’m not sure I would take the clinic again, but it was definitely a unique experience. Here is a picture of Mark and I:
Overall, the last 2 weeks of my training have gone very well. The first week was a recovery week for the most part. However, my run volume still stay relatively high. The past week was a high volume run week and I ended up putting in just over 50 miles, which I believe it a new high for me. It has definitely been a challenge to get all my training in with everything else I have going on. However, I have not missed any workouts and continue to just take it one week at a time. I need to send out a special thank you to my fiance Kristen during these big training volume weeks. With all my training and coaching, there are some days that we pretty don’t see each other only sleep in the same bed. Sometimes I don’t do a good enough job showing her how much I appreciate her understanding and her allowing me to devote so much time to triathlon. Here is a review of my training for the past 2 weeks:
45′ Spin Class- had to cover a class for another Y instructor that couldn’t make it
Bike: 70.2 miles in 3:36:48
Run: 5 mile ROTB in 36:25
Bike: 40′ spin class
Swim: 1800 yards in 30′
Strength: 1:15 at DSC
Swim: 3000 yards in 53:08
Run: 10 miles in 1:14:09
Bike: 45′ spin class
Swim: 2450 in 40′
Bike: First tandem ride with Erich. We rode 30.45 miles in 1:31:34.
Bike: Did another ride when I got back from Erich’s. 40.49 miles in 1:52:51
Run: 20 miles in 2:23:15
Off Day, but did a lot of stretching and foam rolling
Bike: 80.02 miles in 4:00
Bike: 40′ spin class
Run: 14 miles in 1:41:13
Strength- 1:20 at DSC
Swim- 4600 yards in 1:27:05
Run- 10 miles in 1:12:05
Bike: 45′ spin class
Swim: 3600 yards in 1:05:32
Bike: 40 miles in 2:06:10 on computrainer on IMSG course.
Run: 3 mile ROTB in 21:29
Swim: At least 1000 meters at swim clinic
Run: About 2 miles during run clinic
Run 21.2 miles in 2:28:12- Pushed it on this one to keep my pace at sub 7/min miles. This will be my longest run in prep for IM St. George.
This post will be my first crack at a video style post. Hopefully this came out alright:
Please let me know what you think about this. It is a bit more time efficient and natural when I do the video as opposed to text, which has its pros and cons. One thing I would like to add is about the amount of sleep you should get. In my video, I should have said that you should get at least 6 hours of sleep. I would actually recommend that you skip your training the next day if you’re unable to get six hours of sleep or more. I do recommend getting around 8 hours of sleep. Again, some people need more, but this is a good target for most people. As you can see, this is something I am able to do very often. However, I think that around 7:30hrs is my sweet spot. I also recommend getting a massage at least once a month if possible. Please also let me know if you have any questions.
Overall, my training has gone very well over the past few weeks. The weather has been just awesome and has been very helpful/motivating. The volume is picking up and I did have some very high volume this past week. It can be a bit stressful trying to fit everything in, but I just do my best to take it one day at a time. Here’s what I’ve done for training the last 2 weeks:
2 Weeks ago:
7:32hrs slept, ZS: 95
10 min nap at lunch
Ride: 62.04 miles in 3:00 on CT IMSG course
Run: 8 miles in 58:36
7:52hrs slept, ZS: 92
Strength: 1:10 at DSC
Swim: 4600 yards in 1:26:57
7:18hrs slept, ZS: 94
15 min nap at lunch
Bike- 40 min spin class
Run- 10 miles in 1:08:57 (speedwork)
7:15hrs slept, ZS: 88
Swim: 1850 yards in 30:24
Ride: 102.20 miles in 5:34:45 – first century ride of the hill. Over 5,000 feet of climbing and very windy
20 min ice bath after ride
6:45hrs slept, ZS: 76
Bike: 45 min spin class
Run: 15 miles in 1:50:48
15 min ice bath after run
7:45hrs slept, ZS: 94
25 min late morning nap
6:34hrs slept, ZS: 84
Swim: 3800 yards in 1:06:31
Bike: Blue Steel Indoor TT- did as part of the NEMS team. We stuck together really well and it was a lot of fun. Here is a link to some video from the race.
7:31hrs slept, ZS: 96
Swim: 3600 yards in 1:07:20
Run: 10 miles in 1:12:48
7:15hrs slept, ZS: 98
Strength: 1:10hr at DSC
Bike: 60.34 miles in 3:03:24. Did some solo and some part of NEMS group ride. Unfortunately I double flatted and ended up finding a pin in my tire so had to cut the ride almost an hour short…
7:30hrs slept, ZS: 99
Bike: 40 min spin class
Run: 8.14 miles in 1:00. Went to the track and did some half mile repeats at about 5:30 pace and felt good
6:53 hrs slept, ZS: 94
Strength: 1:10 at DSC
Swim: 4600 yards at 1:28:57
7:46 hrs slept, ZS: 91
Bike: 45 min spin class
Run: ROTB- 5.20 miles in 36:22
7:06 hrs slept, ZS: 90
Swim: 2450 yards in 40:20
Bike: 126.51 miles in 6:15:20. Did a pretty flat course and rode about half the ride with Chris and Richard. Felt really strong.
15 min ice bath after ride
7:28 hrs slept, ZS: 87
Run: 19 miles in 2:15:01- pushed it pretty hard for 13 miles after a 5 mile warm up
15 min ice bath
On Wednesday, February 15th, I had the tremendous honor of hearing former basketball star Chris Herren tell his story at North Middlesex High School in Townsend, MA. For those of you who are not familiar with Chris, he is considered one of the best basketball players to ever come out of Massachusetts, but his career was plagued and ended short by drugs and alcohol. ESPN has a documentary about him in their “30 for 30″ series, which I absolutely love and this is my favorite one. The document on him is called “Unguarded.” Here is a short excerpt from the documentary and a little explanation of his story:
I had scene the documentary before hearing Chris speak live, but it was remarkable to hear his story live and he included some info he didn’t include in the documentary. He has created his own foundation called The Herron Project which I plan to raise money for during one of my upcoming Ironmans. Chris now travels all over the country telling his story. His story is very special to me because I was once headed down the wrong path and I have too many very good friends and loved ones that are/have battled serious drug and alcohol additions. His story and is very moving and is powerful enough to change peoples’ lives. If you ever have the chance to watch Unguarded or see him speak, I would strongly recommend you do so. After he spoke, I had a chance to talk with him and it was really neat. Here is a picture of the two of us:
The First AnyOne’s Tri
One Saturday, February 18th, I helped direct the first of hopefully many AnyOne’s Tri Indoor Triathlons. This event was held at the Salem Workout Club and Wellness Center which is a beautiful facility. We did not have as many participants as we wanted, but it was still a great day and we a ton of great feedback. Here is some video from the day:
I would like to congratulate PTC athlete Michael Cunningham for officially becoming a triathlete! I’ve been working with Mike for a few months now and he has tremendously increased his fitness level since we got started. When I first met Mike, he was just learning to swim and could barely make it one length of the pool. On Saturday, he ended up doing 27 lengths of 25 yards in 15 minutes! Mike looked strong all day and all is hard work is really paying off. He paced himself well on the bike and did fantastic on his run. In general, he’s always upbeat and a real joy to work with. I also managed to talk him into getting a Garmin Heart Rate/GPS watch and I’ve managed to turn him into a data junkie! I love it! Way to go Mike! I’m really excited to watch him continue to improve and achieve all his goals this season and beyond!
I also want to congratulate PTC athlete Nancy Epstein for finishing first in your age group and was the 2nd overall female for this race! Nancy is an incredible woman and is just a great person. I love seeing her succeed! Next up for Nancy, the Boston Marathon!
I’m excited to announce the 2nd race will be held at the Nashua YMCA on March 18th, 2012. This event will include a 15 minute pool swim and 30 minute bike like the Salem event, but the run will be a 5K run in Mine Falls. Registration and more details will be posted soon.
Half At The Hamptons Half Marathon
On February 19th, my fiance Kristen and I competed in the Half at the Hamptons half marathon. The weather was a bit cold to start and there was some wind throughout, but you really couldn’t have asked for a better day in the middle of February to run. I am very proud to announce that Kristen finished the race, her first running race ever, in 2:30, which was about 30 minutes faster than projected! However, her speedy time was bitter sweet for me. Since Kristen crossed the line way before I was expecting her to, I wasn’t there to see it happen! This did not make her too happy and I was pretty disappointed not to see her cross as well. Luckily she got over it pretty quickly. Way to go Kristen!
As for my race, it went pretty well. I am still in the base phase of my Ironman Training so I have not been doing as much speed work as I typically do. Nonetheless, I pushed it hard the whole way through and was able to out sprint a guy at the end. I finished in 1:24:34 which placed me 2nd in my age group and 22nd overall out of a little over 1300.
My Last 2 Weeks of Training
February 6 -12
Monday: 7:14hrs slept, ZS: 86
nap at lunch: 10 min
7:42 Hrs slept, ZS: 90
nap 10′ at lunch
Bike Power Test: 45′ total, but did a 20′ TT. Avg Power was 313, which has raised my FTP to 294. I am happy with this considering I did not ride as much this winter as normal as I was really focused on my strength training.
Run: 10 miles in 1:19:46
7:20 Hrs slept, ZS: 86
10′ nap at lunch
Spin Class: 40 min
Swim: 3000 yards in 53:34
7:10 hrs slept, ZQ: 88
5′ nap before dinner
Strength: 1:10 at DSC
Swim: 3800 yards in 1:10:18
Run: 7 miles in 53:48
7:32 hrs slept, ZQ: 92
Spin class: 45′
Bike: 50 miles on IMSG in 2:31:58
7:10 hrs slept, ZS: 90
Strength: 1:10 at DSC- make up for missed workout on Tuesday due to bike test
Swim: 3600 in 1:05:38
7:17hrs slept, ZS: 91
nap after run + swim, 15′
Run: 17.20 miles in 2:16:07
Swim: 2525 yards in 40:25
Hockey: 1hr- Lawrence Academy Alumni Hockey game. Had a lot of fun, but did some damage to my ankle. No surprise there as this has been the reason I haven’t been skating.
Week of Feb 13-19
6:23 hrs slept, ZS: 81
nap at lunch 15′
Bike 26 miles of IMSG in 1:15:09
8:03 hrs slept, ZS: 96
nap: 15′ at lunch
Strength: 1:10 at DSC
Run: 10 miles in 1:16:46
8:10 hrs slept, ZS: 102
Spin Class: 40 min
Swim: 3600 yards in 1:12:30
7:05 hrs slept, ZS: 85
Strength: 1:10 at DSC
Swim: 3800 yards in 1:08:40
Run: 4.02 miles in 30 min
7:52 hrs slept, ZS: 94
8:15 hrs slept, ZS: 105
Yoga: 40 min
7:54 hrs slept, ZS: 98
nap: 35 min after race
Half Marathon: 13.1 miles in 1:24:34
No, I didn’t go get my USAT Race Director certification or anything like that, but as most of you know, NorthEast MultiSport hosted its inaugural indoor time trial at Goodales Bike Shop in Nashua, NH on January 28th. As the NEMS club president, I took a lot of the responsibilities in the preparation for the race. Although there were only 80 competitors signed up, this took a LOT of work. I’ve been on the Greater Nashua Tri committee for a few years now and I knew that it would be time consuming. However, its been pretty amazing how many little things can chew up your time. I did get some excellent help from some of the NEMS members, especially Nate Thomas. Ron and Goodales were terrific throughout the entire process. They did a great job getting us some awesome sponsors and I was really impressed with the prize list we ended up with.
I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous heading into race day. I did feel we were well prepared. However, you never know what can go wrong, especially with a first time event. On that note, I remember my first experience with an indoor time trial quite well. It was the Harpoon Brewery Indoor TT at Harpoon Brewery in Boston. That event started a bit later than ours, but went much later. I had signed up for one of the last heats of the night that was supposed to start at 9pm. However, when I got there about an hour before my heat, they were running 2.5 hours behind! I waited around for a while, but finally gave up and decided it wasn’t worth sticking around for. That being said, I wanted to make darn sure this didn’t happen with the NEMS TT!
The race basically went off without a hitch. I got a great response from fellow NEMS members and we had plenty of volunteers. We kept all the heats on time and actually started the last heat early. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself! I was running around most of the day and I can’t believe how quickly the day went by. However, when I finally got out of there after being there for about 11 hours straight, I hit a wall and was totally exhausted! Here is some video from the day:
NEMS members that raced did a fantastic job and represented the club extremely well. However, I would like to give a shout out to a couple of my clients that totally killed it! Let me start with Chris Veilleux. I’ve only been working with Chris for a few months, but he’s been working extremely hard and has been doing excellent with his training. When we first tested to calculate his FTP, it was 179. In just over 2.5 months, Chris’ new FTP is 235!!! What an incredible improvement he has made. Keep it up Chris! I still can’t get over that much improvement. Chad Quinlan also dramatically lifted his FTP. His FTP in early December was 204 and now its up to 231. Jim Petersen also proved his training has been working and he’s beyond recovered from his illness. His FTP jumped all the way to 237 from 218. Outstanding job guys!!! Keep up the great work.
My own training has been going quite well. I am still base training and I am focused on keeping my HR low during a lot of workouts. Here is a look at the last 2 weeks of my training:
Week of January 23rd – 29th
Monday- Sleep: 7hrs, Zeo Sleep Score (ZS): 85
10′ nap at lunch
Swim: 3200 yards in 59:03
Tuesday- 7:52 hrs sleep, ZS: 102
Nap at lunch: 15′
Strength at DSC: 1:20
Run: 7 miles in 53:32
Wednesday- 6:50hrs sleep, ZS: 87
Bike: 40′ spin class
Swim: 3900 yards in 1:14:48.
Swim: About 500 yard while working with a client
My birthday! Turned 30 years old! Holy smokes! But most importantly, I’m officially in my new age group.
Thursday- 7:50 hrs sleep, ZS: 102
nap: 5′ at lunch
Strength: 1:20 at DSC
Run: 5.26 miles in 40′
Friday- 7:05 Hrs Slept, ZS: 87
Bike: 45′ spin class
Bike: 40.06 miles in 2hrs on IM St. George course on Computrainer right after spin class.
Avg Power: 203
Saturday- 7:21 hrs slept, ZS: 87
Off Day- if you can call it that. Hosted the NEMS Indoor TT at Goodales. A very busy, but fun day!
Sunday- 6:20 sleep, ZS: 73
Nap 25′ in between my run and swim
Run: 14 miles in 1:57:38
Week of January 30 – February 5
Monday- 7:04 hr slept, ZS: 88
nap at lunch: 10′
nap after diner: 15′
Tuesday- 6:58 hr slept, ZS: 86
Strength: 1:15 at DSC
Run: 8.76 miles in 1:05:23. Did 4 miles easy, then 3.2 hard at about 6:15 pace, then about 1.5 miles easy
Wednesday- 6:21 hours slept: ZQ: 78
nap 15′ at lunch
Bike: 40′ Spin class
Swim: 2900 yards in 56′
Swim: 5′ on the Vasa Ergometer
Swim: treading water sculling with clients and tri swim class- totaling about 20 min
Thursday- 7:30 hrs slept, ZQ: 94
5′ nap at lunch
Strength: 1:20 at DSC
Run: 5.23 miles in 40′
Friday- 7:11 hrs slept, ZQ: 90
Bike: 45′ Spin Class
Bike: 50 miles in 2:32:11 of IM St. George
Saturday- 8:10 hrs slept, ZQ: 98
Off day- Did 2 different sets of 10′ of foam rolling and stretching
Also did a walk though of the AnyOne’s Tri I’m helping to put on in a couple weeks. Here is the video I made:
Sunday- 7:10 hrs slept, ZQ: 92
Run: 15 miles in 2:00:13
Swim: 1800 yards straight in 29:17 despite having to stop a few times for kids jumping in my lane and throwing noodles in my lane!
First off, I apologize about my hiatus from posting anything. I got sick, which is part of the reason I hadn’t posted in a while and I’ve been incredible busy. My clients are always my top priority and they will always take precedence over this blog. Nonetheless, I am committed to this blog and will do my best to post regularly. On that note, here we go:
So a couple weeks ago I ended up getting quite sick. I was extremely congested, had a sore throat, and just felt awful. There has been a lot of this going around and no matter how well you treat your body (not that I’m saying I treat mine perfectly), people get sick from time to time. My thoughts and recommendations about training while sick are as follows: DON’T DO IT! I realize that most endurance athletes are extremely devoted to their training and will do anything to get their training in. I totally understand their devotion, but its just not the right thing to do. When you’re sick, you’re body is extremely busy trying to fight germs and cure the illness. It requires extra rest and allowing your immune system to fight off whatever you have going on. If you add training in there, it typically makes things much worse. How can you expect your body to recover when you’re putting more stress on it by training and forcing it try to handle more than it already has going on? So be smart and listen to your body!
I was sick for a solid 3 days where I didn’t train at all. This was extremely difficult for me! I really get upset about missing workouts and it was killing me. I missed a couple strength training sessions with my teammates and it was hard to think that they were busy training while I was laying in bed. But what did I do? I sucked it up and got as much rest as possible. I drank a lot of fluids and tried to give my body as much energy as I could get heal. As a result, I did miss about 3 straight days of training, but I know I would have missed a lot more and felt lousy a lot longer if I had tried to battle through.
The key to preventing illness or letting illness significantly affect your life is to try to catch it early. So what are you suppose to do the next time you wake up in the morning with a sore throat and that bad taste in your mouth and you’re supposed to go train? Stay in bed! Give your body some extra time to heal and try to kill the germs right away. A lot of people will try to push through this and they wait until they feel terrible before they will stop training. In the long term, you’re going to miss a lot more workouts by trying to push through a workout when its first coming on and it will allow the illness to get much worse. Take that day off and hopefully it will only affect your training for a day or two. If it takes longer, so be it, but I know your body and your training in the long haul will thank you for it.
Now, if you choose to ignore what I just stated and try to train through sickness, at least tone down the intensity! Some people like to “sweat it out” and this can work on occasion, but please at least lower the intensity of the workout. Do you have a speed workout on the plan? If you’re going to do the workout, just do half to 3/4 of the recommended duration and bag the speed/high intensity parts of the workout. The same goes for when you’re coming back from being sick. For my athletes, they should not be exceeding zone 2 during these type of workouts. This will allow you to get a sweat and get your body going, but not totally destroy yourself with a workout you’re body can’t handle at that time.
This also brings up the importance of having a good coach. If you log your workouts and leave comments for your coach about how you’re feeling and keep them up to date on what’s going on with your body, they should be able to help you recognize when its time for an extra day off or when the intensity needs to be lowered to prevent illness or injury. A lot of people may have the right intentions, but it can often take an educated observer to help guide them in the right direction. I try to have all my athletes log their workouts daily so I can stay in tune with them and it after helps in the prevention of getting really sick or getting injured.
As for my own training, I had a good week this week. I’m starting to get back to a more traditional training scheme and I’m base training for Ironman St. George. Here’s what I did this week:
Monday: Swim: Speedwork swim- 2650 yards in 50:46.
Tuesday: 1:20 of strength at DSC in the am and a low intensity 6.60 mile run in 51:17 in the afternoon
Wednesday: am Spin class for 40 min and then 2300 yard swim in 45:13, which I had to cut a little short to get to the office.
Thursday: 1:30 of strength at DSC in the am and a low intensity 5.45 mile run in 42:12 in the afternoon
Friday: am spin class, jumped in the car and drove to my office and did a 25.21 mile ride in 1:15hr on the Computrainer of the IM St. George course. Did just over 25 miles
Saturday: 1:15 of strength at DSC in the am and then right to the pool for a 3000 yard swim in 54:52.
Sunday: Ran the Applefest half marathon course with my friend Joe. Unfortunately my Garmin got turned on in my bag and it ran out of juice. I’m guess we did it in about 1:45 or so. Hopefully, that is a tough course.
I also want to give a shout out to 2 of my athletes who ran the Boston Prep 16 miler road race on Sunday. This is a KILLER course that is nothing but hills and they both did fantastic! If you’re not familiar with the course, maybe the image below will help describe it. Nancy Epstein really pushed herself at the end to achieve her time goal and PR’ed! Josh Cleland also rocked it and PR’ed by over 12 minutes!!! Great work guys! I’m very proud of both of you and your hard work is paying off.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a fun and safe weekend.
I’m going to use this post to provide my thoughts on new years resolutions. Many people are against new years resolutions saying that they are a waste of time and that they never seem to work. However, I am not one of those people. I think any time you have an opportunity to make a positive change in your life you should give it a try. If passing into a new year gives you the opportunity to make a positive change, why not give it a shot? That being said, I do have some recommendations for what kind of goals/changes you should try to make.
1. Be realistic. Unfortunately a lot of people set goals that are unrealistic and a bit too lofty. As a result, they start out on the right track, but end up failing to achieve their goal. Unfortunately, this disappointment can lead to the person getting down on him/herself and often end up getting into even worse habits than had before they made the resolution. So think your goals through and make sure they’re realistic.
2. Don’t try to make too many changes all at once. Sometimes when people decide to make changes in their life, they try to change everything all at once. Unfortunately, this can end with very similar results to people that set unrealistic goals. Despite the goals being realistic, if they are are too many changes trying to be made at once, it can cause a person to become overwhelmed. This again can result in disappointment and falling back even further than they were before the resolutions we made.
3. Think your resolutions through. A lot of people will almost make resolutions at the new year just for the sake of making a resolution. That doesn’t make much sense! Again, if entering a new year gives you a reason to make a resolution, I think that’s great, but it doesn’t mean the resolution(s) should not be thought out. Think you resolutions through to make sure that they’re right for you. This should help you make your resolutions a reality.
4. Make resolutions for YOU, not other people. Over the years, I have seen a lot of people make resolutions based of recommendations or desires of friends or loved ones. Its great that your friends or loved have given you some ideas or recommendations (in most cases anyway), but people are very rarely successful with resolutions that they are doing for others and not themselves. That being said, make you base your resolutions off what YOU would like to change in your life.
5. Write your resolutions down. In life in general, I am a very big advocate of writing things down that you would like to get done. If you don’t write them down, they are easily forgotten. Writing them down also validates your ideas and makes you much more likely to follow through with them. I have seen many people carry their ideas around with them on a piece of paper. This is an excellent idea and will help keep these goals/resolutions close to your thoughts.
Now…I’m sure you’re asking yourself, ok, what are Colin’s resolutions for 2012??? And…Drum roll please…here they are:
I have broken my goals up into 2 different categories:
1. Help keep my clients healthy
2. Help my clients enjoy their training. A lot of coaches are very demanding and do not allow any adjustments in their clients’ training. I am not one of those coaches! I will do my best to accommodate any requests my clients have to help make their training as enjoyable as possible.
3. Help my clients achieve their goals- most of them have already gotten back to me about their goals + race schedules for 2012
4. Continue to educate myself and find the latest and greatest coaching strategies so I can pass them on to my clients
5. Provide more videos and documentation for my clients- already made some big progress on this over the weekend. Will most likely be posting some swim videos soon
4. Improve my accounting system/billing system- I’ve already made a lot of progress with implementing a new system, but I’m still awaiting approval for the credit card processing system.
Personal Triathlon Goals
1. Stay healthy. I was successful in achieving this goal in 2011 despite being hit my a car on my bike in 2010. I do think I am very good at listening to my body. I plan to continue this in 2012.
2. Have fun! I will admit that sometimes my training gets very serious and I forget to have fun out there. I’m going to be sure to keep this mind this year. This includes appreciating the amazing things I allow my body to do and appreciating everything it allows me to do.
3. Qualify for Kona. I’ve got 2 cracks at it. Ironman St. George on May 5th or the Ironman US Championship in NYC on August 11th.
4. Sub 4:30 Half Ironman. I think I’m only going to have 1 attempt at this, the Patriot Half Iron on June 16th. However, if I qualify for Kona, I will probably be adding another half to my schedule.
5. Swim 450,000 yards. That would be about 50,000 more than I swam this year, but it should be very doable due to length of my season this year.
6. Bike more 1/3 of the miles I drive this year. The last years I have driven around 17,000 miles. As a result, it should equate to around 5,500 to 6,000 miles.
7. Run more than 1,000 miles. I did more than that in 2011 and I do not feel I need to increase my run volume by much in 2012.
8. Do a sub 17 minute 5K. I did a 17:18 last year. My best shot and most likely only shot will be on the same course in March at the New England Mutlisport Expo in Cambridge, MA.
9. Increase my bike FTP (functional threshold power) to 300+. Its down a bit now, but it is has been at around 290. I’m going to keep over the 300 hump this year.
I wish everyone all the best in 2012! Good luck with achieving all our dreams and more. I will leave you with a great inspirational video:
First off, I would like to wish happy holidays! Hopefully everyone has had time to spend with their family and remember the things that are important in life. Yes, I’ll even say that it’s ok to miss or reduce your training in order to spend some extra time with your loved ones.
This week’s entry is going to be pretty short and I’m going to use this post to discuss something non triathlon related. And the topic is…my new car! This week I did miss a few workouts because I was out car shopping. I’ve been considering getting a new car for quite some time now and finally decided to do some shopping. After trips to a few dealerships and some time online, I decided to go with the Kia Optima Hybrid. I’m really excited to get a hybrid and something that fits my lifestyle more than my current car. The Optima Hybrid gets 40 mpg highway and 35 mph city and is very sharp looking if I do say so myself. My brother even signed off on it! When I initially told him it was a Kia, he immediately was disappointed, even though he didn’t even know what it looked like! However, after he saw a few pictures online, he was on board with it. I decided to lease the car and was able to drop my current monthly car payment quite a bit. This is my first time leasing, which my fiance isn’t too thrilled about, but I think it is going to work out well.
I’m excited to hopefully only spend about half as much as I have been spending on gas with the new car, but I’m also very happy to have a hybrid vehicle. Not to get into it too much, but we need to make some changes in the way we treat our Earth. This is a step in the right direction and as with my training, I like to lead by example. Here is a pic of my new car that I will be picking up either Tuesday or Wednesday:
As I mentioned above, my training was a little lite this week, however, it was a recovery week. I did get my long run in Christmas morning. This is one of my favorite days of the year to train. It was a cold morning, but I love how quiet the roads typically are on Christmas morning. This year did not disappoint and I didn’t see too many cars throughout my run which is always nice.
Monday- Didn’t get anything in, but did some car shopping
Tuesday- 1:20 at DSC
Wednesday- Spin Class 40:00
Thursday- 1:20 at DSC
Friday- Spin Class 45:00
Run: 8.54 miles in 1:00
Saturday- 1:20 at DSC
3600 yd swim in 1:10
Sunday- Run: 10 miles in 1:15:22
On Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of attending a swim clinic with Sheila Taormina. For those of you not familiar with Sheila, she is the only woman to compete in 3 different sports in the Olympics, earning a gold medal during the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. If there was any need for verification, she brought her gold medal with her to the clinic and passed it around, which was really cool!
I was really eager to attend this clinic and see what Sheila’s stoke was all about. I had done a decent amount of research about her and her form and knew it was a bit different than the stroke I recommend to most of my clients. There were a lot of similarities between the two, but definitely also a couple differences. She is a big advocate of the high elbow, which was great. However, she recommends keeping your hand under your body and having more bend at the elbow during the pull part of the stroke. This felt a little bit weird to me during the in water portion of the clinic, but started to feel a bit more comfortable as it went on. She also had a different approach to the kick. She recommends more bend in the knee and propelling more forcefully on the way down with the leg and then straightening the leg on the way back up. This also felt odd at first, but it does seem to work.
The clinic was only 2 hours and it went by very fast. I wish it was a bit longer, but Sheila was incredible. She was extremely knowledgeable and she has done so much research and spoken to so many people about technique. However, her stroke is definitely more of what I like to call the “competitive” swimmer style as opposed to the “triathlete” swimmer. Almost all coaches and documentation I have read about triathlon swimming is all about being as efficient as possible and saving as much as you can for the bike and the run. There’s no question that triathletes have been getting faster in the water and the swim has gotten more and more important so I really think she’s on to something.
I stayed after the clinic and spoke to Sheila for a while after the clinic. She was so nice and had so much passion for the sport which was terrific. I’ve been playing around with her style during my swims this week and I really liked a lot of the differences in her technique. I will continue to play around with it and offer it to any of my clients that are interested in it. I am a very big believer in treating everyone as an individual and I do not think there is a right and wrong way to swim for everyone. Sure, there are some key principles that you should be applied, but something that works for one person may not be whats best for another person. As a result, I look forward to offering this style to my clients. If you’d like to learn more about Sheila’s technique, here is a video of her describing her technique:
As for my training, I had a good week. I had another great week at DSC and things are starting to get more comfortable there. I’m starting to pick up the weight and can already feel the difference. The swim clinic with Sheila did throw my schedule off a bit, but I still got everything in. I went to a Christmas party Saturday night and took Sunday off. Here’s what I did for training:
Monday- Swim- 3000 yds in 54:05.
Bike – 40′ spin class. One of the other instructors was sick so I filled in for her.
Yoga – 1hr in the pm.
Tuesday- Strength- 1:15 at DSC
Swim- About an 1hr in the water during the clinic with Sheila.
Wednesday- Bike- 40′ spin class
Swim- about 20′ and prob about 1000 trying Sheila’s technique
Thursday- Strength- 1:15 at DSC
Swim- 1600 yds in 30:14
Run- 8 miles in 1:00:33
Friday- Bike- 45′ spin class
Swim- 4000 yds in 1:13:43
Saturday- Strength- 1:30 at DSC
Bike- 25 miles in 1:10:11 with Chad at my office
ROTB- 2.68 miles in 20′
Sunday- Off Day
After contemplating doing this for quite some time, I have finally decided it is time to start a blog. Many of my clients are often curious about what I do for my own training and as I prepare to qualify for Kona in 2012, I would like to share my journey to achieving this goal. I also plan to discuss topics that come up with my clients, helpful tips, brief reviews of new products, and reviews of seminars or other events that I attend. I am hoping to update this blog once a week, but we’ll see.
I’ll start off with a review of an a seminar I went to this past week. It was an aerodynamics seminar with Mark Cote of Specialized hosted at Landry’s Bicycles in Boston, MA. Here is a quick Video about Mark and what he does at Specialized:
Unfortunately I was a about 10-15 minutes late getting to the event due to traffic. It was really great to listen to Mark and he is truly an expert when it comes to aerodynamics. However, I must admit, the majority of this seminar was just Mark talking about how cool the new Specialized Shiv is and the aerodynamics of that bike. And don’t get me wrong, it is an awesome new bike, but I was expecting a little more out of this. I was hoping Mark would spend some time talking about what things people can do to make themselves more aerodynamic. Since I was late, it is possible he spent the few minutes talking about this, but my guess is he didn’t. He did share some really cool stories about some pro athletes he works with, including how they got Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander on board just before the 2011 Ironman World Championships where Craig took around 13 minutes off his bike split, which is absolutely amazing for a pro to gain that kind of time. On top of this, Mark did talk about how important aerodynamics are and how much of a difference it can make. He did discuss a few other bikes/bike companies and had nothing but good things to say about them, which was pretty cool. He did speak quite highly of Trek and the Speed Concept, which was nice to hear. I did spend a few minutes talking to Mark after the seminar was over and first off, man, what a super nice and educated guy he was! I asked him a few questions about the best ways to store your nutrition aerodynamically (if that makes sense) and he talked about how that is where we will be seeing innovations over the next few years with the new bikes. I did learn a few little things about optimizing your bike setup for nutrition. So if any of my clients are reading this and would like to review what they can do to get a more aero setup before a race and discuss the setup of their nutrition, I may have a few suggestions so please do not hesitate to ask.
This was also the first week that I started my strength and conditioning program with Kevin Buckley at Dynamic Strength and Conditioning. I was so excited to start this program and the first week didn’t disappoint! At first, I felt like I was back in high school going to Boyles, back when Mike Boyle was still quite small and I was training for hockey. Kevin’s program did include some new exercises that were very challenging and I really liked. I’ve still got some work to do to get my form down on a few of them. Nonetheless, being there with fellow NEMSers; Nancy, Brent, Greg, and Chris makes it extra fun! I’m sure I’ll talk more about this soon.
Overall, my training went pretty well this week. I’m just starting to pick up my training volume again and really get into my off season. Here is what I did:
Monday- Swim- 2500 yards in the AM and then a 1hr yoga session in the evening with my fiance Kristen
Teusday- First day at DSC- about 1:15 of strength training
Wednesday- 40′ spin class
Thursday- 1:15 at DSC and bagged my run to go to see Mark Cote at the seminar
Friday- 45′ spin class, 1:15 at DSC. 2500 yard swim in the pm
Saturday- Off. Planned to swim but one of my clients forgot his gear so I let him wear my stuff. I had to do my CPR/First Aid Recertification all day so this through my schedule off a bit.
Sunday- Long run. 10 miles in 1:14:07. Did a pretty hilly route and it was nice to get a descent long run in. 20′ of the Vasa.