Sunday, December 08, 2013

Performance


If you want to improve, shut out the noise. This was Brett Sutton's most important messages to his athletes. As great as social media is - as great as all the different articles are - most of the time they will take away from the belief in what you are doing and therefore your results will be compromised. I see it a lot amongst athletes who don't surround themselves with others/things that support their journey.

Some things to help you:

- Be selective about who you follow on social media. Personally I don't follow very many outside of family, friends and athletes I train with or coach. This keeps me focused, motivated and engaged.

- Surround yourself with individuals who support your path and who don't pull you away from it.

- Write out your goals/objectives and post them somewhere. Preferably a place where you can see them often. BE CLEAR.

- Pay attention to things that add to your performance, as well as things that take away from it.

- There has been a massive influx of articles, technology and data in the last few years. However, take a look at the results out there and you will find that they haven't improved THAT much. This bodes the question, what is important when it comes to improvement? Perhaps it's more about what the individual needs and less about 60sec versus 75sec rest, a VI of 1.01 or 1.03 or the latest shoe or bearings that have been released.

- Take care of the details... eat, sleep and focus on making choices that enhance your recovery.

- Mind over matter. Remember that the mind gives out before the body. It's a protective mechanism that's built in. We will convince ourselves we can't go any longer, when the reality is we have much more in us. Remember this next time you start to think about taking your foot off the accelerator.

- Acceptance. Remember that you will have workouts, days and weeks where you aren't at your best. Expect and accept this. Don't get frustrated, take care of the details and know the body will come around.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

That's a wrap!

2013 is coming to a close and it's that time when I reflect on the last year. Even with mixed results, this year was largely deemed a success. Most notably I overcame some hurdles regarding execution at destination races, as well as making some large gains in the run department. Both of these are important and are ultimately what is required to win an Ironman title.

Here is how the season played out:


Finding The Legs

I started the year off with a PR 20km in 68minutes within a pretty large training block. This was something that I felt good about considering I had been in the 70min range for years. This, however, is still a full 10minutes slower than the best guys in the world...perspective is always good, right?!?!

A PR in Brazil

Next up was an Ironman PR of 8:38 down at Ironman Brasil. Though the placement was not my highest, I was happy with the result. I had a good swim in 48min, rode a very respectable 4:38 with a strong group of riders and though my run wasn't great, I came away with a paycheck. Check the box of being able to execute in a country I have never been to.

Summer Slump

My mid-season racing didn't go as well...AT ALL. Infact it barely existed. I had a few cancelled races due to being over committed and fatigued. I ended up racing at Muncie 70.3, which I probably shouldn't even have mentioned, except I DID make the front group, just a few seconds off the lead. Sometimes it's about the little things.

Hanging In There For The Hometown

Ironman Wisconsin was about like the weather that day; overcast, cool and windy! I felt strong but lacked the speed and snap that I needed. I was on a treadmill that was going slightly slower than I needed. What I did feel good about was that I was able to keep my head in the game to run the fastest split of the day in 2:56 and keep my male crown in the Badger/Gopher Ironwar that Devon Palmer and Thomas Gerlach love to participate in so much. I usually don't hype it up too much, but I do have an undefeated 2-0 record here in Madison and it feels good! Nothing like a little wood on the fire, right boys?!

Bigger picture, I finished just a few minutes off the podium and with a good swim/bike, I'll be right there to contend for the win in 2014.

Fried For Florida

Any time you put a lot of energy into one race, you need strongly consider a break afterward...or a nap, or something! That's been my experience anyway. This year I did not take heed to that thought and as a result found myself lacking the focus needed to execute, I simply needed a break after September and my race could be chalked up to a vacation on the beach with a long swim, bike and run mixed in.


So that's how 2013 played out for me. A lot accomplished and a lot more desired. I want to give a huge thanks to all of those who have supported me throughout the 2013 season including; friends/family, coach Cliff English, Trek Bicycles and Trek Store Madison, Blue Seventy Wetsuits, Peak Performance Massage and PowerBar.

Since the end of the season I have taken what could be viewed as a 4+ week break from training with only about 20hrs of easy exercise mixed in. I still have not planned out 2014, but as soon as I decide on what direction I am going, I will post a schedule, a list of new sponsors and some more details.


I hope everyone is having a great Holiday season.