Friday, December 12, 2014

Who's Up For A Challenge? CHALLENGE ROTH that its!

I am absolutely ecstatic to announce that I will be racing Challenge Roth in July of 2015. The July 12th race is one of THE races that every Professional Triathlete looks to do. 
In addition to the race, the Challenge organization is unparalleled in their dedication to the athletes. They are still growing in the US, but everyone will know about them in the coming years... they truly do put athlete at the forefront of their events.
I look forward to not only being in Roth, but also at a number of other Challenge events i the future. Do an event and you'll see what I mean. There is a choice and there is a difference.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Plans In 2015

RACING:

We have a few months left in 2014, but the 2015 preps are well under way here in Madison. I decided  to take my "off season" after I returned from Ironman Hawaii. This was the earliest I have taken that so called off season and it's so far proven to be a good move.

The last 5 weeks looked like this: 2 weeks of nothing and now 3 weeks of slowly building back into things. In addition to the SBRing, this has also been the time to bring in some pretty solid strength sessions. It's been a nice change and this year my long time training partner and friend, Justin Daerr, and I keep each other motivated when "throwing plate." I think there might even be a squat off coming up sometime toward the end of the year.

2015 is still in the works for me. After it was announced that there would no longer be an Ironman Wisconsin (my driving force for the last 13 years), I have had to put some thought into what excites me and where I want to put my focus. Things are now starting to come together and though I don't have a race season outlined just yet, I can tell you that I will be starting pretty early in the season and that I will be racing much more frequently.


TEAM BBMC:

Team BBMC has grown once again...we have some exciting changes coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned for further announcements in the coming month or so.



That's all for now, just a short update and teaser...


Monday, September 08, 2014

What's Meant To Be, The Upside & A Race Recap!

I have always liked the saying, "if it's meant to be, it will be." It helps me from getting to worked up over things that don't go quite how I planned.

Minus a few niggles here and there, my build into Ironman Wisconsin was going well until about 10 days before the race, when I started to come down with a sore throat and a cough. Things quickly went south and I ended up with full blown bronchitis on Monday of race week. Despite the sickness, I was optimistic that with great self care and drugs, I could get back to top form by Sunday.

Wednesday rolled around and I was about 75% in my own estimation and confident I could contend. However, I needed to discontinue my Rx because they were not allowed in competition. I steadily progressed until about Saturday when I just couldn't get all the fluid out of my chest. None the less, I didn't have a choice, I put it out of my mind and it was time for a race.

Race morning the race conditions were probably some of the best I have ever seen in Madison, a welcome sight in the water and a sharp contrast to last year's chop. Warming up I knew that things weren't quite right when the legs were cramping while just waiting to start. The gun went off and per usual I took things out slow but strong. At about 400m, I typically pick up the pace and try to find a nice line to tack onto the back of the pack. On Sunday though, I found I was a little further back than I wanted and thank goodness for Tami Ritchie who pulled around and towed me up close enough where I could get into the front group. So it worked out, but I will say that it was damn near an 800m TT to get in there. Once in the group, the pace slowed, the rest of the swim was uneventful and we exited in around 52minutes with 2 guys up the road.

Into transition, I again had to stretch out the cramps on the helix, pretty much the worst place to have to stop if you ask me... 10,000 screaming friends, all wondering what the heck I was doing. I resolved things quickly, kept moving and still managed to get onto the bike with 3rd through 8th. The legs felt good at this point, the only problem was that my lungs were not. I don't really know why it wasn't a problem during the swim, but this was definitely different. I watched the world ride for the rest of the ride and simply rode at an effort that the body would allow. The spectators were once again spectacular and I just tried to enjoy the fact that this is going to be my last Ironman Wisconsin (here).

The run was more of the same and though I briefly thought maybe I could run well, reality quickly sank in at about mile 7 or 8.  However this was where the silver lining kicked in. We had one giant BBMC zone out at mile 9/21 which was lead by these ladies, as well as Charlie, Roz, Glenda, Chuck, Justin, Dan, Wynn and a few others. A MASSIVE thank you for the signs and for being out there all day AND night!




Back to the race, at about mile 12 I saw the first of the other BBMC athletes out racing...huge smiles and all having fantastic days. While I was still disappointed with what wasn't meant to be for me, their races, words and elation in what they were doing, overshadowed much of it.

We had 22 athletes start and 22 athletes finish. We had more PR's than I can count, we had a number of first time finishers and 2 Kona Qualifiers; congrat's to Matt Braaksma for finishing 4th in the 40-44 AG in 9:46 on a tough day for him, as well as John Stuligross for winning the 18-24 age group in a hair over 10hrs. As a coach, today couldn't have been more of a success.

 TOM S.

 MIKE L.

 JOE P.

JON B.


Plenty more pics to come...


While we all have goals that we set out to accomplish, some that we train years and even decades to achieve, we have to remember and trust that no matter how hard we work for them, if they are meant to be, they will. The changes to the WTC program forced my hand here and for now, this goal of mine to win Ironman Wisconsin will have to sit on the sidelines. Not worry though, racing for me is not done, I still have some unfinished business out there...

If you have an opinion or will be affected by the changes, I encourage all age groupers, media, local Sports Commission's and marketing teams to voice their opinions to WTC. Tell them how and why it's important to you, for them to keep the Professional division at all their races.

Now it's time for a little R&R and to plan what's next! As always, a massive thank you to my sponsors, my coach, my team, my family who made trips in from around the midwest and this fantastic community. None of this would be possible without your support.

More to come...


Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Last Ironman Wisconsin... for now!

About a month ago we were given the news that this would be the last year for a Professional race at Ironman Wisconsin.

While I don't want to comment on that decision too much in this post, I do want to say that without the PRO race in Madison, nothing I have created in the last 14 years would exist. I sincerely hope that WTC is able to amend their current decisions for the future generations of aspiring and developing Professional athletes, as well as the long term success of their business

However, until those changes are made, next Sunday will be my last chance to do what I have wanted to do so badly since the inaugural race here in Madison back in 2002...WIN! I will admit that I had NO idea if that was possible in 2002, or even 2003 through 2006, but I believed it could be possible...someday. The course was seared into my mind and the thought of winning was a central driving force behind countless 1200-1500 hour years of training. It is also what got me past a number of disappointing races.

So how will this year's race be different? Is there added pressure from others or myself to win? Am I ready to win??

You might expect a driven athlete to answer by looking at their fastest splits on the course, then putting them together and saying that those would give them a good chance to win. Perhaps it would involve looking at training numbers leading into the race and making some guesses from there. Maybe it would involve looking at performances leading up to the big race and comparing them to past years.

While those answers all sound great and sometimes might be good ones, they are all speculative and if I have learned anything from the past, what I do in training is not always indicative of what I do out on race day.

So for me, the answers are a bit different.

1) It isn't any different; the process, the plan, the focus...it's all the same...in the moment, on the task at hand, sticking to my plan.

2) Of course there is pressure, but if I didn't feel it, if it wasn't there, it would mean that this race didn't matter, that it wasn't important...so I accept it and embrace it.

3) Of course I am ready. I have paid my dues and along with being my 13th race in Madison, this will also be my 30th Ironman start. If I get the opportunity, I will not let it pass...


The work is done, the experience is there and regardless of how things go next weekend, whether I am first or last, I will make sure that I enjoy every moment of it... From the terrace looming above during the swim start, to the helix, to the awful unrelenting bike course, to the run that I am seemingly made for, to having my team/family out on course racing and supporting, all of it. All while knowing that no matter how great my future races are, they won't be able to touch IMMoo!

Lastly, I want to thank this fantastic triathlon community who has supported and inspired me for over a decade. Good luck to everyone racing and thank you to all of you who are volunteering and supporting, it doesn't go unnoticed.

More to come...



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ironman Camp!



Just a short post today that we have 3 openings for for Ironman Camp coming up in 2 weeks time. We sold out and then had a few cancellations; so if you would like to get in on the fun, camp runs from noon on Friday, August 1st to noon on Sunday, August 3rd.

You can find more details here:

http://www.teambbmc.com/camps.php

If you would like a complete schedule and itinerary, let me know. I do have a few home stay's available, but they are available on first come first serve basis.

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Staying Process Oriented (Ironman 70.3 Muncie Race Report)

This last weekend, I headed down to race what is my most frequented race outside of Ironman Wisconsin; Ironman 70.3 Muncie. This would be my 6th time heading down to Indiana in July and needless to say I was excited to race.

I was optimistic even though the field was stacked and I made a few errors in the last few weeks before the race which lead to me not feeling like my usual. You never know what can happen on race day. As a little tip, when I don't feel good leading into the race I typically add in MORE rest.

+++

I found myself on the start line as the only guy in a sleeveless suit (outside of one other without a wetsuit). I knew it would be challenging to swim with the guys without the added advantage that a full suit provides, but I also knew that I wouldn't have to worry as much about overheating. The gun went off and I stayed with the front group until about 400m. I just couldn't hang on any longer; eventually I settled into a rhythm with the chase pack, let the HR come back down to earth and then went to front and pushed a nice tempo effort into the finish. 

After a quick transition I got onto the bike and had a nice little gap on the group. The only problem was that my legs didn't get the memo and apparently decided to sleep in. I knew it would take a little extra focus and a bit more hurting to stay on task today. I quickly came to terms with things and got on with it. The ride was very uneventful and though I lacked some watts today, I still managed to ride smart and came off the bike within 2minutes of 4th. 

Once onto the run I had some major cramping issues that stopped me in my tracks at mile 2...while I had to let the top 5 hopes fade, I was able to problem solve and get back into a good rhythm a few minutes later. As I worked through the next few miles I actually started to feel good and was clawing my way back up toward the money spots. I made the turn around, but the charge stalled. I only got as close as 7th, before eventually finishing in 8th at 3:58.

Though this race had a bit of adversity, I really felt like I dealt with it well, stayed process oriented and still came away with a sub 4hr half ironman.

+++

During the long drive home, I got to thinking about our sport and how deep it's becoming. On a day like this against a field like this, when I wasn't at my best, it's easy to feel unaccomplished. I actually think a lot of athletes likely feel this way, not just the elites. It reminds me of this interview of Malcolm Gladwell where he talks about Ivy League schools and the complex that they can give some of it's students. Essentially they start to feel "average" when only surrounded by the best.

Check it out here, it's a great thought:


This perspective helps me to remember that I am lucky to have the ability, passion and body to do what I do. I learned a tremendous amount this last weekend, PR'd on this course and am exactly where I want to be with 8 weeks to go before Ironman Wisconsin.

Congratulations to everyone who raced and a special shout out to Sue Aquila to keep your head up after a bad crash during the race. There is always a silver lining to everything that happens... remember it, believe it, focus on the positives!

As always, thanks to the Trek Stores of Madison, PowerBar, Xterra Wetsuits, Peak Performance Massage, Team BBMC for their support and Cliff English for all of your help!

Thanks for reading...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Good, The Great and The Cramps

Ironman 70.3 Kansas Race Report...



This last weekend I headed down to Lawrence, KS to make my first appearance at Ironman 70.3 Kansas. I have sent athletes to this race for the last 4 seasons, but I had never personally made the trip. 2014 was the year.

I knew I was due for a good hit out and since this was the first "rested" race of the year I was optimistic against a very strong field. I made the 9hr + drive on Friday and stayed with good friend, Jessica Jacobs and her family. A huge thank you for their hospitality and allowing me to stay with them at Ft. Leavenworth.


The "Good"

The swim was good. It wasn't great, it was terrible, it was about what I would expect for how I felt. I backed the volume off a bit too much in the last 4 days and I think it was the reason I was a little bit flat. I rocked the Vendetta Sleeveless to avoid overheating and came out about 90sec back of the usual front pack... unfortunately, this race had some of the world's best long course triathlon swimmers in it, so I found myself over 3minutes back from those guys.


The "Great"

I hurried through transition, anxious to get going. I had worked hard on the bike and wanted to ride well. This was my main goal for the day besides finishing well.

The ride went great. I spent a lot of the day trying to break a group of about 5 guys who collected about 200-300m behind me. They would catch me on the hills and I would gap them everywhere else. Finally at about mile 35 their elastic broke and they spread out a bit more.

I caught 4th place at about mile 54 and rolled into transition in 4th, just about 3minutes back of third. The ride was a good one. I don't have power for the first 4 miles, but know that the NP for the ride was between 310 and 315w at 71.9kg's (159.0lb). So just under 4.4w/kg. I need to do a few things better to gain some free speed, but things are going great on the bike right now.


The "Cramps"

Ride a bit too hot and a lot of times you end up fighting cramps, which is exactly what happened. I ran with cramps for 2 miles and fell to 7th. I  then had a stretch of 4 miles where I ran well and held the gaps. Then cramps started to creep back in about mile 9 and I fell one more spot to 8th.

I finished 8th in 4:02. This is a finish I am pretty happy with. I finally rode close to my potential on the day, stayed engaged throughout the race and saw some fruit from my intense bike labor over the last few months.

Next up is some recovery, Ironman 70.3 Muncie, Challenge Albany and then the focus for the season, Ironman Wisconsin.


Thanks to Cliff English, Trek, PowerBar, Xterra, Peak Peformance and my team of athletes at BBMC who keep me inspired and motivated to reach my best athletic self.

Friday, May 30, 2014

WOTD (Word Of The Day) - "Sustainability"

WOTD (Word Of The Day) - Sustainability. 

Whether it's work, sport or life, sustainability of what you are doing is a major key to success. As a goal driven individual, you will tend to convince yourself that one of two things is true:

- You are an exception to the above.

- You can handle more than you think.

To take a look at whether or not what you are doing is sustainable. Consider the following:

Pay attention to your daily energy levels over a longer period of time. Are you able to be effective? Are you stressed? Do you cut out taking care of yourself for the sake of others or your goals? If you are, what you are doing is not sustainable.

Take a look at your life now and then think about all the things you want over the near-mid-long term. Could you achieve/have those with what you are doing now? If the answers are no or I don't know and you want to continue what you are doing, you may want to take a closer look at if what you are doing is sustainable.

Are you balanced? While some call BS here if you want to be the best at something, balance is different for everyone... if you are missing something in YOUR equation, what you are doing may not be sustainable.

Sustainability is a huge key to enjoyment and success in anything. Get it right and you are unstoppable. Get it wrong and you may find a decline in your satisfaction and enthusiasm as the months and years go by.

Yes, you need to work hard, but only at the right times and you don't need to kill yourself. If you know how to listen, the body and mind will tell you what it needs.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

How To Train Through Races...

When I planned out my season, it was simple, no Ironman early in the year with the hopes of having a better peak in September. The last few year's I have been a bit overdone in September, which has landed some good results at Ironman Wisconsin, but not the one I am looking for or capable of.

So with that in mind, I let the weather dictate my training load. Jan and Feb were a bit low on volume compared to last year, but Mar, Apr and May have made up for it. Each week I have done what the body has allowed and I've built some nice fitness.

To keep things fresh I also decided that I wanted to race as many of the local events as I could. I did this back in 2009 and had a blast.

+++

This is also called "training through races." If you take this type of approach, you want to keep a few things in mind:

- You can't expect to be your best self every time out. But that's not the point. The point is to work on specific skills that will help you when you get to your bigger races.

- You do need to be careful so that you don't become injured. Racing is still hard on the body and you need to make sure that you listen to your body coming out of each race.

- The day before is OK to train per usual, just make sure that the system you are training is not the one you are using on race day. Example would be to do a strength focused swim if you have an Aquathon the next day with threshold or higher, effort.

- Stick to your plan! If it's your plan to run controlled, then run controlled. Remember that everyone else there has different goals, so pay no attention to anyone else except yourself.

- Lastly, have fun. If you don't enjoy racing, then why do it? So get out there and race because you can and feel fortunate to have the means to do it.

+++

With 3 running races and an aquathon (also known as an equation to spell checker) under the belt, I'll train through a local sprint for some more open water experience and then head to my first "priority" race of the year at Kansas 70.3. This was suppose to take place in Knoxville last weekend, but unfortunately I was not able to race.

From there I move to a short break and then into Ironman focused work. I can't believe I am saying that already.

Thank you to Race Day Events for some fantastic events in the Madison area, thanks to all of you who support my racing including Trek Stores Of MadisonPowerBar and Xterra Wetsuits, thanks to all my athletes for their returned support and thanks to those of you who have served and who continue to serve our Country.

2014 is here!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kicking Off 2014!



It's time to dust off the triathlon racing equipment for the first time this season as I head down to Revolution3 Triathlon Knoxville to take part in their last Professional race.

The distance is much shorter than I typically race, but I wanted to mix things up early in the year so I have all cylinders firing in September.

Racing, even when not at your peak fitness is an important step as you work toward your big races. These type of races allow for a fitness check, they are a chance to dial in nutrition and pacing, they are an opportunity to hopefully make some money as a Professional and of course have a little fun. Also, as my coach Cliff English has said, "you can't train forever."

Thanks to Cliff, to the Trek Store of Madison for setting me up on the best bike for the year. Peak Performance Massage for helping me recover faster. Xterra Wetsuits for helping me swim fast and PowerBar fueling me through thousands of miles of training.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Top Do-Over's...

The other day I was asked what I would have done differently in the path that I have taken to get where I am. Noting that there are a lot of athletes who would love to follow the same path and likely do better, I thought I would be post my response.

#6 - Spent a little more time letting go of metrics and numbers. It can be fun to achieve epic training loads and log massive amounts of volume. However, it can also be detrimental to performance when you start to train beyond your ability to absorb. The end result is injury, sickness and ultimately getting burned out. I spent a lot of time logging consecutive 30hr training weeks before I was ready. The end result was a lean, mean, tired (and sometimes injured) racing machine.

#5 - Looked In, Not Out. There is no such thing as the "best" training plan out there, there is just "your" best training plan that works best for your physiology, mental capacity and background. The best thing that I could have done was paid less attention to my competition's training plan and more to my own. Spending more time understanding what worked and what didn't work for me would have likely served me better.

#4 - Invested in a coach from the beginning. In addition to the above, it's hard to keep an objective eye on your training. It's hard to pick the right races at the right times and it's hard to notice everything that works or doesn't work in your training. In addition, coaches with experience will sometimes be able to see things before they happen, helping you to become more consistent and make fewer missteps along the way.

#3 - Been less weight obsessed. Sure there is a benefit to being lighter, but most athletes (including myself) find themselves under-fueled and going slower, rather than leaner and going faster. The time to cut calories is not when you are training the hardest. During this time you are better off focusing more on recovery, fueling for performance and less on the number of calories on your plate. Let your body go to it's self selected weight and only make a few SMALL changes in the last few weeks before your big race (by small I mean no alcohol or no dessert).

#2 - Gotten more satisfaction from my achievements. It's the nature of a driven athlete to never be complacent with where you are at. It's easy to look to the next step and what has yet to have been had. We all want to win (in our own way), but none of us know how long we will be able to do this sport and there are many who will never come close to what we have done. So celebrate your achievements, take some time to reflect and then come up with your next set of goals.

#1- Waited MUCH longer to try to be good over the Ironman distance. I think it's great that young athletes want to race Ironman, win age groups and PR. However if you are looking to really perform at this distance, you may want to wait. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but generally Ironman is something that takes years and years to get good at. No amount of training can trump time in sport. I of course didn't think that the rules applied to me and tried to out train the curve. What I found was a lot of very tough races in my early and middle 20's. So consider waiting...

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Part of reflecting on the past is to learn from it for the future and part of it is to help others avoid the mistakes you made. I hope you can take something from the above and do the same critical thinking when it comes to your own training and path.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

My KPR Recommendations for 2015

To check out the current KPR format and rules, head to: 

http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/organizations/pro-membership.aspx#axzz2xqxYYc6w

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The basis of my recommendations come from the idea that Kona should be treated like a World Championship in any mainstream sport. A champion is crowned and then the playing field is level heading into the next season. These are extreme changes no doubt, but hopefully some or all of the points can be taken into consideration.


1) Season must end with the World Championship.

To do this, the season needs to end with Kona and start after a certain amount of time has passed. Some of the races will need to change dates to accommodate and the World Championships need to happen around the same time at the end of the year. The new season would then start December 1 or January 1, etc.


2) Standardization of prize purse and points. 

This takes out trying to decide if a certain finish at one race is better than another and by how much...Prize purse standard.

   $80,000 for Ironman
   $40,000 for 70.3


3) Separation of Ironman and 70.3 rankings.

They are different races and placings at one distance should have little impact on another.


4) Elimination of points in Kona. 

Most other sports crown a champion at the end of the year and then level the playing field for the next season. This helps accomplish that, instead of granting an easier path to Kona finishers for the following season. 


5) Equality in sport.

Though I am all for equality in the world and sport, it's apparent through the awarding of Kona slots (and through analysis of finish times, etc), that qualifying as a male is more challenging than qualifying as a female. With that in mind, shouldn't prize purse distribution follow suit? I don't know how to solve this, I just know that's an issue that should be considered.


6) Champions Go.

Win an Ironman, you are in. Win a Half, you are in. This is how it works for qualifying for a major in golf... Seems to make sense for triathlon.


7) An increase in prize purse each year. ~ AT LEAST 3%

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mind-ful-ness & Triathlon

I was asked to write an article for the great Dr. Eiring on my own personal experiences having to do with mindfulness relating to triathlon. Here it is below, I hope you enjoy!


Mind-ful-ness:


"the mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique."



In 2010 I was about at my breaking point with Ironman distance triathlon. I had raced well over the shorter distances, but for whatever reason, no matter how well I trained I just could not have the same level of success at the Ironman distance. I had gone 9hrs 25minutes, which is speedy to most, but considering what I was capable of in training, this was a long way from being deemed a "successful" race.


After a number of terrible Ironman races and DNF's in 2010 and with 6 weeks to go before my biggest race of the year, I sought out the help and expertise of Bobby McGee. I was desperate and needed to make a breakthrough. I had no idea if seeing a Sports Psychologist was going to help, but I felt it was my only option.


Over that next 6 weeks seeing Bobby McGee would prove to be one of the best decisions of my athletic career. It helped me tremendously and ultimately lead to that breakthrough that I so desperately wanted and needed.



Here are 5 things that helped me get out of my own way. I hope you can use them effectively and improve your performance on race day.


1) I changed my view on the little voice in my head that is also known as the ego. That voice tends to convince people that what it says is absolute truth. This is FALSE and that reality alone was a huge breakthrough for me because the thoughts became less significant, which leads to my next point.


2) Acceptance. It was important for me not to block the thoughts or feelings that came into my mind, but rather accept them. This acceptance lead to an acknowledgement of each thought and then to the ultimate goal, which was to be able to let each thought go.


3) Focus. This came from a familiar thought and visualization that I associated with riding well/powerfully. I knew from practice in training that recalling this specific thought would lead to this feeling which would help pull me through low spots on the bike.


4) Assessment & Response. Having the ability to assess what was happening at any point throughout the race and having a pre-planned response as to what I was going to do in every possible scenario. This did take a lot of planning, but was very effective. If a situation arose where I couldn't come up with a solution, I would simply tell myself to wait 15 minutes and check back in. Usually the issue had already worked itself out.


5) "What do I need?" Constantly asking myself the question "what do I need right now?" This allowed me to stay process oriented. You will find that when you are focused on the process in the moment, your mind doesn't have the capacity to think about or attach to thoughts relating to self doubt, outcome, or anxiety.




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Has Arrived!

It's been a busy off season for me as I get ready for the 2014 season. BBMC has grown substantially and I am excited about what is to come. To start, we'll have a new team based website that should be up in about a week (www.teambbmc). In addition to the new site, we'll also have some new offerings to both the public and our athletes.

As blakebecker.com transitions to teambbmc.com this blog will act as my athlete site until I get another one up and running. Make sure to check back here for race results, training updates, etc.

Speaking of racing, my 2014 schedule is almost finalized. This is going to be the first year since 2009 that I haven't raced an early season ironman distance race. Without a doubt I have to say that this was my best decision for a number of reasons. In addition to the races listed below, I will also add in a number of other local and regional events.

That's all I have for now, I'll leave you with a picture of what the latest scenery has been like during my outdoor rides.



2014 RACE SCHEDULE

MAY

Rev 3 Knoxville

Madison Half Marathon


JUNE

Ironman 70.3 Kansas

Another Event TBD


JULY

Ironman 70.3 Muncie


AUGUST

BBMC's 6th Annual Ironman Camp


SEPTEMBER

Ironman Wisconsin

Ironman Chattanooga

Sunday, February 09, 2014

2014 Camp #1 Recap & What's Next

Tomorrow I head back to the frozen tundra after my first training camp of 2014. I got in about 30hrs of training over 8 days with plenty of quality. Though it was about 40-50% more than my usual winter volume, I have to say that I think I did this one right, not too much where I'll need a lot of extended recovery, but enough to get what I needed out of this camp.

Now for a recap of the week.


- Day 1 -

The week started cold, but sunny. Yes midwesterner's, I know...but it's all relative. I was happy.



 - Day 2 -

It really got nasty... where was I again? Why hadn't I taken off my arm or knee warmer's? A tan?! Forget about it!



- Day 3 -

All this training stuff was making me hungry, so as part of my rent payment I made Erin and I chicken for dinner.


- Day 4 -

Arizona started to look like Arizona again. I caught this sunset on my way to dinner.



- Day 5 & Day 6 -

Started to get into a groove and also was finally able to take off the arm and knee warmers. One of my chores was to pick oranges off the tree in the backyard. Rough life...


- Day 7 -

What a great ride out to Sonoita to end the week. I highly recommend this route if you get the chance. Consider going during the week so you have to deal with less traffic.


One last food pic of the post ride, za!





While I still have a long ways to go until I am race ready, I am now motivated, have a solid level of base fitness and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Those in WI know what I mean when I say it's been a ROUGH winter (this might be the second coldest winter on record in Madison).

Next up for me will be the rest of this training block back in Madison, give a seminar next weekend and then a week back down here coaching for Endurance Corner at their annual February Tucson Camp. After camp I will assess where things are at. If fitness is in a good place I may start racing at Ironman 70.3 California, otherwise I will wait a bit longer; we're not going to force fitness this year.


More to come soon...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Helping You Find & Keep Your Mojo

This is the time of year when things are tough for athletes in the northern hemisphere...ok, well not if you live in the west, but if you live anywhere else the cold winter is starting to wear on you. It's been long enough that you don't remember the warm weather, you don't have the holiday's to distract you and the spring is still 8 weeks or more away.

Athletes usually start the year out strong; resolutions, new goals, race registrations open, etc. However, after a few weeks when the excitement fades, some athletes find that their training mojo does as well.




After this happens, many athletes feel like they are the only ones who are missing workouts and falling behind. When you add in social media where they see other athletes completing their sessions (of course mentioning what they do complete and not what they don't), it's easy to feel even more insecure about not training.

Sound familiar yet?

As someone who has been racing and coaching for a long time, here are some words of wisdom to pass along.

#1 - You are NOT the only one struggling with this. I would go so far as to say that MOST athletes are struggling this time of year.

#2 - Communicate with your coach. Even though you may not want to admit you are falling behind or having trouble, it's the BEST thing you can do. As an athlete, your coach knows you better than anyone. They can help motivate you, talk you through sessions that are causing issues and make schedule adjustments to get you back to your best self.

#3 - Stay present, don't worry about that missed workout yesterday or sleeping through your alarm last Tuesday. Focus on today and your next training session. That is the only thing you can control. You don't need to execute to perfection.

#4 - Sometimes training by effort is the best way to get back to your old self. Trying to train by wattage and pace can be frustrating in your first month back. You are not going to be fit and some sessions are not going to feel so great. View each session as one session closer to where you want to be. So take the pressure off of yourself.

#5 - Make good choices to support your training; get sleep, make good nutrition choices, hydrate, stretch and be good to your body. These first few weeks can be tough on it.

#6 - Surround yourself with positive influences who support your journey and who help hold you accountable. Remember, training is a choice!



When mojo starts to wane, remember that you are not alone, that everyone struggles from time to time and it's nothing to get down about. Your season is not over because of a bad patch in January. Your mojo will return; by talking to your coach and focusing on the things above, it will come back sooner, rather than later.