I sent this to my athletes....figured I could put it in cyber world too:
As my 2007 triathlon/multisport race season comes to an end (ok 1 more race…) I like to recap and summarize some of my strong points, low points and other thoughts.
One thing to remember here…I race year in and year out, and get ok results. This in NO WAY effects or changes my ability to coach/guide multisport athletes. I could not race at all, or finish last and I still feel I could do my job well (but that is another long e-mailJ)
2007 marked my 18th year of competition, and may have, at least on paper, been my best. I had to trim the schedule back a bit as family, work, other interests effected me a bit, but I think it all worked out.
Going into 2007 IM Wisconsin was a high priority “A” race. In the end, I bailed on IMMOO as some health issues and lack of motivation conspired against me. I also wanted to race a solid HIM at Mooseman or Patriot Half. Both of these races went down the drain with some health issues in May/June. Then my goals changed a bit. The Tri-Maine series and possibly the Maine State TT series became important. With some smaller target events, namely the Portland Urban Epic and Lobsterman, also on my radar.
Winter 2006/2007 went well, I xc skied almost everyday from Jan 14th, raced 2 winter triathlons in CO and a winter DU in MA (that I won), and my health was good, only 1 sinus infection in March. My schedule was basically xc ski most days, run most days, swim 1-2 days, and bike 1 day.
In March, I went to Tucson with the “gang” and logged close to 500 miles on the bike and ran everyday, it was a very solid week and I felt very strong and motivated.
Upon returning home, the wheels started to come off…
First the weather from mid April to early June was bad…and my cycling CTL actually dropped!! I was able to run/swim but the bike, the mode I use for the most central conditioning and overall training load…was not good. IMMoo was looking bleak.
Then in late May, early June I started to feel tired and lethargic…could I be…gasp…”under rested”? No. I mean I was not training much and my “self care” was really good. But I had nothing, with workouts such as 90min easy bike rides causing me to be really tired and unable to recover. I suffered through this until the first week in July. In that time I won Wildbear Sprint and one of my hometown races, the Bath Shipbuilders Int distance. How…I am not sure. But a win is a win.
After Bath, I took a week off complete. In that time I saw my doc, got a full blood work up and some other tests. Come to find out my seasonal allergies were lingering longer than ever and they were worse than ever. I was prescribed some stronger meds, and within 24 hours felt MUCH better. I was bummed I had lost ~8 weeks of solid training to stupid allergies, but it was a learning experience for sure.
From that week off, my focus was Urban Epic and Lobsterman. My CTL on the bike went up, my peak 20min power climbed a bit, my running felt really good (with some solid weeks near 50 miles) and I was swimming more fluid.
I had 1 of my 2 bad races between then and UE at the Bethel Maine state triathlon and was caught with 300 meters to go. I knew it was the training load that got me that day, so I was ok with it.
2 weeks later I won Urban Epic, against a few solid guys from out of state, by 7+minutes!!
I then took a slight recovery week and started to rebuild for Lobsterman.
On the 9th of Sept, I had another bad race, finishing 3rd at Pumpkinman Sprint after being caught with 400 meters to go. SHIT!!!
Again, I knew the form was there, I just needed to “find” it and race well at Lobsterman the next week.
The week between Pumpkinman and Lobsterman I “copied” from the week before Urban Epic (this is why I love training logs, if it worked once….it might work twice?). On Lobsterman race day the weather was pure shit, but everybody would race in the same conditions right?
I never felt “great” at Lobsterman, and my power numbers reflect that, but I “executed” really well, went DEEP into the “pain well” and ran down a couple of guys to take the win. In hindsight, this might have been a better race than Urban Epic, where I felt good all day and raced uncontested.
As I said earlier, I am in my second complete week off of the season. I will then transfer into some specific cyclocross training, and race through till December 15th national championships…then take another 4-6 days off.
To wrap this up, I want to go over a few things that I never lost sight of:
1: the details, everyday, even when I felt like crap, I did a solid 15min of stretching and self massage. Everyday.
2: nutrition etc. I tried to tighten up my nutrition this year (getting old you know….), I really tried to eat low glycemic index foods throughout the day to keep my blood sugar steady. I only ate “starchy carbs” pre/post workout and avoided sugar, HFCS and trans fats like the plaque. My body weight was between 144 and 147 pounds all year.
3: low hanging fruit : my position is good…real good, and I worked on it even as my fitness might have dropped. I made drastic changed even the Wed before the Urban Epic, and was the only guy to go sub 1 hour on the 40K bike, 58:XX. I might not have been the strongest….but I was the fastest.
4: specificity, repeatability, sustainability : every workout was focused at the events I was racing. I NEVER did a single “speed” work session, never went to the track and avoided group rides on the bike. I did lots of steady state, sub threshold intervals and my run frequency averaged 6-8 total run sessions each week. Most near 7:40 pace….my 5K pace is ~5:30 pace.
5: fun. I went into every workout and race with the goal of executing really well, but also having fun. The results followed.
Channel Multisport Winter Du : run/ski/run : 1st overall
Ironbear Sprint Tri : 4th overall, 1st in AG
Wildbear Sprint tri : 1st overall
Bath Shipbuilder Tri: 1st overall
Maine State Tri: 2nd overall, 1st in AG
Urban Epic Int Distance Tri: 1st overall
Pumpkinman Sprint Tri: 3rd overall, 1st in AG
Lobsterman Int Tri: 1st overall
CELT Challenge Tri : tbd
SO!! There you have it, my year in review (to date) : I highly recommend you all do the same thing. Write it down, send it to me if you want. Make note of the good and the bad. Store in your training log (I will) and refer back to it.
I wish you all the best for the remainder of 2007….and even better for 2008!