Archive for the ‘Training’ Category
I was listening to a great podcast this morning during a long treadmill run. The guest, a sports psychologist, made a statement that caught my attention. He was talking about all sports, but used base-jumping as an example. “Are you all in, or do you stand on the edge a coward?” This can be applied to so much in life, and especially to our racing. Let me explain how I take this.
It doesn’t mean that we over focus on sport and neglect other aspects of our lives. For those that know me, I make big deal about maintaining balance and priorities (family, career, sport, etc). What it does mean is that when we show up to train we do it justice, we focus and get the work done how it was designed to be done. We stay focused on that task, then put it away and focus on the other important areas of our lives. Honor that time that is scheduled to train, then go be Dad, Mom, Husband, Wife, Salesperson, Doctor, whatever that might be. Don’t make the mistake of thinking about work when you are training, then thinking about training when you are at work. We honor neither when we do this.
“Are you all in” can also be your mindset when you stand at the start line of your next race, or even a training session. Are you in control of yourself as you dive in to start the swim, or are you allowing the swim to control you? With all the swim training we do, this is so much more a mindset than it is our ability. Are we starting the swim saying “I own this, time to show my stuff!” or are we saying “I hope no one touches me, I hope I don’t get a mouth full of water, I hope I am not too slow?” This will make the difference between racing with confidence, or a panic attack in the open water.
Finally, “Are you all in” can be our confidence and execution of our race plan. If we have tested our nutrition, our pacing, have trained the distance, climbed the hills, performed the never ending laps of the track, then we should have confidence in our plan and race to that plan. Even if we are ill-prepared for the race, we should race to the plan that will get us to the finish in the best possible shape. If we don’t show up with confidence, we don’t show up “all in”, then we are more likely to let the things out of our control dictate our race. We will burn matches early with everyone else because we won’t have the confidence that we can back ourselves up late in the race when it counts. We will push too hard up the hills, into the winds, because we won’t have the confidence to keep ego in check when our speedometer shows a lower number than expected. We will neglect our nutritional intake because we will be paying attention to negative thoughts in our heads rather than the time on the watch. Race day execution is the difference between success and failure. No matter how well we prepare, it can all go awry if we don’t race to our plan.
So next time you head to the lake for that open water swim, warm up for those time trial intervals, or run to the hills for a repeat session, ask yourself “Am I all in.” Be present, be in control, be confident. Get it right in training and it will be there when it counts.
What 1500 bikes look like on race morning.
The 2016 version of the Victoria 70.3 saw great performances for all Advantage Multisport athletes. Where the day before had us experiencing cold winds and side gusts on our little shake out ride that added to prerace nerves, raceday dawned calm, comfortable and confident. I even saw looks of disappointment rather than relief when at bike check in it was stated that the swim would be shortened due to overwhelming weeds in the lake. This crew has been putting in the hard yards in the pool and lake this year, and it is exciting to see them anxious to show their new swim prowess.
The swim was shortened to a stated 1500m, and after an encouraged swim warm up, the tight starting shoot that was in place made it impossible to reach our desired locations in line with others that would swim our pace. The “rolling start” did not seem to live up to its promise. We had several athletes that could swim low 30’s stuck way back with the 60min swim group. There were others near the front that couldn’t slip back to where they wanted to be, which I am sure resulted in several fearful dunkings as faster swimmers went by. I had hoped to start near the front, but was stuck about 100 feet back from the start and had to swim around and over athletes the entire swim. A larger swim shoot or better organization could help this work much more to plan.
Even with the chaotic swim, the crew emerged from the water strong and unscathed, ready to do battle on this magnificent new one loop bike course that was being debuted this year. The bike was a legit course, full distance compared to the prior 2 loop course, with many long and challenging climbs in the last 20miles. We had taken the time to drive the course the day before and all agreed that the first 60k of this course should be treated with patience so that the mind and legs would be ready for the last hilly miles and the run. Needless to say, the group executed to perfection and, everyone crushed this course.
Brent Hartwig showed patience and strength with his return to the 70.3 distance after 2 years developing into a short course animal. He moved through the field, climbed like the competitor he is, and then ran negative splits on the run to finish in a fantastic time. It is amazing to see Brent’s progress over the last 3 years. He is a student of the sport and races with all his might. His goal race is Calgary 70.3, and he is showing great form as we put the final touches toward that race.
Our IM Canada bound athletes also showed new strength and courage. Sean Hackney swam and rode strong, cruising in with a great bike time despite losing 4+min due to the chain issue. He then set out running a great pace but unfortunately had a tangle with a root and fell hard on the run course. In a display of mental toughness that will be something to draw on at IMC in July, he stood back up and finished strong with severe rib pain that limited breathing. Rusty Millsap and Roxie Millsap also displayed breakthrough performances both mentally and physically. Both had great swims with improved pacing, smashed the bike with PR times on this challenging course, and then ran to PR runs finishing strong and with smiles. I am so excited to see what these two will do in 6 weeks time in Whistler with the progress they have made this year.
Carol Beebe and Michael Mallory swam and rode strong then battled home on the run to finish happy. While both admitted that it wasn’t their best race, these performances will serve to be a great platform for the summer and fall races to come.
I had a great lesson not to be over dependent on gadgetry as both my HR monitor and power meter would not work on raceday. I always council athletes to learn the “feel” of their effort levels just in case this may happen. I raced to exertion the entire day and felt at the top of my game. A one second per kilometer negative split in the second half of the run reinforced that I had performed to my best on raceday without the distraction of looking at numbers. The tools can offer great information, but ultimately we have to internalize our pace and plan, and just let it play out on raceday.
I can’t emphasize what an honor it is to be able to work with this fine group of people. The travel and race experiences are some of the finest moments of my life. I am looking forward to many more to come. Congrats to all the Bellingham athletes that raced on Sunday. It is always fun to see so many from our small city make the trip and perform so well at the big Northwest races.
2015 turned out to be one of the best years yet for Advantage Multisport athletes. We had one athlete race at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Austria and another qualify for that race at Victoria 70.3. We saw 7 athletes qualify for 2016 USAT Nationals as well as several age group podiums, age group wins and overall wins. We saw multiple 70.3 and Ironman PRs, half marathon PRs and one athlete who raced over 10 half marathons, marathons and ultras, including her first 100 miler. I am in awe and truly inspired by those I have the honor to work with. They are all great athletes and people.
The 2016 outlook appears to be even more inspiring. 3 will be doing Ironman Canada, 5 athletes will be looking to qualify for 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, 3 will be headed to Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska, and 10 athletes racing 70.3 races around North America. We also have one cyclist will be aiming to ride the Rockies from Northern Montana to Denver this summer. Advantage Multisport has also brought on board several new triathletes, cyclists, and runners who will be aiming for PR’s, podiums and wins at local and regional races this season. I am very excited to announce that I am working full time in a coaching capacity this year in order to make these goals and dreams come true. Stay tuned for race reports, training information, and team news as we celebrate the accomplishments and victories of the 2016 season.