Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Back at it for 2014

I have been doing the sport for almost 20 years which I cannot believe. I have been to Kona 7 times, the 70.3 Worlds several times, and even stuck my toe in the ITU Olympic distance Worlds. Still after this many years though I still get excited to train and see what I can get out of myself for the next year.

For the past several years as I have continued to grow as a coach I started to notice I get even more excited to watch my athletes get up for their next goal. I love this time of year because everything for the upcoming year is still on the table. If you have signed up for an Ironman race, as most of us have to now a year in advance, you have that locked in but can still come up with so many other events. Part of the fun to me has always been in the wondering where the sport will take me the next season.

For the past 6 years I have had to plan around qualifiers. I am not making that my focus this year. I have been getting over some foot issues and until I resolve that I am reluctant to plan out a season to get to Kona. I have stated on our podcast that I will not go back there while my foot hurts and that I am sticking with. If I resolve it soon and qualify I guess I could consider it if I want to but honestly I think this year I am even more excited to do other stuff. I want to plan my season out knowing I can go anywhere that sounds fun, and take on challenges that may or may not lead to a Worlds appearance of any distance.

I plan on racing at IMWI and even if I were to go to Kona, Wisconsin would be my focus. I'm looking forward to focusing on an Ironman with the same intensity I have always done for Kona. Its been years since I have.
We are the official coaching organization for IMAZ and while it will be incredibly difficult to have a top end day there after doing several days of an expo, I think Scott and I will have a crack at it. We are thinking of putting a twist on things though by each teaming up with a second athlete and combing our times.

Take your time right now. Try to decide what it is you really want to do over the next three years. How do the choices you make right now affect that? Work backwards from your ultimate goal which could be several years off. Can you put in more total swim time right now if that’s your limiter? Might slow you down for spring 2014 but how will you fair over the rest of the season and next? Keep an open mind, get some objective feedback and think it through, but HAVE FUN!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Season wrap up and motivation

My season this year was crazy. It all seems to have gone so fast. It was a lot of fun and a definite step in the right direction for me. With ups and downs from flat tires in St. Croix, being lead off course at TTT and having to get a roll down from a fellow competitor at Eagleman, I experienced hiccups for sure. I also had the most consistent runs in 70.3 races I have ever had which was a definite season goal. Improved tremendously at 70.3 Worlds, had some of my best swims and bikes at Kona, and IMFLA and I think had I not suffered a foot injury my better running would have shown up there too. All in all I would say it was a Solid A- year for me, one I can go into the offseason still excited to improve on and feel gratified with the fact work in training showed up.

I’m off to figure out the root of my foot pain which becomes unbearable at mile 10 of most Iornman races. I am confident I will figure it out just as I have many other things. I am going to pass most likely on Kona this year though. First I hate going there to compete knowing my foot will limit me. It’s like setting out to race and knowing you will get a flat before you start. That becomes pretty disheartening. If I figure it out by spring I could change my mind but I think I will enjoy focusing on other things for a year such as IMWI and potentially Wildflower, etc. Jury is still out

I think as an athlete this year I matured greatly. I was ready to race all my races, but was not overly anxious. I respected my competition but didn’t fear them. I knew where I stood, I knew their strengths and weaknesses, my own, and with different variations in the races how things could play out.

It’s getting really fun to race with the guys in my AG. We all respect each other, get along and while we would love to kill each other out there, we all get along quite well off the course. That’s pretty cool to me to know that these guys al have a genuine interest in seeing you do well, as well as giving you the best fight they can to beat you. It definitely goes far in my enjoyment of the sport.

My daughter is starting to swim more competitively now and I take great pleasure in watching, supporting and answering the easy layup questions such as watch for the light off the blocks, not wait for the sound to get a faster start. I also like letting the great coaches she has be the coach. It isn’t my place to tell her how to change things or what to do. I do though help director her on her focus, work ethics and how to set goals to chip away at short and long term goals.

It makes me remember when I used to swim with my friends and I was way more concerned with who brought what snacks then training. However every time I got on the blocks I felt in my soul that I wanted to be a competitor. When I would get beat bad it was a wakeup call and would shatter my own internal barometer of work ethics which was quite low at that point.

I see this in both my daughter and stepson. They want to be good, but aren’t too interested yet in the WORK TO BE GOOD. It’s much easier to watch pros, or other great players do it and identify with them then to actually do what nobody sees them do – the really hard focused training.

Its Ok, Im not coming down on either of them. I know from experience something needs to click inside all of us that makes us feel “I want that, and am willing to do the really hard stuff to get it” Nobody can force that on anyone else. In fact as a coach I try to motivate, support and inspire however I hate PURSADING, or CONVINCING someone it’s time to work. No doubt, everyone goes through low times. That is completely normal. But the desire to get up early or go to your basement, or run in the cold, or clean up your diet needs to be an internal choice. That can’t be imposed if you want maximum effect.