Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday Shuffle

After a stellar week celebrating the Christmas holiday with family & friends in Michigan I returned to snowy Boulder late Wednesday evening. I had a hoot with my nieces and nephews, catching up with friends and feasting on some of my mom's tasty eats. Oh yeah, I did manage to get in a few good swims and runs.

As much as I enjoy seeing my family, it is always refreshing to return home (yes, I do refer to Boulder as home) and get back into the training, etc. Seeing several friendly faces around the gym has been great and this morning I doned my YakTrax for a sweet hill workout with a few folks. Amanda & Michael dished up a spicy little session and while my lungs were burning from the 11 degree temp, the snow covered mountains and blue sky provided some excellent scenery.

2008 is just around the corner and I am looking forward to what it brings! One of my goals is to learn how to salsa, hip-hop or ballroom dance. Wish me luck ;)

Keep it smooth...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Back in Motown

Motown, Hockeytown, the Motor City...all nicknames for Detroit. My flight arrived with no glitches Wednesday evening and it's great to be back. My family is gathering for our Christmas gig Saturday afternoon with the Christmas cheer lasting until the last little kid is standing :) Planning to go to one of my niece's soccer tournaments Saturday morning, sledding, snow ball fighting or bowling with the band of kiddos during the day then meeting up at my parents house late afternoon. Catching up with friends tonight at a Chritmas party hosted by my friend smokin' Joe Deighan. It will be great to see the crew from BD's Mongo Multisport Team.

Training has included a couple of swims and plan to run & hit the gym today. I had a fun social swim with my buddy Dennis at the local Y yesterday and this morning a solid session with my Dad at his swim club. I am super proud of my Dad for starting his swim program and he is rocking it after just four weeks. Like most of us he has his routine and it was fun to be part of it this morning.

Keep it smooth...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Triathlon Training 101

Upon reading Chuckie V's article at xtri this morning I was motivated to relfect on my training and what I deem a productive training model. I will premise my thoughts by stating I do not have any formal education on training principles and no degrees in kinesiology or human biomechanics. My training philosophies, if you will, have grown from the past eight years I have spent chasing a dream and the 15 years or so I spent chasing a soccer ball.

My foundational belief on how to be successful in and outside of sport is simplicity. I see and hear of far too many athletes who spend countless hours scrutinizing training data found on the web and magazines. (Some spend too much time scrutinizing other things on different kinds of websites and magazines, but I'll save that for another post). As Chuckie expresses in his article, debating about heart rate (HR) monitor versus power or how to utilize both is simply "icing on the cake". As a professional triathlete I have invested in these tools and do find value with them in my development. However, when it comes down to it I simply need to do the work - with or without my Ergomo and HR monitor. Gordo and his "good guys" group affectionally call it JFT.

Running is my strength within the three disciplines of triathlon. Having posted a 1:13 half IM run split and 2:53 marathon in Kona several folks have asked me about my running. It seems as though they are thinking I might share a special workout or secret tip. The reality is I simply try to be as consistent as possible with my training which includes taking care of the little things (recovery, fueling, rest, stretching, massage therapy, etc.). This past year when limited to water running I put in the work (which included a 2 hour deep water run) to help maintain my "feel" for running. It is also quite likely my years of playing soccer as a kid through college provdided a foundation for running. I have never received any formal run training. Actually, I used to think to myself when I saw someone jogging, "What a moron."

Boulder is certainly a unique place to live & train...the town oozes of athleticism, creativity, beauty...With this is the reality athletes often look at what so and so is doing and compare it to their training. It should not matter if I choose to swim with a masters group or on my own. It should not matter if Lilly does speed work with a group or bikes long on Tuesdays. What matters is each of us simply gets our arses out the door and trains.

There is an African proverb which reads: Every morning in Africa a gazelle awakes knowing it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be eaten. Every morning in Africa a lion awakes knowing it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. Whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun comes up you better be running.

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Giving Season or Silly Season

So here we are with yet another Christmas/holiday season upon us. Holiday parties, lights, parades, office parties and beer miles dot the calendar and consume our weekends. I'm all for the festive mood, but embark upon it with the goal of keeping it sane. For many people this time of year triggers a whirl of emotions, both healthy & unhealthy. One of my goals in closing out the year is to walk with humility and avoid getting caught up in the "loudness" of the season. Don't get me wrong, I am all for spreading good cheer. As a matter of fact my roommate and I are doing just that in a couple of weeks. (Any of you reading who have not RSVPd please do so :) I will spend Christmas with my family back in Michigan which is always a hoot and I look forward to mixing it up with my eleven nieces and nephews. Beyond the commercialism of the next few weeks, I find the connection with family and friends to be the crux of it all.

Keep it smooth...