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...


Cliff Tam said...


Thanks for the reminder. If you remember who i am, I did my first Ironman (IMLP) and it was great.

Hope you have a great Christmas and may God bless you in the coming season :)

Cliff Tam said...

Hi Brad,

I have no plan to do IM for 2008. Going to be focus on running and cycling. I plan on doing IM-Moo for 2009. I heard that one is pretty tough as well.