All posts by my1sttrirace

Dealing With F’N DNF

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If you race long enough, you will certainly meet up with the dreaded DNF. (Did Not Finish) It’s the 800 pound elephant in the room, that no one wants to talk about. DNFing can cause a range of emotions from embarrassment to being just plain pissed off. I just put in X amount of time training, and $$$ amount of money to race, and this is my result. Argghh.

At the very least you will be frustrated, and rightly so. Reasons for DNF can be anything, an injury, adverse conditions, or just a really crappy day. Whatever the reason may be, as an athlete you need to deal with that race, and move on. For most of us one bad race will not define you, or your athletic career. Learning to deal with the disappointment from a DNF is a skill that requires mental toughness.

Here’s some suggestions for dealing with DNF:

Limit the pity party

Your friends, families, and training partners won’t think less of you for a DNF. Most of us over inflate the importance of our athletic goals in our mind. Take a couple of days to process your thoughts, and then just move on. You only get so many days on this planet, do you want to spend them pouting about some race? Be proud of the work you put in to make to the start line. Plus no one else wants to come to your pity party.

The best way to learn is to fail

When you were a toddler learning to to walk, did you parents let you fall down once, and then decide to not let you keep trying to learn to walk? Of course not, That’s crazy. You learned to walk by continually falling down and getting back up, until you figured it out.

The same is true for racing. You may not have hit your goal, but what did you learn along the way. Did you gain some course knowledge? Did you identify your weaknesses? Did you get a sense of the work you need to put in to reach your goal?

Don’t let the DNF be a total waste of time and energy. Figure out what you can do better, and crush your next race.

Winners don’t make excuses

There will be valid reasons why you had to DNF. Figure out how you can overcome those challenges, and succeed in your next race. Rationalizing your bad race with a bunch of excuses won’t help the situation, and is harmful to your mental toughness. Focus on the parts of the race that went well, and the things you can improve.

“Failure is just a lesson, until you make an excuse” – Jordan

Get back on the horse

If you’re not injured, then find another race to jump in. Don’t waste all of your fitness on that DNF. Find a race that looks like fun, and focus on that. Shift that frustration to motivation for your next race.

I’m sure you won’t have a DNF, but if you do, I hope these tips help out.

 

 

 

 

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Know Your Limits, Then Crush Them

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” A goal is a dream with a deadline” – Napoleon Hill

This post is not meant to be some self help guru speak about goal setting and changing your life. It is meant to be a practical look at setting big goals, and the power and momentum that comes with them.

Big goals motivate and inspire us and the people around us. Think of a time when you set a goal that you had no idea that you could reach. The bar is set different for everyone. Your goal could be to run across the country, or finish a 10K. Whatever that goal is it needs to stretch the limits of your perceived abilities. (aka step out of your comfort zone. That term is completely over used.)

Here’s my best advice for planning and achieving big goals.

Start with why.

When you pick your big goal, ask yourself. “Why am I doing this?”

Are you testing your limits?

Do you think it would be cool?

No matter the reason, be sure it is a reason that means something to you personally. This is intrinsic motivation, and the most powerful form of motivation. Outside motivation is short lived and weak.  Thrill of posting your accomplishment to social media will last a day or so. The feeling from accomplishing something personally important to you will last forever.

Know your limits, then crush them

Achieving big goals takes time, and normally more time than you think. When setting a big goal, assess where you are currently. Then determine how much progress you need to make, and the time it will take to get there. Be self aware, and realistic with your time frame. It’s a balancing act of picking a goal that challenges you, but doesn’t set you up to burn out. The best goals are ones that are slightly out of reach.

If you want a shortcut to your goal. Talk with people that have already achieved your goal. Get their feedback about your time frame, and current fitness. Find out what worked for them and what did not. You can use their experience to accelerate your own progress. Everyone progresses at different paces, but the quickest way to meet your goals is hard work and smart training.

Celebrate along the way

Your big goal make take months or years to accomplish. Set up milestones along the way to measure progress and celebrate. These smaller goals will keep you more focused, and motivated along the way.

Many people training for their first marathon have never run more than a half marathon before. As the plan progresses they will be running their longest run ever each week. Every time they hit a new long distance they should celebrate, and know they hit a new milestone toward their goal.

Enjoy the process

Life is short and time is precious. Spend your time pursuing something you enjoy. The goal is just the finish line, and a small part of the process.

Let’s take the marathon example again. Your goal is to finish a marathon. Where’s the start line? The start line is when you make it your goal and start training. The race is 26.2 miles, but your will train many more miles than that. You better enjoy running, or this will be a long miserable process.

It’s only a failure when you give up

“A failure is only a lesson, until you make an excuse.” – M. Jordan

If you are truly pushing your limits, you will encounter bumps in the road. There are two paths you can take accept defeat or learn from it. Your goal is always in reach if you believe it. History is full of examples, Lincoln, Edison, and Col. Sanders. If you have a moment, look up their stories. They had unbelievable persistence in the face of failure.

When we fail our minds will start to pay tricks with our motivation. That crack in the armor will let doubts creep in. We then rationalize these doubts, and start to talk ourselves out of our goal. These rationalizations are excuses, and excuses are weak. Excuses will sabotage all of the progress you made already.

My best strategy to combat failure and excuses is to decide I will meet me goal at the start of the process. Once you make up your mind, doubts won’t derail you. You are already know the outcome, you just need to put in the work.  Your results may not come on your original time frame, but with persistence they will come.

 

 

 

My 5 top insights from coaching new Triathletes

Purpose Road Sign

 

For the past year or so, I’ve had the honor to coach new and beginner triathletes. Some of my athletes made great progress and accomplished fantastic goals. Many of those goals, at the beginning, they thought were not possible. Along the process they have thought me many lessons as well.

Here’s the five most important insights I gleaned from coaching new triathletes. Hopefully, they will speed your progress as a new triathlete.

 

You are more capable than you think you are. 

When I first consult with a new athletes many times they are not confident they can achieve their goal. Putting yourself out there, and trying something new is daunting. Instead of telling yourself, you can’t do something, say “I can’t do it right now”. Many athletes before you have finished the race, PR’d or whatever the goal may be. Why can’t you? Decide you will meet your goal at the beginning of the process, then get to work on achieving it.

Don’t view themselves as athletes.

If you are training and participating in races, guess what? You are an athlete. For you to increase your fitness and reach your potential, you need to view yourself as an athlete. You might say, “great I called myself an athlete, now what?” Viewing yourself as an athlete is a shift in mindset. You will view your overall lifestyle differently, and make better decisions. For example, a normal person just eats, and athletes fuels their body. A normal person goes to the gym to workout, an athlete goes to the gym to train. When you view yourself as an athlete your decisions are made with a purpose. That purpose is to achieve your athletic goals.

Need more focused training.

If you want to try a new restaurant across town and you are unsure how to get there, you open up your map app. The map is going to give the quickest route from A to B. A well planned training plan is a road map to your athletic goal. It needs to start with a clear destination, and give direction along the way. You can start your journey with no map, but it will most likely be a longer and more time consuming route. (metaphor off)

This is the most important point for new athletes. Having a training plan can save you tons of time, energy and injury. The plan can come from a coach, or you can find one on the web. Find a plan that leads you to your goal, and fits your schedule. When each workout has a purpose, you will greatly accelerate your athletic progress.

Consider the long term view.

Aside for a very genetically gifted few, most endurance athletes will need years to reach their potential. It takes years of training and patience to build endurance in the body. Take Mark Allen, 6X Ironman World Champ for example. It took him 6 tries to win his first Kona, and the first attempt he didn’t even finish. Over those first six years he kept working, and the speed and endurance came.

It’s easy to only look week to week during training to measure progress. When a workout or a week of training doesn’t go well, we get discouraged. Sometimes, it’s best to pull back and look at your progress from a longer time line. You may have been progressing for the past six weeks, and you on just on a plateau before your next breakthrough.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Don’t be shy. As a new triathlete there is a ton on information to learn. There are three sports, training, recovery, equipment, etc. Heck, this is the reason I started this blog. Find an athlete who has been racing for a while, and pick their brain. Most people are excited to help out. You can learn from their mistakes and experience, and speed up your progress.

 

FTT Coaching Athlete Spotlight – Nikki

 

Nikki Detroit HM

This is Nikki. She reached out to me a couple of months ago for coaching to complete her first Half Ironman in the spring. Nikki’s first challenge in her Half Ironman quest was to better her HM time. I created an 8 week training plan for her that included base cycling and swimming with an emphasis on running. Nikki will tell you the hardest efforts were the Wednesday dreadmill work. Nikki put in tremendous effort and energy into her training, and showed steady progress.

Nikki‘s HM was last weekend at the Detroit Marathon, and she ran a PR of 3:02. She used a 2:1 run to walk ratio, and was able to pick up the pace at the end. She is very supportive of other runners in her group, and will often wait for others. I made her promise she would race her own race this time.

Nikki’s race report:

Here’s how the day went….

Woke up at 4:30am to music blasting from outside my hotel (we were 3 blocks from starting line & across the street from the post-race party). Tried to get back to sleep because my alarm wasn’t set to go off for another hour, but was pretty restless.

Arose, showered and started to mentally plan my race strategy. Ate a UCAN bar for breakfast and had coffee. Finally, left at 6:45am to get to my start corral. Sidewalk was so congested with spectators that racers couldn’t gain access to corrals. I immediately thought, “this would never happen in Chicago.” I had scouted out the corral I would join the previous day, so turned around and headed back through a side street to enter the corral. This was a great decision as I had to problems.

As I was waiting for the race to start, I began to shiver & questioned my wardrobe choice. Was thankful that I packed hand warmers too! Started my gospel playlist & began to quietly pray.

Race waves started every 2 mins and I began inching closer to the start line. Had to climb over mounds of clothes and thought again, “This ain’t Chicago! At least we place them along the fence for collection.”

Finally, my wave is beginning–yay!!! I turn to Anna, give her a fist bump and say, “see you in less than 3!” She smiles & we’re off!

First few miles were chilly and legs felt good. I change music after the first 5K and “turned up” the legs. By mile 4, I’m feeling myself. Music is pumping & I’m flying. Take a GU and keep it moving. Race scenery is amazing! By mile 6, I’m like hot damn I’m doing it & can keep going all day (based on how I feel). Mile 8 we enter the underwater tunnel & I’m flying. Felt winded so I slow down, looked over & I see Natali!! We take a couple of selfies & I’m off again. Now it’s time to exit the tunnel and here comes another “incline”. I think, I appreciate flat Chicago streets. Come out of the tunnel headed to mile 9 & Samantha taps my shoulder. We hug & I get an excruciating cramp in my right calf out of nowhere. I limp to side to stretch. Anna sees me & ask if I need her to massage, I decline and keep moving. The cramp comes & goes so I stretch and try to walk it out; however, it persists. I adjust intervals as I notice I can run at least 1 minute before cramping returns. I run up another “incline” aka an exit ramp at mile 11 & calf is sucker is hurting. I’m becoming concerned about time, but pressing forward. I’m walking more than running & mentally tanking. I tell myself to keep moving & don’t focus on clock, only focus on moving forward. I see flag for mile 13 ahead and think if my watch says 2:45 I can still make it. I pass gosh & see 2:45:35 and start pushing it. The more I pushed, the angrier that cramp became. I’m truly walking more than running, but trying to keep the walk less than 17 minutes/mile. I begin running again and it seems that I can only push for 30 seconds before the angry cramp attacks again.

I can see the crowd & hear the finish line cheers. I look at watch & keep pressing. I start envisioning that this was an Ironman event & they would snatch my soul from the course if I didn’t make it. I turn the corner and that freaking finish line is several blocks ahead. Hell, this angry ass cramp won’t let me make the cutoff, but I’m still gonna PR!

Overall, I think the cramping was due to lack of electrolytes. I didn’t consume a lot of Gatorade & have trained with salt/electrolyte tabs so I didn’t bring any with me. I was so proud of myself for adjusting when things didn’t go well. In the past, I’ve crumbled, cried, and gave up. Finally, I still PR’d and was able to shave 15 minutes off my time within the past year. I truly couldn’t have done this without your guidance.

I needed this race to go well today. This race. along with your coaching, has allowed me to believe that I can complete a HIM within the allotted time.

Thank you for tapping into my potential and helping me believe in ME! Now, what’s next?

Congrats Nikki! Nikki is very positive and a joy to coach. Spread some love and leave a quick congrats in the comments.

Now get ready for that big block of bike training coming your way.

If you have a big goal like Nikki, and need some coaching or guidance, send me an email at firsttimetri+coaching@gmail.com

Fantastic Finish Foto Friday – Steel Bike Declan

Welcome to Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s photo is from Declan Kenny:

getting-medal

This is me getting my medal as I crossed the line for my first half ronman, the ‘Ireman Triathlon’ in Northern Ireland, 27 Sept 2015.

Read more about Declan’s first HIM on his blog: http://unironedman.com/

If you are a new or beginner triathlete and would be interested in coaching, please email me at firsttimetri+coaching@gmail.com.

Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish. It doesn’t have to be from a triathlon, just any race that has special meaning to you. If you are interested in sharing, please send a message to firsttimetri@gmail.com.

Fantastic Finish Foto Friday – John tackles Snowman

Welcome to Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

John is one of my coached athletes. He reached out to me for coaching to improve his fitness going into the Snowman Triathlon. I designed him a 9 week training plan, that he followed diligently. John completed every workout I threw at him with the correct intensity. John made fantastic improvement over the training plan, culminating with a superb race at Snowman. John was an absolute pleasure to coach, and I see tons more improvement for him in the future.

This week’s Foto is from John Baden:

John Snowman 3
Photo credit – Simon Murray

John:

Always Aim High Events hit it out of the park with this race, stunning views of the snowdon horseshoe, beautiful (but cold) lake swim at the national mountain centre at plas y brenin, fantastic fast bike course despite an almost 10km climb back up to T2, and to top it off, a mountain run (ahem, hike) to finish!

After a 9 week training plan, that I followed as closely as I have ever followed anything it was time for me to don my new hometown Triathlon club kit for the first time and embark on something quite hard! (understatement of my life) I intend to carry on with training and do the race series the organisers of the snowman arrange every year.

Arriving the night before my race and camping less than 5k from the venue was the first plus of my weekend, allowed me to pitch the tent, then make registration the evening before. Allowing me to prep all my kit the evening before the race.

Arriving early on race day, I parked my car no more than 500 metres (yet not on the race route) from transition and ambled down to rack my bike and find a much needed caffeine fix. superb marshalls on the entrance to transition made this process nice and smooth. I racked the bike and went for a look around the centre at Plas Y Brenin before heading back to start getting ready.

Race briefing was done whilst athletes where prepping in transition, with the use of some fairly hefty loudhailers, not a problem to hear it and a very thorough briefing (the brit tri referree telling us we where about to jump into a bracing 11 centigrade lake!)

I got my wetsuit on, and got comfortable, checking and rechecking my bike shoes and trail shoes where easily accesible when needed. Then the shout came, 9:50am, we were to head to the lake and swim entrance, I took the plunge early and used the time to get a few strokes in and make sure my suit was well fitted. 10:00am And the hooter goes off, and I set off on my swim, settling into a rhythm early and actually finding it quite comfortable, 8 minutes later I was hauling myself out into the morning sunshine, unzipping the suit as I headed back towards transition. 

In transition, I took the time to dry my feet and put a pair of trail running socks on before I got the bike shoes on, helmet clipped up, bike unracked, I was running for the mount line, with the encourragement of the event organisers and some crazy local supporters ringing in my ears, I ran past the mount line, and mounted a little way down the road, so as to avoid knocking anyone over. I tightened my shoes, and got my head down. Literally spinning my legs up to 100rpm and speeds in excess of 65kph on the descent to Llanrwst through Betws y Coed. Then, outside a petrol station, I realised my seat post was dropping, Disaster! I was going to lose time, Luckily a fellow competitor stopped with an alan key, seat post put right, I was on my way, a flat loop until the 10km climb back to Capel Curig started at Betws. Still I managed to average 31kph on the bike, and only just went over the hourr for that leg. Approaching transition again, I took my feet out my shoes (well I tried!) and got off just before the line! with the owner of the event company policing the line shouting encouragment I felt awesome getting back to my position. My bike was re racked, helmet took off, I slipped my running shoes on and set off into the un-known!

Leaving transition for the final time, I was feeling good, until I got into the tree line. There the path ramped up and I think most people where then reduced to a Hike, through some of the most rugged and brutal terrain I’ve ever seen. After 50 ish minutes, I reached the turn around point, and thats where the fun really began. As it was ALL downhill from here, I started to let my legs go, following the guy in front of me all the way back to tree line, an awesome feeling to descend a mountain at speed, running through boggy muddy sections without a care, and hurtling over rocky outcrops as fast as possible! BRILLIANT! thenI hit the flat forest road, and was speeding along at 4 mins 30 seconds per KM, I got to what I thought was the finish distance at 5k, I was wrong! And I hit a wall, 1.4km later however, and around 2 hours and 20 minutes after jumping in the lake I had crossed the finish line to an amazing sense of achievement. 

If you are a new or beginner triathlete and would be interested in coaching, please email me at firsttimetri+coaching@gmail.com.

Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish. It doesn’t have to be from a triathlon, just any race that has special meaning to you. If you are interested in sharing, please send a message to firsttimetri@gmail.com.

Fantastic Finish Foto Friday – First Time Triathlete Sam

Welcome to Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s Foto is from Samatha Goga:

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Sam is one of my coaching athletes working toward a marathon PR in the fall. She also tackled her first triathlon last week. Here’s the story of her day:

I did it… I completed my first Sprint Distance at the Chicago Triathlon, despite everything that went wrong!

I racked my bike the night before and when I showed up to transition in the morning, I was missing my handlebar plugs. They told me I couldn’t ride without them and I began to panic a bit. All that for nothing over some plugs!? I refused to believe that was it. So I triple checked with bike solutions & one of the guys working there ended up taking them out of his own bike for me. All was right with the world again.

A few hours later I was entering the water and the horn was sounding just seconds later. I allowed most of the other first timers to go before making my way through the water. I didn’t want to start any breathing issues (I’ve been having a few lately), so I went with a backstroke. I felt really good that way and just decided to keep it that way the whole time. I had about 15 yards left and I flipped over to finish strong. However, I got thee worst charley horse ever in my calf. I couldn’t move my leg at all and it hurt so bad. I had to make my way over to the wall as I cried. My tears were filling my goggles and I just wanted to be pulled up. Because I was so close, my family and one of the lifegaurds encouraged me to make my way to the finish line so my timing chip wouldn’t get taken, so I did that. I stopped there to talk to a medic and stretch. It was still really tight but I pushed on.

I eventually made it safely back to transition, changed and hustled out… And as I mounted my bike, I realized the chain was off my bike. The nice guy at bike solutions saved the day again! After taking my bike apart to fix it, (it felt like forever) I was on my way. I’m pretty certain there was only 1 other person that started the bike behind me because I was out there all by myself basically the entire time. When I would come across a person, I made it my mission to pass them. I guess it helped me move faster to race them. I think I passed about 5 people the entire bike ride… Other than that, I was alone.

By the time I started to run, I thought that would also be a solo journey, but I was able to catch up to a few folks, and again race them. I quickly realized that nobody had respect for the course anymore because there were so many people just walking on it and through it. However, I felt really good on the run, if I ignored my calf. I was cheering on those going past me in the other direction and encouraging those that I passed. Finally, I see the finish line… Move it!! Once I passed it, I could not breath at all and my chest was really tight. I was escorted to the medical tent, taken care of and given a nebulizer treatment because of everything that was happening.

Sooo… It was a lot more than I ever expected, but that’s how it went. If it wasn’t for this extremely tight calf, I’d feel great! Oh, and if all that other mumbo jumbo didn’t happen, I’m confident that I would’ve finished with my goal of 2.5 hours… I’ll take the 2:45 though considering the circumstances…

Would I do it again? I’ll be in the Athena wave next year for sure!

Fantastic job Sam! That was no an easy day! You took each obstacle in stride, and found a way to keep moving forward. You definitely earned that finish.

Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish. It doesn’t have to be from a triathlon, just any race that has special meaning to you. If you are interested in sharing, please send a message to firsttimetri@gmail.com.

Foto Finish Friday – Dr.Dan from First time Triahtlete to Ironman in a month

Welcome to (a special follow up)  Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s Foto is from Dan Engström:

Dr Dan IM Finish

 Photo by Andy Kenyon

Dan:

IronMan UK
 
Here are a few collected thoughts from a Hero Hour finisher in my first Ironman triathlon: IronMan UK 2015 in Bolton, England. Hero Hour? The hour for the sixteen hours plus finishers. The slower ones. Me. First of all, let’s get one thing straight. It was brutal. You prepare as well as you can, even to the point of being more than decently fit before I even entered, in August. In preparation, I ran a marathon, biked a 300 km race, swam a 3 km open water race and did  an Olympic triathlon. I had also prepared well mentally. The fact is, I needed every last bit of mental strength to bring out the power needed to keep moving. The swim was easy for me, which was a bit of a surprise. The rolling swim start was a great thing that probably helped. But the bike leg sapped energy by the minute from the legs, because of the hills (expected), a very mean wind (not expected to be THAT bad) and the appaling condition of the tarmac (certainly not expected). It felt as though I was biking uphill on a cattle grill for 112 miles. But somehow you had find the energy to keep moving.
 
Keep moving. That was the mantra of the amazing volunteers and people of Bolton. Keep moving Dan! Well done, Dan, you’re doing great! If IMUK was brutal it was equally spectacular. The commitment from everyone around the race was truly amazing and a memory for life. I found a familiarity about doing the IronMan in Bolton that I certainly did not expect. The IronMan community and the people of Bolton come together and really made the effort to get there worthwhile. A steady slow trot, uncomfortable but not painful, and some walking, up and down between historic Bolton and a crescent about 4.5 km away and suddenly, there was the finish line. I arrived with almost an hour to spare to the deadline and the energy to savour the moment.
 
If you decide to do the IronMan UK in Bolton, make sure you know how to fix a puncture. Expect a hilly bike leg that is challenging but with easier winds not too bad. You’ll climb Sheephouse Lane easily if you’ve trained. Prepare for plenty of logistics time with the two transition zones being 10 miles apart and bring a car. Embrace the hurt – it will get very uncomfortable but you WILL be able to make it to the finish line. Everybody else is just as tired as you are, and even at eleven at night, there will be people cheering for you at the finish. Find strength in all people shouting your name and just keep moving. Then enjoy those magic words at the red carpet declaring that you are an IronMan!
Lap2 small
Photo by Jim Pike
 
Dan you are a beast! Hold on to that feeling of accomplishment from an Ironman finish, its like nothing else. You progress is fantastic, and shows the rest of us that anything is possible with the right mindset.
Cheers to you, Dan!!!
Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish. It doesn’t have to be from a triathlon, just any race that has special meaning to you. If you are interested in sharing, please send a message to firsttimetri@gmail.com.

Help me to help you become a better Triathlete (for free)

Are you a new or beginner triathlete looking to improve? Have you decided to use triathlon to improve your lifestyle and overall happiness? I want to be your coach. Even better than that, I want to be your coach for free.

First Time Triahlete Beach 2 Battleship

I started this firsttimetriathlete.com, a couple of years ago to help new triathletes just getting into the sport. There were tons of sites dedicated to helping intermediate and elite triathletes, but a shortage info for brand new athletes. Even the sites originally designed to help new triathletes had become too advanced. Triathlon is already an intimidating sport with three separate disciplines, and the multitude of the gear required. My goal is to make triathlon simple and approachable, so more athletes will finish their first race, and hopefully continue their triathlon journey.

The elation of crossing the finish of a new challenge, which you were not sure your could complete, is awesome. In that moment all of the hard work, and struggle pay off in a crescendo of joy. The race doesn’t begin at the start line. It begins when you decide you are committed to the race and start training. I want to help coach you through your own journey and finish. Check out the Fantastic Finish Foto Friday Page for stories of others finishing their first race and what it meant to them.

About me:

I’ve been training for and racing triathlons for the past 6 years. Before triathlon, I was a Cat 3 road cyclist, and raced bikes for 10 years. I’ve raced  in 2 Ironmans (training for a third), marathons, and ultra marathons. I’m not the fastest guy out there, but endurance sports are my passion, and I am a student of the sport. Most importantly, I give a shit. The success of the people I coach is my very important to me. It gets me pumped to see people finish something they thought was impossible.

The deal: (Did someone say free?)

This winter I plan to get my USAT coaching license. In order to get in to the program I need more coaching experience on my resume. Crazy right? In order to become a coach you need to be already be a coach. So in the spirit of the win-win, I offer my highly valuable coaching services for the low, low price of free to gain the experience. Also, I really want to new athletes improve and give back to the sport I love.

Here’s what I am looking for in a potential new client. You don’t have to meet all of these requirements, but this is a good guideline.

  1. New to triathlon, or beginner triathlete looking to improve.
  2. Looking to improve overall lifestyle through triathlon.
  3. Not overly competitive. Racing against your own goals.
  4. Have a race coming up in the next 8-15 weeks.

I looking to take on 4-5 new athletes in the next couple of months. Here’s what you will receive from me:

  • Initial assessment of your current triathlon fitness
  • Custom training plan developed for your next race
  • Weekly email/phone progress consults
  • Workout tracking/accountability
  • Encouragement

If you are interested and looking to improve, please email me at firsttimetri+coaching@gmail.com. Don’t be shy, if you read this far, you’re most likely interested, shoot me an email. If you know someone else, that may be interested, please pass it on.

Be Well,

Shawn

Workout Wednesday – Bike Power Hills

Welcome to Workout Wednesday. Every Wednesday I  post a new Triathlon specific workout. (for free, What a Country!) If you like the workout, fit it into your training plan for the week. If you don’t like the workout you’re crazy, all of my workouts are brilliant pieces programming. (kidding)

A couple weeks ago,  I was racing on the hilly but fun bike course. The sun was out, and t was beautiful morning. My legs were feeling good and pumping out the watts. Two more miles to go to the turn around, I am  crushing it. The hills on the course aren’t so bad. Then right before the turn around, I came up on a pavement wall. Suddenly, I staring up a .25 mile climb at 15%. I switch the the small chain ring, and grind my way up the hill. By the top of the hill, my heart rate was around 1000bpm, and my legs were Jello. Luckily, we turned around and came right back down the hill, so I had time to recover and then crush the rest of the course. (Also, I hit 46 mph on the downhill, waahooo!)

That hill exposed  a weakness in my recent cycling training. I’m lacking in hill power. Power hills are short intense efforts that keep your speed up on a hilly course. Power hills differ from long sustained hills, as they require pure leg strength. Increasing that leg strength requires short intense efforts with adequate rest. Think of it as doing squats on your bike. Working on power hills is also a win-win, as it will make you stronger on the flats.

Now let’s get to work:

Power Hills:

Warm up

  • 5 Minutes easy spin
  • 5 X  @70 Effort 1 min/1 min rest

Main Set

  • 5 X standing 1 min/1 min rest – of each min rep 1st 30 secs @70%/ 2nd 30 secs @85% effort
  • 3 min easy spin
  • 3 X standing 2 min/ 1 min rest – of each 2 min rep 1st min @60%/ 2nd min @80% effort
  • 3 min easy spin
  • 6 X standing 30 secs/ 1 min rest @85%

Cool Down

  • 10 min easy spin

This workout is best done on a trainer or stationary bike. Set the resistance heavy enough to make it challenging, but still be able to maintain a cadence above 60 rpm. Build into each rep, and focus on finishing strong. This workout is great for flatlanders is best done every couple of weeks. Work it into your program and you will be powering up the hills like a freight train.