NYC Triathlon 2014

Race Report


A l(not so short) look at the two main options for fueling in endurance sports

My Famous Fails

A little recap of my accidents

Race Recap of the Demi-Marathon des Microbrasseries

Race report for this new race, complete with multiple distances, and BEER!!!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Off-Season Mini-post: Crossfit (part 3)

OK almost made it! This was the third straight day of Foundations class for crossfit, and I was happy to be almost done. Honestly, triathlon and marathon training have made me used to having sore legs, and occasionally sore arms or shoulders from swimming, but I've never been so thoroughly sore across my body. My legs feel like tree trunks as I stomp around the office, my shoulders are sore, and now even my lats are aching every time I raise my arms. Man, it feels great.

So here's what we learned on Day 3:

This day was meant to be all about Olympic lifting. Really it was only 1 or two moves which was focused on doing a dead lift  and the snatch. Here's what the snatch is supposed to be and how to do it. The Jerk is basically the same except you stop with the barbell in the rack-squat position at your collarbone.

It seems like an easy thing to do, or at least understand conceptually, but stringing together the movements was actually pretty tricky, and will definitely need more practice in the future. There really wasn't time to learn anything else, and for the most part I think the coach covered most of the movement and scaling options that we would be needing in most classes.

That's all for the foundations classes. I'll be posting an update with my thoughts on Crossfit in about a month, once I have real class experience.

You can go back and check out my recap of Day 1 here, or Day 2 here

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Off-Season Mini-post: Crossfit (part 2)

So the adventure continued last night with the second of three Foundations classes to get ready for real classes at Crossfit KOA. Whereas the first day began with a mix of dynamic and static mostly leg stretches, last night we got introduced to a few new friends.

First, the coach gave us all foam rollers. Not the kind of roller I have at home, which is basically blue foam that I've used after long runs/bikes, but a nasty Triggerpoint roller with a hard surface and grooves. Honestly I didn't even have the worst one. Another participant who was apparently very stiff got a roller full of knobs, which must have hurt like a bitch.

We began by rolling our backs (heard a few nice clicks), then moved on to our legs, then did our triceps using a lacrosse ball, and finished off our stretching session using heavy duty elastic bands anchored to an overhead pole.

Then, the fun stuff. This class focused on overhead lifting. I honestly don't recall all the names, but we went through lifting a barbell from our chest, lifting it and jump-splitting our legs, lifting with legs hopping just an inch outwards, and pistol squats, which is basically parleying a bbarbellsquat into a launching motion overhead. We didn't use much weight, but it was still definitely tiring.

A rowing machine. Pretty simple, right? 
To finish the session, we got introduced to the rowing machine. I've used one before and you've probably seen them at the gym. While not incredibly complex, it's actually a little tricky to get the sequence of moves in properly as you pick up speed.

We did the rowing game for a few minutes while the coach helped us with our form, and that was it for Day 2. No time for a workout, which I think the other participants and I were totally OK with after yesterdays vomit-fest.

On Day 3, I'm told we are going to delve into the world of Olympic lifting. Stay tuned to see how that goes, or you can go back and read about Day 1 here.

Thanks for reading, and keep Tri-ing!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Off-Season Mini-post: Crossfit (part 1)

Now that race season is pretty much over, I want to try to expand my exercise library and work some different aspects than the usual endurance stuff that I'm used to. So, after doing some searching on Groupon, I found a deal at Crossfit KOA, a box that's pretty close-by to home.

A nice touch about KOA is that they have new members do a 3 day "Foundations" program, where you and up to 9 others get some time to learn the basics of proper technique for the different moves that Crossfit uses.

I'll be giving a quick summary of my thoughts here during the Foundations period, and later once I've been doing it for a month or so.

Foundation ; Day 1

I showed up to sign up for the program and found the staff at KOA to be really friendly. Multiple trainers (coaches?) came up to me while I was waiting for the program to start and introduced themselves. The facilities is pretty much what I expected. I has plenty of ropes, cages, weights, and is generally appropriately rugged looking. A class was in progress and I got to watch a handful of participants with what looked like widely varying fitness levels doing barbell squats. No meatheads, no steroid junkies, just a bunch of every-type athletes trying to be healthier.

My class started and I met my trainer and the other 2 participants (small class). For the first 45 minutes or so, he showed and has us practice doing some squats, various barbell squats, and box jumping techniques to maintain proper form. Because we were such a small group, we finished pretty quickly and so he gave us a workout. On a whiteboard he wrote;

14 mins
10 WB
10 Burpees
200m run

So, 14 minutes, 10 wall-balls (squat with heavy ball that gets thrown up as you rise, 10 burpees, and 200 m dash outside.
Wall-Balls. They suck almost as much as Burpees

I thought 14 minutes was a tonne of time to get this done, so when it came to my run, I gave it all I had. Trotting back in and out of breath, I heard the coach say "Great job Eddie, only 10 minutes left". At which point I realized that we had to do sets of the workout for 14 minutes. Crap.

The next 10 minutes were painful, tiring, nearly vomit-inducing. By the end, my lungs were burning and I was done.

So...overall the first class was pretty fun.

Check back tomorrow to see how Day 2 goes.

Thanks for reading and keep Tri-ing!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

NYC Triathlon 2014 - Race Report

Expo and Packet Pick-up
Because of the size and technical factors involved in this race, the event coordinators make it mandatory to attend an information sesion before being able to pick up your packet. The half hour info session covered a brief outline of the course, transition, and a few of the tricky spots to look out for. It was held along with the expo at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. It really wasn't all that painful, and afterwards I headed to packet pickup, which was organized by number. I was number 4958, out of somewhere near 5000 so I just marched over to the last table.

Chip scanning station
Waiting in line for my packet
After a few minutes in queue, I approached the table, flashed my USAT card and a piece of ID, and had to sign some USAT waivers, probably promising not to sue if I died in the Hudson.
I then had a wristband attached to my arm which would serve as my identification as a participant for the weekend.

Then, we just had to get our chips scanned and we were let into the Expo.

The race expo
Getting my ankle taped
The Expo was fairly large, though not as big as I've seen for some marathons. They were selling a lot of event apparel, and also had many different vendors. There were sports/recovery drinks and food available to sample from some smaller companies, as well as Muscle Milk, Clif Bar, and Natural Valley. There were also booths set up by some of the race sponsors selling their merchandise, like Vitamix, which had an Infomercial wannabe showing off the blender, and X-terra. I actually ended up buying a new Vortex 4 sleeveless which I later wore for the race.

I also decided to buy some KT Tape from a booth that they had, and the guys over at KT had a rep offering free taping, so I got my ankle wrapped, to hopefully help some of the nagging that I've been feeling.

After staying for maybe a bit too long, I picked up my goody bag, race t-shirt, and headed outta there.

So many bikes!
Bike check-in was set for Saturday, and I showed up pretty late in the night to do mine. It was actually pretty amazing to see so many bikes all in one place. This was probably one of the largest races I've done so far, except for maybe Tremblant 70.3 . In any case, it was nice to be able to walk through and rack my bike in peace and quiet instead of fighting for space and rushing around with many other athletes. The one negative thing I noticed is that the space assigned for each athlete was really quite small. There was barely enough room for my different shoes, and I also had bags with my change of clothing.

Race morning (yes it's morning, despite the 5am darkness)

In retrospect, the once thing I would have done differently is that I should have completely set up my transition during bike check-in, instead of coming back at 5am to do this. My wave only started at almost 8am, and I would have liked to have gotten a few extra hours of sleep!

Pre-race. I don't know what's going on with my hair.
The swim was organized a little different than most. Instead of a mass start or one wave per age group, you were divided into waves, and then lined up onto a barge about 10 or 15 athletes at a time. They would release each "mini-wave" every 15 seconds or so. I found it to be unique, and really much more relaxing than trying to avoid being swam over by 200 other people. The best thing about this swim is of course the current! I'm a bad swimmer and I know it, but even when I stopped, I could tell that I was moving fairly quickly by looking at the nearby shoreline. The swim was uneventful. There were no dead fish, dead bodies, condoms, trash, or jellyfish. Really the water is just kinda murky, vaguely salty, and it MOVES. At the end of the swim there are volunteers to literally pull you out. My total swim was 24 minutes. Slow by the race standard, and one I don't expect to beat anytime soon (until the next time I do this race maybe).

At the end of the swim, volunteers literally pull you out of the water, and then you run a few hundred yards to transition. I had a little trouble unzipping my wetsuit. Being brand new and the first time I'd worn it, I maybe should have practiced beforehand. Anyway I eventually caught the zipper cord and peeled it off halfway while running. Getting my bike shoes on seemed to go a little slower than I'd like, and I was fumbling with deciding if I should wear sunglasses or not before I decided to just shove them in my back pocket since it was quite overcast, and the lenses had gotten all wet from the rain. I ran to Bike-Out, crossed the timing mat, and was about to mount my bike when I realized I had a flat rear tire. Yuuuuup.
Sooooo I ran back over the timing mat back into transition where there was a bike tech helping out. My wife was checking my progress through an app, and since Bike Out/In use the same timing mat, I apparently posted and amazing bike time of 200-something miles an hour. After waiting for the tech to help out another athlete, he got to helping me change my tube, and I was off again. According to the official results, my T1 was 5 minutes, but I'm not sure how accurate it is. it seemed like the process took longer, but maybe I was just anxious.
Sampled from

Immediately after mounting you make a steep climb, so its suggest to be in an easy gear. This was definitely a good idea. Since the ground was also wet, I think it would have been easy to spin out and fall otherwise. The course itself was a straight shot up the West Side Highway, with generous rolling hills up through the Bronx before turning around. I found the way out to be more difficult than coming back, and the hills were definitely tiring me out. My goal was to try to make up as much time as I could from the swim and flat tire fiasco, but with my muscles burning I didn't move all that fast. Still, I think I managed to pass a nice amount of people, a few with a number between 25-29 on their calf. Along the way I tried to give as much encouragement as I could to Team in Training athletes as I could when I passed them. There are no aid stations on the bike, so all nutrition has to be with  you, which I found to be fine given the overcast weather. Towards the end of my ride, the weather finally started to clear up and get warmer as the sun came out, At that point, I had drank about half my Hammer Perpetuem, and refilled my Aerodrink bottle once. I should point out that I didn't actually DRINK all my water, but rather end up spitting a bunch of my legs to cool them off. Total bike time is posted as 1:39, though again I'm not sure if any of my tube change is included here or not. A 15mph pace is kinda slow for me, but it is what it is at this point. Ill be focusing on my biking a lot leading up to Princeton 70.3, so hopefully it will pay off.

T2 +Run

Sampled from And yes, I am flying
As I mentioned, the Bike-In is the same as Bike-Out, so the bike finished going back down a rather steep hill into transition. I quickly ran my bike to my rack, and ended up just leaning my bike against another, because I couldnt seem to get it in all the way to properly rack it. I got my helmet off, took my watch from the bike, jammed my feet into my Zoots and was off. My T2 was 1:45, quite different from T1. The Run course ran towards and through Central Park. I'd never ran here before so it was really cool to finally have the chance. The interesting part was that since Central Park is such a popular area for runners/cyclists, there were tons of each moving towards the race. Our Half the path was blocked off for the race while rest was open for general use. The park is somewhat hilly, and it definitely was a little tough. There was an aid station every mile or so offering Gatorade, water, and in some stops ice, gels, and I think towels. I kept up a fairly decent pace, since I really wanted to make up some time, and I know the run is my strongest sport of the three. I passed a lot of TNT, as well as a nice amount of people oin my Age Group. 5k split time was 28:15, and total run time was 50 minutes, so I'm pretty happy with a having posted a decent negative split. I thought I might have been running too fast at the beginning, but it's good to know I was able to hold on and push through until the end. Total Race time was 2:59:24, setting a new PR, and finally breaking the 3 hour mark!

Finish+Post Race
The finish line was in Central Park, and nicely marked off to prevent overcrowding or crashing into pedestrians as I've seen in other races. Immediately after crossing I was handed my finisher's medal, and had a ice-cold towel slapped on my shoulder by another TriSports Champion, Anthony.  I was also handed a bottle of cold water, and picked up some banana and apples as I got the timing chip removed by volunteers, and was then ushered out into the family reception area. I got some ice wrapped around one of my calves in the medical tent for no real reason other than to speed recovery, and then met up with my wife. I didn't spend much time looking around, but I was surprised that there wasn't more of a finisher's celebration. Again, there might have been and I didn't see it, but I was hoping to buy some sort of race-apparel there instead of having to go online.

As usual, I rewarded myself with some much needed junk food. Pizza, home fries, Birthday-Cake M&M's (Really good!), and more generally crap food throughout the day were on the docket. Gotta love racing ;)

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

NJ State Olympic Triathlon 2014

 NJ State Triathlon 2014

Last week was the New Jersey State Triathlon, so I've been wanting to get this race report out while it's still fresh in my mind. To me, this race was especially cool because it was my first since getting married, and was also my first in New Jersey. The race, organized by CGI Racing,  is the largest in NJ, and is split between a sprint and Olympic distance races on the Saturday and then Sunday. 

Expo and Pickup
Packet pickup for the Olympic distance was made available on Friday, Saturday, and on race day if pre-reserved. I had initially reserved race day pickup, but thanks to a change in my schedule I was able to get out on Friday afternoon. I don't really love that I had to drive all the way out to Mercer Park for it, but it was just under each way so not horrible. The bigger trouble than I ran into, and so did many others that I met en route, was that the location was not easy to find through my GPS. I had to actually follow the GPS location through a link in one of their emails before being able to direct a small caravan of athletes to the race site.
Overall, everything was pretty organized, I walked up to a desk, signed a release form, flashed my USAT ID, and was promptly handed a plastic sac containing my timing chip, athlete bracelet, bib, tech T-shirt, and leftover Finisher mugs from the Love Run (a Philadelphia based half-marathon also organized by CGI). 
The Expo was fine. There were a couple shops selling triathlon related products, as well as a few health-oriented companies with booths.

Race Day
Transition opened a little before 6AM on race day, and there were plenty of volunteers on hand to assist with body-marking. The transition area was pretty large, well organized, and each athletes space was big enough to comfortably rack a bike and have shoes neatly laid out next to it. Fun note, I had somehow forgotten to bring water, but a quick holler to nobody in particular and a fellow athlete handed me a large jug to fill one of my bottles with,  Another funny moment, is that close to when transition was closing, someone anounced over the loudspeaker that a bike tire had blown. Ok not so funny for that athlete but overall pretty nice of someone else for getting it announced. After setting up my stuff, I headed over to visit the Central Jersey Triathlon Club tent for a quick chit chat. Another nice thing about this race is that CGI provided space for any club with more than a certain number of athletes racing, as well as (most excitedly) a DECICATED PORT-A-POTTY!!!.
A couple minutes later and I wandered to the lake to get in a quick warm-up.

Due to the water temperature, the race was not wetsuit legal. It was allowed, but would remove eligibility from awards. Even though I had no expectations of hitting the podium, I felt like I didn't want to be both overheated and constricted so opted to go sans wetsuit. I only had a few minutes to warm-up before the started singing the national anthem. I made my way and towards the start corral, since I was in the first wave. Not long after I was wading out for the open water start. After what seemed like too long of a wait the race started and we were off! OK, most people were off. I kinda just went. I'm not a great swimmer to begin with, and I chose to not wear a wetsuit in a race for my first time, and I got a lovely kick to the head early on that dislodged my goggles. Anyway after about 40 minutes I emerged from the water  happy to be done swimming and in a hurry. UPDATE: Apparently the swim WAS westuit legal. I guess I never got the memo. Oh well.

Sampled from
Luckily, transition area was just a short distance from the water, and I wanted to get through T1 as fast as possible. I grabbed my pre-Body-Glided shoes, sunglasses, and helmet and was out in 2 minutes flat. The bike course covered two loops of mostly flat terrain. It took me a little while to get my legs moving comfortably, and I held off from taking in any nutrition until about 15 minutes into the bike. I had frozen a bottle with 3 scoops of Hammer Perpetuem mixed in, and it was still perfectly cold but melted at this point. I also had my aero-bottle filled with water, as well as my secret weapon; sticks of gum tucked between the elbow pad cushion and metal. Why do I need gum during a race? I have no idea but I find it keeps me focused. I wanted to try to push on the bike, but for whatever reason I was feeling the burn and couldn't keep my pace as high as I'd have liked. Still my total time for the bike was 1:23.


The course had aid station about every mile that carried a mix of water, Hammer Heed, Hammer Gels, and at two aid stations, wet towels. LOVED the wet towels. Also I should point out that the volunteers here really rocked and were cheering plenty. 5K in I was feeling pretty pooped, so I kept sipping on Hammer Gels, and slowly squeezed the towels over my head when I could. My finishing time on the run was 50 minutes, giving me a total race time of 3 hours flat. Not great, worse than what I wanted, but not bad considering my recent injury, and general business what with getting married and moving to a new country and all.

After crossing the finish line I was handed a medal ( a HUGE medal), a bottle of water, had my timing chip removed, and was released back into the expo. A catered tent was open for athletes with chicken breast, grilled veggies, some fruit and drink. Nearby, a local company was offering athletes free chair massages, which I signed up for as I always do after a race. There were also a few other food vendors handing out free samples, and an ice cream truck. A massage, free food, and Drumstick later I was satisfied and went back to the CJTC tent to pick up a few things, wish congrats to other athletes, and head home.

I totally recommend this race to others, and definitely plan on racing it again in future years. It was well organized, fun, a nice course, and pretty close to my home. 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Montreal Hypothermic 2014

Last weekend was the Montreal edition of the Hypothermic Half-Marathon, organised by the Running Room. The draw of winter races tends to usually be the same; runners and endurance athletes like to have races as goals and benchmarks for their training. After September or October, there tends to be very little in the way of race options when you live in a Northern climate like Montreal, as a result of the unpredictable weather and sometimes brutal cold. Nonetheless, some organisations put together winter races to give us something to do, and something to humble-brag about. "What did you do this weekend?"  "oh not much, ran a half-marathon in -20C, just normal stuff".
Anyways, after doing the full Winterman Marathon last year, I decided to scale back this winter and do the Hypo instead. The fact that there is a local edition instead of having to drive to Ottawa also helped my decision. Also, a draw for the Hypo is that they always give out a "gift" to participants. In past years I was told that they would always give a Running Room jacket, but this year they were handing out glove/hat packs along with your bib at kit pickup. I'm happy with the gift since I can't find my running hat and my current gloves aren't all that great. One thing is that i wasn't so happy with the pickup location, which was at the Running Room in the Quartier 10-30, a shopping area off the island. Pickup was also available near the starting area, but I felt it would be too busy and stressful. So here is my review of the race, as well as my personal experience.

The race starts on Jean Drapeau, an island just off of Montreal. It's pretty easy to get to, there was apparently nearby parking, and is accessible by metro (subway for non-locals). After leaving the metro, you just had to do a small (but cold) hike to the local Aquatic Centre, and everyone just milled around for a while until the race started. In the wings of the Centre they were preparing the complimentary brunch (more on that later).
About 10 minutes before the scheduled 8:30 race start the officials began shuffling us toward the start line. Strangely, we had to walk about 500M out, pass the finish chute, and then turn around, which was awkward and unusual since we had to keep moving backwards as more people came. It also didn't help that it was pretty cold and they started almost 10 minutes later than they said they would.
The first 13 or 14 kilometres of the race were actually quite nice, pretty scenic really, with lots of packed snow. The area that concerned most people was the section of the course on the Gilles Villeneuve racetrack, which is prohibited from being salted and de-iced as it damages the road. We all thought it would turn into a slip-n-slide skating rink but it was actually very nice.
Toward the end of the first 14km loop the course ran along the river, and this is where the problems occurred. The path was very narrow, and no snow-clearing had been done so the snow was very fresh and powdery. It was very hard to catch your footing, and personally my glutes were burning as I was trying to stabilise. Also, the design of the course was such that we had to do 3 loops through this section. By the end, I was burnt out.
I think that the rough patches negatively affected everyone, including the elite, since the winning time was only 1:28. Its a great time, but I've seen better and would normally expect better on a more stable course. I finished in 1:53, with a solid sprint the last 2km or so. Not my best performance, but I'm happy with it given the course conditions.
After the race was the complimentary brunch! They had out an array of pastries, fruit, wraps, and salads, as well as coffee and hot chocolate. The food selection was really quite nice compared to the apple/banana that some races hand out. Unfortunately, as a Paleo person there wasn't much for my except for the fruit, so I accepted a post-race fructose bombing and made a mental note to devour some protein later on.
Overall, a nice race with a very friendly atmosphere. The course obviously needs to be redone but can easily be fixed. I don't know if I'll do it again, only because I keep realising that I don't like winter races all that much, but I'd recommend checking it out to anyone who is looking for a challenge this time of year.

The TrainingPeaks data for my race can be found at
Thanks for reading, stay safe, and keep trying! 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Carbs or Fat? How to Fuel For Endurance Sports

Nutrition is often referred to as the fourth sport in triathlon, because of its importance and impact on performance. This is especially true as you start to participate in longer events, from the Olympic distance, and of course more so for the Ironman, but also for sport-specific events like a Marathon. The questions that often comes up is; what do I eat and when? When I began racing endurance sports, the primary method of fueling that I was aware of were energy gels, or drinks like Gatorade. The gels generally come in 1oz packets that easy to tuck away, open and discard. Usually they have around 100 sugar based calories per gel, and nowadays you can get them in a wide variety of flavors. Most people are familiar with the Hammer, GU, or Probar labels, but it seems like every year more and more companies are entering the market. Some companies try to fill a specific perceived niche in the market, creating gels with all natural ingredients, different sugar types (such as maltodextrin versus sucrose), and I've even seen one that has chia seeds in it.

Now, traditional knowledge has been that your body only contains a certain amount of glycogen (basically stored carbohydrate) that your body can call upon to fuel itself through an endurance event. This is basically where the idea of "carb-loading" comes from, and has probably caused hundreds of thousands to stuff themselves with pasta in the nights preceding a race. On average, most people have about 200 grams or roughly 800 calories of glycogen in their liver, which is the most easily accessible. After depleting those stores, your body will try derive glycogen from other sources like your muscle, as well as fat, but those processes are more difficult. So, considering that you have limited glycogen, you need to make sure that you continually supplement your exercise with additional carbs to compensate and fuel yourself. Performance using this method is pretty easy to see, as many professionals use this method without problem. The constant fuel provides constant energy, and drinking energy drinks provide additional carbohydrates and electrolytes to prevent muscle cramping and proper energy usage.

Depending on how long the activity is, and your individual strategy, most marathon strategies have athletes 1-2 gels every hour, in addition to whatever liquid calories they might be consuming. For longer endurance events life a Half or Full Ironman Triathlon, you'll need more calories to fuel yourself, since you probably
burn more than the 200-300 calories per hour that I just described, and you'll eventually just run out of energy otherwise. It's generally considered easiest to take in calories on the bike, since your water bottles are being carried for you, and it involves less movement than running, which minimizes food/liquid sloshing around in your stomach. Gel's are still a staple on the bike, but many athletes like to use calorie and electrolyte enriched drinks, like Hammer Perpetuem, or energy bars.

Lately, many athletes have started switching to a fat-adapted basis for fueling. Essentially, through a strict obedience to a diet and training regimen, it has been found that your body can be adapted to use fat as the primary source of fuel instead of carbohydrate. The benefit is that since fat is a slower burning energy source, and is practically inexhaustible during a 1 day race, you won't need to consume nearly as many calories during the event. The catch? Your diet has to remain pretty low in carbohydrate (usually around 25% or less) and you have to tailor your training. Even in a a fat adapted state, your body will only use fat as fuel when you exercise aerobically. This means if you go too fast and enter an anaerobic state, your body will switch to using carbohydrates again, and actually stay that way for quite a while, even if you get control of your heart rate. Another potential benefit of this strategy is that by consuming less calories, you minimize the risk of GI issues. While your body is in "performance mode", it becomes harder to break down some food, so the idea is that the less you put in, the less risk of unpleasant effects.

So, which method of fueling works best? That's debatable and deeply personal. Different people might respond differently to each method, and a recent (albeit limited) study showed that as long as your metabolism is accustomed to one of the fuel sources, they will work equally well. I should also point out that even when fat-adapted, its still necessary to consume SOME carbohydrates, so many athletes will drink a honey-water mixture (recommended by Phil Maffetone) as their sports drink alternative.

This may have come as a really long post, but really could have been so much longer. I'd be happy to expand or answer any question that anyone has to the best of my abilities, or at leas point you to someone else for information.

Thanks for reading, keep Tri-ing, and stay safe!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Looking back and looking forward to 2014

Now that New Year's has come and gone, and events are starting to pop up on my calendar (remember my last post about planning?), I like to pause and look at my overall goals for the past, and set new ones for the coming year. This post is gonna very self-focused, but will be one of the few such posts that I make during the year (aside from race reports, which I try to make useful for all anyways)

Last year my overall goal was to double the distance that I both ran and biked (blog post here), bringing those numbers to a target of about 550 and 650 miles, respectively. Swimming technically should have been there, but I'm pretty bad at keeping count of laps by myself, and my watch doesn't measure pool swimming.

Since I actually do manage to log most of my run/bike workouts in TrainingPeaks, checking is easy and it
turns out I did pretty well. I was pretty much spot on with my running (493 miles), and passed my biking goals, covering over 1200 miles. Looking at distance isn't everything of course, especially when considering that I do races, but the times tend to be skewed because I often leave my watch on after training and races, and it gets added in. I use races and individual training sessions as better measures of my overall pace.

For 2014, I don't want to just double my distances again, since I feel that finding time to train might be getting harder this year as I will have to handle some personal challenges (for lack of a better word) like getting married. Instead, I'll be focusing on the quality of my workouts, making sure that every workout has a point. Also, I've been refocusing on my nutrition both in-race and general life, which I'll be sharing in future posts.

So what are my goals for 2014? Well I've got two Half-Ironman distance races scheduled (Vineman and Princeton 70.3), so from a purely time-based perspective I'd like to go sub-7. It's not such an ambitious goal, but considering the GI issues at my last race I want to be conservative. For running, I want to break the 4 hour mark on any and all marathons I do, and do at least 1:45 on all half-marathons. My time goals might not be crazy competitive to some, but I am after all just an average age-grouper, with other things going on. Though I am extremely passionate about endurance sports, I believe in having a well balanced life.

Just a short post today, so happy training and stay safe out there!