I have been racing tri since 97 with my first ironman in 99. Since then the sport changed; some for the best, but along the way certain things I loved changed. Triathlon was a sport run by athletes for athletes. Barrelman is run by John Salt a guy from that era and before it. He isn’t just a race director, he is a care-taker for the sport, for the local sports community, and for his athletes. You can tell this race is an act of love and passion for the sport contrasted by other races that are a cash grab by an overseas equity company. You hear it when he speaks with pride about the athletes from the area, say champions that are not contenders to be the best in the world; and how they have grown with his help. You can tell how proud he is of his course, his race, and how in the face of competition from major cooperations his race doubled in the last year from 400 to 800 athletes. You can tell he goes above and beyond and puts more work into holding this event then any of us do training for it. From the moment I heard about this event and talked to John I knew I wanted to be a part of it; even if it meant racing 11 months without a break and maybe turning in a performance that wasn’t my best. Even if it meant rolling to my own wedding in a few days tired and sore :-)
The swim was held in the Flat Water Center, a rowing stadium. Grandstands, an under water cable, meter markers along the way, and clean protected water made this one of the best swim venues I have experienced. The pro men ended up in a bunch at the front and the top 7All came out in the same group with one person 50m ahead. We ran by the stands which were full and loud. I was happy to be with them but feeling sluggish. 

The bike was flat and pretty. Farm houses, red barns, rivers, a Great Lake, fields of crops and tree lined streets made the bike a pleasure. I passed a few, and got passed by a few and kept my head down and road hard. The wind slowed things down and kept it real, but all told it seemed fair; the wind for flatness. 
Out of T2 the course takes you through and around Niagara Falls. Cooled by the mist of the falls and inspired by the view the run (see photo) was the best I have ever experienced in any half. Just pure awesome. I got passed by 3 hard charging athletes but stayed steady and saw them again 3k to the finish and ran them down with 1k to go. 

After crossing the line I realized I was top 10, not exactly my goal but at the end of a season that started last year, I was proud of my effort because I know I races hard. Post race they had live music in a great park, and more awesome awards then any race I ever went too. Watches, wine for age group podiums and primes. Amazingly a reasonable drive from NYC with a short stop at the boarder long enough for the boarder guard to give my dog a treat. 
Thanks to John and his team Canada Multisports for such a great event. Thanks to Valdora, Rudy Project,Xterra, Champion Systems, Carboom and Team Continuum for keeping me outfitted, rolling and fueled. 
Photo: me getting lose the day prior on my bike with the swim venue behind me: christine on the podium as the winner of her age group and the Falls you see on the run. 


3rd Peak

“I am a god damn monster.” Upon a burning Body 

For most athletes, they target a few races throughout the year. But the reality is we as athletes area double barrel shotgun. We can fire off once or twice before we need to reload for next year. But if you cross the finishing and decide not to hang it up or have a world championship or big race you weren’t planning on how should you keep it going? For me this is Barrelman and the Spartan World Championships. 

First, hopefully you were taking recovery along the way. 2-3 weeks after each peak at the least to build in mini off seasons. If you did that you did a lot to extend your season.

But the key to the third peak is to train differently then you did for the first two. By now you have a lot of fitness. Countless hours of training now work against you as you need to sharpen the sword more than you need to forge it. This means a likely decrease in volume, volume you don’t need, and an increase in high intensity paced-targeted intervals and also recovery, to both help battle burnout, but also to ensure the work you are doing can be done with the right amount of effort. 

For example if your third peak is a half and you already did a full, try a 2-3k swim with 10-20 at race pace. Save the 5k base pace swim for next year. For cycling do 60 miles but add 4 x 20 min at half goal effort (watts or heart rate). For running max out at 90-120 minutes for long runs, no need to more, you already ran a marathon in your full. I also like 8 x 1 mile at race pace for a key workout after a warm up and with a cool down. 

Keep in mind that third peaks are rarely the highest, and that your on the knifes edge. Too much and the risk of illness, injury or burnout can happen. Be careful and listen to your body. Don’t compare you training “results” to earlier. The goal here is to put together another race, not win training. 

Also, make sure you plan a good long taper. Recovery takes longer but your fitness is deeper so it’s ok. 

Another great move is to do a single sport. Think of doing a half full marathon. Transitioning to a single sport is novel and fun and keeps you mentally fresher. Plus the decrease of training is welcomed. Just be careful to keep up some cycling so that you avoid injury with too many run miles on a body that has had a long year. Why not do the NYC marathon and join Team Continuum and get free coaching from me for it?!?!? 

  Photo: getting my spartan training on. Keeping it mentally fresh so I am fit for Barrelman and of course the spartan world championships. 


There comes a time when you need a challenge. Sometimes it’s that little extra motivation for quality training, sometimes it’s just a goal to work towards. Pain In The Mass is both. With 4 races coming up including Barrelman which has a bike ride as it’s a tri :-) I need a quality weekend on the bike, but being that I have been training and racing hard since last November the idea of going out solo and logging big miles made me want to put a nail through my own skull. 
Pain In the Mass, it’s a two day affair day one was 117 miles, 8000 feet of climbing and two times sections to ensure two brutal efforts along the way. It was perfect for my needs. What was surprising was that the first 40 miles we all road like it was a 40 mile day! The pace was impressive and as we got to the times KOM up the historic Watchusset mountain (home of the famous Fitchburg Stage Race) I was legitimately concerned about how I was gonna finish this ride! The up and down didn’t stop as we road east to west but the scenery went from lovely to sublime and you can tell each road was picked with care. It’s simply one of the most awesome routes I have ever taken through New England which in August is a fantastic place to be. 

We hit well stocked aid stations and the other rides including some from SLB and the CREW shared snacks and somehow I made it to mile 107 when the road got flat and we raced again. Again the effort was sick hard but fun to throw in. Plus mentally it made the last miles go down easy.

Off the bike we had a group feast and I got a free massage. Oh man do I love a good massage! Before I knew it it was the next day and time to be back on bikes. Day two had 3 major climbs including the famed or infamous Graylock the top of the state. The first hurt and was 2 miles and steep but all back roads and the streams and trees took your mind off it. Between climbs was another timed race section that we hit hard. 13 miles of all out pain-fun. The second climb was perfect. 5% or so and climbed up to an amazing vista. Then we bombed down for what seemed like forever until we hit the bottom of Graylock. I felt good on Graylock and was up the road by a few minutes when the hub of my wheel went boom. I had brought my older training wheels not ERC wheels and I guess this ones time was up. Gah! 

I was sad to not take the KOM and sadder to not be able to ride the second half of Graylock a mountain I had always wanted to do. But I was so happy with the fitness I gained from these two days and how mentally effortless it was during this long season. At the top I saw people come across the finish and we all knew we had done something epic, something hard and something special. 

The mood at the top was laugher, smiles and the pure bliss you only get from finishing something you were kinda stupid to start in the first place! With the event held for Tyler (not the doper) foundation I felt good about being apart of this and SLB was one of the sponsors and were are proud to have been. 

Thanks PITM for a great weekend. See you next year! 

(Photo: the evil genius that build this brutal weekend: Peter enjoying a touch of comfort and watermelon with his family before we got back on bikes.)  


My Trip To The Epic Hybrid Training Center

“Ready or not we are the new breed. We are the new scene. So tell me now, Do you want it? Step up or or get out of the way punk.” Upon a Burning Body

 When I first did a Spartan Race I was crushed. Crushed by the weight of the rock filled bucket and sand bags. Crushed by how many times I failed. Crushed as I watched myself go from top 3 to 30th, not for lack of fitness, but because of lack of knowledge, and experience. I grabbed a podium spot as a top Masters finisher, and the check that went along with it, but I knew, that while I had an ok debut, I was beaten by this event. 
Sure, I have some legit physical changes I need to do to make to improve, but so much of all sports is body movement. I stress this as a swim coach, and also as a run coach, but when it comes to upper body type stuff its so much about form, and like Notorious B.I.G. said “If you don’t know, now you know.” And there is no way of knowing unless someone teach you. I needed help and was so humbled by my first race it was easy to ask for it.

My Notorious B.I.G. is not big at all. Julia, a slight and solid gymnast and Spartan racer, she rules all things that hang from the ceiling like a monkey queen; her kingdom being Epic Hybrid Gym on 38th St. here in NYC, (but expanding elsewhere). She has learned to translate gymnastics and body awareness to the Spartan obstacles. Watching her hang from rope, swing from rings, transition to bars, and seemingly use no energy was inspiring and made a great first impression. But what made my experience so powerful was her ability to break down seemingly complicated tasks, into simple easy movement, all of which I wasn’t doing and wouldn’t think of doing. For example, I can do a million crunches. Hold a plank for minutes. But all the core strength in the world is useless if you don’t know to engage it when going from ring to ring. I was hanging like dead man trying to swing. Total fail. She had me engage my core and flex my bicep to take pressure off the forearm. She said not to swing wildly, but to use your feet to aim, and to make the movements small and controlled.

We did two sessions. The first was entirely skill based and we went through the long list of things I failed at. Bucket carry, sand bag carry, hoist, rings, the wall climbs, rope climb. She broke each thing down into a series of simple movements and gave me a series of simple exercises to strength the needed muscles once I learn the movements. She also went through the stuff I didn’t see: Tarzan swing, Tarzan traverse, and a few others. I got super practical advice for those too, and also when and if I see them, they won’t be surprises which is huge for me as a novice in the sport. 

The second session was more of a workout, doing all those things at pace, with my heart in my throat (I don’t train a lot above my LT for ironman distance racing). 5 x 6 flights of stairs, stairs with 75 sand bags, 50 lbs sand bag once around the block (that was fun in midtown, next time, I think I will do it in a gimp outfit, because, I mean, at that point why not?). She did some crawling wheel thing that cracked me and I found myself nose to nose with the ground, but I finally got it the second time. We also did all the upper body, hanging stuff I had struggled with. Proof that you will get fast with knowledge over fitness, as I fatigued during the second session I continued to do better. I was getting weaker as I got tired, but smarter and by the end I did every upper body one, and a few effortlessly, things, I hand even been able to do 1/2 of. I went from going 1/2 across, to all the way across, and then without getting off, back again. I could have likely dont it a few more times. Thats not fitness, that straight up knowledge. Seeing progress, is, and remains, the best motivator on earth, though not having to do punishment burpies, a Spartan tradition that Julia adopted is a close second. It’s funny too because as much as I have been a pro training hard for 12 years with seemingly no motivational issues working with Julia also was nice because she would give that little bit of  pep talk when things got hard, it’s funny how much we ignore the mind in sport and I was thankful for the motivational pick ups. We don’t do that enough in triathlon (see my prior post) 

So huge thanks to her and Epic for the help. Anyone looking to do a Spartan Race or just do an insane workout, Check them out. And ummm, Aroo?!?!?  



“I work, till I am dead; then I do it all again.” rob bailey. 

We don’t say it enough: “I am proud of you.” We should. It not only is an amazing thing to say; it’s an amazing thing to be told. Mostly because it carries with it the risk of failure. You earn that. You struggle for it. You fight and claw and suffer to do something worth being proud of; worth someone else being proud of you for. Pride both rewards and inspires. 

The ironman lake placid weekend was amazing for me. One of my athletes who historically struggled in the run was second over all in an ultra! A race I would have been proud of her for just finishing. I know how many hours she ran in winter through horrific conditions. How she faced a cultural shock of doing strength work staring down muscle heads as her slight frame added muscle for the first time. I know how brutal the course and conditions are. 

Another finished IMLP 2 hours ahead of his best hopes and PR. He wanted to see a finishing photo of him in day light and I opened a email to him in the most beautiful Lake Placid sunshine! I know the countless hours he spend to prepare for this. The days he got up at 5am to travel across the city to swim with me. The way he listened to my race plan and discipline it took to execute it. 

Another athlete I just started with crushed the swim which we worked on and then fought to finish, under prepared but unstoppable. He completed the Ironman and emailed me asking for a swim workout the day after because he wants to get back to work to improve for next time. He is already back to work to build on the day.

Another athlete faced not setting. A PR because of an injury and lined up with the very real fear that she wouldn’t finish. Her back is jacked and she lined up with the real possibility that this would be a total failure. I know how much bravery it takes to stair down massive failure in a public way and try anyways. She suffered the whole way but refused to give up and finished ironman lake placid. She is reg’ed for 2016.

An elite athlete of mine had just gone through a break up. As an elite just a small fraction less then everything means getting crushed by other elites. It’s a horrible proposition. But this weekend she found herself on a start line in the insanely competitive NYC road running scene, and found the strength to heal herself and commit to being the athlete she is. She found her inner passion and strength and way on to the over all podium and is ready to kill it from here. She has elite talent but at that level so does everyone else. But she had the ability to over come. I know the 100 mile weeks she has done. The endless workouts. And racing with everything you got. This was her first step back and it was more of a stomp. 

Another athlete sat on the sidelines. Weeks before his ironman he got hot by a car. Surgery, casts, slings. We talked at length and we are focusing on what he can do, not what he can’t as he stares down 6 months of healing and rehab. After watching his friends and teammate do IMLP the race he should have been in, he emailed me with “great news” he got an ok from the Doctor to do what I suggested: strength machines, indoor riding can do machines and elliptical workouts. He was 100% focused in 2016 in his email. Zero Pity party.

Another athlete finished IMLP after failing to do so in his first attempt before working with me.

Today I am proud as hell of my athletes and want to tell them that because they EARNED it and they earned it the only way possible; with brutal relentless effort. 

Photo: lots of daylight in this photo! 



In 199something I did my first tri. It was the Block Island Tri. It had at that point been going on for for 15 or more years. It’s origins are directly connecting to kona. People saw that race around that island and decided to do their own on their island. When I got into tri more in 1998 I won the race and started it every year since winning it 6-8 times before this weekend (one years results are missing, 2003, and another year they did the old course and new course but I don’t know if the old course race really counts because it was under a different name). 
My friend and sometimes training partner Donnie won this race 6 times. Winning it would make 7 confirmed wins and making me the most winningest winner in wace wistory (said in Elmer Fud voice). At the race start I sipped Drip Drop and had a Carboom Gel and I bumped into a past champ Garen who went on to kona and to qualify for a pro card. He crushed me in our last two battles, but sadly for him he was nursing a back injury and not racing. It’s funny how it works, but he was one of the loudest cheers I got during the race. Their is a bit of a fraternity among the fast. 
I took the swim out hard and just tried to not relent at all for the 7 minutes it took me to swim the course. I had the second fastest swim in my Xterra Wetsuit a few seconds behind the best of the 450 ppl that entered the water. My new suit crazy fast to get off and by the bike I had a big lead. Another near race best split on the bike saw my Valdora and ERC wheels pretty much put the race out of contention for everyone else but because of wave starts I was unaware if I was winning by 4 minutes leaving t2 meaning I had to fight to line. 
The run was hard and I struggled and I could tell someone behind me was out running me and this instilled the always good motivating fear in my stride. I grabbed my Carboom and the 50mg of caffeine and 150 calories made me run better. I also got a big lift seeing my coach and former champ out there fighting to a 6th over all! This race hit me between peaks so my fitness was low meaning I had to really fight hard to race well and was really suffering. As I hit the finish line I waited for second place and found out he was in my wave so I had won by 3 minutes in a time of 1 hour and 8 minutes.   
I was stoked for the win, which until next month serves as my anniversary to Christine when we get hitched. Good to know I will be still be a champ when we tie the knot. 

Photo credit Phil Ludlow. Me in my fly Champion System kit and Block Island Sport Shop Flatty hat looking deep into the pain locker at the end of the race.


So you just did an IM, now what?

So you just did Ironman and want to not end your season? Ok; so first you need rest! Sleep a ton. Cut down stimulates like coffee so you sleep hard. Also you need to really eat properly, with a lot of leafy greens, veggies and lean proteins and I like blueberries because they are loaded in antioxidants. Also hydrate. IMLP takes a lot out of you and you need to rehydrate and stay hydrated to promote the flushing of the damaged cells out of you. Use medical grade Drip Drop as it rehydrates you way better than just water or other sports drinks. 

There is a real danger of doing too much because mentally your stoked, but your body isn’t and you can’t tell because your so engaged with your recent race. Be careful! 

Week 1:I wouldn’t do nothing but rather aim for 10-30 minutes of light zone 1 spinning swimming or aqua jogging with super easy running after a week. 

Week 2 you can do 30-40 min workouts 3-4 times a week in zone 2. 

Week 3 30-60 minutes 4-5 times a week. In zone 2. 

Week 4 30-120 minutes 4-6 times a week. 

Week 5 or 6 is when you can resume training. 

Yoga and massage really helps too. Get the massage at the end of week 1. 

Looking for a race to do: why not the NYC marathon! It’s a pillar of sport! Join and get entry into this sold out classic and free coaching from me! 

Looking for a tri? Do Barrelman with me! 9/20 and drivable from NYC! 

Photo some of the Team Continuum NYC marathon team drinking Drip Drop and Carboom


Spartan Race. 

“Whatever doesn’t kill you is gonna leave a scar.” M. Manson 
I won Harryman Half and was thrice second and when you do ok at a race, you often meet the race director. In this case it was Dann who is also part of Spartan racing. In the podium chit-chat he got me excited about Spartan Racing. I had done and won Rugged Maniac so I thought why not. My season was based on a peak for 7/5 but tossing this in at the last minute seemed fun. I had no experience and no time to prep, though I watched videos to try to gleam as much as I couldn’t in the 5 days of travel and recovering between Challenge Canada and the Spartan Race. Even though I new I was not ready really, Iwanted to give it a go. Nothing ventures, nothing gained! Plus you have to have your first race at some point and really it’s the only way to learn. 

At the startline NBC TV crews filmed guys with Olympic Ring tattoos as the pro director whispered in my hear stuff like “oh that guy is a 2:08 marathoner.” “That guy is an Olympic steeple chaser” “that guy, he is a world champ at this”. Wait, he beat the other two guys!?!?! The class of athletes here is crazy! 
The start had us run up a ski mountain in the Poconos. The sloop turned to mudd and rock scramble and I was in the top 3-5 when it did, which felt comfortable but as the route turned to roots and mud I went backwards as I was in 6 oz road flats. Everyone else had cleats. First lesson! 
We got to the top and did the “hoist”. It weights more than me and some big dudes came up from behind me and pulled down. I pulled down and instead I went up. I then watched someone use a combo of their arms and body weight and went for it again and got the 150lbs of rocks to go up. I didn’t lose too much time after that but have a lot to learn and also this was the first sign that my upper body isn’t yet built for this. 
After that we hit a cargo net and I was still in the sharp end of the race. Some guy I later found out is on the Spartan canada pro team did a flip over it at the top and I lost 20-30 seconds as I acted like a fly in a spider web. Then we hit down hill trails. Did I tell you I was in flats? Wet grass and step pitch stopped me from using my one strength, my running as I struggled to not eat it on the super steep ski slope. Then We got to a spear toss and I missed. Throw a spear!?!?! Ok, that’s different and cool. (I have since built 2 spears and won’t ever miss again). This resulted in 30 burpees. Ouch! In the 2-3 minutes it takes to do 30 burpees I lost 20-30 spots. 
After a short wooded section we hit one of two events that took me out of contention. Sand bag carry. Top 20-30 had to do double bags. I slide down the ski slop totally a mess, dropping them, and sliding. Then on the uphill I crumbled. Reduced to shuffling them one at a time it took me twice as long as others. Total disaster for me. The other thing that saw me go backwards was the bucket carry which was very much the same. A combo of footing and forarm strength crushed me and I lost huge chunks of time. 
After that it was a series of runs and obstacles that I managed and I passed groups of people. Also as the race went on my deep base from ironman meant I didn’t fade, and we even had a swim where I leap frogged a lot of people and was back in the top 20. I also was fueled by Carbboom which I took every 45 minutes and I think my fueling was better than most. 
I also had Drip Drop powder which comes in single serving pouches and was perfect! I mixed it with water along the way! Huge advantage as the course is 2+ hours long and only has water. 
Towards the end things went wayward again. Two upper body and grip strength events saw me doing 30 burpees for each fail, rope climb and ring swing. Worse, I have a learning disability and have trouble counting. Each failed counting was a steep penalty. I agree with this totally but it cost me a bunch of spots after the fact and would have only taken me a few seconds more to do the right number. More hard lessons learned. 
After those fails I did ok on the other events and finished 3rd masters and got a podium and check. I was maybe top 20 over the line but dropped down after that because of the penalty (I now do 30 burpees by time using my stop watch only watch by taking a split of the first 10 and multiplying it by 3 and adding a few seconds to make sure I do 1 or 2 too many rather than too few.) 
Over all I learned so much into first endeavor and know that with what I learned a bit of time to train I can really make some progress in this sport which I really enjoyed. 
Huge thanks to Spartan racing for putting on these brutal events that are a true challenge. I strongly suggest triathletes tri one! 
Also thanks to Champion systems clothing for making stuff that hold up to barbwire! And also Carboom and Drip Drop for keeping me strong all day! 
Aroo! Aroo! Aroo! 



“Take a breath and exploid like bullets tearing through the wind.” -Rise Against
I love adventure. Ironman was not about the sport of triathlon at firstt; it was simply the craziest thing I could find at the time. I am always on the look out for the that kind of challenge and adventure. That’s why I do off road tris, cyclo-cross, cross country skiing, road bike racing,

trail races winter hikes and ultras and now OBSTACLE COURSE racing with Rugged Maniac

I had seen the sport pop up and explode in popularity and looking at the course with a 50 foot wooden mountain at the end; I got that same exciting feeling in my gut that I do at the start of anything I haven’t done before…that this was gonna be epic. 

I got in line for my wave start sipping Drip Drop, the best hydration product on the market. I tightened my Brooks Launch, a good shoe for the day because it has enough cushion for jumping off stuff but it light enough to race in. 

 The vibe of the other athletes was awesome. We talked, wished each other luck and there was a sense of us teammates as much as competitors. The horn sounded and I took an early lead because I wanted the hole shot and first digs at the 20+ obstacles that stood between me and the finish over the 5k course. The course wisely starts with faster lower obstacles so the field can spread out and I ran through “speed trap” (I big dirt pit with water) and the first set of barriers then the ninja boards. At this point I was racing the clock but with waves all day long and 1000s of people I knew to not let off the gas as I kept going.

I can’t recall all 20+ challenges but I noticed I was excelling at them and think my history of triathlon which uses upper and lower body and also my balance from surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding parkour and off road cycling really prepared me for this. The focus required for the obstacles put me in a “flow state” one if the most wonderfully zen ways to be and is a real perk to this kind of racing. Well except for the sand bag carry. I mistakenly grabbed a 50lbs bag and my body really sunk under the weight as I huffed it out and around the carry route! I am not a power lifter!

By the last mile or so I could tell I was gassing out and had a Carboom energy gel for a burst of energy (anyone doing one of these should have one during it. It’s too long to do without calories). The obstacles really spike your heart rate. I though they would be “recovery” but in fact it was the exact opposite; they demand oxygen from both the upper and lower body at the same time. I found myself on fumes as I came into the final ones which were some of the hardest. 

“Blogstacle” almost bested me near the end. It was a soft 10 foot inflatable that gave way and was slippery. I got a hold of a handle and put my foot to my hand in a rock climbing move I recalled and pushed with my leg and found myself on the way down the other side. After that it was to the big mountain which was when I learned why we all were acting like teammates at the start: as I ran the 25 foot skate board ramp like obstacle two hands reached out and hoisted me up. Teamwork and thanks! After that it was a rope net to the top then the longest most awesome water slide down. I was to focused to be scared until half way down when I realized I was going SOOO fast! We hit the pool of water at the end and I could feel my heart jump out of my chest! What a freakin’ rush!!!! I stumbled out do the pool and over two earth barriers but couldn’t find my legs to kick and just trucked to the finish stopping my clock at 25:47. I knew I won my wave but had no idea how I did over all. 

At the awards I heard the time for third, then second, and knew I won as I was under them. Hooray! I was pumped. I had had a blast and loved this event so to win it was just a honor and I hung out forever afterwards because the party is awesome and unlike anything I had been to prior. Fun contests, great music, lots and lots of beer to get people loose ( I don’t drink but I also not the type of guy you want to make a party awesome and I was loving the vibe of those who do ). 

I know some endurance sports purists might hate on this. Too bad. Because I have watched “pure” sports become corporations and the spirit of that sport lost. This had what that once had. It got 1000s of people outside and gave them a challenge and adventure that was authentic and epic not to mention all the training people put in to get to the start line. 

 If you build it; they will come and Rugged Maniac build something really special and I had a blast blasting through it. Thanks! 

(Photo: me at the start in my lovely Champion System Tec tee, the mountain at the end, me claiming My prize and tossing up \m/, and my lovely Holistic Health nutrition coach winning the pie eating contest!)