How’s winter treating you ?
Why not come to sunny Spain with me and a bunch of great athletes? The trip provides airport pick up, guilders rides, coaching, housing in a great 300 year old mansion (cortijo), full support van and all meals provided by a holistic health chef! Everything is included (except the airfare)! 7 Days for 1285! Jus special deals for anyone insane enough to do both camps!
Athletes of all abilities are welcome and encouraged to come.
Reg here! https://www.bikereg.com/Net/18842
Photo: Jasmine came to SLB in 2013 then went on to podiums at the USA Triathlon national championships and a trip to the World Championships. She is coming in 2024; ARE YOU????
“take advantage of the good things before its all to late
we will see the bright side from now on
we’ve got a good thing going compared to all the rest
I’ve seen so many others and by far this is the best …so please don’t give in.” Token Entry
I have often heard the the refrain: “pain is temporary, glory is forever.” It was the battle cry of countless endurance athletes and athletes that endure suffering to compete.
But the saying is wrong. Glory isn’t forever. Glory is fleeting. Quick test: who took 6th at the 2009 Boston marathon? Yeah, I don’t know either. Can you even tell me who won? I can’t recall off hand. I spent a decade racking up wins and honorable finishes in events big and small and before I even retire they will all be forgot. I was out training on Block Island and my coach last week and we couldn’t recall the years I won the Block Island Tri! The race in our town! His shop is the sponsor! We weren’t even sure the results were even kept some place.
Don’t despair. Glory is fleeting, but trust me, it’s better this way. If you are in this game for the glory you will find it’s not forever. It’s get forgot before you walk off the podium you killed yourself to get onto but that’s ok and here is why….
Pain is forever. You can always find it. That burning legs and lungs. That drive to push yourself beyond your limits. It’s there for you, always and forever. The morning run up a mountain, the hard interval on the bike, the race where you battle the the back of the shirt you are chasing and run scared from the foot steps behind you. That’s true at 10, it’s true at 80. That’s forever (and for the metaphysical reading this; know I plan on running the Hell marathon some day, and getting a feed from the devil himself.)
If you get out of bed to chase glory you will be disappointed. Always. If you get out of bed to chase pain, you will be rewarded. Always. And what’s purer than pain? What do you really want, to suffer alone in the gym and on the road, or to smile on the podium while someone takes your photo so you can show it off on Facebook? Be honest; why are you really here? I bet it’s the pain. I hope it’s the pain because if it is you and I won every day we got out the door. I got countless metals and trophies collecting dust; but I got memories of epic workouts with people I wouldn’t trade for the world living in my mind.
Glory is temporary, pain is forever…and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Go.
NJ Trail Series 1
“One step forward, one step forward, one step forward, two steps back.” -Killing Time
I wanted to race; the reward for work it’s the spark for some winter motivation, plus the NJ Trail Series is exactly what you always imagined trail racing to be. A bunch of misfit endurance sports athletes stumbling through the some wicked hard courses. There will be no PRs, in fact the switch backs make gps useless. The timing is kept on a hand held watch and the race start is a tree, the finish line is a race director his kids and homemade baked goods.
They had a 5k, 10k and half marathon. I wanted speed work so I went with the 10k. The first k is open and windy and a group of 6 were together and I sat in because they don’t give you an award for helping others go faster. But as we hit the end of the open section the eventual winner surged and I went with him to get in a good position for the single track.
After another k he was separating himself from me and I was powerless to stop it. My legs and body we shot from a some brutal training and while he was just a better runner I was a mess. A quick look at a switch back and I saw I had 10 seconds on 3rd place.
I kept running as well as I could but at about the 6k mark the gap was closed and I was in a shoot out. At. 8k I started coming around and opened a gap but then disaster struck and I rolled my ankle. My first though was to keep driving the pace to keep opening the gap before the swelling got worse. Ha! Athletes are such jack asses!!!!
After 500m I was limping. Another 500m I was hopping on one foot. The rewards for the race are entries into the next one and it pays out 3 deep so I was hopping really fast because I didn’t want to give up 3rd place! I hopped past some of the half people and wondered what they though as I did that. I didn’t really have a choice since I was in the middle of the woods, I had to get out of the woods somehow, or become bear food, this isn’t track!
Lucky for me I kept 3rd place and then got to wait for christine to see how she did, which it turns out was awesome (don’t wanna spoil her race report).
Good news is this week is a recovery week so I can’t rest the ankle and cross train and hope it comes right by next week.
“It’s 11:59 and 59 seconds, and if I die tonight I want heaven with you.” M. Franti
At 4:45 my body woke up as if in protest. I had 4-5 hours of restless sleep and was a mess. I begged and pleaded with my body to let me go back to sleep but it refused. It seemed like it was saying “why should I sleep, if I do you will just wake up and crush me some more and I am done!” Under the so stupid it’s smart or so smart it’s stupid I went with the following theory…
Running wisdom says you should add 10 percent per week to your volume but it never says what
You should start at. So since this was my first real week I figured the more I ran the more I could add going forward. That meant pushing way beyond anything my body thought reasonable and on day 6 my body was in full on revolt. I had pushed as far as I could and here was my limit: 70 miles. So I went out for any easy 10k and called it a week and aprox 75 miles (plus cycling and strength work.)
Not the biggest week but a good place to start. Tomorrow is day 7 and recovery (starting the recovery off with a 9am-1am night court shift, not the best recovery!) then a fun 10k trail race Saturday as part of the NJ trail series!
I was shocked at how well I felt…until today. The wheels started to come off today and I can tell that this is a big reach early into the year. Lucky for me El Hefe was also starting to feel the throw down from the day before and beating up on me seemed to have also tired him out a touch. Never the less we hit the trials for another 80 minute run.
After than it was another 2 hour ride and that’s when I have the smart idea to brick the run. By smart I mean stupid and found myself stumbling around the island for another 40 minutes. Stupid begets stupid and I added stair repeats. The Island has a 160 foot stair case that at sunset is as sublime as it is painful to run and the extra joy of the moment balanced out the extra misery my body was feeling and I ended on a high note.
This was my last day on island and I needed to catch THE boat at 2:30. I say THE boat because this time of year they run one boat… Maybe…sometimes. The winter seas cancel travel plans but today I got a cracker of a day with little wind and an abiding ocean.
But with a short work day it meant getting after it. Jim wanted 2 hours more of running which suited me fine. I was experiences some lovely signs of over training. Cravings for crap food, increases caffeine and touriene consumption ( redbulls actively awesome magic ingredient) and poorer sleep. Amazingly I cut out all stimulates at noon so as to encourage sleep but my over training, over reaching body was being bratty and woke me up at 4:30am like it was ironman race day.
Nevertheless I got the run in and then did a hard strength training session which was made harder by the fact that my legs were just trashed. But hey, sometimes ya got to finish them off! I am at 69 miles for the week, not bad for a quick ramp up. I think doing most of it in zone 2 or 3 and also 90 percent of it on soft surfaces made this only stupid not suicidal.
I know a lot of people dig cross, it’s boss. But the joy if. Cross bike for me and most people isn’t just cross racing, it’s safe warm novel training through the winter.
Winter sucks, but if you want to train you need a plan. A cross bike makes you go slower, allows you to ride dirt and trails which make you go even slower while working harder AND the tress stop wind, which is what really kills you in the coming months.
So get an all carbon ERC cross bike! Fully build with SRAM for under 2K. The carbon will keep you comfy all winter long by preventing road and trail chatted, plus if you decide to race cross you have a bike that’s on par with any on the line.
Email evilracingcult at gmail dot com
For more info email me or search Evil Racing Cult on Facebook!
In stock and ready to ship!
My ‘cross bike kicking it next to the training shed. Blissful life…trails to ride and run.
“It’s 11:59 and 59 seconds…we are in fear of one another, so se can recognize a brother from another mother.” M. Franti
Oh the humor of training! I find training full time requires being a professional jokester just to pass the time. The first joke was on me when my coach confused a 40 minute run with an 80 minutes run. BAM bonus fitness! We kept making turns that took us away from his house until I we were 40 minutes away and I said “are we running to a bus that’s taking us back?” Obvious there is no buses on Block Island and none in the middle of land preserves, there aren’t even cars! I had oddly good legs, which makes zero sense give the 30 mile weekend that included a race and strength work. The running gods are funny like that, sometimes they grant you magic-legs. Maybe my coach after 14 years has reached some new level where he can see inside my legs.
The next workout was 3 hours on the cross bike. Again me and my El Hefe were out and I kept hitting him with zingers. In a tricky rock section I road and he walked I got off “Hey Jim, why you pushing your bike? It has all this pedals and stuff so you can ride it.” Then “I will just wait at the end of the trail for you, when your done walking.” And finally: “did you just show you have worse bike skillz then a triathlete? Don’t you had to commit some kind of roadie ritualistic suicide?”
His response can in the final hour when climbing to the top of the island and he dropped me. Them he drilled it for an hour finishing me off when sprinting the “town line” out here after showing me a clean set of wheels. “He John, how can I wear the king of the Mountains AND the Sprinters jersey? Do you wanna barrow one, since you didn’t win either?” An experienced athlete he knew to heckle in the form of a question so he could enjoy the sound of silence except my gasping for air.
PSA: Don’t. Poke. Bears.
“God, man, machine, whatever. Some lost faith all together. It’s 11:59 and 59 seconds.” -M Franti
Training camps early in the season come with a multiple of purposes. Beyond the physical shift to more focused training it’s also a mental shift. Part of removing myself to a wind swept rock 20k out to sea is to put in some time crushing the laptop with sponsorship stuff, coaching work, getting coached and all the other stuff I that one does to be pro.
Day 2 was a sunrise coffee and 4 hours of focused work. I am a lot of energy so 4 hours of focused work is a mighty thing. But as I finished up my brain was mushy and my coffee cup empty. Time to train! For muggles I think their productivity would increase greatly if instead of being sedentary they did a short workout. If I ran a business I would install showers or a gym if I could because any time lost working out is made up for several times over in real production (plus I would want to workout!)
On tap was my long run. All-American and now French club cross country champ Olivia and now newly re- crowed Block Island 5k champ was up for a run and we hit the trails for 80 minutes. I was doing over twice that but she didn’t see to care and the first half was a bit more spirited than I would done solo. It was 40s and raining, fine running weather but one thing I have come to learn is that winter is something you need plan for and the easiest move is to run more which is less weather dependent. After 2.5 hours it was time the run was done and I was nicely cooked from about 30 miles in 24 hours. Of course the sun came out as soon as I hit my watch.
After getting my healthy grub on it was time for a little more lap top time then 90 minutes if strength training and yoga. I rock the yoga because it makes a great warm up. I get crazy stiff when running this much and yoga gets me back to proper moment.
I dig me some strength workout because after 30 you lose muscle mass which can cause a lose of strength and that can lead to a lack of speed. Since Block Island doesn’t have a proper gym I went prison style. I am not up to my full strength training program yet but here is what I did: lunges, squats, calf raises, planks, side planks, good mornings. 4 way ankle band, multi directional lungs, dumbbell step ups. I aimed for 3 x 20 because it’s early on in the strength training process.
So after 4 hours of training another day was in the books. Day 2 felt good on a lot of levels.
It was 11:59 and 59 clicks, the whole world is burning but the clock just tics.” M. Franti
I got 3 weeks of lighter but consistent training in me before I got off the ferry boat. The Island was rocking for a rock sitting 20k out in the cold wind swept New England seascape. Thanksgiving is a big deal here now with shops and strolling and mighty cute decorations that could make even this anti-materialist, agnostic cynic want to have a cup of warm cider and talk of the miracles of the holiday season. If nothing else it beats Black Friday and trampling people in malls by leap and bounds.
5 years ago they added a 5k and it’s grown into a fun event with 200 folks so my first workout was a race. Rolling and windy I sat behind some youngsters who took it out hard with a watchful eye on my training partner Olivia who was here And who is an all American at the 1500m and just won a French team title for cross country. It was very possible for me to be first male and second over all.
The course was an out and back and at some point I walked away from the nice inexperienced young man that lead us for the first 2k into the wind. The return trip was fun because all the people heading in the other direction cheered. I won and Olivia took the female title and we both scored 100 bones in gift cards. I went 18:30 something without any pressure. Not flying but respectable considering I am not fit or fast, am fat, and wasn’t pushed.
The mind is critical and often over looked. But winning even, cherry picking small races, is a great way to give ones mind a little boost. After getting kicked around by the best in the world it’s good to remember that to many some of us in pro or elite age- group ranks are pretty impressive. That reminder always gives me a boost. It’s one I the reasons I have my athletes enter some small events if there confidence is struggling.
With a new deposit in my motivational bank I hit the trails for another hour of running. Block island is pretty special so running here doesn’t need a lot of motivation, my feet want to run here and do it as much as my lungs breath the air.
If you get a chance come here this weekend and visit the blockislandsporti.com and grab one of Marion’s cookies; but only if you run first.
“It was 11:59 and 59 seconds…” – M. Franti
I have been hiding a bit. Friends that follow my career as an athlete even reached out to say to me I seem quite. Sometime I am quite like a bomb
I had an ok season; a ton of podiums and a some wins but on the big stage, at ironman I was flat. It happens. I learned a ton and even after 14 years of ironman I still tinkering in an always changing equation.
The first step forward for a new season is always to take step back…and look at the big picture. I broke down the year and the career, the life, life and had some heart to hearts with some key people, namely Jim Ortel my coach and Christine my everything-else and made some changes for 2014.
The original plan was IMLP and maybe a double with Lou in 2013 but I wasn’t recovered for Lou and that attempted ended 2013. The goal was to take a break and come back on form for an early IM race, Bone Island on 1/25/14 but then Challenged came to the USA. My disdain for the WTC and the way they exploit pros is not a secrete. With Rev3 withdrawing their support of iron distance races for pros it was looking bleak but Challenge is coming strong with respect and partnership with pros for its iron distance race in June and I want to come and come correct. So it meant skipping Bone Island sadly. I wanted to do Bone Island, Challenge them a slew of fall races and My coach smacked me in the head once he stopped laughing at me.
With the new found focus for 2014 it means a bit more time to focus on that event and to work on a few things that need some attention.
First thing on tap is my running. The best of the 3 it’s been off the last 2 years. I need to sharpen that sword. So I am currently training for a winter marathon! I haven’t do a stand alone marathon in FOREVER. I only get 12 weeks to prep for it but I am still excited to see what I can do. Likely it will be Rock n Roll New Orleans. As a proud Champion Systems athlete I love the idea of racing a race they support and sponsor.
Then it’s off to Spain and www.stronglikebulltraining.com for a cycling focus. The new digs are sweet and also closer to the pool so I am hoping to also swim more than I have in the past. Why not sign up and join me???
So here I am on a freezing cold boat ride off to block island, for my first camp of the 2014 year and I couldn’t be more excited, more hungry, and more motivated to get after it. Ready. Set. Go.