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 www.teamcontinuum.net and get entry into this sold out classic and free coaching from me! 

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! 

  

TOP MANIAC

“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!) 
  

CHALLENGE WILLIAMSBURG

  
 ”Here we go. I don’t even know if I will make it to hell. The harder I try, the more I fail.” Upon a Burning Body

I have never been a half guy. Even my 70.3 world championships spot was mostly luck, having a very good day on the right day. A lifetime spend aimed at going twice as long has left me with one speed and a diesel engine. Never the less there are a few halfs out there I can’t resist and with the death of the only non WTC pro race it looks like I will being a few of them. I had always planned on doing Challenge Williamsburg VA, it was meant to be a tune up for Challenge AC, but with that race cancelled for pros this got bumped up as a priority. 
The story race week was the heat which had hit 99 during the weekend with all the humidity of the south. The race course however is mostly shade both on the bike and run making use of the very pretty dense forrest and woods. But the swim was wetsuitless, and while the water feels clean it’s dark and has currents. The result was that it was hard to draft and I got dropped from the group I can normally hang with. I swam ok solo but worked harder for it and hit T1 in 10th, thanks to my Xterra skin suit which is a big improvement over nothing when it’s not wetsuit legal and it kept me in the race for sure. 
A fast t1 and some use of my cross skills had me pass buddy Tom Woods. Sadly for me toms TT skills had him repass and drop me shortly their after. Also Congrats to him on having another kid this season (we did some catching up on the bike). I got passed twice more on this flat fast course and passed one other person towards the end. sure enough my half split was only 6 minutes faster than my full split at AC X 2 and that course was windy. Gah! I should just get Valdora to make me a fixie. 
Out o f t2 I tried to push to see if I could get back into some racing and was flying in my Brooks ST racers. Sockless and blister free in this light weight flats! I love the run course a mix of dirt roads through woods and then paved path. Sadly I was too far off the pace to make any headway however. I did manage to destroy myself and as the miles counted down I felt the “feels like 124″ degrees temps that had come to define the day. As I came unglued I found myself at POLAR: pace of last resort and I was just determined to gut it out and finish bagging a top 10 among the pro men. Thanks to Boom gels for getting me through the final 5k! 
I can’t wait to try it all again at St. Andrews in Canada!

Photo: t1 was Jamestown wher the first European settlers ate each other before all dying. Given the conditions I think most everyone racing got a taste of how that felt.

  

Harryman Half 

“I am not sorry for the way I am…I am a god damn monster. ” -upon a burning body. 

 Photo: (dude let’s take podium selfies!) 

I came into Harryman the defending champ. Called “arguably the hardest half in the east” it’s a brut of a course due to the 2 mile steep climb

you do each of the 4 laps and a relentless run. 

The race go going with a stud swimmer dropping everyone. I followed with another strong swimmer and we came out of the water in 29 minutes and after a nice transition I was not far behind and took the lead within 5k. It was a swim course PR for me thanks Xterra Wetsuits! 

I felt good on the bike and just tried to push the bike as much as I could was way faster than last year. Valdora TT frames really are built to climb. The 4 lap bike give fair splits and good reminder to have a Carboom gel which I chomped on every 30-45 minutes.

 Half way through I saw Mitch West, complete tri stud, 6 times kona qualifier and Am Zof champ coming up on me. I was in the mood for a fight and it took him a full lap to drop me but ultimately he dropped me. Again a course PR, I got to thank Strong Like Bull where we ride big climbs and then C3 Racing my new road team for making me stronger on the bike. I tried to keep it close into T2 because I always have faith in my run. 
Out on the run I put on my Brooks ST Racers and the hammer down but couldn’t make progress and in fact Mitch has a lovely run too and quickly it became clear the podium was set with him on the top step and I cruised in second making sure third stayed third. 
Lost my title but lost it to a stud and friend and had a course PR on the swim, bike and run. 

I can’t recommend this race highly enough. 

\m/ CREW NEWS \m/

CREW! 


I have been meaning to put together a newsletter to keep you up to date on, well, news. This is mostly for current athletes but I did include a few alumni. If you do not want to get an email from me a few times a year just let me know.  News like group meet ups, sponsorship deals, office hours (when I am free for anyone wanting to chit-chat without planning a time in advance), and to share some of the awesome stories of yours. Also, getting an email from me is a way to encourage you to reply to me if you have any questions with your training or racing. So lets get this new-letter party started!!! 


TEAM EVENTS AND WORKOUTS:
Pain In The Mass:
I am VERY EXCITED that we will have a CREW-SLB team at the two day grand fondo/race cycling event called Pain in the Mass http://www.paininthemass.org/ on 8/22-8/23! Its back to back days of racing-riding with long hard mountain rides. Its perfect for anyone looking for a sick supported base effort or an intro into bike racing. It’s also a great chance to come together as a squad for a fully supported weekend of awesome training-racing! Ideal also for someone looking for the perfect event to cap off IMLP as you will be recovered and fit and this is “for fun” and for the experience, or if you have a fall of racing and need a nice build weekend. I have 3 people committed already so we will have a team. Its a charity event and I donated $1300 to it and Strong Like Bull is the KOM/QOM sponsor and the best climber wins an SLB polka dot jersey! I will be racing this! Also Christine Lynch is the race director. JOIN US! 

Team Continuum: 
June 24th I’m hosting a Fun Run at 6:30pm in Central Park at Columbus Circle in NYC. COME OUT PLEASE! Support Team Continuum and its great charity work. Its free, we have free swag for all. You can also run the NYC Marathon with us! You get free nutrition coaching with Live and Eat Better and run coaching from me. Yes, I realize that I just told you I lose money, but whatever, it goes to people fighting freakin’ cancer, so I can deal with it. the NYC Marathon is great for anyone looking for a run focus or a final test or victory lap. Its one of the most iconic races in the world. Also we have free workouts Wednesdays at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 8:30am at Columbus Circle in NYC starting after July 4th. Come out and get some hands on coaching from your coach! to sign up visit www.teamcontinuum.net

Barrelman
I am rolling to Barrelman, a half just over the boarder into Canada 9/20. Christine is reg’ed as well. http://niagarafallstriathlon.com/ If anyone is looking for an event that weekend. 


CREW HIGHLIGHTS
I feel bad writing this because honestly, you all have been freakin’ slaying it! But a few things that come to mind that I want to point out:
Congrats to Kelly Gillen for her WIN at the Long Island Marathon, almost breaking 3 hours! She was in 4th most of the race and kept her head as people went out too hard. Making sure to “race her race” and stick to our race plan, she moved into the race late, but thats when it matters most! \m/race your race \m/ !

Also, congrats to Annie Z for her comeback to do Hawaii 70.3 after a tough winter that saw a major back injury. She came back to do a half and is on her way to doing IMLP! \m/ come back \m/

Lastly, congrats to Kayla who set PRs in her half marathon, half Ironman, and sprint and oly distance racing. \m/ break personal records \m/ 


Honestly you all deserve a shout out because your all having sick years but this would be VERY long if I listed them all :)
DEALS HOOK UPS AND THE LOVE:
Live and Eat Better:
Christine Lynch of www.liveandeatbetter.com elite athlete, is also a certified nutrition expert. She has a special deal (50% off) for the CREW and works on holistic energy and daily nutritional optimization, weight management and race fueling. Her one-on-one work and face-to-face (or phone) time, give you a personalized experience to really delve into health, wellness and racing.  

Strong Like Bull.
My totally amazing training camp in Andalusia, Spain is not yet sold out for year 11. www.stronglikebulltraining.com (for info) https://www.bikereg.com/strong-like-bull-training-camps (to reg) As one of the CREW I will extend early reg pricing, which is $300 off and only $985 which is a sick deal. Its the best part of the year! Or, you can stay in the USA and freeze and get buried under snow! 

Xterra Wetsuits:
A few of you have gotten sick 50%+ deals off stuff with CO-XTRI at www.xterrawetsuits.com I love the suits, and the deals are sick. If you need a suit, use the code then take the extra money and go buy yourself a whole closet full of silly hats or something, or put the money to the SLB deposit.  

Rudy Project:
I had a phone call with Chris from Rudy project and he was so pumped about me and you that he gave me a special code and wrote:


I’d really appreciate it if you would please share this with family/friends/training partners/clients in a “non-public” way (i.e. no posting on website, social media, forum, etc.). I’d like to see some activity on everyone’s account and I think this would be a great offer for the athletes that you coach!

 

HERE’S HOW TO GET 52.5% OFF OF RUDY PROJECT GEAR (including single vision prescriptions):

-Go to: www.e-rudy.com/vip

-Enter VIP code: jHirsch

*UPDATE: Additional 15% discount now applies to closeout items and promotions!

They have awesome brain buckets and eyewear. The new hipster looking stuff is fly. I go motorcycle gang member for casual, or Euro-cross-country-skier for racing, but I have a stupid looking face. Have fun with that.

Also, in the next newsletter I hope to have the Brooks deal for ya, which is just insane. But its a one-time thing that only happens once a year. 

Lastly, I have a few more spots on the roster for anyone that wants to join us. 

Train and race evil my friend, 
John

– 

moonlighting as a Roadie

“I am a goddamn monster.” Upon a Burning Body. 

I love bike racing. Not enough to train for it; but enough to jump into it for some ass kickings among my swim and run training. I also love mma and fear this lack of survival instincts may cause me some broken bones in the future. Hahahah. 

Over the years I worked my way up to a Category 3 card from USA Cycling. It’s like “good” non pro. The 1/2 are basically pro and AAA pros. I am also now old enough for ” masters” which has a lot of 1/2 athletes looking to beat the crap out of the rest of us. It would be like seeing a pro drop down into your age group then telling you if you can’t draft him the whole way your race is over :-) good fun! 

The first race was Coxsackie. Pronounced Cock-Sack-E, the jokes are endless. “It’s so long and hard ppl just want to ride it.” “When it’s cold, it shrinks.” “cocksackie exploded at the head.” 

Anyways, the race itself is long, 50-60 miles and early, late march/early April. Racing that long that early is just sick training. It’s basically the perfect prep for a half IM. The wind splits the field like a knife and you need to be on the ride side of the divides that occur. So staying near the front is critical. That is WAY easier said that done however! After doing that for 40 miles I went off the front a few times in feeble attempts at glory and got barely a gap between being caught and spit out the back at mile 45 giving yourself 5 miles solo to sing the “you got dropped song.” Which doesn’t exists but with 5 miles of solo riding you can write it :-)  because of the wind and bravery a group of 4-5 hard men got away early and won. I love to see that kind of racing. 

The next weekend is the Might Tour of the Battenkill. Battenkill is the largest participatory bike race in the USA and for good reason; it’s sick. Modeled after Paris-Roubiux the race that goes over cobbles, they North Eastern classic uses 8 dirt roads and climbs over it’s 70 mile route. The dirt adds some crazy hard riding as road bikes don’t exactly love dirt making the 70 miles feel like 80-90. Add the fact that the gentleman you are racing are trying at every moment to break you and you get THE classic of the year. 

My race started out with a flurry of early attacks and counter attacks by Fin-Kraft a well organized team. Cycling is a team sport and it’s great to see it unfold as one. I was less appreciative at the time when I was full on sprinting 3 miles into a 70 mile race with all the hard parts yet to come. 

We hit the first serious climb and 1/3 of the field was gone. We hit some dirt and people popped. People at the front driving the pace and each  selector: dirt road or steep climb people got dropped. At mile 22 I got dropped but not by much and with a group of ambitious fellas that didn’t want their race to end and we worked together in a rotating pace line and chased for what felt like forever and tagged back on. Miles 22-50 are the easiest with the selectors being early and late.we had some time to try to recover and I needed it as the chase back on was; um, good training and had me seeing stars. 

I made it over the next climb or two but then got dropped again. Amazingly I got dropped with one of the strong men from the prior chase back on 20 miles earlier and again we worked back into the field. Again this was sick effort; the type I can’t duplicate in training. Somewhere there was a third climb maybe with 10k to go and I get dropped and then road hard and caught others that got dropped. Our working group of about 6 road tempo and pretty hard until the end and even battled it out among us in the last 2k dirt climb for fun and pride, I took 35th over all and was smashed from it all. Good stuff! My teammate was top 5! Go him! 

The next weekend was Quabbin. Obviously it’s throbbin’. The comment section if my blog is for your convenience should you want to put together a throbbin Quabbin and cocksackie joke. They pretty much write themselves :-)  

CCB strong man Kirin when on a solo break and then several men joined him. He road solo for 50 miles or so. Then we caught him. He took another flier after that. His suffer meter goes to 11. I watched a few splits in the field happened and did a few all out efforts to make the gap. A few more to not pop off the back as this race as 1200m of climbing over 100k. The end is a 5k uphill finish and I had nothing for it and took 35th or something leaving the pros, former pros and bad asses to duke it out for glory as I was just happy for the work and not to get blown off the back and as I road up the 5k climb my legs were trashed and I was pedal squares. 

The last race of this 4 races in 4 weeks was the State Fair Grounds crit. The other events are pretty big, this is super small. Just a bunch of freaks trashing each other with effort on a Tuesday night for 60 minutes on a 2k crit loop. 

From the gun the attacks started. I tried to not be foolish but also knew that breaks are serious and if you miss the right one you find yourself racing for best-of-the-rest. At 10 minutes the first prime went up, a race within the race, the winner if the next lap gets some swag. A guy launched and then I went. Sadly I wasn’t quick to go and them paused once I bridged up to him. We had a 100m gap but two pauses meant that we got swallowed up before the finish. 5 minutes later and the next prime went up and again we he attacked and this time I jumped without pausing and when I caught him passed him and together we stayed away. Sadly we had a third dude who was on another level with the sprinting thing and as we neared the line he dropped both of us. The next 15 minutes was more attacks and chases then At the 30 minute mark a guy attacked and I went too with a 3rd guy. We stayed away for a while a group of four bridged up to is and the 7 of us had a BIG gap. Sadly we didn’t work well together but we did work hard enough to build on the lead and it became clear this was the winning move. With a lap to go (2k) I went off the front. Someone joined me and we worked hard to stay away and for a moment I thought we had it but with 500m a

To go we got caught. I tried to rally for the sprint but then the reality of my triathlonness came crashing down and I sprinted like a triathlete taking 7th of 7. still too 10! Woot! Was stoked for the result and to be a player in a pro-1-2-3 race.