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I dare you

“I had a dream. I stopped being scared…’or else’ seems like a stupid thing to say to someone like me.” – Marilyn Manson 

One thing that always struck me as awesome was the sense of community among the elites of sports. I am amazed at how many pros I talk to that simply turn over information. Hell, I once coached a pro (for free) for a race where he beat me. I have had countless rides with other elites where we trade tips. Some of us even post our training plans on lines or you can follow them on starve.
Even at spartan race while waiting for the podiums everyone was giving me, the new guy tips on how to improve and that sport has some tricks to it. 
It would be easy to say that people are stupid. Or that people just want to show off how much they know. But here is the deeper reality:
There is no secrets. What makes someone able to race at a pro level isn’t knowledge. It’s hard freaking work. Endless, brutal, exhausting work. It’s talent, its durability, it’s passion. We bond, we share, we hang out because at the end of the day there is a small percentage of us that have talent, and even smaller that have talent and have the passion and drive to do the work. Telling someone to do an 8 hour training day isn’t giving away a secrete: it’s a dare. 
It’s also why pros mix so freely with non pros (or at least I do). Because regardless of talent we all respect anyone daring enough to line up and do something brutally hard. So what what are you doing in 2016? because I dare you to make it epic. 

(Photo: me coaching Christine to a top 3 over all at the Boo Du on Halloween but I am temped to wear that hat 365 days a year). 



I want to welcome Boston Commons Coffee to the team! As you may know, I LOVE coffee, and now I am fueled by the amazingly fresh tasting, locally roasted high quality roasts. 

Check them out at: 


Spartan Ultra Beast World Championship 

When my legs no longer work. When the wind chills my bone. I shall not walk alone.When I am tired and weary. When I am a long way from home. I shall not walk alone.” – Ben Harper 
I love going long. I also seem to enjoy this whole obstacle course thing. When I found out Spartan does a combo of the two as a World Championship, it was so stupid it was smart. 
There were a few hitches; first, this was an gonna be a VERY long race and I had been raced out physically since a doctor told me to stop racing at the start of July. Second, before I even knew this was a sport, I had planned, booked and organized my wedding for the week before. Thankfully I was marrying a bad ass athlete so she was totally supportive, and when I booked the trip she thought she would have to work and I planned to go with my sister. 
The wedding was off the hook and the best day of my life. We planned a few days in New England post wedding then a day of work followed by a flight to California getting in some point between Thursday and Friday: in those hours lost to time changes and travel, and when it’s not clear if it’s later or early; when it could be 1 in the morning or 5, when it could be Thursday or Friday and only hunger and a compulsion to brush your teeth tells you what time it really is. 
I put off all things race related as I was still soaking in the wedding and as luck would have it my wife could come at the last minute! She upgraded the dive hotel I found for myself to a nice one and it became the honeymoon part 2. But Sunday Monday came and at 6am I found myself running into the dark at Squaw Valley. It was cold and pitch black. 1000 signed up, but 200 realized this was insane in time to not show up for the 29 miles, 70 obstacles and twice up the ski mountain to about 10,000 feet for what I would guess was 11,000 feet of revelation gain. 
A group of 5 separated from the 795 behind us and I ran near first and second because they had head lamps which are pretty nifty in tricky trails in pitch blackness. I feel a few steps back and was in total darkness and tried to not break my ankles on the path but lost some time. We hit a cargo net and monkey bars and I got through both and was happy with my improvement on obstacle stuff. After that we started “the climb.” 7 miles up and about 4000 feet of vertical gain up a fire road which is way easier to run on in the dark. I passed 4th, then 3rd then me and the two leaders were together again. We hit some hard things like the hoist but I held my own and wasn’t dropped. I had lost time here in my other two weeks of Spartan Racing. As we went up it became day break and I stopped racing mentally for a moment to just soak in the view. Sunrises from mountain tops is special and must be honored. 
Somewhere along the way I found myself dropping the other two. By the time we hit the summit I had a nice gap; but the weather at the top was “interesting.” 20-30 mile an hour sustained winds. Freezing temps. Little visibility. Sadly the course markings were blown off the mountain and I stood at the top for several minutes until someone from the race pulled up on a four wheeler and was like “go this way” and pointed in a direction that had no path and was into a bank of mist. By this point 2nd and 3rd caught up. But I was thankful to have them because I didn’t want to die alone. 
The next 5k had more down hill running and we came into a cluster of obstacles that were between miles 9-10 and I was back in the lead after swimming more like a swimmer; though they had us wear life vests which was degrading. The water was 40-ish degrees. The air the same. The wind howling. I was shaking like a leaf. If i don’t die I might win this? My wife was there and found ape for me! She ran 20 miles spectating that day! I get through the cluster of obstacles flawlessly including the rope climb, barbwire, walls, more water and and the traverse (horizontal rope shimmy). I got to the spear throw and missed. High winds saw most people miss but I am gonna master this before returning. Also I was still shaking really bad. I was WAY under dressed; totally bad planning on my part. It occurred to me too late that the weather forecast for the ski area was for the bottom, not the top or even really on the mountain and there was a 20-30 degree difference!  
At this point things started going dark and I got passed twice. Also Miguel from the Spartan team is a sick downhill runner (and awesome guy, we chatted the whole way up, I am really happy if I wasn’t gonna be first he would be one of the dudes ahead of me). We ran down to mile 14 and I made the wall but failed the rig, but so did most/all people because of how cold it was. Miguel failed it too and he crushes those things. It was just kinda ridiculous. 
Out on the second lap I had a refuels my pockets with Carboom and DripDrop from our personal aid stations. The second lap started and I was through the monkey bars again and chasing. Half way up I saw Miguel and at the hoist the gap was close. I had another good hoist and was threw faster than him despite giving away 20lbs. It’s hard to hoist 150 lbs up 60 feet on a pulley when your 150 lbs! 
As we hit the steepest parts of the climb I passed him. I was still hypothermic at this point and “saw” my friend Chris Jark ahead of me who was also in Costa Rica at the time. I chased “him” up the mountain and let “him” set my pace. Most of the time I am more strategic then to let an astral-projection make up my race strategy but my decision making at this point was kinda meta as at the top is was just as cold as lap one and I was having cognitive issues and couldn’t talk. 
The next swim was the hardest thing I ever did…ever. Jumping into freezing water while shaking was really fascinating. I almost stopped working but moved forward one foot at a time afterwards until I could feel myself. My body wasn’t really working very well but I got through the cluster of obstacles. Miguel had dropped me on the down hill and at this point I was just trying to finish and not die/stop. 
As we came down the mountain we ran into traffic from the sprint race which my sister was crushing and would take 3rd over all in for we first race! The traffic caused me to take my time and I should have been pushy. Again lack of experience. As I got to the wall where you do bouldering the crowds forced me to a bad line and I missed a foot hold. The 30 burpees caused a person to pass me and within 30 feet of the finish I saw him take 3rd. I crossed in 4th and was told I was first Masters and thus the masters world champion :-) I was also told pay out was 5 deep and comes with a seasons pass. That made 4th feel better. 
The race took almost 8 hours and two week later and I still have tingling in my finger tips. All I do is sleep. But it was epic; truly one of the sickest races and places I have ever done.  

Huge thanks to my sponsors listed at right. 



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.)  



“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