Israman

“Cut off the roots of your family tree?

hat’s not the way it’s suppose to be. Jerusalem if I forget you. ” Matisyshu

Israel is unlike any place on earth. You likely read about it in history cla  ss, or if you are a westerner had a religious up bringing as the three western religions all have their holy places here. In our lives you hear about it in the news relentlessly. What isn’t spoke about as much is the sublime natural beauty here. 

My travels started with a trip from NYC to Moscow to Tel Avi. The Russian currency is down and so the flights are cheap. The food was all meat so I survived on Caveman Bars for 9 hours. Thankfully they have a bunch of flavors and the Caveman style food is a great mix of protien and quality natural ingridents to keep me satisfied. 

Once in Israel we drove 4 hours south to Eilat where I had a person training block to do to finish off my pep for the race. Eilat is a beach town with a standard boardwalk. But the Red Sea is amazing. Also Eilat is a sliver into the Red Sea and you see both the Eilat mountains stretching to Egypt to the west and the Jordan mountains to the east. At moments you see three countries. The water is warm, crystal clear and filled with life. Swim workouts here were so much more pleasant with all the underwater life to enjoy, so much better than staring at a black line of a pool!

The big workout was heading up route 12 which is the race course.the first 20k are up and take you along the boarder of Egypt. You get amazing views of Jordan and the desert and while the workout is hard the area is stunning and it was hard to train because I just wanted to take photos. 

The real joy came the next day when we went 30k north to Timna park for our long run. We ran by ancient mines and Egyptian carvings and even a temple to Hethor! The park has great off road running and hiking routes and you find yourself deep in the desert not just seeing it from afar. 

With the work done the vacation started. First stop was the famed Masada and Dead Sea. Masada is a desert mountaintop that was build by Harod a ruler around 2000 years ago. The scope of that kind of construction in such a place is a wonder. But Masada became legend when in  79 CE the last of the Jewish rebels used it as strong hold against the Romans. For two years they watched as the Romans constructed a massive ramp to try to reach the top. Instead of slavery when they lost the stronghold the rebels entered in to a murder-suicide pact and the Romans found nothing but bodies when they got to the top. It where Israeli soldiers take there military oath now.  

The experience of visiting is amazing because you hike hard for 30-60 minutes up a narrow but safe trail to reach the top. The top is vast with tons of ruins some which were partially reconstructed so you can get a feel for what it was like. We were there for hours poking our heads around. 

The next stop was the dead sea. Super salty you float totally weightless. It’s like a sensory depravation chamber I suspect but set in nature. It’s a meditative experience as your mind floats away as you lose your body in the weightlessness. It’s trippy and awesome. The area around the Dead Sea is very resort style which isn’t my style and we found a funky hotel 2k away and a fun Moroccan tent restaurant to eat in that severed us a great meal. But a day there is great but enough. Also you really can’t swim there. The salt is so salty it burns like acid if it gets in your mouth or eyes. 

From there it was to Jerusalem. We took a tour because we were both

Overwhelmed by the place and wanted a guild. The old city is so dense it is basically a walking tour. With three religions chances are you will offended someone at some point so having a guild is a nice way to be more comfortable. While I can’t review all the site of the old city obviously seeing the Dom of the Rock ( thought not going in), the Western Wall, and the Church of the Sepulcher were highlights. Seeing people practice religions with ties thousands of years old is proud and the living history of it is worth experiencing. If you have a faith then practicing in such a place is holy and a true pilgrimage. The seeing the places of all about the stories I grew up hearing was fascinating and changed my view of them. Being the descendant of Jews and Christians I had tasks both places. 

The next day was more about seeing the rest of the city. It’s not a large city and we found it came alive on Saturday night in a way that was profound. You could feel the energy of everyone recharged from the Sabbath.  We found great Italian with gluten free and vegan dishes. Israel is really great about both those things and we had little issues finding food. Plus each hotel had a kitchens. 

There is obviously some tension in the Eastern part of the city. I am going to not try to address the conflicts as that would take books not a simple post. That said: my only thought is this, if their is a God, and God put all three religion’s holy places basically on top of each other it wasn’t to cause conflict but rather unity and solidarity, my only prayer for this place is that some day people here see that. I am sure it’s insanely more complex then that and with enough blood spilled over this place for thousands of years it’s not likely to happen any time soon, but that’s my humble hope. 

On the way out we drove through the disputes areas, saw the controversial Jewish settlements and constructed army bunkers and towers that stand at the intersections. It’s an odd mix of feeling like every day life and a war zone and the area jumps from one to another and back. Sheep herding one kilometer and gun towers the next. 

But after we excited the disputed area we were back in the desert for two days with the Bedouins.  The Bedouins have been in this area for over 7000 years. Now Muslims they were first pagans and are nomadic. Living in tents and moving by camel they maintain a lower tech life. Spending time with them was relaxing and peaceful in the extreme. They have a few centers where tourists can come and learn about them, take part in their ancient tea ceremony and kick it all tent-life. We road camels and ran in the desert at dawn and mostly sat and sipped tea. In many ways this was the highlight of the trip. It was restorative on a deep emotional level. 

The day prior was a sweet euro style part with a DJ in all white and so great electronica. The race day came and I had my traditional breakfast of two Caveman bars (maple nut). The swim what wetsuit legal and I wore my full sleeve Xterra because I find the long sleeves give me more pull with a wider forearm. I exited near the front but a few ITU freaks were out in front.

The bike starts with an insane 20k climb that takes an hour of solid hard effort. I had two CarbBOOM gels and got over it. Sadly Massimo, who finished top 10 at Bahrain’s half which had a 500,000 in cash up for grabs was busy blowing by me and everyone else on the climb on his way to to top finish. 

The rest of the bike was hard, windy and hilly but Valdora’s PX is considered one of the best TT frames for climbing and at 16-17lbs it was a a big advantage. 

I got off the bike and started a 10k screaming down hill which wrecked two toe nails but I broke 15 minutes for the first 5k as I feel off the mountains and to the sea. I again had another Boom gel and combo of calories and caffine got me right and made sure that no one passed me. Slowtwitch posted that I was 5th and the official results were in Hebrew so I am not exactly sure where I landed but there was 15 or so pros so that felt good. The announcer handed a flag and told me I was the top American which is always an honor. 

 

Coaching By Me

I am taking 2-3 more athletes for 2015.

Join pro triathletes, pro cyclists, elite runners, ultra marathon champions, champion duathletes and age groupers who have races in the Kona Ironman World Championships, 70.3 world championships, ITU World Championships, Xterra world Championships, USAT national championships and Boston qualified runners.
Got a Coach ?

I am accepting a limited number of new athletes for 2015 starting now. Never though you could afford a pro level coach? I am ONLY 95 bucks a month! Why? because I was a dirt poor punk pro who thinks this sport isn’t only for the super rich. I am far more interested in working with people with a good work ethic and great attitude than someone with deep pockets.

My coaching a program includes:

1) An hour long meeting, call or skype to assess you as an athlete; to discuss goals, plans, strengths and weaknesses.

2) A 100 percent custom plan to help you meet you goals and built around your life and other commitments.

3) unlimited contact via phone, email, text, and instant messenger.

4) A free nutritional assessment with Christine Lynch, A certified holistic health counselor and sports nutritional consultant to countless pros and elite athletes as well as people looking for meaningful heath changes.

5) discounts on the CREW’s many sponsors.

Email me at evilracingcult (at) Gmail (dot) com or drop me a line in the comments section.

JOIN US. ALL WE DO IS WIN.

(Photo: me yelling at one my athletes at IMLOU. I scream because I care).

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Whachung ultra race report

“Running through the Forrest
Ruining through the woods
Running like I should
Running for survive
A Craziness inside me.” Matisyshu

I love everything about trail and ultra running. It is the simple life. Two feet, one trail and just pure sport. The scene/community is chill and welcoming. Full of that certain type of freak that prefers running around woods over all other things. No WTC faceless greedy global corporations, just people who love sport. I dig this. I have wanted to do an ultra for years. But finding the time with a busy tri schedule make it wicked hard but I found time to squeeze one in because it’s held at the worst time of year to race when nothing else is going on. Now. I also was motivated to do it as a fund raiser for Team Continuum and all told we raised 7000 dollars for kids with cancer.

With my bigger goal being Israeliman on 1/30/25 in Israel I used this as base work: after all a 50k takes about as long as a half iron. Perfect! Or stupid. Whatever. Me and Christine did longer long runs but besides that my training was all tri focused. But I think you can get 90% there on tri training as the cross training (cycling, swimming and strength training I am doing) gets you really fit. The one thing I had to compromise to make this ultra dream happen was a meaningful taper. 5 days prior I was still finishing up a monster training block (see prior post). I also didn’t skip New Years Eve which was a lot of travel to Burlington for a reunion of dear friends and not a lot of sleep and a 5 hour snowy hike to summit the second tallest peak in VT. I think over all I am better for all of it but I felt a bit less than tapered heading in, though I felt really fit.

Pre race was a blur and I went with two Caveman (maple) bars for breakfast. The race went off and unlike last year there was a lot of people. The race has a 10/20/30/40/50k all at the same time and knowing who you are racing is impossible. This has two advantages. 1) you can run with people doing shorter races so you have company. 2) you can forget about head to head racing early on and just focus on yourself. Of course it’s also a trap. If you are competitive from the gun you have no shortage of people to run with that will make you go out way too hard and blow you up.

I settled into a pace that felt good and fast. I was with a good friend Dave and we spent the first two laps chatting. With 4-5 hours of racing ahead of me I was thankful for the distraction, the course is 5 x 10k and I was surprised by my first splits, as they seemed faster than was smart. The course is slow and hard. Tons of tricky ups and downs and turns and footing is always in question . It’s legit northeastern trails. But I love that. Hopping and jumping is just so fun compared to road running.

Lap 3 I felt like it was getting hard but ran faster than the first two laps. Lap 4 I took my third spill and it knocked the wind out of me. I was digging deeper at this point but that lap was slower but only by a few minutes so I wasn’t too despaired filled.

I started the final lap with a Red Bull a Carboom gel with 50mg of caffeine and also a shot of fear. I spotted a guy right behind me. The combo had me launch down the trails as I didn’t want to lose a spot. I felt great too, which was a total shock. I think in the past I hadn’t had enough calories and this time thanks to Carboom Gels I had been way ahead of my fueling. I went two two per hour even if I didn’t feel I needed it. Ultras are an eating contest on some level. Sadly the snow was really coming down at this point and the rocks, roots, ice and leaves now all snow covered made each foot step a roll of the dice which turned into a roll of the ankle and I went down for a fourth time and could feel my ankle swelling. I tightened my shoe laces on my Brooks Launch to kept the swelling in check and got back up and kept running.

The extra effort proved fruitful because I dropped the chaser and caught a guy with 4k to go. As I caught him he picked up the pace and I was really hurting. I know the course well so I decided to use my strength of downhill running which triathletes get because of all the cycling that develops our quads and let loose on the next long down hill. This late into the race I was hoping he would crack. If he didn’t I was out of ideas. By the bottom of the hill I had 20 seconds on him and we kept that exact gap for the next 2k until the bottom of the final climb; 1k to the finish. I hammered the final climb and when I looked back half way up he wasn’t there deciding this one was over. I crossed the line in 4:33, 4th: good enough to win this race on some years but not this year.

I was nicely cooked and with the snow still coming down grabbed a Caveman bar for recovery (they are all natural and have a great blend and ratio of carbs and protein) and waited for Christine…who has having an even more awesome day.

(My aid station)

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3 races in 24 Hours, Then a Marathon

“fight till I am dead, eat till I am fed, never stop to catch my breath. I fight till I am dead, eat till I am fed; and then I do it all again…” -hungry

I wanted an adventure. I wanted to race. I wanted to travel and do something epic, some place epic, and found it all in Israeliman, Israel’s half and full ironman distance races. The course is brutal, the event baller, and the country one of the places I most wanted to visit in the world.

One issue, it’s held in January. So how do you prepare for a race in the middle of winter living in NYC? You grow a mountain man beard and HTFU. Chicks can skip the beard part. I embraced a ton of winter suffering. Namely cylco-cross and trail racing to keep me engaged in this pursuit. Both require a beard. So after a million reps in the gym, a diet of leaves and twigs to drop to race weight, and some base l, it was time to start the hard work and I figured 3 races in 24 hours then a marathon would do the trick.

RACE 1 NJ TRAIL SERIES

Race 1 was Saturday, a 10k trail race with the NJ Trail series. I love the trail/ultra runner scene. It’s all sport, pure and brutal. To vs the other runners and nature herself. Pre race I warmed up, rocked a carboom gel and then did some light yoga as the race director set the tone with announcements and a nice handful of jokes with us. Dude has the voice to lead a hardcore band and will never need a megaphone.

The course started out with 1k flat around a lake and I took the lead giving me first digs at the single track. Three guys sat behind me and we hit a down hill then the first series of switch backs and I got a gap on the down hill so I attacked the first climb. This was risky because there was still 9k of hard hard hard stuff ahead. But as a long course guy I tend to think it’s good to make it hard all the way rather than leave it to a sprint at the end. At the top of the first series of climbs I was clear of the three behind me and used the downhills to pull away more as a cyclists my downhill running is strong because it uses cycling muscles but I was clearly going at an effort I would have trouble maintaining.

The course grinds on with more and more uphills and downhills and by the final big uphill I was for sure feeling less snappy. Second place caught a glimpse and I became the hunted. With 2k to go he saw me at a switch back and I needed to shift gears into turbo and run hard to the line. I never ran so hard to go so slow! That course is sick. I was stoked for the win! I used my Brooks Launch, a lightweight trainer. Perfect for racing but enough shoe for rocks.

After that it was time to hit the gym. I working on swimming too so I did my dry-land swim workout and core. An hour later and I was cooked. I like ST Racers, pure flow or T7 for the gym because it feels minimalist and close to barefoot.

RACE 2 and 3. ELM CITY CYCLO-CROSS

The next morning was back to back cross races. But first a swim. I mean, I am a triathlete after all! The plan was to use this as my long ride so I road 80 minutes before my first race. Well, I stopped for 10 minutes to break up a domestic assault by two locals in the park not affiliated with the race which was in new haven. That counts as cross training. MMA work. Crack is whack, just saying.

After that I lined up, for the 4/5 race. I guess I had some points after last weeks racing and so I got a good starting position based in seeding. Sadly I suck at starts at cyclo cross so being in a good starting position isn’t as useful when you suck. I am gonna learn how to do these some day. One of the reasons a good start is critical is that cross has a lot of crashes at starts. 200m into the race I was reminded of this when the field looked like a football running play: a nice pile up. I lost a lot of time as grown men untangled bikes tantrum style.

The course had a sick climb that is about 30-60 seconds and put me right on the edge. I got to do it 20 times that day between racing and riding before between and after races. I made it each time with my heart rate at about 180 beats per minute. It was nice to be riding the Evil Racing Cult Carbon Cross
Bike. Contact me for one! The next section was a power section and that’s where I moved up or dropped people. As a guy focused on Iron distance racing cross is about 8 hours short but even in these 45 minute events I move up late and in the final lap got a few guys that gassed out. The results table had me 7th over all and I was most pleasantly surprised since this is only my 3rd weekend of racing this year. The day had been non stop snow and I was really coming down during the race changing the course each lap. I was SO thankful I scored a Champion System fleecy cross kit! I was totally comfortable for all four hours!

I had an hour between races so I just kept riding because this is my long ride. I had several Carboom gels, once before the race once after and once before race two.

Race 2 was the 3/4 and a better field. My legs were cooked and I could tell 1/2 way through the first lap. My heart rate was a full 10 beats lower than the first race. But I just focused on the workout and kept it hard. One reason to use a heart rate monitor when racing is that even if the race isn’t going great you get to see the work you are doing and that’s motivation. I got into a few battles with people and that motivated me to go as hard as I could. Plus I was still seeing good numbers so I new I was doing work. 45 minutes later it was over and I road 15 minutes more just to hit 4 hours.

The next day I was pretty tired and sore but me and Christine had planned a trail marathon run to prep for the ultra coming up. It was also Coraline the dogs first unofficial-official marathon. All I can say is that It made sense at the time. Also christine was clearly taking advantage of my exhaustion and weakened mental state to convince me a marathon was a good idea. We ran and ran and ran loops of the 50k course we have coming up and I was oddly ok. christine said she would lead the last 10k loop and she dropped 10 minutes off the first loop. That’s 1 minute per km! So it pretty much turned into a race. The dog won. I took 3rd out of the 3 of us. Podium? At 125k a week of running it’s good that Brooks loves me as I am going through shoes quickly. Also huge thanks to Caveman for fueling me before and after all these races!

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Winter sucks. Come to Spain with us!

We have spots for camp 1 of our famed Strong Like Bull Training Camps.

1285 for 7 days all inclusive! (Excluding airfare) First person to reg gets 300 off!!!! That’s 985 for the entire camp!

Www.stronglikebulltraining.com

Reg here! https://www.bikereg.com/strong-like-bull-training-camps

(Photo: The top of Spain. 32 k climb to 10000 feet. Come and you will do this!!!!)

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10 life lessons From 10 years on the pro-rack

1) BE GRATEFUL FOR PAST SPONSORS:
I use to get bend when I lost a sponsor. In reality it has nothing to do with with me (or any athlete); simply market or marketing changes. I have 4 pairs of socks from an old gel sponsor I refused to wear because they went from a great sponsorship deal to a bad one; causing me to find a new sponsor; which in the end was way better.
Instead of being bent I now look back at past sponsors and am thankful and see them as a part of a career I am grateful for. I even where the socks when no one is looking and they make me happy not pissed anymore :)

2) CHOOSE FRIENDS NOT TRAINING PARTNERS:
I use to want to make friends with fast people and pros. The reality is when I look back at the best and most meaningful relationships I have had it’s always been about the quality of the person’s character not the quality of them as an athlete. After a decade I have made some awesome friends; lucky for me many of them can also hand out an ass kicking but that was only part of the fun. You wanna get deep with someone; train with them. Shrinks don’t know someone as well as a training partner. In the end I want that bond with a quality friend not just someone that can put out watts.

3) KEEP IT AWESOME:
I have a training partner @philiplavoie who often cracks a huge smile and says “this is just awesome.” Amazingly he does that when it’s not all that awesome . If you love your training you will train more. We all have workouts we “have” to do and don’t love; but making most of most workouts makes them a reward not a chore and makes you train more and makes you a better athlete. Most importantly you have the memories of the training; always. You only have any moment so be present and enjoy it. The race is the destination, enjoy the journey.

4) EARN YOUR GEAR:
I qualified for kona on 32 spoke box rim wheels. Focus on what matters; fitness, training, enjoyment and effort. Gear is not the point of sports. Sure at some point you need race wheels, a new areo brain bucket or whatever. But don’t lose the what’s at the core of the experience which isn’t gear. *unless your a science/math dude and get geeked on space age areo stuff. You get a pass because this stuff makes you giddy.

5) BE SOCIAL
Triathletes are awesome people. We share a lot of what my coach calls “core values.” Exercise, work ethic, love of outdoors, challenges, sport, racing. Sure there are grown men having mantrums at their spouse at the ironman and that guy sucks, but if you strike up a conversation with some triathletes you will make a friend. Bring the positive vibes and you will get it back. Don’t take your racing too seriously before the race and drink deep from the rad people around you.

6) CELEBRATE GOOD DAYS.
I have had a lot of bad races. I have had entire bad years! In races with three sports that take an hour to a day a lot will go imperfectly. When things go well celebrate it because you earned it. Nothing sucks more than never being happy; never thinking you did well. Oh and here is the last thing, always being that guy is kinda insufferable. Dude, cheer up, you rocked it.

7) COACHES FOR LIFE:
I look back at the biggest influences in my life and most of them are coaches. In my questionable youth a few (soccer) coaches believed in me when almost (except my mom) no one else did. They fueled my fire rather trying to put it out. I have had the same coach for all 15 years of my triathlon career. Yeah, coaches make you a better athlete but if you develop relationships that last over time you might find they make you a better person. I wouldn’t trade that personal growth for anything.

8) GIVE BACK
Volunteer at a cool event (not wtc). Race for a charity. Coach someone for free who appreciates it. Sponsor a team or athlete if you can. Cheer other athletes at a race or say thank you to a volunteer when racing (nothing is as much fun as running a 5:45 mile and grabbing a cup and saying thank you; the volunteers always go wild when that happens). I have this habit, often when I am in street clothes, where I see someone kill themselves training to just softly say “good job man” and you can see how validating it is to them. I have done each of those things and they were more rewarding than I can explain in words.

9) RACE HARD
when the gun goes off give it your all. I look at myself in the mirror before each race and promise myself I will be in this same bathroom staring at the same guy in the mirror when I am done and he will want to know if I have it my all. Race hard, and you will have no regrets about the results.

10) BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND FLOSS.

I coach my dentist. Trust me, teeth are important and we eat too much sugar.

(Pic: So stoked to be on the Brooks Elite Team along side Olympians and national champs! Here is me in brooks tights, socks and The Launch. My fav shoe! )

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Interview on Zentri

One of my fav interviews I ever did is here: http://www.zentriathlon.com/home/2014/12/1/zentri-581-john-hirsch-on-training.html

Talking about setting a PR at 39, my ultra debut and charity cause, which is a toy drive for poor kids with cancer (PLEASE READ AND GVE HERE: https://www.teamcontinuum.net/support_the_cause/fundrasing_page/85066 )
Also chatted nutrition and a ton if laughs and insight!

Enjoy!

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Photo at Top of Bear Mt.

Training for my ultra debut with a run up Bear Mt. All smiles at the top!

I am running to raise money for Team Continuum’s toys for kids with Cancer holiday program. You can read more about it and please support me and them and donate here:

https://www.teamcontinuum.net/support_the_cause/fundrasing_page/85066

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Brooklyn Marathon’s Champs Race Report

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kelly bk finish

(click photo to enlarge)

Wanna know what its like to win a marathon two weeks after cracking the top 100 at the worlds biggest most baller event, the NYC Marathon? CREW Athlete Kelly Gillian’s (coached by me(for info on my coaching and to join the squad for 2015 click here ) with nutrition by Christine Lynch (http://liveandeatbetter.com) race report is here:

pre-race nutrition: the usual routine, minimize veggie intake the day before, brown rice pasta with red sauce and a little bit of chicken the night before, bagel with peanut butter the morning of the race.
i won this race in 2011, and this was my first time coming back to defend a title. there were no other previous winners there, but i still felt some pressure. my main goal for this race was to work on pacing. i went out way too fast in nyc and i wanted to correct that mistake by running a negative split. also, since i just ran a marathon 2 weeks ago, i knew i really couldn’t afford to go out too fast — the consequences could be BAD. i was tested right from the gun when 2 girls went out FAST. i watched them speed off, and thought, “if they’re that fast, good for them, or they’ll crash and burn as soon as we start the hills. it’s a long race.” so, i stuck to my plan, and kept my pace at ~7-7:05 min/mile.
sure enough, the hills got to them. i passed one girl to move into 2nd place around mile 8, just 1 mile after we crested the first hill. around mile 13, sam told me that the first place girl was about 3 minutes ahead. as i passed other runners, i heard one say to the other “she’ll definitely catch up to the girl in first”. i was still feeling really good but knew it would be a challenge to make up that much time without crashing later on. i maintained my pace, heard from sam that i was reeling her in, and got some encouragement from other runners (“she’s just ahead, go get her, you got it!”). i passed her around mile 17. as i passed her, i said “good job, way to run” and she muttered something that was barely coherent, so i knew if i could keep up my pace, i’d be good. so, i picked it up a tiny bit, ran a negative split, and won. i had no idea how far ahead i was, so i kept pushing the pace. turns out i was safe, as the second place female was 15 minutes behind me.
during the race, i felt good, not ecstatic like i was in the beginning of nyc, but really really solid and under control. my posture/stride/core felt good, i stayed upright, and heard from a number of people that i looked… good. i was cold, but thankfully there wasn’t a whole lot of wind. since i was so cold, i didn’t take a lot of liquids and didn’t feel like ingesting anything, but that didn’t seem to adversely affect me. i took in fewer calories than in normally do — i nursed my first gel for about 3 or 4 miles, and then had half a package of sport beans. i just couldn’t stomach the thought of taking in a lot more food.
overall: an amazing way to end a season. i achieved my goal of controlling my pace, and ended up winning, and feeling REALLY good doing it. fabulous race, an attentive and professional RD, awesome volunteers, hilarious spectators. this made up for my negative energy from nyc.

This was an 8 minute course PR for me (last ran the race in 2011 in 3:14). i like the direction things are headed.

 

5 Tips For Strength Training

 

 

 

 

 

“People are made of clay; I am waiting for the punishment I know is on it’s way.” slipknoT

 

For most athletes the start of preparation for 2015 is now. If it’s not now, it’s soon. For a lot of athletes they would benefit from some strength work and cross training. Here are some common problems triathletes face when trying to go to the gym.

 

1) own the gym! Walk around and piss on stuff. Push people around and tell them you own this place. Scream and beat your chest. (As a criminal lawyer I strong suggest you don’t do this). But seriously, be comfortable in the gym as your space. YOU ARE AN ATHLETE! Most people in gyms are working out, your a REAL athlete. You have more of a right to this place then anyone else. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be shy. Walk up to some random huge guy and bury your finger in his chest and say “what are you training for? Nothing? I am training for_______ (fill in your race).” Ok don’t do that. But my point is you are an athlete this is your place. Own it. Bring swagger and be mentally ready to do work.

 

2) know WHY you are hitting the gym. Are you weak and have trouble putting out watts? Do you struggle on hills? Do you have good swim form but can’t get faster? Are you over 33 and losing muscle mass? Does your form and posture fade later in events? Are you injury prone or want to prevent injuries? Do you want to built strength now but not burn out during a long season? If you know WHY your doing strength training, you will be motivated because you will see the work you do as purposeful. Also it will make the work you do targeted. Not all strength workouts are the same and it’s not one size fits all. Be purposeful in your gym work and you will be more motivated because you will know your addressing something you want to improve.

 

3) know what you are doing. Don’t go into the gym without a workout. You need a plan. The plan should be what you are doing that day. That week. Next week. Etc. You wouldn’t go to the pool and splash around in the hope that you get faster at swimming so going to the gym walking around doing a few random machines  won’t make you stronger. You need a focused workout; you need to stay on track and be purposeful there. One big knock on cross fit is that it doesn’t focus on a sport, but it at least keeps people moving and working. Ideally you want and need both; a series of exercises for tri (or running or cycling) AND to be focused on getting it done.

 

4) DO WORK. The other tips also help with this, but ultimately it’s up to you to be mentally ready to do work! Gym work in the early season is THE workout to focus on for any athletes and you need to come to this really to THROW DOWN. This is the workout you fear and focus on all week. This is the place you come to push yourself hard. Kill the gym. Slay the gym. Make that special murders play list and get in there with malice and bad intentions in your heart. Endurance sports athletes go to the gym like agnostics go to church. You need to go in there like sinners heading towards hell fire.

 

5) Learn the movements. Be patient and start slow. Besides the obvious which is if you don’t you will hurt your self you idiot, the confidence of knowing the exercises will make the experience better. More over starting slower and learning will built confidence so your more comfortable in the gym and be consistent with it.

 

 

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Need a coach? I am accepting athletes for 2015 starting now. 100% custom plans, unlimited contact and support and including strength training blended into the SBR you need to do to meet your goals. Use the comment section or email me: evilracingcult (at) gmail (dot) com