“Yo he estado aqui muchas veces antes y regreso” – AFI (I have been here many times before and I return)
I finally am swimming for real, after a long break to focus on OCR racing. It feels great. I never thought I would missing swimming as it’s a bit of the more mind numbing of the three sports. But with a masters style workout the meters pass easier, and are more fun.
I am also just enjoying doing different things. Sports was always more about an adventure than a vocation for me. I like that SLB feels that way too. We train, but we also explore. We mix hard work with a sense of adventure and excitement to see cool things and experience a new place. If your the kind of athlete that misses seeing a rainbow over an ancient volcano because you are looking at your power meter, maybe your missing part of the fun?
But here is the thing: the more fun you make training the more you train. The more you train the better you are. So in the end, fun is very serious.
We get good athletes here. Today we pushed ourself hard in some fast pace line work. Daily we push each and challenge each other. And at the end of the day we are all shelled. Then after the ride I see Adam Carr the SLB pro rider drilling it on Cuesta El Romaral the local good climb at 4K and 1000 vertical feet.
last year here I remember Laurel Wassner being the first in the water and the last one out. She did 1500 while everyone else was in the locker rooms. She went on to win an Ironman after that.
When no one is looking so you bury yourself? Are you driven by the cheers and praise of the guys, or an inner voice that makes you want your dreams like you want air? When it’s easy to go home do you pass your own drive way, your buddies, a hot shower, food and coffee to go do more work? Your not a pro the day everyone is watching, your a pro all the days that no one is.
The first 48 hours were back to back 70+ mile rides with bonus workouts of swims and runs. It’s so great to have such great athletes here pushing each other to do more, train harder and be better all while being chill, funny and just bringing endless good times! SLB is basically a laugh factory fueled by dumb awesome jokes and exhausted athletes that find things VERY funny.
We are also super stoked to have Larry Rosa, Triathlon’s best photodog snapping pics and running support! What a bonus! Also holistic health chef Kristen of Soul Shine Kitchen is fueling the camp with amazing grub and putting out meals for 20 people a day!
I personally am feeling my tri fitness return after a long two years focused on OCR and it’s coming back quickly in this special (and hard af) place. Train 5+ hours a day and you get fit or die.
The day before the days is almost the hardest. Running around nuts after an all night flight to get vans, shop for 20 ppl, get to the cortijo, build 20 bikes then pick up 20 athletes, pick up their bikes, and somehow even get in a light workout. I am so tired from not training I can’t wait to train!
But I figured with all this talk of set up for the camp I could talk about the set up of me: my pre-SLB training. I started back up again 12/12/17 with a mix of yoga, strength training and light running and cycling. After a few weeks super easy training it was time to get to work.
Thankfully for me the snow came and I got to cross country ski a ton. My heart rate was nice and solid for an hour or two a day and my dog loved it! I mixed in cycling and running too but the key workouts came in the gym as I use early season to work on muscle mass and strength. Key for skinny athletes and athletes over 34.
Here is a sample gym workout:
Warm up 20 minutes with 3 x 30 seconds pick ups on rowing machine. Main set: Leg press, calf raises, squats, jumping lunges with 10lbs med ball, kettlebell swing-squats, core.
As I pack up my things for the 2018 trip to kick off training for the year, I don’t know where to start this post because I spent most of last year writing for the Warrior Pak blog ( I will still proudly be using there gear for OCR!). I am gonna skip a whole bunch, because all of 2017 was insane. I got divorced, I won a third Spartan Race Ultra Beast world title. I felt great going into the ironman in Israel but had bike problems (my fault because I built my bike and didn’t do the headset right and had death wobble) and wasted a great swim and good run. I did well at some other OCR races too. But as the year ended I knew I wanted to return to tri in 2018 so here I am back on the bike and will be in the pool again. With the re-boot of tri, I figured it was time for a re-boot of the blog!
Training this year got off to a slow start as I had to heal a broken ankle (and heart) and torn ligament that I raced through most of 2017. But the break was mentally good for me too, I was tired from the Israman winters and OCR summers so starting 2018 off with rest was good.
What wasn’t good was the amount of break n bake cookies I ate! And dollar pizza. So in the 10 weeks I was off, I put on 10 lbs plus I had 5 pounds of muscle from OCR that I need to drop for tri. I got about 1/2 that weight off now before heading to SLB because I knew the mountains of Spain aren’t getting any smaller.
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We have Races for the Sold out NYC Marathon, Berlin Marathon, and NYC Triathlon. We also have spots for the Chicago half marathon and Boston Half Marathon. Lastly we now have spots for www.stronglikebulltraining.com My famed winter Spanish training camps! Join us!
Will you be your greatest in 2017? I still have a spot or two left for 2017 if you want personalized, individual coaching to help you reach your goals. With limitless contact, a 100% custom plan, and the motivation and support that can only come from someone who has spend a dozen years as a pro all for 1/2 of what other charge you might want to team up with me! Check out the details on my coaching page or email me: email@example.com
There is no one perfect run form. Running is personal to the individual and made up of countless biological difference between people. More importantly changing ones stride radically is a highly risky move as the body is broken in to ones stride and changes stress it in new ways countless times with each stride which often results in injury.
But here is what we CAN do and focus on to help increase or speed and efficiency while running:
Focus on generating power when pushing off the ground.
Having proper body alignment which is tall, strong and straight forward.
Relaxing the upper body to save energy and also promote proper swing in the arms and shoulders.
Engage the core properly to maintain proper form, provide a strong body to push off of, and to prevent injury.
Drills: Punters. Bounding. Lateral Bounding. Lungs with or without twists. Butt kicks. Marching bands (aka high knees). Bounding. Lateral cross overs. 1-2-3-4 (drive knee and opposite arm.). Running backwards. Slow skipping. Running with potato chips.
TIPS FOR UPHILL RUNNING:
When running uphill focus on shortening your stride. Also make sure your running tall and strong, with your back and shoulders stacked on your hips. Set your head and gaze on the top of the hill. Drive off the ground and pick up the knee. Arm swing in time with the stride and really drive the arm. Lastly, make sure to run THROUGH the top of the hill and don’t let up until 10-50 meters past the top.
TIPS FOR RUNNING DOWNHILL:
Make sure to open your stride. Lean forward slightly. Relax your shoulders and let the swing in a relaxed way but always moving in a forward motion.
3 CORE WORKOUTS FOR RUNNERS:
You want to have a mix of abs, obliques. and lower back, also engaging hip-flexors and other muscles in the core area.Build up to three rounds of any of the workout belows
regular plank 30-60+ seconds. Side plank right side 30-45+ seconds. Side plant left side 30-45+ seconds.
10-20+ leg lifts. 10-20 leg openers (holding feet 3-6 inches off ground open and close legs). 10-20 Supermans.
20-50+ crunches. 20-40+ bicycles. 10-20 bridges.
To everyone that came this weekend: Thanks for coming out for the Run Clinic, sponsored by Team Continuum. Below is a write up of the clinic as a reminder for you. Also don’t forget John is also the coach of Team Continuum a charity that fund raises for kids with cancer and they have free/fund raising spots or his camp Strong Like Bull, as well as, the sold out NYC Marathon and NYC Tri and Berlin Marathon. Plus half’s in Chicago and Boston! You get free coaching by John, a uniform, and also entry if you sign up at www.teamcontinuum.net.
“Would you prefer the easy way? Ok then don’t cry.” – Ani Difranco
Spain comes as a bench mark of my life. The travel, training and being an owner/operator of the came cause stress on all fronts but something about that always seems to show me my cracks in my amor. Maybe that’s a good thing. It’s easy to ignore ones weaknesses when you feel invincible and when you are unstoppable. So Spain is a form of inner fun house mirror. It shows me the worst of me to myself. Distorted and ugly. Brutal and unforgiving. An imagine of me; but only after being stretched to the point of snapping.
Like every freaking time.
But is that so bad? To be humbled? To be reminded I am mortal? Each time I pick myself off the mat, wipe the blood from the corner of my mouth and fight another round. Each time I learn something. Each time I come back strong, better, wiser. I love Spain and SLB, not because it’s a sweet vacation for me; but because it’s the opposite: a trial by fire where I judge myself against myself. Where I see what progress I have made as an athlete, and as a person. This is my 12th year here and each year I have struggled. Each year I have been tested. Each year I find a way to move forward and grow. Yeah I wouldn’t prefer the easy way, and I am not crying about it.
Coffee Snob: All Me!
It’s here!!!! My own blend! When Boston Commons gave me a chance to make my own blend I got so giddy. Finally after drinking all the worlds coffees all over the world I had a chance to make my own! Here is what I came up with “THE EVIL RACING CULT TRAINING AND RACING BLEND.”
I wanted it to be bold and flavorful so it’s got a strong Ethiopian base. But I also wanted it to have some extra kick so it’s got some arabica (what they drink in Europe) espresso. And lastly it’s got a bit of Kona so it has magic.
Now here is the other thing: Ethiopian is the home of the great runners. Arabica espresso is the drink of euro roadies and the pro peloton. Kona is the home of triathlons most iconic event. That wasn’t by accident.
This bold but not acidic coffee mixes taste, fuel and a touch of the mental aspects of sport.
Thanks again: https://www.bostoncommoncoffee.com