What I Have Been Up Too?

“Hardwired to self destruct.” -Metallica

Sometimes this blog gets less use because I am doing nothing, and it seems like there is nothing exciting to write about. Other times, there is just too much awesome in my life to find the time to get it down on paper; or in this case cyber paper. Right now I am in the stages of the latter.

My life got turned upside down when a rush closing of the sale of my apartment and the even more rushed purchase of a house in the woods caused me to pack up, move, unpack, and start trying to live again, mostly out of boxes. Anyone who has been through this process knows its a bit trying to say the least, but also really rewarding as I know have a new home, on 7 acres, nicely in the woods, ideal for training and living. I plan to hold training weekends here as its sleeps, like everyone and the swimming, biking, running and OCR training are just sick.

But the other big news is I am going back to Israman. I love that race. I love everything about it. The brutal course, the stunning views, the amazing travel, and fact that it is owned and operated by athletes who love the sport as much as I do. I will forever support those events. I am doing the full ironman distance this time which doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else other than training and coaching.

After I won my second Spartan World Title I took 3 weeks off and with the help of the team of medical pros at Physio Logic in Brooklyn, I was ready to start training again in half the time as normal after such a grueling OCR season and event. I worked with PT, nutritionists, acupuncture (she was so mental too \m/ ) cyropractics, and an MD to put me back together again and the results were great allowing me to get back to training ASAP because Israman is not that long off.

I also locked down my diet, snacking on Pure Fit Bars not street pizza. Vegan protein it turns out is WAY better for you than grease and cheese. Who knew? I spent November focused on strength work, December on speed and base mixing in some cyclo-cross racing and (won my first ‘cross race ever) and doing some 5,6,7 hour rides on my ERC cross bike. I am at race weight now and ready to start the final push, those race-tempo bricks of death and more speed work.

After Israman I hope to turn my attention back to OCR racing for another full season of racing with Original Warrior Pak. I found in 2015 I was fittest when I did some winter tri training because the cross training of cycling and running made me a better OCR athlete and of course I love it. Also check out OWP stuff for cycling. The gloves, sleeves and compression wear is great for triathlon.


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Coffee Snob 1.6

Hello and welcome to my favorite part of endurance sports; coffee. I know a lot of great athletes, and we all seem to LOVE to drink coffee, so writing this series is one of my greater joys. All my coffees featured come from here and can be ordered from there as well: http://www.bostoncommoncoffee.com/ 

Colombia Cauca Laurentino Quinto:

This roast comes from a small family farm and was offered by Boston Common Coffee as a way of supporting the local family owned business called micro lots. Oddly, I kinda felt like I could taste that in the coffee. Or maybe coffee just makes me happy.

The farms that grown Colombian Cauca are generally high altitude and seem to have a very full flavor with tartly sweet and rich but tones though that really just translates into a medium roast taste that doesn’t feel thin in your mouth. I would recommend this for a pre ride coffee as it’s a lighter body but very satisfying taste without being hard on ones guts and gives a nice buzz.
Ethiopian Moka Harrar:
Crafted with dry fruit often dried directly in the African sun still on the trees this coffee beams with flavor. It is one of the more distinct flavors and tastes. Using a special process used by only a hand full of coffee growers called  the “wet method” the coffee is infused with the fruit flavor which is what defines the taste of the Moka Harrar. This coffee is a one of a kind and being Ethiopian it’s also a nice kick in the butt when it comes to getting you ready to race the world. I combined mine with listening to Hatebreed and walking while muttering to myself until I was ready to take on the world.
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Coaching for 2017!
Me and one of my athletes who did something he never thought possible; finish his first marathon!

Coaching for 2017!

Me and one of my athletes who did something he never thought possible; finish his first marathon!
Me and one of my athletes who did something he never thought possible; finish his first marathon!

I am accepting athletes for 2017. I have coached athletes for Ironman Kona, 70.3 World Champions, IUT World Championships, USAT Nationals as well as marathon champions, ultra runner champions, USAT and USA Cycling pros but also love working with athletes who are just in it to finish and I have 99% finish rate for first time ironman athletes.

You get unlimited access and communication, a 100% custom plan, great deals on products and get to be part of a great squad of awesome people all for half the price of most other coaches. Email me evilracingcult@gmail.com for questions or to get started chasing your goals.


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Here Is What I Know
Happy Halloween!

Here Is What I Know

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

(An actor I know sent me this: http://www.leslimargherita.com/here-is-what-i-know and I thought a version for elite athletes was needed since both deal in absurd amounts of failure and negative feed back).

I work with a lot of talented athletes who have less experience than me and I can see the struggles they face chasing their dreams. So after a decade of pro/elite racing HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: You will fail. Countless times. You may even fail so often that you have many more bad races then good ones. You will fail in spectacular ways. You will not finish races. You will finish hours behind the winners or winners of your age group. You will walk when you should be running, and drown when you should be swimming. But you won’t fail always. You will, have that day when it all goes right. Hold onto those days; drink deep from them and think about that when everything else goes wrong. Or better yet, take a few lessons quickly from the failures and don’t think about them ever again.

HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: you will struggle to make money. You will work side gigs, and survival jobs or you will live off others. It’s all good. Your chasing your dream and people want to support that. Let them, and thank them. Take that spare room or guest house. Take that meal, that home stay and that ride to/from the airport. And thank them. Dream chasers who chase something this brutal like extreme endurance sports give back (if they aren’t jerks) and inspire. People will train more, eat better, live more fuller just because you are around and because they know you. They will tell there friends about how they know you when you have that break through race and how you kicked their ass that time you slept on their sofa for a week. Thank them, be humble and grateful because you are basically a sports-hobo. Don’t be a jerk but don’t stress money. Money isn’t that important.

HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: you love this. You want this. It’s simply too hard to get up day after day and train 20-40 hours a week. If you love this, don’t give up on it. Try to remind yourself you love this when you don’t love this. But love this. Every second you can love this. You are struggling to do this so make sure you remember to love it.

HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: be ok inside your head. You will be too tired, too alone, and filled with too much doubt to not have your head strewed on straight. Your mind will likely end your career and chasing of goals long before your body will.

HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: you likely don’t know your talent. Sadly there is no way for most of us to know until you spend 5 years crushing yourself to get to 99 percent of your best. Don’t worry about raw talent, you can’t control it. Try to avoid expectations, that’s artificial: you don’t know what to expect because you don’t know you talent. If you under estimate yourself you will hold yourself back. If you over estimate yourself you will be frustrated and unfulfilled; either way you lose. Focus on what you love: the process of swimming, cycling and (or- if you like ORC or running only) running. Start each race with only one goal: to race yourself into pure annihilation.

HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: you can’t control others. My best race of my life I took 12th. I am damn proud of that race. I couldn’t control that 11 guys did better. Good for them. You can’t control if someone is better, or dopes, or fires perfectly on race day. All you can do is race your best. Celebrate yourself for that.

HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: don’t hold your self worth by sponsors. They come and go. They change staff and cut you out. They change directions and cut you out. They fail and are broke and cut you out. Develop nice relationships with them; treat them well. That’s your job. But none of that is personal. I look back and am thankful for the ones that supported me for the years they did, not the years they didn’t. Don’t define yourself by how many logos you see on your kit when you look at yourself in the mirror. Define yourself in that moment of true honestly when you look yourself in the mirror after the race, when on one else is around and it’s just you, alone, about to shower the sweat (mud and blood) and tears away because all of this is for that.

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Tyathlon Race Report

Long after I am winning races; I will be doing them; and the Mahapoc Tyathlon is exactly the race and kind of races I will do. The race is held by the Ty Campbell Foundation which was started when Ty died of a childhood cancer and his parents wanted wanted to help end this awful disease. The race in 4 short years raised nearly $200,000 and is a testament to what a community can do when they come together even only for an hour and around sport.
Beyond the cause, the race is the best community minded events I ever did. I suspect half the high school student body was there volunteering and the tee shirt was backed with logos from all the local businesses that support them. Police, roads signs, food, great course, whatever you want in a race this has it; and perfect weather.
My pre race Boston Common Coffee and CARBOOM gel went down nice. The swim was warm and a mirror and due to my all run training a bit a shock as I am use to using the swim to distance a lot of people behind me. Sadly this wasn’t the case but as a vet of the sport I caught a draft and came out of the water only a few seconds down.
T1 was smooth thanks to my Xterra Wetsuit and I quickly found myself off the front of the race once my Valdora TT bike got rolling. I had a nice police escort which is huge because it really ensures a safe trip and also no missed turns and by the end of the bike I was feeling good. Really good.
I hit the run and ran a 5:55, 5:50 and 5:40 pace in my Brooks ST Racers and set the course record by the end and I just felt strong and strong as the race went on. A quick call to the Block Island Sport Shop and Jim Ortel to check in and he was pumped to see me so fit with Spartan Worlds coming up!


really hope everyone joins me next year for this one!
Onward to Rugged Maniac next weekend then spartan worlds!image

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Coffee Snob: African Addition

fI got two amazing African roasts From Boston Common Coffee! I always loved Ethiopian coffee and get one every time we go to our favorite restaurant which is Ethiopian food (I strongly suggest the combo plates). So I was really excited to drink some African Java!

The first coffee was ETHIOPIAN SIDAMO. It’s from Africans famous Great Rift Valley often considered the birthplace of humans and interestingly coffee. We are clearly linked.

There is the famed hillside called Sudamo which produces a more sweet and a hint of citrus and maple syrup like body and almost a hint of a something like a very dark chocolate. I drank this daily while running 103 miles in Vermont so syrup was on my mind and so was the need for a coffee that didn’t leave me begging for more. This coffee delivered both a great taste and a nice boost of every for my morning runs up mountains not unlike where the beans come from.

The second coffee was ZIMBABWE SMALDEEL ESTATES. This was a real surprise as my experiences with other African roasts were very strong and this was amazingly mild. The low acid made this perfect for working out and training; but it didn’t fail me in the “awwwww yeah” department. In fact this was the race day coffee for my most recent win the Tyathlon. This coffee went down smooth like Sunday morning, even if your Sunday morning is crushing yourself to win a race. Like the other it hard lovely hints of flavor, berry-toned, but all very subtle.


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Winding Trails Off Road Tri

“It knocks me down and throws me around, and I can’t get enough. Yeah I like it, I like it more and more.” -Liz Phair

After Palmerton Spartan it was time to get back to my real job of triathlon and I have three tris in 11 days. The first is the summer classic Winding Trails. (Followed my the tuckahoe tri www.citytri.com 7/31 and the Block island Tri 8/5).

Winding Trails is off road, which presented a problem as my off road bikes are all scattered to the winds due to staging my apartment for showings and sales. Thankfully the most awesome folks of Newington Bikes came through with a sick lender! I emailed there site and got a response in seconds. That’s exactly the kind of bike shop you should go to. Plus as they set me up on the bike the mechanic answered every question from suspension tension to tire pressure because he road the course that morning! For athletes by athletes!
I did my normal pre race BOOM gel and BOSTON COMMON COFFEE even though it was an evening race. (Fast > sleep) The lake swim saw former division 1 swim stud Ken Shultz take us around the two turns. He is what evolution would have made had we been meant to live in water. He is like a skinny ape, lean, long arms and hands like baseball mitts. I hoped on his flipper size feet and enjoyed the ride and we came out 1-2… and 3? Someone else way taking my swim über cab too!
Thanks to my super fast XTERRA WETSUIT I was in my RUDY PROJECT tree smasher/helmut and out of t1 first. Out on the bike Ken me and Scott the defending champ took to the course. Well they did, I made 3 wrong turns. Good news is that I didn’t crash which would have really set me back. I did however get a a branch into my eye and it’s still not working exactly right. It’s my own fault for having so much leadership tendencies! But seriously I should follow the people that know the damn course! The course is awesome. Fast and lush, I felt like k was in the speeder scene of Return of the Jedi flying through the Forrest trying to not hit a tree being chased by storm troopers. Ken had a sick bike and came into t2 with me. Nice work!
My bonus riding cost me 30 seconds or so and as we hit the run I told myself not to push too hard, too fast and reel Scott in slowly. My mind and my legs however don’t always get on the same page and seeing the lead I react like my dog does with a squirrel in the park, It’s go time. I think BROOKS ST RACERS (get them at BLOCK ISLAND SPORT SHOP) are built with some kind of crazy technology that forces the wearer to charge to the front! I took the first mile out in 5:50, which given the temps in the 90s, humidity and it being off road, was either impressive or really stupid.
Scott being a crafty racer later told me when I caught him he put in several surges to try to break me which was smart as it nearly did. It was kinda dramic of him, like Shakspeare drama “once more into the breach dear friends, once more.” But after that I just hung out with him in part to recovery and in part to not get lost again even though I have to say the course is very well marked. I am just very good at missing markings.
I wanted to leave it to the final k but before that was a steep downhill and I kind of rolled away from him and figured I would drive the gab. At this point it was hot and I was nicely spent so I ran hard enough to win but easy enough to my puke and crossed the line first. To Scotts credit and my disapproval he kept up the chase and I had to run hard at the end. Thanks for making it hurt! As I took off my kit And had my recovery PUREFIT Bar I realized this is its final race as my new stuff from CHAMPION SYSTEMS is coming this week. Glad I send this one out with a win.

WANT FREE COACHING BY ME?!?! Join TEAM CONTINUUM for the sold out NYC MARATHON  and get free coaching from me, and entry! Www.teamcontinuum.net to sign up!


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NBC’s Spartan US Championships, Palmerton, PA.

“I am gonna pick the world up and drop it on your head.” – lil Jon

Looking back on things 6 weeks ago I was pretty iffy if I would line up. I had just finished a forced break do to some serious over training (and racing) and was in rough shape. But this race was the carrot. A big NBC event; a hard course that suited me in many ways and I wanted to come correct for it.

Realistically you can’t cramp 6 months of training needed to get into peak form into 6 weeks. But as race day got closer I had some promising workouts. My upper body strength was close to my peak, as I did 14 pull ups (that’s kind of my bench mark exercise for me) which was 1 off my PR in the fall. Running wise I had won a Rugged Maniac so I felt my speed might be there. Also I had two great workouts where I was able to run up Bear Mountain’s “Weltch Trail” which is tricky and steep. So I had hope to hang onto as I went in. But I also know I am still 4lbs off race weight and solid week isn’t a solid month.

After my pre race BOSTON COMMONS COFFEE and a warm up it was time to get this party started. The start had call ups, all the top guys in the sport had flown in from Europe, North America and Australia. NBC cameras circled us. The announced that the sand bag carry would be two not 50lbs bags not, one. This crushed people last year, me included. They then announced that “shuttling” them, doing one at a time, and dragging them, would be a DQ. Big dude cheered, little dudes groaned. I had done some double carries in training and just stared forward more curious about how much pain this would cause me, like a kid playing with a deep cut in their own arm. Then they threw smoke bombs; we said AROO thrice, and it was on.

Last year I had been one of the top runners up the mountain. Sadly after the first rise my body was just not feeling it. I was disappointed as this was my strength. The first 30 minutes was me not smoking people and being frustrated about it. On a downhill my friend and training partner Jazz caught and passed me then wiped on rocks running full blast downhill, ouch! Then the guy behind me did the same thing ouch ouch!!. Then it was my turn. I hit the deck, but their is no standing 8 count like boxing so I got up ASAP and started running again but ouch ouch ouch!

We hit the strength stuff at some point. Heavy bucket carry; and I didn’t lose any spots. In fact I passed people. What?!?! Sadly the excitement didn’t live long as My grip on the “hoist” got lose as I went to lower it and it fell. 30 burpees later and about 2 minutes of lost time. Gah! It was a good time to have a BOOM GEL. After that we got to the spear throw where you have to hit a straw person from 40 feet and make it stick. I never made this before but thanks to Jazz’s training on proper throwing mechanics I not only hit it, but it was a bulls eye. Things are looking up! In fact from there on things mostly got better and better. I made everything else for the next hour including things I failed often like a boulder wall, and this new insane thing where you jump in water, climb a rope out of it, then do bars that are not fixed and dangle at different heights. Wet and at different heights it made it hard but I made it, avoiding a 20 foot fall into water and 30 more burpees. I also caught 4 people on the barbwire which is becoming my thing as I seem to value skin less then others. But I made my move at the double carry. 20 guys we just broken on the side of the mountain. Literally crumbled on the side of the mountain staring at the group huffing and dying. That was me last year. This year I put both on my shoulder and made my way 150m down being extra careful not to fall as its a black diamond ski slop and I suspect 20-30% pitch with rocks and awful footing, thankfully this year I wore Brooks Pure Grit, the shoe was tipped off to me by shoe guru Jim Ortel at BLOCK ISLAND SPORT SHOP. As we turned to go up I focused on two things 1) footing 2) pacing. The issue isn’t the weight per se: it’s blowing up. It’s nearly impossible to go easy. So I took small steps at a slow pace. I was steady, and made it to the top without faltering and in the process passed a huge number of guys.

My legs and running still weren’t firing however so places where I would have crushed people and dropped them I was now lingering with them. This was irksome. We hit the final obstacles which should have been a breeze except my upper body strength was waning. We did have a swim and I was stoked to be in the CHAMPION SYSTEM skin suit for that and passed people in droves. By the time we hit the rig I was excited because I had made it all 4 times in other events. This time they had a wrinkle. It was a series of rigs to a straight bar, to ropes but the ropes were thin, slippery and had no knots. I slipped on the last one and came up 12 inches short of the bell. I came insanely close o both obstacles I failed which is both encouraging and frustrating. 30 burpees later and I found myself in a sprint for the last pay check (see photo of us coming out from under the dunk wall) with a 2:30 marathoner. I lost. I tried, hard. Gah.

I was 23rd over all and found it a mix bag. Looking back I realize I am making progress; on the other hand I know I can do a lot better and this was a chance to really stand out but my fitness just isn’t there and I won’t get another shot at a big-time event until 10/2 at the ultra beast worlds.

image image

Next up: some tris! Hitting the Tuckahoe Tri www.citytri.com 7/31!

Then defending my title at the block island Tri 8/6.

Can’t wait to get back to some multisports!

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The return of the team continuum fun run! Come out Tuesday 7/-9 for a fun 5k of running and meet the team! You can learn about our free coaching program and how you can help kids with cancer! 

7/19/16 @columbus circle’s entrance to Central Park! 7pm! We will have a bag watcher on hand if you are coming from work. 

See you there! 

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3,2,1 rugged maniac results 

“I am a warrior I have not fear, no one will conquer me, I will not die here.” -dirt wormz 

After my 4 spartan “races” and a 60 and 70 mile run week (see prior post) I was hoping I was fitter. I took this optimism into my title defense of Rugged Maniac here in NYC. They condensed two days of racing into one meaning there were two champions with comp’ed entry from last year , me and the other winner from 2015 plus another pro triathlete and a few guys I know from ocr podiums including my training partner Jazz who rarely doesn’t see a podium. Pre race I had my normal Boston Commons coffee with a double shot of their espresso. I am calling this “John Hirsch Race blend.” And a carbboom gel. The start was wide open and long and we ran a mile without any major obstacles. I must be getting more into OCR because I raced in nothing but my Team Continuum Tri shorts by Champion Systems and no top. Sexy beast mode! Hahahaha 
The other champ of 2015 and Will the other pro triathlete were ahead quickly and I was in third. The other champ missed a turn and I followed. I figured it out and yelled at him then waited. Honestly I didn’t want second place like that. Will was GONE. While this was sportsman like of me it was painfully stupid and what happened after that was 2 miles of neck and neck racing right to the line. 

The final obstacle is a ramp you run up like a half pipe for skate boarding that then goes to a cargo net climb to a 50 foot water slide. We were neck and neck until the top when I got inched out and came down the slide second. Worse, I was on the outside and there wasn’t any water! A lot of friction burn later and I was behind and couldn’t catch up! But the reality is had he not taken the wrong term he would have been ahead the whole time. 

I took 3rd and was happy to just feel fast for the first time in a long time. 

With 3rd came free entry into NJ Rugged Maniac. Again pro triathlete will showed up. Amazingly me and him found ourselves in the first k when a bunch of people went off the front. I was super confused, questioned if I sucked all of a sudden. But a k later and will was first and I was second and that was the running order. The final 2k was miserable as I was paying for the poor pacing at the start. Lucky for me 3rd was a bit back and I got to pace myself to the line for second. 

Some quick talking and I got a VIP entry into the following day and decided to have another go. They are that much fun! It had rained and 10,000+ ppl came through on day one and the course was a mud version of a slip and slide! My Brooks Pure Grit are amazing but nothing stopped people from sliding all over the place! 

Again the fired up freaks of OCR took the start out fast and again I just let them but this time I dialed it back. At the 2k mark it was down to me and 2 others then we hit the first barbwire section and I really crushed it. Mostly because I don’t mind barbwire ripping up my head and back I think. I have issues 🙂 

By half way through I was in the lead by 30 seconds with two more barbwire sections where my lead continued to grow. By the end I knew I would win if I didn’t mess up which is easier said that done as there are balance beams to cross, a series of rings to go hand to hand too and the 15 foot skate board ramp run which was now all mud and slippery. Lucky for me I scored a pair of Warrior Pak gloves and my grip was improved which was key because I almost didn’t make it. 

At the top of the slide I lined up properly with the water and enjoyed the ride. Crossed the line and I had gone from 3rd to 2nd to 1st in the three races I did. Progress! 

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