Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tuesday 7.25.2006 - Training and Randomness

First I will get to my training. It's been going good... a lot of running.

I also have started swimming with a new masters group. It just started and it's at the YMCA just up the street from my apartment. So three mornings a week I have been jumping on my beach cruiser, riding up the street, and hit the 6am workout
. I spent sometime talking to the coaches before I signed up. The reason I decided to switch to a different program was the location and the workouts. The new workouts are 100% freestlye and as the coach put it, "designed for triathletes and open water swimmers". Perfect. In the last weeks I have hit my personal best times for 100's, 200's and 300's. Now I just need to get those times to translate to the races.

Running has been good. A lot of interval work mixed nice long slow runs. I think with my speed in races a lot of people would be suprised how easy it take my "easy" runs. Early in my training I was going too hard too often. With the help of my coach I have dialed back and really worked hard when I need to and also taken it nice and easy when I need to as well. The benefits have been tremendous. I go into my hard workouts feeling fresh and ready to push it as opposed to sore and tired. My run is solid right now, but with as fast as I have been able to go I think I am still scratching the surface. I am yet to have race where I am satisfied with my run split.

Ok.. here are some random thoughts/conclusions about my training and triathlon...

With my quick success in triathlon I get a lot of people asking me what my athletic backgroud is. "Did you run in college?" "How long have you been racing?" When I tell people that I do not have any racing background in swimming, cycling, or running and this is my first year I get some pretty shocked looks. I am just a former baseball player that has been surfing and running (just for the sake of running) for the past 15 years. They often say "you must be a natural". I don't entirely agree with this. I don't think you can be a "natural" in a sport like triathlon. There are too many different aspects when it comes to doing well in a race. Of course genteics come in to play and your VO2 max and lactace threshold might be higher than normal, but it's more what you do with that advantage.

To me it's all about the training. I believe I have been successful because of my work ethic and consitency. Nobody is around when I am getting up a 5am six days a week and 630am on my "sleep in day". Dragging my butt to the pool is not always easy nor is doing a hard interval run after a long day of work. Either is going to bed at a reasonble hour on a Friday night instead of partying with my friends. But I do it. I don't skip workouts or make excuses. I have a coach and a great plan and follow it precisely. I talk to my coach a lot so my plan reflects how much time I have and how I am recovering on a daily/weekly basis. If he feels I need a day off he gives me one. So to me my success comes from getting out of bed every morning and out the door and not bullshitting.

I find a lot of people (not just in triathlon/sports but in everyday life) talk about what they want to do and even know what it will take to get there but when it comes down to it they are not willing to make the sacrifices to attain it. I am.

that's all I have for now. I hope this doens't sound arrogant or anything like that. It's just that I am a firm believe that hard work does pay off... if... you really put in the work.


IMmike said...

Hey Jameson,

Awesome post. My take on a couple of points:

1 - I think that's a good move for the masters group. The masters group I trained with was more focused on individual medley training. I didn't always listen to the coach and would just do slower freestyle swimming when others were backstroking or doing flys. Nobody seemed to mind too much and I didn't see how doing a 400y breaststoke set would help me.

2 - I think running slow when you are supposed to run slow is key. About 5 months ago I was talking with an elite female long course athlete and asked her who she trained with. She said she did most of her work alone because most people got annoyed by how slow she trained. When she had a hard session, she'd really rip it. When it was easy, it was easy.

3 - Totally agree about sacrifice being the key to success in this sport. My training load was pretty huge this year and the reason I was able to do it is because I'd go to bed at 8pm on friday nights (and many other weeknights) so I could get up early and train the next morning. Nobody sees that stuff. Unfortunately for me, you can't become a good IM guy in 8-12 months. It takes time and a long term focus and willingness to work towards goals.

4 - I'm glad your coaching situation is working out well. I think it's really tough to go far without a coach or someone to provide feedback. Communication is really the key, IMO.

Cliff said...


I can't wait to hear your next race when you tear the course out.

As for training and ppl making reasons up for why you can be because of so and so....part of it is that deep inside they know all it is is hard work but they do not want to believe it. It is amazing how we can lie to ourselves.

Personally, and this will sound very arrogant, if u can't attain attain a goal in life, either shut up or just go after it.

It is so easy to say to myself..oh i can't do this b/c i don't have a tri bike or not a born runner or had a liver transplant..then i realize it is all about hard work...

I've seen plenty of ppl make excuses why they can't do this or that in life but in reality they are really setting themselves to fail. Self reflect, I have seen myself in the past making the same type of thinking. Weird how our mind thinks, huh?

Jessi said...

Well said. I can't agree more. When I was trying to lose weight, I noticed a similar pattern in the weight-loss community. Lots of people talk and talk (or write and write) about how they are going to lose weight by eating right and exercising more. They know what they need to do, and they know how to do it. But when it comes down to actually executing, very few people actually do it.

Habeela said...

There's nothing arrogant about this post. It's just the facts and it's definitely separated you from the crowd.

moonpie said...

I also agree that there is no arrogance portrayed here - just the facts Ma'm.

People will justify to themselves and rationalize that they came are doing their best and that the winners are just super-freak naturals. What does this do to the winner? Well, for one, it minimizes their hard work and focus. They make you sound like you're just lucky, when in fact you know the price you've paid to get where you are. Same thing in all areas of life really...weight loss, career success, sports.

Keep charging bro!

jp said...

Agreed. There is no subsitute for doing the work.

I'm enjoying following your success and looking forward to the next race report.

XTEric said...

Well put. Most can't identify with the sacrifice necessary to be competitive in tri.

No Snow Valley for me, but I changed my Xt schedule, which as you know opened up Crested Butte and now Odgen too. If your going to Odgen, see ya there.

Your super attitude is an inspiration. Keep up the good work.

Rachel said...

Great attitude! 6 am workouts! That's dedication.

About natural ability vs dedication. I think it takes both, which you obviously have, even in triathlon. I used to believe exactly what you said..that as long as you really wanted it, you could achieve it if you made the commitment. And most people didn't seem ready or willing. However, I've witnessed some people very close to me really struggle with things they were passionate about. On the whole, yes, if you put the time in, you will move forward and you will improve and you will make achievements. But not all of us will be #1 (we can't be!) even if we pour our little hearts out. That's where the ability comes in. Also, at some point, the struggle can become much greater for some than others. Then you ask yourself, yes, I can get there, but at what price? Is it still worth it? Anyway, give yourself some credit. You are very lucky. Dedicated AND talented.