Saturday, November 17, 2012

The commandments

Just about a year ago and a mere weeks into the start of my triathlon career, I had the good fortune of being connected with a very intense former pro who hammered some commandments into my cortex. As I've developed as an athlete these have become more and more relevant, and now that we're well into my base I wanted to share to give my readers perspective into what it takes to try to become a champion. Not everyone will prescribe to the same intensity, but fwiw I'm quite thankful for this wisdom from my buddy Joey.

1) Training with groups can be fun, but "specificity" is less fun but way more productive. Avoid groups.   
2) Triathlon is a running race with swimming and biking warm-up - so train accordingly.
3) Your diet sucks, trust me.  If you want to WIN you need to eat like a winner (lots of books out there).
4) Get a deep tissue sports massage once every two weeks.
5) Work with a coach, not necessarily the one every else works with but the one that works best for you.
6) Throw out your social calendar, and get to bed by 830pm - 9:00pm every night and be up at 4:30am every day for two a day works out. Winners don't have time for social stuff, it takes a single minded purposeful focus on one thing, winning.
7) If you have any injuries or weakness now, it will only get worse later, so fix it NOW.
8) Gear doesn't win races, but engines CAN so don't worry about stuff the magazines want to sell you - see Dave Scott's Hawaii times from 80's on junk gear, or Tim DeBoom's from the 90's.
9) Stop drinking alcohol, none, ever, it makes you weak and dehydrated.
10) Nutrition during training and racing is where you will find the last 2-3% of speed and endurance.
11) Save the fast for last!  
12) People who win races don't often have much fun outside of tri, though they get race day glory the cost at which real speed and endurance comes is rather high.  Decide now if you want to have FUN, or WIN. You can't have both.
13) Train your weakness, not your strengths
14) You need to Lift and Stretch, build into your program as just as important as swimbikerun
15) Long RUN on Saturday, Long RUN on Sunday.  Since you are a weaker runner you need to do your runs prior to trashing your legs.
16) Never increase your training volume by more than 10% per week.
17) Break your season down into TWO cycles of Base-Build-Peak, don't try for more.
18) take one WHOLE week off every quarter...
19) Respect the off season, and have Fun then (maybe a one beer a month).

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