Tag Archives: Triathlon

Drafting versus non-drafting triathlon

Triathlon, just like distance running, cycling, or swimming is not just one sport. Within triathlon we have subdivisions of distances for example. Just like track has the 100 meter dash up to the 10,000 meter run, triathlon spans from a race lasting around an hour to a race lasting over eight hours. This is essentially equivalent to comparing a 5k to a marathon or comparing the 1500 meter swim to a 10 kilometer swim. These are drastic differences and about as far as any distance sport will span without the exceptions of the ‘ultra’ endurance athletes.

However, just like in road cycling or running, triathlon has different styles of racing. Continue reading Drafting versus non-drafting triathlon

I am a brute

My body has no concept of anything. It is a machine. Actin sliding over myosin, ATP shuffling through my cells. I race to show the power of the body and of nothing more. I love my machine. I respect my machine. I want to show the capacity of my machine. That’s a powerful goal, one that I can grasp, one that I can massage, one that I can tweak and train and nourish and stress.

I race to show the power of selection. My mom, in the deepest part of her subconscious chose my dad at least partially for the seemingly superficial reason of his muscles and ability at sport. She may not know it, but she did. My dad, maybe more willing to admit to his desires chose my mom partially based off her physique. She’s strong, fit, and capable. Less superficial, they both saw each other’s drive, the work ethic that underlined and highlighted their personalities. It was a process of selection. They wanted strong children and as little as they may have consciously considered this result, in the deepest well of their subconscious it was ingrained: to choose a mate based on strength. Continue reading I am a brute

Who is better off: the paraplegic or the lottery winner?

I wrote a couple posts about lightweight backpacking last week to summarize my preparation for a sweep to finish hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. Having just graduated, I was stoked about my trip. I was waiting for a rain jacket to come in the mail so that I could peace out and get moving. In my restlessness, on the first day of the new year I asked my friend Scott if he wanted to go climb a mountain. Paris mountain sat just across the valley from my home. It stared at me every time I commuted home. Since I moved in I declared my intentions of standing on top of it and with a snowy peak, it was luring me in stronger than ever before. Continue reading Who is better off: the paraplegic or the lottery winner?

The end of illogical thinking

I want you to just imagine for a moment. Imagine every word I am saying. Pause with each sentence and see the image I challenge you to see. I want you to separate yourself from this world and imagine yourself as god-like. First you are observing yourself from behind, watching you at your computer.

Then imagine the world. You are between the earth and the moon, floating in a black emptiness, looking down at our blue-green lush planet with white clouds swirling about. It is an amazing celestial body, surely one of the greatest. It is floating in this vast darkness just as you are, with no hand of Atlas holding it nor a web to keep it suspended. It simply floats, orbiting an even more massive body that illuminates our earth and provides it with the energy that allowed life to flourish.This is our home. This is where we and everyone who has ever existed was born, lived, and died. Alongside the young species of man are millions of other creatures. It is an extremely vast community, one that we struggle to see as a whole. Imagine for a moment that there are no Saddam Husseins or Osama bin Ladens or Adolf Hitlers. The world is peaceful and everyone is amazed with their predicament. We are united on this globe. Everyone, all seven billion of us are content for these moments in peace.

Continue reading The end of illogical thinking

Inspiration writing my plan

I was supposed to take a week off from triathlon at the end of this season. My last race was yesterday. But what I am “supposed” to do did not exactly line up with what I want to do. So I am going to start training again tomorrow. I will have taken a day off and that is plenty for me.

This sport is not a mathematical equation to me. What I am supposed to do has rarely lined up with what feels right. So I am trying something new now. I am going to do what I want to do or what feels right to do. It is going to be a simpler method, one without specific periodization or a daily routine planned out weeks in advance.

Training is part of my life. It is not something to toy with and tweak with.

Finding Purpose

I wrote the below post to record my initial reaction after an extremely disappointing trip to Burlington, Vermont this past weekend for the Olympic Distance National Championships. With high hopes, I was overcome by illness the day of the race. Below there is a lot of self doubt in the purpose behind racing. I frequently highlight the silliness of the sport and that there really seems no real purpose behind it. I have never been one to remain in bliss to remain ignorant. Instead, I have always questioned things. One question I briefly highlight below is the question of life’s purpose. I essentially leave the question unanswered and establish that simply because I cannot directly pinpoint the answer does not mean I will cease living. Instead, despite a confidence in the near purely physical nature of this universe, I live my life as if I were completely aware of why I am here. The question of purpose is still there and arises every now and then but when the answer does not present itself, I do not hesitate. This is an attitude that I questioned this past weekend. After feeling that winning was the most important thing in the world just a couple of years ago, my attitude has evolved. Every time this doubt arises, training holds firm in my mind as a logical and respectable activity. To work, to test, experiment, challenge, and observe the body and life itself is an amazing, very spiritual process. But the purpose of racing is what was in question. I am an innately competitive being. It is a desire of mine to win and despise being mediocre at anything. The post below is raw and unedited. The words are exactly what was written in the hours after the race. But much of it has evolved in the time since then and I imagine it will continue to do so as the pain of loss fades and the glory of winning again comes into view. The process of answering this question of purpose happened in the amount of time that it took me to write the words below. It is not necessarily defined but when I reread these words, I get excited for my next competition.

Continue reading Finding Purpose

Never, never, never give up

I played it safe. I didn’t want to end up in the hospital. And in my defense, it was pretty damn hot. But this was a race and the only one for over a month on either side. It was what I train for and commit myself to for hours each day. It was money spent on travel. It was the emotional investment. It was my parents, friends, and coach’s support. And I had wasted it all by playing it safe.

Continue reading Never, never, never give up

Abandonment of a metaphor

Last night I watched a documentary on the 2004 Tsunami that killed 250,000 people. The whole scene was absolutely horrifying. I watched as tourists obliviously videoed the receding waters from the shoreline. The beaches became exposed for hundreds of yards, luring people out onto the alien landscape. It was a sight no one had ever seen before and no one was aware of what was happening. To them it was a tide and the landscape was beautiful in its barren rockiness. But soon after, they saw the wall of water heading towards them. Some still stood on the beach watching the wall approach from a mile away, seemingly slow and graceful, but picking up force as it reached shallower water.

Continue reading Abandonment of a metaphor

Fitness as a consequence, not a goal

I don’t believe in working out. This may seem shocking to many of you, especially those who believe I am a working out fanatic. Some people think, “Wow he exercises a lot for someone who doesn’t believe in working out.” But working out is done for the purpose of health. Training is similar to a basketball player practicing free throws or a tennis player working on serves. I don’t work out. I train.

Continue reading Fitness as a consequence, not a goal

Slow and steady loses the race: correcting Greg Mueller’s mistake

I recently read a line in USA Triathlon magazine that I felt needed some correcting. The article, titled Ask the Coach: Bike Training by Greg Mueller, was featured in the April edition of the magazine. Mueller made a pretty serious mistake on the subject of cycling pacing on hills. Mueller stated “if you watch a power meter, athletes tend to increase their effort on hills then decrease their effort descending. This learned behavior carries over to racing, where it is not optimal.” What I intend to point out is that this statement is extremely misguided and give the correct advice.

Continue reading Slow and steady loses the race: correcting Greg Mueller’s mistake