At the beginning of 2015 I purchased a power meter and set out to increase my FTP. I started out with an initial FTP of 236 W and eventually got up to 280 W just before my last race of the year (that has dropped down since then due to off-season bluesL). Judging by my bike focus it would be expected that my race results also improved. My 3 big races of the year were all 70.3’s, and my goal was to go sub 5 hrs in all of them. I was only able to execute that in 1 of the 3, going 4:45 at Pumpkinman. Looking at it after the fact what I think truly caused this was I over emphasized the bike and my swim and run training suffered. I was extremely structured biking that during training I would set out to have a structured run or swim session but was too fatigued from a hard bike earlier in the day or week. I identified this 3 weeks before Pumpkinman and adjusted my training and believe this led me to a good finish.
So 240 words in I give you my 1st resolution, “Don’t lose focus on the entire race." I love biking, It’s really how I got into endurance sports. Going into 2016, I need to focus in on that there are still 2 other disciplines that need my attention. I decided the best way to keep this focus is to get a coach and am fortunate enough to have fellow Triple Threat Triathlon teammate Chad Zeman (North Carolina) as my coach. I have spent the past month talking with Chad about my triathlon experience and strengths and I think we have a good plan going forward working on my weaknesses and capitalizing on my strengths.
2016 will also be the year of mental toughness. I think currently compared to the average joe I am fairly tough mentally, but I think mental toughness is a low hanging fruit that all endurance athletes can utilize to become successful. It is something that many can do in a short race such as a 5k and it gets more difficult to continue to do in longer racing. I want to increase my tolerance for suffering by bettering my mental toughness. I am currently reading “How Bad do you Want it” by Matt Fitzgerald and see a lot that I can carry over into my racing and training and hope to do so in 2016.
Finally there is my last resolution for 2016. Complete my 1st Ironman, Ironman Mont Tremblant. I have for many years been so fascinated by this distance and just a few years ago I thought it would be impossible for me to complete. Now I cannot wait to take on an Ironman!
I don’t however want to just complete an Ironman, I want to be competitive. This is not me calling my Kona shot, but rather I am calling myself out. I want to be competitive with myself, I want to know after the race that I put everything into my training and race that I could and was able to complete 140.6 miles as fast as I possibly could. I see the next 35 weeks as a journey with myself both physical and mentally where I will be able to learn a lot about myself. That is what I think triathlon really is a journey with oneself. Preserving through all the physical and mental obstacles that are blocking you from crossing the finish line.
With that I wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope all succeed in your 2016 resolutions!