Monday, December 14, 2015

Triple Threat Resolutions: New England Style

It's that time of year again, time to set some monster goals and swear that on Jan. 1 you'll start to make them happen! Rob Forshaw (Massachusetts) has greatly improved every season, and we have no doubt the trend will continue in 2016. 

When it comes to setting goals or resolutions you have to reflect on the past year and identify what went well and what went horribly wrong. Looking at a chart from this past year’s training one thing that really stands out is an increase in bike fitness. That primarily comes from a serious emphasis on structuring my bike training.

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!

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