Friday, January 29, 2010

The more you train, the more you WANT to Train!

Getting ready for the Multisport expo in Milwaukee WI this weekend and I put in a solid workout this morning, including a treadmill run of 7 miles and some high resistance / low cadence work on the lifecycle. The legs felt pretty good as I did a set of 5 x 800M 'tempo' on the treadmill, at 800M recovery between each rep. This was the first time to incorporate some tempo work in to my running since my base building period started in early December (including one 50 mile week and several 30 mile weeks of solid aerobic work). The faster running (6 min./mile @ 2% grade) felt pretty easy and there was NO soreness. Even between reps, at 8.2 mph / 3% grade, my heart rate recovered quickly and the running felt effortless. Gimme a big "YOU GO, Coach Troy!!" :)

So, what's the lesson to learn here? After all, the purpose of my training is partially to 'walk the walk and talk the talk' so that I can share my personal experiences in training with other athletes. Here's the lesson:

"The more you train, the easier it is to train and the more you WANT to train." Ah, momentum is a great thing... when it's positive momentum, that is.

That's the double edged sword of endurance sports training. When you start gaining form, you feel better with each workout. On the other hand, when you cannot train (for whatever reason... injury, busy schedule, etc.), it's harder to 'find your groove' when you get back to it, right?

Part of this is due to physiological adaptations to aerobic endurance exercise. The more you train, the more 'revved up' your oxidative enzymes become. That combined with higher blood plasma levels help to make you 'feel' better each workout (to a point). This sort of explains why, during base building periods, elite runners run 100+ miles a week, elite swimmers swim 'doubles' every day and elite cyclists log 3-5 hr days on the bike daily. The physiological adaptations to the volume make them feel stronger, day after day. Again... this can be overdone too, leading to overtraining, so caution must be exercised!

This is also partially the reason why some athletes HATE tapering. They feel overly sluggish and on race day, stiff, clunky, 'fat' and lethargic. That's why each athlete needs to find out their BEST taper method as one size does not fit all.

I hope this all makes sense. I'm looking forward to my morning treadmill workout tomorrow and hoping to get that 'runners high' that only comes with consistency, day after day. Remember, the more you train - the easier it is to train and the more you WANT to train. Ahh, momentum! Go get some!

Train smart,
Coach Troy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Personal Insight: Training & Racing in your 20's v. 40's

For life long athletes, getting older sucks...especially if you make the mistake of comparing your older self to your younger self, 'back in the day'.:) Declining physical output, slower recovery times and the responsibilities of everyday life - including work, family and just 'stuff' seem to get in the way of the "all-important" training. (Sarcasm meter on RED!)

When I was in my 20's and racing as an elite amateur and pro, I was a single guy with no kids and focused on two things... training hard and building my coaching business. My schedule was my own and I'd coordinate my life to accomplish my goals daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. I could pound myself with large training volumes and high intensity day after day and bounce back quickly with no injuries or other negative consequences. And trying to live an active social life, I was known to have a 'good time', enjoy a few beverages and still be able to get up early the next day and hammer out a long day of training (usually with a pounding headache). I'd go to local, regional and national events and almost always expect to 'place' in the top 5 overall, if not win the thing outright.

One season, I did 8 'half ironman' races and Ironman Hawaii in order to test myself against competitors nationwide... earning the distinction 'Half Ironman of the Year' by TRIATHLETE Magazine. I even had corporate sponsorship that year with ROSS LABS (makers of ENSURE) writing me a big check and placing my image and profile on the box of ENSURE you'd buy at the local grocery store. Ah, the life!

Now, as I'm 40 and far removed from that time in my life, I'm re-engaging in the sport as a (hopefully) competitive triathlete and I'm noticing some BIIIGGG differences I'd like to share with you. In no particular order, they include:

1. Training Time and volume: As a highly involved dad of two little girls, a corporate employee for a large health club company and a small business owner and coach, I'm finding that training time doesn't come to me as it used to. Travel, which I do fairly often and will do a ton of this summer, always throws a wrench in to training plans. Family activities take priority and just simple 'down time' is needed too. Like many of us, I'd like to 'do more', but that's not in the cards and I do what I can, when I can.

2. Recovery: I used to be able to train hard one day and then turn around and do it again the next day... or , train the same sport over several consecutive days without any lingering fatigue. This is NO longer the case! Nowadays, I notice that fatigue builds over fewer consecutive days and I need more 'days off' or 'light aerobic' days to bounce back. I'm curious to see how it feels when I get in to higher intensity training next month! geeezzzz.

3. Aches and pains: Umm, getting out of bed or standing up out of a low chair can sometimes be a humbling experience! My knees ache, my lower back aches, my ankles ache,... and I could list the rest of my body parts that ache, but it would take too much time! Even during some 'longer' workouts, I notice that my neck and shoulders 'ache' more than when I was in my 20's. Go figure!

4. Focus: You know what they say... the thing you focus on the most is what you do best. Triathlon, especially preparing for Ironman triathlon, is a selfish endeavor. You need to be somewhat tunnel visioned in order to achieve success to your potential. Just watch the documentary 'What it Takes', how Peter Reid and the other top pros featured follow almost 'monk like' lives in preparation for key events. (That's why they are pros.) While I never had the luxury or desire for that level of 'commitment', mine was also pretty high during my late 20's. Nowadays, focus is diluted, as mentioned in #1, to the bigger picture things in life and tri training isn't at the top of the list.

5. Desire: When you're a young gun trying to make a name for yourself in the sport as I was in my 20's, your desire and motivation is sky high. Triathlon almost becomes your identity as a person, and you want to be the best you can be at swim-bike-run. I see that too in many age group athletes... and while that 'focus' on achieving personal goals can be positive, it can also be a negative as one's life can tilt out of balance. While today I have that desire to be competitive again as a masters athlete, I'm also working hard to maintain that all-important balance with family, career and training. In my audio CD I produced in 2004 called IRON FOCUS, I made a comment that people have told me resonates with them... "'Triathlon' is what you do, it's not what you are... it doesn't define you as a person." You've gotta maintain that balance.

I hope some of these points are useful to you and perhaps applicable to your own situation as a competitive age group athlete. If you'd like to share differences you may notice in your training and racing as the decades march on, please do. We can all learn from each others experiences. Happy training!

Train smart,
- coach Troy

Monday, January 25, 2010

The '15 Minute' Rule

Ever had one of those days when you just feel tired and lethargic? That was how I felt yesterday. I had a 3 hr aerobic endurance ride planned and just felt 'blah' when I woke up. The legs were tired and my motivation was low. Ever felt that way?

I have a rule that I try to adhere to. That rule is to start a workout and see how I feel after 15 minutes. If I feel like crap after 15 minutes, I turn around and call it a day. This '15 minute' rule used to serve me well when I was racing competitively back in my 20's, so I gave it a shot ... and it worked! I was able to get into a groove and ride comfortably, not feeling like something the cat dragged in.

The 3 hr ride wasn't a spectacular effort, but I was glad to get it done and 'in the books'. After all, miles in the legs during base building is like 'money in the bank'. After the ride, I was ravenously hungry... so while watching the NFL Playoffs (sorry Viking and Jets fans), ate like a man possessed. We had some SEE's Candy in the pantry, so I was sure to indulge on some chocolate treats. I can tell that my body is adjusting to higher workloads as I try to balance proper nutrition with higher volume training. It's a process that you should be aware of too.

Train smart!
- Coach Troy

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The COLD Southwest and Winter Riding

When you think of the Southwestern United States, what comes to mind? Desert, mountains, cactus, sunshine, warm temperatures and burritos, right? Well, the burritos are still delicious but the sunshine and warm temperatures are no where to be found!

If you've been following the national weather, you'll see that southern California into southern Arizona have been pounded with several days of storms coming off the Pacific ocean. Here in Tucson, we've had record levels of rain. Up north in the Flagstaff region, they've received several feet of snow! Even here, as I look east towards the Catalina Mountains I see gobs of snow on the peaks.

So, today I bundled up for a ride. When I lived in Maryland and during my 'hardcore days', I used to ride outdoors in almost any weather. I can't even begin to tell you during how many sub 30 deg. days you'd find me out on my road bike. I even flash back to the late 1980's, before really technical winter wear was available (and I couldn't afford it , even if it was), I'd go out with sandwich bags over my socks, 2-3 pair of thin 'running' tights and several cotton sweatshirts. Wow, we've come a long way when it comes to riding in cold weather!

Todays ride was a 40 miler (out and back) to a community known as Dove Mountain. The winds were hitting steady 15-20 mph speeds and the temps were in the very low 40's. In the distance, you could see the low clouds dumping snow (or freezing rain) onto the Catalinas and up North towards the town of Oracle. Every once in awhile during the ride, I'd run in to a small group of rain clouds that dumped cold rain and some sleet on me... nice! There were a few other hardy souls out there riding too... but most Tucson based riders (or so I'm told) tend to stay indoors if temps drop below 50 degrees or so. After all, we are 'sort of' spoiled by the great weather the other 350 days of the year!

So, with one more day in the week to go, I've been able to log the following miles:

Cycling: 160 miles
Running: 30 miles
Swimming: 0 yds (yeah yeah yeah, I know!)
Dry land Swim Training: 1 hour

They've all been aerobic base miles... steady Zone 2-3 work. Nothing fancy... just putting in the time. When February rolls around, I'm going to start popping in some tempo work in order to start building my lactate clearing mechanisms. I also need to find a Masters swim program in order to get that 'reality check' of how woefully deconditioned I am in the water and to get my butt back to a respectable level of swim fitness before the season starts. Did I ever mention that I don't like to swim? :)

I hope your training this weekend is going well.

Train smart,
Coach Troy

Friday, January 22, 2010

Active, Happy & Healthy Kids = Proud Dad

All of you dads out there... what puts the biggest smile on your face? For me, it's my kids and just about everything they do, with the exception of my 2-year whining about nothing at times.:) I have two little girls... Hope just turned 6 and Chloe just turned 2. They are the BEST! There's nothing better than coming home from a trip and hearing them say, 'Daddy's home!', as they run into my arms.

So, my wife and I are both active people and the kids see that. They see dad heading out on his bike or for a run almost daily. They sometimes see articles or ads in magazines (Triathlete, VeloNews, Inside Tri, etc.) laying around the house and get a kick out of seeing daddy's picture. Sometimes, they watch a 'check disk' of a new video we're about to release and make fun of daddy's hair , clothes, etc. (like many of you do as well, or so I hear.:). They have grown up around physical fitness, healthy eating and 'goal setting' and it's starting to shape them in a good way!

Hope joined the local Jr. swim team program a few months ago and has really taken to the water. She swims with the 'green group' (i.e. beginners) twice a week for 30 minutes each time and is progressing steadily in each stroke. I stand on deck watching her, careful not to pressure or correct her... I want it to be fun, and right now, it is!

Late yesterday after school and homework, she wanted me to show her how to do jumping jacks for 'training'. I said, 'wait a minute... I have a workout DVD to show you.', so I grabbed a copy of my Strendurance DVD and popped it in. She came out with her workout outfit and did the entire first workout of 25 minutes, start to finish! It practically made my heart melt, watching my 6 year old exercise to my training dvd... WOW! And to top it off, Chloe, our 2 yr. old, came in mid-way and while watching , started doing little modified jumping jacks and stretches. Very cool!

So there you have it... the cure to childhood obesity. As anyone who is a parent and who is reading this blog is 'active', I'm sure that your habits of goal setting, exercise and eating well rub off on your kids too. Let's all continue to set positive examples for the next generation!

Train smart,
Coach Troy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The life of this endurance coach is pretty busy these days. The travel schedule is picking up now with a trip to Milwaukee next weekend for the Mid West Multisport Expo. We're a sponsor of this second year event. I really like the idea of consumer expos during winter months. When I was living in Maryland and owned TriSpeed (two tri stores, one in Maryland and one in N. Virginia), we hosted the Mid Atlantic Multisport Expo for two years running. People could start thinking about the upcoming season and begin to get excited about racing again. This year, Spinervals is sponsoring four regional pre-season consumer multisport expos, the one in Milwaukee as well as Boston, Washington D.C. area and NYC. I'll give you more info on each event sometime soon.

Training is going well, at least for the bike and the run. Swimming... not so much. Time and motivation are getting in the way, darn it! I've been using my stretch cords lately for some dryland work, but there's really no substitute for getting in the water. I know , I know... suck it up, Coach Troy! I hear ya. On the flip side, the base work for the bike and run is going well and I'm feeling the endurance building back up. I hope to get some short races in over the months of Feb. and March to begin getting some race legs back. I think it'll take at least 3 races to feel 'speedy' and in the race groove again. I need to re-learn what it takes to 'dig deep' and suffer on the race course... to be 'on the rivet' (Phil Ligget) and reach into my 'suitcase of courage' (Paul Sherwin). Gotta love it!

That's all for now. Train smart!
- Coach Troy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Riding in the rain and World Spinning Conference

Back to the routine now after being away for a few days. Isn't it amazing how emails pile up quickly when you don't stay on top of it? If anyone has a secret on how to manage the email thing more effectively, I'm all ears! :)

Weather here in Tucson is a bit rainy with overcast skies and temps in the lower 60's. While not the best training weather, I know some of you would prefer this over having a foot of snow on the ground and blustery winds :). I'll feel like I'm riding in Belgium, getting ready for the spring classics (drizzle, cold, etc.). Today my hope is to get out for a ride, maybe a swim (ugh) and if time allows, a treadmill run this evening. I tell you what... training for racing really helps eliminate 'junk time' from the day's routine! If you waste a minute with inefficiency, you don't get everything completed. I guess that's why the busiest people are the most successful, eh?

In June, Spinervals will be sponsoring the World Spinning and Sports Conference at the Omni International Hotel in Miami! This will be my 3rd year at the event as a speaker and my first as a sponsor. We'll be sponsoring the welcome dinner, one in which several hundred people are expected to attend. This conference is a really great event for fitness professionals and indoor cycling enthusiasts. My hope is to 'bridge the gap' between the indoor group fitness cycling world and the 'indoor cycling for performance on the roads' world. We'll be training SPINNING instructors about how to leverage the 'Spinervals Method' of training so that outdoor riders get the most out of their indoor training. You can learn more about the WSSC 2010 by clicking here. I hope to see you there as we'll have a Spinervals booth at the expo.

Another cool series of events we're sponsoring is the Indoor Triathlon Series at Life Time Fitness. There are over 80 of these 1 hr triathlons (10 min swim, 30 min bike, 20 min run) at LTF centers around the country! I feel that you can get your 'race legs' by doing these short hard races... so if you're near a LTF, check one out... go to

That's all for now. Gotta write some programs, talk to some coaches and athletes and respond to several emails before hitting the road for a ride. Have a good one.

Train smart,
Coach Troy

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back from USA Cycling Coaching Clinic

After the 3-day clinic conducted by USA Cycling, it's nice to be home again. The clinic was very informative and worthwhile to anyone involved in coaching cyclists focused on performance. The lectures, combined with attendee interaction, made for a great weekend of learning.

Speaking of clinics, for anyone interested in learning about the ins and outs of sports conditioning, you should consider attending The Summit of Strength and Conditioning and Sports Medicine hosted by the Graduate school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Feb. 19-20. This event will feature leaders in the field of strength and conditioning, including several famous NFL coaches. Go HERE to learn more and to register. I've been invited to lecture on the topic of training program design, as well as to give a Spinervals demonstration class. Check it out!

Today is client program development day. Mondays are usually reserved for going over athlete training logs and writing new 'blocks' of training for upcoming weeks. For me, It's hard to believe that I've had this routine now of writing athlete schedules since the early 1990's! Wow, time goes by fast! Remember... don't let it pass you by. :)

Train smart,
-Coach Troy

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Coaching Clinic at the OTC, Day 2

Day two of the USA Cycling Coaching Clinic started with more lecturing about sports physiology. The speaker was excellent and covered a ton of information in a fairly short period of time. After the 3hr lecture session and lunch, we got back into it all afternoon discussing various components of training plan development and coaching theory. We finished up the day around 6 pm CST, just in time to get to a local sports bar to grab some dinner and watch the Ravens get obliterated, mostly by their own mistakes (penalties, fumbles, interceptions) by the Colts. Oh well, I guess that's the way the 'ball bounces' sometimes!

Grabbing another quick hotel gym workout this morning to maintain high oxidative enzyme activity and to stimulate capillary growth. :)

-Train smart,
Coach Troy

Saturday, January 16, 2010

USA Cycling Coaching Certification at the Olympic Training Center

This weekend I'm in Colorado Springs, CO at the Olympic Training Center attending the USA Cycling Level 2 coaching clinic. The purpose for attending this clinic is to get a 'refresher course' on the physiology of endurance sports training, learn the latest techniques and developments in the world of 'Ex phys' and to share ideas with other coaches.

Upon arriving here at the OTC, you go through the gate and are greeted by the security guard, who points you to the Athlete Welcome center. There, you check-in and receive your credentials as well as submit your paperwork for being 'on campus'. This includes giving consent for drug testing, waivers, etc.

The OTC is an exciting place. Living on campus are National Team residents from several Olympic sports as well as visiting athletes from other countries training at the center. Walking around campus and in the cafeteria, you see athletes and coaches milling around and preparing for the next bout of training that day. It's interesting to see the athletes, mostly younger 'Olympic hopefuls' and knowing the incredible talent they have and commitment and sacrifice they've made to be at this level. Inspiring.

Day one included roughly 8 hours of lectures, focused primarily on nutrition for performance, team tactics and metabolism. Today we dive in to more detail regarding metabolism and muscle cell composition as well as training methodology.

Over the past 18 years, I've conducted and presented on similar topics at literally dozens of camps and workshops, in addition to bringing in other speakers to present on their area of expertise. No matter how many lectures I attend, either as a presenter or as a student, I always tend to learn something new and interesting. While the 'fundamentals' of exercise science remain the same, there are always different perspectives and ways to 'skin the cat', so to speak. Our speaker yesterday, a PhD, professor and frequent contributor to USA Cycling and other National Governing Bodies, said point blank that there are many ways when it comes to training, to arrive at the same result.

One thing remains certain though... and that is, you've gotta do the work! Success for the endurance athlete hinges on aerobic energy system development and building the 'infrastructure' to use oxygen more effectively. This, plus greater 'efficiency of movement' (i.e. not wasting energy) are just two important factors that make a difference.

With that said, I'm now off to hit the treadmill for an hour of aerobic intensity running, and maybe the lifecycle for a few short and hard intervals to stimulate and maintain my cycling 'legs' prior to the classroom instruction. I hope you have a strong day of training and I'll be sure to let you know of any 'new developments' I learn in the world of cycling performance.

Train smart,
- Coach Troy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Favorite Aerobic Endurance Ride!

One of my favorite rides here in Tucson is one that takes me north on Oracle Road to a town called San Manuel. We've used this ride at our training camps now for several years, and it's always epic.

The ride starts in Oro Valley, about 2500 ft above sea level. With the Catalina Mountains to your right and the Tortilitas to your left, you ride up a steady 'false flat' for about 15 miles up to a town called Oracle, around 4000 ft above sea level. Typically, there's a stiff and sometimes gusty headwind as you climb this 'easy' but relentless uphill... and it really wears on you. The great thing about this for training is the absence of stop lights or signs for so many miles... you just ride 'tempo' uphill and into the wind.

Once you 'crest', you plunge down a 5 mile descent where the road caution sign claims a 7% grade. Speeds can reach 40-45 mph at times! Eventually, you make a right which takes you over a series of rollers (incredible mountain views in the distance) to the local gas station/convenience store for refueling and at this point, you've ridden around 35 miles.

On the way back, you have to climb that 5 mile beast! If you're lucky, a tailwind is pushing you along... but even if that's the case, the climb will take a solid 20-30 minutes. Once back at the top, you're in for a super fast 20+ mile downhill ride back into Oro Valley, aided by a tail wind. However long it took you to climb to Oracle, it'll take you only 60% of that time to descend. Of course, your legs are barking at you by now to get off the bike!

Overall, the ride covers about 70-75 miles, depending on some alternate routes you can take. It's the 'perfect' longer aerobic endurance ride... and the terrain, conditions , and even the scenery, makes me flash back to the Queen K highway in Kona!

If you've attended my Tucson camp, you know the ride well! And if you'd like to experience it, come out this March. I know I'll be doing this ride frequently throughout the year in prep for IMWI!

Train smart,
Coach Troy

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Training and more

Hi All. Travel for work has been minimal lately, which has been nice. Like all good things, this too must come to an end as I get back 'on the road' starting this coming weekend. Looking at the calendar it would seem I'll be spending MANY weekends at events or training camps. It's all good though... I enjoy what I do. I just wish that the teleporter from Star Trek was in development so that airline hassles could be taken out of the travel equation!

Last week was a groundbreaking week of training as I start to build some base. I compiled lots of solid time in the saddle, in preparation for being off the bike for several days this coming week while I travel.

My approximate weekly totals:
230 miles cycling
28 miles running
1 hr swimming :), 3000 yds

All miles were 'aerobic / zone 2-3' and I totaled just over 15 hours of work for the entire week. That was a lot for me now... and I felt some tweaks in my left knee as a result. After some icing, it's doing better.

Most of my running has been done at night on the treadmill. My cycling... out on the roads surrounding Tucson. I just started swimming, and in the hope to avoid shoulder injury after 4+ years of not swimming, I'm doing only about 1000 yds / workout for the time being. Yesterday I did 1250 yds.

Building base is all about being consistent, so being on the bike at least 5 times a week is the goal. Running too... 4 - 5 times per week and swimming, at least 3 times. Of course, 'real life' tends to interfere with the best laid plans... and 4 days of travel tend to limit opportunities to treadmill workouts and if lucky, some time on a hotel lifecycle. I do have a huge advantage in that when I go to a Life Time Fitness for work, I get to use the best training facilities in the world... but nothing beats the open roads with the Catalina Mountains in the background for riding!

I tell you what... due to my higher weekly training volume, I am eating like a horse! I noticed that I'm hungry a lot and crave sugary foods and other carbohydrates. Do you notice that same response to higher volume work? I stopped at the convenience store yesterday and bought a bag of strawberry Twizzlers, polishing off the bag in my car on the way home.

Above is a pic from yesterday from the pool deck in Oro Valley, looking up at the Catalina's as the sun begins to set. There are a few swim team practices in progress... what a great view!

Enjoy the day.
Train smart,
Coach Troy

Monday, January 11, 2010

First Post / Some background info.

Thanks for reading! New to the world of blogging, but thought I'd give it a shot! My blog will focus on all things 'endurance training' , with a touch of personal news and information. I hope you find it somewhat interesting, and at times, even entertaining!

First, a little personal background regarding training and racing triathlon. I grew up as a football player and wrestler through HS and a short time in college, taking on tri training at the age of 18 (22 yrs ago). I was totally 'taken' by the sport, and in a 'competitive' career that lasted for about 12 years, raced in over 100 races, did about 25 half Ironmans (now 70.3) and about 12 Ironmans, including 7 IM Hawaii's. I raced as an elite age grouper and then a few years with a pro card. I had sponsors who supported my racing expenses (and some living expenses too), most notably ENSURE (Ross Laboratories). At the same time, I was always very busy developing my own business interests in the field of coaching other athletes. At the time, triathlon coaching wasn't really considered a career choice... so myself and a few others were like the original pioneers... cutting the path for others to follow in what is now a legitimate professional endeavor. Any way, I was working hard... building my 'brand' as a coach and training and racing to fulfill my personal competitive athletic goals.

At the age of 30, I decided to call it quits in the competitive realm of triathlon and focus on business (I owned my coaching business, my video production business and two tri stores, one in Maryland and one in Virginia). The sport was growing quickly and there were many professional opportunities to be had. Furthermore, I was a bit 'burned out' after 12 yrs of steady, year after year competition and pursuit of continuous improvement... and needed a mental and physical break.

My 'retirement' lasted a year, and on a whim, I decided to do another IM distance in 2001 (Mohican Pineman), a small race in Ohio. It was the hardest darn IM i'd ever done!... due in part to lack of fitness but also the terrain! Geez! That was all for me again... 2002 was a year off from racing and just 'training to stay in shape' to stay up with campers at my tri camps!

In 2003, I decided it was again time to sow my competitive oats, so I embarked on a local short course tri race schedule. It was a nice change to focus on sprint and olympic distances ... and I got to build back some speed with minimal training. Muscle memory kicked in too as I won overall, all but one race that year. Cool!

We had our first baby in 2004, and that meant another year off for me...focusing instead on our new family member, Hope. What a great year that was! I got the 'itch' again however later in the year and decided to do another couple Ironman events in 2005. It's always been my opinion that coaches need to 'walk the walk' and 'talk the talk' in order to relate to their athletes. They need to be engaged and 'in the game', so to speak. Would you want a new heart surgeon (or long time retired) who's never operated before to perform his or her first surgery on you??? I think not! I did IM Arizona and IM Lake Placid, getting a qualifying spot to Kona that year...but had to pass on attending. It was nice to 'race' again, but my preparation was lacking and I suffered like never before at both races. It was time to retire again.

Flash forward... in 2009, I turned 40. For former competitive athletes, that's a new life - competing in the Master's division. Now that we live in Tucson, where the weather is conducive to year-round training, I got a strong jolt of motivation to race again in 2010. Our daughters (6 and 2) are becoming a little more independent too. While 2009 was a year of 'exercising'... 2010 is a year of 'training' for competition for me. I figure it'll take my older body at least a year of solid training and racing to get back 'into form', so 2010 will be my primer season and 2011 is when I hope to be reaching my potential as Masters athlete. Of course, an injury or 'life' issues can derail the best of intentions, but that's my goal!

So, I'm currently entered in Eagleman 70.3 (a race we sponsor), Racine 70.3 and IM Wisconsin. I'll add in a few shorter races here and there to shake out the race cobwebs and depending on my rather busy travel schedule as Head Coach for Life Time Fitness, camps and more. It'll be a busy year!

I'll share some of my training notes with you too along the way... hopefully it'll provide some insights as to how others train.

Thanks for reading... I'll be posting update notes to our Spinervals FACEBOOK page and in our weekly e-news updates too. Shoot me an email if you have any questions, comments, etc.

Train safe and train smart,
Coach Troy