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


  1. HI!! I get to be the forst commenter of many, I am sure. I am just getting ready to do one of your DVD's. Love them.

    Thanks for sharing your info. If you are ever in Cincinnati, and are shooting a new Spinerval, I want to be in it! :)

  2. Hi Judi. Thanks for being the first to comment! Someday, we'll get to your town to shoot a new Spinervals... stay tuned. Enjoy your workout too!
    - Coach Troy

  3. Hi Troy: You probably don't even remember the hand-written note that you sent me last year at the behest of my wife as I was beginning my treatment for lymphoma. It meant the world to me, and you should know that I kept doing Spinervals through 7 rounds of chemo and a bone marrow transplant (Had a spinner bike in my hospital room!). Thank goodness, I'm on the other side of that ordeal and back to 400+ miles a month. Anyway, thank you for being part of my recovery. Spinervals kept me strong and sane.

    Steve Pratt

  4. Steve,
    I do remember. I'm very glad to hear you are doing well and back to steady training again. And I'm grateful that spinervals was part of your recovery program too.
    Best wishes... please stay in touch.
    - Troy

  5. Troy, before Spinervals I hated (nay, detested) training indoors. It has been my bain for many winters now - well I got turned on to Spinervals by a buddy and now my winter training has taken off. I should be more fit this spring than ever before! I hope to someday visit your March training camp in Tucson, but in the meantime, like one of the other posters stated, if you are ever in Kansas City area shooting a video, let me know because I want to be there!! Thanks for promoting healthy lifestyles and keep spinning so the rest of us can keep spinning too!

    Chris Carpenter