Triathlon Tuesday: 2013 Season Review

This is mostly for my own purposes, but wanted to share for the world.  I believe that reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses (or areas for improvement) is part of what helps you to grow as an athlete.  Since I’m a fairly novice triathlete, I have the opportunity to grow in pretty much every area to get stronger and more competitive.

As I understand, more competitive triathletes often plan their race executions with their competition in mind as well.   For example, Andy Potts said that part of his race strategy is to swim (his strength) as hard as he can, just to get ahead in the bike & run, and to help psych out his competition in whatever little way possible.

Well, here’s my review.

Qualitative Review

  1. Training:   I did better than before.  I selected a training program and for the most part followed it.  I did get a little injured this season and did adjust (not planned though) as needed to keep my shoulder OK. I knew I could get by on my swim experience without too much more training. 
    1. Swim – didn’t train as much as I’d like. But I spent a lot of time focusing on strengthening my shoulder, which was a key issue with my swimming to start. I’m working on getting more symmetrical. 
    2. Bike – I am much better than I was a year before. I did a good bit of work this year on getting stronger on the bike. Of douse I always want to do better, but I am pretty proud of where I’ve come from since early 2012.  
    3. Run – Overall I’ve improved over the past year. I didn’t push as hard on my runs this year as I’d have liked. I should keep up my running strengthen while I go toward new goals. 
  2. Testing & Measurement – I used heart rate a lot in training and racing this year, even though I may not yet be leveraging the data to plan out better. 
  3. Consistency:  I’ve been better on consistency in training this year.  Still need to work on it when I’m going through a stressful period, but overall better.  
  4. Racing:  I didn’t race as much this year as in 2012. Mentally this was good for me. I need some time away from racing some times.  
  5. Nutrition:  I didn’t have as many issues this year as last year, but I do think I need to work on this still.  I made leaps & bounds on the bike by being able to take nutrition while riding. I need to figure out how to get more consistent at that 
  6. Mental – I have realized I need to work on this.  When the going gets tough, I’m not going.  I need to work on this.  The Des Plaines River Trail race was a good example.  It was hard for me to keep going to meet my goals, and I didn’t even get into the “hurt locker”. 
  7. What Worked?
  • Completing all of my long rides on the schedule. This helped build my confidence and skill around cycling.
  • Someone else creating the training plan
  • Realizing my priorities. I was about to go through IM Wisconsin registration when I realized it conflicted with a good friend’s wedding next September.  I have no regrets that I chose not to complete the race registration for IMWI. There are other races.
  • I was focused on most of the events I signed up for.  Tri-Rock Lake Geneva was the main exception.

9. What didn’t work?

  • I realized that I really need some external accountability to keep up my training plans.  I’m not sure why, and I don’t know if I care too much, but I have realized that I need to be paying for my training to not have the training go to the can.
  • Not enough cycling.  My training plan this year (which I’m proud that I followed) did not have enough cycling for me. I think I need at least 3x week cycling workouts.  Good thing to learn. 
  • Not enough strength/ base work. I didn’t have this be a regular activity.  

Quantitative (Training) Review

Triathlon Training Review

Quantitative (Racing) Review

Swim:  43:06 —  2:13 pace - 44 rank
Bike : 3:23 :35 — 16.5 pace – 103 rank
Run: 2:45:07 – 12:36 pace – 117 rank
Overall Category Rank:  102 / 146 – top 73%
Pleasant Prairie:
Swim:  36:21 – 2:25 pace – 22 Rank
Bike: 1:24:15 – 17.73  mph – 22 rank
Run: 1:07:35 – 10:54 pace – 29 rank
Overall Category Rank:  27 / 37 – 73%
Swim: 12:13  - 2:01 pace – 14 Rank
Bike: 1:10 – 14.28 mph – 14 rank
Run: 48:14 – 11:13 pace – 25 rank
Overall Category:  17 / 43 40% 
  • I’m always strongly ranked on the swim (these are age group aggregations)
  • I improved a lot on the bike this year, although at the expense of my run competitiveness & overall ranking for the overall events.  Need to work more on the transition runs and mental toughness.

Book Review: Sex, Lies & Triathlon

My sister Jaimie always gets me a book of so,e sort for Christmas each year. Maybe she knows I alike reading…  This year I got the book “it starts with food”… I can’t wait to start  reading it!

Anyway, I recently finished (re-)reading a fun book called Sex, Lies & Triathlon by Leib Dodell.  It’s a tongue in cheek look at the absurdity of the sport, and to share one guy’s tri-crazy experiences.

What this book is not:

  • It’s not a training guide
  • It’s not an inspirational story

What this book is:

  • Makes you laugh ROFL, LYAO
  • commentary on a number of topics related to triathlon
  • Quick read, great for travel
  • Great book for someone needing a last minute holiday gift for a triathlete

One of my favorite quotes from the book:  ”Triathletes are a unique breed. Like Jane Goodall with her chimpanzees, I’ve been living among them for many years now.”

Lieb also tells stories about his experiences with aliens who, after thinking that he’s the weirdest thing ever for doing something called triathlon, take the form of elite triathletes and go on to blow himself and other triathletes out of the water at local training sessions and competitions.  Or stories likening the Kona World Championships to the Wizard of Oz… “If I only had a run!”


What have you been reading lately? 

What I Learned from Andy Potts





Happy Friday! I’m still alive, but just trying to balance time in training, work, finishing up the semester and now the holidays!

Last night I met Andy Potts at Vision Quest Coaching, one of my favorite places for Computrainer in Chicago.

2013-12-05 19.30.00Vision Quest hosted a great event.  I got to try food from Lyfe Kitchen, which I am sure I’ll be back to soon since it’s not too far from work! Lots of raffle prizes given out from Trek, Transamerica, SRAM, Rudy Project, and more.

Robbie Ventura hosted, and we got to learn about Andy’s history in getting into swimming, triathlon, and secrets on training.  My crib notes:

Rules for Triathletes:

  • Know the course
  • Don’t cheat
  • Go Fast

Think like G.I. Joe – “Knowing is Half the Battle”

He reads a lot on the computrainer.  Doesn’t listen to music or watch TV.
Workout wise, he focuses on work-to-rest intervals.

2013-12-05 20.06.27


A good night and great way to get motivated for Triathlons in 2014!