Wednesday, October 6, 2010

39 Things

So I turned 39, which is old unless you’re 39 and you think it’s not so bad, because for crying out loud there are 40 year olds out there.  AND 40 IS OLD.  And so on. 

So now that I’m 39 but according to USAT, I’m really 40 and should really be able to take it to the 44 year olds in my new age group next year, except Ben told me racing your age group is lame and until I’m in my 50’s or older, I shouldn’t look at anything but overall. 

And if you haven’t left yet – I’m really now supposed to wow you with 39 years of wisdom – so I’m going to do that except I think I need to categorize this and probably do 39 triathlon related things and 39 other things, so first, I’m going to do the triathlon thing.  I can’t say I’ve done all these things, I just know them.  I know people who know them you know.

  1. consistency is key.  don’t swim 3x in a week and then 1x the following week, keep it the same unless your coach says to.  run a lot, ride a lot, swim a lot.  then again, anything you do for about 10,000 hours will make you awesome. except sleeping or watching tv.  I read a book about this. 
  2. get a coach.  keep the same coach for at least 2 years.  they save you from wasted workouts from making mistakes and they will save you from yourself.  you’ll feel more guilt than you usually do if you miss a workout. if you’re self coaching and not improving every few weeks, you’re probably not doing a great job.
  3. swim more and you’ll get better.  I hate swimming mostly but I did it more and it got better and I liked it more.  I even got faster going from 30th percentile to 75th in 2 years.  Not great but I didn’t do it consistently. I heard getting in a few weeks of 25,000 yards will change your swimming life forever helps.  I’ve never swam over 9k in a week. I’m just saying what I heard. 
  4. buy a power meter.  honestly. single best investment you’ll make.  Consider the cost over a few years otherwise, $1,000 is a lot.  $200 over 5 years is better, even better if you amortize it over each mile you ride. like $0.01 per mile if you slack and ride 2,000 miles a year.
  5. run in different shoes.  I run in at least 3 different kinds of shoes a week.  some are soft (shorter hard runs), some are more motion ‘controlly’ and the other pair are in between.  you force your feet to get stronger running in the lighter ones and you don’t beat your feed to much in the more cushiony shoes but you can run longer. even better, have a real running shop watch you run and tell you what you should be in.  99% of the time, it won’t ever be in a pair of Nikes. 
  6. practice your transitions.  think about them, plan for them, walk the transition area before a race, twice or more.  Not knowing where your bike is hiding after you get to t1 is for boobs.  don’t be a boob.  if you are challenged beyond help, use baby powder on the ground and make a big line where your bike rack is.  using a balloon is against the rules, plus it’s retarded.
  7. get fast before going far.  I don’t understand doing an ironman until you have done relatively well in a sprint or Olympic distance race.  finishing an ironman in 17 hours isn’t an accomplishment, it’s dumb.  try going sub 5 in a 70.3 race first.
  8. completing an ironman doesn’t mean you should get a tattoo.  winning one does. 
  9. get non triathletes into triathlon.  inspire 1 person a season to get into triathlon.  if they beat you on their first try, find yourself a new sport.
  10. do not ever touch other people’s stuff in transition.  in Seattle it seems to be ok to do.  they also rack their bikes all going the same way and then complain about there being no room. 
  11. 1 lb. of fat is 2 seconds per mile in lost running speed.  put down the potatoes and the pizza.
  12. You can buy used stuff from pros cheap.  Check their websites or ask them. 
  13. Buy stuff and make sure someone knows a pro influenced your decision.  It’s how they get paid and if they do a good job, make sure they get credit.  It’s a terrible profession to be in – so help them out however you can. 
  14. travel and race.  it’s hard and expensive but you get to race somewhere else that you might NEVER go (like New Orleans, Oceanside or Nova Scotia) and you’ll meet people who you may even like.  the fool at the airport in compression socks and shorts, don’t meet him, but say hi to the lady pulling a bike box across the terminal.  (Greg hates this one, if you are up for adventure, then go ahead, if you hate spending $2,000 in 3 days, paying $200 to ship your bike, and risking everything for a 5 hour race, then do it, otherwise, race a lot locally, you’ll find the same people at every race and they might even train with you.  It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.  know more people.  through racing.
  15. you can dig deeper than you think.  you know how you can find the energy to sprint that final 100 yards at a race when people are cheering?  well, you could have run harder about 3 miles ago.  You’d be surprised at how much your brain keeps you from doing.
  16. it’s a race.  race it.  baseball is for people who walk.  even in transition.
  17. you need a bike, helmet, shoes, number and wetsuit to race.  I’ve seen an 11 time ironman winner carry just that into transition in a plastic bag for a half ironman.  I see Age Groupers bring coolers, backpacks and buckets to a sprint race. it’s a less than full day event, save the luggage for vacation.
  18. if you draft on the bike, you’re a bad person.  if you cheat and live with it, you should be beat. 
  19. train with people faster than you.  1) they’ll push you 2) you’ll learn you have more in you 3) you’ll see what it takes to get faster 4) you’ll learn how hard people work – especially professionals.  you’ll say ‘wow’.
  20. it’s just a sport.  it’s more important to teach your kids to swim or bike or run.  it’s more important to have that glass of wine with your wife/husband at dinner than to your ride in the morning to NOT have it.  in fact, have 2 glasses. you won’t drop 10 watts at threshold the next day.
  21. race bikes.  you learn that bike racers go REALLY fast and hard.  you’ll find you can race without a power meter or HRM or garmin thingy.  plus you might even gain some respect from roadies. 
  22. say thank you and cheer for people behind you.  If you have a bad race, cheer along the way.  if the race was well run, find the race director and tell them it rocked and thank you.  if it’s a really out of shape person who finishes like 2 hours after you did in a sprint, don’t cheer, they should have trained.  
  23. race with a friend, you’ll go faster.  rub it in their face.  if they beat you, make up an excuse.
  24. know the race course.  I’ve been misdirected before by a volunteer.  it takes 30 seconds to look at a map and remember key points.  getting off course isn’t an excuse for #23. 
  25. find out if the person you are sharing a room with is going to use the coffee maker for oatmeal.  make the coffee first.  in fast, I’d avoid sharing a room with Ben at all costs.
  26. if you want stuff cheap, join a team or club, they probably have deals with a shop to get you 15-20% off of stuff, pro deals on bikes and of course, fancy racing stuff to wear. 
  27. the more you race the easier it is.  if you toe the line 4 times a season (and they’re not ironman races) but train every week, you’re going way too easy on yourself.  race more.
  28. host a professional home stay if you live close to a race venue.  there’s a good chance you’ll make a new friend for life. 
  29. go watch races if you’re new, at worst, on tv. you’ll learn a lot.  like put your helmet on before getting your wetsuit completely off. 
  30. get really small race t-shirts and give them to kids, give your medals and trophies to them. 
  31. sponsorship is easy to get if you can show that you can sell products, if you win 32 races in a row but don’t ever talk to anyone after a race or write a blog, don’t expect much.  it’s work.  it’s probably a better deal for you to work and just buy the stuff from a local shop than it is to put tons of effort into getting a sponsor deal for 100 free gels.
  32. less is more. I once drank 2x20oz bottles of water before a sprint race.  it hurt.  you can always take in MORE food, but getting ride of too much food is really unpleasant.  you don’t need 2 bottles of water for a 13 mile bike.  you don’t need 3 gels on a 25 mile bike.  I don’t think there is ever an excuse to have a bento box.  unless you’re keep cassettes in it.
  33. listen to triathlon podcasts, simply stu and the competitor’s radio show are both awesome.  you learn a bunch and they’re generally very well done. 
  34. share a good tip with someone on race day or just help them out with something.  the girl who deflated her tires completely before pumping them up thought she had to do that in order to get a proper zero on her pump.  I told her ‘you really don’t have to do that’. though I avoid talking to the crazies who always seem to be near me.  I get their life story.  if they are riding a trek from the early 90’s and are wearing a cycling shirt that they plan on racing in – even under the wetsuit – there is a 93% chance they’re crazy.  do not engage.
  35. I don’t have a thought on those race photos.  I think giving a thumbs up or a big smile is on the retarded side.  I smile after when I find out they have sausage as post-race food.
  36. First Endurance Pre Race is awesome stuff.  But I think it’s like $50 a tub.  It lasts like 2 years.  Excedrin works pretty much the same and is $5 for a bottle.
  37. Buy the nice components for your bike.  Over 5 years you’ll use it a ton and you’ll forget that it was $500 more than the mid-range stuff.  It performs 3x better.
  38. don’t ever train in a tri-suit. ever/ don’t say ‘nice job’ to someone who is walking on race day.  it’s a terrible job.  they don’t want to be reminded that they messed up, got sick, didn’t train enough, are mentally weak or didn’t bring it.  you don’t say it to someone who did a bad job at work and blew it, so don’t make them feel worse.  be supportive of the first timers out there.  explain something they might not know to them, like the free post-race massage or that their helmet is on backwards. 
  39. don’t (please) ever train on your deep dish race wheels/aero helmet.  train in heavy duty stuff that makes that race day stuff seem amazing.  you look like a turd out there in your race gear while training.  no turds, we have enough fashion issues with compression socks. 

1 comment:

Ben said...

Even I have trouble sharing a room with me. dirty coffee makers, unflushed toilets, gear explosions...