The island is a triathlon utopia. There is light traffic through town but outside this small area out around the island there is little traffic. In addition, during most of the 68K loop around the island there is an entirely separate highway dedicated solely for use by bikes. As your riding along this bike highway, you look to your left and see undeveloped natural lands and to your right is an unobstructed view of the beautiful jewel toned Caribbean sea. Not to mention the brand new pavement on this highway is like butter.
In addition, there is a running track and pool in town open for use by the public almost anytime day or night for free. Unlike the US or most other countries, these facilites are open and accessible to all without requiring steep fees. And most importantly, the local community is so warm and supportive. The locals cheer when you ride and run past during your daily sessions. This is the only place in all my travels were people actually cheer as you ride or run by while out training. Unlike in the US or Australia where I have been heckled and yelled out while riding, here the people stop and offer cheer of encouragement as you ride or run past. It is very special.
Finally, this undiscovered paradise is easy to get to from the US and once you’re there the cost of hotel and food is very affordable. It has all the benefits of Hawaii or Australia without the cost and all the budget-friendliness of Thailand without the long trip. This is truly going to be the next triathlon mecca. In ten years, it won’t be San Diego, Boulder, or Tuscon but Cozumel where the who’s who of our sport want to go for a training trip.
Come to Cozumel for your next training trip and you won’t want to go home!]]>
Here are some the reasons I think the bike turbo trainer will help you improve:
Well, best of luck in your off-season and hope to see you at the races in 2013!]]>
I stumbled upon this definition of Survival: Survival is the art of surviving beyond any event. To survive means to remain alive; to live. Survival is taking any given circumstance, accepting it, and trying to improve it, while sustaining your life until you can get out of the situation. And most importantly, survival is a state of mind.
Here are the tips for Survival adapted from emergency situation survival but also apply sport but more importantly to life.
Survival depends a great deal on a person’s ability to withstand stress. Your brain is without doubt your best survival tool. It is your most valuable asset in a survival situation. It isn’t always the physically strong who are the most effective or better at handling fear. To adapt is to live. Mental skills are much more important than physical skills. A person’s psychological reactions to the stress of survival can often make them unable to utilize their available resources. You most likely won’t use your physical skills if you don’t have a positive mental attitude.
One definitely must be in the proper frame of mind to survive. Attitude or psychological state is most certainly number one. With the proper attitude almost anything is possible. To make it through the worst a strong will or determination to live is needed.
A positive attitude has a very strong influence on the mentality and motivation necessary for setting a goal. Set goals give motivation and attitude necessary to survive pressures. A person with a stubborn strong will power can conquer many obstacles. Never give up your goal to live.
While in your survival situation you will be confronted with many problems that you will need to overcome. Your brain will be your best asset but it could also be your most dangerous enemy. You will have to defeat negative thoughts and imaginations, and also control and master your fears. You will need to shift mental processes and adopt that positive and optimistic “can do attitude”. You will need to be creative and use your ability to improvise to adapt to the situation.
To keep your body alive you must react to your body’s problem indicators and defend yourself against the major enemies of survival. Always remember to keep your positive mental attitude. Don’t add any extra burden to yourself by falling into a destructive mental state like feeling self-pity or hopelessness. Remember the important aspects of your life and don’t let the image fade.
Loneliness is a survival enemy that can hit you without warning. It will strike you when you realize you are the only person around who you can depend on while in your situation. Nowadays modern society barely gives us a chance to test our ability to adapt to silence, loss of support, and separation from others.
Make sure to avoid fatigue. Fatigue is the overuse of the muscles and the mind and is a serious threat.
Hunger and thirst are enemies that can really depress your positive mental attitude. Lack of nutrition could make you more susceptible to depression.
Fear is a big enemy to guard against. Fear is a completely normal reaction for anyone faced with an out of ordinary situation that threatens his important needs. You need to accept that fear is a natural reaction to a hazardous situation and try to make the best of your predicament.
Do your very best to control your fears. Be realistic. Don’t let your imagination make mountains out of mole hills. Expect fear and learn to recognize it. Live with fear and understand how it can alter your effectiveness. Maintain your positive mental attitude.
A more dangerous enemy than fear is panic. Panic is an uncontrolled urge to run or hurry from the situation. Panic is triggered by the mind and imagination under stress. It results from fear of the unknown, lack of confidence, not knowing what to do next, and a vivid imagination. Fear can build up to panic and cause a person to make a bad situation worse.
Keeping a positive mental outlook is for certain the most important aspect of survival. While in a survival situation you will practice self-reliance. You will only be able to depend on yourself and your abilities. You will have to overcome many challenges that you are not accustomed to. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
I hope you’re inspired by Mr Fur to survive and thrive through all life throws at you. Eric and I both hope that he is around for many years and years to come.]]>
But I have always believed in the curse of the magazine cover. I may just be paranoid, but after you examine the evidence you can decide for yourself. It is real just look at the list below of all the Sports Illustrated athletes that have faltered post-cover. And on the triathlon side, Chrissie Wellington still won last year but crashing 2 weeks prior was certainly not lucky. (And getting sick in 2010 also not lucky) Only Chrissie’s sheer will and determination kept her from becoming a cover stat. And another notable cover last year, TO had a tough Kona getting sick. Is it any coincidence that he was a cover boy in the late summer? Other triathlete covers on Lava, Inside Tri, or Triathlete Magazine that had some bad luck at the races in 2011 or 2012 were Julie Dibens, Michael Ralert, Paula Findlay, and Pip Taylor who faced injury woes in 2011 or 2012, Laura Bennett who narrowly missed grabbing her early Olympic berth and had to race in 2012, Jarrod Shoemaker and Matt Charbot who missed their spots in 2012, Gwen Jorgenson, Manny Huerta, and Simon Whitfield who had some bad luck in London, Lance Armstrong and who facing some issues now, and many more. And that is just a few of the potential cover cursee’s in triathlon since 2011. I can’t tell you how glad I am not to be on that cover anytime in the past years. I have enough challenges without having to deal with the voodoo that a cover adds!
It is important to note that Michael Jordan escaped the cover curse. Perhaps in our sport there a few that can do that, but I wouldn’t want to press my luck.
Here is the Sports Illustrated List of Cursed Athletes…beware it is mighty long!
Click here to view the embedded video.Ironman New York City ]]>
I want to talk a bit about what it means to be an Ironman…
There was a story in New York Times yesterday about an athlete named Chris Clearly. Chris was hit by a car, fractured his skull and nearly died. His doctors called his wife to tell her he might not make it. And for months after that he withered away in a hospital bed. Doctors again told him, that recovery might be impossible.
Yesterday, Chris became an Ironman.
And there was something that Chris said that stuck with me.
He said: “I think for me when someone tells me I can’t do it, I’m going to try to do it.”
That’s the kind of toughness that makes an Ironman. Because Ironman requires you to routinely do things that your friends and neighbors think are impossible – or at least completely crazy.
While your friends are having barbeques, you’re getting up at 5 a.m. and riding six hours on a perfectly good Saturday morning. When your co-workers are training for a half marathon, you’re running a full marathon after 2.4 miles in the water and 112 miles on a bike (is that even legal?) And yesterday morning, how many of your were asked, “why in God’s name would you ever swim in the Hudson River?”
But we do these things. Every day. Not because we have to. But because we can.
When I was 28, my doctors told me I had to stop running because I had developed arthritis in my hips. It was devastating. But, I wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. So, I shifted from marathons to triathlons and have been blessed with the privilege of doing Ironmans around the world for a living.
I was told it wasn’t possible. But I proved it was.
That’s the spirit of Ironman.
Nowhere is that spirit more rich than here in New York City – a city that suffered through an unthinkable tragedy a decade ago and showed that when things are at their worst, New Yorkers are at their best. This is NOT a city that quits.
Each of you showed that spirit yesterday – and each of you has showed it for many months leading up to yesterday. Ironman doesn’t come easy. It doesn’t come without blood, sweat, and if you’re like me, a LOT of tears. There are moments in training and in every Ironman race where you want to quit, where you doubt yourself – or at least doubt your sanity. A few of yesterday’s hills, particularly around mile 23, almost broke me.
But, in those moments – and in that pain – is where we find strength.
Perhaps the best thing about Ironman, though, is that you don’t leave that strength on the course. You take it with you. You take it to your family, your career and you share it with the world around you.
Whether you’re like Chris Cleary and overcame great tragedy. Or, if this is your 10th Ironman… Yesterday, each of you proved in some way that you could do something most people think is insane.
You are an Ironman now. Take that spirit into the world, and show the world that, no matter how difficult the challenge, you can do anything.
Here is why:
1.) The crowds were amazing. All along the bike and run, there were spectators all along the course. We ran past the finish stadium 5 times during the run and each time the cheering was amazing. No other 70.3 has that vibe not even close!
2.) It was the most well organized half ironman I have ever done. If I don’t know better I would never have thought it was a first year event.
3.) Norway is a beautiful country and the course design was amazing. The swim was in a lake followed by an amazing bike around the hills and lakes. The bike was so scenic that I had to refocus myself instead of looking around at the views. The run was also great and running through the downtown streets by the finish line created so much energy.
4.) The organizers did their best to ensure that all the pro triathletes had hotel room and offered great events such as a pasta party, scenic boat tour, video on the region, tour of the course, airport transfers, all for free to us pros. It is nice to have organizers doing what they can to help make the pros trip as easy, seamless, and enjoyable as possible.
5.) The course markings were amazing. I was a bit concerned as I didn’t see the course ahead of time, and don’t speak Norwegian. But despite being a first year race, the organizers were on top of the course and virtually made it impossible to take a wrong turn on the bike or run.
6.) The race hotel, the Rica Martim, was perfect. It was right downtown only a block from the finish line. Only about 2K from the start and provided a free bus to the start in the morning. In addition, the free breakfast was delicious and race morning they started it early so that all the athletes could eat before the race.
7.) The race start was 8am! How great is that!
8.) I got more delicious Norwegian chocolate! Between that and the Swiss chocolate, I will never be able to eat the American crap again.
Thanks so much the the Norway 70.3 team, the amazing crowds, the great competitors, and volunteers. I hope you all had as great a time as I did. I can’t wait to go back next year!]]>
1 solid, firm, and resistant to pressure; not easily broken, bent, or pierced
2 requiring a great deal of endurance or physical or mental effort
3 done with a great deal of force or strength
4 potent, powerful, or intense, in particular
I was pondering triathlon, and the triathletes that I know both professional and age-groupers. I think if one adjective really envelops us all as a collective it would be ‘hard’.
Yes, I would say we are all hard. Now, take some time to enjoy your next race, enjoy a day off, enjoy spending some down time with friends or family. Don’t forget to take it easy occasionally. It is okay, and you’ve earned it. I think most of us don’t need to be told to HTFU. We need to be reminded to TIEELO that is Take It Easy & Enjoy Life Occasionally.]]>
Through this process, my respect for WTC has increased immensely. It would be so easy for them to please all the athletes, sponsors, fans, media, by bending their rules and allowing Lance to race. Instead, they have decided to stand by their professional athlete agreement that all the WTC professionals have signed. They have upheld their core value that a clean sport is a top priority over making more profits in the short-term. I think this is an excellent decision for WTC as well as for the long-term health of our sport. On the flip side, I hope that we can all put our trust in USADA that they have solid evidence, have the best interest of sport as their sole motivation, and will deliver a just and swift investigation and trial so that Lance or any other athlete will be treated fairly.
In addition, my trust in WTC has only increased over the past twelve months. Last year, I asked for a wild card to Kona after my two Ironman victories in Austria and Regensburg. While I knew it was a long shot I figured I would ask as I had some extenuating circumstance. WTC said no, and I was forced to race IM Canada. While I was disapointed, my respect for them grew as they decided to stand by their policies. While I was the one that had to suffer, I appreciate any organization that stands by its policies and does what it thinks is right despite pressure from the outside or potential loss in profits.
Keep up the great work WTC!]]>
1. You try to bring a pillow on your ride to put your head down on your aero-bars. Or at least fantasize about bringing one.
2. You need a half hour for the mile walk to the pool in the morning.
3. Your eye twitches all day long. It just wants to close.
4. At every stop light you imagine laying down on the side of the street.
5. It is 7pm and you’re already thinking about going to bed.
6. Even that magic elixir coffee has no effect on you.
7. You just want to cry for no reason.
8. You take the old elevator even though it takes twice as long as just walking up the two flights of stairs.
9. You are too tired to think of something to make for dinner.
10. You think you’re shifter is broken but it is just that you’re pushing on the wrong one.
11. A villager on a hybrid with a baggie t-shirt and cargo pants drops you on the way out of town.
12. You don’t remember writing this blog.]]>