My summer vacation in France
is coming to an end and I am pretty whipped.
Eight days ago, I told M that I was “going to enjoy my summer” and “have some fun”.
Well, if you read Molina’s Epic blog entries then you’ll know that our definition of “fun” is a bit different than most.
I extended myself a bit in my training and that was a lot of fun for me.
Right now, I’m working through my fatigue from the training-festivities of last week.
In a few hours, I’ll be back on the road for work. We were very fortunate to be able to spend a month in France. We were mainly in the south but a little up in Paris. That photo at the top was taken at a great restaurant in Paris called Chez Georges – I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good place to eat.
Here in the south of France, we’ve been staying with Pyrenees Multisport and I highly recommend them if you are thinking about a cycling trip to Europe. If you do come here then Ian will be able to chat you through the “house records” for both mountain and flat riding – I took distance and total climbing titles from a group of Kiwi lads (sorry fellas).
Another benchmark that you can take a shot at is the “Pyrenees Triple T” – Tourmalet Time Trial – the current benchmark is held by Ian’s son, Lewis, who dropped my brother-in-law the other day. As I had the “full sit down” half way up, my last time wasn’t eligible. The route starts at the last roundabout leaving Lourdes and finishes at the top of the climb (about 45K total distance and 6,000 feet of vertical). If you are with Ian and Lewis then… be ready to get seriously motorpaced at the start (the I-Train) and save a little bit for the last 3K – that’s where Lewis likes to make his move!
When I get shelled, I think a lot – mainly because I am too tired to read/write and don’t watch TV. As I spend most of my holidays either shelled (or training), I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking!
So far we have not instigated a wholesale change in Team MonGo’s strategic direction but we have been filling out a few details. When I use “we”, M likes to point out that I must be talking about “me and the mouse in my pocket”. It seems that I often pull her into the mix without consulting.
Forum status – quite a few folks have dropped me a line to ask about the Tri Forum. Here’s the game plan. We’ll get it back up and running before the end of the year but not before the end of the summer. We need a bit of time to review software options, configure the new software and get the board running the way I want.
When we relaunch, the moderators will approve each member account. The board will be free to search and free to read. To post, you’ll need to subscribe for a small fee. That fee will go towards my hosting, software and IT costs. If we generate surplus cash beyond my expenses then I will give it away to a worthy cause.
If we get hacked again then I’ll pull the plug – so your subscription (and my time/IT/software investment) will be at risk. I’ll also reserve the right to put members on break if they get a little too feisty.
Some folks asked about the dbase of the old board(s). They are gone. I didn’t have confidence that I could offer them up without the risk of Trojans. So we wiped them off my server. Sorry about that but I didn’t want to be the source of any IT nightmares.
Ironman Seminar – we’ve got the dates agreed – the afternoon of Friday, November 3rd and all day Saturday, November 4th. Speakers will be George Dallam, Tim Hola, Bobby McGee and me. Pricing (including meals/accommodation) will be around $140. The schedule is being cleaned up and the registration details are going up on Active.Com. I’ll post more here once I know.
My talks are going to be on – The Nature of Ironman; Bike Training and Effective Race Execution. The focus is going to be towards coaches – how do we help our athletes – but the presentations will be interesting to athletes as well. Clinic is open to both coaches and athletes. The camp opens with a session on effective swim coaching that Monica is going to lead.
In my handouts and discussions, I’ll be expanding the workouts (swim, bike, run, race simulation and combination) that you see in my Coaching Long Course Athletes article on my website. Each of the presenters will submit their written material so all attendees will get a binder that should be pretty useful.
The presentations are going to cover the full range of athletic abilities. Our main focus is going to be the athletes with whom coaches spend the majority of their time (adult, working full-time, mid-pack). Bobby is going to specifically address run training for novice and time-limited athletes – an important topic that (I think) he covers better than anyone I’ve met. He’ll explain his run-walk protocol.
We’ve allowed time (both days) for open Q&A to let attendees discuss topics outside of the formal presentations.
CoachGordo – I rewrote my coaching website last week – suppose that I have been reasonably busy after all. Anyhow, I simplified it and the changes will come on line once Brian gets a chance to upload them.
Coaching 2007 – I’ve decided to increase my coached athletes from three to six. Five of the slots are spoken for currently but I have an opening for the 2007 season.
I think that I am a good fit for:
(a) an athlete that has read my gTips as well as Going Long;
(b) an athlete that has trained with me in the past, or will be able to train with me in early 2007 (Epic New Zealand in my preferred location for that);
(c) an athlete that is looking for a multi-year relationship working towards performance at the highest levels; and
(d) ideally some overlap with our key races as well as training geography.
Male, female, elite, agegroup, young, vet, supervet – I have worked successfully with many different types of athletes.
If you are interested then drop me a line and we can start a dialogue.
Dangerous ideas – I was sent this link a while ago… www.edge.org and have been working through that site from time to time. The guy that sent me the link asked me to consider what my own dangerous idea might be. My dangerous idea has always been “what would happen if everyone came to their senses?” If you read the second part of this entry then you’ll see that someone already wrote that one out – http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_9.html#krause. Just goes to show that there are very few truly original ideas. In fact, that’s why much of what I write resonates within folks – a lot of us are thinking quite similarly.
I’ve been thinking about my tri-future.
Currently, I’m working towards being speedy in August 2007. I’ve pretty much finished the schedule from now until then. There are a few gaps that I’ve been mulling over but, broadly, I know where I’m heading. I’m going to build a mini-business around myself (as I did in 2004) and figure that I’ve got at least one more speedy IM in me.
It’s been pretty straightforward to organize – that is a big benefit of having supportive folks in my family and business lives. My six years of mixed training/working have also enabled me to fine-tune my ability to work by combining excellent IT, effective time management and frequent 10-14 day business trips.
Beyond 2007, I’ve been thinking… What would be fun to work towards? What would be fun to achieve?
Here’s the list so far…
#1 – do a really fast IM, win the amateur race overall and qualify for the AG race in Kona. I’m thinking Florida 2008. I’ll be ITU-40 for that event – not sure how they will count ages at that stage. The gap between the elites and the agegroupers would enable me to race a-la-Evans; push the swim/bike; and see what happens.
Dr. Tommy races with honour and class – if I am swimming AG then I’d like a chance to ride off the front and see what I can do. We can save the five-meter-hoax-a-thon (wink) for other events.
#2 – with a 2009 Kona slot in hand; do some ITU-AG racing (World’s; Europeans; Shorter Stuff). While I won’t try a Molina (ITU-short course champs the weekend before Kona), it might be fund to train specifically for some different events.
#3 – end my 2009 season by targeting the AG race in Kona. I have a few theories about racing there that I’ve only been able to try on my athletes and in my training. I’d like to see what I can do trying them out in the race. I also think that I’ll have the swim skills and physiology to do well by then.
Two trends that I’ve seen in IM racing… split starts and less elite slots for Kona. Personally, I see this as an interesting development.
Split starts (as well as male/female-only elite fields) – these give the AGers a chance to “win” a race. In my view that’s a lot more fun than waving good-bye to the elites 200 meters into the swim leg.
Less elite slots for Kona – not sure if anyone has noticed but it is getting really tough to qualify for Kona as an elite. Basically, you need to be Top Three to get a slot at early races and Top Five to qualify later in the year. I have no problem with this because if you can’t podium at an international race then you aren’t going to cover your expenses with a trip to Kona. The fact that you are getting didly prize money and no slot will also send some folks a message that they might not otherwise hear.
What’s the impact of this? Well, great athletes like Ken Glah and Fernanda Keller are going to be pushed into the AG race if they want to get to Kona. Younger second- and third-tier pros are going to realise that they might never get to Kona. Older pros (like, say, me) are going to see that the competition in the agegroup race is very solid. Speedy AGers are going to stay amateur longer to build their experience.
Take all of the above together… and I expect you’ll see ever increasing quality in the elite fields (athletes rise to the standards placed on them) & some ripping fast times in the agegroup ranks (consider the elites that are 37+ today). We’ve already seeing some of that in the 45+ division (Molina in Arizona last year). If there is a “weaker” elite field at a race then we might even see some “old” pros win the overall race. Peter may have retired but think about what a guy like him could do racing AG in four years time. Dave’s still racing elite in his 50s but, even he, might decide that it’s OK to race AG (perhaps when he’s sixty). Winning the AG race in Kona in his 50s would be quite an accomplishment and I’d like a benchmark to shoot for!
Anyhow, that’s a sample of what’s been running through my mind. There’s more but I’ve got to get ready to hit the road.