The Holidays and Rest

The Holidays and Rest

Two weeks ago I got a head and chest cold and have been battling it ever since. It’s been a tough pill to swallow because I wanted to keep my swim, bike, run routine tuned up, and hit the new year with a solid base.  But I’ve been worn down and bummed out.

The other day I stumbled onto this article, and it gave me hope.  And let’s face it, what’s more powerful than hope?

It’s a piece by the Urban Monk that talks about the seasons being a conversion of yin and yang. As the Winter Solstice begins, Yin energy is at its peak but will soon be replaced by Yang energy which we should should ride with new projects and a return to workouts.

Sometimes this stuff is a little hard to explain, but essentially they’re saying not only should we be resting at this time, it is essential if we want to attack the next wave.  From the article:

“So why rest? Here’s the rub. Winter is for hibernation. It is a time to be introspective and to gather all of our Qi so we can recover from the previous season…so we can have the energy and wherewithal to consciously participate in life through the next season and fulfill our heart’s desires. So where’s the rub? Look around you. People spend the tail end of the year getting drunk with coworkers in ridiculous red sweaters and frantically racing through shopping malls looking for plastic things made in China that promise to make our loved ones happy. Nobody actually rests. Any wonder why most Americans are sleep walking through their lives?”

I’ve always had a little trouble with holidays because they seem to hit right when I want to be crushing all my dreams, but in reality they are a great “forced” rest and recovery time.  And holidays should be experienced without guilt.

Guilt is a powerful motivator but, like anything else, too much can derail the best of plans.  So much of living right is about living free.  Harboring workout-guilt can be poison.

With all the crazy-over-hyped “workout motivators” in this world it’s easy to get sucked into the 24-7 “crush it mentality” but sometimes is more important to crush a nap.  And that’s exactly what I plan to do now.


Coach Robbie and I would like to thank everyone who’s listening to the podcast.  It’s really gaining steam and we appreciate all the feedback.  Please help us spread the word by sharing and from everyone at Crushing Iron, have a Merry Christmas.  Be back with you soon.

Triathlon: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Triathlon: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Triathlon is a process.  We start with blind exuberance then evolve.

There’ve been many times when I’ve reflected and cringed.  I used to “say” I was doing it to become a better person, and that’s somewhat true, but not in the beginning.  I was doing it for my ego.

I wanted to feel a new excitement in my life . . . to feel relevant again.

It was a re-kindling of an earlier life in sports.  I was moving, thrashing, and looking in the eyes of my competition.  It fueled me like nothing had in years.  And I think that’s natural.

But, it was just the beginning.  After several months, and certainly after my first Ironman, the thrill wore off.  I was staring at emptiness in the mirror.  What now?

Well, “what now” was another Ironman that I felt obligated to do a year later.  A lot of it had to do with the fact that I had a blog and created a monster I didn’t want to tame.  The other reason was because I thought triathlon was the key to reviving my life.

Right before that second race I quit my corporate job of 14 years.  I was finally free to pursue the life I wanted and triathlon was right at the center.  And of course that was the problem.

Triathlon isn’t my life, but it’s definitely a vehicle for getting me to where I want to go.  That’s the challenge, and today I had a great discussion about that topic with my coach.

It’s all in the new podcast embedded below.  It’s a very open and honest discussion, which reminds me of something that would make my good friend Dr. Oz proud.  (You can read the semi-hilarious story behind this Dr. Oz interview here, and read Dr. Oz’s response to my post here.)

Below is the podcast where Coach Robbie and I talk about how we started, how we’ve evolved, and how we believe triathlon will fit into our lives in the future.

The Good: Friends, family, Fitness.
The Bad:  Ego, Arrogance, Excess.
The Ugly:  Regret, lies, and suffering.

Triathlon: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Three Off-Season Triathlon Training Myths

Coach Robbie and I recently recorded a podcast on off-season training myths.  Here’s a taste of the discussion in outline form.

Be sure to subscribe to the Crushing Iron podcast on iTunes.  

THREE OFF SEASON TRIATHLON TRAINING MYTHS

 1 .  You Need to Do an Off-Season Marathon 

•  Marathon training during Ironman training is a surefire way to ignore swim and bike fitness.
•  A marathon is harder on your body than a 70.3 and will cause more downtime for recovery.
•  Exception:  If you do a 2016 late summer, early, or late Fall Ironman, you can carry over the fitness to your marathon.

2.  You Should Do Drills And Kicking In Every Workout

•  Most triathletes have bad ankle flexibility and/or kick from the knees which makes kicking a waste of time and energy.
•  Why spend 10-15 percent of your time reinforcing bad habits when conditioning and arm fitness isn’t there?
•  Most triathletes simply aren’t strong enough to maintain good form.

3.  You Should Cycle With Watt-Crushing Intensity

•  Take a polarized approach.  80% of training should be at level one/level two zone.  The other 20% on high intensity.
•  Find ways to keep riding enjoyable instead of over-trained and fatigued.
•  Think recovery for next workout AND long-term versus just this season.

Here’s the full podcast, which discusses everything above in more detail, plus simplifying swim workouts and post-Ironman Blues.  If you have topics or questions, email us at CrushingIron@gmail.com.