Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Future In Triathlon. What is yours?

While this entire season is focused around one single main goal, Lake Placid, I had an opportunity this past weekend to get back to my roots of triathlon: The Sprint Distance. On the broad spectrum of Triathlon, the Sprint and the Ironman are polar opposites. One is low intensity, but lots of it. The other is go as hard as you can and it is over before you know it.

The other thing that I realized is that this is my fourth season of triathlon and I am basically wrapping the season by completing an Ironman. The Ironman, in distance, seems to be the pinnacle of the sport (NOT gonna mention the UltraIronman distances!!!!)

So let's see here, forth year, pinnacle achievement. Sounds like a graduation, no?

So let's say that I "graduate", what is next? What is the next peak to climb? Does there have to be another peak to climb? How about refocusing somewhere in the spectrum of the sport now that I have experienced all of the distances?

THIS is what I have been thinking about a lot. Refocusing. I have gone long now for two years. I did 4 Half Ironman races last year alone! The long weekends of training are taxing. Heck, they are only getting worse for the next 4 weeks! Do you know what I have to do this weekend? Not gonna mention it. Its a LOT!

So I have been thinking about the shorter distances; the speed distances. Sprints and Olympics. Different animals than the Half Ironman and Ironman. You go fast, and that is about it. Its short. Its sweet. And it is rewarding. And after Ridgefield, I found some speed in my legs that I only dreamed about 4 years ago.

Of course, half way through the bike as my quads were locking up on me, I thought to myself, "You FUCKING IDIOT!!! You wanna endure this type of pain for an entire season?!?!" Trust me, the reward of a good finish makes you laugh at those moments. What is that quote? "Pain is temporary. Glory is forever?"
I'm really 5'7". BUT! Even shorties have speed! And thanks to Kevin for helping me find these.
 But then of course I caught wind of a few new Ironman distance races just announced in my approximate area. Ironman NYC (uh, I mean Ironman NJ, uh, I mean Iroman Northern NJ-but-finishines-on-81st-street-after-party-at-Reginas) and an even cooler race, Ironman Mont Tremblant up in Quebec. Just look @ this picture of the town!

How would you NOT want to race there! Yeah, its another hilly course, but waaaay better than racing outside of NYC in the middle of August. Actually, compared to Lake Placid, its a lot tamer. Maybe it has some shorter but steeper sections, but overall, its not as bad. Just look!

Click for Full Size
The Blue Line is Lake Placid's Elevation. The red is Mont Tremblant's. Green is Sea level. Not 100% on the elevation #'s, but the lines ARE normalized are true to each other. Regardless, Lake Placid is 1.3X's hillier than Mont Tremblant. AND! Some cool folks might be doing it, right Kevin, Jeff, Mandy, Beth?

So this has gotten me thinking about going long again next season. I have made myself hold off from signing up for another Ironman until I have completed my first. Only problem is is that Mont Tremblant's signup is on June 15th and could sell out quickly, leaving me behind. Placid is July 24th. Decisions decisions!!!

Have you thought about your future in endurance sports? Any big plans in the next year or two?


  1. Well, for me, I've still got to do a Olympic (2 weeks away), a HIM (August 14), and then an Ironman (sometime in the future). Then I can decide which I like the best. I think a variety of them all is a good way to go...

  2. I so want to do IMMT (especially know that I know how to correctly say Quebec - it is Kay-bec, not Qwa-bec - sorry Canucks). But like you said, I don't think I can sign up for a second without doing a first. So maybe, Rev3 CP 2012 and IMMT 2013.

    I have a feeling that the long course is going to be my future though. I started off with a sprint, love it. Moved to Oly, loved it even more. Did a 70.3 and was head over heels. I'm thinking the pattern will hold through IMWI. The longer the better. (twss).

    I may try getting back to my running roots at some point to knock out an ultra distance race, but don't know if I could focus purely on running at this point.

  3. Gah, maybe MAYBE doing IMMT. Maybe. I loved the idea of IMNYC, but then the August heat got me rethinking. I only needed to see one tweet (and the beautiful pics!!) about MT to really start thinking about actually going the distance. Goodbye speed and social life!

  4. I should also mention that I've never done more than a sprint. Is that a problem?

  5. Interesting, because that is NOT the bike profile that WTC has on their site

  6. I am unsure of my future because I have yet to experience the 70.3 or 140.6 distance. Im not sure I see many more IMs in my future though just because I hope to start PT school next year!

  7. I'm just breaking into multisport having run my very first mile on Jan. 31 this year and getting in the pool for real swimming just 6 weeks ago. That being said, my big goal is the 2012 Toyota US Open Triathlon which is an Oly distance held in my backyard. The fact that it's less than a month before my 40th birthday is another incentive. If my swim was more solid I'd do it this year but I have a ways to go in that discipline.

  8. We talked about this last night Jon, but about a month before my IM I decided to never do the 140.6 distance again. It was because of the time commitment that was involved in training. I wanted my weekends back.

    Then an hour after I crossed the IM finish line I was already thinking about which one to do next? The IM distance is a very addictive drug. After you finish LP you should take this post and repost it with today's thoughts and then your thoughts after LP in red!

    Anyway, I got my weekends back now and you know what? I miss the training? Us triathletes are such whiners!

  9. My future? I love sprints. You go hard for an hour and are done. You do three events and you are done, quick and painful.

    My back up... 70.3. I really enjoyed that distance and the training is enough to keep me NOT FAT!

    I won't sign up for an IM until after my first. I promised myself that. I do want to do just one more IM though, a challenging one, I really wanted to do IMSG. Supposed to be pretty and I don't want to do an easy one (not that ANY are easy... but hey, should be fun).

  10. Seriously, that IM in MT looks so amazing! How cool could it be to do that? But, I don't think I could commit to it a full year and a half before the actual race!!
    I'm not sure what next year will hold for me. I do IMAZ in November, and then will definitely be taking some quality time off. I would love to get into trail running, so maybe I'll focus on sprints and trail running. Who knows???!!!

  11. i JUST had this conversation with the bf the other night. Unless IMLP is AMAZING (which, I'm sure it will be) I think I want to back off the IM distance for next year, reclaim my life and go fast at Olys and halfs!

  12. I'm a speed guy, plus I don't have the luxury of TIME that you young guys have:) So Sprint and Olympic are in my future. However, I do have a goal: HIM in '12 or '13 and a IM by age 40 (that's in 5 years!)

  13. Really nice post. I'm in for running only for the next...many years I hope. Ultra running is what I live for. I'm specifically targeting some multi day events.

  14. Great post. I agree that you should revisit after IMLP-I did it last year and swore I would take a year of to start a family....and Im doing another IM this year :-P Thanks for the maps for IMMT and LP-interesting to see! I might see another IM in 2012!!

  15. My future (OK rest of 2011 and 2012) includes 3 70.3s and 2 140.6s plus at least two Oly's if not more.

    I am hooked and I love it. I love the fact that I am up early and out the door to train and back in time to spend the entire day with my family.

    I also don't think I will stop after the 2x 140.6 b/c I love to race-cation and so does my wife. We (I really) made this life commitment to the sport and she is happy and willing to go along. I can't complain.

  16. Looks like my future has been decided for me; I've got a lot of shopping to do for that after party!

    I only had the one tri this season. On some levels it's a disappointment, I was supposed to di IMRI. On the other hand, it will be nice next week to start marathon training and only focus on running (talk to me in a couple months, I might change my tune). Hard to say if there is an IM in my future, too hard with a kid, a husband who travels, no family close by and working.

  17. I have thought a LOT about it, especially in regards to my hip. At this point, with the surgery I had in Dec. 2008) my left femur will not tolerate another marathon. There have been some very frank conversations with my sports med team about a 2nd hip surgery (/replacement)... and seeing where that takes me. Wort case scenario is I go through rehab and *still* can't run marathons, in which case I'm really no worse off than I am now.

    And if that fails... I'm buying speed skates.

  18. I really love the IM distance and it gets easier and easier each year so I have no plans to stop soon. I want to run an ultra, otherwise I just want to have fun.

    See you at Mont Tremblant!

  19. I've been thinking a lot lately about this question. Unless IMWI is AMAZING, I'm going to focus on 70.3 next year, along with a few marathons. I like racing too much to only be able to do one a year.

    MT sounds fantastic!

  20. Ha I am so in for IMMT. I am such a bonehead.

  21. It's a damn addiction my friend... you are learning that! But there could be far worse things to be addicted to.

    And IM in in my future for next year as well! :)

  22. I have 4 HIM planned for the year. I have already completed 2. I also have Tough Mudder at the end of the year.



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