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Gordo Byrn: Success Based Athletics

Gordo has put out a new editorial on Xtri.com which speaks to the heart of many of the issues we deal with as athletes – ie the driven athlete that has to balance work, life, and triathlon. He mentions 3 specific areas that he sees coaching clients struggle with. I have written out my answers to those 3 subjects:

1) Sleep: I try to be asleep by 10:30 pm but most of the time it’s probably10:45 or 11pm. I wake up at 5:15 during heavy training weeks, but most weeks that is only twice a week – so normal wake up time is 5:45 to 6am. I am the type that if I get 5 hours of sleep two days in a row I will get a headache on the third day. Not sometimes, not once in a while, always. It’s almost timed. That limits the damage I can do with lack of sleep since I hate headaches and would rather have sore legs or something else hurt -though that’s also probably since at work I mostly use my brain and three monitors.

2) Nutrition: probably my biggest weakness for two reasons. I truly enjoy food and no matter how much you want to dress it up, green beans are not as good as white bread with pb and honey. So I have to fight my natural drive that really enjoys food – all sorts of food at all times of the day. I hate candy and I can pass on chocolate, while cookies are my one dessert that I can’t pass up. One differentiator versus my peer group is my lack of alcohol intake – frankly most people my age regularly have a fridge stocked with beer and attend a happy hour at least once a week – for me those are many calories saved! Second reason that I struggle with it is that I tell myself that since I work out all the time I should eat what I want. Now I don’t eat horribly, hardly ever fast food, and my wife has really helped me as far as eating more fruits and veggies. I just know that if I was getting serious about a Kona slot or some serious race I’d need to cut back on some of the snacks I eat. Gordo talks about social pressure – that’s not at all for me since once I get convinced no one is going to change that (ie right now in IMAZ buildup I’m off any type of drink that is not milk or water or pure juice…everyone around has coffee/pop but I’m fine without it).

3) Stress: this is probably where I do best. For whatever reason I can manage to keep a fresh mind around training and actually enjoy keeping track of it all and planning out days. Since getting married I have learned to let go and adjust to what our joint schedules allow – yes not perfectly and helle has been very patient – but overall I don’t get stressed out about training that much. If all I have is half an hour than I will do some intervals, if chelle is gone then I’ll plan longer workoutsi nstead of sitting around watching tv, going out to eat, etc. Interviewing professional triathletes, watching them in action, and reading a lot concering training has popped the notion that somehow I’d magically have an elite performance on average skill, average talent, and superior drive. I look around at who cracks the top 20 at local races and those guys are talented, extremely skillful in at least one sport, and are probably as driven as me. They will finish before me every time – as they should.

I think the more interesting thing for me will be this summer that I have off before heading to Kellogg. I hope to swim, bike, and run a lot with the goal of getting on my age group podium at each local race I do.Liberty will probably be tough if I get to do it, but in order of significance from first to last I’d say: Waconia, Heart of the Lakes,Liberty, Gear West Duathlon. I’d add to the end of the list Chisago Half Ironman and/or Buffalo if I end up racing those.

For Gordo’s full article head on over to xtri.com

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March 12, 2008 at 11:31 am
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