Archive for December, 2008

Post-It Wars and the Importance of Accountability in Training


The Great Post-It War of 2008-2009 was set off by a single act last week shortly after I arrived to work when I decided to have a little fun with one of my co-workers by posting my workout from the previous day.  Two simple entries, Swim-1:15/Bike:1:00, set three grown men into a training competition that has been played out via post-it notes and blackberry messages ever since.

I guess I should give some context to this story:  Throughout the firm I work for, there are four triathletes, including myself.  One of these individuals resides on the fourth floor and isn’t too serious about it due to injuries.  The other three, including myself, are within a twenty foot radius of each other on the second floor and we’re all in training for IM’s in 2009 (they’re both doing Coeur d’Alene).  One of them, Bob, hasn’t done an IM for several years but has done several before, and the other, Tim, did his first last year, but wasn’t happy with the result due to his run.

We had been going back and forth for the past month in pretty much the same manner: I talk about what I’ve been doing (i.e. training quite a bit) and they both talk about how they wish they had the time to train like that.  Admittedly, they both have families with small children and I’m single and have none, so I have an unfair advantage in the free time category, but I’d still been having fun razzing them (particularly Bob because he was pretty serious about it for a number of years and his dad was a pro at one point) about not being on the horse yet.  Even after Tim had started training a little more consistently, he couldn’t convince Bob to jump on the horse (more excuses).

In the end, all it took was a single post-it note from me to awaken the “Tri-Bear” within Bob.  Since that single posting we’ve been going back and forth with the post-it notes outside Bob’s office and, on the weekends or when we’re out of the office, via blackberry messages.  It has been fun going back and forth trading barbs with each other about what we did the night before even though I know that this is a competition that I’m not going to lose (I already do virtual post-it notes with my coach every day…only those post-it notes can’t inflate the volume or increase the speed with which the activities were done).

The moral of the story is that having some type of accountability to someone else will help dramatically with your consistency in training.  For me, having a coach not only helps me with scheduling my training, but it also helps inspire me get out there on those days when I’d really rather just lie in bed in the morning or grab a beer after work rather than diving into the pool  or pounding the pavement.  For Bob and Tim, it was a little intra-office competition that is bringing out the best in both of them, even over the holidays.  No matter how you choose to do it, finding a way to make yourself accountable will go a long way to improving the consistency in your training and keep you from making those little, silent bargains with yourself when the alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. (e.g. I’ll sleep in today and I’ll do double in the pool tomorrow!  Yeah, right….)

Happy Holidays and Happy Training!


December 24, 2008 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

And….We’re Back….


Wow…I am such a slacker.  My last post was over three months ago but this coincided with both a trip out of town and starting my job, so I guess I have a semi-plausible excuse for having been such a slacker.  I’m going to try to post a little more consistently from here on out, but it probably won’t be with the same frequency that I was posting before I went on hiatus.  

So, what’s new on the quest to the 70.3 and beyond, you ask?  Well, I guess that question assumes anyone actually reads this blog.  That point aside, I’ll indulge myself and answer:

I’ve been working with my coach, Jim Vance, since the beginning of October and I’m currently in week three of my second base cycle (we had a couple of prep periods).  Working with Jim has been fantastic and he has made my life so much easier.  No longer do I spend hours looking over my training schedule trying to figure out if I’m doing it right or if I’m scheduling things properly.  Now, I simply log on to a website to find my workouts for the day and then upload my data after I’m done with it.

In addition to weekly scheduling, Jim has helped me set up my race schedule for next season.  Here’s the list of events I’ll be doing, with the corresponding priority of the race in parenthesis next to it (A-Most important, leave everything on the table; B-important but meant to help you build to an A; C-least important, treat as a training day)(NOTE: dates listed are the Sunday of the week of the race, not necessarily the race date…I’m just too lazy to look it up):

3.23.09     Superseal Olympic (C)

3.30.09     Oceanside 70.3 (A)

5.04.09     Lake Perris “Big Rock” Olympic(B)

6.22.09     San Diego Intl. Olympic (B)

7.13.09     Vineman 70.3 (B)

8.31.09     LA Olympic (B)

10.12.09   Austin Longhorn 70.3 (B)

11.23.09   Ironman Cozumel (A)

Quite the schedule, but I’m looking forward to it.  My running, which was one of my weaknesses last year, has improved dramatically under Jim.  Whereas last year I was going all out to post 7:30 miles, I’m currently putting up those times on my long runs in zone 2, with my fastest 5K times coming in around the 20 minute mark.  

Well I don’t want to toss out all my material in the first post back, so I’ll save a little for later.  I’m back and you can be looking forward to some more training tips in future posts.  I thought I knew quite a bit before but Jim has taught me a few things that are surprisingly simple, but highly effective.

December 23, 2008 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

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