Tag swimming

Coaches Words of Wisdom

I had a 500 yard swim for time at the end of last week. It was meant to be a bench mark, but unfortunately I couldn’t even finish it (I guess that sort of is a bench mark). Sluggish during the warm up, my brain said go even when my body was saying stop. Once the 500 started, my brain finally realized the body was right and they both stopped. Afterwards I voiced my concern to my coach Grant Holicky. I say concern because “sadness” or “depressed” or “bummed” were not the right words. “Frustrated” and “concerned” were better terms that reflected my mental state. His response was roughly this (paraphrasing).

“Look at what you’ve done up to this point. Where you’ve been and where you are now. You’ve had good days and bad days. The good days aren’t a fluke. You can’t fake good. If it’s not there, it’s not there. You just can’t fake the improvements you’ve made. Even if you have bad days in between, your true fitness is shown on those good days. Now we just need to figure out how to have less of those bad days, otherwise we’ve got a problem. Focus on the positive, not the negative.”

I can’t even begin to describe how those words have resonated through my mind since then. It’s times like that, that make me realize that having the right coach can make all the difference in reaching the next level of mental and physical fitness necessary to be great.



Training Camp in Portugal

In preparation for the XTERRA West Championship on Sunday April 10th and the XTERRA South Central Champs on the 17th, my Timex teammate Toby Radcliffe and I hopped on a plane to Lagos, Portugal for some warm weather training. Toby was preparing for Ironman South Africa on the 9th of April, so it worked well for both of us to get used to sweating a bit. For 10 days we hammered out solid swim, bike, and run sessions each tailored to our specific upcoming event(s).

Portugal was an interesting place. Its a pretty small country and it felt as if there really wasn’t much going on there. We have plenty of quiet country roads to ride on and the running trails along the cliffsides weren’t very crowded. One of the things that contributed to all this was the fact that it was off season for the tourists. Lagos is a hotspot for British tourists in the summer time.

If you have ever done a training camp, you know there are 3 things that consume your day – Training (duh), Sleeping (double duh), and a MASSIVE amount of Eating. We nailed the first one. Got plenty of the second. And for the third… well, if you add it all up, we EACH consumed over 50,000 calories during our 10 stint. That’s over 100,000 calories between the two of us! Wowsers! I don’t think Jenny Craig would approve. But when it was all said and done, I weighed exactly the same as I did going into the camp.

Because neither Toby or I spoke Portuguese there really wasn’t much to watch on TV. So we fired up the laptop and watch a ton of Cougar Town and Glee. I have to say, I had seen little to none of either prior to that trip, but I am now a big fan of both!

So if you are ever looking for a far away place, somewhat isolated, and not much going on, I recommend trying Portugal for your next training camp. And make sure to try the little custard cakes. They are delicious! I think I ate a few dozen of them while we were there.