Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013 Goals

I don't necessarily believe in "New Years Resolutions."  How often do you hear about people keeping their NY Resolutions vs. those that inevitably forget or give up on them?  Instead, I prefer to make goals.  How are goals different?  My opinion is that a resolution is a behavioral change whereas a goal is something that is measurable...something that you can look back on and answer the question, "Did I achieve this: Yes/No?"  Goals can certainly require behavioral changes to achieve, but a resolution is just a goal without the accountability at the end.  And if you read my first post, I'm big on accountability.

So here it is:
- Run 30 miles per week: This was the goal for last year, and I didn't hit it.
- No deep fried foods: Diet is something that can always be improved.  French fries are my #2 favorite food, so this is going to be very difficult.
- Bike to work half of the days per year: Last year's goal was to bike half of the "working" days per year.  I didn't hit it, but now that I live very close to work, there's no reason to up the ante.
- Do a handstand: No real reason for this one other than I think it would be cool to be able to do this.
- Become a cyclist: This one will be difficult.

With the exception of the last one, the question "Yes/No?" can be applied.  Becoming a cyclist is the only difficult goal, so I will state the criteria I will use to judge whether or not I've accomplished this goal:

- Get a bike fit: A well-fitting bike that fits your body and allows you to produce the highest possible power output is key to becoming a cyclist.
- Bike at least once (ideally twice) during the week in addition to a long ride on the weekends.  With my long hours at work and intense desire to sleep in, this will be the biggest challenge.
- Train with power: Power is a key component to cycling.  Being able to accurately measure where you are in your training is very important, and power allows you to do this.  It's also very important for racing since even pacing provides the most longevity during ironman racing.
- Monitor fitness using a performance management chart: In addition to training with power, it is critical to interpret and track the data using a visual chart.  This will give an idea of where I'm at over the course of the year to allow reasonable expectations and further help with pacing strategies.

So there it is - my goals for 2013.  Notice that except for running, there are no time or distance goals.  The reason for this is because I don't think I've reached a point of maturity with the other sports to set reasonable expectations.  I am hoping to be able to look back on this post in a year and check each of these off my list.

In future years, I am hoping to have an hours per year goal and hopefully some FTP goals as well.  In time...

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Recap

So in the triathlon blogging world, it seems like everyone does a yearly summary of what they did, what they didn't do, were their goals met, training totals, comparisons, etc.  This post will be no different.

2011: 779 miles
2012: 1250 miles
60% improvement.

My running was huge this year.  I started off hitting a lot of solid 6.5 mile runs while the weather was still cool, and early on I PR'd my work loops.  I really felt spectacular going into Wildflower in early May.  And I KILLED it!  Wildflower has a BRUTAL run course, and I averaged low 7's for the run.  I didn't really have any numbers in mind going into it.  My only goal was "do better than last year" where I walked more than I ran in 2011.

Post Wildflower, things took a turn for the worst.  Back in 2010, I injured my hamstring training for CIM, and I never really recovered.  After beast-moding Wildflower, the injury was back in full-force.  I took some time off, but this injury is still plaguing me even today as I write this.

Running at Vineman was a huge disappointment.  I wanted to break 1:30 on the run for a half, and Vineman is the course to do it.  Last year I posted a 1:33, so this year I was hoping to do better.  I couldn't've been more wrong.  My hamstring injury killed my run training, and the lack of consistency was a bomb waiting to go off.  And it went off exactly one mile into the run at Vineman.

Running at the WC in Vegas is barely worth mentioning.  After severely under estimating the hydration requirements needed, only one word could describe the run: Survival.  Here are my thoughts during the race: Lap 1: "I want to quit.  I'm going to drop out of this race."  Repeat.  Lap 2: Mathing repeatedly to figure out if I'm going to make it under the time limit.  Lap 3: "Time is irrelevant at this point, and you could crawl and make the cutoff.  Walk longer and ENJOY IT!"

Then came the Chicago Marathon with my dad.  It was my fifth CM and eight full marathon.  I loved every step.

IMFL: Consistent training paid off.  I just barely missed the four hour mark, but considering how awesome my other splits were, I was ecstatic with a 4:05.  Almost identical to my Chicago Marathon time a few weeks early.

2011: 2424 miles
2012: 2840 miles
17% improvement

At the beginning of this year, I had a single goal in mind for the bike: "Become a cyclist."  Looking back, I can honestly say that I failed at this goal.  Overall I think my cycling improved quite a bit.  This might have been due to overall fitness; it's hard to say.  I think the problem with this goal was that it wasn't really clearly defined.  At the time, I didn't really know what a cyclist was, so I didn't have a clear path to get there.  Now, for 2013, I know what it means to be a cyclist (in my mind:

- Get a bike fit
- Bike more than once per week (at least once during the week and once on the weekends)
- Train with power and use it intelligently (pacing on climbs/races, interval workouts)
- Use a Performance Management Chart to track my fitness (training peaks or Golden Cheetah)

I don't have any good numbers for my races.  This is part of the problem, and it will change in 2013.  Another problem is that I don't feel like I have a good sense of triathlon race biking strategy since it's hard to tell and usually doesn't show up until later in the run.  This is something else I have to figure out how to quantify in 2013.

2011: 97.8 miles
2012: 83 miles

Swimming has always come pretty easy for me, and after some pretty good swims, I don't really feel like it's something that I have to put a lot of time into.  Two days per week MAX.  If anything, I need to work on open water skills, but even still, I'm getting pretty comfortable with that.  A 59:59 at IMFL was a huge success for me.  I don't see any need to improve too much on that FOR NOW.

Well, that's about it for now.  The next post will be 2013 goals.