Sunday, February 6, 2011


"Swim a lot. Bike a lot. Run a lot."

This was the training strategy used by the original Ironmen so many years ago. We have come a long way from such a simple training philosophy.

Today's athletes have customized computer designed footwear, bikes that rival the technology used by astronauts, and wetsuits that all but swim for you. Combine this technology with e-coaches who analyze the data drawn from power meters, GPS maps and heart rate monitors - and the average age grouper's training day requires a PHD to comprehend.

Even beginner triathletes are not immune to the grip of technology on our sport. How many of us have at least given a second thought to rescheduling our workout when we realize our ipod battery is dead?

Having broken free from the confines of my floating training center, I have recently transferred my efforts to a small island inhabited by less than a thousand people. The return to such a simple environment is incredibly freeing. There are roads on which to run and an ocean in which to swim. The absence of a bike is but a minor detail.

When training in the wild, one's priorities make a remarkable shift. My concern for city traffic when running down the side of the road has been replaced by precautions taken for wild dogs and snakes. Inconsiderate pool lane mates have been replaced by eerily smiling barracuda.

My training strategy has also shifted while in this environment. On many days, I don't time my workouts. I run to the other side of the island. I swim to the big rock offshore. Whatever effectiveness might lost in my physical progress is well worth the mental renewal that comes with such a return to the basics. Free from numbers and targets, it is easy and natural to enjoy every workout.

You don't need to strand yourself on an island in the middle of nowhere to reap the benefits of simplifying. Take a day or so and ditch the GPS and don't wear the heart rate monitor. Don't even plan a workout. Just swim, or bike, or run until you decide you're done - and enjoy the experience for what it is.

If you're not snowed in.

Sending some warmth your way...


  1. Why are you pictures so bright??? They seem to have an eerie blue color at the top of all of them?? :) I could almost get a sunburn just looking at them.

  2. wow how beautiful! miss you... it does look warm! maybe you will bring it back to nola with you :)

  3. Great post and so true. Athletes often lose sight of the big picture --- the big basic one! I've had some of my best runs when the battery conks out on my Garmin as at that point, I'm just running!


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