A Day Off

This season has been anything but easy. Yet, somehow, I feel the need to wear shades – my future is just so bright! Without reiterating the crap storm that I’ve been through this year (if you haven’t been reading my blog, just assume it sucked, and the long breaks between posts are usually a bad sign as well). But who ever got ahead with a negative attitude? If something’s not right, I’ll do my best to fix it.

My biggest weakness this year has been my running speed. I’ve been trying and trying to run more with the idea that more is better. If college 10k runners do 80+ miles per week, then that will make me a better runner too, right? I’ve been in this periodic function of volume, injury, depression, excitement, volume, injury… At no point am I “fast” from this cycle. I swim well enough, I can ride with anyone in the ITU (disregard Madrid where I was dropped on the final lap), but when we start running there’s just no speed there. I don’t fade, I just can’t produce the speed I need to win an ITU race from the pack. Coach Victor and I talk about this frequently, and this week he encouraged me to use my USA Triathlon high performance funding to find a running specialist to add to my coaching staff. The search is on!

I’ve been taking advice from the resident swim coach, Mike Doane (also And Pott’s coach), and I talked him into helping me with adjusting my program. Mike has a very similar approach to Victor’s, but with a swimmer-esque twist to it. Given my background, I like the way that twist looks. I’m also planning to talk to Bobby McGee (running mechanist extraordinaire and Boulder resident), and anyone else recommended to me in the Colorado area. I think the biggest gap in my current advising situation is the lack of face-time I have with my coach, so I’m definitely planning to utilize someone local.

The first thing Mike did with me this week was to encourage me to take an unneeded (but completely necessary) day off. This is definitely a swimmer practice, so I’m not entirely sure how it fits into my plan to become more of a runner – but so far I like it. Today is my first complete day off in 2010. Even when I took a “week off” in June I was running every day. It’s nice to just relax.

Tomorrow I’ll start altering my routine as I get ready for Alcatraz in two weeks, then the ITU World Championship Series Grand Final in Budapest on September 11th (my first pro World Championships! Just qualifying was a multi-year process – I’m so excited to even be on the start line!!). Just five more races in the season, it’s time to follow Matt Chrabot’s lead and get serious (after writing this he was 4th in Kitzbuhel yesterday! That’s the best American finish at a WCS race this year – bravo Matt!).

Just to add one more thing about Matt, he’s becoming a pretty interesting writer. He’s a punchy guy who doesn’t care if you love him or hate him (it’s hard to be in the middle) , and who speaks his mind. Add him to your bookmarks, the updates are few, but worth the read. You can also check out this interview.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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