Howl to Spartacus who competed in the NYC Half-Marathon last weekend. Marko Begonja ran away with his second Personal Record this year with a time of 1:55:22!
A little Wolfpack history. At IronMan/IronMan 70.3 Wisconsin last September, we were able to get a good number of the team together as Jason Smith, Anthony Booth, Evan Vaughan, Will Matthews, Taylor Veranth, Eli Madden, Jimmy Dion, and I were all in town to compete that weekend. Taylor, Eli, Jason, and I got away with a 72-degree perfect weather day on Saturday to compete in the 70.3, while the rest of them, on Sunday, competed in the IronMan in a never-ending barrage of wind and rain with a temperature that we don’t ever think got above 40. Us IronMan spectators, while sitting around having beer and food in-between cheering, felt really bad about the whining we did about how cold it was waiting for them to come by. Well, in-between sips of beer and bites of cheese curds…
What was awesome to see that day was a sense of camaraderie that was reminiscent of the collegiality that was inherent in the early days of the MAPSO tri-club I co-founded back in New Jersey where I managed communications. I wanted to see that thrive again in the context of our group, and hence the Wolfpack was truly formed. Triathlon is an individual sport as there’s no sharing in the suffering on race day, but knowing people are watching and care about your performance helps to provide incentive to carry on and just push a little harder.
Connecting with Each Other
Moving forward to today, what I have been thrilled to see is the efforts that have gone into connecting with each other to train together. It's no mystery that training with others has an added benefit as it pushes you to train a bit harder and go a bit longer. We've seen it in the Zwift group rides (despite time zone differences) that we all have been doing and the Sunday Swim/Runs that the Rocky Mtn Wolfpack has been doing since early December. It is not always possible to find groups to train with which is why I work to create engaging individual workouts that have a lot going on so you have things to think about as you go. However, I do encourage everyone to see if there are any local groups or friends to train occasionally with as it helps you create a commitment you have to stick to and, when you train with a group, everything gets dialed up a notch or two.
I have always encouraged folks to find a local Master’s group, bike group, or run group to hook up with.
With that in mind, I am happy to announce that the Wolfpack will be collaborating with Bridget Sherratt, the Founder of Tri-Horizons, based in New Jersey to provide additional opportunities to further help us all achieve our goals. Notably, Bridget is, beginning Saturday, April 15, be happy to invite members of the Pack to her Saturday runs with the Tri-Horizon’s team at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, NJ (from 6:30 am to 8:00 am) and, right now, she's invited everyone to join her Friday and Sunday swims at Scotch Plains-Fanwood YMCA (You need to be a YMCA member to join).
In summary, on top of the individual workouts I provide, there are, in addition to Zwift, a lot of other opportunities to get out and train with folks, so take it when you can.
For example, out East, in addition to what Bridgett offers, TMB Racing (Basking Ridge-based) has Tuesday and Thursday rides plus a Track workout each week, All On Cycling Club (Summit-based) has rides, pretty much, everyday (and our very own She-Wolf Prime (Lisa Rosynsky) is a ride ambassador on weekends ), Friend-in-Fitness (Alvaro's groups) has rides all the time as well.
Out West, in addition to the Wolfpack workouts, Rocky Mountain Tri Club has different activities nearly every day of the week, Team Evergreen has rides nearly every day, and, as there is a pool every 5 miles or so, there are countless Master’s programs.
Tri-Season is on the Horizon
As March closes out, tri-season is now on the horizon with many of us having our first triathlon in late May/Early June and other events prior. In simple terms, the first step is to become consistent with your workouts (i.e., Relentless Forward Motion), step 2 involves adhering to the spirit of the training plan, step 3 is about nailing the intensity elements of the workouts, and step 4, where we are at now is to further hone capability within each discipline as we ramp up to race.
Although some folks are very ready for this ramp, some have had issues with consistency, but don't worry about it as you will be amazed at how a couple weeks of consistent workouts that adhere to the plan will provide a tremendous bump in capability.
My favorite note that just came in (which I culled a bit) was from one of the Wolfpack members who had been a bit inconsistent with workouts, then dialed it in over the past few weeks. I hear this a lot from folks, but nice to get a written note like this. What I like about this note, other than the excitement one feels when they are consistently working out, is that, over the last few weeks, we have been consistent with our training and started dialing into the workouts.
Titled – “Something is Working”
Body – "Not sure what's going on here but, over the last couple weeks, I've felt my time and energy levels improve a ton. Not boasting, but I've started lapping people in the pool and now leading my lane. Beyond swimming, I am finishing all those crazy workouts and am not dead and still have energy to go. Prior to, I thought I was getting worse and slower. With the improvement, I am jazzed up and want to see what else I can do to get faster!"
The takeaway from this is that it only takes a week or two of consistent training to get that feeling, so wherever you are on the continuum of capability development, know that if you dial-it-in for a couple weeks, you will come out in a good way.
Relentless Forward Motion