To better understand where I’m coming from in my posts and training plans I’ve created my own list of rules and general principles to abide by. Some of which I follow and quite a few I’ve broken.
Because were all human.
Read on through the rules which should link to a number of my articles and you’ll start to get the idea. From there you can go straight to the homepage and read more!
This is not a site with articles about buying a used pair of cycling shorts because that’s just nasty town. This site is aimed at changing training, buying behavior and attitudes among both beginner and elite endurance athletes.
Don’t be a jerk
Don’t be rude to someone with inferior gear, who races in shorter distances or is slower than you. Chances are there is someone out there who has nicer stuff, trains harder and is faster than you. And you probably wouldn’t dig the same level of snobbishness towards you.
Be supportive of all levels of athletes and who gives a crap if you “would never ride a bike with Claris components.” Be happy that someone is trying to enjoy the sport and lay off the snobishness.
Practice is the cheapest and most effective way to get faster
Rather than wasting time reading about which water bottle is more aerodynamic why don’t you take your silly butt outside and ride some more? It’ll cost nothing and will pay off more than whatever the heck you’re reading about in the rabbit hole.
A 10 minute mile is just as far as a 7 minute mile
I’ve said this before. Don’t fuss over your speed and there’s no need to feel bad if you’re not as fast as someone else. You’re out there giving it your best and enjoying life which is all that matters. Plus you’re light years ahead of so much of the population.
A hobby is fun because it’s not your job
Don’t forget why we get into these sports. They’re supposed to be fun. If you find that your hobby is a negative detractor to other aspects of your life then back off a little. Nobody is forcing you to do this stuff.
If you’re not a professional then you don’t need to train like one
If you’re getting paid to do the sport then it’s probably pretty important that you make training a huge priority. But don’t think that because the pros do 10-12 practices a week that it’s imperative that you need to as well. You’re a professional at something – accountant, doctor, teacher, etc – and remember that is what pays the bills.
Until of course, you reach Financial Independence!
Be wary of message boards
Message boards are where the trolls and gear snobs live and convince you that anything less than a $80 carbon water bottle cage is unacceptable. Some boards offer great advice but some will just run you broke and make you feel like garbage. You just don’t need most of that stuff. Practice, enjoy yourself and don’t obsess over weight and aerodynamics too much.
Outside is free
Gyms cost money, boo. Mother nature, even in New Jersey, is free and races are held outside as opposed to on treadmills and spin bikes. So rather than paying for the gym because it’s too hot, rainy, cold or windy why don’t you just train outside in those conditions? Who knows what will happen race day and if you’ve practiced in everything then you’ll be ready.
The internet has plenty of good stuff for free
Coaches, training plans, personal trainers and books can all cost money. Plenty of people offer free training plans which are great not only because they’re free but because you won’t have to deal with a disappointed coach when you miss practice for happy hour with your friends.
Not looking pro and kicking butt is greater than looking pro and sucking
You look awesome when you are awesome, period. You look like a douche when coasting on your triathlon bike with a yellow jersey and shaved legs while getting schooled by children on Huffy mountain bikes.
Seek the hills
Riding and running up hills is strength training. Rather than avoiding that big-ole climb to massage your Strava feed suck it up and hit them hills. It’s the cheapest way to get faster and stronger.
Go easy on the electronics
I love my GPS watch because I have a propensity to explore and I also like to know my pace. Plus a multi-sport watch can suffice for running, biking, swimming, hiking, kayaking, mowing the lawn or whatever you get into. But power meters, heart rate monitors and cycling computers? Let’s chill on those unless you’re a pro.
The key to going fast is going slow
You can’t get any better if you’re hurt and physical therapists are expensive. The best way to not get hurt is to train slow and build strength over a longer period of time. Keep speed work at 1-2 times a week with the rest of your workouts at a conversational pace.
Build speed first and buy speed second
Before you go blow $2-3,000 on a triathlon bike get awesome on your road bike. By then you’ll know if you actually need or want one and if you’ll actually ride it. Plus you’ll have a better idea of exactly what you want. Buy gear organically as the need arises and don’t just hand your credit card over to the store manager after signing up for your first race.
Keep your priorities in check
I’ve seen people sacrifice friendships, get divorced and lose their jobs over their triathlon and running pursuits. Don’t compromise time with the family because you have to get in a ride. What’s more important to you, really? You ain’t saving no babies training for that Ironman (maybe indirectly with charity entries, but you get the point) and unless you’re good enough to become a pro you probably don’t want to lose your job over it.
Only you can place the value on your goals
If you really, really want to qualify for Boston or Kona then don’t let anyone convince you otherwise (with maybe the exception of your spouse). Same goes if you just want to finish – that’s also admirable. Don’t be talked in to feeling you need to spend a billion bucks so you can achieve more if that’s just not your thing.
“Entry Level” does not mean “Bad”
That’s a marketing trick to get you to upgrade because salespeople want you to feel inadequate and buy up. The truth is if a bike is considered an entry-level triathlon bike then that means IT’S SUITED FOR A TRIATHLON. I know we all think were gonna totally get into the sport but, in reality, most bikes get used for 1 triathlon and then sit in the garage for years before being sold on Craigslist.
Got it? Now let’s read some more!