I choose to focus my attention forward. It’s easy to get caught up looking backward into the past to analyze the successes and failures but to truly go where you want to go, you have to look forward. 2016 was a year I won’t regret but also a point where I recognized by the end that I needed to make some big changes to keep going where I want to go. It was time for a complete reset. I sat down and analyzed my priorities as an athlete and as a person, which allowed me to start writing my script for the coming year. While I could easily look back on 2016 with disappointment, I choose to put my eyes on the open road ahead of me.
Changing of the guard
The past 5 years I have had the honor of working with one of the best coaches in triathlon with Jesse Kropelnicki of QT2 Systems. He really is a magic worker with his athletes and I have the utmost respect for him. When it came time to look where I wanted to be as an athlete in 2017 I recognized I needed make major changes on what was my ‘driver’ for my daily, weekly, and seasonal routines and unfortunately it meant I didn’t have space in my life to continue trying to follow Jesse’s rigorous programs. I needed to have the main driver come from within myself and match better with my life as a parent of three young children.
In order to come up with training plans and racing schedules that are centered around my everyday life, I have partnered with my original coach and trusted friend, Mika Luoto, to help generate the overall strategy, while daily trainings I am building myself. I also decided to place a much bigger emphasis on strength training. Maybe I am just getting old, or maybe I just want to spend less time on the trainer this winter, but I’ve begun a cooperation with Juhani Pitkänen from K3 fitness to really push the boundaries of where strength can help to build endurance success. I also have the support of Hanhivaara fitness center with one of the best gym and fitness setups I have seen to give every opportunity for success.
Narrowing the focus
The 2016 race season started in January in Panama and culminated in Malaysia in November, while training began in October 2015. This meant I had an almost 14 month training season without any breaks longer than a couple days. As you can imagine, this didn’t match too well with a family of three kids and wife working busy schedules too. So looking forward I have decided to narrow my race season to focus in a smaller number of races in a shorter season. I am quite confident this will not only produce better results but also be much more enjoyable for my family and myself as we are all in this game together.
While I am still considering some options for my 2017 race calendar, I will start off the season in May with a couple half-Ironman events and build toward the main goal of Embrunman in August. The French classic is a treasure chest of suffering and with 5000m of climbing on the bicycle segment; it’s incredibly well suited to my abilities as a cyclist. A second full-distance event will likely be scheduled for September or October. This narrowed focus is a breath of fresh air and I am excited to embrace it and make it my own. Looking forward to a new year and a new season! Cheers!