I would just like to thank Kris Gethin of Bodybuilding.com for allowing me to give an update on how everything has been going over the past few months since my last entry.
I've been competing in the sport of triathlon for more than a year now and I've loved every second of it - both training and competition. But, what I enjoy most about it is the progress that has taken place since the first triathlon I competed in back in August of 2007 in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
The race was the Steelhead 70.3 and I honestly had about a little more than a week's worth of training under my belt in the sport of triathlon; also weighing about 220 pounds because I was personal training and bodybuilding at the time the Ironman headquarters contacted me about possibly competing in Kona in October.
Going into the Steelhead race, there wasn't much hope for me in regards to finishing due to my extremely limited experience in the sport. Cannondale supplied me with a Caad 8 road bike to use to attempt the race and I was able to train for about 30 minutes total on it before I had to catch my flight to Michigan; I ran on a treadmill to work on my half-marathon training while relying on my swimming background in high school to get me through the swim.
Miraculously I was able to finish the race in about seven-and-a-half hours, wrecking my bike when I reached the transition area. I got up and continued on, eventually making it to the finish line and then also to Kona. This was all in 2007, but in 2008 I was curious to see what things would be like if I had more than six weeks of triathlon training, like maybe six months or even six years.
The main goal was to train and make it back to Kona one day by qualifying to get there, so to help me along my journey was Ironman Hall of Famer, Mark Allen, and things improved drastically and quickly right from the start.
Last June I competed in my first Half Ironman since the Steelhead 70.3 and was able to drop over two hours off my time; in July I flew to Canada to compete in the Newfoundland 70.3 triathlon and was able to drop a few more minutes off my time, while also taking third place in my age group.
The final race of the season was the 2007 Foster Grant Ironman 70.3 World Championship that took place in Clearwater, Florida and that was the best race of the them all. I was able to drop another twenty minutes off of my time.
Training has been going well so far this year, and bodybuilding is still a main factor throughout my workouts, but with a focus that is placed more on getting lean and building endurance rather than mass.
Outside of training, it has been interesting trying to juggle between being a full time college student at St. Mary's College of Maryland, training 20-35 hours per week for triathlon and trying to finish my book, but it has been a great experience. Overall, the way I see it, any day when you're not in a coma is a great day I think - I say that with a big smile too.
Two weeks ago I competed in the first triathlon of the 2009 season which was the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco. I felt strong and conditioned for this race, weighing in a little over 180 pounds. This was a fun race all the way through and consisted of nonstop action from start to finish through the frigid and choppy shark infested San Francisco Bay, throughout the steep hills of the city and along the sand of the beach that included the infamous sand ladder. It was a great day that consisted of beautiful weather and fun, making for the ideal race conditions.
Two weeks ago was the Dextro I.T.U. World Championship series triathlon in Washington D.C., which was an Olympic distance event that I decided to do at the last minute just to work on the transitions a little bit more and work on foot speed for the run.
I was surprised to find out after the race that I had placed second in my age group so that was definitely a very big boost that I need to continue pushing on with the rest of the season. The next event on the list will be the Nautica New York City triathlon at the end of July and then Ironman Louisville at the end of August.
As for the book, "Iron Heart", I have been working on it since I was released from the hospital back in 2004. I began this writing journey as another form of therapy back in 2004 when I was released from Kernan and after a little over four years of writing, it is being published by Skyhorse Publishing of New York. It will be out in the bookstores by October 1 of this year, but it can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.com.
The sport of Ironman triathlon is a challenging sport and I'm often asked why I would want to put my body through further pain than what it has already faced during the coma and hospitalization period back in 2004. But to me, the Ironman is a good kind of pain.
This kind of pain helps me remember that I'm alive-when my heart is speeding up and my blood is pumping in a race, I no longer have to ask myself "am I dying?" Those days are over because this pain lets me know that I'm living, which is a great feeling to have after what I've seen and experienced over the years.
Just like the Ironman slogan, "Anything is Possible," and that truly is the story of my life and I would just like to thank everyone who has made this journey possible for me. Thank you for all your support."
Brian's Nutrition Program ///
Brian's Supplement Program ///
Before long workouts such as a three-hour run or six hour bike ride, I'll usually drink a serving of 4EverFit's Lean Energy beverage.
Usually alternate between Powerbar's Endurance formula and 4EverFit's Lean Energy beverage during my longer training sets.
5g of 4EverFit's L-Glutamine after the workout is over along with a serving of 4EverFit's Fruit Blast Isolate Strawberry Kiwi
Brian's Weekly Sample Training Schedule ///
Medium Swim: 2500 yards
Fast Swim: 3000 yards
Swimming: 3000 yards
Thoughts On Recovery ///
Everyone has their own way of recovering from a workout session or competition and finding that certain method that works for you is important. Ask yourself, "What do I enjoy doing?" Whatever your answer is, then that is your successful method.
Whether it's listening to music, reading a good book or going for an easy walk, enjoy and appreciate it for all it's worth. This is your reward to yourself for all the hard work that you have been putting into your fitness regimen, so take the time to relax.
If you turn your training into a type of chore, chances are your interest will gradually decline over time and possibly lead to a case of burnout. But, if you enjoy your recovery, you will enjoy your sport, which will help you be able to compete at your best.
Thoughts On Motivation ///
I have learned many things while competing in athletics for most of my life, especially while competing in the sport of Ironman triathlon in the past two years. One thing that I have always focused my attention on is how important the relationship is between sport and motivation.
When it comes down to it, I feel that having a positive mindset goes a long way in terms of how you train, race, lift, etc. This is easier said than done though. So to improve on this way of thinking, it is important to set a main goal, write it down or visually set it in stone, and then create smaller/realistic goals along the way to set your path and to track your progress.
If you set a very large goal right from the start, that is all your mind is going to be occupied on, which will create tension and possible frustration and maybe even defeat. We do not want this to happen so we focus our attention on achieving these smaller goals because that is ultimately going to lead to the final objective.
Here's an example: Let's say that you can run a ten minute mile right now and would like to improve your running ability so that in three months you will be able to run a nine minute mile.
To make this happen, you have to set realistic and short-term goals. Each week you should chart out a plan on what exercises and drills you will do and one day each week you will track your speed in order to measure your improvement. For the first week, after you warm-up for a few laps, you set your sights on running five seconds faster.
You accomplish this first task and then the next week you lower it to around 9:50. Things are improving, you're getting faster and most of all, you're noticing results, which is uplifting for the mind.
Each week you continue to set your sights on improving just a little bit more and if and when your progress begins to plateau or slow down, you should discover ways to go about asking yourself about how you can go about fixing these problems. Are you getting enough rest between training sessions, are you eating a healthy diet, are you putting forth the required effort to show improvements?
Do not dwell to harshly on circumstances such as this, if by chance they do occur, but instead the best thing to do is to keep working at it and most importantly, keep thinking positively. Reflect on your progress and improvements. You'll be surprised at what your body is capable of, and in time you will reach your goal.
I have learned that this concept can be seen in all areas of fitness. Just remember to set your main goal, then create smaller and realistic goals along a path, and then go about achieving each of these smaller goals, which will lead to the final end result with improved fitness and with a smile on your face.