Posted on 27 May 2015 | No Comments »
In preparation for future DECA Iron events – (1 Iron per day or continuous formats) I have been working on a resource of “all things” DECA. For many ultra triathletes this is a major step up in terms of moving from the already difficult Double and Triple Iron’s. Nothing against the difficulty of the Ultraman events, but there is no comparison taking into account the sleep deprivation and mental fortitude requirements of doing the same course day after day.
The DECA Iron guide will highlight not only the training requirements and necessary tips/ideas but most important the book will scare you. This race and the magnitude of the difficulty must not be taken lightly. The DECA is an event that will punish the body and mind. There is no question; you will encounter significant feet, but, shoulder, knee and back pain. Of course there is the common DECA shin issue so many athletes face and it will be covered in the book – specific treatments to help alleviate the pain. Every athlete must dig very deep to finish the event with plenty of suffering to become an official finisher. The average official finisher rate from 1992-2008 for the continuous DECA was 75% (there is plenty of time to finish the race – 335 hours) but the 1 per day version average finisher rate from 2006-2009 was only 48%.
Are there health benefits from the DECA – in one word NO! Yes, it’s exercising and racing day after day, but the boredom of doing the same short circuit course will exasperate injuries, and mentally it can become crushing. Your body will take a pounding in this event.
Can you train for the event and keep a “life”? Absolutely Yes! Like anything else, it depends on your time management skills and the book will offer ideas to manage time. Most experienced DECA athletes train in the 15-20 hour per week average range. So it’s probably not what you thought in terms of hours per week and the training guide will follow this same approach.
I have raced over 1000 hours in DECA Iron events and the Triple DECA, there is no exact science by any means of finishing – but the DECA training guide similar to Beyond The Iron will provide an overview of every idea I have learned from so many amazing athletes around the world. The goal is to have the e-book out by the end of 2015. If you are interested in being on the mailing list, please email me at email@example.com.
Not finishing is not an option!
Posted on 26 March 2015 | No Comments »
I remember the first time I heard about the DECA in the early 1990’s and thought, that sounds brutal, a 24-mile swim, 1120-mile bike and then 10 marathons! As I was scanning Tri-Athlete magazine back then, there was a tiny article about this unique event.
As we hear so often in racing conversations, time will eventually catch up with you. We all will get slower, but the good thing is that we all have the ability to go longer. Those Ironman times will plateau at some point.
Personally, I still remember the conversation with a great friend in the ultra triathlon space – Michael Gaertner (former IUTA president) when he told me that I should jump from the Double Iron event to the DECA and “there is no event like it”. Trying to fathom the length of the event was mind-boggling until I actually broke down the specific training regime into a manageable timeframe. Yes, it’s very manageable and with a specific training program it’s not an overwhelming time commitment that many athletes think when they first hear of the DECA.
As ultra running races have continued to grow exponentially on a global basis, the ultra triathlon scene has been a slower progress. One key differential is that it’s just harder for many athletes to do all three events vs. one with these extreme distances. Therefore participation numbers will always be lower than just one-sport events, like running. However, the progression of the DECA as the premier ultra triathlon achievement has started to become a bit more of a known conversation in the triathlon world. Of course there are many who think it’s beyond crazy, not healthy, and all the same issues that happen with new ultra distance events.
The DECA has become the signature event for athletes in this small global space of ultra triathlons – however it’s slowly starting to become known with the help of social media and new race opportunities in Europe, Mexico and the US. In the last several years, the DECA has grown through word of mouth with events occurring in Italy and several locations in Mexico.
In my mind (yes I am a bit biased) there is no other event like the DECA. The highs and lows competing every day for over a week in the multi disciplines of a triathlon for such long time frames is the attraction. For many, they think it’s insane but just like everything else in life we all have our specific preferences.
Over the past several years, I have heard from so many athletes inquiring about the DECA and how to actually train for it. There are two different approaches to the training depending on which format (1 Iron per day for 10 days or continuous version).
So after consolidating all my learning experiences of 3 DECA’s and the Triple DECA, I will be writing a book specific to this unique event. The book will include comprehensive mental and physical training programs specific to each version of the DECA to prepare athletes for this unique event (similar format to Beyond The Iron). Also, included will be a history of the event along with personal stories from many athletes around the world. Also, all DECA finishers and respective times will be listed to remember all those individuals who toed the line.
The DECA will be coming to the US in 2016 with the DECAMANUSA in California, www.decamanusa.com.
Posted on 25 March 2015 | No Comments »
As we face so many various time constraints in our busy lives, how do you install specific habits to your training/racing and health It’s interesting evaluating everyone’s technique with building consistent habits.
There are plenty of good habits and bad habits with respect to endurance racing and training. Everyone used different techniques to build and overcome habits.
Recent studies by University College London have shown that an individual needs on average 36 days to form a habit. So a bit longer than the often quoted 21 days to form a habit. As I wrote in Never Say “I Wish I Had” 30 Days to Becoming Your Own Chief Goals Officer, 30 days is a good target to build a new habit.
Here are 10 Habits to Form or Eliminate that will enhance your overall training and racing experiences.
If you have questions related to training and habit forming/goals please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on 16 March 2015 | No Comments »
For many athletes, especially those who were subjected to one of the worst winters in a long while (East coast of US) made accumulating an adequate mileage base especially on the bike a bit difficult. However, the cross training benefits of snowshoeing and cross country skiing should have your aerobic engine ready for the first races of the year (if you put in the time outside in the snow).
The challenge with the first event of the season is ramping up the intensity and pacing for an extended period of time with the added element of competitors. It’s just not the same in training and simulating the exact early season racing environment is difficult.
We can all expect to be quite sore after the first event of the season. It takes a few events to get the body and mind race ready. No matter how many speed sessions, track sessions, hill repeats, it’s just not like the race.
If you are gearing up for your spring marathon, triathlon or bike race make sure you focus on just using it as a stepping-stone to the season. Keep your expectations under control in the event your training was not 100% on target. It’s early in the season and there are plenty of other events. Write out a few goals for your first event – best case and worst-case scenarios. However, if you have been racing for months to remain race ready, then you are ready to let it rip.
Focus on building for the season and your key races after finishing your first event of the season. Make sure you recover fully especially from the severe soreness that can occur in the quads, calves and in many cases the neck muscles and back from racing early season triathlons.
For your first race, consider going out well below your overall race pace for the first quarter of the event and then build faster pace for each of the next three quarters. Your results should be significantly better by following this strategy than if you start out like a shotgun with the excitement of the first race. Start slow, finish strong and have a great season!