A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Planning for Next Year!

I LOVE planning for 2014. Especially for other people.

To all of the non-runners out there, they think what we do (Ironman, 100 milers, etc.) is crazy. Maybe, but even the crazy ones need to have an overall plan to get themselves into "crazy" shape so that they can excel in their "crazy" races.

"That's crazy..."

"Utterly insane..."

"See, I told you so...why don't you enter a 5k instead?" ;-)


No matter how tame or crazy the schedule is, it is best to have an overall master plan to get yourself through the season without major injuries. The biggest part of planning is building in your rest, because that is often neglected in the heat of training and can bite you hard in the form of injuries...and at the worst time when your training is in high gear.

If you want to do this...


 ...you need to do enough of this. I can definitely show you how and when.

I do all of this, of course, to all my athletes looking to excel in their athletic performances next year. And to those I don't, I can easily give those a generalized plan so that they can fill it in on their own. The plan is quite cheap...around $25. Just come in with a schedule of your major races and we can hash it out together, usually within an hour.

A master plan is critical to success, and for ultra-endurance athletes, is critical to minimize major injuries during your training build-up. With a master plan, I basically got through the Grand Slam injury free because I knew when to rest and when to train hard. So should you.

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Keeping a promise to myself when I decided to undertake the Slam, I promised myself to not do any more formal races after I was done. I intend to keep that promise.

I know a large group of people going to do the Javelina Jundred at the end of this month. I was sorely tempted to go, but remembered that promise.

Plus, my legs still are reminding me subtle that they need rest. It's not soreness or pain that is reminding me, just the sense of heaviness and sluggishness coming out of them. They definitely need a couple of more months before I'm sure I can train seriously on them again.

These signals are very subtle; I've only gotten around to truly sensing the small signals after taking up ultrarunning. It's amazing how "in tune" most ultrarunners are with their own bodies. As compared to triathletes, they don't need heart rate monitors or GPS machines to determine their exertion or pace. They just "know".

And isn't that one of the reasons we get into shape in the first place, to get to know our bodies well?

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I love running races, but I also love watching other people finish as I cheer them on.

This fall, I'm not racing. I'm on the other side of the fence now, going to races and cheering everyone else on now. A PR here, a PR there and soon I'm celebrating with them as if I did the race. It's great seeing other people do their best .

Coaching. I can't think of another job that has rewards like that. :-)

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Will I do the Grand Slam again? Tough question. I would lean towards, "yes".

But not next year. If I actually do win the Western States lottery next year I would just focus on that race and try for the silver buckle (under 24 hours).

After next year? The Slam would be more of a "maybe". The planets have to align the right way though. :-)

I'll be up for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning again. Just not next year.

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