I Resolve...

author : Kyle Pawlaczyk
comments : 1

It's almost March, but it's good that I am making my New Year's resolutions now. If I had made my resolutions when the calendar turned to 2012, they probably would have been broken already.

I resolve to keep track of what I do.

I am terrible at tracking what I do in training and racing. My excuse used to be that I had a great memory. I could remember power numbers, splits, and paces from key workouts with stunning clarity. I could calculate my weekly training hours and mileage in my head in a snap. Because of that, I was never particularly diligent about tracking my training for this sport, however, my aging brain is getting worse at remembering these details, particularly as my body of work as a triathlete grows. Both the physical and virtual world are littered my aborted attempts at meaningfully tracking my training. I usually start with neat, in-depth descriptions of the day's workout:

I ran 7.56 miles at 10:04 AM today. I averaged 6:47 per mile, which is 4:13 per kilometer. The route had 131 feet of total climbing (GPS file attached). I wore my black Adidas running shorts without underwear, which I need to stop doing because the liner is starting to rot out. I wore my yellow Zoot Tempos, which are beginning to smell like a combination of baby food and vomit. I turned my ankle 4.4 miles into the run, but felt fine after walking a few steps.

After a couple weeks, my training log entries start to look like this:

Run, 45 min. 7ish.

If you believe my last attempt at a training log, I have not been in the pool since March, 2010. My swim splits in races do not indicate otherwise. This is a shame, and it's starting to frustrate me. I'm entering my third year as a pro, and there have been times when things have gone incredibly well, and there are times when things have gone terribly. Unfortunately, the day-to-day events that may have contributed to these ups and downs are gone and forgotten because I did not document them.  One of my favorite sayings is "history repeats itself because nobody listens." Or, in my case: "history repeats itself because Kyle doesn't bother to upload his power files."

I've come to regard my training log, which I've maintained in adequate detail for a whole month now, as a valuable tool in my growth as an athlete. Tracking my training gives me confidence by giving me a visible document of my consistency and dedication. It allows me to see changes (both good and bad) that might go unnoticed in my half-@ssed mental training log. Hopefully, several years from now, my training log will provide a meaningful documentation of my rise as a pro triathlete. At the very least, I can look back on some of the swim sets I did and laugh. Or cry.

I resolve to get my act together as a swimmer.

If you read my stuff, you know I rag on myself for being a crappy swimmer (by pro triathlon standards; by "real swimmer standards," I'm barely drown-proof). If you watch the Hawaii Ironman broadcast on NBC each year, you know that Al Trautwig is contractually obligated to say "You can't win the Ironman on the swim, but you can certainly lose it there." It's become a cliché, but it's also true. Having given up several minutes to the lead group of swimmers in most of my races as a pro, I happen to know this first-hand. In the pro field, getting out of the water several minutes in the rears of the lead group leaves you physically and psychologically disconnected from the real race. Not a good place to be when you have dreams of winning a major race some day.

Consequently, I've been spending a lot of time in the pool this winter (for a triathlete): about 30-35k per week for the past couple months. And it's worked. I've gone from "pretty awful" to "not bad, for a 12-year-old girl." Hey, those 12-year-olds are fast.

I resolve to enjoy the ride.

I love what I do, and being able to pursue a career as an athlete is indeed a privilege. I never forget that, even when it's January and it's 25 degrees and I have to get out of bed at 4:45 AM to get into a cold pool to do a 5k swim workout. Being a pro triathlete gives me the opportunity to do what I enjoy doing most: compete. My thanks to everyone who has made it possible. Best wishes to everyone in 2012!

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date: February 20, 2012

Author


Kyle Pawlaczyk

After a collegiate distance running career, Kyle Pawlaczyk began racing triathlons in 2009. Kyle recorded two top-10 finishes in the Ironman 70.3 series in 2010, his first season as a pro. He resides in Charlottesville, VA.

This column will follow Kyle as he faces the challenges associated with becoming a viable professional in the sport of triathlon.

Author

avatarKyle Pawlaczyk

After a collegiate distance running career, Kyle Pawlaczyk began racing triathlons in 2009. Kyle recorded two top-10 finishes in the Ironman 70.3 series in 2010, his first season as a pro. He resides in Charlottesville, VA.

This column will follow Kyle as he faces the challenges associated with becoming a viable professional in the sport of triathlon.

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