I have found that someone with limited training experience with the three triathlon disciplines seems to make a lot of progress early on in their preparation. That someone I am referring to is of course myself. Reflecting back on my training last summer, I did not dedicate nearly enough time to training as I should have. I knew I was competing in a sprint race and I took it for granted.
The other day I joked that I put in more training time this past July than I did pretty much all of last year. And to be perfectly honest, I probably trained more last month than I did in 99% of the months I ever trained for a powerlifting or track & field meet. That goes way back to the summer of 2004 after I graduated from college.
Right now I’m a little less than 3 weeks out from my race. I am again competing in a sprint race. I am 100% more prepared for this race today than I was for my race last year. A couple of reasons why I think I’m more prepared are:
This past week was one of the best training weeks of my life. At 37 years-old, I completed two long bike rides (both over 20 miles), four running sessions (12 miles—that is a lot for a still active powerlifter LOL), and two swim sessions (each over 2000 yards). I hit a personal best time in my 4-mile run and 5k run. I hit over 16mph on both of my bike sessions, and for the first time in my life swam over 2000 yards in two swim sessions in the same week.
Last year my goal was to finish the race in under 2 hours. I finished in 2 hours and 3 minutes. I didn’t deserve to finish in under 2 hours. I didn’t put in enough work. My swim was 19 minutes. My bike was just over 50 minutes. My 5k was over 43 minutes. Yes, my time in transition was over 10 minutes.
My goal for this year is to finish under 2 hours. My second goal is to finish under 1 hour 45 minutes. My training indicates that I should be around 1 hour and 45 minutes. I’ve been practicing my transitions, as well as incorporating more brick workouts in my training. I’m really looking forward to this upcoming race, but I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve been able to maintain a consistent training protocol. In the end, my training philosophy for this race is process > outcome.
I was looking over the end of the month content views on the Forza Athletics website, and I noticed that most of the top 20 viewed and clicked on posts are from my old training posts. Last month 14 older training posts and videos appeared in my top 20, which tells me that some of you out there are interested in following along with my training. Since it has been such a long time, I'll fill everyone in on what I've been working on the past couple of years.
Last December I started training for a powerlifting meet. I haven't competed in a full powerlifting meet since January 2015, I was bored with my training, so I decided to sign up for a meet. I was scheduled to compete in March, 2019.
In early February I noticed a lot of tightness in my right pec/bicep area. In 2012 I had surgery to re-attach my right tricep, so of course I was concerned. Up until that point in my training, I had hit a lot personal best lifts. I hit a garage gym personal best of 545lbs. in the squat, as well as 275lbs. for 11 reps in the bench press.
I thought about continuing to train through the pain, but thought better of it. I was a month out, I had just turned 36, and didn't know what to do. Well, I did something that I had always wanted to do, I registered for a sprint triathlon.
I have always wanted to try a short race that was local. I registered for the Rochester Sprint Triathlon held in late August. I had plenty of time to train and get into shape, but my focus faltered big time.
I completed a ton of swimming sessions thinking that part of the race was going to be the most difficult for me. In reality, I should have spent a lot more time on my bike. The Sprint triathlon consisted of a .5 mile swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 3.1 run. Looking back at my training today, I completed a total of 10 runs from the time I registered until the time I competed. On the morning of the race I weighed in over 280lbs. I was not ready to race. I managed to finish last in my age group of 35-39 in the Sprint distance with a time of just a little over 2 hours. My goal for the race was to finish in under 2 hours. I missed it by about 3 minutes.
After I finished the race, I didn't do much of anything for a couple of months. I felt so bad about my race finish that I just sat around. I completed a couple of training sessions in the garage, but nothing really spectacular. After wallowing around until the holidays, I again registered for the Rochester Sprint triathlon. This time I knew I had to dial in my training and focus on what I needed to do in order to not blow up during such a short race.
My wife bought me a bike trainer for my birthday. A couple of times a week I would complete 1 hour training rides in the basement. I started running when the weather got a little nicer in March. I also bought a new bike in May to give myself a better opportunity of racing faster. My 30 year-old bike that I used last year wasn't going to cut it.
I hope that gives everyone an idea of where I'm at with my current training and what I'm currently focused on. Training for a triathlon race, even though I'm training for the shortest version of one, has made me feel like an athlete again.
It is difficult to put into words, but not training to compete in a powerlifting meet or track meet has really got me focused and zeroed in on what I want to accomplish. Physically I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life. At least the best shape of my 30's.
I track my sleep and nutrition, and I've noticed a huge difference in how my body reacts to certain foods and my training sessions if I haven't fueled my body properly enough. This morning, August 2, 2019, I weighed in at 250lbs. This is the lightest I've been in a really long time. I feel good. My body feels good. I'm going to continue with my triathlon training into the fall as long as I can. I enjoy my 25 mile rides on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I actually like my 4-mile running loop around the neighborhood.
Maybe next summer I'll take a big jump in distance and register for a Half Ironman distance race 70.3. But first I'm going to crack 2 hours in this sprint race!
When I first started this six week block of strength training, I didn’t realize how close I would come to achieving some personal best lifts. In January of 2008 I set a personal best front squat max of 365lbs. Not great, but a respectable lift. I was 26 years old. I had just set a personal best 35lb. Weight Throw a few weeks earlier. I was in pretty good shape. However, I did not train for many reps. My best three rep set is 335lbs. Up until I looked through one of my old training journals, I realized that I was in position to set some personal best weight for reps sets.
Last week I set a five rep personal best with 275lbs. in the front squat. You can see that video below. I achieved this best in my garage gym.
Today, while training with one of my athletes at Nazareth College, I broke my personal best by 25lbs., hitting 300lbs. for five reps. I’m 35 years old. I haven’t trained very consistently in a couple of years. I just set another personal best. You can view that video below.
My lifetime best front squat is 365lbs. I have three weeks left of this cycle. I think I may have an opportunity to break that personal record. I have been feeling pretty good the past few months. We’ll see what happens in three weeks.
Thanks for following along on my journey towards master’s throwing in 2018!
I love Sunday mornings! Our family has a big breakfast together as we get ready for the upcoming week. Today was similar to other Sunday mornings. I try to get my most difficult and strenuous training session in on Sunday mornings. It gives me the best opportunity for recovery during the week, and I get the lift done before 11am.
Training is starting to ramp up a bit. Week 1 called for 4 x 8. Week 2 called for 5 x 7. Week 3 called for 5 x 7 with a 10% increase in weight per exercise. I'm not training for strength, yet. I'm getting my body ready for the rigors of what is yet to come. I probably won't reach the strength levels I had when I was 26 years old, but that is ok. I'm not training for a powerlifting meet. I'm training to get my body ready to throw over 50m again. I turn 36 this February. I'm looking forward to throwing in a meet again.
Below you can watch my C1/C2 complex-Incline Bench Press immediately followed by Deadlifts.
Below you can watch the A1/A2 complex-Safety Squat Bar Squats and Military Press
I think it’s safe to say that everyone at one time or another in their life reflects back on what might have been. I had one of those moments a few weeks ago. I was moving some boxes around in my basement and came across a box I hadn’t opened since my wife and I moved into our house three years ago. The box had remained closed since 2010. When I opened the box, I found one of my journals.
Yes, I kept a training journal and throwing journal. In my orange journal, I tracked my throwing workouts. In my purple journal, I kept track of my weightroom training sessions. A few pages from the back of the orange journal I found a post-it note sticking out. On that particular page, back in April of 2008, I listed out 25 things I wanted to accomplish-goals if you will. Here is a summary of some of those goals:
Shortly after finding my journal, I received an email from Master’s USATF. I may just have the opportunity to represent the United States after all. As I was scrolling down the calendar of events for Master’s throwers, I noticed that the 2020 Master’s Track and Field World Championships are going to be held in Toronto, Ontario Canada. It got me thinking. This might be the meet that I get the chance to represent the United States after all.
As I looked closer into the details of the meet, I was able to find the qualifying standards for the meet. There are no qualifying standards for the meet. That means that all I have to do is enter the meet. Now I started thinking some more. Pretty low hanging fruit. Not hanging really. Pretty much on the ground. I’m a very competitive person. There is no way I can just enter the meet.
I had a serious conversation with my wife about it. She was open to the idea. As the weeks have passed, she has become more supportive of the idea. I knew I was going to marry my wife a few months after we started dating. She didn’t blink when I asked her if she wanted to travel to track meet with me a few months into our relationship. That is when I knew. Anyway, back to 2020. We discussed some goals and commitments. I cannot just enter the meet outright. I need to “qualify” for this meet. Really, I do not want to embarrass myself on such a big stage. I’ll turn 36 in February of 2018. I’ll be 38 when this meet comes around. So, I set a distance goal for myself. I will share that at a later date. My commitments for this season are:
This will serve as my online journal. I just wrapped up my first week of training. I took a couple of throws today after our high school kids finished their throwing session. I hope you join me on this ride. I have not figured out what meets I’m going to throw in. That isn’t really that important right now. Probably a meet in May and another one in June or July. I hope you join me on this ride.
I turned 35 years old on February 23rd. This means that I am now able to compete in the 35-39 year old sub-master division in some powerlifting federations. I can however, still compete in the open division.
My original plan was to compete at a USPA meet in the end of May in Niagara Falls. The meet was moved up a weekend, to Mother's Day weekend. That is graduation weekend at St. John Fisher College.
The new plan is to compete at Victory Baptist Church on Saturday, June 24, 2017, in a WNPF meet. I have competed in many WNPF meets in the past few years. They are fun to compete in, are run really well, and lifter friendly.
The current goal is to compete in the 242lb. weight class. Nothing specific yet with squat/bench/deadlift goals. Getting to the meet healthy and in the 242lb. weight class are specific enough for right now.
Anyone else interested in competing in this meet? I would love to put a powerlifting team together and support those interested in competing. If interested, drop me an email at email@example.com.
Ever since I started training with Rob Saeva, owner of No Coast Strength and Conditioning, a few months ago, the initial goal was to lose weight and get into better shape. Extremely vague goals, with no real thought put into them. With my doctoral program at St. John Fisher College easing up a little bit (expected dissertation defense of Fall, 2016), I thought that I should train more seriously. Along the lines of training for another powerlifting meet.
I still have to take a class in the Fall, 2016 semester. Skipping class this late in the game for a powerlifting meet is out of the question. However, a great meet that is being contested on an open weekend is the USAPL New York State Powerlifting Championships on October 1, 2016. The last meet I competed in was a USAPL meet held just outside of Albany. As of today, we are 13 weeks out.
Below you will find what I have been doing to get ready for my competition.
Squat 55% + 25% band tension
2" Deficit DL: 70% 5x3
Farmer's Walk: 6 x 50' with 55lb. db
Daily Max Bench: Up to 295lbs.
Tricep Banded Pushdowns:
Daily Max Squat: Up to 505lbs.
Bench: 55% bar weight + 60% band tension 60%
Box Squat: 8x3 @ 55%
Daily Max Bench: Up to 315lbs. (biggest bench in 3 years)
Daily Max Squat: Up to 505lbs.
Daily Max Bench: Up to 325lbs. (biggest bench in 3 years along with unracking the weight alone. Even Rob told me this was crazy!)
Daily Max Squat: Up to 515lbs. (biggest squat in 3 years)
8x2 @ 85% 435lbs.
I post videos daily on my Instagram feed @forzathletics. As always, thanks for reading~Charles
You never know how out of shape you are until you find out you are out of shape! I came to this realization a couple of weeks ago when our team attended a track meet at Houghton College. A fantastic facility with a great atmosphere to compete in. My eye opening experience occurred on the way into the facility. As embarrassing as it is, I got out of breath and visibly tired going up two flights of stairs into the facility. At 33 years old, I couldn't make it a couple of flights of stairs to enter a building. Truth be told, I've never been this out of shape before in my life. I'm not the heaviest I've been, but certainly the most out of shape.
In comes Project 230. In my last competition as a college athlete, May, 2004, I weighed 230lbs. My goal for the remainder of this 2015-16 collegiate season with my athletes is to get back down into the 230's. To help me reach my goal, I reached out to Rob Saeva, owner of No Coast Strength and Conditioning. We met a couple of times at Crossfit Boomtown. He has a great track record of success with working clients, and I'm looking forward to the journey up ahead.
Wrapping up Day #1 on Sunday.
Day #2 in the books.
Thank you for reading!
Dr. Infurna is an active powerlifter and thrower. He has recently shifted his focus to training for Triathlon races. His next race is the Rochester Sprint Triathlon at the end of August, 2019.