August 2015 Tri-Talking with TO

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Balancing life one beer at a time – Omission and my training

Timothy O'Donnell balance

Triathlon is a tough sport and to have a long career you need some balance in your life. Having a casual drink with friends at the end of a hard training day, or as a celebration after a race helps me keep the sport in perspective, appreciate what I get to do for a living and helps contribute to that balanced life. Recovery is crucial in a long career too, and that is more than physical… it’s also mental. Being able to get into recovery boots, have a beer, watch the playoffs and zone out allows me to step away from triathlon, so when I get back to training the next day I am ready to wrap my head around it all again. Of course on the physical side, with big training comes big caloric needs and a beer at night actually helps replenish those glycogen stores!  At the end of the day a balanced life definitely places me in a positive state of mind. Training and racing while being happy in life correlates to success and for me that comes from enjoying training, life, loved ones and a great beer! It is very hard to control a Smartphone when we keep …

2012 Year in Review

Timothy O'Donnell Uncategorized

With the racing season wrapped up and the holidays on the way I wanted to take the opportunity to sum up the year for all those who have supported and cheered me on. In a nutshell, 2012 has been fantastic! While the racing season was great and highlighted by some nice victories and strong performances, the real highlight of my year comes from my recent engagement to Rinny. After being together for several years, I finally stopped dragging my feet and popped the question. We are both very excited and with the wedding planned for next fall we will have to race well in 2013 to pay for it! My 2012 season was one of new approaches. While the prior year had been strong, my entry into Ironman racing left me reaching at the end of the season and questioning what I could do to improve. One source of questions was my diet, and the discovery of a gluten sensitivity led to drastically improved nutrition. I also changed my approach to training, being a little smarter in terms of when and how much really intense ironman training I did. These changes left me rejuvenated as I approached the early season. …

No Easy Streets in Idaho

Timothy O'Donnell Uncategorized

I just finished a two-week racing block in Idaho with Ironman 70.3 Boise and Ironman Coeur d’Alene (CdA), the great state of Idaho made sure to make it a challenge! While I don’t feel either race was my best showing I was still able to walk away from this block with two podiums, a 3rd in Boise and 2nd in CdA. Podiums are great but what I really took away from the Gem State was great lessons in toughness, both physical and mental. I came into the Boise 70.3 with great form. After some successful results early in the season I was able to get in a great Ironman training block before the 70.3 to prepare for CdA two weeks later. I arrived to a beautiful day in Boise, mid-70s and sunshine. While the swim water was cold (57 degrees) the rest of the course was beautiful with a challenging bike and festive run course located downtown. It seemed to have the making of the perfect race, that is before the not so perfect storm approached. Boise has the unique quality of a noon start time, but that didn’t help the weather in warming up. We arrived at the race …

Ironman 70.3 US Championships, Big Wins Hurt More!

Timothy O'Donnell Uncategorized

What an unbelievable weekend in Galveston, TX at the Ironman 70.3 US Championships. After a 2nd and 3rd place finish the last two years in Texas I finally brought home the win and claimed the title of US Pro Champion! With the one of the strongest fields in 70.3 history, the presence of cycling legend Lance Armstrong and a nail biting late race battle for the win this is truly one of my most memorable moments in the sport. After spending two weeks in Tucson in between races I arrived in Galveston on Thursday feeling great and excited to race. A disappointing ride here last year left me 8 minutes behind Chris Lieto off the bike and unable to defend my title as US Champion. Memories of the race have lingered in my head over the year, leaving me hungry to come back and redeem myself in Galveston. I knew this was going to be an exciting race and a great challenge when I saw the caliber of the field. Two time Ironman 70.3 World Champion Michael Raelert, the only athlete to beat Michael in a 70.3 over the last two years in Sebastian Kienle, the owner of the world’s …

No Guts, No Glory (oh yah and No Gluten!)

Timothy O'Donnell Uncategorized

This weekend marked the start of my 2012 season and my first race as a gluten free athlete at the Ironman 70.3 San Juan. I am proud to report I successfully defended my title and brought home the win! After a roller coaster year in 2011 I was elated to get right back on track in San Juan. In early January I discovered that the health issues I experienced in 2011 (particularly in the 2nd half of the season) might have been related to a gluten sensitivity problem. I made the switch to gluten free and immediately began to feel “normal” again in everyday life, particularly in training. While it hasn’t been easy for a guy who absolutely loves treats, I was able to adopt the change successfully. After learning of the issue I headed out to Noosa, Australia to train for the winter. I was excited to find gluten free options EVERYWHERE! For the next two months I was able to train happy and healthy in Noosa and was ready to start racing. I headed out from Australia back to the States the Monday of race week and made a quick trip to Boulder to collect all my race …

Sorry, no Mulligans in Kona!

Timothy O'Donnell Uncategorized

I wish Ironman racing was more like golf. If it were I would have definitely asked for a Mulligan at the Ironman World Championships last month in Kona! Regardless of how well you prepare physically, mentally and emotionally for the biggest race of the year you have to get to the start line healthy. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that this year and my debut in Kona was a humbling experience from Queen K. Despite some set backs in early September including a case of “foot drop” prior to the Hy-Vee Triathlon, my preparation for Kona went really well. I logged the biggest training weeks of my career and highlighted the preparation with high watts on the bike and the fastest training runs I had ever seen in my (short) Ironman career. Everything leading into the race was focused on success on the island, locked on diet; great training and the BEST gear put me in position to compete with the world’s top triathletes. Rinny and I headed to Kona two weeks early to acclimatize and get (re)acquainted with the course. We spent our first week outside of town at the Mauna Launi Bay Resort where we were treated …

Preparing for Kona: the calm before the storm

Timothy O'Donnell Uncategorized

I’ve finally made it to Kona! After a flurry of packing and trying to get in those last few key training sessions I hopped on a plane and headed to paradise on Friday. We arrived at the Mauna Lani Resort to a warm reception and an unbelievable bungalow. With two weeks until the race we wanted to avoid the hustle of staying in town and just focus on getting ready, the Mauna Lani was the perfect option. As I sit here in our peaceful surroundings, the stress of packing and travel done and the chaos of race week not quite here I have some time to reflect on all the preparations that have gotten me here. This week is truly the calm before the storm. When I decided to put my sites on the Ironman World Championships my entire year shifted focus to this one particular race. Every race, every training session had one purpose, getting me ready for Kona. While the entire year is set around the race the blinders really went on about eight weeks ago as the serious preparation began. After having a very disappointing race at the Vineman 70.3, Rinny and I took a few days …

Ironman Debut in the Lone Star State: Part 1

Timothy O'Donnell Uncategorized

Wow. Why didn’t anyone tell me those last 6 miles hurt so much? I mean seriously, even Rinny didn’t mention it to me…maybe it is some kind of Ironman rookie hazing. Despite the unexpected pain at the end of my run I am very excited with my Ironman debut performance. With an 8:09:50 I finished 2nd this weekend at Ironman Texas and claimed the title of 2011 Ironman US Pro Champion. At the end of 2010 I made the decision to retire my Olympic aspirations and start chasing my dream to win in Kona. Many people close to me were surprised even shocked with this career shift. But my recent performances at ITU races like my podiums at US Pro Nationals showed me to be a legitimate contender for a spot on the US Olympic team. Still something inside me was saying it was time, time to put all my energy into one goal the Big Show in Kona. The Ironman World Championships is the pinnacle of our sport and demands the full attention of any athlete in order to succeed. I knew it was time to give it my full attention. The lead into Ironman Texas was much like …