Zenman's 2013 Training Journal: Introduction


I am extremely grateful to have undertaken such an ambitious and active training and racing schedule as I did in 2013. As I have stated before: Less than one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population has the health, wealth, the political and cultural freedom, and the family support to enjoy the multisport lifestyle that you and I enjoy.

It is a privilege, not an ordeal.

My intention in composing, compiling and offering this Journal is to share with you the insights I experience in my zendurance approach to endurance training and racing. ”Zendurance” is a combination of two words: ”zen” and ”endurance”.

If you are reading this, you are probably familiar with endurance - at least in the context of athletics. It’s our ability to sustain an activity for a prolonged duration. How long a duration? Time and distance are relative. While a 56-hour triple iron triathlon may seem beyond the realm of possibility for you, to someone (not me) who has completed a deca iron tri, a triple iron is (relatively) short.

“Zen” on the other hand is a word less familiar to many of us. Simply, ”zen” means meditation. Now, before you attempt to pretzel your legs and close your eyes, let’s consider the purpose of meditation.

Be Here Now

The purpose of meditation is to strengthen mindfulness. Mindfulness is our ability to be present in this moment - just as it is. Nothing could be simpler! So why should we bother with meditation? When we really look closely at our minds, we are anything but present in this moment - just as it is. We are constantly reverting to the past, projecting to the future, judging, desiring, fearing, resisting…

The value of mindfulness can be summarized in one word: Brilliance! When we are really, genuinely engaged in this moment, we perceive and respond with brilliance. When our minds are clouded with the past, future, judgements, etc., our perceptions and responses are clouded and distorted.


Zendurance combines endurance training and racing with meditation simultaneously into the same practice. My book “Zendurance, A Spiritual Fitness Guide for Endurance Athletes” is a manual that can guide you in this endeavor.

To re-iterate, my intention in sharing this Journal with you is to offer the insights I have experienced using a mindful approach to endurance training and racing. Perhaps it will inspire and support others in their endeavors to live and enjoy a multisport life that enhances our quality of life - personally and collectively.

Speaking personally, zendurance practice has empowered me to gracefully accomplish endurance feats I never thought possible just years before.

(Note: “Zendurance” and “Zendurance Cycling” are also registered trademarks.)

Read On

Below are a few items that appeared on the “Current Entry” (front page) of the 2013 Journal. First, a Vital Acknowledgement to my companion Betsy. (Each endurance athlete is more than a single individual. We all need the empowerment of companionship.) Following that is a list of the events I participated in during 2013. Finally, a chronological link-listing of all the 2013 Entries. Clicking on any link will take you to that entry - in this browser window. At the end of each Entry, there is a link to bring you back to this page.

Must Read

In retrospect, the most important Entry for me in this Journal is 05 August: The “Art” of Recovery. I discuss how incredibly effective my practice of T’ai Chi is to my zendurance craft.

Stay tuned for Zenman’s 2014 Training Journal…

One-Two-Three Complete!
2014 Race Bib Circle

small zendurance cycling logoVital Acknowledgements

And before I jump in, I must acknowledge, bow deeply to, and hug tenderly my beloving companion Betsy Laughlin. Without her love and support, my life would be incomplete and built on a weak foundation.

I also want to acknowledge two great sponsors who have both supported me since 2006 with - I feel - superior products:
- 2XU
- Hammer Nutrition

2013 Season:

  • 14 April: Ithaca Skunk Cabbage 10K (3rd in AG)
  • 27 April: Spring Dual Against CF Sprint Duathlon (1st in AG)
  • 05 May: Ithaca "Tri for the Y" (Sprint Tri) (1st in AG)
  • 19 May: Columbia Triathlon (Olympic Distance) (6th in AG)
  • 02 June: Keuka Lake Triathlon (Olympic Distance) (2nd in AG)
  • 08 June: Blackfly Challenge MTB Race (40 mile) (22nd in Category)
  • 30 June: New England Trifest (Olympic Distance) (1st in AG)
  • 14 July: Musselman Half Iron (4th in AG)
  • 27 July: Wilderness 101 MTB Race (101 mile) Finished! (Whew!)
  • 03 August: Cayuga Lake Triathlon (1st in AG)
  • 18 August: Peasantman "Steel" Tri (144.6) (1st in AG - OK, there were only 2 of us 55-59!)
  • 08 September: Survivor of the Shawangunks (2nd in AG)
  • 15 September: Savageman Half Iron (7th in AG)
  • 28 September: Withdrew from Xterra ASP Epic
  • 13 October: USAT Long Course National Championship (5th in AG)
  • 17 November: Philadelphia Marathon (A graceful finish!)
  • 23 November: JFK 50-Mile Ultra (Another graceful finish!)
  • 28-30 November: NCR Trail Marathon Triple (One marathon per day: 6:07, 5:35, 4:48)
  • 14-15 December: Bartram Forest 100s (100-mile footrace) (Withdrew at mile 90 with injury)


Age: 56
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 172 -176 pounds
Status: All systems "go".

Archive of Zenman’s 2013 Training Journal Entries:

02 July: Entry 1: So Far

08 July: Mountain Biking for a Tri Geek

16 July: A Strong Sense of Belonging

30 July: Integrating Racing As Training

05 August: The “Art” of Recovery

15 August: Racing and Training Sequencing

22 August: Choices: “Racing Out of the Dark Ages

29 August: Training and Racing, Post “Casual” Iron

10 September: Survival of the Shawangunks

20 September: ”Another Brick in the Wall?”

27 September: The Precious Craft of Recovery

04 October: Prepping for USAT Long Course Nationals

07October: ”Unexpected Medicine”

16 October: In Perspective: 2013 Tri Season Wrap-up

29 October: The 2013 "One-Two-Three": 3 Events, 3 Causes

03 November: Update: 2013 "One-Two-Three": 3 Events, 3 Causes

11 November: Update: 2013 "One-Two-Three": 3 Events, 3 Causes

18 November: Update: 2013 "One-Two-Three": 3 Events, 3 Causes: Recovery and Philadelphia Marathon

25 November: Update: 2013 "One-Two-Three": 3 Events, 3 Causes: Recovery and JFK 50-MIle

01 December: Update: 2013 "One-Two-Three": 3 Events, 3 Causes: Recovery and Event Three: NCR Trail Marathon Triple

10 December: Recovery, Reflections & Insights on 2013 One-Two-Three: 3 Events, 3 Causes

20 December: Update: 2013 "One-Two-Three... Four" (Well, Almost): Bartram Forest 100


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from: Zenman's 2013 Training Journal
to: Zendurance Cycling Home Page