The Next Level Newsletter - September 2004

Greetings and welcome to the Next Level Newsletter, Volume I Issue IX.And itís on time, too!


Lots of things to cover in this issue.Iíd like to first request that you all click this weblink or read the full text at the bottom of this newsletter to find out what you can do to help find treatments and cures for cancer.Iíve teamed up with Richard Gonzmart and his foundation, Richardís Run for Life, to help raise funds for this worthy cause.Please click here for more information on the web or read the full text at the end.Weíd appreciate it if you could also send this email and link to anyone you think might be able to help. Thank you very much.


Next up: A big congratulations to One Step Beyond (OSB) Athletes Jill Meredith, Casey Bain, Thomas Wideman, and Greg Cardelli for competing in and completing Ironman Wisconsin this past weekend.It was another hot, windy day in Madison and OSB athletes showed their true grit by overcoming various challenges to finish with a smile.Iím very proud of you.Youíre all Ironmen! Ironwomen!IronPersons!;-)


Meanwhile, Coach Marty had a great race at the Duke Liver Center Half-IM in Raleigh, North Carolina, taking his first long course overall victory.Iím very pleased about this. J The course was challenging Ė a hilly bike and some steep inclines on the mostly dirt trail run Ė but the weather was beautiful, and things worked out very well.


Brianne Gaal, aka Martyís Boss, also had a great race.She took 13th overall female in her first Half-IM with a time of 5:33.Incidentally, the run portion was also her first half-marathon.Way to be tough, Bri!


The Duke Liver Center Half-IM is put on by the folks at Set-Up Inc, and is a very nicely done race with proceeds benefiting cancer research.Check it out if youíre looking for a late season finisher in 2005.


In other news: OSB Multisport is proud to be hosting our first Winter Weekend Training Camp on February 25-27, 2005 at the National Training Center in Clermont.Weíve teamed up with BodyZen MultiSport Coaching in order to offer a full range of training paces and lecture topics.The camp will finish with the Florida Great EscapeTriathlon, a great way to test your winter fitness!Enrollment is limited to twenty athletes and slots are going fast.Please click here for complete information on what is sure to be a lot of fun as well as a great training experience.


Additionally, in conjunction with the first annual OUC Orlando Triathlon on October 2nd, OSB Multisport will be putting on an hour-long triathlon training presentation at the Downtown YMCA on Oct 1 at 7PM.The presentation will be geared towards beginner to intermediate athletes. Topics Iíll be covering will include sprint triathlon training, race day pacing, nutrition, swim & bike safety tips, and USAT rules.Brianne will discuss triathlon training & competition from a womanís perspective.Weíll have a Q&A afterwards.


On to a timely topic Ė the off season.


Some of you are just finishing a pretty long season of training and racing.Others are rolling into a running season or looking to start next yearís base training in a few weeks.One of the dangers we all face as somewhat obsessed athletes is overdoing it.An easy way to overdo it is to train too much or too hard over the long winter months.


The best solutions to maintain or increase your fitness without overdoing your triathlon training during the off-season are:

1)     Take a significant period of downtime after your season ending race.Two to four weeks is the minimum.

2)     Focus on a single sport for 2-3 months.Ideally, your weakest event within triathlon.You may find running the most convenient, however.

3)     Include a significant amount of non-triathlon related activities in your schedule Ė mountain biking, x-country skiing, skiing, surfing, kayaking, rowing, and so on.

4)     Include or refocus on strength training for a few months.

5)     Donít be afraid to include a long period of very easy base work when you do start back Ė itís good for the body and easy on your mind.

6)     Remember, if youíre hoping to PR at a race in September of 2005, you donít want to peak in June!We call them the Spring Heroes Ė in great shape in the early season, but completely burned out by the middle. Donít be a spring hero.


Those of you who spend the winter months in a colder or harsher climate will certainly need to be more creative with your schedules.Folks in more moderate climates will need to self-police to ensure that they donít overdo it.Err on the side of caution.


Granted, there are athletes who can maintain a pretty strong focus on a year round basis.But these folks are usually very experienced and know when and where to give themselves a break.†† After a few years of endurance athletics you will become more comfortable with what you can and cannot do on a year-round basis.


The off-season is also a good time to plan your next annual training plan (ATP).Briefly, your plan should include an overview of your goals, milestones you hope to hit along the way, and varying periods of base/build/race prep as you go through the season.I typically like to include one small peak in the early season and a big peak at the end.


Having a plan is always the first step in a successful season of racing!


Thatís all for now.My fingers are tired.


Enjoy your sport,

Marty Gaal


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Help Us Find a Cure for Cancer

Youíre probably aware that Iím competing in the Great Floridian Iron-Distance Triathlon on October 23. Iíd like to combine this effort with a charitable cause, and as such, am soliciting donations for Richardís Run for Life.

Richard Gonzmart is a local businessman and a longtime friend and sponsor of my wife and mine, in addition to being a big supporter of athletic events in Florida. Richardís Run for Life is a charitable organization that will donate 100% of proceeds to the Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.

I donít feel I need to go into how important funding is for research and development of treatments and cures for this disease.

To keep things interesting, Iíd like to get as many folks as possible to sign up at a few different donor levels relative to my performance at the GFT on October 23. This will ensure a true, 100% effort on my part!


Marty's Great Floridian Performance

Donor Levels

Overall Winner

Top Ten Performer






Half Iron-Donor




Olympic Donor




Sprint Donor




You may also donate any amount you would care to, regardless of how I fare on race day.

To start the ball rolling, I'm committing myself to be an Iron-donor. And I do plan to win!

All donors of $20 or more will receive a complimentary entry into Richardís Run for Life 5k, which is being held on November 6, 2004, in Ybor City (Tampa), FL. Those of you in the northern states could certainly use this as an excuse to take a vacation. The run is flat and fast, and the post-race party is second to none.

In order to commit to donating, please:

1) Send me an email with your name and commitment level, and on October 24th Iíll let you know how it went!
2) Send any amount at any time before or after the Great Floridian directly (and payable) to the charity at:

Richard's Run for Life Foundation
P.O. Box 5027
Tampa, Florida 33675-5027
Attention: Diana Ossi
In the memo portion of your check please write ďGAAL001Ē.

If you would like to be entered into Richardís Run for Life 5k, in addition to your donation of $20 or more, please click here to download a race application. Fill it out, write GAAL001 across the top of the form, and send it along with your check (or credit card info) to the address above.

On behalf of everyone involved, thank you for helping us in our mission to eradicate cancer. Your contribution does make a difference.

Marty Gaal