Mike's Birthday Workout 2012

Triathlete on the bike portion of an Ironman
December 13, 2016

Mike Ricci


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Most years on my birthday, I find myself doing something memorable, or perhaps a bit outrageous, depending on your perspective. Many of my memorable birthdays are tied to some outrageous workouts that I decided to tackle. One notable example was when my buddy Sundy turned 30. We woke up early and headed to the Boulder Reservoir at 5:30 am. There, we swam 30 sets of 100 meters, followed by a 30-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run, repeated three times. Despite the scorching heat, with temperatures reaching 104°F in Boulder that day, we pushed through and completed the challenging workout.

Another memorable birthday workout was when I turned 30. Despite being busy with my MBA studies and a full-time job, I decided to run 30 miles. I ran 11 laps around Wash Park, each lap being approximately 2.75 miles. It was a challenging endeavor, but I managed to complete it with determination and perseverance.

On my 33rd birthday, as I prepared for Ironman California, I embarked on another epic birthday workout. Starting with a 3,300-yard swim at Masters Swim, followed by a 3:33-hour bike ride to Ward and back, and concluding with a 1:33-hour run off the bike, it was a demanding day of training. Despite the fatigue, I pushed through and went on to have a successful workout and achieve a personal record at Ironman California.

Subsequent birthdays also involved challenging workouts, such as swimming 3,500 yards, biking for 3 hours and 50 minutes, and running for 1 hour and 35 minutes off the bike. However, as the years went by, these epic birthday workouts became less frequent.

This year, however, I decided to revive the tradition of epic birthday workouts. Taking advantage of the CU Team's spring break cycling event, I rode for about 18 hours over 8 days, building up my fitness gradually. On the week of my birthday, despite feeling tired, I was determined to have a good hard workout.

I started the day with a bike ride to Ward, climbing 25 miles from my house to an elevation of 9,200 feet. Despite challenging conditions, including crosswinds and headwinds, I persevered and extended the ride to Lyons before heading home. The entire loop turned out to be a test of endurance and mental fortitude.

After completing the bike ride, I embarked on a 4-mile run, which felt surprisingly good despite the fatigue. Following a quick shower and recovery drink, I decided to push myself further and headed to the pool for a swim. Initially planning to swim 1,500 yards, I challenged myself to swim 22 sets of 200 meters, totaling 4,400 yards. Despite the exhaustion, I completed the swim with determination and satisfaction.

Reflecting on the day's accomplishments, I realized the power of the mind to overcome physical challenges. Despite not being as fit as I once was, I proved to myself that with determination and perseverance, I could achieve great things. This birthday workout served as a reminder that mental strength is just as important as physical fitness in achieving our goals.

In conclusion, never underestimate your ability to push yourself beyond your limits. With resolve and perseverance, you can accomplish extraordinary feats. As Cicero once said, "Constant practice, devoted to one subject, often outdoes both intelligence and skill." Practice excellence, and it will become a habit. There's nothing more empowering than realizing the strength within yourself to achieve your goals.

Coach Mike Ricci is the Founder and Head Coach for D3 Multisport.  His coaching style is ‘process-focused’ vs. ‘results-focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes, there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow.

Coach Mike is a USAT Level III Elite Certified Coach, Ironman University Certified Coach, and Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach. He was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year.

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