Wednesday, 15 August 2012 11:14

The Process

The Process is something that people in the sport of college football refer to when discussing Nick Saban and his success at LSU and Alabama.  I was reading on CNNSI.com yesterday, this article, about The Process and I kept going back to the sport of triathlon.  I recently posted about Recovery and the lessons I Learned From Ironman training and for whatever reason this article spoke to me in triathlon terms and not college football terms. These first few sentences from the article are what really grabbed me:

Instead of talking about wins and championships, Saban speaks about the Process. In its most basic form, the Process is Saban's term for concentrating on the steps to success rather than worrying about the end result. Instead of thinking about the scoreboard, think about dominating the man on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. Instead of thinking about a conference title, think about finishing a ninth rep in the weight room. Instead of thinking about graduating, think about writing a great paper for Intro to Psych.

Read that again and then apply it to triathlon or to marathon or ultra-marathon running.  Better yet if you found this blog because you want to get started in these sports then apply it to that as there are a lot of lessons to be learned here, and almost immediately.

We can tend to lose focus and see the big picture before really honing in on all the little things in the sport of triathlon, especially Ironman.  The distance itself is magical.  140.6 miles.  That is a lot of ground to cover and the only engine you'll be using is your own strength and will power.  When people see the distance they tend to think about finishing, but what about if you focused on taking the sport apart.  Focus on the swim while you are in the water, then the bike when you are pedaling and finally the run.  Why think about the finish line when you are in that mass of swimmers?  Isn't that a huge waste of energy?

In one of the many conversations I have had with Jeff about triathlon (as you can see our training camp was more than just working out but also focusing on the process) he said something to me that has stuck like a pasta noodle to the wall when it is cooked just right (sorry I am a foodie too!)  Jeff said the following:

  • When I go for my swim training I am a swimmer.  I do flip turns and I concentrate on being the best swimmer I can be.
  • When I go out on my bike I am a cyclist.  I do the things that cyclists do like wear a cycling jersey with sleeves.  Small and inconsequential but in the end I am a cyclist and so I focus on that.
  • When I am running I am a runner.  I carry a hand-held.  I think about cadence and form.  Mid-foot to fore-foot striking.
That is the process right there.  During the swim he is not worrying about getting on his bike.  He is living in the moment and I think that is something that we can take away from Nick Saban's philosophy.  Why worry about the scoreboard, or in our sport the finishing time, but instead focus on the sport you are in.  Let's break that down even further.  Why worry about what your swim time is going to be but instead focus on your stroke and sighting?  Doesn't that make more sense.  If you are focused on your form and sighting then you will get to the swim exit when you do and probably in a faster time than you originally thought. Further down in the article you come across this paragraph:

Every few years the game becomes enamored with a system or scheme, and it rushes to declare the birth of the sport's Next Big Thing. In 1991, Houston quarterback David Klingler clutched a lit bundle of dynamite on the cover of SI, suggesting the run-and-shoot would explode the old assumptions. It never did. In 2000, Virginia Tech quarter-back Michael Vick graced SI's cover and was featured in a story about how the dual-threat quarterback would drive the towering drop-back passer into extinction. That never happened either. 

The difference between Nick Saban's system and the spread or the run-and-shoot is that Saban's on-field schemes involve no gimmickry. 

The first sentence is really the one that I kept reading.  The new system or scheme could be referring to the new way to train for triathlon.  By this I'm referring to CrossFit.  I have no doubt that CrossFit will get me to become more fit, but it sure as shit won't make me a better triathlete.  You know how I become a better triathlete?  By riding my bike more, by running more and by swimming more.  Hitting a big tire with a sledge-hammer will make me a better what?  Tire hitter with a sledge-hammer but it won't make me a better triathlete.  Instead of looking for the short-cut to the result do the work.  Get on the bike for those 4-6 hour rides and embrace them.  Get the bike on the trainer and embrace the suck because it will pay off when you are at Mile 90 and mentally you are fatigued.  You will have something to fall back on because you did it already.

The article then goes on to discuss how Nick Saban has a grading system for each position.  How every player is graded and must fall within a certain guideline to even be considered as a recruit.  Here is the paragraph I am referring to:

While Saban has always surrounded himself with coaches whose X's and O's acumen allows them to make the right calls on game day -- just look at his budding coaching tree -- the true success of his system hinges on the selection of players and the way they are trained once they arrive on campus. That is why Saban's system can endure when schemes can't, and it is also why several programs have made big bets that it can be duplicated.

How does this pertain to triathlon?  He has a standard into which everything must fit.  The same is true for equipment as well as for selecting a training plan and/or coach.  If the equipment doesn't fit you could be facing injury which will derail your dreams.  If your coach is not right for you then you could be stalling your success before you even get to the finish line.  Make sure the bike is fit to you and not the other way around.  Test out the goggles in actual water and return them if they don't work.  Make sure you have your running shoes fitted properly at a running store and not at the nearest Dick's where the 17-year-old kid could give two rat's tails about how your feet will feel around Mile 22 of the marathon.  Take the time to invest in your equipment because this is an investment in yourself. I have seen lots of friends hire coach's and ultimately break up with them because the fit just wasn't there.  Just like equipment make sure that this investment is worth it for you.  Instead of just hiring a coach because somebody recommended them to you, do some research.  What are the coach's qualifications and I'm not just talking about being certified.  Does the coach have real world experience or is everything from a book?  Nothing wrong with that if that is what you want but regardless of what you choose make sure the fit is correct. These next two paragraphs speak volumes as to what it takes to complete an Ironman or any triathlon for that matter:

"There was a belief there that who you are mattered in terms of how successful you were going to be or how you played." Having tutors and an academic adviser made staying eligible easier for the players, and it made for fewer academic headaches for James. By the time Saban took over at LSU, many major athletic programs had an academic-assistance unit -- a group of advisers, counselors and tutors that support athletes -- but he considered LSU's inadequate. 

Saban took note of the sign Belichick hung in the Browns' complex. It said do your job. Saban loved it because Belichick clearly defined the expectations for every employee in the organization.

Though it may come as a shock to many, Saban is more comfortable than most of his colleagues in admitting what he doesn't know.

Where Nick Saban discusses that he has tutors and academic advisors I went to family and friends.  People there to support me throughout the journey.  This is an individual sport in terms of race day but if you think you can go at this alone you are sadly mistaken.  When I crossed the finish line the first person I thought of was Karen.  How she sacrificed for me to reach my potential and accomplish my dreams.  Today when we discuss the 2013 race calendar it is with her blessing and knowledge that I am going to be able to train and accomplish more at this sport that I love because of her.

The sign in the Browns' complex can be equated to your training.  Do your job.  Period.  Don't post on Facebook and Twitter how you HAVE to do this or that.  Just f'n do it.  Get out of bed when the alarm goes off and get that workout in.  You are not doing it for the here and now but you are building a machine.  A machine that will carry you through 140.6 miles and whether it takes 10 hours or 17 hours you still need to do it.  Stop wasting time saying how you wish you were still in bed because that is an option.  Get back in bed, but remember there is somebody out there getting faster and stronger than you.  Do Your Job.

When you don't know something about a piece of equipment or why you are doing a certain training block.....ASK questions.  This is a sport that will always teach you.  Whether it be the lesson of bonking or the lesson of crashing your bike or even how to fuel properly this sport is always teaching us, but you have to be open to learning those lessons.  If for one second you think you know it all then you have just been passed by many because they are exploring.  They are investigating and they are trying, sometimes failing but ultimately will succeed because of this.

Thank you for reading!

Published in Train
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 16:26

The Family That Tris Together.....

stays together?  There are a lot of examples of families that train and race in the sport of triathlon and I am so proud to announce that Team Baha will be joining these fine ranks of families.  Karen will be racing her first sprint triathlon this coming weekend and Chico will be racing his second triathlon the following weekend.  If that wasn't enough I will be heading to Maine to race the weekend after that.  Our family will be tackling a triathlon every weekend for the rest of August.  It is very cool to be sitting around the living room discussing the ins and outs of the sport with my family, even if Chico is only 6 years old and just wants the medal.  Although he did say after his swim lessons a few weeks ago:  How am I supposed to do an open water swim at triathlon if I am having trouble in the pool?  Where does he get this stuff? So I did some research on a few families in the sport of triathlon and have listed them below for you:   [caption id="attachment_6310" align="alignright" width="300"]trevor_heather_wurtele_triathlon Source: Trevor and Heather Wurtele[/caption] Trevor and Heather Wurtele: Trevor and Heather Wurtele are professional long course triathletes.  They started racing triathlon in 2004 and in 2009 decided to turn their passion into a profession.  If you think that being the spouse of an Ironman athlete is tough imagine both being Ironman athletes and living in an RV. That's right this couple has sold their home and travel to their training and race locations via said RV.  Coming up for Team Wurtele is Ironman NYC for Trevor.  Their results are incredible: Heather: 2012 - Pro/Elite Rev3 Quassy - 2nd place Ironman 70.3 New Orleans - 2nd Ironman European Champs - Frankfurt - 8th (2 weeks post mile 21 run DQ) Ironman 70.3 Texas, US Pro Championships - 8th Ironman Coeur D'alene - DQ due to mechanical :( - Read blog Trevor: 2012 - Pro/Elite Ironman 70.3 New Orleans - WINNER Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens - 3rd Ironman 70.3 Boise - 5th Wildflower Triathlon - 7th place Ironman 70.3 Texas - US Pro championships - 12th Looks like they will be heading to the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas from the looks of their results.   [caption id="attachment_6313" align="alignright" width="300"]alistair_jonathan_brownlee_2012LondonOlympics Source: IB Times[/caption] Alistair and Jonathon Brownlee:  These brothers can be said to dominate the ITU distance.  Having seen them on TV I would say that is accurate.  These two guys are fast.  I mean very fast.  Having that brotherly competition probably doesn't hurt to keep them pushing beyond their boundaries.  They competed for Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics and have (well I won't ruin it for you.....in case you haven't seen it yet.) Alistair Results:
Jonathan's Results
  [caption id="attachment_6312" align="alignright" width="262"]mirindacarfrae_timodonnel_triathlon_ironman Source: Lava Magazine[/caption] Mirinda Carfrae and Tim O'Donnell:  Triathlon power couple?  Ironman World Champion marrying a consistent Top 10 finisher at the Ironman distance.  Yes, I would say power couple.  Can you imagine the conversations that take place over dinner sometimes?  Talking about nutrition and racing and creating schedules that allow them the time to be with each other enough while exploring their talents to race triathlon?  I wonder if it is hard to not give advice when discussing a bad training day. This is just a small sampling of the families that race triathlon.  I know that there is another power couple in O-H-I-O.....the Oravecs that I will have the pleasure of meeting in 3 weeks out in Maine.  Matt and Heather please be prepared to be interviewed so we can keep the Families That Tri Together exposure going.

If I missed a couple that is 'famous' or if you are part of a triathlon family let me know.

Published in Train
Friday, 03 August 2012 16:30

Recovery, Recovery, Recovery

[caption id="attachment_6299" align="alignright" width="225"]recovery_snacks_meals_athletes_carbohydrates_protein Source: w8fit[/caption] Recovery, just like location in real estate, in my mind is the most important aspect to endurance training.  I have stressed this since I started in this world and maybe it's because of my age and I'm not getting any younger.  Maybe it's because I just love to eat.  Regardless of reason my emphasis on recovery is what I attribute my ability to have gotten through 2+ years of long course training with no injuries, very few (maybe 5 total) skipped workouts over that time and the ability to have not gotten sick during this time either. I believe that recovery is not just making sure that you are eating properly after a workout, but also throughout the day.  I also believe that making sure that your workouts are spaced out far enough to allow your body to recover provides a tremendous benefit as well.  If you are stacking workouts on top of workouts on top of your day job then you are creating a recipe for disaster.  The disaster may not hit this month or in this training cycle but eventually it will get to you.  You may burn out quicker because of the stress that you are putting your mind and body through, but either way your recovery has to be emphasized. How do I recover?  I recover with a 3:1 Carb:Protein shake within 30-45 minutes of my workout that lasts longer than 1.5 hours or is of high intensity (think 800m repeats or hill repeats).  2 hours after that workout I will have another meal that is carb focused.  If I don't have the opportunity to cook that meal, which is usually pancakes or waffles and sometimes a nut butter and jelly sandwich then I will make sure that I have another shake at that time.  Doing this allows me to restore my glycogen levels from the carbs and repair the muscle tears that I created during that workout with the protein.  I avoid fats as much as I possibly can in this window because I have not read anything that says that healthy fats will aid in my recovery.  That could be wrong and if it is please tell me. In regards to the timing of my workouts I do this by getting up before the sun and starting my workouts between 430am and 530am each time.  There are circumstances in which I will have to push my start time back such as bike only days so I start when the sun is starting to come up (I don't trust drivers) or when Karen is running and I start my long bike days later in the morning.  This isn't ideal as it gets very hot here in Dallas as the day moves on, but at the same time it preps me for Ironman race days since I will be on the bike in the middle of the afternoon and I can gauge my calorie/hydration/nutrition intake. By doing my workouts at the same time of the day I provide my body with what I believe to be optimal rest of nearly 24 hours.  Allowing the carbs and protein to work their magic over this time and given me the ability to get stronger and faster.  This also allows me to control my diet since I am not spending time having to worry about getting recovery meals into my body later in the day when there might be a craving for something else.  I know not everybody has the ability to do this during the week but if you can make it work my suggestion is to do that.  It is not easy getting up when you first start but after a couple of weeks it becomes second nature and you no longer have to worry about it. Check out this video from Sage Roundtree about recovery:
 
I also posted my recipe to Recovery Waffles here as well as have a few recipes for recovery shakes that use the Herbalife24 Rebuild Strength and Rebuild Endurance.  If you are interested in recipes for any of the shakes I make let me know through the Contact Me form and I will get them over to you.

How Do You Recover?

Published in Train
[caption id="attachment_6262" align="alignright" width="200"]oakley_splitjacket_sunglasses_lancearmstrong_productreview Lance Armstrong Sporting The Oakley Jawbone[/caption] Oakley Split Jacket sunglasses.....have you ever seen them?  Of course you have.  Lance wears them.  You know the ones with the yellow on the bottom to match his Livestrong company colors.  You have probably seen them on more than just Lance and wondered, like I did, if they were worth the hype and in the end really the cost.  I fortunately, or unfortunately, happened to be in the market for sunglasses and started shopping around. Let me take you back a week and tell you how this whole thing started.  I had just finished my fastest ride on the 60 mile course I have around my house and put up a decent 20 minute run.  I was feeling good and loading my bike into the Team Baha car when I put my sunglasses ear piece into my mouth so I could have use of both hands.  It was then that I tasted metal.  I looked at them after I was done loading the car up and notices that the bars were breaking through the rubber ends and I knew immediately it was time to go sunglass shopping. I am a cheap skate when it comes to sunglasses because I know that with the sport of triathlon it is very easy to leave them at a race, leave them at a hotel, break them as we change from cycling to running.  There are a ton of different ways to lose or break so I tend to be somewhat cheap in terms of pricing, but I still want the best.  The last pair I was using were a prize from Jen over at the blog Miles, Muscles and Mommyhood won over two years ago. [caption id="attachment_6261" align="alignright" width="300"]oakley_splitjacket_sunglasses_review Source: Oakley Vault[/caption] As I was sitting down to do some research I had a few must-haves:
  1. Interchangeable lenses.
  2. No slipping when my face would get sweaty.
  3. Matching colors to the Cook Train Eat Race racing kit.
  4. Travel case.
  5. Price.
I contacted Marni Sumbal of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition as I knew she was an Oakley Ambassador and asked her what pair she would recommend.  I did not give her my list and just let her choose which ones she thought were best.  From there I could make a decision.  Marni did not disapoint and gave me a list of the ones that she likes and different pairs that her husband, Karel, really enjoys riding with.  Then she gave me the best bit of information I could have asked for and told me to visit OakleyVault.com.  This is where Oakley puts their products on sale and it was a home run. As soon as I got there and clicked on men and eyewear there they were staring at me like an epiphany.  The blue stood out as I knew it would match the race kit, then I noticed the price.  $89.99, down from $260.  It was as if my hand took control of my brain and immediately went to add to cart, filled in the information, paid for express shipping (still came out to barely over $100) and they were at my front door before I knew what had happened. I must have refreshed the tracking information every 3 hours for the 2 days it was going to take for the sunglasses to ship from California.  When the door bell rang and the man in brown handed over the package I ripped it open and knew immediately that I had made the right choice. These sunglasses were everything I wanted in a new pair of sunglasses.  The lenses are interchangeable, there was a hard case for traveling with an extra pair of lenses and the blue matched the race kit perfectly.  Next was to test them out. The first few times I used them were on a few runs.  This is where I figured I would put them through their paces because with running I would be bouncing up and down and this would allow them to slide across my face.  As I ran and was sweating in the Texas heat I was amazed that they never moved. Not one slight movement and better than that is that they are so lightweight you barely notice they are on your face. The one downside that I have to get used to is having a bottom frame on the lens.  I have been wearing sunglasses without a bottom frame for the past 4 years and the first time I looked down to see my pace on my watch and saw the lens frame I was freaked out.  I did not know what it was I was looking at and was confused for a moment.  The answer to this:  raise my arm up just a bit more and run in them a couple of more times.  Now I don't notice the bottom frame. So they passed the run test, but lets see how they work on the bike.  Yesterday I had a simple 1 hour recovery spin and would have done this on the trainer but went out into my neighborhood and took the Oakley Polarized Split Jackets with me.  I found them so comfortable that I never pushed them up on my face and when I was heading into a headwind I did not feel any wind coming up under the bottom of them because of the frame touching my cheeks.  Perfect. These lenses also have a venting on them which is great as well as the sunglasses never fogged up with the heat, humidity and sweat pouring onto them.  It is amazing when you focus on these things that you take notice and in this case taking notice meant nothing to see. I am very happy with this purchase and want to say Thank You to Marni for helping me out in choosing these sunglasses.
Published in Product Reviews
Friday, 06 July 2012 14:07

D-Day: Determination Day

[caption id="attachment_6156" align="alignright" width="360"]determination_inspiration_motivation_triathlon_imaz Source: Nancy Santana Blog[/caption] D-Day is how I'm feeling today.  What I mean by that is I am putting a stake in the ground and taking my training and living my life to the next level starting yesterday but since I already wrote a post yesterday this is becoming D-Day: Determination Day. Yesterday as I was driving home I heard that song that has the word YOLO in it.  Not being the hippest cat on the block (I know you are shocked) I had no clue what YOLO was, but then I listened to all the words and figured out that it stood for You Only Live Once.  At least that is how I'm interpreting it and since this is my blog that is what it is going to stand for. Then after Karen got home she posted on Facebook the song by Eminem to which I trained for Ironman Texas to which was Till I Collapse.  The lyrics are perfect for training in these dog days of summer and in general when training for an event:

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired, Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation tonot give up And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

I got fired up and decided to go back and read Maria's post on Becoming The Athlete I Need To Be.  I don't know how many times I have read this post but it gets me fired up every time and with all of these things circling me yesterday I decided that July 5th was D-Day.  Determination Day.  The Day I take the step forward to crushing my IMTX time at IMAZ.

From this point forward my training will take on new meaning.  I am no longer training to complete the distance I am training to race the distance.  There will be bouts of pain and fatigue.  There will be moments of misery and failure.  There will be times of questioning but in the end the product that goes to the starting line on November 18, 2012 is not going to be the same one that went to the starting line of Ironman Texas.  This athlete will have done all that he can to not just beat that 11:59:51 but done everything he can to obliterate it.

My diet is being cleaned up and tracked.  I have never liked tracking my food but it has helped over the past couple of days to see exactly what I am consuming and how it can affect my workouts and mood.  I am currently at 145 pounds and while it is a good weight for me to be at I want to be down to 140 by August 5th and training at 140 pounds since that is what I plan to race at.

All of these items coming together on one day could not have been a coincidence, but even if they were they came at the right time.  The time to make the declaration that this race will be different and I will make sure of that.

Published in Train
  [caption id="attachment_6132" align="alignright" width="300"]chrissiewellington_ironman_triathlon_bookreview Karen And Chrissie Wellington At Ironman Texas 2012[/caption] A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington was the first book I purchased on the new iPad.  Before I get into the book review I will say that the purchase of the iPad is so worth it just for reading books.  I love it and have already purchased my second read.....the 909 page book by Marcus Samuelsson titled Yes, Chef. OK, now that we are through with that tiny disclaimer let's get into my review of this book. Having watched Chrissie Wellington from a far during the broadcast of the Ironman World Championships I had some clue as to her story.  We all know that she is undefeated at the Ironman race distance as well as her injuries just prior to the 2011 World Championships and this book goes into that a bit, but there was a lot more that I learned about her and my respect for her has grown. In the book we learn that her passion truly is in helping others in any way she can.  She once worked for the British Government through a position that had her talking and negotiating with the political elite.  It was during her time doing that where she discovered that helping people was not going to be done while sipping cocktails at ultra-expensive hotels.  Knowing her place in the world comes through quite a bit in this book. Another fascinating tid bit I learned was that she has pushed and ridden a bike through Nepal on a 'course' that no bike was ever to be on.  Imagine this tiny woman pushing a bike that probably weighs as much as her through the toughest terrain known to man and coming out the other side doing what she does best.....smile.  A true inspiration to venture outside of your 'comfortable' world and do something uncomfortable. The last piece of information I am going to share with you from her book is that she has a lot of GI issues prior to races.  The face of the sport having major GI issues would not be a big deal, but having them before EVERY race?  I was surprised by this as well as to how in-depth she gets.  My surprise lies in the fact that she is a 4x World Champion and I would have expected her to have sorted this out.  Maybe we all get race day nerves and some just show up in different ways than others. I found this book to be an easy read.  One that tells her story of life growing up and life as a World Champion.  We learn about her personal life as well as her professional life.  Her dealing with her original coach, her 2nd coach and her current coach.  We are given a glimpse into her mindset while she it out training and racing and dealing with injuries. If you are at all interested in the sport of triathlon I would highly suggest you read this.  The book brings a person who would be considered famous and into your living room to enjoy a hot cup of tea and chat.

Have You Read A Life Without Limits?  What Were Your Thoughts?

Published in Product Reviews
Monday, 18 June 2012 14:55

Ironman Arizona Week 2

Ironman Arizona training is now into its third week and today (Monday June 18th) I can say I had the first good swim of the entire cycle to date.  For some reason my swim has been nothing but a fight between me, the water and my brain.  My body wants to cooperate but my head keeps fighting me about it.  I haven't been dreading the swim but there has been some trepidation about getting into the water. Today that changed.  I told myself that even though it called for threshold pace swims to just swim. Don't worry about the clock and just swim.  It worked as I wasn't fighting myself or my head and my times were reasonable.  Some I could be proud of and really something to build on. This past weekend I rode the CompuTrainer to the IMAZ course and over three hours I got in 58 miles.  I felt good and pushed my heart rate on the way out and recovered on the way back.  I think this will become a once a month ride to test my endurance on the course and see where I am at. Here are the stats for the first two weeks: [caption id="attachment_6083" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMAZ_training_Ironmanarizona_triathlon 2 Weeks In And Many More To Go[/caption]   A video capture of the first two weeks.  Don't worry it is short and that is how I plan on keeping them from here on out:
Thank You For Watching And Reading
Published in Train
Friday, 15 June 2012 13:37

Ironman Arizona Bike Setup

Ironman Arizona is still nearly 5 months away but I am getting mentally focused for this day.  Having the experience of having just raced Ironman Texas I want to put my lessons to good use and train over the next 20+ weeks with the focus on making AZ a fast race. With that in mind I have been emailing with Jeff about getting the bike setup so I am not carrying around extra weight, especially since the Arizona course is flat. Having the ability to pound away and not lug unnecessary items is going to be a tremendous benefit.  Between emails to Jeff and last night I went searching for a single cage for the rear of my saddle and found an X-Lab one.  I sent out a tweet to Kevin, Matt,Jon,and Jeff and they found the Tri Rig for me which is what I'll be going with. Joe from RockStarTrialso provided his thoughts and all I can say is thank you. Twitter and Facebook and this blog are awesome for connecting with people who are in the know. Up front I have the clips from Profile Design that will hold a water bottle.  I will swap out the Speedfil for a regular cage for another water bottle.  The rear saddle cage will hold water from the course.  I will have replacement bottles at special needs to swap out at the midway point and keep going. So I am going from a bike setup like these photos show: [caption id="attachment_6071" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="70.3 Ironman California. Didn't Have Torpedo Yet."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_6074" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Speedfil blocked by bag but it is there."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_6073" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2 Cages On Saddle, Speedfil and Torpedo Upfront."][/caption] To a bike setup like this photo shows: [caption id="attachment_6075" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sleek Setup........"][/caption]   Yes, I do expect to get at least an hour faster on the bike now that Crowie and I will be sharing the same setup.  That is what is supposed to happen isn't it?
Published in Train
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 11:44

Ironman Arizona - Week 1 Review

[caption id="attachment_6045" align="alignright" width="240" caption="The AZ State Flag Is Just Really Cool Looking"]ironmanarizona_imaz_triathlon[/caption] Ironman Arizona training has started already and the first week was not easy to say the least.  Hill work plus speed intervals plus temperatures reaching the 90s and humidity at a bazillion percent and you have the recipe for a tough week. All that being said I am very excited to be back in the saddle, so to speak.  Getting long rides in and working on my goals for IMAZ has been invigorating.  I am using Jeff's tips on getting rid of my Speedfil and using only water bottles on the bike.  With a 3 loop course on the bike this should be somewhat easy to do.  I am going to have my torpedo upfront along with a cage on the down tube.  Lastly I am going to put one cage on the saddle to hold a bottle of water so I don't have to stop at every aid station on the bike. Also my nutrition is changing as well.  I am still going with EFS Liquid Shot Kona-Mocha (800 calories in two bottles) in the torpedo but my down tube water bottle will have Herbalife24 Prolong (750 calories) coupled with Herbalife24 Prepare.  This mix is great because it provides me with calories and has a mango taste which coupled with the Kona-Mocha will make me feel as if I am at brunch rather than a 112 mile race.  The remainder of calories needed will come from two HoneyStinger waffles (160 calories per waffle for 320 total calories.)  This combination will give me a total of 1870 calories (~ 300 calories per hour) and no need to stop at special needs on the course.  The difficulty will be the timing.  I am used to drinking every 15 minutes and will continue to do so but will now need to include water in the rotation.  Nothing too difficult to do but it will take practice getting it right. The nutrition and hydration on the run will not change from Ironman Texas as I felt great the entire run.  My one goal is to train at a higher heart rate since I plan on racing at a higher heart rate.  The higher bpm will not be difficult to achieve with the weather being what it is in the summer here in Texas.  Of course with the higher temps will come slower paces, but focusing on heart rate is what I need to do.  Reading this post from my Spidey-Twin Maria Simone (we are born 1 day apart) of No Limits Endurance Coaching will help in re-enforcing this thought process.  Every summer I complain that my paces are slower and it isn't until August that I realize the weather is what is causing this issue and I'm not magically slower. Now for the swim......oh the swim.  I am seeing some great swim times from folks racing right now and I long for those days.  I know that I swam slower because I went without a wetsuit at IMTX but that does not make me feel better.  This is one discipline that I need to and will get better at.  I am going to an OWS clinic on Wednesday evenings to get the practice in.  As they say, practice makes perfect. Here are my stats from Week 1 and it looks like the percentages compared to IMTX training are right in line......Thanks Coach! [caption id="attachment_6047" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="Ironman Arizona Training Has Just Started"]ironmanarizona_imaz_triathlon_training[/caption] DON'T WORRY VIDEOS WILL BE MAKING THEIR WAY BACK TO THE BLOG AS WELL.....HAHA!
Published in Train
Monday, 04 June 2012 11:44

Ironman Arizona - Here We Go

[caption id="attachment_5997" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Ironman Arizona: Let's Get It On!"]ironmanarizona_imaz_triathlon_training[/caption] Ironman Arizona is in 168 days or 24 weeks.  What does that mean for me?  It means that training for this race starts today.  I am very excited to get the training going for this race because there are so many people out there that are training right now and I felt out of the loop for two weeks while I recovered. I have set up my spreadsheet to track my mileage for IMAZ and to compare it to IMTX.  I would think that the mileage would be similar but I do think that there will be more swimming mileage.  I have found an open water swim practice hosted by the Frisco Tri Club on Wednesday evenings and I will be attending this practice as often as I can.  Based on the 1:34 I put up at IMTX I could surely use the practice. There will be a few changes going on during this training cycle:
  • My aerobic bike rides will be done at 140 bpm.  My goal will be to race IMAZ at that heart rate so in order to understand how that feels I need to train there. I will still be doing a lot of my work on the trainer during the week in the garage and with extra layers.  I found that this helped me to understand how much liquid to take in.  While it should be somewhat cooler in Arizona in November if I train at a hotter 'climate' then the cooler weather will benefit me on race day.
  • I have picked up a new bike computer.  I will be training with the Garmin Edge 500 so that I can track all my trainer work properly as well as when I head out on the bike.  This will allow me to upload my bike data for Coach so that she can truly adjust any bike sessions she has scheduled.
  • As mentioned above, I will be heading to the lake more often so that I can get the open water swim practice.  The beauty of this is that the summer will be with no wetsuit but IMAZ will most certainly be a wetsuit event.
  • My aerobic runs will be done at 155 bpm.  I raced IMTX in 4:09 which equates to a 9:31/mi pace.  I had some data before my watch died and it showed a 140 bpm during that first 41 minutes.  I ran that first loop in 8:27/mi and the 2nd and 3rd loops at 10:06/mi and 10:04/mi so I don't think my heart rate ever elevated above the 140 bpm which is not bad but I also know that I can run the marathon at a sub-4:00 pace.
  • My diet is going to be dialed in from day one.  I have been on a routine lately that has helped me keep my post-IMTX weight right near race weight.  In addition to that my body fat% is at 6% and that is an improvement from early April.  That being said Summer Bailey and I are going to be comparing the cost of training for an Ironman being a vegetarian versus being a carnivore.  This should be interesting and my spending will be chronicled through 'Feeding An Ironman'
Here are my numbers from  Ironman Texas and we can certainly compare them to Ironman Arizona as the training goes on.  
Swim Bike Run
Miles 110.8 2858.6 633.6
 

I would be ignorant to think that I will get through this on my own so I want to thank my sponsors for helping me out, but first thank you to Karen.  Ready to rock and roll this training?

  • Herbalife 24 - nutrition to help me start, keep going and recover.
  • Boundless Nutrition - when you want great tasting cookies you come to these guys.
  • Grapevine Grains - for the best oats and flours to make healthy dishes go to them. (CTER code gets you a 10% discount)
  • TriSwim / TriSlide - TriSwim removes that chlorine smell, while TriSlide protects against chafing and sores but also removes your wetsuit fast.
  • Sonix Studio - my partnership with Chad in this web design and internet marketing company that allows me the freedom to train and race.
  • Core Power - recovery milk that goes great in an Herbalife 24 smoothie.
And certainly last but not least.....thank you Coach.  Claudia Spooner of iRuniTri Mutlisport has gotten me to the start and finish of IMTX and will now have the task of doing the same at IMAZ.  Be prepared for lots of questions and suggestions Coach.

Thank you for reading and as they say in boxing:  Let's Get It On

Published in Train
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