Monday, 11 July 2011 12:39

New Nutrition / Hydration Plan Review

If you are a consistent reader of this blog then you know I am always looking for ways to improve my performance in the sport of triathlon.  I will test products in terms of recovery as well as during my training to find that extra edge.  It could something as simple as changing my breakfast pre-workout (which I have and now consists of rice cakes, nut butter, sliced banana, coffee and water) to something as big as an aero helmet.  The common thread is improvement.  Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't, but without testing it out I would never know what is the best way to go. [caption id="attachment_3086" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Look at all the liquid left in that Speedfil"]Ironman-California-Jason-Bahamundi[/caption] Yesterday I decided to make a change to my nutrition and hydration plan.  If you read my 70.3 Ironman California race report you will remember that I barely drank anything.  I have a Speedfil so getting liquid should be easy yet during that race the bottle had more color to it than it was empty.  I was dehydrated for the run and once in that state there is no way to get rehydrated and thus you are running on fumes. During the CapTexTri I had issues with my tube being being clogged and could not get hydration from my Speedfil and had to reach behind me to grab water.  Having only water meant that getting enough calories was going to be difficult. Nutrition, on the other hand, has not been a problem.  From the beginning I trained by cutting a PowerBar into 4 pieces and eating every 15 minutes.  I loved the fact that I could break the race into 15 minute segments and have the chance to eat.  A PowerBar has 250 calories in it so I was getting all my calorie needs met from food and I felt I was doing great and just needed to figure out my hydration. [caption id="attachment_3072" align="alignright" width="204" caption="Plenty of calories in liquid form for my ride"]Herbalife-24-Prolong-Nutrition-Facts-Endurance-Athlete[/caption] The change that I made was to get the majority of my calories from liquids and supplement them with some food.  What was going to be the combination of liquid and food you are asking yourself?  I decided to go with a Speedfil full of Herbalife24 Prolong and 1.5 HoneyStinger Vanilla Waffles.  The Prolong has 250 calories per serving and I could hold two servings in the Speedfil.  That equates to 500 calories, but based on needing 250 calories per hour I would need at least another 125 calories.  This is where the HoneyStinger Waffles come into play.  Each waffle is 160 calories and having 1.5 of them means another 240 calories.  In total I would consume 740 calories on the 2 hour and 30 minute ride. My plan was to drink every 15 minutes while eating half a waffle every 45 minutes.  This plan would work in terms of being able to wash down the waffle with the drink on that 45 minute interval.  The last thing I would want to have happen is to have a chunk of waffle lodge in my throat while trying to ride so this made total sense to me. Throughout the ride I stuck to my plan and was taking 4 sips every 15 minutes of the Prolong and eating the portion of waffle every 45 minutes.  I loved the taste of the Prolong (lemon) and truly loved the fact that the liquid even tasted great when it was starting to get warm.  Previous liquid hydration would tend to be gritty and sugary and as it got warm would not be enjoyable.  I found myself not wanting to drink because of that taste and would just grab my water bottle and drink water, which led to a lack of calories on the bike. One other item I noticed, that was a major change, was the lack of a bloated stomach.  I never felt like I had this stretched out stomach with food just sitting in it.  I was not concentrating on the fact that I felt full but needed to keep eating to get those calories in.  Drinking my calories allowed my stomach to remain normal and not distended.  Eating the waffles every 45 minutes allowed me to digest them before eating again. One lesson I learned from Jon over at SwiCycloRun (head over there and wish him good luck on Ironman Lake Placid in two weeks) was that if I did not feel hungry at the start of the run then I got enough calories in me during the bike and I have always used that as a gauge.  Today, when I transitioned from the bike to the run I made it a point to think about whether or not I was hungry and I certainly was not.  My stomach was not grumbling and I felt great and ready to run. [caption id="attachment_3068" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Speedfil Was Empty After My Ride & Able to Take It Off The Bike"]herbalife-24-jason-bahamund-cycling[/caption] My take away from this change in nutrition / hydration plan is that getting my calories from liquids is the best idea for me.  Supplementing with a great product like HoneyStinger works for me.  Besides not being hungry at the end of my ride and not being dehydrated at the end of the run I have some stats that show that this worked for me. Last week I rode this exact same course at the pace of 18 mph.  I ran the same course as yesterday at the pace of 8:15 / mile.  Under my new plan I rode at 19.2 mph and ran at 7:47/mile.  I am beside myself at what an improvement this is.  Can I place all of the improvement on the change in plan?  No I cannot because there is the fact that I have been training along with temperature and wind condition changes. What I do know is that I never felt full and that my stomach did not have a heavy feeling which allowed me to run well off the bike.  My take away is that liquid calories works for me and is how I plan on getting through the bike in all future races.   There are plenty of products on the market that will allow you to get your calories through liquid.  There is Infinit and Carbo Pro to just name two off the top of my head.  My suggestion is, if you don't have a race soon, change your hydration / nutrition plan and see what combination works best for you.  I am thrilled to know that this simple change has allowed me to realize that I don't have to ride and run while having that feeling of having just eaten a seven course meal.

[caption id="attachment_3073" align="aligncenter" width="176" caption="250 calories per serving is perfect for my needs"]Herbalife-24-Prolong-Endurance-Athlete[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_3071" align="aligncenter" width="254" caption="Great Taste. Organic. Perfect Food For The Bike"]HoneyStinger-Organic-Vanilla-Waffles[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_3069" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="I was beyond thrilled with my speed and nutrition / hydration"]Herbalife-24-Jason-Bahamundi-Cycling-Endurance-Athlete[/caption]  

How Do You Fuel Your Training / Racing?

Have You Tinkered Around With Your Plan Until You Found That Right Combination?

Disclaimer:  I am sponsored by Carla and Eddie Weber of Nutrition Addiction which is an independent distributor of Herbalife.  My review of this product was not influenced by my sponsors.  I believe that the product helped me but I also believe that the calories via a liquid form is my biggest takeaway from this experiment.
Published in Train
Not too long ago I wrote about how my swimming has jumped from #3 in ranking to #2.  It replaced cycling at that podium spot.  I have been reflecting back on my cycling as well as thinking about how and what I am doing now.  I started to question my work ethic to cycling and if it were ever really #2.  Was I doing everything I could to get better or was it that swimming was so horrendous that my cycling had no place to be but #2. [caption id="attachment_2886" align="alignright" width="275" caption="One Of Each Please!"]Specialized-Triathlon-TT-Bikes[/caption] In that post I wrote how all three sports were going to start to battle each other for the top spot, sort of like the show Chopped (I had to include a food reference somewhere) where only the best survive.  There was going to be a clean slate and no one sport was going to be favored over the other.  If I want to get better at triathlon then I have to break myself down and rebuild myself. I can't take the stance that the run will always be there or that I am improving at the swim so let's not worry about it.  It is about working at the sport and improving even if it is small. So this past week after coming back from Boulder I set out for a new week of training with a new mindset.  I was going to approach this as if it were my first day and with no preconceived notions about how far and how fast I could go.  I was determined to get better this week and you know what:  I did.  My times may not reflect my improvement but my legs felt strong all week, especially on the bike.  I really pushed hard on the bike to be better and on Monday evening my speed of 18.18 mph over 1 hour and 30 minutes proved it, since that same course I have averaged 17 mph in the past.  The best part was that my legs were not fatigued even though I was completely dehydrated. I did a training session of spin-ups and I was pushing to hold 112 rpm in the big chain ring for a minimum of 30 seconds and there are some instances where I pushed the time to 48 seconds.  I was huffing and puffing and dripping sweat but I know I can do it.  I am very excited about the progress my bike has made just because I focused on starting fresh. Last night while typing this post I started to research articles on how to improve on the bike, and tips and drills to get better.  The tips and drills in the water have given me such incredible improvements and I do drills before every run to stretch out and get my heart rate up, so why not find some tips and drills for the bike. Of course, Google took me right to and while not necessarily drills for doing on the trainer they were fundaments for cyclists.  I am reposting this article (written by Selene Yeager for Bicycle Magazine) as I tend to follow directions that I have written down.  This is why I wrote notes in the margins of the Chris McCormack Book I'm Here To Win. When BDD gets the book he will be able to read my notes and hopefully comment and email me back, which is in addition to the information he gave me over the phone last night (that's right I talked to BDD.....) Here are the fundamentals along with my thoughts on them: ==================== 1. Have a plan. You may be able to get pretty fit by winging it, but truly remarkable accomplishments, whether upgrading to Cat 3 or scoring a belt buckle in the Leadville 100, require careful execution of a training program. I am thankful I have a coach who lays out time, heart rate zones, types of course, etc so I don't have to worry about this because I would have no clue and probably just ride around in a circle. [caption id="attachment_2885" align="alignright" width="249" caption="Just a cool pic"]Felt-B12-TT-Bike[/caption]   2. Be prepared to scrap the plan. You're scheduled for 20 minutes of pyramid intervals, but your legs feel like you spent the last few days constructing a real pyramid. Spin today. Hit it hard tomorrow instead. Your plan should be etched in clay for molding to your needs, not in stone for beating yourself up. I am not sure about this one because I have never skipped a plan but I know I have not followed a plan all the way through but more out of time constraints than it hurting my legs.  I was told my BDD a while back to embrace the pain and have done that, and now use the phrase embrace the suck from Macca because it does suck some days but I have never scrapped a plan. 3. Ride at the edges. Once a week, go so hard your eyes hurt. Follow it with a ride so slow the snails yawn. The combination makes legs strong. I have not done this at all.  Some days I am at a HR of 135-145 and others I am pushing 155+ and this is hard v slow but it is almost the same speed sometimes so I'm wondering if I should take it down another notch on the slow days. 4. Be true to yourself. Cyclists are pack animals. Enjoy the camaraderie, but don't let your training goals get trashed by constant king-of-the-mountain contests, town-sign sprints or the all-hard, all-the-time mentality of the group. If you can't trust yourself to go easy when you need to, ride alone. I have always ridden alone and maybe that is why I have not improved as much as my other sports.  I am  now riding with a guy I met one day and hopefully riding with him once a week I can get faster just from keeping up with him since he is in the range of 24 mph. 5. Do what sucks. You hate climbing because it's hard for you. You should climb—because it's hard for you. I couldn't agree more.  I think that is why I got better at swimming.  I finally said to myself this is going to suck so you might as well get better so it doesn't suck.  Well, it's time to embrace the suck of cycling and get this sport to #2. 6. Think improvement. Do more than log miles. Intervals, cadence rides and other specific workouts are designed to progressively challenge your body in different ways from week to week. Give every ride a goal. Recently, Coach has been giving me quite a few workouts that are drills and I think that is a big reason for my speed on Monday.  I believe that weeks and weeks of ILTs and Spin-Ups are paying off.  Not only on the bike, but the run after has not had me on jello legs for as long as I had been. 7. Maintain the human machine. The gym is your body shop. Visit twice a week to strengthen your core and other stabilizing muscle groups. And don't forget to stretch. By keeping your supporting muscles strong and joints flexible you can avoid an achy back, tight hip flexors and other overuse pains that can weaken even the strongest cyclist. Twice a week you can find me in the gym sweating buckets while lifting weights.  I do lighter weights but more reps and from an aerobic capacity so I am panting and sweating and getting leaner.  I think this is huge for me in terms of pushing the bike up the hill or finding that next gear on the run. 8. Train your brain. Your body can do more than you think. Convince your brain throughpositive thinking and visualization. You'll be surprised at what you accomplish when you say you can. You all know my belief when it comes to training your mind.  That is the first thing that has to be beat into submission so that when your body is tired your mind will tell it to suck it up buttercup and keep going. 9. Eat. Fuel your workouts with the food you eat on race day. You'll ride faster in practice and digest better when it counts. Experiment: There are dozens of energy concoctions for a reason. No one thing works for everyone. Emily of Sweat Once A Day [caption id="attachment_2884" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Terrific View"]Triathlon-Bicycle[/caption] wrote yesterday about how she has not practiced nutrition on the bike.  I learned early on in my triathlon journey to practice nutrition thanks to Jon.  He either emailed me or wrote on his blog that I need to practice nutrition and know what my body is able to handle and it has certainly paid off as I have mastered the nutrition.  Maybe somebody should write about hydration so I can master that as well. 10. Enjoy the ride. You already have a job. Work hard at cycling, but never make it work. There has never been a ride I haven't enjoyed when I was done.  It may suck during but I know when I stop that I will have accomplished something great.  I will have gotten out of the house and got my body moving.

Do You Break Yourself Down and Figure Out How To Get Better? At Work?  At Play?

Do You Have Tips/Tricks To Get Better At Cycling?

Published in Uncategorized
Do you remember Kristine Concepcion?  Yeah, the total rockstar from the Gasparilla Half-Marathon.  Well, she was at it again but this time in a half-iron distance triathlon.  Check out her places in the Age Group as she goes from the water to the bike to the run.  She had a plan, and she executed it to perfection. I can read Kristie's blog all day long because she is full of fire and inspiration.  She is a competitor but knows how to balance life as well.  I have learned quite a few things from her over the course of the past year that I will be applying to my half-iron distance race in two weeks. Thank you Kristine for letting me use your race report again.  Please keep on inspiring and smiling.  
Gator bling i just realized that i really dread writing up race reports because i’m not sure where to begin, so i’ll stick with my “keeping it simple” approach and start with a quick rundown of saturday and then move on to race day stuff. this was my first 70.3 race so it was all new to me so to speak. on saturday we made the hour drive to sarasota and went straight to the running store to register. that went very smoothly and as soon as we were done with that, we headed to our hotel to check in. once we got settled in, we hit the nearest supermarket, Albertson’s (not one of my faves but it worked out fine). i think we were the youngest one’s in the entire store. we picked up a few things to eat, went back to the hotel and ate. i ate about 1/4 of the j-man’s turkey sub and then 4 small peanut butter cookies. i felt like an overstuffed shamu. once we got done feeding our faces, we headed to the race site to drop off Mandy (the badass q-roo) for her sleep over. you could rack your bike anywhere, first come, first served, which i thought was pretty cool. as always, it was tough leaving Mandy behind and after tucking her in a couple of different places, i finally found the perfect spot for her and got her all settled in for the night. we went back to the hotel for the rest of the evening/night …or so i thought. around 8:30pm as i was gathering up stuff for the next morning, i realized that i had forgotten something very important and had a meltdown for a split second. i may or may not have forgotten my TRANSITION BAG with my wetsuit, goggles, and bike shoes!!! yeah, some pretty important things. dumbass move on my part! first thing i said, FML! second thing, we gotta go back home now. first let me say, i am married to a man who is nothing short of a saint and second, thank goodness we don’t live that far away. i know you are wondering how the hell did i forget to bring my transition bag and the only thing i can say is i thought the j-man grabbed it. it was completely my bad and all the way home that night i was so pissed off at myself but i decided that i wasn’t going to allow this to mess with my head and to just let it go, so i forgot all about it. we got home, i grabbed the bag and we headed back to our hotel. i was in bed by 10:45pm. perfect! plenty of time to sleep and sleep i did until the alarm went off at 5am. 5am race morning: my nutrition strategy was very simple. i took what i did in october at the 140.6 and divided it by 2. got that? sounds too easy, right? well it is and it worked once again to perfection. in a nutshell, for breakfast i ate fig newtons and cheddar cheese, on the bike i ate 2 and a half powerbars and 2 powergels, i also drank 2 aero-bottles of water and 1 bottle of powerade and nuun mixed. on the run, one hammer gel that i grabbed on the course and water at every water station (at each mile).  those of you who have been reading my blog since the early days and who have known me for years, know that i hate to complicate training and nutrition.  personally, for me, it just isn’t necessary and it takes the fun out of the whole experience.

the swim: 1.2 miles – 40:06 – 6/8 AG

Untitled 0 00 03-11i’m the one with my arm out of the water

it was wetsuit legal but i saw some big boys who had enough natural insulation and opted for no wetsuit. more power to them but i’m taking advantage of more buoyancy when i can.  the swim started in 2 waves. men first and then 30 seconds later, the women. it took me a good quarter mile to feel comfortable, settle down, and get my breathing right. once i did, it was like i was in the pool, except when i got kicked in the ear. other than that, the swim was good and i was 5 minutes faster than my first 1.2 mile loop at the great floridian, so i guess i’m getting a little faster.

T1: 3:03 – 5/8 AG

the bike: 56 miles – 2:48:12 – 3/8 AG

Bike finishmy favorite part, the biking! not much to say about the bike except that it was flat and fast. great roads with very little debris. hit some head wind early on for about the first 25 miles then got some good push coming back. chicked a lot of boys out there in the last 10 miles who passed me early on. it’s all about pace and riding smart.

T2 – not recorded in the race results.

the run: 13.1 miles – 1:40:30 – 1/8 AG

Untitled 0 00 19-07 i was mentally prepared for the heat and obviously, physically prepared too. my strategy going into the run was to use each and every water station …grab 2 cups, 1 cup of water on my head and the other to drink. i was surprised that i felt as strong as i did and this was good and bad. the way i calculated my projected finishing time put me at best 5:30 and at worst 6 hours so the bad part was that the j-man was nowhere to be found at the end to video the good part which was my 5:11:50 finishing time.  i finished 2nd in my age group and i was very happy with that. thanks for reading and i leave you with a video from the race …enjoy!
if you’d like to see the official race results, you can go HERE. much love and peace out!
Published in Race Reports
[caption id="attachment_1443" align="alignleft" width="236" caption="E is for Electrolytes"][/caption] I have recently finished the book The Runner's Diet and it was chock full of information regarding carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  Or to use one term:  macro-nutrients.  There were chapters dedicated to these macro-nutrients and rightfully so as most people seem intent on focusing on these three, but as an endurance athlete there is more to being prepared than consuming a balanced diet of 55%-60% carbs, 15% protein and 20%-25% fat. There are electrolytes to worry about.  What is an electrolyte?  Electrolytes are the bodies salt which will help maintain fluid balance in your organ systems.  They are important in maintaining the integrity and function of your body.  Your next question is what are the normal names by which I might know what an electrolyte is?  The answer to that question is sodium, potassium and magnesium. There have been discussions, that I found online, about the need for electrolytes  and there are many interesting questions and points. Too much or too little? What is right for you? Are there dangers to watch out for? These are all valid; but the answers varied.  Endurance sports results in a lot of sweating which obviously results in a salt loss as well as water loss.  Your body does have an automatic process by which it balances salt and water concentrations.  Similar to water consumption guidelines, there is no hard and fast rule for replacing electrolytes.  Replacing electrolytes will vary depending on the climate you are in (hot temperatures are different than cold temperatures for water loss) as well as the intensity of the activity. From what I gathered there is no need to replace electrolytes immediately if the exercise lasts less than 3-4 hours.  Since most of us will be on the course for a half-iron distance, and certainly Iron distance race longer than 4 hours electrolyte replacement becomes an issue.  So how do you replace or avoid having to replace a lot of your electrolytes?  I read this on and it made a lot of sense to me:   A plan to avoid the problems First of all, you can reduce your tendency to lose sodium by what you do when not training or competing. You can reduce the amount of sodium in your daily food. That will increase the level of aldosterone so that your body retains sodium better. Choose less salty foods. Use Morton Lite Salt in your salt shaker. That will reduce sodium and increase your potassium intake ( as will eating fruits and vegetables ). If you expect to compete in the heat, get heat acclimated as soon as possible. That will reduce your sweat rate under hot conditions. While you train, stay cool so that your sweat rate is lower. Wear light clothes, keep your jersey wet, and/or put ice on your neck. To satisfy your needs in a hot event you can take sodium in different forms. The simplest is table salt (a pinch per hour ). If an aid station has salt and boiled potatoes, you can dip a potato into the salt before eating it. V-8 and tomato juice are also good sources.Consume supplemental salt or electrolytes during the event. Most sports drinks have sodium levels that are fine for shorter distances, but inadequate for longer distances. Most gel products have insignificant amounts of sodium. You can use an electrolyte replacement supplement, but check the sodium content. Some riders take salt tablet such as Thermotabs. Some athletes use Stamina Electrolyte Tablets but those are not a good source of sodium or potassium (they are a good source of calcium and magnesium ). Some athletes use SUCCEED! Buffer/Electrolyte Caps that are formulated specifically for ultradistance athletes such as cyclists, triathletes and runners to supply sodium, buffers and sufficient amounts of potassium. As always, you need to drink. Don't wait until you are thirsty; the human thirst mechanism is too slow and inaccurate. As the adage goes: Eat before hunger, drink before thirst. When you finish a long training ride or event, you will usually have a deficit of water, calories and sodium. You will have a much smoother recovery if you replace all of those promptly. Soon after finishing, you can take an electrolyte supplement, 200 calories of carbohydrates and drink water until you are no longer thirsty, and are urinating again. In the days that follow, you will probably find that you have more energy and fewer aches and pains if you have promptly replaced water, carbohydrates and sodium after your long ride. [caption id="attachment_1441" align="alignright" width="248" caption="Water or Gatorade?"][/caption] And while it made sense to me I don't enjoy Gatorade because of its taste.  There are other reasons as well but in the end taste trumps all and I don't like how it tastes.  I use Accelerade from Pacific Health Labs on the bike.  It has the proven ration of 4:1 Carbohydrates to Protein and it also contains 180mg (8% of your daily value) and 55mg of Potassium (2% of your daily need.)  It contains only 60 calories per scoop in 12 fluid ounces.  Very good numbers especially when you compare it to Gatorade, which has 275mg of sodium in 150 calories for a 20-ounce bottle. You could eat a mini dill pickle and get 290mg of sodium with only 5 calories, but try eating that on the bike after you've been riding for 2+ hours.  Want some celery on the bike?  Well, it does have 100mg of sodium in only 20 calories but again the thought of pulling that out of your bento box just doesn't add up. I will gladly consume the Accelerade and the PowerBar Harvest bars that I have been training with.  I am consuming 1 PowerBar harvest bar every hour by cutting it into 4 pieces and eating every 15 minutes.  They have approximately 220 calories per bar so that meets my needs, and include 150mg of sodium and 240mg of potassium.  During my training I have not had any hunger pains running off the bike so I know that this works for me and I will not be changing it this close to race day.  

What do you drink or eat to replenish your electrolytes?  Did you know a banana has 422mg of potassium, but only 1mg of sodium?

Published in Train
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 13:08

Ironman Texas Training - Week #4 VLOG

Week #4 of training is in the books and the week had a few successes.  I was able to swim the 1,000 yard TT at a pace of 1:45/100y and the beauty was that I swam 1,050 yards at that pace.  I am very excited about that and think that I can still go lower than that to probably 1:42 per 100 yards. In addition to the success on the swim I have been working hard on pacing for both 70.3 Puerto Rico and for Ironman Texas.  Taking in a bunch of advice about not starting to fast and being prepared to walk I have been training to do just that.  I am setting out on my runs that are short at :15 slower than my goal pace for Puerto Rico.  If it is a longer run than I am going out at :30 slower than my goal pace for Texas.  Once I hit a heart rate of 160 I bring the pace back down so that my heart rate slows.  The benefits are evident as I'm running right at the target pace for both races when the run is done. My legs feel good and as of today I still have all of my brain cells.  The week coming up is going to test that notion but I'm ready to become the Athlete I Want To Be.  The bricks in that wall are starting to stack and it is strong.

How Is Your Training Coming Along?

Published in Train
Sunday, 29 August 2010 16:02

Going 1/2 Ironman Distances

This weekend had distances involved that would be preparing me for goig the 1/2 Ironman distances.  On Saturday I was to ride my bike for 3 hours and then on Sunday go for a 12 mile run with a heart rate under 150 bpm.

This past week led to this point where I am both excited and exhausted at the same time.  All of the training this week was a lead up to going these 1/2 Ironman distances (although the 12 mile run was 1 mile short of the 1/2 Ironman distance.)

I had some tough swim training this week.  It was difficult enough that on Monday I did only about 75% of the session.  My mind was racing with the job hunt and when you are just going back and forth following the black like you just lose focus and think of everything but form and relaxation.

The second swim sesson on Wednesday was great.  I told myself that I was going to be ultra-focused and making sure that I do the entire session and have a great time doing it.  Isn't it amazing  that when you put your mind to things they become easily achievable.  The swim session on Wednesday was a ladder down.  I start with some warm-up swimming then go to a 500 and then 5x25 hard, 400, 4x25 hard, 300, etc all the way down to a 100 and then cool-down.  I loved the swim that day.  I was on fire with it and just truly enjoyed it.

This week I had a rides of 1hr45min on Sunday, 1h30min on Monday and 2 hours on Thursday.  I did the first two outside and the conditions were brutal.  It was so hot that there wasn't enough liquid around to keep you hydrated.  On Sunday I rode at 12pm and wound up drinking only 1 bottle of water and so on Monday I only brought 1 bottle with me.  About half-way through the ride the liquid was all gone and I did not have a second bottle.  I could feel my lips cracking and the salt just piling up on my face.  It was not the easiest ride.

Tuesday I had a negative split run.  Previously all my negative split runs have been time based, but this one was HR based.  Out in the 130-140 bpm pace and in at 150-160 bpm.  I did 30 minutes out and wound up doing the run back in 22 minutes.  I was on cruise control on the way back and pushed hard.

Thursday I had a 1hr15m SUPER easy run.  I kept a good pace and never felt fatigued.  The purpose of the run was to get aerobic work in and let the legs relax a bit.

The best part of the runs was that I was able to run with the Castle Hills Running Club on both days.  It was great to be able to see all the runners and the best part is that the group is up to around 10 people.  It is amazing to see what was started as a group of 5 double in size and everybody keeps coming out.  With the weather changning for the better I can only imagine that the numbers will continue to grow.

After Friday's day off the 3 hour ride came.  I was on the bike around 10am and the weather was stll very nice.  I took off from Flower Mound and headed north.  I did not realize that north meant going all the way into Denton.  I could not believe my eyes when I saw I-35 and I was in Denton.  I wound up riding 53 miles that day and I felt great when I was done.  It was a great feeling to know that I could do a 1/2 Ironman distance in 3 hours and most likely less.

I spoke with my Financial Advisor and met with my accountant and the business of Marathon Makeover in Dallas is going to be going forward.  I am contacting them tomorrow along with setting up my LLC, getting a business checking account and a business credit card.  The start of moving into my own business is starting and I know that once I start this I will land a corporate gig.  I am ok with that b/c I need to cover the insurance and will continue to develop my resume and perfect my craft.  At the same time my resume will be getting more and more established with the start of this business.

Learning all the ins and outs of running your own business is going to set me up for success in the corporate world.  Making decisions on marketing spending and knowing how much to spend for the biggest return on that investment will only help me in the future.  I am excited about this venture.

Job Hunting -
The job hunt is still going on, but I must say that this past week was a great week for me.  I connected with a handfull of people to get my resume into their network.  One of them works for an agency and they happen to have two openings.  The other works for a local television station here in Dallas.

I also sat down with a realtor who is involved in their church and they are going to push our resume's into their network.

I figured that I would have something setup by September 1st and I honestly think that is still going to happen.  I have a great gut feeling about this week coming up and am excited to see how it all turn's out.

Thank you for reading my blog and keep on training
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Ever since my swim yesterday my training has been on a roll.  The swim while tough was tremendous b/c I proved to myself that I have the endurance right now to do that type of swimming for that length of time and distance.

Yesterday's core/strength was even better.  I was looking to do a perfect workout yesterday after I got started on the treadmill.  I ran for 30 minutes to warm-up and it felt great.  My peak HR was 138 and my avg HR was 128.  I never felt like it was hard or that I wanted to just jump off the treadmill.  I was actually very comfortable at my pace and was running close to an 11:00 min/mile which is decent for being in that HR Zone.

Once I finished that and did the first workout for my legs (leg extensions) and moved onto leg curls and then leg press and manged to do 15 reps of each at the weight level which is closer to 65% of my 1 rep max I started thinking I could have a perfect training session.  For me a perfect session would be one in which I did 15 reps of every excercise.  I felt strong and then broke down the excercises into two sets of 7 and 8 reps so psychologically I could do it.  I got this idea partially from my swimming, but then was reinforced after reading an article on Daily Triathlon about Chad Soileau. 

Mr Soileau used to weight 464 lbs and decided to have gastric bypass surgery and had a bucket list with completing an Ironman on it.  During his training he said he would break everything down into achievable goals so that he could keep going.  It reminded me of my swim and thus I used it to get through the strength training yesterday as well.

I managed to do everything for 2 sets of 15 reps except for the bench press in which I got 12.  I almost went back and did another 3, but that would not have qualified.  In the end though I now have a new goal to reach for and that is the perfect strength session.  If I can get through a session perfectly I can then push the weight up 5-10 lbs on each excercise knowing that I have the strength to do more weight and thus allow me to get stronger at all three disciplines sine the weight training is triathlon specific.

Coming off a great swim and an even better strength session I was ready for my ride this morning.  As has become routine Robert arrived at my house to start our 1 hour ride in Z2 at 6:00am.  Slightly later then the 4:45am swim-wakeup call.  I told myself that I wanted to have a better ride then Tuesday and keep the momentum going.

Lo and behold I was spot on.  Today's right was great.  We hit some hills and some nice flats where we could pick up some speed.  Overall we wound up going 17.64 miles at an average speed of 17.1.  My avg HR was 143.  Compared to Tuesday's ride of 16.54 miles at an average speed of 16.7 today was much better.  On Tuesday my avg HR was 139 but I never felt like I was pushing the HR Z2.  I felt like I was coasting through much of the ride.  Today I was working and it shows in that the Garmin calculated a 913 calorie loss compared to 834 on Tuesdy.

After the 1 hour ride we had a 15 minute easy run.  Today the pace was 10:53 that covered 1.38 miles with an avg HR of 146.  Tuesday was at a pace of 11:03 that covered 1.36 miles and an avg HR of 143.  The runs were not much different but that means that I'm getting stronger b/c I was much better on the bike and so overall today was a better brick then Tuesday and this leads me to keeping this up for Saturday's long ride and run.

Saturday will consist of 2 hours in Z2 followed by a 15 minute run.  Sunday is 1850 yards of swimming followed by an 8 mile run.  I am so looking forward to pushing my distances this weekend.  I know I can do it all but having to prove it is another thing and this weekend I will get to prove it.
Personal Notes:
Yesterday was a really great day personally.  Outside of work which has been a bear lately my time spent with Jackson was terrific.  I take him to daycare on Mon/Wed and so yesterday after the swim I came home and watched some boob-tube with him.  We killed about 30 minutes then off to the 'Green Machine' for a ride to school.  He calls my Xterra the Green Machine.  Reminds me of the Hulk and I like that.

On the way to daycare I usually sing a silly song to him about going to school.  Yesterday I wasn't singing it and he said to me that he would like to have me sing.  So I did andwe laughed from that point all the way to the front door of the daycare.

After work on Wednesday we spend time together while Karen goes to train for her marathon, which she is doing awesome at.  So Jackson and I had dinner and then it was pool time.  At first I was apprehensive about getting in the water again, since I had just swam 2200 yards that morning but decided to get in with him.

We fooled around the whole time and I'm so proud of the fact that he is no longer afraid of the water.  he goes under, he swims across the pool and he has a great time in the water.  So much so that he now wants me to throw him across the pool.  He goes under and pops back up yelling.....'I'm OK, I'm OK!'  Hilarious and a great time.

Maybe the great time I had with Jackson led to a great workout at the gym for me.  I'm not sure but I do know that he and I had fun together swimming in the pool.

Stay tuned for my updates on the long workouts on Saturday and Sunday.
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Saturday, 29 May 2010 19:37

Cadence In Cycling and Running

After waking up from my mid-day nap......yes even those training to become an Ironman need a nap.....I checked my phone and came across an article on Facebook that was in reference to the art and science of cadence in cycling and running.

Figuring that I just did a ride that was at a high cadence I wanted to know more.  More of why I was doing it.  More of why it was important.  More of how it will make me better at both legs of the triathlon that I am strongest in and how I can improve those legs.

Looking for that edge to beat out my nearest competitor.  The ability to cross the line, even one second, ahead of the next racer is what I'm looking for.

I read this article and I have to say that it was somewhat over my head.  I will have to read it again to figure out the point of the article, but from what I was able to take in I feel as if the repetition and ability to not feel fatigued while going at a high RPM is of most benefit to these training rides.

Having gone 18.1 MPH at a cadence that averaged 90+ RPM and not feel fatigued is a step in the right direction of getting faster for longer on the bike.  I was able to not only average a faster pace at 18.1 MPH but to do it over 17.5 miles is an accomplishment.

Working on my cadence for running will be next (tomorrow really) as I have a 9 mile easy run.  I will be counting my SPM which are normally 40 and hopefully get it to 45 while maintaining a lower HR.  Of course I will be doing this after my first open water swim that is to be 1000 yards.

Here is a link to the article that was written by Dan Empfield for

On the art and science of cadence in cycling and running
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Saturday, 29 May 2010 15:20

Great Way To Start Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend got off on the right foot this morning.  The training was great and the weather was just as perfect.

Today's workout consisted of a 60 minute ride at 90 RPM followed by a 20 minutes run.

As usual Robert and I headed out to Lake Grapevine around 6:30am to get our workout in.  The bike was awesome although I lost Robert after the first 2 or 3 miles.  The point of the exercise today was to keep a high cadence going and that cadence was to be 90+ RPM.

One of the best things about today's workout, or any workout at high cadence, is that you learn to use your gears in order to keep your legs spinning.  The lowest speed I averaged was 15.7 and overall for the 17.5 miles that I rode this morning I averaged 18.3 MPH which is 1.8 MPH faster then my time in Grapevine last year.  That has me very excited because that means that I should be shaving some good time off of my bike portion next week.

Here is a map of the ride:

The run that followed was to be a 20 minute run.  I took the HR alerts off to allow me to just run and overall it was not that bad for the two miles.  My HR averaged 158 with a pace of 8:29.  I covered 2.31 miles today and I know that if I push myself that my pace will be faster then last year's pace at the Tri Grapvine.

Here is map and some information on the run:

Overall I feel great.  I need to stretch but my energy is there and I don't feel fatigues one bit.  I actually told Robert that I could have run at least another 5 miles and maybe not at 8:34 but certainly could have gone at a 9:00 pace for the next 5 miles.  I'm thrilled with where I'm at after about 3 full weeks of training.

I'm prepared both mentally and physically to beat last year's time and to be able to compete in my age group and be close to my time of 1:18:53 in the Caveman Tri.

Now, onto stretching then the shower and most importantly time with my family at our pool bbq'ing and laughing.

Memorial Day here we are.
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Tuesday, 18 May 2010 18:09

Brick Work - May 18th, 2010

Today was a brick day, but this one focused on running at tempo pace as oppose to a long bike and short run.

The bike was 30 minutes and I managed to go 7.73 miles during that time but the most important thing is that I did not fall down on the new bike.

The bike was making some weird noises at first and I think I was babying it instead of riding it, but give me a break that is an expensive bike that I did not want to ding in anyway on the first ride.

Riding on that bike was smooth and effortless.  It went by without any issues whatsoever and is fast.  Very little peddling gets that bike going at a good speed.  Question is whether or not to use it in the Grapevine Tri.  Not sure I want to just yet but at the same time I have got to use it at a race at some point.  It might help push me toward the top of the age group.

The run today was to be a 6 miler b/t 8:30 and 8:45 pace with 4x2 at 8:15.  Finished the run at a pace of 8:44 but I think that the increase pace was faster then 8:15 and the recovery was slower then 8:45, but all in all it was great run.

Karen started her training yesterday with Coach C and she like it a lot.  We both have a lot on our plates right now in terms of training and work, so we need to make sure we balance our lives together at the same time.  This is going to be fun comparing how we are doing in our training.  I am beyond happy for her to go out on this limb and try something new and do something for herself.

Today I get inagurated into the Board of Directors.  What a great moment!!!!!  I can't wait to sit at the table to discuss items that not only affect my family, but also affect those families of my neighbors and those in the community that I don't know.

Being at the table and having a voice is what I ran for.  Being at the table to get a better understanding of Castle Hills is what I ran for.


Once that meeting is done I have a different type of brick to do.  Board meeting from 430-630p then off to playoff softball at 645p.  Probably won't make it there on time but will be ready to go when I do get there.  Our team hasn't been to the playoffs in about 4 or 5 seasons so this is exciting.  We have a very good team and one that can win it all if we eliminate the mistakes.


Swim tomorrow and I'm excited for it.  Going to have a great night and a great morning of training.

Until tomorrow.......don't forget to Tri everything you can in life b/c it is too short.
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