Ironman Texas Recap & Images

Ironman Texas North American Championship
8:28:17 23rd Professional

How it looks and feels to persevere through a day of racing by yourself when you are at less than your best and still come away with a new personal best time!

This was my first time racing at Ironman Texas. A great venue and nearly perfect conditions greeted us on race morning. 60* air temp, 73* water temp (non wetsuit for Professionals) and calm winds.

A unique aspect of this swim is that the last 1/3 or so is swam up a canal. This gives spectators a front row seat to all the action and the opportunity to follow their athlete!

Swim fitness was great coming in to the race but unfortunately I wasn't able to have a good performance in the water. I exited the water 5 minutes back of my usual pack.

I was one of the few who was all alone on the bike course. I had to use most of the tricks in my bag to stay focused and engaged. I did a pretty good job and came in with a respectable 4:21. (The course was about 4 minutes shor…

Using A Swim Test Within Your Training

I typically see most athletes doing some sort of benchmark testing within their training, especially when it comes to swimming. However I don't always see those athletes using the result from that test within their training.

It can be much more effective and engaging for athletes to actually use their swim test results within their training.

Here's how:

1. Go test.

Your bench mark testing should be something that is repeatable every block of training. You can do a 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, it really doesn't matter. When you test, make sure you swim smart. A good friend of mine always described any TT effort like this:

-25% relaxed but fast, focusing on stroke rate and finding your rhythm
-50% focusing on your test effort with good body position and quick turns on the walls
-25% lifting the effort building in a bigger kick to finish

2. Using your test pace.

Use your pace per 100 as the slowest target pace you are working around within 1 specific workout each week. For the mos…

2018 Here We Come!

As I reflect on 2017, it's been a very rewarding season. My results were OK, but the real satisfaction came from finding a lot of enjoyment in the process to prepare for events. In my opinion this is probably the most important thing to have when you are seeking a great result. Chasing can be frustrating and a recipe for failure. Letting the results happen is a recipe for success and now that I have that back I should probably race at least another season (19th season)!!

After the decision to race was made, my coach and I came up with a good plan and got to work with steps 1 and 2 of the process.
Step 1 was to rest. What?!?! Yes, REST! The last 2 months have been just that. It's been an excellent balance between just the right amount of training to bring me to a solid level of fitness when the calendar turns and down time; focusing on a few other things such as coaching education, time in the woods, my love of IPA and time with my cats and loved ones.
Step 2 was to pick races a…

2017 Ironman Louisville

Solid End To 2017

The 2017 season started strong in Puerto Rico and ended strong at Ironman Louisville. The middle was less than desirable. Ironman Louisville was a race that I had planned on doing all season. This was mostly because I knew I would be training hard for Ironman Wisconsin and I wanted to see if I could carry the fitness for another 5 weeks. This is something that I haven't done very well in the past, however I felt like my strength and maturity as an athlete would allow me to do it this year.
If you haven't been to Louisville to race, you should definitely add it to your list. The river swim, though dirty, is unique and pretty enjoyable. The bike course is VERY rolling with about 5500' of climbing that comes almost all from about mile 15 to 95. It absolutely beautiful with great road surfaces. The run is for the most part flat and ends at Fourth Street Live (downtown area of Lou where they have bands and a number or restaurants). There is plenty of lodging a…

2017 Ironman Wisconsin

This year's Ironman Wisconsin was a race that I was keyed in on since 2014. That was the last time I was able to race here in Madison due to the absence of a Professional Men's field. Each season I would race but wouldn't quite have the heart that I normally would have at Ironman Wisconsin.

As you can imagine, this year when it was announced the male pro's would be back, I was ALL IN. The season was focused on this race, 30hr+ weeks all summer long to try to raise the bar going into this event. The result of the training was fantastic and the data geeks would have had a field day with it. My coach, Cliff English, built a massive engine and he gets all of the credit for that!!

As we all know though, things don't go exactly as planned and while I did avoid getting my usual cold/flu in peak training, I managed to pick up a sinus infection about 8 days before the race thanks to our lovely Lake Monona on a rough day. I took antibiotics to try to get back to 100% by the…

Taper Time!

I cannot believe it's almost race week and more importantly I cannot believe I get to race an Ironman again in my home town. I raced IMWI 2002 through 2014, then without a men's Professional race, had to skip out on 2015 and 2016. Now that it's back for 2017 and I am grateful to simply be on that starting line once again.

Ironman for me represents something different than any other race distance, because it was such a challenge for me to be competitive at and because it is so different than any other race distance out there. There is no faking the distance, there is no Tour d'France mentality of "create a gap" that others miscalculate. The race is more like the boxing the match from a few weeks ago, or the US Open 2nd Round match from last night with Nadal. What is the condition of your body late in the game; round 10, 2hrs into a match or 8hrs into the race while at mile 20 of the run. Of course we all have bad days, we all make mistakes and $#*! happens, b…

Preparing Locally

It's not always just big training that creates big fitness gains. It's also coaching from someone who you trust and mesh well with, it's having the support of sponsors who believe in you as much as you do their products and in the case of my build for Racine 70.3, fantastic local events to work on game day skills.

This season between Chattanooga 70.3 and Racine 70.3 I put in some very big training, but I also raced just about everything I could at the local level. To me, these events are no brainers even for athletes racing at the highest level in our sport.

They offer inexpensive opportunities to improve my game, have some fun and interact with other athletes and break up the daily grind of big training. No, not every event goes well, in fact some of them go terrible, but that's not the goal for these races and it's impossible to be at your best all of the time. A huge shout out to Race Day Events, Elkhart Lake Triathlon and Big Swell Swim for having these events…