Monday, April 30, 2007


Well, the two week 'recovery' period following IMAZ is over and even though I cycled quite a bit in the last 8 days, I feel good physically and 'nice n hungry mentally.

Ended last week with two solid rides:

Friday included:

60min 3500yd swim with a solid mainset of 400s 90% effort on 5:20(4:48), 200 easy, 600 70% effort(7:40), 200 easy, 400 90% effort(4:49), 200 easy, 500 TT (5:45). I was really happy with the 5:$5 b/c the truth was that I was not feeling that great in the water and still pulled off a good time.

3:50 ride, solid on all climbs, 120km total with ALOT of climbing.

Run of 52min and 11 km in the evening.

Saturday was easy with a 48min 10k run in the morning before heading up north for some pre-wedding festivities with a good friend from college.

I got back just in time on Sunday to head out(quite tired) for a 3:32 ride, I rode the ups at HIM effort and steady on the flats. Really windy. 113km total.


This week marks the start of a two week Epic training block where I will hopefully hit a few numbers that I have not seen in about a year. I will then rest for a few days before Ford Ironman Florida 70.3 on May 17. I will keep you posted on how things are rolling along.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Getting moving again

Well, recovery has been a little slow from travel and a few beers here and there, but I am starting to feel normal again. Feet are getting better each day and I can SBR with no issues. I will write a bit more in the week to come, but for now I will catch you up on training this past week.


Swim 2.5k all easy in the pool Foot hurt for this one.

Run 37min and 8km easy, in the arb. good to be out there.

Bike 2:35 and 75km, easy in the hills


Bike: 3:17 95km easy with some steady in the hills with Boulder J(now a madcity resident)

Strength 20min


Swim 45min and 2.5km mostly easy with 10x100 on faster 100's mixed in

Run 48min and 10k mostly easy in the arb, gd!

Thursday(Crappy day out there today, 40* and rain):

Run 1:29 and 20km easy for 30min, then 60min of steady mixed with IM effort. Pouring!

Swim: 56min and 3200 yds, 600s,2x300 pull,6x100 mod on 1:30, 400s, 2x200p, 4x100 mod on 1:30, then cd


The idea behind this week is to take it easy and just get moving again. Next week i will start with mixing in some steady and get plenty of strength work in the hills. The plan right now is to race a local 20k on sat. Assuming recovery goes well.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Old Stomping Ground

This last week has been a whirlwind and it has dropped me back in Madtown, also known as my own stomping ground. There is something about riding where you grew up that is very relaxing.

After the race, I flew back to Clermont on Tuesday with my cankles...I seriously looked like I had clubbed-feet. I hung out with a few friends on Wednesday night and then shoved off in the 'soccar-mom mini van' early(3:45am) Thursday morning. My original plan was drive for about 12 hours and then stay the night somewhere in TN or KY, but at the 12 mark I was in a zone and decided that I could make it one straight shot.

After a little construction and a "short cut" that wasn't so short, I arrived a little over 20hrs later in Madtown.

I have slowly been getting back into things, but recovery is just starting to come around. Plane rides across the country and 20hr road trips are not condusive to reducing foot inflamation.

This morning I recarpeted my parents screen porch...a simple task that is not all that simple. :) I was proud of it when I finally finished. I then got out for a nice ride in some gusty winds.

Here is what physical activity I have done over the last week.

Monday - OFF

Tuesday - OFF

Wednesday - Spin 20min

Thursday - Spin 30min

Friday - OFF

Saturday - Spin 1:20

Sunday - Easy run 33 min , Ride 2:35

Over the next week I will get rolling again with all zone 1 and zone 2 stuff. I will error on the side of recovery.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you for all of the words of encouragement after AZ...9 weeks to redemption time in Idaho!

More to come soon...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Becker Buzz...

“A Step In The Right Direction”

2007 Ironman Arizona Race Report

Swim: 54:58 Bike: 5:13:25 Run: 3:38:38 Finish 9:53:12
19th Professional Male

After the race this year I was chatting with my good friend Graham Partain. He and his wife have put up with me training out of their house for the last 3 months and both of them are some of the most giving people that I have ever met. I was going over the race with him and told him that there were a few things that I was happy with, but that overall I was a bit disappointed. He simply said; look at the positives, “it is a step in the right direction and this is just the beginning.”

My last build going into the race was not ideal, but I was optimistic heading into the race. I had some soft tissue stuff going on that compromised my run training. As a result I swam and cycled more, hoping it would help to make up for the lost miles.

Then Tuesday of race week came around and I developed what started out as mild tooth pain…nothing that a few Ibuprofen couldn’t take care of, or so I thought. By Wednesday night, I knew something was definitely wrong. I called my dentist and she pulled out my x-rays to see if she could see what the problem might be. The films revealed that during a root canal that I had done several years ago, a piece of the dental tool had broken off in my root cavity and now looked to be infected. The pain was unreal and actually brought tears to my eyes on Thursday. I was given some antibiotics and told to take a lot of Ibuprofen to help ease the pain. “HOW was I going to race, when I couldn’t do more than just sit in a chair and stare at the wall?

Another day passed and after getting no reprieve, I decided to take my own action. I will spare you MOST of the details, but my tooth was raised up probably ¼” above the others. I decided that I needed to level my teeth back out….skipping ahead a bit, I took care of the fluid build up under my tooth. After an hour or so, things got MUCH better.

Hoping that the worst was past, I tried to once again focus on the race. I was told to stay on the Penicillin and that it hopefully wouldn’t have any side effects come race day.

Race morning arrived and I felt ready to go. A small group of us started on the buoy line, while a larger group started further out. The cannon sounded and we were off. All of the swimming that I have been doing was finally starting to pay off.

Our group had 4 in front and 3 of us were in back. After about 300-400m, I swapped positions with the swimmer to my right and made a small mistake. I moved too far to the right and moved right off the side of the group. Once you are off, you are S.O.L. and on your own.

No worries at all, I had done many long TT’s in the pool and was confident in my ability. In the past, all of my wetsuits have really tired out my shoulders, but the new Blue Seventy Helix was awesome! I found a strong, but steady rhythm; breathing 2 strokes right, 2 strokes left and sighting every 2-3 cycles. Before I knew it, I was getting ready to climb the stairs out of the water (a bit tricky). I glanced at the clock as I was cruising past the wetsuit strippers and saw 54:53. FINALLY, I seem to have made some progress from my 58min IM times.

I got onto the bike and was excited to be out in the top 20. For this race I was unable to race with a Powertap, because of production issues. I had to let my HR and perceived exertion guide me through the cactus and tumble weeds.

After a few miles I developed a very tight left quad and I am still not sure why, but I hoped that it would go away as I got into a rhythm. By the first turn around I was right where I wanted to be and my new TTX was rolling, as Dave Harju would day, “frickin’ awesome! With my HR floating around 145, I ended the first loop at 1:36, right on track.

As I started the 2nd loop, the winds started to pick up and my cramping was not getting any better. I missed special needs and as a result I stopped at an aid station to make up for things. No biggie. For the remainder of the second loop I was fighting head winds that were gusting over 40mph. I did all I could to ride strong into the wind and take advantage when there was a tail wind. I will say that my Bontrager disk makes for a great sail and is VERY fast. The only problem was that when we got the tail wind, we were riding uphill, so I continued to work fairly hard.

I was really missing my Powertap, but was making it through the highs and lows and trying to keep my moral high. I knew my targeted ride time of 4:45-4:50 was out of the question and just didn’t want to fade to bad late in the ride. I tried to stay positive as I battled through the third loop and thought about all of the riding that I had done into the wind down in Clermont.

I arrived back in transition after a ride of 5hrs 13min. I saw a few people that I knew which helped lift my spirits and after a brief “stop,” I headed out onto the run.

I didn’t have the legs that I had at the start of IMFL last year, but I focused with hopes that they would come around later on. I stayed smooth and took in the coke and water that I needed.

By mile seven I knew that it would be a “best effort” type of day, so I tried to enjoy the atmosphere of the race and soak it up. I even tried, jokingly; to get a sorority girl at the special needs run station to run the third loop with me. I was unsuccessfulJ I am guessing that the crust of Power Gel, coke, sweat and a few other things probably pushed her away!??!?!?

The good news was that all of my fatigue was muscular, and not in my joints like past races. I stayed steady at around 7:30-5/miles through 20miles and then at about mile 21 I had a big blister pop on my right foot. “Oh Crap,” this was going to hurt and it caused me to slow quite a bit as I got close to the finish.

Eventually I crossed in 9:53:12 as the 19th pro male. I am seeing progress and I am not far off from nailing an IM in the near future.

I am now recovering on my way back to Wisconsin for the summer. In the next few months, I will race Ironman Florida 70.3, the Rockman Half Ironman, the Apple Duathlon, a few running races and then peak for Ironman Coeur d’Alene on June 24 where I hope to get a Hawaii slot and go under 9hrs.

I want to thank Russ Brandt and Julie Holt for putting up with me. I couldn’t ask for better hosts. They put up with me for 2 weeks!! I want to thank everyone that believes in and supports me. I also want to thank Timex, Blue Seventy, Bontrager, Trigger Point Therapy, Trek, Powerbar and the Trek Bike Store of Madison.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Roller Coaster Ride - April 11 & 12

I will bring you up to speed on what has gone on over the last few days. I awoke with a tooth ache about 4 days ago. At first I didn't think much of it(didn't even mention it in my blog), but it progressively got worse each day.

I will spare you the details, but in short I have an old root canal that has become infected. It has caused swelling, stiffness and tear-filled pain. Yesterday I was thinking of pulling the plug on the race. I couldn't lay down, let alone race. I called my dentist and she prescribed some antibiotics. The prescription meds along with A LOT of IBProfin and some pushing on my tooth has forced the fluid out and relieved the pressure.

The result is that today I am feeling much better. Still stiff, but things are looking great for feeling good on Sunday morning. I will keep you posted.


Ok, today was the first day of Ironman Expo and there were fit people everywhere.

The water is perfect for my Helix Fullsuit, the temp is about 69*. I really like the set-up of this swim, one big loop.

The winds have been crazy here today, gusting to 50mph. There have been power outages all over the city. I rode a loop out on the course and flatted halfway through, out in the dessert. It was AWESOME(a little sarcasm). But it was almost movie like, with tumble weeds and dust devils all over. I hope things settle by Sunday.

In the afternoon I did a seminar for North America Sports and Timex on our new Speed & Distance Body link system. It will be available for viewing on this weekend.

After the long day I made it back home. I will post pics and more updates from the weekend soon.



Thursday Apr 12

Swim 31min and 2000y in Town Lake. Steady with several hard efforts. Felt good.

Ride at noon, 1:32 and 58km. Good ride with several hard efforts. Flatted in the middle.

Wednesday Apr 11

Julie did some ultra-sound on my calf(still swollen).

Ride of 1:15 and 35km with Russ and that was it for the day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Gremlin, "That Guy," and "Hey Russ..."

Meet Harry...Harry looks like a gremlin, but is the hairless cat that lives here at my homestay with Russ and Julie. He is a 'trip.' Sometimes, hairy gets angry(as you can see). He is more like a dog. He fetches, drinks by dipping his paws in water, then licks them, he leaves his toys in his water dish and likes people food. Crazy cat, a lot of personality.

Well, race week is finally here. It seems like I was waiting, waiting, waiting for it to get here and now it is flying by. Tuesday is almost done. I guess that is how most things go. Like vacations. Everyone always looks forward to a vacation and it seems like such a long wait, then before you know it, it is here and gone and you are back at work.


While I have been staying here, I have been swimming at the ASU pool. Very nice! Now, if you saw the pool you might say "WTH, this pool is somewhat dirty, the lawn-chairs are from the 70's and there is no music. Seems pretty average. Now, check out the same pool on the weekend and you will change your tune. Regardless of if you are a guy or gal. Beautiful weather = beautiful people.

Anyway, the reason that I bring this up is that, as triathletes, we lose perspective on occassion. Ok, maybe we have perspective on occassion.:)

Example: On Saturday I did my swim at 1pm. Being close to a race and having trained in sunny FL, I might be fooled in thinking I was impressing a lady or two. This is where we lose perspective.

Remember when you were at the pool in either high school or early on in college? Remember the guy that always walked in and swam in a speedo? Remember what you thought about him? All of a sudden, I was "THAT GUY." We all had a good laugh over that one the other night.


Blog is getting long, so I will only tell one last story. The other night I am telling Russ about how I will be carbohydrate loading for this race. A series of short HARD efforts 2 days out and then a HUGE amount of CHO(1000g) for the day. I will be loading as 80% Martodextrin / 20% Fructose...I have maltodextrin, but needed fructose.

I asked Russ, "Do you know where I can get Fructose around here?" He proceeds to open a cabinet and pull out a bag of, "what do you need?" He pulls out a 5+ lb bag of none other than FRUCTOSE! I have a pic of it, but couldn't get it to post down here. You'll have to take my word for it.


Alright, I have to go ride in the heat again. Here is a quick summary of yesterday and today.

Monday Apr 9 - Nothing, Nada, Massage and that is it. Boring.

Tuesday Apr 10 -

Swim of 1:05 and 3500 yds as follows:


5x300 HARD on 5:00. (3:44, 3:40, 3:40, 3:41, 3:40) Not great but ok. 200 easy

2x4x100 on 1:45 as (25h/75e,50h/50e,75h/25e,100h) swam 1:07,1:06 for the 100h's

200 easy cd

Afternoon spin of 60min very easy around town.

30min run off the bike with 5x1:30H on = recovery

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter Apr 8 & 9

Sunday April 9 Easter

Well, no chocolate bunnies this year....but I had my last "training day" before IMAZ.

Ride 2:45 on the course. 94km Rode 20min easy and then 30min at 260w, 30min at 230w, 30min at 250w and then 40min at 230w. I learned a lot today about the wind on the course and to expect it to change throughout the ride.

For example. On the first loop I had a head wind and averaged about 35kph up to the turn. On the second time around I had a tail wind and averaged 39kph uphill at 10 less watts. Speeds on the descent were slower on the second loop because of the wind. I will make sure that I have some left in the tank after 150k of riding.

Run off the bike of 22min and 5km all at IM pace. Felt good, HOT. Lower leg was tight for about the first 50m of the run, the n good.

Afternoon swim with Russ...really tired so i kept it easy. 60min and 3000m (3300 yds). Good stretching later in the day and done.


Saturday Apr 7

Swim 45min at 2500 yds

Ride 55min and 30km

Soid stretch and core work 30min.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Catching Up Apr 1-6

Ok, I know I haven't writtetn in a while, but things have been crazy. I will try my best to get you up to speed. I traveled to San Diego for the Timex Team Camp. GREAT TIME! I love the team and everyone that is related to it. Ben, our team manager did a great job in his first year putting the camp together. Nice Job!

Each day we got presentations from all of our sponsors...of which I will name a few. Blue Seventy has an updated cuff for the 2007 Helix wetsuit. It solves the issues with leaky sleeves. They are by far the more versitile wetsuit that I have tried. Keep your eyes open for something special regarding next year.

The TTX frames...well, I have already told you how fast they are...seriously though, they are much more stiff than anything carbon that I have ever been on. Perfect for the IMAZ course.

Spenco is a sponsor that makes insoles for shoes and cycling gloves. I am helping them with their launch of the "Rip-It" triathlon specific gloves. More to come soon. Their insoles have now replaced my superfeet and are much softer. If you ever get sore feet during long runs, it could be from inserts that are too hard. Spenco makes a soft insert that is still very stiff. Check it out.

Related to my injury, the TPMassage Rollers and Balls are helping to fix my foot and ankle problems. The tightness actually stem from up into the calf. Check out the site I think that every athlete should give them a chance. You won't go back to anything else that you were using.

Ok, enough is what I have done the past week. I had to treat camp like complete recovery almost....I am feeling better because of it.

Saturday Mar 31

OFF Travel to San Diego

Sunday Apr 1

Run 8k easy in 40min, calf a bit tight.

Easy ride of 1:15 and 35km

Short easy swim of 50min and 2500 yds

Monday Apr 2

Hard ride with Dave Harju...this guy is strong. 1:57 and 70km

Swim of 45min and 2200 yds with Dave and Natasha, mainset was 60x25 on :30, 3h/1e

Tuesday Apr 3

Run 43min and 10km with Brian Shanning and Josh Ritchie...both great guys.

Travel to Phoenix

Wednesday Apr 4

Swim 3400 yds in 1:02, short mainset in hot pool, yuck, 5x200 on 2:45, 12x100 on 1:30.

Descending run to 10k effort,20easy/20build to HIM/15min at 10k pace...felt good by the end.

Ride 1:50, 1 loop of the course. 60min at 240-260w. 68km total.

Thursday Apr 5

Swim 4300 yds in 1:05, mainset:
800p(9:46), 8x100s on 1:30(1:10-1:12)
400p(4:39), 4x100s on 1:30(1:10-1:12)
200p(2:17), 2x100s on 1:30(1:12)
Easy cd

Easy ride of 1:10, 40km

30min run off the bike at pace, 7km

Friday Apr 6

Swim of 3100 in 50min, 1650 in wetsuit TT, PR.. Nice to see training fatigue gone.
Core and strength work for 45min.

Ride of 1:40 with 18x1min at 350-360w target...took 5 to feel good. Then 3x5min at 250-60w uphill. Good ride, HOT. 55km total

Run of 5k and 22min steady off the bike.