Showing posts from February, 2008

Buckling Down and Babies

FIRST, congratulations to Graham and Stacy Partain. They are the couple that I have stayed with down here in Clermont for the last 3 years and had their first baby yesterday. Stacy was a bit early (3.5wks), but everything is OK!


This weekend marks 6 weeks out from Ironman Arizona and 4 weeks out from Ironman California 70.3. Things have gone very well so far and I feel that I will be in good shape heading into my early season races.

This week marks the point where I tighten the screws and buckle down before getting to the start line in April. It is nothing too dramatic, just cutting out the treats and late night snacks.

There is big difference between optimal training and racing weight. To train hard and long, you have to be durable, strong and a little heavy. If you try to be your lightest and leanest, the training will crush you.


My recovery this week is going very well and is actually harder than the training for me ;) I have seen another pop in my fit…

Pool Progress

For those of you that don't know, this is the pool at the National Training Center, here in Clermont. It is set up short course (like you see here) on M,T,W, and long course on R,F,S,S. Today I saw another jump in swim times. I had a 1200 mixed warm-up and then started a mainset of 6x400 on 5:20. The idea was to hold back on #1 and #2, open it up a little bit on #3 and #4, then hit #5 and hang on for #6. Here are the results - # 1 - 4:54 #2 - 4:48 #3 - 4:47 #4 - 4:44 #5 - 4:41 #6 - 4:43 These times are about 5-8sec faster than I saw about 4 weeks ago. Getting faster, that is all that matters! ++++++++++++++ I saw the movie "Vantage Point," last night, which was pretty good. I went with a friend (yes I have a few) and we were originally going to see "Fool's Gold." After 5min we realized that it was going to be horrible, so we picked up and dropped into "Vantage Point." Good move! The best part of this can buy food and beer/wine and tak…

Training Summary of Clermont.

More on the pic below. I have just finished up my seventh week down here in Clermont and survived my second block of training. These 3 week training cycles are really motivating to me. I have shown improvements each week and have gotten stronger and stronger as time goes by.

I thought I would post some numbers for ya'll, week by week.
Week 1 - Total Hours: 25:07 Swim: 24,357 yds Bike: 244 miles Run: 41 miles
Week 2 - Total Hours: 27:10 Swim: 25,832 yds Bike: 262 miles Run: 49 miles
Week 3 - Total Hours: 29:38 Swim: 22,205 yds Bike: 325 miles Run: 50 miles Week 4 - Recovery Total Hours: 21:46 Swim: 20,451 yds Bike: 211 miles Run: 38 miles Week 5 - Tampa Half Marathon Total Hours: 25:27 Swim: 23,857 yds Bike: 263 miles Run: 50 miles
Week 6 - Total Hours: 31:33 hours Swim: 28,713 yds Bike: 340 miles Run: 41 miles
Week 7 - Total Hours: 33:05 Swim: 24,961 yds Bike: 420 miles Run: 45 miles
Volume is right in the middle for me (beside week 7), but the intensity has been pretty solid. Lots of zone 3 riding, with just enoug…


I really don't know what he was thinking making a video in his University of Miami sweatshirt....pretty awesome.

Anyway, the reason for the title and the video is to impress upon everyone that ice baths are "the single best recovery technique, hands down." a quote from my coach Kurt at

I will post some numbers after this week. Right now I am hitting some of my highest volume in a LONG time. Everything seems to be coming together. I don't feel that tired and I am getting faster and stronger with each passing day. The training is not beating me down like in past years.

So why am I not tired? Because everything I am doing, outside of training, is dedicated to recovery. Here is what I mean and what you can do.

#1 Ice baths after EVERY tough session

#2 Eating A LOT and often, no cutting cals. Food = Fast

#3 Sleeping A LOT...naps and 9hrs every night.

#4 Self massage/stretching EVERY NIGHT.

#5 Drinking water all the…

How you know you've been training hard????

I'll tell you how you know....

This week I have had quite a bit of training and am a bit smoked as I sit on the couch writing this blog. This week I will hit well over 30hrs of training, the highlight being 30k in water and about 350miles on the bike.

Anyway, for anyone that has lived with me you know that I tend to eat very healthy. My shopping cart is usually filled with only fruits, veggies, meat, nuts, cottage cheese and yogurt.

This is USUALLY what is in my shopping cart. :)

I was in the checkout line again this week(seems like every day) and looked down in my cart, only to laugh. Here is what I saw. 2 boxes of cereal, 2 bags of rice cakes, 1 container of ice cream, a bag of Pita Bread, a box of mentos and soda.

Most of these things aren't that "bad," but it is funny how our food choices change as the training load goes up!

I am afraid to think what might be in my cart next week!!!

Here's to fueling the engine and keeping our sanity!


A good start to the season in Tampa

"The Becker Buzz" Gasparilla Tampa Bay Half Marathon 1:15:00 - 5th Overall This weekend I decided to head over to Tampa for what is turning out to be an annual event. I have run the half marathon each of the last two years, placing 5th in 2006 and 3rd in 2007. Each year I do the race on just a day or two of rest, so it can be a good fitness marker. My only goal was to set a PR. The temps were great (mid 50's), but it was pretty windy. The course is pretty straight forward. Flat, with the exception of a few over-passes and bridges. The race does start at 6am (in the dark), so the footing can be a bit tricky on the cobblestones. After a 4mile warm-up, my legs felt good. I was sporting the compression socks, which always gets a few looks. As always, the pace was hot from the start. I rolled through mile 1 at a conservative pace and then settled in. As the miles passed I built by pace, but kept my HR in check using my Timex HR Monitor, which is bomb proof. I have abuse…

Seeing Progress

Following 4 days of recovery, today it was time to head out and test on the bike and see what, if any gains I have made. The protocol that I have used for a while is a 35-45min wu followed by 5min at my estimated threshold(FTP). Then ride 10min easy, followed by the test. A 20min best effort TT. 95% of that number is pretty close to your threshold/LT/FTP watts. The highest number I saw last year was 341 watts and back in November (my last test) I saw 337 watts. Over the past few weeks I have felt that my threshold had improved and today those feelings were validated. I averaged 353 watts for test, with an average HR of 184 bpm. A 16w improvement over November and a 12w improvement over anything I had seen in the past. This test estimates my LT at 335 watts, which is VERY motivating to me. Especially since I am back down under 160 lbs. To ride 4:40-4:45 on most ironman courses and be able to run well, it is thought that a 155lb - 165lb athlete needs a threshold of 350 watts and an averag…