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2010 Season Review and 2011 Preview

2010 was my most successful year of racing since I entered into the sport of triathlon. I finished 4th at Memphis In May, I smashed my course record at Elkhart Lake International Triathlon, finished 5th at Ironman Wisconsin and set personal best numbers all season long.

Though hugely successful, this season did not come without some very low points.  In fact, I briefly contemplated laying down my sword after a terrible race at Ironman Lake Placid. I was not meeting my expectations and things were continuing to go exactly how I did not want them to go.

After the race I took a week and visited my brother, hung out in New York and got completely away from the lifestyle and sport.  On the way back to Wisconsin I asked myself why I chose this sport as my career. The answer was because I LOVED IT!

Everything else aside, when it comes down to it there is nothing I would rather do than get out there and swim, ride and run; push my body to it's limit and see just how much I can make it hur…

Finally an UPDATE!

Though the blog has been quiet over the last month, there has been a lot going on with me and Blake Becker Multisport Coaching LLC.  Racing: I am currently writing this blog on my way down to race my last Ironman of the 2010 season in Panama City Beach.  This will be my 3rd time toeing the line here, which means I am quite familiar with both the city and the race itself.  Let’s just say prep has gone well and I am looking forward to getting out there and getting things started. You can follow the race online over at www.ironman.com this coming saturday starting at 6:50am CST. New Website: You will notice that www.blakebecker.com has a new look.  A big thanks to Kaili Purviance at Clever Melon LLC for putting together one awesome, easily updatable site.  I also want to thank Gary Geiger of Gary Geiger Photography for providing me with some great photo’s that you will see rotating throughout the site! 2011 Multisport Team: I am excited to announce that Blake Becker Multisport Coaching LLC wit…

What do you get after 8 years of Ironman Racing?

BREAKTHROUGH!!!! 8:55:44 5th Overall Ironman Wisconsin 2010
So I am going to write this blog a little bit different than I might write a normal race report.  I will go through some of the race details, but there is a more important takeaway from this race; both for me and to everyone reading.
For those of you that haven't followed my racing, this was my 20th Ironman start and for me it had been a struggle every step of the way. I always showed promise in training, but it never came together on race day. I knew I could, but just didn't know how to bring it all together.
So what changed? Absolutely nothing physically or nutritionally.  As always I trained hard and fueled well. This was what I always looked to in finding a solution...until 6 weeks ago.
6 weeks prior to Ironman Wisconsin, I started working with  Bobby McGee. Bobby is a world renowned run coach, but I sought him out for his sports psychology background. In short, he did some evaluations and we worked together in addressi…

4 Sleeps To Go

We are now sitting on Wednesday of Ironman Wisconsin race week and it seems as though the days have flown by. Today marks the end of most of my pre-ironman obligations.  Between training, resting, coaching, speaking and consulting with my athletes, I have had a fairly packed schedule over the last 2 weeks.

I have trained the mind and body hard over the last 7 weeks and have prepared to suffer on Sunday better than anyone else out there. In the beginning my body resisted, then the mind protested in many different ways, but FINALLY they both gave in and got on board with the program.

I usually find that when I train hard up until 14 days out from a race, there is a period of time within the first week of taper, when I feel very tired and sluggish.  No matter how many times I go through this, I always wonder if I am going to come out of it.  The good news is that I usually do and this race has been no exception.  After 5 days of dragging my tired body around last week, I find myself ju…

The Taper

We are now into full on taper for Ironman Wisconsin and there are a few things that I would like to pass along as we go forward. I will post them to the forum, but wanted to make sure you got them first.
Not all of you on this list are racing Ironman and I haven't directly coached many of you, but we have crossed paths at some point along the way. Whether or not you are racing, have raced or will race again, I think that this information is good for everyone to remember.
Each one of you has had a different story, a different training plan and a different path to get where we are 12 days out from the race. Some of you have had injuries, some have been sick and some have had to learn to train in a different way due to changes within your lives. Whatever your story is, whatever your state of mind is and whatever your level fitness may be, it is important that over the next 12 days you take advantage of every opportunity you have the race you want and have worked so hard for. It has…
Hi All,
If you get a chance, head over to the forum to check out regular racing, training, nutrition and life balance topics.
Sorry for the lull in thread topics and posts; as the taper starts I would like to add a few new topics every couple days, so feel free to respond, start threads of your own, or add questions.

Here is the first topic that I posted from the forum, you can register(for free) or check out the forum here.
The first topic is the sweat test. Nutrition is called the 4th discipline in triathlon quite often and for good reason. I think that many times athletes just neglect it and don't put in the time and effort to simulate their race in different conditions in order to find out what works and what doesn't work for them. Ill cover a few more ideas and steps as we go here, but the first is "The Sweat Test."

What to do:

1) Write down weather conditions and specific intensity that you are planning to train in.
2) Weight yourself naked before the session and …

Todd Varness

I had the privilege of getting to know Todd Varness over the last year and a half! Let me tell you about Todd. Now I only saw Todd a few days each week for a short period of time outside maybe an occasional Saturday morning at the famers market. Though it wasn't much, he did have a huge impact on me as a person.
There are a lot of people that workout early in the morning. They get up when it's dark, are grumpy and bitter throughout their workouts, then go to work and live their busy lives. Well with Todd, he had a busy life, he worked with kids and he did train before it was light out. But there was one huge difference with him. He NEVER and I mean NEVER complained once about anything. Infact, I think he laughed and joked just about more than anything else. Even right before he was diagnosed and when he was feeling so bad, he never once complained!
He was always the first one to ask how your day was going or say hi. He was sarcastic, funny and genuine...no one deserves…

Coeur d'Alene & The Rest of the Season

Well, I think that I have answered about 100 emails asking about what happened out at IronmanCoeurd'Alene. The day ended a bit early for me, but I was able to take a lot of confidence away from it.
I found myself on the beach at 6:25am anticipating the cannon. The beach start is not my favorite, mostly because I am not very strong with them. I have always had a tough time running through the water. Luckily the lake is deep and there are only 3 or 4 steps required before a dive!
The cannon booms and I am in the midst of the froth and many athletes who I wanted to key off of were right there. I glued myself to my buddy Chris's feet and told myself not to leave them. I have always had a good swim when I have done this. After the first loop, I exited the water to see that I was right in the middle of the long line of athletes. It was hard to see where I actually was while in the water, the chop was pretty bad and in a lake there is no rhythm to the waves like you might find…

Triathlon Forum Launch

I wanted to let you know that I have created one of Wisconsin's first free public triathlon forums. I have posted a link to the website below, which is also linked off of my homepage over at http://www.blakebecker.com/ The forum is a means for me to give back to the community and share the knowledge that I have gained over my last decade of training, racing and coaching. Most of the forum will be open to the public, with a few threads that will be reserved for my athletes.

You can post anything that you like regarding training, racing, nutrition, training routes or groups, recipes, social gatherings, races, injury, recovery and the list could go on forever. All are welcome, regardless of who coaches you or where you live, etc. Please forward this to all of your training groups and friends. Help me spread the word.

I will moderate the forum and will answer most questions within a very short period of time.

To access the forum, simply create a handle. Your information is not shared and…

Elkhart Lake & Now The Taper!

This last weekend I raced a very well run local triathlon as one of my last training sessions before I race IronmanCoeurd'Alene. I went into the race on about 48hrs of easy training after a huge day training on Wednesday. This is very similar to how I raced Memphis last month and it seemed to work well. This time I only gave myself 2 days easy compared to 3 for that race, so there was a little experimentation going on. Needless to say, everything went very well and results can be found here. Things are progressing well and I am ready to race the big boys in 2 weeks.
Now that I am into the taper, the rules are simple. Eat a lot, sleep a lot and complete all sessions at about 90% of what I think I need to do. I feel like I am rested now, which is exactly where I want to be. Trust the training, feed on the rest and get psyched to rock n roll.
In the mean time I will be posting developments on new coaching programs, a forum that is now up on my website here, and a new website th…

Memphis, Speed Concept, FInal Build & New Site

The last few months have been great in the triathlon department of life, so let me catch you up on things.
Memphis -
Two weeks ago I raced Memphis In May down in TN. I had a lot of training going into the race, but no "tests(races)," so I was unsure how things would go. A long story short, it went well. I finished 4th overall, just seconds off the podium, in a race that I played extremely conservative because of 100* temperatures. I swam strong in the non-wetsuit 1500m swim, rode tempo pace for the 38.5k ride and ran the best I could in the heat.
This was a very solid start to the year and it was also great to catch-up with all my friends who flew in for the race!
Speed Concept -
I have been on the new Trek Speed Concept for about 6 weeks now and the bike is nothing short of amazing. It truly is the fastest bike available with a cross wind and without. In addition to being fast, it is also pretty fun to look at. ;) There are no exposed cables, brakes or anything else t…

Checking In...

Hi All,
Just a quick check in for you on this end. Everything is going great with some very solid sessions happening throughout this training block. I will be heading down to race Memphis In May on May 23rd. It is just a fun event that I have decided to participate in with my good friend JD, who lives in Boulder.
After Memphis I will race a number of times here in Wisconsin during my final build into Ironman Coeur d'Alene. This just helps me with my race readiness.
If you would like to follow my daily training and happenings, you can either check me out on Facebook or Twitter (http://twitter.com/Blakebecker)
I will try to check in again soon!
Blake

Update!

I'm back!! After a long break from posts, I am back on the wagon. Life, training and coaching has been keeping me very busy over the last few months, but is all going great. Here is a quick update for you.
Training is going very well right now and as the weeks go by the body is getting stronger and the anticipation for the first Ironman of the season is building. After seeing the gains and making the breakthroughs that I did last year, I wasn't sure what to expect in 2010.
Well now that we are in April, I think I have a pretty good idea. I am already building on the fitness that I peaked at for last season and on top of that, my mental picture is much more clear and my focus is direct and sharp. I know exactly what I want to do this year and how I am going about it!
Coaching is going well! I have a new structure this year that is making things affordable for all budgets! Email me with an questions!
Camps are filling quickly, so if you have an interest in a full catered w…

The Triathlon Body

There are a few athletes whom I work with that struggle occasionally with feeling the need to be at a certain weight or look a certain way. Usually this is a weight that they have previously achieved in a past season early on in the sport. Sometimes an athlete equates being 'fit' with this low number on the scale and sometimes an athlete who struggles with hitting this number, feels the constant need to work harder and harder.
This can be something that is draining both physically and mentally on an athlete. If the athlete feels the need to work harder and harder, they soon compromise recovery and their bodies start to break down physically. After an extended period of time without seeing progress, the athlete can become frustrated mentally, which can cause a negative body image and the loss of believe in their ability to perform in sport.
If this sounds like you, remember this. When most people enter the sport of triathlon, they don't have much background in swimming, cycli…

Catching You Up To Speed....

It has only been a few weeks since my last post, which is pretty good for me lately, but I do have a lot to catch you up on.

#1 Participation
This last weekend I "participated" in the Badger State Winter Games, I did not compete for anything besides being able to take in enough oxygen.
Before the race on Friday, I was a torch bearer for the opening ceremonies. Though there were only a few hundred people there, I just closed my eyes and envisioned I was in Vancouver...it didn't really work, but was still fun! I want to thank Bontrager and Trek for the clothing that kept me warm. I didn't let you down though and scored a television spot on channel 7 and picture in paper. After the ceremony I hung out with the interns for Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation, which is also the company that works with Ironman in town. Fun times when you put an open bar, interns and athletes in the same room.
The next morning I participated in the 21km Freestyle Ski Event. Let me s…

BAMF.....

Jordan Rapp posts occasionally about people whom he calls BAMF's. BAMF's are basically people that do or are extraordinary in life. This girl definitely belongs in this category. She is 16 and sailing around the world solo.
Check her out here: http://abbysunderland.com/
Simply awesome!

Rolling Into 2010

The site is finally up and running! Though a few of the pictures and logo's will be changed, what you currently see is most likely how it will stay! Feel free to post your feedback!
On the coaching side of things, I am finally an LLC. The official title is Blake Becker Multisport Coaching LLC, until I can think of a better name for the company. Minor details ;) All of my athletes are getting back into the groove and many of them are taking advantage of all this snow to avoid long tedious hours on the trainer. This helps them avoid the feeling of being burned out after so many weeks where it is cold and dark outside.
I have 5 slots left for athletes in 2010, which will most likely start to fill up in the next month as people think about their seasons. Contact me at blakebeck@gmail.com if you are interested or would like more information.
Speaking of planning, this is the time to map out your races, rides and events for the coming year. Map everything out and come out of the win…

Training With Power Seminar Series

TRAINING AND RACING WITH POWER
WHERE: Trek Bicycle Store West
WHEN: THIS FRIDAY, January 8th
TIME: 6:00 - 7:30pm with presentation starting at 630pm./
COST: FREE
Come learn about and increase your knowledge of training and racing with power in our January Training with Power Seminar Series. It is a 3 part series with dates and a brief description given below. Email me with any questions that you might have!

January 8th - THE BASICS OF POWER
This is an overview of what power is and how it is measured. There will be an introduction to the terminology and the Power Tap. Attendees will also learn why training with power is more effective than traditional methods using heartrate and perceived exertion. There will be a lot of time for question and answer

January 22nd - INTEGRATION OF POWER INTO TRAINING AND RACING
Learn how to use power effectively and get the most out of your training and racing. Learn about training zones, power tests and guidelines to follow while out on the bike.

January 29t…