Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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 hurt. I didn't do it because I needed to go 8:xx in an Ironman or 3:xx in a half ironman.  YES, I am competitive, YES I want to win, but if I competed for those reasons alone, I wouldn't last very long.

In addition to my own performance, I also thought about the satisfaction and reward I get in passing along what I have learned over the last decade. In short, I also do it for my athletes and the community.  What I see people achieve and the self belief that this sport instills in them is unmatched.

I came away from that conversation with myself and decided that I needed to approach my next Ironman in a new way.  I needed to take the workouts that I knew worked the best for me and that I believed in the most and do them.  Then I needed to address what I knew was a limiter of mine; my head.  I sought out Bobby McGee for some sports psychology (one of the best in the world) and learned more about the mental side of triathlon in 6 weeks, than I had in the previous 9 years.

What resulted for me was my best ironman finish to date and a foundation to build upon over the next decade.  All of this came after a build with setbacks that included a crash 5 weeks out from the race and a trip to the ER just 3 weeks out from the big day. Sometimes we shine in the face of adversity.

++++++++++++

2011 is going to be a huge year for me.  It will mark the 10th anniversary of Ironman Wisconsin, I will turn 30 and I will hit the 12,000 lifetime training hour mark!!  Needless to say, my focus for the year will be shining in front of the people who mean the most to me.

To add to this, I have launched a multi-sport team here in Madison that I am very excited about.  I will have opportunity to work face to face with 24 athletes and personally help them achieve their triathlon goals.

Outside of sport I have a few goals as well, but I will keep those to myself! ;)  Life is great, I am thankful for every day and am excited to see what the future will bring!

Blake

ps - If you are free this coming Sunday (December 5th) from 6:00-8:00pm, come to the Trek Store Madison West and check out what the team is all about.  Come meet the other team members, their families, sponsors and get details on everything!! Email me for more information or if you cannot make it.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

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 with be launching a multisport team in 2011.  The team will be coached by myself and will be comprised of athletes with varying abilities; some will have never completed a triathlon in their life, while others will be seasoned veterans. The team is designed to make triathlon work within your life, while involving family both inside and outside of the sport! In addition, the team will have a number of sponsors who will be providing a significant discount to athletes.
Team workouts will start in January 2011 and athletes will have a variety of options to make the team training fit their schedule.  
Our current practice schedule is as follows (athletes choose 3):
- Sunday afternoon swim 4:00pm (bring the family!)
- Tuesday morning run 9:00am
- Tuesday evening run 6:00pm
- Thursday morning bike 9:00am
- Thursday evening bike 7:15pm
If you like to work hard and are looking for a fun motivating environment, this team is for you.  You can find more information over at www.blakebecker.com, or you can contact me directly at blakebeck@gmail.com. There are currently 8 more openings for athletes in 2011.
**Team Informational Night. December 5th 6:00pm - 8:00pm Trek Store Madison West**
Come meet current team members, pick up information, register and get all your questions answered by Blake. You will also be able to enjoy snacks and drinks.

Personal Coaching:
I have opened up a few additional personal coaching slots for 2011. There are two openings left as I write this, so if you are interested please drop me an email asap. Athletes will get fully customized coaching designed to meet every one of their needs. Personal Coaching also includes a team membership.
Facebook & Twitter:
Blake Becker Multisport Coaching LLC is now on Facebook and Twitter.  Follow the links on my homepage and keep up on the latest happenings.
Multisport Camps:
So many of you have asked me to run more than 1 triathlon camp in 2011.  I have taken notice and will be running at least 2 camps (perhaps 3) throughout the season.  These weekend camps are run Fri-Sun and include everything you will need other than lodging and transportation. Check back soon for camp dates and details!
Multisport Forum:
Check out the multisport forum here. This forum is free your information will not be shared and is designed to be a resource for you to get training and racing questions answered.  You will also be able to buy and sell your training and racing gear, organize training with others and meet other athletes in the area!

Stay tuned to my website and blog for more information coming soon...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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 addressing some of my psychological limiters.  For me it was an issue with focus. You can head over to my forum to take a look at exactly what I worked on.  

Anyway, the take away from this race is that when you truly believe in something you can accomplish it.  You may not do it on the first try, or second, or 19th in this case, but as the saying goes: "where there's a will, there's a way."  This is one of the many lessons and take-a-ways that can be paralleled to other aspects of life.

+++

Ok, here's a race day recap for you!

Swim: I positioned myself on the front line all the way on the inside of the group.  This is where I typically start.  Things were very uneventful and I found myself in a group with the usual suspects. About 600m into the swim, a few of the guys who I had "wanted" to swim with had opened up a gap of about 50m.  I thought it was worth a shot to bridge the gap, WHOOPS! I got about half way across and red-lined.  I started hyperventilating and HAD to stop. About that same time the goggles fogged, which added to the anxiety.  So I stopped, cleared my goggles and regrouped.  This meant that I had to let my usual group go and settle into my own rhythm. I exited the water pulling the 3rd group of athletes about 2min back of "my" group and 4:30 down on the front group.

Bike: After a speedy transition I was off and riding.  This is typically my strength and I settled into a nice rhythm.  I felt very flat on the ride, but also used the knowledge that you don't have to feel sharp to have a good Ironman ride.  The front guys put a LOT of time into me in the first 40miles. Perhaps this was because i was solo, perhaps not.  Either way, I just took care of myself and stayed in the moment.  I cruised through the halfway mark in 2:25, which was fine.  I stayed steady and the second loop was literally almost a carbon copy of the first. I split 2:27 for this loop and rolled into T2 in 9th position.

Run: Once onto the run I had a very focused mindset.  I didn't feel good, but I knew what I needed to do.  I looked to run 2:53 on the day, but quickly realized that my PE was a bit too high to sustain that effort, so I backed off to the "feeling" that I re-enforced SO many times in training.  I was making up time on everyone, except Joe, but didn't know if I would run out of ground.  At the first turn I found myself in 6th and felt the same as I did when I had began the marathon.  

The miles ticked by and I stuck to my well oiled nutrition plan, that is until mile 9 when I dropped my salt container which sent pills everywhere. F&%$!!! Oh well, I kept on rolling and thought, "no worries, I have salt at special needs and I can take in more gels at the aid stations."  This worked out ok, though I paid for it a bit later in the race.

I came through the half way in 1:29 and again felt like I did to begin the run leg.  I metronomically kept my strong run form ticking over and grabbed what I could at the aid stations.  Before I knew it, I was at mile 16 which is when I ideally like to pick things up.  I was in 5th and the gap to 4th was 2min, 3rd 4min and 2nd down to 8minutes (halved). I was a bit emotional at times because I knew I had finally "done" it, but I knew that moving up was possible.  So I pushed and the mile splits came back down into the 6:40's.  Then at about the 32k mark, the hamstring twinges started to creep in.  No doubt from the lack of sodium early on.  So I had to back off the pace slightly and started taking in 2 salt tabs (something I knew my body could handle). Within 3k my body was feeling pretty strong again and I started to get back after it....as much as you can 35k into an Ironman marathon ;) The gap was slowly coming down, but I was running out of miles and I had bigger problems coming...literally.

With about 1k to go I turned around, "just to check" I guess and I see a big, angry Max Longree (one of the best runners in the sport) closing down the gap at a pretty rapid rate I might add.  I had two options, run hard and RUN HARD!!!  So I zipped up my top and gave it everything I had.  Spectators, friends, and family were all screaming to go harder, but did I have enough left?  It wasn't a question.  I had been in 5th for 15 miles and I wasn't about to give it up.  

I cleared special needs and made the turn into the finish straight, almost side by side with Max.  The motorcycle who was filming the entire thing, pulled off in front of me, nearly taking me out!  I had no time for this! It was about at this point that I found another gear somewhere?!?! I managed to pull away in the last 100m to cross 3sec ahead.

Immediately upon crossing the line, both hamstrings locked and I went straight into two AWESOME volunteers!  The end result, 8:55:44 and 5th place!!

I have to thank everyone for their support over the years, as well as my sponsors (Trek, KSwiss, Saris, TYR and Wheelbuilder.com).  But more than this I want to thank my mom and my stepdad.  Both of them have showed me what it means to believe, encourage and support their son in pursuing their passion.  I am sure they had their doubts along the way, but never once wavered in their support.  So thank you.

I now have 10 years to improve on this result and make my mark in the sport.  My bar is set high and just like I accomplished this goal, I will accomplish future ones as well.

For now, some R&R and then a little more racing before the colder months.  

I also want to say congrat's to everyone who finished and even those who didn't. Some of you went in on with your A-game and nailed it and some of you went in with your B or even C game and surprised the heck out of yourself.  You should all be excited and proud of your achievements.

Have a great week and I'll check in soon!

Blake

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

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 jumping out of my skin this week.

My fitness is at the best level of the year.  I swam a bit more to prepare for the possibility of a non-wetsuit swim (which now looks like it won't be the case). I have boosted my threshold by around ~10w and lost 4kg's since the middle of July.  I have also laid down 11 rides over 160km in that time period to really dial in and re-enforce what I will be laying down on sunday. I have also kept up my run training, which has been very solid all year.

This time around I have also prepared in a way that most do not.  I sought out the coaching of Bobby McGee to help me prepare my mind. He has helped me discover how to focus it when needed and how to pull it back when I don't.  This time, I am confident in not only the physical and nutritional aspects of ironman racing, but am now confident in my mental plan for the race. To be successful, you need all three. A different perspective, a different approach, a different frame of mind, they all equal a more complete athlete.

Regardless of race conditions, the competition, placing, average watts, bike time, etc...what I will be doing out there will remain the same. That "what" is what will yield my best result on the day and THAT is all I am looking for.

Good luck to all of you racing this weekend! Focus on what you are doing out there and believe in yourself.  You can't do anything about the injuries, sickness or missed workouts that you may have faced, put that energy into having the best race you can and ENJOY being out there!

++++++++

If you are in the Madison area next week(end), we are having an end of season bash at Trek Store Madison West on Friday, September 17th from 6-9pm.  You can come here about the race, enjoy food and drink, in addition you will have the opportunity to win some pretty great swag! Check out Trek's Calendar here.

Have a great week everyone! I am glad to help if you need anything before Sunday, just drop me a note.

Cheers,

Blake

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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 been a complete pleasure to get to know each one of you over the years; you have all taught me something and now it's time to pass a small bit back to you in return.


A few things to remember are as follows:

1) Your immune system is at it's lowest point this week. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. I like analogies, so here you go. If you visualize your training as though you are building a tower of fitness while working on a ladder and your taper as climbing back down the ladder, you know that there is risk involved. Many athletes let their guard down as soon as the work is done. While this can work, it can also set you up for getting sick in this last week. Something that we obviously do not want. My advice is continue to treat the taper sessions as regular training sessions in your mind. Focus on execution and recovery after each one. Remember that recovery is USUALLY what separates athletes. We ALL like to work hard ;)

2) Write out a race plan, write out a nutrition plan and write out a mental plan. If any one of these gets neglected throughout the race it will have am impact on the outcome. Write a plan for each in different conditions that you might face (varies greatly here:) and then make a list of possible obstacles you could run into on race day. After you do this, write out what your plan is when faced with each one.

When thinking about the mental side of racing and the days leading up, it is important to know where you want your mind and focus to go. I worked with Bobby McGee this last month who has helped me tremendously in overcoming a lot within my own racing. If you want to ask a few questions, feel free. Otherwise I will be speaking on it at 6:30pm, next tuesday (sept 7th) at Trek Store West. No matter what your level of training or racing, this is something that most of us do not think about. Anxiety, focus and thought all come at a cost; it's very apparent in living on a daily basis. While it might not matter so much with other aspects of your life; cutting down the energy used to worry, focus and think within your racing can yield huge dividends.

3) When making your plans for the race and the days before, don't change anything. We are very accustom to having to do things "better" for special events in our lives. While this works outside of sport, it rarely works within. What has worked for your best training sessions is what will work on race day, period. It's good to write it out, know what you are doing ahead of time, so you can relax your mind when you need to on race day and focus when you need to.

4) Focus on what you can control. If we missed training due to injury, if we can a family vacation 6 weeks ago, if we haven't run much all year, don't worry about it. None of that stuff matters and none of it can be changed. Once and a while you see performances in athletes that you had no idea were possible. This is because they raced in the moment, they had a plan and they didn't let their mind wander or get stuck on the thoughts that pass through during an 8hr, 12hr or 16hr race. The correct approach to racing is very much like meditating, remember that. Our bodies are not machines, we can do far less than we should be able to do on paper and we can do far more. For those of you who track your fitness and training in Training Peaks, remember this. Some of our best rides come when we least expect it.

A quick note on times and PR's. Our times at the end of the day are determined by much more than just our fitness level. Focus on executing and doing what you need in the moment, throughout the day and the time will take care of itself. You can't control things like the weather, mechanicals or other athletes. The reality is that we have to deal with all of them, dont stress about it, deal with them how you have planned and then move forward with what you are doing in the moment.

5) Remember why you are out there. For some it's racing, for some it's pushing their own limits to see what we can do and for some it's just completing the event. Whatever the level, whatever your goals, remember that in the end we do this because we love it. Never forget that and never forget it's just one day.


Ok, that's about it for now. For those of you who are racing, GOOD LUCK. If any one of you needs anything, I am more than happy to help. My phone number is below and in addition I will be available after the Talk on the 7th.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

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 get out the door to train.
3) Train for designated amount of time, usually 1-3hrs and pick an intensity that you are planning to race at.
4) Head out the door and complete the workout, careful not to use the bathroom.
5) Come home and immediately strip clothing and weigh yourself.
6) Here is the formula to determine your sweat rate.

PRE-WORKOUT WEIGHT minus POST-WORKOUT WEIGHT = This gives you your total weight lost.

7) Now you are going to convert this to ounces. To do this, MULTIPLY by 16.

8 ) Now add in the number of ounces that you consumed on your ride.

9) Divide by the number of hours you trained, which will give you your ounces lost per hour in the conditions you trained at.


++++

Here is an example:

Pre-workout weight: 165
Post-workout weight: 160
Number of ounces consumed: 30
Number of hours trained: 2

Here is how it looks.

1) 165-160 = 5lbs lost
2) 5 * 16 = 80 ounces lost total
3) 80 + 30 = 110 ounces lost total
4) 110 / 2 = 55 ounces lost per hour.


Keep in mind that if you lose any more than 2% in body weight due to dehydration, you can expect to see a decrease in performance.

I would recommend repeating this test on the bike and run in a variety of conditions.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

BB

Monday, August 02, 2010

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 to leave this earth as quickly as he did. It was much too soon. I hope that his first child, who will be born in December, will get to hear first hand from everyone, just how special his/her dad was!

RIP Todd, you will be missed and know that we will all live life just a little bit better, a little bit fuller, because you showed us how it was done!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Coeur d'Alene & The Rest of the Season

Well, I think that I have answered about 100 emails asking about what happened out at Ironman Coeur d'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 in the ocean. This makes things even more difficult.

Anyway, we somehow got gapped on the second loop and we found ourselves 3minutes down to the main group on the road. My plan was to ride steady, but with most of the race up the road I thought I would ride with Chris to the turn around at 7 miles to see where we were. Even though we were 9 minutes down on Potts, we had taken 75seconds out of Bell, Lovato and Evans, with Lieto just about a minute up the road. As we got back to town at mile 15 we could see the group up the road and finally made contact at about mile 25...just in time for the hills.

Long story short, I blew up at about 85 miles. Not surprised at all looking back, I went for it. WHY you ask? Well on the road, in the moment, with the quality of the field I thought it was my only option to make a check and finish high. Big mistake! I didn't think that everyone would fade like a typical field might. There were 3 Ironman Champions and 2 top-10 Kona guys in the field...yet despite their experience and results, the race played out EXACTLY the same... A correctly paced race would have yielded a very good result on this day and that is something that I can take forward from here.

So I'm taking my lesson, confidence, knowledge and running with it. I will likely race again soon, so don't be surprised if you see me on the start list before IMWI on Sept 12! ;)

I want to say thanks to Jeff and the family for a great homestay, I'll be back guys!

Sue, thanks for everything and especially your talk after the race!

Have a great rest of your weekend everyone! Also stay tuned for some big changes and news coming from BBMC and Trek!

Cheers,
Blake


Monday, June 28, 2010

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 this is simply a means to avoid SPAM. I may email you to verify your request, but this is only to be cautious.

Here is a link to the forum:

http://blakebecker.com/forum

Please email me if you have any questions and have a great week!

Blake

Sunday, June 13, 2010

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 Ironman Coeur d'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 that will be launched shortly. I will also give details on a big event happening this coming July at the Trek Store West, here in Madison.

So that's all for now...nap time!


Friday, June 04, 2010

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 that creates extra drag. You can check out the bike here and can also see the commercial that we filmed out in the salt flats of Utah.

Final Coeur d'Alene Build -

My build is almost done for the race and things couldn't have gone better. Last year I saw a number of changes in my body's ability to handle training and perform on race day over the Ironman distance and this year is more of the same...I'll leave it at that! ;) I am ready to get out there and race against a very strong field in 3 weeks.

New Site -

Stay tuned and check back in a week or so. There are some very exciting changes coming, including a public forum which will be free for all.

Have a great weekend and I'll post again when I get closer to my taper!

BB


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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

Thursday, April 08, 2010

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 weekend of training and learning with experts in this sport, email me for details. The weekends are all inclusive, minus lodging and travel and are priced at $400.

In other news, I am heading out of town on Monday to do some work for Trek over the next few weeks in CA and UT. I will keep you all in the loop with photo's and blurbs on what is happening!

Lastly, my first race of the season will most likely be Memphis In May on May 23rd.

More to come...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

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, cycling or running. This means that they do not have much sport specific muscle developed. So an athlete starts training hard, eating well and loses a lot of weight. This usually keeps up for the first few seasons of racing. The athlete gets leaner and faster at the same time. This can instill the idea of leaner = faster/better.

Here is the problem. Usually after about 2 seasons, an athlete will start to develop a significant amount of muscle in either their upper body, lower body, or both. When this starts to happen, they can actually be leaner then they ever have before, but still heavier on the scale. If the athlete isn't able to see that this extra muscle is beneficial, it can be very frustrating.

In an attempt to get back to where they were, athletes will try to train more and eat less, which usually results in even more frustration. Our bodies become use to being in calorie deficit and go into a mode where they hold on to what they have.

So what can you do? Well, first cut yourself a little slack. Most people become so critical of themselves to a point far beyond what anyone else would see. Train as hard as you can, within the constraints of your life while still being able to recover. Eat healthy....what does this mean...everything in moderation. Base your diet on lean protein, fruit, veggies and natural carbohydrates. Avoid large amounts of sugar and processed foods. Drink lots of water and listen to your body, it has a funny way of telling you what it needs ;) Do this consistently for a season, stay healthy and I think you will be happy with what it yields!

Blake

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

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 see, I was sore, tired, waxed incorrectly and oh yes, I hadn't skied in about a month before the event, so needless to say it was H-A-R-D. :) But I did have a great time, saw friends and got in a great workout...for 30minutes!

Thank you to everyone at Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation and the Badger State Winter Games for their help and support! I look forward to working with you at the summer games in June!

++++++++

Rockin' Out In February -

Early season triathlon training is rockin' right now. I have been rolling for about 4 weeks and the body is feeling great. I had a few questions this year as to where my fitness would be when I started back up again and how long my fitness would take to come back. But those questions have been answered rather quickly with a "pretty good" and "not very long."

I attribute this to a few things:

#1 Staying consistent with my low volume training. Even though I only completed a few sessions in each sport, each week, I did it every week without extended breaks in training. I use masters swimming twice per week, 2 bikes and 2-3 runs to keep me moving.

#2 Cross Training. I skied a bit more this year(before January 10th:) and though I never got "fit" on the hippie stix, I was able to get a good dose of steady state training in most weeks. This helped me out immensely and eliminated the need to sit on the trainer for more than 90minutes.

#3 Not placing excess pressure on myself to hit certain numbers or paces makes a world of difference. I complete the sessions with targets and goals, but don't sweat it if I dont make them...if I am training like a donkey, then hee-haw.


What's Next?

Well, whatever it is, it will not be anything outside. We just got done with our 160th snowstorm for the year and riding outside is going to have to wait for these 2+ feet of snow to melt. For now I have great training partners, masters to make me swim and my mojo, which is also known as motivation. Actually my motivation is higher this year, than it has been since 2007. I am really looking forward to racing.


Coaching, Camps and Events:

I have 5 spots left for personal coaching this season. I am guessing they will fill before April, so if you are interested, please drop me a line.

Check out my camps and clinic's page over on www.blakebecker.com I am running 3 training camps this summer for athletes ranging in ability to first timer, to elite.

Make sure to tune into 100.5 FM ESPN Madison/Milwaukee for regular segments on training, racing and events.

Tomorrow:

Come to Trek Bicycle Stores Eastside location at 6:30pm for the Speed Concept night. There will be free beer, food and a few prototypes of the new Speed Concept Time Trial bike that will be available for 2011.


OK, that's all for now! Keep on keepin' on....it's almost spring, just don't listen to the groundhog!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

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!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

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 winter with a plan off attack. This will keep you motivated, excited and ready to race when that ice melts.

On the racing side of things, everything is tentatively set with my 3 Ironmans on the calendar. I will race Ironman Coeur d'Alene in June, Ironman Wisconsin in September and then Kona in October. Outside of these big events you can expect to see me at nearly all of the local events, I have found that a lot of racing is good for me early in the year.

That is about it for now, but I also want to mention a few talks and events I will be attending or giving in the coming weeks.

- January 22nd on how to integrate power into your training. It will take place at the Trek Bicycle Store West at 630pm.

- January 29th I will speak on how to read and interpret that power data. This is also going to be at the TBSW location and will start at 630pm.

- February 1st I am giving a seminar on how to integrate winter sports into your triathlon training. 630pm at Trek Bicycle Store West.

- February 11th 6:30 Get a sneak peek at the new Trek Speed Concept TT Bike at the Trek Bicycle Store EAST location!

**If you are interested in purchasing a powertap, I will have 20% off coupons that I will be distributing at both of my Power Training talks in the coming weeks.


It's almost February, keep it rolling!!

Blake

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

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 29th - ANALYZING AND INTERPRETING DATA

Learn how to be able to download your power file, what that file shows and how to read the data. Then learn how to integrate the results into your future training and racing.



*** Each seminar will have a question and answer portion and a brief summary of what was given at the previous seminars. Handouts will also be available, as well as a link to notes online.


Hope to see you there!