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2012 Full Steam Ahead

It's that time of year again where it's time to think about what transpired over the last 12 months and what we would like to do better in the next 12.  No doubt that we could all write a book about both the things that we have succeeded at, as well as those things that we deemed to be failures. Without getting caught up in the details of them all, a few things are clear; they have all lead us to be where we are right now, everything will have happened for a reason and we have to be thankful for our health and the opportunity to do what we do.

On the racing side of things (as I recapped in my last post) things were not stellar for me.  I was fit, but I was over worked...literally and as a result, never had that sharpness that I needed.  On the business side, things could not have gone much better. I have directly impacted dozens of lives in a positive way and helped them to realize things within themselves.  Not a bad business to be in.

While many can give advice on what I sho…

2011 Season Recap

I have just finished up with my last race of the 2011 season and at first glance you might say something like; "I bet you can't wait to forget about that one," or "what a bust of a year."  Despite the lackluster results, I believe that I have grown more in the last 12 months, than during any other period of time in recent memory. The lessons that I have learned will be important in the decisions I make regarding my life, balance and future.

For me,  it's always been important to understand that every choice I make has a consequence; some are good and some, not so much.  More than that, I think that it is important to be able to make changes in order to not repeat the choices that have yielded negative outcomes.


Here is an evaluation of my 2011 season and what I look to change in 2012.


The Good:

I have reached new levels of fitness and though it didn't all come together at the races, there were bits and pieces that did.  My swim at IMFL (51:23, which was…

Ironman Wisconsin 2011

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2011 Ironman Wisconsin 

I have finally had a few days for the race to sink in, to think about how the race played out, the decisions I made, what I could have done differently and what I will take into future races.
Here is how the race unfolded through my eyes...
The morning dawned and the weather that we got was absolutely perfect.  Light winds to start and temperatures around 55*.  I finished zipping up the wetsuit about 15minutes prior to race start and once in the water, the arms felt fantastic in my TYR Cat 5 wetsuit.
The cannon sounded at 6:50 and outside of Romain (who was away after the first 50m), I lead the field through the first 200m at what felt like an easy effort. I then settled into a group with the two athletes I was keying off of, Kessler and Morales.  
We reached the turn at 800m and after being punched squarely in the back of the head by Morales, I decided to slide comfortably back in the group of 4 to keep out of Morales' arm recovery.  As luck would have it, just…

A Note to my athletes... (IMWI2011)

Hi Everyone,
I hope that this email finds you well and that you are at home, resting, eating, or perhaps doing something that isn't even related to triathlon. 
I want to first say that it has been a complete pleasure to work with and help every single one of you to the start line on Sunday.  Regardless of how the day unfolds, I hope that all of you can grasp onto the breakthroughs, the great feelings experienced, the friendships made and the things that you have learned about yourself, both inside and outside of the sport. THAT is what makes Ironman such an amazing sport.
Sunday is the day that we peaked you for. However, remember that it's also just another day of doing something that you love.  You have all swam in Lake Monona, you have all ridden on these roads and run through Madison.  You are just going to have the luxury of doing it when rested and with some help, ensuring you don't have to slow down too much to refuel and when transitioning from one discipline to the n…

Why do I race?

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This is a topic that is posted on our team forum and I thought that I would share my response with the general public! Enjoy...


I think that for me it grew into a personal challenge that stemmed from a competitive background in baseball and pretty much everything else that I did.  First to show that I could, then to show I could do more, then to win.

For me, this is a theme I carry throughout my life and those who know me well, see it.  

- Growing up it was baseball. I lived and breathed the sport.  Through hard work and after about 6yrs, I made it onto team Wisconsin.

- In high school it was baseball, weightlifting and marketing through a program called DECA, where I reached the National level.  

- In college it started as baseball, but switched over as triathlon grabbed my interest. It was taking on a 30/hr week job, training 30-40(yes too many)hrs per week, being very socialand taking 15-18 credits, while getting into the school of Ed.  I wasn't a genius, but it was a good challenge…

Taper Time

Around this time every year for the past decade, I start to get a little more excited than I typically do for my Ironman taper.  There is something special about Ironman Wisconsin.  Most people say it's because I know people out there on course, or because I grew up here.  I think that is part of it, but I also think that this race is something special for me because it was my first...and we all know about what that means!

I train on this course every day.  Each time out there I gather more and more energy, visualizing the race that I believe is possible, learning every up and downhill and figuring out what I am going to do in every scenario that could possibly arise.  Even then, being open to expecting the unexpected.

I have had some of my best training sessions on these roads.  Breakthrough days when I set the pavement on fire.  THESE are the days that I will be drawing from.


Then there is the support.

My family, who never once wavered in their belief of what was and is possibl…

Professional Ironman Races

I wanted to write a short post on Professional Ironman racing.  There have been many new events added to the calendar this year.  Some with a fair bit of prize money ($75,000) and some with not much at all ($15,000).  These races pay anywhere from the top 4 to top 10.

Since this has happened, it is quite apparent that the quality of the fields has really been knocked down and spread out. This is especially apparent with the women's racing, who at many "larger" Ironman races, only have to finish and they will receive a pretty good paycheck and a lot of Ironman World Championship qualification points (www.ironmanpromembership.com).


What would be a fair way to do things?

Here are a few options that come to mind.

#1 - Pay at fewer events, to attract more professionals and pay all who turn up, to where they at LEAST get their expenses covered.

OR

#2 Go with a prize purse at each event, based the average annual revenue generated over the previous 3 years.  I think that 5% is a…

What Really Creates Success...For Me (IM CDA Race Report)

I don't think that I need to say that Ironman Coeur d'Alene didn't go how I planned this last weekend.

I think that a lot of times we look in the wrong places for success. I think that instead of admitting we need to change something within the big picture, we'd rather place blame on something that is out of our control and not our judgement, choices and patterns.
The training that I executed going in left me with life best numbers across the board.  4k swims in 50minutes, 112mi rides under 4:50 and 20mi runs under 2:05.  All were very common in the last 6 weeks of training going into the race... So no excuses as to whether or not I was fit. 
Mentally I was up and down heading into the race.  My last training block threw me under the bus big time.  Not because of the training that I had completed, but because I underestimated the amount of recovery needed from the sessions I was completing. It's one thing to plan training for someone else, it's another to integra…

A note from the coach...

First, congratulations to everyone who has raced over the last few weeks.  In addition to racing well, we have had some great moments out at the races.  There was no shortage of this yesterday when we spent about an hour joking around under our tent in the thunderstorms. In addition to coaching, the camaraderie and support is what helps us gain strength and confidence. Whether this comes from your triathlon team or your family team, it's a key component to success.  There has been no shortage of this and I have seen amazing growth amongst all of you, both as a team and on individual levels. Whether you live in Madison or elsewhere, it has given me great satisfaction and reward to be a part of such great gains.
As we move into the heart of the season, it's important to remember to keep a bit of balance in our lives.  The season is a long one and triathlon is lifestyle that will last for a long time...as long as we keep it at a level that fits our lives.  It's easy to get wra…

1 Week To Go...

I haven't posted in a while, mainly due to the fact that I have been extremely busy with coaching, training and life.  All is rolling along very well.  Instead of posting my training, I'll just write a summary for everyone.

I had been seeing PR's in the pool regularly over the last month, but they hadn't yet come through on the bike and run....UNTIL this last weekend.  2 weeks out I typically put in a 4ish hr ride with a 2hr TT at the end.  This is a good session when I can really gauge where I am at.  Let's just say that I was pleasantly surprised.  2hrs later, I had put out a 5+ watt  PR, as well as PR'd (by time) the IMWI loop by a good 2minutes in training.  The next day, a bit tired, I got out on the run found the same thing... a season best long run of 1:45 which I finished with several uphill miles at 6min pace at zone 3 HR.

Now I have started to rest and training is a bit hit or miss, but on a general level, the body is getting stronger and stronger as …

Training Ending May 29th

This was probably the best week of training of 2011. Some very tough sessions, that all went really well.  I now have a solid amount of recovery in between my key sessions as I head toward my first big races of 2011; Ironman 70.3 Kansas and Ironman Coeur d'Alene.

Monday - Big 4.5k swim today and easy 90minute spin.

Tuesday - 160km total today with 4x10min over geared FTP+ climbing, 90minutes at IM watts home. Short run off the bike. OW Swim in the evening.

Wednesday - Recovery run and 4.5km LCM swim

Thursday - 16km run with hill repeats. 4km in the pool and easy evening spin.

Friday - Race sim day.  180k (NP 270w), rode IMWI course today and 60min off the bike.  Exactly 15km through moderate terrain.

Saturday - 3km LCM swim

Sunday - Madison Half Marathon. 7th overall in 1:15:30.  Lack of warm-up made the first 10k a bit slow, but ended well.

4 weeks to go...

5 weeks out and good to go...

This week was the first opportunity I have gotten to give myself and honest assessment of where my fitness is at as I approached 5 weeks out from CDA. Last week I gave myself 4 days recovery, followed by a key weekend.  This week was a good balance of quality and quantity. A brief summery for ya'll...

Monday -
Swim 4.5km that included 5 400's at 1:06/07 pace on 4:45 and a bunch of 100's
Bike - Double session with flat intervals in the morning and evening build run. 100km total

Tuesday -
Run - 20km on the trails in the arb, all easy
Swim - 4km with 100's dropping 1 sec each interval on 1:45. Started on 1:10, missed 1:01. Then the same thing with 50's on 1min. Started at 38 and missed 26sec.

Wednesday -
Bike - Double ride day with BRO hill reps broken with lunges, evening aerobic ride. 100km
Run - Easy 30min yog

Thursday -
Run - Morning 16km ending with 4x4min hill repeats at max controlled effort.
Aquathon - swam 11:08 for 1000m and ran low 17 for the hilly 5k...good ef…

Forced Recovery

In the past two seasons, I have done quite a few things right with my training. But there was one aspect that I wanted to improve; I felt like I had done a bit too much during my recovery blocks.  This season I have changed that and it has made a world of difference.  Most of my recovery blocks last for 5 days and follow about 14 days of training.

This last block was the best recovery block to date.  I headed down to Destin, FL to spend the week with the Piper's.  Carly and I swam every day in the ocean, which was a GREAT change in scenery.  I swam M,W,R,F that consisted of 2 easy swims, 1 long swim and 1 moderate swim. I rode easy on M and Sa for 90minutes and then rode 4hrs with 3x30km at 300w on Su.  I ran M,W,R,F,Su this week with M and R being easy, W being a 15km build run, F being a longer 90min run and Su a brick run of 8miles at 6:30/mi. Total hours for the week ended up being 14:45.

I am now back in WI, leaves are on the trees and it feels like the season is here.  I hav…

Block Done!

After a recovery day on friday with swim and easy spin, I headed to the Monona 20k run race.  I decided to end my long run with the race, which actually worked well.  I felt good from the get go.  After a bit over 8miles to start at an average 6:30 per mile, I ran the 20km race at an average pace of 6:20.  All felt great, HR steady at 155 (which is just under IM HR for me).  Easy cd after to 21 miles.

To finish off the block I did a VERY steady hilly ride.  It's always a good sign when you end your training block better than you started ;)  5hrs in the saddle today, 7000 ft of climbing and NP of 265w.  Felt great throughout.

Now I am off to FL for 4 days of R&R!! Can't wait! Check in with you all when I am back and rolling again.

BB

Just Get Out The Door...

Tonight I could barely get off the couch to get my run done, but was pleasantly surprised with a PR 7mi build tonight...not bad for the end of a 3 week training block. Run Splits were along a rolling route with some short steep climbs and a bit of wind on the return.  A minute or two with functional work, then 629 615, 601, 551, 535, 521, 2:30 last half mile, then cd.

This workout again proves that those that can motivate and get it done, on the right days, will reap the benefits.  Had this been a designated recovery or aerobic builder day, I would have likely skipped it and opted for recovery.

End in sight...

Training has gone well this week...here is the update.

Monday -

Swim 4600 SCY consisting of 200's, 300's and 400's on 1:15 base.  Held 1:06/7's for these...BIG improvement. Rest of the day off for recovery.

Tuesday -

Morning was 75minutes steady at IM pace for 45minutes.

Midday was a swim of 4k LCM with a mainset of 3x800 on 11:30.  Another breakthrough swim.  Times were 10:20, 10:08, 10:16...

Wednesday -

Bike - 2hrs of team riding.

Bike - 5hr 10min tough ride today with 4x10minutes at FTP uphill in all 3 positions.  After this set, 60minutes at 275-285 continuous.

Run - 10k off the bike at IM pace...pace was easy, first mile was 558, whoops...backed off an avg'd 6:15-20ish for these rolling miles...felt good.

Thursday -

Tired today...no surprise...I need to try to eat more on the big days to make the next day successful.

Run - 50minutes with 4x2minutes uphill HARD. steady back to car.

Swim - Wanted key session, but too tired. 2.5 LCM yards for recovery. Body felt …

Sunday Funday

Not really...just glad to get it done.  2:15 run today with 1:45 at IM pace/effort.  Extremely windy out, but the sun helped.  Got in a nice ice bath thanks to Lake Wingra.

After a nap and some Sunday sports, I am off for a nice easy spin to loosen up these sore legs...

One of those days...

...that you are happy to just survive.  With 40mph winds, the riding was sketchy.  This made consistent power output tough.  Add in a front wheel sidewall blowout on a downhill at 35mph, a 45min pit stop to change the tire (Thanks for the ride, Will Smith) and it made for a long day.

On the upside, the legs felt great and another 5.5hr ride, big ring only (BRO riding), NP ~250 and 7900ft of climbing.

After some salmon burgers and hearing how great all of my athletes raced today, I am looking forward to running tomorrow!

Recovery Day

I wish that I was outside for a longer ride today.  It's 10am and the temp is already over 50*.  Instead, its a recovery day for me.

UW swim early this morning. 3200 total SCY with a sprint mainset that consisted of 100's on 3:30 and 50's on 2minutes.  These sessions have been great for me improving my swim fitness. Held 57/58 on the 100's and 26-28 on the 50's.

Easy 1-2hr spin this afternoon to get ready to a big weekend ahead.

Rolling along

First half of week ending 8 weeks out. Weather is still FREEZING and windy.  The sun would be nice for the coming weekend!

Monday - 

Swim - 4.5k SCY total with 20x100 on 1:10, holding 1:05-1:07

Bike - After mod-long ride of 3hrs ending with 8x4min at threshold on 1min recovery. Focus was on the flats today.

Tuesday - 
Run - Easy 60min yog
Swim - 4k LCM with 6x400 on 6min. Holding 5:15-5:20 steady
Wednesday - 
Bike - 130km with 4x8min uphill and 30k flat TT
Run - Off the bike
Thursday - 
Run - 22km with 12km of threshold work through rolling terrain. 
Swim - 4k LCM - 12x200 holding 2:32-2:30. Intervals on 3min, 250 and 240. Tempo work today.

Week ending 9 Weeks Out

I get a fair amount of emails and Facebook messages asking about my own training. I am transparent with most things in my life, so I thought I would shed some light what I do as I work toward winning my first Ironman. First attempt will be on June 26th in Coeur d'Alene. The goal will be to update a few times each week.
Up to this point, I have had some great training blocks, followed by hard rest.  This is the first time I have done this, but I came away with great results.  
Swim - Since the beginning of the year, I have been swimming hard with a great group from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The result has been an increase in both my top end and steady state paces. This is exactly what I need to do in the water, so I am in good position to take control on the bike.
Bike - Things came back quickly.  I have already been riding very similar times to what I had been putting out pre-IMWI 2010.
Run- Very strong this year.  Some due to training and some has to do with maturity in …

Sponsorship (Partnership) & The Business of Triathlon

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I thought that I would write a short blog on sponsorship (partnership) within our sport (the business of triathlon). Perhaps this will be helpful for some looking for support (athletes and companies).

The first sentence is a concept that many new Professionals fail to realize.  Triathlon is a business, Ironman is a business and because of how it is run, it is more of a business than many other sports out there.  The goal is to make it as profitable as possible.  I am not saying that this is good or bad thing.  I simply stating this because I think that it is important for both parties to think about when coming together. As a business owner and Professional athlete, I see both sides very clearly.

I hear the word "entitlement" a lot within the triathlon world.   I will be the first to say that an athlete doesn't deserve anything...UNLESS they can show that they are worth the investment. Conversely, the same goes for companies. 


It is simple and complex at the same time. Whil…

Happy New Year!

Today marks the first day of the year where I will turn 30 years old.  2010 was my BEST year yet.  I learned more about myself as a person, as an athlete, as a friend, as a partner and in this world than any year previous. I have made some great friends this year on top of strengthening many of my existing relationships. I have lost a few people in my life as well and use that to help me live better, because they can’t.  The company you are in is what makes any experience great. I appreciate all of you in my life and know that my life wouldn’t be anywhere near as great or fulfilling without you. On the racing side of things, I made a huge step in the right direction with a 5th place finish at Ironman Wisconsin.  Winning this race is on my bucket list before I am done with racing this sport at a high level.  I am lucky to be able to do what I do; to have a body that performs up to the level that my mind desires. As the calendar changes I am more driven than ever to not only win in the co…