Saturday, April 30, 2011

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!

Friday, April 29, 2011

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.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

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 the sport.  A little side note that this will be my 10th year in triathlon.


Week Ending 9 weeks out:

I was quite sick for about a week, so I had to ease into this week. 

Wed- Fri:

General zone 2 aerobic sessions with pick-ups to get back into the swing of things.  about 8hrs of training over the 3 days.

Saturday: 5.5hr ride with 7400ft of climbing BRO for this ride.  Felt solid throughout, but held back a bit because of sickness. NP for this ride was 252w.  Looking for a non-structured strength focused workout today.  Easy run off the bike.

Sunday: 20miles through rolling terrain.  Split 1:05, 1:03. This is a good fitness marker workout for me.  When I start to get fit, the times will drop a few minutes overall.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Sponsorship (Partnership) & The Business of Triathlon

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. While I am sure there is an algorithm out there somewhere, I am going to breakdown what would be helpful for parties to think about when coming together.

#1 - Tangible benefits.  In other words, "if I partner with you, what am I going to see in return that I can measure?" 

For the company - This can be sales, hits on a website, number of views, athletes exposed to on a regular basis (defined), customers in my store, etc. When I go to a company, I want to be able to say I have done "x" before with other companies and this is what you can expect as well.

For the athlete - What are the $$ I am seeing in return, what equipment is being provided and what is the value of it.

#2 - Exposure - While some of this is measurable, some of it is not.  Each situation is unique and it is up to both parties to sell themselves to the other, mostly the athlete. Is there a benefit to having my name on your kit, website and blog?  Tough to say and probably not if you have won a few local or regional races. This is likely more applicable to the Olympians, World Champions and International Race Winners.  

What I have done specifically is taken my triathlon coaching business and leveraged it with my racing.  So now when I come to a company I say that I not only have exposure on my kits, but on 40 or 80 or 120 athlete's kits.  Those athletes race and train, some in social groups and some at a high level.  NOW you have their attention. Combine that with events outside of racing and you have yourself a valid point to sell.

#3 - The long term.  We want to align ourselves with someone who is going to help us move to where we want to be in the future. Would you rather invest in someone who is going to race for 2 or 3 years or someone who could grow with you over the next 10, 15 or 20 years? To me, the answer is simple.  

Revisiting #1 - While measurement is important, to make sure we are not wasting our money, #2 and #3 are much more important. Counting pennies is shortsighted, aligning yourself with people to help you get from point A to point B is where it's at.  Both for athletes and companies.  

My example is simple.  If I have a product and I am looking to not only sell it, but grow my company, would I rather have a few guys rockin' it for a few years or someone who I can partner with, invest in and grow with over the long term? Someone with not only race results, but who has a similar vision for their company as you do your "brand." If you want to grow your business large, you may want to go with someone who would like to do the same.  If you want to stay small, then align yourself with those folks.

I encourage all athletes and companies (most do this...I think) to think about where they want to be in 5, 10 and 15 years.  Then invest in those who can help you get there.

The ideal situation for an athlete is to have exposure within their racing and within their community.  Next time you approach someone for a partnership, don't ask, tell them what you provide them with.  Ask them if it's something they could use, or if it's something that will help them grow toward their goals.  If it is, then let the discussion begin on what services, cash and products are exchanged.