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Showing posts from 2013

Performance

If you want to improve, shut out the noise. This was Brett Sutton's most important messages to his athletes. As great as social media is - as great as all the different articles are - most of the time they will take away from the belief in what you are doing and therefore your results will be compromised. I see it a lot amongst athletes who don't surround themselves with others/things that support their journey.

Some things to help you:

- Be selective about who you follow on social media. Personally I don't follow very many outside of family, friends and athletes I train with or coach. This keeps me focused, motivated and engaged.

- Surround yourself with individuals who support your path and who don't pull you away from it.

- Write out your goals/objectives and post them somewhere. Preferably a place where you can see them often. BE CLEAR.

- Pay attention to things that add to your performance, as well as things that take away from it.

- There has been a massive infl…

That's a wrap!

2013 is coming to a close and it's that time when I reflect on the last year. Even with mixed results, this year was largely deemed a success. Most notably I overcame some hurdles regarding execution at destination races, as well as making some large gains in the run department. Both of these are important and are ultimately what is required to win an Ironman title.

Here is how the season played out:


Finding The Legs

I started the year off with a PR 20km in 68minutes within a pretty large training block. This was something that I felt good about considering I had been in the 70min range for years. This, however, is still a full 10minutes slower than the best guys in the world...perspective is always good, right?!?!

A PR in Brazil

Next up was an Ironman PR of 8:38 down at Ironman Brasil. Though the placement was not my highest, I was happy with the result. I had a good swim in 48min, rode a very respectable 4:38 with a strong group of riders and though my run wasn't great, I came…

The 2013 Edition of Ironman Wisconsin

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2013 IRONMAN WISCONSIN  8:58:53 - 6th Overall
56:43 - 5:00:07 - 2:56:18* *Fastest Overall Marathon


I really can't believe that this was the 12th year that I have raced Ironman Wisconsin. I thought about it in the water before the cannon sounded; some of the first races I did here felt like they were yesterday. Each year proves to be a time when I learn something else that I can apply to future races, with this year being no exception.
Training leading into the race had been good for the most part. I got sick 5 weeks out with cold/flu and it knocked me down pretty good. Training started back terribly, but each week since that time had gotten better and I was confident that the silver lining would be a perfectly timed fitness peak on race day. I thought I could be in the swim pack like I had doing all year, ride slightly better than the past and run a low-mid 2:50's marathon. With some luck, this would be my year to win...sounds simple right?!
Race day rolled around and somehow we…

What's YOUR Plan?

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Many athletes are great about planning their day/week/month/season, but what about planning their off season? ... or maybe next season?


POST "A" RACE PLANNING:

Most individuals find that without planning, things do not happen. This is most likely due to how busy our lives are. While it's great to have some unstructured time post "A" race, it's important to only let that period last 2-3 weeks and to have a plan for what lays ahead after that time is up.

Here is what I recommend, assuming you don't have anything else on your calendar.

- 2 weeks off of training. Yes OFF. You can exercise if you WANT to, but in my experience the athletes who skip this, end up regretting it 6 weeks later. YOU NEED A BREAK.

- 2 weeks of exercise. This is unstructured, but a good plan of attack is to shoot for some endurance exercise on most days, even if for only 30minutes.

- 2 weeks of aerobic re-introduction. A lot of athletes want to get back into intervals and training ha…

Ironman Wisconsin Racing & Training Update

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Well, it's been a long time since I have blogged and that is mostly due to being very busy. While I am a Professional Triathlete, I also consider myself a full-time coach, since that is what I spend the majority of my time doing. I tracked the hours for a while and it came out to around 35hrs of coaching per week versus about 20-25hrs of training. If you combine that with recovery, sleep and some fun here and there; it's easy to see why I have let the blog side.


That doesn't matter here, because I am posting an update. The summer has been great!

I raced at Muncie 70.3 in July and accomplished my goal for the day, which was to make the front swim pack. This has left me fairly confident in my ability to do so again, since doing it at both Ironman Brasil in May and at Muncie in July.

Post Muncie, it was all about getting two spastic bengal kitties (Gizmo and Calvin), as well as supporting my athletes at a number of events and races around the state, as well as running a camp …

Attention Ironman Athletes

IRONMAN ATHLETES:

This is the time of the year when you start to see that others are riding 947 miles on saturday and sunday, as well as running 650 miles on monday after swimming 6 miles.

OK, well that was inflated, dramatic and likely untrue, but it will work for this blog.

My point is that everywhere you look, IM FB page, friends, lane partners, riding buddies, etc. you will probably hear someone brag about the training they did over the past day, weekend, month, etc. People love to do epic things and then tell you about it. This is likely because they are proud of what they have done and sometimes to seek affirmation from others that what they are doing is either more than everyone else, or impressive to everyone else.

Despite the insecurity you may feel when you hear someone say when they have done xyz, you need to let those words go in one ear and out the other. Remember that you have your plan and your that plan was created with your best race in mind. What other athletes do h…

The 3 P's of Coaching & Becoming A Better Triathlon Coach

I thought I would write a blog geared towards other coaches out there.

I have coached for 11 years now and the one thing I hear from other coaches as they explore this career path is "I am SO busy! I don't know how to get everything done."

Busy = good! Right? I mean it's better than the alternative of not having enough work. Sometimes though, over worked can lead to burn out, cutting corners and perhaps even not enjoying what you do. This is just like anything in life. So what do you do?

I thought I would break down the blog into two categories. So here you go:

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THE 3 P's OF COACHING

I came up with these 3 P's that I believe that you MUST have in order to be a successful coach.

PASSION - You must be passionate about the sport that you are coaching. The work required typically is more encompassing than a normal 9 to 5 job. If you aren't passionate about it, don't expect your athletes to stay that way.

PATIENCE - I have found a lot of similarities b…

Success...

Personally I have had varying degrees of success within the sport of triathlon and have seen the same with athletes in regards to their personal goals. I have spent some time reflecting, reading and thinking about what exactly goes into the best recipe for success.  What I have come up with is below. What you will also see is that they are inter-related and I might go so far to say that if you don't have one of them, it will be difficult to have the others and your chances of success decrease significantly.

- Enjoyment.
You first need to have an high level of enjoyment in what you are doing. Not just in training, but also while racing. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, the chances of you sticking to it are much less, especially when the going gets tough or when you face a set-back. I suggest that you reflect and find what gives YOU enjoyment with the sport and make those "things" a primary focus. Remember that this is different for everyone.

- Setting Goals.
We all…

Ironman Brasil Race Report

It's the day after Ironman Brasil and I am quite tired. Yesterday was a good race, not a great race, but it was just what I needed heading into 2013. I definitely learned a few things, solved some problems and gave myself a few things to work on during the year.

The preparation for this race was great. Weekly runs well over 23miles, many rides over 115mi and a few tests here and there, as well as a 20k run race in 1:08 to make sure my top end was in good shape. I had a little set back about two weeks before with a pulled hamstring, but with a little TLC, it healed up quickly. 
The trip down was LONG...almost 24hrs if you include the bus rides. Once here I got settled in the midst of the Brazilian culture. Petr V. Hillary Biscay and Haley Chura were my neighbors and we hung together the majority of the week. I've gotten to know all three of them pretty well and have become friends. I always feel that the destination Ironman races are what really bring people together because th…

Ironman Brasil Update

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- IM Brasil Update -

The resting part is almost done and tomorrow I will embark on a tough 8.5hrs +/- of suffering at Ironman Brasil.  At the end of this last year I decided to forgo the usual North American Ironman because...well frankly because I had done most all of them numerous times and they just weren't that exciting for me. It's important to be excited to do whatever you do within your season. Sometimes it's a change in race distance and sometimes it's just the race itself. So I looked around and tried to find an early season race with a similar climate to WI's spring and also one that I would be excited for. What I decided on... IM Brasil (For all you spelling geeks, the country is spelled with a "z" and the race is spelled with a "s," now you can relax).
If you have considered doing a destination Ironman, I highly consider IMBrasil and coming with Ken Glah's Endurance Sports Travel group.  Everything is provided and it makes things…

2013 Madison Triathlon Season Kickoff Event - PRESENTED BY: PowerBar & Trek

Set aside the evening on Tuesday, April 30th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Trek Store Madison West

The 2013 triathlon season is upon us and if you are like most, you still have a lot of planning to do, questions to get answered and maybe even need to decide on which events to enter.  If you need any of the above, or maybe just want to get excited about racing and meet others, this event should not be missed.

OVERVIEW:

Come spend an evening with the folks from PowerBar & Trek while enjoying a beverage, some food and a little music.  Reps from both companies will be on hand to provide samples and answer your questions. There will also be mechanics and a number of other Professionals from the area who will be on hand to provide information on how they might be able to help make this a great season for you.

Professional Triathlete & Coach, Blake Becker will give a few talks on a variety of topics, which are listed below.

The evening will then end with a raffle.

This is a fun and free soc…

Ironman 70.3 San Juan Race Report

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Every race that I line up at proves to be a learning experience. No matter how many races or years that I compete, there will always be something to take and apply to the next one.  
I was really looking forward to starting off the 2013 season. I have made a lot of progress in many departments. I started my training a bit earlier on and it showed. I went down to Tucson for my annual outing with my coach, Cliff English and trained very very well. I was enjoying the process again and just clicking off my 20hr indoor weeks.  In my experience, 20-22hrs of indoor training is about as effective as anything.  Mentally I was in a very solid place, focused inward, getting rid of negative influences within my life and looking to the only thing I can control...the moment.
Thursday before the race I woke up to a scratch throat and sinus’ that weren’t all that clear. This at least explained my lower than average levels of energy throughout the week. I knew that if I could stay on top of taking care …

2013 CEC Pro Camp - That's a wrap!

The last day of camp was a 4.5k swim day that ended with....No, NOT a 1000 or 2000 TT; Cliff was generous and had us do some relays!  My diving was laughable, but somehow we still won.


This year was much different for me at camp.  I trained well throughout camp and felt good about where my fitness is and the timing for upcoming races.  I still have plenty of work to do, but I wouldn't be in the sport if there wasn't, right?!?!
So now it's time to get back into a solo groove....

That would have to wait a day though, today was a bit of a bust on the training front.  I had a lot of other things to get done, plans to write, etc. So I elected to swap Monday's session with today's.  I headed over to Mt. Lemmon for 3hrs of fun on the lower slopes.  Note to self, do NOT ride up Mt. Lemmon on the weekend, a few days after it snows. It was definitely a superhighway of cars going up.

Next up, long run tomorrow.  Followed by a few more solid/big days, before I get 5 days of ad…

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 9

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Today, as you may have gathered through social media, it was not very "Tucson-y."

However, the training was.

Swim - 5km
Warm-up:
800 choice
3x 2x50kick, fast between the flags on :60 100 easy swim on 1:45
4x through on 2:45 25 build 25 easy 50 build 100 easy 
Mainset:
Graduated to Laurel Wassner and Lauren Goss' lane. Just happy to be swimming with the front group.
12x100 HIM pace on 1:15 (1:05-1:08)
400 easy
8x100 on 1:15 (1:05-1:08, then cracked a bit in the last few)

Longer easy cd

Run - 1:55 - 25km

Pretty good run around Reid Park today. This is a flat 2.85mile loop. 
Warm-up:  1 loop plus pick-ups and functional work.
Mainset as follows each on 21minutes with some active recovery between. 1 loop HIM pace (5:45's) 1 loop a bit faster than HIM pace (5:30's) 1 loop HIM pace (5:45's)
CD: 1 loop 
Here is the fun in the form of a file for you. Thanks to Cliff English for being out there in full support mode!

Back at it with a long ride on tap for tomorrow.  I ho…

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 7 & 8.

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Day 7 - Leg's off!!

Today was a great day off the legs, which were definitely thankful. We did get a good 5k swim, which I followed with some quality time at the coffee shop; first for breakfast with friends and then for some plans and a little wasting time.

Today's swim:

Warm-up:
5x400 mixed :15

Mainset:
3x
- 200 on 2:35

(224/223/221)
(223/219/219)
(217/219/217)

- 200 on 2:50

Easy longer cd after.


Day 8 - Back at it.

Strength swim 4.5k

Warm-up:
600 swim
500 k/swim
400 d/swim

Mainset:
2x
6x50 band on 50 (:33-36)
2x300 pull with pads on 3:45 (3:20/3:17/3:16/3:18)
300 moderate on 4:00

Easy longer cd after.


3.5hr ride up Mount Lemmon.  It's a great climb that lasts about 25miles (the real climb is only 20.5).  You start at 2810' above sea-level and climb all the way up to 8420. Not bad.  The legs were pretty worked from the get go and I almost got dropped at mile 3 of the climb.  Luckily a few power gels  and some refocusing words from Cliff, I got back up with the lead b…

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 6

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Long run day in the bank.  JD and I usually run pretty well together. Similar thoughts on pacing, similar ability and it makes for good company.  Total run was just under 25km with a good main set of 3x5km on 4minutes recovery. We had a nice descend throughout from about 6:25 through the first mile to 5:50ish for the last few.  Not too challenging, not too easy, a great way to end the first week.

Here is a TP graph of the main set if you are interested.


The afternoon consists of some easy cycling and swimming, before group dinner.  Then we start things all over again in week 2.


I have noticed that this year I am quite a bit more relaxed, confident in my abilities and pretty centered all around. It could be that I am a year wiser, it could be all of the work I have put into the psychology side of things in the last year, or that I am just a bit more fit.  Whatever the reason, it's very clear to me that I love this sport and am thoroughly enjoying the process and meeting great peop…

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 5

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Today was a bigger volume day for all of us.  I was unsure how the legs would feel after a pretty solid week of training, they had been quite sore on Friday.

Soon enough we were off and it was nice not having to wear 4 layers of clothing to warm-up. The temps were in the 50's and the forecast was for 75* as a high.

The plan for the day was to ride out and climb Madera Canyon.  On windy days like today, it's a challenging ride, so pacing and fueling is very important.

For the first 30miles we rolled a double pace line at a fairly steady pace.; 50w under IM was the goal.  Once we reached 30 miles at the end of Mission Road, we rode through Green Valley and got ready to climb.  It was 13 miles up to the end of the road at about 5500'.  This isn't nearly the top of the mountain (that's about 9500), but it's a honest ascent with a VERY VERY steep last 1-2miles.

To my surprise, the legs felt pretty good and I was able to build nicely throughout the climb.  I am alw…

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 4

Today was a welcome day of R&R on the training front.  The afternoon has been great, spent at a U of A coffee shop. With the sun and temps of about 65*, I have no problem working on training plans for 4hrs.

This morning we did have a good swim, followed by a better breakfast. So here are the details...hopefully there aren't too many pic's of my amazing dives, floating around out there.

Warm-up:
800 choice

Transition:
6x25 sprint on :20
200 easy
10x25 from a dive on :45
300 easy

Mainset:
3x
400 on 5:10
300 on 3:50
200 on 2:35
100 on 1:15
50 on :20

Easy longer cool down to 5.5km


Have a great weekend, everyone! Big day coming tomorrow.

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 3

Happy Valentine's Day...

Today was a bike/run/nap day for me.  The legs continued to feel pretty good and the new large Speed Concept is performing well.  For the past two seasons I have been on a medium frame and have had some terrible handling issues, mostly while descending over 35mph.  I would get a speed wobble that was uncontrollable.  In the short time I have been on the large, I have had it 40-50mph on a few pretty technical roads and have had zero issues. Good to know and to remember for both myself and athletes I work with.

Back to the day.  Cliff has been fantastic this week and we are all having a great time...from what I can tell.  Everyone has a different focus, background, goals and it makes for a great environment.

Today's set was done out on Sandario Road.  It's a flat road that's about 12 miles long.  Total ride time was 3.5hrs, about 68 miles or so.  Mainset was 30/20/10.  30min at 320, 20minutes at 330 and 10minutes at 340w. All were done on 10minut…

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 2

Solid day all around today with temps in the 60's.

Here is a recap....

Swim 90minutes 5500yards

Warm-up:
3x400 easy warm-up w/some kicking and drilling.

Mainset:
3x4x50 draft practice alternating formation w/3 others on :45
3x400 drafting practice w/3 others on 5:15
300 easy

10x100 best average on 1:20.  Didn't have my best day here, but still held 65-69.

Longer easy cd after.


Bike to and from the track. 75 minutes

Run at the track. 90min 18km

Longer warm-up, then into the following.  Nice descend from 5:20-4:40/mile pace.

2x
1600 on 7:30
1200 on 6:00
800 on 4:30
400 on 3:00


So far so good. Day 3 ahead, along with some warmer temps!

2013 CEC PRO Camp Day 1

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Today was a first good day of camp, though it SNOWED here in Tucson and the surrounding areas.  As a result, Mt. Lemmon was closed, so we improvised today. Here's a recap.

75minute swim. 4500 total

600 choice swim
400 as 25drill/75swim
600 as 150free/50choice

4x25 band on :30
200 ez
4x50 band on :60
200 ez

4x400 pull with pads moderate on 5:00

600 choice cd


Then onto the bike for 3:20 through beautiful Saguaro National Park. 5 loops through the park with a solid climb on each loop. As you can see, the ride got a bit hot during the last two times through.



Easy 15' run off the bike to wrap up the day.  

Will Cross-Training Benefit Your Triathlon Performance?

When looking at what makes a successful athlete in any sport, there is more than single sport training that goes into maximizing potential.  But how much more is the question, what should we do and how does it apply to triathlon? First, let's look at single sport athletes. Take just about any sport and look at the top athletes.  Then look into their training programs.  Typically you will find that the MAJORITY of the work is done in their primary sport.  Then the athlete usually spends a much smaller amount of time doing exercises that compliment their sport.  Benefits may help build cardiovascular fitness, improve power, agility, mental acuity and speed.   Examples - Think running for boxers, plyometrics for runners and agility training for football or hockey players. But what about triathlon?   That statement usually gets a few laughs because most single sport athletes would look at a sport with three disciplines and ask why an athlete would want to add any MORE variety. But as…

A Note To My Athletes On Recovery

Below is a note that I sent my athletes today.  I thought you could all benefit.


Recovery - 
As driven individuals, it's easy for us to all focus intensely on getting every single training session done.
"Did I hit the watts? Did I run fast enough? Did I go long enough?
The above are all things that I hear or have thought, more than one time.  While it's important to push hard, focus on the intervals, etc during your "key" training sessions, it's just as important to be as focused on your recovery.
An analogy that works well for people is to view a key workout as Point A and view your next key workout as Point B. The objective for you as an athlete, MOST of the time, it recover as well as you can between those training sessions.  If you arrive at Point B with more stress and fatigue than you are suppose to have, your session will either not go well, or you will see the effects down the road during subsequent key workouts.
I believe that you should view your key wor…

2013 Ahead, Enough Said!

I have thought a lot about what I wanted to say in this year-end recap and there is no way to get it all into one blog, so I am going to grab the highest, lowest and most powerful happenings of the last year. Throughout it all, this year more than any other, I have learned more about myself as a person, as well as what I need to be happy and lead a fulfilling life. 

So let's get into it...


Coaching -

My athletes have become an even bigger passion for me; whether it's creating their training plans, being at practice, listening to or reading about their breakthroughs, it's become something else that gets me out of bed in the morning.

I have found I have a gift and a passion somewhere that I never would have guessed. I have also found that I learn far more from my athletes, than I could ever teach them, to me they are the definition of greatness.  

There are big things coming this next year and I couldn't be more excited; athletes doing it for their first time, athletes breaki…