Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Motivation

Its funny that lately I seem to find much motivation from of all places commercials and Videos. Motivational videos are like Love songs for me, You know how when you are in love or falling out of love, suddenly all songs you hear somehow relate to your situation? Well Motivation is in a similar category.

when I am in need of some I will find motivation in almost anything I see unless its truly bad. But for most other times I may see one and just pass it by. However, there are just a number of well made videos out there that just move me even if I am already in a high, and have the potential to turn me around during a bad or tough time. Since the head game is a huge part of training and racing, this is something that as a coach and athlete I cannot just ignore. So without further ado...

This one from Levi's made me want to go out there and take something on, something BIG.




Then there is the Versus Commercial that just gets me MOVING, The underdog, never count me out!



Might as well add these others:

Michael Jordan - Its my fault



Lots of Quotes in this one, but I liked it



Famous Failures



No Excuses - Love it, cant get up and get that run in?




Any other videos out there I should consider? Lemme know!


Goodbye


After a year of faithful service, my favorite Bionic collarbone is coming out today. Surgery is in the afternoon. The metal was irritating my skin and causing problems with muscles attached to the bone. I hope they save it for me to keep as a souvenir.



Sunday, December 6, 2009

Motivation

The other night at pal Grants house along with IM Bobby and company we were watching motivational videos on Youtube. I have found the poem below to be particularly motivational during my hardest days. Turns out Nelson Mandela also was an admirer. They said he had it written on the wall during his time in prison.

INVICTUS by William Henley

OUT of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Are Vampires always deppresed?

I just saw Twighlight:New Moon, The Movie was OK I suppose, but I have to say these folks seem perpetually depressed! I mean what is the lure to being a Vampire, a lifetime of longing depression? Whats with Bella? Does she ever smile?


I like the Vampires in "Lost Boys" better, sure they are murderous beasts but THEY at least seemed to have fun.

Oh and by the way I am firmly on Team Jacob.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving

WOW I cant believe I have not posted since being back in NY! Guess I have been pretty busy. One of my latest adventures here in NY had NOTHING to do with athletics or training. I had made a Giant mistake ... I made a promise that was almost impossible for me to keep...


I promised to bring Cuban style Croquettes just like my Mom makes.

IDIOT!!!!

I dont know what possessed me!!! I don't cook! I have no cooking equipment! The only actual experience I had in making these things was when I was a kid helping my mom grind the meat with our old manual grinder.

I can only chalk it up to trying to impress. Anyhow the first hurdle I faced was the fact I needed a meat grinder. No meat grinder in sight where I am staying, so out I go in search for a simple meat grinder. My Mom tells me she just bought one for 35 bucks in Miami, and its "ELECTRIC!" she proclaimed on the phone. Not like the manual one I had used growing up.

So obviosly there are options to this!! Since T day is just a few days away I figured I will definitly find this in Manhattan, so why order online? I did look to get a price range and it looked like I could get something between 20-50 bucks! Sweet!!

So off I go, looking and looking and lo and behold....NOTHING!! WTF!!!

I am getting desperate now. Then I realize I never promised I would make the croquettes! I could buy them! Of course! GOYA to the rescue!! There are frozen Cuban style croquettes in just about any store in Westchester, surely the markets in Manhattan will be practically overflowing with them since this is a culturally savy city that I am now living in.

Well I went to Gristedes ( one on almost every other freaken block, whats up with them and Duane Reade? ) Food Emporium, called Whole Foods.....Zilch. Un ...Freaken ....believable!!!

How is it possible that Manhattan, with more spanish folks than just about anywhere does not seem to have a single frozen Goya Croquette?! As a latin man in Manhattan I am offended!

But anyhow, I was back to square one. I need to make these things myself. I felt my old sporting self coming through, I would dig DEEP to find the will to complete this task!

If I can complete and Ironman, then dammit I WILL MAKE HAM CROQUETTES!!

SO I went to Macy's figuring there may be a premium to pay, but they MUST have the equipment.

It didnt take me long to spot through the suffocating masses in macy's the Phrase "Meat Grinder"! Oh JOY!!

I did not even take any time to look at it, saw the picture on the box, the price, and off I went. I could not wait to get the heck out of that store. The crowds were just sooo much!! They were driving me crazy!!

How come it is when the isles are packed, that I always seem to have the family in front of me, that has to stop and look at just about EVERY....SINGLE....RACK.

Grrrrrr

Anyhow I was out! With grinder and headed to the store to get the ingredients. WAHOO!!

So got everything and decide its a good time to rest until the night before Turkey day.

T-1 ( Thats the day before Thanksgiving for you civilians)

I bust out the gear to get the Croquettes prepared so that they only need to be fried ( Thats right you health Freaks!! FRIED!!!) on T day.

I bust out the Grinder and amazingly there is only a feeder tube.....WHAT THE!!!! O...M...G

I look at the box and it says in smaller print words that will forever be burned in my psyche to be associated with disapointment......."Attachment", it is not a meat grinder but a Meat Grinder attachment to a much larger food processor!!!! WTF!!! I was in such a rush to get out and so elated to even see the words "Meat Grinder" that I did not even bother to read the whole package.

I...D...I...O...T..!!!!!

So here I am with 2 lbs of cooked ham, 1 lbs of grilled chicken, onions, garlic and a whole host of ingredients and no way to put it together. I have failed.....

As I sit there in the shock of failure my eyes casually gaze over to the blendor, and I start counting the buttons, Sure has allot of buttons. I get closer and see buttons like "Grind", "puree", and my favorite "Liquefy". Then it dawns on me...I'll blend the meats together!

And thats exactly what I did!! My God it took hours!! Because after you have just an inch thick of meat it just sticks to the side of the blender, so it was a tiny batch at a time. But little by little ( mind you I could finish a Marathon faster than this) I finally got all the cooked meats blended. Then to bread them and shape them.

NOTE: It did occurr to me to throw the combined meats to the ground and stomp them till they were "ground" but I tossed the idea out since I figured I would actually have to eat one of them.

By the time I was done I had spent about 5-6 hours doing something that with the right tool could have been done in about 90 minutes. But happily I will say they came out OK. perhaps a bit chunky sometimes, but not so bad.

So the lesson? Get the right tools? Nope. Make friends with a Chef? Nope.

Its KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT the next time I feel like impressing with any form of cooking skills.






Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sao Paulo

So my journeys have now led from Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo Brazil. I have been here before several times and each time I seem to be around for a historic event of nefarious or not so good consequences. There is the Wonderful prison riots that resulted in street gangs attacking the police on the streets of the city. This resulted in several days of marshal law where we could not be out after 8PM. Then just this week I just arrived at my hotel just 10 minutes before the Great Blackout that affected 50% of the country. Awesome I am a witness to Brazilian history haha

Anyhow I was looking online at wikitravel for info on what to see in Sao Paulo, and came across this line regarding customs and specifically when to kiss on the cheek:

"Men kiss women on the cheek and women kiss women as well, but two men will not kiss unless they are gay"

I have to say that was refreshingly honest haha

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Buenos Aires

Well here I am traveling again. I am now in Buenos Aires for a couple of days on business, then I onto Sao Paolo Brazil for a week and a half. At first glance it would seem that this trip is well timed considerring what is happening in my life. For those that do not know me personally, or that I speak to on a regular basis, I am going through a divorce, I dont think I ever said that here, so there you have it. This also explains the lack of posts on my part. Life has not been steady, nor has there been much time for me to focus on triathlon or athletic much recently.



So not much to post. But now as I begin to settle into a life of being separated, (thanks to a great amazing friend who has let me stay in this beautiful apartment in the upper east side of Manhattan) I have found that despite all the change, I am settling in quite nicely. This business travel does not help however. But such is life.



One of the good things about travel is the oportunity to see different things. Even during business travel whose main purpose is work I still get glimpses of a different culture. Today I arrived in Argentina early, so I had the rest of Sunday to settle in and see a little. I went out and started to walk because it was such a nice spring day here. Eventually I came across a park that was full of monuments. At least thats what it looked like to me. There was one monument that had 2 guards stationed in front. It was dedicated to all of the fallen in the Falkands war. Very reminiscent to the Vietnam war memorial. A Black Marble wall with hundreds of names on it.



There were also a number of other standard "general on horseback" statues and such. Beautiful all of them. The city itself is very european in feel. In fact so are the people. When looking at how they dress and act and physically as well I feel as if I am in Spain. Not what most americans would think of as Latin American.



Anyhow its very nice here, after my walk I did a 1 hr run, of course the Garmin was low on battery, so I dont know how far. And now I am having a late lunch. The rest of the day will be for preparing clothes for work and relaxing for a bit. Also start to think of what I am going to do with my coaching business which I plan on building on (slowly) and my focus for next years races. I havedecided to keep short races focussing on speed, but Iam feeling the pull of the marathon lately. May have to throw one of them infor next year also.



Stay tuned

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Speed Speed and more SPEED!!

Well having accomplished my IM goal, and dealing with serious time constraints due to work and circumstances, I have decided that next year my focus will be for Sprint distance races. They are short, fun, and do not require as much training time as Ironman distance races.

Also I have traditionally done relatively well always placing in the top 20% without specifically training for them . So I figure to do better than that once I do train for them. As such this off season I am developing a strength training program to help me develop power, thus more speed. I am also training to PR on a 10K in December.

I think this should give me enough focus for now to keep me going and also give me the room I need to take care of life.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Time for a Change

Hi All,

Its been so long since I have posted. Very long. My life has been in real turmoil the past few months, between a merciless job, and some very serious life issues that were screaming to be resolved, I just did not have time for anything such as training or even posting here.

Anyhow little by little things are falling into place. I have seen life can be pretty freaken good, and things are changing. In time I will be able to give more details, but enough to say the changes are deep and substantial. Although sometimes change is very hard, it also offers hope for better days. I am truly looking forward to it.

Cheers to all

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chile 2009

Well I am back from my business trip in Chile, and I have to say it was interesting. My training sufferred immensely since I was not able to get in the training necessary for the Toughman Half IM due to long days at work.

The weekends however were different. Myself and Co-worker did quit a bit of exploring in the one full weekend we had and let me tell you exploring in Chile where some towns are not truly Tourist driven can be exciting.

The best of these was our visit to Valparaiso. This is a quirky town that has some real character. It sits on a bay and is dominated by hills that each have beautiful views of the Bay. At the turn of the century (ie 1900) they had built a number of trams (or Furniculares) that they call "ascensores" ie ascenders, to help the local population get up the hills. These same "Ascensores" are still around and it was our mission on this trip to see them. This was a far bigger task than we could have expected. You see each ascensor is known by its name ( yes they each have a name much like my old bike is known as "Dusty") and it is almost expected that you know what you are looking for.

Anyhow more to come on this later on.....I have to go back to working on fixing my damned Kitchen sink. But come back soon... you will learn of the secrets to quality wine making in Chile by playing music to the grapes! and that a GPS device can in fact tell you one thing and point you in another direction! So exciting!

Problem with the Domain name

Sorry folks, over the last few days it seems my Domain had been on the fritz. It seems I had an old credit card on file with Google, on the 15th the domain expired and they could not renew because the expiration had expired on that card. While in Chile my internet access was limited so I missed the email.

Anyhow its been straightened out and Operation Ironman is back in Business.

Monday, August 3, 2009

IMLP 09 Race Report

So up until the day before the race I truly did not know if I would be able to race. My Father-in-Law was at the time in truly dire conditions and it was expected he could pass-on at any moment. I had decided that if he passed the day before I would have to go home to be with my Wife. Up until Saturday all seemed good until Saturday afternoon that My Wife called me that they were taking Moel(F-I-Law) off Life support and he would probably pass on soon after. At which point I was planning to leave if the word came. But later that evening I called my wife to get a status and explained I was waiting to see if I had to leave. her response was "Who said you were coming home? I did not ask you to do that?" She told me I have been waiting for 2 years for this, and her dada was in bad shape for the past 3 months, its bad timing but there is nothing to do about that. Besides her dad would want me too. She said "Javier go flatten some hills" then come home as soon as you can.

So with that, I decided to stay and finish this journey. I decided I would dedicate the race to my Awesome wife, Retno, and her dad.


I put it on my arm so I would be reminded why I was doing this whenever I was in the Aero bars.

So that evening had a light meal and went to bed around 9:30 ish. I slept pretty well and got up around 4AM. The Tom and Phil were already up and getting their breakfast together. I had my usual two slices of toast with peanut butter, added a bagel with butter for good measure. Preparing breakfast I saw there were some inspirational notes left around by Guru (that crazy kid!):


This is the kind of thing one should expect when sharing a house with a bunch of creative, fun, slightly deranged and yet awesome folks.

Anyhow the Iron-Sherpas also got up to join us during breakfast at 4AM to see us all off.

Thats Guru in the front, clearly not happy to have been photo's in an unprepared state, yet trying to work in a smile anyhow ( I think she gripped that fork much tighter almost instinctively).

After Breakfast, Chem-lab began ( its that moment that you have 3-4 athletes in one kitchen preparing all sorts of drinks with powders and such you end up with a cloud of powder at one point). For me I was going with Heed and Perpetuom. I knew that the course was going to be well stocked I was not too stressed. My goal was to put in about 300 calories and hour, which according to many USAT coaches is the estimate that is needed to keep the body moving in a long course race. In my special needs I put extra powder in baggies so that I could prepare 2 more bottles during the second loop. With the Perpetuom each bottle had 280 calories. I also had some energy bars and such to make up the difference. My strategy was that on the bike I would stop ad aid stations only for water when the Perpetuom started to feel stagnant or I got tired of it. I also had made the decision to stop at every single aid station during the marathon. As such I would not need to worry about building a surplus of calories for the run.

After breakfast we packed up the gear and headed out with the crew. The house was only a few blocks away from the start which is perfect. dropped everything off and headed to the water.

So now maybe I should say something about my strategy for this race. I did not train for this race as I would have loved. There were so many issues and distractions such as a large workload that required me to get home late and such, that I missed many workouts. However I did make the KEY workouts so I knew I had the base necessary to get through it so long as I played my cards right. My plan was to be conservative the whole way through. In the past I had suffered severe leg cramps on the run and I had discovered that if I pace myself on the bike and not push more than at the level I train I am OK. Nutrition wise I was shooting for 300 calories an hour, which is teh estimate on what is needed to keep moving forward.

By the swim start everyone was gathering in basically 2 places, in the front treading water or in the back hanging out on shore. I lost Phil by this point and I found out later he was in the Front. I was hanging with Tom in the back. For this race we were not eager to get into water combat when we knew we had long days ahead of us. I was a bit excited at the though that the day was finally here.

After waiting awhile, the canon went off and sure enough the pandemonium began, but it was not out of control. I felt I went through the swim nice and relaxed with little trouble at all. I wa snot pushing myself. Sighting was not an issue one bit, they mark the course so clearly that Its hard to go off track by much. As I said the swim went easy I finished in 1 hr 23 mins.

Transition was a non event, saw Guru as I was headed out, she was a traffic cop atthe womens transition it seemed.

On the Bike my goal was to do 15 mph average. This was a pace I had figured out at Rev3 that I could maintain and NOT suffer leg cramps. The first loop was great, Lake Placid is Hilly but not so hilly that there is any one hill that you feel you would rather get off and walk on. They are just long gradual hills. Much of my first loop I spent exchanging places with people named Michelle, Jerry and Lynne. I also had the chain drop 3 times whenever I wanted to shift to the smaller ring. Overall, I was feeling good, in fact after the first loop my average was above 16mph and I started to feel a leg cramp coming on so I dialed it back for the second loop.

By the second loop I had started to exchange my water bottles out with the bottle of Gatorade they were handing out. So I went to special needs where I had put 2 baggies with Perpetuom so that I could add to whatever I received at bottle exchanges. This proved to be tricky. The Gatorade bottles were not large mouth bottles like water bottles so filling it with Powder was not so simple or fast. The result was I got 75% in the bottles, and 25% all over me lol

Having accomplished that I was onto the second loop.

Second time was NOT a charm, this time those long inclines seemed much harder. By mile 90, the miles just seemed to take forever. and I was real glad to get the bike portion over. All in all despite being tired I felt good, my nutrition was just right. So I was actually looking forward to doing a marathon now. kinda sick ain't it?

SO in transition I decided to take it easy, my legs were feeling it and I was still concerned about that Cramp I felt earlier in the bike. I wanted to make sure to give it time to pass. I went to the sunscreen latherer dude who proceded to just practically pourthe stuff on me like I was a cake and he just had to put icing on me it was that thick! No artform or style whatsoever, but it worked! I did not get burned! lol

Once I got started I felt pretty good. I was not going to Rock the run, I was sticking to my plan till the end. The whole run I stayed at a base pace trot, about 10-11 min/mile. I walked the aid stations and took in everything they had every other station. At this relatively slow pace I was passing without exaggerating hundreds. Soo many people that pushed on the bike only to end up walking the marathon. I was able to maintain this pace constant throughout the run. The crowd support was simple awesome. I think this was my favorite part of the race simply because there was much more interaction with the crowds. At this slow pace I moved up almost 700 positions in ranking from the bike to the run, thats how many people I passed that were walking after a pushing on the bike. On the run I saw basically everyone and saw Phil as he was about to enter the stadium, he was just rocking the race on his way to beating the sun ( finishing before nightfall). Tom was looking good also taking his time as he had planned prior to the race start. I saw triBoomer on the road he looked beat but determined (he finished of course after all he IS an Ironman). Turns out he was having stomach issues.

I saw Jackie V out on the run, she was there just to cheer me on and she nearly tackled me as I was getting water haha it turns out she was cheering much of the time from the local bar lol Some people they know what they are doing :)

Finally entering the stadium was simply surreal. They just make you feel that you are a star. In teh stands I saw Christine and Michelle waving at me. Then I heard "Javier Gomez ..You are an IRONMAN!" WOW!! FINALLY!!!

I stumbled into a pile of "catchers" who walked me to everything after. They were great.

Christine ( Guru) and Michelle then escorted me back up to the house. The plan was to get back down to cheer others but somehow the tiredness settled in at that point and I never made it back. Guru and Michelle missed Rambonies finish cuz they were helping me and they figured they would have tiome to get back down. But we underestimated the Rambonie machine. Who knew that in the spot where everyone else "Hits the Wall", Rambonie would choose to Tackle it! He picked it up at that point and finishedbefore they could get back down! Way to GO!

In the end, everyone in the house finished. Which was totally awesome.


My finish time was 14:37, not a time I would say was awesome but its still an IRONMAN finishing time :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ironman!

Well I did it! I finished IMLP 09. It was Awesome. More to come later

Saturday, July 25, 2009

IMLP D-1

Well its the day before the fateful Ironman. Taking the time to walk around and enjoy the Placid area. What a beautiful town. Walking around here is like walking through Athlete Mecca.


Walking around you kinda feel as if you are an Olympian of sorts. I went into a deli for some water and they saw my wrist band and asked me to sign their IMLP poster. It seems the businesses are doing this now. The businesses do try and make you feel special.

Yesterday myself, Phil and Tom went for a swim at Mirror Lake. I saw that many others already had the same idea:



The Lake is beautiful, and the swim course is extremely well marked. I mean there is literally a giant bouey's every 50 meters for the entire distance. Its kinda hard to get lost here.

Then after the swim I went to check in, it is done in teh School next to the Olympic arena. The transition is setup right in front:

Looks like its going to be INSANE!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The day is near!

Finally! After almost 2 years, 2 cycling accident resulting in broken collarbone and a concussion( and a new nickname ie "crash";) , I am down to the final stretch towards my Ironman. I am now leaving to head up to Lake Placid where I am sharing a house with my buds.

I am excited and a bit nervous, but THATS GOOD!

So Off I go, if you want to follow me on race day I am bib # 1182

Wish me LUCK!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Random Taper Thoughts

Its funny what happens in my head during a taper. Aside from the usual insecurities that come when you lower the amount of time spent workingv out, there also are effects on my thoughts. Different thoughts come up.

For example earlier today a thought occurred to me about how the "Clowning Industry" must consider it Abject failure that most Children and many adults are afraid of them? I mean really what clown thought up the idea of dressing up with psycho hair, Giant Blood red lips and crazy eyes in order to entertain?

They are supposed to make you feel happy and entertained. Instead they are almost universally hated. Talk about a PR nightmare!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Look at what the dog dragged in



Well more like chased in. Around my neighborhood we know there is a community of feral ( the "in" way of saying "stray" )cats. So yesterday it seems Simba chased and cornered this kitten, pounced on it once before Retno was able to intervene. We don't know where it came from and wasn't sure if it was injured. So she brought it in. So far looks OK, and tomorrow the Vet. We are guessing its 5-6 weeks old.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

11 Days

Well here we are 11 days to go. I would like to say that after almost 2 years of preparing (first attempt aborted after
cycle crash) that I am more than ready. No problems at all.

Truth is I am not. Physically at least. Training has been sporatic at best. Between work pressures, A very ill hospitalized Father in Law and other Domestic issues. I have missed a huge percentage of training.

The only reason I figure to have a chance are the recent huge weekends where I put in some good miles and time. That and my plan was original designed not to just finish but to CRUSH. As such I figure I can push through with the training I have done.

So really I have no goal time other than to finish. Also to have sufficient energy so I can get up from crawling about 500 meters from the finish so I can cross the finish with arm high in the air per the traditional Ironman finish line photo.

That is key!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Road Rash

In the past year I have by far received the most emails from my post about Extensor tendonitis than just about any other post. So in order to further improve my hit rate I have arranged to obtain some “Road Rash” so that I can write about it :)
Ok so basically my grand training weekend up at Lake Placid was cut short by a small accident that caused me a concussion and some nice road rash. A concussion is basically any head trauma that causes you to black out or lose memory. In my case it was both. I cant actually remember the accident. Which is disturbing since there is no obvious sign of what exactly happened. Basically, I was riding behind holisticguru on a flat portion of the course. The roads were not unusually bad, they were not perfect but I have ridden over much worse. Next thing I know I am picking myself up off the ground with my bike underneath me.

According to the doc at the ER I did take a pretty significant shot to the head (blunted by another cracked helmet). That’s it. I suspect my tire got caught in some rut in the road. Once I got up HG insisted on waiting 5 minutes to clear my head. Then we rode back ( the bike was fine only some additional scratches). It was about 10 miles back to Lake Placid.

Though I felt fine, the others at the house(Rambonie, Jennwilltri) insisted I go to the hospital. So Rambonie was kind enough to take me to the ER. There I had Xrays done, and a CT scan to make sure there were no Hematomas or other crazy shit going on in my head. Well aside from the usual crazy shit.
All was clear. I was checked out 3 hrs later with instructions to do nothing for 48 hours. The concussion could cause me to faint. Also exercising could make it worse. Somehow, this prognosis did not change even after I begged that I needed to ride the course one more time! WTF!

Anyhow I was given instructions on what to do for the road rash, which at the moment is by far the most aggravating result from this accident. So here you go how to treat Road Rash:

-Remove old dressings daily and apply new ones
-If the bandage sticks to the wound apply some moisture to help it come of easier
-Keep injury clean and dry at all times
-Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment 2-3 times daily to help it heal faster and avoid excessive scarring.

No medication was prescribed only Motrin (WTF! What about some good pain meds??!)
That’s it! Nothing special really. But here is some tidbit that is yet ANOTHER BLOW against the Male leg shavers out there!!
One reason I was given as to why cyclists and triathletes shave their legs is that it makes the healing of road rash go easier.

NOT TRUE per the ER doc, in fact it works the other way around. When you shave you expose the bacteria that resides at the roots of the hair. Therefore during an accident you are more likely to get an infection. MORE LIKELY! Take that you male shavers!

Anyhow that’s it. Aside from stating that the road rash is truly uncomfortable, and painful there is nothing more to add, about this.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Buying a used Bike?

I received an emailed question from someone in my home town about buying a used bike, Here was my response:

What is your goal for this triathlon? Are you just looking to have fun and experience a triathlon? or are you a competitive type and want to do really well. If you are looking for the experience only then see if you can borrow a bike, also you can do a tri in a hybrid. I personally prefer someone know what they want before spending any money on a bike. OK so you decide you want a bike.

Then, figure out your budget. Don't go looking for a bike and figure you will pay what you need too. Because you will end up possibly spending more than you want to or have to.
SECOND, go to a bike shop, ask them to tell you what size bike you will need. Bikes come in a variety of sizes. Getting the right size bike is KEY to having a bike properly fit for you. While there look around ask lots of questions, tell them your needs and heck even ask them if they have anything that fits your budget. Generally you can find a decent entry level road bike for about $800 and $1000. See if they have a new bike that fits your budget. I would definitely go with a road bike.

As for where to buy a used Bike, Craigslist, Ebay etc Unfortunately there are not too many bike shops that sell used bikes. At least not in Westchester.

If you go the used bike route, I know people who have had success getting a bike through Craigslist. That is because on Craiglist the ads are normally local and the buyer has been able to see the bike before buying.

Something to consider when you buy a bike used, there are other expenses you may not think about. for example It is recommended to get the bike fit for you. This is a process where the bike shop adjusts the bike for you ( ie handlebars, seat adjustments) so that you get most comfort and power from the bike.That will probably cost you somewhere between $1-200. You probably also have to get it tuned up, thats another $1-200. These costs are already included included when you buy a bike from a shop. That is why I suggest you figure out your budget before bike shopping. Because if you find a bike online for $500 its really going to cost you anywhere between 7-900 by the time you are ready. That is no deal unless you are buying a fantastic bike that would normally cost much more.

Finally, don't worry about aerobars, you wont need them. At least not now if you are a beginner.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

handheld posting

So I am experimenting with posting from my phone. Such is my life that I no longer have enough time to regularly update anything. however I do have 2 hours of a commute to and from work where I sit on a train sleeping, reading, dreaming. figured HEY theres more time I can fill with stuff!

However, the only web connection is through this phone. So hopefully this works.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ridgefield Triathlon

Great race. Started off the day a bit tired and unmotivated. In fact I got there a bit late and barely had time to setup. I ran into Guru on the bathroom line while she was texting me " where the Freak are you?!" haha. As I said I was pretty nonchalant about the race. Very relaxed.

For breakfast I Had my normal peanut butter on wholewheat slices.

After setting up, Me and Guru went in and warmed up in the water prior to the first wave. I was in the second wave. The weather was perfect, the first wave went off and all looked good. This time for some reason I decided to mix it up with the goons in the mob. So I stuck myself in the middle near the front of the group. This was in fact a very stressful position to be in. Got smacked a few times and I am sure I kicked a few folks too. but I did not get caught up with going crazy at the start and allowed myself to be pulled by the draft. My sighting was Dead-on. I took the inner line and never left it. I literally hit the first bouey with my shoulder. Same with the second. I was steady in my pace and before reaching the first bouey I had past allot of the folks who bulldozed past me and was actually now hitting the first wave of swimmers. When I got out of the water I was in the middle of the previous wave. I think I finished like 9th or 10th in my wave. which was pretty good.

Went into the bike with no complications, and the bike was smooth. I felt great and because it was a sprint I figured to push as hard as I can. The Ridgefield course is slightly hilly but nothing too hard. Mostly Rolling. I was able to average about 18MPH.

I headed out to the run and was not feeling it. But much to my surprise, I managed to pull a 21:50 5k which is something like 7:20 min miles.

When all was said and done I had finished in the top 3rd of both my age group and my race. My buddies at the race did pretty damned goo too, Phil came in 4th in his age group, Pro and coach John Hirsch won the whole damned thing while breaking the course record. And My pal, and OpIron Athlete extraordinaire holisticguru, was in the lead in her age group when she Crashed on the bike. You can read all about it here. Good news is she walked out of it with a smile.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Website Launch!


Well after months of working on it...the Opiron coaching website is ready.

I present to you...Opironmultisport.com

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Even in my Sleep!

The setting..... 5AM last night---


SMACK!

Me- HuH? What?!

Wife - Will you shut up!

Me - What are you talking about, I am sleeping!

Wife- Yeah but you are yelling "Come on Christine!! Push it!! Push!! Get up! Come on Climb that Sucker!! GO!! CLIMB!! AW RIGHT!! WAY TO GO!!"

Me - Umm Sorry

Wife- Coach Tomorrow, Shut up and sleep now!! Come on Do it! You can do it!


LOL

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Natural Sports drink

I just received a shipment of ONE Coconut water, and let me tell you..LOVING IT!

I have already had 3 of these suckers. They are delicious. But the beauty is they are 100% natural and they give me similar benefits that you can get from drinking a sports drink. Now the coconut water does in fact point this out in the back, showing a comparison. Which looks pretty damned favorable for the coconut water. However, being a triathlete I happen to have handy a small collection of sports drinks to compare directly. I have Gatorade and Accelerade. So here are some stats:

Gatorade
110 MG sodium
30 Mg potassium
14 grams carbs
Coloring(artificial)


Accelerade
190 mg sodium
65 mg Potassium
21 g carbs
coloring artificial

O.N.E Coconut water
60 mg of sodium
670!! ml potassium
15 grams of carbs
coloring-none

So what does this tell me, it tells me that Coconut water is in some cases better as a sports drink than the Uber-popular gatorade. Accelerade is probably a better option for long events, or pop in a NUUN for the added electrolytes where I may need a bit more sodium. But for everyday workouts and recovery drinks. Coconut water is Plenty. That PLUS ITS 100% NATURAL!!

You should see the laundry list of ingredients that Accelerade has! What the heck is Trahalose ( Ascend tm)?

I'll take the Coconut water if I have it, thank you very much!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Am I overtraining or am I just a lazy ass?

This is the question I received today from one of my athletes who shall remain nameless. I looked at her workouts and what she logged about them. There could only be one conclusion....wrote her back "Your a lazy ass, now HTFU and get your workout done!"

Now I tend to goof around allot with this Athlete who normally works her Butt off. So I can say stuff like that, normally I wouldnt mention the lazy ass part ;)

But Overtraining is a serious thing, and you know it when you feel it. In this case once she got started with her workout she felt fine. That to me is the sign that its overtraining or just life stressing you out. Often I feel my feet dragging and dont want to go for a run, but once I get started I picku p within a few minutes. In fact if I dont get into a workout after 20 minutes thats a sign for me to take a day off. Which does happen.

But most of the time the workouts feel fine.

Overtraining is not just one workout but you know you are overtrained when a series of workouts just feel wrong, no energy, no zipp at all. If this goes on for awhile not just one day, then yes you may be overtrained.

If thats not the case, then just HTFU and get out there :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Look at what I got in the mail

It oofficial I have the cert to prove it! I am a Tri Coach

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Training plans and Life

It occurred to me last night that the things I love the most about Triathlon are the same things that can get me into trouble: I love the training, I love the adventure, I most of all love the friends I have made through the sport. There is such a sense of bonding because you go through something that is very different from the everyday life of home, and work. You meet people who are dealing with the same stresses, and so you find yourself drawn to these people.

I love that.

You can go to a race alone and yet know that when you get to a race, every single person there sees you as one of them despite the fact you are competing against one another. Maybe thats why the time I forgot all my water bottles at home for a race, I had all of these other folks I did not know offer me their spares and extra nutrition they had, so much so I had to turn away stuff. Triathletes are just plain awesome.

But Like all things good, it is possible to have too much of it. Life should be balanced and that includes triathlon. Which leads me to this post, I am following a plan that was created for me last year by fabulous coach and Pro triathlete John Hirsch. It was originally developed for IM Wisconsin. However when I broke my collarbone last year all of this was put aside. So naturally when I was able to sign up for IM Lake Placid of this year, I just dusted it off and started all over.

Last year I wanted a plan that would lead me to kick some serious booty, in the race. Its aggressive. It will no doubt lead me to crush the competition. The problem is that my life situation from last year has changed. Those things that gave me time last year to do this, have changed.

So now that I am reaching the real Meat of the training plan which has me doing back to back Huge rides on Saturday and Sunday, I am starting to feel the cracks widen in my life. My current situation cannot support me being away from my family for 6-8 hrs a day on both Saturday and Sunday.

This plan was specifically designed to turn my weakness, cycling, into my strength. So that I could annihilate all my competition. Yesterday when I was out on my ride I saw all of these people out raking and doing plantings and such. I got home and looked at my front lawn and realized that there is still tons of fall leaves all over the place. Spring is not springing in my house because I am spending two days each weekend doing long hard rides. When I get home its already late, and I am too exhausted to do anything. Retno cant do all of these things by herself, nor should she have to.

This plan no longer works for me

The perfectly good plan from a year ago is no longer perfectly good. Why? Because our lives change, our needs and goals change and maintaining a balance is critical to success in keeping a triathlon lifestyle. I had last week a plan to go on a 4 hour ride on Saturday and a 6 hour ride on Sunday ( today). I had made plans with a really fun group to take on a very hilly 100 miler. But yesterday I realized I have let my plan and triathlon life take an overwhelming priority in my life.

Truth is that annihilating the competition is just not THAT important (GASP!), I would be satisfied with just crushing them a little. So I am just changing the focus of my plan I will still have one long ride on the weekends, but I will make the other day a long run instead. That takes up 2 hours instead of 8. It also does not wipe me out. I can actually have energy to pay attention to other parts of my life.

I used to ask myself, why would would anyone in this day and age, pay me to coach them when they have access to all of these resources online? Why hire a coach?

Answer: You hire a coach when you truly want to achieve something in triathlon but realize that there will be challenges along the way. A coach will help you navigate those challenges by adapting your training to address those challenges. Case in point...read above :)

If you find that you are missing 30% of the training sessions scheduled on your plan, on a regular basis, I have news for you. That plan is not working for you. Nor are you getting the benefit of a plan that fits your life. When I say missing I do not mean that you can move things around from one day to the next, we all do that. What I mean is that you are just outright skipping workouts because you have no time to do them, and you find you are doing this on a regular basis.

This is why you get a coach. To help you evaluate if a training plan works for your current life situation, and help customize that for your goals. If you already have a coach, and you find yourself regularly missing 3-4 workouts a week, Call him/her or email and tell them you need to change your plan. You truly are not getting the benefit of that plan in my opinion.

If you have a coach that says no-can-do because there is a limit to changes made or a limit on communication, then drop that coach because you are paying too much money. A Tri coach should be your partner in getting you to that race feeling confident and prepared. You should feel like you are part of a team simply because you have a coach that is watching what you do and giving you feedback. That coach should be vested in your success. That includes dealing with life. If you are counting the time you have contacted them because there is a limit per month, drop that coach. Life happens and no training plan is perfect year round.

When I push out a plan to my athletes its generally no more than a month of training at a time. Most of the time its even less. Why? because in one month things can change. I develop a long term strategy, but the daily stuff is done a month at a time. I try to make sure the plans fit my athletes lives, and that if they have an injury we modify the training ASAP, and not wait until it becomes a bigger problem. I am ALWAYS in contact either through monitoring their workouts or email or simple interaction in Twitter. No communication limits. Thats my approach.

There are so many good coaches out there that do the same. Do not ever settle for paying someone a monthly or annual fee for a standard plan that cannot be changed. If you want that you can get a great plan by buying one of the thousands of good books with training plans.

So.. do you need a coach to achieve your goals? Nope. You can do it yourself. It just depends on who you are and how you approach things? If you are a DIY type then just take my advise and re-look at your plan if you are in fact missing that many workouts.

Cheers, I now have to go do some raking lol

Friday, April 17, 2009

So why was I grovelling?

So it was maybe two weeks ago that I embarked on my first 100 miler of the season. I had spent time on the trainer and time riding outdoors, but This ride with Phil, was hard. It was the first of many to come and I am still not in top shape. In particular this ride was HILLY! At one point I was at about mile 75 looking at possibly the hundredth hill to climb and I know that inside I was grovelling saying in a small voice "no not another one" (maybe it was a low end whine). Whatever it was it was ...sad

Anyhow I none the less sucked it up and pushed up the hill and the next one and next....

What was kinda interesting was what it was that made me so exhausted. It wasn't my legs. It was actually my shoulders and arms. As you climb hills you tend to rock the bike side to side, which involves almost your whole body working. My legs were fine and strong enough, my body as whole was not. I was feeling my core, shoulders, arms all were beat.

Since my operation on my collarbone late last year, I have layed off upper body work to let the shoulder heal. But now that is past and its time to focus and rebuild the shoulder strength. THUS on twitter I started 100 pushup Fridays. Its just a game in order to get some inspiration to do some core and strength work. Last year at Race with Purpose that crew was doing it on Wendsdays.

Also I figure I will be getting back on the 100 pushup challenge again. My pal HolisticGuru is also doing the 200 situp challenge which I think is probably another thing I may have to take on.

My first race is a Half marathon in April 29! Time to get serious.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Great long run!

There are workouts that just make you feel freaken good. Today was one of them. I had actually a ride to do but since the weather was rainy and windy, and I had missed my lomg run on Thursday evening due to work, I chose to get that done today since it better to run than ride in this weather.

Started off feeling stiff and unmotivated. The first half I ran with Simba, to get her her exercise. It was Hilly with wet and cold wind. But no sooner than I got my feet on the pavement, I was moving and moving with Purpose. The first half just went by easy as I stuck to the Long slow distance pace, keeping my HR in Zone 2. Dropped SImba off after the first hour, took in some water and resumed my run. I just felt like I had wings on my feet. There were plenty of hills but they seemed to just blend in, not even noticeable.

As the last half hour approached, I had on the plan to kick it up and finish strong. Not a problem I brought my average pace on the last half hour from my average of 9:30 to around 8 min/mile with ease and finished with plenty of energy for a sprint at the end.

The totals: 14.14 miles, 2 hrs 15 minutes, 3185 feet of climbing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

So its a day off.....from work

This translates to a day of swimming and running, along with doing essay questions for my Tri Coach exam, and doing a few training plans for my core group of athletes.

So really a day off translates to a day on of doing the stuff I love! Yeah Baby!

Anyhow did you guys know that there are some athletes out there that actually use their indoor trainers year round? Its true! The trainer has some benefits that you cant get from the great outdoors:

  • You control the effort level, if you want to do 5 10 minute hill climbs with 2 minutes rest, its kind of hard to find any hills conveniently placed so that you can successfully do this. Same goes for time trials or anything where you really need to control the effort level.
  • Its locked in place so you will not fall off. Great place to work on single leg drills to help improve your pedal technique.
  • Along the line with pedal technique, you can easily work on pedal cadence. A high pedal cadence is good in that its overall more efficient. For triathletes it also means your legs are fresher for the run if you maintain a high pedal cadence.
Despite all of these benefits, you still NEED the great outdoors. Bike handling is key to cycling and well you don't really move much on a trainer. Also balance is not really worked on.

There is also the mental workout you get from dealing with varied terrain. Learn to adapt to the unexpected.

Lets face it, cycling can also serve to just plain "Take you away" when its beautiful outside, a slight wind is blowing and you are just riding with some good friends. THAT cant be replaced by a trainer.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

When to rest

So I was up this morning to do a trainer workout. I was looking forward to it since I have not been able to get a good workout in in probably a week. The travel last week to Colorado took a chunk of time where I could only run. Then I came back from Colorado with a brand spanking new cold. So now I went to run last night with Simba and couldn't breath due to coughing fits so that was cut short. This morning I couldn't stop coughing enough to hold teh bike steady to put the bike in the trainer. Well it took me 5 minutes to do something I normally do in 30 seconds. Its a sign.

So it was back to bed. But of course I am awak now so after 10 minutes of tossing and turning, I decided to just get up and get an early start to the day.

Whether you should train through sickness or not that is a common question. In fact just yesterday Christine ( HolisticGuru ) was asking me the same thing since she herself is fighting off a Flu. My answer was let your body tell you. If you have no energyt and just cant get a good workout in, you are betteroff letting your body do what it has to do, and fight off this illness.

Same goes for me. As much as I hate it when I am now eneterring a Build phase in my prep for IMLP. Between work travel and sickness I will have lost a week of training. However, it will take longer if I don't let my body recover. I will just have to absord the 15 seconds I will lose out on my finish time at IM LP due to this missed workout :)

Life happens. Thats what the balancing act we have to do withFamily, training, work, Friends ..

...life.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Take home exam

So I have been tied up doing this take home exam they gave us. Holy smokes I thought it would be easy being a take home exam. WOW was I wrong! I have spent 6-8 hours on this already and that was just on the multiple choice section. now I have 15 essays and sample cases to write.

Phew!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beer Goggle conversations

OK so I went out with a bunch on my fellow students for an evening and we drank Plenty! This is the conversation that ensued: WARNING!! THIS IS A Freakishly sometime racy conversation!

After about the many pitchers amongst us, which is probably a bad idea since athletes tend not to drink too heavily on a normal basis, One of the guys from Utah made mention he is Bi-sexual to the group. Don't ask how we got to this point but I assume it had something to do with the the other milder but strange conversation going on. He then said its not so weird because a great majority of men from Utah have some level of Gay tendency but due to the extremely conservative Mormon church it is hidden. OK So if I was in a stupor before this point I was starting to come out of it. Then he made a statement that studies show that most men and women show bisexual tendencies in preference but that they hide it. Women more so then men. Then the women piped up saying that could be so, then one of them said there would be limits tho because she would have no problem licking a woman's breast but could not kiss her on the lips..get this... because its too personal. (???)

big {GULP} followed by silence

OK so I am fully awake now. And could not help but ask for clarification. "Do You mean you would lick a womans breast like this ( demonstrate by licking my hand) or with some passionate GUSTO!?" I asked. Sorry folks I just HAD to KNOW! The repercussion of this is just too important! (OK maybe there really weren't SERIOUS repercussions but I just HAD to know!)

She replied she has never done it but she can say that she would have no problem licking good. I made sure to wipe my mouth in case any drool dripped out ( you know all teh beer!) although after this conversation I don't think it would have made a splash( pardon the pun) in anyones mind at that moment. NOTE Ladies this type drooling thing is just about automatic in any Homosexual male Republican or Democrat under the right conditions. Beer and a sudden erotic statement count as one of those conditions.

That conversation served as the highlight of the evening and we all said it was time to head home after that lol.

Thank God for Hotels at walking distance lol

Tri Coach training Day 2 and 3

Well day 2 and 3 went fairly well, lots of good information. the presenters during this session were not as exciting in their approach but the info was great. My attitude could also have something to do with the fact that I was out drinking with a group of the other students the night before, so the morning was a struggle to stay focused. So it didn't help to have a monotone talker. But after some coffee I was good to go!

Here are some Highlights:

Saturday, March 28

Communication, Ethics and Risk Management ( ie Dont get sued!!)
Yep Pretty much how not to get sued and how to protect yourself if you do get sued. IE health forms, training logs etc record what you said

Sports Psychology & Mental Skills

Real interesting. Made a statement that 90% of athletes do better in practice than they do in the actual race or event. This is due purely to how the race stress affects their performance. Made mention that its good to play music when running but not always. there is a mental battle played out on a competitive race that an athlete needs to know how to win. If they are always distracted or need music to motivate themselves then they have not fully been traininging for the race. Not against using music at all but said there should be certain workouts that as a coach we make sure the athlete is not using it Like during race simulators.


Periodization and Planning-Practical Application

Repeat of the prior days work only we got together to build a training plan for a sample athlete. This was good except They used an Elite Athlete for teh example, which doesnt make sense sinse Level 1 coaching does not involve Elite athletes. They gave us a weekly hour range up to 25-30 hours to work with. NO Age group athlete has that kind of time. But anyhow the emphasis was make sure to combine hard workouts followed by a Recovery type workout. Example morning HARD run, should then be followed by a Swim that afternoon since swimming is less harsh on the body. We went over several different means to do a plan, But the key is Recovery needs to be built into all schedules. Improvement comes from Adaptation, adaptaion comes after stressing the muscles and then letting it rebuild and recover. If you never rest, then your body cannot fully recover. This eventually leads to OVER-TRAINING.

Other things leading to Overtraining: Too many races, too many HARD workouts, Monotonous overly repetitive training over extended periods, Stress at home and work are major contributors also.

What to do if over-trained? First get a medical checkup to rule out any medical condition, second Rest! If your race is close as in a few weeks away, then adopt a maintenance schedule to try and maintain your fitness. But you have to work in some rest. Maybe this means an extended taper. If over-trained an athlete will not Improve further but CAN lose fitness. Rest is what is needed. I specifically asked Bobby Mcgee after his session to discuss this because I have an Athlete that I just started to coach who is dealing with this. Who is Bobby McGee? He is the USA Olympic Triathlon teams Running coach and Sports Psychologist as well as a Level III tri coach. Since this athlete is training for Marathon I figured who better to ask than an Olympic Running coach :)

Running Skills and Economy Training

Went over the general skills and assessment of athletes at Running. gave great pointers on drills and such like teh Kenyan Running drills. Other things like fall forward when running, high cadence is important the stride length is what changes when going slow or fast.

4:15-5:30pm Triathlon Specific Training and Key Workouts

Make sure to work in Tri Specific stuff, Like transitions, not just the Bike to run that everyone thinks of but also the swim to Bike, which is generally the longest transition for folks. Also bring up things like have athletes practice putting their goggles on in the middle of the swim. This may be needed if your goggles are kicked out of place. deal with teh stress in training NOT in the race.

Sunday, March 29

8:00-9:30am Cycling Skills

Good stuff and pointers. Criticality of a Bike fit. Make certain to write down the measurements when done. You never know when you will need to readjust the bike seat because it slid down or if you travel and you have to rebuild the bike.

Make sure to do rides in a variety of terrain. to get experience but find the terrain that is closest to what the race will be ( ex hilly or flat).
pedal stroke, work to get power throughout the pedal cycle not just pushing down. do single leg pedal drills. Make sure to focus on the non-dominant leg because we all have tendencies to use one leg more than the other. If you want to see some fast improvement in power, work on the non dominant leg.

Swimming Skills and Economy Training

Again make sure to throw in workouts to simulate Tri conditions. Such as Start with Fast and hard drills, then go to the longer sets. This simulates the swim start which is usually fast and gets everyones HR up. Do NOT send a newbie to a MAsters swim course unless there is some focus for beginners.

A beginners focus should be on Form and technique, and should not be stressed about finishing laps like all others on the Masters team.

Overall I really enjoyed the course. There was such great instructors that were truly leaders in the field. In fact most if not all are current Olympic team coaches Such as Bob Seebohar, John Crawley Bobby McGee ( former Olympian and the teams current running coach), Susan Williams 2004 Olymoic Bronze medalist and the first American to medal in Triathlon. Just good stuff all in all.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tri Coach training Day 1

Well day one was Brilliant. If you like, scratch that, Love triathlon you should do this course just to get more information that you can use yourself. More notes to come later but here are some highlights! (Note: the instructors are awesome they are the TEAM USA coaches and they coach the folks like Sarah Haskins, and such) What I felt really good about is that allot of my philosophy that I have picked up over the years seems to match quite well. I have been doing the right things so far for my athletes. This is Great news! But I have already learned some other things of what to do and what NOT to do that are really of great help.

Friday, March 27

8:30- 9:00am Introduction to USAT Coaching Certification Program 9:15-10:45am Triathlon Nutritional Strategies

KEY! Nutrition needs to be tied to training phases. We all know this but this was a real good emphasis. And they demonstrate why.

11:00-12:30pm Exercise Physiology

Note: Sports and Triathlon specifically is getting far too tied up with technology. Focus on the basics FIRST then worry about aero-wheels. Far too many athletes use these as crutches and fail to focus where they need too.


12:30-1:45pm Lunch

1:45-3:15pm Periodization and Planning

BASE BASE BASE At some point in the year ALL athletes need to have a block of base training. All pro's do this without it, the body is not being trained properly. But also when going slow go really slow, when going hard, go really HARD. Make the workouts count.

Along these lines there is specificity. meaning if you are running, then run. No stopping to interrupt and do anything else. Your workouts have to have a goal. Pushups in the middle of the run disrupts those goals. That energy you have should be used for having a quality run workout, not spent to do strenth training.

3:30-5:00pm Triathlon Specific Strength Training

Not what you would think, Its more about functional strength training and not Weights. New phrase Neuro Muscular Adaption training. You OpIron and RwP Triathletes Folks, keep your eyes on your training plans :)

You can stop the static stretches. Dynamic stretching is beter and safer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tri Coaching Certification

Well I am at this moment sitting at JFK Airport, waiting for about another hour to get on a flight to Colorado where this weekend I will be attending the USAT Triathlon Coaching Level I Clinic. Pretty excited about it, it looks to offer much excellent information. Here is the outline from the agenda they sent:

Friday, March 27

8:30- 9:00am Introduction to USAT Coaching Certification Program 9:15-10:45am Triathlon Nutritional Strategies

11:00-12:30pm Exercise Physiology
12:30-1:45pm Lunch

1:45-3:15pm Periodization and Planning

3:30-5:00pm Triathlon Specific Strength Training

I am interested about what they will say about periodization. I assume they will teach the standard Prep/Base/Build/Race yada yada yada. Also Nutritional strategies are of interest.


Saturday, March 28

8:00-9:30am Communication, Ethics and Risk Management ( ie Dont get sued!!)

9:45- 11:15am Sports Psychology & Mental Skills

11:15-12:45pm Lunch ( What the!! 11:15?! Brunch?)

12:45– 2:15pm Periodization and Planning-Practical Application

2:30 – 4:00pm Running Skills and Economy Training


4:15-5:30pm Triathlon Specific Training and Key Workouts

Sunday, March 29

8:00-9:30am Cycling Skills

9:45-11:15pm Swimming Skills and Economy Training

11:30-12:00pm Certification Process/Exam Distribution (I believe its a take home exam)



Overall Pretty excited about this. I feel this will provide some excellent info that I can apply the athletes I am coaching both for OpIron Multisport, and Race with Purpose ( We have an great program we are planning for 2010)

Now to the real negative, I am leaving almost springlike weather in NY to fly into a Colorado Snow storm WTF!!

So Why do I think this is necessary? Well to be honest I put myself in a potential clients position and you have to wonder what qualifications does someone have to coach? Meaning is it experience? Knowledge? What? Whats to stop a quack that happens to know how to sell from starting a coaching service online with little experience? Nothing really. Well hopefully verifiable certification will help. It tells athletes that I am serious enough about coaching that I have taken the steps necessary to get the official credentials. Its no different than when you hire someone for a job. Will an accountant be a better accountant because they have a CPA? Maybe not, but it tells me that the person cared enough to at least learn a minimum of base knowledge on the subject. He/She had to take a fairly hard exam for it and display some knowledge on the subject.

Well I think this is the closest officially recognized certification(If not the only) for Triathlon Coaching that we have in the US. As such I figure it shows a level of commitment on my part. There is also the additional knowledge gained ( although not expecting much more on the side of planning since I have read just about every book on the subject and have actually used this info for a couple of years.)

Overall I am psyched. Should be a good time.

Ok thats it for now, will keep you guys updated

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Avalanches can be dangerous!

It was disastrous! Not to me really but to my training! Once we came across this Avalanche I couldn't help myself! There were just too many opportunities to play!


Oh and dont think Christine (aka Holistic Guru) didn't get into the act!


Here she is being a foul mouthed Bostoner. "What da FAaaCK" Cursing the Avalanche that is impeding our hardcore training.

How can you tell she is from Boston? Take a good look at her Primo riding sox!


If those aren't Boston red Socks I don't know what else they could be!

Believe it or not we were actually here to sherpa for the Race with Purpose marathon team that is prepping for Boston. Thats right we have a whole Team that qualified. This years 30% of the RwP marathon crew qualified. Here is Why because they let NOTHING get in their way!


During this time we did manage to disperse a water or two lol

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My HR Zones

So recently I conducted a field test to calculate my HR Run Threshold test using a field test. Now to actually put that to use I need to work out the different zones. Here is a good method. My testing I came up LT @ 178. So based on that

Zone 1 = % Lactate Threshold: 65%-84% 115 - 150
Zone 2 = % Lactate Threshold: 85%-91% 151 - 161
Zone 3 = % Lactate Threshold: 92%-95% 162 - 169
Zone 4 = % Lactate Threshold: 96%-100% 170 - 178
Zone 5a = % Lactate Threshold: 100%-102% 179 - 181
Zone 5b = % Lactate Threshold: 103%-105% 183 - 187
Zone 5c = % Lactate Threshold: 106%+ 188 +

To be honest I never really track the difference between 5a- 5c its too minute. As such I always just use:

Zone 5 179+

Zone 5 is short interval work or Hill repeats, Its for anaerobic endurance.

The following section about the HR calculations was Cut and Pasted from Here. Aside from the term "lactate recycling" which thelatest research now shows that may not be the case and that Lactate may not be the "bad guy" after all but instead the opposite. The end result is still that at that level of effort our muscles sort of want to die, no matter the culprit. So it still counts! ANyhow it gives a good description of whatteh different zones mean and are used for.

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Note: Heart Rate Zone values are based on running. For each zone, subtract 10 beats per minute for biking and 10-15 beats per minute for swimming.

Zone 1: Recovery
Also known as: Overdistance
Intensity: Very Low
% Lactate Threshold: 65%-84%
RPE Scale: 6-9

Used for: These are the easiest workouts, used to promote recovery after harder workouts. It is also generally the intensity level used during the recovery period of interval work and long slow distance (LSD) runs.

Zone 2: Endurance
Also known as: Extensive Endurance
Intensity: Moderate
% Lactate Threshold: 85%-91%
RPE Scale: 10-12

Used for: Used for long, endurance workouts and easy speed workout; builds and maintains aerobic endurance.

Zone 3: Lactate Threshold
Also known as: Intensive Endurance
Intensity: Moderate Plus
% Lactate Threshold: 92%-95%
RPE Scale: 13-14

Used for: Used for Tempo workouts, training in Zone 3 is usually done in the preparation and base phases. Generally, in the later phases you want to bump up to Zone 4.

Zone 4: VO2 Max Intervals
Also known as: Anaerobic Threshold, Race/Pace
Intensity: Race/Pace
% Lactate Threshold: 96%-100%
RPE Scale: 15-16

Used for: Intervals, hill work, and tempo work. Intervals in this zone generally have work-to-rest ratio of 3:1 or 4:1. Training at or slightly below your Lactate Threshold (a.k.a. Anaerobic Threshold) helps your body lean to "recycle" the lactic acid during high intensity work.

Zone 5a: Threshold Endurance
Also known as: Superthreshold
% Lactate Threshold: 100%-102%
RPE Scale: 17

Used for: Intervals, hill work, and tempo work; typically used after some Zone 4 time has already been done. Zone 5 workouts are very short because it is difficult to maintain this level for any length of time.

Zone 5b: Anaerobic Endurance
Also known as: Speed Endurance
% Lactate Threshold: 103%-105%
RPE Scale: 18-19

Used for: Intervals and hill work to improve anaerobic endurance. Intervals in this zone generally have work-to-rest ratio of 1:1, for example, a 20 second sprint followed by 20 seconds of easy recovery (Zone 1).
Zone 5c: Anaerobic Capacity
Also known as: Power
% Lactate Threshold: 106%+
RPE Scale: 20

Workout SWAP!

OK so I saw that Tuesday was going to be a slightly late day, knowing this I knew that by the time I got to the pool which would be at best 8PM - 8:30 PM that would at best leave me 90 minutes if all went well. However the more likely scenario would be that Get there to find the pool closed for 15 Minutes so that the 14 yr old lifeguard can go take a break to go eat, Text their pals, hang out in the front making an effort to stay awake ( I swear that job must be BORING!), which has happened to me already a few times. SO I decided to take preventative measure and swapped workout between Tues & Wednesday Hoping that today I will have more time to swim later.

So far so good, yesterday I had a ripping great training day. And today I have planned to do a 1 hr hill repeat workout on the treadmill during lunch at work, and then head home ON TIME to make my swim workout. Crossing fingers that no unplanned emergencies ( As opposed to the planned emergencies ;) comes up.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Training week of 3/9

Monday: Day Off

Tuesday: swim speed / run 60 minutes Fartlek run.

Wednesday: indoor workout workout should be 45-60 minutes-do next in strength progression series keep hr low 120-145 / run easy hr 140 range 60 minutes, you can move this outdoors and add time before and after.

Thursday: long run 2 hours, by time, feel free to run trails. hr 135-155.

Friday: swim endurance, go long. ideally building to 3000.

Saturday: 4 hour ride, 30 min brick run

Sunday: Swim endurance 3000+, ride 5-6 hours

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Running on Cobblestone streets

Well I have to say that Running along these old brick and cobblestone roads in Utrecht are not exactly ideal. Pretty easy to twist the foot. But one thing here does make it almost priceless. Running in the AM along one of these ancient canals that run through the heart of the city. Complete with boats tied up along the bank. Knowing that these stone steps and the canal has been there for hundreds of years. As the sun comes up on the cobblestone path along the canal with the gondola, you know you are in Europe. Pretty freaken cool.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Too Funny!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Life in the Lower classes

OK so I was forced to travel to the Netherlands with the regular folks in steerage...err...I mean economy. You see I am here for a conference, and my company has implemented a Business class over 6 hours and work related ONLY policy. This flight was 8 hours but since it was not for a specific project, but instead educational, never mind I am one of the presenters, I could not take my beloved Business class seat.

Now I fly much, and generally it has been in Business Class so this was a bit of a culture shock ( They would not let me into the Business Lounge!!), but to make matters worse there were these items:

1) March 2, 2009 the biggest snow storm on the eastcoast occurs and Javier has a flight.
2) In the great wisdom of travel management, My company decides they want to stagger the Corporate Amex bills and thus initiat a process where on my way to the airport I find out that my new corporate amex is in the office and that the one i have now has been cancelled. I find out because someone in the office calls me to warn me that a notice was sent out at work. DOH!!
3) So now after being the phone with Amex for an hour they tell me they will overnight me the new card to the hotel, it will be there by the 6th. Its now the 2nd.

Me: you know thats 4 days, not exactly overnight

Amex: Well the international desk folks are out of the office right now, and I dont think they can get a card in to you overnight when they come in.

Me: so bottomline, you can't "overnight" it to me...ever, you are just saying that

Amex: Sorry, but yeah thats basically what it comes down to I guess

Me: so OK there is nothing you guys can do to "uncancel" the card at least until I get the new one?

Amex: Nope. It says here on your record that the card is cancelled and it would take longer to uncancel it than to send you a new one.

Me: OK so how can I check in?

Amex: Perhaps you have another card with you?

YESAmex is suggesting I use a competitor. Anyhow after another 30 minutes of finagling and being passed onto a better customer service dude, he redeems Amex by calling the hotel and arranging to have my stay authorized using the new card number that I do not have yet.

However until I do get my card all my expenses meals are going on my debit card which SUCKS!

So now I get to the airport, and find that although my flight is delayed, I luck out that the earlier flight was also delayed and that I could get on it. thus by some trick of fate I end up leaving at almost the same time.

So I check in and head towards the business class lounge, when with a pang of regret I realize I will not be able to go into the halls, of comfort and joy that have over the years of my international business travel given me comfort with free wine and beer. Those people at the front desk would merely scoff at my SILVER ELETE status if I tried to use that angle. There would be no sympathy.

So I headed on over to the gate, where I saw all of the economy travellers, who could not sit down for long due to the seats that seem made to keep you from falling alseep, they somehow manage to always have a metal bar jab you if you lean to far to the left or right. WTF?! Everyone fighting for the last outlet in the wall to be able to plug intheir laptops. It was barbaric!

Seeingthis inspires me to make one last ditch effort to get in business class on the cheap, I head on over to the counter in front of the gate with my winningest smile possible and ask if I can be put on the list to get bumped up ( if you outright ask for it you are looked upon as somewhat of an ASS, just an insider tip from me to you). The woman just looked at me with a half closed eyes and said they ar overbooked, no upgrades.

As I left I sought out one last shot at dignity, "Say with my Silver Elete Status can I board with the first class folks?", she said YES! VICTORY!!! I finally get some recognition for my loyalty! I can board with the important people!

So as I get onboard, feeling pretty important again, I see an immediate problem with my seat, it is right in front of a wall. In otherwords it will not recline. In this case it did slightly, like one inch, and when it did that it would slam into the wall behind me. So I have to sit like his for 8 freaken hours! No other seats available! This just never ends!

For a movie they were showing "Slumdog Millionaire" a movie I had been wanting to see! Its an Oscar winner! However as the movie starts I realize they are speaking Hindi ( I guess) and that the movie is subtitled...in DUTCH!! ( I was flying KLM the Royal DUTCH airlines, owned by the French BTW).

So basically the flight sucked. The only good things was that they let me drink wine and beer freely on the flight so I arrived this morning with a crook in my neck and a hangover. Can't Wait for this conference!

So now I am off to take a nap.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Disaster waiting to happen?

OK so I was planning a 3 hr indoor trainer session this morning, as I was setting up I discovered that I had no bike shorts to be seen anywhere in the tricave where I keep most of my workout clothes nowadays! So I went looking further and lo-and-behold this is what I saw:

Thaaats right a pile of laundry with about he majority of all of my workout clothes, including my cycling shorts AND my tri shorts. ( Admit it!! You are very familiar with this scene!)

Realizing that if I do not get a workout in early in the morning as planned I could easily end up getting caught up in the daily grind and my workout could end up floating off in to the netherworld ( coincidentally I am in FACT going to the Netherlands tomorrow :), So I decided to piece together an appropriate ensemble and did a 2 hour run instead. I still plan on doing my trainer session today after doing laundry. But this way I can be sure to get a workout in.

The process of gobbling together clothes for a workout gave me a flashback to the incident on March 15, 2008, Specifically the following section of that story was pertinent:

- I show up at race wearing a mishmosh of athletic gear because in a wonder of stupidity, I left 80% of my athletic gear in the old dryer on the day it was being carted off as the new dryer was being installed! So today I just threw on my only shorts with the last 2 surviving underlayment and top. (Thank God my summer stuff was still in the drawer because I have not been using them). I am sure I made an intimidating appearance!

Needless to say I immediately started to do laundry as soon as I got back from the run.

BTW Coach Adam makes a guest starring appearance during that episode, so check it out. http://www.operationironman.com/2008/03/scarsdale-15k.html

Cheers

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Run Threshold test

This morning I did a Run Threshold test. The first of this season. Its the standard 30 minute field test, where you run easy 10 minutes, then do 20 minutes as hard as you can. The average HR during that last 20 minutes is a good approximation of your anaerobic threshold.

It was HARD! I have been sticking religiously to the base pace for the past 3 months. No faster than 9 min miles EVER ( except that one time I had maybe too much coffee before a 90 minute run and inadvertently kept throwing in fartleks whenever I had a burst of energy. LUV caffeine!!)

I was extremely happy with the results. Considering I had not done a drop of an interval anywhere in my training thus far. My ave pace for the 20 minutes was 7:30 which is good for me and normally seen only after a build period. which means I am already ahead of where I was speed wise from last year. and further analysis shows I actually had hit sub 6 speeds for a period of about 3-4 minutes early on in the run. but I recall pulling back because I did not think I could hold that pace for 20 minutes. Then I hit it again during the last 2 minutes of the run as I wanted to let the gas out of teh tank. Leavingh it all on the road.

The fact I could hit sub six at all was astounding to me. I have not done any intervals at all, no speed work, nothing. This crap really does work. Who KNEW!! John Hirsch knew thats who.

Anyhow my Ave HR during the last 20 minutes was 178 so that is until my next test my Anaerobic threshold. According to Joe Freil my aerobic threshold is about 20 BPM below that. so that would be 158. for aeorobic threshold.