Archive for April, 2012

A few weeks back, myself along with team mate Doug Johnson were interviewed by Jon Smith on Garden Variety Triathlon Podcast. Fun interview about our involvement and why we chose to go with Team Endurance Nation.  (website) 


Under the 8 week to go mark. Another good week of training. Very happy with running gains this week, and making some progress in improving swimming form. Bike was not bad, although I am at a point that being on an indoor trainer is becoming a mental challenge for the 2 & 3 hour sessions. Hoping the weather warms some, and I can get out on the open road without getting frostbite or brain freeze.  

Knee is feeling better although I had to nurse it a little. I was getting a tightening along the outside of the affected leg (Iliotibial band) I did most of my runs on soft surface, and concentrated on light spinning on the bike, which gave me immediate relief. Adding in some stretching to further stave off any issues. Better to back off a little to avoid any down time.  

Getting a few nervous thoughts as the race nears. In my plus column I have a good training plan, and a good race execution plan. Tripping up over Jake and smacking my knee rattled me a little, but it seems to be healing up fine. I am just starting to get use to taking longer to recover, and my body is responding with some improvements.  Weight loss is stagnant for another week. It has been doing that off and on as I find balance between losing a pound a week verses fueling my training sessions. Not that I am at a bad weight, I would be stoked to weigh 170 something as I toe up to the start line on June 24th. We’ll get there.

I had a hunting buddy over today,and he remarked on earlier conversations about how I felt the best I ever felt when I was in my early thirties. My response today was I had noticed that I was feeling more like that, and much better than I did 54 pounds heavier. With my target of 160 in my sights, I am more excited about feeling the way I did years ago, much more than even finishing Ironman Syracuse. For me, this is a profound thought as the 70.3 milestone has been first and foremost for the past 4 months, and is the main focus for the next 2 months. Ironman Syracuse is the critical element in achieving that feeling of well being.

Getting close to the big day, I need to go back over all the key points that are spelled out by Endurance Nation. Coach Rich & Patrick really stress race execution in their plans and communications.  In 4 weeks I will be at Cooperstown for a sprint tri. I have it as a non “A” race. The following week I will be at Keuka Lake for an Olympic length event, also a non “A” race. Although there are race day simulations in the training plan, I like the idea of doing it for real. Mentally, this works for me to get out there and change up the training while trying it on for size. Along with identifying any problems (transitions, GI, nutrition), I will execute the same racing protocols I will use at Ironman Syracuse. Knowing that I will have a set plan, and a script to follow really helps in having confidence that I will finish and finish well on the big day. 

After the two warm up races, there will be another big week of training , then the taper to race day. I must admit, I am so looking forward to that taper.



Here’s my most recent position on the bike. With the bike portion on an ironman being an area that huge time gains can be made by being more aero, bike fit is critical. Not only for reducing drag, but also for human concerns such as comfort, and power. Most important is that reducing drag, and increasing comfort allows you to reduce your split time by increasing speed for a given power output (watts), or to allow you to conserve energy for a given speed, allowing you to have something in the tank for the run. Comfort contributes to speed, as the more time you can stay in the aero bars, the more aero you will be over the distance of the course.

In the very near future, I may lower the bars another spacer, and repost. As my weight drops, and I become more acclimated to the aero position, I think I can do a little better in lowering the frontal area. Any observations, opinions welcomed.

Whoo Hoo again! Just finished a 5K run VDOT test. During lunch, I went over to the Homer High School track and pounded out 12 laps, plus the 0.1 mile. Windy today, so half of the track was fast, and the other half made up for it. Ran my fastest 5K since my mid thirties.

Mile splits- 7:46 / 7:50 /7:46 / (0.1mile) 0:40 for a 24:02 Total time @7:45/mile pace. Pushed my VDOT from 38 to 40.1

My new training paces for half marathon, marathon, and long runs just got more challenging 🙂

The differences and gains in fitness since joining Team Endurance Nation back in early February have been huge. My initial VDOT was at 33 with a 5K time of 28:13. Huge 4 minute+ drop in 5K times in just over 12 weeks.

I will see further gains as the weight comes off, and the training continues. The challenge will be to have similar gains in bike and swim times. I have seen improvements, but the my running fitness has seen the biggest improvements.

Play time is now over, and reality will be back tomorrow to greet me. Although walking the big ridges of West Virginia chasing gobblers may be a little more than casual walking in the woods, it is certainly not the intensity of race prep. Tomorrow brings a 5K run test to update my VDOT. It’s an important one as all of my near future run training paces will be based on it. I missed the bike test, which I will need to fit in, and I will query coach Rich & Patrick on that. Being on vacation I also missed two swim workouts. I’ll get the swim test in on Friday. Just like the run test, similar idea for biking and swimming.

No panic really, as I needed the rest. The training will become more intense and more focus as race day gets closer. Although the rest did me some good, I am looking forward to jumping back into it tomorrow.  I did a short run yesterday with stride outs, and it was hard not to want to go further and or faster than what was scheduled.

As a side bar, I found out today that I lucked out for the 2012 NYC marathon lottery! Have to add  that to the race calendar for this fall!

In the mean time, I must focus…………………………..

Done, over with. one more significant workout checked off towards the goal of completing Ironman Syracuse! Not to be negative or portray it as drudgery, it is important to note that the goal of finishing has a few more details, especially with being a Endurance Nation Team member.

Those that know me personally, would tell you that I truly enjoy the events, the races, and for many reasons. Although the EN training protocols result in faster times, better performances, they also stress race execution to a much higher degree. Race smarter, enjoy the experiences more, strong running in the back end of the race, and look good doing it. Those concepts were a major factor in joining Endurance Nation. Being able to run well in the back end of a long course triathlon is s much better race experience than blowing up early in the run, and hanging on for dear life to the finish line.

The morning came and went as planned. Enjoyed a peaceful few hours with my wife, starting the morning off with a good cup a coffee out on our front porch, listening for wild turkeys to sound off on the roost. The woods were quiet today, but enjoyable just the same. After a hearty breakfast, I grabbed my gear and off to the Cortland YMCA to execute the big day of training.

Going into this, I felt overloaded on dead legs. I would push and meet as much of the main sets as I could. Today would be done entirely indoors due to cool temperatures, and impending rain. I had it worked out for short transitions from the swim to bike,and from bike to the run, along with gatorade, powerbars,and a couple of GU gels. During the swim sets, I concentrated more on form. Working on kicking from the hips seem to go a little better today. I felt tired on the swim, but I got my swim done before “water babies” took over the pool. From there I quickly changed and got settled in on the bike trainer. Out of the three workouts, cycling went the best today. No problems with getting enough nutrition/calories, and no GI issues. Cadence was good, staying between 91 and 97 rpms with an occasional spin up to 101/105. As expected, legs were not that happy switching to the run, but I stuck it out with pace + 30 seconds per protocol for 3 miles, and then did another mile at target marathon pace. I would have like to gone a full hour, but my legs were jelly at that point. All in all, I didn’t leave any available energy go unaccounted for, and feel completely spent. Mentally I did ok with this, especially as it was close to 4 hours of training, I kept my head into it, paying attention to how smooth or not smooth things worked.

This ends the training week  for me, as tomorrow is a rest day. Going out to West Virginia to hunt thunder chickens (wild turkey gobblers) for a few days. I will get one or two workouts in during the afternoons. The coming week will be the first week in the next cycle of build up, I am looking forward to the short rest, and getting my legs back. Despite being spent, there is also a good feeling that a lot of work was done, and I can expect to see a return on the investment over the coming weeks. 9 weeks to go!

Today is a big day in my Endurance Nation Half Ironman plan. Aptly called “Big Training Day.” The plan calls for all three disciplines, not a race simulation, but close. The idea is to test your strengths and weaknesses, check your nutrition over the duration, and your various responses to the workload. You need to be “all in”, and have your game face on.

Originally, I was suppose to be in the turkey woods this morning, to take a young hunter out for opening day of the youth spring turkey hunt here in NY. No calls, no show. With a gap in my day, my afternoon training will move up. I’ll ease into it, fuel up,and go to the gym early today. Weather calls for not so warm temperatures, and rain. Mentally, I had enough of being on the bike trainer.

This is the end of the 2nd week of a two week cycle in the training. It’s also my initial adjustment to the HIM plan with a big uptake in training volume. My legs are still toasty from the 10 miler on Thursday. The long run by itself not a big deal, but done with 1/2 mile repeats, and the other workload on prior days has kicked my butt this week.

I’ll ease into the day, enjoying breakfast with my wife, as I fuel up for 3-4 hours of training. Over the past several months I have done several sprint length tri’s at the gym, but today will push it out to Olympic + distances.

As day break approaches, I’ll go on porch and listen for turkeys to gobble on the roost (we have a log home that we built in the woods,) while I enjoy my first cup of coffee. I will relax some and then get my head right for training. Since this will be an indoor event, I’ll load up the ipod with some upbeat tunes (metal, hard rock, as I played bass in rock bands for many years).  At a minimum, my cadence will be rock’n  🙂

I’ll post later tonight post-mortum