TRIATHLON TRAINING DADDY : Addicted to Triathlons? Me too. Follow along as I navigate faith, family, work and triathlon in every day life, share some tips and secrets, and help others fit it all in without missing out on life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Sunday Funday was first multisport race of 2016, the Kansas City Triathlon.

And in true Training Daddy style and fashion, this recap is getting written up before the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon that was a few weeks ago.  That’s just how I roll in today’s fast paced world.

If you recall, my preview laid out some potential weather pitfalls and a big question mark on how I thought I’d do.  At this point in my alter ego lifestyle as a wanna-be super endurance athlete, I shy away from making any predictions.  I train what I can and try to stick to a plan and let the race unfold as best it can.  Trust in your training, save your day it will.


Out the door and to parking 10 minutes before transition opens = PRIME parking + breakfast time + nap time in car before even unloading for the race.  Assigned racks made it easier not to have to worry about getting in super early.

The only issue was digging out my timing chip so they’d let me into transition.

It was entertaining since I signed up early bird, my number was 9, which meant I was the first row of racks by the swim exit.  Convenient since I wear my shoes in transition and no worries about stepping on rocks before the bike mount.

Pre-race was uneventful getting all my gear ready and being prepped and ready to go with enough time for one last port-a-potty stop before swim start.  Just the way I like it.

SWIM IT // 1500 Meters // 28:10 // 1:53 per 100

They changed up the swim start and exit from last year, which worked fine either way for me.  They said it was for athlete benefit, and I’ll take their word for it.  Didn’t really make it better or worse for me.

To be ready for the 40 degree air temp and 60s in the water, I had the full sleeve wetsuit and neoprene swim cap under the race supplied cap.  It worked like a charm as I could actually feel my hands after the swim and felt warm enough that I left my jacket and gloves in transition when I headed out on the bike.  That was a relief not to exit the water and not being able to feel my hands.  No worries.  I was almost warm!  I did pull a trick of leaving under shorts on for the swim and throwing my tri shorts on in transition.  I think having dry tri shorts helped out.

It was almost comical being in the position of catching the waves of swimmers in front of me these days.  I have to take a minute to realize where I came from hardly being able to finish a 500 yard swim and being next to last out of the water to worrying about a good spot at the start and navigating the waves in front of me.  I’m not burning it up, but not exactly a slouch.

Interesting tidbit: I guess a deer was jealous that we were having all the fun and wanted to swim a few laps.  Check out the KC Tri Facebook page to see the video.

And, this is the 2nd time I have had my swim HR strap for my garmin and actually had heart rate data for the swim.  It’s interesting as I have never looked at what my HR is doing in a swim.  As you can see, it’s actually pretty elevated at 145ish (notice the spike for the run at the exit and run back in for the second lap).  I’m curious to see how it looks in other events to see if water temps make a difference or as training progress and distance is added in events.

BIKE IT // 40k // 1:11:39 // 20.8 MPH

I downed some #ItsTheNerve anti-cramp before the race, knowing I have a tendency to cramp in the swim and in cold conditions. The swim went fine, but the first 2 to 3 miles of the bike, my inner thighs were tight and twitchy. I was a little worried I’d be looking at cramping early in the ride.

Luckily, I spun the gears and waited to really get into it for the first 5 miles.  After that the twitches went away and I was able to get back into my game plan.

I wanted to hammer a little more than I did, but I knew I also wanted to hammer the run.  I was looking at better than 20mph on the bike and I was pretty good with that considering my training schedule and lack of consistency.  I was able to get above 20 mph without killing the legs.  Mission accomplished.

Interestingly I downed UCAN Superstarch and UCAN hydrate in my water bottle with water and a GU gel.  Other than that I didn’t feel hungry enough to eat any pre-swim nutrition aside from breakfast at 5 and left the bonk breaker bar in my bike pocket.  Nutrition wise, I was doing fine and not really feeling the need for extra intake aside from UCAN and the GU shot.  I knew I wasn’t going to take anything but water on the run for the 6.2.

On the weather side, the sun was out and I was good to go with just the tri kit.  No jacket or gloves needed.  There was a minor chill, but nothing debilitating.  All that worrying for nothing, but at least I was prepared.

RUN IT // 6.2 miles // 45:34 // 7:21 min/mile

This was actually a slower run time than last year, but not by much.  I had a bit of gas coming off the bike and starting the run.  I might have taken in GU too close to the run start, but I managed it by slowing up to let the pressure equalize… aka farting and burping it out.  Never trust a fart unless you HAVE to let it out.

I was cruising at a comfortable pace and suddenly getting passed left and right.  I was a little anxious that my solid swim and bike had led to a mediocre run allowing those behind to catch me, but then I realized it was mostly sprint distance people as they turned into the finish line at the start of my second loop.  But, I was caught at the 1.5 mile left to go mark buy a guy I knew was in the Olympic distance.  I decided to pick it up and pace him to see if I could hold on for a repass.  Around 1 mile to go I decided it would have been a jerk move to pace him in and try and pass him at the line.  The race opted not to body mark age groups, so I had no idea if he was in mine or not.  Be that as it may, I gassed it at mile 5 and surged past.  I was very much redlined from 5 to the finish.  I must have sounded like a herd of elephants breathing so hard, but I had it so I went with it.

FINISH // 2:30:32 // 18 of 50 AG // 65 overall

It’s a 6 minute improvement from last year, but I was actually hoping for more.

I guess it’s a good and bad deal when you think about how good I felt for the race and still shaved off 6 minutes.  But, last year had 40 mph winds and was just not much fun on the bike.  Such perfect conditions and feeling good, I was hoping it would translate into a better AG finish.  But, my group was one of the largest and fastest.  Hosed.

It’s probably also better than one would expect after welcoming a newborn (child 3) home 4 months ago and both parents working and big kids in school.  Sleep is a luxury that I get more of than my wife, but still feeling the burn.


I avoided the race port-a-potty pit stop.  I did go on the bike twice and actually on the run twice.  I figured I was already dirty from lake water and from the bike, why waste the time using a proper potty… Just go, man.  #Hydrated

At the start it was rather chilly and I was debating the intellect of signing up for a mid-May race, but once I got into it, it wasn’t an issue.

4 of my athletes I coach raced the sprint distance.  All finished and for two it was their first ever triathlon.  Happy to report they enjoyed it and will be doing more!

Products used for the race // UCAN superstarch // UCAN Hydrate // UCAN protein bar // GU gel pack // Lifetime Whey Protein powder in pre-race oatmeal // ItsTheNerve // ASICS FuzeX Running Shoes

If you can, I highly recommend getting in an open water swim before your first race of the year and riding the course at least once.  That way you get a feel for the road and maybe even some flat tire repair practice and a reminder to make sure you have replacement tubes and parts on your bike for rides!

Prep is key.  Don’t want until the last minute to get everything together and ready to go.  Stress is no fun.  Triathlon is supposed to be fun!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Kansas City Triathlon 2016 COMING UP! #triathlon

Next up, Kansas City Triathlon

The 2016 endurance season marches on after a successful Rock the Parkway Half Marathon outing. Yes, I’m guilty of no race recap, but hey, I’ve been busy.

Summary – new Half PR at 1:29:32, killing the old PR by 6 minutes. Setting the bar for the 2016 season rather high. It was a suffer fest from start to finish with only ONE pee stop during the race.

Now this Sunday is triathlon 1 of the 2016 season. I’ve raced the Kansas City triathlon 4 times with the best time being 2:36:23 in 2012. I raced it last year, and it was cold and windy and not the best outing. I’m hopeful of a stronger bike performance and riding the strong run showing from Rock the Parkway to a new PR. Sub 2 hour? Probably not. Sub 2:30, maaaayyybbbeee, but no guarantees.

Right now we’re looking at wet conditions and temps in the 60’s. Reminiscent of the 2014 Ironman Lake Tahoe, minus snow and freezing temperatures to start the race.

I’m debating what gear to bring. Jackets and gloves for the bike to stay comfortable and give up some aerodynamics, or wet tri gear and go all out and freeze to death. Choices choices.

Check out my thoughts on race day prep and let me know what you think! Add stuff? Take away stuff? Expand on stuff??

Friday, May 6, 2016

It’s RACE DAY! What do I do!? #Triathlon #Coaching

So you signed up for a race, got your gear, got a coach or mentor and did everything you needed in order to be ready to swim, bike and run on race day… but what does race day logistics look like?

First things first

Packet pickup is your first stop to all things race day. Hopefully you checked out the race web site to get a view of maps, plan out how long it will take to get to the venue, where to park and when and where to get to packet pickup. Most races will not let you pick up your packet on race day. Typically, they have two time offerings. What to bring? Your ID and your USAT card. Without your USAT card, they will make you pay a one-day fee. Be prepared. There you should get your swim cap, wave assignment, race bib, bib number and any decals that go on you or your bike. Be prepared to wait if you go after hours or over lunch when 90 percent of athletes can make it. Sometimes races will hand out chips for timing at packet pickup, and sometimes not. If not, then plan on some time on race morning to get your chip and make sure that’s all set up.

Day before

Prep all your gear and have it all ready to go race day. The worst thing is having a to-do list at the crack of dawn being stressed about your race and getting to the venue on time. Do EVERYTHING you can the night and day before. Round up all your gear and pack what you won’t wear to the race.

Even prep your breakfast. If you are an early riser and get to site when transition opens 2 to 3 hours before the race, consider taking your breakfast with you and eat it after you park and rack your bike while waiting for the start gun.

Make a list, check it twice. Don’t have 100 things floating in your head. Write it down and check it off. Be organized. Plan out your route to the race, plan when you will get up and the timing to get on the road. If you’re bringing the family, account for prep time for EVERYONE you are taking with you. Nothing is worse on race morning than spilling energy stressing over getting the kids ready and in the car.

Consider the following check list

SWIM // Swim cap // Wet suit // GPS Watch // Heart rate strap // Goggles // Ear plugs // Anti-chafing cream // Tri top and shorts if you plan to wear then in the swim // Nutrition to eat from close of transition to race start // Hydration

BIKE // Helmet // Tri clothes if not worn under wetsuit // Socks // More anti-chafing cream // Gloves – throwaway if it’s cold at bike start // Sun glasses // Nutrition for the bike – mounted to your bike before race start // Hydration for both sitting in transition and on the bike // Bike shoes // Race belt for bib – some races require race bib to be worn on the bike // Sunscreen

RUN //Run shoes + foot pod if used with race watch // Change of socks if needed // More anti-chafing cream // Hat or visor // Sunscreen // Sunglasses // Hydration // Nutrition

Race day

Get there early and eliminate stress of being stuck in traffic. Nothing is worse than watching the clock tick away while waiting to get parked hundreds of feet away from transition. This is where it’s key to plan your route and timing to get to the race venue.

The goal is to be able to bring all your gear in one bag so all you have to carry is a bag and bike from your car to transition. Have your bib out so you can head straight to transition and rack your bike. Typically, racks are not assigned and it’s first come, first served. Arrive late and get less than ideal spot for your bike. Drop bike and gear and head out for your timing chip if not handed out at packet pickup and body markings.

Make time for standing in line at the port-a-potty. Your nerves WILL get the best of you and you will probably need to go early and often. There’s probably somewhere around 1 port-a-potty to 50 athletes. You will wait in line at some point to go 1 or 2.

Once you take care of business, unpack your transition area. Keep it tidy as space is usually limited. Don’t camp out and take up 5 spots. You want everything laid out to make it as easy as possible to get your bike or run gear on when you’re stressed in transition trying to hurry to the next leg of the race. Keep bike stuff together. Keep run stuff together. Lay out any nutrition or hydration you want to take in during transition. Lay out chafing supplies and sunscreen if you plan on using them also.

Mentally go through your race and make sure you have it all laid out and ready. Be at peace that you have it all ready. If you leave transition for a potty stop, visit with friends or family or whatever, take your swim gear with you and be prepared that if you get stuck outside of transition before race start.

This is a simple outline, and there may be some ideas missed. Feel free to comment to add or ask questions!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

One of 50 finalists in Americas for ASICS #BEATTHESUN --> VOTE FOR ME!

So a while ago I applied to the Beat the Sun Challenge presented by ASICS.

Beat the Sun Training Program is an exclusive, comprehensive plan designed to help you achieve your personal fitness goals, no matter what level athlete you are. Expertly developed by ASICS seasoned coaches, this program will guide you along your path to wellness, from day one to June 21.

It was a great way to have a target to keep running and some honestly just to have fun with and goof around with.  That was until I the sent me notice I was 1 of 50 finalists for the actual event live at Mont Blanc.

Do you have the same question as I did?  Where exactly is Mont Blanc?

Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco, both meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps and the highest peak in Europe outside of the Caucasus range.

How do you help me get there?  Simple.  Drop a vote for me at - making sure to pick the Americas to see me as an option.  Until some friends recently made me aware it was live, I had no idea voting was going down.

You can vote once per day (per computer).  Hit your friends' computers, parents, family, mailman, phones, iPads... ANYTHING!  I need votes asap as I'm currently 540 votes down.  ;)