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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2017 Triathlete Shopping Guide

So, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Tuesday, Purple Hump Day and every other type of excuse to throw out insane discounts on shopping for the holidays is coming.  Don't miss the bus!

I don't perpetuate the notion that Christmas is about gifts and spending money on people to show them you care.  I more align myself with the true meaning of the birth of Christ, but I'm not going to get into that.

It can also be a great resource to the frugal triathlete.  During the season your average triathlete can blow A LOT of cash on supplies and gear for the sport.  It CAN be an expensive sport, but it can also be MANAGEABLE.

Garmin has already dropped the mic with severe reductions in price for the 920XT and Fenix 3.  Lets just say that's the tip of the ice berg.

Wherever you drop your money and whatever brands you are into, I'll lay out my tried and true equipment I use to get through a season.

  • HOTSHOT nerve cramp solution.  They are already offering buy a 12 ct and get a 6 ct for free.  I already stocked up.  It's helped tremendously with my cramping issues that are unrelated to hydration and mineral levels.
  • GU Roctane has come back around as a quality supplement during races.  A little goes a long way and drink with water to avoid GI issues.

  • Garmin 920XT or Fenix 3.  Whichever you go for, you can't lose with the price drop.  I prefer the Fenix 3 for the advanced hardware that allows for more opportunities for future software applications and updates.
  • Gel Cumulus 17 and the Gel Noosi Tri shoes have been my go to with my foot issues.  They are light, flexible but rigid enough that they don't hurt my feet with high volume training.

  • Headsweats Sun Visor for the run.  Works great for races and training in the wee hours of the morning in the dark so you can be seen and not get run over!

  • UCAN Superstarch Energy drink.  It's my go to for hydration and most of my nutrition during long course races.
  • XTERRA wetsuits.  Have had my sleeveless for like 9 years and no issues.  Use code "C-STPM" for up to 60 percent off.
  • Speaking of wetsuits, don't forget to lube up under the neck as well to avoid VERY uncomfortable chaffing for the rest of your race.  Stings to sunscreen on that!  I'm a fan of the TRISLIDE Anti-Chafe Continuous Spray Skin Lubricant.
  • Check out my selections at Swim Outlet for what I recommend in the pool.
  • Chaffing protection,  Early, often and liberally.  I'm a fan of Aquaphor and Skin Strong myself.

That's all I can think of for now... hit me up with a message if you have any questions about other gear or nutrition I would recommend.

Friday, November 18, 2016


Ya, it was a while ago, but it's worth sharing.

Open Options Shawnee Mission Triathlon was waaaaaaay back in July, but I owe a race report and I don't disappoint... if you count better late than never.

If you recall, I was racing as an ambassador with Open Options as they were the title sponsor and wanted to gain some traction and visibility as to what their organization was about and why they teamed up with the race.  They divided into teams for fundraising and I was on board with Team Red and Sheryl.  I'm happy to report we met our goal for fundraising very early, and while I would like to take all the credit, I'm sure I was only responsible for like 10 percent of the effort put into supporting the teams.  I did the "fun" part like train and race.  ;)

This was my 6th time in the race and 10th time doing an endurance event at the park.  Read more about pre-race HERE if you need to jog your memory.

What's the deal with the weather?

It seems like this race gets some sort of weather that shortens or cancels the event every other year, but this year the weather held with no rain and the event went off without a hitch.

I must also add in that last year I was dealing with a foot injury and only competed on a team where my runner ran us into 3rd place.  It was nice not having weather issues and actually doing the whole long course this year!

Swim // 1000 M // 19:31 // 1:47 per 100 yards

It's not lightening fast, but it's non-wetsuit and swimming into the sun for the last 400 meters or so.  Since I don't swim like a fish, I'll take it.

In reality it's a time trial rolling start, so you get some space between you and others and it's nice to not have to fight a large group battling to get to open water and perhaps catching waves in front of you.  As I mentioned, the only drawback is coming back with the sun in your face and having to trust a little bit on instincts to site and stay straight.  Lets just say I smacked the guide rope for the buoys often.

I do enjoy the swim from the marina parking lot where the start is on the swim beach.  Nice warm up and open area to get some nerves out.

Bike // 18 Miles // 54:28 // 19.8 MPH

Back in 2012 I was able to get above 20 MPH on this course, but man those hills just kill on the 4 loops.  That was my third best time on the bike, but not much separated the times.  I pretty much put all I had into attacking the hills and figured I'd pay for it on the run if I needed to.

Pretty much the entire loop has been repaved in the past few years, so no more chip seal on any part of the course!  Here's to hoping they never use chip seal again, because that sucks on a bike.  Really I have no excuse for an "average" performance on the bike other than the lack of focus to improve rather than maintain my bike power.  Off season focus this year.

Run // 4.5 Miles // 33:43 // 7:29 Min per Mile

This run edged out all past runs (minus last year where my relay partner laid down sub 7 minute miles).  I was content for this run setting a run PR after being pretty aggressive on the bike for what I could throw down.  The weather helped out a lot as it wasn't near as hot as it had been in the past.  The dam hill always sucks, but you know it's there after riding it 4 times on the bike.  At least it was only one time on the run.

Finish // 1:52:14 // 24th OA // 6th AG

Overall I was fairly satisfied with my race time vs effort and timing on the race calendar.  I had IM 70.3 Racine the following weekend and didn't want to require abundant recovery or risk injury before that race, but I wanted to run it hard and see if I could PR.  Sadly I did better in 2013, but mainly due to less than a minute better on the swim and saving time in transition.  My bike and run was better than 2013.  Odd how the small things make a difference.

Sadly the race also had over 100 less racers than 2013.  The event seems to be losing some steam over the years, which I'm not sure why since it's not on a holiday weekend and is very affordable.  Maybe too many races diluting the landscape.

I though with the addition of the finish line festival with Open Options would bring in a few more people giving families and option for kids to stay entertained while mommy or daddy was out racing.  They seemed packed, but just didn't pull in the racers like in the past.

If you have raced Shawnee Mission in the past and don't know, or wasn't interested in signing up, I'd be curious as to why and maybe what they could do to get you back.  I would hate to see this race go the way of Jackson County that is now defunct after 35+ years.

Stay tuned for more race report updates!

Friday, November 4, 2016

2016 KANSAS CITY MARATHON RECAP w/ @SportKC // 10/15/16

9th Stand Alone Marathon, in the books!

LOOK!  I race recap out IN LESS THAN A MONTH AFTER THE RACE!  Be still!

Don't get too excited on me.  Still a few weeks behind, but here it is in all it's glory.


I opted to run in the latest #AccelerateHope edition of the ASICS Gel Cumulus 18's.

I traded out my 2015 model and got enough training miles in that I figured I'd be ok using them for the race.

I really wasn't sure what I would be capable of on race day.  Training was spotty at best, hitting mostly 4 of 6 planned training runs a week.  My target was keeping the LT and long workouts in for sure and fitting in or combining other moderate workouts.  With a newborn that gets up at 4am and a job that requires me leaving home very early, it was hard to get AM workouts in and not all lunch brakes were open to get runs in.  It didn't help with the weather getting to 100+ heat index during the bulk of training over lunch.  Lets just say there were a handful of workouts that didn't meet the goal of the workout.

But, I knew I could do the distance.

Race Day

We received warning emails for "heat" being higher than past races.  By high, MAYBE getting to 80 for the high of the day.  I was ok with that since the start at 7am would be in the 60's and it was cloudy with wind all day.  It wasn't optimal running conditions, but better than some races I've been in.

I was on my own for the race since my wife worked her shift the night before.  I was just grateful it worked out that I could run the race.  You never know with the variable of 3 kids and 2 working parents.  You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

And we're off!

For better or worse, I chose to start with the 3:15 pace group and see how long I could hold on.  I knew if I started with 3:30, I'd tail off and lose that pace.  I figure start fast, finish meh...

Main goal was not to have to pee every other aid station.  I took like 4 port-a-potty stops in 2015 and still managed to pull a 3:28 out of my rear end.  It was a delicate balance of proper hydration, timed pre-race peeing and hydrating during the race.

They had to change the course pretty drastically to account for construction on a section and having to make up the distance over the course.  It wasn't a huge issue, but contrary to popular belief, Kansas (Missouri in this case) is not pancake flat and the changes at the beginning seem to add up to more elevation gain than years past.  Just felt like a lot more work to get past the first 5 miles than years past.  Maybe I just wasn't trained up the same as years past with no full IM race and lighter race schedule...

I did keep my promise and only needed one potty break and took minimal walk breaks for fluid and a GU.

As the facts will spell out, I ran a hard race in the first half and I could tell.  Around mile 11 I lost the 3:15 pace group and slowly slid back on my pace.

Mile 18ish I was feeling the onset of cramps and well past the window of my Hotshot muscle cramp supplement.  Should have brought an extra for later in the race.  Yes, I was sweating pretty good with the "heat" and humidity, but nothing I had not dealt with before.

The main issue was pushing so hard for a lot longer than I was trained up for inducing muscle fatigue to the point of cramp onset.  It was a delicate balance of pacing and knowing when to walk it off.  The last 3 miles was a very stiff and ginger hobble to the finish.

Lets just say I wasn't sprinting it in to meet a sub 3:30.

But my time wasn't too shabby...

3:30:13 for my second best marathon time.  I'll take that.

It felt like I worked a lot harder for that time than last year's 3:28, but the course was changed and the humidity was up.  Lets not lose sight of dealing with the new course and lack of traffic control from mile 18 to 24ish.  We were dodging cars and "spectators" not interested in avoiding wackos running a marathon.

But, my suffering would not be factual without pictures...

Early on... are we there yet?
Finish line coming up!  DON'T CRAMP!


I actually followed my marathon plan at the right starting point, but I could definitely tell I was not ready for a sub 3:30 effort missing at least 1 planned run a week.

I'm not of the opinion that volume makes you faster, but if you boil down your workouts to the base limit, you can't skimp on them.

Oh, and you can coast a little on past endurance built up over seasons of longer distances.  Racing and training for full IM distance triathlons definitely helped me skimp on workouts and keep a 3:30 time.