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, August 15, 2017

2017 USAT AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP #usatagnc 08/12/2017

Another weekend, another out of town race!

I qualified at the Shawnee Mission long course tri back in July by winning 1st in my age group.

I qualified last year, but timing just didn't work out to race.  I really wanted to last year since it was so close in Omaha and who knows if I'd qualify again.

Well, I did qualify again and after discussions on the home front, I went for it!  Who knows when the opportunity will come around again.

It was the second destination race in two weekends, which really puts a strain on the home front.  My wife took one for the team and stayed behind with kiddies while I drove out Friday to check in, stay overnight and race Saturday.  I pulled another road trip right after the race back home.

CHECK IN

Let me just tell you... the traffic was crazy tight in this little park with over 2000 athletes expected for the olympic tri on Saturday.  Parking was at a premium even for check in.  They were parking us in the center of lanes.  It was madness!



I did have a goal.  Top 18 were eligible to take a spot at the worlds in Austria, and roll down went to 25.  I honesty thought after my showing at Boulder, top 25 would be doable after my gains in the run and string showings on the bike.  The swim would be the so-so showing.  After poking around for gear, taking some tourist pictures and wondering around I decided to head to the hotel and prep for the race.


RACE DAY

Staying less than 4 miles from the race venue has its perks.  One was waking up with just enough time to apply race tats, pack up, load up and drive over.  Second was being able to get at the venue 10 minutes before transition opened up at 5am and get a SUPER AWESOME parking spot right by the port-a-potties.  Being an early bird has advantages since they delayed the start of the race by 30 MINUTES because of the delays in parking.  While everyone else was sweating out getting set up, I was kicking back in my car, have some snacks, water and staying warm.  Did I mention it was a chilly 60 degrees in the morning?  Better than the high of 100 I heard about last year!


Products
What I used.
Hot Shot - I suffer from cramps regardless of training, hydration or chemical balance. I popped Hot Shot before the swim and before the run. I did have an issue after hopping on the bike with some inner thigh cramps and had to take it easy on the first few miles.  Made the mistake thinking I didn't need it for the start of the bike.  Guess again!  Run was no problem!

SWIM // 29:05 // Not a swim PR for Oly

Supposedly the water temp was 80+ degrees, and non-wetsuit legal.  You could have fooled me when I jumped in the lake.  It was chilly and they had us sitting in it waiting for 3 minutes to start.  I was shivering uncontrollably.  Next time... take my time getting in.

It was your typical wave start with thrashing, bumping and getting swam over and in front of.  After 500ish meters, we broke up pretty good and it wasn't much of an issue aside from feeling like the turnaround kept moving.  Garmin said 1800 meters, but who's counting.

BIKE // 1:12:31 // Not e a bike PR for Oly
As I mentioned, I was oddly cramping at the start of the bike, resulting in taking it easy for the first 3 miles.  It wasn't a huge issue as the first few miles were a slight incline and wouldn't have been a hammer fest anyways.



After mile 7 or 8, after the one big hill climb, I put the hammer down for what I could do.  I was looking good til the turn around and what felt like an incline all the way back to transition.

My bike fit didn't limit me too much, but I stretched a couple times a few miles out from transition.

I was definitely looking for more on the bike...

RUN // 43:01 // PR on the run for Oly

As a matter of fact, this was a PR for any 10k distance whether it was part of a race or stand alone.

I was pressing hard, but keeping form allowing me to hit sub 7:00 for overall for the run.  In the past my races were made on the bike and over time it's transitioned to being made on the run.  Just need to get a grip on that bike part!

PARTING THOUGHTS

For never having raced nationals before, I was humbled after reaching a PR of 2:29:34 (previous PR was 2:30 something, so not a huge PR) and only placing 54th in my age group out of 113.  This wasn't Kansas anymore.

I'm pleased to at least get 54th among a stacked field of qualifiers.  I was humbled thinking I could smash my previous PR and came away with a slight PR.

If you ever have the chance to race at nationals, I highly recommend taking advantage.  It was a great experience being around so many like minded people from around the country.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 IRONMAN BOULDER 70.3 Race that was! #IM703Boulder #IMBoulder703

What a difference a year makes...

In 2016 I raced a 70.3 locally after running a 5k Friday, half marathon Saturday and then the 70.3 Sunday.  It was more for a training block than racing for time.  I wasn't really concerned with time.  Volume, nutrition and hydration were my main areas of concern.

I also raced Racine "70.3" that was a modified half.  No swim.  30 mile bike.  Half marathon run.  It was delayed due to weather and it's hard to say how I would have done under normal circumstances.

I say all that to preface what happened Saturday at Boulder 70.3 since I had not really officially raced a 70.3 since 2015.  My PR at the distance was 5:30 at Kansas in 2014.

The day before, I wrote about my goal.  5:15.  I thought it was attainable, but might be a stretch.  Needless to say, I missed the mark.

RESULTS DON'T LIE

5:01:01
I'd say I underestimated myself.
Better with age... some people whence at getting older, but I seem to be hitting a new level at age 40.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you it was all a stroke of luck and just worked out in my favor.  I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into training and preparation to get to this point and my results are matching my production.

Some race day tidbits

I'm not going to bore readers with a detailed account from what I ate in the morning (overnight oats with CLICK coffee protein powder and UCANN super starch) or a minute by minute race account starting with a 25 minute swim start delay due to traffic into the reservoir...

...but I will hit you with the highlights of a spectacular race day.

You can also follow my Instagram for a few more highlights like where I stayed was only a 4 mile drive and I avoided ALL of the major highway traffic.

The swim start was pushed back 25 minutes, which isn't the end of the world, but I was nervous about the impact on hydration.  I tried to find some water near the swim start, but there wasn't enough time to wonder too far.  I had to rely on what I drank before heading over.  Worked out ok.

The swim // 33:05 // 37th in AG // PR by a minute

The major issue was sighting and getting smacked around in the wave start.  I quickly got some separation, but every now and again there were some underwater tomfoolery going on.  I wore my XTERRA full sleeve (use code "C-STPM" for 60 percent off!) and was very comfortable on my 1.2 PR swim.

I was also having issues drifting off from currents from the boats and jet skis running around patrolling the swim course. It required a lot of sighting strokes that saved excessive yardage, but slowed me down.

The bike // 2:37:27 // 78th in AG // PR by 18 minutes

Keep in mind the course was 54 instead of 56 for some reason.  I guess they had issues finding the extra 2 miles... but that's still good for 20+ mph speed which is my best speed average by far.

Issues from the bike that need addressed, as I feel I left some time out on the course.
BIKE FIT
I need to either get fit to my current 7 year old bike, or get a new bike and get fit.  I see some serious speed gains from being comfortable that I don't have to pop up every 15 minutes to stretch my cramped back.  So much power was lost having my back be sore for 36 miles of the ride.

This was even more reinforced at the Endurance Coaching Summit I attended the two days before the race and spent time in the CU Performance lab with the bike fit guru. Need work...

HIGHLIGHTS
  • 79 percent of time was spent in zone 2 to 3.  Mission accomplished.
  • 88 rpm average cadence.  Mission accomplished.
  • 30ish oz of water drank.  Mission accomplished.

Shifting while out of aero is NOT good form...

Any sections that required some power were spent like this to avoid sore back and achy quads.  Booooooo.

The run // 1:44:22 // 14th in AG // PR by 3 minutes

Where the rubber meets the road!  HUGE improvement coming off the bike, and a PR on the bike at that.

Back in 2011 I raced Boulder 70.3 and the run was a shit show.  Cramps.  Walking.  GI issues.  HORRIBLE.

This time, it was different.

KEYS
  • WATER - lots and often.  Drank 30ish oz on the bike.  Drank a cup at every aid station.  I made the mistake of using too much sport drinks vs plain water in the past.  Made the adjustment this year and BOO YA.  Worked like a charm.
  • Run form - I adjusted my form from what I learned the days before at the coaching summit.
    • Arm swing
    • Bowl of fruit
    • Lean
    • Think about your glutes
    • Drop me comment on this post, email me or drop a comment on Facebook to learn more!
  • Hot Shot - I suffer from cramps regardless of training, hydration or chemical balance.  I popped Hot Shot before the swim, before the bike and before the run.  CRAMP FREE!  I'm sold on this product and I'm stocked up for the season.  Get yours ASAP!
  • Keeping the energy equation balanced between swim, bike and run.  Over the years I've been smarter about riding the bike to get to the run instead of trying to crush the bike and hold on for the run.  It's hard to watch people ride by on the bike, but fun to run past them walking on the run. 
  • 88 percent of time spent in zone 2 to 3.  Mission accomplished.
  • 178 average cadence.  Mission accomplished.
"sprinting" to the finish line, ignoring all form suggestions I just lined out.  UGLY heel strike...  ;)

Wrapping it up

In summary IRONMAN Boulder 70.3 was a breakout race for me.
I've been setting the mark high kicking off year 40 with 2nd AG place in a 5k, 1st AG place in a long course tri and setting PR's in general.

Years of smart racing and training are paying off as I'm getting faster with age and the competition is getting slower.  :)

I'm very excited to look forward to IRONMAN Florida in November.  If I can address the bike fit and do the work, it should be a great race day.

I do want to give some shout outs besides just patting myself on the back... it's hurting my arm.

The family.
My wife and kiddos, and extended mother and mother-in-law.  I place a high priority on getting my training done in the AM before people are up and over lunch.  After work is dedicated to family as much as life allows.  Karate practice, soccer, homework... you have to make time every day for the ones that depend on you the most.

The Wife has been gracious in serving the kids while I get in a few weekend workouts when weather allows.  She's also on the hook when I'm out training in the AM if anyone gets up early.  It simply would not work if she was not on board.

The Moms... watching kids, supporting my family, being there in general and not complaining at all.  It takes a village!

Products
What I used.

Friday, August 4, 2017

IRONMAN 70.3 BOULDER 2017 // RACE PREDICTIONS // Dave Scott #Normatech #IMBoulder703

Here it is, RACE TIME!

As I sit relaxed in my Boulder BNB after eating a fine home made wrap with deli chicken, turkey pepperoni and pepper jack cheese slices (being a frugal traveling triathlete and coach), I thought I'd throw out and update and some ideas rattling around in my head.

Bike cleaned and ready.  Relic.

GOALS vs RACE PREDICTIONS

Goals is what you set for yourself before your race, and more importantly right after you decide to sign up for whatever it is.  5k.  IRONMAN.  Whatever.

Goals are what's lurking in your mind you may not ever say out loud.  You may admit you just want to finish, or under XX hours, but deep down we all have those secret goals we don't want to share for fear we won't reach them for whatever reason.

Goals are good to share.  Keeps you accountable.  Keeps you inspired.

Race predictions is a killer.  That's what typical happens with athletes after the train for months for a race and ask the coach, so what should I expect for a finish time?  Little too late the day before and hopefully you went over that before a plan was made.

Typically I take their swim, add 30 seconds per 100, subtract a mile per hour on the bike and add 1:30 a mile to their run pace and there you have it.

Simple.

NO WAIT!  That's 100 percent WRONG!  I hate doing that.  I might make some educated guesses based on months of training input, but when you go from goal to prediction, you limit yourself.  I hate that!  HATE IT! It's like a noose around an athlete's neck holding them back.

BUT, there are times when you need to temper goals with reality.  Tough training.  Injury.  Weather.  Unexpected course change.  Forgot to shave your armpits to lesson swim drag... so many things could change race day.

There's a happy medium, but I shy away from race predictions with my athletes.  Go for it!  Don't limit yourself.

That being said... here's my Boulder 70.3 goal

5:15

There it is.

My PR is 5:30 back in 2014 at IRONMAN 70.3 Kansas.  This will also be my 10th half distance race.

I'm a smarter athlete.  Train different.  Eat better.  Lots of solid facts that makes this goal highly attainable except one fact.

My training has been 85 percent of what I wanted.  Better to be under than over trained, but just so many issues missing workouts here and there for real or made up reasons.  Lots of excuses.

But, that's not going to stop me from making my goal happen.

Should be a great day for the race.  Course is great.  Feeling rested.  Mentally ready.

Just a few highlights from the trip.

I was lucky enough to hit the Endurance Coaching Summit right here in Boulder that was Thursday and Friday.  GREAT opportunity to meet like minded individuals and learn something new or confirm something old I thought I knew.

When Dave Scott speaks, you listen.
You just don't get to do things like hit a run clinic with 6x IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPION Dave Scott back in Kansas.  HUGE.

Glutes
Core
GO!



A day makes a difference.  Day one high temp was 57 with showers.
HIGH of 57, people!

Luckily weather turns on a dime around here and race day should be in the 80's.  Whew.



And, when they brake out the NORMATECH boots for coaches to try out during sessions, you take advantage and do some multitasking recovering while learning.  I think all conferences should have this feature.

And with that, I'm headed to the coach for trash tv and Halo Top ice cream before early bedtime.

See you at the finish line!

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