Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bridging Ironmans Redux

Recently, I decided to race back-to-back Ironmans across a 21-day time period: Ironman Canada-Whistler and Ironman Mont-Tremblant in Quebec; finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively. At the end of 2013, I did back-to-back Ironmans (Florida and Cozumel) across a 29-day time period.

Up and Over

A few years after I started my business, I approached a business broker about selling. Profits were bleak and the hours were long.

The Heat is On!

I live in the Memphis-metro area and we are in the middle of summer. That means daily temperatures of 90 F or greater, morning humidity of 95-100% and heat indexes topping out at 110 F or more! This can be normal for multiple parts of the US and many areas around the world during summer.

The Urge to Tinker

Now that summer and the racing season are in full swing, you’re probably feeling pretty good.

If you are not feeling speedy, or if you have a goal to be speedy beyond the end of August, then consider scheduling a deep recovery week somewhere in the next 45 days.

Setting Expectations: Racing After Defeat

I remember my worst nightmare race like it was yesterday. What I remember most was how humiliated I felt, how insecure I felt and how hard it was to stay positive while preparing to race again.

Two "Go To" Swim Workouts

All athletes I know have a few “go to” workouts up their sleeves. These are the type of workouts that we tend to pull out when nothing is planned in stone, but something needs to get done.

Lately, the following two workouts have been a couple of my go-to swim sessions.

Session 1

This Too Shall Pass

If you are going to play hard, at some point you are going to acquire an injury.

Managing Your Coach

Following up on Sue’s and Marilyn’s recent articles, here are some additional ideas for managing your coach.

Early Racing Equals Learning

We have come to a point in the season where some athlete are getting ready to race for the first time while some already have a race in the bank.

Deciding to DNS

On April 11, our editor sent me an email with the following:

“I had an article idea for you which has come up from me wanting to ask a question on the forum, but thought it could have broader reach as an article on the main site: Deciding to DNS.”

Descending Presentation from EC Tucson 2015

Coach Marilyn presents advice on descending and bike handling.

Talks like these are a premium feature of EC's annual training camps.

Early Season Racing Should Be Individualized

Holy moly it is May and triathlon season is officially starting -- well that is for all you age groupers out there. I, however, recently returned from South Carolina coaching the Stanford Triathlon team at the Collegiate Triathlon National Championship.

Thinking I'm One Behind

As we head into summer and training load increases, you may find your nutrition and training start becoming erratic.

There is nothing quite like a big increase in stress to flush out any weaknesses in our overall approach.

One sign that you’re on edge will be a frequent feeling that you’re “one behind.”

Triathlon is Boring

Don’t get me wrong, I love training. I love racing. I even love watching other athletes competing. The closer the athlete is to me, be it a close friend, an athlete I coach, or even my wife, the more I enjoy cheering. To me triathlon is very exciting, but maybe I should explain a little more.

When Your Coach is Wrong

My management team at work has been with me for many years. They handle me well. Sometimes I have a bold idea, a unique way to change our business. I present it with enthusiasm. Most often my idea fails. My team reminds me that my part-time status has let me to forget the issues of implementation.

We operate as a team on some simple principles:

  • No means no and yes means yes. No double guessing.
  • Communicate face to face. Email is fraught with danger in misreading emotions.

An HRV Primer

This post is for those of you who may be intrigued by heart rate variability (HRV) but not quite ready to devote the time to diving head first into the fantastic but extensive three-part series on HRV that, our resident cardiologist, Dr. Larry Creswell wrote or the five-part (!) series that I did on my own blog.

Managing Coach/Athlete Disagreement

I sometimes hear talk of athletes having a hard time with their coaches. They say things like their coaches don’t listen to them, or are scheduling training that doesn’t fit in their schedules or they’re setting workouts that don’t address their training and racing goals. When it comes to athlete/coach disagreements, I know I don’t have all the answers, but I do understand my approach to the balance between a healthy dialogue and too much conflict.

Lights, Helmet, Action!

Would you change your behavior if I told you there was an easy way to cut your risk of cycling injury in half?

Despite the blanket coverage of the latest disaster on my favorite news channel, I know cycling is the most dangerous thing I do.

However, put cycling against my family medical history of diabetes and heart disease, it’s probably a risk worth taking. In terms of what kills us, cycling is far down the list.

Build and Descend with Purpose

I have been very fortunate over the years to share the lane (or at least share the pool) with some incredibly strong swimmers and triathletes. One thing I found very interesting when I first started swimming alongside these athletes was the huge range they had in their swim pacing. A great way to work on developing your own range is to incorporate "build" and "descend" sets into your training.

Hamstring Flexibility: Inch Worm

Coach Marilyn Chychota demonstrates the inch worm, an exercise to improve hamstring flexibility.

Learn more about Marilyn's recommendations for breakthrough strength training for endurance athletes.

Nutrition: Eating for the Right Tool

When I show up to race long, my team prepares a top 10 list of my competition and they expect me to memorize their numbers. I smile every time someone on my top 10 list shows up too buff… like bodybuilding competition buff. The are lean and stripped. Usually these incredible bodies lack the ability to finish strong.

Becoming a Swimmer, Not Just a Triathlete

When I started swimming at 29 years old, I did not have the years of experience and feel in the water of many lifetime swimmers. At the same time, I learned quite a few successful swimmers and triathletes, including many elites, were also “adult” swimmers. So how do you develop speed and efficiency in the water as someone who began swimming later in life?

Heart Questions from the EC Campers

I had the opportunity to attend the recent Endurance Corner training camp in Tucson. For me, one of the highlights of the week was the chance to give an after-dinner presentation one evening on triathletes and heart health. I shared stories from the past year that had caught my attention and illustrated some important points.

Some Workouts to Kick LoMo

I have an affinity for the East Coast, particularly Massachusetts. So it is for all you East Coasters that I write this article. Getting hit with snowstorm after snowstorm and even something called “thundersnow” -- I can only imagine it may make for some LoMo (low motivation). Here are a few workouts to give you something new as you continue to hit the treadmills and trainers.

Countering Bad Advice About Exercise

The extreme exercise debate has popped up again with a Danish study noting that strenuous exercisers might not have a mortality rate statistically different than the sedentary people. I think the statistics of their argument are weak but the headline certainly got my attention.

Treadmill Hill Workouts

I always prefer to run outdoors, but sometimes the weather or other circumstances prevents a solid workout from happening. Over the years, I have come to embrace the treadmill and take advantage of what it has to offer. A lot of athletes like that a treadmill allows you to lock into a pace without having to think about it, but I actually prefer the treadmill for another reason: controlling the incline.

A Comeback Case Study

One of my favorite quotes is from "Rocky Balboa" about life. Rocky tells his son how, "Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life." He goes on to say, "But it ain't how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward..."

You could say life gave me a nasty upper cut right to the chin a couple years ago, that resulted in losing my fitness and gaining lots of fat. Then I lost the itch to train and race.

How to Choose a Power Meter

If you are thinking about starting to use a power meter you will have to choose the right one for your needs and budgets. Over the last five years the market for power meters has exploded and we now have a large -- sometimes bewildering -- range of options, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.

How to Lose Fat with Core Nutrition

Recently, the New York Times wrote about the best time of day to train for fat loss. I’ll save you searching the article and let you know that it’s the morning on an empty stomach.

These sorts of articles have wide appeal to the common fallacy that ideal body composition is a result of optimizing our depletion strategy.

A far more effective approach is to look at the quality of your Core Nutrition.