Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Training Zone Calculator

I've put together a calculator that will give you some recommendations on your personal heart rate and pace/power zones in line with EC’s terminology.

If you regularly repeat the test protocols and save the data, you'll be able to benchmark your fitness throughout the year.

My Top Bike Tips

Over the years, I’ve spent about $75,000 on bike gear. Here's what I’ve learned about bike material, components, wheels, and buying used versus new.

Sue Aquila Talks Recovery from a Crash with IMTalk

EC coach and elite age-grouper Sue Aquila crashed during this year's Munice 70.3, breaking some ribs and her collarbone in the process. She's been focused and diligent with her recovery and return to training in order to prep for Kona this year. Sue recently took some time with John and Bevan at IMTalk to discuss her approach and recommendations for what to do after a crash.

You can hear the interview on the latest episode of IMTalk.

Justin Daerr Ironman Boulder Interview with IMTalk

EC's own Justin Daerr was interviewed about his recent Ironman Boulder win by John and Bevan at IMTalk.

Check out the latest podcast for the interview.

The Hidden Cost of an Overly Aggressive Bike Position

With the 2015 bikes hitting the market, many ironfolk will be "looking to upgrade." Usually this means better materials, sleeker lines, hiding more "stuff" and, above all else, more aggressive geometry. After all, nothing looks better rolling through transition than a bike with full aero set up and a huge drop. Big drop = low frontal area = this dude is serious about laying down a fast bike split!

Well, there is one element of that equation that is missing: big drop + holding the position for 5ish hours = fast bike split!

Swimming in the Front

I used to get so fired up for the swim at most of my races. But it wasn’t until I learned how to be a smarter swimmer that I really got confident with my swim ability. When I first started triathlon, I was three years past my collegiate swim career and I was still thinking like a swimmer: my strategy for races was to put my head down and just go like hell from the start.

Race Weight for Eaters

Following a high load training protocol while glycogen depleted will trigger health problems. So please remember to never lose the last kilo and arrive at race day fit, fresh and focused.

The most important tactic is to eat when you train and replace what your burn -- you’ll only have a limited number of long days where you can train your body to process calories. Take your key days seriously.

Eat, drink and pace so you can finish strong.

Ironman Lake Placid

Our course profile for Ironman Lake Placid in Lake Placid, NY, provided by Coach Brady DeHoust.

Stop Training and Start Practicing

A young triathlete recently reached out to me with a question about nutrition. He was gearing up for his first 70.3 in a few weeks. He mentioned that he usually fuels with water during training and was curious about what to do in his upcoming race.

The Short/Long Stack

As athletes get ready to take on long course races (half ironman to ironman distance) they often question whether they might benefit from racing a shorter event in the final few weeks of preparation; specifically two to four weeks before their ‘A’ races. As with many questions, the answer is: “it depends.”

Our Favorite Workouts: Understanding the Tempo Run

The Tempo Run. It has been defined many ways by many great coaches. Daniels calls it a pace between T pace and M pace and it is based on the amount of tempo you do (20-60 minutes). McMillian says it is a “comfortably hard pace and your heart rate will be around 85-90% of your max heart rate.” Hanson says it is simply “marathon pace.”

I knew while I was racing that the tempo run was one of my best workouts to gain speed and strength for ironman.

Ironman 70.3 Muncie

Our course profile for Ironman 70.3 Muncie in Muncie, Indiana, as provided by Sue Aquila.

Going Short

For those who follow the founding member of Endurance Corner, you may notice the title of the article is a play on his book, “Going Long”.

But where does short course racing fit in a long course athlete's season? Perhaps a better question is, does it even belong there in the first place?

My personal opinion is, absolutely!

Are You a Trainer or Racer?

A number of years ago I did race with a training buddy whom at the end of the day I had beaten. After the race he exclaimed, “Man you race faster than you train!” My response was a quirky smile and a, “Yeah, racing is racing, training is training.”

Strength Before Speed - Three Swim Sets

If you’ve ever had the experience of your arms turning to rubber after the first 400 of a swim start then this post is for you.

Open water swimming has more in common with a bike race than a time-trial. There are many rapid changes in pace and you need to be able to recover while continuing to move forward.

The Creak

When there’s a creak on your bike it’s noticeable right away. Your riding partner can hear it over an iPod earbud full of Skrillex. It’s loud, annoying and embarrassing. But where is it coming from and what can you do?

Planning Your Race Year - Short Course to Long Course

There are several ways to plan out your year. There are so many races on the calendar now the opportunities are endless and can be year round. While the wealth of race options is great, it can be more difficult to figure out how you want to plan your season.

Adjusting on Race Day

When the canon fires on race day, there’s a plan in place that is assembled through months of training.

Unfortunately, there can be, and often are, hiccups in the plan.

Getting Chicked: Women Triathletes and Drafting

Two things I dislike in triathlon:
1. The phrase "Getting Chicked"
2. Fast age group men whose goal is to race pro women or fast age group women

To Bag or Not to Bag

We have all been there. The feeling of “off” -- things are not clicking, everything feels like work. We can get this in training on multiple levels. On any given workout you may have a focus and as the workout starts things are not falling into place. What do you do?

Ironman 70.3 Boulder

Our course profile for Ironman 70.3 Boulder in Colorado, as provided by Justin Daerr.

Thoughts on Peaking Right

One aspect of the art of building a program is understanding how to have an athlete at his or her best come race day.

As a coach, you need to have a clear understanding of how the year breaks up and the type of athlete you're working with. As an athlete, you need to be aware of your natural strengths and weaknesses.

Training and Racing at Altitude

In our latest podcast, Alan Couzens, Gordo Byrn and Justin Daerr discuss training and racing at altitude.

Bridging Ironmans

As the number of Ironman/long distance triathlons increases, it seems that more athletes are doubling (or even tripling) up on these long events in a short time period. Not only are they stacking events, but in some cases they are racing at a high level in all of them.

Persistance Pays

My buddy, Dan, qualified for Kona at Ironman Texas. I wanted to share some highlights from his journey.

Quite often, I’m asked to put together a 9-12 week program for Kona qualification. Dan’s journey with me took 14 years and goes back to when I started coaching.


I am a mom, entrepreneur, wife, long course triathlete and a gay woman. This past year, I accomplished what I once considered the impossible and married the woman of my dreams after a 17 year committed relationship. I also finished the triathlon season as the best performing woman in my age group in the world.

This is not a coincidence.

Sharpening the Saw

Let’s take a look what to do when things “aren’t going right” in your training. Specifically, what about those times when things aren’t quite so evident but there is just a general feeling when athletes are not “getting what they deserve” out of the training that they are putting in?

Focus and Refocus

When we head into a race we assume that with the amount of preparation we've put in things have to go exactly as we want them to: perfect. The reality is something usually comes up that we either have not planned for or is not ideal.

Strength Before Speed

The best advice I can give a new athlete is work before work rate.

Prove that you can “do” before you worry about what you do.

After you’ve proven then you can “do work” the next tip is strength before speed. Put plainly: get your work rate up by moving uphill, rather than focusing on going fast for a long period.

Until your work-rate training is established, the “fast” part of your training should be focused on quickness, rather than velocity.

Here’s one of my favorite work-rate workouts.

Discussing Swimming with IMTalk

A lot of people have questions about the best approach to swim training and racing. I recently chatted with John and Bevan from IMTalk to share some of my thoughts and best tips for IM swimming.