Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tis the Night Before Kona '12

12 Oct-

I just went back and read my 2011 Pre Race Blog, and I am having all the same thoughts as last year.  We just had a great group of people over, Alessandra who is also from Modesto and her family attended.  I had no idea who she was until the Modesto Bee did the article on her and she had no idea who I was either.  I knew it was her first year out here and figured I would invite her and her family to our potluck dinner.  Cam Loos is staying here and also ate dinner with us, he will be flying the Navy colors tomorrow but is not the offical representative.  Ryan and Donna who are out here for Team RWB to support the athletes also attended.  And then my whole family, as well as some other people from the complex attended.  It was a relaxing night after a very hectic day.

The day started out good, went out with Rob Hilton (the Marine Rep out here) for an easy spin.  After we split off and I was about 2 miles from the hotel the morning decided to get a little stressful.  I broke a spoke on my rear wheel and was not happy.  It is the 2nd spoke in 3 weeks that has broke.  Luckily Cam had an extra set of wheels here, actually Zipp FC 808 Clinchers, not a bad back up set to have laying around.  So I threw those on the bike.  To add more stress my valve extenders weren't long enough and his would work on my tubes.  A quick hitch hike down to the expo area found me being picked up by Jordan Rapp's parents, small world to say the least.  Jordan in my opinion is one of the favorites going into the race and should be at a minimum in the top 5.  Between him and T.O. they are both of the American hopefuls for tomorrows race.  With the new valve extenders all was good and the bike checked out fine.

Once the bike was already and my bags were packed for tomorrow myself and Cam headed down to bike check.  It was a pretty  quick process but a little unorganized.  Macca showed up right as I was leaving and the crowd was all over him, so that was a sight to see.

Looking onto tomorrow here is my game plan in terms of times.  Just keep in mind that IM is a long day and anything can happen.

My 2011 Prediction times:

Swim: 1hour to 1h05m
Bike: 5h10m-5h15m
Run: 3h25m-3h40m
T1/T2 Total-6m
Finish Time: 9:41-10:06

Last year I went 9:36 (1:04/5:14/3:11)

This years Predicition times:

Swim: 1hour to 1h05m
Bike: 4h55m-5h10m
Run: 3h0m-3h15m
T1/T2 Total-8m
Finish Time: 9:03-9:38

I always set big goals, and I lay it all on the line.  Tomorrow is no different, I know you are looking at 9:03 and saying what is this guy thinking, you know what I am thinking tomorrow just may be the day that I finally have that perfect day and the stars align.  That is the kind of day it is going to take to win the military division.  It is STACKED this year, we have GREAT group of guys out here.  The defending champ Rob Hilton went 9:19 last year and is back to defend that title, and I know the guy is in top shape, when would a Marine not be.  Then you have Scott Jones in what he is calling the "best shape of his life", and no shit I saw the guy 2 days ago and he is looking like a lean mean fighting machine.  Then Cam Loos is out here racing but not "officially" in the military category, and I have been staying with him for the past 7 days.  He is in the zone and has everything dialed in, such a methodical guy and super smart.  I have just been soaking in a lot from what I consider a great mentor.  So no matter what happens out there tomorrow, I know one thing I will be surrounded by some great "competitors", but even better friends out there on the course.  And don't let me forget to mention Jolene Wilkinson, my Air Force Teammate who is going to crush it out there.  She is coming off a second place overall amateur finish at ITU Long Distance Worlds and she keeps me motivated knowing I have such a strong teammate.  So all the best to my fellow military athletes out there tomorrow.

The training is done and all that is left till that cannon goes off is 10 hours.  Time to get a little sleep and rest up for just another race.  That is all it is, just another race with 2,000 of the fittest athletes on earth.  BEST OF LUCK TO EVERYONE RACING!

If you missed the article in the Modesto Bee on Thursday, here is the link:

Also, I know a lot of you have been asking how to follow the race.  There are going to be 8 timing points on the bike and 12 points on the run, so you should be getting updates quite frequently on the site or app as long as it is running properly.

My BIB # is: 1925

Website Link:

iPhone App (only available on iPhone): IM Trac
(Will give you same information as website just in an easy format to access and track multiple athletes)

Here is the bike all set up in Race Prep:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Look Into '12 Training Season Part 2

10 Oct-

For those of you that missed part 1 of this post here is the link:

In this part I will recap the training for the past 11 weeks, obviously this week is not complete but that is a minimal detail.  Coming back to Korea after the month of racing in the states I was a little worn out to say the least.  I think I had raced for 12 straight weeks, sometimes more than 1 race a week.  With only 11 weeks till Kona once I got back we had to get back after it.

I started with Scott the first day back and things started right back off where I left off.  Things were going great for the first couple weeks and I ended up racing a Half IM just 4 weeks back into it.  It was a tough course so my overall time didn't reflect a "great" race, but I had a big overall win in terms of winning overall and margin of victory.  It was a good indicator of where I was, and shed some light on what needed to be worked on.  After the Half IM I got back after it some more and ended up racing a sprint race on the same course that I had raced 4 times previously.  I PR'd by almost 3 minutes, since the last time I had raced that course back in September of 2011.

In my whole 2 years in Kore this tour I was never able to find anyone to run with.  I was lucky enough to have Traci to swim with and then for riding I had a great group of guys over my time there.  For a few months it was Zach and Aaron continually kicking my rear and then I was up in Seoul riding with the team quite a bit.  Couldn't of asked for a better group of guys to ride with.  Then out of the blue, my last 4-6 weeks in Korea I found 2 guys that were willing to run with me.  I would give them a heads up on what kind of runs I had and they would plan around that.  It was great to have guys chasing me around the track and keeping me company along the long runs, so thanks Bill and Brian for being there for that.

With my big move from Korea on the horizon and right before Kona it left some options in terms of what to do during the move.  I consulted with my coach and we came up with a plan to race SuperFrog Half IM in Southern California only 13 days prior to Kona.  It was a gutsy call but as of now I couldn't of asked for a better prep race.  It wasn't only about the physical gains in my opinion but also about the mental gains.  It gave me a huge boost in confidence in myself and where my fitness was at, and just confirmed all of the training I had done.

The past 3 weeks were quite hectic, for those of you that haven't been following here it goes.  I left Korea via a military commercial plan on September 25th via Misawa Japan to Seattle.  Landed in Seattle on the 25th, then flew to Sacramento.  My grand parents picked me up in Sacramento and we drove home to Modesto.  I stayed in town from the night of the 25th through the morning of the 28th.  I then proceeded to drive to San Diego for SuperFrog on the 30th.  After SuperFrog I left around 7pm and started my drive to Fort Worth, Texas.  3 days later I was in Texas on Tuesday evening.  I stayed in Texas until Friday where I boarded the plane to Kona.  So, yeah not the most ideal travel schedule.

Check back on Friday for a Pre Kona Race Report.  I will let you know what has been going on out here in Kona and how I am feeling going into the race.  I will also post all of the links to follow the race as well as what splits I am aiming for.

With all of that here is some more graphs and details on my training over the past 10 weeks, and the last column is this week which hasn't been completely uploaded yet obviously.

Total Hours Trained 10 weeks leading into Kona comparison from this year and last:

10 weeks 175.3 hours = 17.5 hour average
10 weeks 134.7 hours= 13.5 hour average

 (Click image to enlarge) From 7/30/12 - 10/10/12, Total Hours Trained per week
(Click image to enlarge) From 7/30/12 - 10/10/12, Total Meters Swam per week

(Click image to enlarge) From 7/30/12 - 10/10/12, Total Miles Bike per week

  (Click image to enlarge) From 7/30/12 - 10/10/12, Total Miles Ran per week
Pie Chart from 7/30/12 - 10/10/12

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Look Into '12 Training Season Part 1

6 Oct 2012-

Leading into Kona I like to take time and reflect back on the season and see where all the numbers fall.  Give those of you that take the time to read this blog a little insight to what I have done going into this race.  As some of you know this season was quite unique as I put in a big cycling block from end of November to the end of April.  I then proceeded to put in a 8 week training block for Armed Forces Triathlon which was the end of June.  After that I stayed home in California for the month of July and raced locally on the bike and then headed up to Cascade Cycling Classic for 3 days of racing.  Around this same time I was notified that I had been selected to represent the Air Force at Kona, for the one male slot that we have.  Each branch gets 1 male and 1 female slot.  Coming back to Korea from the states I started a 11 week triathlon block to focus on Kona.

During the first block from end of November to end of April I started with a cycling coach who mixed in some swimming and running through the off season, normally swimming 1-2x a week and running 2-3x a week.  Zach Garrett is a good friend and I was his guinea pig as his first athlete.  I used the same triathlon coach as last year going with Scott DeFilippis.  Before I decided to do the whole cycling focus and then switch back I had Zach and Scott talk with each other to make sure they both had the same goals in mind for me as an athlete.  I thought that was something that was important and I wanted to be open about switching coaches and make sure they were on the same page.  Zach coached me from end of November through end of April, Scott picked up from May to end of June and then Zach coached/mentored me again for all of July.  Then starting first week of August Scott had full control of the Kona focus.

The reason I wanted to put in a huge cycling focus is because I thought I was a strong cyclist and then last year in Kona I got a reality check.  I swam 455th out of 1855, biked 560th out of 1855 and ran 112 out of 1855.  By those numbers my bike was the worst in Kona last year and that was something that I wanted to improve upon, so I wanted to train like a cyclist and become a cyclist.  I set out a goal to upgrade from CAT4 to CAT2 through the year and I accomplished that, I felt by the end of that journey that I was a cyclist.  Now with all of that in the books it is time to see where I am, last week was a good indicator but more about that in the next blog.

For this blog I am going to focus on the first part of the season all the way up to the start of the 11 week Kona block.

First up we will take a look at overall hours trained (my training for the next season typically starts first week of December):

(Click image to enlarge) From 12/01/10-12/01/11, Total Hours Trained per week
 (Click image to enlarge) From 12/01/11-7/29/12, Total Hours Trained per week
  (Click image to enlarge) From 12/01/11-7/29/12, Swim Meters per week
 (Click image to enlarge) From 12/01/11-7/29/12, Miles Biked per week
 (Click image to enlarge) From 12/01/11-7/29/12, Miles Ran per week
Lastly, here is a pie chart of % spent with each sport from 12/01/11-7/29/12
As you can tell the bike was definitely the focus.
Looking at all of that information one would think that my swim and run would suffer, and that was something I was really worried about.  When I came back to Scott for the 8 week build into Armed Forces I was really concerned about my run and picking up an injury.  He kept me on track and within a few weeks I felt like my running was right back to where it was if not a little better.  My swim wasn't quite where I had hoped but things really started to come together right before Armed Forces and I had a decent swim there.
All in all I was really happy with how this portion of the season went.  I only raced 2 tri's but managed to get in 27 road races.  Out of those 27 road races I picked up 8 wins and 14 podiums and upgraded from a CAT4 to CAT2.  I couldn't of asked for a better cycling season in terms of results, and felt like I learned a lot along the way in terms of tactics and racing smarter, luckily the legs were there to make up for the lack of experience for the first few races.
I do not believe nor recommend switching back and forth between coaches like I did to anyone, I think it is a very tricky situation but I am lucky enough to have two great coaches that both know me very well.  We have a really open athlete/coaching relationship and that is why we were able to make it work.  They both have their pro's and con's and I would highly recommend either one of them depending on exactly what you are looking for.
Later on this week I will post about the 11 week block of training leading into Kona, in a similar fashion.  Hopefully this will give some people some insight on how my confusing season went and why I chose to do what I did.  Eric Reid a great mentor and friend of mine told me a few years ago to be a better cyclist you need to train with cyclist.  I went above and beyond what he told me and I became one of the cyclist, now we just have to wait and see how all of that pays off........................................


Friday, October 5, 2012

SuperFrog Half=First Big Win in US!

30 September-

Originally I had planned on doing this race as a backup to Kona if I was not selected for the Air Force slot.  Luckily all of that played out right and I got the Air Force slot, but my travel plans back from Korea changed as well.  It just so happened that this race still lined up on my schedule other than it was a bit close to Kona, 13 days to be exact.  I talked it over with my coach and he thought it was a good idea to race it so I registered for it, about 2 weeks prior to Lance signing up.  With him signing up it ended up not being a USAT race which was a bad thing for me as I was hoping that it would be my 3rd USAT race of the year which would make me eligible for All American or Honorable Mention.  So now with it not being a USAT event it just means I have to sign up for another race after Kona.

I came into the race after a long flight back from Korea and then a quick 2.5 days at home.  Needless to say I hadn't got much training in and was a little jet lagged but for the most part my body adapts quite well to all the travel.  I got down to San Diego on Friday and stayed with some friends and had a quiet night.  Then Saturday night I stayed with some old friends from and went out to the Giants/Padres baseball game.  It was a nice relaxing night prior to the race and it was the first time I had been to a ball game in quite some time.

Woke up race morning with a not so restful night of sleep, not sure why I couldn't sleep it wasn't a big race for me or anything.  My pre race nutrition was sub par to say the least, I was able to at least get a Honey Stinger Protein bar down and a banana, but that is not my usual pre race meal as I like the usual oatmeal.  I was feeling alright going into the race with all the training in the past 9 weeks, but the days leading into the race weren't ideal.


For not being a swimmer I was a little skeptical on the ocean swim, especially considering the size of the swell, someone reported 6ft, so yeah I was a little worried.  I struggled a little bit on the first of 2 laps to make it through the surf but eventually got out and into a rhythm.  Coming in from the first lap I caught a small wave in and it bridged the gap that I had between 2 guys.  I followed them out for the second lap and made it through the surf with them.  I figured if guys were ahead of me they had a little more experience in the ocean so I just followed their lead.  I missed a wave on the way back in but still felt I had a good swim.  I didn't really know how bad or how good my swim went, but felt pretty solid with it.


Uneventful as usual, other than I have been struggling to get my wetsuit off, so I need to work on that prior to next year.  Once out of the wetsuit everything went smoothly.  I make it a very simple T1; shoes are on the bike and my glasses are looped around my cables and I don't put them on till a few miles into the bike.  Saves a little time in my opinion.


This was the area where I knew I could make up some ground to the fast swimmers.  I just settled into the bike and took it fairly "easy" for the first 1h30m and just slowly increased my power and effort through the whole ride.  The pro's started 15mins ahead of us so I was a little worried about getting "Lance'd" I mean lapped.  Luckily I would just see him with the other pros at the turn around and made it without getting lapped, other than by the relay team cyclist who was flying.  He was a little surprised when after he passed me I gave him his distance then came back around him to ask him if he was an AG'er or not.  We exchanged a few words and then off he went.  As I started my last lap Lance and the rest of the pros were just entering T2.  The last lap I really put my head down and put in a solid effort.  Felt good coming into T2 and knew I had a solid ride a little under 2:15, right where I wanted to be.


Left the shoes clipped in and came off the bike at a decent pace right into my run.  No problems getting the shoes on, the Zoots are great for transitions.  I carry my watch, visor, and glasses with me out of T2 and put them on while running.  Once again trying to save some time.


Really wanted to hold back here with Kona being 2 weeks out.  I talked to my coach and we came up with the plan to just run IM pace, little did either of us know how much sand would be involved in the run.  I kept it at IM pace but felt the effort was comfortable but a little harder than I expected due to the sand.  I think there was about 5 to 6 miles of soft and hard sand over the whole run.  I stopped once to use the bathroom, which I had already done on the bike as well, I guess I was well hydrated.  I felt really solid with my run and felt that if I wanted to push it a bit harder I had plenty in the tank to run in the mid to low 1:20's.  Overall I was really happy with my run and it was a huge confidence builder going into Kona, as well as a huge PR for my half IM run.


I was extremely happy with how the race went and couldn't of asked for a better race leading into Kona.  I was a little skeptical about racing this race 2 weeks out but felt like it did a lot of good, and only time will tell if it did any damage.  It felt really good to show up to a military event, primarily Navy and Marines and be able to win for the Military and the Air Force, as well as being able to represent Team RWB.

Swim- 31:17 5th in AG/20th Amateur/26th Overall
Bike- 2:13:28 1st in AG/1st Amateur/5th Overall
Strava Link:
Run- 1:29:27 1st in AG/1st Amateur/5th Overall
Strava Link:
Overall- 4:13:48 1st in AG/1st Amateur/6th Overall

Here are some pics from the event


Love or Hate the guy he is still the one person to put Cycling on the map in the USA  and is making a huge impact with LiveStrong and triathlon these days.  I think the race director of SuperFrog said it best with something along the lines of "For every hater he has he has 20 more people that support him".