Thursday, June 28, 2018

Man I Love This Sport


New year, new you...or at least that’s the fear. After an incredibly successful 2017 triathlon season I spent many snowy winter days looking out the window, trying to conjure up the energy to climb onto the trainer in hopes of measuring up to last year. “Trending slower” Strava would remind me, and for an extra kick in the balls my heart rate was higher. And such has been my lead-in to the 2018 triathlon season.

To build up for my season I figured the Boston Marathon would be an ideal way to find my running fitness. Unfortunately, that plan was derailed by some big toe pain that resulted in a cumulative 6-miles of running in February. Then one fortuitous dreary day in March, after a couple of brunch beers (thanks Mike Hoffman), I ventured into Heart Break Hill running company and spent $120 on a pair of Hoka Cliftons. All of a sudden, I could run again, and while it may have been my slowest open marathon, I beat my marathon time at Ironman Louisville, and even qualified for Boston 2019. Should I be so stupid....


The day before Boston I wore my Roka wetsuit for strides on the track as a joke. 

The day of Boston I wished I had done more than joke about wearing it.

Boston in the rear view not only could I convince the average person that I am a “real runner” (I'm not) but I could resume serious swim/bike training. With Quassy Olympic only 6 weeks away, I knew I didn’t have much time to get myself back into “2017 shape.” After three days off and two relatively gentle training days I figured I was probably recovered enough to join some buddies for episode 1 of 2018 “Smash Sunday” featuring a 50 mile ride followed by a couple” of miles “jogging” off the bike. As someone who has been doing this for 10+ years I should have known better. It was a solid month before I could piece together any semblance of a workout.

#SmashSunday

The week before Quassy I attended the American College of Sports Medicine national conference, which ironically usually involves anything but exercise. At the very least I was quite confident that all of the beer drinking would yield an appreciable glycogen surplus, a nice complement to the sinus cold I had developed. Fortunately, Quassy was on a Sunday so getting back to Boston Friday night meant a sleep in my own bed before rolling down to the race. Saturday morning Richard and I loaded up the car and met EMJ teammates Rob, Stefan, Corey, and Walter at a mansion of an AirBnB, a short 10 minute drive from the race venue. Because I hadn’t exercised in two days a short swim sounded appealing. After getting my doors blown off by Richard I became supremely confident I would not have to worry about sighting the next day, as there would be many feet to follow. To restore my ego I decided to take a sweet pre-race “Flat Stanley” photo in hopes of exceeding 100 likes on Instagram.

155 Likes #Winning

Quassy race morning was relatively uneventful, with my largest concern being some GI distress, a likely product of a huge bowl of pasta drowned in pesto from the night before. The swim was a self-seeded rolling start, so I positioned myself about 3-4 people back. My attempt to stay on Richard’s feet was frivolous and he was soon out of reach. Emerging from the water I was pleasantly surprised to see 21:09 on my watch (strava file here) and excited to get on my Felt and start doing work. About 10 miles into the ride I had caught everyone but Richard, who was dangling in front of me like a tasty snack. Unfortunately, every time I came within striking distance the bastard pedaled harder, evading my attempt to legally work together. My one attempt to speak to him came at mile 25 when I caught him on a hill and voiced my concern about the length of the course (usually 40k or 24.8 miles). Unfortunately, instead of “how long is this course?” he heard “you’re riding like a horse” which motivated him even more and he smashed off into oblivion, leaving me still wondering how long the dang bike was going to be (it was 26 miles). After these antics, it brought me great amusement to watch him nearly fall off his bike at dismount as he struggled to extract his foot from the grasp of his shoe.

The elusive Richard Fineman...riding some nice ENVE wheels.

Heading out of transition in what I presumed to be first place, I was dismayed to hear there was another athlete about 2 minutes up. The first few miles of the run were VERY downhill, and while I really wanted to open up the legs my heart rate was already quite high so I stayed conservative and passed through in just under 6-min/mile. We spent the next four miles paying the price for these downhills, and there were many times I saw 8:00/mile+ on my watch. With a quarter mile to go, I heard the crowd cheering the first place finisher in and knew any attempt to chase was futile. Hats off to young Bobby Hammond for handily kicking everyone’s ass. I look forward to watching him mature in the sport! (Stupid hilly run).

Rev3 Olympic Podium - 1)Hammond 2)Grosicki 3)Hollinger

After a couple of recovery days, I picked up the silver platter Bobby handed me my ass on and set to training for Patriot half. That week I had a long text conversation with teammate Kevin Denny (blog here) where we discussed the difficult but liberating value of freeing yourself from past success and focusing on the present. I’m not sure why, but after that conversation for the first time in months I was able to get excited about the future rather than worrying about measuring up to last year. After a couple of solid training sessions and a renewed perspective I was STOKED to take a crack at Patriot Half.

Some speedwork as part of a local 5k in Boston

Other than the very digestible price tag (compared to ironman events), one of the biggest advantages to Patriot was that I was able to sleep in my own bed the night before the race. The 45-minute drive down the Cathedral Camp in East Freetown, MA went smoothly and I was able to set-up my transition well before race start. Another awesome feature of Patriot was their use of an “elite” wave, which obviates concern of getting beat by an athlete starting after you, Ironman PLEASE take note. As we waded into the water I felt relaxed and ready to give it my all in what would be my final New England triathlon.

The calm before getting dropped.

Although I felt great during my swim warm-up, I didn’t have what it took to make the break with the first couple of athletes, who I later learned to be Michael Emmons and Spencer Coffin. Even though I feel I have made great progress with my swimming the past couple of years, I have yet to be able to hang with the ex-college guys. When the dust (waves) settled I found myself in a 3-man chase pack, the leader of which seemed to have the directional acuity of a blind man. Although he was faster, he continually swam off-line and thus I pretty much swam solo with another swimmer tight on my feet. Feeling good coming out of the water I was pleased to see a mid-27 minute swim time and ready to chop wood on my IA.

Heading out on the bike my legs felt strong and my goal of holding 250 watts felt doable. One of the things I feel has really benefited my riding is breaking my races up using 20’ laps on my Garmin 510. Knowing a new lap is coming tends to keep me more honest with my initial effort and stops me from wasting myself early (take note Reid Foster). About 10 miles into the first of two laps, I glanced behind to see another rider (Zev Myerowitz) fast approaching. Trying to match his effort, I found myself riding at near or above FTP and quickly made the decision to let him go. A few miles later I was able to catch and pass Spencer Coffin, at which point I voiced my disbelief at how fast we had both been passed by Zev. After keeping all of my 20’ splits right at goal power it was hard to be disappointed with my ride.
Felt Bicycles #NarrowIsAero #AeroIsEverything

Running into transition I finally caught swimming extraordinaire Michael Emmons and as we put on our running shoes I asked if he knew who the leader was. It was at this point I learned it was Zev, who Michael told me ran a low 1:30 half the previous year. “Let’s get him!” I told him as we ran out together. Trying to distance myself from Michael I ran the first half-mile at a very uncomfortable 5:45/mile pace. I breathed a sigh of relief to see him start fading back and settled into a more realistic 6:15-6:20/mile pace. By the second mile I calculated Zev to be about 30 seconds up and made the pass by mile four. All was well until about mile 9.5 when I felt the beginnings of a horrific side-stitch. I had a similar experience during my first 70.3 (Muncie in 2013) and ended up walking nearly a mile. I have since learned to fend off these cramps off by slowing a bit and by controlling my breathing (exhaling hard every other foot strike). With a mile to go and the stitch under control, I broke into an uncontrollable smile and celebrated my way across the finish line.

Fin.

I am finally finishing what may be the most belated race report(s) ever, if you can even call it that its so late, in a coffee shop in our new home of Savannah, GA. Although I am sad to have left Boston and all of our wonderful friends, Bri, Ellie and I are loving our new home (and will love it even more when the AC is fixed – I hope someone from HomeTeam Inspection Services reads this, cause y’all are terrible). See that, already a southerner, I said "y'all". I have already found great running, biking, and swimming networks and am excited to head back to Indiana to take my third crack at Muncie 70.3 in two weeks. Maybe Ill even write a timely race report for that...in the unlikely case that I’m not too busy planning for my classes next year. Thanks for reading!

Savannah, GA #SwampLife
#LowCountryEnduranceProject

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Swim training through the goggles of a heretic


This afternoon I received the first email from USA triathlon that I didn't immediately delete: "How Often Should I Be Swimming?" The answer? More than I have the past two months. Between dealing with a shoulder injury and focusing on running a respectable Boston marathon my amphibious persona has been cast to the way side. Scrolling through the page my suspicion was confirmed, my one weekly swim was two less than is advised for most beginners, and eight less than "pure competitive swimmers." Towards the bottom of the article the author provides general guidelines for structuring ones workouts: "100s to 500s for endurance, 50s to 200s for mod-hard/tempo efforts, and 25s and 50s for sprints."




Before saying any more, please allow me to provide you some context. As a child I participated in two years of swim lessons, stopping at age 8 because I didn't want to do flip-turns. I started swimming again sophomore year of college at William and Mary, mostly because I got to hang around cute girls in swimsuits but partly because I almost drowned in my first triathlon. It took me 15 minutes to swim 1/2 mile. While by no means do I consider myself a good swimmer, I now get out of the water in an olympic distance triathlon (full mile) in less than 20 minutes and beat the majority of my competitors. So how have I made this progress?

Based on the above recommendations, about 10% of my swim sets include sprints/tempo efforts and 30% fall into the "endurance" category. So what do I do the rest of my swims? The average college student will run a 5k in about 25-30 minutes, about the time it takes to swim 1 mile in an olympic distance triathlon. Maybe I am mistaken, but I haven't seen a whole lot of 5k running plans that involve a bunch of 10-45 second sprints. So if we are training for an ironman (2.4 mile swim, 60+ minutes), or much less an olympic distance triathlon (1 mile swim, ~30 minutes) why is it that we repeatedly swim 1-2 minute intervals, stopping at the wall after each to catch our breath? One answer might be that unlike running, swimming performance is far more dependent on technique. Fair, but would we not expect the act of swimming itself to help resolve at least some biomechanical inefficiencies? The fact of the matter is, traditional swim sets involving a lot of 25s, 50s and 100s to me make a lot more sense for someone trying to race really fast 1-5 minutes.

So how do I swim? In short, differently. My "favorite" set is a 5x1k moderate-hard, using minimal "pool toys." And I regularly swim fairly easy monotonous sets. For example, 6 sets of 500, swim, pull buoy, paddles. No agenda or ambition to go fast, just get in the water and swim. Much like as a runner the vast majority of my runs are just to get out and run 45 minutes at an easy to moderate pace. Most swimmers laugh when I tell them my sets, but fewer laugh when I beat them out of the water. While I can't attest to the effectiveness of this approach for everyone, I have to say, it seems to work pretty decently for me.


Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 by the numbers

2017 was without a doubt my best year of athletic achievement to date. Three overall triathlon wins and a course record, an 8th place AG finish at the 70.3 World championship, and my first full ironman finish (9:01), a race that earned me a trip to Kona 2018. Needless to say I'm left with some pretty big shoes to fill in 2018. In an attempt to learn from this past year I have spent some time compiling my training data (shout-out to Strava). For those interested, here is a look at the anatomy of my 2017 season:


Cumulative Summary

     Bike:
4,740 miles
289h38m
191 rides 
Longest ride: 112 (Aug 6th)
*Many of these rides were on the trainer (0 miles) so average pace could not be calculated

   Run:
1,507 miles
175h56m
228 runs
Avg run distance: 6.5 miles
Avg run pace: 7:02 min/mile
Longest run: 26 miles (Louisville)

   Swim:
475,883yd (270 miles)
120h27m
141 swims 
Avg swim distance: 3300y
Longest swim: 10,000m (Dec 30th)

   Totals
6516 miles
586h (24.4 days or 6.6% of the year)


Monthly training snapshot

January: ~52 hours – 1 day off
February: ~41 hours – 3 days off
March: ~50 hours – 2 days off
April: ~52 hours – 1 day off
May: ~50 hours – 3 days off
June: ~53 hours – 4 days off
July: ~56 hours – 4 days off
August: ~67 hours – 1 day off
September: ~52 hours – 6 days off
October: ~38 hours – 11 days off
November: ~34 hours – 1 day off
December: ~41 hours – 3 days off

Mean monthly: ~49h
Median monthly: 51h
Days off: 40


Weekly training snapshot
Mean weekly hours: 11h15m
Peak week: 17h55m (Aug 14-20th)
Low week: 0h (thats right, a whole week of no training!)


Races:
Sprints: 2x (2 wins)
Olympics: 0
70.3: 3x (1 win)
140.6: 1x
5k: 1x (16:40)*hungover and in pajamas
4-miler: 1x (21:24)

USA triathlon national ranking: 3rd (25-29y male)


A lot of really cool numbers (if you're into things like that)! So why was this past year different and what can I learn?

1. CONSISTENCY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF BEING A TRIATHLETE. The two BIGGEST CHANGES I made in the past year was that I took MORE DAYS OFF AND I RAN SLOWER. This started with a New Years resolution I made January 1st to do the vast majority of my runs with a heart rate of less than 150 bpm. At first it sucked and was frustrating and many of my runs I felt like I was walking. Slowly but surely though I became more efficient and there were a few runs I was able to sneak under 7 min per mile keeping my heart rate low.

2. THE TRAINER SUCKS BUT IT MAKES YOU FAST. Boston is cool, there is lots of great food and beer. Riding the trainer when its 75 degrees out and sunny because you dont have time to spend an hour getting out of the city sucks. That said, riding the trainer makes you fast. Period. My normalized power at IM Louisville was 225 watts (strava file here). This is only 3 watts less than I held at my first 70.3 (Muncie in 2013). The biggest difference was that before Louisville Bri and I were doing a lot of traveling, forcing me to do some pretty ridiculous early morning trainer sessions. Probably the "best" of which was a 4h session commencing at 4:30am before a day of work (file here).

3. IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, FIND GOOD TRAINING PARTNERS....AND A WIFE THAT WON'T KILL YOU FOR SPENDING 12H A WEEK TRAINING. Motivation waxes and wanes, theres no denying it. But when the alarm goes off at 5am its harder to snooze when you have training partners to hold you responsible. Thank you Richard Fineman (blog here), Corey Robinson, and Mike Hoffman. Find yourself some good reliable training partners. Oh, and make sure your wife won't kill you for having an alarm that goes off at 5am. Bonus points if she can cook.

Finally, I'd be amiss if I failed to mention how great its been to race for Team Every Man Jack the past three years. My teammates are a constant source of inspiration and are always willing to help out in any way they can. The sponsors we have are incredible and I wouldn't be where I am without their support. I am super pumped to be racing for Team Every Man Jack again in 2018. Big shoes to fill indeed, time to start training.



Sunday, October 22, 2017

IM LOUISVILLE

After arguably one of my best races to date at the 70.3 World Championships I knew signing up for IM Louisville that the fitness was there, and with only five weeks separating these races the opportunity for “GAINS” was minimal. At the end of last season I read a blog by Lionel Sanders where he mentioned taking something like 50 days of total rest in 2016. Summing the zeros on my personal training log I was surprised that even after 14 days of forced down time due to a broken toe I had taken fewer days off than one of the best triathletes in the world. With his swim improving, I made a vow in 2016 that I would beat Lionel the only place I could, taking days off. To accomplish this formidable task, after each of my half-distance races this year I have taken 3 days to drink beer, eat ice cream, and write blog posts. I feel this was particularly beneficial after the brutal run course at 70.3 Worlds, and allowed me to crank out a really solid weekend of training only 5 days after (18 mile long run on Saturday followed by a brick Sunday consisting of a solo 108 mile ride followed by 3 miles OTB). Feeling good and having convinced Bri to let me spend a bunch of money so she could sit around all day, that evening I signed up for Louisville.

Turns out that although it is extremely advantageous to have a sugar momma who can pay for your expensive races that sugar momma might also get you sick. Three days after signing up for Louisville I had a full blow upper respiratory infection. To make things more interesting the next two weekends we would be traveling to Chicago and D.C. for weddings. Backing off training a bit I did everything in my power to get my health back on track. I was very happy to have the support of Sound Probiotics during this time as maintaining good bacterial health in the gut is an essential component of immune health! After about a week I began to start feeling better and before traveling to D.C. set a PR by making it 4h on the trainer (a session that was done by 830am).

17 mile run in Chi-town pre wedding festivities

#CleanUpNice

Its a beautiful morning for a 4h trainer session

Coming into race week the nerves were high. In all honesty, I’m not sure I felt hungry the entire week. Thursday afternoon Corey, his dad, Bri, and I made an uneventful trip to Cincinnati before driving to our AirBnB just 2.5 miles from the start in Louisville. Knowing we were ironmen, our host graciously gifted us a $10 gift card to the local bakery, which I used to procure all sorts of delicious donuts and cookies ($10 goes a lot further in Louisville than Boston). Although I would have liked to take my bike for a spin that afternoon, not having a pump to put air in my tires put the kaibosh on that idea so I spent my afternoon eating sugar cookies. The next day, we hooked up with teammate James Defilippi and family who had driven down from Virginia, and James and I took our bikes out for a check-ride. Of course my pedal was squeaking something fierce but James being the bike guru that he is quickly diagnosed it as a cleat problem. Sure enough, after tightening it up the noise was gone and I was satisfied. After the ride we met up with Corey for a short swim to test out the current but Ironman was requiring athletes to have their chips to enter the water. Clearly the taper gods were telling me I needed more rest, so we went out to breakfast where I ordered the “basic bitch special” – pumpkin pancakes that may or may not have been accompanied by a PSL... #AllPumpkinEverything


Yum

James ripping it on our morning ride

#BasicAF

To my utter amazement the night before the race I feel to sleep with ease...although that may have been a product of not being able to sleep the night before. Pre-race breakfast was my usual, a blueberry bagel (they didn’t have pumpkin) with cream cheese, a banana, and some coffee. I’ll come back to this later but next IM I will certainly be upping the calories in this meal. Waiting for the swim start I sipped on some EFS pro cucumber while I watched athletes pee in their wetsuits. I got in line for the rolling swim start next to teammates Colin Martin and James Defilippi and we chatted with nearby competitors right up to the point where we jumped into the water. I have to say, even with my Jade mirror Roka R1 goggles the first 15 minutes of the swim were still pretty dark as the sun was yet to rise. Making my way upstream I focused on keeping my effort smooth and even and my kicking to a minimum. Thinking back to Matt Dixon’s pre-race briefing before 70.3 Worlds, on the way out I tried to stay a bit closer to the shore in hopes the current would be less robust and on my way downstream I tried to stay closer to the middle of the river so as to optimize current utilization. Never having done an IM swim, I was a little unsure how I should be feeling but I was motivated by the number of athletes I was passing versus being passed by. Seeing the shore I increased my kick a bit to prepare for the bike when all of a sudden I felt a cramp coming on in my right calf. Not ideal. Swimming the remainder of the distance with my legs limp behind me I made it to the exit where I was able to take a glance at my watch.

Three dudes before a long day of exercise

Totally ecstatic with my swim time I grabbed my transition bag from the volunteers and ran into the changing tent. Sitting down in the chair I glanced down at my bag to realize I had been given the wrong bag. Fortunately as I ran out of the tent yelling my number the volunteers realized their error and quickly gave me my bag, THANK YOU! Heading out on the bike course I was feeling good and holding my watts when all of a sudden two guys went flying by me. I glanced down at my power meter and decided to let them go. Twenty minutes later I saw them ahead working together in what appeared to be a fairly legal manner. With a lot of ground still to cover I decided to gamble by working my way up to them. While I knew it might require burning a few too many matches, I decided 112 miles of solo riding might get awful lonely and so I was going to do my best to keep these riders in my sites.

Before long our crew was joined by teammate Colin Martin and another rider in a black kit (who I have since learned was ex-pro Ray Botelho). Keeping a solid gap between one another our 5-man crew made our way through the course with close monitoring by the race officials. It was nice having these guys around as it really helped take my mind off what lay ahead. Exchanging pleasantries with the two rides in the blue kits who had originally passed me I came to find out they had made the trip from Germany in search of Kona slots. As we made our way through LaGrange on the second lap our efforts were revitalized by a throng of spectators. Keeping up with my nutrition I focused on staying aero and holding steady. After completing the second loop we began a 20-mile trek back to Louisville straight into a headwind. Looking back briefly I could see our crew had been whittled down with only of the Germans about 100m back. With my power numbers still right where I wanted I began mentally preparing for the run. Bike feastings: 2 bottles of EFS @ 280 calories a bottle, 8 GU’s, 1.5 bottles of Gatorade, and some water (total about 1700 calories).

Getting passed by teammate Colin Martin

Heading out on the run it felt HOT. When I had checked the weather in the morning I was pleased to see the temperature was predicted to drop in the afternoon. About a half mile in Bri and good friends Gwen and Kevin who had driven from Muncie and Lexington to cheer me on excitedly greeted me. Seeing Kevin I think I made some explicit comment about how little fun I was having. My goal before the race was to run no faster than 7 min/mile. Clocking the first mile at 6:57 I was satisfied but wasn’t feeling great. The second mile I think we ran by some sort of restaurant and the smell of hamburgers sent my mind daydreaming about solid food. By the third mile I felt my legs slowing a bit. Taking down a GU and drinking some coke at mile three I backed off a bit and waited for the sugar to take its effect. Slowly I felt the negative thoughts lifting and my pace quickening. The next 23 miles I continued to make longer and longer visits to this dark place followed by transient glucose-mediated returns to the light.

Eric brings me good and bad news

Before heading out on loop two of this death march I was again greeted by Bri, Gwen, and Kevin who I have since learned were in great spirits after doing a tequila shot. I think I said something to Bri about how badly I wanted to walk. She responded by telling me to “suck it up and eat more food.” It was at this point that Corey’s brother Eric told me that I was 4 minutes up on second but that he was running 6:30 min/miles. Shit. The news that third was 15 minutes back revitalized me in a major way. Heading the bosses advice the next aid station I picked up some GU blocks and began shoving them down my throat. Amazingly, the GU blocks seemed to be offering something the GU’s couldn’t and I began feeling more alive. Somewhere around mile 17 my 4-min gap had been totally erased and eventual age group winner Jacob Gilden passed me like I was standing still. My hats off to him for an amazing 2:57 run split. At mile 19 the blocks ran out and the self-bargaining began, “OK, so if I run 10 min/miles for the next 7 miles I’ll be done in almost an hour?” In the middle of these thoughts I was passed by a very tall pro wearing a white kit with a dinosaur on the back of it (Doug MacLean). Wishing a dinosaur would eat me and put an end to this I made some comment about how poorly I was feeling to which he responded something along the lines of “dude its ironman, it always sucks and you are killing it!” With my suffering in perspective I kept plugging away, stopping at every aid station for either Coke or Gatorade. I knew I was losing it when I started throwing Red Bull in my face - an experience that definitely didn’t give me wings but did cause an acute loss of vision. At mile 22 I tried to pick up the pace but the legs weren’t responding. Running down the red carpet on Fourth Street live I saw myself on the overhead video and fed of the energy of hundreds of spectators banging on the railings and cheering me on – what a way to finish! Run feastings: 5 GU’s, 1 pack of clif blocks, and a lot of coke (800-900 calories – WAY more than I would have liked to have eaten but they were necessary).

No words

Soon after my finish I was joined by teammates James Defilippi, Corey Robinson, and Colin Martin. A heck of a day for Team Every Man Jack to have four athletes finish by 9:35. Even more exciting was that James Defilippi finished third in his age group and after FIVE ironman attempts (second this year) had qualified for Kona. James is a total class-act and a large part of the reason I was racing Louisville. It has been inspirational watching him train his butt off and I cant think of a guy more deserving of a Kona slot.

The night before the race James daughter looked up at him and said "Daddy, I think I'd like to go to Hawaii." Guess what Annie, you are going!

In all honesty, the reality of what I was able to accomplish last weekend is still setting in. I feel incredibly blessed to have had such a great experience at my first ironman distance race. Bri and I are very excited to go to Kona next fall and many of our family members have already expressed interest in joining. Importantly, I feel my experience at Louisville taught me a few lessons:
1)    Nutrition:
-       GU energy makes more than gels for a reason. At mile two of the run my nose caught a whiff of something that smelled like burgers sending my body searching for a four-course meal. The scientific data support the idea that the body can process around 90g of carbohydrate per hour (~360 calories per hour) during moderate intensity exercise. So while I’m pretty sure the number of calories I consumed on the bike was sufficient, perhaps I will supplement my gel arsenal with some tasty waffles/chomps to get in some solid food.
-       Race morning breakfast needs to be more substantial. I don’t think it makes much sense to take in any more calories on the bike because my body won’t be able to process them. I estimate I ate only about 500 calories for breakfast. In all honesty my nutrition before long training days was quite variable, ranging from a large bowl of mini-wheats and yogurt to a breakfast sandwich. Regardless, I think by taking in more calories for breakfast I can hopefully decrease the amount I need to eat on the run because to put it quite frankly putting down 300 calories per hour while trying to run sucks.
2)    Training:
-       Even with wedding/travel on two of the three weeks leading into Louisville I feel my training was pretty close to optimal. That being said, I REALLY wish I had done a longer run off of the bike. Most of my long rides (90-110 miles) were followed by shorter 20-30 minute runs at a hard effort (545-615 min/mile). I think the addition of a 60 mile ride with a 16 mile or so run off the bike at or faster than IM goal pace would have been very helpful. Coming into Louisville I had never run more than 13.1 off of the bike.
3)    Bike pacing:
-       I may or may not have over-biked a bit. My normalized power for the ride was 231 (3.6 w/kg and ~75% of estimated FTP – I haven’t done a test since January). I was shooting to be more in the range of 220-225. I feel my marathon could have been faster, although it’s hard to say if that was a nutrition or bike pacing thing.

This past week I have taken completely off and next week will probably look similar. It’s been nice sleeping in, drinking beers, and doing normal person things like going hiking with the family. As I reflect back on this past season I am amazed at what I have been able to accomplish. A huge debt of gratitude to Team Every Man Jack for bringing me on board three years ago and to my teammates who motivate and encourage me. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of our sponsors, Felt bicycles for providing me with a ride that makes over-biking worthwhile, Roka sports for a wetsuit that continually puts me in the front-pack, Garneau apparel for the best looking kits on the tri scene, Garmin for enough data to satisfy my OCD, BOCO gear for hats that keep us cool and looking sharp, Lululemon for comfortable clothes that allow me to turn my inner-basic bitch up an octave, and Ever Man Jack for helping me #cleanupnice after working out 2x a day for the past 10 months. Thank you to my family and friends for encouraging me all season long, your support means the world to me. Finally, thank you to my wife Briana for always being by my side, and for not getting angry when I ride the trainer at 5am in our 600-square foot studio.

Family hike at Mount Major yesterday