Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Power Bar review

As a neo- professional triathlete, I want to find things that I can do for companies that help both of us in a symbiotic manor. Now, many athletes say this, but I intend to help my sponsors to try and do as much for them as they have for me.

Because of this, I am going to start a performance review of sponsor (and non sponsor) products that should occur biweekly.

The first edition will be today consisting of some of the PowerBar products that I have raced with this year. 

As a member of the PowerBar Team Elite, I have been graciously allotted product from this awesome company.  Some of the kit I have received is incredible, including bike clothing, bags, and more, but really the most helpful has been all the nutritional aid from pre workout, during workout, and post workout recovery.

My before workout depends on the time of day, but for a morning workout, I like to try and have a regular PowerBar or some PowerBar Blasts.  This gives me the calories (and caffeine in the case of the Cola Blasts) to get through the workout, but not too much so I have to fight my stomach.  When digesting food, blood has to rush to your gut to digest, so the more complex the foods, the more blood needs to go there. If you add in working out, then there is a competition for blood between your muscles and your gut, thus creating the stomach ache.

I have found either of these with some PowerBar Perform during the workout are enough to get me through any workout that is 2-hours or less.  The workouts lasting longer than 2 hours require additional calories and simple sugars to sustain a good intensity.  I choose the PowerBar Double latte gels to get me through a higher intensity workout, or simply some more bars or blasts if I am doing a long and lower intensity bike ride.

 After a workout, it's important to combine carbohydrates and protein within 15 minutes of completion to maximize fuel absorption. 
I am a big fan of PowerBar restore drink mix as well as the cookies and cream recovery bars (something that I had not seen until I was sponsored by PowerBar,
but now everybody I know has tried them and loves them.

I look foward to another year of racing with PowerBar products and hope you have enjoyed the ones that I use daily in training and recovery.  Happy Training.

Friday, October 5, 2012

World Duathlon Champs/ Start of a new Season

First off, let me say that I initially had this post titled as the end of my first season as a pro, but decided that had too much of a negative connotation.  World Duathlon champs did not go as well as I would have liked, I ended up being hypernaturemic and cramping all over my legs and passing out. I was predictable disappointed and was quite honestly pissed off. I felt like I was robbed of an opportunity to perform well, but I was not robbed, I was the cause of my cramps- lack of planning on my part for international travel.  Instead of being super down on myself, I am taking this as a learning experience. Anywho, here's about the race.

View from the hotel

One of the tight 90 degree turns near transition to hit every lap
It was pretty sweet traveling to France to race, but at the same time, was TOUGH.  Adjusting to the time zone wasn't so bad, but being in a completely foreign country trying to get proper food, and talking to people was tough. Luckily, I had great teammates from team USA to hang out, ride, and run with.
Onto the race:
The first 10K went out hard, and because I was number 54, I started in the 5th or 6th row back of the start line, which was on cobblestones!  This plus the 5-10 thousand people cheering along the course (I have heard figured from both 5 to 10, thus the broad range!) Somebody spilled early in the race, but then around half mile in, I found myself next to Tim Don! I was pretty stoked, but I was also feeling a little in debt.  It was not so much the hard pace, but the 8 sharp 90 degree turns on the run that took away momentum and required hard accelerations that made me a hurtin' pup.  I ended up having a good last two laps and leading the group of  Mexican and two Belgians into T1.  We were only 13 seconds down of a huge pack, and with two strong Belgians, I figured that would be no problem.
First run

Bike pack shortly after transition before the hill.

The start of the race, compliments of ITU photography
We started out the bike hard, and got through the technical section near transition well and were already bridging the gap once we got to the first of two 180 degree turns. This is where my cramping started. I got a charlie horse in my calf and made it stuck in a plantar flexed position.  I forced my knee down but the muscle still was firing.  After drinking and coasting, the muscle chilled out enough, but then the cramps came back in all muscle groups on both legs.  All I remember is getting to the side of the road and then black.  Honestly, not much else to say on the subject, just a learning experience.  Other members of Team USA felt rough with cramps too, but these were much worse than the standard cramps you get in training.

Onto training for next season after a few weeks of just training how I feel and doing some things I wouldn't normally do such as mountain biking, basketball, football, etc. Would like to really thank all sponsors such as Powerbar, USAT Collegiate Recruitment Program, Bifferato Gentiloatti, and Delaware Orthopaedics as well as my coach, Brooks Doughty Until later!

Lastly I would like to thank my incredible family and friends for the support! Couldn't do it without my Mom, Grandparents, Aunt, who all helped me to get to France and all my incredible friends and girlfriend who encourage me when I'm out racing or training. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

USAT Elite Nationals/ Buffalo Pan American Cup 2012

My first elite national championship race!!! Needless to say, I was pretty stoked and a little bit jittery to get on the stage and race for a national title (and U23 title as it was a race within a race). Unfortunately, my day did not go as well as I hoped, but I learned a lot about myself during this race that I can take away.
Pre race strategy with Barb Lindquist, go USA!

I had an absolutely terrible swim, and my goggles were kicked off nearly immediately as I slipped on the pontoon.  I managed to make the pack to the first bouy, but then in the scrum was on the back end, but the choppy water thrashed me around, and I ended up just off the back of the fourth pack getting onto the bike. I swam 20:43, which was about 45 seconds slower than the people I swam with in Magog.  I know this isn't a good indication of my swimming ability, this was just not a great swim. I hadn't been feeling great leading up to the race in the water, then the immediate loss of goggles didn't help the matter. I know I need to continue swimming with a group this winter if I want to close that gap to the front pack.

During the bike, I rode the entire race solo, I caught 5 or 6 guys on the bike, but they weren't able to work with me, so I got some work TT'ing my way for 41.5 km (slightly long bike) with 15-20 mph winds. This was tough, but I know that even 6 months ago, I wouldn't have been strong enough on the bike to do this. I would have been lapped out most likely if I was solo on the bike, but I am a lot more confident with my biking ability (which is good as duathlon World Championships are in 1 week in France!!) Rode 66 minutes for the slightly long course with wind, on a road bike, so a very very hard effort.  In this video above, you can hear the announcer say that I was really working hard, and I really really appreciated this plus the crowd support that cheered hard for me every lap.

Getting off the bike, I knew I needed to run fast to try and make contact with some people.  I didn't bike that hard to have a completely slow run, but I also had never rode that hard for an hour, so my legs were trashed. I just tried to keep a solid cadence and pick off people.  I ran with fellow collegiate recruit, Sam Holmes for a little, then was really just picking other guys off. The run was very windy again, and my split of 36:40 is not fast by any stretch, but coming off such a hard bike, I am happy. I didn't give up today, and I pushed through a really rough situation. I finished up my first elite national championship as 15th American, 27th overall, and 5th U23 athlete. Not what I wanted, but it's a start and a motivation for the future!

I am off to France on Tuesday for World Duathlon Championships on Saturday.  I am super excited to be racing a world championship race, with the likes of Tim Don and other very notable athletes.  I'll be looking to help the USA team do as well as possible, and with many former collegiate runners on our team, we should fair pretty well!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Magog Pan American Continental Cup

Last weekend (July 22nd), I raced the Magog Continental Cup in Quebec, Canada.  This was my first race in an area where the general public did not speak English readily! The motel I stayed in was also a bit of a surprise with a very euro feel and a chicken coup outside!!

View from my room!
 I got to Canada Thursday evening around 6:30 pm, and did a short bike ride to preview the course.
 Although I ended up not riding the actual course, it was nice to spin the legs out after a 8 hour car ride!

Here is the swim venue- very nice 1500 meter course
The course was really awesome, a 5- loop, 40 kilometer bike ride on rolling hills with a 180 and a short, steep hill for the other turn around. I thought it suited me pretty well.

About the race:

Split was 19:29. Race best was 18:40. Race was a beach start with some water running, about 15" of physical dolphin diving and then swim. Got out really well, especially considering I don't particularly care for beach front starts with my short legs. About 400 meters in, I realized I was next to Dan Theleen, who I knew made the front pack in Dallas, so I figured I was in good position. Rounding the first turn bouy, there was a huge jostle where fists, feet, bows, everything was flying, and I think this is where the front 10-12 guys got away into clean water and opened up about 40 seconds on the chase group, which I was in. I was stoked to get out of the water with Dan T  as well as Alex Hinton, who just got third in Edmonton World Cup.

Love the "Sydney Bike racks"

Race was 25 miles, and I split 59:29 for it. Pretty solid for 5 loops of 5 miles with one very hard hill and the rest rolling. Got out of transition in second of my group, got in my shoes and we immediately started HAMMERING. I mean 28-30 mph pulls on the flats, and I was thinking this was pretty hard. We only made up about 10 seconds on the front pack after two laps of hammering, so we settled into a more manageable pace. I could kill the short steep hill as well as the rollers, but the 180 turn and subsequent sprints out of it were where I was feeling scared of getting dropped. Just thought "pain is temporary, and it is better to be in a group then off the back." We popped two guys off during the ride, and It finished as me, one guy from Mexico and 5 Canadians. We worked well together as a group pace lining the entire time.

Got off the bike and felt pretty tight. Tried to grab a water at each aid station, and at bare minimum pour it over my head. Was drinking some of it, but realized I was only worsening a side stitch if I drank any of it. Anyway, Three guys from my group took the 10K out hard, and I thought it was way too early to be red lining, and two of them came back to me. I neg. split the run pretty well. Could have run better, but my running training has been on the lower end due to the need to improve swimming and biking. This race was a step in the correct direction. 3rd American behind two solid guys, 13th overall beating numerous World Cup winners, and a top 10 U23 athlete from last year. Very happy with this starting to go in the correct direction and first ITU points!

Finishing up the run 13th overall, 3rd American

Monday, June 25, 2012

Philly Tri 2012

I finally had a triathlon where I was not going into it injured, with a broken bike, etc. etc.  I was extremely excited to race the Philly Triathlon as a pro this year because it's so close to where I live, I had a lot of friends and family come out to support my race.  I knew going into the race it would be a really really fast field, especially in the swim. There were the usual studs in the race such as returning champion, Andy Potts, as well as Cam Dye, Matty Reed, and more.  Just to have the opportunity to race alongside these guys is incredible for me. 

I ended up finishing 12th for male pros in the race- a result that is good, but I know I have to keep improving if I really want to pursue this sport.  It is encouraging that I am still young, but that is not an excuse I want to use.  I want to get to the point where I can win races like this, so I have a tough road ahead, but I am excited about my progress. 

To the race:
Got up at 3:30 AM, did a 10 miute run shake out, had coffee, bagel with peanutbutter and a banana. Drive the 35 minutes to race course and got to transition around 5:00 AM. Did a 15 minute bike to make sure everything was in order gear wise, etc. Got on a bus to the start at 5:30 (bus driver subsequently got lost but still got to the start by 6:00 AM for a 6:30 start. Did another 5 minute run plus drills before the short swim warm up we were given. Felt ready to go. Had a Power Bar double latte caffeine gel about 90 minutes before the start.

My first thought in the swim was oh Jeez Andy Potts will fly out of the gate- not true. This was the nicest swim start I've encountered in awhile. I would contribute this to both the fact that I have been swimming in excess of 24KM/week long course and it not being an ITU race. I was very comfortable in the swim. Unfortunately, I followed the wrong person's feet and ended up to the far right in a slower swim pack. I ended up leading that pack out of the water with Australian Pellow and Nick Early. I think I could have easily swam 30 seconds faster if I had stayed in the group to the left. This was more of a sighting error. Spit was 18:18 with less of a current than last year plus leading a group comfortably. 


 The bike was tough as I knew I had ground to make up, and the Philly course is twisty, you can't really see how close the others are to you. I felt great on the climbs and would make up considerable ground on Nick during the climbs. The descents, I lost some ground, and pretty much was even on the flats where we would be hammering 27-29 mph to make up for the slow uphills. Actually misunderstood the stagger rule. I thought you always had to be BOTH 10 meters behind and 2 meters to the side, so there were times I would drop back while biking because I did not think I could just ride 2 meters beside them. I learned that lesson now and won't forget. There are definitely differences between ITU racing, which is akin to track intervals, and non drafting- more similar to a hard 1- hour tempo run. Overally, my 1:02 split was OK at best.  I know my bike strength still has a way to come, but I was pretty happy with the result.

Courtesy of Mark Hannagan

I started out the run hard to make up ground. I quickly caught up to some stragglers and focused on Dan Eckel and Nick Early. I think I tried to make up too much ground the first 2 miles, because I slowed the second two miles with some leg cramping. Nothing major, but I was digging deep. Overall, all the run splits were slower than last year's because (I assume) the heat. I felt like I fought the whole way, and am happy with it, but not content.
35:07 for 10K split- only the top 4 pros out split me, but still was not as tough (cough cough pansie) in the middle 2 miles a little bit.

I have to thank my incredible sponsors as well as friends and family for supporting me.  Power Bar, Kiwami, Trigger Point Therapy, Middletown Bike Line, Delaware Orthopaedics, Bifferato Gentiloatti for helping me get to races prepared.
Courtesy of Frankie Feitzman

Thanks for the picture Mom

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dallas ITU, LavaLove Triathlon, Worlds

I had a pretty busy last couple weeks of racing, getting back into shape, and starting practice with Blue Hen Aquatics every morning. I did get some incredible news that I will be representing the USA for the ITU Elite World Duathlon Championships in Nancy, France this coming September.  I am also stoked that my fellow collegiate recruits Jason Pederson and Chris Baird would be racing there as well.  I am beyond excited to race internationally in a world championship race.  But to recap my last two races:

Dallas ITU Pan American Cup: Well this race did not go as planned, but I honestly was a little worried before it even started.  I had only about 3- weeks of training before this race after my knee injury, which abated all biking and running for almost a month. I had a solid swim in Dallas, and was only about 45 seconds off the lead pack.  I am confident that after a summer swimming with Blue Hen Aquatics, I will close that gap, and be in the main pack.  I immediately felt my lack of power while biking- I just could not close the gaps I needed between groups, and got spit out the back.  I rode in the 100 degree heat with strong wind in one direction, and the race went downhill from there.  I just tried to put this race behind me and get back to steady training.

Here is the group of former Division 1 runners warming up (courtesy of Jason's Dad):

One week following the Dallas race, I drove the 2- hours to Lavalette, NJ to attempt to defend my title at my first triathlon I raced when I switched sports.  I love the races Jersey Shore Multisport puts on, they are great family atmospheres, fun, exciting short races that always have good challenges. The race director, Chris Wilcoz, asked me to come back to race again this year, and I was excited to race.  The day before the race, my new Coach, Brooks Doughty, assigned me to swim with UD's team, (6K), bike a steady 30 minutes, then had 7 miles of running intervals where I was running between 4:40- 5:00 pace for the 5 miles of workout.  I knew I would be tired coming into this race, but was still excited to challenge myself. I also had an awesome home stay from the Costello family, and Mr. Costello provided me with the pictures below.

The swim started in rough waters, with large waves.  I actually can say I finally enjoyed an open water swim.  I am feeling strong in the water, and was very comfortable in the choppy water.

It was a wetsuit legal swim about 0.45 miles in Barnegate Bay.  I got out hard, and found myself near the front at the first bouy.  There was one guy who got a good sized gap on the group, and I did not even see him.  Because I thought we were the lead group,  I just relaxed and sat in for the swim, exiting the water in 3rd overall- about 15 seconds down on the leader.  After T1, I hopped on my TT bike and got into my shoes after biking over a small bridge hill.  I quickly made the pass to get into second place behind the leader.  I got my first split on the 3- lap course, and still was 10 seconds down.  I was hammering pretty hard on tired legs over 26 mph, so I decided I would just try to maintain 2nd with only a 10ish second lead, and let the run play out.  By the end of the bike, I got off only 10 seconds behind the lead feeling very comfortable.

I caught the leader about 1/4 of a mile into the run, and just tried to maintain good form and keep my cadence high during the run.  At the first turn around, I saw I had about a minute on second place.  I just tried to run comfortably and enjoy the remainder of the run.  By this point in the race, there was a pretty solid crowd of people standing outside their beach houses, so it was a lot of fun to get all the cheers.  I came home in 20:50 for the 3.9 mile run course, a time I was happy about considering the hard intervals I ran the day before.


Following the race, I had a great time at the awards, and cheering the others in.  They also have some of the best tacos for post race meals.  I am pretty happy with my efforts from the day, and excited to race in Philly in two weeks.  There will be some of the best racing there including Craig Alexander, Matty Reed, Cam Dye, Andy Potts, and more; it's great to race the best.  Until then, I will be putting time in the bank training.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lava Swim 2012

Over memorial day weekend, most of the pools around where I live would be closed to lap swimming and open to the throngs of kids getting out of school and ready to play for the summer.  I am familiar with this from my years as a lifeguard, and I love it, but not with the purposes of training.  Because of this, I opted to go to the Jersey Shore and race a 2.4 mile open water race. Below is a brief race report:

I got up at 4:45 AM and left my house by 5 for about a 2- hour drive to the Jersey Shore (literally about 1 mile from where the show with Snookie and "The Situation" was filmed.  (On a side note, I feel like this post will get some odd links from google with people searching for Jersey Shore related topics- if you are one of those people- sorry, at least I am 50% Italian!)

After driving through some torrential rain and thunder showers, I got to the beach and the weather had calmed down to just rain.  The water was about 68 degrees, so almost everybody wore wetsuits (myself included).  I was not sure honestly how deep the field would be, nor how fast I could swim 2.4 miles. I started out slightly harder just to get clear of the group.  After about 50 meters, I was in third overall and just clear of any thrashing.  The top two guys were going after it, and I was not confident in my ability to red line for 2.4 miles.  I settled in and just focused on sighting.  I did get a little help at a sand bar where I took advantage of dolphin dives to change up muscle groups as well as the fact that they are much faster than normal swimming. Before the second lap, I was passed and was sitting on the feet of the guy in 4th.  I pretty much keyed off him the entire second loop as we navigated through many of the 1.2 mile swim racers (who were started 15 minutes after we started).  After a few thoughts about how damn long this felt, I resigned to just relax and focus on keeping my stroke even until the last bouy, where I'd make one last attack.  When I finally got to the last bouy, I took a few hard strokes to pull up on 4th, then I used a few well timed dolphin dives to get onto shore faster.  After the race, the guy behind me asked if I swam in college, which I took as a huge compliment because a year ago at this time I was pretty much just a collegiate runner who once upon a time ran. 

Results were here:

The swim was probably short (the race director, Chris Wilcox, said he believes with the storms, the bouys were short to about 2.2 miles.   I believe that along with the helpful currents, aided in the extremely fast times.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

USAT Collegiate Nationals 2012

Going into this race, I had a feeling I was in for an interesting weekend. For the three and a half weeks prior to racing, I had not been able to run or bike without a lot of pain. Thankfully, with lots of stretching, I was able to get to the start line. I got down to Tuscaloosa, Al the Friday before the race to find my ITU road bike (courtesy of USA triathlon) had been cracked irreparably by the shipping company, and my bike box was destroyed! This was the icing on the cake, injury plus broken bike, all I could say was wow. I tried to keep my mind positive despite planning on focusing on the short draft legal relay since I knew my knee was not up to par to do a full OD triathlon. Ironically, it was the bike I needed to use for that relay that got broken.. so I was left to scramble and try to find a replacement. Thankfully, Korey from N. C. State came through in the clutch and let me borrow his.

The OD race: I started the swim with the full knowledge that I would probably not be able to complete or race competitively. This was partially realistic, but also too negative of an attitude to have- and is something I can't let happen again. After having a sub par swim and exiting my wave about 16th, I got on the bike and felt okay at first, riding with a  group keeping the average over 25 mph. However, around 10K into the ride (1/4t of the total) I felt my knee seize up, and all the muscles were making my knee track incorrectly. I had to just ride back into town, and relinquish my goal of winning collegiate nationals in 2012. Very tough decision, but something I had come to copes with before leaving for the race when I could not even bend my knee the Thursday before the race.

The Draft legal relay: This was honestly a perfect way to cap off the weekend. Although my team had some tough times with cramping, I was really happy to have the 6th overall fastest leg with the fastest run split overall.  Using Korey's bike was great, except my cleats did not fit into the pedals, so I basically rode without much efficiency (as shown by my disproportionately slow bike split), I am confident I could have ridden with anybody that day if I had my own bike, and possibly a pack to work with. I was super happy to finish the weekend with plenty of new friends from N. C. State, and get home to try and heal my knee before Dallas Continental Cup in early June, where I will be attempting to earn a birth to Under 23 World championships this coming October!

My relay team for the first ever collegiate draft legal relay
My poor Blue RC4 frame. Put a damper on the race upon arrival.

Plus the bike box. Ouch, they are pretty sturdy usually.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Injury and Moving On

This will be a short post about the events leading up to my preparations for Collegiate Nationals 2012. About 4 weeks before the event, I did a long run on a knee that was hurting right over the patella. After the run, the ensuing days were very painful, and I have still been unable to run/bike on a regular basis. On the bright side, I have had a monstrous swim block with all my weeks over 30K, and have seen times drop precipitously. I leave in two days for collegiate nationals in Alabama, and have honestly never gone into a race feeling like this. I am not sure if I will be able to ride/run at all, let alone at the pace necessary to win this race.

Here is a link from USAT about the race:

I hope to not disappoint, but am trying to prepare myself for anything. I will still go into this race with as much focus as possible, and actually am seeing a doctor this afternoon to try and find a way to race with less pain. This has been a tough time, but with the requisite time off training, it makes me realize how lucky I am that i can train, and it makes me appreciate those 5:30 AM alarms because you are getting out of bed to do something you love.

Injuries are part of sport (albeit not the best part), so I will try and handle this in the best way I can. Good luck to all those competing this weekend, I am excited because I have heard such good things about the atmosphere, so I can't wait.

Sweet picture from Taylor Knight of the lead bike pack early in the race.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lake Lure "Race" and Injury

This last weekend in March, I drove down to Lake Lure, NC to race in the first ever all collegiate draft legal triathlon. I originally was not planning on doing this race, but I really liked the idea behind building draft legal racing for athletes in the US. I drove down the Wednesday before the race, but since the previous Sunday had not been able to ride or run due to (I believe) some pre patellar bursitis from crashing the week before in a bike race. I was just hoping the knee would get better through the trip, and I would be able to race. By race morning, it was slightly better, but still compromised. I figured I would just do as much as I could before pulling out. The swim went pretty well, and I was glad I got some wetsuit open water practice in before collegiate nationals. The beach start is not my favorite, but I can always use practice. There was a mad dash at the start, but for the first time in awhile I found myself at the front of the group by the first bouy. The two lap swim put me in second overall in a nice breakaway with another athlete who had draft legal experience as a junior. Below are videos from the start and the beginning of the bike. After 5 or the 10 laps on the bike (each lap was 1.55 mi long with a 600 meter hill at 12% gradient, and a screaming downhill), I had to pull out as I could feel my knee getting progressively worse. I did not want to compromise collegiate nationals in a few weeks where I hope to earn a birth to World University Games. The organization of the race was great considering they had to change location in January, and swiftly changed the race to the sweet mountain town of Lake Lure, NC. The course was a little dangerous for my liking though with such a severe downhill and speed bumps at the bottom. I was very upset to swallow my pride and stop riding while in the lead group, but knew it was for the better. Long term thinking is what I needed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Clermont Pan Am Cup

Here is my race report from Clermont Continental Cup from March 3rd. I got down to Florida Thursday night, did a nice course preview with the collegiate recruitment program Friday morning, then started the race saturday around 2:30 pm.

Here is Jason Peterson and me doing some of the swim exit.. Lot of water running there!
Pre race: Got up naturally at 8:30 am and had a light breakfast and did a short run to shake out, and felt great.
Warmed up a little more on the bike once I got to race site and then more even in the swim. Race got underway about 30 minutes late. Should have had a powerbar gel before the start, because I was low on energy/electryolytes by the end. Sat near a few brits before the race, and they were hilarious.
Swim: Washing machine, started out on a sandbar about 100 m into the water. The horn surprised me, and I was quickly punched on both sides by people dolphin diving. I tried a mix of dolphin dives, runs, clammoring, and swimming to stay in the mix. Should have been more aggressive, because I was relegated to the back of the pack, and eventually was on the side of the pack- not getting a draft. After second bouy, I was at the back of the main pack and pretty comfortably swimming there. Soon we started the sand bar shuffle again and heart rate jacked up pretty high. Finished the swim next to pretty much teammate Jason Peterson, and figured we'd be set to ride in the main group.
T1: Get to my bike.. my bike shoe was still rubber banded to my bike but shoe was off pedal! O snap. Really had to think on my toes here and tried to not panic. I lost the main pack solely because of this. Damn, bad luck. Also was frenzied that when I got the rubber band off and shoe on my foot, got a penalty for early mount.

Bike: Caught the stragglers quickly, but was a lot stronger of a rider than them, so ended up pulling harder and longer than our small 4- man group. Caught another guy for 5, but we were still losing time to the main group of 20+. Felt good technically and was recovered quickly after my pulls, so I know I can go a lot faster and hang with that main pack.

These are two videos of the small bike group I was in through transition on laps 2 and 3

T2: no hiccups

Run: Got out of the gates hard, but immediately knew I was going to be in for a survival type run. 2 loop course on an out and back, on the first out, I dropped my whole group, but started to hurt and a Swedish guy gaped me (he was doing 0 work on the bike). I took my penalty after lap 1 and immediately cramped up in my right abdomen. It hurt a lot and really hampered the second loop. Was just trying to focus on the finish. Got in, and laid down for awhile.

OKAY overall result. Good that I finished the race, not lapped out, and I maintained control after my shoe was not on my bike. Would have been very easy to lose focus and quit, but that was a long way to travel to do that. Biked solidly, and am glad the rust has been busted. Am looking forward to Collegiate nationals to contend for the win. Clermont didn't show a great race for me, and it is motivation. "He who has nothing to lose stands to gain everything."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Big Training Block

I haven't posted anything in awhile, so I thought  I would take a chance to talk about my most recent training block during the month of January and early February. This was my biggest base period ever, and encompassed all three sports fairly evenly. I firmly believe a huge base will get you 90% of the way to your potential, and is completely necessary if you want to sustain a triathlon season from March until October!

Some of my personal obstacles during a huge block like this include the affinity I have to over- train. I will admit, I am easily caught up in huge numbers, and have worked toward breaking that problem. During my sophomore season of track (2011), I did not race to my potential because I was too concerned with 100- mile weeks, and not resting up for races. I am trying to accommodate this by taking serious down weeks every 3-4 weeks. Here are some examples of my winter workouts. You can feel free to message me if you have any questions on training for triathlon.

The swim: During January, my goal was to get myself as close as I could to where I was when I quit swimming at age 17. I managed to average 25K/week in the pool. I absolutely am not a fan of swimming alone, but most of this yardage was logged solo. When I did get the chance to swim with a masters group on the occasional Saturday morning, I was able to throw down a 3:09 300 free at the end of a 4k long practice. Competition really makes it so much easier. I believe I am getting close to my high school self, when I could break 5:00 for the 500. I attribute this to a leap I made in terms of making much more of my yardage quality at a 1:10 pace/100 for shorter stuff or up to 1:15 for 1500 repeats (which also help mentally). I put a lot of emphasis on stroke technique during the summer (and also maxed out around 13K for swimming). Both the increase in volume and intensity has helped my swim a lot.

The Bike: I realized last year that biking was my weakness (which made sense since it was the only sport I hadn't done extensively before). By the end of the season, I could time trial pretty well as shown at AG nationals and Nation's Triathlon, but my ITU opener was lackluster in the bike leg (as well as the broken wrist!). To address these, I have tried to log upwards of 200 miles/week on the bike keeping 2 days higher quality and a longer 3-4 hour ride on weekends. I try to ride with groups as often as possible for ITU simulations, but it is tough in Delaware as a lot of people go indoors for the winter. I am much happier with my bike fitness and bike handling at this point then ever before.

The run: This has been going great for me. I averaged 66 miles/week during January, and consistently had 2 hard days/week plus a long run of 15-17 miles. I was able to run a great bike/run brick session with the hard run segments being 2 miles, 1 mile, 1 mile, 1 mile and keep them all below 5:10 pace, and all the miles at least 5 minute pace. This bodes well for me as I haven't done a lot of specificity below 5 minute pace. I have some time to address the speed, which is something I always have had to work on. I am excited to run off the bike in Clermont in 2 weeks and put up a great race.

Also, I came across this video recently from my first (and last) conference cross country race I am in the white Delaware singlet with Blue shorts in the lead group (for the first 3 of 4 laps):

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A few cool things

The past week has been a whirlwind for me, but in a great way. It started out when magazine asked to have an interview with me. They published it online the following week, and can be found at this link.

I also had a friend, teammate, and fellow runner, Mark Hannagan make a "how to" movie for his photography class. He used me as the 'talent' for a how to train for triathlon video. It is really well done especially considering it's his first video.

How to Train like a Professional Triathlete from ART 280 Video Site on Vimeo.

Lastly, I acquired a number of new sponsors, all listed in the post below. I am extremely grateful to all of these fantastic companies, and am honored to align myself with them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Sponsors for 2012

I am very pleased, honored, and excited to announce that I will be working with Power Bar, CycleOps and Kiwami this upcoming season. The final logistics are still being finalized, but I am excited to use CycleOps power tools, including their new heart rate based power meter. Also, I have competed in the Kiwami Amphibian suit, which is an incredibly fast suit. I am very excited to be partnering with these two excellent companies. For anybody that knows me, I eat a lot, and love power bars, so it only made sense to work with Power Bar team elite for the next two years!

Also, a local law firm, Bifferato Gentilotti Law will be a chief financial sponsor for the coming year. I am working hard to be the best at triathlon, and they are the some of the best attourneys in town. I am so ever grateful for their help, as it is impossible to get into triathlon without financial help. In addition to this law firm, I have Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists financially backing me. Dr. Townsend, at Delaware Ortho, was the doctor that performed the surgery to fix my wrist. i am deeply grateful for both these companies.
I am also greatly thankful for personal friends that have provided support to me in any shape. I cannot begin to thank them enough!

Bifferato Gentilotti Law Firm

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Icicle 10 Miler

This morning I made my 2012 race debut! It was a fun 10 mile race called the PSIC Icicle 10 Miler, and I went to the race with my training partner, Andy Weaver. The course is one of the hilliest in Delaware,
and it tends to fall on the coldest and windiest day all year! This was no disappointment to the rough conditions. Race time temperature was 22 degrees and swirling winds.
 Below is my race report for the race and will have more pictures to come.

Registering bright and early

Deej, Weaver, and myself at 1 mile (4:57 downhill)

2 mile shake out at 6:10 with Weaver, 2 mile warm up, some drills, 3 minutes at tempo effort about 10 minutes before the gun.

Deej took the first 2 miles out hard. I felt comfortable, but was weary as I've never raced 10 miles before. He would surge downhills and my quads (and downhill form) were not happy. He and Weaver gapped me during the very uphill 4th mile, I just lost concentration, and they were up the road. Didn't let them slip away, and kept them in sight for most of the run. Was 20 seconds down to 

Deej at 7 miles and 40 to Weaver. The last 2 miles were screaming downhill except this awful hill right before the finish. Happy with the overall result, stayed in the race after being dropped and never gave up. The last 2 miles could have been better- never have been a great downhill runner and these 2 definitely revealed that weakness. 
Weaver and myself Post Race w/ awards from PSIC
Cooled down a VERY slow 20 minutes after. DRC racing team swept 1-4 spots on the podium and the top 3 all broke the existing course record of 54:03. Splits:
5:32= (26:44 half way)
5:35= 53:52

After the race, I slept awhile and headed to the pool for 5.5K at night. I was happy with this season opener, and excited to get back to racing especially after watching the Olympic Trials marathon yesterday. Will need a lot of time on the trigger point therapy grid/recovery kit as well as zoot recovery tights to get back at training tomorrow!