Thursday, April 29, 2010

More St. Anthony's - I Make the Cover of St. Petersburg Times

Somehow I ended up on the front page of the St. Petersburg Times. They got my best side, my back. Kevin, the owner of Gear West Bike and Triathlon, knows someone who lives in the St. Petersburg area and they apparently get the local paper. That person noted the person wearing the "GW" tri top underneath thier partially zipped/unzipped wetsuit. That person scanned in the front page and sent it to Kevin, who then passed it on to me. This shot is pre-race. I appear to be putting the suit on and enjoying the sunrise. Both funny and cool at the same time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

St. Anthony's Triathlon - First Race of the Season = Done!

So, for the 3rd year in a row I participated in St. Anthony's Triathlon, and visited my mom and stepdad. This year, something new, Jackie came with, which made the trip even better.
We got there Wed night, Thursday we hungout around my mom's retirement community, and Friday I went for a short bike ride (Shipped bike through UPS from Gear West, shipping UPS was a great idea. More expensive to ship from UPS store in FL to MN, but still great idea) in the morning and then we went to St. Augustine and hungout for the day. We checked out the fort and the shops in St. Augustine. It was a good day.
On Saturday we all drove down to St. Petersburg and I got my registration stuff and put the bike in transition. Getting registration done at St. Anthony's is fast and easy. They have a great system and putting the bike in the night before works awesome. After putting the bike in, we went to the hotel and relaxed, out for dinner, and then back to the hotel to shave and go to sleep.
I was up on Sunday before 4AM. I had a banana, water, some Gatorade, a Clif Bar (the blueberry crunch), and a granola bar. Got packed up and headed to the race site.
Went to the bike and setup my transition area, pictured. By the time I was setup and out of transition I still had over an hour until race time. Which is fine by me.
I hung out with my Jackie, my mom, and stepdad for a bit. I got nervous about my transition area so I went back in and checked my gear to make sure everything was ok, which it was. I came out and got some sunblock put on and made the long walk to the start line. It takes about 20 minutes or so to walk from the transition area to the start line. Too much time to think.
On the way there, David Thompson ran by me and as he did tapped me on the shoulder and wished me luck. I was kind of "in my head" as he did it. I gave him one back after I woke up, and he had quickly jogged past me.
At the beach/starting area, I got my wetsuit on and went in the water for a little swim. Came out, wandered around, and went for a little swim. I watched the pros start and then headed to the entrance of the start. My plan was to stick towards the back of the swim start and then work my way up during the swim. I wanted to be on the outside and I thought I was near the outside at the start, until the gun went off and I started swimming. I looked up to find myself headed straight for the first buoy. Going along the pier the water was calm, except for all the traffic I stuck myself in. I basically swam right along the buoys the whole race, this was unintentional and I am still not sure if it was good or not. After the first turn, past the end of the pier, the water was choppy and coming from behind. I swallowed some water, but nothing I could not deal with. After the first turn, going parallel to shore, the traffic also died out and made swimming in the chop easier. Coming around the last turn to shore, the water got even worse, and the traffic did also. Now the chop was coming from the back and left and people from previous waves were in the mix. The chop was heavy coming back into the swim finish. I felt like I was boxing rather than swimming. At no time did I stop swimming or go to a different stroke. In the end, I was faster than two years ago when the water was much, much calmer. I guess I am getting my swimming down.
Transition was kind of slow. To be expected for the first transition of the year. My biggest issue is socks and that I am still not confident enough to get on the bike with shoes on pedals already. So, I put on socks and shoes and run out, stop, get on bike, and go.
The bike course is fairly flat and the traffic was not too bad. The wind was terrible. It seemed to be switching directions and battering. I went out the first 5 miles kind of easy and then picked it up. The last 5-6 miles were primarily a tailwind, but I felt almost cashed by the end. Also, about 5 miles in my right arm pad fell off my aerobars, this made for an uncomfortable race. I had switch arm position to keep my right forearm from getting to sore or cramped.
My only goal for the run was to finish. I was so worried about the left leg, I felt like I was running on a piece of china. I started off at an easy jog and picked up to a light run. I felt no pain in the leg during the run. What a huge relief! I had pain elsewhere during the run, calves, quads, and some cramps in my right abdoment. At each water stop I took a little and poured a lot over my head and back. Not that hot outside, but pretty humid. First hard bike and then run had a definite affect on me. I made it through the run in less than an hour with no walking, this was much better than expected.
I think I got through the hardest race of the year ok. I was very happy with the day. The only real disappoint was the bike, I really wanted to go over 21MPH. I think I needed to attack more and I did not. Oh well, there will be plenty more races this year. Below are my times for this year and previous years at this race. I am really pumped for the rest of the races this year.
2010 St. Anthony's Times
Swim (1.5K) = 29:36 (1:49 /100yds)
T1 = 3:12
Bike (40K) = 75:10 (19.8MPH)
T2 = 2:27
Run (10K) = 58:33 (9:27 /mi)
Total = 2:48:56
Overall = 1264/3192
Age Group = 156/287

2009 St. Anthony's Times
Swim = NA, cancelled due to roughness
T1 = NA
Bike = 70:43 (21.1MPH)
T2 = NA
Run = DNF
Total = DNF due to stress fracture

2008 St. Anthony's Times
Swim = 30:58 (1:53 /100yds)
T1 = 3:38
Bike = 71:48 (20.8MPH)
T2 = 3:42, crashed bike coming into T2
Run = 52:54 (8:31 /mi)
Total = 2:42:57
Overall = 1258/3350
Age Group = 121/231

Sunday, April 11, 2010

2010 Playlist for Racing and Training

First of all, I don't listen to my iPod when running or biking outside. Too dangerous. Especially running up and down Grand and Summit. I think you need to hear and see what is going on with all the traffic. Personally, I think riding with headphones on is kind of dumb.
Anyway, enough preaching, a long way back I posted my "Racing and Training" playlist. The songs I listen to when on the trainer (honestly, usually, I watch TV shows on the internet that I missed at some point during the week or movies when on the trainer at home), at the gym (currently LA Fitness), in the car before a race, or when I want to get pumped up. Below is my current "Racing and Training" playlist. I am just going to list song title and artist. If you want to know the album, you know how to use the internet.
1. All Fired Up - Interpol
2. Mind Eraser, No Chaser - Them Crooked Vultures
3. Catch Hell Blues - The White Stripes
4. Checkered Floor - Silversun Pickups
5. Keep the Car Running - The Arcade Fire
6. Young Man - In Living Colour
7. Bandoliers - Them Crooked Vultures
8. Ladyfingers (Kurt's Guaranteed Every Time Mix) - Luscious Jackson
9. Push It - Garbage
10. Ring-A-Ling - Black Eyed Peas
11. Long Division - Death Cab for Cutie
12. The Royal We - Silversun Pickups
13. Dead End Friends - Them Crooked Vultures
14. Why I Am - Dave Matthews Band
15. Not Even Jail - Interpol
16. Imma Be - Blacked Eye Peas
17. Naked Eye (Tony's Magic Mix) - Luscious Jackson
18. Low - Foo Fighters
19. Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go) - Garbage
20. Judas Cradle - Sugar
21. Sweepstakes (feat. Mos Def and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble) - Gorillaz
22. Fog vs. Mould For the Length of Love - Interpol
23. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
24. Run Baby Run - Garbage
25. Gunman - Them Crooked Vultures
26. Why Do I Lie? (Pants on Fire Mix) - Luscious Jackson
27. The Pretender - Foo Fighters
28. Seven - Dave Matthews Band
29. Mammoth - Interpol
30. Unthought Known - Pearl Jam
31. Behind the Sun - Living Colour
32. Nervous Breakthrough (Thievery Corporation Remix) - Luscious Jackson
33. No One Loves Me & Neither Do I - Them Crooked Vultures
34. It's Nice to Know You Work Alone - Silversun Pickups
35. Party All the Time - Silversun Pickups
36. Til the Day I Die - Garbage
37. Future Foe Scenarios - Silversun Pickups
38. In Your Honor - Garbage
39. Bring It On - Seal
40. Whole Lotta Losin' - Monsters of Folk

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Product Review 22 - Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance - 5 Step Plan for Endurance Athletes by Matt Fitzgerald

Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance [Book]

This is my first book review for the blog. It is the first book review I have ever written. Is a book review the same as a book report. If so, then the last time I wrote a book report was high school. Here it goes.

This is the first book I have read about diet and racing/training. I was going to write exercise instead of racing/training, but the book does more than discuss it in the context of exercise. I specifically bought this book because I am interested in losing about 10 pounds for race season. For someone who is an active triathlete, or other endurance athlete, this book is appropriate because it discusses nutrition within the context of training and racing. I think if you are active in any endurance sport, all of your nutrition needs to be considered within the context of your sport since they are so dependant upon each other.

The author, Matt Fitzgerald, is a marathon runner, triathlete, and certified sports nutritionist. He is contributor to Bicycling and Runner’s World and senior editor of Triathlete magazine. He is also a featured coach for Training Peaks and

The book is broken into 14 chapters with an appendix that consists of recommended strength exercises for endurance athletes. In the introduction, the three parts that make up the chapters are laid out. The three parts consist of, “Finding Your Racing Weight”, “Five Steps to Your Racing Weight”, and “The Racing Weight Menu”. Many of us who have been active in endurance sports for awhile will read the five steps and think, “duh”, but they are things we either take for granted or don’t think about enough. So it is nice to see them laid out and discussed in depth. The five steps consist of, “Improve Your Diet Quality”, Balance Your Energy Sources”, Time Your Nutrition”, Manage Your Appetite”, and “Train Right”. Based on the five steps, you can tell this is not a diet book, it does discuss different, for lack of a better word, “fad” diets. It discusses both the good and bad points of those “fad” diets.

The book is about nutrition taken in the context of training and racing, and contains many references to studies that have been performed to test nutrition and training experiments. I like that the author references studies and doesn’t just reference studies that validate a point, but also points to studies that had no effect or the opposite effect than what was intended. Since it is not a diet book, but a nutrition book, it is more a discussion of recommendations on eating for performance. I am not going to go into any chapter in detail in this review, but there is a chapter on “Nutrient Timing” that discusses what and when to eat before, during, and after training or racing. Nutrient timing is looked at using both specific examples and from the standpoint of how the body uses nutrients when training and racing.

The book discusses racing weight considerations for not only triathlon, but running, biking, swimming, rowing, and cross-country skiing and what consideration have to be made for each individual sport. There is a chapter titled “What the Pros Eat” that gives a snapshot of a daily nutrition intake for pro athletes in triathlon, cycling, rowing, running, swimming, and cross country skiing. There is also a chapter that has recipes and these recipes are supplied by Pip Taylor, a pro triathlete who has an education in sports nutrition and writes the nutrition column for Triathlete magazine. There is also a chapter on supplements that discusses 7 different supplements that the author thinks are of important.

When it comes to books on nutrition, training, and/or racing I tend to read them and pick and choose what I need from them, which I think is something a lot of us do and that is how many books are written. We all have different requirements as athletes and most of us cannot follow a general plan laid out in a book, so we take what we think we need from them and build or own plan.. I think this book is a good reference book, it contains a lot of good information that a person can go back to and use throughout their season, and that is how I plan on using this book for my racing and training needs.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Product Review 21 - Finis Tempo Trainer

The Finis Tempo Trainer (price $27 – $40) is a small circular device that resembles a watch without a band. It fits into clip that clips onto goggle bands. The tempo trainer is a metronome that emits a beep at a user set interval and aids the swimmer in keep a constant pace. The beep interval is set as seconds per stroke. I went to the Finis website ( and watched the how-to-use video which was very useful for understanding how best to use the device. In the video they explain how to attach the device to your goggle strap and they mention putting it under the swim cap. I normally don’t swim with a swim cap on and I tried to use it without a swim cap. The tempo trainer fell off twice while swimming without a cap. When swimming with a cap, it did not fall off. I highly recommend wearing a cap as directed in the video. I also recommend that once the holder is clipped onto the goggle strap, do not remove the holder when changing settings. If you need to change settings and look at the tempo trainer while doing it, remove the tempo trainer from the holder, leaving the clip in place. It is hassle to clip the holder back on while in the water.

There are only two buttons on the device. One button increases the beep frequency, one button decreases the beep frequency, and pushing both buttons at once turns it off. It required some reps to determine the frequency for my “normal” swim pace. I started at about 1 sec/beep, or sec/stroke, the default setting, and found that about 0.90-0.95 sec/stroke was the best setting when swimming at a normal pace. My normal distance per stroke in a 25 yard pool is about 19-21 per length. If you look at my 50 yard time (if I were doing a pace to do 20-30x50) and you do the math with the 19-21 strokes per length, 0.90- 0.95 sec/stroke, plus flip turn, it works out very close to my average time. In the video they talk about the usefulness of the tempo trainer in maintaining a faster than normal pace. I found this to be very true. I did a set of 4 x (200 with 20sr, 150 with 20sr, 100 with 20sr, 50 sprint with 60sr), where each set of 4 lengths gets progressively faster. I started the tempo trainer at 0.95 sec/stroke for the first set and did the last set at 0.70 sec/stroke. The beeping of the tempo trainer kept me focused on my stroke and kept me moving at a consistent pace, where normally I might be more likely to drop off in the final set. When using the tempo trainer I found that I had to set the frequency and start swimming and let my stroke fall into place with the frequency. I found that if I concentrated on the beep of the tempo trainer I would end up with an awkward stroke. Also, by concentrating on my stroke I found that my stroke performance improved.

The tempo trainer has a second function, which I did not use, and that is you can set the timer to a total time that you want to swim a distance in, for example if you want to swim 500 yards in 7 minutes, you set it to that time and it beeps at a frequency to keep you on pace for that distance and time.

I found the Finis Tempo Trainer to be a surprisingly useful training tool. I think some patience is required to initially use the tempo trainer, but I think once you are used to using the device it can be extremely useful for improving swim speed and distance per stroke.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Product Review 20 - Speedo Active Goggles - Air Seal Tri Mirror

Admittedly, I have not used Speedo goggles in the last year. I had a number of different pairs of Speedo goggles in the past and had fit problems, leak problems, and fog problems. So, I looked forward to trying out a new pair of Speedo goggles tailored to triathletes. A few things I noticed about the Speedo ( Air Tri Mirror (price $19-$25) goggle before putting them on. The nosepiece has not adjustment, as opposed to other Speedo goggles I have had in the past. This is not a problem. The outside of the goggle appears to have a secondary coating or film over the lenses, making them thicker on the outside, this is the anti-reflective coating. Speedo employs their “wide-angle technology” to improve vision, and these goggle do have a very good field of view. The gasket around the lenses is thicker and more rubbery. I have put at least a few ten thousand yards in with these goggles and so far so good. They are comfortable and to fit nicely they don’t have to pinch my head or cut off circulation to my brain. This probably due to the fact that these goggles have “soft-frame technology” that allows them to form-fit around the face and head better. They have not fogged up and there have been no real leak problems. The only real leak problem occurred when the tightening strap on the back slipped out, which happened on a couple of occasions. When that happened, they leaked but did not fall off or slip down. I just have to remember to tighten the strap occasionally, which is easy with the strap system they have employed. Tightening requires you to pull on the loose ends of the strap that run through a clip on the back.

I have only had a chance to wear the goggles indoors so it is hard to tell how good the tint is on the goggles. It will be interesting to see how good they work outdoors in the open water on a nice sunny day. It will be interesting to see how well these goggles hold up over the course of the year. So far, I like these goggles and would consider purchasing another pair.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Workout Totals for the Month of March and YTD

Below is the workout total for this March compared with the last three Marches.

March total for PT and strength, water running, and PT and strength, water running, combined with the other stuff.
March PT and strength = 2.5 hours
March Water Running = 3.6 hours
March Total for everything = 32.1 hours
Including everything done in March of 2010 surpasses previous years, except for 2009

Totals since 2007 below

Total YTD and totals since 2007

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Workouts for the Week of 3/22 Through 3/31

This is probably the last week I do this. Unless I have a really interesting workout week. These posts are a little tedious and some what dull. I will keep putting in monthly summaries.
This was a rest week, a light workout week, it is the 4th week in my 4 week cycle. The 4th week is usually a lighter week.

Monday (3/22) - Did the pool running / aquajogging workout with some swim mixed in. This time I wore my shoes in the pool. I like wearing shoes in the pool when doing this. I feel I can workout a little harder without my tender feet feeling pain. Water running was about 45 minutes and swimming was about 12 minutes (3x200 plus 100 at the end = 700 yards)

Tuesday (3/23) - Did PT and strength workout only. Besides PT exercises did 4x80 crunches and 4x10 squats with 20 seconds holds. Total time = 30 minutes

Wednesday (3/24) - SCS Multisport Masters Swim workout morning. Used the Finis Tempo Trainer. I will post a review of this simple, yet useful device.
300 fr
100 nf
4x50 dr
4x50 k
4x50 pull
4x(200 with 20sr, 150 with 20sr, 100 with 20sr, 50 sprint with 60sr) increase pace for each set. Used the Finis Tempo Trainer to keep pace and increase pace.
100 cool down
Total Time = 65 minutes
Total Yards = 3100 yards

Thursday (3/25) - 30 minute bike keeping cadence about 90 rpm. Kept it at a medium to medium-hard pace with a 5 minute cool down at the end.

Friday (3/26) - SCS Multisport Masters morning swim workout. This morning I wore my tri kit with my wetsuit over it and a swim cap. Looking to get used to the race gear. About a month from my first race and want to get a feel for the wetsuit and tri kit since it has been awhile. Once out of the pool got out of wetsuit as fast as possible, I got out of it pretty fast.
300 fr
100 k
300 nf
100 pull
6x150 (25 nf/100 fr/25 fast)
300 fr
3x50 fast
50 ez
300 fr
6x25 sprint
50 ex
300 dr/smooth
Total time = 60 minutes
Total Yardage = 3000 yards
Used the Finis Tempo Trainer when doing the 300s
Saturday (3/27) - 60 minute bike workout. Warm-up, 2x3 min aerobic with 3 min ez between, did the rest at a decent pace

Sunday (3/28) - First rest day in 28 days. No workout today.

Week Total Swim Time = 2.3 hours
Week Total Swim Yardage = 6800 yards
Week Total Run Time = 0
Week Total Bike Time = 1.5 hours
Week Total Water Running Time = 0.75 hours
Week Total PT and Strength = 0.5 hours
Week Total Time = 5.05 hours

Monday (3/29) - Changed up this week, not water running, swimming at SCS Multisport Masters Swimming. Felt a little sluggish this morning.
400 fr
100 nf
4x50 dr
3x100 k/p
3x(100 IM with 20 sr, 50nf with 20 sr, 200 build 50 with 30 sr, 150 medium pace with 60 sr)
200 ez pull
Total Time = 60 minutes
Total Yardage = 2700 yards

Tuesday (3/30) - 60 minutes on the bike trying to maintain a cadence of 90+rpm. Medium to medium-hard pace. Spent about 15-20 minutes in the areobars. Did PT and strength afterwards. Did the usual PT exercises, plus 3x80 crunches and 4x10 squats with 20 second hold after each. PT and strength for a total of 25 minutes.

On Tuesday I went to the doctor and had my once upon a time monthly x-rays. This was my first x-ray in two months. You can still see a faint fracture in my tibia. We put the new x-ray next two the last x-ray next to an x-ray from a few months ago. Debatable if the fracture is better looking from the last x-ray. Definitely better than a few months ago. Doctor told me to keep doing what I am doing as long as there is no pain coming from the fracture. I will be going back in 6 weeks for another x-ray to see how things look. By that time I will have completed St. Anthony's. As usual, we will make a decision on how to proceed after the next x-rays. The consult with surgeon is still looming. Seems dumb to operate on something that does not hurt, but if it is not healing fast enough I guess something needs to be done

Wednesday (3/31) - Did water running today, with shoes on, and some swimming in between. 43 minutes of water running and 14 minutes of swimming mixed in. Mixed four 200s into it for a total of 800 yards