Monthly Archives: July 2005

Half Vineman!

Off to Half Vineman today!
Driving up with my buddy Dan who is a triathlon stud. Follow our exploits at Official Half Vineman site.
This the last year we can qualify for a Ironman Championships slot at a half ironman. They launched a new race series called the Ironman 70.3 series, which ends in its own World Championships in Florida in 2006.
I guess it’s more fair, but I was hoping to sandbag in to the Kona Ironman Championships one of these years via a half ironman, but now I’ve only got one more chance – this weekend at Half Vineman. After this year, I’ll have to try to qualify via full Ironmans. That’s tough due to the distance, but I’ll definitely give it my best shot.
Looks to be hot weekend in Sonoma! Time to pack…

Balance and Training

Sent to newsletter of the Pacific Grove Triathlon’s request for thoughts on Balance, or balancing your training/racing with other parts of your life:
Balance between training/racing and the rest of my life has always been the eternal challenge. In solving my issues, I’ve found that there are three essential things to keeping training in your life without driving you or others around you crazy:
Oh don’t we all wish we had 40 hours a day so that we could do all the things we wanted to! But it just isn’t so. I have found a few things to help find time to train. The first is getting your training out of the way in the morning. I get up at 5am every day to hit Master’s swimming and/or run or bike and get it all over with by 9am. In doing your workouts before the rest of the world gets up, it doesn’t interfere with others’ “awake time”. Besides, doing your workout in the morning gets your energy going for the rest of the day. Also, sneaking workouts during the day is another way to get them in, such as during your lunch break or maybe even in the middle of the afternoon if your employer allows it. Doing mid-afternoon workouts is nice to combat that “take a nap” feeling that happens around 3pm.
Gaining the Commitment of Others:
Talk it over with your friends and family. Get them on board with your training. Tell them how important it is to you. Keep telling them until they understand everything. You’d be amazed at how many people have no concept of what it means to train 6 days a week and 3-4 hours each training block. They also have no concept of how much energy drain it can take and how that affects your ability to interact with them later in the day. Make them understand what it means to you personally and how your feel about it. The more they understand and can empathize with how much it means to you, the less likely they will be to react negatively when you are mid-way through your 4 month training program and their growing but hidden hatred of your absences explodes in your face…
Your Own Attitude:
Having the right attitude towards triathlon can make or break your commitment to the sport. To me, triathlon is more than just racing – I rave about its benefits to my overall health. When you think of triathlon training as your daily exercise workout in addition to competition, then it helps you prioritize it in your day as a lifelong commitment to health, versus just to the next race. It also helps you manage disappointment as having winning first place as your goal when you’re an average age-grouper isn’t realistic and sets you up for disappointment and ultimately quitting when your lofty goals aren’t met. Instead, you can enjoy the fact that you have more energy each day and you’re able to eat just about anything you want without gaining an ounce.

Carbo Pro! My Vineman Half Ironman Nutrition Strategy

Just discovered Carbo-Pro. WOW! A tasteless addition to any sports drink, it dissolves perfectly and hasn’t upset my stomach. It has added to my stamina during biking. Just an extra scoop of this stuff in each large water bottle gives me an extra 100 calories or so in each bottle, which effectively doubles the calories in each bottle. Not so sure about running though – might stick to Coke.
Vineman Half-Ironman nutrition is working out to be:

  • One Balance Bar, Yogurt Peanut, one bite every 15 min starting about .5 hour after start of bike.
  • GU Gel, Plain, one at start of bike, then starting 1.5 hours after bike start, one GU every hour.
  • 2 large water bottles, 1.5 scoops Accelerade Lemon Lime, 1 scoop Carbo-Pro per bottle.


  • GU Gel, Plain, every 45 min on the run.
  • 2 large Fuel Belt Bottles full of flat Coke, if they are not serving Coke. If they are, then 2 large Fuel Belt Bottles full of Accelerade Lemon Lime plus a scoop of Carbo-Pro.

Shifting Gears

I just noticed something at my last cycling workout. I shift gears incessantly.
I adjust my gearing at the slightest change in pressure to my thighs. I use them as my signal to shift down or up. This is because I don’t want to be powering through the ride, but rather using the mechanical advantage of the bike’s gears to the fullest extent.
So I try to keep to 90 RPM mostly. I watch my perceived effort and try to keep that constant no matter what. If the effort rises on a slight incline, I feel the pressure on my thighs and thus shift to easier cog and go at a higher RPM. I’d much rather go at 95-100 RPM than power through at 80 RPMs. It’s too easy to wipe my thighs on a long ride.
If I reach 100+ RPM, then I shift to a smaller cog and then I’m back to 90 RPM, or else my HR rises too high and stays there too long.
I think about Lance. He is famous for riding at 100 RPM and conditioning his body to do so. There must be something to it if Lance does it….
By doing this, I shaved 6 minutes off what was a 48 minute ride of about 12 miles with a big climb up and down Mt. Eden Road in Cupertino. That’s pretty cool. Something must be working right!
As my coach is fond of saying – “Ride Fast, Not Hard”.
Tour De France coverage on OLN starts tomorrow morning – Exciting!

Run Like There is No Finish Line

I wore my favorite long sleeve shirt today by Nike. It’s got this incredibly cool slogan on it – “Run Like There is no Finish Line”. Wow. What a great motivator! I got this shirt last year at the NYC Marathon.
One problem though. It’s black. So I put it on because there is this huge fog bank hanging over the bay area around 7:30am. By the time I get to Rancho San Antonio at around 8am, the fog is almost all burnt off.
Boom. The temperature rises about 15 degrees and now I’m roasting….!
Hard run today. My coach has me doing long intervals at speed to get my stamina up. Here’s the workout:
20 min build from easy to steady
30 min broken into 9 min steady, 1 min easy — continuous
30 min broken into 20 min steady, 5 min mod-hard, 5 min easy
15 min broken into 5 min mod-hard, 10 min steady
15 min broken into 5 min mod-hard, 10 min steady
10 mins easy
Ugh. Major pacing problems in the rolling hills of Rancho. Especially as I get into the mod-hard intervals. The last one was grueling in the heat of the morning. Gotta get more acclimatized to running in heat. If I ever make it to Kona this year, I’ll need to be able to function at peak condition in 90 degree/90% humidity conditions….
But this was my third time doing this workout, and the second time on this path in Rancho. I have one more workout of this sequence and hopefully by then I’ll have gotten adjusted to the pacing and the built my stamina up to handle the short choppy (annoying!) hills as well as summer heat.