Monthly Archives: December 2005

Reflections on 2005, Goals for 2006

2005 comes to an exciting but mixed year for me in triathlon. First I look upon my 2005 goals:
To see how close I can get my fitness/strength/abilities to Lance Armstrong.
Well my cycling got better, but I’m still pretty far away from Lance.
ETA to Goal: Never (probably).
More Realistic: Do the 112 mile bike leg of an Ironman at average speed of 20 MPH.
ETA to Goal: ~2 years.
2005 Result: 16.5 MPH at Ironman NZ. Only 3.5 MPH to go (ha!)… Harder than you think!
More Realistic: Generate 250 watts continuous power on 2-2.5 min intervals by end of 2005.
ETA to Goal: Let’s see by end of this year.
2005 Result: Wow. Slow going here. I made it to about 200 watts for 2-2.5 min intervals.
To run the NYC Marathon in 4 hours.
ETA to Goal: Potentially this year, more likely the next.
2005 Result: Whoo hoo! 3.51 hours at NYC this year!
To run the marathon leg of an Ironman in under 4 hours.
ETA to Goal: 2-3 years.
2005 Result: 4:50 hours for my first Ironman in New Zealand. Only 50 minutes to shave off. Next stop: Ironman Austria!
To be able to sustain 1:35 400s, 3:30 800s, and 8 minute mile repeats.
ETA to Goal: End of 2005, potentially 2006.
2005 Result: With the application of ART for performance enhancement, I was able to hit 800s at 3:14-3:30. My 200s speed was about :45. I didn’t do mile repeats, but I ran 4K at 7:35/mile, then a 2K at 7:15/mile, and then finished with a 1K at 6:55/mile. Definitely my long distance intervals are getting much better.
To swim and maintain a tempo pace of 1:45/100 meters.
ETA to Goal: End of 2005, perhaps 2006.
2005 Result: At Ironman NZ, I managed a pace of 1:55/100. But a nerve problem atrophied by right tricep and caused weakness to occur in my right hand. My pace has suffered since and I’m building it back up now.
To move another lane over in my Master’s swim group.
ETA to Goal: By mid 2006.
2005 Result: I was able to jump a lane, but building up my right tricep meant I needed to drop a lane until it recovers.
To race my first Ironman in 13 hours or less.
ETA to Goal: This year….maybe?
2005 Result: Ironman NZ at 13:06! Pretty darn close.
To race Pacific Grove Triathlon in 2:30.
ETA to Goal: Pac Grove Tri 2006.
2005 Results: 2:43 at Pac Grove this year. 2:30 proved to be too great a jump from last year to this year.
To race Half Vineman in 5:45.
ETA to Goal: Most likely Half Vineman 2006.
2005 Results: 5:52, with a disappointing cramping right quad again!
1:46 at Long Beach Half Marathon 2005!

Now for 2006….My goals:
Work out with 220 watts on continuous 2-2.5 min intervals.
ETA to Goal: End of 2006 Hopefully.
Do the 112 mile bike leg of an Ironman at average speed of 20 MPH.
ETA to Goal: ~2 years.
To run the NYC Marathon in 3:40 hours.
ETA to Goal: Potentially in 2006. Not sure if I’m going to run it again this year, but if I do, 3:40 will be my target.
To run the marathon leg of an Ironman in under 4 hours.
ETA to Goal: 2-3 years.
To run a half marathon in 1:40.
ETA to Goal: 2 years.
To swim and maintain a tempo pace of 1:45/100 meters.
ETA to Goal: End of 2006, perhaps 2007.
To move another lane over in my Master’s swim group.
ETA to Goal: By mid 2007.
To race Ironman Austria in 12:30 or less.
ETA to Goal: This year….maybe?
To race Honu in 5:45.
ETA to Goal: If all goes well and my right leg cramping problem is fixed, it could be in 2006.

Egoscue Method and Fixing My Right Leg Overuse

My right leg is stronger than my left. So for 4 decades, my body has adjusted to this fact and it has left me unbalanced. Unbalanced so much so that I’ve noticed during races that I tend to (annoyingly) cramp my right leg on biking and running.
I asked my PT guy at Team Clinic to help me with this. He started me on some exercises in the Egoscue Method. In Peter Egoscue’s own words:
“Focusing on proper alignment, posture, and muscle engagement, Egoscue provides simple but powerful techniques to restore flexibility and function while at the same time boosting energy, revving up the immune system, even raising the body’s metabolic rate.”
I’ve been doing some simple exercises which are designed to awaken unused muscles and shut down others, and at the same time evening them out from one side to another. They also strengthen unused muscles in addition to stretching others.
As I do some of the exercises, I feel different sensations between both legs. It was really strange to feel stretching and pulling in different areas. It only shows the imbalance between the two legs. But after I started the exercises, I could already get some of the sensations equaled out on both sides.
I look forward to starting the training season and seeing if this has had significant effect.
Read more about it at I just bought this book, The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion : Revolutionary Program That Lets You Rediscover the Body’s Power to Rejuvenate It – Pete Egoscue from

Training Costs for 2005

As I near the end of 2005, I calculate the cost of my training over this last year:
M2 Coaching: $200/month x 12 months = $2400
Team Clinic/ART/Chiropractic: $4817.50
Dr. Rikke/Healthlogic/Graston/Chiropractic: $730
This doesn’t count all the clothes, powdered sports drinks, energy bars, bike equipment, sneakers, etc. I bought this year.
So coaching+medical = $7947.50
This coming year, I’ll try to keep better track of costs.
But definitely the medical stuff has worked wonders. The performance enhancing treatment of ART and Graston has improved my racing performance greatly.

Bikram Yoga in the Off Season

These last few weeks I’ve been trying out Bikram Yoga.
Previously I had never been a big fan of yoga. This is because I’m not very flexible and yoga deals heavily in what I would call “flexible strength”.
Flexible strength means that you apply power when your muscles are in a stretched position. Many people who are more flexible than me can do this relatively easily, or at least do it in a way that the muscles can stand it. In the past, I’ve been so inflexible that when I put my muscles in a stretched state and then attempt to flex them, I inevitably pull the muscle due to the strain.
This really sucked and I stopped after trying yoga many years ago.
However, after much training this year, and with the help of my physical therapist’s suggestions on stretches and exercises, and couple that with ART, I have found that I can actually survive yoga poses and build my ability to execute them without pulling muscles.
Unfortunately, I think that Bikram will require many months, if not years of training to get to some level of proficiency. My race season training is about to start and I think that given time constraints, and the added stress training puts on my muscles, that I won’t be able to continue this once real training begins early next year.
It’s too bad. My coach thinks it is great heat acclimatizing training since you do it in a room that is heated to 100+ degrees.

Off Season Aches and Pains

I’m heavy into the off season now, and not doing much training at all. It’s a great time for recovery, for recharging my body and brain from all the stress I’ve put on it over the past year.
But one thing has been confounding me.
Why is it when I am doing practically nothing, that I feel all these sharp aches and pains in my legs? And they feel as bad as when I REALLY have tweaked them during heavy training?
I asked my physical therapist about it. He says it’s because during the normal, heavy training season, you’ve got your body flooded with nice pain-killing endorphins. They’re there to kill as much pain as possible and keep you functioning despite all the damage your muscles are receiving (which is required for growth and improvement).
However, during the off-season when your training has backed off – guess what – so have your endorphin levels. So now you have nowhere near as many endorphins in your system and thus, small aches and pains which you may not have felt at all during the training/racing season are now brought to the forefront, and in greater pain levels than you would think. Small tweaks during the race season aren’t even felt and drop below the noise level created by the endorphins!
Then, I asked my physical therapist about the knots that have formed in my muscles. How could they form, when I rarely put my muscles in a stressed, contracted state as I normally see during race season training? I can feel them clearly as I roll my hands/fingers across my thighs and IT band.
He said that during periods of high activity, the muscles constantly move against each other, and there is a natural effect of breaking down these knots and adhesions as muscle fibers glide against each other. Once you remove that, there is a tendency for these muscle adhesions to form because there is less muscle activity to clear the small adhesions out.
All this just makes me itch to get back into race training – guess that’s what the off-season break is all about…!