Monthly Archives: November 2006

Favorite Books and Resources

Just recently I’ve been asked many times for what books out there are good for training. Here is a list of my favorites. I tend to keep away from the coaching books as I have a coach and don’t need training programs or advice. I like to find books that help me understand the scientific and researched aspects of swimming, cycling, and running so that I am not reading some coach’s opinion, but rather facts that have been vetted through scientific methods. Here they are:
Total Immersion by Terry McLaughlin – great for body positioning drills but not so good on stroke efficiency. Check out the Total Immersion website for great DVDs on swimming.
Breakthrough Swimming by Cecil Colwin – history of swimming and how it evolved to the strokes used today. Contains lots of research as well.
Swimming Fastest by Ernest W. Maglischo – lots of science in here – a huge, thick book. Great stuff and the latest on training techniques.
Lore of Running by Tim Noakes – much research into the science of running.
Pose Method of Running by Dr. Nicholas Romanov – training to run on the balls of your feet, much MUCH easier on the knees!
Serious Cycling by Ed Burke – lots of great research into the science of cycling.
Workouts in a Binder by Gale Bernhardt and Nick Hansen – great waterproof workout book to take to the pool and do your own workouts. Workouts range in distance from about 1500m to about 4000m, with the bulk being in mid-2000s to 3000s.
Workouts in a Binder for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches by Eric Hansen – like the previous, but only with significantly longer workouts into the 4000s and 5000m range. Great for Ironman training!
Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Andrew Coggan – ever since I bought a computrainer and then a PowerTap, I’ve been sold on power training. This book nicely explains it all in one place.

High Tech NYC Marathon Expo: Drown My Sorrows in Shopping

So pretty much knowing that I wouldn’t be racing this year, I drowned my sorrows in wandering the expo and shopping. When I walk the expo, I notice there are many instances of new technologies being showcased. When it comes to new technology, I can’t help but try it out. Here’s a few of what I saw and ultimately bought:
PowerBar Gel, Double Latte – claiming 4X sodium (200mg) and 2X caffeine – WOW! It must work! I’m a heavy sweater so the extra sodium is needed. Looking at my old favorite, GU brand gel, they have no caffeine and only 40mg of sodium. So I’m actually jumping 5X from where I was before (not counting all the salt/electrolyte tabs I take)! And I’ve proven to myself that caffeine does have an effect; at my first Ironman, I drank exclusively coke on the run and it really woke me up – I attribute that to caffeine for sure.
Velocy Running Shoes – I run Pose Method normally, which is forefoot running to maximize relieving of stress on the legs while running. So these shoes are a natural for me. They have designed a support chassis in the sole that rotates the body forward, so that you’re more naturally on the forefoot and your body’s center of gravity is ahead of your feet. It causes a more natural use of gravity in propulsion as well as helping with shock absorption via rolling through the impact with the support chassis. I am looking forward to using these shoes on a test run. They already fit my feet very well. Check out the Velocy web site for more details.
Asics Redux – OK I’m giving Asics a second chance. After they narrowed their Nimbus design causing all sorts of problems for me, I went to Adidas. They were good, but even narrower in other ways causing blisters on the insides of my feet. I then moved to New Balance 755s, which aren’t bad and fit a wider foot. I need to try these out more. But I decided to give Asics a second chance: enter the Gel Kayano 13. It is a stability shoe which I don’t really need, but more importantly it comes in multiple widths. I try the size 2E (up from the normal width) and it seems to fit better. I hope to put it through some test runs this winter in hopes of recapturing my love of Asics shoes.
Garmin Forerunner 305 – I own a Garmin Forerunner 301 which I love. The GPS is really accurate, and it’s great for downloading my workouts so I have a record of everything on my PC. But sometimes it doesn’t work too well. Like in a big city like NYC. The 305 has supposedly been improved for city use with a more sensitive sensor and one that is oriented on the wrist so that it is always pointing up. Another thing to try as I go through trail runs with lots of tree cover and also running around the city. Buy it at .

Turned in My Timing Chip

Alas, I turned in my NYC Marathon timing chip yesterday. I had hoped that some miracle would have happened and my hacking cough would have gone away. But no such luck.
I am very disappointed to be brought down by a sickness. 4 months of training, seeing great track times and growing strength on hill repeats – it was tough to realize that my body would not hold up to 4 hours of max performance in cold weather racing (it’s been in the 40s everyday I’ve been here in NYC; the last 3 years I ran NYC it was in the 70s!).
Rather than risk this developing into something REALLY bad like pneumonia, I elected to not race. It’s a first for me: to not race due to sickness and it was bound to happen sometime.
At least I was able to defer my entry until next year. Not sure if I will race it though; I’ve got my sights on either Ironman Florida or Ironman Western Australia and that may mean that NYC isn’t possible. NYC is usually on the same weekend as IM Florida, as it was this year. IM Western Australia is usually on Thanksgiving weekend or the first weekend of December, which means NYC is very close to the race.
Onwards to off season training. I want to work on strength in my legs this winter, in preparation for a strong race season next year.

Hack Hack Cough Cough

I’m sitting here in NYC trying to get over this damn cough thing which I’ve had for almost 1.5 weeks now. Nice gurgling phlegm coming up out of my lungs – I tried running last Thursday and it was tough. I had good run times for a distance tempo run, but afterwards I felt as though I had sucked all this phlegm back into my lungs and it was hard breathing for about a half an hour after.
It’s now 4 days til race sunday. The cough is still phlegm-ing up. I can’t tell if it’s getting better or not, but I stopped taking cough suppressants just so I could cough out as much stuff out of my lungs as possible.
It’s not looking good for NYC Marathon this year…