Monthly Archives: April 2007

Aero Helmets: Louis Garneau Rocket

Yesterday I took my new Louis Garneau Rocket aero helmet out for my long ride to test it out. I didn’t know what to expect but if the wind tunnel tests were true, then I should be using something which would have a dramatic effect on my cycling aerodynamic efficiency.
Wow what a noticeable difference. I especially noticed it while pedaling in windy conditions. It was noticeably easier to pedal with winds and headwinds, as I didn’t feel as much effort in my legs. The effect was most dramatic when I was in aero position. It made me want to pedal in aero position the whole time! When I sat upright, the effect was much lessened. But hunkering down on my aero bars with the back cone of the helmet laying against my back somehow made me slice through the wind much easier.
I’m sold! Can’t wait to try it out at Ironman Brazil.

Got My Aero Helmet!

My Louis Garneau Rocket aero helmet arrived today. Putting me on made me feel like a ROCKET.
OK OK. I suck as a triathlete. Maybe you can argue that I’m not worthy of wearing an aero helmet. But after reading this article about Bicycle Aerodynamics and an article in Bicycling Magazine, September 2006, I am looking at anything to help me increase my aerodynamic efficiency. One of those, surprisingly enough, is the helmet. So I plunked down some cash to get my head more aero.
Will I go faster? Maybe. But what I’m more concerned about is conservation of energy. Even if I go the same speed, I should be more aero and thus expend less energy than without an aero helmet, and thus help me on the run. At least that’s the theory…

Call Me Mr. Freeze

Aaaah….an ice bath after a hard run today works wonders. But how to get into that bathtub of freezing water? Here is Dave’s patented method of successfully performing an ice bath:
1. Prepare. No, not just mentally, but get 2 bags of 7lbs. of ice from 7-Eleven, a towel, something to drink if you want, a watch or clock to time yourself. If you can, get something warm like coffee or tea. Put the ice bags on the ground next to your bathtub. Put the watch/clock, drink, and towel within reach.
2. Get into the bathtub and sit in it empty. Mistake #1: Filling up the bathtub and dumping ice cubes in it and THEN trying to get into it is near impossible. I guarantee it. Just try it. I have never done it without screaming. Try my way; it’s better. So get into the empty bathtub and sit in it.
3. Turn on the cold water. The water will slowly fill up and your body will adapt to the cold water much easier than if you were to jump into a tub full of it instead. I would recommend not moving too much; too painful with cold water sloshing onto exposed body parts!
4. Keep filling it up until it crests over your thighs. Yes your private parts will be freezing by now. Don’t worry; it’s only for about 10 minutes or so. It will still work.
5. Turn off the water. Then carefully reach over and grab one ice bag. Rip it open and dump the ice cubes into the water. Push the ice cubes around until they are all around the tub. The coldest areas will be nearest the ice cubes.
6. When the first bag of ice nearly melts away, which is about 5-7 minutes, take the second bag of ice and dump it in.
7. You can time yourself about when the water crests your thighs. SIt in there at least 10 minutes but probably not more than 15. You don’t need to prove that you’re a real man. Just enough to get the restorative effect on your abused muscles.
8. Time’s up! Get out of the tub and run to the shower and take a nice, long hot one. The hot water blasting against your body will causing a flushing effect to remove the iced toxins and exercise by-products away from your muscles. Great job!
Now that I’m peaking for Ironman Brazil, it’s critical that I recover fast enough to get to the next workout. So I plan on using ice baths after both long run and long bike. Believe me it works great. Enjoy!

Reebok Run Easy Ad Campaign

I saw some ads for Reebok on the sides of bus stops. They say:
Why Hit the Wall? It Hurts. Run Easy.
Run Easy?!?!?
I must say that Reebok just lost me as a customer.
To me this Run Easy messaging means:
Don’t train so hard.
Don’t bother. It ain’t worth it.
In fact don’t even bother going to gym, just put on your comfy Reeboks and sit around.
Watch TV.
Drink some beer.
Be a sloth.
Unbelievable that Reebok would put out such a campaign. As an athletic shoe manufacturer, you want to motivate people into being more active not less.
I think back to NIKE’s campaign of Run Like There is No Finish Line. So inspirational and aspirational. It speaks of being the ultimate athlete, and also the best that you can be. Life is long and glorious and it’s a long road but you’ll be running like you were pushing hard to the finish line every single minute of every day. It speaks of living life to the maximum every moment of your life. That is why I buy NIKE stuff.
The Ironman tagline: Anything is Possible. Because it is. And, like life, it ain’t easy.
Run Easy? No way. Not for me. I live my life like there is no finish line.
4-24-07: On Sepulveda in El Segundo: Yet another winning ad slogan:
Why Run Till You Can’t Walk? Run Easy.
Running easy as the main message is just plain wrong. It should say something like Run Motivated and Smart. Running easy should be a function of your mental and physical condition, your fitness level, and whether your are energetic or recovering. Sometimes you should run easy, but sometimes you shouldn’t. But running should be about being motivated to do something, like lose weight or entering/finishing a race. And doing it smart means you should run with the appropriate exertion level when it’s the right time to do so, thereby reducing your chance for injury but getting fitness gains. You do the same thing over and over again (like running easy every time) and I guarantee you’ll get bored or see no fitness gains after a while and stop doing it…


These last few weeks swimming I’ve been thinking about bubbles.
Not bubble bath mind you, but the bubbles I create while swimming.
If you read about bubble formation in swimming books, some of them say that it’s the byproduct of wasted energy. Energy that could have gone into propulsion gets wasted in creating turbulence in water whose evidence is bubble formation. There is also much written about quiet or calm swimming, which is the ease and flow of swimming that makes you feel and look like you’re gliding through water with little energy.
Lately, I’ve really tried to employ calm swimming and maintaining the form which minimizes turbulence in the water. It’s hard to maintain that form, as I lose concentration as I get tired. As I stroke and look at my stroke under the water, I noticed a big difference between both arms in bubble formation.
This was strange, I thought at first. My right arm would stroke with almost no bubbles at all, but my left with stroke back with a huge frothing of bubbles. As I analyzed further, I realized that I was not symmetrical with respect to my stroke. My right hand enters the water more at my head, and then glides straight forward out. My left hand, however, does a more traditional reach-out and over the water until it is almost extended, and then enters the water far forward of my head. Somehow, this reach-out and over causes huge bubble formation and if the texts are true, then I am wasting energy on bubble formation which could be used for forward propulsion but is making me expend more energy in a non-useful fashion.
So I’ve been really paying attention to my bubbles and trying to remove them. After figuring out what was different between my left and right arm strokes, I strove to make my left arm like my right arm. On slower stroking, I can make both arms even with minimal bubbles. As my stroke rate increases, it becomes harder and harder. Yet another thing to practice in the next coming months…

Floyd Landis at M2 Revolution 3-30-07

My coach, M2, just opened a new facility in San Francisco called M2 Revolution Cycling and Motion Studio at the corner of Bush and Van Ness. For his grand opening celebration, he got Floyd Landis to come and ride with us during a workout.

They put Floyd’s watts up on a video screen at the front of the room. Man, that guy is STRONG. We were officially dusted by his 520 peak watts, which was well over twice the power output I was putting out in the same interval. Makes me want to keep going up Old La Honda until my legs are as big as my waist!

If you live in SF, you should visit the M2 Revolution facility. It has CycleOps trainers which give you power output, treadmills, and also Vasa trainers for dryland swim training. Parking is on the next block over so very convenient. If you visit M2’s classes, you’ll get a taste for the interval training he puts all of us through. Very tough and very worthwhile. Much better than your average spin class.