Saturday, May 31, 2008

Solid performances

The last couple days have been marked by solid performances.
My swimming feels much better now that I have logged 3 hard open water sessions with Reto. We have 3 more planned next week before I ship off for Alabama...good times but man do they kick my butt!
Today I did a time trial up Hwy 9 in the Santa Cruz mountains. It is a 7 mile climb that is tough and I posted my fastest ever time on it today by about 1:45. I got some good data from the ride to so I will be able to track my progress as the season moves along. After the ride I did a transition run with 3 x 2 min hard and 4 x 1 min hard. I went for it on these and was moving pretty fast! I really wanted to work on my turnover and speed so these shorter, hard intervals were perfect.
I feel very strong right now and today's workouts just made me even more excited to race next weekend!
I am in taper mode so tomorrow will be super mellow.
Have a good one!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Open water swimming is the key to fast swimming, end of story!

For the past 2 days I have been getting my butt kicked by Reto at the lake where we swim open water. Between now and Alabama I have an open water swim scheduled every morning. No easy swims, just hard longer intervals. I am suffering pretty much the entire time I am out there but I feel very lucky to have Reto to swim with. He is going to make me much faster and I already owe him big time for it.
I have been swimming shorter intervals at masters so my 200 meter times are fast but I get much slower over an 800. This is my fault for not working these longer intervals but I feel confident that over the next week my swimming will get much stronger. I also have a few technique issues that Reto noticed and I am working to correct those b/c they are slowing me down.
Open water swimming is so different and if you aren't doing it as much as possible you are not optimizing your training.
So, my schedule is filled with open water swims and some key peak workouts. I start my taper tomorrow and hopefully come Alabama I am rested and fast.
That's my quick update. Have a good one!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Peak phase training

Today I did my second peak workout in prep for Alabama and Richmond. Every 72 hrs I do a hard swim workout in the morning and a hard brick in the evening. Each peak workout is meant to simulate a race effort and allows me to prepare both physically and mentally. After each peak workout I spend two days doing active recovery. The goal is to go into each peak workout rested and fresh.
My first two sessions went very well and I feel strong. I can't wait to tackle my first two "A" races of the year. Unlike Temecula, I will be fully rested and race ready for these two big races. I have a few more peak workouts to complete over the next couple weeks. I will keep you posted on my progress. I expect these peak workouts to get better and better. The bottom line is that I am strong mentally and very motivated, more so then ever before. So, I fully expect to achieve my lofty goals at the next two races. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Check this out

Ok, click on the link below, watch the video and get yourself a won't be disappointed!

Some analysis and thoughts

So, they posted race splits and I have had a couple days to look them over and analyze them.
Really, I am happy with my progress and my placing. This was a "B" race for me and I will peak for Alabama and Richmond in a couple weeks. So, without a taper and having not gone through a true peak phase yet I feel like my result was solid and does forecast good performances in my upcoming "A" races. My goal was a 5% time improvement and I hit about 4.5% improvement (I'll take it).
Now, I will say that my swim was horrible...not sure what happen but that time is not going to fly. I gave up at least 1 minute (a conservative estimate) and probably more like a minute and a half. My times in workouts are much faster then years past so I am a bit surprised by the time. Everything indicates that I should be swimming well but on raceday that wasn't the case. So, what's on the schedule for the next couple weeks? Plenty of hard open water swimming with Coach Reto...he can kick my butt 10 times over in the water so I am going to make sure he ramps up my swimming. I am fit in the water for sure so I just need some fine tuning and that is where open water workouts and Reto come in.
I think my bike was much improved and is on the way to being competitive with the pro times. I will just keep my head down and push through the hard workouts b/c what I am doing is working. If everything stays its course I think I will have very competitive bike slits in Alabama and Richmond since they are flat and tight courses. I think it is important to be patient and to focus on where I was last year and where I am now. From this perspective I am on the right track in terms of progression.
I had the 12th fastest run split so it was solid but I know I can run faster with a true peak phase and taper.
So, after analysis I know I am fit and I think my fitness is getting stronger everyday. I am in my peak phase right now so every 72 hrs I do a hard, race simulation workout and do very light workouts on the other days to make sure I am rested for the key workouts.
I placed 16th overall and was about 2:30 outside of the money (top 12 get paid). Now, they did start amateurs 2 minutes back of the pros (which I wasn't happy about) and I feel this is a disadvantage for someone like me. I would have naturally raced faster had we started with the pros so based on my poor swim, delayed start from the pros and a lack of a taper and peak I don't think I was too far off the top 12.

With this said and after talking it over with Reto, I have made the decision to apply for my Xterra Pro License. This is a big step but one that I think I need in order to become a better athlete. Some people may think this is the wrong decision but I am going to go for it. I have proven myself as an amateur and now I want to take things to the next level. I am a firm believer that training and racing with people that are faster then you makes you a stronger and a more well-rounded athlete. So, if my application goes through and I am granted an Xterra Pro License Alabama will be my first pro race. I welcome this challenge and truly feel that I can compete at a higher level. I think it will take time and patience to excel at the elite level but, at the same time, I am progressing nicely and this move is what I need to elevate my game!
So, giddy up!!! It is time for my next challenge!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sable Water Optics

Ok, time to give out some props to a great, up and coming company...
I met two guys, Paul and Phil, at Wildflower and found out that they are building a brand called Sable Water Optics that they feel will revolutionize the swim goggle market. I had the opportunity to try the new goggles on at Wildflower and instantly loved them for their fit and clarity.
Paul and Phil kindly sent me a pair and I LOVE them! I have never had goggle that work so well, especially in open water. The clarity of the goggles is AMAZING!
We are so used to having to replace goggles on a regular basis because they lose their clarity and often times break. You won't have this problem with the Sable goggles...they are designed for long term use, which means they retain their high functionality for a very long time despite daily use. So, no more goggles that break and have to be replaced every couple of months...YEAH!!!!
Plus, how many times have you been in a race and you can't see the buoys? This won't happen with Sable goggles...they really are incredible!
So, checkout their website and get yourself a pair. The price may seem high but remember that you won't have to keep replacing these and the superior clarity will remain.

Pictures from Temecula

--Just glad to be out of the hot sun!

--The Skinfit Team in full effect! Me, Victor Plata and Will Kelsay.

--Atop the podium as the fastest overall amateur for the second year in a row.

--The crew!

--Me and my biggest supporter. Without Jess I wouldn't be where I am today!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Xterra West race results

1st overall amateur (2nd year in a row)
16th overall with 25 pros on the start line
Took over 7 minutes off of my time from last year

Race Report and pictures to follow shortly

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back from Florida and now it is GO TIME!

Florida was great. We sat by the pool and beach and tried to relax as much as possible.
Now that we are back it is time to head down to Temecula for the first race of the Xterra National Series. I am really excited about the race and look forward to really testing myself. It is going to be brutally hot down there, which can change the dynamic of the race. It should be interesting. Check back on monday and I will have a race report for you.
Until then, Have fun out there!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Skinfit photoshoot in S.F.

We got some pretty cool pictures...thought I would share.
The pictures were taken by Robert H Photography...he did a great job! Check out his website!

Monday, May 5, 2008

My life for the next couple weeks

Wildflower was a blast this past weekend but it feels good to be back home. Not that home isn't crazy busy right now but I love sleeping in my own bed and being with Jess and Sophie!
I am starting my second build week today before I move into a recovery week. I have some hard training planned between my work obligations, which are numerous this week. During this week I will be very specific in my training. I don't have much free time so I will focus on short and intense training, which is fine given the time of year. This is the time when rest is key. Training and life stress will take a toll and I have to listen to my body. I always talk about balance and looking at the bigger picture with your training so this week will be a good test of my mental and physical resolve.
The good thing is that starting next week I will be in west palm beach sitting poolside with nothing but relaxation on the schedule. Jess and I are heading out for an awards trip I won so we are "crashing" at the Ritz Carlton for 3 days on the company bill...oh, the good life! Then we get back and head out to Temecula for the Xterra West Championships May 18th. Can't wait to start with the BIG races of the year to see where I am in terms of fitness.
So, have a good week everyone and I will be in touch!

Oh, I got my new racesuit for the year and it is sweet! Keep an eye out for a all green skinfit flash on raceday =) No pictures's top secret ;)