Thursday, July 24, 2008

The training front...

Well, after a few days of recovery post vineman it is time to get after it! My training will become much more intense for the next 2 1/2 weeks as I ramp up for Ogden August 16th.
I got in some great mountain bike riding with Reto and Linda Gallo over the last couple days and it feels very good to be off that Time trial bike and back onto the dirt! So, not much else to report other than I will be training VERY HARD over the next couple weeks and I expect to be very fit heading into Ogden. The only "X Factor" is altitude but I am putting together my plan to beat that one. More on this later as things develop.
Have a great weekend everyone. Mine will be filled with plenty of training and a birthday celebration for Jessica!

Monday, July 21, 2008


--Good morning! All smiles at the start and no warmup...just how I like it =)

Well, my first half ironman is in the bag and, just like I expected, it was a long day! I really did have a good time and got in some good training. I wanted to get some experience with the distance and I did. I do like many things about doing longer distance races but there is still nothing like Xterra...Xterra is hands down the most enjoyable and interesting type of racing in my mind. Xterra is incredibly hard, which I like and it is everything but boring. There were certainly times yesterday when it was just boring. The course is really beautiful so the scenery kept it pretty interesting but it is still not the most exciting type of racing.
I am slightly curious what I could do time wise if I actually trained for the distance and raced it instead of just cruising it for fun (I finished in 4:35 yesterday...yes that's pretty slow but I did spend 3 minutes in 2 seperate bathrooms (I timed it out of curiousity)! I was doing it for fun remember...bathrooms stops were mandatory =) ). The biggest problem I had on the day was with my lower back and hips, which comes from not riding my time trial bike more then 3 times in the last year (the 3 times happen in the week before the race). About 30 miles into the ride my back and hips were killing me (I pretty much spent the next 26 miles stretching my back and getting out of the saddle any chance I got). I thought this might happen b/c I am not used to the position on my time trial bike and the position forces you to use muscles differently. So, let's just say I am pretty sore this morning!

--Finally off that bike and man do I have to go to the bathroom!

I wasn't sure how I would hold up on the run so I cruised about 8 miles of it and then ran a bit harder for the remainder since I knew I just had to run 5 miles to the finish.

So, mission accomplished this weekend...I finished the distance and I kept a smile on my face throughout the day. I am not sure when I will do another one. I still want to do an ironman at some point but there will certainly be plenty of preparation done before that adventure.

After the race Jess and I cruised around the area and eventually ended up in Calistoga where we got some grub! Then we made the long drive back home and I crashed hard! Overall, it was a great weekend and Jess and I had plenty of fun!
Now, it is time to get back to some hard prep for my upcoming Xterra races...giddy up!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Recovery week and plans for the weekend

This week has been a recovery week for me and I feel good after several days of easy workouts and plenty of sleep. I have been busy with interviews and Skinfit business but since training was on the light side this week I had time to get plenty of work done.
Today is going to be another mellow day with a spin on the time trial bike and a short run with the dog. This afternoon we are heading up to San Jose for a concert with some good friends and then tomorrow I will get in a swim and ride before heading up to Vineman to pick up my race packet. We are staying in San Rafael b/c I couldn't find a hotel near the race that wasn't crazy expensive or sold out. Oh well, it really isn't that big of a deal b/c I will be with Jess and I am sure we can find something fun to do.
I am really looking forward to this event. I want to get some experience with this distance so my goal is just to finish and to see what longer distance racing is all about. I like this position b/c I don't know what to expect and I am just going to go out there to have fun and learn all that I can. Plus, it helps that the race is set in a beautiful place and I will have Jess with me to enjoy the experience. I am thinking I will bring the portable shower so that I can get cleaned up for some wine tasting and a nice restaurant after the race =) Forget the gatorade and the dried out cookies and fruit...we will be in the heart of wine country!
I have always wanted to qualify for Kona (Hawaii Ironman World Championships) and I plan to chase this qualifying spot next year. So, this is the first step toward achieving this goal...get some experience this weekend and be more aggressive next year when I go for a slot to Kona. Kona really is the pinnacle of the sport and I want to do it before I stop racing at a higher level, which is why I am going to try for a spot next year.
After this weekend I will be back to another hard training block in which I will really dial up the intensity. Ogden is just around the corner so I will be putting in some very hard sessions. Well, that's it from here. Have a good weekend and stay tuned for a race report from Vineman.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Coaching post...

My coaching site has been updated with a new post...check it out by clicking on the link to the right.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another hard week done...

I just finished a another HARD week of training. Today was a day off so that I could catch up on things...TONS of Skinfit work, prep for interviews and some time with family.
I am feeling strong and my fitness is coming quickly. I feel like I am really building on all the hard work I put in during the first half of the season and I know I will enter my next Xterra races stronger then ever. I really am training harder then I ever have and all my workouts are specific to my upcoming Xterra races. I am not putting in massive hours but the quality is very high and I am seeing the results I am after.
I have had an addition to my race calendar...Vineman 70.3 taking place next weekend. This will be my first half ironman and, I have to say, I haven't trained for this distance AT ALL (I have only ridden my time trial bike once since last september). However, I am fit and I know I can complete the distance. I am doing this race purely for the experience and I will not be racing all out like I would in an Xterra. Truthfully, my goal is to get in some great training, to get some exposure to the distance as I would like to do an ironman at some point in my life, and to have a lot of fun. So, it should be a good experience and I consider myself lucky just to be racing since my sponsor Avia was able to get me a comp entry to this sold out event.
After Vineman I will do what it takes to recover properly and then I will get back to the very hard training as I build toward the Xterra Mountain Champs Aug 16th and Xterra Nationals Oct 5th.

Oh yeah, I did an aquathon last thursday purely for fun...I did the event with reto and nick and we had a great time, finishing the day with a couple beers and some good laughs. It is always fun to do an event and not feel like you want to puke b/c you are going so hard. A super easy swim and jog to loosen up and burn some calories before a couple beers and a mexican food binge =)...a great way to spend the afternoon if you ask me.
Here are some pictures from the aquathon:

Skinfit operations are finally under way...gotta love the beginning stages! =)

Check us out at, then just click on the USA link

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My coaching site...

Lately, with all of the travel for races, I haven't posted much on my coaching blog. Starting this week, I will be posting training/racing tips on my coaching blog on a regular basis. So, keep an eye on my coaching site for some helpful tips.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hard training is in full swing...

So, I am in the middle of a hard training block and I feel like my fitness is coming along. I am pretty beat so when my recovery days come along I am happy to just relax and do some very light training. Yesterday was a good masters session in the pool followed up by a ride and run in the afternoon.
This morning I did a hard run, which was tough b/c of all the smoke from the fires but I felt strong. This afternoon I will be joining Greg for a ride and then it will be time to eat AGAIN and put in some serious time on the couch =)
Tomorrow will be a recovery day for me and i am looking forward to it.
On thursday I will be doing a local aquathon, which should be a lot of fun and some great training. Then it will be time for some long and hard training over the course of the weekend. Reto is back from Europe so it looks like I will have a training partner throughout the weekend, which will be nice.
I feel very motivated right now during my workouts. I know how much work I have to put in to compete at the pro level so every hard workout I do I find myself pushing myself harder than ever and really fighting for that extra fitness. It feels very good to have this new is pushing me to be a better, stronger athlete, which is what I was hoping for.
Well, time to do some stuff around the house before my ride. Better get another coffee! =)
Have a good one!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A solid couple of days...

On Thursday I started the day with a good masters session at the pool. I feel like I am starting to feel better in the water with my form and power coming it is time to get the fitness to the next level with some more intense efforts in the pool.
I got back to the house, got some rest and then went out for my hard run in Carmel Valley. It was hot and it made the run tough but I actually felt pretty good, which is nice since I haven't felt to good on the run lately. After my run I met Jess for a nice cold beer and some grub in the Valley. Overall, it was a great day with beautiful weather!
The next morning I met up with Greg for a 4 hour endurance ride. We decided to do a ride I have never done, Fremont Peak. It was a GREAT ride and we got in some solid climbing. I really enjoyed seeing some new roads around here and it was really nice to have some company on a longer training ride. Greg has really been pushing me during our rides, which is perfect as I really need to get my riding to the next level if I want to compete with the other pros. After the ride Jess and I went over to the beach to relax and have a beer to celebrate the 4th. The weather wasn't so good so we went back to Carmel Valley where the sun god's were looking down on us. We went to the usual watering hole, Baja Cantina, met up with Mike and then went into Monterey to eat a HUGE burrito and catch the fireworks. So, it was a perfect day filled with good training, good company, good food and good beer.
Today is a run and mellow swim to recover before I do a harder session on the mountain bike tomorrow. My fitness is coming around so I am getting more motivated with every passing day. Well, time for some coffee and the Tour De France. Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Here's one for you...

Alright, this morning at swim practice I got my butt kicked!
First things first, if you are a swimmer and you want to get faster buy an ankle band (or just make your own...but it needs to be a thick band that is difficult to get on so that it holds your ankles together tightly while you swim). I have had one for a long time and everytime I do a pull set I use makes you much stronger and forces you to use good form and your core muscles to swim. The band makes swimming MUCH harder even when you have a buoy and paddles.
Now, for the next challenge you need to swim with the band and paddles ONLY (no pull buoy). You will feel like you are sinking big time! The key to being able to make forward progress somewhat efficiently is to swim through your CORE, which means you have to use you core muscles (EVERY muscle in there) to stabilize yourself and propel yourself forward.
This workout isn't for someone just starting to swim or someone that hasn't done much pulling...
Warmup plenty with swimming, stroke, kicking
Swim 10 x 100 on 1:40 (band and paddles only)
Swim 3 x 200 on 2:50 (band, paddles, buoy)
Swim 20 x 50 on 1:10 (Swim hard without any equipment) will feel like you are flying...keep your focus on your core, good form, and a fast kick.
*Over the course of swimming 10 x 100 you should try to find an efficient way to swim. You will notice how little you use your core when you swim. It will feel like you can't get your core muscles to fire/activate and, truthfully, they aren't able to b/c your body isn't used to using them during a swim workout.

Give it a go and let me know how it goes!