Tuesday, November 8, 2011

IMFLA Race report

I have been pretty busy trying to catch up. Scott and I have a new podcast up where you can catch my race report if you want to hear it. http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/trainingbibles-podcast/id274671958

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Death Valley and Las Vegas Camp Feb 7th - 12th

Training Bible Coaching Death Valley / Las Vegas Camp
Feb 7th – 12th
Camp Details:
This camp is designed to be a season base building and technique camp. Our vision is to have athletes fly into Vegas and drive to Death Valley (approximately 2 hours). Once in Death Valley though, everything will be from the hotel location. There will not be any need for any other driving. Furnace Creek Ranch is located in the National Park and stands alone in the middle of some of the best ridding in the US and sits at the base of Dante’s Peak, a Mt. Lemmon type ride and recognized as one of the best climbs in the country.
We will spend Tuesday – Friday night in Death Valley and then travel back to Las Vegas Saturday night. We can add a nigh t out if the campers want, but will wake up and run the Las Vegas 70.3 run course as well as have a swim.
We will have the entire camp SAG supported, as well as a mechanic on hand every day. The camp will also include coaches and several other benefits listed below.

We will have a professional photographer on staff to take photos of your camp for you. We will provide 2 free pictures with your camp purchase.

Camp includes:
- Adam Zucco and other TBC Coach on hand for all questions
- Running drill sessions
- Swim Drill sessions
- 2 BBQ dinners in the Death Valley
- Coached swim workouts and instruction
- SAG support on all the rides with water and nutrition provided if needed
- Mechanic on hand for the entire camp for (assembling and packing) bikes and issues during camp
- Clif Products
- Skinfit product(s) TBD and discounts while there.

HOTELS: (All campers will make their own accommodations)
In Death Valley you need to make a reservation at FURNACE CREEK RANCH. ALL CAMP ACTIVITIES WILL START AND FINISH HERE. Cost for the hotel is 145.00 a night with 2 x queen beds. http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/what-to-know-1225.html
800-236-7916 – phone

In Las Vegas you need to make reservations at Green Valley ranch or a surrounding hotel. There are a few there to choose from. It is located on the Vegas run course and next a nice community pool.


- Tuesday Feb 7th Arrive, Short ride run and or swim as time allows

- Wednesday Feb 8th
Swim: Technique session in am and workout
Bike: Dante’s Peak 30 mile climb from -500 ft. to over 5000ft!!!! plus optional additional ridding
Afternoon run and drill session 75-90 min or your choice.

- Thursday
Swim: Workout participant’s choice
Bike: Artist Loop 1-2 times for a 3 hour ride
Run: 75-90 min

- Friday
Swim: Workout participant’s choice
Bike: Ride to Scottie’s Castle Century with about 2000 ft. of climbing.

- Saturday
Swim: solid workout
Bike: Team TT

Swim: Solid workout
Run: The Las Vegas 70.3 course

Cost for the camp is 875.00 per person (695.00 per person for TBC members and affiliates)
Contact Adam Zucco – azucco@trainingbible.com (847)-833-1201

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kona 2011 Race Report (9:35)

Kona 2011 Race reportAfter many requests I will write a race report the best I can. I also have talked about my experience on our new TrainingBible Podcast on Itunes.

The night before is pretty much where everything started for me. I was hanging out with Justin Hand and Scott Iott. We all stayed together in ths same house which helped tons with the pre race anxiety. Scott and I train together all the time, but Justin is a guy I just met that week and lives in South Africa. What an awesome guy and definitely a highlight of the week getting to know him. He has a running store there, has run the Comrades Marathon (which is 56 miles) 7 times! Very cool stories all week.

We headed up to our rooms for bed while everyone else in the house was out at the parties that people who aren’t racing were attending and I made the mistake of readining blogs and internet sites…. After getting a bit worked up over some of the comments I decided it was all just crazy to worry about. I told myself “ Self, you’re here for you, enjoy the day. Whatever happens, happens. I have worked way too hard to get wrapped p in anything other then the fact I have had an awesome season no matter how the day unfolds”. That clarity was a huge relief and helped me sleep great all night which is rare for me.

Pre Race-

Come on, it’s pre race… Not much going on here hopefully and there wasn’t. Sat around with the guys and just waited to get going. Decided to go find my spot in the swim and be ready to roll. I decided to line up right next to the pier and see what happened. I was going back and forth with this but then thought “f-it” why not. So I did.

The Swim-

I had a goal of making a front ack so this is one of the reasons I went on the fastest line. I went very hard to keep up with the draft of a guy I found early and decided no matter what the time was, I had swam as hard as I could. I was a bit disappointed with the 57 time but then learned everyone was a couple min off so I was cool with that. The swim spot was brutal for about a min, then was pretty Ok for most of the swim. If I went back I think I would choose the same spot. There isn’t ever an IM swim that I am not looking forward to being done with about 15 min of swimming and this was the case here as well.


I did so much better this year in Transition and was about 2 min faster then last year. On to the bike.

The Bike –

I was in the top 30 starting the bike and this was a perfect spot I thought. I was about 3 min +/- from the leaders and was feeling good. This race I definitely wanted to be more aggressive then I had ever been before, and really race for a podium spot. I felt in shape to do 445 on the bike without too much trouble and wanted to do that. The goal was to keep a 24mph average for as long as possible and see how easily I could do that. Unlike last year I feel the way out on the Queen K was fast, but harder then last year. At least it was taking a bit more effort then normal. I was slightly concerned but told myself this is just going to be flipped and I need to be aggressive in the harder part of the course, just like last year.

At mile 40 I started the climb up to Hawi and this is when I decided to push the pace a bit. I rode through about 20 guys, caught a good friend of mine Tim Hola and he said the lead group was just 30 seconds up. I went up to that group and started to ride through them. I was 1:20 down from the lead of the race at the turnaround at mile 60 and thought I was doing OK.

Right after that I stopped for Special needs and they couldn’t find my bag!!. UGH. I thought about rolling but I decided to wait a min and get my nutrition like I would tell my athletes. It took just over a min, but it felt like an ETERNITY. I saw guys passing me that I had just worked to pass, and tried not to get too worked up. Once I got the bottles, they were frozen… SOLID… are you kidding me??? So they were basically worthless. The next aid station was only water and I could feel my attitude slipping which told me I was low on calories. I had to back off and conserve. To do anything else would be foolish.

At mile 70 I was finally getting calories in and decided to just regroup. I wasn’t feeling good, the day wasn’t feeling “on” more like one of the training days we all have that for whatever reason just feel harder then it should. In stead of fighting it I decided to just chill and ride conservative. This was of course disappointing, but I tried to tell myself to save it for the run and not completely ruin the day.

In conclusion last year I rode 4:52 @ 236 watts. This year I was 4:55 @ 239. So was this an “easier” day? I don’t think so. Did I go out too hard, probably a touch, but I should have been able to handle it and I wanted to get to the front and roll the dice. I was excited to just be fit enough to be even playing with the top of the field and wouldn’t have been satisfied this race just playing it conservatively. I knew I could do that. I do want to get a plan that doesn’t NEED special needs.


I tried to relax and just get myself situated. It was clear to me that a speedy transition wouldn’t decide my day. On to the run.

The Run

Two words: Wasn’t Happening.

I knew straight away it wasn’t a “magical” day. So within 2 miles I decided to play defense. I told myself what I tell my athletes which is we all want the perfect day. Anyone can race well on those days however it’s more likely you’re going to have some issue(s), then what? I tried to not let my ego dictate and all I thought about was form, cadence, forward lean, and rhythm for as long as I could.

I made an early choice to walk the aid stations, let HR come down and do the best I could. When I was running I was still running between 7:15-7:40 pace which told me I was fit, just wasn’t getting the calories. My stomach wasn’t upset, just wasn’t absorbing very quickly. This caused me to slow down the calorie intake which drove my sustained energy down I think.

I walked most of Palani hill, drank a coke and tried to re group. I was shocked that I went through the half way in 1:40 and was encouraged that my “Defensive” strategy was doing its job. With 4 miles left I could still potentially break 9:30 which was my new goal. I knew it was a long shot, but it was what I focused on. I reminded myself of just last year I never broke 10 hours and how pumped I would be with the time.

I ended up encouraging a couple other guys to finish up strong with me and I went 9:35. (3:34 marathon).

The Finish Finally!!

I got to the finish line and was getting teary. I felt this was a hard fought victory in years past I would have lost. This year I went 9:35 on a terrible feeling day at Kona! I felt so proud of myself for battling through the way that I did. I know it is only because of my fitness and all that I have learned as a coach. Sure I wanted to be faster, there is no doubt I will have faster times, but this one was more satisfying in some ways then last year’s 9:16. I felt that this one truly legitimized me as a 9:30 or better Ironman guy because I did it in adverse conditions on a hard day.

I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me.

I going to do Ironman Florida for a PR and see what happens, but then not sure exactly yet what next year will bring.

MAD PROPS to Steve Johnson and of course Tim Hola. You guys raced awesome. We did battle all summer. I definitely won some, but so did you guys including this one and I want to say thanks to you both for being a lot of my inspiration for training hard. You guys are studs, and my hat is off to both of you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

In Boulder

Doing my final prep for Kona this year I decided to visit my good friend Wes Hobson in Boulder. While out here I hired Bobby McGee, one of triathlons best running coaches to go over my run form with me. I have to say this was one of the best run evaluations I have ever been through. It was pretty expensive, but quite worth it. It is exciting to hear things I am doing wrong because as I tell my athletes, that means you can get faster! When I tell athletes things that they can improve, sometimes they get upset however I remind them the absolute worst news is “congratulations, you are at your genetic potential”.

I stopped by Retul while here as well. My local shop The Bike Shop Glen Ellyn will be getting a system and I wanted to see what it is all about. Matt explained to me a couple tweaks he could make to make me MINUTES faster in the bike portion of the race… WOW! We decided to wait till after Kona as we are just two weeks out to make the changes, but I am excited to try that out as well.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer and next year...

Wow, seriously the summer is almost over??? Man that was fast.

Each day I would tell myself to write but then would be so tired from training and the daily operations and running of TBC that I would say “ahh, tomorrow will be just as good”. So, a few months later and I guess it is finally tomorrow. LOL

August was an amazing month. I had my athlete Ben Kanute take 2nd Overall at Junior Nationals, have had 4 athletes successfully finish Ironman with 4 PR’s. One of which was Steve Maves who at 51 years old went 27th OVERALL at IMLOU. Not bad for an “on call” doctor who has weekly scheduling issues. I cannot wait to see him in Kona along with my other 2 athletes I have going this year. But first is Vegas in 5 days…gulp

Earlier in the season I had high goals for Vegas 70.3. I still do, but a couple weeks back came to a cross roads with my training. I had what was possibly a very serious season ending illness and had to shut things down for the better part of a week. With an amazing amount of stress and anxiety behind be thanks to the help of Keith (a great friend and doctor) and some other close friends who happen to be docs as well we were able to discover the cause for all the issues. Blood clots, while scary and painful, but limited to superficial veins meant if I was able to deal with the pain, I could continue on without too much risk for serious side effects.

I decided Kona was going to be my main focus and had to play some catch up with that. I want to put myself in a good position to have a solid race there and hopefully improve either on my time and or place of last year’s 9:16, 82nd Overall. In doing so I did a lot of volume and training which I am hoping will also help me in Vegas as the course there will be tough, but we will see.

Next year I am considering racing as an Elite to see what that experience would be like so this being most likely my last Kona for awhile I am happy with the choice to focus on that. I have had several great showings this year and while I will always have to work on my running have been able to swim and bike solid even from the last wave in many races and think I can be in the mix for a lot of races which would be cool. Additionally I think it is a cool idea that I started as an overweight guy who could not run 1.5 miles to join the Marines in 1997 and will possibly come full circle to be able to say I achieved Elite status. I would also be lying that the main driver is I really do not know what I want to do next year and this at least buys me time to sign up for races later. That alone is a luxury I would to enjoy for at least 1 year.

Still deciding..

Friday, July 1, 2011

Funny Blog post from Lindsay

Oh so true!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Just got home from Kansas 70.3, I FINALLY had a run I knew I was capable of. I held back on the bike slightly, but really not too much. I averaged about 15 watts less then California but still pushed pretty well. The biggest difference was a tactic to focus on specific things in my run and it worked quite well. 1:22 was my run split and that is about 3 min faster for me on a course that has a lot of turns and a couple good hills.

I rode down on Friday with Danny and Lindsay. The drive is just far enough that by the time we got there at midnight we were pretty darn happy to be there. With a good night sleep under us, despite several wake ups, I felt quite refreshed. My ribs were hurting me to the point I went to an Urgent Care center 2 days before that and was finally able to get some topical pain meds to help reduce the pain significantly. This was the first time I hadn’t been in a lot of side pain in 2 weeks. That was a welcome surprise.

Kansas is great course, but the added logistics of 2 transition areas and not being allowed to park at either sucks. It makes for a 2-3 hour pre race brick and athlete check in process. If you do this race, just realize this is something you will have to deal with. We got there, got checked in, did our brick and then it was time for the REAL reason I drove to Kansas City, Planet Sub sandwiches. We definitely got a good pre race fill there this year and decided it also needed to be our first stop on the way home after the race.

The night before the weather looked like we were going to be racing in a massive rain storm. I was not at all looking forward to that but at this point just wanted to race enough to justify the calories I had been eating all day. I went to bed with wishful thinking and thank goodness the prayers were answered. Race day seemed to dodge a bullet.

It was so much fun to get some redemption on a race I really struggled with last year. I also love continuing to work on ways to try to gain more speed. I am working on faster running off the bike with some techniques I have used in training before but finally took the leap of faith and tried it in a race. It was amazing how hard it can be to get yourself out of your comfort zone and how you “normally” do things. I was very pleased with the result however with 1:22 being my fastest half marathon off the bike to date. One of the guys I respect the most in my AG – Tim Hola out ran me by less then 1 min. I use him as a bench march as he is probably the single most consistent top performer I face. He is an amazing guy, and talent.

Now just have to figure out what is next. I have Courtney Ogden staying with me this summer. So I hope to do some training with him and learn from one of the most experienced pros I know.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I have to brag….

I am having a good season for myself, but I don’t want to talk about me. I want to brag on my athletes. Since January:

I have coached:

(Sally M)
- First Place Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix
- First Place at the Skirt Chasers 5k and PR
- First Place at Rev3 Olympic race in Costa Rica
- First Place at Rev3 Half Ironman in Costa Rica

(Trevor G)
- First Place in a local Xterra race
- Several top 10 finishes at Regional Xterra Championships
- 9:35 at Ironman St. George (FIRST EVER IRONMAN)

(Sue H)
- 8th Overall Female at Disney 70.3

(Melanie S)
- First ever half Ironman win
- 3rd place in AG at Ironman St. George (FIRST EVER IRONMAN)

(Sue D.)
- Hasn’t raced yet but was a mid 6 hour Ironman biker. Last weekend she did a 100 mile organized ride, no drafting in 4:56!

(Ben K)
- First Overall Leon’s triathlon (FIRST OLYMPIC EVER)

(Joe L)
- Qualified for Las Vegas 70.3 World Championships
- PR for Half Marathon sub 1:30!
- 3rd place in AG at Leon’s Olympic

And the Season is just started! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I just finished racing Triple T last weekend in Southern Ohio. I love this race because it is hard to replicate the intensity and experience of a race, like a race can do. Well, this event offers you 4 chances to race in a single weekend totaling an Iron distance. Not only are the total miles a bit tough, but the terrain in the foothills is super hard as well. Makes for a fun time though.

Friday – this was a sprint race which I simply do not do well. Hardly any of my training is done over threshold for long periods of time, so I knew going in this would be one of the hardest races for me. That proved to be correct, and I ended up in 7th overall place about 90 seconds off the leader.

Saturday – starts with an Olympic distance race, finally some real distances. I had a solid swim. What the main problem was however was I was swimming against John Kenny who seems to be one of the best swimmers in the US for open water. He put over 2 min on me in just the swim. I was able to make up about 20 seconds on him on the bike, and a little on the run but he held on for the win and beat me by about 50 seconds.

After a quick massage and a light lunch I went back to the hotel and rested up for the afternoon race. This was another Olympic distance but the order was bike – swim – run. I knew to have any chance of making up some serious time on John; I would have to try to separate myself on the bike. I was able to do that by out biking him by 2 min but it came at the cost of massive leg cramps in the water and he was able to not only make that up on me, but then put 2 more min on me! WOW! I am a solid swimmer, so I am not totally used to getting whooped this bad on the swim. I collected myself and tried to run him down or at least the best I could. By the run turn around I had made up about 90 seconds. I caught him finally with just under a mile to go and was able to win by 18 seconds overall.

Sunday – We started the half Ironman just over 2 min apart. Again, in the swim he was able to put 4 min on me and that pretty much sealed the deal. The efforts from the day before were catching up to me and while I had one of the top bike splits even to include the teams, it wasn’t enough to bridge the gap on John. I knew then it was time to protect 2nd place. My feet were killing me so for the last 5 miles each step was agony, but was able to hold off a hard charging Jared Milam.

All in all I ended up 2nd overall with a combined time of 9:28. All in all I was very pleased.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2 camps

2 weekend camps for athletes looking to take a step forward.

I am offering 2 weekend opportunities for you to train with people who know how to make you better. It will be an opportunity for you to ask questions, get looked at on the swim, bike and run, and more importantly see how we train! It is going to be somewhat informal, down and dirty, but you will get REAL SCOOP on tricks, techniques, and ideas to help you get faster – period.

It has been my experience that every time I or another coach gets to actually see you workout, or vice versa we find ways to help. So my intentions are to do a short TRAINING weekend. It will consist of:

Friday – swim, run (This will give myself and other coaches a chance to take a look at your while you workout. This isn’t an instructional format. It’s a workout. That being said all weekend we will be pulling athletes aside making tweaks, and adjusting what you are doing if needed.

Sat – Masters swim session, and Bike focused Brick workout. (OPTIONAL GROUP DINNER – Not included in price)

Sunday – Run session and the coaches will stick around to answer any questions you would still have.
***We will have the run at a store so you can take advantage of exclusive discounts for campers***

We want to see how you hydrate, carry food and bottles, pace yourself, use your power meter if you have one, and speed distance watches. We will be available all weekend for questions, chats, whatever you need.

Because of the informal atmosphere we will be trying to keep the costs low.

I am offering 2 camps. Both based primarily out of Geneva, IL.

THE FIRST CAMP WILL BE MORE EXCLUSIVE - ONLY 2-3 ATHLETES PER COACH. The athletes will be selected by the coaches who will be working with them. We want this one to be a little more in depth and want to make sure there is more personal interaction.

The dates: July 1-3rd.
Cost: 350.00

All health club fees
SAG SUPPORT for ride
ANALYSIS of each workout on WKO
This camp will include a dinner out
Optional VO2 Max testing at a discount (will be scheduled prior to camp)
Optional Gait analysis (will be scheduled prior to camp)
Optional Bike fit (will be scheduled prior to camp)

The Second camp will be same format but allow more campers

The dates: July 22nd- 24th.
Cost: 270.00

All health club fees
SAG SUPPORT for ride
Optional VO2 Max testing at a discount (will be scheduled prior to camp)

Please email me directly if you have interest in either camp: azucco@trainingbible.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The weather seems as if it is finally turning… maybe. Everyone is excited to start running in a single layer of clothing, and running faster! To run fast one of the things you want to address is economy. So often I hear about athletes who are doing “hard training” on the track, tempo runs, with faster training partners, etc. What most never think to address is economy.

Improving economy while running can improve performances up to 20%! Why then wouldn’t every athlete do this? Easy, it is not always viewed as “hard”. Having a proper gait analysis, or structural analysis, or learning how to improve your mechanics, or even fueling strategy are all great ways to improve economy. If you do not buy into the theory of economy, try running with your shoes on backwards. Obviously, this would be close to impossible. However it is a gross example of how having someone show you to put your shoes on right would be far more effecting then trying to run “harder” with them on backwards.

If you have questions on how to improve your economy feel free to ask any of us here at Training Bible Coaching.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Leland 150k bike race 2011

The race is 150K with about 50% on gravel roads. This helps me if I can stay in front because it strings out eh peleton and allows my TT skills to kick in a bit. What I have to do is survive the first few attacks and make sure I don’t get left behind by a good group that can win it. I also try to help out the better cyclists on my team like Patrick.

Last year I learned 2 lessons:
1. I missed the first massive attack and the 2 guys stayed away and won.
2. I showed my strength too early for TT’ng and ended up pulling the last like 90 min.

So this year I tried to follow the first couple attacks and keep Patrick in the front, but didn’t want to always be the guy to chase down each attack. So after like 3, I sat up for the 4th and let someone else do it. Problem was, nobody did, then Patrick did and I am supposed to be looking out for him. So half way through the first lap I saw a gap, I chased it so Patrick wouldn’t have to, when I looked back we had gapped the field, but Patrick didn’t come…. Damn, now what??

I decided to sit at the back of the 4 man group, and do as little work as possible. Problem was we just entered the first gravel road, which the rain turned into a mud pit. Ugh. Because there was only like 9 inches of semi packed dirt mud, and I was sitting 4th I was having to do 425 watts to BARELY hold on, and I couldn’t hold a wheel!!! Damn it! I was told first rule is to never get dropped from a break and I was about to break that rule…

I decided to drop back to the 2 CAT 1 riders chasing me about 15 seconds back, and did. I was taking turns for like 5 min, and the guy I was following let the lead guy go. Great, now I went around him, but it was too late, by the time I found a place in the mud to pass, the guy had like 20 seconds on us. The guy with me said sorry, and then dropped off. NOTHING was going as planned.
So this was supposed to be a 6 lap course, each lap about 15 miles. At the end of lap 1 I was isolated about 50 seconds behind the lead 4 and about 90 seconds ahead of the group. We were about to go into the wind for about 20 min, and last time it was all I could do to go 14mph with a pack! All I could think was there was NO WAY I can out TT a group of 4 (3 x Cat1, 1 x CAT3) solo into that kind of wind. Decision time, the idea of dropping back that far too maybe get dropped from some more sprints was not appealing so I decided to chase.

At about half way through the wind section I was encouraged to be catching one guy who dropped off, and not lose any time to main group, but I wasn’t gaining. When I picked up the guy, he worked with me for about 10 min, and then dropped off. The ref said I was 38 seconds back, then 33, then 28… After 53 min I finally caught!

As soon as I did, one guy said, “Pull through”. I told him no way, I need to rest a min, just chased for close to an hour. He then said, “OK, let’s drop the dead weight, and stood up and sprinted. We were going into the wind on lap 2, and he did the sprint during like a 90 second stretch where it was a cross wind. I told myself no matter how bad it hurt, fighting wind for 15 min solo again, would be worse. I made the group, another guy dropped, now we are 3.

What was surprising to me was it was a CAT 1 guy, and a CAT 3. I thought if I made the front, I would definitely with the 3 race… Not the case. At the end of 3rd lap CAT 3 guy dropped. Now it was me and the CAT 1.

We decided to work together, into the wind. 15 second pulls. My glasses were COVERED in mud. I couldn’t see a thing. I took them off but on the mud roads, his wheel spray went into my eyes, and I almost crashed. In the cross wind he told me to not pull so hard, and I didn’t think I was, so I felt like maybe in another lap I could dial it up, but I didn’t want to do 2.5 laps solo with the wind. 5 min later, he dropped off and waved me on! WHAT!? Holly crap, I was winning the race!? Problem was I had 2 complete laps left. I told myself to not panic, be steady and TT it.

Finishing up lap 4 O couldn’t see anyone behind me, and the lead vehicle told me they were going to take 1 lap off. (Between us, I was thanking God! ) So I told myself I basically had to survive a 20 min solo effort into the worst wind imaginable. Positive was I could take my glasses off as I wasn’t getting wheel spray in my face. 

After the wind section I looked back and didn’t see anyone. The motorcycle came up and told me I had 4.5 min lead! Wow, now, no flats!

I couldn’t believe it. I did 5 laps, just about 75 miles; I was freezing the entire time, and could not believe I won. I’m not sure what happened behind me, I guess most of the field was told to turn for home, and most only did 4 laps? I don’t know. But wow, I was so excited.

I want to thank Rich for the awesome new Focus bike and Bicycle Heaven Team for helping me get ready and telling me what to do.

Monday, April 4, 2011

California in the spring time.

Wow, what an awesome trip I just had to SoCal. I left about 10 days ago taking advantage of the opportunity of the extra spring break time. I wanted to put the effort in at SuperSeal the weekend before Oceanside 70.3. I have found what works best for me would not work for most of my athletes, but I usually need some type of significant effort a week out from a race. SuperSeal went very solid. The swim and the bike were just average for me, but the run was one of my best at 5:48 pace with a mile or so off the main path on sand trails.

I was able to get 2nd Overall behind Michael Wies. He beat me pretty soundly, I think 7 min, that guy can really ride a bike…

I spent the following week training with Trevor Glavin, and updating all my SkinFit apparel (www.skinfitusa.com). I never really write about all the products I use, but will tell you the clothes are amazing. He could probably use a better “model” then me, but I am glad I get to race and train in the stuff.

California 70.3 came and I was just feeling really ready for it. I was questioning as I get older if my “Strong” taper would work and I would recover the same, but mentally I really wanted to get the race going. For the first time I think I walked around feeling like 4-6 guys could really win the overall and even my AG but I considered myself one. I have so much respect for the guys I race. 30-45 years old is really no joke. These guys are sub 9 hour IM guys and really can go.

Race morning came and I knew I was in the last wave… again… I hate starting last because it is simply so dangerous. To describe what it is like to ride a bike through that crowd would be like telling someone to go flat out on their local bike path on a weekend. So often you just have to have faith that people are not going to cut you off, or do anything too crazy, not to mention the swim is… well, you can imagine.

The swim started and I saw one of the guys mark me from the start. I got one of the better foot massages I think I have ever gotten and we actually moved through the field quite efficiently I felt. I wanted to get in and out of T1 and feel I did a good job doing so. On the bike I felt like Lance Armstrong as I was passing people in the 50+ AG, and eventually the younger ones, but had to keep telling myself it was just an illusion. I had my first indication at the 40k I was doing OK, when I was under 55 min. We had a good tail wind though for a lot of it and I told myself to just keep going. 28 miles in 1:02…Wow, but here comes the hills and wind.

Lucky for me I had two sources, well, three of motivation. 1- I knew the guys in my AG could really run well, and they did. 2- I went to Infantry school on the bike course. So riding through seeing the Marines was awesome. I tried to remember everything I did there, and “Suck it up”. 3- On one of the last hills I was starting to really feel some cramps in the legs, and chest from breathing too hard. I came up on this guy with “Scottsdale Tri Club” or something with pink compression socks... I asked him “for Sally?” He yelled, SALLY SOCKS! Game back on – get focused I told myself.

Came in off the bike and could not find my garmin run watch anywhere!?? WTF?? I went rifling through my Transition bag telling myself to forget it, but not wanting to let it go. I couldn’t find it anywhere – damn. So I went into the bag and decided to run old school with the Timex wrist watch. I guess my T1 was too good. I knocked my Garmin over a spot or 2. Thank goodness I found it later after the race.

The run went like 6:02 pace for the first mile, then 6:20 (1:22 was my goal) but I knew by mile 3 it wasn’t going to happen. I was cramping in the ribs, and both quads like Charlie horses. I told myself to just keep going and work on cadence and turnover. Problem was when I shortened up the stride a touch it shortened the muscles causing more crams. I really thought I was about to go down in a blaze of glory, I had biked way too hard. Lucky for me I had so many friends and clients racing, and had Jim on the course with some other friends I just ran from person to person.

I ended up walking like 4 aid stations. I usually drink too much and have to pee, so I think I slightly under did the liquids this go around. So I though if I can get some fluid in I can keep going. It worked OK. I ran 1:27, close to 1:26 missed by a few seconds.

I ended up having one of the best bike splits, but the slowest run I think in the top 50. Oh well, I know it is early and that by far the hardest, longest sustained effort I had done on the bike this season. I won the AG, but was super surprised I won the overall Amateur! I was so happy!

I took the Kona and Vegas spots. I know for sure I will do Kona, and to be honest am not sure about the rest of the season. I am supposed to do St. George, and will stay on track to do it but not sure how hard I will go. I used that as a back up for qualifying this year. I also am in Eagleman and Lubbock. I have to decide which I am going to do.

I think right now the plan is to really go to St. George and swim and bike well, and just see how I feel on the run. I want Trevor to qualify and I would love to help him and race some of the race with him. I am not sure though how much of a hole I want to dig for the rest of the season though… TBD.

Thank you to my entire support structure. Lindsay has been pretty patient with letting me do some camps this winter and figure things out. My friend who works at Trek was there to help me tune up the Speed Concept and make sure I had the bike dialed in. Rich at the Bike shop helped tweak my position a few times this winter and fall. Jim, you and I are the best coaching team I could have. To have someone like you help me and talk through things with me is awesome. I know I question and want to change things up sometimes, but we always seem to work the best plan out together. My training partners like Scott Iott, and Trevor Glavin are some of the best friends and athletes anyone could ask for.

Damn… Now I have to get fit for Kona again. GULP!!! :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tune up race

I got to do the Superseal triathlon this last weekend in San Diego. It was very well run, included prize money, and ran created money for Navy SEALs. What else could you want?

I decided to train through the race as Oceanside is coming up this Saturday. Trevor and I did a 7k swim on Friday and then some lighter stuff on Sat. We were definitely a bit tired going into the event so I was happy with the 2nd overall result. Trevor was leading through the first mile of the run (between us) but he took a wrong turn which cost him about 30 seconds and allowed me to leap frog him and then run scared the last 5 miles! LOL

Anyway, I wanted to thank Superseal and Luminox watches for offering such great prizes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Relentlessly Positive - Sally Meyerhoff

I haven’t written on my blog in a long time. I have come to accept, I just don’t type well or often

To say I received sad news this last week would have been an understatement. Sally Meyerhoff and I worked together off an on for 2 years. After NYC Marathon last year, she asked me to coach her full time and I graciously accepted.

If I am totally honest, it was also intimidating. To have an athlete at her level put her trust in me was a thing I respected very much. With Sally, like ALL my athletes, I never take it lightly when I write their weekly plans. I know for a certain fact that they are asking me to help them with their hopes and dreams.

In the last 2 months Sally accomplishing dreams she had. Some of her major ones:
Win PF Chang’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon – Done.
PR in a 5k – Done
Experience some success in triathlon Two races, two different distances 1st place, and… 1st place. – Done.
Fine peace in her race plan – Done.

Sally and I had a 4 hour conversation together the other week talking about HER goals. I wanted the goals to be hers. Not mine, not her family's, not what she thought others expected her to do – hers. I explained to her I worked for her. I was here to add suggestions but she had to make decisions.

What we came up with was a plan to focus on her running to make money and work on speed through the spring. We decided it would be best to not have the pressure of Ironman this year, and it would be here for her whenever she decided to go after it. So we thought working on skills and get more experience racing triathlon would be done best through short course racing and half Ironman distances. We also decided it would be a good time to cut her teeth in the pro ranks so she could learn where we needed to get better against the professionals she would be racing someday.

After some racing this summer in triathlon, we thought that would give her a mental break, let her body cross train and build a huge base of fitness which would lead into our goal of running 2:28 or better Jan 14th at the Olympic trials. We also decide the time would be our first goal; placement would be a close secondary focus. Sally was looking for return on investment for what she put into her pursuit.

The focus was to be on becoming the runner and athlete she wanted to become. Improve economy, speed, etc. We would relentlessly work on these qualities and pick things along the way we wanted to focus on without losing site that the real goal was to keep becoming a better athlete.

In my experiences there are some AWESOME coaches out there. Not saying this is what Sally experienced, but in my own experiences coaches sometimes get so caught up in the athletic goal, track work, HR, etc. They forget there is a person in there. In my opinion and looking back at Sally’s blog (http://www.runsalm3.blogspot.com/) her first limiter we needed to address was mental peace and clearness of what she wanted. We didn’t do anything special with workouts leading into January. She and I talked and made a final decision for her to run the marathon Tuesday BEFORE the race! We agreed time and placement was not our focus. Our focus was for her to just enjoy lacing up her shoes and have fun running again. I made her promise me this was her focus.

She won, and really I didn’t care. Yes, I was happy for that. Sure she had ran slightly faster, but she won by several minutes. What I was happier for, was she smiled that entire race. She had fun, and found passion for it again. Next thing you know, she was on FIRE! You can see it in her blog. She was finally happy, and then you know what, she started to win.

Sally was killed on her bike last Tuesday. Our goals were cut tragically short. It really makes no sense to me and I can’t find the “reason” for it.

I was just with her family for the last few days and cannot say enough positive things about them. The Meyerhoff’s have raised 3 amazing children: Sally, Daniel, and Samantha. This fact is nothing but a testament of the parents they are.

To me Sally was a great runner, yes. I loved coaching her. Coaches never know when they will get the opportunity to work with athletes at that level, especially with her character. But my favorite athletes to work with are athletes with passion. For me to write a 5 or a 10 min mile doesn’t really matter to me. What does is the CARING and PASSION which she obviously had.

Sally’s motto was “Relentlessly Positive”. Something she lived everyday with an infectious nature. If you met Sally, you were a better person. I have friends who thought the world of her just having heard me speak of her. It was agreed by the hundreds of people who came to the memorial that she had the ability to relate to EVERYONE.

I learned from her dad this trip her true dream was to own a bakery. The ideal setting was a place people could hang out, indulge in something nice to eat and have a park near by where they could let their dogs run.

Sally was an AMAZING PERSON, who happened to be a fantastic athlete. I will miss her as will many people around the community.

Sally thank you for mentoring me.

There is a foundation being set up in her honor. As I know more details, I will make sure to write about it….. (Disregard opening sentence) :)

---It should be noted that her former High School Mountain Pointe is dedicating their track to her. It will be Sally Meyerhoff

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Costa Rica

Just got back form our first ever TBC Costa Rica camp. We had such a great time! We had athletes from the US, Canada, as well as Venezuela. It was awesome to see everyone integrate and have such a great time.

Coach Jim Vance did the leg work for the camp and he did an awesome job. He arranged great digs for us with a 7 bedroom mansion with a pool for us all to enjoy, transfers, personal chefs, and even maid services daily! It was great.

In addition to the learning and training we all did, we all got an opportunity to compete in the new Rev3 races held there. With an Olympic distance on Saturday, and a Half on Sunday, some of us had an opportunity to do both races. TBC had 5 athletes on the podium as well as the overall Male and Female winner for BOTH RACES.

Sally Meyerhoff has been working with me since the end of last year and I would say she is off to a great start! Let’s see, she won the Rock N Roll Marathon in Arizona, and then won the overall title at BOTH races in Costa Rica. Oh, and did I mention had the fastest run splits for both races INCLUDING male athletes… WOW!

I am looking forward to the camp in St. George in 2 weeks.

If you are looking for a late season camp to get ready for an Ironman like Wisconsin, Hawaii, Florida, etc, check out our fantastic North Georgia camp in Aug. I think I will limit the camp to 15-20 people to make sure it is a manageable group.
Here is a link to the camp: http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1939301

Below are some pics from Costa Rica

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Picture says it all

I wanted to take a min and congratulate Sally Meyerhoff, and athlete I am fortunate to work with. Sally hired me after having a tough marathon in New York this past fall. She and I decided a new direction and an honest crack at triathlon would be a great break from routine and something new and positive to wrap her head around. Well, she deviated just a bit from the triathlon plan and WON the PF Chang’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon last weekend!

I am so proud of her! I love her picture, it says it all!

Well done Sally!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Once again humbled

So Christmas Eve I decided to get a swim in before all the festivities started. As usual for this time of year the pool was packed with people deciding that in fact this is the year they will actually commit to being fit. While I wish them well on their journeys, I selfishly get annoyed at times when I can’t get into a lane. I realize that sounds bad, but hey, just being honest.

So I wait for a lane and start my set. While I am doing a long band set I see an older gentleman trying to keep pace with me in the lane next to me. I can tell he is intent to keep up and to his credit he does. When I finish my set he stops as well. He looks at me and tells me that was awesome, and asks me what the next set is. I really was almost done, and I usually just keep my head down in workouts as I am so often time crunched and just really want to get the work down and head out. This was Christmas Eve however and I thought, what the heck, Ill swim a short set with the guy. We do a few hundred meters together, I explain to him he was swimming great, he was, and thanked him for letting me swim with him.

He goes on to tell me how he is about 70 years old now and has enjoyed swimming for years. He said he has gone to Master World Championships a few times and is looking forward to “Aging up” so he can be the youngest in his age division once again. We discussed times and he told me he can still break 3 min for the 200 meter freestyle. He also said he used to swim a 2:08 for the distance when he was young, which really is impressive and I told him so. He explains to me that he is a “long course guy” and I am thinking 500, 1500, etc.

While talking to him a mutual friend walks up and says hello to me and my new friend. I was surprised my friend Don knew him as this guy had told me he is from the UK and is in town visiting his daughter. My friend goes on to introduce me to this man Michael Reed.

Michael Reed is President of the CSA (Channel Swimmers Association). He ha the title King of The Channel! He has the most channel crossings of anyone in history and has also swam the Nile river among other amazing endurance events. He is being inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame soon along with Ian Thorpe!

Holy crap I am glad I was nice to this guy! LOL

Michael, you are truly amazing. Congratulations on your induction and truly, thank you for sharing YOUR swim with me!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Runners World article

I have promised myself to post more on the blog. We will see. :) In the meantime, check out the article in Runners World I was lucky enough to take part in.