Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week 2 Training Summary...Happy Thanksgiving!

For week 2 I increased my training totals a little bit over last week. I've begun to feel in better shape and I'm over the initial soreness of resuming training. For the week I ran 40 miles, biked 85 miles, and swam 13,700 yards. In addition to those totals I lifted weights, did speed drills and strides all three times, lunges and plyometrics twice, and core work six times. My total training time was 18 hours. On Thursday I ran a 5 mile Turkey Trot race in Davenport. I ran it hard as a way to measure my fitness compared to last year. A year ago I was in my 4th week of training and I ran 29:25. This year I ran 28:39. My toughest workouts of the week were in the pool. I'm definitely ahead of where I was at this point a year ago in the water. On Saturday morning I swam 30 75's on the 1:05 interval with an easy 100 after certain numbers. A year ago I did the same set and was swimming them on the 1:10 interval. I have some technique issues I'm working on as I hope to make big improvements in the area I need the most work. For this upcoming week I will begin doing a weekly running interval workout and two biking interval workouts. It was nice spending time with family and friends over the holiday. I have much to be thankful for. I've been fortunate to stay mostly healthy with a high level of training for a year. I give much of that credit to Dr. Kaminski at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care. I have not had any overuse injuries in the year since I began training hard for this sport. I'm also extremely thankful to have Jen's enduring support of this journey. I know my hours of training require her to make some sacrifices and I would not have enjoyed the successes that I did without her. I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 1 Training Summary

The training for my 2010 triathlon season offically began at midnight last Monday "morning" with my own edition of "Midnight Madness" in which I got on the trainer for my first ride of the season. I enjoyed my 3 weeks off. I was able to get mentally and physically recovered for the year ahead. For the week I ran 35 miles, biked 75, and swam 10,000 yards. In addition to those totals I also lifted weights, did speed drills and strides all three times, plyometrics and lunges twice, and core work 6 times. My total training time for the week was 15.5 hours. I was pretty sore early in the week but by Friday I was feeling much better. I began my weekly long runs with 60 minutes on Sunday. My goal as of now is to progressively increase this time by adding 5 minutes to the run every two weeks until I get to 2 hours. If I decide to do an Ironman I will try to increase it up to about 3 hours for the long run. I plan to register for Ironman Wisconsin and Ironman Florida and then decide which of those two to compete in, if either, as the time draws closer. By turning professional and paying for my Ironman Pro Membership card I am allowed to sign up and compete in as many Ironman trademarked events as I want for no additional cost outside the one-time $750.00 fee. Since I'm allowed to sign up for as many as I wish I will sign up for any race I am even considering.
The toughest workouts this week were by far the swims on Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday I went with the PV high school swim team and it was tough. I got out of the water 30 minutes early and I was already at 4,200 yards. On Thursday I went with the PV Stingrays club swim team and got in 3,700 painful yards. Our main set was 20x 75's on 1:10 with a 2 minute rest after every 5. I'm quite a bit faster than when I began training last year. I'm hoping to stay well ahead of that curve. I'll be increasing the run and swim totals a bit this week. I'm working hard at eating healthy so I can get to my goal body fat % of 9 as opposed to the 13 I was at last year. I believe getting to 9 should allow me to race quite a bit faster than last year just by carrying less dead weight. Thanks for's great to be back! DREAM BIG!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ironman Pro Membership Program

I recently found out about big news for pro athletes racing any of the Ironman trademarked events in 2010. 2 new big programs have been implemented. The first is an "anti-doping" initiative in which they say they are going to be more strict about testing athletes at events and during the off-season. To help pay for this more intensive testing program they have created a pro membership program in which every professional who wants to race in any Ironman trademarked events (operated by WTC- World Triathlon Corporation) must pay a yearly $750.00 fee. Although I first thought this was bad news, after reading into the program it looks like it will be a good thing for me. You can read about the new program at
The fee includes entry into as many Ironman trademarked events as the athlete wants to compete in. I was planning on doing four 70.3 events which would have costed more than $750.00 for me. Now I am thinking of doing Ironman Wisconsin since it would be "free" after paying the membership fee. That race alone would have cost me $550.00. I've read some of the pro triathlete comments on Slowtwitch and many are upset because they had received complimentary entries at some of the Ironman trademarked events they did in the past. I would not have been in that boat this year so for me this looks like a good thing. For some motivation, some of them stated that this opens the door to "30 year old pseudo-pros who are not full-time professionals to turn pro and it will water down the fields of races." Their description of a "pseudo-pro" was exactly where I fit. It also makes me realize I have lots to prove in 2010 that I belong in the professional fields at races. My season begins on Monday and I couldn't be more excited to get going. 3 weeks off has allowed me to recover from last year and get more motivated than ever for the upcoming season. I'm going to kick off the season at 12:00 a.m. as my own way of honoring college basketball's famous "Midnight Madness". I'll continue to post regular weekly training updates every Sunday night. Thanks for following the journey. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Goals for 2010

I've enjoyed my first 2 weeks off of a scheduled 3 week break before I will begin preparation for my first season as a professional triathlete in 2010. I have had some time to reflect on my goals from last season and my goals for next year. I have always believed it is important to make goals known publicly. By doing this I have others who can hold me accountable for what I say. I'm a huge believer in goal setting. Through the course of the year I set weekly training goals as well as training benchmark goals I aim to hit every 3 months. My goals for 2010 are as follows...
1. Reduce my body fat % from 13% to 9%.
2. Increase my leg weights in the weight room by 20% over last year
3. Add at least 10% to my yearly bike mileage
4. Build my weekly long run to 17 miles
5. Run a 5k on the track in under 16:00 by the end of April
6. Place top half of the professional fields in the 3 70.3 races I plan to enter

I rarely set specific time goals on triathlon courses due to the weather and the difference in course from year to year. I also try to set goals that I can control. I know if I can hit the first 4 goals listed above it will put me in a great position to race well and the places and times will take care of themselves. My big hope is that I will be stronger, but leaner, therefore increasing my power/body weight ratio on the bike. I know if I'm going to be competitive at the professional level I have to either get much faster in the swim portion or be one of the top bikers in the race. I'm hoping for one of those two things to happen or a combination of both that will allow me to be a successful professional triathlete. Only 1 week to go before resuming this journey...I can't wait! Next week I will post a tentative schedule for 2010. Thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

THANKS!...For helping me live the DREAM!

The 2009 season concluded on October 25th for me by reaching the goal I began the year with, qualifying to become a professional triathlete. I began this journey on November 3rd of 2008 and the first year is officially in the books. The improvements I made were tremendous but they would not have been possible without the help of so many people who helped to inspire me and push me in training through the year. I would like to take the time in this post to thank so many of the wonderful people that supported me this year.

My wife Jen- When I came to you with this crazy idea of giving up coaching to train year round with a dream of becoming a professional triathlete you were so supportive of this decision. You sacrificed so much to allow me to train 20-30 hours a week to make this dream a reality. I know it was not easy and I don't thank you enough. Without you this would not be possible! Thanks! I love you!

Kaminski Pain and Performance Care- Your entire staff was tremendously helpful in keeping me healthy through the year. At the volume I trained the risk of injury runs high. The only time I had to miss training with an injury was when I had the "freak" cyst on my achilles tendon. You helped to keep all the overuse injuries away from me. I always felt better when I left your office than when I arrived. Thanks for believing in me when I came to you with this crazy idea of becoming a professional triathlete.

Healthy Habits- You guys were so helpful in keeping my bike ready to race week in and week out. I appreciate all you did in helping me get the Zipp wheel set, the Shimano Elite Tri shoes, the nutritional products, and the bike case and wheel bag for my trip to Austin. Your shop was always there to help me race faster. Thanks!

Tim Holt and Zipp- It meant a lot to me to have support of the makers of the world's fastest wheels. I love having Zipp on my side. Having the combination of wheels to use in any race conditions was more valuable than I could have imagined it would have been. When the wind was high or the courses were hilly I paired the 808 Zipp front wheel with the 1080 rear wheel and I won all 4 races I competed in with that combination. When the weather was nice and the course was flat I was able to race the Zipp 1080 front wheel with the Zipp disc rear wheel for a fast bike split. Thanks!

My Family- My parents and brothers taught me the value of hard work at a young age. The work ethic you taught me has helped me to fear nothing in a workout. This work ethic and discipline has allowed me to train at a high level even when I'm training alone...which was almost every workout. Thanks for all the support and love through this journey.

Todd Ehlert- Todd, you got me involved with the cycling indoor intervals on Tuesdays and then the famous Wilkes Hill once the weather warmed. You were always super supportive of what I was doing. I can't express to you how much it meant to have someone believing in me when I know most people thought I was crazy. You helped me overcome my fears of riding with the group on Wednesdays when I was afraid to do a drafting workout. Those workouts helped me to greatly improving my cycling in the middle of the season. I look forward to many more workouts with you. You've been a great friend.

Stephan Marsh- Stephan, I can tell you I would not be on this journey had I never met you and started training with you a little over a year ago. I was in such bad shape when I met you that I was considering not even competing last summer. You were the best training partner I could have hoped for and I can't wait to have you around more often so we can continue making each other better. You were never afraid of whatever swim, bike, or run workout I came up with. Your support through this year was greatly appreciated whether it was a phone call before the race or coming to watch the race at Hy-Vee. Thanks!

Coach Olsen- I learned so much about believing in my abilities throughout my time running for you and coaching with you. You helped me to create an attitude where I believe that nothing is impossible! You taught me that the most important thing is the journey itself...more important than the professional status and the awards won. When I told you about the journey I was embarking on last year you reaffirmed to me it was the right decision to make when I was had my doubts as to whether or not I was making the right decision. Thanks for teaching me to DREAM BIG and to always believe in my abilities. This journey has been worth every second!

Paul Eure- Thanks for letting me swim with the high school team in the winter during the season and during the summer camps. Training with a group in the pool has helped me to improve a lot in the discipline I need the most work.

Dave Terronez- One of the biggest reasons I was able to have so much success in the 1/2 Ironman distance this year was getting my long runs done week in and week out. I always knew I could count on you to show up to help me get these runs done whether it was 10 degrees and snowing or 50 and raining. I would not have been able to finish the 1/2 Ironman in Austin with a 1:17:00 half marathon had you not always made time to run with me.

Jared Dammann- Your enthusiasm for triathlons is contagious! Your help with me in the swim pool and on the training sessions we were able to do together was very good for me. Thanks for all the well wishes before races and the phone calls afterwards. You have a very bright future in this sport!

Jeff Bradley- You taught me so much about riding in our workouts. I knew nothing about bike intervals before meeting you and I enjoyed getting my butt kicked up Wilkes Hill and getting dropped in the Wednesday night group rides because I know those made me stronger both mentally and physically.

Scott Johannsen- Thanks for getting me ready to swim "hard and fast" at the Longhorn 1/2 Ironman! You helped me to believe that I can swim really hard and still be fine to bike and run afterwards. The Stingrays Club gave me a great group to train with and the workouts were extremely tough. I know they will be very important in helping me become a better swimmer so I can compete at the professional level.

Ron Standley- Ron was my wife's coach at Augustana and I am thankful that he was willing to coach me through some extremely tough indoor track workouts last winter. Those workouts helped to prepare me for the summer by toughening me up mentally and physically. Thanks for always making the time to meet me at Augustana and coming up with very challenging workouts.

Randy Bill- You probably had no idea how much you would inspire me when we were watching the Hy-Vee Triathlon on television after the Bix in 08'. You may not remember the conversation we had but it is what got the ball rolling for this entire dream. You challenged me to devote myself to this sport to see if I could compete on the same level as the professionals. Watching you compete at an elite level in marathons has inspired me to try to do the same in triathlons. Your 2:18 marathon is coming!

Team Tri-Fit- Watching so many of you improve and reach your fitness goals this year has inspired me to continue dreaming big! I have been amazed at the growth of the club this year and the success that so many of you have had in reaching your own goals. I'm excited about the future of the club as we move forward into our second year.

Laurel Darren- Your pre-race massages were awesome! I felt great racing after each massage and I cannot thank you and the staff at John Taylor spa enough. The conversations we had about dreaming big and your Ironman endeavors were extremely motivating to me. Thanks!

Readers- Whether you realize it or not, knowing that people are reading this blog has inspired me more than you can imagine. When I was tired and didn't know if I could get my final workouts in I thought about having to post the blog entry on Sunday night. It inspired me to get the work done so I did not have to write about a week of missed goals. My only hope is that I have been able to inspire some of you as much as you have inspired me. I hope you'll continue to follow the journey as I move forward into year 2. Your comments and well wishes mean so much to me. Thanks!

I'm sure I left out so many deserving people and I apologize for that. I have had a great deal of support this year and the success I had is shared with you all. Thanks for always following and believing in me. Next week I'll be laying out my goals for 2010. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!