TT049: First time Ironman at Ironman Louisville

Michael Welk did his first Ironman in 2014 at Ironman Louisville at age 42. His previous experience included a couple sprint triathlons Ironman Louisville Resultsseveral years ago, and just one sprint triathlon in 2014 leading up to his Ironman.  We talk about his progress and experience from November 2013, when he signed up for the race, through race day.

He started training in late 2013 but was not progressing as hoped, so he hired a triathlon coach.  He also hired a swim coach in March. Early in 2014 he couldn’t swim more than 25 yards at a time.  His prep included just one century ride in advance of the Ironman.  His goal was to finish in 15 hours.

Also in this episode

  • I answer a listener question on base training
  • An update on blue light and it’s affect on sleep
  • An update on my use of zero drop Altra running shoes

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TT048: Joe Friel on “Fast Over 50″, High Intensity Training, & More

Joe Friel

Joe Friel recently released his 14th book, Fast After 50.  It’s geared to all athletes training and competing after age 50.  Most, but not all, of the interview is centered around the book, but there is much in here that will apply to all triathletes.  Topics discussed include sleep, high intensity training, recovery, and items listed below.  Joe also gives some insight into his research process.

Joe discusses three key factors in athletic success:

Fast After 50

  • aerobic capacity
  • lactate threshold
  • economy

As athletes age, economy tends to remain stable, VO2 max suffers the greatest loss, and lactate threshold declines more slowly.  Maintaining or slowing the rate of decline in these areas should be a focus of training.

Joe talks about three key factors that negatively affect aging athletes.  They are:

  • Loss of aerobic capacity/VO2 max
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Negative trend in body fat percentage

Part of the performance loss of the aging athlete is a result of a reduction of high intensity training. This leads to a decline in aerobic capacity.   Joe talks about the importance of keeping this in, or safely adding it back into, your training regime.

Joe generally defines high intensity as a 9 effort level on a scale of 1-10.  It must be added very slowly into a training plan to reduce the risk of injury, starting with short 15 second efforts and gradually increasing the dose.  For a more detailed recommendation refer to Joe’s book.

I asked for a specific example using high intensity training for a 55 year old triathlete training for an Ironman.  With a consistent and well planned training schedule, this athlete would include high intensity training throughout the plan, with a peak dose in the Base 3 period. This would be 12-16 weeks before the race.  After that it would be reduced to a maintenance level.

More From Joe?

I asked Joe about future projects, and he just started work on a new book that is slated to be completed in 2016.  The project is being kept under wraps, but he said “It’ll be my major work of my career as far as writing books.”  Bigger than The Triathlete’s Training Bible? “Yeah.”

Links

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TT047: A Journey With Triathlete & Cancer Survivor Bob Thibodeau

Breast Cancer Survivor Bob Thibodeau

Bob changed his diet and exercise after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.  He got into active cycling 5 years ago and had a solid cycling base.  He did his first triathlon in 2012 and in that race he swam with his head out of water the entire race.  The longest he had run consecutively before the race was one mile, and this was a 5k race. At the advice of a friend, his goal was to race to complete, not to compete.   He finished third out of eight in his age group and his triathlon career was started.

In 2013 he had a full slate of racing, finishing with his ‘A’ race at Augusta 70.3, a half ironman.  After a successful season in which he finished first and second in his age group each race, he had a few hiccups in Augusta.  During the swim it took him several hundred meters before he could put his head in the water.  He finally did and came out of the water fourth in his age group.  He had a solid bike and was in good position using a power meter keeping his power around 140.

His longest run going into the race was only 8 miles.  In the second half of the run his hip started bothering him so he walked most of the way in. He finished 10th of 12 in his age group with a time of 6:43 (30/2:57/3:02).

He raced much less in 2014 and again ended the season with Augusta 70.3 He had a successful race, finishing third of thirteen in the 65-69 age group with a time of 6:21:27 (32/3:06/2:26).

Bob follows a ketogenic diet (high fat/low carbohydrate). He started this a few years ago to reduce his cholesterol and lower his blood pressure.  That did the trick, and he was able to get off statins. His caloric intake while racing/training is very low. Based on our conversation I’d estimate it was about 25-50 calories/hour (probably closer to 25) during the 3 hour bike.

His plan is to race Ironman Florida next year, as his goal is to race an Ironman by age 70.

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TT046: Running With Olympian Pete Pfitzinger

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Olympian, Exercise Physiologist, Author & Coach Pete Pfitzinger

Pete Pfitzinger joins the show for a conversation on running and his latest book, Faster Road Racing: 5k To Half Marathon.

Pete lives in New Zealand and works for High Performance Sport New Zealand, which oversees Olympic sports. Pete 4

Topics we discuss include:

  • variable pace tempo runs
  • short hill sprints
  • strides
  • weight training
  • plyometrics
  • cadence

Links

 

 

TT045: Ironman Arizona Winner & Olympian Brent McMahon

At age 34 Canadian Brent McMahon attempted his first Ironman in Arizona.  Previously, he was a 2004 and 2012 Olympian, and 2014 was going well with four Ironman 70.3 wins.  On the starting line he didn’t have a time goal, nor had he even pondered a finishing time before this race.

He followed a race plan crafted with Lance Watson, his coach of 20 years.  That included a caloric intake of roughly 500 calories per hour on the bike while ignoring his competitors.  When a couple contenders passed him early in the bike he started to ride with them but backed off when he realized it required a greater power output than he planned to ride.

He finished the bike in third after a 4:21 split.  He ran the first half of the marathon in 1:20 and finished with a 2:43 run, giving him a 5 minute margin of victory and a 7:55 final time, the fastest Ironman debut in history.

Despite competing at a level far above most triathletes, his race execution tips are golden and helpful to all triathletes.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 12.07.02 PM

Links

 

 

TT044: A Running Discussion You’ll Want To Hear

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This interview was one of the most intriguing I’ve done.  We cover basic and technical running topics in a clearly explained format.  If your first run was last week, or you are an Ironman champion,  this episode has something for you. It’s also a good follow up to episode 43.

Cadence, Running Form, Shoes, & Barefoot Running

Dr. Thomas Hughes of Tri-Mechanics discusses his journey into the study of running form.  It all started when he decided to run barefoot one morning.

Thomas turned his attention away from practicing medicine toward studying running.  Topics we discuss include:

  • Barefoot running
  • Changes required before increasing your cadence
  • Running off the bike
  • Minimalist/zero drop/big toebox shoes
  • Run shoe cushioning
  • Using a metronome

Links

  • http://www.trimechanics.co.uk/
  • @trimechanics
  • http://www.inov-8.com
  • http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us
  • http://www.metronomeonline.com/

 

 

TT043: Tempo Runs | Zero Drop Shoes With Golden Harper Of Altra

Tempo Runs

Patrick Kelly submitted a question about tempo runs using the “Send Voicemail” on the right side of TriathleteTraining.com.  He was having difficulty hitting his goal tempo pace in a 10 mile run.  The run was designed to be a 2 mile warmup, 6 miles at 5:52, and a 2 mile cool down.  The basis for his run came from a Jack Daniel’s article.

I addressed the tempo run, the definition, and the reason he wasn’t hitting his goal pace.  It lead me to create this more detailed article on the tempo run.

Zero Drop Shoes

I recently consulted with an athlete who used Altra shoes.  As a result, I called the company to ask more questions.  The guy I reached on their Altra Shoessupport line was very helpful and knowledgable, and I followed up again, which resulted in an interview with Golden Harper, the company founder.

He came up with the idea for the shoe while working in his family shoe store. He credits the use of high speed video video in 2009 in the development of his shoes.  The slow motion video helped him notice an unnatural gait caused by heavily cushioned shoes with a deep base.  Zero drop shoes was the answer to the running problems he was trying to fix.

He coined the term, which means there is no drop from the heel of the shoe to the forefoot.   He discusses the benefits of zero drop shoes and their foot shaped toebox, as well as the biomechanics of a zero drop shoe compared to a traditional running shoe.

It’s a compelling story and I’m looking forward to trying a pair of Altras myself.  They are available in specialty running stores altrarunning.com.

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TT042: Augusta 70.3 Half Ironman Triathlon Part 2

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“I think the most intimidating thing about doing a half was that I would read so much and I would look at all the things I needed to know about the swim, the bike, and the run and think, ‘can I really do this?  Am I putting in enough training?’”

Trish Roberts Post-Race Interview

The previous episode featured a pre-race interview with Trish Roberts six weeks before her first Half Ironman.  In addition to training, Trish has a full-time job in addition to being a mother and wife.

On September 28, she finished Ironman 70.3 Augusta in 6:55.  Her goal was 7:30.

On race day the temp was 70 degrees with high humidity.  The swim was down a river and resulted in a fast time.  She paced the bike on perceived effort with a goal of 15mpm.  She was 7 minutes faster on the second half of the bike and the effort felt comfortable throughout.

Her biggest issue was discomfort with her seat, and she will be replacing that for future training.  Her goal was 250 calories per hour, and if I recall her weight is 125 pounds.  She had a mix of gel, a Honey Stinger Waffle (designed for athletic use), and Skratch drink.  Her fueling, with one exception, was planned and tested in advance of the race. She made the last minute decision to use Skratch during the race, and didn’t sip water on the ride.  This is something she will change in future races as it resulted in an intake that was too calorically dense and lacked water.  On the run she craved water only and not sports drinks.  However, she still felt good throughout the run.

She plans to do Augusta 70.3 again in 2015 and she took detailed notes of her experience to better prepare for next year.  This note taking is great advice for every athlete and pays huge dividends.

Her results are below.

Augusta 70.3 Results

Augusta 70.3 Results

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TT041: My Ninth Triathlon Is My First Half Ironman Part 1 of 2

Half Ironman Questions

Trish Roberts is preparing for her Ironman 70.3 in Augusta Georgia.  This interview was done 6 weeks before her race, and the next episode will be a post race interview.  She is a personal trainer and it was one of her clients that got her into the sport. She helped a client lose 100 pounds, and that client returned the favor by getting her into triathlons.

Topics include:

  • Goggle Fog
  • Wetsuit use sleevless/sleeved
  • How to pace the half marathon
  • Bike comfort
  • Hand numbness
  • Racing with Coke
  • Getting used to the long run
  • Breathing to the opposite side
  • www.wetsuitrental.com

 

 

TT040: Swimming For Triathlon With Olympic Swimmer/Triathlete Sheila Taormina

Four-Time Olympian Sheila Taormina

Sheila Taormina was an Olympian in swimming (gold, 1996), triathlon (2000 & 2004) and equestrian (2008).  She’s stayed busy in retirement as a swim instructor, author, and speaker.

Sheila Taormina

Sheila Taormina

Her latest book, Swim Speed Strokes, was recently released. She has also authored Swim Speed Secrets and Swim Speed Workouts For Swimmers And Triathletes.

 

This is material from her latest book, posted at SwimSpeedSecrets.com:

Each of the four strokes—butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle—is represented in the photos on page 7 (below). Each photo captures the stroke during the catch phase of the pull. The arms you see in these photos are the arms of world-record holders swimming the stroke naturally. None of the photos were staged.

Can you match the photo with the stroke? Take a close look and really give this some thought. (The answers are located near the bottom of this page)

From "Swim Speed Strokes"

From “Swim Speed Strokes”

 

 

 

 

 

http://sheilat.com - Sheila’s website

 

 

 

 

 

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