Thursday, November 05, 2009

Humorous new triathlon book from Frazz creator Jeff Mallett:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

On the topic of driver awareness....this is pretty interesting, I think I've seen it before, but with the latest tragedies, it's worth spreading around again: do the test . Say, wasn't there supposed to be some law about driving with a handheld cell phone in California going into effect pretty soon? Not that hands free is statistically that much (any?) better, but maybe the hassle of going hands free will cause some people to not place calls. At one intersection last night on my ride, I counted 9 out of 17 drivers passing in front of me turning onto the freeway with phones jammed in their ears. The last two got hung up in the middle of the intersection as traffic backed up, I don't suppose that had anything to do with them not looking ahead to see what was happening before they entered the intersection. That, or they did see, and didn't care that they corked the intersection, because they are special. Either way I guess they are special.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A nice interview with 7 time Western States Endurance Run winner Scott Jurek

Friday, September 08, 2006

Getting a bit weary of the same old swim-bike-run-done? How about the Survival of the Shawangunks, which is coming up this weekend - sold out for the year so no last minute road trip possibilities unfortunately. How gnarly is this? 30 mile uphill bike, followed by 4 runs broken up by 3 lake swims - you've got to carry (or just wear) your shoes across the lakes. A limit of 150 participants. Now that would be a t-shirt worth having. On the other side of the country, in July, mix things up in Eppie's Great Race: 5.82 Mile Run, 12.5 Mile Bike, 6.35 Mile Paddle, near Sacramento and using the American River for the paddle leg. It's self-designated as the "World's Oldest Triathlon" - 2007 will be the 34th running. You can rent a kayak or canoe, and/or do a relay. They also have a kid's duathlon. Logistics are a factor as you might imagine with a point to point race involving both a bike and a boat - having a crew person is the way to go if you're doing the whole event yourself. They designate people who complete the whole thing solo "Ironpersons" which seems a little inflated for a 2-3 hour event, but what the heck. I'm surprised they haven't been sued by WTC though....maybe they've been grandfathered in if they've been using Ironperson for the whole 33 years.

Today's book - "Absolute Beginner's Guide to Half Marathon Training", by Heather Hedrick, apparently a fairly accomplished triathlete - the book is oriented toward beginning runners rather than triathletes. A friend who recently completed her first half marathon loaned us her copy to look over. Except for the picture on the cover having a freakishly large head on a normal sized body, it's a good basic book if you're just getting started with running and racing. Here it is on Amazon:

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ironman Canada will no longer allow people to sign friends up for the following year's event on the day after the race. I think that's a good thing, but it's not clear whether that will really result in there being a significant number of slots available by lottery online in the following weeks. Certainly it's better for the local economy since those intent on getting in will have to show up in person on race weekend...might result in some additional experienced volunteers as well, since all Ironman athletes are so enthusiastic about giving back to the sport...right? Ahem. At any rate, it's a great course...the best Ironman course in the world (no loops!) with great community support. The $20 lottery fee applies to your entry fee, but still...why is it non-refundable? It's not like there is any variable cost to having more lottery entrants.

Peter Reid retires from racing...again. This time he means it - sounds like he'll be happier. An extremely talented athlete, built for Ironman. Best of luck to him for the future!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Book of the day: I first read this book about 20 years ago, I received it as a gift from someone who knew I was into cycling - it's not about racing - far from it. Barbara and Larry Savage rode around the world...slowly but with great depth to their experience. Anyone who considers themselves a true cycling aficionado will have read this book, not just Lance's books. Here's an amazon link:

Thursday, October 06, 2005

What muscle did I pull? Here's a great online resource, a directory of muscles with graphics and notes about how they interact.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The good sister Madonna Buder completed Ironman Canada, the first 75+ woman to finish an Ironman. Gordo's mom wrote an article about it over on XTRI. Congratulations to the tri-ing nun - you are awesome!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Props to Simon Lessing for finishing Ironman Canada even though he blew up a bit and didn't win. The online coverage indicated he was conserving some on the bike - maybe he swam too hard staying with Sibbersen. Good on Chris Lieto for pulling out the win after riding the hell out of the bike course and managing to hold off a fast running Vuckovic. Karen Holloway also broke out to win the women's race and claim her Kona slot - what, no website?

Thumbs down to IMNA and WTC for making the fact that they crammed over 2200 people on the starting line sound like a good thing. IMC, as the only remaining event other than Kona with just one loop on all 3 legs, is an awesome course and the volunteers are the most capable in the world, probably the best equipped to handle the volume, but it's still just too many. That's capitalism for you though, you've got to take the bad with the good. Finally, spare a warm thought for 2001 winner Gillian Bakker who crashed out on the bike and was planning to retire after this edition of IMC to turn to the noble profession of schoolteaching.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sanctioning Battle Heats Up - Rumor has it that to validate a lottery slot for Kona in 2006, you'll have to finish not just any half ironman or longer race, but a Global Tri Group sanctioned race. How's that going to work for International lottery entrants? Will GTG really have a sufficient presence worldwide by next spring? And no domestic slot validation at, say, Wildflower - that seems a bit odd. I mean, is the purpose to make sure you are prepared to safely go the distance, or is it simply to force entry into affiliated events? Based on the prominent "70.3 Ironman" logos on their sites, Eagleman, Vineman and BSLT are already chugging the koolaid - they're not going to risk their Ironman slots by sticking with USAT. Of course this only affects 150 people or 200 if you count the overseas contingent, and the North American folks probably won't care about the possible added travel expense and logistic hassle of getting to a sanctioned event because they'll be so giddy about making it to the show. So no problem!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

RunnersWeb.com has a nice article on Heather Fuhr, the Canadian Ironman competitor who recently won Ironman USA Lake Placid for the fifth time. The interviewer was fellow Canadian and "former World-ranked Ironman competitor" Lynne Bermel, who I hadn't heard of, or perhaps had forgotten, and a little digging led to another Runnersweb.Com article, an interview with Lynne herself from 1999.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Earliest Days - stumbled on this post which popped up as a "related link" in gmail: Jack Johnstone's Early History of Triathlon Set the wayback machine for the early 1970's on Mission Bay and check out the details of the early multi-leg swim/run races which eventually morphed into the first known swim-bike-run in September of 1975!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Cool book of the day - I'm stoked this book is back in print, because just like the review says it's the kind of thing you lend to a friend and then never get back, which is exactly what happened to me. It's a great motivating read for any runner, triathlete, or really any active sports participant of any kind. Highly recommended, certainly worth the price of a movie, and once you're done you can stoke your friends by lending it around, just make sure each person passes it on.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Lots of triathlon memorabilia up for auction to benefit the community of Phuket which was impacted by the Tsunami.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

It's a shame - the Spanish tradition of siesta, rather than taking over the world as it should, is on the way out according to several recent articles . How great would it be for the typical morning-training, hard working age grouper if it were the other way around and afternoon naps (without having to work late to make up for it) were de rigueur? Get up, go to masters swimming, then hit Starbucks for a nonfat latte and a scone, go to work, crank out the goods for 5 hours or so, eat your lunch , then go lie down for 2 hours and recover like a pro before returning to work for a final check of your email, maybe a little net surfing, then it's on your bike for the commute home and more sleep!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Lance interview on NPR which you can download here, including some commentary on the team presentation. The Discovery Team web site is up.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Well what do you know - the mythical Garmin Forerunner 301 with heart rate monitor exists and will be available shortly. I freaked when I saw that a replacement HR transmitter strap from Garmin is over $100, worried that it would be like all my various Polar units which don't have field replaceable batteries, but the 301 battery is in fact a replaceable CR2032 3 volt with a lifetime of about 500 hours. The only other transmitter I've owned with a replaceable batter was a Timex that didn't actually work very well, but it wasn't the battery's fault. I do have to wonder if since the Timex Speed & Distance system uses Garmin GPS internals, that means the 301 uses Timex HRM internals...but regardless, this is such a cool gizmo I'll be unable to resist.

I still have my Forerunner 201, and it works great both as a bike computer and a running watch. I think it's down to about $115 at Amazon:

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Do you travel? Do you work out? Paul Huddle & Jim Kaese wrote a guide called the Athletic Minded Traveler which will undoubtedly help you out. Many favorable reviews and it's dirt cheap - I'm going to buy a few tonight at their first signing at Borders and send them to my traveling tri geek friends. Click the cover image to check it out at Amazon.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Interesting article in the SF Gate today about Dean Karnazes, an amazing and unstoppable ultra freak of the finest kind. I'll pass on the Hydro Bronc stunt, I think I'd prefer to swim or kayak. Not sure how long that link will last before it rots, but of course Dean's also got a web site. The (non ghost written) book referenced in the article isn't out yet but it sounds worth a read. Click the cover image to have a look at Amazon:

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Kona's in 3 days. I pick Lessing to either win or DNF. If Lessing DNFs, Macca will win or DNF. He won't muddle through to another "character building" finish if he blows up. If neither of those dudes win, it will be Peter Reid. Women - Kraft from Badmann and Bentley. Hey, Karen Smyers is racing! That's cool.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Triathletes Behind the Mic - Former world #1 Siri Lindley is commentating for both Women's Field Hockey and Triathlon at the Athens Games

Water Polo silver medalist turned elite triathlete Julie Swail has the duty for the polo pool.

Speaking of commentators, is it just me or is diving expert Cynthia Potter a dead ringer for actress Holly Hunter, vocally speaking wise? Man that Raising Arizona was a pretty amusing flick.

The women's Olympic Triathlon in Athens, Greece was won by Austria's Kate Allen, coming from behind with a wicked run split. Second was Australian Loretta Harrop. No web sites for either of these gals, much to the dismay of their sponsors I'm sure. Coming in for the Bronze was the USA's Susan Williams, the third and final qualifier. A few tidbits about Susan are here. All 3 should take a cue from Barb Lindquist and get some information out there!

Friday, July 09, 2004

Yet another Triathlon oriented Frazz cartoon

Thursday, May 27, 2004

It's not like you heard it here first, but how about that Simon Lessing for top dog in Kona in 2004? With his swim/run based win at Disney half and with the seemingly bike-leg-negating "stagger rule" in place, who knows. Dude needs to get himself a web page, assuming he has some sponsors that care about publicity. On the other hand, Michellie Jones won Ralph's and even though she was fairly dominant she doesn't seem keen to double the distance. Here's a nice little tribute page to Michellie from an Aussie schoolkid. I also notice that Ironman elder statesman Bill Bell copped a Hawaii slot at Disney in the 80+ - good luck to him in Kona.

As happens from time to time, the comic strip Frazz touches on endurance sports in a recent episode. The author, Jeff Mallett, an avid cyclist and triathlete, was recently interviewed by Inside Triathlon.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Here's a nifty feature buried on cyclingnews.com about some of the American pros training together in Spain.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Empo's been busy, and it looks like there might be a chance in the offing to get the house in order at USAT. Whatever your position, be sure to vote when the time comes!

Whad'ya know...Simon Whitfield's kind of an environmentalist! Interesting article that spans altitude tents to organic gardening, courtesy of Triman, a much more prolific blogger than I.

USAT Age Group rankings for 2003 can be found here. Congrats to the All Americans and Honorable Mention athletes!

For anybody who's using the Garmin Forerunner - there is a new software update available on the Garmin web site...this is a new release for the unit itself (version 3.0) with a couple of enhancements and bug fixes - not the logging software that is still pending release. Installation of the new software version is pretty straightforward, you just download a .exe file, hook your unit's interface to the COM1 serial port (the wall wart power supply should not be plugged in, otherwise the unit will sit in charging mode) and run the .exe. I did have to convince Windows XP to re-enable my COM1 port, because I had at one time tried to get a Polar 720i to talk directly to my laptop infra-red interface, which never did work but in the process of trying a few Polar workarounds I had apparently disabled the port.

Monday, February 02, 2004

No time for a full length masters swim workout? If you can still get to the pool at lunch for a half an hour or so in the water bracketed by a few minutes on each side for changing and showering, and then eat your lunch at your desk, try this workout which I call 5x5, it is easy to remember, goes by really quickly and will at least keep your feel for the water going, along with a bit of swim fitness:

5x50 as 25 drill/25 free (use drills such as catchup freestyle, 2 right 2 left arm strokes, swimming with fists) taking 10 seconds rest after each 50
5x100 free on your realistic aerobic base interval - if you don't know your interval, take a good 10 seconds between (or 3-4 deep slow breaths) before starting the next 100
500 pull(you can use paddles if you are used to them, otherwise just the pull buoy)
5x100 free on your aerobic interval again - try to swim these the same speed as the first 5, with the same rest
5x50 as 25 stroke/25 free (use back or breast, skip the fly for this workout). Use this part to cool down - go easy on the stroke and stretch it out on the free staying balanced and working on your distance per stroke

That's it - a straightforward 2000 yards.

Once again Bob Mionskecomes through with some interesting legal news - this time a case in Ohio appealed by attorney Steve Magas, with a positive result for cyclists.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Hey, you think you are tough? Nahh...How about Dean Karnazes...he's tough. And a good soul. After checking out that third party description of his exploits, you might enjoy these first person accounts of some of his solo attempts at The Providian Relay to raise awareness for Organ Donation: 1995, 2002, 2003.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Rick Warner makes some insightful comments related to the recent mountain lion attack on mountain bikers in Orange County, CA.

Rant - at IM Florida, 12.5 percent of the field got a penalty. But, fully 20% (20 of 100) of the Hawaii Qualifiers got penalties. That is ridiculous. Firstly you should not be able to claim a slot if you got penalized (especially twice), but shy of that strict standard, 4:00 is obviously not enough of a deterrent. On the off chance it was a bad call, and you are really that fast, you'll qualify somewhere else another time. I'll guarantee you a large number of those 20 cheating qualifiers sucked huge wheel right up until they got nailed, which could have been hours of unfair advantage and tens of minutes of time benefit, then cleaned it up a bit from there to avoid the 8 minute second penalty or a DQ. If you are going to give an inconsequential time penalty for the first call, the second call should be the DQ as has been done at some races including Kona. Alternatively, give 10 minutes for the first call and 20 for the second - that should deter the elite cheaters and isn't really of any consequence for the "just want to finish" group should they get caught out due to lack of knowledge or skill (not cheating skill - riding clean skill). Of course this presumes marshals who know what they are doing, which was true of IMFL but not of IMC where I gather some fundamentally incorrect calls were made due to poorly educated officials, or more properly the lack of vetting of calls by a knowledgeable head ref (maybe exacerbated by the use of a sin bin which logistically prevented evaluation and discard of bad calls).

Monday, December 29, 2003

Tom Demerly has a nice piece on riding with Normann Stadler and Scott Molina - I'm not sure how much I buy the statement that Stormin' Normann is salaried in the "high 6 figures" since it's my understanding that only superstar cyclists pull down that kind of cash, certainly not second tier (you're not first tier until you win Kona) pro triathletes, but what do I know... anyway it's a good description of holding the wheel of an elite.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Weather Report - I used to just link to weather.com by zip code to see the local radar and judge the odds of precipitation before heading out for a ride - but someone just pointed me to the NOAA national doppler radar map - this is one sweet page for checking the dumpage propensity for your area - no ads, nice zoomable animations (click "Loop" on the left side menu once you've found your local radar site). There is also a nifty tic-tac-toe clicker for adjacent radars so you can see what's coming your way from the next state over. Since I have no readers, no sense in me sounding the alarm for heavy afternoon showers in Montgomery AL today, but I could if I needed to.

Here on the lower left coast we're definitely in for a little sump'n sump'n this afternoon, possibly ranging far enough north to be the bitter cherry on the cake of their day for those shaken up by yesterday's seismic event in Wildflower territory (long course still not sold out by the way, although in fairness neither is Ralphs - the apparent backlash is nearly a real backlash! Is everybody really going to the Californiaman Half and/or World's Toughest?)

Swim/Bike/Run for today - first here's some slightly amusing coverage about a mano-a-mano (which means Hand to Hand by the way, not Man to Man) 200 meter freestyle showdown between the great Ian Thorpe and an Aussie radio DJ. On to the bike - dimunitive hammer dog Tyler Hamilton, ex of CSC and now sporting essentially the same colors as ye olde Team@Internet riding for Phonak, has relocated to Boulder for some winter training. As a side note, fellow colonist Bobby Julich has taken a spot (though not necessarily Tyler's spot) with CSC.

But enough slack seat angle surge and settle cycling attention, this is after all a triathlon blog - just tilting our hat to Ty for his ability against the clock. What about running? How about paying a visit to the Runner's World Training Pace Calculator to see if you are being realistic in your pacing this off-season. I'd go so far as to say at this time of year, in the Northern Hemisphere, you might want to add 30-60 seconds to the "Easy Run" pace. Just get out there, don't tear yourself up. It's a time of healing and rejuvenation, a time of donuts and cocoa and extra syrup on your flapjacks. Keep some duration in your runs but lay off the speed for a bit and give your connective tissue and cardiovascular system a shot at rebuilding. Unless of course you are training for an early season marathon in which case you should already be getting jiggy with it. Oh, and if you're a first time Ironman hopeful for 2004, NO you don't need to run a standalone marathon in March. The Ironman marathon is a completely different animal. Save your energy and your knees and arches for when it counts later in the spring. Despite posts like this which touch on the standalone sports, triathlon is one sport and you should prepare for it as such, not as a compendium of 3 mutually exclusive and concurrently abusive approaches.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Did you watch the show? Were you confused by Al Trautwig talking about the aerodynamic advantage of the chase pack because you thought Ironman racing was draft-illegal? Yeah, me too. Also, memo to the guy trying to help the passed out dude - if you come across me semi conscious and lying on my back with my head on the tarmac please don't try to pour water into my mouth until I'm a little more vertical, even if I do whisper "must....have....water" in my best dying army buddy with sucking chest wound voice. I'm liable to choke on it and then hurl all over your racing flats. Save that burbling forced fluid approach for when you find Nemo...

Forerunner is OK! - rumors of its dihydrogen monoxide allergy have apparently been greatly exaggerated - I just got the following from Garmin, who must have stumbled upon my comments below about the recall rumors in rec.running:

I can assure you that Garmin has not recalled the ForeRunner,
and we have not had issues with moisture behind the display. 
If you ever have any questions, please feel to email me and I
will be happy to assist.  Thanks,

Best Regards, 

Ben Hunter 
Product Support Supervisor 
GARMIN International 

All I can figure is some lame jealous Timex or Nike staffer was spreading rumors to put a buzz kill on Forerunner before the holiday buying spree. Fortunately for me, nobody reads this blog so my inadvertent facilitation of the bogus allegation was no big deal, but the rec.running reach is wider. Anyway, my Forerunner is working great and the Amazon link below works again, so go buy one and be somebody!

Friday, December 05, 2003

What is going on here? No big dance slots at KKT, a corrupted board of directors election at USAT, Roberto Heras leaving US Postal (there was some text about this on Lance's site but it's gone now, presumably Lance laid down the law - no ink for the traitor!!, and, back to triathlon, the Wildflower long course race isn't sold out yet. Actually, that last one isn't particularly surprising. We're not going this year, first time in about 9 years that we haven't at least signed up and intended to go, and neither are many other folks we've been talking to. And it's not just that unbelievably annoying music that plays when you visit the home page, although that certainly doesn't help!...just burned out on the logistics and the rising costs. It's a great course and if you've never been you should give it a try, but on the other hand there are a number of other races equally worthy of your attention. The buzz in the community is that maybe the boom is over and this is the first sign, but then again the brand name Ironmans are still selling out fast. I do think that once the "life checklist" crowd finishes getting their Ironman medals we are going to see a pretty significant contraction of the sport - it's so much more time intensive than marathoning, it won't become as ubiquitous as that, it can't. There will always be a place for the lifestyle triathlete, just maybe (hopefully) a little less hyped up, a little less expensive, and a little more soul.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Warm Threads - my favorite cottage industry endurance sports/outdoor clothing company is having a Thanksgiving Weekend sale. Col d'Lizárd , formerly known as Gekko Gear, run by Kathy Brassell, has great arm & knee warmers, tights, tops, and other cold weather gear. They're in Winter Park Colorado, and have great customer service for web customers. The name is a play on the name of a great French cycling peak, the Col d'Izoard perturbed into "Cold Lizard" - because they used to be Gekko Gear until somebody snaked the name from them, and Gekko's a kind of lizard - get it? OK, whatever, the point is - free chocolate with every order and everything on sale for this weekend. So if you need some warmers or other fuzzy stuff, drop in, or at least get your address on their email list to find out about future sales - one year they had a sale where the percent off was tied to the low temperature in their town, if you were patient but knew when to pounce you could get some killer deals!

Arghhhhh... so I have been playing with the Forerunner 201, and it's the ginchiest - stone dead accurate and lots of features, and it does speed as well as pace so it will be fun for cycling, kayaking, cross country skiing etc. as well as running. BUT, now I'm hearing from some posters on rec.running that it's being recalled, something about moisture accumulating in the display. Furthermore, Amazon now no longer has it as a direct sale product, it's a ($25 cheaper) Office Depot affiliate item now. So I've got to contact Amazon to find out about the recall, whether I should ship it back, to where, and at whose expense, and gripe a little bit about the $25 price drop shafting the early adopters. Annoying, because the item itself is sah-weeet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Sad news... Irongent Norton Davey has passed away at age 85. I spent some quality time with him on the run course at the Ralphs California Half last spring, escorting him (in an official capacity) on a MTB while he worked his way toward the finish line late in the day. When his legs started to give out, two volunteers began to walk alongside to steady him for safety, but he continued under his own power. He was friendly, quick witted, and appreciative of the volunteers and spectators. Will we all be testing our limits, striving for fitness and loving every minute of it when we're in our 9th decades of life? I hope so. Norton's obituary can be found here .

Thursday, November 20, 2003

So - all the domestic (US) WTC-branded Ironman races produced by Ironman North America are full - but you want to do the distance next year? A few possibilities exist, foremost among them Great Floridan and Vineman. The year of the (first) Utah fiasco, Vineman was given "real Ironman" status, but that was a onetime deal. Other possibilities include the virgin Californiaman, the fairly well reviewed Duke Blue Devil (for a great cause and tax deductible to boot!), and the ambitiously named yet still slighly obscure UltraMax. The Colorado 5430 race has reverted to Half Iron distance. If you like flat fast loops, and lots of them, the Esprit race in Canada is for you (practically a pool swim too, in a rowing basin). Another boutique event in the great white north that might appeal to those in the Pacific Northwest is the Bigfoot Triathlon. Finally, joining Californiaman in the first year category is Chesapeakeman...which might end up pretty short-lived if IMNA pulls the plug on Panama City Beach in 2005 and moves to Virginia as the folks in Williamsburg hope they do. Thumbs down to abandoning PCB just because they don't want to or can't cough up as much up front cash. It's a good venue...but that falls into the category of putting the athletes first and we all know that ain't happening. Yes, I know I missed the two viable off-road Ironman distance races - more on that later.

Speaking of CAF our buddy Steve Diggs, who was recently honored by that organization for his substantial contributions of time and coaching expertise as well as fund-raising efforts, was himself hit by a car while cycling recently. The driver took off, but her license plate was dislodged (by Steve's leg which was flayed open in the process). She then dumped her car and later when confronted by authorities claimed it had been stolen the day before (but that she hadn't reported it). The hope is that Steve's injuries aren't permanent (and that the DA will bring some justice down on the perpetrator). Stay tuned - and ride safely!

Got home and my new Garmin Forerunner 201 was sitting on the porch. This thing looks no bigger than a box of tic-tacs - well, maybe a little but still, pretty tiny. Charging it up now. I'll let you know how it works, in the meantime for those who can't wait here's a link to snag one on Amazon - this is currently a direct amazon link for $115 and free shipping.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

And now on the positive side - a very thorough writeup on the Florida race at Xtri. In particular, check out the second to last paragraph on the last page. Jay Rosenfeld, you are the man.

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