Saturday, April 04, 2015

Blog migration.

Migrating the blog to the new Web site.  Here:

and a new article. race report form the grand traverse.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What success takes. -Rachel Joyce 2nd place at Ironman World championships

Who's Rachel Joyce?  Well if you are any kind of sports fan you know about the Ironman in Hawaii,  The world championships. Over the last several years she has quietly been making a name for her self.  In 2011 the only one that could beat her was the one and only Mirinda Carfrae. that's right The women who looks like she is running an all out 5k when she is half way through an Ironman was the only one even close.

   Now that I have done a few of these we can see a very distinct trend. "did you ever think you would fail?"  NO.  "whats the key to your success?" Consistency. "are you done?" Nope.

  So why are these questions all answered the same?  Winners can see the result before it happens. watching the winter Olympics they talked about how when a down hill skier is going through a gate they are all ready thinking, planning and executing the next one. They work ahead of the moment.  

  In my last interview with Dirk Friel he said you have to surround your self with people better than you. so what did Rachel do? hired the one and only Dave Scott to coach her. when I first meet Rachel someone asked her "whats working with Dave like"  there was a pause and a rye smile, "It's intense." 

What drove you to go for the goal of the podium at the Ironman world championships: The goal has never really changed since I took up triathlon. I am driven by being the best athlete I can: and so in preparing for Kona this year that was what I was aiming for .

 What challenges did you face in achieving this goal? I had a couple of injuries in the build up to Kona 2013. I tore a tendon in my foot at the start of the summer, and had to spend several weeks in a boot during July and more weeks not running. That created a mental challenge to continue to believe I could still run well despite interrupted run training plus physically rehabbing the injury. I also irritated a disc in my upper back which created some stress in my final prep but it came right at just the right time.
What were the keys to overcoming these challenges? Staying positive and making sure I didn't descend into a complete panic and do something stupid.

During the race at the world championships were there moments you thought you wouldn't make it? (on the podium)  No not really. I don’t really think like that - my focus is on going as fast as I can and then the result comes out of that.

Over all what do you think the keys are to competing at your level? Consistent training, discipline and enjoyment - it’s hard to commit as much time (well, its a way of life) if you’re not having fun doing it.
What other priorities do you have in life besides racing and triathlon?  At the moment training and racing is my main focus. Of course personal relationships and friends also feature very highly on my priority its too.
Now that you have achieved so much whats next? are you done?  No I’m not done. I’m still enjoying the sport and strongly believe I have improvements I can make in the sport. My goal is to win Kona so that is my focus for the next couple of years.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What Success takes Dirk Friel

Around a month ago I got the chance to sit down with Dirk Friel Co- founder of Training Peaks.

Many of us who were racing bikes in the early 2000's know him better as the guy who just crushed any hope of a win today.  In this interview we discuss what brought him and Training peaks to be one of the top 50 companies to work for in the country.  Similar questions as when we interview Savas about his first Ironman race and Will Kelsey about what it take to be a professional X-terra Triathlete

A few things that really stuck out as Dirk and I talked:
 ~"You have to believe its going to work"  Dirk thought of his growth with Training Peaks as an athlete thinks of his progressing of fitness.   "Will these 5 hour rides pay off? you have to believe you know..." 
~ Consistency is the most important"  (I've heard that some where before)
~ When I asked him if he ever through he would fail? "No."  no elaboration. 
~ "Hire people who are smarter than you"  
~ When I asked him if he was happy with where T.P. was he said, "well... you never rest on your laurels"  and gave a grin that seemed to say "I know something you don't know..."  A similar grin as many saw racing against the former pro cyclist.

            Full Video Here:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

4 keys to Winter Training

Our latest training article as seen on training peaks recently.


Being consistent is so important. It is better to do 6 x 45-minute trainer rides before you do 1 x 5-hour ride and nothing else all week. Think of your weekly training as a set of intervals. You rarely go out to do a threshold workout as 1-hour, all-out effort. You break it up into 10- or 20-minute intervals. Same thing here. Plan ahead and “pay it forward” a bit by saving some energy (both physical and mental) on Wednesday so you can get in another session on Thursday or Friday. It’s not the training you do this week; rather it’s what you do for this 3-4 months.
Here, EK Endurance Coaching training pyramid shows you consistency is the foundation for EVERYTHING. This is not to say you have to train as long or as often as you might in spring or summer but you do need to find a manageable workload you can consistently complete.

Structured Endurance Training

Something many people don’t realize is that if you are working at your lactate threshold or below, you are getting the same adaptations as you do from doing long slow distance (LSD) training. What’s the catch? Well of course, the harder you ride the less time you can hold that effort for. But it’s winter and you are reading this because you don’t want to spend three hours on your trainer on Tuesday morning. So the old adage of “if you only have a short amount of time go hammer!” is sort of true in this case. However, do it with purpose and structure. Our Hour Of Power cycling workout library is designed for just this. Quality training that keeps you focused (distracted) while still having fun and getting your workout in.
A solid standard trainer set might look like this. This one isn’t the most exciting but it gets the job done:

Warm up:

  • 15 minutes easy

Main Set:

  • 10’ Zone 3-upper Zone 3 
  • 8’ higher power than last interval
  • 6’ higher power than last interval
  • 4’ higher power than last interval
  • 2’ higher power than last interval
  • Take 2’ rest between all intervals

Cool Down:

  • 5- 10 minutes and you’ve done a nice hard, aerobic descending interval set that goes by quite quickly and can be done in 1 hour.

Weakness Training

I have been talking about and practicing this in my coaching since I began working with athletes over a decade ago. If you want to improve, you must discover your weak areas and bring them up to par for your goals.
I have done webinars, written articles on our blog, and had teams hire me to instruct them on the ways to find what your true weak area is and then how to train it. What you need here is:


They don’t lie. I have seen this many times with athletes, including myself. We think we are good at something we want to be good at, when in reality, we are not. Get a power meter and do the proper field testing.

An objective view:

This is where a coach can be critical but it doesn’t necessarily have to come from a coach. A trusted, experienced teammate or training partner can help an enormous amount.

Work without ego:

I have quoted GI Joe before in regards to training. “Knowing is half the battle”. Now it’s time for the other half. The WORK! I always say to my athletes “You have to train with what you have, not what you want to have”. Be patient, improvement won’t happen overnight—but it will happen if you keep at it.
When training your weakness in the winter, break it down to its most raw element. I had a conversation with a road cyclist in the winter of 2008- 2009. I determined he had weak neuromuscular power. He had trouble with high-speed crits and repeated accelerations in races. So are we going to have him do jumps and sprints with short rest and mimic crits on the trainer doing lactic acid bath workouts? No. We are going to focus on that maximum power. Different types of short, maximal efforts with long rests. Over the course of six weeks that winter we improved his 5-second power by 14%. From 1250 to over 1400 watts. That year he upgraded to Category 1, getting good results in hilly road races, TT’s and short crits.

Flexibility and Rest

Rest is very important—maybe the most important part of your training. Just because you are not logging 3-hour rides doesn’t mean you don’t need off days, recovery rides and stretching. Often I see more tightness and injuries in winter than in summer. Why? I feel it’s because athletes don’t take the time to cool down as much and stretch/recover properly. When their last interval is done, all they can think is, “Please get me off this thing!”. They grab some water and food and then are off to wherever. Stretch! Cool down after hard sessions! That extra five minutes now will pay you back the next time you throw your leg over the bike.
Be flexible. If the weather turns nice, bag the structured trainer workout and get outside! Not feeling the mojo today? Save it for tomorrow’s session. Be dynamic and flexible this winter. Think long-term. It’s not the training you get in this week, it’s about the all the training you get in these 3-4 months.
The fact is that riding the trainer can be like getting out of bed. It’s rough! But the act of starting is often the worst part. Get on, warm up, just spin, and after a few minutes images of racing, working hard for teammates and making the winning break will soon fill your head. Do this over and over again, and you will be on your way to having the best season ever. 
Want to learn more about winter training? Watch Eric’s webinar from last year, “Methods and Tools for Training in the Winter” where he goes into this topic in detail as well as shares specific workouts and tools for making improvements with limited time.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

What success takes. Pro Triathlete Will Kelsay

Wana know what it takes to be a pro and keep on being one? well the answers here are not what you would expect. they seem more like what your mother might say... except they actuality work and have been working for Will since 2007.   Now don't let all the positive talk fool you, while almost all athletes in Boulder can spot Will's wild blond hair and huge smile a mile away he is smart and tough. I have been told of insane 6500 yard session is the pool finishing with impossible send off times, Mtn bike rides farther than I like to drive and track workouts that would make your hamstrings lock up just hearing about it. 
But whats the real secret? what's the glue that holds everything together? Lets say will has extremely good "Balance". 

Will Kelsay is known for embarking on epic triathlon based adventures. In 2007, he traveled the USA in an old RV for 3 months racing every weekend. In 2011, he circled the entire globe doing 6 races in 6 weeks in 6 different countries. This coming year Will is adding to his list of once in a lifetime adventures by hopping over the pond and spending 5 months zigzagging around Europe to compete in 10 XTERRA off-road triathlons and 1 Ultra Marathon (100k).

1.     What drove you to do this?  
Will:     My career as a professional triathlete and avid adventure seeker all came about after a realization I had late one night in a college computer lab. I had been working away on a school project when a random back spasm threw me from my chair and left me wallowing in pain on the floor. From that day on, I knew that sitting at a desk at a “normal job” was just to painful for me. I continually followed my heart (and my gut) from that point on. If it sounded fun, I perused it. If it sounded… well… not fun, I reminded myself that life was to short to waste. I wanted a career where I was continuously active. Hence, pro triathlete. I wanted to continue to have the amazing memories of traveling that I had as a child. Hence, avid adventure seeker.

2.     What other priorities do you have in life, aside from this? 
Will:     Aside from racing/training, and looking for the next interesting endeavor, I’m continually focused on doing things I enjoy. If there is a job or task at hand that is intriguing and stimulating, I’m focused on that. It’s all about staying passionate about the things you’re doing. At the moment, I’m working for Friction Facts ( doing marketing and social media. They are a testing laboratory that analyzes all the rotating components on a bicycle for frictional losses. It may sound geeky, but the engineer/triathlete/geek in me is absolutely loving it. So that is my focus.

3.     What were your goals at the onset of this?
Will:    Every time I have come up with one of my ‘adventures’, I would simply ask myself, what is the first thing that comes to mind? My heart hasn't led me astray yet, so if I keep listening to it, I think I’ll be right on track.  Creating memories and stories that will last a lifetime has been the driving force behind all of this. I often think of the Abraham Lincoln quote “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

4.     What challenges did you face in preparation for this?
Will     The first trip was a total shot in the dark. I was flying by the seat of my pants from start to finish. I literally just made it up as I went along. Complete inexperience was my #1 obstacle. Finances were definitely the 2nd factor in getting all of these things going, but by always staying positive and focused, I have always seemed to find a way. Surprisingly, logistics of the trip have been one of the easiest parts. I have been so passionate and excited about these trips that figuring out the logistics flies by and doesn't even seem like work. Subsequently, each next idea that I come up with gets a little easier to put together (or at least it feels that way).

5.     What were the keys to over coming this challenge? How did you succeed? 
Will:   The number one, ultimate supreme key factor to overcoming all of the challenges that I have faced along the way, has been to stay positive. Always tell yourself that it will work, that you will find a way, that failure is not acceptable, and it has somehow all worked out. I have definitely surprised even myself on many occasions when I use this mentality.

6.     What was it like when you got to the moment? Was it like you imagined?
Will:   At the start of my first two trips, both seemed surreal. I had planned and planned and planned for months, so it has somewhat hard to believe that it was actually happening when I stepped out the door. I think one of the things that made those trips so wonderful is that even though I planned an enormous amount, I left a lot of things open. By allowing myself to step into the unknown and not try to control everything, amazing things started happening. I met so many wonderful new people who had heard of my adventures and wanted to take part. And I was able to take parts in some pretty unexpected experiences by being completely open to whatever happened. It always turned out better than I had expected.
7.     What was an unexpected thing that happened to you in your prep? 
Will:  I had a bit of an epiphany while starting to plan my upcoming European trip – monotony will kill you. My 2013 season was so similar to so many of my previous race seasons (doing mostly races that I had done before, not much new), that I started to lose my normal “spark for life.” I was still doing what I loved, but I didn’t feel as motivated, excited, or passionate about what I was doing. That’s when it really hit me – I have to always be seeking new, challenging, stimulating adventures. Without those new goals, new experiences, and all around thrill of the unknown, life can get pretty boring (even for a pro athlete). I realized that we can all get stuck in a bit of a rut some times, but we have to break free and keep living life to the fullest. Make your years count!  

you can keep with Will and his journeys here: at his web site. Trust me this will be easier than trying to keep up with him on the trails.