The 5 Golden Rules of Sports Nutrition | TrainingPeaks

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From Training Peaks:


How am I doing according to their 5 rules?

1. Don’t train on an empty stomach: I try to always train on a near-empty stomach, especially running. But I also want to have eaten something in the last two hours (except early mornings when the rule is have at least two big cups of coffee in me).

2. Don’t miss breakfast: I NEVER skip breakfast. In fact, I have truly instilled the theory of “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.”

3. Plan your meals 2-3 meals ahead of schedule: this is kind of intuitive for me, especially within a day of my big workouts.

4. Don’t skip recovery meals: I am 50/50 on this. After a big workout, I rarely skip a Recoverite shake unless I did it during the work-day and I didn’t have any recover its with me. I rarely have a “recovery” meal after swims of 2k or runs of 10k and shorter, other than a piece of fruit.

Cycling to extremes – VeloNews.com

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Of course, everything in moderation, but there is definitely something to think about here as we keep pushing ourselves into old (er) age.

“Fairly quickly I learned I’m in deep shit here. Basically, I figured I was done, this was it,” he said. “It’s interesting; at the time, my emotions were… I was frustrated. It was not on my list of things to do because I was kind of a type-A. My dog was in my truck, we were going to go out and do a ski when I was done, I had work to do that afternoon, phone calls. It just wasn’t on my list of things to do, to die on the ski trails. I was pissed [laughs].

There is something in this article for every triathlete over 40, and probably for the younger folks, too, who train with us old guys.

Some great case-studies and just enough science to keep it interesting.

Have you ever felt that flutter in your chest? Ever thought, “That’s odd. What was that?”

Maybe you dismissed it. I couldn’t possibly have something wrong with my heart — I’m an athlete. I’m fit. I’m invincible. You wouldn’t be the first, or last, to disregard that subtle blip on the radar screen. Chances are it’s nothing, after all.

But how much is too much? Where is that line? If you have a heart rhythm problem, then perhaps you’ve already crossed that line. Is there any turning back?

“Everyone asks where that line is, and how much is too much,” Mandrola said. “It will never be a yes or no thing. It will always be this gray zone. But one of my takes on the evidence is if you have a heart rhythm problem, then perhaps you are over that line for you. Still, number one: Exercise is good. The endurance athlete who gets this stuff is often over-cooked or over-done.”

For Zinn and Endicott, two of thousands who may have ridden and run their way to a contracted lifestyle, the lesson is clear.

“Few people sharing our mentality will make much of a change based on reading an article like this,” Zinn said. “But if the takeaway is that they can keep doing the things they do but with a much higher prioritization of rest, that stands the most chance of actually saving some people from veering off down the path of becoming a cardiac patient.”

Triathlete.com – The 3 Most Important Run Workouts For Triathletes

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I totally agree with this post but want to add a hill workout into the mix. I find that even 10-minute transition runs are absolutely wirth the effort.


As my race nears, I like to make my long runs to up to 15 miles moderate pace. This is as much for mental confidence as physical fitness.

I love the hills workout I have started this year. I do 7-9 hills of 1.5 – 3 minutes in length with very easy jog or even walking some between the hills.

Final Training for Bear Lake Brawl and the YNP 70.3

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I am now just under a month until the YNP 70.3 Personal Challenge on August 13, 2015 and two months to the Bear Lake Brawl.  Spring Training season went great, but things got really busy at work in April and have been going non-stop since then. Just today I finally felt relieved to sit at my desk and know that I don’t have any projects due immediately.  Of course, that kind of work schedule had some negative impacts on my training schedule, specifically the consistency of training.

Thus, I find myself basically starting over in the training realm for the YNP 70.3 and the Bear Lake Brawl (Sept 19, 2015). The YNP 70.3 is a personal challenge “race-cation” event that I have been thinking about doing for several years now, and THIS IS THE YEAR it happens! But honestly it is a rehearsal race for the Bear Lake Brawl, rather than doing the Utah Half that I don’t want to do again because the swim venue is not so great.

The overall training plan takes me through September 19, the day of the Bear Lake Brawl.  And there are two big bike events  I want to do also as training items but are really their own events in and of themselves.

The spring training plan was very successful with only one three week block. I am going to get two three-week blocks as a final prep for the Bear Lake Race (Goal is a 5:00 overall versus 5:10 last year). Here is how the weekly efforts break-out:

July 20: Slightly-lower volume following the high-intensity spring training philosophy with weight lifting, with some swaps to include high-altitude swim and run at Camp Perkins.

July 27: Slightly-lower volume following the high-intensity spring training philosophy with weight lifting, with some swaps to include high-altitude bike and run at Island Park.

Aug 3:  Increased volume high-intensity training, with a 75 mile bike to prepare for the other bike events.

Aug 10:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday off, and then YNP 70.3 on Thursday. Then five mile hikes for recovery into some backcountry fishing/camping on Friday and Saturday. Come on Sunday and probably do a short bike/run to get back in gear.

Aug 17: High intensity level volume with no bike or run Thursday or Friday so I can do a local Grand Fondo on Saturday (actual Grand Fondo is Aug 15, but I am doing it on my own because I will be in Yellowstone on actual race day). Sunday off for rest.  I am really excited about doing this because it will really challenge me personally and should put me into a new level of bicycling. My current longest ride ever is 75 miles.

Aug 24: Easy bike/runs first half of week with increased swimming and lifting. Then some higher volume high intensity training in the back half of the week, with a 102-mile bike loop around Oxford Peak to check-off my first century ride.

Aug 31: High volume High intensity training with weights. Labor Day weekend has some longer volume efforts at altitude again (Island Park, ID at about 6,400ft).

Sept 7: Decreased intensity with level volume as a beginning of taper.  Two easy 6-9 mile runs at Camp Perkins (7,200ft elevation) during the weekend, and maybe an open water swim in the lake.

Sept 14: Taper week. Mix of short high intensity bursts with significantly decreased volume and a focus on gear maintenance.

Race Day – Sept 19.


Training Philosophy for the period

Here is a summary of my philosophy for this coming training preparation/focus period that I wrote last week before a ramp-up on run volume while at a business conference with no swim or bike available:

Restarting a final training cycle of the summer to get the YNP and then Bear Lake tris along with the Grand Fondo 4 Peaks ride.

1. Complete the YNP tri in 6 hours.
2. Complete Bear Lake Half in 5:00.
3. Complete Grand Fondo 4 Peaks ride.
4. Complete first century ride – Downey – Malad Summit ride.

1. Re-implement 4x3x3 training philosophy: 4 sports x 3 workouts per week x 3 types of workouts.
– 4 sports: Swim, Bike, Run, Weights.
– 3 workouts: HIT, Tempo, Long
– 3 sessions per sport per week.
** Not in play during travel weeks.

2. Weight
– get down to 182 for YNP 70.3 while maintaining power from starting point of 193. I was at 182 when the spring training focus ended due to travel requirements and loss of consistency.
– get down to 178 for Bear Lake Race while maintaining power.

3. Endurance
– rebuild endurance slowly and dealing with the heat, building to 1:52 half marathon down to S. 5th tracks and back to home.
– start bike endurance with Robber’s Roost and build to 65 miles – Mink Creek, Crystal, through Arbon Valley.
– build swim endurance to 46:00 3k in Reed pool.
– during SIPH TEPW trip to Boise, build with 6 and 9 mile runs, no half-marathon there this year.


Fun With Charts!

Here are some cool charts from SportTracks because every triathlete is a data geek.

Training Load expectations through August 12 and the YNP Tri.  I think this shows good, steady load progression.

Steady training load increases.

Steady training load increases.

This is my training load in an annual view to provide relevance to previous periods. You can see last July’s high load and the load from the Tour of Sufferlandria in early February, and that I will surpass that if I hit all my workouts.

Training load for July 2014 through August 2015 shows August 2015 is highest ever.

Training load for July 2014 through August 2015 shows August 2015 is highest ever.

Here is the Performance Chart, showing I will break new highs on the performance metric, although I don’t always agree that this is an extremely accurate metric.

Current performance metric.

Current performance metric.

Performance metric from July 2014 to present.

health year july 18 2015

You can see how my weight and BMI reacted very well to this high intensity training in March and April, and then how I gained the weight and fat back during a high op-tempo work period mid-April through end of June.

weight dec14 to july15

bmi july 18 2015

Someone flipped the weather switch!

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Here in Idaho, we have the “weather switch.” There is a magic day in June when the weather flips from windy,wet and cool spring days to windy, dry, and warm mornings.   One day, all of a sudden, the days are sunny and warm, and it usually happens around the second or third week of June (amazingly in-line with what the calendar says!). But this year, it seems to have come early.  And yes, I did have to leave “windy” in there for the summer, too.

There are a few signs that the weather switched:

1. Daily highs above 80.

2. Morning lows above 50.

3. Sunny days instead of cloudy. There can still be rainstorms in the afternoon.

The beauty of this for me is the warm mornings. I am good-weather bicyclist. I don’t like cycling in the cold or the rain. So now that the weather has switched, I get excited about getting out in the early morning and enjoying it. I also absolutely love long rides in hot weather….those are the days that I truly enjoy the bike.

It seems that the weather switch has happened, but the rains are still here. I’ve been living in Pocatello for 10 years now, and normally the rain goes away when the temperatures rise.


The Sawtooth Personal Challenge

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The second race in the 2015 Personal Challenge Series is the Sawtooth 64, in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains in Central Idaho. I did a version of this last year, and it was awesome (except the swim); I thought about it all winter, and it was the catalyst for ensuring the YNP 70.3 happened this summer.

Pre-Race: The night before the race will be spent at Camp Perkins, a church camp I absolutely love because it is such as serene place. Campfire songs are the best!  And the cabins are great even though they are as basic as possible. Hint: camp does have some nicer accomodations if you prefer those.

The Swim:  Last year’s attempt in Alturas Lake was too much for me….I was not comfortable at all in that water. Perkins Lake will be a completely different story, as I am familiar with lake from canoeing it alot in the past summers. The trick to using Lake Perkins for the swim is the transition to the bike because transition at Camp Perkins itself means the bike starts on a mile of gravel road. So, the swim starts where it does because it is close to a paved road. The distance between the lake and the road is about 50 yards and completely doable.

The swim itself will be great. The water is clear, and you can see about 100 feet in front of you and certainly down to about 20 feet, including all the fish(!). It’s a swim out to the inlet and back, then down to the outlet, coming in right at 1.2 miles.

The swim venue. The swim start is off to the left and goes in front of the dock in the bottom right of this picture.

The swim venue. The swim start is off to the left and goes in front of the dock in the bottom right of this picture.

Sawtooth 60 Swim (1.2 miles; start south point to inlet point and back, then to outlet and back)


Transition 1: This is pretty simple. Get out of the lake. Go uphill a bit to grab the bike. Leave all T1 gear in a pile near the road. Family or friends come and get it a bit later. There is nobody there early in the morning because everyone else is sleeping in, snoozing and snuggling in a camper or tent while the mountain bluebirds chirp away.

The Bike: Starting near Lake Perkins, the bike course heads out to the main and takes a right to head up and over Galena Summit (8,701 ftt). From there, head down to Galena Lodge and then back up and over Galena Summit. Head down, down, down to Fourth of July Creek to turn around and head back to Camp Perkins. Go past the bike start to head all the way down to the Alturas Creek Campground. Start Transition #2.

The view is as breathtaking as the effort to get up.

The view is as breathtaking as the effort to get up.

Galena Summit at 8,701 ft.

Galena Summit at 8,701 ft.

Transition #2: This is a bit tricky because I wanted the run to be completely on trail. Last year, I ran about two miles on a gravel road, and that section is ok but can be replaced by two miles on a trail and able to top out on a trail pass that will be very intriguing and motivating. So, at the campground, change gear and lock up the bike in the Xterra. Then I will drive two miles down to the trailhead to be able to cut out that gravel road section and start directly on a trail.

Is driving to the trailhead cheating? No! Personal Challenges are courses done as something to challenge yourself in whatever way you want to be challenged. I think the challenge of getting to the trail pass at elevation 8,550 certainly offsets a three minute drive. If anything, the short drive will kill my momentum.

Sawtooth 60 Bike ( 52 miles; start at Perkins Lake, end at Alturas Inlet campground)



The Run ( 13.4 miles start and end at Alturas Creek trailhead)

This is an absolutely AWESOME trail run. The elevation rise is very gentle, and it follows the creek the entire way. Fresh water is never too far away for either drinking or splashing. The temperatures will remain relatively cool. When I ran this last year, I had so much positive energy in me that I never felt any pain during that run; it was a truly joyful run.

This year, I am changing the course to allow the distance to take me to the top of the trail pass at 8,550 feet. I think the last half mile going up a steep portion of the trail will be a definite challenge and certainly require some walking, but I am looking forward to jogging downhill the entire second half. I get excited about racing at higher elevations, so I am pretty excited about this route.



Post-Race: Recovery drink (beer, of course!) on the Camp lodge porch that looks like this.

The view for post-race relaxation.

The view for post-race relaxation.

Undoing three months of work in three weeks

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Consistency is the key to training. I proved that to myself in March when I had a great three-week block. Then that fell off a bit in April until it fell off a cliff in May because of various travel and work requirements. I came back into a good block a little fast and paid for it.

Here’s the proof of the training load and fitness drops from SportTracks:

You can see the drop in training load throughout May.

You can see the drop in training load throughout May.

You can see the drop in fitneess in May.

You can see the drop in fitneess in May.

So what? Well, when I got back home and wanted to start back into a solid block of training, I went out on a good run and it felt great. Then my Garmin 920xt Recovery Advisor said I had a 3-Day Recovery. I thought it was funny until two days later when I was still very sore and my bike ride on a beautiful day was painful on sore legs.

My Garmin told me I had a 3-Day Recovery!

My Garmin told me I had a 3-Day Recovery!

My point is that you really have to ease back in after three weeks of inconsistent training. I

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