Archive for May, 2009

Swim Tips & Tricks

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by brianestover

Swimming for many triathletes is the most challenging part of a triathlon. Here are a few pointers to help you get through the swim. Using your brain when you swim will help you exit the water sooner.

Practice drafting. Doing a triathlon is great for this. So is getting a few same speed swimmers together at the local swimming hole. Use every opportunity to practice, even if it is in a race.

Look forward in the water to find the bubbles coming off the feet in front of you for a draft. There isn’t much need to lift the head to find the feet when you can follow the bubbles by looking forward. 

The more you look to see where you’re going the harder the swim is. Sight once every 20-30 strokes not every 4-6. 

If you have a long, slow swim stroke, ride someone’s hip. Not as good as their feet but allows you to swim in cleaner water. 

Start the swim riding a hip.  You can always take a few easy strokes to get back to their feet once things sort out. Lose their feet, often times there is no getting back on. 

Don’t be a Lemming. For many people, getting to the outside of the pack will enable you to swim faster then struggling within the pack to find decent water. 

Use the surroundings to help navigate. Is there a shoreline you can sight off of, trees, a pier, boats or other swimmers? Get landmarks in your mind before the gun goes off. Use these things for gross navigation. Lift your head to fine tune where you are going. 

Know someone who is just a bit faster then you? Line up right next to them, after the initial drag race, slot in behind them. 

If you start in the second or later waves, there is usually a line of colored caps to follow. If you breath left, move to the right of this line. If you breath right move to the left.  You can use the earlier waves to sight without lifting your head.

Races like this are AWESOME!

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by brianestover

The Sahurita Triathlon was yesterday.  Great little race, swim 500m out, make a U turn swim 500m back, 2 loop 16.8mile bike and a 5k run. Sarah had some race wheel issues that morning and we needed to drive to another house to grab some other race wheels for her.  That put me even later then I usually am to the race venue.  No worries though. Racked the bike, got numbered, grabbed the wetsuit and went to the bathroom.  Got on the wetsuit about 5 min before the first wave went off.  This is probably the only time I’ve been glad to be in wave 2.  I was able to get in, swim a bit, then readjust the wetsuit.  Lined up to the left, next to the start buoy.  The crowds seemed to be to the right which was perplexing since the first buoy was right in front of me.  There was no need to angle into it, and the lip of the cove we were in would pinch people who lined up right.  Oh well, part of racing is using your brains, and this was my shining moment of the day!  Later in the race I pull a Homer Simpson moment, DOH. Gun goes off, it’s a drag race to the buoy.  There are two people to my left, several to my right.  I’m breathing every 3 checking it all out.  Slowly three of us emerge leading the charge.  Brandon, on my right and Seton owner of on my left.  Just like last weekend, I couldn’t hold Brandon’s feet and he slowly drifted away as we raced towards the U turn.  Seton and I were swimming stroke for stroke towards the turn.  I apologize to those from wave 1 who I swam over, Mr. Breaststroker was the first victim, about 200m into the swim.  I never saw you when I looked up two strokes prior.  Sorry for using your face to catch the water, it’s provides a much better pulling surface then water does though, it’s weird to feel someone’s nose between your fingers and their goggles in the palm of your hand.  Swam over a few more people before we hit the 500m mark. There was a guy in front of us who made a 270 degree turn instead of the required 180 and headed back into Seton as we rounded the buoy.  This caused Seton to head into me as he sounded the collision alarm. After the turn, I figured since he isn’t swimming faster then me and I’m not swimming faster then him, I’m sitting on his feet. Near the end of the swim I sensed Seton slowing a bit, looked up and saw Brandon just ahead.  Pulled to  the side of Seton and headed for Brandon’s feet.  I typically outride Brandon and he typically outruns me. I can think of 6 or 7 races where we finished next to each other in the standings, about 50/50 him in front of me.  In my mind, coming out of the water on his feet was better then coming out of the water :05 down.  The three of us exited as one and charged towards transition.  There was about a 100yd run to the lake.  You could hear zippers being pulled down and lots of heavy breathing as the three of us were bolting along the path.  Saw Billy, one of the guys I coach who was in the first wave right ahead of us leaving on his bike. The three of us grabbed our bikes and headed out.  I exited right behind Brandon, ahead of Seton and about :10 up on Thomas.

100m into the bike I hear a disc wheel, Thomas comes flying by me then Brandon, then Brandon re-passes, and now I’m back about :10 total with Billy just ahead of the train.  Thomas repasses, then I pass brandon, then Billy about .75mile later.  Then Thomas comes charging by, then I charge past him then brandon, then Thomas, then me, then Billy, then me, then thomas then brandon, the lead was changing so fast and so many times that it was hard to keep track of who was where.  It was a constant go as hard as you can go, get to the front and try to ride everyone off your wheel bike race.  This is how racing was meant to be, your eyes are bulging, your ribs hurt from breathing so hard, sweat dripping from under your helmet, disc wheels are making the sweet, lovely sound only a disc can make and you’re thinking when in hell is this guy going to drop and not come back to the front.  There had to have been 10-12 lead changes in the first 8 miles. Near the end of lap one I was thinking there is no way I can keep this up, forget about running after this.  

As we started lap 2, I took the lead going around the right hand turn and pushed hard.  This was a close to 2 mile section and I never dropped below 30.5mph.  I figured if anyone was coming back around me it was going to cost then (and me). Near the end of this section, Thomas comes past me,  I drop in legally behind him, see a small rise in the road and go back around him.  Make the right hand turn, look under my legs and can’t see anyone.  Make the next right hand turn just under a mile later and the sound of a disc wheel comes roaring towards me. Thinking it was Thomas I ask if  we gapped Brandon? Brandon just smiled. Ummm, I’ll take that as a NO.  I drop in behind him, amazed at how fast we are coming up on lapped riders.  After the next right hand turn we are both as far left as we can get, being squeezed by lapped traffic, squirt past them on the outside of the right hand turn, and begin the drag race at 27-28mph towards transition. I pass him, make the downhill right and a quick left into transition, as I’m getting out of my shoes, he rolls beside me and we get off our bikes side by side.  Thomas is ~ :10 behind us. And now I turn off my brain.  Instead of running straight to my rack which was 20 feet past the dismount line, I turn right, run all the way down the row of empty bikes, past where Brandon is racked, make a U -turn then run all the way back to my rack.  My friend Joe who was in charge of transition, told me it cost me almost :20 to make that run.  Put on a shoe, hear someone yell “go Thomas” as he exits transition, put on the other shoe, see brandon leaving, I grab my number and visor then run back down the empty rows to get out of transition. Thomas is ~:20 ahead of me, Brandon ~:15. That’s as close as it got.  I averaged 5:57 per mile for the 5k, those guys (thomas is an ex-sub 30min 10k runner so no hope there anyway) pulled ahead a bit more when it was all said and done.  We passed everyone in the first wave  except for 3 people, one of whom I caught on the run.  After the waves were complied I missed 4th place overall by :14 seconds. The mistake I made in transition cost me one spot on the overall result sheet.  

For those of you interested in the power numbers,   AP 244, NP 247, avg speed 25.9mph.

That wasn’t so bad

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , on May 17, 2009 by brianestover

of a hit out at the Tempe International Triathlon.  Except the lead 5 guys swam me off their feet.  And no one in the second pack offered to take a turn at the front.  No one.  Until the last 25m that is.  Then 2 guys tried to sprint past me. Really, why?  What did that accomplish you guys?  In case your two hadn’t noticed, we got dropped from the lead group. oh, and I pulled your ass all around Tempe Town lake.  But hey, thanks for taking your turn at the front during the swim leg. Did I mention that the 1500m swim took me 27:00.  I think it was closer to 1850m. I guess that’s what I get for being to the left when the train formed to the right.  Just as I closed the gap, the string broke and it opened back up.  just no horsepower right now swimming. And no wetsuits.

The bike went well.  Put the Lucero almost back together this week, Pima Street Bikes did the rest. And I only got one nasty phone call from Phil.  Rode it 3 hours yesterday.  Came home, angled the bars down, raised the seat 2mm and moved it forward 4mm.  Rode it around the block and called it good. 233watts AP/251 NP and it netted me a 1:00:07 40k. Lowering the front end 12.5mm and sliding the seat forward put me into a great position.  Very narrow with my head at or below my shoulders. My old set up on this bike had me higher and further back. So for now, I’m not f*cking with the position on the BadAss Lucero.  Even installed some new handlebars this week.  Some Profile csx which also lowered the front some more compared to my old Hed fliplites.  All in all, it’s about 27mm lower in the front and more forward.  Its similiar to how it was set up in 2006 when I was the master of low power outputs and pretty solid bike splits.

Today’s run went well. For an ex-college XC runner, it’s the weak link in my game and I actually ran a few people down. Surprise, surprise.

Freaking Brilliant

Posted in Random Stuff on May 8, 2009 by brianestover

My grocery store of course.  I’m in there 2-3 times per week grabbing groceries.  Loooove the carbonated, caffeinated beverage section.  It’s my favorite aisle, by far. So many colors, so many choices and all tastier then the OJ or fruit juice section.  Typically I support the soda industry to the tune of 4-5L per week of the sugary sweetness that soda is.  I really like the store brand for some reason, and Pepsi, but typically go with the store brand. Except for the uncaffeinated 2L per week that I consume, that’s Pepsi.  

Last week, I grab two 2L bottles and notice the price went up $.10.  It’s been at the previous price for over 3 years so I’d say about time.  But this week, this week the grocery store made a brilliant marketing move.  It flagged the entire aisle where the store brand soda sits with a bright, yellow, can’t miss me sticker.  The sticker said “New Lower Price”.  They lowered the price $.02 from the recently established new price.  Thats right, two whole pennies.  I found more then that riding my bike this week and I’ve only ridden it once. But now, now people are thinking hey I’m getting a bargin since it’s on sale.  Brilliant!

What I didn’t understand is how come a half gallon of milk was $1.59 and the gallon was $1.49? I get a gallon for less then half a gallon.  Really?  In that case let’s supersize that milk!  We must have way too many cows working way to hard in this country if they are going to give me a half gallon for free  then make the price $.10 less.   I hope my lawn likes milk since I can’t go through a gallon before it goes bad typically.  Got milk?  I do.

The opposite of Winter

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by brianestover

I’m not a big fan of summer,  spring and fall yes, but not summer.  Tell me your woes about spending all winter in the gym running or having to ride the trainer 2-3x per week. Or how it sucks swimming indoors all winter.  No sympathy here. Why?  Because it’s going to be 102 this week, thats why.  While the rest of Canada/Minnesota/North Dakota, it’s all the same,  is finally shovelling the last of the snow away, we start heading indoors to run, bolt our bikes to the trainers and wish we could swim anywhere but our 90F outdoor pools. It’s getting hot. And more sunny if that is possible. And hot.  Did I mention 100+ temps for 3+ months.  It’s like Canada… reverse. I feel sorry for any idiots who live in the midwest or other frozen parts of North America in the winter then come here for the summer.   It just looks like I’m in Minnesota in the winter while I’m in Tucson for the summer.  Pale, white, almost ghost like because of all the sunscreen I have to use. It’s like a reverse tan. Get up, put on sunscreen, grab other bike, try to go ride outside, turn around because it’s hot, ride bike pre-bolted on trainer for 2 hours. Then go swim in the bathtub.  Yeah.

Why do I live in Tucson?  It’s the other 9 months of the year with near perfect outdoor weather.