Archive for November, 2009

It’s next year

Posted in Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2009 by brianestover

Many people still have not sat down and thought about what needs to be done to go faster in 2010. Do I need to swim more, bike more or run more? Where am I weak compared to my competitors? Do I need more long rides or runs? Maybe I should do more speed work?

Too many people will never answer these questions. Instead they will continue to do the same type of training as they did before. They will wonder why they still can’t run under 1:35 in a half ironman. They will stick with the same program that got them the results they are currently complaining about. Much to a planner’s delight.

Too many will take off the time between now and January. They will run half of what they normally would, which in itself, is half of what they really need. Their bike will sit collecting dust in the garage. Goggles will dry rot from sitting in the trunk for the next 2 months. Their idea of working out is running from the car to the coffee shop.

When their first race rolls around, they will wonder why they got their ass kicked (again) and roll out the excuses. I’ve been slacking on my training (duh, we see your race result), I’m doing base training, I haven’t done any speed work, my long run isn’t up there yet, my build phase starts next week.

Their failure to plan will be your benefit. Their inability to see the long view their demise. They will spend all season playing catch up, only to fall further behind. You can use their strengths to your advantage, while your weaknesses won’t benefit them.

Now compare this to an age group swim team. Their coach plans their season. They don’t take lots of time off transitioning from long course to short course and back to long course swim seasons. They swim 46-48 weeks per year. A week here, two weeks there are their only breaks. Then it’s back into the water. They address things that help them become more efficient early in the season, doing drills, high velocity swimming, working their turns. Making the little things that are crucial to success a habit. They then progress into their training program. Sprinters now train one way, distance swimmers another. Once the championship part of their season rolls around they start tapering. There is no panic about trying to squeeze in this type or that type of workout in. No distress because they have to race in three weeks. The work is done, it’s time to go fast. They don’t hope they have a good race, they just wonder how much faster it will be then early in the season.

2009 was the year where if you wanted an age group Kona slot, suddenly you needed to be 10-15 minutes faster to get that slot. Where elite run times dropped 2-3 minutes over the half distance. Before you could go around 9:30 and give yourself a chance to go to Kona. Now, you are so far out of it, you have to hope the roll down rolls down past the normal roll down roll down. If you are an elite, you used to be able to stay in the top 10 with a 1:22 run. Now all you are doing is counting butts as they pass you by. 53 is the new 55 for the IM swim.

Are you doing the work now to insure success? Are you objectively evaluating yourself, your training and your habits to make yourself a success? A good way to insure failure is to fail to plan. Fail to look at yourself in the mirror. Fail to tell yourself you need to change. Fail to have the balls to actually make those changes.

Now is next year. Now is the time to make the tough decisions about yourself, your life, what you want to accomplish in sport for 2010. Are you starting to do the little things that lead to success? Are you taking a big picture view with your planning? Have you even thought about getting out the door to train this year for next year? Is your rate of change outstripping everyone else’s? Or would you prefer counting people’s butts as they run by?

IMAZ part II

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2009 by brianestover

3 in all under 12hrs, all with PBs. Not too shabby. Great job guys!

Tim went 11:02.   Under a previous coach he was a DNF at his IM attempts.  Crossing the finish line, to me, is a PB for him since he has started Ironman races before.  I’m actually looking forward to his progress next season.  He has managed to knock off over 32 minutes from his half IM PB this year dropping that into the low 4:30’s.  I think next year he should be turning some heads around the AZ racing scene with people asking where he came from.  Sorry Tim, I didn’t get any pics of you that my thumb wasn’t in the way.

Jeff went 11:35. He overcame some late season injuries caused by a shoe switch which limited his run mileage during the final build. Jeff has a group of friends that are, or actually were of similar ability in IMs.  To quote one of them, “I’m going to have to put the wife and newborn up for adoption if I want to get close to his time”. When you drop over 65 minutes off your IM PB, you actually just have to de-friend your old ones and go get faster new friends. Or you become King among the commoners.

Jeff telling me what he really thinks

Billy was the third athlete going 10:14.  He went about 30 minutes faster then he ever had.  This was the first time he ever broke 4 hours in the Ironman marathon.  He got off the bike 7th in his AG, within striking distance of a Kona slot, but ultimately finished 14th in his AG.  I’ve know Billy know for over 12 years, train with him often and have been coaching him for just over three. It’s been nice watching him get faster and faster as he does the work season after season. Now at 45, he is faster then when he was 35 or 40!

Starting his 2nd loop

Finishing to a new Ironman PR

Ironman Arizona

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , on November 22, 2009 by brianestover

3 athletes racing.  1 PB, 1 HUGE PB,  1 super HUGE PB.  Enough said…for now.

IM Florida

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2009 by brianestover

It’s barely over and already people are whining about drafting.  Look folks, drafting happens, it’s an accepted practice at all the big IM events. Some people will get dinged sure, but lets face it, those races are semi ITU races for many of the age groupers.

So what should you do if you see a big group?  Catch it or let it catch you.  Thats right, get with the group. Then sit the legal 3 bike lengths distance behind it. I have several power files showing drops of 10-40 watts with .5-2.0 mph increases in speed.  You want to race smart, thats smart racing.  Let some other schmuck do all the work.  Sit back, have a coke, eat a gel and laugh your ass off at everyone else.

You want to go to Kona? Then don’t be a hero trying to break away from the pack.  Ride 3 lengths behind, save your watts for the run and ride way faster then you would have by yourself.  Then, get off the bike and run people down. Accept your Kona slot and be the happiest, smartest racer on the podium.

But I can hear the screaming now.  This violates the spirit of triathlon blah blah and on and on.  Spirit?  Really? When you have 100 people per minute getting out of the water? Thats more then 1 per second.  How the heck are you going to fit that onto a bike course legally?  The spirit of the rule was violated when the race got that big. The RDs and WTC are the biggest hypocrites about it.  NO drafting. 2400 entries. NO drafting. 2400 entries.

Race smart within the rules.


Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by brianestover

Yesterday, I had the chance to go watch one of my athletes run in the Javelina Jundred Trail Race outside of Phoenix. She was doing 100k, which is a rather long way to run.  Typically I coach triathletes, bike racers and runners.  I’ve never coached ultra runners before that I can remember.

As a coach, I can watch athletes and pick out those that are shelled, over their heads, those that are looking fit, fresh and good even at 3+ hours into the event.  I staked out two different positions on the course. This allowed me to observe the same athletes 3-4 times through out the day.  You could really see people whose training had derailed, who were in survival shuffle, who was and was not going to make it.  Those who had been smart early and those who had not. Best of all you could watch the changes as the day rolled on.  Lurking in the staging area was really interesting as well. Some people made me wonder what they were thinking.

Today, as we chatted about yesterday, I realized from my notes both with her about her race and on my observations from the race, that there was a ton of info learned about ultra running.  More importantly, much of this info has application towards other events as well. It’s experiences like this that allow me to stick another few bricks onto my wall of knowledge.

It’s of my opinion that far too many coaches fail to absorb the learning these opportunities offer. Fail to assimilate what they observed. Fail to use they knowledge they have, to critically apply it to situations that are non specific to it.  It’s lessons such as these that allow me to see how far I’ve come as a coach over the last decade, how much I’ve learned in that time.