Archive for the Triathlon Category

It’s Time to Change Direction

Posted in Triathlon on June 3, 2013 by brianestover

Back in December of 2008 I started this blog. I really wasn’t sure what would become of it. Where would it go, what would it say about triathlon, coaching or even life in general. This afternoon as I looked back through this blog I could see it morph as my life morphed. I could tell when I was really stressed, going through major life events and when my athletes were racing really well. I was reminded of things I’d forgotten. Little details here and there, even the occasional sleep drug fueled post. Some posts I don’t even remember writing and some I remember working on for a long, long time.

Now it’s four and a half years later. It’s time to morph once more. While this may sound like I’m shutting down this blog, I’m not really. I may not be writing on here after this post but this blog will still live on. It’s time to redo the Accelerate 3 Coaching website. One of the things I wanted to do was integrate the blog and the website. Now instead of going to then coming here as many seemed to do, you can just go to to the blog section. This will be located on the bottom of the page. You will be able to access all the content from this blog, it’s moving over as well, and I’ll still be writing there. There is an awesome pair of shoes and a unique, new energy gel that I’ll be reviewing in the coming weeks.

I’m also making it easier for you to interact with Accelerate 3 and find out more about Accelerate 3 athletes. You can find Accelerate 3 Coaching on FaceBook and Twitter. Like us on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Check out the new website, it’s going live today, June 3, in the afternoon. Thanks for checking in to this blog more then 97,500 times.

Ouch, This Hurts

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2013 by brianestover

A lot. Don’t try it at home, trust me. What is this? Crashing your bike. The Asheville camp was in full swing and going great. Other’s have written about it.

Warren Wilson College has a pretty sweet aquatics center with dry erase boards already built into the wall. Awesome!

So what’s so painful about 2.5 hours of swimming? Nothing really, unless you happen to be in the pool which thankfully I wasn’t. I got to video and analyze swim strokes. The runs weren’t painful either.

The climb up Mt. Mitchell, now that hurt, a lot, mainly b/c I’m a fatty who doesn’t climb well. But on the descent, look out, that was fun…for a bit.

Campers at the top of the climb

Campers at the top of the climb

Then on Highway 80 coming around a right hand turn I see Heath skidding across the road. A quick check to the right saw James safe then something happened. What I’m not really sure. All I remember is realizing I’m going to crash and trying to get into the sag wagon. About 8 minutes had passed between those thoughts though and that’s scary.

Piecing together what may have happened is tough, there was no one behind me. It’s only after talking with James, Heath and their talks with emergency personnel can I put this together.

It seems in that right hand turn there is a bump or something. Heath hit it and skidded to the left but stayed upright. I guess I thought he overshot the turn or something, I do remember thinking it’s good a car wasn’t coming up the road. It seems I hit the bump as well and I have a recollection of the ground rushing up and me thinking I’m about to crash. It seems I am quoted as saying “oh shit.” When you say that usually good things don’t follow.

Someone crashed?  Who?

Someone crashed? Who?

It seems I hit the ground to the left of my line instead of the right if you lost your wheel. So I was basically turned upside down and laid sideways by whatever I hit. I then rolled onto the grass and came to a stop. Was hyperventilating for a bit and started to do a hard reboot. That took a bit. It seems I was being helped to a rock to sit and kept asking “what happened?” I think I meant how did I crash, not literally what happened. I sort of recall laying a bet that I separated my AC joint and didn’t fracture my collar bone. That may have been in the ER. I had a tough time staying awake in the ambulance.

My next actual recollection after the crash is trying to sit in the sag wagon and my thigh cramping along with some pain in my left clavicle, little finger and ribs. Turns out I got a 4 for 1 special out of the crash. A fractured pinkie finger, a fractured rib, and the distal end of my clavicle fractured in 2 places. I was told that I get credit for both breaks in my clavicle. Plus a small amount of road rash. Not a lot thankfully.

The ambulance came and scooped me up, Emily rode with me in the bus and I tried to stay awake. I think I dozed off until the backboard really started hurting my head, upper back and ass. Those things are rather firm and uncomfortable.

The most embarrassing part was during the CT. But I had to pee and when the tech told me he was about to administer the dye and I might feel like I was peeing myself. I told him I should probably pee to be safe. Since my left hand was somewhat mangled and my left arm wasn’t working he had to come cut the strap on my bibs on the rightside so I could get it out and hold the container. I ended up trapping my wanker under my thumb and peeing. Easier said then done. Trust me. I’m pretty confident I fell asleep in the CT machine, or they are really quiet.

Small breaks big problems

Small breaks big problems

CT’s came back fine, which didn’t surprise me too much. X rays came back with fractures and there too I wasn’t surprised. Hippa didn’t seem to be strictly enforced at the hospital which was fine with me. Better to be in misery with others then by yourself.

I won the fight, really.

I won the fight, really.

Finally they cut off my undershirt, cleaned me up a bit, bandaged me up and sent me on my way. I tried to get them to verify my insurance using my SSN but they told me to call them. Which I did, they then told me to wait until I get my bills and then submit my card info. You’re a hospital shouldn’t you be trying to get paid sooner rather than later?

Flew back to Tucson mid week, had a Saturday surgery, removed some of the distal end of the clavicle, used bone fragments to rebuild it, used fragments to patch some other spots, a plate, 10 screws, some surgurical cord to lasso the clavicle to the coracoid process, 3.25 hours of surgery and home I went.

I will leave you with some advice. You are going to crash your bike. Try to do it in a soft field at super slow speeds. Don’t do it at 38mph going downhill. Don’t get knocked out. Wear your helmet all the time, you never know when shit is going to happen. It’s probably a good idea to update your emergency contacts in your phone, unlock your phone so people can actually use it, look over your POA and Living Will just to be safe.

It was a PB Type Weekend

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2013 by brianestover

Another fast weekend of racing by A3 athletes. A weekend that brought a first and many, many PB’s. At IM South Africa Nick opened up his pro career with a brand, spanking new IM PR of 8:48. But not only did he break 9:00 for the first time, knocking a measly 22 minutes of his previous IM PB, he also knocked 6 minutes off his IM marathon PB and did that after riding 112 miles faster than he has ever ridden it before. After dropping several spots early in the run, his steady pace brought him up over seven positions to net him 11th. It was a great hit out as a first time professional in a race.

Do you know what else happened in that race? Mark was racing, trying to avenge his 4th place finish from the year before. Mark rode according to the plan, letting a lot of guys ride past him. His plan netted him an IM bike PB ride dipping under 5:00 for the first time. Starting the run, he was down, way down, just over 13 minutes down in his age group. Seven guys in his age group were closer to the finish line then he was. But when it really matters, in his age group, could he do it on the run, could he pull back :30 per mile to win his age group and secure a Kona spot after riding faster than he has ever in an IM? Not just a few seconds here or there, he had to run 7.5 seconds faster per quarter mile for every single quarter mile of the race to take the lead in his age group. And he had to do it over the guy who won the age group in 2012 by 20 minutes. And so the chase began. 7 guys, just over 13 minutes and the 3k of distance already covered by the leader stood between him and the top step. Mile after mile, the splits came down, the guys in his age group fell to the wayside as he charged along the course. He moved into 6th, then 5th, up to 4th, then into the top 3. The course was getting shorter, the finish line closer. Second, after moving into second one guy stood between Mark and the age group win. With only single digit kilometers between Mark and the finish, with his competitor yet closer to the finish line, he was still minutes back. He continued the chase, the gap was coming down. Instead of :30 per mile it was :30 per km. Could he do it? Under 6k to go and no leader in sight. At 5k to go, up ahead, the age group leader came into view. With just under 4k to go Mark glides by and there is no response. It took a PB in the marathon, a 3:13:28, a marathon that was 10:41 faster than anyone else in his age group and a sub 9:20 time to secure the title. He went from 46th overall off the bike to 27th overall at the finish line. What a great race.

Half a world away, Bill and I toed the start line at the Leadman Tempe Triathlon. It’s always tough when you’ve been on the east coast and Mother Nature has slammed you weekend after weekend with bad weather. It’s hard for guys to come west and race a long course race so early in the season. I’m pretty sure Bill was a little nervous about the power plan I sent him at first glance. Add in sun, a trail run that was technical at parts, one of his first really long bike rides outside, he made a pretty good race taking a top 3 spot in his age group. The results have changed daily since the race, the above link may or may not be accurate. My race turned out well. After resorting to a Jedi swim trick to stay with the wave leader in the swim. The first 1.5 laps consisted of a few of us swapping the lead several times. I just listened to my power meter and rode according to plan with a 2 minute negative split over the back half of the race. While my watts and p/wt ratio are on the small side, just like my biceps, I confirmed that I can go faster then most on less watts thanks to a good position on my bike. My watts per lap were 208, 212, 211, 214 for an AP of 211 and NP of 221, which was lower than everyone I talked with after the race by 15-35w on the AP side. I gave up the lead in the M40-44 age group as I stopped to add nitrogen to the soil around a tree so that it grows up big and strong. With one of the slowest runs in the top 20 I strongly suspect that I was going to give up that lead even if I didn’t stop to pee on a tree. All in all a good day for A3 athletes as we got that early season race out of our way.

Bill and I working on our sunburns

Bill and I working on our sunburns

Nerves of Jelly

Posted in Triathlon on April 13, 2013 by brianestover

It’s a big weekend here at Accelerate 3.

Last night’s power talk at the Tempe Trisports went well. Your’s truly wowed the crowd for about an hour discussing why you should use power, the right and wrong way to ride the bike leg in a triathlon and going over some case studies of actual rides from races. It seems like everyone walked away with a little more insight about how to use power and why it’s such a good tool to have. Plus the new Quarq power meters are awesome. Kevin from Sram was there to discuss the changes they made and the new models they launched.

Speaking of Trisports, I realized I’m rolling into my 10th or 11th year of continuous sponsorship from them. My relationship with them started back in 2001 or 2002. I was making the transition from bike racing back to duathlon after several years away from multisport racing. It’s awesome to have such a great giant in the triathlon industry in your corner. I’ve been very fortunate on this front. I’ll let Jeff Spicoli sum up how I feel about this relationship “Awesome! Totally awesome!”

Nick and Sarah make their debut’s into the elite racing. Nick opens his career up at IM South Africa while Sarah opens her career up at the Lifetime Fitness I want to be a crit race Leadman Tempe. I feel a lot of pressure to get their power plans correct, in fact I think I’m more stressed out about these races than any other that they’ve done. You only get one professional debut and I want everything to go right. After looking a the numbers a hundred ways and coming up with the same numbers, while reassuring, doesn’t alleviate the pressure.

There are a few A3 athletes in town for LeadMan as well. Bill is coming from the cold, winter just won’t go away east coast to Tempe to test his early season fintess. Mona is making the long drive up from Tucson to do the Olympic. Should be a good weekend of race results.

On the east coast athletes are also racing the Tour of Battenkill and Belew’s International Triathlon. Battenkill is one of those iconic bike races over dirt roads, short, steep, punchy climbs, some long climbs, mud, rough roads. The American version of a spring classic. Where the men are men and the boys are mud covered and off the back.

I’m returning to racing, well putting a number on and paying an entry fee anyway. It’s been about three years since I’ve raced a long course race and just about two years exactly since I’ve raced anything with a competitive flair. While I think I’m fairly fit, in general, I also haven’t done a lot of specific work to make myself race fit. I’ve done a fair amount of just running and riding around and not a whole lot of intervals, fast workouts or swimming. Tomorrow will either be pretty good or a pretty good implosion. Place your bets, the odds makers are evenly split with no odds in the middle ground. Makes it hard to hedge your bets. The other thing is where did all my gear go? I couldn’t find my aero bottle, had to reinstall latex tubes on all my race wheels, slime them, find my aero helmets, still need to figure out some sort of lace system for my running shoes. Holy crap, not racing is much more simple then racing. It’s total crap. When I become supreme dictator I’m having someone else do these little things for me. I also found out that I have 9 race number belts. Nine, who needs nine? On the other hand who wants to start the run with a sweat stiffened race belt? You can follow the racers around and around and around and around the Tempe leadman crit course here.

That’s all folks, stay tuned for more news later and have a great weekend!

More Races & More Wins!

Posted in Triathlon on April 9, 2013 by brianestover

It’s been a busy few weeks at the races, busy collecting hardware that is.

Chad sets a new 5k PB at the RumpShaker 5k. Two weeks later he wins the Double Oak duathlon by storming to the front at the turn around on the bike and throttling his competition.

Chad Williamson Double Oak Duathlon Winner!

Chad Williamson Double Oak Duathlon Winner!

Janine fresh off her AG win at IM Melbourne wins a race in the Telstra Triathlon Series in Western AUS. She managed to top all the elite women using her run speed to move onto the top step of the overall podium. She’s in a tough spot. The age group women want her to get her elite license, the elites want her to stay age group.

James finished 2nd overall in a hard fought battle at the White Lake Half. He battled rather chilly water, waves and wind to grab the lead late on the bike and hold it until 2 miles on the run. I’m looking for good things to come from james this season as he’s dedicated himself like never before. Of course if he tried training this much before, he’d have cried, a little, every day.

Billy won his age group and finished 7th overall at the series opener of the Tucson Triathlon series.

Dusty, Lora and Mr. I want to Bulk Up Randy all grabbed 2nd in their cateogries at TT’s in their respective area’s of the country.

Mike snagged 3rd overall in a 10k running a huge negative split, which foiled many a person’s plan to outrun him over the last 5k.

You know the best things about coaching such a hard working group of girls and guys? Keeping track of their results.

IM Melbourne

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2013 by brianestover

Every once in a while as a coach something happens that really pisses you off. Slam your fist on the counter and want to punch the offender in the face mad. A few days before this race, this is was where I was at. Janine was having dinner with some of her friends. Her old coach, somewhat of an asshole if you were to ask me, pops into the restaurant and says hello to everyone at the table but Janine. That’s not really enough to set me off. But what he did next was inexcusable. He told Janine “you look to fat to race IM”, no hello, just that you look too fat, then he leaves. She found this very upsetting. This is a coach who over the past few years had her doing weekly weigh in’s, losing her hair, breaking out in acne and having other issues associated with over training. What he did is inexcusable, both as a person and a coach. There are better ways to coach than nearly wrecking your athlete(s).

After learning this, I found out she’s 1 kg heavier then when she raced under him. She’s not losing her hair, not run down and not having other issues associated with over training. Training for an Ironman really wouldn’t be considered a healthy pursuit, but one can do it in a healthy or unhealthy manner. Sometimes lighter isn’t better.

Ultimately, besides being pissed off, I really only wanted Janine to have nothing but a great race, a little FU to her previous coach.

We all know by now that IM Melbourne had horrible swim conditions, big winds on the bike and nearly a headwind for the entire run. Janine exited the water 6th in her age group. She then rode away from the rest of the age group women’s field, throwing down the fastest female age group bike ride. She stayed in front of the age group field until the last few km’s only being overtaken by one age group athlete. She won her age group, ended up 17th overall, crossed the line as the 2nd overall age group female while having enough energy to give someone the finger (I can only hope on that last part). Not only a superb race under difficult conditions but a little vindication to go along with the $200 prime she pocketed for having the fastest female age group bike ride.

Janine 1st place IM Melbourne F35-39

Janine 1st place IM Melbourne F35-39

Asheville Triathlon Camp

Posted in Triathlon on March 20, 2013 by brianestover

Accelerate 3 in conjunction with HD Coaching is please to announce a 4 day triathlon camp in Asheville, NC. The camp will take place April 25th-28th, 2013. Space is limited.

If you are looking to take your triathlon game to the next level this camp is for you. While building friendships and camaraderie, we’ll be doing 2 days of video swim analysis, climbing Mt. Mitchell and running trails through the forests of western NC.

Space is limited, and already filling. A 50% non refundable deposit is required. Please contact Heath or Brian to reserve your space in this exciting opportunity to train in the mountains of NC.

For more information and to contact the camp organizers, click HERE.

The Calm Before the Season Storms

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by brianestover

If last weekend was the opening shots of the start of racing season heard around that world, this weekends races were more of a skirmish. A skirmish there, a big battle here, it matters not. You show up, race fast then sort it out a the end. At the Wildman Triathlon in Florida, Adam and Lora both won their age groups while finishing 5th and 7th overall. Between the time trial the other week and a slightly shorter than Olympic distance triathlon, it’s nice to know that their training is coming along as designed.

Further up north in the south, James earned a full compliment of donuts, 4 exactly. He earned them by winning the Cary Duathlon. The rule is win a race and you can eat them without having to do vo2max intervals for punishment.

Just so all my athletes know, if you win, place second or third overall you can eat 4,3 and 2 donuts respectively. If you win your age group you may have 1 dount. If you have more, or eat donuts when you haven’t won, that’ll cost you 7 extra minutes of vo2 work per donut. I want to clarify one more thing for you guys. Placing top 3 overall in a race or winning you age group gives you 2 and 1 extra whines for the month. But remember, all whining and donuts expire at the end of the month, no rollovers. These are some of the tricks I use to help keep people motivated, keep their eye on the prize and all those other sayings.

I will say good work everyone, and enjoy your donuts.

In like a Lion

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by brianestover

March is here, charging in with the roar of a lion after some lambs. And roar Chad Chad did. Over the last five miles of the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon he stalked the leader trimming the gap. In the closing miles he struck fast to win the race!

Adu Dhabi once again hosted the Abu Dhabi triathlon. The first major triathlon race of 2013 loaded with a star studded field, is always a look into who’s hot and who’s not. Nick and Daniel made the journey to race this year. This was Daniel’s first long course race and he finished 9th in his age group.

Nick closed out his age group career here. He repeated his results from last year, winning his age group, and placing as the 2nd overall age grouper on the day. This year he moved up 11 spots to finish 11th overall including the pros. Watch for Nick at a pro race near you, as he will be joining the pro ranks and making his pro debut at Ironman South Africa.

Nick Baldwin in Abu Dhabi

Nick Baldwin in Abu Dhabi

Dusty raced one of the season opening races in CA, the Desert Triathlon. Dusty lead his age group off the bike and ended up second. He’s been battling some running injuries over the last 6 months and we expect nothing but faster run times as the season progresses.

Dusty at the Desert Triathlon

Dusty at the Desert Triathlon

I encourage all my athletes to try racing different events in the early season. Like many of my athletes Adam has taken me up on the offer for the second weekend in a row. Last weekend was a time trial, this weekend was a masters swim meet. His first swim meet. He did a wide variety of free style events, from the 50 to the 1650 as well as swimming on some relays. For a rookie he did pretty good, grabbing some top 3 finishes in his age group and cracking 1:00 in the 100 free on his first attempt.

A Couple of Races, A Couple of Places

Posted in Triathlon on February 24, 2013 by brianestover

Over the last few weeks there have been a few Accelerate 3 athletes racing around the globe. Mark crossed the line 5th overall and third overall age grouper at the Prestige Ultra Half in South Africa. He won a hard fought battle in his age group prevailing by 1:21 thanks to his run speed.

On the east coast Chris raced his first ever ultra run. The Black Warrior 50k. I told him to run smart. In my mind this was his last really long run before his next ironman. You can read his race report on his blog. He gabbed third overall in his first ultra race and almost snagged second.

When you're this buff you go shirtless

When you’re this buff you go shirtless

Nick coming off setting a new 5k PB won a 10k on his home island of Seychelles. He also ran under 37:00 for the first time running 36:35 over the hilly route. It’s always a good thing to win your home country’s 10k especially when you are an ambassador for your country as Nick is.

In Florida, Adam and Lora showed up at the local TT. Adam was 1st in his category and posted the second fastest time of the day. Lora was second in her category.

Adam and Lora after their TT.

Adam and Lora after their TT.

Chad raced his first ever mountain bike race, finishing in the top third of the field over the 50 mile course and John raced Ragnar on a relay. Ragnar is a great way to get a bump in your running frequency and miles for the week while hanging out in a van full of sweaty, smelly people for 24 hours. Nothing says fun like that, or so I’ve heard.

Speaking of fun, it snowed in Tucson. Not the sort of snow that goes away in a few hours, but the sort of snow that stays around overnight into the next day.

Snow in Tucson

Snow in Tucson