Archive for cycling

Next Season Starts….NOW!

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2011 by brianestover

What the h*ll is he talking about? This season is not even over. Ironman Hawaii hasn’t even been raced yet. How can it be next season already?

If you are not thinking about which races to do, some of them will be sold out by the time you get around to it. Have a favorite race? Odds are others love that race as well. The smart racer is checking websites now, looking at when registration starts and making a note of it.

If you are thinking about switching coaches or finding a coach for the first time now is the time to start that process. I know coaches that have their rosters filled up for next year already. Gone are the days where you could just fill out an online form, pay your cash and get coached. Gone are the days where you interviewed the potential coaches and selected the one you thought was the best. The better to best coaches in the business will now interview you. If you meet their criteria, then you two can work together. There are so many bad coaches out there that the good coaches can turn away business. The good coaches are in demand, many have waiting lists. If you are thinking new coach, start acting.

This is the time to start thinking about how to make a big jump in one of the sports that you need to race a triathlon. Now is the time to figure out where you are weak compared to your competition. Most people favor their strength in the off season. If you like to run you tend to run a good bit. If you don’t like to swim you tend to find excuses not to swim. Those who are serious about doing well next season would be smart to focus elsewhere besides their favorite event. It’s ok to run or bike less and swim more if you are routinely getting your clock cleaned on the swim. It’s ok to have less frequency in one sport or two sports in order to favor your weakest link. It’s ok to take a few days off completely. It’s not ok to skip out completely on one sport hoping to make it up later. When later rolls around the racing season will probably have started.

Proper planning now coupled with the appropriate following action, will give you the best shot at success next year. That time is NOW!

Big Watts or Not

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2011 by brianestover

It’s a week removed from the Team Trisports training camp and 3 weeks from the Accelerate 3 training camp. I was hoping all the hard work over those 4 and 3 day camps would pay off. That and running with my friend Ted whom moved in around the corner. He is a bit of a faster runner then I am. He crushed me running Monday. I’m embarrassed to say I even begged for mercy about halfway through. My legs and I were shelled for three days after.

On the biking side I’m starting to see some payoff. My FTP seems like it’s gone up, I’ll know for sure later this week. I set new 1 minute and 5 minute power bests, 511w and 337 or 7.11 and 4.69 w/kg. Those just aren’t season bests, those are the best outputs I’ve seen since ditching my SRM and switching to Power Tap in January of 2009. I’m pretty stoked actually to be putting up better numbers at 39 then I did at 37 and 38. Now if that will lift up the right side of the power curve I’ll be happy(ier).

Today riding, I bonked. Not once but twice and it sucks more the second time then the first. Twizzlers, which were a new choice to end the bonk for me today, it seems won’t really sustain me through 12 miles. I knew it was bad when I looked back to cross three lanes of traffic and got dizzy. The people behind me must have seen my swervy bike handling skills. All of them slowed up so I could cross. Eight miles after the Twizzlers I bonked again. At this point I was only 4 miles, most of it downhill, from home. Somehow I made it home, opened the door, clomped to the fridge and grabbed a Pepsi. The delicious, carbonated, caffeinated, sugary, sweetness never tasted better. Mmm good.

I’m going to blame the 8.5 hours of painting yesterday after I worked out and not the lack of breakfast. At least my office is painted, well not the molding and the living room/dining room are almost done. Only the molding and the dark colored walls to go there.

More Dreams….CRUSHED!

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by brianestover

Another weekend of racing for Accelerate 3 athletes. I think we managed to fill the big shoes Kerry laid before us last week.

Cory completed his first ever 50k race this weekend as he continues his prep for IM St. George. He turned in a bang up race there last year and is on track to do the same again this year.

The Trisports.com Desert Classic Duathlon was this weekend. Last year was a cold, wet affair. This year it poured and was very windy the day before the race making the trails a sloppy mess. Race day, while looking like it would storm, stayed dry and calm until after the finish. Then the temps dropped out of the upper 40’s and the rain came.

Billy and Coach Brian Before the Race

Sarah ran on a relay team taking 3rd place in the relay division. She has a back problem that has sidelined her for the last three weeks and it seems to be clearing up. That’s good news unless you are a female triathlete. Not a bad way to start to get back into some light training.

Billy finished up second in the Mens 45-49 AG. He lead the second group through the first run and moved into second place for good on the bike. You can read his race report here.

Billy in T2

I won the 40-44AG in my first ever masters race! F*ck me, I’m old. When and how did that happen? Typically this AG in AZ is one of the fastest. You have a bunch of former sub 8:45 IM pros and guys who have touched the 1:50 Olympic distance triathlon mark. If you’re not on, you’ll find yourself off the back quickly.

Today though the pace started off kind and gentle to these old legs for the first half of the run. I managed to make the first group in the run as it dwindled from 6 to 5 to 4 to 3. About 10 minutes into the run, my friend Ted dropped the hammer and gapped 2nd and 3rd place. Unfortunately I was in second place. After a surge to drop 3rd place that didn’t work, I found myself falling into 3rd place. Note to self, when in doubt don’t surge. But hey, I guess you can teach and old dog new tricks. On the bike Ted threw a chain and I moved into second place in the wave while taking over the lead in the M40-44 AG. Entering the final run, I was down a bit. About 2k into it, I caught a glimpse of the guy leading the M40+ wave. He had about :45 on me. I managed to claw some time back through the 2.5mile mark. Not much and not enough. I was just over :30 down when we hit a half mile to go. Suddenly the gap started shrinking rapidly. My mind was saying “GO” and “Wait Not Yet You Idiot I’m Hurting” all at the same time. I tried to reel him in. Over the final 150 meters, he was coming back to me faster then the finish line was coming towards us. Closer and closer he came, I went from seeing logos to making out the writing on the logos of his singlet in that final 150m. Alas though I ran out of real estate ending up :12 down, making up a quarter of a minute over the final 200m or so of the race.

What do I have to do to win my wave at this race? Seriously? This is the 5th time I’ve raced this race. This is the third time I’ve finished second in my wave. One other time I finished 3rd. At least I’m pretty safe bet to place or show.

Coach Brian running into T2

In the end I picked up a gift certificate from Trisports.com and some bonus money as well. Not bad for a cold, wet and sloppy day.

The Mess that Becomes Transition

Girly Arms

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , on January 29, 2011 by brianestover

Eagerly this morning I tore open the packaging to my new Craft arm warmers. I pulled them on and to my horror my wrists are so small there was a finger width gap around at the wrist. When did my wrists get so small? Total buzz kill of the excitement that had developed over new arm warmers. I had to ride with my old arm warmers that don’t stay up on my puny biceps. Either way some part of my arm was going to get cold.

Contador Suspended

Posted in Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on January 26, 2011 by brianestover

You can read all about it here: http://www.universalsports.com/news/article/newsid=512774.html

But if you think cycling is clean you are an idiot. If you think triathlon is clean you are an idiot.

As long as success in sports is linked with big salaries, lots of media, financial security, Olympic glory, fame and fortune you will have doping in sports. Accept it.

Accept that your favorite cyclist of yesterday or today doped, every single one of them more then likely. Accept that many of the performances you see in triathlon, both age group and elite, are possible because of doping. Accept that the heads of major sports, like the UCI, ITU, don’t really want to tackle doping head on. They know doing this will reduce the vitality and profile of their sport while hurting their pocketbook. Accept it.

Accept the fact, that sports, endurance sports anyway, are becoming a little bit cleaner. Accept the fact that some of the performances you see at the top level are clean performances. Sure you may have to look down to the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th or 11th place person to find the first place clean athlete in many endurance events, but they are there.

1 down

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by brianestover

1 to go, then it’s time to start thinking beat Jeff at Vineman. He’s been talking junk, and I’m a teeny, tiny bit worried…not.

I’m amazing, really, I am. At the Sahuarita Triathlon first I get punched in the eye by someone from a previous wave who was heading off course. Got a small shiner for my efforts there. In the construction zone on the bike, I managed to ride off a 3 ft ledge, caught a good bit of air testing the flight characteristics of my Transition without crashing, then I managed to step on a traffic cone and roll my ankle just after mile 1. My left ankle. The traffic cones were on my right. Wtf? How does that happen? Seriously? How? Wasn’t able to really do much more then hobble on it for about half a mile. It was just before the 2 mile mark before I could really start to run on it. By then there were a few more people ahead of me. Managed to pass the guy in my AG though in the final 2km but it probably cost me 1 spot on the overall.

Spent the rest of the day laying on the couch watching netflix on the xbox and icing my foot. Needless to say training has been slim to none this week, thanks to being clumsy.

I’ve also been sleeping in every morning because I stayed up late partying like a rock star one night. It’s rather evident to me now, rock stars have a very tough life. Especially if they are an early to bed early to rise person like I am. One night of only a few hours of sleep and 3 mornings later, I’m still dragging ass.

Looking forward to heading up to Show Low, AZ this weekend to race the Trisports.com Deuces Wild triathlon. Hoping this week of no training, watching movies and learning that I’m no rock star pays off with a decent result.

What a big surprise.

Posted in Random Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on May 20, 2010 by brianestover

Or as Gomer Pyle would say Surprise surprise.

Surprised that Floyd Landis admits to doping during most of his career. Only naive people think the upper echelon of endurance sports are totally clean. And yes, I’m talking about triathlon as well. It was after all the sport with the most positive but thanks to a Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) not positive tests a few years ago.

But endurance sports aren’t the only dirty sports. Track and Field, especially the field part. I personally know two field people who have been popped for drug use over the years. The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and any other league has people using.

So if you are surprised, I’m surprised by that.

Kicking Ass….again

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2010 by brianestover

It was a good weekend for Accelerate 3 athletes. 3 races in 3 states with 3 podiums. Once again proving that good things come in 3’s.

Kerry raced the Florida 70.3. What does she do this past week? She gets a new bike. Then proceeds to ride to the 4th fastest bike split in her AG, which I might mention is her longest ride on that bike. Not content with that, she throws down the fastest run in her AG, the second best overall female AG run split and the 13th fastest female run of the day. Not to shabby for her second ride on the new bike. I’ll post her power numbers as soon as I get them.

I raced the Tempe International Triathlon today. It was awesome to see a lot of my Trisports.com teammates out racing and placing in their age group or overall. After swimming a bit off course, I ended up 7th Overall and won the M35-39 AG. I started the bike and my legs were flat. The watts were low and I was riding like a pussy. It took getting passed, only for a bit, for me to snap out of it. I rode the second 20k loop 1.5 minutes faster and just over 20 watts higher then the first loop. I ran roughly the same time as last year, but the run was about .4 longer this year. I’m exiting the water here. Thankfully, other then the guy right behind me, I still had a decent gap on the rest of my AG field with only one guy out in front of me. AP/NP 238/251

Rich used the fastest run split of the day to leapfrog from 5th after the bike to 2nd OV at the Peachtree International Triathlon. Midway through the bike people started launching attacks. Rich just rides smart, in control, letting everyone chase each other down. Exiting T2 he put the wood to them, making some people rather unhappy as they tumbled down the results sheet. AP/NP 273/280

What’s with the rain?

Posted in Random Stuff, Stuff with tags , , , , on March 7, 2010 by brianestover

Third weekend in a row I ended up riding in the rain. Seriously, wtf Mother Nature? Although today I wussed out. 9 minutes into it I said screw it did a u turn and went home. My front derailleur was jacked up and I just couldn’t fathom 2.5 hours in the rain with my front derailleur dragging on my chain. So I went home and rode the trainer for 40min. I’m never going to get fit like this.

Yesterday’s ride wasn’t bad, I averaged for 150 minutes 6 watts below what I averaged at the duathlon. Oh well, maybe I only suck a little bit.

Back to the rain. I live in the Sonoran Desert which happens to be the most vegetated desert in the world. Everything is so green right now, it’s pretty awesome! Being in the desert we can use all the rain we can get, so I shouldn’t complain that much and it’s better then 105F temps. Typically we get about 12 inches per year though. This winter I think we’ve already passed that mark. The rain allows me to conserve water as well. I stick my dirty clothes out in the rain in the laundry basket and let Mother Nature pre-soak them. My washing machine is one of those environmentally sensitive machines. Senses the water level in the clothes and adjusts. If it’s going to piss on my parade, I’ll take advantage of it when doing laundry.

I don’t not suck.

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by brianestover

Cold. Wet. And not just your girlfriend. That was what we were faced with at the Trisports.com Desert Classic Duathlon on Sunday. The trails were a muddy, sloppy mess, as if mud makes any other type of mess. Judging from my kit it sure doesn’t make a clean mess. But damn it, it’s so much fun to run in the rain. Especially on trails dodging cactus and stomping in puddles. My high school and college xc skills are still there. My leg speed, um, well, not so much.

It wasn’t so bad on the bike, the weather that is, not my riding. My riding, now that was an awesome display of patheticness. With all the kit I had on the only cold part came with the 5k downhill that saw me cruising along at 29+ mph. Couple that with a chain that skipped unless I was applying some upward pressure to my shift lever and the fun factor wasn’t near an all time high. The front Zipp 1080 is a bit twitchy at times. Sort of felt like I was hydroplaning. Hydroplaning, twitchy and wet roads = some puckering here and there. The rubber stayed down and the Styrofoam stayed up is a decent summary on my biking. Other then I suck, which is the best assessment of it currently.

I accomplished my goal of a personal worst time on the course. 1:39:21. A PW by 4:31! F*ck yeah I rocked it! I was still 2nd in the Men’s 35-39 Age Group. The streak of never finishing out of the top 3 in my AG in this race continues. This is a very sad reflection on how pathetically weak this AG is in AZ. Next year I get to play with the big boys in AZ, the M40-44 AG. When did I get so old?

The run went somewhat well. I’ve never witnessed this race from so far back. I was 25th in my wave in the first minute. The gun went off and I just cruised out from the line. About 100m from the turn to get on the trail, just like when I’ve been up front, those in the back suddenly started to slow. Who knew? I moved up 5 or 6 places in the 25 meters before the turn. Ran past a few more and hit the first mile in 6:10. The first mile of this race is more or less downhill and flat. The real challenge on the first run is between miles 1 to just beyond 2. The course goes uphill the entire time. Hit the 2 mile mark in just under 12:40. Just beyond 2 miles, the course turns downhill again. The smart play is run the first mile within yourself and the second mile hard to make time on those behind and/or pull in those in front. The section from just beyond mile 2 to the end of the run takes care of itself…..if you’ve run smart up to that point. Hit 3 miles in just over 18:10 and continued to push. I got passed around mile 3 then just clung to the dude and let him pull me. When all was said and done, it worked out to about 6:02 per mile for a 21:06 3.5 mile opening leg. Last year I ran 19:30. sigh…..

You know triathlon/duathlon really isn’t that hard when you aren’t pushing the bike leg. I can’t say except for the steep pitches back into the park that I really rode hard. My 202 watt average power would confirm that. Like I said, I Suck.

Second run was fine, had to tie my shoe starting the run, which consisted of struggling to get my neoprene gloves off then tying my ghetto lacing system. I’ve got wide feet and hate my running shoes flopping around, what can you do?

Some dude sprinted past me near the finish. Crossed the line, walked for 2 min then went straight to the Trisports.com trailer where all my (dry) gear was. Got naked, dried off the best I could, put on my dry clothes and got back to the hotel for a hot shower. If you were running up the final 75 meters to the finish line and saw a skinny dude with a really white ass in the back of the trailer, that was me.

The nice thing about racing is it allows you to objectively assess where you are at. Running, I’m ok. A few long runs and some miles consistently and things will be good. Cycling…well I’m going to need a moped if I want to go fast.