Archive for Swimming

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

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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.

Chronic Training Load & Why It Matters

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by brianestover

If you have used WKO+ you’ve seen the Performance Manager Chart (PMC) that shows your Chronic Training Load (CTL). Most people I talk to look at the chart and think “Gee look at the pretty lines and colors.” But when used correctly, the CTL line on that chart gives you an idea of what you’ve done and what you can do. It needs to be looked at along with the other pretty lines in your PMC, but for now I’ll give the down and dirty on CTL.

When you train you stress the body. You adapt and hopefully over repeated weeks, months and years of training you get faster AND you can handle higher workloads. Today’s hard 5×5 minutes of threshold on the bike that makes you hit the couch for a two hour nap, becomes tomorrow’s 8×5 minutes of threshold that leaves you tired but able to grocery shop right after. Today’s training becomes tomorrow’s chronic training load. Different training has different stresses and impacts your CTL differently. Your CTL is measured in Training Stress Score / Day. Think of this as how much stress you give yourself based upon what you do. A hard interval session where you knock out 4k of intervals and run 9k total will give you more TSS then a 10k easy run. A 2.5 hour ride where you flog yourself for 75 minutes of threshold will yield more stress then a 2.5 hour coffee cruise. If easy coffee cruises added a ton of stress, instead of social rides to have a coffee we’d have climbing rides to socialize.

Since TSS makes up part of your CTL the more you do in any one day the higher CTL goes. It also rewards consistency. Remember CTL = Training Stress Score / Day. It’s the cumulative training you’ve averaged per day for how ever long you want to look at it in your PMC. (This is why it’s a good idea to run more than one PMC.) If your PMC is set for 52 weeks, it’s going to take more to increase or more time off to decrease your CTL compared to a PMC that is set at 28 days. The more consistent you are in training daily, the more you can influence up or down your CTL. Big training days typically add to your TSS/D, days off of training subtract from it.

To give you an example of how this works let’s choose 165.5 TSS/D, this means you’ve averaged 165.5 TSS per day every day you’ve trained for however long your PMC is set for. If you only train 50 TSS today it will drop a little. If you train 257.8 TSS it will rise a little. Generally you want this to rise over time and get as high as possible. It’s this long term rise in what you have done that allows you to do more. It;s this long term rise that is the result of training. A U23 rider isn’t going to have the same sort of CTL that a veteran cyclist who has ridden 10 Grand Tours over the last 4 years is going to have. But depending upon how long you set your PMC for and what each of these riders has been doing recently the U23 rider might have a higher ATL (Acute Training Load) then the veteran tour rider.

You have to look at CTL in both the short and long term. If you only look at the long term CTL you might miss the day in day out picture of what you have been doing very recently. Huge ramp ups over short periods of time can leave you tired and performing poorly if not managed proprely. On the other hand, if you only look at your PMC over the short duration, you won’t see what you’ve done long term and might miss clues to what you could be doing or should be doing.

Below I’ve inserted a PMC of one of my athletes from last season. I’ll talk about some of the things that influenced the CTL aka blue line.

Season Long PMC

Season Long PMC

To look at the season as a whole you’ll start from the left and look right. This will give you an idea of where they started and where they ended up. This was a new to me athlete and I had no historical data from them from previous years. The first four and a half months were spent training. You see the steady saw tooth progression of the CTL line. This represents the pattern that the first four and a half months fell into. A few bigger/harder days and few easy days. The intervals were short, hard and often. There wasn’t a lot of threshold riding, there was a lot of supra threshold riding. This continued right into the first weeks of racing where multiple races where raced. You’ll notice the big dip in the blue line. This is where significantly less training per day was being done. Once we got through this period we started a push towards the first major race of the season. You’ll notice the blue line starts trending up. If you were to look at a short time frame PMC you’d see a significant spike in the acute training load of this athlete. The duration’s and intervals changed to reflect the specificity of the events that were being focused on for the season. This athlete had to do more to maintain and increase their fitness as they acquired more fitness. The next major dip in the blue line represents a mid season break from training. This was a 7-10 day break from training to help manage fatigue loads. The build up that followed was much like the previous ramp up. The ATL was very steep, representing lots of work in a short period of time, but not short workouts. The next major dip was work related that required a couple of weeks of almost around the clock work. This curtailed training and you can see that as the blue line drops. This was followed by two more ramp ups with some drops due to work related stuff. Each of these build ups had an ATL that was much steeper then the long term CTL you are seeing here. This TSS was achieve with some very long rides and runs acquiring large amounts of TSS in a very few workouts and little TSS in the rest of their workouts. Frequency also dropped a little compared to early in the season in some sports. The final ramp up saw this athlete achieve some of their highest ATL numbers of the year and near season high CTL numbers. This huge increase in ATL led into tapering which allowed both short and long term CTL to drop.

Hopefully you can now understand that ATL and CTL influence each other and how both have to be managed for a successful season. By looking at the CTL, short and long term, and the athletes race schedule, you can learn to manipulate training loads to be at optimal fitness for the races that matter. This allows you to do the training that matters so you can get results that matter at the races that matter.

2013 Kicking Off

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on December 17, 2012 by brianestover

2012 hasn’t left the building, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the 2013 racing season. Racing season seems to start earlier and earlier for me as a coach. 11 out of the last 12 months have seen someone race.

While it’s winter here in the northern hemisphere it’s summer in the southern hemisphere. Summer means racing, and if you are an Accelerate 3 athlete it means winning.

One of the newest Accelerate 3 athletes Janine, a Canadian living in Australia, raced the Western Australia Sprint Triathlon Championships. I think she was a little nervous racing the day after a couple of big sessions, but since it’s a sprint, no rest for the weary, just get out there and knock it out. Knock it out she did. Janine set a PB on the course and for all three events. She finished 3rd overall, winning her age group, becoming the state champion…again, and was the second amateur on the day beating out almost all the pro’s. Which is never a shabby thing.

On the bike

On the bike

Although not a pic from this race, after seeing this and a few other pics of her position we were able to make a lot of changes to make her more aerodynamic with no reduction in power output.

Now that the bar is set high, I’ve got my work cut out for me to help the rest clear the initial hurdle.

2012 – Kicking Ass, The Recap

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2012 by brianestover

It’s been a great season for Accelerate 3 athletes. Just about everything has gone according to plan. People are faster than they were before, people are winning and when those things happen I’m a very happy coach with very happy athletes. Happy might be an understatement though. It’s been a very, very successful year for a lot of athletes. The adage still holds true. Do the work and the results will follow. I’m fortunate to have a great group of hard working athletes. To you girls and guys I say thank you.

How well has the season gone? Awesome would be a HUGE understatement. It’s actually hard to select the top performance. Could it be a World Championship title, or having three athletes qualify for their elite licenses, or seeing people make 5-15 minute gains over last season, or watching people run faster in a triathlon this season then they were running in open races last season? While there were truly some phenomenal performances, I’m going to let their results speak.

Some of the highlights for WTC events include having the overall amateur woman at three 70.3 events, Augusta, Miami and Muncie spread among two of my athletes. An Age group win and 9th amateur on the day at the 70.3 World Championships, 2nd in the age group, 11th amateur and 40th overall at IM Hawaii, an age group win and 10th amateur on the day at the UK 70.3, 3rd in the age group at Boulder 70.3 and having an athlete post the 10th fastest run time on the day at IMNYC. Out of the seven WTC events, only once has an athlete not finished either overall as the top age group racer or in the top 3 in their age group. That’s some serious ass kicking by Accelerate 3 athletes.

Other results include the fastest female age grouper at St. Anthony’s triathlon…again. 2nd age group male overall and winner of his age group at Abu Dhabi, a course record at the Lowes TT series, AL TT Cat 5 State Champ, SE Regional Cat 5 TT Champ, NC TT Cat 3 Silver medalist, 2nd overall male in the Tucson Triathlon Series and 3rd male overall in the Inside Out Sports NC Triathlon Series. The 1st female overall in that same series is an Accelerate 3 athlete. It’s also the first time in the 11 year history of the series that a female has scored more then 10,000 points in more than one race in a season while going undefeated.

Accelerate 3 athletes have won 16 races this season, have another 15 2nd and 3rd overall finishes. They also recorded 16 top 3 age group podiums excluding overalls. Oddly or thankfully, no one finished either 4th overall or fourth in their age group all season. There has been only one 5th overall and one 5th in their age group. It seems my athletes prefer first through third. Who am I to complain? There have been numerous PB’s across triathlon, cycling and running events by my athletes. Three of my athletes have qualified for their elite license for next year. I’m looking forward to taking these and everyone I coach to the next level next season.

And yes, I’m very, very proud to call these over achievers my athletes.

As I look forward to 2013 there are several big changes on the horizon. I’ll be making the jump to full time coaching, which I am rather excited about. For the first time in ten years, I’ll be able to take on more then 1-2 athletes per year. A lot of times when this happens people have to just expand. I’m reloading while I expand. If you are looking for a coach or are a top age group athlete looking to step up to the elite level, contact me.

There are one or two big things in the works for Accelerate 3. You might see Accelerate 3 morph into something bigger and better then it currently is. I suspect the competitors of the people I coach will be less thrilled about all the changes. But then isn’t that always the case?

Keep checking in to see the changes! Thanks for reading.

Huge Win, Shattered Streak

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2012 by brianestover

Dusty has been on a roll. Three weekends in a row of racing and three top finishes. At the Nautica Malibu Triathlon he won his age group and did his longest run of the year. The next weekend saw him mosey over to Bend, OR for the Leadman 125. After leading the race out of the water, he finished 11th overall, won his age group while doing his longest run of the year.

Dusty Nabor, Accelerate 3 Coaching

Dusty heading into T2

This weekend was the LA Triathlon. Dusty turned in the 2nd fastest swim and bike to hold onto 2nd place in his age group. Three races, 2 age group wins and a second place. Not a bad three weeks of racing. His swim and bike times have been 5-8 minutes faster then previous years over the same courses. He’s looking forward to big things next season, his competition…not so much.

Dusty Nabor, Accelerate 3 Coaching

Dusty grabbing hardware…again.

The Augusta 70.3 race just wrapped up. For the second time this year, Jenny topped the entire age group woman’s field at a 70.3 race. First at the Muncie 70.3 and now at the Augusta 70.3. Of course this means she also won the F30-34 age group, again.

Jenny Leiser, Accelerate 3 Coaching

Augusta F30-34 Age group Winner

This is the first time she’s been able to win in this manner in a long course race. In years past she’d come off the bike near the top of the age group race only to drop down the results sheet on the run. But times are a changing! She not only ran herself up the results sheet, she ran almost 5 minutes faster in a half then she’s ever run before. When pressed from behind she held until the other girl broke. Now maybe those emails worrying about her running will stop.

Augusta 70.3

Trophy says it all!