Thursday, April 29, 2010

Results Don't Always Mean Success

"2 is not equal to 3 - not even for very large values of 2." - Grabel's Law

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that the last few years have been tough around here. I'm not complaining. It's just a fact. It doesn't matter how many times I get knocked down, it only matters that I get off the canvas and keep fighting.

This winter and spring have had very good training numbers, but let's not confuse these numbers with success. Success, by my definition, will be "being competitive in my age group at the International distance of triathlon". In order to do that several things need to happen (in no particular order):

1) Consistent training: every day
1a) Training with power on the bike
2) Weight training for explosive movements*
3) Core training
4) Eating correctly
5) Recovery from workouts (I'm not 30 anymore.)
6) Life balance

This winter I did training consistently - in cycling and running, with power, with core training, life balance, and recovery. Not bad. Not great. Average, and average in this house is failing. Don't confuse activity with results or minor results with success.

As I plan the next steps in life, work and triathlon I search for my best possible results. My best. Not yours. Not his. Not hers. Mine. The meanest things written in comments to me on this blog (which normally don't get published) are a far cry from my own criticism of my self.

St. Anthony's Triathlon for me showed me a few things about my racing and preparation. It also taught me a bit about age and how to prepare myself for what lays ahead of me this season. Sometimes you think you're doing everything you can do to prepare, but you aren't. So while I had great progress in the winter, it was a false hope. I needed to do more.

The legendary Coach John Wooden taught me a few things at a seminar I took on coaching. Below is his famous success pyramid.
This is incredibly important as we all take on challenges in life. Intentness and Alertness are two which come to mind. I need to stay most of my course with some changes. I need to be alert to things which derail me from my progress from goals. Same goes for my clients. I need to make sure they stay on course as well as are mindful of distractions to their goals. Things like "Iron fever" or racing every month/week take away from where the goal is taking them.

The largest disappointment from Sunday sits a top this pyramid; I never competed. I backed off because I think I wasn't confident in my run. Maybe that was smart.

I'll tell you one thing for sure; it was embarrassing.

"After you finish the first 90% of a project, you have to finish the other 90%."

- Michael Abrash

Monday, April 26, 2010

St. Anthony's Race Report

Ready or not, the 2010 triathlon season has kicked off. I set off to do an early season international distance race before my usual May half Ironman at St. Anthony's Triathlon. Many of my friends and readers have done this race, but I had not. Due to a grammar school-like vacation policy at my now former employer, I planned to fly into Tampa on the last flight in Friday and the last flight out on Sunday. This is never 'ideal' but we make due with the time we have available.

My expectations of myself in this race were... well, weren't. I wanted to go race and see if I had some snap in my legs or the spark to race. The spark was there, but the snap wasn't really there. I decided to race in M40-44 rather than M40+ Clydesdale because I wanted to see where I really am versus the fast boys not the big boys. I am 195-201 these days. Down from last year (sadly) but not training has a way of doing that. Need to get that down and I'm watching my diet closely but that will take time. More about that another day.

I kept thinking of the word "lunchbox" that ELF coined on a few guys in the Thursday night ride. I'm "thinner" but not fast at all right now. 9 minute/mile pace on most training runs is about where I'm at. Sad from when I used to do ~9/mile for an Ironman. All I can do is keep working to get back. While I'm sure that some readers of this blog will give me shit about being slow and/or fat; strap 50 lbs. to your ass and see how fast you are folks. That's where I'm at right now. My friends and supporters outnumber the nay-sayers that live in the blogosphere. The entire theme to 2010 is (in the words of the movie Ricky Bobby) "Get your balls back. Go fast again." You'll see that much work is still to be done.

The plan was to go strong and smooth and see what happened. Well, I think I got the smooth part down. Strong seemed to enjoy the race from the box seats.

Pre-race went well. We arrived at transition about 5:25-5:30. The rush came in about 5:45-6:00. Thanks to two guys in our bike rack who didn't show for the race, we had plenty of room to set up. At least the experienced guys did. The Team in Training guy across from me from Pennsylvania raised his voice to me, even though I asked him if he had enough room and he said he did. About 6:20 (10 minutes before transition closed) I grabbed my wetsuit, cap and goggles and was just about to start walking away when he yelled, "HEY, I NEED MORE ROOM. I ASKED YOU BEFORE." (He hadn't, but I wasn't going to debate Mr. Psycho-passive-aggressive.) I just looked at him and calmly said, "OK, I'll just move over a little. I asked you earlier and you said you were OK." Mentally, I took his anxious energy and harnessed it for my own race. I literally moved over 1" and he said, "OK, perfect." I was just trying not to think about him. I did however note his race number and noticed he was in my wave. Death before that guy beats me. I beat him by 1 hr 15 minutes and was leaving transition when he was coming back in.

The pre-swim warm up went well. I didn't get to run in transition so when we went into the water to swim I did some water running and over-kicking to get the legs warm. The water was warm and wetsuits weren't really needed, but since they are legal - I'll use a floatation device too. We needed them! WOW! The swim start went off fine. The guys in my wave spread out real well and only a few bumps and bruises. I got hit in the mouth (accidentally) once, but other than that the swim was pretty uneventful as far as contact. For the first two buoys I swam shoulder to shoulder with a guy and we worked in the waves together. We had one wave crash over our heads and another time when we went to breathe the wave had come up so I turned my head and "breathed in" a lung full of water. I kept swimming while I coughed it all out. Ah, fun times. We navigated pretty well and didn't have to sight very hard or go left or right even with the strong current and waves. The last buoy was a different story. The bay seemed to take pleasure in pounding us on the last stretch. I dropped my swim partner temporarily until we re-united on the run. I never really pushed the swim, part of my problem, so the time shows a nice "easy" pace in tough conditions. 28:20. You can see how waves were crashing onto the interstate from this picture. A post race review of my heart rate numbers show... I never even got into warm up pace let alone "working" or "strong" pace. My avg. HR? 138; normally I warm up at 150.
T1 was slow. I ran and wrestled my wetsuit. It went well and came off quickly. Off to ride. 2:53 in a slow transition; I treated it like a 1/2 IM and therefore had a transition time of a 1/2 IM. 174 HR avg - so running to the end of transition got my HR up.

The bike was very windy. I was running a disc wheel and found myself cautious to push hard. Not really sure why. A power meter would have been helpful. I had no computer on this bike and didn't know how hard I was working. I went on feel and the wind felt hard today. Only a few times did I feel good or like I was attacking. Hmm... gonna have to work on that. A time of 1:16:33 (official time was 1:17:05) it is obvious that I was suffering and didn't ride well. My heart rate avg. shows that I rode at a strong heart rate, but I never felt "fast" 168 avg HR. No power numbers to review, so I cannot tell you how much work I did. I did get to see Sarah Reinertsen midway on the bike. She looked strong. Only once did I get the big chain ring running and feeling good. I did notice two problems with my brakes, however, I do not believe they effected my ride. I was just slow. I really enjoyed the bike course (except for the wind of course). This was flat and fast (for those in shape). It did feel good to ride "hard". The race avg. speed was 19.3 mph in the cross and headwinds. I guess that is OK for the 5th ride outside for the year.

Going into T2, I had three 30-34 women in front of me to the left, right and center. I couldn't pass them safely on the cobblestones other guy traffic stacked up behind me yelling. There was nowhere to go and we'd be off our bike in five seconds, so I said nothing. I transitioned fairly quickly and took my sweet ass time getting out of T2 to be completely honest. 2:20

The run started smoothly. My heart rate soared after the first aid station. Though I've had some good run sessions, my heart rate would not come down no matter how I tried to breath, relax, or slow down. I felt like I was slowly walking. It was horrible. A living nightmare. At 5k, I decided to walk the aid stations in an effort to get my heart rate down and finish strongly. You know how hard that is to type? On a 10k... walking an aid station. I am ashamed. 1:00:17 - my watch actually matches the official results. Avg. HR 171

So, 2:50:54. Everyone "says" the race was 10 minutes slow because of the conditions. Slow or not, I realize that although I've made good changes in my physical training and great leaps forward, I have a lot of catching up to do.

On a positive note, if I did race in the Clydesdale 40+ race I would have been 23rd or 24th. Additionally, I am not sore... at all. Sure a few places feel "tweaked"; namely where I've had past injuries: soleus, neck, and left shoulder. I have hooked up to the Compex for help in recovery. My leg needed it most, it was pretty tight. I should be able to put in a solid week of training and have a better finish in the FL 70.3 coming in 21 days. Motivation is there. I fixed the issues with the bike. Probably will have to change a wire too.

If I was a client of mine, I'd have me do a "Plus/Delta". This is a consulting project closeout technique. What did you do well? Plus. What would you change? Delta.

Stayed calm when I could have exploded on a few people and been in the "right".
Raced clean; no penalties.
Didn't spend much money; food only really.
Got a competitive race under my belt. Gained confidence to "finish" the FL 70.3.
Zoot shoes and race suit were comfortable.
Drank enough during the race.

No "eye of the tiger".
Too much salt. I spiked my drinks with sea salt to ensure I'd be ok. No cramping, but I had slightly swollen fingers at the end of the race.
Not in shape yet. Kept expectations down, but I should have ramped myself up earlier in the winter.
Should have pushed on the bike. I never used a strength I have.

Lastly, I really enjoyed the St. Anthony's Triathlon. This is a top notch race. A large field and the age group race was well controlled; the Chicago Triathlon could learn a lot from all aspects of this race. (No offense to those who work hard on it. This is just an opinion after experiencing another large race.) I will be back and hopefully a lot faster.
Upon my return home, Lorrie and Greta were both glad to see me. Greta licked my face and flopped on my feet incredibly happy to see me back home. I put my medal on Greta and she thought it was pretty cool. You can see her blurry tail on her right in this picture. This took the sting out of a what could only be called a sluggish performance.

Thank you to MotorTabs, SRM, Temecula Olive Oil Company and Village CycleSport for their support of my racing; regardless of the results.

PS: Below is a shot of Greta watching How to Marry a Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall with Lorrie. Chick flicks all weekend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Ironman Hawaii Lottery - A Winner's Perspective - Part I

After growing up reading Sports Illustrated's article on this crazy race in Hawaii and then watching Ironman in the early days on ABC's Wide World of Sports; I started racing triathlons in high school under the tutelage of an age group podium finisher. Well, encouragement from her anyway. She was third in her age group at Ironman Wisconsin in the "older gals" age group last year. Don't worry Nancy, I won't say how young you are.

In 2000, I was still settling in at Aon in the risk management services IT department. I was working on bizarre projects and rescuing a few projects (more on that later). I entered the lottery for the first time. First, a bit of history.

In 1999, I had entered Memphis in May in an attempt to qualify for Kona. This is back when international distance (aka: Olympic) were qualifiers. (It's probably a really good thing they aren't any more.) Two weeks before the race on a beautiful Thursday night in May, I was hit by a drunk driver at 5:45 pm as I rode on the back of a small pack of riders at the Thursday night ride. The driver just didn't want to wait for any more "damn cyclists" and "had another happy hour to get to"; probably should have left that part out of your story to the police officer. I was T-boned. My Cannondale Multisport 1000 with "Dragonfire" paint (purple, red, blue, green, bronze - depending on the angle and light hitting the bike) was shot into 1,000 pieces all over Tonne Road. That weekend I had over 200 people parade through my 800 foot condo with well wishes. I didn't even know I knew that many people well enough. 8 days later, after the stitches had come out of my knee and shoulder I was back in the pool pulling and not pushing off walls. In the following weeks, I couldn't ride a bike - so I swam. A lot.

On a typical Saturday I was doing 10,000-15,000 yards. 9,000 of it in masters swim workouts and then I'd lift. I was able to start riding a bike by late June. I started to jog in PT by July. In August, I went to the ONLY race I went to in 1999, the Chicago Triathlon and missed qualifying for Kona by 11 seconds. The guy in front of me got it. He was in an earlier wave. I out swam him by 4 minutes. He made it up on the bike where I just got my replacement bike 10 days before the race.

Back to when I "found out". No TV cameras - in spite of the fact that I worked in downtown Chicago. As a matter of fact, NOBODY around me. It was 11:35 AM on a day with a very full afternoon planned. Everyone had hit the road for lunch about five minutes earlier. Working in an IT shop, I didn't believe that I had "won" at first. These were the days when few new about security and SSL. I went to our assistant Cassandra's desk and logged in. Yep, I was in. "What does that mean?" Cassandra asked. "I'm racing in the Super Bowl of triathlon. Only bigger. It's an incredible honor to be selected" I responded.

Upon getting selected, Mark Rouse from Runners High 'n Tri went out to lunch with me and went over the Kona course and preparation for the race. Mark is one of the guys who did the race in year one or two of Ironman on Oahu. Few know more about Kona. In the coming months I met a host of people, Commander John Collins, Dick and Ricky Hoyt, Joanna Zieger (fresh off of the first Olympic appearance for triathlon) - I didn't really get to know Joanna. We had the same coach Troy Jacobson. Troy had done Kona many times before too. He got me into coaching before we went our separate paths.

Here is the time where I am supposed to tell you about how tough the training was. It was tough. As I mentioned earlier, I was working at Aon. Who put me on a project that had me traveling to 40 cities across North America (Canada, US, Mexico and the Caribbean) in the months leading up to Ironman. Oh, and did I mention that I got married in May of that year? My second 20 mile run was on my honeymoon on the island of St. John. I ran out of water eight miles from the finish. I did 400s up a mountain (because there was no track or flat road anywhere). I swam Pillsbury Sound with a US Navy Seal celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary. That's 6 miles (or so) in open ocean. No support boats. Dodging ferry boats and freighters in the shipping lane. I don't advise that swim without support. Our only protection, my USN buddy's scuba knife. After a short discussion of what we'd do if we had a shark approach us (not kidding) we were off. In July and August leading up to Kona, no two workouts were done in the same city except for weekends.

I heard for months that "lottery winners didn't earn their slot and should be banned". I trained hard. I went to the Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman in Lubbock, TX. This race is run by Mike and Marti Greer who I think are great people. It is a brutally hard race which attracts top talent. Want a test? Go to Lubbock in late June. So on a day where it was 100 F before sun up, I validated my lottery slot. After the race, I was asked if I wanted a Kona slot (via roll down) and I told them I had a lottery slot. Made the guy who finished behind me a happy man.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ironman Announces Changes to Rules Regarding Swimwear at IM and 70.3

Credit to Triathlete Europe

The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) have today announced a series of changes to swimwear rules affecting both Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races. Although these rule changes only apply to races in the US at the moment, you have to suppose there’s a good chance that this change in regulations will be implemented in Europe and the rest of the world as well.

Full Press Release Below:

World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Series, announces modifications to several rules and regulations relating to the swim at U.S. races. Effective September 1, 2010, which is the start of Ironman’s 2011 competition season, new rules for apparel and wetsuits will apply at all Ironman and 70.3 events in the U.S., including both World Championships. The amendments were made to further standardize rules in the Ironman/70.3 Series and ensure a fair playing field at events around the globe.

The changes will include the following:

• Swimwear and swim apparel must be comprised of 100 percent textile material, such as nylon or lycra, and may not include rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene. Swimwear may not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or knees. Swimwear may contain a zipper. A race kit or trisuit may be worn underneath swimwear.

• Wetsuits cannot measure more than 5 millimeters thick.

• Wetsuits may be worn in water temperatures up to and including 24.5 degrees Celsius/76.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Athletes who choose to wear a wetsuit in water temperatures exceeding 24.5 degrees C /76.1 degrees F will not be eligible for awards, including World Championship slots. Wetsuits will be prohibited in water temperatures greater than 28.8 degrees C/84 degrees F.

Ironman recognizes the importance of showcasing the competitive element at all events. We believe these amendments place more emphasis on performance and function and less on technology, therefore staying true with the Ironman spirit,” says Ironman’s Head of Officials, Jimmy Riccitello.

Ironman’s rule changes are consistent with rule changes adopted by swimming and triathlon’s international governing bodies, FINA and ITU, respectively.

Read more:

I think this is great. Floatation in the swim is out. Rules are more like FINA and ITU. You can try to argue with me all day about "technology", but I don't buy this. This is not about technology use or misuse. This is about making sure the competition is about athlete versus athlete rather than tech suit versus super NASA tech suit.

Swimming, unlike cycling, is NOT a high tech sport. Equipment is, well, your equipment. At least it should be.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The 2009 Most Common Triathlon Rules Violations from USAT: Part One

Here I am reviewing penalties at Ironman Wisconsin in 2009. I still say Russ was taking a picture of the chick over my left shoulder.

It won't be what you think! What do you think is the #1 most common rule that is violated? Nope. Not drafting!


1. Helmets: MOST PREVENTABLE...Helmets - really. In 2009, I saw two "homemade" helmets fashioned out of a German skateboard helmet and some modeling plastic used by engineers with stolen CPSC stickers. This is an EXTREMELY serious violation which can effect your bike shop with a $10,000 fine IF you insist that they "sold you" an illegal helmet. We have seen some knock off big brand helmets out of shops in Milwaukee and more urban parts of Virginia.

The rule:

Only helmets approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may be used in USAT sanctioned events. Helmets must be worn at all times while on your bike. This means before, during, and after the event.

Penalty: Disqualification

2. Chin Straps: Another PREVENTABLE penalty. This year I saw a guy LEADING A RACE unbuckle his chin strap "for comfort". Once done, it cannot be undone; so to speak. DQ.

The rule:

Chin straps must be buckled at all times when on a bicycle. DO NOT unbuckle your chin strap unless you are off your bicycle.

Penalty: Disqualification on the course; Variable time penalty in transition area only.

3. Outside Assistance: We are seeing this MORE and MORE. At one race an athlete's family had a buffet set up out of their SUV (I kid you not) the athlete stopped, ate, and moved on. They did it again on the run. Hard way to get 12 minutes of time added to your half Ironman. The athlete was STILL in the top 20 in his age group WITH 12 additional (senseless) minutes.

The rule:

No assistance other than that offered by race and medical officials may be used. Triathlons and duathlons are individual tests of fitness.

Penalty: Variable time penalty

4. Transition Area: Another silly way to lose a podium slot. This year at one race a female racer "racked" her bike on the transition area fence. She was penalized appropriately. She won the race by 1:30, but the 2 minute penalty for the transition area knocked her off the podium and into 4th place.

At another race, a male racer came into transition, threw his bike on the rack. The rack collapsed. His bike fell into the center aisle of transition blocking the exit of approximately 900 other racers and he left to start his run. 2 minute penalty.

The rule: All equipment must be placed in the properly designated and individually assigned bike corral. The wheel of the bicycle must be down on the side of the assigned space. All participants must return their bicycles to an upright position in their designated bicycle corral. No person shall interfere with another participant’s equipment or impede the progress of another participant. All bar ends must be solidly plugged. No participant shall bring ANY glass containers into the transition area.

Penalty: Variable time penalty

5. Drafting: Ah, finally! Drafting, position, blocking and overtaken fouls are easy to avoid if you understand the rule. Several racers in Wisconsin and Kona benefited and lost based on their knowledge of these rules. For WTC races, the time is 20 seconds - regardless of what it says on Drafting is actually really easy to call on the back of a motorcycle.

The rule:

Drafting: Keep at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must pass within 15 seconds.

Position: EVEN if you are going up a hill. Ironman Wisconsin racers take note! ESPECIALLY, if you are getting lapped by the pro men or pro women. This is a safety issue.

The rule:

Position: Keep to the right hand side of the lane of travel unless passing.

Blocking: This was my #1 penalty in 2009. I wrote this penalty at a 10:1 ratio versus drafting. (Probably because I was marshaling more "elite age group" races where guys especially feel they own the road.)

The rule:

Blocking: Riding on the left side of the lane without passing anyone and interfering with other cyclists attempting to pass.

Overtaken: YOU MUST exit from the REAR of the draft zone once you are passed. Men, if getting "chicked" you need to fall back and THEN pass her again... until her superior fitness passes you back. Female pros, if an age group man catches you and passes you, YOU MUST drop back out of the zone before passing him.

Overtaken--once passed, you must immediately exit the draft zone from the rear, before attempting to pass again.

Penalty: Variable time penalty

6. Course: This goes for swim course buoys, bike cones, and run cones. YOU MUST stay on the correct side of the course at all times. Reduce your speed if necessary to stay on course. We have been stationing boats with marshals on turn buoys and at buoys on the swim. On the bike, the cement truck going to make a Saturday delivery doesn't care that you are racing "age group elite" and physics of force x mass is on his side. Bam, splat - life over. How do I know when to call that? We call it the "Oh, SHIT!" rule. If I see you going head to head with a vehicle and I think or yell out "Oh, SHIT!" Penalty. At Elkhart Lake Triathlon (Wisconsin), I had an age group athlete go head to head with a cement truck. My Vietnam vet, 6'4" 265 lbs. leather wearing, Special Forces bad ass, Harley Davidson drivin' moto driver screamed like a little girl... penalty. (No worries Rick, nobody you know reads this blog brother. Your secret is safe with me, er, us.)

The rule:

All competitors are required to follow the prescribed course and to stay within all coned lanes. Cutting the course is an obvious violation and going outside the course is a safety issue. Cyclists shall not cross a solid yellow center line for ANY reason. Cyclists must obey all applicable traffic laws at all times.

Penalty: Referee's discretion

7. Unsportsmanlike-Like Conduct: Every year we get at least two or three people who expect the world and then the world is not enough. Many race directors are squemish to kick these asses out of a race, but I don't tolerate this penalty. In the "heat of battle" if I penalize you and you say, "Oh, that's bullshit!" I usually don't say or do anything. Say one word directly to me, my driver, or any other person on course during the race... penalty.

The Rule:

Foul, harsh, argumentative or abusive language or other unsportsmanlike conduct directed at race officials, USA Triathlon officials, volunteers, spectators or fellow athletes is forbidden.

Penalty: Disqualification

8. Headphones: Lately, this is a popular one. From iPods on the run to radios at an Ironman informing racers of where they are relative to others in their age group. At Ironman, we confiscate them and hold the device for you to pick up after the race and 1:1 speaking engagement with the head referee.

Headphones, headsets, walkmans, ipods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc. are not to be carried or worn at any time during the race.

Penalty: Variable time penalty (Ironman may lead to a DQ)

9. Race numbers: This has gone down in the Mid-East and Mid-West region. A very serious violation which can lead to a suspensions. Don't play with this. There are insurance policy issues that affect everyone in triathlon. Again, don't play here no matter how much money you lost on an entry fee.

The rule:

All athletes are required to wear race numbers at all times during the run. Numbers must face the front and be clearly visible at all times. Numbers may not be cut or folded or altered in any way. DO NOT transfer your number to any other athlete or take a number from an athlete that is not competing.

Penalty: Variable time penalty for missing or altered number, Disqualification and one year suspension from membership in USAT for transferring a number without race director permission.

10. Wetsuits: Why someone would want to wear a wetsuit over 78 degrees is beyond me. You'll cook in your own juices!

The rule:

Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided, however that participants who wears a wetsuit within such temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Above 84 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited.

11. Abandonment: Sometimes this is accidental. Many times on purpose. Like when a gal threw 6 PowerGel wrappers into a corn field in Madison, WI. Another time a guy threw an empty Gatorade bottle into a guys home entrance (no garbage cans out) in Kona, HI. Leave nothing but footprints folks.

The rule:

All personal equipment and belongings taken out onto the course must stay on the athlete the entire time. No garbage, clothing, etc. shall be thrown on the course.

Penalty: Variable time penalty

Variable Time Penalties

Distance Category and Penalty (USAT)

Sprint / Intermediate (aka: Olympic distance) / Long / Ultra

1st Offense

2:00 minute / 2:00 minutes / 4:00 minutes / 6:00 minutes

2nd Offense

4:00 minutes / 4:00 minutes / 8:00 minutes / 12:00 minutes

3rd Offense

Disqualification / Disqualification / Disqualification / Disqualification

At WTC (Ironman races)

Long (70.3) & Ultra (Ironman) - red card only (drafting); a yellow card is all other violations and is a stop and sign penalty at the first available penalty tent.

1st Offense

4:00 minutes

2nd Offense

4:00 minutes

3rd Offense


At present, there is no online listing of WTC rules unless the race itself lists them. Races usually give you the low down in the race packet with a handout and a pre-race meeting.

At a WTC race, a yellow card can be given for a multitude of violations. You go to the next penalty tent and sign in. A red card is drafting and earns a time penalty to be served on course. WTC is an international race series, so their rules have USAT and ITU rules mixed in. It is a good system for that series.

Many races have "local rules". Think of them as "ground rules" of baseball, specific to courses with the USAT and WTC rules (red card/yellow card). There may be "no passing" zones, slow speed zones, etc depending on the hazards of the course.

For a complete list of rules, please refer to the most up to date USA Triathlon Competitive Rules at:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Power in Cycling and the Kokua SRM Deal

As we new emerge from our training dungeons across the upper Midwest and other northern territories many of us forget one thing... power measuring devices.

I've been teaching CompuTrainer indoor cycling classes for 20 weeks now. I've watched my athletes take 30 minute FTP tests from 200 to 260, 250 to 315, 221 (in aerobars) to 245; all in one winter! Many of those riders don't have a power meter to use in the summer.

Here's the deal... if you made that kind of progress indoors, why, why would you not want to do that year round? Imagine where you could take your athletics?

So... I became an SRM dealer. Top of the line power meters offered right here. I pass along my discount to you (along with a one time $25 fee if you are not a coaching client). I could get you Polar power meters - I have one. It works great. I could get you a Power Tap - I have used one. They are great too. I'm lovin' the SRM. This thing is the bees knees.

If you're interested in a power meter, give me a call. Take a look at what SRM has to offer; and lastly, I take more than a quarter off of what you see here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baseball Opening Day: Strike Out ALS

White Sox fans. Baseball fans. Memorabilia collectors.

I'm auctioning off this picture to raise money for ALS research funded by The Blazeman Foundation.

1) Last bid is 5:00pm central time on Tuesday
2) Highest bid wins
3) System time stamp on blogspot is the "official" time
4) Bidding must start at $100. (our cost of the frame, professional matting, etc
5) 100% of the money will go to ALS research
6) "Bids" are made via comments to the blog

Here is the picture. Photo by Karen Giammarese taken on 10/28/2005 of the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox ticker tape parade on LaSalle Street in Chicago. This is from LaSalle and Monroe. Framed in black wood.

Here is the entire picture with the protection pieces around the corners.

Let's "strike out" ALS.