Life as a triathlete, Vehicross's and off-roading

Posts tagged “duathlon

Miles and miles of miles

3 months into the year and the miles are adding up.
The month of January consisted of 76.41 miles of running, 682.95 miles on the bike and 28.52 miles in the pool.
February the mileage bumped up to 93.74 miles of running, 713.63 miles on the bike and 26.14 miles of running.
March continued the climb. 129.75 miles running, 725.83 miles riding and 25.23 miles of swimming.
That makes 299.89 miles running, 2122.42 miles riding and 79.89 miles swimming.
A total of 2502.19 miles covered in 3 months.
The journey continues…

Looking forward to 2014

2013 came to a close with USAT All American honors in my final year in the 45-49 age group.
The first race of 2014 is just around the corner. This year my schedule will include the Tucson Triathlon series (Tucson, Firecracker and Tinfoilman), the 5430 TriZona, Toughman Arizona, HITS Havasu Full, and a bucket list Rim to Rim to Rim run at the Grand Canyon for the big five-o!
Again this year I will be representing Triathlon super shop! If you need it they have it…Brooks, Newton, Asics, Zoot, Kestrel, QR, Orbea, Zipp, HED, TYR, Speedo, 2XU, Orca, Blueseventy….just to name a few.
If you are looking to save a little of your hard earned dollars send me a message and I will send you a one time use code for 20% off your purchase (see website for exempt items).
Coaching duties will once again be handled by Accelerate3 coaching. If you want to step up to the next level, podium or win the big races Brian is the one to get you there!
See you at the races!

Intensity 11

After a winter of base training and a solid first race, last week was the first of “real” intensity in the training schedule. Coach Brian Stover dialed the intensity level up to 11! Interval workouts, track, V02 and tempo are the terms appearing on the schedule. First week completed…legs thrashed!

First run with Brooks PureDrift was a race.

I picked up a pair of the new Brooks PureDrifts from to use as my race day shoes for this season. I chose these since I train in the Brooks pureGrits and the Pure line up of shoes all have the same 4mm hill offset (with the insert removed the Drifts have 0 offset)so this would make for a smooth transition from one shoe to the other.
The Drift is a neutral shoe and as with all the Pure line are designed for a mid/fore foot strike. The Drifts are not a fly weight shoe, but at 5.6oz. they are a great light shoe for longer distance races. The soles have two grooves that allow for toe flex. The cushioning is firm and allows for good feel of the surface. The lacing uses 6 loops and your choice of 2 sets of holes at the top.
My first test of the Drift was the Tucson Triathlon. The run was 5k. I used stretch laces but in trying the shoes on prior to the race found that with the laces tied in a comfortable tightness the shoes were hard to put on in a fast manner So I added lace locks. The stretch lace/lace lock combo combined with the Drifts one piece wrap around tongue made for a fast transition from bike to run. The shoe has lots of room in the toe box and the heel cup cradled my heel nicely. I ran the race sockless and had no issues with friction, blisters or hotspots. My foot stayed planted in the shoe. The upper material breaths well and molds nicely around the foot.
If you are a user of the Pure line up of shoes this is a great choice for a race shoe.







Speedplay X2 rebuild…”new” pedals, less $$$$

Keeping your Speedplay pedals well lubed will result in them lasting for many happy miles of pedaling enjoyment. However, eventually the internal moving parts will wear. An alternate to buying a new pair of pedals is to rebuild your current set.
A Speedplay rebuild kit can be purchased from several online retailers or you can have your local bike shop special order it (if they don’t carry it). The kit replaces everything except the “bowties” and the spindle. The kit will cost you about $70, much cheaper than a new pair of pedals.

Kit parts

Kit parts

Speedplay x2 rebuild
You will need the following tools…
T20 and T15 torx key, phillips head screwdriver, adjustable or 15mm open end wrench


Using the 15mm or adjustable wrench remove the pedal (remember, the left pedal is reverse threaded)


Using the T15 remove the 2 bowtie screws and the bowties…set aside for reuse
bowtie removal

bowtie removal

bowties removed

bowties removed

Remove the dust cap by backing out the grease port screw enough to grip with pliers and pulling off.
Then use the T20 to remove the spindle end screw.
Speedplay x2 rebuild
Next pull the spindle out of the body.


Clean the spindle.
cleaned spindle

cleaned spindle

Slide new “o” ring onto spindle.
new "o" ring

new “o” ring

Grease the new bodies spindle bearings using a high quality waterproof grease and then slide the new body onto the spindle.
new pedal body

new pedal body

Tighten new T20 spindle screw to 32in lbs.
Place bowties in place, apply blue loctite to T15 screws and then tighten them to 40in lbs.
bowties on new body

bowties on new body

Align and tap in new dust cap.
Grease threads and reattach pedals to crank arms.
Repeat for other side.
This job took about 45 minutes to complete.
Pedals are now as smooth as they were out of the box new.

Getting older does not mean easier

The official 2012 USAT rankings have finally been tallied. For all you young speedsters out there, moving up the age groups does not mean things get any easier. The 45-49 age group is one tough cookie. In 2012 I placed no lower than 7th OVERALL in any triathlon I completed. What does that net you in the 45-49 rankings? 260th place and an “Honorable Mention” designation.
Fortunately I showed a little stronger in Duathlon, ranking 6th and “All American” status.
One more season (’13) then I get to play in the 50-55 ranks!

2012 USAT Duathlon National Championships

The 2012 USAT Duathlon National Championships took place in Oro Valley, Az. yesterday. Duathlon consists of a run, bike, run format. In this case it was a 35k bike sandwiched between a pair of 5k runs. The course is hilly, big rolling hills with very little flat…you are either going up or down. The run courses have one particularly cruel hill that leads you to the transition/finish.

Packet pick-up was held the day before at the El Conquistador resort and bikes were checked into transition as well.

My morning started of when I was awoke from a good nights sleep by the tunes of my alarm clock. I had a quick breakfast, got dressed and jumped into my car with my pre-packed TYR transition pack. 50 minutes later I arrived at the race venue. I like to arrive early to make sure I have plenty of time to relax and get my gear set up. I started by picking up my timing chip and then wondered into the transition area. I keep things simple…bike shoes on pedals, helmet on my bars, one pair of running shoes on feet for run1 and a second pair along with hat and sunglasses on a towel next to my bike for run2…done. Next on the agenda was a visit to the porta-potty for a quick pit stop. A bit of socializing and then they began to heard everyone out of transition and towards the start area. I was to start in the 3rd wave so I still had a bit of time for a warm up. Warm up consisted of a short solo preview of the final hill and then a little more running with coach Brian Stover.

It was then time to toe the line. The start shoot was pretty narrow as was the first section of the run so I worked my way up to the front row on the line. We got a 30 second warning, 15 second warning and then the horn blew…we were off!

The initial pace was fast and I was leading the main group with 3-4 guys off the front. I settled into a good pace. I was through the mile marker in 5:25 (I think it was placed a bit early, my Garmin beeped about 15 seconds later) and hanging onto the back of the main group. The course turns downhill shortly after this point and my fast leg turnover allowed me to start reeling people in. At the 2 mile mark my watch said 11:11. We hit the turn around and then started the grind up the hill. Ouch! As we topped out the hill we made the turn into transition.

Run 1 time 19:01

T1 was smooth and fast. Helmet on, run shoes off, bike off rack, run to mount line. A flying mount and I was off.

T1 time 45 seconds

The bike is 2 laps. Big rolling hills…all big chain ring. My run legs quickly became bike legs. The first leg out to the turn around was a little congested with everyone jockeying for position. I put in a big surge and passed the group and then things started to open up a little. I settled in and then flew down the downhill sections back to the half way turn around. The second loop was smooth with minimal traffic. Towards the end just had to pay attention as I was picking off people from the earlier waves which started 10 and 25 minutes before my wave. As I approached transition I slipped my feet out of my shoes. As I hit the dismount line I hit the ground running.

Bike time 54:49

T2 was again fast and smooth. Rack bike, helmet off, run shoes on, grab hat and sunglasses…run.

T2 time 50 seconds

I was pleasantly surprised…my legs felt good. My turnover was fast and smooth. I focused on holding everything together knowing that the final hill was going to be filled with a lot of pain and it didn’t disappoint. I had picked off quite a few people in the first two miles and now needed to hold them off on the hill. As I clawed my way up the hill I was passed by 2 people. A quick glance at their calves revealed that one of them was in my age group. I could not respond…I was redlined and had nothing left to give. As I entered the finish shoot I was glad to be at the line…nothing left in the tank.

Run 2 time…20:40

Overall time 1:36:02 a course PR!

7th place in the 45-49 agegroup, 48th place overall and a qualifying slot for the World Championship team. The slot will be passed though [ unless I win the lottery or a rich sponsor wants to fund a trip to France 🙂 ].

Afterwards I enjoyed the ice-cold wet towel, the yogurt parfae and sitting under the shade canopy and chairs.

Today the calves were a bit tight and sore!

Off  for some more training until the next race!

First race 2012

A little late but here it is…

3-10-12 I raced the Desert Classic Duathlon at Fountain Hills, Az.’s McDowell Mt. Park. This has been a traditional first race for several years. The course is a lung buster…especially this early in the season. The race consists of a 3.65 mile opening trail run, 30 mile bike and 3.75 mile closing trail run.

I arrived at the race site early (I don’t like to be in a rush). I racked my bike and then proceeded to packet pick-up. Afterwards I set up my transition area. I then caught up with a few old friends. About 20 minutes prior to start time I went out for a 10 minute warm up run. The legs felt pretty good.

I was to start in the 4th wave (men 35 and over). Pro men were off first followed by pro women and men 35 and under/relays.

I toed the line up front and on the inside. The horn sounded and we were off. The lead group went out hard in attempt to get good position before the road turned to trail. I was just off the back of the front group of about 8-10 as we entered the trail section. The opening run trail is rolling with plenty of twists and turns. I was running hard and maintained a strong pace.

Entered transition with a run time of 23:11 (6:22/mile pace).

T1 went smooth. Shoes off, helmet on and away I went 48 seconds later.

The 30 mile bike is a mixture of large and small rollers with a few longer climbs thrown in. I quickly got into a solid pace and onto my aero bars. My bike legs came to me quickly and I found myself zipping through the slower athletes from the earlier waves. At the first turn around I got a look at the leaders positions and did a quick check of the watch. The wind was whipping up a bit but I felt good. At the second turn around I saw that I was closing the gap on some of the leaders. Entering back into the park the road turns a little rough. On the park loop I closed the gap and passed a few of the guys that were ahead of me. I then enjoyed the last 3-4 miles of the bike…slight downhill and fast!

Bike split 1:24:44 (21.2mph avg.)

A quick dismount and into transition. Helmet off, shoes on and I was gone 35 seconds later.

The second trail run is several degrees harder than the first. Short, steep up and down hills, rocky sections and one really evil hill at mile 2 (1/4 mile at 20% grade). Lots of technical twists and turns (which caused a few of the leaders to get lost). I enjoy these type of runs since I train on similar trails. My legs were screaming but I maintained a strong pace. I picked off a few more athletes while only surrendering one spot to a fellow Team TriSports athlete. After scrambling up the hill at mile 2 it was mostly all downhill from there. I finished strong with a 29:15 (7:39/mile pace) second run.

I crossed the finish line in 2:17:57! 10th amatuer overall and 3rd in the 45-49 agegroup.

As a reward for a strong season opener I enjoyed an awesome burger from Joe’s Farm Grill on the way home!

Ironman build begins

After a mid-season “break” of 3 weeks reduced training, the build for Ironman Arizona has begun. The first week transitioning back to the higher volume/intensity definitely put my body in hurt mode. The heat and Arizona “monsoon” season humidity have added to the hurt factor. Makes keeping on top of hydration a full-time affair. During my break time I got to cut back to 8-9 workouts a week..about 10-12 hours of training. A 17 hour week (15 workouts) to transition followed by 18.5 hours last week. 10 20+ hour weeks will follow and then 3 weeks to taper. Throw in 4 races (a 1/2 Ironman, 2 sprint tri’s and a duathlon) between now and then and that makes for a busy schedule!  13 weeks seems just around the corner.

2011 USAT Duathlon National Championships…Race report!

Awoke to the alarm clock early today. It was race time once again. The race…USAT Duathlon National Championships. The venue…Oro Valley, Arizona. Being able to sleep in my own bed before a big race is nice…unfortunately, although an outskirt of Tucson, it is about as far away in Tucson as it could be. Me on the furthest southwest side…race on the furthest north westside.

So, after making the hour drive to the race site, I unloaded my gear, walked the 1/4 mile to the transition area and set up my gear. Having plenty of time I was able to relax, talk to friends and competitors, visit with the coach (who was also racing), make one last visit to the porta potties and get in a short warm up run.

I was in the 3rd wave which included all males in the 40-49 agegroup. So after watching the first waves I made my way into the starting shoot. I lined up near the front. The wait always seems to be twice as long when waiting for the starters horn…1 minute till start was announced and 5 minutes later the 30 second warning was given. With the sounding of the horn we began the opening 5k run. The course starts off uphill, then a short downhill to a turnaround, back up the short hill then downhill to another turnaround and then finishes with another uphill…no flat sections on the course. I went out at a comfortable pace and floated around the back of the main group. My legs were feeling good so after the first turn around I picked the pace up a little. In doing so I began to pass a few people. On the downhill I upped my pace a little more, but kept it comfortable knowing there was still a nice little uphill to tackle before the transition. I hit the 2nd turnaround and counted about  10 people from my wave in front of me. I then started the uphill section. I kept a strong, steady pace. At the top of the hill I took the turn and entered the 1st transition feeling good. Run time 18:58. First transition 0:48…in and out fast.

The bike consisted of two loops, rolling hills and again no flat areas. The distance was 35k. After mounting my bike I settled into a comfortable pace so that I could finish the ride strong. This worked well for me…nearly everyone that passed me early ended up coming back to me and dropping behind. The wind began to kick up by the second lap and the course became a bit more congested. From what I saw, everyone appeared to be riding clean (no drafting). Only real problem was people not staying to the right when not passing or drifting left when I was passing. On the second loop I was feeling good. Coming down the last downhill section I was hitting 35mph and getting pushed around a little by the crosswinds. I made the final turn and began preparing for transition 2. Feet out of the shoes and lifted my helmet visor. As I approached the dismount line I threw one leg over the bike and was quickly off and running into transition. Bike time…55:20 (23.5mph average). Transition went smooth and fast. Another 0:48 and I was off to repeat the run course.

My running legs came around pretty quickly and I settled into a good strong pace. The second run always hurts so you just deal with it. Again I picked up the pace at the first turnaround and began to push the pace. Hit the second turnaround and saw the elite (pro) men coming on fast. They were on their first run as they started in the last wave. I started the final uphill as the elites began to pass. I used them as motivation and began to see how long I could hang with them as they went by. Didn’t stick with them long but each time it allowed me to pick up my pace and hurt just a bit more. I knew I was close to the finish and the pain would be short. I hit the top of the hill, took the final turn and pushed all the way through the finishing shoot. Final run…20:32. My finish time was 1:36:24, 6th place in the 45-49 agegroup and 48th place overall amateur. Very happy with my performance against a very strong field. Qualified for the Duathlon World Championships in Spain but will be passing on the spot.

Overall the event was very well organized and ran smoothly. The weather was great, the volunteers were fantastic and the traffic control outstanding. Next year the event will again be held at the same venue and I will be back to move up a few places!

First race of 2011 is in the books

Yesterday (2/20/2011) was my first race of the season. The Desert Classic Duathlon was the venue and doubled as the USA Triathlon southwest regional Duathlon championships. This years course was changed from the previous years. The runs were a bit longer and the consensus was they were definately harder than past years. The bike course remained the same,  just started at a differant point on the course. The weekend started on Saturday with the drive up from Tucson. The drive was made a little more challenging by a show put on by mother nature. She blew up winds of 50+ mph and near brown out (blowing dust) conditions followed by pouring rain. Several accidents on the highway made for slow and not moving at all traffic for a 3-4 mile stretch (people drive in stupid mode even when weather dictates otherwise). After arriving in the Phoenix area and picking up my race packet I headed to my Phoenix area race headquarters/home stay at my good friend Victors home. Victor graciously opens his door to me whenever I race in the area…big thanks for the hospitality!

Race morning I awoke to cool and cloudy conditions. After last years cold and rain I had packed my gear with all conditions in mind. I arrived at the McDowell Mountain Park early since I like to take my time getting ready. I set up my gear and then scoped out the conditions to make my clothing choices. I decided on my regular team kit along with arm warmers and light gloves. After a short warm up run with coach Brian it was time to get to the start line. The Pro wave got on it’s way followed by all those “young” guys in the 39 and under wave. 5 minutes later it was our turn. The horn went off and we were on our way. The first run was  3.2 miles. It started off with 3/4 mile on pavement and then turned onto the trail. The trail conditions were soft, wet and some mud. I started off at a comfortable pace knowing the hard parts of the trail came later in the run. There was a small group of  “fast” runners and then I led up the chase. I eased into the pace that I planned on keeping and maintained my position on the run. Mid way through I started to pick off people from the under 39 wave. My nice light race flats had tripled in weight thanks to the build up of mud. I entered T1 feeling good and ready to rock on the bike. T1 went smooth and in a matter of seconds was on the long run-out to the bike mount line. The wet, rough ground did not feel good on bare feet! After mounting my bike I was off on the 21 mile bike. The roads were still wet from the previous nights rains. The  course basically consists of an out and back with large rollers followed by a second out and back with false flats and rough pavement. On the bike I felt strong and quickly settled into my rhythm. I was passed by a few of the ultra fast bike guys and began to pick off a few off the fast run guys. The wind stayed away this year. The last couple miles on the bike are slightly downhill. This allowed me to ease up a bit but still maintain my speed. Coming up to the dismount line I had my feet out of my bike shoes, quickly dismounted and began the run into T2. The rough pavement hurt even more with my feet being partially frozen. I dawned my running shoes, ditched my helmet and arm warmers, grabbed my visor and glasses and was off on run 2. The 2nd run was 3 miles and contained numerous short and steep hills throughout and not much in the way of flat ground. The first 10 minutes my legs were dead and my feet still frozen. After that I put the pedal down and pretty much red lined it to the finish. With less than a mile to go I looked over my shoulder and saw no one. Half a mile later I heard the sound of feet hitting the trail behind me. Shortly after I was passed by 2 competitors.  I quickly glanced at their calves and was relieved to see they were in the younger age groups and not mine. I hit the finish line in 1:45:45…good enough  for 14th overall age grouper and 2nd in the 45-49 age group.

Next up is the Duathlon National Championships!

My ride race ready