Pro Diaries-Day 8

SWIM: N/A

I normally swim later in the evening as if rain does come through, it is around noon. So I like to get in a solid ride in the morning than risk not being able to ride later due to rain. So this evening when I arrived at the pool, it was packed with squads, and only two lanes open for lap swimming. Problem was that there were already 3 people in each lane swimming at a pace that would irritate us all if I jumped in. The lanes opened up at 19:00 but I was already pretty tired so I headed home and hung out on the couch and ran some errands for the wife.

Made up for lack of swim with a longer core routine.

BIKE: 4hrs w/15×5′ hill repeats

I really wanted to just ride a hilly route today. I have been lots of simple out and back routes since we arrived and I wanted to switch it up with a big loop. I Google mapped my course and off I went on a very challenging hilly course. After 5,000ft of climbing I reached this road. This awesome I though to myself. These are similar roads I watched the Colorado Pro tour ride over. This is going to be a blast.

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15 minutes later the road turned into conditions I really didn’t want to ride my Cervelo through. The dirt turned a few inches deep, the rocks became bigger, plus there was a 16% descent. I decided it is was probably in my best interest to turn around.

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The ride ended up being a total climbing gain of 9,543 ft and I did manage to get in all my efforts along the road. Ended up being a blessing in disguise as the trip back kept me further south than the planned route. The planned route experienced a pretty nasty downfall of rain. Would have been pretty chilly at elevation and no base clothing.

RUN: 60 minutes at high turnover 

The rain made the run interesting with what felt like 5 inches on my heel. The pace is slowly picking up at the HR zones I have selected which is nice, but bummed to not be able to really get after some session as we depart on Sunday morning.

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Recovery:

Every night ends the same with my Enduropack and Drip Drop.  EnduroPacks makes a great liquid multi-vitmain, glutamine, and amino acid patch that all facilitate a faster recovery.

This is my second time training at altitude and you realize very quickly how fast you dehydrate. Drip Drop keeps my hydration levels optimal during and after training.

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Pro Diaries- Day 4,5,6,7

FRIDAY- Day 4

Light recovery day which consisted of 4k swim, 40 min spin on the bike, 20 min easy run, and 45′ on the TRX.

SATURDAY- Day 5

Another light day in prep for a tough session on Sunday. Took today to spend time with my better half. We drove down the road and went on a pretty amazing hike with greats view at Devils Hat.

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SUNDAY- Day 6 (4 hr ride with 90km TT+ 80 min light run)

After a very disappointing ride at Lake Stevens 70.3, I needed to nail a 90km Tim Trial to prove to myself I could ride a bike. Mentally this was going to be a tough, tough session riding solo on Sunday. The ride started at 6200ft and climbed up to 7300ft and there was a bit of wind. It was very nerve racking pushing the start button, but it had to be done. There was a goal wattage to be maintained, but I quickly realized that the acclimation to the altitude was not 100% and that wattage was too tough. I blocked the wattage and rode as hard as I could. I ended up beating my time from Lake Stevens by 11 minutes at elevation. I will take this ride as a victory, a very painful victory .

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MONDAY- Day 7

Swim: 4km swim with nothing special

Bike: 2 hr ride with rolling terrain. More of long easy flush ride. This week is going to be big on the bike with the goal of 22 hours of riding. I have been using map my ride and strava to map out and plot my courses this week. Should be very interesting.

Run: 40 min run with 4x1km strong efforts.

Strength: 45 minutes on the TRX

Today was the first day there was a fair amount of fatigue. My HRV finally started to head south, and my Polar V800 was letting me know the efforts from yesterday were going to take a wee while to recover from. The shots below show you how strained you are based on HR readings from the day. As you can I’m very strained at the moment. Even cooler, it will show you at what time and day you should come down into balanced levels.  My Polar has been my favorite new toy by a long shot since it arrived at my door step. Lots of great features, and lots more great features to come. If you are looking for a watch to take you to a new level…the Polar V800 is the one.

Recovery Status

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More detailed Recovery Status

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Calorie Burn from day. Broken up by training, daily activity (acts like Polar Loop as well), and basic metabolism.

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As you can see, my daily activity accounted for very little of my kcal burn. After training today we zipped over to Flap Jacked head quarters for a visit. I stayed seated the entire time eating Flap Jacked protein pancakes and drinking coffee. It was a great time and I also walked out the door with some more product. Thank you very much Jenn.

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Pro Diaries- Day 3

It is day three of logging my training diary, but there have been more workouts since I started logging later. Starting to feel a little tired, but excited because tomorrow is an easy active recovery day. Today the pace of the roll out was a tad slower. Little more coffee, little more food, and more time warming up. I was also little surprised at how so my quads were from yesterdays hill efforts. Normally I’m never that sore.

SWIM: 1hr-3K

Was a bit tired in the pool today so I spent some time chatting and mucking about to kill the hour. 400s have been my thing so I just hammered out 3×400 with snorkel, buoy, and paddles moderately hard. Then just floated around to make my three thousand.

BIKE: 4HRS aerobic high cadence

Finally starting to feel pretty normal now with the altitude, but decided to ride once more day based off of heart rate. It is rather hilly getting out of the area and it gets frustrating when you don’t get in as many kilometers as you would hope. But I’m trying not to be so number driven and train more on feel for this first week. I seem to have lost that feel for effort since all the focus use to be solely on staring at my power.

The 105 has been my favorite route since arriving here. Rolling, smooth, fast, and great views. It is kind of like the Queen K highway in Kona while you train there. Even though it is a simple out and back, it is a road you know you can get solid, constant work on.

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RUN: 40 minute brick

Nothing special, just getting in the miles and all done rather leisurely pace up the mountain. However, once I arrived at the top a storm had brewed and was moving rather quickly my way. Funny how fast you can run when lightening strikes near by. Made it back with a massive negative split.

STRENGTH: 40′ CORE 

Routine I made for myself.

 

Recovery:

Every night ends the same with my Enduropack and Drip Drop.  EnduroPacks makes a great liquid multi-vitmain, glutamine, and amino acid patch that all facilitate a faster recovery.

This is my second time training at altitude and realize very quickly how fast you dehydrate. Drip Drop keeps my hydration levels optimal during and after training.

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Pro Diaries 09/03/2014- CO

Wednesday was just a swim and run day, but it involved a tougher run session. We were up a little earlier this morning because we had planned a trip in Boulder. Ran first just to be in the comfort of cooler condition.

 

RUN: 2 Hours with 12×5 minute Lydiard bounding hill efforts

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This was pretty long and tough session. The started elevation and ending elevation were pretty high, so the pace was altered to heart rate again. It is pretty crazy how fast elevation can destroy and destroy the session. This run really kicked up hard the last 30 seconds. It was brutal. I was able to maintain a constant pace through and achieved the goal of the session by maintaining stride rate and total time to the top each round.

This sessions toll took it’s time to kick in. I felt this while during my swim later in the evening, and it hit pretty hard. I ended up driving straight home to devour two of the little sample size Haagen-Dazs salted caramel ice cream plus a few (lots) other sweet treats. I don’t think I refueled correctly with the rush to get out the door to Boulder once I arrived back from run.

SWIM: 1 Hour

I just swam garbage yardage today and broke the swim up by 400-300-200-100, 5×200, 5×200 broken as 200 pull, 4×50 repeated till 1K.

STRENGTH: 45′ Core

Nothing special, just a routine I have created to address where I feel weakness is.

Recovery:

Every night ends the same with my Enduropack and Drip Drop.  EnduroPacks makes a great liquid multi-vitmain, glutamine, and amino acid patch that all facilitate a faster recovery.

This is my second time training at altitude and realize very quickly how fast you dehydrate. Drip Drop keeps my hydration levels optimal during and after training.

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Pro Diaries 02/09/2014- CO edition

The wife and I decided to head up to Colorado for some cooler weather and a few less distractions that home can bring. With three more races to complete this year, I needed to find some extra form, and what better place than Colorado.

For the next 12 days we are here I will document the training and C level pro is doing while trying to make it back up to a podium position.  Yesterday a blown out tire put a halt to the writings.

SWIM: 4,000

Very lucky to be pretty close to a nice swimming facility just down the road. Only negative is that there is no master squad, so it is all solo yards for duration of stay. I try to keep the sets basic and repeatable so I can get through it.  Swimming is the only sport of the three I really do enjoy company. Biking and running solo is so much easier on day to day basis.

WU: 1K

200 Swim, 200 Kick, 200 IM, 200 Pull, 200 Swim

MAIN SET: 2000

-5×400 with snorkel, buoy, and paddles on 5:00 holding 4:30-4:35. Altitude is 6,200ft here so I needed the 30 seconds rest to catch my breath!

– Repeated warm up again

CD:

200

BIKE: 4hrs aerobic HR specific long ride

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Map my ride+ Google maps have been my source for finding routes around the area. Once the route is made, i stick the directions on my top tube and off I go.

So far I can’t give full gas like at sea level nor hit the high mountains because the toll is pretty great while I’m trying to adapt. I have a rode the parallels the ranges and takes me south down near Colorado Springs. Great road with lots of rollers but keep the elevation lower. I have monitoring all training with the new Polar V800 and keep my HR pegged at my Zone 3 three levels. I find this doesn’t wipe me out and I get a solid workout.

Funny thing is, this was the flattest ride I could find! Still had plenty of climbing to do.

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RUN: 50′ aerobic hilly run

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Nothing to flash or spectacular in terms of a main set, just steady aerobic Z3 run on some beautiful trails. Elevation was pretty high at 1930 meters (6,330 ft) and the views were amazing. Could see over to Pikes Peak today.

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Recovery:

Every night ends the same with my Enduropack and Drip Drop.  EnduroPacks makes a great liquid multi-vitmain, glutamine, and amino acid patch that all facilitate a faster recovery.

This is my second time training at altitude and realize very quickly how fast you dehydrate. Drip Drop keeps my hydration levels optimal during and after training.

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Races and new triathlon recovery tool

After three races this year: Tyler Half, Raleigh 70.3, and Eagleman 70.3 I noticed lots of the guys I ride with pushing huge gears with slower RPMs than I was pushing. I immediately realized I was not as strong as I needed to be. I could hang with the bunch, but the efforts were taxing. So getting stronger in both the bike and run was the main focus heading into Steelhead and Lake Stevens 70.3

BIKING: 

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Riding in Austin is great and even better if you live on the out skirts, you avoid lots of city traffic. The only negative is the lack of long sustained climbs. So how do you get in lots of big gear work on hills to get stronger? You find a 2km stretch a ride it over and over and over. Just down the road from my place is Mansfield damn. Luckily there is a lower water crossing or else this set wouldn’t be as long. In the past three weeks I have done 80 x 2km reps up this hill! The set is pretty mentally challenging, especially when I only had one training partner for 15 of the 80 reps over the three weeks. I like to think I resembled Jan Ullrich riding up and down this climb at 70 rpm. This set better make me stronger.

I also recently went in for a bike fit as I felt my splits weren’t as good as they should be considering my FTP and w/kg in races. Seat was dropped nearly 2cm! Can’t wait to see how this affects ride and my trunk feels much more stable.

RUNNING:

Running has been the toughest. I have resorted to waking up at 4-5 am just to get out the door for the tough session. There is one set I do x2 weekly that also consists of lots of hill reps. Even though can take 8 bottles of ice cold water, your splits don’t even come close to running in cooler conditions.

I have resorted to running more distance and aiming to get in as much vertical meters as I possible can. It is irritating to me when I can’t it goal splits, so I found so nice trails. I call this my Alpe d’ huez of Austin running. Lots of switch backs and great views.

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I have found this block that more strength and small bouts of speed is the ticket for me. With out being extremely strong, speed is rather useless and can’t be supported or sustained. If you can run with a fast turn over but you stride length is short, your not going to be going any where too fast. Same as the bike. Plus, all the strength work keeps the HR lower, for me anyways, and I have found I can get away with a lot more volume without feeling as smashed as a high HR workout.

RECOVERY TOOL:

The following post is sponsored by Fit Fluential LLC on behalf of PowerPlay US

There is a new company out called PowerPlay US and I received my unit a while back and am loving it. It is portable cold/compression unit that is very affordable and doesnt cost an arm and a leg to purchase. So you go out and buy more triathlon equipment while preventing injury and recovering faster.

I have used other cold compression units but PowerPlay is much quicker and convenient to get going. There is an inner ice sleeve that you simple attach to the compression sleeve. Then a touch of a button gets the unit compressing.

The unit will give you the opportunity to select a range of 50-70 mmHg of pressure to build up to. The unit will build from to 50-70 mmHg then release. This cycle takes 20 minutes all together.

I chose the knee and ankle sleeve in my bundle. I really like how fast I could get into the unit and get it started with the removable ice pack. The compression feels great and would be nice if it went up to 80-or 90 mmHg. However, a little tip though. I will remove the ice pack 10 minutes before I’m going to use it. This allows the sleeve to have so more movement to it. I was able to wrap the sleeve that much tighter making the compression feel even tighter. This unit has three slots allowing you to use three pieces of compression, or share with friend.

My knee injury from years ago still requires lots of maintenance.  If I’m not doing my strength and icing routines I eventually start feeling small amount of pain. The PowerPlay unit has done a great job at keeping pain at bay after hard workouts and has kept swelling down to minimums. So check them out of you are looking to add a great tool to speed up your recovery.

Nice carry bag that fits your compression gear and unit.

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The knee compression sleeve with the unit that allows 50-70 mmHg of compression

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The removable ice pack inside of sleeve.

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JC

Drip Drop Review and Race Day Hydration Tips

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Arriving at the start line of your race fit and ready to cover the distance is easy for majority. But arriving hydrated and staying hydrated is where we all can sometimes fall a little short and in the end can really hurt your performance.

I’m sure you all have read the stats about how our performances suffer with the smallest amount of dehydration. When we sweat we also loose water and salt from the blood. Once this happens the blood gets more viscous, your heart has to pump faster and it leads to the whole stall, spin,crash , burn, fall to pieces. We as athletes want to avoid this scenario at all costs.

So during any race it is crucial to remain hydrated leading up to the event, during the event, and after to help promote better recovery. This will help you get back to training (post race) sooner. I like to keep my hydration levels at optimal levels using a supplement called Drip Drop. Not only does it help keep you hydrated during races, it is great for using during traveling. Living in Texas during the summer can be very testing during long training days. Drip Drop has meet and exceeded the hydration demands of long training days.

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Drip drop has very low osmolarity so it is easily absorbed into your system. The latest information out there says you drink to hydrate and eat to fuel. The caloric count in drip drop is low which helps with your gastric emptying rate, so your chances of suffering from GI issues during racing are greatly reduced.

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Here are so tips to go into events hydrated to perform at your best:

  • Night Before: one to two packet of drip drop on 18oz of water as a little load as drip drop contains 2 times more sodium than leading sports drinks.
  • Race Morning: Very cold 18oz of water with on pack drip drop. I find cold solutions keep the gut cooler before the race when your core will really start to heat up. Being cool is just as important as hydration.
  • Race: I will use drip drop in one bottle during the bike. Then i will make sure to have a cooler in T2 waiting for me before the run. Again this will be chilled as well to help cool the gut with cold fluid.
  • Post Race Recovery: Instead of getting a post race IV during a long car ride or flight home, another pack of drip drop will do the trick =. This will help to get the levels of hydration back to optimal levels

**I was asked to review drip drop during his racing and training, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own**

 

James Cotter

Elite triathlete and head coach at Hard Yards Training

Eagleman 70.3 report

Finally a solid showing. I went into these two races with a goal of capturing a top 10 overall and it was accomplished. 7th overall at Eagleman.

On Sunday the result in my mind was fantastic, but today it’s just good. Now it the focus goes back to how to get faster.  The competition is very talented and fast. I raced the mix, but I need to try and get closer to the front.

Was great getting to see athletes I haven’t scene in some time. Great race by Starky! How amazing is he?

I have no pictures from the race, but I would like to introduce you to my new love for the 2014 season. Beautiful, right?

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Ironman 70.3 Eagleman
Cambridge, Maryland
June 8, 2014
1.2m swim / 56 bike / 13.1m run

Men

1. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 3:47:27
2. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 3:47:32
3. Leon Griffin (AUS) 3:52:11
4. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 3:52:51
5. Eric Limkemann (USA) 3:53:30

Women

1. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:11:03
2. Caitlin Snow (USA) 4:11:39
3. Rachel McBride (CAN) 4:17:37
4. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:19:01
5. Ashley Clifford (USA) 4:23:39

Raleigh 70.3 race report

A few days before I left for the start of the racing season, a swimmer said to me, “you know, you’re not that good.”

In my mind it was my fuel. I though, I will show you. I haven’t trained my ass off and done sessions that have scared me up until the moment i push start on my watch. I’m back, and I will show you I thought daily. But then, the fear of what happens if I don’t perform to my expectations after all these massive training weeks?

Well, I didn’t perform to my expectations or even close to the numbers I have executed in training. I was outclassed by a top notch field of athletes. I swam poorly and am most embarrassed about that (although my wet suit didn’t arrive and i swam wetsuitless).  My bike was bad, although I was aboard my brand new Cervelo P5, I think I need a few more rides on it to really get my position dialed in. I have ridden lots of great bikes, But I’m very happy to be back on a Cervelo. I remember now why I may have shed a tear when I got rid of my last P3. Then my run was solid for a few miles on and off. This gave me some hope as it felt pretty good.

I’m a little bummed about the performance but I know there better and will be better. I have swam 2k at sub 1:10/100m pace, biked 80km at 4.5 w/kg, and have run sub 1:15 for a half marathon in training sessions recently so I now I’m fit.  I have faced fear in training, and have hit numbers I never thought I could hit in training and have reached new levels of fitness. So don’t rule me out yet :)

I’m looking forward to facing and concurring the fear of eagleman this weekend and breaking through to new levels of confidence. Congrats to the podium finishers at Raleigh 70.3 this past weekend.

Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina
June 1, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi. 

Results 

Men 

1. Matt Chrabot (USA) 3:52:07 
2. Lionel Saunders (CAN) 3:52:47
3. Callum Millward (NZL) 3:55:11
4. Eric Limkeman (USA) 3:56:21
5. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 4:03:12

Women

1. Amy Marsh (USA) 4:21:39
2. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:22:50
3. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 4:26:11
4. Margie Shapiro (USA) 4:27:31
5. Hallie Blunck (USA) 4:31:33

Day in the life

Hi, my name is James Cotter, and I’m an Enduropacks elite triathlete. We thought it might be interesting to do a “day in the life” post. I picked a key training day one week out from my first of three half ironman events coming up. You will see training, nutrition, and when I add enduropacks into my day.

SWIM

0615-0730

Nice session to open after swim time trial yesterday.

WARM UP:

-200 Swim, 200 Kick, 200 IM, 200 Pull, 200 swim

-12×50 as 3 of each stroke

 

Main Set: x4 rounds

Pull on 1:10/100 yard base pace

300 Pull

200 Pull

100 Pull

12×25 on :20

Cool Down:

200 Easy

 

BREAKFAST

I like to get out the door and get riding sooner than later since temperatures are heating up. I grab a smoothie with 400-500 calories and bowl of cherrios. I top this off with my tablespoon of them multivitamin.

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RIDE:

Two hour ride today with 8×6’ just below goal race pace wattage. Alternating between pushing the big gear and spinning at high cadence.

I like to supplement my bottles with 3 squirts of the concentrated electrolyte spray. For calories we have switched more to real food now. My wife has been creating all types of new rice cakes for rides. The results have been very nice when running off the bike. Plus, your 6th cake is so much better tasting than your 6th gel when the temperatures get 30+C

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BRICK RUN:

Straight of the bike was an hour run with intervals. We have a great hilly loop which I call my “Texas Waitaks” after the famous hilly loop in New Zealand that legendary Arthur Lydiard used. Once this loop is completed, you end up at our local intermediate school track. It was 8x1km faster than goal race pace with small rest.

 

 

 

 

Lunch:

lunch

 

Recovery:

Once I’m done with tough workouts I like to apply two Enduropack amino acids patches on. If session is steady aerobic work I apply one.

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Later on in the evening, right before bed I will take my Glutamine. Again, depending on intensity and duration will determine how much I take. On hard days during big weeks, I have been using 2 pills 2-3 times daily. The Glutamine product has been very beneficial to the hard yards and hard weeks.

Dinner

dinner