Happy New Year – New Year’s Day Ride & 2013 Goals

Happy New Year and welcome to the year 2013!

This morning I decided to start off the year with a nice group bike ride at the Bakersfield New Year’s Day Ride with Kern Wheelmen. There were easily 150 people that showed up this morning for the ride. Here is a link to the route that this ride followed http://www.strava.com/rides/35185117. I forgot to check the temperature at 10 AM when the ride started, but I am sure it was somewhere around 36 Degrees Fahrenheit. Not so warm. Thankfully I picked up some cold weather gear yesterday from Action Sports in the way of some Castelli Wool Socks, Castelli shoe covers, and some Specialized wool liner gloves. I love that I can always count on Action Sports to have the stuff that I need to get the job done!

So enough with the product and commercial plugs here is a little something about the ride itself. We started out pretty slow, a nice warm up pace. Since I am a triathlete, and am used to training (riding) alone, it was interesting riding in a pack of people. The best part was being behind a group of people who broke the wind for me. Since I wasn’t wearing a windbreaker this was very nice. Every once in a while I would pop out from behind the front riders and get hit with some pretty brisk air. Brrrr. Well about 7 miles into the ride, the tempo started to pick up and all of a sudden I found myself dropping from the pack. I tried to spin faster, but my legs decided to go on strike from having completed the leg workout the previous day. Regardless of how my legs felt, I continued to ride and helped to pull the group of riders in the second pack. Since I was riding my time trial bike (the only one in the entire group) I laid down on my aero bars and did what I know how to do – ride with no one in front of me. The guys behind me sure liked this I am sure. All I know is I really need to get back into the saddle more. June, July, and August of 2012 were good riding months for me. Since competing in the Bakersfield Triathlon I really have not spent any time on the bike at all. This won’t do at all if I expect to be competitive this year.

2013 is a whole New Year and the best part about a whole New Year is that we get to make new goals for ourselves. My goals will find me in that saddle way more often than in the recent past. The triathlon season is only a few months away and if I am going to be ready, shotty training will not be the answer. Dedication, determination, and effective training practices are the only way that I am going to achieve my goals this year. And since I keep talking about goals, accountability is the only way that I know how to push myself towards those goals. The only way to be held accountable is to share your goals and surround yourself with people who will monitor your progress and help remind you of your goals. So here they go!

I have 3 goals associated with Triathlon Performance for 2013:

1) Complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon in less than 2 Hours

2) Win the Bakersfield Triathlon

3) Compete in a Half Ironman Triathlon (Ironman 70.3).

What are your fitness goals for 2013?

P90X2 (Rnd. 2) – Day 22 of 91 – Week 1 Phase 2 – Strength

P90X2 (Rnd. 2) – Day 22 of 91 – Week 1 Phase 2 – Strength

B – Chocolate Vegan Shakeology with Vanilla Whey and Cinnamon and Activit
L – Salad with Chicken, Ground Pepper, Oil and Balsamic Vinaigrette
W – 1000 Meters Swimming
S – P90X Results & Recovery Formula
W – Chest + Back + Balance and X2 Ab Ripper
S – P90X Results & Recovery Formula
D – Taco, Enchilada, Pot Beans, and Rice, Chips and Salsa

What a great day to get into Phase 2! Got to swim this afternoon which is always nice. Only swam 1000 meters because of the crazy chest and back workout that followed. I am sure that I will be feeling it a little bit in the morning. Plyocide tomorrow!

If you read yesterday’s log you know that I ran into an issue with winter training on my bike. I need thermal booties so my toes don’t turn blue when I ride! Well I stopped into Action Sports this afternoon to see what they had in stock. Looking at another option instead of the full boot and that is a toe cover. I like a couple of the options but will need to spend a little more time tomorrow talking to a couple of the guys there who’s opinion I greatly respect when it comes to the sport. Here is a pic of what I looked at today:

Pearl Izumi Thermal Cover

PRO THERMAL TOE COVER

 

Perineal Pressure – Take a Seat!

Have you ever been riding a bike and felt uncomfortable sitting in the saddle? Even worse, have you been riding your bike and become numb in your crotch area or into your extremities? Chances are you are suffering from the result of pressure on the perineum and you should know, this is not a good thing for any of us, and can lead to bicycle seat neuropathy.

“Bicycle seat neuropathy is one of the more common injuries reported by cyclists. The injuries and symptoms are due to the cyclist supporting his or her body weight on a narrow seat and are believed to be related to either vascular or neurologic injury to the pudendal nerve.”  “The pudendal nerve exits the canal ventrally, below the symphysis pubis, and innervates the genital and perineal regions.” ~ http://www.rido-cyclesaddles.com/bicycle-seat-neuropathy-c274.html (check out this article if you want to know more)

Luckily, biking industry companies have heard the call and are addressing the sitting issue. Alleviating the pressure on the perineum is at the forefront of saddle design. As far as I can tell, all of the manufacturer’s are on board.

The following excerpt from www.imseat.com explains the crux of the issue for both men and women:

“On an annual basis, bicycle riding involves several hundred million people worldwide. Studies have linked perineal pressure caused by straddling traditional bicycle seats to numbness, urinary tract and yeast infections, prostate inflammation and impotence. For male riders, in addition to the discomfort and numbness associated with a traditional saddle, there is an increased susceptibility to restricted blood flow, which can lead to arterial occlusion and permanent erectile dysfunction. For women, the restricted blood flow and hardening of the genital arteries can lead to an inability to reach orgasm. It has been found that as little as 11% of a person’s body weight can compress the genital artery!” (source – http://www.ismseat.com/technology)

As you can see, it is super important that pressure to the perineum be relieved. Unless your bike has a seat that resembles one of the following, I highly recommend that you go to your local bike shop and ask for options the first chance you get!

http://www.ismseat.com/saddle/adamo-time-trial

http://www.bontrager.com/model/09862 This is the seat I use. I got mine at Action Sports!

http://www.bontrager.com/features/hilo_rxl_speed_dial

http://www.selleitalia.com/se_it3/prodotti/road/pagina_max-flite/

Interesting article from NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

http://www.ismseat.com/files/WS_no_nose_2009-131.pdf

Other articles on the subject:

http://www.bycycleinc.com/pages/lowe_4_saddles.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15179177

http://www.rido-cyclesaddles.com/get-that-pressure-away-from-your-perineum-c267.html

Happy Riding!

SRAM Red – 2012 Gruppo – Product Review

SRAM RED CHANGES EVERYTHING. New SRAM RED represents the pinnacle of road racing technology and delivers countless performance advantages to the professional and enthusiast alike. For 2012, the new RED continues in the SRAM tradition as the leader in light weight, flawless shifting, and ergonomic advantage with gorgeous aesthetic styling. How did we improve on the world’s best mechanical gruppo? We started with everything we knew, and then designed a brand new drivetrain from scratch. Each part was engineered with the twin goals of eliminating the superfluous while focusing on an overall synergy that translates into unmatched performance. Elegant and simple, RED perfects the riding experience through genuine innovation. SRAM RED changes everything.” – http://www.sram.com/sram/road/family/sram-red-_-2012

This is the gruppo of the future today! SRAM said it best when they used the word “gorgeous”. I must agree! In triathlons or time trials, the name of the game is light and fast  almost to the point of sacrificing strength. This translates into $ – bottom line. Without spending the money, you rarely get the benefit. I believe that SRAM provides an exceptional product at a fair price. SRAM Red are the components that I will be upgrading to as soon as possible with some minor exceptions. I won’t need the brakes or the shifters. The Trek Speed Concept 7.0 has an integral rear Bontrager brake and the existing SRAM Apex brake is sufficient for the cause. Also SRAM manufactures another shifting component I will be recommending, the R2C Aero Shifters, and with which I am completely enamored.

The following is a list of links to the components that I recommend for immediate purchase (all items can be ordered at Action Sports in Bakersfield):

SRAM RED Crankset – 2012 

SRAM RED Front Derailleur – 2012

SRAM RED Rear Derailleur – 2012

 R2C Aero Shifters

SRAM XG 1090 Cassette

SRAM PC 1091R PowerChain™

Happy Racing!

Sitting at Starbucks

Yesterday was not that busy of a day, but that made it the perfect day to get things done. I was sitting at Starbucks thinking about the day when I started this blog, so I left the name, but changed the direction.  Thank you Kevin for taking my order! I hope you take my advice and enter the Bakersfield Triathlon Sprint Course!

So yesterday I went for a bike ride late in the morning. And even though my average speed during the ride was nothing to brag about, there were some moments of greatness sprinkled in amongst the mediocrity. The most notable was that I spun out my big ring going down Mt. Vernon to Alfred Harrell Highway (Bakersfield, CA).  I guess its time to go back to a 53/39 standard instead of the 50/34 compact that I am running now. For those of you who know little about bicycles, the ratios I am talking about are how many teeth are on the big and little front rings on the crank set (where the pedals are attached and makes the chain go around). Regardless of the fact that I spun out, I did manage to post the second fastest time on Strava.com for that SpeedTrap AMGEN TT. I also set a personal record for riding up the bluffs to Panorama from China Grade Loop. I guess I was just in a mood for a little hill riding. The point of posting this is, sometimes you take the good with the bad, or in this case, the good with the “just OK”. Don’t throw out the bath with the bath water! So where do I go in times like these? Well Action Sports of course! I went to go brainstorm with Sam Ames on what equipment I might need to change before the Bakersfield Triathlon. We talked about it and came up with a game plan. He is good like that – precisely practical! Replace the crankset with a SRAM Red Crankset – 2012 (date to be determined). Ahhh let the fun begin!

 

Countdown to the Race

One might think that seasoned triathletes just show up on race day and are ready to compete like its no big thing. Little do many know about the preparation that goes into each and every race a triathlete enters. One of my clients told me this years ago, and it still resonates in my head today, “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance” (Thank you Les, I hope you are still doing well and riding everyday!) – Some like to add a couple more “P” words in there, but those 5 pretty much say it all for me. Proper Preparation for a triathlete can be summed up as follows: Know the Course, Taper your Training, Fuel your Body, Check your Equipment, and Rest.

Know the Course – Knowing the course and what you are getting into will help you to plan for maximization of a successful race strategy. The triathlete must become familiar with the course and the specifics of elevation changes. This will possibly affect the set up of the bike and any specific training in the weeks leading up to the race. This may also help the triathlete to keep a little reserve for any climbs for which they would otherwise be unprepared. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, before GPS was available to the general public, most triathletes would arrive at a new race and be completely unfamiliar with the course. Today we have the luxury of reviewing the entire course, in most instances, through course websites which take all of the guess work out of the pre-race preparations with their interactive maps. This is a huge advantage to the modern day triathlete. Thank you technology for yet again attempting to level the playing field!

Taper your Training – Tapering one’s training is extremely important so that the body is rested and the muscles can retain the glycogen it will need to power through the race. Heavily training right up to race day will leave the muscles in a state of fatigue and glycogen depletion. Unless you are using the race as a training exercise, I highly recommend keeping the training to a bare minimum for at least 48 hours before a race. Stretching is key a key component to keeping the muscles strong during this time, but stretching should already be a huge part of your daily routine already as it should be in everyone’s fitness life.

Fuel your Body – Addressing the issue of glycogen depletion before it happens is essential to the triathlete’s race day success. Many know this as “carbo-loading”.  Since I am not an expert on Nutrition, I am not going to shoot from the hip here, I’ll simply point you to a great article on http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/  I read this article and it helped me to understand some of the things I may have been doing wrong when I was a younger triathlete.  Take a look and see if it holds water for you:  http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1023&printer=1

Check your Equipment – When it comes down to the days before the race make sure that you check all of your equipment.  Make sure everything you need is there: Bike set up to race and in perfect working order, wetsuit packed and ready (if required for race), goggles, running shoes, bucket for washing feet off before jumping onto your bike, towel, race clothing, sunglasses, race nutrition bars, P90X Results and Recovery Formula, cool clothes for after the race so you look good getting your award, promotional garments so your sponsors get their due recognition, etc…. You get the idea!  Everything you need for the race should be check-listed and checked off the day before the race so that you can get a good night’s sleep. If you have an amazing bike shop in your corner, it wouldn’t hurt to have them give your ride a quick tune-up.  My bike is currently at Action Sports (www.teamactionsports.com) where they are getting it all set up for the race on Saturday. I can’t wait to take Pepper for a couple test rides when she is race ready later today.  After a couple micro-tweaks later this week she’ll be zippier than she has ever been.  Thank you Action Sports for all of your support!

Rest – Lastly, being fully rested is of paramount importance when competing in any sport. I remember when I was at the Ironkids Triathlon Nationals in Arizona back in 1988, I had no idea that playing in the pool the whole day before the race and staying up late to watch Team USA beat the USSR in Men’s Volleyball would have had a dire impact on me the next day during the race. I still raced well and had the fastest run split, but I may have been able to get 2nd or 3rd instead of 4th had I just been properly rested {See explanation below}. Even though I completely and thoroughly enjoyed the experience at Nationals, I can honestly say – Huge Lesson Learned. Getting a good day and night’s rest before the race will be first and foremost on my mind this Friday night I can assure you!

Happy Racing!

{The reason I say 2nd or 3rd instead of 1st is the fact that TJ Fry was an animal that year (and for years to follow) and was in phenomenal swimming and biking shape.  TJ was from the Plano, TX area, like Lance Armstrong, and at that point was just a better athlete than I that day. Check out his blog at http://badig.com/ some good reading there coming from years of experience in the sport}