Sunday, February 05, 2012


Well, it may not have been the worst Super Bowl halftime show ever (Black Eyed Peas still hold that crown) but it was certainly the weirdest. A lip-synching Pop Tart vamping with the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys, 2 escapees from Wayne's World and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Any 50-something man who is so stupid as to call golf "exercise" ought to look down at his waistline once in a while. Idiots.

It Ain't Easy Being An Oracle!

The "Oracle of Omaha" takes a good whacking for having his head up his ass and his hand in your pockets...and mine.

Rahmbo Rocks Chicago

Chicago Tribune: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on his performance in the Chicago Triathlon where he finished ninth out of 80 in his age group:

“You may say I’m unfit to be mayor, but you can never say I’m an unfit mayor."

OK, that's one of the better finishing quotes I've heard. Probably written by some speechwriter.

The news stories about the Chicago tri have me a little nostalgic. OK, I'm there next year!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bike, Check! Helmet, Check! Lawyer, Wha?

So what should you buy next, after the bike? Yes, a helmet, I know. But after THAT? If you're in NYC, a lawyer might be a good idea.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Avoiding the Swim Freakouts

The NY Times weighs in on preparing triathletes for the "chaos" of open-water swimming. I've found that getting better at open-water swimming requires lots of, well, open-water swimming. You think there's some mysterious secret? There's not.

Long-time readers of this blog remember my rants about swim freak-outs and how they diminished only when I forced myself to race every two weeks all summer long - April 'til October. 15 races or so. I'll never be great but now my HR stays below 'aortic rupture' territory.

I'm fortunate to live near - and train in - Lake Michigan with its many moods - rip currents and 4-ft waves one day, millpond calm the next. Wetsuit: ON! Goggles: ON! Game: ON!

And if you're uncomfortable in the water, do yourself and other racers a favor: position yourself at the BACK of the pack (with me!) and maybe off to one side, not in the middle and certainly not the front.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Runs, Trains and Medicine Balls

Nice run this morning, along the river and through the woods, no Grandmother's house to be found.

Kept company by quacking ducks, droning cicadas, a long-legged Greyhound doggie and the irritating horn of a freight train making its way through town.

Man, what's UP with blowing your train's damn horn at every intersection? Ever hear of NOISE POLLUTION? Ever hear of a sleep-deprived citizen dragging your sorry ass outta your locomotive and going all "Hey Government! Regulate THIS!" on you? But I digress...

Finished up with core exercises using a 12-lb medicine ball and some stretching.

Now it's a triple-shot Redeye at my favorite coffee shop, hi-fi on the wi-fi, blogging, news-reading, working on various business ventures and watching the world go by. Wish you were here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Buh-Bye Honda Financial Services!

And so the Flying Lunchbox is finally paid off. Free and clear. In my name and my name only.

The hauler of triathlon bikes, wetsuits, drum kits, furniture, Tri-Daughter stuff and the occasionally incontinent Golden Retriever is now MINE, MINE, MINE, ALL MINE!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Couch Potatoes Need Not Apply

Two deaths in this weekend's New York Triathlon and the NY Times' headline is "Death During Swim Renews Questions About Event’s Safety."

No mention is made of the couch potatoes dying over the weekend while doing nothing.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Vertical Man Goes Vertical

Great weekend in Steamboat Springs, CO. Visited some favorite dining spots, hiked up to the gondola's top to work it all off. Perfect weather - warm days, cool nights. Right now my view is looking west, high over the Yampa Valley as the sun turns everything golden. Home tomorrow, work Tuesday.

While I'm at it, the Dems' new narrative is that it's a "Tea Party Downgrade." Ummm, OK. Not a "Wasteful Bail-Out Downgrade?" Not an "Expensive, Health Plan Downgrade?" Or a "Two Endless Wars Downgrade?" Right, it's an "Our taxes are too low downgrade!"

How silly of me and so nice of the usual, useful idiots to enlighten me.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Are You Kidding Me?

A free copy of ESPN the Magazine landed in my office today. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? There's NO lamer, more boring, utterly wretched example of sports journalism at work anywhere in our post-lockout wasteland. So some dipwad NFL player doesn't like nail clippings on his training table. Some pre-pubescent skier isn't fond of speed-dating. They're KILLING TREES to tell me that crap. Are you kidding me?

Why can't the JOURNALISTS ever go on strike?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pretty Soon Starvation Will Be the Trendiest Diet Of Them All!

Once upon a time it was OK to eat meat, red and otherwise. A time when butter, eggs and cream were staples. The French do it, gleefully, and suffer far lower rates of heart disease and other uniquely American maladies.

But no, we couldn’t be like the French, could we? Sacre bleau!

And so red meat was jettisoned, leaving ‘healthy’ meats like fish and poultry.

Then it was better to be vegetarian, no meat at all.

But if vegetarianism is good then vegan must be even better.

And if vegan is good then raw, unsullied, virgin food is the ne plus ultra!

Pretty soon starvation will be the trendiest diet of them all. After all, who’d want a carrot to feel the pain of cold steel?

Me? I’m sticking to the Mediterranean diet – olive oil, fish, poultry, pasta, bread, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, healthy dairy, intense black coffee, red wine. 60% carbs, 20% each protein and healthy fats.

And the next time an overweight, undernourished, teetotalling, carrot-crunching vegan throws some dietary criticism my way, I’m gonna invite her onto the triathlon course and kick her ass. Kindly, in a manner befitting the emotionally sensitive, growthful, modern kinda guy that I am.

Not that I have anyone particular in mind...

Should Drugs Be Decriminalized?

Probably. Will they be? Doubtful.

Why not?

Don’t kid yourself. It has far less to do with proclamations about youthful morality than you think. The fight is really about which side in the ‘war on drugs’ gets to bank the spoils.

But first, a question: why aren’t the headlines full of lurid stories about gangs wearing Distiller A’s colors shooting it out with other gangs wearing Distiller B’s? Hasn’t happened since prohibition ended. Hmmm…

Think about it, and, as with most things, follow the money. And never, ever underestimate a civil servant’s instincts for self-preservation.

Who benefits from illegal drugs apart from the leaders of a few thousand crazed Mexican thugs?

The taxpayer-funded, anti-drug establishment, that’s who.

The Narco-Industrial Complex

A few decades ago, when the wars were in Korea and Viet Nam, it was called the ‘military-industrial complex.’ It’s a few generals and captains of industry sitting behind the lines, directing armies of underpaid foot soldiers doing the dirty work and the dying.

It’s a back-scratching web of those with power to tax and spend in support of an agenda: politicians, lobbyists, regulators, law enforcement officials, government employees, their unions and those in their orbit - the court system’s judges, defense attorneys and for-profit prison operators.

And we shouldn’t forget the vendors - the sellers of guns, Kevlar vests and night vision scopes to what has become a paramilitary operation.

Damn Hippies!

Who benefits from decriminalization? In short, not the vested interests, but lowlifes – today’s users and yesterday’s felons. The dealers. Growers. Farmers. Hippies. Immigrants. Entrepreneurs. College kids. Importers. Head shop owners. Hustlers. Weird pharmacies selling brownies.

Yikes. Who’d want that? Better to get rich fighting a losing battle than to declare ‘peace’ and watch your former enemy get rich!

But don’t worry. Our kids are safe. The good guys are winning, right? Well sure, they control the narrative.

(Full disclosure: I don’t use illegal drugs and wouldn’t if they were decriminalized. But as someone with a definite libertarian streak, I’m content to let you make all the dumb decisions you want. I’m also content to let you bear the consequences.)

The Team That Tris Together...

...what? Stays together? We're about to find out! Good luck to the five Timex employees competing in Ironman Lake Placid on July 24.

I wonder if Ironman success is in their job description? Regardless, this's pretty cool!

Middlebury, CT – July 20, 2011 – Timex, a leader in outdoor and sports performance timepieces, today announced that five employees from its sales and marketing teams will toe the line together on July 24 in Lake Placid, NY, and attempt to conquer the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run.

Cumulatively, the group has completed eight Ironman triathlons, however Ironman Lake Placid will mark the first time they will all compete head-to-head in the same venue.

Lake Placid will mark the fourth Ironman race in the careers of Keith Meyer, Manager of Event Marketing and Sponsorships, and Brett Jacobson, Account Executive, Sports, as well as the sophomore appearances of Dave Schultz, Vice President of Sales, and Jason Tillinghast, Product Manager for Advanced Products. Heberto Calves, Vice President of Marketing, will seek to add “Ironman” to his title after several Ironman 70.3 finishes.

Training for and competing in Ironman events has allowed each member of the team to shape a unique approach to their respective roles, grounded in personal sacrifice, a passion for the sport and first-hand understanding of athletes’ needs.

“I've been kicked at the swim start, longed to get off the bike to start running at mile 95, and had my hamstrings tighten uncontrollably at mile 15 of the run,” said Schultz. “So when I talk to athletes about our product, I know exactly where they are coming from and what their needs are.”

Ironman Lake Placid is the second oldest Ironman in North America and serves as a qualifying event for the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. More than 2,500 athletes will enter the calm waters of Mirror Lake for the mass start swim before riding and running through the Adirondacks and passing by the historic landmarks from the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Pictures to follow. Rock on Team Timex!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Daily Training

Earlier: an easy 1:15 run, shaking out a few cobwebs. Proud form, quick tempo, 21 right foot falls in 15 seconds, driving the arms forward (because where your arms go the body follows.) Pushing it up the hills, running strongly down. Stretching before and after.

Now: reviewing tomorrow's schedule and re-caffeinating with an extra-shot Redeye.

Later: haven't planned that far ahead! It's Sunday!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Daily Dose, Vertically Speaking

‎"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult."

(E.B. White)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Vertical Man's Resurrection

And so it begins. The long, slow slog, the base building, the dark, cold, early morning workouts, the Boot Camps, the "I forget how many 25's this is!" laps in the pool, the carefully-watched calories and carbs, the fun, the fear and the blood, sweat and tears.

Yeah, I know 2013 is 2 years off. I've been slacking a LONG time and it's gonna take at least that to do enough penance. Time to get off my ass, get back to training, back to blogging, ranting and maybe some raving. Deal with it.

And I'm starting a triathlon business, called, unexpectedly, "Life Is A Tri." Some cool gear and triathlon-themed stuff. Stay tuned and keep those Visa cards handy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Mornings Sure Are Fine!

The Wall Street Journal's weekend edition in my hands, NPR's "Weekend Edition" on the radio and strong black coffee racing through my veins - Sunday mornings don't get any better! Out for a run later once I see whether we're getting rain or ice. I'm running either way, just like to know what I'm in for.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Never Pick A Fight With Someone Who Buys Ink By the Barrel!

I know there's lots of competition for the award, but is there a bigger idiot in professional sports than Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder? He's trying to get a reporter fired for penning a critical article listing Snyder's many missteps during an ownership tenure spanning 12 years and Jeff George, Albert Haynesworth and Jim Zorn.

Snyder tripped over a sewage ditch and fell face-first into a pool of money. Too bad some IQ points weren't included.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Look Out Texas!

As soon as a few consulting gigs are safely underway, I'm throwing my bike and the rest of my tri-gear into the Flying Lunchbox and heading to Texas for several months of warm-weather training. I'm gonna spend many hours gazing at the bottom of Lifetime Fitness's lap pool!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Chicago Sportsgasm

I've heard this weekend described as a Chicago "Sportsgasm." What's a Sportsgasm?

Well, it means fans get to boo "Omaha Tommy" Ricketts and his team of stumbling bums at the Cubs' convention, cheer the Bulls efforts against JeBron Lames and the Miami Hate, curse da Bears' cringe-worthy offense in their playoff game against the Suttle Swamphawks, and yell "Let's Go Hawks" as the Blackhawks skate in a home-and-home series with the Nashville Prednisones.

Or something like that. Sportsgasms are hard to pin down.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Time To Run, Shovel Or Leave!

Despite a lingering cough and 30" of snow, I'm hellbent to get in a run tomorrow. Or maybe I'll just shovel the driveway. That's aerobic, right?

Then I'm loading up the Flying Lunchbox and heading to Texas for several months. Better weather, better training...just all 'round better! Maybe a race or two while I'm there.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy (Cough) New Year (Cough, Cough!)

Flying home from Steamboat last week, I had the good fortune to be seated in front of what sounded like refugees from either a phlegm depository or a tuberculosis sanitarium. I cursed the capricious Airline Gods for their seating arrangement, tried to hold my breath for 2 hours, failed, and fell back on the hope that clean living, good food, constant handwashing and hot tea would confer immunity.

Silly me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010's Popular Workouts

From, here's a year-ending list of 2010's fitness trends;

  • Barefoot running. (A trend I don't get at all.)
  • Working it "old school" i.e. working with your own body weight, sans fancy props and expensive equipment. (Push-ups, pull-ups, squats, sounds like Fitness Boot Camp all over again!)
  • Yoga mixed with everything. Snowga - on the ski slopes. Paddleboard Yoga - in the water. Koga - while kickboxing. (No thanks. I have enough problems with Downward Dog as it is.)
  • Triathlons, a "frenzy (that's) been building for a decade." (Thanks in part to Hollyweird.)
I'm not sure how I feel about triathlon being deemed either "frenzy" or "trend." That has an air of impermanence, don't you think?

While I'm at it, a few posts from the archives about Boot Camp fun and working it "old school;"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tri-Daughter Update

The Tri-Daughter center of gravity is slowly moving to the southwest. Tri-Daughter #2 recently announced she's leaving Portland, OR and joining T-D #4 in the Tempe, AZ area. That means more places to stay for P.F. Chang's Rock 'n Roll Marathon and, maybe, someday, IM-AZ.

Or just a nice winter getaway any today.

Galena Triathlon 2011

Registration opens in a few days for the 16th annual Galena (IL) Triathlon and Duathlon. Scheduled for May 21, 2011, the race through the hills of northwest Illinois is one of my favorites.

Don't be fooled by the relatively short distances (660-yard swim, 17.4 mile bike and 4.3 mile run.) Galena's hilly bike and run courses are tougher than many Olympic-distance races. Add to that the chilly (OK, icy) lake temperatures and you have a great test of your early-season conditioning.

Other Galena-related posts...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Benefits Of Altitude

I'm spending the week in Steamboat Springs, CO with Tri-Brother and (now) Tri-Sister. If this week had a theme song it'd be "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" What a great place. And next time you're here, check out Bistro C.V. for dinner. Worth the trip even if you're not a skier.

Anyway, today I ran across Matt Fitzgerald's counter-intuitive article on high-altitude training.
"Boulder’s mile-high elevation is one of the worst possible environments for endurance athletes to make their homes in. It’s not high enough to significantly change blood chemistry in most people, yet it’s also just high enough to significantly reduce performance in high-intensity workouts, so that athletes get a little less benefit from each quality session."
As he says, don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Is Complaining An Aerobic Activity?

The Great Suburban Outback's roads are slicker than greased pig snot, thanks to lake effect snows and multiple freeze/thaw cycles. I've been reduced to kind of a shuffling walk/run/slide gait, trying to avoid falling on my ass and breaking something important.

For what it's worth, my bike trainer is set up in the basement rec room. But being inside on gloomy winter days is a recipe for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) so, for now, I'll just head out the front door, heavy-treaded trail running shoes on my feet, complaining all the while.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Omaha Takes Two High and Tight

Captious (n): "tending to find and call attention to faults; "a captious pedant"; "an excessively demanding and faultfinding tutor."

Yep, captious, that's me. I doubt the anonymous commenter a few years back meant it as a compliment, but it's my cross to bear and I've been called worse. Now on to the current crisis...

This hasn't been a good week for opinions from Omaha.

First, "Omaha Tommy" Ricketts, scion of Omaha's TD Ameritrade clan and a year into his tenure as owner of the Chicago Cubs, announced plans to renovate Wrigley Field using $300 million of state financing. Trouble is he forgot to give heads-up to, oh, the Governor, the Mayor, the editorial boards of the Tribune and Sun-Times, anybody important, really. At last count, polls showed sentiment running 9-1 AGAINST his proposal.

When asked yesterday, Speaker Madigan said "Oh, that plan? I thought it was withdrawn!" Oops. And taxpayers are wondering why Wrigley's decrepit state wasn't factored into Tommy's acquisition cost. It's a perceptive question, perhaps a tipping point in the beleaguered masses' willingness to bend over and, well, 'accept' The Next Big Deal.

Omaha's politics resemble elections in the local chapter of Future Farmers of America. Everyone postures for a bit and then the combatants head out for drinks at M's Pub. In contrast, Chicago's politics are blood sport. Posturing stops and drinking commences only when someone's severed head is available for use as a drinking trophy.

And has anybody told Tommy about the curse, that in buying the "lovable losers" he risks becoming one himself? Not even the narrative about meeting his future wife in Wrigley's bleachers confers protection.

Secondarily, Warren Buffett took to to the NY Times op-ed pages to thank the Feds for their bailout billions. Job well done!, says the Oracle

He's wrong, of course. He's entitled to thank the Feds for bailing out HIS company. What he's NOT entitled to do is spew fiction and call it fact. Bail out financial services and avert economic meltdown, or so goes his theory. But if financial services and the economy at-large are so inextricably linked, why, despite the bailout, is the economy still so wretched? So much for linkage.

Oh, but absent the bailout, conditions would have been SO MUCH WORSE, says Buffett, thus ignoring the salutary effects of seeing thousands of Wall Street 'titans' living in cardboard boxes under some expressway.

So, Tommy, call me if you need PR expertise. I can help. Really. For you I'd even put aside most hints of captiousness...though I won't convert from White Sox to Cub fandom. That's just TOO large a sacrifice.

And Warren, stop peeing on my leg and trying to convince me it's center-pivot irrigation.

Captious, that's me.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Train Hotter To Race Faster

From Discovery News, a study suggests that you'll race faster in cool weather if you add heat to your training sessions.

Successful triathletes know that you'd better train in hot weather if you plan to race in hot weather. Surprisingly though, those training in the heat - referred to as heat-acclimated - also performed between 4 and 8 percent better in cool conditions, according to results published in the Journal Of Applied Physiology.

An 8 percent improvement in speed, distance and power? Let's get warm!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top 10 Non-Traditional Places For Triathletes To Live

Top-10 Triathlon Towns, from Triathlete Magazine. At least three are on my list of "places I'd like to call home someday."

Let me know if you guessed correctly on town #1. If you say you did, I'll call you a liar.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Triathlon Grows...and Shrinks

From The Wall Street Journal:

"World Triathlon Corp., whose signature long-distance event, the Ford Ironman World Championship, is taking place in Hawaii this Saturday, plans to add 13 U.S. triathlons to its 2011 lineup that will cover only 31.9 miles, which is the distance used for triathlons in the Summer Olympic Games. World Triathlon will dub its new series 5150, a reference to the 51.5-kilometer length of the Olympic race, but the affiliation with Ironman will be highly visible."
Predictably, some Ironman veterans are questioning whether an Olympic-distance Ironman is really an Ironman or just a gimmick from World Triathlon's new owners - Providence Equity Partners, a private equity firm bent on squeezing every dollar of incremental revenue out of a fast-growing sport.

No, 51.5 is not 140 but neither is 70.3. How far a brand can be pushed is a fair question, though the explosive growth in the half-Ironman distance doesn't seem to have hurt and, indeed, may have helped as many racers (including yours truly) see the half-Ironman distance as a necessary milestone along the journey ending at an Ironman finish line.

And just what is triathlon's growth path? Still robust amidst economic uncertainty, apparently. From the WSJ's article:
"Triathlon participation is booming. The number of racers grew to 1.2 million U.S. triathletes in 2009, an 11% jump from 2008 and a 50% jump from 2007, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.

"Dues-paying members of USA Triathlon—typically triathletes who compete in four or more races a year—stand at 135,000, up from 100,674 in 2007.

"USA Triathlon surveys show that the average income of the triathlete exceeds $125,000 a year. Many triathletes spend thousands a year on bicycles, swim gear, running shoes and travel, making the sport popular among corporate sponsors. At independent bike dealers, unit sales of triathlon bikes jumped 24% this year through August, while unit sales of wet suits jumped 40%, according to Leisure Trends Group, a research firm based in Boulder, Colo.

"But participation in triathlon diminishes with length. A 2009 USA Triathlon survey found that only 17% of triathletes had finished an Ironman race in the past year. But 58% had finished an Olympic-distance race. The popularity of the shorter distance in part reflects the inclusion since 2000 of the 31.9-mile triathlon as an Olympic event."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Closing the Pool Is the TRUE End Of Summer

I don't care what the calendar says. Another week or two and the pool gets closed for the winter. Too bad. My swim form has improved a lot this summer despite the pool's short 40 ft. length.

Maybe the short walk down the stairs vs. the drive to the health club has something to do with it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ironman 70.3 Muncie

The Muncie (IN) Endurathon becomes Ironman 70.3 Muncie, debuting on July 9, 2011. Registration opens today on

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Should You Stretch Before A Run?

Today's NY Times weighs in on the issue, reporting the results of a recent USA Track & Field study involving 1,600 runners - stretchers and non-stretchers alike;

"Predictably, since running, as a sport, has a high injury rate, quite a few became injured during the (study period.) About 16 percent of the group that didn’t stretch were hobbled badly enough to miss training for at least three days (the researchers’ definition of a running injury), while about 16 percent of the group that did stretch were laid up for the same amount of time. The percentages, in other words, were virtually identical. Static stretching had proved to be a wash in terms of protecting against injury. It “neither prevented nor induced injury when compared with not stretching before running,” the study’s authors concluded"
Think stretching will make you run faster or jump higher? Think again. Stretching doesn't appear to improve your athletic performance at all and may, in fact, hinder it;
"The bulk of the available science strongly suggests that static stretching before a workout not only does not prevent overuse injuries but also may actually hinder athletic performance. “There is a very important neurological effect of stretching,” said Ross Tucker, a physiologist in South Africa and co-author of the Web siteThe Science of Sport. “There is a reflex that prevents the muscle from being stretched too much,” which is activated by static stretching, inducing the muscle to become, in effect, tighter in self-protection. Past studies have found that athletes’ vertical jump is lower after a bout of static stretching than with no stretching at all. They can’t generate as much power."
It's a good lesson in how conventional wisdom can be unconventionally wrong.

So what to do? Well, I stretch (and have added yoga to my workout routine) but not for the usual reasons - injury prevention, performance improvement, etc. Instead, I'm stretching to address some clear issues with posture and muscle imbalances.

Example: one day I noticed that I carry my right shoulder higher than the left, apparently the residual effect of long days at a desk and poor workspace ergonomics. Not a big problem in the low-distance, day-to-day world.

But after riding 120 miles in the aero position, right shoulder subtly higher than the left, all those minor imbalances become shooting, literal pains in the butt. Sessions with coaches, yoga instructors and physical therapists taught me specific stretches to address those imbalance issues, and now I ride and run blissfully pain-free.

Would I stretch if I didn't have those issues? Nah, I'm just too lazy. But now, thanks to the NY Times, I'm OK with that.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some Training Advice, Perhaps Obvious, Perhaps Not

Today's run in the heat reminded me of some great advice from CoachKaryn, specifically, run when it's hot, slacker! And when it's cold and windy and raining and uncomfortable for any number of reasons.


Well, can YOU predict race-day weather? Neither can I.

Maybe you have an 'A' race coming up and you know the average race-day temperature is 82 degrees. By itself, that limited knowledge does you about as much statistical good as knowing that mile #35 on the bike is moderately downhill.

What if the RANGE of recent race-day temperatures is from 62 on the low side to 102 on the high?

If all your training has been under blue skies and 'average' temperatures, you'll lack important knowledge about how your body performs under more extreme conditions. How to adjust your nutrition and hydration strategies. How to change pacing and energy usage. How to survive in 4-ft waves when the average lake conditions are "light chop."

The importance of slightly reducing your tires' air pressure when it's really hot, lest you risk a blowout or worse. And don't think it can't happen. It happened to me while riding the IM-Wisconsin bike course on a hot day a few years ago. Lesson learned.

We all love the great days with perfect weather. We NEED the challenging days with crappy conditions. So train when conditions aren't perfect. Like today.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Most Difficult Half-Ironman?

Hardest vs. easiest Half-Ironman 70.3 triathlon courses, based on average finishing time.

Most difficult? UK. Easiest? Clearwater. Steelhead, my personal favorite, ranks on the "easier" end of the scale. Any of you UK veterans, leave a comment about what makes the race so difficult.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brand me, logo me, pay me.

The NY Times finds that, to communicate status and connoisseurship, the rich rely less on logos and more on design and detailing. In short, that lizard logo on your favorite shirt marks you as definitely declasse.

All these companies saying "We're so cool that you can be cool by association! Just wear our crap and "cool" will take care of itself. That'll be $59.95 please!"

I have a different approach. I don't wear ANYBODY'S logo unless THEY'RE paying ME. Hey, my body's a temple and temple real estate is scarce. Think about it. Who benefits from ME wearing YOUR logo? Here's a hint: not me.

Here's another hint: if your self-esteem is built from wearing the right sunglasses or shirts or shoes or whatever, you need counseling not new attire. Save your money. Stop giving it away to undeserving companies and brands. Make 'em earn the right to plant their flag on your ass.

How Coffee Can Energize Your Workout

How Coffee Can Energize Your Workout

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Time For A Swim Tuneup

I'm meeting with a swim coach at Lifetime Fitness this evening, as I'm way overdue for a tune-up on a swim stroke that was never very good and to which time has not been kind.

I sense a bunch of Total Immersion swim drills in my future. Yay.

MORNING AFTER UPDATE: Pretty much as I expected. Work is needed on stamina, positioning, balance, the catch, the pull, the recovery and a bunch of other things I disremember. The only positive, and quite unexpectedly so, was my kick. Go figure, the one thing to which I've paid NO attention is the only thing I'm good at.

Hmmm. Maybe I'll ignore a few more things and hope they improve on their own.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Men Staring..."

Yesterday it was the ugly sight of "Men Who Stare At Screens." Today, it's men staring at farm animals and a reminder that I'd failed to post a review of "Men Who Stare At Goats," a recent pay-per-view evening's entertainment.

So here it is, better late than never, and don't say you weren't warned;
"Saw "The Men Who Stare At Goats" last night. My review: a cub reporter (Dennis the Menace?) meets the characters from Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and, together, they all stage an off-off-off-Broadway remake of "Apocalypse Now" done as an ironic comedy. What the hell was George Clooney thinking?"
Now take that $10 you woulda spent on the movie, send $5 to me and donate the rest to some charity for deranged actors. Don't you feel better?

Captious, that's me...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Watch Out Geezers!

Armstrong says he'll start at the half-Ironman distance

And with that, every 70.3 race this year and next just sold out.

"Men Who Stare At Screens"

Can structured workouts overcome the negative effects of couch potato-ness? Maybe not, says The New York Times. In short, you still need to get off your ass more often. Go change a light bulb or something.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sports drinks vs. energy bars vs. gels

From The New York Times: the relative merits of sports drinks, energy bars and gels. The conclusion:

"...the researchers found...that the carbohydrates from the gels and the sports bars were being metabolized as quickly and as efficiently as those from the sports drink."

Monday, May 31, 2010

In Memory Of A Memorial Day Run

Running through the woods along the river is fine. Running in the rain is fine. Running THROUGH the woods ALONG the river IN the rain while a thunderstorm RAGES around you...not so much. The triathlon training gods must be laughing their asses off right now.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Day, Another Brick In The Wall

The sun is finally out and it's looking like we'll see the upside of 60 degrees for the first time in days. Back from a run with Camden the Wonder Dog who's clearly a dog but not so wonderful. He's in worse shape than I am, if that's possible. I've started leaving him home for all but the shortest runs.

Today's run: 3 miles bookended by 10 minutes of walking as warm-up and cool-down. 6 strides mixed into the last mile - 20 seconds of acceleration followed by 60 seconds of easy jogging. A short bike ride will round out this afternoon's festivities...unless the forecasted T-storms roll in.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Working Triathlons Into A Busy Schedule"

From The Wall Street Journal's Health & Wellness column, here's how a busy CEO works Ironman training into her hectic schedule, and all that gear into her budget. (Note: registration may be required to read the article.)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

On not giving in...

Chris Lieto: Triathlon training is mind over body. Skip the weights in favor of core training. Some tempo work is necessary but there's a reason most training is long and slow. Finally, high-quality calories fuel the machine, so go eat something!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Michael Phelps Diet: 12,000 Calories Per Day

Wondering how Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps fuels up? From the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog, Phelps' typical menu includes (and no, he doesn't choose among these options. He eats them all...)

Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise. Two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelet. One bowl of grits. Three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar. Three chocolate-chip pancakes.

Lunch: One pound of enriched pasta. Two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayo on white bread. Energy drinks packing 1,000 calories.

Dinner: One pound of pasta. An entire pizza. More energy drinks.
When training for my first half-Ironman, I was forced to increase my daily intake to 6,000 calories a day for several months. Blech. I thought I'd like it. I didn't.