Improve Your Training and Your Life: Get a LVL Now

LVL Kickstarter Page

The guys at BSX just launched their new Kickstarter campaign for their new hydration monitor.  I woke up really early and was the fifth person to contribute to their campaign.  Here’s a quick overview of what I know, why I’m a fan, and why you should sign up for one now. Continue reading

Never Plan Steady Threshold Intervals

After racing this year, I am rethinking my approach to polarized training and currently need a hard focus on lactate threshold (FTP) work.  Yesterday, I rode the classic 2 x 20min at FTP and failed miserably.  I thought this was odd because I succeeded in riding the same workout less than a week ago.  Now, I’ve found a better way and so I’m sharing it today. Continue reading

Quick Announcement: The LVL Hydration Monitor

As endurance athletes, how many of us haven’t had an episode in a race or in training when we haven’t become dehydrated?  Of course, all of us have.  A few weeks back, the really bright folks at BSX Insight announced that they were developing a hydration monitor and I couldn’t be more excited about the project.



Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I’ve been using the BSX Insight muscle oxygenation monitor for guiding my workouts.   I’m a big fan— and so are the guys at USA Cycling.  Considering that they used the technology for a gold in women’s pursuit at the World Championships (and now a silver in Rios), they are obviously on to something great.

Now BSX is putting those same smarts to use for keeping us hydrated.  Head on over to their announcement site and sign up for the latest news.  While pre-orders begin on September 14, they are giving away a ton of goodies (e.g. Amazon Echo, Withings scale, Wahoo Elemnt, Jaybird Earphones, and other products from Camelback, Gu, Nuun and Outdoor Voice) beginning August 22nd and leading up to the event.

This is not only big news for endurance athletes but an important step forward for everyone.  Even mild dehydration is serious stuff.  For instance, 60% of people who have strokes are dehydrated to some degree.  I’m not a medical doctor but I’m sure that a lot of other serious medical conditions are adversely affected by dehydration as well.  So even if you don’t care about how hydration is affecting your sports performance, you have pretty good reason to care about hydration generally.  To me, this is particularly good news because, as anyone who knows me can tell you, I drink about as much water as a cactus when left to my own.

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Report: Seattle-to-Portland Ride

For the second time, I rode in the Seattle-to-Portland (STP) Bike Ride.  This is an enormous, organized group ride that traverses the 200+ miles separating these two awesome cities in the Pacific Northwest.  Normally, I don’t blog about events that aren’t races or training camps, but I thought I’d capture my thoughts for the next time I have to do a really long ride in the middle of race season.  I’ll try to keep the report brief and focus on my observations and tips at the end. Continue reading

USAT Duathlon National Championship (Bend, Oregon) – A Race Report and Lessons Learned

The Finish Line at USAT Duathlon NationalsThis wasn’t my greatest race result by a long shot, but it was the result that I deserved.  As I mentioned in my last post, my body has been a house of cards this year.  Maybe a teetering stack of Jenga blocks is a better metaphor with each race being like pulling out another supportive block from the bottom.  Any way you look at it, I’m frail this year; one tiny mistake and everything comes toppling down.  That happened in Avilés when my back went out and boy did it cost me.  This time everything held up—consequently, Nationals were definitely easier and faster than Avilés even though it was at about 3,500 feet of altitude.  But I was also definitely racing well within my already compromised limits.

I’m going to write this race report a little differently because I don’t want to focus as much on the actual race as much as what I’ve learned from doing the race and what I’m doing about it.  Even though I’m not in ideal shape, I am excited and I have a plan.  Also towards the end, I’ll mention some of the longer term challenges that affected both this race and Avilés—as well as what I’ve learned from going through this darker period.  So let’s dig right in! Continue reading

Race Report: ITU Duathlon World Championship 2016 (Avilés, Spain)

This was the most improbable race!  A week ago, I said I couldn’t do it.  The night before the race, I said I couldn’t do it.  And, entering T2, I said that I certainly couldn’t do it.  Never in the 35+ years that I’ve been a competitive runner and cyclist– and in all the hundreds and hundreds of races that I’ve done– I have never faced so much doubt about my ability to do a race.  Yet somehow it came together.  It wasn’t pretty or gloriously fast, but it came together nonetheless.  This race report won’t talk about all the amazingly cool things about the race—it will focus mostly on my injuries and how a World Championship somehow came together despite it all. Continue reading

Periodization to Varied Training

In my last race report, I hinted that I would be elaborating on some of my recent training ideas.  This isn’t exactly a new idea for me– it’s just particularly acute for me this time of year.  Add to that a suggestion from a friend, a recent post by Joe Friel, and my desire to simplify my training routine and voilà, I have the foundation for a new training regimen.  I can’t quite say that this is the best training philosophy ever, but it is the one that will be guiding my training for 2016.  Read on if you would like to shake things up a bit as well. Continue reading