Yesterday, my cat Rudy passed away from congestive heart failure (CHF). During the ten months that we struggled with his condition, I’ve been virtually silent on The Athletic Time Machine. Every extra bit of my emotional energy that I could have spent on this site during this time was spent instead on Rudy’s care. While CHF is a terrible degenerative disease that most of us never think about, I’ve learned far too much about it in cats. In fact, I’ve started a blog for other pet owners who facing CHF. I wouldn’t wish CHF on anyone– or their pets. And while I’m posting there, I also hope to be posting a lot more content here as well.
Ask any elite triathlete or runner about some of their most effective workouts and it’s highly likely that so-called “over-under” workouts will come up fairly quickly because they are devastatingly effective. I’ve always performed miserably at these workouts but I’ve recently found a new way to hit them pretty precisely. This post shares what I learned. Continue reading
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
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
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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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
This 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