Confidence boost at Lake Geneva

A couple weeks ago I did the Beijing International Triathlon in China, and long story short it didn’t go very well. In fact it was the first race in the last couple years where at the end I wasn’t happy with any part of the race, and really just felt kind of down about the effort. It wasn’t that I hadn’t tried, or put the effort forward because that was definitely not the issue. Rather I just felt flat from the start to the finish, and the things that I do really well on a normal day, swim solidly, ride really hard, and race tough just weren’t there. It was the kind of race where at the end I was sitting around trying my best to remember that it was just one race, and that all the training I had done hadn’t been a waste. Even after 11 years of racing at the highest level, against the best in the world its easy to let doubts creep in. Should I have ridden more. Should I have done something different.

No. Absolutely not.

Now thats not to say you never need to change anything, and I certainly tweak things from time to time but on the whole I have a good strategy and training plan and they work, so you can’t panic and change things after one bad day. Thats all it was just a bad day.

Now that leads to this past weekend when I finished up the Escape Series in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Going in I felt good and knew that all the training I had done leading into Beijing was still in the tank. I wanted to go out and if nothing else just remind myself what I am capable of. As usual these days the race was full of young guys, that run really well so I knew that I was going to need a big swim/bike and a solid run to win the race. At the very least I was determined to stick to my guns and lay it all out on the bike and see where it put me.

Race morning I got in a good warm up and when we were lining up on the beach I was confident it was going to be a good day. When the horn sounded I got a decent run in, and was able to get out well and straight onto the feet of a young Canadian who was swimming well. I figured I would hitch a ride around the swim and if he started to falter I would swim around, but he maintained a good pace and I was content to sit in on his feet and bid my time.

Once we were on the beach I knew there was five of us together so I wanted to get quickly to the bikes. I had a good transition and was into the lead after the first corner. After that it was about one kilometer of flat before a 90 second hill which if you know me, know is my perfect set up. I hammered into the hill, and stayed on the gas all the way up and over and by the time I made the next turn I had a sizable gap. From there I tried to use the hilly terrain to the best of my ability and lay down some extra power when the opportunity presented. The beauty of a one loop course is that you can get away and try and play the out of sight out of mind game and hope people fall asleep. The downside is I never really know where anyone is, so I find myself constantly surging to try and keep myself from getting lulled to sleep.

When I got back to town and into T2 I thought I had a good dap but it wasn’t until I ran out and was about to make the first turn of the run that I saw Rudy and knew I had a couple minutes. Then it was time to just take care of business. The run was mostly uphill for the first mile and half and since it was an out and back I knew that meant I just needed to be strong through mile 4 and I could run downhill to the finish. I felt solid the whole run, and at the turn around was psyched to see my lead was holding. I tried to stay on the gas with some short surges to keep myself engaged and tried to enjoy the downhill to the finish.

Crossing the tape is always sweet and this one tasted just that extra bit better because it reminded me what I am capable of and that all the hard work I put in does pay off. We all go through it, the ups and downs of racing. Never get too up on the good days and never get too down on the down days. There is always the next day and you just have to keep working…

Now I have 8 weeks until my season finishes at one of my favorite races the Island House Invitational in the Bahamas. I am headed back to Iowa City for the 100th anniversary of Iowa Swimming and Diving next weekend, and then it will be head down till IH.

If you are curious about my nutrition plan for olympic distance races check it out here, or if you are looking for more info on my beautiful #BlackBetty Ventum One you can find it here.

On a side note my son turns 6 tomorrow… where had the time gone!!!


When the race changes – nutrition

I’ve had a couple people ask me what are some things I do that help when a race changes at the last minute. Whether it be a cancelled swim like at Alcatraz the morning of the race, or a race being changed to a duathlon last minute, there are a few easy things you can do to keep your nutrition on track.

I am a creature of habit, plan and simple. I use the same race plan for every race, and have for the better part of the last decade. Because of that I know exactly what my body needs to get to the start line in good shape and across the finish line in one piece. This also means that I am fairly susceptible to a change of schedule or a major delay because my whole plan is based around when the race was supposed to start.

Over the years the biggest things I have learned are to always be a boy scout; and by that I mean be prepared for anything. Make sure you have extra calories in your race bag to keep you from getting hungry and some extra fluid to keep you hydrated. Starting a race hangry is the worst! For me this means having an extra flask of First Endurance EFS, as well as a single serving pack of EFS Pro. This means I have at least 400 calories of gel and enough hydration to load up a water bottle to keep me topped up. I also try and have a granola bar or something in my bag just in case things take a really long time. The other thing I always try and do is come up with a bit of a plan the night before. Its a lot easier to take a few minutes the night before when you are packing your bag and think what extra stuff might be nice to have, than trying to bum a gel off some other athlete while your wait out the thunderstorm race morning.

Most importantly do what the Kiwi’s do and stay calm, and carry on. As far as I know freaking out, or bitching and moaning at the volunteers has never sped up a race start, and its a waste of your energy and time. Its all pretty simple and common sense, but if you have at least thought about it a little bit, it can make the uncontrollable a little less worrisome.

Second quarter racing thoughts

There are only so many ways to describe how an olympic distance race went down. Crazy stuff does happen but for the most part you go out and swim, bike, and run as fast as you can and see how the chips fall in the end. So I’m going to try something different for this race report and cover a bit of all four of the races I did over the past six weeks. I will try and hit on something from each race that I thought I did well, something that could have gone better, and something random. On the whole I was really happy with the block of races and coming away with two out of four wins, especially considering only the two races I won were actual triathlons.

Escape from Alcatraz – turned into bike and run in San Francisco….

  • The swim is definitely the most epic part of the race, and to lose that was shame but it was probably the only time in my career where I truly think the cancellation was due to a safety issue even the pro’s would not have handled well. So I was really happy with how I was able to be pissed for a minute and then get back on track and refocus on the bike/run TT that was still at hand. You can waste so much energy being mad at things out of your control, but in the end it really is just a waste.
  • If I’m being honest I don’t think I rode very well but I still was only about 30 seconds behind Ben starting the run. I could have definitely done a better job of going for broke early on in the run and trying to close down the gap to maybe catch and run with Ben. By letting him dangle out in front and reel him in slowly I suffered from some of the terrain issues, where he was going down when I was still going up, that just made the gap too big to close later on in the run.
  • Alcatraz is one of those truly special races that every avid triathlete needs to do at least once. Its absolutely epic across the board.

Escape Series Philly – Philly natives thought it was lucky we didn’t have to get in the Schuylkill

  • The swim was cancelled due to heavy rain up river that made the current too fast to swim in. So instead we got to do my least favorite race of all, a true duathlon. Run-bike-run. Just like Alcatraz two weeks earlier I took a minute to be pissed and then wrapped my head around the challenge at hand, which was to do a 2k/40k/4k against two of America’s best ITU athletes. I took out the first run hard, and ran with Ben, only giving up a little ground to Jason. Then I rode as hard as I could and again ran well only giving up a little ground to those two fleet footed guys. I ended up third but I was really happy with how I ran both times, and how I battled the whole day.
  • I wish I had played my tactical cards better on the second run. I haven’t been in many foot races with guys near the end of a race so I wasn’t sure how to play it tactically. I decided to try and break Ben with about 500m to go, but in the end broke myself and watched him creep away at the end. Next time I’ll let it go to a sprint.
  • Philly is an awesome city. I haven’t spent much time there but Natalie came with me, and we met up with one of her friends after the race and got a walking tour of the city that was a lot of fun.  Cool historical things to see, good food and beer, and the people were pretty friendly; considering its the east coast.

Boulder Peak – a classic reborn

  • Going into this race I really wanted to win. I mean I always want to win, but this race was the first time that both my kids were going to be waiting at the finish line for me, and I really wanted to bring home a victory for them. I was stoked that we actually got to swim and was really happy with my effort both in the water and over the first half of the bike course. Its a doozy of a bike ride with a false flat uphill leaving the reservoir all the way to Old Stage and then up the monster climb before the rolling parts of the course. I knew my strength was going to be swim hard and them hammer up to the top of the hill, and I was pleased to hear I had almost a two minute lead by the top. I didn’t run especially well but I executed my plan and it was enough for the win.
  • I definitely could have run better. I might have had to ride a little easier to do it, but I really faded over the last of the 3 laps and wish I could have held it together a bit better.
  • It was was great to be able to race at home for the first time in five years, and to race in front of family and friends. It was also great to see Without Limits and my old friend Lance bring back this classic race in all its glory. I think the rebirth of this race will spur a renewed vibrance in the Boulder triathlon community.

New York City Triathlon – Lifetime’s last stand

  • I always have mixed feelings about this race because the swim is down river in a fast current and it is followed by a 700m run into T1. Neither of those things really suit my skills but I seem to do ok with it and I was pleased to have a solid swim, and hold most of my lead into T1. Then I rode my a$$ off! I mean I really rode hard. I train with Jason West every day and know exactly how fast that young gun can run, so I knew I needed a big gap going into the hard run in Central Park. When I saw at the final turnaround that I had more than 90 seconds I was happy, and in the end I was really happy to see that I ran a solid 33 low for a hard 10k.
  • It was definitely not a perfect race, I don’t think there ever is as you can always do something better. That said I was really happy with all three legs, and the transitions and feel like I made the most of all of it to capture the win. I could have swum harder, although it may have meant less power on the bike, and I could have run harder over the first 5k, but it may have bit me over the back half. It wasn’t perfect, but for being the fourth race in six weeks it was a really good all around effort.
  • Racing in NYC is cool. I’m not a huge fan of big cities, but when you get to ride down a completely closed highway, and then run through the biggest city in the States and finish inside its most famous park, it makes for a pretty epic morning!

I am really happy with this four race block, and it sets me up well for the next part of the season. Being able to race a lot is my favorite part of short course racing and being able to race in cool cities like San Francisco and NYC, as well as at home in Boulder is one of the best parts of this job. Now I have a week off for a mid season break, and then its back on the grind for the next six weeks to get ready for Beijing International, and a couple of the Escape Series races in Lake Geneva and NOLA.

One of the most common questions I always get at races is what nutrition do you use. Check out my complete answer at First Endurance

The other common one is about #blackbetty my murdered out Ventum One. She is a beast, and by far the fastest bike I have ever ridden. If you are interested in checking into one and all the great options they offer, like a trade in program for your current bike and a financing program check it all out at Ventum

Let me know if you liked the format or prefer the more standard story version. Thanks!

St Anthony’s 2017


photo Joe Mestas

Another spring has come, and with it my annual trip down to St Pete, FL for the one and only St Anthony’s triathlon. For me St A’s usually marks the beginning of the non drafting schedule and a chance to truly see how the winter training went and what I need to work on to get ready for the meat of the season. It also doubles as my favorite place to travel to during the year because of the amazing people that both run the race, and make up the triathlon community in the area. I have made many friends and countless acquaintances in my 9 years of doing the race and look forward every year to seeing them all and making new ones. The Mad Dog tri team is easily the most impressive triathlon team in the country, not only for the fact that they have 3,000 some members but also that every year for this race they offer home stays and airport transfers to every pro on the start list. Their triathlon community and sense of camaraderie are exactly what is so great about our sport, and why people continue to embrace the healthy active lifestyle that triathlon helps promote. I digress, but I want to really give a shout out to them and thank them for all the years of amazing trips to this outstanding race. If you haven’t been to St A’s, get it on the list!

Anyway, 2017 was another chance to race the best, and this year was chalk full of young, fast talent. It was the first race of the year, but also the first time I have sat through a pro meeting and realized I WAS the old guy in the room. There are so many up and coming youngsters that have the speed and drive to be successful at this sport, and while it gives me great motivation to stay on top of my game, it makes me think that the sport is in good hands going forward.

As with many years at St A’s the weather played a part in the race by shortening the swim and adding a few extra runs. Although I never like to see the distances changed, it is definitely better to have a back up plan like Susan and her team did as opposed to canceling the swim all together. They changed the swim to a 900m swim, with a 600m or so run into T1. Definitely not the news I was hoping for as I was looking forward to a rough swim but its the same for everyone so you just make the most of it. I got a good start and was able to run my way in to the water and get to the can in first. From there I tried to stay on the gas and split up the field as much as possible but when you are the leader into the chop you have to be smart about your energy expenditure since everyone behind you gets a free ride. I felt strong the whole swim and was able to get out of the water in the lead and did my best to run hard but smart over the 600 or so meters to T1. I got made it to the bikes first but with a group, and after a slow transition found myself just behind Eric coming to the mount line.

After a good flying mount and getting into the shoes quickly I powered over the cobbles and laid the hammer down. This race has two out and backs, and they are really the only place where you get a good look at the time gaps. This means if you are chasing you can see your deficit but if you are leading you can also see the gap. My goal is always to try and make that gap at the first u-turn as large as possible and this year with the second half of the out and back being not a head wind I was really hoping to hurt some people. I was feeling strong on the ride, but by the last u-turn I could see that the gap was growing but not what I was looking for. Getting to see Jason West run everyday in training I know exactly what kind of a 10k he can have, and with that in mind I really tried to hammer the final 5k and get into T2 with a larger gap.

As it turned out I had about 1:40 to Eric and about 2:30 to Jason, which sounds pretty good unless you have seen these guys run. With that in mind I tried to get out hard and nail the first 5k but also staying within myself so that even after a hard ride I would be able to stay on the gas over the second half of the bike when the boys would be closing in. At this point in my career I have been the hunted enough to know the combination of fear and motivation that come from it. I have learned to harness it and try and use it to my advantage knowing that the gap only needs to be a hair to win the race. Once I rounded the last turn with about 1k to go I knew I had 30 or so seconds so the pressure was on them. I tried to focus on my stride, keep my legs ticking over and just do what I had been doing. I have never had the fastest run split at any race, and I may retire at some point with that still being the case. But contrary to popular belief sometimes, its not how well you run, but how well you did all 3 that determines the winner and once again at St A’s I was able to have the best overall race and come aways with the victory.

Good for 3                                                              photo Joe Mestas

That makes it three in a row, and four total wins at St Anthony’s. I heard the announcer say that was the most by a male athlete, which is a great accomplishment considering who has done that race over the 37 or so years in its history. Its one of my favorites, and it will probably always be where I am on the last week in April. Now I have about 5 weeks to build off this win and figure out how to finally take the W at Escape from Alcatraz!

If you are curious what my nutrition plan is for an olympic distance race check it out here .

facebookIf you want to see how I rode the 40k in under 53 again this year check it out here .

Island House Triathlon 2016


Its funny how as endurance athletes often times the amount of pain we inflict on ourselves is directly related to how much fun we have. Now I don’t mean that is some sadistic weird way, although one would argue maybe Ironman is a bit of that, but I just mean we love to push ourselves to the limits, and when we can do it in a new and different way, its all the better. That is basically Island House in a nut shell.

Three days of super fast, short racing, against both the clock and the other competitors to determine an overall winner. I can easily say that after going down there for my second trip this year that it is the most unique and enjoyable racing experience I have ever had. Nothing brings out the competitive fire like toeing the line with the absolute best of the best from the ITU, Ironman, and everything in between.

The first day was individual time trials in the swim, bike and run. All the legs were sprint distance so 750m, 20k, 5k, and we’re done with roughly an hour in between. I had a solid swim that put me in 4th place. Smashed out a decent big leg that moved me to 2nd. Then followed that up with a very pedestrian run that left me in 6th place after the first day.


photo credit Jay Prasuhn

The second day was the enduro stage, that is made up of 750m swim, 5k run, 40k bike, 750m swim, 5k run. It is exactly as hard as it sounds. The first swim went well, as I was able to stay with the ITU guys and get out of the water in the front group. Knowing they can run like the wind I paced myself and kept them in sight but didn’t blow myself up trying to run above my ceiling. By the end of the run I had been caught by the class of the 70.3 gentleman, but was able to slot in and run conservatively with them. I made the decision to stay at the front of the group as we headed to mount the bikes knowing that once aboard my Ventum I was going to be full gas to try and catch back up to Richard and the like who were a bit up the road. I rode hard, and was able to overtake everyone and gain the lead as the beginning of the last lap of the bike and come into the next swim leg in the lead. However, once in the water I was dealing with some cramps and basically just arm muscled my way through, and unfortunately give Mr Murray a free tow around the buoys. Once back on land the pain started as immediately my hamstrings started to lock up. Really the only bright spot was that Richard was complain of the same issue as we headed out in sort of a run/hobble. Once I got moving things loosened up and I was able to find my stride and finish the stage with a decent lead on 3rd and in a comfortable 2nd.  The big thing was that I had made the top 10, and would be shortly loading a sea plane to head out to Highborne Cay to get ready for the final stage of the race the next day.



The final stage of the race is a sprint distance triathlon, done in the regular order, and the send offs are in the order of your cumulative time. So that meant that after days one and two I was 1:06 down on Richard and would thus start the race that bit behind him. Aaron Royale was only another 45 sec back of me so it was going to be full gas till you finished. This was the first guy across the line would be the winner, with the fastest  three day time.

photo credit Nils Nilsen

photo credit Nils Nilsson

By the end of the swim I had made up about 20 seconds, and was rearing to get on the bike. As always that was going to be my chance to catch Richard, and I knew that I needed to do it as soon as I could and hopefully be able to get a lead heading into the run. I did catch him after two of the three laps, but by the end of the bike was only able to gain about 30 seconds leading into the 5k. If you had asked me before the race I would have said that I needed at least one minute on Richard to have a chance, and it turned out to be correct as I finished about 30 seconds behind him on the day and in the overall classification. The silver lining to my 2nd place was that I had once again had the fastest time on the stage. Last year I out split overall winner Javier Gomez, and this year out split the winner Richard Murray. Those two are some of the best in the ITU world, so getting the better of them in a sprint was a nice pat on the back.

photo Talbot Cox

photo Talbot Cox

Overall the trip to the Bahamas is an amazing experience both for the race and the sights. Another cool thing we did this year was visit a local school and with the help of The Island House, and Do More than Sport, we were able to donate 50 bikes, and teach some of the young ones how to ride. It was really cool to see the faces light up as some of the kids rode a bike for the first time.

photo Talbot Cox

photo Talbot Cox

Lastly it was a great way to end the season as my wife was able to come along for the ride, and we were able to stay a couple extra days and relax and celebrate another good season.

I have no doubt next year will bring new experiences and races, and I can’t wait to see what it holds.


I was able to stay fueled for such a grueling race with First Endurance products as usual, and my bike was my biggest weapon aboard my Ventum One.

As always none of this would be possible without all the help from my friends and family and my amazing sponsors. I will try and put up a post soon going into detail about what things made a big difference for me this year.

For now though I need a beer!

Beijing International Triathlon

photo: Rocky Arroyo

This past week was an exciting one for me as it was full of life first’s, and great racing. Last Tuesday I caught an early morning flight to begin my trip from Denver to Beijing. Best part of that flight was that it was my first trip on the other side of the velvet rope up in business class. Now for the flight from Denver to Toronto, it was cool but it was just a way to get some grub on the flight. However, from Toronto to Beijing it was life changing having my own lay flat chair, in my own pod, with as much food and drink as I wanted. Life goal, check!

Once in Beijing I had a few days to get acclimated to the time zone, which I would say I did semi well, and a chance to see some of the sights in between workouts. My group got to go check out the Summer Palace, where the Emperor used to spend his summers, and I gotta hand it to the guy, he set up a pretty killer pad. IMG did a fantastic job of taking care of everything for the athletes, form all of our meals and rides, to making sure we had everything we needed.

The Chinese people seem to really be getting into the sport of triathlon as the Beijing International race has grown from about 500 people in 2011, to now an 1800 person field. They love to race and they are super enthusiastic fans. We did an autograph signing at the host hotel one afternoon with all the athletes and the line never cleared, we just eventually got whisked away from the table to get to dinner. Now as much as I would love to think it was all of us that drew the crowd, having Alistair Brownlee at the end of the line certainly helped.

Race morning came, and I gotta say it was probably the first time in my career that I woke up before my alarm and wasn’t in the least bit annoyed. The silver lining to jet lag I suppose. After a standard breakfast I was just about to head out the door when I finally decided to pull the blinds and check the weather. Luckily I did as I was greeted by cooler temperatures and rain and had to grab what little cool weather gear I brought on my way out.


I got in a good warm up, and after riding part of the course decided I definitely needed to let some air out of the tires. The beginning part of the course is on a wide open free way, which is great but the few u-turns have a ton of white paint and the worst way to start a bike leg is by kissing the pavement. After getting transition set up I got to check out the worlds longest red carpet; the 700m run up from the water. I was thinking that it was going to be a hard run, and unfortunately when you have this many ITU guys in the race every run is break neck.

I got in a good swim warm up and after introductions was standing on the pontoon in between Joe Maloy, and Brownlee. Not a bad place to be if you can get a quick swim start, so at the gun I tried to harness some of my former 1:38 200 free speed and get on some feet. I tucked in behind the fish, also known as Josh Amberger and Brownlee and did what I had to to stay there.

After a blazing 1500m tour of the lake it was onto that red carpet for a little jog. By jog I mean flat out sprint in bare feet for 700m doing everything in my power to stay in contact with Joe and Alistair. To be honest I was actually really pleased when I hit my rack only a few seconds back, and after the first 500m I was in my shoes and on the gas. Obviously for me the strategy of drilling the bike is always the same, but when there are multiple guys in the field that can run sub 30:30, it becomes even more paramount. By the first u-turn on the free way I had gotten everything stretched out, and by the second, it was just me and Alistair. Which at the time I thought was a good start, but after 56 minutes and change it was still just Alistair and I, and although pleased with my ride, I knew that meant I was going to need a miracle to come away with the W.

Now don’t get me wrong, I actually have a fair bit of confidence in my run, but when you leave T2 stride for stride with the reigning two time Olympic gold medalist, a bit of reality is a good thing. It meant that when I was down 10 seconds after 1K I didn’t even panic, and when it was 45 by 3k I was actually really pleased that I could still see him. I felt like I was running well, and I always like running stairs so I was looking forward to the 700 or so that occupy the middle part of the course.

I felt like I handled the stairs well, and went up and down about as fast as anyone in the race, similar to Alcatraz in June. However, just like Alcatraz this run finishes with a mostly flat 3k, and just like Alcatraz Joe was hot on my tail. I made it to about 8.5K before he finally caught me and then he broke me going up a final set of switchbacks to the finish chute. I stayed on the podium at one of the fastest non draft races I have ever heard of, and frankly was pretty pleased with the effort. It was one of those races looking back, that I really can’t find a place where I could have found 20 more seconds to beat Joe. In the end Alistair only beat me by about 1:20, which I think is about half of what most people would have guessed if I told them we would start the run together so I will take that.


As I said earlier, IMG did a fantastic job of taking care of us while we were over there, and they finished that off by taking a few of us to the Great Wall of China before we headed to the airport. It was absolutely amazing, and no doubt one of the coolest things I will see in my life. The size and scope are mind blowing, and the attention to detail of something that is that many centuries old is incredible.


Back to work this week getting things in high gear for the last race of the season at The Island House Triathlon.

As always thank you to all my amazing sponsors and supporters!


Rev3 Pocono’s

Rev 3 Poconos poduim

This past weekend was Rev3 Pocono’s. I was happy to be doing another olympic distance race, as well as hit the start line again with good trainer buddy Joe Gambles. We duked it out at St George earlier in the year and with 70.3 being his specialty it was no wonder that I got my clock pretty well cleaned in the end. This was my chance at a bit of redemption with him having to drop down to the short course distance.

Race morning came with great weather, and a nice, later than usual 8am start for the pro’s. Considering my last race in NYC started at 5:45am I was pretty excited to not be up quite so early. After a standard oatmeal and EFS breakfast Joe and I headed down to the race. This was the first short course race I have done in a long time that was using two transitions, but after the craziness of St George earlier in the year I was just glad the two t’s were only 3 miles apart.

After a quick run warm up, and setting up the shoes in T2 it was on to the school bus to head down to the swim start. We were swimming in the Delaware River, so the swim was going to be some upstream, and some downstream. Usually people think that favors the weaker swimmers because of the downstream, but in my experience it is actually the opposite. The better swimmers are able to really put in some work on the upstream portion and stretch out the field and then once you head downstream, very rarely is the current so fast that you can’t continue to pull from the fatigued weaker swimmers.

At least that was my thinking when I tore off the line at the horn and headed toward the first can. About halfway to the first turn, I was psyched to see John Kenny come up along side and was more than happy to let him to the pulling as we continued to fight the current a bit. Once we made the first turn I could see things were stretched out and things were going to plan. As we made out way around downstream and around the final turn, I felt like we had put in a solid swim, but I hadn’t crushed myself and was ready to try and pounce on the 400m or so run into transition. Having a nice grassy field to run through was a great change from the long paved runs I have recently done at Alcatraz and NYC, and I was able to stretch the lead a bit before I even touched my bike.

A good transition got me out on the road in the lead and I did what I do best and started to hammer. I have found in racing that one of my biggest advantages over the other pro’s is what I can do in the first 5 miles of a 40k bike, so as per usual I tried my best to really put the boys in the box. The course in Pocono’s was a challenging, hilly adventure, and I did my best to stay smooth up and over the hills and really be as aero as possible on the downhills and flat sections. Everyone knows the Ventum is wicked fast on a flat course, but I think this year has opened some eyes as to how well the bike can get up the steepest of climbs, and handle any technical course.

This bike leg was a series of out and backs, and that gives you a good idea of where the other guys are. At the first turnaround I was stoked, and a little surprised that I was already almost 2 mins up on Joe, but knowing how much he pulled me back on the bike earlier in the year, that was just more fuel to the fire to keep mashing the pedals. I was feeling good on the bike and at the last turn around had added to my lead. Its always hard to tell what the gaps are exactly but I was confident it was close to 3 minutes, and considering both Joe and I had thought the magic number for him was 90 seconds I knew I was in a good place.

The bike course was tough, but compared to the run it was a stroll in the park. This run course started with an undulating mile on pavement and then transitions to 4 miles of out and back, hilly, dirt and gravel. I love these types of courses because they slow down the true speedsters and give some of the power runners like myself a chance. I spent the run focusing on my form and the footing and had about as much fun as you can have while destroying yourself over a 10k.

It was great to win another Rev3 race, as I think these guys really do put on fantastic events. It was also nice to even the score with my boy Joe. He’s already talking about the next time we race a 70.3 and I’m thinking we should just take it down to a sprint!

Now I have a solid 4 week block of training at home before I head off to China for my first crack at the Beijing International Triathlon. I am really excited to not only be heading to China for the first time, but toeing the line against some of  the worlds best in this high profile international race.

If you are curious how I fuel for my races check it out at: First Endurance

If you want more info on the fastest triathlon bike in the world, hit up: Ventum

Victory in the Big Apple


This past weekend was the third time that I had raced in the New York City Triathlon. The first time ended in a flat tire a mile or so into the bike. Last year was an epic wire to wire battle with Ben Collins, of which I ended up on the short end. This year had all the makings of a great rematch from last years battle with both Ben and I coming into the race more or less healthy and coming off a few early season victories.

During the pre race interviews with the TV crew that filmed the race, Ben and I both said that we expected much the same as last year. Obviously I was hoping to get on the right end of the equation but was excited for the chance at another great race battle. Going into the race I felt good, having put in some really good weeks of training after Alcatraz. I knew that I was swimming well and riding strong and that the run would probably come down to who had done the best with hydration on the bike, and who was the tougher one on the hills in Central Park.

The night before the race I was pounding my First Endurace EFS PRO to try and get as hydrated as possible before the race. The organizers had already shortened the run for the age groupers in response to the heat warning that had been issued. So along with my standard hawaiian pizza dinner, you know for the salt, I relaxed in the hotel and tried to get to bed as early as possible. Since the race starts at 5:50am I usually wake up about 3:15am. Seeing as I live in the mountain time zone that is like waking up at 1:15am to get ready to race. Its definitely not one of the highlights of the race, but there is something cool about riding through a major city in the dark on the way to the race.

After a solid warm up I felt ready to go. The other interesting part of this race is that they do a men vs women competition as well sending off the women a set time ahead, and the first person across the line gets a bonus. This year the equalizer was 11:34, which is an eternity when you are standing on the pontoon watching the women almost exiting the water before we get to start.

Once the gun went off I hit the front and tried to stay as far to the center of the river as the kayak’s would let me. The mighty Hudson is always ripping at a pretty good clip that time of the morning but the farther out you can get the more water you have pushing you along. After negotiating the 1500m swim in a solid 12:01 I hit the bike path for the 800 or so meter run to transition. I had seen that I created a little space to Ben in the water and wanted to make sure I kept that gap before mounting the bike. Unfortunately I got a bit tangled taking off my Blue Seventy PZ4TX, but luckily the thing is so fast in the water I still made it out just ahead of Ben to the mount line.


Once aboard my Ventum One, it was full gas. I guess I always say that, and its hard to say whether you are really going as fast as possible knowing the distances you still have to cover but it always feels like my heart is in my mouth that first 5k or so on the bike. In NYC the bike course is a hilly out and back with two U-turns. That is really the only place where you can see how everyone is looking and what the gaps are. As I approached the first turnaround I knew Helle and Sarah had still got a comfortable lead, but as I went around the turn I could see that I had some significant daylight between myself and Ben. Instantly you get that little shot of adrenaline and I hammered for the next 5 or so minutes to try and make that gap grow, which shrinking the girls lead.

At the second turnaround I was still more than 3 minutes back of the ladies, but I also had put almost 3 minutes into Ben. I did my best to stay smooth the last little bit and have a fast transition. After a quick T2, I was headed away from the river and over toward Central Park. I felt like I had done a good job with my hydration on the bike but could still feel some tightness in my quads and I headed down the street. When I got to Central Park I heard that the gap to the girls was right about 3 minutes, which with only 5 miles to go was going to be a very big ask. I tried to really keep the pressure on, but after having blown myself up on the hills in the park last year I tried to be a little bit more calculated with my efforts.

As I hit the final mile I girls were still just ghosts up the road, and I knew that Ben hadn’t made up much ground. Breaking the tape is always an amazing sensation, and honestly the more races I win, the more I want to win races. But it is a little odd to break that tape and then realize you are the third person to have finished the race. Helle and Sarah had pushed each other to the limit, and with that kind of battle you can always go a little bit faster than when you are by yourself like I was. It was a bummer to not have been able to make that part of the race closer but I was ecstatic to finally have put together a good race in Central Park.

That whole quote about if you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere may not really apply to triathlon, but its a nice thought!

If you want to learn more about how I fuel my nutrition for olympic distance races check out: First Endurance

For info on the rest of my sponsors check out my sponsor page: The Best Stuff

Now I am getting ready for Rev3 Pocono’s in a week and then I will have a month till one of my A races for the year at Beijing International.

Happy Training!

Escape from Alcatraz


This past weekend was the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. One of the most epic races in the world, and one that for sure should be on every triathlete’s bucket list. What makes the race so amazing course. You begin the race by diving off of a boat and swimming to shore. No buoys, no turns, just get to shore. Then after a long 800 or so meter run to T1 you jump on your bike and rip up and down the hills of the North Beach area in San Francisco, take a roll through, Golden Gate Park, and then double back, again ripping up and down the hills. Then to top it all off you take a nice 8 mile run along the paths, stairs, beach, and sand ladder that occupy the area around Marina Green and the Golden Gate Bridge. Its epic, and thats before you even start to consider the possible weather conditions.

This year the weather was for the most part really nice. Its not often that you wake up to a clear sky in San Fran, and then a sunny morning ride out to Alcatraz on the Hornblower. The only issue was the wind that was whipping up some solid chop in the Bay.

Going into the race I was really excited to be jumping ship with not only the normal suspects in Potts, and Amberger, but also a new crop of young ITU studs that have been doing the USA proud chasing the Olympics this year. Knowing the Ben Kanute, Tommy Zaferes, Eric Lagerstrom, and Joe Maloy were in the field meant one thing, and that was that the race was going to be as competitive as ever, but that the swim was going to be bananas! I think often times I get more credit that I deserve when it comes to swimming because I can lead out a swim at a 70.3. I hate to break it to you but that isn’t as impressive as it might look. Don’t get me wrong, I am a good swimmer and I take full advantage of that fact when I race, but these ITU front pack guys are next level! Luckily for me this is a wetsuit swim, and it is choppy so it is harder for those guys to get up to full speed. I told my wife before the race, I HAD to stay on the feet of those boys in the water or it would be game over before I even got on a bike.

Happily, I had a good start, got in the right position and then held on for dear life as Tommy quickly took control and navigated our way to shore. I was more than happy to blindly follow as I was choking down Bay water, and trying to not get sea sick. If Andy Potts is telling you this was rough water, its for real rough water. Anyway, once we made land, I was in the right group and continued to follow the boys on our 800m run to T1. I tried to stay as relaxed as I could while sprinting with my hair on fire down the street barfoot, but once we got to the racks I made quick work on my super warm Blue Seventy Thermal Helix, and was actually the first one over the mount line. GAME ON!

The next part of the plan I told my wife was to simply ride my bike as fast as I could ride it. Not think about the run, or the daunting sand ladder, but to simply try and put as much time as I could between me and a couple guys you can run damn near sub 30 for a 10k off the bike. I felt good as we heading up the first climb and from there just tried to keep the hammer down. I was doing my best to power up and over the climbs, and then not give away too much on the descents. I know Lagerstrom and some of the boys descend like Evel Knievel, and to put it nicely, I do not, so it was a matter of doing the best I could to get away. The best part about an up and down out and back course is the idea of out of sight, out of mind, and I tried to make the most of that.

The downside of them not seeing me, is that I can’t see them either so when I came into T2 I knew I had ridden well, but didn’t know the actual gaps. That leads to a full gas first couple of km’s to try and keep the pressure on the chasers as well as get my mind right for the stairs and hills ahead.

Aside from some sea water indigestion I was actually feeling pretty good and really tried to keep the pace steady and strong over the ever changing terrain. I do hills much better than flats so I tried to use that strength to my advantage. When I got to the far part of the course I saw that I was holding my own on Ben who was in second, but it was Mr Maloy charging in third that was concerning. I stayed calm, powered up the sand ladder, and tried to make a push once back on the flats at mile six. The thinking was, hopefully he did too much too early, and if I can put in a surge now, he will fade. WRONG. Dude just kept coming and as I did my best to run faster and faster, the people on the course were telling me shorter and shorter distances to my pursuer.

As I hit mile seven, which is basically where swim exit is, I saw Joe make the pass and immediately jumped on his feet. Unfortunately for me, that only lasted about 10 sec and then it was a slow moving train just pulling out of the station leaving me behind. I kept pushing but just couldn’t increase my speed to match his and ended up 11 seconds on the wrong side of the line. I was really happy with my race, as I had executed my plan to a T, but on the day Joe was simply better. Its tough to lead the majority of a race, except for the only mile that really counts, but sometimes thats what happens when you try and win from the front.

Alcatraz was as epic as ever, and the boys put on a killer race. I am already excited to get back next year and battle the course, the guys, and the weather!


After the race my beautiful wife and I actually went and took the tour at Alcatraz and enjoyed the city.

Now its a mid season break to recharge, and then getting ready for the second half of the season that will start off in NYC next month!


Silverman 70.3



Podium for Silverman 70.3

Silverman 70.3 this past weekend was my latest attempt at a long course race. So far this year I had gotten good results winning Challenge Knoxville, as well as podium at the very competitive Timber 70.3. Going into the weekend I was confident that I had more or less sorted out the nutrition required for the distance as well as confident in my recent training. The Silverman course is a tough one with over 4,200 ft of climbing on the bike and a very hard run that includes another 500 ft of elevation. All those things together, along with my first opportunity to race two time World Champion Michael Raelert, made me really excited for the race.

Leading into the weekend the weather in Vegas had been very hot but as we woke up Sunday morning the weather had cooled off dramatically and the wind had picked up. Those are two things that have lead to success for me many times in races before, and as we headed down to the swim start I was feeling good about the day.

Right before the swim start the wind picked up considerably, which on a giant lake puts the washing machine effect into play, with lots of up and down and a very slow swim. I would have much preferred a glassy fast swim, but as it was when the canon went off I tried to go straight to the front and set a good pace. The issue with the chop is that it makes surging and getting away very energy consuming, so after getting to the lead right before the first turn I decided I would simply hold the pace and make it around with as little energy expended as possible. Unfortunately with a slow, hard swim such as this my effort was enough to string the group out but not break it up much so a large group of us came out together.

As per usual I jumped on the bike and hit the gas. Coach and I had sorted out a specific strategy for the ride and right out of T1 I went to implement that. As I slowly rode away from the other good swimmers I felt good and well in control. The wind was definitely an issue, both from an effort and a handling perspective, and knowing what kind of climbing lay ahead I figured it would eventually have an effect. As I got to the 10 mile mark I was joined at the front by Michi, which knowing the class of athlete he is wasn’t surprising, but did make me focus on maintaining the watts I had set out in my plan. As we found out post race, when Michi was disqualified for an unprecedented 3 drafting penalties, his plan I guess had been to bridge up to me, and then sit in. As we made our way through the course I was feeling solid but fatigue was becoming an issue as I was having to really fight the wind at times, and the elevation gain had begun to take its toll. Over the last 10 miles of the ride there was a long section with a tail wind and I tried to use that reprieve to shake out my legs and get ready for the final climb, but even with the break I really struggled up the last climb. At the point that I had hoped to be taking time out of my opponents I was seemingly giving some of it back. As I neared T2 I felt tired and was cramping up some in my quads, but knew that the challenging run was coming I tried to focus my mental energy on finishing my First Endurance EFS Pro, and making sure that I was as hydrated as possible to start the run.

At the beginning of the run, I was struggling to find a rhythm, so I just focused on my form and the first time up the late hill was very cautious. Knowing what lay ahead I knew I was better off being smart early to avoid the massive blow up at the end. As I came down the hill the first time I could see that Reid and Beals were both taking large chunks of time out of my lead. I tried to focus on my race plan and stay committed to being smart instead of panicking and picking up the pace dramatically. As I reached the mid point of the run I actually came into a good patch and started to feel lighter on my feet, but by the end of the second lap, that awesome feeling had faded and I was back to focusing on the basics to get through the end. Reid passed we near the beginning of the final lap and then Beals as we started up the hill the third time. Getting passed is never easy, especially when you had a large lead to start, but when I wasn’t able to respond at all to their passes I decided I needed to be smart and make sure I held on to 3rd place. As I came down the hill the last time I was cooked, and this was definitely the biggest challenge at he 70.3 distance to date for me.

Looking back on the race I think there were some things I did well and some things I could have done better, but overall I nailed my nutrition again and gained some more experience heading into my final race of the season at Miami 70.3 on October 26th.

Here is a link to an interview about the race I did for if you wanna know more.