The Gold Guys Present: Training Tuesday, Taper Edition!

This is the second installment of The Gold Guys new feature ‘Training Tuesday’. It is race week for Ironman Chattanooga. I am in the midst of tapering and also sorting out all my race details before starting the road trip Wednesday. Since I’ve had such a sparse summer due to my heel bruise I haven’t even broken in my new Gear West Bike tri suit. To make sure it is race ready I committed a Cardinal sin and did a ride in it. Riding twenty minutes around Minneapolis in a tri suit makes you feel silly. Thankfully the suit is fine and no one gave me a hard time. The shop went with a Castelli suit and it looks sharp, plus the black, red and white happens to match my PRsix. Not a bad coincidence. I think that is called sponsor synergy.

Taper Tuesday:

-Wake up, banana, cup of Peace Coffee Birchwood Blend

-Easy aerobic run with Thea. Very comfortable, felt great. 7.3 miles.

-Breakfast, another cup of coffee

-Quick swim at the YWCA. 10 minutes straight freestyle and about 8 minutes backstroke. Maybe 1000-1200 yards. Didn’t count.

-Massage!

-Lunch, more coffee

-Quick ride in new GW tri suit. Maybe 20 minutes and 5ish miles. As with swim, no measure of time or distance.

That’s it! Since my buildup for Ironman Chattanooga wasn’t particularly long I’m only really ‘tapering’ this week and trained fairly normal through the end of last week.

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Training Tuesday & Chattanooga Goals

The Gold Guys asked me to introduce a new feature explaining my training on Tuesdays. Why Tuesdays? I tend to get a reasonable amount done on Tuesdays, especially during Ironman preparation. Also The Gold Guys and I all love alliteration, obviously. So here is the first installment of Training Tuesday:

-Wake up. Coffee, breakfast. Usually I just have coffee and a banana and ride to masters then have breakfast after swimming but I wanted to come closer to a normal Ironman day this time.

-Drive to Hopkins Masters.

-Masters: mostly easy swimming. Workout was 100s and 50s so I ignored it and mostly swam continuous and not particularly hard. Also it was a sparse lanemate day in lane 5 so there wasn’t much motivation to do the set or go fast. 3000 ish total, some regular swim lots pull+paddles. I love pull+paddles very much and do not apologize.

-Long ride from Hopkins. So much nicer to start from there. Saves me 13 miles of stop and go riding out of town. It felt odd to jump right into continuous steady riding in aero since it usually takes so long to get out of town. Stopped at Gear West Bike to pick up a few gels and also some tubes with long valves. Steady all day, very nice route and mostly windy out but then a tailwind after mile 60. Calamity struck all at once with 15ish miles to go. I bonked, my taint reached an alarming level of fatigue, and my front derailleur stopped working while I was in the little ring. These three things put together made riding very awkward. Overall it was a great ride. The PRsix has been stellar. I’ve been strong, comfortable and more importantly FAST every ride. Ride was 5:24 and 108 miles.

Ironman Chattanooga Goals

-Swim: nothing too specific. Want to swim with lead or chase group depending on if there are normal swimmers or super swimmers. Time is up in the air since we’re going downstream, could be very fast. Louisville last year was partially into the current then with the current (whereas Chattanooga is all with the current) and there I was with the lead group and went 48:59. My first IM swim at AZ in 2010 was 51 with the main chase group (with Chrissie Wellington, Chris Lieto, Timo Bracht etc). IM Florida in 2011 I went slow and mostly solo in 54 but I was in lousy swim shape.

-Bike: I just want to ride steady. IM AZ 2010 bonked on the bike (4:40). IM FL 2011 bonked on the bike, worse (4:35). IM Lou 2013 I really blew myself up (4:45). So I just want to not be such a dummy and ride steady. I think the course is relatively moderate though Ironman has stated it is 4 extra miles. I figure I might ride anywhere from 4:30 to 4:50 depending on how the course actually turns out.

-Run: Here’s a shocker, I want to run steady. AZ 2010 I ran 3:28 or so and started around 7 minute pace for lap 1, slid to 8 min pace for lap 2 and dropped to 9ish min pace for the last lap. Florida I took it out through 10 miles in 70 minutes, finished the first half in 1:33ish but slowed for a long stretch before rallying, overall my fastest at 3:18. Louisville I took out the first 8 miles in low 7s but then imploded finishing in 3:35. The time off running this summer and the slow comeback were not great but recently my running has been good again. So we’ll see. The next big goalpost for my IM running is 3:10.

I’ve started to identify myself more and more as an Ironman pro but I haven’t actually been smart during an Ironman yet. At Chattanooga I’m aiming for the seemingly modest, yet surprisingly tricky, goal of being smart and sensible.

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13 Things You HAVE To See

1. Who has time to write in paragraphs anymore? You certainly don’t have time to read them.

2. Ironman Wisconsin weekend was great. The athletes lucked out with nice weather again.

3. Thanks to all the Minnesotans who stopped by the QR booth, please enjoy your Peace Coffee water bottles and pins responsibly.

4. I got a PRsix! It is ridiculous!

5. I rode 113 miles on Tuesday on the PRsix. Blasted all my times on STRAVA and got a KOM.

6. The Gold Guys want to remind everyone that #prosknowbest is more of a bad advice column. If you interpreted it literally and followed the advice, that’s on you.

7. Midwesterner Daniel Bretscher won Wisconsin! Holy cow. What a great performance from an almost offensively nice guy. He dueled with Brandon Marsh, who is offensively sensible. Texas vs Iowa. No Boulder athletes in the mix! Booya!

8. My athletes all handled their day well at Wisconsin. I always lecture athletes about being mature and sensible and they were! Great to see them experience the joy and pain of Ironman. Well done!

9. Race announcing at the very first Hopkins Triathlon was fantastic. It felt like half of Hopkins Masters was volunteering and the other half were racing. Congrats to Doobie (yes he goes by Doobie) on getting it right his very first time directing a race!

10. Training for Ironman Chattanooga is going great. Good training plus a fancy new PRsix? Yeah I’m getting excited.

11. Teddy is retiring from providing training tips. He is still available for private sessions but frankly he has other interests to pursue right now, mostly napping. He thanks you for reading his thoughts this summer.

12. While there are lots of Minnesotans who deserve accolades for their performances at Wisconsin, I’d like to give a special ‘Hey guy, good job’ to Brian Sames for putting together a sensible first Ironman and winning his age group. He is strong.

13. Here are a few pictures!

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Kicking Off #PROSKNOWBEST 2014: A New Saying

Ironman Wisconsin 2014 is just days away. That means The Gold Guys are having me put out my annual #prosknowbest advice. You can get this advice by following me on twitter @dpalmertri. #prosknowbest is a series of crucial tips to help you do your absolute best on race day. It is VERY important to interpret these tips literally.

To get us started, I have made an important discovery that will change the world of triathlon training forever. This discovery is based on a methodical analysis and synthesis of two common triathlon sayings.

There are lots of popular sayings in our fine sport of triathlon. Some people say “more is better”. Some people say “less is more”. I’m inclined to put those two sayings together. Following the scientific method, we can conclude that if more is better and less is more then less is better. And if we take less is better to it’s logical conclusions then guess what:

NOTHING IS THE BEST

That’s right, triathlon world. Our new training saying is here. First, training was good. Then, less training was better. Now we have the science to show that no training is optimal. And by science, obviously I mean I just mashed together two meaningless phrases.

Try it today. Stop training altogether and see your results skyrocket to new heights! Just think about it. No more fatigue. No more overuse injury. More time to focus on your blog about your training. It’s a home run, slam dunk, hole-in-one training philosophy. As you successfully implement nothing is the best into your own training please share your experiences on twitter with the following hashtags: #nothingisbest & #prosknowbest

Please check with your doctor to make sure not training is right for you. 

The Gold Guys are not responsible for any lost fitness or impaired performance related to following this or any #prosknowbest advice.

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Walking and Talking in Jerry’s Shoes

This weekend I am walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Mr Jerry MacNeil is our professional race announcer here in Minnesota. He’s been at it a while. I’ve heard Jerry’s dulcet tones all through my triathlon career. All the way back in 2006 I gunned down some old guy in the finishing stretch of the Square Lake tri and Jerry made a comment about me not respecting my elders. For the most part, though, I’m experiencing discomfort while he’s talking during races so I don’t hear everything word for word.

Now I am going to take a glimpse into his world and announce the inaugural Hopkins Royal Triathlon this Saturday. Fellow Hopkins Masters swimmer Doobie started the race this year and he recruited Kortney Haag and myself to announce. Do we have experience? No. Do we know what we are supposed to do? Not really. Are we going to deliver an improbably impressive performance? Absolutely. As a professional spokesmodel I think this experience on mic will be beneficial as my sponsors may need me for inspirational speeches or to star in a commercial. Thats right, Gold Guys, after Saturday I’ll be ready for anything! Commercials, speeches, infomercials, you name it. If you are racing the Hopkins Royal Triathlon just know that I do not apologize for mispronouncing your name.

Will I have some Peace Coffee to distribute? Duh.

Lighting Round of Assorted Information:

-Volunteered again at the YWCA triathlon this year. Fixed one flat tire. Victory.

-Training is going well, running is coming around. Was running with my runner buddy Ben who is fairly good at running and at the end he said he wished I’d get back to my pre-injury level which was a vicious reality check. Give me a couple weeks Ben!

-My belligerent Badger buddy Tom Gerlach had a really good race at Ironman Louisville and NEARLY won! 16 seconds.

-Ironman has changed their pro structure significantly in 2015. Thinking through what will make sense for my season.

-Industrious Iowan TJ Tollakson won his second Ironman at Mont Tremblant. As you may know I despise Wisconsin and have nothing but contempt for of Iowa but this week I salute both Tom & TJ for their impressive Ironmans.

-Peace Coffee and The Gold Guys both have booths at the State Fair! Go see them and tweet me pictures of you there and I will reward you. Use the hashtag #DPrewards4ME. EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS reward if you get a picture with Shane at the Gold Guys booth or Mel at the Peace Coffee booth!

-My management team has been locked in aggressive negotiations with Quintana Roo over my PRsix for months. The #PRSIX4DP campaign really put the pressure on QR and it seems they may be ready to crack. As the talks draw to a close please remind QR how important this issue is. Please tweet Mac (@MacMcE) a note and use the hashtag #PRSIX4DPNOW

-Side note with QR, I’ll be at the QR booth at Ironman Wisconsin all day Thur, Fri, Sat! If you are a Minnesota you are obligated to come say hello and perhaps collect a bag of coffee and a complementary high five.

-With Ironman Wisconsin around the corner it is nearly time for my special #prosknowbest informational tweets! Look for these race week. If you’re anxious about the race these will certainly calm you and guide you to your best performance.

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On the Move

I have been out and about. Here is some information about various locations.

Ironman Boulder

Working for Ken Glah’s Endurance Sports Travel brought me out to Boulder for the inaugural Ironman there. It was neat. I got to see a few Minnesotans in action and at the finish which was a treat.

My roommate for the week Matt just did the Race Across the West and is doing the Race Across America next year. So yeah he rides alot and had some stories to tell.

They have an enormous Whole Foods in Boulder. Nick Morales and I got a flat tire in their parking lot. That was not so neat.

I got to hike and jog briefly in the mountains on Monday morning and it was magnificent.

Bouldermountains

USAT Nationals

I had nothing to do with this race but heard it is a great venue and event. Minnesotans Heather Lendway and Dani Fischer took the top two spots which is pretty neat. Peace Coffee has commissioned me to suitably reward the stellar performances of these two athletes and one has to wonder how good they could be when fully caffeinated? 

Wisconsin 

I got four days of incredibly relaxing riding around rural Wisconsin last week. This was super neat. Quiet roads. No stopping. Good road quality. Pretty surroundings. Very refreshing to have rides like this, urban riding can be quite stressful. In addition, Thea and I got to run with Teddy off leash since the area was so quiet! That little guy got pretty tired.

Upcoming occurrences:

YWCA Women’s Triathlon

Sunday Sunday Sunday! Thea and I are volunteering again this year. If you have some troubles with your bike on the bike course I may swoop in to the rescue. Or fumble around and hopefully your bike works again. Neat! Nicole Cueno, Race Director, would never say this but it is a pretty neat race and she does a pretty solid job putting it on so you should come out. 

St Paul Triathlon, Pigman Triathlon, HITS Waconia, Superiorman 

I have Peace Coffee distributors going to each of these races so if you are racing any of these races look for a chance to get some tasty coffee in your life. If there is no coffee at the St Paul Tri, that means Sean Pease kept it all for himself and there will be sever repercussions.

Maple Grove Triathlon

I’ll be there giving out coffee, taking pictures and hassling people. If you don’t like being hassled, that’s on you. No apologies. 

The Hopkins Royal Triathlon

My Hopkins Masters teammate founded this race and it has sold out in it’s first year! Way neat. He is making Kortney Haag and I work the mic all morning as race MCs. I figured if the Gold Guys ever need me to act in a commercial this kind of experience on mic will be very beneficial. I am ardently hoping to avoid inadvertently employing any profanity. Wish Kort and I luck! 

Ironman Wisconsin 

I will be working the QR booth all week! If you don’t have enough chances to meet me in Minnesota now you have a chance in Wisconsin! If you like seeing cool bikes or enjoy being hassled by a dashing pro triathlete, you should definitely stop by at some point. This is a neat opportunity for you! If I find out there is a Minnesotan who attends Ironman Wisconsin BUT DOES NOT stop by to say hi I will be deeply flustered. Not neat. Do the right thing and come to see me. My main man Mac will also be there so you can tell him how great it would be to see me on a PRsix.

Ironman Chattanooga

I am racing Ironman Chattanooga! If you are for some reason going to be there, guess what thats neat me too. It is going to be a great race right in QR’s hometown.

Have a great weekend!

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Whistler & Boulder

I did my best to answer all your Canada questions on twitter. I learned so much from those simple, primitive people and their untamed country.

Whistler is gorgeous. The lake for the race was really nice. The bike course is pretty neat, some serious climbing but no super scary descending and the hills were not super steep. 

With the bone bruise on my heel in early June I lost about 3 weeks of running and then it took a couple more weeks of half to one mile runs before it felt normal. My longest runs were three miles. I knew I would not be running the marathon. The only circumstance under which I would finish (by run/jog/shuffle/walking through the marathon) was if enough other guys dropped out so that I was in 8th, the final paying position. This is an odd mindset to have. Mostly I just wanted to practice the swim then riding steady. Every other Ironman I’ve let myself bonk badly and I just wanted to do the ride as easily as possible and practice being smart for once.

That is pretty much how things went. I actually broke the cardinal rule of the swim (don’t get dropped) and got dropped. Actually, whoever I was drafting got dropped and I wasn’t able to bridge back up to the group. It was pretty relaxing cruising the second lap of the swim solo.

I rode about as easy as I could manage. I planned to drop out if I got a flat. I got a flat and dropped out and managed to hitch a ride back to town. Riding in the race vehicles, though depressing as it means you bailed, is interesting because you see just how hard the race staff are hustling all day long to make the course as safe and smooth as possible.

Anyways, Whistler was a great trip though not an ideal event for me. My Norwegian friend Jorgen came over for it and had a great swim and ride but had a couple different problems on the run. He toughed it out and managed to still come in under 11 hours! Thats the viking spirit.

Ken Glah’s Endurance Sports Travel needed a hand for Ironman Boulder so I’m out West again this week. Just drove the bike course with the athletes. Lots of turns and smooth rollers and only a few steep bits or longer climbs. Interested to see how people do on the course. Seems much faster than Ironman Wisconsin but maybe I’m wrong. I’m also interested to see if and how the altitude affects folks. Have a great weekend and good luck to everyone racing Ironman Boulder!

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