Coach Reveal and Haters Gonna Hate


Going against my better judgement I have hired a new coach from Wisconsin. Yes, I know. If you follow this blog you will know I am deeply and offensively prejudiced against the simple, heavyset folk of the Badger State. No disrespect. As a proud Gopher I have a long-standing feud with Tom Gerlach and Blake Becker, the Badger pros. Our Ironwar will be talked about through the ages. Side note, one further reflection of how lousy my season was: I lost to both Tom and Blake at different races in 2013. Previously my record against them was undefeated. I have no beef with Madison’s lady pro, Jackie Arendt, who just won Ironman Wisconsin. She is a winner and we both ride QRs so I respect her. Anyways, I found one guy in the state whose opinion I value and who seems to be a half-way decent person. 

Yes my new coach is none other than Steven Brandes, my formerly unpaid intern and hype man. I put him through his paces our first week together via text, email, Facebook messages, tweets. I changed sessions and added sessions and generally tried to push his buttons. He says he can handle it so we will move forward.


Steve and I at Ironman Louisville. Steve is a part time Gold Gopher Guy.

My first week training with Steve was fine. Other pros sometimes give the impression that all of their training is epic and super fast and super long. The reality is most of my training is normal-length easy or steady sessions with some longer and some faster stuff. I just have more time to do more normal stuff. Nothing in week one was remarkable at all except for swim practice on Wednesday. My swim fitness is not in very good shape right now. I was thrilled to do a main set of: 3x (300 on 3:45, 2×150 on 2:00, 3×50 on :40, 1×50 ez) I did this all pull + paddles and went hard on the 300s and fairly smooth on everything else. I had two good sized guys in front of me to draft off of. Rounds one and two I went 5 seconds back on the 300 but round three we all went 10 seconds apart. My 300s were 3:28, 3:18, 3:07. Best descend I’ve ever done while being this out of shape. In fact 3:07 is one of the fastest 300s I’ve ever swum. It was a very pleasant surprise. I do most of my fast swimming at masters as pull+paddles. If you have a problem with that, it is your problem because I love pull+paddles and I do not apologize and I will not change my ways. This morning at practice I really wanted to break 5:30 for a couple 500s during the main set but fell short with a 5:31 and 5:32.

If Steve had tried to include any of the following in the first week I would have fired him immediately: a metabolic test, “functional strength training”, sessions assigned by heart rate, or intervals. Thankfully Steve did not include any dealbreakers. Looking forward to building a positive partnership and getting faster.


If you follow me or other professional triathletes on twitter you probably noticed all of us ripping on Michael Weiss yesterday. Some pros were more discreet than others but lots of us voiced our disgust. Michael Weiss is a convicted doper. He came off a brief 2 year ban to win Ironman Cozumel. Awful. Michael Weiss is a reject from pro Mountain Biking who crawled over to our sport of triathlon. I do not want professional triathlon to be the final resting place for the sporting careers of ousted dopers. I welcome elite athletes who wrap up their careers in another sport and come to triathlon to enjoy the sporting life for a few more years. I do not welcome athletes coming over to our sport following a doping scandal in their own sport. They can race triathlon as a hobby, no issues there, but lets keep them out of the professional ranks. 

I am outraged by the situation. By winning an Ironman hot off a doping ban it feels like Weiss came over to my house and pooped on the lawn. Some folks make the argument that we shouldn’t hate the player, we should hate the game. Weiss is within the rules to come back to race and we should channel our anger towards the governing bodies that allow him to play again. A good point, however, I reserve my right to hate on both the player and the game. I will continue to make nasty comments and mean jokes about known dopers like Michael Weiss and Lisa Huetthaler as long as they chose to race my sport as professionals. If nothing else I want to make sure people are aware that these are known dopers. If one of these known dopers can’t handle being criticized, they can make a time machine and go back to stop themselves from doping or they can stop racing as professionals. Either option is fine by me.

Back in the day I remember clearly there was a sign at the front of the school bus that told us riding the bus was a privilege, not a right. The opportunity to be a professional sportsperson is an amazing privilege. WTC, the company that owns Ironman, should flatly deny these known dopers a professional license. WTC is doing better about testing, which is great, but why not say no to already established dopers. Seems like a simple step. When they apply for their license, just decline them. WTC runs their own show and I don’t know why they won’t just say no. There is nothing to gain from letting these people back on the field of play. That wouldn’t be fair, you say? Well, did concern for fairness stop these dopers from doping? Nope.

There were some very funny and nasty tweets sent out yesterday. Sorry if you do not find these as entertaining as I do. If you disagree about anything I’ve stated, feel free to write a comment but please try to include some alliteration. If you don’t plan to read these reposted tweets, then go have yourself a nice week.

Brian from Personal Best Nutrition can be counted on for high quality commentary of the tri news of the day (this is only funny if you know that Weiss went to a place called Humanplasma to do his doping and also that the Scott Plasma is a common tri bike):

Anyone know if Michael Weiss is on a Plasma at IM Cozumel?

I seduced one of Steve’s online twitter thugs over to my side with my snappy comments about dopers, welcome to Team Mustache Veronica B!

@dpalmertri Your IMCOZ tweets have taken us from frenemies to friends #DopersSuck

French Canadian Jonnyo made a good point:

@pstriathlon @mattlieto @chrisbtri @helle_f im simple minded. i dont beleive in second chance for privilege of been a pro athlete. lifetime

Michigonian Doug MacLean was blunt:

Much innuendo going on. I’ll just come right out and say it: A convicted doper is about to win #IMCozumel, & us clean athletes r disgusted

The funniest Canadian tweet on the topic came from Josh:

Looks like Weiss is laying down a pretty dope performance at Ironman Cozumel today.

Parody account The Real Starky weighed in:

Austrian used performance enhancing drugs to become champion in a sport no one cares about. Is he available to run California? #IMCozumel

Finally, the most vague tweet was by Lieto:




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