Friday, April 29, 2011

KDF miniMarathon Preview

The first race that I ever competed in was the Kentucky Derby Festival mini Marathon back in 1998. I've done this race a total of five times now, which is more than any other. I think of this race as my arch-nemesis, my Kryptonite. Out of the five times I've run it, I've only crossed the finish line happy once...and that was back in 2000, when I inexplicably managed to run 8:09 miles despite running at a 8:34/mile pace in a 15K (9.3 miles) a few weeks earlier.

Here's what my race results from the KDF miniMarathon look like:
1998 - 2:13:59
2000 - 1:46:50
2001 - 1:50:51
2009 - 2:09:22
2010 - 1:46:30

As you can see, the times are all over the place. For whatever reason, I never seem to be able to put together a good race when I line up this last Saturday in April. I've always felt good as I stand there waiting for the gun, but something just doesn't go right and I end up disappointed when the 13.1 mile journey is complete.

This year will be different! It's time for revenge. I will in fact be talking smack to the race itself as I run. Some things that I'll say will not be written here or repeated around my children!

Although I've said this the last two years, I feel like there's nothing that can stop me from setting a PR tomorrow morning. My PR for this race is 1:46:30 and for this distance is 1:43:39...both will fall tomorrow. My goal is to finish around 1:40:00. The weather should be warm, but not too warm. The course has changed and is flat and doesn't have too many turns. I'm in corral B, so I shouldn't have too many people to navigate through during the first few miles. This is my last running only race until the fall, so I plan on dominating!!

As I side note, I want to say good luck to my sister-in-law Becca. She will be running the full marathon tomorrow morning! She just started running around a year ago and decided to jump right into a full 26.2 mile marathon without even running a half first. That's her style - set big goals and then go out and smash them!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Data...lots and lots of data...

I've always kept very good records of all of my workouts. I've used a couple of different websites over the years to keep track of things. As part of the Triathlon Dominator package that I ordered, I could get all of my planned workouts automatically uploaded to a website called Training Peaks. So naturally, I started using this website to log everything.

I'm really impressed with the power of this site. I'm a stats and data geek, so I love to look at charts and graphs. Training Peaks goes above and beyond when it comes to this type of information.

Last week marked the half way point of my 36 week Ironman training plan. So I decided to take a look at some data from the first 18 weeks.

First, let's just look at raw numbers.

Total training duration for the 18 weeks was 136.47 hours, which averages out to a little under 8 hours a week. This value will start to increase over the next few weeks as the workouts get longer.

Actual miles covered in the 18 weeks was 1328, which averages out to 73.8 miles per week.

This next chart shows my Training Stress Score (TSS) and Intensity (IF). 

TSS is a way of expressing the workload from a training session. It is a product of the workout's intensity and duration. IF is basically how intense the workout was. So you can see that the TSS (blue) ramped up leading into my first race the second week of April, while the intensity remained fairly constant. Ideally, the TSS will be low and the IF will be high heading into all races.

This last chart is Performance Management and has a lot going on.

All that you need to know from this is that the pink line (ATL) represents fatigue based on training loads, the blue line (CTL) represents fitness and the yellow line (TSB) represents how fresh I am

The rate of fitness (blue line) increase is critical. A dramatic incline will likely lead to over training, so it's good to see that mine has a more gradual grade. As you can see, my freshness (basically how good I'm feeling) is the yellow line and it dips into the negative from time to time. When it's negative, fatigue is higher than fitness. When it's positive, fitness is higher than fatigue. The goal is to have this number +10 or so (indicates ideal conditions for peak performance) a few days before my key races.

Another thing that I noticed is that after a very intense workout (pink line), my freshness (yellow line) drops over the next few days.

The shape of this chart is what's important. Slow growth in CTL without too many huge spikes in ATL or TSB is what I'm shooting for over the season.


4/21/11 Run - Aerobic Zone run (11.7 miles in 1:31:53) 
4/21/11: Weights - Dry Land Strength circuit - 4 sets 
4/22/11: Bike - High cadence intervals  (21 miles in 1:00:00) 
4/22/11: Swim - Steady Swim (2400 yd in 42:47) 
4/23/11: Bike - Recovery Ride  (49 miles in 2:43:34) 
4/25/11 Run - VO2 max sets (4.67 miles in 34:17) 
4/26/11: Bike - Power Sets  (18 miles in 55:01)  
4/26/11: Swim - Force Development (1600 yd in 34:58)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bikes and Boats...They Need Names

Ask anyone that owns a boat and they will tell you that it must have a name. People get very creative when naming their vessels. Next time you are out on a lake, river or the ocean, make a point to look at the back of boats and check out the names...funny stuff!

While not everyone names their bikes, I feel like it's bad luck not to give your bike a name. I named my first triathlon bike White Lightning. It had a white frame with blue lettering. I don't remember exactly how I came up with the name, but it stuck. I would even call her (yes, it was a female) by her name sometimes during races or tough rides...asking her to step it up a notch or telling her that I was about to put her through hell!

It was tough to sell White Lightning, but in order to upgrade bikes, I needed the cash. I spent over two years riding her (if you just laughed, you have a dirty mind) and countless hours of tune-ups and cleanings. I may have shed a tear when the guy I sold it to rode off.

In late January of this year, after lots of fittings and research, which I outlined here and here, I bought a new bike. I landed on an Argon 18, Model E-112...and I'm completely satisfied with my decision.

No offense to White Lightning, but the Argon is SO much more comfortable, especially when riding down on the aero bars. Aside from comfort and speed (which are most important), it's a pretty cool looking bike.

Once I brought the bike home, I immediately started contemplating what to name her (yes, it's another female). At first I wanted to do something in relation to the element Argon, but I couldn't find anything I liked. Then I looked into something to do with that white hot flame that you see when a fire is at it's hottest. I did internet searches and spent lots of time thinking...but came up with nothing. I even decided to take the risk and ride a nameless bike. Thankfully, nothing disastrous happened on these rides.

Then, one day last week it came to me. I decided that I wanted to give it a name that somehow tied it into White Lighting. While sitting at home watching one of the many thunderstorms that we've had recently I saw the flash of lighting out the window. A light bulb went off in my head. I had thought on a name for my bike....Flash. I'd like to think that giving the bike a name prior to my first triathlon of the season contributed to my fast bike split last weekend!

I had already decided that once I came up with a name, I would get a vinyl sticker made and put the name on my bike. This is something that I never did with White Lightning, but I wish I had. I found a company online that would make me a custom sticker. I found a font that looked like lightning bolts, picked out some colors that would match the bike and ordered two stickers that said Flash. The stickers came in a few days ago and I immediately put them on the bike. Check it out:

Do I think they look pretty sweet? Yes. Am I a geek? Yes.

As a side note, I have officially completed 18 weeks of the 36 week Ironman training plan that I'm following. That's right...I'm already halfway there! It's both exciting and a little nerve racking. See the countdown clock up in the top left corner of this blog. I know that my fitness has improved greatly over the last 18 weeks, but will I be ready for 140.6 miles in just 18 more weeks??? I think so!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2010 USA Triathlon Rankings

The rankings for last season have been released by USAT. The rankings are calculated as a comparison between an athlete's race time and the projected time of the best age grouper (aka Amateur) in the rankings. It's basically like calculating a golf score. The best athlete's time is "par" and your score is calculated based on how far off of the "par" race time you were. For example, if the par time of a sprint race is 60 minutes, someone who completed the race in 72 minutes would be 20% slower than the best age grouper, calculated as a score of 80. Note that since the best athlete's in the country don't run every race, the par times are usually estimated.

So if this hypothetical "best amateur triathlete" was ranked, his score would be 100.

So now the question that everyone wants to know...where was I ranked???

I finished with a score of 74.46717 and ranked 1539th in the country in the Male, Age 30-34 class. Six of my seven races from 2010 were figured into my rankings. Unfortunately, my best race from last year, the Tom Sawyer Sprint Tri (finished 3rd in Age Group and 8th overall) was not counted because it was not registered as an official USAT race. If this race would have counted, it may have bumped me into the top close!

Here are my scores from each race:

Shelbyville Sprint Tri - 75.04431
Taylorsville Lake Half Ironman - 72.48941
Back to Health Olympic Tri - 70.10165
Cardinal Harbour Half Ironman - 63.31254
Tri Indy Olympic - 69.95644
Boilerman Olympic Tri - 75.99221

I'm not sure what significance any of this has, other than it's cool to see my name listed on the USAT Rankings and trying to score higher this year gives me another goal!

PS - I wonder how I will rank in the USA Today / Coaches Poll?              If you didn't laugh when you read this last sentence, don't bother asking me to explain.

4/17/11: Race - Shelbyville Sprint Triathlon
4/18/11: Elliptical - 8 x 60s sprints  (4.1 miles in 46:12)   
4/18/11: Weights - Body Blaster circuit - 4 sets 
4/19/11: Bike - Sprint intervals  (18 miles in 50:01)  
4/19/11: Swim - Hypoxic Sets (1300 yd in 27:02)
4/20/11: Swim - TrainSmart Swim Group (3000 meters in 1:03:38)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shelbyville Triathlon Race Report

First of all, I want to thank my awesome wife Jessica for taking our newborn into the living room for the night so that I could get a full, uninterrupted night's sleep before the race. Getting a solid 7-8 hours makes a huge difference the night before a race!

I woke up at 5:45am feeling refreshed and ready to go. I ate a sweet potato (my new pre-race breakfast) while I ran through my gear checklist one last time. I checked the weather and was discouraged to see that it was 39°F in Shelbyville, the site of the race. The order of this race has been reversed (run, bike, swim) in the past due to cold temps and I was thinking that this might happen again. So I decided to pack two sets of race clothes so that I would be ready for either order. I had Jessica tape up my injured ankle (yes, she does that TOO!) and I was on my way.

I arrived at the race site around 7:10am and in my typical fashion, I was one of the first people to the race site and I picked out a prime spot to rack my bike. I like to take my time setting up my transition area and get checked-in, body marked, etc. I also like to have time to relax before the race starts. I confirmed that the race would follow a traditional swim, bike, run format and then I got dressed.

It was cold and windy as I set up my transition area and I contemplated what I would wear on the bike. Transition times are very critical in these short sprint distance races, so any time that I took to put on a shirt, jacked, hat and gloves could be precious seconds lost. I decided to just go with a hat and gloves. If my ears and hands are warm on the bike, I'm usually good to go.

I ate a bag of PowerBar Energy Blasts about 20 minutes before the race start and headed to the pool for a quick warm-up. The water was warm, but once I got back out of the water, my body cooled down very fast. I was not looking forward to the bike!

Because the swim for this race is in a pool, it has a time-trial start. This means that everyone lined up and got in the pool one at a time, with a 10 second gap between each participant. When you registered, you had to give your estimated swim time, so that they could line up the faster swimmers first. Of course, people either lie or just don't know how fast they can swim (which shouldn't happen either). The first person in the pool was #664. I was I was around 30th in line (there were some gaps in the numbers). I ran into some traffic about 150 yards into the 400 yard swim and had to pass a few people...which is a difficult task having to go three wide in a single lane. I felt like I was swimming at a good pace, but knew that I wasn't pushing to too hard. Maybe I should have. My swim time ended up being exactly 7:00, which works out to a pace of 1:45 per 100 yards...which is the pace that I can hold for more than triple this distance! My swim time was the 3rd fastest in my age group and 37th overall - LOTS of room for improvement here!

I ran from the pool out of the building into T1. I put on my hat, helmet, sunglasses, race belt and socks and was out of transition in 1:16.6, which was the fastest T1 in my age group and 4th fastest overall.

Once out on the bike, I put on my gloves and got my feet into my bike shoes, which were already clipped in. I got settled in and started to hammer down on the bike. This was my first race on my new bike and I wanted to push it pretty hard. I just came up with a name for my bike last week (to be disclosed in a future post), and I think giving her a name was good luck. I immediately started to pass the faster swimmers and lost count after passing around 15 people. This was a short bike (only 16 miles), and despite the rolling hills and wind, I never moved out of the large chain ring on my front crankset. I glanced at my bike computer a few times and knew that I was averaging around 21-22 miles per hour. The last 3-4 miles were against a pretty strong headwind, but I was determined to keep my pace high, so I got down as low as I could on my aero bars and pushed it until my quads were burning. My bike split was 43:44.6, which averages out to 22.0 mph. It was good enough for first in my age group and 8th overall. I was never passed on the bike, which has become something that I strive for in races. I've only been passed once in a race on the bike. Ever.

I took my feet out of the shoes and coasted into T2. I hopped off my bike, racked it, took off my helmet (don't want to be the guy out there running with this helmet still on!) and gloves, slid my feet into my running shoes and took off. T2 time was just 31.3 seconds, which was fastest in my age group and 4th fastest overall.

My toes were completely numb after the bike and it took a good mile or so into the run before they regained feeling. I was running pretty hard right off the bat, but was holding a little back. I wasn't sure how my ankle was going to feel, but I figured that the only way to know was to run and see what happened. The run course is a mix of paved and gravel trails. It even includes a short run over a bridge. The miles are not marked and I wasn't wearing my GPS watch, so I really didn't know what pace I was running until I got to the turnaround at the half-way point. It was about 10:30, so I knew that I could get under 21 minutes if I had anything left in the tank for the last 1.55 miles. The run went by really fast and I went into an all-out sprint for the last 1/4 mile or so. I crossed the finish line with a 5K time of 20:31.9, which is a pace of 6:37 per mile. My run split was the fastest in my age group and 10th overall.

I was very excited once I finished and scrolled through my watch and found my overall time of 1:13:04. My goal was 1:19, so I demolished it. I grabbed some water and waited around for some friends to cross the finish line. I went inside and ate a banana and a hand full of jellybeans (it IS Easter season after all!) from the table of food. I knew that there were only a few people that finished ahead of me, and asking around I figured that I might have placed in my age group. So I hung out and waited until everyone finished...which gave me plenty of time to get transition cleaned up and everything loaded in to my truck before the awards ceremony.

As the race director was giving out awards, he got down to the Male, 30-34 age group. I was fully expecting to hear that I finished 2nd or 3rd, but I was surprised to hear that I came in first...and it wasn't even close. I won my age group by almost seven minutes! My time ended up placing me seventh overall and I wasn't too far from placing in the top three. The third place overall male finished in 1:10:12, just 2 minutes and 52 seconds quicker than my time. Fourth place was 1:11:34, fifth was 1:12:43 and sixth was 1:13:01.

With some improvement in my swim, who knows, I may get there one day. The race went really well and was a good start to the triathlon season. It's nice to see all of the training pay off on race day. All of those early morning workouts and depriving myself of unhealthy food was well worth it once I crossed the finish line! This is some good motivation moving forward.

Swim (400yd) = 7:00 (1:45/100yd pace) - 3/6 in age group, 37/67 overall
T1 = 1:16.6 - 1/6, 4/67
Bike (16 miles) = 43:44.6 (22.0 mph) - 1/6, 8/67
T2 = 0:31.3 - 1/6, 4/67
Run (5K) = 20:31.9 (6:37/mile pace) - 1/6, 10/67
TOTAL = 1:13:04.5  - 1/6, 7/67

Gear used:
Pearl Izumi race singlet
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Tifosi Dolomite sunglasses
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Asics Gel-DS Trainer-16 shoes

Nutrition used:
Pre-race: PowerBar Energy Blasts - cola flavored
Bike: Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem
Run: water

Friday, April 15, 2011

Welcome to the 2011 Triathlon Season!

My 2011 triathlon season will begin Sunday morning around 8:30am. I'm participating the a Sprint distance race is Shelbyville, KY. The race will consist of a 400 yard swim in a pool, a 16 mile bike through rolling hills and then a 5K run that consists of a mixture of pavement and gravel trails. The race takes place at Clear Creek Park.

This race is the fourth and final in a series of races put on by Headfirst Performance, a race organizing and timing company that does a lot of the local races. I've done one of these four sprint races each of the last two years and they are always a great way to start off the season. The weather is always a toss-up this time of year, but Sunday looks to be sunny and in the high 40's/low 50's around race time...which might make for a chilly bike ride out of the water, but the sun will help!

As for my goals for this race, number one is to stay healthy. I rolled my right ankle again (same one that suffered a grade 3 sprain the day after Christmas - see lovely picture to the left) this past Monday while going an easy jog after my speed intervals. I scrapped the rest of my planned runs for this week, but it's still a little swollen. I'll tape it up for the race and hopefully it will be a non-issue. This race isn't a priority for me and since I'm using it more as a training race, I won't hesitate to stop if my ankle hurts during the run.

My second goal for this race is to have smooth and quick transitions. I've been swimming, biking and running again for four months, but it's been seven months since I raced...and I haven't practiced transitions since then (shame on me).

The third goal is going to be a time that I'd like to finish in. I've never done this particular bike course, so estimating a time on the bike will be difficult. I'd like to do the 400 yard swim in under seven minutes, have transitions around a minute each, a bike with an average speed of 20.0 mph and a run with a pace of 6:45-7:00 per mile. All this adds up to a total time of 1:19:00. I don't know how realistic this is, but I like to have a goal time.

More than anything, I'm just excited to get the race juices flowing again. I've been doing road races (running only) over the last two months, but I just don't get as excited for these as I do for triathlons.

4/13/11: Swim - TrainSmart Swim Group (2600m in 1:03:59)
4/14/11: Bike - High Cadence (100+ rpm) Ride  (23 miles in 1:05:03)  
4/14/11: Weights - Dry Land Routine - 4 sets 
4/15/11: Swim - 2 mile swim (3552 yd in 1:05:19)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dialing In My Nutriton for Ironman

Building fitness is obviously the key to being physically able to complete a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run all in one day. But it's impossible to do all of this without properly fueling your body during the race. Being fit is no guarantee to success on the day of Ironman, I need to learn and practice my nutrition requirements just as I practice swimming, biking and running. Nutrition is the fourth discipline and cannot be taken lightly.

Not planning or practicing nutrition has cost many people the chance to realize their dream and finish the race. I guarantee that almost every triathlete training for an Ironman knows what their heart rate, average speed and predicted times are for each discipline, but how many know exactly how many calories and milligrams of sodium they need per hour during the race? Believe it or not, taking in just 100 fewer calories per hour during the bike than necessary can result in you not being able to finish the run and getting a DNF!

As I've ventured out on some long rides lately, I've been practicing my nutrition. I learned during last season that I don't handle eating solids on the bike too well. My body simply does not digest solid foods when I'm bent over riding so they sit in my stomach...keeping me from digesting anything else (including liquids) that I drink or eat. So now during my rides I only use liquid and gel as fuel, no more Powerbars for me!

Here's what my bike nutrition looked like during my 85 mile (4hr 51 min) ride on April 2nd:
(4) scoops of Hammer Perpetuem mixed in one 24oz water bottle = 540 cal, 108g carbs, 14g protein, 440mg sodium
(4) Hammer gels = 360 cal, 84g carbs, 100mg sodium
(3) Hammer Perpetuem solids = 100 cal, 20g carbs, 3g protein, 81mg sodium
TOTALS = 1000 cal, 212g carb, 17g protein, 621mg sodium (206 cal/hr, 43.7g carb/hr, 128.0mg sodium/hr)

While I felt like I was drinking and eating gels almost constantly during this ride, my nutrition was WAY under what it needed to be. I began to lose energy during the last half hour and the 2 mile run I did immediately off the bike was a struggle.

This past weekend, I did another ride and made an effort to up my nutrition intake. Here's what I tried during my 31 mile (1hr 33min) ride:
(2) scoops of Hammer Perpetuem = 270 cal, 54 carbs, 7g protein, 220mg sodium
(1) Hammer gel = 90 cal, 21g carbs, 25mg sodium
(3) Perpetuem solids = 100 cal, 20g carbs, 3g protein, 81mg sodium
(7) Millenium Sports Athlytes capsules = 1225mg sodium
TOTALS = 460 cal, 95g carb, 10g protein, 1470mg sodium (296 cal/hr, 61.3g carb/hr, 948.3mg sodium/hr)

So as you can see, my fuel consumption per hour was higher on my second try...but still not quite high enough. From the research I've done online and through my own trial and error, it seems that my required calories on the bike will be close to 400 per hour along with 800-900mg of sodium per hour. I will also need to drink between 20oz and 24oz of clear water per hour. The Athlytes capsules will provide the sodium I need and the combination of Perpetuem mix and gels will take care of my calories. I bought the Perpetuem solids to try, but they are very chalky (imagine eating about 5 of those valentines candy hearts at once) and take up a lot of space in my Bento box. From now on, I'm sticking the the Perpetuem in liquid form.

For Ironman, I can divide the bike and run into halves since I will have access to a "Special Needs Bag" at the half-way point of each. I can put four scoops of Perpetuem in a bottle and along with 7-8 gels taped to my bike frame and have enough calories for three hours, or half of the bike. I will need to take five Athlytes per hour to get 875mg of sodium. So if I store 15 capsules in my Bento box, that will last me three hours. I can then have more mix and capsules in my Special Needs Bag for the second half. I will probably just tape 15-16 gels on the frame to last the entire ride.

I sure am giving Hammer Nutrition a lot of free advertising...maybe it will translate into a sponsorship in 2012?????

The plain water required will come from refilling a 24oz bottle every hour at the aid stations, which are approximately every ten miles apart on the bike. I should be hitting one every 30-35 minutes, so having an empty bottle ready to refill with water every other station will be the plan.

I'm still working on my running nutrition, I'll need to wait until my brick runs get a little longer to see how well I can handle the Perpetuem on the run.

I'll test out this plan several more times in the next few months, including during the two half-Ironman races I have planned. Come the morning of Ironman, I will have no doubts as to what my nutrition needs will be!

4/7/11: Bike - Hill Intervals (17 miles in 1:00:00)  
4/7/11: Weights - Body Blaster - 4 sets 
4/7/11: Swim - 1200 Easy (1200 yd in 23:25)
4/8/11: Run - LT test (6.00 miles in 45:27)
4/10/11: Brick - Bike (30.94 miles in 1:33:45), Run (4.00 miles in 31:16)
4/11/11: Run - VO2 Max Sets (3.44 miles in 27:12)  
4/12/11: Bike- Power Sets at Max effort (21 miles in 1:02:00) 
4/12/11: Swim - Hypoxic Sets (1550 yd in 35:13) 

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's April...

...and that means that it's finally Triathlon season! I have a race on the calendar for each of the next five months and I'm more than ready to get this 2011 season underway. From now until the end of August is going to be crazy, but I'm excited to see what the season brings. Here are my scheduled races:

April 17th - Shelbyville Sprint Triathlon 
(400yd swim / 16 mile bike / 5K run)

May 14th - Headfirst Performance Triathlon 
(1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run)

June 5th - Tri-Fest Olympic Triathlon 
(1.5K swim / 40K bike / 10K run)

July 9th - Cardinal Triathlon 
(1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run)

August 28th - Ironman Louisville 
(2.4 mile swim / 112 mile bike / 26.2 mile run)

My first race is a Sprint Triathlon a week from this Sunday. I'll preview this race sometime next week. While the race itself is short, it's still a race. It's been almost seven months since I did my last triathlon and to say that I'm anxious to compete again is an understatement.


You may have noticed a few changes to the blog. The biggest change is the background image. The new image is that of the entrance to Fourth Street Live! here in Louisville. This is significant because it's also the location of the finish line for Ironman Louisville. When I see this on the evening of August 28th, it will be the culmination of months years of training and sacrifice...I can't even begin to image how it's going to feel!!

I also gave my blog a name. T1 is the transition from swim to bike. T2 is the transition from bike to run. T3 is not a term commonly used, but it's the celebration/party that takes place once you've cross the finish line. I chose to call this blog "The Journey to T3" because all of my efforts are ultimately leading up to my goal of crossing the finish line in my races. Thanks for taking this journey with me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Aspirin Debate

As I was walking through the locker room at the gym the other morning the CBS Early Show was on one of the TV's. I wasn't really paying attention until I heard a man say "...should people just start taking aspirin as a safety precaution?". Once I heard this statement, I decided to walk over and see exactly what they were talking about.

Turns out the story was about a new study just released that suggests aspirin can actually help reduce risk of pancreatic cancer. The study was conducted on 2,128 adults over the age of 55. The study divided them into two groups: those with pancreatic cancer and those without. They were asked to report their use of not only aspirin, but also acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). They found that those people who took at least one baby aspirin a month had a 26% lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

The reporter for CBS described this as "significant" and "very exciting".

While any study that finds a way to reduce the risk of cancer is significant, I was at first upset that the report didn't mention all of the potential problems associated with taking aspirin or ibuprofen for no other reason than to possibly reduce your risk of cancer. I later found the full video of the report online and was pleased to see that the risks of aspirin were discussed as well. Here's link to the video.

I've seen reports in the past that actually urge people to take a baby aspirin DAILY to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. I also know some triathletes/runners that will pop an ibuprofen almost daily to reduce the inflammation and pain that comes along with the daily training required to be successful at their sport. Neither of these is a good idea.

While you think you are doing yourself some good by taking an aspirin, you are also damaging your kidneys, causing your liver to work overtime to get the toxin's out - potentially leading to liver failure, irritating your stomach lining (leads to ulcers), and potentially causing Reye's syndrome in your children by giving them aspirin.

As you can tell, the health complications associated with regular aspirin use are very serious. This is why I was immediately concerned when I heard the report on CBS telling people that aspirin can reduce your risk of cancer. If someone only heard that portion of the segment, like I did, they may just start taking an aspirin before bed each night...thinking they are doing good.

So what should you do to ease pain or even prevent a heart attack or stroke if you don't want to take aspirin? Keep in mind that I'm not a doctor, so always consult with your doc before doing anything...especially if you are on other medications. That being said, what you eat has a huge effect on inflammation in your body. Stick to eating fish, nuts, fruit, veggies, and healthy oils and you'll reduce inflammation and your risk of heart disease.

As for a pain reducer, a 30-minutes massage on trigger points has been shown to relieve pain. Taking herbs and natural supplements such as Phenocane, peppermint (not in a mint julep!), gingko, cayenne (not the Porsche), feverfew and passionflower have also been shown to reduce pain.

So if you take aspirin or ibuprofen often I hope that after reading this you will at least think twice about it from now on. The side effects of regular aspirin consumption far outweigh it's benefits.

In other news...the results of the Louisville Triple Crown of Running have been posted. The three races that I've run so far this year (Anthem 5K, Rodes City Run 10K and the Papa John's 10 Miler) make up the Triple Crown. Each runners combined time for all three races are compared with everyone else that completed them. Here's how I stacked up:

Total time for the 19.3 miles = 2:18:10 (7:08 min/mile pace)
Overall Place = 187 / 4665
Gender Place = 167 / 2101
Division Place = 35 / 314

4/2/11: Brick - Bike (84.81 miles in 4:51:44), Run (1.94 miles in 15:52) - I learned a lot about fueling on the bike during this ride - more on this in a future post!
4/3/11: Swim - Slow Endurance 300's (2100 yd in 34:41) 
4/4/11: Run - Aerobic Pace test (6.79 miles in 59:54) 
4/5/11: Swim - 1000 TT test (1296 yd in 26:03) 
4/5/11: Bike- Easy Ride (13 miles in 45:00)  
4/6/11: Run - Easy Recovery Run (3.93 miles in 34:10) 
4/6/11: Swim - TrainSmart group swim (3100 yd in 1:11:18)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Time to Get Down to Business

Tomorrow morning I will tackle my first long brick of my 2011 training season. I've done a few shorter bikes followed-up up immediately with a short run, but those were easy. Tomorrow I will do an 80-90 mile ride, a quick transition, then a 7-8 mile run.

During this brick, I will attempt to simulate race conditions. I will wake up, eat the breakfast that I plan to on race day, then drive down to Taylorsville Lake. I will have my bike loaded up with the fuel that I plan to use on race day, and I will pack my fuel belt with gels and water to simulate the water stations that will be available during the running legs of the races.

Doing all this will give me a good indication if what I'm eating/drinking on the bike is enough to sustain 5 hours of biking/running and if my stomach can handle the combination of gels and liquid supplements that I plan to throw down there. Should be a great learning experience!

Here's a few pictures from last weekend's Papa John's 10 Miler:

Heading back up Southern Parkway, about mile 7

Game face

This is what I look like going all out to finish a race...not pretty.

Making my goal time on the nose required a strong finish!

3/22/11: Bike- Bike Drills (15 miles in 45:00)  
3/22/11: Swim - Ladder intervals (1152 yd in 23:05) 
3/25/11: Swim - TrainSmart workout (2500 yd in 49:21) 
3/26/11: Run - Papa John's 10 Miler (10.00 miles in 1:14:00) 
3/27/11: Bike- Aerobic Ride (37 miles in 2:01:00)  
3/28/11: Run - Cadence Counts (4.78 miles in 36:16) 
3/28/11: Weights - Body Blaster Circuit x 4
3/29/11: Bike- Spin Class (16 miles in 51:05)  
3/29/11: Swim - Drills (2450 yd in 49:07) 
3/30/11: Swim - TrainSmart Swim Group - open water simulation
3/30/11: Run - Hill Repeats (4.94 miles in 36:13) 
3/31/11: Bike- Big Gear Climbs (16 miles in 55:01)  
3/31/11: Weights - Dry Land Circuit x 4

Share This