Favorite Gear

​Zoot is a shoe company bred in Hawaii which has evolved into an apparel and shoe behemoth. Their styles and colors portray their roots. Not only is their gear unique but it is also stylish, colorful, and gives you some serious flare. Plus, with them you are training and racing in top tier triathlon gear. Their shoes have been my go to for years. The Zoot brand has been an amazing supporter to age group athletes across the country and around the world. I have also been proud age group member of Team Zoot Mid-Atlantic since 2014. Thanks Zoot for your support and excellent gear!

I have used the Garmin 910xt since I started competing as an age group triathlete in 2011. It has been a great tool to develop and analyze my training efforts and progress. That being said the 910xt had its limitations praticularly the computer syncing system, battery life, size and GPS syncing. The 920xt has answered many of these limitations for me. Its auto-syncing allows me to analyze workouts immediately, the battery life has improved since the 910 and the GPS finds a signal in seconds. Although the size is still a limitation it also is much more practical as a daily watch connecting with my cell phone for notifications and extended battery life when the GPS is not in use. Combined with the
HRM-TRI you can also gain added running dynamics (cadence, vertical oscillation, stride lengths, etc) and use aerobic decoupling to aid in understanding progression and current fitness. Although no longer top of the line it remains a workhorse for my training analytics.

The Wahoo Kickr has been one of my greatest investments into developing my engine and saving minutes on the course. The Kickr is a smart trainer that allows you to connect with your computer and complete workouts through Trainerroad and Zwift (as well as many other platforms). Get ready to develop your quads and starting crushing the bike.

Favorite Training links

Gold standard to record training, find legitimate effective training plans, post-workout analysis, goal setting, and developing a unique training program.

Strava has been a great motivator. Strava has local segments that allow you to compete against all individuals that have posted rides in that area. This has been a great challenge on some tough segments and a way to search for new rides I never knew about.

The new training video game. Join users worldwide for group rides, road like feel, uniquely developed workouts and various challenges. Push your cycling avatar to new limits and earn the ability to customize your appearance and gear.

Computer based and mobile app used with smart trainers with 100’s of various workouts that will help you achieve whatever goal you are pursuing. You can also create your own workouts with the workout creator or transfer actual data files to mimic your favorite bike course or local ride. See the following article for importing your files or you can also use BestBikeSplit to access course files and create a file to mimic your goal race effort on that course. See the following article to import BestBikeSplit files into TrainerRoad.

Why do I Tri?

An innate need for understanding is human. Since the dawn of man we have continually asked many types of questions. “I am” therefore “I exist” and there must be a purpose for my existence. Ok, so maybe I am not really digging that deep, this is a triathlon blog not a debate on the meaning of life, stay with me. I get asked, “Why do I Tri?”, far too frequently to not take some time to evaluate a deep response. It just so happens, I contend with this question at the greatest frequency during the off-season, but here we are on the verge of a brand new season and I am still pondering. After extensive reflection of my many years in athletic pursuit I have been able to break down my response into four parts.

Part I-Health

As triathletes we are constantly challenged physically. The inherent discipline required for success has no bounds and your body reaps the benefits. Its that simple.

Part II-Well being

Prior to my annual “A” race I physically feel tip-top. This benefit not only pours into my physique, but also mental form. The human body was meant to move and with movement the rewards are numerous. I find myself approaching work and life’s challenges with ease and a calm mind. Good training sessions become Zen moments where I am able to escape the heavy weight of life responsibilities and step outside myself for realignment. Exercise is powerful medicine that should be doled out like water and available to every community. In fact, the sweet and immediate benefits from the neurochemical release of serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine and endorphins lace each session with happiness and cheer. Consistency in our training also improves aerobic capacity, metabolism, vascular health and body fat percentages. This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the health benefits that come along with your training.

Part III-The people

People from all walks of life toe the line at triathlons. Many of these triathletes have overcome a plethora of personal and physical battles. It is an environment free of discrimination. Triathletes pursue the same distance of the same course regardless of your experience, gender, age, race, ethnicity, religious preference and/or sexual preference. In fact, chances are your fellow competitors and spectators will be cheering everyone with a smile, funny signs and more cowbell (please more cowbell).

Beyond the support, triathlons also give a unique scenario that allows recreational athletes to compete on the same course and the same time as the professionals. Being able to cheer on your favorite pro’s as you race or snag a photo for your Facebook page at the finish is quite cool.

Part IV-Experience the world

Triathlons are a global phenomenon. You can plan your race season with your adventure cap on. The courses allow you to explore a unique world perspective. You are able to spend time swimming in the oceans, lakes or rivers; then head out on your bike blazing a PR on a flat prairie course, rolling hills or battle the mountains peaks; finally, finish it off in glorious pain as you run through trails, rural and urban landscapes. Now doesn’t that sound delightful.

So take some time and reflect on your favorite perks of triathlons and ask yourself,

“Why do I Tri?”


8 Sun Protection Tips For The Hot Days of Triathlon Training


Here in Nashville, TN we are in the thick of the dog days of summer. Triathletes spend these days logging extra hours as our training culminates closer to an annual “A” race. These long hours of sun exposure put us at risk for serious problems such as cancer, premature skin aging, painful sunburns and eye damage. Lucky for us, we have several ways to combat these risks. Follow these 8 tips to avoid common mistakes, protect yourself to continue to train, and have fun in the sun.

  • Choose a correct SPF protection. SPF of 30 or greater will help protect you the best.
    • Sunscreen boasts a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating which is merely a term that defines UVB protection. This means that if bare skin turns red within 20 minutes of sun exposure, a SPF rating of 15 correlates to a 15 time reduction of that reddening. SPF can also be thought of as a measure of UVB filtration. Where a SPF 15 rating filters ~93 percent , SPF 30 filters ~97 percent, and SPF 50 filters ~98 percent of UVB exposure. Notice, how SPF is focused on effects of UVB. Choosing a sunscreen with broad spectrum UV coverage is also important by reducing the effects of UVA exposure as well.
  • Use broad spectrum sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB sun radiation.
    • The sun exposes us to different wavelengths of visible light and ultraviolet(UV) light. These forms of ultraviolet light are UVA (wavelengths of 320-400nm) UVB (wavelengths of 290nm-320nm) and UVC which is even shorter but absorbed by the ozone layer. The UVA and UVB wavelengths have been the center of research and our understanding of their effects on skin damage continues to evolve. UVA wavelengths have deeper penetration to the skin and have been linked to premature aging, wrinkles and age spots, while UVB can burn our skin. Both UVA and UVB have been linked to skin cancer.
  • Timing.
    • Apply at least 15-30 minutes prior to each training session.
    • Timing application appropriately allow the active ingredients to be absorbed in the skin.
  • Reapplication.
    • Reapply based on the recommended duration of the sunscreen you are using. Consider earlier application on days you are sweating heavily or planning swim sessions.
    • Very water-resistant products only maintain about 80 minutes of protection.
    • Water-resistant products maintain about 40 minutes of protection.
    • Reapply sooner if you towel off sweat as this can remove the sunscreen from your skin.
  • Apply a sufficient amount.
    • Helps achieve the products stated SPF protection. Use at least 1oz of sunscreen for full body coverage.
    • Apply to all areas exposed to the sun.
    • Don’t forget to get the top of your head, lips, ears, back, neck, face and any other areas that will be exposed.
  • Sunscreen comes in multiple topical formulations, choose the one or many that are right for you:
    • Lotions: Easy to apply and works well on hairy areas.
    • Gel: Works well on hairy areas but can be drying to skin (can be offset with moisturizing ingredients).
    • Sprays: Easy application.
    • Ointments: Difficult to rub off, high penetration to skin increase effectiveness, great spot protection, and additional protection to areas prone to chaffing (a triathletes worst enemy!) but tends to be greasy.
    • Sticks: Great spot protection, high penetration to skin increase effectiveness, and difficult to rub off.
  • Use common sense and other preventative strategies:
    • Consider clothing with UV protection.
    • Darker color clothing can absorb more UV radiation than lighter colors.
    • Fabrics built with a tighter weave can also reduce UV penetration.
    • Note UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating of clothes. UPF is defined by amount of sun radiation the particular piece of clothing allows to reach your skin. For example a UPF rating of 50 is equivalent to 1/50th of the suns radiation reaching your skin. Just because a piece of clothing does not show a UPF rating it may still have sun radiation protection. UPF ratings just means a garment has been tested in a laboratory.
    • Do not forget your sunglasses.
    • Make sure they are equipped with UV protecting lenses. Consider larger lenses and/or wraparound sunglasses that maximize coverage.
    • Try to complete sessions in areas that provide more shade and less direct sunlight.
    • Limit sessions during the peak of sun radiation from 10am to 4pm.
    • Be aware of medications that can increase risk of sunburn.
    • Talk with your local pharmacist and/or physician to discuss potential medications that can increase your risks of burning in the sun.

Continue reading “8 Sun Protection Tips For The Hot Days of Triathlon Training”

Workout of the week-Swimming

Let me start this blog with a swimming workout. Swimming has always been my passion and I have had difficulty understanding why so many struggle in the swim. I remember my mother seeing me as a 2 year old fall into our backyard pool. She immediately panicked and ran after her little boy, but I naturally kicked my little feet and found my way to the side of the pool before my mom even got there. This stress and sense of fear is what limits many non-swimmers and some developing swimmers as well. So, if you have these fears then today is the day to let go and enjoy the beauty that is the aquatic world.

Swimming is a sport that takes time to master but that investment is well worth it. Take the time to learn stroke technique, watch adept swimmers (local club swimmers, youtube or on television), find a coach and/or join your local masters. The triathlon swim can be a chaotic mess, It can be stress free once you have mastered these skills and enjoyed lots of swimming time.

Modify this workout rest intervals to reflect your current abilities and if you need more rest take it.

Swimming Workout #1

Warm-up 500 yards Interval: At your own pace
Take this slow you are just starting a full workout. Mix in some non-freestyle swimming as well (Butterfly, backstroke or breaststroke).

Set 1

5x 100 yards

50 yards freestyle drill, 50 yards free Interval: 20 seconds rest
The first 50 focus on your stroke technique. Choose a drill that focuses on your weakness. If you are unsure what your weakness is then consider catch up freestyle drill. This drill focuses on your catch in the water by helping you maintain high elbow position. Watch the following video for some tips on success for this drill:
5x 100 yards moderate Interval: 20 seconds rest
Choose a rest interval that suites you. Each 100 should build-up to a moderate-hard pace.
Main Set

6x 300 yards

150 yards moderate, 150 yards moderate-hard Interval: 30 seconds rest
This set is to work on aerobic capacity. Each 300 should be around the same pace.
Final Set

4x 25 yards butterfly kick on back Interval: 10 seconds rest
4x 25 yards flutter kick on back Interval: 10 seconds rest
4x 25 yards butterfly kick on back Interval: 10 seconds rest

Cool Down

200 yards easy

Total yards: 3,800 yards

That is it. You did it! Hope you had fun.