Thursday, January 28, 2016

Justin Daerr

2016 Swim Challenge

Every year we set aside a couple weeks to up our swim training from our normal levels. While doing so, we put together a game to earn points to encourage a friendly competition.

Steel Challenge Follow Up

We recently wrapped up another successful Endurance Corner Steel Challenge. Everyone did a great job of picking up heavy things and putting them back down again.

Kona Qualifier: Ray Picard

Last year EC athlete, Dan Dungan (Dan-O), qualified for Kona after racing Ironmans for 15 years. Dan-O is always a fan favorite at camps and races and seeing him succeed brought a lot of joy to our team and to his long time friend and coach, Gordo Byrn.

Bridging Ironmans Redux

Recently, I decided to race back-to-back Ironmans across a 21-day time period: Ironman Canada-Whistler and Ironman Mont-Tremblant in Quebec; finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively. At the end of 2013, I did back-to-back Ironmans (Florida and Cozumel) across a 29-day time period.

Two "Go To" Swim Workouts

All athletes I know have a few “go to” workouts up their sleeves. These are the type of workouts that we tend to pull out when nothing is planned in stone, but something needs to get done.

Lately, the following two workouts have been a couple of my go-to swim sessions.

Session 1

Deciding to DNS

On April 11, our editor sent me an email with the following:

“I had an article idea for you which has come up from me wanting to ask a question on the forum, but thought it could have broader reach as an article on the main site: Deciding to DNS.”

Treadmill Hill Workouts

I always prefer to run outdoors, but sometimes the weather or other circumstances prevents a solid workout from happening. Over the years, I have come to embrace the treadmill and take advantage of what it has to offer. A lot of athletes like that a treadmill allows you to lock into a pace without having to think about it, but I actually prefer the treadmill for another reason: controlling the incline.

Swim Challenge Follow Up

For over five years, Endurance Corner has put together a swim challenge for our athletes and for the last two years, we have posted daily workouts on our site to help encourage a broader participation level. If you are interested in seeing the workouts we posted this year, you can find them here.

Interview with Tim Floyd of Magnolia Masters

In this podcast, we discuss USRPT application for triathletes with Tim Floyd of Magnolia Masters.

EC Swim Challenge 2015

Every year Endurance Corner puts together a two-week challenge for our athletes to up their swim training during the dead of winter. Like last year, we wanted to expand this challenge beyond our team and encourage anyone who visits the EC site to join us.

Steel Challenge Follow Up

A few days ago Endurance Corner wrapped up the Big Steel Challenge. For one month each winter, we encourage athletes to strength train more than most likely would and log each pound they push, pull, squat, lift, etc. Last year around this time I really felt that strength training was coming to the forefront (more than usual, at least) as a topic in endurance-themed articles. I think that trend is still hanging around.

December Steel Challenge

A few years ago, an idea came up on our forum to put together a “Steel Challenge.” The idea was basic enough: track the amount of weight you lift for one month. And while adding up the amount of heavy stuff we picked up and put down may or may not have been the best measurement of work, it was certainly the simplest and easiest tracking method.

So Now What?

by Justin Daerr

In my last article I covered what to do when you take an offseason. Assuming you took a break from the swim, bike, run world, the next question is: So now what? The answer, as with many things is: “It depends.”

First off, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere and just starting to train again, you are going to be confronted by winter. Even when winter doesn’t pose a major weather problem (Florida, Texas, Arizona, etc), it still creates problems with less daylight. You can be highly motivated to throw down some big training, but it becomes a problem when all the sessions before and after work have to be done in the dark. Nevertheless, pacing your season with the length of the days can provide a nice, natural progression. Volume grows as daylight grows.

Given the shorter days and less overall training volume, the next question becomes how to maximize the time that you have. Some popular answers include:

  1. Run a winter marathon. When I first started triathlon, this statement was less metaphorical. What I mean by that is: people would actually set aside a period of time to train for a winter marathon. Today, I take this idea to be more of a metaphor for a swim, bike, or run-specific focus in their training: that is, possibly setting aside a couple of the sports to focus on one. I think this satisfies the notion of trying to get something productive done with the limited time you have. I can understand and respect that, but I generally disagree with it as well. There are cases where an athlete has an unbalanced background (and can afford to set one sport aside), but generally speaking, I believe most triathletes should stay balanced in their approach and continue to train “normally,” albeit with less volume.

How "Off" Should I Be?

People have different definitions of “off” when it comes to defining an offseason. For some, it truly means a break in any and all activity. For others, it can just mean they do whatever they feel like for a while. For myself, it has changed over the years and what I did 10 years ago is not the same as what I do now.

Training Progression Discussion with the Triathlete Training Podcast

Justin Daerr was recently interviewed about his training progression with Eric Schwarz from the Triathlete Training Podcast. During the podcast, they discuss Justin's training leading in to IM Boulder, including his build over his years of racing, as well as his thoughts on racing at altitude and a slightly different approach to nutrition.

You can listen to the podcast here.

The Short/Long Stack

As athletes get ready to take on long course races (half ironman to ironman distance) they often question whether they might benefit from racing a shorter event in the final few weeks of preparation; specifically two to four weeks before their ‘A’ races. As with many questions, the answer is: “it depends.”

Ironman 70.3 Boulder

Our course profile for Ironman 70.3 Boulder in Colorado, as provided by Justin Daerr.

Bridging Ironmans

As the number of Ironman/long distance triathlons increases, it seems that more athletes are doubling (or even tripling) up on these long events in a short time period. Not only are they stacking events, but in some cases they are racing at a high level in all of them.

Ironman Boulder

Drawing on Endurance Corner's collective years of experience and access to an extended network of some of the most knowledgeable racers, we wanted to provide our best recommendations for approaching some of the biggest races around the world.

Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico

Drawing on Endurance Corner's collective years of experience and access to an extended network of some of the most knowledgeable racers, we wanted to provide our best recommendations for approaching some of the biggest races around the world.

Here, we profile Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR

Profile provided by Justin Daerr

Travel and Accommodations
San Juan has a major international airport and has direct flights from numerous locations in the U.S. You can find plenty of flights from the major airlines such as United and American, but be sure to check other airlines like Southwest to save on potential bike fees. TriBike Transport also services this race and can be a great alternative to flying with your bike.

The race takes place in the middle of the city and both host hotels are conveniently located at either the race start or T1. Additionally, there are numerous hotels in the area if you want to do some price comparisons. The race venue is only a 15 minute drive from the airport and cabs are plentiful, making the need for a rental car unnecessary.

Pre-Race Workouts
Prior to the race, you can access the swim course in the lagoon and because it is protected, it is nearly always calm throughout the day.

Cycling from the host hotels is fairly difficult without doing short out and backs or riding along the bike paths along the shore. When I raced there, I did a short ride near the hotel to make sure everything on my bike was in working order, but avoided doing anything particularly long.

Running can be done easily and I would recommend running along the ocean towards Old Town.


Ironman 70.3 Texas (Galveston)

Drawing on Endurance Corner's collective years of experience and access to an extended network of some of the most knowledgeable racers, we wanted to provide our best recommendations for approaching some of the biggest races around the world.

Profile provided by Justin Daerr

Travel and Accommodations: Galveston is located on the southeast side of the greater Houston, Texas area. If you are flying into Houston for the race, you have two options of airports: Hobby or Intercontinental. Hobby is a major Southwest Airlines hub and is located on the southeast side of town, making for quick access to Galveston Island. If you fly into Intercontinental, you will be on the north side of town and have to navigate through quite a lot of Houston traffic. Unless you are flying Frontier (no bike fees, but lands at Intercontinental)***, I recommend getting a Southwest flight ($75.00 bike fees as of 2013, no bag fees).

Galveston has endless accommodation options because of tourism. The race itself is located in Moody Gardens and it has a host hotel on site. This would easily be the most convenient, but if you have a large group, consider a beach house rental as a cheap and effective alternative. If you want to stay in a nice, historic hotel I would check out the Hotel Tremont or Hotel Galvez. Both are probably the most expensive options on the island, but very nice. Outside of that, there are countless chain motel/hotel options to consider.

EC Swim Challenge

Every year Endurance Corner puts together a two-week challenge for our athletes to up their swim training in February. This year we wanted to expand this challenge beyond our team and encourage anyone who visits the EC site to join us. Winter has been harsh this year (I’m pretty sure it’s snowing in Miami right now) and motivation can start to wane as the weather continues to be less than cooperative.

With that in mind, right now is the perfect time to give your swim fitness a bump with a two week overload.

Strength Training Discussion with IMTalk

Earlier this month, IMTalk posted a question on their Facebook page about strength training:

“What type of strength training do you do (if at all), and do you believe it actually makes you better/fast”?

Ironman Cozumel

Our course profile for Ironman Cozumel, provided by Justin Daerr.

Season Review with Your Training Log

As the season comes to a close, many of you will be assessing whether or not it was a successful one. Regardless of the amount of success, it is helpful to look back on the season to see where you can make improvements. This is where an athlete and coach really benefit from a well-kept training journal. The more details you give in your journals throughout the year, the easier it is to take an objective look at your season and to give context (for example, how you felt) to the training you did.

Ironman Arizona

Our course profile for Ironman Arizona, provided by Justin Daerr.

Pace Checking Intervals for Swimming

At our last Boulder Camp, I was asked to comment on how I approach swim training with triathletes who lack a swim background. All but one of the athletes I currently work with learned to swim when they took up triathlon, as I did when I was in college over a decade ago.

The Art of the Warm Up

The prime North American race season is starting to ramp up, with many big races already on the books in the South. Now seems like a great time to revisit an earlier article from Justin Daerr on training warm-ups and developing your pre-race routine.

Evaluating Early Season Performances

The triathlon season is starting to get underway here in North America and the weekends are filling up with events. If you live somewhere with a warm climate, you might be well on your way to peak fitness, while others are just starting to get their feet wet with competition. Assuming you did have a break in winter and you are only a few months into the new season, your approach to racing might be different than it will be later in the year.