Sunday, October 22, 2017

Some Improvements with my Run

My run has never been good nor bad. It was just okay. After Santa Cruz 70.3 my coach and I started to focus a bit more on improving my overall fitness and working on my run legs.

On October 1 I race my first short distance tri in a while at the Mission Bay Triathlon. The run portion was a 9K loop around Mission Bay. I had my best run off the bike and though I was disappointed with my split, I was happy to see that I ran my fastest split at a triathlon.

We continued on with a good block including one to two track sessions a week and added a 5K in Huntington Beach (PR!) las week, and an open marathon at the Inaugural Vista Beer Half Marathon today.

It was a nice change of pace. Both runs were brutal in their own way. The 5K was just sheer pain and tons of lactic acid build up I just could not get rid of fast enough to get the legs moving faster. It was a good effort, though it was not as fast as I'd hoped, it was still a PR.

Today was my first half marathon since Carlsbad 1/2 in January. I ran the Inaugural Vista Beer 1/2 Marathon, and it did not disappoint. I did NOT expect that much climbing (1K ft total). I wanted to run faster than what I did at the Carlsbad 1/2, which was a PR back then, and I did just that. But there are just so many lessons learned that it is leaving me hungrier to get back to training and get faster. We started in the Buena Vista Park on dirt roads. That was fun, but then reality hit: there were some (lots of!) punchy hills, some "walls," and some fast downhills. I had a certain goal in mind, which I achieved, but I can't help but look at the areas for improvement.

The hills at the Vista Beer 1/2
In all, I'm excited for the last 3 weeks of training before Cabo. It feels like 70.3 fitness is coming back, and with the last few positive races I've had this month, I am hoping that I can continue on that trend and put my fitness to use at Cabo.

Happy Training Y'all!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Training with a new sense of motivation

This first season as a professional athlete has had its fair share of ups, and a lot of downs. I've seen some very promising progress and results that I did not expect to see in my first season. I was ecstatic after Oceanside and Tremblant, feeling like things were going really well.

But I have also learned valuable lessons the hard way. I have over thought some situations, highly questioned myself and the decision of going all in, and overall, I just did not trust myself and the process enough. It cost me a lot of discomfort, a lot of self doubt, and numerous sleepless nights. I always try to remind myself that patience is virtue, but it's funny sometimes how one can completely ignore his/her own "wise words." It is simply easier to fall in the "I am not good enough anyway, so why bother" or "there's no way I can get to their level" train wreck. I hopped on that train for most of the season, with periods being worse than others.

August was a rough month to say the least, with Boulder 70.3 being the turning point. I knew that something was off going into this race prep. Physically I was getting weaker week over week, and mentally I was in a dark place I did not think I could get out of. Being all in means that I swim, bike, run, eat, rest, and repeat every day (trained seven days a week until after Boulder), without a single source of income. Seeing my wife taking the burden of supporting the household was/is hard to cope with, even despite the fact that she is uber supportive of me pursuing my dream.

But back to Boulder and the "turning point":

  • I tweaked my lower back during the scenic drive to Colorado. I did not think too much of it, but in hindsight, there were few factors that contributed to it. I was stressed out because I did not agree with the training approach that was used anymore. I questioned it and just merely did not trust the approach anymore. I am someone who needs to have a clear understanding of the approach and milestones needed to reach my goal (racing Kona as a pro). I have learned this year that I needed someone to really look at my training data for me and tell me when I do well or not, without sugar coding everything. In short, I no longer wanted to be the one trying to make sense of my training data, because my opinion was highly biased by how I felt on any given day
  • I raced Boulder with no clear race strategy, and the race strategy I was given was not coherent with the difficulty of the race. 
  • The race itself was the icing on the cake, and it just put on display all the difficulties I was facing. A slew of poor decisions on the swim which resulted in the lower back pain flaring up again in the water crushed the little confidence I had going in. I then proceeded to forget to take off my swim skin on the bike. My legs felt completely shut, and the lower back pain prevented me from going on the aerobars. I ended up free spinning the last 15 miles back to transition
  • I walked from the dismount line to my bike rack. I tried running, but every step sent an acute pain up to my lower back. I lasted 1 mile before throwing in the towel. 
I took a few days completely disconnected from society, which includes people and the Internet. It was much needed. After a few days of reflection, I made the decision to make big changes because I still believed that I could improve and I still believe that I can be competitive in the sport. 

I changed coaches: I took the methodical approach to reach out to some coaches and give them some time to do their research about me before talking to them. I wanted to see who truly had an interest in helping me get to the next level. It was disappointing. Out of the few coaches I reached out to, only one did his due diligence of researching me and reading through my website. After speaking to him for a good 30 minutes and making sure that he would be vested in my progression, Mariesa and I made the decision to switch. His vision was much more optimistic and the goals he lined up for me exceeded my own goals. I was excited to hear a coach whose vision was bigger than mine. I knew that meant that he'd push me hard. Having worked with a coach that has a very hand-off approach worked when I was racing as an age grouper, but I realized that I needed someone who would be on my tail constantly, reading my training log, analyzing data, and designing a plan and sessions that are tailored to the goals and racing. Being a big proponent of data analysis, he sold me on his approach. It's been a big adjustment to work with TrainingPeaks and comment on each of my training, and seeing my coach commenting back. 
It's been two months now and I can now make sense of each training session. I have regained confidence in my biking thanks to very specific training sessions around 70.3 racing. I am starting to feel like my run is shaping up nicely. It is headed in the right direction. And the same goes for the swim. I have never been pushed harder than when starting to work with him, and I am feeling a lot more confident and faster in the water. 

I only focus on me, and my training. I decided to no longer look at a start list or browse Instagram and Facebook to see what everyone is doing. The main focus is now me, my training, and I am making an effort to remove any negativity that could affect me. It may sound stupid, but I have learned to realize this season that being all in has implications beyond the financial aspect of not bringing any income in: it has made me more susceptible to negative comments. I can't tolerate sarcastic comment or judgment when it comes to my triathlon results or training, because to me, those comments are critics of what I should call my career, and those hurt sometimes. I also fear disappointing people and myself a lot more. I no longer have my day to day to fall back to if triathlon does not go well, so everything gets amplified. In short, I am really trying to remove anything that could drive this fear and drive negativity, and I am also trying to surround myself with people and brands that genuinely want to see me succeed. 

It was a longer post than originally intended, but I hope this gives a bit of an update to anyone wondering what I've been up to since Boulder. 

Cabo 70.3 is next and I am VERY excited for it! 

Happy training all! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wedded and back at it!

May has been a busy month!

After St George 70.3, the next big day was our wedding, and what a FUN day it was! Family, friends, great venue, food, and vino, and to top it all off, amazing weather made for an incredible day!

We took a few days off to travel with my parents to the Grand Canyon National Park, and what a stunner it was! It really helped put things into perspective when you're confronted with the grandeur of this wonder, making me realize that there is so much to see and explore in this world, yet I often find myself worrying too much about petty things. What I mean by that is that making the decision to go pro and give it a shot is something I should not doubt, but rather embrace. My main objectives are to see how far my body and mind will allow me to go, as well as hopefully motivate some people to embrace a more active life and pick up endurance sports. 

And so training has started again!

This week is the first of a two-week preparation block for Mt Tremblant 70.3. The first 3 days were tough, with some long, hard runs, a very hard bike interval set yesterday followed by a tough brick, and a long swim yesterday afternoon. There's more to come this weekend, but overall I am excited to be back on the bike (my favorite of all three!), and excited to get back in the pool and back on a track. 

Focus on nutrition and Rest and Recovery

Nutrition and R&R will be a major focus for the next 10-12 weeks. Of course, swimming, biking, and running are the obvious, but I noticed that I was more fatigued that usual despite not training as much nor as hard as early March and April. A quick analysis on what could be the root cause quickly pointed at my nutrition and R&R. With the family in town and the wedding festivities going on for few days, I allowed myself to enjoy some vino, cervezas, and some serious barbecue actions. I needed it, but now is the time to refocus on the essentials!
The next few months are going to be exciting. Mt Tremblant is in a little over 2 weeks, and soon after that Calgary 70.3 and  Boulder 70.3 will keep me busy this summer. I'll wrap up the summer racing with Santa Cruz 70.3 if my body allows it. 

Focus on having fun!

I need to not lose sight of the essential here, which is to have fun! Keeping this into perspective has helped me wake up early, go on long rides, and crush my legs at a track. This is what I consider the most important pillar of this first year as a pro athlete. So let's have fun, train hard, train smart, and enjoy the process while being uber safe! There has been too many posts on social media of athletes being fatally involved in bike/car accidents lately. Be safe, all and happy training!  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Some training updates & my next race...

Training has been going well. Oceanside 70.3 took a lot more out of me than I expected, and not just physically. I was more mentally exhausted than I was physically (don't get me wrong, race soreness was real for few days!). For three days I did not really want to get back to training. It was laborious. Motivation kicked in again the following Wednesday when I started to feel a bit better, and by Thursday I felt like I was mentally ready to get back into it. I definitely wasn't fully physically recovered.

And Kev (Tricoach) got me right back in it with a tempo run on the following Friday, followed by a long-ish ride on Saturday, and some open water swims here and there. My legs felt ten times heavier than a week ago, but mentally I was happy to train again and put in some work for St George.

St George, UT
The build to St George 70.3 

Intensity and volume have both ramped up quite a bit. My training volume is about the same as last year when I trained for Ironman. The big difference is that 1) I'm only racing 70.3s this season and 2) the intensity is kicking my rear! In between tempo runs, track workouts, long swim sets, Sufferfest interval trainer rides and long rides, my plate was full, and energy was very low at times. Rest days could not come fast enough, but overall I feel good with where my fitness level is as I have been able to be consistent with my training since February. My run has improved since January, and that showed at Oceanside, so has my swim.
At Nytro Multisport, Encinitas, CA

I am feeling better on the bike too. I have been spending a lot more time in the aero position and it is starting to feel more natural now. #workinprogress

The only changes I am making to my training is incorporating more climbing both on my rides and runs, doing some intervals run sets on hilly terrain. I am continuing to swim the same volume I did before Oceanside, and Kevin maintained key interval sets on the trainer and on the track to make sure we get some hard intensity efforts in. And those hurt. I am still intimidated by his intervals sets because I know how much each of them takes out of me, but I also look forward to each of them as I know they will make be a better runner and cyclist in the long run. And Kevin and I both know how much I need to improve :)


St George 70.3 

As always, this race attracts some of the best triathletes in the world, and this year's edition is no exception. Lionel Sanders, Sebastian Kienle, Tim Don, Brent McMahon, Ben Hoffman, Joe Gambles, Kevin Collington, Andreas Raelert, Trevor Wurtele, and this year A. Brownlee, the 2016 Olympic Gold medalist will be racing too...I could go on and on, but you get the point, the race is stacked with fantastic athletes, and I am excited to toe the line with these guys.

The only expectation I have is to give it my very best on the day and learn as much as I can. That is the only goal I have for this race, and essentially for this season. 

2017 NA Pro Championship Start List 
Happy training all!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Order from Trisports & Enter A Raffle Event At The End of the Season!

Trisports is a family-owned business that focuses on everything swimming, biking, and running and everything in between. They are based out of Tucson, AZ, and one thing is certain, they treat customers like their own! 
After two years racing for the Trisports Elite Team, they are supporting me again this year, in what will be my first year racing as a professional triathlete. 
I can't say enough good things about them, but I really think one needs to order from them to realize it. And as if it wasn't already enough, Trisports kindly set up a 15% discount to everyone who uses the below code and link
Discount code: TEAMSHARE15
Click HERE or on the image below 
End goal: As more people use the link and code for their orders, I collect points or “credits.” My plan is to “give those points” back in a form of a raffle at the end of the season. The more points I get, the bigger the raffle prize. This could potentially be a BIG raffle! 

It will be my way to give back to everyone who supported me.  

Any question, let me know!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why Nytro Multisport Bike Shop in Encinitas, CA?

It is hard for me to let people work on my bike, because most bike shops either aren't as knowledgeable as they need to be to work on the P5, or they simply charge you an arm and leg for simple repairs as soon as they see your machine.  I brought my bike to a bike shop in Carlsbad, CA to get my tubulars replaced. That shop ended up ripping carbon layers off the wheel, making it unridable (as per the bike mechanic!). They waited two days to tell me. They did not apologize, did not offer a loaner wheel, and they did not offer to help replace it nor a shop deal. Mind blown... I will NEVER go back there. Feel free to ask me off line who they are (they have a shop in Carlsbad, Encinitas, and San Diego).

So why Nytro Multisport, then?

I needed to get the bike checked out because something was off with the aerobars and the rear brake. I dreaded bringing the bike to another bike shop because of what happened, but I ended up stopping by Nytro Multisport. Since they are a Cervelo retailer, I was hoping that they had a little knowledge about my bike. I fully expected them to ask me to set up an appointment and come back another day. Instead, Joe put the bike on the repair stand, looked at it and walked me through what he was seeing. He fixed the cockpit and bled my rear brake because he said "I would hate to see you leave the shop without a rear brake." That was a 75min job. I walked in with little faith, and I walked out with a fine tuned bike ready to roll! They went above and beyond my expectations, and for that I am very thankful and glad I found them, because I knew that day I finally found a bike shop that was professional, knowledgeable, and that cares about its customers and their safety. 

I really hope this video gives you an idea of what Nytro is about. If you are in the area and need anything bike related (and swimming and running too for that matter), stop by and say hi to Joe, Rocky, and Skip. Happy training and be safe on the road!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

20K Time Trial Effort on Fiesta Island, San Diego, CA

I started with my nice looking Kiwami Kings aero jacket and Trisports bibs, and stayed white for a good 2 minutes. It was a fun, hard effort on the island this weekend. The season is off the a good start!