A week or so ago I got and email from a good friend's girlfriend who will be "tri-ing" for the first time this summer, and needless to say she had questions!  Knowing she's not the only one heading out to their first triathlon this summer, knowing the multitude of questions that come with trying something new, and knowing we Brand Ambassadors haven't posted in AGES I thought a recap of her questions and my answers might be useful to a broader audience, and might spark some discussion of your own tips and tricks.  Who knows - maybe I can pick up some new tri knowledge myself! 

Hi Meg! So I have plenty of questions about triathlons for you! I wasn't sure if you would be receptive of me bugging you so I didn't email sooner but your comment has opened the floodgates so I hope you're ready? Ha! Ok, here they are:

1. I know you have allergies to corn and Dave mentioned that you can't do some of the gels? What do you use for fuel during a race? I would like to make my own all-natural gels but I'm not sure if It's even worth it since I just keep seeing recipes online for homemade gels made with rice and corn syrups...processed, boooo!

I stick with either Cytomax drops or Honey Stinger chews if I'm going for something processed because I know they don't upset my stomach. I spent all my long training sessions a couple of summers ago experimenting with different chews and gels to see which would upset my stomach and which were okay. If you're looking for something packaged I'd say experiment and see what works for you! If you're looking for something less processed I find dried fruit can actually be a little easier to handle because it's not as chewy and sticky and all that when you're on the run or the bike. I like dried apricots, dates if I'm on a really long run, and prunes. I know it sounds a little off, but they work for me. You just really need to experiment and see what your body can handle.

2. How long have you been doing triathlons?

I did my first triathlon in 2010 after building up to my first marathon in 2009. Last summer I did 12 (?) triathlons, and this summer I'll do 8 leading up to the Ironman. 12 is a lot - you race pretty much every weekend and you get TIRED. I wouldn't recommend doing that.

3. What does your training schedule look like on an average week? I run an average of only 15mi/week, 35mi/week bike (at least 1 trainer night on top of that) and master swim once/week and 2 more swims on my own or with a group. Sometimes I do 2 workouts in one day and there are some Sundays where I'll do all 3 sports in a sprint Tri set up on my own (pool of course).. Dave thinks I do too much? My longest Tri this summer will be the Olympic distance so I don't think I'm doing too much?

My average training week is insane because of the Ironman, but I still have a day off. For an Olympic you shouldn't need to train more than once a day with a long run and a long ride on the weekends and either Friday or Monday as an off day (though you could probably still sneak in some EASY yoga - no hot yoga, no power fusion, no sculpt - just easy stretchy yoga!) I'd avoid stacking workouts back to back and only brick my bike into a short (20 minute or so) run once or twice a month for an olympic. The brick is more about getting your legs used to switching from bike to run so they don't feel like lead for as long. I can shoot you the brick workout I have to do if you want... I'd agree with Dave (though you don't have to tell him that!) and back it off a little. Training is important, but rest and recovery are just as important, if not more so!

4. How long do you take off for rest periods? I've heard it's good to take a whole week off every month but I can only go a few days before I go crazy!

My training plan has one rest day a week built in where I'm not supposed to do anything. My coach has agreed to let me go to yoga on that day (see the yoga note above) but that's it. No making up missed workouts, no sneaking in an "easy 5k", no workouts. period. I'm also on a 4 week training cycle where I work out hard for three weeks, and on the 4th week I back my training off and all workouts are recommended, but not required. Not only does it give my body a bit of a break, but it also gives me a mental break from knowing I need to get two intense workouts in a day. I generally still do the workouts in recovery week, but if I feel like I need a break and skip them I don't let myself feel guilty about it.

5. Do you ever just feel like crap and skip a training day and just lay on the couch and eat sh*tty food?

YES. There are days I'm sick of training, or really want to eat like crap or don't feel like getting out of bed in the morning. And that's okay! Recovery weeks help keep it to a minimum during the rest of training, but it still happens regardless. My tactic for dealing with it is to either agree to start the workout and if I'm still not feeling it a set way through I can stop, head to the gym and do something similar - like a spin class if I'm supposed to be out on the bike, and if neither of those things work I remind myself that while all training sessions are important and build strength, sometimes I need to take a little break, and missing one workout doesn't mean I won't finish.

6. Do you ever feel like your workout just sucked and that you're possibly getting worse or slower at running/bike/swim?

Oh yes - I've had several of those workouts lately. I remind myself that it takes two weeks for a good workout to have an impact, and that any workout still helps build fitness or speed. And then I think about why it might have sucked - have I been pushing too hard lately and did I cross the overtraining line? Did I not drink enough water today or eat the way I should be? Am I having a bit of an allergic reaction? Is there something else in life going on that's bothering me? SOOOO many different things can impact training that bad workouts happen - don't worry too much about it unless it happens a few times in a row.

7. Do you throw in weight training? Speed workouts?

I do strength exercises twice a week in addition to the swim/bike/run workouts to strengthen alternate muscle groups and make myself some sweet looking muscles. I'd stick with two or three weight sessions a week, and not heavy - lighter weight with more reps - otherwise you're just counteracting your sport specific workouts. I do one run speed workout, and one bike speed workout a week to work those fast twitch muscles and you shouldn't need to do much more than that. I only swim twice a week since it's my strength so one session is for distance and the other is for speed.

8. Do you have any transition tips that you think make a difference in your time?

Transition tips - in no particular order: Practice, practice, practice! Put baby powder in your bike shoes to help dry your feet out after the swim. Roll your socks - they go on faster that way. Get a race belt that clips on easily so you don't have to deal with safety pins. Sunscreen AFTER body marking, and use the spray stuff so your number doesn't smear. DON'T use cooking spray on your wetsuit, no matter what people tell you - it will damage the neoprene and that's no bueno... find TriSlide and use that. Be sure to body glide your neck, ankles under your wetsuit, and wrists if you go full sleeves - it makes taking your wetsuit off WAY easier. Timing chip UNDER your wetsuit so you don't lose it and it doesn't cause as much drag on the swim or get tangled in wetsuit removal. There is NO shame in sitting down to get the rest of your wetsuit off, especially since it tends to be faster than hopping around and falling over. Walk each of the transitions you'll have to do before the race so you know where you're going. Wear a hat on the run even if you don't think you'll need it - they're great to fill with ice on a hot day, not to mention the sun protection. Crinkle your bib before you put it on/on your race belt - it won't flop around in the wind on the bike or run as much. Try to get a spot on the end of the transition rack - it'll be easier to find your bike and you'll only be fighting one person for space. Lay everything you might need out in your transition zone - it's easier than digging through your bag when you're on the clock. Put a towel or something down on the ground in your zone to mark your territory and give you somewhere to stand when you're changing footwear. Ummmm... that's all I've got right now, but if I come up with some others I'll let you know!

9. Have you ever had an injury that you've had to take time off from?

I ended last season with a stress fracture in my foot - not the best way to go out, but at least it was the end of the season and I could take some time off from running. Other than that I've been pretty lucky, though I do experience the usual aches, pains, and injuries that come with training - bruises and scrapes from crashing my bike, chafing (body glide and D's Nutz are both awesome to help prevent and alleviate it...), muscle tightness and soreness, tiredness, and irritability. These all come and go, I just really focus on trying to deal with things before they're an issue. I get a 90 minute sports massage once a month, see an athletic trainer/PT/chiropractor once a month, gently stretch after running and (mostly) eat really clean. Ice is also my best friend for anything that feels a bit "off" after a workout. Listen to your body, and just take really good care of yourself. One trick to tell if you're doing too much? Take your resting heart rate, and consistently check your heart rate when you wake up in the morning before you get out of bed. If it's higher than normal you're overtraining and you should probably back it off a little. Overtraining easily leads to injury.

Ummm....I think that's it for now! Thanks for letting me interview you! Any other tips you have I would love to hear. Next year I'd like to do a half iron man and a full the next year. I started running a year ago and swimming last August and just cycling classes through the winter. I just bought my bike and Dave is getting me used to clipping in and has been riding with me, super nube right here!

Anyway, have a great night!

If you have any questions, or need clarification on anything don't hesitate to ask!  Most importantly - HAVE FUN - triathlon is a great sport, and a really welcoming, inclusive community.

And there you have it - my thoughts on Kristi's top 10 triathlon questions.  What questions do you have?  Any tips or tricks I forgot that you'd like to share?  Any other thoughts on rest, recovery or training?  I'd love to hear them! 
The gist of the packing list.
... swimming, biking, and running?

I set out on a journey Friday morning into the expanse of the Rocky Mountains, feeling a little nuts as I brushed the overnight snow off my four-wheeled, AWD winter vehicle, fully equipped with camping supplies and my bicycle. Driving up I-70, I nervously realized the potential of this trip to head in the wrong direction, perhaps due to unfinished planning, a non-existent car adapter for the new phone, and the fact I was traveling solo. The lonely triathlete lifestyle had seemingly edged in on my need for travel companions. But I kept my mind focused on the end goal of the weekend: the inaugural Desert's Edge Triathlon, a race to end the season for many.

Did you take any photos with Instagram this year at the Denver Triathlon or while wearing Denver Tri gear? Add the Hashtag #DenverTriathlon and watch them appear on this blog post. Ah, the magic of the internet! 

by Ryan Borger: USAT Certified Coach

Here I offer a more in-depth look into planning for race day as well as some simple tips for smart and fast transitions.  There are some general procedures most triathletes choose to follow when it comes to things like the gear used on race day and strategy for executing transitions, yet you may choose to do things slightly different than the athlete next to you. A lot depends on whether you're after speed and trying to reach the podium, or if the goal is simply to cross the finish line. Sometimes, the difference is in the details. Also, the purpose of planned race prep can be to calm the nerves. When you're confident you have everything in place, you can relax and focus on racing.

Things to do prior to entering the transition area on race morning:
  • Inflate your bike tires. You'll want approximately 115-120 PSI of pressure in your tires (slightly more if you have tubular (sew-up) tires glued on race wheels, and slightly less if you have cheaper tires than cannot handle that much pressure, or if the bike course if extremely bumpy and you want a smoother ride). Do this the morning of the race as air pressure often leaks overnight.  *Your tire should say the max PSI recommended on the sidewall. Check first before inflating.
  • Tape gels to your bike top tube (or put inside Bento Box/storage compartment on bike top tube if you have one, or in tri top pockets)
  • Fill water bottles with electrolyte drink and/or water
  • Tape/ stick your bike race number on the bike frame & helmet sticker on your helmet
  • Check that you have you timing chip, swim cap, race number for bike (if it’s not already on your bike), run race number, & race belt (or race run top with race number pinned to it)
  • Go through your bike gears to ensure smooth shifting & that your bike is working and shifting perfectly
  • Turn on/reset your bike computer/GPS if you use one on your bike, so you'll be able to track accurate distance on the course
Take these items into transition with you on race morning:

  • Tri suit or tri top + tri shorts (you’ll want to be wearing this already)
  • Wetsuit (if wearing one)
  • Goggles
  • Cap (supplied by the race)
  • Timing chip band for ankle (supplied by the race)
  • TriSlide/Body Glide/SportShield stick/etc. for greasing your body under wetsuit (optional) *Tip: you can also grease the outside of your wetsuit around the ankle areas. This will help keep the suit from getting hung up on your feet/heels when pulling it off
  • Small towel (optional – to lay your run shoes/race belt, etc. on)
  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Cycling shoes
  • Sunglasses (optional)
  • Rubber bands (optional – if you want to start with your bike shoes clipped in pedals)
  • Running shoes
  • Race belt with race number attached/pinned on it or running shirt with race number pinned on
  • Hat or visor
  • sunglasses (optional & if not already worn on bike)
  • gels (optional)
You’ll most likely be assigned a number or spot to rack your bike at most races. Other races give you the choice to select any open spot in the transition area.  If the latter is the case, choose a spot close to the very end of the rack, and close to the BIKE OUT transition exit.  It will be easier to find your bike if it's at the end of the rack, and if it's racked near the BKE OUT, you'll have to run less distance through transition with your bike.   I like to rack the bike by hanging the nose of the seat over the bike rack rail (if the ground and/or rack is sloped so that the bike isn’t very stable, or if you have a very large frame like I do and it’s too tall to hang by the seat, you can often mount the bike by the handlebars on the rack rail. Check with race director prior to confirm that’s ok to do, as some races have strict rules on setup.

Set up your bike by leaving your bike in the proper gearing - a gear that won’t force you to have to shift immediately when you mount on the bike. For example, if there’s a huge hill right out of the transition area, put the bike in an easier gear so you're able to pedal at a normal cadence right out of transition, instead of having to shift right away. Same goes with downhills and flats – if it’s flat or downhill right out of transition, put the bike in a harder gear that wouldn’t require a ton of shifting right when you get on the bike and would allow you to reach fast speeds quickly. It's no fun realizing you have to shift a bunch of times just to be able to get the pedals going once you mount the bike.

When you set up your bike in transition on the rack, on the ground lay out your bike helmet, sunglasses (optional), bike shoes (unless starting with shoes clipped in pedals), run shoes, race belt with run bib number clipped on it (or run top with race number pinned on it), and energy gels (optional - for longer races). You shouldn’t need anything else.  I don’t recommend racing in socks, unless it’s a half iron distance or full iron distance race, then I would recommend socks. Putting on socks = slower transition times, and it’s all about speed, right? If not, then socks are certainly up to you as they may be more comfortable and prevent blisters.

Another option for placing your bike helmet is to leave it resting on the bike's handlebars instead of on the ground next to your bike. This one is up to you. At my races, if my bike isn't very stable due to the rack setup, I often leave my helmet on the ground right next to the bike, since there is the chance that another athlete could (unintentionally, of course...) bump or shake the rack while grabbing their own bike, thus knocking your helmet off your handlebars. If the rack is stable and can''t shake much, usually you'll be fine to leave your helmet hanging from or resting on your handlebars. I have been in a few races where I've gotten to my bike after the swim, and I'm unable to find my helmet right away. It's not where I'd left it. In most cases, I've found it somewhere on the ground nearby, as someone has bumped the bike or shook the rack while focusing on grabbing their own bike, and my helmet got knocked off the handlebars and rolled a few feet away.  Now, if you really want to avoid this from ever happening, just swim faster than everyone and make sure you’re first to the bike racks - right !!  Remember, USAT rules say that you must have your helmet strap unclipped when you grab your helmet after the swim. You then put it on and clip the helmet strap prior to leaving the transition area with your bike. You’re not allowed to have the helmet strap clipped when the helmet is sitting in transition.

What else should I think about before the race?
Familiarize yourself with the course maps found online or at the race expo/check-in area. You will check in and get your race packet either the day before or right before the race. Check race website for all details on that as each race is different.  You will need your ID to pick up your race packet, and USAT membership card if you have one. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay a $12 one day USAT fee.

Leave everything you don’t need (bag, sunscreen, towel, extra water, extra goggles, cell phone, keys…etc) in a small backpack or gear bag and find a spot below your bike rack for it. Some races make you check gear bags in a holding area, and races with 2 different transition areas (such as the Denver Triathlon, LA Triathlon, etc) have slightly different directions. However, most allow you to leave the bag next to your bike in the transition area.

BEFORE LEAVING TRANSITION TO GO TO THE SWIM START, DOUBLE CHECK WHERE YOU’VE RACKED YOUR BIKE!!! This is very important because it’s easy to come out of the water feeling slightly disoriented. You'll be tired, a bit turned around, and possibly a bit dizzy. You need to know where you bike is if you want a fast transition, and your bike rack spot will look different when you're approaching it coming from the swim exit. Some races have thousands of bikes, so familiarize yourself which rack your bike is at.  Count the racks, look for landmarks in transition area close to your rack, or you can even drape a flashy colored shirt next to your bike so you can look for it. I used to drape a pair of hot pink Asics running shorts on the rack next to my bike, so I could easily spot my bike. Plus, I gained some popularity points since everyone thought I was going to sport the 1980s hot pink slit shorties on the run course - even though I never did...though I really should have.   There's occasionally the folks who spend 10 minutes drawing artistic chalk art on the pavement in front of their spot. In my opinion, I think that's a bit obsessive, though if you really need to draw out a giant star...or picture of a rainbow or unicorn in chalk...I suppose you should do it if that's the only way you'll find your bike amongst the racks. Coming out of the swim, many bikes and racks look the same, so do what you need to do to know where your bike is.

Also, note where the SWIM IN, BIKE OUT, BIKE IN, and RUN OUT exits/entrances are to the transition area so you are familiar where you’ll be going throughout the race. Visualize each part of transition 1 and 2 in your mind.

Head down to the lake/ocean at least 15-25 minutes before your swim wave takeoff time is, depending on if you want to and are able to get in a short swim warmup. All you need is your wetsuit on, your cap, your goggles, and timing chip on your ankle. You can usually get in the water on the side of the start somewhere for a short swim warmup (though some larger races don’t allow swim warmups).

Swim: After the swim, you’ll run into transition and approach your bike/transition spot. You can start unzipping your wetsuit as you run into transition. Once at your bike, pull off your wetsuit, put on your bike shoes, helmet, and sunglasses (if needed). Once you clip your helmet, grab the bike and head to the BIKE OUT exit. You can't mount onto your bike until the MOUNT LINE, which should be clearly marked. Race volunteers are usually yelling at you where/when you can mount, so you won't miss it.  After you cross the mount line, start riding fast! (For triathlons like the Denver Triathlon, since there are 2 separate transition areas, you'll need to stuff your wetsuit, cap, and goggles into your gear bag before grabbing your bike, since the race crew will transport your gear bag back to the finish for you and they require you to place all items in the bag after exiting the swim).

Bike: For an Olympic distance, I recommend taking 1-2 gels on the bike, one about 10 minutes into the bike, and the other about 25-30 minutes after that if you're someone who needs a few more calories. You should know from training what your body can handle and needs. You're not going to want you taking a gel right before the run if you know your stomach won’t handle it well on the run, so plan ahead and remember the timing of your nutrition. Usually from the high intensity on the bike, if most people give 20+ minutes of riding or so after taking a gel before the run, by the run it’s a bit more digested and they usually can't stomach it just fine. But, this is very individual and each athlete needs to learn what works for them.
Before coming into the BIKE IN entrance to transition, once again you’ll see a DISMOUNT bike line. You must unclip your shoes (for those using clip-ins) and dismount before that line. Once off the bike, run it into transition to your rack. Rack the bike, take off your helmet and bike shoes, put on your running shoes and race belt with number (unless you are in a race which requires you to ride the bike portion with the race belt too…most don’t as you will have a bike # sticker on the bike already). Run to the RUN OUT transition exit.
(Advanced riders can unstrap shoes prior to the dismount line and slip feet out, leaving the shoes clipped in the pedals the entire time. If you do this, you can ride a bit on top of your shoes, then dismount, then run barefoot into transition as your shoes will still be clipped into the pedals. However, this will only save you time if you've practiced this and can do it efficiently).

There are a lot of details to think about come race day, but if you plan things out beforehand, it can help ease your mind and enable you to enjoy the day and execute on the course.

-Ryan Borger
USAT Certified Coach, Pro Triathlete

“It’s ALL about the Run”

A triathlon is an amazing thing.  A test of fitness, endurance, mental strength, satisfaction, etc. etc….    It’s also not just about race day for me.  Of course, it’s the races that help motivate you, but acceptance of the lifestyle is what it’s all about!  As you read this, please don’t take it too seriously because if you know me, I can be a bit sarcastic at times, and this is just one angle at this particular moment in time……next week, I’ll talk your ear off about how a $10,000 bicycle and the bike portion will make you a Kona Champion…… right…. ;-)

You may ask “I thought a triathlon included a swim, bike, and a run”?   Well, of course it does, and to become proficient at all three, there’s only a few minor things you have to do:  swim, bike, and run….. and depending on the distance you are training for one has swim, bike, and run A LOT.   It’s the combination of these sports that provide a wonderful balance in your training which ultimately limit the potential for injury.  I have personally been in the sport for 6-7 years, and am becoming more fit and faster as I get older.  I have always had an inclination and ability in whatever sport I played, and enjoy the competition as well as the community or team aspect.  And again you may ask “aren’t you pretty much on your own in a triathlon”?  The short answer is yes!  Come race day, it’s you against several hundred or thousand other folks trying to cross that finish line.  In the end, I go back to the acceptance of a lifestyle that makes triathlons a community.  There are clubs, masters swim programs, friends, running groups, organized bike rides from your Local Bike Shop, etc.  These all provide a wonderful avenue to connect and learn from like-minded individuals who simply “get it.”  

A few weeks ago I decided I needed "practice race" in anticipation of the Denver Triathlon, so I spent this past Saturday in Windsor for the Pelican Fest Triathlon.  This fast, flat, short sprint tri was a great way to start the season and get excited and ready to race the Denver Triathon on June 10!  With ½ mile swim, 10 miles on the bike, and a 5k run my drive to Windsor and back took longer than the event itself!  Fortunately, when I race Denver in a week and a half not only do I get to race a sweet course, I don't have to commute!  Hurray for the only triathlon in Downtown Denver!  

For a day that dawned with hazy and grey skies, this less than 300 person triathlon kicked off right at the beginning of a beautiful Colorado spring day!  The 8am start saw a glassy lake, perfect for an early morning swim, if only the water temperature were warmer!  62 degrees doesn’t seem that chilly until you realize you brought your sleeveless wetsuit, you’re all warmed up, and you have to get back out of the water for a beach start.  The layout of the buoys made for a slightly longer swim if you were sighting them instead of the transition out of the water, but all in all the swim course was straightforward.  If only I’d actually managed an open water swim in frigid waters BEFORE my first race of the season!  And one of these days I’m going to remember to use my legs for more than rudders so they get a chance to warm up for the ride.  Note to self for the Denver Tri:  USE YOUR LEGS!  And enjoy the warmer water!  My swim performance wasn’t what I hoped it would be, especially after the shock of warming up waiting for the start only to submerge myself in Polar Bear Club worthy waters once again (the in and out three times trick didn’t work here…) but I survived and pushed on to transition one.   

 Hopefully this post finds us all training hard for the Denver Triathlon. When I say "us" I actually mean "you" because alas, I have fallen to injury and am feeling incomplete in efforts to prepare for my first olympic distance triathlon. So there I was in Maui on my birthday (don't all feel bad for me at once), running in last year's shoes instead of the Vibrams I had been using, and aggravated my left foot. Sadly I have had to stay off of it for the past few weeks, and those new NB minimus shoes I looked forward to running in will have to stay in their box indefinitely. I suppose the good thing about a trio of sports is always having another option. And now to dive into the topic of swimming...

The gun for the Half Rev went off at 7:30am est with the first wave of athletes starting the swim in the Tennessee River. The course took athletes upstream for about 4/10 of a mile before shooting back down stream, past the start, and on to the exit. The swim seemed a bit long, and my time of 34:28 confirms that it at least had the potential of being long. Nothing remarkable to note about the swim, which is good because races have a way of being off in the swim fairly often.

The 56 mile bike course left Knoxville and sent riders east in the direction of the beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains. Though the course did not get as far as the real mountains, it did weave in and out and over some of the foothills. The course was as challenging as it was gorgeous. As a frame of reference, my last two half iron bike splits have been 2:12 and 2:18 respectively, my time this past weekend was 2:35. Sharp climbs were typically followed by technical descents, and there were several ninety degree turns thrown in as well. This actually favors me due to having done a significant amount of bike racing. About 10 miles in to the ride, I met a guy named Shay. We decided to legally pace each other and it worked great.

Felt great on the bike until about mile 45. It was about then that I started feeling the 80 degree temps and nearly 70% humidity. Simply put, I just couldn't keep up with my sweat rate. Also, at about this time at a turn around, I saw Whitney on the course. She had started 10 minutes behind me and the course suited her riding style, so I was not surprised to see her about 2 minutes behind me. She looked great and I was looking forward to her catching me. At about mile 50 I had a technical problem with my front brake and it start sliding ovder catching my front wheel. I stopped twice to correct it and it cost me about a minute and a half or so.

After adjusting the bike, all was good for the final few miles back to the transition on Neyland Stadium. While leaving transition I look up to see Whit entering. I yell to her "I see you Garcia, better come get me!"

A former business partner would tell me this all the time when we were setting up a financial planning practice. Any time I would get sidetracked with fun little projects to add “value” to the business he would bring me back down to Earth with “Remember James, the main thing, is to keep the main thing the main thing!”  

He was right. When you set a goal you should evaluate what steps you’re taking to reach that goal.  If something that  you’re doing is fun, productive, and creative or whatever, yet is taking your  attention away from the “main thing” (your goal) then, perhaps you shouldn’t be  doing it, or at least limit the amount of energy you expend on it. 

When preparing for my first triathlon I got very distracted by all the gadgets and fun gear that comes along with the world of
triathlon.  I completed V02 max testing, underwater swim stroke analysis and nutritional coaching. Near bankruptcy, I purchased the Computrainer, Garmin 910xt GPS watch, the Transition Specialized Tri bike, clip-less pedals with Specialized Tri-vent bike shoes, Zoot slip-on running shoes, a Kiwami one-piece tri-kit, Xterra full body wetsuit, Catseye odometer and cadence counter, Zipp race wheels, compression socks, and more spandex related clothing than any man should own.  I tried different workouts from Beginner Triathlete, Joe Friels Triathlon Bible, Evolution Running, and practiced 3 different swimming strokes from 5 different sources.   I spent so much time learning about triathlon, researching products to do a triathlon that I lost focus on what it takes to finish a triathlon.

Everyone that knows me is pretty much aware of the fact I tend to go a little crazy with hobbies and interest. It is just part of my personality.  I even take weight loss to extremes and this past week I might have taken my race plans too far.

Like a lot of people, my first experience with triathlon was on TV and the coverage of the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii. No surprise that it would be a dream to race there, but the qualifying bit sounds a bit hard and the lottery probably harder (with my luck). So it really got me thinking when Ironman announced the Kona Inspired contest. 8 people will be chosen to race in Kona this year based on their story and how they exemplify the Anything is Possible mantra.

I entered. It is a little crazy and possibly a long shot, but I definitely personify the Anything is Possible mantra and have the history to prove it. If you you'd like to see my Kona Inspired Entry you can click here. I won't mind at all if you vote for me too, that would actually be pretty swell.

This morning I did a little follow up video, which I hope to do fairly often to document my season and training where I talk a little bit about the Kona Inspired entry, Denver Triathlon, and Hurting.

If you didn't click the links above already I'll just tell you -
Over the last few years I've lost almost 200 pounds. I am nearly half the size I was just a few years ago.  My first triathlon seemed like a nearly impossible long shot of a dream when I decided I wanted to do one. At the time I had no idea how addicted to the sport I would become, but now it has helped take my weight, health, and fitness goals to entirely new heights.

I am very passionate about health, and now more than ever weight loss. Obesity is a big problem - 2/3rds of all adults are over weight and it is the second leading cause of death in the US. We are essentially digging our own graves with a fork.  For the majority of the overweight and morbidly obese people the idea of getting to a healthy weight seems impossible, just as impossible as the first sprint tri, and effeminately just as impossible as completing the Kona Ironman.

Obviously, I'm of the opinion that it is entirely possible, and I could go on and on about how it is not only possible but how one can do it. In fact I've already wrote a book on the subject. (It's free and available on line).  An Ironman race is in my sights, but it would be a a great season to start off with the Denver Triathlon right here in Denver  June 10th and finish in Kona Hawaii at the Ironman world championships in October.