Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cool stuff...

Back with another post...

With Peter Reid as my coach, I've been able to meet a lot of cool people, and have some great opportunities. One of the coolest opportunities I have had recently was meeting another client of Peter's, Andy Christian, a Lieutenant in the Marine Corp. I was able to ride with him and help him in his preparations some for Ironman Arizona.

The amazing thing about Andy is that he was able to raise over $60,000 for injured and deceased Marines and their families, with his training and racing. Impressive to say the least. Not only that, he ended up racing pretty well and carrying a US flag for the entire marathon!

Check out his race report at Peter's website. Awesome job Andy!


Andy really inspired me, and I'm excited to announce that I will have a custom designed suit for the upcoming season, which will hopefully have a great US-based theme. I'm working with he boys and gals at Sandbox, in Solana Beach, CA. Should be cool....Look for it soon.

Vance - 2007 NFA

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Inside Triathlon Post

Sorry about the recent lack of posts, but had a lot going on!

I did manage to write a racer diary for Inside Triathlon's website, check it out...


Back with more soon!

Vance - 2007 NFA

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The long awaited NEW BIKE

I will let the photos do most of the talking...

Notice the drop, it's increased from the Specialized quite a bit, as this bike gives me much more adjustability....Hopefully I will have enough time to make sure it's right.

Kuota bottles too...

The cockpit...

Notice the internal cable-routing, a new feature!
Rode it for 4 hours on Wednesday, dialing it in. Looking forward to more rides soon.
Vance - 2007 NFA

Monday, April 9, 2007

Aerodynamics and trying to keep up...

Today I was reading Slowtwitch, and came across this article on Ivan Basso, and him testing his TT position here in San Diego, at the Low Speed Wind Tunnel. It's a great article discussing all the different tweaking and position changes which can affect the aerodynamics and overall speed of the rider.

In this article, it talks about Chris Lieto being at the tunnel, waiting for the Discovery Team boys to finish up, so he and his coach, Max Testa, can get into the tunnel. I just shook my head incrediluously, as Trek is really taking good care of their riders. I wish I had a company putting me in the wind tunnel to test my position.

It's ironic that I read that, because I am really, really looking at my aerodynamics a lot more. If I want to accomplish the major goals I have this year, I have to be serious about aerodynamics and it's importance. Reading that about Chris Lieto just shows what I'm up against. Normann Stadler and a bunch of other triathletes have been in that tunnel doing testing. I can't pay to get into a wind tunnel. I can't afford to hire Steve Hed and the San Diego Wind Tunnel Staff and get them working with me on my position and maximizing my speed. Instead, I have to read all the different studies I can, and try to apply everything I've learned. Hopefully some day I can get a sponsor who will help me like these other athletes have been privileged.

I emailed John Cobb today, from Blackwell Research, about his opinion on some of my aerodynamics questions and what I was thinking. I'm anxious to hear back from him.

It's amazing how much small aerodynamic changes can effect a bike split. Joe Friel has a blog, in which he recently discussed the differences in a 40K TT, with simply adjusting the aero helmet on a rider. He found 77 seconds in one change with the helmet, (and mind you, this helmet was already an AERO HELMET), in only 40K. An Ironman is 180KM, so 4.5 times that! Do the math, and that's 5 mins, 46.5 seconds in an Ironman. Imagine how much time you can gain with a more substantial adjustment than just a helmet and it's position on your head and back, or find a couple other smaller changes with similar results. I could find myself on top of the podium come Coeur d'Alene.

I am expecting my new Kalibur to be built tomorrow morning, and me hopefully riding it on Wednesday. Hopefully I will be applying the principals I've learned very shortly.

Vance - 2007 NFA

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

In a big 10 day block

Today's mp3...Cold War Kids - "Hospital Beds" Right click HERE and choose Save As, or Open in New Window... I love this song, and this group!

This morning started with a swim workout, my second day of long course at UCSD! After meeting with Swain, and having him kick my butt in my a weights session yesterday, consisting of 30 chin-ups among other things, I was sluggish at the start. Yesterday I was in the 1:35 lane, but today I started right in the 1:30 lane. As usual, about 2km into the set, I started to find my groove and was moving along pretty well.

In the afternoon, I had a big workout at Fiesta Island here in San Diego. It's a workout of 5 miles hard on the bike, quick transition, 1 mile hard run. There is a 4K loop, which I do twice, making 5 miles, and run to a half-mile marker. I do a 40 min warm-up of running and biking, and complete the set 3 times, with 1 small 4K loop on the bike easy. Each set is about 17 mins of hard effort. The total workout is about 2 and a half hours long.

I won't share the details of how it went, other than each set was faster than the one before it. That's good news. It was also pretty damn windy today, which makes a big difference.

This workout was done to help my speed for Wildflower. I have two, 10-day blocks with 4 days down, (14-day cycle), which will actually give me about 10 days of taper into Wildflower. I will do this Fiesta Island workout one more time in the next cycle. It will be interesting to see how much I improve.

More to come...and check out that mp3!

Vance - 2007 NFA

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Fun and busy weekend

It was quite a busy weekend, but it was a lot of fun.

Saturday - Woke up a little after 5 AM, and finished preparing the cooler and bag of things to take to Oceanside and watch the race. As I step out of the truck after parking, I hear the cannon sound, sending off the pro men at 6:40 AM. Orlanda and I walked out to the swim start, and see Potts leaving T1 with a big lead already.

We watched the rest of the swim waves start for the next hour, looking for friends and clients leaving the water and into T1.

After seeing just about everyone I could think of leave the swim, we went down past the hot corner, where the run started. It was a good spot, because it's just past all the crowd, and you can really see who is coming and step out and talk with them. I know a good number of the pro's, and it's cool to be able to step out and make it clear I'm there cheering for them.

After the pro men started out on the run, we moved out near the 1 mile marker, settled in between the first and last aid stations. It was a good spot, because you see people a little more often. Although, it can get hectic, because now they are coming from both directions rather quickly!

Lewis Elliott had an amazing race, and got me excited just watching him! We'll see how he does in 2 weeks at Arizona. He could be another up and coming American, if he can put together a good Ironman.

Kate Major looked fantastic out there. Always great to see her do well, she's such a sweetheart.

I saw a bunch of people I knew, and many people I recognized, trying to cheer for as many people as I can. I also had a bunch of clients and people I consult with for their training. It was a mixed bag of performances, from amazing to disappointing. A lot of that had to deal with many of my clients doing their first half, so it's always a learning process.

Performance of the day has to go to my training partner, Mac Brown. Mac was the top amateur overall, an awesome accomplishment in itself! Mac could still improve his swim, (and it must improve if he wants to compete at high level), but his swim was definitely better than it has been. His bike was absolutely AMAZING! Being in the last wave, he had so much traffic out on the course, and was still able to log the FASTEST BIKE SPLIT OVERALL, pro's included. 4:16 and 16th overall, against a stellar field. Really exciting for me too, because he is a very similar rider to myself. I don't know if I could have been faster than him, but I'm sure I would have been competitive, and that's all you need! So selfishly, I really enjoy seeing Mac do well...is that bad?

I took it easy on Saturday afternoon, as it was clear I was tired from the long day. I got home and took a 3 hour nap!

Sunday - Up early again, though not quite as early as Saturday, and headed to Carlsbad for the Carlsbad 5000. It would be only my second time racing the event, and first time since 2004. I was really, really happy to just be racing, since last year I was injured and had to watch the whole thing, when I was there with the USA Triathlon Olympic Development Camp. It was so hard to know you're fit, but can't go out and show it. This year was a much different scenario, as I am no longer focused on ITU or short course racing, and I'm as healthy as I can ever recall. I'm definitely not as fast as last year, but my strength is much better. That's Ironman training for you!

This year I aged-up into the men 30-39 race, which was pretty cool. It was a great chance to race some friends, but still gave me the chance to watch other friends later in the 29 and under race. Also, my race was at 9:25 AM, when traffic and parking is much better!

I did a 30 min warm-up with a few friends, and threw in some 30 sec accelerations to race intensity. I got near the start line, and met with Orlanda and JT to get my race singlet and flats. I headed toward the start line, and finished with some more accelerations and drills.

Gun goes off, and I'm sitting about 20th early, feeling fine. Moving up, I hit the 1K in 3:08, the mile in 5:00.7. I make the U-turn and start the uphill and into the wind, second mile. I manage to negative split, and cross 2 miles in 9:56, (4:55.3), and see that I have gained quite a bit on the leaders. We run thru Carlsbad Village, where the crowd is, and I'm hugging the left curb, trying to cut the tangent. The crowd is getting into it, and I'm starting to feel it. Once we get out of the village, I'm in some trouble. I make the last u-turn and up the hill I'm just trying to hold on.

I hit the flat back into the village, and start to have some new life again. I make the left turn for home. I cross mile 3 in 15:11, (5:15 - ouch!), and kick home with a 31 to finish in 15:42. Not bad considering speedwork has been non-existent. If I had been a bit more patient that second mile, I could have been faster, but that's fine. This wasn't a race I cared about, it was just a lot of fun.

Went to Pizza Port, and had a few beers after the race to celebrate where I'm at, and how the training is going. Ran into Emilio DeSoto, (man it's a small triathlon world in San Diego).

5 weeks until Wildflower...now it's back to work!

Vance - 2007 NFA