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Archive for June, 2008

Congratulations to everyone who competed at High Cliff on Sunday!  The Team as a whole had an amazing race, and everyone who participated has put themselves in an outstanding position to have an incredible Ironman experience this September.  I apologize for not being diligent (or patient) enough to list everyone’s finishing time, but a searchable version of the complete results can be found here.

This week is a good time to reflect back on your half-ironman experience and figure out what went well for you and what you might need to continue to work on over the next eleven weeks.  If one of the three disciplines is proving to be a limiting factor for you in terms of your comfort level with the race, now is the time to address it.  If that means sacrificing one or two workouts per week in the other disciplines in order to be able focus on your “weak” sport, you should definitely do so.  Also remember that the coaches are all here to help, and we’re happy to do private consulting or work with you on a one-on-one basis to make sure you have the best possible Ironman.

Having said that, everyone is doing an incredible job with the training program — and hopefully Sunday proved to you that you’re all on the right track.  It’s really inspiring to be associated with so many people who have made and followed through with the kind of commitment Ironman requires.  It’s even more impressive to see how supportive the Team has been with one another, and when the clock strikes midnight on September 7th, that’s going to make the whole journey to Becoming an Ironman all the more special and meaningful.

Keep up the great work!

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Thursday’s seminar will begin at 6:30 pm at the picnic area at Fireman’s Park Quary in Verona (the picnic area overlooks the parking lot — adjacent to the beach entrance area).  The first half hour will cover long-course racing tactics and nutrition in preparation for Sunday’s High Cliff Triathlon.  After 7:00 pm, we’ll move down to the water for instruction on open water swimming, led by Justin. 

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For many new triathletes, struggling with open water swimming, especially in the context of a race, is one of the biggest barriers to better performances.  There are two things that you can do to help break through the mental barrier that causes us to have “panic attacks” in the water: (1) practicing open water swimming in groups of people, and (2) racing shorter distances to get used to the crowded start.

Over the course of the next five weeks, we’ll have at least one seminar on open water swimming (including in-water practice) on June 19, and at least two other group training swims.  Additionally, the training plan includes several races that you might consider doing (this weekend’s Verona Triterium is not one of them, but this is a great race to do to help bolster swimming confidence as well).  Please note that these are not official Endurance House events, so you’ll be responsible for signing up for these races on your own:

  • On Saturday, July 12, there are three sprint races (one with an Olympic distance option): Pardeeville, Lake Michigan (Kenosha), and Stevens Point.  Of these, Pardeeville is probably the most convenient (about 40 miles north of Madison).
  • On Sunday, July 20, there is a half-Ironman race that has an excellent reputation: Spirit of Racine.  The race also has sprint race and a women’s only triathlon that are held on July 19.  These will almost certainly sell out, if they haven’t already, so if you’re interested in racing here you should sign up as soon as possible.
  • On Sunday, August 10, there are sprint and Olympic distance races in Oshkosh.  The Olympic race is a very popular one for triathletes completing their final big training before Ironman Wisconsin, and a great way to test your fitness and get a big confidence boost before heading into the Ironman taper.

Although the following races aren’t built into the training calendar, there are some other late-season races that might provide good open-water swimming experiences for those who feel they’re in the need:

Additionally, keep in mind that Coach Justin is available for private swimming lessons (pool or open water) to help you overcome your fears or just refine your technique.  Stop in and see him at Endurance House any time if you have questions.

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Got Sewage?

First off, congratulations to all those who competed in the Capitol View triathlon!  That’s one of the toughest run courses you’ll find in any triathlon, let alone after a choppy swim and windy bike.  Saturday was the kind of day that you really build mental toughness, and your efforts will really pay off in helping you get through the inevitable difficult moments during the upcoming half-ironman.

Second, as Justin realized this morning, albeit too late, the city has temporarily closed all beaches following Sunday’s monsoon rainfall.  Apparently the deluge overloaded the city’s sewer system, causing sewage to be discharged into the lakes.  For that reason, we’re rescheduling Thursday’s open water swim clinic to June 19th at 7:00 pm.  Check the “Team Events” page for details.  The attached link shows the current status of all city beaches: http://www.ci.madison.wi.us/beaches/

Finally, the training schedule for Block IV has now been added to the training calendar.  A full description of the purpose and objectives of our last 12-week session will be posed on the “Training” page by this weekend.

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