Do the Math For Your Race

    Posted on 19 August 2014 | No Comments »

    Recently, I met Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland A’s – famous for the movie Moneyball, staring Brad Pitt. I highly recommend reading the book or seeing the movie as it illustrates how math and statistics can change an entire sport.    Evaluating players and competing in the high salaries space of baseball within a small market to remain competitive by the use of mathematics is the premise of the movie. So what does this have to do with your next race?

    do the math in your race

    As endurance athletes we all love looking at the numbers. Split times, transition times, elevation gains, temperature, power ratio, average speed, RPM’s, turnover on the run, etc. It’s science and driven a lot by the math. What numbers will be the most impactful to overall race performance.

    I am not suggesting that you over-analyze every potential mathematical equation and statistic for you pre-race preparation; however it’s important to look at the numbers with respect to your race plan.

    Have you looked at the numbers of what average pace you need at all the various disciplines including factors that will increase time such as sleep, walking, time off your bike, etc? Over the years, I have used the numbers from a broad level to assist with long races lasting multiple days.

    Top 8 Ideas’

    1. Use a GPS watch to make sure you hold you pace whenever your tired running, what’s the impact if you have to walk at a slower pace or your cycling average pace.
    2. Determine a plan with sleep included for a long event then determine what average pace you need to maintain either biking or running.
    3. Add in a “hedge factor” – things not always go according to plan.  Add time to the equation.
    4. What pace do you need to maintain if you’re struggling to meet the cut-off times and more important if your behind how much faster do you need to go to make the cutoff.   Plan it in advance so it’s not a panic situation and especially if you are using a crew.
    5. Plan you calories with the “hedge factor” – what and the exact amount will you eat/drink during times when you are way down
    6. Create 3 Race Plans for a long event – A, B, C.  Each one broken in detail of paces, times, etc. based on various performance targets.
    7. Use the free tools online for pace calculations for all the various distances if you not an excel/math wiz.
    8. Always have a plan to get to the finish line and the worst-case scenario of pacing times, splits and laminate it to ensure you and your crew know the exact numbers.

    We can never plan for every potential hurdle during a long race; however by outlining in writing with the numbers you will have a guide to keep you on pace especially when the focus is just to get to the finish line. Use a simple 8X11 sheet and laminate the various race plans.

    Remember:  “Not finishing is not an option.” Happy calculating.

    DecaManUSA Triathlon update

    Posted on 04 August 2014 | No Comments »

     If you are interested in additional information and updates, please email me at


    Top 7 Tips on Getting Sponsors for your Racing Passion

    Posted on 25 July 2014 | No Comments »

    Would it not be nice to have an established process in place to get sponsors to help support your racing passion? I hear these questions so often.

    tips on getting sponsors

    The most important thing to consider when beginning the process to secure sponsors is to develop a comprehensive plan with a timeline. As athlete’s it’s imperative to think on the other side of the relationship. What will you offer to the sponsor?  So many athletes just assume that they can call, send an email with their bio attached and get sponsors. The results are normally poor and they give up and complain they can’t get sponsors.

    The athlete must consider the following 7 tips to effectively develop a plan to attain a comprehensive list of sponsors:

    1.  A comprehensive but summarized racing and career background (this is your media kit). Not just a simple word document. This is your PR sponsorship summary, includes video, pictures and words of your story.

    2.  Value Proposition – Clearly stated what value will provide to the sponsor, including your locations of racing, how you will become a champion of their product to all your tribe of passionate athlete followers. It’s more than a testimonial letter and video (a good start) but you must clearly define what you will do for them in a concise plan.

    3.  Your Brand – Do you have a brand, what comes up when you type your name in Google.  If not start today to develop your brand. It’s not bragging or ego it’s about connecting with your community and what role you have in giving back to your community.

    4.  Elevator speech – Short and to the point, this is your sales pitch for phone calls and face-to-face meetings.   Write it out, practice it (2 minutes maximum) and must include your value proposition. Video yourself and this tool can be used along with your PR sponsorship summary.

    5.  Develop a CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) and project management system to track everything and to ensure accountability.

    6.  Develop a comprehensive list of target sponsors by industry. These should not just be a list of endurance sports related companies only. Move into other industries.

    7.  Outsource the sponsorship arena to an outside consultant – I help many athletes!

    Sponsorship partners can be instrumental in saving money on products, entry fees, travel, etc. However, if you don’t have a comprehensive plan with persistence and determination then expect very little response other than some free energy supplements in the mail. Start your plan today to get sponsors to cover your entry fees to expensive races, crew funding, products, flights, etc.


    If you need assistance please feel free to email me as we have consulted and executed plans for athletes in all the multi sport disciplines,

    Consuming Real Food While Racing Long

    Posted on 10 July 2014 | No Comments »

    The ultra- running community more than any other was the originators of eating real food while visiting the various supported aid stations in 100 mile trail races and multi day running events.   I am not talking about eating a banana or piece of fruit, but meats, cheese, sandwiches, etc.   As we all know, the longer the race the tougher it is to eat sweet foods.

    The ultra runnernutation plan was all about mixing some real substance based food into the normal mix of energy bars, gels, energy drinks.    Of course there are still many runners, and I know a few, that will only consume 1 energy gel per hour along with drinks and electrolytes during an entire 100 mile running race.    There is the constant battle for so many athletes of what to consume and hoping to eliminate GI distress during an event.

    Everyone is different so there is no one plan for race nutrition.    Like many of you, I have seen it all.   I will never forget the time during a 100-mile trail running race and athlete consumed only whole milk (white and chocolate) during the entire race!

    Here are few solid food choices that I have tested along with racing in multi day events.  Having variety of your calorie intake will help so you don’t get tired of the same foods:consume-real-food-while-racing-long


    1. Chicken – Grilled Fajita’s, chicken and rice, entire chicken leg

    2. Beef – mixed with rice and my favorite ice (during hot conditions), can be ground or steak strips.

    3. Ham – Prosciutto on a sandwich with mustard, also grilled cheese ham sandwich

    4. Pizza – tough to beat pizza for calories, multi day events perfect with meat added immediately following the race for the day.

    5. Chicken soup – best during the night when salt levels are low and easy to digest and will warm you when dealing with those long cold nights.

    6. Potatoes – mashed, whole, canned, does not matter as they are easy to digest and adding salt on the top

    7. Tuna fish – sounds rough to get down, but offers sale

    8. Turkey

    9. Gummy Bears – not a “real” food but tough to beat for a sugar pickup during the real rough times.   I have a friend who races Ironman’s and he only eats gummy bears during the bike section.

    10. Fresh fruit in a cup mixed with orange juice and nuts.   This is a great one of the bike as well.

    11. Homemade oatmeal/nut bars that taste good

    I receive so many questions on what to eat during a race and the concern over stomach distress.    It’s part of racing and I don’t know too many veteran athletes who have not suffered from GI distress.    The most important thing is to test a wide variety of foods and examine the results of your energy, digestion, GI problems, and find the best mix that you can handle.

    Remember, you should test the foods in training when you are into a long workout, not at the beginning or the end, as it must simulate race conditions.    If your have trails, hills and heat for your key race then train in similar terrain and eat the foods during these key sessions.

    As I have mentioned in Beyond the Iron book, consider adding a stomach distress run as part of your training.   Test multiple foods when tired and if you get stomach distress learn on how to get through it.     Sounds crazy, yes but if you are prepared mentally on to how handle it, then the chances of the dreaded DNF will be reduced significantly.

    Remember – “Not Finishing Is Not An Option” and don’t let GI distress bring you down.

    Any questions, please feel free to email me at

    Two Brick Workouts That Will Make You Tough

    Posted on 03 July 2014 | No Comments »

    The triathlon run will always be the make or break part of your race. The key is to manage the pacing and mentally power through to the finish. Another tough area is the transition from swim to bike with shoulder tightness when immediately dropping into the aero bars.Budapest-Hungary-Marathon


    These two workouts can be performed inside, but much better if you can do them outside.
    I have used these two workouts for many years and the results will compound over time:

    Brick Workout 1 – equipment needed (biking gear and jump rope), running shoes

    Find a 1/2 mile climb (not too steep but a good climb that will work your legs and lungs) and start with a bike effort around 75-80% target heart rate zone and stay seated the entire way until 300 meters till the top. At this point move up to a harder gear on your cog and stand to the top. The goal is not to sprint but just get comfortable with standing in a bit bigger gear and staying on top of the bike and RPM’s. After completing the climb, lay the bike in the grass (if available) and do 25-50 Hindu squats (your heart rate will climb significantly so keep the pace moderate but not fast and jerking). Then head down the hill spinning very easy, after arriving at the bottom grab a jump rope/ running shoes that you have stashed in your car, bushes, etc. and jump for 2 minutes straight (your calves will be very tight and burning for sure at this point). Repeat this set 2 more times and then do a 4-6 mile trail run immediately following the bike at your specific race distance pace. This workout is not long but will be tough and the combination of exercises will enhance your staying power on the bike and run transition when it’s so tough.

    Brick Workout 2 – Bike/Pushups

    This workout will simulate the feeling of normal shoulder stiffness so common when transitioning from the swim to the bike (especially when down in the aero position).

    Use either a circuit course to make it easy (preferably 5 mile bike course loop). Start with 25-30 pushups depending upon your specific strength level and then immediately and quickly put on your cycling shoes (just like a transition from swim to bike) and start your loop at race pace but keeping it manageable. How many times have you started out the bike on fire and way to fast then falter over the second half of the bike? We all do it! After finishing the bike ride, then jump off the bike and do 25-30 pushups again (do in the grass if available). I recommend doing this set 3 times if possible to start then build up over several weeks (1 time per week) to 6-7 sets. Sometimes it’s difficult to have your bike near your swimming pool and going in and out the pool continuously. This workout is the “dry-land” version of the swim/bike brick workouts and for many much easy to manage logistically with similar benefits.

    Have fun with these and if done consistently you will see results come race day.