Tag Archive | "coaching"

Bike Trainer Product Review Wahoo Kickr Snap

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Don’t’ sweat the small stuff, the famous quote and list of books made popular by Richard Carlson, PhD many years ago.   Recently, I was preparing for a big time trial test on the indoor trainer and definitely did not start off as expected.   In addition to rollers, I have used a Computrainer for the last 20 years or so (2 of them).

It just was one of thosedays; turn on the Computrainer for the warm-up and I find out that magnetic wheel was fried.   I had it 12 years and no complaints at all.   A great trainer and my estimate, 6000-7000 hours on the trainer.

Unlike the normal method of the past with doing some research on the Computrainer new models and eBay, I decided time for a change.   The comp trainer was one of the first trainers that fully integrated technology with respect to watching on a screen  – racing against a competitor with specific customized or pre-programmed courses.   They were all the rage with the triathlon crowd when they first arrived on the scene.

However, over the years I noticed that the racing against the competitor was not something I focused on and just used the manual mode all the time and simulated the workout per my specific goal.   Bottom line, the high cost and graphics were not a factor in the next purchase.

There are plenty of pro’s and con’s of using a bike trainer, but personally I actually enjoy riding on the trainer during the winter months to measure workouts which is sometimes a bit difficult in the winter with the ice and snow (with the road bike).

The help of Google and some research I settled on the Wahoo Kickr Snap and found a good deal on a refurbished one.   The company sells refurbished – defined as a decal scratch, etc.    It saved around $100 and seemed to be a no-brainer.   When the trainer arrived, I inspected it and not even a scratch on it.

Wahoo also promotes the ease of transportation and fold up, etc.   I know one thing for sure; I don’t travel with my trainer or ever take it down and wonder how many athletes actually take the trainer down and travel with it?

Impressions:

  1. The trainer is built like a tank even though it only weighs about 30 pounds.
  2. Once challenge with my Computrainer in the past was with the skewer system of various wheels and bikes. The bike had to be set exactly perfect with and “old style” skewer.   The Wahoo comes with a skewer that must be used to ensure a sound fit.
  3. The quick release arm (see picture) made it so much easier to get the bike set up vs. the endless cranking tight of the Comp trainer.
  4. This trainer is all about training, very basic, less features and of course not the graphic race against another athlete media.
  5. The software to control the magnetic resistance wheel (back wheel) is a simple smart phone app called Wahoo Fitness. It’s simple to set up and almost no instruction manual.
  6. The software app is basic, with watts, speed, resistance controlled by IPhone and the availability for cadence, etc. It can be integrated with other platforms such at Strava, etc.
  7. The cost was approximately $1,000 less than the Computrainer, which was a plus as I stopped using every feature on the Computrainer.
  8. A huge positive is during standing; the front wheel block and level of the back make it feel almost like being on the road for a climb. The sturdiness of the trainer makes out of the sale climbing exceptional.
  9. Sound, nothing earth shattering in terms of being quiet.
  10. Good customer service –it only took a few days before it arrived.

There are plenty of pro’s and con’s of using a bike trainer, but personally I actually enjoy riding on the trainer during the winter months to measure workouts which is sometimes a bit difficult in the winter with the ice and snow (with the road bike).   The Wahoo trainers are definitely worth checking out if you are looking for an affordable, no frills, and workhorse trainer.

Race Perspectives from the Sidelines Crewing at the Florida Double Anvil Triathlon

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The annual gathering of ultra triathletes to the warm weather and sun of Florida is always a welcome sign that spring is almost here.   This year’s annual Florida Double Anvil Triathlon moved the confines of the triathlon mecca of Clermont, Florida. Clermont has a rich history of the triathlon and the famous Great Floridian Iron distance event. Hard to believe it’s been around 26 years already.

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Steve Kirby – race director, stellar volunteers and race team positioned the race in the beautiful park of Lake Louisa. It’s always amazing how things come together when we don’t try to hard and just let things flow.  Personally, I had a trip planned with business and was able to help out and crew for an athlete on the back end of my business trip and was so worthwhile as always, helping out athletes and an event.

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The race consisted of the typical “double iron distance” 2.4 miles of swimming in Lake Louisa (no gator problems!) 224 miles cycling through an out and back loop of approximately 6 miles, then the fun of 52.4 miles of running.  The park offered the athletes locations to stay in cabins at the race site to eliminate going back and forth to hotels and the race “pit” area housed all the transition, crewing, food, etc. and had plenty of room to see the athletes.

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A few observations for those of you considering the double iron distance, this bike course is not as flat as “typical” Florida terrain, and it has a few shorter grades but the road conditions are superb.  After riding many miles on the course, I noticed clearly that there was not even a bump on the course. However, I did not ride 224 miles as all the athletes racing so I can’t fully appreciate what the small little grades felt like late into the evening!

The run course consisted of a 2 mile loop vs. an out and back with some off road sand that clearly slowed down the run splits. Steve Kirby mentioned that hewill examine other quicker options for 2017.

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Crewing for an athlete – Andres Villagran (2nd men and 3rd overall) and working the bike turnaround during the graveyard shift was such fun.   It’s such a different perspective to see athletes grinding and racing hard lap after lap from the sidelines.    Interestingly, of all the athletes and teams competing, I hardly noticed any major suffering.    Of course, internally in the mind of the athletes I am sure their legs and lungs were hurting just with the significant distance covered over 24-36 hours.   The crews were fabulous and the diversity of minimalist vs. maximalist in terms of everything athletes brought was incredible!    I clearly took a few notes on ideas of things to consider for future races – most importantly the lay back chairs for the crew – not an athlete as it would be impossible to get out of one of those when very tired!

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The food worked wonders every lap for the athletes as always especially when new food was cooked –thanks to the great team preparing everything day and night.

It’s always interesting to examine the race performances by the athletes and the bike pace in this year’s event was over the top.  The top men and women were pushing so hard on the bike.   Many were gritting their teeth and especially noticed this when I was riding the course – truly amazing!

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19 athletes toed the line for the race and 5 teams going at it with constant racing.   The team-racing concept clearly was not easy, go a few hours then rest then repeat over and over again.      14 athletes finished the solo and a great showing by our women!     The second overall finisher was Maria Simone and hats off to an amazing race – she was pushing hard constantly but I will always remember that smile every loop.    Our men’s winner – Juan Carlos Sagastume was strong on the bike and run to claim the top spot with a time of 24:55.   Andres came from way back in the field after the swim, (as normal) with his signature “catch as many athletes as possible” flying run to take second for the men.    It’s was a great pleasure crewing for Andres and similar to Maria the signature smile and ease of letting things flow was his signature – borrowed bike and absolutely no walking at all on the run!

Congratulations to the ladies – wow super efforts from Laura Brock (2nd), Danielle Winkler (3rd), Colleen Wilcox (4th) and our very young Laura Knoblach (5th). Yes, 5 women starters and all finishers and with Maria’s amazing effort the women were incredible and great to see more than just 2 or three women competing.

The men’s results from 3rd -9th place:  Johan Desmet, Pascal Morin, John Lee, Erik Hanley, Joey Lichter (CLEARLY Joey had the Super Crew of all time!), Michael Ortiz (just a fabulous run), Goulwenn Tristant.

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The team challenge was great watching as each team had a different strategy in terms of rest and racing and clearly this was about team fun, racing and competition.   They were all going after it and the start and stopping from each athlete clearly showed it was not easy at all.

For those considering moving up from the Ironman distance, this is definitely a great first time double attempt as the course is not brutal – but like many events, and this year was no exception – significant rain can occur and come prepared, especially for your crew. The race is convenient to Orlando International airport; the overall costs are reasonable (in the south of the US), close to Disney for post race crew and family fun.

Most importantly, time and again one of the main reasons so many ultra triathletes continue to come back and race is the family and community that is part of every single event.  The crews, families, volunteers and athletes make these events full of lifetime memories.

HIW and HIT Efforts – Intensity leads to Results

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What can you do as an entrepreneur and/or an athlete for results in a shorter period of time? Practice a weekly discipline of High Intensity Work (HIW) and High Intensity Training (HIT).

The results of pushing hard in work and in training for short amounts of time will have impact in 3-4 weeks. When adding these intense sessions together (not every day as it can lead to burnout and injury) the amount of actual work completed and fitness gains can be dramatic. It’s important to track the results and I suggest keeping a simple log.

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  1. Take the number one item from your daily task or project management system item (If you don’t use one – load one of the great low cost online tools onto your computer ASAP to ensure accountability tracking – Trello, Base, Basecamp, Zoho, etc. ) that will have the most impact on your business and intentionally focus on completion.
  2. Do not focus on anything else, absolutely no distractions and establish a specific time you want to have it completed (make sure it’s a realistic time frame).
  3.  The timeframe should be short for this intense effort of work. This could be as simple as crafting your message before speaking to an irate customer and rehearsing all the potentials before your call. Intensive preparation will lead to better conversations.
  4. If it’s a difficult task, expect it to be mentally exhausting.
  5. Repeat this 3 days a week and in 1-month compare the results of your business – the results will happen.

 

HIT:

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HIT training continues to receive positive feedback with respect to results from study after study of athletes. The biggest challenge for many endurance athletes is to simulate race pace conditions.  Yes this hurts big time! However, the results will come quickly with a regular weekly workout regime to include 2-3 HIT sessions.  As difficult as it is to push through the pain and required focus, they are mentally challenging. The efforts are in the 90-95% of maximum heart rate ranges – expect difficulty for sure.

 

Focus on weakness areas whatever sport you currently compete. Below is an example for a cycling HIT session:

Total time 1:00 – 1:15 – Long HIT Interval sessions

  1. Warm up 15 minutes, then complete 5 X15 second spin-ups and: 45 recovery after each spin-up
  2. Complete 2 sets of the following:
  3.  3 X 3 minutes at 90-95% of maximum HR or Power rating with a full 3 minute spinning recovery between each 3 minute interval. The “hurt locker” effect will occur the last minute of the interval. Push these hard.
  4. Take a full 5-minute recovery between both sets.
  5. Recovery for the remainder of the workout.

Monitor results over a 4-week time period of 2-3 HIT sessions per week. HIT training will increase efficiency of how the muscles use oxygen and will increase performance.

Consider adding a combination of HIW and HIT every week and business and fitness results will occur in shorter periods of time.

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