Posts

That's a Wrap!

Georgia Gravel Grinduro Shortly after my last post, Long Course Duathlon Nationals was cancelled. And for a few days, I thought my racing season was over, before it really began - but then a friend mentioned the Georgia Gravel Grinduro in Helen, GA on Halloween. Perfect! - I could use the event as a carrot to train for and as a final race before getting reset for 2021. Training was a balance of short hard intervals, and long rides; then a few fun mountain bike rides and gravel adventures with my wife. I was also running a bit more (25-35 miles per week). I put very little pressure on myself and tried to take a low key approach to the race. It was just supposed to be fun, and a good way to challenge myself. Despite the "low-key and fun" approach to training, I was able to put up some of my best ever numbers for 3-minute intervals and set PR's on some long Strava segments. So, I was happy to have good legs heading into the race. I figured Elliott Baring would show up (he be

Fall Updates

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2020 Powerman Zofingen The Powerman Zofingen ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championship has been postponed until May 2021. At this point, I'm not certain that I will make travel grants available again in 2021. Check back in January for an update. Trans-North Georgia Adventure Since most races were cancelled this year - and I didn't have to dedicate myself to duathlon, running, road cycling, or anything specific - I decided to have fun, try something totally different and sign up for the Trans-North Georgia Adventure (TNGA) race. I grew up riding mountain bikes in the North Georgia mountains and I was excited to attempt a traverse of the state on two wheels. If you've never heard of TNGA, it's a 350-something mile route across North Georgia. Depending on who you ask, it has between 35,000 and 50,000 feet of elevation gain. It's roughly 20% single track trail and 72% unpaved. Every year in August, there is a "Grand Depart," where a bunch of crazy people m

2020 Zofingen ITU Powerman Travel Grants Now Available for Elite Athletes

The application period for travel grants is now open for qualified US elite athletes. Grants, up to $1500 per athlete, will be awarded to 2 male and 2 female athletes to represent the United States in the Elite Categories at the 2020 ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championship (Powerman Zofingen) in Zofingen, Switzerland. The race date is September 20, 2020. Having traveled overseas to compete, I recognize the financial barriers and lack of incentives for elite athletes. With these travel grants, I aim to make travel more feasible and provide incentive for elite athletes to participate in the elite categories of the Long Distance Duathlon World Championships. Athletes must possess USA Triathlon Elite License (in duathlon) and be eligible to compete in the Elite Category of the World Championship. If you do not currently possess a USAT elite duathlete license, you may apply for one on the  USA Triathlon Website . For more information about Powerman Zofingen check out the

"Overtraining" in the News

An NPR article caught my attention last week. John Hamilton's article, "Too Much Training Can Tax Athletes' Brains" was effectively instant click-bait to me. And it has provided much food for thought over the last few days. Hamilton interviewed the authors of a new study exploring the effects of training induced fatigue on exercise performance, cognitive fatigue, decision making, prefrontal cortex activity, etc... You can read the full text of the cited article in Current Biology here . What's it all about? The study divided 37 "competitive" triathletes into 2 groups - a control group maintained its normal training volume and an overreaching group (OR) that increased its training volume by an average of 40% for a 3 week overload period. Both groups were given a psychometric questionnaire every 2 days to assess subjective fatigue/mood. Brain activity was assessed via MRI pre- and post-training period. Subjects were also asked questions to

Don't believe everything that you read.

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Leave it to Twitter to get me riled up. A tweet caught my attention a few days ago. It read: "Greater improvements in cycling performance parameters following HRV-guided vs. block training." I was intrigued, so I read the abstract . I didn't have access to the peer review journal at the time, but I could see in the abstract, "Between-group fitness and performance were similar after the study." So I called out the original "tweeter," saying there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. Claiming one is superior, misrepresents the study's findings. By this point I noticed the individual is a  professor and researcher and maintains a blog devoted to heart rate variability (HRV) research - which surprised me. If he's a professor, surely he understands statistics - I couldn't help but think he was misrepresenting the findings to support his bias in favor of  HRV-guided training... After I pointed out

Different Disciplines, Different Tapers?

When I was at Appalachian State, Dave Morris had us read all about glycogen, glucose and carbohydrate. I still remember reading about how muscle damage can impact muscle glycogen resynthesis. That is - the replenishment of glycogen stores in skeletal muscle following exercise. Muscle glycogen is a glucose polymer that is stored in muscle cells. When you exercise, particularly at high intensities, it's the primary substrate used to create ATP. Maintaining or preserving glycogen stores can delay fatigue and even preserve economy. Given glycogen's positive relationship to endurance performance, athletes and coaches often employ tapers in an attempt to maximize glycogen stores prior to competitions. But as Costill et al. noted back in 1990 , glycogen resynthesis may be inhibited following muscle-damaging eccentric exercise. Eccentric exercise is any exercise that involves "active lengthening" of muscle fibers. Sports that include running, and jumping are eccentric d

Pain in the Heel

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     In the last eight months, I've had some good stints of training. But for the most part, I've struggled to find consistency in running. I've taken time off - up to six weeks at a time. Two months ago, out of desperation - I got a cortisone injection in my heel. The cortisone worked really well for about six weeks, but as it wore off, I started having problems again. I've attempted three or four different comebacks, but each time, the same plantar fasciitis has come back.       When I started the year, I thought - Once I get over this foot pain, I'll have enough time to train for duathlon nationals. Then nationals came and went, and I didn't even make it to the starting line. I never thought the problem would persist so long that I start to question whether the World Championship (in September) could be in jeopardy.      And I never imagined something so small would have me questioning why I race in the first place. When you make sacrifices, you do s