Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tour of Sufferlandria 2015

Sometimes we do not need motivation to challenge ourselves. Sometimes we do. Other times, you see something that looks like a lot of work, and you think to yourself, “What the hell”. Well, a week or so ago, I saw this event in my inbox, and had a “What the hell” moment. I may regret it, but oh well, you only live once.

Tour of Sufferlandria

What is this you ask? 9 days of intense trainer riding. Anyone that has ever ridden with one of the Sufferfest videos will understand. These videos are masterfully crafted videos pulled from pro races, that put you in the role of racing with the big guns. Even when you aren’t feeling that strong, they get you spun up and next thing you know, you are pushing more power than you are used to. They are built to do one thing, make you suffer, in a good way, but it is still suffering.

Well, it all starts up Saturday, and goes for 9 days, riding between 60 and almost 300 minutes per day. In the deranged state of mind that all of this training has created, I saw it and thought, that looks like fun. Seriously, I used the word fun in this context. That should have raised some concern right there.

All of that said, there is something about it that appeals. If nothing else, 11 days from now, I should be feeling pretty happy to have it behind me.

IF you want to join in or follow along, join our Strava group @ WeAreOgre and see the hurt in vivid detail. If you really want to amp it up, join in with TrainerRoad and TheSufferfest. If nothing else, you too will experience the joy and pain of real suffering in the saddle.

Gearing Up

In all of the insanity that is training for an endurance event like long course triathlon, the challenges that surround selecting equipment are sometimes lost. The list of equipment that you need it long, and unfortunately much of it boils down to personal choice and comfort. There really isn’t much that is ‘one size fits all’. Just a partial list:

  • Swim suit(s)
  • Swim Cap
  • Swim Goggles
  • Wetsuit
  • Transition Bag – Schlepping the stuff around
  • Run Shoes
  • Run Socks
  • Hydration Belt/Bottles
  • Run Shorts
  • Run Tights
  • Run Shirts
  • Run Cold Weather Shell
  • Bike
  • Bike Shorts/Tri Shorts
  • Bike Top
  • Bike Cold Weather Shell
  • Bike Shoes
  • Bike Socks
  • Bike Helmet
  • Bike Gloves
  • Bike Cold Weather Extras
  • Bike Rack for transport
  • Indoor Trainer
  • Sunglasses

For most of these, you will need multiples. Remember, training is 6 days a week. If you also work a full time job, that means rest days are laundry days, so you need enough gear to get through a week of training. You’ll probably also want a race day kit that doesn’t have thousands of training miles in it.

It is a lot to tackle. Most of the time, athletes coming into this sport already have a base in at least one of the disciplines, but there is still more to add.

Though I have been a cyclist for years, I am having to slowly rotate and replace some of my old cycling favorites with some items that are more tri appropriate, but much of my gear works well for continuing the bicycle base training. I have also been running for a couple of years, but even then, I simply don’t have enough gear to get through all of the training sessions without doing laundry more than once a week. And swimming? not even close.

It goes without saying that building up the gear base is tough, and when you look at that list, a huge percentage of it is gear that boils down to personal preference, and experience. There are things on that list have to tried, and tested and iterated to find that ‘perfect’ fit.

Some of it, I have already done, some I have yet to do. Well, over the coming months, I will be sharing some of my adventures in selecting gear, and some of my misadventures.

My first one will be about a touchy subject, shoes. Specifically my adventures over the last 3 years finding a shoe that really worked for me. The problems that come with doing things for all the wrong reasons, and how NOT to change shoe styles. Should be riveting.

Let the Training Begin ( in earnest )

Well, base building is done. Now we start the training plan. This journey is all about the training. The race itself is just the proof of the training.

At least that is what I keep telling myself. At this point, what I know for certain is that it is time to get my game on. On the agenda for this glorious Tuesday? Core Strength and a run. That is good, but you know the best part?

Over the weekend our youngest decided she wanted to join us on the run. So saturday she went out for a run with us. 9 years old, no training, just jumped in and banged out 3.2 miles in 38 minutes. She had so much fun that she is joining us tonight for the Endurance House Tuesday Night run of 3.5 miles, and wants to sign up for a 5k race in February.

How awesome is that? yeah, she is that awesome.

Happy New Year

Now that the new year has started, and the holidays have more or less come to an end, the real training season begins. For the last month or so, we have been working on maintaining/building some base fitness without a real target in terms of gains.

Starting monday, that changes. The targeted training gets rolling, with 2 weeks of foundation work, before settling into our training plan for the Chattanooga 70.3 that is our first big race of the year. Along with that will start the regular posts about training, nutrition, and equipment.

This year, we will be racing with Endurance House Atlanta for all of our races, and we hope to see so many familiar faces from the various groups as we hit these races.

Someone asked why I am so passionate about Endurance House Atlanta. The answer is a little tricky, but it really boils down to people walking the walk. When you visit with the people at EH, you hear a lot about “Redefine Your Possible”. Sounds a little trite. The thing is, these people live and breathe it. Sure, it is great to have the athletes out there that can and will be podium finishers. Supporting those athletes is fine, but when it comes to Redefining Your Possible, it is all about the every day athletes, the ones that just want to see what they can do, who want to finish, or maybe finish stronger than the last event they did, despite having no real chance at a podium.

I am one of those athletes. The people at Endurance House are every bit as much about supporting them as they are the ones that can and will podium. That is what Redefine Your Possible is all about. If you are thinking about triathlon in 2015, come out and join us for a tuesday night run, or a wednesday night spin, and see what I am talking about. There is a great group of people working hard to show themselves what is possible with some work, and a whole lot of redefinition of just what is possible.