Exit Row Iron


Meet my new swim coach

I started doing triathlons in 2007 and since then my bike and run times have continued to improve.  My swimming however, has not.  Beth (Runningmyownrace) on the other hand has been doing triathlons for 4 years and she’s continued to get faster on the bike, run and especially the swim.  She’s a real student of the sport.  She reads the books, follows the prescribed workouts, tracks and analyzes her results - the whole nine yards.

I use my hectic work schedule as an excuse.  I’m busy with work and travel so I’m not especially interested in the finer details of the workouts.  I just want to get on the road and ride or run or get in the pool and swim.  I’m willing to put in the time but I resist too much structure.  That strategy is the least effective in the water where technique really counts. 

So this week I brought Beth to the pool with me for some instruction.  She had some great tips to improve my form (and ultimately my speed) and she let me borrow her paddles.  As you can see in the bottom picture she didn’t bring her whistle and stopwatch as my form is still so bad that she can offer helpful advice just by looking up from her reading every few minutes.

Your kids are older now, but how did you balance the travel and training when they were younger?

I have always traveled a lot for work, fortunately Beth was able to stay home and take care for the kids and everything else.

I didn’t start running until 10 years ago when the kids were in 3rd and 4th grade, respectively and the training didn’t require too much time. I started IM training 6 years ago and since then my training generally consists of a 60-90 minutes a day during the week and longer workouts on the weekend. Yes, it’s time away from my family but I think they’d agree that the improvement in my attitude that comes from training is worth it. I need the exercise and time alone without email.

What inspired you to make the jump from running to doing triathlons? Were you already an experienced cyclist and swimmer?

Fifteen years ago i had an older work colleague who did Ironman Kona. The distances seemed unbelievable and I secretly wanted to try it but my kids were little, I didn’t have a bike, didn’t swim and never ran more than a few miles.

Fast forward to 2007… I had joined a run club and completed my first few marathons. Several of my run club colleagues were sporting M-dot tattoos. I knew that if they could do it, I could do it. I wanted that tattoo. So I hired a coach, bought a bike and got in the pool That year my goal was a half IM. The following year I did IM FL and have been doing 1-2 half IMs and one full IM every year since then.

How do you combat jet lag and training when traveling?

It helps to live in the Midwest as the jet lag isn’t noticeable when I travel domestically. Longer flights are harder of course but I try to:
- avoid alcohol
- adjust to the local time upon arrival
- if traveling internationally it helps to be exposed to sunlight on arrival
- exercise
- avoid heavy meals, especially on the plane
- don’t let travel or jet lag be an excuse for not training; do the best you can on the road (at least an hour a day) and pick up where you left off when you return.

I always sweat more when I ride on the trainer inside (like right now). Should I be cleaning my bike down any special way because of all the sweat on it?

I don’t think you need to clean your bike any differently than after a long ride outside. Grab a hose and a bucket and wash it just like your car. Even though I’m fairly meticulous about my bike I had to replace various bolts and screws that got corroded after 3 years of IM training.

What's the advantage of training indoors? I would go crazy.

Indoor training?

Advantages include air conditioning and fans, easy access to hydration, nutrition, entertainment and bathroom. Disadvantages include soul-crushing despair around the 2 hour mark.

Crunch or smooth peanut butter? What is the longest direct flight you've taken? Red or green grapes?

Great questions!

Smooth JIF
Green grapes but red cherries and white peaches
Longest flight - Chicago to Hong Kong 18 hours. It is a rare polar route. I don’t think UA flies it anymore because the fuel costs are too high.


Are you really going to let Beth get more asks than me? I realize she’s much cuter and has 4x more followers than me, but c’mon ,

Couples that train together…

As usual, Beth got started on our 4 hour indoor trainer ride before me.  I will be bored so ask away.

Couples that train together…

As usual, Beth got started on our 4 hour indoor trainer ride before me. I will be bored so ask away.

Running Romance

This morning our run club shared the trail with a wedding party.  Apparently the bride and groom met in a run club and they hosted a wedding day 5K to celebrate with their friends.  1st and 2nd place M and F finishers won Body Glide.  What a great way to start the wedding day and your married life!

The weather was perfect for running this morning and I ran with a faster group but kept the distance short.  I wanted to run another 6 but my ankle reminded me that this is my first week back and I should take it easy.

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