1989: A Story of Science and Seat Tubes
If 1987 put Quintana Roo on the map, then the next two years made certain that it was there to stay. There is something of a tendency, when telling the "story" of Quintana Roo,
to jump right from the wetsuit to Ray Browning riding the Superform at the 1989 Ironman New Zealand. While "technically" correct, that version does not capture the radical advancements occurring in triathlon technology.
The same year that the QR wetsuit debute
d, Steve Hed was able to develop and mass produce a readily available rear disc wheel, at a price accessible to pros and age-groupers alike. 1987 also saw the introduction of the Scott DH aerobar into triathlon (whereas "real" cycling did not begin to adopt this until Greg Lemond's historic Tour de France win in 1989
The problem with the the Scott DH aerobar, though, was that it was not very comfortable to use; the slack seat tube angle and the fixed quill-stems of the bikes of this time meant that there was very little room for adjustment. In order to achieve a good aero position, riders were bending over almost completely double, and it was not a comfortable position to be in for any extended period of time. Something needed to be done.
If we were to tell the "traditional" story of the triathlon bike
, this is the part where we say "Dan noticed a common trend among triathletes- everyone was trying to move their seat forward as much as possible in order to open up their hip angle. So, he decided to build a bike 'from the bars back,' gave it to Ray Browning to ride at the 1989 IM New Zealand, and the world was changed." And this wouldn't be wrong; it just wouldn't be completely right, because there's more to the story.
In 1988, after the wetsuit but before the Superform,
Dan noticed that many of the women triathletes that he was working with simply did not fit on their bikes. The 700c, slack-tube geometry did not meet their needs. So, Dan designed and built a road bike with 650c wheels specifically for women, first called the Cat 1 and then the Palomar. It was not much more than "shrinking" the geometry of a bike, but it worked. This was the start of QR bikes, again making a product to fill a specific need.
But what about the Superform? That's what QR is famous for, right? Yes, but there is more to the story. Dan wasn't the only one who noticed a universal trend of triathletes trying to get as forward as possible on their bikes. There were others who also noticed, and who were also studying the effects that a "steep" position had on the body. Others such as Ray Browning. Ray wasn't just a triathlete who happened to ride the Superform. Along with his impressive triathlon career, Ray was pursuing a post-grad degree in biomechanics at UCLA
, specifically the biomechanics of cycling. He and those he was working with noticed that when their subjects were required to pedal harder and faster, the subjects would move forward on the saddle, opening up their hip angle and effectively steepening the geometry of the bike.
Studying the physiological effects of this position, Browning realized that the positive benefits of a position like this very much outweighed the negative effects in terms of biomechanical and aerobic efficiency. It now remained a matter of real-life testing. Enter Dan, with the QR Superform, offering an opportunity for Ray to test his, and Dan's, steep seat-tube hypothesis.
To say that the bike is what won Ray's race at the 1989 IM New Zealand special would be to discredit Ray as an athlete: he had won IM New Zealand in 1987, and placed 2nd in 1988. We cannot discount the months that Ray spent training on the Superform in preparing for the race. Ray was fit, he knew he was fit, and he knew that the bike certainly wouldn't hurt him. When asked to guess his time as part of a contest, he guessed 8:35, almost 20 minutes faster than the course record.
Still, it was something of a surprise when he came off the bike almost 30 minutes ahead of Scott Tinley, crushing the bike course record and the overall course record. He wasn't right about his time, though; he was off by about 30 seconds. Not too bad of a guess. Did he realize that what he had done would completely change the direction that triathlon bike design was headed? At the time, not really. As Ray saw it
, the entire sport of triathlon was in a process of discovery, almost a "Wild West" of trying new technologies and training ideas. For him, the Superform was just one of the new ideas that happened to work: but, even after he stopped riding QR bikes, he made sure that whatever bike he rode had a similar steep seat-tube geometry as that original Superform.
And, the "modern" triathlon bike was born.
1987: The Wetsuit
Where to begin? This is probably one of the most often told stories of triathlon, aside from the Iron War
of '89: Dan Empfield created the first triathlon-specific wetsuit and founded Quintana Roo in 1987, and in 1989 released the first 'modern' triathlon bike 'built from the handlebars back.' The bike was designed with a steep seat-tube angle, a geometry that enabled a triathlete to truly to take advantage of the the Scott DH aerobars
that were by then coming into fashion. The rest, as they say, is history.
The rest may be history, but this is a story that did not end there, with the original Superform. No, this is a story that spans the 27 years since the founding of QR until today. It is a story that, like it or not, if you are a triathlete
, you cannot escape. It is a story of innovation and new ideas, and, like every good story, it has its ups and downs. Without this story, we would not have triathlon as we know it, and it is a story worth telling. Without this story, we would not have our wetsuits or triathlon bikes. There would be no USA Triathlon
, as we know it today. We would not have Slowtwitch
or learned the importance of triathlon bike fit. The world would be a much different place. At least, our world of triathlon would not be the same.
First things first: where did the name Quintana Roo come from? This has been a long-debated and controversial topic for many years
(okay, not really). Some 'historians' suggest that the name came from a trip that Dan took to Australia, where he learned to skin and tan kangaroos from a man named Quinn: 'Quinn, tan a roo?' Others suggest that the name came from the previous owners of the original QR warehouse: Quintana Roofing, a failed Mexican roofing contractor, and as the letters fell off the sign, Quintana Roo was born. Still, some conspiracy theorists maintain that Dan, while doing testing in a wind tunnel, discovered that 'Quintana Roo' happened to be the most aerodynamic name he tested, and that it added special aerodynamic and hydrodynamic properties to whatever object he put the name on. However, even though truth may indeed be stranger than fiction, this time it isn't: the name Quintana Roo simply came from Dan's favorite place
, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
But why found Quintana Roo? As the story goes
, Dan did his first Ironman in 1981, the first year it was held in Kona, and became hooked on the sport. However, it wasn't long before he realized that the products that triathletes were using were not suited to the task. In 1987, Dan, with the help of Victory Wetsuits and the support of Bob Babitt, developed and produced a new wetsuit that had the swim-specific characteristics that triathletes needed. The first person to swim in the new wetsuit was Mark Montgomery, a lifeguard and triathlete, who knew right away that this was something special
But, when a triathlete by the name of Brad Kearns
wore a QR wetsuit in an L.A. Triathlon series race and came out of the water significantly ahead of his friend Andrew MacNaughton
, well, by the next race Andrew had a QR wetsuit, and by the end of the season, almost every top pro in Southern California was wearing a QR wetsuit. As more and more athletes began to use the QR wetsuit, the advantages of using such purpose built products became more and more apparent. A new market was born, and Quintana Roo was established.
Quintana Roo's first building
was a warehouse in Santa Ana, California. Dan needed a place other than his apartment to make his wetsuits, and split the building with George Yates, the founder of Trico Sports
, who needed a place other than his garage to pour his seat pads into the aluminum molds. Was this warehouse the old headquarters of failed contractor Quintana Roofing?
The Chronicles of Turbeau Curbeau
Meet Mattew Curbeau, professional triathlete, QT2 Level 1 Coach, and Certified Public Accountant:Matt, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up playing traditional team sports like Football, Basketball and Baseball. I played baseball into my college years and when that was over I spent most of my time in the weight room. After college I began work in Public Accounting where I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and earned my license as a Certified Public Accountant. After 4 years in the Corporate World I decided to take a chance on a different life path and give the sport of triathlon my full attention. I moved out to Portland, Oregon where I lived with my Brother and his family. In Portland I made friends with the great guys at Athletes Lounge who gave me a job and became my training buddies. I had a great 8 months out on the West Coast but came back East when my brother left Portland to begin is Residency as a OBGYN in Asheville, NC. Once back East things in triathlon kept rolling and ultimately led me to Boston, MA. Tim and Cait Snow of Brockton, MA have graciously welcomed me into their home and I currently reside in the basement of their house. I work with Brian Hughes at Fast Splits Multisport
in Newton, MA as well as Coach with QT2 Systems
. All in all life is good and I am loving where I am at!
How did you get into triathlon?
During the year that I was studying and taking my CPA exams my life literally consisted of going to the gym for 1-2 hours in the morning and killing myself doing Crossfit style workouts (this was 2008 and I was the only person in my gym doing this stuff, you could say I was an early adopter, but really people just looked at me and laughed), going to work all day and then coming home to study until midnight. On the weekends I would get excited because I could study for at least 10 hours a day, it was a vicious cycle that led me to become extremely stressed out and actually physically ill from the demands. Also during this time, I decided to start going to a spin class. I met some guys that were "cyclists" in those classes who just did them to keep in shape for when the weather got better outside. Over the winter I became friends with these guys. I made a pact with myself that if I could make it through a whole winter of spin classes that I would get a bike. So in May of 2009 I bought my first bike and was persuaded by a good friends to do a local duathlon. I raced and was promply beaten to a pulp by women, children and just about everyone who showed up. BUT I WAS HOOKED, from then on I began "training" on my own and came back to that Duathlon in the fall and finished second. During the summer of 2009 I did a half iron that I had no business doing and also signed up for not one but two ironman races, IMLP 2010 AND IMFL 2010. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but my thought process was that if I was going to get into the sport of triathlon I was going to go big. So in October 2009 I began truly training and haven't stopped since.
How did you get to the point where you are now?
Hard work, dedication and a lot of time. Cliche right? Well that's the honest truth. As a 5'8'' white guy, I am not a physical specimen. My saving grace, other than my fantastic coordination, is that I have kept coming back for more. Having the determination to just keep coming back each day has been essential for my growth as a triathlete. I came into triathlon with absolutely no endurance sport background. I had never ran more than 3 miles at a time, NEVER swam laps in a pool and never road a bike with skinny tires and pedals that attached to the shoes. So with no real background, and no real clue of what I was getting myself into, everything was new and exciting. The first time I rode 100 miles was unreal, the first run over 13.1 miles blew my mind and as for the the pool, let's just say that when I started with the RAMS masters group in Rochester, NY, my lane partner was in her 70's. Over time I moved to the fast lanes in the pool, I began to ride my bike for hours on end and running became fun. I naturally got faster just from the training and began to place well in my age group at local races. In 2010 I raced a couple 70.3's as well as two Ironman races. You could say I cut my teeth a little bit in 2010. I was very raw and was just getting a training base under me. It was then in 2011 where things started to take shape. I focused for most of the year on short sprint races where their short intense nature afforded me to the learn how to truly suffer on the bike an run. I finished that year off with a Kona Qualifying race at IMFL 2011. Immediately after IMFL I left my job as a CPA and headed west. Since then triathlon has been my focus. During 2012 and 2013 I worked hard, put in a lot of training hours and ultimately put myself in position to race professionally. I am very excited to make my PRO debut in Los Cabos, MX on March 30, 2014.
What keeps you motivated? How is triathlon "Personal?"
Simply put, my motivation lies in the pursuit of personal improvement. It is truly rewarding to see the results that can be achieved from hard work and a lot of time. Each season, each race and even each training session gives me the confidence to pit myself against the best of the best. Especially this year in 2014, I derive an immense source of motivation from the fact that I want to prove that I belong among the sports elite athletes in the PRO field.
What are your goals for this year?
In 2014 my goals are to gain experience, keep developing as an athlete and begin to assert myself among the PRO field. I need to keep punching in everyday and doing all the little things to get better. Those little things like getting in my Normatec Boots every night, taking my Fish Oil, running in new shoes, taking the T downtown to BeWell Boston for a bi-weekly or monthly massage....they all count. Also, you can't forget that ice cream sundae once every 4 weeks just to keep things in balance!
How did you get hooked up with QT2?
Way back in 2010, when I was a naive newbie I went to a QT2 Training Camp in Vermont. It was there where I met the likes of Jesse Kropelnicki, The Snows (Tim and Cait), and Pat Wheeler. I had a really great experience at the camp, and it really inspired me to keep training hard and really commit to getting the most out of myself. In fact I vividly remember the first ride I did at that camp. It was late in the day on a Thursday and Tim Snow had just arrived. He set up his bike and was going for a ride. I asked if I could tag along and he said "Yep!". What ensued for me was about a 2.5hr time trial to keep Tim in my sights (he was VERY fit at the time, coming in 5th at IMLP just a month later). In any case, even with him way ahead of me that day, he kept an eye on me and I'd like to think I earned an ever so slight piece of respect for dragging myself along close enough that he didn't start to worry and call in the sag wagon. I kept in touch over the next year or so and in January 2012 I became an official QT2 athlete. I owe so much to QT2 in terms of my development and giving me the foundation of which to build on, year after year.
How do you balance coaching with your own training?
Right now I am having a crash course in how to balance it all. I am currently down in Clermont, FL for a three week camp with my fellow QT2 PROs. We are putting in some serious hours and the days last from about 6am when we wake up and head to the pool to 7-8pm when we wrap up our last run of the day (and sometimes longer when headlamps are necessary). This leads to a pretty small window of "free" time. So I am learning how to utilize my recovery days, and the minutes I have between workouts to make sure I am keeping tabs on all my athletes and their daily workouts. Recovery days provide the most time to really dig into the athletes training plans and map out where their training is going to go from the next 4 weeks to 4 months. At QT2 we spent a tremendous amount of time pouring over our athletes workout results so that we can provide a truly unique coaching experience that provides an environment for the athlete to reach their fullest potential. I have been a QT2 believer for a long time and am very excited to now be able to coach under their umbrella. It's equally exciting for me personally, as coaching is allowing me to become more financially sustainable in the sport of triathlon all through doing something that I have a true passion for. Seeing the athletes improve and break barriers that they previously were struggling with or thought were not possible is as rewarding as it gets!
What are some of your favorite memories of the sport?
The first memory that comes to mind was in 2010 when I was racing my first 70.3 down in Galveston. I somehow managed to secure a 4th or 5th place finish in my Age Group, and thus was able to collect a little piece of hardware for myself at the awards ceremony. While at the awards, Chris Lieto, who at the time was one of the only "BIG NAMES" I knew of in triathlon was there too, to collect his 2nd or 3rd place award. After the presentations there was some milling around and after some prodding I got the nerve up to go say hi to Chris. Chris was SUPER nice and chatted me up about my race for at least 10 minutes. He honestly had a really nice conversation with me and that just left me with such a great feeling about triathlon. I still consider that one of my fondest memories in the sport. In terms of my own racing I'd say one of my most favorite races to date was a smaller half-iron down in NJ, called Bassman. It was early in May last year (2013) and freezing cold. All day Vinny Johnson, a QT2 PRO and teammate, was ahead of me. On the run he was in my sights at a couple hundred yards for over half the run. With about 5k to go I closed it to about 100 yards or so but just couldn't get the gap to close. Finally with a quarter of a mile to go I caught up with him and made a pass to take the victory. Vinny was gracious and cheered me on as I went by. I sprinted as hard as I could and crossed the line. It was the most fun racing experience I've had to date. Really going against an athlete one on one is awesome and something that in the Age Group world just doesn't happen much because of the race structure.
Do you have any training tips?
Go into each workout with a preconceived notion of "what your supposed to do". By that I mean, don't expect to PR every workout. Especially while training for longer distance races like 70.3's and Full Ironman the fatigue that accumulates during training is just so great that you are bound to have a disappointing workout, or one where you are slower than the day before. Sometimes your going to get in the pool and your 800 time trial is going to be slower than the one you did a month ago. The thing to do in those situations is to buckle down, give it your absolute best effort on the day, take your knocks and live to fight another day. You go home, you recover and then in a few weeks you knock the next time trial out of the park. No one workout or race defines you as an athlete. What truly makes you is the commitment to keep going when times get tough and to keep coming back for more.
Fitter and Faster With Devon Palmer
Get to know Devon Palmer, a professional triathlete and independent coach based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He managed to take some time away from his movie reviews and hard-hitting journalism career to tell us a little about himself and why "It's Personal:"
When did you start doing triathlon?
First race was in 2006. I was obsessed immediately.
Why did you start?
I swam and ran in high school and absolutely loved training and racing. When I went to the University of Minnesota there was no chance of swimming or running for the Gophers. I could have swum or run for a Division III school but I was not fast enough for a Big Ten program. I needed a new competitive outlet. Triathlon had been at the back of my mind ever since I watched my parents race a relay years before. I got a road bike on ebay and signed up for four races the summer after my freshman year. The training was great and the races were a blast. The sport was a perfect fit.
What have been some of your favorite races?
I am very lucky because we have amazing races out the back door here in Minnesota and because I have the opportunity to travel to some remarkable events. In Minnesota Liberty, Manitou, Waconia, Brewhouse, Heart of the Lakes come to mind. All these events were well organized with great courses and I have fond memories racing them. It is hard to beat a fun hometown race. Nationally, I thought the Lake Stevens 70.3 was a fabulous course. Rev3's race at the Wisconsin Dells is also a favorite and their flagship race Quassy is really something. Finally, even though it was too hot for my taste, I enjoyed Ironman Louisville quite a bit.
What keeps you motivated?
Winning. I really, really like winning. Looking back over the years I can still feel the excitement from certain moments in races when I made a move to win. Also I really enjoy swimming, biking and running so my motivation is never too low.
Is there anything that you don't like about triathlon?
Keeping track of all the little knick-knacks you need for races. I am not the world's most inherently organized individual so it can be a hassle to rustle up all the little things for the first few races each season.
A more serious concern is dangerous bike courses. These are the minority but I've been on the bike at a couple races worrying about uncontrolled traffic in every direction. We obviously can't expect 100% closed roads. That said, I do expect the race organizers to select a smart course on the bike where they can limit a racer's exposure to vehicles and tricky intersections. This should not be an issue but it is.
What races do you have planned for this year?
I will race often in Minnesota and a little in Iowa and Wisconsin as well. For pro races, I'll do Rev3 Wisconsin Dells and then I'm headed up to Whistler for Ironman Canada. In September I'll race Ironman Wisconsin or Ironman Chattanooga or maybe both if I'm really ambitious.
How is the coaching going?
Coaching is going really well. I have a great group of athletes getting ready for the 2014 season. They are going after a variety of goals but the biggest day of the year is going to be Ironman Wisconsin. With just over half a dozen athletes racing it will be quite a day for my crew. Helping someone get through an Ironman is always special and especially so for first timers. It is remarkable seeing what athletes can accomplish and the degree of improvement that is possible with proper training. Working closely with athletes and seeing the realities of their schedules is a constant reminder of how good I have it as a pro. Normal folks with full time jobs and families have to be so much more focused and disciplined to make the time to train. Overall it is really rewarding and I'm happy to have a motivated and sassy group of athletes.
How did you get hooked up with 'The Gold Guys' as a sponsor?
My friend Kris got to know Shane, one of The Gold Guys
. Kris has always looked out for me and thought it might be an interesting sponsorship opportunity. Shane was agreeable and I've been doing my best to represent their company in creative ways. I've had fun with it since The Gold Guys are definitely not a traditional sponsor in the sport of triathlon and gold is a pretty easy theme to play with.
What can you tell us about your bike?
I can tell you with great confidence that I like it, it works well, and it looks good. It took Kevin O'Connor at Gear West Bike
maybe 40 minutes to fit me on my CD0.1. I haven't had to change a thing. It was that comfortable right out of the gate. The ISM saddle is a good touch and I've been able to stay in the aero position much more comfortably than on other bikes. As a bigger athlete I also wanted a stiff frame and the CD0.1 fulfills that nicely. I guess the most important test is always going to be race performance. I raced it in sprints, Olympics, half irons and an Ironman this season. The CD0.1 was outstanding across the board. And I will say that I do look good riding it. That is all I can tell you.
Anything else that you would like to share?
I can grow strong mustaches.
I am a passionate proponent of alliteration.
I have a fremesis (friend + nemesis) named Steve Stenzel and he knows what he did. We challenge one another to arbitrary athletic competitions.
on Twitter for "a lighter perspective on swimming, biking, and running," and check out his blog
for his thoughts on training, current events, movie reviews, and more!
Haley Chura: The Happiest Person On The Start LineHaley Chura has raced in the Olympic Trials for swimming in 2004 and 2008, owns several Ironman swim course records, won 70.3 New Orleans last year, was USAT Age Group National Champion in 2012, qualified for the Ironman World Championships in 2013, and for 2014, wants to earn her way back to Kona again. Find out why "It's Personal" for Haley.
Haley, can you tell a little bit about yourself? How is triathlon 'Personal' for you?
Growing up, I always knew I would be a triathlete. My parents competed in the Bud Lite triathlon series
during the 1980s and my first newspaper feature was a picture of me in my 'racing stroller' at the 1988 Lilac Bloomsday Run in Spokane, Washington. My parents competed in triathlons, road races, trail races, and they even went open water swimming. As a kid, I truly believed those were the kinds of things all grown ups did.When did you start doing triathlon?
After graduating and wrapping up my college swimming career at the University of Georgia in 2007, I took a job at an accounting firm in Atlanta. Within my first month, the firm's Managing Partner convinced me to run a marathon with him. I beat him by a minute. Luckily, instead of firing me, he decided our rematch should be a local half Ironman. The race was only a month before the 2008 Olympic Swim Trials and I think I trained more miles in the pool than on either the bike or run. I destroyed the swim field then watched nearly every person in the race pass me on the bike and run! The only person who didn't catch me was my boss, so at least I was still a winner around the office!
After that race my good friend Betty Janelle convinced me triathlon would be much less painful if I trained for the bike and run. With Betty's guidance I hired Matthew Rose
as my coach, joined the newly formed Dynamo Multisport team
, and set out to do my first Ironman in 2009.Why did you start doing triathlon?
I was happily retired from swimming for about 30 minutes before I missed it and knew I needed to do
something else. I felt I had reached my potential in swimming, but running and biking gave me new opportunities to grow. The distances and destinations of triathlon appealed to me, plus once I started meeting people I was hooked. It's a very happy and healthy community and I love being a part of it.What have been some of your favorite races so far?
Hawaii will probably always be my favorite race. There's so much tradition on that course and Kona is just a magical place. My first pro win was at the 2013 Ironman 70.3 New Orleans. Just two weeks before the race I left my accounting job to pursue triathlon full-time, so breaking the tape in Louis Armstrong Park was really emotional! I also love Ironman Brasil. That race feels like a laid back version of Hawaii. Floripa is a gorgeous race venue and I thought everyone in Brasil was super nice. I also made some really great friends on that trip.What keeps you motivated?
Being relatively new to the pro ranks, I learn something every time I race. I love being able to celebrate small victories in both training and racing, but still know there's so much room for improvement. I've also met some ridiculously great people through this sport and I being around good people makes me really happy.What races do you have planned for this year?
I'm planning to kick off my year at Ironman Los Cabos
at the end of March. After that I'll likely race Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
in April, then Ironman 70.3 St. Croix
and Ironman Brasil
in May. After Brasil I'll probably evaluate the first half of the year and from there, I'll make a plan of attack for the second.You were part of an NCAA national champion swim team and swam at the Olympic trials, you have several IM swim course records and in 2013 you were the first professional woman out of the water at Kona; how does that affect your race strategy?
I think it means I'm the happiest person on the start line! My swim background gives me a lot of confidence, and not only for the swim portion of the race. I've had the honor of training with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world and everything they taught me continues to carry me through races today. I know what it takes to win in the pool, and I don't believe open water and the open road are too different.What does a typical day in the life of Haley Chura look like?
A normal day probably starts with lots of laughter and laps in the pool. I swim with the Dynamo Masters
swim team and the group camaraderie makes every workout pure joy. After that I might hit the trainer or the road, depending on the time of year and duration/intensity of my bike workout. I do a lot of my running off the bike, so whether I have a 15 minute or 15 mile run, you can be sure my running shoes are nearby.Is there anything else that you'd like to share?
My parents have taken a bit of a break from triathlon in recent years, but last week I got a very interesting text message from my mom that read, 'I want to buy a Qunitana Roo.' I think 2014 could be a big triathlon year for the whole Chura family!Be sure to check out haleychura.com, and don't forget to follow @haleychura on Twitter!
Training Update With Peter HurleyPeter, the last time we talked was right before your race at HITS Naples. How did it go?
Well, it was a very tough swim. In fact, a man died of cardiac arrest. The water was very rough. My wife, Lorraine, had a PR, with a good bike and a fantastic run. I had my worst swim. I am working on overcoming hyperventilation in the first 200 yards of open water swims. The choppy water interrupted my usual routine of dealing with that hyperventilation. Made up some time on the bike, but had to wait four minutes to use the restroom. I had an average run. You will note that I actually finished 6th, as the individual listed ahead of me in the results did not finish the swim. Overall, it was a positive experience, shook out some cobwebs and let me know where I need to focus my training.
The expo was well attended and we had our tech rep, Diego Ruiz, assisting us during the weekend. I almost forget to mention that Diego took first place in his age-group in the Sprint at Naples.What are you doing to work on your swim? That sounds like a problem; how will that affect your race at Ironman Florida?
Ever since I started doing triathlon, I have struggled with hyperventilating on the swim. It's something that I have been trying to work through for years; right now I am doing Masters Swimming a couple of times a week, and I am working specifically with a swim coach to try to address this issue. It's a funny thing; I grew up in Massachusetts and spent a lot of time on the coast, but for some reason, come race day, I hyperventilate during the swim. The race at Naples really pointed out that this could be a big problem for the swim at Ironman Florida, so my coaches and I decided to switch to Ironman Chattanooga. By doing a race that is in my backyard, I'll be able to train in the same river that will be in the race, and we'll be better able to do simulate race conditions in our workouts.How has your training gone since Naples? Your next race is the Husky Long Course race in Australia- what have you doing to prepare for that?
Well, the weather here hasn't been very good, and as a result, I've missed a lot of training. Last weekend my wife and I decided to get away from this weather, and we were able to sneak down to St. Petersburg for a long weekend of training. This was the last 'big' weekend of training before starting my taper, and my wife and I were able to get over eight hours of training in. So that was nice. My volume has been about 11 hours for the past few weeks, and next week as I travel down to Australia we'll drop it down to about six hours. At this point, the Husky race is a 'B' race, with my 'A' race being Galveston 70.3 in April.What is your travel schedule going to look like? Are you just going to Australia?
I'm leaving next Monday, the 17th. I'm supposed to arrive in Australia on Wednesday, the 19th. That will give me a few days to recover and do some work with our Australian dealer, Pedals Plus, before my race on the 23rd. After that, I'll be going around to meet with our dealers and suppliers: I'll be going to Cebu to meet with YKK, then off to Seoul to meet with Cephas, then over to the Taipei Bike Show, where I'll meet up with Steve Dunn. After that I'll be heading to Hong Kong to meet with Wung Pang, and then I'll make a quick stop in San Francisco to see my son. All told, this trip will be about 17 days.Peter, how do you train during a trip like this? Besides the fact that there is about a 16 hour time zone difference, how do you find places to swim/bike/run?
One thing I've learned with the time zones is that you just have to do your best. I'll use some sleeping pills on the plane, but that doesn't always work. You never really get used to it, and I'm never able to sleep more than four hours at a time. You just try to take as many naps as possible throughout the day. As for finding places to train, I use the Poolfinder
at swimming.org to find pools near where I am staying. Because most of my trips are to meet with our dealers, I can usually borrow a bike from them and bring my own shoes and pedals. And you can always find a place to run. Just like with sleep, it's a matter of doing the best you can.Anything else?
I should mention how hard it is to pack for a trip like this. I'll be leaving 45 degree weather and arriving in 85 degree weather in Australia. Then it'll be 95 degrees in Cebu, then 35 in Seoul, then 75 in Taipei and Hong Kong, 65 in San Francisco, then back to 45 degrees. It's hard to prepare the body for that.