A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Congrats to Maggie Gutterl for Winning Bi's Backyard Ultra!

I want to congratulate Maggie Gutterl on her victory in outlasting all the others in this grueling race, Big's Backyard Ultra. It took her 60 laps, or 250 miles, to be the last person standing!

All of us Trail WhippAss Trail Runners back in the East where she lived (Pennsylvania) were pretty much glued to our computer screens to see whether she can prevail. And that she did!

I'll go out on a limb here and give her the odds on favorite to defend her title again next year.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

2019 Big's Ultra!

The Race: Big Dog's Backyard Ultra

Distance: 4.16667 mile loop

Goal: To finish the loop under 1 hour and get to the starting corral again to start the next loop. If the runner doesn't make it to the starting corral, he or she is out. The race continues every hour until there is one person left standing.
It's a very simple, but very cruel concept. It's quite easy to run a 14 minute mile to complete the loop in under an hour. But spread it out over 60+ hours, and that's where the cruelty comes in. Ouch!

Last year's winner: Johan Steene outlasted Courtney Dauwalter after 67 laps (280 miles!).

The 2019 race is happening now; as of this post, the runners are on their 29th lap, or 29th hour. It'll be interesting to see who the last person standing will be this year.

You can follow the results at the link here: https://my5.raceresult.com/139372/?fbclid=IwAR2z011sQZc1y1eu7uNkrM0QmkDQy-TKo3vp2hVJlPoLO7z1I-GMaPJxyCA#0_B3DC1F

Friday, October 18, 2019

"Performance Enhancing" Shoes? Nope. Just More Effficient on Energy Return. So What's the Controversy?

I like to address the "gray area" of performance enhancing equipment. And why there is a controversy when I really think there isn't one.

Last weekend, we had some big things happening in marathon and triathlon. We had Kipchoge break the elusive 2 hour barrier in the marathon. We had Jan Frodeno break the Ironman Hawaii record in hot, windy conditions. And we had Brigid Kosgei break the women's world record at the Chicago Marathon.

I'm not sure about Brigid Kosgei, but the other 2 have achieved their feats with "performance enhancing" shoes with carbon plates in them that are designed to bounce back, adding a spring-like return on the push-off.Here is an article about the shoes Kipchoge wore in his sub 2 hour marathon: 'It feels like running on trampolines' - Kipchoge & Kosgei's marathon trainers

As this article suggests, there seems to be some controversy about these products. And I remember some of the governing bodies banning some of them from their competition (remember Spiro shoes and USATF?).

The problem with calling this "cheating" is that endurance sports have been providing technological advances in products since the dawn of time. We now have very light carbon bikes in triathlon and there seems to be no complaints. The swimming pools are now engineered to eliminate waves the swimmers make, making them all faster. That's not to mention the new hydrophobic swim skins that the swimmers wear themselves. Heck, even the tech shirts all of us runners wear nowadays is a huge step up from the old moisture-absorbing cotton shirts that we wore in the 80s, giving us all a "performance boost" in races.

To all those who consider the shoes that Kipchoge and Frodeno wore "cheating", where do you draw the line? Do we go back to the heavy steel bikes and cotton shirts again?

In my opinion, there really is no controversy. All of these products are considered "performance enhancing", but the energy still comes from the athletes themselves! These products just make it more efficient to deliver that energy to where it's needed.

There's no outside force that's propelling these athletes to new highs. So I see nothing wrong with the shoes these athletes wore at all.

The only controversy that I might see regarding this subject is if the cost of the new technology is outside the reach of 90% of the public. For instance, if a shoe delivered, say, a 20% increase in times yet it would cost $30,000 to obtain the shoe, then I can understand that argument. But most of these products are within a fair price range of the public.

Anyway, I would love to hear your take on this. As one popular host says, change my mind. 😁

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

London Marathon Lottery - Nope!

Oh darn.

I didn't get into London Marathon next year. I'm gonna cry!

To be honest, I totally forgot about this and registered for the St. Anthony's Triathlon in Florida the very same weekend. Florida has nicer weather in April anyway. 😁

Congrats to those few that did get into London.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

My Formal Invite to 2020 USAT Nationals

Thanks for the invite! I'll definitely be registering soon.

#nationalchamps #usatriathlon #triathlon #twentytwenty #pursueexcellence #usatnationals

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Preliminary Analysis of Strength Training on Competitive Aerobic Activities Such as Cycling and Running.

This is quite interesting. My weekly cycling and running mileage has been down for at least a month into the off-season. I have, however, been upping my core strength training...A LOT...both inside and outside the gym, for at least 3 times per week.

Lateral Bounding

Yesterday I went to Warinanco Park for a 20 mile time trial on my bike, about 11 laps of a 1.9 mile loop that has a small hill on it. Again, I have only been pushing around 50 miles of cycling per week after August.

I wound up doing 20.03 miles in 53:17, averaging 22.55 MPH on the bike. This is about the same as around my peak training period. And I felt much more stable on my bike, and also felt like I can push at least another 10 miles at this speed.
I'm very sure the stability at this speed is attributable to a much stronger core.
Amazing at what some weights, a slosh pipe, and even some simple squats and planks can do.

I really think that I can even push 25MPH on the bike next year at Olympic Distance Triathlons, including the one I just registered in Florida and the National Champs in Milwaukee. And if I assume this will translate into running too, if I can push close to 40 minutes in the 10K of that race, I will come awfully close to that 2 hour mark in those races.

Of course, a lot can happen between now and then, but this is concrete evidence that there is improvement here.

I'm pretty excited to see what happens in the coming weeks.

#triathlon #pursueexcellence #twentytwenty