Monday, February 1, 2010

The 2010 Road to Kona - Ben's 5 Step Plan

How time flies!

It seems like just last week that I arrived back home from the Clearwater Half-Ironman World Championships. For the past few months, I've been having fun playing basketball, skate-skiing, doing CrossFit, hanging out with my kids, learning new guitar songs, launching an online triathlon academy, and drinking my fair share of vodka-pomegranate martinis.



But with the 2010 triathlon season quickly approaching, it's time to buckle down and make plans. Might as well start with the biggest announcement:

I'm gunning for Kona this year.

That's right. For a third time, I want to return to the Big Island to race in the Ironman World Championships, and 2010 is shaping up to be the year.

Since I last qualified for Kona in 2008, things seem to have changed. The qualifying time for the 25-29 age group has decreased by nearly 15 minutes in my backyard race, Ironman Coeur D' Alene, and other Ironman events across the globe seem to have followed suit. Races are getting faster, triathletes are becoming more talented, and to make it the World Championships in Kona has become a significantly formidable task that requires either a motor on your bike, high-speed roller skates, or a very good triathon plan.

So making it to Kona, and dominating the local triathon race circuit in 2010, is going to take some significant changes in my training, racing and nutrition protocols. Not that I wasn't serious before. It's just that now, I need to get VERY serious. Want to know how I'm going to do it?

Here's the 5 Step Plan, borrowed from the Alcoholics Anonymous model (actually, I've never been to an AA meeting, but doesn't 5 Step Plan sound like maybe it would be a component?):

1) Lay Down a Bulletproof Base. I've supplemented my winter training by taking up the incredibly challenging sport of skate skiing, playing hardcore basketball a couple times a week, and participating in a 30 hour training week at my triathlon camp in Austin Texas, so I'm a bit ahead of the equation on this one. My body is in an excellent state of fitness to be ready to lay down speed in early Spring. I'm not fast rightnow, but my strength and endurance are through the roof - right where they need to be early season.

2) Race Often. I discovered a long time ago that the best way for me to stay motivated, amp up intensity, study the sport and monitor my progress is to race early and race often. Many of my races on the calendar below I will simply "train through", but I play on enjoying the 2010 season by participating in a large number of multi-sport events. Some people worry about burn-out and overtraining, but the idea is not to "win every event", but rather to use races as baseline measurements, and also inspiration, socialization, and a chance to change tires under pressure.



3) Engage in Structured Swim Improvement. After studying my splits in 2009, the time that I put into the pool simply didn't pay off. To hang with the big boys on the bike, I need to be out of the water earlier, and so I'm completing a structured 8 week training series from Swim Smooth, thanks to Paul, who has hooked me up with paddles, wetronome and water proof training sessions. I'll continue to use my ultra-sleek Blue Seventy Helix Wetsuit and Element goggles, and will use the new Blue Seventy speed suit at any non-wetsuit legal events.

4) Train With Power. Not only will I be upgrading my Specialized Transition Pro to a Specialized Transition S-Works, but I'll also be adding a power meter to both my indoor and outdoor bike training protocols. I'll also be doing thorough testing and ample riding at my 2 hour threshold power in Kona-esque conditions, especially as the Hawaii 70.3 qualifying event draws closer. I had really wanted to accept my gracious Team Timex invitation this year, but I simply cannot imagine racing on any bike other than a Specialized. Wheelsport East is my local shop, and these guys rock. Go there to get your bike if you're from Spokane.





5) Turn Myself Into Bionic Man. Impossible, you say? To tell you the truth, in the past 2 months I have doubled my testosterone levels, added 3000-4000IU of super-steroid precursor vitamin D into my training protocol, had a cup full of pure and essential amino acids after every workout, and carefully monitored my magnesium/calcium mineral loss, urine pH, blood ferritin and essential amino acid levels. In addition, I have eliminated nearly every starch and sugar source from my diet. I now only need a rest day once every 2 weeks, and I roll out of bed every morning completely ready for my High Intensity Interval sessions. A human performance company from Bend, Oregon called "Bioletics" has made this all possible. What it comes down to is that if you truly want to have your body completely dialed in, you need to call them...today.


Bioletics will be overseeing my entire 2010 Road to Kona, and I will be sending them blood, urine and salivary samples throughout the season to monitor my progress. If I'm going to be putting 10-15 hours of weekly training, money, effort and time into getting to the Ironman World Championships, I want to know exactly what's going on inside my body and exactly how to optimize my internal performance factors, and that's what Bioletics is going to do for me. You can hear more about Bioletics by listening to Podcasts #53 and #62 at http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com .



Another interesting part of this equation is that I really want to save my body for the Big Dance in Hawaii, and thus only race ONLY ONE IRONMAN event in 2010. This means that I will need to qualify at a Half-Ironman 70.3 event. So I'll be traveling to Hawaii in June, where I will likely need to win my age-group at the Hawaii 70.3. Should that for any reason fall through, I will attempt to sneak into Canada or Louisville. So, without further ado, here's the 2010 race season:

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Ben Greenfield's 2010 Road to Kona - Calendar of Events:

April 17, 2010: Snake River Sprint
April 25, 2010: Leadman Off-Road Triathlon
May 1, 2010: Wildflower Half-Ironman
June 5th, 2010: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii (Kona Qualifier)
July 10th, 2010: Warrior Dash
July 17th, 2010: Tiger Triathlon
August 1, 2010: Troika Half-Ironman
August 7th, 2010: Coeur D' Alene Scenic Challenge Triathlon
August 29th, 2010: Ironman Lousville (if no qualification at 70.3 Hawaii)
September 12, 2010: Spokane Triathlon
September 25, 2010: Black Diamond Half-Ironman
October 9, 2010: Ironman Hawaii World Championships
December 5, 2010: Ironman 70.3 Thailand

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Yes. No race season would be completely without being capped off by a fantastic international event, especially one where massages and gourmet Thai food are as commonplace as iPhones and Nintendo Wii's.

But wait! I'm not done yet! There are some other very important sponsors to which I will owe a debt of gratitude for their amazing formulations and products. These include...

-Zeal Optics. With everything from super lightweight racing sunglasses to their patented Bluetooth, talk-on-your-phone-with-your-eyewear technology, Zeal is the ultimate stuff to have on my face during a race.

-Avia. You will notice some of the top triathlon pros in the world are sporting Avia shoes, and there's a reason for that. Avia puts some serious R&D into their line of footwear, and I have three pairs in my closet - a stability shoe for distance work, a trail shoe for off-road running, and a high-speed racing flat. It's all I'll ever need.

-Mt. Capra Nutrition. I go through 4-6 scoops of their Double Bonded Protein every day, and also use their Solar Energy after every workout. You can get it here with 5% discount code BGF.

-Impax Nutrition. This is the foundation of my morning health routine. I do two scoops of Enerprime powder and 2 EnerEFA capsules, then I also use their delta-E packets for a rocket boost before every hard workout. Click here to read more about Impax.

-Millennium Sports. I turn to Millennium's products especially during the core of race season, during with I take their Cordygen Ultra VO2 and Citruvol and Carnage as a 1-2-3 combo punch of power, VO2 and intensity. I also now use their "Athlytes" for my electrolyte intake during races. Check them out at http://www.millenniumsport.net

-GU Nutrition. I use the GU Sport Gels, GU Roctane and GU Chomps as my sole source of carbohydrate energy during my events. You can follow GU's awesome Facebook page here.

-Bumblebars. Gluten-free, all-natural morsels of goodness, these are my fall back snack when I'm traveling, busy or just have to grab a very quick bite. They have really good monthly deals on their website here.

-Wicked Fast. With a special capsule that blends proteolytic enzymes and branched chain amino acids, I typically swallow 4-6 Recoverease when I drink my post-workout drink to make my post-workout soreness disappear.

-nuun Active Hydration. I am addicted to nuun. And it is a good addiction. Rather than slamming a soda, I use nuun's all-natural "uhydration" products when I want flavored health water. I like to mix them with Bioletics amino acid powder and Mt. Capra's Solar Energy post-workout. Nuun lives here.

-Tim at Therapeutic Approach massage. If you live in the Spokane or Coeur D' Alene area and have not yet found Tim, then you are missing out. He knows the triathlete's body and he doesn't have any cheesy posters or calm tunes of serenity. You simply get deep tissue massage and Johny Cash. The real deal. Here's his website.

-Brian at Spokane Sports Chiropractic. When the runs and bikes get long, Brian will be adjusting my sacroiliac joint to ensure my hips rotate with ultimate efficiency. This is a lifesaver, as about 75% of endurance athletes simply push through low back pain or limited range of movement, and sometimes don't even know it. Find Brian here.

OK, folks! Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com for a free blog and podcast with more human performance and nutrition advice, and also http://www.rockstartriathlete.com for an online triathlon academy!

Now I'm going to go squeeze one more martini in. Twitter me if you want a good pomegranate recipe.
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