Thursday, October 20, 2011

ride this weekend 10/20/11

This is from last week in Hawaii but I think this is a GREAT shot!!!

Don Packard at the line...empty but very fulfilled...

This has been a REALLY hectic 1 and ½ weeks and unfortunately it doesn’t look like I will be home doing the “usual” for another couple more weeks so I better just get used to it.

From Hawaii to Jax to Austin to Orlando to Kansas City to Jax to Miami to Las Vegas to Cleveland to Panama City to Jax…yes…that is all in 3 weeks – wow :)

With that…not doing any training in town so short email this week….

So…on to it…

The countdown continues:

1 week until IM Miami 70.3…I hope the speed shows up before then 

2 weeks until IM Florida…glad to be just cheering at this one…at least it’s cold now.


A win is a win and we had TWO!!!!

Big time congrats to Karel who took 1st in the 35+ race on Saturday…you have heard me say it before but it is a REAL trick to win a bike race…

You have to be in the right place, have the right skills and then execute…Karel did all that!!! Way to go mate!!!

Speaking of executing…how about being in the lead from the 1st turn buoy to the finish – now that is racing from the front!!!

Congrats to Drew Heideman on the OVERALL WIN at the Atlantic Coast Triathlon with a smoking 4:21:02!!!

Could not be happier for Drew as he executed EXACTLY to his plan…ok…he was off by 2 watts  Seriously – perfect race!!!

Lots of other great results are listed here - congrats to everyone who raced.

Last – congrats to Owen, Jo and the crew from JRC who put together a GREAT race / event for the kids last weekend at the Zombie run…that was AWESOME!!!

Sorry Matthew – I thought you had first place zombie locked up until I saw the melted face guy…it was close but I think he got you by a nose…a melted nose :)

Racing this weekend:

Good luck to Juan and the crew at Great Floridian…1st time Iron Distance for Juan…have fun and enjoy…it will be over before you know it :)

Good luck to Curtis and the shaved legged tough guys heading down south for a TT, Crit and RR…have fun and race hard!!!

On to Training – sorry – not in town…have fun and stay safe.

Music –

Usually I have to get a referral to find something REALLY good but this one I found on my own and I must say…he is EXCELLENT!!!

Check out Alexi Murdoch “Time without Consequence” – fantastic mellow music

Food –

For the traveler…in Austin…fantastic restaurant - this is really a great find and the Gnochi should NOT be missed!!!

Movies –

Bone and I went to see Real Steel and it is definitely worth it as a “guy movie” – robots doing UFC…whoooooo ahhhhh :)

Tri-gear for the Tri-geek –

Lot of cool stuff from Kona – here is a really good looking new helmet from Rudy Project

For Sale –

From David Mariotti ( – this is a great deal on a complete bike and really good power solution if you are looking – power makes the difference!!!


Speed Concept 7 series, SIZE M - $2,619 retail
UPGRADES – purchased for this bike:
2011 Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 Carbon Clincher Aero wheelset, never ridden, showroom condition Shimano/SRAM freehub, and new Bontrager Race tires (cassette not included) $1,400 retail
Bontrager RXL carbon bar - $220 retail
Bontrager Speed Concept carbon ski bend extensions - $180 retail
Bontrager Speed Concept Draft Box - $45 retail
Trek Red Shield insurance, 3 years - $169 retail
I have less than 150 training miles on this bike.
This Speed Concept was purchased locally only 45 days ago from TREK.

$1,000 (2010 wheelset) with Power Tap2.4SL (2008 model wired)

Contact, David at 904-612-2710

Links of interest –

Retul Fits work!!! Contact me at - they are expensive but really worth it!!!

Massage by Marjorie check it out at or call (904) 945-4540

Dr. Alvin Green If you are in need of Chiropractic care

110% Play Harder - check them out at !!!

That’s a wrap –

For the latest rants and raves – check out

If we miss, watch out for text messaging soccer moms, pickup trucks, grey Porsche 911’s, pellet shooting panel vans, Grannies racing for a Geritol sale and Bone and I hitting the all you can handle coasters on Saturday night…main event…8 year old versus old man and former aviator…1100+H in the air and I am betting that the young gun is gonna school me bad :)

Take care,

Shawn Burke
Velocity Multisport Coaching
(904) 537-5294

"A scientific approach to coaching and training"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kona 2011 - Longest Race Report EVER :)

It’s that time of year and this entry is written for only two people…my coach and my mom :)

My race reports have always been a very important process for me and nowadays a lot of athletes and coaches utilize this to detail / analyze the event or to say thanks to people who might have helped them.

Many of the reports that I read, and I read a lot of them, are totally analytical…I took 2 vanilla flavored GU at mile 12.5 of the bike and 23 and a chocolate at mile 35…not sure what the flavor has to do with anything :)

While others are totally emotional…I laughed…I cried…I pee’d…and…

To be perfectly honest…I think both are equally important.

On the analytical side…I try to race like a metronome…planned…practiced…paced and executed…

I use all kinds of metrics to control my effort or to motivate me for any up regulation of speed, power or effort or for containment of excitement which is equally valuable.

But on the emotional side, one pro once described Ironman as a 10 hour argument with yourself.

Race day can be a relatively “easy” day where you have “mostly” positive or motivating thoughts.

It can also be a deeply dark experience not unlike lying in bed as a child wishing your parents miraculously wake up and come into your room to kill the fanged tooth slimy green swamp monster that was surely in your closet or just about to crawl out from under the bed and if you dared to say anything aloud or touch a foot to the floor to run it would immediately trigger the creature to attack…

Yeah…most Ironman events are more like that swamp monster thing :)

More training and fitness can bring about more of the “happy days” but even on the best days, there are dark patches that every athlete goes through that are of an unexpected depth, duration and temperature…the hottest day can be a deeply dark and cold place.

Sometimes the day before event can be the darkest…and this year…that was my experience.

Dr. Phil was out…I called…he didn’t answer…

Laura Schlessinger won’t talk to me as I am friends with my ex-wife but she did suggest I call Jerry…

But seriously…if you EVER think calling Jerry is a good idea…your wrong.

Rules for life…

If Jerry wants you on his show…pass…

If a 60 minutes camera crew is at your door…don’t answer….

So far these have worked for me….wait…I am digressing.

So…Dr. Phil was out so I called VMS #1 and explained my problem.

Zero sleep two days before the race and a night spent on the toilet with nerve induced food poisoning had me convinced that competing was not an option.

I am not talking about “racing”…I am talking about “starting” at all.

I told Paul if I didn’t come correct then I was going to be on the “hot corner” cheering on my friends.

He replied, “You will be the fittest spectator on the course.

”I of course replied…”No actually Macca is here :)“

Seriously…Paul provided me with a mental reset…he simply said, as only a former boss and New Jersey born guy could say…

”Come on man…are you serious…this is silly…you know you are going to race…you know you are going to be fine…you always are…you get like this before every race…you just need to get in race mode…you need to get your head in the game…your gonna be fine…you always are”.

To say that is one thing and to hear it is another but to believe it…that was different….and in his message I was completely convinced that he believed it.

My deep dark and cold Ironman day finished when my head hit the pillow at 8:44pm on Friday evening...yeah…good thing the race was Saturday 

Saturday morning I woke at 4am after nearly 7 full hours of blissful sleep.

I felt so INCREDIBLY good compared to the day before that I immediately knew that I was going to be fine…just like Paul said.

I will close this emotional conversation with this…

Ironman pushes me to my limits and those are very rarely physical. It makes me look into the deep dark corners of my mind and what we find is often the same scary monsters of our youth.

Luckily for me…my race day was a 10:00:27 of happy chatter with myself (actually out loud at times) and a few 5 minute moments of ”oh s%^” but the night light was on and the monster stayed under the bed all day :)

All about my friends and family…

Like I said in the video…this year was special to have so many friend on the course.

I am SO impressed with their races and all of the training they did to get there…it was a pleasure to help along the way…

Here are a few pics from the day… 

Now for the numbers – boring stuff for trigeeks and my coach :)

If Alan and I ever get to go to Vegas…look out :)

I told him earlier this year (after TX) that I wanted to race Kona this year and go sub 10.

Here is his response:

Just adding notes here on Kona sub 10 for the database..
I looked at your Texas file (thx for posting). Elevation for the 98mi on the file was 1934ft (0.37%). Kona elevation gain is ~3700ft over full race dist (0.62%)
Average winds for the day in TX were (according to weather underground) 6mph. Kona winds are variable but the average seems to be 6-9mph.
If I plug the TX numbers into the power equation, 22.8mph on 224NP implies an effective CdA of ~0.39m^2. If I apply that 0.39m^2 to Kona using the above elevation and wind data, it suggests a power output of 220NP for 21.33mph/a 5:15 bike split. This lines up well with last year where you went sub 5:18 on 211NP but with light side of average winds (6mph average for the day). I'm pretty confident that with your current position if you ride tactically like you did at TX with 220NP, if winds are in the average range you'll break 5:15. If you have a decent swim and go 3:3x on the run, you should break 10.
I think the going 3:3x on the run will be more contingent on how much fluid you get in on the bike and run than on your fitness. I'm very confident you'll be fit enough to run that pace given the plan that we laid out. Most important item will be lots of practice with heat management in humid conditions which, given your locale, shouldn't be too much of an issue :-)

If you don’t think his math is impressive…this is “blind” from Colorado and here is how it played out.

Entire workout (207 watts):

Duration: 5:15:42 (official time was 5:15:11 off by 11 seconds :))
Work: 3816 kJ
TSS: 286.4 (intensity factor 0.751)
Norm Power: 218 (off by 2 watts)
VI: 1.05
Pw:HR: 2.34%
Pa:HR: 3.25%
Distance: 113.966 mi
Elevation Gain: 3520 ft
Elevation Loss: 3482 ft
Grade: 0.0 % (31 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 620 207 watts
Heart Rate: 97 162 134 bpm
Cadence: 1 153 86 rpm
Speed: 0 43 21.4 mph
Pace 1:24 0:00 2:48 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 410 31 lb-in
Altitude: -98 509 89 ft
Crank Torque: 0 1577 208 lb-in
Temperature: 80.6 93.2 86.6 Fahrenheit

Oh yeah and for the run…

Entire workout (145 bpm):
Duration: 3:32:03 (official time 3:29:21)
Work: n/a
rTSS: 274.5 (0.829)
NGP: 8:01 (200.8 m/min)
VI: n/a
Pw:HR: n/a
Pa:HR: 4.59%
Distance: 25.992 mi
Elevation Gain: 1959 ft
Elevation Loss: 1937 ft
Grade: 0.0 % (26 ft)
Min Max Avg
Heart Rate: 110 180 145 bpm
Speed: 0 13.3 7.3 mph
Pace 4:31 0:00 8:11 min/mi
Altitude: 45 266 139 ft


The approach to training and racing over the years has been dialed in to a really great recipe but each year Alan refines it to make it just a little better.

This year the twist was moderately hard recovery weeks (700 TSS versus 500 TSS last year) and they worked…just like all the other little tweaks over the past few years.

Camps continue to be my best bang for the buck in concentrated training and I will continue to build those in for next year…it is my only chance to get in 25H+ and 1200+ TSS

Gear is MAXED out and there is no chance to buy any more speed…I looked :)

Taper was PERFECT and I didn’t feel tired or any of the other annoying tapering effects.

Plan was solid (designed by AC) and the change in metrics actually gave me a little more latitude to play with on race day and I really like that.

All season long has been wattage focused and HR secondary…here we switched to HR primary and power secondary…it allowed me to ride tactically which is HUGELY important in Kona.

The Swim

Lined up to the left of the Ford Car and went off 2-3 people back from the front as the scrum was in full swarm. The 1st 5 minutes were a$$holes and elbows and it was a washing machine…stayed even with everyone but protected my face with short strokes.

Got cleaner water in about 10 minutes and settled into a “very easy pace” with a BIG pack that was dragging me along. With the recent shoulder injury I was worried about pressing the pace too much so I figured I am moving well and using no energy…choose to stay where I was. Finished the swim in 1:05.


Uneventful but still need to focus on free speed.

The Bike

Rode smooth and easy but tactically for the 1st 15 miles and then started looking for faster trains going by. Picked up my training partner around mile 15 and then pressed on to get rolling. Got with a few good groups but it was early and very much the typical surge and recover but I stayed with them.

On the climb to Hawi I think I rode really smart and stayed with a guy named Twelsik and a guy named Jenz…they were BIG and I figured that riding with a “Jenz” couldn’t be all bad :)

About 5 miles from the turn around the pace went REALLY hard and I let them go. I am pretty sure I saw Jenz again at mile 80 and Twelsik on the run so I think it was the right decision.

After the turn and special needs to get Red Bull…I remembered AC’s advice and really pushed the pace. This was my peak 60 minutes (223 NP) and I caught on to a great legal train that was really working well together. It was hard to catch them and hard to stay with them but it was worth it as I REALLY did not want to ride back to town alone.

Made it back to scenic point and the group broke up in an aid station and I was fine to pace myself in from there.
The final 20 miles felt really easy and I probably went a little too soft here with an NP of 200.

Turning right from Queen K to T2 I had to remind myself (outload) that the run was still a marathon as I was REALLY feeling good and REALLY excited to test the legs.


Took my time to make sure I was not going to get torn up and in hindsight…this in hindsight cost me the sub 10.

Stopped to pee and then headed out to run.


Really held back to 8:00’s (per AC) for the 1st 4 miles…actually had to reset ever ¼ mile as I was feeling great.

At mile 4 I said “finally” and let the legs free and got to a running pace of 7:40 with slower splits to get water, ice and sponges.

Was through 10 in 80 minutes and started to realize it would be close.

Decided to run HR and hold 8’s through the energy lab and then try to press the pace from the turn around to home as things were getting tougher but not horrible.

Had a quick but mandatory porto pottie stop at the top of the energy lab and was back running in around 1 minute – pro tip from New Orleans…sponges…nuff said :)

At mile 20 I still had a REALLY good chance for sub 10 and dialed it up significantly and started to make a big press and was feeling pretty good considering.
20-22 were around 7:30’s slower with aid stations.
22-24 were around 7:20’s and then 24-26 was actually the hardest I have ever run in an Ironman race as I knew I would be VERY close and I think I hit 5:40 pace descending Palani in full stride.
Made the right on Ali’I and knew I was probably going to miss but I kept pressing harder.
Gave Coen (son) a high five and sprinted for the line but came in 28 seconds shy of goal.

The finish

First time ever to nearly fell out at the line…now I know what that feels like to race :)

Took a few minutes to get my composure and wobbled back to the greeting area.

Met up with the family and chilled before heading back to the hotel and for “real” food at Huggo’s.


Took 2 Ensure (1 at 2:30am – 1 at 4am) and then had 1 bagel with almond butter, oatmeal and coffee at 4:30.
Took 2 salt pills and sipped water until the start.
Took in 1 sip of EFS Quick shot (approx. 60-75 kcal) every 15 minutes from 1:30 on the bike until 6:00 on the bike and only missed 1 feeding.
Took in 2-3 bottle of water per hour sipping from aerobottle and pee’d 3 times on the bike and T2 so that was probably fine.
Took in 10-12 salt stick pills total (approx. 1-2 per hour) and 2 pepto bismol tablets (mile 8 of run) and 2 Advil mile 10 of run.
Took 1 Vivarim (100mg caffeine) at 2:30 and a Red Bull at 4:45.
On the run used 2 x 100mg Caffiene Mocha Macca shots, one at 7:00 and one at mile 14 (8:30?)
One additional gel (no caffeine) and a Red Bull at mile 17 and Coke from 18 to finish every mile.
ICE and water at EVERY aid station.
Crowies tips to IM racing…salt pills and caffeine :)

Post race

Really incredible how clean I came through with only a small amount of missing skin and no real ortho or muscle injuries.

Need to “fix” shoulder or stroke but overall still very healthy considering.


I said this before I will say it again…

Alan is the mad scientist of fitness and he is scary at predicting outcomes.

I am disappointed that I did not hit 9 something (28 seconds is so close) but that is completely my fault.
There will be other chances and I am VERY confident with some better decisions in execution (especially in transition)…I can go quicker…even as I get older.

Thanks AC for all the help…you rock!!!

Alan Couzens – my coach…you are the man!!!
Jeff and Karel of Trek JAX for taking such good care of me and my Trek Speed Concept Shaila…Karel…I don’t think she ever rode so smooth and that is due to you – thanks man 100% confidence in my ride.
Josh Myers of Kswiss – you kept pressing me to change and I am so happy I did – Kwicky Blade Lights ROCK!!!
Skin Fit – the suit is money…you guys got it there on time…best gear for racing long distance
Biestmilch – best new supplement I have tried – seriously great stuff
Biobuilde MAP – never leave home without it.
Extreme Endurance…that is good stuff…back..back…back… it up boyz.
Margorie – (Massage) – you like to hurt me but you are so good
Alvin Green – (Chiro) – you straightened out the kinks
Drew Heideman (PT) – Dude – the healing hands – muchas gracias
Gus of Planet swim – you did your job and I took it too easy…next time mate…thanks for the help.

To all my training partners and friends on the was a great day!!!

Andi and the Boyz – thanks for allowing me to nap, be grumpy, sleep during movies and the rest…Much Love :)