May 29, 2012

high intensity short course training and overtraining?

Since I switched from Iron distance to short course triathlon training 4 weeks ago my legs have been constantly sore. The day before yesterday I got sick. I may be overtraining, not recovering enough in between workouts. My body just isn't used to the 180 degree switch from long course to high intensity lower duration training.

I've decided I'll continue doing the sprint distance training plan I'm currently on for another 14 days then reassess how I feel. At that time if I still feel like the training plan is too much for my body I'll switch to an easier one. Hopefully in the next 2 weeks my body will adapt to all this awesome speed work.

Even if I have to lower the intensity level, everything will be fine. I'm best at sprint distance racing, my body responds really well to sprint distance training, and there's not much I enjoy more than sprint course training. Even if my body cant handle this much speed work right now, it'll be up to or beyond this level later this year.

May 28, 2012


After I got hypothermia at my last Ironman swim I looked into the policy of using neoprene socks. The Ironman website said they are legal if the water temperature is colder than 65 degrees. Turns out I could have used a neoprene skull cap & socks on the swim! I got this article from their web site:

What are the current legal swimwear/speedsuits?

Effective September 1, 2010, all swimwear/speedsuits at Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events MUST be comprised of 100% textile material such as nylon or lycra and may not include rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene. Swimwear/speedsuits may NOT cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or knees. Swimwear/speedsuits may contain a zipper. A race kit or trisuit may be worn underneath swimwear/speedsuits.

What is your new rule regarding swimwear/speedsuits?
Effective September 1, 2010, the following guidelines will apply to swimwear/speedsuits in non-wetsuit swims:
Swimwear/speedsuits MUST be comprised of 100% textile material such as nylon or lycra and may not include rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene.
Swimwear/speedsuits may NOT cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or knees.
Swimwear/speedsuits may contain a zipper.
A race kit or trisuit may be worn underneath swimwear/speedsuits.What swimwear/speed suits are allowed after September 1, 2010?The following swimwear has been approved by Ironman to date. (This list is NOT all-inclusive. If your suit is NOT on this list and you do NOT know whether your suit is 100% textile material, please contact the manufacturer.) *Please continue to check back for updates
De Soto
Micro Tri Short – Femme
Liftfoil Speed Trisuit (non-rubberized)
Forza ITU Trisuit
78 Degree Swim Top
Forza Tri Short
Forza Tri Short Low Rise
Forza Riviera Tri Short
Carrera Tri Short
Carrera Tri Short Low Rise
Profile Design
Mako TXT

Speedsuit II

Torque Pro
Torque Elite
Tracer C Series
Tracer B series
Tracer Light

Xterra Wetsuits

CompressRx SpeedsuitRocket Science Sports
FU Racer
Rocket Racer
Elite Racer
RJ RacerZerod
The Amphibian
The Konami
The Trinergy
Men's Classic SpeedsuitOomph!
Men's KONA LE SpeedsuitOomph!
Unisex 'ProPel" SkinsuitSLS Tri
SLS3 FXC Fobic Speedsuit


What is the current wetsuit rule?
Effective September 1, 2010, at all Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events the following changes to our current wetsuit rule will apply:
Wetsuits cannot measure more than 5 millimeters thick. A standard variance will be allowed to account for seams and jersey material (non-buoyant).
Wetsuits are permitted if the water temperature is up to (and including) 76.1 degrees Fahrenheit (24.5 degrees Celsius) or colder.
Wetsuits will be prohibited in water temperatures greater than 83.8 degrees Fahrenheit (28.8 degrees Celsius).
Athletes who choose to wear a wetsuit in water temperatures between 76.1 degrees Fahrenheit (24.5 degrees Celsius) and 83.8 degrees Fahrenheit (28.8 degrees Celsius)will not be eligible for awards, including World Championship slots.
Full wetsuits are permitted (arms and legs covered).
NOTE: Rohto Ironman 70.3 Hawaii is a non-wetsuit race.
Which wetsuits will be prohibited after Sept. 1, 2010?
The following wetsuit has been prohibited by Ironman:
De Soto Water Rover wetsuit is PROHIBITED
*Please continue to check back for updates
How will your new wetsuit rule be enforced?
Race Officials will monitor the transition area and swim venue on race morning. Athletes caught using a wetsuit on the list of prohibited wetsuits will be DQd.
Can Age Group athletes wear a wetsuit that is on the prohibited list, even if they are not pursuing awards or entry slots for the Ford Ironman World Championship/Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3?
No. Athletes are never permitted to wear a wetsuit on the list of prohibited wetsuits. However, athletes can chose to wear a legal wetsuit in water temperatures between 24.5 degrees Celsius/76.1 degrees Fahrenheit and 28.8 degrees Celsius/ 83.8 degrees Fahrenheit, with the understanding that they will not be eligible for awards and/or World Championship slots.
Are neoprene swim socks illegal?
Neoprene socks are allowed ONLY when the water temperature is 18.8 degrees Celcius/65 degrees Fahrenheit or colder
Originally from:

May 26, 2012

running with the neighborhood cycling team

Today I ran to the NMCD track with my kids and the neighborhood kids, they all rode their bikes. I ran just shy of 5 miles. The bigger kids rode anywhere from 1.75 to 4.5 miles, the 2 little guys who rode the plastic tricycles made it around the track once (a quarter mile). Here's a picture of my neighborhood cycling team.

I spent most of the run  helping get rocks out of their shoes, open water bottles, pick up bikes that the wind blew over, etc. Even though I'm not able to run as much with them with me, I wouldn't trade this for the world. We're having a great time. If they continue training consistently with me I'll take all of them to the Las Alamos kids triathlon.

May 24, 2012

my run training partners and the Los Alamos kids triathlon

Today I ran to the NMCD academy track for a quick zone 1 run. I took my daughter and 4 neighborhood kids with me on their bikes, ages are 6, 6, 6, 8, & 9. They've been riding their bikes with me each time I've ran for the last week and a half. Already I've seen a huge increase in their endurance. The 8 and 9 year old rode 4.2 miles, the three 6 year old girls each rode 2 miles. Taking them with me on my runs has made my run days a ton of fun!

I told them if they continue to train with me the entire summer I'd take them to compete in the Los Alamos kids triathlon on Aug 19th. The divisions each are as follows:

Pee-Wees: Ages 3 - 4
1/4 Mile Bike / 100 Yard Run / 25 Yard Swim
Pee-Wees: Ages 5 - 61/4 Mile Bike / 100 Yard Run / 25 Yard Swim
Juniors: Ages 7 - 8
1/2 Mile Bike / 1/4 Mile Run / 50 Yard Swim
Juniors 9 - 10
1 Mile Bike / 1/2 Mile Run / 50 Yard Swim

The link to the Los Alamos triathlon is:

May 23, 2012

Cody's 1st ride w/out training wheels

I've been trying to convince my son Cody, age 4, to let me take the training wheels off his bicycle for months, but he's refused. Last night Cody saw a video on Facebook of his favorite cousin riding his bike without training wheels. Aparently seeing Nathan riding without training wheels was all the motivation he needed. Today he had me take his training wheels off, this video is of his 1st attempt.

May 21, 2012

short course training

Due to the lack of time to train I've given up on all 2012 Ironman aspirations and started training exclusively for short course triathlons. Year after after my triathlon goals have always been Iron or 70.3 distances.

My body has always seemed to excel at the shorter more intense races. Thus far I've loved every minute of sprint training! There's not many things more fun than going out for a bike ride or run filled with sprints at %100 efforts with equal active recovery time! A short course workout that pushes my body to the limits only takes 45 minutes for running and 90 minutes on the bike. Compare that to the 6 hour bike rides and 3 hour long runs it takes to get the training needed for long course triathlons, I think I've made a great decision.

I'd only trained for short course triathlons once for a 4 month period back in 2010. That was my most successful triathlon season. In that 4 month stretch I finished in the top 10 overall 6 of the 9 multisport races I competed in, 2 of those I finished in 3rd place overall!

If I enjoy the racing half as much as I've been enjoying the training it'll be a fantastic year! I'm really excited about this seasons racing. My current training plan is a twelve week training plan ending with a peak performance at the Dam It Man triathlon in late July at Elephant Butte Lake New Mexico.


This post was the suggestion of a reader. If there is a topic you'd like to see discussed here please write to me. I'm always open to your ideas.

It’s common among advanced multisport athletes to do two workouts in a day. Some even do three-a-days. The demands of such a sport make multiple daily sessions a necessity for high-performance. Some of these two-a-day triathlon workouts may be “bricks,” workouts combining two or more sports such as bike-run, swim-bike or swim-bike-run sessions. In triathlon such workouts are done year round.

There are also some mono-sport athletes, such as runners and cyclists, who do two-a-days. But these are not nearly as common as in multisport. Should you as a cyclist, runner, or swimmer do two (or more) sessions in a single day? There is no easy answer for this question. There are only possible advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them.

The way you increase fitness is to gradually increase stress. Stress comes in the guise of workout duration, intensity and frequency. Increasing any of these while maintaining the others improves fitness. Duration and frequency taken together are called “volume” – how many hours or miles you do in a week. By doing two workouts in a day you have the opportunity to increase volume and thus fitness.

Double workouts also increase the possibility of greater intensity of training. And intensity is the key to success for high-performance athletes. How does intensity increase? Let’s take an example. You could do a single, two-hour workout in one day including intervals followed by a long, steady effort. This would produce a lot of fatigue and you would likely not produce your best-possible performance for either portion of the workout as a result. But if you divided this into two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, fatigue (and your perception of expected fatigue which may cause you to hold back somewhat) would be lessened and so performance could rise. The first session might be the intervals and the second the steady-state effort. By the afternoon workout your greater recovery could produce a higher power or pace output. So, more stress from increased intensity would mean more fitness even if volume didn’t increase.

Two-a-days also increase your fat burning helping to reduce excess body weight. Following a workout, especially an intense one, your body continues to burn fat during recovery. The harder the workout, the longer this fat burning continues. By doing two workouts in a day you get this fat-burning benefit twice. It may not last any longer in total for the day than had you done only one long session, but causing it to occur twice in a day may have some fat-burning benefits although I’ve not seen any research to support this. This is based strictly on experience.

Of course, as with everything in life, there are disadvantages to working out twice in a single day. And they are potentially more deleterious than the benefits.

Increased stress means increased fatigue. Some athletes seem to handle that very nicely and bounce back quickly. Others, especially novices and seniors, recover more slowly. So several double days could easily lower the quality of your training.

And more stress also raises the specter of overtraining from trying to do too much in too short a period of time. Raising the workload significantly by doing two-a-days could cause an athlete to become overtrained in just three to six weeks depending on how well he or she copes with stress.

For many runners the risk of injury rises quite quickly as the frequency of training increases. I have coached many runners over the years who have what I call “glass legs.” It doesn’t take much stress to damage them which could leave such an athlete hobbled for days if not weeks. So for the runner, two-a-day workouts are very risky. What some do to avoid this problem while reaping some of the double-daily benefits, especially the fat burning, is to ride a bike as the second session of the day. There is even some research showing that riding a bike improves running performance.

While cycling isn’t an impact sport like running, increased risk of injury can still come with riding twice a day. For the cyclist the knees are typically where overuse injury is mostly likely to occur. This may be related to mediocre pedaling skills, unusual biomechanics, too much climbing in too high of a gear, or, most commonly, a poor bike setup.

So if you’re a mono-sport athlete and decide to start doing two-a-days, how should you train to minimize the downsides while reaping the benefits? Here are some basic guidelines.

+ Only do twice-daily workouts if you are an advanced athlete, meaning, primarily, that you have been at the sport for two or three years.

+ For runners and cyclists the best time to start doing two-a-days is in the base period. Keep the intensity low with the focus only on volume at first.

+ Allow your body to adapt gradually over several weeks. Start by doing only one day in a week with two workouts. If your body handles that alright then eventually bump it up to two. Do a couple of weeks like this before going to two double days. I’d recommend doing no more than three such double-dailies a week in your first season of trying this. Keep the risk low as you learn how your body responds.

+ At first use your easiest training days for two workouts. If you handle that alright then begin to carefully experiment with a more intense session followed by an easy session the same day.

+ Provide adequate time for recovery between the two daily sessions. There should be at least one meal in the recovery period. Two are better. This could be a workout before breakfast and a second session before supper with a lunch in between.

+ Allow for variety in these workouts. Don’t always do the same sessions each time you do two-a-days.

May 17, 2012

vacation over, tri-zombie returns

I just returned from a 10 day vacation. In almost 17 years of working at the prison this was the best vacation I've ever had. I raced in the Dog House sprint triathlon, got to visit my favorite cousins in Lubbock TX, but best of all was that I got to be at home with my wife at night, tuck my 3 kids into bed, take them to school, go to their soccer practices, and go to church with my wife and kids on Wednesday nights; all the things I've been missing from working at nights.

While on vacation I became used to sleeping at nights- having a normal persons schedule. Last night was my 2nd night back to work, I feel like a zombie, I'm probably acting like one too. I'm no longer used to sleeping during the day, it usually takes a couple weeks to acclimate to working the graveyard shift again. Until then I'll be chronically fatigued and struggling to find the energy to bike and run. Today I'm scheduled for some sprint work at the track and a strength training workout. It's a toss up as to weather I'll do it.... Dang I'm tired.

I keep reminding myself, just 37 more months until I'll retire from the prison, my wife will have graduated from nursing school, and I can finally go back to working a regular shift and feel like a normally functioning human being again.

May 14, 2012

Ride solo to build aerobic threshold

My notion of a base ride is a long, steady workout with heart rate mostly in zone 2. This is roughly a well-conditioned athlete’s aerobic threshold. Riding two or more hours at this effort challenges the body to make some improvements. One is to become better at using fat for fuel while sparing muscle glycogen stores. The longer your races are, the more important this shift is. The other critical shift has to do with increasing the capillary bed in the working muscles. The more capillaries you have the easier it is to get fuel and oxygen to the muscle. There are other benefits also, but for now we’ll focus on these.

The problem with this base workout is that it seems too easy at first so the athlete is tempted to abandon the 2 zone and start riding variably paced with hard and easy efforts – fartlek intervals, essentially. And by so doing reduces the aerobic benefits of the day’s workout.

The aerobic threshold ride is sort of like Chinese water torture. What at first seems easily manageable eventually becomes challenging. One has to have the patience to hang in there to see what I mean. (This is one of the numerous reasons why I so often say that patience is necessary to be a good endurance athlete.) Ride for two, three, four hours at this effort and you soon learn what the aerobic system is all about.

Doing such a workout with a group presents problems, however. The greatest is that not everyone’s heart rate 2 zone produces the same power or speed. The highly fit, usually young riders are talking easily while riding in zone 2 – as they should be. The slower, usually older riders who try to keep up are often well out of zone 2 but determined to hang on. While this workout is best done alone, if in a group the best option is for the group to split up into smaller groups of like ability.

May 12, 2012

The 2012 Dog House sprint triathlon race report

Today I competed in the Dog House sprint triathlon in Buffalo Springs Lake outside of Lubbock Texas. In 2010 I had one of my best races of all time at this race and finished in an hours twenty two minutes and in 2011 I finished in 1:23:13. This year they increased the distance of the swim, it was some where around 575 meters. I finished the swim in 9:22 and 19th overall.

I've been racing with a new aero helmet and I had serious problems getting it on in transition. I lost a good 9 seconds trying to get that dang thing on. I'm usually great in transition, but today I had a 79 second 1st transition. Very slow. My transition was 16th overall.

The bike was 17.6 miles and it was WINDY! I've been struggling to find the time to get in much cycling this year. The times I've been able to ride has been predominantly on the indoors rollers which isn't great for building short course speed. I finished the bike 54:18, maintaining a 19.4 mph average and finished with the 8th fastest bike ride of day.

T-2 was much better for me than T-1 with a 46.4 second transition 2 which was the 4th fastest transition 2 of the day.

I felt good on the run considering I've been struggling with a pulled quad muscle for the last few weeks. I finished the 3.1 mile run in 23:46 keeping a 7:40 pace. There was some confusion about where the turn around was. 2 athletes in front of me and 3 who were close behind me turned around about 25-30 meters early. I'm not sure why, but the volunteers didn't try and get the athletes to stop and come back. The time they got ahead of me by turning around early I wasn't able to make up. The RD's should have had a better marked course and more volunteers to prevent that from happening. A timing mat at the turn around would have provided the info of which athletes cut the course and who ran the distances they were supposed to. Oh well, such is life.

I finished 10th on the run.

My total time was 1:39:34, 8th place overall, and 2nd place in my age group.

I now have 5 races and 45 points for the SW challenge series 35-39 age group.

My next race will be the Tri Raider sprint triathlon in 5 weeks right here in Lubbock Texas.

May 08, 2012

change of race plans

Thanks to my wife who has been willing to make some adjustments to her schedule I've been able to get in all the training I need for my Iron distance triathlon. Unfortunately I've had no time for anything other than Iron training. To be able to fit in all my training on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday's I only get 3 hours of sleep which I'm ok with. But in a few weeks my training will get so time consuming it'll start to infringe with the special one on one time I spend with my kids. I'm not ok with that at all. So starting today I'm no longer planning on training for the Redman Iron distance triathlon this September. Instead I'll be training for some late season sprint distance triathlons. On one hand I'm glad because I love training and racing for sprints and I hate training for Irons. But one of my life goals was to go sub 13 hours at an Iron. All my training thus far showed I was going to break 13 hours easily. Now that goal will have to wait. Since my wife will be entering nursing school this fall I wont have the opportunity to start training for another Iron until late 2015. Oh well, such is life.

My diet fell apart this Saturday and Sunday. My weight is now 197.4. It pisses me off that I struggle so badly with the eating aspect of triathlon. The mad scientist Pete Alfino (my former triathlon coach) told me training for sprint distance triathlons would help keep my metabolism higher than Iron training does and would help keep my weight down, so there's another great reason switching to sprint distance triathlons is a good thing.

Yesterday I attacked some hills on the bike. It felt great. I love hill workouts, lactate threshold intervals, & power intervals! Sprint training is going to be great fun! I'm looking forward to this!

May 07, 2012

Base phase of training and weight loss

During the Transition period after your last race season you probably gained some weight. That is expected. And it’s probably a good thing - depending on how much weight you gained. Trying to stay at your optimal race weight year round is not good for your health. It’s also not good for your psyche. Staying focused on maintaining race weight 12 months of the year, regardless of your training load, requires a monk-like lifestyle of continual sacrifice and near suffering.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed life a bit and gained some weight in the last few weeks. The Base period is the time to start trimming down any excess beyond your best training weight. Training weight is a bit heavier than race weight. Your training weight by the end of the Base period may be roughly three to five percent more than your race weight – the weight you will have on the day of your first A-priority race. The higher workload of the Build period should be enough to gradually bring your training weight down to your racing weight by race day.

The extra calories you are burning as you move into the Base period may be enough to help you accomplish this initial weight loss. If not then you need to become more aware of your eating habits and modify them appropriately. Keeping a food log is a proven way of doing this.

Athletes who have been through this weight-loss process before generally know what they need to do to shed the extra flab. What I have found works best with the athletes I’ve coached is to greatly reduce their intake of starch and sugar replacing these foods with non-starchy fruits and vegetables. Examples of starchy foods are pastries, cereal, bagels, bread, corn, rice and potatoes. Limit your intake of such foods to the first 30 minutes following your long aerobic endurance and higher-intensity muscular endurance workouts. This will compromise your recovery a bit, but it’s better to do that now than in the last few weeks before your A race when recovery is becoming increasingly important to race performance.

May 01, 2012

USAT National Championship qualification and injury recovered

I received this email yesterday:

Congratulations Cody Hanson. You have qualified for the 2012 USA Triathlon Olympic Distance National Championship after finishing in the top 10 percent in your age group at the Spring Fling Triathlon.

The 2012 USA Triathlon Olympic Distance National Championship will be held in Burlington, Vermont, on August 18. Registration is currently open. This event is expected to sell out, so be sure to sign up soon.

The USA Triathlon Olympic Distance National Championship is the nation's premier Olympic-distance event with the top age group athletes from all 50 states forming one of the most prestigious fields in the sport. Athletes from each age group will qualify to represent Team USA at the 2013 International Triathlon Union World Championships in London, England.

For more information on the 2012 USA Triathlon Olympic Distance National Championship, please visit Please note: athletes must be current USA Triathlon annual members through August 18, 2012, before registering. You may renew your membership at

On Monday I ran 6.25 miles and had no problems from my pulled quad. Monday night my quad was starting to feel tight so I spent an hour on the rollers spinning and keeping my rpm's high. Spinning made the tight feeling in my thigh go away completely.

I ran 6 miles again today to see if I truly am healed up. It felt fine. As long as my leg continues to feel healthy I'll go ahead and attempt my long training days this weekend. On Friday I'm scheduled for a 3 hour bike, on Saturday I have a 90 minute run. I sure hope my leg holds up to the training, this year is my last attempt at going sub 13 hours at an Iron distance triathlon until after my wife graduates in late 2015.

On Friday and Saturday of last week I fell off the diet wagon yet again. An entire month of refraining from binge eating seems impossible, how the heck did I reach 14 months earlier this year? I dunno, but I know I keep screwing up and am gaining more and more weight. I've gained 20 pounds since early April. I'm only 5 pounds from being a Clydesdale again, and in all reality I'm only 1 binge away from being back up to 300. Man-o-man, the last 30 days has been rough.