Training Tips from the "Gear West Duathlon Clinic"

>> Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Saturday morning, I took a little trip out to Gear West Bike (our local triathlon outfitter). I was there for the free duathlon clinic. Why? First of all it was free. Secondly, one of the 2 people scheduled to present training / racing advice was Kevin O'Connor, the 2009 USAT Duathlete of the Year. So I'd LOVE to hear training advice from someone with those credentials. The other person there to share his thoughts was Jason Digman from Dig It Triathlon and Multisport Coaching.

Here's a shot of Kevin (on the far left) and Jason, along with the group of about 15-17 people who showed up for the clinic:

I had to use the boy's room part way though, and I found it funny that Cathy Y, Dan C, Carrie H, David T, and a few other people I know WATCHED me pee from the calendar cover above the toilet:

Yes, I was ACTUALLY peeing as I snapped that photo.
Thank you... thank you. *bows graciously*

I wrote an article on some of the training ideas that Kevin and Jason discussed, and you can find that here. That article contains more photos from the talk, their thoughts on how to approach a duathlon, and a couple of great duathlon-specific workouts. The article is more "official," but some of the info below is more of my response to some of the things Jason and Kevin mentioned:

Jason noted that "triathletes" that show up to race at a duathlon should NOT be surprised when they don't do really well. They need to build in some duathlon-specific workouts. This was sort of a "duh" moment, but I'd never really thought of it like that before...

Both Kevin and Jason emphasized racing A LOT. Racing often is the way to get good at racing. That was news I LOVED to hear. If you're not aware of this, I like to race! ;)

I was surprised to hear Kevin say this: (Interesting Point Alert) Kevin doesn't use a Garmin or HR monitor while training. He DOES use a power tap on his bike. And when racing, he NEVER races at certain "numbers." He ALWAYS goes by "perceived effort." He will track his numbers during a race, but he'll only look at them afterwards. He'll never say "Oh, I'm at XX mph (or XXX watts), that's where I want to be" during a race. Instead, he'll assess how he's feeling THAT DAY at THAT MOMENT to see if he needs to speed up or slow down. Again, this is kind of "duh" statement. But I realized I might see a certain number on my bike computer, and hold back JUST A BIT, thinking "Oh, that's not a bad average." When really, I could try pushing harder if I have more to give.

After the talk, we were treated to something real sweet. Gear West Bike was one of a FEW places to currently have on display the new Trek "Speed Concept" bike that won't be unveiled until May. Lance Armstrong and Ironman stud Chris Lieto are among the few to currently have this bike. The bike was actually DRIVEN to Gear West Bike in a car because they couldn't trust it to be shipped. And they had to make a very official agreement with Trek that NO ONE could ride the bike. You can't see it in this photo, but it's amazing the way the front brakes are integrated into the front fork. Sexy. Here she is on display at Gear West Bike:

So I HAD to touch it:

And because I'm Steve in a Speedo and I'm known to take things a LITTLE too far at times, I also HAD to lick it:

Now that's not creepy at all....

Kevin said that it will be made with different grades of carbon, and that he suspects it's retail price will range from around $2,000 to $7,000 based on the carbon. The one that I licked will be worth less. ;)

After the clinic, a few people stuck around to go on a 45 minute run with Kevin and Jason. Here are some photos:

Heading out: Kevin and Jason on the left

Entering the trails at Wolsfeld Woods

A creek crossing

I chatted with Kevin a bit on the run. (Interesting Point Alert) He's a SUPER SPEEDY runner, and I was shocked to hear that he hasn't done a track workout in YEARS! He gets all of his speed from killer tempo runs. He thinks he maybe did 1 fartlek last year, but other than that, no "speed work" to speak of. Interesting...

Thanks for the tips, Kevin and Jason!! I learned a lot in that hour!

So click here to see more training ideas from the Duathlon Clinic (along with the 2 great duathlon workouts that Jason and Kevin gave us). (And BTW, I have some BIG potential giveaway news coming later this week. We're talking BIG big. The details are currently being worked out, but if you'd like to join the “Steve in a Speedo” fan page on Facebook, I'll be dishing the news to them before I post it here. It'll give you a chance to get your entry going before everyone else.....)


Unknown 8:01 AM, March 30, 2010  

LOL .. so how did she taste?

That bike is sweet, looks like you had to wipe your drool off of her, literally!

Christi 8:13 AM, March 30, 2010  

Pretty bike! I like the pic of you licking it!

Anne 8:21 AM, March 30, 2010  

Looks like a beautiful trail to run on!

teacherwoman 8:23 AM, March 30, 2010  

That bike is smokin! I can't believe they "let" you lick it! :)

CoachLiz 11:25 AM, March 30, 2010  

Hell, if you can't ride it you might as well lick it. I have gotten away from using my heart rate monitor mainly because the battery has to be changed. Yes, I am lazy.

Aimee 11:58 AM, March 30, 2010  

That must have been a fun meeting and a great run afterwards. Thanks for sharing some of the tips!

I CANNOT believe that you licked the bike...ha ha! That's just crazy! :)

Unknown 12:21 PM, March 30, 2010  

That is a hot looking bike! BTW, how did it taste? Fast?

Looked like a great trail to run on. I like the advice on tempo runs instead of speedwork.

Regina 12:51 PM, March 30, 2010  

I think I licked the 27" iMac i got at Christmas, so I understand.

Jennifer 3:43 PM, March 30, 2010  

Au contraire Steve, I believe the bike you licked will now be worth much more, much more! Hey! Is the that the potential big give away? Is it?

Unknown 5:01 PM, March 30, 2010  

You licked the bike??? I LOVE IT! :)

Leslie SB 6:46 PM, March 30, 2010  

I've been reading your blog for so time, thanks for being such an inspiration!

Christopher Hawes 7:46 PM, March 30, 2010  

I knew that you would have good write up, with pictures, that is why I linked to your blog in my blog post about the clinic. Does Gear West have a "you kiss it, you buy it" rule?

Beth 9:42 PM, March 30, 2010  

Thanks for sharing all of the tips from the clinic. Sounds like you learned a lot!

Anonymous,  11:27 AM, April 01, 2010  

I guess that's how you'd look, giving someone a blow-job.

Thanks. Now I'll never ask for one.

Anonymous,  11:27 AM, April 01, 2010  

I guess that's how you'd look, giving someone a blow-job.

Thanks. Now I'll never ask for one.

Jim Smith II 8:24 AM, April 03, 2010  

Wow that's a sexy looking bike, hell, I can't blame you for licking it, even I might have...

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