Saturday, December 5, 2015

Tyler YMCA Ugly Sweater 5K

Behind every son and husband is a smart and gorgeous wife. Family picture waiting on the awards to start. 

Start of the Tyler YMCA Ugly Sweater 5K 

This morning Calley, Evan, and I did the Tyler YMCA Ugly Sweater 5K, mainly to support our athlete Derreck. We had a great time. This week I'm finishing up a three week base block with a swim focus. Last weekend, Derreck's older brother Garrett was in town to train for Super Saturday. This week I was a little more tired than I probably should have been as I had to make some adjustments in my training schedule prior to this race. Once again, I experimented with a new pre-race breakfast and had no stomach issues. I'm mainly working on phasing in a new fueling/hydration strategy for training and 70.3/half iron racing that seems to be going very well so far.  I just need my legs to turn over faster but that can wait until spring. I'm just glad to have no stomach issues especially eating closer to the start of these running races than I normally do.  

The main goal here was assist Derreck and hope he would get the win. Unfortunately, he had some asthma issues and his inhaler broke before the race so he was unable to use it.  He was having difficulty breathing in the colder weather. We ran almost half the race together before needing to close the gap on the guy who was leading. Derreck toughed it out and finished 3rd overall. He also needs to save his fast legs for spring too, so no hurry here.

 At the half way point, I chased down Jared Jones who leading the race at the time. We let him go out but kept him close but his lead was building after the first mile.  I caught up to him and tried to slow him down similar to a cycling race so Derreck could catch back up but it wasn't working out. I had to put a surge in to drop Jared. The second mile ended up being my fastest and I finished in 17:28.  The Tyler YMCA did a great job putting on this race and the Tyler Police and the volunteers  did a phenomenal job! Glory to God for the great race! 

Derreck Mayeaux and I after the awards. 

Evan and I with the female overall winner, Abbie Treat. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tyler Turkey Trot 5K

It was Evan's first 5K! Calley pushed him the whole way and both were troopers!  

I practiced a new race day breakfast for me with calculated carbs and fluids to see how my body would handle it. I was "feeling" fast during the warm up.  The race however, I got off to about a 10 second late start. I was in the back getting a good luck kiss from Calley and Evan. Walking back up the front I heard the horn go off. I ran about sub 4:45 pace the first half mile. The time I was about to catch up to the front group they were pulling away again.  Then I was doing all I could to sustain finishing officially in 17:40 but really ran a 17:30 for 5th overall and 1st age group. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kiepersol Corkscrew 5K Trail Run

This was a FUN race!! 

I found out about this local race just a few days prior to the event date. The organizers seem to keep it low key, but fun and personal.  The course was more of a challenging cross country course than a trail run through a vineyard with some rocks, thick dirt, and hills! It was full of hills the last mile.  

I've been easing back into some training and road my bike almost an hour out to the race, then I saw RJ and realized biking may have been a bad idea. Biking down Hwy 69 was hillier than I last remembered it being, but my legs didn't feel too bad. 

RJ and I started off together as the top two. It was a fairly comfortable pace as we were feeling each other out. I know that sounded bad but in terms who was stronger than the other.  I though RJ was breathing hard and he picked up the pace and he thought I was breathing hard. Once we hit the grass the race was on as we went back and forth. By the mile and half mark he had pulled away but I was keeping him in close sight until about 2 miles. At this point the course is almost straight up hill back to an uphill finish. It was just longer than a 5k at 3.22 miles and I finished with a time of 20:00 flat.  Since I've only been back at it just over a month and being at my best shape is still far away I'll take it.  

What a fun race and great training day it was, I hope to make this one again next year!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fly Tri Racing is Launched

As a few of you know who have known me for a long time known that I have coached and personal trained people for years. After a successful year Calley and I decided to give back to the athletes that I work with and finally create a formal name. Thanks to Brian from Music Box Marketing and Media for creating the logo for me. 

Racing News

October was a successful month for Fly Tri athletes. Check out who did what. 

Stephen Dinger  from Tyler, Texas had a great race at the Husky Hustle 5K in Houston, Texas running a season best in 24:36. 


Garrett Mayeaux a Junior from Texas A&M University took 3rd Overall in his last triathlon with a fast elite field to finish out the season at the Finish Line Sports Try Andy's Tri in Sugarland, Texas. He finished just 30 seconds shy of Cobb Mobb Pro Mark Saroni in 2nd. Garrett had a 3:41 300 meter open water swim split and a 16:53 3 mile run. 

Zibeon Serrato from Tyler, Texas better known as "ZB"  raced the the Tyler Rose Half Marathon finishing with a new PR by 13 minutes on a demanding course in 2:23:25.  

Derreck Mayeaux a Junior from New Diana High School brought me onto coach him for his Cross Country and Track season. When we first started working together he was barely under 21 minutes for a 5K Cross Country race. At the Class 17-3A District meet he earned 10th Overall and the last spot for Regionals in a PR of 17:44 in a super fast district.

At the UIL Region III 3A it was muddy from the Hurricane Patricia remains, times were 2-3 minutes off. He finished in 20:44 and 44th overall and 23rd Individual (without a team).  

Steve Ward from Garland, Texas raced the Palo Duro Canyon 20K Trail  race last month in far West Texas finishing with a time of 3:30:14 on the rugged trail which wasn't too far off his road paces.  

Dave Gardner of Quitman, Texas rang the PR gong at The Columbus Marathon last month. He's been training with me for this for 6 months. He finished his FIRST marathon in 3:41:16. What is even more impressive is he ran negative splits the whole way. The last 10K of the marathon was an 8:08 pace which is real close to his 10K race pace.

Monday, October 5, 2015

St. Gregory 5K

I jumped in the St. Gregory 5K last month on just a couple of weeks of running after taking two months off, but it was all worth it for this sweet little boy, Evan.  He's really good baby and I still get good sleep most nights.  I went hard from the start as if I was going to contend for the overall win, but that didn't happen and I was suffering greatly by a quarter mile as I hadn't done any 5 min/mile efforts in a looooonng time trying to keep up with another UT Tyler cross country graduate, Alex Wilson, who would win in 16:22. The course was not flat at all like the race advertised. The worse shape you are in the more you feel every noticeable incline.  My paces deteriorated the longer the we went and I finished 4th overall in 19:08 and first in the 30-34 age group.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Identifying and Preventing Over Training

Do you find yourself dragging through training sessions and feeling fatigued most of the time? Do you have trouble falling asleep? Are you no longer racing at the level you once were? Is your mood consistently negative? These are some of the warnings that you could be over training. This blog will give you a broad view and understanding of what over training is and how to proactively prevent it. 

Over-training is common in endurance sports among the Type A athletes.  Competitive athletes always want more out of themselves (even if they want to compete against themselves) and will think they need to train more. You see the consistent facebook posts of those who posts their training on a daily basis and they're always trying to smash some session.  These type A athletes will typically be injured consistently, fade out in the sport within 3-4 years, or become chronically over-trained.

To improve your performance you have to rest. By continually trying to push through barriers without sufficient recovery it will make you weaker, burned out, and/or injured. During rest or recovery periods is when the physiologic adaptations are made and you become a stronger athlete. (1). Our busy lives are already stressed and you may seek endurance training as an escape. Even endurance training is stress that needs to be considered in your life, too. What you may need is incorporate more rest into your training. (2).  Coach Brett Sutton once told Chrissie Wellington, "You don't know how to rest your body and mind. Unless you can learn to do this you will never be a successful athlete."  (8). 

What is Over training?

 "Over training is a process of excessive exercise training in high-performance athletes that may lead to the over training syndrome. Over training syndrome is a neuroendocrine disorder characterized by poor performance in competition, inability to maintain training loads, persistent fatigue, reduced catecholamine excretion, frequent illness, disturbed sleep and alternates in mood state",  as defined by Laurel Mackinnon. (5).

Over training in it's earliest stages is nearly impossible to detect. In training, you still need challenging sessions, but combined with an ample amount of recovery. Everyone recovers different. With appropriate monitoring and feedback, a smart coach will know when to cut their athletes training short and switch it to rest or active recovery.The early signs and symptoms to look out for can be hormonal changes, reduced sexual desires, depression, and anxiety, and being exposed to injuries. When this happens there is still a chance for the athlete to come out of it and make huge gains. (2). 

The second stage of over training, which is still hardly noticeable, is an increase in cortisol. The body fights this off as appearing restless and being able to go-go-go. Significantly high levels of cortisol could increase fat storage. In this state, there is still opportunity to recover and dig your way out of this hole by changing your food intake and recovery strategies. (2).

The third stage of over training would include noticeable chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue can lead to a decrease in hormones and believe it or not, cardiovascular disease. (3).   Athletes can get into this state before they even realize it, even then it's still hard to detect. Typically, this athlete is someone who is used to doing double and triple sessions 6-7 days a week and probably without planned recovery.  This athlete gets either injured, sick, or has chronic fatigue - if not managed properly. The athlete may still continue to train at a high level despite the warning signs.

Warning Signs & Symptoms 

There are no absolute signs and symptoms of over-training. You can assume that it's from excessive training without the necessary recovery (6).   The symptoms of over training are much like mononucleosis with chronic fatigue. (7).

  Here are some signs that you maybe over training.  (4). (5).

1. Declined  Performance. You have noticeable performance declines of what once was an attainable session. Maybe you could normally get through a swim set of 10x100's on 1:30 base comfortably, but now fall off the base time half way through. Your runs may seem flat and you can't run close to the 5k times you once did a month ago. 

2. Weight Gain. . You would think you would lose weight with your training, but when cortisol levels are high,  testosterone functions less and you become insulin resistant and an increase in fat composition occurs.

3. Insufficient Recovery. You know the athletes that are smashing session after session? However,  not many of them will meet their true potential and will end up being forced to take an extended period off.  Eventually you need to take time for full rest and active recovery training. Experienced athletes tend to do better with active recovery than complete rest, while new athletes may need more complete rest.

4.  Sleep Deprived. Are you having trouble sleeping?  If you are over trained, your sympathetic nervous system will be high all the time and you will be unable to relax and put yourself to sleep. By not sleeping you are increasingly putting yourself into a deep hole and not allowing for recovery.

5. Chronic Fatigue.  If you are constantly tired all the time then eventually your parasympathetic nervous system will cause a decrease in testosterone and increase in cortisol, which we have discussed will leave you chronically fatigued.

6.  Aches & Pains. You are having odd aches and pains. Your shoulder is starting ache from a lot of swimming, knee pain from cycling, or shin splints from running. It's important you take some time to recover when you feel these things come on. If you're a coached athlete, it is always important not to add any more intensity and volume other than what is already prescribed to you and be open to tell your coach what you are feeling.

7.  Frequent Illness. If you are constantly catching a cold and it's not from any other variables such as sleep, mental stress, or nutrition, you could be over-training.

8. Irritable Mood.  If your mental state isn't positive or feeling good even after the easiest of training session, you could be over training. It's time to take some rest. 

Recovery & Prevention

Recovering from over training can take just a few weeks or it could take many months to get well by complete resting or a significantly reduced training program. (5)

There are several factors that play a role in contributing to over training besides smashing session after session that includes: (5)

1. Large volume or intensity increases all at once. This is usually the main cause of most endurance sport related injuries.

2. Racing every weekend and continuing to have hard sessions through the week.  While racing is exciting and fun, doing it every weekend can lead to burnout and injury. It's important to have a carefully planned racing and training schedule.

3. Lack of recovery and/or periodization in your training program. There are so many athletes that are going at it with no specific strategy or scheduled recovery in their training. There is basically no purpose to what these athletes are doing.

4. Monotonous training program from repeating the same sessions week after week. Single sport athletes, like runners, often to do the same predicable sessions week after week with a stapled long run, "tempo" run, and maybe a shorter speed session.

5. High stress plays a roll even if it's not directly training related. Stresses outside of training such as your career and family a play a role in your training.

Over-training syndrome can alter ones athletic career drastically.  Often times one can be over trained before the all the symptoms and signs are realized. It's important to follow certain preventative measures. They include, but are not limited to: (5).

1. Proactive monitoring athletes internal and external feedback. It's important to have someone, like a coach, mentor, or someone you trust review your training. It's important to have another set of eyes from the outside looking into help.  External feedback would be what you think you are going through psychologically (even if it's outside of triathlon) and internal would be, for example, your resting heart rate variability. It's important to include both of these in your training log.  

2. Decreasing the known effects such as sudden training loads, frequent racing, and inadequate fueling.

3. Individualizing training to the athlete. Every athlete is different and responds differently to training and recovery. 

4. Periodizing training to include adequate active recovery and rest days.

Over Training Testimony by Cobb Mobb Teammate,  Chris Morelock 

Chris Morelock, on the Cobb Mobb team explains how he found he had over training syndrome.

"I didn't know until I was finally diagnosed by Dr. Kevin Sprouse, Garmin-Cannondale team doctor, and even then it is tough to diagnose because there is not a set in stone line where " You have OTS vs. "you are overreaching, ease off," at least not one you can see besides retrospectively. I was working with a coach, we had trouble self-diagnosing because one of my symptoms was ON/OFF performances, so it would like I was doing great, then all of sudden "BAM" bad workout/race. It was hard to distinguishing from having a "bad day". I started a complete "reboot" (no endurance training) in early December, lasting until almost end of March "Recovery" is still ongoing. 

Thanks for reading! If you have questions or an idea for another topic that would be of help to you, simply leave a comment or email. 

Train Smart,











Thursday, August 13, 2015

Evan's First Month

Life has been exciting the past  month! Calley went through a laborious 9 months to come out with this bundle of joy, Evan William Ritter. He weighed 9 pounds 14.2 ounces and was 20" long.  We thank God for him and the blessing he's given us. He's already about 3 months ahead of his strength training regimen, showing great signs of strength and coordination. He's almost gained total control of holding his head up. These are just a few of my favorite photos of him so far from the first month.