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2015-12-22 8:32 AM

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Subject: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

GROUP FOCUS: I invite folks wanting just GENERAL guidance but would also welcome more experienced athletes that want to take the plunge into LONG COURSE racing 

NAME: Jim Kelley - Birkierunner  

STORY: I’m a 55 year old wildlife biologist that has been involved with endurance sports for nearly 40 years. In high school I was co-captain of the x-c team, ski team, and track team. After racing in college a little bit I spent many years just doing maintenance running mileage with no racing goals in mind, with an occasional 10k – I basically wasted my 20s and 30s as far as competing. A friend of mine convinced me to race the 51 km American Birkebeiner x-c ski race in 1997 and that is when my endurance racing kicked back into high gear. I ran my first marathon in 1998, and qualified for and ran Boston in 1999. I’ve done a ton of road racing over the years, 10 marathons, with 8 of them being sub-3 hours (2:51 PR), one 50 mile and one 50k ultra. I still race x-c skiing in the winter. I got a little bored with marathons, and did my first triathlon (Olympic) in 2005 (actually podium-ed in my AG on the first try!). I followed that up with a half-ironman a month later and did Ironman Wisconsin the next year. I'm focusing on Ironman racing now and have managed to complete 8 of them so far with a recent 10:20 PR (6th AG).  I’ve been fortunate to be able to compete at a fairly high level even at the ripe old age of 55.

FAMILY STATUS: Married and have a 7-year old step-son, so I'm familiar with the challenges of training while considering family time.

CURRENT TRAINING: My training that past few years has been focused primarily on the Ironman distance but I race frequently at the Olympic and half-ironman distance.

THIS YEAR'S RACES: This past season I had a shoulder injury that forced me to cancel out of Ironman Couer d'Alene, so instead I focused on shoulder rehab and continued running and biking.     

2016 RACES:  Local races plus Ironman UK in July

WEIGHTLOSS: Weight loss has not been an issue for me. 

WHAT WILL MAKE ME A GOOD MENTOR:  After being involved with endurance sports for so many years I think I’ve experienced it all…training, racing, injuries, success, disappointments (sometimes huge), time management, coping with lots of business travel, etc. Hopefully my experiences can benefit someone that is just starting out, or someone who has some experience but wants to get to the next level. I am a certified USAT Level I Coach and recently completed the IRONMAN Certified Coach certification.  I also own my own coaching company, PR-Endurance.  I have been a BT mentor many times in the past and have found that the group’s success depends entirely on how much the members participate.



2016-01-01 11:19 PM
in reply to: #5157537

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Fort Madison, Iowa
Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
I would like to join your group.

I am fairly new to triathlon. I did 2 sprint races in the fall of 2013 after seeing the Kona broadcast on TV in 2010. I caught the bug in 2013 but didn't race in 2014 do to family commitments. 2015 was my first full season. I did 6 triathlons ranging from sprints to 70.3, a half marathon and a full marathon.

I have 4 triathlons planned for sure in 2016 including Ironman Boulder, a 70.3, a couple local sprints, and a spring marathon. I might add a couple more local sprint tri's later in the year and some fall running but haven't committed yet.

I was never much of an athlete so triathlon might be my midlife crisis or it might just be something fun to do. I was on swim team in high school so I am a decent swimmer. I am okay at biking and a painfully slow runner but have been improving.

Weight has never been a problem for me unless being too skinny is a problem. Gaining any muscle has always been difficult.

The youngest kid goes off to college next year so family commitments are diminishing. Spring will be busy with the senior year and graduation but It will just be my wife and I at home this fall.

My goals are to finish IM Boulder and then do it in less than 14 hours. My other goal is to move up from the middle of the pack in the shorter events.

Let me know how this works. I am also new to BT.
2016-01-02 12:14 PM
in reply to: stevemorey

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by stevemorey I would like to join your group. I am fairly new to triathlon. I did 2 sprint races in the fall of 2013 after seeing the Kona broadcast on TV in 2010. I caught the bug in 2013 but didn't race in 2014 do to family commitments. 2015 was my first full season. I did 6 triathlons ranging from sprints to 70.3, a half marathon and a full marathon. I have 4 triathlons planned for sure in 2016 including Ironman Boulder, a 70.3, a couple local sprints, and a spring marathon. I might add a couple more local sprint tri's later in the year and some fall running but haven't committed yet. I was never much of an athlete so triathlon might be my midlife crisis or it might just be something fun to do. I was on swim team in high school so I am a decent swimmer. I am okay at biking and a painfully slow runner but have been improving. Weight has never been a problem for me unless being too skinny is a problem. Gaining any muscle has always been difficult. The youngest kid goes off to college next year so family commitments are diminishing. Spring will be busy with the senior year and graduation but It will just be my wife and I at home this fall. My goals are to finish IM Boulder and then do it in less than 14 hours. My other goal is to move up from the middle of the pack in the shorter events. Let me know how this works. I am also new to BT.

Hi Steve and welcome to the group!  How this works is very simple...come to this thread for general discussions, asking questions, meeting others, etc.  It is totally free form and the success of the group depends on everyone contributing.  Even if its just to report on a great training day, or a bad one.  Its supposed to be a supportive atmosphere so don't be afraid to ask questions...the only dumb questions are the ones that don't get asked.  As we get more members in the New Year I will put together a table of members and embed it in the thread. 

2016-01-03 6:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Jim, I would like to join your group as well please. My name is Josh Fesel, and I'm a CRna at Duke Hospital. I have done every distance but a full ironman. I am planning on doing my first full this October and would love any and all information you could share with me. Thanks so much

Josh
2016-01-04 7:01 AM
in reply to: jdf1019

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by jdf1019 Jim, I would like to join your group as well please. My name is Josh Fesel, and I'm a CRna at Duke Hospital. I have done every distance but a full ironman. I am planning on doing my first full this October and would love any and all information you could share with me. Thanks so much Josh

Happy New Year Josh and welcome.  Please post a brief bio of yourself and endurance background so I have a better feel for your situation.  We'll wait until we get a few more members before we start detailed discussions, but feel free to ask any questions.

2016-01-04 8:58 AM
in reply to: #5158923


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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Jim,
I grew up swimming and swam in HS. I ran Xc and track in both HS and college. I am now 32 years old and pretty much train everyday with rest days. I have run multiple half marathons, done long bike rides, and have done every triathlon distance but the full iron distance. Thanks again

Josh


2016-01-04 9:00 AM
in reply to: #5159021


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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Jim,

I'm sorry, I accidentally hit the send button before I was done. I have a couple half marathons, 2 half ironman, and my full which is scheduled for October 22.

Josh
2016-01-04 12:11 PM
in reply to: Birkierunner

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West Des Moines, Iowa
Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Hi Jim. I'm interested in joining this group as well.

Story - I've been an athlete most of my life, some endurance sports, but new to Triathlon as a whole. Triathlon has always been intriguing but given how poor of a swimmer I am, I had previously written it off. Several of my close friends were triathletes and encouraged me to pursue the training and start racing. I had planned to do a couple sprints last season, but both were cancelled thanks to the lovely Iowa weather. I've always considered myself a good cyclist though I have never formally competed in a race. I've done a few centuries and will typically ride around 1500 miles per year (again, Iowa...our outdoor riding season is short). In recent years I've become more of a runner, completing my second half marathon last October. As for swimming...I'm a newbie. I've always been comfortable in the water, but never formally learned a proper stroke until recently. It is by far my weakest area.

Life outside of training - I'm 34 years old, married for almost 6 years and recently a father. My wife and I have a 4 month old son. I'm also a working professional at a technology company with a moderate travel schedule.

Current Training - My training through most of the fall was a mix of half marathon training, base build on the bike (via TrainerRoad) and getting comfortable in the pool.

2016 Races - My main race will be Racine 70.3 in July with several warm up races at both Sprint and Olympic distance in the prior months

Weightloss - Not really a focus for me. I lost about 30lbs last summer when I first started training and am actually in a really good place right now.

Thanks for leading this group. I'm anxious to learn more!
2016-01-04 1:56 PM
in reply to: Birkierunner

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Thanks for hosting a mentor group again this year. I would love to join the 2016 version.

Jim knows my story pretty well since he has been coaching me since Nov'14. For everyone else here it is:

Steve Camacho, 46 year old male living in a beautiful Southern California beach community. Have supportive wife, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats, so house is alway crazy.

Always been pretty athletic but was never a big S/B/R guy. Mostly team sports and weight training. But was looking for something new when I got into my 40s. Call it a mid-life crisis. 2016 will be my fourth year doing Tris. Started with sprints and some 5/10Ks and stepped up to 70.3s in 2013 and 2014. This past year, I completed Ironman AZ in a respectable time, even with an IT band forcing me to limp the last 16 miles.

For 2016, I have 2 full IMs on the schedule Canada and AZ and Oceanside 70.3 in April. Goals are stay healthy, have fun, and get faster. Hoping to jump into the top 20 in M45-49 AG. That would mean getting close to 5 hours for Oceanside, 10:30 for Canada and 10:15 for AZ. If I can crack into the top 20 in 2016 that might just give me the notion that podium could be possible for 2017. First things first though, just making it back from my IMAZ injury and happy to be running pain free the past 2 weeks.

Weight loss is not a huge issue but still want to lean out a bit. Was at my lowest weight 150ish before AZ this November but gained about 5 lbs since then. Mostly due to not running for an entire month. Now that I am running again, looking to lose that 5 lbs plus a few more. I felt much more comfortable running and biking at that lighter weight. Just need to keep it a secret from my wife. she doesn't want me that close to her weight.

I have learned just enough over the past few years to be dangerous. So take any advice with a grain of salt. Jim is the expert but always willing to share my experiences and learnings.

2016-01-04 9:02 PM
in reply to: Wingspan

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by Wingspan Hi Jim. I'm interested in joining this group as well. Story - I've been an athlete most of my life, some endurance sports, but new to Triathlon as a whole. Triathlon has always been intriguing but given how poor of a swimmer I am, I had previously written it off. Several of my close friends were triathletes and encouraged me to pursue the training and start racing. I had planned to do a couple sprints last season, but both were cancelled thanks to the lovely Iowa weather. I've always considered myself a good cyclist though I have never formally competed in a race. I've done a few centuries and will typically ride around 1500 miles per year (again, Iowa...our outdoor riding season is short). In recent years I've become more of a runner, completing my second half marathon last October. As for swimming...I'm a newbie. I've always been comfortable in the water, but never formally learned a proper stroke until recently. It is by far my weakest area. Life outside of training - I'm 34 years old, married for almost 6 years and recently a father. My wife and I have a 4 month old son. I'm also a working professional at a technology company with a moderate travel schedule. Current Training - My training through most of the fall was a mix of half marathon training, base build on the bike (via TrainerRoad) and getting comfortable in the pool. 2016 Races - My main race will be Racine 70.3 in July with several warm up races at both Sprint and Olympic distance in the prior months Weightloss - Not really a focus for me. I lost about 30lbs last summer when I first started training and am actually in a really good place right now. Thanks for leading this group. I'm anxious to learn more!

Welcome to the group Tim!  I've raced Pigman HIM a few times in your neck of the woods...always seems to be a furnace on race day there.  You will enjoy Racine 70.3.  I've raced there several times as well...both before and after it become an MDot branded race.  I qualified for the 70.3 World Championship the last time I raced there, although I ended up not making the trip to race there.  Business travel always presents a challenge and I'd be happy to share my experiences with trying to train on the road.  Thanks for joining us!

2016-01-04 9:07 PM
in reply to: StevenC

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

S

Originally posted by StevenC Thanks for hosting a mentor group again this year. I would love to join the 2016 version. Jim knows my story pretty well since he has been coaching me since Nov'14. For everyone else here it is: Steve Camacho, 46 year old male living in a beautiful Southern California beach community. Have supportive wife, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats, so house is alway crazy. Always been pretty athletic but was never a big S/B/R guy. Mostly team sports and weight training. But was looking for something new when I got into my 40s. Call it a mid-life crisis. 2016 will be my fourth year doing Tris. Started with sprints and some 5/10Ks and stepped up to 70.3s in 2013 and 2014. This past year, I completed Ironman AZ in a respectable time, even with an IT band forcing me to limp the last 16 miles. For 2016, I have 2 full IMs on the schedule Canada and AZ and Oceanside 70.3 in April. Goals are stay healthy, have fun, and get faster. Hoping to jump into the top 20 in M45-49 AG. That would mean getting close to 5 hours for Oceanside, 10:30 for Canada and 10:15 for AZ. If I can crack into the top 20 in 2016 that might just give me the notion that podium could be possible for 2017. First things first though, just making it back from my IMAZ injury and happy to be running pain free the past 2 weeks. Weight loss is not a huge issue but still want to lean out a bit. Was at my lowest weight 150ish before AZ this November but gained about 5 lbs since then. Mostly due to not running for an entire month. Now that I am running again, looking to lose that 5 lbs plus a few more. I felt much more comfortable running and biking at that lighter weight. Just need to keep it a secret from my wife. she doesn't want me that close to her weight. I have learned just enough over the past few years to be dangerous. So take any advice with a grain of salt. Jim is the expert but always willing to share my experiences and learnings.

Steve!  Glad you are joining the group again for 2016.   Looking forward to helping you build on the success you had in 2015.  It will be nice to have a "veteran" in the group as well.  Happy New Year



2016-01-04 10:17 PM
in reply to: #5159024

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Glad to see another Iowan here.

Pigman 70.3 was very hot again last year. Air temperature was over 90 by the time I started running. I don't sweat effectively so I took more water over my head than I drank.

The Pigman Sprint in June is on the same course and is a fun race with a lot of participation from a range of abilities. There is always someone to race.

The Des Moines Tri is one of the best events I have done.
2016-01-05 7:46 AM
in reply to: stevemorey

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West Des Moines, Iowa
Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by stevemorey Glad to see another Iowan here. Pigman 70.3 was very hot again last year. Air temperature was over 90 by the time I started running. I don't sweat effectively so I took more water over my head than I drank. The Pigman Sprint in June is on the same course and is a fun race with a lot of participation from a range of abilities. There is always someone to race. The Des Moines Tri is one of the best events I have done.

I've heard great things about Pgman from a lot of people. I may end up doing the sprint distance this year but I'm committed to doing Dam to Dam the day before with the Mrs. 

I'll definitely be at the Des Moines tri and planning on Copper Creek at the end of June as well. There's a lot of great local races. 

2016-01-05 9:33 AM
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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

I know we're not formally into the mentor program yet, but I actually have two questions that were honestly part of how i found this forum in the first place. Sorry if I'm jumping the gun a little bit. 

 

  • Question 1: What are some tips for fueling before morning workouts? I'm typically at the pool at 5am 3-4 days per week...which means getting out of bed at 4:30am and heading straight to the gym. I usually eat a Stinger Waffle or mini bagel on the drive there, but it doesn't feel like enough, especially when I run afterwards. Any thoughts?

 

  • Question 2: How do you train through illness...or do you? It's that time of year where colds are running around and with a 4 month old at day care and a school teacher wife, I just bounce from cold to cold. Do you push through the cold and just make it happen or is this a time where I need to dial back or pause completely?


Edited by Wingspan 2016-01-05 7:55 PM
2016-01-05 4:26 PM
in reply to: Wingspan

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Originally posted by Wingspan

I know we're not formally into the mentor program yet, but I actually have two questions that were honestly part of how i found this forum in the first place. Sorry if I'm jumping the gun a little bit. 

 

  • Question 1: What are some tips for fueling before morning workouts? I'm typically at the pool at 5am 3-4 days per week...which means getting out of bed at 4:30am and heading straight to the gym. I usually eat a Stinger Waffle or mini bagel on the drive there, but it doesn't feel like enough, especially when I run afterwards. Any thoughts?

 

  • Question 2: How do you train through illness...or do you? It's that time of year where colds are running around and with a 4 month old at day care, plus a teach for a wife, I just bounce from cold to cold. Do you push through the cold and just make it happen or is this a time where I need to dial back or pause completely?



I am not a morning person so I can't speak to what to eat before a morning workout but I do need to eat before my afternoon and evening workouts. I have by experimenting with race food ideas to see what will settle well. I have a sensitive stomach particularly when running so I am looking for foods that will set well. Most of the prepackage foods don't work well for me because they cause cramps and gas. Half peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter are fairly portable in a zip-lock bag and they seem to be working lately. I might try your bagel idea too. Bananas and other sweet fruits don't seem to work and neither does anything spicy. My pre-race meal is usually eggs and wheat toast 1-2 hours before race start. That settles well with me in the morning but that is my normal daily breakfast.

I am also interested in the group's feedback about training through illness. I usually hibernate in the winter but I plan to train though this year so I don't lose all of last season's fitness. I haven't been sick yet and it hasn't been that cold either but I suspect both are coming before spring.
2016-01-06 8:02 AM
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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by Wingspan

I know we're not formally into the mentor program yet, but I actually have two questions that were honestly part of how i found this forum in the first place. Sorry if I'm jumping the gun a little bit. 

 

  • Question 1: What are some tips for fueling before morning workouts? I'm typically at the pool at 5am 3-4 days per week...which means getting out of bed at 4:30am and heading straight to the gym. I usually eat a Stinger Waffle or mini bagel on the drive there, but it doesn't feel like enough, especially when I run afterwards. Any thoughts?

 

  • Question 2: How do you train through illness...or do you? It's that time of year where colds are running around and with a 4 month old at day care and a school teacher wife, I just bounce from cold to cold. Do you push through the cold and just make it happen or is this a time where I need to dial back or pause completely?

No worries on asking questions early...I figure newcomers will be able to read the first couple of pages of posts to catch up pretty quickly.

Fueling for morning workouts actually begins right after the previous day's workout.  This is especially important for longer workouts.  Once you finish a workout there is about an hour period that is optimal for replacing glycogen stores that you just used up during your workout.  If you do not quickly and adequately replace those stores by eating carbs (with some protein) you will not set yourself up well for your next workout...especially if its going to be a longer one.  During periods where you are logging more training hours it may be beneficial to do a "protein shot" later in the evening to aid in recovery as well.  That might be something as simple as a scoop of whey protein mixed in milk or water.  Fueling for an early morning workout is definitely going to be a personal matter as everyone has differences in what they can tolerate close to a workout.  Something simple to digest is obviously best.  Ideally, you would eat breakfast 2-3 hours before a long workout but if you are doing a very early workout that isn't too practical.  Eating a banana, boiled potato, or something easy to digest is best in situations where you want a snack before a workout.  Taking in some sport drink right before the workout should help as well.  Having said all of the above, I think many people go overboard when it comes to fueling for shorter workouts.  Unless you are exceeding workouts of 2+ hours you should be able to get by with minimal fueling.

As for training thru illness it all depends on the nature of what you have.  If its the flu where you may be suffering some mild dehyration due to GI issues it would probably be best not to try to train through it.  A day or two isn't going to make a big difference in the big scheme and training through it may set you back even more than if you hadn't.  If its more of a head cold situation you can probably train through it but perhaps keep the intensity down so you don't prevent your body from fighting the cold.  Keeping hydrated will be important.  Washing your hands frequently will reduce the likelihood of catching what's floating around during the flu season. 



Edited by Birkierunner 2016-01-06 12:52 PM


2016-01-06 8:04 AM
in reply to: stevemorey

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by stevemorey  I usually hibernate in the winter 

hmmmmm....that's a topic we will definitely be addressing in this thread. 

2016-01-06 6:36 PM
in reply to: Birkierunner

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Originally posted by Birkierunner

Originally posted by stevemorey  I usually hibernate in the winter 

hmmmmm....that's a topic we will definitely be addressing in this thread. 




Hey I have made it half way without hybernating yet! But it has been easy so far. I ran several times in December with the temperature over 60 degrees which is very abnormal. My resolve will be tested next week when we are hit with our first artic air blast.

I decided to keep going over the winter when I looked at my 2015 results at the end of the season. I had been back training last spring for 3 weeks when I did my first race. I realized if I raced my first race of the year with my end of season fitness I would probably win my AG. Between that and IM Boulder planned for 2016 I didn't want to give up all that fitness.

Any suggestions for cold weather running would be appreciated. I have had some bad "ice cream headaches" after runs the last few days and it hasn't really been cold yet. I am not looking forward to those below zero temperatures. I don't have a treadmill or good access to one. It is 6 laps per mile around the warehouse at work so that is my weekend back up plan but that isn't an option through the week when people are working there. I do have a bike trainer and access to an eliptical.
2016-01-06 9:22 PM
in reply to: stevemorey

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by stevemorey
Originally posted by Birkierunner

Originally posted by stevemorey  I usually hibernate in the winter 

hmmmmm....that's a topic we will definitely be addressing in this thread. 

Hey I have made it half way without hybernating yet! But it has been easy so far. I ran several times in December with the temperature over 60 degrees which is very abnormal. My resolve will be tested next week when we are hit with our first artic air blast. I decided to keep going over the winter when I looked at my 2015 results at the end of the season. I had been back training last spring for 3 weeks when I did my first race. I realized if I raced my first race of the year with my end of season fitness I would probably win my AG. Between that and IM Boulder planned for 2016 I didn't want to give up all that fitness. Any suggestions for cold weather running would be appreciated. I have had some bad "ice cream headaches" after runs the last few days and it hasn't really been cold yet. I am not looking forward to those below zero temperatures. I don't have a treadmill or good access to one. It is 6 laps per mile around the warehouse at work so that is my weekend back up plan but that isn't an option through the week when people are working there. I do have a bike trainer and access to an eliptical.

It would be difficult to carry over that same end of season fitness through the winter and be ready at the same level for your first races of 2016.  Something would have to give at some point - you have to take a mental break.  But you're right, you don't want to lose all of that fitness over the winter.  I'm a firm believer that the winter should be used to address weaknesses and also to build strength on the bike.  This can be accomplished with very few hours which helps keep your mental state fresh instead of logging lots of slow hours on the trainer during winter which will burn you out before spring barely hits. 

Cold weather running is all about the right clothing choices.  I've been a xc ski racer most of my life so racing/training in cold weather is something I embrace. Keeping the legs and "the boys" nice and warm helps.  I've had a couple of pairs of Hind Arctic Drylete tights for over a decade and they are simply the best I've ever used.  If its not super cold they will be ok by themselves.  A polar jock is a great way to provide protection from the wind.  If its super cold I'll also put a base bottom layer of Craft thermal underwear on underneath.  Craft has excellent base layer clothing for top and bottom with versions that have wind protection liners on the outside as well.  The Gunde short they have is one of my favorites.  For the hands I usually use my xc ski race gloves for running as well.  My favorite brand/model is the Toko Arctic Split Mit.  Swix xc ear muffs are great for wearing under a hat.  Finally, if its very cold and windy I will put a film of Dermatone on my face to prevent wind burn/frostbite.  All of this reminds me of a xc race north of Duluth about 10 years ago.  As we were driving up to the race the car thermometer read minus 40 F (real temp not wind chill).  They delayed the start of the race until it "warmed up" to minus 20.  Luckily it was a calm day or they probably would have cancelled. 

Yeah, we've definitely had a very mild winter so far up here in NW WI...not great for xc skiing so far.  But a big change is on the way....Sundays high is supposed to be ZERO.

2016-01-06 9:32 PM
in reply to: Birkierunner

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West Des Moines, Iowa
Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by Birkierunner  I've been a xc ski racer most of my life so racing/training in cold weather is something I embrace. 

So let's talk about XC skiing as a part of training. I've been a downhill skier (telemark technically) for a long time, but I've never ventured into XC. There's some good, groomed trails near by and I've been seriously considering getting some skis and trying it out. I assume like most outdoor sports, I'm going to enjoy it purely because it's fun...but as it relates to training, do you see adding in XC skiing as a benefit?

2016-01-06 9:53 PM
in reply to: Wingspan

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by Wingspan

Originally posted by Birkierunner  I've been a xc ski racer most of my life so racing/training in cold weather is something I embrace. 

So let's talk about XC skiing as a part of training. I've been a downhill skier (telemark technically) for a long time, but I've never ventured into XC. There's some good, groomed trails near by and I've been seriously considering getting some skis and trying it out. I assume like most outdoor sports, I'm going to enjoy it purely because it's fun...but as it relates to training, do you see adding in XC skiing as a benefit?

Absolutely.  XC skiing is one of the most demanding endurance sports due to the requirement of strength and endurance.  Many of the top triathletes in our area are also xc racers in winter.  I have heard many triathletes on some forums say that they've had some of their best seasons after a winter of a lot of xc skiing.  The crossover from skiing to biking (especially skate skiing) is great and the fact that xc is low impact is a huge plus.  Plus its a good change of pace mentally.  I'm not saying one can qualify for Kona by incorporating xc skiing but I think it would be a great way to improve strength and endurance.  Let me know if you have more specific questions about xc



2016-01-07 12:40 PM
in reply to: Birkierunner

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)
Originally posted by Birkierunner

Originally posted by Wingspan

Originally posted by Birkierunner  I've been a xc ski racer most of my life so racing/training in cold weather is something I embrace. 

So let's talk about XC skiing as a part of training. I've been a downhill skier (telemark technically) for a long time, but I've never ventured into XC. There's some good, groomed trails near by and I've been seriously considering getting some skis and trying it out. I assume like most outdoor sports, I'm going to enjoy it purely because it's fun...but as it relates to training, do you see adding in XC skiing as a benefit?

Absolutely.  XC skiing is one of the most demanding endurance sports due to the requirement of strength and endurance.  Many of the top triathletes in our area are also xc racers in winter.  I have heard many triathletes on some forums say that they've had some of their best seasons after a winter of a lot of xc skiing.  The crossover from skiing to biking (especially skate skiing) is great and the fact that xc is low impact is a huge plus.  Plus its a good change of pace mentally.  I'm not saying one can qualify for Kona by incorporating xc skiing but I think it would be a great way to improve strength and endurance.  Let me know if you have more specific questions about xc




can I substitute surfing for those of us who are snow challenged?

although the mountains have been getting dumped on recently. may have to take a drive.
2016-01-07 5:39 PM
in reply to: StevenC

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Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by StevenC
Originally posted by Birkierunner

Originally posted by Wingspan

Originally posted by Birkierunner  I've been a xc ski racer most of my life so racing/training in cold weather is something I embrace. 

So let's talk about XC skiing as a part of training. I've been a downhill skier (telemark technically) for a long time, but I've never ventured into XC. There's some good, groomed trails near by and I've been seriously considering getting some skis and trying it out. I assume like most outdoor sports, I'm going to enjoy it purely because it's fun...but as it relates to training, do you see adding in XC skiing as a benefit?

Absolutely.  XC skiing is one of the most demanding endurance sports due to the requirement of strength and endurance.  Many of the top triathletes in our area are also xc racers in winter.  I have heard many triathletes on some forums say that they've had some of their best seasons after a winter of a lot of xc skiing.  The crossover from skiing to biking (especially skate skiing) is great and the fact that xc is low impact is a huge plus.  Plus its a good change of pace mentally.  I'm not saying one can qualify for Kona by incorporating xc skiing but I think it would be a great way to improve strength and endurance.  Let me know if you have more specific questions about xc

can I substitute surfing for those of us who are snow challenged? although the mountains have been getting dumped on recently. may have to take a drive.

only if you figure out a way to mount a treadmill on the board

2016-01-08 3:30 PM
in reply to: Birkierunner

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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

What's on tap for the weekend?

2016-01-08 3:54 PM
in reply to: Birkierunner

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West Des Moines, Iowa
Subject: RE: Jim Kelley's (aka Birkierunner) General and Long Course Group (OPEN)

Originally posted by Birkierunner

What's on tap for the weekend?

Now that I kicked the cold, it's back to more focused training...

Hour and a half bike ride on the trainer Saturday afternoon (while watching some Iowa State basketball), Swimming Sunday morning followed by my weekly indoor rock climbing with a group of friends. 

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