Yesterday American IRONMAN Record Holder Linsey Corbin was drafting off of me. I also was behind 70.3 World Champion Tim Reed and a few other Pro’s. Today, I rode next to one of the most powerful athletes in triathlon, Lionel Sanders. It’s not possible to hit a round of golf with Tiger, shoot some bball with Jordan, or receive a pass from Brady, but in triathlon, not only can you race on the same day, on the same course, under the same conditions as the greatest athletes in the sport while racing alongside them, but now, thanks to ZWIFT, you can ride alongside the Best, from around the world. This sport just keeps getting better!
We’ve heard about ZWIFT for quite some time now and are now officially members so please Follow my wife (Fiona Coyle-AUS) and I Kevin Coyle (USA). My laziness had me delay and delay for at least the last year preferring to ride outside and focus on my own quality work through structured Power Based Training. But, after seeing Professional IRONMAN athletes Lionel Sanders and Tim Van Berkel talk about it; I knew it was just a matter of time.
We all find our own motivation and to the founders and legends of this sport and running for that matter such as those found in the first running boom of the 1970’s when no scientific measuring devices existed, or the 1980’s and early 1990’s when Dave Scott and Mark Allen battled it out in Kona on pure guts, the science of sport has come quite a long way.
I’m no Mark and Dave and I’m sure you are not either. Therefore, to perform at the highest levels of the age-group classification, or within your own personal goals, sometimes we must reach outside of the box and find other solutions and ideas to direct our focus to quality and improvement. If I wanted to just finish these events, I wouldn’t bother with any of this stuff. But, as a Type-A person, it’s never been my goal to just finish; I have too much respect for where the roots of this sports come from. After all, triathlon was invented in San Diego, CA because running was too easy.
Since I’m a financial analyst, I’ve measured everything since that first run back in September 2008. And I’ve gone through phases to where I now don’t use a HR monitor, but absolutely use one of our 4 power meters, and have Strava Premium and Training Peaks accounts.
I became a Strava Premium member back in January 2016 in my pursuit of a Kona Qualification which I then achieved that season heading into IRONMAN Cairns. I had a new motivation of setting Personal Records and beating my fellow athletes. And, when I bought the new Garmin 520 since it presented Live Strava Segment progression, that $300 investment has seen me hit some great cycling progressions and KOMs.
So far, I have done 3 rides on ZWIFT.
- A 15.9 mile ride over 46 minutes averaging 202 watts. I rode next to my wife Fiona Coyle who was showing me how to use the system. I found it intriguing and liked seeing the Watts in big font and seeing how everyone else was riding at their Watts/KG.
- A 36.6 mile ride averaging 224 watts and climbing 1,754’. I had some efforts at pieces and was pushed to pass and catch up to people. I could see how this would be beneficial. I rode for 1hr46min finishing with my goal of 100 TSS. I found I could release badges and hit 700 and 800 watts to earn those.
- A 36 mile ride averaging 226 watts and climbing 1,195’. In pursuit of more badges I did the volcano circuit 10X and held 500 watts for 10seconds. I finished again on my goal of 100TSS.
So, after 3 rides, I have a lot of exploring to do and my comfort. But, I can see the motivation behind this. On the Volcano route which is also paired to Strava I am now ranked 19,489 of 78,367. WOW. I had no idea this amount of people were on ZWIFT.
But that was a month ago. In the last month I’ve moved up to Level 15 and have ridden with some of my friends from Tucson to Sydney and athletes from every age group and demographics including the best of the best.
The one thing I don’t like so far is that my Kinetic Kurt Fluid Magnetic Trainer that cost me $360 back in 2011 is not a Smart Trainer; it didn’t exist then. In order to truly simulate the hills a Smart Trainer like the Wahoo Kickr worth $1,200 is required. I will secure one for myself in the future because I know what climbing a 10% hill is like, and I can’t be spinning 90RPM. The simulation is necessary to trigger the many leg muscles involved which is why if you are training to run; run outside, if you’re training to bike mountains, bike a mountain. But, if you’re looking to be safe and competitive, get a ZWIFT and Smart Trainer but Know that that friend of yours you have been drafting off of, well, they probably won’t be near you for much longer. I know a smart trainer would be of great use to my wifey so that is exactly what I just bought her for our 4 year anniversary next month. But, I didn’t pay $1200, I paid $960. I bought from the same place I’ve bought 2 of our Quarq power meters from; www.backcountry.com. They had a 20% Memorial day sale that didn’t apply to this product, but I chatted to an associate on the website and if I placed the order through them, they’d give me the discount. I received free shipping and paid no sales tax! Further, I then went through the www.united.com and Mileage Plus store and got 6 miles per dollar using my United credit card and now have 5,760 miles to use towards our flights to IRONMAN Australia next year.
Two weeks later I realized I’d be silly not to get one now so I did as his/her Anniversary presents. Thanks Fiona!
We’re self-coached athletes because we don’t want to spend $200-$400/month and motivation for myself needs to come internally; Strava Premium and ZWIFT will help that. Certainly coaches help many out there but for me, unless I am doing everything right: consistency, quality, and nutrition, I can’t justify spending that type of money. But I will most certainly invest in Strava and Zwift if they ever go Public. This is the future and the opportunities are endless.
Final Thought: Many will spend $10-$25 for a single Aerobics/Zumba/Spinning Class in which you’ll warm up for 10minutes, get 40min of self-focused quality work, and then spend 10min stretching your legs. But for $15/month we now have the ability to ride with the best athletes in the world (Fiona was already passed by Lionel Sanders and Heather Jackson) and fantastic athletes you can compete against, all around.
If you’re looking for a new source of motivation look no further than ZWIFT.
The Past Week
18 Weeks till Ironman Arizona. And in Base 2, Week 2, it was a phenomenal week of training! 966TSS, the highest workload since 70.3 St George, Utah. A 16mile treadmill run yesterday which was the longest in 8 months since the IMAZ marathon. Today’s 4hour ZWIFT ride that started out watching Heather Jackson win IRONMAN Lake Placid. The ride was 205TSS and I climbed a 65min segment at 256watts which is IM Pace (Outside). 17.4 hours which was 3 more than last week, a 4K continuous swim yesterday done with a pull buoy covering 3.8KM in 1:05:35. 36 miles of running this week, and closing in on 400 hours of training so far this year.
The diet is about 95% vegan and I’m back down to 180lbs.
I started this blog to capture my race recaps/training memories. But, it’s also a mechanism to help inspire others. Through blogging I met 25 year old Joe Spraggins from London, UK several years ago. I’ve shared in his IRONMAN journey as a powerhouse runner going 2:40, twice. In his lead up to IRONMAN Whales last week he looked back at my Ironman Cairns reports when I qualified for kona. I’m happy to report he qualified for Kona. His Blog is here: https://spragginsblog.wordpress.com/. Like Joe, I am hungry for Kona once again. It took me a 18 months to find the motivation again after racing in 2016 but with 3 IRONMANs in the next 11 months and our 62 year old athlete Karen McPherson who qualified with us for Kona in her first ever Ironman, the motivation is high once again. Stay tuned and come share in our journey! And, if you are ever in Tucson, you are more than welcome to stay here!
~Passion and Love.
Registered Future Event Schedule 2018/2019 Season:
Red Beard Rally 10K – Elgin, AZ Aug
MountainMan Half Iron – Flagstaff, AZ Aug
Sandia Crest Marathon – Albuquerque, NM Sep – (BQ Goal, Attempt 1)
Las Vegas, NV Half Iron – Sep
Bartlett Lake Olympic, AZ – Oct
IRONMAN Arizona – Nov (KQ Goal, Attempt 1, Goal Sub 9:22) (M30-34)
Tucson Marathon – Dec (BQ Goal, Attempt 2)
IRONMAN Australia – May (KQ Goal Attempt 2) (M35-39)
IRONMAN Ireland – Jun (KQ Goal Attempt 3) (M35-39)