Weather Forecast for IRONMAN Kalmar in August

I know it’s a bit far away to be checking on the weather, but I need to get myself ready for the chance of a potential rained out, cold race for IRONMAN Kalmar especially if the swim will be cold, brrrrr. This week I’m starting to look at neoprene swim caps and swim booties for such an occurrence.

Say it was 21 celsius high and 11C low on race day, base on the historical average that would equate to 70F high and 52F low.

The coldest water temperature I’ve swam in was at Montauk. The water temp at this race was a cold 55F. I did okay but I was definitely shocked by how cold it was.

Predicted Kalmar weather link for August:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/se/kalmar/308266/month/308266?monyr=8/01/2017

According to one blogger, last years water temperature was 16C or 61F, also the water was a bit choppy from winds on the day.

IRONMAN Kalmar official site’s blog about the weather conditions.

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Cold Water Swim Tips Video

 

 

 

Custom AC Cover 

Cleaning up around an AC unit with a custom cover build. 

Before Cover Build


Putting the pieces together



Finished product. Missing is painting to top it off

Custom Radiator Build 

This is a custom radiator build I recently did. Replaced the metal cover with the custom wood build. 

Used CMPC boards from Home Depot. Front cover is removable to access valve using magnetic clips. 

Old metal cover


Sketches showing proposed dimensions and specs


New Custom Build

Bike to Montauk

A bike ride to Montauk has been an idea of mine for years now. Pretty much since I started road cycling almost a decade ago. Why Montauk? Well there are several organized rides now to Montauk. Montauk is over a century ride away from New York City. The course is moderate to flat and once there in the summer, there is plenty to do. Hiking, beach, restaurants, sightseeing, boating, fishing….and so on.

Breathtaking views from Montauk Point Lighthouse

I have racked up a few long rides this season and felt in great shape to ride the 127 miles to Montauk from my home in Forest Hills. There would be many avenues for testing my fitness and race level, nutrition and most importantly any potential bike fit issues from last week’s bike fit with ACME Bicycle Co.

I would leave as early as sunrise permitted, 5:25am in my case and my family would drive and meet me at the Montauk lighthouse. The perfect meeting place for sightseeing and also there is no more biking pass that point but only the Atlantic Ocean 😀. The drive is approximately 2 and 1/2 hours with traffic. The bike I estimated would take me between 7 – 8 hours with stops, photos off course and any bike mechanical issues.

The helmet choice would be determined by the weather, so with such a perfect weather day of little wind and sunshine throughout I opted for my Smith Podium aero helmet. As per wheelset, I went with my HED wheelset. Also I experimented with using a smaller xlab mini saddle bag as opposed to a bigger bag I currently use. All in search for less weight and aerodynamics.

I packed 6 gels and a chocolate bar. 2 aero bottles with water. A behind the saddle bottle with frozen Gatorade and a between aero bar bottle of concentrated accelerade with maltodextrin that summed up to roughly 1000 calories. Each gel is 100 calories. This would be enough nutrition for at least 2/3 The Ride. Approximately 2000 calories in all. My pre ride breakfast was a cinnamon bagel with peanut butter and banana. So I know nutrition wise I would be okay for the first 2 hours on the bike not taking in too much.

Used 5 out of 6 gels

 

As before on my long ride east to Long Island I turned on my phone’s gps once I got to unfamiliar territory and had my ear buds bandaid to my ears so they stayed in place. (Waterproof bandaids to be exact)

Riding via bike route 25A is very quaint and scenic. There are many farms and small family restaurants along the way to stop and enjoy. In my case I tried to keep the stops to a minimum. This was also slated to be a training ride with the aim to stay as aero as possible while keeping 75% FTP.

The gps took me through a bike path at mile 53 called Setauket Greenway Trail. This in my opinion was a must I need to do with the family this summer or fall. Very nice and quiet with smooth pavement throughout. There were a few climbs that got me above FTP goal but for short bursts.

With the absence of any headwind and the moderate to flat elevation I was doing excellent on time. On some sections I was holding 25mph without much effort.

If I was to ever do a self supported IRONMAN I would just swim in Flushing Aquatic center and do 112 miles of this course and run to Montauk. Please copy and credit me lol.

It’s a busy July 4th weekend so entering through each of the Hampton towns were congested with traffic. Those were my slower miles on the course. At that point I was also running low on hydration.

I came up on a CVS at mile 93. It had all I needed. Restroom and plenty of hydration to choose from. I bought 2 waters, a coke and a Gatorade. I have to say coke never tasted so good.

I had made a purchase of a lipstick size charger a few weeks ago in anticipation for today’s long ride. It would be to charge my phone in case it was running low. Fortunately my iPhone 6 Plus battery was still at half charge at the end of the ride and never got to use the charger. But still a must have on such as ride.

Upon entering Montauk I started keeping an eye out for my family as it was approaching 1pm and I knew they should be entering Montauk if not there already. As mentioned before it’s a busy weekend so lots of traffic entering towns. Sure enough I ran into them 5 miles from the lighthouse. It was really nice to see them and being comforted by knowing we all made it to Montauk without incident. I continued on my way as they now would be arriving before me. Still 5 miles to ride. There were some climbs during this last 5 miles but nothing significant. It was still pretty fast minus those climbs, besides it’s nice to mix up the elevation once in a while.

Still 5 miles away from the Lighthouse

 

So finally I got to the Montauk lighthouse and reunited with my family in the parking lot. After changing we all had refreshments and a bit to eat. I have to say the grill cheese from the concession stand was deliciously satisfying. We continued the day by touring the lighthouse grounds. Anh and Miles did the climb to the top. I stayed with Norah as infants are not allowed to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Rightly so as Anh would later describe the stair and climb being very steep.


Amazing ride and felt very accomplished at the end. New bike Fit from ACME seemed to have delivered 100% dividends. 7 weeks to race day……

Reunited with the babies

Forest Hills to Montauk Lighthouse – 127 miles

 

127 Miles of riding on a perfect day 👌

Somebody’s enjoying her milk while Mommy and Miles are climbing the Lighthouse

Removing SurfBuyer or adware from your Browser on a Mac

I’m always hesitant to install Flash in my browser, I had to today to view some bike content on a Swedish site but it came with the price of adware. Surfbuyer to be exact.

If you ever come across Surfbuyer adware on your Mac affecting your Chrome browser or equivalent. You can do searches by most recent date in your Applications Folder and remove suspicious applications there.

In my case those were the files in the screenshot below, notable Optibuy and I also removed CoreUpdates and who knows how MegaBackup got there as well – bundled Flash software. I tried using MacKeeper to remove the malicious software but just went the manual route. Also search for recent installed files in your Library Folder. Within the Library folder (you get to the Library folder by Go -> Go to Folder in Finder) search in the Applications Support, LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons for recent installed files and move those to the trash that may be suspicious. Good luck

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Also don’t forget to look at recent installed Chrome extensions.

Scott Plasma ACME Bike Fit

With 8 weeks out from IRONMAN Sweden I went in to ACME Bicycle Co. for a professional bike fit. At ACME they use Retul and motion capture in the bike fitting process. Jonathan, the owner of ACME was my scheduled fitter. The entire process was scheduled to be 3 hours so I made sure to fuel before hand. Jon and I had an introductory conversation so we can get a bit on history on me, my racing goals, injuries, issues while riding and so on. 


The first mistake that could have been painful with my old bike fit was the fact that my saddle was way too low. Yet I was able to ride it in that position for an 85 miler. Hopefully there wasn’t too much negative adaptation there. 

Blue tape is old saddle height


He went on to place me on the mock bike (insert technical name here) then we started off on the journey of testing different positions. In the positions we explored ranged from 0 to 3. 3 being the most aggressive forward position. Positions from saddle height to aero bar length were altered mechanically on the mock bike without the need for manual adjustments. This makes it extremely easier for tweaking. I ended up with position 2A. 


The two bike components that on occasion are recommended or needs changing is the stem and crankset and in my case the bar extensions. However at 175mm my Scott Plasma stock crankset was fine for my long legs. The initial feedback from the various position adjustments was that my aerobar would have to be shimmed up about 40mm. Jon had on hand Profile Design spacers that would do the trick. Any taller then I would have to change the aero bar with a better fitted option. Jon did his magic and the spacers worked. He also flipped the stem to get some increased height.  


Moving on to flexibility. Did you know that my left leg is longer than my right. You may be to. But yes that’s my case. That fact got reflected in the motion capture numbers. After doing some table exercise flexibility routines, bridges etc. Jon had me walk back and forth to test pronation. He then adjusted my shoe clits to align more parallel in the pedal stroke. Bottom line my flexibility is pretty good which could be why I rode such a short saddle height without injury. 


As per reaching on my aero bars. In the future if discomfort arises I may have to get longer ones as mine is 40mm too short. At the moment this isn’t an alarming factor. 

After carrying over the mock bike numbers and implementing the changes on my bike I felt higher on the bike and more efficient. Testing over the next few weeks will reveal more in that aspect and any issues that may arise. Hopefully there’s zero. Joe did stress that I shouldn’t go for power workouts immediately with this new setup. Give it a few weeks to break it in per se. My long ride this weekend will have to stay as aerobic and below FTP as possible. This should be straightforward since I was planning to be at 75% average for the century ride. 


Jonathan himself is also a triathlete so we were able to geek out and I threw some questions his way about packing the bike for the trip etc. He did Lake Placid a few times with a best time of 10:25. He is very thorough and knowledgeable. Included with the fit is a free consultation within 6 weeks if any issue or the like arises. 


In conclusion this was by far one of the best if not the best investment I could have made pertaining bike setup and running off the bike. Not an exact science in anyway but Jonathan said I may have gained 75 watts from today’s bike fit. Even if it turns out to be half that number. That will be huge!!

Run Video post swim workout 

Did a 2.3 mile warmup to the pool then 3 x 1mile at Half marathon pace with 2 minute walk recoveries. 
Swim workout was 800 meters warmup where every 4th lap was an IM choice stroke minus freestyle. Main session was 2 x 800m descending. 

Concluded the days workout with a 2.3 mile cooldown run back home. 

Video taken in Flushing Meadows Corona Park post my swim workout. 

The Pro Side of my Scott Plasma wins Sweden TT Nationals

Lisa Norden recently won the Swedish National TT Championships aboard a 52 cm Scott Plasma Premium and we have detailed pics and the TrainingPeaks file from this professional triathlete who has stepped outside the box. (continue reading)

Scott Plasma Premium – photo courtesy of Slowtwitch

scott_plasma_premium

Central Park Bike loops followed by Achilles 4 mile run race

Today I did 9 loops of Central Park. The plan was to do about 12 loops but as all age-group time crunched triathletes I had to adjust that plan on the go. I bike commuted to Central Park which was about 7 miles then started off with the loop fest. The New York Road Runners Achilles 4 mile run race was slated to start at 9am so I got as many laps of Central Park as I could before hand. Anh and the kids met me at the race finish to get my bike so I could transition to the run.

The course in Central Park is much undulating, especially on the West Side of the park so that makes for constant gear changing. This week I (DIY) upgraded my cassette on my HED wheel from a 11-25 to a 11-28 which makes for better climbing. This enabled me to spin more and stay close to 75-85% FTP on the hills. The one disadvantage I find myself in when at the park is I tend to get out of my established session goal and enter a race mode with other cyclist. I have gotten a bit better holding back and sticking to my plan but I do occasionally get the urge for the “need for speed”.

My nutrition was great as always. Made sure to take in my salt tablets and hydration. Also today I tested my tentative race day kit. It felt great and is really “skin fit” as advertised. I might give it two more test rides before race day to make sure all is a go with the Free Sanremo skin suit.

Run race went well. At first as more times than not is the case mile 1 is a bit hard to find my legs. I also make sure to walk some of the aid stations to get nutrition in and just simulate race day because there will be walking….the last mile was just fast to say the least especially the fact that there is a downhill to finish off the race.

The Achilles race is always a favorite of mine. Very inspirational to see all the vets and all special athletes with disabilities out there making the day theirs to own and enjoy. I even saw an achilles athlete carrying a what looked like a 10″ Cement block throughout the 4 mile course. That’s simply amazing!!

Bike Total 63 miles. Run 4 miles.

8 weeks to race day………….

Bike – Run

bike_achilles_4m

2 hour trainer ride followed by NYRR Queens 10K

Today I had to really stack my workouts due to work obligations. The workouts proceeded as follows a 2 hour bike session on the trainer broken down with a 20 minute warmup, 1 hour in the TT position at 75% FTP with a 3 minute recovery then right into a 30 minute TT again at 75% FTP. 

10K Race was scheduled to start at 7:45am so the plan was to run directly to the start from home. The Queens 10K takes place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park which is about 2 miles from my home. So I ran to the start in time to jump into a slower corral which was just starting off. It’s nice how the race organizers are staggering those races to lessen on the congestion in sold out races. 

The 10K race was to be treated like a tempo run. Nothing crazy with pacing just focused on keeping a steady effort. 

I finished the 10K with a 7:42 pace which is great coming off my earlier bike ride. I got my finishers medal and the race goodie bag then did a cool down jog back home. 

My legs were definitely hammered from both the bike and race at this point and pace felt more like the IRONMAN shuffle. 



Nutrition:

Made sure to take 2 salt tablets every hour as it was a very humid and hot morning. On the bike went with maltodextrin / accelerade mix. Packed gels but didn’t feel the need or took any. 

It was a busy week with work, etc so I had to skip some workouts. Hopefully heading into next week which is 9 weeks from IRONMAN Kalmar-Sweden I should have a better grasp on workouts. 

Highlight session for the week has to be today. I was able to hold aero on the trainer for an hour without any issues. Also this week I booked a bike fit appointment with ACME Bicycles. This will be my first professional fit on my Scott Plasma. Looking forward to it since I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for ACME.