Recently I got the chance to visit with xendurance athlete Matthew Russell.
Matthew was the third fastest American at the Ironman World Champs in Kona, HI. He said, in addition to a very smart training schedule he attributes a lot of his success this year to taking Extreme Endurance. He was able to recover quicker and stack harder workouts together.
He has been in Arizona for the past couple weeks training and racing. He is getting ready for Ironman Arizona Nov 20th. He recently won the Soma triathlon in commanding fashion.
Matthew has also been working with the team at Faster http://www.ride-faster.com/ to get the position on his bike dialed in. He has also been able to take advantage of the metabolic testing, recovery services and he will soon jump into the wind tunnel. He will use the wind tunnel to evaluate his existing aerodynamic drag and how his position and equipment change his drag. It will also incorporate biomechanical, power and respiratory measurement tools to ensure that his aerodynamics don’t compromise his performance. We are excited to review all the data he receives from faster.
I just wanted to let you know that I have been having a great season this year. Though it had a lull from May-June when my wife and I had our little boy. But as we transitioned in adding child #2, we were able to keep health and fitness a high priority.
All that said, after having a season ending accident in 2010, when I was hit by a car in May, I knew coming back in 2011 was going to be humbling. My 2009 season was epic. Of 15 races I entered, I won 14 of them (was 2nd in the other) and set 8 course records. So to come back, after a season of recovery, to that level, would be a tall order.
Though this season has been a little different with a bit less racing, the results have been more than I could have ever hope for. Ranging from winning, and setting course records, in cycling time trials, to being the USAT regional champion, and setting course records on courses that have been around for a long time…I have been pleased to come back and accomplish all this in the year I turned 40. Sport has been good to me.
But I would be remiss if I thought I did it all on my own. Support from family, training consistency, and sponsors, have all made it possible… notably Extreme Endurance. You guys have been there for me every morning and night. I took a short hiatus when we had our little boy, and when I came back to training, I could tell I just felt flat. After getting a week or so of Extreme Endurance in me again, I could feel the workouts being absorbed, or my body adapting, to them more easily. I stayed true to taking Extreme Endurance and in the last couple weeks I have seen explosive growth…explosive! I can send you the excel data I have collected from all the Oly triathlons I have done since 2009, some cycling races I did in 2010, and then the Oly tris from this season. My last race data was staggering for me. I went from having a normalized power of ~320 watts, to 337 watts in my last race…which translates to 4.43 watts per kg. for a 40k bike leg. Now, it’s one thing to ride well, but a ride is only good when you can run well. I ended up running a 37 min 10k, which for me, is good. I had a 4+ minute lead off the bike, so I was not being pressured. I ended up winning by 6 minutes and setting a new course record.
After riding well in that race, and having some good training in the weeks leading up, I really started to look at my HR vs power on my daily rides and have noticed that my HR is about 10 beats lower, for the same power. I am blown away. When I look down to see my power on my SRM, I expect to see about 250 and I see 270-280. I have been riding with power since 2005, so I am pretty familiar with it and how I feel in relation to the power output.
Having tools like a powermeter and HR is great, and allows me to really hone in on the data on the bike, but what about the run? I have noticed the same thing on the run as well. I looked at data from the same loop I have run numerous times, compared time, avg pace per mile, and avg HR. Today I ran 8 miles, on the hilly course, and avg’d a HR of 143 and a pace of 6:25 min mile. It felt steady and somewhat effortless. And that has been my experience with my last couple weeks of runs.
I am sure you are getting tired of my ranting about watts, HR, run pace, etc. I guess what I am saying is that in the past few weeks I have seen a huge bump in my fitness.
I know I have a decent VO2 max, but this growth is leaving me shaking my head. I know Extreme Endurance has opened the door to this, so thank you.
I have attached a few pics of me racing this season…one, the front page of the Cda Press, and a few other of me in action. Here are a couple links to of some vids that have been posted of some races:
Sorry for the lengthy email…I tried to keep it brief, but I have so much to say and so many positive experiences with Extreme Endurance. I wish I could summarize it better.
TIMEX Multisport Team
President- Tri Fusion (www.tri-fusion.com)
IRONMAN WISCONSIN 2011
I always think its funny with an Ironman, you sign up & its a year away, then its months, suddenly weeks, days, hours, minutes & next your standing in the water waiting for those last 20mins to go by. You look at your watch & swear that time went backwards. Its probably the same for everyone who has an A event during the year regardless of the sport or event, even those attending the Quilt Conference at the exhibition centre in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday felt the same! To them a Quilt Conference, discussing materials, designs, weaves, patterns is probably as daunting & requiring in preparation as an Ironman. Unfortunately pre-race events meant I missed this conference & will never know the joys of quilts beyond that of Dunnes Stores!
Arrived into Madison on Tuesday after driving the 2 hours from Chicago. Bike had arrived safe & sound & built it up before bedding in. Spent the next few days scoping out the course & the town. Course had no significant climbs but was hilly the whole way, up & down, with an ok surface. Definitely the hardest IM course I had seen as in addition to the hills, there was a lot of 90 degree turns which you had to slow right down to take. The run was downtown & again a lot of turns, 1 massive hill & a lot of rises. The town itself is a big student town & was cool to hang out in. However the students definitely seemed a lot richer than I ever was back in the UCD days. How many student shopping areas have art galleries, organic food shops, antique furniture places??
As Sunday approached I got more & more nervous, but staying about 5 miles from the race venue meant it was pretty relaxed. We went to the zoo & some friends of mine from when I lived in Idaho came to visit. The day before the race I like to drop off the bike & bags as early as possible & forget about them while just sitting back, reading, watching tv.
The race has a unique transition, firstly its massive, you exit the swim run round & round & round going up a helix into the building where you picked up your bags. Got changed & then ran through a massive car park to collect your bike, before spinning down the helix the far side to start your 180km adventure. Seriously spinning down the helix you are dizzy at the bottom.
The swim started at 7am & I was lined up at the very front. The first 100ms were very civil & I was pleasantly surprised. Then the waves from behind came & I got knocked about. The first buoy was mental but then it got calmer as the 2 lap swim wore on. Reasonably happy to exit in 1:11, wet suit off courtesy of the strippers & up the helix. The atmosphere was amazing. Crowds 4/5 deep either side & they are just screaming at you, absolutely electric.
Grabbed Dean (Ridley Dean not some guy who I just grabbed) & set off on bike, First 4/5 miles were a bit all over the place before you settled into the course properly. The climbs on the back end of the course had some real characters, one viking in a g-string has left a mental scar on me! Got myself a stop & go penalty courtesy of overtaking the motorbike ref on the left while he was talking to another rider. By the end of the first lap I realised I was at the pointy end of the field. The second lap was fairly boring as I was only lapping people & passing the odd pro. The highlight was been nearly knocked off by an over enthustastic volunteer trying to give me my special needs bag, but I never handed in a special needs bag! The wind had picked up & the hills were taking their tole on me. The big test would be how I felt cycling up the helix when I got back to transition & when it felt ok I was happy.
A quick T2 & I felt alright heading out on the run. As I left I was told I was 4th age grouper & by mile 3 was up to 2nd. Part of the run course went through the universities football stadium, an actual lap of the playing field. The stadium is a 70,000 seater & running round an empty stadium was kind of surreal. A big part of the course was along the city’s main street & crowds were huge, a lot of people out drinking & screaming encouragement at us.
The whole first lap was very quiet & things were going well. I was comfortably in 2nd age grouper, feeling ok & was close to or in the top 10 overall. Then at mile 16 things started to fall apart & the next 10miles were a run/walk nightmare, pace dropped from sub 7min miles to 9min miles. I was dying & started getting passed. I even walked quite a bit with last year’s second place finisher, he had exploded even more than I had! Eventually I made it home & crossed the line. The backdrop to the finish was the amazing state capital building. Catchers caught me & couldn’t put me down as I was in a bad way. I sat around for a while but really didn’t feel great, I had blood on my gums from a smack during the swim, which I hadn’t even noticed. I was brought to the med tent & they weighed me. At registration I was 161 pounds, now I was 149 pounds. I don’t know how I had gotten so dehydrated as I was drinking all day & remember peeing during the run & a lot on the bike (smell of shoes are proof). They debated whether to give me an IV or not as they are very reluctant to give them out. Eventually I started to come round & was released to the real world.
After the dust had settled I was told I had finished 16th overall, 6th age grouper, won my age group & had the second fastest bike of the day (1 pro was about 60seconds quicker). All in all this was pretty good news to receive & it meant I would be stepping up on the podium the next day. The next big decision was Hawaii & as the slot was for the 2012 race it was hard to say no to.
That brings an end to my 2011 tri season. As always a big thanks to all at Cycle Superstore for their support throughout the year. A superfast SRAM equipped Ridley Dean & Zoot clothing, runners & wetsuit meant I wanted for nothing & my equipment was easily as good as anything else out there. Others who helped me throughout the season were Kinetica Nutrition (available in Cycle Superstore), the healing hands of Robbie Caraher in Louth Physio Clinic. Robbie has a natural gift as a physio, strange as it sounds he has the warmest hands in the world, even back in January when he would treat me at 8am before opening & turning the heat on his hands were warm. On the coaching side David Tunney & Peter Kern ofpb3coaching.com gave me plenty of feedback as I planned my weekly torture routine. As I outlined before I started taking Xendurance this season, did I feel any different, no. Did I do more training & have less feelings of dead legs, yes. Finally to Annette, friends & family who gave me tons of support throughout my training.
Annette like myself would not be carrying a lot of weight (for “a lot” read any). We were eating out every night in Wisconsin & every time as soon as we finished our main course would be given the bill, never offered dessert. We came to the conclusion that the they always thought “nah those skinny pasty white Irish folk mustn’t eat the stuff”. Well I showed them, in fact our waiter at the diner where I had pancakes the morning after the race asked if I had ever considered professional eating. Watch this space
I am an ultra runner usually running 50K or 50 mile events. Was wondering if it would benefit me to maybe take the “extreme endurance” tablets during the event? 10 days ago I ran a 6 hour timed event ( on asphalt ) and did not have ANY muscle discomfort after the race. I finished with just over 30 miles. Normally, I suffer when going up or downstairs for a day or so. I had been taking the supplement for several days leading into the event. Hope this was not an anomaly. BTW, I am 70 years young.
St. Louis, Mo.
Yvonne van Vlerken takes second Challenge-Walchsee-”Kaiser”-crown.
Endurance Team Athlete Mirjam Weerd/NED podiums with 3rd place.
Endurance Team coached youngster Thomas Meusburger (AUT) great 5th in the amateurs.
There were absolutely perfect racing conditions for the 1100 participants at the 2nd edition of the Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl. 20 degrees water temperature and a wonderful late summer day awarded the team around organizers Andi Klingler and Mario Höller for the excellent race- organisation. Accordingly was the mood already at the start for the second largest highlight over the half distance on Austrian ground. Numerous long distance stars were among the professional starters such as Ronnie Schildknecht/CH, Michael Göhner/GER, Timo Bracht/GER as well as in the the ladies the titleholder Yvonne van Vlerken/NED, local hero Eva Dollinger and the 3-time Dutch Champion on the half distance Mirjam Weerd.
The Austrian resident Yvonne van Vlerken showed up strong in the first discipline and only gave roughly 2 minutes away to her competitor Eva Dolinger, in contrast to the year before where she had lost 4 minutes. The Czech Eva Potuckova had taken over the lead after the swim and could hold this on the bike.
Then in the first of two selective bicycle-loops through the picturesque region all around the „Wilder Kaiser“-massive both Dutchwomen quickly closed in on Eva Dollinger. Weerd had her already in view, van Vlerken was less than one minute down.
Dollinger found connection to a 6-headed group passing her, started to develop a new gap steadily, took over the lead from Potuckova and could bring 3:40min to 2nd transition on van Vlerken and Weerd.
On the selective and idyllic run-course around the Walchsee it first almost looked like a victory for Eva Dollinger. However, Yvonne van Vlerken quickly overtook 2nd Eva Potuckova and seemed not to be impressed by the ride of Dollinger, trusting on her run strength. Van Vlerken ran each loop one minute faster than Eva Dollinger and finally claimed the lead on KM 17.
While van Vlerken ran towards an unthreatened victory, Dollinger who was quickly fading after, had to keep Mirjam Weerd on distance to hold her 2nd rank.
The young athlete from the state of Vorarlberg Thomas Meusburger delivered a taste of his talent in his only third half-distance race and took excellent 5th in one of the strongest amateur categories (M24-29).
In the men’s Ronnie Schildknecht/CH won with a sovereign performance before German Timo Bracht.
Yvonne quote: “I am very pleased with my swim, then when I heard that I was loosing ground after the first loop I was a bit amazed as I was riding quite quickly. But then again the gap after the bike didn’t impress me that much, I didn’t worry. I calculated and knew that I would get Eva Dollinger the latest at the beginning of the 4th loop if I procede with my run-tempo. Exactly that happened and I really enjoyed the warm winner´s welcome by the enthusiastic spectators at the Walchsee.”
Sunday and my friend Kenji took these great photos at the local short track race the next day. I am currently leading that series. You are free to use any of these photos just credit Kenji Sugahara. He can also provide higher resolution shots if need be.
The supplements are working great with my CPAP therapy. Seems like the higher does of Omegas and the Extreme Immune are a dynamite combo for relieving the chronic fatgue and inflammation that has set in over the last few years. Finally I feel some of my “old” form coming back–hopefully in time for some big results before the end of the year!
Thanks again for all the support. I couldn’t have made it without you guys this year!
After the Outlaw Iron Distance race, I needed just 24 hours to get back into training. However I feel that I need to report back on some EE usage.
I took a break for a week and then had a training holiday in France. I spent a few days mountain biking in the alps but also went for a good 2 hour alpine run. The next day my legs were in bits. Despite cold pools, compression gear etc, it took me 4 days to be able to walk again.
Back on the extreme endurance it was and after 5 days there, my training started properly. 663 miles on the bike in 8 days for some extreme training and with that some 3-4 hour alpine runs. I made a point of sprinting down some of the mountains, real fell running stuff that should have ruined me for the rest of the week. Despite feeling tired, Extreme Endurance delivered and I could not only walk the next day, but run and continue 100 mile bike rides.
My major race of the year is one week away. The European Long Distance champs in Finland. I’m aiming for nothing less than a win.
Yvonne van Vlerken (Endurance Team Austria) co-favourite in battle for European title with Caroline Steffen, Sonja Tajsich & Co.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ‘Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman European Championship’ the host city Frankfurt welcomes triathletes from 55 nations in the region of the Rhein-Main on the 24th July 2011. More than 2.350 athletes will honour this mega event, whereas managing director Kai Walter is quiet proud to present 70 top athletes from all over the world to battle for the title.
The battle for the female crown of the “European Ironman Championship” guarantees special excitement. After a second and a third place within the last two years Yvonne van Vlerken (NED) is hungry for the only place she never stand on at the end of the race, the top place on the podium. She knows that the way to the top isn’t easy, especially if she risks a look at her strong rivals in the starter field. “Never be too early at your individual peak form” that’s what she learned from all her years of sport experience. Regarding the upcoming event in Frankfurt she claims to fulfil this purpose. Yvonne didn’t take part in any long-distance or Ironman-competition since the beginning of this year. This could give her fitter legs and probably the all-dominant joker when last year second woman Caroline Steffen (SUI) or local hero Sonja Tajsich (GER) are going to search the direct battle with her. Steffen won the Ironman Australia and currently holds the 2nd position in the official ‘Kona Pro-Ranking’ list. But there are major other names in the field world which are all willing to go high at this significant event in Germany
Others to mention are Tine Deckers (BEL) or Desiree Fickers (USA).
Only sad things to mention is that titleholder Sandra Wallenhorst will not participate in the thrilling fight because of a major knee-injury.
Nevertheless, excitement on a high sport level is guaranteed. Due to Sonja Tajsich the field of women participants is “the best of the whole year, straight after Kona”. But none of the top athletes could irritate this matter. They are all looking at their individual performance. And Yvonne is giving us the hint to look at her improvement in swimming. Originally coming from the duathlon discipline it seems as if she really has fun and creates passion within her long-year weakest discipline swimming: „I am feeling pretty comfortable in the water at the moment and I have a time in my head for Sunday. Another goal is to leave the water under an hour in October, at the Ironman World Championship“. Yvonne doesn´t seem to run out of new goals, either on ambition or discipline. But regarding the big challenge in Frankfurt she leaves all the rest to the numerous spectators alongside the race, her pushing competitors and the predicted, for her ideal weather.
After Michael Raelert announced his surprising withdraw form the race Faris Al Sultan (GER), 2005 ironman world champion, counts as the favourites aside Patrick Vernay (FRA) and the 10 times Ironman Australia winner Cameron Brown (AUS).
German TV-station will broadcast the race live from 10.15am to 4.30pm. Additionally a live-stream will be available already from 6.30am on www.ironman.de.
As usual you can get written updates and track athletes on: www.ironman.com
Thomas J. Vonach surprises with a 7th Overall rank in the international field.
While the men´s World Cup in Kitzbühel fell substantially in the water on Saturday, the classic Salzburgerland Triathlon could get exactly two sun-hours in which the race took place after two rainy editions in the last 2 years.
The women´s race was firmly in Dutch hand. It ended with a double-victory of Yvonne van Vlerken who won the race now already for the 3rd time,
and Mirjam Weerd, 3. of Ironman Wisconsin and 4. IM South Africa 2010.
The strong swimmer Weerd led after swim and changed with a cushion of 1:40min on van Vlerken to the bike. Yvonne van Vlerken needed quite exactly 16km and until the peak point of the bike course to neutralise that and take the lead. Both training partners, van Vlerken and Mirjam Weerd, came into T2 with only 40 seconds gap and then made it quite exciting on the run. Mirjam Weerd, reigning Dutch middle distance Champion, surprised with a 38:02min. On the selective 10km-distance. Clearly behind the two Dutchies Salzburg´s Dominique Angerer made the podium of the ladies complete.
In the men´s race Thomas J. Vonach surprised with a 7th overall rank. The Schwarzach resident left the water in 12. Position with a good swim performance and clocked the 3rd bike-time moving through the field up to 7th position. Finally Vonach recorded an end-time of 1:47:22 hours and could hold off short-course youngsters like Daniel Herlbauer with a strong 36:23min run time. The German Alexander Bonauer won the race in front of Alun Woodward/GB and Dejan Patrcevic/CRO. Austrian short -course specialist Paul Reitmayr took 5th overall and was the quickest Austrian in front of Thomas Vonach in 1:45:40 hours.