Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kelly Slater's 11 ASP World Titles didn't rest on talent alone - Functional fitness was key

For 20 years Kelly Slater's been the focal point of pro surfing, in large part because of his dedication to maintaining his fitness level.

Tom Servais...Show me a person who has good posture, and I'll show you someone who is increasing their chances of enjoying a long, productive career, life ... and 11 world surfing titles. OK, maybe not 11, but hear me out.

For those of us who are hunched over computers all day, commuting a half hour or more to work or carrying the kids around, posture is a hidden but alarming health issue that can gradually get worse over time. For surfers and other athletes, improper posture and muscle imbalance can lead to injuries and slow recovery. It can also dramatically affect performance on a surfboard. For more than 25 years of working with ASP athletes, including Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Jordy Smith, I have preached the power of posture as a vital aspect in their treatment and training as world-class competitors.

Slater has incredible body awareness and when he trains his focus is on full body mobility, stability and strength. He uses a system called Foundation Training, which emphasizes improving posture and core fitness by focusing on strengthening the back of the body to balance the overused, over-stressed front side. It teaches him how to remember what proper movement feels like.

The athlete with rounded shoulders and forward-carried head posture tends to have poor body awareness and alignment, and often walks and runs with a short, choppy gait with hips and feet turned out. These are the athletes most and often prone to declining performance, slower recovery, more injuries, sickness and eventually, a shorter career. The quality of one's movement each day is literally a window to how well the body performs and recovers. Next time you see Slater at an event, notice how effortlessly he walks, paddles out and pops up on his board. This is no coincidence: it comes from how well his central nervous system is connected to his muscles.

I started working with Slater in the early '90s. He has always had extraordinary mobility, but because his sport requires right and left sides to move differently, he always has to work towards achieving optimum balance.

Top strength and conditioning specialists focus on smoothing out and connecting movement. It's somewhat counter-intuitive, but simply training to make muscles stronger is a recipe for injury. For those of us who don't have the benefit of training with a professional strength and conditioning coach, if you want to improve your overall fitness and health, learn to move your body the way it was designed ... like you did when you were a kid, and not a slave to sitting.

Slater also has such naturally keen movement awareness and innate understanding of how important good posture is to feeling and performing at his best. Poor posture and quality of regular movement patterns over time are the main reason athletes become injured; and for us regular folks and weekend warriors, it's why we have bad backs and hips, sore necks and headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, and so on. Good movement is measured by an ability to move how the body was designed with the least amount of stress. Interestingly, nothing illustrates quality of movement like watching a great athlete do his or her thing. Why? Because they move like kids do ... with economy of motion, balance and effortless grace. Guys like Slater make it look so effortless because they maintain a relaxed balance of form and function.

Add to this the fact that Slater has a tremendous thirst for knowledge and is a serious student of the body. He can move incredibly well in some directions, and is less effective in others. There is little doubt that he is a flat-out gifted athlete and has the drive a to be a world-class competitor, but his focus on constantly improving his health through good nutrition and improving balance, movement and posture throughout his career is undoubtedly a key factor in his longevity.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Horner begins 2012 preparations early

Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) has begun training a month earlier than usual as he prepares to make his return to competitive action following his heavy fall at the 2011 Tour de France.

The American suffered a broken nose, cracked ribs, concussion and a blood clot in the lung as a result of his crash on stage 7 of the Tour, and was forced to bring both his race and his season to a premature halt. After five months, Horner is keen to get back into action.

“Normally I wouldn’t even be riding now,” Horner told us. “Normally two hours in a day is the very most I’d have done in early December. Then I’d take the last three weeks of December off and start riding the home trainer while I’m up in Oregon for a week, and then I’d go up to San Diego the second week of January on the road, and then we’d normally have training camp near the end of January.”

This time around, however, Horner has been out on the road since the beginning of December, and made the most of RadioShack-Nissan’s recent training camp in Calpe, Spain to get in some warm-weather miles.

“This year, I started on the first of December and I’ll continue all the way through to the next training camp,” he said. “Basically my training for next year started the first of December rather than the first of January.”

Last winter, RadioShack’s American riders were not requested to cross the Atlantic for the team’s pre-Christmas training camp. The merger with Leopard Trek meant that Horner was happy to make the trek on this occasion.

“Normally I don’t believe so much in December training camps, but you’ve got to get together when it’s a new squad like this,” he said.

As in 2011, Horner will aim to perform strongly in week-long stage races throughout the early part of the new season as he builds towards the Tour de France, where he will play a vital role in Andy and Fränk Schleck’s overall challenge.

“I hope to have a good beginning to the season with the Basque Country and California of course, and then focus in on the Tour de France,” Horner said. “I would like to do more or less the same programme and maybe one or more stage race in there this year, just because it’s been so long since the crash at the Tour when I last raced.”

“It’s been a long time and I’m ready to race, so just for pure and simple pleasure and desire and to feel like a bike racer again, I’d like to do something a little early, like Paris-Nice or Tirreno. That would be ideal.”

No retirement plans

Although now 40 years of age, Horner has no plans to hang up his wheels and believes that his injury-curtailed 2011 campaign may even lengthen his career in the long-run. “I just skipped six months of bike racing, so maybe I’ve added another year to my career, maybe it adds to the freshness of my legs,” he said. “As long as the legs do it, I’ll continue. There’s no set date, it’ll just be a case of when I feel the legs are gone.”

Looking back over his career, Horner reckons that he has significantly less mileage on the clock than European-based professionals of his vintage, something which he feels goes a long way to explain his remarkable longevity. Although he began his career at Française des Jeux in 1997, Horner spent the period from 2000 to 2004 in the United States, before beginning his ‘second career’ in Europe with Saunier Duval.

“I raced back in the States from 2000 through to 2004. In 05, I came back over with Saunier Duval but I broke my leg early in the year, so I missed a lot of that,” he said. Then in 2009 I crashed and missed a bunch of that season too. So realistically the amount of years I’ve spent in Europe is pretty low compared to most guys who are 40 years old.

“When you look at Inigo Cuesta, I mean, that guy had done 14 Vueltas or 16 Vueltas. I can’t remember, but it was a huge number. You’d have to ask him personally, but maybe every year of his career he did 80 European races. I’d never do 80 European races. The most I’d normally do is 70 and since I came back in 05, I don’t think I’ve even done that many. But that could be why the legs are so good right now.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Ironwar: Mark Allen & Dave Scott

By 1989 Dave Scott was a six-time Ironman champion and Mark Allen, defeated in his previous attempts, a feared contender. This time, though, all bets were off. From the start, Mark hung on to Dave with mind-numbing intensity.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Slater & John John Battle At Pipeline

Kelly Slater beat out John John Florence during a spectacular quarterfinal round at the 41st edition of the Billabong Pipeline Masters, but the 11-time World Surfing Champion couldn’t match Australia’s Kieren Perrow.

The match-up between Slater and Florence was viewed by some as a “passing the torch” event. Slater, who is acknowledged as the greatest surfer in the sport, isn’t sure if he’ll commit to a full season in 2012. John John Florence, on the other hand, is just 19-years-old and has a long and promising career ahead of him.

Before the event, Slater said:

“I see John John as the guy to beat in this contest. He’s got three 10′s already. He lives right here and surfs here every day. If I were to lose to him, there would be no shame in that.”

Florence almost beat Slater, too. With just 8 minutes left Slater trailed his protege by 16 points. Slater was able to hit two consecutive waves to score a 9.7 and a 7.83 to beat Florence with just 46 seconds remaining.

Slater said:

“I was just trying to hold John John off for one more year. This might have been my last chance to get a few waves against him. He’s going to dominate Pipe for the next 20 years.”

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kelly Slater tees up golfing future

GOLF??? - "Well then," says Kelly Slater. "Now we're talking."

The world's top surfer is on the North Shore of Oahu, signing posters for the Pipeline Masters. Described breathlessly -- but rather accurately -- as the Superbowl of Surfing, Pipe is scheduled to begin on Thursday in life-threatening, jaw-dropping waves peaking at 18 feet.

Heaving swells will dump their loads on a shallow reef, turning Pipe into a gladiator's pit. With thousands of howling spectators on the sand, man-on-man heats carry the sub-plot of everyone just wanting to get out alive.

Ambulances will be on standby. Medical staff shall be in abundance.

Slater admits the prospect of rocking and rolling at Pipe fills him with a curious mix of anxiety, excitement and outright fear and so seems relieved when conversation turns to a more genteel pursuit, the good walk spoiled.

Slater is so dedicated to the noble yet confounding game of golf, and so proficient, that he has an itch to play professionally when he quits his current day job as the greatest surfer of all.

"I like golf, I love it, I work hard on it and actually I'd like to become..."

A professional? Go on, say it. You want to become a professional. The 39-year-old raises an eyebrow: can we be trusted with such privileged information?

Just say it. It is written all over his beaming face. Slater dreams about tackling the biggest names on the USPGA Tour and here is why: he's a born competitor. A self-described perfectionist. A performer.


As fit as 10 fiddlers, Slater has a golf handicap of two. Reuters watched him play 18 holes at the Arnold Palmer-designed Turtle Bay course and make no mistake, he can play.

Natural gifts are at his disposal: the agility, physical strength and fitness that Craig Stadler might have benefited from. The discipline and dedication that one of his more colorful playing partners, John Daly, never quite gripped and ripped.

The last two occasions he played the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, he beat his partner, USPGA Tour regular Pat Perez.

When he partnered Simon Dyson to win The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on The Old Course at St Andrews in 2009, it barely rated a mention. Everyone assumed the Englishman carried him. Everyone assumed wrong. The most calm figure walking down the 18th fairway was Slater.

He's played with Daly, Darren Clarke, Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson. He's sidled up to Ernie Els on a driving range and hit balls without feeling misplaced.

Go on, admit it. You want to play at least one professional event before your time is done.

"I do think about it," he says. "Funnily enough, I just did an interview with the Golf Channel: they're doing a special for Christmas and the three golfers they followed were me, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

"It's coming out Christmas Day. Point is, I'm pretty entrenched in the golf community now, even if it isn't at the competitive level yet.

"It's about the personal challenge for the moment but I would like to maybe compete in the future. There are these vague dreams in my head about it. The trouble would be the amount of time it would take to be good and confident enough.


"There's a ridiculous amount of work that goes into it. I'd have to practice as much as I surfed when I was growing up. All the time I spend at the beach now, I'd have to spend on the golf course. To play those tour guys, even just one or two times, I'd have to be able to completely trust myself: trust my swing, not let any doubts get in my head. I'm not there yet.

"The Champions Tour might be my best bet but I'd have to wait till I'm 55 for that. Only the established guys get to play as soon as they turn 50. They don't want some unknown guy who's practiced for 30 years getting on and everyone is like, 'shoot, the guy we've never heard of from Oklahoma is better than anyone'.

"It would take a lot of dedication but I'm putting a lot of time into my golf. I think anyone, when they do something once, they want to become masterful at it."

Slater glides around Turtle Bay. His swing is smooth and uncomplicated. He has a baseball grip, a rarity among elite players who prefer overlapping or interlocking, but Bob Estes has forged a long career with the same ten-finger technique so it can be done.

A double-jointed back is a god-send for Slater in both surfing and golf: he has looseness and coil to spare. Text book stance. Effortless backswing. A follow-through worth photographing.

A short iron sucks back a couple of meters. The broom stick putter works well enough. He is attracted to the internal warfare that rages inside a man during a round of golf, the odd similarities of courage needed to take off on a 20-foot wave or sink a two-foot putt.

"I've played with almost all the US PGA guys except for Tiger," Slater says. "I've played with Stricker, played in a group with Darren Clarke at St Andrews, Dustin Johnson, had a couple of rounds with John Daly.


"First time I ever played with a pro, I was in Vegas. I went and played with a buddy called Sandy Armour. His brother is Tommy Armour III, their grandfather is one of the absolute legends of golf. Tommy was on tour.

"First hole, I was so nervous I sliced it so far right that it was crazy. Second shot, I hit it way left into deep rough. It was a par four. Third shot, I hacked it up to about 50-feet from the pin. I holed the 50-footer for par, which was pretty funny, but really it was pretty ugly and it was just the nerves of being in a different environment.

"That's what can happen when you don't completely trust yourself. But I do feel like I can hold my own. I actually beat my pro straight-up two years in a row at the Pebble Beach event so when I get it going, I can go, but that was me having a couple of great days and him having a couple of bad days. If we both had great days, he'd beat me by three or four strokes."

Slater's most immediate assignment is inside the liquid Colosseum of Pipeline. To say nothing over 18 holes could be as nerve-racking would be to overlook the essence of golf. A short putt can be as excruciating as a vertical takeoff in its own way.

As Lee Trevino said, the pressure of a ten-dollar putt when there's only five in your pocket. There are precedents for swapping sports. Grand slam tennis champion Ivan Lendl tried to make it to the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, but came up short in qualifying.

Australian Scott Draper, though, pulled it off, playing Davis Cup tennis and earning a start in his national golf championship. A master of mind games, patience and self-control, Slater might be better placed than most.

Michael Jordan made a lunge at professional baseball in his post-basketball years but only because his real passion, the good walk spoiled, wasn't up to scratch.

Ever played with Jordan? "No," Slater grins. "I'll wait till he gets a little better."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The Primal Athlete - How to Fuel a Marathon

By Mark Sisson

Having yielded to those of you who still insist on running a marathon, yesterday I offered a training strategy that gets you the best results with the least amount of damage. Today’s post is about fueling a marathon – what food to eat and when to eat it. It’s not solely about race day nutrition, because if you just focused on what to eat the day of the race, you’d be missing out on a lot (and you’d likely have problems finishing, or at the very least your performance would suffer). It’s about what to eat while training, a few days before the race, and the day of the race itself. This is the stuff I would do if I had to go back and do another marathon with my current knowledge. I might tweak things slightly if I was trying to make the Olympics, but for the average, relatively fit Primal dude or gal who wants to check this off their bucket list? This is the perfect way to fuel your efforts. And this works equally as well for those of you who think a century ride (100 miles on a bike) might be in the cards.

First, let’s examine what to do while you’re training. What do you eat? How much of it do you eat? Low-carb, high-carb?

Train Low, Race HighFor the layperson, “train low, race high” is basically a way to teach your body to do without a glut of glucose for longer periods of time. By training low on glycogen, your body grows accustomed to running on fat and conserving muscle glycogen. By training low and then racing high – with topped-off glycogen stores in your muscles – you experience a big boost in performance on race day. You’ve built up your ability to access body fat during a run, and that doesn’t go anywhere, but now you’ve suddenly got 400+ grams of muscle glycogen at your disposal. Glycogen that you’ve learned to access efficiently, rather than squander all at once. That’s huge, especially for 26.2 miles.

It’s reasonable to think that Grok often “trained low.” If low-level physical activity in a glycogen-depleted state was the norm for much of human evolution – as I think it probably was – it makes sense that its emulation in modern times would confer performance benefits. It makes sense that our bodies would conserve energy and streamline energy pathways, and that taking advantage of these physiological truths will give us enough of a racing edge without compromising our health – since we’re training “with” our physiology, rather than in direct opposition to it.

There’s been limited modern research on “train low, race high,” and it’s pretty compelling. One study found that athletes who trained twice a day on alternate days and thus had lower muscle glycogen during the second training session almost quadrupled their muscle endurance, while athletes who trained once a day on consecutive days barely doubled theirs by study’s end. Both groups of athletes performed the same amount of volume and intensity, but only one group went into every other training session with depleted glycogen – and that group saw the greatest benefits to both work capacity and energy efficiency (glycogen and fat).

During your training, keep carbs right around 150 grams per day. That may sound like a lot, especially if you’re coming from the lower end of the carb continuum, but rest assured that 150 grams of carbs is a paltry amount for most endurance athletes. At the height of my training, I was blasting through upwards of 700 grams each day. As I mentioned yesterday, increase your carbs the day before – and morning of – your interval training, because much of the benefit from intervals comes from glycogen depletion, and you gotta have glycogen in your muscles before you deplete it. But for the most part, keep carbs at a moderate (for Primal folks) to low level. Stick to approved Primal sources, of course:

■Yams/sweet potatoes
■White potatoes, wild/white rice (if tolerated)

And remember: you’re training. Your performance during a particular run on a particular training day might not go great, but you’re in this for the long haul. You’re in this for the race day boost. It’s not a competition. You’re not trying to beat the other guy (because there is no other guy), you’re trying to train your mitochondria and your energy utilization pathways so that when the time comes, when the event rolls around, you are fully prepared to give it your best showing. Keep it in perspective and don’t beat yourself up too much. One final thought on training: it’s always better to start your race slightly undertrained than over-trained.

Couple Days Before the RaceStart eating more carbs. This is the classic carbo-load, and no, it doesn’t have to reach Phelpsian levels of mayo-and-egg sandwiches on white bread, kilos of pasta, and flagons of cheese grits. You can easily stick to starchy roots, tubers, and fruit (and even rice) to pack those muscles full of glycogen. Maintain your protein intake and moderate your fat intake. You’re looking to maximize muscle glycogen stores.

Just eat twice the amount of carbs you’ve been eating. So, instead of one sweet potato with dinner, have one with lunch and one with dinner. Eat the whole banana instead of half the banana. Aim for about 350 grams of carbs per day. And don’t do any hard training during these last two or three taper days. Maybe some light jogging or walking.

Race DayIf you have two hours before the gun goes off, eat a light breakfast with some representation from all macronutrients. Maybe a few eggs and a banana, maybe half a yam. Nothing that sits heavy in the stomach, and make sure it’s something you can digest. If you are a coffee drinker, a cup today will help mobilize fatty acids. Don’t go zesty, don’t experiment with something new. Stick to the tried and true. If you didn’t spend the last couple of days fueling up, the most optimal race day breakfast isn’t gonna save you. Sorry to say it.

During the race, maintain your composure. Your glycogen-replete body is going to feel eminently powerful. Try not to go too fast too soon. Better to start a bit slower, get those fats into the muscle cells and then increase the pace a bit later. As for mid-race fueling, I’d forgo the usual Gatorade offerings on the course and stick to the rocket fuel found in pure glucose. Some companies sell straight glucose polymer powders (complex carbs as maltodextrin) you can mix with water to your own desired consistency and carry with you on a fuel belt. This is the one time in your life that straight glucose is your friend. The method I have recommended for 20 years is to start refueling at about an hour in to the event, taking 20 grams of glucose every 20-30 minutes. This puts enough glucose into the bloodstream to help fuel muscles without interfering with the intended fat combustion – and it “unburdens” the muscles from having to give up too much glycogen too soon. Be sure to drink enough pure water (usually offered on the course, so you don’t have to carry that) as well.

Now, if you are so inclined, you can also make your own version of a sport drink/energy gel hybrid. It may not be astoundingly delicious, but it’ll get the job done. Here’s how to do it:

1.Slightly heat some coconut water on the stove. Don’t let it get anywhere near simmering. Just let it get warm enough to melt the next three ingredients easily.

2.Add a few dashes of sea salt, preferably one with high mineral content. Sea salt provides sodium, an important electrolyte, plus trace minerals. You’re going to be burning through a lot of it during the race.

3.Add honey, preferably raw and from a local farm (remember, many store bought honey isn’t actually honey anymore).

4.Add blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses comes after the third boiling of sugar cane. It contains less sugar than either white sugar, brown sugar, regular molasses, or dark molasses, but far more minerals and electrolytes. See, sugar cane is a plant with roots that stretch deep into the soil to extract nutrients (some research suggests sugar cane roots may go down as far as six meters). Very few of those nutrients make it into white or brown sugar, and regular and dark molasses contain some, but it’s blackstrap molasses which gets the bulk of the minerals. So, when you add just a couple tablespoons of blackstrap molasses to your energy drink, you’re getting more than twice the potassium than a banana, more calcium than a cup of raw spinach, and almost 100 mg of magnesium.

5.Mix it all together until everything melts and it’s a dark brown murky viscous fluid. I didn’t include specific amounts, but start with a couple tablespoons of each sweetener and the juice from one coconut (or one carton of coconut water). You’ll be cruising for the first bit of the race, thanks to your effective pre-race training and fueling, but when you really start dipping into your glycogen stores, having a banana or two and a bottle of high-potency Primal energy drink will prove useful.

Good luck. If you train and fuel smartly, you won’t really need any luck at all, but I figure it’s a nice thing to say regardless.

Once you’re done with the marathon, I’d move on to different things. Try rock climbing. Try mountain trekking. Heck, try an ultra marathon, but do it at an even easier, fat-oxidizing pace. But many of you will not. Many will get the endurance bug, and it’s a nasty one. This method of training and fueling is not a cure for the bug, but it will negate some of the worst symptoms. If you do try my training and fueling recommendations, let me know how you do. I’m especially interested in knowing how they compare to performances using other methods.

Kelly Slater Wins # 1 Surfer Poll Award

In 2011, Slater picked up his 11th ASP World Title as well as his 17th SURFER Poll No. 1 trophy. There's never been another surfer like him, and the landslide he wins SURFER Poll by each year is a testament to the dominance he's exerted over four generations of surfers. In fact, making an argument that he's the best athlete of all time doesn't take much of a leap of faith.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Primal Athlete - How to Train for a Marathon

By Mark Sisson

Leading into this post, I promised myself that I wouldn’t try to dissuade people from running marathon(s) or any long distance races. I already do that plenty in other posts, so today’s is geared toward the folks that simply are going to run a marathon or marathons, regardless of what I say. I know these people exist because I used to be one. Running a marathon can be a huge bucket-list accomplishment. With that in mind, when people write in to ask me about training for a marathon, I think about what I would do in that situation knowing what I know now. How would I train to do the least damage and get the most benefit? Truth is, if I put my mind to it, and you had elite level potential, I could most likely train some of you to win the thing outright, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about finishing the race without embarrassing and/or hurting yourself. It’s about accomplishing something big, something special. It’s about training for a decent, respectable showing in a marathon. One (or two, or three if you must) and done.

To be an effective marathoner – or even to just finish one – you have to be an effective fat burner. It is the beta-oxidation of fat, both dietary and stored body fat, that provides much of the aerobic energy you will need to maintain reasonable pace for 26.2 miles. I mean, 26.2 miles is a whole lot of miles. When you’re driving somewhere and the sign says “26 miles” to your destination, you think “That’s kinda close, but kinda far.” Now picture that on foot. Yeah. Good luck doing that as a fully dependent sugar-burner. Fat’s the ticket, and if you have spent the requisite few weeks reprogramming your body to derive most of your energy from fat while at rest and at low level of activity (through your PB diet), you will be primed to access fat while training.

With that in mind, you’re not really training for a marathon, per se – you’re training your body to become more efficient with its energy so that you can run a marathon. You’re actually reapportioning how your body uses various types of fuel at different activity levels. Thus, training for a marathon comes down to three primary goals:

1. Achieve mitochondrial biogenesis and optimality.Increasing the number of mitochondria (biogenesis) will spread the aerobic workload – the beta oxidation of fats and some glucose/glycogen- across more cellular power plants. Improving the number and efficiency of your mitochondria will allow you to do more output (running) with less reliance on glucose and/or glycogen as a primary fuel and more reliance on fat (input). In effect, this will increase your “miles per gallon.” Only instead of filling the tank with gasoline, you’re using stored body fat.

2. Increase the amount of fat burnt relative to carbs at a given work output.Glycogen depletion is the defining point of “hitting the wall,” so you want to avoid the wall as long as you can. Remember, it’s 26.2 miles. The more fat you’re able to burn and turn into useable energy, the less glycogen you’ll go through. Muscle glycogen storage is very limited, and whether you’re a sugar-burner or a fat-burner, you’re still going to store the same amount of glycogen – it’s the rate at which you deplete it that counts. If you can access fat more efficiently and use fat for work that would normally require glycogen, you’re winning. If you can train to use fat for higher workloads, you can increase or maintain the intensity without dipping too deeply into your muscle glycogen.

3. Increase your aerobic threshold.The aerobic threshold is the maximum level of output at which you are still relying primarily on the aerobic, or oxidative, energy pathways. As long as you stay under that aerobic threshold, you can train yourself primarily using fat to generate ATP energy (and your high fat diet plays a key role here, too). Once you cross that threshold you start burning more sugar. As you get further into anaerobic territory, however, you’re burning mostly sugar – liver and muscle glycogen. Sugar burns faster (and hotter), and it doesn’t last nearly as long as fat. So if you can increase your aerobic threshold, you should be able to increase the intensity of your runs without dipping too deeply into your glycogen stores. Ideally, then, a prospective marathoner will train to increase his or her aerobic threshold (we’ll save the ANaerobic threshold discussions for another day). That way, you can save the glycogen for the finish line, when it really matters.

One way to start out is to simply keep your heart rate at or below 65% of your max on longer runs (and this might eventually become 70-75% of max as your training benefits accumulate). To determine a person’s aerobic threshold, I find the most intuitive way is to have them run “long” (6-12 miles after a few weeks of sufficient low level training) runs on back-to-back days on fewer than 150 grams carbs per day. If you can complete both runs, both days, without adding back extra carbs, you’ll know you haven’t been dipping too deeply into your glycogen stores. If so, that’s your aerobic threshold pace. Remember it.

As for a specific training prescription, here’s what I’d do every week, beginning at least 12 weeks before the event and generalized for the widest possible audience:

1. Two to three slow aerobic threshold runs.These should be easy runs performed just below or at your aerobic threshold at the type of pace you can easily maintain. If you are just starting out from little run training, these sessions can be long hikes with easy jogs thrown in. These are great opportunities to just log mileage and improve fat oxidation efficiency without too much stress, where you can actually think about stuff other than the run (hey, maybe even work through some personal issues). For improving mitochondrial efficiency and stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis, these aerobic threshold runs (and your Primal Blueprint eating strategy) will be your bread and butter – the kind of low-level training I referenced in the post on improving mitochondrial efficiency through exercise.

To really promote fat oxidation, limit your carbs or even go into these runs in a slightly fasted state. When you begin dipping into glycogen, or hitting the wall (which might come soon-ish since you’re fasted or slightly carb depleted), back off. You want to stay away from the anaerobic pathway. The length of these runs will depend on your baseline endurance, and you’ll soon be able to stay under the aerobic threshold for longer (which is the whole point!). I would add a mile each week to the longest of these runs.

2. One interval session, followed by an active recovery day.Run intervals one day a week – alternating repeat 400 m one week, 800 m the next. Walk or jog for two minutes in between. For the 400s, start with as many as you can comfortably do the first week and add one each week until you are at 12 intervals for the workout; for the 800s, work your way up to 10. On a scale of 1-20 with 20 being the most intense, keep the intensity at about a 14-16. It’s not an all-out sprint, because, well, good luck sprinting 800 meters multiple times, but this is at faster than your intended marathon race pace for sure. The next day, go for a walk or hike or go bike somewhere. Don’t go climb Half Dome or anything. Keep it pretty light.

For the intervals, you’ll definitely want to carb-load the day before. Slam the sweet potatoes and yams, about 400 carb grams worth, since you’ll purposely be blasting through your glycogen that next day.

3. One race-pace run.Here, you’re trying to emulate the race pace without going the actual distance. It’s necessarily higher intensity than your regular runs, just at or slightly above your aerobic threshold. It’s going to be tougher, too, with some glycogen depletion. Don’t expect to pull out your iPhone and check Facebook in the middle of it.

Start with at least two or three miles, or a bit more than whatever length your threshold runs are, and add a mile each week (minimum).

If you plan on doing this barefoot or in minimalist running shoes, be absolutely certain your lower body is acclimated to it. A marathon is a long way for someone whose feet, calves, knees, and hips (with all the connective tissues that go along with said joints and body parts) have only been spending cursory time exercising without protective footwear. Review my post on making the barefoot transition and confirm that your ship is in shape.

Well, that’s what I’ve got. Remember, this is just general advice for the wider public. If you were my client, I’d tailor the training to you, but you’re not. For what it’s worth, this is how I’d train myself I were crazy enough to get back into running marathons, because it’s effective, it’s low-cost, and it’s actually a fairly healthy way to go about training for one. I mean who doesn’t want rockstar mitochondria?

Any runners out there? Any marathoners? How do you train?

Next time, I’ll discuss how to fuel a marathon while staying Primal. And yes, it’s very possible.

Whew, and I didn’t even mention the phrase “Chronic Cardio” once. I’m pretty proud of myself. Thanks for reading.

Mark Sisson

Friday, December 2, 2011

Kelly Slater confirmed in the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau

Kelly Slater has been confirmed in the 27th edition of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. The 10-time world surfing champion was one of the invited riders and will paddle out, if a big swell hits Waimea Bay, in Hawaii, between December 1st and February 29, 2012.

The opening ceremony has already taken place and the elite surfers gave their hands to praise the gods. It’s a rare international sporting event that can have no set date, be held just eight times in a span of 27 years, and still gain strength.

But the lifeblood of the big wave Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau lies in what one man’s life represented: the best that surfing and Hawaii have to offer the world.

The story of Eddie Aikau, a Hawaiian hero who saved and inspired lives as Waimea Bay’s resident lifeguard and big wave charger, continues to touch generations. It’s a story that is told anew each December, when the opening ceremony for the event in his honor takes place on Oahu’s North Shore, as it did yesterday.

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is a one-day big wave surfing event that only runs when, and if, waves at Waimea Bay reach a minimum height of 20 feet. It was last held in December of 2009.

It is a tribute to Aikau, who rode the mountainous waves of Waimea Bay in the late ’60s and early ’70s and saved lives as its first full-time lifeguard. He was lost at sea in 1978, west of the Hawaiian Islands during a voyage of the Polynesian sailing canoe, Hokule’a.

Hokule’a capsized in heavy seas, stranding her crew. Eddie insisted upon paddling for land to get help, but was never seen again.

“There will be waves,” said Hawaiian kahu (priest) Billy Mitchell, in a voice that traveled to the far reaches of the bay. “But those of you here today know that this is about much more than that.

“Eddie had a passion. He had a passion about living and loving the ocean. Whether you surf or you don’t surf, you are drawn to people like Eddie in life. People with big mana (spirit). We have to remember, and we cannot forget, someone who lived this way. Eddie never left people behind. It was his way. We need that in this life, especially now. It’s a way to surf; it’s a way to live.

“This event is Eddie’s story, and it is a ripple in the ocean to travel around the world.” The defending champion is California’s Greg Long. Past champions are Denton Miyamura (Hawaii), Keone Downing (Hawaii), Clyde Aikau (Hawaii), Noah Johnson (Hawaii), Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia), Kelly Slater (USA), and Bruce Irons (Hawaii).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

BA Coaching - Coaching by Bjorn Andersson

"With a career as a professional triathlete spanning over a decade it's now time for a new direction and new goals. Having done triathlons and endurance sports for the better part of my life it's still something I'm very passionate about and I'm happy to stay in the endurance world but now as a coach. With a combination of theoretical knowledge from my university studies and experience from my own career my goal is to offer customized training programs with a personal touch".

Please log onto for more information or contact me at (or just click on the title link)

Bjorn Andersson

About Björn Andersson
With a career as a professional spanning over ten years with several international victories as well as eight national titles, Björn Andersson is one of the most successful triathletes coming out of Sweden.

Career Highlights

•1st Wildflower triathlon
•1st UK 70.3 Ironman
•1st Timberman 70.3 Ironman
•1st Norseman Xtreme triathlon (course record)
•1st Nautica Malibu triathlon
•3rd European championships Ironman 70.3
•8 time national triathlon champion
•Cycling national team time trial champion

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kelly Slater Bids Farewell to San Francisco

The script for the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco probably didn't go down the way Kelly Slater, or anyone else for that matter, pictured it. First Slater wins his 11th World Title on a perfect day at Ocean Beach. Then Slater discovers he didn't win his 11th World Title thanks to an egregious error by the ASP. Then Slater wins his 11th World Title again, this time in a subdued celebration on a cold, windy day. Then Slater is upset by 17-year-old Gabriel Medina of Brazil, who would go on to defeat Australian Joel Parkinson in the finals to win the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco.

Still, if you were a fan of surfing and wanted to see the world's best surfers tackle the strong currents, heavy waves and blustery conditions that often accompany Ocean Beach, chances are you weren't disappointed.

While the drama surrounding Kelly Slater's 11th World Title captured most of the attention, it was the incredible display of surfing at Ocean Beach that stole the show. Surfers like Slater, Medina, Parko, Taylor Knox and Josh Kerr humbled a lot of Ocean Beach regulars who rarely see the deep barrel rides and aerial displays that the pros did with relative ease. Without question, the thousands of spectators that assembled to watch the world's best surfers certainly didn't leave disappointed.

As for Slater, his San Francisco experience could be best described as a mixed bag. On one hand he won his 11th World Title here, and his first celebration was during an unbelievable day when Ocean Beach was offering perfect surfing conditions under clear, beautiful sunny skies with light offshore winds. The crowd went crazy and Slater had a blast later that evening drinking beer and bowling.

While it was Slater himself who discovered the ASP's mathematical error that resulted in Slater having to go back out and win another heat to make his 11th World Title official, out he went during a colder day with stronger currents and choppier waves to make sure that the chase wouldn't leave San Francisco. What did disappoint Slater a little though was losing in the quarterfinals to eventual contest winner Medina, resulting in finishing the contest tied for fifth place.

"I was totally out of sync, but got the job done earlier," said Slater shortly after his quarterfinal heat. "It's always nice to try and win the event if you're in it. I just couldn't put it together out there. I've had three fifths this year. I hate fifth places." Slater chuckled after that last comment, although given Slater's competitive drive he probably wasn't joking that much.

Slater did get a chance to talk about his experience in San Francisco. "I expected a little more fog than we had," said Slater, who has reportedly been staying in nearby Pacifica. "Basically it's about what I thought. We went and saw some of the sights, and went into the city a little bit so far. I think we're a little bit lucky with the water temp. It's a bit warmer than I think it usually is. I was surprised I didn't need booties or gloves. It was about what I thought wave wise, and it's been a good trip."

Slater is rumored to still be in the San Francisco area. Don't be surprised if you run into him in the city, or see him at Candlestick Park Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers host the New York Giants in a pivotal NFC Conference game.

Some other notes and thoughts as the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco has come to a close:

•One of the fascinating aspects of having an ASP World Tour contest in San Francisco was the old school feel of it. On the first day of the contest, with currents running extremely strong going north to south and no PWCs allowed, surfers like Adriano de Souza would catch waves going right, ride them as far in as they could, then run on the beach north before heading back into the water. This is what professional surfers used to do back in the '80s and '90s. Now, most ASP World Tour contests use PWCs to take surfers back to the lineup when currents become an issue. It was fun watching the surfers having to use their legs more than usual.

•Another unusual aspect of having the contest at Ocean Beach was seeing local surfers repeatedly ignore warnings from the loudspeakers by beach commentators to stay away from the contest zone. This rarely if ever occurs at other ASP World Tour events, although it was a more usual occurrence some 20 years ago. On more than one occasion, you had the best surfers in the world sitting literally in a pack of locals, all of whom were fighting for the same wave. Joel Parkinson reportedly had a local cut him off in the opening round. Kelly Slater was also among the competitors who found themselves at times surrounded by local surfers fighting for the same waves.

•Shortly after Kelly Slater's quarterfinal defeat to Medina, San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith and starting offensive linemen Joe Staley and Adam Snyder, a day removed from the 49ers's 19-11 victory over the Washington Redskins, stopped by Ocean Beach to watch the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco. Slater and Smith chatted for a short while. Slater signed autographs for Snyder, a Southern California native who has surfed since high school and owns six surfboards. The 49ers players brought their families along and looked like they were enjoying themselves.

•It was appalling watching ASP CEO Brodie Carr, who came straight to town after the ASP's World Title blunder, celebrating and having beers with ASP Tour Manager Renato Hickel shortly after the completion of the contest. Even though the majority of the surf community doesn't follow the ASP with the same passion and fervor as say a fan of the NFL does, many were clearly outraged over arguably the biggest blunder in ASP history of miscalculating the necessary points needed for the World Title. Carr did the right thing this week, resigning as CEO of the ASP. "It is my duty to accept responsibility for the recent calculation error that resulted in the premature crowning of Kelly Slater's 11th ASP World Title," said Carr. "The determination of the ASP World Title is the most important moment in professional surfing. Ultimately, the responsibility for every activity within ASP lies with me. Therefore, I have elected to resign my position as CEO." Carr wasn't the only person offering his resignation. Hickel offered to resign as well, but his resignation was declined by the ASP board. Carr's decision restores some integrity to the Association of Surfing Professionals.

•Carr's decision to resign as CEO of the ASP came after a meeting of the ASP Board of Directors in San Francisco, at Japantown's Kabuki Hotel. Carr's resignation wasn't the only issue addressed at the meeting. Acording to The Australian, the ASP board decided that starting next year, the ASP will implement drug testing to the World Tour. Details are very vague at this point, including how the tests will be administered and what drugs they will be testing for.

•It was a curious decision by the Rip Curl Pro organizers not to include Fort Point as a San Francisco location in addition to Ocean Beach, especially since a lot of their merchandise had images of Fort Point on them. During one of the lay days, a large number of pro surfers went to Fort Point to try out one of the few good point breaks north of Santa Cruz. The surfers had a great time with San Francisco's iconic left point break.

•Kalani Miller, Kelly Slater's longtime girlfriend, is a million times hotter in person, both in looks and personality. Miller, a former Roxy model who recently started a business called MIKOH Swimwear that has quickly risen in popularity, usually shows up to contests to support her boyfriend. Considering Slater's history of conquests, including Pamela Anderson, Giselle Bundchen, Bar Rafaeli, and Cameron Diaz, one could be a little surprised considering Miller prefers to be out of the limelight. Given Miller's friendly persona and beautiful looks, one can fully understand why Slater is happy settling down.

•Slater and Miller own a rescue dog named Action. When asked what breed the dog is, Miller said, "Mix. We rescued her, so we don't know the breed." Slater was introducing Action to numerous people after his quarterfinal heat, including some kids who were in the athlete area.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bad math or not, Slater's still the best!

Sad but true, Kelly Slater's eleventh World Title will forever be remembered for the ASP's inexplicable inability to properly calculate the standings and prematurely award him the title. When the news broke on Nov. 4 the surf world reacted with collective bafflement, but to be sure, mistakes happen ... and when it comes to sports, they've happened on a much larger scale. So looking to find some context, here's a few officiating slips that might compare:

On June 2, 2010, Detroit Tiger's pitcher Armando Galarraga throws a perfect game into the bottom of the ninth, then umpire Jim Joyce botches a call that would have been the final out of the game. Galarraga still gets the win, but perfection is denied. "I got a perfect game," Galarraga would tell afterwards. "Maybe it's not in the book, but I'm going to show my son the CD."

There's the famous 1979 Rose Bowl in which the USC and Michigan were locked in a down-to-the-wire battle. Tied at 10 points a piece, USC's Charles White fumbled on the one-yard line, which was then recovered by Michigan. But taking place before the institution of instant replay, officials awarded USC the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. USC won the game 17-10.

Another classic is Scotty Pippen's "phantom foul" from Game Five of the 1994 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Knicks. With Michael Jordan off playing baseball, the weight of the Bulls was on Pippen's shoulders. In the closing seconds of the game Chicago was clinging to a narrow lead when referee Hue Hollins called Pippen for a foul against guard Hubert Davis during an unsuccessful three-point attempt. Davis would make all three shots to win the game, but shortly thereafter a photo would emerge that proved without doubt that Pippen had not committed a foul. Ultimately, the Knicks won the series in Game Seven.

In a 1990 NCAA football game Colorado was playing Missouri. On forth down, with seconds remaining, Buffalo quarterback Charles Johnson spiked the ball to stop the clock. Due to the officials not properly changing the down marker, Johnson received an "extra" down and would go in to score a touchdown and win the game. Colorado went on to win the National Championship that season, but not until years later did Coach Bill McCartney call the mistake "truly remorseful."

Of more legendary note, there's the 1927 Heavyweight Boxing Championship against Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey. After upsetting Dempsey in their first fight, the two met again on Sept. 27, 1927, at Chicago's Soldier Field. Tunney was clearly winning the fight after six rounds, but in the seventh Dempsey lands a four-punch combo to knock Tunney down. While referee Dave Barry is moving Dempsey to his corner the timekeeper starts to count. When the ref returns to where Tunney is laying he should begin on the count of six, but instead begins counting at one. Tunney stays on the canvas until the count of nine, when he gets up and continues the fight. Instead of the standard 10 seconds, Tunney gets 15 seconds to recover. He would win the fight by an unanimous 10-round decision.

And finally, in 1972 the U.S. and U.S.S.R. met in the Olympic Basketball finals. With just a couple ticks left on the clock America's Doug Collins is fouled hard while cutting to the hoop. He makes the first free throw, which tied the game. Before shooting his second free throw the buzzer goes off, signaling the end of the game. But the Soviets protest, saying they called timeout before the final buzzer sounded and officials add three seconds to the clock. The Soviets inbound the ball and blow their opportunity, but while the American players are celebrating the Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation orders the refs to reset the clock again because they had put the ball into play before the clock had been officially reset. The Soviets win the game with a lay-up. The Americans are enraged and refuse to claim their silver medals, which still sit in a Swiss vault.

So there you have it, was the bad call that delayed Slater's eleventh World Title the worst call in sports history? Hardly. Embarrassing to be sure, but at the end of the day, the right guy won. And while the ASP may have some work to do polishing its image, as they say, no harm, no foul. Slater's still the best, and there's no denying that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kelly Slater Wins World Title Number 11

"something magical happened," Kelly Slater told the crowd in his moment of triumph, and he spoke not just for himself, but for the nearly 2,000 people who showed up at Ocean Beach on Wednesday to watch one of history's greatest athletes clinch his 11th world title on the pro surfing tour.

Slater was carried up the beach on the shoulders of two friends, having won his Round 3 heat in the Rip Curl Pro Search event to clinch at least ninth place in the event, which mathematically secures the world title. A constant refrain could be heard from longtime members of the Bay Area surf community: "I can't believe it happened here."

Ocean Beach will never be a popular destination among travel-minded surfers. With its punishing surf, shifting currents and utter unpredictability, it's not even on many locals' radar. But it came to life in all its autumnal glory Wednesday, with balmy weather, offshore winds and gorgeous, blue-green waves up to eight feet on the face.

"Look at this," said Slater, surveying the breadth of Ocean Beach to the south. "The whole beach is just going off."

Just two days before, Slater stood at the site in cold, gloomy conditions and pictured "a ghost town" when the contest began. "I literally wondered if anyone would show up," he said. "And I didn't know what to expect. I'd been hearing all these rumors about people (grumpy locals) messing with the event. But everybody's been so cool. The turnout was incredible. I've had kids coming up to me saying, 'I'm so stoked to have you at our home break.' It's a very special time."

Most special of all, perhaps, is Slater's place in sports history. It may startle you to realize this, but by significant measure - absolute dominance over a long period of time - he is the greatest athlete of all time.

Slater won his first world championship in 1992, and his 2011 title - at the age of 39 - marks a 20-year span. Only briefly, during that entire time, has anyone been considered even close to Slater in reputation and competitive performance. That was the late Andy Irons, a three-time world champion who died of heart failure a year ago Wednesday.

Irons won his three titles consecutively (2002 to '04), but in two of those years Slater was in semi-retirement and not a presence on tour. And it's safe to say that at no point in those 20 years, no matter what the circumstances, did Slater lose his global reputation as the world's best.

Who else can say that? Not Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali or Roger Federer. Most of the great ones were immersed in rivalries: Ali-Joe Frazier, Federer-Rafael Nadal, Jack Nicklaus-Arnold Palmer, Magic Johnson-Larry Bird. And even among those who had no peers - the likes of Woods, Jordan and Gretzky - the dominance wasn't sustained for 20 years.

The subject of pure athletic ability is a matter of personal taste. Most would find it distasteful to bring a surfer into any conversation that concerns hitting a baseball, carrying a football into a den of violence, or standing up to 12 rounds of prizefight punishment. The comparisons hardly seem appropriate.

On the other hand, give me any living athlete in the pantheon of his sport, and let me unveil some Slater footage: dropping into a 20-foot Pipeline wave, winning the prestigious Eddie Aikau event at Waimea Bay, taking on the almost mythically dangerous reef break at Teahupo'o, Tahiti. I'll guarantee you that person's mind will be blown. Slater may have finessed his way to glory in front of the Ocean Beach crowd, but this is a serious, relentless competitor in life-threatening conditions as extreme as any sport can provide.

Fittingly, there was high drama to Slater's Round 3 heat against Australia's Dan Ross, who had the lead until the last four minutes. At that point, Slater needed a score of 6.88 (on a scale of 10) to win the man-on-man heat. At about the 3:45 mark, he picked off an ordinary wave and tore it apart with a sequence of strong, well-timed maneuvers. "Not a great wave," someone remarked in the press area, "until Kelly made it great."

With about a minute to go, the judges' score came through: 7.60. Ross was fully capable of taking back the lead, but with the seconds counting down and the sea gone quiet, he never got the chance.

Whisked onto a podium for interviews, Slater heard many questions about his age. "To me, it's literally just a number," he said. "You see people 100 years old and you can't believe they lived that long, but to them, it's not baffling. I don't see why at 50 I can't be in better shape than I am right now. I think I'm going to be. That's what I'd like to represent. I mean, 39 is young to half the people in this world."

As he talked, everyone took a glance back at the ocean. After hours and hours of pure conditions, the wind was changing. Just a slight hint of onshore flow.

For the fanciful at heart, it was something magical, a sign that nothing could change until Slater clinched his title, the power of which would draw those contrary winds toward shore like a magnet.

Naturally, that's not what really happened. No way, right? Of course not.

Wednesday's highlights
-- Before the contest, some 40 surfers paddled out and gathered in a circle to pay tribute to Andy Irons, the three-time world champion who died a year ago Wednesday. Irons, who had taken ill during a contest in Puerto Rico, died of heart failure in a Dallas hotel room en route home to his native Kauai.

-- Dusty Payne, the 22-year-old Hawaiian surfer who claimed to have seen a shark during his first-round heat Tuesday, lost his man-on-man heat to Brazil's Raoni Monteiro and was eliminated from the contest.

-- Australia's Kieren Perrow had a huge day, knocking off former world champion Mick Fanning in the morning (Round 2) and world No. 3 Adriano de Souza in the afternoon (Round 3).

-- Legendary bodysurfer Mark Cunningham, visiting from Hawaii to witness the event, walked about a mile to the south of the contest site to join Dan Malloy, Tim Reyes, Steve Dwyer, Ryan Seelbach and local mainstay Kevin Starr, among others, in an all-star morning session.

-- Kelly Slater's triumph made it feel as if the contest had ended, but in fact, the climactic rounds are at hand. There's little chance of it resuming today, with smaller surf and contrary (northwest) winds predicted, and it may be several days before the northwesterlies subside.

Best of the best
To be at the top of your sport for two decades, as Kelly Slater has been for surfing, is hard to imagine. Here are some other athletes who dominated their sports, and how long they were able to sustain that dominance (years approximate in some cases):

Tiger Woods, golf: 12 years

Roger Federer, tennis: 8 years

Wayne Gretzky, hockey: 10 years

Bill Russell, NBA: 13 years

Michael Jordan, NBA: 8 years

Jerry Rice, NFL: 10 years

Edwin Moses, 400-meter hurdles: 10 years

Eddy Merckx, cycling: 12 years

Alexander Karelin, Greco-Roman wrestling heavyweight: 13 years

Carl Lewis, long jump: 16 years

Babe Ruth, baseball: 13 years

John Force, drag racing: 21 years

Pele, soccer: 13 years

Michael Schumacher, Formula 1: 11 years

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lance Armstrong at Xterra World Champs

KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Lance Armstrong crashed and hit his head with about a mile to go in the mountain-bike ride and faded from second to 23rd in the running leg of the XTERRA World Championship, with Austria's Michael Weiss finishing strong to win the off-road triathlon Sunday.

"I just crashed, crashed as we were coming back," the 40-year-old Armstrong said. "I hit it harder than I thought because I stood there for a while taking inventory, trying to remember my name. That probably took a little out of me, obviously, took a little out of me standing there for a minute or so. I have never hit my head that hard before."

Weiss completed the mile ocean swim, 18.3-mile mountain-bike ride and 6.1-mile trail run in 2 hours, 27 minutes. South Africa's Dan Hugo was second, 33 seconds back, and Eneko Llanos of Spain was third.

Armstrong finished in 2:36:59.

The seven-time Tour de France winner, fifth in the XTERRA USA Championship in Utah last month in his first triathlon in 22 years, faded badly in the run on a day where the temperature reached 90 degrees.

"Everybody paid the price on the run, even Weiss, who can run," Armstrong said. "It's just a damn hard course, a death march."

Weiss passed Armstrong about 14 miles into the bike leg.

"I can just say it is an honor for me to race Lance," said Weiss, a 2004 Olympian in mountain biking for Austria. "I outrode him on the bike, from my point of view."

South Africa's Conrad "The Caveman" Stoltz, the South African who won his fourth title in the event last year, dropped out on the third mile of the run.

Lesley Paterson of San Diego won the women's race.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The 25th Annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon

The 25th Annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon was held on September 17&18th at Zuma Beach. This year's events included a Classic Distance and International Distance triathlon, as well as the Nautica Kid's Run and Tot Trot. Congratulations to all athletes that joined us on the shores of Malibu, CA. Together we raised over $1.1 million for Children's Hospital Los Angeles and its pediatric cancer research program.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dave Zabriskie - Do I Even Tri?

By: DZ

I’ve often been asked if I’ve ever done a Triathlon and always reply with some explanation that includes how much I’m looking forward to it, one day. Well my first opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago as I was invited to join the Goo Goo Dolls relay team at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon ( Having never competed before I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, and certainly didn’t know that these triathlon’s are early morning events. Really early. I was up at 4:00am and Googled the earliest opening Starbucks in my area because I was too out of it to even make coffee. I’m not sure I really want to be the first customer of the day at Starbucks and I didn’t feel like they were entirely happy to see me around 4:30am. I arrived at the race course and was thrilled to see that the TV Show The Office would have a team competing in the celebrity relay division as well. I thought it was rather cool that I would be racing against Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). I asked my teammates how seriously we were taking this and was told the goal was to win. Well OK…stupid question. We gave it our best shot. I put myself at near maximum effort on the bike and we beat the team from The Office as well as the very fast guys from the TV show Franklin & Bash. But glory was not be ours as we took 2nd on the day after the swim, bike and run, losing to the Glades team. I enjoyed the heck out of myself, thanks for having me guys, and look forward to competing once again.


For more on Dave Zabriskie make sure to check out his site at ( or click on the title link.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alberto Contador Rides With Fans In Sausalito, California

Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador met fans and the media Tuesday in Sausalito and Tiburon and called for more involvement in anti-doping regulation for riders. Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) said he was confident that the Court of Arbitration for Sport would rule in his favor over a 2010 clenbuterol charge next month and that the World Anti-Doping Agency would soon implement new standards for the drug in its code.

In a 40-minute question and answer session with a small group of journalists in the small Bay Area town, Contador was relaxed, flanked by his brother Fran and Specialized Racing road team manager Simone Toccafondi. After back-to-back group rides out of nearby Sausalito — the second seeing more than 100 riders meet at Mike’s Bikes and follow the Spaniard for a hard, sometimes harrowing loop in Marin County — the three-time Tour de France champion answered a run of questions about his 2012 race plans, the new Specialized Tarmac SL4 and his ongoing clenbuterol case.

To read the whole interview please click on the title link.

Monday, October 3, 2011

2011 Levi Leipheimer King Ridge GranFondo

Like a Pied Piper on two wheels in a red, black and white Team RadioShack jersey, pro racer and hometown hero Leipheimer exhorted the crowd to stay safe and enjoy.

“This is the best day of the year for all of us,” he said, a grin on his face.

The inaugural year in 2009 sold out at 3,500 riders. Last year, 6,000 participants signed up. This year, the number jumped to 7,500, and every spot was snapped up.

The day was marred by several crashes, with helicopters taking one rider from Hillsborough and a couple from Canada to the hospital after they spilled on the steep and demanding King Ridge Road.

But for the vast assemblage of cyclists, the GranFondo has become a celebration not only of cycling, but of a community that turns out to embrace the sport, support the event’s charitable causes and celebrate one of the nation’s most beautiful cycling destinations.

Along with the Amgen Tour of California, which starts next year in Santa Rosa, Levi’s ride tells the cycling world it is welcome here, organizers said.

“It’s so much more than a bike ride,” said master of ceremonies David Towle, a nationally known cycling announcer in his second year at the GranFondo microphone.

The start was smooth, if prolonged, once Towle launched the third annual ride with a booming “Andiamo!”

It took a little more than 30 minutes for the last bicycle to reach the starting gate behind a sea of riders spread across both northbound lanes of Stony Point Road. Many had taken up positions more than a hour earlier to make sure they set off with the faster riders.

“Last year, I did it on a whim,” Washington, D.C., resident Chris Kawolics said. He figured it would be fun, but that the cost and hassle of shipping his bike would mean it was a one-time trip.

“This year, as soon as the website opened up, I was on it,” he said.

Fashioned after an Italian cycling tradition, the GranFondo — Italian for “great ride” — is a noncompetitive, group ride that combines fun, camaraderie, scenery and some killer hills.

The three courses ranged in difficulty from the grueling, 103-mile “gran” ride with quad-busting grades like King Ridge Road and 8,500 feet of vertical climb, to the 65-mile “medio” ride from the coast and back over Coleman Valley Road, to the “piccolo,” a more leisurely 35-mile tour of pastoral Sonoma County.

Event Director Carlos Perez, publisher and editor of Bike Monkey Magazine, said it was stunning to look out on the sea of humanity gathered “because Levi Leipheimer just had a morsel of an idea in his head.”

Cycling resonates with the outdoorsy, Wine Country, green lifestyle of Sonoma County, she said. The fondo’s fundraising purpose also appeals to a populace known for volunteerism and supporting nonprofits. “I don’t know another event that hits on all the metrics like that,” Towle said.

Last year, the fondo contributed $175,000 to local cycling initiatives and stake money for Santa Rosa’s role in the Amgen race. Other charities include community public service agencies and school programs, Forget Me Not Farm, where abused kids find comfort in working with animals, and Livestrong, founded by famed cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong.

Actor and avid cyclist Patrick Dempsey, now a two-year veteran of Leipheimer’s ride, which offers reciprocal support for Dempsey’s cancer foundation, noted seeing about 30 school kids riding bikes on the Santa Rosa Creek trail behind his hotel on Friday.

“It’s so beautiful to see that the cycling community is so supportive here,” he said. “And the countryside is gorgeous.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Team "Goo Goo Dolls - DZ Nuts" Takes 2nd Overall At The Malibu Celebrity Triathlon

Mike Malinin, Tom Hodge and Dave Zabriskie of team "Goo Goo Dolls - DZ Nuts"

While only one person could be named the official winner of the 25th Annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon, all who showed up to Zuma Beach left with a sense of victory as the competition raised more than $1.1 million for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. With attendees and competitors including celebrities, athletes, philanthropists and organizations, a good time was had by all with a common good cause in mind.

In addition to the abundance of spectators, stars came out to support and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Ali Vincent came in first in the celebrity female division with a time of 2:09:21, and Ryan Sutter came in first in the celebrity male division with a time of 1:33:04. Team The Lying Game brought home the victory in the Celebrity Co-Ed Relay Division with a time of 1:26:30. Also competing in the Celebrity Division were: Mike Malinin, Dave Zabriskie, Tom Hodge of team "Goo Goo Dolls - DZ Nuts", Ed Helms, Rainn Wilson, Jon Cryer, Mark Paul Gosselaar, Chris Harrison, Natalie Morales and Tiffani Thiessen, to name a few.

Team Herbalife won the Classic Non-Celebrity Co-Ed Relay Division. Other teams who participated include "Goo Goo Dolls - DZ Nuts", "The Office" team in addition to teams "The Today Show," "KTLA," "Private Practice," and "The Bold and the Beautiful."

Swim/Tom Hodge - Time :11:55

Bike/Dave Zabriskie - Time :36:53....29.2 MPH (DZ shattered the bike record)

Run/Mike Malinin - Time :27:57

Overall Time 1:19:37

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Team "Goo Goo Dolls - DZ Nuts" Takes On The 2011 Malibu Celebrity Triathlon

Team "Goo Goo Dolls - DZ Nuts" will be taking on the 2011 Malibu Celebrity triathlon this weekend. The team is lead by Mike Malinin of the Goo Goo Dolls as the runner, Dave Zabriskie of team Garmin Cervelo as the cyclist and Recovox's own Tom Hodge as the swimmer.

Tom Hodge and Mike Malinin

September 18, 2011 marks the 25th Nautica Malibu Triathlon, one of Southern California’s most anticipated competitions. Hosting some of the world’s finest athletes, philanthropists and celebrities, this event raises money for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Pediatric Cancer Research Program.

The triathlon event course consists of a Classic distance race that is made up of a half-mile ocean swim in the Pacific Ocean, 18-mile bike ride and four-mile run through Zuma Beach in Malibu, California.

For the fifth year, proceeds from the Nautica Malibu Triathlon will benefit the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and its Pediatric Cancer Research Program. Last year, the event raised more than $1,000,000 for the program, with the help of celebrity participants including Teri Hatcher, Gilles Marini, Julie Bowen and James Marsden.

“Each year we see so many inspiring and moving stories unfold at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, which make all of our efforts worthwhile,” said Michael Epstein, president of Michael Epstein Sports Productions, Inc. (MESP.) “Year after year the triathlon continues to be successful thanks to all of the hard working participants, teams and sponsors.”

“We are so excited for the 25th anniversary of the Nautica Malibu Triathlon as it is one of the leading athletic events in Southern California,” said Karen Murray, President of Nautica. “We love seeing the community come together to support the amazing research and work that the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles does, and look forward to raising even more funds and awareness for this cause.”

Dedicated to curing and preventing childhood cancers, the Pediatric Cancer Research Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles provides groundbreaking treatments and therapies for children with some of the most serious and life-threatening forms of cancers.

With Dave Zabriskie on board as the teams cyclist, Team "Goo Goo Dolls - DZ Nuts" is sure to set a pace that will be hard to beat. Stay tuned to see how it all unfolds this Sunday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kelly Slater's 360s worth $100,000 at surfing's U.S. Open

Kelly Slater turned a couple of big-air 360 reverses into a huge payday Sunday, winning the 2011 Nike U.S. Open of Surfing contest in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Facing Australia's Yadin Nicol in the final, Slater opened up with an 8.50 ride and never trailed, winning 16.27 to 2.57 to collect the $100,000 top prize.

It was the Cocoa Beach surfer's first U.S. Open win since defeating Shane Beschen 15 years ago.

"I guess Yadin wanted me to win because he didn't catch any waves," Slater said. "This gives me confidence."

Heading next to Tahiti on the world circuit, Slater finds himself sixth in the rankings just before the midway point of the season. The 10-time world champion skipped the previous event in South Africa to chase better waves.

The 360s were close to perfect.

"I don't practice them in free-surfing, you can get hurt," he said. "But I stuck a couple of them."

Nicol is on the "bubble" trying to qualify for the world tour.

"I was just really frustrated for him because he was sitting out the back waiting for the big sets and the big sets were close-outs," Slater said. "The small ones, he was just too far outside and I got them. I think what happened is, I got the 8.50 to start and he was just going to be patient. If he got a good one, he would have thrown a big rotator, but it just never came."

In the semifinals, Slater defeated Hawaii's Dusty Payne 17.94 to 14.90, and in the quarterfinals he defeated longtime rival Taj Burrow of Australia 15.50 to 15.27.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tour Stars confirmed for USA Cycling Challenge

Cadel Evans (BMC), Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek) and Frank Schleck are all down to ride the USA Pro Cycling Challenge according to announcement released by the race organisation on Tuesday. The news means that the top-three of the Tour de France will all be riding in Colorado.

Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) have also been confirmed to ride, adding to one of the strongest fields to attend a US race.

"The confirmed participation of the sport’s premiere athletes is a monumental achievement for the event in its first year," said Sean Petty, Chief Operating Officer for USA Cycling. "It shows the interest and intrigue in what will prove to be an epic battle through the Colorado Rockies."

Shawn Hunter, co-chairman of the race organisation explained that the idea was always to set the bar high for the race’s debut later this month.

"Our goal is to assemble one of the best competitive fields an American professional stage race has ever seen," said Hunter. "This is a great moment of truth for the sport in America and for our race. To have secured such an incredible lineup of teams along with the greatest riders in the world is a credit to what the owners have committed to do in the event’s inaugural year."

The announcement sees Evans return to racing in the US after a four year exodus. Colorado will be Evans’s last race of the season, and the former world champion will be looking to cap off a stellar season in style.

"I've heard good things about the race in Colorado and I know it won't be easy. But I'm up for one more challenge," said Evans.

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is set to begin on August 22 with a 8.2km prologue around Colorado Springs.