Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bio Hacking, Mind Hacking Living a long Life

I have written much lately because I am in learning mode and that sometimes replaces writing mode. What am I working on:

Bio Hacking - my own of course. I am not the guy who lost 300 pounds and lived to tell you about it. I am the guy who has a brother with ALL, a father who passed away from heart disease and a mother with Alziemer' s. Quite a bag to choose from. So I am working on finding the things that make me feel good and work towards providing me physical and mental energy. Recently I have added a great deal more fat into my diet and it feels good. I also quickly dropped weight which was not planned but not bad either. My inspiration is a bit of mix, Vinnie Tortorich, Dave Asprey and Ben Greenfield. All available on podcast' I have also added a huge variety of plants to my diet and that is thanks to Rich Roll. More on this as I learn.

My mind work has been concentrating on Zen. I am fascinated with the calmness it offers. Here I am reading Leo Babuta and again listening to Dave Asprey. I spend a good amount of time deep breathing. I have no plans right now to become a.Zen master but I won't rule it out.

I believe my long term health is tied to my food choice and keeping my mind calm and constantly learning.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Two Life Saving Apps

I am not a huge app guy. My phone is relatively empty of them. There are two that I use daily.

Evernote: I am trying to rid myself of paper. I have stacks of notebooks that are training logs, work notes and journals. This blog became my journal and I have yet to give up pen and paper for my log but I am 80% paper free at work and a big part of this is Evernote. All my meeting notes and daily notes are put in here directly. I have notes for each retailer, the factories and employee. Business cards are a nightmare. I simply take a picture and it's filed in the correct place for future. Best of all is it's virtual so I have access to it on my phone, my work computer and this here Kindle.

Stress Doctor: I believe this is an I Phone app only. With stress doctor you are taking a daily resting heart rate and establishing a breathing pattern. The better the pattern, the more rewards or indicators that you are in low stress. It takes a few days to establish the patterns but once there it's gold. You wake up feeling great and rested, stress doctor will confirm it. You wake up feeling slow, stress doctor can confirm it. For an athlete you can use it to determine whether you need to back off or conversely pour it on. For the non-athlete (although Nike says "if you have a body, you are an athlete"), the stress doctor is probably better  because as you know stress can kill. There are lots of apps for this purpose, I found this to be the easiest to use and understand.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Runnig Shoe Testing

It's that time again. There are no new Zoot shoes to test so I am out testing the competition again. Lots of news on Hoka One One and always on Newton. I reserve the weekends to test so this weekend I ran in the Hoka Stinson for 10 miles and the Newton Energy for4 miles.

Stinson -the take on Hoka is that the shoes are working for tired worn out runners. I can see why this is the case. That much soft cushioning feels good on an old body. The shoe is built with your foot some 40 mm off the ground. It has a slight rocker so it rolls more than it flexes. This doesn't work for my left foot. In needs to flex. If it can't it goes numb. The other downside for this runner is my narrow feet. Really I couldn't get the upper tight enough. On one occasion my right foot landed awkward causing the shoe to roll. Because of the loose fit the shoe rolled but my foot did not. I guess that is a good thing. Other than those two things the shoes were fine. I kept thinking and still believe you have to be a large runner or one loaded with muscle. A skinny runner like myself can't transition through the shoe very well. I found my feet were tired at the end.

Energy - now I don't think 4 miles is enough but I do believe in first impressions. This shoe is built as a transition shoe from your normal running shoe to Newton. In other words not supposed to put heavy strain on your lower leg. I sure did not feel that strain coming like I do in normal Newton. I like my shoes tight on my feet and I can do that with these shoes. However when they were tight I could feel the forefoot technology digging into the bottom of my feet. Only when I losenened upper did this go away.  The shoe felt responsive to run in but to me it runs loud. I need more running to give a full verdict but I don't see anyone jumping out of their Brooks to give these a go.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Parenting and Athletics

I read a post written by Gordo Burn about parenting

The general sentiment is that a child has one childhood and it doesn't mix well with elite athletics. I have my own view and a bit of experience in my time as a father. I don't consider myself elite although I have had success at long distance racing. 3 times at Ironman Hawaii and 2 more times letting the slot roll down past my name. 2 of those Hawaii visits and the other 2 roll downs have all been as a father. Some observations and things I have done:


  1. I would never trade growing up with our son. I have been involved since the day he was born. For close to two years my wife and I alternated the midnight or whatever calling. 
  2. We still do this only now it's homework or all the extra curricular things.
  3. I can count on one hand the games or meets I have missed due to travel.
  4. We committed early to take him with us and we have. He has been to more countries than most adults and to more states then most Americans.
  5. He's almost 15 and our family bond continues to be strong. I think it's partly because we have allowed him and enjoy it when he teaches us.
Athletics and Parenthood
  1. If your single (no spouse or child) training consisted of mega miles you have to learn to replace them with hard miles.
  2. During the summer the sun comes out at 6am. It's good to be an hour into a workout by then. If it means spending the first our of a 5 hour ride on the trainer that is what you do.
  3. You like me got into sport because of friends or you made training friends along the way. They will understand that you can't meet for a 5 hour ride at 8 am on Saturday. If they don't they aren't really your friends.
  4. You have to be the master time freak at work. Your time is everything so keep everyone on task in meetings with a start time and hard end time. Stay off the internet during work. Just get your shit done in the shortest amount of time. The rest of your work can be done via smart phone.
  5. Stay off social media hourly and turn off all social media notifications.
  6. Stay consistent with your training. 
  7. Ride or run to family functions. Your family will appreciate this.
I think the best person to talk to would be my son but he's upstairs with the music blaring and I love it because we both love music.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Suffer Fest

There are lots of theories about becoming a better bike rider. Bike fit, long miles, time I the saddle etc. These are all correct but what works for me and has worked through the years is going hard. I remember one race I did in Big Bear California. I committed to crazy hill repeats where I could barely stand on the pedals by the end of each session. I had the best race ever finishing second overall. So this block of training will include at least twice a week of Suffer Fest training.

Let the suffering begin!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cut the Crap

No grains, no sugar and cut the crap....Vinnie Tortorich - Fitness Confidential

Before you read his book I think it would help to listen to his podcast. Just search Vinnie Tortorich. He writes like he talks so I think you'll understand the randomness of the book if you hear him speak.

I love the message

  1. There is no easy way in fact he uses the JFK saying "we don't do it because it is easy we do it because it is hard"
  2. None of the marketing crap works - No diet food No Ab Buster and steroids work but they will kill you.
  3. No grains, no sugar is the easiest thing you could ever do. Said differently eat meat, veggies and fruit and nothing else. There are an abundant of choices in those options.
It's a good life..

Monday, July 8, 2013

5 Things I Learned on My Paddle Board

Today was my maiden voyage on my new paddle board (SUP). I have been on a few different boards in California and on two islands in Hawaii. I was first introduced to this activity by entering a race. This was before stand up so we were prone or on our knees. So today was the first time on a Stand Up straight off the beach in my home of Cardiff by the Sea.

What I learned

  1. I love the water and SUP is a great way to enjoy it
  2. The guys and girls in Cardiff make it look easy. It is not and it will take time to negotiate surf and to get paddling strong.
  3. In the one race I did I took a few glances back towards the beach and sat in awe of the beauty. There is a peace being out there on a board. I felt that again tonight.
  4. A couple times a week and there will be no need to do any functional strength for Ironman. It's built in!
  5. Sea legs are important on the water. It's something that only practice can improve.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe Countdown week #1

Last week off the plane from Asia I jumped into a bike load weekend. First off my thoughts are with the passengers of the flight that crashed in San Fran. I have landed there from Asia at least 20 times in the last 3 years and it was there where I entered the country last week.

The day after I landed I rolled out 4 hours on the coast. No hills to speak of so basically 4 hours of pedaling. I started the day with an hour in the pool so it was a big day jet lagged. Saturday I rode another 4 hours and this time it was in the big hills. I hadn't paid attention to the weather and wasn't that a mistake. I later found out that it was well over 100 _ for most of my ride. Normally I run off the bike but this time I decided to wait until it got cooler.

Sunday I made my way through 90 minutes of running. It was not pleasant but it got done.

This week has been a standard week. Well kind of standard. My Thursday swim was replaced with a Holiday 10k. I am pleased to report it was my fastest 10k in 6 years. That is good considering the difficult course. It was also a question if I would do it because the Jet lag hung around most of the early part of the week.

Today the Breakaway Trainging group train went by me and I decided to latch on. It felt good to know I could hold their wheel for the 20 minutes we were together. They were moving when they went by.

Another 90 minutes of running awaits tomorrow and week #1 will be done. Good response of the body.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sleep is not Over-Rated

Yesterday I raced the Old Pro 10K. When I'm in town on the 4th of July this is a normal start to the day. I woke up at my normal time, had my normal wake up routine and was back in bed dead to the world. I shot out of bed at 5:40am and said I will feel better if I ran the race. So I did. Warming up with a friend we got to talking about his recent work trip to Boulder, CO. Then we got on to the day at hand. I asked him what he was doing for the 4th. He said, "I'm just trying to have a normal day to see if I can recover from that trip". Here I was just one week after traveling 1/2 way around the world, not one bit in normal time and warming up to race. I ran the race, got home and went to sleep. Last night I played in mellow since my family is in a different country this week and I slept. 9 hours I did. What did this tell me:

  1. There is no easy way to recover from a long trip. The only answer is sleep. 
  2. You have to be ready to do it, you can't force yourself to sleep, it does not work. 
  3. Once it hits you, let it (the sleep) happen. 
I have noticed that I've been a complete crab this week. Short on patience and just plain moody. A complete lack of sleep for 2+ weeks with the attempt to jump into a normal routine is a disaster waiting to happen. Yesterday it hit me and sleep I did. One more day of that and maybe I'll be back to a "normal" feeling of life. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Time: Take Time to Fix Your Body

This is the 604th Blog Post on this Blog. This may be the most important post ever. In the last 2 days I've talked to 10 runners or so. Virtually every conversation was about Injury. Not mine but theirs or at least someone they know. What makes me the magnet to all of these injured runners, I'm not sure but there is a history here. Not to long ago I worked at Road Runner Sports. In the late 90's or early 00's a magazine was started for the very large Run America Club. One of the Publishers (Bob Babbitt) asked me to host a column in the magazine that would be a Q & A. He said, "it will be great, they will send in questions about running shoes, and you'll answer them, we'll call you Super Dave." I was not super excited about the idea but I've always been proud of the fact that I'll do what it takes. So the magazine went out and the questions rolled in. But 70-80% of the questions had nothing to do with running shoes. They were all questions about running injuries. Using my spare time like I do here I researched every injury and tried to answer the questions. The feedback was amazing, people used what I said and liked it. I still have all the questions and answers and by the time the magazine stopped publication there were over 5,000 injury questions that had been answered. So although I'm not a doctor, a coach or anything but a shoe guy, I've got some experience with injured runners.

Here's what I found out:

  1. Running hurts runners - Running too fast, too soon, too long or too stupid injures runners. 
  2. Running shoes won't cure it - Not even those Moon looking running shoes that all the old guys are swearing by right now. Because of #1 even in those shoes Runners will get injured. 
  3. Once you are injured it sucks and it's hard to get rid of it. 
  4. The best way to stay injury free is run smart and spend the extra time on your body. 
The subject of this post is Take Time to Fix Your Body
Here's the short list.
  1. A good chiropractor
  2. A good Massage Therapist
  3. A good strength/balance trainer if your are not in balance
  4. Becoming a Supple Leopard
I was first introduced to Dr. Kelly Starrett on the internet. He does these great videos called MobilityWOD. I have written about them in the past. His belief that comes from years of working with athletes in his gym and around the world  is that if you spend 15 minutes a day working out the kinks you will become much more adept at doing the things you love. If you don't work out the kinks and spend time running too fast too soon, too long,and or  too stupid you will get injured. Just recently Kelly released a Book about all of this. Go to your local book store and buy it. It's the best $58 you'll spend on your running.

The book works like a home repair book. You find the body part that is stiff and let's face it you are a runner or a triathlete it's most of your body, and you'll find a description of your pain, a description of what you should really feel like and then a progression of work you can do on the stiffness. I have a standard set of parts of my body I work on. I've done it since I met MobilityWOD. But now almost daily I notice something else and I go to the book, look it up and add it to my routine. I also use many of the techniques before I run and swim. Especially on my feet. It works wonders to make those first 5 minutes of either effort so much nicer.

If this post helps one person stay injury free this year than it's been a wild success. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

1 thing you need to know to Run Fast

Watch Mo Farah run and emulate it. I had the honor one day of talking to Mo over the phone. I know my phone skills are challenged and he is a soft talker and it doesn't help. But anyway I was in China and he was home in the UK. We knew then that he was a star in the making. I don't think any of us knew he would be this good. Are you kidding me. He ran 2:23 for the last 1K and ran 53.2 over the final 400. Just go out on the track and emulate that running, you will run faster.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Perfect Business Tool: 4 Great Things about the I Phone 5

When our son was little he like many kids had his Binky. On one of the many trips we have taken, we forgot to bring it. He was fussy for a day or so and then he no longer needed it. The same thing happened to me with the check book. I ran out of checks one day and decided two weeks to get new checks was too long, so I stopped writing checks. That was 12 years ago.

Just over a week ago while on my two week business trip my computer hard drive crashed. At first it was devastating. I had a big meeting with a factory and didn't have the agenda I sent out or any of the back up information I may need. What I had was my new I Phone 5 and the loss of the computer forced me to figure out the business applications for the phone. Below are the top 5 things I learned:

  1.  I have two email accounts one for business and one personal and each was emptied daily. It's always my goal to end the day with no email in my inbox and the I Phone simply makes that easy. 
  2. Pod Casts - I'm a big user of Pod Casts. Business, personal interest and news. I set up my subscriptions and when the phone connects to Wi Fi it gives me anything new. Great for the 90 minute train ride from Hong Kong to Guanzhou or for the Daily Subway ride in the city. 
  3. Notes - No agenda no problem. I recreated the agenda in notes and during the two days in the factory I filled in the talking points in the Agenda. At 6 pm on the second day I sent the notes via email (I love that function) and everyone in the meeting and back at the home offices were informed of what happened. 
  4. Google Maps - If you don't have this on I phone get it. The I Phone Maps works well if you are walking but Google works great if you are driving. The new functions make it absolutely the best when you are in a city you don't know. 

Notice there is no mention of Photo's, Instagram, Twitter etc. I actually liked my Android better for all of that. Photos were loaded directly from the phone to my Google account and then could be shared anywhere including on this Blog. But that is minor compared to the 4 above. Now when I travel I'm not taking my computer. It can sit at home and rest while me and my phone do all the work.