Ironman Kona Training · Training

All About That “Base”


With exactly 6 months to go until Kona I thought this would be a great time to jump-start the blog which, going forward, will include training updates, stories, photos, and plant-powered motivation. Thanks for following along as I get ready for Ironman #2, the Ironman World Championship!

The Last 4 Months

So what have I been up to since Ironman Cozumel? Relaxing and starting to build a training base. Highlights include biking 428 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles over 4 days in January, Wildflower training weekend with the Golden Gate Triathlon Club, and swim clinics with former Olympian Allison Wagner.

This time ‘off’ has also given me more time to properly recover from Ironman, relax, go on dates(!), re-connect with friends, move apartments, explore the Bay Area, go to Happy Hours, indulge in chocolate and beer tours, spend time with my niece and nephews, stay up too late, and put my feet up (hellooo extra 10 pounds!).

Spent a lot of time this winter at Ale Arsenal and  Gourmet Haus Staudt :-)
Spent a lot of time this winter at Ale Arsenal and Gourmet Haus Staudt 🙂

I took a solid 2 months completely off from training which was hard but probably necessary to recover and avoid burn-out & injury this year. I even decided to skip a couple races in lieu of extra recovery. I re-hired Duane Franks from Trifiniti as my coach this year and we’ve been working on building a base for the last 2 months. All-in-all I’m SO ready to put in the hard work for Kona!

SF to LA

Digging into the Coast Ride a little bit, I want to talk about this because it was a huge milestone for me and probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done (yes, possibly even harder than Ironman!).

I had been sick for 2 weeks with strep throat and a cold leading up to coast ride, and hadn’t been on my bike since Cozumel, so I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to do it. But I knew I could bike at least 1 mile. I didn’t know if I could bike 450, but I knew there was some distance between those two numbers that I could do. It turns out 428 was the magic number (I skipped a few sections to make it in before dark). Check out my Strava maps for more details on the routes.

In SF and ready to bike to LA!
In SF and ready to bike to LA!

I rode with about 20 other people and it was all organized by Chris Hauth and SAGMonkey (both were WONDERFUL!!!) They provided homemade food, hydration, words of motivation, advice, and FUN the entire way. It was so great to be surrounded by hard-working and down-to-earth cyclists and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Enjoying an amazing home-cooked group dinner together
Enjoying an amazing home-cooked group dinner together

We basically rode 100+ miles from sun-up to sun-down each day and took breaks as necessary. We rode along the coast on Highway 1 almost the entire time and were met with the most spectacular views of the ocean I’ve ever seen. The advantage of seeing the coast from a bike is that you can really experience it. I could hear the ocean, let the sun beat down on me, and see the views slowly. I highly recommend it.

I <3 California
Stunning coast line

The hardest parts each day were getting back on the saddle and miles 1-20. I wasn’t alone on this — everyone’s butts were hurting after day 2 and our muscles were sore. I had never ridden my bike back-to-back before, so wasn’t prepared for this at all. Apparently the key was to douse yourself with chamois butter all day and to make sure to re-position yourself on the seat every so often. Oh and a massage on Day 2 helps 🙂

Final day!!!
Final day!!! Hi Matt!

I certainly learned a LOT on this trip. Not just about cycling, but about my limits and myself. It’s amazing how reflective you can be when you swap computers, TVs, and cell phones for ocean views, friends, and sunshine.

Finally reaching the Santa Monica pier was something I’ll never forget. WE MADE IT!! I was riding with a few other people and we just hugged, took pictures on the beach, and watched the sunset. It was a spectacular ending to a challenging long-weekend in January.

On the beach of Santa Monica!
On the beach of Santa Monica!

GGTC Rocks My (Pink) Socks

Wildflower, “the Woodstock of triathlon” is an iconic triathlon in the middle of nowhere where most people camp in tents all weekend. Every year GGTC hosts a “training weekend” to prepare for the race and it’s basically just a big party with some swim/bike/run mixed in for good measure. And it was probably the most fun weekend I’ve had in a very long time.

We biked the hilly course, did a “beer mile” (4 beers + 4 laps around a track — I cheered), an Easter egg hunt, karaoke, dance party, beach volleyball, ran the run course, sunbathed, flip-cupped, ate a ton of amazing food (thanks Lorenzo!!), and just bonded together. I absolutely love this club and am so grateful to be a part of it. GGTC rocks my socks.

Mark and I
Mark and I
Tofu!! Thanks Lorenzo!
Tofu!! Thanks Lorenzo!

All About That Base

So right now I’m focused on consistent, low-stress, high-ish volume training. I haven’t done much running speed work, just mostly working on getting into a solid routine and building a base for Vineman 70.3 and eventually Ironman. Building a base is so important — it’s the foundation for your training and will let you build to your goal races more effectively.

Although I gotta be honest, getting back into training mode in mid-February has been HARD. Everyday in the beginning I felt absolutely pathetic and slow. My run pace was much slower than usual, I struggled to find my rhythm in the pool, and I had a harder time than usual keeping up with people on the bike.

St Pattys Day swim
St Pattys Day swim

Even to this day I’m struggling to get back to “Ironman shape”. But I have to remind myself that this is a long journey, and I have to compare myself to yesterday, not last year.

I’ve also been battling a lot of aches (neck, shoulder) and sickness (2 colds and strep throat) which has derailed me a bit. I really hope that I can stay healthy and injury-free this year and have as successful a race as Cozumel.

GGTC ladies ride in Marin!
GGTC ladies ride in Marin!
Biking selfie on the Golden Gate Bridge in my new Kona-inspired Smashfest kit!
Biking on the Golden Gate Bridge in my new Kona-inspired Smashfest kit!
Happy New Year from the San Bruno Mountains!
Happy New Year from the San Bruno Mountains!

Looking Ahead

Last year I did a ton of races to build my confidence for Ironman and to practice nutrition, pacing, outfits, open water, etc. It was an incredible and life-changing year, but races can be expensive and stressful. So this year I’m looking forward to only doing a couple local races with friends and having fun leading up to Kona.

July 12, 2015
July 12, 2015

I’m also committed to improving my swim form, becoming a stronger athlete (strength training!), eating clean, and overall staying healthy and motivated. Stay tuned for more updates on goals, progress, and performance.

That’s it for now. Thanks all! Let me know what you’d like to see this year from the blog. I’m always looking for inspiration for content so let me know!

Follow me on Instagram @Crohdster for photo updates!

Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

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