Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Want To Be A Faster Runner or Cyclist...? GET IN THE POOL

Over the last few years I have heard a lot of athletes and coaches tell me that running and cycling is all about volume, volume, volume.  Lower intensity, lots of miles...that's how you become a great endurance runner and rider.  While there is definitely some merit to the old school mentality and methodology, we've also got more than enough proof that there is another road to the same place.  One that doesn't involve thousands of hours or miles.

It's very simple.  GET IN THE POOL

The founding principal behind all endurance sports is aerobic efficiency.  The more effective your heart and lungs are in delivering oxygen to the muscles, the longer and harder they can fire.  Of course, you need to have enough strength to put the hammer down for whatever level of exertion you are trying to maintain, but at the end of the's your aerobic system that drives the sustainability of the muscles.

The conventional wisdom on improving aerobic fitness is that one should head for the mountains and bang out a concentrated training block at altitude.  The lack of O2 forces your body to raise it's red blood cell count/size...and the athlete gets to feel like they are breathing through a coffee straw for a few days while training.  All good things right?!  Unfortunately, not all athletes have the time nor the resources to just pick up and play professional athlete for a weekend.

So let's talk about another way to get yourself aerobically fit.  THE POOL.

The minute your face hits the water, you're in an oxygen deprived state.  To reach the same level of deprivation while running or riding, you need to exert yourself at an extremely high level which can lead to injury, over-training...a whole host of bad things.  If you want to become a better runner or rider, you need to increase your aerobic capacity so you can sustain faster pacing or more power for a longer period of time.

I say, protect your legs, they've been good to you!  You're going to need them a lot longer than your next big race.  Grab a snorkel (tape it off if you're tough)...hold your some hypoxic workouts.  These various ways of restricting your breathing will give you a creative way to get an edge on your competition without risking injury or burnout in the process.

Try this one on for size:  1 x 100 in the pool.  3 breaths, 2 breaths, 1 breath, NO Breath by 25!  If you can do a few of those without stopping between're heading in the right direction.  Then you can work on no breath 50's...

Next time you head out for a run, check your watch and tell us it doesn't feel easier to run your normal pace...


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Championship Season Update #1 - Ironman Madison, Maryland & Chatanooga...North Shore & Tri Rock Sprint Triathlons

It's an amazing thing to see what hard work and dedication can bring to an athlete that cares about their performance.  One thing is for sure, in our program...we train our asses off.  Sometimes the punishment is so heavy that you loose sight of what it all means, but in the end, it's days like the ones we've been having that make it all worth while.

So let's take it from the top!  As we come to the halfway point of our championship season, the personal bests, exciting races  and mind blowing performances have been stacking up.  At this moment, EVERY athlete in our system has smashed their best times with at least a 25% improvement.  Exciting stuff considering how many bullets are left in the gun!  Here are the results from the races our team has completed:

Ironman Madison:
Stefano Galiasso - 10:59:20    36th in his AG and a first time Ironman Finisher!
Alex King - 11:21:17    53rd in his AG and a first time Ironman Finisher!
Stephen Lynch - 10:39:40   7th in his AG and a 1 hour 7 minute personal best!  (2nd Ironman..first one was 6 months ago)
Dave Stephens - 10:09:36   12th in his AG and an 11 minute personal best!  (2nd Ironman)
Greg Cherne - 13:31:18    209th in his AG, 10 minute personal best!  (8th Ironman)
Brandon Culver - 11:46:54    87th in his AG, 5 minute personal best!  (3rd Ironman)

Ironman Maryland:
Bill Bishop - 9:16:00    2nd in his AG, 8th overall finisher.  10 minute personal best, Kona qualification.  (5th Ironman)
Clinton Fuller - 11:55:06    64 in his AG, 1 hour 3 minute personal best!  (2nd Ironman)
Erin Harvego - 10:51:47     4th in her AG, 6 minute personal best!  (6th Ironman)
Meagan Bradley - 10:24:48     2nd in her AG, 1 hour personal best!  (3rd Ironman)

Ironman Chattanooga:
Damon Cherne - 13:45:56   2 hour 7 minute personal best!  (2nd Ironman)

Tri Rock Sprint Triathlon:
Julie Riederer - 3rd Overall Amateur Female!!
Kristen Kostka - 1st Overall Amateur Female!! (and her first triathlon!)

North Shore Sprint Triathlon:
Justin Goldberg - 24 minute personal best!  (1:17:15)
Johnny Walker - 21 minute personal best!  (1:09:26)  

As you can see, hard work brings results.  It's been great to watch each athlete strive to be their best...and realize that's better than they thought.  We've got some exciting times ahead with the Chicago Marathon, The Ironman World Championships and Ironman Florida all on deck.  Stay tuned for updates on how we finish up the year.

Good luck to all competitors who are racing in the upcoming weeks...


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Championship Season 2014

Well it's that time of year again folks...  The time to see what all the hard work was for.   Race Day Baby!

Over the next three to four months, Bishop Racing will be competing in a variety of A races to mark the end of the 2014 competitive season.  We've already kicked things off with a fantastic showing at the Lifetime Fitness Chicago Triathlon and have a number of bullets left in the gun.  Before we get into the results of the past weekend and who's racing next...  we'd like to make sure that if your current situation doesn't offer some assistance in how to be well prepared for your race, that we provide a few key pointers on how to make your big day a success.

The Bishop Racing Keys To Great Racing:
  • Taper!  Every athlete trains hard throughout the meaty part of their season and in order to bring out your best performance, you've got to give the body a chance to show the fitness it's gained.  This happens through a reduction in training and intensity called a "Taper".  Depending on what distance you are competing in and how much training you've done, the rest cycle may vary so be sure to get with your coach...or contact us...for what process to implement for your best day.
  • Eat To Win!  The final few weeks before a big competition always come with a few important dietary adjustments that ensure you are your strongest/lightest/fastest on race day.  The first, if you are backing off in training...back off on eating!  Your body isn't burning as many calories as it's used it doesn't need as much fuel to stay strong.  Reducing the portions in your meals and staying away from the sugary foods is a great way to make this happen.  Also, start to pay attention to your sodium intake.  Sodium keeps the blood volume thick, which helps oxygen delivery to the muscles.  Bumping up your daily sodium intake by just a touch will improve the repairing of damaged tissues and allow your aerobic system to come into form.
  • Make a list!   There is a lot to do on race day and leaving your equipment and nutrition prep to the last minute always leads to missing something.  Write it down!  The week before the race, make a list of all the stuff you need to have a worry free race.  Whether it be race equipment, nutrition or the clothes you're going to wear to the starting line...  get it all out in front of you.  The less you have to think about when the battle is on the horizon, the better.
Lifetime Fitness Chicago Triathlon Results:
Ryan Giuliano - 2nd place Overall AG
Ben Collins - 3rd place PRO
Jillian Petersen - 5th place PRO
Rob Kohen - 6th place AG *20seconds back from the podium
Mike Kinsella - 6th place AG *first olympic distance race
Johnny Walker -39th place AG *first race ever
Michelle Goldmann - top 30% in her AG *first race ever
John Oertel - 18th place in his division *first race ever
Justin Goldberg - 43rd place AG *first race ever
Joe Dolan - 85th place AG *first race ever

Ironman Louisville Results:
Julie Riederer - 7th place AG...10min PR in the swim!!  (55:19)

Upcoming Races & Athletes Competing:
ITU World Champs - Ken Ichi Ino
HyVee - Ryan Giuliano
Ironman Wisconsin - Stephen Lynch, Stefano Galiasso, Alex King, Greg Cherne, David Stephens, Robert Ludlum
Ironman Maryland - Clinton Fuller, Bill Bishop, Erin Harvego
Ironman Chatanooga - Damon Cherne
St. Charles 1/2 Marathon - Jamie Rauch
Chicago Marathon - Kristen Kostka, Rob Kohen, Stephen Lynch
Miami 70.3 - Ben Collins, Rob Kohen
Ironman Florida - Cameron Christo, Stephen Lynch, Greg Cherne
Naperville Marathon - Jamie Rauch

Congratulations to all our athletes who've competed thus far.  Great days had by all and you deserve every minute of it.  Hard work brings results!!

Good luck to all our racers in their upcoming competitions and to everyone reading this blog....Stay tough and kick ass!