Toronto ITU

Two weeks ago I raced the Toronto ITU event in Toronto, Ontario.  I came 25th after a better swim, hard ride and a slow-ish run. After a bad day at Huatulco WC it was nice to get back into it.  I wanted to do Magog ITU but I couldn't logistically make it work with visiting family and spending days trying to get my passport renewed. I did have the sweetest minivan for the week, which fit my assembled bike, bike box and all my crap. I did realize that everybody cuts off the guy driving a minivan, thinking  they aren't in a hurry.  I now have 4 weeks to prepare for the next race and I even have my TT bike back out getting ready for some non-draft action in September. For now I will focus on being brilliant at the basics.

After the race, I spent the week at my in-laws lakehouse on a secluded lake almost in the middle of nowhere. I had a 20 minute commute down a dirt road to get roads suitable to ride, and a 45 minutes commute to a pool. However, I had some of the greatest/hilliest dirt roads to run on right outside the back door, and the scenery wasn't too shabby either. I had to replace my sunscreen with bug repellent while running in the bush. Here are some pics from the week.

My morning view 

 Brown chair is a perfect spot for a morning coffee

Eating from a vegetable garden everyday, what a change!

Carley is catching me on the scale!

Catch ya next time


Ixtapa and Dallas

It's time for another update. Two weeks ago I travelled to Ixtapa to race the 30th anniversary ITU Ixtapa PATCO cup. The goal of the trip was to get ITU points and travel home with a world ranking. To do this I needed to come top 20 within 5% of the winners time. Ixtapa is known for some good surf and a fast 700m run to transition to hop on your bike. I assumed that Von Berg (ITA) was going to be a favorite for the win so i shadowed him out of the water and we quickly became part of the big lead group. With rough roads and a couple of crashes i was happy to enter T2 with the lead group. Sorry to Antoine my Canadian team mate who lead the swim and was taken down in a crash. With a good hard and hot run off the bike i crossed the line in a decent position roughly 1minute from the finisher and in Top 12. I didn't know my position because it was fairly tight.
After cooling down in recovery i headed over to see what place I was in and I was notified that I was DSQ or disqualified. I was super confused because I knew I didn't make any errors with my cap and goggles or racking my bike. When heading out on the bike you have to run across a line before hopping on your bike. I stepped right on the line and was given a 10second penalty.  While I was on the run course I was aware of the penalty tent but I didn't remember seeing a board with numbers stating which athlete's had penalties, and ultimately my number was on that board.
Results found here-:

This was super frustrating but at the same time it was my fault for not being aware I had received a penalty. Well it was a good race regardless and I was sent home with 0 ITU points that I needed.
To make this trip worse when I finally arrived in DFW my bike bag looked like it was dragged down the runway. The case was destroyed and so was my bike.

With 5 days till PanAmerican Championships in Dallas I had no bike and i hadn't really slept well from getting home from Mexico. I hadn't planned on racing Pan American champs in Dallas but on Tuesday I found out i was into the race. 

I was lucky enough to borrow a bike from a local shop but it was a bit big. I didn't realize it as I was doing pretty light training between the two races. 
With the Championships in Dallas I was happy to be in but at the same time I was nervous racing on a different bike and I knew deep down I hadn't really recovered/slept well since Ixtapa.  After a rough swim I was eventually dropped from a long pack and swam with 5 others.  I am still not sure what went wrong but I failed to stay in touch and in an ITU race that pretty much ends your day. I still had a chance to ride with 5 or so guys but after trying to really push out of T1 I realized that something was off. I had ridden my bike on some easy spins but i was not used to the position to ride at a very high power. I ended up riding on my own for 6 laps of the 8 before I pulled off.  This race was a tough one to handle a week after Mexico's DSQ and the stress of trying to get my bike all sorted.
It would have been nice to race well at home but this leaves me hungry for more.

A Few Pictures from Dallas:
 Can tell what country was nice and early for a swim warm up?

You can see my flying right leg. The right side felt like it was 7 feet off the water.

Super nice loaner bike, just too big. You can tell how impressed I am....

Swim Start at Ixtapa. I am on the far left. That one went well.

Next weekend I will headed back to MX for a World Cup. Yesterday, I picked up my new bike (one that fits), and it's dirty fast. Now it's time to prove I can race.



Bridgetown ITU PATCO Cup

Bridgetown ITU PATCO Cup

This past Sunday I raced my second PATCO Cup this season and second one since I formally raced ITU back in 2006-2007 or so. I ended up 17th which isn’t a great finish however it’s a step in the right direction. 

Swim- I missed the back of the lead pack by about :15seconds and I was 1minute off the leader Tommy Zaferes who swims at the front of WorldCups and WTS races. A side note is he is a pretty funny guy. I battled the whole swim and never really took a stroke that felt good without being hit. This took a huge amount of energy and was very slow being kicked off the back. Now flip back to Clermont ITU in March where I was 2:20 off the leader and 90seconds off the main pack this was a step in the right direction as I try to get back in decent shape. 

Bike- I ended up riding with 5-6 guys at any given time. The only other athlete that was doing a good job pushing was Dan Feeney from the USA. We dropped some guys and picked some guys up but really it was us two pushing the pace. It was tough and we actually were keeping the time gap pretty even for most of the race. Motivating others to take pulls actually slowed us down. In the end we lost a minute to the main group. This could have been a lot worse but looking back on Clermont ITU where i lost 2-3 mins from the pain pack this is another good step. Missing the main pack by :15seconds eventually turned into 90seconds coming in T2. That is ITU racing! 

Run- It was a tough hot run and I immediately ran and kept pace with Dan who I knew was a good runner. After essentially a 30min TT on the bike it is hard to compare run times but i lost about 1minute per loop so 2mins to the leader and I lost 40sec-1min to guys that race WorldCups or WTS events that made the front pack. 

Overall i will take it and move on to the next couple of races. 8mins off in Clermont to 4mins in Bridgeport. The plan is to keep cutting it down.  Enjoy a few pictures from the race. 

Thank you to Powerbar, Enduropacks, On-Running and Rudy Project Sunglasses for the continued support. 


Texas 70.3

This past Sunday I raced the Texas 70.3 in Galveston Texas. 
Typically I have bad luck in Galveston and most recently last year I got Salmonella blood poisoning and ended up in the hospital after leaving a 5150. 
This year we were expected to have rain and bad winds which is sort of common in Galveston and i am very happy the race organizers kept the swim and didn’t make any irrational decisions based on the weather man. The weather ended up windy at least for most of the pros and there was no lightening in site. 

The Swim
26:08- Before the start my goggles got fogged up. Lesson learned. Even when the horn went I had them on top of my cap because i couldn’t see. I ended up on Mcmahon’s feet for a little while as i purposely lined up beside him with Brandon Marsh just over to the right. I wanted a good hard swim but I ended up lost and unable to see. I assumed that i was in Texas City or Kemah when finally a chase pack caught me and i decided to hang in there and get to the swim exit. Stopping at each buoy to look if you are supposed to turn really isn’t fun. Good news is the swim was not very taxing for me. Bad news is i wanted it to be a very hard swim not a float. 

2:10:00- The bike is an out and back course I immediately rode very hard behind “Big Sexy” Chris Mcdonald. It was a good hard effort and i was wishing i had a bigger chain ring. (Jan Ullrich style) Finally at the turnaround I was back sort of in the mix and riding okay. To make it extra difficult my aero bottle was tossed in the air right outside of the water park at about .5 miles in so i was left with a little Arundul Aero bottle to drink. 

The head wind took its toll on me and i had to sit up a few times loosing some precious speed but i still averaged around 4.3 watts/per kg. I also missed a few bottle drops making my total hydration around 1 bottle which is not great. I most have swallowed more ocean then i thought.  So 3 power gels and 1 small bottle for hydration. Obviously this needs to change for the next one:) 

Power File: 

After an okay bike i felt like if i had a good run i could still move myself up the field. 
Well it was my first 70.3 in 3 years and my legs thought a bit different. This about sums up how i felt running. 

The first loop was okay but then it was a gradual decline in pace. To make matters worse i had huge cramps starting in my quads and the last lap was ugly getting passed by 4-5 guys.  If it wasn't for my sweet ON-Running Cloud Racer 2s i would have never made it to the finish! 

I ended up 15th in a time of 3:57:49.
Thanks to PowerBar, On-Running, EnduroPacks, Rudy Project and Tim Crowley for there continued support. After the race i threw on a EnduroPacks Amino Patch and hit the road for a nice 5hr drive home and back to the pool Monday morning. 

NameCountryDiv RankGender RankOverall RankSwimBikeRunFinishPoints
Cunningham, RichieAUS11100:24:4602:06:2401:12:373:46:113500
Marsh, BrandonUSA22200:23:4602:05:2901:14:323:46:263495
Griffin, LeonAUS33300:24:5102:06:1701:15:153:48:423454
Mcdonald, ChrisAUS44400:26:0402:04:3001:15:443:49:013449
Beals, CodyCAN55500:27:3502:04:4301:15:443:50:413419
Kotsegarov, KirillETH66600:27:3402:04:4401:15:473:50:533415
Millward, CallumNZL77700:24:5402:08:5601:14:343:51:063411
Hanson, MattUSA88800:27:3702:09:4201:13:323:53:423364
Debil-Caux, VictorFRA99900:29:0502:05:3401:17:513:55:233334
Sanders, LionelCAN10101000:27:3802:13:3601:12:083:56:193317
Emge, ClayUSA11111100:27:4402:12:4601:13:043:56:463309
Major, JozsefHUN12121200:27:4502:06:0701:20:343:57:323295
Bjalkemo, GeorgeSWE13131300:27:3902:09:5701:17:123:57:343295
Luft, MikolajPOL14141400:26:0502:09:3001:19:283:57:443292
Poulsen, BrentUSA15151500:26:0802:10:0001:18:583:57:493290
Seear, JamesAUS16161600:23:4102:14:5101:17:403:58:483272
Snilstveit, GudmundNOR17171700:31:0502:04:2201:21:093:59:363258
Anderson, WeslieUSA18181800:27:3802:10:5001:18:053:59:373258
Cool, HannesBEL19191900:26:0702:12:2101:18:373:59:563252
Holderbaum, ChadUSA20202000:27:3202:09:0601:21:114:00:273243


Fun Swims

In an attempt to start blogging again i have shared 5 of my favorite swim workouts that i have pulled out of my log for the past month or so. It was tough narrowing it down but i picked some good ones to help you work on getting out fast at the start and then settling into race pace when you feel like your world is coming crashing down. These swims are always best done with a swim training partner to really help you get the best out of yourself. For some race season has already started and for others it is starting soon so now is the time to get “race ready”. 
Hope you enjoy!

400 choice wu
4x50 buiild on 50s
3x ( 50 start speed heads up into 50kick max/ into 300 as 75 threshold/ 25 max) ri 3 min active recovery
100 bk
2x( 6x 75 on 55send off. hold best pace)
ri- 100 bk
200 cd

500 choice
3x( 50k/ 50 bk/ 50 free) ri 10s
3x( 100k hard into 4x 100 threshold on 1:20)
10x 50 w paddles on 45s
200 cd

500 choice
4x 100 smp ri 15s ( stroke max paddles or fist drill) 
10x 50 w ankle band ri on 50s
4x 500 as 100 start speed/ 300 cruise/ 100 build ri 1 min ( do ez 50 bk)
10x50 w paddles ( string kick) on 45s
200 cd.

600 choice wu
4x (3x 200 on 2:30 send off/ 50 bk/ 50 k)
300 cd
hold best avg on 200's

600 wu 150 swim/ 50k
3 rounds of:
(4x25 fly ( fins optional) 40s
300 pull 1:20 base
2x50 max on 55s
200 pull on 2:50
100 fast on 2:00
600 pull w band buoy and paddles)

200 cd


EnduroPacks Review

EnduroPacks Review- Brent Poulsen
Vitamins are like an insurance policy; we anticipate the utmost benefits/standards. As a professional athlete who eats healthy and trains hard, I am also aware that I need a multivitamin supplement to ensure I am energized, and feeling well throughout my daily workouts. When I first heard about Enduropacks I was in frantic search for a good multivitamin that would leave me feeling more energized and ward off winter sickness. I had tried numerous other brands that left me feeling tired and some that even upset my stomach. I also wanted a multivitamin with “normal” percentages of daily recommended intakes. As soon as I tried the Enduropack liquid multivitamin I knew it was for me. I only need 1 tablespoon in the morning before training and it tastes excellent.  The ease and absorption of a liquid maximizes all vitamins and minerals. It also contains a brown rice protein stabilizing agent for maximum bioavailability. I feel energized all day long, and have not missed any winter training due to sickness. And now as oppose to taking 4-8 pills in a day, I simply take 1 tablespoon of liquid (and an Iron pill) and my daily needs are met. 
The next item in the pack was a Concentrated Electrolyte Spray. It is simple to use, just add 5 sprays into my water bottle and I was set. During the early winter months when metabolic efficiency is important it is great to get your electrolytes separate from your training nutrition. I was able to get in all of the electrolytes I needed without adding the normal 200-400 calories of beverages I would normally use. This allowed me to keep my blood sugar stable and improve my metabolic efficiency during the base phase of my training. When the intensity picks up in my training I will add the sprays to my carbohydrate solution drink (PowerBar). 
The next item in the Endropack is an Essential Amino Recovery Patch.  Clinical studies show that essential amino acids help replenish muscles, increase lung function and boost immune system performance.  The best part of this was all I had to do was apply a patch on dry clean skin for 4-8hours after training. When I forget to apply one, I really notice, that’s how well they work.
Lastly is a glutamine tablet to take before going to sleep. High levels of training and racing will deplete the glutamine levels in your skeletal muscles increasing fatigue and the chance of injury. I found that this supplement really reduces my soreness the following day. This supplement works. Most major recovery drinks will provide glutamine in the drinks but I found an extra bonus of taking it at night before bed. 
So to test these supplements I started using the 1 month supply when first building up my training in the offseason. I started taking them right after being hospitalized for Salmonella blood poisoning in October, when I was weak and out of shape.  I started the pack, then ran a 10k Turkey Trot and 2 crit races in the same weekend. I was not speedy but I noticed that I recovered very quickly and was able to get right back into training.  I then started increasing my milage both in the pool and bike and remained energized and recovered throughout. I truly believe that the  quality of the composition and the timing/mode of ingestion of all the athlete specific nutrients in the Enduropack maximize the absorption and benefit to all athletes. Because of this I feel energized, recovered and ready to train everyday. 
Brent Poulsen 
Professional Triathlete 


Just my luck!

Since Galveston I have not been feeling 100%. At first jokingly I blamed it on the pizza I ate the night before the race, thinking I had some sort of food poisoning or something.  The morning of the race and for a few days post bike/run race I had the runs (or as I like to call it “The RRHEA”). It seemed to clear up, I kept training....Fast forward seven days.

This past Sunday, I woke up ran 10 miles went back to bed by 9am (not normal). The rest of the day I couldn’t seem to keep my body temp regulated. I was wearing a touque one minute in 100 degree heat, the next minute turning down the AC in the house to 64 degrees. I blamed it on my ice bath and smoothie and carried on.Monday at work I was texting Carley saying I don’t really feel well I and told her I was just going to sleep on the couch at work so she wouldn’t make me do chores when I got home (damn chores). By the time I got home my face was beat red, Carley immediately took my temp and it was 104.8. Wow, popped some Ibuprofen’s went to bed. Middle of the night put on a light grey jogging suit, woke up it was dark grey and could be wrung out with sweat in the morning. Trained Monday temp spikes twice, it was rough but carried on. Tuesday woke up rode two hours, ran at the track that afternoon and later temp spikes again to 104. Consult Dr. brother in law  who tells me to start alternating Ibuprofen and Tylenols every 2-3 hours like the summer/winter Olympics. Tuesday night sweat the bed so bad soak the down comforter, and it is currently still at the dry cleaners. Wednesday am swim, then temp spikes again Carley forces me to go to CareNow. At CareNow I have no temp, Dr. runs some blood, urine and swabs for strep which all comes back negative. She tells me if I didn’t sound so intelligent she would tell me I don’t know how to use a thermometer. Wednesday pm I was told rest as per coach and Dr rules.

Thursday am soak the bed, and am lethargic. Carley takes my temp its 103.7 and I can’t get out of bed. Carley gets me dressed cause I can’t and takes me directly to the ER. We are there for 7 hours, they run more tests take X-rays nothing, and again I have no fever during most of it. They do however take blood cultures, the results take at least 24 hours for preliminary reports and send me home. Thursday no training.

Friday morning temp is only 102.1, yes! So what do I do? I swim and run and head to work. By 9am ER calls me to tell me my blood cultures are positive and to report back to the ER immediately to be admitted to the hospital. I ask if I can come in about two hours so I can ride first, they advise me not to. I call Carley at work, she freaks out and I drive myself to the ER and meet her there.

I get to the ER, wait about 10 minutes until all the Docs get wind of my situation and i’m immediately admitted and seen by ER Dr, Infectious disease Dr, Hospitalist Dr, and another ER Dr. Three nurses also swarm me and start an IV and take about another pint of blood. I think they thought I may have had some sort of contagious deadly disease. They all asked me at least three times “have you been outside of the country in the last three months?”. They aren’t sure what’s poisoning my blood but they order a CT scan of my abdomen to make sure my organs aren’t infected as well. CT is clear....except for my colon which is really full actually.

The next three days I live in the hospital waiting for my blood cultures to grow the bacteria in order for the Doc to treat it correctly.   More blood tests reveal my liver enzymes are off and my WBC count is non existent.

Living in a hospital is rough, if Carley hadn’t have brought me every meal I would have starved to death. And sleeping, well I don’t think I slept more than 4 hours a night being checked for a fever every hour, and blood draws at 430am.
Sunday afternoon the infectious disease Dr informed me I have a strain of salmonella bacteria in my blood. Weird thing is that salmonella is usually just a GI tract disease that doesn’t normally infect your blood. The Dr’s are still trying to convince me that I travelled outside the country in the last three months, however I blame an unpasteurized yogurt I bought at Central Market three weeks ago that was in a really cool jar. I guess we will never know!

I don’t quite have a clean bill of health yet. I have to follow the infectious disease Dr on an outpatient basis for the next month and take some oral antibiotics for 12 days. Definitely not my way of spending a weekend!