Friday, August 28, 2009

Up next: Chicago Triathlon

I'll be heading to the windy in just a few hours for the Chicago Triathlon. This will be my second time racing in the Windy City. I competed back in 2007. Conditions were hot and racing with only one water bottle was a mistake. I ran out about half way through the bike and didn't feel comfortably hydrated until about 1 mile to go on the run. I just kept chugging water at all the aid stations until I felt better. Didn't even crack the top 10!

This year I'll be much more prepared and from what I'm seeing in the forecasts, the highs for Sunday will barely crack into the 70s. Conditions should be super fast.

As always the water temperatures can change in a matter of minutes so I'll have my wetsuit handy if temperatures suddenly drop to 20C. A stiff westerly breeze can blow out all the warm water and bring in cooler water from the deep, otherwise known as the up welling affect.
I'll be racing for the first time on the Triad from Blue with a Zipp 999 set up. For my 2nd water bottle, I've installed a carbon fiber hydro tail from Beaker Concepts. The hydro tail is low profile and very aero. Really looking forward to it. Been having some great rides lately, so I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From Training Peaks

Congratulations Triathlon National Champions Matt Chrabot and Jasmine Oeinck

26 August 2009

Congratulations to TrainingPeaks members and 2009 USA Triathlon Elite National Champions Matt Chrabot and Jasmine Oeinck! Both triathletes used convincing runs to pull away from the other competitors at the end of the race last Saturday, demonstrating both excellent racing strategy and solid preparation for the event.

Exiting the water with Dustin McLarty, Tim O’Donnell and Brian Fleischmann, Matt Chrabot’s group maintained a slight lead during the first half of the bike over a four man chase group that included heavy favorite and defending champion Matt Reed. After the chase group caught the leaders, the pack rode together for the rest of the bike until Chrabot and Fleischmann broke away in the final lap.

On the run, Chrabot was soon out in front by himself, with Reed and O’Donnell in pursuit. The chase continued over the four-loop run, but the advantage remained steady for Chrabot as he ran to a race-best 29:49 10k run and a 34-second victory over O’Donnell, with Matt Reed third.

Describing the most challenging and rewarding moments of the race, Chrabot said, “The most challenging part of the race was the start of the swim. Getting caught in some of the scrum really takes a lot of effort to break free of. Since I was on the end, I had a clean start and swam most the whole way with no contact. The most rewarding was not having any issues bonking or cramping on the run. That’s where I knew all my preparation and hard work paid off.”

Confident in his preparation, Chrabot felt ready to deal with anything that happened during the race last weekend. “My strategy for the race was to accept that my training has been adequate and to deal with whatever circumstances arise. I was ready for either a hard or easy swim, a two man breakaway or large pack, and the hottest conditions… Those who worry in races usually don’t end up winning. I just go with my gut instinct.”

Chrabot’s training leading up to the race was specifically designed to mimic the focus and intensity that he will need to maintain leading up to the 2012 Olympic Trials. So far, this approach seems to be working well. “The great thing about 2009 is that there’s still plenty of time to test out different strategies and really get it dialed in for when it counts most in 2011 and 2012. The next thing I’m looking for is top performances on a consistent basis - that way I can earn enough points to help solidify a 3 man Olympic team. Half way through 2010 we will begin to start racing for Olympic Points. This is crucial for the US, especially since we have the depth to send 3 guys to the Olympics. Each year I’ll have to continue to step up my game just to keep up with the curve.”

As part of his training, Chrabot uses TrainingPeaks to stay in touch with his coach. “TrainingPeaks makes communication with my coach almost effortless. When we’re both very busy or traveling she can at least read my daily entries to see how training is going.”
In the women’s race, Jasmine Oeinck and a group of five other triathletes including Jenna Shoemaker, Margaret Shapiro, Jennifer Spieldenner, Jillian Petersen, and Mary Beth Ellis managed to catch swimming expert Hayley Peirsol on the final lap of the bike. When pre-race favorite Ellis pulled out with a hamstring injury, Oeinck took charge in the run to win with a race best 35:14 run to seal the win in a time of 2:02:49. Shoemaker ran to second in 2:03:17, with Peirsol grabbing third in 2:04:29.

“Everyone did a really good job out there. It was a tough race,” said TrainingPeaks member Oeinck in a quote featured by USAT. “Hayley was so far ahead. She was phenomenal. I just tried to encourage everyone [in our group] that we could get her, if we kept working and plugged away. It’s a really nice feeling to hold the finish line tape. It’s pretty cool.”

Congratulations again, Jasmine and Matt, and happy training!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

National Champion

Just had the race of a lifetime yesterday in Tuscaloosa. Finally pulled off the performance I've been looking for all season long. The first half of the season was mainly an experiment to see how I responded to lighter training loads. No injuries, but not enough haulin' of ass.

The setback was just a setup for a comeback!

Heading into Nationals, I took the last 5 week to really prepare and pull myself together after the mediocrity I've had all year. Mentally, I wanted to put as much pressure as I could on myself to perform. Racing is all about picking a few big ones out of the year and really hitting a home run. Winning Consistantly throughout the year is for the Gods of sport. Most of the rest of the top athletes in the world pick and chose their battles and aim for consistancy leading up to the big moments. I admire guys like Peter Robertson (Australia) for stepping up and nailing gold medal performances at the 2001, 2003, and 2005 World Champs. He wasn't the best during the season, but when it mattered most he can put it all on the line and pull through. Not only that but he's short like me.

When it came time for race week, I mentally and physically prepared the best I could that way if there were any surprises I'd be able to deal with anything that came up without over reacting and losing sight of my goals.





Off to the Chicago Triathlon!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ready for Nationals

I was sitting in the Steam Room today, trying to prep for Nationals when I realized it's been a while since I've raced. Last one was in Kitzbuhel, Austria on July 11th. July 11th turned out to be a cold, rainy, miserable race for me (and Team USA) that day.
Nationals are being held in Tuscaloosa, AL. Completely opposite climate than Austria...Hot, Humid, and lots of sun...just the way I like it. This is were Olympic Trials were held last year. Unfortunately at the time I haven't accumulated enough points to participate and went on that day to win down in Mexico instead.

Fun filled week ahead. I'll be visiting schools Friday morning, promoting Triathlon and the race. Around lunch time I'll be hanging out with my sponsors Blue Bicycles and Zone Labs at the race expo.

This weekend will also be Age Group Nationals. Good luck to all the Age Groupers!

My Mom, Nancy Chrabot will be flying down from Virginia Beach, VA to catch all of the action. This will be her first trip to Elite Nationals.