Testing the Competition

No, I am not gonna switch. Had to test out the Adidas’ new boost technology. Yes, they feel different but not enough to change. Love my Skechers GoRuns.

Felt like I was running on memory foam. They were not responsive, did not have direct feed back with the ground. It is different. The elevated heel in this  particular shoe model is “old” technology.

At Movin’ Shoes – Pacific Beach Monday night group run.



Well… Make that new school.

Ended up going for lightweight. Received my new pair of GoRun2 and decided to take a chance. I have not weighed them yet to compare to the ProSpeeds.

Wore one day around the office to break in then an easy 4 miler the day before the Surf City Marathon.  I was quite surprised at the excellent forefoot cushioning and support. Better than the originals.

I did use my Road Runner insoles on top of the stock insoles. I tried with just my RR insoles but did not feel quite right, so kept the  Skechers in also. The combination made for perfect fit, comfort and cushioning. Yep, that is Injinji toe socks. Fist time racing in them and they did the job… no blisters.


Surf City Marathon

Started steady and kept steady, had a couple of slow miles mid way then powered the last 10k with negative splits. Still not where I want to be but was able to pull off a BQ time and 30 minutes faster than my marathon back in December. Now thinking of doing San Louis Obispo Marathon in April to shave off another 5 to 10 minutes.


screenshot_262 v2

Garmin GPS data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/269397512

garmin window copy

Fan of Skechers

I have had these GoRuns for a couple weeks now, been able to get a handful of training runs in,  a sprint distance triathlon. and a dreadfully slow 8 mile run (all up hill) on the back of a 70 mile bike.

The GoRuns retail for $80.00, but I was able to find these at Famous Footware. They were on sale and an additional 10% store coupon was used. Had to pay CA tax and pick up at the local store but well worth the $65.00 for these hi-performance shoe. Depending on manufacturer and style my shoe size is usefully size 10.  For the GoRuns, I needed a size 9.5 to get a proper fit without socks or thin socks. I am not using insoles or my orthotics with these since I want to take full advantage of their light weight and non insole design. My orthotics weigh about as much as one of these shoes.

The GoRuns have been around for about a year now, but I have recently got the chance to get my hands on them.  I have been a fan of Skecher athletic shoes after using their ProSpeed. Those helped my over the last hurdle in recovering from plantar fasciitis that had plagued me for over 20 months. I have to check if I wrote up my product report on those shoe, if not, I have to back fill that post.

To clear the air, I have been in touch with the Skecher/the sports marketing manager and he send me a free pair of the GoRuns… in size 11 (the blue ones) . I only noticed after trying on and my feet were swimming. I was able to exchange for a size 10, yellow and black. I have used the 10’s for a  half marathon – MexiCali. But since they are on the “large” size, I use them for running events/training only were I use with socks and my orthotics. This makes the shoes fit just about perfectly.  I liked them so much I went ahead and purchased my perfect size.

The size 11, as you can see , the GoRuns are quite flexible.

Size 10, have to use socks and insoles to get them to fit properly.

Around mile 4, I ended up catching and passing this group around mile 10 after I go my second wind.

Full report of the shoes to follow which will include benefits of the GoRuns and in comparison to comparable shoes I have used in my training and racing. Stay tuned.

Good as New

Thought these were trash, but come to find out Sable Water Optics have replacement parts and now they are good as new!

Note the broken 2 cent piece of plastic, the strap holder. It broke moments before my last race of 2011.

Thought I disposed of these since I thought they were worthless, but found them last week and talked to the Sable representative and he sent me out some replacement “strap holdrers” and now they are good as new!

Sable Water Optics have the best optics and worth every cent.

Swear by your goggles, not at them!


Custom Blend

Prepping fuel for the run at Rev3 Portland.

Part berry and part vanilla blend.

and some of the rest of the fuel for the week end.

The flask lasts 4 to 5 miles (it hold a little over5 oz), for a half iron distance race then is using nutrition offered by the aid stations. For a full distance can last 8 to 9 miles.

Rev3 Portland – Preflight

The nice thing about being a professional bike fitter (www.PedPowerPerformLab.com) I have access to the tools at hand to play with.

It’s been a while since I last Zined my tri bike set up. What is Zin? It is Retul’s digital mapping tool. It plots the bike out in space and after marking 15 or so spots on the bike, the software generates a highly detailed and accurate report of the bike’s critical measurement.

Bike set up:

  • USE fast forward seat post
  • Sella Italia GT1 saddle (a triatlhon specific saddle), will swap out for my green accent ISM Adamo Breakaway.
    Both of these saddle allow to ride sitting back or on the nose
  • 50mm front carbon clincer with Rolf  38mm in the rear
  • -30 degree stem to get appropriate front end drop
  • Syntace Stratos with Cobb Wrist Relief Extension
  • 170mm cranks – I really notice the benefit of  using shorter cranks
  • Install 11/25 cassette
  • New chain- removed links
  • Front and real derailleur adjustments
  • Will be getting rid of the behind the saddle bottle rack/cages and install Oasis One-Tweve hydration system on downtube
  • and of course Shimano Di2

My BreakAway all ready to get Zined.

Rev3 Portland (half IM) is about a week away and I want to verify and adjust any necessary setting before heading off to race. I’ve been doing 95 percent of my training in a road bike set up and only recently converted  to the tri bike setting for the last 5 percent of my training preparation. For the area I train, a road bike with clip-ons is more beneficial to build  leg/bike strength and is a whole lot safer. Will be putting in another 200 miles or so with this set up before race day on July 10th.When I get ready to race iron distance events,  I switch to the tri set up three weeks before race day.

It’s pretty hard to Retul oneself, so I go by rider feedback, visual observation in the Lab’s mirrors and 2d motion capture.

The generated report.

The main numbers I am looking for here are saddle height, effective seat tube angle (77 degrees) and pad drop in relation to saddle (-101mm).

After installation Adamo BreakAway saddle, have lowered saddle height,  extended aero pads and extensions, and raised stack 5mm. Man this bike is quiet and rides real smooth.

Project Bike: Kestrel 4000 Bike Fit, prt 3

So now I have the Kestrel 4000 (borrowed) all adjusted and ready to put it and me thru the paces. Shifter/aero bars were still way too far out, but I marked a maximum hand reach position for these test rides. Also, I did not have a correct size stem, so I rode with the Specialized fit stem system, making sure it was all bolts were securely fastened for it is labeled not for outside use.

Test ride 1: Fiesta Island 40K
This is my home turf TT ride. TCSD club races are held here, TCSD bike workouts and quite a few local events use the island. Earlier this year I have been training on it with my supped up mountain bike. I have only done a handful of full rides here on my road or TT bike. Easy ride over to the island and gauging the wind, seemed pretty light which is great for PR. Fiesta Island is known for having every changing wind conditions; one day dead still the next head winds on the back side and sometimes getting head wind on both sides…. very hard to duplicate the conditions.

Earlier this year, April, I part took in my first time trail, that is no swim or run… just biking. Time trialling is quite a bit different from a triathlon. One needs to pedal harder… more power, no need to conserve energy. An efficient pedal stroke is not need – maximum power all the time. That day, the wind was blowing pretty strong but set the bar for my 40k on the island, finished with time of 1:10 and change. That was my target time for the Kestrel 4000. My fitness level is about 75% my April level so that will be considered into my time. As Jim Cramer says, “booya”, finish time of 1:07 and change. Hard to say if it was due to the light wind? different wheels (tubeless Shimano 23 mm)? or truly the bike?

I’ll say it is the bike mostly and a little of the wind. Only had a short spurt of 28 mph, and a couple of areas at 26 mph. Average moving speed ended up being over 22 mph, link to Garmin data, The bike felt solid! I could actually feel the stiffness of the frame, no flexing, true transfer of power. The ride was still supple, not harsh at all. A definite winner!

I will be dong one more test ride on the island with my current ride to get another base line measurement to verify the awesomeness of the Kestrel 4000.

Test ride 2: San Dieguito Park
This is one of my staple rides, link to Garmin data. There are many variations for this route, with hills, with a lot of hills, or limited hills. Elevation gain ranges from 27hun to 37hun. Flats, gradual inclines, very steep hill, traffic, no traffic. One of the best all round 35 to 45 mile bike routes in the San Diego area. This day I averaged 15.2mph, that is over .5 miles an hour faster than most of my rides on this route. That equals to over 8 minutes faster. Again I was not in mid-season form.

Can’t wait to build up my Kestrel 4000 LTD, size 52.5, and start riding… and getting those podium finishes!

Project Build: Team Trakkers Bike, cont.

Final shipments of Shimano Di2 components have arrived.

They be sitting on the shelf for a while, have a few other expenses that need to be taken care of first….taxes, car insurance, PedPowerPerform Lab equipment and food.

I am hoping to obtain the Kestrel 4000 LTD (pre-wired for Di2) frame set by the end of March of 2010.

Project Bike: Kestrel 4000 Bike Fit, prt 2

Think I mentioned I have a friend, Sergio, who has a 2010 4000 in size 52.5.  I already did the size bike fitting and now wanted to confirm with an actual bike that a size 52.5 will work otherwise I will go with the next size up 55.  Sergio is around 5-9 or so and I am 5-11 and change. Yes, I could go the traditional way and just get the 55 and not go thru this drill, but I already have ridden bikes in my normal size. I now want to ride something with a different set up for the experience and change.

The goal of this session is to Retül myself and test ride after making adjusting.

Here are a couple of in the Lab (PedPowerPerform Lab) images before I started changing thing around, (I did swap out the saddle to a Cobb Max for my testing.

I hooked up the bike to the Computrainer to verify pedaling technique and efficiency with my various adjustments. Sergio has his bike set up with Rotor 3D cranks Q-Rings. If you don’t know about the advantages of them you are missing out. I will be building up my bike with a full Rotor crankset which are even better than the Q-Rings. See my previous blog entry.

With the “elliptical” shape of the Q ring, it throws off Computrainer’ average torque angle (ATA) data a little. Note the low 100s/hi 90s degree value. Efficiency is there… being in the 70s

So this is the beginning set up, 90 mm w/ -25 degree stem and massively extended aero bars. I Zined the bike before making any changes so I can easily put back properly and give Sergio his bike measurements. Retul’s Zin is a 3D mapping/digitizing tool that generates full bike measurements based upon 8 or so contact points on the bike. Sergio’s seat tube angle is 77 degrees, a bit laid back for Tri. I have not Retüled him to verify if he is optimized, but he says it is the most comfortable he has ever been… 4:53 at IM FLA a couple of months ago… so it must be working!

The Zin wand.                                       The Retül Receiver.

Zin screen shot.

So now let’s make some changes. Installed the Specialized size stem, set to 100 mm with a rise of -6 degrees. Shorten the extension bars. All for starters.

That’s a NightRider’s Rebel 5.0 computer w/ power to check power output once I go for some test rides.

My final bike build up will using different front end (base bar and extensions) than what’s on the borrowed bike, but these are good enough for basic fitting. I will also building the bike up with Shimano Di2 shifters which shorten the reach a bit more.

Self-Retüling was easy enough; had to put the computer controls/mouse on the aero bars to stop and start the tracking. Putting the LED tracers on oneself was not that bad, the shoulder LEd was the toughest to place properly.

Taking pictures while self-Retüling.

So here are is Retül’s screen image while rider is in action. Green dots are the LED locations with their tracking status, green is good.

And the results in basic data format. Lots of information to get the rider in the most optimal riding position for their riding style and goals.

I interpret the data by looking at values that are out of the Standard/Norms supplied by Retül. See what the trend is saying. Data here looks pretty good, saddle may be a bit low but ankle maximum is good and hip vertical is pretty minimal. I will be using shorter cranks so I know my closed hip angle value will open up.  Since this was a self-Retül session I have to consider that into reviewing the data. Below is a complete fit report.

I have to admit that knee travel is pretty sweet, very linear, no internal/external deviation…. straight power.

Once satisfied with the adjustments made ti the bike, it is time to Zin the bike and print out the report, below.

The main info here is the saddle height, and all the reach measurements. I will be able to use all these measurements to my bike when start to I build it up. I will have to make some slight adjustments with the saddle and aero front end I use, but this gives confidence that the frame size will work.

What is next? go for some test rider!

Have you been Retüled yet? Schedule your next bike fitting at PedPowerPerform Lab.
We also retail Rotor bike Components, Cobb and ISM saddles and Ritchey Bike products along with Gray Carbon wheels, check out the Store.

Slowtwitch did a nice article on the sizing/review of the 2011 Kestrel 4000 LTD.

Project Build: Team Trakkers Bike

I have started a new project, Team Trakkers Bike. It will be a Kestrel 4000 LTD. Follow my blog to watch its progress and completion.

I may be getting ahead of myself here, but I just bought some Shimano Di2 components thru Trisports.com (they had a 25% off one day sale – no tax put had to pay additional shipping) and ProBikeKit.com who always have great pricing with no tax an shipping

1st package from Trisports has already arrive.

Now, I just have to get a few more (actually several) fits done at PedPowerPerform Lab before purchasing the Kestrel 4000 LTD frame set and additional components.