2016 Pro Triathlete Training Log - Swim, Bike, Run Miles for 2016 Season

This is my fourth year of tallying up my training for the year and making it public. Although, I didn't do this post in 2015, here are 2012, 2013, and 2014 for those that are interested.

2015 was another solid year of racing for me that included:

- 11x 70.3 Ironman races
- 2x Aquathons
- 2x Olympics
- 1 Wisconsin State Time Trial
- I also swam, biked, and ran 9 miles at Ironman Arizona but wasn't able to finish due to some nagging injuries.,

The sheer number of races was quite impressive since I broke my foot in 2 places in the beginning of June. The breaking of the foot was an acute accidental injury that greatly affected my ability to bike/run in June and July but never brought me to a grinding halt.

Here are my yearly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 12,373 Miles / 1,054 hours

Swim: 684 miles (1,203,840 yards)  / 297 hours
Bike: 8,758 miles / 503 hours
Run: 1,816 miles /  258 hours
Walking: 21 miles / 8 hours

Those numbers come out to an average of 87.33 hours per month, and 20.26 hours per week. Weekly mileage is 13.15 miles (23,144 yards) swimming, 168 miles biking, and 35 miles running or broken down hourly as 5.7 hours swimming, 9.67 hours biking, and 4.96 hours running.
For those looking for a little more granular data of Hours Per Month then here you go:

Monthly Training Hours - Total

Monthly Training Hours - Run

Monthly Training Hours - Swim
Monthly Training Hours - Bike

Lastly if you are triathlete or endurance athlete, I am setting up a FREE Q&A group on Facebook. It will always be FREE. As a long-time age-grouper I spent way too long determining what information I could trust and what I couldn't. As a TRUE student of the sport I have learned a lot, remain open-minded, and realize that so many people disseminate information blindly and then myths become lore. Hoping to shed some light and simplify things for people.

Best Food Scales for Weight and Measuring - Cheap and Expensive

MyWeigh KD-8000 Scale - My personal favorite
We are approaching the New Year and that means plenty of people will embark on a New Year resolutions to exercise more and eat better. They are both part of a strategy focused on the goal of losing weight.

As a professional triathlete I have to be very meticulous about what I eat and how much I eat. A common mistake that triathletes face, whether amateur or professional, is that we think we can simply eat whatever we want. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Triathletes are notorious for over-indulging, and when I mean indulging, I mean eating too much junk food, and then going one step further and not understanding portions. One of my favorite quotes is: "What gets measured, gets managed", and while triathletes might be great at recording and measuring workouts, we often stink at doing this for nutrition.

If you already track your nutrition great. Keep it up!!! For the rest of us, know that it is not easy. It is also not convenient, however I challenge you to track your food for 1 week!! By committing just 7 days, I can promise that you will learn SO much more about your habits. If you quit after 7 days, fine, you will still have a better conscious awareness about your eating in the New Year.

Here is a 7 day food log I did back in 2012 for reference. I still use the program "Lose It" to track all my calories. And no, I don't keep a journal all year, just at certain times. However, I am really big in to weighing food. This is especially important for high-caloric foods like nuts, but is also really easy for me in say counting up the calories in a self-made smoothie. I just toss items one-by-one in the blender, and I record the weight, then I re-tare the scale, add the next item, and records its weight.

Which brings me to scales. What food scale do I use. It is crazy to say this as I am minimalist who can fit everything I own in my car, but food scales are so important that I actually have two. I use one as a primary scale and a second for when I travel or as backup.

WH-B05 "No-Name" Food Scale
Backup Scale - No-Name Scale - WH-B05 (~$6)
- Super cheap, it is a "no-name" scale, but you will see some sellers rebrand it with their own logo name and increase the price.
- It is super small, light, and extremely accurate.
- It has a tare button and can measure up to 5kg in 1g increments.
- Outputs include grams, ounces, and lbs.
- Batteries last forever and has auto shut-off feature. Takes 2xAAA.
- I have actually had a couple of these scales as I tend to leave them places. Each one I have had has been dead-on accurate against my primary scale and has been reliable.
- Negatives, it is smaller, it is harder to read the scale with large bowls, plastic containers

My Weigh KD8000 Food Scale
Primary Scale - My Weigh KD8000 (~$35)
- Awesome scale with removable measuring top plate that can be tossed in the dishwasher
- Batteries last forever with auto shut-off. Takes 3xAA.
- Large LCD display with big numbers and is illuminated.
- Outputs include grams, kilograms, lbs + ounces, just ounces
- Display can be read with big bowls on it because of large, tall base + angled screen.
- Nice big & stable platform.
- 8kg capacity (~17.63lbs) and has a tare button - I am a huge watermelon fan and I often weigh half a watermelon at a time, eat the half, and then reweigh the leftover and subtract the difference. Others scale usually can't handle this task.
- Can buy a AC Adapter if you need it plugged in. I don't use it that way.
 - Negatives: This scale is definitely a bit bulky and takes up counter space.

Either one of these scales will work great. If you are shopping for other scales, be weary of the ones that take 9v batteries, that measure in 2g increments, or only measure in metric or lbs.

I will be writing a lot of good stuff in the next year. If you haven't followed me please do so. Links on the right side of the page include: Follow by Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube


My Weigh KD8000 on Amazon, eBay
"No-Name" WH-B05 on Amazon, eBay

Lastly if you are triathlete or endurance athlete, I am setting up a FREE Q&A group on Facebook. It will always be FREE. As a long-time age-grouper I spent way too long determining what information I could trust and what I couldn't. As a TRUE student of the sport I have learned a lot, remain open-minded, and realize that so many people disseminate information blindly and then myths become lore. Hoping to shed some light and simplify things for people.

Wind Tunnel Testing Ironman Pro Thomas Gerlach - Triathlon Aerodynamic Bike Drag

Testing @ A2 Windtunnel 
This past spring I spent $1,000 for 2 hours of wind tunnel time at the A2 Wind Tunnel
in Mooresville, NC. Although costly, I knew this was something I had to do to continue to improve as a professional triathlete. Unlike physical training, which focuses on building a bigger engine to go faster, this trip focused on making me more efficient by helping my cut thru the air like a knife.

While I had been familiar with the wind tunnel based on the reports of others, actually going to a wind tunnel gave me an entirely different perspective. This perspective will not only make future trips more efficient in my own planning, goals, and expectations, but it also gives me better insight to ask better questions of others. While aerodynamics seems like something of a dark art, it represents an opportunity for improvement for those that are willing to spend the time, money, and effort.

Given the complicated nature of aerodynamics I will be displaying numbers in two different formats. The geeks prefer to see results in CdA. I will also present the numbers in a simple 'watts' format. In this format, I will show the number of watts needed to go 26.0 mph. 26.0 mph is my typical Ironman 70.3 speed which equates to a 2:09:13 bike split.

For those people who are not experts at aerodynamics, please note the watts showed only include aerodynamic drag, it does not take into account the energy it takes to overcome rolling resistance nor does it take into account drivetrain losses. In addition, I tested at different wind angles referred as yaw. I don't want to get overly complex and discuss yaw. The important thing to know is that the real-world wind angles a rider experiences while cycling vary moment to moment. I chose to test at 0° and 10° degrees. This represents the majority of wind angles that I am going to experience in my races.

1. Baseline - the first thing I did was establish my baseline numbers. This represent the starting point which I hope to improve thru further refinement.

0°  = .246 .CdA
0°  = 238.1 Watts (Watts to go 26.0 mph)

10°  = .215 .CdA
10°  = 207.8 Watts

2. Position Changes - I then moved to making various position changes. I narrowed elbows, moved the saddle back and forth, the aero bar up and down. The data and pictures below represent the final position changes that I accepted. The changes were raising my front end up 1cm and along with narrowing my elbow pads by 2cm (1 cm each side) .

0°  = .240 .CdA
0° = 231.8 Watts

10°  = .211 .CdA
10°  = 203.6 Watts

3. Helmet Changes - I then moved to testing helmets. I had already been using a helmet that had proven to be fast on a high number of riders - that helmet was the LG P9 Helmet. I also tested a Kask Bambino, Catlike, Specialized S-Works TT, POC Cerebel, and Wasp Air. Often times some big changes can be found with helmets but for me the LG P9 was already the fastest. Pictures below show the second fastest helmet choice for me - the Kask Bambino.

Please note that I went to the tunnel before the Giro Aerohead MIPS came out. I now use the Aerohead MIPS and I did a short write-up on why that is here.

0°  = .240 .CdA
0°  = 231.8 Watts

10°  = .211 .CdA
10°  = 203.6 Watts

3. Race Kit Changes - I then moved to testing clothing. I started in a 2XU one-piece sleeveless kit that I raced in for years and was a size small. I also tested the 2XU sleeved kit that I had that was size small, a Cuore small sleeved suit, and a Cuore extra small sleeve suited. The Cuore extra small kit tested fastest and the results and pictures below reflect that.

0°  = .235 .CdA
0°  = 226.9 Watts

10°  = .207 .CdA
10°  = 200.4 Watts

4. Compression Sleeves
 - Given my large calves, I thought that adding some compression sleeves might help reduce drag. In the end, I had some 2XU MCS Compression Leg Sleeves (Amazon) (eBay) (Trisports). They were faster and the results and pictures reflect the change.

0°  = .232 .CdA
0°  = 224.3 Watts

10°  = .208 .CdA
10°  = 200.5 Watts

5. Shoe Change - One last change was shoes. I moved from some Pearl Izumi Octanes to Giro Empire SLX. The end results was the Giro Empire SLX were faster. The below reflects the final accepted change. For those interested, I did a full write-up of my Giro Empire SLX shoes with elastic laces.

0°  = .229 .CdA
0°  = 221.5 Watts

10°  = .200 .CdA
10°  = 192.8 Watts

Final Analysis - Looking at where I started and where I finished you can see that I made some considerable improvements in reducing aerodynamic drag despite already having the optimal helmet.

0° .246 => .229 .CdA
0° 238.1 => 221.5 Watts (16.6 watts decrease)

10°  .211 => .200 .CdA
10°  203.6 => 192.8 Watts (10.8 watts decrease)

What this means in the real world is that it would take less watts to go 26.0 mph. Or I could keep putting out the same watts and go even faster. Overall I was satisfied with my experience and certainly recommend the process for anyone that really cares about their race time.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments section below. Also, I will be writing a lot of good stuff in the next year. If you haven't followed me please do so. Links on the right side of the page include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, RSS, and Google+. You can also follow the blog by email as well.

My Links:
- Spreadsheet with all data
- Post: Fastest Ironman Bike Shoes - Aerodynamics + Weight - Cycling
- Post: Giro Aerohead MIPS Triathlon Aero Helmet Review

Product Links
- 2XU Elite MCS Compression Sleeves (Amazon) (eBay) (Trisports)
- Giro Empire SLX Review (Amazon) (eBay)

Lastly if you are triathlete or endurance athlete, I am setting up a FREE Q&A group on Facebook. It will always be FREE. As a long-time age-grouper I spent way too long determining what information I could trust and what I couldn't. As a TRUE student of the sport I have learned a lot, remain open-minded, and realize that so many people disseminate information blindly and then myths become lore. Hoping to shed some light and simplify things for people.

Garmin 920xt Christmas Holiday Deals

Garmin is running various deals which you should see on various retailers that run from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the way thru Christmas Eve. There are no Edge 520, 820, or Forerunner 735xt discounts. If you are an Discover IT card holder you can get 5% additional back this quarter with your quarterly rewards at Amazon.

Garmin FR230 $179 ($249) (28%)

Garmin Forerunner 230

Garmin FR235 $249 ($329) (27%)

Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin FR630 $229 ($399) (43%)

Garmin Forerunner 630

Garmin FR920XT $199 ($229) (56%)

Garmin Forerunner 920xt

Garmin FR920XT W/HR $249 ($499) (50%)

Garmin Forerunner 920xt
with Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin Fenix 3 $374 ($449) (25%)

Garmin Fenix 3

Garmin VivoSmart HR $69 ($149) (53%)

Garmin Vivosmart HR

Garmin Vivoactive HR $169 ($249) (32%)

Garmin Vivoactive HR

Ironman Triathlon - Better to DNF (Did Not Finish) or DNS (Did Not Start)

My last actual IMAZ finish in 2013
Is It Better to DNS or DNF an Ironman Triathlon???

It is an honest question. Truthfully, I hadn't really given it much thought until someone in a Facebook group asked the question. It struck me personally as I was in a similar predicament in regards to my own race, do I become a Did Not Start (DNS) or a Did Not Finish (DNF)???

But first a little bit of a backstory. For those who are not familiar, I have been racing Ironmans for a number of years. I was fortunate enough to finish 3rd at Ironman Louisville in both 2012 and 2013. In 2014, I went one better and finished 2nd to Chris "Big Sexy" McDonald, losing by only 16 seconds.

In 2015, Ironman Louisville was eliminated as pro race and I instead focused on training for Ironman Mont Tremblant. Unfortunately, in the lead up to the race I got an over-use injury, and although I did start, I ultimately had to DNF.

After that race I took some time off to let the body heal. Fortunately I live one block from the start/finish of Ironman Wisconsin, and as the Ironman parade came to town, I could not help but get nostalgic. Although, I hadn't done the training and I had no idea if I could even finish the race, I decided that there was little to lose by at least starting. After all, I could always pull out after the swim, or stop on the ride if the issue I was dealing with reared its nasty head. Fortunately it never did, and I ended up going 8:59:59 and took the overall win. Now I think back to that day and what if I had never even started?

Fast forward to 2016 and I have raced a ton of Ironman 70.3s, sprints, aquathons, even my first bike race. It has been a long season, and my body has showed signs that it needs some extended rest, but I wanted to close it out at Ironman Arizona, a race that is also near and dear to my heart. A race that was so wonderful in 2013, but then overshadowed by some despair in 2014 and 2015.

All smiles at the start of 2015
IMAZ but I wasn't able to finish
To say the the lead-up to the race was anything but perfect would be an understatement. It started with a strained piriformis. As a result, I took some time off running, got in very little running, and what I did do was all on the treadmill. I knew Ironman Arizona wasn't going to be a top-performance, but I felt like I did enough to make it to the start line. As a result I booked my travel and put my bike on a TribikeTransport truck, and then naturally it happened. Last Sunday, while putting on my wetsuit for a practice swim, I felt a sudden tightening in my back. My heart sunk. I knew right away it was going to be a problem, and was likely already a compensation issue from my piriformis as the pain was on the opposite side.

I took Monday and Tuesday off, and Wednesday I went to the Chiropractor for some x-rays and an adjustment. The recommendation from the Triathlete Chiropractor, was don't race. By Thursday, I was not only ready to throw in the towel, I DID throw in the towel. I cancelled my flight, treated myself to a pity party, and then actually gave it some thought.

Is it really better to DNS than to DNF?

The answer is certainly complex and is very individual and depends on unique circumstances. I won't go into all things one should consider, but I think a few things stand out. First is that you never know what will happen on race day. You can be in the best shape of your life, feel like you are going to win, and then have everything go completely wrong.

There will be people who go into a race in career best shape and they will fail miserably. That is the reality of racing.
Big thanks to the Base crew in 2015 for keeping me hydrated
but it wasn't meant to be.

On the flip side, you can go in with plenty of fear and doubt. Believe me, it is easily to get paralyzed by it, but I also have the confidence in knowing that some of my best days have come on the backs of those filled with the greatest fear and doubt.

As cliche as it sounds, "You do miss a 100% of the shots you don't take". I realize that there is very likely a DNF in my future, but I know if I don't start the race, that I will look back and regret it. I'll see you on the start line tomorrow.

Giddy up!!!

*** Update ***

This post was written the day before Ironman Arizona in 2016. I ended up not finishing the race but I started the race, swam 2.4 miles and then rode 112 miles with little issue. I started off on the run but it became clear after 9 miles that I was compensating heavily somewhere in the kinetic chain and I could tell it was straining my Achilles greatly. The Achilles is not something you want to put under stress when you are a professional and I opted at that point to pull out and become a DNF. 

Indoor Bike Trainer Desk - Best Wahoo Cycling Desk Alternative

Medical overbeds make great bike
trainer desks and are affordable
Wahoo Kickr Desk Alternatives 
The best CHEAP indoor bike trainer desk I have used is a medical overbed. Medical overbeds make great alternative indoor bike training desks and are far less expensive than Wahoo's Kickr Desk or DC Rainmaker's Podium Desk. My personal favorite medical overbed (and the one I use) is the $60 Vaunn Medical Adjustable Overbed. Some people prefer a stand that has a slot for iPads and this RAD Cycling desk for $118 is similar to the Wahoo Kickr desk in design.

For those unfamiliar, medical overbeds are designed to:
  • Have a telescoping table platform for easy height adjustment
  • Slide underneath the bed of a patient making eating & tv watching easy while in a hospital.
However, these design features make for excellent indoor cycling desks, media carts, and laptop stands and the Vaunn Medical Overbed has the following specific features and benefits:

In lowest (28 highest) and
highest (40 inches) positions
  • Adjusts from 28 inches to 40 inches.
  • Has wheels and can be moved easily both for storage or in case you need to adjust the position while cycling. Think laptop viewing angle.
  • The height of the table can be adjusted easily with one hand.
  • Stable base with large platform for all your computer, water, and food needs
  • Easy to put together (less than 10 minutes)
  • Inexpensive
In addition to using the medical overbed as indoor cycling trainer desk, it can also be used in other ways including:
Putting the bike back together on a
nice & sunny Wisconsin summer day

Bike Maintenance 
- I will set a towel on top and place all the tools I will need for the job. The telescoping up/down platform is easy to do one-handed and the table moves smoothly.

Laying in the bed with the boots - using recovery compression boots and a laptop, although doable, sometimes I prefer to use the overbed as a more stable platform that isn't going up and down with the expansion and contraction of the boots. Some people believe you shouldn't keep a warm laptop in your middle region As a true TV Tray - I will admit, I have never actually used this as a TV tray, but I would presume many people could.

Recommended Bike Trainer Desks on Amazon:

- Vaunn Eva Medical Overbed ($60)
- RAD Indoor Cycling Desk (Alternative Wahoo Kickr Desk) ($118) - Conquer Desk (Alternative Wahoo Kickr Desk) ($139)
- Wahoo Kickr Desk ($249)

Other Recommended Bike Trainer Products:

- Amazon: Generic Cycling Mat (6 feet x 2.5 feet) ($30) (I personally own one, great mat!)

- Amazon: Cyclops Cycling Mat (5.5 feet x 3 feet) ($65) (I personally own one, great mat but pricey!)

- CompetitveCyclist: Wahoo Kickr Smart Power Trainer ($~1200) (I personally own one, my all time favorite trainer!)

- Amazon: Kurt Kinetic Fluid Trainer (~$350) - gold standard trainer for those that don't want a smart trainer - I used a Kurt Kinetic for many years before the dawn of smart trainers. Extremely well built and durable.
- Amazon: Cyclops Hammer Direct Drive Trainer ($999 $699) - great deal on smart trainer as Cyclops rebrands their company under the Saris umbrella.
- Amazon: Saris H3 Direct Drive Trainer ($999) - Newly rebranded and updated direct drive smart trainer.

Normatec vs Air Relax Review - Recovery Compression Boots Comparison

Air Relax vs Normatec
Any discount coupon codes for Normatec can be found at the bottom of this comparison review! Current best Air Relax price is always available and automatically applied thru this link!

Simply put, Normatec and Air Relax recovery compression boots are awesome. As a professional triathlete, I have every recovery tool that exists and each tool has a purpose, however, I have come to rely heavily on my compression boots for general recovery. They are just too easy to use and I actually look forward to winding down my day, in bed, in boots, as they massage my legs, and I relax and watch an episode of Suits.

While professional athletes use recovery boots to recover faster and feel fresher, they are also great for non-athletes, after all, Air Relax and Normatec got their birth from the medical market specifically for lymphedema patients with intermittent pneumatic compression pumps, as they were called, and featured sequential compression technology. I won't go into great details here, but you can benefit from compression boots whether you are suffering from edema and pitting in the legs, have arthritis and need to get the blood flowing in the morning, are a long-haul driver looking for something more powerful than compression socks, have diabetic ulcers, MS, or just want a relaxing massage after a long day's work.

Compression boots squeeze blood &
lymph from the legs helping it back to the
heart, lungs & kidneys. The end result is you
recover faster and feel fresher!
While I am sold on recovery compression boots, the question is which set to get? Personally, I discovered Air Relax when I was looking for more affordable Normatec alternatives. While the Normatec Pulse ($1500) is a nice device, it was WAY more than I and many want to pay. Air Relax (about $545) makes a competitive product at a much lower price point. While I was a very early adopter of Air Relax in 2016, they are now the choice of many professional athletes and champions in cross-fit, basketball, cycling, triathlon, running and many other sports.

There are many other recovery boot systems available including Rapid Reboot, Recovery Pump, Elevated Legs, Podium Legs, Doctor Life LX7, and the older Normatech MVP - but I am only focusing on Air Relax vs Normatec Pulse today.

Air Relax ($545)

- FDA approved Class II medical device designed originally to treat patients with edema / swelling of the legs. As a result, they can go much higher in pressure. All the way to 230mmHg with 4 pressure levels. They have 3 different modes of squeezing.

- Small, portable, compression unit, smaller than the older bulky Normatec MVP system but larger than the Normatec Pulse.

- Manufactured in Korea. Features

- Time increment works off a 15-minute cycle which you can restart as many times as you would like.

- Features hidden hoses sewn in the legs with dark fabric that won't show dirt and YKK zippers for durability.

- System and pair of size 2 boots weigh 7lb 14oz.

- Available in both 110V (USA) and 220 (EU Asia).

Sizing comparison
- Comes in three sizes.
  • Size 2 (5' 3" to 5'7") 
  • Size 3 (5' 8" to 6'1") 
  • Size 4 (6' 2"+) 
- Optional attachments for hips and arms.

- Optional travel carrying case. $75 dollars for a well-padded, soft-shell design, with unique storage for other recovery tools.  I did a short review of the case with pictures and video here.

Highly affordable from buy from Air Relax USA today from $575 or on Amazon.

Normatec Pulse ($1195)

- Has a battery with a stated battery life of 2 hours. In my testing of the 2018 Pulse system was able to achieve almost 3 hours at level 5 pressure. The 2015-2017 Pulse system had problems with the battery. Get the 2018 Pulse if you have a choice.

Normatec Pulse System
- Comes in three sizes:
  • Short (under 5' 3")
  • Regular (5'4" to 6'3")
  • Tall (over 6' 4")  
- Assembled in the USA with parts from China.

- Pressure can go up to 100mmHg with 7 pressure levels and 1 mode of squeezing that Normatec calls "Pulse", hence the name.

- Zone boost option allows you to boost the pressure of one zone by 10mmHg over the rest. Max for that Zone boost zone is 110mmHg.

- Time increment is controllable in 5-minute increments from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

- Features hidden hoses sewn in the legs with dark fabric that won't show dirt and also uses YKK zippers.

- Optional attachments for hips and arms.

- Optional travel case. $150 with hard-shell design

-  $1195 direct from Normatec and Amazon. I highly recommend purchasing via Amazon as you get 5% cash back (~$65) w/Amazon Prime Visa + longer return period. All the way until Jan 31st the following year during their holiday promotion. Normatec's direct return period is 14 days only. Plus you get Amazon's great customer service.

Final thoughts

Not long ago it would have cost you $5,000 for a pair of Normatech Recovery MVP boots. The price has come way down with the Pulse system and they have made the system considerably smaller, more durable, and included new features like a battery. Normatec popularized compression boots for pro athletes and they make a great a device that everyone likes and I have no problems recommending.

Air Relax makes an extremely compelling alternative at a very attractive price point that allows more people to discover the benefits of recovery compression boots. It is ~$900 less than Normatec and that is a huge difference for many people. Air Relax has grown by leaps and bounds since I first reviewed them in 2016 and now outsells Normatec 3:1. I have received so many messages from happy Air Relax customers who wanted compression boots but didn't want to pay the Normatec price and I have no problems recommending them as well.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I recently (April 2019) put a recommendation on another product in this space. It is from a young but growing company that makes a fantastic set of recovery boots at an equally compelling price point albeit slightly more expensive ($650 with a case). I really like the size and shape of the unit and the user interface is super slick and allows you to easily see the pressure levels as a "range of pressures" in combination with the ability to turn on and off specific zones. I really want to encourage people, especially triathletes, to take a look at this brand as well.  I did a short comparison review of these boot here - Speed Hound vs Normatec Review.

Discussed Product Links:

Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System - $1195 on Amazon
- Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg System + Hips - $1595 on Amazon
Normatec on eBay - Used and New (Various prices, generally $700-$1200)
- Normatec Pulse 2.0 Detailed Review

Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99 - perfect chairs for compression boots recovery if you are on the go or even at home on the patio.

Air Relax.com - from 

Air Relax on Amazon - from $580
Air Relax on eBay (3rd party sellers only)
- Air Relax Carrying Case Quick Review
Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99 perfect chairs for relaxing at outdoor events or on the patio

Blue Seventy Coupon Code - 20% Off Discount Sale - Expires Dec 31, 2018

Save 20% at BlueSeventy.com 
Save 20% at BlueSeventy.com with discount coupon code Gerlach2020 

Discount coupon code expires Dec 31st, 2019

The code is good on everything BlueSeventy carries including wetsuits, skinsuits, goggles, and core shorts.

No restrictions, you can save 20% on the top of the line Helix wetsuit along with their Fusion and Reaction lines.

For those not familiar with BlueSeventy. BlueSeventy has been making suits for over 10 years and previously had the partnership with Ironman for the M-Dot branded suits. There are a lot of other suits out there from Roka, TYR, Xterra, Aquasphere, Nineteen, and Orca. The most important consideration in my experience is a suit that fits properly. A suit that doesn't fit properly will be uncomfortable or let in too much water. In either case you will be slower. Buy a suit that fits first, features should come second.

Air Relax Coupon Code Discount Sale - 15% Off Flash Sale

Read Air Relax review here
Air Relax Coupon Code Promo Sale - Any current 2022 promotions available on Air Relax recovery compression boots & accessories are posted at the bottom of my Normatec vs Air Relax here. If any promotional deals / sales / coupon codes / discount etc become available I post them there.

I also have a $50 off coupon + free shipping coupon (good all of 2022) for Speed Hound Recovery Compression boots system which is my current recommendation for best value compression boots - click here for that coupon.

Base Salt Coupon Code - 15% OFF Discount Promo

Use Coupon Code Base15 at checkout 
Use Base discount coupon code Base15 to save 15% on Base Salt, Amino, Hydro, Bars or any other Base Performance product at BasePerformance.com.

Base products are also available via Amazon Prime

I have been using Base "Rocket Fuel" since September 2015. It started with my victory at Ironman Wisconsin and has led to Ironman finishes of 8:20 and an Ironman 70.3 finish of 3:55. For me, I use 3-4 scoops of Hydro, a scoop of Amino, and depending on how hot it is, I will use 3-5 scoops of salt per bottle. I use 2 bottles for 70.3s. My Ironman nutrition strategy is a little more complicated and depends on a variety of factors.

13 Ironman Triathlon Recovery Tips - Recover Faster!!!

What does crossing this line mean to you now?
Finishing an Ironman is a huge accomplishment but it is also extremely taxing on the body. It can take weeks to even months to fully recovery from an Ironman race. While the soreness may disappear in a few days there are things happening internally that your body may not see or feel.

These tips will help your entire body recover faster. There isn't a magic recovery pill so treat recovery like you treat training and take it seriously and you will benefit. You may not be able to see or feel a difference by following one single tip but do many of the tips over and over again and it will lead to faster recovery!!!

Night of race

A must post race for DIY protein drinks
#1 - Drink a protein shake as soon as possible after the race. This will start the recovery process as soon as possible. You will get plenty of carbs at the food tent, but there are usually no easily digestible protein options so have a family member bring one of these to you shortly after the race. You can stop at the local drug store and get a six pack of Ensure. I prefer to put some whey protein isolate in a Blender Bottle as I drink protein shakes everyday. It doesn't really matter as long as there are some quick absorbing proteins in it. Whey is quick absorbing.

#2 - Keep moving - the night of the Ironman you might have a trouble sleeping either because of pain and discomfort, or because you took a whole lot of caffeine. If need be, go for a 30 minute walk before bed. Light movement is the best thing you can do for your body post race to flush the legs.

#3 - Sit in recovery boots. If you are fortunate enough to own a pair of recovery boots then sit in them for 30 minutes before going to bed. No doubt you saw Normatec at the Ironman expo. Although expensive, they are a MUST OWN tool for any serious athlete. They are so relaxing and help to remove move waste an fluid from the legs.

There are systems out there that are just as good as Normatec at half the price. My favorite system these days is Speed Hound. I did a review of them here - Speed Hound vs Normatec. You can get them for as little as $650 with the discount provided in the review.

Recovery Boots - A must for flushing all the edema post Ironman
#4 - Drink another protein shake right before bed

Post Race - Day 1 

I prefer pure Whey Isolate from reputable brands like ON
#1 - Drink a protein shake for breakfast and a glass of water. Your body needs fuel and protein to continue the recovery process. Have this before your normal breakfast. Real food takes too long to break down and you want to keep the recovery process going.

#2 - Keep moving - if there are morning festivities for the race, attend them and try to go for a light walk before and after.

#3 - Avoid caffeine - caffeine is going to add further stress to the system. Avoid it if you can as it will speed up recovery. I understand there may be situations where you need caffeine, like you have a long drive home and you need to stay awake but the more you can avoid caffeine the faster you will recover

#4 - Drink lots of water - your body could easily be 10lbs heavier than before the race. Ironmans are incredibly tough on the body and cankles and fluid build up (edema) is quite common. Your body is holding on to a ton of fluid for a variety of reasons, but it is important to keep drinking water to help clear waste.

For my body at my usual effort it can take days to get back to a normal weight. Depending on how fit you are, your body type, and how deep you had to dig in relationship to your fitness, your retention period will vary. Regardless this is not a 70.3. Ironmans really tax the body and you may not be used to this kind of swelling.

#5 - Take a nap. If you have the time take a nap. The more naps the better. Don't think of naps as being lazy, think of them as aiding the recovery process.

Bromelain ie Pineapple Enzyme -
 Natural anti-inflammatory + Breaks down proteins
#6 - Avoid NSAIDs and other painkillers. Anti-inflammatories are going to be hard on your system. If you need something for pain look to natural anti-inflammatories like Bromelain, the enzyme in Pineapple that is an anti-inflammatory. You can buy Bromelain itself which is extracted from Pineapple and is very affordable. It also aids in the breakdown of proteins which will also help the recovery process. My recommendation is this Source Naturals 2-pack. 240 tablets in total.

#7 - Drink a protein shake for lunch and dinner along with normal food.

#8 - Take short frequent walks - this really helps promote blood flow and flushes the legs.

#9 - No running - Let the body heal, swimming, walking, and light spinning for movement.

#10 - Take a Epsom Salt Bath - Epsom salt can help relieve general soreness with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) - this is what you are feeling.

Epsom salt baths can promote bloodflow and helps with DOMS

#11 - Spend more time in the recovery compression boots - if you have them, keep using them Ideally spend 2x30 minute sessions a day.

#12 - Take off work - hopefully you took a few days off work for your Ironman. If not consider it.

#13 - Be cognizant of germs - post-Ironman you have little to no immune system and it is very easy to get sick. I am not a stickler in general about germs but post-Ironman it is a good thing to think about and be a little more preventative. Often times post race you can't find any hand sanitizer but it is a great thing for your family to pack.

Post Race - Day 2

Post race day 2 is very similar to post race day 1. I won't re-write the tips, but you want to continue to do everything from Day 1.

If you are traveling via air and you have a long flight you want to make sure you get up mid flight and walk around a bit. You could very easily be even more sore on day 2. In addition, you might feel an overwhelming sense of lethargy. Believe me, although you can't feel or hear it, your heart is telling you that it is very tired.

If you are up to it, and have the energy, swimming is the best rehabilitation. Keep it very short and very easy. You can also walk or do a very light spin to promote recovery.

Post Race - Day 3

Re-read day 1 and day 2. The only real change on Day 3 is I add in some foam rolling to help facilitate recovery of the muscles and tissue. You can also get a massage as a replacement for foam rolling. You can stop the Epsom salt baths or you can continue as well for relaxation purposes.

If you don't already foam roll then it is a good thing to get in habit of doing. Unfortunately, my favorite foam roller is a little tough on people who don't already foam roll. If you do foam roll, you will never go back to your old foam roller once you get use to the Rumble Roller. My preference is the firm black version for home and I have the blue (softer) in the smaller version that I take with me in my carry-on.

Rumble Roller - The best 'torture device' / foam roller in the world.

Post Race - Day 4

Again re-read the prior days. There is no additions and subtractions on day 4. Day 4 is the last day of what I call the "acute recovery phase".

Post Race - Day 5-7

There is less of need for hydration and protein shakes. You can resume your normal diet and your daily coffee. Your body may or may not be back in equilibrium - if you are someone who frequently weighs themselves, you may weigh yourself but keep in mind you may still be holding on to a lot of water.

Personally I do a lot of swimming after an Ironman but I do this for a living so I need to keep working towards my next event. I will usually see a lot of fluid come out of my body during my swims on Day 3 and Day 4.

When it comes to eating, I suggest people be mindful of what they are eating. Likely your immediate soreness is gone but your body may still have weeks and months ahead of it to fully recovery.  It is perfectly acceptable to gain a few pounds, but remember your body doesn't necessarily need the same amount of fuel as it did during training.

I would keep any exercise to really easy swimming and biking to continue to promote bloodflow and recovery of the tissues. Walking is always good too. Your own feel is your best barometer.

Post Race - Week 2 

The focus of week 2 should be dictated by a variety of factors including your future goals. Some people will never do another triathlon or Ironman again, while others were itching to get back to training the day after the race. What is important is to be mindful of what you need personally.

Regardless of your future plans, know that you spent a lot of time training for your Ironman race. You probably spent so much time that the training may have defined who you are and gave you a real sense of purpose. It might be difficult to fill your day without the training so work to fill it with other activities.

Be aware that there is such a thing as the post-Ironman blues and it is a common feeling. That sense of purpose plus all the endorphins from exercise is a great feeling. My suggestion is to make fitness a life long process even if you never do another Ironman again. However, if you don't feel like exercising then take this time and spend it on family, friends, work and other hobbies you may have neglected in your training. If you want to continue your Ironman journey then start planning the next one.