Going Pro: Craig Alexander talks off-season training

Going Pro: Craig Alexander talks off-season training

In this “Going Pro” I got another chance to talk to 3-time Ironman World Champ Craig Alexander and ask him some of the questions emailed and tweeted by you!


Craig won his 3rd IM Championship in October.

Besides resting after Kona, what are your plans for off-season training?

CA: Well so far there has really been no off-season. I have had more appearances and media time than in years past and just a whole lot of traveling. I like it though; it gives me a chance to really tough base with triathletes away from the pressure and focus of racing.

I do really enjoy meeting the amateurs and hearing their stories. Everyone is so excited to be participating in the sport, especially the beginners. I’m always happy to spend some time chatting. I am also building a gym in my house. Dave Scott has been writing my strength programs for years and it’s done wonders for me.

How much time do you spend doing workouts on a trainer/treadmill?

CA: Well since I have the endless summer, splitting time between Cronulla (Australia) and Boulder, I get to do a lot of my sessions outside. But for sure I work in specific workouts on the trainer and tready. But probably not more than 10-15%.

What kind of a role does nutrition play in your off-season workouts?

CA: It’s huge. It’s actually one of my biggest focus areas for 2012. Nutrition is something that is talked about so much in this sport, that sometimes it gets diluted in the thoughts of one’s physical training. I have used SaltStick religiously in Kona and my nutrition of choice during the season is an Australian line called Body Science. You are what you eat, so they say…. So eat healthy!

How do you like the new Specialized Shiv?

CA: Well it’s by far the fastest bike I’ve ever ridden. While it wasn’t the only factor that contributed to my Kona bike split this year, it was the largest. It’s a rocket shipand cuts through the wind. The internal hydration bladder was actually very useful. I think Specialized set a new standard with this machine. It’s a beast!

How soon after the season ends do you start looking at your schedule for the next year?

CA: Generally about December time. I’m still as hungry as ever to go after the sports biggest races and my 2012 schedule will reflect that. I definitely want to defend my titles in Vegas and Kona and will add some new events to the schedule this year such as Ironman Melbourne and Eagleman 70.3. Abu Dhabi International is also on the top of my list. That raced is spectacular.

I have always loved Chicago triathlon as well it just doesn’t fit well with my training for the Ironman and 70.3 World Champs. I will return there one year. I have fond memories from winning there in 2004 and 2006.

Can we expect you see you at ANY of the mid-west races like Ironman Wisconsin or Racine 70.3?

CA: Probably not in 2012. But for sure I will return to do some of my favorite olympic distance events like Chicago once I’m ready to hang up my Kona plans. Chicago is a great city, a great sports town.

Other than Ironman events what races seem appealing to you?

CA: Abu Dhabi is fabulous. I believe my colleagues from the US fly through Chicago to get there, so I would highly recommend racing that one to anyone who is not afraid of a 14 hour plane ride. I also enjoy the lifetime series, Rev3 Quassy and would like to do Wildflower one year. I’m not sure if I have the mountain bike skills to go in Xterra, but I’m getting a new Specialized Epic 29’r soon, so you never know.

Thanks again to Craig for taking time out of his super busy schedule to talk to us!

If there are any other Pro’s you have questions for, let me about it on Twitter or on the Going The Distance Facebook Page!

Coming up on Going The Distance

Coming up on Going The Distance

Lots of exciting stuff on the brink here at GTD. It’s a new year and with that comes new goals.

When I started writing this blog I was a non-runner training for my first marathon (done), the next year I wanted to jump into triathlon and aimed to complete an Ironman 70.3 (complete). This year I have two Ironman 70.3’s on the schedule and the big goal is Ironman Wisconsin in Sept.

There are also more “Going Pro” interviews coming up. I just had a nice interview with Ironman World Champ Craig Alexander which will be up later this week. On Friday I’m chatting with Ironman Women’s Champion Chrissie Wellington on Skype. Also on deck are Matty Reed, Mirinda Carfrae and Julie Dibens.

And finally, I’m excited to announce a partnership with Felt for a series of weekly off season cycling tips and drills provided by the above mentioned Pro’s in addition to important information about transitioning from a road bike to a Tri bike. Plus you’ll get a look at the Felt DA4, which Triathlete Magazine called one of the most exciting bikes of 2012. 

It’s going to be an exciting year! Keep Training

Crowie, Rinny & Boom Boom Reed answer your questions

Crowie, Rinny & Boom Boom Reed answer your questions

The other day I did a segment called “GoingPro” and interviewed Triathlete Logan Franks about his training and racing as well as getting some tips about triathlon.

You readers sent me some great emails and tweets saying you liked it and wanted more…

Ask and you shall receive!

Craig Alexander
Mirinda Carfrae

Matty Reed
Matty Reed

In the coming weeks I’ll be talking to Craig Alexander, Mirinda Carfrae and Matty Reed via Skype and asking them YOUR questions.

So if you ever wanted to get a tip from the pro’s now is your chance. You can send me your questions in e-mail phil.castello@mac.com or on twitter @PhilCastello using the hash tags #AskMatty #AskRinny #AskCrowie.

Tell me what else you’d like to see on Going the Distance.


Going Pro: Triathlete Logan Franks

Going Pro: Triathlete Logan Franks

Have you ever looked at your training schedule and thought “There just isn’t enough time in the day”?

If so then do yourself a favor and start following Professional Triathlete Logan Franks on Twitter to REALLY see what a jam packed day looks like. Logan tweets things like

“Heading to the gym for a 2:15min spin, a short swim, a nice little lifting session, and 40 more minutes on the bike. Thursdays suck!”

While that may not seem out of the ordinary for a pro, according to Logan Thursday is one of his “slow days”

After returning from Iraq in 2009 where he served as a gunner for the Marine Corps, he took $6000, bought a Cervelo P2C and everything he needed to complete an Ironman and then registered for 2010 IM Lake Placid… where he ended up finishing 11th overall and qualified for Kona. He placed 52nd in Kona and had the fastest American marathon time.

In 2011 he decided to go pro.

What makes Logan’s story different (other than the fact he hadn’t experienced triathlon until after Iraq) is how he manages his schedule. Outside of the 18-20 training hours he logs each week Logan is a full-time student, still active in the Marine Reserves, and works a part time job about 20 hours a week.

Logan’s Monday’s come together like this:

7am – Swim 3000 meters
9a-10a – Class
4 Hour Bike Ride (He uses his car as his gear storage and changing room)
3:30-6:30 – Class (At this point he’s eaten lunch in the hall way walking there)
Swim 3000 meters

With is 2012 race schedule set, I asked him what tips he had for offseason indoor training.

“You can only get so fit before hitting the ceiling. So I start the offseason buy getting a little out of shape. I’ve spent a month eating chicken wings and drinking beer.”

Logan starts base training at a 7:30 pace eventually incorporating some speed work and later distance and speed work.

His focus this season is to peak at all seven races on his schedule which is comprised of three 70.3’s and three Iron distance races (including Kona of course).

As a newer triathlete, how was is transitioning from the 70.3 distance to the 140.6 distance?

“Your training is practically the same. I would suggest adding some extra speed work. Last season [2011] I used the 70.3’s to train for the Iron distance”

What about racing, what is the biggest change there?

“Nutrition is paramount at the Iron distance. You need to work your nutrition like clockwork. My coach has me eat the same breakfast 4 hours before a race. I eat a ridiculous amount of apple sauce, a power bar and a protein shake. During a race I’m eating something every 15 minutes.”

Logan also stressed staying on top of your hydration.

“I learned about hydration in Iraq, they taught us hot weather survival. I used that training during my first year doing triathlon.”

You’ll notice in all the pictures he’s wearing the Punisher logo on his gear.

“I think you’re the first person to ever ask me that! While I was in Fallujah the logo kind of became our mascot for Fox Company. On our second tour we needed a call sign and picked Punisher. We painted it on our vehicles and one guy flew the flag from the back of his hummer. The Marines are really who I am and why I decided to do triathlon.”

You can see Logan’s race schedule and read his personal story on his website.

Logan Franks Gear:

Bike: Specialized Transition Pro
Shoes: Sidi Road Shoe/Brooks Glycerin 9
Wetsuit: Blue Seventy