Category Archives: Training


Swim coach at @ChiBlueDolphins said I’m getting better & efficient! #HopefulForNinetyMinuteIRONMANSwim #IRONMANtraining #TriTeamForGood


Training With Purpose #TriTeamForGood

In 2006, I was perfecting being a pro couch potato and Dorito eater. In 2007, I started to run and did my first marathon. About 7 marathons later, I realized I formed an addiction. But, that addiction got boring. So, I decided that I wanted to mix it up a bit in 2011 when I signed up for a 2012 IRONMAN when I couldn’t even swim. *GASP* Yeah, I know. But I got it done in September of last year, and boy was that a TOUGH JOURNEY!

I really thought that it was that one time bucket list item that I would not want to do again. But, I thought the same thing about running marathons. So, 2013 has me training again. But, this time I’m not doing it for myself.

I have the 2013 Ironman 70.3 Steelhead on August 4th and Ironman Wisconsin on September 8th on the schedule. And, to make this training and event participation more special, I will be fundraising as part of the inaugural Ironman Foundation – Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team.

My efforts will benefit the Ironman Foundation, Inc.’s Community Fund Program, supporting service projects that will be conducted in the race communities to assist local initiatives.

Through the team, I am able to make my journey to become a two-time IRONMAN one with a cause! Please help support my mission of supporting the local communities that host these IRONMAN events and know that any amount goes a LONG way and is tax-deductible! $3,000 seems like a long way, but I know that it will be easily accomplished with your support!

The goal of The IRONMAN Foundation-Newton Running Tri Team is to “create an action that happens once in time but has existing or lasting results or an action that happens continually or progressively.” The team will create a moment to impact people, that does it in a way to build a legacy.

Kokua is a Hawaiian word that translates as “extending loving, sacrificial help to others for their benefit, not for personal gain. Through our Kokua, we hope to leave the world a better place.

Through the support of the team, The IRONMAN Foundation will partner with a local charity to leave our KOKUA in the IRONMAN race Communities. Please help us leave a lasting legacy behind in our race community and contribute ANY amount. Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way and you can do so here:

Thank you for your support in reaching my $3,000 goal and for recognizing the Kokua that our team represents!

when #paleo becomes a #fail-eo

i have to be honest…

i am a rebellious person.

when i’m told not to do something, i typically want to do the opposite because i want to prove that i’m in control and not you. the same can be said when it comes to food.


since moving toward a paleo “lifestyle” in november 2012, it has definitely had an impact on controlling weight gain through the holidays and winter, coupled with non-ironman training type cardio.

going paleo, to me, has different depths. you can go ALL in (or have to due to medical conditions), where you are looking at specific chemicals in the products, how the animals you’re eating were fed, etc. or, you can go a little simpler, as i am. what are the key elements of paleo that i, personally, try to keep an eye on?

avoid sugar.

avoid grains.

avoid dairy.

avoid processed foods.

too many items in the ingredients list = no no.

notice how i said “avoid” above?

it all sounds pretty easy, right?



i WANT that bag of chips. i WANT that cupcake in the office kitchen. i WANT those french fries! i WANT that sushi! AND, I’LL HAVE THEM! those are the times that you DON’T see me posting pictures on Instagram because i’m ASHAMED!!!

but, there you have it… i’m human! i have those cravings and the fact that i’m not SUPPOSE to have them, makes me want to have them even MORE! REBELLION!


but once you read Paleo Diet for Athletes, you learn that those “non-optimal” foods are typically “ok” during stages III & IV of recovery! so, workout and ye shall be rewarded! the longer the workout, the longer stage III is! read the book so you fully understand!


so, ken… what’s your point?

my point is that it’s perfectly fine that i rebel. yes, i should do less of it. and, that’s a work in progress. i’m working on focusing on those foods as “rewards” and “integral for recovery” post-workout. so, i don’t really HAVE to rebel as much as i want to, especially because my training has started to ramp up significantly lately with the LA Marathon in March.


how do YOU rebel? what’s YOUR weakness?


26.2 on st patrick’s day anyone?

my post from 12/30/12, from ironman to fat described how i gained tons-o-pounds-o and made a commitment to 2013 in many ways to kick that fat to the curb!
if you know me well, i’m a little aggressive. remember when i signed up for ironman wisconsin 2012 a year before the race and couldn’t swim? 
yeah…so… now this…

Congratulations, this email serves as official confirmation of registration for the LA Marathon taking place March 17, 2013.

this is practically one of my many mantras: must have race on calendar so i train.  and, training is what i need to be doing now! time to piece together a schedule and get my @$$ in gear cuz i’ve got 26.2 to cover on st. patrick’s day this year!

anyone else doing a winter marathon?

*WARNING* do NOT attempt to train for a marathon under such a tight timeline unless you are in the proper shape to do so and/or if you are under CAREFUL supervision of a PERSONAL coach that will assess your day to day progress. AND, accept that finishing is just fine and PR’s can be saved for another day! *END WARNING*

from ironman to FAT!

admittedly, i feel as if most of my posts are “it’s been a while” type posts. but, i suppose the reality is that i’m always busy doing SOMEthing; i have too many ideas that i’d want to write about so i get overwhelmed and decide to “do it another day”; or, i’m just plain old LAZY!



Ironman Wisconsin

let’s rewind to about a month before ironman wisconsin…so about early august 2012… I! WAS! OVER! IT! i didn’t want to train anymore! i had seen what i learned to be “dark spots”…and THERE WERE TOO MANY! or, was i just lazy?

i learned later that i probably just needed to eat something. therefore, i was borderline hallucinating – at least, that’s what i’ll call it! but, i also learned from interviews while in Kona with Timex Sports Multisport Team Elite & Pro athletes that they were normal, even if you DIDN’T need calories.

OR, WAS I JUST LAZY? who knows, but there’s always a kernel of truth to every thought, right? MOVING ON!


Ironman World Championships with TimexSports

while i was in kona covering the week of the ironman world championships with Timex Sports, i sought inspiration, a re-ignition of the flame that i had way back when i originally signed up for wisconsin just a year earlier. it was the fire that quickly turned to smoke about a month before MY race day.

i needed renewed purpose AND an understanding about what my brain was going through before and after my race. before, it was, “CAN I BE DONE ALREADY?!?” during the race, it was, “HOLY! I’M GONNA DO THIS! BUT, I’M NEVER GOING TO DO IT AGAIN!” after, it was, “THAT WAS THE HARDEST, YET MOST REWARDING, THING I’VE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE! NEVER! AGAIN!”

so, what did i do?


Me Time=Fatty Time!

i took time for myself and TRIED not to overly guilt myself for not doing workouts. i TRIED to remind myself that i worked my ass off for a year, especially LEARNING TO SWIM, and deserved the break. it was time to give burnt-out-brain a break!

well, i was successful in not doing many workouts. yes, i was still shoveling calories in my mouth as an elongated celebration of my hard work and accomplishment. too bad, my body couldn’t burn calories without the ironman training type fitness though!

what started at the end of july as 178 pounds, leaning out even more up to august, turned into today’s ONE HUNDRED NINETY FOUR (yes, 1-9-4!!!) pounds! ken needs to get back into the rhythm, ya think?

granted, at the start of november, i started one-on-one personal training sessions and group classes with coach mike of fast & fit coaching, so i have built up some muscle but, SHIZNIT, i gotz to GET BACK TO WORK!


and, photos don’t lie.

mike is sure to document measurements using calipers AND photos. i’ll save you from the most recent shots until i’m more pleased with the outcome (then, i’ll show before & after shots), but let’s just say i don’t look like i did about 2 years ago in this shot for the Cupid Undie Run…which is where I’d like to be once again!

Cupid Undie Run - February 2011

how am i going to get back into that type of shape or EVEN STRONGER & BETTER? well, i’ve established purpose and accountability.

i’m going to continue the strength sessions with coach mike, but i’ve also moved to more of a paleo eating lifestyle, cutting out processed foods, grains, unnatural sugar, etc. google “paleo 101” or “paleo grocery list” and you’ll get the idea. better yet, grab a copy of paleo diet for athletes and read it!

additionally, i’ve committed myself to proudly represent TrainingPeaks (where i log and analyze (OVER-analyze) my data) as a brand ambassador in 2013, so i’m kept accountable there. i’m most excited here about sharing my TP workouts on social media and here so you all can stalk and see how much better than me you are! AND, i know that you’ll be interested in watching my progress so that’ll keep me accountable too! it’s my hope that you’d share with me your workouts as well so i can be inspired and vice versa too! to inspire & be inspired!



oh…before i forget, you get get their premium version for FREE for 2 weeks with my code: ken13. their free version offers a good amount, but if you are yearning for more analysis and visuals, GO PREMIUM! it’s inexpensive, AND FREE FOR THE FIRST TWO WEEKS! SIGN! UP!



Group Training

finally, what best to keep me accountable than working towards something WITH A GROUP! i’ve got several races planned for 2013. but, i’m actually looking forward to GROUP TRAINING so we can share war stories and “talk shop” together about nutrition, hydration, salt pills, chamois cream (ok, maybe not that)…but, you get the point. i’m gonna find a group to train with so THEY can give me heat for not showing up and, most importantly, so i can feed off of their energy during training as well. i’m just not the “solo trainer”–i learned that last year. i need the group. so, that shall be my plan!



in closing, i want to give special recognition to Timex Sports, TrainingPeaks, Fast & Fit Coaching, The Running Institute, you all, my close friends, and, most importantly, my better half, for believing in and supporting me in 2013 as i reach for and tackle my goals. i sure hope to add more brands to my SAG wagon and will be sure to give them recognition when appropriately as well!


from DQ to 1/2 IM to getting to the peak of Ironman Wisconsin training…

I musta been kidding myself when I thought I was gonna keep a blog.

Nevertheless, here I am with an update after a couple months when,at that time, I was telling you all about my DQ and how I was pulled out of the water during my first triathlon.

Because that was my first triathlon (sprint) and first open water swim (EVER) , I went ahead and took the bull by the horns and began doing open water swims like crazy before my upcoming olympic distance.

I needed to build confidence in the open water. I needed to be okay without having the ground so close to save me. I needed to not have the wall there to rest on each length. I needed to be able to be okay with being blind in the water and begin sighting in order to make my aquatic journey.

I did it.

The hard work paid off when I got to the Olympic distance triathlon. I had done a few 1 mile dry runs at Chicago’s Ohio Street Beach in preparation… 59 mins, 68 mins, 54 mins.

Mentally, it’s good to know that I can cover the distance. Next, is doing it within the cut off times.

For cutoffs in swimming, I always think in relation to the 70 min half Ironman cutoff and 140 min full Ironman cutoff.

The Olympic distance I did was completed in about 43 minutes. Sh*t! I covered JUST shy of a mile in the water in under 45 minutes! WOOP WOOP!

That was just 2 weeks before my 1/2 ironman distance at Racine… So, all I had to do was a little over two tenths of a mile more… Piece of cake!

It wasn’t really a piece of cake but I did get it done! It took me about 54 minutes to complete that swim!!! The hardest parts?? Just two things…

It was point to point… So, seeing that line of buoys line the shore was a little intimidating. We had to walk pretty much the whole distance from transition to the start line.

It felt like forever… I started getting bored and tired and just wanted it to be over.

I got it done though!!! And, once I hit dry land, I can survive the rest (knock on wood!).

So, another mental boost… I just gotta swim double in about 2 months (now exactly 4 weeks away) from then.

Then, we get to last weekend where I was out with CES for a training weekend in Mad Town. It started on Saturday morning with a swim in Lake Monona (race site).

It was really early (by my standards) and at 6:15 I already saw several people swimming about in the lake. WHOA! COOL!

I get there… I start getting into my full wetsuit… Folks coming out say to me, “you’re going to regret that. It’s hot!”

I tell them, “I’ll suffer through with it because I’d otherwise just drown. Amd, in my head I was thinking I’d be just fine!

We started with a little clinic where we had to tread water while listening to the coach… Umm… KEN DOESN’T TREAD H2O!!!

Well, Ken had to keep calm and make it seem like he could. And, he did for about 10-15 minutes. Go Ken!

Ok, time to swim… We were going to do 45 minutes.

HOLY HECK THAT SWIM SUCKED!!!!! I was hotter than the cake that I was craving in the oven at the local bakery!!! I could not believe how HOT that water was! And, my wetsuit just made it worse!

When I checked the water temp, it said 85 degrees! Whoa! Now, I know why 83(?) is the cutoff for wetsuits for safety reasons!

83, degree water temperature plus body temperature plus insulation properties of a wetsuit just equaled disaster!

Needless to say, I didn’t get very far… I only got from the jetski ramp (race start line) to the end of the terrace parking entrance and back while most everyone else was way off in the distance.

How did I survive?

Well, I tried not to panic too much. And, I went to my back a few times to just relax, float and breathe. Oh, and I kept sighting for the most direct route back to the boat ramp so i could get out as soon as possible!

When I got out, I was relieved. But, I was also really worn out from that short little swim because of the heat. Even when I was just out of my wetsuit and only in my jammers after drying myself off, I started to sweat like crazy!!!! I was POOPED!!!

That hot swim haunted me mentally during my first of two loops on the bike course.

Some of the many thoughts:

What if the race isn’t wetsuit legal? What if it doesn’t cool off? If it’s hot but wetsuit legal, will I go for it? Or, will I just spectate? How the heck am I going to do this without a wetsuit? Swim buoy to buoy and hang out to take breaks? I wasn’t able to complete the prescribed swim by my coach because it was so damn hot- am I in trouble?

Fast forward to today…

During the week, I found the USGS site that reports water temperature. And, the charts, showed the downward tend of the temperature. In fact, the temperature read just 72 degrees yesterday!

So, I was put at ease. I went to the pool (in lieu of choppy, gas filled, stinky Ohio Street Beach) to swim my 2 miles for the day. And, I did it in about 1:50.

Here, I admit that I use a pull buoy without gripping it hard just so I can get a little help with the buoyancy. Don’t worry, I’m still kicking from the hips and have the chafing from the pull buoy to prove it!

So, that’s a huge accomplishment for the day. And, next week I get to cover a full 2.4 miles in Lake Monona as part of a race. Just don’t get bored, right?!?

When did I ever think I would be BORED while swimming?!? I NEVER thought I was ever be in this place now! Just a tiny bit over a year ago I signed up for Wisconsin without knowing how to swim. Now, I’m getting bored?!?

I’m ever so thankful to those that have gotten me this far today! My coaches that continue to teach me, my friends, my co-workers and my ever so awesome partner, Anthony!

I’ve become a ball of emotions in the past couple weeks because of all the rigors of training, the mental battles from missing workouts, and just every day life. Apparently, this is not uncommon  as I near the peak of Ironman training.

Since I became active in 2007, I have continued to prove to myself that I’ve got more in me to give physically and mentally. The road isn’t always paved like fresh blacktop, but the feeling of accomplishment, especially as i reflect back on the past 11 months of training, is huge!

I always thought Ironman athletes were crazy! Well, I’m going to soon become one of those crazy ones!

not an excuse…an explanation…


so…i felt great about being pro-active with getting my swim in a day early because of my schedule on wednesday. i thought i was on a great track. then, wednesday night, it was a later than preferred night at the office so i didn’t get my run in. instead, i did it yesterday morning… 

i had the intention of getting my ride in last night but, again, later night than preferred. i suppose it finally caught up with me because this morning i was wiped out mentally and physically and couldn’t even get out of bed. yes, THAT is definitely an excuse.

nevertheless, i need your recommendation on what to get done (running or swimming) this afternoon/evening because i can get out at a decent hour. should i just do the prescribed 50 minute run?

i’ll be on track this weekend just fine with the 1:20 run & 1500 swim tomorrow…and 2/2:30hr ride on sunday.

i know that your initial reaction/response will probably be “don’t miss your workout” and i appreciate that and know. so, if we can maybe go to what you would say after that, that’d be awesome. i already feel tremendous guilt for missing the ride!

Video Update!

It’s been a while but here’s a brief update on my training. This is moreso to test that this will work. It’s loud in here @ vision quest so you may have to listen closely. Gotta admit that it’s weird looking at myself so closely.




be back with y’all via video soon but wanted to share this fun photo of me with you!

I’m spending 15 minutes in this Normatec thing at Vision Quest! It feels great, especially because my legs have felt worn out recently!

Laugh at how stereotypical I look!

Ummmm…I’m numb “down there”…

This is the first time I’ve gone numb…”down there”…

It was the oddest of feelings… it’s like when your foot falls asleep…

Do you get the point?!?

Maybe, this is my cue to add to my to do list “look for another bike seat to address numbness.”

Other than that and my contact folding up on me, it was a great ride at Vision Quest!

And, I ran into my coach (Dan Litwora) on his way out and my way in. I sum up his plan for me in the pool…”You will run in the pool what you aren’t swimming!”

Awesome conclusion to an otherwise stressful day!


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