By David Warden

Day 4 Splits

Swim: 1:22:59

Bike: 6:30:11

Run: 5:04:24

Total: 12:57:34

I first met James in 2006. During my second Olympic triathlon ever, a tatoo'd guy passed me on the bike. I didn't like that, so I passed him back. He evidently didn't like it either, so he rocketed by me again. Over the next 20 miles the back-and-forth continued until we reached the run at the same time.

"We're in 1st and 2nd place for our age-group," he told me as we hit the pavement.

"No way, really?" I had never considered placing at an event, particularly the 2,000 participant strong race we were in.

"You can win this thing, man. Go for it."

I'll never forget that moment, the moment where I realized I might have a little bit of talent in this sport that has brought me so much satisfaction since. James is an inspiration. Whether in small doses like mine in 2006, or what he is doing today, he has planted a field of confidence for the rest of us to harvest.

But what James is doing now is hard. Really hard. It's time for him to cash in on all the support he's given other people and recognize some himself, and I hope the reader will consider that through whatever means they can to support him. As his coach, I find it tough to find the balance between encouragement and positive statements, and giving him constant feedback and areas I think need to change. 

My current primary concern for James is sleep. He's not getting enough. I had previously blogged about how I originally felt he should take 16 hours a day, with rest and naps in between each sport, even napping every 2 hours on the bike. The logistics just don't work out for that to happen to get from state to state. But yesterday he took my advise with a 25 minute nap between the bike and run, which was all the time he could afford, and it forced him to run a 5 hour marathon, some 30 minutes faster than his average to date in order to make his next flight.

So again, we find ourselves caught between intensity and recovery time. I'm happy he took a nap, not happy he increased intensity as a result. There is just no way around this problem, and we'll just have to balance the two requirements as we continue.

The swim today was routine, and by that I mean it just takes longer to get in the yards outdoors than indoors. The first two days were indoors, and James can really push off that wall. Day 2 and 4 were much longer swims, which will present more time management problems as he swims outdoors more often. It appears James has also corrected the yards to meters on his Garmin 920xt from Day 3.

Day 4 Swim courtesy of Garmin Connect

Day 4 Swim courtesy of Garmin Connect

The bike was the best yet. Unfortunately, the power meter is still broken, but I understand it will be back for day 5. All I have it HR to look at, and it looks good. Nice and easy at 6.5 hours, crazy low HR at 111. In fact it is so low I'm worried (boy, there is no pleasing me. Too high intensity and I'm upset, too low and I'm worried). Could the sleep deprivation be artificially lowering the HR? Certainly. I hope this will be addressed with more frequent naps, which should increase as the logistics get easier to move from state to state. Or, it could be that this course was just nice and easy, several stops, and his average HR is just a reflection of the easier conditions.

Day 4 Bike courtesy of Garmin Connect

Day 4 Bike courtesy of Garmin Connect

No run data has been posted, I received the time from James by text, but I'll add that when available to this blog.