Gear List

Hello wanderers!

Life has been busy with training and work so it has taken me longer to get this written than I have anticipated. I have been keeping up with my swim training and biking but now it seems I haven’t been getting enough running in. Oh well, if I can crush the first two events then the run portion is just left, right, repeat. Right?

In other news! I have rejoined Team Topeca Race Team, formally known as Team Tom’s back when I first raced for them! Looking forward to getting in some road/crit racing in this season as well as Ironman Tulsa.

Onto the gear list I am using as of now!

Bike

I currently ride a Specialized Allez E5 with Mavick rims and Shimono 105’s. I have built this bike over the years to serve as a crit/road racer. I will slap some carbon aero bars on it for the Ironman.

Saris M2 Smart Trainer – The smart has been a life saver this winter, it hasn’t been too cold but it gives me the freedom to get a ride in after work instead of going out in the dark. I have the trainer linked to my Garmin Edge 530 where I am able to ride Train Road structured workouts or I can select a course to ride and the trainer will adjust for the hills simulating the elevation profile. It will also bring up the climb profiles and show you grade, distance, and distance left till the top.

Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire – Wow let me tell you this watch series has more features and options than I have been able to discover yet! Seems like everyday I find out my watch does something I had no clue it could do. The Fenix series of watches are essentially your Swiss Army knives of watches. From cycling, running, swimming to mountaineering and expeditions with topographical maps. Very easy to use even with all the features. I upgraded from the Garmin 310XT (belongs in a museum now) to this watch and I am blown away by the advances in technology. I feel like both of my Garmin’s need their own separate post to go over features and how-to’s.

TrainerRoad – I discovered these guys from their excellent podcast they provide! I figured if they are giving out so much quality information about cycling, triathlons, and endurance on a podcast then their programs have to be worth it! I am impressed with all the features of their plan builder and structured workouts. It keeps me accountable for training by exporting my daily workout to my Google Calendar. I am excited to see how my cycling will improve for this upcoming season.

Run

Road Shoes: Inov-8 Flite 230 – I have stuck with the Inov-8 brand since high-school when I first discovered them. They have kept their shoes very similar therefore when it is time to update I know the new model will fit just like the last. They use a step down method with their running shoes all the way down to a zero drop shoe. I usually stick with 0-3mm for my heal to toe drop and a very minimal stack height.

Trail Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4.0 – I recently switched to Altra for my trail but my loyalty to Inov-8 might have me switching back once it is time to get a new pair of trail shoes. I really like the Altra brand of shoes though, all of their shoes are a zero drop and they provide a wide toe box for a more natural foot expansion on push offs.

Socks: Balega No Show Mohair – I will never wear another sock for training or racing! I have run up to 27 miles in them with no blisters or even the slightest hot-spot. Comfortable fit with a mid amount of cushion on the underfoot side then very thin on the top side. They are a wool blend providing extreme moister wicking and temperature regulation. As a treat to myself I buy a new pair before every race then just add them into my training rotation. The wool also provides natural deodorizers!

Headphones: AfterShokz Open Ear Headphones – I never ran with music or podcasts because I didn’t like the feel of something in my ears. It was extremely uncomfortable in my ears and I didn’t like losing my sense of hearing. Now with the AfterShokz Headphones I am able to hear everything around me and listen to podcasts while running, walking, or cycling. They use a bone conduction technology so nothing goes into ears, there is a pad that touches that bone in front of the ear that it uses to deliver the sound. I enjoy listening to the Ultra Stories Podcast, he is always telling great stories along with some deep philosophical conversations and tips for the ultra running lifestyle.

Headwear: Merino Wool Buff – Buffs are great for everything from sweat bands, ear warmers, hats, and face masks! Again I am sticking with the wool trend because of the moisture-wicking properties and better than synthetics at temperature regulation. I have used my Buff in below freezing temperatures to 70’s+ weather and it has never become uncomfortable.

Swim

I use the Fenix 6 to track my swims and I swim in a basic pair of spandex swim shorts.

Goggles: TYR – I chose a basic pair of polarized goggles for once I start open water swimming then something with a little darker tint in case the sun is super bright on the day of the Ironman. TYR is a long time trusted triathlon brand that makes high-quality products. I have worn their goggles for years without any dry rot on the rubber pieces.

Swim Cap: TYR Silicon – I just went with a basic silicon swim cap to mainly keep the hair out of my face while I am swimming but I do notice the drag reduction it provides as well. Also little added benefit when the pool is cold it keeps your ears and head warmer!

Nutrition

Tailwind – I have switched to Tailwind drink mixes for running and riding and WOW! No bonks, no cramps, no GI issues, and great hydration! A little bit of an acquired taste but once you get used to drinking it it actually becomes a craving! Their mixes are high in calories to keep you going till the end.

Tailwind Recovery – After your workouts you need to refuel and Tailwind again has perfected that combination. The perfect blend of protein, carbs, and electrolytes. Protein to build muscle, carbs to restore glycogen stores, and electrolytes to re-hydrate.

Nuun – I use Nuun for daily hydration, they provide a nice mix of electrolytes and taste to help me drink the recommended amount of liquids. Very light flavoring as well as a little fizzle. They now provide Nuun Immunity options and Nuun Rest options.

Liquid IV– Talk about hydration! This stuff gets you right in a matter of a glass. I drink this first thing in the morning to re-hydrate myself after sleeping all night. Also if I screw up on my hydration throughout the day or during a workout I will use one of these afterwards to replenish quickly!

Recovery

Addaday Rollers – I stress this to everyone… RECOVERY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ACTIVE TRAINING!!! You put in the effort to train 10+ hours a week and pay ridiculous amounts of money on gear and entry fees. Don’t jeopardize it to an injury when you have the tools to reduce your risk of injury! I put my rollers next to the couch so when I am chilling watching TV or whatever I am doing they are less than an arms reach away. Rolling helps break up scar tissue, lactic acid, improve blood flow, and loosens muscles better than stretching.

HyperVolt – The newest technology in recovery is the percussion massage guns. We have demo models at work that I use every shift to loosen up my calves, hip flexors, and work on my IT Band area. I will say it is much easier than rolling out and I notice a greater difference after using the percussion massage gun. HyperVolt is the in the middle road for percussion massage guns, long lasting and works great but also not as expensive as some models. HyperVolts come with a variety of attachments to hit the ideal target.

CEP Compression Socks – I have used compression socks for years for recovery and medical reasons. I like to wear them the night before a big run or bike ride, they make my legs feel brand new in the morning! Then I will wear them after a long run/ride to help with circulation and blood flow. I also have varicose veins so if I am going to be on my feet all day like at work or walking around I will wear them to prevent swelling.

Then lastly I freeze a plastic water bottle to roll the bottom of my foot out to keep that plantar tendon happy!

 

 

I hope this gives good insight into what I am using to accomplish this Ironman! Next post I will give insight to the book I am reading and the training schedule I am using to make sure I meet my goal.

 

Stay wandering my friends,

-Carl

 

2020 Brings New Adventures!

Hello everybody!

I hope you all had great holidays with family and friends. Emily and I sure were busy during them. I certainly enjoyed them but now that they are over it is time to get back onto a regular routine. Lucky I didn’t fall off of training too badly!

I was able to do a windy 50 mile bike ride on Christmas day and have continued on with the swim coach I hired! I will say investing my money with a swim coach that knows what he is doing has really helped! I struggled to do 50 meters without heavy breathing and changing strokes from freestyle to breast stroke. Now I am doing 300 meter warm ups and averaging 2200 meters per swim!

For the bike I have been using a smart trainer along with TrainerRoad. They have really great training schedules that you can tailor to your individual goal races and abilities. I used the “Plan Builder” feature and entered in Ironman Tulsa and Ironman Arizona then the Plan Builder generated a training schedule that cycles through each event with each phase of training.

I have slowed down on running to focus on the lower impact side of the triathlon. This is giving my legs a little time to rest up from the Marathon, 27 mile birthday run, and 25k I ran in the past couple of months. I am looking at doing a couple trail races coming up in February and April. Post Oak I would like to do the Triple challenge consisting of a 50k, 27.2, 50k spread out from Friday to Sunday. This will possibly be my first official Ultra Marathon. The other race is The Mid South previously known as the Land Run 100.

I would love to find a 50 mile Ultra sometime between Ironman Tulsa and Ironman Arizona. Please let me know if you all have a good one to attempt!

Some goals I have for 2020:

  • 2020 miles of running.
  • Bike more miles than I drive. My truck is currently at 19,450 miles on January 1st.
  • Swim a bunch… No set goal yet…
  • Read 26 books.

I have some other small goals but I will let you all know how I am with staying on track with the goals.

I will also compile a gear list of what I am using currently to train with this weekend and hopefully have it posted by Monday!

-Sully

I’m Back!!

Hello there family, friends, and readers!

It has been over a year and half since I last posted. It has been a challenging year but overall it has turned out perfect. I was unable to complete the half Ironman and full Ironman I had scheduled from 2018 due to external circumstances out of my control. But I was able to take what control I did have and use it to my advantage to grow hundredfold. I focused on my mental growth by challenging myself to read about 85 books about various topics. I did more research on physical challenges such as the Ironman and ultra running. Now that I am out of the military and regained control of my time I am training up for the first ever IRONMAN TULSA (May 31)!! Along with getting into Ironman Arizona next November. I officially started training the first weeks of December and so far it is going excellent. Leaving the Marine Corps was a bitter sweet moment of my life, it has taught me a tremendous amount about life and perseverance. But it is the right move for Emily and I that I leave that behind to focus on the future we want.

I have run two trail runs since coming home. Turkey n Taturs 25K was in November where I placed 5th overall. Then last Sunday I ran the Half n Half Marathon where it is half trail then half asphalt, overall I got 10th for the Marathon even with getting lost and ending up with 26.9 miles. Almost forgot that the day before my 27th birthday I went for a 27 mile run where my parents and wife helped support me by setting up little food and water stops. Then the last couple miles my wife road a lime scooter to pace me. I will start posting more about my training plans, equipment, techniques and little things I learn along the way but for now I just wanted to thank everyone who are helping me make my dreams into reality. Thank you to my wife, parents, family, and friends for this past year.

LETS MAKE 2020 THE YEAR WE PUSH OURSELVES TO NEW HEIGHTS!

The one and only,

-Carl Sullivan

Endurance Sports Mentality

DSC_0063.JPGKonbanwa! (Good evening in Japanese)

A quick over view of my training, then to the good stuff of why I am writing this post. Lately I have attended a Profession Military Education course to ensure I am trained enough for the next rank. At this course is mostly different running drills, ranging from long runs to formations to high intensity sprints. Courses in the military use running to induce stress upon the students, After a while anaerobic exercises wear down the body and mind faster than regular aerobic exercises. The anaerobic state is where humans grow physically and mentally, which I will talk about the mental portion later. I have also been fortunate enough to make it to pool on base to perfect my freestyle and breast stroke technique for the Ironman triathlons.

Now to my observations and opinions about endurance sports. To be fair I have gone back and forth between gym rat to endurance nerd, I have observed both sides of the spectrum. I will still continue strength training because I believe in an overall fitness approach. I get asked all the time “Why do you run/bike/swim/hike so far?” “Do you actually enjoy it?” then I get statements like “I could never do that” “Cardio sucks I hate it” “It hurts though” maybe a couple others along those lines. Well for those who ask I enjoy endurance activities and my reasoning I do it varies from personal goals, time to think, overall health, and so I can eat what I want (to a degree).

Working towards a personal goal keeps life interesting and the motivation flowing. Most marathon runners don’t start off at 26.2 miles but start small with 5k’s and work towards an overall goal. With each step in the ladder comes a greater dedication of time and effort. With increased distance/effort comes a greater risk of injury and burn out. In return for a greater personal satisfaction. The burnout and negative mentality is what can destroy someones personal goals in all sports but I have observed it most in endurance events.

Running is greatly psychological from beginning to end. (I will bring up running the most due to being the most common endurance activity) Mentally preparing yourself for something that you know will hurt takes a strong mindset, if you are running and you don’t hurt then you are not physically or mentally growing (don’t run through injuries though) I am talking about lungs burning, muscles on fire, almost to the point of lightheaded. This is how you will become fast and be able to go longer. But this is where endurance sports separate themselves from all others. You aren’t preparing for intense pain for a couple seconds to maybe a minute but instead working towards an event that could last for a half hour up to days and weeks. This is where that mental toughness comes in to say “yeah I am sore but I can do more, go faster, go further”.

The “suck” is not limited to you personally, it can also come from environmental factors. The heat, cold, wind, sun, rain, hills, scenery, and terrain conditions all play into the mentality of an endurance athlete. A 60 mile bike ride will be different every time you ride and where you ride. I remember in Yuma, Az I could crush it on the flat lands but as soon as I went to race in California I got destroyed on the hills even though the distance was the same. Personally I think windy bike rides are the worst, you are slow on areas you should be fast but unlike hills there is no downhill to recover on. I have dig deep into my mind and tell myself this wind sucks now but it will only make me more comfortable in different situations. This is why special operations, military, firefighters, and police officers deeply care more about how you perform during endurance activities than any other.

Endurance sports give you time to think, and when I say time to think I mean A LOT of time to think. This is where the whole endurance sport athlete boils down to and determines who can make it. Personally I have benefited my mental while out running or cycling, I have used good thought provoking techniques to solve my problems. Ultimately I have discovered who I am. While out there on the road it is easy to get caught into a negative thought process and question why you are doing this. Thoughts like “This sucks”, “I’m tired/hot/cold/hungry”, “Why do I do this?” are all far too common. Even boredom gets to people while training day after day, week after week. But from what I have read up on is boredom can actually be good! When bored we tend to think deeper, problem solve, and have a more creative mindset. In today’s times we are constantly distracted by cell phones, television, video games, and social media that we don’t allow for ourselves to get bored. I believe this is the reason why we as society have so much anxiety and depression built up, we are never truly able to think it through or solve our problems. When running/biking/swimming we are doing a very repetitive task that does not take much brain power at all (if training, actually competitions our mind needs to be there) so why not let your thoughts drift, solve some problems you are facing, or think of creative ways to plan for the future.

In closing I would like to say endurance sports offer you the chance to spend time outdoors. Natural sunlight and fresh oxygen are the two elements the body and mind crave that we don’t get enough of now days. Planning different routes and events breaks up the monotony of work, gym sessions, and life. You taking in more on a bicycle than you do in car, and you take in more during running than you do on a bicycle.

Long time no update!

It has been a while since I have posted anything besides a couple of Instagram pictures but I am back to making YouTube videos and the blog a priority. I will upload pictures from Thailand and the week with Emily in a separate post in the next couple of days. Right now all of my content is on a back up hard drive due to building a new desktop computer and restoring my MacBook, trying to speed it up now that is 7 years old.

My mind is still blown that is one day away from being April and I have two and half months to keep training for the half Ironman. This year so far is flying by and that is okay with me, faster time goes the faster I get to start my desired career choice.

More to come later but for now…

Enjoy the Video!

First day back in the pool!

After months of not being in water except for showering, I finally made it to the pool on base. Luckily the pool is heated and Okinawa doesn’t get below 60 degrees. Swimming will be a struggle for this triathlon as it is my weakest event and it is very technical to be a good swimmer. A 30 minute swim session left me extremely sore the next day, ontop of hitting up the boxing gym. I cannot believe I am on training day 20 already! 135 to go!

Stairway to Heaven Day 15

Suckered my friend into bicycling to the Stairway to Heaven here in Okinawa. After a little confusing from Google Maps taking us down wrong roads and not the best directions from a source my friend had, we made it to the Stairway to Heaven! There were a couple added hills we rode up while looking for the stair step but all in good training.

The hill will be easy to incorporate into the days I have to bike and run, this steepness will condition the legs and lungs faster than regular flat ground running. Sprints will work in the same manner to strengthen and condition.

By the way the sports drink I had on my ride today was absolutely terrible by itself. Next time if I do have to use I will mix it with fruit juice or Gatorade.

 

Boxing Session Day 13

Tonight I decided to get back into the boxing gym and literally hit it hard! Afterwards we went out for a dinner with a friend that is leaving on Saturday. We tried raw chicken from the restaurant and it was surprising good with a little soy sauce.

Indoor Trainer Session Day 12

After a long day I decided to do a hard effort for 35 minutes on the bike trainer then follow it with a 2 mile run. Trainer sessions are boring but a good show or music can make it a tad bit more enjoyable. Benefits of trainer sessions is it will discipline you to not stop pedalling but instead to change gears as needed. Trainer sessions also allow for uninterrupted cycling, not having stop at red lights or in traffic. Following up a trainer session with a run is quicker and easier than trying to go out for a ride then come back and go back out in a decent time.

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