If you have attended a March Solvang camp since 2010, then you would have no doubt met, or seen the back wheel of,Alaska Bob, AKA Bob Smith. Bob, a strong athlete with a quiet demeanor, lets his biking do the talking at camp and his signature ride is the Jalama Beach ride. Bob seems to be one of only a handful of athletes who has the ability to negative split that ride even with putting the hammer down on the way TO the beach!
2017 has been a good year for Alaska Bob which included a great race at Ironman Wisconsin in September, which enabled him to punch his ticket to Kona for 2018! So on the back of that, we thought we would check in with him to see if he would spill the beans on some of his training behind his amazing biking strength. Thanks for sharing Bob!
Alaska Bob’s Key Ironman Bike Session
Progression by week: This session starts out with a two hour bike on the weekends and increases a half hour every week. These long rides are on Saturday followed by my long runs on Sunday and those increase two or four miles every week. It peaks at a five hour ride three weeks before the Ironman race. I try to hold a zone 2 power range mixing in some surges and intervals and hope my normalized power is in the low zone 2 range for these rides.
As many athletes in the northern hemisphere are beginning their off-season, the months ahead can be a great time to work on technique and focus on skills.
Looking for some motivation to show that we can all learn new skills? Looking to change your swim stroke, learn to nordic ski, or change your run form this winter? This video demonstrates the power of persistence in changing the neural pathways in your brain to learn new skills, or re-learn skills! Enjoy the video…
Wonder if any camp athletes could ride a lap of the Meadowlark Inn on a backwards brain bike next spring!!?!
Canadian Julie Gagnon, a 7 time Solvang camp athlete, has had a big year which included finishing her MBA, starting a new job, and racing the ITU Long Distance World Championships in Penticton in August. Juggling all this led to her starting her training later than normal in the year, so her 10 week build up was definitely about honing the word ‘key’!
Check out one of Julie’s key workouts that accelerated her to an 11th place finish in her AG at the ITU Long Distance world champs, a race distance that was 3km swim – 120km bike – 30km run !
Julie Gagnon’s Key Workout In Prep for ITU Long Distance Worlds
In some ways it is rather like a dream you could have on one of those training days where you feel invincable. Enter your first Ironman just one week out, and then win the race. Come on, for real?!!! Well if your name is Molly Smith, then this was no dream, it was the actual reality of her Ironman Maryland race just a couple of weeks ago.
Molly, a 3 time Solvang camp athlete (2015-2017), shares her amazing story below, and it’s a fun read with some real gems. And if you have an extra 30 seconds, check out her Ironman finish on the video. It’s a fantastic display of true shock and elation all rolled into one that will just make you smile.
Thanks Molly for showing us that sometimes a leap of faith is the way to go. Truly, many congratulations on your Ironman win and an amazing season!!
Interview with Molly Smith, Ironman Maryland winner!
1. Heading into 2017, what goals and hopes did you have with the sport?
My number one goal is always to have fun and race to the best of my potential on a given day. I regularly remind myself that it is a gift every time I make it to the start line, and that I should never take my health, fitness or ability to race for granted!
I hope that I can be saying those things 10 and 20 years down the road, too,
We first got to meet Roberto in Solvang in March 2017, where he kicked off his Solvang week with the Solvang Century ride, then rolled into the Spring Fling Camp putting in some conscientious mileage and injecting much humor along the way.
Roberto is now preparing for Ironman Los Cabos and has recently been modifying some of his training protocols to work on strength and muscular endurance. Check out one of the key sessions he is doing below!
Roberto Florencia’s key workout in prep for Ironman Los Cabos:
Lately I like this workout to get me ready for what I’m working on, strength for IM/ Muscular endurance.