Monday, October 5, 2009

I raced!!

SUPER SPRINT: 200 yard Swim - 8 mile Bike - 2 mile Run
Saturday, September 26, 2009 - Clermont, Florida USA
>>> Produced by SOMMER SPORTS <<<

With a time of 45:15.68 I was 5th of 49 men and 85 finishers. There weren't age groups, but I would of been 2nd.

Finish Swim Swim Trn1 Trans Bike Bike Bike Cum Cum Trn2 Trans Run Run Pace
Time Plc Time Plc #1 Plc Time Rate Plc Time Plc #2 Plc Time /mile PENALTY
===== ====================== === ===================== ============ ==== ======= ==== ===== ==== ======= ==== ==== ======== ==== ===== ==== ======= ===== =======
5 45:15.68 9 3:35 4 1:25 6 24:08 19.9 5 29:07 3 0:34 12 15:36 7:48

Racing wouldn't be such a big deal, but this has been a crazy and busy year. This is only the third race that I have done this year. My training has been extremely sporadic as I've been marketing Pilster Photography. I guess you could say this is pretty important, because this pays the way for me to go out and race in triathlons. The tougher the economy, the harder it is to market a company (If you need a wedding photographer, or any photographer for that matter, drop us a line!)

On another note, now that I'm shooting weddings it makes it harder to find a free weekend. I am much more careful about signing up for a race in case I book something, so I waited until the last minute to sign up for this race.

With very little training and most of it sporadic, I placed 5th overall in this little super sprint. Overall I'm pretty happy with doing that well. I felt just as exhausted as any other race I've done. I don't know if it's because I pushed myself harder in such a short distance, because I'm out of shape, or some of both.

My swim was a little slower than I wanted, actually everything was slower than I wanted. It was a super sprint and my splits were all slower than a sprint race I ran on a similar course at the beginning of the season. Actually the course at the beginning of the season had more hills. The area that I probably did the best in were my transitions. There was only an 8sec difference between myself and the leader. I think that's the smallest window I've ever had.

There are only a couple sprint races left before the season is over. Hopefully my schedule will let me race in them. Either way my main goal right now is to improve my running and consistency. I am working on taking my running shoes to the pavement 5 days a week. Then I hope to take a break and start to build up for the racing next season. We'll see how that goes.

See the photos here!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer Triathlon Coaching

The summer Triathlon class at DeLand's YMCA has started, and guess who the coach is. This is the first year that a class has happened after May. I took over from previous instructor, Kathy, who is an amazing triathlete herself.

The first class started out a little bit rough. Rain was coming down like a waterfall about half an hour before class. It was the first class, so I wasn't sure who was attending and I didn't have any contact information. Two of five students did show up and the third caught up to us later in the program.

Since the roads were wet and lightning could still be seen in the distance I had to improvise. I was planning to do some mid-tempo training on the bike and then intervals on the run. Outside of a bike trainer, I have yet to find a decent stationary bike replacement.

I had my team do a five minute warm-up on the bike and then 10 minutes at about 70% exertion. We then headed over to the treadmill where they did a 1:30 rest and then 400m, then a 1:30 rest, and 400m for 4 times. We then headed back to the bikes for 5 minutes of easy riding. We finished with another set of 4x400.

The original plan was to do a cool-down on the bike, but the sun peaked out of the clouds. We all agreed that we needed some fresh air, so we took the class back outside. We ran an easy 1 mile with some plyometrics mixed in half way.

Overall it was a great workout. They will have swimming on Tuesday and then I will see them again next Thursday. If you are interested, you can still join in, just contact the DeLand YMCA.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No Swim St. Anthony's Triathlon/Duathlon

St. Anthony's Triathlon
1500 Meter Swim/40K Bike/10K Run
April 26, 2009
St. Petersburg, FL
Race Director: Philip LaHaye
Timing and Scoring: Alta Vista Sports

With a time of 1:55.18 I was 57th of 223 in my age group and 480 of 3556 finishers.

57 480 588 Chad Pilster 32 Deland FL 1:55:18 1:03 34 1:04:41 23.1 1:36 83 47:59 7:44

For the first time in the 26 year history of St. Anthony's the water was too rough to hold the swim. I'm sure some other factors played on it like three years ago there was a death in water that was also as rough. Also a recent report came out citing 13 of 14 deaths over a 2 year period in triathlon were during the swim.

They made it a bike and then run. You start at the end of the swim and run to your bike with whatever gear you want (Helmet, glasses, shoes, etc) and then run it out of transition.

I am not a strong runner, and it has been a rough and inconsistent training season up to this point. When you take out the swim my chances of being competitive for the top spots drop significantly.

There were a few positives this weekend.

Even though my times were very close to the previous year I felt strong. I don't remember feeling this strong last year, and maybe some of it comes from experience.

I had a chance to see the pros come out of the water. Usually I would be in the water at the same time that they are, but instead we waited by the end of the swim. It was the first time I've been able to watch the pros except when I pass them in the opposite direction on the course.

I had a chance to work on sprinting to my bike. Usually when I get out of the water I'm dizzy and it takes me a while to figure out if I'm even running straight. Without this, I was able to get my legs moving in the hundred yard dash mode. The scary thing is that I had my helmet and glasses on (I nixed the shoes because I felt I could run faster without them), and some of the pros who did swim had a faster transition time than me. I wish I had a chance to watch how they do this, but with 6000 people crammed into a tiny area, there was a wall between where I was standing to watch them come out of the water and the transition area.

Maybe I'll do 200m interval days where I sprint to my bike and throw on my shoes and then sprint another 200m with my bike.

My good friend Sara McLarty rocked the pro womens' field! She was first out of the water (no surprise), fastest on the bike, and then lost first by a measly 23 seconds and second by 6 seconds during a sprint finish. I saw her when I started my run and she was in second place, and I thought she had it. I can't wait to see her pull off a few upsets this year!

I qualified for the USAT Regional Championships by being within the top 33% of my age group. (I was at 25%) Although I am unsure if it will count since there was no swim.

Once I was on the bike it only took me a little bit to recover from the sprint, but I started moving pretty good. My bike time was 18 seconds slower than last year, but I would guess the wind was gusting up to 25mph. I don't know if I can attribute this to no swim before the bike, but I definitely would of been faster with no wind and that's a good thing.

During the ride I did a lot of passing. The roads were nice and open, most of the time, so passing was easy. About half way in I got a tail. Someone decided to draft off of me. Whenever he saw a USAT official, he would go wide like he was getting ready to pass, but rarely did. When he was in front he offered to let me jump on, but I dropped the three bike lengths back until I had the energy to pass him. He sat back there for a good 20 minutes until someone actually passed me. He jumped on their tail. This must of burned him out, because he dropped off of him and he didn't jump back onto my tail for the rest of the race.

My transition went much smoother than last year. I was off my bike without falling and into the transition area. I was a little sloppy through transition, so once again this is an area to work on. Maybe I'll set up a transition area by the TV and work on it while watching a movie.

Once I got out to the run I was feeling good. I held back my pace a little bit, because I knew I had 6 miles to go. At a couple points I thought about pushing my pace, but my legs would feel like they were starting to cramp in both the quads and the hamstring. I found a pace where I didn't have issues with this, but at some points I had to slow down more than I wanted to. I took my hydration, Gatorade and my nutrition and I still cramped up.

This has happened to me in almost every Olympic distance race I've run in. I was thinking it was the swim because I had trouble repeating it in training, but I was able to repeat it with the run and the bike. I believe that it may be my road bike setup. Now that I know I can mimick it with bricks I am going to try and train better for it.

Overall it was a good training day anda it told me that I am probably just a little bit ahead of where I was last year. I would probably be more upset with this if my training had been more consistent. Now I need to pick a couple more races to focus on this year, keep my training more consistent and do better!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Gear - Sportcount - a stopwatch and lap counter for the pool

Doing laps in the pool can be tedious. As you swim you want to concentrate on improving your stroke, your drills and count laps. I always lose track of my laps, especially when I am concentrating hard on everything else.

I forget where I heard about it, but I found a device that counts laps, split times and it fits on your finger so it is out of the way. It's called the Sportcount.

It's nice to be able to do laps and not have to look up at the wall clock and try to remember what number you started on. My biggest problem now is that I sometimes forget to tap it when I do my flip turns. My other issue with it, is that my model doesn't give you individual splits. When you are done with a workout it will tell you your total time, your average per lap, your fastest and your slowest laps.

This is very basic, but it get's the job done. I love having one less thing to think about.

Friday, April 10, 2009

April 5, 2009, 26th Annual Great Clermont Triathlon - Race Wrap-Up


Swim .75K * Bike 22K * Run 5K
April 5, 2009 -
Clermont, Florida

1:13:37 made me 1st in the 30-34 Age Group of 10, 8th of 76 men and 8th of 110 people

Finish Swim Swim Trn1 Trans Bike Bike Bike Cum Cum Trn2 Trans Run Run Pace Place Name Age City/State Time Plc Time Plc #1 Plc Time Rate Plc Time Plc #2 Plc Time /mile
1 CHAD PILSTER 32 DELAND FL 1:13:37 1 12:11 3 2:38 1 34:51 22.7 1 49:39 2 0:57 3 23:01 7:25

Triathlon season has officially started and it started out on a pretty good note. I started training a little later this season than I had planned for and some of that showed, but otherwise I had a pretty good race.

The first race off was the Olympic distance. Since we were kicked out of transition when their race started I had to bring my wetsuit with me. This made it tough to warm-up my run, so I spent my warm-up focusing on my swim, doing some in water running and stretching. It's not the same thing as if you could get on a bike or put on your running shoes, but sometimes you have to make do.

The start went off great, I was up towards the front of the pack and kept a decent line through most of the race. It took me about the first half of the swim to get into a rhythm though, and once I was there things went smoothly. First-triathlon-of-the-season problems didn't arise until I was in transition. My wetsuit came off quickly, but getting my Rudy Project glasses and helmet on weren't as smooth as I would of liked. Then as I pulled my bike away I noticed something dragging. My wetsuit had caught on my bike and I had to back-up about 10 yards to put it back in my area.

Once I was on the bike I cruised. The course was pretty decently marked and slight hills at the beginning gave me a chance to catch my breath after the swim. There was two significant climbs, and I powered up them both with relative ease.

There wasn't any particular thing wrong with my transition off the bike, but it just didnt' feel smooth. I think I may work on transitions when I have a few extra minutes to spare during the day. If I can make my transitions smoother, I think I can bring 30sec-1min off my time.

Finally we came into the run. I felt like I was moving at a decent pace, but I definitely am not where I was last year at this time. This could be a good thing too. I think I had peaked a little bit too early last year. This year my goal is to peak at St. Anthony's in St. Petersburg in a few weeks and then go strong until the middle of my season when I hope to take a little bit of a break.

I have to say that I was a little irritated that the Sprint Distance race was looked on like the red-headed stepchild. We were kicked out of transition as soon as the Olympic race started (Which is understandable and I am used to) and then we weren't given awards until after the Olympic awards. This made for a VERY long day for a very short race.

Last years 25th anniversary event was one of my favorites of the entire season and I was looking forward to coming back, but after the way the event was run I don't know if I'm going to race any more Sommer Sports races. The race was great, but the event had it's issues. Some other things of note is that I found that there was a HUGE shortage of volunteers. Water stations that had 3-4 volunteers only had one. They ran out of filled goodie bags! The BBQ was one guy on one grill having trouble keeping up with the line of 20+ athletes. I also overheard a lot of chatter about how this may be the way these races are heading.

Hopefully this is just a recession blip, but I'm interested in hearing from others.

On to St. Anthony's!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rudy Project is having another awesome sale!

My Rudy Project gear does everything I need it to plus more. They are a great sponsor. A few months ago they were having a sale where they were practically giving everything away and it seems like that sale is back. When you buy a pair of glasses for $199 + 19 for s&h, you get $250 worth of other gear. If you are in the market, check them out at

Monday, February 23, 2009

Feb. 28th Clermont Swim Clinic

Two amazing swimmers are putting on another swim clinic at the National Training Center in Clermont.

I did one with them a few weeks ago with them and I learned so much that I will be busy working on much of it throughout the season.

Misty Becerra and Sara McLarty are looking to teach swim technique and open water tips for swimmers of ALL LEVELS.

There class will be on Feb. 28 2-4p

For more info visit

Monday, January 26, 2009

What if women had a head start, would they win a 5k?

Front Running Sports is sponsoring a race to see who is the fastest! Women get a three minute head start and then the men have to catch-up. Wherever you finish is where you finish, there is no gender category.

There is no other race in Central Florida quite like it. I'm interested to see who is going to win!

The race is on February 14.

The race benefits the Coalition for the Homeless First Steps Program. This program is set up for those getting a fresh start and it uses the sport of running to help them.