All posts by Ed Zerkle

The week of Monday, June 6 – Team Z Arlington

YES. RECOVERY WEEK IS NEXT WEEK. So you will NAIL your workouts this week. YOU WILL DO IT, and you will do it because I told you to. And you always do what your coach says, right? Please let me or your mentor know if you need any help…


In this email:

1. Important news and announcements for this week (week of Monday, June 6th 2014).

2. Overview of Events and Activities for this week.

3. Directions to new American University Swim – Starts this Tues/Thurs at 8-9 PM (replaces the Lab School)


1. Important news and announcements for this week.

A. Marymount Masters Swim is to be cancelled at the end of June. The schedule will remain as is until the end of this month. The demands by the University on their pool space has required them to stop our masters swim program on Tues/Thurs from 6:30-7:30 AM.   I know there are a few of you who have been consistent supporters over the years, and they send their thanks and wish us all the best. Maybe someday in the future we can get back there.   Please let me know if you need help picking a new pool/location – but before you do please check out your options here: L4 Swimming Pool Locations
Continue reading The week of Monday, June 6 – Team Z Arlington

Weekend of May 30, 2014

What up Team Z! So many choices…scoop of vanilla scoop of chocolate, don’t waste my time!


Vote on our poll to help us plan the weekend.

In this e-mail for activities NOT including the Rock Hall Race Weekend:

  1. Saturday group run – 8:00 AM – Vienna Caboose, Vienna, VA
  2. Sunday group ride – 8:00 AM – Monocacy Middle School, Frederick, MD

Continue reading Weekend of May 30, 2014

Bike Tire Pressure Discussion

This from Mark Mullen – Team Z Ride Leader

One question I hear a lot from newer cyclists and even from a few experienced ones is: what tire pressure should I be using?  And it is a little confusing.  Most tires give you a range (and it can often be quite wide) or simply a maximum pressure.  That implies there is room for variation, but how do you know what will work for you?  Well, you could take one of the following traditional approaches:

1) “I always pump my tires up to the max!” Why? “Because maxxing out everything is awesome, dude!” You mean, like your credit cards?  “Well, um. . .”

2) “I pump my tires up to whatever my friends tell me.”  Why?  “Because I always do what my friends tell me to do.”  You mean, like smoking, and watching Real Housewives of Reston?  “Well, um. . .”

3) “I pump up my tires until they explode in the transition area five minutes before the race is scheduled to go off.”

Continue reading Bike Tire Pressure Discussion

Jeff’s Race Report


When I started triathlon, I had turned 40 and wanted something new to try for that year.  It’s difficult to make a claim on youth at 40.  Mistakes are no longer “youthful indiscretions.”  Commitments and Very Serious Things demand our attention – mortgages, memos, car payments, staff meetings.

At the time, my first triathlon was also a Very Serious Thing.  Even though it was ‘only’ an Olympic distance – I was dialed in.  Gels, bike clothes, swim strategy…backup gels, backup bike clothes, backup swim strategy (much needed as I got lost during the point to point swim).
Continue reading Jeff’s Race Report

Team Z Arlington – What’s up for the Week of May 19 to May 25


** Welcome New Zs!

*** Hash Run Tonight – PRR Arlington at 6:30 PM (YEAH!).  Never been to one?  We have our own version that is much tamed compared to the infamous hash runs in our area.   You should all come and give this unique run a whirl.  It is a fantastic way to keep a diverse set of running abilities together for a social run (more details below).

We have a recovery week in front of us!  Remember, it is a recovery week and not an off week.  Recovery workouts (easy, shorter distances) are instrumental in getting the blood moving – flushing out the junk and bringing new nutrients and minerals to help your muscles repair themselves from the previous weeks of hard work.

Get them in – even if your 40 minute run ends up being 30 – it is still worth every step!


In this email:

1.  Important Announcements and Reminders for this week

2. Overview of events and activities for this week.

3.  REMINDER FOR SECRET PARKING SPOT FOR MONDAY NIGHT RUNS AND HH’S Continue reading Team Z Arlington – What’s up for the Week of May 19 to May 25

How to Decipher the bike workouts (with an addendum for the run)

Folks – if you do not understand this post after reading, please ask your questions at/before a group workout IF you can make it one. Find a ride leader, and have us help you understand the drills DURING the ride. Teaching via showing is a very easy and effective way to make sure you “Get it”. So please do come if you can – it is much more fun to teach in person!  You may also make it a priority to attend the cycling technique clinic which we host 5 times each year in our Arlington, Maryland, and Loudon County/Reston/Herndon programs.

However this should get you started – the following is a breakdown of how to read the bike workouts for the week (an example) and an overview of the common drills you will see on your schedule. At the bottom is a cut and paste about “why we do drills” and how they help you. Some of this subject (“speed” training) is also covered in the heart rate training clinic.

1. How to read/decipher a workout (Example – Bike 35′ w/u (Z2), 3 x 3′ hill repeats Z5a/b, W/D): 35′ Warmup in Zone 2. Find a hill that takes you three minutes (or more) to climb. You will ride 3 minutues in Z5 a/b (start in A, end in B). Turnaround and coast down to the bottom of the hill, rest, repeat. Warm down. If no Vo2Max Test has been achieved – use perceived exertion to determine your zone. Zone 2 is 4-5 words between breaths. Zone 4 is 1-2 words between breaths. Zone 5a/b – a hard effort you can sustain for the 3 minute interval – it is not all out – you have to sustain the effort for 3-4 minutes. Continue reading How to Decipher the bike workouts (with an addendum for the run)

Coach Tony Stocker’s Pace Based Running FAQ for the Team Z Group Triathlon Training Program

Team Z Pace Based Training Frequently Asked Questions – by Coach Tony Stocker


What is pace-based training?

Simply, it is using pre-defined running paces rather than pre-defined heart rate ranges to control exercise intensity during workouts.

How does it differ from heart rate training?

Other than what one uses to determine exercise intensity and how that determination is made, i.e. what type of testing is done, they are very similar in operation. If you are used to using heart rate to control your run training, setting alarms on a Garmin for instance, then it’s a relatively simple matter to change your alarms to be paces instead of heart rates. One advantage of pace based training is that even with a simple watch you would be able to determine your pace if you have a known distance, such as on a track or mile markers on a trail. Still a tool like a Garmin which can provide real-time, or nearly so, pace data is more advantageous since you don’t have to wait a mile, or even quarter of a mile, to find out that you’re going faster or slower than a workout calls for you to do. Instead of “I’m running Z2 so my heart rate should be between 140-150bpm” your workouts become “I’m running LRP so my pace should be between 09:30-09:50 min/mi.”

Which is better? Continue reading Coach Tony Stocker’s Pace Based Running FAQ for the Team Z Group Triathlon Training Program

Triathlon Transition Notes (Packing for Triathlon, Setting up a Transition Area, Executing the Transitions)

Athlete Question:  Coach Ed, can you offer any guidance about what to use for a transition bag and/or how to pack for T1 and T2, at least at a general level?  I realize we will customize it to our needs, but what are the best practices and lessons learned?

Z:  When you have the chance – please try to attend one of our upcoming race strategy, rules, and transition clinics. Trust me – It is much easier to review this in person with you. BUT the info below will help I’m certain. Below are some reminders, and IF you did not attend the clinic, we would probably start with having you review the slides from the presentation (in clinics file on the team z yahoo group).


What is In this email:

A.  General Tips on packing for a Triathlon

B.  Sample Check List

C.  Text from “old” transition Clinic Document (the presentation is newer)


A.  General Tips on packing

What goes in YOUR bag depends on the length of the race, the weather, and any special needs you might have that others don’t consider.  It always pays to be over prepared, ALWAYS.  As you gain experience, you will start to carry less and less gear with you to races.  That’s a promise. Continue reading Triathlon Transition Notes (Packing for Triathlon, Setting up a Transition Area, Executing the Transitions)

USA Triathlon Press Release – Paratriathlon effort to include Team Z

Hey folks.  This has been in the works for some time.  And the details are not hammered out, and we do not have any participants yet.  However – we are soo looking forward to this.  The Given Limb foundation provided a $65,000 grant to USA Paratriathlon to engage wounded warriors at Walter Reed, and to get them involved in our sport.

You can read more in the press release Continue reading USA Triathlon Press Release – Paratriathlon effort to include Team Z