Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bike Tour of Colorado

Skip Moschell, and his son, Kevin, recently took on the Bike Tour of Colorado. Their week of cycling covered over 470 miles including 5 spectacular passes, a venture into New Mexico, and Blue Mesa Reservoir.
Skip reports, "It was one of the hardest things my son Kevin & I have ever done, but also the most amazing. The sights were spectacular & we enjoyed the time together before he starts college in the Fall. For Houstonians, we did good on the climbs, but 4,000 foot climbs with 10% grades to 12,000 were a challenge. The steep fast downhills were pretty scary too. "

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Y Freedom Tri

Team FSR Kent Morris raced the Y Freedom Tri on June 27. Kent captured first in his 50-54 AG and 22nd overall out of 385. The tri was a 300 meter pool swim/12 mi bike/3 mi run. Kent reported his overall time of 1:01:37 was 2:22 faster than last year. Kent's finished swim in 6:14, bike in 30:15(23.8 mph), and run in 23:08(7:42 per mile pace).

Kent's daughter, Brittany, also raced and was 3rd out of 10 in her AG. She averaged 18.8mph on a heavy road bike, not clipped in and not aero. Impressive!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Finish Strong athlete, Jim Harrington, competed in the Ironman Coeur d'Alene in Idaho on June 27, 2010. The Ironman is the ultimate endurance event with back-to-back distances of 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run.

Jim Harrington finished the race in under 12 hours with an overall time of 11:44:09! He was 60th of 250 45-49 men who completed the race. Jim had an amazing swim of 1:06:05. He completed miles on the bike in 6:00:09 maintaining a 18.7mph pace. The grueling marathon was last. Jim finished the 26.2 mile final run in 4:28:22 at a respectable 10:15 pace.

Congrats, Jim, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!

Memorial Herman Tri in Sugarland

Team FSR members collect awards at Memorial Hermann Tri. Pictured: Rodrigo Abascal, Lane Barron, Craig Wakefield, Hannah Barron.

Team FSR showed up strong at the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Tri on Sunday June 27, 2010. The triathlon distances included a 300-meter pool swim/10-mile bike/3-mile run.

Hannah Barron came in 2nd in her 10-14 age group with a finishing time of 1:02:20. Hannah swam 300 meters in 6:19; biked the 10-mile course in 29:26 at a 20.4 mph pace; and finished the run strong with a 24:55 3 mile run at a 8:18 pace.

Not to be outdone, Lane Barron finished 1st in his 10-14 age group with a time of 58:49. Lane posted a 5:43 swim; 27:21 bike (21.9 mph pace); 24:24 run (8:08 per mile pace). Both his bike and swim were the fastest in his age group. Wow!!

Rodrigo Abascal was insanely fast winning his age group and placing 15th overall. Rodrigo swam the course in 4:26; biked the course in 25:55 (23.2 mph); and soared with a 7:15 per mile pace to finish the run in 21:46. Yes!!

Craig Wakefield blew away the competition in 40-44 age group and came in 8th overall. Craig crossed the finish line in 52:23. His splits were 4:08 swim/24:13 bike (24.8 mph pace!); and 21:52 run (7:17 per mile pace). Woo hoo!

Chris Normyle took 6th in the 50-54 age group with an overall time of 1:04:16. Chris had the second fastest swim in his AG finishing the swim in 5:02. He biked a solid 29:50 (20.1 mph pace) especially considering he had to stop for traffic! Chris took it easy on the run and still had the 5th fastest run in his AG finishing the 3 mile course in 25:41. Great performance!


Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs

Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs race was held on Sunday, June 27 under hot and windy conditions. Four Finish Strong athletes completed this half ironman.

Ed York had a fabulous race! Ed came in 344 overall; 9 of 68 in his 45-49 age group with an overall time of 4:50:15. His splits were 30:46 swim/2:31:53/bike (22.1 mph pace)and 1:43:22 half marathon at a 7:54 per mile pace. Way to go, Ed!

Tim Monk fought off the hot and windy conditions and finished in 5:17:13. Tim came in 38 of the 107 in the 35-39 age group. His splits were 26:26 swim/2:46:35 bike (20.2 mph) and 1:57:18 half marathon at a 8:58 per mile pace.

Albert "Tommy" Sustala crossed the finish line in 5:13:37. He came in 34 of 116 in his 40-44 age group. His splits were 24:29 swim/2:40:39 bike (20.9 mph) and 2:04:33 half marathon at a 9:31 per mile pace.

Tom Schwarzkopf finished the race in 5:14:17. Tom was 12th out of 52 in the 50-54 age group. His splits were 25:31 swim/2:43:54 bike (20.5 mph) and 2:01:35 half marathon at a 9:17 per mile pace.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

"So You Want to Go Long?" Presented by Dana Lyons at Lonestar Multisport Meeting on June 21

"This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. And what better time to talk about long course racing now that we are only days away from having an Ironman right here in The Woodlands! There is a tremendous buzz in the tri community!

I truly feel blessed, because I love what I do. Racing and achieving goals for myself is fine, but I truly get more satisfaction being able to coach others and help them to achieve their dreams.

I have had the privilege of coaching over a 100 athletes from many different backgrounds. I coach juniors (like Hannah and Lane Barron who placed 5th at the USAT Nationals last year, first time triathletes preparing for their first sprint tri, age groupers who are finishing on the podium, athletes who are training for a half or full Ironman,and even professional triathletes looking to improve their performance.

I have enjoyed preparing dozens of athletes to compete in nearly 40 separate Ironman races around the world. I’ve seen athletes overcome incredible obstacles to achieve their dream. I’ve shared the joy when my athletes have trained hard and accomplished their personal bests. (Example, Tim Monk qualified at Wisconsin IM with a time of 9:53 and raced in Ironman Hawaii in 2009 or Casey Clark becoming sea sick at the Florida IM but still able to complete the race).

Being able to cross the finish line and hear the announcer say your name and that famous four word phrase: 'You are an Ironman!' This is something you will never forget.

Based on my personal experience in racing and coaching, I’ve come up with a list of attributes needed to succeed at taking on the challenge of competing in long-distance multisport events such as a HIM or full IM.

1. Commitment
• Support of family and friends is key
• Discipline – Determination to stick it out (when others are turning for home and you still have another 3 hours of riding to go). Consistent training (but don’t drive yourself into the ground)
• Time – 12 to 22 hours/wk, long weekends, early mornings
• Resources - Money for registration (IM and HIM), travel, equipment and coaching. Find someone with long course race experience to help you out.

2. Preparation
• Determine goals – complete IM in less than 15 hours or HIM in less than 6 hours
• Establish supporting objectives – comfortable run for 3 hrs in HR zones 1/2 by a certain date
• Select and prioritize appropriate races – train your limiter, race your strength
• Attend a training camp – learn in a class room setting and apply what you learn. Finish Strong Coaching will be holding a 2 ½ day HIM training camp in mid-September at the La Torretta Lake Resort, site of the Ironstar HIM. I am also in discussions with WTC to host an official Ironman training camp in the spring.

3. Training
• consistency – training day in and day out, missing few workouts
• 1st goal – weekly training hours equals or exceeds goal time at easy intensity (those that attempt a IM without ever having gone the duration in a week of practice! Makes for a long day!)
• 2nd goal – 2 or 3 day period where training hours equals or exceeds goal time at easy intensity
• 3rd goal – repeat 1st and 2nd but at race intensity
• Epic weekends – Saturday long brick, Sunday long ride and swim (6 to 12 hours)
• Proper intensity
o Easy, race effort, harder than race effort
o Heart Rate Monitor
o Power – excellent way to significantly improve bike strength/more in equipment

4. Nutrition/Hydration
• The 4th sport – pro’s walking in Kona/this can make or break your race!
• Pre, during, post-workout plan, taking into account more calories burned per hour than can be consumed
• Race day plan - spend time on this. Practice it.

5. Equipment
• Bike with aero bars. Aero helmet and wheels will help.
• Bike fit (I'm a FIST certified tri bike fitter which includes pedal alignment)
• Power meter, HR monitor – I train a lot of athletes with power. Seen gains of up to 2 mph! Tim Monk (5:22 in WI) and myself (2:22/23.6 mph in New Orleans)
• Wetsuit and clothing

6. Race
• Prepared & confident (has done the work and met all objectives = great race!
• Checklist – 1 for each bag, ziplock
• Nutrition and hydration for race day
• Race strategy
• Race-ready equipment

I hope this talk has helped you get a better understanding of what it takes to accomplish an Ironman or Half Ironman race. If you feel like this is something you’d like to take on and you’d benefit from coaching, I encourage you to e-mail me at I will send you an Athlete Information Package and we can arrange to meet one-on-one to discuss coaching services.

Thank you."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ironman Texas - Sign Up begins TODAY

Ironman Texas is coming to The Woodlands!

Sign up at begins Friday, June 25 at noon.

It's official! The Woodlands will be the home for Ironman Texas (2.4 mile swim/112 mile bike/26.2 mile run) for the next five years. The first event will be held on May 21, 2011.

For those of you considering taking on this challenging local race in the next year or two, you deserve expert coaching to help you reach your goal. Finish Strong Coach Dana Lyons has the experience and the knowledge to see you through. He is a USAT Level II Coach, top ranked triathlete, and an experienced Ironman competitor. Dana qualifed and completed in the Hawaii Ironman in 2008. Dana has coached athletes of all abilities. He has helped dozens of athletes complete their first half or full ironman races or achieve their personal best. Dana has even coached elite triathletes who qualified and raced at the Ironman World Championship in Kona.

Finish Strong Coach Dana Lyons offers personal one-on-one coaching tailored for your needs. In addition to coaching, Finish Strong also offers several clinics and training camps leading up to the race. Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming Ironstar Half Ironman Training Camp held on September 10-12.
Personal One-One Coaching and Training Camps

To learn more about the available coaching services, go to Please email Dana directly at to schedule an initial obligation-free consultation.

More information on the Ironstar Half Ironman Training Camp held on September 10-12 will be coming soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ironman Texas is On!

It's official! The Woodlands will be the home for Ironman Texas for at least the next 5 years.

The event (2.4 mile swim/112 mile bike/26.2 mile run)will be held on the 3rd Saturday in May which for 2011 is May 21st. The swim will be in Lake Woodlands with the transition area (both T1 and T2) will be in Town Green Park. The bike course is still a work in progress. The run will probably be a multi-loop course.

The website is already up ( and registration opens at noon on Friday. I expect the race to be popular and should fill up quickly.

Anyone interested in doing the race and want to talk more about the commitment, preparation and training needed to complete an Ironman, I would be gald to talk with you about it. Please feel free to contact me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rock de Hills in North Little Rock, AK

Team FSR rocked at Rock de Hills Triathlon in Little Rock, AK. Pictured above: Rodrigo Abascal, Lane Barron, Hannah Barron, Katherine Barron, and Manuel Abascal

The Rock de Hills in North Little Rock Arkansas found Team FSR participants in the SMW Regional Youth Championship (Ages 11-15) Kids Race; the SMW Regional Junior Development Race (Ages 16-19) and Age Group Adult Super Sprint. Each race featured a 375 meter swim/6.2 mile bike/1.6 mile run.

In the male 11-12 AG, Lane Barron came in 4th. Lane had the fastest bike in his age group averaging 19.7mph. He finished with an overall time of 34:40.

In the female 13-15 AG, sisters Hannah and Katherine Barron took 5th and 6th respectively. Hannah finished with the third fastest run (with an 8:31 per mile pace)in her age group completing the race in 41:38. Katherine finished just 14 seconds behind with an overall time of 41:50.

In the male 16-19 AG, Rodrigo Abascal came in 2nd with a time of 35:33. Rodrigo had the fastest swim time in his age group completing the 375 meter swim in just 3:44.

Not to be outdone, Rodrigo's dad, Manuel, came in 2nd in the adult division. He finished in 40:25 with the fastest swim for the adults at 5:14.

Way to go!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dana Speaking at Lonestar Multisport Club Meeting

Finish Strong Coach Dana Lyons will be speaking at the next Lonestar Multisport Club meeting on Monday, June 21 at Rico's in Sterling Ridge. The title of his talk is; “So You Want to Go Long, Considerations for Training and Racing Long Course”. This topic will be of particular interest to those planning for their first half or full Ironman.

The meeting is 6:30-7:30 pm at Rico’s Grill in the Sterling Ridge Shopping Plaza (Woodlands Parkway and Kuykendahl). Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday Night Track Group!

Hot summer weather does not deter the Tuesday Night Track group from running at 7pm at McCullough Junior High School Track coached by Finish Strong Coach Dana Lyons.

Ironkids Round Rock

Katherine, Hannah and Lane Barron all competed in the Ironkids Round Rock race on Sunday, June 13. Each of them raced well placing in their age groups and qualifying them for the Ironkids National in St. Petersburg, Florida in October.

Lane raced in the intermediate age group (9, 10 & 11 year olds) and swam 150 meters, biked 4 miles and ran 1 mile in 25:04 placing 2nd out of 19 eleven year old boys. He just missed first by 21 seconds. He had the fastest bike split in the intermediate division and was also 2nd/48 intermediate aged males.

Hannah raced in the senior age group (12, 13, 14 & 15 year olds) and won 1st place! She completed the 300 meter swim, 8 mile bike and 2 mile run in 51:22. No surprise that she had the fastest run for all the senior division girls and all but two senior division boys averaging a 7:44 pace.

Katherine raced in the same age group as a 15 year old and also placed first. She had problems on her bike leg with the brakes rubbing for the whole eight mile ride but had a solid swim and run and will be able to compete in Florida as well.

Congrats to the Barron kids!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sylvan Beach Tri and Du

Eight of the nine Team FSR athletes who competed in the Sylvan Beach Tri and Du on Sunday, June 13 took home a medal. Four competed in the duathlon; five in the triathlon.

Dana Lyons won the duathlon race overall with a time of 1:31:29. Dana completed the first run in 11:56 clocking a 5:58 per mile pace, then sped through the bike leg in 47:03 at a 23.7 per mile pace (pretty good considering he missed a turn and ended up biking an extra mile), and finishing the last run in 31:16 at a 6:15 per mile pace.

Gavish Mago raced his first duathlon and took first place in his 30-34 age group! Gavish completed the race in 1:43:11. He had a brilliant first run of 11:55, followed by a solid 54:29 bike (20.5 mph pace), then had an impressive final run of 34:48 (6:58 per mile pace).

David Kayda placed 3rd in the 30-34 age group in the duathlon with an overall time of 1:51:14. His splits were 12:18, 54:49, and 42:26. David ended up following Dana off course so his bike was a bit slower than what he had hoped for.

Rip Reynolds placed 2nd in his 40-44 age group with an overall time of 1:40:11 in the duathlon. Rip had the fastest runs in his age group. His first run was 12:26, his bike time was 52:26, and his final run was a blistering 33:31.

In the triathlon, Michael Collins came in 2nd in his 35-39 age group and 11th overall with a time of 1:41:49. Michael swam the first leg in 20:00, biked the course in 45:56 (the fastest in his AG), and finished the final run in 33:26.

Carolyn Barron came in 2nd in her 40-44 age group with an overall time of 2:07:33. Her splits were 21:26 swim, 57:06 bike, and 46:50 run.

Steve Hardy also came in 2nd in his 40-44 age group with an overall time of 1:52:14. His splits were 20:45 swim, 49:46 bike, and 39:34 run.

Sharon Morin had the fastest run in her 45-49 age group. Sharon finished the triathlon in 2:21:01. Her splits were 34:08 swim, 1:07:55 bike, and very fast 37:28 run.

Scott Pinkston took 2nd in the Clydesdale division. His overall time was 1:55:00. He posted a 16:26 swim, 52:14 bike, and 43:58 run.

Congrats to all the athletes!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tejas Triathlon

10th annual Tejas Triathlon hosted up to 800 triathletes for an awesome sprint distance race with a 600 yard swim, 11 mile flat and fast bike, and a shaded 3 mile run on June 6, 2010.

Team FSR Rodrigo Abascal, Manuel Abascal, Scott Reaves, Chris Normyle, Mark Tefft, and Jackie Lewis represented the club well. Rodrigo and Mark brought home medals with their outstanding performances at this race.

Rodrigo took first in his 15-19 AG and 14th overall with a time of 1:00:12. He was in fourth place after swimming the first leg in 8:25. He had the fastest bike and run in his age group -- clocking a time of 29:28 (22.4mph pace) on the bike and 20:38 (6:53 per mile pace) for the final run.

John "Scott" Reaves competed in the 35-39 AG. He finished the tri in 1:11:09. His swim time was 10:28.2, he biked 32:15 and ran 25:30.

Manuel Abascal (Rodrigo's dad) competed in the 40-44 AG. He finished in 1:10:54. His splits were 12:16, 32:48, and 23:41.

Chris Normyle came in 6th in the 50-54 AG with a finishing time of 1:13:10. His splits were 10:08 swim, 34:26 bike, 24:54 run. He had the second fastest swim in his age group.

Mark Tefft placed third in the 55-59 AG with an overall time of 1:16:09. He had the second fastest swim in his AG - 12:07. The fifth fastest bike of 32:10 (20.5 mph pace). He ran the last leg in 28:49.

Jackie Lewis came in 11th in the 40-44 AG. She had the fifth fastest swim at 12:05,
biked the course in 36:25, and finished the run in 25:23 (8:28 per mile pace).

Congrats to all!

Kansas 70.3

Team FSR Will Blackbird and Craig Wakefield competed in the Kansas 70.3 on June 6. They were was among the 1,591 entrants participating in the event. This was Will's first half Ironman. He finished in 5:49:08. His swim put him in the top third for his age group with a time of 36:29. He completed the bike leg in 3:01 with an average speed of 18.3 mph. He completed the final half marathon without having to walk. His run time was 2:07:25 maintaining a 9:44 per mile pace.

Craig Wakefield competed in the 40-44 AG. He finished in 5:36:24. His swim was 30:29, his bike was 2:44:15 (20.5 mph pace), and his final run was 2:17:23.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Astros Run for the Pennant 5K

Team FSR Kristin Collins competed in the Astros Run for the Pennant 5K held on May 29 in Houston. Kristin placed 5th in her 35-39 age group with a time of 23:56. She held an average 7:43/m pace for the race.

Way to go!!

CapTex Tri - Sprint and Olympic

Seven Team FSR athletes headed to Austin to compete in CapTex Tri on May 31, 2010 - Memorial Day. 7 was the lucky number for Rodrigo Abascal and Casey Clark who both finished seventh in their age group for sprint distance race. Rodrigo placed 7th in the 15-19 AG with a finish time of 1:19:28. Casey Clark finished 7th in the 35-39 AG with a time of 1:21:07.

Five other Team FSR athletes competed in the Olympic distance race. Scott Peterson finished in 2:29:32, placing 12th in the 25-29 AG. Michael Collins (pictured above) finished in 2:32:53 coming in 16th in the 35-39 AG. Jim Harrington crossed the line at 2:36:47, taking 13th in the 45-49 AG. Manuel Abascal came in 3:01:16. Cindy McManis finished in 3:17:21, coming in 15th in the 50-54 AG.

Congrats to all!