How Jack Nunn Trained With Powerhouse Fitness, The Evo Indoor Cycling Bike, And TriCore To Conquer Ironman Cozumel, Mexico 2012
In November 2011, I made the decision to sign up for my 3rd Full Ironman in Cozumel, Mexico on November, 25th 2012. For those who have never heard of the Ironman, it is a long-distance triathlon which includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a full marathon consisting of 26.2 miles of running, one section after the other without rest. This extreme endurance event has been held around the world since 1978. I knew that training for Cozumel, Mexico was going to be a really tough journey for the next year or so while managing 2 Powerhouse Fitness Facilities, training 20 hours a week on average, and doing all the work behind the scenes in order for my fitness center to flourish. Throughout the past year it has been a massive journey indeed. I wanted to let everyone know that I wanted to dedicate this Ironman to all of my Powerhouse Fitness Indoor Rowing Members, Family, and my Friends at the Relay Fitness Group (Evo Bike Company) who helped me train with them and for them. I also wanted to thank you all for your support and love of fitness throughout the past couple years. It brings happiness and peace to me knowing that everyone is having a great time here at Powerhouse Fitness in Long beach and all the classes that we have to offer. I always strive for the best in each and every workout we do at the Boathouse and Warehouse. Despite the fact that we are consolidating all of the Powerhouse Fitness Classes to the Boathouse location I want you all to know that I have the fight in me to keep going and keep working as hard as I possibly can in order for you all to achieve your personal fitness goals sooner! Read more
My Father John Nunn; A Former Olympic Coach And Bronze Medalist Rower Discusses Using Cycling As The Perfect Cross-Training Exercise
Jack created Powerhouse Fitness in Long Beach after winning numerous medals in various events on the international rowing stage. Jack started rowing in 1996 for Long Beach Juniors and made the 1997 Junior National Team Selection Camp. He went on to star for four years at UC Berkeley, winning four Pacific-10 Championships and three IRA National Rowing Championships. Jack was a member of the first ever undefeated Pac-10 and IRA National Champion Freshman 8 in 1998 and repeated the feat by going unbeaten in 1999. Jack helped his varsity 8 place second at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1999 in the Ladies Plate Challenge Cup in London, England. Jack also played two seasons with the Cal Ice Hockey Team before graduating in 2001 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Communications. He was a gold medalist in 2007 at the first ever Concept 2 Team Indoor Rowing challenge, held in Essen, Germany. In 2006, he took silver at the Masters Nationals Open Single Event. As a member of the US Rowing National Team from 2001-2004 he placed second at the 2003 Pan American Trials in double sculls and had an outstanding 2002 that saw him claim a gold medal in Senior 8 and a silver medal in the Elite Double at the US Nationals. He was also a silver medalist in 2001 in the Nations Cup (now the U23 World Championships) 8 in Ottenshiem, Austria. In 2008 and 2009 Jack competed in two international Ironman competitions in Nice, France and Florianopolis, Brazil. Jack is also the son of John Nunn, 1968 Olympics (Mexico City) Bronze Medalist in the double sculls event with partner Bill Maher. All of Jack Nunn’s athletic accomplishments would not have become a reality if it was not for the various methods of cross-training and perhaps more importantly the intense positive muscle endurance training on the bicycle while utilizing indoor cycling classes. Indoor cycling, rowing provided a safe and effective environment not only for your body and joints due to low impact but also from avoiding the dangerous outdoor cycling consequences of cars, pedestrians, and weather conditions. Read more
The Amazing Benefits Of Training For A Full Ironman On The Indoor Rowing Machine And Indoor Cycling Bike
Ever since Jack Nunn could remember he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps as an Olympian. Jack Nunn’s father, John Nunn won a bronze medal in rowing at the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City. He was also the Head Coach for the Men’s Olympic Rowing Team for the United States in the 1976 Olympic Games held in Montreal. Jack Nunn began his athletic adventure while playing almost ever sport imaginable. Jack had a taste of what it was like to be on an Olympic Team while rowing for Cal Berkeley from 1998-2001 alongside former Olympic rowers from across the world that were recruited to UC Berkeley for rowing. At one point Jack was the only American born rower to be on the Varsity rowing team out of eight guys. He ended up winning 4 Pacific-10 Championships and 3 National Championships in 4 years on the rowing team. When Jack was invited and competed on the US National Team in rowing he had immediate success and won a silver medal at the World Championships his first year on the team in 2001. From 2001-2005 Jack won multiple US National races and competed all over the world including England, Austria, Germany, Japan, and Canada. Jack was an Olympic Hopeful for many years but after a few knee surgery’s the priority of making an Olympic Team and pressure became too much to handle. He decided to move on to his next adventure, The Ironman Competition! Jack decided to sign up and go abroad to do his first Ironman after only doing one Olympic distance triathlon. Something that is not traditionally done with triathlon athletes but Jack was up for the challenge. He decided to compete in the Nice, France Ironman which is considered to be one of the toughest courses out of all of the current 27 Ironman’s held across the world including Kona, Hawaii because of the huge mountains you have to climb during the bike ride. Jack said that along with training on the National Team and being an Olympic hopeful in rowing…. ‘completing an Ironman was a lifelong dream!’ Jack was in and come June 2008 he finished the adventure of the Ironman race and heard those amazing words with a thick french accent “Jack Nunn…You Are An Ironman!” It was the most amazing feeling he had ever felt in the last mile of that race. So many emotions poured out of Jack and it was the most incredible experience of his life. After the race Jack said “I don’t think I’ll ever do that again.” After Jack got home there was a couple of things his father told him which he felt good about. John first asked Jack if he was on steroids, which he thought was hilarious because he really didn’t think I could swim or handle the bike ride and that he needed them to get through the race. Jack was laughing as he completely frowned upon using drugs in any form. Later, John wrote Jack a note saying how proud he was of him and admitted that he too wanted to do an Ironman but he couldn’t fathom the distance and didn’t have enough time for him to train and accomplish that race. Coming from an Olympic Medalist that was very cool:) Almost exactly one year later Jack decided to race for charity and put even more meaning into his Ironman adventure. Jack competed in Ironman Florianopolis, Brazil on May 31st 2009 and raised $5000 for charity with money earned from his rowing members at his Powerhouse Fitness Facility in Long Beach, Ca in order to build schools for children in Brazil.
The indoor rowing classes on the Concept 2 rowing machine and the use of indoor cycling classes at Jack’s new Powerhouse Fitness facility consisted of nearly %90 of his total workouts leading up to both of his Ironman’s. Jack did only a few ‘brick’ (cycling/ running) workouts and almost no swimming practice. Due to the muscles used in rowing and the muscle endurance in the latissimus muscles from rowing Jack was never tired while swimming and pulled his way through the swim in just over an hour. Jack practiced his swimming in the protected waters around Naples Island in Long Beach which is ironically 2.5 miles (the same distance as the Ironman swim section of the race). Jack challenge in the swim was learning how to breath and the rhythm of swimming while trying to steer a straight course. Focus and persistence are totally involved at the the start of any Ironman due to the large volume of Ironman athletes that start at the same time. Rowing and cycling long distances has taught Jack how to harness that focus over long periods of time and overcome many challenges that the Ironman had to deliver. Over the years rowing and cycling has enabled Jack to work on his muscle endurance in order to handle the grueling challenge of completing 2 Ironman’s. Jack figured it was all about putting in the hours during the week of hard cardiovascular training. Combining the use of the H.I.I.T. (High Interval Intensity Training) workouts, Jack averaged 15 hours a week has allowed him to get into the best shape of his life. Rowing uses nearly every part of your body and if you can find the right routine and workouts on the rowing machine it will be one of the best training tools you can use for triathlon training.
Since rowing is not a very well-known motion and/or workout here are some things to think about when approaching the use of the rowing machine.
1) Feet should be tied in with the straps going almost across your toes, where your toes bend. Most people tie in way too high and that causes your knees to be high which then causes you not to be able to hinge forward over the knees at the front of the stroke. Have your feet tied in lower so that you will have an easier time to get over your knees and be able to breath easier at the frontof the stroke.
2) Damper setting on the side of the machine should always be turned to settings 4-6. Not 10! A massive mistake that is always noticed is that the machine setting ‘effort level’ is always on 10 because people want to feel the machine work you. However, with the rowing machine, you must work the machine. The better your technique gets, the more resistance you will get out of the machine. If you turn the setting to 10 (which we never really do while rowing on the machine during Olympic training) you are setting yourself up for a possible back injury due to more load or heavier gear your are setting. Find a setting somewhere in the middle from 4-6 and use the quickness of your leg drive during the stroke in order to drive thise Watts higher. Be patient and learn the technique before you pound away at the rowing machine without learning how to use it. If you know how to do a proper power clean while wieght lifting then you are already on the right path for learning the stroke in rowing. Remember… legs! Legs! Legs! Upper body pull in rowing accounts for only %20 of the total power is coming from the arms. Compare that with nearly %80 that comes from the legs/back swing.
3) Refrain from using your shoulders and squeezing your muscles in your back when you finish the rowing stroke. You must relax the shoulders and back and not squeeze the rhomboids like you would when lifting weights. Remember that rowing is mostly legs and the upper body is just an extension of the legs work. The arms are nothing compared to your legs strength during the rowing stroke. Use a mirror and drop your shoulders and let them relax and drop down as you approach the front of the stroke. As you push the legs down make sure you swing the back while keeping the shoulders low and use the momentum to finish the stroke not trying to pull with the upper body.
On the Concept 2 rowing machine with a PM3 or PM4 Monitor press ‘Menu Back’ then ‘Select Workout’ then ‘Custom List.’ Here is where you get a pre-programmed list of amazing workouts from Concept 2, the leader in rowing fitness and the only rowing machines that are approved by National and Olympic Rowing Teams worldwide.
Make sure to press ’Change Units’ to Watts in order to see the power that you are creating into the machine. A good goal is to reach your own body weight in Watts on the Monitor. If you are hitting your body weight already then try to double your body weight and so on. To give you an idea of how fast and powerful Olympic Rowers are they can usually hold three times their body weight in Watts for over 6 minutes!!! Try to do this for the shorter distances. Make small goals and go from there:)
1) The ’30/30/30′ listed as :30 / :30 on the custom list on the monitor. Described as rowing :30seconds on then :30seconds off times 30 intervals. Row as hard as you can with the best technique you can at 28-32 stroke rate rating and then on the rest time work on breathing, ab crunches while tilting to the side of the machine at the back of the machine while still holding the handle, and grab water to hydrate from time to time. Get ready and repeat!
2) The ‘Pryamid Workout’ listed as ‘V 1:00 1:00 … 7′ is approx. a 32 minute workout. The machine is pre-programmed to begin with 1 min on and 1 min off of rowing going up to 4 min and then back down to one minute. Try to see how many meters you can row in each segment and remember that the higher your strokerate goes does not necessarily mean that you will go faster. Rowing is all about technique and the efficeint, powerful, quick use of the legs while pushing as hard as you can off the footboards.
3) The ’140/20 Workout’ listed as ’1:40 :20 … 9′ is a rowing workout that provides a maximum amount of time to row with minimal rest in order to produce the ultimate effect in High Interval Training and give your heartrate and endurance an amazing challenge. This workout is 20 minutes and has 9 intervals with a 2:00 minute rest after 5 intervals. Try to row a consistant High-Watt output for the entire workout. A good goal could be to hold an average Watt output of double your bodyweight.
1) Take a Indoor Cycling Class at your local fitness center or at Powerhouse Fitness with the NEW EVO Fitness Bike and go to the beats of the music while pedaling. Make sure you have the proper cycling shoes with SPD clips as they are standard on almost every indoor cycling bike. Classes generally range from 45min to an hour long so make sure to keep your pace throughout class and keep with it.
2) Use the songs as your intervals! ’1 song on a couple seconds off’ Ride to the beats of the music and get into the grove while taking a couple seconds off in between songs.
Jack was also inspired by this Three-time Olympic rower, Miroslav Vrastil of the Czech Republic that has taken his love of competing to a new level. Vrastil, 58, plans to break a world record by completing 22 Ironman triathlons in one year and the father of five has already begun. Vrastil started rowing when he was 12 years old in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. For 18 years he competed in rowing while representing his country up to the age of 35. After competing at three Olympic Games (1972, 1976 and 1980), Vrastil was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his leg.“I was not sure if the doctor was telling me or somebody else,” says Vrastil. “I could not believe it and my hands started shaking. I was only 30. Their final diagnosis was a necessary amputation of my right leg. I made my decision of not having my leg amputated even if that meant living for three months only or less.”Vrastil received no cancer treatment, opting just for surgery to remove the tumour. He estimates he stepped back from training for just six months.” Then triathlon entered Vrastil’s life. After more than a 20-year period of doing very little physically, Vrastil was persuaded to try triathlon. His first race, a duathlon, is memorable in his finish.”The result was horrible for me, in fact I was nearly the last out of 130 competitors of all age groups. It was there (in 1988) that I decided to change it and go for it with all that it takes,” says Vrastil. ”My rowing experience and sports experience in general have helped me in life. To strive, to compete, and not to give up, and that reflects in triathlons too,” says Vastil. Then along came the idea to beat the world record of doing 20 Ironman races in a year. Vrastil has set a target of 22 races and his list includes races around the globe. An Ironman consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and a 42.2km run and to reach the target of 22 Vrastil will be doing two, sometimes three, in a month.
Here is Hywel Davies at a Q&A Triathlon Show 2012. He has finished the Ironman many times and is a 4-time sub 9 Hour Ironman Triathlete. Hywel explains the importance of the Concept 2 rowing machine on his cross-training regiment for triathletes and other ultra-high endurance sports!
In 2009 on the way to Florianopolis, Brazil my flight was cancelled because of a broken winshield on the runway at LAX 3 days before my Ironman race was set to go. I barely made it to Brazil on time in order to register for my race. The flight to Florianopolis, Brazil was about 20 hours on 3 connecting flights. The weather in Brazil was about the same as California. Right when I arrived to Florianopolis I had just enough time to make it to the pasta dinner at the Ironman tent and they provided us with some live entertainment (if you want to call it that) more like vegas go go show-girl dancers on steroids. Wow! These girls are out of this world and they make the Hawaiian ‘Hula’ seem boring! Since I came alone to do the Ironman I found myself talking to Jans Gregg, a 5 foot tall Norwegian guy who happened to be next to me off the plane and then at hotel check in. He was an amazing athlete from Norway and actually knew two of my former rowing teammates from UC Berkeley, Nito Simonson and Olaf Tulaf (2 Former Norwegian Olympic Rowers). Jans was a really humble guy considering he had done 5 ironmans in the last 3 years and his last Ironman time was 9hrs 45min. I felt smaller than he was after he told me that. He ran his marathon in 3hrs 20min in his last Ironman. However I beat his swim time by 2 minutes in Nice, France :). So funny because I really don’t swim! My father, John Nunn, will tell you that I cant swim either after I was cut from a junior high water polo team when I was a teenager…and there were NO CUTS! I stayed at the International Juerre Hotel right on the beach and it was amazing!
I had a great introduction by the City of Florianopolis and the 2009 Brazil Ironman Committee on doing a job well done for having raised so much money ($4,000 total) for various children’s schools in Brazil. I spent the whole day Saturday (before the race) organizing my race gear, catching up on sleep, putting my bike together, and eating lots of pasta (carbo- loading). I was pacing around all day trying to see if I remembered everything and I did. I was ready to go!
*Nutrition and Hydration play a HUGE role in Ironman distance training and racing. I asked many former Ironman athletes about getting the best advice possible in order to finish this race in the best time possible. Months before the Ironman I started Juice Plus+ and it made a massive impact on the way I thought about nutrition. I changed my diet and started eating more fruits, veggies, and berries.
I hope all of you are enjoying all your success in accomplishing your goals for 2011. As I look back to the past 3 to 5 years I can’t help but think about a very different journey I had in my completion 2 full Ironman’s. Thought you all might want an explanation of why I have done two Ironman’s and making a big deal about it. Yes, I do have ‘screw loose’ in my head. However, there explains a deeper meaning. Not to get a tattoo saying I did the Ironman but instead for inner strength and the love of fitness and challenge! I wrote thisblog to tell you my story and inspire!
The Ironman is a competition that is held every year at multiple locations around the world and consists of a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and ends with a full 26.2 mile marathon! Read more
On the Inside Looking Out: How to Use Indoor Cycling to Become a Better Outdoor Cyclist
Published in City Sports Washington and City Sports Florida, March, 2000, then later in City Sports and Competitor California.
I can totally relate to this article from my own training when I completed my first Ironman in Nice, France in 2008 and my second Ironman in Florianopolis, Brazil in 2009. Approximately 90% of my cycling training was on the Spinning bike! Also, while training at Cal Berkeley on the Men’s Varsity Crew Team a group of us took up cycling as a perfect way to cross-train for rowing.
Jake Wetzel, my former teammate at Berkeley, was recruited to row from the Canadian National Cycling Team and several years later ended up winning several Olympic Medals in rowing, Silver Medal in 2004 Athens, and a Gold Medal in 2008 Beijing. He explained to all of us that throughout his childhood and training as a cyclist, it was a direct cross-over to rowing. This was a testament that cycling does in fact contribute to the leg power that you use when rowing. Cycling along with Rowing is yet another low-impact sport that you can do your whole life. -Jack Nunn
|Three-time Olympic rower, Miroslav Vrastil of the Czech Republic has taken his love of competing to a new level. Vrastil, 58, plans to break a world record by completing 22 Ironman triathlons in one year and the father of five has already begun. Vrastil started rowing when he was 12 years old in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. For 18 years he competed in rowing while representing his country up to the age of 35. After competing at three Olympic Games (1972, 1976 and 1980), Vrastil was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his leg.“I was not sure if the doctor was telling me or somebody else,” says Vrastil. “I could not believe it and my hands started shaking. I was only 30. Their final diagnosis was a necessary amputation of my right leg. I made my decision of not having my leg amputated even if that meant living for three months only or less.”Vrastil received no cancer treatment, opting just for surgery to remove the tumour. He estimates he stepped back from training for just six months.” I was not doing sport actively during this six-month period – my knee was out of function and I was trying hard to make it move with the help of my father no matter how painful it was. It went very slowly but it went. The tumour was still growing but it stopped after three months from the operation. I started to train again slowly in a rowing swimming pool with the help of my colleague Pavel Konvicka in the spring of 1982.” That year Vrastil rowed at the world championships finishing fourth in the men’s four. After retiring from competitive rowing, Vrastil remained involved in the sport as a professional coach. He continued this for five years but with the political change and his country becoming the Czech Republic, Vrastil stopped coaching to become a school teacher. Even when two of his children started to row, Vrastil did not come back to the sport. Then triathlon entered Vrastil’s life. After a 10-year period of doing very little physically, Vrastil was persuaded to try triathlon. His first race, a duathlon, is memorable in his finish.”The result was horrible for me, in fact I was nearly the last out of 130 competitors of all age groups. It was there (in 1988) that I decided to change it and go for it with all that it takes,” says Vrastil.”My rowing experience and sports experience in general have helped me in life. To strive, to compete, and not to give up, and that reflects in triathlons too,”says Vastil.Then along came the idea to beat the world record of doing 20 Ironman races in a year. Vrastil has set a target of 22 races and his list includes races around the globe. An Ironman consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and a 42.2km run and to reach the target of 22 Vrastil will be doing two, sometimes three, in a month. Read more|
To give you an idea of how crazy this story seems imagine doing a Full Distance Ironman while undergoing treatment for stage 4 cancer. I read Lance Armstrong‘s book in college “It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life,” as Lance talks about his fight to survive Brain, Lung, and Testicular cancer from a hospital bed. Clayton Treska meanwhile is fighting cancer during chemo treatments by competing in an Ironman!!! I myself have completed 2 Ironman’s. One in Nice, France in 2008 and the other in Florianopolis, Brazil in 2009 and I remember crying in pain and filled with emotion while just trying to finish both races.
While reading Clayton’s story yesterday in the paper I had a whole new appreciation for life! Thoughts of my Ironman experience came full circle as tears came from my eyes once again. Clayton is fighting for his life, a true hero, and someone we should all look up to! Read more