Busy Dad becomes first time Ironman in 12:10 with only 14 weeks of training; Rockstar Triathlete Carlos Guadamuz
Thank you, Carlos, for trusting the process of my 16-week Triathlon Transformation training program. You are proof that it works and achieved the goal in 14 weeks instead of 16. I truly appreciate your dedication to your goals and how you managed all the training while working full-time, getting to the kid’s soccer games, and balancing life with your supportive wife! You, indeed, are a Rockstar Triathlete!
Product Management – I create, build, and market products. Mainly techy ones 🙂
Why you chose FCC to help you on your triathlon/health and wellness journey?
I wanted to compete in my first Ironman, and I felt I needed coaching for a race as big and complex as the Ironman.
I did my first 70.3 last December 2021 with zero coaching, and although I didn’t have a bad time, I didn’t feel I was at my full potential and the experience was a bit painful.
So, rather than a feeling of accomplishment when I finish it, I had a lot of doubts and “what ifs” in my head. In my own view, the best way to prove myself that I am better than that was to finish a full Ironman. However, this time around I was going to do it with a coach.
I saw coach Erinne giving the pre-race clinic at Miami-Man 2021 and liked everything she said. I also saw her on race day surrounded by her team, all wearing the same colors, which made me appreciate from afar the team spirit and the confidence of having a coach. That positive image stayed in my mind when it was time to choose a coach.
What is your “A” race for this season?
My A-race was Ironman Florida, 2022, because it was my first Ironman. However, the Key Biscayne triathlon last September (international distance) was also a good race because it gave me, entirely unexpectedly, my first podium.
Ironman Florida was a significant achievement because it gave me a lot of “firsts;” my first ever Ironman, my first ever 112-mile ride, and my first ever marathon. To me, it was also an important achievement because I am quite new to triathlons. My first ever triathlon race was MiamiMan, less than a year ago, and my longest triathlon was Ironman 70.3 FL, in December last year (11 months ago). I actually rode a road bike for the first time only 18 months ago and bought my first triathlon bike in May (less than 6 months ago). My only advantage was swimming, as I have swum since I was little, with my first open water competition at the age of 10.
Also, Ironman Florida was a big achievement for me, not only because of those new challenges but also because I only had 14 weeks to go when I started training with Full Circle.
The Key Biscayne International distance triathlon was a total surprise in terms of the result.
I had a 9hr super day the weekend before and another long brick the day before. So, the complete opposite to going into the race fresh. I was actually tired on race day.
However, the objective was exactly that, to test me under those conditions. Also, to practice before Ironman all the elements of a race, mainly building and following a race plan. My plan demanded a fast pace, which I was doubting I could follow. However, I stayed on it during the race and it delivered a category second place. It was a good lesson I was going to take to Ironman Florida.
Please share your BIG goals:
My goals were all based on Ironman FL and they were growing as I kept training. My initial goal was just to finish the Ironman because I was truly uncertain if I could do it.
Then, the goal was to finish it with zero walking during the run (which is something I did at the end of my 70.3).
Then it was the time, initially, it was based on the rule of thumb of doubling my 70.3 times and adding 1hr – I finished the 70.3 in 6:06 so the expected time was 13:12. As I was getting closer to the race I had to build a race plan, which estimated my finish time at 12:25
In the end, I finished with an Ironman time of 12:10, which beat my race plan estimate and was lower than twice my 70.3 time. Not only did I not walk but I achieved a negative split, running my fastest pace at the last 6 miles.
I felt so strong and determined that I didn’t need to stop at aid stations from mile 23rd onward.
Tell me about your successes so far:
I believe the results reflect the training. So, in my view, a key success was to be able to complete and follow all my training as was written by coach Erinne.
I never missed a single long-distance ride, run, or swim.
It was a big success not only because most of the last sessions I broke personal records in terms of distance and time – like my first ever 100-mile ride or my first 20-mile run.
But also because I was able to achieve those without injuries or extreme fatigue. That was a key success for me because it was one of my major fears. Especially after experiencing injuries in the past that made me stop training altogether.
I believe that completing successfully all the training was possible due to different elements.
First, the training plan, which had a progressive approach, included recovery sessions (stretches, foam rolling, etc.), and strength sessions and allowed for resting or down periods. Also, the focus on good technique reduced the injury risk. And then the personal guidance and experience from the coach helped alleviate specific muscle pains when they surfaced, providing tips on technique, and instructing focused strength and stretching exercises.
What were some of your biggest improvements in performance for each of the following? Swim, Bike, Run, and Nutrition/Health. Please include any Personal Records and Goals achieved:
Name 2 or 3 things that have made the biggest difference in your journey:
1. The Running – based on my 70.3 experience and previous injuries, I considered it my weakest link. However, I surprised myself with my Ironman run.
2. Nutrition – It was the biggest eye-opener for me. I went from just basically drinking water and eating a couple of gels, to building a race plan with calories, carbs, and electrolytes per hour.
3. Training Capacity – I wasn’t sure I was going to complete what I saw in Training Peaks, but I did it all
4. Technique – overall improvement especially on the run but even on the swim which was my strongest sport.
What excites you the most about being involved in triathlon?
For sure the example I am giving my kids. Which I am fully convinced is the best way to lead.
The best way to explain this is through an experience with my older boy. He was nine when I finished my 70.3 and not long after that, he came to me with a website showing a triathlon race for kids and asking me to register him. We started training for two months with very little pushing from my side. He got a good result and we all felt very proud of his achievement.
What would you say to someone on the fence about joining our training program?
As I mentioned before it was the team spirit that caught my initial attention. Full Circle has been able to build a community of people with the same passion, where everybody can help and encourage someone with a question or moment of doubt. I also learned so many things that were crucial to finish my first Ironman, like technique, training methods, nutrition, and overall wellness.
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Erinne Guthrie has been a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach since 1999 and Chief Motivating Officer at Full Circle Coaching, LLC since 2010. Creator of Triathlon Transformation. She has been training, racing, and coaching triathletes since 1997. She is also a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, USMS Master’s Swim Coach, Motivational Speaker, Metabolic Efficiency Specialist, Mom, Mermaid, and much more.