Couch 2 Ultra

Maybe you have or maybe you haven’t noticed that I changed the name of the site. I did this a while back, just haven’t switched it all the way over to the new domain (

So when I landed on the shores of Kona 10 months ago as a chubby white boy with no athletic background, who didn’t know how to swim, kinda knew how to ride a bike, couldn’t run for shit (and was a barefooter to boot), and started telling people I was here to do Ultraman… you can imagine the once over people’s eyes gave me.

I have to admit… this kind of pissed me off. They obviously don’t know me.

Time to start hacking!

Well I’m here to tell you, in the last 8 months, I watched a youtube video of Michael Phelps swim. Taught myself freestyle during August and now have a 28:00-30:00 mile swim. Studied a bunch of peoples bike technique/setup and can now hold a 22mph avg for 100 miles in the Kona heat if needed. I watched a youtube of Josh Cox rip off a smokin’ fast 50k in July and mimicked his running style. I can now run a sub 5:00 mile, 18:00 5k, and about a 40:00 10k.

And I’m just getting warmed up

Guess what? The pros still wont wave back to me in my welfare Wal-Mart kit on my 5 year old second hand bikes, but I’m not 200lbs or white anymore, I’ve dialed in a diet Superman himself would love to get his hands on (my advantage), and those people who laughed? They aren’t laughing anymore. Never underestimate me… you will lose in due time. Just keep telling me what I can’t do. I’m not too sad though. You know… they probably didn’t wave to Chrissie Wellington either until she smoked their asses at Ironman on her second hand bike.

Here’s this weekend’s workout stats:
3/4 mile ocean swim (28:30 mile)
299 bike miles (18mph on 26lb cyclocross bike)
53.5 run miles (7:50 avg)
No support team.

I would have swam more, but I forgot my goggles. I didn’t “taper” (or even plan) anything, I just grab bottles and go. I’m not even tired. All part of a 41 hour training week. I do it old school like Rocky (even the raw egg part). No gels, shot blocks, or electrolyte drinks. I don’t own a pair of “recovery” compression socks/pants, or any other gadgetry, no coach, no masseuse, or even know how to foam roll. I’m too poor for that crap. Half the time my damn tires are less than 80 PSI (like they were for 100+ of the above miles).

Now if some way, some how, I can convince Jane to let me into the race and figure out how to pay for it, maybe in 10 more months I can line up with Jonas Colting and Rich Roll and swim through their pee on the way to Keauhou Bay.

  • CJ


    I followed up this weekend with a forced partial rest day and 1 day of 1,400yd swim, 119 miles of cycling, and a 9 mile run. Then, the next day I crashed on a curb riding around some tourists after my swim screwing up my knee, shoulder, and wrist, ruining my scheduled 200+ miles for the next two days before leaving on vacation :(

    I’m fully recovered now and kickin ass again. Stay tuned.

  • Glenn

    Respect! Following your progress and ‘crazy diet’ with interest. Good luck!

  • CJ

    Thanks Glenn. Wish I was better about blogging it. You can catch more bits and pieces on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Heather

    Ok, I have to ask: What is up with the recent diet shift? I’ve been noticing all your posts on FB and all the pictures of junk foods, and I’m wondering what is behind this new attitude?

    I thought you might have written something here on your blog explaining your change of tune, but there is nothing. Is this some kind of experiment? What’s the deal, yo?

    By no means do I think a relaxing of rules around which foods are “ok to eat” and which aren’t, is unhealthy. There is a time and place for everything, for sure. I personally went out with some friends for Indian food 2 weeks ago (haven’t had Indian food for YEARS) and I had a great time, loved the food and didn’t think twice about it. During the height of my raw obsession, you couldn’t have paid me to eat Indian food. No way!

    I think eat a very pure, very clean diet is wonderful, but trying to live that way permanently is too isolating from others. The rigid rules you have construct to separate yourself from the foods that everyone else is eating just becomes (for me, anyway) too alienating and depressing.

    Anyway, curious to hear what’s been going on with you…


  • CJ

    So it is an experiment that I constructed and started at the end of November. It worked like magic. Far exceeded anything I expected. I’ll write about it at some point.

    The junk food was kind of a sub test. Really it was just a good excuse to eat junk food for the last two weeks while I’ve been on vacation. I knew it wouldn’t be as easy to be on my normal regimen, so I just seized the opportunity. All in the name of science of course ;) Back to the norm tomorrow. I did learn some new things and reinforced things I already knew, so the 10lbs or whatever I gained was probably worth it. I can rip those back off in two weeks without dieting.

  • Suz @ Paleo Australia

    That’s a seriously impressive workout – very impressed, my biggest ever training week is around 20 hours – 41 is incredible!

  • CJ

    41 hasn’t become typical yet, but I feel I could sustain it now. I imagine I’ll land in typical 20-30 hour range. Work (money) is going to get in the way of training soon :(

  • Daniel

    You know you rock, right? :D
    Saw your posts on Denise’s site and now about to get to know you and your journey better… podcast is 1st. Will comment soon.

  • CJ

    @Daniel Thanks. I wish I put down more here, but it just doesn’t flow. Hopefully my new podcast show will better represent what I’m trying to say than this mucked up blog or comments I’ve left. I am not a writer, but I can talk peoples legs right off.

  • CJ

    I won’t be able to get into Ultraman this year, nor do I think I’d be able to perform at the level I want to. I think I’ll commit to another year and make 2013 the plan.