Joel’s Blog

Proper Running Technique

For anyone who has watched my march-like running stance, you know that I am not the most elegant runner. Because of this, I found this video to be very helpful in giving some good techniques to improve your form. Take a look:

Read the full article here

2009 Blazeman Efforts Year To Date

The Battle Has Begun

Consider Donating Here

This year marked the beginning of my war against ALS as part of the Team Blazeman effort. I have competed in three triathlons and one half-marathon so far this season that will culminate in a 10 hour triathlon on Sept. 12th. The season has been one of determination (lack of sleep and poor nutrition as part of living as a father of two) and dedication (5am mornings 5-6 days a week). Through it all, I have felt a sense of someone pushing me along. Each run, each race, each workout…I have this sensation that I’m not alone. Some of this is my continued growth in my faith but equally important is knowing that I am in the frontline of a battle with other Warriors. There are others out there, like me, that have lost loved ones to this terrible disease we call ALS. I see their encouragement online, face-to-face and through phone calls. I promise that as long as I am able, I will continue to fight along side these fellow Blazeman Warriors until a cure is found.

Here’s a Review of my 2009 Year to Date

New Prague Half Marathon – May 9, 2009
Finishing Strong with a nice Hawaiian Lei

Finishing Strong with a nice Hawaiian Lei

My first race of the Blazeman season was a half marathon in the small community of New Prague. This short 10 minute drive from my house was a great way to start the season. I really was unsure how I would do as I hadn’t done many longer training runs but I wanted to give the race a shot. It was idyllic conditions (outside of a decent wind) and I had one of the best races of my life…on my birthday nonetheless!

Finishing the race in a time of 1:36 averaging 7:24/mile, was significantly faster than I was expecting. This course certainly isn’t flat and was encouraging that I may be able to drive for even faster times with the right preparation.
New Prague Results
Lake Waconia Triathlon – June 28, 2009

First Triathlon Roll Across the Finishline

Lake Waconia was my first major triathlon of the season (I competed in one indoor triathlon in April). The weather was miserable with 25 mph wind. The race director cut the swim in half. Unfortunately, swimming is my forte so I had to make up for it on the run and bike. The course ran along the side of the lake with the run culminating in a hill called ‘Graveyard Hill.’ While the race pushed me to my limits, I was able to finish strong and roll across my first triathlon finish line.

It was a surreal moment with friends and family when I finished. Knowing that this was just the start of a battle to win this war on ALS. It was gratifying to compete and finish strong, yet daunting knowing the larger struggle of those I was representing. It was nonetheless the first step in a long journey.
Waconia Results
Elysian Rookie Triathlon – July 11, 2009
July 11th Triathlon in Elysian, MN

Red Swim Cap to the right

This was a wonderful event that we fit in while trying to find a good sprint to carry use between Waconia and St. Paul in August. Lots of interesting elements to this race (e.g. two transition zones, no bike racks, short 8 mile bike ride, etc.). I had a great race that day with a strong swim, decent bike ride and my fastest run ever (under 6:50/mile). This is one of the closer events to my house and one I will certainly consider doing again next year. Had numerous opportunities to share why I ‘roll’ and more information about ALS and the fire behind my triathlons.
Elysian Results
St. Paul Triathlon – August 23, 2009

Great complete race in St. Paul

Instantly one of my favorite events of my short triathlon career. This race takes place in the calm Lake Phalen just north of downtown St. Paul. While the unique multiple lap swim made for an interesting merger of heats as the race went on, I had one of my strongest swims of the season (enjoying my first race in my new Orca Wetsuit). After a strong ride and a decent run, I rolled across the finish line in Blazeman style.

Two quick highlights to this race. #1) I had the wonderful opportunity to meet my first fellow Blazeman Warrior in person. Ironman Tim Smit was gracious and supportive as we both compete for a higher cause. #2) It was a wonderful spectator event where my daughters, wife, sister-in-law and parents could easily catch me multiple times on the course. Certainly helped motivate me to my strong finish.
St. Paul Results

First Roll: 2009 New Prague Half Marathon

Today I started the war to defeat ALS as part of Team Blazeman. The conditions were almost perfect. Upper 40’s/Lower 50’s with sunshine and a great rolling hills course. The wind was a bit strong in the open country but didn’t put much of a hinder on a great race.

This was the first race where I was wearing Team Blazeman gear. I also rolled across the finish line in memory of Jon Blais’ and other PALS efforts to defeat ALS. I will add photos when we get them updated.

I felt the spirits of the ALS Warrior Poets today pulling me along. My best time up to today was 1:49 (a 8:22 per mile pace). My goal was to PR with a 8:00 per mile pace coming in around 1:45. With the power and strength from above and within, I completed the race in an official time in 1:36:34 (a 7:21 per mile pace).

After rolling across the finish line, many people asked me about my reasoning and was able to share the story of Team Blazeman. More people know about ALS today and that means more people can help work to fight this horrible disease.

It was an amazing birthday wish. A great cause…A great race…And a wonderful family there to cheer me on.

Love to you all,
Joel Haugen

Team Blazeman and Need2Tri Join Up

This week I start a new endeavor and I encourage you all to be a part of it. Today I will begin to help the war on ALS. As friends and family, I ask you all to help me in this effort first and foremost by taking time to read this full post. If you feel called to action, I commend you. If you don’t, I want to say thank you for taking the time to read and become aware of this dreadful disease.
Read the Rest

Triathlon Or Die

A recent Associated Press article reviewed a 21-month study into a series of deaths in triathlons. The article sounds a bit scary for those of us triathletes out there until you really look at the numbers. It 15 deaths in 1,000,000 triathletes. While it is higher than the marathon counterparts and nothing to be scoffed at, the fear it has generated is very misleading.
Read the Rest

New Bike Impact

I have been riding an older chro-moly road bike with clip on aerobars for the past two triathlon seasons. This Schwinn Passage has been very respectable for allowing me to train and race. While I never was able to average over 19 miles an hour in a race or training session even in my best shape, it was a perfect starting bike and one I’m hoping to keep to use on the leisurely family rides.

So this week with the blessing of my wonderful wife, I upped for a new triathlon bike. Read the Rest

Training Log

Training with a Cold

Do you or don’t you? I’ve been dealing with a head cold (runny nose, sniffles, headache, mild cough, etc.) I hate being sick. Anyway, as my journey to lose weight and prepare for a lengthy triathlon season, I’m balancing R&R and staying on my workout routine.

The past three mornings I’ve gotten up and into the gym and worked my butt off. No cutting back in the intensity. Was a bit concerned if that was the right tactic. I felt horrible going in to working out, felt great during and right after the workout and felt about as lousy as I did before working out a few hours later. Read the Rest

Ramp Up Training

Over the coming weeks I have created a training program I am lovingly referring to as “Ramp Up.” This plan has me working out 8 weeks leading up to the 20 week key program for my Olympic triathlons.

This season will be a good indicator if I’m over-doing it or not. Is 33 weeks of training too much? Do I have too many or too few races planned? Should my drop back weeks be more dropping back?

We’ll see. I’ll work to highlight the training of each week as I move forward and give you all an indication of how it is going. I’m reading insightful triathlon books, listening to podcasts and discussing training topics with a physical trainer and nutritionist. Hopefully you all will find value in these posts. Feel free to share your comments as we move forward with the Need 2 Tri.

– Joel