Sunday, December 11, 2011

Run...and then keep on running

I have always had the philosophy that if you want to get better at a weakness, then you need to focus on that weakness.  If you want to get faster swimming; you need to get in the pool and start swimming.  My obvious weakness in triathlon is my run.  So based on my training philosophy; I decided to immerse myself into running for a few weeks.  I ended my season much earlier this year compared to last, mainly to focus on some running in preparation for the 2012 triathlon season.  Focusing on running has also had the added benefits of not being forced to spend much time on the trainer and also decreasing the amount of hours per week I have spent training; which has been pretty helpful since I am still working...(3 weeks left!).
The past few weeks have been the first time in my triathlon career where I have really focused on my run.  I have been doing (for me) a lot of miles and really trying to turn myself into more of a runner than I ever have been.  The running block has been, for the most part, really fun.  I have been able to discover some new running trails.  I did a lot of running when I was in Colorado for Thanksgiving.  It hasn't been all easy.  Although the intensity of my running has been pretty low the miles definitely have started to pile up.  I wake up every day knowing one thing is going to be constant; I'm going to run that day, most likely twice.  My running block will continue until the end of December but I had my first true test this weekend and I have to say that I am pretty excited with the progress.  I managed to run a new PR for a half marathon.  It is encouraging to know that the work I have put in is paying off in some regard; especially because in a few weeks I think I am going to have to re-learn how to ride a bike.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kyle Leto to Ride Williams Wheels

Walnut Creek, CA, November 20, 2011: Kyle Leto Racing is excited to announce
a sponsorship agreement with Williams Cycling wheels and components. Williams Cycling is a direct to consumer wheel and component manufacturer. “I am very excited to be partnered with Williams. I know that I will have the best products available to help me achieve my goals in the sport of triathlon,” said Leto upon signing.

    Kyle Leto had an outstanding 2011 season finishing top 10 nine times, most notably 5th place at Vineman 70.3 one of the fastest races in North America of the season.

    “We see Kyle Leto as an up and coming young talent and a future star in the sport of triathlon. We’re thrilled to have Kyle representing the Williams brand , and look forward being part of his bright future,” stated Keith Williams, President and Founder of Williams Cycling.

    For more information on Kyle Leto Racing and Williams Cycling visit or

Sunday, November 20, 2011

To Be or Not to Be

At the beginning of the 2011 season, I made a promise to myself that I would seriously consider what I wanted to do in the sport of triathlon by the end of the year.  With that in mind, I figured I would either have a great year, decide to quit work, and do triathlon full time; or, I would potentially not have a great year and decide that I should still continue working and competing at the same time.  Even with this decision looming, I didn't feel like I had any added pressure on myself because I was really alright with either of the outcomes.  I just wanted to train hard, race hard, and figure it out as the year went on.

If you have been following my results/blog/facebook/twitter this past season you would probably think that I came to the conclusion to continue working my current job.  I did not have what I would call a stand out year; but I did have some good results mixed it.  I had to overcome some adverse situations such as penalties, flat tires, travel problems, nutritional problems; many things that are to be expected in this sport.  Unfortunately, some of these problems occurred in races where I was having a great race, but didn't get the result that I thought I could have achieved.  With that being said, my training in 2011 was significantly better than it had been in previous seasons, and I knew that I was getting faster.  I did have a few races that I thought reflected my fitness and the one that I was most pleased with was finishing 5th at Vineman 70.3.  After having a mixed year, I had a very difficult decision to make as to what I wanted to do with work and triathlon.  After discussing the options with my family, coach, co-workers, and friends; I decided that I had a unique opportunity to try my hand at being a full time professional athlete.

I have received a lot of support from the most important people in my life regarding this decision and I am very excited to embark on this journey.  I would be lying if I didn't say that I had any apprehension or that I am nervous about my new profession.  However, I am extremely excited about my new future and I cannot thank my friends and family enough for their support.

You can follow my journey here on this blog and I will be making some exciting announcements for my 2012 season soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tri California Triathlon at Alcatraz

The Tri-California Triathlon at Alcatraz is one of my favorite races of the year. It is a very challenging and fun course to race on. This year, with my focus being on Hy-Vee, Alcatraz presented a good chance for me to race at the end of what has been one of my best training blocks in my short career as a triathlete. My training up to this point has been right on track and I was very excited to see what I could get out of my body on race day.

As we filed out onto the side of the ferry boat I started to realize that water was suddenly a lot choppier than I had ever seen before; although this was just my 4th time swimming from Alcatraz. Believing in my swim strength I thought that this could only help me in achieving my goal of moving up one spot from last year’s 2nd place finish and winning this race. That optimism changed about 5 minutes into the swim when I somehow managed to loose the lead pack and end up on an entirely different route in the bay by myself. I decided that I would stay my course because I believed that it was more of a direct line to the swim finish and if I had any chance of catching that lead group of swimmers it would be to take a shorter line than the curve that they were taking. I still don’t know if this was the best decision but I ended up exciting the water about 3:30 down on the lead group. This was very unfamiliar territory for me and from there I went into panic mode.

Exiting T1 I had a choice; either ride as hard as I could and try to make up as much time as

possible on the bike and go for the win, or play it more conservative on the bike and go for a podium position. I really wanted to win this race and I decided that I would go for it on the bike and put myself in the best position to win. I felt really good on the early steep climbs and knew that I had to be making up time. When I reached the first turn around point I saw my competitors heading in the other direction and realized that I had made up a good chunk of time. However, that came at a cost because I was unable to keep up that pace and made up less time over the second half of the bike. Exiting T2 I was in 5th place and 1:50 down from the lead.

My legs were a little more wobbly than usual after the huge bike effort and I struggled to find my pace early in the run. After getting my legs back after the first mile and a half I reached the hilly part of the run course thinking that I could still run myself into a podium position. I attacked the course with what I had left and unfortunately came up short in the end. I finished in 5th place overall but ended up only about 30 seconds back from a podium spot.

With my goal of winning this race a 5th place was disappointing. However, with my preparation for Hy-Vee I was very happy with my effort for this race. I had a swim that put me out of contention but I gave the course everything that I had that day. I am excited to finally get some rest and sharpen up before what will be the biggest race of the year.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MIM, Escape from Alcatraz, Boise 70.3, and more

It has been awhile since my last post and that has mainly been because of a continuously (and somehow getting worse) crazy schedule and also some challenging times as an athlete. Since my last post I have competed at the Memphis in May Triathlon (7th place)(also shout out to my amazing home stay Jeff Fejfar), The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon (10th), and Boise 70.3 (not worth mentioning...except 1st out of the water).

What has been progressively challenging so far this year is the amount of racing that I have attempted this spring with my work and training schedule. I think that I underestimated how difficult it would be to fly across the country, race, fly home the same day, work the next morning, and then repeat that for 3 months while trying to train and maintain fitness in between. This spring has been a good learning experience, albeit of what not to do, but an experience nonetheless. When I put my racing schedule together back in the winter I had the goal of racing a lot during the spring, qualifying for Hy-Vee and 70.3 world championships, and then being able to take a break during the summer to train for those events. However, after some uncontrollable events (flats/cancelled swims) and some poor racing performances on my behalf, I am in a situation where I have raced (and worked) myself into a state of physical and mental exhaustion and have not qualified for those races.

After having a very poor and flat performance in Boise I decided that I needed to take a quick mental break and re asses what I was going to do with this season. I realized that I did have some good early season races coming off what was a great winter of training. It was really the second half of my 3 month spring racing season that took a dismal turn. I am going to spend some time just training (and of course working) and cut back on the amount of racing that I plan on for the rest of the season. I still think that I can qualify for some of my goal races but I am not going to sacrifice training and kill myself to get to those races. So until now its just training and trying to learn this crazy life of being a (for now) pseudo-professional triathlete

Thursday, May 5, 2011

St. Anthony's and Beyond

I had pretty high expectations for myself going into the race at St. Anthony's last weekend. I had raced well in my two previous races which were half ironmans, I had done well at MIT, and this race had the largest point total for the 5150 series. (Because of the high point total this race did end up being one of the most stacked fields ever for a non-drafting olympic distance race). I knew that a strong finish here could set me up for Hy-Vee qualification.

Unfortunately, I somehow managed to hurt my back on Thursday morning before the race. I'm still not exactly sure what happened, (nor does my back feel right), but I was about half way into a ride when my back started to tighten up. By the end of the ride I couldn't stand up straight. I had a couple of massages and some ART therapy in the two days prior to the race and my back started to feel a little better. However, the familiar tightness came back again when I was trying to transition from bike to run. I was able to hobble through the first few miles of the run but by the time I was able to run again I had given up a lot of spots. I actually felt really strong at the end of the run, possibly because I wasn't able to push myself early, and I ended up finishing 16th. Which was not what I was expecting or planning on; but with the hurt back and shortened swim I will take the 100 points for Hy-Vee. Hopefully I can get my back figured out, get a little training, and perform the way that I know I am capable of in Memphis. (assuming its still happening with all the flooding that is going on right now).

After this race I was very open about my frustration and disappointment. It has been a tough year for me in racing so far. I have had a few results that have not been indicative of where I believe I can perform and it was really starting to wear on me. Even with the troubles I have ad so far this year, I realized that triathlon is what I want to do with my life right now. After the race, I was sitting in my homestay's hot tub (after taking and ice bath), I noticed that in my short time as a triathlete I have met so many amazing people that all share the common bond of being involved in triathlon. I truly enjoy training, competing, racing, coaching, and being immersed in this sport. I am extremely excited about the opportunities that are ahead of me and look forward to being able devote myself to something that I truly love.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oceanside 70.3/New Orleans 70.3

"You don't need good just don't need bad luck" -Sherpa

This was told to me by my friend Sherpa from Davis Wheelworks after my last race in New Orleans. It is something that has helped to continue to motivate me through what has been two of the most difficult races I have faced in my young triathlon career.

My 70.3 world championships qualifying season started with Oceanside 70.3 I was extremely excited to race this event after doing very well there last year in what was my first ever half ironman distance race. I felt very prepared to have a better result than I did in 2010 and was looking forward to doing my first half ironman of the season; and get some 70.3 points in the process. I won't necessarily go into too many details about this race but I ended up getting 2oth place after a flat tire took me out of the lead group of cyclists at mile 40. One good thing I can take away from this race; my half marathon split ranked in the top 10...I might be learning how to run after all!

My second 70.3 of the season was scheduled to be New Orleans 70.3. While I raced in New Orleans I didn't exactly do a 70.3. My second run of "bad luck" in a row resulted in a canceled swim the morning of the race.

(I will go on a short rant here because I truly believe that canceling a swim in the conditions that were present on race day morning for the professional field was extremely unprofessional by the race organization. As a professional athlete I have swam in some pretty bad swimming conditions and the wind created chop that was present on the lake race day morning would not have even ranked in the top 5 of my hardest swimming conditions. Many professional triathletes are competing as their means to make a living, some are competing for valuable points (myself included), and to not be prepared to host a swim in those conditions is embarrassing for the organization)...end rant

I went through a wide spectrum of emotions on race day morning in New Orleans. After talking with my coach we decided not to race, then we decided to do the race but as a planned workout with intervals, and then after passing some athletes while warming up on the bike for the first 10 miles I decided I should probably just race it. I ended up finishing 10th overall with the 6th fastest bike split and another top 10 run split. (I still think it would have been a much different race if there was a swim...especially with that obviously being my strongest leg)

I know that "bad luck" can happen in races. There are things in the sport of triathlon that are going to continue to occur that are completely out of my control. I am happy with how I was able to deal with some of these new challenges and hopefully I can take away the valuable experiences. In what I hope to be a long career as a professional triathlete I can be guarantee that this will not be my only run of obstacles...Bring on St. Anthony's!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Miami International Triathlon

Last weekend I competed in the Miami International Triathlon which marked the beginning of my 2011 triathlon season. It was also the first race of the new 5150 series race and therefore an important race to start earning points in order to qualify for the Championship race at Hy-Vee in September. This year my focus will be on Hy-Vee and the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas also in September.

This was the first time that I have competed at MIT and I was very excited to get my first race of the season underway against a very strong field. The first race of the year has an added unknown element to it in the fact that you aren't exactly sure how your training will pay off in a race. I have put in a lot of time and hard work this winter to make some improvement as a triathlete with the goal of being more competitive overall in races. I was happy to see that although I have much to improve upon throughout the course of the year; the work that I have done over the past few months did translate into being a better athlete.

Now for some race details...
The start of the swim for this race was a deep water start; which I typically prefer. However, there weren't any start buoys to keep us contained in a certain area so by the time the gun went off the field was stretched about 50 meters across which actually resulted in a very enjoyable calm start to the race for me. Because the field was so spread out I had time to move to the front of the pack without having to jostle for position and by the time we hit the first turn buoy I was sitting comfortable in the top 5. I was comfortable sitting in the front and I was able to see that I was in good company and was right next to fellow Blue 70 athletes Cameron Dye and Ben Collins. I figured that if the 3 of us were together it was unlikely that I would have to worry about anyone else being up ahead. (After talking to Cam after the race it was a surprise to both of us then that John Kenny was actually about 20 seconds ahead of us the whole time and we had no idea).

I survived the run to transition and after getting through transition (a little faster than usual I might add without having to put on sunglasses with my new helmet visor from Davis Wheelworks) I was in the front of the race. However, I now have a new project for Wheelworks because 1km in the bike segment I lost my water bottle which left me without any nutrition for the entire race. (Need to figure out a solution to that before Oceanside). The bike course was flat and fast except for hitting a pretty solid headwind going across the one causeway. I stayed at the front of the bike and was working hard in the beginning to try to string out the field and eventually somehow managed to get away for a little while. However, at about 30k into the bike I started to feel the lack of nutrition/water and wasn't able to maintain the same intensity. At about this point Cameron Dye went by me and about 5km from the finish of the bike Chris Lieto came flying by. I figured since it took Chris that long to catch me that there was a good chance I would have a slight lead over the majority of the field going into the run.

Now if you have been reading any of my blogs throughout the winter you will know that for the first time in my career I have put a huge emphasis on my run. So the run for this race was truly the first test to see where my run fitness was...especially after a hard bike. I did gain a lot of confidence in my run throughout the winter but I will admit I was still had the same fears/expectations that I would immediately get caught after completing the bike. I haven't many other experiences other than that in my short pro career to expect anything other than that.

Back to the race...I exited transition probably 30 seconds behind Lieto and Dye and even with Collins. Collins bridged up to Lieto and Dye almost immediately and I was content to stay with my pace. I still wasn't sure how the lack of nutrition was going to effect me and I also figured that the 3 guys ahead of me weren't going to maintain their current pace. I thought I might be able to bring them back over the course of the whole 10k as long as I didn't blow myself up in the first 2k. I fell into a good sustainable rhythm over the first half of the race and 5k in I was running in 5th. (Matt Charbot, the overall winner, had passed me at this point). I was feeling good with my pace but not with my overall position and I wanted to bridge up to the original 3 guys that were leading the run as they were still running in a group. I dropped my pace down and started to bring them back over the course of the next two miles. I got within striking distance of the group but the effort that it took to bring the time back on the group took its toll on me and I actually ended up loosing time over the last mile.

I finished the race in 6th place overall. The last money spot but more importantly I scored a decent amount of points for Hy-Vee qualification. I will need to improve upon that finish to qualify for the race but overall I was very happy with my first race of the season. With the help of Trent Richardson ( ) I have been able to get my swim back and felt comfortable in the front pack of the swim. Although my bike training took a hit this winter with my run focus I was very pleased to see that I could still hammer out a 40k and be competitive. I ran a 1ok PR of 32:55 and although the run is still a big weakness of mine it is improving.

I also want to thank Cobi and Hector at IRun Company (!/pages/IRunCompany/177105198966712 ) ( ) for taking care of me while I was in Miami. They are great guys, have a fantastic running store, and are very knowledgeable about tri and running apparel.

On Saturday I will be doing my first 70.3 race of the year in Oceanside, CA. I am extremely excited to race here again after having such a great time in my first half ironman here last year.

Monday, February 28, 2011


First off I would like to congratulate my friend and training partner Andrew Bauer on his win yesterday in the Stanford treeathlon (changed from triathlon to duathlon). We both competed in the race on a very cold morning and I was actually happy that there wasn't a swim. For one reason because it was freezing and the other because I was doing the race to get in some hard, fast work and I knew that taking out the swim would eliminate my strongest leg and thus making the race that much harder for me. My goal before this race was to race on very tired legs and I definitely was able to accomplish this goal with having one of my best two week training blocks of the season. (Short Colorado vacation must have done me well).

The format for the race was a 2km run, 20km bike, and 5km run. I was probably most worried about that first 2km run because of the lack of speed work that I have been doing with my training. I have been doing a lot of base miles and longer runs as I am preparing for some half ironman racing so I knew that a 2km run to start out the race would be pretty painful. I also knew that with Andrew in the race that he was going to tear up that first leg. As I had predicted before the race, this happened and I found myself basically sprinting to try to limit the amount of time I knew I would loose.

Luckily that first leg was only a 2k and even though I was slightly behind it didn't take very long to work my way to the front of the race on the bike (while managing to loose my only water bottle on a pothole...glad it was only a 2okm bike). I pushed the bike as hard as I could weaving my way around other racers on the 3 looped course while there was, in my opinion, a substantial amount of drafting going on behind me and off of me. I kept a good rhythm on the bike and went into T2 first (with that pack of riders right behind me).

Out of T2 there was a small group of 4 and we started out with a pretty blistering pace by my standards and the group started to spread itself out. As we slowly spread out we ended up running about 10 seconds apart from each other and no one could gain any time. I tried to put in a few surges to close the gap but every time I started to make up some ground I would slowly loose it again and fall right into that 10 second gap and that is exactly how we finished...Andrew about 20 seconds ahead of me and Noah Beyeler from Cal 10 seconds ahead.

While I was a little disappointed to not have been able to defend my title at this small race, I was happy with the effort that I put out. I had two decent run legs and a strong bike on tired legs and I am starting to learn how to maintain my run pace while my legs are tired. Through years of swimming I knew how to pace a mile. I could hit the 1000 yard mark and feel like I couldn't go on, yet I could still manage to close out the race at a faster pace than I started. I am nowhere near this for running but I am starting to have a better understanding of the feeling and I think that is one of the most exciting things that has happened this off season for me. I think that I will be able to get so much more out of my body in a race...specifically on the run.

This race marks the end of my base/off season/non racing season and from this point on I will really start to gear up for the triathlon racing season. I am very happy with what I was able to accomplish over the past few months and I have a lot of people to thank for that. I have mentioned some of these names before but they are worth mentioning again...Marlia at for giving me nutritional guidance (I have lost some of that "swimmer weight" finally) My coach John Hansen, also at, who has really put together a great plan for me and I just hope that I can race up to my potential. My friend/roommate/swim coach Trent Richardson ( who has really helped my swimming over the past few weeks with an ass kicking swim training plan. I look forward to some hard training and also my first real race of the year in Miami in 3 weeks. Its going to be an exciting 2011.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Intro to 2011

It has been a long time since I have made a post and over the past few weeks I have gotten in some great training. After Clearwater I started my season by taking my first break as a triathlete. Finally gave my body some time to recover after over a year of training and racing. I thoroughly enjoyed the break and took full advantage of not training. Starting in December I slowly started to begin my training and I was starting my season with something I have never done as a triathlete...base training and also focusing on my run. I have to say that the training has been going great and for the first time in my life I actually feel good on the run. I won my first one race at the angle island 16km trail race and just recently I finished 2nd at a 10mile run race in San Francisco.

Another new thing for me this year has been nutrition guidance that I have been receiving from Marlea at She has been a great resource to me and has helped me in ways that I cannot begin to explain. For the first time in my young career I feel like I have a team behind for this year. Between my coach, John Hansen, Marlea with nutrition, Dr. Gutierrez and Mckenzie at keeping me healthy, and the cooperation from my work, I am getting lots of support this year to achieve my goals. I am excited to take care of the work on my end and have a great year.

I am also very excited to be partnered with some great companies again for next year. I will be wearing the fastest wetsuits on the planet with Blue 70 wetsuits, protecting my eyes and head with Rudy Project, I will be racing in the great suits made by Kiwami, and racing on some of the fastest bikes from Fuji Bikes. I will also be using technical swimming gear from Finis ( (check out the new swim sense). I will also be fueling up and following my nutrition plan with products from Powerbar.