Building your own Olympic Plate Adapters

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any injury caused by using this method and it is specifically not recommended for weights over 20 pounds.

Background: The olympic plate adapters that fit over the standard 1″ bar are expensive.On amazon these range in cost from $14-30 / pair.  I own one and it’s fine, but since it’s just a plastic spacer with a “grub screw” (headless screw to hold to 1″ bar), this can probably be improvised.

Approach:   There has got to be a cheaper way.  It turns out that with a few sizes of PCV Schedule 40 pipe from a home improvement store, you can make your own.  Here is my receipt from Lowes:

23898 1-1/4-IN SCH40 CAP 447012 1.92
2@ 0.96
23982 1-1/4-IN X 5-FT SCH40 PIP 4.68
23831 1-1/2-IN X 5-FT SCH40 PIP 4.90
TRX: 0.78
TOTAL: 12.28

The first step is to figure out the length of the 1″ rod you have. Cut the 1 1/4″ and 1″ pipe to this length. These should fit loosely inside each other.  I had 1″ PVC already which is the innermost diamter.

Paint both parts with PVC primer and cement.  Use the cement liberally to close the gap between the pipe diameters.  Let dry.  You can put the endcaps on if you choose.  It might be better to leave extra length on the inside end of the pipes in case you need to flush cut them.  The extra may also allow for mistakes in grub screw placement.

Test fit the end cap over the glued pipe when dry.  Now you can determine the length of the 1 1/2″ pipe to fit flush over the inner pipes.  This length of pipe will not fit over 1 1/4″ so you need to cut it lengthwise and wedge it open to fit it over.  While this may not seem optimal, it creates a tight fit and really does not need to be cemented to stay put.

This will now slide over the 1″ bar and approximates the diameter of the Olympic plate, preventing wobble when you use your Olympic plates on 1″ equipment.

I have grub screws and “heli-coil” inserts on order to complete the retention mechanism.  It appears my commercial adapter does have an insert or some portion of metal to prevent stripping of the grub screw.



Ridiculous Rehydration Myths

This is the second “developed by a doctor” rehydration product I’ve seen this year.



I get it that medicine isn’t as fulfilling as you thought it would be but using your credentials to foist psuedoscience on the public places you in the same category as Dr. Oz.

This is water.  Salt water.  I use salt in the chemical sense here meaning a com


bination of anion and cation.

Let us take a look at the claims on “Science” page of their website.




  • 4 Adult BANa’s is comparable to 1L Normal Saline IV

Okay, that’s a claim that can be substantiated.  Saline has NaCl and water.  Take it with a grain of salt, literally.  800 mg x 4 = 3.2 g of salt.  A big grain of salt, but still a grain.

Further, Normal Saline has been shown to be associated with renal failure in critcially ill adults.  While an athlete is not critically ill, they are undergoing a fair amount of physiological stress.

Don’t take my word for it, read the trials (SALT-ED and SMART) and judge which one you’d rather have.  While BANa is more of balanced solution, they don’t bother comparing it to lactated Ringers.  That seems like a pretty big oversight, but then again, marketers don’t read journals.

  • Absorption rate into your body is comparable between oral consumption and IV fluids given in the ER
  • Faster recovery time
  • Hydration equals Performance – both physical performance, and mental acuity

The next 3 selling points beg the question:

  1. Where do these statements come from?
  2. Is there scientific data?
  3. Where are the references to support these claims?
  4. Hydration is important but hydration ≠ performance.  There are many factors in performance.

Let’s see what they come back with on this one.



The Glass Slipper: Preserving a running shoe-an experiment in shelf life

I have no problem admitting that I have pathology. I’m aware of much of my psychopathology however people do not hesitate to point it out most of the time. This is an example of a part of my pathology as a runner and an experimental thinker.

All serious runners know that when you find a shoe that works for you, you hang onto it for dear life. It’s rare to find a runner that bounces from shoe to shoe, let alone brand to brand.

NEW BALANCE SHOES USED to make it easy to simply look up the last (the pattern of the sole) of the shoe that fit your foot and continue ordering however with their newer naming scheme, this has become much more difficult. Now the process involves getting a “test shoe” and then buying more of them if that shoe works for you. This has led to show rooming at local shoe stores if you’re unsure of what you’re buying.

The problem lies in the fact that I try to buy several pairs of running shoes at a time and become quite attached to them over the 500 to 1000 miles that I typically put on them. My wife who is also an avid runner has recently convinced me that trail shoes are a good option in addition to the road shoes I’ve typically worn. I’ve been disappointed with new balance 993’s in recent memory and I don’t think they offer the performance justified by their price any longer.

This winter, for training I am using a pair of 4 from Joe’s new balance outlet. I have also obtained MEN’S NEW BALANCE 690 V2. The former pair is a typical road shoe at the higher end of the new balance spectrum but still reasonably priced when on clearance. The latter is a trail shoe. Both shoes have an appropriate last for my foot and fit well.

I will say that the trail shoe (690 V2 Trail) is the more comfortable of the 2 shoes right out of the box. Shortly after purchasing my 1st set, there was a closeout and I was able to get a 2nd set for less than the 1st.


I’m casually aware of the association of plasticizers and loss of elasticity with age. Anyone with a car old enough to have a crack in the dashboard understands this principle. Plasticizers evaporate or become hard over time and whether this remains true for running shoes is a question of debate. I have decided to undertake an experiment with my trail shoes where over the winter, one pair of shoes will be actively used while the other are vacuum sealed to prevent loss of elasticity which would theoretically be due to evaporative causes. Vacuum sealing works well in food medium which is probably a more critical test. This post will serve as documentation to assess whether the seal holds and whether the shoes feel “factory fresh” when they come out of the box. I’ve attached some pictures as documentation of the process.











Vacuum Sealing



Race Report: NC Ironman 70.3 (formerly beach to battleship)


This was my first Ironman branded event.  I have heard from other athletes that “you want for nothing” at these events.  My first impression is that it was not a very good value for the average recreational triathlete.  I’m writing this on race day to collect some thoughts before they vanish into the fog of exhaustion.



Expo was efficient.  Not much else to say about athlete processing.

Rule briefings were held at regular intervals.  I wish I would have stayed for one.  It would have reduced race day issues.  Had freebies out (Bloks and Cliff bars, some red bull if you are longing for that cough syrup taste).  Usual overpriced vendors with race day markups and tons of Ironman Branded stuff which I skipped.

Post Check In Equipment Setup

This was my first one with very different locations for T1 and T2 and you were required to stow your gear the day before.  You have to be organized to get this done.  It comes with the usual headaches: parking, trips back to the car if you forgot something, hauling your gear…twice.  T2 was right by the expo which was good, but all you did there was drop off your running gear.  They had a ton of volunteers that were mostly keeping spectators out.  IMO, it would have been better to just hand your tagged bag with race number to a volunteer and have them distribute them.  Just seems more simple and convenient to me.

T1 was across town at Wrightsville beach.  Ample parking with usual drill, hauling your bike to the spot.  You could only do a limited setup the day before.  And they did inspect bikes because the next morning my neighbor had a love note (handwritten) saying his bar end mirror could get him DQ’d.

The split transition areas are a pain in the ass to be honest. Continue reading →


I did my first triathlon when I was 22.  Even then I really, really  did not like the run. Running was and is the primary fitness activity in the military. When I got out of the military, I promised myself:

Run only when chased

That lasted until I was in my early 40’s.  Having a largely sedentary job, I noticed a lot more aches and pains, along with the onset of the commonplace 40 year old low back pain. So I decided to get more active, while I still could. It sure beats watching your body fall apart. I returned to triathlons with the Surf City Sprint Triathlon in 2011.

I’ve always been a strong swimmer but I never would have imagined I’d be the second one out of the water on an ocean swim.  This was behind a teenager named Hans.  Seriously, his name was really Hans.  It’s hard to be upset about coming in second behind an adolescent triathlete named Hans.

My lead quickly evaporated as I was riding a mountain bike with knobby tires for my first race.  I was just in it for the experience and did not expect to be competitive at all.  Aero bikes were passing me with bittersweet comments like “way to go mountain bike guy”.

I placed second in my age group, which was a shocker since a plastic bag in the wind passed me on the run…twice!

I continued training and learned a fundamental truth of a middle age athlete.

There will always be training injuries

Three sports allowed me to shift emphasis when an injury reared its ugly head in one of the 3.  I liked the way I looked, felt, and it was great for stress relief.


Surfacing at 2015 Ramseur International Triathlon