triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “bike

Wind, Flats, and Hills

Another week down and not many left…


Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 2:15:00 (a) – 5400m
Bike – 5:15:00 (p) – 5:05:58 (a) – 125.37km
Run – 2:40:00 (p) – 2:30:21 (a) – 31.07km

Total – 10:10:00 (p) – 9:51:19 (a)

That is a wrap on week 5 of the CTS Half Ironman plan, and other than missing the total time for the week, training has been going great. Now I have a legit excuse for why I am short.

Tuesday mornings are usually a bike-run brick. They started pretty easy with a 60min EM ride with a 15min ER. No problem. This week, the plan was a 1:30EM (7x2min PI; 3min RBI)) with a 20min ER. About 1:05 into my bike my dog comes barreling down the stairs, and when he is awake, so are the girls. 5 minutes later my daughter comes down and here is the conversation:

S: “Dad, how long do you have left, I want to play”
Me: “About 40 minutes kiddo.”
S: “Okay, I’ll just play by myself until you are done.”
2 minutes later
S: “Has it been long enough yet?”
Me: “Not yet. Did you want to get some breakfast first?”
S: “Nope, I’ll just wait.”
5 minutes later
S: “Aren’t you done yet?”
Me: “Alright, I will stop my bike and go for a quick run. Can you wait another 10 minutes?”
S: “Okay.”

She asked an additional 3 times when I was going to be done. She gets her patience from my wife and her time telling skills from me.

I headed for a long bike ride on Saturday morning; 2:45 EM planned. It was a great ride for the first long one of the season. The wind really slowed my down heading west, even keeping my speed below 70km/hr heading down into Cochrane. About 50k into the ride I heard a loud clang, the sound of a rock being shot into the ditch from my tire. I apologized to my bike promising not to hit any more rocks like that. Well, apparently it was too-little-too-late as I looked down at a flat tire.

I swapped tubes and took the opportunity for a “comfort break” and a snack before I got going again. I was pretty happy with myself as it took about 5 minutes to get my tire swapped; a good skill to have but one you hope you don’t use very often.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
I’m Hungry
Finally, The Weekend is Upon Us

I have read all three of Tim Ferris’ books; I have referenced ‘The Four Hour Body’ a lot on my blog. Well I just used some advice from his first book, ‘The Four Hour Workweek.’

He talks about people in your life that don’t add anything positive, or even worse, add negativity. Well, this morning I had coffee booked with a group of Brothers that was arranged by one of them. I showed up at the coffee shop only to realize that the meeting time and place had changed, by 30 minutes and 6 blocks. Not a small change.

This isn’t the first time this individual has done something like this, so I decided after grabbing my coffee solo, that it was about time to cut this relationship.

Tim (we are on first name basis) recommends talking with them and explaining the situation, not taking no for an answer. In this case, I am going to take the other road and just stop communication. Just like that.

Question: Thoughts? Should I put my big boy pants on and chat with him?


I’m Hungry

and tired. Did I mention that I am hungry?


Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 2:15:00 (a) – 6500m
Bike – 4:30:00 (p) – 4:28:29 (a) – 150.03km
Run – 2:30:00 (p) – 2:34:18 (a) – 31.02km

Total – 9:15:00 (p) – 9:17:47 (a)

Great numbers this week. I was able to hit all of my planned intervals and even survived a 2:30 EM on the trainer. I had planned on a great route for Saturday morning, but mother nature had other plans.

Ah, spring in Calgary.

Saturday’s ride called for Power Intervals, the workout looked like this:


Each PI was at 310W and each recovery at 180W. Let me tell you, that second hour went by pretty fast though it was hard to keep my legs turning for the last 30.

With my volume ramping up over the past couple of weeks, I am noticing that I am hungry; all of the time. Most of my workouts are scheduled for early morning; I am usually out of bed by 0500 and on the bike or run by 0530 or in the pool by 0600. This doesn’t give me much time to eat prior.

When my workout was 60 minutes long I had no issues; I could finish strong and eat my recovery meal (eggs and sweet potato) before I hit the showers without my stomach giving me grief. Now that I rarely have a single workout, brick sessions anyone, I am looking for some workout energy that has some protein included. I reckon if I can figure this one out, then Ironman Calgary should be a breeze.

Tops Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Cops and Joggers
Calgary Police Half Marathon – Race Recap – Extended Version

The Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow, oddly enough in Belfast. The first of the three grand tours kicks off with my favorite kind of stage, the Team Time Trial. As a triathlete I love the TT and the pain associated with it. I reckon no one can get on a TT bike and pedal anything less than 100%; I know I can’t.

This years’ race will be pretty awesome as some of the big names have decided to forgo the Giro in favor for the Tour de France. With Nibali, Froome, and Contador all missing, the race is open for many contenders. My hopes lie with Hesjedal from Garmin-Sharp; a fellow Canadian and winner of the 2012 edition he has to be my favorite. Along side Dan Martin, who had a great spring season, I wonder how much damage Garmin could do.

Question: How do you increase your calorie intake during training?

Ironman 70.3 Calgary

Hometown race baby.


I registered yesterday morning. I was on the fence even though I wanted to pull the trigger on another Ironman 70.3 race in 2014. Why is that?

Why do we want to do something so bad, then when time comes to put up or shut up, we do nothing?

Anyways, hanging in the training pool between our 100m and 400m time trials (more on that in a future post) I chatted with a fellow triathlete that swims with me in lane 3. He asked if I had registered knowing that I participated a couple of years ago. He also mentioned that they expect it to sell out by the weekend. Crap, no more hesitation.

I got into the office and pulled the trigger. Not sure what the wife is gonna say….

The raced has changed; the swim and bike courses were amended in 2013 as the floods rendered the swim course unsafe on race day and I guess the race directors liked the revised course. They have revised it again this year to follow the 2013 race course with a different swim venue. I am not complaining, swimming in a man made lake will be a lot warmer than swimming in Ghost Dam (water temp was 14 degrees Celsius in 2012).

The bike course follows a couple of popular training routes so it should be easy to head out in May and June to get a good feel on the road ; the one of many benefits of a hometown race. It is a tad short at 87.5km, but I reckon that makes up for it being long by 4km in 2012. In my opinion, it is easier than the old course albeit more technical with a potential, good potential, for some decent head wind on the first 35km.

You scared of wind? I’m not.

The run course remains unchanged, and that is a good thing. North/South Glenmore park is great run with some decent up and downhill sections. This is what attracts most competitors; the challenge of the run course.

I actually feel a little nostalgic that without any planning, I participated in the last race on the old course. It was a great ride with some awesome scenery and speed. I am even going to miss that big climb out of the river valley in Cochrane. Really, did I just say that?

So here is to Ironman 70.3 Calgary 2014 edition. I am looking forward to it.

Question: Do you hesitate to register for a race? Why?

Long Course Triathlon

Steppin’ up.


I struggle with the prospect each year of stepping up to the next distance. In 2013 I participated in Olympic distance races and enjoyed each and every one; in 2014, I plan on racing mostly Ironman 70.3. Why is there this desire to keep increasing the distance? Like my wife has pointed out, increasing distance is just increasing the time you suffer out there.

So it got me thinking, dangerous right? In every triathletes mind, is it a question of not if, but when you will sign up for Ironman?

I know a lot of triathletes who’s first ever triathlon was Ironman (now Challenge) Penticton. Some have gone on to finish in multiple years, and some have left the sport all together.

With the prospect of racing in what can arguably be called the toughest endurance event in the world the rewards are huge. There is obviously the bragging rights that come along with crossing the finish line and the satisfaction of fulfilling a goal that you set more than likely a year prior.

There are also the fringe benefits like getting into great shape, changing your view on nutrition, and meeting other triathletes during the journey. Then there is the gear, oh the gear. Having an upcoming race gives you the excuse to buy things you never could justify before.

I have said it before, and I will say it again; a long course triathlon seems daunting to me.

I could handle the swim, actually I think that I would really enjoy it. With that many people on the beach I think it would be an absolute riot to swim toward the first buoy knocking elbows, knees, and feet with the racers around me. The bike doesn’t scare me either; it is all about consistency. Get in the saddle, keep your effort level in check, and eat/drink as much as you can. I could see myself getting a little bored toward the end, but then again, I can’t swim a 400m set without losing count. Some kind of A.D.H.D. I reckon.

The run scares the crap out of me. I ran a couple of half marathons last winter, and I was pretty happy to cross the finish line. I couldn’t imagine turning around and doing it again, let alone coming off the bike. I am not the best runner, but I consider myself to be pretty decent and it still scares me.

I reckon it boils down to something I said to the triage nurse after I crashed; go hard or go home. Endurance athletes are kind of an all or nothing kinda group; give us a challenge and come hell or high water, we will not only finish but do it with a smile on our faces. We will train smart, fuel even smarter, and prepare weeks ahead of the actual race. We will live and breathe it.

Oh, and there is not a single event outside of the Badwater Ultra Marathon that embodies the go hard or go home mentality more than Ironman.

Not that I am going to sign up for Ironman anytime soon. The training hours are way to much for the family right now, and besides, I am enjoying where I am at right now. If it aient broke, don’t fix it right?

Question: Was your first race Ironman? If so, first of all, awesome; second of all, why?

Recap – Week 41

Theme of the week? Recovery.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 5050m
Bike – 0:45:00 – 25.26km
Run – 0:33:13 – 6.87km

Total – 3:18:33

Not the good kind of recovery, like after a great training block or a race where you gave it your all, but the phlegm producing, I’m almost better kind of recovery. I haven’t been this sick for a long time. Typically I can kick a cold or flu to the curb in about 3 days and be none worse for the wear, but this one stuck around for a while.

I was able to get on the trainer Friday night for the first time this fall. Exciting right? Well, actually it wasn’t all that bad. One thing I found in addition to the five points for pro trainer in my post, To Ride or Not to Ride, is that the trainer will show you very quickly any problems with your mechanics. You can hear instantly when you have a choppy pedal turnover and make adjustments on the fly to correct the problem. I also like the power readings; I don’t ride with a power meter for a couple reasons, cost being the first and foremost.

I also got out Sunday night for a run at about 2030; I forgot how great it is to run under the stars. It was a great run and I returned home a little quicker than anticipated. I thought about heading out for a another loop, but having a whopping total of 0km the previous week, I figured a good 30 minutes a great start to getting back into things.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Am I Becoming a Roadie?
About Me


Ironman World Championship went this weekend, and from what I saw and read, it was a great race. I know a couple of age groupers who qualified at Ironman Wisconsin about a month back, and I am secretly a little jealous. It would be an experience and a half to line up at Kona with arguably the best triathletes on arguably the toughest course in the world.

Case in point: Mirinda Carfrae dominates the run and finishes with a course record. Not only that, I only count two faster run splits all day from the entire field. Being around this excellence has to rub off doesn’t it?

I could use a little of that run speed.

Question: Did you tune in race day? What are your thoughts?

Recap – Week 40

I haven’t been this sick in a while.


Swim – 0:25:00 – 1200m
Bike – 1:25:00 – 34.6km
Run – 0:00:00 – 0km

Total – 1:50:00

So this week, as you can tell, was pretty light. I spent most of the week huddled on the couch recovering from a nasty flu. I know that sometimes, you can continue with your training at a reduced intensity level and do fine. Not me, not this time. My energy was about zero this week, and riding to and from work on Tuesday didn’t help.

My wife said it was a bad idea, but being a typical man, I didn’t listen.

I chose to skip swim club on Friday morning, instead opting for a lunch time swim instead. I ended up feeling pretty decent at the end of it, even though I shared the lane with a couple of guys who had the worst lane etiquette. Sometimes I have thoughts of laminating a link to a couple of my blog posts, Swim Etiquette and Round Two, and passing it to them before they get out of the pool. This is one of the positives of swimming with a club, top three at least.

Feeling sorry for myself was getting me nowhere up until Wednesday, so I decided that I was no longer sick. Wouldn’t you know it, it kinda worked. I ended up having more energy (not enough to go for run mind you) and headed out Thursday evening with some brothers. A good home cooked meal, and some scotch never hurt anyone.

The weekend was full of renovations again. I was finally able to get my bathroom rough-in’s completed, and after a couple of leaks fixed in the plumbing, I am ready for the inspector. I have determined that up to this point, why anyone would become a plumber is beyond me. I hate copper, soldering, and ABS glue. In the rest of the house I may contract the plumbing so I can be rid of that infernal task.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Whole 30 Challenge
Escape from Alcatraz


This weekend we hiked through the Tuscany ravine. Fall in Calgary is the best 2 1/2 weeks of the year. The colors on the trees are great, and the temperature means you can head out all day without the risk of freezing or boiling. We had a great time exploring the creek (which was wet this year), climbing the fallen trees, and looking for shelters kids have made. I think every weekend until the snow flies will have a hike like that.

About half way in, my wife looks at me and says “I have a problem with my coffee”. Looking at her I responded “well, Starbucks is pretty much everywhere these days, but I am confident one hasn’t opened down here. At least not yet.” Seriously, how many do we need?

Question: What are your thoughts on swim etiquette?

Recap – Week 37

Swim club is back into full swing, can you tell?


Swim – 2:55:00 – 6200m
Bike – 2:59:29 – 87.3km
Run – 0:33:26 – 6.42km

Total – 6:27:55

Our swim coach commented that the next 4 weeks will be focused on technique, not just cramming in 3000m per session. Well, this week he meant it. Apart from our 400m swim warm up, we haven’t done much swimming. We have been working with fins, drill sets, treading, and pretty much everything else except lunges on the pool deck.

I may have cursed us for the next week by saying that, stay tuned.

Actually, I am already noticing a difference. The top part of my catch is getting a lot better, and as a result, so is my speed. The downside? The blisters on my feet from the fins suck.

I headed out on a bike ride Sunday instead of a run. I really should be hitting the paths a little more with my running shoes, but I rationalized it by saying that I can run at lunch during the week; I can only take my bike out on the weekend. So off I went on my Argon 18 for a quick, but windy, 47km loop. It was great. I took a relatively new route north along the Bearspaw highway to the end and back. I tell you, just outside of Calgary is beautiful country. If I could keep up with the yard work, which I can’t, I would totally move out there.

Anyways, getting back to reality. My Whole 30 Challenge is reaching the finishing leg. Today marks the conclusion of Day 19; two thirds of the way there. I am feeling great, all except I am still snacking after supper. Now, before you grab the pitchforks and gather the Whole 30 mob, my snacks consist mostly of fried eggs and veggies with the occasional handful of walnuts or pistachios. I reckon this isn’t a bad choice considering I am in the 6.5 hours of training load.

I am getting to the point where I don’t crave sweets anymore. Example, we had dinner at Mom and Dad’s last night. They were gracious enough to BBQ a roast without BBQ sauce and serve sweet potato instead of white. I offered to make a salad and brought a Roasted Beet with Pecan and Apple salad, it was delicious. My brother baked an Apple Crisp, it looked and smell fantastic, and served it with Vanilla Ice Cream. Now normally I would have demolished a portion to send me into a insulin induced coma, but instead I sat at table and chomped on a piece of fruit instead.

I think my body is thanking me. You are welcome body.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 36
Whole 30 – Day 9

This week, my daughter had an ‘episode’ where she blamed us for hurting herself, when it was clearly her fault. We typically try to make situations like this a time to learn from, and not just dish out a punishment; I am the first to admit that I don’t always follow the rule. The lesson was that we need own our decisions, and as such, own the consequences. It can be tough for a 6 year old to learn, nor am I expecting her to. We do need to lay the foundation for the future.

It got me thinking about my decisions; every time I sleep in and miss a workout, or decide to head out instead of spending time with my family, do I own the decision? If the answer is no, I think I need to re-evaluate.

Question: Do you own your decisions? Or blame others?