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Posts tagged “calgary 70.3

Intervals and Commuting in Lycra

Week one of the CTS Half Ironman plan is in the books.

Commuter Coverage (Medium)

Swim – 1:30:00 (p) – 3:00:00 (a) – 8400m
Bike – 2:45:00 (p) – 2:29:03 (a) – 71.67km
Run – 2:00:00 (p) – 1:58:29 (a) – 25.26km

Total – 6:15:00 (p) – 7:27:32 (a)

This week was all about getting back into the interval training, high intensity if you will. One thing is for sure, intervals suck. I mean who wants to be hunched over, gasping for breath with sweat pouring off your forehead. Oh, right, I do.

Good example; Saturday afternoon’s run called for a 45min ER with 4x5min Tempo Run (4:13-4:03/km) 5min RBI. If you do math real quick, skip this next part. With the intervals, I have a total of 5 minutes to warm up, get my heart rate in check, and decide my route before I am switching between 5 minutes of high pace and 5 minutes of rest. That is all.

No rest for the wicked, eh? (Ha, slipped a Canadian phrase in there).

I had an absolute blast, even though everyone in Baker Park thought I was a touch crazy. My route was a 1.2km stretch from one end to the other, I would run hard out and easy back, sometimes past the same couple two or three times. The look on their faces were priceless.

I had to cut my bike 15 minutes short on Friday morning, conference call at 0900 was looming. I was able to get all of my intervals in mind you, so I reckon that is a decent trade off. Not a big fan of riding on the stationary at the YMCA, but I am a huge fan of swimming with the tri club, so something has to give. I have no issues packing my bike and heading for a ride afterwards, but being downtown is not conducive to a lycra wearing roadie with wet hair. So the stationary is where I will stay.

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The Calgary Police Half Marathon is just less than 2 weeks away, and for the first time this year, I am feeling pretty optimistic about it. Now, I am a pretty optimistic guy, but after slacking on the longer runs over the past 4 months, I was worried about lasting the distance.

Well after a couple of great runs last week and the prospect of one more long run this weekend, I am confident that it will be a great race. I am going to remember to bring some sort of energy with me this time, don’t want a repeat of last year now do we?

Question: What are your thoughts on intervals?


Ironman Tattoo

M. Dot.

im

It seems like a right of passage. Cross the finish line and straight to the tattoo parlour. The more I see them around the gym, pool, path, or beach these days, I wonder if I would get one.

First, to qualify I am sure you have to finish a long distance Triathlon, all 226.3 kilometers of it. Second, you need to be proud of it. How could you not be? Not many people would attempt it, let alone finish it.

I think there is a stigma around people who have an Ironman tattoo. Some opinions say that ‘are they not proud of anything else than finishing that race x years ago’. I don’t think this is the case; starting, let alone finishing a long distance triathlon is a feat. I think it is a celebration of something that they have worked hard at achieving. Trust me, the amount of training hours that come along with the finish can be staggering. Average 11 hours per week with 3 hour bike rides on Saturday and 2 hours runs on Sunday; not to mention strength training and your real life. This is what I averaged in preparation for Ironman 70.3 Calgary, a half distance triathlon.

So back to my original thought.

Would I ever get a tattoo?

I love this sport and all of the tangible and intangible benefits that have come along with it. I am in the best shape of my life, my energy levels are thru the roof, and my daughter is racing as well. I will talk about it with anyone that asks, and hey, alot of people who don’t (sorry if you have been one of the unwilling listeners in the past). The people I have met including instructors, physiotherapists, and fellow triathletes over the past two years have made a positive impact on my life. Thank you for that.

I just find it hard to want to advertise it to the entire world, all the time. I mean having people check out your tattoo, check you out (elevator look?), then make a judgment based on your current physical condition is something I would like to avoid. “He has an Ironman tattoo, he doesn’t look like he could finish the walk up the stairs!”

I am just saying I don’t think that I would get one. Better to leave the memory where it belongs, in my mind.

Just a thought: Do you need to show proof, like a picture of you crossing the finish line or a secret membership card? I sure hope so.

Question: Would you get an Ironman Tattoo?


Ironman 70.3 Calgary Race Logistics

Ever participated in a point to point race?

Ironman_Calgary_Mtn._Logo_small

Ironman 70.3 Calgary goes at the end of the month. Sadly, actually not that sad, I will not be participating this year. Between family vacation and limited training time in 2013, I have reserved to race again in 2014. I wrote some of my thoughts as to my learning from last years race. Hopefully they can help you out.

Like most triathletes, I am a creature of habit when it comes to race morning. I always eat the same breakfast, wear the same sweater, and set my transition up the same way. So when I read that the Ironman 70.3 Calgary was a point-point race, I instantly began thinking how T1 and T2 would work.

Transition Bags
Different to any race I have participated in, all of your gear from swim-to-bike, bike-to-run and dry clothes are put in a transition bags and transported for you from Ghost Dam to Glenmore Park for pick up after the race.
Dry Clothes Bag
Packed with all of your gear you brought to the race, it can accommodate a lot of things. Mine was packed pretty full with clothes, shoes, water bottles, backpack, and food I didn’t eat while in transition.
T1 Bag
Packed with all of your bike gear prior to the race. It is pretty light as the only thing is shoes, helmet, sunglasses, and race number.
T2 Bag
Packed with all of your run gear prior to the race. I had my fuel belt with water (1 flask), gels (1 flask), and electrolyte tabs in addition to my shoes and socks.

Transition Setup
All athletes are required to travel to Ghost Dam on Saturday, the day before the race, to drop off their bikes and T2 bag. I drove myself, with my daughter along for the ride, although there is a bus service if needed. It was quite a walk from the parking lot, which was a grass field, to the transition area. We would bike along the route on our way from T1 the next morning, so it gave me a good view on the first 1km of the bike leg.
Tip: Only your T2 bag is required to be dropped off the day prior. Your T1 bag is dropped off on race morning.
My spot on the rack was reserved by race number. I did not fill my water bottles or set up my nutrition on my bike as I did not want them sitting in the sun for a full afternoon; forecast called for 28 degrees. I also deflated my tires a bit to ensure they did not burst in the heat.
Tip: Bring you tire pump and label it with an extra race number and leave it with the dry clothes bags. This way you don’t have to rely on another racer to lend you one.
Tip: Bring your nutrition and water on race morning. Don’t forget electrical tape.
After setting up, I double checked my T2 bag and dropped it off at the transition exit. We headed to the water to test the temperature and get a view of the swim start, played in the sand for a bit, then headed home.

Pre-Race
I hit the bus from the Dalhousie train station as I didn’t want to drive out to Ghost Dam to pick up my truck after the race. The bus was scheduled to depart at 0530 but left about 10 minutes late. We arrived at 0630 which should have been enough time, but with the hustle of stetting up my nutrition, hydration, and dry clothes bag, I barely made it to the water in time.
Tip: Get changed into your wetsuit right after you bike is set up.
The dry clothes drop off was at the top of transition, as far from the water as possible. I was under the impression it was at the water, so I had to run back to drop it off.
Tip: Drop off your dry clothes bag at least 10 minutes prior to your wave start then head to the water.

T1
After being stripped of my wetsuit by two lovely ladies, my T1 bag was handed to me by a volunteer. I dumped it out and grabbed my helmet and sunglasses, put them on, and grabbed my shoes. I ran barefoot to my bike which was a long way up transition. I did not have to pack my T1 bag with my swim suit, goggles, and cap as the volunteer did it for me.
Tip: Don’t put your shoes on until you get to your bike. I can see slippage in your future if you do.
Tip: Don’t assume, but the volunteers should pack your T1 bag with your swim gear for you.

T2
All racks are numbered, so you have to rack in the right spot. Again, volunteers were there to direct me to the right spot and dropped of my T2 bag. I leave my shoes on my bike, so the only thing to pack was my helmet.
Tip: Not much here, just put your shoes on and run.

Spectators
The point-to-point is tough for spectators who want to see you start and finish. Unless they like to drive, your support staff will only be able to see you at a select spot in the race. My family watched me enter into T2 and a couple of times on the run.
Tip: Set up in between the loop heading east, the racers pass this spot a total of four times.
Tip: Parking is limited, the best spot is just off 37th street in the community. If you can get there early enough, 66th Avenue is decent as well.

For all of you racing this year, GOOD LUCK.

Question: Are you planning on racing in the Ironman 70.3 Calgary this year?


Ironman Tattoo

M. Dot.

im

It seems like a right of passage. Cross the finish line and straight to the tattoo parlour. The more I see them around the gym, pool, path, or beach these days, I wonder if I would get one.

First, to qualify I am sure you have to finish a long distance Triathlon, all 226.3 kilometers of it. Second, you need to be proud of it. How could you not be? Not many people would attempt it, let alone finish it.

I think there is a stigma around people who have an Ironman tattoo. Some opinions say that ‘are they not proud of anything else than finishing that race x years ago’. I don’t think this is the case; starting, let alone finishing a long distance triathlon is a feat. I think it is a celebration of something that they have worked hard at achieving. Trust me, the amount of training hours that come along with the finish can be staggering. Average 11 hours per week with 3 hour bike rides on Saturday and 2 hours runs on Sunday; not to mention strength training and your real life. This is what I averaged in preparation for Ironman 70.3 Calgary, a half distance triathlon.

So back to my original thought.

Would I ever get a tattoo?

I love this sport and all of the tangible and intangible benefits that have come along with it. I am in the best shape of my life, my energy levels are thru the roof, and my daughter is racing as well. I will talk about it with anyone that asks, and hey, alot of people who don’t (sorry if you have been one of the unwilling listeners in the past). The people I have met including instructors, physiotherapists, and fellow triathletes over the past two years have made a positive impact on my life. Thank you for that.

I just find it hard to want to advertise it to the entire world, all the time. I mean having people check out your tattoo, check you out (elevator look?), then make a judgment based on your current physical condition is something I would like to avoid. “He has an Ironman tattoo, he doesn’t look like he could finish the walk up the stairs!”

I am just saying I don’t think that I would get one. Better to leave the memory where it belongs, in my mind.

Just a thought: Do you need to show proof, like a picture of you crossing the finish line or a secret membership card? I sure hope so.

Question: Would you get an Ironman Tattoo?


Race Report – Ironman 70.3 Calgary

Here is the race from my perspective, some strategy, challenges, and thoughts for next year.

As my accident kept me from participating in the Chinook Half Ironman, the Ironman 70.3 Calgary was my first attempt at this distance; and the event did not disappoint.

I will dedicate a future post to the logistics of the Ironman 70.3 Calgary, and some of the lessons I learnt.

Pre-Race

I arrived in transition at 0630, approximately 45mins prior to my wave start. This gave me enough time to ensure everything on my bike was race ready, get changed, and hit the washroom. Unfortunately I had to run from one end of transition to the other to drop my dry clothes bag, and didn’t have much time to warm up in the water prior to the start.

Highlights: Got help and helped a couple of fellow competitors while setting up.

Lessons: Change into my wetsuit right after setting up my bike and drop my dry clothes bag before heading to the water. This should give me an extra 5-10 minutes to warm up prior to race start.

Swim – 1.9km – Ghost Lake

Prior to the race, most of the comments surrounded the water temperature in Ghost Lake. Having grown up in Calgary, and proud of it, I know how cold it can be. Maybe it was the familiarity or the adrenaline, but the water didn’t seem that cold.

The race called for an in-water start, and as I had to rush to the water, I was resigned to tread water for 3-4 minutes toward the back of the pack. I wasn’t worried as I knew my swim strength would take me through toward the front before the turn around.

Swimming under the bridge was a little eerie as the shadow cast on the water not only changed the light, but I found the water was noticeably colder. I had to ask myself, ‘did I just blackout?’. I didn’t, and continued on.  After the turnaround, having moved up through a good bunch of the swimmers, I tried to find a similar paced swimmer to draft off. With no luck, I came under the bridge by myself, giving a good timing mark this time.

After coming out of the water, I lifted my goggles to my forehead and was summoned to the ‘strippers’. I have never had two women strip me of my clothing, let alone as efficient as these two did. I grabbed my T1 bag and bike gear and ran up toward my bike.

Highlights: Felt great and strong on the swim.

Lessons: Need to make sure my GPS watch is under my wetsuit sleeve to help removing my wetsuit.

Result: 34:13 1:48/100m 16/71 Age Group

Bike – 94km – Ghost Lake to North Glenmore Park

The bike started fast, I had to remind myself that the first 10km is pretty much downhill. I passed a couple of guys, and got passed by a couple of others. Once we made the turn north, the climb began. I was able to stay on my aero bars for the majority of the climb, with a couple if hills taking me onto my handle bars.

My nutrition plan was to take 1 salt tablet and 1 GU Energy gel every 15km. I would try to time it whIle I was on my handle bars due too, you’d guessed it, broken collar-bone. I went to grab my first salt tab and crap, dropped it. I had 2 extras, so hopefully no big deal.

I was pretty much alone for the next 30km, with a couple of riders passing me on one of the quick downhill sections. No problem.

Coming through Cochrane was an absolute blast. The roads were smooth and heading downhill to the river I was passing traffic. Even the dreaded hill didn’t seem so bad and I crested it chatting with a guy who was trying to pass. The rest of the ride was uneventful, I was glad to see Glenmore Trial signaling the bike leg was coming to an end.

Coming to the dismount line, I saw a couple of guys heading what seemed too fast, so I decided to be a little cautious coming in.

Highlights: Confident on my aero bars for the entire race.

Lessons: I am not sure if my feet fell asleep or were cold from the swim, but I didn’t feel my toes for 90km. I am going to have check my shoe sizing for my next race.

Result: 2:39:54 35.27km/hr 16/71 Age Group

Run – 21.1km – North/South Glenmore Park

I started strong on the run, for the first 1km I ran at around a 4:30/km pace.  I reminded myself to pace as 21.1km is a long distance, so I slowed to 5:00/km.  Hit the first aid station running, grabbed some water and continued on.  I stopped at the next aid station, 5km into the run, and hit the washroom; hey, a good indication that I was properly hydrated.

My nutrition plan was less structured than the bike.  I had 3 gels in my fuel belt, one flask of water, and 8 salt tabs.  I would use the aid stations for my main nutrition as they provided the same product I train with, and use the fuel belt for between.

Coming down the hill I opened up and coasted down the hill, over the bridge, and along the flat.  Once I hit the hill on the other side, I slowed to a walk as I couldn’t convince my legs to run up.  From this point on I struggled.  Once over the hill, I picked up the pace and continued toward the turn around.

My quads stated to cramp around 8km, so I increased my intake of salt tabs to counteract.  This did the trick and the cramps left within about 5 minutes.

At the turn around, I noticed another runner struggling, so I tapped him on the shoulder, and shouted ‘come on brother, let’s make it to the next aid station’.  So we ran together toward the aid station at 13km.  I grabbed some water, a sponge, and continued on toward the downhill section at 15km.

Again, I opened up downhill and coasted along the flat, reserving myself to slow to walk the uphill section.  I did, crested, and waked through the aid station at the top of the hill.  5km to go.  The wind picked up, the shade was no longer, and the course takes you away from the finish line before you turn around.  Mentally, this was the hardest point of the race.

Highlights: By focusing on the next aid station, I was able to continue when my mind wanted to stop and walk.  Once the cramps left, I felt no soreness or pain for the remainder of the run.

Lessons: I need to increase my overall fitness to be able to increase my run speed. 

Result: 2:04:05 5:52/km 41/71 Age Group

Overall

I crossed the finish line and accomplished my goal, finishing upright with a smile on my face (at least I think there was a smile on my face).

As my first experience at an Ironman 70.3 sanctioned event, I was impressed.  The organization was spot on, from the wetsuit strippers, the aid stations, and the volunteers, everyone was helpful and happy.  As one finisher said to me, ‘I wanted to propose to the girl who poured water on my back at the finish line without me asking.  She is a giver.’

The course was challenging, but as expected.  I travelled 117km on Sunday morning, no one figured it would be easy.

Result: 5:22:43 25/71 Age Group 175/675 Overall


On the Mend

It has been 6 weeks since I broke my collar bone. Time to see the Doc and find how I am healing.

20120709-221405.jpg

When I first took the ortho’s advice and decided against surgery, I wasn’t 100% on board with my decision. I kinda wanted to get it fixed the next day, rehab, and get on with the rest of the season; that sounds like a triathlete….

Throughout the next 6 weeks, I felt better and better about my decision, especially after hitting the pool for 100m in week 4. I also increased my power output on the bike by 15% over a 90min session. Fringe benefits I guess.

So when I began having pain around the break last week, I knew that surgery was going to be my doc’s diagnosis when I followed up with him 6 weeks out. Was I wrong. Not only was I healing better than expected, he was surprised at the range of motion and my muscle tone. Looks like his advice was spot on.

So I am renewed, I can jump back into the water and start getting ready for the Calgary 70.3. I know I can bike, I know I can run, now let’s see if I can swim.

Question: Not many times hindsight is 20/20, what is your experience?


Roll Call

I missed the Chinook 119.1 Triathlon which took place on June 16. I haven’t seen a pool for more than 100m in 5 weeks. Time to figure out where my 2012 race season stands.

20120703-174741.jpg

My goals for this year were pretty simple:

1 Remain injury free – Incomplete
2 Increase run speed to 4:30/km by week 20 – Complete
3 Increase power on the bike by 20% by week 30 – Complete
4 Finish Chinook 119.1 (first Half-Iron distance attempt) – Incomplete
5 Finish Calgary 70.3 faster than Chinook 119.1 – Not attempted yet

With the Calgary 70.3 less than 4 weeks out, it goes July 29, my goal is to make it 3 of 5 for goals this year (I guess maybe 2.5 of 5 since I could walk the 70.3 and complete my goal).

My plan is to continue with my training schedule for the bike and run workouts and continue to gain strength in the pool. I will dedicate a future post to my training plan. By the end of July I intend to be on the beach of Ghost Dam shivering, ready for my first Half-Iron attempt.

Question: Has anyone set a similar goal of returning after an injury? Were you able to reach your goal?