triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “challenge

Fartleks and Coffee, What?

I think it is about time for a rest week.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 4550m
Bike – 2:15:48 – 75.3km
Run – 1:46:22 – 20.0km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 7:32:10

I have been going pretty steady since the new year with only a couple of missed workouts here and there. I have been seeing some positive gains on both the swim and bike, and being able complete 3 runs last week without cringing; chalk that up as a win.

With 14 weeks until my first big race of the year, Escape from Alcatraz, I have some time before I need to ramp up my training. I am going with the tried and tested ‘Time Crunched Triathlete’ Half Ironman program from Chris Carmichael; my second time through the plan. This time hopefully I won’t crash, break my collar bone, and be able to complete it from start to finish…..

So what do I do? Do I stick with the plan right now, slug it out until the first part of April and get on with it? Or do I switch it up now and have a little fun before the ‘real’ training kicks in?

Oh the questions.

I am enjoying my Friday speed sessions with my new found running buddy, even if he is totally faster than me. I was able to beat him in a sprint over the Peace Bridge a week ago, but it took everything I had. I recently referred to it a ‘Fartlek Friday’ and it got me thinking about the name, ‘Fartlek’. I know that it is Swedish for speed play, but it just sounds weird. Say it three times fast. Go ahead.

Weird right? I wonder if it started as a joke, “hey Sven, I bet you can’t get people to use fart repeatedly in a sentence.”

Tops Posts
Funks and Missing Coaches
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 50

So me and my crazy challenges have started anew. This time it is a familiar challenge; ditch the java for 30 days.

Every time I have a cup of coffee with a friend or at home on the weekend, I don’t feel very good. I thought it may be the amount as with my profession, I tend to meet a lot over a coffee, so I switched to decaf for a while. Didn’t help. So as of Thursday I am coffee free for at least 30 days. I have done it before so I am confident it will be successful this time ’round.

As a addition, I am going to count the days that I go not only coffee free, but caffeine free. Even though tea has much less than coffee, caffeine effects the adrenal system. If I am already using it heavily during exercise, and if you swim with us heavily is the right term, why put more strain on it than necessary.


Question: How do you switch up your training plan?


Paleo Elitist

I need to vent a little bit.


Here I am, 4 weeks out from finishing my Whole 30 challenge, and I am thinking back to October. Thinking back to how the challenge went, and how I can help anyone who is looking to embark on one for the first time.

Through the challenge, I had many questions about if a certain food, or combination of foods, were in violation of the principals of the challenge. Let’s call a spade a shovel here, the definition of the challenge is pretty vague.

Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.

Some fruit? Plenty of good fat? What do they really mean by that?

So off I went in search of some advice relating to exactly what it did mean and I stumbled upon what I think is the negative side of the whole 30 community, the elitist. I have alluded to them before; the hard core, only 100% is good enough who’s opinions can be somewhat disheartening.

The frame what I mean, here was my situation: I wanted to know if eating a banana with almond butter was within the spirit of the challenge. On the surface there is no issue, but thought I would look it up anyways. Here is the opinion I found:

It doesn’t fit into the Whole 30, it appears to be close to SWYPO (sex with your pants on) and looks a lot like desert. I would avoid it unless you are using it in combination with a meal for fat.

So wait a second kemosabe. As long as I play it in my mind that it isn’t desert but rather part of my meal, it is fine?

This is where the challenge went from awesome to just plain good for me. It makes it tough as there is a mentality out there surrounding the challenge that the context in what you eat or how you eat it will determine your success.

Now to clarify, I live a Paleo lifestyle, having seen great results not only in my athletic performance, but in my life in general. I am not against the Whole 30 challenge. I think that for someone who is looking for a nutritional reset, it is a great starting place, just don’t let the opinion of some of the elite get between you and success.

So if you embark on the challenge, first of all, good for you; it will have an impact on your life one way or another. Secondly, don’t let the opinion of the elitist on the interweb affect your mindset. Take the challenge for yourself and work within the rules. If you have to step in the grey territory now and again, no big deal.

Question: What are your thoughts on the paleo elitist?

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 3

That’s all. 21 days down.


I couldn’t be happier with my progress. I stayed the course and finished the challenge in what has to be the toughest time of the year. Man did I have to pass on a lot of great treats. I know I have talked a lot about having to resist temptation, but honestly after the first 5 days, it was pretty easy to say ‘no thanks’.

I made a couple if mistakes, not willingly mind you, and hopefully if you decide one day to give it a rip, it will help you avoid the same mistakes.

Beware the pickled beets – The detox plan allows for 1 cup of beets per day, and for 2 nights (day 9 and 10) I had my allotment. On the second night my wife pointed out that they have added sugar. Crap, I had been so good checking labels up until then.

Effervescent Vitamin B – I picked up a cold mid week; Vitamin B tabs always get me back on the right track faster than anything I have tried. Desperate, I took one Tuesday evening and checked the label after; aspartame.

One of my goals that lead me to start this detox was to gain control over my sugar cravings. Check. I no longer crave something sweet after dinner, opting for an extra fork full of veggies or a handful of nuts instead.

So how do you get through 21 days? Here are some of the tips and tricks I used to complete the challenge.

Use the ‘limit’ foods to your advantage. It is a little sad, but I looked forward to my banana or green apple everyday. Toward the end, I would actually plan it into my day so I wouldn’t forget about it.

Find a great herbal tea to help during the cravings. I am a tea nut, so this one was pretty easy for me. New Dehli Delight, Organic La La Lemon and a straight up Peppermint, all from Davids’s Tea, were my go to ones.

Plan ahead. When heading out for lunch (as I do for business) or dinner with the family, make sure you know what you want to order before you get there. If it comes with cornbread on the side, ask for them to leave it in the kitchen. Easier to not eat it when it isn’t in front of you.

Pack your own food. As I learnt from the beets, hidden sugar is pretty much everywhere; second ingredient in beef jerkey FYI. So the best way for me to control the ingredients was to add them all myself.

I am interested on how my body will respond if I introduce sugar again. Obviously I will keep myself in check, no need to revert back to pre-detox eating habits. I will have one more post, next Monday, to explore the post-detox week.

Question: What is your experience in re-introducing foods after a detox? Any advice?

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 2

14 down, 7 to go.


I have to admit, it hasn’t been as hard as I originally thought. This time of year with cookies, cake, egg nog, and numerous parties have made it tougher than it needed to be, but I have been able to stay the course. Head first right?

Sunday afternoon we visited my parents for a cup of tea. Now the biggest issue is not the visit, as one may expect, but the Cherry Pound cake she makes each Christmas. This cake is so good that me and my wife wait for it each year. Actually, my wife confirms in October that she will be making again. Guess what was on the table when we got there? Doesn’t take a rocket scientist.

Crap. Time to dig deep.

I am not the kind of person who expects everyone to cater to my wild ideas of nutrition. Hey, some people think I am bonkers for attempting this detox at this time of the year. So instead of avoiding the temptation, I searched out some walnuts in the pantry, poured a cup of tea, and sat at the table. I left their house after 2 hours without cheating.

So I now have 7 days to go, and I am trying not to plan all of things that I want to eat on the 24th. As of this blog post, there are only four items on my cheat list.

Chocolate (Dark) Covered Almonds – I could eat a whole bag.
Rice Crispie Square – Craving one since day 3
Hamburger – A good one, not a crappy fast food one
Pizza – This time, any place will work

Instead, I am planning on continuing through breakfast and lunch, with some brown rice with supper. No need to undo my hard fought progress.

Oh yeah, Cherry Pound Cake, I will see you on the 25th.

Question: What would you crave if you had to eliminate it for 21 days?

21 Day Sugar Detox

3 weeks without sugar. Really? This close to Christmas. Really? Yup.

I have always had a sweet tooth. Dinner in our house as a kid always ended with dessert usually consisting of fruit with ice cream or pie. These habits have stuck with me through the years and we are now going along the same path with my family. Sure, now we make a healthier version by using whole fruit, coconut flour, and skip the whipped crem, but the amount of sugar is still pretty high.

Then take into account the ‘cheating’. Ever since Halloween, the treats which my daughter worked so hard to collect have been consumed mostly by me. Hey, one here and one there is not an issue right? Well not soo much.

So I decided that the best way to get rid of the sweets in my life was to enlist the help of a pretty successful detox over the past 6 months, The 21 Day Sugar Detox. Having been Paleo for the better part of 2012 this seems to be a perfect fit as the author, Diane Sanfilippo, is also a Paleo advocate.

This is the detox in a nut shell. Select a level that is appropriate for you based on your current lifestyle, eliminate all grains, fruit, processed foods, sugar, and legumes (level 3 only) from your diet, and have at it.

This is my call. Starting on December 3 and ending on Christmas Eve, if you want, join me. It is always better to have a group of people work through this than alone.

The 21-Day Sugar Detox

I will dedicate a weekly post detailing my progression. So check back and see how the 21 days goes.

Question: Have you already completed this or a similar detox? How did it go?

Disclaimer: Even though the webiste, offers an affilate program, the above link is not an affiliate link. I in no way expect to receive compensation for the purchase of the documents.

Disclosure of material connection: I have received no compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brand, products, or services I have mentioned.