triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “cold

Runch, Time, and Birthdays

As a triathlete you know what “two-a-days” are.


Swim – 3:00:00 – 9600m
Bike – 2:28:47 – 86.7km
Run – 1:30:24 – 18.0km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 7:44:11

Not only do you know what they are, but you live and breathe them in the winter season. Well, at least I have since November. The only problem I have with training in the morning and again at lunch is the time; it takes a lot out of my day. A 45 minute run at lunch, or “runch” as we call it, can take almost double that time to walk to the gym, change, run, shower, change, and walk back to the office. Not the most efficient use of time.

To increase my efficiency, I have opted for a mini-brick after my swim sessions on Monday/Friday, hitting the treadmill right after I get out of the pool. Sure after a session of sprints it can be tough but I chalk it up to training my body to run on tired legs. I still split my workouts on Wednesday so I can get a long run in on fresh legs. Once I get in the thick of things in spring, I will drop my swim on Wednesday and push the run even longer.

Speaking of the treadmill, I have been reserved to running indoors over the past week as the temperature in Calgary has been a balmy -25 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees with the wind). Now I am no wimp, but when the wind picks up and I can freeze my skin in less time than I spend in T1, time to hit the treadmill.


I cut my run short on Monday because my left shin was starting to hurt about 12 minutes in. I cursed the treadmill, walked it loose, and headed for the showers. Why does it hurt indoors but no issue outside? I always set the treadmill on an incline (1-1.5 percent) to keep the noise to a minimum. Not that I am loud when I run, quite the opposite, but with repeated beatings the treadmills at the local YMCA have seen better days. If I leave it a 0 the screws and bolts sound like they are gonna bail at any moment.

So the same thing started to happen on Friday, pain in my left shin. As an experiment, I lowered the incline to 0.5 percent and after a couple of minutes, wouldn’t you know it, the pain went away and I enjoyed a decent 35 minute run.

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It my my daughters birthday on Wednesday. That kid is getting old, fast, and I don’t like it.

To make the day special I am going to play hookie from swim club on cook her favourite breakfast, pannekoek. Dutch pancakes are the house favourite and when asked the question “what do you want for breakfast?” her answer is always pancakes. I am going to try and wake up early, sneak downstairs, and have everything ready for her when she wakes up. Seeing as I am as graceful as a bull in a china shop, I am gonna need all the luck I can get.

Wish me luck.

Question: Have you started introducing ‘bricks’ into your training yet?


Recap – Week 46

Consistency is just not my thing right now.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 6500m
Bike – 0:56:17 – 26.1km
Run – 1:22:20 – 17.40km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 5:03:37

Training went great again this week, we, at least the days I was able to fit one in. With the Remembrance Day long weekend (I say that with a hand on my heart) I took an extra rest day and spent time with the family. This was welcome by both of the girls as I had been hunting on both Saturday and Sunday.

Our swim on Friday was killer, again. The workout looked something like this:

Warm Up
400m Swim / 200m Kick / 400m Drill
Main Set
Alternate Swim/Pull
4x100m on 1:30
2x200m on 3:30
1x400m on 7:00
2x200m on 3:30
4x100m on 1:30
Warm Down
200m Kick Easy
200m Swim

Now I like ladders as much as the next guy; they help me reach things that I can’t normally. This ladder was a little different. We ended up swimming the 400m in 5:50 (1:27/100m) which was right about at my threshold pace. I have never swam a 400 in less than 6:00 so I was stoked, but less stoked once the 200m sets were finished, because I was as well.

The rest of my week was steady as she goes. I ran on Friday evening as the weather was going to turn nasty for Saturday. I slipped on my thermal top just as I headed out the door as the temperature was dropping and I really dislike being cold; bad decision. I roasted the entire run. I am sure not many times you will see a guy (or gal) running in the winter with the zipper half open and the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. If you were in NW Calgary on Friday, you would have a story to tell your friends.

Need to figure out the whole ‘dress for the cold’ again. I seem to forget every year.

So in my last post I thought about Ironman, and why there is a stigma around not really being a triathlete until you are an Ironman. To finish that thought, I don’t feel that you have to finish a long course to be considered a triathlete. What we do, swim/bike/run, is crazy enough that no matter the distance. Be proud.

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I met some friends for coffee last week and showed up a little late. By a little, I mean about 15 minutes. They had already waited in line and found a table with their eggnog lattes. So I stopped and apologized for being late, and proceeded to stand in line waiting for my coffee. Now I am not angry that they grabbed their coffee and not mine, it was my fault that I was late. As I was waiting in line, one of them stood up and accompanied me, making small talk with me while I waited.

That is stand up. Not often do people these days practice that kind of ‘old world’ social excellence of going out of their way for others. It has inspired me to the same for not only the people I know and care about, but maybe for a stranger or two. Stay tuned to see how I make out.

Question: How do you dress for a winter workout? Any tips?

Training When Sick

It is that time of the year again.

I have retired my bike to the basement on the trainer until May when I can head out for an hour and not come home with frozen fingers and toes. The winter run clothing has come out of the closet because the treadmill was only invented for temperatures colder than 15 degrees below zero.

It is also the beginning of cold and flu season. Now if you have kids, it seems like the season never ends. My little one is pretty healthy most of the year, but we do encounter kids with the endless dripping nose or that cough that “just won’t go away”. And if you work in an office, come on, re-circulated air can be a killer.

If you are like me, the winter is when most of your training hours are accumulated. I am talking long, slow training sessions building your base fitness for the upcoming season. You are spending time training specific aeras where you identified a limit during racing season. If you also like me, you don’t want to miss out on a training session, or three.

So when you catch a cold or flu, how do you know when it is alright to continue training or if it is best to take a rest day? There is a defining line when it comes to rest or no rest, the neck.

Symptoms Above the Neck – When a head cold is bogging you down, maybe a runny nose or throat a little sore, it is alright to continue with training at a reduced intensity. The key word, reduced intensity. I don’t like to use zones to relate to training as eveyone definition of ‘Zone 2″ is different, but you need to keep intensity below 65% of your max.

Start your workout and gauge how you are feeling. If your effort level is higher than normal for the intensity, then turn around, head home, and get some rest. If you are feeling alright, then keep going and remember, reduced intensity.

I actually feel better if I can hit the road for a one hour road ride, the trick for me is to take my workout outdoors. Fresh air can do nothing but good for you.

Symptoms Below the Neck – When your symptoms extended below the neck, stomach issues among others, it is wise to skip the training all together. There is evidence that training with symptoms below the neck can comprimise the health of your heart, leading to addtional complications. Take a couple of says off to allow for your body to heal, then see how you feel. Don’t go back to training until the symptoms below the neck have cleared up.

There are times when your body is at a higher risk of picking up a cold or flu; no mom, it is not because I head outside without a jacket. After an intense effort, such as a race or high intensity training session, your immune system is surpressed leading to a high chance of catching that cold your cubical partner has. I have read stories of professional trathletes wearing masks on airplanes on the way home after a race to reduce the risk. Going a little far for me, but being a triahtlete is not my job.

The best way to ensure you do not miss a workout due to an illness is to properly protect yourself during cold and flu season. I am no ‘germ a phobe’, but knowing what I know now, I will do my best to avoid any chance of picking up a virus this winter.

Question: What do you do when you get sick during your training season?