triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “fartlek

Sprains, Strains, and Automobiles

One week to go.


Swim – 2:30:00 (p) – 2:10:00 (a) – 5800m
Bike – 5:00:00 (p) – 4:48:30 (a) – 133.20km
Run – 2:15:00 (p) – 1:45:02 (a) – 22.30km

Total – 9:45:00 (p) – 8:44:31 (a)

This week was a bit of a mash-up, and not in the horrible ‘Glee’ show-tunes meaning of the word. Racing on Sunday, which is my normal rest day, and the unscheduled rest day on Monday threw a bit a kink into my training plan.

I decided to push Monday through Wednesday ahead a day, catching up with my big days Friday and Saturday.

Everything was going great until my run on Friday, a 60 minute Negative Split (NSR) when I felt some pain in my right achilles around the 15 minute mark. I decided to turn around, head home, and if everything felt alright, head for another lap. Yeah, well one lap it was. So maybe a little rest is needed, but hey, no running until Tuesday on the plan. Hopefully 4 days rest will do it some good.

Wednesday morning was the last of my high intensity days, leaving me pretty stoked; stoked because I am not a huge fan of Fartlek intervals. The plan called for 60min ER – 5x3min FI (3min RBI).


I lost count and ended up doing 6, no wonder I was gassed by the end. I guess I don’t hate them as much as I say….

Top Posts
Whole 30 – Day 21
Racing Instead of Training
Ironman Tattoo

With the great weather where in Calgary over the past month, wait, did I just say ‘nice weather’ and ‘Calgary’ in the same sentence? I digress. I have been able to get out on the road for an early morning ride for the past couple of weeks.

Sure it is cold, and one morning I came home with frozen toes, but I would rather that than ride on the trainer, again. The early morning air and watching the sunrise almost makes up for nearly being run over.

Seriously, I am surprised at some of the risks drivers will take to get ahead of a cyclist. That is another post for another day.

Question: Do you have a love/hate relationship with Fartlek Intervals?


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?

Funks and Missing Coaches

Is It Really Wednesday Already?


Swim – 3:00:00 – 8100m
Bike – 2:16:24 – 68.6km
Run – 1:13:46 – 16.0km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 7:15:10

Man this week has really flown by. So much so that I am currently writing this post while I am on the trainer at home. It is really hard to pedal and type one handed on an iPad at the same time. Good thing I don’t have to balance.

I mentioned a while back that I seemed to lose some of my mojo on the run; 8k never was a chore until December. I tried a couple of different approaches to derail my training in hopes of pushing past this road block. Well after 2 ‘Fartlek Fridays’ with a fellow tri-club swimmer I am feeling better. Not 100% mind you, but things are looking up.

Ramping up my run volume over the next couple of weeks is going to test my resolve. In order to get ready for the Calgary Police Half Marathon at the end of April I need to add an additional day and then start increasing my weekly time little by little. My current plan looks something like this with a run added on Wednesday.


My ultimate goal is to have 45min ER (Endurance Run) on Monday, 60min ER on Wednesday, and a 45min ER with FI (Fartlek Intervals) on Friday. That puts me in the 2.5 hour range per week which should be perfect leading up to the race.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Whole 30 – Day 26
Recap – Week 50

So this week we are without our swim coach, apparently when Napa Valley calls your name, you must oblige. For the three workouts this week, a different swimmer was given the task of writing the workout and coaching everyone during the set. When he was picking them out at the end of our session on Wednesday, I acted like a high school kid who doesn’t know the answer; I looked at the ground and didn’t make any discernible noises. Thankfully I didn’t get picked.

It is interesting to see the different mind sets in a given group. Some of the swimmers feel that we need to swim longer, slower sets and some feel we need more drills. We will see both the remainder of the week as Wednesday and Friday are coached by both personalities. I for one feel that both are right in their own ways.

If you want to be able to swim 1500m in a race, then you need experience swimming that distance.
If you want to swim a 1:20/100m pace, then you need to train at or below that time.

How you decide and balance them is entirely up to you.

Question: How do you balance speed with distance?

Volunteering, Brusing, and Dressing Like a Grown-Up

Not too bad considering.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 6100m
Bike – 2:17:20 – 75.6km
Run – 1:21:51 – 16.1km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 6:24:11

Considering I missed the first 2 days of the week; dumb job keeps getting in the way.

I tried to scramble to get everything in after getting home late on Monday night but decided against it Tuesday morning. It is funny what a couple of days with little or no sleep will do to your motivation.

I sound like a broken record a little bit, but swim club this week was awesome again. For how hard we swam on Friday, I would have been justified to take the entire weekend off to recover. Alas, it was ‘Fartlek Friday’ and my run partner was not so easily swayed, even though he swam the exact workout I did earlier that morning. I am going to like this partnership.

We sprinted intervals that each of us made up on the fly; the next pole, over the bridge, to the next turn. You get the idea. We set the pace in the first 25m and then tried to lose each other. It must have made for some interesting watching as we were flying down the pathway chatting about when we would stop.

I volunteered with my little one’s grade one field trip and I was lucky to be able to join. To volunteer you need to have security clearance which takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks for the Calgary Police Service to complete. I procrastinated and left about 4 weeks to get all of the paper work in order. The stars were aligned and I received my clearance Monday afternoon. Awesome.

It was a absolute riot to skate with 80 kids on the ice. Some had never seen a sheet of ice before and others were really good on a pair of skates. I learnt how to skate (actually I knew how to skate, I needed to learn how to stop) last winter to keep up with my daughter. No better motivation I reckon. I am totally gong to take every advantage I can to do that again.

At the end of the day, the teacher called all the kids to center ice, and on my way there, a kid cut in front of me. In my attempt to avoid the collision, I lost and edge and fell on my right side. My hip is a little bruised, along with my ego.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Don’t You Hate It When Life Gets In the Way?
Where Did that Grease Come From?

Over the last 3 months I have been lifting with the ultimate goal of increasing my strength without adding my bulk in the process. Both my squat PR and average wattage have been increasing and my speed on the run is getting better.

You could say things have been going pretty good, but my tailor is the happier of us two. All of my clothes have needed some sort of work since Christmas. Take in the waist on my newly purchased slacks because the only way for my thighs to fit was to buy the size up is the latest escapade. I went into a high end store here in Calgary, and the sales lady who I presume works on commission, took one look at me and told me to try somewhere else.

Are my legs that proportioned to the rest of my body?

Any ways, being an amateur triathlete is wreaking havoc on my wardrobe. Workout attire, contrary to popular belief, is not acceptable everywhere.

Question: How do you get the motivation to train after a hard workout?

Distance Swims and Arguing with a 6 Year Old

I know, I know.


Swim – 3:10:00 – 9600m
Bike – 2:17:29 – 71.8km
Run – 0:44:53 – 6.8km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 7:42:21

Another week in the books, and apart from a missed run on the weekend, everything went to plan. I was really hoping to get out on Saturday, not only because the weather was awesome, but I wanted to see if my stair workout helped shake the funk I have been having on the run.

Alas, it was not to be.

Friday was out annual “Swim 4 Heart” distance swim. The club does it each year to support one of our swimmers and his fundraising goal. I offered to donate $100 if I didn’t have to swim. The result? We ended up swimming 4000m in 65 minutes. Again, not as good a negotiator as I thought I was.

All kidding aside, it was fun to log some laps and switch up our routine.

I love swimming with triathletes; we don’t get in a ‘huffy’ about hitting each other at the wall or grabbing onto each others feet. Hey, in a mass swim start I would welcome the odd foot touch rather than some dude swimming right over top of me or elbows in my face for 200m.

Running needs to take a prominent part of my training plan in the coming weeks. I have been slacking over the past couple of months choosing to focus on strength training and having fun in the pool. Well, the time has come to switch up my approach and log some time (and intensity) on the pathways.

I had a buddy approach me to run with him on Friday at lunch; I jumped at the chance. I think I will rework my schedule to fit in a run Monday/Wednesday/Friday with speed work together at the end of the week.

Let’s call it Fartlek Friday

The good thing about speed work is your partner doesn’t have to be the same pace to get a good workout; if he is a little faster, then you will get faster too. If he is a little slower, then you get a longer rest between intervals.

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Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 4
Whole 30 – Day 26

It is no secret that parenting is hard, those little ones can spin a normal adult into a ball of frustration and anger in the blink of an eye. Queue the parenting advice…….sorry, no big revelations here.

My wife finished a book called “Honey, I Wrecked the Kids” by Alison Schafer and liked it so much she insisted I read it. Not to go into too much detail as this isn’t a parenting blog, the premise behind the book is parents equally share the causes of the ‘inappropriate’ behaviour. So many times the child is seen as the sole part of the problem, and thus, needs to be fixed.

In our house arguments can run rampant in the evening. It takes 2 to argue, and being the grown-up (kinda), I can choose not to participate. So I am going to try to keep my cool and come to an agreement without yelling.

Let’s see how it goes. I am only 30 pages into the book.

Question: Thoughts on run intervals? Which are the best?

Recap – Week 42

Starting to ramp up again.


Swim: 2:00:00 – 5750m
Bike: – 1:15:00 – 34.6km
Run: – 0:43:53 – 9.5km

Total – 3:58:53

Again, this week has been pretty light. I am trying to stick with the “no more than a 10% increase per week in either duration or intensity” rule. At least, that is what I am telling myself.

We had a couple of great swim sets despite my laziness. Our instructor was away so one of my fellow swim clubbers (that sounds wrong) took over the workouts. Friday consisted of a 4x400m Fartlek main set followed by a 400m kick set to cool down. Word to the wise, a 400m kick set is as much a cool down as 200m IM is a warm up. I felt that workout until Sunday afternoon.

I enjoyed my run as well, a good lunch time run with some pretty gnarly wind. It felt like the wind changed direction once I turned, going against it for 9.5km. I am pretty sure that wasn’t the case, but it felt a little like it.

Renovations are going better now that the electrical and plumbing passed inspection, and we are now working on stuff that we will actually see once the renovation in finished. I am finding it hard to fit in a day worth of work, training session on the weekend, taking the dog for a walk, and of course spending time with the girls. As you can see from my numbers above, the training session has gone by the wayside.

No problems though, I will be finished in about 3 weeks, right about the time that I will need that extra day to increase my miles. Fingers crossed it works out the way I want it too.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
A Century of Posts
Calvin and Hobbes

I am working on my winter training schedule at the moment. Trying to fit in 3 swim, 2 bike, and 2 run workouts can be hard enough, but now mix in 2 strength sessions and a rest day, and it looks like I will be back to 2-a-day again for the winter. Oh how I have missed them this summer; wait, they are called bricks past April.

I will dedicated a future post, in the near future, to how I laid out my winter blocks. I don’t have it complete yet, or I would share it right now. No matter how you slice it, it will be a bunch or trainer workouts with some treadmill runs mixed in for good measure.

Question: How have you planned you winter training?