triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “ironman 70.3 calgary

Where Have You Been?

So it has been a little while.


Alright, it has been a long while since I last wrote. Hey, sometimes life gets busy and things fall off the turnip truck. Between training for Ironman 70.3 Calgary, travelling for business, and vacation with the family I have been going non-stop for the better part of 8 weeks.

Bummer? Not really.

You want a real bummer? Race an Ironman 70.3 and realize 4km into the bike leg that your timing chip is no longer attached to your leg. Technically I DNS (Did Not Start) but my hamstrings had something to say about that.

Despite falling short of my goal of sub 5 hours by a whole 12 minutes, I had a great race. My swim was great, coming out of the water in 27:58 (1:28/100m) and my bike was fast as well; 2:35:45 (33.9km/hr). The run is where I died; a 2:03:01 (5:50min/km) run split is no better than I did 2 years ago. I wonder what happened, I figured my fitness was better than that and I could target a 1:50 run split.

Ah well, this is why I do this thing called triathlon; go past that point of failure, figure out where your weakness’ are, then fix em’.

Summer is only 1/3 over, my race season is completely over, and the off season begins. I echo Dave here a little bit saying that it is kinda weird that off-season is already here.

I have decided that a year off from the triathlon world is what I need right about now. I was feeling really tired, and to be honest a little bored over the last couple of weeks leading to Ironman 70.3 Calgary. My motivation lacked even though I finished all of the training sessions as planned (duration and intensity). I was really just hoping for a day off.

So the rest of the summer is dedicated to giving back to the sport which I have enjoyed over the past 4 years. My little one races in the Lake Chaparral Kids of Steel this weekend and I will volunteer the following day at the grown-up race.

Oh, and of course, racking up a crap load of km’s on my road bike.

What lies ahead in 2015 you ask? I have no idea.

Question: Have you taken a year off? What did you do instead?


All Zeros, and I Aient Talking About Shoes



Swim – 0:00:00 – 0m
Bike – 0:00:00 – 0km
Run – 0:00:00 – 0km

Total – 0:00:00 – 0km

I know post race weeks are supposed to be about ‘active recovery’ but hagin’ in San Francisco with my family after the race was just to awesome to break up with a run.

That’s right, I swam across the San Francisco bay and lived to tell about it.

Actually, it wasn’t all that difficult. As much as the cold water temperature, potential wildlife, and strong currents are hyped up, it was an enjoyable swim. I even took the chance to turn on my back and take 30 seconds to admire the situation I was in.

Wow, enough about the race. That is what race reports are for.

Speaking of holding on, I reckon I owe you all a couple of overdue posts including Airdrie Sprint Race Report and Drivers v Cyclists. Can’t wait? Neither can I.

So after a full week off, I am ready to get back at it. My performance in Alcatraz gave me the confidence that the CTS Half Ironman plan will get me where I want to go come July 27 at Ironman 70.3 Calgary.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Swim Etiquette
Recap – Week 50

It is no secret that I dig New Balance shoes, specifically the Minimus Road Zero; they feel like little rocket ships on my feet. After 1490km I have literally run the soles off leaving me with nothing but a search for a new pair.

New Balance changed the design, naming it the Road 10V2. I tired them on and wasn’t overly impressed, though they didn’t have the width I was looking for.

That’s right ladies, big feet…….

I felt I couldn’t cheat on the model that has taken me so far over just shy of 1500km, so I ordered the V2. I just got my first run in this morning, but I will hold on to judgment until I have some more significant km’s under them.

Oh, another post to add to the list.

Question: Do you take full week (or days) off after a race?

Racing Instead of Training

12 days and counting.


Swim – 2:30:00 (p) – 2:10:00 (a) – 5950m
Bike – 5:45:00 (p) – 4:24:23 (a) – 120.08km
Run – 3:00:00 (p) – 2:45:01 (a) – 33.11km
Race – 1:10:00 (p) – 1:13:34 (a) – 25.75km

Total – 11:15 (p) – 10:32:58 (a)

This week was my highest training volume, probably not the best week to schedule a sprint distance triathlon, but hey, who doesn’t like to race?

I really suck at changing my training schedule to fit in a unscheduled event. I get stuck on “things have to go where they have to go” so this week threw a wrench into my plans. No worries though, I was able to get in the bulk of my training sessions, the prescribed intervals, and still have a great race.

Again, don’t fret, the race report is on the way.

Taking down a 1:15 Negative Split and both 1:20 and 1:30 with Fartlek Intervals (5x3min) after my Friday morning swims has given me a lot of confidence. This is one place in my training that I lack, confidence on the run. Am I ready for a Ironman 70.3? Sure. Am I ready to push hard at an Ironman 70.3? Not even close.

I can hang with the power bikers; you know the guys, all quads and calves. Put my next to a runner and I don’t stand a chance. Well I think some of that is changing as I came away with the second fastest run on the day yesterday.

Ah progress.

Top Posts
Wind, Flats, and Hills
Ironman Tattoo
Finally, the Weekend is Upon Us

With less than 2 weeks now until Escape From Alcatraz, my first race is under my belt, I am feeling pretty relaxed.

The only concern I have is water temperature. I like to get in the water, warm up (literally and figuratively), the get prepared to do battle. In Alcatraz, no such thing as a warm up. It is just off the boat and swim like you stole something.

So this week I am going to grab my wetsuit, head down to the river, and go for a swim. The water temperature may be colder than the bay but I reckon it can’t hurt.

Think of it as a swimming treadmill.

Question: Have you tried swimming in a river? Any thoughts.

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.

Top Posts
21 Day No Complaint Challenge
Weaselhead Hill, Trends, and Hippos
Wind is Your Enemy

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?

Weaselhead Hill, Trends, and Hippos

Back at it, in more ways than one.


Swim – 3:00:00 – 9100m
Bike – 2:02:51 – 61.0km
Run – 2:25:25 – 26.48km

I said in my last post “Wow, Wednesday already. I wish every week would go this fast.” Yeah, well it is now almost 2 weeks since then. Jeez time flies.

This was my last week of semi structure in my training. I always have a plan, but for the next 8 weeks I am going to live and die by my training schedule. There is something comforting about having a plan written and all you have to do is hammer it.

Easy enough right?

The Half Ironman plan from “The Time Crunched Triathlete” will be my main stay for the next 8 weeks, peaking for Escape From Alcatraz June 1. I then have a couple of weeks to recover before cycling through the plan again for Ironman 70.3 Calgary.

I am tired and hungry just thinking about it.

Saturday afternoon was perfect for a rip on my bike; the earliest I have been able to get on the road and it was awesome. It was so great to have the fresh air, wind, and dust in my face rather than the stale air of my 70’s inspired basement. You read right, even dust is better than the trainer.

Sunday afternoon I took my brother to run part of the Calgary Police Half Marathon course as he has never run the race before. No one should ever run the Weaselhead hill for the first time at 14k into a half marathon; that is just cruel. It was a great run with great company. I don’t usually get the opportunity to chat much while training, so it was a welcome change.

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

Some really odd trends in my top posts. I wonder what it is about Recap – Week 50 that has people interested. I can see Ironman Tattoo, that is a good post…..

Friday afternoon we made an impromptu trip to the zoo here in Calgary. Not sure if you knew, but the zoo was almost washed away by the floods last year and this was our first time there since.

What a blast. I forgot how much fun it can be to just let the afternoon run by without much of a plan. Fortunately for us we received an invite for supper around 1730, so no need to rush home and utter our favorite phrase, “what should we make for supper?”.

Question: Now spring is here, has your training ramped up for race season?

Ironman 70.3 Calgary Race Logistics

Ever participated in a point to point race?


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.

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.

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.

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.

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?