triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “paleo

Recap – Week 47

Thumbs up for running.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 5400m
Bike – 1:47:27 – 59.83km
Run – 1:31:03 – 19.20km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 6:48:30

Finally got both of my scheduled runs in this week.

On Saturday night, I went counter-clockwise around my ‘Ranchlands’ route; not too much of an original name, but it works and my wife knows where I am with a short description. What I realized is that clockwise is a hard climb from km 1-2 then a slow decline for the rest of the track. Going the other way, I avoid the hard climb and replace it with a slow climb from km 3-6.

Coming around the corner heading home and looked at my watch, 36 minutes. It was going to take me another 5 to get home, so I decided to take a little detour and increase the distance by a km. I ended up at home in 44:41 and just over 9k. For a route that took me 45 minutes last year, I added distance and ended around the same time. A great run on a great evening.

I even got my clothing right, not too hot or too cold. Awesome.


I have a handful of normal routes that I take on both the bike and the run. I have given them names like ‘Bearspaw’, ‘Glen Eagles’ or ‘Varsity’ not to be cute, but to have a short way to describe where I am going and how long I should be. After Saturday, I realized that I am going to have to redraw my routes from last year; not a bad problem to have I reckon.

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Recap – Week 46
If It’s Broke

So I have been hammering the non-optimal foods over the last little while. I have been so hungry after swimming 3 days a week along with my other training that I haven’t been able to get full. As of this morning, my body has gone on strike. I will spare the details, but long story short, my body is saying ‘no bueno’.

Time to get back into a Paleo focus for the next couple of weeks. I am not going to attempt a 21 Day Sugar Detox during Christmas, that would be crazy…..

Question: How do you stay safe when running solo?


Recap – Week 45

This week got away from me.


Swim – 3:00:00 – 7500m
Bike – 0:45:25 – 25.45km
Run – 0:46:50 – 9.65km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 6:02:15

Have you ever sat down on Friday and went “holy crap, where did the week go?” Now I know that is a good thing, the weekend can never come fast enough, but when you are trying to squeeze a lot of stuff into a short week, time flying is a bad thing.

Training went really good this week, except for I missed a couple of workouts on the weekend. I have decided not to worry too much about logging time on the bike and run yet because I feel strength training and having fun in the pool will help me in the long run. December will be the start of my run focus leading up to the Hypothermic Half Marathon in early February.

Swim training is still a ton of fun. We are switching up the workouts to gain efficiency in every aspect, even push-offs and tumble turns. I know that in an open water swim there are no walls, obviously, but when in the pool why not take every advantage. I stick behind after the workout with a couple of other swimmers and practice, chat, and joke around. Sometimes you learn more like this than in the workout itself.

I can now get out of the pool without using my hands. Will I use this new found power for good or evil? I don’t know.

I missed out on my weekend training as a good buddy of mine agreed to take me hunting; my first time. I am going to dedicate a future post to my experience, but I figured a quick recap was warranted here.

It was a blast, both literally and figuratively. It is no secret that I am dedicated to living a Paleo lifestyle, as much as we can in the 21st century. Well, I felt like this experience is the foundation of the lifestyle. More than just filling tags, it was an experience to be out in nature and tap into that primal instinct; with a diesel truck, binoculars, and a high powered rifle.

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Recap – Week 44
Whole 30 – Day 21

We started watching ‘Food Inc’ last night, a documentary exploring the food industry in the United States. It is a touch scary, and by a touch, I mean entirely. Now taking it with a grain of salt as it was on sided, it appears that the industry really doesn’t care about the animals, workers, or the consumer. They only care about one thing; profit.

It has given us the motivation to find natural raised and process animals local to Calgary, or as my recent trip, go get some of it ourselves. Stay tuned as to how it goes.

Question: Have you started training again after the off season? How is it going so far?

Guide to Making Lunches

Nothing makes it harder to eat decent than takeout at the office.


I read a lot of posts about how cooking for a Whole 30 challenge, 21 Day Sugar Detox, or Paleo Challenge becomes cumbersome, leading most to quit. There are too many options within a 2 minute walk to that can derail you faster than you can say ‘muffin’.

In my experience, the key to sticking with any diet you choose is to have on hand, ready to go lunches and snacks at the office.

Well, never fear dear mortals.

This is something I struggled with for a long while. I could never figure out the logistics of cooking, storing, and not having it spoil in the fridge. After experimenting with a couple of ideas I gathered from many sources, I came up with a plan that allows me to do the bulk of my prep/cooking before Monday morning strolls around, leaving just assembly the night before.

Grill Protein Ahead of Time
My BBQ is full of two types of protein at some point during the weekend. Typically it is chicken thighs and steak, but I also use pork chops, roasts, and sausage. I typically under cook them a bit (I like a medium steak, so I cook it to medium rare) and once it comes out of microwave the next day, it is just perfect. Once they are done, I portion out Monday and Tuesday and stick them in the fridge; everything else hits the freezer. Each night, I take out a portion of protein, and it is thawed by breakfast the next day. Before you ask, the meat is just as good after being frozen.

Chop Veggies and Store in Fridge
On Sunday evening, I chop enough veggies to fill huge glass bowl, and store for adding into salads, stir-frys, or just to chomp on while working at my desk. The trick, fill the bowl with some water so that the veggies don’t dry out for Thursday and Friday.

Practice and Perfect Kitchen Tasks
I used to hate chopping anything in the kitchen. Dull knives, slippery food, and warped cutting boards made each experience suck. Using the skills in the Four Hour Chef, I learnt how to chop efficiently and now I can fire through a large pile of carrots with ease. I also learnt how to saute properly, flip without using a spatula, and pretty much cook without too much effort. This is the single most important point for me. If I enjoy being in the kitchen, making a great meal is a pleasure, not a task.

Eat the Same Thing
They say variety is the spice of life, but in this case, variety will kill your progress almost before it starts. Meal planning is daunting; there is a reason why nutritionists, authors, and websites are readily available (for a charge of course). By using the points above, you can make a weeks worth of meals in about 30 minutes. Sure, you eat the same thing each day, so then make something you like.

Frozen Veggies
A bag of frozen veggies in your freezer is worth it’s weight in gold; at least it is in my house. They make it so easy to portion out for breakfast, or make a quick meal when you are on the run. Most stores will carry organic varieties and the process of picking and transporting them makes them just as nutritious as the fresh kind.

So take the time to make your breakfast and lunches for the week. With a little bit of effort, you can save a lot of time during the week.

Question: Do you have any other tips?

2012 Review – Part 2

It was a great year for many reasons.


I achieved several goals I set for myself and my family became closer as well.

In June, after a coffee meeting with a friend, I decided to give up the java for good. Based on how I felt after each day, the motivation was pretty high. I have to admit, it wasn’t easy especially with the line of work I am in, but I made it through the 30 days and have given it up for good. I feel greet now, especially in the afternoon when I used to get the jitters. I did have a couple of ‘shorts’ of Christmas Blend because, not that I am Superman, but it is my kryptonite.

Nine weeks to the day after I broke my collar bone, I stood on the shore of Ghost Dam getting myself ready for Ironman 70.3 Calgary. It was my ‘A’ race of the year, and all of my training revolved around it. Most thought that I was crazy for starting, but my family stood behind me and cheered me along the way. I learnt alot about myself, triathlon, and how your mental toughness is just as important as your physical. I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t have finished if it wasn’t for them.

It was then my daughters turn for her second Kids of Steel Triathlon; her first open water swim. I swam, ran as she biked, and ran beside her to the finish line. My favorite part of the race? When she grabbed a glass at the aid station and tried to drink while running. I think every person, including myself, were chuckling a little bit. It was so cute.

Pretty much our whole family came to watch, I think we were the annoying spectators that morning.

I said time flies, well we couldn’t believe when time came for her first day of kindergarden. We had to put some effort in her application to the school, so when we recieved confirmation she was accepted, we were ecstatic. She is having so much fun and learning alot. The best part, she is meeting other kids who share her learning style and personality.

The rest of the year was pretty uneventful. We enjoyed the fall and the changing of the leaves; we couldn’t experience it like that in our old house. I began planning my 2013 training plan and race schedule. Sounds like a ton of fun? Only a Triathlete would say “Yes”.

Hopefully 2013 will be just has eventful. Well, maybe a little less eventful.

Good luck to you in 2013.

2012 Review

‘Time flies when you are having fun’


We must have been having a crap load of fun then; I can’t believe it is 2013 already.

For our family, the last couple of years have been a whirlwind. In 2011, after staying grounded for 4 years, we took out first trip out of Canada, then went on another one, then another one. I completed my first year of triathlon, 2 races in total, and got ‘hooked’. Finally moved; we had talked about it for 4 years. We decided that we wanted to keep the momentum going in 2012, mainly because we were doing better than ever as a family. We were happy and growing physically and mentally.

So this post is dedicated to the progress my family and I have made in 2012. .

Technically we moved in 2011, October to be exact. Although we didn’t realize how it would impact our life until the spring, we were nonetheless excited. Change is always awesome. Our new home was completely different than our old house. Built in the mid 1970’s, it is in a neighbourhood with large trees, established roots, and close to the river. More on the location in a bit.

We decided on New Years Day to get a dog, Franklyn. I was against it, but the girls promised to walk, feed, and otherwise take care of him. Yeah, that lasted long. I have to admit that now I enjoy having him as part of the family, even if he still barks at everything that passes the house.

He gives me an excuse to explore the numerous paths the surround my neighbourhood and the Bow river. We even swam in the river over the summer, both of us. Being able to get out on a regular basis has been a contributing factor to my progression and success to a Paleo lifestyle.

As I have discussed in prior posts, Paleo is no than a ‘diet’ to me, it is a way of life. Slowing life down, playing more, and connecting with nature has been the greatest addition to my life over the past 12 months. I am lighter, more energetic, and overall happier.

In Febrauary I challenged nine coworkers and friends to a ’21 Day No Complaint Challenge’ inspired by a old blog post by Tim Ferris. The first to finish the challenge was offered an award by me. I finished on April 15, a full 58 days after the challenge began. It was totally worth it, and I still catch myself in a complaint and offer a solution as per the challenge. I now look at the positive, instead of the negative, in every situation. By the way, no one has come forward to claim their prize yet.

Looking at the positive was tough sitting in triage at the hospital May 26. Broken collar bone and the prospect of surgey the day before my daughters first Triathlon, nice timing. It did give me two positives, the ability to watch her race and the chance to start this blog. Watching her race was not really a positive until I raced with her in August. I loved racing with her, but you miss the smile at the finish line.

Not to make a post too long, um boring, I will break it up into two parts.

So until part two……

Question: How did your 2012 go?

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.

Cavemen & Triathlons

I would run faster if I was being chased by a sabretooth tiger.


I am pretty sure that Grok and his buddies didn’t participate in a stone-aged sprint triahtlon for fun, but swam and ran during their normal day-to-day lives.

I detailed my progression to a Paleo lifestyle in a past post, Lifestyles. I am constantly asked how I can mantain my energy based on my training volume. Questions, and my answers, like:

“How can you do it without carbs?”
I get plenty of carbs, mostly from vegtables and a small amount fruit.
“Doesn’t your body burn muscle when you run out of glycogen?”
My body has developed to burn body fat as opposed to glycogen during my day-to-day activites. Sure, during high intensity I burn glycogen and replace it during recovery.
“Aren’t you hungry all the time?”
I am less hungry now than I was on a high carb diet. I am still hungry from time to time, but aren’t most triathletes?
“That’s too restrictive.”
Alright, not an actual question. I have two words, cheat meal.

I have researched the Paleo liefstyle and how it relates to Triathlon training, experimented during my training season to find what works for me, and discussed with many athletes about their experiences. Many different things have worked for many different people, this is what has worked for me.

The most important part is to recover properley after a workout, especially after intense effort. I consumed a high GI fruit (banana) within 30 minutes of finishing a workout, and continued this routine when I went Paleo. After a month, it wasn’t working as well for me as it had in the past, so I switched to 1 scoop of CarboPro with 1 scoop of protein powder and consumed it within 10 minutes of the end of my workout. Much better.

Pre-Workout Fuel
I do not fuel prior to a workout except for early morning training. Training in a fasted state will help your body burn body fat. For early morning training over 60 minutes, I will consume about 200-300 calories in the form of almonds and a piece of fruit while I am getting ready or driving to the gym.

Workout Fuel
For training sessions over 90 minutes, typically on the bike, I will use GU Gels starting at 60minutes, consuming 200 calories per hour. This is the one aspect I need to change in the coming year. The roller coaster of blood sugar can be tough to deal with, and as I experienced a couple of times this year, if I miss an opportunity to eat my energy crashes. I also need to add some protein as I get pretty hungry around 120 minutes. Once I find a good solution, I will let you know.

I have found that my energy levels are far more consitant than with previous lifestyles. I regularly weigh in at 78kg, fluctuating from time to time after a cheat meal or a weeks worth of high intensity training. I no longer have the morning or late evening munchies, well once in a while I do, but I can handle them with a handfull of dried fruit or some homemade granola. Check for my favorite recipe so far.

So if you are looking for a different approach to your nutrition, good for you. Going Paleo will make you think about more than just food, it will make you re-think your lifestyle.

Question: It works for me, anyone else?