triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “running

‘Round the Bunny Ear and Through the Hole

For a simple piece of technology, I sure screw it up a lot.


Walking to the office this morning, I had to stop and tie my shoe. Let me tell you, it gets annoying after a while. I raced 6 times last year, 2 of those races required shoelace maintenance. Sure it only takes 10-15 seconds to stop, tie, and restart but when I cross the finish line at 45:10 aiming for a sub 45:00…..time to figure this thing out.

I got chatting with a buddy of mine who is the Western Canadian Rep for a major shoe brand; he mentioned that in his experience New Balance shoe laces don’t like to stay tied. Something about the material, or shape, or both I can’t remember. This was a point in our run that I was bent over tying my left shoe lace.

Irony at its finest.

Over the past couple of months I have noticed the frequency of united laces is getting higher. Not sure what I am doing that is different than before and I have changed out any of my equipment. My running shoes are my trusty New Balance Minimus Road Zeros and my dress shoes haven’t been replaced in about 6 months.

Just looked at them, maybe they need to replaced sooner than I thought.

Of course there are products out there that help with the sort of issue; I have a couple at the house. I just can’t seem to get them right and end up with a pain in my foot half way through a 10k run. My daughter, 7, has just learnt to tie her shoes. Right now it is all about shoes with laces; if they have Velcro, back in the closet with them. Sure there was some frustration, it comes with the territory, but she has mastered it.

Maybe I need to take some pointers from her.

On the topic of foot/lace related issues, I had to change the lacing pattern on my shoes to eliminate a pressure spot on the top of my foot. It has helped drastically and since I changed the pattern, no more issues.

Question: Have you had problems like this? Any suggestions?


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?

Don’t You Hate it When Life Gets in the Way?

Oh, I wish that I was a professional triathlete.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 6300m
Bike – 0:00:00 – 0km
Run – 0:30:07 – 5.63km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 4:00:07

I have a pretty delicate balance when it comes to fitting training into my daily life. One missed day can really mess a guy up. Take this week for example; day trip to Edmonton Tuesday killed my bike and run, and leaving Friday for a drilling rig killed the rest of the week and the beginning of this week. Not to mention I spent my birthday away from the girls. Boo.

Looking on the positive side, the workouts I did get in the week were awesome; I don’t think that I have swam that hard for a long time. Our workouts on Monday and Wednesday both featured my favourite training tool, fins. Here is our set from Monday.

Warm Up
400m Swim / 200m Kick / 400m Drill
Main Set
4x100m Swim on 1:45
2x200m Swim on 3:30
4x100m Swim on 2:00
1x400m Swim on 7:00
4x100m Swim on 2:00
2x200m Swim on 3:45
Warm Down
100m Swim – Easy

Needless to say I pretty much ate everything I saw for the next 2 days. Our coach, while we resting between the last 2x200m set told us to focus on a hard kick with a good long reach off the wall. The sentiment from the lane, “we are just trying to stay alive.” Enough said.

I squeezed in a run on the treadmill Wednesday night, making up for Tuesday. Intervals were on the menu as my time was limited due to a late bed time for the little one. No matter, the less time I spend there the better.

The sidewalks, pathways, and roads here in Calgary have turned into pure ice. Not the “oops it is a little slippery” kinda ice, I mean the “holy crap I just surfed for 10 feet” kinda ice. I guess this is what we get for having above zero temperatures in January. I chose the treadmill on Wednesday purely for that reason; I didn’t want to go for a ride.

Running in the winter can be treacherous, especially here in Canada. Cold weather, wind, and dark can make for some scary situations. I have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for winter running in Canada. Stay tuned for that piece of wisdom…..

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Whole 30 – Day 26
Whole 30 – Day 21

I mentioned that I spent the last 4 days in the field, missing not only my birthday, but spending a lot of time away from the girls. Not something that I want to do on a regular basis, but sometimes it comes with the territory. By territory I mean running my own product line with an international company. Not to make myself sound important or anything.

Being away from the normal day-to-day can be refreshing at times, heading into the middle of nowhere in -20 degree weather is not one of those times. I am glad to be back home safe and sound and ready to spend some quality time with my daughter. Strengthening our connection is going to be my top priority over the next 30 days.

So back to normal for the next couple of weeks. As normal as my family is.

Question: Any tips from you on running in the winter?

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.

Top Posts
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 50

It was a ‘tale of two weeks’.

B&W snow

Swim – 3:00:00 – 8200m
Bike – 1:01:32 – 35.4km
Run – 1:22:52 – 16.9km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 6:54:24

My week was going great training wise until mid-Friday. I noticed a slight twinge (is that a technical term?) in my inner left thigh and by the end of the night I was having a hard time walking up the stairs. Given I shouldn’t have been piggy-backing my daughter up the stairs, but hey, it is the only way we can get her to go to bed without fussing.

I decided to forego my ride that evening opting for a good roll and stretch. That seemed to do the trick and by Sunday afternoon I was off for a run while the girls were off to the movies. 8 degrees, sun shining, and clear paths made for a great experience. Only in Calgary can you go from a blizzard warning to running in shorts in less than 2 weeks.

I am not complaining; at all.

The path system in Calgary is awesome. There is close to 800km of pathways that connect most of the city together. I typically use the same 20km of it close to downtown as I run at lunch. It is pretty flat along the Bow River, so when I can run from home and rip through ‘blood and guts’ I take advantage. Yeah you read that right, ‘blood and guts’. The famed section tracks along the north section of Bowmont Natural Park with an elevation climb of 99m from the river valley to the top of Silver Springs.


I love climbing that hill; brings back memories of training for Ironman 70.3 Calgary two years ago. I have a feeling that I will be seeing more of it in the coming months.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 49
Recipe – Thai Pumpkin Soup

I hesitated on registering for the Hypothermic Half marathon in February and now it is sold out. Crap. This is the second year in a row that I have missed out on the race by waiting to register. So without a half marathon to race in February, I am going to turn my attention to cycling for January, adding at least one more workout to the mix.

Registration opens for the Calgary Police Half Marathon on January 1, 2014. Needless to say I will be hitting that one soon after I recover from New Years Eve.

Who am I kidding, I will be in bed by 2200.

Question: Any specific training or race route bring back memories for you?

Recap – Week 49

Holy crap it is cold.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 4800m
Bike – 0:59:43 – 27.9km
Run – 1:25:16 – 17.54km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 5:54:59

This week was a impromptu rest week. I woke up on Monday morning feeling roasted, I think that is a technical (air quotes) term, and decided that for the next couple of days I would take it a little easier. In true triathlete fashion I didn’t hit the couch, rather skipped a couple of workouts and slept till 0630 instead.


I had to sneak in a quick run on Saturday evening as we were heading out Sunday morning to visit family for Christmas; 3.5 hour drive. Taking the advice of Joe Friel, a freaking genius by the way, instead of a long slow run I hit intervals instead. Here is what they looked like:

45min Steady State Run – 4x3min (2min RBI)
15min warmup – 4:45-5:00/km
20min SSR intervals – 4:30/km
10min cool down – 4:45/km

Now I haven’t tested myself for a while, but based on the latest data, my SSR should be in the range of 4:22-4:40/km. I was able to finish each interval at just over 4:30/km and with the exception of the third rest period I hit each time interval perfectly. My treadmill is weird and cycles between elapsed time, pace, and incline. So sometimes, I have to wait for 30 seconds to confirm what the exact time is. No matter for a 45 minute run, but 3 minutes intervals can be challenging to time just right.

My workouts were inside this week. I am not a wuss when it comes to cold temperatures and workouts; I have always said I am like and old Chevy, I run hot. With windchill’s into the -40 degrees I figured no matter how tough I pretend to be, there was no way I was heading outdoors. I do not like the treadmill, I can run 20k outside with no issues, but on the treadmill after 4k my knees are hurting and I want to stop.

Hopefully the weather smartens up this week and I can get outside for some fresh, albeit crisp, air.

Top posts
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 48
Ironman 70.3 Calgary

It is well known that rest is beneficial, if not critical, to any training plan. I have tried many different schedules including ones published by Chris Carmichael and Joe Friel with varied success. “Listen to your body” they say, “take rest when you need it” they say. Well, it aient that easy.

In ‘The Time Crunched Triathlete’ Chris schedules 2 rest days per week, typically Monday and Friday, over a 8-10 week plan. His plans revolve around high intensity intervals mixed with some lower intensity workouts. I have used his philosophy a sprint and half ironman and enjoyed training for both. I found the mix of high intensity and recovery workouts worked well and timed well with the rest days.

With Joe Friel, you are responsible for writing your own training plan, with his guidance of course. This can be good as not all plans are built for all people, but it can create havoc if you aren’t organized. His philosophy revolves around 4 week training ‘blocks’; 3 weeks building duration/intensity and 1 week of active recovery.

I have learnt many things, among the leaders is I can’t really feel when I am approaching an over-trained state; I can only recognize it once I am already there. It can be tough to take rest when you don’t feel you need it as the loss of fitness is always a threat. Guess I need to get better at that.

Question: How do you plan rest? Any tips?

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.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
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?