triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “strength training

Recap – Week 43

It was hard to shampoo my hair this week.


Swim – 3:00:00 – 7200m
Bike – 1:13:37 – 32.11km
Run – 1:14:15 – 15.47km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 6:57:52

I got back into the weight room for the first time in about 6 months. it felt great, until the next day; I was walking backwards down my stairs at home. I started with the ‘Pre-Hab’ routine outlined in ‘The Four Hour Body’ by Tim Ferris to identify any muscle imbalances that may have crept into my body over the summer. Good news, everything checked out great.

The rest of the week was uneventful by my standards, logging lengths in the pool, commuting on the bike, and a couple of quality runs. I had planned a long bike ride for Saturday as the weatherman called for 14 degrees, then snow for Sunday. He was right (how often does that happen) but unfortunately I was not. I wasn’t able to squeeze it in, opting to spend time with the family instead. Balance right?


Fall is a great time in Calgary, even if it only lasts 4 weeks. The weather is awesome allowing for some pretty great walks and hikes after supper. Case in point; we headed out on Monday evening with the dog who wanted to go for a walk, and a 6 year old who didn’t. 45 minutes later we were dragging both of them out of the tall grass to get home for bed time. It was so nice out we had to strip our jackets off and t-shirt it all the way home.

With the snow on Sunday it would appear that winter in going to settle in a little earlier than anticipated, meaning that me and the dog will head solo more often than not. That is okay with me, I enjoy the solo time with a good cup of tea and the fresh air.

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Winter Training

With the 2014 race season a long time away, starting with Escape from Alcatraz on June 1, I am trying to find some motivation for the winter. The couple of half marathons early in the year should keep me on track, but as most of us struggle with, I want to enjoy my training this year and not just log the hours. It is that darn trainer in the basement

Check back as I haven’t really found it yet.

Question: How do you find motivation in the off season?


Crossfit and Triathlon

Lift heavy s@!t.


As I discussed in my most recent post, strength training, I added Crossfit exercises into my training schedule over the winter season with great success. I took a lot of time researching, talking with other athletes, and experimenting which exercises in order to find the best combination for a triathlete.

It wasn’t easy to find, so I decided to share what I have been doing over the past five months. Not that I am an expert. I think that after reading my blog, that is obvious.

Aerobic Session – 4 rounds (3 minutes rest)
10 x Pull-Ups
20 x Box Jumps
20 x Push-Ups
20 x Inverted Row
20 x (10 left x 10 right) Walking Lunges

Strength Session
3 x (5 left x 5 right) – Turkish Get Up
3 x (5 left x 5 right) – Chop & Lift
3 x (6 left x 6 right) – Single Leg DeadLift
3 x 10 Squat

Seems simple right? It really isn’t.

In attempt to keep this post short, I haven’t included deceptions of the individual moves, saving time for both you and me (awesome) but also giving me inspiration for a variety of additional posts with pictures, descriptions, and links to instructional videos. So stay tuned in the coming weeks.

One last thought and opinion: Schedule your strength sessions, especially the heavy lift, as your second workout of the day. I scheduled a run after a heavy session; you can guess how it went.

Question: Have you integrated Crossfit and Triathlon? What is your experience?

Strength Training

Can it make you faster?


Over the past 2 years my main goal in training has been to increase my run speed. Looking at my race results, my swim and bike were always around the top of my age group. My run unfortunately was not. Being strong on the bike allowed me to get far enough ahead of the racers behind me that they couldn’t catch me on the run. My slow run speed meant, however, that I wasn’t able to catch the racer ahead of me either.

Fast forward to this winter season, I had a very in-depth discussion with the tri-club swim coach about adding strength training as a compliment to my swim training. As he put it, the average swimmer (that’s me) pulls against 4kg of resistance in the water. Over the course of a season, this means that you will lose muscle mass if you do not lift weights in addition to logging lengths. Then why do my arms hurt so much after a good swim session?

So I took his advice and scheduled 2 strength sessions into my already busy training schedule. I always hesitated to lift weights before. I want to lean out, not bulk up right? Wind resistance people.

One of the great things about life is that sometimes, only sometimes, does the right answer fall into your lap. Having adopted a Paleo lifestyle over the past year, I have always come across Crossfit. Never heard of it? Really? I did some research trying to find the best routine for a triathlete. Finding nothing to go on, I decided to build my own routine using the basic movements for all three sports.

Here is the thing, it worked. It really worked.

I noticed a huge change just after Christmas. I headed out on a run one Saturday evening, taking a route I am all too familiar with; dark, cold, and icy, but best to stay where I know. More on that in a future post. I honestly felt like I had rocket ships under my feet. Over a 7.6km run, I averaged 4:36/km with 245m of elevation change. I averaged just over 5:00/km in the last 3 runs over the same route. Not a bad improvement. So I kept lifting, changing up my routine every couple of weeks as my strength and stamina increased. I will dedicate my next post to the specific workouts and routine I used.

I am not going to pretend it was easy. More than once I walked down my stairs at home backwards, groaned everytime I sat at the kitchen table like an old man, and had a hard time working with a keyboard at the office.

Now, I swim 400m repeats at sub 1:30/100m; that used to be my 100m sprint split time.

I believe that there is no replacement for intervals, escpecailly on the bike and run; if you want to run sub 4:30/km, then you have to train at sub 4:30/km. But I am convinced that strength training can (and will) make you faster.

Oh, and my wife is diggin’ the biceps….

Question: Did you lift over the winter? What was your experience?