triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “swim training

One, Two, Ten Not Counting Again

Race week, my favorite kind of week.


Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 3:10:00 (a) – 9800m
Bike – 3:45:00 (p) – 3:47:51 (a) – 99.57km
Run – 2:30:00 (p) – 3:02:46 (a) – 35.74km

Total – 8:30:00 (p) – 10:00:38 (a)

My first half marathon of 2014 is in the books, and all-in-all, it was a great race. I ran it solo in 2013, race report here, and finished with a great time even though I hit the wall at km 15.

2014 was different. I ran it with my brother, helping him finish sub 2 hours. No need to panic, the race report is to come.

As I was training though the race I didn’t taper this week, and good thing. Swim volume was high on both Monday and Friday, and they both went something like this:

Warm Up
400m swim / 200m kick / 400m drill
Main Set
Alternate swim / pull
2x400m on 6:00
4x200m on 3:30
8x100m on 1:45
Cool Down
200m easy

Needless to say swimming 3600m in 60 minutes leaves me a little tired in the office for the rest of the day. Standing desks don’t help with that by the way.

Speaking of tired, have you ever fallen asleep on the couch at 2030? I was sitting on the couch with my daughter, watching a little TV before bedtime. Next thing I knew the show as over, and my little one was poking me in the ribs.

I am noticing that every day that I have a brick session scheduled (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) I am not only looking forward to my bedtime, I am looking forward to that 20 minutes on the couch before her bedtime.

How sad is that?

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 50
Calvin and Hobbes

Spring is such a great time in Calgary. With the nice weather, the families in our little corner of the community gather once again at the park after supper. It is great to catch up with some that you lose touch with over the winter and seeing how the kids grew.

I got invited by my daughter and her friends to join in a game of ‘grounders’. What an absolute riot, the kids were laughing when I couldn’t hear them on the ground, and screaming when I got close to tagging them.

These kids kicked my butt. I was ‘it’ more often than not, and they had a couple of tricks that took me almost all night to figure out.

Can’t wait to play again this week.

Question: How do you deal with being tired?


Headstands and Spring in Calgary

Wow, Wednesday already. I wish every week would go this fast.


Swim – 3:00:00 – 9400m
Bike – 2:15:05 – 68.3km
Run – 2:24:09 – 28.9km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 8:25:14

That was a good week, training went really well and I had a great time with the girls. Our swim volume ramped up Monday and Wednesday with 3400m on each day. Friday was no slouch either, it was only 2600m but with 600m of sprints it was every bit as tough. Wednesday looked something like this:

400m swim / 200m kick / 400m drill
Main Set
4x600m on 10:00
Swim / Pull / Pull with Paddles / Pull
Cool Down

We were able to hit the wall under 9:00 for each set taking a decent amount of rest. One thing I have learnt in my time with lane 3, I need to improve my pull. I can leave most of the guys in my wake (I was gonna say dust) on a swim set, but when the pull buoy hits the water, I am literally lost off the back. Reminds me of this post from SwimSwam. Which one are you?

Ah, the warm weather last weekend lulled us all into a sense of false security. I was planning on taking my bike onto the road, the sunshine and crisp spring air was calling my name saying “hey, it is never to early to start working on those cyclist tan lines.” I had to give it up as family engagements called and reserved to ride the following weekend. Yeah, not gonna happen with -10 degrees, snow, and wind-chill to boot.

Everyone in Calgary is complaining about the weather, and I can see why. Spring arrived last week and the forecast calls for more snow this coming week than we got in all of January. But hey, in Calgary you can’t discount snow until after the May long weekend, so I am not throwing my hands in the air just yet.

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Finally the Weekend is Upon Us
Recap – Week 50
Ironman Tattoo

I enjoy doing things that are out of my comfort zone; I always joke with my wife that I will “try anything once”. This is how I have come upon some of the best things in my life, including triathlon.

On Saturday afternoon was my little ones last gymnastics class. Why so important you ask? Well the last day is when all of the parents are invited down with 20 minutes left to compete in a competition. Nothing crazy like trampoline, but how cool would that be? This time around was a headstand competition between the Moms and Dads.

With my girls on the sideline, I waited for the countdown, and lifted into a headstand, elbows on my knees. It was actually pretty easy to hold and after a 12.5k run, it felt great on the legs. After a couple of minutes or so, they told us to raise our legs straight into the air. Cool.

Next thing I know, I am on my side, laughing. Apparently I need to work on my core strength.

Question: Have you gotten out of your comfort zone lately?

Recap – Week 44

Rampin’ up one week at a time.


Swim – 3:00:00 – 8550m
Bike – 2:01:46 – 71.63km
Run – 1:18:56 – 16.72km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 7:50:42

I think I may have found a balance that works pretty good, at the moment at least. I was able to get some decent training in the week along with 2 strength sessions. It wasn’t easy but I am enjoying it nonetheless. Swim club on Wednesday was awesome; it sucked, but it was awesome. Here was the workout:

Warm Up
400m Swim / 200m Kick / 400m Drill
Main Set
200m Right / 200m Left / 200m Back – Kick with fins
200m Right / 200m Left / 200m back – Kick without fins
8x50m (25m kick / 25m swim) on 1:10
Warm Down
200m Swim

Looks easy right? The swimmers in the crowd will tell you “not so much”. After workouts like this I curse my standing desk.

This week was also the first week that both of my bike workouts were on the trainer. It is winter now in Calgary and barring a miracle, on the trainer my bike will stay. There are benefits to riding on the trainer, so I will have to look forward to workouts filled with power numbers and intervals rather than sunshine and fresh air. Sigh.

I think I am going to do that more often, sharing workouts; we have had some doozies in the pool and the bike can be just as brutal. I know I struggled with finding the right workout for a long time, so if I can help you out awesome. If not, no worries mate.

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Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 33
Paleo Elitist

In the off-season, I struggle with motivation; I don’t think that is a secret. I have however, found one way to stay motivated while keeping the fun in training.

At the beginning of September, I bet a fellow tri-club swimmer $10 that he couldn’t pass me on w 200m pull set. He succeeded in taking my money with about 45m to go. Now the money isn’t my motivation, it is the bragging right that come along with the money. So made a challenge that by the end of this session in December I will get my money back.

It isn’t going to be easy, but who said triathlons are easy? No one that’s who.

Question: Have you resigned to ride inside for the remainder of the year?

Recap – Week 39

Running in a different city can be fun. Right?


Swim – 2:00:00 – 5050m
Bike – 1:25:00 – 35.10km
Run – 1:09:39 – 12.93km

Total – 4:34:39

Fins and blisters, blisters and fins. Man, my feet are getting pretty beat up. Good thing I was travelling on business and missed swim club Friday morning. I am still having a blast despite the sore feet and legs. We are really dialing in on the top part of the catch, and I am finally feeling that ‘surge’ with each stroke. I have no idea how fast I am over 100m, but I am sure that I will figure it out sooner rather than later.

I traveled to Edmonton this week for some training. With nothing to do during the evenings except eat and drink, I typically head to the local YMCA for a swim or run. This time I decided to head for a run and looked for a pathway through the Black Mud ravine. So I parked at the top of where I thought the path started. Well I was right, but only to a certain extent. The path lead behind some pretty nice houses for about 700m, then came to an abrupt end. So I turned around, and headed down the hill along a dirt path. It was great for about 200m, the it turns into a road, goes under the bridge, and quickly back uphill toward the street. By this point, I am about 8 minutes in.

Long story short, the rest of my run is through the communities surrounding this great ravine with no pathway system. A tad disappointing.

More disappointing than that; I got back to the hotel and immediately felt like I was getting sick. Well my feeling was right. Not more that a couple of hours later, wouldn’t you know it, man cold.


So my training hours are slightly effected, but I needed the rest anyways. I think by mid next week I will be back at it again.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Calvin and Hobbes
About Me

Notice a pattern? Ironman tattoo has been my most viewed post for about 6 months in a row. It would seem that a lot of Ironman finishers are looking for advice on if, what, and where. It makes me think would I change my toughts. To recap slightly, even if I finished and Ironman, I would forego the tattoo. It seems overdone.

Come to think of it, the more and more I do this triathlon thing, the more I want to compete in a long course. Two years ago, I don’t think that thought would have entered my head. Weird.

Question: What do you do when travelling on business? Do you pack your workout gear?

Whole 30 – Day 26

So here we are, less than a week from the end.


I am happy to report that I am really starting to enjoy this. I am still missing certain things, specifically cream in my coffee. I really like adding coconut milk, and if I had the choice, I would never use coffee cream again. But when I show up a the Starbucks with my own coconut milk can, they look at me like I am crazy.

I am also missing a good way to get more food into my system. With my training load, I am hungry a lot. Now I can only add so many additional chicken thighs before my body doesn’t want to eat any more. I think on swim days, the days I am the most hungry, I am gonna try bringing an additional meal, and chowing on that mid morning.

Other than that, I am still feeling great. I commuted on my bike this morning to the office, a total of 17.5km one way. Now that distance is pretty easy for me, but the fact I could eat breakfast, bike in, and feel full until lunch was awesome. Not too mention that my stomach didn’t give me any issues. With a standard breakfast, say pancakes, I wouldn’t have been able to say the same thing.

I had to up the amount of food for breakfast and lunch due to the hunger last week. It seems to have done the trick so far, but we will see how tomorrow goes after swimming. I am always starving after laps.

On the menu this week
Breakfast – Burgers with green beans, sweet potato, and a handful of coconut flakes
Lunch – Chick Thighs with salad, roasted beets, avocado, and olives
Post Workout – Burger with sweet potato

My next recap will be Day 30 and the official end of the challenge. Thoughts are swirling in my head of what I want to eat once I am officially finished. Should it be a cookie, muffin, bowl of ice cream, chocolate covered almonds, rice crispy square, or pancakes? I feel this is a tough decision as I don’t want to waste the opportunity as I am sure I won’t have more than one before I revert back to my Whole 30 ways.

Maybe I will just see where the day takes me.

I am going to hit the scale on Saturday morning to see my progress. As I started this 3 days early, I didn’t weight myself before, so I will have to guess on my progress. I don’t feel much lighter, but I am convinced that I have traded in some body fat for muscle. I can visually tell. The numbers won’t lie.

Question: What would you first go for after your Whole 30 challenge is over?

Recap – Week 38

Can you count commuting on your bike as a workout?


Swim – 3:00:00 – 7200m
Bike – 2:20:10 – 65.20km
Run – 1:29:53 – 17.57km

Total – 6:50:04

This week was a good week for training. The fins haven’t made their disappearance from our swim workouts yet, but I am happy to report that we didn’t have any lunges either. I hope that we are almost done with them though, my legs are really feeling the extra strain and I am pretty sure that I am not alone with that thought.

I planned to commute to work on my bike Tuesday and Thursday; ended up raining on Thursday, so I only was successful Tuesday. It was a lot of fun, and I am looking at ways to do it every week. Now only if swim club wasn’t so darn early, I could do it every day. Alas, I will settle for 2 days a week for now.

I headed out on a proper bike ride Sunday afternoon. Fall is the best time in Calgary as the weather is always predictable and relatively warm; even though it can be a little windy. Well, Sunday afternoon had some gust over 40km/hr which made the ride out a little tough; living and training in Calgary you can’t be scared of the wind. My road bike is awesome to climb and descend on. I feel comfortable at high speed (+60km/hr) and feel like I can push heading up the hills. I have found that it is a little slower on the flats. I wonder if it is just a mind set, or actual mechanical.

Our bathroom renovation is going good. It is a little slow for my liking, but when you have a full time job, family, and training schedule it is tough to dedicate a full weekend to working on renovation. We are thinking of starting a blog dedicated to our renovation; our story is pretty funny so far with scandal, firings, and asbestos. Stay tuned as I will no doubt shamelessly plug it if we do.

Anyways, I got most of the rough in work finished, all I need is an electrician to run the lights and plugs and I am ready for inspection. I will be biting my nails, more than normal, when he shows up.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Whole 30 – Day 21
Whole 30 – Day 9


Every Friday morning, my company has donuts, muffins, and bagels delivered. Now I don’t typically eat any as I don’t like the products from Tim Hortons. If I am gonna cheat, then it better be good, but that is beside the point.

About a year ago, they stopped delivering bagels and muffins, opting to just send donuts at my companies request. Let me tell you, the uprising from some of the people was similar to protests back in the 70’s. People were angry that there were no more bagels. Not too long after, they started delivering bagels again. The problem? No one eats the bagels anymore. They fought for them, and then ignore them.

Can’t figure that one out.

Question: Do you find your road bike slower on average than your TT/Triathlon bike?

Swim Etiquette – Round Two

I posted, awhile back now, what I thought was the important swim ettiquette rules.


That post has become one of my most viewed posts and continues to get views today. Some of the comments made me think that I missed a couple of rules and the way to deal with rule breakers.

So here are some of the missed etiquette rules. Hope it didn’t get you in trouble at the pool…..

Clockwise or Counterclockwise?
It doesn’t really matter. Typically though, each lane will swim counter clockwise. I have come across lanes that alternate from clockwise/counter/clockwise and so on. I asked once why they do that, and I got a confusing answer: “So when you are swimming, you are always next to someone on your left or right”. Make a little sense I guess, but I am not sure why that is important.

Which ever way you decide to swim, make sure everyone in your lane is in agreement before you start.

Training aids can really help increase your swimming power and efficiency; most common for me pool side is a water bottle, kick board, and a pull buoy. On occasion I will bring paddles with as well, although my shoulder doesn’t really like them after breaking my collar bone.

If you are just borrowing them from the pool, most have a decent supply, treat them with care. Put them back when you are finished and if you break them, point it out to the lifeguard. No one likes to pick out the right size paddle only to find the rubber strap missing.

Wether you are borrowing or have your own, try to keep them neat and tidy at pool side. It makes it easier to grab the right tool for the next set, and can avoid un-necessary rest time fiddling with it.

Picking a Lane
Take a minute to survey the pool and determine the speed of the fast, medium, and slow lanes. Also have a gander at how each lane is swimming; if you want to do intervals, then joining a lane that has two swimmers grinding out a 2000m main set wouldn’t be the best choice. Pick the lane the best suits your speed and workout.

Joining a lane already in Progress
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone jump in and start swimming with guys swimming side by side. Can you say collision?

Unless you are swimming with a club, or a bunch of buddies, you will have to join a group already swimming. No problem, they don’t own the lane. Once you have made the all important choice (see above) get in the lane and stay at the wall until each swimmer has either turned or stopped for a rest. This gives them a chance to see you there, acknowledge another swimmer is joining, and swim accordingly.

If you want to dive in, you can make it look cool by the way, then stand right at the edge until all swimmers have passed you then dive away.

So you now have a vague idea of the rules, what if the guy in your lane seems like he is from Mars? My suggestion is to continue swimming with the proper etiquette for about 200m, passing if and when you have to. Typically they are newer swimmers and setting a good example will help them along.

That being said, some won’t catch on, so intervention is required. Next time you are both at the wall, kindly mention to them about the etiquette, give them a tip, and start your next interval.

If they continue to make it tough for you to swim, then move to another lane and forget about it. Not worth ruining your day over.

Question: I missed some last time, did I miss any this time?