triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “training

Speedy Gonzalez and the Walk of Shame



Swim – 1:30:00 (p)- 2:15:00 (a) – 6500m
Bike – 2:45:00 (p) – 2:45:45 (a) – 74.50km
Run – 2:00:00 (p) – 1:15:34 (a) – 15.77km

Total – 6:15:00 (p) – 6:16:29 (a)

Back to training after a full week off can be quite a drag, but all-in-all it went pretty good. Friday’s swim was a decent set; by decent I mean a killer. It went like something like this.

Warm Up
400m swim/200m kick/400m drill

Main Set
5x400m swim on 7:00
alternate swim/pull/pull with paddles

Warm Down
100m kick on back
100m swim

With Speedy Gonzalez leading the lane we hit the wall around 5:40 for each set sending most of us (including me) into a drone state by the 4th interval. The set was actually supposed to be 6x400m but both time and enthusiasm ran out.

I skipped my Saturday morning run, sorry, but I have a couple of good reasons. First I have been working on a slight injury to my left foot; nothing that warrants a trip to the physio but I didn’t want to make it worse.

Second I volunteered at the Chinook Triathlon festival; a local race that I did last year and had so much fun at I needed to be part of it again. As I am in the beginning of my build phase from Ironman 70.3 Calgary I couldn’t justify racing at this point, so I volunteered instead. If you haven’t volunteered at a race yet, you need to do it. It was an absolute blast.

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That Was a Cold Race
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 50

I titled this post after the ever popular phrase “walk of shame” for good reason. Tuesday I headed out for my first ride of the season on Fred, my Cervelo P3C. It was cold and I was glad to have my new fleece jersey from Mojo Cycle in San Francisco on.

As I descended into the river valley on my way home the air became noticeably cooler, so I opted to take a route that takes me through the community avoiding not only the valley, but the steep climb out of it.

I came around the corner and I flatted. Now never a problem, I grabbed my spare tube and CO2, and went along changing it. Success. As I hoped on, pedaled for, oh maybe 3m, I hear another hiss. Karma.

Guess I am walking home with my bike on my shoulder. At least I was only 4k from the house.

Question: Ever made the ‘walk of shame?” Do you carry more than one tube and CO2?


I’m Hungry

and tired. Did I mention that I am hungry?


Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 2:15:00 (a) – 6500m
Bike – 4:30:00 (p) – 4:28:29 (a) – 150.03km
Run – 2:30:00 (p) – 2:34:18 (a) – 31.02km

Total – 9:15:00 (p) – 9:17:47 (a)

Great numbers this week. I was able to hit all of my planned intervals and even survived a 2:30 EM on the trainer. I had planned on a great route for Saturday morning, but mother nature had other plans.

Ah, spring in Calgary.

Saturday’s ride called for Power Intervals, the workout looked like this:


Each PI was at 310W and each recovery at 180W. Let me tell you, that second hour went by pretty fast though it was hard to keep my legs turning for the last 30.

With my volume ramping up over the past couple of weeks, I am noticing that I am hungry; all of the time. Most of my workouts are scheduled for early morning; I am usually out of bed by 0500 and on the bike or run by 0530 or in the pool by 0600. This doesn’t give me much time to eat prior.

When my workout was 60 minutes long I had no issues; I could finish strong and eat my recovery meal (eggs and sweet potato) before I hit the showers without my stomach giving me grief. Now that I rarely have a single workout, brick sessions anyone, I am looking for some workout energy that has some protein included. I reckon if I can figure this one out, then Ironman Calgary should be a breeze.

Tops Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Cops and Joggers
Calgary Police Half Marathon – Race Recap – Extended Version

The Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow, oddly enough in Belfast. The first of the three grand tours kicks off with my favorite kind of stage, the Team Time Trial. As a triathlete I love the TT and the pain associated with it. I reckon no one can get on a TT bike and pedal anything less than 100%; I know I can’t.

This years’ race will be pretty awesome as some of the big names have decided to forgo the Giro in favor for the Tour de France. With Nibali, Froome, and Contador all missing, the race is open for many contenders. My hopes lie with Hesjedal from Garmin-Sharp; a fellow Canadian and winner of the 2012 edition he has to be my favorite. Along side Dan Martin, who had a great spring season, I wonder how much damage Garmin could do.

Question: How do you increase your calorie intake during 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?

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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?

Coaching, Weather, and Breaststroke

Yeah buddy, week 2 down and feeling good.


Swim – 1:45:00 (p) – 2:00:00 (a) – 5200m
Bike – 3:00:00 (p) – 3:00:25 (a) – 92.92km
Run – 2:15:00 (p) – 2:20:00 (a) – 28.56km

Total – 7:00:00 (p) – 7:20:24 (a)

Things clicked this week, I am feeling efficient in the pool, strong on the bike, and fast on the run. There was no pesky conference calls, meetings, or other distraction keeping me from completing each session and intervals as planned.

Check one for the good guy.

Friday was a holiday, so I was on my own for a swim. I am still surprised that some people feel it is acceptable to swim head-up breaststroke in the fast lane. Come on, when I flip turn and swim 1:20/100m, maybe time to change lanes. Sorry, I digress.

It has been great weather here in Calgary over the past couple of weeks, and as luck would have it, I have had runs planned for the last 2 weekends. Problem you say? Well yeah.

I can run weekday mornings; getting out of the house around 0530 gets me home just as the girls are waking up. I can’t however, do the same on the bike. Most of my rides are on the weekend when I can get up a little later with the sun and head for a couple of hours. No problem though, a little later in the year and I should be able to squeeze in an hour in the morning while watching the sunrise. Not a bad way to start your day I reckon.

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Always Be Attacking
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 50

My daughter starts ball this week, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Somehow I got talked into being an assistant coach this year. By somehow I mean I volunteered.

I played ball competitively as kid making it pretty high in the league before I graduated high school. Now I didn’t have to turn away a college scholarship or anything, but I was pretty good.

I always decided to not coach my little one until she was 9 or 10, wanting her to enjoy playing for the first couple of years before I got my competitive hands in the mix.

Well, here I am. She is 7. I am coaching. Let’s see how well I do.

Question: Are you able to get an early morning weekday bike ride in? How?

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?

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?

Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time

Stairs. Oh so many stairs.


I mentioned earlier this week that I have had a couple of back-to-back less than stellar runs. I couldn’t figure out what was going on; am I losing run fitness as my volume hasn’t peaked over 2 hours yet, do I need some rest, or do I need to switch things up from the usual routes?

Many questions, little answers.

After rescheduling my run to Wednesday as I had a business lunch, I decided to to switch up my workout from the 45min EM that I had planned to a 45min EM with stairs. I was stoked that I had come up with an awesome idea that would get my run training back on track. So I headed out on the 10th street loop for a warm up (~3km) and made 5 ascents of the legendary McHugh Bluff stairs.

Now if you don’t live in Calgary, McHugh Bluff is just north of Downtown separating the Bow River Valley from Crescent Heights. 167 stairs later and you are at the top, gasping for air but enjoying the view.

The first 2 sets I hit each stair on the up and felt pretty good, not taking too much time before I headed down. The next 2 I doubled up and the last set was a challenge to get to the top without stopping. Partly because I was tired, but mostly because there was a couple of gals walking side-by-side. The last set I hit each stair and took a good break before turning around to head home.

Here is my GPS track.


A couple of notes:

1. The elevation tracking is a bit off. There is no big hill on the warm up lap, or it wouldn’t really be a warm up lap would it?
2. My heart rate doesn’t match with the elevation. I can assure you that I didn’t peak half way up each time.
3. I stopped a little early as my shoe lace came untied, again. I need to figure that out.

I think it worked, getting me out of my funk I mean. On the way home, I took the track as my warm up and noticed that I was striding pretty decent and my pace was right were I want it to be.

The part about it being a good idea, yeah, my calf’s and quad’s are saying this morning that I should have just stuck with the usual loop. The only way to navigate a flight of stairs right now is to go backwards.

No better way to loosen them up than a good old 45 minute distance swim hey?

Question: How do you get out of a training funk?