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Friday Stray Thoughts

August 2, 2013 1 comment

Friday

Image by Glenn McCoy

Happy Friday everyone!  For those of you looking for a little light lunchtime internet distraction to tide you over until quitting time, here’s a Few Stray Thoughts for your Friday Afternoon

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My good friend/personal trainer forwarded to me this article from Runner’s World Magazine, highlighting a study that found benefits to running economy for those who do high weight/low rep resistance training.

I don’t think resistance training being of value to endurance athletes is news to, well, anybody probably.  I, for one, HATE weight training.  Bleh.  So boring.  As a triathlete, I want to run and bike and swim – because those are fun (that’s why I race).  I know resistance training will help make me faster (and healthier), so that’s why I do it.  But because I don’t enjoy it, I’m often guilty of doing many reps of a lesser weight – because if I’m not enjoying something, it’s easy to cop out.  But I guess if I have to be in the weight room I’d rather get more bang for my buck – and hey, doing less reps probably means I get it over with faster, amiright?

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brickThis one from our good friend Twitter…

This article posits that – for long course triathlon (which I don’t do today… though I’m certainly contemplating a Half Iron in the next few years) more so than short course races – the value of brick workouts may be overrated.

Well, that’s stirring the pot of conventional logic a bit… it’s an interesting argument, which I’m not sure if I’m in agreement with or not.  And maybe that’s because I only do short distance racing at this point.  From our earliest days of triathlon training, we’re taught to do our brick sessions.  Keep doing bricks – they suck, but they’re good for you!  It’s like eating your brussels sprouts!  But maybe there is an argument to doing more of your run training on fresh legs, when you can practice good form and pacing and really running your best, as opposed to run training on dead legs.  It sure would make training schedules a lot easier…

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Finally, here’s one from Canadian Running magazine outlining 10 common rookie mistakes beginner runners should avoid.

Think back to your early days of running.  How many of these were you guilty of?  #1, #6, and #10 were my vices.

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Have a great weekend everybody!

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Race Recap: Binbrook Triathlon

June 9, 2013 6 comments

BinbrookImage from the Multisport Canada Facebook Page

I’m really not sure how to feel about yesterday’s Binbrook Triathlon.  I’m still processing, but in a nutshell, here’s a few quick thoughts:

  • I actually did okay.  And okay isn’t bad.  And while I didn’t meet most of the time goals I’d set for myself, I still had PB times.  So I should be happy.
  • Even with PB times, I think I could have done better.  It felt, while I was racing, like I should have been doing better.  It felt like a fight.
  • I was really proud of myself for tackling longer distances than I had before.  I knew the distances were long – it felt long.  It was a mental grind to stay strong through the whole distance.  But I stayed strong, and I’m proud of that.

The morning started off well.  My alarm went off at 5:40am.  I had my bike ready and my gear bag packed the night before, so it was a quick morning and I was on the road by 6:00am.  I had no cheering squad with me this race – no paparazzi (and thus, no pictures for this post… sorry).  I was at the race site by 7:15 – an hour to go before the race gun.  Perfect.

I felt great pre-race.  Even though I slept little the night before (I always find it hard to shut my mind off to sleep the night before a big event), I felt rested and awake – well fueled, and ready to go.  Got through body marking quickly, and went to pick up my rented wetsuit.  Yes, I rented a wetsuit.

Turns out, the race was “wetsuit optional” in the end, but I was glad I had it.  The water was COLD – I don’t recall ever being in colder water before.  And while classified as wetsuit optional, there wasn’t a single racer without a wetsuit.  Did I mention it was cold?  It was cold.

I have never worn a wetsuit before.  I decided it was prudent to zip myself in and get into the water early for a light warm up swim.  Very glad I did.  The feel of neoprene around my shoulders and down to my ankles was really different.  But after a light warmup I decided this was something I could work with.

The Swim (750m OW)

Goal: 0:14:00.  Result: 0:16:32

The gun went off, and off we went.  From standing in waist high cold water – shivering – to full race pace in mere seconds.  And suddenly I couldn’t breathe.  Lesson #1: no more “light” swim warmups.  I hadn’t gone full effort in my wetsuit.  As soon as I did, and tried to breathe, I felt the constriction in my chest.  Normally I’m a bilateral breather.  Not in this race.  Quick rapid strokes.  Shallow frequent breaths.  By the first turn I started to feel comfortable enough to switch breathing sides.  By the second turn I got a little bilateral breathing going.  By then I had lost the feet of the swimmers in front of me and sighting became more of a requirement – and more of an issue.  Lesson #2: Pool swimming is nice, but I need to train more in Open Water.  I need to get more comfortable with a powerful bilateral breath stroke while still sighting.  I erred too much on the side of sighting, and couldn’t get into a strong rhythm.

Overall the swim was okay, given how cold the water was, and how unfamiliar the wetsuit was.  These are things I can get used to before my next race.

The Bike (30km)

Goal: 1:05:00.  Result: 1:02:53 🙂

As soon as I stood up at the edge of the lake to run out of the water I had a problem.  I was hit by a crazy wave of nausea.  Where the hell did that come from.  I unzipped my wetsuit and flipped it down to my waist as soon as I was on land.  Didn’t help.  I walked most of the distance from shore to transition.  Didn’t help.  I sat on the ground through most of T1.  Didn’t help.  I couldn’t shake it.  I got on my bike and peddled the first dozen strokes thinking to myself “I wonder how many triathlon races have someone throwing up in the bushes on the bike leg?  I wonder if that will be me?”  It wasn’t, but it was close.

After about the 1st km things started to settle down a bit – enough that I could peddle stronger and get into my larger cog ring, but not enough that I could ingest anything.  I tried to nibble at my Cliff Bar – that didn’t go well.  I tried to sip water – even that didn’t go well.  I couldn’t take anything in.  Lesson #3: Need to reassess my fueling strategy.  What I can eat and drink on a long bike ride might be different from what I can take in after a swim.  I actually had a strong bike ride… for the final 29km at least.  I made my goal time, which I was really happy with, but I didn’t take in any calories or fluids, which left me in real trouble on…

The Run (7.5km)

Goal: 0:50:00.  Result: 0:56:43

Oh geez… this wasn’t pretty.  I had nothing in the tank to start the run and it quickly took it’s toll.  I think I took a walk break almost every 500m – WAY too often.  I thought at first it was just jelly legs off the bike (Lesson #4: Need to do a lot more brick sessions!), but I couldn’t ever settle in.  I kept telling myself “You’re in a fight.  Time to fight harder than you ever have before”.  The last 2km were a little stronger than the rest.  I found a little something left at the end to push through the finish.  It’s always good to finish strong, but I really wish I could have run better.  Lesson #5: Keep running.  Run every other day.  Run longer.  Keep doing fartleks.  Keep doing bricks.  I can’t ever do enough run training.

Overall my race time was 2:20:36.8.  24/25 in my age group.  Slower than my goal, but only by about 6 minutes.  And given a few challenges I had to work through, I’m happy with the results.  But, at the same time, it’s a reminder of how much work I have to do to get to where I want to be.

Today I’m putting my feet up and recovering.  I ache like hell!  Particularly my arms – I’m surprised at how much my arms hurt this morning.  Lesson #6: Keep going to the gym.  Keep getting stronger.  And that’s what I’m going to do, starting tomorrow.  Tomorrow I hit the gym.  Tomorrow I get out to RunClub.  Tomorrow I get back to work – to getting stronger, and faster.  I can’t wait!

Next up on the race schedule is the Tour de Waterloo, a 70km bike race back in my home town that I’m really looking forward to.  And it’s only 14 days away.  Time to get to work!

~DO’G

 

Friday Stray Thoughts

April 5, 2013 2 comments

FridayImage by Glenn McCoy

Happy Friday everyone!  For those of you looking for a little light internet distraction to tide you over until quitting time, here’s a Few Stray Thoughts for your Friday Afternoon

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Can't beat the real thing!

Can’t beat the real thing!

Coke continues to be my single biggest food vice.  I tried to go cold turkey this week to cut it out… made it half way through Day #5 before I caved.   I’ve tried this before… it never seems to work…

I can’t stand the taste or smell of coffee (the first job I ever had was washing out coffee pots in a cafeteria – since I only worked part time, the pots were often well overdue to be washed), so coke is my only source of caffeine.  I definitely have a caffeine addiction, which is for sure a real thing.

It’s not so much that I need to kick the caffeine habit – but the amount of sugar in a can of coke is crazy!  There are 160 bad sugar calories in a can of coke (Note: When I was in the states a few months ago I had a can there and noticed there are only 140 calories in an American can of coke.  Why does our version have to have an extra 20 calories of sugar?!)

I’m not giving up just because Cold Turkey didn’t work the first time – I think the new strategy is going to be reducing to 1 can every 2-3 days (better than the 2 cans per day I was drinking at one point).  Let’s see if I can do that for a few weeks and then go from there.

Why do you have to taste so good, Coca-Cola?!? [shakes fist angrily]

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Layin' Brick

Layin’ Brick

Tonight after work I’m doing my first brick session of the year.  I’m surprisingly excited about it – who the hell gets excited about doing a brick session?!  Apparently I do.  I had a chat about this with my wife the other day – how excited I am to be training and challenging myself.  She reminded me (very adamantly) of how much of a P.I.T.A. I was to live with a few years back when I felt like I couldn’t do it – “I can’t run 5k”, or “I can’t bike for a whole hour”.  It’s nice to look back and remember where we started, and how far we’ve come (and a special Thank You to my wife for putting up with my whiny crap in those early days).

Tonight’s Brick is brought to you by the letter I… for Indoors.  That’s because winter refuses to go away up here.  There’s still snow, and it’s still freakin’ cold.  And I’m a baby and don’t feel like bringing my bike outside until it warms up a bit more.  Not nearly as exciting as a brick outside, but I’m still looking forward to it.

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http://www.zazzle.ca/my_first_triathlon_2011_christmas_ornaments-175733636304575133

www.zazzle.ca

Finally, a shout out to one of my fellow bloggers Chatter who is about to run his first Triathlon this weekend!  You obviously live in a warmer climate than I do!  Have fun, race fast, celebrate well!  Can’t wait to read about it after.

Have a great weekend everybody!

– DO’G

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