Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Subaru Triathlon Series’

Race Recap: Niagara Try-a-Tri

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

10430431_10154431489365319_8659819653427283812_nI have no idea why I’m making a peace sign… or why I’m so hunched over…

Yesterday I raced in the Niagara Try-a-Tri race, my first Try-a-tri distance triathlon.  It was a lot of fun – a great day (albeit stinkin’ hot), great friends, great venue.  Yep, I would do that again in a heartbeat.

I had a chance to race with two good buddies of mine – we go all the way back to high school, but live in different cities now, so the reunion was a nice incentive too.  Plus, they’ve now joined the ranks of triathlon finishers – which is amazing!  Here’s hoping to get them out to many more races going forward!  We also had a nice cheering section of family and friends.  What a great day!

How did my race go?

The Swim – 375m – 7:09

The water was about as warm as could be while still being “wetsuit encouraged”.  Compared to other swims I’ve done recently, it was like swimming in a bath.  The sun was shining, the water was calm, and relative to Sprint and Olympic distance swims, 375m wasn’t that far at all.  I positioned myself in the front row middle of the starting pack and went all out.  This was about as smooth sailing as it could have been.

The Bike – 10km – 21:43

The bike felt great.  It was pretty flat, uneventful, and I was able to tuck into the aero bars and giv’er.  On the return half, there was a strong headwind I wasn’t expecting, but nothing unmanageable.  It felt really good, but I’m not sure the time reflects that.  I was hoping for closer to 20 minutes.  Was I being lazy?  Was I not in the best gear?  I’m a bit perplexed here – although a perfectly respectable time for my current fitness level, I thought I could do a bit better.  Oh well – that’s what the off season is for

The Run – 2.5km – 18:14

God I suck at running.  Seriously!  I was hoping to run closer to 15 minutes, perhaps optimistically.  I’m not at all happy with this result (but I’m also really not surprised).  My legs felt good off the bike, but my HR was way out of control.  Which is the exact same thing I felt in my last race 2 weeks ago.  My fitness has fallen off a bit as the summer has gone on (and I haven’t kept up with my training), and possibly wasn’t where I wanted it to be to start with.  Let this be motivation for me this off season – next summer I want to run better off the bike!

Overall 50:31.9.  I was predicting I would finish between 45 and 50 minutes – so a bit slow, but not terribly.  Considering this was a last minute entry for a race to join up with some old friends, my time wasn’t so slow such as to take away from a great day.

The Recovery

The 1:00pm race start time has really made a mess of my recovery.  I’ve become very used to the morning race, afternoon nap routine.  The afternoon race, evening nap routine doesn’t work nearly as well (which leads to a shitty night’s sleep, and a very tired Dave the next day).  I’m a lot more tired today than I was expecting after a try-a-tri distance race, on which I blame this crappy, short, race recap post.  It’s going to be nap time as soon as this working day is done!

How was your weekend?  Any good races or training runs?

Friday Stray Thoughts

July 25, 2014 2 comments

FridayImage 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

– – – – –SubaruMy third – and likely final – triathlon of the season goes this weekend.  This time, my first ever Try-a-Tri distance race at the Subaru Grimsby/Niagara Race (they can’t seem to get their marketing lined up.  Is it Grimsby?  Is it Niagara?  Let’s pick one folks!)

Anyway… I’m looking forward to this one:

1) It’s a FLAT course – should be fast, and fun

2) It’s an all-out intensity effort, as opposed to an endurance effort (which is new to me)

3) It’ll be done in under an hour

4) I’m racing with a couple buddies from high school who are tackling their first tri.  Really excited to see them pull this off.  And for the celebratory beer after 🙂

What’s breaking my brain is the 1:15pm race start time.  I’ve not done an afternoon race before.  I’m not sure how to handle this.  I have a morning routine – when to wake up, what (and when) to eat.  What do I do now – do I sleep in?  Do I eat a big breakfast?  Do I eat lunch?  Do I go for a walk or a jog in the morning?  Do I drive down early, or hang around at home in the morning?  I’m being a little OCD here, but my routine is broken and I’m not sure what to do about it!

Anyone out there with any advice for an afternoon race start?

– – – – –

broken bike

I may have had a little crash last week (about 10 days ago), while bike commuting to work.  A bit scary at the time – fortunately it amounted to just scrapes and bruises in the long run.  All things heal.  My commuter bike, however, needed several hundred dollars worth of repair work.  Yikes!

(no, that’s not my bike above – that’s just a stock picture.  I’m not on the ball enough to have taken a pic of my own bike)

Thus, I haven’t done an ounce of biking since my last race 2 weeks ago (well, if you don’t count the ~3km from my house to the crash site that one morning… which I don’t).  The cuts and scrapes on my arms and legs have kept me out of the pool.  I did manage one training run this week – a quick slow treadmill 5k at the gym on Monday that felt TERRIBLE!  Seriously – it’s a treadmill; I know exactly what speed I’m running at, and how long I’ve run it for.  I KNOW my numbers used to be better than that.  Where has all my fitness gone this summer?!?  Apparently racing every other week, and not doing much of any training in between, does not constitute maintaining the fitness you built in the off-season.  Whoops.

– – – – –

weight-loss-scale

The nice thing about that one trip to the treadmill (and the gym in general) is that I got to step on the scale there.  I am losing fitness, for sure, but I’m also losing weight (proof, I’ll assume, that weight loss is much more driven by diet then by exercise).  My weight is at an all-time post-highschool low, and dropping.  Which is good.  Which is really good.

Except it coincides with lost fitness, and I don’t like that.  It probably suggests I’m losing more muscle mass than I should.  I don’t like that either.  Which isn’t to say that I’m not totally ecstatic about losing weight, and really happy that my eating habits (in general) are finally supporting this rather than hindering it.  But it also tells me I really need to get my ass back in the gym and do some strength work.  I find it very easy to remember to get out for a run, or a bike ride.  Well, relatively easy, at least.  Those are directly relate to my training goals (plus, going faster is fun)!  I need to remember to continue to hit the weights.  I think that’s going to be this off season’s #1 priority.

Yes – it’s mid July, and I’m talking off season already…

– – – – –

Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!

Race Season is Fast Approaching!

June 16, 2014 2 comments

Only 5 more sleeps until my first triathlon of 2014.  I’m surprisingly nervous.  It’s not like this is my first time at the rodeo – I’ve got a half dozen triathlons under my belt from prior summers.  It’s not even like this is my first time at this distance – I did my first Olympic distance race last September.

But it’s my first tri of this season – after a long (very long!) winter, I can’t help but feel a bit rusty.  Am I ready?  I had 8 months during the off season to train, did I train enough?  I certainly wasn’t perfectly focused, was I focused enough?  That run doesn’t feel any easier than it did last fall.  But my times are getting faster, even if I huff and puff just as much.

easier faster

Or maybe it’s not nervous?  Maybe it’s antsy?  Maybe it’s 8 long months of telling myself that all those cold mornings at the gym, all those hill sprints (or, the one or two that I did at least), all those long runs were for something – were building towards something.  And that something is finally here.  And even if this isn’t my “A” race of the season, it’s a race.  It’s a chance to get out and do what I love.  This is what I’ve been working for!  Maybe it’s excitement!  Race season is finally here!!

…So here I go it’s my shot.
Feet, fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got…

Ready.  To.  Go!

That’s my pre-race Jam!  What’s yours?

2014 Goals

March 13, 2014 2 comments
I can laugh about it, at least...

I can laugh about it, at least…

image from *clean* funny pics

Today I’m working from home – for the 3rd day this week – with a head cold.   I like to joke about the ‘Man Cold‘, but in truth I try hard to keep being a functioning adult as much as I can (though my wife may have some comments to make on that front).  I’m working from home to keep the germs out of the office, and so I can make myself hot beverages more readily, but I’m still working!  Life doesn’t stop because of a head cold…

… except for training.  When my head feels like it’s in a vice, and all breathing is through my mouth, I have zero interest in getting on a treadmill.  Does that make me a lazy triathlete?  Maybe.  Do I care?  Right now, not really.  I’ll get back to training as soon as I can breathe again!

What I can do in the interim is finally start to put some thought towards my 2014 goals.  Better late than never, right?

TTF

2014 is going to be divided in two halves for me.  My “A” race this year is the Toronto Triathlon Festival (Olympic Distance) on Sunday July 13th.  So my year is going to be focused on getting ready for this race, and then staying healthy and fit through the back half of the year.

The Front Half

The Toronto Triathlon Festival, from today, is 17.5 weeks away.  In previous years, my goal has been to simply ‘finish’ races, and hopefully to PB (though nearly each race was a first at the respective race distance, this was almost always a guarantee).  This year, I want some specific goals to shoot for:

  • I want to finish sub 3:05:00.  That’s about a 10% improvement over my Olympic Distance PB of 3:24:44
  • I want to run the 10k leg of the race in sub 1:05:00 off the bike.  My PB straight 10k time is 1:02:41, so I can do this.  But I struggled running off the bike last year, with the run in my Olympic race taking 1:18:19.  If I can shave 13 minutes off my run, I’m well on my way to a sub 3:05:00 time.

How will I get there?  In these next 17+ weeks, I want to:

weight-loss-scale Drop 15lbs.  My current weight is 234lbs.  By race day, I want my race weight to be under 220lbs.  That’s less than 1lb/week to lose.  I can do this.  Through consistent training, and a better focus on eating healthy, whole, and natural foods, this should be manageable.  Why? Because I’ll be able to run and bike a hell of a lot faster with 15lbs less fat weighing me down.  Plus, last year my wetsuit was a tight fit, and I sure as hell am not buying a new one!

WaterlooMarathon Race a half marathon.  My run is by far the weak leg of my race.  Last year I did a spring half marathon and training for it helped me focus my training volume on the run, which I think helped my running comfort and endurance.  So I’m going to try that again this year.  I’m looking at the Waterloo Half Marathon on Sunday April 27th.  That’s 6.5 weeks away – enough time that I can stretch out my long runs to get ready.  I’m not setting a finishing time goal for this – though a PB would be nice (and anything faster than 2:38:00 would be sufficient, so the odds are good).  I’m running this because I want to focus on running a volume of miles over the first segment of my training, and having a race on the calendar will help keep me motivated.  Plus, race day is fun!  Also, my wife wants to run too, and any opportunity to run a race with her is always worth it!

Subaru Race a test race.  I’m planning to race the Subaru Triathlon Guelph Lake I (Olympic Distance) race on Saturday June 21st.  That’s 3 weeks prior to my ‘A’ race, and 14.5 weeks from today.  This should give me good feedback before my ‘A’ race.  Plus, the Subaru Triathlon Series is a series I’ve been meaning to try for a few years now, and having grown up in Guelph this is going to feel real comfortable.

I’ve spent some time this week – while stuffed up and not training – realigning my training plan towards these goals.  I’ve split the next 17+ weeks into three phases:

The Build Phase – Really this is just keep on doing what I’ve been doing all winter: Base training.  This phase is all about volume.  I’m sticking primarily to the training plan I have been using, but making some modifications based on what I’ve learned so far this winter works for me: i) Fridays are now rest days.  It is sacred!  ii) Monday mornings are now off mornings.  Not every day needs to be a 2-a-day, and the less times I have to fight my alarm the better!  iii) Monday and Wednesday afternoons are going to be easy bricks.  The goal is still about volume, not about hard training.  But I need to account for the new days off somewhere.

The Build Phase will last for the first 6+ weeks until the Waterloo Half Marathon, then we get into…

The Intensity Phase – The next 8 weeks are my intensity phase.  Here, the volume drops back a bit, and we replace it with more bricks, speed work, and intervals.  Workouts are more intense, but not as long.  The emphasis on running in the first phase (leading up to the half marathon) starts to balance out with time biking and swimming.  Monday mornings and Fridays are no longer sacred, but replaced with easy recovery swim and ride.

The Intensity Phase will last for 7 weeks, plus a taper week leading up to the Guelph Lake Olympic Triathlon, then we get into…

The Third Phase (I really need a catchy name for this one.  Thoughts?) – 3 weeks between the Guelph Lake Olympic Triathlon and my ‘A’ Race, the Toronto Triathlon Festival.  3 weeks to focus on anything that I wasn’t happy with, make any adjustments to expectations, and get focused and ready for my ‘A’ race.

The Back Half

I don’t have a definite plan for the second half of 2014 as of yet.  While I’d like to get another race in at some point, for the fun of racing as much as anything, I’m still being flexible about it.  My wife and I are tentatively planning a 2 week vacation in August.  I would bring my running shoes, but not my bike or my wetsuit.  So I’m still weighing the pros and cons of an early September race (possibly the Wasaga Beach Triathlon) or maybe even an early August destination race (possibly the Rev3 Morgantown).  If I don’t race though, I need to look for another mechanism to help me keep focus on training and healthy eating.  I’m coming to realize how easily I slip into old bad habits when I don’t have a race on the horizon.

Now I just need for this head cold to go away.  It’s time to get back to work – there’s a lot to do over the next 17 weeks!!

Summer is coming!

Week In Review

February 2, 2014 1 comment

badtriThis may or may not end up being a recurring feature on this blog, largely dependent on how busy lazy I am on Sundays.  We’ll give it a try for a bit and see how it goes.

Looking Back:

WIR 140202

I love recovery week.  I slept in a few mornings, I went to the gym a few one morning.  It was nice to listen to my body instead of my training plan – push when I felt it, and rest when I didn’t.  The lion’s share of the work this week came from a brick yesterday – 60 minute bike ride followed by a 50 minute run (all indoors – it snowed 20cm yesterday thank you very much).  It was great to do a brick like that – the first I’ve done since the summer.  As my wife told me after: I’m going to be in much better shape this triathlon season than I ever have been before!

January’s now in the books.  I’m really happy with how this month went.  Without a doubt, the most consistent training month I’ve ever had!

MIR 1401

MIR 1401 weekly

Looking Forward:

I’ve decided this year to follow a modified version of a 1/2 Iron training plan I found on trinewbies.com – modified, for the most part, because I’m not training for a 1/2 Iron, but rather primarily Olympic distance races (with a Sprint or two likely to also happen this summer).  In short, where the training plan calls for 20 miles of biking, for example, I’m doing 20kms.  It’s an easy way to keep the structure of the plan, while dialing back to roughly 60% of the volume.

I’m also making a few other adjustments – incorporating some bike and run workouts from One Hour Workouts, a wonderful little training guide my Mother in Law gave me at Christmas; moving a few sessions around to better fit my personal schedule.

Throughout January I repeated week one 4 times over, focusing on consistency and getting used to the every day (and often twice a day) schedule.  Now that it’s February, it’s time to start progressing through the plan.  Ironically enough (and I didn’t realize this until just now), the plan is for 18 weeks leading up to the race day, and this coming week is 19 weeks out from the Toronto Triathlon Festival, which is my A race this year.  How convenient is that?!?

Edit: Turns out I’m 19 weeks out from the Muskoka 5150 that I hope to race in June, but haven’t yet signed up for.  Not from the Toronto Triathlon Festival, which is another 3 weeks after that.  In case that’s important…

So… Week 1 this week, for keeps this time!

56 Things I Think I Think:

  1. I think I’d forgotten how much I love swimming.  I’m a half decent swimmer and cyclist, but a lousy runner.  So I spend a lot of my training effort running.  In fact, in 2013 I almost didn’t swim train at all (a total of 25.3km swam in all of 2013 – including races).  But the more I swim now, the more I remember how much I enjoy swimming.  I’m looking forward to it being a bigger part of my 2014 training.
  2. I think I need to remember that riding a bike machine is different from being on a stair master.  I try to remember to spin full circles, but when I lose focus for a few minutes I fall back into mashing the downward stroke like we were taught to ride bikes as kids.  It’s amazing how my power goes up, while my perceived effort goes down when I remember to spin full circles.  A very simple thing, but one I need to keep working on.
  3. I think Wiarton Willie predicted 6 more weeks of winter.  I think Wiarton Willie’s historical success rate is close to 37% (which is lousy for what is essentially a coin flip).  I think I don’t really believe in this crap anyway.  I think this is one of the lousiest, coldest, snowiest winters in a long time and I’m so ready for it to be done!
  4. I think there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of organizing a race.  It takes a lot of volunteers, and a lot of planning.  I’ve done volunteer coordination before, but never for a race event.  I think I’m learning a lot, and my brain is kinda pooped.
  5. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  Go Seahawks!!  Though I think my cat wishes the Saints were in it…OlwynSaints
  6. I think this is my 200th post on this blog.  I think that should mean something, but I’m really not sure what.  Thanks to everyone who’s read so many of my random ramblings, and for all the comments and conversations!

That’s my week in a nutshell.  How was your week?

%d bloggers like this: