Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I love my quads....

Hill training tonight! Just for fun! 5 repeats, each repeats is 2.3 km, 137 m elevation. In total that will be:

  • 11.5 km uphill (11.5 km effort)
  • 685 m ascent

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fight of Flight Reaction: An experiment

This post is, again, about my triathlon training...but with a twist! For starters, I almost got hit by a car today, well....I almost crashed in a car. Not my fault I swear! You see, Victoria is full of very nice people and many of these nice people happen to be elderly. Age and vision (not talking "night vision" here)go in opposed directions...we could say they are negatively correlated.

Anyways...I am coming down beach drive near the Oak Bay Marina, nothing in front of me. I am going at about 35km/h. No rain...just a nice day. So here I come and this boat-of-a-car (a blue Caprice, I think) turns to get in the Oak Bay Marina parking lot. I just tell myself: Wait...I am here dude....he does not see me, and still proceeds to the parking lot...slowly. I hit the breaks hard....he is still moving. "I am going to crash in this stupid car" I tell myself and everything seems to be in slow motion. Finally, when I am 2-3 meters from the car, he suddenly stops, looking at me. I still hit the breaks and my back wheel start skidding on the pavement....nowhere to go but on the sidewalk. So I did...barely! It is quite amazing how we get so lucid in times like these. Everything seems to slow down and small details seem to be so easy to perceive.

After a few bad words I stop on the side of the road, my heart is racing. That was a close call!!!! That would have been a bad, bad crash!

I was wearing my Polar Heart Rate monitor and looked at the time on my watch. I thought that, for sure, the Polar would have picked that up...and it did! On the picture below, the red line is my heart rate, the bottom brown section is altitude. You can see (look at the arrows) that my heart rate adapts to the altitude but there is a point where it shoots up for no apparent reasons except for an adrenalin surge in my veins.

After a 83km ride, I planned a run. A nice, but difficult, run around Cedar Hill golf course. Guess what? I almost got hit by a golf has to be my lucky day! I plan on checking the lotto 6/49 numbers tonight....a few days ago we bought a ticket!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Getting there...

The New Balance Half Ironman is just weeks away and I am starting to feel confident. I know it will be difficult and long, the longest race ever so far but I am really looking forwards to it. I went for a 104km bike ride yesterday and today I ran the sun! My legs were tired from yesterday's ride but not as much as I expected. In fact, I ran a very good 10km (Times Colonist 10k see also this blog post) after a long ride last month. I have a bit of stiffness in my calves and maybe in the quads but rolling on my foam tube should take care of that.

I am in some sort of dilemma right now....I would like to run the Oak Bay Half Marathon next sunday (May 24th) but I am not sure for two reasons:

  1. I haven't run more than 16 km in the last few months...and only once (today)
  2. I certainly do not want to get injured before my big day on June 21 (Elk Lake half Ironman)
On the other hand, it could be a good training session at tempo pace and I am in very good shape right now...I could get a PR.....humm...what to do?

Friday, May 15, 2009


The picture above is from an old ad but it seems to me that many naturopaths are actually saying the exact same thing with a revamped version of the mustard bath. There is also a change in the vocabulary: poisons have become toxins.....toxins...yeah right! The original article with all these funny ads can be found HERE

Star Trek Technology Today

I went to see Star Trek a few days ago.....I am not a "Trekkie" but I really enjoyed it! Here's a website detailing the technology Star Trek writers envisionned years Warp Speed!

Once again!

Once again, animals proving they are more than "just animals".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lower cadence on bike and running performance

I found this interesting blog post and, after my first triathlon, this makes total sense.

One of the most interesting aspects of the review related to the chosen pedal cadence and how this affected subsequent running performance. It is well documented that lower cadences lead to lower oxygen usage and studies have shown that pedalling at lower cadences in the final stages of a triathlon cycle section can improve subsequent running performances. Vercruyssen et al (2002) showed that running performance was significantly improved by adopting a slower cadence for the final 10 minutes of the cycle leg (74 RPM) compared to a self chosen cadence of 94 RPM and a high cadence of 109 RPM.

Now, what I need to do is find a way to make sure my legs adapt to the swim tto bike part. Someone from Island Triathlon suggested high cadence to pump blood in the legs. That makes sense as well. I found this transition very difficult and, in my race report, I refered to a Jell-O feeling. About five minutes later my legs felt better. I am learning a lot...that's for sure!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sooke Spring Triathlon - Race Report! it is! Am I happy with my performance? YES! Could I have done better.....YES! Overall in my age group (40-44) I ended up being 9 out of 16 finishing triathletes...once again I stand in the middle of the pack. Not the fastest but certainly not the slowest either. So how did it go? Read on! Results posted HERE

Swim - 700m
This is my weak sport, I never really swam before and I had to learn everything right from the most basic things. Yes, I still drop my elbows...

When I registered I had to predict my time and I wrote 15 minutes. I based this time from a 1500m time trial done at Commonwealth Pool a few weeks ago. I calculated 1500m in 31 minutes....approximately 2 minutes per 100m. So 700m in about 15 minutes....give and take a few seconds per 100m.

I was assigned the fourth heat (out of 11). The fourth heat really meant the 4 slowest heat. I had a white swim cap which meant I was the leader of my lane (4 people per lane). 9h35 AM, GO! I start and try not to let the adrenalin burn me down, I try to pace myself but I quickly find out that I can sustain the pace, I breathe every second stroke and I quickly create a gap between myself and the other ones in my lane. I am pleasantly surprized! 28 laps later in a 25m pool I get out...I am the first out of the water for my heat. YESSS!!! I am happy and quickly get out of the building trying hard not to slip on the wet floor. Outside on the cement I start running and take time to smile at my wife....a smile for the camera!

My swim time is officially 13 minutes 6 seconds or 1 minute 52 seconds per 100m. I am happy!

T1 (Transition 1 - Swim to Bike)
This was NOT good! Not at all!!!!!

As I run in the transition zone I try to find my bike...where is it? There are bikes all over the place! When I get to my bike, I put my sleeves on, my socks on, my shoes on, my jacket on (which was actually not necessary) and, mistake, my bike pump in my back pocket. I put my helmet on, grab my bike and start to run. My pump falls out of my pocket, I turn back and put it right back in my pocket and re-start running...the pump falls AGAIN! I spot coach Clint and I imagine him rolling his eyes...I feel stupid! I get on my bike, put the pump back in my pocket and swear that if it falls again...I will not get it back. My time in transition? Too long: 3 minutes 36 seconds! Just to show how bad that transition was, it is good for you to know that the top athletes spent less than 30 seconds in T1. In my defense, I have to mention that I do not have triathlon bike shoes (they can be worn without socks).

BIKE Leg - 20km
I am very happy with this. 40 minutes 26 seconds for a hilly, 20 km ride (30km/h). I found the first minutes quite painful, my legs felt like Jell-O and my heart rate is right up there (adrenalin!!!). I have lactic acid build-up and I wonder how I am going to do this. I keep going and try my best, first hill...downhill.....second hill! I try to catch up to the cyclist right in front of me, which I did quite easily. I gain confidence and it seems like my legs adapted quite well. I start to hammer it! I surprise myself with speeds of 35km+ on false flats (uphill). I try to go as fast as I can on downhills sections. It's going well until I get to "The Wall"....I see people cheering .and I just want to impress them. I go as hard as I can, I am almost there!

T2 (Transition 2 - Bike to Run)

Guess what...? The stupid pump fell again...right in front of coach Clint! Arrrgh! I hang my bike, remove my shoes, put my runners on, remove my jacket and then my helmet...always remove your helmet last! I take a sip of Gatorade and off I go!

Run - 5km
It's uphill....all the way. My legs do not feel like Jell-O this time...they feel like freakin' cement! It hurts but I am confident in my running abilities and I actually felt pretty good despite very high heart rates. I cross people now going downhill and cheer for them...after all, they suffer just as much as I do! My run time is not good (but it includes T2): 26 minutes 21 seconds.


I am happy I did this very first triathlon. I learned a lot and I had a blast! Next time I will get CO2 cartriges and save precious seconds and, most importantly...not look like an idiot trying to keep my pump in my pocket! Oh yeah...before I forget....Island Triathlon did VERY well....we are certainly NOT a "farm team" as suggested by a Human Powered Racing Team athlete....By the way, we did better than he did!

Back to training!!!!

Sunday's race went well but I want my next race, the New Balance Half Iron, to go even better. It will be a much longer race and I will need to really pace myself there. In the meantime I need to get in perfect shape for this important race. Last night we ran around Elk/Beaver Lake. This is one of my favorite spots here. So beautiful, such nice trails. We had to go for 3 minutes at 10k pace with 1 minute recovery jog in between. That was a hard workout, very demanding but a lot of fun. I am happy I got to run with Lysanne. She is a very good athlete and runnign with someone makes me running harder.!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

That sucks!!!