Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Epic Riding on the North Shore

After going out to drinks to celebrate the the Canadianization of one of my Aussie friends Kate and getting strange looks for drinking water and ordering two meals at Morrisey on Granville (This really confused the waitress with the statement - Are you still hungry?) I woke up on Saturday with a beautiful day of riding ahead of me.

Group rides are fun but sometimes I like to get out solo and just do my thing. No MP3 or anything and go ride. The purpose of this ride was the following;
  • Spend way more time in the saddle than I would in Ironman
  • Ride further than the 180km of Ironman
  • Climb more than the IMC course (6719 Feet)
So off I went departing kits and heading to Vancouver's north shore. Having read Meyrick Jones Blog the day before I was in search of a 8-9% road with plenty of switchbacks as part of my ride. Having no idea where this road was my plan was to ride north whenever it looked steep. First I rode to deep cove and did a couple little sojourns, one to the marina and one up another side street. Both were short sharp climbs but stopped after a few minutes.

So it was onto Seymour and the 7% average grade that it provides. My aim for climbing was to just stay in HR zones and not try anything special, from a climbing pace it is definitely less than my race pace but focus was making sure I conserved energy for the day ahead. I averaged about 12.5km/h up seymour which is pretty slow however coming down was a lot more fun and having refilled my bottle cranked out a good decent at an average speed of around 58km/h. I definitely didn't "give" the decent and spent the time on my cow horns over aerobars for a bit more stability as this is training and not racing and spending the afternoon in a ditch for no good reason did not appeal :)

From Seymour I headed up Lillileot rode in search of some more grades. In the found I found the Seymour Valley Trailway and dropped the pace a little a cruised through the forest. After a 5 minute"nap" in the sun I headed back out form the end of the paced section, refilled my bottle and headed back to the No.1. I then went up Mountain highway, followed the"bike" route and did a nice 10% grade to rejoin the highway.

After riding up the highway I could see the road straight ahead go straight up so I rode past the Lynn Valley Day festival and mashed up the hill. I think I was in 30 to 50 cadence for sections and although I do not know gradient this would definitely be double figures. When the pavement ran out I descended grabbed a subway and a coke and made my way to Marine and Capilano Road.

Next up was grouse and felt pretty good on the steep section top the car park. After finishing the second half of my lunch I grabbed a couple powerades and descended down and hit the traffic section of West Van. after this stop start I rode out to horseshoe bay, this ride felt easy compared to early season and at the round about past the golf course I headed back along Highway 1 to Cypress.

So at the 100 mile mark I hit cypress. From where I started timing (the 3km mark because I rode past the 2km mark) I averaged about 12.8 km/h for the 8km at 6.6% gradient. This included a slight acceleration when I saw a bear on the side of the road around the 6km mark.

After a water fountain shower at the lodge and refilled bottle I made the decent down making sure to stay towards the middle of the road through the "bear" section. Averaged about 48km/h for the ride back to the highway which includes a flat section. Once again didn't "attack " the decent and had to slow for some road work on the way down.

Riding back down highway one hit a rock pretty hard and coming down Taylor way could start to feel my front tire losing air. Pulled of just near park royal and made the tube change which I think was caused by a pinch flat. Despite trying to re seat the tire for about 4 minutes took 9 and a half minutes from stopping to remounting the bike so as long as I get the remount thing down think I can get a flat change in about 5 minutes which is nice to know come race season.

Cruised back to kits from here and reloaded on fluids and ate well for dinner before crashing nice and early in the evening. So the stats for the ride were as follows

Ride Distance - Approx 202km
Elevation Gain - 11391 Feet
Ride Time - Approx 8h 20min
Average Speed - 24.2 km/h
Average HR - 137 (67% of Max)
Max HR - 171 (84% of Max)
Energy Consumption - 5872 kcal

Food/Drink Eaten During Ride - 6 GU's, 1 Chicken Breast Footlong Subway, 1 600ml Coke, 1 "rich" bottle accelerade, 3.5 bottles of water, 2 bottles of powerade.

Weight lost on ride - Approx 4 pounds.

GMAP of Ride -

Postscript; Finally found the spell check functionality in blogger :). This should make the blog a lot easier to read however I sense my grammar will still suck.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2009 Subaru Shawnigan Lake International Triathlon - Half Iron - Race Report

4:50:24 (18/115 Overall - 14/76 Male - 3/6 M2529)

Swim (1.9km) - 40:36 (82/115)
T1 - 2:14 (27/115)
Bike (88km)- 2:35:41 (22/115)
T2 - 1:14 (17/155)
Run (21.1km)- 1:30:41 (5/115)

Photo Credit - Meyrick Jones

The Subaru Shawnigan Lake International Triathlon was my first Triathlon of 2009 and hence a baseline of where I was at in the 2009. Did not specifically taper for this race however was coming of at recovery week so run volume and bike volume was less than the previous two weeks.

After finding the pack for the first 300m of the swim I followed the wrong feet and took a little bit of a wrong turn. This meant I was out of the pack I had hoped to stay with and working with a smaller group. Come the second lap I moved away form the group I was with as they were starting to tire and worked to find some more feet to follow until I cam out of the water in 40:36.

Swim was a good one in reflection but definite gains still to be had here and pushing myself harder in the swim is most probably one of the key things that I will take away from a racing perspective. Add to this a big swim focus going forward and I hope to see this time drop over the rest of the season.

I had a so-so T1 having a few issues getting my wetsuit off however in the end I made up 10 spots through transition and exited to the bike course. After attacking the first 7km of the course I moved back into my small ring for the short sharp climb on the course and my small gears sounded freakin horrible. After making it to the top of the climb I couldn't get into the big ring and the chain eventually slipped to the inside between the derailleur and the frame.

So I got off the bike I tried move the chain around but was having no luck, so off came the back wheel and with a good bit of force of the rings freed the chain and manually moved it to big ring. After putting on the wheel and testing out chain got back on the bike. This whole process cost me about 5 minutes or so and any progress I had made through T1 and the first 7km of the bike course. Having said that was happy with how quickly I troubleshooted the issue and was back on the bike with a bit of adrenalin.

Pretty much gave the rest of the bike form here, re passing everyone who had passed me while stationary on the side of the road in the next few minutes. At this stage I had made the decision not to risk the small ring again and rode the rest of the bike course in big ring. This cost me a little time on a couple sections of the course were I had to mash the climbs however was my only real option.

Made good progress on the bike making up 33 spots even with the mechanical and finished with a 2:35:41 bike split. Pretty confident I would have gone around 2:27 without issues so was happy with the ride. Entering T2 the legs were the unknown quantity as had taken a lot more load on the bike than would be ideal. Had a pretty solid T2 with nothing special but no mistakes and hit the run course.

My main focus for the first few km's was to stay hydrated and started out trying to find my legs. This took a little longer than planned with the quads really having felt the bike for the first few km's. Gauging speed against fellow racer's was a little hard to achieve at this point as I moved through sprint and Olympic runners but was definitely picking off a fair few in the half iron.

After about 4km or so the legs started to come to and I looked to pick up the pace over the next few km's. The trail was a converted rail trail and the loose gravel produced challenges in keeping cadence high. Having passed quite a few people in the first 11km I set my sights on sub 4:50 at this point which would require a sub 40 minute final 10km's. My legs were really starting to free up at this point and was flying along in my Newton Trainers.

Was an interesting experience as I am used to people going with you when you overtake but had quite a bit of momentum at this point and was creating a gap as soon as I passed people's shoulders. Gained 5 spots in the last 5km and finished with 3:44 min km. and 5th fastest run split overall. This was a good reflection on all the support I have had with my running this year form the gang at Forerunners and Newton Running.

End time was 4:50:24 and a 45 minute improvement on 12 months previously. Was happy with the race and has now set a focus on the half's to come in 09 to push hard, perform well and try and get a age group wins and top ten finishes. Next race is the Persona Half Iron in Oliver on June 7th where the aim will be to execute a strong race and really attack the run with the knowledge I have the leg speed to make up good ground on this leg.

Key Takeaways from the Race

  • Tinted Goggles are something I need in my tri bag - would have saved me some grief on the swim.
  • Need to really focus on the swim - Central park pool has now opened in Burnaby so are getting in 30 to 60 minutes each lunchtime on top of normal swims. Goal will to be to get swim time to 35 minutes by Vancouver.
  • T1 - Just need to have my plan visualised a little bit better. Poor planning in terms of this at shawnigan.
  • Bike - Learnt that I can just push hard then maybe a little harder. If I could run at Shawnigan after pushing big gears all day I can afford to really attack the bike. Plan at Oliver will be to go all out above 36km/h and just see what happens.
  • T2 - Once again will just focus on visualizations and execution
  • Run - Just have to attack form the start. Felt like I maybe could have pushed a little harder in the first few km's and hung on at the end. Running on harder packed surfaces will also prove an advantage as think this will allow me to ramp up my leg speed. Target time for Oliver Half on the run will be sub 1:24

Shout Out's

Was good to see everyone out at the race and congrats to all who had good days. A few shout out's on some good results;
  • Harry (Paul Harrison) - awesome work on 5th Overall and the Age Group Win for M30-34. Need to turn this into a race to make my drive home more bearable :)
  • Rachel Kiers - 2nd Women and 6th Overall.
  • Vincent Lavallee - 1st in M20-24 and 8th overall
  • Don Smith - Nearly broke 5 hours and 3rd in age Group - Awesome work
  • Jared Chatrand - Good early season race and nice run split.
  • All who got out and raced and had a good time especially those from Pacifc Spirit

Some numbers from the Run

Splits for the Half Marathon - 4:09, 4:28, 4:27, 4:31, 4:31, 4:34, 4:25, 4:25, 4:06, 4:21, 4:15, 4:15, 4:12, 4:11, 4:13, 4:35, 4:28, 4:05, 4:14, 4:07, 4:09 (1.1km - 3:44 Pace)

Science of Sport Style analysis below

Monday, May 25, 2009

Attack at Shawnigan Lake

From embedded reporter agent - Jeremy Hopwood

The tranquil community of Shawnigan Lake was disturbed from a Sunday morning slumber on Sunday May 24th by the sound of a howitzer cannon. Disturbed at the potential attack on this sleepy community a group of agents from across Canada, USA, Australia, NZ and other countries formed a task force to assess the situation and chase down the cause.

Initial reports indicated potential threat in the Lake of Shawnigan and agents donned wetsuits and entered the 17 degree Celsius water. Agents spread out and investigated the coloured buoys that littered the lake. After a first reconisance look suspicions were still high and another loop was undertaken to ensure the enemy did not lurk within the lake.

Having heard rumours that the enemy was potentially on the roads agents began to exit the lake. To ensure that the enemy had not souble backed agents left the water in a gradual procession ranging from 25 minutes to 55 minutes from the intial shot of the Cannon.

This intrepid reporter exited the water in 40:36 as the 82nd "agent" of 115 agents that had reported to the threat location.

Exiting the water it agents began to shed their wetsuits and run towards high tech forms of ground transportation. With code names such as P3c, Cervelo, Kuota, Orbea it appeared as if these futuristic vechiles were some type of high tech bicycle.

I spent 2:14 in this area of high tech machines before exitting on my assigned ride having donned my protective headwear and sunglasses. It appears that there may have been threat of sabotage in this area and some agents diligently checked foil packets and other items before leaving on their machines. Passing 10 agents in this zone and began to investigate and report from the roads as the 72nd agent.

My machine had the call sign of "orbea ora no. 17" and although did not have the satellite dishes that doubled as commmunication devices and wheels of some of the other machines it was a quick machine. As I investigated and observed on the roads around the lake I saw the signs of earlier attacks and potential threats in the form of craters in the road. Where identified these had been spray painted to increase agent awarenes sof the threat.

Looping around the lake and passing some of the other agents in the process it appeared my machine had been sabotaged and the chain that drove it had issues staying moving between the two front rings. Faced with the threat of being left in a stationary postion which wuld leave me vunerable to attack I disomounted my machine, removed the back and forced the chain on the big ring. This I figured would suffice for the remainder of the chase on the road.

After about 5 minutes Remounting my machine I endeavoured to view as many of the agents in front in action to see how the operated. The risk level around the lake was high and hq indicated that 4 laps of reconissance and investigation were necessary. During this time other agents trained at negotiating shorter distances joined the investigation around the lake.

This lake reconsiance took between 2hr 13 and 3hr 41 depending on the speed of agent. Having completed my assigned reconsiance in the big ring which proved challenging on an incline that appeared once per reconsiance lap.

My 88km of recon on the orbea had taken 2:35:41 at an average speed of 33.9km/h. This was the 22nd fastest recon of the area out of the 113 agents who made it this far. Entering the technology are I deposited my machine hearing that the chase had turned to foot. I put on space age Newton Trainers and headed out onto an abanodned rail trail that it had been rumoured the enmy had fled to.

At this point i was the 39th agent to hit the railway in search of the enemy. Support crews had established supply lines and water, energy drinks and space like food called gels were handed out at these points. Eager to get an up close view of the action I surged ahead and overtook fellow agents as they searched the trail. After about 6km of recon the power of the enemy was clear with a damaged trestle bridge indicating an earlier strike. As a result recon was required in the opposite direction and agents double back along the railroad.

Passing agents as I went I continued in the opposite direction. At about 16km into the hunt supply agents indicated that a potential threat had been identified back at the technolgy area. Eager to get the scoop on the story I rushed back as quick as I could to this area along the track across a ditch and a road and down a track to the area. Upon entering this area I was sheparded into a containment area were I was informed the threat level had been decreased and was presneted with a medal indicating my service.

My mission had taken 4:50:24 and I was the 17th agent of 115 to complete their recon. Entering the debrief area I found that I was the 3rd agent in my unit "M25-29". The earlier 2 agents in my unit had finshed about 10 minute previously.

Following this agents continue to filter in and in the end a large debrief session was held were agents mingled and shared intellegince on their respective missions.


A technical report of the days activites (i.e Traditioanl Race Report) will be released to the public archives shortly.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shawnigan - Goal ReCap

Race thoughts and report to follow, but here is results vs goals

Swim - Target Time 38 to 40 minutes

Actual Time - 40:36 - Just outside of goal. Tinted goggles would have defnetely helped. Pool time awaits tomorrow.

Bike - Target Time 2:31 (Avg 35km/h)

Actual Time - 2:35:41 - Lost about 4 to 5 minutes as front derailleur must have got knocked in transition. chain skipped and got stuck on frame so had to take wheel of to unjam then ride 3.5 laps in big chain ring only. Think lost minimal speed on a couple climb.

Run - Target Time 1:30 (avg 4:16 per km)

Actual Time - 1:30:41 - Awesome run, negative split. Maybe could have pushed a bit harder in the first few km's but can't complain with the 5th fastest run split of the day.

Overall target Time (A Goal) - 4:45:00 (B Goal) 4:55:00 (C Goal) 5:00:00

Overall Time 4:50:24 - B Goal Achieved - New Pr and 45 minutes quicker than last year. Some gains to make as race season goes and taper for one of the upcoming half's (TBD which one)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Time to Hurt!!! Shawnigan Half Iron

My 2009 tri debut awaits. This will be my 10th race of the season but in some regards the most interesting one as it will give me a good indication of where I am at.

Starting to get nervous for this one which is a good thing means that I will have the energy to go give at and with the amount of run races I have done my willingness to hurt over 12 months is increased many a time.

So before I look at what my goals and expectations are lets look back 12 months ago at my 08 Race which was my first ever open water swim and half iron triathlon;

2008 Flashback

5:35:44 37/66 Overall 6/8 M25-29

Swim -46:42 (91/94)
My memories of this swim include doing a 180 degree turn on a buoy and swimming the wrong way for about 50m. One hope that I can gain time of the 08 performance in this sport.

T1 4:03
not sure what I had for breakfast that day but looks like I must have eaten in T1. 2 minutes easy to be gained here

Bike - 2:52:49 (Avg 30.6km/h)
Rode pretty well of memory and was riding on my road bike. Will see what difference a year makes in this sport.

T2 2:23
One free minute available here

Run - 1:50:07 (5:14 per km)
Had a good run on the day but my running this year compared to last year is a different story. Pretty sure the course was long though last year based on the quickest run times.

2009 is here

So this is the baseline race so really hard to step out some targets but here goes anyway.

Swim - Target Time 38 to 40 minutes
Still have a long way to go with my swimming but my main focus will be to try and stay with one of the later packs. Based on last year their seems to be a big group between 36 min and 40 minutes so my aim will be to stay with this group even if it means working a little harder than I would like.

This will give me a good baseline as my target is to swim 100 times in 100 days before ironman canada and this just started yesterday after a month or so of inconsistent swimming.

Bike - Target Time 2:31 (Avg 35km/h)
Will be riding based on heart rate but I feel that this is a realistic target time. Will not really know until I get going but based on the weekend in Penticton I feel I can hold this pace if I am willing to keep my heart rate high but below threshold. Realisitcally anyhting up to 2:40 would be a good result.

Run - Target Time 1:30 (avg 4:16 per km)

Race plan will be to go out at 4 minutes per km and suffer. Based on a slight hunch the course may be long and to factor some contigency in I have my target at 4:15 min km. In penticton I was crusiign at 4 min km for 6km after a 100km ride up and over yellow lake so I hope this is a good sign for race day. Main goal here is to not get overtaken on the run and pass as many people as possible.

Overall target Time (A Goal) - 4:45:00 (B Goal) 4:55:00 (C Goal) 5:00:00

If the race goes to plan 4:45 is definetely possible. All I have to do is focus on keeping pace in the swim attacking the bike and pushing through the hurt on the run. In the end when I hit the run I will be aiming for 4 min km's and if I can hold this should be the key to good times.

One thing I know for sure is that I plan to have fun and plan to hurt as much as I can, for all you fast swimmers and bikers out there I plan to be attacking the run so if I don;t catch you make sure you save me a bagel.

Good Luck to all that are racing this weekend and say hi during the awards if you get a chance.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Big Weekend - Fun times Training

Rest Day - Today :)
KM Rode - 0 Km's Run 0

Well I sit here on a well deserved rest day. Numbers are boring but can also be fun, had a monster weekend of training in Penticton and have started to learn how to push myself especially on the bike. One of the side benefits of racing so much on the run is my perceived pain zone has increased and combine this with heart rate zones makes for some fun times.

Friday - IMC time Trial
Equated Ironman Time 5:35 (Avg Speed - 32.25km/h)
(5400 feet of climbing - 30 feet per km)

Driving up after the thursday ride meant rolling in at 2am and 6 hours later was at Smith and Co then off to ride the IMC course. A 180km individual time trial this turned out to be as there were not many people on the course. I was happy with the effort I put out and my equated time was about 7 minutes faster than race day last year which I was really happy with.

Saturday - Yellow Lake Redux
3:25 Riding (Avg Speed - 25.7 km/h)
(3093 feet of climbing - 35.2 feet per km)

24 Minutes Running (Avg 4 min/km)

After a few beers Friday Night drove Sag for Pacific Spirit on the Oliver course on the Sunday and saw the hundreds of people out. Kind of wished I was out riding but had fun doing sag. Upon finishing my duties headed outfrom the peach to keremeos (The Bear) and back to continue feeling the love with Yellow Lake.

Was a lonely ride except for seeing a lot of the club on the decent of yellow lake (it is about 23km of climbing in reverse) but felt like I climbed well and was able to hold 4 minute km's without effort on my t-run so was happy with this aspect.

Sunday - The Shootout
4:17 Riding (Avg Speed 35km/h)
(4302 Feet of Climbing - 28.7 feet per km)

Yikes, this is the most fun I think I have ever had on a ride. Decided not to do a running race on the Sunday and headed out with Paul and Kevin. We rode the section of the IMC coursedown to OK falls at a leisuresly pace then it started to build, in the end we pacelined from OK falls to Oysooyos at an average speed in excess of 41 km/h into a slight headwind before heading up richter.

Richter started out sensible then the pace ramped up and I got spat of the back anbout half way up the first section. I kept working a rythm and pushing the flats and at the base of the last spike to the top of richter a caught Kevin and decided to chase Paul. needless to say I was flying up richter have way up my cog when I caught Paul for a final sprint finsih to the top which the Kiwi unfortunately won. However was good times and I think we entertained the group form Calgary riding up the hill as we worked this section like a sprint.

The rest of the ride was pretty much an individual time trial and worked this pretty hard including averaging about 20km up the last 4km to the peak of Yellow Lake. Felt super strong on this ride even though was rght on the edge and only spent 7 minutes above my zone so I think this taught me to work hard but not to hard. Even with a little bit of drafting down to oysooyos (but no aero wheels or helmet and full bottles) this equates to a 5:08 IMC bike time. To be honest didn't think I yet had this speed so now need to bring this to my Half racing and see how it goes.

Monday - KVR Run
2:53 Running - 32km (Avg Speed 5:24 per km)

Went for a run down the KVR on Monday after a chilled am wanted to run in the heat of the day so took a couple water bottles with me as baby weights and hydration.

Missed the entrance to the KVR out of penticton so ended up running up and down the hills of Kaleden before finally finding the trail and heading out to OK Falls were I refueled at the IGA and headed back along trail to penticton and an eventual ice bath in skaha lake. Felt really good on the run and never really felt pushed event with the fatigue in ym legs form riding. Was an awesome run to finish the weekend and one I think I will do again (Maybe as a loop of the lake or somehting similar)

Social Aspect

Still manged to drink some coffee and a few beers and hang out with cool people throughout this whole weekend. So was good times all around and managed to have a few laughs about crashes, my lack of swimming talent and other things.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Port Moody Mothers Day 5km Spring Classic - Race Report

Having had a real productive training weekend in some beautiful Vancouver weather I decided to throw my Newtons Neutral Racers into my backpack and ride out to Port Moody for the Mothers Day 5km Spring Classic. Coming into the race with no taper and tired legs form the previous two days training I did not have big goals except for executing a good race.

After a post ride warm up and drills I was lining up for my ninth race of the year just aiming to get a solid start in a build form there. The race had an interesting course with a lap of an artificial turf field before hitting a undulating bike trial for an out and back section. After navigating the hustle and bustle of the loop around the field it was onto the rail trail. A pack went out hard and I hung back in the string of people behind using other people’s rhythm as my pace.

I made the decision to attack the downhill’s and my Newtons definitely seem to give me an advantage as I created and closed gaps on each of the downhill sections moving form about 15th early on to about 8th at the 2km mark. I passed another couple of people before the turnaround and then headed back along the course.

Another runner was coming through the field and when he approached me I began to work with him for the next 2km and we started to reel in the runners ahead in terms of the gap however we were a little far behind to make a substantial dent in the gap. Having scoped the course in my warm up I attacked the last downhill and got a break on the other runner and ended up running 17 Minutes Flat finishing 32 seconds back form the winner.

Very happy with executing a solid race on tired legs and still getting a PR. Now looking forward to the triathlon season when everyone will be starting the run after having been on a bike and for a swim. Big training week ahead then will be at the starting line of the Shawnigan Lake Half Iron Triathlon on May 24th.

End result 17:00 and a new PB for the 5km distance. This was my 7th PB in 8 months since I first started wearing Newtons.

Finished 6th overall out of 371 runners and 5 of 22 in the M20-29 division.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Port Moody Mothers Day Spring Classic 5km - Inital Thoughts

So race report name will be tapering is overrated. Lead up to the Port Moody Mothers Day Spring Classic 5km was;

Thursday 6pm - 4km Time Trial on bike and 5 times up Spanish banks hill at high effort
Friday 7pm - 2.5 hour Run with varying elevation through Pac Spirit and UBC with a fast finish and a few fartleks
Saturday 8:30am - Approx 170km ride with quite a few TT efforts and hard pace line riding
Saturday Night - Beers while watching hockey
Sunday 6:30am - Ride out to Port Moody with back pack for running shoes and bike lock (30km)

Sunday 9am - Race 5km

So based on this did not know what to expect and based on feeling a little bit stale in warmup though would be happy with around 17:30. In the end ran 17 Flat and splits were pretty good. Do not think I got overtaken in the whole race and was able to go with every move that came past me which meant I paced it well most probably passing 10 or so people after the first km.

End result 6th overall and 5th in Age Group M20-29 - Time 17 Flat
(The only 10 yr age group - the rest were 5 year gaps :( )

The initial The Science of Sport graph is below

Post race hung around for the awards hoping to win a draw prize. No luck then rode home. Eat, Clean House and then go for afternoon ride before Mothers Day dinner at the in laws is the agenda.

Friday, May 8, 2009

ReCap, Reset and Refocus

So it is may, sun is out for the weekend and it thought it would be a good time to clear the brain and look at the 114 days ahead. Like Obama I will look to present a 100 day plan to Ironman Canada but that will be post in 14 days from now.


Goal A has been achieved thus far this year - are having fun. I have been in the scenario in a previous life where I "retired" from a sport at the age of 21 because the result became all important and the fun was relegated to the background (What sport - lets just say don't play me at pool or snooker for money)

Example was tonight, had awesome run of nearly 2 and 1/2 hours with a mixture of speeds and just enjoyed being out there. It helps that part of me likes to suffer so the thought of the interval sessions that have been and are to come don't scare me.

So all in all happy with the year thus far, a few running PR's set, riding strong and swimming improving.


Triathlon season is here, in two weeks I will be in Shawnigan Lake with my first real baseline of where I am at now I am taking this sport a little more serious. Cool thing is will be hanging with a heap of people I din't even know this time last year and are now good friends with so regardless of result (FYI I will go fast :) ) I know I will have fun. The 100 day plan will be the culmation of the rest and this will be all about setting weekly goals that will lead into Ironman Canada.


So the focus for me now goes into all round mode after a few months of a running focus. Swim is key as well as hitting my targets in my training sessions whether that be technique, quality, speed, hr, distance. Add to this a increased focus on recovery and nutrition and life will be good.

Main key for me is to be relaxed, have fun, control the controlables and race hard. Smiling is more aerodynamic so I plan on doing a lot of this too.

Awesome weekend is ahead with two days of riding and swimming and a couple short runs.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Marathoning Aussie Style

Hamish and Andy are and Aussie radio drive show and I thought I would keep with the running theme and share two hilarious videos regarding the sport of the marathon.

Marathon video one is a preview of what we may look to achieve in the off season and replace parties for Bars and Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle and planes with Trains and Ferries.

Marathon Video two demonstrates the idiocy of doing a marathon without training something I have done and bonked really really badly around 35km.

Part One

Part Two

Swim Drills from the Slow lane

FYI my swim sucks but have moved it from the stage of close to drowning to below below average. Improvement must be enough as are actually getting comments on how my swimming has improved over the last 6 months from people at the pool.

Hate to know how bad I looked before however here are some of the things I have and will continue to work on. The no 1 thing for me is getting to the pool as many days a week as possible to get a "feel for the water" and doing the below drills rather than swimming mindless laps helps to facilitate this.

Boring but effective. Trying to get feel for water.

With fins or band around feet.
Swimming without kicking. Need to really focus on body position of torso to keep legs up. Not unusaual to have legs drop to 45 degrees if balance is off.

Kicking on back and side
Looking to get long straight kick and small focus on making sure toes point inwards to form a triangle.

Slow motion

Have done a bit of focus on really engaging the catch. Things have been working on

Ø Wide Entry – Pretty much as wide as possible

Ø Focussing on position of elbow throughout catch and keeping high

Ø Envisaging wrapping hand and forearm around barrel before pulling

Ø Starting catch super slow and accelerating through – too make sure actually engage water when beginning pull.

By going slow I feel can isolate weak and dead spots.

Fist Drills

Really makes grabbing the water key

Dry Land

Stretch cords attached to swim paddles. Working through the stroke in slow motion.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Week of the Time Trial - What does this mean

So the last week has been the week of the "time trial" and has offered opportunities for me to be in pain while do some comparisons vs last year.


Going by my chosen path of turning up to the pool without reviewing workouts as it my give me an excuse to wimp out I appeared on Monday with Gatorade and Banana in hand and upon entering the pool saw we had a 2 x750m time trial with about 30 or seconds rest.

To put it simply my swim sucks, it is gradually improving however a sliding scale I would say it has improved from I can't believe that guy is not drowning to below average. From Jan to March I spent a lot of time in the pool and are now back on the mission again after just attending club workouts for a couple weeks.

So where is my swim, combined time for the two TT's was 33 mins. Considering my UBC tri time from last year was 42 Min for 1500m a 20% improvement isn't bad. Secret for next 3 months will be to live in pool ocean. Something I didn't do enough of last year. Aim is to Swim Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun and start working in some longer sessions as part of this.

A lot of improving to do but projected ironman time with the help of a wetsuit = 1 hour 15 Min


Doing a time trial test on the bike is weird one. After a cruisy ride on saturday to horseshoe bay and around UBC a couple times which was a lot of fun decided to ride the Vancouver Half Iron course on Sunday. Wasn't a pure time trial as such, instead aiming to hit my heart rate zone for the ride and seeing what time was at the end.

Trying to push for 3 hours on your own in a non race situation is mentally tough but managed to stay above my zone for 76% of the time and ended up taking 2 hours 50 min for the 94km. Was happy with this as equates to 5:25 IMC Pace and I definetely feel I could hold this pace for a lot longer (Especially with addition of nutrition and aero toys (Wheels and Helmet))

With bike focus just beginning thinking I am about 10 to 15% faster than this time last year and a lot stronger.


So no real time trial to speak of, but did run just over 4 minute km's for 4km after the bike time trial. Baced on Sun Run and TC10k I would figure speed wise are about 10% faster and from a mileage perspective I definetely will be doing more than my 35km a week from last year and as aresult I know my endurance is a lot better than this time last year.

What does this mean for IMC run, not sure to bonest. I think 3:20 is not an overly aggressive target however until I race couple half iron's will be hard to tell. Regardless feel confident will be able to crank out a fast ironman run come race day. keeping with todays them though I would say I think I could crank out around a 3:35 if I was lining up in penticton today.


So where am I at now, add the times together from above and it equals around 10:20 including transitions. Obviously this all paper based and shawnigan lake of a minimal taper will be the first real test. Main focus is to hit my session targets, mix up endurnace and intensity and have fun. Add to this improve my swim technique and hopefully the end of May and start of June will bring some positive feedback in the terms of race results at Shawnigan and Oliver.

Last Notes from the Treadmill

hit the treadmill for the first time in 09 today for a V02 workout. Actually found this to be a really good tool for this so think this may become a regular fixiture on my plan. Really cool workout, was happy with it so are putting the numebrs in below;

Warm Up
  • 20 Min dynamic drills
Treadmill at 1.5% incline
  • 5 Min @ 6 minute mile pace
  • 4 Min @ 5 Minute mile pace
  • 9 Min Recovery walking
  • 5 Min @ 6 minute mile pace
  • 3 Min @ 5 Minute mile pace
  • 8 Min Recovery walking
  • 5 Min @ 6 minute mile pace
  • 2 Min @ 5 Minute mile pace
  • 7 Min Recovery walking
  • 5 Min @ 6 minute mile pace
  • 30 Sec @ 5 Minute mile pace
  • 1 Min @ 4:48 Mile Pace (Treadmills at work don't go any faster - will put in a request to see if they can recitfy that)
  • 6 Min recovery
  • 1 Min 12 Sec @ 4:48 Mile Pace
Total of 31:42 Minutes of Hard Running

Cool Down
  • 30 Min dynamic drills
Weird Looks

Work Gym is normally empty at 6pm (Especially during a playoff game) but for some reason there were a few hardy soles around (8 or so) working out. Was getting some weird looks when cranking it up especially from those on the treadmills next me.

Exciting Posts to Come
  • Summer Beer Mile
  • Swim Tips from the slow lane :)
  • Things that annoy me