Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Horrible Runs

Not full of handy advice here but more of an observation. Lots of tweets, statuses, blogs are about awesome runs.

The reality for me is I tend to go through patches were I have runs that could be described as "sub" awesome - or in other words horrible. 

Sometimes for me it is self inflicted - dehydrated, ate to close to the run, overdressed. Other times I sense it is just mental preparation - or lack thereof or just general fatigue.

I have actually come to relish these runs as toughing it out from the mental aspect and just chalking the session down to time on feet and just run on feel which normally means plodding along pretty was (pace wise - I tell you the body doesn't always call these easy) and ignore the watch as seeing your km slits go by and thinking that should be your mile splits is something nobody needs to see.

From a confidence perspective the horrible runs (normally associate with my longer sessions) don't particularly phase me as come race days have often had good results even after a few longer runs I would rather forget.

Last couple days saw a a couple 15km runs in the sub awesome bracket - was tempted to just stop and go drink beer but managed to tough it out and hopefully will reap the rewards at a later date.

Next run on te agenda for me is in te am before work tommorow - so third time lucky I hope and the legs will be rolling. Even if they are not will listen to the body, adapt and just take it as time on feet and adapt the coming week if the trend continues and a bit more recovery is needed.

So whether your runs are awesome all the time or "sub" awesome on occasion embrace it and have fun out there.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Local Racing - MEC 5km - 1st 17:53

So laced up the shoes - well at least one of them and ran a local 5km this am. The MEC race series is quite low key (and cheap entry) so for a forces hard session is a good option.

Didn't set an alarm prior so woke up with the fam 1hr before race start. So it was a quick change and grab of a granola bar and off to race.

Race is about 8km from my house so know the route well (along the north dyke in richmond) 

Small field in the 5km as was a 10km going as well but wanted a shorter effort as hard run miles are still to be built for 2014. 

Went watchless - not by design but due to rush out the door but like running watchless as allows tountonfocusnon tempo. I often use wrist bands to cover up my watch when In a race so I don't focus on it and focus on effort/form.

In the end it was a solo run after about 500m so just found a good tempo. Good news is legs felt pretty good and it all felt nice and controlled. 17:53 is not near. My fastest 5km times but happy with the run.

Always nice to to get a W even in a small race and haven't had one in a while so that was also great. 

I like to race when not fully tapered and fit on occasion as the process of racing is something to be experienced. Plus it is great to support local races. Congrats to everyone  who laced up today tried to give as many smiles as possible on the way back.

Was a nice way to earn my Chocolate Milk this am!

Trying not to go out to fast

50m and a shrt climb (by Richmond standards) to go

Thanks to Bjoern for the photos who was out supporting some of his athletes from TeamOssenbrink who were out racin in both the 5 and 10km

Saturday, January 11, 2014

When does a week start? How I Schedule My Training

So one thing I have started doing this year is start planning my my weeks from Saturday onwards vs the traditional Mon to Sunday plans that a lot of people do.

The reason behind this for me is with working a Mon-Fri job the opportunity for a week to go a bit haywire always exists. Therefore planning from Sat onwards gives me a chance to have two days were I have a level of control over the outcome which is greater than during my work week.

Also it gives a opportunity to plan based on the gaps that developed during the last week in terms of impacts based on other commitments and responsibilities.

Also for me it gives a me a couple days to build confidence with training and consistency which is a mental thing I struggle with during weeks where I have a slow start training.

The other benefit I find for me is being able to adapt the biggest days of training (normally) based on my fatigue going into the weekend.

In Practice

The last 5 days for me was pretty hectic so training was bike commuting ad a couple swims. Need to get better at jamming a runnin the crappy  mid weeks so that is the lesson learned. 

So this weekend on Saturday it was weights in the am (took the little one to the Richmond Oval) and hitting the trainer and treadmill tonight. Tommorow will look to run long in the am - have a easy spin in the afternoon and get a swim in at night. 

That gets my week off to a solid start an hopefully take that momentum through the work week.

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 Race Schedule

So after a bit of planning and some thought here is my tentative race schedule for 2014 along with some thoughts of why I have chosen certain races.

The A Race - The A race of the summer for me is Challenge Penticton (Iron Distance) The reason for this is that it is a course I know well in a town that has strong family ties. I really want to have a fast day out on that course so that is the basket I am putting my eggs in for the summer of 2014.

Other Possibilities - One possibility that is not on this list is Challenge StAndrews (Half Iron) on Jul 6th. Logistics are a bit tough on this one but if I could work them out would love to visit and race on the east coast of Canada

Jan 19 Mec Vancouver Race 1 - 5km (Run)

Racing the 5km here as is nice and close to home. Basically running as a hard workout and will likely run to and from the race (10km each way) to get some mileage in on the day.

Feb 2
Steveston Icebreaker - 8km (Run)

This is my hometown race with a start line 400m from my door. Is always a fast field and looking forward to having a nice hard hit out and hopefully getting closer to strong run shape.

Feb 16
First Half Half Marathon (Run)

This is a awesome race! For whatever reason have never had super strong days on this course. Reality is will still be a bit underdone at this point of the year with my main focus being late summer but looking forward to running a smart race and having some fun.

Mar 2
Aldergrove Short RR (Bike)

Looking forward to getting in some nice racing miles in the B's during the spring series. Bike racing last year set me up with a good base for the year and looking forward to having a solid March on the bike hanging on for dear life up the hills and trying to push the pace on the flats.

Mar 9
UBC Olympic (Tri)

It's normally cold and wet but it is a tri so looking forward to lining up - bundling up on the bike and running on smashed legs for the first time in 2014.

Mar 15
Bradner RR (Bike)

Another day for some road racing. Depending on the plans we may base he family out in the valley at Harrison Hot Springs (I need to reclaim a couple Strava KOM's!) this weekend and get a reprieve from the city.

Mar 16
Murchie Road RR (Bike)

Part of the back to back road racing weekend. May look to get dropped off and ride home from this one to get in some extra miles. Early season miles equal late season smiles.

Mar 23
Comox Half Marathon (Run)

Have only done this once and love the course and the event. May take the Friday off and ride up the coast and ride back post race if the logistics make sense and turn it into a solo training camp long weekend.

Mar 29-30
DEVO Stage Race (Bike)

A crit and TT on day 1 and a road race on the Snake Course on day 2. Once again may base the family in the valley and ride home from the stage race to get in some extra miles.

Apr 26
Delta Sprint Distance (Tri)

Have never done this race and should be getting into shape at this point. Will be nice to go at full gas for an hour and see how I stack up against the fast kids.

Apr 27
Vancouver Sun Run - 10km (Run)

Organizing the work team for this so will be out to represent. Will be backing up from he previous day but is always fun to run the Sun Run especially with the first km being downhill madness.

May 10
Bare Bones Duathlon (Du)

The tradition continues! However given that this is the provincial duathlon championships I will try not to smash myself on the bike the am of the race! 

May 11
Peach Blossom 10 Miler (Run)

Another back to back performance. Aim here is to go under an hour so will need to recover well after racing the afternoon before.

May 25
Shawnigan Lake Trestle Challenge (Tri)

This race is no longer a half but the 1.5km swim / 44km Bike / 20km run should be just as painful. Love the bike course here so will be a full gas effort and then try and hit my target half IM pace on the run.

Jun 15
Victoria Half Iron (Tri)

This race has a lot of history so will be nice to put a focus on this and go hard from the gun. Will look to have a good taper for this and get a strong race result in the bank early in the tri season.

Jun 21 Victoria Gran Fondo (Bike)

Did this last year and is the best event I have ever done. 270km is a huge day in the saddle and the route has a good chunk of climbing with amazing event support. 

Jul 13Vancouver Half Iron (Tri)

Vancouver Half Iron is provincials and nationals so looking forward to a fast field. Main aim for this one is a strong hit out and a fast run of a strong training block.

Jul 20
Peach Classic Olympic (Tri)

Peach Classic is another great event. May race the sprint if I am up for having some fun as is the provincial sprint champs.

Aug 4
Nelson Olympic (Tri)

Have always wanted to do this race so may as well do it this year. we have family in Nelson and is some great riding around Nelson so would be great to combine this with some riding and time in the lake.

Aug 24
Challenge Penticton (Tri)

Boom - The A race - The goal for 2014 is top 5 and around 9 hours so lots of work to do. 2013 I had quite an interrupted and short prep for this race so looking forward to a strong summer of work ahead of the day.

Beyond August

Who knows - chances are there will be changes to the above and depending how everything goes that will determine the road through the rest of 2014. 

The main aim is to have fun and looking forward to racing some new races and having a strong year.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

NFL Sunday Ride

 Today's ride was indoors watching the NFL (Green Bay vs San Fran) today and looking after the littlest one while Mom and Ada went to the playground.

"Workout" was hard from snap till the whistle, easy during breaks in play and maintain the workouts normalized power during commercial breaks. 

Ended up knocking out 3h on the trainer with one bottle feed break. Not a perfectly planned session but got some good early season work in with a NP of 188 across the ride

Finished of the ride with a nice just past sunset brick at Garry Point park in Steveston

What's on Tap in January

So January has rolled along - main focus now for me is to get a bit more structure into training a a little more intensity on the run an a little more swim and bike volume.

Commuting is back in full swing this week as well with 80-90km of this on the bike and 25-30km running looking likely.

Race wise are going to race a local 5km in Richmond on Jan 19th -

Then on Feb 2nd it is the Steveston Icebreaker 8km which starts about 400m from my door.

That's it for now - photo below from a ride a couple weeks ago when got stopped my a train in east richmond.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Motto - "Do Less Things - Do those Things Better"

2013 was a busy year and in some regards my energy was a bit fractured at times across multiple things so coming into 2014 my motto is;

"Do Less Things - Do those Things Better"

So what does this mean? For me this means prioritising the things that I am involved with a sink my energy into to ensure being successful at the things that are a priority.

One of the people I worked with a few years ago used the saying;

"Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough"

Wikipedia gives a bit of background on this proverb but for me it is focussed on just getting stuff done even it is not perfect. This is especially relevant in what can be a time crunched life at times with two little ones as part of the family. So in terms of most things day to day just getting it done to a level of good is better than obsessing with it and trying to get it to a level of perfection and either not getting it done at all or getting it done perfectly at the expense of other things.

So as 2014 rolls on have not got resolutions as such more as things to focus on from a process perspective. A lot of these things I have been working on prior to the turn of the calender however now is a good time to share them at a high level.

5 Processes to Focus On

Understanding Sleep 

Understanding sleep patterns is a complex topic. On thing I have come to believe and focus on is that devaluing sleep at the expense of other things is not efficient in the long term. So at the moment I am focussed on understanding my own sleep patterns and routines and adapting my processes and routines to make them the most effective.

For Christmas I got a Fitbit Flex and it is giving me some basic data with which to use as part of this process. The end goal for me in this space is to develop a sleep routine that allows for an effective use of time prior to going to sleep and upon waking up while still maintaining enough sleep for recovery and rejuvenation.

Understanding What I Eat and Drink When

Following Christmas I began logging what I eat and drink. More to understand how my consumption works throughout the day vs. striving for a end result. One thing I have quickly picked up is how little I eat early in the day and how little water I also drink in this time period. I have been doing this through logging via my phone and instead of always trying to perfectly estimate the calories in food have taken a more standard guess approach in situations where I am not the one cooking the food in the kitchen.

Create 30 Minute Activities

Often there are windows around home or at the office where there is only 30 minutes to do something. This is often a time zone where I can struggle to have productivity as it is hard to really dive into something. So in order to better fulfil these opportunities my idea is to create a play book of 30 minutes things I can do to make use these windows.

Whether these be work related tasks, sending a note to someone I haven't been in touch with for a while, a 20 minute run with strides, a strength workout, organising some paperwork the idea is to get some bite sized activities done in the available window.

Identify and execute 3 Critical Things to do each day

The idea here is to have some success each day so at the end of the day can look back and gain momentum going forward. These don't have to be monumental but more be defined as anchors to plan a day around. The process around this is sitting down each night before going to bed and targeting the three things for the next day

Create a Reset Strategy

One things that I am guilty of at times is letting a bad day or two turn into a bad week or worse from a confidence/momentum perspective. This applies to most aspects of things I do so the aim is here to create a go to activity or task to reset a potential slippage towards achieving goals.


So at the risk of trying to perfect this post that is it for now. Have a race schedule planned for 2014 so will look to share that in a post over the next few days.

Have a great day and make sure to wave and say hi to fellow runners and cyclists. Especially those just starting out on an active lifestyle as 2014 rolls on!