Monday, December 31, 2007

My new running buddy!

Well she is here. Kaya has been with us for a few weeks now. An adorable little ball of fur and energy. Still probably almost 8 or 9 mths before I can run with her, but I think she will be great at it.

Her name is Kaya, which means stay, and don't go back in Inuit. Which we think is appropriate since she is a rescue. She is about 13 weeks. Alaskan Malamute which means she will probably get to around 80-100pds. Big Dog!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The off season (hah, I said that with at striaght face!)

It seems as though there really is no off season. There is a lesser season, but not off.

Things are going well though. I am doing a running challenge. 100 runs in 100 days. I will be doing December straight with no rest days. I can double up some days and apply that to the 100 total. It should be interesting. Feeling really strong running right now, so it is definitely a good thing. Running is my weakest event so I really want to boost it up a lot.

Have also been plotting for next year. This is my schedule as of now.

Milton Sprint
Vancouver Worlds OLY(not sure about this one, cost will be an issue)
Muskoka long course
Guelph OLY (if I don't do worlds)
Peterborough 1/2 IM
Steelhead 70.3
Timberman 70.3 (maybe)
Orillia Sprint
The Canadian Irondistance Race

A pretty ambitious season. Not so many short races this year. I will be focusing on the longer distances as I enjoy those a lot more!
I would love to qualify for 70.3 worlds, and if the stars align maybe even KONA.

The body is recouping well from IMFLA. Trying to keep the hours around 10 for the next few weeks. Will start bumping them up to 12 or 13 in January. That is it for now.

Awaiting the arrival of our new puppy. An Alaskan Malamute. She will make for a good running and XC partner.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Blue Competition T16

This is what Team Canadian Triathletes is going to be busting up the competition on this year!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Tattoo!

Friday, November 16, 2007

My IM tattoo sketch

This it, a little cleaned up, and minus the red on the Mdot

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ironman Florida Race Report

So this is going to be a long one. I figure it deserves it since it is an Ironman.

Wow. What an experience. This is unlike anything I have ever done in my life. People whine about the cost of the entry fee, but NA sports put on an event worth every penny.

The volunteers were epic! So supportive, and at every turn on the course! I really appreciate the effort they put in to make this race so easy for us athletes.

As for my race week.

I was staying with my parents that winter in PCB so it was all spoiling for me! My mom asked for the menu that I wanted to eat that week and all the food magically appeared! I love my mom.

Jenn (my wife) was awesome as well taking pictures of everything for me, and just generally putting up with a stressed out athlete.

Landed on Tuesday, had a relaxing evening with the family.

Wednesday morning I woke up and headed out to the swim course. There were no bouys set up yet so I just swam what I thought might be the distance of the loop. I love swimming in the ocean in a wetsuit. You feel like Ian Thorpe!

After the swim I headed in to get registered and pick up my race wheels that I rented through The Zipps where fantastic, and it really sucked giving them back at the end! Better than dumping $3000 on them though!

Went home, and headed out for a short bike to work out the kinks in the bike and me. A little run revealed what felt like a tear in my calf muscle. This was concerning me a bit so I headed to the massage dudes. Lee (head massage dude) worked on it for 20min. and told me to come back the next day.

Thursday. Another swim and bike/run. Massage. Also had the banquet that night. Kinda fun.

Friday. The last massage before the race followed by a bike/run and the calf felt OK. My mom cooked up a big bowl of pasta in the morning that I snacked on all day. I think this really helped on raceday. Set up the bike in transition along with transition bags.

Saturday Morning (Race Day!) Woke up at 4:00am and ate around 800calories. Full!!!

Headed out to transition around 4:45, pumped up the tires put a few more things into my transition bag, and went to wait!

Got to the start line around 6:30. Took a little dip in the ocean before the pros headed off to get away from the nervousness of the pack.

Swimming is my best event, and I really wanted to get out in front to avoid all of the craziness behind so I seeded myself right at the front. This was a good move for me.

The gun went off it was a mad dash for about the first 300m. We were pulling pretty hard until the second bouy, and then the pace seemed to let off a little. Caught a few small drafts on the first loop, but it seemed easier to swim in open water for the most part.
First loop 26min.

The second loop was real easy. I was able to find my rythym right away, and just cruise the second 1900m. I was out of the water in 55min. A really good swim for me. A couple of minutes quicker than I thought I would go. We managed to pass a number of the pro pack as well which was kinda neat.

T1. Found a stripper right away, and then handed my suit to my wife who was near the swim exit.

Changed quick and onto the bike.

This is what I was most nervous about. I was worried about the risk of a mechanical or that I would go out to fast.

Started out and my heart rate was really high. I tried to drop it down but it felt like I was not working at all. So I figured that the excitment and coffee I had was jumping it up. I was feeling fantastic so I added 10 beats per minute to my goal HR and kept going. The bad thing about being a good swimmer is that you get passed a lot on the bike! This happened alot!

The entire bike was a blast. I felt like I was flying. Besides continually getting passed by huge packs of drafters the bike was awesome. I was averaging around 36kph the whole ride. I blew my goal of a 5:30 bike out of the water doing it in 5:09. At no point did I even feel that I was remotely pushing my limits. I think the faster riders got off the course before the winds really picked up because we didn't really see them much.

Onto the run. Felt so good off of the bike that I was a little worried about going out too fast on the run, so I really tried to limit my pace to around 5:30/min. Until I settled in. I really felt awesome for the first loop. No troubles at all. The support on course was great, and it is a really neat run through the neighbourhoods and park. My first loop was 1:45.

As soon as I headed out on the second loop my groin on the left side started to cramp. It would really cramp after about 2min. of straight running. So I was left to do a run/walk for the second loop. The cardio was excellent so I wasn't really that tired at all, but the muscle wasn't going to let me run straight. Eventually I got so that I only had to walk about 10m every time, and then I could run again. I really didn't care, because at this point I new I was going to finish, and I was pretty sure I was going to beat my goal of 10:30. So I was just enjoying the race.

Second lap was 2:15. Right on the top end of my 4:00 marathon goal.

Finish 10:13. The last 2km were like a dream. I couldn't believe that I was going to be an Ironman. Coming into the finish line with my parents cheering like mad and looking very proud allways makes a guy feel good!

Crossed the line with my hands in the air, and heard those words I had been dreaming about for a year. Syd Trefiak you are an Ironman! Then my wife and family were there. Probably one of the best moments in my life!

Did a little stumble accros the finish line because the one volunteer didn't let go of the finishing tape. There was a catcher there immediately to help me through. I really didn't need one, but they weren't going to be told no so I just went with it. Got my hat/shirt and medal!

At this moment it felt like the weight of the earth had been lifted off of my shoulders. No more worrying about whether I could do it. I had done it and I did it well!

Thanks to all of you that supported me! I have never felt so much love from the people around me. I think this is what made the whole thing mean as much as it did. Your all great, and I couldn't have done it without you!

From the Port Perry Star.

Will the hard work pay off

PORT PERRY -- After nearly two years of training, Syd Trefiak hopes all his hard work will pay off in about 10 hours tomorrow.

That's when the 30-year-old Port Perry resident will embark on his first ever Ironman experience at the Ford Ironman Triathlon in Florida alongside some 2,000 other multi-sport athletes.

"This is something I am really excited for," he said prior to departing for the sunshine state. "It's been about a year-and-a-half, almost two years of focused training to get ready for this race."

The event, according to Trefiak, consists of 3.8 kilometre swim, followed by a 180km bike race and is capped off by a 42km run.

After four years of competing on various triathlon circuits, Trefiak feels he is ready for this next challenge, and even had a time in mind that would be an acceptable finish.

"This is a big jinx, but ten and a half hours I would be happy with," he says with a chuckle.

After years of mountain biking and being involved in other sports, Trefiak ran his first triathlon about four years ago at the urging of his wife, Jenn.

"I've been in endurance sports like mountain biking for years and my wife was working for a small paper in Niagara Falls and told me there was one going on, a triathlon going on, and said 'why don't you go do it' So I did it and I won and I've been addicted ever since," he recalls.

And the winning has certainly followed Trefiak around as evidenced by his first place showing at the World Championship Triathlon qualifier earlier this year in Guelph.

"It was an Olympic Distance race, which is a 1.5 kilometre swim, a 40 kilometre bike and a 10 kilometre run in Guelph," he explains. "It was actually a World Championship qualifying event for the World Championships in Vancouver next year and that's the next major thing after getting this Ironman done."

In preparation for the Ironman, Trefiak, a teacher at Oshawa Central Collegiate, has been training anywhere from 15 to 23 hours a week, on top of his regular work hours. Though it's probably been a bit much at times, he understands that to be successful at such a high level within the sport, a certain level of dedication is necessary.

"It requires a certain amount of focus and you have to know a lot about what you are doing because you can really hurt yourself if you don't do it properly," he says. "You can probably do one by training 10-15 hours a week, but I guess it depends on how well you want to do in it."

During his training regimen, Trefiak estimates his longest bike ride at over seven hours and 200-plus kilometres and his longest swim at "four or five thousand meters."

To say he is aptly prepared for tomorrow's challenge might be a slight understatement.

Spare time isn't exactly something Trefiak has found much of over the last while, but he still manages to run a website dedicated to triathletes ( and in the near future harbours hopes of getting into the coaching field.

"I want to give people who are interested in the sport, the opportunity to pursue it to the best of their abilities," he said of his reason for wanting to coach

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Quick Race Report

Well, got 'er done. It was an unbelievable day. Awesome conditions. We were very lucky.

I had a great race, and came well within my goal time. or 10:30.

Finished in 10:13

Not exactly how I thought I would get to that time, but I got there anyways. Found out it is true what they say. The race starts on the run. The swim and bike are just to get you tired out for the run.

A little sore today. Couldn't sleep too much, so we got up for a greasy breakfast. Going to spend most of the day eating, I think. Good stuff.

I will write a full race report when I get back.

Once again, thanks for all of the support, and I will see everyone in a few days!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Day before IMFLA

Dropped off the bike, and gear bags. Took a quick look at the swim transition. REady too go!

Still have 18 or 19 hours to wait though! It is weird to think that this time tomorrow I should be getting ready to finish the bike section of an Ironman! So long in coming, but it is finally here.

Just can't wait to get started. Too much thinking, and not enough doing. I'm sure there will be times tomorrow when I won't want to be doing!

Things are good. The calf is getting sorted out thanks to the help of some awesome message people down here. Should be ok race day. Other than that, just carbo loading and relaxing.

Will update on Sunday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 2 at IM FLA!

Got in last night at around 5. Beutiful weather down here. A bit of a wind, but that is all.

Got my first swim on the course in, and the conditions are spectaular. Swimming in salt water is so much easier than fresh water. Extra bouancy.

Body is feeling good except for a strain in my calf. I'm having the message dudes down here look at it. I think the treatment is more painful than the injury! Just want to be in tip top shape for sat.

It is a ZOO! Very fit people everywhere trying not to look nervous.

Well. That is it for now. Thanks everyone for the support. You are all awesome!


Friday, October 19, 2007

Status Report

Well, the taper has started. Not saying that I am not appreciating the extra time on my hands, but those doubts creep in when you are not planning your weekly long ride and run!!

Feeling really good though. Did 4000m in the pool in 1:02 today so that is a nice pace.

Still can't wait to get to the start line!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ironman VIsualization Activity :>


Well, despite the cold, and a belly full of thanksgiving goodies I was able to get out for my overdistance ride on Monday! I've felt better, but I was able to get through it realitvely well. I eased back on the pace a bit due to the heat and another crazy wind.

Managed to finish in 7hrs. (6:42 on the bike) averaging 30kph. Feels good to be able to cover a distance as daunting as this. Also feels good that I don't have to do it again!

One more long day next weekend and we are into taper time! Looking forward to having a bit more time on my hands.

The cold really knocked the swimming back a bit. I'm trying to gain back the feeling and fitness I seem to have lost. I will come back quick, I'm just getting sick of the early mornings in the pool.

Almost There!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Blown week 4 weeks out!

Well, managed to catch a cold this week. Blew all of the training planned for this week out of the water. It hit me Sunday after my long brick on Saturday. I had a great 182km bike followed by a very strong run.

5:41 for the bike 1:39 for the run. Avg of just under 32kph and held my 5min. IM pace in the run. So I was very stoked about it. Woke up Sunday feeling like crap.

I kinda knew that I would be getting sick as a lot of the kids at school are sick so. . . .

Well, it really laid me out. I didn't do any training until Wednesday when I had a short run. I swam and had a practice with the XC kids on Friday. I was supposed to be riding long today (saturday) but the forcast was for rain. I am going to try and run long, but I still feel kinda crappy. I hope I can get the 200km ride in on Monday.

I am taking wednesday off because we are having the furnace cleaned so I need to be here. That will give me the rest of the day to go long.

Next weekend I will be doing 160km hard followed by 16km at IM pace. Then down to 100km hard and 16km at IM pace the next weekend.

It kinda sucks with the cold as I was really getting into some good form. Right now I am in damage control mode. I don't think I will be able to extend my fitness too much more before IM, but hopefully I can maintain where I am at.

The cold is a pain, because your not really recovering properly as your body is fighting the bloody illness.

I guess I am just lucky that it happened now, and not just before Ironman!

Better go take some more Vit. C!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

One Hundred and Eighty!

So for the first time ever I have managed to ride 180km! It was a pretty miserable day. Rain, 3o+kph winds, cold. However I still felt pretty good and was able to pull it off strong.

Ended up doing 183km in 6hrs. 180 in 5:56.00. Which is awesome for a training ride. Averaged a little over 30kph. Considering the wind this is a great pace for me.

All in all this ride was a major deposit in the confidence bank. It means that I should be able to do a 5:30ish ride in IM which would be very good time for me.

Unfortunately the wind and cold took it out of me so I decided not to do my run after. I think this was a good idea as I was getting cold and I don't want to risk getting sick at this point.

Very happy, Very tired!

Now I get to nap and pick Jenn up at the airport at 11pm? (there is an 11pm now?) Wow I'm getting old!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Done Racing 'till Ironman

So I have cut the regular season a little short. I think Orillia will be the last race for me. I passed on Guelph to do a long brick. (and honestly I couldn't face the long drive)

With school starting it will be next to impossible to do the training I want and race. It is actually a bit of relief. I think I am pretty secure in my second place in the subaru series so I shouldn't need the points.

If I went to Guelph I may have been able to clinch the overall, but I think my priorities lie more with Ironman. I know that I was the best overall triathlete in my AG and would have won if I had done all of the races. So that is a little consolation atleast!

I think this will be the last year doing that many races. Next year I will focus on having a good showing at worlds. I would love to go sub 2:10 in Vancouver.

I will do a few races at the beginning of our season here. Milton, Guelph, Muskoka, Peterborough (if they don't clash with worlds.) Once we hit NZ I will reassess based on their season. I will definetely do either IMNZ or Challenge Queenstown. Probably IM to try and get a spot in Hawaii.

So for the rest of the time coming up I will be going long. I did a 160km bike 13km run on the weekend. I will be building up over the next month to 180km and 21km. Next weekend is hopefully the first 180km bike. I am not to concerned about that as I am feeling really good at the 160km distance. It will be a great mental boost to get to the distance. That is the most intimidateing number in IM. Just because you are on the bike for sooooo long. I have currently been able to average around 30kph so that is good. That means that a 5:30 bike in IM is not unrealistic.

I am a little concerned about my rear race wheel. It is a little sketchy and I don't know if I trust it over those distances. I think I might try and find one similar to my front or maybe a Renn disc. We will see if finances allow this. Other than that everything is great.

I will be into running free to get some new shoes and bike shorts as with the distance mine are getting worn out! New gear is fun!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Orillia Race Report

I love this race. Allways have done well here.

It is a Sprint Distance race and allways atracts a large crowd. There were some excellent racers there trying to get a spot at the worlds. Since I already had mine, no stress.

They wouldn't let anyone bump up to the elite wave s
o I was resigned to the second wave. This is allways a bit stressfull because I know that I will be passing a ton of people.

Got there a little later than I hoped. We had to pack for a week of camping, so little things took longer. Got there with enough time to get a little warm-up in.

The swim here is great because the water is so clear. There is lots of interesting stuff on the bottom to keep me interested.

Swim: I was second out of the water in my wave (the first place guy drafted off of me the whole time, and passed me crossing the mat!) I didn't have to much trouble passing the lapers, but I think they did cost me 15 or 20 seconds. I had noone to draft off of either so that cost me a bit of time as well.


T1: No drama (thats for you ART!)

Bike: I was quickly on and passed the other guy in my A
G. I pushed pretty hard on the bike until the last 7 or km then I took it a bit easier. I should have probably kept the gas on, but I don't think it would have made a big difference in the end. It just made the run a bit more interesting. The bike course in Orillia is fun and fast. Great rolling hills. I thought I would be faster than I was on the bike but that is OK.

Bike: 57:??

T2: First off of the bike in my AG. Nice to have the family there chearing you on, however it is stressful to see other people coming in just as you are leaving.

Run: I knew I had chasers close to me. So I pushed right out of the transition. Not too hard, but enough to hopefully hold the position. I was feeling great. One guy blew by me just before the turnaround. Another superfast runner. So I was in second and cruising a bit. After the turnaround I noticed a couple of guys in my AG about 500m behind me and looking strong. That woke me up. I started to push determined not to lose second. I was able to hold the distance between these guys for the rest of the race. I finished very strong and that was good for the confidence.

Run: 27:00. One more second and I would have had a 26:00 7km!

Great race. Gained some more points back in the overall. This still might be an option for me afterall.

Post Post RAce Report:

Well, this is a live and learn experience. AFter the race we were staying at the inlaws. I was feeling great. not tired at all. My wife said she was going to go for a run and I said I would join her. We had a nice easy 8km. No big deal.

On Monday, I decided to do my long run before we went camping. Turns out this was the straw. I had a good run and did 21km. Felt good.

Next day I noticed some swelling in my knees. Went for a short bike. The swelling got worse. So I decided to take it easy while camping. Only some small hikes.

Well I went to the Clinic today, and now I have to take 4 days off and these anti-inflamatories.

These old knees can't take that sort of abuse apparently. I guess my run will remain my weakest event this year. I hope to be back up and training by Thursday.

So that is that. A bit more than a race report, but oh well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cobourg Olympic Distance Triathlon

Completed the Olympic distance race on Saturday. This was a 2008 World AG championship qualifier. Great venue (minus the lack of parking, and my parking ticket!). Beautiful little park on the nice sandy beach. Downtown Cobourg is kinda interesting. I have never been there before.

So this was the first HSBC race that I have ever done. Initial impressions were OK. There is a little lack of refinement in the organization compared to the slick subaru team, but there was a really friendly atmosphere.

Got there real early because I was hearing very different guesses as to how long it would take to drive. Racked close to the bike out/in and got set up.

Swim: 1500m

This was a neat experience. I am usually near the front of the swim, but looking up approaching the last bouy and only seeing 3 sets of arms infront of me was neat. We opened a huge gap on a lot of the field which I was not expecting. Swam a solid 23:30 out of the water 24:00 into transition. Nothing spectacular but nice and solid. Felt great. The stroke was ticking over nicely. I love longer swims. You can find a nice groove, and make some good time gains.

T1: no drama.

Bike: 40km

This course was promoted as being really hilly. It lived up to its billing, but not as bad as I thought. Only a couple of steep hills, the rest were fairly gradual. It was mostly up on the way out and down on the way back which was nice. Resulted in slow bike splits though. My cassette somehow worked loose a little which made some noise, but didn't really seem to affect performance. I felt pretty good on the bike. It seemed really short as the shortest rides I am doing now are 54km. So it is a quick distance. BIke split 1:11:00, I'm not sure on the average. Probably around 34 something. Felt real strong coming into T2

T2: where is my hat? Apparently in my transition bag. Oh well. Ran without it. Pretty quick transition

Run: The more I do it, the more I realize that I am not the biggest fan of running. I don't think I am made for it. That being said I had an average day out there. It was a flat two loop course. I came off of the bike with a small group. There was only one person near us, the rest were out of site. The eventual winner was in my AG. I was out of T2 before him. He ran a 32 minute 10 km!!!!! Holy Crap! Apparently he can go sub 30 easily just out for a run. I can't compete with that.

My run was much more slow. After watching him pass me at that speed I realized I wouldn't see him again. I focused on holding second. After the first turn around just after 2km I had a 3:30 gap back to the 3rd place person in my AG. At the 5km turn around it was almost 4min. I turned off the jets at that point. I wasn't feeling great. I could have gutted out a bit more, but there was no gains to it. The closest competitor to me was 3min. behind. Got into a nice tempo, and held it to the end. It was getting hot, and I was glad I didn't have to push too hard at this point. Run was 41:30? Not bad, not good. I will be consistently going under 40min. next year if it kills me!

Total was 2:18 OK time. More importantly I got a spot for the 2008 worlds in Vancouver which was my entire goal for this race. Very happy. Now I don't have to drive all of the way to Owen Sound.

Next week is Orillia. No expectations there. Just a fun race with some familiy coming out to watch. Then vacation.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Iron Elvis (My 30th B-day)

So I turned 30. This event was not so much of a spectal as the surprise party(and day of) that my wife threw the day after my B-day. Being oblivious to the world around me, I apparently had no clue as to this happening. There were many blatant clues that I seemed to have passed over. Oh well, I guess that is what makes it a suprise party.

I was not going to make pulling this party off that easy on my wife though. Her plan, as it happens, was to play up on my Ironman asperations, as well as the fact that we were visiting a friend in Collingwood during the Elvis Festival (for those that have never been, I tell you it is an experience!)

We wanted to go Mountain Biking while we were there. So we had scheduled a noon ride. She, for some reason was adamant about the timing? Apparently, she had planned to have our friends meet us in the parking lot at 3 stage and suprise me as we finished our ride. She was going to deck me out in all of this parafanalia (see pics below) and have me do a mini triathlon. Ride back to our friends house (with a large and noisy convoy) Jump in the pool and do laps, and then run around the block to the finish line ( all dressed up).

Well, I quickly threw a wrench (or handlebar) into those plans. Not 5 min. into the ride I stalled on a hill, unable to clip out, fell on some rocks. Now this is not an entirely uncommon occurence. However, I somehow managed to hit my inner thigh with my bar-end with considerable force. Lets just say there was a real loud profanity! Now I thought it was just a good charley horse and would be able to continue to ride. That is until I pulled up my bike shorts to find a looney sized hole in my thigh. I could see muscle and fat. Not good.

So our plans altered at that point. I figured a trip to the hospital was a good choice. So we got there relatively quickly, and it wasn't too long before I was in a room getting seen. Apparently staples are the best option for this type of wound, so now I have 5 of them in my thigh. What was funny was that I could see a security camera from the hospital entrance and Jenn was making a bunch of calls on my cell. I figured at the time that it was just talking to people about my injury. Turns out she was frantically trying to change plans.

The doctor was an MTB'er as well. We were comparing scars. I won!

So I was limping out of the hospital, and we were driving home, and I saw my parents pulling out of a Dairy Queen. I was like, "what the hell are they doing here" I still didn't figure out that there was a surprise party happening. So we got back to our friends place. My parents said that they decided to come up to the Elivis festival on a whim. Duh!

I was sitting in the living room dulling the pain :> and all of a sudden all of these people wandered in. The little light bulb went on! Dim, but it was on.

So they proceeded to get me dressed up. See pictures (pay special attention to the pink thong and sidburns). Then did a very miny (and pathetic) version of the triathlon, since I was moving rather slowly and could barely dip my feet into the pool.

I think I won the triathlon anyways. There was noone else running!

We later headed down to the Elvis festival. She had set up some silly tasks for me to perform, that is wear I met an Elivis. Good times.

So that was my 30th. I have a good scar to prove it too! Atleast the sideburns washed off.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Shift Your Way To A Bike Split PR

I read about and see so many people focusing on expensive gimmicks and training plans all aimed at making you faster. This is all fine and good and there is a place for this. However, many people are missing out on lots of free speed, especially on the bike.

The easiest and quickest way to get some of this free speed is too learn how to shift your bike properly. I hear you all saying now, I know how to shift. You pull up on the shifter for easier gears, and push down when I want a harder gear. Simple, Right? Not necessarily.

If you watch top riders they will do a lot of passing approaching hills, and going over the top of hills. This is because of how and when they are shifting.

Approaching a hill.

A lot of people panic when approaching a hill. They shift into the gear they believe they need to be climbing in way too early. To get free speed when going up the hill the best way to shift is to focus on maintaining a constant high cadence and effort as long as possible.

How you shift can assist you in this. When approaching the hill try and maintain your momentum as long as possible. Shift down one gear at a time and hold each gear until your cadence is starting to fall. Then shift to the next gear. By doing this you will maximize the momentum gained on the approach. This is a very effective technique when riding rolling hills. Often you can avoid getting into your granny gear at all. Not only will this save you speed, it also saves a lot of effort. The less time you spend grunting in your granny gear the better.

If you learn this skill rolling hills can actually be faster than a completely flat race course.

The disclaimer with this one is that you need to have full confidence in your bikes ability to shift smoothly when climbing. Skipping a gear doing this could result in the loss of a lot of momentum.

At the top.

For all of us after grunting up a hill the instinct is to ease off once we are at the top to get a bit of a breather. However, you give up a lot of speed when a few more pedal strokes can net you up to 5 seconds time bonus! Multiply that by the number of hills you will do in any given race and viola! Free time!

When you reach the top of a hill resist the urge to rest right away. Keep pedalling strongly over the top of the apex of the hill. This should include shifting through a few gears as well. Give a couple of real strong pedal strokes once you start heading down the other side of the hill before taking a rest. Once again, it is all about momentum. If you can give the bike a bit of a boost before heading down the hill the momentum gained at the top will result in greater gains further down!

Ideally you should keep pedaling down the hill as long as possible. A little input at this stage from you can increase your speed by 5 -8 km per hour. Where else during a race can a little pedaling have such an effect?

Other things you can do!

PSI. No that is not the newest crime drama out there. Pounds Per Square Inch. This is the pressure that is in your tires! Properly inflated tires are an easy source of free speed.

Most clincher tires can hold around 120 PSI in pressure comfortably. Some people flirt with more. The higher the pressure in your tire the harder it becomes to make the tire bend or flex. It can also narrow the footprint of the tire. The less material touching the road the faster you will go. This is part of the reason the skinny tires on road bikes are faster than mountain bikes. Making sure your tires are properly inflated is a vital pre race routine.

When entering transition you always see people inflating their tires. They do this at the race for a couple of reasons.

  1. High pressure in tires can be a little volatile. Especially when you are taking the bike in and out of a car that may or may not have a large temperature difference from the outside air temperature. Hotter outside = Air pressure to expand, and possible rupture the tire. Colder outside = loss of air pressure do to contraction. Always remember to let out a little air pressure when packing your bike inside a car.
  1. In the morning temperatures are cold. If you inflate your tires too early you could loss up to 5-8 PSI in air pressure. Do it as close to race time as possible.

Properly inflated tires also reduce the risk of a puncture. The smaller footprint also makes it harder to hit things. The higher pressure also doesn’t allow the tire to flex. This is when a lot of punctures happen.

Inflate your tires before every ride!

Clean your bike. A clean bike is a happy bike, and a happy bike goes fast.

Especially your chain. Not only does this reduce friction, it also lengthens the lifespan of many parts on your bike.

Hope these tips help gain some free speed for some of you!

Safe riding!

NIagara Sprint Triathlon

Heave Ho!!!

I’ll explain later.

Real short race. Seemed especially short since the last three races I have done have been a 1/2 IM. Long Course, and an OLy.

I had a long week of training prior to this race to try and consolidate the fitness gains I had made during and after peterborough. Left me a bit sluggish. I was not in a real racey mood.

That is until the gun went off. I pushed hard in the swim. It burnt pretty bad until about half way, and I really found a groove. I was motoring, and not using too much energy. Out of the water I was in the top 10 overall.

Swim: 11:09

On to the bike, facing the beast of the east. It is a tough climb, but after watching the tour, it is nothing! PAced it well up the climb. I need to focus on remaining seated even on the steep bits. I really am way more efficient that way. I did this on the last pitch of the climb and felt great. Lost a few spots, but managed to gain most of them back.

I pushed hard on the bike. Harder than I have pushed all year. It felt great. I knew that if I pushed until we got to the downhill back down the escartment and freewheeled it back I should be able to recover well. Everytime I looked down I was doing over 42kmph. A little suprised at the average of 34.8, but I guess that is a result of the hill.

Bike: 40?

Blew in and out of t2 in 0:35 seconds. Which was a goal for this race. I wanted to cut a bit of time there. Turns out that this was important!

Onto the run. I thought I was in first place so I was booking it. I pushed hard right out of the gate and it hurt. The body was not responding well. I think I should have taken a gel on the bike.

Anyways, Managed to keep the legs turning over OK, but it was a big struggle. By the last couple of KM I was really spent, but I didn’t want to get passed so I just kept pushing.

Run 27:30

Just as I crossed the line all of a sudden my stomach decided to void itself of what little was in there. I went right to the garbage pail at the end of the shoot and let ‘er rip. THis is the first time this has ever happened to me!

Felt great afterwards. I’m not sure quite why this happend, but it did.

My favourite line was “Excuse me, you need to take of your chip, oops, when your ready!”

he he.

The weird thing is that this little girl stood a couple of feet away watching me hurl. It was weird.

I came second in my AG and 14th overall. My best overall showing to date. More importantly I finished 5 seconds in front of the person I am racing for the overall in my AG so I extended my lead by a little.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Peterborough 1/2 Ironman

This was one of two A races for the season for me. Because of this I did a full taper. I hate tapering. You feel like a sloppy bag of poo not being able to train much.

Luckily I had some nice new (too me) race wheels to stare at! : > Nothing like new gear to keep you interested. The bike looks badass! all black carbon wheels, black frame.

Woke up 5am and met my ride to peterborough. This is the closest race to my house only a 40 min. drive.

We got there nice and early so there was no concerns with washrooms, racking etc... Got the bike and gear racked up and warmed up nicely.

The swim.

Peterborough is a very weedy swim. I don't particularly mind this as I swim in a weedy lake at home so I think this is a bit of an advantage for me.

2000m swim? More like 2100 +. I hauled ass and did a 29:55. I should have been mid 28:00 for the effort I put out. Still relative to the field I was very happy. 14th out of the water and 13th onto the bike.
Had a good draft most of the way.

T1. Nice and smooth. Decided to put on socks for this one.

90km bike. As I now see myself as a mature triathlete:> I planned on pacing myself well. My goal was to average around 35-36kmph. A heavy head wind on the way back eliminated this. I still managed 34.8, but not the pace i was hoping for.

However, the pacing of my effort was good and I was feeling pretty strong near the end of the 90km. There was a guy who drafted off of me for a while, and then jumped to the wheel of another athlete who passed us. He got a penalty, and that made me happy!

I was planning on drinking 6 bottles of water/gatorade on the bike due to the weather forcast. I ended up only drinking 5 as the temps didn't reach the highs we were expecting. Took 4 Gu's on the bike (I love Gu!) and everything was peachy keen!
Bike 2:35

T2. Very fast sub one minute.

Legs felt pretty good right out of transition. Turn over was high. I didn't like the grassy section they made us run through. It was really tough after the first loop when your legs are tired. I did not check out the run course beforehand, since it was new, that might have been a good idea.

There were a number of really steep punchy hills starting around 3km. I like the idea of the loop as it allows you to set much shorter goals. Just keep this pace to the turn around. . .etc... It was a challenging course and I think I liked the old one better.

The first loop was OK. I held a steady pace, and the body was coping. Started to feel a little rough after the first loop so I took a GU.

After about 3km into the second loop the legs really started to come around. Just like in Muskoka. It seems that I don't start running really strong until after 13km. Not a bad thing. I held back a bit until getting over the top of the last hill. I still had a ton left and really pushed hard for the last 4km.

This emptied the tank. I was really spent crossing the finish line, however I felt great about how I raced.

My initial goal was a 1:35 run. Hoping for 4:30ish kms.

Ended up Finishing in 1:40:00. I really don't think I had much more in me than that. Still very happy. Last year I ran a 1:55. so big improvements here.

Finished 4:48.33 Which is great. My goal was around 2:50.00 so definetely beat that. Right were I want to be in prep for IM this year. Beat last year by 23min. Big time PB.

This is great becuase it confirms the time goals I have for IM. Now I've got around 4 months to train for it.

In reality I am just glad to have this one out of the way. It has been a bit of a burden, and now I am free to focus strictly on training for IM. (maybe a bit of focus on qualifying for worlds next year.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Guelph Lake 1 Oly

Right! Here we go.
A nice partially cloudy day in guelph. This is a venue that I have had strong races at in the past so I think it must suit me well.

I wasn't too confident going into the race. I had taken a tumble on the mountain bike on saturday and landed on a root brusing my hip. It was a little sore and I didn't know how it would respond to the running.

I had set relatively lofty time goals for the day. I wanted to run a sub 40min. 10km, and average 37kmph on the bike.

They had adjusted the swim from a straight 1500m to two 750 loops. This suits me fine as the little run on the beach allows the arms to recover and freshen up for the second loop.

The start was a mass start. I had seeded myself in the sub 23min. group. Apparently those farther back had a rough go of it. For us the start wasn't too bad.

Caught a decent draft for the first few hundred meters but lost the feet of the guy at the turning buoy. He went wider than me and I ended up passing him. I then found myself all alone (which wasn't the plan) There was a small group maybe 10m in front of me. I tried to bridge to them a couple of times but found that the effort wasn't worth it.

We exited the water for the second loop and I tried to bridge then. I was able to get onto the feet of that small group and caught a sweet draft for the entire second loop. We were out of the water in 22:00. I had the 13th best swim time. I was happy with that. It is a long uphil run to the transition. I had a good smooth transition.

Onto the bike.

I've been learning to pace myself early on the bike. So many people race off hard, and then blow up on the run. I find if I take a few km to allow the body to adjust I then am able to push the bike, and not be burnt out for the run. I was passed by a number of people initially, but I think I got almost all of them back by the end.

Averaged 36.9 km on the bike. Right on my goal pace.
Bike: 1:11.?

I ended up passing a guy right before transition. It turns out that was for the lead! I never knew that until I read the results! I thought through the entire run that I was in second or third.

The run is a lot hillier than I remember. Started of at a good pace. The legs were getting pretty heavy by the turn around, but I knew it was mostly downhill until the last couple of kms. Started running with a guy who was from the 40-45? age group. Both of us were pushing pretty good and we ended up pacing each other for the rest of the race. I got a lot of comments that we looked relaxed and chating away. Trust me. We were chatting, but pushing hard.

Guelph finishes with a run past the finsih line, and then they shoot you up this punchy little hill and back to the finish. Probably one of the most painful finished of any race I have done.

I made it up the last hill, and the legs recovered on the way down. I managed to break from the small pack I was running with and beat them too the line.

Run: 40:45 (not the sub 40 I wanted) but a good solid run.

I ended up winning my AG. First time for that! I've been eyeing up those race winners hats for a while!

This race was a world champs qualifier, so I was offered a spot. I declined do to it not being in the budget, but that made someone else happy!

So guelph was good! Looking forward to p-borough though.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Muskoka Long Course Race Report

It was a perfect day in Muskoka for a race. Warm and overcast to start. The temps never became an issue at all during the day which is in stark contrast to last year!

The best part of Muskoka is that you get to race against some of the best triathletes in the world. It makes for a really exciting atmosphere. Everything is kinda electric.

Right from the start I had scheduled Muskoka as a B race. In reality it was more of a b-. I wanted to get some points, and have a strong race in prep for peterborough. I didn’t want to get into a position where I was expecting a great result and came up against the competition who where peaking here trying to get a spot at an IM.

My goal was to have a good strong race with a focus on running well.

I don’t think I have ever been so relaxed at a race! It was great. No butterflies/nothing. I racked up, and did a quick warm-up run. I didn’t take the bike off the rack in fear of losing my spot! Put on the new Aquaman westuit (carefully!) and headed down to the swim exit. I took a nice leasurely swim down the channel to the swim start. I recomend this to anyone doing the race next year as it is a great way to get away from the crowds, and not have to walk the distance to the start.

I started in the second wave after the elite men. Immediately I caught a draft off of one of the front guys in my group. I held him until the back stretch of the swim when we started passing the first wave. I then managed to position myself behind a (big)guy from my wave who was finding a good route through the lapers. Had the goggles knocked off once, but not too bad.

Once we hit the channel it opened up. The white caps seemed to all stay left with the purple going right. I had a strong draft the whole way up river (which is very important). I never felt like I was working hard on the swim. It was a very cruisy one for me. I knew I was pacing OK, but it wasn’t requiring that much effort. Maybe the new suit ?

Out of the water in 29:53. Good time. I think I can easily go sub 29 at peterborough.

Good transition. Nice and smooth. Once again the wetsuit came off like a breeze!

Onto the bike. The MO for the bike was a nice conservative effort. I was well aware of the amount of hills on the course this year, and I didn’t want to overdo it. I rode well within myself which was a great feeling because I was still moving. I really focused on my shifting and maximizing momentum. Got to the aid station feeling great. Chuged the rest of the gatorade and water and reloaded. Only to lose the gatorade they gave me within a km. I was slightly concerned, but know that I normally ride this distance with only three bottles so I should be fine. Ended up not being an issue. GLad it wasn’t too hot though.

The hills were pretty bad on the back section of the bike. Some of the new slurry sections were very sketchy because you couldn’t see the bumps. Nice that they put the effort in though for this race. Very interesting ride. Thought it was challenging but fun.

Off the bike in 133: AVG. 35.6kmph

I was aiming36 so that was ok.

Another good transition.

Started the run feeling pretty good. I wanted to focus on setting a good comfortable pace until the heart rate came down, and then start pushing a bit. My side started cramping a bit after about 3km. However, whenever I let my mind wander from the pain, it went away. No big deal. It kept coming back a bit throughout the run.

I was running well, and the body started to really feel good about the 8 or 9km mark. I started to push a bit harder. There was a guy behind my from my AG that I passed earlier coming up on me, and I set the goal of keeping him at bay. He ended up passing me at the 12 km mark. I knew he was working harder than I was so I just stayed right behind him. When we hit the 13km mark I was feeling really good even on the hills. So I decided to see what I had left and really kicked. I put almost 500m between myself and that guy in the final 2km. I was flying! I couldn’t believe how well I was running at the end. I guess this is the first race that is approaching the distance that I am training for. So that is a great boost of confidence for me.

Run : 1:03 4:13?

Overall 3:07. About 40 min. faster than last year!

I ended up 7th in my AG. Which was Ok. More importantly I have really boosted my comfidence for Peterborough. I now have a prooven strategy for the distance, and we will se what I can do! Really stoked to go long.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My place in the race.

The beginning of the season has been interesting for me. After a hard winter of training I've been able to see the results of my training. I've already met some of my goals for the year, and had some good results in the races.

So why am I not satisfied with this? I guess it is that inner athlete that wants to be the best, but I really am getting frustrated with his constant nagging!

Other than that, I'm pretty happy! I get my new wetsuit soon. Good to get rid of the old one that doesn't fit anymore. Probably cost me some time at Milton.

The school year is almost over which will free up my time for the big IM training miles. I'm really looking forward to that.

I think that this time of year is the most frustrating. I want to train more, the body wants to train more, but the schedule keeps getting in the way. Work tires you out, so the evening sessions aren't as good as they could be.

I have met a bunch of new people this year. It is great going to the triathlons and knowing a bunch of people. I am starting to feel as though I belong to this community and am not just an outsider looking in. It is neat to hear my name a lot as I pass people coming the other way on the run or bike.

The website is excellent also. Talking to people who are not as fast as me, helps me put things into perspective. They see my speed and think I am super fast, and I see the leaders speed, and compare myself to them. I think I should spend more time looking at last years results and seeing the huge difference.

I saw a bike picture of me from Milton when I was in my tuck. I didn't realize how aggressive I am positioned on the bike. It is awesome! My back is completely flat. I think I can widen my aero bars a bit which might open up my chest a little more and that could ease my breathing. Not that that is a problem right now, but I don't need to have them as close as they are. I don't think I can get much more aero than I am now! (MAybe a nice aero wheelset, but that is about it!;>) This may also help with my digestion.

So I guess everything is going real well. It will be interesting to see how the body reacts to the longer races. I'm looking forward to keeping a slightly slower pace.

Muskoka will be fun. I'm really relaxed about it because I'm not expecting to get many points due to the competitive nature of the race and field. I am more focused on guelph. So it will be a good experience and I get to do the longer distance which is more fun!

This will be a good gauge for peterborough. I'm really going to focus on nutrition. Especially downing plenty of GU on the bike. I think I will try one every 35 min or so. See how that leaves me on the run.

There is an awesome swim at Muskoka. A water start, and lots of room to spread out. I need to focus on getting a good draft in this one. I lost the toes of the lead pack at Milton, and was unable to catch them. Unfortunately, the Pro's will be going off in a seperate wave, so hopefully there will be a few fast swimmers in mine that I can get behind. It will be nice to find a groove. The long straight stretches will allow the breathing to settle down. I was breathing every 2 strokes for most of Milton which isn't good. I was putting out too hard of an effort, and should've eased off until I could breathe every 3. This doesn't cost me any speed. I just need the HR down.

The bike is hilly, which suits me fine. I think I might put the 13-25 back on the bike so as to have the smaller gear on the steep hills. I will put it back on for guelph and peterborough. I want to keep the HR down as much as possible. I need to have a strong run at Muskoka for the confidence. Even if this means losing a position or two. If I can average around 35 or 36 I will be happy.

The run starts hilly, and then flattens out. It isn't hard, but last year I blew up and that hurt my confidence going into peterborough. So I think it is a good idea to ensure a strong run. I know the bike is strong, but the run could use a little work.

My training on the run has been going real well. I've put in some great tempo runs. These are quickly becoming my favourite workout. Still trying to up the speed workout reps, but I keep doing them on hot days. I think they are helping though. Even when I am struggling on the run I am keeping a decent pace. I can cruise doing 4:10 kms so that is promising for peterborough.

I am planning a long weekend this week so I will be able to test out the legs again. I actually miss the long workouts when I have races. They are really relaxing. It will be nice when school is out, and I can get these in during the week so when I do race on sat or sun it won't eliminate a long workout. I really need to focus on keeping the body healthy and not burnt out, and I think that these long easy workouts are the key to this. Especially on the bike. It's funny. The 180km ride is much more daunting to me than the 42km run. I guess it is just the amount of time it takes to complete.

Well, that is it for now.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Milton Sprint Triathlon

So it was a muggy and hot day in Milton. I was sweating before the race even started!

Milton has a great challenging course. The hill on the bike is a challenge, and the run also features a number of hills.

My day started out allright. A bit of nerves, but otherwise O.K. I wasn’t too sure of myself as I was having a bit of a Blah week. I was ready to chalk this one up as a learning experience!

However, once I got there, and met up with everyone, I quickly caught the fever.

The swim is a nice loop in a small lake at the kelso conservation area. The water was warm (atleast 70) and was a pleasure to dip into to get out of the heat.

I bumped myself up to the elite wave to avoid the slower swimminers I would have to pass.

I started right beside Carlos Robles fellow running free athlete, and the Guembels. The MO for the day was to see where the swim was at compared to the rest of the field.

I started strong and was able to stay clear of any craziness. I tried to keep the leaders within site. For the most part I managed this. I think I was 7th or 8th out of the water. I wasn’t particularily pleased with my breathing on the swim, and next time I need to focus on getting a better rythm. It is hard to on these short swims.

SwimL 10:34

I had a bit of trouble in T1 with my suit catching on my watch and timing chip. A little slow. Next time I am going to try and keep the watch under the sleeve, same goes for the timing chip.

The gravel in T1 was harsh. I ended up wusing out and left some sandals at the swim exit. I think that was a good move.

Onto the bike. The body handled the transition OK. Which is good since this is the first such transition it has made this year.

Hit the hill, and was wishing for my other cassette. From last year I knew that a lot of people attacked the hill and burnt out after it. I decided to pace myself up it (regardless of who was passing) and push once we topped out. This worked pretty well. I managed to catch all 4 riders who passed me on the hill including kyle vanbuerden. The rest of the ride was relatively uneventful. I ended up riding near two of the top women. They were pushing each other hard, and I got caught up in it. Went a bit harder than I would have planned but OK.

I did have someone from my old AG draft off of me after I blew by him. I didn’t notice him for a while. I wasn’t happy. He shall remain nameless.

BIke: 47:00 37.5 avg

T2 was uneventful. SHould have taken a Gu on the bike, but the tummy wasn’t dealing with the heat that well. I knew that the run was going to be painfull.

The run starts with a punchy little climb immediately out of transition. It hurts. It then winds its way out of Kelso onto the road where you proceed to run up hill until you turn around in a small park. Benefit is, it is almost all downhill on the way home!

I pretty much blew up on the run. The GI track was rebelling. I was really just in damage control mode then. I took it slow for the first couple of km. I notched it up a bit after I started getting the old HR under control.

Overall not a great run.


Total 1:32:?

I managed 2nd in my AG, and 25th overall. I know that I probably could have taken a couple of minutes off of the run, but for a C race this was a good result. Just racking up the points for an overall AG win.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Victoria's Du

Beautiful day in Waterloo for a race! Once again a very well put on race at a new venue. I liked the trails at laurel park before, but the transition venue was good. Needed some extra porta poties though.

Huge compliment of Team Running Free members. Good to meet all of you guys.

DU's are painful. A real fast pace was set off. I started in the second wave for the first time. New AG and all. It was neat passing all of the first wave people. Kinda inspiring.

I started off at the front of my wave. Probably a bit too quick. 3:20 for the first 1km. Settled in for a 14:30 4km. Good time. What I was aiming for.

Tough transition. Had to try 4 times to get the helmet buckled. Don't know why. Then at the mounting line I got on my bike and pedaled once to break the elastics, and then a guy stopped dead infront of me. I had to get off the bike. Now my shoes were hanging, and it was a bit difficult to get my feet ontop of them again. Got it figured out though. I won't have this problem starting in the fast wave in the future. Everyone knows what they are doing.

They bike was hilly and fast! Felt real strong and put a bunch of time on the leaders. I had the 10th fastest bike split. 39:00 averaging 37.80km per hour.

good transition.

Felt pretty tired on the run, but it is only 4km so I gutted it out to a 15:15. Got passed by two people in my AG. Third to fifth position's were seperated by less than a minute. Tough!!! 57 people in my AG.

Finished 5th AG, and 17th overall. My highest ever placing. Good gauge of the fitness gains I have made over the winter. Time 1:10:15.

Can't wait to sink my teeth into a tri though.

2 weeks till Milton!
He He

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It begins!!!

Well, this weekend is the first race of the season for me. It is a sprint duathlon, a much shorter distance than I have been training for.

It is a C race and I am training right through it, so why am I so bloody nervous about it?

I think it might have something to do with my goals, and how much I have been training. It is the first real test of my fitness for the season. Have all these hours added up to a real difference in my performance from last year? I don't know yet, I will find out monday!

I know I am faster, but will I be at the front of my AG where I want to be? Is this a realistic goal for a race like this? How will moving up an AG affect my results? Should I start in the second wave with my AG or ask to be moved up to the elite wave?

Too many bloody questions! I hate this time of year for this very reason. It is exciting and nerve racking. Especially this year with all the time and money invested in my training and gear I'm expecting to see results.

I know I shouldn't put too much stock in what happens this weekend because it is not my sort of race( too short, no swim) but I know I will. AGHHHH!

I just want to get it over with, and then I can focus more on having a solid tri season, with a strong result or two under my belt. Get the ol' confidence back.

So I guess I just wait and see, but it is definetely causing more stress that is necessary.

Here we go!

Monday, March 26, 2007

I can see it in my head . . . .

I used to be one of those people who didn't get the idea of an elite athlete spending so much time and money on the idea of visualization.

I've read the magazines, training books and web sites, but it all seemed a little to new agey touchy feely for me.

Picture your goal, imagine yourself achieving this goal blah blah blah. . . why don't we light some incense while we are at it!

Now that I think of it, I guess to some extent, I've always done this sort of visualization automatically. I've just never quite realized what I was doing.

So yesterday, fresh off of skimming a section on visualization in one of Joe Friels books, I was about 1/2 way through the 12km run of by 4hr brick. The body was hurting a bit, and I had obviously misjudged my nutrution a little as well. Not dying, just not having too much fun.

I decided to give the visualization thing a go. I started to think about what my ideal outcome of one of the races I am going to compete in this year would be. I mentally started on the swim start, and carried through to the run. I ended up finding myself racing a fellow competitor for an AG victory, and winning.

Now, I often daydream while running but this was a deliberate mental activity on my part. By the time I reached the end of my mental race, I started to realize what was happening in my body.

All the concerns that were building in my head were gone. The legs were feeling great, the tummy was a non issue. I felt awesome. Not too mention that I had just completed two sub 4 minute kms as well. I was able to maintain that momentum for the rest of the run.

The weirdest thing was that I actually found myself acting like I was racing. The adrenaline was up, and the thrill was there as well. Not just out for another long training session.

Now, I don't know how often this sort of thing will work for me, but I now realize what sort of benefit it can have.

You still won't find me in any YOGA class anytime soon, or humming some sort of mantra, but I do have a bit more respect for what the brain can do!

By Syd Trefiak

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The March BLAH's!!!!

This is probably my least favourite time of the year. Yeah, it is nice that spring is coming and the snow is melting, but I always seem to get the blahs.

It is still too cold to go outside in shorts and a T , which means an extensive amount of time is required just to get prepared for any run or ride. How many layers do I need out there. Is it too cold to bike? Can I get away with just a hat or do I need the beeny as well. Will a bike ride today require hours of cleaning afterwards? exetera. . .

I also get a little tired of just training. The motivation takes a bit of a hit. It is still two months until the first du and almost 3 until the first tri. Add that to putting a lot of work in over the winter to keep yourself motivated and your tank starts running on empty. I could do the comentary for the Spinerval videos with the sound of, and I've caught up on all the movies from the video store that I have been wanting to see.

Sure I know the nice weather is probably only a month or less away, but it still sucks. I think my vitamin D must be lacking or something. Not enough sunlight.

Oh well, maybe in a few weeks things will warm up some more. Once April hits it will only be a month until the first race and I can start using the 'pit of doubt' to fuel me at that point.

It just always seems that March sucks the most!!


Monday, March 12, 2007

The Importance of the Taper

The taper is probably one of the most important, and often overlooked, parts of any training program. However, a well put together and effective taper can make a huge difference on race day.

The taper is the period of reduced training volume before a major race. This period allows the body to fully recover (without losing fitness), so that maximum performance can be achieved during an important race. One of the biggest mistakes triathletes make when tapering is to continue doing long/slow distance work while removing all moderate to high intensity workouts. What should happen is that over a 2 to 3 week period your volume should be reduced and intensity workouts should be maintained. Due to large reduction in volume during this period, higher intensity efforts will be short in length, and performed less often.
The part of the taper that I find most frustrating is the sluggish/lethargic feeling you can get during this period. Mentally your body is telling you that you are loosing fitness. In reality this is your body adjusting to the changes you are making in your training. Often athletes are tempted to �test themselves� and end up pushing harder and longer than their plan indicates. This is where the mental discipline comes in. You need to constantly confirm for yourself that this is what needs to happen for a peak performance during the race. There is a large amount of research on the subject proving the benefits.
Depending on the importance of a race, and phase of your training program etc., a taper will usually last for between 4 days and 4 weeks. A taper of 3 to 4 weeks is normal for an Iron distance event. A good rule of thumb with an Ironman taper is to reduce the volume of your Ironman schedule by 20% each week, starting 4 weeks out from the race. This will mean that in the week before the race, you are only performing 20% of your biggest volume week. Resist the temptation to do more, and don�t fill up the extra time with other physical activity.

The theory behind the taper is that it takes your body at least 2 weeks to gain the full benefit from any training you have done. So by the last two weeks before the race, your major focus should be to allow the body to fully recover and build up energy stores for you�re A race. The training you do during your taper to keep your fast twitch muscles (which get recruited nearing the end of an Ironman when your slow twitch fibres fatigue).

Another mistake that is quite common is that an athlete will take a rest day the day before the race. Take your rest day 2-3 days before that race (possibly on a travel day for an Ironman). On the day before the Ironman complete short/easy workouts in all 3 disciplines with some short sprints to keep those fast twitch muscles firing.

In shorter distance races(sprint/Olympic) athletes sometimes respond better to a more abrupt taper (60-90% in the last week). It is important at these distances to test out your taper at a minor race prior to you�re a race. Each athlete will respond differently.
If possible always test out any changes to your strategy (taper, nutrition) prior to implementing it at an A race. For Ironman distance competitors it may be feasible to test a shorter taper at a 70.3 (1/2 IM) event earlier in the season.

Best of luck training!

Mujika, Padilla, Pyne and Busso. Physiological changes associated with the pre-event taper in athletes. Sports Med. 34(13):901-927, 2004.
Mujika and Padilla. Scientific bases for pre-competition tapering strategies. Med. Sci. Sports Exercise 35(7):1182-1187, 2003.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Team Running Free

Woo Hoo!!!!
Just found out that I have been accepted to Team Running Free!

I'm so stoked! I'm really looking forward to racing in the team swag and getting involved with all the cool stuff they do!

I am so excited about being part of a team. It will be neat hanging out with all of my teammates at the races and other events. I love this sport, and now I have even more people to share it with!



Sunday, February 4, 2007

160km on the trainer.

Well, for Xmas I got the Spinervals Hardcore 100. (I asked for it) Been slowly building up to the full 51/2 hrs it takes to finish it. Wholeheartedly ignoring "Coach Troy's" threat of letting the air out of my tires if I didn't do the full time.

The idea of spending 51/2 hrs on the trainer was daunting in itself. I know physically that I'm capable of it, but mentally that is a lot of time and energy spent on going nowhere in particular.

Now I am fully aware of the benefits of spending lots of time on the trainer in the winter, and have done so in the past, but I don't think I have gotten over 3 hrs. So it was with a bit of hesitation that I put that first DVD in this morning. Today, I was going to do the whole thing.

Anyone who has done a Spinervals DVD will know that they are an excellent training tool. The workouts are well designed and well delivered by "Coach Troy". This one is no exception.

I found that it was probably the easiest 51/2 hrs I have ever spent on a bike. Granted, I have only done a few rides as long or longer ever, but this didn't seem as much of slog as I thought it would be. I definitely feel like I have done something today. The sets are interesting enough that you don't get too bored but not so tough as to hurt you too badly (until the very end anyways).

I would recommend it as a good base building tool. He spends a lot of time focusing on cadence. You do this DVD a couple of times, and you will have little problems maintaining a 90plus cadence over the century distance. I will probably also be throwing this in a couple of times right before Ironman Florida, once the temps up here drop in October. It will be good since Florida is so flat!

Give this one a try sometime. I think you will be surprised.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

Ode to my bike

Oh my bike!
You are such a beautiful bike.
I love the way you look when the sun gleams off you in transition on a summers day!

How you fit me in that special way.
That makes my bum hurt after 160k

I love the way your carbon gleams
and matte black finish looks so mean.

I love the speeds you take me too.
Like a drug I really can't afford you.

But I beg and steal that so someday
I can upgrade your wheels for race day.

Maybe I will buy some more carbon this or that.
So I feel lighter if I get fat.

But most important of all
You are my bike and despite what I might say
after a ride on a rainy day
When I am lovingly cleaning the road grim away

I love you bike

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Of all the sports in all the world why have I chosen to become addicted to this one? It is an interesting process going back through the years and seeing the steps which have lead me to the here and now. Mainly being ridiculously obsessed with this sport and the culture surrounding it.

Now, I'm no newbie to endurance sport. I've done the MTB racing thing, the adventure racing thing, and the running thing, but I have never been so involved with a sport such as I am with triathlon.

Is it because I'm kinda good at it? Is it because of all the cool gear? Am I getting older and have more of an attention span for this stuff?

I'm not one hundred percent sure.

Granted, I'm now in a relatively secure spot in life. Good job, a house, a wife, a dog, a vehicle (or two) that I actually own. Maybe this has allowed me to focus on a single sport as much as I am now.

I am starting to believe though, that the culture of triathlon has an addictive quality to it. There is the obvious addiction to training. Nothing better than a post hard workout buzz. However, there is something else there which I haven't experienced in any other sport. An inclusiveness.

From the first race I ever completed to the last one of the season. I allways felt like I belonged at the race. There was never an air of "look at that guy. He is actually bringing a mountain bike into the transition area!" Which can occur in some sports. Rather than that I was actually asked questions and given advice. I was welcomed. Everyone of us triathletes has had a similar experience entering the sport. Whether by a friend or a stranger, someone made us feel welcomed. I know as a result of this I try and do the same. I try not to take myself too seriously in transition, and I try to make those who are obviously new to the sport feel welcome. All because some stranger did the same for me. I think as triathletes we pride ourselves on this fact.

One other very cool thing about triathlon is that you can line up beside your idols at any given race, and compare your result against theirs. How many sports can you do that in?

A final thing that I think has hooked me on triathlon. There is a race for everyone. There is a distance for everyone. There is never a point when this sport is going to get easy! There is allways another challenge that is slightly different than anything else you have done! For me, this is important. I need that push to do something longer and harder. I guess that is why I will be lining up at the IM Florida starting line in November. To prove to myself that I can do something as challenging and tough as an Ironman.

It will be interesting, and I can't wait to get the Tattoo!


Who I am!

Well, I guess I should start things off with a basic intro to who I am.

I'm a front of the pack Age grouper looking to become a little more competitive in the overall ranks this season. As a teacher I have enough time to make this a reality without sacrificing a life or a marriage (thanks to my patient and beutiful wife!)

I race mainly in the Subaru series in Ontario, and have the goal of winning my AG this year, as well as completing my first IM in Panama City Beach. Should be an interesting year. I would also like to qualify for ITU long course worlds next year.

You can find me posting on other sites such as my forum

and at

Until Later