Week in Review, Peak Period  

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I am into the last days of the second week of my Peak phase. There are a couple of different terms for this phase of the periodization cycle, but it is basically the weeks after your base building and before your taper for a big “A” race. And it usually emphasizes race simulation workouts focusing on speed and tempo work.

My week included kick ass workouts and total rest days starting on Saturday with my last Long ride of the year. The week went like this.

Sat Long Ride, 3 hours, approx 75km
Sun Rest
Mon Brick, full St, John’s Tri Course (46k) followed by a 5 k run
Tue Rest
Wed Long Run, 75 minutes, slow with 1 minute pickups
Thur Brick, 45 min ride with sprints, 40 minute tempo run

As well I did a long slow pool swim on Wednesday with a 5 x 200 main set done on an easy pace.

And a hard swim on Thursday with a main set of
5 x 50 on 1:00 EZ
4 x 250 on 5:00 Race Pace (For Time)
5 x 50 on 1:30 HARD

As it turned out, Sunday’s rest day was not planned, but our daughter wanted to go for breakfast, and I love to eat as much as I love to train, so I decided to rest, instead. Actually I worked on the shed, bending over, and stepping up onto the top step. By Monday I was sore.

Monday’s brick was brutal. The full course is 2 x 20k loop. I did one loop, rested for 10 minutes the second. My times were way off my target and I was pretty pissed until I heard on the radio on the drive home that winds were 35km gusting to 50. Also considering how sore I was, I felt slightly better.

Thursdays Brick was the highlight of the week. As a tempo run I have a loop that I run from my house. I have no idea what the distance is, but it’s hilly, and on a good day takes me about 40 minutes. Yesterday I did the loop off the bike in 37:56. That’s my fastest split of the year, by a lot, and also that was after a hard lunchtime swim. So I now feel a lot better about Monday’s workout.

Today is a rest day, lunch scheduled with DW. Then, Taper Week, my favorite time of the year. Stay tuned.

New Shoes and Last Long Run  

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They’re New, They’re Blue, They’re my new shoes. My old Newtons arrived April 3 2009. That makes them 1 year and 4 months old. I had originally planned to try to get the rest of the year out of them , but I was getting some twinges and aches and forking over 200 clams for new treads beats an injury any day. I have actually logged a few more training miles this year than I anticipated, and I am hoping to run a couple of fall races and set some new PB’s so over to the only shop in town that carries the brand, and 10 minutes later, I have new my puppies.

Then less than 10 minutes later, I was on the road working on breaking them in. This was my last LONG run before race day. Since this is peak week, that means backing off on the total distance a little, and adding some intensity. As a result, the workout was a 75 minute run done as REVERSE 10 and 1’s.

10 and 1’s are used by a lot of recreational and even some competitive runners, and is popular with the Running Room clinics. The protocol is run 10 minutes, and walk for a minute, and the theory is that you can increase your distance and endurance while limiting potential for injury. I used them for my Ironman and half Ironman training as my race strategy for both was to run between aid stations at every mile mark, then walk for a minute to allow my HR to drop and take in fuel and hydration.

The difference with yesterday was that I substituted the 1 minute walk breaks with 1 minute pickups. So it was in fact like an organized fartlek run. (Yes I had to get Fartlek in there)

The result, great run, comfy new shoes, and looking forward to next Sundays race.

Tour de Food  

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I just came across a really neat article on PEZ featuring an interview with Willy Balmat, chef for the Cervelo Test Team at the Tour de France.

Willy has been preparing food for teams on the tour for 24 years and has worked with, Motorola, US Postal Service, Discovery Channel, Astana, Garmin and now two years with Cervelo.

It’s interesting to hear about the challenges of preparing food for a team of hungry racers, as well as the staff while hopping all over the country. He has to adopt foreign kitchens, in hotels where supplies may be hard to get, and sometimes share the facility with chefs from other teams.

It’s also a lesson in organization as he sometimes has to prepare breakfast and get it on the table, then cleanup, and collect his gear and hit the road before the caravans and media processions leave or he will never make it to the next destination to prepare dinner for the racers after the completion of the stage.

But what I find the most intriguing is the glimpse into the menus for pro racers. Breakfast is a usually a combination of various omlettes, plain, ham, or ham and cheese, and porridge (oatmeal) and pasta. The interview with Willy was on a rest day meaning an extra meal for lunch. Normally the riders are on their bikes and eating powerbars and sports drinks. Lunch today was more omlettes, and salads with maybe a little pasta or rice. The riders tend to eat lighter lunches so they are not too full during the afternoon training sessions. Dinner was to be Sirloin steak and chicken fillet for Carlos Sastre.

This is definitely an interesting read. With all the talk of chicken, sirloin, and ham omlettes, I wonder if there were any Vegans riding in the tour?

Any how, don’t know about you, but I am getting hungry reading and writing about all this. Check it out while I hit the kitchen and fetch me a ham and cheese omlette.

New Followers, and Screech!  

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I want to give a shout out to a couple of my latest follower.

Barbie (Yes, her real name) at Trying a Tri is from Australia which is kinda cool. Literally. It’s winter there now, and it’s neat to hear how she is coping. She is also working through an injury, drop by and say hi.

Patrick at The Road, Multisport Blog Patrick is a relatively newbie to the sport. He also runs an apparel business called ENDURANCE ATHLETE PROJECT. Check it out.

Finally, Kovas at Midwest Multisport Life. I read his comment on Patrick’s post on the Salona Beach Triathlon.

Kovas made reference to one of our local beverages called Screech. I emailed him about his comment, and we exchanged correspondence, and checked out each others blogs.

Kovas keeps quite an extensive blog roll. You should check it out, and if try to entice him to check out yours. If he likes you, he may add you to the list.

Regarding the Screech, it’s a rum that is bottled here in Newfoundland, but was originally imported from Jamaca. We traded salt fish for the rum. Who do you think got the best of that deal?

The name is rumoured to come from the screech let out by the Comanding Officer of the American Base here during World War II, after sampling the rum. These days, it’s part of a ritual known as the Screech In for CFA’s (Come From Aways) or Tourists for the linguistically impaired. There are variations on the ritual, in some you kiss a cod, in some you kiss a puffin, and not on the lips. There are usually local sayings that are to be repeated, but in all of them, you take a shot of the screech.

If you ever visit, check out our local race, and for god’s sake, try the screech.

Summertime. What to do.  

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Well, summer finally is here. Temps are normally in the 20’s, meaning I can ride and run without wearing a snowsuit. The World Cup is over, the Tour de France is over, and the Blue Jays, are 13 games out of their division, and 10 games out of a wild card.

So the only thing left to do is work around the house, landscape, finish my new shed, and train for the upcoming St. John’s Triathlon, less than 2 weeks away.

It took so long to arrive, and it feels like it’s already almost over. At least this is not Australia where it’s winter.

Also Congratulations to Charisa on her finish t Lake Placid. Hopefully we’ll see some reports and pics soon.

New Tyres  

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I am waiting for these puppies to arrive. I have new aero wheels, and hope to have my new tyres and a new cassette in time for the St. John’s Triathlon. Not to be faster, but so my bike looks really cool in transition.

These were recommended by a friend of mine. They are re-inforced with Kevlar making them pretty tough (My buddie claims he has never had a flat in a race), and hold their air pressure a little better than some other tubular race tyres. Which means they don’t go flat overnight.

The only knock against these is that PBK dropped an additional 10% off the price, after I ordered mine. Just my luck.

Anyway, if you are in the market for new tubulars, check this out.

Week in Review  

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I am still in recovery from this weekend. I think it’s underestimated how much racing actually takes out of you.

Tuesday, we had our weekly club 20k ITT. I showed up and rode the course, but it was hardly a result to write home about, missing the 40 minute mark by 2 seconds. Of course conditions were windy, and even our course record holder was about 2 and a half minutes slower than his PB.

Wednesday, I tried a long run. My plan was for a 90 minute run, but I decided to cut it 15 minutes short because my legs were still cooked.

Then last night, I did my tempo brick session. Despite still feeling the weekends effects, I managed a descent pace for the first half of the run, but faded near the end. Still, my split was 40:40, just 28 seconds slower than my fastest split this year.

So I take all this as positive news that my fitness is improving, speed is increasing, and I am slowly getting ready for an awesome St. John’s Triathlon less than 3 weeks away.

Race Report 2010 Carbonear Sprint  

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Even though this was the 21st annual race, and I have been doing triathlons for 9 years, this past weekend was only my third time participating in the Carbonear Triathlon. During my first race 9 years ago, the course kicked my ass so bad, I never went back. It was always too easy to schedule in other training sessions on the day of the race. It always seemed better to do a long ride, or brick in the name of preparing for my big upcoming A event whatever it was. Last year I realized what an awesome event the Carbonear race was so this year I planned on doing it well in advance.

Race morning was warm and overcast with very light winds. Rare Ideal race conditions in this part of the world.


The swim was moved from Salmon Cove to Freshwater pond. A shallow and sheltered, body of water, nestled down into the hills overlooking Freshwater and Carbonear. Race morning the water was flat which made for an awesome swim. I had no trouble picking up a draft. I was with a small pack the whole way around the course. Before I knew it, it was over. I was out and into T1 in under 9 minutes.


Moving the swim venue meant modifying the bike route. There is a ridge between the towns of Carbonear and Victoria. The old course had you climbing out of Victoria to the top of the ridge before turning off on the road to Freshwater. Now, you exited the swim, and rode the same meandering coastal road to the main highway but then climbed the ridge in reverse. Not as steep, but twice as long before turning again for a second time past freshwater pond and into Carbonear. Despite the tough course, I rode aggressively, and managed to pick off a few rivals on the hill. I did get passed by a handful of riders, but not outright dropped. They were in sight until T2. My time for the 18.5 k course according to my computer was under 33 minutes.


The race was still a point to point race with T2 located at the Carbonear Recreation centre The run took us through historic Carbonear. I was about 1.5k into the course before I started to pass the race leaders on the way back. That put them about 10 to 12 minutes ahead of me. The run route was also modified to compensate for bridge construction. The new route featured a new hill past the Catholic Church. It was really not that bad, but after a hard effort on the bike and a hard pace on the run, it felt like everest. I was passed by a few runners, but I also managed to pick off a couple. A few athletes who are usually showered and in the beer tent when I finish a race, were still in sight. The finish featured a lap of the track to the line, and Once I had it in sight, I knew I was in for a good finish time, and a decent placing. When I crossed the line, I was 1:10:19, good for 28th out of 107 finishers.

The Rundown

What a difference a couple of weeks of hard training makes. This was a complete turnaround from Paradise, which is a good thing leading into the St. john’s, Triathlon, my A race for this year. A good swim, awesome ride, and a solid run bridged by quick transitions.

The new course was awesome. The bike route is far and above one of the most scenic you’ll ever find. Turning and twisting its way along the jagged coast at the head of historic Carbonear Harbour with a clear view of Carbonear Island. The only knock was the road conditions. The potholes, ruts and bad patch jobs on the road between Freshwater and Carbonear made an already technical ride even more technical. Avoiding all the bumps was impossible. Once the road is fixed, this will be one of the best sprint distance races in the country.

2010 Carbonear Triathlon Race Report, Coming Soon  


For those holding their breath, waiting details on my second official event this year, it’s in the works. It’s just been really busy, and getting time to finish my report has been a real challenge.

But I will say, the conditions were near ideal, the race was awesome, and I was pleased with my effort.

So Stay Tuned.

Carbonear Preparation Brick Session  

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Last night was my last real hard workout before Carbonear this weekend. Carbonear has been on the go for a long time, but I have only done it twice. My first year, and last year. I kinda chickened out for 8 or 9 years because the wind and hilly bike course kicked my ass so bad the first year. If you want to read about last years race, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

So yesterdays session was the Half and Half session, one of my favorites. A 90 minute brick, consisting of equal time on the bike and run. I do mine as a run focus, attempting to run at tempo pace off the bike.

For yesterdays, I did a 10 minute piece on the bike at ITT pace, to get the legs set up for the run. Then home, into the Newtons, and off for my tempo loop. The good news for me was that even with the ride, I still clocked my fastest split on this route this year, just missing the sub 40 minute mark in a time of 40:12. That may not impress everyone, but it’s a fast split for me. My fastest time so far this year on the same route was above 42:00, and that was not as part of a brick.

This was a tough session, and after, I was toast. You know that head in a fog, just want to eat then sleep feeling after a hard session or race. My legs are still aching.

So from now to Sunday, it will be mini taper time with a hard swim today, then a rset day tomorrow, and a short multi session on Saturday.

This years race will be on a slightly modified course. Hopefully flatter, but not likely. I’ll be back with the gory details, so stay tuned.

2 Tickets To Paradise. Paradise Triathlon Race Report Part 3  

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Welcome to part 3. If you need a refresher, Part 1 is here, Part 2 can be found here.

Thank goodness it took me less time to finish the race than write about it. But you all know the story on that, and the race report doesn’t really mean much unless you get background on the timing, location, and the conditions of the event.

Race morning was cool, and windy. Right off the bat, that meant decisions about what to where. It also meant a tough swim and bike leg.

The Swim

The water had warmed up to a balmy 14 degrees celcius. The course was a triangle with the wind directly at you on the start, and blowing on your left side on leg 2, and your right side at leg 3, trying to blow you onshore, and reaking havic with your breathing. I thought I hooked a good draft, but when I exited the water, I noticed a lot of swimmers that I normally keep up with, were already finished and way ahead of me. This was starting off as a brutal day. My time of 12:56 was decent, but my placing sucked, and there was no way I was catching anyone on the bike.

The Bike

T1 was located almost 500m from the swim course. Given the wind and cool temps, I opted to for my long sleeve jersey. Rookie I know, but I hated the thought of shivering for 40 to 50 minutes on my bike. Pulling it on over my wet body, plus the long run from the pond made for a long transition, and the conditions described in my previous post made for a long 25k ride. I was late starting my watch, and made another rookie error by not resetting my computer, so I didn’t get a good split, but it was around 46 minutes, although the official time is given as 56, it included the 500m run from the swim venue and the long transition.

The Run

This was my bright spot. With the tough bike course, I was expecting a tortuous run, but surprisingly, I managed to keep my cadence high, and picked off a few runners along the way. The run course is on a trail around Octogon Pond, and it was tough not seeing anyone else to chase, but once I reached the open side of the course near the road, I managed to dig deep and run down 2 more. Again, the official split of 26:58 included T2, my run time was actually a little over 25 minutes.


By the numbers, 1:36:03 overall time, 48th out of 138 overall, and 11th out of 16 in my age group. Not an awesome day by any stretch. Really a “Glad its over” kind of race. But lots of room for improvement, and no shortage of things to work on for the next event, such as switching to speed laces, and improving transitions, dropping a few more pounds and working the hills a little more, and continuing to do speedwork on the run.

Next up is Carbonear. Another sprint on a brutal course with variable conditions. Can’t wait, stay tuned.

I’m Back  


So for those wondering, here is what happened.

Staring July 01, I was on vacation, and travelling with limited internet access. When I finally got a chance to check things out, I was surprised to find all my google accounts temporarily disabled. Google has a reputation for quickly pulling the plug on any user violating their service agreement, but I had no clue what I might have done to have my accounts disabled.

I contacted them through my alternate email address, but fully expected that my relationship with google was finished, and I started thinking about alternatives. I even drafted a kickoff post for a potential new blog.

Then two days ago, I received a message from google advising me that the issue was resolved, and my accounts were restored. I logged in and sure enough, everything was up and running.

And the culprit, a series of spam emails originating from gmail account to various recipients. I guess that google recognized this as suspicious activity, and closed me down while they investigated, and finally reinstated my account.

So here I am back in the saddle, and up next, as promised, my race report from the Paradise Triathlon. But I better hurry as my next event, the Carbonear Sprint is fast approaching. Stay tuned.