Mid Winter Update: Triathlon Training

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post. As the winter has decided to actually show up this year compared to years previous, I thought it would be a great opportunity to take a break from training intensely and let my body rest. I took about three weeks off completely in December, got more sleep, continued stretching and didn’t care what I ate. Granted my eating considerations are different from the majority of people out there. I’m usually more concerned with making sure that I get enough calories and that I’m balancing out my diet with fruits and veggies. My focus on my break was to let any planning go and rest my mind too. If I’m being honest my guilty pleasure is Taco Bell. The value combo and upgrade the fries to a Fries Supreme is the best $5.65 CAD that I’ll ever spend and I kept going back. I can’t help it.

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My First Half Marathon: Stouffville – Angus Glen

I completed my first half marathon. Or should I say that I joined a large group of people for an organized run together. People from all over the area came to run at the same time through the same path. A community if you will and a community of like minded people doing the same thing as me. My training is done alone, early in the morning and I decided to run a half marathon which 5 years ago was not an option at all… I simply could not have run that distance.

I entered it a little last minute but was very glad that I did. It was minus 4 Celsius and sunny. It warmed up slightly as the day went on and was great to run in. The event was well organized but could have used a little more direction once inside the race kit pick up area.

I hadn’t run 21k in over a year but had done a number of 10k runs and also a bunch of 8k marches with a 65lbs pack on my back which usually take about an hour and a half. I figured that with being on my feet with the pack for the same duration as the race and also running shorter distances that I would be prepared. Well, I was right.

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Rest Week and Evaluation – Duathlon and Triathlon Training

JTF2 PreFit Pic

I’ve done four solid weeks of the JTF2 pre-selection fitness manual and it was exhausting. It’s basically a heavy duty short distance triathlon training plan.  Sub out some runs or marches for some bikes and voila… a triathlon manual with some weights. I’ve mainly stuck to the manual’s prescription. Week one was a fitness check and in week six it’s a rest week and evaluation week. As demanding as it has been my body has adapted and the volume of training doesn’t seem new anymore. In the beginning I was tired a fair bit and noticed that my recoveries took a long time. As the training progressed my recovery got shorter and my energy level started to increase and handle the new workload I put it under. Psychologically there was also an adjustment. Two-a-days aren’t easy and that is definitely true in this case when there will often be an 8k run in the morning followed by some plyometrics, sprint sets and a full upper body circuit in the afternoon. By the end of the four weeks I was feeling pretty burnt out and was physically and mentally looking for a break. Since this is week six I get a bit of a rest and a chance to see my progress. Well without further adieu here’s the progress I’ve made: Continue reading

Free Training Plans

I am developing a page for free training plans and have posted my first customizable training plan.  Here’s the link:  http://5amfitness.ca/plans/

More to come…

Happy Training

Training for a Sprint Duathlon… Race Day!

After training for six weeks where did it get me?


It got me to the point that I raced my heart out and still felt pretty good the next day. I was able to race for 1:19 and love every minute of it. It brought back memories of when I was in middle school and public school running cross country. I remembered what it was like to give it your all and wonder if I could have raced harder.

The race day was pouring rain and the winds were so bad. They ended up canceling the swim portion of the triathlons because of 8 foot swells. All events turned in to a duathlon. They were contemplating canceling the bike portion too because the water was starting to flood the roads however they decided it was safe enough to race on.

It was raining right up until they started the race so I was wearing a shell to shield some of the rain. However since it had stopped raining I started to over heat once the run started. I was used to gauging my effort with a heart rate monitor and speedometer. My hr monitor wasn’t working for the first half of the run. We started out and it seemed to me like everyone was going slow. I was second guessing myself thinking that it was just my adrenaline but decided to pick up the pace. I ran by two dozen people and got in to a good rhythm. I decided to grab some water half way through the 5k and forgot to squeeze the cup to make it easier to drink out of. I wasn’t used to drinking while running and ended up choking because I breathed some in. I found it kind of funny and decided to wait until the first transition to grab another drink.

I ran the transition a couple of times so that I knew where my bike was and that I could find it while moving at a good pace. I strongly recommend actually running between transition zones in the same path as you will be during the race. Plus you can use it as part of your warm up.

I was used to pacing myself with the speedometer but that want working… Should have tested that. I started riding and everything was going well. I grabbed some water and when putting the bottle back in the cage I thought it was clipped in but it wasn’t and I dropped the bottle. If it had fallen off the road I would have left it but it stayed right in the middle of where the next bikes would be coming and I pictured someone riding over it and wiping out so I stopped, turned around and grabbed it.

My pacing was okay but was slow compared to what I was used to. I usually paced around 30-32 kmh but the race times showed that I was only moving around 27kmh. This added about 4 mins to my time. The rest of the ride was pretty steady. I realized that having a quick pedal is really beneficial, also known as cadence. There were lots of people flying by me on. It was a quick out and back. 10k out, turn around and take the same course back to transition. Just before getting back to me I had a close call with a big dog that it’s owners we’re walking. It lounged at me an came pretty close. Luckily there was no incident.

Back at transition I grab some more water and almost forgot to leave the bike helmet. It would have looked silly running with it. I felt great coming out of transition and was really moving. I got on the run and quickly realized my calves were cramping up. I had to pull back the pace. I let my calves calm down for a few minutes then picked up the pace again. My first 5k was 22:44 so my time for the second run of 2.5k should have been half that. I actually did a lot better and ran it in 10:06. I ended up sprinting at the end and passed a group of 4 people. Felt good right at the end.

My lessons learned:

Run the transition areas.
Leave the bike in an easy gear.
Keep the transition are clean.
Make sure your electronics are working.
Hydrate plenty.
Make sure you properly put bake your water bottle.
Dress appropriately.
Get to the race site at a MINIMUM of an hour before start.
Don’t leave any effort behind and give it your all.
I say this a lot and I think its my motto: Finish Strong. Meaning work hard until you are complete. That includes the last foot that crosses the finish line.

Most of all: Have fun.

My goal is to run 5k in 20 mins flat next season.

Next season I’m definitely in for some more races.

Training for a Sprint Duathlon… Training Days – Sep 6, 2012

2 days before the race.

I pulled my hamstring last Wednesday and it seems to be healing okay. I can still feel that it’s injured but is still fully functional. I did a 5k run this morning without pushing myself really hard. It’s the last workout I’ll do before the race. Tomorrow just a warm up and stretch. I feel good and prepared to complete but I don’t feel that my times are very fast. From the weekend work out I realized that I need to remember to push myself and not hold back. Also form on both run and bike. Breathing is another to focus on.

I’m seeing a physiotherapist today for a number of reasons. First is about my hamstring. Second about training an how to stay healthy with advice for preventative measures. Third is about triathlon specific training which should cover all three sports. Also my left ankle was hurting me on the weekend so that’ll be another area to look at.

Times were:

Total = 22:55
Avg hr = 153
Peak hr = 167

Training for a Sprint Duathlon… Training Days – Sep 2, 2012

Did a mock race all on the road. I found a 5k loop and used that for run and bike. Felt good even after a hamstring pull 4 days before. I learned that I need to push harder on the initial 5k and the bike. My legs felt like rubber after the bike on the second run. Going from the bike trainer to the road I noticed how when I pedal the bike moves forward while I stay in one place. I noticed fatigue on my lower back but it wasn’t bad. Times and HR were:


T1: 1:50,148

11:10,150 – ran in to traffic and got delayed
1:42,153 time after 20k before T2

T2: 1:25,152

2.5km run: 12:26,155

Total time: 1:24
Avg hr 154
Peak hr 167

Training for a Sprint Duathlon… Training Days – Aug 27, 2012

I woke up at 4am today. Crawled out of bed at 4:15. Grabbed some water and a power gel and ran to the track for 4:30. Started running at 4:35. It was hot and humid out. Weird for that time of day. Did a quick 12 laps and 20k on the bike. I felt good immediately after. I slept on the train for 30 mins and was doing pretty good. As the day goes on I’m feeling worse. My legs are really hurting from not moving around and when I tried to stretch I was getting Charlie horses. I think I was a bit dehydrated. I’ve had more than 2L of water and it’s only 1pm. My lungs feel very tired as well. Here’s my times and heart rates:

1. 1:41,134
2. 1:52,153
3. 1:51,155
4. 1:51,156
5. 1:50,158
6. 1:50,159
7. 1:53,158
8. 1:58,157
9. 1:51,157
10. 1:55,158
11. 1:57,157
12. 1:53,158

Run from track to home fast: 2:54,156

Transition to bike: 3:03, 127

Bike 5k legs:
9:26, 148
9:55, 150
10:14, 145
9:45, 149

Total time: 1:07

Avg hr 150
Peak hr 161
42 min at avg 148
22 min at avg 157

Training for a Sprint Duathlon… Training Days – Aug 15, 2012

Started to do 5k this morning and my timing was horrible. Very labored running and I couldn’t pick up the pace. I kept trying harder but felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. Times and hr are by lap for the continuous 2k that I managed to run are:

1. 1:37 avg hr 134
2. 1:50 avg hr 155
3. 1:45 avg hr 159
4. 1:50 avg hr 161
5. 1:50 avg hr 161
1:25 avg hr 154
1:31 avg hr 155

Total avg hr 154
Peak hr 169
Out of the 15 mins running 9 was spent at an avg of 160 hr

It was really foggy and couldn’t see 100m. I’m wondering if the water in the air prevented me from getting enough oxygen to run faster and for longer. I have times for 5 laps and walked 100m then did 400m sprint. Also I wonder how much my intervals on the bike from yesterday affected my run?

Tomorrow is definitely a rest day. I was tired today and didn’t really feel like running starting out the run I just tried to shut off my brain that was yelling to stop running and go relax. I managed to turn down the volume in that thought and just put one foot in front of the other.

Training for a Sprint Duathlon… Training Days – Aug 24, 2012

Did 8k run. Hoping to do a little longer distance. I heard that increasing the distance and practicing sprints will help my race pace. I felt I could have definitely pushed myself more. It gave me confidence to push harder at the shorter distances. Pacing was somewhat usual even at the longer distance. Times per lap for the 20 laps were:

Total = 38:10
Avg hr 157
Peak hr 167

There were warm and cool pockets of air as I ran the track. The cool pockets were really refreshing. I got to watch another sun rise.

I find it funny that my heart goes up and my times get worse as the laps go on.