Ironman Mont Tremblant 2013 – Race Report

22 08 2013

Prelude

This was my best training year so far. No real injuries, other than a knee that was bugging me on the bike, but never on the run…

Talking about the knee, I decided to get my tri-bike fitted again, since after Roth it, when I re-assembled it in Canada, it never felt the same. Anyhow, I was very worried with my knee because everytime I rode my tri bike (I trained mostly with my road bike) I got a stupid pain on my right knee. I know that doing that a week before the race wasn’t the best idea, but I didn’t have much to lose, since I knew my knee would hurt in the second hour.

Turns out… it wasn’t that a bad idea, the cleats had moved and I my left foot was 3cm off the right one!!

So the race!

Getting Ready for the Start -  Emma is following closely!

Getting Ready for the Start – Emma is following closely!


Swim: 1:05 hours

This year we had a wave start, which contrary to my believe, helped me. I’m a relative good swimmer and a 1:05 IM swim is a really easy pace, which was exactly the plan. What I liked about the wave start is that it allowed me to keep the same pace (1:43min/100m) the whole race. Normally I would sprint the first 300m and then fall back into my pace, which works too, but it is much harder.

T1: 10:22min

Right on the money! My plan was 10min, which isn’t too bad considering how far the exit of the swim is from the tent. Other than my gels falling on the floor, it was pretty uneventful. Pretty well organized I have to say!

Bike: 6:05 hours

I worked hard on the bike this year. In fact I rode all winter outdoors and it payed of! Joining Morning Glory Cycling Club was the best thing I could do for my ride. I went from 270W FTP to 300W! Last year at the end of the first loop when I hit the hills, it just took the wind out of me. This year I was actually enjoying the change of pace. I actually found it easier to go through the hills than keeping a constant pace on the flats. I finished the first loop with a 208W average (goal was between 200 and 210W), but unfortunately I could not keep that power the second loop, which fell to 189W, but overall I average 199W vs. 170W last year! That equated on a 30min faster ride!! I was thrilled at the end of the bike, feeling good and ready to run!

Oh, I had two nature breaks on the bike… otherwise I would actually be on 6 hours! :)

T2: 5:22 min

Not much to tell. I had to get another nature break just as I exited T2, which is a great because it meant I was hydrated.

End of the first loop meeting Beatriz and Emma

End of the first loop meeting Beatriz and Emma


Run: 4:36 hours

The run is really where you know if you had a good bike. As soon as I started running I was feeling some stomach pain, I had side stitches on both sides, but lower than usual. Something wasn’t quite right. So I started the run “walking”, which was not a good start. Fortunately by the time I got to the first aid station and had a coke, the stitches were gone and I could start running, slowly, but surely. The sun and heat on the road was horrible, the forecast the day before was calling for 28C, but it definitely felt 30+.

Once I got past the hills of the village and made my way into the path (oh, what a nice part of the course!) there was shade and it is flat!!! At that point I started to run pretty well at 5:30min/km pace. I maintained that pace between every aid station until hitting the hills again back to the village.

The heat was taking the best out of me though. I was taking salt pills as if they were M&Ms. My hamstrings were starting to cramp, and I had to walk to get them under control. The worst part was when I ran out of salt pills. I was drinking “Perform” (the race drink), eating bananas and begging for pills for everyone that passed me.

My goal was finishing at 12 hours, and as my hamstring were getting worse I could see that target slipping away, which was VERY frustrating… Fortunately, two good souls gave me some pills (5 in total), which brought me to the end of the race running “most” of the time, which was ALMOST good enough to break 12 hours… 3 minutes short of it though.

Summary

I had an awesome time, despite the heat, and I’m looking forward for next year. Perhaps I’ll finally break 12 hours… and if I’m setting goals, 11:30 is what I want to finish next year!!! :)

As always, there is no Ironman without an Ironwife. Ironman is hard, but not just the race, the training, the time it takes away from your family. I’m very lucky to have a great Ironwife and Ironbaby! :)

Iron Family

Iron Family





Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Report

21 08 2012

Background

Where to begin? I guess the best way to start the race report is to set some expectations (read excuses!) There have been two events that set the stage for this race:

  1. Plantar fasciitis: My first run since Roth (July 10th, 2011) was in March 10th, 2012… a 17 minutes run! After that, I did a few under 30 minutes easy runs, until finally in May 17th I did a 55min run. After that,  I gradually increased the duration up to 2:30 hours. This was an uphill battle with my feet, but we finally got into an agreement and we have been living happily ever after! What finally did the trick? A sock!Image
  2. Emma: I’m a dad now!!! Yea, how about that for a life changing event? April 2012 I became a dad of a lovely beautiful baby girl! Sleeping became a luxury, at least for the first two months. Having said that, she started sleeping more and more, gradually getting to 8 hours straight when she turned about 8 weeks! In fairness, Beatriz was the one on the night shifts most of the time, I would just wake up and get a bottle ready; Beatriz would then feed her, which was not a quick task. Without a question, this race was only possible thanks to Beatriz, the true Ironmother!Image

Now, with all of that in mind, here goes my race report…

Race Report

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I had a reasonable night of sleep, the best I ever had prior to an Ironman. It was a perfect racing day. The weather was cool, but not too much. I believe it was about 11C, but the water temperature was on the low 20s. Beatriz, Emma and I made our way to the swim start, which is when I started to get a bit anxious… I found a quiet spot to put my wetsuit and started to enter in race mood.

I also looked around trying to find Fernando Camacho, but I couldn’t see him at all.

3.8km Swim: 1:04hrs, 1:41min/100m, 267th out of 2542

A very awesome start with a jet flying over us just as the cannon went off! Very well coordinated!!!

Video: Swim Start by Beatriz and Emma!

The swim is not the part that scares me in the Ironman. I’m a relatively good swimmer (for a triathlete). I’m usually in the front pack  and I always find a spot to swim with a small fast group… but not this time!

I started sprinting for 200m or so, just to get away from the crowd, but it didn’t workout. I was still in the middle of some ferocious swimmers. Although I didn’t get punched a lot, I could feel other swimmers on my legs,  dragging them down, which really slowed me down and made me extremely tired. That continued for another 15 min or so. For the first time ever, the thought of dropping out of a race because of the swim crossed my mind. I even did a couple breast strokes just to pull it together. Then I took a deep breath and sucked it up! To be honest the full contact swim continued till the first red buoy, after that I finally got some space and found my pace. After that, It was way more comfortable and I was feeling confident about the swim again.

I got out of the water checked my watch and it was about 2 minutes slower than I would expect, but still within reason. The good thing is that I got out of the water and for the first time, I wasn’t dizzy or anything. I even ran to the tent (first time in an Ironman, usually I just walk).

800m T1: 12:26min

Video: Running out of the water, unfortunately I didn’t see Beatriz and Emma

I thought the run was AFTER the bike! Yea, 800 meters from the water exit to the changing tent. It took me 3:20 minutes from the water to the actual tent, where I took my time to not just put “almost” all my biking gear on, then I realized half way to the bike that I had lost one of my gloves. I even went back and tried to find it with no luck. Brand new glove… used it 5 times maybe. Oh well, lost a couple minutes there, but no harm done.

Video: Lost my gloves!

180.2 km Bike: 6:32hrs, 27.5 km/h 1199th out of 2542

OK, lets get it out there: I SUCK at hills. I’m not a great rider, but I definitely suck at hills. I made way too many mistakes on the bike. First of all I had no idea what to expect. I thought the course started with the hills, then flats then another loop. Well, not quite… it was like a bit of easy hills, flats (with some long easy hills) then at the 70km mark, a LOT of short steep hills!!! I mean short as in going at 6 to 10 km/h.

My mistake was thinking the hills were over when I got the flat portion at the top. I got too exited I went over my 180W target, finishing my first loop at 192W (normalized). OK, I didn’t go crazy, but once I hit those hills, it took the wind out of me. I was feeling my right knee and I could just thinking about two thinks “OMG, I will have to do this loop again?” and “I wont be able to run after this!”

After the turn around at the top of the hills, I finally spotted Fernando, making his way up the hills. I figured he was about 10 minutes behind me, and judging from how I was feeling, it would take long for him to pass me.

I spent the second loop just thinking if I was going to make it uphill again. To make matters worse, the wind  picked up at the second loop too, slowing every one down. What also brought my Average down, was the the two “pee-stops”, which at least meant I was well hydrated.

When I finally got the the hills again, I was still slow, but to my surprise, I made it up OK. I was surprised that Fernando hadn’t passed me as he is a much better climber than I am. Not to mention that I was exhausted at that point, my biking legs were ready to call it a day.

Side note: Interesting fact, my final power average was 178W (normalized), which was actually my target. I wonder what would the bike have felt like if I followed the plan and kept the average at 180W for both laps.

T2: 5:41min

This was a reasonable uneventful transition. Got my bag, put my shoes, deep breath and off I went. Don’t ask me why it took me 5:41, because it felt more like 30s. I only stopped a couple seconds at the “sunscreen crowed”, who were really fast to put sunscreen on my face and arms!

42.2km Run: 4:49:19, 6:51min/km, 1217th out of 2542

This was a good surprise! Not sure how this happens, but after finishing the bike completely DEAD, I actually was able to run. I started to run with a tinny stitch in my stomach, but it wasn’t bad at all. I walked a little bit to take a gel, then I started running as I passed by Beatriz and Emma cheering. Video: I was feeling strong!

As I started the run, I thought that Fernando was right on my tale, and I was expecting to see him passing me at any time. So I took it easy and I decided to follow my original plan: walk all hills and water stations, mind you, there weren’t many hills in the run. In fact it is a beautiful run course, the majority is on a great flat trail, which reminded me the belt line.

When I finally got to the first turn around (~10km), I saw Fernando was about 1.5 km behind me and I decided I wouldn’t make it too easy for him to catch me! I still didn’t go hard, walking hills, walking water stations… and stopping (5 times for the whole marathon) for nature breaks!

Once I finished the first lap, I realized that Fernando hadn’t caught-up too much and I decided to bring it up a notch. I tried what felt like a negative split, and it turned out to be a 2:22hrs and 2:24hrs for first and second laps. Not bad at all!!!

Video: Finishing the first 21km loop!

I actually only lost 18 places on the run, moving from 1199th out of the bike to 1217th, seriously, not bad for the little running training I was able to do.

Finish Time: 12:43:37

The last 300m I was running at 4:30min/km, as it would make a difference! But it just felt right not to leave anything behind! I only slowed down at the end so that I wouldn’t get in front off anyone crossing the finish line and ruin their finish picture.

Once I crossed the finish line, I was handed a beer!!!! Yes, a beer!!! Finishers got a [plastic] glass of ice cold beer at the end, which I thought was an awesome touch. Although I wasn’t able to finish the glass, it felt like I deserved that beer!!!

Rank: 240 of 433 (40 to 45 years)

Overall Rank: 1217 of 2542

This was a great race, with an outstanding organization. Better organized than France by a mile, and also better than Placid, but I have to say Challenge Roth is still the on the organization front!

Unfortunately, Beatriz and Emma were not at the end to great me, since the noise was just too much for little Emma. We also didn’t go back for the last finisher because of that.

I truly can’t express my gratitude to Beatriz who backed me up all the way, before and after Emma was born. It is not an exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t have made it this far without her support. Sounds cheese, but only those who have kids know what I mean, if you don’t, don’t even try to understanding. Parenthood is a beautiful thing, but it is not an easy task, specially if one of the parents is spending so much time training for an Ironman.

Today I have a different theory about child obesity. It is way too easy to sit a child in front of a TV just to “keep her busy”, I just hope we don’t do that when time comes for Emma. Hopefully we will be strong enough to keep up the good job and spend the time to play with her, keep her motivated and healthy. Who knows? Maybe she will be a future ironwoman!

For Next Year

Despite all my efforts on the bike, I’m stuck with the same results over and over. Yes, the times are different, but because of the course, not my performance. If you look at the actual power, it is always around 175 Watts. What really matter is the Kg to Watts ratio, specially on hills:

  • IMFrance: 175W, 7:20 hrs, 23.7km/h, 86kg
  • IMLP: 176W, 6:53 hrs, 25.7 km/h, 86kg
  • Roth: 173W, 6:15 hrs, 28.5 km/h, 84kg
  • IMMT: 178W, 6:32 hrs, 27.5 km/h, 90kg

For next year, I will again try to improve my cycling skills. Not sure how yet, but I will get better on this!!!

Ironman Mont Tremblant 2013, here I go again!!!! :)





Ironman thoughts

27 07 2011

Perception

There are some funny things about doing an Ironman. There is a big difference on people’s perception. For example:

Most non-triathletes friends were more impressed with my first ironman time (14:23 hrs) than with my 12:18 hrs personal best. The general comment is “Wow, 14 hours of exercise, non-stop”?!

Triathletes friends secretly think “ok, but in 14 hours is not that hard”  :)

Reality is always your own perception. For me both at 12:18 and 14:23 were equally “easy”. In fact there is some stupid phenomenon after an Ironman, which makes you forget all the pain that you had during the marathon and makes you sign-up for the next one as soon as possible! Seriously, be honest, at the  21km run the last thing on your mind is “Yea, this is great, I want to do it again”. It is more like “there is another 21 km to go? Why?” All the months of training, negotiations with the spouse, all the weekend parties we don’t go… and why? Just to feel this pain?

My last race was even worse! When I was around 5k, I could see about 7 km ahead, where the line of people disappeared from the canal… That is a freaking long way to go and to come back too! At that point I was really hurting and I even doubted I could maintain my already slow pace (walk/run) for the rest of the race. At this point in an Ironman race I’m usually thinking “OK, just finish it and you won’t have to do this anymore”, but this time another thought came to my mind “Shit, I already signed up for IMMT!”

A wise athlete once  said: “The only thing certain about an Ironman is that it is going to hurt!”

Magic wand

The finish line, the magic wand that makes all pain go away! There is a stupid sense of accomplishment, a sudden adrenaline rush and all pain is gone. At that moment, you may not be Superman, but you ARE  Ironman!! That feeling keeps tricking your mind to forget the pain and sign up for more!

A couple hours later… somehow you think you could have done better, no matter how good or bad you did. That thought is what keeps us pushing  harder and harder… Not only do you want to do it again, but you want to do it FASTER!

An interesting point in long distance triathlons is that as you get older you get faster! OK, I’m not saying at 60 or 70’s, but I’ll tell you when I get there! That probably explains the  Ironman demographics: most people on Ironman races are 40-44 years old!

After the Race

The next day you are either pretty sore or you’re thinking “damn I could have gone harder!” BTW, that never happened to me… I was always sore!

You wake-up thinking “if I had…” while you get a foot out of the bed… Arggg… it hurts! “Yea, maybe next time”

Believe it or not, training or even racing an Ironman is not the hardest part, at least not for me. The following weeks when you are no longer training are the hardest! You are still pumped with the race, you want to be faster, you want to race again! But, this next step is giving your body a break. You need to heal and recover, you have stop exercising and you have a lot of time in your hands.

Guess what? I don’t know what to do with all that time! I became the laziest bastard on earth. I’m too tired for everything, I become what I hate the most… a couch-potato! I guess it is natural to be tired, but when you’ve been living at the best shape of your life and suddenly that is gone… You feel a big empty vacuum around you. It is borderline depressive… I look in shape, but I feel out of shape and I have no clue what I’m going to do in the next little while!

At about a month (some people more, some people less) after the race, you start to get back to normal, but by no means in race shape. But what is normal? December last year I was 92kg with ~16% fat, six months later 84kg with ~5% fat.

Off-Season

And then comes the off-season.  The goal during the season is not to loose too much weight, while in the off-season it is to not gaining too much weight! Getting faster, but at the same time, not peaking… back to the blackboard.

What will I do different to improve next time? Should I follow the same program? Should I try something new? How many weeks do I have till my next race? This is where I find myself now…

So what is next? I’m planning to remain in my couch-potato form for another week or so, then I’ll resume swimming, and I start my bike/run out-of-season plan. The plan should finish with a half marathon in October (Scotia Bank Marathon), assuming my feet are healed by then. Then I take another couple weeks off… Until I start my 40 weeks official training for IMMT (20 weeks off-season + 20 weeks race specific training).

The sad part? IMMT is going to be one of my hardest races. It is hilly and probably slow… so getting another personal best will be pretty hard there. But again, if it was easy, everyone would do it! ;)





Challenge Roth 2011 Race Report

12 07 2011

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Challenge Roth, now I know why they say this is the best race ever! It is is fun, it is fast, it is a great party! Unlike North America, there are beer gardens every where in the race. People are cheering and drinking all the way. There is even a beer garden in the finish line. Nothing like the nonsense “fenced area”. People are genuinely happy and cheering for you. It is all a great party.

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The swim – 1:01:16 hrs

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The swim went as expected. It could have been a bit faster if it wasn’t a wave start or if I had started in a earlier wave. I had to pass a lot of people, and the water is pretty dark, so you don’t see people until you’re very close. I went through at least three major group of people, which I had to find my way around them. I was in the purple wave, as you can see below, no purple caps around me… But the good thing is that there was not much contact overall, so very peaceful swim. I even spotted my wife taking pictures and waved to her as I was swimming!

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Transition 1 – 10:06 min
Europe is just different, specially Germany! Every transition in ironman distance races I’ve participated, you go to a tent, get butt naked and you change… But usually there is a male and a female tent. Not here! Women and man change in the same tent and best part is that “it is OK”. it is just a bunch of grown-ups doing an Ironman. No pictures for this part of the race! :-)

Bike – 6:15:30 hrs
After my swim, I was pretty pumped for the bike ride!

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However, this was the one part of the race I could have done better. I started with a very high Heart Rate (160 bpm) and I never got it under control. I decided to follow my target power (190W) and see what happens. I finished my first lap with 190W and 160 bpm averages, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain that pace, which is pity, as I averaged just over 30 km/h with that power. However, on the second loop, my power drop to about 160, and I just could not get it up. To make things worse, my heart rate didn’t drop by much, it was around 150 bpm, which is what it was supposed to be at the first loop. I’m starting to think I should incorporate more Swim-Bike (like brick) workouts in my training. I’m not going hard on the swim but I still have problem in the races. Anyhow, the course is fast. If I was just biking, I would average 30-31 km/h with 190W.
The course is just great. It starts with a small uphill to cross the canal and it pretty much goes downhill or flat to Eckersmüllen, where you have the first aid station and lots, I mean lots of expectators! From there it is fast rolling hills with great surface up to Greding, where there is the worst hill, it is not too bad though. It is like Papa bear in Lake Placid. Then again riling hills till Solarerberg, which isn’t hard, but there are so many people cheering that you go up there like it was flat. I have to check my power meter later, but I’m sure I climbed that with 350w all the way. Btw, this picture is from the Solrarerberg on the second loop, when there was “no one” there!

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Once the crowd is behind you, you’re back to rolling hills. There is on section that is fairly technical, with a few 180 and 90 degrees turns, but I have only seen one accident, a guy had basically no shorts on his left butt cheek! But fortunately the wound didn’t look bad, just a big scratch.
One thing that I changes from my training, was the gel. Since I didn’t have a lot of energy on the second loop, I decided to try the energy gels from the race, which were MUCH easier to digest as they were liquid. Looking back, I should have had more of them. I have to find out where to buy them in Canada (GREAT gels!)

Transition 2 – 6:06 min
Like transition 1, everyone was naked, but this time I had a person (she was in her 50s) holding my bag helping me to put my biking clothes away… Which was a bit odd since I was changing the bike shorts and putting my try shorts on, but, I had to do it. I turned my number belt to put my number in front so that it was a little more discrete, but trust me, there is nothing discrete about putting vaseline between my legs while a older lady is holding the transition bag in front of me. But seriously, the volunteers were FANTASTIC.
Before the run, I made a quick pee stop… And there was no lineup!

Run – 4:45:06 hrs

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This is when I always ask myself: “Why, why do I do this?” and I always think “OK, this is the last time I do this”. But this year I also though “Shit, I already signed up for next year!”.
Anyhow, I started to run with those feaking side stitches and that was not a good sign… Fortunately I felt much better about 1 km into the run. The stomach had settled and I was ready to go, with one detail, I was running at 9.6 km/h with a 155 bpm heart rate! So one thing was for sure, my 12 hours goal was out of the question. I started to count the remaining kms! 41, 40… Boy did they ever come slow. First aid station walking, hydration, hydration… back to the run. We actually started on the shade, but it didn’t take long to get to the canal where the sun was just burning the hell out of me. My plan was to just kept going until I couldn’t run anymore, but walking every aid station. I was 100% sure I wasn’t going to run much of it… But surprisingly my Achilles didn’t hurt at all (until the next morning) and I just kept running at 9.2 km/h (yes, it did go down a bit), 150 bpm and waking the aid stations and any hill. Yea, they were VERY steep at that time, 20% grade for sure :)
Fortunately, about 16 km to go, the sun disappeared…

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Along the way out of no where, my wife kept popping out and taking pictures. I have no clue how she got there, but there she was… I think she was running faster than me! All these nice professional pictures were taken by her. Oh, yea, and she even shouted several times “Vai marido, São só 11 km, você ainda tem uma hora para fazer abaixo de 12!!!!” (Go honey, there are “only” 11 km to go, you can still do it sub 12 hours!)
Great support, but I knew that 11 km in one hour would be completely out of the question, I was trying to stay at 8.9 considering the aid station walks!
A few minutes later, about 8 km to go, it started to rain, now a thunderstorm! But I could only think about two things “single digits to go” and “holly crap, I hope Beatriz is fine”. I kept running even faster (back to 9.6 km/h, a super sprint!) with my wet and heavy shoes… Until I got into the town of Roth, where some teens were inside the water fountain cheering for the wet runners! Once they saw me smiling and lifting my arms, they all got out of the fountain and ran about 100m with me cheering “Schnel Hans, Du shaft es!” (fast Hans, you can do it – I can’t spell German btw).

The finish – 12:18:06 hrs
First of all, I’m absolutely sure the last two kilometers were in miles! Man, how long could they take? But I kept going, no walking for the last 4 km, a real Ironman!! The only people actually running were relay people, which I could identify because they had an “S” on their calf… Everyone else was surviving! :)
As I crossed the finish line, still under rain, there were a few brave expectators cheering, but it was by no means full. Nonetheless it was another emotional finish, one to remember!

After the race
I got into the huge tent where I got a massage. After that I started to shake compulsively, I was wet, tired and a bit dehydrated. I then went to get my street clothes, and to my surprise I was told I should take a shower! Yea, there were HOT showers at the finish line! I have never seen that, but boy it was good!
For those wondering, that was the only part of the race with male and female separate areas!

This a race like nothing I have ever done and I will do my best to race it again and again!!

Auf wiedersehen Challenge Roth!!!

Hans

PS: official finisher photos are here http://www.marathon-photos.com/scripts/photo.py?direction=backwards&event=Sports/GKDE/2011/Challenge%20Roth&photo=CRRAF0062&match=2782. I have way too many triathlon pictures to spend 59 euros on new ones! You know the drill… Hands up, crossing the finish line! :-)





First Misshapen of 2011

15 04 2011

It has been a while that I haven’t posted anything, not because I haven’t anything to say, but because I haven’t had the time to do it. Yes, work is craze and add Ironman training to that, it gets even more scarce. Anyhow, I’m on week 8 of my ironman training program and so far, almost good. Since the end of the off season I’ve been getting a persistent Aquillis heel pain, which came not much after I started to wear a pair of Newtons. I didn’t quite follow their recommendations, but it started with 15 min and increased it up to 45 min runs, but it didn’t do the trick for me. I’m back on my New Balance 905s.

Simcoe Lake April 15th (windy and cold, ~3C!!)

But, it is spring now and with spring comes outdoor biking! But as e know, in Canada spring has bit of a unique flavor, it comes with pretty low temperatures. It has been sunny, but not that warm. The rides to Simcoe lake have proven to be extremely cold. By the time we get close to the frozen lake, it is literally freezing. Today it was my third ride up to the lake, supposed to be a 4 hours ride. Fernando and I left from Major Mac and Warden and head north for about 50 km until reaching the lake. Once at the lake we head east against a very strong cold northeast wind. We went east until highway 48, and then south… Unfortunately with another 50 km to go, I heard a splicing noise followed by a noise that sounded like a branch had caught my wheel. I stopped to remove the branch, but as it turned out it was not branch, but a spoke. I tried to continue without it, but the wheel wasn’t straight and it was even touching the breaks. So instead of making matters worse I decide to call it a day and walk home… Well, not quite, I gave Fernando my at keys, and he picked up when he was done. I have to say, Canada is a nice place. As I was walking back, mind you about 30 min walking, a van stopped and offered me a ride! David, a guy from Newmarket was heading south and dropped me at Warden and David road, about 20 km from my car. He actually offered to take me all the way, but I didn’t think it was fair, besides Fernando was going to pick me up any way. So I walked another 30 minutes and then waited for Fernando, just 15km from the car. My heel started to bother me, as walking with the cleats is no walk in the park!

Broken spoke, waiting for my ride!

I survived, 2:55 hrs with 200W, and 28.8km/h average. Very comfortable ride, I kept 200w all time as prescribed. I was actually looking forward to the way back, as I had a bit of a tail wind, and I was picking up speed… The average was going up…but I will never know how much. Thanks God for powertap, at least I know I was on the right range regardless of the speed. At the end of the day it was just a technical misshapen, which is MUCH better than an injury! Now I’m safe and sound at home! Lesson: always have your cellphone and don’t ride alone unless you don’t have any other option!

Ride Details: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/79374121





Off Season – Week 15

23 01 2011

Winter wont stop us!

I completely disappeared from the web, but I am still training, despite the weather. My dog and I are still fighting the elements! :)

The last months I’ve bee quite busy at work and I haven’t had time to much other than working and working out. Fortunately it has not interfered with my training schedule, which doesn’t really take much time anyway. I’m averaging 5 hours a week and as I mentioned before, these are very hard 5 hours, make no mistake.

I just finished week 15:

  • Bike: 3:19 hours, 109 km
  • Run: 2:29 hours, 28 km
  • Total: 5:48 hours, 137 km

I’m still not swimming, but I’m going to pick it up in February. I’ll probably go twice a week for a month and after that I’ll follow the same volume as dictated by my 20 week Ironman Plan, which I’ll start 5 weeks from now.

The good news is that I have never been this strong on the bike. Last FTP test I hit 260W, which is the best I have ever done! Most interesting is that I usually finish the test literally “on my last breath”, but this time I still had a little bit left, which is shame… I might had been able to squeeze a couple more watts out of me. Oh well, still better than my 248W at my peak for IMLP.

As far as the run goes, my last 5km TT went fine too, 22:13 minutes, which corresponds to a 4:26 min/km pace (13.5 km/h). Not bad actually, at least for me. Unlike the bike I was dead at the end. But what I’ve noticed is that today after doing my intervals (2×1 mile @ 4:30 min/km pace), I ran about 30 min at 5:23 min/km with a HR at 151 bpm and feeling extremely well. I was watching TV at the gym and I didn’t even realized that I reached 1 hour.

Last but not least, I’ve been working on my running cadence, which I’m now averaging 83 rpm… not stellar, but better than the 79 rpm, which I use to do before. Even at 5:23 min/km, I’m still at 83 rpm.

Other than that, looking forward for a better weather and seeing what I can do outdoors with the bike. It is -19C outside today and it may not bother my dog, but I guess outdoor biking will have to wait a bit!





Week 6 – Off-Season

22 11 2010

3 Months old 30XT: No warranty!

This week started a bit off to say the least. I have a Garmin 310XT and so does my wife. In fact it was her birthday present just 3 months ago. The watch is great, I have it for more than a year and I really love it. My wife however, had a little mishapping with hers though. She dropped it from the coffee table, about 70cm high into a tile floor. For her surprise the screen broke and Garmin does not cover it under warranty. Very odd that a “Sports Watch” can break in a circumstance like this. Very disappointing. Cost’s $118.00 to repair! Very poor customer support is all I can say.

But life moves on and the training continuous! This week was also very busy at work, it was very hard to put all my training in. In fact I missed Thursday’s work out. I actually woke up early jumped on the bike and did the warm up. Unfortunately that was all I could do. Using the computrainer has its drawbacks too… I’m using erg mode, where I set the power I must pedal and regardless of the speed or cadence, the computrainer will maintain the load. I was going through the warmup doing 3×3′ with 1′ rest at 190W and I could barely do 190W! Just before my real workout (3×10′ at 224W and 4′ rest), I bailed. There was no way I would do 224W. This is always a hard decision, but one that has to be taken every once in a while. Got off the bike, back to bed and that was it.

Well, this was a short but hard week! On Saturday I even had a 2×12′ at 224W + 2×15′ at 190W followed by a 25 min run! Fortunately, this time was fine. Hard, but fine.

Week Summary:

  • Bike: 2:14 hours, 72 km
  • Run: 2:28 hours, 28 km
  • Total: 4:42 hours, 100 km

Wow, less than 5 hours?! I just realized how much I didn’t train… I hope I can get used again to my long workouts once I start the ironman plan. I have to say, it doesn’t look like a lot, but these almost 5 hours are pure hard workouts. I think week 8 is when I have another threshold test for both bike and run. That will hopefully show some improvement!








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