2009 Milton Sprint – Race Report

31 05 2009

Let me start with this, aside from an Ironman, Sprint is the hardest distance EVER! Let me explain why…

On a Long Course and 1/2 Ironman, you go at a moderate pace the whole time, pacing yourself to get to the end. The Sprint in other hand is all out all time… that 1:50 hours all out!

Anyhow, the race was COLD and WINDY. The cold didn’t bother me as much during the race, but I was freezing before the start. Once you get moving, it is all good. Can’t say the same about the wind though. I almost got blown out of the road, no no kidding. Here is how it went:

  • 750m Swim – 13:00 min: I had a good start, by the first buoy I already caught up with the wave before mine. Well, I have to thank Carlos for that, I did draft off him till the first buoy, but then I lost him in the crowd. Fortunately I found another guy with the same pace, which I followed till the next buoy, after that I was on my own. The head wind made it harder, but it was OK for breathing bilateral. Once we turned around the second buoy the problem was the sun. It was nearly impossible to see the next buoy. The worst was the last leg, where we got a side wind and all the waves hitting you from the side, which happen to be my preferred breathing side. But it was ok, as it wasn’t that long. I was a bit disappointed overall with my time, I just improved 7 seconds over last year.
  • 30km Bike – 55:42: now that was interesting. I started passing a bunch of people, and got pretty quickly to the “that” hill. My heart rate was pretty high thoug, I was averaging 167 bpm before I even started the hill, and then it got up to 170 bpm… but as soon as I finished it quickly came back to low 160’s and it came down to 150’s few minutes later. I was happy with my power average of 247 Watts (236 W if you include the zeros). Although I have a great bike, 404 wheels and aero helmet, I’m still a big target for the wind. Not many people passed me, but what impressed me was a 65 years old guy that passed me and just kept going. I passed him again on the downhill, where I reached 80 km/h on my aero-bars! But he passed me again in the next hill… I never saw him again! Interesting enough I no one on that age group had a better time than me on the bike. Maybe he was doing a duathlon, but still.  I was just 36 seconds better then last year, but the wind was a big factor.Hans Run Milton
  • 7.5km Run – 36:36: This was my biggest surprise, I improved 2 minutes and 36 seconds compared to last year. I couldn’t believe the time, since I thought I was doing pretty badly while I was running. I was really tired at the start, short of breath till I finished the first hill (what a hill!). After that I slowed down for 1 or 2 minutes and picked up the pace again. But it was hard, very hard. It obviously got better at the end, since it was downhill, but I decided not to push too hard, as I was tired and I didn’t want to risk an injure. My left leg was a bit sore, but fortunately good now!

In general, I wasn’t thrilled with my time, but when comparing to last year, I was much better placed in relation to both, my age group and overall (~18% improvement).

As per my buddies:

  • Carlos had a awesome race, he beat me on all three sports! About one minute at each. Great job man, really awesome!
  • Rogerio had a good day too, he was a couple minutes below the time he was planing (under 2 hours).
  • Chris was freaking amazing on the bike, he did 1:10 on his Mountain Bike!! Dude, seriously, get a real bike, you will kick asses!
  • Fernando, well, considering that he wasn’t really training, he did fine. He finished in style! And, he was a great host after the race. Thanks a lot man!
  • Brian, well, no comments… 1:40, you’re a machine!! Unbelievable swim, not that the rest was bad, not at all.


Well, one week “rest” and we are off to Muskoka Chase for the Long Course. That will be fun!


Let the games begin!

29 05 2009

The 2009 season is around the corner, I can smell it!

Sunday is the first race of the season and I’m really looking forward for it. I’m not sure what it is, if it is the swim, the bike, the run or purely the camaraderie! In my brief triathlon life (about 3 years now), I met so many nice people, it is unbelievable.

I remember my first race in Guelph in 2006. I was doing a try-a-tri and I was so nervous. I read the beginners guide and it was so overwhelming… the race, the transitions and the distances. But once I got to the field and saw all the smiling faces, the energy was even greater. Since then, I can only say I LOVE THIS SPORT!

No kidding, the first time I had to swim 375m, I had to do some breast strokes to recover. I was talking to a friend (Carlos), a former swimmer, and I could not believe that it was humanly possible to swim 375m non-stop freestyle.

Anyhow, I’m looking forward for the Milton Sprint and all the ones to follow. I’ll be leaving home early, around 7:15am with a few of my friends. It will be first race out with our team jersey too!Export

From our group, I think the guys that started last year will see the most improvement (i.e. Rogerio and Chris) as well as Fidel and his secret bike training camp. Not to mention that Carlos is becoming a monster in the run. I used to catch up with him every run, but to his credit, I don’t think I will be able to do it anymore. I’m going to miss the “fat guy”… he is half the man he used to be! 🙂

I’ll post a Race Report after the race. My predicted time is 1 Hour 50 Minutes, but who knows? It is hard predicting a race time after a long winter. I hope I do better, but the important thing is to enjoy it!

The Heat is ON

24 05 2009

Summer is here, and so is the peak phase for the Ironman.

This week was a long one… 18:45 Hours of training! Keep in mind that this actual training. I don’t count, for example, if I’m recovering at an interval in pool, or when I take a bio-break at the bike.

The good thing is that it is Sunday, 8 pm, and I’m done for the week! No more training today or tomorrow and best of all, no pain. My knee is 100%. I did put some ice and took a ibuprofen, just in case, but I’m really not feeling any pain.

This weekend I unveiled my secret weapon for the Ironman. I got a pair of Zipp 404’s with a Powertap hub. I got so used to train with  power on the computrainer that I couldn’t get over the fact that I wouldn’t know my power output in the Ironman.

Cervelo with Zipp 404 and Powertap

Cervelo with Zipp 404 and Powertap

On Saturday Caca and I went for a 5:45 Hour bike ride, where I used it for the first time. Needles to say, I LOVED IT! We went pretty easy, knowing that the following day we would had a long run (2:50!):

  • Duration: 5:45 hours
  • Distance: 145 km
  • Heart Rate: 131 (Note: I got my shirt flapping a couple times, which gave a 200+ reading at times)
  • Power (yes!): 149 W .or. 185 W

OK, let me explain the 149 vs. 185 Watts. The Powertap has two options for averaging power, including when you are not pedaling (i.e. power=0 Watts) or excluding it. On the computrainer, it includes the zeros… but you are always pedaling, as if you don’t you’ll stop. When I compare the effort that I felt, it was absolutely 149 Watts, since I was felling pretty well after the ride, which wouldn’t have happen had I maintained 185 W for the whole workout. I even ran 30 minutes when I got home (Recovery Run, 5.3 km, 30 min, 147 bpm).

Another good surprise was Beatriz! She rode 3:30 hours, her longest bike ride ever, 65 km. Other then a fall during a hill when the chain came off, she did pretty well. The bike is definitely her weakest link and I’m glad she is getting out there and getting some milage. Talking about surprises, she was waiting for Caca and I with tray of Coxinhas and Pasteis – some Brazilian pastries she bought at a Brazilian bakery in Mississauga.

As for Sunday, I swam 3.4 km in a long pool (50 m). The coach is being very considering to the triathletes and giving some great long distance workouts, which included 1500m and 1000m non-stop sets! Actually it felt just like a triathlon at our lane as we struggled with who would be leading the set… I have to say, we didn’t do a good job in the first set, but after getting s#!t from the coach, we went alright in the next long set. Although the coach wasn’t happy, we were all laughing and having fun, just like [old] kids!

In the afternoon I went for my long run, 2:50 hours. Let me tell you, I was TIRED. The first few kms on the heat and I knew the workout wouldn’t be easy. I decided to take it easy and listen to my body (i.e. HR). Instead of caring my water with me, which I definitely don’t like, I made my home as the water station and ran a 5.5 km loop around the neighborhood. I left water, gel, infiniti and coke at hand and every time I completed a loop, I would stop, drink something and eat a gel, really simulating what I will be doing at the race:

  • Duration: 2:50 hours
  • Distance: 30 km
  • HR: 147 bpm
  • Pace: 5:24/km
  • Temperature: 24C

Yes, not a great run. But, the good thing is that I kept my heart rate below 150 bpm all the time, from the beginning to the end. The pace did not change at all, although the first lap I averaged 11.3 km/h, that didn’t include the stop, which I had for all other laps. I didn’t stop the watch, as I wanted to have an idea what time to expect from at IM… although, I don’t think I will be the same after the 180 km bike.

Long Run

What really killed me in this run was the heat. Although it wasn’t that hot, I really slow down in warmer temperatures. When I look back at Around the Bay, I did that in 1:41, but at 167 bpm. Oh well, at least I was more efficient.

What is up for next week? First race!!! The season is really starting now and I’m looking forward to it. We even got the team shirts:

Sandbaggers - 1st Picture

Sandbaggers - 1st Picture

Nationals Swim Meet!

18 05 2009

Last week I moved my workouts around to get a bit of a break before the 2009 Canadian Masters Swimming Championship.

This was my first meet since I was a little boy, probably about 10 years old, when I did two events… 50 Back and and 50 Freestyle.  Since then I pretty much didn’t swim. I did a lot of other sports including Karate, Judo, Windsurfing and in more recent days, triathlons.

I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t really planning to go. I’m not a great swimmer (not a bad one either) and I didn’t have a great memory from my childhood meet either, although I was second on backstroke! However, the coach asked me to participate on the relays and that is what I did. I even through a 100m Freestyle as a Bonus.

In order to “tapper” for the event, I moved a couple workouts around. I did my 4 hours Brick workout (3 hours bike 1 hour run) on Wednesday evening, and I changed my Wednesday Tempo Run (44 min), to a Saturday foundation run (45 min). So, I did tapper, at least one day!

I turns out that it was quite all-right. I did the 100m in 1:06.27, which I didn’t think I could do… and I won my heat (great feeling by the way)! I even got a 6th place ribbon in one of the Relays. Not bad considering that I wasn’t really planning for the event.

But the real surprise was Beatriz! She came on 7th on 100m Breaststroke and 8th on 50m Breaststroke! Two ribbons!


Mississauga Half-Marathon

10 05 2009

I know, I said I was going to do the full Marathon, but after talking to a couple friends their coaches said it would have been too close to the Ironman. Well… with that in mind, I’ve changed my plan.

Anyhow, I’m really getting very worried about the Ironman. I would have thought that at this point I would be in better shape and I’m clearly not. Yesterday I did a 5 hours and 30 Minutes ride on my computrainer (IM Canada course, 131 bpm, 148 Watts, 145 km). First of all I was DEAD at the end. Although I made some mistakes that I want to correct for the next long bike:

  1. I had 6 hours of sleep (the night before I did a brick of 1:45 bike and 45 run)
  2. I only had 1 yogurt for breakfast (150 kcal)
  3. I had 9 gels during the 5:30 hours
  4. 4.5 bottles of Infinit and 3 bottles of water

I have to eat a descent breakfast before I start and I also have to eat something salty during the bike. By the time I had the 5th Gel (Powerbar Gel, Double Latte), my stomach was already debating if it should send it back! Fortunately we got into an agreement and it kept it inside. 🙂

The point is that when I finished the bike the only thought on my mind was “How da hell should I run a marathon after this?”

Oh yea, the 1/2 Marathon, that is what I was writing about. Well, I started well, did the first km in 4:55 and pretty much kept that pace all the way. There were a few kms that it was a bit worst, other a bit better, but very consistent. What did change was my heart rate. I started with a 156 bpm and finished with 171 bpm, although the last 300m I was at 188 bpm, sprinting like a madman to make it at 1:44 hours, what I had forgotten was that the half marathon was 21.1 kms… I wasn’t really counting with the extra 100m at the end!

Final time UNDER 1:44! (1:43:53)

Overall Place: 717/4408 (16%)

Age Group Place: 91/276 (33%)

Mississauga Half Marathon

Mississauga Half Marathon

Now my wife and friends did an awesome job too:

  • Beatriz, WOW 2:09! What a HUGE improvement… from 2:24 to 2:09.  That is 15 minutes!!!! Way to go, keep up the good work.
  • Bruno: 1:42, down from 1:48. Well done buddy. Next time I’ll try to run with you. Too bad I didn’t find you at the starting line, but I wouldn’t be able to run at your pace, at least not today.
  • Chris: 1:51, down from 2:04. Seriously, how can you improve this much?
  • Lu: 2:26. You got sick, didn’t train for a couple weeks and still went out there and showed us what it is all about. Well done Lu!

Thanks for the ride and company guys, it was great.

Now the next race is Milton Sprint, which is the first triathlon marking the start of the 2009 season!!!

BTW, some people asked me about the knee and I’m glad to say I had no pain what so ever. A big relief.

Back on track!

7 05 2009

I didn’t train on Saturday and Sunday, other then 3.8 km swim with a pull buoy. I  took ibuprofen every 4 hours, iced 10 min every 2 hours and rested. Trust me, I was SO frustrated, you have no idea. On top of that I have huge project at work that is killing me.

Anyhow, My knee was feeling much better on Monday (My resting day, as if I did a lot over the weekend!) and Tuesday I did a EASY bike in the computrainer (1 hour, 125 Watts) and swam in the evening. No problems at all…  then yesterday I did a easy run (50 min, 9.8km), no pain… this morning I did another bike ride (1:30 hours, 161 Watts), no pain!!!!! 🙂

Although I’m still icing my knee a couple times, just in case, I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’ll resume my regular training tomorrow, but if I feel anything, I’ll cut down the intensity again.

I think I’m back on track. Ready for the Mississauga Half Marathon on Sunday!

First injury in two years

2 05 2009

OK, maybe not the first injury, but my first leg injury! I did have a soar shoulder last year. About two years ago I hurt my hamstring, which took quite a while to heal. Now it is my left knee is hurting. It isn’t a big pain, but I can feel it, it is there.

What is interesting is that it started in the middle of my recovery week. Although I have to confess, I did feel a few stitches last Saturday during my long bike ride. Anyhow, yesterday I did a moderate bike ride in the morning (1:30 hours, 167 watts, 128 bpm) anda easy run in the evening  (below).

Easy Run and Injury :(

Easy Run and Injury 😦

What is really bizarre is that it was a great run. I was running comfortably at 150 bpm (which is my Zone 2 -Extensive Endurance) at 12 km/h and I wasn’t tired at all. In fact I was holding back not to exceed 150 bpm, and yet my pace was 5 min/km. That is pretty good for my standards.

I felt no pain during the run, but after the shower I felt some soreness on my left knee. I put some ice “just in case”, but the next day, the pain was still there. Well, I hate doing this, but I’m cutting back this weekend. I’m only swimming and on Tuesday I will re-evaluate the situation. Hopefully I’ll be back to my regular schedule.

I’m so frustrated right now, you have no idea. Well, I’ll walk the dog… that will be my workout today!