Saturday, December 27, 2008

2 BZ 2 BLG

If I was a text messenger that is how I would tell you I have been just too busy as of late to blog. Preparations for the holiday season as well as trying to get things finished up for year end kept me away from spending some leisure time at the computer. On top of that, with the extreme cold we had for about two weeks, I was running inside on the treadmill. That does not make for interesting blogging. It would be something like, "stared at the wall for 50 minutes, ran 7 miles."
Having said that though, I have been keeping up with the running, swimming and cycling. I am really feeling quite good about my conditioning and mind set as I am about to embark on a little heavier training regime. After holidays I will be ready to start getting into the double digits in terms of weekly training hours. Coeur d'Alene is now less than six months away. Lots of time, but if I want to see any improvement I will need to start working on the cursed bike!
I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as we did. It was great having the kids home and just relaxing, eating, playing games and just being together.
Today the weather has broken and the wind has died down so I am hoping to venture outside. The temperature right now is 0 degrees Celsius but the wind is still a little strong. But I think I can dress for it and I don't think I can do another day on the treadmill!
Have a great day!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Deep Freeze

It is friggin' cold out!! When I put the dogs out this morning they turned into pupsicles! Right now the mercury is sitting at -30 C. I had to go out and start the truck because I need to go into Town to get someone special a birthday card.
Don't worry I already got the present! Just forgot the card.

Anyway with a great deal of reluctance the old girl (the truck) came to life and is presently warming up as I write this post. I don't like to waste fuel or add unnecessary pollutants to the air, but there is no way this truck will move without a good 20 minutes to warm up. Otherwise it will feel like I am travelling on square wheels!

So what's happening in the workout world you ask? I'm sure I heard you ask!

Actually it was another respectable week as I logged eight hours of training, in 3 rides, 5 runs and 2 swims. The running has been great, no problems with the calf after the little tweak a week ago, swimming is good, although the volume was a little low, and the biking, well....

As previously mentioned the biking is my least favourite of all the disciplines, and hence my weakest. I managed an 18 mile ride and a 20 mile ride last week, but I really need to step it up. Any advice on how to grow my love of the bike would be greatly appreciated! I have half a dozen spinerval DVDs which help somewhat, but still I just struggle on the bike.

The eight hours is a great jump off point to start picking things up after the holidays. I have been quite good about maintaining between 8 and 10 hours during the last while so my fitness has stayed relatively high.

Today I will try for a bit longer of a ride on the trainer as I am not going outside for any reason, other than the birthday card!

Have a great week!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


After a few days rest I attempted a run yesterday and it was successful. Mind you, I took it easy and ran on the treadmill, never going below 7:30 pace. Prior to the run I worked the crap out of my right calf with the trigger point massager and that seemed to do the trick. It seems whenever I get this calf problem it is almost like a really deep cramp in the muscle. So with the manipulation it really seemed to ease off and the run went without a hitch. I was able to to 6 miles in 45 minutes, and while I was feeling no ill effects I decided not to push it. Again today the leg feels fine, but I will exercise moderation again.
It looks like we are getting some of the white stuff today and over the next couple days it appears that winter is preparing to set in. We have been quite fortunate so far with no snow to speak of and really moderate temperatures. I guess the snow will help it to feel more like Christmas. We have started to put up some decorations and it will soon be time to go and find the "perfect" tree. Last year's will be hard to top, but there is always a chance that the ultimate tree is waiting out there in the woods!
Have a great day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Plan? What Plan?

From some of the comments I have had posted, my lack of "a plan" would drive some of you crazy. It's not that I don't have a plan, I just don't see the point of starting on something so far out from the race. Anything more that 16 to 18 weeks for an IM is going to be way too long for me, because I have the attention span of a gnat. Plus there are some inherent things in these long plans, that although scientifically prove, don't sit well with me. The other interesting thing I would like to note about plans, especially in the triathlon world, is the total absence of plans with names. You won't hear of the Dave Scott 12 week plan, or Simon Whitfield plan, because they don't exist. I think this is largely due to the recognition that no one-size-fits-all plan makes sense. It has to be adapted to your schedule, goals, resources and weaknesses. All too often people embark on these ambitious plans they have read about by some Olympic racer or what not and fail to recognize that outside of the recommended workouts there is a whole other support mechanism that allows the athlete to perform. Nutritionists, physiotherapists, massagers, and a gamut of other resources are in place to allow the athlete to do 6 or 8 hours sessions. Where the rest of us poor schmucks have to work, raise kids, and work some more, all the while trying to fit in our workouts. That is why I generally take a look at a basic generic plan and make it work for me. I try and key in on the important workouts for the week and find a way to make those ones happen. I'm also not a big fan of spending a lot of time on the base training phase of any program. While I know this will make some of you gasp and say, "The audacity!!", that is my humble opinion. For God's sake it is not like I am just getting off the couch and jumping into a program to do an IM! After 30 years as an endurance athlete I am sure I have a pretty well developed aerobic system that needs minimal work to bring it up to snuff. The real work needs to be done in continued skill development and replicating race conditions as often as possible. But again that is my humble opinion and I leave it at that.
Having said all this after the holidays it will be time to cobble together a plan of sorts. As previously mentioned I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but it will need a few shuffles since near the end of the program and close to the race, Nicholas and Nicole will be getting married and I can assure you there will be minimal opportunities for training. But that's what it is all about, finding ways to fit things in and doing the best with what you are faced with.
On vacation I only managed to finish one book, which was a biography of Neil Young, "Shakey", by Jimmy McDonough. It was a long book (over 700 pages), but was very good with lots of insight into life in the rock world. Currently I am reading the "Spiritual Brain", which is a book about whether or not there is neurological evidence of "the mind". Interesting but you know it will be slightly biased as the research is sponsored by the Templeton Institute.
Music wise, it's CHRISTMAS TIME, so I have been hauling all the old Christmas tunes over into my iTunes library!
Yesterday I swam 2,200 metres focusing on 5o metre repeats with good form. Then last night I did a brisk spin session for 40 minutes with an average RPM of 95. I am still not running due to the tight calf but after some massaging today I will decide whether or not to try.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just call me Mr.Mellow

I'm not sure whether it is last week off, or the anticipation of the Christmas Holidays, or knowing that I am going back to Mexico in a month, but man am I mellooooow! Nothing rattles me these days, absolutely nothing. The hectic rush of month end, serious personnel issues, and more labour negotiations have all just found their rightful place in my new peace and love world. And before you're wondering if I scored some Cancun Gold or mind numbing tequila I can assure you that is not the case. I just feel really good this week.
With a few more weeks before I start to buckle down for Coeur d'Alene, I would have to say I am happy with the maintenance training I have been doing. The only issue is I am running just a tad too fast and this week it finally came home to roost as I suffered a little tweak of my right calf. I knew it was coming as it surfaced while I was running on the beach (just thought I would throw that in!) It's nothing that I am really concerned with and with some rest and trigger point massaging I will be fine. Speaking of massaging I will have to share my "spa experience" I had while in Mexico in a future blog. I did manage to run Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and was able to rack up 18 miles. On Tuesday the calf started to tighten while I was running the track and after 5 miles I pulled the plug. It is starting to feel better already but another couple of days rest won't hurt it.
Monday I was also back in the pool and did a 1,700 metre ladder in 37:04. Today's swim was a 2,500 metre effort with 800 metres of warm up and drill, 3 x 500 metre main set and a 200 metre cool down. Generally speaking I am happy with the stroke and I think I have found my "happy place" in the pool. Remind me I said this in a couple of months when I am complaining of my cat like swimming.
I have also managed two workouts on the bike. Yesterday was a 50 minute, 16.5 mile effort, which was followed up today with just over an hour of high tempo spinning.
So with that I feel that things are holding together quite well and I am poised to start ramping things up in mid-January.
Have a great day!