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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Time to Get Back on the Wagon...

It's been a horrible last few weeks... haven't done squat. Had a brutal cold all last week.

I bought tri bars for my road bike. Haven't had a chance to try them, but they look awesome. :) I'll need to figure out a seat position that works with them, it's a long reach.

Next week's plan: swimming and biking! Weather is looking good, and I'm off work in April, so lots of chances to go swimming.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I've been sick since Friday... UGH!

Between my knee and being sick, I've done nothing in a week...

Oh well, I'm off work in April, so I should have a chance to catch up. Paris to Ancaster is only a few weeks away!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I've had a few physio sessions.

Turns out I have ridiculously tight hamstrings. Very common in men... but a big source of injuries. In fact all the muscles in the leg run through the knee, so any tightness at all can throw things out of whack.

I have a stretching routine now that I need to do twice a day. And a few strengthening exercises. And they massaged the IT and quads.

They also did this neat thing called TENS, which is a little device that sends electric current through your leg. It feels like tingling, kind of like licking a 9-volt battery (don't try that) but in your leg. Neat sensation. Not sure if it helped with the pain, I was pretty sore, but it felt cool. :)

I should be able to try running again soon, but frankly I'm not in any kind of rush... just got the bike tuned up, bought some kick-ass triathlon bars for my road bike, so running can be on the back burner for awhile!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Swimming - progress at last!

Finally - a break-through!

The problem has always been breathing, and I finally figured out that my timing was off. Before, I would start my stroke with my right hand, then in mid-stroke put my head up on the left to gasp for air. But there just wasn't enough time to get that breath in.

I started timing my breath with my stroke, so as I start pulling through my right stroke, I'm already starting my left breath.

Bingo! Far more time, and as a result I get a better breath in and feel less panicked while doing it. I feel more comfortable, and at the end of my time in the pool I was able to concentrate more on form and less on not drowning.

I'm only doing 2 lengths (50m) between stops, but I think now that my breathing is working better I should be able to stretch that out longer. Maybe eventually I can get it to the point where it's continuous, then I can do a try-a-tri! 400m is a lot longer than 50m, and it's in a lake, but it's at least conceivable now.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Just tried a Spinervals DVD for the first time.

Not bad! A lot like the spin classes I used to do, but I can do it at home.

There were a lot of times I would have taken a rest if it had been up to me... but instead I found myself pushing beyond that threshold and into the red. It's tough, but I'm sure there's a lot of benefit.

Main techniques:
- Fast-slow-fast-slow at 10s intervals
- Keep the same cadence while going up a gear every minute for 5 minutes
- Sprint, increase to highest gear and go as fast as you can, jump out of saddle and go as fast as you can, rest, repeat. About 20s total on, then 10s recovery.

After the sets they do a 1 minute recovery. I had a hard time getting the heart rate down in that short time, but managed to keep holding on. Was drenched in sweat by the end.

I'll try to get this in twice a week... seems like a very productive 45 minutes!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bikes bikes bikes

Went to the Toronto bike show yesterday.

Carbon everywhere! I wasn't in the market for a new bike, but it sure makes you drool... my friend was looking at a really sweet KHS bike that is going to make me green with envy.

The aluminum Cervelos were all priced to clear... time trial/triathlon bikes for $999, pretty sweet. Aluminum, though, I guess it's gone out of favour to the point that old stock has to be sold off cheap. Nice components... almost tempting, but I need to understand more about them before I go for it.

... and I think my wife might start getting pissed if I come home with a new bike every year... she already thinks 2 is enough!

My current bikes:
  • Hybrid: Gary Fisher Utopia - This was my first bike that wasn't from Canadian Tire or Sport Chek... changed my life! It's a hybrid, so it doesn't do anything really well, but it does everything well enough. I use it mountain biking (trail riding, not stump-jumping), on gravel roads, rail trails... anything that's too much for the road bike.
  • Road: Trek 1200 - It's an entry-level Trek, aluminum frame with carbon fork. I bought it last year when I was still just trying out the road biking thing. Solid bike, I love it, but it won't be my last...
The coming years will likely see me investing in a triathlon bike, and possibly replacing my hybrid with a mountain bike... but we'll see!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


My ITBS has flared up again.

It didn't seem too bad after the 1/2 marathon... until I tried to run. Didn't get more than a couple of kilometers before the familiar pain on the outside of the knee started up.

Going to stick with the bike for the next week, it seems pain-free, and have physio next week.

Sigh. :( The marathon is almost certainly out of the question now. I just hope I can still do Around the Bay... but it's only weeks away.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Week After Blahs

Between muscle pain and work commitments, I haven't been able to get out this week. Unless you counting running to catch my train!

I'll be out today, trying to get some miles in.

My revised LSD plan:

1/2 marathon
16 <--- THIS WEEK
Around the Bay 30K (at LSD pace)
34 (or Paris to Ancaster mountain bike race... will decide closer to the time)
16 (at race pace)
Mississauga Marathon

Hope it all goes according to plan... so far so good! :)