Thursday, February 11, 2010


Wow, it's been a month since my last post, not that anyone would notice at this point since I have no followers but that's OK. Motivation is going well right now, I'm keeping my eyes fixed on what I need to do now to build my form up for the year.

I'm even quite happy with my training right now and my weekly hours and volume continue to grow each week and the weight is even starting to come off. Sweet. I just wish spring was here so I could get out for some long rides but like better form, better weather will slowly come soon.

It's amazing what training again has done for me in a short period of time. I sleep better, feel way better, look better, and I'm more positive. I was looking over my training files the other day and noticed that in 4 weeks I've lowered my running time by 1 minute per kilometer at the same heart rate, which I think is pretty good.

It's funny how motivation breeds more motivation and how good habits and positive momentum help drive you towards your goal. Last night I attended a tri seminar hosted by former Canadian Olympic tri coach Barrie Shepley and I picked up some good running and swimming tips that should help my bio mechanics on the run and in the pool. Right now immersing myself in the sport is helping to keep my focus and motivation high.

Well, gotta run, literally, and ride so I'll post again and sooner than last time and tell all about my shinny new bike that's on the way.

Monday, January 11, 2010

If first you don't succeed...

Well, it's been a week since my first posting and I'm not sure anyone has found their way to the 70.3 project yet, but I can't stop after just the first attempt.

On the training front I had a great first week of the year, for me anyway, hitting all 10 of my workouts. Even better yet was the fact that my body didn't protest at all and is feeling great. I will be gradually adding more training volume to my weeks over time, and adding more elements that I will need to be ready for my first race of the year in June.

The first 8 weeks of my program will mostly consist of cycling and running with some core workouts and strength training added each week. I plan to hit the pool by the beginning of March to start working on the technical aspect of my swimming but right now I really need to focus on building an aerobic base and losing weight before I get into the water.

For those of us returning to physical activity for the first time in a while can really be a 2 front challenge. I realize it has been a long time since I stopped racing but at my largest I gained over 100 pounds above my old race weight, 100! Through stopping and starting training I have taken and kept 20 pounds off that but I still have along way to go. While I have no one to blame but myself it's hard enough to gain fitness if you've been inactive let alone the extra challenge of dealing with all the extra weight.

But the good news is gaining fitness means losing weight, it's a great cure for each problem and a powerful motivator when you see progress in either area or both. I've learnt that doing nothing is making a choice, like sitting around on the couch while eating a bag of chips. You can either choose to do something to help yourself, which is the hardest choice to make once you feel your so far gone, or you can do nothing but realize doing nothing is a choice you are consciously making. Make the hard choice and start today, doing nothing is easy and for me it came down to my realization that I've made the choice to do nothing long enough.

For those of you who live in cold climates this time of the year, you will understand how monotonous the treadmill and trainer can be, I can't wait for warmer weather. To establish some endurance I will be using one of my favorite outdoor winter activities, snowshoeing. Shoeshoeing allows be to get outside and get 90 minutes or more of continuous aerobic activity in without going crazy looking at four walls on the trainer, TV or not. Those of you in warmer areas of the world, I envy you and dream of moving somewhere warm, particularly after the cold snap we've had over the last week.

My training this week will be a little more challenging to work in as on Friday I head out for a 3 day camping trip, so I'll have to be diligent cramming my workouts into a 4 day period. I'll still be able to snowshoe and skate on the weekend to stay active but I hate to break my routine up already. One of my biggest issues since I've stopped racing is consistency. I have trouble finding middle ground, I'm either 100% committed or 100% lazy, so becoming disciplined again is a huge element of whether I'll be successful or not.

Hopefully I'll have some good pictures to post from my trip when I return, until then goodbye from the cold, snowy north.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First post

I was hoping to have a full post for today but time once again has gotten the better of me, something I need to focus on for 2010 but at least I got my workouts in. This will be a brief post but a little about me first.

The 70.3 project is my major goal for 2010 and is not a drunken or exuberant New Year's resolution but the final step in a series of goals for me. For those not from the triathlon culture a 70.3 is a half distance ironman race which consists of, as I'm Canadian, a 2km swim, 90 km bike, and a 21.1km run. Sound like fun, I think, or hope so.

For those experienced triathletes out there a 70.3 might seem like a reasonable goal and you might be asking yourself why take the time to dedicate a blog to this. Well first, I enjoy writing and this seemed like a good way to get some experience. Second, as I have never participated in a triathlon this seemed like a good way to document my experience. Third, as a self proclaimed procrastinator and overweight person approaching middle age (not that age will be a factor) I hope to inspire others, and myself, to overcome obstacles which seem out of reach because motivation and the sense of being overwhelmed loom over us like 18% climb at the end of a long bike ride.

Even though I haven't completed a triathlon before I do have some athletic experience to draw from for my challenge. In August 2009 I completed my first duathlon, it wasn't pretty but I enjoyed being involved, competitive just isn't the right word to use here, in a sporting event again. I do however have an extensive cycling background to draw some experience from and although I haven't competed in 13 years now I did competitively compete for 12 years. The fitness has long left me but I feel my experience on the bike and the training knowledge gained will be a useful ally in this endeavor. While I have some experience in the pool, I feel much more comfortable on the run as I used to run several times a week as winter cross training for cycling.

I also have a great interest in exercise physiology and coaching which is an additional motive to this project. I feel that putting the knowledge I have gained over the years to good use is a great way to apply my coaching ideas, using myself a willing test subject. I am a self confessed "data junky" when it comes to training information, the more data the better. If I could rationalize buying a power meter and blood lactate monitor I would, but I'm much more in need of a shiny new bike.

Joining my on my journey will be my wife, Melanie, who completed her first "try a tri" last summer and is looking forward (?) to sprint distance and maybe an Olympic distance tri in 2010. Melanie is truly my coaching Guinea pig, as she does not have an endurance sport background or much experience in swimming, cycling, or running (which she really does not enjoy). wish us luck.

Please fell free to comment, offer advice or criticism if you come across my little blog, all will be welcomed. I look forward to documenting my journey over the next 9 months, again wish me luck. Did I mention that I'm aiming for a sub 6 hour finish?