Friday, June 27, 2014

Phase I

Once May hits I become a racer. I train hard all winter so come spring I can put all that hard work to use. Since Triple T (Mid May) I have race every week/end except for one, and if you go back to April when I did Xterra West there has maybe been 3 or 4. However, not all of these have been "A" or even "B" races. I believe races can also act as wonderful workouts if you do them properly, but I will admit sometime they can throw things off. So instead of writing individual race reports I will summarize all of them with thoughts on the pros and cons for me doing that race.

My focus race during this first phase was Syracuse 70.3, so my thoughts will be about how each of the other races went towards focusing on this one.

First up was American Triple T. Ang and I finished 1st in the co-ed division at the end of the 4 races (super sprint, oly, oly, half). Triple T was designed to be an overload camp type of weekend. When else would someone in their right mind compete in 4 races over a weekend. The plan for the weekend was to race hard in the first 2 races and do my best to support Ang and make her weekend as easy as possible in the next 2 races. Her significant gains on the bike during the winter made those 2nd two races more difficult than planned, but you always come out of a weekend like that confident. If planning to use Triple T as an early season prep race make sure to pace it properly, and I would recommend a teammate for the mental companionship on that run course.

Next up was the MultiSport Canada Woodstock Sprint. I have a race report written for this one so if you want the nitty gritty check that out. I was the 2-time defending champ at this local race so I felt like I almost had to do it. The plan for Woodstock was to do what needed to be done to win, but try not to dig a big hole, and do another workout later in the day to get some more mileage in for the half distance. I think this is a great way to train for longer distances because it gives you valuable race experience (transitions, open water swimming, nutrition, etc). However, with some big guns showing up this year and fatigue from triple t I had to dig deep and that was still only good enough for 5th. The workout later that day got scraped, and all I wanted to do was sleep. With Raleigh the next weekend I didn't want to make a hole I couldn't climb out of.

Raleigh 70.3 wasn't originally on my schedule, but Cliff wanted me to get a competitive 70.3 under my belt before the goal race of Syracuse. The only options that kind of fit were Raleigh and St. George, and Raleigh made a lot more sense from an economic and logistic point of view. So my sherpas, I mean parents, and I headed off to NC for the first 70.3 of the season with not much of a taper. Raleigh was awesome because it gave me confidence my swim is where it needs to be to at least be competitive for a podium finish at most 70.3 races, but that bike was a big shot to my confidence. There is always something that needs to be improved, so the bike is going to be my phase II focus.

After Raleigh I was supposed to have 2 weekends of training with no races, but my addiction took over. Angela was racing the MultiSport Canada Welland Half, and my scheduled had me doing a swim and bike. I figured since I love the MSC races so much and I was going to be spending the day watching why not do the swim bike race. I think this is a great idea for anyone preparing for a half or full because it allows you to push a longer distance than many will in training, and coupled with a short run off the bike it doesn't leave you beat up for days on end. Going into this race we made sure the legs were nice and tired from a couple hard bikes and runs, with the intent to see just how hard I could push the bike if I was tired. I managed to ride ~10w higher than Raleigh and felt like I could still run if I had to.

The final race of this phase and what everything was leading up to, was Syracuse 70.3. The week leading up to Syracuse things were cut back slightly, but not as much a taper as most people tend to do. I have found that if I take it to easy during the week leading up to a race I feel flat so the intensity stays up, but the volume gets cut a little bit. I was happy with my race in Syracuse, but just like Raleigh my bike is leaving me to far behind to be a threat. Also, some rookie mistakes leaving T1 put the nail in the coffin of trying to hang with big boys.

Phase II has now started with the goal race at the end being Steelhead 70.3, but my racing ways won't disappear. I have already done my first mtb race as I get ready for the Canadian off-road championships in Milton in another week, and I will also be racing Bala Falls as a quick road tune up before Steelhead. 

Racing makes for tough workouts and also a place to fine tune some of the smaller aspects of triathlon like transitions, swim and bike skills, and nutrition and while you don't need to race every weekend I believe a lot of triathletes would benefit from racing more than they do. It also give you more chances to hit that race when everything clicks instead of putting all your eggs in one basket.

All of this racing wouldn't be possible without the support of my parents, Franklin Terrazzo Company, MultiSport Canada, 2XU, and all the wonderful people around me. This is a very difficult sport if you don't have a strong support team behind you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Woodstock Race Recap

Well my blog has resurected from the dead with the start of a new triathlon season. I am not sure what I am all going to write about, but I will at least try to keep you updated with race reports and results.

Last weekend was the kickoff to the MultiSport Canada Recharge With Milk Triathlon Series in Woodstock, ON. I will start off by saying that Woodstock is by far one of my favourite courses, maybe it is because I have won here twice or maybe it is that the course is awesome (smooth swim, rolling bike on well paved roads, and a run along a nice crushed gravel path). Like always John and crew especially behind the scenes man Mr. Pickering put on a great race like always.

I feel bad for everyone that skipped out on the race fearin bad weather because the tri gods were on our side this year and everything was perfect. Especially compared to TTT that saw air temperatures under 5 at the start of the races.

Now to the race details (results can be found here)

Pre Race

Here is where I get to set up all my awesome excuses! 2 weekends ago Angela and I headed down to Southern Ohio to once again compete in the American Triple T to settle some unfinished business with results and tough courses. We had an awesome race and won a close battle in the co-ed team division, and with Raleigh 70.3 this weekend Woodstock was squeezed in the middle I wasn't sure how the body would react.

Swim (10:05 ~1s faster than last year)

My swimming has been a major focus all winter and I have to thank coach Ken Fitzpatrick and Paul Midgley, and the Western Swim team for allowing me to swim with them all winter and really pushing my swimming to a new level, every race I have felt confident getting into the water that I will be one of the first out. At TTT I had the fastest swim split in all 4 races and felt good coming into the race this weekend.

I figured everyone would be trying to get on the fast feet of Derek Quick and Ben Sayles so to avoid the hustle and bustle I started on the other side hoping to get on to the fast feet once everything calmed down. Looking back on a race you never really know if you made the right decisions, I missed the leaders feet, but ended up right behind two other and was pulled the rest of the way. Could I have had a quicker swim with a different start strategy who knows?

I ended up 5th out of the water in 10:05, and closer to the lead swimmer than I had been in the past. I was only 1s faster than last year, but the joy (pain) of triathlon is that it is near impossible to compare results year to year. Comparing myself to the competition I was faster than I had been previously, but once again you never know what they have been doing.

After a speedy T1 I was onto the bike in 2nd with the leader in my sights.

Bike (32:00 ~36s faster than last year)

The bike for me has always been a bit of a weakness and something that is going to become more of a focus now that my swim is where it needs to be.

With Ben in my sights and the fear of fellow ambassador teammates and super bike runners Lionel and Cody behind I was on a mission. In hindsight I went out a little bit hard (~253w for the first 5k), before fading to an avg of ~233w (Strava file here I cut the first and last little bit where there was a lot of coasting dealing with shoes etc).

The last 10k were absolutely brutal, and I came off the bike in 6th with Jeff Scull and Garrick Loewen just ahead of me.

Run (17:40 ~16s slower than last year)

Well the run is what it is. I came out of transition a bit back of Jeff, and in typical fashion took the first km out fast and caught him by the dam. Kids reading this blog here is a tip know who you are racing, chasing a guy who has run sub 15 numerous times and even heard he has run sub 14, even if he isn't in top form you might be going out a little quick. We exchanged leads a couple times but after the turn around he finally started pulling away from me for good. With about 2k to go and the realization that I was going to end up 5th I eased off the pace a bit and decided it was better to save my legs for Raleigh instead of pushing it home and increasing fatigue.

Next up is Raleigh 70.3, and I hope my legs come around there. The A race for the first part of the season is Syracuse 70.3 so I won't be doing a full taper until then. The goal is to get in that lead pack on the swim, hang on during the bike, and when people start to suffer in the heat pick em off 1 by 1 on the run.

Special thanks to Mom and Dad for their support, 2XU for making awesome wetsuits and apparel, MultiSport Canada for putting on awesome races that attract some of the best triathletes, and everyone that was out there cheering. I love doing local races and see so many familiar faces.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Alex Vanderlinden - 2013 MultiSport Canada Post-season Interview.



A little interview I did with MultiSport Canada to wrap up the season. Looking forward to being part of their Ambassador team in 2014. Big things to come.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tentative 2014 Race Schedule

With most of the race series hammering out their final schedules for the 2014 season, I decided to put together a tentative schedule. I would like to do more Rev3 Races because they put on such a great series, so we will see what I can fit in from them. Once again it is a mix of locations, distances, and formats.


February

February 16thXterra Key Biscane then stay for a training camp after

March
March 28th – 30th – Provincial Swimming 

April
April 5th – Xterra Virginia
Apr 18th – Downtown 5k

May
May 16th – 18th Triple T
May 25th – MSC Woodstock sprint

June
June 7th – MSC Binbrook "Triathlon" distance
June 22nd – Syracuse 70.3

July
July 5th – Mine Over Matter Canadian Off-road Championships
July 27th – MSC Bala Falls "Triathlon" distance

August
August 10th – Steelhead 70.3

September
September 6th or 7th – Wasaga Beach Sprint or OLY
September 21st – Niagra Half

October and November
Maybe a half
Maybe an Xterra

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nov 19th

WU
1000
5x200 10sri
1.     swim
2.     s/k by 50
3.     k/d by 50
4.     d/s by 50
5.     s
MS
1600
4x400 descend on 20s rest
CD
400
4x100
75s/25k
75s/25d






WU
800
4x200 10sri
1. swim
2. s/k by 50
3. k/d by 50
4. d/s by 50
MS
1200
3x400 descend on 20s rest
CD
400
4x100
75s/25k
75s/25d





WU
800
4x200 10sri
1.     swim
2.     s/k by 50
3.     k/d by 50
4.     k/s by 50
MS
1600
3x400 descend on 20s rest
CD
400
4x100
75s/25k
75s/25d





WU
600
3x200 15sri
1.     swim
2.     s/k by 50
3.     k/d by 50
MS
600
400 on 20s rest
4x50 10sri
CD
400
4x100
75s/25k
75s/25d

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rev3 Florida Half

After a mid season lull to my blogging I decided to finish strong with a race report from my final race of the season, the Rev3 Florida half iron distance race in Venice, Fl. I have to start by thanking AJ Baucco and Caleigh for allowing me to stay with them in Clermont the week before the race to allow me to get in some solid training and heat acclimation before the race.

Like always Rev3 put on a tremendous race in an awesome location. The swim was nice and flat in the Gulf of Mexico, followed by a flat and fast bike through the streets in and around Venice, followed by a 2 loop run along the Venice canal.

Leading into the race I knew I was swimming well after some solid workouts with the Western swim team. I wasn't as confidence in my run and bike. I had some solid workouts, but my two big tests, a 4k run 56k bike 13k run and 2x5k run workouts did not go as planned. I put all this behind me and stepped to the line ready to finally prove myself in a race of this caliber. Here is a recap of what happened out there, and what my nutrition strategy was throughout the race.

Pre race
nutrition
breakfast 4:15 am 2 rice cakes 1 banana 1 bottle of gatorade 1 bottle of water to sip on until race start
45 minutes before start 1 can of Red Bull
15 minutes before 1 Louis Garneau Citrus Gel with 50mg of caffeine

Swim - 27:49 20th

The swim sets the tone for the rest of the race. The pro race is much different from that in the age group race and that starts with the swim. With 25 guys all battling for the best position it was a rough start. After a couple punches and kicks around the first buoy I was off the back. I had some company kept calm and swam on. This swim felt 100x better than my first half attempt at Welland.

Bike - 2:15:47 19th
nutrition
4 Gels 3 citrus w/ caffeine 1 strawberry dragon fruit no caffeine
1.25 bottles of E-load Berry Twist

Getting on to the bike I was with AJ and a couple of other guys. I was hoping we were going to be able to work together and try to get back up to the main group. However, within the first couple kms it was just AJ and I, and I was just trying to keep contact. I was soon dropped and rode solo for most of the way. With the strong winds I just tried to stay focused, and kept eating. I really liked this bike course, and I found it was mentally easier with all the out and back sections. I was able to break the race into smaller chunks and focus on those. I probably consumed substantially less fluids than most people would need on a day like today, but I had to pee the entire way, and I tend to have a very low sweat rate as is.

Run - 1:18:25 5th
nutrition
3 gels 2 lg citrus 1 powerbar (I think it was a berry 1x caffeine that I grabbed from an aid station)

This was the first time I had ever raced with a Garmin on, and I think it really helped in the early stages of the race. After crumbling towards the end in my first half experience I didn't want to make the same mistakes. I grabbed two gels and tucked them in my suit before leaving transition. My goal was to hold under 3:40s I had been running between 3:30 and 3:40 comfortably during workouts, but this was never for a full 21.1k. I put my head down, and paid attention to my watch. I tried not to pay to much attention to the other racers in the early part of the race, because I knew if I kept to the plan I would pull some guys back. I started to fade a little bit in the last couple of kms, but brought it into the finish strong. I was surprised at the end to see I had the 5th fastest time with such a strong field.

In the end I set a huge pb of 8 minutes faster than I was in my first half distance race. I think this sets a great tone heading into next year, and I expect continued performance. The big focus is still going to be on that swim because I think if I can make that front pack it will change the race for me. I look forward to swimming with the Western swim team and the huge gains that will come from working with coach Ken and Paul, and the push from some strong swimmers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nov 14th

I missed you guys so here you go.

WU
1200
400s 10sri
4x100k 20sri
8x50 desc 1-4 on 60
MS
1200
2 rounds
300 pb 15sri
200 fr build 15sri
100k hard 90sri
CD
600
8x75 10sri
os 50fr 25d
es 50bk 25k





WU
1200
400s 10sri
4x100k 20sri
8x50 desc 1-4 on 60
MS
1200
2 rounds
300 pb 15sri
200 fr build 15sri
100k hard 90sri
CD
600
8x75 10sri
os 50fr 25d
es 50bk 25k





WU
1000
300s 10sri
3x100k 20sri
8x50 desc 1-4 on 60
MS
1200
2 rounds
300 pb 15sri
200 fr build 15sri
100k hard 90sri
CD
300-600
4-8x75 10sri
os 50fr 25d
es 50bk 25k





WU
800
200s 10sri
2x100k 20sri
8x50 desc 1-4 on 60
MS
700
2 rounds
200 pb 15sri
100 fr build 15sri
50k hard 90sri
CD
600
8x75 10sri
os 50fr 25d
es 50bk 25k