Sunday, November 30, 2008

2008 CAN XC

2008 Canadian XC Championships were run in Guelph Ontario on Saturday. Check out this surprise finish in the junior mens race where Olivier Collin takes the win when Mohammed Amhed eases up to celebrate his victory...or wait...I guess now that he lost he was really celebrating his 2nd place finish.....NEVER GIVE UP BEFORE THE LINE!

I'd start watching around 10:00. The announcers are even sure mohammed has it...or does he. At 12:20 I like the guy in the crowd that tells the eventual winner that it is you sure have egg on your face now buddy. AP was that you?click here You can watch all the other races there as well.

In the mens race Simon Bairu from Sask. took the title edging out Robyn Watson. Top BC athlete was the Duke in 9th place.

results are here

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Good News Bad News

Right after we finished a 4k regeneration swim this morning Coach Harvey says: "Bad News" ...oh no i thought he is gonna add another kilometer on or maybe some buzz cool down.... "Bad News, this practice is over." ....phew!

"Good News" he says, "Good news is we have another practice tomorrow"

I could tell though that the real good news was that Neil knew that this moment marked the end of our 4 day regen swim period. I know he has been itching all week to see some fast swimming. So I asked him , "So, what's going down tomorrow morning then, 6k?"

"We are gonna rip you to shreds tomorrow. Well maybe not right away tomorrow, but pretty close."

Am I scared? Well a little, but i'm fired up more than anything. Neil has a good way of bringing out the best in you between the lanes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just had to Add this one as Well

Bode's Plan

How he gets it done

Opening Day

THere may be no snow in Victoria, but the first frost was observed this morning as I had to get the scraper out before driving to swimming. Tomorrow marks opening day for the second season at RMR now boasting North America's Greatest vertical drop at any ski resort...move over Whistler.

This revelstokian however makes his own vertical turns all human powered. He owns the world record for most vertical feet skied in a day under human effort at 51,000. I heliskied one day non-stop till i dropped and got in 30,000 with a chopper hauling my butt to let gravity take over. Check out his data of a 40,000 foot day in rogers pass on his website profile.

Unbelievable really after looking at the data. 12am till 8pm skiing and hiking non-stop! 40,000 feet up, 40,000 down.Truly an endurance athlete.

Featured in the Banff Mountain Film Festival here are a few of his short videos of the adventures he and his buddies get up to in the Selkirks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Power, Speed, Efficiency

These three words are what makes an open water swimmer. Efficiency being the most important results in Speed; Power is nice to have for the start and at the bouys.

Lately in the water my efficiency has been coming back slowly to the point where this morning I felt as efficient as ever. I think the main technical points that help efficiency are: staying long throughout the body (fingertip to toe), balanced rotation (from bilateral breathing) and a still flat head position.

THis mornings swim was 5.4k which is becoming more and more routine. A good set of 24x50's (4band only, 4 Fast) followed by a speed endurance set of 8x200 (2moderate, 2 at pace) and then a steady set of 3x400 (pull, fins, swim). Sharpie and I battled it out on the last two 200's, guy is swimming world cup pack speed at 18 years old!

Short run after the swim and then a second run this afternoon at UVic.

Next weekend the NTC is hosting it's 3rd annual run/walk for the homeless at Beaver Lake. Details on the event, for the whole family, can be found here

Friday, November 07, 2008


Seeing gas under a dollar today was quite a nice surprise and put some light into a day of good solid rain. Yesterday was the biggest rainfall day for the year in Victoria.

Today I got wet 4 times. First time was a swim, 4.2k of smooth swimming. Thanks A-Mac for letting me ride your stern wave for 3k of it. 2nd time was a great cross ride with the same partner in crime across various parks and puddles in Victoria. 3rd time was a run thru shin high puddles at the bog. 4th and final time was a scottish massage (forget swedish) with none other than Gibson . Every time i come out of there i feel like a million bucks ready to take on as many miles as i can before the next one.

Quote to finish off:

"If the mind is not first trained to enjoy hard work, to relish suffering, to address the unknown, then no program, no amount of training can be effective."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Balanced Stroke

When thinking about swimming the other day I had a few thoughts to share.

A good quote from patrick spurred on a bunch a thinking about balance in the water.

" You need to breath bilateral to balance your stroke, you don't have to race breathing to both sides but training that way will make you a better swimmer when racing"

After thinking about it he couldn't be more right. See, often when you have your stroked analysed you will have a flaw that is predominate to one side. Hand placement, catch, pull or whatever will be off slightly and often to one side. This is because your stroke isn't balanced. Perhaps you are producing this flaw as a way of trying to balance out your stroke. Breathing to both sides allows you to become balanced and correct this flaw to some degree.

Balance in the water might often be disregarded in comparison to other dry sports like say rowing, but it shouldn't. You need balance fore/aft, laterally, and torsionally to obtain the most efficient path through the water.

If you think about how you swim in open water as opposed to in the pool this theory of balance may become more apparent. Do you ever find yourself swimming off course in the lake? Yup, that's stroke imbalance.

There are a lot of drills to assess your balance in the water. One of my favourites that I try ever now and then to see if I have improved is doing a floating starfish on your front. To stay balanced requires your core recruitment and balance. After a while your legs are sure to sink as mine always do. With movement through the water though your legs will stay up. This drill isolates the fore/aft balance I mentioned eariler.

Swimming right for me is chugging along at about 20k a week. Litte effort is being done right now, focusing more on technique and feel.