Thursday, December 25, 2008

Finishing off the Camp

Ahhh Christmas morning. No other morning quite like it. I've got my robe on and i don't plan on getting into real clothes anytime soon.

Well, the NTC christmas camp was quite a good one. Starting on Thursday last week to Tuesday (6days) we got in a lot of mileage in all 3 sports. Most noticeably in the pool with 40+ km in the books. Five days of roller rides was tough, a lot of sweat and washing of clothes. Tuesday's swim was 100x100m, a new milestone for me.

I drove home to Revelstoke on tuesday and yesterday finished off the camp with a 4k swim here and a 75' skate ski. Felt really good to be out on those MacPherson trails. A lot of memories stirring, starting with Mr. Nicholson's beaver lake science trip, XC Mt. Bike rides and races, and then a particular ski where there was a 3 car Russell pile up coming down Forest Lane.

I'm always amazed at how full-on, full body, skating is. Everything is worked, legs, arms, core. THere is no pull bouy or kick-board to rest half the body either. Thanks for the poles Steve, just right.

Merry Christmas to all eh!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


After a race prep run before Kelowna in 2007 I can remember Stevo saying the following:

"It's all about rhythm man, finding the flow."

At the time, I was so focused the race I don't think it sunk in as much as it should of, but recently I have been finding rhythm's in workouts and am now on the same waves as stevo 100%.

It is so true. If you think about it, it is true in all sports. The Sedin Twins cycle is a rhythm, in fact the Sedins know eachothers rhythm as well as their own. A basketball players free-throw is all rhythm, a figureskaters rhythm is from their music, a mogul skier performs their run in a very visible rhythm. These are the obvious ones, other sports may not be so obvious.

You ever find yourself in stride with a running partner? Happens all the time to me whether running outside or on a tready, and when it does it feels a little easier. In this situation your sort of floating for a while on their rhythm.

When Jordan would go off on a team and score 50 he often said he was just in 'the zone'. He had found his rhythm.

I like to think of rhythm as a means for your body to operate at it's peak efficiency. When you hit your rhythm it becomes almost effortless and your body flows.

Try this. Your motions as an athlete are a series of different waves. When you hit your rhythm, these waves interfer with each other CONSTRUCTIVELY. That means they amplify eachother or join forces. Your rhythm is a sort of harmonic and harmonics are powerfull, like the one that destroyed the Tacoma Narrows bridge.

Swim, bike, run. Rhythm, rhythm, rhythm.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Storm's a Coming

It is currently dumping outside here in Victoria, flakes the size of loonies. Storm warning in effect they say, 10-15cm and high winds. This makes for some indoor riding and a lot of swimming. Well guess what? That is exactly what is planned 45k in a week with a highlighted 10k challenge session come Sunday. I'll let you know how that one goes.

After both of these storms pass it will be nice to be back home in Revelstoke enjoying the snow on the resort and nordic trails. I am planning on racing a loppet in Kelowna Jan.11th so I will need to get some practice in on the skinny's before then.

Denver, Colorado Dump

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Draft Packs Revisited

Another draft pack set this morning:

3x (3x200 DP, 100 kk )

Paired up with Brook it was clear from the start that Scotty and Sharpie were going to give us a good battle. They dominated us for the first two rounds where we eat their wake for the most part. We were going to have to beat them with brains not brawn this time around but brains.

So then came the strategy, as Terry Tate puts it at exactly 1:12, sometimes it's about intimidation you know... it's mind games. So at exactly the last round Brook and I hatched our plan. Maintain the same pace on the first one, this hopefully would give Scotty and SHarpie the false sense of reality that we were cooked and the last two 200's would not be contested. So we come into the wall at the end of the first 200, third round, and the chirping is still coming from them. Ok, it looks like the first part of the plan has worked, they are giddy and relaxed, they "know" we're cooked.

Surprise! 2nd last 200 Brook takes it out strong and holds even with Sharpie..flip...out I come and hold scotty at check for the first 50. Then I take him to the cleaners on the back 50. OOOOOh where did that come from? Save up Sally's I guess but Smart Save up Sally's.

Last 200, same first 100m...flip..come out a little behind. Work hard to bring it back on the first 50, get a lead out of the 2nd turn. Scotty closes that gap over the back 50 and we go stroke for stroke to the wall.

Great times, good friendly competition that brought out the best in both groups. Couldn't ask for more than that.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Friday afternoon I hopped on to heli-jet and flew over to Vancouver for a christmas party. The ride was very quick, >30 mins door to door, here is a breakdown:

0:00 Leave Victoria Harbour
07:30 Swartz Bay
09:10 Salt Spring
12:33 Active Pass
17:40 White Rock
23:23 YVR
25:10 Stanley Park
26:22 Downtown Vancouver

No better way to do it. Thanks to Marty and the Allards for bringing me over for such a great time!

While over there I got a base run in at Stanley Park. Revisiting some of the loops I did with the UBC X team in my last year; the beaver, the P loop and Punisher hill!

Now it's time for some Asian Cooking.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Team Work in the Pool

This morning's swim was a good one. Some speed work and then it was the beef of the practice.

8x300 Draft Packs (Race Pace Swimming) Each person leads for 100m and then drafts for 200m while the other two take there pulls and you try to hang on.

After the first rep Neil mentioned something about teamwork...working as a team...but i didn't really take it in.

Next rep he harps on it again. That the three of you need to work together for each other to get the time down.

On the third rep again he tell's us this with the 40 seconds rest we have. And i think it is here where we realized the truth in it.

This was a big fatty set. 2400m of hard swimming. Establishing your role in the group was what was needed to get through the set and give you and your teammates the benefits from this speed endurance set.

So it was determined then that I would lead, set a strong solid pace for the 100m. Sharpie would take the second 100m and maintain that pace while already being fatigued from the first 100m, and then Brook would lay down the hammer and godsmack us both with the last 100m.

By rep 4 or 5 Neil saw that we were each taking our roles serious now and he was happier, even though our time was perhaps not to much fast as a group.

Draft pack old NTC favourite that takes your swimming up a couple levels pretty quickly.

One sidenote: Brook's swimsuit is getting out of control. Two suits he wears, and it is the top one that is hanging on by what is 5 or 6 knots. The suit is ripped to shreds, but still hanging on. This reminds me when i was his age or so and a guy in my summer club, Marc Beaulieu , first popularized ripped suits on top of a good suit. It was cool, and fun to see how long that raggedly old suit could stay on with from the solid shots of chlorine it was subjected to. In the end we were banned from wearing ripped suits at the pool because the manager kept finding clumps on suit in the pump house, which were blocking pumps or pipes. Fun times

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

NTC Run/Walk

This past weekend the Triathlon Centre hosted their 3rd annual Run/Walk event set to raise funds for the Cool Aid Society. Every year the event grows, which is great to see. Every year the event seems to off smoother and smoother as well. Steve and Scotty put a lot of time each year into making sure the event is the best it can be, GREAT JOB GUYS! Unofficially I believe the event raised close to $10,000 for Cool Aid which they will use towards building there new Access Health Centre downtown on Johnson street.

Here are a few photos from the event, i believe the full gallery/video will be mastercrafted by A-Mac sometime soon. He also made quite a good video in review of this past season here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Leaf Blowers

Alright, Victoria seems to have leaves on the ground from November through to January and as a result leaf collection is a HUGE activity that is done by the city, individuals and contractors.

One method of collecting leaves that I CANNOT comprehend is the leaf blowing. Leaves were meant to be blown by wind, that is about it. Why are earth would you buy a gas-powered polluting machine to blow leaves randomly but eventually into a consolidated pile in double or triple the amount of time that it would take to rake them (grass), or brush them (concrete) into piles.

I can see that the leaf sucker is a good method but some machines just blow and they really are useless. What makes them even more useless, if that is possible, is using them on windy days! I am not kidding! Yesterday I was riding through the Uplands and saw some contractors blowing leaves with a slight wind making it even more time consuming. Maybe they are paid by the hour?

Geesh what a racket and waste of energy. The good old rake is the way to go.

Monday, December 01, 2008

World Championship Series

The ITU has released further details following this weekend on the World Championship Series debuting in 2009.
Click here.

A while back i made some predictions about the locations of the races....well 2 for 6 is pretty bad. It appears the locations will be

Washington DC