Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trimes Team Posts

I have been posting my race/training reports for the last while up on the Trimes Team Website, check it out here, follow some of Canada's elite athletes, and add it to your blogroll.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oi Boy!

Riding by Pat Bay today I was reminded, by the similar coastline, of a beauty movie I saw on the flight home from Auckland a few months ago. Scanning through the selections I came accross this one that looked small budgeted but with potential. I'm glad I gave it a go, best film i've seen in ages.

First video is of the trailer and the second is of the classic added haka feature in the credits. Definitley recommend "Boy".

Friday, May 18, 2012


Back from San Diego this week and quickly back into training. Building upon my first race is what we are after. Improving race specifics and as we all saw on Saturday, run speed:) I've posted a bit about the race on the Trimes Team Blog.

In this post I'd like to get into a topic surrounding the race and what came out of it afterwards. Long has been the conception that ITU racing is a "wet runners" race, that is to say that the bike is meaningless and just serves as a precursor to the run. In Ironman drafting is cheating, so how could it acceptable anywhere else??

In hindsight, the timing of the Lance Armstrong / Simon Whitfield shampoo/blowdry ITU twitter exchange could not have come at a better time. Armstrong voiced his view of the ITU format, which I think represents a lot of 'old school' educated triathlon figures. ITU has never really been accepted, besides once every 4 years, in the general triathlon public as the pinnacle of the sport.

Take the typically common exchange:

Person: " you do triathlon....so have you raced an ironman?"

ITU athlete: " yea, but no i race the Olympic distance"

Person: " oh....I see....maybe someday you'll be able to do one?"

ITU athlete: " yeah, maybe."

After experiencing the leadup, race, and attention afterwards in San Diego I feel as if ITU has made a significant jump in respect and appeal over essentially 3-4 days. There was plenty of publicity leading up towards the home soil race for the Americans as it was their final selection point. Stories on each athlete and their journey to that point. However, the race did the talking. The race opened the eyes of the Age-group masses as to what ITU racing is at the highest level, WTS. During the swim WU you could hear the spectators commenting on the speed and tenacity already. In the middle of the bike there were points screaming through transition where you could almost hear them holding their breath. During my brief spell on the run where we bolted out of T2 the reactions were even more heightened. When you see a sport in the flesh you truly get a grasp of the speed and skill involved, J.Brownlee demonstrated this quite well. Placing 54th in the event, the amount of sincere congradulatory comments was very humbling for a back of the packer. There was definitley a buzz in San Diego last weekend, like an alarm clock of realization.

Macca's involvement in the ITU has raised the awareness. Many people were there on Saturday to see Macca. To see him place 30 something gave the public a good understanding of the level of racing here. Triathlon Magazine captured Macca after the race in quite a geniune moment explaining the toughness of ITU racing. It couldn't have come from a more respected and accomplished athelte in Ironman & ITU. He was an ITU World champ in the early years, 2xIronman World Champ, and now back at ITU. There is no better spokesman for how ITU has evolved and how freakin fast the athletes of today are in ALL 3 sports.

This has to be my favourite photo from the weekend. What contrast going on here...

Lastly, a parting shot exiting the water for a second lap of shampooing:)
Athletes exit the swim at ITU San Diego by Rich Cruse (cruse) on 500px.com
Athletes exit the swim at ITU San Diego by Rich Cruse

Monday, May 07, 2012

Mixed Bag

First time I heard we were doing a 'Mixed Bag' run workout w Jon it reminded me of going to birthday parties and getting a goodie bag at the end. Not sure why I made this association but nontheless it was there. 'Mixed Bag' runs have quickly become my favourite sessions. Usually the Mixed Bag appears 10 days prior to a race and/or an abbreviated version 4/5 days before. So if a mixed bag is on the schedule then racing is coming up! Yesterday we did a mixed bag at Beacon Hill in what were great conditions. Using the petting zoo as a regroup zone Simon and I ran the workout on the mile and 800 loops. I'd never ran the 800 before, quite liked the layout and feel of it seemingly being just 400. With peacock gallery providing boistorous, distracting mating calls we not only had to hold form during the varying pace workout, but also mindset. Later in the afternoon I had a great ride on my new Teschner SL9, which I will review soon on our Trimes Team Blog. Enjoying the spring weather which has started to become consistent I warmed up for 50' out into Metchosin before riding a 'spirited' 1hr sweet spot loop which I've embeded below. I created this segment on Strava so currently hold the KOM if your interested in taking it down: The first time I rode this loop was roughly four years ago with the vintage BAMF Filliol Crew. Beijing was approaching and the boys had labeled this ride the 'Beijing Loop'. It was to be their final major bike workout before heading off to China. I lasted perhaps 20' before being shelled by the powerhouses of Jordan Rapp, Colin Jenkins and Simon. Joel motorpaced me behind the cube for a while until I almost blew over the barrier on the Roche Cove descent. After that I think he figured 'this kid is on his own.' This Sunday I made some slight deviations from that loop to make it as close to 1hr as I could. Couple more days preparing here in Victoria then off to San Diego for round #2 of the WTS. Race goes Saturday at 2:30pst.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Zealand Round 2 + Sydney WTS

Back on the grid, back to posting ramblings about not a lot besides training, racing, and Misc. After a consistent block of training in Victoria throughout February we headed back to the Snowy Farm that is New Zealand for another dose of Flat Whites, roadkill, 13k dirt road, and stunning backdrops. The first three weeks were spent up at Snow Farm with the New Zealand, French and Dutch. After Mooloolaba the crowd thinned out significantly for the last week, but with Kris Gemmell having the voice of ten men "The Shining" did not ensue. We then moved down into Wanaka for three weeks to sharpen up for Sydney. The camp had many hard sessions, but my heartrate probably hit it's peak one early morning driving down from the farm where I nearly drove us off a cliff. Jucy, our van rental, took a lot of abuse on that trip but I was sure as hell happy that she managed to right herself inches from toppling over that drop.
Matt with his steed near the Neck Waters of Hawea and Wanaka Lakes
Getting Warm before a chilly lake Swim
Early morning Quality Run at the grass fields of Pembroke Park
Posing with a Warbird
Credit: Simon Whitfield
Imported Some of New Zealands Finest...on sale for 10$/can @ craigslist
Finishing up in Arthurs Point, near Queensland, we hopped accross the Tasman to Aussie for the first round of the WTS series. It was my first visit to Oz and I enjoyed it and the hospitality of friends Dave and Kira. Staying out in Manly Beach I was in and out of the city via a 30' ferry that gave you quite the perspective of Sydney, its beaches and general layout of the the harbour. Expecting to have a solid race, I was instead given a shocker. The race was really over for me about 1000m into the swim. A slip on the bike was just icing on the cake for a disappointing DNF to 2012. With a week to reflect on the outcome I had quite a lull in motivation and desire. This was in fact the issue I believe in the race, a lack of fire from within to compete and to resist complacency. In racing you can never be content with where you are. This current week has offered a couple of opportunities to rekindle. Last night I raced in our local Crit Road series up at Caleb Pike. It had been over two years since I'd rolled in one of these and as I rode up to the start some fond memories started to resurface. Caffeine pills Sharpie? In the A group we had about 20-25 riders start. Amongst the pack were a few Cat 1's who would make this one quite interesting. It became quite apparent that I had been away from crit racing when I clipped in and found myself almost being dropped within the first 500m. I couldn't have asked for a better sim of an ITU bike. We rode for just over an hour and avgeraged 280W, normalised to 337W! A lot of sprints and surges.
On Sunday I'll run the Times Colonist 10k downtown in what should be another great event to get the juices flowing before a revisit to WTS racing in San Diego on May 12th. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Once you think you've got it, someone else is GETTING it.

In the last 4 days i've watched this clip dozens of times. Everytime it reminds me of a phrase, sport pyschologist Dr. Bruce Pinel, based here in Victoria, told me a few years ago.

"Don't race to the finish line....race through it"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pulled Pork on Pancakes

Noa and I are fans of Diners Drive-Inns and Dives, wait, who isn't?

Anyways, a while back, Guy visited Vancouver and went to a cafe in East Van called Red Wagon. Known for its modern comfort food, one of its specials is Pulled Pork on Pancakes...... this was the seed to what ranks up there as one of the best dinners I've had, no joke.

Noa, has a recipe for Swiss Chard Cakes that is top notch on its own, add to that some 6hr slow cooked pork w a chocolate/cayenne rub, bbq sauce from scratch and her complimenting kale slaw and this is what you get:

For sure to be a part of her sport nutrition cookbook in early summer, I do enjoy being her #1 tester.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


Right about this time of the year the mind can start to wander. Winter has truly set in and your looking for some light. Training is going well and your itching to race, but the real stuff is still a ways away.

The head needs to stay down, blinders on, trust the program and coach.

Case in point: Cole Trickle, NASCAR extordinaire, back to racing after his near fatal smoke screen accident with Rowdy Burns must face his fear in Daytona. Trust in himself and his coach....

and just because it is one of the best movies ever, the final laps....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tough As

Kiwi's are tough.

Not that we are soft, just softer. Like a pear to an apple.

Tough as:

- Setting up base at top of 13k suspenion blowing dirt rd w snow in summer

- 300k ride

- Squeezing in another run at 20:30

- Iguana Wrestling

- Challenge Wanaka

- Having 16 year olds toe up with Vidal, Gemmell, Sissons..

- Those same 16 year olds not getting lapped out on a 8 x 2.5k bike loop.

- Win Road Nationals, then 160k ride , then heart surgery, 2days later back at it

- Boxing out

- Inventing Zorbing

- Rugby

- Disregarding any earthquake below 5.0

- HP Director in the Kayak with 4ft surf

- HP Director w a sub 9 Kona clocking

- Snorkel being standard for all 4X4

- Crown Range in a 12-23 after 3.5hrs

- Back flip off Albert Town Bridge

- Raising $10,000 for sprint race, putting it all on line for first, and donating it all to charity if you win.

Take away message: Sunny day over the Vic Waterfront today but rode towards the black clouds over Metchosin.

"Nothing came easy growing up on the dairy farm." - K.Gemmell

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So many Sheep

time for an update.

After a great Christmas visit (thank you Mhairi and Tim for a great week) with family and some time to relax with festive foods I found myself on a plane New Years eve headed to New Zealand.

An experience I have been looking forward to ever since it was mentioned has lived up to the expectation and more.

When you fly into Queenstown, it is a landing you'll never forget. The landing pattern takes place between two mountains that two planes would have trouble squeezing through. Upon arrival Marilyn Adams, team physio extrodinaire, picked Simon, Matt Sharpe, and I up. Climbing the 13k dirt road up to Snow Farm I think we were all thought, "where are we headed here???"

Snowfarm, @ 1600m, is a nordic centre / winter car testing site by winter and an NZ altitude centre / lord of rings / 10,000 BC movie site by summer. Welcomed by some of the NZ crew here we settled into training and the culture quite quickly. Ginger brews and driving on the left went down smoother than pepto.

On the first ride i took down 4 to 5 flies as the jaw hung in awe. The riding is brilliant, amongst others we've climbed the highest sealed road in NZ up Coronet Peak, a 4.5hr Crown Range Loop each sunday, and a windy windy out and back towards the wild west coast.

Running up at the farm is ideal. The surface is soft dirt with almost a 'tar sand' feel (possible exploration?? patent pending). Loops within loops within loops that can be done. You could literally choose loops from 15' to 2h30. Down from the farm the running is unreal. Whether along lake wanaka or lake Wakatipu in Queenstown you have hundreds of km of trails to run on. Today we ran West Wakatipu which included flat shoreline, single track pine forest, rolling gravel golf course, and rugged bluffs.

Swims have been at the Wanaka pool and wetsuit in the lake. The lake has given us varied conditions from glassy to ridiculous chop. Having to change your stroke over these varied conditions has been great practice. We did have one swim that took place at a Hippie Commune which i might take back. Many had quite the battle with that pool, including scars to show from the cheese grating lane ropes. For me it got personal with the pool quite quickly. I began to personify the ropes, the walls, the bottom which had no black line, as they were all 'out to get me'. With 7k on the board the pool had plenty of time to get under my skin and have me tap out. By 4k i had experienced all that it could throw at me. Over the last K it was quite rewarding to rub it in the pools face I must say.

Perhaps the best part of this camp has been the ability to see how these kiwi's and dutch train. A common difference to N.American programs is that the training is done without compromise. The hours in the day are there to simply get the work done.
The volume here is higher. Weekly totals I thought were unreachable are routine to them. There is no fear in 'overtraining'. I could write on and on about the differences i've seen, but the last thing i'll mention is the approach. With the amount of hours done here, the only way I see the athlete accomplishing the training and hungry for more is by it being enjoyable. With ever-present banter amongst the group, the miles click by. It is a job and they enjoy it.
When within a 20m radius of Kris Gemmell, you've got a comedy club, gossip girl, and trivia pursuit 24/7.

It's no secret that companies research how to improve their employees job satisfication. The more you enjoy your job, the more productive you become.

This Friday we will all be racing the Tri NZ Wanaka Contact Sprint Cup. Nicknamed 'The Doddsy International' from local NZ international Tony Dodds, the race will take place at 8pm in front of Friday night pubs along the lakefront. Cannot wait for this one!