Early Bird Triathlon Review

A few weeks ago I participated in my first triathlon, the Early Bird Triathlon organized by Somersault Events, a local company whose events “are organized primarily for the recreational enjoyment of participants of all ages and stages.”  This sentence from their mission statement perfectly describes me and my focus as an athlete.  I enter races not for prize money, but for the enjoyment.

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2016 Early Bird Tri & Du Race shirt

In terms of a simple goal for the day, score one for the Early Bird Sprint Tri.  I had a great day, as I usually do at Somersault events.  In an earlier post, “I am a Triathlete!”,  I described my somewhat spotty/sketchy/non-existent training plan for the day.

strava calendar 2016

Not much training done for a late May event. Oops!

With such a weak lead up to the day, I wasn’t really sure how things were going to turn out.  I needn’t have worried.

The night before race day, I organized all of my gear, making sure I had my bag packed with bike shoes, helmet, towels, food, water, and race bib. I made sure the tires had air, and that the bike computer worked. And it was good that I checked both of those things, because they both needed work. The air int he tires wasn’t a big deal, but imagine my surprise at 11 pm to discover my bike computer had stopped working. Fortunately my workbench has a drawer full of mysteries. Imagine Mr. Dressup’s Tickle Trunk and you have a good idea of the remarkable things I have hidden away “just in case”. That’s right, I had the exact right battery. So I got that sorted out and headed off to bed.

Flat SeeHaleRun Tri version

Flat SeeHaleRun

On the day of the race, I was up before the alarm clock, earlier than I usually get up for work. I even woke up before the coffee machine started. Seriously, who gets up on a Saturday before the alarm clock? Okay, maybe I was a little anxious. One of the great things about Somersault events is the number of people you run into there. The events draw all sorts of people to them, from recreational athletes (me!) to elite athletes, and everybody in between. As I was loading my bike into the van my neighbours came out and started loading their car. Of course they were also headed to the race to cheer on family members (including the 72 year old mother) who were going to compete in the Try-a-Tri and the Sprint Tri distances. After the event another neighbour stopped by to say she had seen me finish as her kids were competing in the Kids race. Ottawa is a small town, but we’re pretty active.

Once I arrived at the race, which was centered around the Carleton University campus, I found a parking spot not too far from the setup area. One of the benefits of using Carleton is the abundance of parking, and a good path system for people to travel between the swim area and bike/run transition zone. Because the race is in late May, there is no open water swim; instead the swim is held in the Carleton 50m pool. Of course the downside is that it is 500+ meters between the pool and the transition zone so you have to accept the time loss (if you choose to walk rather than run back to the T-zone).  Once I found a good spot for my bike and gear that provided good landmarks so I would remember where to go, and gave me a good path to the bike and run routes, I went to get marked up. Fortunately, there was space beside my bike for my brother-in-law so when he arrived a few minutes later he was able to set up quickly.

While I had taken part in the pre-race orientation session the evening before during packet pick-up, I was not really prepared for the mass that is the self-seeding wave start. The pool area was very well organized, but there were a lot of people waiting to get into the water. Thankfully my brother-in-law settled me down and explained that there will be a wait before we needed to worry about our place in line. Each swimmer is sent out at 15 second intervals so the line did take a while to get to us.  He also encouraged me to join the 12 minute line for the swim instead of the 15 minute group. As I mentioned, I hadn’t really prepared for the race, and had not done any real swimming so I was going to take it easy and take a slower pace.  Am I ever glad I didn’t do that! As it was, I could have passed my brother-in-law; we finished the 500m together under 12 minutes. Once out of the pool, we headed back outside to our shoes and started to walk/run back to the T-zone for the 21 km bike ride.

Unlike last year’s duathlon, my bike did not have any mechanical issues during the tri.  I’m sure that has a lot to do with the tune-up it received from Mobivelo as an early Father’s Day gift.  The gears worked great this time. I wasn’t trying to kill myself as I had not been on the bike at all. In fact the first time I rode it this year was race day — not a recommended strategy — and I’m pretty happy with my 46 minute time. Sure I’m not winning any prizes with that time, but it was good and my legs were strong the entire ride. The route itself went north from Carleton U along the Rideau Canal and then back to Hog’s Back Falls and back to to Carleton; the Sprint Distance did this loop twice. The segment to Hog’s Back is slightly uphill so it was a good challenge for my untested legs.

https://www.strava.com/activities/583161907/embed/c7025ef98e7b1bffe66fedc22a32b82fecfbcb4d

The return to the T-zone was slower than I planned. I still have to work on switching from my bike shoes to my running shoes.  Even though I have speed laces, I still find the move to running gear is my slowest. Oh well, if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth doing again and again. Regardless, the run was also okay except that it was along the uneven edge of the road. Because I was worried about injuring myself, I ran on the road until the path evened out a bit.  I had practiced this out-and-back loop route the week before so i wasn’t totally unfamiliar with it and I was ready for the hill in the middle.  It was great to see my neighbours along the route as they cheered me on, especially on the way back.  As I often do, I fell in with a runner whose pace I liked and stuck with her.  She was finishing the Long Tri and she looked like she could run forever.  I kept up with her, though, and finished strong (I think). Even with a slow transition, I managed to come in just under 30 minutes. When I crossed the line I raised my hands triumphantly, knowing that I am a triathlete.

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Brothers & Triathletes in arms!

Having now completed a tri, even a Sprint distance, I know I will do another. I may even challenge myself to a longer distance, just not yet. For those looking to give multi-sport a try, consider one of the Somersault Events. They’re fun, but challenging, and they have distances to fit most abilities from beginner to elite.

I am a Triathlete!

Last weekend I did something I never thought I would/could actually do. I completed a triathlon. To be fair to all you hard core triathletes, it was a Sprint Tri, but it was still a Tri! 500 m swim, 23km bike, 5k run. When I started running a few years ago it was for 1 race, a 5k. I swore I would never go further, a comment that made a runner friend laugh. She knew all too well that a little running success leads to the pursuit of longer distances and more challenges. So now I’ve completed my first Tri. 

In another post I will review the race day itself, but let me explain, but let me explain a bit about my training. When my brother-in-law Krishna signed me up for the race I researched various training plans, going back to the excellent resources provided by the British Heart Foundation since their plan had worked so well for last summer’s duathalon. Of course life being what it is, and my lack of commitment to anything other than my family, I didn’t actually follow the plan. Sure I swam a few hundred meters four times over the winter, the last being in March. Yeah, I rode my bike a few (um 3?) times on the trainer. At least I started running again. At the end of April. With all that planning negated by the lack of training my goal was pretty simple: just finish. But every runner has a time goal too, and mine was 1 hr 30 mins to 1 hr 40 mins. That seemed reasonable given what I knew about my self. Turns out that was bang on as I finished in 1 hr 38 mins. 


So there it is. I’ve gone from a guy who thought running sucks to a triathlete. I wonder what else I can accomplish?

Fall Colours 10k Recap

Sunday morning was most likely my last race of the season. After hemming an hawing for a few weeks, the week before the race I threw my hat in to the ring and signed up for the Somersault Events Fall Colours 10k, one of the many races they held that day. As a first time participant of the event, I was really impressed by the organization of the day and the great family atmosphere. The race distances ranged from the kids’ Turkey Trott through to the marathon.

Like all Somersault events, this day was very well planned. There was the pre-race emails from organizer Terry McKinty reminding participants about the start-times, facilities and amenities, and parking costs. They even setup a Facebook page for ride sharing. There was updates to the marathon route maps, and explanation about the colour coded markers for distances and directions. The water stations were manned by members of a local basketball club who were also beneficiaries of fundraising efforts form the day. The route was very well marked, and made its way from the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum and into a the community. Residents come out a cheer on the runners. All in all, it was a wonderful day. It helped that the weather was great; a bit of sun and not too warm. I chose a long sleeve technical shirt, but would have been fine in a t-shirt. Of course all of this was with a backdrop of trees that were nearly at the peak of colours change — hence the event name Fall Colours.

Backdrop for Fall Colours 10K 2015

Backdrop for Fall Colours 10K 2015

My training for this event was somewhat sporadic. I had been running a fair bit this year as I trained for the duathlon in August. Also, I have been experiencing some real gains (losses?) in my struggle to reach my weight goals. Fortunately, iRun magazine partnered with SportChek and presented a series of 10 week training plans geared for October events — mybestrunningrace.com — and I was able to focus my training. Although I started out following the half-marathon plan, I soon realized that with the return to school and accepted that 10k was going to be a more manageable distance. As my training went on, my 5k times were getting pretty quick, and the one night I ran 10k, I was under 60 minutes for the first time ever. All that to say I was feeling pretty good about race day.

The Fall Colours itself was a great run and experience. Learning from other races, I did not head to the back of the pack. Instead I went to the front of the pack to start the race. I knew I wasn’t going to be the fastest, but I also knew I wasn’t going to be the slowest. When the horn sounded, I headed out faster than knew I should running the first km in 5:10. Knowing that I couldn’t sustain that, and because I planned to finish around 60 minutes, I deliberately slowed down so that by the end of the third km I was hovering at the 6 minute/km mark. This was fine for me as I was trying to stick to my plan. What I hadn’t understood, though, was how hilly the course is — in both directions. I managed to hold my pace, however, to the end of the 5km mark, and then I slowly started to pick up my pace, eventually getting back to 5:24/km, and running a negative split. Like I do in most races I pick another runner who seems to be about my pace and try to stick with him or her. This worked well again, and I managed to keep tabs on a few runners. However, because I was picking up the pace in the second half, I was slowly overtaking them. Nothing aggressive, but steady moves past various runners. As we headed into the final kick, I did overtake a few runners quite quickly. At the finishing chute, I picked up the pace even more — the last split time had me back at 5:10/km. My finishing time was 61 minutes, exactly 4 minutes faster than than my previous 10k race. I’m super happy with the race PB! But that’s not the entire story.

Interestingly, throughout the race I noticed that the km indicators and my Strava app were not in sync. I wrote about this earlier, and my thoughts/concerns have since been validated. As he usually does following races, Terry sent out a post-race email in which he addressed various aspects of the event. Chief among them, was their awareness that the race was in fact longer than 10k:

The 10K – actually, the 10.7K. With a new member to the race crew this year (it’s not his fault), our ‘course coner) was given the actual 5K turn point, without being given the .7K grounds measurement so it’s our fault – not his! Sportstats will amend the results to reflect 10.7K

You really have to admire and respect event organizers who recognize a mistake was made. More so, they own it; they didn’t blame the new guy.

So what does this mean for my race and my PB? Well it means I got two PB’s that day. In addition to getting an official race time PB, even for a slightly longer distance, my actual 10k time was also a PB for me — 56:41! That is way faster (almost 9 minutes!) than than my previous 10k race PB, and it is faster than any other 10k I’ve run in training. For a race on Thanksgiving Weekend, I couldn’t really ask for more.

Obligatory post-race selfie. These are rarely good!

Obligatory post-race selfie. These are rarely good!

Which distance is correct?

  On the weekend I ran the Somersault Events Fall Colours 10k race. The route takes you from the Cumberland Heritage Museum through the local community. As the name suggested, the route has many trees that are in full fall colours. It’s also a hillier route than I was expecting; nothing outrageous but certainly more hills than flats. What I found most interesting is the discrepancy between my running app and the official distance of the race. I’ve been using Strava since May when I switched from the Nike+ app because it kept crashing and draining my battery by 2kms. 

On race day, I noticed at each km marker that Strava was hitting that distance a few meters earlier. Nothing major, but it clearly added up. By the end of the race, the app was reading 10.8 km; I checked a few other people and we all had the same extra distance. So whose distances are correct? The runners’ or the race event organizers’? At the end of the day I had a solid run and a PB. I cut 4 minutes off my race time finish at 61 mins, but if I use the app distance/time then I cut 9 mins and I came in under an hour (56 mins). Hey it’s pretty hard to complain about two PB’s in the same event. Like I said I’m happy with the results, and one day I will actually finish a 10k race under the 1 hr marker. 

Is it common for running apps to be so different than race distances?

What’s more important to you: training/recreational PB or race day PB? 

National Capital Sprint Duathlon Race Recap

I was checking out my blog posts page today and discovered some incomplete drafts. Sure it’s 6 months late, but getting to the finish line eventually is part of this journey. Since I started this recap, I’ve signed up for my first triathlon; re-reading this is a good motivator for the upcoming running season.

CH


 

At last I’ve carved out some time to finish writing the National Capital Sprint Duathlon recap that I participated in August 1.  Like my running, my desire to write has fallen off a bit; thankfully in the last few days I’ve made both running and writing a priority.

Competing in a multi-sport event is new to me.  While both my sister-in-law and brother-in-law had each completed a few, I had yet to take u the challenge, until this year when my brother-in-law signed me up.  I needed the nudge, and I’m glad he did it.

Race day was near perfect. Sunny but not too hot. The race site layout was well organized. Thanks to the orientation session the night before lead by Ottawa Triathlon Club coach Geordie McConnell, I knew what to expect and where to go on race day. As recommended, I arrived an hour early. Typically parking at the Terry Fox complex isn’t great, but parking karma was with me and I found a spot right away. I took it as a good sign for the upcoming race. I also found a spot to rack my bike in the centre aisle so it was a straight line through the T zone from the run to the bike and back to the run. Also, there was a spot for my brother-in-law’s gear right beside me.  Our stuff was pretty easy to identify as I had a bright yellow MEC backpack and he had a vibrant orange towel. After getting marked up — yes the Sprint Duathlon also needed marking — we had a quick warm up run and headed to the start line.

One of the great things about Somersault Events is the relatively small number of people competing in each discipline. Even though they run multiple disciplines at each event, you’re really only racing against a small group which means the start line isn’t too crazy. My event only had 36 competitors who were sorted by gender and age category. In my age group, there were only 5 people. There were also some people who opted for Athena or Clydesdale designations (something for which I’m no longer eligible).

The first 2k run leg went fairly well, and I finished it under 11 minutes. Just before the 1k turn around I spotted my mother with a sign and cheering me on. What a great motivator! As I was approaching the T zone another competitor in my age group passed me. I knew I wasn’t first but I also knew I wasn’t last in my AG. If I could keep my sights on that guy I knew I would be okay.  My transition to the bike was pretty good, although I missed my clip which slowed me down a bit. Rookie mistake to be sure.

I was still looking pretty happy during the bike ride, even though I had a mechanical problem at 4km.

View event: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/event/19666/

Thumbs up at the bike turn-around. (View event: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/event/19666/)

My gears/cables decided that what I really needed was an extra challenge and stuck in just two gears — either the highest or the middle. Not much of of a choice.  I could get other gears to work, but it meant holding the shifter in place which is not the easiest or most natural position given that they are located on the down tube. That said, I actually moved up 2 places overall on the bike.  But the effort took its toll on the final run.

2015-08-01 | 2015 National Capital Triathlon, Duathlon and Relays

Beginning the 5k run. I DO NOT have a good race face. (View event: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/event/19666/)

My 5k run was pretty solid, but the gear issues, training gaps, and a lack of nutrients certainly made the second half challenging. With a bout 1.5k to go to the finish I just had to walk. I couldn’t imagine running another step. Amazingly, I was motivated by another runner, many years younger than me who shouted an encouraging word to keep going. And so I sucked it up and started running again. My only focus was to get to the finish line having long given up the hope of an AG success.

It turned out that while I had lost a little time, I was still ahead of the guy I had seen at the end of the first leg. Sure enough, when I finish line I was 2nd in my AG. Even though I was sucking wind just a few minutes before, I was completely reenergized when I crossed that line. Getting 2nd in AG was fantastic (the guy who won came 1st in EVERY Somersault Sprint Du 2015 event), and I’ve happily added it to my collection of Somersault podium victories. I found my brother-in-law Krishna and his friend Doug and we all celebrated our successes. As it turned out, Krishna came in first for his AG, forth overall. This was his first podium finish. Doug was the big winner of the group getting 3nd overall, 2nd male, and 1st AG.

Will I do another one? Yep! I’m already for planning for events next year.

Duathlon Training Update #4

Week 5 July 13 — July 19 (week 8 of BHF.org.uk Duathlon training plan for beginners)

Day Planned Activity What I Really Did Thoughts/Comments
Monday Rest Rest

Swim: 600m in 17:30

Still worried about my foot — lots of foot massage and stretches to help loosen it. I did manage over 11K steps today.

Nice, easy swim at the end of a very hot day felt great.

Tuesday Run/walk : 30 minutes

Stretch:10 min

Bike: 8.9 km in 22:23 (20:55 moving time)

Bike: 8.8 km in 19:42 (19:02 moving time)

Bike ride getting a bit faster as the days go on, and I’m adding a bit more distance. Birthday dinner took precedence over my run. Pacer app says I walked more than 2.7 km over the course of the day so I will take that.
Wednesday Run/Walk: 10

Bike: 10

Run/Walk: 10

Stretch:10 min

Bike: 8.9 km in 18:22 (18:18 moving time)

Bike: 8.9 km in 22:47 (22:19 moving time)

Run: 3.1 km in 19:20

Yoga: 10 mins

Although the morning ride was pretty fast, the afternoon ride presented me with a pretty strong headwind (approx. 19 km/hr) so I didn’t make great time. Focused on consistent and strong pedalling form. After my run, spent 10 minutes using Yoga app to stretch out. MUST remember to do this everyday! Finished it all with a quick swim.
Thursday Bike: 60 minutes

Stretch:10 min

The day was a complete right-off. I didn’t bike, run, or anything. I didn’t even reach 10k steps. I didn’t even eat particularly well. Argh!
Friday Run: 30 minutes or

Swim or Yoga/Pilates class

Walk: approx 1 hr. Bike was in the shop, daughter had field hockey, and we went out for dinner.  running was not going to happen.
Saturday Rest

Stretch:10 min

Rest

Stretch: 10 mins

House work and moving boxes counts as stretching, right?
Sunday Bike: 40

Run: 30 minutes

Stretch:10 min

Walking and painting Some days, even though you have a good plan and everybody knows it, it just doesn’t happen.  I did, however, spend a great day with my family and we got some things done around the house that were essential.

Duathlon Training Update #3

Week 4 July 6 — July 12 (week 7 of BHF.org.uk Duathlon training plan for beginners)

Day Planned Activity What I Really Did Thoughts/Comments
Monday Rest Stretch:10 min Rest

Walking: 7300 steps

Stretch: 10 mins

Read an interesting article about the difference between Rest and Active Recovery that will help me through training.
Tuesday Run/walk : 30 minutes Stretch:10 min Steps: 12509

Bike: 8.5 km in 22:01 (20:56 moving time)

Bike: 8.7 km in 19:39 (19:36 moving time)

Swim: 550m in 14 mins

Pacer app indicates 136 min active time approx 3.2 km. Too bloody hot for a run today 28C but feels like 35C with the humidity. The swim was a much better way to get exercise and stretch..
Wednesday Run/walk: 10 Bike: 60 minutes Stretch:10 min Bike: 8.5 km in 20:00 (19:01 moving time)

Run: 2 km in 10:32

Ride: 20.3 km in 1:01:18 (52:23 moving time)

Walk: 3 km in 44 mins

Stretch: 10 minutes

First long ride of the year; lots of traffic stops. Will clearly need more time in the saddle at long distances to be ready for duathlon. Also had a nice 3k walk after dinner with my beloved. I finished the day with a quick swim to cool off. Pacer app counted 15214 steps.
Thursday Run/walk : 30 minutes Stretch:10 min Bike: 8.5 km in 22:00 (20:41 moving time)

Bike: 2.8 km in 8:04 (7:11 moving time)

Bike: 8.8 km in 19:35 (18:48 moving time)

Run: 4.8 km in 28:30

I thought the ride was a bit faster; need to work on pedalling consistency.

Two rides in the afternoon b/c of quick trip to doctors.  first time running after a ride so I’m happy to have been on 5k pace under 30 mins. Should have run the extra 200m but my wife called. Family comes first.

Friday Bike: 30 minutes or swim or Yoga/Pilates class Bike: 8.5 km in 20:25 (17:49 moving time)

Bike: 8.8 km in 20:41 (20:41 moving time)

Ride home was not as fast as I hoped but I pedalled the entire time, no stopping.

Also had a couple of swims after work & dinner.  My wife taught our daughter how to flip turn, and used me as the exemplar. I was surprised it came back to me so quickly.

Saturday Rest Stretch:10 min REST & STRETCH I took it easy like I’m supposed to. the metatarsal bruising in my foot seems to be back so the break is good for me. So are the stretches and foot massages.
Sunday Bike: 90 minutes Stretch:10 min Stretch

Swim: 100 m in 2:38

Walk: 1.3 km in 15 minutes

Family commitments kept me from following the plan today.  I did go for a nice walk with the dog, and there was some light housework to do, but I didn’t get anywhere near my bike.  This is good because my foot is still bothering me a bit and I want to be ready for race day.

Duathlon Training Update #2

Duathlon Training Summary Week #3 continued

For the week June 28 (end of week 5) to July 5 (week 6)

Week 3 June 28 — July 5 (week 6 of BHF.org.uk Duathlon training plan for beginners)

Day Planned Activity What I Really Did Thoughts/Comments
Sunday Run/Walk: 15

Bike: 30
Run/Walk: 15.

Stretch: 10 min

Run: 6 km in 36:19 time

6:01/km AVG pace

Just glad to be running again! Went out hard.
Monday Rest Run: 5km in 30:19 time

6:02 AVG pace

Took it easier than yesterday, but still happy with progress.
Tuesday Run/walk : 30 minutes.

Stretch: 10 min

Bike: 8.5 km in 21:47 (21:16 moving time)

Bike:8.5 km in 21;10 (20:42 moving time)

10 minutes swimming approx 200 m

1st ride to summer school site.  17 km return ride should be good training
Wednesday Run/Walk 30

Bike 30 minute

Stretch: 10 min

NOTHING! Canada Day celebrations with family took precedence over training
Thursday Run/Walk: 30 minutes

Stretch: 10 min

Walk: 1.2 km dog walk

Summer School walking: approx 9000 steps — way more than 30 mins

Leg stretches to help heel

Had planned to bike, but had to change that plan at the last minute
Friday Bike: 30 minutes or swim or yoga/Pilates class Bike: 8.1 km in 21:14 (17:33 moving time)

Bike: 8.8 km in 21:14 (19:56 moving time)

Swim: 10 minutes approx 250m free & breast

Added new bike computer that syncs with Strava iPhone app so I have more accurate data. Still finding the best/safest route home — looks like I’ve got it. Nice refreshing swim when I got home.
Saturday Rest. Stretch:10 min gardening and a trip to the shopping mall

10000 steps according to Pacer app

Sunday Run/Walk: 10

Bike: 60

Run/Walk: 10 Stretch: 10 min

Run: 5 km in 29:15

Walk: 1.3 km in 12 mins

Swim: 20 mins

Walk: 3 km in 43:00

Didn’t get on the bike today, but I did manage a 5k PB. Also had a nice 3k walk with my beloved after dinner.

Duathlon Training Update #1

A little over two weeks ago my ever enthusiastic and encouraging brother-in-law signed me up for the National Capital Duathlon organized by Somersault Events. While this is yet another vote of confidence of my athletic ability, it has forced my hand (or maybe my feet) to exercise and train for something. So with 7 weeks to go before the race I’ve been forced to research training plans for duathlons, a sport I know very little about. Yes I can run. Yes I have a bike that I used ride regularly. No I’ve never used them both on the same day with ANY organization or plan. When I did cycle, I was NOT a runner. My wife doesn’t think I need to practice the cycling component at all since I rode all the time when we were first together.  Ah love.  It does truly mask some things.  Sure I rode all the time when we first together — 23 years ago! Yes this will require some training and work.

It turns out the last two weeks have completely derailed any training plan I may have had. These were, as they are every year, two of the busiest weeks at work. Add to that a nagging heal injury that I was desperate not to make worse. Suffice it to say I haven’t done any planned exercise. I’ve been so busy my son has walked the dog more than I have these last two weeks. The only good thing is that I’ve had a little time to get my bike ready to ride again.  I bought this bike in 1987; it was a top of the line bike at the time equipped with Shimano 600 group of components.  Moving from my old CCM bike to this Italian made Bianchi speedster was significant.  During the summer I bought the bike, and the years that followed, I pedaled many kilometers each week exploring Ottawa’s neighbourhoods, the Gatinieau hills, and parts of the Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

Bianchi

circa 1987 Bianchi Limited Edition — Ready to ride once again!

As often happens, life got in the way — okay I got married and had a family so it wasn’t a poor trade — and I didn’t ride much at all.  Finding myself a few weeks way from a 20 km ride is actually quite daunting.  Do I still have the legs? Can I manged the distance in a time that doesn’t seem ridiculous?  Can I remember how to get out of clipless pedals without falling over?

With just five weeks to go before race day I actually managed to get out for a run. I try to take advantage of my daughter’s field hockey schedule to get my runs in, and Sunday was one of those days. On an unusually cool late June day (14C) I hit the trails behind Minto Field and pounded out a 6 km run with a 6:01 pace. I went out hard and managed to keep it up fairly well the entire time. It also meant I had a nice 1/2 km walk back to the field as my cool down. Monday was another field hockey night so I managed to hit the trails for another 5k run.  I was a little slower on this run, but according to Strava I’m trending up for the route I took as I continue to get a little bit faster the more I run.

I did finally get out on my bike. I had to go to a meeting so instead of taking the car I chose to ride.  The distance wasn’t too great, just 8.5 km, so it was a good test to see if I have any cycling legs. I completed the ride to the meeting in 21 minutes, and the return was just under that time. Given the fact I haven’t ridden anywhere I feel these are pretty good times. I do hope to finish the race in under 90 minutes, but that is going to be a challenge given how little I’ve actually trained and prepared for the demands of a duathlon.

Duathlon Training Summary Weeks 1 & 2

The countdown is on with just 7 weeks to go before race day.  In the first two weeks of training I did exactly no training. Nothing. I did, however, find a 10 week Beginners Duathlon training plan on the British Heart Foundation website that is manageable for me (Training plan). Of course I’m not going to have the benefit of all 10 weeks, but since I have been running, I’m going to jump in at week 4.

Duathlon Training Summary Week 3

Okay so now I’ve actually started running and riding again and I’m jumping ahead to week 6 of the BHF training plan. Except that I’ve already made some adjustments because of my plans for the week. I have covered the required activities for the first few days of the week, but in my own order.  Monday was supposed to be a rest day, but I ran 5 km.  Tuesday was supposed to be a 30 minute run day, but I biked 40+ minutes instead.  And Wednesday is supposed to be a bike and run day, but since it’s Canada Day, and we have guests coming over, I’m unlikely to do anything.  I will just have to adjust the rest of the week.

What Have I Got Myself Into?

My brother-in-law has done it again.  After suggesting, encouraging, and goading me into signing up for a duathlon this summer, I received this email:

That’s right, he signed me up for the event. I guess he knew I would keep putting him off or avoiding his suggestions/encouragement.   For those of you who are unaware, the Sprint Duathlon is a 2k run, followed by a 20k bike ride, finished off with a 5k run.  Sure, why wouldn’t I try this?  Ummm … because I’m basically lazy!  Alright, that’s not really a good description of me, although not far off the truth.   It really is a compliment from my brother-in-law since he does have faith I can actually complete a Sprint Duathlon.  Besides, he was right about my ability to run my first 5k and my one and only half marathon.

I think I really did myself in when I told him how much I had been running lately.  What he missed, however, was the little point about me having not been on my bike yet this year.  Oh sure I’ve had grand plans, but so far the bike is still in the basement on the trainer stand I DIDN’T use all winter.  I really be testing the old adage about not forgetting how to ride a bike.  I’ve got a few weeks to remember, but I think there’s more to this than just getting back on the saddle.

Do you have any tips for training for a duathlon? Have you ever entered an event you might not be ready for?