Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Sponsor News!

Probably time for another update...and now that race season is slowly creeping around the corner hopefully I can better at the whole updating thing again.

First off I need to make a big shout out to my newest 2012 sponsor, Oxford Dodge Chrysler Jeep in London. Elizabeth and the team there are giving me a ton of support for the upcoming season and I'm looking forward to racing hard and giving back with some wins :)

I'm also lucky enough to have received my new gear from Rudy Project for the season, including my new favourite piece of race gear...the Wingspan aero helmet. Super aero and light and vented enough even for St. Croix!

I also got a pair of the Genetyk Fluo glasses. Definitely the funkiest of all the Rudy shades I have and you probably won't miss them on race day.

As for training, well unfortunately I'm not heading to any warm weather training camps this year (I'm really going to miss the LPC Florida crew in March). But it hasn't stopped me from ticking away here in London. I'm on my first adaptation week of the year and it has been a strong mini block of training to start the year. I have been tweaking my weekly schedule for a couple months and I have finally found something that really works for me around work and life.

Lately it's been a bit of a swim focus and things are slowly but surely feeling a little more natural...all I can ask for in the pool! How much swimming? Well enough that I don't remember the last time my suit was dry. I could tell you about all my (occasionally ridiculous) workouts, weekly mileage, times etc. and try to show off how EPIC my training is (grrr)...but I prefer to be the only one knowing how hard I'm working. :)

My build for St. Croix starts next week and I'm looking forward to putting some serious hours on the Computrainer to get fit for an early start to the year. I'm also looking forward to feeling like a runner again after getting through the inevitably forced base/maintenance/strength "focus" of running in Canadian winter. Besides the odd swim TT and CP test on the bike all I really have to go by is a good feeling that I'm really happy with my fitness for this time of year and am training hard and SMART. With lots more to come.

Anyway, back to recovering for now. I promise I'll be more diligent with updates as training starts to pick up! Thanks for reading...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy New Year

Greetings fellow triathlon gossip seekers,

Well it's a new year and we all know what that means...ridiculously crowded pools and no lockers to be found for the next two weeks. But don't worry, the resolution crowds will die off soon enough and it will be back to just us resilient triathletes!

I haven't been doing much updating lately, and it's a combination of trying to establish a new routine (having taken charge of my programming and race planning) and simply sticking to it day to day. It has never been part of my training philosophy to come up with arbitrary "epic" workouts or weekends then feel the need to tell everyone about it. So as boring as it may sound...it has been business as usual for me and I'm really happy with my CONSISTENT progress.

The longer I am in the sport and the more I try to show my face in the tri community rather than train in hiding all the time, the more distractions there are all around. People wanting to know what my weekly training is like, wanting to tell me that they're training more or harder. Personally I'm flattered when I hear that young athletes are comparing themselves to me in some way, and I'm always more than happy to help in any way I can...whether it be chatting with someone over facebook or leading by example at a workout. I have humble roots in the sport, having raced as an age grouper for three seasons before my hard work allowed me to gain elite status.

But there seems to be a growing trend of young athletes around me obsessed with the notion of "going pro". I'm all for people setting high goals and working hard to attain them, every day I feed off the doubters who tell me my goals in the sport and too lofty for someone so naturally untalented. But a lot of people tend to forget that it means NOTHING that Triathlon Ontario accepts your application to put "pro" on your calf at a race. You don't become a world champion overnight and you can't overlook the work it takes to get there: not for a single workout.

If someone were to ask me what it means to be a professional triathlete, I would tell them that my training is the antithesis of something boastful or glorious, rather it's dirty, painful and all-consuming. And for those rare instances that I get the chance to assert my fitness in a race, I will have spent 10 times longer driving to a venue every weekend of the summer than I actually spend racing it, for the slight chance to win enough prize money at one in ten races to cover my hotel or gas expenses. But I love it, the daily grind, the hard work that leads to improvement, and the rare but so-worth-it payoff. And I don't need my pro card to have that.

So all I ask of my compatriots is this. Focus on the training, the progression, and kicking your own ass in every workout and race. Forget the titles and the non-existent money, fame and glory. Just have fun, and quietly enjoy getting faster. And I will be more than happy to be beaten by a physically and mentally stronger athlete.

Now I'll compeltely change the subject because I'm too lazy to make two different posts. Well my build for my first event starts in about 4 weeks so until then I'm putting emphasis on efficiency in the water and strength on the bike and run. I'm learning to get comfortable swimming 20k/week...something that terrified me even a year ago. I'm also redefining my personal definition of "easy" and "hard" on my bike, as I do every off-season. 2-3 hour trainer rides aren't such a hardship anymore, and I have never been more excited to be fit for race season.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to join Coach James for one of his LPC Training Days in Windsor. They are always a great time and a solid training day with a fun group. I'm relieved that I'm still accepted as an honorary LPC'er even though I have taken "coaching" into my own hands. Here are a few pics from the day!

I have also enjoyed some fun training in Hamilton with Amanda, and have been getting a chance to be pushed in the swim and ride on the only good hills in Southern Ontario. It has been a great winter so far and I'm ready for spring racing already!