Monday, 9 March 2015

Day 11 - Clermont Draft Legal Challenge - Sprint Race (draft legal)

So yesterday was my first ever Sprint Triathlon which just happened to be draft legal. The guys headed down to the race at about 0900hr as the park was opening to traffic at 0940hrs. I rode to the park with Dave D, Alex, and Marc. The remainder of the guys drove down. Shortly after we arrived the girls race started. (The girls AG race was incorporated with the EDR 25 race.) So that enabled us to cheer on Leslie, Sarah, Stephanie, Lucie, and our unofficial team-mate Elvy (Martin's spouse). The girls all had a good race with Leslie finishing 1st in the AG race and Elvy 2nd.

After the girls had removed their equipment from transition we were able to enter and place all our stuff. The have two transitions setup so they can keep the races moving quicker - the EDR men's race followed after the girls race and before the AG men race.
Transition Setup - Dave L is on the right.

After tranistion was setup we headed down to the water for a quick warm-up swim, pre-race brief and huddle, and then we were off. I knew I was going to have to swim well to be able to catch any of the CF guys on the swim. Unfortunately with a 12:44 swim that put me about 45s behind John and 60s behind the group that I really needed to catch. I soloed on the bike for almost the first half of the bike before latching on to another guys wheel. We started to work together (I did most of the pulls) and by the half-way mark of the third loop we had reeled in John's pack.

Unfortunately for me, Marc Prudhomme was pulling the first pack with Alex and the remaining CF guys were all in the second pack. With the likes of Dave D, Dave S, Dave L, Eric, Martin, and Phil all in the same pack there was no way I was going to make up any ground in fact I was losing about 30s+ per lap. And the third pack which I was leading had very little firepower. Despite my best effort I couldn't get that pack to start pushing the pace. John realized that I was doing most of the pulling and so made sure to pull through near the end of the fourth lap to give me a little break prior to the run. Bike time was 32:33.

On the run (Photo Credit - Martin's daughter)
Coming off the bike I was about 4 minutes down to the first group and 3 minutes down to the second group. I just ran as fast as I could hoping to at least reel in a few straglers. My final run time was 19:24 which was slower than I wanted. However, given my effort on the bike and the fact that run was ~250m long that result is understandable.

Total time 1:06:38.

I was 9th Overall and 7th out of the CF Athletes.

I wish a speedly recovery to Dave D who crashed hard during the second lap on the bike course.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Day 10 - Activation Day & Watching the ITU CAMTRI Event

So today was an activation day in preparation for tomorrow's Clermont Draft Legal Challenge. I did my bike/run activation as soon as it was light out. I spent about 30minutes on the bike which was mostly easy, but included 6 intervals of 15-30s at above race intensity. After the ride I put on my shoes and went for a transition run of 4km. During the run I included 5 accelerations to above race intensity for 15-20s.

At shortly after 0900 we headed down to Lake Louis Park to wark the Men's and Women's ITU Pan American Cup race. Catherine Desmarais, one of the CF High Performance Athletes, was racing in the women's race so it was a great oppertunity to go out and support one of our team mates. She had a tough race but slugged it out to at least complete the race and not get lapped out.

After the Elite Men's race was out of the water we switched into our wetsuits and jumped in for a quick swim around the course. The water was quite choppy but we still all managed without incident. Hopefully tomorrow the water is calm or at least calmer. 

We arrived back at our accomodations and the rest of the afternoon was our own time to recover or do whatever we wanted.

Eric assisted me with dinner this evening for our house. We made oven fried potatoes & onions, broccoli, honey chicken, and caesar salad. All those cooking lessons from my mother have paid dividends this week.  

Up tomorrow my first sprint and draft legal race. Despite having raced triathlons for 7+ years I have yet to do a Sprint Triathlon. I have to say I am very much looking forward to it.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Day 9 - Prerace Recovery Day

So today was our recovery day in preparation for Sunday's Draft Legal Challenge in Clermont. Our coach Dave Harju left it up to each individual to decide what they needed to do. I opted to run, swim, and bike today.

I woke up early and started the day off with a light 7km run. During the second portion of the run I included five excels to race intensity each lasting between 10-30s seconds.

After the run I had breakfast then headed with a portion of the group to the NTC for a swim. The pool was setup for long course today which is definately nice. The workout today was relatively easy with the intent of focusing on form. All total I swam 2400m.

After the swim it was back to the houses for some rest and recovery. After lunch I headed out with Dave H. Alex, and Dave D. for a light recovery ride. During the ride Dave D. spotted an alligator so we of course stopped to check him out.
Our little friend - the alligator. (Photo Credit - Dave D)

This evening I went to the athlete pre-race mtg with Sarah, and Marc (Geoff, Dave H. and Jason also went) as none of us had done this race before. Once we got back from the pre-race mtg we had our own team meeting. After the team mtg the team surpised me with a B-Day Cake seeing as it was my 32nd B-Day. I think Dave D. was the mastermind behind the cakes. It was greatly appreciated.

A couple B-Day cakes for this old man! (Photo Credit - Martin)
Up tomorrow is some activiation and watching the Elite Race!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Day 8 - Run / Swim / Bike Intervals + Team Dinner!

Today started off with an early morning easy 7km run with Eric and Alex. After a little breakfast we headed to NTC for our group swim.

Today's swim was shorter but with faster intervals. The main set consisted of two times through of 4 x 100 fast, 100 ez pull, 4 x 50 faster, 100 ez pull. Dave S. and Phil convinced me to swim with them despite the fact that they are substantially faster. It worked out ok for the first set of intervals but I opted for the pull buoy and paddles for the second set.

After the intervals we each had an oppertunity to have our swim recorded and then Dave D. spliced the underwater and above videos together. Clearly there are a few items in my stroke that I can improve.
Post ride photo of the guys who road today! (Some of the guys were resting!)

After some lunch we headed out for bike intervals. Since we are racing on Sunday the intensity was high but the volume was low. The main set consisted of 2min hard, 2min easy, 2 x (1.5min harder, 2.5min easy), 3 x (1min even harder, 3min easy), and finally 4 x (30s sprint, 3.5min easy). We had the choice of doing the intervals in a pace line or solo. I elected to ride solo as I wanted to put in some hard efforts. It was an especially tough workout as it was hot and the wind was quite intense.

And tonight we went out to Olive Garden for a group dinner!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Day 7 - OW Swim + Bike/Run Transitions

So today was yet another fantastically sunny day in Beautiful Clermont, FL. And as a result when the sun had set many of us had some red/pink (suntan/sunburn) to show for it.

Getting ready for the OW swim!
Today started at 0830 with a light bike ride to Lake Louisa Park. Well it was supposed to have been a light bike ride, but it ended up being a Tempo ride. Martin had problems with his rear free wheel so I returned to the house with him to change his wheel and then I rode at a tempo effort the 12kms to the park to meet up with the rest of the group.

At the park we did an open water swim. We started with about 20mins of warm-up then went into a bit of drafting practice. I swam with Eric, John, and Dave D. We did 4 x 40 strokes each leading our group with each interval being slightly faster. After that we did 4 x 20strokes. I had to work hard to stay with my group (I am the weakest of the guys on the swim). That was supposed to have been the warm-up but by the time we were done and back to shore we were already close to 2km of swimming. The main set of the open water swim was two laps of ~400-500m. The first was with wetsuit and the second was without. Overall it was a great workout and the drafting practice provided to be difficult given the poor visibility.
Bikes are lined up and ready for transition from the swim!

After the swim we did 3 x 5km of biking and ~800m of running. The purpose of this workout was to practice our transitions and also get some pace line work in on the bike. The first interval was at a crazy pace, the second was a steady effort, and the third started steady and ended up fast. All the intervals were supposed to be done at Zone 2, but we were clearly above that on the bike.

We had the afternoon off which was great. It provided an oppertunity for a little extra rest and recovery.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Day 6 - Interval Run + Endurance Swim

So today was another beautiful day in Clermont, Fl. It was a day focused on the run and a solid pool session.

Dave H., Me, Phil, and Dave S. after the run.
Up first today was a hard interval run on the red road (ie. clay). It made for a slower run due to the fact that we were running on unpacked clay/dirt. The workout was 15min warm-up then 3 x (3min @ 10km pace, 1min easy, 2min @ 5km pace, 2min easy, 1min @ faster pace, 3min easy) and finally another 10min or so for cool down. I ran with Phil, Dave S. and Dave H. Phil was clearly the fastest of our bunch and his hard trg is clearly paying off. My speed is definately not where it should be, but given that I have done virtually no intervals since Kona, that is expected. Everyone seemed to enjoy the run as it was different and apparently running on the red road is a traditional for this camp.

Pre-swim photo of the team.
After an early lunch and a nap we headed to the pool for our swim at 1300hrs. Today's focus was on good form with a main set of 9 x 300 (for the faster folks) and 9 x 250 for us slower folks - 1 to 3 pull, 4 to 6 swim progressive, 7-9 pull. It was a great workout. The advantage to swimming with such an experienced group is everyone is happy to point out little tweaks to improve your stroke.

The last workout of the day was an optional easy bike ride of 30-45min. I elected to opt out as I felt my legs could use a little extra rest.

Some rest and then onwards to another day of fun!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Day 5 - 2015 CISM Triathlon Camp Begins

So today we kicked off the 2015 CISM Triathlon Camp. It was a fantastic day and yet in many cases a brutal day of training. It was a reminder of how much my swimming sucks, how much pain you can inflict on the bike, and suffer in the heat! That all being said it was a positive experience.
CAF CISM Triathlon Coach - Dave Harju
CAF CISM Triathlon Manager - Jason Lawton

Up first today was a trip to the NTC for our first pool swim. The pool was setup for short course and seeing as we are in the U.S. that means 25yds. The main set was 3 x 400 with #3 being an all out TT. I had the pleasure of sharing a lane with Lesley...who kicked my ass.

Lesley and I in the pool!
After the swim we had a couples hours to relax, rest, eat, and then prepare for the bike/run workout in the afternoon. Timings got crossed between the three houses (we have rented three houses side by side for the 18 athletes, coaches, and manager) and thus we ended up with three different start times. As it would turn out our house had a timing of 1215hrs, when the actual timing was supposed to have been 1300hrs. Seeing as I was already ready to go I elected to put an extra 20km of riding it prior to the start of our bike ride.

We rode to Lake Louissa State Park broke into groups and then did the ride. The ride was supposed to have been an 4 x (easy/moderate effort for 6min, 2min race effort, and 2min easy) and then 10 x 20s all out, 40s recover. We somehow managed to turn that into 6min at just below race intensity, 2min at an all out effort, and 2min easy. Least to say my legs did not like me.

After the ride at the State Park some people ran while others returned to our accomodations and ran. I did the later. The combination of the hard bike and heat had completed its toll on me and I was in pretty poor shape for the run.

Up tomorrow - a hard run, an endurance swim, and perhaps an easy bike.

So far everyone seems to be in good spirits!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Day 4 - The arrival of reinforcements!

So today was our last training day on our and the arrival of the remainder of the CAF CISM Team. There was a lot of logistics today, return of a rental van, pick-up of team members, and of course our own training so we ended up breaking into three groups.

First up for me was an easy early morning run of 7km.

I spend the day with Martin and his wife Elvy and yes at times I felt like the third wheel. We went to NTC at 8 a.m. for a swim. I swam 4200m (Elvy swam about the same) while Martin the monster did 6000m. When we arrived there was a team there (I think QT2) and their athletes swam continuously for 4000m or 1hr we aren't quite sure which. By swimming I mean a time looked painful.

After our swim we headed back to the house to clean-up our rooms for the cleaners, take on some nutrition, and get ready for our long ride. Today we rode to Haines City and then completed the 70.3 Florida bike course. (Photos of the ride are compliments of Martin).
The route is marked with these signs!

Martin selfie w/ Elvy photo bombing.
Riding on the Florida 70.3 Course
By the time we got back to the house everyone had pretty much arrived. It was the standard greetings (great to see so many familiar faces and a new one), settling into our accomodations, and then the evening group mtg.

Mtg Time
Mtg Time
Up tomorrow is the first day of the actual trg camp.