Sunday, September 30, 2012

Learning to learn...

Getting back into the workout routine was hard, but achieved. The most depressing thing is how quickly (after two months off) you lose your endurance. I have been finishing 5k runs, but it is HARD! Everything aches! I have stepped up the yoga/stretching a bit to avoid injury as my body readjusts. 



I got a subscription to Training Peaks and so far I am really impressed. I am still using Garmin Connect to upload my initial data, and do have to say that Garmin Connect is a much "prettier" interface - cleaner and easier to navigate between workouts, etc. However it comes nowhere close to all the graphs, tables and metrics that Training Peaks is able to calculate and display. On top of that, you can track all your nutrition in Training Peaks (normally a difficult process but a little less so here). I am just reading Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes 3rd Edition by Monique Ryan to try and learn basic nutrition strategies - both for the race, and also just day to day. The more weight I can lose, the less I have to carry around the course! Training Peaks will help with not only tracking the overall calories, but also the % of carbs, protein, fat and fibre. There are so many features that I have spent awhile just experimenting.  I need to re-read the Triathlete's Training Bible, go over what I should be doing, and plug in an actual plan for the 2013 season.


Speaking of plans and training, I needed to calculate my yearly training hours. They suggest on Training Peaks it is around 500 - 700 hours for a half-ironman. 500 - 700 hours of training for the year. I did 70hrs so far this year. So around 120 hours for the year. Might have to step that up a bit!

I was in contact with a few coaches to see about hiring one, but it's just not in the budget this year. I don't really feel that they are over priced by any means - most seem to average $200 a month. But then that's $2400 a year - which is a lot of triathlon equipment lol! That does scare me though, because I hate to go it alone so-to-speak. And the wealth of information is overwhelming. But I love books and hope to read a bunch and survive next year's Calgary 70.3. I hope in the next few seasons I will be able to get into a club or coaching situation to help me progress even further.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vacation time is coming to an end...

It's been around 5 weeks since I started summer/fall vacation - a wonderful time with family and friends to escape from daily doldrums and refresh mentally before winter sets in. A wonderful time of long runs, longer bike rides and beautiful swim sessions in pristine lakes. The joy of accomplishments finishing workout, after workout... Okay even I can't help but laugh as I write this. There were no runs. No bike rides. No swim sessions (at least in the workout sense). I did very little during vacation. I don't know how I feel about this really. I needed a vacation, but I do think I would have enjoyed a good workout here or there.

Overall while the workouts were lacking, the activity was still abound. We spent a few weeks at my parents cottage and I did get in the water, wetsuit and all, almost every day. I also found another new sport that I enjoy - Standup Paddle-boarding. This sport had popped up every now and then in triathlon literature as a great cross-training method for building core strength and arm/shoulder strength. It also looked really fun! So I rented a board from White Squall Paddling Centre and gave it a try. Although most people (myself included) look at standup paddle-boarding (or SUP) and ask the question "why stand on a board and paddle around when you can sit in a canoe or kayak". The gentlemen that helped me with the rental said he had the same thoughts, until he tried it, and was instantly hooked. It's true you can't quite explain why, but if you try it, you love it. The cottage is located on a fairly windy bay, and the wind added to the intensity of the workout. Many times my arms were screaming. I hope to continue with this sport as another great cross-training platform. Unfortunately like most things I love, it's not a cheap sport, with the average beginner board running around $1000.00. If you are interested in learning more, or checking out the equipment, RedNik Surf Co in Calgary can help you out. I hope to head there for the first time in the next couple of months - maybe I'll get lucky and they'll have an end of season sale...

Back to the topic of workouts, I have had difficulty with motivating myself as my season is over. Due to my work schedule, there were no more triathlons or races that I could easily enter when I was not at work or on vacation. Signing up for a race and paying an entry fee really is the best way to motivate yourself to head out on a run, or hop on the bike, or jump in the pool. So today, after receiving an email from the event directors, I signed myself up for 2013 70.3 Ironman Calgary. Yah - a bit of a jump for sure. May have been a bit impulsive on that one! I have only one sprint race under my belt, and it was a challenge to finish, and I just signed myself up for a Half-Ironman. Oh well, guess if you're going to do it, might as well go big.

Needless to say, I was on the treadmill tonight ;-)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

70.3 Ironman Calgary - Volunteer Report!

This past Sunday I volunteered as a Paramedic for the medical team at the Ironman Calgary race. I did this because I really enjoy triathlon, and thought it would be really fun to witness the event - and I was right! I had a blast!

My job was to ride the bike portion on my motorbike and respond to any emergencies that may take place. (Luckily I did not have to respond to any!). Here's my Volunteer take on the course:

That morning was cold - 8 degrees on the highway as I rode into Cochrane, and then onto the Cottage Club where the race was set to start. It was really neat to see all the athletes preparing, and you could feel the excitement and apprehension in the air. I thought the water would be freezing judging by the outside temperature, but a friend that raced said the water was a "warm" mountain temp of about 17 degrees. After my struggle swimming the 750 meters in my sprint race, I have nothing but respect for the athletes that morning that swam 1.9km!

Once out of the water, the transition was... interesting. The layout put the transition over a rather steep hill. up the road. This meant that the pros, who's bikes were at the very end (closest to the exit), had to exit the water and run directly uphill to reach their bikes. Rasmus Henning was first out of the water, and first off on his bike. I'm currently reading his book and it was awesome to see him in action and follow him on the course.

After the majority of the pros got off on their bikes, I hopped on my bike and peddled (just kidding) after them on my motorbike. The bike portion of this race is beautiful, travelling back into the foothills, down into Cochrane, through and across Springbank and into Calgary, ending at the reservoir. I've read online that Triathlete magazine placed the Calgary Half Ironman in it's list of the Top Ten most scenic triathlons, and now I can see why. It was great to get to ride through the foothills, but to also be doing it along with the pros was a triathlon nerd's dream.

At one point I pulled over (had to stretch the legs - like I should be whining after all that the athletes were going through!) and got to cheer on the athletes as they rode by. I was then stationed at the corner of 69st and Hwy 8 and who passed me but Sister Madonna Buder, The Iron Nun herself! Also, looking fantastic on the bike with a huge smile on her face was Deb (check out her race report at debtris.blogspot.ca).

Unfortunately I missed the run portion, around the Glenmore Reservoir. I heard the course was beautiful as well, but hilly. I spent some time at the finish line watching people cross, and was amazed at what they had accomplished. I cannot wait until I too can finish the Ironman 70.3 Calgary.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rewards

So it has been almost 2 weeks since my first triathlon! At work, this time I took it easier on the workout front, to allow my body to rest. Since I learned that my swim is a weakness, I want to concentrate on it over the coming months, as well as adding more strength training on a regular basis. I would like to try and do at least 3 sprint distance triathlons next season.

It feels weird not having a race to work towards (unfortunately I am not able to fit the remaining triathlons into my schedule due to work and vacation). I will be signing up for a few more running races, so that I stay motivated in my workouts. I really think the best way to keep yourself honest and training is by having the odd race to hold you accountable!

Yesterday I received a huge "reward". We went into a clothing store, and I was able to fit into shorts and pants with a 36" waist! I used to wear a 40" waist! The great thing about this, is that there are far more clothes available in the smaller sizes. And I am feeling better about the way I look - which also then makes me want to train more and harder in order to improve and maintain what I have gained.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tri It Triathlon Chestermere - July 15, 2012 - Race Report

It's exciting to be writing my first race report for a triathlon! I'll try and include all the details I can remember...

Pre-Race:

I slept pretty well the night before - which is strange - but with the kids out of the house I didn't have to get up and banish monsters from closets at 4 am. The alarm went off at 5:30 and I was up. I had packed and organized everything last night, so there was little worry about what I was forgetting. There were some nerves on the ride to Chestermere, but nothing beyond ordinary. I wasn't able to eat very much for breakfast - a small bowl of cereal and an apple - as my stomach wasn't interested. I can see where this may be a problem for longer distance races.

We arrived early at the race (around 7a.m.), which gave me lots of time to rack my bike, set up for transition and get body marked. It was fun setting up in transition for the first time - it's a great opportunity to meet your fellow competitors, and check out how they set their stuff up. There was a huge variety of equipment - from mountain bikes right up to specialty tri-bikes. Getting body marked was cool - as I had seen it on the triathlon events I have watched - like Ironman. I haven't completely washed it off yet!

Weather wise it was perfect - the thunderstorms they had been calling for held off, and the temperature was nice and cool for the event.

At the pre-race briefing I learned another important lesson - courses change! First the order that we were starting was changed slightly. Second, the direction of the swim was changed from counter-clockwise to, you guessed it!, clockwise. Third, the run course was altered. Overall I think the course set up was great! It had just enough hills to be challenging, and some nice downhills to compensate (more on that later...).

After the briefing I went and got into my wetsuit, and my wife and I watched the Olympic distance race start. I then got into the water to test out the wetsuit, and get used to the cold. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be (or should have been according to how I felt during!). Looking back, race morning was not the best time to try the wetsuit out for the first time...




The Swim

When the horn went off, I stayed near the back and let the strong swimmers head off. I am not nervous about swimming in open water at all, which was my only advantage I think. Growing up at the cottage gave me lots of exposure to swimming in a lake (weeds and all). However, I definitely did not get enough practice in on the swim. I think in the last few months I was in the pool maybe 6 times. And that's a pool!

I immediately started with the front crawl. It was fun trying to work your way around the other competitors - even at the back it was a bit chaotic! But by about half-way to the far buoy, I was completely winded. I think it was a combination of race nerves, swallowing lake water (Yuck!) and not being adequately prepared. At this point my swim went downhill, and I ended up switching mostly to side-stroke, with a little back stroke, modified breaststroke (were "modified" just means bad lol) and back to an attempt at front crawl. It took me forever to finish the swim. It's amazing how far the distance between the buoys seems to increase when you're struggling. My goggles stayed on my head - but fogged up nicely. At one point I even pulled them up just to see. Proper sighting during the swim is a skill, and one that I plan on mastering over the next few months.

Just passed halfway, when I could make out the finish line, I felt totally down. I was really struggling, and had been passed by almost everyone. But then I remembered that I was indeed looking at the finish line! And at that point I didn't care if I had to doggy-paddle the rest! I made it to the end, and out of the water, and regained my composure.

They had some volunteers helping to strip you out of your wetsuit, which was a great help! Funny enough, my timing chip came off and got stuck in the suit. I didn't mind though - I needed the break! (I think I even mentioned that to the volunteer). Into transition I ran a bit to my spot, and then I took my time - I dried off, sat down, put my bike shoes on, attached my HR monitor and watch, made sure I had everything, and left for the bike. I didn't panic in transition. Just got some wind back, and prepped for the bike course...

Time: 19:49
Place: 100/115

The Bike

I really enjoy riding my bike - and it ended up being my strong point of the race. Once I manage to clip my shoes in (still need a little practice on this!), I was off. Right out of town there is a bit of a hill, but it's completely doable - just have to make use of your gears. I immediately started passing some people, which after the swim, was a boost! The bike portion is a really nice ride, with one section running through some canola fields. Along the course, I started being passed by the Olympic distance racers - man they were fast! And the good thing about being passed by these guys was it gave you a bit of encouragement to speed up. The last section of the lap, back into town, has some nice downhill sections, and the volunteers were great at directing you. We had to ride along open roads, which can be intimidating, but all the traffic was great and moved into the opposite lane to give us lots of room.

Rounding the corner and starting my second lap felt great! Big smiles on this course. I felt like I did stronger on the hill out of town this time. The weather was starting to change, and with it we had a bit of a headwind during the second lap, which made it a bit difficult. I also noticed during the second lap, that my butt really started to hurt. A few times I had to stand and re-position. I also felt like I really had to pee, so I planned to stop and the porta-potties prior to starting the run. There is a big difference between tri-short padding and bike short padding! The race officials were fun, and as I came into town from this last lap, they asked me if I wanted to do another, just for fun. Needless to say I declined. When I hopped off the bike, my butt thanked me, and interestingly the feeling of needing to pee disappeared (some weird bike seat thing I guess...)

According to Garmin, my top speed was 39.4km/hr. Not to bad! With a total distance of 23.28kms.

Official Time: 54:31



The Run

My second transition was much faster, and I was feeling pretty good off the bike. At the dismount line, my legs were like rubber, but by the time I got to my stall, they felt stronger. I hadn't taken in any calories on the bike, so I grabbed half a goo and some water just in case.


The start of the run was chaotic, as at this point all of the distances were mixed. The run went off into a park, and then up into the subdivision. There was a really decent hill section, which I walked for about 20 seconds each lap, to bring my HR down. The advantage was that there was a really decent downhill section, which helped gain you some speed - lean forward and pick up your pace! Coming into the turnaround point was a great feeling - my wife was there cheating me on! It's funny too - I really wanted to walk again, but with everyone watching, you just keep pushing yourself - one foot, then the other, and repeat. Going out onto my final lap, I felt awesome mentally! I was almost done my first triathlon! The second lap went just as well as the first, and as I came into the finish area I managed to pick up my pace a bit.




They had the banner across for each finisher, which was cool! And before I knew it, I was done! An unbelievable feeling. I hugged my wife, and then went straight for the water, juice, bananas and other goodies - I figured I'd earned it!

Official Time: 27:37

TOTAL TIME: 1:41:56
Place: 82/115

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Traithlon-eve?

Twas the night before my first race...

Getting nervous and excited for tomorrow! This afternoon I attended the pre-race session and got to see the course in person. This helped immensely - highly recommend it to newbies! The swim distance is daunting, but doable. The first leg of the bike is uphill, as well as a good section of the run - but the great thing about the ups, is there is always the downs.




I put everything out on the bed, and packed my bag. I really hope I am not forgetting anything at all!
I think that is my biggest fear - not finishing the race do to some technical issue.

Found this great article out (click here in pdf) from 220 Triathlon Magazine, written by Chrissie Wellington. Some great advice. If you check out her website, she has some other great articles on Open Water Swimming and such.

Off to bed...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Countdown is On!

It's Thursday night, a mere 3 more sleeps until my first triathlon. I am anxious about it. I am also excited. It's hard to know what to expect, since its the first time, so planning is a bit tough.

I was really worried about the swim, as out of all disciplines, I have put the least amount of time into the swim. I feel better after yesterday afternoon - I had a great swim. Finished the race distance in about 22 mins. It gained me a bit of confidence, which I definitely needed.

I went for a run tonight, in the garage, on the treadmill. It was HOT! And it showed me that the heat will be a factor in the race. Luckily the news report went from 28' and sunny, to 24' and rain. The rain will help me stay cool (I never ever thought I would say that I was hoping to swim, bike and run in the rain). I was sweating so much, it was dripping off me. Grossed me out.

All in all, this adventure has been a life-changer to me. Not "getting married, having kids" life changing. More like personal growth, physical-shrinkage life changing. I have lost just over 20lbs. I now run for over 30 mins consistently. When I started I couldn't manage a slow 10 mins. I feel better. I look better. And I am actually excited about how far I can challenge this and change myself. A few more days and I will have completed a HUGE challenge. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Birthday!

Today was a pretty decent day, considering I am at work on my birthday.

Good news is my weight this morning was 214lbs! At Christmas time I was up to 240lbs... not too shabby of a loss!

That is all...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Slightly Major Setback...

Last set of days off were brutal. Brutal! We had 3 trips to the ER for the family that involved stitches for one, and a LONG night for the others. (Side note: everyone is recovering well!). That coupled with a weekend away for camping equals NO WORKOUTS for 7 days. Not very smart just two weeks prior to your 'A' race. Lesson learned.

I got back to work today, and jumped on the treadmill tonight. Did a 5km run. At 6 mph. 31:19. Not bad, except that I felt horrible. I ate way too much food at dinner, crappy food, and it was too soon to my workout. That coupled with the fact that it had been 7 days since my last workout, meant a very difficult run. But I got it done.

I read a section in The Triathlete's Training Bible that stated that fitness is always changing and never stagnant. It states that even as little as 2 weeks of inactivity can result in significant fitness losses, especially in regards to endurance. I completely agree. I was able to complete the workout, but it was really really tough. Again, lesson learned.

Time to pick it up a notch, and really work out my nutrition. Less than 2 weeks to go, and I am getting NERVOUS!!!

Update: I forgot to mention I am a complete nerd and got a video pass for the ITU World Triathlon Series at Triathlonlive.tv.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Done and done.

First: yearly fire department fitness test done. 06:38. A new PR. My training I have been doing helped immensely, to the point were I actually started to enjoy it and push harder. Took at least 1 min off last years time. It was only 06:38 mins, but it's a HARD 06:38 mins.

Second: it's getting uncomfortable close to my triathlon. Getting nervous and excited at the same time. I have been accomplishing race distances in all 3 disciplines without trouble - but not all 3 at the same time. Going to have to try and hit the pool a bunch these days off, which will be tough as we're supposed to be going camping.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ups and Downs

I have to admit I started to slack off in May, and the beginning of June. Either that or April was just an exceptional month. I am still consistent at work, but not with the summer weather arriving, my days off are filled with family activities and I find it harder and harder to work out.

I did discover that loading the two youngest in the chariot and towing them around my normal circuit is a great hidden workout - especially during the long hills. Adds around 50 - 60 lbs.

I did my first Race Length Brick tonight, doing a 24km Bike (with some hill repeats) and then a 5km run (with some speed work). I have to admit I feel pretty good about it - I was able to handle it right to the end, and merely 4 months ago I would never have been able to attempt this. Heck, 10 mins on the treadmill and I was winded! I think I am at a point now where I have gained the confidence that I will finish the triathlon.

The yearly fitness/physical test has arrived. We were supposed to do it this morning, but had to reschedule for Sunday morning. I will tell you, that although you have 12 mins, and it usually only takes between 7 and 8, it is a BRUTAL test. Accomplishable, but not fun. The joys of being a Firefighter I guess.

Friday, May 11, 2012

New PR for 5km!

I was going to go for a slow long run last workout (I have been running 5kms regularily now and would like to increase it, maybe start at 6km or 8km...), but ended up seeing if I could push it and break my previous 5km PR (29:49). I really wanted to see if I could get under 29 mins.

The good news:


The only negative thing is that I really had to push myself at the end, and my HR went right up to maximum (maybe even over). But hey! There's a new 5km PR of 28:46. Now I just need to replecate it in a race to make it REALLY official....

In other news: I am reading The Triatlete's Training Bible. This is a VERY detailed book. And well written. But it seems WAY over my head! I think I will really learn to apply it in a year or two, but right now I am having trouble getting through it - most likely because I have not actually done a triathlon, and will not consider or call myself a Triathlete until I finish at least one.

But I think today I am confident to call myself a runner!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

MEC 5km Run

I just realized that I never posted about this run!

It was my first time running a 5km myself (as the previous one we did as a family). I will try and remember to right a race report, and post a few pictures.

The best part was running towards the finish line with my wife and three boys cheering me on! Meant the world to me...

Another Quick Update

Sorry for the lack of blogging - I find it hard to sit down and write... well honestly I find it hard to sit down and do anything requiring a certain amount of attention!

Tonight (or this morning as I am working night shifts) I took my new vibram fivefingers for a test run on the treadmill. I really like these shoes, and enjoyed the "barefoot" running experience. I took it at an easy pace, and did a 5km run in just over 35 mins. It definitely works a different set of muscles, and although I felt at that pace I could easily keep running, I didn't feel like pushing it.

Matt and I finished our 5km race, "The Big Run". It was a really fun event (at least for me ;-) ), and when we showed up that morning it was pouring rain. Both of us just had hoodies on (I didn't want to pin my race number on my rain coat). The good news is that it quickly turned to snow, so we didn't get as wet as we could have.

Check out Deb Tris, a great blog, and inspiration for those of us just starting out and getting healthy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quick Update

Fallen into a rather consistent training schedule, but I still need to improve the frequency of workouts at home. I have found a great template for tracking my training on Google Docs, and it's obvious I need to add more training time during my days off. Unfortunately for me, it's difficult trying to fit in workouts when all I want to do is hang out with the family. The solution to this is easy - I have to get up early in the morning and go to the YMCA before the kids are up. But this is not actually easy for me. I HATE mornings. With a passion. But I guess that's why much of being a Triathlete is mental preparation as well as physical.

I have signed up for another 5km race - my next weekend home. Ironically it's in the same place as the one my friend and I are doing, so it will give me a good base to compare to. This will allow me to set a PR in the 5km, since I will be running it alone. The race is put on by MEC.

Than a mere two weeks after that one is the 5km race that my friend and I will be doing - The Big Run. So two 5kms in two weeks!

Found the perfect song for my runs: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex - it is the perfect pace setting song for me, and provides some great motivation to keep moving one foot in front of the other. I ran 6kms at home - two loops of the run I did awhile ago. Felt great to finish, as I would NEVER have been able to do that a few months ago. I learned however not to run on concrete sidewalks. My knees have still not recovered...

All for now...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Toys. New Joys.

After being sick, I was able to get back into a regular workout routine at work. This week I decided to concentrate on running more than biking - my friend and I have that 5km race to prepare for, and I think running works the ol' ticker more.

Now that I am on days off, I need to make sure that I get into a routine as well - tonight I went to the pool, and did 500m in 30 mins. Felt pretty good. I have noticed that when I begin to get winded, my stroke gets extremely sloppy, and breathing becomes more difficult. I keep reading and hearing from others that you should not try to work at speed in the pool, but technique. I joined the YMCA in my area, and they have a triathlon swim class that I might look into.

Now as for the post title: I went into Cyclepath today and picked up a new road bike. A Giant Defy-1. It was my first time in Cyclepath, and the store Manager Clayton was great - helped me pick out everything I need to get started (bike, shoes, jersey, pedals, pump, repair kit), and they had my bike set up in no time. I would recommend this store to anyone looking for cycling related paraphernalia. Now I am even more committed to training, as if I don't use the equipment, my wife won't let me live it down!

I also picked up The Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel, to try and educate myself more on training. It's hard as someone new because the information out there is very overwhelming...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sickness. Setbacks. Second-thoughts.

So the day after I went for the swim, I, as well as every other member of the family, got the flu. Needless to say, for 5 days there was no workouts.

I started working out again the second day at work, and took it easy. I felt pretty depressed and started second-guessing things, because the unfortunate reality is that even when you are putting in the time and working out, you don't see immediate physical results. You must remember that it takes time for things to show. The good news is I am out of my funk (mentally) and I am noticing I am able to push harder, and I recover faster, from a good workout.

Now, stomach-wise I am still not "out of my funk". It's driving me nuts! I have been eating healthier, and mostly vegetarian (more on that to come...), but my stomach is not back to 100%.

First the right... then the left... keep moving forward.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim. ~Author Unknown

I'm a day later than planned - but I made it to the pool. I even suckered a good friend into coming with me. In total, we did 12 lengths, or 300M. With lots of breaks. Quite the workout.

It felt really good to be in the water again though - I used to swim at my granny's place in Toronto all the time as a kid. I love the feeling of moving through water - even if it's challenging and gets the heart rate up. I think the largest battle of the evening was just getting there.

We ended up swimming at the YMCA. The other pool we checked out was packed. The Y let us in for free, since there was only an hour left - and probably to let us check out the facility in hopes that we pay for a membership. I am tempted, but its pricey.

Now I have to try and get two more swims in by Tuesday.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Busy Week, a few self doubts...

Have finished a fairly successful week at work, workout wise. I worked out everyday, except Saturday (which is a rest day), mixed between the bike and the treadmill. Felt really tired after a few workouts, but all-in-all felt really good. Getting into a groove. Having the two race events really helps keep the motivation in the gym:

I recommend to anyone that is trying to remain consistent with their workouts to register for an event - any event - as it gives you something to train towards and keep you honest.

I printed off the race routes for the Sprint Triathlon in Chestermere. The swim portion looks really intimidating, as well as looking at the distance I will have to cover on the bike... twice. It scared me enough, and brought on enough self-doubt, that at this point I am not looking at registering for another triathlon in May. I might still throw in another running race though...

I finished reading two books:

- You Are An Ironman - by Jacques Steinberg.
         
Great read, that follows some weekend warriors as they train and compete in a full ironman distance race. HUGE motivation, and amazing stories. An easy read, that shows you the various backgrounds to those "age groupers" that complete these races (no pro stories in this book). It's great to see people that were in really poor health become motivated and change their life completely for the better. It's contagious.

- Your First Triathlon - Joel Friel

Great book for those of you starting like me, from basically sedentary, to training and trying your first Sprint distance triathlon. Easy read - I will be getting his "The Triathlete's Training Bible" to learn more about the art of training.

I have been doing TONS of reading on the interweb, to the point where all my coworkers think I am nuts. Can't wait to pass over the finish line...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I know! I'll do a triathlon!... seemed smart at the time...

Over the last year, I have been making an honest effort to get in shape, mostly at work. As stated in a previous post, my coworkers are a great motivator. Over the last couple of months I have even been getting in an average of 2 workouts per day (at home it's more like never). I have not noticed any huge changes in my physical appearance, but I can honestly say I feel healthier, and am less tired at times - I have grown to enjoy working out.

In order to continue this trend, and to give a goal to work towards, I did the following:

I was sitting in front of the computer, looking at different running events this year (I really enjoyed the 5km run we did as a family), and came upon a few listings for triathlons. I used to work with someone that was REALLY into triathlons, and I always thought they were just plain crazy - "Who in their right mind would want to do that?". This time, something just changed, and I thought - "Hey... why not?". So I signed up for a "Try It" distance at this year's Lake Chestermere Triathlon (details here).

I got really excited. It seems crazy, to go from a general couch-potatoe, to completing a triathlon, but I thought it would be just the motivation I need to continue working out.

I have now become hooked. I have purchased a training book, a wetsuit, and some goggles. I have been training on the spin bikes, and treadmill at work, and hope to get into a pool in my next days off. I read www.beginnertriathlete.com articles. I watch Ironman re-runs on Youtube. Yes I am a big nerd. But I like the idea of having a sport to train in. And the variety of skills (i.e. running, biking and swimming) means a personality like mine should not get bored as easily.

The initial training has gone so well, that I have actually upped the anti, and upgraded to the Sprint distance. I will be completing a 750m swim, a 23.3km bike and a 5km run. I have also registered with my friend in a 5km race in May, and I am contemplating another Sprint-length triathlon at the end of May or June.

Now to start "officially" training...