Category Archives: Races

First tri of the summer

IMG_20150620_162711

My friends and I after our try-a-tri in Guelph.

 

A tad belated in posting but I finished my first Subaru try-a-tri a week and a half ago.

This year we chose to attend the Guelph tri, as opposed to completing the Niagara route again. Note to self: when signing up for new routes or races pay attention to the layout of the race. When it states, “this course has rolling hills” – it really does have quite a few hills. Both the cycling and running courses had quite a few “rolling hills” which were not enjoyable when you have dry lips and heaving lungs.

The swim itself went smoothly, though the transition took a while longer as we had wet suits this year. I really should have practiced getting in and out of them more, as well as added a few more open swims into my training regime. The wet suits are surprisingly buoyant and certainly affects the way your stroke is completed. However, the sea legs and tunnel vision I encountered last year when moving from swim to bike also wasn’t as fierce and I managed to stumble out of the water with a decent amount of grace.

Overall, the tri was a success. Though I was eleven seconds (ELEVEN SECONDS) slower than my first tri, I placed better in my gender category at eighth overall.  From my stats, it looks like I’ll need to up my game in cycling hills as that’s where I slowed down, and maintain/improve my swimming and running for the Iron Girl in August.

Next up I’ll be attending the Walking Dead Escape Race in San Diego. Keep posted for news of and from San Diego Comic Con!

 

 

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Bread and Honey Race 5k – first race of the summer

IMG_20150607_084754

Adding to my collection of bees! Participation medals from the Streetsville Bread and Honey Race.

The Streetsville Bread and Honey Race is one of my favourite races I’ve participated in to date – it was also my first race and the one that got me hooked.

It’s well-organized with friendly staff and volunteers, wonderful support from the community, and connected to the popular Bread and Honey Festival. Yes, delicious bread and honey are served to runners as a post-race meal. It’s fantastic.
I had initially signed up for the 15k race with a goal of completing it sub 1:30 but due to a lingering injury and muscle fatigue I switched to the 5k race. I’ve learned it’s better to be safe than sorry, and just because you know you can finish a 15k, it doesn’t mean you should. As competitive as I am, running for me is about enjoying the moment and listening to my body when it says the 8k practice is too much right now and it’s better to stick to a shorter loop around the block. I never want running to become a chore.
Next up, I have my try-a-tri in two weeks. Time to rest up today and back to the grind tomorrow.
Tagged , , , , , ,

Brick Workouts: Training for my tri

Brick workouts...

Brick workouts are easier with a support group, but it’s still difficult.

My first attempt at a brick workout last year resulted in a hilarious penguin walk-jog-waddle after my relatively short bike ride. I’m happy to say this year’s first brick workout wasn’t as horrible. Still pretty bad, but not horrible.

A brick workout is a great addition to triathlon training, switches up the regular routine, and offers a total body workout. When I had first starting creating my training schedule last year, the idea of a brick workout was foreign to me. However, the concept is relatively simple: choose two of the three disciplines and complete them back to back with minimal to no interruption in between.  Easier said than done for most people.

The most common brick workout is establishing a good transition from cycling to running. You can also choose from swimming to biking, or swimming to running, or any combination of the three.

The hardest brick workout for me was transitioning from cycling to running. When your legs become used to the circular motion of your bike, switching from cycling to running, which is a more linear motion, takes some adjusting too. The heavy feeling you’ll feel in your legs during this transition will remind you of carrying weights, hence the name “brick workout.”

You’ll find your heart rate rise rapidly as it adjusts from one sport to another. A brick workout is also not something you want to daily; at most once a week, or even once every two weeks.

USA Triathlon recommends giving yourself “several weeks of easy-steady aerobic training and light strength training to first build your aerobic fitness base.” The organization notes it takes around two to three months of base training before brick workouts should be added to your training schedule.

What I’ve learned through trial and error (and some research):

-Listen to your body. I’m all for pushing myself past my own limits, but sometimes you just have to listen to the creaking in your body and make minutia adjustments.

-Make sure you can complete each phase by itself before trying to do them together. It will be a train wreak if you attempt to do both but you’re not ready to handle it.

-Start small. Make sure the distances you choose for your brick workout are in line with where you currently are in your training program.

-Learning to transition is its own challenge. By transition I mean going from wetsuit to shoes, etc.

-It takes longer to recuperate. The first few times you attempt a brick, it will take your body longer than expected to bounce back from the workout purely because you are using more muscles than in a typical training routine.

Some examples of a brick workout include:

-5 mile bike (roughly 8km), followed by 1 mile run (around 2.5km); repeated four times

-45 minute bike ride, 10 minute run (distance is not a factor)

-Swim 400 metres – 3 mile (6.5k) bike; repeat x2 (harder to pull of in terms of getting your bike to a pool and keeping it accessible, or even a body of water)

 

That said, have fun!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

On completing a Try-a-Tri

TryATri

Getting ready for my try-a-tri!

It’s a humbling experience completing any race because it doesn’t matter how much you train (or how little), there will always be someone out there who is younger, fitter, and/or better than you.

I recently completed my first try-a-tri in 54 minutes and it was a blast. The try-a-tri is a much smaller triatholon at 375m swim/10k bike/2.5k run.

Overall, I’d say it was a success, though I think I could have done better during the swimming portion. It’s quite a different experience swimming in open water with a couple dozen bodies beside you compared to a stationary pool. However, it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be (you know, the whole internal fear of being pushed down and trampled), though I was diverted from my straight path by a not-so-gentle nudge in the face. The push resulted in me swimming towards the shore before having to zig-zag back when I realized my knee hit the ground.

My friends and I arrived earlier than our race time to check out the scene and get the lay of the land. We were able to catch the tail-end of the swimming for the Sprint Traitholon and overheard the referee refer to some athletes’ shaky legs as sea legs when they transitioned to the biking portion of the race.

At first we weren’t quite sure what he meant, but after we finished the swim and made our way up to the bike stop (up a small incline), we understood the shakiness. SEA LEGS! I’ve heard the term before in reference to being on a boat too long and then returning to land, but it didn’t occur to me the same could happen after a swim. Totally true.

The 10k bike ride went smoothly, as did the 2.5k run. I was slightly worried about this transition since I was always shaky after practicing it prior to the race. Literally, duck waddling shaky. My first attempt at the brick work (from bike to run) was a struggle – the one kilometre I attempted after the bike was as if it was my first time trying to run…but worse; it took me well over 10 minutes to complete said kilometre. During the try-a-tri, I was able to complete the 2.5km run in 14 minutes.

Now, to determine my goal for next year: repeat the try-a-tri and aim for a faster time, or go for the Sprint Triatholon, which is 750m swim/30k bike/7k run. Hmmm…

Anyway, here’s to another 5k race next week in Montreal.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Learning to down shift

Cycling

Photo By: Chi-Linh Dinh

And the wheels on the bike go ’round and ’round, around and ’round…

It’s always an interesting experience trying to get comfortable on a bike again after many years of non-use. I recently picked up a used road bike for the try-a-tri at the end of this month and let’s just say the first time around the block was shaky at best – shifting gears is certainly different in any case.

For me, becoming comfortable with riding a bike was an interesting experience. Though it’s certainly true you never forget how to ride a bike once you’ve learned, after many years of not being on one (that isn’t stationary), kicking off the ground and gaining my balance was….harder than I remembered. Though, mostly it’s due to the bike being slightly too tall for me.

The best thing about getting my bike is discovering just how vast my city is and how many hidden trails there are scattered around the place. There are gorgeously paved paths connected to off-the-beaten trails that are a tad more difficult to navigate with a road bike, but are all well-used and much loved. Running around the neighbourhood is one thing, but the distance a bike covers certainly helps in exploring your own city. Minor bike issues and crazy drivers aside, it’d been a fantastic experience thus far.

Here’s to many more kilometres this summer!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

And we’re off!

BreadHoneyRace1

Race: Streetsville’s Bread and Honey Run
Distance(s): 1k fun run, 5k, 15k
Swag: Medal, tech-tee, water bottle, yummy food bars, after-run breakfast

Wonderfully organized by volunteers and staff, the Streetsville Bread and Honey Festival is always a much anticipated event every summer for locals and visitors. It was also my first 5k race of the summer.

The run coincides with the local Bread and Honey Festival that, yes, includes delicious Texas bread, butter and locally produced honey. There are carnival rides, a petting zoo, and beautifully decorated tables from hometown businesses, mom and pop shops, as well as stalls and tables from neighbouring cities. All put together, it is a great family event.

In any case, weather is always a hit or miss the first weekend of June. This was my first time completing the Bread and Honey 5k run and I had a PB of 27:51 (which surprised me as I was on a hiatus from running due to an injury last month). Last year I completed the 15k, so I hope to work back up to the 15k and possibly complete a half-marathon or two for next year.

Next up, Subaru’s try-a-tri in Niagara! ….which will no doubt lead to my decision of completing a full triathlon next year.

Tagged , , , , ,