Tag Archives: 5k

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

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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.
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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!

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New year, new goals, new adventures

Day 7

#365DaysofHappiness Day 7: A night of bouldering.

 

I’m sad to say I’ve neglected posting here this past year, which has flown by incredibly fast.

To recap the year so far:

In January, I decided to start the #365DaysofHappiness challenge. To my surprise, I haven’t stopped as yet.

In February, I added bouldering into my already busy schedule.

In March, I ran the first of my races.  The race itself, Around the Bay 5k in Hamilton, has easily become one of my favourite races to date. Well-organized and friendly, the there and back loop concludes with runners entering the FirstOntario Place. As you enter the arena, the yelling and cheers of supportive friends and family members is akin to athletes finishing an Olympic race – it was amazing. To date I’ve signed up for 11 races spread throughout the year, including the Spartan Race, Iron Girl, and a half marathon in October (my first).

In April, I climbed the steps of the CN Tower for the first time on behalf of World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). Phew, that was a different challenge on its own! Plus running up 1,776 steps or 144 flights while recovering from a bad bout of the cough wasn’t the brightest of ideas.

It’s now May and I’m finally back into full training mode. Between the swimming, running and biking in the morning, there’s karate, bouldering and yoga in the evenings. Rest days are amazing.

My next race is Streetsville’s Bread and Honey Race, in which I decided to signed up for the 15k. (Part of me wonders why I didn’t sign up for the 5k instead). The following week is my first try-a-tri.

A tad belated, but here’s to another fantastic year!

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Road Tips for Racing on Unfamiliar Ground

Race

One of my races in Montreal, Qc – Defi Boreal Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue 5k

 

Hitting the road in unfamiliar territory is both daunting and exciting. On one hand it’s an excuse to visit a place you’ve never been before. On the other hand you can face a new climate or different elevation that takes some getting used to, especially when you’re there for a race.

I’m a novice runner, so let’s be clear that there are so many people who have more experience under their belts than me, but I want to provide general observations and lessons I learned in my races. What affects me might affect you, too. That said, these tips might not apply to everyone. Some people are awesome and can run under any condition and, if that’s the case, kudos (and curses) to you.

Choose a Destination

Pick a place, then look for a race. Or vice versa. My first destination race was a 5k in Montreal, which is roughly a six-hour drive from Toronto (longer depending on the weekend, what’s happening, and good ol’ traffic). Pick a place you’d like to visit for the weekend and see if there are any races that pique your interest. Likewise, if you hear about a fun race, plan a trip around the race….

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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Don’t forget to go to the washroom before you run

nightrace

A cool night for a great race.

Note to self: make sure you go to the washroom right before the race, even if you already went.

After all, running the first 2km feeling like you have to pee is horrible, horrible feeling. The first half of my 5km run, before I sweat out all the extra liquids in my attempt to hydrate, was a duck-waddling stride that had my stomach sloshing around and my bladder clenching. It sucked.

Too much information aside, this year’s Night Race was held at Sunnybrook Park and occurred as the sun set beyond the horizon and head lights (free with registration) became mandatory. The event had a Happy Kids 1km Fun Run (where all the kids were like the Flash), 5km and a 10km race.

The 5km track was a flat loop that backtracked at the two kilometre mark and around again at the four kilometre mark. What I found deceptively deceiving was how the trail went towards the starting zone again, but instead of it being the end, it continued outwards for another two kilometre loop. I know a lot of people were thinking, “WTF?” since the moment you hear the announcers and music, you decide to sprint and then you’re breathless, and then you think, “oh, I’m not done yet.”

Other than that, the event itself was well-organized, with a friendly atmosphere and glow-in-the-dark accessories that helped light up the night. The weather that night was much cooler than the previous day and was a very-much welcomed reprieve, which is also probably why I ended up drinking too much water.

Next up, Tour de Mississauga’s Signature 60km Ride.

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Another 5k for the books

Bellevue5k

Defi Boreal Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in Montreal.

It’s always great to beat a personal record, even if the run itself wasn’t the best performance.

Last weekend’s run in Montreal wasn’t my best performance even if I did beat my previous time by a bit; in fact, it was rather horrible. It was one of those days where the humidity coupled with unexpected water cramps (from trying to stay hydrated) and a sore shoulder. It could’ve definitely been better.

I was hoping to beat the 25 minute mark, though I ultimately ended up with just over 26 minutes, (which really isn’t too far off in the grand scheme of things). I would have (almost) preferred finishing the 5k with a smile on my face and not have beat my PR, but there’s always next time. Training for races this year hasn’t been going as well as it should since I’ve been particularly lazy to specifically train for said events, even if I am rather active. So really, there’s no one to fault but myself.

Time for a mini break before another race at the end of August…though I’m already planning for next year’s line-up of races.

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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!

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