Monday, November 29, 2010

Training Logs

This is a cross post from Training and Contemplation...
Last year Vince convinced me that it would be a great idea to keep track of my training hours for this season and provided me with a great link to the google doc spreadsheet he uses to track his own hours / distances. At first I thought it would be arduous to keep up and I would eventually fall of the logging wagon, however being able to compare hours and distances with my fellow triathletes is a great motivator. Therefore as the end of 2010 rolls around I find myself cleaning up and updating my 2010 log making it ready for the 2011 season. I thought therefore this would be a good time to offer up a copy to any of those who would like to start logging in the current season, or who are still stuck in the dark ages of Excel logging. The color scheme can of course be change for those who loath the one I have selected, I do recommend differentiating the colours in the separate Swim / Run / Bike columns to easily see where your missing out in your training.

Excerpt from my 2010 "Workout Data" tab

The interface is fairly simple, simply log your distance and hours in the appropriate format in the main "Workouts Data" tab and that information is referenced through to the: Overall, Swim, Bike, and Run tabs. Information presented in these tabs such as the distance / time per week is a great way to chart your continuing progress. Having a lazy week? A low bar on a graph has more than once inspired me to hit that late night Sunday swim slot.

Excerpt from 2010 "Swim Graphs" Tab

The "PB's" or Personal Best's tab is a good way to track race and personal goal improvement over a single discipline. Similarly the "Races" tab allows you to analyze your races over the season without having to comb back through Champion Timing data. Gear information I really have yet to find a use for, but I hope to next year go through my gear and figure something out... Finally the "Current Totals" Tab was created to link to a blog as explained in this post.

Excerpt from 2010 "Overall" tab

So what are you waiting for? Make yourself a copy of the "Training Log 2011" and start logging in the new year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Imperial Unit

5280 feet.

63,360 inches.

8 furlongs.

4 laps.

1 mile.

The Mile.

There is a deep connection to the word mile. The word represents a standard. Mile high. Mileage. If you give and inch, you give a mile. Going the extra mile. Walk a mile in a man's shoes. The trial of miles and miles of trials. The sound of this word bristles the neck hairs of those who run. And while all runners log miles; not all runners are brave enough to toe the line and to RACE THE MILE.

The mile conjures up my memories of high school gym class requirements or a minimum fitness test for high school soccer. (High school is Grade 9-12 to those of us in the good old US of A). And while I can't speak for any Canadians, I can let you know the dread that crosses the minds of kids in the states when they are asked to run the mile for gym class. Perhaps today's kids are soft... some of them certainly look quite squishy these days. But the day of the mile probably elicits more doctors notes and excuses for non-participation than any other day - with the possible exception of Opening Day for Major League Baseball.

I remember training for my first mile. I had my dad drive his car around the park road at the park near my house. I wasn't much of a trained runner back then - in fact I knew nothing of training. But I remember feeling an excitement about timing myself for the distance. I wanted to race a mile, so I practiced by racing a mile. It was yet to cross my mind that running further than a mile would be good training. And when I performed for my first actual race I still remember my time. Fast forward 15 years to 2009 and I would race my next mile as part of last year's UBC race series, it wasn't until last year's race that I would finally improve upon my first mile. It was what I call, a PR (personal record - aka personal best).

Now, thanks to the 2010 edition of the UBCTC Fall Race Series I have returned to test myself against the very same mile. To follow is my recollection of the events as they unfolded...

To me, my race was against myself. Sure I was hoping to pick-off a runner or two who had finished ahead of me last year - but deep down this was between ME (now) and ME (then). In order to improve on last years race I needed to run a smarter race. I had been training differently between the two years. Last year I had more volume and was in the midst of recreating myself as a run - this year my training was lighter in volume but richer in quality. I have been working on my form and efficiency - I've continued to strengthening my core, focused on turnover and keeping my contact time with the ground to a minimum.

First item to running a smarter race was not going out too fast on the first lap. Last year I went out too fast and surely paid the price later in the race. This year I wanted to keep all my laps within 5 seconds of each other. I've found that mentally running through my game plan helps me to execute a better performance.

Here was my plan for execution of a PR:
Lap 1 Get out clean, breath and remain relaxed.
Lap 2 settle into my pace and be as efficient as possible.
Lap 3, Don't get distracted. Now is not the time for weakness.
Lap 4. Accelerate through the corners and push like hell.

I also had specific time goals for each lap. In addition to the goal of following my plan above, I also like to have some specific goals. I could write a whole blog on goal setting, but for now I will share that in my experience, setting multiple levels of goals can be helpful. My time goals were a bit loftier - but I'm not afraid to set a goal that I can't quite reach.

Now if anyone actually remembers the actual events of the race - more power to them. To me the race was a blur. I focused solely on myself for each step and did fairly well. I set a PR and reeled in one runner who had beat me before. But I did not reach my time goal and I got out-kicked in the finishing straight by 2 runners.

Nothing motivates me more than being beat by an honest effort. I am very lucky to have clawed my way up in the race where I have several competitors. I will be motivated for next year's mile and will train to now beat this year's time and perhaps out-kick a few more runners.

Now for those who have read this so far here I will attempt to start some discussion. My hope is that through the 'Comments' section, we can re-create the events of the race by each personal account.

- This year's event featured a Battle of the Sexes. The Men were held to a 60 second handicap start. The grand prize was a 3 point bonus for the first racer (man or woman) to the finish line. I was on the opposite side of the track when the finish line was crossed, but I believe that John claimed the prize for the Men. The women's winner on the night, Kaley was caught just before the line. Go Men!

- Barry has some competition for the official position of 'Super-fast runner man'. An honorary title.

-Winston is learning to run a steadier pace - finally Harmin the Garmin is happy. According to Kellen's Garmin, he ran a spiral route out into the Georgia Straight. These two will battle again in the future.

- I, Kory finally caught Liam. Liam discounted the achievement by stating that he was fat and out of shape. (I'll still take it).

- Victoria ran herself back to physio. Were have I seen this before? She's tough as nails, but also as smart as them. Will her hamstrings gain the strength needed to counter-balance her ever increasing quad strength? Or will she continue to race until the wheels fall off? Stay tuned.

- John set a new tri-club record, one that I predict will stand for a long time.

- President Kim took almost 20 seconds off of last year's time.

- Matt beat Vince. Vince still blames his concussion.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hillclimb Timetrial

The hardest people are born in two different conditions: In the headwinds or on the grades. Todays race determined if you there are any among us who even have a chance of being likened to the greats.

The short grunt up Marine Drive isn't as steep as the Koppenberg, or as long as Passo Della Stelvio, but what it lacks in impress features it makes up for in its demands for raw performance. It is easy to make it up, but you have to dig into the bottom of your legs in order to be the first up.

Cold weather immediately drew out the hardest. Preparing to race in six degrees is no easy feat, but most didn't have a qualm with it, and forced their way up the hill regardless of whether or not they could feel their toes.

If you could sprint by the top, you did, but if yo
u worked hard enough on the rest of the hill then you didn't have to.

Barry Claman flew up the hill posting an impress sub 4 minute time. The Diesel engine of Kory Seder also managed to get up in just 4:02 seconds. No one knows exactly how fast Matt Reeve went, all we know is that it that it was very fast. Victoria posted an impress climb as well, working the steep section!

No photos were taken, since no one could feel t
heir fingers enough to focus a camera, so here's a pi
cture of the Koppenberg instead. I'm on the right.

For those who couldn't make it out, we expect to see you out training for the spring races when the competition heats up again.

Here are the official results from Vince, missing some names and probably needing some revision.

b Kory Seder 4:02
b Carl 4:19
b Kellen Kjera 4:23
b Sherwood 4:25
b Max 4:26
b John Heinz 4:32
b Vincent Lavallee 4:35
b Brendan Neaf 4:35
b Dylan 4:41
b Winston Guo 4:46
b Jesse Chao 4:53
b Tyler Filteau 5:00
b Eddy Wu 5:11
b Johnson Jia 5:15
b Navid 5:17
b Jason 5:23
b Dirk Haupt 6:00
b Reza 6:38
g Victoria Gilbert 5:07
g Jen Bhatla 5:34
g Karin Olafson 5:45
g Rachel Schoeler 5:51
g Kyuwon Kim 6:01
g Sherry Gu 6:17

Friday, October 29, 2010

From Iona, Through Time

Since the start of time, man has sought to go fast. The first person who discovered that running away from a predator is better than walking away led this march for mankind’s need to go faster.

From then on, humans have pushed the boundaries of how far and how fast we can go. Electricity developed a better use than just electrocuting animals. The Jeantaud Duc set the land speed record in 1898 at 63.15kph using an electric engine. Then, 99 years later, some crazy blokes from England decided to break that record by over 1500km/h!  Sweet stuff from swell minds, yet there lacked a human connection there. Sure these drivers went balls fast. And sure, if they crashed they would die an awesome death. And sure they are pushing the cutting edge of their technology, but each case lacked that primordial link that first pushed humans to strive for speed.

What better way to feel connected to your primal roots than to put forth a display a raw, genuflecting power. Disdained by all around for their allaroundness, the UBCTC set out to do just that: Ravage the 10.2km Iona Time trial with shear force.

Conditions were ideal for The Giant to lay down a Tour de France shattering 14:29 time; leading the way, and thus making a 5km long draft zone for the rest of the club.

Shortly thereafter, 3 engineers followed pursuit. Md R, the fizzer, and the blazing red posted a blistering sub 16:00 time. It must be noted that these individuals, minus the doctor, time trialed on road bikes, something even Spartans would herald as bold.

It seemed the men were dominating this challenge. Dylan, Kellen, Brendan, and Derrick were all part of the top 10 to finish. The male domination continued until el presidentee pounced upon the rest of the male pack with a staggering 16:48, finishing as the top female in the club.

The generally good-looking guy fell short of Kim Seder by 2 seconds, something the handsome men’s club simply will not allow. Vince has probably lost his membership to the club by now.

            After all the old folks finished, the young ones took to the stage. Eddy Wu, the young maverick, just keeps getting faster. His performance is only limited to the amount of sleep he had the other night. Unfortunately, those 6 meager hours of sleep he had the other night resulted in him getting chicked by el presidentee. Next time he’ll work doubly hard to not let such an event happen again, or he’ll use physics and set the frame of reference to the moon so that he completes 10.2km in 25.2seconds, making him the fastest man alive!

Victoria Gilbert, who is also better known as “watch out, you’re going to get chicked”, rode an intergalactic, lactose intolerance inducing, lengen… wait for it –dairy pace, only 2 seconds behind the Chao-lin monk.

Some have fallen victim to the days event. Jen Moroz and Ceilidh Curtis suffered mechanical failures that inhibited them from proving their might.

Overall, the UBCTC did what they set out to do: brew up a Winstorm on a peaceful Saturday morning. Standings list the order of the outcome

Kory Seder                      14:29
Matt Reeve                      15:05
Barry Claman                  15:45
Sherwood Plant               15:48
Dylan Stephanian            15:52
Kellen Kjera                    15:54
Brendan Naef                  16:05
Derrick Lee                     16:16
Kim Seder                       16:48
Vincent Lavallee             16:50
Tyler Filteau                    16:53
Winston Guo                   16:57
Eddy Wu                         17:27
Jesse Chao                       17:36
Victoria Gilbert                17:38
Johnson Jia                      17:39
Rodrigo Samayoa            17:50
Melanie Van Soren          18:42
Rachel Schoeler               20:04
Jen Bhatla                        20:10
Kywon Kim                     20:53
Laura Freeman                 35:22
Ceilidh Curtis                   DNF
Jen Moroz                         DNF

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Revenge of the Brick

The Droid forces of the evil Separatists gather above the Wookie planet Kashyyyk. The Jedi Knights have been dispatched to stop the invasion and re-build peace in the galaxy

Oops, sorry…. Wrong blog.

Here we go . . . with the weather gods holding the rain at bay 23 eager UBC Triathletes braved the nippy temperature for what turned out to be quite the morning. It started at the club office where much to Kellen’s dismay numerous bike tires were grossly under inflated. He quickly got to work and set matters right patiently explaining to each underinflated tire and owner why tire pressure mattered so much.

Shortly after everyone rolled out and followed the current UBC TC Fall Classic Race Leader Matt Reeve to the transition area. It should be noted that after many comments from the peanut gallery over the last couple weeks concerning his lack of cape wearing he’d finally found the nerve to wear his flashy gold and blue cape that morning.

At the transition everyone positioned their shoes in what was hoped to be a strategic order and fortunately there was no one out shoe shopping that morning because lets face it, if anyone had wanted a new pair of runners I’m sure they could have found a size, colour, and style to their liking amongst the 23 pairs spread out on display. Numerous members questioned the safety of leaving their precious bikes unguarded while they pounded the pavement around the stadium. Their fears were put to rest however as Derick volunteered to be the official time keeper and bike guard extraordinaire (he seems to be doing a better job taking care of other peoples bikes then his own lately).

Next up was a warm up lap of the run and bike course to make sure all members were familiar with the twists and turns the Brick was about to throw at them. Well lets face it, the only real twists and turns are deciding if you want to risk beating that car to make the turn at Kullahun Drive in order to save yourself a few precious seconds. Or in Winston’s case whether or not to “storm thru” the red light and save himself a few more seconds were it not for the cop car waiting on the opposite side of the intersection (perhaps having been tipped off to watch out for just such stormy indiscretions).

Finally at 10am with not so fresh legs due to the killer Wreck Beach stair workout on Wednesday everyone was lined up and ready to go. After some discussion about where Jesse would start he decided to line up behind Victoria in an effort to not let a repeat of the Victoria Half Marathon cloud his day (see the results to find out if his choice paid off). Much to everyone’s dismay their race leader had ditched his gold and blue cape and would no longer be wearing it during the race. Despite the fact he was earlier quoted as saying “seeing as Kory hasn’t shown up, this ones in the bag” it now seemed as though he was worried his cape wouldn’t hold up to the aerodynamics of Vince’s disk wheel. Melanie on the other hand wasn’t so concerned about aerodynamics and was considering racing in some oversized gloves and a jacket that looked more like a parachute.

With everyone starting 15 seconds apart to help enforce the new rule of no drafting not much can be said for the race itself other than there were numerous calves screaming for the pain to stop. Some racers, whether by choice or default, raced with runners and flat pedals which surely aided them in having a speedy transition. Karin, the proud owner of a new road bike, was out for her first tri club ride of the year and Laura was seen crossing the finish line with her usual enthusiasm.

It should also be noted that a certain someone whose name is Tyler has made it his goal to set a new course record for the Brick next time around. Will our current leader be up to the challenge, has his new facebook fan club group gone to his head, or will he need to call upon the Jedi Knights for assistance? Better still, will Kory be able to smash the current course record (20:08) next weekend when he try’s his luck at the Brick. Time will tell.

In the meantime for your stats calculations, sizing up of rivals, comparing of times from last year, agonizing over how many people you can beat when you make up the Brick next weekend, and general all round viewing pleasure below you can find the results of the UBC TC Fall Classic Race Series Brick.

Matt Reeve 20:08
Vincent Lavallee 20:46
Tyler Filteau 21:39
Winston Guo 22:10
Dylan 22:23
Kellen Kjera 22:26
Victoria Gilbert 22:47
Jesse Chao 22:49
Drew Senay 22:59
Thomas Belshein 23:04
Melanie van Soeren 23:58
Reza 23:59
Johnson Jia 24:07
Dirk Haupt 24:27
Rachel Schoeler 24:42
Jen Moroz 24:52
Kywon Kim 25:52
Karin Olafson 26:00
Jen Bhatla 26:22
Stephanie 27:19
Alex 31:07
Jasmin 31:30
Laura Freeman 32:30

Friday, October 22, 2010

AquaSTORM 500m swim, 2.5km run

The AquathonSTORM
Date/Time: Oct. 17, 2010, 10am.

The rules and stakes.

As is typical with these hotly contested challenges, the aquathon or better known as aquaSTORM is a test of swim, transition, and run without any breaks in between and surviving the winstorm. There will be one big winner from each gender who will take home his or her a feast of 30 coveted UBCTC Fall Classic Racing Series points as well the opportunity for cumulative bonus participation points. Participants are fully aware of the highly anticipated bright and breezy winstorm in effect.

The challenge is done with a mass start in the outdoor pool. Separation of the various speed of swimmers are encouraged to prevent over congestion in each lanes. After completing 5 laps in the pool, they will then toss on their runners and begin the 3 loops 2.5k run. The first person to arrive at the finish line from each gender will gorge individual maximum feasting points for the challenge.

The reason.

Why you ask?

The individuals are battling each other to become the leader of the overall points in the UBCTC Fall Classic Racing Series. The title is a big deal and comes with personal fame and glory no doubt, and their names will be forever engraved on the Vincent Lavallee Cup.**

Some notables.

Vincent Lavallee lays his cards on the table in an interview that Matt Reeve has never been part of his secret alliance (ehem allegations for TTT recently at Iona in a non-drafting sanctioned event), and that he would be difficult to beat at the end. Additionally Vince’s credible reputation of being the ‘generally good looking guy’ is threatened this season due a little marathon, so much so he graciously offered to sit out the aquastorm and help out with timing and cheerleading in lieu of participating.

Eddy Wu is only focused on beating the winstorm. He will be beyond overjoyed if this comes true.

For Brendan Neaf it’s simply about winning. Shortly after the 10K TT in Iona, he uttered a quiet confidence and said to winstorm that HE HAD WON THE RACE...against himself. He beat himself, therefore he is a champion. The aquathon will be no different, winstorm or no winstorm.

Returning aquathon winner Rachael Schoeler knows only two things. 1) She can school the competition with her eyes closed. And 2) She cannot get beat by a winstorm again like last year. That would be embarrassing.

Karin Olafson isn’t worried about the winstorm. She is out to defeat Rachael whether it’s in water or on land.

Jenn Moroz believes that her doing the dishes is currying favour with her new teammates. Blocking a winstorm from getting a good swim start is key.

Victoria Gilbert on the other hand, is trying not to rock the boat, as she knows she’s on the outs. A winstorm will be nearing.

The forecast.

Bright and breezy winstorm.

The results.

We actually had seen a great race. It may not have been the best challenge we’ve ever seen but at least it was original. The winstorm had time to put on socks, glasses, visor, shirt, and of course Garmin.

The Winstorm Run Route

The damage.

Matt Reeve 17:17
Kory Seder 18:09
Rachel Schoeler 18:23
Brendan Neaf 18:46
Karin Olafson 18:56
Eddy Wu 19:03
Winstorm 19:20
Victoria Gilbert 19:24
Jen Bhatla 19:37
Melanie van Soeren 19:42
Kim Seder 20:15
Jen Moroz 20:34
Kywon Kim 21:10
Jesse Chao 21:38
Johnson Jia 22:44
Rodrigo Samayoa 23:35
Sherry Gu 23:48

**However if your name happens to be 2X defending champion Matt Reeve and you also fail to sport the golden-blue cape for the full duration of at least one event in the series, then this personal fame and glory must be relinquished to the next leader in the overall standings.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Five Hundred Meters to Equality

Dear Men,

All too often you think you are so much better than your female counter parts. Thinking things like "I can lift heavier objects than women" or "look at me, I can ride my bike faster than my wife". Well friends, it's time for a realignment of our prejudice and our penis centric viewpoints. Our lovely lady friends prove to be strong adversaries, and there is no denying that fact.

Being raised in a family with its fair share of feminists (5: my Mum, Dad, two Sisters and myself), I was brought up to never discriminate against women for any reason. I unfalteringly hold this viewpoint in my day to day life, and so should you. However, despite the upbringing my family has given me, the school yard taught me different things. I can distinctly remember numerous times from elementary school through to high school where young men were made fun of for being beat by girls. Boys are supposed to be faster, stronger, and more skilled at all things athletic. This left me with conflicting viewpoints; to never discriminate, or to put on bravado and testosterone and assume that I would always be better than girls at athletics.

Generally speaking, I was stronger, faster, and sometimes more skilled than girls my age (although, that said, I was stronger, faster, and more skilled than many guys too!). But my first real taste of not being able to beat girls was when I joined my high school swim team. While I was one of the faster swimmers on the team, there was always at least one person faster than me, and more often than not, she was a girl. Looking back now, I can visualize the emotional progression that I went through on my high school swim team. I went from being a pubescent miner niner who thought that it was totally wrong for girls to beat me (because I would get made fun of by my friends on the basketball team), to a (slightly) more mature grade 12 who learned to love seeing the progression anyone made in the pool, male or female. As captain of the team I had to be proud and supportive of anyone who won a race, even if it meant accepting a loss to a girl. Fortunately, I think I've progressed past my high school insecurities and I now see losing to women no different than losing to men, the point is that I've lost and that there is room for me to improve.

What I love about swimming is that this situation hasn't changed since I've been in high school. When I get into the pool at triathlon club practice not only do I know that there will be people that are faster than me, but I know that they will be women, and I'm sure many of you men know that too. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I love seeing people progress and its awesome when everyone is able to progress together on an even playing field.

Men, if you have any doubt as to whether you should share my viewpoint, you need only look as far as the results from the UBC TC FC RS 500m Swim results. It will soon be evident that the majority of the men in the field got beaten by women. So, tuck your tail between your legs and give a big round of applause to the awesome women on the tri-club. There is no doubt that the women dominate the pool.


Two Time UBC TC RS Winner

The results:

Kory Seder 6:58
Rachel Schoeler 7:00
Karin Olafson 7:21
Matt Reeve 7:34
Vincent Lavallee 7:44
Eddy Wu 7:45
Jen Bhatla 7:50
Matt Ridley 8:09
Branden Neaf 8:25
Kywon Kim 8:41
Jorg Winter 8:44
Melanie van Soeren 8:50
Victoria Gilbert 8:51
Kim Seder 8:59
Winston Guo 9:00
Jen Moroz 9:20
Kristry 9:29
John Heinz 9:49
Derrick Lee 9:57
Kellen Kjera 10:06
Drew Senay 10:26
Jesse Chao 10:50
Janice 14:20
Liam Harrap 15:00

Oh, and two UBC TC alumni swam with us as well.

Derek Westra-Luney 6:23
Patrick Waters 6:33

But they don't really count since they both swam on the UBC Varsity Swim Team, so its just expected that they would beat us.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mental Game Planning

A post from Ivan on how to handle pre race nerves!

Ben Baker here from the American Coaching Academy.

Today's e-lesson is on Mental Game Planning.

Everyone should have a game plan for competition.

When a player consistently gets nervous in front
of a crowd or gets psyched out after making a mistake,
a contingency plan routed in sports psychology can help
them get back on track and forget the earlier problem.
Learn how to motivate your athletes by walking them
through this exercise.

Each athlete should have a contingency plan that
includes the following:

* Pregame preparation
* Plan for errors during the competition
* Avoiding competitive stress

Pregame preparation should be a routine that the
player chooses that helps them focus and calm
themselves before the game. For some players,
this includes listening to music or meditating.

For some, it involves warm-up drills or visualization.
Help your players identify what gets them prepared,
focused, and confident, and work with them to create
a routine that prepares them for the game.

Errors are going to occur during competition, but the
players that have a plan for getting back on track are
more likely to bounce back and succeed. Sit down with
players to find out what motivates them after they make
a mistake.

With that knowledge, help them devise a strategy for
dealing mentally with errors that happen during the game.

Perhaps they should take a few seconds to say silent
affirmations, such as "I am good, I am worthy, I can
do this," or maybe they should visualize making their
next play perfect. Whatever works for players is the
right contingency plan.

Finally, help players avoid competitive stress by
taking steps to eliminate the unknown. Explain what
players should expect during every game. Work with
them to channel their nerves into power.

Nerves are a natural part of competition, but those
players who learn to control those butterflies in the
stomach are the ones who come out as winners.

Teach players to take deep breaths, focus on one thing
at a time, and believe in themselves. With that plan,
competitive stress becomes an asset, not a liability.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Fall Classic Returns!

The UBCTC Fall Classic was back in full force this week with the first event taking place this past Wednesday with the Uphill Run Time Trial.

Shy of our largest event by one 1 person. Wednesdays race had 31 competitors toe the line!

Although there were many returning veterans vying for the Vincent Lavallée Cup, the headline of the day goes out to the rookies of the event stealing the show and taking top honours in both the Male and Female division.

In the female division, people had been talking about the new girl Jen and her exceptional running ability, with one of the men having been quoted saying;

"I had to really push it on the downhill to drop her during the fartlek workout, and I only found out afterwards that she had stopped to stretch."

Coming in as the strong favourite, the pressure was definitely on. In the mens division defending champion Matt Reeve was far too over confident stating that we might as well give him the trophy now.

With the construction finished on the bottom of the route, the run was now the full length rather than the shorter version we were forced to race last year. This resulted in a significantly longer run including the much steeper bottom section which would require great pacing to prevent losing too much time on the climb or alternatively blowing up before the top. With the race series starting in typically fashion (disorganized and a little frantic) there were 3 competitors who needed to race early rather than doing a warmup lap.

John Heinz, a UBCTC rookie, but many time Storm the Wall finalist was one such individual to start early. Melanie van Soeren and Dirk Haupt were the other two being led up the route with Vincent Lavallee up the road to time the finish. Running at a gingerly pace 45 seconds up of John, Vince jogged expecting to have ample time to reach the top, but looking back midway through the sight of a fast approaching John changed his plans, reaching the top in 4:12 second John was definitely setting the pace for the rest of the field.

Melanie came through with a very respectable time of 5:30 which still remained to be seen how that would stan up against the girls.

The times of the finishers was privy to Vincent Lavallee since it would give an unfair advantage to the racers to follow knowing the time to beat (so naturally Vince kept this to himself).

As the main field began, Vincent was the first to leave with Matt Reeve leaving 15 seconds behind. As the hill got steep the immediate threat of exhaustion was already upon our leader as he tried to focus on running strong and preventing his mind from wandering towards potential excuses for the post race debriefing. Unfortunately this had the negative effect since focusing on clearing his mind while running surely slowed Vincent down by at last 13 seconds as he finished in a time of 4:24 seconds.

Matt Reeve close on his heels did not have this mental focus requirement (as his mind is often blank) and just focused on keeping Vincent in sight and crossed the line in 4:18 seconds. Good enough for second.

In the girls race. Rachel came through the first female in 5:50 seconds with Melanie's time holding strong, but not for long as Victoria approached the finish line in a time of 5:21 taking over the lead!

This strong finish looked as though it may hold until Jen, the favourite in this event bettered that time but a mere second!

The top 5 was rounded off with Kellen Kjera finishing in a time of 4:32 and Winston Guo 6 seconds back in 4:38.

The girls race being even closer, had the 4th place finisher Stephanie Urness two seconds back of Melanie in 5:32 and Karin Olafson in 5:38!

A great day for racing in the woods and a fantastic opener for the Fall Classic Race Series!

Full Results:

John Heinz 4:12
Matt Reeve 4:18
Vincent Lavallee 4:24
Kellen Kjera 4:32
Winston Guo 4:38
Thomas Belshein 4:49
Liam Harrap 4:50
Tyler Filteau 4:57
Branden Neaf 5:00
Matt Ridley 5:05
Kory Seder 5:05
Jesse Chao 5:06
Jake Alleyne 5:08
Johnson Jia 5:11
Dirk Haupt 5:15
Rodrigo Samayoa 5:18
Jen Moroz 5:20
Victoria Gilbert 5:21
Ceilidh Curtis 5:27
Melanie van Soeren 5:30
Ried Kimmett 5:31
Stephanie Urness 5:32
Karin Olafson 5:38
Eliza Chriistie 5:41
Rachel Schoeler 5:50
Kim Seder 5:53
Meagan Mckeen 5:57
Sherry Gu 6:02
Keely Hammond 6:08
Jen Bhatla 6:23
Laura Freeman 9:39

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First Ride of the Year

Miserable weather doesn't hold everyone back! That's the kind of attitude I like to see kicking off the season. A few of you could learn a valuable lesson from the four first time riders that came out to today kickoff to winter training. There was even a noticeable improvement in technical skills over the course of the ride.

The route was a simple back and forth along Marine Dr. A great course if you want to simply spin your legs and not contend with any major obstacles.

Here is the GPS Data from today's ride. The second lap was not part of the group ride, it was my added solo workout.

I'm excited to see more of you next week. Rain or shine.

Thanks again to the four riders that came out despite the weather.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Banff Pre Race-Report

As many of you know, a group of hardcore UBCTCers ventured out on one of the most epic triathlons of their lives this past weekend, braving glacial waters, rugged mountain terrain, and wildlife at the inaugural Banff Triathlon - the season ender for the Subaru Western Traithlon Series.

New PR's were achieved and many adventures were had. A complete race report will soon be provided so stay tuned but here's a little taste of what happened this past weekend...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Group Riding

Just read this on Dave Moulton's blog. All makes sense and is something I really want to work on this semester.

Cycling in a group is one of the wonderful things about our pastime; like minded people socializing while exercising.

There are few sports where you can do this as well.

The picture on the left is a group doing just that; highly visible to other road users and riding two abreast as is legal in most places.

The picture on the right is not a group ride in my opinion; it is a group of cyclists all riding as individuals on the same section of the highway.

A few strong riders are going “Balls out” at the front, tearing what could have been a group apart. There is no socializing going on.

If there is one complaint I hear all the time from the non-cycling public, it is that groups of cyclists ride three and four abreast blocking traffic. I am sorry to say this but in many cases it is true, I have witnessed it.

Here is a group of professional cyclists on a training ride. The important thing about this group is that they are taking less than half the lane and a car wishing to pass can easily see around them to determine whether it is safe to do so.

In this next picture, these riders are technically riding two abreast, but why are they taking the whole lane? What is with all that unnecessary wasted space in the middle?

Here is another large group of about twenty experienced riders; these guys have the luxury of a nice wide shoulder on this stretch of road, but even if the shoulder was not there they would only be taking half the lane and it would be easy for a passing driver to see around them.

Then there is this group. You could argue that this stretch of highway is three lanes wide on either side, so why shouldn’t a group of cyclists use the whole lane. Just because you can, does that make it right?

It is not that difficult to ride two by two in a pace line, it just takes a few like minded individuals to democratically decide that is what they want to do.

If you ride in a single pace line, the line is twice the length for a car to pass, and there is usually a rider dropping back from the front, so the line is still two abreast at some point.

A group like the one shown on the left can cover a lot of miles at a fairly good pace, and training wise is more beneficial to everyone.

I may leave myself open to criticism in saying this, but it seems to me that many want to look like professionals with the equipment and clothing but have no interest in trying to ride like a professional.

That is to take the time to learn to follow a wheel, and to ride in close proximity to others.

And socialize, even the pros do it in the middle of the peloton during the Tour de France.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Triple Crown 2010

Despite a last minute date change there was an impressive turn out of tri club kits and a few notable extras hoping to prove that multidiscipline athletes have too much extra muscle to properly climb a mountain.

After waiting around for the stragglers the peleton quickly maintained speed allowing the riders to converse in brash tones about the challenge that lay ahead. It soon became apparent which of the riders where along for only the first section of the climb up Cypress as they pushed the pace lengthening the pack out. A mere 5km in as Kory discussed the frequency of flats in Vancouver Elliot Holtham decided to punctuate this thought by allowing the road to tear appart his tire. In a show of testosterone / chivalry several of the group volunteered to stay behind and help pull Elliot back up to the group when the flat had been fixed.

An hour and a half down and the lead group arrived at the the horse shoe bay community centre puzzling over the location of the location of the chase pack. It was not long however before they emerged brimming with excuses and tales of 'hammering it to catch up.' Determined to postpone the days trials for as long as possible the great attention was paid to cliff bar bandoliers and several new markings on Nathaniel's kit. However this lollygagging did not please the giant and boisterous calls soon lured the rest of the group begrudgingly back into the saddle.

The first climb was a mixed affair with several of the athlete's out only to test their legs against the first climb they hammered up the hill leaving those with less guts and more forethought in their wake. It soon became apparent that survival was going to be the theme of the day with temperatures in the mid to high 20's and barely a headwind to facilitate evaporative cooling. Employing the classic survival strategy of finding strength in numbers the girls collated and made swift work of the days first climb. With one mountain already conquered spirits where high, and the growing pain was suppressed with Winstorm's supply of gummie treats. Soon it was time to bid farewell to the first summit as well as a few fellow riders as the days adventures continued.

Grouse proved to be little challenge to the remaining summit hardened warriors and in spite of a few muttered complaints about grade the stop over was only long enough to top up a few water bottles. One thing though weighed heavily on the minds of all those present, the final climb! This imminent threat was greatly accentuated by the already 4 hours ~100km of riding that each of the days participants had already endured to get to where they were. Talk prior to the event had revolved around treating the final climb up Seymour as a race; a quick around the milling riders was enough to realize that the days millage had already broken much of the competitive spirit of the event.

Making swift work of the flat leading up to Seymour the peleton regrouped for the final ascent of the day. While many of the men sat around comparing thigh diameter Kim and Triple Tpartner Victoria Gilbert took off up the mountain. Fearing for the sake of their man cards the remaining riders stuffed down the last of their pre-climb nutrition and waddled bow legs back to their bikes. Lactic saturated thigh groaned under the induced strain as the group soon shredded apart riders struggling to find an ever lower chain ring. Patrick and Elliot soon caught up and passed the pair ferociously battling their way towards the summit. Shortly behind them Eric Suess pushed himself to keep up, his TT bike proving to be less advantageous on a 13% incline. Midway up the mountain athlete's nearing the end of the Knee Knackering -NSTRafforded the riders a chance to slow down and cheer. Perhaps this would be a good run segment to add on to next years triple crown? Behind the leaders Kory Seder charged past Scott and Jared humming the 'we will be champions' tune under his breath. Unfortunately this burst of enthusiasm would cost him dearly as his might body succumbed to the elements ever so slowly Scott began to reel him in snatching Kory's man card as he passed.

Shortly behind Celeste Pakstas demonstrated why she had won UBC TC's most improved cyclist award by catching up to her erstwhile companions Kim and Victoria. Recognizing once again the safety in numbers strategy the remaining riders where happy to suck wheel together pausing only for a brief rest period to offer a tube and group moral support for Matt Reeve and his 2nd flat tire. In the end all those who had started the climb managed to reach the summit, a special commendation to Kim Seder for back tracking to pull Winstorm up the last stretch using switchbacks to make up ground. Also a big shout out to the entrepreneur who had opened a hotdog stand in the parking lot and was soon inundated with refueling requests.

The ride home was a blur as riders gradually peeled away towards their respective origins; sore perhaps, but elated by what they had accomplished over the preceding hours. I think it's fair to tack in an Inaugural to UBC TC Triple Crown because next years going to be even bigger and better!

Congratulations to the 2010 UBC Triathlon club Triple Crown Finishers:

Elliot Holtham
Patrick Cafferty
Eric Suess
Scott Chris
Kory Seder
Carl Reilly
Jared Penner
Celeste Pakstas
Matt Reeve
Kim Seder
Victoria Gilbert
Vince Lavallee
Winstorm Guo

Random Statistics:
9 flat tires (3 courtesy of Matt Reeve)
~3400m of elevation gain
8 Hotdogs consumed

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Surviving the Triple Crown

There is no doubt that the biggest challenge on Saturday is going to be the HEAT! With the forecast being for 28-30*C (humidex 33-35*C), while this isn't too scary for the rest of Canada, I know a lot of people in Vancouver are sweating figurative and literal bullets at the potential of a hot day in the saddle. When the thermometer passes 20*C that is usually considered "hot".

1) Heat: The first tip for surviving the Triple Crown battling the heat. Hydration will be key. We have 4 planned stops en route: Horseshoe Bay (36km), Cypress (60km), Seymour (111/139km). I would expect everyone to try and go through 2 bottles between each of these stations. If you are concerned that this is not enough, bring a 3rd bottle and keep it in the back pocket of your bike jersey. This will sound ridiculous, going through 11L of liquid in a day, but believe me, it won't be hard to get through it.

As a little pre-emptive strike, freezing your first bottles isn't a bad idea either.

2) Sun protection: The sun will be out and we will probably have a clear blue day. Sunscreen on your ears and face is a smart ideal. A tan looks great, but a big red nose isn't exactly sexy.

3) Nutrition. In addition to hydration, this is going to be a 180km ride. Burning a conservative 600 calories an hour, be prepared to be hungry. Everyone should have a plan for a minimum of 2000 calories to be consumed during the ride. It will be next to impossible to carry all of this, so bring money to buy food from a bakery or gas station. In addition to this, carb load. That isn't just for races. So starting today, you should be upping the carb intake to make sure all your fuelling needs are met.

4) Endurance: The last is more just common sense. This is going to be a really long ride, anyone thinking of hammering up the first climb is going to get taught a lesson come the end of the day. Pace yourself and don't be shy if you need to sit on someones wheel.

Triple Crown: Saturday July 10th 2010
Leave at 8AM from Team Office at UBC outside the SUB.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

That Time of Year Again

Workout soundtrack anyone?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tour de France Pool 2010!

As winner of the Tour de France Pool 2009 held by Meyrick Jones, I decided to step up and copy all of his questions from last year and apply them to this years tour! Very original I know.

How to play:

1. Answer the 18 questions below in an EMAIL. They are mostly multiple choice... easy peasy...

2. Send the e-mail to me at the address below:

vlavallee @

3. Lay your smack talk down in the comments section below if you wish....

4. Watch the Tour and enjoy!

5. Winner is the respondent with the most points after the final stage on the Champs-Élysées.

6. Have your votes in before the first racer starts on Saturday.

7. Anyone who tells me the results of a stage before I have been able to watch it, is automatically disqualified.


Bragging Rights.

Spoils of Victory - The winner will also receive a soon to be prestigious (and highly sought after) custom "TdF Pool 2010 Winner" image to display on blogs or websites - if you don't have a blog you can print it and put it on your refrigerator. Your friends will all be jealous!

Since I am not very good at photoshop. It will be last years image with some shotty altering to say 2010!

Also, local prize. We will go to All you can eat Sushi at BC Sushi sometime and winner gets paid for by the rest of the attendees. If I am the only person who shows up with the winner, well then it could also be a romantic date.

Without further ado...

The Questions

1. Lance is getting old, he just announced his retirement will be official after this years Tour. Predict Lance Armstrong's final placing in this year's two individual TTs. Add the numbers together. What is the sum? (ex: finished 1st and 3rd = 4)
(1 point)

A. 2-5
B. 6-9
C. 10-14
D. 15-20
E. 20+

2. Will Lance end up ahead of Frank Schleck in the GC? (1 point)

A. Ahead
B. Behind

3. How many stages will Cavendish win? (1 point)

A. 0-1
B. 2-3
C. 4-5
D. 5+

4. What will the winning individuals avg speed be in the Individual time trial Stage 19 in km/h?

(ITT Stage details areHERE)

-Within 1 km/h = 5 points
-Within 2 km/h = 3 points
-Within 3 km/h = 2 points
-Within 4 km/h = 1 point
-off by >4 km/h = deduct a point

5. Who will win the polka dot jersey for King of the Mountains? (1 point)

6. How many riders will be banned, fired for suspicion, or otherwise ejected due to doping related issues? (1 point)

Only during the race are riders counted (July 4th to Finish in Paris)

A. 0-2
B. 2-4
C. 4-6
D. 6+

7. Which team will finish the tour with the most riders? (1 point)

8. What will the average speed bein km/h for Stage 17 finishing on the Col du Tourmalet.

-within 1 km/h = 5 points
-within 3 km/h = 3 points
-within 4 km/h = 1 point
-off by 4+ = deduct a point

9. What will the margin of victory be in the GC? (The margin in minutes and seconds between winner and runner-up.)
(1 point)

A. 0-1 minute
B. 1:01 - 2:10
C. 2:11 - 3:20
D. 3:21 - 4:30
E. 4:30 - 5:40
F. 5:41 +

10. Who will win the GC? (1 point)

11. Who will win the Green Jersey? (1 point)

12. Which OLN broadcaster will win the competition they have each year to predict winners? (1 point)

A. Paul Sherwen
B. Craig Hummer
C. Phil Ligget
D. Bob Roll

13. Will it rain during any of the TTs? There are 2... (1 point)


14. Who will end up being the team leader for Saxo Bank? (1 point)

A) Frank Schleck
B) Andy Schleck

15. What is the second longest stage of this year's tour? (1 point)

16) Will Fabian Cancellara ride away from the competition again for a stage victory. (1 point)

17) Will Jens Voigt bring the pain? (1 point)

18) How many useless full day escapes will Sylvain Chavanel from Quick Step be involved in?

A) 1
B) 2
C) 3
D) 4
E) 5+

Good Luck!