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