killing it

Off to Maui! I am sitting in Toronto killing time. Did you know you can rent a laptop for as little as 12dollars per week. Awesome to have Internet access on the trip as i have a long day of traveling ahead.
Training has been awesome the last few days, but packing has been tough, lucky i didn't pay extra fees because of the cases of nutrition i had to pack in my bags and bike box. I think i have 100bars and 100gels thanks to Reed.
I am going to try and keep a regular blog while i am away to let everyone know how training is going and to let my parents know i am alive but more importantly to show some pics from the camp. Lance just sent out a schedule of the camp, very kewl, and very hard, just my style. I say that now but in a few days i will take back that last comment. Car i miss you! ps. i didn't need to shower before the shuttle because the 30 other people in the van didn't, so gross!


Levi = Awesome!

This month has been cruising along nicely. Time flys when your freezing your butt off i guess. Last week was some what of a recovery week, i had a couple of really easy days, followed by some good workouts. Thursday was a 20min TT Field Test (ouch!) on the bike to test some power data and my power to weight ratio seems to be pretty good for February but i am still spinning to high of cadence as Coach Dan noticed when i uploaded it into training peaks. I also had a good run session on Saturday morning after a swim workout; the tready session was a warmup followed by 45minutes zone 3 (10.8-11.0mph) with a few different inclines to simulate some rolling hills, followed by a warmup, near 12miles in 70minutes. Sunday was a good brick with some low cadence work. This morning kicked off a good start to the week with a 4k swim to work on start speed and pace, 4x (4x50fast on 45, 200(1500pace)on 3o"rest). I took some risks and the short rest made me pop a bit.
The highlight of the week was watching Levi and Lance in Cali tearing it up, i am already excited to watch the tour this year.
A few more good days of training ahead and i leave for Maui for training camp 1. I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity to join these great athletes. I am sad that Carley won't be able to come but we have had a great couple of months here and i am sure she is tired of listening to me complain about the weather.

"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'" - Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner


Climbing out of the Hole

Starting a rest week I thought it would be appropriate to figure out why I was taking one. Well I know the importance of a rest day or recovery week but more importantly I was trying to figure out the mechanisms that were involved that leave me feeling sluggish following a day off. The past block of training I dug myself into a hole. I didnt see China but i came close and its time to climb out. So I decided to dig out my old Exercise Physiology textbook, and visit some pretty neat websites in order to physiologically study and find out just what is happening to my body at every level during a rest day/week. After three hours of reading, the following is what I have put together to help all ahtletes understand overtraining.

10-20% of athletes experience the syndrome of overtraining or "staleness". This is a result of complex interactions among biologic and psychological influences, that cause that athlete to fail to endure and adapt to training to the point that normal exercise performance deteriorates and the athelete can't recover from a given workout.

There are two clinical forms of overtraining:
1. Sympathetic Form- This is characterized by increased sympathetic activity during rest; generally typified by hyperexcitability, restlessness and impaired exercies performance. This form of overtraining may reflect excessive psychologic/emotional stress that accompanies the interaction amoung training, competitions and responsibilities of normal living.

2. Parasympathetic Form- More common and characterized by predominance of vagal activity during rest and exercise. More none as Overeaching during the early stages, this stages is similar to the full-blown parasympathetic overtraining syndrome but of shorter duraction. Overreaching generally results from excessive and protracted overload with inadequate recovery and rest. Initially, maintenance of exercise performance requries greater effort, which eventually leads to performance deterioration in training and racing. Short-Term rest intervention of a few days or up to serveral weeks usually restores full function. Untreated overreaching eventually leads to the over training syndrome.

Overtraining Syndrome represents more than just short-term inability to train. It involves chronic fatigue experienced during exercise and recovery periods.

Some associated symptoms:
sustained poor exercise performance, altered sleep patterns, frequent infections, persistently high fatigue ratings, altered immune and reproductive function, acute and chronic alterations in systemic inflammatory responses, mood disturbances (we all know this one), and a general malaise and loss of interest in high-level training.

There are many possible factors that interact to initiate the parasympathetic-type overtraining syndrome in endurance training. High Volume training can result in interactions amoung chroinc neuromuscular, neuroendocrine, psychologic,immunogic, and metabolic overlad.

Also preexisting medical conditions, poor diet, environmental stress and psychosocial pressures( montonous training, frequent racing) often interact to exacerbate the demands of training and increase the risk of developing overtraining syndrome.

Some major significant effects of overtraining include: Functional impairments in the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal and adrenal axes and sympathetic neuroendocrine system as reflected by depressed urinary excretion of norephiephrine. The second major effect is exercise-induced increases in andrenocoticotropic hormone and growth hormone and decreases in cortisol and insulin levels.

In some ways this means the syndrome is the bodies attempt to enforce upon the athlete an appropriate recovery period from the sustained levels of arousal caused by prolonged heavy training.

Some of the most common selected mechanisims of the overtraining sydrome and the consequence of the overload are as follows:
Neuromuscular Overload- Decreased Neuromuscular Function
Symathetic Overload- Decreased B Adrenoreceptors
Metabolic Overload- Glycogen Depletion, Amino Acid imbalance
Psychological Overload- Altered hypothalamic- Pituitary Function
Adrenal Overload- Decreased Cortisol Response

Its hard for an athlete to determine whether they are just overloaded, overreaching, or overtraining, but having a coach that can monitor day to day performance can make a world of difference. Thats why this week i am going to enjoy my recovery week before starting a new block of training. When was the last time you had a day off?


Chance and Kendall

Awesome news.
Chance just got the news. Congrats brother. Good luck at Cowtown in a few! And say hi to Kendall.


Crash and Burn

Last night i crashed down a set of stairs at Carley's Uncle Len's 50th Birthday Party. What a sight that was lying down on the ground with people staring at you. I was lucky that my left leg took the brunt of the fall but my arm has a long cut all the down my forearm and I have some bruises on my legs and torso. I shook it off and that was that. This week i will be hopefully getting some massage work and Chiro work to make sure nothing was damaged in the fall. This morning i woke up a little sore and stiff, however still had a great workout. The workout was the first brick workout of 09.
3.0hours on the bike 30minute run
The bike was 15min wu, 2.5hours z2-3, 15ez cooldown and a tempo run off the bike.
I took splits/laps every 30minutes on my power meter to make sure i got accurate data;
(251,259,260,275,267watts). Then a hard 30minute trot starting at 6minute pace building to 530-540 per mile and then cooldown.

So that ended the week, it is now play time with Carley as i am leaving in 2weeks for Maui so we are cramming in lots of fun filled activities.

This weeks numbers were good for this time of year.
20,000m swim, 9hours on the bike, 80.5kms of running for 23.5hours!


Best and Worst Day

Friday wasn't a typical day. I woke up feeling like i got run over by a mac truck but i had expectations for the day's training and data to load into training peaks. I would describe my training day as hopping into a shower with fresh saddle sores. It wasn't the training volume it was the lack of motivation and the fatigue that set in. It was my best day of training so far in 09 for a few different reasons, i didn't set any personal bests, and i sure didn't feel good or fast. It was the best day because i got the work done when i didn't really want to do a single thing.
Friday was a masters swim of 5k in the morning. I didn't really feel like swimming and i sure wasn't expecting a 400 for Time a 200 for time and a 100 for time. So i was happy with myself to get in the water and get the workout done and try as hard as i can, even going as fast or faster than i did when swimming at University. Then for the next workout, i had hill repeats on the schedule, 15.75miles of fun running with some hard efforts. It took me a little to get out the door but when i got it done i was happy. Then later on i did a 90minute ride with 2x20mins of high cadence and high power. 100Rpm and i didnt get a long Friday but when i was done and it was 5hours logged for the day, it was a sigh of relief knowing that it was done. Later on Carley and i saw Mall Cop at the theatre and it was hilarious. So one thing friday did for me was build some character after a hard week, because for me these are the days that are important, the days that you have to suck it up and get it done.


This week has been my biggest volume week so far in 09, but that's not saying too much as i can't ride outside because of all of the snow and the cold temperatures. I have made the best of it, and with a great training partner we have had a great time in the cold. Well here is the week so far;
Monday- Recovery day!
Tuesday- Swim, Bike, Run, Weights/Core
Swim- Varsity workout in am 5000m -- nothing to Crazy!
Bike- 90minutes of big gear, slow cadence work.
Run- Threshold run with a mainset of 45' @ 5:45-6mins, hrt 160 followed by 45minutes of weights/core.
Wednesday- Swim, Bike, Run, Swim,
1st swim was a main set of 2x7x200m with some short rest on 2:45 and 2:35 turnover.
Bike-90' Threshold Bike, with 3x10mins @ zon3, with 3ez. (303,314,318watts) i was happy with hrt 158-164.
Run- 1hour base run
2nd Swim- 80mins that was a pull/strength swim with 6x300pull on 4mins
Thursday- Run/Bike/Swim/weights
45' base run before breakfast *almost ended up in hospital because of not wearing proper gear
Bike-90' recovery ride at 229watts nothing serious
Swim- Great swim with Ryan with a main set of 20x50m sprint on 1minute, holding 31-32's.
Weights/core- 45'
Well i wish i was in Texas as my parents are there visiting, but i am sure my Mom would strangle me because of the bike grease on the carpet at their condo. So i will have to put up with the cold for a couple more months. A good note is its supposed to be well over zero for the next couple of days, and a bad note Carley just stole my Vega bag that I got today. I was too tired and she beat me chasing me around the house so i guess she wins! I had her dodging through the living room furniture, but she flew down the stairs and caught me before I reached the bottom. So i guess the cool Vega environmentally friendly bag is hers!
I'm off to eat some delicious chicken and veggies that Carley is preparing!



Friday and Saturday beat me up a bit. Friday was a 14mile run with 6x Corsi Hill Repeats hard. After that it was a swim session with Ryan at the university. Later on that day i was stretching while Carley was working out at the gym, and i met New Years Resolution Johnny. I knew I was tired but I watched Johnny stand by the treadmill and crack a red bull and down it all. He then got on the treadmill in his flip flops and started walking very slow on a huge incline while holding on to the top of the tready for dear life. At this point I was not sure if i should have loaned him my shoes or called an ambulance on standby!
Saturday- early morning swim with Varsity with a lot of race pace swimming including 3x300, 6x100, 2x100dive. After the swim I had another 1hour 40minute run with 15miles this time, the last 10kms where at 5:45-6minute/mile pace depending on the hills. Running a hard 6miles on snow near half marathon pace was a fun challenge.
Well Saturday ended the month of January, and its been my best January for a while staying healthy logging some miles:
118,300m in the pool; 21hours of cycling, 320kms of running; averaging 21+hours a week.
February Starts today and i am just having a bowl of Quinoa hot Cereal waiting for one of my training mates to come over and ride. I would like give a shout out to Dave for throwing it down in the 5k yesterday in Texas, nice work man. Later on i will be Betty Crocker preparing the house for our guests, i wish the boys were playing today but in respect to some friends it will be a "go stealers go" party, sorry Romo!