Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recovery Week

I'm back home now in Ontario....and it's a recovery week.

Just some short easy swims, bikes, and runs this week. It'll be a nice change for the body after three solid weeks down in Tucson.

Here are my totals for the 21 days in Tucson.

Swim: 75km
Bike: 850km
Run: 205km

The weather for the next 24 hrs looks pretty crappy...they are calling for 20-25cm of snow !!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

End of Camp

Today marked the last day of our three week training camp here in Tucson. Weather-wise, this was the crappiest day of our whole trip. It rained basically the whole day, though it held off for our run in the morning.

75' run in Sabino Canyon (16km). We started out with a 40' easy warm-up in and around the trails in the Canyon. We then met up at the same location as last week to run our hill intervals again. This week we went 8 times through the loop, last week was 6. An ez jog back to the condo finished off the run. The legs were a bit wrecked today, but it was still a good solid workout.

Since this is the last day, it also meant that it was clean-up day!! We spent a chunk of today cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, and packing up. Soon it was time for the pool. It was raining still as we headed to the pool, which sucked for coach Joel!!

The workout turned out to be one of my best swim workouts of the camp (yards again!!)

400 swim, 200 kick, 2 x 100 IM
16 x 50 on 40" (every 4th fast)
12 x 50 on 45" (every 3rd fast) Hitting 27's for the fast ones...just behind the speedy Jenkins.
100 ez
3 x 800 Pull w. Paddles on 10' (9:00, 8:40, 8:24)
300 ez

Joel introduced a new concept for the workouts today - Mod, Med, Mad. The first one was to be moderate, the second medium, and the third one Mad (Hard/Fast). I attacked the 3rd interval, opening a 10 yd gap on Jenkins and Bechtel through the 400 yd mark (4:02). It was soon downhill fast for me, as I fell apart, with a massive blow up (coming back in 4:22).

We headed out for dinner and ice cream afterwards....some Mexican food, and Coldstone Ice Cream!! Yummy!

A rainy day at the pool...

Colin horsing around off the 10m dive tower

Move over Dr Jones

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I think the blog entry title says everything about my ride at the Shootout today.

After the usual easy warm-up to the start of the ride, the pace picked up. That's when I got into trouble. Instead of bing able to move up a bit, I was slowly going backwards. The legs were extremely heavy today, and didn't have anything in them when the pace started to pick up. I knew I was in for a long day. Joel came by in the van, and I just waved him away...there was no way I was going to be able to hang with the group even if Joel pulled me up.

I ended up riding with a small group, but then made a dumb mistake of taking some food in when the pace slowed, except I was still eating when a group started to hammer down the road. I was stuck in no man's land, trying to chase them down, but seeing them pull away. I ended up riding the last 45km of the ride solo. I didn't feel too bad for the last at least that was one positive from the ride today!!

A 40' run in Sabino Canyon finished the day off.

Thurs and Friday training....

Thursday morning, we had our long run of the week....1hr 45 min in Sabino Canyon. We tacked a warm-up loop in bear Canyon on at the beginning, and then ran the reverse route of a week or so ago (up the Phoneline trail..and back along the road). This was a killer run....tons of uphill running...but it's good sport specific strength training. 21km (1:47)

We swam yards in the afternoon for our recovery swim. 4000 yards, with 1000 SKIDS for warm-up and then a mixture of pull and some stroke/swim combos.

Friday morning started out with I'd say our hardest set in the pool (effort wise at least).

400,200, 2 x 100 IM
8 x 50 (25/25)
24 x 100 on 1:30,1:25,1:20,1:15
3 x 400 (ez, pull, pull)
200 ez

We also headed out for a base ride with Simon's camp group that is in town right now. Simon has posted some great pics on his blog. We rode over to Mt Lemmon, and I climbed to mile 8, turned around, and headed back home. All of Simon's group rode to at least the 14 mile mark!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A bit of slacking on the Blog Front....

OK, I got an instant msg today, letting me know that it was Wednesday...and still no blog update!!

So, here it finally is, 4 days worth of activity to catch you up on.

Sunday we ran in Sabino Canyon in the morning, 70 min in total (16km), with a circuit of hill repeats thrown in as the main set. It was 6 times a loop that Joel had mapped out, 90" of hard uphill running followed by 90" or so or downhill recovery running, that we ran 6 times. A good strength workout.

We headed over to the U of A pool to swim in the afternoon. It was yards again (Yeah!) and we put in 5000 yards, a mixture of swim, pull, and some pace 100's.
600 swim, 600 Pull Neg Split, 6 x 100 on 1:15
400 swim, 400 Pull Neg Split, 4 x 100 on 1:15
300 swim, 300 Pull Neg Split, 3 x 100 on 1:15
300 swim, 300 Pull Neg Split, 3 x 100 on 1:15

The Texas women's team was still there, and swam after us today. I managed to snag a Texas swim cap from their coach....Hook Em Horns!

Monday we were back at the University, as Fort Lowell pool was closed because it was Martin Luther King Jr Day here in the US. 5000 yards this morning, though I can't quite remember what the workout was. I remember that we did a couple sets with the "Power Towers" which are basically a pulley system that you lift up a large pail of water as you swim (a good strength workout!!) We did a 2hr base ride in the afternoon, spinning the legs out. 60km in total, basically the same route as we did on Friday.

Ready to use the Power Towers

Power Towers in action, as we swim across the pool, we lift the buckets up

Tuesday was a full day of activity, starting with a trip back to the pool (this time at Fort Lowell, which means LCM).

400,200,2x100 IM
12 x 50 (alt build, ez)
2 x (3 x 200 on 3:00, 3 x 50 on 60, 250 ez)
Got down to 2:20 or so on the 200's....felt good in the water today
1500 aerobic pull, negative split
100 ez

We then headed out for a ride at noon, with the goal of 3hrs or so, including a climb up Mt Lemmon. Jordan and Kyle set the pace on the front, riding really well. I just put my I Pod on, and settled into my own rhythm, I wasn't going to get caught up trying to ride above my limits this early in the year. I stopped at mile 11 and rode back home with Kyle. I was 57.5 min this time, week 1 was 62 min. Most of the group rode to mile 14, with Sean, Paul and JonnyO riding to mile 18.
A 40 min easy run in Sabino Canyon with Kyle ended the day (9km)

Climbing Mt Lemmon

Looking down Mt Lemmon

And it finally brinigs me to today's training. 5000m this morning in the endurance set this morning.

300 swim, 200 kick, 300 swim, 200 kick
12 x 50 (every 3rd fast) on 50"
4 x 800 w. 30" rest (2 pull, 1 PB only, 1 swim)
200 easy

We headed over to the Wash at noon, for our weekly fartlek workout.

2 rounds of (2x90 secs w/ 90 secs, 2x60 secs w/ 60 secs, 2x30 secs, w/ 30 secs, 2x15 secs w/ 15 secs) It was a good opportunity to get the leg turnover going, which was really tough as I was feeling leg heavy from the climbing yesterday!! An hour easy spin later in the day brought the day to a close.

Our group here in Tucson....(L to R) Joel, Jordan, Simon, Colin, Sean, Dano, Kathy, Paul, JonnyO, Andrew, Kyle)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Shootout ....and other fun stuff on Saturday

Today was the shootout ride here in Tucson, which is a big group ride that starts downtown near the university. The group ranges in size depending on the time of the year, with numerous pro cyclists usually around for the ride. A write-up of today's ride can be found here.

Map of the Shootout ride, complete with a course profile.

The group ended up being over 125 riders I'd say. We rolled out of town around 7:35 am, with the mercury hovering right around the freezing mark. It was chilly for the first 30 mins, as the group slowly rolled through town, picking up riders as we went along. Once the sun came fully up, and the pace picked up, we all started to warm up.

The first 30 min or so is the warm-up, and then it is game on. Once the terrain starts to climb, the group starts to fracture. I was able to hang onto the tail end of the lead group until around 30km, at which I fell off the back as did others. Luckily for me, Joel was following behind, and pulled in front of me to give me a draft back up to the group. Thanks to his help, I was able to get back onto the small group of guys just off the back, but as my luck would have it, they had blown up as well...and we weren't able to get back on. Joel tried to give me another draft up to the group...but I was close to red-lining at this point, and ended up missing the pain train at the front. It turns out it was a good ride for our guys who were in the front group (Simon, Kyle, Colin, Paul, Sean, Jordan) with some contested hill sprints by Colin.

I settled into a group of 5 riders, and we started to work efficiently together, trying to limit our losses. We picked up a group of 6 or 7 riders up the road (all while still climbing a false flat) and had a nice group of 11 riders, who were all taking even pulls. We rode together from 30-50km or so, until we got down to Duval Mine Rd, where half our group took the route back into town (60 mile ride), while half went the longer way (100 mile ride) to tack on some more miles. I was on the back trying to eat a Clif Bar while we were flying down the road at 50km/hr. I had no idea which way to go, and made the wrong decision, and ended up on the long route. Another rider and I ended up turning around and getting back onto the course, but the group was gone. Once I got down to a set of lights, I stopped and saw a group coming up from behind. I joined in with them as they went by, and we had a nice group of 10 or so to work together coming back into town.

We ended up catching the front group just as we made it back into town, where I proceeded to blow my front tire about 2km from the end of the ride. Luckily Joel was behind us at this point (he had been following the lead group, and Kyle had just flatted and taken the spare wheel) so I called it a day and jumped into the van.

We covered 96km in 2hr 44 min. It turned out to be a really good ride, save for a few rough patches of road on the way out. Hopefully we'll ride again next weekend.

After a group breakfast/brunch downtown, we headed back to the condos. A quick shower, and Sean and I hit the road again to head back downtown to the University to catch the #4 ranked University of Arizona Women's Swim Team duel against #15 ranked Texas. Arizona really out swam Texas today, taking the top 2 or 3 spots in most events, but they swam a bunch of swimmers as exhibition, so the final score (134-120 Arizona) seemed a lot closer than the meet actually was. The Arizona Men's Team swam today as well, but just against each other. They swam some impressive times coming off Christmas training, and just swimming against each other.

After the meet, as Sean and I were heading back to the car, we wandered into the McKale Center, which is home to the Mens and Womens basketball teams. The women were playing against California, and it was cool to see the gym where so many NBA players played in college. The Men play against #5 Washington St on Thursday night, I'm hoping to get over and watch the game.

Simon, Jordan, Sean, and I ran for 40 min in Sabino Canyon later in the afternoon, the leg felt better today...a lil heat rub on it, then wrap in tensor bandage. Some stretching and ice on it afterwards, and we'll see how it is tomorrow.

Our house headed our for some pizza tonite, as Jasper Blake is in town. It was good to see Jazz again. Jazz got in late last night....but still headed out for a 6.5 hr ride today. He rode all the way to the top of Mt Lemmon today, and has another 5 hrs or so of riding scheduled for tomorrow.

Here's a couple photo's that Joel took from our group ride on Friday.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thursday and Friday....


We headed out to Saguaro National Park for our long base run. We had a planned 95' run. I ended up running 75' (15.5km) as my leg was hurting me, so I cut it short. The trails we ran on in there were pretty awesome....a mixture of single tracks, sand, crossing river beds, and some short hills. Luckily Sean, Kathy and I had a map, our we might have gotten lost.

We finished the day off with a 3000m recovery swim over at Fort Lowell pool.

300 swim, 200 Kick, 300 swim, 200 Kick
400 swim, 4 x 100 (stroke/free)
300 swim, 3 x 100 (stroke/free)
200 swim, 2 x 100 (stroke/free)
200 Kick


A sleep in day!! We weren't in the pool until 10am, when we headed over to the U of A pool to swim today. was yards again!! I think that pumped me up for the workout more than anything. Yards and I just go well together.

400 swim, 200 Kick, 2 x 100 IM
24 x 100 as 6 x (1:25,1:20,1:15,1:10)
200 ez
3 x 300 Pull (1-3) (3:40, 3:20, 3:07)
100 ez

I ended up getting down to 58-1:00 for the 4th 100 of each set, so the swimming is coming around finally, I think.

We ended the day with a 2hr base ride as a group. We headed out and rode through Bear Canyon, and then down Old Spanish trail. The pace was prolly a lil bit faster than a base ride, but done and done. 67km ride in 2 hrs.

Tomorrow morning is the Famous Tucson Shootout Ride. Should be interesting.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tour de France...

If you're looking for a team to cheer for this year when the Tour starts, take a look at Team Slipstream/Chipotle, an American team that is trying to change the way cycling is.

When the team was formed, it began participating in the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE) program with the aim of helping to eliminate doping in professional cycling. Participants are extensively tested, developing a bio-stable marker profile. Future tests check that these markers have not moved - if they have the rider is either ill or has taken performance enhancing drugs. If any change has been noted, the rider cannot participate in racing until the markers have returned to normal levels.

Click the picture below for an interesting article from ESPN about the team.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hump Day

Another busy day of training today, which started out like most mornings in the pool.

4200m for me this morning, and I'm happy that I am starting to feel better in the water, and should be back up to my normal self in a few days.

1000 SKIDS (swim, kick, IM, drill, swim)
16 x 50 on 45" (every 4th one fast)
12 x 50 on 50" (every 3rd one fast)
8 x 50 on 55" (every other fast)
4 x 50 on 60" (all fast)

5 x 200 (odds Pull w. paddles, evens 50 stroke/50 free)
200 warm-down

Home for some food, relax for the rest of the morning, and get prepped for a 70' fartlek run to start the afternoon off. We drove down to the dried up river (or wash as it called here). 35' warm-up, some stretching, drills and strides...then into the meat of the workout.

30",60", 2', 4', 4', 2', 60", 30" with half the previous interval rest time in between (ie, 15 " rest after the first 30" interval). My right upper quad was a bit tight today, so I backed off the efforts a bit today, don't want the leg to get out of control.

We finished off the day with an easy 60" group spin. The legs are a bit fatigued right now, but I've got some dinner in me now, and just relaxing and getting ready for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a bit lighter compared to the last couple days....95' long run in the morning, followed by a 3000m recovery swim in the afternoon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday and Tuesday Training...

Bit slow with the blogging recently...So I've got two days of workouts here.

Monday was a bit of a rest day, as we swam in the morning, 4000m in total, though I can't really remember what we did. From there, we had an easy 90' base ride as a group. We headed out towards Bear Canyon, did a lil loop over there, and headed back. It was really windy out, which made for a fun ride, trying to hide from the wind.

And the best news of the day was the fact that we've now got internet service in our unit. After a couple of phone calls, I had to drive up north a bit to get our modem, which ended up being a 90' trip, but it was worth it!

Tuesday brought a morning group ride in downtown Tucson. The group was not that big (we made up half the group) but it was still a tough ride. 62km in total. It was the first hard effort of the season on the bike for me, and I definitely felt it when the pace picked up! We had a good ride, with everyone regrouping at the top of Gates Pass, which is pictured below.

Colin ended up getting a flat just as the pace picked up this morning, and it was no ordinary flat. Check out the gash in his tire below (he had to put a powergel inside his tire to get back to the van to grab the spare wheel).

I ran for 45 min in Sabino Canyon, and then we swam 4000m to finish off the day. Feeling a bit better in the pool, as the stroke is almost there. 800m warm-up, followed by 3 x 500 Pull, 100 ez, 5 x 300, and 100 ez.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Short Course Yards!!!

The best day of training this week....we got to swim yards today in the pool!!
I'm the only one in the group who prefers to swim yards, everyone else prefers to swim Long Course I was in heaven today when we went over to the University of Arizona to swim.

We started off the morning with a 90 min run in Sabino Canyon. We took the roadway all the way to the end, which meant that we ended up crossing the stream that flows through the canyon about 5-6 times. The first time we all took our shoes off, but then we said screw it and decided to just run across. From there we went up a 1 mile trail full of switchbacks up the side of the canyon to the top. We hopped on the Telephone Trail, and ran the last 3.7 miles back down and towards the start. The view from the trail cut into the side of the canyon was amazing!! I wish that I had my camera along with me. Total run was 16.5km, with some good hill running in there.

We then headed over to the university and swam 5000 yards. The Arizona campus is amazing. 20 lane outdoor pool, large tennis facility, the massive football stadium, the school has got it all.

600 swim, 600 pull, 6 x 100 on 1:25
400 swim, 400 pull, 4 x 100 on 1:25
300 swim, 300 pull, 3 x 100 on 1:25
200 swim, 200 pull, 2 x 100 on 1:25
100 swim, 100 pull, 1 x 100 on 1L25
200 easy

We all went out for some mexican food for dinner, where we were able to watch the end of the Giants/Cowboys game. Should be some good football games next week!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Long ride, and some football

Long group ride this morning. We rolled out of the condo unit at 830, dressed fairly warm as the temp was 38 F or so. Once the sun got higher in the sky, it warmed up. We ended up riding for just under 3 hrs, with a nice rolling ride out towards Colossal Caves, and back home. We were going to climb a bit of Mt Lemmon today, but we decided against it.

2hr 57 min

After some lunch, it was time for the first football game of the day; on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, Seattle Vs. Green Bay. At the half, Simon, Paul, Sean and I headed out for a 40 min easy run up through Sabino Canyon (44 min, 9.1km). Now it's time for some food, and then the game I'm looking forward to, Jacksonville @ New England.

Friday, January 11, 2008


We were out for a ride today, rolling along in a group when we came to a red light. As it went green, I got out of the saddle to get up to speed, and next thing I hear is crraacckk. I looked down, and noticed a huge crack in my carbon handlebars. I guess the torque on the handlebars made them snap, as they snapped from the bottom. Good thing I wasn't moving faster, as it could have ended up ugly.
We were only 8km into the ride, so I left the group, and turned around to ride home. I obviously couldn't grasp the right handlebar, so I had to put my right hand on the stem, to ride home.

Simon gave me a ride to Sabino Cycles once he got back from the ride, and my bike is now back up and running. I'll get to test out the new handlebar set-up tomorrow, as we have a 2hr 30 min ride scheduled.

4000m in the pool this morning, some more aerobic stuff, with a little bit of activation at the end of the workout.

400 swim, 200 kick, 200 IM
3 x 800 Pull w. 45" rest in between.
200 ez
4 x 100 on 1:30 steady, 100 on 1:45
300 ez warm-down

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Today we had the benefit of sleeping in an extra hour or so this morning.
We don't have pool time on Thursday mornings, instead we get it in the afternoon.

We headed out at 8am in the van, destined for Saguaro National Park for our long run. The run was 75 minutes for most of us, with Kyle and Jordan running 90 minutes. We ran in smaller groups, and I ended up running with Bechtel the whole way. We stuck to the paved road that looped through the park. It was a tough loop!! 8 hilly miles, we ran past the van, and went a little bit further to get our 75 minutes in. Some of those hills were pretty steep, it made for a good challenging loop. I think we may ride that loop on our bike a couple times.

75 minutes

We finished off the day with a recovery swim at the pool at 3pm.
3000m as: 1000 SKIDS (swim, kick, IM, drill, swim), 2 x (300 pull, 3 x 100 non-free) 8 x 50 (2 breakout, 2 drill) and finished off with 200 kick, and 200 easy.

Some Photo's from Tucson

Here is a link to photo's that Coach Joel took from day 1 of the camp.

Click here to see them.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Jumping Right In


Day 2 of the camp has come and gone, and today we got right into the swing of things.

We started out in the pool, with another 5000m, highlighted with a main set of (5 x 300 Pull (1-5) followed by 5 x 300 swim (1-3). Back to back 5km days took it's toll on me today, as I was hurting towards the end of the workout. I figure this first week will be enough to get accustomed to the rigors of 5km workouts.

The main workout of the day was a 2hr 35 min ride (73.5km). We rode the 20km over to the base of Mt Lemmon, and it was decided that we would ride to the 11 mile mark of the 25 mile climb.

17.5 km
62 min total time climbing.

I'm sure we'll be venturing the whole way up pretty soon.

Here's a map of the whole climb

A 40 min run with Simon, Kyle and Jordan, finished off the day. For the run, I decided to test out my new Nike + I Pod attachment that I got for Christmas. It was cool to run, and be able to see how far we had gone, just by looking down at the screen of my I Pod.
We ended up running 36 min, and run an easy 7.5km.

I'll get an entry up in the next few days with some pictures, I promise!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tucson Training Camp 2008

I'm here in sunny Tucson Arizona for our three week base camp. This'll be a short blog entry, as I'm limited with the internet right now.

The whole group was together this morning ready to go on the pool deck. It was a balmy 45 F, as we converted the pool over from a 25 yard set up into a 50 meter setup, and then hopped in.
4800m later, we were finished, picked up some groceries, and headed home. We also got in a 60 min run in the Sabino Canyon on some wicked trails, and a 90 min easy group ride to end the day.

Tomorrow we're back in the pool at 7am, and I think we're riding later in the morning. We'll see what the day brings.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

In a couple of days, I will be getting away from weather like this:

and heading down to weather like this:

Monday, I'll be flying out of Buffalo bound for a 3 week training camp in Tucson Arizona. It'll be good to hook up with the group again, as they are all flying in the same day from Victoria and other areas. The camp will be a solid base camp, putting the time in. We'll be swimming most every morning, and riding and running on the numerous roads and trails around us. The picture above is the start of the 40km climb from Tucson up Mt Lemmon. I'm sure we'll be making the trek up once or twice.

The blog will be updated daily again come Monday. Stay tuned.