Saturday, September 2, 2017

Cross Triathlon World Championships

Holy Shit- it worked! My barely-organized chaos of random training with juggling family life and responsibilities got me where I wanted to be.


The 2017 ITU Multisport World Championships was held in Penticton, BC from Aug. 17-27th. I qualified for the Cross-Triathlon (off-road) at last years Nationals event on the same course. For most of the past 6 months, this was my "A-Race" and the focus of early season workouts and races. I was trying to focus my energy on being more well-rounded this year in regards to keeping up with my family, spending quality time with the kids as they learn and grow and to help my wife now that we have two munchkins and she is back working part-time.  
A part of this balance is being able to take off some responsibility at work. We lucked out by hiring a sensational new associate (Simon rocks, seriously!). For this, I am most happy about because it gives me a few extra hours each week to duck out for solo training sessions that got me to the fitness for this race. 

In recap for the race, I was quite shocked to be given a Canadian flag to sprint to the finish line, because I had no idea where my placing was. I didn't know if I was 1st or 51st. I was in a bit of a mental state having to regain control after I cramped up hard on the end of the bike and early run. 

Exit the swim - TriCanada Photo

The swim was fairly straight forward: slog through 1500m and get to the first transition (to bike). I found out on race morning that it would not be a wetsuit swim because the water was too warm (22C) so I needed to get my mind in gear for a technical focused start. At the start I was able to duck-dive 16x and take the lead, with the lake being so shallow at the start. I did, however, drop back into behind the first swim group by the 500m mark. I could not get my nerves settled and get into a rhythm. I was able to slide into a draft from a fast Aussie and we cruised through the last 500 m and powered through to the beach for the transition.

The bike was fast! As I climbed the first hill up towards the Kettle Valley Railway and the 7km ride out to the trails, I caught a Kiwi and we ended up working together drafting (legally!) off each other. I had to take a slow start to the single track climb because I was maxed out and I knew we were ascending 600m+ in one shot. For some reason the more I climbed the stronger I felt and the more people I passed. I got by 5+ guys going up and even passed the speedy Kiwi before the technical steeps. My game plan was "no mistakes" on the ride and especially important was to prevent any mechanicals and flats (which de-railed my race last year). Just as I exited the trail system, two major things happened: my legs started to cramp, just a few tweaks at first, and I knew I cooked my legs on the blistering fast ride. The second thing, and more importantly, I caught up to a speedy Spaniard who towed me in TT style all the way to the second transition. I owed him big time (and I bought him a beer at the Awards ceremony that night) I would not have been able to ride out the KVR very fast if it weren't for him. 

On the transition of bike to run, luckily, I grabbed a nutrition bottle and gel because I was about to experience total cramping within 500m. I downed the bottle and gel and tried to get my legs back. Right before the hills started my body said NO, this is NOT happening. Never before have I had total quad spasm and contraction for 30sec+, I grabbed a light post and hung on so I wouldn't fall over. I couldn't believe it. Was this it- the end of my race.... why the F*&k wouldn't my quads stop seizing. After what seemed like eternity (and 5 guys passed me) I was able to start a slow shuffle, being hunched over and started to get the legs flushed out. I climbed the hills by walking with hands on knees and short strided the downs. Once I got up to the Kettle Valley Rail trail, I knew I had 4 km of flats so I just got the stride turnover sped up and I was miraculously able to pick up the pace. I shifted gears and was able to pass four guys that got by me on my earlier bonk-party. Back onto the trails I was able to take down one more guy in the water section where the trail has 1km of lakeside calf-deep water. In the last 1km of the run into the finishing straight I felt my hamstrings starting the same cramping cycle. I knew I was totally tapped out so I tried to pick it up early so I wouldn't need to sprint the finishing straights. Luckily nobody challenged me and I was able to to cruise to the finish.

It was a feeling of success, not only on the day being able to re-gain composure after near blow-up but the training from the past few months being not that bad. I still feel that I could put together a better race but I was happy with the results. The pursuit of excellence keeps me coming back for more


One last thing: I could not go this far without the support of my wife. She gets me and knows I enjoy training and racing. She is such a rockstar and I can't believe I found such an amazing woman to share this journey with. My kids make me want to do the best I can so that some day they might do the same. 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Try it again...


This year has been a completely different experience right from January 1st until today. I'm currently off work with a separated shoulder (AC joint) and a newborn baby. They both arrived within a day of each other and I was totally helpless when my beautiful daughter showed up.


The beginning of the year was unseasonably cold and the Comox Valley had a foot of snow frozen for 3 months everywhere. And this being Canada it might not seem out of the ordinary. But, not here on Vancouver Island. We normally see a few days of minimal snow each year, if any. So the trails that I normally train on were plugged with snow and the roads were crappy to run or bike on. I did, however lucky, was get a Mid-Fat bike this fall. It's kinda like a cross between a normal mtn bike and fat-tire snow bike. The tires are 27.5 Plus sized, which is  anything between 2.8x to 3.2x. It means the bike floats ontop of the sand, mud or snow and doesn't get too bogged down. I was able to ride this 3-4x/week through those frozen months.
 In addition to the new snow sport of fat-biking, I have kept up with my Nordic roots in the cross-country skiing. It is a bit slower these days with hauling around a crew in the chariot. Sometimes I get a bit a help with my dog Penny by hooking her up to the leash for a lead out. 

One other sport I have been interested in for a long time. Surf-ski! A racing kayak with possibilites to surf waves or ride a wake for long distances.



Leading into this year in regards to racing, I was planning the traditional early running races (Island Series) from Jan - April, and then Mtn bike racing (Island Cup) from March - May. I was either away or sick for every running race and only make 2 back-to back Island Cup Races in early March.

The Canada Cup @ Bear Mountain was an amazing venue, as it is the location for the National Mtn Bike team training centre. Lots of trails, and some new ones from last year.

The hammerfest xc bike race in Errington (just north of Parksville) is a really fun rolling and flowy trail system. Not as many top elite riders showed up but I managed to hammer it hard.

Now, with the newborn and getting back to work soon, I don't really have any races on the calendar. Except for the Cumby, Cumberland's newest trail running race. I will be in the 23km "short course" as this year also has a 50km ultramarathon. May 13th with be a good day.

The rest of the summer with be hanging with my little family and training for the World Cross Triathlon Championships (Off-road) in Penticton mid August.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Training Modifications

2016 Off-Road Triathlon Nationals (AG Silver)
Cross Triathlon Nationals AG Silver
This year I took a different approach to training for triathlon. I experimented with shorter, more frequent sessions, and longer recovery periods. And, it worked! The aim was to have many small and short training sessions throughout the week along with an occasional major brick workout to push the limit. The goal was to balance family life/work/training (in that order) to try and be efficient with my time (a limited resource these days!).



The average week I would train 8-10 hours and this would be combining bike commuting, mtn biking, run training and a small smattering of swimming sessions, core strength and weights. The majority of my training was in shorter sessions (usually lasting 30-45 minutes) but more often. Usually two short sessions a day. Every 10 days or two weeks, when time would permit, I would do an epic brick session for 3-5hrs - this would involve mainly biking and running. On the image above and below, you can see a few times a month you can see a big spike in time spent training. I feel these epic sessions spaced farther apart gave adequate time to recover and let the adaptation occur and build endurance.
The average week run training sessions would involve 3-4 runs/week, averaging 30-40km. This is much less than I normally do, being a running specialist in the past, but for triathlon. I would make sure to do a hard session of hills or intervals and also one medium long run (60-90min or 12-18km) each week. Almost every run is on trails, for a softer uneven surface and changing directions and with hills included.

I usually cycle to work 3-4x/week and that is about 20km round trip. I use that as most of my bike time, as cycling takes up the most amount of time for training. On the commute home, I would do an extra 10-20km every other day when time permits. The change this year is that I got my single speed road bike going again that is geared really high and develops power over the hills. On the average I would get one mountain bike ride and one road bike ride a week as well (averaging 200km/week in 6 rides).

Swimming is my downfall, I straight up do not swim enough during the year. I enjoy swimming in open water (lake, ocean, river) as opposed to the pool. This year from January I spent a grand total of 3 sessions in the pool. I will try to incorporated more focus to swimming this year.

I feel the key component for me is building strength and power. I'm not a particularly strong athlete or have explosive power but if I can get better it will compliment endurance.  I do like going to the gym and feel that it is a good stress relief in a short workout. I mainly hit the squat rack for a progression of Olympic lifting (squats, lunges, and deadlifts). Along with core strength I like to do some box jumps and balance drills to finish it off.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Racing Season 2016

This year I have made a few changes to my traditional plan and I want to focus on a few different priorities. Of course, my family is the highest importance and this is where I want to spend most of my spare time. I do feel though that I need to make time for my fitness. It not only helps me clear my mind and keeps me mentally calm but it gives me a goal that I can aim towards. I feel that I can be more engaged with my family, friends, and business if I get enough exercise EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Some exciting developments in the triathlon and trail running realm in that coming to BC this year. First, the Canada Cup Mountain Bike race was hosted here on Vancouver Island at Bear Mountain in Victoria. On March 5th, the top mountain bikers in Canada travelled to Victoria for a great early-season blast off. 

I was able to compete and ended up 3rd in my Category (masters 30-39). It was four muddy loops of a 5km course. A ton of climbing with over 800m elevation in the 20km race. 

Totally exhausted at Bear Mountain - Kevin Light Photo

My next few weeks will be taken up with some mountain biking and road running races aiming toward the next two big races.

First, the Cumby 20km Trail Running Race. Brand new this year, mapped out to have tons of hills and explore the amazing trails in Cumberland. 

Secondly, the ITU (International Triathlon Union) has jumped on board with Off-Road triathlons (like Xterra) and is hosting the 2017 World Championship qualifier in Penticton on Aug. 25th! A summer of training for swim, mtn bike, and trail run is exactly what I want to do all summer. 

Here are my seasons races (roughly)

March 5 -  Bear Mountain Canada Cup Mtn Bike Race 
March 6 - Bazan Bay 5k Run Race Sidney, BC
March 13 - Hammerfest Parksville XC mtn bike race
March 20 - CV 1/2 Marathon 
April 10 - Cobble Hill Trail Running Race
April 17 - Cumberland xc Mtn bike race
April 24 - Snow to Surf relay race
May 1 - BMO Vancouver 1/2 marathon (BC 1/2 marathon championships)
May 28 - Inagural Cumby 20km trail run Cumberland
June 11 - 12 hours of Cumberland Mt. Bike 4 Person Relay
June 26 - Lazo Road Bike Race Courtenay CVCC
July 3 - Cowichan Challenge Triathlon Almost Olympic Distance
Aug. 27th ITU Cross Triathlon Penticton - Off-road Triathlon
Sept.  24th MOMAR Adventure Race Cumberland


Rough times at Bazan Bay 5km - facebook image 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Accelerated Recovery

In Hawaii, during the preparation for the Xterra Off-Road triathlon world championships, I wrecked my ankle. I rolled over on it during a recon run of the course and slipped on the mud that turns to a skating rink with a bit if rain, hence the name "Maui Ice"!
I have spent the time to getting the recovery I need: I want to be stronger for next time. I know that an ankle sprain is not planned or expected and is truly an accident... But maybe it could have been prevented.
My left leg has been the weak link in the system for a long time. Quad weakness and tension into calf and ankle mobility. I haven't been as confident taking big drops and landing with that leg and I have mini-rolled it multiple times this past few years. It was a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off but it just happened to be the World Championships to blow.


A full two weeks after the race I utilized the expertise of the Naturopathic Physician at Fit Chiropractic and Sports Therapy, Dr. David Milanovich, to work with his speciality of prolotherapy. Basically it involves injecting a solution with a needle into the joint space to initiate a healing response and help the body lay down collagen fibres and build a stronger joint. It definitely hurts like a bitch while he was doing it and I may have cried a little bit. Afterwards it feels like I re-sprained the joint with it being all hot and swollen. I also had him work on my knee while he was set up. 


A few weeks later, and now a few months later, I'm well on my way to full recovery. I'd say I'm at 95% and my knee feels stronger as well. The next few months will determine how it actually has healed.



Thursday, November 5, 2015

Xterra Worlds Recap

A few days have gone by and I have had some time to digest all the things that went down on race day. I would say I had a total Xterra experience of heat, hills, and ass-kicking.
Chaos of the swim

The few days leading up to the race are a blur now that I think back. I was focusing most of my nervous energy on trying to heal my sprained ankle (or contemplating dropping out) and trying to escape the heat. With some helpful sport therapy from my friend and training partner Clay, we decided my ankle would be alright, as long as I didn't fall on my bike or turn sharp corners on the run. A tough call when it is an extreme mountain course to maneuver! I ended up taping most of the ankle with Rock Tape to keep it rigid and limit more roll-overs.

I felt that I had a great swim arriving at the beach within the second main group and ran up the hill into the first transition. After a smooth and effortless swim-bike transition I completed a blistering 24km of the 32km mountain bike course passing people most of the way but in my mind not over-doing it. At the 24km mark, just before the second bike aid-station, my left hamstring (sprained ankle side) started giving signs that something was not right. You know that feeling like it is "going to cramp" well, that was showing up every little uphill surge. Soon after I was cramping every time I lightly pedalled uphill. And with 4000+ ft vertical, especially in the last 10km, there were some doozies to get through. Initially I had to stop and stretch out my hamstrings and I downed my last electrolyte gel and salt tab. I walked the hills and rolled the flats for the next 4km dropping approximately 15-20minutes in the process. I finally cruised into the second transition happy to have that over with. I downed a few cups of electrolyte drink and flushed myself with ice water. The first 500m of the run started alright but then the hamstrings and quads cramped again for the next 3km and I had to walk/jog or else I would seize up. I just shuffled along like a guy who couldn't lift his feet off the ground for the first 4km dropping another 10-15 minutes. After some time and 3-4 litres of electrolyte and water at the aid stations I regained composure and was able to actually run with some speed for the next 6km and ran fairly hard passing a handful of people. Until... I hit the sand section. 
Start of the 10km trail run

Think standing crabwalk with spastic pauses due to cramping. Due to the angle of the beach and my left hamstring seizing with any excessive shortening, I literally could not move forward. So, I improvised and started a left leg forward cross-over to run crab style, with all my humility, I was completely at capacity. I, however, didn't care too much, I was 300m from the finish. I just barely squeaked in before collapsing to the ground with medical aid putting ice water and towels on me. 

Official Results here. 



I always like to write down the top things I did well in the race and top things I totally need to re-think.
The good stuff:
- maximizing recovery from a bad ankle sprain five days prior
- controlling nerves before the race with excellent sleeps leading up to and including the night before
- maintaining my cool with all the hype on race morning
- having a nutrition plan that in theory was rock solid
- a solid swim and efficient transitions
- regaining muscle function mid-race after complete cramping

The not-so-good-stuff:
- not treating my tight muscles before the race from compensating for the ankle sprain
- dropping a gel mid bike and not picking up a replacement at the aid station
- not having 2 water bottles for the ride or knowing how much I would need due to sweating 

After going through these items I have a better feeling about how the race went. I certainly had a lot to learn from racing in these hot ass-kicking conditions. I'm content with my race results but I have so much more to accomplish here!

I want to give a shout out to Mike and Jordan at THE BROKEN SPOKE, my bike shop guys, who hooked me up with a light race bike and made sure it was race ready. My swim coaches Lynday and Leanne with PACE Multisport. And my shoe people at Extreme Runners in Courtenay.



Clay and I post race and after cooling down

Friday, October 30, 2015

Xterra Tapering

The taper has started - the best part of training!

The off-road triathlon World championships party has started. Four days of pre-race festivities on Maui at the Xterra Expo with all the sponsors and vendors showing the latest and greatest gear or technical clothing. It is all with a crowd of 1000+ athletes super anxious and happy to be here. It's funny to see some athletes scrambling to get a race advantage with a "lighter water bottle holder" or "less rolling resistance tire tread" and arguing which is best. I know I have the best so I don't need to argue... Haha kidding. Or maybe not.

I was able to scope out the beach where the swimming portion of the race happens. There was a big storm that was pushing 8-10 foot waves crashing on shore and it looked quite dangerous to try and "practice" a running entry & exit without doing some personal damage or getting sucked out by a riptide. The water is forecasted to calm in the next few days. I rode the bike course, well the first 5km and the last 8km, today and enjoyed it. It has tons of climbing and a bunch of quick switchbacks and narrow zigzags to get through. The mud is slimy and very slick - it is called "Maui ice" and I can see why.
The big reason why I wanted to get on the bike course today was because I unfortunately severely sprained my ankle two days ago... I was out on a very easy run finishing up a course Recon and on a mini downhill and a slippery root I ripped myself a new one and crashed head-first into the thick forest. I instantly felt nauseous with that body grip of pain, I checked my ankle and it had immediate swelling and throbbing with pain. The scary thought was that I felt and heard a snap or pop. Is it broken? Are the ligaments torn? My mind was racing and not sure what to do. After a few minutes I was able to hobble out the last kilometre and put my ankle in the ocean to cool off a bit.


Bruising and swelling showed up the first day, as expected. After ruling out a full fracture or worse- a ligament tear, I have hit the full gamut of Sports-Med protocols for fast recovery: P.R.I.C.E. Protect, rest, ice, compress, and elevate is the topic of the last few days and my wife is tired of hearing about it, I'm sure! I've also done some light effleurage massage and graston therapy to flush the swelling out. I've been heavily supplementing with Fish oils, Vit. B's and tons of veggies. My last approach is with hydration: Water...and some ice cold brew. The last item might be the best for my mind- I have to realize I'm here on vacation. On a side note my new favourite beer is the Maui Brewing coconut porter! 



Two more days and it's go time! It's all just tapering now and enjoying the experience. I'm going to test out my ankle running tomorrow to see if it's even possible. For now, I'm enjoying time with my family here.




Thursday, October 8, 2015

Off Road triathalon Worlds

The Xterra Off-Road triathlon World Championships will be in Maui on Sunday, Nov. 1st, 2015. For the past few years I have been hoping to qualify and attend. This year has come together and I have booked my ticket. I have spent most of the spring and summer getting out for a few rides and runs but now it is time to get serious about putting it all together for the 1500m Ocean swim, 32km mtn bike, and 10km Trail Run. In training for this race a few important items need to be addressed. The first, being the possibility of excessive heat and humidity:
Not that 26-27C is that hot, it is with the 72% humidity that I'm a bit worried about. Trying to train for this has been including the regular Mtn bike, and running sessions, along with some swimming and strength training, all while wearing too many layers. I want to train my body deal with sweating excessively - and being able replenish lost fluids with hydration.

I can hardly contain my excitement for this trip. I want to train all the time... however, I do have other priorities including family and a recent newborn son (that likes to party all night, and sleep all day) and a business, Fit Chiropractic, to keep moving forward. Luckily my amazing and supportive wife has given me the thumbs up to compete and train for this big race (as long as she can join me in Hawaii).

A recent hill working in Cumberland I spend shredding my legs trying to get used to accelerating uphill constantly.


I have been trying to lighten the load with regards to biking (instead of actually loosing weight) I purchased a very light weight bike, a 29" tire hardtail for specifically cross country riding from Mike at The Broken Spoke in Courtenay
In the swimming side of things, I try to get to the pool a few times a week but I feel the open water swimming would be better. It is, though, getting quite cold in the lake or River, and tough to force myself for a workout. Hopefully the week of acclimatization I have given myself in Hawaii to practice open water will suffice.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fall Seasonal

The rest of the summer was a bit of a tornado with playing with my new baby boy Leo and tons of visitors to hang out with. I was able to compete in a few local events.

1. Comox Nautical Days 4 Miler. Which is BC's oldest road race. I was able to sneak this one in and enjoyed participating in the local CV running club's race. I was only a bit off my time from the year before but I was nipped by the local barefoot legend Robin Poirier. A must do event! During the BC Day Long weekend.

2. Campbell River (Snowden Forest) 50km Challenge. It was a beautiful rolling forest trails with beams of sunshine breaking through the forest. I did the "relay" component but doing both 25km legs of mountain biking and trail running. I will definitely do it again next year.

3. I missed the Waverly Dirt Crit - a bike race through the Waverly pub in Cumberland! Also, the Coal Cross, a cyclocross race at Comox Lake was a legendary tough race in early September.

I have qualified for the Xterra World Championships in Hawaii on November 1st. I'm very excited to be going and have modified my training plan accordingly. The Xterra event is an Off-road triathlon consisting of a 1500m swim in the ocean, 30km mountain bike ride, and a 12 km hilly trail run.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summer Cap

Summer is here! The days are long and hot. Dust is rising from the trails and there isn't much water in the rivers. I was able to hit a few local races this early summer with some success.

The training this spring and early summer hasn't had the quantity or quality. My recovery from these short, sporatic training sessions is almost non existence. And I'm okay with this... My wife and I had a new baby born mid June! Super happy baby boy with a big appetite.
This creates a huge change in time spent with focussed training but I'm happy with how everything has been so far.
The little Lion man 


Because the baby was a week late being born I was able to sneak in an active weekend winning both the 12hrs of Cumberland Mtb race with a 4 person team and the Country Roads 1/2 Marathon the following day. It was an extra bonus because I really felt I would be in Dad-mode that early June weekend.
Descending in the 12hrs of Cumberland 


The "A" Race of the summer was definately the Victoria Xterra on July 5th. It is a regional qualifier for Xterra World Championships in Hawaii in November. I really wanted to win my category to get the ticket for Worlds. My wife gave me the thumbs up that we could go (if I qualified).b

A few unknown athletes were in the starting gates setting up their bike when I arrived (late). As with any race, I want to size up the competition and see what my they look like. Are they fit, what gear are they using, what does there facial expression say... Everything adds to the picture and motivates me to convince myself I can match them, if not beat them!

The swim was not wet-suit legal, meaning the water temperature was above 22 C and we couldn't wear our efficient wetsuits. I felt that I had practised enough without a wetsuit for it to not bother me - but it did. I was  3.5 minutes slower than last year and it felt sloppy and ugly out there. I now needed to make up some time on the bike and run. I tuned my bike with lighter gear for efficiency but it is hard to make up 4 minutes in a race.

In the end, after the dusty technical ride and run, I ended up third overall. But, the first two athletes were considered "Elites" and I was given the first spot. I barely pulled it off because I was having leg cramping for the last climb on the bike and most of the run. It was a "damage control" type of finish.  I think it was due to the heat and humidity but it also could be that I pushed it too hard at the beginning of the bike to catch-up.

I'm happy to say that I was able to give it my all. But, I have lots of work to do if I want to be competitive in extra hot Maui for the Xterra World Championships in November.

The next race in the calendar is possibly the Campbell River 50k Challenge - 25km of Mountain Biking and 25km of Running (or any combo of that solo or with a relay team). Would it be better to bike 25km first or run? Hard to say.

After that, the classic Cumberland MOMAR Adventure Race is happening on Sept. 26th this year. I'm on a two person team and ready to hammer it.

Follow along on Strava:








Lets get out for a run or a bike together! Get in touch  Fit Chiropractic and Sport Therapy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2015 Races

The summer race season is just around the corner and much work has been done to get to this point. It does, however, never seem like I have not done enough - I always feel like I should have put a few extra long runs in or got a few more strength sessions at the gym to build power. Alas, it is here. I just finished my 2015 Island Race series cap during the Merville 15k on April 12th. I had a wonderful set of races except for one complete "BLOW UP" at the Comox Valley Half which had dropped my points just below the overall series win. It is a bit of a burn but it is what keeps me coming back for more and motivated to get better. I feel that I bounced back fairly quickly and was able to come out the end of the series at the same or better fitness level than last year. I will be at ready for the rest of the summer events, in the following order: (if you see something that is cool, send it my way!)

Apr. 25th - Tsolum River Race (Cycling) 60 or 80km race around the country roads of Merville.
Apr. 26th - Snow to Surf (9 Stage relay race from Mt. Washingtin through Comox Lake to paddling across the Comox Bay. My team is the "Thor's Hammer'd" and we hope to put some work on the old guard in town.
May 3rd - Nanimo XC race (Mtn Biking) Mid-island cross country.
May 10th - 6 hrs of Maple (Mtn Biking) A endurance feast! In Duncan and along the amazing trails.
May 24th Tri -K (Triathlon) Comox Valley fun race starting at the Sports Centre Pool and finishing on the track.
May 24th 12hrs of Cumberland Marathon (Mtn Biking) - In teams of 4, 2 or solo. A festival of fun.
May 31st - XC Championships Campbell River (Mtn Biking) - The finals in the Snowden trail network.
June 14th - Country Roads Marathon (Comox Valley 1/2 and full Marathon) A revisit of an old race right here in the beautiful Comox Valley.

July 5th - XTERRA Victoria - (Off-road Triathlon) The classic and my "A" Race.

Sept. 26th - MOMAR (Adventure Race) Kayaking, orienteering, mtn biking, running etc. A day of fun!

Follow along on Strava:








Call my office Fit Chiropractic and Sport Therapy at 250.871.3674 or email derek@drvinge.com

Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 Early Race Season

The 2015 edition of the Island Race Series us underway and some friendly and fierce competition has been seen. I truly enjoy getting out and seeing familiar faces and meeting new people at each race. The Comox Valley Road Runners have represented well. We are currently in 2nd place standings as a club on the Island.

Vancouver Half Marathon - Photo Pacific Road Runners




My next running races are:

Bazan Bay 5km March 8th
Comox Valley RV Half Marathon March 22nd
Merville River Runners 15km - April 5th
Series Finale Sooke River 10km - April 18th

Also, upcoming is the Island Cup mountain bike races!

Fit Chiropractic is Moving.



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Long Steady Distance


LSD - The term that I have used for years with tongue-in-cheek approach to base training. You know, the psychedelic drug well known for its psychological effect on spiritual experiences and altered sense of time.  It is a way, maybe, to create excitement about going for an extended length run at a slow pace.

In a sense, it is a relief to just go out and not worry about pace or lap times. No need to push the limit each interval faster than the last. No split times because there are no intervals! Often, the destination is the focal point - finish an entire trail network, loop around a lake, or summit a mountain.

I was encouraged by getting out with a few friends for an entire day jogging around the backcountry and reaching the summit of no less than three peaks; Mt. Castlecrag, Mt. Frink, and Mt. Albert Edward. The last of which has been a goal for a handful of years. Luckily the temperature was low and below freezing so the snow that had fallen weeks prior was now frozen solid but yet had some good grip. A good eight hours of steady running. It was getting close to that psychedelic LSD I was speaking of earlier.







For the next few months the long steady distance runs (not LSD!) are still going to persist in my training plan - not only because they are important for long term adaptation but because I truly enjoy them! The next step is starting to get intensity ramped up without over doing it OR getting injured. I have been shown a new tool in guiding my training to get to the next level. WHAT IS THE PROPER RECOVERY TIME?
More on this soon... Hint: heart rate variability.

The 2015 Race Calendar:

Jan. 8 - Saanichton 8km #1 Island Race Series/BC Champs/Timex Series
Jan. 25 - Cobble Hill 10km
Feb. 8 - Cedar 12km?
Feb. 15 - First Half - Vancouver 1/2 marathon
Feb. 22 - Hatley 8km?
Mar. 8 - Bazan Bay 8km
Mar. 22 - Comox Valley Half Marathon
Apr. 12 - Merville 15km
Jun. 14 - Country Roads Half Marathon - Comox Valley Marathon
etc.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Summer Racing Recap and Next Step

The season of competition came and went. Everything Almost everything went down as planned! I qualified for XTERRA worlds by winning the Victoria event (other than Elite Olympian Brent McMahon finishing ahead). I placed third in the Apple Triathlon in Kelowna, to end up 2nd at BC Provincials and qualify for the 2015 World Olympic triathlon championships in Chicago.

On the other side of things... I missed the start for a big race in Victoria, the same race as the new Victoria 1/2 IRONMAN event. Somehow through the craziness that is pre-race registration, I was distracted enough that I thought I was in the 8am start for the SPRINT triathlon.  I was actually in the OLYMPIC event that started 45 minutes earlier. After much discussion with race organizers to try and convince them to switch my category to the sprint event, I jumped on course and finished the bike and run component. I now consider it a very expensive training session never to be repeated again.

After the BC Olympic Triathlon Provincials in August, I took a much needed two week break from serious training. We got a new puppy, a golden doodle named Penny, and I spent time with family tooling around the amazing location that is the Comox Valley!



This two week break has turned into an enjoyable month and a half of just doing things I feel like. There was a cyclocross race here, an adventure race (MOMAR) there. Now, I think I'm ready to get back to some consistent training with semi-routine. I hope to build a good season of base training with putting in some miles running and cycling with a couple sessions working on overall strength, including Core strength.

I have joined the Comox Valley Rowing Club - another excellent club that rows on the river/estuary of the puntledge and Comox Bay. Also, the CV Cycle Club is a very passionate group of riders that I'm happy to be a part of.  With the changing of the seasons, soon the snow is going to fly in the alpine and the nordic skiing trails will open. I would like to get out a few days a week this year and work on nordic technique!  Now I just need to get the perfect balance of performance and recreation. Maybe this is a new genre of training: Recreational Performance.   I always like a partner in these activities, so please get in touch if you want to join me.

Follow along on Strava:








Call my office Fit Chiropractic and Sport Therapy at 250.871.3674 or email derek@drvinge.com


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Turning the Page

The training that was completed over the winter is now paying off. I finally was able to break through some of my previous barriers that I had set over the past year. I came off four months of virtually no training when I travelled around Australia and NZ last fall to building up volume & intensities through the winter. I used some new testing protocols to guide my training bimonthly with MOXY Oxygen Monitors. This testing both helped me take the proper recovery but also implemented more specific intensities to perform with peak running efficiency.

New Science of Running


An new book was delivered this week hot of the press this month. Steve Magness brings together a pile of current research (that rocks the old theory on performance testing) in a readable format. It has two parts; the first is the science behind the radical new training programs and secondly it puts forth a suggested plan for your specific event.
I like that the book because it teaches us to get away from relying on lactate threshold levels and VO2Max testing to design a training program. For years I completed lactate testing throughout the training macro-cycle with little actual correlation to my current training and athletes that did exactly the same training would have different levels. It turns out that lactate is used as a fuel source at higher intensities. Why would we want to limit the production of this essential energy molecule? I now do workouts to train my body to efficiently transport lactate into and out of the cell, so it can be effectively used to produce energy.
The biggest part of my training this spring has been to really emphasise proper recovery sessions. I have always liked to do multi-sport days back to back with no recovery. During the winter building phase of training I think this is fine and keeps my mind motivated but as I hone into peak performance for task-specific training I need to prevent the overtraining effect it has on my body. It is actually very odd for me to take a day or two off training... at least doing something!  But, I feel much stronger because of it.

Next up is the Shawnigan Lake Sprint Triathlon May, 25th - a qualifier for the 2015 World Sprint Championships in Chicago. After that is an Olympic Distance triathlon in Victoria on June 15th, and the Xterra Off-road triathlon in Victoria on July 6th.

Fit Chiropractic.



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Marching Forward!

Things have come together for the past few weeks. I have implemented a completely new training regime with the help of my coach/mentor Matt. We re-focused my efforts away from short quick runs for efficiency sake and brought back the long-steady-distance plan. And, you know what, it is working!
 I have been trying to get the most out of my limited schedule for years. As much as I want to, I don't have an unlimited amount of time to dedicate to training and performance. For the past three months I have spent some attention to be able to determine my limiting factors (in performance) and then find ways to fix them.

This is where my time spent with MOXY monitor has come in. It is a new sports-science tool to investigate what is the limiting factor in delivering oxygen to the muscles. It is a technique that has been used for a decade in the hospital but only recently has it been made small enough and mobile application for testing performance.
Through this testing I have found two things (so far) that were very important for improving my baseline. My long steady distance training was not long or steady enough! I needed to slow my pace down to a level where physiologic adaptive changes could be made (increase capillary density in muscle, increase levels of mitochondria, vaso-dilation of peripheral arterioles, etc.). Second of all, I had an oxygen delivery problem. I was not getting enough oxygen to my muscles from a limit in my respiratory system or the cardiovascular system.  Through MOXY testing we determined that I needed to work on my strength and endurance the respiratory system.
I have now been using the SpiroTiger system for six weeks. I have noticed a dramatic change in my daily respiratory rate, not to mention when I'm at red-lining!  The system is fairly straight forward: the diaphragm and accessory breathing muscles can be trained exactly the same way we train the rest of our body for performance. It is like a dumbell for our lungs or maybe more like a treadmill. It uses a computer to monitor and modify breathing frequency and a silicon bag attached to a tubing system that directs CO2 out and O2 in.

It is amazing how hard this workout is. I consider it a workout because within 3-5minutes of using it, I will break out in a heavy sweat and it takes all my focus to keep at full effort. The computer on the SpiroTiger warns if you are hypoventilating and going to pass out and it will also sound an alarm when you are breathing too deep (hyperventilating).

In my experience (along with all the research) I have noticed an ability to hold higher intensities for a longer period of time.  The muscles between my ribs and my diaphragm actually get a bit sore after a hard SprioTiger workout! For someone else to use the same set-up all they need is a user-set of tubes and a silicon balloon, the computer can be shared with a few people.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Testing

Time to test my training from the past eight weeks. I have been somewhat scattered in my focus for getting periodized training organized. But, it is what it is and I have to move forward from here.  As I utilize in my clinic, objective data is essential to moving forward.  I have found some new software that is important for monitoring progress, mapmyrun.com.

Using google maps I scoped out a flat-ish road near my house to be able to pace through a 5km time trial. It turned out to be somewhat rolling and an overall downhill drop of 33ft but I'm ok with that! I was aiming to be somewhere between 3:15-3:25/km and I was right near the middle.




This is the first testing situation in over five months. I really wanted to give myself a break this fall and let the years of very hard training on my body recover completely. In hindsight, I think half a year may have been a bit much, included with an indulgent lifestyle while travelling abroad. But, nevertheless, I have been working hard for the past 6-8 weeks on getting fit. I'm not sure when the next race will be, possibly one of the upcoming Island race series.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dry-land Training



Where is all the snow!? I rode my bike by the Alpine Resort sign today (in shorts) on a beautiful bluebird day. There doesn't seem to be any precipitation not to mention freezing conditions to promote fluffy white stuff falling from the sky.  With these unseasonably dry conditions I have decided to try and make the best of it and get out on my bike, hit the gym, and put in some serious running sessions on the track.

Vanier Track with the Glacier in the background!

Before moving to the Comox Valley, I have somewhat avoided the track.  I spent a few years slogging it out on the track at UBC. Actually, the University didn't even have a real track and we used the one that was in Richmond. The Minoru Athletic Centre catered to us but we had to bus out there every T, TH, and S for the majority of the year. Well, now I have come full circle and once again I see the benefits of calculated pacing. Coincidentally, just this spring, the Vanier track was re-surfaced to become a nice flat and fast rubberized tarmac.  No lines are painted yet but I just stick to the inside lane anyway. Luckily I have a few friends that keep me honest by putting in solid work at the track weekly (sometimes daily).




Vince working on his quad strength

Les showing us how 8x800m should be done (fast)



Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Comox Valley!



 We are here! My wife, Amber, and I are starting to feel settled after moving into the Comox Valley. We are very excited to be here and getting to know the layout, the activities, and most importantly the people. We spent many weekends driving up here from our previous home of Victoria and were tired of the long travel days. We both asked ourselves "why not just move there!" So we did.

I have joined the Comox Valley Road Runners Club. A fun run club that organizes and supports many events in the Valley. I'm happy to be part of a run club as it has been a few years since the last running club I have been a part of.  I already have a good group of serious runners that want to go for a run anywhere on a moments notice. This includes beautiful trail jogs or long road slogs or even a rip on the shiny new track.  I will even get some club gear to run the 2014 Island race series and represent.   So far the running training has gone excellently, but I have only been back for a month with semi-consistent training. Hopefully I can keep building the volume with some intensity leading into the spring racing.

I'm very excited to join the local Strathcona Nordic Ski Club. I have never been part of a cross country skiing club but feel that this could be the place for new athletic challenges and experiences. I've been told this is the largest Nordic Club in Canada!  They have the Nordic trails around Raven Lodge at Mt. Washington Ski Resort just 20minutes from downtown Courtenay.

I hope to get out and hit the mountian bike trails in Cumberland along with downhill skiing and Mt. Washington. There are so many outdoor active things to do in the valley. I'm very excited to be a part of!  And, my new chiropractic clinic is in "The Hub" on 4th Street in downtown Courtenay.


Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm BACK!

After a four month holiday with my wonderful wife Amber I'm back to training.
I spent some time travelling to Lithuania with the Jr. National Rowing team as their chiropractor before taking a three month vacation (sabbatical?) to Haida Gwaii, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. We have many good stories and adventures from our travels but ultimately we are very happy to be back to Canada and to our new home in the Comox Valley!

What sport to do? Running, rowing, or riding my bike. Or is it xc skiing, crossfit, or xterra?
Maybe them all. Send me a message if you want to join!