Thursday, March 23, 2017

New blog location

I have moved location and will be posting blogs at.

Swing on by and follow along.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Picking Races

As the race season quickly approaches. Some Pros are racing as early as this weekend. I thought I would put up a little post on how I choose my races and what are the biggest factors.

This is my third year of racing the 70.3 circuit as a professional, so I am still finding the perfect balance for myself. Last year I raced too many races to close to each other. So the proper amount of time between races will be the backbone to my choosing my races in 2017. In 2016 I had a couple of races one week apart and too many races two weeks apart. In 2017 I will be making sure I do not have any races one week apart and very few races two weeks apart. I also will be making sure I have large gaps between racing blocks, to get in longer training block. I will be looking to race no more than 10 times this year and probably only 8 of them will be 70.3.

Once I have figured out how many races I want to do and the general spacing. I then look for races that are a little more to my liking. I always want to make sure I am ready to be competitive at any kind of race, flat, hilly, hot or cold. But I do lean a little bit more towards hilly and cooler races. I also really like to pick races in Canada if they are available. Home field advantage ;)

The next deciding factor if there are two or more races around the same date is the cost to get to the race. Then I look at what kind of prize money each race has. It is a fine balance between the cost to get to a race and the amount of prize money offered. If there are two races on the same date with the same amount of prize money I will usually choose the race that will be easier to get to and less expensive. This is when the business side of racing comes into effect.

Lastly I will take into consideration the level of competition I will face at each race. I do not want all the races to be fluff races. I want some to be very competitive so I can race against the best in the world.

Here is what my last two years of racing have looked like and what 2017 may look like.

Race schedule 2015
Mar 15 Los Olas Olympic
2 weeks to next race
Mar 28 California 70.3
4.5 weeks to next race
May 2 St. George north champ 70.3
7 weeks to next race
June 20, Mont-Tremblant 70.3
2 weeks to next race
July 5 Challenge St Andrews
5.5 weeks to next race
Aug 16 Timberman 70.3
2 week to next race
Aug 30 70.3 Worlds Austria
3 weeks to next race
Sept 20 Cozumel 70.3
2 weeks to next race
Oct 4 Silverman
3weeks to next race
Oct 25 Miami 70.3
2 weeks to next race
Nov 8 Austin 70.3

Race schedule 2016
4/2 California Oceanside
2 weeks to next race
4/17 New Orleans
3 weeks to next race
5/7 St George
4 weeks to next race
6/5 Raleigh
 1 week to next race
6/12 Victoria
 2 weeks to next race
6/26 Mont-Trembalnt
3 weeks to next race
7/17 Racine
3 weeks to next race
8/21 Timberman
2 weeks to next race
9/4 World Champs 70.3 Mooloolaba
3 weeks to next race
9/24 ITU Oklahoma LC Wolds
4 week to next race
10/30 Austin

Possible Race schedule 2017
3/19 Puerto Rico Ironman 70.3
2 week to next race
4/1   Oceanside Ironman 70.3
3 week to next race
4/28 St. Anthony Olympic
6 week to next race
6/4    Victoria Ironman 70.3
3 week to next race
6/25 Mt Tremblat Ironman 70.3
4 week to next race
7/23 Challenge Iceland
7 week to next race
9/9 70.3 Ironman 70.3 World Championships Chattanooga
2 week to next race
9/23 Lake Geneva Escape Olympic
2 week to next race
10/1 New Orleans Escape Olympic

Thursday, January 5, 2017

It is just January 5.

Now that the New Year is upon us it is time to start putting everything into place for the 2017 season. Picking my races, finalizing sponsors and getting training rolling. For the first part of the year I will be based in Poway California working with the Triathlon Squad. This will be very important to setting up my year and getting all the right pieces in place. But I still need to remember that it is just January 5 and there is a long season ahead of me.

On January 5 I had a very solid day nothing crazy. I save those efforts for race day.

I did a 5300m swim with some pulling and 12x150 on 2:10 to cap it off. I am rolling with a very good group in the water. Everyone is dedicated on going as far as they can and there is no messing around. We all are there to get better and become great athletes. This is something that I really thrive off of. I love the competition.

Soon after the swim I was off to do a nice 50min cruise run to shake out my legs from yesterdays workout, just a few miles in the rain.

After that I spend a little bit of time working on sponsorship contracts and getting everything worked out. I do not mind this kind of work too much it is nice to build up relationships with the companies and people I work with.

Then I am off for a 90min bike ride in the rain.

Nothing to crazy it is just January 5.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Best of 2016:

Best meal:
The best meal I had in 2016 is hard call I have had so many great meals and fun times with the people I have dinned with. But I have to go with my dinner after Ironman 70.3 Mt. Tremblant it was just an out of this world home cocked steak dinner and tasted that much better after a hard days work.

Best race:
This has to go to Ironman 70.3 Victoria. It was the Ironman race I lead the bike portion of the race and was able to hold onto my lead to win the race.

Longest bike ride:
This year my longest ride was 5 hours nothing to amazing. It is more important to stay consistent than have amazing mega days.

Best concert:
I train a lot and allow myself a few days to let loose. The best consort I went to this year was Digital Dreams. Such a great light show and fun time.

Most exciting travel location:
The coolest place I travel this year was to Sydney Australia. I too some time to be a tourist and see all the sites.

Coolest moment:
For me the coolest moment of 2016 was meeting and getting an autograph from Tony Kanaan. I have started to get into F1 and IndyCar. It was really cool to meet one of the top drivers and lean what it takes to make it in another sport.

Craziest moment:
The craziest moment in 2016 was when crash at Oceanside 70.3 it really put a dent in the season but i was able to bonus back from it and have a good year.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Bike Development

Picture by: Hill Hayes

After doing an article on the evolution of my swim I thought I would do the history and development of my biking.  Biking was the first sport that I got into with my family.  I started mountain biking when I was about eight years old, I road for fun at first doing the occasional O cup and 24 hour race with my dad. It was a great way to stay active and learn so very key bike handling skills at a young age.
When I started running at the age of fourteen I truly found my competitive spirit. It was a very logical path to start racing duathlon and triathlon. But for first few years I did not ride much I just wanted to run. After racing a few kids of steel races on my yellow full suspension mountain bike I finally made the call to go full on in the triathlon world.
Luckily my mom had a steel Opus bike that fit me when I was sixteen and allowed me to race in my first draft legal race at Junior Nationals in Brampton. This was my first real triathlon. After this race I was hooked and just wanted more. During this time I was doing a lot of riding with the higher-level age groupers. They were strong enough to push me on the bike. At this time I was riding about three to four a week with a long ride of about 90min. It was difficult to do much more than that with school.

Once I had been in the sport for about two years I purchased my first bike, a Tarmac that I still have. The bike took me threw my entire junior career. When I was a junior I road with my teammates that were all around my age. At this time Sean Bechtel was the man we all looked up to on the bike. He taught me a lot of the skills that allowed me to excel on the bike. During this time I had upped my biking miles I was still biking about five times a week but longer rides and more specific workouts. Every week we did a brick workout, an individual time trial and a long ride.
Being a poorer swimmer at the time I was always playing catch up on the bike. This really forced me to develop my bike skills at an early age. Which paid off when I went into the longer non-draft racing.
The next big change was when I got to University. By this time I had a matured as an athlete and was ready to take on some big bike miles. I also had a little more time in the day to ride and get in 3 workouts a day. This allowed my bike rides to become much longer probably biking closer to six times a week. Also having a longer summer break allowed for better training and recovery during the hardest training blocks. I still was coming out of the water near the back of the field. But now I was strong enough to bridge the gap to make it to the lead bikes. During this time my three best biking moments were: at Junior Nationals where I biked from the chase pack to the lead pack and still had the gas to run into second. At the Edmonton world cup I came out of the water in about third last but was able to close the gap between myself and the leaders, I then ran into the top 15. Then there was my last ITU race at the Huatulco world cup where I came out of the water with Tyler Butterfield and almost dropped him going up the hills. In the end he played his hand properly and dropped me but it was a very good glimpse into what the long course triathlon would hold.
Photo by: Rich Cruse
 I was 23 when I chose to make the switch into non-drafting Triathlon. This was the last year of my university degree and the perfect time to make the switch. The bike training changed for sure at this point. There were a lot more rides that were close to 100km and two specific bike workouts a week. The biggest change was getting us to holding the TT position for hours on end. But once I had that under control it was just time in the saddle.
After university I switch over to Paulo Sousa squad. Under his guidance we added in the occasional double ride days but not a whole lot different from what I was already doing. The key now is to make sure every workout has its purpose. There are no more ‘garbage miles’ on the bike. There are every few easy bike rides in my training program now.
I really look forward to seeing what I can doing in 2017 and how far I can push myself. My first race of the year is scheduled for March 19, 2017.
I have to thank Sean Bechtel, Nat Faulkner, all my teammates, Barrie Sheply and Paulo Sousa for helping me become a better athlete.

This blog brought to you by:
Benson Steel

Alto Wheels
Squad bikes

Caledon Hills Cycling

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Swimming evolution

Picture by: Hill Hayes

I wanted to talk about my swim development over the years and how I have gotten to where I am in the water and where I want to go. As the 70.3 distance gets more competitive it is becoming more important to have the full package Swim/Bike/Run.

 When the Ironman and 70.3 distance first appeared the run was the most important part. Nine times out of ten the fastest runner would win the race. Over time the bike started to become very important. With athletes like Lionel Sanders, Sabasion Keanly and many other made the bike more important. Now with the 70.3 attracting more athletes the swim is starting to play a larger roll in every race. Races are having large groups and if you miss the lead group in the swim the race is much more difficult. This is best seen at the Championships races. With swimming being the area that need the most improvement I need to make sure I do not fall behind as triathlon develops and evolves.

I started swimming at about 16 years old. In the swim world this is very late. Pure swimmers usually start at the age of 8-10 years. So I was a little behind at the very stare and had no control in the water. I could keep my head above the water but that is about as fare as I could get. 

The first thing I did was start working with a swim club. The first club I joined was the Dorado Stars. It was right beside my High school. It was the perfect location since we had 2-3 morning practices a week. I fully immersed myself into the swimming culture, swimming eight times a week and all the strokes. This helped to jump start my swimming a little but I still was getting my butt kicked by 13 year-old girls and swimming in the lane with the eight year olds. You really need to let go of your ego at the start. It is a long process to develop your swimming. There were a few times that my coach told use that the lane I was swimming in may as well be filled with dirt because that is how poorly we were swimming, great times but lots of long hours in the water. As I finished my high school stage in my life I had worked my way up to being able to swim with some the of girls that were closer to my age but I was no were near the best of them.

I then went on to Mcmaster university were I was lucky enough to have formed a great relationship with the varsity swim coach Andrew Cole. He allowed me to train with the varsity swim team and further my swimming skills. I feel that it played a huge role in moving my swimming forward. I had all the assets that the swimmers had and had so many great teammates to emulate. When I started I was probably the slowest in the pool. But after 5 years of 8-9 swims a week with the team I became a decent enough swimmer to hold my own against most of the women on the team and some of the men. I was no where near as good as I needed to be but I had come a far since I started.

The next big step in my triathlon swimming was connecting with Paulo Sousa’s Triathlon Squad. This move allowed me to work solely on my freestyle. Since we all were triathlete instead of the swim group. This was the right time in my swim development to focus solely of freestyle since I had built up enough muscle from doing years of IM. Doing only freestyle lowed me to cut back one the over all time I spent in the water which in turn gave me more time to recover and work on running and biking.

Picture by: Hill Hayes

I still have a lot of work to do to get to the point I want to be at. I will continue to follow Paulo’s guidance and see how far I can go.

This blog brought to you by:
Benson Steel

Alto Wheels
Squad bikes
Caledon Hills Cycling

Saturday, December 10, 2016


I have been hearing more and more about rollers over the last few weeks. I have been on and off them over the years but this winter I am going to use them a lot more. After riding them for a few weeks and talking to Lionel Sanders, I think they are a very useful tool. As any training tool they have their advantages and disadvantages.

The first thing that people have trouble with is getting over the fear of falling off. Yes it is a fairly daunting task, having only 2 feet of room to play with, as you are balancing on two wheels. They key is to stay relaxed. The best way to start is by setting up the rollers in a door way so that you have something solid to hold onto until you are up to speed. The door way also gives you something to grab onto if you feel you are falling off. Once you have gotten going it is all about not over correcting, if you start drifting to one side do not freak out and over correct. All you need is a little touch to the handlebars or to lean the direction you want to go, and you will float over to that side.

Once you have the skill it really does not leave you. I got on the rollers for the first time in about three years and probably only the fifth time I have ever ridden them. It was just second nature. It also is not that scary when you fall off. If you are in the doorway you will just grab the frame and burn some rubber off your tires. I fell off twice when I started to use then for the first time this year, you just ketch yourself then reset.

As a training tool I think it is useful because it keeps you very engaged threw the whole ride. It also makes the hard effort that much more realistic and taxing, because you have to stay focused on your balance as well as pushing a big gear. I personally have a set of rollers that do not have any extra resistance. So the resistance is built around your gearing and how fast your legs can go.

Personally I have found that once you get around 450watts on the roller or short 30 sec efforts they are not as effective. The very short and intense efforts takes so much out of you, so they are better done on the trainer where you can focus just on the effort. My rollers also start to vibrate when I get around 450w. So that is a little freaky. For all the effort that are around 300-350watts or lower the rollers are amazing they just add another level of reality and engagement that the trainer does not have.

It also takes a little bit of time to get confident riding the rollers in the TT position but again it really comes down to staying relaxed and not over compensating any movements. I am now playing around a little bit with standing on the rollers too.

I would recommend rollers to any one who is looking to add more to there winter training.

I am going to try to start posting every week. Some of these posts will be about training and some about my experiences as an athlete.

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