Friday, October 23, 2015

Wintertime is approaching Compurtrainer Time is Coming

The wife and I headed out to Kinesic Sport Lab last night for a Computrainer session. Many of you have heard of Computrainers and many have even ridden them, but for those not in the now here's a brief run down.

A Computrainer is an indoor bike trainer that lets you hook you regular bike up and use it as an indoor exercise bike. That's the simple. But the Computrainer is so much more. With all of its attachments, you get an indoor bike that can be programmed to follow a predetermined course, even following the profile of real bike races or triathlon routes. The trainer itself will adjust to make things easier or more difficult depending on whether or not you are going up or downhill. It can keep track of your cadence, speed, distance, watts and even heart rate if you wear a monitor.

So okay, the Computrainer is a cool tool, but what about a class? Well at Kinesic, they have 8 Computrainers setup and a big overhead projector.  What that means is you get to have fun and compete against other riders. Enter you info into the system and it adjusts to your riding needs. Then go!

Here we are getting set up 

Coach JZ adjusting fans and explaining our route

Our warmup consisted of getting our cadence up, some one legged drills and getting our hearts beating and ready to go for the main event. The main event being a 14.13 km moderately hilly time trial. 

While, yes, the Computrainer is a great tool to get fit and healthy, it is also a must go to tool for training for longer distance triathlons in a cold weather climate. From getting to ride the actual course profile of your upcoming races (it has many to choose from) to learning how to properly pace over the distance, this system offers huge benefits. It also makes you sweat (hence the big fans) and your legs burn, but that's all good.

The four of us in the class last night had a blast. If you haven't tried it and are curious, Kinesic offers drop ins when a class isn't full ahead of time. They also offer 8 weeks courses from base training to FTP from Hell session (if you don't know what FTP is the Coach will explain it in the course he's good like that). 

After the session and you legs are dead an email gets sent to you asap with a ton of awesome info about the ride:

That's the quick summary, the email has a link to way more info. But it gives you a great quick view of the ride.  It also makes it much easier to add to your current logging system for workouts. 

Anyway enough of that. If you live in Halifax, Kinesic is the place to head for a group session. You can buy your own Computrainer as well or other varieties with similar features, though I will attest to the fact that you won't push nearly as hard on the bike alone as you will trying to edge passed the guy riding next to you. Have fun and get ready for winter!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Valley Harvest Half Marathon - Pace Bunny Report 2015

Dark and early we climbed into the car and sped off to Wolfville. Another year and another Valley Harvest Half Marathon pace bunny job for me, another race for Elizabeth.

I arrived in time to grab my sign and line up near the front of the huge group of almost 800 runners. This year I was once again the 1:40 pace bunny, bit now with a new group, White Rabbit Pacing, and this year with a tutu. Heck why not.

As the race started I quickly found a nice pace for my runners, just a little slower than our ultimate pace. Within a few kilometers and some hills we were now averaged out and hanging at about 1 second a kilometer on the fast side. With this race being heavy on the uphill in the first half I wanted my runners to take advantage of fresh legs and then use the big downhills later as a rest. 

I was quite happy that I had a revolving but decent set of runners within site of me at all times. I tried to keep their mind off of the task at hand with loads of commentary and helpful running hints. Maybe it was annoying to some but I did get quite a few thanks afterwards.

I crossed the line at 1:39:32. A tad fast but I dragged many runners in at really close to 1:40.  I really had to hold back at 19km because my legs felt so fresh and some of my runners started to pick up the pace to get done asap. It was great to see them take off though.

At the finish I got to chat with a few runners and friends, drank a little water and then quickly took back off running. I still had to pace Elizabeth to a PB finish.

I ran out and was really pleased to find her well ahead of the 2:30 pace bunny and still running well. I encouraged her and talked her through the final 2 km of her run. She crossed the line at 2:21, some 6 minutes faster than her previous PB. Awesome. 

Now a couple of weeks off before the next race. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Riverport Duathlon 2015

The final multisport race of the year for me is almost always Riverport. It has been and still is a great venue for a race. Over the years I have been low in the standings, high in the standing and somewhere in between. Come race weekend I am usually tired and worn down and wishing i hadn't signed up. But come race day Riverport always shines (well sometimes it rains).

This Riverport morning was really sunny and cold. The kind of day you can't decide what to wear for the race as you stand in the cold waiting for it to start. Ultimately I slipped on a thin base layer to fight the chill air and a thin pair of gloves as well.  I didn't overheat, so I guess things were fine.

Riverport is a unique distance event at 4km/28km/4km. It is all out all the time and hurts like heck.

We soon lined up for the start and were away.

I was just finally recovered from last weekend's double header of 10 km races. I hadn't even run all week, so I didn't quite know what to expect. I started off easy for me and fell in behind some fast runners. Soon we began to drop some who had over extended themselves a bit (I remember those days). By the turn around I was in 9th place (who there were a lot of fast guys). I passed a couple of more runners and coming into T1 I was in 7th place and felt quite comfortable. I ran a 14:21 for a 3:36 avg pace.

See I still look happy

A quick switch to my bike and I was off (I only had the 8th fastest T1 time at 29 seconds yowza!). 

I hit the bike and pushed hard. I knew there were a load of really great cyclists behind me and I wouldn't be able to hold them off for long. So I gave it good effort. I was passed by a few bikers within the first 3 kilometers, then a couple of more. Of course every time you are passed you have to slow down a bit to avoid drafting, which doesn't help your overall time, but those are the rules. Soon 28 kilometers was done and I came flying into the finish with only the 19th fastest time of the day at 33.4 km/hr. So we know I will be riding a lot this winter to see where I can make up some of that time. 

Into T2 I came. Beauty of a flying dismount, perfect switch into my running shoes and I had the fastest T2 of the day at 23 seconds. So yay, I had the fastest something.

The second run is always hard and having to push extra hard on the bike over extended me. I pushed through the ouch and managed 3:58 avg pace and a 15:49 time over the last 4km. Of course with no one right behind me, it gets mentally hard to push that extra bit. 

I crossed the line at 1:21:12 for 12th place overall and 6th in my age group. Being in your 40's can be tough in triathlon/duathlons. I was amazing to see the fight at the top end of the field. I also enjoyed getting back on the bike again and it gives me something to work on this winter that isn't just running (though I still see improvements there as well). 

Thanks Riverport. Hopefully we will see you again in 2016.