Larry's Blog Pages

October 20, 2010

Triathlon America - for some reason this has hit a cord!

Welcome to Triathlon America

"Our mission is to leverage the knowledge, talent, and resources of industry leaders in triathlon to the benefit of the sport. The mission will be achieved by increasing and retaining advocates of triathlon and by fostering a positive image of the sport.

Triathlon America has been founded by a coalition of industry leaders who saw the need for the triathlon business community to come together in an organization dedicated to promoting the sport and the business of triathlon."

(the above is the Mission Statement taken from the Triathlon America website)

So I read the self promoting article by Dan Empfield on Slowtwitch yesterday and I am left with a very bitter taste in my mouth. I have nothing against a group of industry leaders trying to work off each other to improve their businesses. That happens all the time.

My issue steams from the fact that their Mission Statement claims they will improve the sport and create a better image for triathlon. The problem with this statement is that you cannot improve the sport or grow the sport or improve the image of the sport without including the thousands and thousands of age group athletes.

We are the wheels that carry this sport. We buy most the products associated with triathlon and pay for most of race fees and membership dues (to governing bodies).  To improve the the pockets of a few players in the industry does not improve the sport or excite more people to get invlolved in triathlon.

If you want to improve and grow the sport you will need to take a look at what keeps many people away from the sport, cost. To train and race effectively and safely you need to pay out a lot of money for equipment, race fees, nutritional supplies, etc. Even for someone that elects to race close to home (to avoid travel costs), and races only a couple times a year, the price tag will be above the amount most lower and middle income earners are willing to part with for recreation.

Unfortunately, this is where the majority of the population finds themselves in today's economy. Disposable income for recreation is tough to come by for a vast number of the world so triathlon is usually off the option list when they decide they want to try a new pastime.

In my opinion, this new organization is nothing more than a few big names in the sport trying to make an even bigger name for themselves with a hidden agenda to increase their bottom lines. If this is the true goal than  they need to update the Mission Statement and ditch the "Super Hero" mentality that better business will improve our sport.

I hope that I am wrong and somehow they can improve the sport and draw more people into triathlon by cutting costs and fees. I cannot see this happening anytime soon so I will not hold my breath.

Your thoughts?

October 19, 2010

Focus, focus, focus!!!!

With so many things going on these days, I totally had a brain lapse and forgot to track my next race. What I mean is that I had not looked at the exact date of the race for a little while and was surprised to see Nov 7th as the race date. For some reason, I thought it was scheduled closer to the middle of the month.

To be honest, it should not make much of a difference as my coach has kept my workouts in line for the correct date (Thanks Tyler!) so it is more of a mental prep and diet note that I should have paid more attention to a week or so ago. I know I will be ready to attempt my first sub 1:20 Half Marathon in a few weeks but I just have to get in gear now.

On a more positive side, I have had been visiting the pool a lot more frequently in the past two weeks and things are starting to feel back to my form after a few months of relaxed swimming. I know my form is still much slower than everyone else but at least I can start working on it again from where I was around the time of Timberman 70.3 instead of where I was last spring. I was starting to worry that my laziness was going to put me miles behind in this element but my results from Friday and Monday have removed those fears and now I can look forward to improving, hopefully, catching up to the fish in my age group!

Another good note to pass along is that I have been able to knock a nasty diet cola habit for the past two weeks. I will not even mention the amount of cola I was putting back during a day but I have thankfully kicked it for now and have replaced it mainly with water (plus some juice and milk). I was hardly drinking any of these during the cola days so I hope the new addition to my diet helps out.

Although, they say diet cola contains additives that makes you crave carbs, and keeps you feeling hungry all the time, I have not had the benefit of a reduced appetite yet. I actually have craved a lot of sugar and carbs since I stopped drinking the stuff. This has added a few pounds during this period so I hope things straighten out shortly. Right now the cons (less energy due to lack of caffeine, less flavour in my drinks, more calories in my drinks (juice), bigger appetite, etc.) have out weighed the pros (less chemicals in system) of the drink change so I will need to see some more benefits soon to keep me from switching back to the diet cola. Common water, do your magic!

Well, time to hit the track for some 1k intervals. This could be tough!

 The good 'ole days of Duathlon!

Just wanted to pretty up the blog with a picture. I don't have anything recent so a classic will have to do.

October 15, 2010

Getting Back up from the Fall Blues

Here's a weekly update of what I have been doing to stay busy of late. Lots of family, work and hockey events these days so training has required some energy to get out and stay up with the program.

This week I finally peeled my butt out of my office chair to get back to the pool for the first good swim since Lakeside. After a few respectable lengths in my session, reality hit and the lap times got longer and longer. Time to focus again and try to make more gains in this area during this off season.

On the bike, I had a very solid weekend of riding which carried into this week for a few training rides and bricks. I feel like this part is still improving and I have a lot of confidence out on the road these days. Some great rides with the Falcons after the tri season wrapped really helped keep the form I had gained with Tyler's assistance this summer.

Running, although I feel a bit heavy these days, has been very good recently. We have been working on a few high mileage weeks to get the legs up and ready for the Half Marathon I plan to tackle next month. Also, the speed has been back close to where I would like it for 10k and longer races. For the shorter stuff, I will have to give up some treats that have been a very weak component of my training these days to drop a few extra pounds.

That being said, I decided that I was not really up for a 10k race tonight in Oakville. I think if it was on the road I would be more excited but on the trails in the dark is a recipte for disaster this close to a more important event. I can just see myself crashing hard on the trail and messing up my knees or feet so I will leave this one off the list for this year and just keep to my training routine for the weekend. To be honest, the weather these days has been so nice, it is almost more fun to just get the long stuff in to enjoy the great fall conditions we are having.

On a parting note, I would like to wish everyone doing the Good Life Marathon Races this weekend all the best!

October 5, 2010

Recovery Week

Since my last race (Lakeside Tri), I have had a couple of weeks of training with last week being a big mileage week building towards a fall half marathon. I think it may have been my biggest week ever for running so I was certainly feeling my legs suffering towards the weekend. Didn't help that I was also on a business trip in California. Long social events and traveling around the bay area didn't allow for as much sleep as usual but we had a good time, and the meals were very tasty and not on my dollar!

This week is much easier so I have a chance to catch up on some other aspects of life, such as sleep. I have been extra tired coming back from this trip and it has been very tough to get moving after we put the kids down for the night. I am starting to feel more energized today so I hope the weather improves so I can head outside and enjoy the nice, fall air.

As most of us tri/du athletes are aware, this weekend is KONA! It may not be the biggest event for all of us, depending on your race length preference, but it is one that I think we all enjoy checking out. In similar fashion to many other blogs, I will lay down my bet for the fun of it. You may laugh or comment on any of my picks!

Women -

1. Chrissie Wellington - easy choice for a 3 time defending Champ. Racing in Timberman with Chrissie in the field gave me a deeper appreciation for how great she is.

2. Mirinda Carfrae - second last year, may be closer to Chrissie this year but will start the run too far back coming off the bike to actually win the big one.

3. Rebekah Keat - She has been very solid this season and has raced well in Kona in the past. Has the 3rd fastest Ironman time in history among women.

4. Samantha McGlone - got to cheer for the Canadian and hope she has everything ready to show off similar form to 2007, before her injury woes.

5. Julie Dibens - has the swim and bike but needs to improve the run before being a podium threat. She would really have to push the pace early in the race and force the others to blow up to have any chance against Chrissie and Mirinda.

Men -

1. Craig Alexander - I cannot bet against my favourite Ironman athlete. He is too talented and determined to not keep his streak alive. Go Crowie!

2. Rasmus Henning - He will be very tough out there with his overall speed. If he puts together his best race he may upset the defending Champ and be the one to enjoy the Big Island glory.

3. Andy Potts - with another year under his belt at this distance, it is tough to ignore this proven triathlete. Super strong in the water and no slouch on the bike. If he puts in a solid time on the run, he may move up from 9th last year into a podium spot.

4. Chris Lieto - I am a big fan of Chris and hope he pulls of the win but I am not sure he is going to be able to be fast enough on foot to keep the others from taking away his lead coming off the bike. If anyone does dethrone Crowie, this is the man I would like to see on top of the results page.

5. Terenzo Bozzone - I would have Terenzo up higher if he did not race so much this year. I think it may catch up with him in Kona.

Let me know what you think!
So many others that could be on this list, especially in the stacked men's field, but I stopped with the top 5.

*Andreas Raelert
*Chris McCormack
*Marino Vanhoenacker
*Faris Al - Sultan
*Luke McKenzie
*Dirk Bockel
*Pete Jacobs
*Maik Twelseik
*Timo Bracht
*Mathias Hecht
*Eneko Llanos
*Luke Bell
*Cam Brown 
*Raynard Tissink
*Normann Stadler
*etc, etc., etc....

Have a great week!