Larry's Blog Pages

January 31, 2011

Age Grouper Spotlight - Carlos Vilchez

I was sitting back the other day, trying to think of ways to be more active on my blog. Since, I do not feel that I have the knowledge to teach folks about the sport, gear or nutrition, I will leave that in the hands of the professionals (see my blog roll for many of these people!). The one thing that I can offer is a passion to learn more about the sport and the people involved in this great lifestyle.

I have conducted interviews in the past with some of our country’s top Triathletes, receiving positive feedback from the athletes and readers when they view the finished product. With triathlon being relatively small, these athletes are featured many times a year in magazines, online and through other media so we tend to know quite a bit about our Canadian Pros.

This being the case, my thought was to promote the amazing Age Grouper Athletes from Ontario with hopes that others at their level may relate to their answers and feel more in touch with the triathlon community around them. The first subject of my new series is a Barrie, Ontario resident who picked up the sport after his college days and has juggled family, work and training in his quest to reach his full potential in all three disciplines.

I had the opportunity to meet Carlos Vilchez through my blog after he left a comment on one of my race report posts. Coincidentally, his name came up on a tweet I was reading not too long after our original contact and we started chatting regularly through Twitter.

When I came up with the plan to follow the athletes on the local scene, I was confident he would be game for a quick Q&A session. It didn’t hurt that I had some contact info handy, which took care of the initial set up for the interview.

10 Questions with Carlos Vilchez

Q1. How long have you been involved in triathlon and which event was your first?

- My first triathlon was actually a duathlon in September of 2005 when I did the Niagara on the lake Duathlon, hosted by the Subaru Series. I did it with my Brodie Bandit, 32 pounds mountain bike, as I wasn't sure about the sport just yet. Being my first multisport event, it went well but was extremely hard. I went a bit too hard on the first 4k run and really started to feel it halfway through the 23k bike ride (or maybe it was lugging my mountain bike around!). The last 4k run was sheer pain but being 27 at the time, I still felt invincible.

Q2. How much of your training is solo and how much is done with others, i.e.
Barrie TC?

- I would say 99% of my training is solo. Every once in a while I'm fortunate enough to team up with some fast guys but, based on my job and family commitments, my training times seem to be sporadic and I can never commit to someone's set schedule. I have some lofty goals for 2011 so I'm hoping I can jump in with some faster guys in all 3 disciplines to help kick it up a notch.

Q3. It is tough as an AG triathlete to obtain sponsorship; do you have any you would like to mention?

- I've never really considered sponsorships. Yes, the sport is extremely expensive and when your goals include reaching a podium, you're competing against guys who've got all the equipment (powertaps, race wheels, time trial bikes, etc..) but being an amateur and doing this "competitively for fun" I still have to treat this as a hobby and set a budget for it. But yes, I'm in the market for some race wheels... Specifically some a Zipp 808's or Easton EC90's... So if there are any sponsors out there, I won't turn these down!!

Q4. How do you measure your performance - your perceived fitness level, AG ranking in a race or overall position in a race?

- Up until this season, I've always measured my performance based on my own goals and objectives. I've always been looking to better my performance from previous years and improve the numbers across all disciplines. Being new to the sport, this was fairly easy to do since every year of somewhat consistent training means automatic gains. This season however, I'm paying more attention to the field and my age group and trying to measure myself against them. I'm a pretty analytical guy so I really take time to study past results for races I plan on doing and establishing a goal along those times.

Q5. Do you have a coach or are you self-taught?

- I do have a coach. I use the services of Sara Gross from Mercury Rising Triathlon based out of Victoria, BC. I used to be self-taught until I started taking the sport more seriously and decided to take on the Ironman distance. I'm now entering my 3rd year with Sara and it's been the greatest investment I've made in the sport. Generally speaking, having a coach is great to keep you honest and to help you structure your season. Specifically speaking about Sara, she has a great skill to really get to know you as an athlete (in fact, better than I know myself) and push through any plateaus or performance issues I may have. I also like the fact that she's willing to take risks and not follow the typical training plans available out there.

Q6. What are your triathlon strengths? Is this from past involvement in that/those individual sports?

- Ironically, swimming is my strength (based on percentile finish times in all disciplines), however, it's the discipline I've been doing the least! I'm not sure why it turned out this way, and as my coach likes to put it, what I've accomplished in swimming in 5 years is short of a miracle!! In high school, I ran track, with average finish times (nothing impressive) and running was the sport I kept on doing after high school (10k, half-marathon, etc...).

Q7. What is your most memorable moment in triathlon?

- My most memorable moment in triathlon was crossing the finish line at Ironman Canada in 2010. It was a big year leading up to that race and, aside from all the training and the hard work I personally did, there were a lot of sacrifices made by my friends and family. On top of the usual pressures of finishing a race, I had some added pressure that I owed everyone else around me the "finisher's medal", as well. So when I was about 800m meters from the finish line (and knew I would finish), the race really ended for me right then and there... It was a huge relief and I felt a big sense of accomplishment as well as being thankful to everyone around me who made it happen.

Q8. What are your 2011 goals? Any long term goals in the sport?

- My 2011 goal is to get a 2012 Vegas spot at the Muskoka 70.3 race in September. I wanted 2011 to be somewhat of a down year as we're expecting our third child and moving to a new house so there will be a lot of unknowns for the 2011 schedule. In terms of long term goals, getting to Kona to race the Ironman would be the crowning moment of my amateur career and, quite honestly, I'm just trying to set a really high benchmark for my kids in the event they wanted to compete in the sport or in any other sport.

Q9. What keeps you interested in the sport of triathlon - people, fitness, cool gear, etc?

- Knowing that I haven't reach the plateau, and that I can still squeeze minutes off my finish times, is what keeps me going in the sport. I really want to see how fast I can get before I can't do the sport anymore. In my family, it's become a lifestyle so, whether competitively or not, I can see myself doing this for a very long time. I've never been much into weight-lifting and I always got injured when just running so doing all three disciplines is a great way to stay physically and mentally fit.

Q10. Who is your favourite triathlete? What is it that interests you in that athlete?

- I'm a big fan of the ITU guys. The fact that they can race at their maximum ability the entire race really intrigues me, especially since it's mostly a mental game near the end of the race. It's probably been my biggest challenge (to mentally overcome what I can and can't do) so seeing those guys in a hurt locker for that long, helps me push myself when the going gets tough. I'm a big fan of Simon Whitfield and Javier Gomez. Simon, because he's really representing Canada in the sport and Javier because I was born in Spain. I'm hoping those 2 are shoulder to shoulder in London in 2012 and may the best man win!!

Thanks Carlos! Best of luck in 2011 and beyond!

Please help support our local Age Groupers as they drive towards their goals in Triathlon! You can follow Carlos through his blog or twitter board at the links below.

Blog Link =

Twitter Handle = @carlos_el_toro

Thanks for reading!


January 28, 2011

Let's Open up this Blog!

Hi All,

I am looking for material to use on my blog. I would love to write more often but I am not the most interesting of subjects so I want to open my blog up to you.

If you are an athlete, coach or business in the multisport community, let me know via email ( and I will grab some info from you so that I can post a nice article about you or your business.

I have done many interviews in the past so don't forget to check out some of the triathlon spotlights from this blog.

I hope to hear from you all out there...AG'ers, Pro's, Coaches and anyone that is involved in our great sport!

Talk soon!

January 27, 2011

Congrats Tyler on your Studio Opening!

This morning, I had the excellent opportunity to join my HiPerformance Spin Group at Coach Tyler's brand new studio in Oakville. It was very cool to see the fruits of all his hard work in his new home away from home.

He has just opened the HiPerformance Personal Training and Coaching Studio on Thomas Street (Thomas and Lakeshore) in the heart of the downtown and has done a fantastic job laying the machines out and making lounge room for pre and post workout rest. I am sure Tyler would be more than happy to have you drop in for a visit and to inquire about his services.

Here is the Conceptual Design of the Studio.

If you would like to learn some more check out the links below...

Please join me in congratulating Tyler on his new business venture!

January 24, 2011

Write Off Week

Last week I was fortunate enough to travel to St John, USVI with work for our annual Americas Meeting. I cannot complain that I had this opportunity so I will not. I must say though, because of the food and activities to keep us busy, I did not get in my full training week so I was a little lazy to start today.

During the stay on the island I put in a very hot, tough run that basically scared me from future runs. Not only was the road (the only road around that part of the island) very twisty and hilly, it was also very narrow with no sidewalks or shoulders. The locals and taxis were motoring along this asphalt at crazy speeds and not willing to share with some silly tourist out for a run. When I reached the beach, to meet up with co-workers, it was like hitting the tape at the end of an ironman. I was thrilled to finish the 10k without stopping and headed straight to the beach to jump into the refreshing water.

Not wanting to push my luck with traffic, I stuck to swimming for the rest of my stay. I took on my fair share of salt water but actually enjoyed my time spent in the ocean, even with my slight phobia of sharks. The snorkeling was impressive with countless colourful reef fish. Our day spent sailing at sea was very fun with a few stops along the way for lunch and beach hopping.

Back at home on the weekend, I just felt so flat and tired so I really could not get into the spirit. I was more focused on spending time with family (as well as putting in my hockey duties) so I got caught up and set my sights on this week to get back into the mood.

At work today, I was still struggling to get up for a run but finally pulled myself out to the gym around 2pm. Thankfully, I ran into a fellow runner I have had the pleasure of chatting with a few time now and  we hit the mill together so the run I feared getting back to was much more enjoyable. I got through my 10k much easier than expected and hope this leads to a solid week to burn off the several pounds I found on the beach.

Bummer is that I had been so close to my target weight just before the trip, dropping a bunch of lbs from the holidays. Hopefully, they come of a little quicker this time and my speeds do not suffer too much.

As I was running, I could not carry my camera so here is a stock photo from one of the look outs along the road. Of course, they had to place the road up and down these huge hills and not just flat along the beaches. HAHA

January 17, 2011

Bike For Sale - 2008 Argon 18 Mercury TT

2008 Argon 18 Mercury TT bike, med. Full Dura Ace (7800), Pro missile bars.

Excellent condition, only been ridden a handful of times.

Raced once, IMLP 09. $2,300, obo.

Contact Jon at or (905)401-1635

Mention you saw it on Larry's blog. Wink, Wink! 

January 11, 2011

Getting it Done!

As with most multisport athletes, my January is busy getting back to hard work after a few months of lighter base building. Sure, we are still building on that base but, when you have spring goals in mind, coach makes sure the speed is coming back as well.

I love these speed sessions as they scare the pants off you before the workout but you feel such an amazing rush when you get through that last rep. I may not get as animated as Tiger (with the fist pump) but you will often see a mini-pump when I count down those final 5 seconds.

Today, I had the old 6 x 1k treat...and I made sure to make it count. With the cold, windy conditions, and frozen Garmin (yes, again!), I opted for the comforts of the gym and my friend Mr. Tready. I laid down 6 solid efforts at 3:29/km pace (3 x 1 degree and 3 x 0 degree slope), probably looking like a dofus running that speed but I was so focused it didn't matter one bit.

This workout came after two solid weeks of run build up where Ty has me hitting some great splits and I can tell this is going to be a great season if I can stay with the plan. Right now, I look forward to the pay off and the training is something I really enjoy so I hope I can keep positive and pull down my PB's as a result.

With the training hours getting longer, I have to resort back to night workouts to get everything in. Because, I need to stay alert for these sessions, I cannot drift off when the kids are winding down any longer so I have been doing even more Twitter and Facebook reading. My BB is hooked up to these and are quick hits while I watch to make sure the little ones settle down during their last cartoons. A few weeks ago, Steve Fleck put out the call for some questions and I threw one his way for his blog. He grabbed my question and has posted his answers at the link below.

Another call for questions I answered of late was from Canadian Cyclist, Christian Meier. I didn't expect to get a Twitter mention, especially, in VeloNation so that was pretty neat.

Have a great week!

January 4, 2011

2011 Goals - Larry Bradley

I think everyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge dreamer when it comes to running, duathlon and cycling. I am very passionate about my hobbies and truly believe that I have a lot more room to improve, even at my advancing age.

I have only been running since mid-2005 and cycling since late-2006, therefore, I really haven't been at it for very long but I think my results show that I have come a long way from the overweight, inactive person I was before I got into this lifestyle.

All this being said, I aim big every year when I set up my goals. In 2010, I hit some targets but also missed many results I was hoping to achieve. Much of this can be linked back to the high swim standards I expected to reach. I did not get to that point and realized the lack of excitement and training opportunities for that sport were holding me back from doing what I really love -  running and cycling.

I came up with the following 5 goals that I want to work with Coach Tyler to achieve this season. Some are running specific and others are duathlon in nature.

1. Sub 1:20:00 Mississauga Half Marathon

2. Top 10 at Victoria's Duathlon

3. Sub 17:00 5k or sub 35:00 10k (depends on which distance fits into my schedule this year)

4. Sub 2:00:00 Olympic Duathlon

5. Top 3 Overall at Ontario Duathlon Championships / 1st AG

It would also be nice to match the number of wins I had in Duathlon in 2009 (before I entered the world of triathlon last season).

Some people do not like to share their goals, and I totally get where they are coming from, but I like to put it all out there. If I don't hit some of these in 2011, hopefully, somebody will point it out and I will work even harder to make it happen in the future.

Best wishes!