Larry's Blog Pages

February 28, 2011

Toronto Bike Show

Don't forget to get all your great Cycling deals for 2011 this weekend at the Annual Spring Show!

25th Annual
Toronto International Bicycle Show

New Building
Better Living Centre
Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario,

Friday, March 4, 2011 - Noon to 9: P.M.
Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.

February 24, 2011

Frustrating Injury

It is coming up on 2 1/2 weeks now since I inured my upper back/neck area while training. What started out as a pinch like feeling in the shoulder blade has developed into much more and several physio sessions, some meds and lots of stretching have yet to cure the problem.

The burning pain in the nerve is very uncomfortable and makes it tough to sleep at night so that does not help the situation. I am trying to keep up with some of my cycling on the recumbent style stationary bike at the gym but it is just not the same. Running these days, is pretty painful so I have cut that out for now which really hurts as I experienced so much progress in the past few months. My upper body and core strength is also starting to fade as I have not been able to work on these exercises since the workout in which I first felt the pain.

Having gone through a very similar injury in 2007, I know just how long this can take to improve. Last time, I spent 3 months in physio before I was able to train again. The pain is a little less this time around but it still seems far from leaving my body. Hopefully, some miracle happens over night very soon and I wake up feeling 100% and ready to train as hard as I was just a few weeks ago.

As everyone knows, injuries are such a demoralizing part of the game as you feel that all your previous training efforts are drifting away. It is tough to stay positive during these stretches so I really appreciate all the support I have received.

Talk soon,

February 23, 2011

Ontario Olympic Distance Championships Announced

OAT has announced that Cobourg will hold the 2011 Ontario Olympic Distance Duathlon Championships and Bracebridge will host the 2011 Ontario Olympic Distance Triathlon Championships. Both races are part of the Multisport Canada Triathlon Series.

2011 Schedule

*Woodstock - June 11 - June 12
*Binbrook (Hamilton) - June 18 - June 19
*Welland - June 25 - June 26
*Gravenhurst - July 16 - July 17
*Bala Falls - July 24
*Bracebridge - August 6 - August 7
*Cobourg - August 13 - August 14
*Toronto Island - August 27 - August 28
*Wasaga Beach - September 10
*Lakeside - September 17 - September 18

February 15, 2011

Age Grouper Spotlight - Glenn Camplin

Team HiPerformance athlete, Glenn Camplin, is my next subject in the Age Grouper Series on my blog. I have been lucky enough to train with Glenn for the past few years (with our coach Tyler Lord) and have seen just how hard this driven triathlete works to stay at the top of his AG.

He has a well rounded mix of swimming, cycling and running which makes it very tough to catch him out on the course. This season, this Hamilton native will look to improve on an incredibly successful 2010 as he attempts to push the bar even higher.

 10 Questions with Glenn Camplin

Q1. What got you started in triathlon?

- After way too many years of inactivity, I decided I should do something to get back into shape. Around that time one of my friends was competing in the Niagara Duathlon and another in the triathlon. My wife and I went to watch them to yell some encouragement. After the race, my friend told me given my swimming background, I should give triathlon a try and that was the start of it.

Q2. Is there a workout you dread to see on your schedule? How do you overcome this initial lack of enthusiasm to get through it?

- That's easy, track workouts. They hurt way too much! I much prefer long steady/tempo runs. The only thing that gets me through it is the results they produce. No doubt about it, the track makes you fast.

Q3. You have been training with Tyler Lord for a few years now. How does a coach help you most (motivation, form, periodization, etc.)?

- Tyler helps immeasurably. The biggest benefits from working with a coach are that it keeps you accountable, and the knowledge he provides. Before, I would just go out and swim, bike and run kind of aimlessly, thinking more means better. Now my training is much more focused.

Q4. What do you hope to accomplish in the 2011 season?

- I haven't really decided on a race schedule for this year, however, Tyler has suggested my "A" race could be going sub 4:20 at the Esprit 70.3 in Montreal this September.

Q5. Is there a professional athlete that inspires you to reach your goals?

- Chrissie Wellington. It is unbelievable how dominant she is. I was fortunate enough to see her racing Ironman she can go that fast and smile through the pain is inspirational. Also, the elite ITU athletes in general are inspiring. The speed they possess and the pain barriers they can push themselves through is crazy.

Q6. You have traveled to several races outside of Ontario, which destination race have you enjoyed most?

- The ITU Grand Finale in Surfer's Paradise, Australia has to be my favourite race. The race organization was great, the weather was great and Australia is such an awesome place to relax for a holiday at the end of the season.

Q7. What is your greatest source of information for triathlon, magazines, online sites, blogs, coach, etc.?

- All of the above. I check out athlete's blogs and web sites fairly consistently. Tyler always keeps me up to date with everything in the triathlon world. Also, training partners and I need something to talk about during our long runs and rides.

Q8. Is there any training aid that you cannot live without, I.E. HR monitor, GPS, power metre, gels, Gatorade, etc.?

-Two things. Firstly, my wattage metre. Two years ago, I just rode the trainer and had no real idea how to train properly on it. With the power metre, I can accurately do intervals and gauge my progress. The second thing would be Eload Fly. Not many people seem to know about it but, for longer races when nutrition is very important, it is a great product. I like to add it to my water bottles to make a super concentrated drink to make sure I get enough carbs and calories.

Q9. Do you try to stick to a strict nutritional plan or do you eat whatever is convenient at the time?

- I have to stick to a nutritional plan as much as possible. I seem to gain weight very easily and very quickly due to my sweet tooth. If I don't stick to my plan, I feel very blotted and slow.

Q10. Do you listen to music during training? If yes, what song really gets you rolling?

- I don't listen to music as much as I used to. We can't race with music so I try not to become reliant on it while training, however, a little Rage Against the Machine has gotten me through a few tough track workouts.

Thanks for your time Glenn!

February 7, 2011

Age Grouper Spotlight - Luke Ehgoetz

The next subject in my Age Group Triathlete spotlight is a New Hamburg resident who continues to climb the AG rankings year after year. Luke Ehgoetz had a solid 2010 season and is currently working hard to improve on his past triathlon times with a big focus on becoming an Ironman in 2011.

To help him on his journey, Luke has joined Team Running Free – Milton and will be sporting the very familiar Red and Black of this well represented local squad. His outgoing personality and dedication to the sport make him a perfect match for a team that continues to attract many of the top endurance sport athletes of the area.

When I sat down to create my list of potential candidates for this series, I had a good feeling Luke would be open to share his story. As usual, he did not disappoint so I hope you enjoy learning about another amazing Age Group Triathlete from our region.

10 Questions with Luke Ehgoetz

Q1. How did your triathlon journey begin? Was there an individual sport that led you into this lifestyle?

- I started running back when I was in University, simply for exercise and to try and lose some weight. I moved to Bermuda in 1997 and did my first running race in 1998, I think. My first official road race was the Bermuda Day half marathon. Wow, did I learn a lot that day. It was also the last day I wore a cotton tank top to run in.

I struggled plenty in that first race, finishing in about 2 hours and 5 minutes. After that, I was hooked on running and decided to take it more serious. I did many more races while living in Bermuda, and actually got my Bermuda Day half marathon time down to about 1:40.

I moved back to Canada in 2002 and did some more running races, but nothing too competitive. It wasn't until I started biking to work (New Hamburg to Kitchener and back) in 2005 that I really start to step it up.

In the summer of 2006, I decided to sign up for my first triathlon. It was the Subaru Sherkston Shores sprint triathlon in September 2006. I was pretty nervous at the start and asked to get moved to the last swim wave.

As expected, the swim was a real challenge, but once I got out, I flew through the bike and run and finished with a decent time. After that, I was totally hooked, and for 2007 I got the express pass and did all of the Subaru races except the Peterborough Half.

Q2. Where do you draw your inspiration from for those long, tough training hours?

- I think my inspiration comes from wanting to do better than I have in the past. For the past few years, I've had a spring marathon on the schedule (Mississauga in 2009 and Ottawa in 2010). I have a running friend here in New Hamburg that I run with (Darryl Huras) who is also a very good runner. It is great that we can go out and be equally challenged while training, and since we have had similar race schedules the past few years, it is motivating to get out there and run when you know you don't have to do it alone.

I did my first long distance triathlon in 2008 (Muskoka 70.3). It was a real struggle and I knew when I was done that I could do a lot better. Therefore, I was motivated in 2009 to train hard over the summer in order to improve upon my time. In 2009, I did the Muskoka 70.3 again and placed 5th in my AG and actually earned a spot for Clearwater. Unfortunately, I could not go, so once again, I trained hard in 2010 to qualify one more time so that I could go.

In 2010, I ended up getting 4th place in my AG and qualified for Clearwater. In November 2010, I did the 70.3 World Championship race down in Clearwater, Florida. It was an incredible experience overall.

Q3. Which of the three sports do you believe you need to work on the most to improve your overall performance?

- Well, if you look at my results over the past few years, swimming has always been my weakest discipline. In the winter of 2009/2010, and again this winter, I have spent a lot more time swimming and in the 2010 season, had much better results in the water. Still, swimming is my weakest event of the three. There comes a point where the additional swim time is only going to get me a few minutes faster perhaps.

The additional time spent swimming could be better spent either improving bike or run training that could improve overall performance by a significantly greater time. This is amplified the longer the race is. With July 2011 being my first Ironman attempt, I believe spending more time on the bike and run in the early spring will give me the best overall performance come race day. It is going to be very difficult to improve my swim time between now and July by a significant amount.

Q4. Who is responsible for setting up your training program? If you are, how do you develop the plan (magazine articles, on-line programs, etc.)?

 - Up to this point, I have completely come up with my own training plans. They have not been overly complicated and I, more or less, train as much as I can in the available time that I have. Rather than elaborate here on what makes up a regular training week for me, readers can check out one of my January 2011 blog posts where I outline my plan through until the spring of this year. I didn't really base that on anything I found in a magazine or any on-line program. I simply knew how many swim, bike and run workouts I wanted to do in a week, and then I simply put that plan into action. Like many other age group athletes, I have had to work my schedule around other "life" commitments like work and family. It's tough, but if you are disciplined enough, and have the motivation to succeed, it can be done.

In addition, I have a few very experienced resources that I can check in with to get training ideas and feedback. Patti Warr (multiple Ironman AG winner), from Baden, Ontario, is a good friend and I share training ideas with her. I am also a friend of, and swim with Brian Keast (2x Ironman AG World Championship winner), and he has given me some valuable training advice in advance of my first Ironman attempt this summer in Austria.

Q5. You have tried many of the distances triathlon has to offer, do you have a favourite race length? What excites you about that distance compared to the others?

- I don't really have a favourite race distance. Each is exciting in its own way. A sprint is so exciting because it's just so fast. Every second counts here, so things like quick transitions can mean the difference between a podium spot or not. I think the Olympic distance is a very popular distance for me, because it is short enough that you have to go pretty darn hard, but long enough that you have to pace yourself so you don't blow up.

I've done four half Ironman events now, and the key element in this event is pacing and nutrition. If you don't get these right, the run can be a very dark place. As I said above, my first Ironman attempt is going to be this year, and like the Half, you must pace yourself and ensure your nutrition plan is dialed in. I think that the concern for the Ironman is that there is little room for error in both pacing and nutrition, so it makes it that much harder and for a longer period of time.

Q6. To date, which race has been your favourite?

- I'd say that from an overall race perspective, the Clearwater 70.3 World Championship that I did last fall was my favourite. The hype and excitement of race day was nothing I have ever experienced before. The bike ride was crazy fast, and despite the drafting issues, it was still very cool to be biking with so many other guys that are at the same level. It was just 2 hours and 13 minutes that absolutely flew by (at almost 41 kph!!)

Locally, in Ontario, I have always loved going up to Muskoka and doing either the long course triathlon or the 70.3 race in September. I've done every one so far, if that is any indication of how much I like it.

The Lakeside triathlon and Victoria's duathlon are also a favourite of mine because they are the close to my home, and I consider them my "home" races.

From a pure running perspective, I have always really liked the Around the Bay 30K road race in Hamilton. I've done it 3 times now and really enjoy it.

Q7. What accomplishment(s) would make 2011 a successful year for you in the sport?

- Easy. A sub 10 hour finish at Ironman Austria on July 3, 2011. Realistically, I'm aiming for a low 10 hour finish, but one can always shoot high, right? I am also doing the Boston Marathon (qualified at the Ottawa marathon in May 2010 - 3:00:49 qualifying time). My goal there is to simply enjoy the race and try to take it all in, not set a new marathon PB in the process!

Q8. If you were to walk into a bike shop with unlimited funds for one day, what would you buy?

- Another easy question. This would be a Trek Speed Concept 9.9 (picture below). Mine would be totally tricked out with Shimano Di2, Zipp Sub 9 rear disc and Zipp 1080 front. Of course, everything would have to match from a colour perspective too. Throw on an SRM or Quarq power meter and a Garmin 800 to track it all!! I still likely wouldn't have the fastest bike split, but there is a good chance I'd have the best looking and most expensive bike in transition. Now, who has $20,000 you can give me to make this dream a reality?

Q9. Do you have any other hobbies outside triathlon?

- I consider myself very handy around the home (from a building perspective). I have done many things from finishing our basement to building the two decks that we have in our backyard. Below is a picture of the deck and fencing I did around the swimspa that we put in back in 2009.

I also play recreational hockey Sunday mornings here in town during the winter. I used to play softball in the summers, but given my increased training commitments over the last few years, I decided to stop playing and devote more time to the family.

Q10. If you had the chance to sit down with any three people in the world, who would you chose?

- Tough question. After thinking about it for a bit, here is my list of three people in the world I'd like to talk to:

1 -Craig Alexander. Craig is one of the top triathlon professionals in the world, and is definitely my favourite. He's done a number of the local races (including Muskoka 70.3 all three years in a row). I'd love to pick his brain on all things triathlon. Training, life as a pro, traveling the world, etc. etc.

2 - Warren Buffet. Who wouldn't want to talk with Warren Buffet, one of the richest guys on the entire planet? I'm sure his insight into finances and investing would be incredible to listen to, especially since I work in the hedge fund industry.

3 - Oprah Winfrey. I'm not one to be big on celebrities, but Oprah is one classy lady that has everything figured out, I think. She has met so many amazing people over the years herself that I'm sure she could talk to you all day about it, and just barely scratch the surface.

Thanks Luke!

Make sure you visit Luke's blog and add him to your Blog Roll!

February 5, 2011

Product Review - Clif Shot Energy Gel

I have not posted too many product reviews of late as I seem to purchase the same items over and over again. The items I have found to work for me a few years ago seem to do the trick for me several years later.

After doing some reading, and shopping around, I noticed the Clif Shot Energy Gels were close to 25% cheaper than my usual Power Gel products. If you add up the number of gels I consume over the course of a season, this could make a small, but favourable, difference in my multisport budget so I was curious to test them out. If they work for Macca, they must be good, right?

Well, after going through half a box of two of my usual flavours (Strawberry and Vanilla), I must say I am left disappointed.

I have found the flavours to be rather weak and not as enjoyable as the same Power Gel options. I see that Clif tries to sell itself on Organic ingredients (90% Organic) but to be honest, that is not a selling feature for me. If I do not dedicate myself to an organic lifestyle on an everyday basis, than I am not going to worry too much about the organic nature of my tiny intake of gels.

I also found the consistency of the gel to be much thicker and tougher to get out of the packet than Power Gel. When you are fighting to get the product out of the package, it takes focus away from the task at hand. Once again, Power Gel comes out on top in the head to head battle for gel preference when it comes to this important quality.

As for performance, I did not recognize an extra boost in effort from the Clif Shot over my experiences with Power Gel. It seemed to keep me just as energized as Power Gel but nothing more that would make me want to change brands.

Overall, the lack of taste and the extra effort required to get all the product from the package cannot make up for the cost savings. When you are in need of a quick fix during a race, or in training, you need something to look forward to from your nutritional choices. For me, I like the taste of Power Gel and look forward to that little, sugary reward during a longer effort.

Remember, this is just my opinion and my taste buds could be much different than yours. I would love to hear what you have to say regarding this topic.

Note - I have also compared Gu Gel to Power Gel and they were relatively similar. I found the Gu a touch thicker but was able to get the gel out in respectable time. The Gu flavours I tested tasted well so that was not an issue. Where Gu (especially the Roctane) lost me as a consumer is in their pricing.

February 4, 2011

Bike and Tri gear Online Garage Sale

Hey All,

Check out the amazing deals on "Speedy's" facebook page. He is trying to clear a bunch of product out of his basement and is offering some sweet prices.