Larry's Blog Pages

January 27, 2012

Age Grouper Spotlight - Sean Delanghe

The 2011 Milton Duathlon was my first du in a little more than a calendar year. I spent most of 2010 racing triathlon but did not enjoy the swim training very much so I decided to go back to my comfort zone, run/bike/run.

As it turns out, one gentleman in this race would leave a lasting impression on me as he glided past me with about 500 metres left to the finish. I knew he was a strong runner, from the open 2k run, but I hoped I had put enough of a gap between us on the bike to avoid being caught on the final leg of the race. I guessed wrong. He put out an amazing effort, on a tough course, and fought very hard for that win.

Thankfully, I had a chance to chat with the victor after the race where I discovered he wasn't so new to the sport after all. We then connected over the internet through the summer and got out for a great training ride in his old stomping grounds, Collingwood. His cycling skills were impressive in the hills and he went on to a fantastic Centurion Canada race a few weeks after our scouting mission.

Dr. Sean Delanghe recently graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto and has now set up shop in the Waterloo area. Make sure you look him up if you are in need of some attention ( ) .

10 Questions with Sean Delanghe

Q1. How long have you been competing in duathlon/triathlon?

- I started with some Kids of Steel events when I was really young, along with some local, smaller scale races. However, I jumped into my first “adult” multisport race in 1999 when I was 13, the Collingwood Duathlon. The course was ridiculous, taking us up Grey Road 19 (7-8 km of climbing, which felt like a lot when I was 13), but I had so much fun.

Q2. Do you train as much as you would like or are there outside factors that limit your training?

- Work (and previously school) definitely limits the amount of time I train. However, I almost think this is a good thing. I get excited about getting out for a run or a ride, and I dream about this stuff throughout the busy day. Sure, I would be able to fit in more if I was less busy but I don’t think I would have nearly as much fun with it. Right now, training and racing is my release and I am more than happy to keep it that way.

Q3. How do you find training now that you are out in the workforce?

- I’m finding it easier than when I was in school, surprisingly. When I was in chiropractic school, my schedule was so inconsistent that I just had to squeeze in workouts whenever I “felt like it”. And then, during exams, it was almost impossible to put in any worthwhile work. While I am probably working more total hours now, the consistency is amazing. For instance, I know for a fact that I can do intervals with a group I lead every Monday night, whereas I did not have that luxury while in school. I just find it much easier to rely on scheduled training rather than will power on any given day.

Q4. If you had a full day to train (with fresh legs), which workout would you pick to make the most of this time?

- If I had a full day, I would without a doubt add more endurance work (especially long rides). Being able to sleep in, have a good breakfast and then get on the bike for 4+ hours without having to worry about other responsibilities would be amazing. Having the time to eat and rest properly after the workout (and potentially throw in another ride) would be a great day.

Q5. Do you see yourself entering triathlon in the future or will you be sticking with duathlon for the next few years?

- I think for now I will be sticking with duathlon. I love training for biking and running, so duathlon was a natural progression of my love of both of these sports. I did pursue swimming for a few months one off season, but realized that I just was not having fun with it. I do have a decent swimming background so never say never (that’s for all the Justin Bieber fans out there hah!), but for now I’ll stick with duathlons and road races.

Q6. What is your most memorable sporting moment?

- I would have to go back to that first duathlon in Collingwood (1999). I was 13 years old and I remember being really intimidated by everybody around me. Even when I signed up, we had to argue with the people doing registration because they said I should be racing the Kids of Steel event, not the adult event. Everybody had their tri suits and easy laces, and seemingly nice bikes with areo bars. I was wearing old mountain bike clothes, had two pairs of running shoes (one for the first run, one for the second), and my dad’s old road bike. At that point my goal was to just finish the race. The distance was 4km-30km-4km and I remember finishing the first 4km in first place. I couldn’t believe what was going on because I was so used to being beat by other runners at my track club. I ended up being passed on the bike, but held on for 2nd place overall. It is a great memory, and one of the major reasons why I still race today!

Q7. How important is technology in your training?

- Up until Christmas this year, I never used any technology beyond a stopwatch. I just went based on effort - make it hurt during intervals, make it kind of hurt on tempo days, and keep it smooth-ish on endurance days. However, this year I received a Garmin 310 as a gift. I am just learning how to use it now, so things may change.

Q8. Which athlete inspires you to be the best you can be?

- The athletes that really inspire me include my parents and a group of my parent’s friends. They are all busy professionals, yet they have still found the time to stay not only fit, but competitive in endurance sports throughout their entire lives. For instance, two of these individuals were 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the 65-69 age group in the Collingwood Centurion last September. These people have shown me (from a young age) that it is possible to have a happy and successful family, social and professional life, while still pursuing sport at a high level.

Q9. What are your main goals for 2012?

- My main goal is to be faster than last year. I wouldn’t mind diving into a 34:something 10km, or breaking the 39km/h barrier during the bike leg of a duathlon.

Q10. Do you have any sponsors that you would like to mention?

- I’d like to thank Compressport Canada for helping me out with some gear. Squire John’s (a ski and bike shop near Collingwood) for helping me out with a bike this year. Maikawa Financial for helping me out with some gear. Also, I have to thank my #1 all time sponsors: Mom and Dad!

Dr. Delange is also blogging and has started a very imforative site for us athletes!

January 26, 2012

This stuff is crazy...

So I was shopping at Best Buy over the holidays and as I was waiting for a sales person to help me, I found myself glued to a promo video playing on one of the televisions.

It was a cycling video but it was beyond extreme and I could not stop watching. I could not believe the single track spine riding these guys were pulling off at incredible speeds.

There is no way in hell I could ever muster up the courage to tackle this type of route but man is it ever cool to watch. They did not show any crashes but now that I have watched more of these on youtube I have seen what happens when you go off course. Early retirement...

Also, I am going to be adding a Product Review section to my site in between Age Group Spotlights. I really appreciate the help of @kevinjagger from CEP Canada as I ramp up to start this new blog series. Stay tuned...

January 17, 2012

Age Grouper Spotlight - Kane Picken

My first impression of Kane was from an early 2010 FMCT club TT. I was studying the results from one of the races I missed and noticed a new name up near the top. As the name did not ring a bell, I checked a few of the local results sites to learn more about this new Falcon but I could not dig up anything on my computer.

A few weeks later, after another club time trial, we got to chat a little and introduce ourselves. From the accent, I knew he was from another hotbed of triathlon a tiny distance to the south, Australia. Growing up down under, Kano had built quite the resume in the sport but had just taken some time off as he moved to Canada. He and his fiancee (now wife) were just getting settled in the area and he was feeling the itch to compete once again.

After using the 2010 season to get back into form, Kano had planned out an amazing calendar of races for 2011. He had a few of the favourite local races mixed in with some famous selections south of the border. I knew from a few of our training sessions that he was in great shape as he ramped up for Ironman Louisville so I was very surprised to hear about his illness that sidelined him just a few months before the big race. Unfortunately, a string of set backs followed so he had to pass up many of the events he had worked so hard to prepare for, ultimately tossing the 2011 triathlon season away.

Thankfully, this tough Aussie is feeling healthy again and is ready to take aim on a promising 2012!

10 Questions with Kane Picken

Q1. How did you get started in the sport of triathlon?

- In my late twenties, I was at a difficult point in my life. I needed to make some changes. I had always been active but had found myself sliding quickly out of control. So, I decided it was time to get happy and healthy. A short run to the end of our road kicked it off. Originally, it was to get fit for the up coming rugby season but, when I stumbled across an adventure race in Men’s Health, my focus changed direction. My dad bought a mountain bike for me he had seen for sale and away I went. The adventure race was a three-man team so my uncle, dad and I entered and had an absolute blast! A couple of weeks later I raced my first triathlon 300m/10k/2.5k and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Q2. How tough was it to sit out most of 2011 due to health issues?

Some years are forgettable, 2011 is going to be one of them. It was extremely tough. For all of us time is precious, especially, when you spend all your spare time training for triathlons. I’m sure many can relate to me when I say I had minute-by-minute of everyday planned out. Ironman Louisville was my main target for the year and I was ready to go big. I was the fittest I had ever been and determined to reach my goals. Being hospitalized and diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis certainly brought the wheels to a screeching halt. I think the news that racing Louisville was now out of the question was harder to take than the diagnoses. Being 2 months out from the race, I felt I still had time. Once I had recovered, I began training again in hope there was still a chance. However, after my second hospital visit, and a mere 6 hours from death due to organ failure, I realized it was time to let it go. I still traveled to Louisville to be a part of the action. I was surprised by the visit of my mum and one of my sisters. What I learnt from all this was it's time to listen to my body. Rest when you’re tired; take two days off if that’s what you need, be smart.

Q3. What are your long term goals in the sport?

- My long term goals in the sport of triathlon are to make multiple visits to Hawaii for the World Championships. I want to win my age group at a domestic Ironman event. Also, I would like to take a trip to Las Vegas for the 70.3 World Championships. I would like to continue to love the sport and enjoy doing it for the right reasons. Lastly, I hope to inspire more friends to get involved so they can reap the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Q4. How do you motivate yourself to push through all the long training hours?

I’m motivated by the fact that I like to work hard and I like to see results (I’m not happy with my results). I’m motivated by my long-term goals. I’m motivated because I’m not the best so there is always room for improvement. Training for triathlons, and competing in them, is rewarding and a positive way to live life.

Q5. What piece of gear would you love to purchase if you had an unlimited budget?

- Electronic shifters
Q6. What is your favourite training session?

- It’s a toss up between a long ocean swim with mates or a long brick session. I love the ocean swims as there is no black line, the water is clear and beautiful, it’s peaceful and I like nothing more than swimming in salt water. Long brick sessions are tough and rewarding. Spending 6hrs of your Saturday or Sunday out on the road and trails isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, it builds real character and confidence.
Q7. Do you have any sponsors you would like to mention or thank?

Clif Bar has given me great support and I’m happy to refer anyone to try their products. They have a huge selection for every kind of workout or recovery and the best thing is they taste great. Steve Keating, owner of Du, tri and Run in Streetsville, has given me amazing support. I’m very thankful for his generousity. For any of your triathlon needs in the Mississauga area, be sure to visit Steve. Maverick Hair Studio for men. It’s the place to go for stylish haircuts to keep you looking fast. Lastly, if you’re in the Erin area, “The Shed” has great coffee and super friendly staff to boot.

Q8. What do you find different between Australian and Canadian triathlon at the local level?

- Truthfully, there is not a huge amount of difference. Taking nothing away from the competition here, which has plenty of great athletes, I find the competition goes a lot deeper in each age group back home. Some races cracking the top 20 can be hard. Canada lacks in the number of Pros racing at each event. However, I like what Multisport Canada is doing this year with the Elite Age Group division and some prize money to go with it. Other than that, both countries have great race options, friendly competition and are well organized.

Q9. Who is the one triathlete you would love to spend a training week with?

- I can’t go past Craig Alexander. He is a humble, hardworking champion who always puts his family first.

Q10. What is the best piece of training advice you have received and from whom?

- Something that I live and die by now, especially after last year’s issues, is it's better to do too little rather than too much. Over training will only lead to injury. This was advice given to me by my Uncle, a multiple Hawaiian Ironman finisher.

Make sure you follow Kane on his blog @ !

Get the Press Rolling...

I was looking back at some posts from last year and came across a number of the online interviews I conducted. I really enjoyed learning more about the folks that make up tour local triathlon community so I figured I had better pick up where I left off in 2011.

I have one person in mind (a nominee from 2011 just as I was moving into race mode) that I have contacted so hopefully I can start off with this gentleman and get the ball rolling.

If you have an Age Group athlete that you would like to nominate, please send the information my way and I will do my best to find out more about this local talent.

Please re-visit some of the great guest from the past through the link below.

Some of the people you can read about through this link are...
Canadian AG Athletes
-Paul Gonsalves
-Rhys Spencer
-Marco Sadeghi
-David Frake
-Tommy Ferris
-Glenn Camplin
-Luke Ehgoetz
-Carlos Vilchez
-Bruce Bird
-Richard Pady

And Canadian Pros
-Brent Poulsen
-Simon Whitfield
-Tom Evans


January 14, 2012

Head Strong...

In my early career, I was fortunate enough to learn several sides of the pro sports business from many of the top players in the industry. One person, in particular, presented countless opportunities (scouting, practice goaltending, video analysis, etc.) to me during those years that eventually led to my part-time (hobby) role as an Assistant Video Coach in the NHL (and now as Video Coach in the AHL). 

On several occasions I would visit his office to discuss how his work with athletes improved the product on the ice or in the dressing room. He obviously could not get into specifics or names (which I was not interested in anyway) but it was always interesting to hear how the mental strength of an athlete adds huge gains to their physical skills. There are so many obstacles a pro athlete needs to tackle during their rise to the top and anyone without mental toughness is sure to struggle and will out on reaching their full potential.

Through this friendship, I soaked in as many examples as I could. When I then took up running, to get back into shape, I thought back to his lessons to help me get through the tough miles on the road. I knew that I had to reinforce my physical effort with a positive mental state to ensure I put the most into my training. If you could hear my thoughts during training and racing you would see how much I took away from his teachings.

So, why am I sharing this? Well Mr. Paul Dennis has recently created a twitter account for all to follow. If you would like to receive thought provoking tweets from Canada's top sports psychologist please follow @dennissportpsy on twitter!

January 5, 2012

Things are taking shape...

Wow, what a difference a week makes!

My training has been very solid in the new year but the biggest difference so far is my improved diet. I have cut out the sweets and have been snacking a lot more wisely and it is already showing, big time! I know it is easy to do this for the short term, when I set my mind to it, so it is going to be very important that I keep on track throughout the year. The past few seasons I have been overly relaxed with my eating habits and ended up racing much heavier than I would have liked. I know I will have to enjoy the odd day of bad food choices now and then but must reduce those instances in a big way.

So what else is happening? Actually, not a heck of a lot. Just trying to set up a race calendar for 2012 that includes a little bit of all my passions. A little running, duathlon and triathlon. Makes for a busy year so I hope I can pick some of my favourites and work them into an OCup cycling schedule.

Another thing I have been doing of late is catching up on some reading. A very good posting I just read comes from local triathlete, Rhys Spencer. He lays out a great summary of what it takes to complete a quick Ironman so please check it out .

I also enjoyed reading Ricard Westwood's latest analysis of his training program. If you are an Age Group cyclist interested to see how one of the top performers in his AG gets it done, you would be wise to follow his link at !

Of course, there are several other worthy reads from the list of blogs I follow so please scan over to the left side of my page and add some to your daily information gathering!

Lastly, I will leave you with a video that I have been studying of late. Coach Tyler continues to emphasize the importance of efficiencies in my running. Forefoot running with higher knee action are some of the mental keys I have been using of late. This YouTube video demonstrates what I have been trying to incorporate into my drills. I hope you enjoy...