Sunday, July 22, 2012

Top 10 to Worlds

Today was the 2012 Canadian Duathlon Championships.  Simon Whitfield and Paula Findlay were racing a demonstrative tune up for the Olympic Games, and close to 200 athletes were racing for a slot at the 2013 World Duathlon Championships.

A full race report will come soon enough, but on a touch screen, let's just get it out there...

1) Congrats to Kevin Smith!
Sorry I didn't get a chance to say Hi. We raced together on Team Canada U23 team in Belgium in 2003 and he's very much still got "it".

2) Special thanks to my awesome wife, family and friends who supported me out on the race course... Great to have you guys there.

3) Team Kattouf is officially in Canada. Thanks to Cameron Dorn for a great training and racing plan.

4) I was racing a ROAD bike. (Thanks Racer Sportif Toronto for setting me up on a Scott Foil40)

5) See photo.

6 - years since the last time I "raced" at Canada Du Nats.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Announcement Made - its official:
2013 World Duathlon Championships to be hosted in Ottawa, Canada Aug 10-11, 2013!

Sent on the go from Sam's mobile device.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Race Day Hydration Prep

Well, here we are - 34 hours from race start and its time to get the nutrition ready for the Toronto Triathlon Festival.  For the last three weeks I've been experimenting with my temperature and nutrition a little and have been learning, and subsequently feel I'm getting somewhere.

In always wanting to learn more about operating my nutrition more efficiently, I turn to the experts, and then conduct my own tests.  Dr. Allen Lim, founder of Skratch Labs,  is regarded as a distance nutrition expert and I've been trying to glean from a few things he publishes.  This video looks at how some of us try to take in too many calories via hydration.

Taking this new found info in mind that crates an 80 calories of powder to 500ml of water is good for the egg, I've been devising my own lower calorie yet efficient drink mix.

Base - 400ml filtered water
Carbs - 250ml organic apple juice
(Approximately 120 calories)
1/2 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon pure Canadian Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon organic sea salt
Combine, stir, freeze.

Now I understand "frozen" drinks on the bike can be bad, however, with finding the cool = lower heart rate, I'm still experimenting.  I haven't cramped, bonked, or gotten slower since running with ice, so I'm going to take the plunge and try it on race day!

Time for bed, only two more sleeps to go.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heat vs Heart Rate // Chill Out

For some of the best training years in my life I lived in San Diego, CA.
The temperature was pretty much a perfect 21.4C (71F) all year long and it was incredible.

Now living in Toronto, Canada - Summer 2012 has had temperatures in the low 30's (86F) and humidity of 90+%

With getting ready for Nationals in a week's time, I've been trying to train at the same time as I race (7-10am) and it's still hot.  In my work-up 10k's, I've been noticing my heart rate increasing and my speed decreasing, yet my perceived effort isn't too different.  Thus began the research. explains that perspiration is the body's first attempt at self temperature regulation, however, when my HR is in the 190's sweating seems to do very little other than magnify the sun's rays and cook my white skin.  The next step is for your circulatory system to get involved and your blood vessels start to dilate, lowering the pressure in your veins helping lower the temperature.  I'm not sure how long this works for, or at what temperatures, but I need more.

Super Tech Solution:
Basically it's a machine you put your hand in that helps cool your blood before it returns to your core, thus lowering your body temperature and heart rate.  It's a little more technical than that, you'll have to check their website if you really care.  The $3k price tag scared me off.  While it might work for baseball and footballers, but I haven't seen too many on the sidelines.  And it definitely won't work for the run, which is where my heart rate skyrockets. So for $3k in "techie" dollars, I'll take a serious look at an altitude tent :p

Rocket Science Sports: 20BPM Race suit seems to be a novel idea.  Claims to reflect 50% of radiant heat and help lower your heart rate 20 bpm - via vibration and temperature control. And at 1/10 the cost of CoreControl... and is functional in a racing environment... it just might work, for next year.  AND these guys appear to have Sweat Science, not just gimmicks on their side.

- Proprietary Reflective Fabric reflects sunlight and radiant heat up to 50% more than dark-colored garments. It also shields UV rays with SPF50.  This statement makes me wonder if 'any' white suit will have a similar effect?

- First company to design a race suit with vortex technology. Vortex generators reduce drag in water by 6%.  That's cool -  I'll keep that in mind if I add TRI to my resume.

 - Dimpled SCS coated leg panels for improved aero/hydrodynamics.  In following this years TdF, I didn't hear Bradley Wiggins suit being dimpled, or aero helmets being dimpled yet for that matter... However Nike dimpled a suit for Usanian Bolt this year, so we'll see!

Update: I like the RocketScience UK site better; more pics and graphs on success of suit.

While these are all great; this blog is about SuperGo Sam Riding AGAIN - meaning there's not the biggest budget in the world to work with.

Gel flasks full of ice (water / sports drink) $3 each
Good for when you want to get something cold in you (with a bit of electrolytes).
Maybe this is the poor mans version of the CoreControl.  So far, I've done 3 runs with 2 of them now, and I've found my HR about 10 beats lower.  Maybe I'm more concentrated, drinking cooler liquids... but it feels like it works.  Not sure if I'm quite ready to use this in a race yet, but it's SO hot, I feel it might make it's debut next weekend.
On average I would say these ice packs last about 20 minutes.  Now in a Duathlon, you have a 10k run, so for me, that's almost double 20 mins.  Empty flasks can be consumed and dumped in the pockets, or a disposable option could be to use plastic baggies full of ice and toss them when they're melted.

Will help reduce weight AND help more heat escape.
(not yet tested, will try tomorrow)  Even if it's a mental edge, I'll take it!

Coolest Racing Uniform Possible:
Well, blue is the best I have so that's what we're going with.  In future maybe I'll shop for a white one to save myself a few degrees of heat.

Ice in Race Beverage:
There's usually about 2 hours from the time I leave my hotel to the time the race starts, so I cram in as much frozen liquid as possible.  (It all usually melts by the time I get on the bike, but it's still cooler than if it started at room temp)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ride & A Movie

"You're not the devil, you're practice."

12 hours of training into this week and that's how my legs feel - like I just took on six guys. The legs are so spent I need a little Batmaan motivation to push through.  Not even watching a break-a-way on the Tour de France could keep me going! :) 

Primary Ride Goal:
240 minutes
3/4 of ride in aero position

Rocked my Race Day hydration set-up (more or less).
Found the straw of my Torhans stuck up a little to high - working on lowering bottle.
Tested another rendition of my sports beverage formula - this one felt awesome, refreshing and kept me going.  Going to test on a run to see how it goes! #allnatural

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another SuperGo Sentiment SOLD

It's true; my collection of "SuperGo Sam" paraphernalia is getting smaller and smaller as the days go on.  Today - I sold a SuperGo 130mm Carbon / Aluminum stem.  #Memories

Friday, July 13, 2012

And Why Not SIMON!

He's won the FIRST Gold Medal for Triathlon at the Olympics - EVER
He's the only Male triathlete to medal at the Olympics TWICE
He's one only 13 athlete's to have competed at the Olympics, in all of the triathlon's EVER
He already does three sports in less than 2 hours
So why not Simon Whitfield to represent Canada and carry in our flag at London 2012!

Congratulations Simon, we're proud of you and can't wait to watch you lead our country's finest into the Games and tear up the race course


Slowtwitch story
Official CBC Story

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

10 Days & Counting . . .

The countdown has officially begun.  Slightly more than a week, too soon to taper, too late to make any significant changes; the work is 'done' and it's officially time to get ready for the Canadian Duathlon Championships at the Toronto Triathlon Festival on July 22, 2012. 

My first Olympic Duathlon e v e r  was Canadian Du Champs in Kananaskis, AB in 2000.  At 18 years of age I was competing alongside 2012 Olympians Simon Whitfield and Brent McMahon - both absolutely awesome dudes.  Our paths have crossed multiple times over the years at National and World Championship qualifier events.  With Simon being at my first race on my journey 'back' - 12 years later - it adds a few butterflies.  Simon said his dad always says, "don't to get rid of them (butterflies),  make them fly in formation" - guess that's what keeps him crossing the line first :)

With Tour de France on TV, the 2012 London Olympic Games just a few weeks away, (the St. George Station Subway Station) there's some great motivation for training and pushing your limits.  However, I haven't "raced" for six years... Do I remember what this feels like?  Can I run MY race?  Only time will tell.

The above photo is the cover of the Toronto Triathlon Festival website. Just in case you needed some motivation to kick your own butt in gear. This photo - is Simon Whitfield: CAN - doing his classic, come from behind sprint victory at the Hy-Vee Olympic Triathlon Challenge in 2010.  I'd be that excited if I won $200k as well! (just without the muscles or long hair)