Friday, August 24, 2012

Lance Fittest 40 Year Old on the Planet?

The whole tale is tragic.
Doesn't affect my world, but I really like his closing;

Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.

Not sure who's going to challenge him, but in 10 years I might want to throw my hat in the ring ;)

Week 1 - Toronto 1/2 Marathon

It's officially crunch time for the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

Last year I ran a 1:45:53 in my first 'official' attempt at the 21.1km distance.  While that effort felt amicable, my loving wife - who registered us for the event online, decided to put me in the 1:30 category to "push me" - Thanks Sweetie :p

In looking at my Duathlon times, my run definitely needs some work so a kick in the pants isn't the worst thing for me.  With having a bit of base following the Toronto Triathlon Festival (Canadian Duathlon Championships), and three weeks of vacation (with very little running), it's been interesting to put together a running program to help me peak for race day (Oct 14, 2012) .

My plan consists of a combination of the wildly popular Runner's World 1:30 Half Marathon Training Plan, Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon 1:30 Training Plan, both condensed to 8 weeks with what I can realistically fit in my schedule.  The people running 1:30 are obviously quicker than I am, so hopefully this works!

SuperGo Sam's 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan: Week 1
The plan is to start decent shape, and ease into it.  Looking at where everyone else is on their 12 week training plans though, we may need to tighten the curve a little.

Monday - 5km
EASY (jog)

Tuesday - 5km
1200m warm-up
800 x 3 (2:50 pace) - or whatever feels very quick to you
400m recovery walk / job between sets or 3 mins; whichever comes first
cool down

* I do my 800m workouts on the road with my Garmin Edge 500 GPS.  The distance is more inconsistent than running on the track, but it's a little more realistic for me as I'll be racing on the road.  If the track were less than 4km away, and open when I want to run (7am), I'd likely be on the track.

Wednesday - off
No Running
(Commuted to work by bike, 30km total)

Thursday - 8km
1500m warm-up
5k @ 13km/hr (4:35/km)
1500m cool down
(Commute to work by bike, 15km)

Friday - 15km
Steady easy pace; "getting in the miles"
(15k bike, easy)

Friday, August 17, 2012


Congratulations!! In one year’s time, you will be representing Canada at the 2013 ITU World Duathlon Championships!

The EMAIL I've been waiting six years for is finally in my inbox!  Now, not to be coy, but I've received many of these, six in fact, but this one is special.  Since hitting the wall in 2006, I stepped back from racing, but I've always missed it.  Now that we're becoming friends again, it's super exciting, like it's the first time!  Even though I'm not trying to get my pro card, or racing U23, opening this email made me feel like a kid again :)

Dear  Samuel,

Congratulations!! In one year’s time, you will be representing Canada at the 2013 ITU World Duathlon Championships!
Joined by the best duathletes in Canada, you will be racing against the top age group duathletes from around the world.  The ITU World Championships is not just about the competition, it’s also about the atmosphere and new friendships you will forge.  
To give you a better idea of what’s to come and answer whatever questions you may have, Triathlon Canada has developed an Age Group Athletes’ Guidebook to help! You can download a copy of the guidebook HERE.

Or, you can also visit the Age Group Teams section on our website –  Under the World Championship Teams, each team has a dedicated page that is updated throughout the year as more details are released.

All communication regarding the World Championships, including team uniforms, travel, accommodation, and competition updates will be sent via email. Please ensure you set your email options to allow emails from us to come through and not filtered directly as “junk email”.

Team Uniforms – you will have an opportunity to confirm and correct your sizes prior to production and delivery.
You can expect your first team communication in late November/early December  – Triathlon Canada is currently prepping the 2012 teams for World Championships.

This next year will go by quickly so keep up the training and check your emails!

Congratulations on all your hard work,

Joyce Chiang
Age Group Teams

Official Announcement of Ottawa Hosting the 2013 World Duathlon Age Group Championships
Aug 10 - 11, 2013

International Triathlon Union 2013 Duathlon World Championship Event Listing (missing lots of info)

(Photo Copyright Triathlon Canada - Team Canada - 2008)

Check out the Scott Foil I raced on to qualify for the 2013 World Championships and a couple race photos here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Euro Nutrition - Corny Big

While part of me wishes this was a joke, it's not.
And the website makes it better;

Recently my wife and I were on vacation in Prague, and I needed some snacks for the way home.
As there was only one little, slightly larger than convenience store, grocery shop, we picked up some sustenance there.  As there wasn't a large selection of cereal bars; I grabbed what I could get.

We ended up flying KLM home and they fed us decently well (even though I had to ask for snacks twice, there was always something).  So today I was in the office and a co-worker commented, so I thought I'd share.

To be fair, it was quite delicious. And it had an expiry date of a year from date produced.  I appreciated that, don't see many bars with that these days.  Can't read the nutritional value, nor ingredients, but it had hazelnut and chocolate; all I really cared about! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

TTF Race Ride (Bike Review)

There's a special bond that happens between a bike and a rider the first time they race together.
Well, this may not be true at the pro level where they go through 5-10 bikes a season, but when you're paying for everything you see, it's a special moment when you see your creation works.  Having only had this bike for a couple of weeks before race day, I was pretty excited to see what we could do together.

With the help of Racer Sportif and some old friends, I was able to put together a bike that likes me almost as much as I like it :)  It's definitely not the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden, but I think together we can make it the fastest!  For it's first race (report) it accelerated out of transition like a rocket ship, handled superbly weaving in and out of traffic, climbed FANTASTIC, shifted great, and on the downhills I was still passing everything in sight :)  

Frame: 2012 Scott Foil 40 (58cm)
Handlebars: Easton EC90 Aero
Tape: Sram Gold

Stem: Easton EC90
Shifters: Sram Red
Aerobars: Profile T2+
Front Hydration: Torhans Aero 30
Front / Rear Der: Sram Red
Crankset: Sram Red Black 53/39
Cassette: Sram Red 11-23
Pedals: Look Keo Carbon
Wheels: Easton EC90 Aero
Tires:  Challenge Criterium //  Skewers: Salsa Ti  //  Saddle: Fizike Arione Carbon
 More photos available at on my new Picasa Web Album.

One interesting fact about this bike; Olympic Distance Duathlon's are 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run. This bike supported me so well and was so energy efficient, my 5k run pace, was as fast as my first 10k.

A lot of people have asked why I race on a road bike when I race triathlons.  Truth be told, a bit part of it is that I can only afford 1 bike, and living in Toronto, there's only room for one.  That said, the technology behind Aero Road Bikes has improved so much, there's likely less than two minutes difference between a super aero bike and mine.  As the rider makes up 80+% of the aerodynamics, I can still get myself into a more aero / more powerful position.

My first choice was a Cervelo S5 - I've ALWAYS wanted a Cervelo but they're so dang expensive, and soooo many people here have one.  As I started exploring my options the technology behind other aero road bikes, the Scott design struck me as really intuitive.  My first "fast" bike was a 2004 Scott CR1 LTD with Dura Ace (Saunier Duval) and it was amazingly fast. However it was an incredibly stiff bike and made training rides a little sore. In its defence it did weigh close to 14lbs, I likely got the wrong size, and I thought the Selle Italia 135g saddle was the only one I could ride :p

Being awestruck by Mark Canvedish last TdF aboard a Foil helped peak my interest further. (Ok, Mark could do it on just about any bike he chooses, and this year Peter Sagan was on a round tubed, light weight Cannondale and still rocked: training = winning, I get that).  However with Scott, the Foil technology is smart, light and smart. Instead of having a bunch of sharp angled tubes, they all work together.  Personally I don't think I "felt" the aero, but I certainly didn't feel drag. And as only two bikes passed me, and I passed a lot of $10k+ tri bikes, we were doing okay.

The one thing about this bike that was key for me was the responsiveness.  Like my sister says with her BMW vs my Hyundai, "when I push the pedal, it goes, no lag", and that's exactly what the Foil does.  You stamp up a hill and she goes, you need to shift down to spin, and it's right there with you.  The front end handling is crisp and exactly what you want to weave your way out of a congested transition area.  Over all, excellent, I'm incredibly happy with my purchase.

Aerodynamics: Always an important factor I did what I could -
56mm deep wheelset  //  Aeor Helmet  //  Clean Up Front End   //  Aero Position

My choice of aerobars is a little archaic.  These are the same Profile T2+'s that I raced in my speedy 2005 days.  However for a road bike; they're the most adjustable clip-ons I've found.  There are some other options out there that are a good 1/2 pound lighter but without as much adjustment.

Everything else on this bike is pretty standard, nothing too fancy one way or another.  One thing is certain, it was much more comfortable riding the Easton carbon tubular wheels than my every day training wheels, made such a difference, I gotta get me another pair of these to roll down Dixon Road.

The two point five things I might change on this bike for next year:
Between the Arms Bottle - the roads on the course were so crap, even with the double splash guard and, I still got splashed and the crazy bumps cost me my AeroFlow Straw Housing (Torhans 30 Review)
Downtube Water Bottle - with how much I drink I definitely need two; so either I need an aero bottle option, or to find a way to get this bottle lower.
Aerobars - if I can find something lighter and as adjustable, I would consider a swap.

SO... if you're looking for a bike that can be your road bike, and a pretty speedy racer for Triathlons, I highly recommend the Scott Foil.  It worked for me, and didn't do too shabby in the Olympics either ;)

  More Photos of my bike available on Picasa  --   Race Photo images copyright My Sports Shooter - Mike Cheliak Photography

(hopefully I zipped up before I started flying passed people)         

Saturday, August 11, 2012

363 Days and Counting . . .

That's it, that's all that's left.
363 days from today, amateur (age group athletes) from around the world will be lining up in Ottawa for the 2013 World Duathlon Championships, and I'll be one of them :)

A little part of me wishes the WDC's were still going to be hosted in Spain, as that would give me an extra six weeks to prepare.  However, in light of Duathlon being added to the World Games for our sports Elite Athletes, I am very glad that Triathlon Canada stepped up to welcome the Age Group Athletes!

So, here we go.  We've officially proven that SuperGo Sam can ride again.  Now it's time to figure out if I can ride FAST.