December 31, 2008

Its almost 2009...

Every year, towards the end of December and into January, I start playing the previous year in my head... look at what was good, bad, and ugly, draw some conclusions and move forward. I try not to think about past events for too long and just learn from both my mistakes and my successes.

This year is no exception...

I have been thinking about what was in 2008, but I am finding it very hard to wrap my head around all that has happened. Too much good, bad and ugly... Mostly it was good, with some bad thrown in there for some balance, and not a whole lot of ugly (just a bit...), which is good.

As I type, things become more clear and the pieces of the puzzle start sliding into place. At the end of 2007, I predicted that 2008 will be a bit of a roller-coaster ride, and it was. Perhaps I took a bit too much on, but GBGH, right? (see Dec 16th post!). I have learned who I can trust, and who I can't and since I always try to learn from my mistakes, I now have a sense of where my boundaries are. I will continue to push them in 2009, but a bit more gently this time around.

I have set some goals for 2009, and they are as big as always... In a nut shell, I will be traveling a bit more than last year and I will actually race too (running). There are more workshops, clinics and training camps planned, more coaches working with me, new partnerships, new website, and as always - a great group of dedicated athletes that are a pleasure to work with!

Happy 2009!!


December 20, 2008

Cool stuff!

How sweet is that... 2x Ironman World Champion testing the outdoor Retul motion capture bike fitting system. Pretty cool, I definitely want to upgrade to that one when it is released... Until then, the normal Retul system will do very nicely :)

Watch it on: (watch it in high quality)

December 16, 2008


I have been looking for an abbreviation/phrase that sums up the way I coach... something short and to the point... I haven't really thought of it too much in the last few months, But while going over some of the initial templets for the new website with Carolyn earlier today, she mentioned that I should check out for a bit of inspiration and a few laughs... and she was right!

Go big or go home
I often say that I strive to go big or go home, and add that its mainly due to the fact I am not entirely sure where home is. Is it Israel? Since I grew up there, most will say that is my home. But I am not sure it feels like home. New zealand felt like home during the 3.5 years I spent there, but now I think Victoria is my home. Hmmm... But I digress!

These are 2 definitions, according to urban dictionary:

1. an expression the speaker says to the listener to encourage the listener to be extravagant, to go all the way, and do whatever you are doing to its fullest - and not flake out.
2. A phrase describing a Champion's lifestyle. A way of life. An attitude. We never go home.

So there you have it, I found my abbreviation!



December 11, 2008

4 things you should sweat about :)

The previous post covered 5 examples of things you should not sweat about in training. But there are a few things that are too often overlooked and that is a bit of a shame...

Bike fit
Some may say I am a bit biased as I am a bike fitter. However, I have examined the effects various bike positions have on multisport athletes' VO2max and thresholds as part of my undergraduate thesis and my results showed that even though a lot more research is needed (thats the conclusion of ANY research paper though...), different bike positions have the potential to have either a positive or negative affect on performance. Not to mention the fact that an improper bike fit can result in injury...

What really puzzles me is the fact that some athletes choose to spend more money on the latest and greatest equipment in the hopes of getting faster and more efficient, but will not devote a couple of hours to get a proper bike fit. A couple of hours with me (using the Retul system) will only cost $140, which is significantly less than the physio/chiro bill they get if they get injured and significantly cheaper than most of the parts that can make their bike lighter. A bike fit should be done on a regular basis, as things will change through out the season... So in 2009 - start thinking about your bike fit...

Season plan
It is one thing to know where you are going, but how are you going to get there? Imagine that you need to get to a specific location, but have no idea of the best route to take you there... so you try a few roads, find out that they are not right, then have to back track and try another route. This takes time and sets you back. How about planning ahead? After you come up with some goals, create a plan so you can achieve that goal. If you are not coached, don't be afraid to ask the help of a coach you trust, and if you are coached - make sure that your coach is actually planning properly.

Note that a season plan is never fixed. It is flexible and will change constantly as things come up.

This is very important when it comes to training. The off season is very important to allow for full recovery, but taking 4 months completely off between seasons? Thats a bit too long in my opinion... However, this is very common; athletes that don't even maintain a healthy level of activity and then get back into training in January and expect to significantly improve their times from the previous year. This kind of goes back to my point about that season plan...

It seems that everyone is all about nutrition these days... but most end up falling into the traps of various "diets". I will not go into my thoughts about some of the common diets, I will simply say that too many athletes either pay too much attention to their nutrition (over-complicating things) or too little attention. The fact that there are so many so called nutrition experts around does not help either. A personal trainer is likely not going to have the ability to help an Ironman triathlete with his/her nutrition, and many coaches do not have the education or experience to do so either. To make matters worse, many registered dietitians do not have the training and/or experience to work with athletes. There are too few education programs in Canada (none?) that offer comprehensive sports nutrition education, separated from dietetics, which is a shame.

If you choose to figure out your nutrition needs on your own, try and read something a bit more advances that 'triathlete' magazine or VeloNews (very good magazines, but perhaps not appropriate for this purpose). If you decide to ask for help, there are better resources out there than online forums... As with anything else - choose the person you are working with wisely, according to their education and specific experience.

Just some food for thought... just in time for the new year :)

December 2, 2008

Don't sweat the small stuff...

In training.... 5 points :)

1. Consistency and dedication are very important for your progress. However, if you did miss a day of training, its OK. Nothing is going to happen... the ground underneath you will not open and swallow you all of a sudden, the skies are not going to fall, and things will be just fine... so don't worry about it too much and don't try to play catch up. Just move on to the next workout and try and stay as consistent as possible!

2. If you had a 2 hour ride planned, but you were out for 2:10, it will not mess up your program. The same applies if you only rode for 1:55...

3. Imagine this - you forgot your HR monitor at home, and you end up running without it... many athletes I know will be pretty annoyed that they could not monitor their HR during their run. Same as point #1; nothing is going to happen because one session was done technology free... besides - what if you had a "no technology day", where your HR monitor/power meter, don't work all of a sudden on race day? Its important to get the feel for your pace and effort without the aid of technology...

4. Recovery and a bit of down time are important. The off season is the perfect time to clear your head, get your batteries recharged, and relax...So why do so many athletes stress out because they are not in peak condition during that time of the year?! You can't possibly be in peak condition all year round, so what is the point of stressing out about it...??

5. Control what is within your control. Since you can't control everything, there is no point in worrying about the things that there is nothing you can do about, right?

These are just a few examples of things that you should not sweat too much about. But there are also a few things that many athletes pay very little, or no attention to. Things that do make a difference. More on those later :)


November 26, 2008

10 random facts about me!

1. I get bored very easily. I need to find new challenges on a regular basis, otherwise I get kind of edgy, and I'm not very good at hiding it.

2. I don't go to the movies because I can't sit still for 1.5-2 hours... I'm OK if I watch movies at home, where I can just pause the movie for a while. I don't actually own a DVD player though.

3. I'm great at multi-tasking. In fact, I am unable to focus on just one thing... if I don't have a few things on the go - nothing gets done. Go figure!

4. I'm a huge coffee snob and I refuse to drink bad coffee. Its very easy to find great coffee in Victoria, but it has proven to be quite a challenge in Toronto...

5. I was actually planning on doing a bachelors degree in fine arts, and move into sports science after that. Why? I really don't know. I never went to art school, so I guess I came to my senses after all.

6. I'm really not a morning person. I think it has been getting worse since my retirement from the sport of triathlon (as an athlete). At least back then I was used to swimming at 5:30am... I'm usually OK if I have (good) coffee though :)

7. I'm not a big fan of spiders. I am not really scared of them, I just don't like them very much.

8. One of my favourite beers is Leff, even though I don't drink it (or at all) very often.

9. I always try and think 'out of the box' and do things a bit different than others. That essentially means that I take a lot of risks, some of which pay off, some that don't...

10. I don't like cleaning my bike. I used to do minor adjustments and clean it on a regular basis, but not anymore...

November 24, 2008


I spoke too soon... a few hours after my previous post, where I stated how happy I was I didn't fall while running on the slippery sidewalks of Toronto, I slipped towards the end of my afternoon run... I was trying to avoid a patch of ice, so I hopped to a spot that looked ice free (I know, a rookie mistake...) but instead of landing successfully on both feet, I landed pretty hard on my hip and right elbow. My hip is fine (I think) and there is a big gash in my elbow and it is black and blue... Ouch!

November 23, 2008

Its cold here!

My younger sister just moved to Toronto from Israel 3 weeks ago, and since I haven't seen her for about 4.5 years, I hopped on a plane forgetting that it is the worst possible time of the year to head to the east coast of Canada... during the winter! Its pretty cold here, and Im not used to it. My sister however, is very excited about all the snow; its a first for her :) My Newton runners don't seem to like the sliperry sidewalks very much and I am lucky I didn't fall flat on my behind yet ;) It makes me realize once again how lucky we are in Victoria. Even though it has been great to see my sister, some famlily and one of my best friends, I am looking forward to getting back to the west coast on Tuesday... where I have endless trails for running and I can bike outside without turning into an ice cube ;)

November 11, 2008

Just a thought...

Are elite athletes so great because of what they do, or despite of what they do...? Just something to think about... :)

November 9, 2008

Coaching mentoring program

I am not entirely sure why now, and why me, but I have been getting several enquiries from athletes who want give back to the sport and start coaching.

I believe coaching is the BEST profession, which is why I chose to take that path at a very young age (14 years old...). I recognize that as a coach, I take on great responsibility in helping athletes and I constantly seek opportunities to learn more, which is unfortunately a rare thing in multi-sport coaching. Too many coaches coach from their own personal experience, which is not a bad thing, but there is a need to remember that even though our systems are the same and as humans we will adapt to stress in the same way, there are many other things to take into account...

With that being said, due to demand, I will be starting a coaching mentoring program for interested individuals, who are dedicated and passionate about helping others achieve their goals. My goal is to provide ongoing mentoring and coaching opportunities for those who have a 'can do attitude', the willingness to listen, learn and think outside the box.

Email me if you are interested... :)


November 8, 2008

Long time no post...

This past week simply flew by... I have been reflecting about the previous season... and thinking about what I want to do this coming season. Here are my top 10 moments/events/things I am thankfull for/etc... for the 07/08 season, in no particular order :)

1. Going back to school for post graduate education in sports nutrition. It is one tough program, but I am enjoying it! Half way through... Graduation is in Dec 09, at the Olympic museum.

2. Quitting my job and having fun coaching full time (and doing bike fits, testing, consulting, etc, etc...).

3. Flying to China for the Olympic sport science and medicine conference.

4. My athletes doing very well this season. I will put together some stats for another post... Many accomplishments, podiums and personal bests were achieved :)

5. Playing around with the Retul bike fitting system... what can I say, Im a geek and I love numbers!

6. My athletes racing. When my athletes race - it is as if I am out there racing too... I experience the same emotions they do: the anxiety, anticipating and excitement before a race, the feeling you get when you are working really hard, and then the feeling of satisfaction and joy at the finish line... That will probably be in my top 10 moments for next year too!

7. Surrounding myself with a great team of coaches, athletes, physiotherapists and massage therapists. You are all awesome!!

8. My family and friends, helping me out when things got a bit tough. Thank you.

9. Learning my strengths, weaknesses and limits...

10. Having fun while doing what I absolutley love!

October 27, 2008

Arizona training camp - more details...

Goal: 7 days packed with training and seminars, with an emphasis on BIG miles. Aimed at advanced half Ironman athletes and intermediate to advanced Ironman athletes.

When: February 22nd to 28th 2009.

Where: Phoenix, Arizona

Cost: $550 USD, per person. Team athletes get 10% off.

For more information, send me an email and I will send you the full schedule!


October 23, 2008

Custom cycling clothing

Back by popular demand (especially the winter jackets!!)... custom cycling clothing will be ordered by November 20th.

Shorts, jerseys, jackets and hats are available. If you would like to get an item (or two), email me and I will send you a price list!


New blog

A new blog for one of the PT Performance Training team members. Training and racing thoughts and experiences of rookie pro Ironman triathlete Adam O'Meara of Victoria, BC. Show your support and follow his journey towards becoming an Ironman champion!

October 22, 2008

Arizona Training camp

Details are not 100% confirmed yet, however the dates and location are set!

February 22nd - 28th 2009, Phoenix Arizona. A week full of swimming, cycling, running, learning and fun... full details, including the training schedule and pricing will be posted early next week. In the mean time, if you are interested, please email me at


October 21, 2008

Salt intake and cramping. Are they really related?

Warning - this is a long (yet interesting!) post... ;)

Water and electrolyte balance are important for the function of all organs. Water provides the medium for biochemical reactions within cell tissue and is essential for maintaining an adequate blood volume. Each body water compartment contains electrolytes. Sodium chloride is the main electrolyte in sweat, with potassium, magnesium and calcium also present in smaller quantities.

Exercise associated muscle cramps (EAMC) are one of the most common problems encountered by medical staff at endurance events, such as marathons and triathlons. EAMC is defined as a painful spasmodic involuntary contraction of skeletal muscle that occurs during or immediately after exercise. Several researchers claim that ‘heat cramps’ or ‘sweat cramping’ and EAMC are defined differently, defining heat cramping as sustained, spreading, sharply painful muscle contractions, describing the end of the continuum of EAMC.

Several theories have been proposed to explain the cause and course of treatment of muscle cramps during exercise. However, it does not seem that there is conclusive evidence to support any of the proposed arguments and the area remains under controversy and misconception. Two main theories are proposed:

Dehydration and serum electrolyte theory

Muscle cramps related to exercise, were first reported over 100 years ago in laborers working in hot, humid environments such as mines and steamships. These laborers added salt to their drinks to relieve EAMC, leading to the electrolyte and dehydration hypotheses. However, these reports were based on anecdotal evidence alone and no mechanism was proposed to explain how serum electrolyte imbalances can result in muscle cramping. In addition, hydration status and electrolyte balance were not measured.

Mechanisms in cramping remain unclear. It is proposed that large sodium losses in sweat contribute to cramping by contracting the extra-cellular fluid space and may change ion channels to make neuromuscular junctions or muscle units hyper-excitable, causing involuntary and sustained contractions. A study by Stofan et al in 2005, tested the hypothesis that NCCA football players prone to heat cramps lose more fluid and sodium through sweating. 10 football players were recruited for the study; five of them had a history of cramping, while 5 served as controls. Sweat loss, sweat electrolytes and fluid intake were measured during a pre season two a day practice session. Athletes in the cramping group did not incur a larger fluid deficit than the non cramping group, their sweat rate was higher, and their sodium intake greater. During the season, the cramping group experience several cramping episodes despite high sodium intakes. The researcher’s results did not fully support their hypothesis, yet they indicated that sodium supplements are needed to prevent cramps.

Although EAMC is often associated with exercise in the heat, cramping has also been reported in cold conditions without an increase in core temperature. In addition, extreme cold has been associated with EAMC in swimmers, passive heating alone does not result in cramping, and cooling does not relieve muscle cramps. On the contrary, cooling can make muscle cramps worse.

Sodium levels within the extra-cellular fluid should remain within a range of 130-160mmol/l to keep cells, tissues and organs functioning properly. The body has appropriate defense mechanisms to protect against the development of a sodium deficit during exercise, releasing sodium from internal body stores. Contraction of the extra-cellular fluid volume by as little as 1L (~7%) can release 140mmol of sodium.

It has been argued by several researchers that EAMC has not been associated with a significant change in serum electrolytes and hydration status in triathletes and runners. A research study by New-Butler et al in 2006, examined whether athletes who ingest additional sodium during an Ironman event maintain higher sodium than those that do not. 145 athletes competing in the 2001 South Africa Ironman took part in the study, and were divided into an experimental group and control group. The experimental group was handed 40 tablets with 620mg sodium chloride each, while the control group was handed 40 placebo tablets. Athletes were advised to consume 1-4 tablets every hour. The sodium supplements did not change serum sodium response, indicating that additional sodium supplements are not needed during Ironman events to maintain sodium within the normal range. Clinical measures of dehydration were not different between groups.

Muscle fatigue theory
Skeletal muscle cramping is an abnormality of skeletal muscle relaxation. It has been suggested that EAMC is the result of altered alpha-motoneuron activity, possibly resulting from an imbalance between muscle spindle and Golgi tendon organ discharge associated with fatigue. With high intensity muscle activity and fatigue, muscle spindle output is increased, leading to an increased motoneuron activity.

It is suggested that EAMC occurs only in muscles that were involved in repetitive contractions. The majority of runners with complaints of EAMC report a subjective feeling of muscle fatigue before the onset of cramping. This suggests that EAMC is a result of an abnormality of neuromuscular control at the spinal level in response to intense, fatiguing exercise. Muscle fatigue disrupts the functioning of the peripheral muscle receptors by causing an increased firing rate of type Ia and II muscle spindle afferents, as well as decreasing the type Ib afferent activity from the golgi tendon organs.

It is documented that the muscles prone to cramping span across two joints, and it has been observed that cramping can occur when muscles are in a shortened position. This will decrease the tension in the tendons of the muscle during contraction and further decrease the inhibitory afferent activity from the type Ib afferent of the golgi tendon organ. Passive stretching is the most effective therapy to relieve acute muscle cramping as it increases muscle tension.

A survey of 1300 marathon runners found that older age, longer history of running, higher body mass index, shorter daily stretching routine and a family history of cramping were all related to EAMC. In addition, high intensity running, long duration, subjective muscle fatigue and hill running were identified as specific conditions associated with EAMC.

It is suggested that hydration and electrolytes may help prevent EAMC’s up to a certain threshold of muscular fatigue. It is hypothesized that beyond that specific personal threshold, hydration and electrolyte supplements will not be an effective strategy to prevent EAMC. Those that support the dehydration and sodium electrolyte theory aim to differentiate between heat cramps, or sweat cramps, and exercise associated muscle cramps. However, the definitions provided do not seem to differ significantly, creating confusion.

Reading countless research articles and talking to many athletes led me to support the muscle fatigue theory. One athlete mentioned that he got cramping in his hip flexors transitioning from cycling to running while racing. After reviewing his bike fit, it turned out that his saddle was too far forward, causing those muscle to over work. Other athletes mentioned they get cramping towards the end of an event, once again supporting the muscle fatigue hypothesis.

Unfortunately, there are no suggested prevention methods or treatment options for fatigue induced EAMC. It seems that incorporating an adequate stretching routine in the athletes’ training program and perhaps strengthening of the muscles that are susceptible to cramping may help as a preventative measure.

Just because I do not believe muscle cramps are related to sodium levels, does not mean that sodium replacement during endurance events is not important... However, you get all the electrolytes you need from your sports drink and there is no need to take sodium pills as well.

The next related questions are how much sodium is needed during endurance events? How much water? How much weight is it safe to lose? Is it normal to gain weight during an Ironman event? All materials for future posts...

Comments and questions are more than welcome :)

October 20, 2008


My accountability was not that great... and I was reminded of it. In my defence, I had an assignment and an exam during that week, and the normal work load... So perhaps it was a bit ambitious of me to make those promises and I apologize for that. But, better late than never, right?

I am going to coach my run group right now, but when I get back I will post my conclusions and thoughts about salt supplements and cramping. Stay tuned... :)


October 11, 2008

Adam O'Meara in Kona...

Overall pace, including pros: 97
M25-29: 11th place
Swim: 58:55 (30th)
Bike: 5:18:16 (32nd)
Run: 3:05:29 (6th)
Total: 09:28:26

Just for comparison, here are his results from Ironman Canada, only 7 weeks before Kona...

Overall place: 36
Swim: 55:42
Bike: 5:20:13
Run: 3:16:59
Total: 9:38:37


October 10, 2008


We all need someone else to hold us accountable from time to time... This week, I would like who ever reads this blog to keep me accountable, so I publish the following posts by October 19th:

* Athlete race updates - Triathlon long distance worlds, Huntsman games & Kona.
* Salt supplements and muscle cramps
* Arizona training camp, End of Feb 09

Thanks for your cooperation :)


October 8, 2008

Busy weekend ahead...

2 days and 8 hours until Ironman World Championship, held in Kona Hawaii!! (not that I'm counting or anything...). I am as nervous about this race as if I was racing myself... but I am obviously not. However, one of my athletes is... Adam O'Meara of Victoria, BC will be competing in the 25-29 age group. This will be his first and last time in Kona as an age grouper, as he will be turning pro next season. Send him good vibes on Saturday please!!

I will be at the Royal Victoria Marathon expo all weekend, which will make it a bit harder to follow Adam in Kona, AND I have an assignment due on Sunday. Luckily it is the last assignment of the year (still have the final exam to go)...

If you are around the RVM expo, come and say HI! I will be in booth number 30 from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon... :)


October 4, 2008

Sodium and fluid intake during endurance events. Your thoughts?

I just realized it has been a while since my last blog update... I have been a bit busy with current athletes getting back into the swing of things and new athletes joining the team. I have also been buried behind piles of research articles about exercise associated muscle cramps (EAMC) and the effectiveness of salt and water supplements as treatment. That assignment is due in a week.

I'm curious to hear the thoughts and experiences of those who read this blog... What are your attitudes towards fluid and sodium intake during endurance exercise? What are your fluid and sodium intake during half Ironman, Ironman races and/or ultra running events? Why? Is it because of direct advice you received from a sports nutritionist? advice from a friend? a magazine article you happened to read?

It would be great to get some comments and different perspectives... My research will be done by October 12th and I will post my conclusions shortly afterwards :)

September 26, 2008

Just a thought...

Does a great coach have to be a former athlete at that sport?

I used to think that was the case. I was positive that the only sports I could ever coach would be triathlon, or its sub sports. I remember a (heated) discussion I had with one of my lecturers at university during the first few months of my first year. My argument was that there is no way someone who have never competed in a certain sport could coach it. The discussion came to an end when the class ended, after both of us tried to make our point, much to the amusement of the rest of my classmates :)

Needless to say, I was wrong and he was right. By graduation, I even admitted it out loud... especially because I managed to land a job with Yachting NZ as their coach development manager. I have never sailed, even though I was eager to learn. I never ended up taking that position because of immigration rules. Its a bit of a long story... so lets just say that I couldn't get a work visa in time and ended up in Victoria, BC instead. Funny how things turn out...

The first time I realized I can coach a sport I never competed in, was when I started working with 5-14 year old kids as a track & field coach at the end of my first year in university. Since my education consist of a sports coaching degree, I spend a lot of time coaching... we had to spend a significant amount of time coaching U14 teams.

I have always supplemented my triathlon training with cross country racing and road running. I was a part of the national development track and field team, as a middle distance and cross country runner, but I never did any of the field events. When I started coaching the kids at the Sumner running club, I coached them for ALL track & field events, even those that I never competed in, and I was coaching them with a lot of success... out club was growing rapidly and we were well ranked in the south island. I liked it so much, that I stayed for the cross country season and then for another 2 full seasons. The only reason I left was because I moved to Canada!

I work closely with endurance athletes on a daily basis. I have coached marathon and ultramarathon runners, even though I never ran either myself ( I will this year though). I have coached countless Ironman triathletes, even though I used to be an ITU girl, that dabbled in the 70.3 distance every now and then.

Does my experience as a high performance triathlete help me as a coach? Yes. Do I consider it the main factor that makes me a good coach? No. If I did, I would not fly across the world to New Zealand for coaching and sport science education...

My point? With the right education and coaching experience, you can be a good coach in a sport/discipline within a sport you never competed in. It may be an advantage, but not a prerequisite. In addition, elite athletes do not always make good coaches. Some do, but many don't... So what does make one a good coach? That is material for another post :)

September 18, 2008

Critical Analysis #2

Check out the links below... The Science of Sport is a great blog... these guys are critical in their thinking and they have the guts to break some myths and say it like it is, which I am still learning how to do ;)

This links pretty well to one of my previous posts from earlier this month, Except I was not too blunt in it...

The Triathlon Book blog, is another excellent display of critical thinking and excellent writing style. It is well worth the read!.

September 16, 2008

Struggle is good for you

"Nothing in life just happens. It isn't enough to believe in something... you have to have stamina, to struggle... to meet obstacles and overcome them" Golda Meir

Things don't come easy; to achieve your goals you have to put in the hard work and be prepared for struggles, as they are an integral part of racing and training. Things do not always go as planned and you have to be tough to overcome obstacles... I think it makes you stronger, keeps you on your toes and helps you appreciate success so much more...

I'm sure this quote will mean something different to you than it does to me. I hope it will teach you something and inspires you :)

September 13, 2008

Endurance and Fitness Weekend

I have teamed up with Linda Walker, of Brentwood Massage and Physiotherapy clinic to deliver an interactive weekend of seminars and active workshops to educate and deliver evidence based information to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be!

Day 1 - Saturday, October 25th 08
Sports nutrition for endurance athletes during the winter
Running biomechanics workshop
New tools for injury management and prevention workshop

Day 2 - Sunday, October 26th 08
Injury prevention strategies
Compression socks - the exercise physiology perspective
Core stability for endurance athletes workshop
Training with running zones - pace vs heart rate

Location - Brentwood Bay Massage and Physiotherapy Clinic
Time - 10:00am - 3:00pm
Cost - $70/ one day
$100/ both days

For more information, call 250-652-6515 or 250-686-8827

Download the poster below (or email me at to get a copy of the poster emailed to you) and feel free to spread the word :)

September 9, 2008

Critical analysis

My latest assignment as part of my post grad studies in sports nutrition was a really interesting one, but a really hard one too. We were given a recent scientific research article to critique. As not all scientific research actually has value, our task was to read the paper and find its strengths and weaknesses. Sounds simple, right? Well, it wasn't. I read the article inside out around 5 times, and in retrospect I should have read it a couple more times, for good measure.

I will not get into details about the article itself (unless someone is actually interested in the effects of GPLC on aerobic and anaerobic performance?!), but I will say this - most endurance athletes actively seek knowledge, which is fantastic. However, do not believe everything you read... even if you read a scientific research paper that was published in a pear reviewed journal, it may not provide you with appropriate advice... and it may have no scientific or practical significance at all.

A few basic key things to consider...
1. Who are the researchers affiliated with? Who did they receive research grants from?
2. Who were the participant? Trained athletes? sedentary individuals?
3. What was the study design? Was the research done in a lab? field setting? time trial? during a race? etc...
4. How recent is that paper?
5. Read a few more articles on the same topic... don't just go by one research paper...
6. Seek professional opinion. If you have read an article that you think may be of value to you, ask a professional in that field to read it and evaluate its content...

Have a great Tuesday... I have to get back to reading research papers about water and salt supplementation and cramping... that's for my next assignment. As this is an area with a lot of controversy around it (that is basically the point of the assignment...), I will likely share my conclusions here as soon as I am done :)


September 7, 2008

IMC 08!

Ironman Canada was an action packed day, as usual... Cold water, really strong winds, and rain. Not ideal, but you do your best to work with what you get on race day... I guess how you deal with it is what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls, or something like that!

10 PT Performance Training athletes jumped in the water and 9 crossed the finish line. The one that did not cross that line, made a very good and smart decision not do so and I truly admire him for it. Sometimes, it takes more guts to not finish, than to finish at all cost, especially when that cost can be high. But I digress... that can be a topic for another post! On top of those 10, another 10 have worked with me to refine their bike position during the season and had great bike rides.

Here are the results of our athletes!

Mark Ritchie - (M40-44) 11:59, first Ironman, second triathlon ever (first one was a sprint tri!)
Karmen Jongewaars - (W30-34) 12:36, over 20 mins PB, second Ironman
John Weaver - (M45-49) 12:50, first Ironman, second triathlon ever, just learned to swim a year ago!
Sabrina Boechler - (W25-29) 15:13, first Ironman, despite a crazy paramedic work schedule, surgery (tonsils) in June and illness on race week...
Chris Selenz - (W50-54) 15:30, second Ironman within 6 weeks, after a PB in IM Germany!
Mark Harris - (M35-39) 15:52, first Ironman and he is already signed up for IMC 09!
Bert Heeringa - (M50-54) 16:22, first Ironman... well done :)
Suzie Cutt - (W40-44) 16:34, 3rd Ironman, after a 9 year break from the sport.
Suzanne Bate - (W35-39) 16:47, first Ironman, after a fantastic year of training.

Each and every one of these athletes had a different goal coming into this race, and in a day this long, things don't always go as planned... but all of them finished happy with what they have achieved, as they should... :)


September 6, 2008

"It doesn't get easier, you just go faster"

A great quote by the great Greg Lemond. If you do not know who that is, chances are you stumbled across this blog by accident and you will never make the same mistake again... or perhaps you are interested in learning who that is? In that case, go do your homework and come back afterwards... ;)

I think that quote is a great reflection on the kind of athletes I attract... the kind that a quote like that puts a smile on their face and makes them nod their head in agreement... the kind that wants to push their limits and take it to the next level.

Not all of us are born with the ability to become an elite level athlete... so the mindset I refer to means different things to all of us. For some it will be to move from participating, to competing. For others it will be moving higher in classification in their age group, and then perhaps placing in their age group too. Then there are those who progress from competing at the age group level to the pro level and from rookie pro to seasoned pro...

So if your goal is to get faster, it does not get easier; not at training and not at racing. You work hard, then you race just as hard :)


September 1, 2008


I love my athletes. I really enjoy working with each and every one of them, and apparently it goes both way. We had a team party on Sat eve and they completely surprised me with some goodies. They went to the troubles of getting me a swimming parka jacket and got my logo embroider on the back and front. I haven't had one of these jackets since my swimming days, and that was a while ago... it will keep me warm and dry during those winter track sessions, where I nearly freeze to death! THANK YOU :)

I also got a Lululemon gift certificate (I will definitely put it into good use!) and a couple of cards that made me cry (yes, I wear my heart on my sleeve). I was lost for words, and that is something that does not happen very often...

So this is to all the athletes I have worked with this season - THANKS. YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!!!!

Help an athlete get to Kona!

Adam O'Meara had a great day at IMC this year. He finished second in his age group (25-29) and got a Kona spot! Go to Peninsula Runners and buy a raffle ticket (or two) to make his trip to Kona possible... :)

August 29, 2008

The fastest man on no legs

I was reading one of the abstract books from the Olympic conference (yes, GEEK) and came across the summary from the symposium about the Oscar Pistorius case. I did not attend this session, even though it was on my list and I can't remember what session I went to instead...

I find this story truly amazing. If you have not heard about the South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, aka 'the fastest man on no legs' or the 'blade runner', here are a few pictures, that simply speak louder than words....

It is pretty late. I will get into more detail tomorrow...

August 28, 2008

Is there anyone out there?

I know people are actually reading this blog. Not too many right now, but a few for sure... I am just not sure who these people are, other than my mom and Kate (I love you mom, and thanks Kate...).

So if you are reading this blog, weather you have been following it for a little while or you just stumbled across it somehow, please make a comment/say hello, so I know who you are! Its always more fun writing (OK, typing) when I know who is reading what I have to say... :)

China - Days 10 & 11 - August 7th & 8th

So I was back at the conference centre again, and I had a plan. I was going to take the train to HK with Stephen and catch my flight to Vancouver from there. I really did not want to go to the Guangzhou airport again... but first, I had to confirm my flights and book the last leg of the trip, the flight from Van to Vic. I though it will be a pretty short and straight forward phone call to Cathay Pacific, but I ended up spending most of the day re-booking my flights.

Apparently, the girl from Southern China airlines that told me that everything is re-booked and gave me the flight numbers simply lied. I normally want to think the best of people and I would love to just pretend that she made an honest mistake, but there is no way around this one. She did not book anything for me. In fact, there was no space on the flight to Van she supposedly booked for me! It took a lot of crying (good thing I was speaking to a male customer service representative... haha) and explaining that my visa expires on the 8th, that I need to get back home and that I was told I have a reservation on that flight to get the guy on the phone to feel really sorry for me and pull some strings to get me on that plane! The flight from Van to Vic was easily booked, but I was told that I can't catch the flight from HK. I had to take the Guangzhou-HK leg of the trip because that is how my ticket was purchased and it is not a re-routable ticket. Let me tell you, next time I will definitely buy a re-routable ticket!! After around 5 hours (and $30 later) a new e-ticket was emailed to me. Phew!! That was such a relief...

On the 8th, things were actually fairly smooth to begin with. The flight from Guangzhou to HK left on time. There was a slight delay in the flight to Vancouver. Van was the first stop, then the plane was headed to New York. I guess that was why it was completely jam packed and we had to go through security again just before boarding the plane. They searched through our bags and everything. Im not sure what they were expecting to find as we already went through security...

The flight was long (13 hours), but it went by pretty fast; Cathay Pacific is a good airline. I watched a lot of movies, including the Flying Scotsman. Great movie! I spotted him wearing Specialized Tri shoes, 06' model. Not too authentic... it just made me laugh because I'm sure most people watching that movie would never notice something like that or would have no idea what model year these shoes were. I guess it just proves that I am a geek and have been involved in the bike industry for a little while...

I missed my flight to Vic. It was because of the short delay in the flight from HK, the long custom line and the even longer wait for the bags... I run across the airport to the domestic terminal just to learn that not only did I miss my flight, it was also booked wrong... so I had to go back to the international terminal so Cathay Pacific can fix my connection flight. I was back in the domestic terminal pretty fast, which was a nice change compared to the way things worked in China! Everything was a lot more smooth and efficient in Van...

I was home by 7:30pm on the 8th of August, after around 30 hours of travelling and only 2 hours of sleep. It took around 1 week to finally sleep at night and stay awake during the day... I have never been happier to be back home... :)

August 27, 2008

China - Day 9 - August 6th

Home sweet home! Or so I thought... My flight to Hong Kong was scheduled for 9:30am, and I had around 4 hours wait in HK before flying to Vancouver and then to Victoria. I got to the airport early, at 7:30am and went through check-in and customs pretty fast, which was awesome. I had an over priced, bad cup of coffee and waited... and waited some more... at 9:30am they announced that the flight was delayed to a time that will be announced later. I figured I was safe because I had so much time in HK, so I just kept reading by book. At around 11, I was starting to get agitated (to say the least!) because they couldn't tell us when the flight will leave and wouldn't tell us whats going on... at 12:30 they brought everyone lunch (rice and hot dogs). Not a good sign. I only ate the rice. By that point, they said that the HK airport is shut and there are no flight coming or going because of a typhoon, but a little while afterwards one of the passengers checked online and there were flights leaving the HK airport... Hmmmmm... that created a bit of a mess around the gate! To make a pretty long and nerve wrecking story short, they cancelled all flights from Guangzhou to HK because the typhoon was right in between those 2 cities. Some flights were leaving the HK airport but my flight to Vancouver was actually cancelled too.

I had to re-book my flights, but Southern China airlines wouldn't do that for me... they said that Cathay Pacific needs to do that because I was flying with them from HK to Van and that I need to call my travel agent. Travel agent? Whats that? We don't use those in Canada anymore... I called Cathay Pacific and they said Southern China airlines has to re-book my flights... Hmmmmm... after a lot of arguing and trying to communicate with staff that can barely speak English, I got someone from Southern China airlines to talk to someone from Cathay Pacific. All of that was with the help of Shawn and his wife, an American couple that lives in Guangzhou and was trying to visit family in the USA. He could speak Chinese, which helped a lot! They could have gone home, but they stayed for another 6 hours, helping me sort out my flights, get my bags back and get back to the convention centre. I don't know what I would have done without them!!!!!

Finally, at around 7pm, my flights were booked. I was scheduled to fly out of Guangzhou at 9:30am on the 8th of August. The airline would not help with the hotel, etc, because its not their fault (weather related). The argument that it is not my fault either did not stand a chance... Lucky for me the convention centre agreed to let me stay for 2 extra nights at the convention price (very helpful, because it was a 1/3 of the normal price!), and all I needed to do was get my bags back, get myself back to the convention centre and call Air Canada in the morning, to book my flight from Vancouver to Victoria. The only problem was that it took over 2 hours to get my bags back!

After checking in again at the convention centre and dropping off my bags in my room, I knocked on Stephens door (he was staying there until the 7th, before taking the train to HK). His face was so priceless, I wish I had my camera on me... he looked like he had seem a ghost. After I crashed on a chair and gave him the low down, he decided i need a beer and some food. He was right. I'm so glad I had someone to talk to after that crazy day :)

I have decided I hate China and that I will never visit it again (3 weeks later, as I am typing this, I'm thinking that never is a long time, and not really realistic...). Everything worked out in the end... or did it?!?!

China - Day 8 - August 5th

The day after the conference... almost everyone have already left, so the whole complex was pretty quiet. I had to pack my bags and move from block 5 to block 1. A bit of a pain, but no big deal. My new room in block 1 was not as nice though! Stephen was the only person I knew who was still around and we decided to take the cable way to Baiyun mountain and check out the park and the view. It started raining like crazy as soon as we got off the cable car and did not stop for a few hours... we did not let that get in the way of exploring! I will let the pictures do the talking... :)

This one made me giggle!

August 20, 2008

China - Day 7 - August 4th

Last day of the conference...

8:30 - Current research and practice in sports nutrition.
10:30 - Training of elite athletes
12:30 - Posters, posters, posters...
13:30 - Nutritional strategies and the application to paralympic sport
15:30 - Gym time!

The last day was great until the late afternoon sessions with nothing interesting to listen to... so I decided I should go to the gym and read the abstracts later. Apparently, I was not the only one as the gym was bussier than normal ;) After around 20 minutes on the boring treadmill, in a gym with no air conditioning and a pool in the same facility, I decided that I should just jump in the water for another swim. 2 swims in one week!! Lucky for me 2 Spanish biomechanists watched me swim and confirmed that yes, I do indeed have a swimming background. Phew... 20+ years of swimming must mean something, even though I have not swam a lot at all this year... :)

The closing ceremony was OK, just a dinner. Afterwards, we decided that we should have some drinks so we headed to block 1 lounge. The cocktails were incredibly cheap so I decided to try one. A bit of a mistake... that thing was so strong, I could not drink it. It did come in a pretty glass though... It was beer for me after that.

When I got back to my room, I had a note under my door saying that all the delegates staying in block 5 have to move into block 1 for the rest of their stay (one more night for me) because they needed to do security sweeps before the next conference. Damn. I had to pack, check out and then check back in again for just one night... what a pain... oh well!

China - Days 5 & 6 - August 2nd & 3rd

I have decided that those of you reading this blog are likely not too interested in what presentations I attended and exactly what I have learned... so I will just provide a quick summary and get on with more interesting stuff. It is a bit of a stub in the dark since I have no idea who is actually reading this blog, so correct me if I'm wrong!

The 2nd and 3rd days of the conference were great, just like the first one. I did find it harder and harder to pick what sessions I should go to as there were 12 sessions running at the same time, each is 1.5 hours long... I also had to learn that it is not rude to leave in the middle and go to another presentation. On the contrary, it is almost expected and encouraged, that's why they are really strict on the time each presenters has.

Day 2 session summary
8:30 - Electromyographic analysis of human movement and control
10:30 - Exercise, obesity and body composition.
12:30 - Posters!
13:30 - IOC students/teachers meeting.
15:50 - Motor control and learning

I managed to squeeze in a short swim after the last presentation and before dinner (first time in the pool after a long time...). I finally got to meet 2 of my prpffesors and 5 of my classmates. Only 6 (3 first year, 3 second year) of us came to the conference (it was optional), which I thought was a shame. A small group, but good quality :) We has some discussions about the conference, sport nutrition, the Olympics and had a great dinner so we can get to know each other a bit better.

Day 3 session summary
8:30 - A comparitive study of coaches' professional development between different countries: a perspective of globalization.
10:30 - Central and peripheral adaptations to exercise and athletic training
12:30 - More posters
15:50 - Knowledge translation between sports and occupational medicine.
17:30 - IOC students/teachers meeting

After we talked some more about what we have learned during the day (doping seemed to be a hot topic...), we tried to figure out what to do for dinner... a few of us were not sick of Chinese food yet, but Albert, Miriam, Pippa and I were on the hunt for some Western food, and we weren't too picky of what kind of Western food it was... thats how a bunch of sport nutritionists ends up at Pizza Hut! We decided that if we went to the mall, we could find something there. The mall was massive, and totally packed with people, it was insane. We just walked into the first non-Chinese restaurant we saw, which was Pizza Hut.

August 19, 2008

China - Day 4 - August 1st

First day of the 2008 Olympic Sport Science and Medicine Conference! As a true geek, I was really excited for this opportunity to fill my brain with more information and had a hard time deciding what presentations to attend...

I woke up just before 6am and went for a short run. It was around 28 degrees outside with pretty high humidity, and that made my run, ummmm, interesting. The streets were practically empty, and the few people that were out looked at me like I was absolutely insane, which is probably justified. The heat and humidity seriously sucked the air out of my lungs and visibility was terrible because of the smog. The pollution there is pretty bad. One of my classmates went to Beijing after the conference and reported that the air quality is much better in Beijing compared to Guangzhou. But I digress, back to the conference :)

The brand new conference centre is a pretty amazing building that stands out in the city, just like the Olympic venues do in Beijing. It is made out of 5 buildings, with 2 corridors (1st and 2nd floors) connecting them to each other. The corridors are around 300m long. Buildings 1 and 5 are the hotels (10 stories each), while buildings 2,3 & 4 are 3 stories each and are full of conference rooms and halls.

OK, back to the actual conference... presentations stated at 10:30am and I had some tough choices to make right off the bat... should I go to the biomechanics session or the expert performance symposium? I ended up at the 'Practice, instruction and expert performance' symposium, which was a great choice. There were 3 presenters that covered human adaptation to practice and instruction, implicit motor learning and expertise and developing movement skills in children. It was super interesting and a couple of days later I had lengthy discussions with all 3 of them that resulted in an invitation to do my masters degree in the University of Hong Kong (something I am actually considering..). Later in the week I ended up meeting 3 of the biomechanics presenters and talked to them about their work (which is similar to mine) in a more social environment so things worked out perfectly.

After lunch and the opening ceremony, I headed to the exercise and sports nutrition session and learned first hand something that I have suspected for a while - not all scientific research is of equal quality and there is a need to critically evaluate every piece of research you read, even though it is published in a scientific, peer reviwed journal or presented in a major international conference... one of the presentations was good, the other two were pretty bad.

The evening's welcome dinner was good, but not too eventful. Met a couple of Kiwis from Christchurch that knew some of the people I used to train with. That's about it...

August 18, 2008


An Olympic silver to Simon Whitfield, just a few minutes ago. What a fantastic, tactical race... I think that if I shouted louder at the TV my neighbours would have busted through the door thinking that something is horribly wrong... LOL.

What a race... Congradulations Simon!!!!!

August 17, 2008

China - Day 3 - July 31st

Surprisingly enough, I managed to get adjusted to China time zone straight away. Thursday was the day before the conference started and after breakfast I had to take care of my accreditation issues... which took a good 3 hours to do. Good thing I started my day early! After I picked up my accreditation ID tag, conference info and abstracts (3 huge books!!), I walked past the breakfast hall and spotted a few of my lecturers from Uni in NZ. It was great to see them, and it was great timing too, because they were planning their trip through the city and invited me to join them and catch up.

After gathering some conference centre business cards with our planned destinations written in Chinese and English on the back, we made our way out of the conference centre in search of a taxi, which was not too hard to find. It was raining, which was actually kind of nice with the heat. Our first stop was the Sun Yat-sen's memorial hall (Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese revolutionist). We had a guide who spoke great English, which is rare, and there were signs in English everywhere, which was a bit of a surprise. I have to say that its the one thing that really impressed me; there were signs in both English and Chinese all over the city!

Our next stop was the Guangzhou park, which is a huge park with some famous sculptures, huge trees, a swimming pool and lots of people playing badminton. It stopped raining by that point, and it was getting really hot and humid. The park was pretty cool, and I was a bit annoyed to find out that my camera battery had died :( As a result, I don't have any pictures of the famous five goat statue or the markets, which were our next and final stop of the day. I have to say, the markets were crazy. So many people! The food market was kind of scary, it was a bit dirty and I'm not into eating octopus on a stick (that think looked like it could come to life at any moment!), bugs on a stick or other unidentified objects on and off sticks. There were sales people at the entrance to every store yelling and screaming in Chinese; trying to get people into the store, in a way that seemed a bit rude, but I assume it is normal over there.

Our day wondering around the city was really interesting. We got to experience a bit of the culture, see the city, and we learned about tea! It also highlighted the massive difference between rich and poor, there is nothing in the middle... The houses around the markets are really old and falling apart, while just across the street, there are huge, expensive looking building as a direct contrast.

More updates and pictures coming... :)

August 14, 2008


Why - (Olympic convention) 2008 International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport.
Where - Guangzhou, China.
Duration of trip - July 29 - August 8.
How did I get there? I was invited to the convention as a part of my post graduate studies in Sports Nutrition through the International Olympic Committee.

Day 1 & Day 2 (July 29-30)
Travel day... mom was visiting me for a few days before I left for China, and our flights worked out well because she left less than a couple of hours after I did. A non eventful flight... long, but it wasn't too bad. I read a book (yes, a whole book), watched a couple of movies and got about an hour of sleep. Total flight time = 14.5 hours. Transition time = 7.5. Total travel time = 22 hours. Sleeping time = 1 hour. Ouch.

I got to the Guangzhou airport at around 11:30pm, and met another person who was headed to the convention centre. Arthur is a world renowned anthropomestrist and also happened to give a lecture in the area of Anthropometry for my first sports nutrition course module earlier this year. We figured that by sharing a cab to the convention centre we will minimize the risk of getting ripped off, but we were wrong... we payed 500 yuan, instead of about 100-120. We didn't really know what it should cost and we were too tired to argue... it was a bit of a crazy drive too. Apparently, the organizing committee surrounded the convention centre with fences and placed guards 24/7 all around it within about 500m. Our cab driver was not aware of that, and we stopped, in the middle of the road, for at least an hour while the cab driver tried to figure out how to get us to the actual entrance... by the time we got to the entrance it was after 1pm, but it was still a while before we got to check out our rooms!

We had to go through security procedures that were as strict as airport security before we were led to the accreditation centre for another 2 hours of waiting, and the accreditation was not even completed at that time. I got to my room at 3:30am and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

I will post days 2 and 3 tomorrow...:)

Back in Victoria, I think...

Im back home, after a long and exhausting trip, which I am still recovering from. Im hoping to be back in BC time zone by the end of the week :)

I think I finally managed to catch up on all the emails, etc so now it is time to tell you all about my time in China... I will break things down by the day for your reading pleasure, along side pictures :)

July 26, 2008

Fatigue and Racing...?

I have been a bit tired lately, but for a change, that does not worry me! I have been scared of being tired over the last 3-4 years... Every one gets tired every now and then, right? But for me, the fear or a chronic fatigue syndrome relapse is very real, and even though it has been about 4 years since I was diagnosed and I have been feeling fine over the last 2.5 years, I still got worried every time I felt tired for more than a day! That is, untill now...

I have been thinking alot lately about what it is that stops me from racing again, and why every time I try to get back into it, something prevents me from doing so. a bit over a year ago it was several torn ligaments in my right ankle, 3 months before IM CDA. Then, about 2-3 months ago it was the invitation to go to China for the Olympic Sport Science conference, instead of running a 50m mountain run... I keep thinking that these are little "tests" to see if I want to race again bad enough.

For a while now, I have had a lot on my plate. I am just starting my 3rd year in business, but during the first 1.5 years I still had another job to keep me going... In September, I will officially celebrate my first full time year in business.... and what a year it has been!! The business has more than doubled it self in size, I went back to school (post grad in sports nutrition, part time), and I learned how to deligate (well, Im still learning... ;).

The point is, that I did not have the time to train. Or even more to the point, I was not able to make the time. Every time I went for a bike ride or a run, I would feel guilty because work was waiting for me... The turning point was a few weeks ago, when I realized that I NEED to train. That my life is not complete without it. That I am not happy when I don't ride my bike, or run, or swim. The sport of triathlon, or its sub sports have been a part of my life since I was 5 years old... so nice and slow, I am back. Not in the same way as I was racing in the past, I don't want to be a pro anymore. I just want to enjoy the sport and be that age grouper that everyone loves to hate :)

I think I am finally at the point where I can put the past behind me and open a new door. I knew I needed to let that process happen on its own, and that when I was not scared of being tired anymore - I would be ready to start again without fear and without thinking what if, and what could have been, etc... So Im not scared of being tired anymore, but I still think that my first race back will be a "secret race"... :)

July 17, 2008

More Race Results...

A week after the New Balance Half Ironman, Aynsley O'Carroll raced in her first 70.3, in Buffalo Springs, Taxas. That race is considered to be one of the toughest 70.3 races around! It was raining, the wind was blowing in full force and it was hilly... a time of 5:28 placed her in 12th place in the extremely competitive 25-29 age group, with the 6th fastest bike time. Races of that caliber definatley teach you alot and allow you to grow as a person and as an athlete and since Aynsley is only in her second full season as a triathlete, she has many years of awesome racing ahead of her :)

Aynsley post race

In Calgary, Michael Godfrey was on a mission to break one hour in a 40km ITT, and Im proud to report that he crossed the finish line at 59:55, which is almost 2 minutes faster than his time last year (in the same race). Michael is an extremely dedicated athlete and his hard work has shown in every race he entered this year. Well done!!!

In Germany, Christiane Selenz took part in the Frankfurt Ironman. I started tracking her online at around 9pm on Saturday night (6th of July), and hardly slept all night because I was too nervous. She had a fantastic swim, an awesome bike time and a great run, despite really bad blisters and a pit stop in the med tent to get some bandages. A time of 14:12 was a PB, and she also had PB's for each discepline!! What a race!! IMC is next... under 14 hours perhaps...?! :)

On the same day, July 6th, Christina, Bert and John raced the Osoyoos half Ironman.

It was John's first triathlon. He started working with me in September, after signing up for IMC 08. Since he was unable to swim more than 10 meters without stopping and waiting for knee surgery, our work was cut out for us... John is a very dedicated athlete and such a positive person, and he progressed very fast. He finished the race in 6:04, feeling great and looking forward to Ironman. Bert had a few mechanical issues on the bike, and the run did not go as planned either, but he is a fighter and he finished the race non the less. Christina posted a PB of 5:53 in her second half Ironman. She was extremely sick all week and could not eat a thing in the week leading to the race and on the race itself. She started the race, taking it one discipline at a time and proved how strong she really is... an amazing display of will power, determination and courage.

Some good stuff... well done :) Next: Tri of Compassion race report...

July 14, 2008

Race results!

I have been meaning to post some of the recent results of out team members, as they continue to amaze me with their performances and the way they overcome obstacles :) I will post a few seperate updates, so they are not a mile long each... Lets start with the New Balance Half Ironman... 17 PT Performance Training athletes took part in the race, as individuals and in teams.

Scott Davis: 5:09, in his first half Ironman & first year as a triathlete
Karmen Jongewaard: 5:24, a great indication of what she will be capable of at IMC :)
Kim Everett: 5:30, in her second half Ironman within 3 weeks... wow :)
Judy Thompson: 5:45, absolutly fantastic(4th 50-54)!
Cheryl Martin: 5:59, in her first half Ironman!
Heidi Mierau: 6:13, in her first half Ironman!
Denise Sefton: 6:22, in her first half Ironman (3rd 55-59)!
Mark Harris: 6:30, and looking forward to IMC
Sabrina Boechler: 6:52, despite surgery 3 weeks before the race...
Suzie Cutt: 7:04, building up to IMC :)

Chris George started the race despite being sick all week with a plan to get through the swim, ride fast and skip the run... and ride fast he did, placing the 17th fastest time of the day at 2:32. Imagine how fast he can ride while he is healthy :)

In teams, we had Michael (swim), Christina (swim), Pete (run), Bert (bike), Wayne (bike and run) and Carmen (swim and Bike). A special congrats to Carmen and Wayne who overcame many challanges to take part in this race... next time they will do the whole race, not 2/3 of it... you guys are an inspiration to us all!

Well done everyone... :)

July 8, 2008

I love July!

My assignment is finally in, and I realized that I really need to update this blog... so I will post a few race updates tomorrow :)

The Tour de France started so I got full cable for the month of July. After years of Eurosport access I can't stant not being able to watch the Tour. It was pretty hard when I lived in New Zealand because of the time difference... Even though I can't watch cycling ALL day long like I could when I lived in Israel, now I can watch it for half of the day... good thing I can't do any work without distructions because that means my productivity will actually increase rather than decrease :)

Todays update: Garmin-Chipotle is the 1st team overall!! Sweeeeet :)

June 24, 2008

Just a quick post to let you know that there are a few new and exciting things on the go but I have to finish my assignment first... Its a conference poster presentation that will be graded by sport scientist from the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport). Its much harder than it sounds...

Just though I'll let you know that I am not a bad blogger, I just have an assignment due :)


June 5, 2008

Random thoughts...

It's Thursday today. I have no idea where the week went... it went by so fast! It was a pretty busy week. Just like last week... and the week before that... and the one before that... you get the picture ;)

Sometimes I think that the busier I am, the more productive I am... does it make any sense? It's all self inflicted, obviously. I am my own boss, so if I wanted to work less, I guess I could... but the busier I get, the better ideas I get as well and the more I manage to get done... I don't really know how that works. Its almost like creativity comes from a lot of confusion and slight caos. Its a good thing, I have a few new exciting ideas that I am working on. The only problem is that one idea leads to another and Its hard to keep up. Too bad there are only 7 days in a week and only 24 hours in a day. Even though I am more productive when I am busy, I do have an upper limit. I found that out the hard way back in 2004/2005 when I they told me I have chronic fatigue syndrome. A good thing came out of it, I know when a lot is too much. I still find myself comming close to crossing that fine line every now and then, but I recognize it pretty fast and back off. I think I need an easier week next week... Its similar to training I guess, which is kind of cool!


June 3, 2008

More racing!

I headed to Oliver on Friday to cheer for Kim, Christiane and Suzanne who raced the Oliver half ironman this weekend. I joined Christina, Chris and Karmen who went there to cheer and get some quality training in. I got in a nice ride on Saturday up Richter's pass and back into Oliver. Legs felt pretty good up the hill, but my lungs were on fire! I have to make the time to ride my bike more often...

It was a nice hot day on Saturday, but I didn't really get to enjoy the sunshine as I had some work to do. Sunday was a completely different story... it started raining at 5:00am and didn't stop until around 12:00pm! I would much rather race in the rain than spectate in the rain... I still managed to get my face sunburned, even though I had sunscreen on. Go figure.

Kim had a great day, with things working according to plan, clocking in 5:30 hours. Christiane is right on track for Ironman Germany at the end of June... she had a great race (7:00 hours) and a fantastic bike time!! Suzanne enjoyed every second of her race (and it should be...) and smiled all the way to the finish line (7:34)!

In California, Gordon took on the trials for the Canadian military elite triathlon team for armed forces worlds to be held in Estonia mid June. It was a strong field, including a USA Olympic hopeful! Gord had a great race, despite cycling on his own, while the others in front him worked together... A total time of 2:02 earned him a spot in the team, so he will be heading to Estonia mid month where he is likely to break 2 hours.

Well done everyone!! The New Balance half ironman is next, on the 22nd of June.After that, it is the Osoyoos half ironman on the first weekend of July.

May 26, 2008

Fantastic spring for our athletes :)

It has been a great spring for PT Performance Training athletes so far! In April, Bert and Darcy started their season with a great race and mini training camp in the heat of Kona. Sooke sprint tri was a success for those who raced (see previous post), despite the snow the day before the race! Calgary cyclist Michael Godfrey has had a fantastic start to his season with a couple of strong, dominant races. What a great confidence booster for the main events of the season.

Kate W Brown has been training with me for a year a half and she is one of the first PT Performance Training athletes. We have done alot of work together, and had some good races, and some disappointing races (all were successful in my opinion though). She run her first marathon in Eugene, Oregon several weeks ago. As training progressed, we both knew it can be a BQ (Boston Qaulifier)... and it was. 3:45 for her first ever marathon and a BQ at first attempt. Pretty impressive stuff!! Well done Kate :)

This past weekend has been full of fantastic races and other kinds of success. Lets start with one triathlete, who entered the Oak Bay half marathon instead of doing her long run on her own. The plan was to run the race as a long run, not as an actual race... its hard to enter a race and not race it. It takes a lot of self discipline, focus and determination (just like racing, really). The end result was 1:46 for a nice and comfortable 21km training run after a pretty tough week of training. Another athlete; a cyclist turned swimmer/cyclist experienced her first ever open water swim. It is typically extremly hard to learn how to swim as an adult and even harder to jump into the open water for a swim, but she did it!

The Shawnigan triathlon was also held this weekend. Most of the team athletes that raced did the sprint triathlon in preparation for the rest of the season. Out of 6 people, 4 of them ended up on the podium. Gordon Roy came in 3rd in his age group (9th overall), which is pretty impressive since he was on a navy ship for 5 weeks prior to that race and had a 3.5 hour ride, a brick run and a swim the day before. Dave Robertson was 2nd in his age group, smashing his time from last year by 4 minutes. Scott Davis and Chris George had a little battle to the finish line... I have designed a very creative training plan for Scott and seems to be working like a charm. Chris had the 8th fastest bike split of the day and the fastest one out of the age groupers. Aynsley O'Carroll went out there after a very hard week of training with 2 goals in mind: to have a solid transition training session and to race, not participate... And race she did, winning her age group and coming in 5th women overall. Christina Kadin, in her first race of the season, has done a fantastic job putting it all together, placing second in her age group.

This coming weekend Michael is very likely to have another strong weekend of racing, while 3 other team members will be racing in the Oliver half ironman: Christian, Suzanne and Kim. Stay tuned...


May 12, 2008

Change of plans

So I'm not going to run the 50 mile in Colorado... I'm going to China instead! The International Olympic Committee puts together workshops as a part of an existing sport science conference for its sports nutrition post graduate students (Im currently enrolled in that program). These workshops happen once a year and we don't have to attend then to complete our studies, but they are an awesome opportunity to learn more about sports nutrition and attend sport science conferences around the world. This year, they have decided to run the workshops as a part of the pre Olympic congress in Guangzhou, China during the first week of August.

The only problem is that I can't go to China and race an ultra marathon in Colorado a month later with Ironman Canada in the middle... it might be too overwhelming for me right now. I think going to China is a fantastic opportunity, that doesn't come very often. So I am looking for another ultra to run a bit later in the year, or even early next year. Any suggestions?!


May 8, 2008

Coaching anyone? (take #2)

Last time I published a post looking for a coach to join my team I was kind of shooting in the dark because my blog was brand new and I didn't really think people were reading it... but I got an email straight away from D'arcey. I guess it was pure luck and was simply meant to be :) It also lead me to believe I should try that again! So, here goes: I am looking for multisport coaches to join my team... contact me through if you are interested in finding out more.

I look forward to hearing from you :)


April 23, 2008

Sooke Spring (?) Sprint Tri

It snowed on Friday & Saturday, which was extremely random for the end of April in Victoria... In a pretty big contrast, Sunday was a clear, beutiful but still a really cold day. I almost wish I raced myself so I could stay warm (almost is the key word here...). 6 PT Performance Training athletes raced and all of them did very well. It was an excellant way to get the season started! Well done guys :)

April 15, 2008

The following course description is taken directly from the race website: "The course is a spectacular 50 mile run through the beautiful mountains and fall colors of the Routt National Forest of northern Colorado. The race starts bright and early at the Steamboat Springs ski area (elevation, 6,900 feet) and proceeds up, up, up to Mount Werner (elevation, 10,568 feet) then goes up and down and up and down some more and then across the Continental Divide to Rabbit Ears Mountain (elevation, 11,000 feet) before heading back and way down to the ski area. The course will have nearly 9,000 feet of climbing. This course will test the endurance and spirit of any runner". Sound like fun, right? Below is the course elevation. Kind of nuts... will be a fun and challenging day for sure!

And the running begins... 5 months to go :)


April 13, 2008

Its ON!!!

Well, I finally did it.

I registered for my first ultramarathon... 50 mile of hills, hills and some more hills. I didn't really need to sign up now, as the race is in mid September... but I figured signing up early will be what I need to fully commit and start training properly!!

I will post more details about the race tomorrow. Its late and I have a busy day tomorrow... I plan on running before coaching in the am and then I have a full day of meetings and writing training programs, mine included!!

Im excited... it will be my first race in 5 years! Can my body handle all that running after my CFS diagnosis in 2003? I think so :)


April 6, 2008

Lessons from Geese

I'm not sure where this was originated; I got it from one of my professors during my first year in university. It's kinda cool and true... and I keep thinking about drafting and group rides when I read it. I am sure people will get different things from it :)

As each goose flaps its wings it creates an 'uplift' for the birds that follow. By flying in a 'V' formation, the whole flock adds 71% extra flying range. Lesson: People who share a sense of community can help each other get where they are going more easily... because they are travelling on the trust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front. Lesson: If we have much sense as geese we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

When the head goose tires, it drops back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position. Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks. We should respect and protect each other's unique range of skills, capabilities, talents and resources.

The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up with their speed. Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, production is much greater. Individual empowerment results from quality honking. When a goose gets sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

April 3, 2008

Way back in the day...

I was looking through some old pictures the other day and thought the ones posted below are pretty funny and need to be shared... They were all taken 13-14 years ago... :)

March 9, 2008


I haven't had as much time as I would like to train recently. I have been extremely busy with work and school and some more work... I manage to ride my bike a couple of times a week and run a couple of times a week, and that's about it. I thought my last swim was sometime in September, but a couple of my athletes reminded me this weekend that I swam with them in November, so I guess it hasn't been as long as I had though. Is there hope for me yet? ;)

I really want to train properly again. I challenge myself emotionally and mentally everyday, but I think I need to challenge myself physically as well, just to keep things balanced. A few weeks ago, I decided it will be an awesome idea to run a 50 mile race as it is very hard to train without having a racing goal. There is one in Victoria in May, but I don't think my 2 weekly runs will cut it... besides, my athletes are my main priority until their racing season ends and that is not until the end of August (and even later for a few). I started looking at some races in the USA and there are a few in Colorado or Washington in September that will be perfect. Now I really need to commit to a race :)

So running will get sorted by registering for the 50m race. As for cycling, I think I might have to either buy a bike that is a bit less than the one I REALLY want (unless I win the lottery or sell my car) or just clean my bike so I can actually shift... The logic behind this one is that if my bike actually shifts nicely, I might be nicer to ride. Makes sense, right?! Haha. It is so dirty from winter riding... Which brings me to another point: how come it rained almost every time I was on my bike this winter, if I was only riding a couple of times a week? That just does not make any sense... then again, I do live in Victoria ;) As for swimming, I plan on take my swimming gear with me every time I go to the pool to coach and see what happens, starting tomorrow morning :)

Goals for this week: run three times a week, ride twice a week and swim once a week. I know it doesn't sound like a lot of training, but its a good place to start now that I have a racing goal again! I figured posting it on my blog will keep me accountable... so feel free to check in and remind me of these goals and keep on working towards your training and racing goals :)


February 29, 2008

Back from Denver!

My trip to Denver was awesome! The only bad thing about it was that it was too short...

It was great to meet the guys at Retul. They all have really interesting backgrounds and they are really fun to work with (and they encouraged me to drink lots of coffee... most people cut me off after a couple of cups ;). I learned a lot in a few different fields, not only bike fitting. As a special bonus, Allen Lim, the physiologist for Chipotle Slipstream pro cycling team was there also to pick up his Retul system before he heads over to Europe.

The Retul fit studio is a pretty cool set up and it really made me want to have a bigger space... I wonder how I can make that happen?

It is very important that there is consistency among fitters with where the markers are placed, so Todd showed me exactly where to place the markers during the first bike fit of the day. Apparently I was the first one to place them correctly the first time. My anatomy and physiology prof would would have been proud... :)

I got some great tips on how to use the system to its full potential, bike fitting, marketing and had lots of fun in the process. Todd, Cliff and Franko - thanks for having me and saring your knowledge with me :)


February 26, 2008

Off to Denver!

I am off to Denver tomorrow morning! I will be doing a few fits in the Retul bike fitting studio and learn how to use the Retul system to its full potential. I am very excited to learn from Todd Carver and the rest of the guys at Retul. I will write a full report when I get back :)


February 25, 2008

Retul 3D Motion Caption System

I am very excited to announce that PT Performance Training is the first and only one in Canada to offer the Retul 3D bike fitting system. Retul allows to capture fitting data dynamically and in real time. Instant feedback and laboratory precision allow us to make changes to your riding position instantaneously, with sub mm accuracy. The days of a goniometer, plumb bob and static measurements are gone...

Need efficiency? Power? Retul your fit!! Email me for more information on how the system works, pricing, etc...