December 28, 2009

My Do-Not-Do-List... for 2010

About a week ago I got this RSS feed via email... and then, a couple of days later, I got this one too. I like Danielle LaPorte's ideas, writing and the energy that they seem to generate... If that sort of thing is your cup of tea (and even if it may not be...) her website, White Hot Truth, is worth a visit. I sure am glad I found it!

Her first blog post kind of got me thinking. She posted these following questions:

1) What are you deeply passionate about?
2) What are you are genetically encoded for — what activities do you feel just "made to do"?
3) What makes economic sense — what can you make a living at?

Hmmm... kind of makes you think, right? Ideally, you should answer these questions with a yes in relation to your work. But how many people do you know who can do that? I am lucky enough to answer all these questions with a big yes and also surround myself with plenty of people who can do that same, something that makes me very grateful. If there is one thing I can't stand, is people who dislike their line of work, place of work, etc... If you don't like what you are doing - Change it & stop complaining! I realize it is not an easy thing to do, but it can be done with passion, creativity and hard work. It's a process, and it is worth it.

Another thing that caught my attention was the Do-Not-Do-List. It was an interesting change from the traditional To-Do-List, which is pretty easy to create, and always seem to go a mile long and then multiply. Or maybe it's just me?! :)

So, without further adieu, here is my Do-Not-Do-List for 2010 (with some suggestions from that 2nd blog post)!

1. I will stop checking my emails every 5 seconds. I know. Can you imagine me without checking my blackberry every 5 seconds?! Hard to do... I only checked my emails a couple of time a day when I was in Nanaimo over Christmas and the email gods didn't punish me for neglecting them... so it's all good. It won't be easy, and I will likely go through a withdrawal period, but I'm sure I will make it!
2. I will stop trying to do things I do not know how to do properly. And by that, I mainly mean I will get my websites professionally done asap. I have tried fiddling with things on my own and the results have been basic at best and disastrous and extremely frustrating at worst. I will continue doing what I am good at, and let web designers do what they are good at. As far as I'm concerned, it is a win-win situation.
3. I will stop leaving twitter/facebook/email open while working. So much time can be wasted browsing facebook and twitter... Its sad how addictive these sites can get!
4. I will stop doing excessive amounts of free work. This one comes with some sort of a disclaimer - I volunteer my time and knowledge to help several athletes. I enjoy doing that, and that will not change. However, I can not do that all the time, for everyone... I need to eat too, right? The problem is: I LOVE what I do and it just doesn't seem like work, so I find it hard to invoice people for my time and knowledge. Silly, right? Well, it stops now. Although I will be the first to admit I still have a lot to learn (who doesn't have a lot to learn?!), I am good at what I do and should get paid for doing it.
5. I will stop traveling with a knapsack. I actually managed to bruise my shoulder pretty badly carrying a 20kg knapsack around Paris and Oslo this year... Never again! I think it is time to buy myself a real suitcase... One of those with a handle and wheels. Yap, the grown up kind ;-)
6. I will stop putting others needs ahead of mine. This one kind of relates to #4, but goes deeper than getting paid... I do have the tendency to try and help those around me before I help myself... For example - replying to a million emails right away instead of going for a run. I mean, what will happen if I reply to an email a few hours later?! Nothing. If anything, I will be more productive after a great run! Also, it will ease the stress... which again - will increase productivity so I can help more athletes. I like this one :)

I think that is about it for my Do-Not-Do-List. I could share my To-Do-List, but since it is pretty long, I bet everyone who actually made it this far reading this blog post would fall asleep. I have several FUN projects on the go, and I will share them all as they materialize. Please feel free to share your Do-Not-Do-List for 2010!

Happy New Year!!


PS. Here are a couple of pics from Nanaimo!

December 12, 2009

Some recipes as posted on my other blog...

I figured it might be a good idea for me to link my two blogs in some way... so below are the recipes I posted on my other blog thus far.

Fruit & nut bites
Beets & oranges salad
Breakfast quinoa #1
Breakfast quinoa #2
Butternut squash & roasted red pepper soup
Zucchini & kale soup
Home made muesli

There are many more to come to visit Fueling Endurance Performance every now and then :)


I can't really think of a fitting title!

I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) ~5 years ago. I haven't had a relapse for around 9 months, until several weeks ago. It took me until today to realize what was going on, but induced by some stress, I have experienced some of those all too familiar symptoms... Not a lot of fun, a little disturbing, but in the end - I am OK with it. Over the years, I managed to come up with my own way of dealing with relapses so they don't last for very long before I am back to my usual self.

The diagnosis was made in January 2005. Prior to that, I was waiting for an appointment with an endocrinologist for about 1 month (they got me in FAST), and that was after far too many visits to the doctor's office for countless blood tests and urine samples. My cortisol levels were off the charts and my doctor (who was a very accomplished sports doctor) said he had never seen anything like that before. Hmmmm.... not a good sign.

At that point, I wasn't training at all anymore: my doctor made me stop so I didn't cause further damage and my days were filled with sleeping for ~16 hours/day anyways... Kind of backwards, eh? I could have slept for longer as I was always extremely tired and in pain, but couldn't afford to take the time off work. Thank goodness it was summer (I lived in New Zealand back then!) and I was on break from school until late Feb.

CFS is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), which is a more fitting name in my opinion as it means nervous system inflammation involving muscle pain. Whatever you want to call it, it wasn't fun at all, and I had symptoms for well over 12 months before the diagnosis and then for over a year afterward... For more information, you can go to Canadian CFS/ME site.

I recovered with the help of some very light exercise (I had to lie down after 30 very easy minutes on the trainer. Kind of depressing because I used to train for 25+ hours/week and race at a high level...), proper nutrition and some therapy. I can say I am at about 85%-90% of where I was before CFS/ME and these are actually considered really good odds!!

My story goes well beyond the above info, into some of the reasons why I ended up with CFS/ME (eating disturbances, training with chronic cold/flu and some over-training), but I will not get into all of that as It does not make a very exciting read. A sad read perhaps, but not an entertaining one.

I would like for CFS or ME awareness to increase. Most people don't understand what it is and how people's lives are affected. In addition, I am sure I am not the only athlete who's athletic career ended because of CFS/ME (in my case, before it really started - I was only 23 when I was diagnosed). If you know anyone, especially athletes, who suffer from CFS/ME please leave a comment. I would like to connect with others who have experienced something similar.

December 8, 2009

Strength & technique training camp

I have teamed up with elite runner (former Canadian 10km champion) and physiotherapist Scott Simpson to deliver a running specific training camp designed to help runners and triathletes of all ability levels and age groups.

Dates: January 15th – 17th 2010

Location: Victoria, BC

Camp Focus: Injury prevention, core stability, Strength, Endurance, technique and efficiency

Camp Features: Personal video analysis (including CD and Dartfish analysis), 4 coached running sessions, 1 strength & conditioning session, 3 education workshops and more!

Coaches: Noa Deutsch & Scott Simpson

Cost: $220 by December 2oth

$250 after December 20th

Space is limited! Contact me for more information and/or download the information poster.

December 3, 2009

Today at Cedar Hill... in pictures

The boys are getting the work done. I met Kamal, Derek, Nick and Leif for a run session at the Cedar Hill recreation centre this afternoon and had them run a timed lap around the golf course, just to see where they are at right now. It's not the easiest lap to run, to say the least, but they are all right on track.

Then they did some hill reps... I wanted to see what happens to their form when they are tired. I am pretty sure they did not like me all that much by the end of the session, but I will take that as a compliment :)

November 25, 2009

Conserving Madrona Farms

I have been meaning to write a post about this topic for some time now, but I haven't been very good with the whole blogging thing lately and AdamO beat me to it... Click here to learn a bit more about how you can help save this awesome place...

I buy my veggies there when I can and their produce is definitely superior to what you get at the grocery store! If you don't believe me, try it for yourself... :)

A blog post with some updates coming soon.


November 4, 2009

A new adventure

So school is done. The exam went pretty well and it is starting to sink in that its all over. It feels a bit odd not having to write assignments anymore... but it is now time to continue applying the knowledge and experience I have gained. I look at it as a new adventure :)

As mentioned previously, I started a new blog/website and finally managed to update the services page… I still have to work on the “presentation” (ie. add more pictures, etc…), but all the info is now posted.

As a special treat, I am offering 15% off all sports nutrition services during November and December. Since team members get 15% off as it is, you guys will receive 20% off. Contact me for details (


October 23, 2009

The waiting game...

I am waiting for an exam. I know, it is kind of a random thing to wait for, right? The exam will be emailed to me between 3:25 and 3:35pm on Sunday afternoon and I will need to complete it by 3:30pm on Monday.

It will be a long day... yet I am still both nervous and excited for it. I guess it is because it means I will be done with my post graduate studies in sport nutrition! I doubt I will take a significant break from school. In fact, I already know what my next school related adventure will be (Likely starting in May 2010).

But I am not just sitting around waiting for my exam... I am also working on a few pretty exciting projects right now and I will post updates as they take shape.

1) The first one is the new sports nutrition blog mentioned in my previous post...

2) The second one is the new office space. I had an interesting meeting with my realtor today and he had an exciting idea. He told me it may be a long shot, in an attempt to keep my expectations low so I will not be disappointed if it doesn't work out, but I am still excited about it! I can't help it... maybe its because I am an optimist? Maybe it is because I believe everything will work out as it is intended to... Time will tell.

3) The third project is a new team! We are keeping it on the DL right now, but that will change in the next few weeks.

Until next time,


October 17, 2009

A new blog!!

A second blog, this time on sports nutrition related topic only! Visit

This time, on WordPress. I figures I might as well give it a try after using Blogger for a while... for the purpose of my new blog it is better having the ability to create several pages; so far so good.

I am in the process of getting it up and running properly. I still need to get the ’services’ page updated and the hosting up and running (it will be In the mean time, I copied and paste one of my previous sport nutrition related posts from this blog, just to get things going…

Comment are welcome!


October 5, 2009

I have to run with this brace from now on...

And it's a bit annoying...

But I am OK with it now - Im pretty happy to be running again after 2 weeks of being unable to do so. A lot of people have been asking me what is going on with my foot, so I figured it may be blog post worthy. I even attached a picture of the brace for your viewing pleasure!

It all started about 2.5 years ago, when I damaged some ligaments in my right ankle. I did a pretty good job at it too, because I was still unable to walk properly 2-3 months afterwards! I did my fair share of stability and rehabilitation exercises and everything seemed to be OK... But then a couple of weeks ago Andrew wanted to go for a swim at Thetis and I really wanted to go for a run around there while he swims... and I twisted that foot again. It didn't seem too serious at that point, I figured it will be a few days of RICE and I would be back at it. However, I got super physio Linda to take a look, just to be on the safe side, and it was pretty apparent that I damaged my calf too... To add insult to injury - my foot seem to have a lot of movement back and forth (which is not really a good thing) and it all started with that injury 2.5 years ago. Luckily, lateral stability is all good.

I started running again on Saturday, with the lovely brace pictured below. Annoying, but it's holding the talus bone where it belongs, because the ligaments around that area aren't doing that very well anymore. The part that got to me at first was the fact that it's not a temporary thing - I will need to use the brace all the time, especially when trail running. If it wasn't for the fact that it affects my running, It would actually be kind of cool having that much movement through the foot!

September 28, 2009

Butternut squash, apple and cranberry muffins - the recipe

First and foremost, I now only have 700 words to write. I have made pretty good progress during the day and am taking a well deserved break, until tomorrow morning. All that is left is tidying things up a bit, writing the abstract and the conclusions and I am DONE. I am pretty excited and eager to start applying what I have learned. I have a little related project that I can't wait to start... but more on that later :) For now, here is the muffin recipe mentioned in the post below.

Butternut squash, apple and cranberry muffins

1-2/3 cup spelt flour (I use spelt because it doesn't upset my stomach. I can't stomach whole wheat flour...)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp honey
1/8 cup cane sugar
1 cup butternut squash (Peel, cut into cubes, boil until soft & throw in the blender)
1/2 cup almond milk (I used vanilla flavor)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 granny smith apple (peel and coarsely grate)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Handful of dried cranberries

Well, thats it... pretty simple, and they taste great... Well, in my opinion they do :)

Butternut squash put to good use :)

After an awesome breakfast at Mole post coaching at Crystal (for some, after swimming at Crystal), I made some pretty good progress on my assignment, and a little break was needed... So, what did I do with that break? I put a butternut squash to good use and now there are some butternut squash/apple/cranberry muffins baking in the oven and I have a steaming bowl of butternut squash and apple soup in front of me! Not bad for a little study break, I think :) Recipes to come, if you are interested!

Time to eat, and get back to that assignment! Only 1300 words to go...

September 1, 2009

IMC 09

Ironman Canada was a tough day this year. The heat and the smoke made things a bit tough... Most of my athletes achieved their goals, 10 out of 11 finished, all within 15 hours. Well done guys!

Kudos to both winners, Jordan Rapp and Tereza Macal who seemed to race smart and completely dominated the race. A shout out to Jasper Blake who ran through most of the pro field to claim 4th. That was pretty awesome to watch Jazz!

A friend who raced (congrats Kim!!), mentioned that she saw one of the pro women grabbing a phone from a spectator and calling it a day at OK Falls. Her comment was that she did not realize it was even a possibility to phone someone and stop if your day is not going according to plan... Her comment hit the nail right on the head. I think that unless you are going to cause harm to yourself, you should get to that finish line. The pro athletes set an example to the AG racers, weather they like it or not. There are so many age group athletes that have a bad day and end up walking the marathon, but they get the job done and make it to the finish line...

33 out of 40 pro men finished the race this year. I am certain that many of them had a very good reason to DNF, but I saw a few of them after the race walking around looking pretty fresh... it made me wonder why they did not get to the finish line? Was it because they were not having a good day and decided to cut their losses and call it the day?

On the other hand, 2 young rookie pro athletes from Victoria had a pretty rough day out there, but they finished. They showed courage, heart and dedication and I am certain that there are great things ahead for those two. As Adam's coach, I am very proud of him for never giving up and getting the job done. It brought me to tears to see him on the run, as I have never seen him suffer like that. But he just kept going, knowing that it was not his day... he finished his first Ironman as pro athlete and proved that he truly deserves to race in that division. Same goes to Steve (who I do not coach) - keep doing what you have been doing so far... There is no doubt in my mind that when all the pieces of the puzzle slide into place you will be unstoppable.

August 19, 2009

Grain free banana blueberry loaf

I have a freezer full of bananas. I always seem to get more bananas than I can eat, and they end up in the freezer doomed to be used in baking (not that there is anything wrong with that...). I also happen to have a fridge full of blueberries, because kamal gave me a pretty big box of them before he left for Kelowna on Saturday.

So I decided to try something a bit different. I could have baked a "normal" loaf. You know, that kind with sugar, flour and eggs... but I try and avoid wheat products as much as I can (although I have to admit I do not avoid it 100%...), so I was looking for something a bit more creative.

What you need:
3 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup honey (I used 1/4 Babe's honey, 1/4 blueberry honey)
1 1/2 cups almond meal
3/4 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tbsp baking soda
1/4 cup organic shredded coconut
1 cup blueberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
I also threw in some white chocolate chips, for good measure :-)

The end result turned out VERY tasty, but I made a few mistakes along the way...

1. To start off with, I should have used a bit more almond meal, perhaps closer to 2 cup.
2. Since I really do have A LOT of blueberries in my fridge, I kind of just threw them in without adhering to my initial planning of 1 cup. I measured everything else properly, but not the blueberries... and I added too many. Oh well... they are rich in Quercetin, which shows strong anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-pathogenic effects and a relationship to improved endurance performance. But enough with the science talk (even if it was pretty brief) - back to the loaf...
3. I should have baked it as bars, not a loaf...
4. I guess I can try adding a couple of eggs as well...

The above mistakes aside, there is hope for this recipe - I am sure my next try will turn out a lot better. At least I know it will taste SO good once it is perfected. I will try again when I get back from Kelowna/Salmon Arm/Revelstoke/Penticton at the beginning of September and keep you posted.

In the mean time, if there are any bakers out there reading this blog, please feel free to make some suggestions :-)

August 12, 2009

It depends.

Last year of Uni at Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand. Degree program - sports coaching. A professor introduces students to a case study about an athletes' racing performance. Limited information is provided, but the professor is asking the students for their thoughts on the matter...

You would think that the students will start providing suggestions to help the athlete in question, right? Well, you guessed wrong. The students are smarter than that... they have stepped into that trap before by the same professor, and they will not make the same mistake again. The correct answer is "it depends". Since only limited information was provided, it is very hard to see the complete picture and a lot more information is needed before any kind of suggestion can be made.

When making suggestions without knowing an athlete inside and out, you are making assumptions. The word 'assume' can be broken down as followed: ass-u-me. Don't assume anything, you will not be helping anyone.

Thanks Lynn... best prof ever :-)

In other news, Myke posted his Stormy 50mile race report!

August 8, 2009

Myke at Stormy 50 mile...

Myke run the Stormy 50 mile event today - his first 50 mile race. 6000 ft of elevation gain on the trails of Squamish... in a time of 7 hours and 48 minutes (Thats 5:48 min/km!). At 22 years of age, he was the youngest racer and with only 2 ultra's under his belt that is a pretty amazing achievement.... I am a very proud coach right now :-)

I am sure he will post a race update on his blog in the next few days...

August 6, 2009

2 posts back to back!

Translation - I am procrastinating... ;-)

Even though things have been insane in the last few weeks, I have been running on a regular basis. My right calf has been bothering me a bit in the last few days, so I have taken a couple of days off running and used the torture device, aka Trigger Point. It feels a lot better, but I'll book myself an appointment at the clinic tomorrow, just to be on the safe side. Its pretty handy working at a physiotherapy clinic, I'll definitely miss that!!

I will likely put my ego in my back pocket and enter some road running races next winter, just for fun. I am starting to really miss racing and I think I'm OK with being a non competitive athlete. Im saying that now, but at the back of my mind I know I am way too competitive for the whole 'racing for fun thing'... and I will likely try and get closer to some of my old PB's, which will not be an easy task as I used to run A LOT and wasn't too bad either... haha. We will wait and see how things unfold!

Oh yeah, I have a blog? I almost forgot...

It has been too long since my last blog update. Too many people have dropped hints that this blog needs some serious updating, so here goes! I apologize if this is a bit all over the place...

The last 3 weeks have been busy (But what else is new...) The Penticton training camp in the middle of July went very well and everyone got some solid training in. About a week after coming back to Victoria from the camp, my mom was here visiting for a week. I only get to see her once a year, so thats always a very full on visit. It was so good to spend some quality time with her, but now that she's gone it is time to play some more catch up and start working on my next project.

Here are some pictures from the camp:

A few days ago, someone asked me when I am moving to the US of A. Well, for those interested, I am not moving anywhere any time soon. I will be graduating with a post graduate diploma in sports nutrition at the end of October (official graduation is in Switzerland at the end of March), and was thinking about doing an MSc conversion, as that will only take less than 1 year. My first choice for that was the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, but I am not ready to leave Victoria at the moment... so instead I will be enrolling at a pretty different program, on a part time basis, here in Victoria. But more on that later... Instead of moving to the US of A, I will be moving from my current office location in Brentwood bay to another, yet to be decided location. I am in the process of looking for some commercial space, which is pretty exciting! The process will likely take several months but I am looking forward to it.

Till next time...

July 14, 2009

Apparently I look pretty tired

A short interaction with the receptionist at my office this afternoon as I walked thorugh the door:

Her: Noa, I think your makeup has smudged under your eyes a bit.
Me: What? But I'm not wearing any make up...
Her: Oh... Are those black circles under your eyes? Are you tired?

Hmmmm.... Despite sleeping in this morning (8:30am is a sleep in for me!), I guess I was still looking a bit tired! Feeling tired as well, but I didn't think it was that bad... haha. Back to replying to emails and coaching later this evening :-)

July 8, 2009

Some pictures from Paris and Oslo...

I have been back in Victoria for a week now and it has been a bit overwhelming; I am still playing catch up! On top of the normal coaching/bike fitting/consulting work load (including a couple of days doing bike fits in Comox), I had an assignment due on Friday. Add in jet lag and lack of sleep and you get one exhausted me! I think things are back to normal now, which is good.

Some pictures from my day in Paris

Some pictures from Oslo

July 6, 2009

From sqwracing

Support two very important charities... visit Simon's blog at for more details!

June 25, 2009

Oslo trip... quick summary!

I am in Oslo for the ECSS (European College of Sport Science) annual conference at the moment... This is just a really quick summary of events so far. Too tired for all the details at the moment. More to come, but a bit is better than nothing.

Victoria 1/2 IM & sprint - team did SO well!

Flight to Paris was OK, didn't get too restless and even managed to get a bit of sleep (I am usually unable to sleep on planes).

Wondered around a certain Parisian neighborhood for a few hours (I can't remember the name right now). It was pretty cool. Took lots of pictures (will post some soon).

The Paris airport REALLY sucks.

It is still light out at 11:30pm in Oslo.

The accommodation we booked was pretty messed up. There was no one there to give me a key to the apartment and I only managed to get in at 3am. That place was bad. Very bad... got a hotel room instead, but it was too far from the congress centre... so moved to another hotel this morning.

Bruised my right shoulder from carrying my 20kg bag around Oslo. Yap, it is bruised... I really need to get myself one of those real suitcase, and stop overpacking!!!

The sun is shining at around 3am.

Cab driver from hell this morning. Seriously. Got out of that cab after he only drove for about 50m because he kind of scared me!

Good presentations today - started at 9, finished at 18:30. Pretty full on!

I like Oslo. It has a good vibe. Too bad it is so expensive (at least I was warned...)

Norwegian Olympic training centre visit tomorrow evening, after another full day of presentations.

Thats it for now... more details to come at some point :-)


June 20, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane tomorrow...

Well, packing is about 90% done, other than some odd and ends that will be taken care of tomorrow morning. I am seriously an over packer and I have decided that is OK! No point in fighting it, as it seems to be a losing battle anyhow. Every time I travel, I am determined to pack light only to find myself taking too many things. I think it might be better to be an over packer than an under packer, so it is all good. Almost everything on my to do list is done too, which is awesome! There are some things that I didn't really get to, but thats what the flight is for :-)

Tomorrow is a busy busy day. About 10 athletes from the team will be racing the Victoria 1/2 IM (and sprint), so that makes it a pretty early start to a pretty long day. After the race, I will be heading home to get my bags, then head to the ferries to catch the 5pm ferry to Vancouver. My flight leaves at 11pm from Vancouver to Paris, then I have 1 night and most of the next day to wonder around Paris before I catch my charter flight to Oslo. I am scheduled to arrive in Oslo around midnight (on the 23rd) and we have a workshop with a prof from Otago University in NZ at 8am the next day! Ouch! The conference registration starts at 10am (I think) and then we will get a few hours of free time before the first symposiums/presentations start that afternoon. For the next few days after that, it is about 9am to 5pm of cramming knowledge into my brain. Exciting stuff!! If you have any questions, especially in the area of sports nutrition, feel free to post a comment and ask them as I will have access to some smart sports scientists with lots of experience in their areas of expertise. I definitely plan on asking lots of questions while I am away.

Well, time to get some sleep... I will do my best to post on a somewhat regular basis while I am away (pictures, as the bare minimum...).


June 15, 2009

A really good post -

From the guys at the Science of Sport blog. The paragraphs below are taken directly from that post. I think they hit the nail right on the head with this one!

"The value of science lies not in the content it brings to the coach and athlete, though this is of course still valuable if applied correctly. What is infinitely more important is that the person who is applying content appreciates HOW they know what they know, because this gives them the ability to develop hypotheses and critically evaluate their observations.

And that is what good science TENDS to deliver and create in people - the ability to ask questions, measure variables and then answer the question. This SHOULD be a quality that good science adds to the athlete. Sadly, as we show in South Africa, it doesn't happen often, and the sports science we have created rather tells elite athletes that they are average because their VO2 max is not as high as it should be".

Is our attitude in Canada different from the attitude in South Africa? Unfortunately (generally speaking), it probably isn't.

Take what you wish from these paragraphs. On a personal note, they highlight why I chose to focus on coaching after university rather than focus on sport science (i.e.. Working in a lab). I had a choice - I could keep working in a lab doing lactate, V02max tests, etc all day long, or I could keep working with athletes directly. I would like to think I have the ability to ask questions, measure variables and then answer the questions to improve the performance of the athletes I work with.

To read the full post, go here:

June 13, 2009

A random update...

I am heading to Oslo on the 21st, for the European College of Sport Science conference. On top of the normal conference schedule, we have additional sports nutrition workshops scheduled and get the opportunity to pick some of the most brilliant brains in the area of sports nutrition. I can't wait... only 8 more sleeps! Yes, I said it before and I will say it again: I am a geek. Might as well just admit it, right?

Running has been going pretty well and I have an idea of what races I want to do. I still feel a bit uncoordinated and heavy compared to where I used to be when I was racing and it is pretty hard to just put that at the back on my mind of focus on here and now. The reality is that I just don't have the strength to hold good technique at the moment, but it will come with consistency and patience. I am progressing things very slow mainly because I have had the tendency to do too much too early in the past... I don't really get injured when I do that, but I do seem to get a relapse of CFS and thats really not a lot of fun!

I have been thinking a bit about CFS lately and the fact that it is still an illness that very few have any idea what it is all about. It is significantly more than just being extremely fatigued all the time!! I have been thinking about ways to create a bit more awareness and support for CFS patients and have come up with a couple of ideas. Implementing those ideas might have to wait until I am done with grad school at the end of October, but I will dedicate a post to explaining what CFS is all about and how it has affected me (and still does) sometime soon.

My team is as awesome as always. The latest race report - Myke ran the Great Walk 64km (Gold River to Thasis) last Saturday and won it by about 20 minutes in a time of 5:13:58, which is the fastest winning time in 6 years. Thats an average of ~4:58 min/km... not too bad for a 22 year old, eh? Kamal is racing Wasa tomorrow and then there is the Victoria half ironman on the 21st.

Did I mention that there are only 8 more sleeps till Oslo?! Not that I'm counting or anything... ;-)


June 1, 2009

Sunny Victoria!!

3 runs in a row... haven't done that in a LONG time... they were all pretty short (~30 mins), but since I haven't run at all for almost 2 weeks (and not a lot at all before that...), it is a good start. I should have spaced them out a bit more because my right calf was starting to go... its my weak spot as I tore 3 ligaments on that ankle 2 years ago. In my defense, the plan was to go for a bike ride, but Andrew dragged me out for a little run instead. He is A LOT faster than I am, so the pace was probably seriously slow for him, but he persevered :)

It was nice to run in the sun around beacon Hill park. I don't run there often enough, so it was a nice change of scenery. Other highlights (aside from the great company and fantastic weather) were Matt and Amber driving by (probably shocked to see me running!) and giving a little friendly yell, the sighting of Kyle and Lauren looking super strong on their run and the yummy Ethiopian food from the Cook St food court.

We also went to the ocean, for some ice time... I lasted a total of 45 seconds, if that. Andrew did much better than me. Its not fair though, he has more practice... haha! The ocean is freazing!! I guess thats the point, right?! I'll get my mental toughness back sometime soon, I promise!

May 25, 2009

A busy day of racing on Vancouver Island

Yes, I am still around... I am now determined to re-surface and post some semi regular updates, at the very least. Lets start with yesterdays racing... 14 team athletes races at different locations on the island. 8 athletes took part in the Shawnigan Lake races, 4 competed at the Oak Bay half marathon and 2 raced the TriK in Comox.

Shawnigan Lake
Sprint - Kamal was 2nd, after a bit of a rough weekend... (his race report can be found at and Dave won his age group.

Olympic - Matt and Amber both had solid performances, and Matt didn't complain (too much) about the fact that he had to ride his bike home after the race... Andrea (coached by Carolyn) is new to triathlon, so that was her first Olympic distance race and she did great!

Half Ironman - Nick had a solid swim and bike, and posted a new PB (His race report can be found at Mike's hard work has been paying off and he posted a new PB as well. I am sure he will post a race report on his blog too, at some point... (hint, hint Mike!!). Sara (coached by Carolyn) is new to the sport and had a great race in her first go at the half ironman distance.

Oak Bay half marathon
Adam's decision to race was a bit of a last minute one, and he had a very descent run clocking 1:16, after a few tough weeks. Melissa (who I am coaching in cooperation with Jim Finlayson), had a solid run, and Pat finished with a new PB. Myke and the Peninsula Runners relay team won the relay division.

In Comox, Bert had a solid race, and Pascale was crowned the fastest chick in the Valley, winning the OA title and her AG.

Good day... I was pretty shuttered by the time the day was done, and I wasn't the one racing! However, the racing bug may have been caught. We will see how things unfold this time around :)

May 5, 2009

Time to dust the cobwebs off this blog...

And post something. Anything. Preferably something interesting... the only problem is that nothing really interesting happened in the last couple of weeks! It has been a lot of the usual stuff, with a typical day being compromised of the following:

bike fittings
Program design
Athlete meetings
Video analyzing
The occasional run or bike ride
Spending time with friends
School work

Oh, yeah... I occasionally get some sleep and a few bites to eat too... ;)

I have been working a lot, in an attempt to pay my tuition and book my trip to Oslo for the European Sport science Conference at the end of June. Its pretty expensive to fly there and to stay there. It was cheaper to fly to China last August! I do feel like I have finally found some balance, so I am pretty excited about that :)

I do have a few informative posts (in my opinion...) in the works, all in the area of sports nutrition. I should probably add 'informative blog post writing' to the list above... Hopefully it will take me less than 2 weeks to post them!

Until net time...


April 21, 2009

back to posting...

It is definitely spring in victoria... I was introduced to a beautiful spot along the water, that I had no idea actually existed... I was pretty glad I brought my camera along! A few pictures below.

Kate ran the Boston marathon yesterday. It was her 2nd marathon and she finished in a time of 3:38:54 and a ~10 minute PB. Well done! She writes pretty funny race reports, maybe she will let me post her report here sometime this week...? TC 10km is this Sunday, should be a good race for the team!

I also know where I will finish my masters degree... I think it deserves a separate post when I have more information.

April 2, 2009

I love running in the rain!

I love running in the rain, pretending I can run in between the drops, so I don't get wet. I also love jumping in the puddles and pretend I am still a kid. But what I love most, is how running clears my head. Its my time to think, reflect and come up with new and creative ideas and plans.

Tonight was no exception... I jumped in puddles, run between the rain drops (it didn't work, I still got pretty wet!) and did some thinking. What was I thinking about, you may ask? About racing an ultra. Im not entirely sure why I was thinking about that... I still don't think the timing is right, but then again my fitness level is no where close to where it needs to be for running 50 miles anyways... so the plan is to enjoy the process of getting fit so I can start training for an ultra. I call it my pre ultra running plan and Im pretty excited about it! Now lets see what the process will bring :)

March 31, 2009

What I have learned in March...

And a few things I would like to learn in April! So, here is what I have learned in March:

1. I am not superwomen. I know, what a shock, eh? I wish I could just be ON 24/7 but does not seem to be possible... so I have learned to be kind to myself and take a bit of down time every now and then

2. Short hair is so much better that long hair!!!

3. I still remember how to swim... and everything is coming back pretty fast too :) (thank you A for dragging me to the pool at the beginning of the month)

4. I love coaching and bike fitting! I am reminded of that on a daily basis... and I am grateful for having the ability to make a living of something I enjoy so much. I also love my grad school studies, I just don't really like paying tuition... haha

Things I want to learn in April:

1. The April lectures for school are about nutrition strategies for track and field athletes, so I want to learn more about that!

2. I want to know who actually reads this blog! I know my parents, friends and most of my athletes read it, but who else?! Make a comment, say hello if you read it :)

3. I want to continue learning how to balance work, friends, swim/bike/run, hobbies, etc... It's an ongoing kind of thing :)

Im not sure what else... but I am certain opportunities to learn new things will come up... they always do :)

March 27, 2009

What's new?

The Comox half marathon was a great race for Audrey, running 1:43:10 and placing 9th in the F45-49 AG. Thats a PB by over 4 minutes! It definitely gave her a confidence boost, and I was a very happy coach when I got her message :)

Next weekend, Gord and Adam will toe the start line at the New Orleans 70.3. It will be Adam's first race as a pro, which is pretty exciting! The mens field will be very strong, so it will be a great experience.

Next up, towards the end of April, Kate will be heading to the Boston marathon and some of our athletes will be racing at the Delta triathlon.

Things have been pretty busy this month and March is just flying by! I have done 22 bike fits so far this month, and I have 4 more booked between now and April 1st. That is in addition to coaching 20+ athletes, and staying on top of my school work. Im doing pretty well on the school work front, which basically means that I am not too far behind on listening to my lectures, etc. Sometimes I wish I had actual classes to go to, instead of doing everything online, but most of the time I'm pretty grateful for the flexibility of distance learning.

I have been swimming a bit more (I swim every week, rather than once every 6 months!) and running and cycling, for fun. I have no racing plans... I get asked about my racing plans so often! My last race was about 5 years ago, and I don't know when my next one will be. I still have ultra-running aspirations, but the timing has to work, which hasn't happened yet. It will one day... in the mean time I am having fun working with athletes and finding balance in my life :)

Ok, time to log off and head to the office... bike fits to do :)


March 25, 2009

Bikes fits in Vancouver and Comox

I plan on packing up my bike fitting gear and heading to Vancouver and Comox for some bike fits during the month of April... The dates are as followed:

Vancouver: April 3rd - 4th (Friday & Saturday)
Comox: April 17th - 18th (Friday & Saturday)

Cost: $75/hour
Typical duration: 1.5 - 2 hours

If you would like to book a bike fit with me, or ask questions about the bike fitting process, my approach, background, etc... please email


March 20, 2009

No title post

I think its time to update the blog! This week has gone by pretty fast too... seems to be the trend these days. Nothing too exciting happened during the week, which partially explains the blog silence. Besides, Twitter comes pretty handy for those small updates that are definitely not blog entry worthy.

The other reasons are because I have been busy (as usual) and have been battling with some fatigue too. I get pretty paranoid if I am feeling very fatigued for more than just a few days, worrying that it is a relapse of CFS. That was the case mid Feb, but it was not as disabling as 5 years ago! I was able to push through and feel like things are OK now. I feel pretty good today... I sure am looking forward to a (relatively) relaxed weekend though, before some busy times next week. My bike fitting roster is pretty full for next week, I might be able to fit another one in if you are quick to email me. If not - there is always the week after that :)

Gotta log off and head to some meetings... I got the pics I took in AZ from kamal this week, so here are some of them (oh, the sun and warmth... how I miss you!)

Happy Friday...!

March 13, 2009

Last weekend's racing...

I have NO idea where this week went, it just flew by! I seriously can not believe it is already Friday...

Last weekend some of my athletes were racing at the UBC triathlon and the Bazan Bay 5km. It was a good weekend of racing... Myke already posted a report on his blog (look for it on my blogroll...), so I will only say that he had a great run finishing 2nd in the 20-24AG. 16:19 after the training I made him do that week is pretty respectful, especially for an ultra-runner! To top it off, Martin and Dean both posted PB's. It also seems like I missed the sprint of the year between Simon W and Scott S... maybe I should have gone to Bazan bay instead of UBC?!

Off the island, at UBC, Adam came in 2nd OA. I am sure he will post a race report on his blog soon (nudge, nudge Adam...), so I will not expand on that. Matt, Mike, Andrew and Amber had good races despite of freezing temperatures... Amber also came in 2nd in her AG :)

I spent the bike portion doing what I normally do while watching races: analyze athletes' bike fits, of course... (oh, and cheer people on too!). There were some good positions, some bad ones and a few that simply looked painful... I have done more than enough bike fits to know not to jump to conclusions without knowing the full story, but I sometimes get really frustrated when I know I can help someone but I can't exactly go up to that person and tell them they should let me fit them on their bike, right? (or maybe I can??). In one particular case, I know what issue that athlete has, and after seeing him ride his bike - I also know what needs to be done to fix that issue... so what do you do? Since I don't really know that person all that well, do I do nothing? Or let them know they should come see me? Hmmmm..... or maybe I should just stop analyzing athletes' bike positions while watching triathlon races? (yeah, right... like that is going to happen...).

I have 3 bikes fits to do over the weekend, so I'll just make sure those athletes are happy on their bikes, and stop worrying about fixing everyone else's bike fits, unless they want me to do so. I am slowly learning that I can't help those that do not want to be helped...

Until next time, have a great weekend!!


March 4, 2009

Just a few pictures from AZ...

Here are just a few pictures from the Arizona camp (taken using my camera). There are MANY more, that I took using kamal's camera, but I don't have those pictures yet... Hopefully I will by the end of this week!

February 19, 2009

Its sunny in Victoria, and Im looking forward to even more Vitamin D in AZ...

We are heading to Arizona on Saturday morning... I have been waiting to head to a sunny location for a while now, and as a bit of a preview, the weather in Victoria has been AWESOME this week! So sunny and beautiful...

My dad was visiting this week, and I dropped him off at the ferry this morning (his flight leaves from Vancouver). On my way back into town I stopped by Trek Pro City Cycle to say hi to the boys and pick up some new bar tape. I swap my bar tape often not because it needs to be swapped, but because I get bored with the color pretty fast... Haha. I know, kind of random... but I figured it might motivate me to get back at it after taking a long break from my beloved bike. What do you know, IT WORKED! As soon as I got home, I swapped the bar tape, and headed out for a spin. I now have bright blue bar tape on my bike... I love the Fizik bar tape... it is so awesome and it comes in some GREAT colors. It was tight between bright green and bright blue... and blue won (maybe I'll get the green one next time!).

The ride was pretty awesome. Just a light spin along the water front... Felt pretty good even though I am no where near proper riding shape. I guess that is all relative though... My legs and lungs will get used to being on the bike again, and by the time I get back from riding in sunny Arizona, I am sure things will feel much better.

Well, time to get back at it... things to do and athletes to coach!


February 18, 2009

Cool stuff! Click HERE

I stumbled across the blog post linked in the titled line earlier today. I think its a pretty cool idea... Unfortunately that is all I have time for on the blog front right now.


February 12, 2009

I miss NZ!

One of my friends is flying to New Zealand for some biking around the South Island in a little bit over a week. Since the South island of New Zealand was my stomping ground for about 3.5 years, I helped her map out some routes after swimming on Sunday. The problem is, I have been NZ sick all week long!

I mainly miss the Port hills around Christchurch... so awesome for training! The best part was that I used to live less than a 10 min jog from the base of the hills. In Victoria, I have to drive to the trails. Maybe I should just move closer to some trails, that will fix it :) I am starting to think that I might just have to plan a trip to NZ. This time, not as a poor student... I guess I will have to wait at least until November, when I am done with my post grad course work. It will actually work really well, because it will be spring/summer in NZ then!!

In the mean time - here are a couple picture taken from Rapaki trail (the one closest to where I lived), overlooking the city. I really need to scan some pictures... almost all of them were taken using one of those non digital camera! WOW! Hahaha :)

February 5, 2009

Bike fits in Vancouver anyone?

Due to demand, I will be heading to Vancouver to do some bike fits during the month of March, and possibly for a day or two between Feb 10th and Feb 14th. I will bring the Retul 3D dynamic bike fitting tool (which I have been using for over a year) and my experience fitting hundreds of athletes, from recreation cyclists to Olympic level athletes. All you have to do is bring your bike :)

If you would like to work me to dial in your bike fit, or to get more information about me and/or my approach to bike fitting, send me an email (


February 2, 2009

OMG... Compression garments!

Ah, compression garments. A must have in every running/multisport/bike store around. Apparently they are great for the clearance of "lactic acid". That right there has put me off the idea of those said garments. My athletes keep using the term "lactic acid" now just because they know it is such a pet peeve of mine... even though they know better than that... (its not "lactic acid", its lactate... I have written enough about that topic, so I won't get into that whole debate right now. If you haven't read what I have to say on the matter, and you would like to, either browse through this blog, or just drop me a line. I will be more than happy to provide information!). But I digress... I have always had a hard time focusing on just one thing at a time!

I have seen so many athletes racing and training in compression tights and socks: it seems to be THE piece of equipment to get right now. The main reasons include comfort, increased recovery and injury prevention. This research area is relatively new, and most research related to athletic performance was done on sprinting, throwing and jumping performance, with very few studies were done on the effectiveness of compression garments on endurance performance. Early reports from the medical field indicate that compression socks and tights improved venous circulation, reduced blood pooling and enhanced fluid transfer within the lymphatic system.

Compression tights may help athletes in the propulsive phases of sprinting and may be effective at reducing some impact forces, which is important for contact sports like Rugby (I miss watching good rugby games! I'm definitely in the wrong country for that. Again, I digress...). It seems to be common thinking that compression garment (socks, sleeves...) will aid in post exercise recovery. However, very little evidence is available to support this hypothesis. There is some evidence to support that recovery after eccentric exercise (e.g. excessive downhill running) may be improved when wearing compression sleeves for 5 days post exercise, in addition to reduced swelling, and decreased perceived soreness. This pretty much means that maybe it does, maybe it does not... take your pick! It appears however, that ice baths are the most effective recovery modality. Not the most pleasant, but who said proper recovery is easy?! ;)

Studies done on endurance performance show that performance over 1 hour TT may improve with the use of compression tights, with VO2max not affected (surprise, surprise there...). Without getting into all the nitty gritty details (I am worried you might fall asleep), this may be due to increased circulation to the working muscles.

After doing a lot of reading about dehydration, weight loss during endurance events and cramps (school stuff....), I have come to the conclusion that there may be some anecdotal evidence suggesting that compression garments may have an effect on “dehydration exhaustion” during ultra-endurance events, such as Ironman. The cardiovascular effects of dehydration are apparent only during exercise in upright position. This helps to explain why the effects of “dehydration exhaustion” are rapidly reversed by lying down and are due to an inadequate peripheral circulation – impaired venous return in the standing position. This might suggest that lower body compression garments may be effective in the prevention of this condition. Please note that there is no formal research to back up this statement – just a thought.

So your next step is to way the pros and cons. Is it worth sporting those goofy looking socks? Apparently, according to Dave, if they have argyles on them in the Garmin-Chipotle colors - they are way cooler than any other kind... ;) The bottom line, in my humble opinion, is (wait for it... ) IT DEPENDS. The phrase 'it depends' was our answer to pretty much every single question we were asked by the time we reached our final semester at uni... and even though that was over 3 years ago - that is still the way I look at things. Things always depend on many factors, and nothing is black or white (see previous post...). But, once again, I seem to get off topic!

I have used the words 'may' or 'might' 8 times in this post, and that wasn't exactly by accident... Its pretty simple - compression garments MAY or MAY NOT do all those things they are claimed to do. They are certainly not going to cause any harm (other than making your wallet lighter...), and if you believe they are helping you - they probably are. After all, the placebo affect can not be overlooked...

In addition to excessively using (abusing?) the word 'may', I have also side tracked about 3 times. ADD?! Me?! NO WAY... Hahaha.

January 31, 2009

Arizona training camp

Only 2 spots are available for our Arizona training camp... The dates are Feb 22 to Feb 28 (inclusive). Send me an email ( and I will forward you all the details!


January 23, 2009

Black and White? (slightly revised)

I used to draw a lot a few years back. I still do, but not as much as I used to. The drawing below was created after taking A LOT of pictures while visiting Venice, Italy during the fall of 2001. I was there for the mountain running world championships, and had to check it out, as the race venue was only a few hours north of Venice. When I got back home, I edited a few of the pictures I had taken and drew 3 of them (this one is my favorite). I have always preferred black and white drawing over painting, and I think everything I ever created with a pencil is much better than anything I have ever created with a paint brush. I love the detail I can achieve and the depth I can create with just a few pencils. The detail of the drawing always seem to relax me, and the only thing that would keep me sitting still for more than 30 minutes!

I think it is pretty clear that the drawing above is NOT black and white... even though it may appear to be a black and white drawing, it is actually full of various shades of grey. Since I am passionate about both drawing and coaching, I would like to compare the two for a second (really, just a second :). Coaching, just like drawing, is not black and white... there are many shades of grey in there too! I have heard many coaches say that either a qualitative or quantitative approach should be taken when it comes to coaching (it is the same with sport science too...), and that things should be done in a certain way vs another way, etc... old school vs new school... analysis vs not analyzing at all... but how about combining approaches? What about everything in the middle? What about the individual approach? What about using experience, education and intuition? When you look at things in black and white you risk losing the grey... With any photo editing software, you can change the setting of a picture to 'grayscale' or 'black and white'. If you have never done that before (which I doubt, in our digital age...) - try it! It will become clear that when you look at things in black and white, many details disappear... those details are important to create a detailed, complete picture... in drawing and in coaching. Regardless of what approach you take, what 'camp' you associate yourself with, etc... try to open your eyes and use your experience and observation skills to see both the big picture and the small details, and listen to what your athletes have to say too... you might learn a thing or two ;)

I promised I will only compare drawing and coaching for a second, and I believe I used up that second... (I also need to get to a meeting...), so I will leave you to ponder this. Comments are welcome, as usual.


January 19, 2009

Whistler weekend

5 of us ventured to Whistler for a weekend of snowshoeing (and running and swimming). Here are some pictures. Stories to follow... We got to watch the nordic combined world cup (the ski jumping part). It was AWESOME!