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My Year As A Triathlete: Brandon's 2016 Grind to IRONMAN 140.6

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My Year As A Triathlete: Brandon's 2016 Grind to IRONMAN 140.6

After what has officially been 30 days of a COMPLETE break, I figured it was time to get off my ass and get ready for 2017. I think it is important to be really honest about how I've spent the last 30 days since IRONMAN Cozumel - I've done jack shit. Nothing. My days have consisted of eating everything I wished I could when I was training. Drinking. A lot of drinking. 10 days in Europe travelling around doing nothing. I've stretched a little, but not much. It has been ......... GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Brandon's Progress Report: October Crush

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Brandon's Progress Report: October Crush

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There is only one thing to say about October: I F*%^ING CRUSHED IT I had an amazing October and it came exactly when it needed to.

I set personal bests in running, biking and swimming.

I surpassed over 1000 hard found, sweat induced, ground out KM - more than 250 total km than ever before!

I followed my schedule 90%, which is pretty damn good if you ask me.

And finally, I feel stronger and more confident than ever!

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Why the strength and confidence? Well, a few reasons actually. October not only saw huge training hours and volume increases but a few important confidence boosting workouts helped a lot:

  • I did three trainer rides of 4+ hours - my longest ever, pushed out near the full IRONMAN distance - 180km
  • After each of those rides I successfully transitioned with an hour or hour and half run - my longest brick training sessions as well.
  • My running felt great. I changed my form, I've been strengthening my glutes and core and feel good on the run
  • I performed a 3 hour run - my longest ever (on a treadmill even) and easily could have completed the remaining 12km for marathon distance.

So all and all, I couldn't be happier with October.

October by the numbers:

  • Swimming: 9.53 km
  • Cycling: 896.03 km
  • Running: 142.30 km
  • Total: 1,047.85 km
  • Training Time: 48:15 hrs
  • Total Calories Burnt: 36,489

The count down continues to IRONMAN Cozumel! Bring on November!!!

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The focus for November is consistency:

  • Sticking to my schedule and the big taper: I've been struggling a little with keeping the motivation going. I'm getting close and a little exhausted and the feeling of me being ready is actually more dangerous than not. So I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to get it done. Tapering starts soon so I'm hoping that will help.
  • Diet - Always a focus for me and more important then ever. I'm going to continue my focus specifically on race-day nutrition, which has been going extremely well for me lately.
  • Focusing on the mental - the time has come to slow things down and focus on the mental aspects of the sport. I'm going to focus myself internally this month and try to reduce external stresses that have impacted my training in the past. Yoga, meditation and a focus on recovery will be huge this month. The mental challenge is as hard if not harder than the physical and it is time to stop neglecting it.

I feel good heading into November. I'm the strongest I've been physically and feel I can do this.

Happy Training Everyone!

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Brandon Progress Report: September

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Brandon Progress Report: September

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It is actually hard to believe that it is October all ready. As I write this, the leaves are falling off the trees in front of me and the wake-up temperature is dangerously close to below-zero. While Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm officially indoor bound for the rest of my training efforts - stationary bike, treadmills and indoor pools. In my August update I mentioned that September would not be an easy month for training consistency. I was right.

However, while I had some ebs and flows I put in a solid month again, consistent with previous months. I've also made some significant improvements on this years issue that has been hampering my performance - my run. All in all, having spent a week in another country and three days sleeping in a tepee with no cell phone coverage, I'm pretty darn happy with this months efforts.

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Right in my typical range. Importantly, higher running and swimming numbers. I've also added some mobility and strength training, specifically focused on my core and knees.

September by the numbers:

  • Swimming: 8.15 km
  • Cycling: 508.93 km
  • Running: 47.48 km
  • Total: 564.56 km
  • Training Time: 27.33 hrs
  • Total Calories Burnt: 22,776

So, despite September challenges with work and life responsibilities, I managed a good month and feel pretty good. However, it is officially crunch time. The clock is ticking and it is buckle down time. October looks good so far in terms of work/life balance and travel responsibilities, but who knows what the month will bring. The count down is on to IRONMAN Cozumel!

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The focus for October is consistency:

  • Sticking to my schedule - it is time to put my schedule and training first and foremost. I'm scheduling out the next 8 weeks and going to stick too it.
  • Diet - Always a focus for me. I'm going to really focus on getting to my ideal race weight; shed a few pounds and lessen the impact on my body when I run and lighten the load on my bike when I ride. I need to shed 10-15 pounds easy, obviously not in September but by November
  • Reducing stress - the time has come to slow things down and focus on the mental aspects of the sport. I'm going to focus myself internally this month and try to reduce external stresses that have impacted my training in the past. Yoga, meditation and a focus on recovery will be huge this month. The mental challenge is as hard if not harder than the physical and it is time to stop neglecting it.

I feel good heading into October. I'm ready to buckle down and focus.

Happy Training Everyone!

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Brandon's Progress Report: August Laziness

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Brandon's Progress Report: August Laziness

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August has come and gone. Honestly, while graphically it looks like a decent month, it really wasn’t that great. Given previous months, I sadly write this overview disappointed in my efforts and output. I fell into the injury trap, got lazy and lost focus. It happens I guess. I’ve competed in a few races, knocked off a few goals for the year, but see a gigantic mountain of work ahead – Seriously, people train all year to compete in a marathon and that is just one piece of what I’m trying to pull off! It goes without saying, I’m starting to wonder what the hell I’m doing.

So I hit a little bit of a rut in August. I’d like to say I’m over it, but I’m not. A story for another post.

For now, August looked like this:

  • I biked a lot because I’m good at it, it is easy and when things get tough for some reason I revert to that which I know best.
  • I ignored running – put in some sad miles, but fell back on the fact that “I’m hurt and shouldn’t push it”.
  • I ignored swimming – well, honestly, swimming is easy to ignore and it is really hard to walk to the pool. Plus it was raining, all the time. That’s as good excuse as any, right?
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August by the numbers:

  • Swimming: 3.05 km 
  • Cycling: 618.80 km 
  • Running: 19.30 km 
  • Total: 645.78 km
  • Training Time: 26.89 hrs
  • Total Calories Burnt: 19,552

September needs to be better. It isn’t going to be easy. I’m travelling 2 of the next 3 weeks. It is going to take some serious dedication and commitment to get back on track. It all starts with the Whistler GranFondo on September 10, a work trip the next week and an international work trip the last week of September. It is doable. I just need to focus.

There is no turning back. Flights are book. Registration fees are paid. Hotels are reserved. I’ve got a huge fan club joining me, which is unexpected and incredible!!!!! This is happening. Cozumel, November 27, 2016.

  • Strength Training - 2-3 times a week. I’ve recently got a second opinion on my knee and have come to the sad realization that my strength, particularly in my glutes is …… well ……. Embarrassing! I’ve started a strength training route to correct this issue and hopefully my running issues.
  • Swimming- I'm feeling more confident in the water, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. My focus is going to continue to be getting away from breathing every 2 strokes to every 3 strokes. This is a challenge for me and is going to take time but I believe will pay huge dividends. I'm also going to focus on spending longer and longer periods in the pool, as shit just got real, 3.8 km is the new target.
  • Running – well I just need to run. I’ve never ran more than 21km and well I’m going to need to. The good thing about travelling is running is pretty easy to accomplish.
  • Diet- Always a focus for me. I'm going to really focus on getting to my ideal race weight; shed a few pounds and lessen the impact on my body when I run and lighten the load on my bike when I ride. I need to shed 10-15 pounds easy, obviously not in September but by November

Happy Training Everyone!

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Brandon's Progress Report: July Showers

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Brandon's Progress Report: July Showers

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Another month closer to my goal and I can't stop but think of how quickly time is flying by.  The challenges and hurdles mount, as do the success. July was a particularly interesting month. A lot was going on, the weather was insane, and I successfully completed my second 70.3 this year. As I write this, the rains are pouring down again on downtown Calgary. A quick recap of July:

  • It rained or thunder stormed everyday in Calgary - most notably however not on my race day! (it didn't actually, but it sure felt like it)
  • 10-days of distraction thanks to Calgary Stampede
  • I continued rehab on my leg (unsuccessfully to-date)
  • I moved
  • I changed jobs
  • I completed the Calgary 70.3 IRONMAN on July 24th

Despite all this, I still had a very successful July - topping many if not all of my numbers from June. I'm also quite happy to have finished my second 70.3 this year and in as many months; a first for me in my young triathlon career.

July by the numbers:

  • Swimming: 7.88 km 
  • Cycling: 672.54 km 
  • Running: 30.13 km 
  • Total: 710.73 km
  • Training Time: 32.5 hrs
  • Total Calories Burnt: 19,952

All and all, a good outing this month. I clocked the most KM's I've ever done in a month on my bike. This is largely due to the running injury I was nursing. The logic being, if I can't run, get my ass out on the bike to keep up my conditioning. It definitely paid off, as I also logged my fastest 40km on the bike and put down a very respectable 2:27:31 at Calgary 70.3 (also my fastest 90km).

On the running front, wellllllllll..........the IT Band injury continued to bug me all month and despite a concentrated effort at rehabilitating it, it reared its ugly head during Calgary 70.3. I have had a successful run in August and rehab continues. I'm hoping August will bring a much larger blue bar. Fingers crossed. Just kidding, I'm working really hard to make that happen, I doubt crossing my fingers will do shit.

Swimming was pretty consistent. I worked hard on the three-stroke breathing and I'm getting better and faster. I clocked my fastest race time swim in July and more importantly didn't have my "freak" out moment in the water that I have experienced at my previous two events. I'm taking a more systematic approach to my swimming and feel really good.

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August is shaping up to be a good month. I'm focused and ready to get back to training after a few slack days following my last race. I've got a few priorities to work on and I'm expecting a big month this month. Ironman Cozumel is a mere 4 months away and the Whistler GranFondo is in the middle of September to break up the training schedule.

Honestly, things are feeling really good. I know there is a lot of work ahead but I feel I'm getting stronger everyday and learning a lot. I've got a huge supporting cast that is amazing and preparations are being made for them to join me in Cozumel in November. I couldn't be more excited and I will not let them down or myself.

The Grind continues!

As I look forward my priorities will be:

  • Strength Training - 2-3 times a week. I have neglected strength training because I found it just too demanding on my schedule. This has been a major oversight and something I am going to correct. Focus will be core, lower body and shoulders. I believe that has contributed to my running injury and will look to correct over the next little while.
  • Swimming - I'm feeling more confident in the water, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. My focus is going to continue to be getting away from breathing every 2 strokes to every 3 strokes. This is a challenge for me and is going to take time but I believe will pay huge dividends. I'm also going to focus on spending longer and longer periods in the pool, as shit just got real, 3.8 km is the new target.
  • Diet - Always a focus for me. I'm going to really focus on getting to my ideal race weight; shed a few pounds and lessen the impact on my body when I run and lighten the load on my bike when I ride.

Happy Training Everyone!

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