Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What I've Tried: Brubeck Body Guard 3D Pro

As someone who pretty much lives in spandex, I've become quite particular about what I wear when I'm working out.  Gear has to be comfortable, functional and it has to look good.  Look good, feel good, go fast, right?

I recently had the opportunity to test out some products from Brubeck Body Guard.  Brubeck is a Polish company and their production facility is located in a town called Wola, that is historically known in the textile industry.  The production chain is located in the European Union and they control 100% of the process and quality.  Nothing gets outsourced outside the EU.  They also manage to recycle 80% of their waste products.  To top it off, all of their products are REACH and Oeko-Tex 100 certified which means that their products are free of harmful substances.  I think if we took a good look at what most of our workout wear was made with, we'd probably be surprised at what was in there.

Brubeck offers a several different types of active wear, including merino wool base layers, which I hope to test out when the weather gets colder.  This time around,  I tested a running top from the 3D pro line as well as their cycling shorts.  

The first product I tried were the cycling shorts.  When I opened the box to check out the shorts, I was surprised that they weren't constructed the same way as traditional cycling shorts.  They were made out of a knit fabric vs. lycra.  They were also almost totally seamless, including the waistband, which I found interesting.  The chamois seemed thinner than a normal cycling chamois.  It was also grooved.  The legs had a network of silicone grippers along inside of the hem at the front of the shorts, which is a feature that I prefer on my cycling shorts.  I am not a fan of the elastic gripper that makes your legs look like sausages.  

I figured I'd jump right in and test them out on a super hot, 3 hour ride.  I was immediately struck by the fit.  I have to be honest, I prefer bib shorts to regular shorts so I was a bit skeptical that I'd like these.  I don't like things digging into my waist when I'm riding.  The fact that these are made of knitwear and are seamless meant that they didn't have a traditional waistband so they didn't dig into my waist.  They felt like bib shorts but without the hassle of straps.  And they stayed put when I was riding because they are high waisted.  WINNING!  

Despite the humid weather, I didn't feel sweaty and gross by the time we hit the coffee shop post ride.  The seamless knitwear allows the skin to breathe because there are two layers.  The inner layer wicks moisture away from the skin and there are 3D zones on the thighs that form air circulation channels to help keep you cool.  I distinctly remember sitting on my bike and feeling the sun on my legs but not feeling hot, even though I was wearing black shorts.  

Where these shorts really shine is the chamois.  The high density open cell foam does a great job at offering good padding, but it's the grooves in the chamois that help keep it from bunching and allow for some good airflow as well.  I found these to be exceptionally comfortable.  I could have easily ridden more than 3 hours in them and I'm pretty sure there wouldn't have been any shifting around on the saddle.  After I'm done with all my structured training, I'm looking forward to taking them out on a really long ride to see how they fare.

The second piece I tried out was the 3D Pro running top.  The 3D pro technology is a "spatial yarn design based on a 3D mesh fabric.  It has superior moisture absorption and enhances the air circulation inside the garment structure" (as per the website).  I have a tough time regulating my body temperature these days (thank you hormones) so on hot days I tend to wear super light and loose tank tops so I don't have much touching my skin.  The 3D pro line are snug fitting, almost seamless tops.  The top I got was a t-shirt style and I thought Oh boy, I'm going to be a big sweaty mess in this.   I wore it on some of the hottest days we've had and I can honestly say that while it felt hot out, I didn't feel hot.  Not at all.  I was sweating for sure, but I wasn't soaked.  I never felt like I was overheating either.  When I came back from one of my hotter runs, I touched my back to see if the top was actually wet because I didn't feel wet.  Sure enough, I was wet but the 3D pro technology kept me feeling dry.  I was pretty darn impressed.  And the top is a beautiful blue colour that I absolutely love.

I am very impressed with this gear.  The fit is great and the functionality is even better.  I still have a long sleeve base layer to test out as well so watch for that review when the weather gets colder.  Brubeck has an extensive line of clothing over in Europe so I'm really hoping to see even more of this fantastic product here in Canada.

Disclaimer:  I was given this product in exchange for an open and honest review. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Clermont 2020 Camps

I know it's only the middle of July and it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that winter is 6 months away.  But it will be here before we know it.  Which is why we wanted to get this out there now.    I also know that many of you have been waiting for dates and details on this so you can start planning your out your 2020 trips / season.    

What am I talking about?  For those of you that are new to this blog, I’m talking about our Clermont Training Camps. Eric D’Arcy and I have been hosting these camps since 2018 and they’ve sold out every year.  Clermont is located in Lake County, Florida and is a hotbed for triathlon training.  It’s not uncommon to see pros training at the National Training Centre (NTC) or running along the Waterfront Trail.  Clermont offers great cycling options, open water swimming, trail running as well as a top notch training facility at the NTC.  It’s the perfect place to escape winter and get in some early season volume.

After some great suggestions from our campers this year, we have decided to do things a bit differently in 2020.  We will be doing two weeks again but the format has changed slightly.  These are the offerings and dates for next year:

February 2 to February 8th:  The Fierce Females Camp.  This camp is geared towards the beginner or middle of the pack female triathlete.  If you've ever wanted to experience a triathlon camp but felt intimidated by the thought, then this camp is for you.   The focus of this week will be skill development and confidence building, in addition to volume.  I promise you, it will be a transformative week.

Getting ready to run on the infamous Clay Trail

 We will cover everything from nutrition, strength & mobility to goal setting.  We limit camps to 8 athletes so we keep the coach to athlete ratio low.  This year we are implementing some pacing guidelines for cycling so we can keep the groups closer together.   Your average speed on the bike for a 2 hour ride should be between 22 to 25 kph.  

 February 16th to February 22nd:  The Open Season Camp.  This camp is geared towards athletes that are at the intermediate level and are looking for a high volume, informative week of training.  The focus of this week will be skill refinement in all three sports in addition to volume.  

Swim skills with ex pro triathlete, Sara McClarty

We will cover everything from nutrition, strength & mobility to goal setting.  Once again, space is limited to 8 athletes so we can keep the coach to athlete ratio low.  Pacing guidelines for a 2 hour ride would be 26 to 29 kph.  

New for this year, we will be including food for lunches + some snacks, in addition to breakfast foods.  Coach Eric and I will once again be cooking dinners for the week so you can all focus on recovery.   This is YOUR week to train and relax. 

We will also be including downloadable maps for all the rides.  You will have to have either a Strava or Ride with GPS account. 


$1200 Early Bird (to October 31st)    $1100 for PKPC / Limitless Tri Athletes
$1400 November 1 to January 31st   $1300 for PKPC / Limitless Tri Athletes

+ Accommodation.  Room pricing to follow.

Itinerary will be posted in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to either myself or Eric.


Stay tuned for the full itinerary!   

Big Day on the VanFleet Trail

Open water swimming at Waterfront Park

Happy Campers!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

6 Tips for Getting your Coaching Business Started.

Those of you that have been reading this blog from the beginning probably already know the story. The question has come up several times in the last several months so I thought I'd tell the story again and offer up some tips to people looking to get into the coaching world.

This blog was really how I ended up getting my start in coaching.  In the early days of this blog I documented my goal of running a sub 1:40 half marathon the year I turned 40.  I talked about my training, my diet, things I loved.  It was essentially an online diary.   I crushed that sub 1:40 goal and ran a 1:35.  That was in 2011.  In 2012, I had a very successful year of racing, either winning my AG, or the overall masters title at several different races.  I was a self coached athlete at the time and I had put a lot of focus on strength training and speed work.  I talked about this often in the blog and on Instagram.  I did a lot of research into structuring a running plan and how to build strength work into it.  I firmly believe it was all those early successful races that opened the door to coaching.

I didn't come from an elite level sport background.  I played soccer during high school and not at any sort of high level.  That was it.  Everything I knew about running, I learned through trial and error, reading and talking to other runners.  The same with triathlon.  I am a student of the sports I love.  Plain and simple.  At first I had friends ask if I would coach them.  So I said sure.  It seemed like a natural fit for me.  I loved helping people work towards a goal with a solid plan.  And that's how it all started.

Before I quit my full time job to pursue coaching full time, there were a few things I did.

1.  Get certified.  There are plenty of certifications out there, look at one that makes the most sense for  you in terms of your goals as a coach.  Personally I felt having a certification made me more credible.  Certifications also make sure you stay on top of your education and growth as a coach.

2.  Figure out what your niche is.  Is there something in your sport that you have a lot of experience with or have done a lot of research on?  Do people come to you for advice on that particular thing?  If so, consider that your niche.  Put it out there when you start marketing.

3.  Determine your worth.  Research other coaches in your area and see what they are offering for what they are charging.  I started off a little lower than the going rate in Toronto simply because I was new to the industry.  I knew that as my business grew and I learned more, I would bring myself up to the going rate in my area.

4.  Utilize social media to get the word out.  If you have a blog, blog about it.  If you are on Instagram, post about it.  I did both things BEFORE I left my full time job so people were aware that I'd be accepting new athletes.  Set the stage so people know when you'll be open for business.

5.  Build your brand.  In the age of social media, this is so important.  The internet is filled with potential clients.   How will you get them to hire you?  Think about ways you can engage with people and share your knowledge.  If you are offering something of value, people will follow and potentially become clients.

6.  Approach local clubs and see if you can work with them.  I coached cycling with the Toronto Triathlon Club for two years.  That was additional income over and above my private coaching clients.  It got me out of the house and in front of potential new clients.  It also helped me get outside my comfort zone and work with a group, which in turn added another piece of knowledge and experience to my coaching.

I can honestly say that getting into coaching was the best career decision I've ever made.  I am a "helper" and I always have been.  It just took me 45 years to figure out where I was happiest helping and this is it.

If you have any other questions related to coaching that I haven't answered here, don't hesitate to comment or email me.  I'm always happy to chat!

Keep on chasing those dreams!

~ Coach PK 

photo courtesy of Edison Yao

Monday, January 28, 2019

Look out 2019!

Happy very belated New Year! 

It’s been a while since I’ve sat myself down and typed an update.  It always seemed very hard to find the time.    When you’ve got 20 hours to kill in a car and you don’t want to use up all your data, you’ve got nothing BUT time.  So here we are.

There has been a lot that’s happened in the last few months.   I’ve hired a coach (Sarah Russell at Sustainable Athlete Endurance), I’ve gotten back to regular running and, the biggest news, I’ve taken a position as the Head Coach at BlackToe Running.  That was a giant step outside my comfort zone but it has been such a fun and rewarding experience in the few months I’ve been there, I’m so glad I accepted the position.

photo:  Edison Yao 
I closed out 2018 feeling ready to put my nose to the grindstone and really put in the work both personally and professionally in 2019.  Going into year three of PKPC I certainly didn’t envision I’d be where I am now.  That being said, I never really had a specific vision when I started my coaching business. I just knew that I wanted to help athletes get across the finish line happy and healthy.  

I won’t say it’s impossible to grow a business without a plan but it certainly helps to have some sense of direction in terms of where you want things to go.  It’s very much like training for a race.   You should have a plan and be willing to put in the work if you want to see results.   I have struggled with that over the last year, probably because I always felt like I had the time and then I’d put things off or I’d forget about things because something else came up that demanded my attention.   My focus was always shifting.  

Which is why I’ve chosen the word FOCUS as my word for 2019.    It is a reminder that goals don’t magically happen.  They require focus and dedication to achieve them.   I’ve got big goals this year, especially racing wise, so once again I will be sharing my trials and tribulations.   Speaking of racing, I’ve flushed out the majority of my 2019 race schedule.  The only thing that is undecided is whether or not I run a fall half marathon and try to qualify for the 2020 New York City Marathon. 

This is where you will find me in 2019:

Great Clermont Triathlon (Olympic) March 16th
Florida 70.3 – April 14th
The Diva Half Marathon – June 9th(racing with the BlackToe Team!)
Muskoka 70.3 – July 7th,
70.3 World Championships – September 7th, Nice, France

The Diva Half marathon with be the first stand alone running race I’ve done in 2 years.  TWO YEARS.   That’s saying a lot about where my relationship with running has been over the last little while.  But I’m finally feeling strong and healthy and running is actually starting to feel better so I’m excited to toe the line at stand alone running event.  Especially since it will be with my BlackToe ladies. 

This is a step up in number of races compared to last year as well.  I think it’s pretty much perfect, although I have a feeling I will probably struggle a bit mentally in August.  One more reason for me to have a coach to make sure I stay focused on the task at hand.

I put a call out on Instagram stories asking what people wanted me to write or talk about and the overwhelming response was strength training, followed by nutrition.  So I will work on getting some posts out on those topics.   If you have any other topics you want me to talk or write about don’t hesitate to email me or DM me on Instagram.

Happy Monday! 

Monday, December 10, 2018

4 Tips to Picking Your Goal Race

As a coach, this is the time of year I have athletes coming to me to help them plan out their seasons.  Some athletes have already chosen and registered for a goal race.   Others know they want to step up to a longer distance but aren’t sure what would be a suitable first race.   Others are looking to qualify for world championships.   So how do you go about picking races?

Michael Liberzon, a fellow Toronto based triathlon coach, posted a funny flow chart in his blog a few weeks ago that actually inspired this post.  

Many athletes will end up registering for races that their friends or training partners are doing. Especially if these athletes are members of a triathlon club.  I see this all the time with the Toronto Triathlon Club.  I think this is great as it really fosters the feeling of community, as well as providing training and traveling partners.  If you don’t have this sort of network, or choose to do your own thing, here are a few things you should consider when picking your goal race.

Terrain:   If you live the Prairies, then picking a race like Mont Tremblant or Muskoka might not be the best choice if you’re not used to climbing. Yes, it’s possible to train for this sort of terrain inside on a trainer but, I know I would find that to be really boring.  And for me, boring = a loss of motivation to train.  

Ocean, Lake or River: If you’re a confident swimmer, then any body of water will probably be fine.  If you’re less confident then a river swim might be a better option.  My first and second 70.3 swims were in rivers and that really helped alleviate stress about being “far away” from shore in case something happened.  Think about what’s available to you to train in and go from there.

Flying or Driving: How far you’re willing to go to race will either limit your possibilities or make the possibilities endless.   Flying to a race will present a whole different set of variables that you probably won’t have to deal with if you’re driving. Driving to a race allows you to bring extra of pretty much everything whereas with flying, you are a bit more limited in what you can bring with you.  If you are an athlete that likes to control as much as possible heading into a race, then driving may be a better option for you. 

Goals:  If you are looking to snag a qualifying spot for either Kona or the 70.3 World Champs then you’re going to want to be more strategic about picking your goal race.  If Kona is your goal then find a race that plays to your strengths as an athlete and then hope that you’re the fastest in your AG on the day.  70.3 WC spots are a little easier to come by as the destination changes every year.  When the WC came to Tremblant in 2014, I raced Luxembourg 70.3 and they were pretty much giving away spots.  The guys we were sitting with at the awards said that most Europeans won’t travel to do the 70.3 WC, they only really care about Kona.  I know at Lake Placid 70.3 the spot in my AG rolled down to 20thfor the WC in South Africa.  I think spots to this years WC will be in high demand in North America as well as Europe.  So if that is your goal and you don’t want to travel to the other side of the world to try to get a spot, once again, pick a race that plays to your strengths and crush it.  

What races are you registered for in 2019?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Off Season Strength Training - Part One

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, chances are your triathlon season is done, or very close to being so.   Your weekly training volume should be decreasing as should the intensity of your workouts.    This lighter load in training volume is the perfect time to either increase your strength sessions, or, if you’re like the majority of triathletes I know, add it back into your routine.  

As I coach and personal trainer, I program strength work into all my athletes training plans.  I know when schedules get tight, it’s almost always the first thing to go but I cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain some kind of routine over the course of your entire season.  Done with proper technique, weight training will help keep you injury free, and will help improve strength, power and muscular endurance.  

Much like a triathlon training plan, strength work should also be periodized.  Off season is the time to start working on building strength for your following race season.  Once your build phase starts, your strength training plan should change again to allow for the additional training load.  And of course, during your race season, your plan should change again with a focus on maintenance.    I will delve into how to structure a periodized strength training plan in a future post.  For now, I’m going to focus on some of my favourite exercises.


Since running and cycling are essentially single leg exercises, it makes sense to do some of your off season training that way.    This way you work both of your legs individually and can focus on building strength equally.  When doing things like squats, you may think you’re working both your legs equally but I guarantee you that one of your legs will be working slightly harder than the other.  This is why single leg training is an integral part of a strength routine.   When I'm just getting back into the gym, I start with unilateral exercises to work on fixing any imbalances that I may have developed.  From there I will build into heavier lifting.

Form is SO important with all of these exercises.  As is mind muscle connection.   We often just go through the motion of the exercise without focusing on feeling the muscle work.   This is why I suggest doing all of these lower body exercises with body weight first so you understand the movement and can focus on feeling the muscles you are using.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to lifting weights but these exercises are my favourites for developing strength.  

Step up

These are a simple exercise that can be done on a box or a bench.    The surface should be stable and big enough for you to stand on.   You can do these laterally as well to change up your plane of movement.   I like these because they really help you focus on the push up / off.   I also like to add a knee drive on the opposite leg to mimic running stride.

Split Squat 

I used to do these with my foot elevated on a bench but was recently shown an alternate way that I find so much more effective and comfortable.  Instead of using a bench,  you use a Smith machine, lower the bar to just below knee height, grab the squat bar pad, wrap the bar and rest the top of your foot on that.  Doing that avoids the awkward twisting of your foot and toes that usually happens when you use a bench.  

Note:  Don't look at the ground when doing this, look ahead!

Lateral lunge  / Reverse lunge

Strength training provides the perfect opportunity to change up how we move.   I think it’s so important to include movement in alternate planes, especially in off season strength work, which is why I love lateral and reverse lunges.   Everything we do is done in the sagittal plane so moving in alternate planes challenges other muscles that we don't normally use.

Single leg deadlift (RDL’s) + traditional deadlift

The single leg RDL is a great exercise to work on balance and stability as well as targeting your posterior chain.  I do these without weight to start and gradually add weight as my form improves.  I would be remiss if I didn't include barbell deadlifts as well.  When done correctly, they are fantastic for working your entire posterior chain.

Single leg squat + barbell squat 

A quick search on You Tube will bring up a million different variations of single leg squats.  My suggestion is find one that you can do with proper form and do it.   The same goes for barbell squats.  Your ankle and hip mobility will dictate what you're able to do.


Swimming isn’t the only activity that requires upper body strength.  Think about how much time you’ll spend hunched over in your aerobars in an Ironman. What does your form look like at the 20 mile mark of a marathon? If you’re like the majority of the population, your shoulders are slumped over and your form has gone to shit.   This is why training your upper body is just as important as training your lower body.  

And just like your lower body, you will probably find that you have imbalances in your upper body as well so working on building strength with single arm exercises is a good way to start your strength training program.  

Again, proper form is crucial.   Always focus on good posture.   Keep your shoulders back and your chest lifted.   That way your core will also stay engaged.

Single Arm Row (cable or dumbbell)

Personally I prefer using a cable machine for these as I feel I have better control of the time under tension than with a dumbbell.

Single Arm pull down (cable)

This is a fantastic exercise for your lats.  If you do this correctly, it should mimic the pull phase of your swim stroke.  

Push Press

This is an explosive, compound movement that works both upper and lower body.  It's definitely one that should be perfected at a lighter weight before progressing to a heavier weight.   

Chest Press (single arm dumbbell) 

Doing a single arm dumbbell chest press really allows you to feel the engagement in your core because of the imbalance it creates.  It's as much about training your core as it is about training your chest.   The great thing about doing these unilaterally is that you end up working both sides of your body.   If you're pressing with your right arm, your left obliques will fire to help stabilize your torso.

Once you've managed to develop fairly equal amounts of strength on both sides of your body, you can progress to more traditional lifting like deadlifts, back / front squats & bench press.

If you're new to strength training, I would strongly suggest hiring a good personal trainer / strength and conditioning coach so you have someone watching and correcting your form.  Because if you're not doing these right, then you defeat the purpose of the exercise and, you may even get injured.

Now that you have some ideas as to what to do in the gym, stay tuned for my next post in the series:  Periodizing your strength plan.

Question:  Do you strength train throughout your race season?  If not, why?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

4 Reasons Triathletes need a Road Bike

I'm of the belief that you can never have too many bikes.  A quick look around our garage is evidence of that.   If you are familiar with The Rules, then you know the correct number of bikes one should own is always n+1.  If we had more room, I think there's a good chance we'd have more bikes.

When I started in multi-sport back in 2003, I bought a $500 used road bike.  It didn't quite fit me but it did the trick.  After a few races, I knew I wanted a triathlon bike (aka a TT bike).  Especially since I was planning on doing Ironman.  So after my first season of racing, I sold my $500 road bike and bought myself my first triathlon bike.  Ironically I didn't end up using that bike for my first Ironman, I ended up using a road bike with aerobars because I was totally freaked out about not having enough power to climb on my TT bike (I did Ironman Lake Placid).  Yup, after I bought that fancy new TT bike, I ended up buying ANOTHER road bike about 6 months later.   Do you see a pattern here?

I kept that road bike until 2015 when I sold it.  I put a LOT of kms on that bike.  I looked forward to riding it at the end of every triathlon season.  It signified riding for the sake of enjoyment vs. having to ride with a specific purpose.  I purchased another road bike just before I sold that one.  It may surprise you to know that I do about 70% of all my riding on that bike.   Yup, 70%.   I'm chalking that up to riding with a cycling club, although I've done a fair bit of indoor riding on it as well.

So, why do I think you need to hang on to that road bike?

1.  Position.  The geometry on a road bike is much more upright than a TT bike.  Spending all that time in aero (forward flexion) isn't always the best if you have any sort of lower back or neck issues.  

2.  Bike handling skills.  Yes, TT bikes are meant to go fast in a straight line but that doesn't mean you should neglect learning how to ride a bike.  In my experience, better bike handling skills generally equals more confidence on the bike.  This can translate to faster bike times simply because you're not afraid to descend, or you don't need to unclip to turn around a pylon in a race.  Road bike geometry allows for much better handling across the board from cornering to climbing.

3.  Develop better all around leg strength.   TT bikes put you in a more aggressive, forward position.  So you are situated on the nose of your saddle vs. sitting ON your saddle.  This changes the angle of your hips into a more quad dominant position.  That's not to say that you're not using your hamstrings BUT, one of the important things on a TT bike (aside from aerodynamics) is to help save your legs for the run.  By utilizing your quads more, you "save" your hamstrings for the work they're going to have to do on the run.  On a road bike, because you're in a more seated position and your hip angle isn't as closed in, you will effectively use more of your leg muscles while riding.

4.  Safer to ride in groups.  See #2.   Because road bikes handle better and lack aerobars, they are much better suited to group riding.  And when I say group riding, I mean riding in a pack.  I know most triathletes don't ride in a pack but we do ride in groups, especially in the off season.  Have you ever tried drafting off someone in a group ride on a TT bike?  I did once and it was terrifying.  on my road bike, I can ride beside someone comfortably and not feel like I'm going to swerve into them if I take my hands off my handle bars.  There is a reason most cycling clubs don't allow TT bikes on club rides.

So all of you folks that are thinking about getting rid of your road bike when you upgrade to a TT bike, you may want to think twice.  Your trusty road bike deserves just as much love as your shiny new TT bike.

~ Coach PK

Friday, September 7, 2018

Clermont Camp 2019


I know there are a bunch of you that have been waiting for this announcement since Eric and I first posted about it a few weeks ago.  Here it is.  Clermont Camps 2019.  Notice I said CAMPS.  Last year was so much fun we've decided to offer two weeks for people to choose from.

Week 1 is February 10-16th and week 2 is February 17-23.  The Family Day weekend is in there so you will either have a day to recover when you come back or, you have one less day of vacation that you need to take.  And, it's not March Break so flights will be less and you won't have to deal with hordes of screaming kids when you land in Orlando.  Win win if you ask me.

A few things have changed this year.  We are staying in a different house, one that we think is much nicer, AND, the coaches are going to cook dinner for you.  Yup.  You read that correctly.   All you guys need to do is show up, do the work and practice recovering properly after your workouts.   Let us worry about making dinner.  Breakfast foods will be provided so campers will have everything they need.  Lunches will be your responsibility.

Camp Costs

$1100  Early Bird (October 31st)
$1300  November 1 - January 31st)

Accommodation is as follows:

1 - Queen + Ensuite $400
1 - Queen, no ensuite $350
6 - Singles, shared room - $300 per person

Camp will start at 2:00 pm on each Sunday.  We will be doing one airport pick up on each Sunday.

Expect approximately 8000-12,000m of swimming 350-500km of riding and 3-5 hours of running during the week.

We are working on adding some more fun stuff this time around as well as bringing in a special guest for our NTC swim sessions.  WOOHOO.  Keep your eyes peeled to this space for the itineraries!

If you are interested, follow the link to reserve your spot.  If you have questions, please contact either Eric or myself.  Space is limited as we are looking to keep the coach to athlete ratio small, just like last year.


Getting ready to run the Clay Trail

Swim session at the NTC

Big day on the Van Fleet Trail

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hello, is it me you're looking for..?

Yes, I'm alive!  And maybe you weren't looking for me, LOL.  I totally just dated myself with that title...

In all my years of writing this blog, I've never taken a hiatus this long (almost 5 months!!).  Truth be told, I've been spending most of my time over on Instagram.  But, there's something to be said for the written word so I'm back.

A little catch up for those of you that don't follow me on IG.  We came back from Florida at the end of March to less than stellar weather in April.  I didn't actually get outside on my bike until May 1st.  But, this summer has more than made up for our lacklustre spring.  It currently feels like a jungle outside it's so wet and humid.  But I will take it.

Race wise, I crammed 3 races into 6 weeks.  Maybe not the best idea, especially since 2 of the 3 races were sub-par performances.  Back in June we did Hawaii 70.3.  I had no real goals for this race because I wasn't sure how the heat would affect me.  I did my very first open water ocean swim and I absolutely loved it.  It was my favourite part of the race.  The bike course was the middle 1/3 of the Hawaii Ironman course - it was essentially one big climb and then a descent.  I had hoped to come in around 3 hours and I just squeaked under that in 2:58.  It was hot and windy and that kinda cooked me for the run.  The run took place on a golf course (yup, we ran on the greens!) and it was a mix of grass and pavement along with some pretty short and steep hills.  I ran at comfortable pace for the first 17km and walked through every aid station on the first lap to make sure I drank and got ice and cold sponges.  The second lap I went through the first few then at 17km decided I had enough in the tank to drop the hammer so I did.  I missed the podium by just under 2 minutes.  It wasn't my goal to get there but knowing how close I was and where I could have made that up, bugged me for days afterwards.

Smile every mile! 

The #RickyBobbyTurns50 Crew
The trip itself was amazing.  We had a blast with our friends and I'm so glad we opted to go because I don't think we ever would have gone there otherwise.

Two weeks after I got back from Hawaii I did the Welland Long Course race.  I had a horrible swim a decent bike and a fantastic run.  I clawed my way into 2nd place in the last 400m of the run.  It was really nice to finally nail a solid run off the bike.  I thought that bode well for me for Muskoka two weeks later.

Muskoka 70.3 was my goal race of the season.  That was where I hoped to qualify for the 70.3 World Championships.  My AG was pretty stacked.  They changed the bike course so it definitely played to my strengths - less steep climbs, more rollers.  But, I did not have the day I hoped to have.  My swim was alright but as soon as I got on the bike, my legs felt flat and my heart rate was super elevated.  I rode well within my power range but watched the watts I could hold drop throughout the race.  With about 15km left on the bike I threw up.  I was drinking my race fuel and it went down and then came right back up a few minutes later.  I was aiming for a 2:40-2:45 bike but I came in at 2:49 with legs that felt like lead.  I went flying out of T2 and as I got going my legs felt a bit better.  At least for the first 2km and then I started to get a side cramp.  That's when everything started to go sideways.  I started to have a tough time keeping nutrition or fluids down.  Every time I drank, I felt like I was going to throw it right back up so there was a lot of stopping and walking.  My stomach was not happy.  I suffered through that first loop and then I finally clued in that I should try to have some flat coke or pepsi because I know that settles my stomach.  So that's what I did at the 9km mark and by the 11km mark I felt better.  I started taking in a bit more fluid / nutrition but the damage was done.  I was running on fumes.  I did manage to catch 3 women in my AG though but it still wasn't enough for a podium spot.  Once again I missed the podium by 2 minutes.  I was heart broken.

I knew there was only one Worlds spot in my AG so I figured there was no way I'd get it but, I thought I'd stick around anyway just in case a spot rolled down.  Patience has never been one of my virtues but it certainly paid off in spades that day.  The woman that won the 60-64 AG didn't show up so her spot rolled down to my AG, which was the biggest and myself and another woman wanted it.  I finished ahead of her so I got the spot.  I started crying.  Definitely not the way I wanted to get the spot but, it's done.  I'm headed to Nice next year and I can't wait!

I am currently enjoying a very unstructured summer.  I really feel like I needed a mental break.  I lost that fire that I had at the beginning of the year and I need to find it again.  So right now, I'm not thinking about next year.  The most planning I've done is paid for the race and booked a place to stay. I am very torn about my goals next year - if any.  Part of me wants to muck about like I did this year, but maybe with a *bit* more focus and only do the 70.3 WC, with maybe a few sprint races thrown in.  The other part of me wants to see what I'm really capable of with some guidance and someone to be accountable to and tackle one, maybe two 70.3's leading up to the WC in September.  That also means I NEED to stay healthy and of course I can't help but think about the last time I worked with a coach, I ended up getting injured and not being able to race.  But, I didn't realize I had all these underlying issues so, there was that.  Now that I know there are certain things I need to be doing, hopefully I will be better off....

I also have to realize that I may have to give up some of the things that I really enjoy, like riding with Morning Glory.   But, I also know that I was incredibly dissatisfied with both my 70.3 race performances this year so there's that.  The question I am currently wrestling with is, how bad do I want it?

Only time will tell.

I may not post every week, but my goal is to get back on here and share training tips and some of my adventures.  I got tired of posting weekly recaps - it just felt a bit redundant and I'm sure it didn't always make for interesting reading.  So, my goal is for this blog to be a place where I share my knowledge as much as possible with some stories thrown in for good measure (and entertainment of course).

It's nice to be back!

~ Coach PK

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday Musings: And just like that, it's over..


This time next week I will be writing from my living room couch back in Toronto.  We are in our last few days of our time down south and I feel like I only scratched the surface of all the things I wanted to see and do.  8 weeks seems like a long time but in the grand scheme of things, it isn't really.  Throw in a week of training camp + a week with a guest for said training camp and time flies quickly.  That being said, I had a BLAST these last 8 weeks.  I went to Disney, we hosted some USAT athletes, toured around the Gulf Coast, met some internet friends, ran my first triathlon camp and rode my bike A LOT.  As of today, I've ridden a total of 1,775km during my time here and I still have 4 days left.  I've averaged over 200km a week on 2 wheels.  Suffice to say my running and swimming have suffered a little bit.  But I figured they would when the riding here is SO good and all I want to do is be out on my bike.   I will be doing an FTP test as soon as we're back to see how much I've improved and if my Garmin head unit is accurate in it's predictions.

Selfie at the Leafs / Lighting Game in Tampa.  The Leafs blew a 3-1 lead and lost 4-3.  Still a good game though!

The old pier at Anna Maria Island
IG / FB meets in IRL:  Alison a.k.a Racing Tales and I met up for a hilly ride.  

I am very sad to be leaving.  I love it here.  That's not to say I hate Toronto, because I don't.  It's just different here.  The pace of life is much slower and I generally feel much more relaxed.  Seeing the sunshine every day probably helps with that immensely.  That and the fact that EVERYONE here is so friendly.  All that being said, it will be good to be home and back into the land of our regular health care providers.  Both G and I have beaten ourselves up pretty well.  Even though Clermont is touted as a great training place, they don't have the sports therapist staff to back it up.  We found a great RMT but there isn't anyone in the area that practices ART or FST.  We'd have to go to Orlando for that.  It's mainly because the athletic population is actually quite transient.  People come in to train from January to the end of April and then they go back to where ever home may be.   Clermont is growing at a rapid rate as evidenced by all the new homes that have appeared over the last year but it is a suburb, so it's attracting a lot of young families.  The demand for the athletic care just isn't there yet.  But perhaps it will get there down the road.  I'm pretty surprised that I've managed to hold up to the volume.   Things are just starting to get cranky and sore, probably because I had a 3 week period where I hardly did any of my physio exercises (sorry Lauren!) Life happened and I fell off the wagon.  But I'm back on it now.  I'm still going to need some good old fashioned manual therapy when I get back to get me back to 100%.

Even thought I'm sad to be leaving Florida, I do have some fun things lined up for when I get back home.  I will be leading a free run clinic for beginners at Lole Yorkville on April 18th.   I've also signed up to do a cycling skills workshop on April 7th, which will be really helpful in improving my bike handling skills and passing along those skills to others.  And, on the really fun side of things, I'm going to see Franz Ferdinand on April 8th.  I'm shining up the dancing shoes already!

And PKPC athletes, keep your eyes peeled for an email from me in regards to a new partnership with Xact nutrition.  It's all about helping you guys #fuelyourgoals 😀

Catch you all back in The Six....

~ Coach PK