As I enter my final days of preparation for the ITU Duathlon World Championships in Gijon, Spain next weekend, I can’t help but start to wonder whether I’ve done everything possible to ensure I have my best race ever. As an athlete, I find myself constantly second guessing my training; have I done enough, am I overtraining, am I eating right, sleeping, do I have the right equipment?? In general, I’m pretty happy with everything right now and totally stoked to get to Spain and race my ass off!
Last week I was in Beijing at the ITU Triathlon Worlds, managing the National AG team and found myself so busy I was unable to do any meaningful training for nearly ten days….stress! However, the week of rest and the motivation I was able to draw from watching elite athletes like Macca (Chris McCormack), Simon Whitfield and of course the British phenom, Alistair Brownlee, did more for me than I realized and I’ve had some of my best workouts of the year in the three days that I’ve been home.
In the few days remaining before flying out on Monday, I’ve decided that today, Friday, I’ll do a 10k interval run workout alternating half miles at 2:25 and 2:55. Later today I’ll squeeze in a 70k tempo (sub threshold) ride. Training to bike on legs that are fried from a hard 10k is one of the most important components of duathlon training, making an intense run workout followed by a long ride an ideal training strategy. Saturday will be a 80-90k easy ride and Sunday another running interval workout and a few quick laps of the MGCC bridal path loop followed by a longer 15-20k run on Monday morning. After that there’s nothing more I can do except start to mentally focus and taper into next weekend.
The race-course in Gijon looks awesome, well suited to both my running and cycling styles. The run consists of an initial four laps of 2.5k. The loop has a couple of 20m high, short climbs and descents, just enough to take the legs out of guys who’ll inevitably go out too fast on the opening lap. The bike course is two laps of approximately 20k and has one good climb and descent, per lap of about 150m. The climb is solid, about 50% higher than our beloved Brimley climb but stretched out over nearly 3k so under a 10% grade…won’t even need to get close to my small ring. I figure I’ll go with an 11-23 cassette rather than my 11-26 I use for grades over 10%; easy decision. I’ll be riding a rear disk wheel and either a Zipp 404 or 1080 depending on wind conditions. The final run is two laps of the same run loop, totaling 5k.
My competition will be stiff with the European champion and Pan American champion both being on the start list. My competition from last year (and 2x European and World Champion) Didier Vervaleix from France is not racing unfortunately as I looked forward to the challenge of going head to head again this year. Last year I beat him by 35s after starting the bike leg in 8th and passing him on the final bike lap to take the lead. Passing him on the bike course was a huge mental boost as he’s a pro cyclist with two Tour de France starts to his name.
My strategy is simple and the same as it always is in every race; go in feeling totally and completely psyched, confident, looking relaxed at the start line. Control in the first 2k of the first run; the first 2k should be my slowest. Let everyone fly out of the gates and run 3:00/k for the first 2-3k then gradually reel them in and finish in the 32:45 range. This will likely put me about a minute off the lead pack of 3-5 runners heading into the bike. On the bike I need to make up this time and add some, a minute if possible as I head into the final run. The stronger runners will run a sub 16:00 final run whereas mine will be in the 16:30-16:45 range so the minute gap off the bike is essential.
If it all works according to plan then I’ll be headed home with another medal, hopefully gold againbut if not, at least I’ll feel like I’ve done everything possible to have one of my best races ever and as always, will know that I left it all out there.
You can follow the race live here:
MGCC/Gears Used Bike Drive Initiative into Thorncliff Park
As part of our club philanthropic spirit, the MGCC and Gears are hosting a used bike drive into Thorncliff Park.
Thorncliff Park is at Millwood and Overlea (we ride by the gates to it every Tuesday and Thursday) and houses some 30,000 residents. Thorncliff Park is a high density, over-crowded and low income neighborhood with extremely limited resources for children. Almost one quarter of the population in Thorncliffe Park is under the age of 14 and is home to North America’s largest elementary school with more than 1,500 children in Kindergarten to grade 5.
The MGCC is calling on it's membership (& friends/family who want to get rid of unused bikes cluttering the garage) to donate used bikes for this cause. We want to get bikes into the hands of kids (and adults) that will not only appreciate our effort but actually will get good use out of the bikes.
This Bike Drive will be part of a Bike Rodeo hosted by Toronto Police Division 53 on Sunday October 2, 2011. This will be a meaningful event for the families in the neighbourhood.
The Rodeo will run from 11am-3pm on Oct 2nd and will include the police bike unit, safety officers, their K9 unit, motorcycle unit and their horse-mounted unit—quite a day.
We are teaming up with Gears on this initiative and they will have a very important role to play.
First of all, Gears has the ability to store a lot of bikes at an offsite location. Secondly, Gears has secured brand new helmets to go with each bike for an approximate cost of $15/helmet. We ask that each bike that a MGCC member donates is accompanied with $15 for the cost of a helmet – we cannot give away bikes without helmets. Gears has committed to professionally tuning each bike donated so we are giving away bikes that are not only safe but running well. We do ask that you “clean” each bike before you bring it in to Gears.
As of today, you can start bringing in your used bikes (cleaned) for donation along with an envelope attached to the bike with $15/bike for the cost of the helmet. Gears has a cut-off date for accepting bike donations of September 30 so they can ensure that all bikes are properly serviced.
Please note that bringing in your bikes sooner as opposed to later helps Gears out.
The MGCC has had a few conference calls with Councillor John Parker and the school Principals in the area. They were very supportive and appreciative of the initiative. Some have supplied contact names, emails and phone numbers of potential recipients they feel could really use a bike.
We will need some MGCC members to volunteer to contact the recipients – some will be by phone and some by email. Please let Paul Tepsich (contact info below) know if you are interested in helping on this front.
Our timing for this initiative starts today. Gears will service and store the bikes until delivery at the Bike Rodeo on Sunday, October 2.
· Used (or new) clean bikes with $15/bike are dropped off at Gears between Sept 6-30. Earlier is better than later!
· MGCC needs volunteers (4-5) to contact the Police Division 53 and also the families in TP.
· Bike Drive/Rodeo on Sunday October 2 from 11am-3pm. All welcome.
The MGCC would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to Paul for the leadership, time, and energy he has put into this initiative.
Please contact Paul for volunteer roles and if you have any questions or comments.
MGCC Board Member
firstname.lastname@example.org 416-642-5707 Cheers,