Archives for Raves category
Posted on May 15, 2013 under Raves, training |
I’m getting pretty excited about the next 6 days! Tomorrow morning I leave for our annual spring Ironman (and 70.3) Mont Tremblant Training Camp! 2 of the 6 days are pretty much travel days with light training to workout the car-time if scheduling allows, but the 4 interceding days are gonna be all about pushing the body hard and taking full advantage of the following super-compensation training effect
Last year the water was warm enough to swim, but we won’t be so lucky this year, so we’ll be taking 5 days off swimming and just focusing on bike and run.
Unlike last year, this year we “splurged” on a chalet: yes! Showers… real beds.. a real kitchen… internet… LUXURY There are also more of us this year, which makes the chalet much more affordable. Along with the dozen of us crazy triathletes who are going to put our bodies through the ringer, we’ll have 3 or 4 mountain bikers who are in Tremblant for a weekend race.
Like last year, we’re very well supplied. Socks from TrainingPeaks, swim caps from Finis, water bottles, fuel and recovery drink from FirstEndurance, gels, energy and recovery drink from GU, bars from PureProtein and from Pickybars and lactic buffer from ExtremeEndurance. Our athletes will definitely have no excuse when it comes to fueling their workouts and recovery!
Big thanks to all our generous sponsors! You all are amazing!
More blog-entries and photos coming from the camp (hopefully nightly). BOOM!
Posted on May 14, 2013 under Raves |
I’ve been meaning to write this review for almost a year(!), but having waited has given me more training and racing experience with this kit. So rather than doing a review and a subsequent follow-up, I can now roll it all into this one post. So… yea it was intentional… really So lets get into it!
Finding the Pro In-R-Cool Tri Set
I first heard about the In-R-Cool clothing from an article about Pearl featuring Angela Naeth and wind tunnel testing. The results of the testing showed a drag reduction similar to what you’d expect from a set of race wheels. I needed a new suit and I was “sold”. I started looking, but to my surprise, I couldn’t find the set in my size anywhere (online, brick-n-mortar, distributors, etc.) Eventually the folks at Shimano Canada who are also the Pearl Izumi distributor up here found me a display set, in my size, AND allowed me to pick it up on my way to Ironman Mont Tremblant.
Tremblant was a great 1st test for this kit: we got it all, hot, cold, windy, still, rain, sun, overcast, even a double rainbow (sure the clothes had nothing to do with that, but it was still pretty amazing). I’ve since also worn it for gallons of training and for the Leadman Marquee 125 in Tempe, AZ (yes, it was very hot there ).
Comfort and Fit
The In-R-Cool tri set just feels fast. Kind of like the 1st time you wear a speed suit swimming, this suit just feels like it moves through the air better. Unlike many tri sets, the Pearl Izumi In-R-Cool set is also super comfortable. The tri-top has no zipper to rub and chaff. I was concerned about the inability to open the zip for cooling, but in practice I was cooler where the tri-top covered than where it didn’t.
The tri-short chamois is, minimal (as you’d expect):
As minimal is it is though, it’s pretty darned comfortable. Would I want to race RAAM on it? Well, no, but I wouldn’t do that with a tri-short at all, so yea… for its purpose in life, its well done.
I was a little skeptical of the claims that the suit is cooling and reflects UV but, in practice, it was definitely proven true. I do wish there was a men’s “shrug” (to cover the arms, shoulders and back of neck where the tri-top doesn’t cover), but unfortunately these are strangely only available for women. When I raced in Tempe I actually only wore the shorts and wore a cooling long-sleeved shirt to prevent sunburn on all the exposed skin. I wish I’d had some sort of solar protection in the In-R-Cool materials because I’d have loved to wear the full kit.
Finish and Durability
Pearl warrantees all their clothing with a lifetime guarantee! That’s confidence in your product and having put a lot of hours into this kit I now understand that confidence. This kit is bombproof: all the seams on the tri kit are welded and have no threads to pull loose, break or fatigue over time; the materials the clothing is made of feel “space-aged” and super technical, but rugged. Again, when I first got the kit I was a little nervous that the technical nature of the material would make it fragile, but it’s tough… really tough. Like, survives road-rash tough!
Pearl Izumi make many pretty outrageous claims about this clothing line. I approached the claims with a skeptical eye, but was proven again and again that they were true. Does the tri-suit save me as much time as my Madfibre wheels or my disc? I can’t say, but it sure feels fast Beyond that though, the suit feels good, cool and comfortable and has proven itself to be very durable. Nice job Pearl Izumi!
Posted on Apr 28, 2013 under Raves |
2 Excellence in Customer Service awards today. One for Finis and one for Newton Running.
In the last week I’ve had truly outstanding experiences with both of these companies and wanted to relate them to you here.
In no particular order:
Newton Running: When I was in Arizona I grabbed a new set of Newton Distance runners. I previously had a set of 11′s and thought they may be a little small, so when I was in Tempe, I tried some 11′s and 11.5′s and thought I had a better fit with the 11.5′s. After getting back to Toronto (with no box and no receipt) and putting a couple of hours into the 11.5′s I found that, in fact, they were too big. I pinged Newton customer service to see if there was anything that could be done and to my amazement, after some pretty minor back and forth (proof of purchase in terms of a credit card statement, pictures of the shoes, etc.) I was given an RMA# to send the shoes back and have a pair of size 11′s shipped to me!
Finis Inc.: I absolutely LOVE my swimp3. It allows me to swim my 6+ hours weekly and have music or podcasts or audio books droning in my head rather than just the sound of water (which is ok sometimes but I really do like having some tunes in the background). I baby my Swimp3: I store it in a hard case in my swim bag, never pull it by the wires, etc. Essentially I want to make the device last as long as possible (they aren’t cheap). Well my latest swimp3 started acting wonky last week: it probably had over 300 hours in the water on it and so I could hardly feel ripped off if it’d just died a timely death, but again, I pinged customer support to see what, if anything, could be done. Other than showing proof of purchase there were no formalities with Finis. A RMA# was issued and soon a replacement will arrive!
Companies around the world should look at these 2 examples of how it should be done. So often we’re quick to slam companies for poor service and silent about great service. I wanted to give some praise because it’s due. Well done Finis and Newton. Well done!
Posted on Feb 08, 2013 under Raves, training |
Some great drills here but more importantly what they correct for and how to tell if you should be focusing on them. Nice!
Feel For The Water! Advice & Tips to Improve Your Swimming.: Should You Be Doing More Of That Drill You Hate?.
Posted on Jan 08, 2013 under Raves |
My coach is one of the best kept bike fit secrets in Toronto. Why he isn’t run off his feet just doing bike fits is beyond me!
Seriously, if you’re a triathlete or cyclist in Southern Ontario, do yourself a favour: book a fit appointment with Ian and get your bike dialed in.
Yet another glowing review: Purchasing a tri bike based on numbers!.
Posted on Jan 08, 2013 under etc..., Raves |
Last weekend I had the opportunity via Klout and Cadillac to have a Cadillac ATS for a 3 day test drive. I know it’s off topic a bit for my blog, but I really wanted to share my experience with this car.
2013 Cadillac ATS (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms)
So let me start by saying, a Luxury Sport Sedan is not in my snack-bracket. In fact, living in the city, a 15 minute walk from work and close to all my amenities, I would have a hard time justifying a car at all. Autoshare, Zipcar and Car2go supplemented with traditional rentals works just fine for me and is more cost effective. All that said, IF I were in the market for a luxury sport sedan, the ATS would be atop my list. Does the Cadillac name hold the “name appeal” of Audi, Porsch, BMW, or Mercedes? Well no, not today, but with offerings like the ATS this may change.
I’ve driven quite a few performance cars, though none as recent as a 2013, and I have to say, I’ve never driven anything that impressed me as much as the ATS. I had the 2.0L turbo with winter tires on (actually) wintery roads in Toronto. I had the opportunity to drive the car on messy side-streets as well as clear and dry highway. The car easily has the pickup and handling characteristics of a mid-series BMW. Even aggressively accelerating onto the highway it was smooth and effortless. Really though, the things that impressed me with the ATS were all the electronics systems and systemic integration.
Frankly, the ATS is a geek’s wet dream.
Things I loved about the car, in no particular order:
- configurable HEADS-UP-DISPLAY (HUD) projected on the windshield for the driver – OMG yes! I wish it was bigger and used more of the windshield to display more stuff but even as it is it’s amazing and so convenient
- 360 degree monitoring and alerting (blind spot, parking, being-tailgated, etc)
- lane-drift warning (if it detects road lines and you start crossing without signalling it alerts you)
- a haptic alarm in the driver’s seat (yes your seat vibrates when warning conditions are active – SO COOL!)
- adaptive cruise control (cruise up behind someone who is travelling slower than you and the cruise control slows you to keep a safe distance)
- dynamic driver’s console and center console, further the center console is all touch activated (no mechanical switches)
- heated seats AND STEERING WHEEL
- strong voice recognition that better understands informal speech
Would I buy one? No, it really doesn’t suit my needs (if I could justify a car at all, it’d be a SUV, Jeep, or pickup to support transporting bikes and race/training gear). Would I give away/sell one if I were to win it or be given one? NOT A CHANCE!
Thanks Klout and Cadillac! That was a lot of fun.
Posted on Dec 27, 2012 under nutrition, Raves |
Pecan Pie Ice Cream | Raw Ice Cream Recipes | Healthy Blender Recipes.
OMG this is SO good and 100% dairy free. I could eat waaay too much of this far too easily.
Posted on Dec 16, 2012 under Raves, training |
I’ve been a long time fan of The Sufferfest cycle training videos. As the name suggests these are true tests of your cycling mettle and the newest title The Wretched completely lives up to the Sufferfest standard. In fact, it may set a new bar in Sufferlandia.
The Wretched runs for just less than an hour and is packed with suffer-inducing climbs, attacks and break away simulations using actual licensed footage from the Tour de France.
The Sufferfest videos always include an RPE scale to indicate how hard you should be pushing in the given segment, but new to the Wretched is a cadence indicator. So now with the effort and cadence guidance not only do you get a good hard (ok very hard) workout, but because of the cadence recommendations you’ll get to work different energy pathways and muscle groups while participating in a breakaway or a long and tortuous mountain climb. The addition of cadence is a great idea and is well implemented. You’ll love to hate this feature.
For those of you with computrainers, tacx trainers or other computer-integrated bike trainers, the sufferfest courses are programmed into Perfpro, Trainerroad and others so that the effort output is managed for you synced to the course. The cadence is still up to you, but do it and feel the burn
If you, like so many of us, are stuck on the trainer for the winter months, I encourage you to try the Sufferfest videos, they really help you mix up the trainer work and keep it interesting.
Enjoy the suffer.
Posted on Nov 30, 2012 under etc..., Factoids, Raves |
You may remember the review that I did of the BK-1 a few months ago. They’re a bluetooth-based multi-rider communication system that’s pretty sweet. If you haven’t read my review you should check it out over here.
Anyhow. Cardo is stepping into the “Big Leagues” with a recent announcement. Check this out:
Read more… »
Posted on Oct 31, 2012 under Geek Out!, Raves |
I reviewed the Wahoo fitness bike kit a few weeks ago. While I gave it a good review, I really hadn’t yet given it any extensive testing and, to be fair, I was a little overwhelmed by the exhaustive list of software that is available for the Wahoo devices.
Well, since then, I’ve just been using the Wahoo Fitness app: it’s pretty cool! It shows you more info than you could want: HR info, zones, power info and zones, speed, navigation, cadence. It’s very configurable so you can see what you want to see, pretty much how you want to see it. But! More important to me than ALL this stuff is that is pretty much totally solves one of my BIGGEST peeves with online fitness services: there’s no 1 service that I can update that will subsequently update trainingpeaks, dailymile, strava, etc. Well.. the Wahoo Fitness app to the rescue! Record your workout with it and then you can upload that data to multiple services (I have strava, dailymile and trainingpeaks configured, others are available). It’s not single button upload, but a few clicks per service and still WAY better than manually uploading to multiple services. AWESOME.
I’m definitely still, in my own personal training and experimentation, only scratching the surface of the depth of functionality available for the Wahoo fitness devices, but I still remain very impressed.