Sunday, December 26

round 2

Spins at the Talisman Centre this week will be as follows;

Monday 9 am
Tuesday 9 am
Wednesday 9am
Thursday 9 am
Friday 3:30pm

Come one come all, if you are not a ets or tri club member just send me a email and I will get you in.

jonbird@shaw.ca

keepin it real over the break!

Saturday, December 18

gluten free christmas version 1

I have mentioned to few people that have bikes and some free time over the next couple of weeks that I will be spinning at Talisman Centre and would love some company.

Monday December 20 8:30am -10:30am
Tuesday December 21 8:30am -10:30am
Wednesday December 22 8:30am -10:30am
Thursday December 23 10:30am-12:30pm

Come on by for some company!

Friday, December 10

chronic underachievement

next november I'm going after this stash!


For the next month I will peer into the distance with one eye in repair, slightly fuzzy like a personal steam room when ever I want. While I wait for my vision to return I have become 'that dude', you know the one. The guy who has lived away from home for several years only to return to the nest. That dude who you hear wispers about, "he is living in his parents basement."

As I was moving in on the first; a couple of buddies were lending a hand when James says with shit eating grin on his face looks at my girl and says; "congratulations you are now your dating someone that lives in his parents basement." For a moment I smiled and the shook my head.

It has been truly the right move for staging before I head off to train. I have been looked after with every detail, the food has been top quality and plentiful and the odd dinner with mom and dad has been a great treat.  I think the secret to this whole thing is to know the exact day that you will be leaving and informing all parties involved. No bad blood yet but were really only on day 10 of 40!

Saturday, December 4

calm like a bomb

I sit in a chair in a dark room with one eye taped shut and the other forced open with some sort of 'clockwork orange device'. I'm calm, but not because I have blocked the next hour out of my mind. I'm calm because adavan courses through my viens. A electric touthbrush like device is lowered toward my eye and begins to 'gently scrub' away the outer layer of my cornea. All my insticnts tell me to close my eye and get the hell out. But my head is strapped in place and my eye is stuck on open. After a few minutes the electric toothbrush is removed and the saturation of b12 and ultraviolent light begins.

My right eye has now undergone corneal cross linking and with some care will be stronger then ever leaving itself imprevious to keratoconus. Since learning that the disease was in a degenerative state I have been plagued with thoughts of blindness. Obviously thinking about the worst case scenario and how triathlon could be done without sight are not positives so I have done my best to just shelf this mental dilemma. But it has literally opened my eyes to people with disabilities, especially at Talisman Centre when I see them rocking out a workout.

As I sat in the chair I imagined that I was the sacrafilical Indian slave in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!



Tuesday, November 23

migratory pattern

rick picking me apart

This last weekend it was off with Holly to Victoria to dip our toe's in the pacific so to speak. Even though I did not get within 100 feet of the ocean we were still able to start our planning for a life in a different city.

To get ready for the 2011 campaign I was invited out to Victoria by the NTC high performance group to roll through a couple of workouts with the guys. Besides the training our mission was to figure out where to live, go on a couple of 'couple dates' and feel out the community.

Training with that group is on the next level, not just the performance and calibre of the athletes but the training environment and coaching staff all gunning for the same goal. It was great to hear that there are some major improvements in my swim stroke and the volume that those guys put in. I'm really looking forward to locking horns with the demons of training with that group. Onwards and upwards!

Thanks to Leif and Laura, Simon, Sara and Bill, Andrew and Noa, Rick, Jon and Andrew who made us feel so welcome. This transition has not been without its hardships but was made more clear with your guidance.

Monday, November 1

tubed out

After I posted that unreal video of the baby on the tile floor I noticed these two gems.


which was easily topped by this one

Sunday, October 31

Halloween!

Always turns out to be one of the top ten best nights of the year, and I always make it a point to rock out a last minute costume idea. Here is a pic of me and holly on this most festive of nights along with a couple other goodies to make you smile.

saskatchewan through and through

Friday, October 29

double time!

Sentinel Pass
Rather then recap the deviation from my usual routine over the last month I figured I will give you the 1000 word version. Early October saw some wicked trips to the mountains for some long day hikes with the boy's. Up over Sentinel Pass for a good 7 hour kicker followed up a couple days later with a hike up Ribbon Creek to feel the onset of winter.
deep in thought
chain scramble
Then it was off to the land of gluten. Wheat, wheat and more wheat rolling through the hills of Italy. Through Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Venice and Rome.
cool couple in florence
love that has been locked
riomaggiore

cinque terre












Now its time to get back to business, and with the help of my new online strength coach I will get my grove back and have that washboard stomach that I have been after.

Tuesday, October 5

order

Great day with the Kid's at Calgary Montessori School
Since the end of my season I have struggled with focus. After 11 months chasing a carrot I found it difficult to be satisfied in simply relishing in what I had achieved. The prospect of several unknowns surrounding my racing and training in the 2011 season left me eating cookies and cream ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. While enjoying the variety in my diet I began to formulate my plan for 2011 and now its time to start putting the pieces in place.


In 2011 I will be training in Victoria with a elite group of guys that I will look to for mad guidance and knowledge that I will use to develop my game at the next level. My number one goal leading up to that period is to build my fitness and strength over the next couple of months so that I have a solid platform in January. As I start to put the word out regarding Victoria I have found great support and guidance from my inner circle. I have been talking strategy and tactics with many great people that have offered sound advice  and support. The next few months in Calgary will be busy and with time I plan to have my checklist complete.


low five

that bird is fast... too fast!



"It's that famous line, 'I know what I'm doing'..... So many athletes say that; and I think  that's kiss of death right there." Simon Witfield

Monday, September 20

a thinking man

Looking back on a season that leaves me wanting more. The double edge sword of Triathlon allows me to bask in the glow of the progress I made; but continues to shed light on the opportunities for strength and fitness for the 2011 campaign. As I sit in the middle of a two week training hiatius I feverishly look to how my performance can be boosted. Last year I changed a number of elements in my approach to Triathlon with some success and some 'room for growth'. Here were three small changes,

First thing was my approach to Goals, I wrote them down, posted them on my wall and updated them as bench marks were achieved and missed.

Second I changed my aproach to illness, every time that even the slightest hint of a cold came on; I went into full blown attack. Salt water flushes, giner ale, lemon/ginger/honey tea, extra sleep with the addition of some much needed recovery workouts kept most bugs at bay. The result was only 3 days of moderate sickness this season with consistent mellow training throughout.

Third I changed my approach to running, laying a much better base with lots of easy miles in January, February and March. With the help of Grant and Dave Holmes I had the fortune of becoming aware of my form. Aproaching the run this way kept me injury free and running faster then ever before.

Taking time away from my sport is a two pronged beast! On one end it feels really good to step away and reflect, eat what ever I want and rebuild with yoga, basketball, ultimate frisbee and ripping the scenster mode on my beach crusier. On the other hand it is tough to let fitness go knowing that it will take months to rebuild and return to the levels that I left at the end of the season.

Monday, September 13

thats a wrap



Every new race is a adventure, trying to figure out the course, transistions and logistics throw another element into racing. The Subaru Banff Lifesport triathlon on the weekend was no different. Starting with the royal treatment at the hands of Subaru, we headed out in a tricked out Impreza STI, with 305hp twin turbo engine it made for a 'calm' ride out to banff.



On Friday we joined the guys from Subaru to scouted out the bike course and 'check' out the lake. Well I already knew what eleven degree water felt like and I vowed that I would enter that water only once. After watching some quick dips in the mountain lake we checked into the high roller suite at the hotel and made ourselfs at home.

On race morning myself and Grant rolled out in our a decalled out sponsor car, which allowed us to drive where ever we wanted. Right through the baracades and up to t2. Ahhh VIP. Then it was off to T1 to get the bike set up and the body warm. I knew going in that this was the last bit of warmth for the next couple hours.

As the gun went off for the swim I had a real tough time finding my rhythm, it really felt like I was flailing out there, I knew that with the shortened swim I needed to put as much time as I could into the field. Once onto the bike I was greeted with rain and a course full of racers. This made things a little dicy at times and forced a few controlled decelerations. All I could think of every time I touched the brakes was how much time I was loosing to the rest of the field (specifically grant).



As I headed into t2 things were a bit frozen and after two minutes of trying to put on my running shoes and take off my helmet. I was off to the work as hard as I could to try and warm up. After 3km I started to find my stride and I was off to the races. Overall the race felt like I was in 3rd gear the entire time. But I will take the win and remember the absolutely amazing weekend with friends.

thanks again to my cheering section,



RESULTS

PICTURES

Thursday, September 2

faded but elated



The week following Nationals was filled with many highs and lows. The pending pressure of an upcoming race combined with the strict diet and discipline that comes with preparing the body called for a for intense training followed up with a lot of really low key chilling. With the race over it was time to say goodbye to my girl who was off to lead trips in Italy for 7 weeks. Monday was tough, a tough morning with tears, trying to really appreciate every last second, a tough goodbye and then the hard realization that I would not see here for over 60 days.

The next few days were filled with early morning lake swims where 3 or 4 km felt like 500 meters in a pool. Then it was off to explore the whole Okanagan vally by bike, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, Oysoyos. Tons of great riding working on staying fit and regaining the bounce in my step.

The following weekend it was off to IMC. Several athletes that I coach were in the event and it was also a chance to climb up Green Mountain Road to explore the back half of Yellow Lake. After attending Ironman last year with Marc I have now made it a priority to attending the first ironman of my athletes, it brings so much joy as years of work are tested in one of the toughest endurance races the world can offer.

To tell the story of Dorrie one could start at the begining of her triathlon dreams. With a background in Water Polo, Body Building, Softball and Running; triathlon was another challenge; an experience and lifestyle that she longed to taste. I first met Dorrie at a Triathlon Club BBQ in Bowness in the fall of 2008, she was all smiles and was a sponge for knowledge. When she came to practice there was no fooling around, she wanted results! She was a amazing swimmer naturally whooping most of the group every workout.

Over the past couple years we have had many highs and lows with training and racing. But that has made this journey so sweet. In the last 8 months alone she has battled through a sever case of patella femoral in her knee, a crippling fear of open water swimming and a separated shoulder just 6 weeks ago. Through all of the tough times finishing Ironman was never questioned, it was set as the number one goal for the year and it would be accomplished. This past couple of years working with Dorrie I have gained so much respect for her determination and drive, I has inspired me in many workouts and pushed me when I needed it the most.






Congratulation to Dorrie on crushing her projected time while maintaining a smile on her face!


Congratulation also goes out to Jack, Ted T, Ted C, Kevin, Max, Ross, Faizel, Dan or their Ironman finishes and the rest of the Talisman Centre Triathlon Club who had an amazing year! Props also goes out to Kyle Marcotte for a personal best time, fifth place finish and top Canadian.

Monday, August 23

the complete race



No matter what happens with this sport I don't think that I will ever put together the "complete race." A race with out error that results in flawless victory in all three disciplines. I was asked after the race what I had learned from this outing and for several hours I was in deep reflection. With so many 'errors' at my previous races it was easy to pin point areas for improvement. Nationals was different, the race went smooth right from the horn. No real hiccups, no errors in judgement. But still lessons to be learned.



My goals for 2010 have shifted as the year has progressed; now I look at a bigger more distinct goal of representing Canada on the biggest triathlon stages this planet can offer. I knew going into the race that I would be out with the leaders on the swim and rumours of attacks on the bike had me excited. Lesson number one, if you want to attack find a couple of wiling compadres and chat with them before the race. After a few failed attempts to get away the bike pace mellowed and it was time for the run. I was bound and determined to have a better run then Quebec and San Francisco, my goal was to stay with Andrew Russell keeping my tempo up while trying to stay light. Things went well for the first 5 km then Russell put in a little burst and I was running alone.



All in all a much better mindset during the race and I'm excited to spend the week in Kelowna exploring new roads and waking up with some lake swims in the am!


RESULTS

MORE PICTURES (thanks to my official race photographer)

Monday, August 2

fittest guy I know

My approach to the 70.3 this year was much the same as my foray into Olympic distance racing; minus the white spandex underwear and wife beater. Keep the swim relaxed and strong; sit on a hip and keep the heart race low. On the bike; ride as hard as I can until North Glenmore park. Then I was going to try and rock my goal run pace until I hit the wall. Things went according to plan after the running climb out of the Weaslehead things were breaking down. 10th overall leaves happy with some new realizations but still looking for more, lots more.

The half ironman distance allowed me to uncover some new strengths and weakness in my current state. My motto this year has become the "the fittest guy I know." The bike really uncovered some new visions what kind of watts per kilogram one needs to be competitive. My hat is off to the crew of guys who allowed me to uncover a new gear. I was faster at 70.3 average speed then Wasa.


pain face

Overall a great start into longer distance racing; I quickly found myself questioning my ability to race longer. My thoughts; one needs to be able to swim 1:14s staying relaxed and smooth for 1900m. Attain at least 5.5 watts per kg on the bike. As for the run the jury is out on that speed but it looks like 3:36 minutes kilometres will put you in contention. Numbers like that with a little experience could make a solid weapon at 70.3.

RESULTS

HEARLD ARTICLE

Monday, July 12

Sweatin out San Fran

Results

After a dynamite hot yoga session on Tuesday night I was finally able to step away from my race analysis and clear my head. Ever since I qualified for the continental cup circuit I have been really looking forward to my return to San Francisco. The city has such a great European vibe, unique culture and excellent food; add a dash of great company and that adds up to top notch weekend. I headed down Thursday afternoon to catch up with a new friend from a burger joint run in while I was in town last year. We talked endlessly about bikes and training, the tour and bikes sharing some great laughs and dry sarcastic humour.

Saturday afternoon arrived quickly and the race was on. After some struggles with the afternoon start time in my last two ITU races I have really grown to enjoy a sleep in, full breakfast and putting in some serious chill time before things kick off.

I knew there were going to be a couple of guys that were looking to rip the swim so I was ready to light things up for the first 200 meters after that I caught some feet and settled in. I rounded the first buoy in 5th or 6th and despite the massive amount of salt water that I inhaled came out of the water around the same position.

Exiting t1 in 4th right on the heels of McCartney we quickly over took the number two man. Ben Collins was just up the road and I wasted no time putting in a 5 min effort to real him in. Once there I took a pull and was promptly shot off the back of Collins wheel. Riding alone for two laps in a draft legal race I noticed a group of 5 gaining ground. I eased up and let them catch me so I could enjoy the spirit of some drafting comrades.



Rolling into t2 with a little shoe mishap that put me about 30 seconds back of the group that I had been riding with. A bit of a shame but a lesion learned for sure. On the run into t2 I cut my toes up and ran in soggy feet. The run was better then Montreal but still lack the pizazz that I really want. Nothing like a little fuel to the fire before 70.3.



Wednesday, July 7

cheering section

Over the past couple of weeks friends have been rocking a bird on their backs! I have had a few people alert me of 'bird' sightings in the past couple of weeks. It's great to know people are rockin the jersey. Dave Holmes son was been given one of the kids sizes that I had printed and is rockin out in the true spirit of the bird.




ah-oh!

Wednesday, June 30

quebec carnage

I have always been convinced that my tolerance to the cold was large in part to my scandinavian babysitter; who in the middle of winter would nap me outside. Now I sleep with the window open until things get below minus 15 (give or take), and when the window is closed I wake up constantly with a dry throat.

I have always felt like those afternoon nap sessions in the cold allowed me to wear sandals 7 months of the year and pass along my sweater vest when my company feels a chill. But now after loosing all of my arm and leg hair in a shaving incident the combination of shade and breeze on a 25 degree day sends me running for a sweater.

I shaved my legs last weekend as was off to the land of poutine for the first ITU race of the season. After Canadian Nationals last year in Kelowna I was determined to have a better swim, bike so I was pulling out all of the stops.

With a 80 man field on a pontune start into a canal I knew things were going to get messy. I put my head down for the first 200m and pushed the pace knowing that it was worth burning a match to get out in front of the mayhem. At the 200m mark I looked up and I was solo; with a couple by meters up on the next guy. I immediately eased off the throttle and let Andrew McCartney and Kalen Darling come by, I hooked onto their feet and settled in for the rest of the swim.

On the bike the three of us worked together until about the 6 km mark where we were caught by a 15 person chase group. That group loosely worked together until the first big crash at the 30km mark of the bike. Lets just say epic; end over end carbon shards and bloody legs all over the place. This was the reason for silky smooth legs, not that mine were involved in the skin removal process.

After avoiding the 'altercation' I bridged back up to the lead pack and rode with a little more caution for the remaining 10km. With a mediocre t2 I was off to the races, I was out like a bat out of hell reeling guys in like crazy for the first 4km, then I hit the wall and suffered through the final stages.

15 overall, good for some points and experience! Next up San Francisco!

Saturday, June 19

BBQ blues



It seems as though every summer at least a couple of my old buddies try to tackle the 'greatest bbq' of all time. Last nights venture was no different, my buddy Gabe provided the steak, salad, wings, vegetable kabobs and enough liquor to tame a small town in Saskatchewan. With over 70 people 'floating' through the party; social pressure to drink and gorge is off the charts. To ensure that I did not over eat I jumped on the the dual bbq set up and worked my magic. Cooking for seventy kept me just busy enough not to attack the waves of food pouring off the grill. As for the drinking I keep a glass with soda water and ice by my side and nobody knows the difference.

With two epic bbqs under my belt I can safely say that I was the lamest dude at each party. Not that I can't hold a decent conversation but I avoid the chant, duck the beer bong and exit before the tequila starts flowing. Both parties I pulled the chute before midnight insighting a fair amount of heckling for exiting the party 'just as its getting started'.

To keep me focused on the prize I constantly think about grabbing two five pound dumbbells in transition before the run. That seems to be a good deterrent to double fisting the beers all night.

Sunday, June 13

race reflections

I have been thinking long and hard about this post, if I were hand writing this out my floor would be covered in frustrated little paper balls. I have read race reports in the past that deviate from what you can control into the realm of an insurances companys version of 'mother nature'. After consulting with a few key individuals in my life I have chosen to focus on how this race can fuel my fire.



The race day started off smooth, I have started to notice that my focus and ability to get my stuff in line pre race is smooth and stress free. Jumping into the water I was calm, I knew that I would be able to get away from the mayhem and get comfortable out front. As I reached the first buoy I latched onto the feet of a couple of strong young guys from the National Training Centre in Victoria. I spent the rest of the swim with the idea that I was not going to burn a match until the bike.

The bike was smooth I was able to get in the zone and push the pedals, I did not have my bike computer as it would not pick up a satellite signal the night before so I was flying blind. It is a interesting mindset out front on the bike, until I hit the turn around point I really had no idea where anybody was. By the turn around point I had put some time into the two young guys behind me and despite Marcotte the rest of the field seemed to be spread out way behind the top 5. It was great to hear people shouting out props on the way home that always jacks me up.



As I headed into t2 I felt loose and ready to rock, I was confident in my run and really excited to test things out. The first 6 km of the run felt great and like the 10km two weeks ago my form faltered and my quads tightened up. Im sure my pace per km slowed considerably over the last 4 km. At just passed the 8km mark I was passed by both of the young guns and i did not have any gears to stick with them. I finished up third overall but with a far stronger performance then last year.

Not my best day out there but some positive that I'm taking from the race.
1. My bike and swim are strong
2. I was able to get in the zone for a couple of minutes at a time.
3. My pre-race routine is really starting to click

Three things that I need to work on
1. Bike to Run fitness
2. Running School, a, b, c, and bounding
3. Increasing my running load
4. Strength training, physio, yoga

Over the past couple of seasons I have always found it challenging racing and coaching at the same event. I really feel that I can give neither my true focus. But the rewards of sharing success with the Triathlon Club are far greater then any personal victory.

Overall a good race and I'm excited to tune things going into the summer!

Tuesday, June 8

whats in your purse?



Throughout my life I have always raised a eyebrow when I see a woman caring around a large handbag with all of her life's needs. Mostly I just attribute it to years of residual build up. Lately I have realized that I have entered this select group of pouch barring individuals. My messenger bag has become a "man purse", now I see people raising the eyebrow at me. (could be the man purse, could be the extremely short shorts).

Now you ask, what exactly makes up the seven pound bird purse. Well,

1. 5mm allan key
2. 8m allan key (bottom bracket tightening)
3. patch kit
4. 3 tire levers
5. CO2 and chuck (empty)
6. Power Tap computer
7. Sunnto Watch
8. Spork (spoon fork)
9. Goggles
10. Eye Drops
11. Phone
12. Wallet
13. Oakley Radars
12. Close Pin?
13. Spare Tube
14. Ipod + headphones
15. 3 white board markers
16. Pen
17. 3 Power Bars
18. Granola Bar
19. Orange
20. Rear wheel skewer

Ahhh, how therapeutic!

Monday, May 31

hibernation

It has been a tough couple of months watching friends and clients start their race seasons. I have really been itching for the chance to get out and really warm up the engine that I have been building over the winter. Yesterday I jumped into the 10km component of the Calgary Marathon; anxious to see the results of my new running form.

Since the beginning of January I have been building my gluteus and hamstrings strength in order to promote a more efficient hip movement. I know that things are coming along because my pants no longer slip off my body! I have a but (albeit small) that is holing them up.

The first 5km of the race felt effortless; like I was just floating along, it felt great to hope out in front with the Kenyans. At the 6km mark my pace hit the wall as my form started to slip and my quads took over. My pace slowed by over 10 seconds per kilometer right through to the end.

Fitness wise it is a great indication that I'm strong, creating great confidence for the upcoming season. There are still a number of things to work on, with form fitness being the priority.

I was given a great perspective on the race last night by a new friend. He mentioned that I need to bank my energy surrounding my latest result; so that I can draw upon it when my training hits a valley.



All in all, I'm stoked to see the results from the revised approach this year.

Thursday, May 27

creative thought



The last few weeks have seen there fair share of excitement with camps in Vernon, Calgary and a little stint climbing the passes of the Golden Triangle. I have been fortunate enough with all of the added pressure to stay healthy, but doing so has me riding the knife edge.

I have had several clients and friends ask how I know when to back things off? The answer is not definite but requires a great deal of listening to my body. With that here are three signs that let me know when I'm on the edge.

1. All creative thought is lost. It is hard to read books, Paint, Write and think on a constructive basis.

2. The tickle in the back of my throat. When I get the tickle in my throat I tend to go into full attack mode; salt water naisle flush, warm salt water gargle, more sleep, extra vitamins, orange juice, ginger, honey...

3.The body will not recover. Cumulative fatigue after 5 or 6 workouts does not fade even with the use of massage, rest and active recovery.

There are scientific mean to knowing that the body requires more rest but I believe that there are warning signs that accompany or even prequel the hearts reaction to cumulative stress. Not everyone will have the same signs but testing yourself and recording thoughts and feelings during training can allow you to analyze your limits.

Tuesday, May 4

Into the Storm

Yesterday i rounded off 28 years on this planet with one of my top ten days of all time! What a spectacular day it was. As my Mondays usually go I was at the pool with the Triathlon Club for 6 am. Instead of heckling from the sidelines I decided it was time to jump in and create some waves. Grant put on a great practice pushing the pace and making me hurt. After that I jumped on my bike and fought the headwind and impending storm out to Bragg Creek. Just as I reached Bragg the rain started; I promptly turned around with the help of a nice little tail wind avoided the water wave all the way home.




The rest of the afternoon was spent with my girl, cooking dinner and getting what could be one of the most well thought out gifts I have ever received. With out a doubt the Talking Heads 77 album 'psycho killer' showcases one my top ten greatest songs of all time. I have been searching for this record for over 5 years! With a little cheesecake in the evening to top things off; I went to bed with a serious smile on my face.




I can’t seem to face up to the facts
I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax
I can’t sleep ‘cause my bed’s on fire
Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire

Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est?
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa better
Run run run run run run run away
OH OH OH

Wednesday, April 21

"l'oiseau"

All my life I have had basically two nicknames, Bird (how original) and Birdman. When I was in elementary school I hated my last name, I let it get under my skin. But over the years I have come to love it. To the point where the last 4 digits of my phone number are bird, my answering machine has a bird call that greets you; I could go on but it would just make me look absolutely ridiculous.

For the third time in my life I have been given a nickname that really strikes a cord. As I entered the main set of the Cascade workout yesterday afternoon Dave Johnson called me out,"l'oiseau" (Wah-zoh), "are you going to drop like a rock like last week or are we going to see you fly!" I smile, little does he know I have been in the water 4 times since my complete failure last Wednesday. Logging 18km of stroke work for stamina. He has just added fuel to the failure fire that has been driving me the last 7 days. I finished 75 minutes of the 90 minute workout before I lay on the pool deck like a fish after catch and release, momentarily stunned but stoked that life will continue!

Swimming with these little phonemes constantly humbles me. Every workout someone steps up and absolutely knocks the wind out of my true fitness level in the pool. There are only so many times you can tell yourself, "lets wait to see how they do on the bike."


Wah-Zoh

Out!

Sunday, April 18

Centaur Subaru

Working with the Talisman Centre and Speed Theory over the past couple of years has given me the opportunity to work with a lot of great people in business and triathlon. It has really made reaching out to the community in Calgary very fulfilling while providing a great opportunity for networking.

This year in Conjunction with Talisman Centre, Centaur Subaru and Speed Theory I will be putting on a few 1 day mini camps that allow people to get out there and experience training on a different level. The final details are in the works but look for our first bike handling camp mid may.

With that I'm please to announce my partnership with Centaur Subaru this year in my quest to become the best triathlete possible.

Friday, April 16

Final Colors




Well the Jerseys have been approved with the navy and white color scheme. Thanks for all of your orders. It should be be between 6-8 weeks to have things shipped.

Thanks again for your support.

Sunday, April 11

Bird on your back



Spring time is upon us and just around the corner is a busy and exciting 2010 race season! As some of you may know, I have taken on several big ticket races that will be taking me all over Canada (and the World!) including races in Quebec, San Francisco, Alabama, Kelowna and Hong Kong. This year I will be racing on the ITU Continental Cup Circuit in order to gain points towards my goal of being selected to the Canadian Elite National Team. My race season is a lengthy one extending from June all the way through November.

As I have been intensively training, I have also been working on branding for both my sport and my coaching. I have been fortunate to be assisted by Marc Morin of Impello Marketing and Design to create the very cool, very unique 'Bird' logo. Marc has taken this and made a jersey that is out of this world!

I am ordering a round of bike jerseys that I am selling for $80.00 a piece - you chose the size and cut (or I'd be happy to help you out with this). The money will go directly to assisting me in this season of racing.

I am placing the jersey order this upcoming Friday April 16th, so drop me an email if you are interested. I will order a few extras but there are no gaurentees on size or style with those few. The jerseys should be ready in eight weeks or less.

jonbird@shaw.ca


Thanks for your consideration and continued support.

Wednesday, April 7

New Look Bird


Last year I was fortunate enough to coach Marc Morin through a journey to Ironman Canada that will be etched into my brain for some time. The emotional ups and downs with the triumphs and hardships that came from sharing that journey added depth to my passion for triathlon and coaching. As Marc crossed the finish line last August I was overcome with a wave of emotion, I did not think twice about giving a man a great big bear hug even though he was covered in sweat and snot. It was truly a special moment in my coaching carrier.

Since my return from Mexico in October Marc and his peeps at Impello Marketing and Design have given my image a bit of a makeover. We have created a BIRDDANCE logo for my sponsorship package and business, and built a great design for a race kit, (details soon to follow). All I asked was for something that was clean and slick and looked like the logo from my favourite movie as a child CONDORMAN.

Yeh-ya!

Tuesday, April 6

'its business time'

Last week was a unexpected break from the 'hectic grind' of my life long weekend. Both Endurance Training Systems and Triathon Club took a little spring break hiatus. Now typically I would be pining for my 15 seconds of fame on the beaches of Cancun. But this year I decided to mix things up.

I headed out to Vancouver Island on a little road trip to get out of the city and ride a different wave. The weather did not really hold up as storm system after storm system bashed my little tent. But in the presence of great company all is relative. As I age I continually learn more about how important it is to completely step away from the regular routine and as Tyler Durden would say 'JUST LET GO!'.

Now its time to jump back into the mix, I'm stoked to see how the body and mind respond after hitting the reset button!

Monday, March 15

H20 Philosophy

After swimming for the better part of my youth. Thrashing through more meters then most people will walk in their lifetime, I took several years off to get the water out of my ears. Now with triathlon swimming is my 'least favorite' discipline to train; especially on my own.

But coaching swimming is a different story. I have found a true love for the pool and the teaching the correct stroke mechanics of a efficient swim stroke. Over the last two years I have immersed myself in the coaching culture and stroke mechanics. I can honestly say that I learn a new trick to add to my 'torture bag' every week. Every action in the pool has a equal reaction (i know quite profound and original). I have become obsessed with skull and sets that induce lactic acid. It brings me great pleasure when someone beats their best GOLF score.

I have been asked several times to provide a article on bettering your swim stroke or reaching that new pb in the pool. After extensive reading and thought; my response to this is simply this. 'Get in the pool with a coach who knows and cares about your development. Hopefully they have experience, not necessarily with being fast themselves but with making people faster.'

No article will change the way you swim, you need some drill sergeant their telling you, showing you, where things are breaking down. Typically this does not happen with one lesson, especially if you have spent years learning the wrong muscle memory pattern.

Popov, the greatest sprinter of the 90's. Mimic your stroke after this guy!

Thursday, March 11

serial break up artist

Swell its official, I have just encountered Calgary's serial break up artist. So smooth, I walked away with a smile on my face. David Holmes at Tower Physio has just ended our relationship. After several months of completely embarrassing me with inadequacies in my hips and butt; he has let the bird back into the wild. That is not saying I'm fully healed or back at 100% but on track and have a new understanding of my running form. I'm getting stoked to start throwing myself back into the 'meat grinder' over the next couple of weeks.

Here's to hitting the wall!

Friday, March 5

t - rex

Well the past week has been great! The work - life balance is top notch. I'am back in the pool with Cascade twice a week and both days Dave Johnson was able to ensure that my last few lengths felt like I was swimming with t-rex arms. On Wednesday we did a nice little set of 10 x ( 4 x 25 from a dive follow up with 100 @ pace +2), lets just say I slipped a little bit between set 1 and 10.

On another note I have had several people say that I'm looking a lot like Robert Pattinson. I really had no idea who they were talking about so I had to google the guy. With over 17 million searches this he is no slouch.



Male Model here I come!

Wednesday, February 24

Lack of Class

Why did you risk it all,and fall, when you were in contention for the bronze?

Cause I was skiing for Gold!

Many will say that CTV coverage of the 2010 Olympic Games has been far superior in both depth and style to the coverage of previous games by our beloved CBC. On this point I will wholeheartedly agree, it has been great to skip by the figure skating and watch cross country skiing, aerials and ice dancing! The segments on the equipment of the games, technology and the 'difference makers' have really struck a cord with the public, generating far more interest in each sport then previously seen before. (at least for the next few days).

But here is a message for the reporters that are interrogating athletes between heats and finals. I cringe when I hear you ask, now that two of the four heats are done and you are 'on top the podium' what is you thoughts on winning. Or 'you are heading into the finals in second what will it take to unseat the gold'. Stop trying to get into our athletes heads during competition, it is not the time for 'groundbreaking journalism'. These reporters clearly have no idea what is going through a athletes head in the midst of competition. The athletes at the Games have some of the most interesting and unique lives of anyone that you will ever interview. What about asking, "What is your routine to focus before a competition' or 'what did you have for breakfast' or 'what is one of the toughest workouts that you can draw confidence from before competition.' Get the athlete thinking about their preparation and dedication to the sport while stepping outside the box and creating a list of questions that have not been asked by your predecessors to get people off their game.

Now I don't have a degree in journalism (hence the blog) but I do read (sometimes) and feel that I have a much better sense of the effects of what the athletes and public want.

Rant, Rant, Rant

Tuesday, February 16

cable tv

More and more I hear of people without a tv, and that 'cable is a waste of time'. Over the past several years I have weened myself off cable to the point that it becomes really tough to watch. Now getting rid of the TV would end me. I'm a full blown movie addict, they are the best way for me to zone out and get away from my 'hetic' life.

But the last few days I have had the tv on almost every moment that I'm home. I'm finding some great inspiration and emotion from the Olympic Games. I'm really getting stoked to watch the mens half pipe after discovering these little titbits on youtube. I think my next sponsor application will be to red bull. Watch out here comes the 'bad boy of triathlon'.



Tuesday, February 9

the numbers

As the sickness has started to fade I have been able to start building the intensity and duration back into my workouts. Last night I had my usual Monday spin class and after 5 weeks of classes it was time to re-test my 'peeps'. Out of the 15 people that tested last night I had 11 personal best 20 min time trial average numbers. Needless to say there were a fair number of people going to bed with a smile on there face.

Usually I don't test with the class and end up just jumping off my bike and yelling at them. Hence the reprimand; but I was feeling good. So I dropped the hammer, now like I said I'm not putting any number down here. But I will say that my critical power was 78% of my anaerobic threshold. So over the next 6 to 8 weeks I will be ripping some speed work to try and tow my anaerobic threshold up. Ahh the meat grinder!

This george hincapie documentary looks cool, but not $30.00 plus shipping cool!

Thursday, February 4

More Personal

I have had some requests to make things a little more personal on the blog lately. Not really the 'love life' aspect but more what is happening on the training day to day. Now this can get a little complicated, first off I feel odd about sharing my 'secrets' with every triathlete out there. That is what I get paid for! On a second note I find that when athletes post 'numbers' on their blog; often time they are used to intimidate the competition.

Last year I can vividly remember checking out Paul Tichelaar's blog, and when I jumped on his wheel after the swim at Nationals last year all I could think was how high his aerobic threshold watts were. Not really what you want spinning through your head while you try and hold a wheel.

I don't think this was Paul's purpose for stating numbers but it worked. Now I know what to shoot for this year wattage wise.

January training went well, starting to bring running back into the mix. I timed my training load perfectly. Hit the wall after about 18 days and backed off at just the right time. Unfortunately the following week saw a little bit to much added stress and lack of sleep and the sickness hit. After 3 days of light workouts, I'm starting back into the mix.

This weekend I'm off to see Race Across the Sky:

Tuesday, February 2

Ultimate Dream


In a exciting time for Canada with the impending Olympic games, I have just recieved some great news. An old friend has just made the Canadian Olympic Cross Country Ski team. He recently blogged on the experience. Gut reaching to say the least! It is worth a read.

BRENT McMURTRY

Congrats Brent, giver hell out there!

Tuesday, January 19

Sponsor Announcement

Last year I was fortunate enough to Swim in the Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit. I was a significant upgrade in wetsuit over my previous Blue Seventy Reaction. The reaction was my first suit and really served me well, but I had a hell of a time getting it off my ankles in transition. The Helix was a significant upgrade with better shoulder mobility and far better ankle mobility.

For 2010 I will be swimming in the updated Blue Seventy Helix again, I'm stoked!

Thanks to the team at Blue Seventy!

Thursday, January 14

reprimand

Well its official, I have received my first reprimand at work, and it not for sleeping like most would guess. Normally it does not take me this long to get under someones skin but after two and a half years I got the old slap on the wrist. Now this slap came with a smile and a pat on the back (for awesomeness).

I have bit of a reputation to be a little loud when cheering people on. It what I like to call "the hockey cheer". Basically you are yelling as loud as you can to get the attention of a athlete, but instead of screaming from the third bowl well over 100 feet away, in my case I'm a little less then a foot. Most non-athletes think that I'm recidivous and I'm causing a distraction. But I have been told on numerous occasions that my cheering (yelling) has pushed people over the edge into results that they could not have imagined.

In my usual fashion I ran a time trial with a group yesterday evening, and for 20 minutes the athletes are expected too unleash everything they have to properly reflect their aerobic threshold. As the time ticks along my intensity grows and I get louder and prouder! As it happens yesterday evening a 'gentleman' from another area complained that I was a distraction to his workout and he was within inches of punching me in the face! Now to be fair I never saw the guy, but to even state that in order to solve your problem you need to punch someone in the face reflects the true character of the individual. Can we say mike tyson:

Sunday, January 10

ooooh ahhh cascade in the dishwasher

I can vividly remember running around the pool deck at the bi monthly swim meet as a ten year old taunting my rival club. ooooh ahhh cascade in the dishwasher! At the time it invoked a passion for the pool that I have not felt in a long time. A desire to get in and compete and not let guys get the better of me. As a 7 year old I even went as far as to pull of the suit of a competitor that had the audacity to try and pass me.

This week I jumped in the pool with the Cascades national development squad. Many of those same emotions of a ten year old emerged. I was grinning like a Cheshire cat. Although the squad is not in full rip mode right now, it was still a challenge to push through a 90 minute workout.

I'm excited by the promise of some great competition in the pool and having fun with the new schedule. Training is going to get interesting.

Monday, January 4

accountability

Well last year was my first experience making my goals public, although it was a bit daunting to throw things to the wind I found myself evaluating and expanding the goals as the year went on. Last year I stated some goals for 2009.

1 - Laugh out loud more!
2 - Learn Drupal
3 - Stay Healthily through training season
4 - Get NCCP level 1
5 - Explore more post secondary education opportunities

Yes I admit, they are quite general and really don't expose the true motivations of the bird, but it was more a test see how it would challenge my accountability.

Now for 2010

1 - NCCP level 3 Competition Coach
2 - Fix my eyes (see previous post)
3 - cook one new dish each week (keep a record)
4 - stay healthy and keep workouts fun
5 - continue to grow and build my business
6 - Race and compete on another level through extreme discipline


Here a little video that make me wish I had a tricycle!