The Portage from Hell!

Long runs, short runs, tempo runs, interval training. Bah! These have nothing on portaging! Recently on my most recent trip into the interior of Algonquin provincial park a long 3km portage became ~21km of being lost, back tracking twice, and rolling hills, all being done carrying either an 80L or 200L pack or a canoe. If you want to talk a sheer test of endurance and maybe in this case a little bit of plain old survival instinct (we had to find a site, ideally ours, but towards the end any would do).

The day started of super relaxed, we woke up at our site that we had arrived at the day before. We planned our route for the day, a big deviation from our original plan, trying to avoid 2 big 2.5km portages, by breaking them up into many small ones totaling less, but more paddling. We pack our gear, put it all into the canoe and paddle out to our portage point. 675m, is this it? Yep, but we’re not taking the 675, we’re going to follow the pseudo marked trail that follows a planned railway track that’s nice and flat for about 3km, ok that’s not bad. We get all our gear on and head on our way.

“How much do you think one of our steps covers?” Asks one of my fellow campers, well about a half meter? So we set out on our way, the other two decide that they’re going to switch on the canoe about every 600m or 1200 steps, if all works out accordingly we should arrive at our destination after switching 5 times. I go with the 200L pack so that the other two can switch back and forth easier, and into a “break” (the 80L was lighter, as easier to carry than the 200L), also I was weary of carrying the canoe as the yoke digs into your shoulders and I had a pre-existing shoulder injury.

After about the 3rd switch we figure that we’re about halfway, so we take a break and have our lunch. After that its right back to work, I strap myself back into the 200L and we’re on our way. Right off the bat there’s an uphill and the wear from the trek before has become very obvious now as each step is starting to hurt to take and I find myself out of breath as I trek up the hill. As it crests I can’t take it anymore, I lean on the paddle I’m carrying and stop to catch my breath.

We continue on our way, at one point we reach a fork in the road… Which way do we go? Right? Ok! We continue. A few switches of the canoe later, my steps really start becoming labored, have I finally hit the wall? I tell myself, “come on! Push though! You can do this! You can run a marathon! You want to qualify for Boston and you’re going to let this short, untimed portage, with many breaks in between beat you? No way!” It feels like we’re going in circles at this point, way longer than 3km and it feels like its uphill the whole way. Did we take the wrong path? Another fork!? This decision is a little easier as one path is obviously less used. We keep trekking, then we see an opening. Could it be? Are we there? Nope! The path opens up into a deserted quarry, there’s an opening but it doesn’t look like it been used. Guess we should of taken the other path back there. Here I hit my lowest point. At this point we’re starting to run low on water, and we don’t know where we are, we have no choice but to start to head back.

As we continue on our way back, finally I can’t take it anymore. The lack of water and the defeat of the deadend have really gotten to me and I swear it feels like we’re mostly going uphill AGAIN! “Can someone switch up with me?” I ask. Luckily the other two still have fresh legs from carrying the canoe and 80L bag, both which are significantly lighter than the 200L that I had been carrying all this time. I slip off the 200L. I’m free! It feels like I’m flying! Almost as if I’m being pushed forwards. Weighted training to the max! I put on the 80L bag and we’re on our way. Wow! I exclaim, “This bag is sooo much lighter! No wonder you guys were walking like it was no problem”.

We continue like this for a while longer and get back to the second fork. One buddy suggests that we wait here as he goes off the see where this path leads. We agree. At first I sit with a place to rest the bag, but as he takes longer and longer to come back, it becomes increasingly uncomfortable to sit and wear the bag, so we both take ours off and collapse onto the ground. My friend comes back from exploring with bad news. Its not the right direction, we have to go back to the first fork 😦

We head back to the fork, now resting everytime we switch the canoe. Head down the other path, and come across some fallen trees along the path, nooo… It can’t be! Are both ways wrong? At this point we are extremely low on water (a gulp or so each) so we decide that 2 of us will run ahead to check whether the path goes to where we want, and one will stick around to pump (filter) water from a babbling brook we passed not too far back, its not ideal, but at least its running water and we desperately need the water at this point. I’m one of the 2 to check the path. We set out at a brisk walk, more fallen trees, and the path is starting to look less and less maintained, this is not looking good. Finally we get to a point where there’s a large pile of dirt and a river, not good. My friend wants to continue trekking, but I think its over and we have to head back. We decide that I’ll go back, while he continues to trek. A few seconds later he calls my name. Apparently the river runs through the path, as opposed to the path running over the river, its over 😦 we head back and report the news. Our friend has filled up 2 bottles, we drink them thirstily, it tastes murky, but hey at this point whatever water works.

After filling up the bottles again, we decide that its now too late to head to the site we had originally, and pick another site (potentially dangerous, since we didn’t book it).  At this point even the 80L bag is getting heavy, and the other two can’t switch from the canoe to the 200L pack, so I decide that I’ll brave the shoulder and try and carry the canoe, any little bit helps, says one of my friends. We start heading back to where we originally started this portage, I’m only able to help carry the canoe 800 steps at a time, but whatever I can do at this point… We get back to where we had lunch, we’re getting close!

After a bit more work, finally water and the canoe point. We load our stuff up and get back in the canoe. Yes, some sort of rest. 2 short portages, and a long canoe later we arrive at our site. But no rest for the wicked, we still have to set up camp, get a fire going, cook dinner, and put up the bear bag. After everything is done we collapse in our tent. That night as I try and get out of the way of a friend my leg cramps hard, the result of the crazy portaging that day, I can’t even bend my leg a little bit or it’ll cramp again, so I lay there with my leg fully extended, luckily I was completely exhausted from the day and passed out pretty quickly.


Track Intervals for Runners

Track Intervals for Runners

Running track intervals are extremely beneficial to runners. Interval training teaches the body how to run fast and the mind how to run through pain. These workouts are essential in developing the kind of leg turnover needed to race well. Here are a few pointers about track intervals.

Track intervals are essentially hill repeats on the track wherein you alternate fast repeats with rest periods. One day you might do a 8 X 200 workout with 2 minutes rest. This translates into doing 8 repeats of 200 meters (half a lap) with 2 minutes of rest in between each interval. Or you could do 12 X 400, which is 12 repeats of 400 meters (a full lap).

Common Types Of Interval Workouts:

Here are some bread and butter interval workouts for runners training for a 5k race. Keep in mind that your mileage for an interval workout should not greatly exceed your race distance.

14-16 X 200 meters
8-12 X 400 meters
6-8 X 800 meters
4-6 X 1000 meters
3-4 X 1 mile repeats

It is a good idea to mix up the interval distances during workouts to focus both on speed and endurance. This type of workout is called a “ladder.” A simple ladder workout for a 5k race would be: 400, 800, 1000, 1600, 600, 400, 200. The mileage for this workout is exactly 5k and it includes intervals that will work on a runner’s raw speed (200 and 400’s) and endurance (800 and above).

Resting In Between Repeats

The common wisdom is to rest two times as long as it takes to run the repeat. So if run a 400 in 70 seconds, rest 2 minutes 20 seconds. Now, “rest” does not mean you should stop moving! At least walk around. For a real challenge, try to jog in between each repeat. The workout will be more productive if you can make an interval workout a continuous run. This will make the workout much more difficult, but it will simulate what it feels like to run a race.

How Fast To Run Intervals

This really varies with age and talent. Generally, 1 mile intervals should average 10k race pace, 800 meter intervals should average 5k race pace, 400 meter intervals should be between 5k and mile race pace and 300 and 200 meter intervals should be run faster than mile race pace. Note that interval training should only be attempted after developing a fairly large base of fitness. You should run at least a month of quality base training (at least 20 miles a week) before attempting any interval training.

LSD + Hydration Pack = Great!

After copious amounts of research and sports store hopping, I finally settled on a hydration pack.

I was this close to going with the Camelbak Rogue (2.0L) at $90, as opposed to the skinnier Camelbak classic (1.5L) at $70, but after scouring through the racks at MEC, I dug up a great find with the Deuter Race X at $56.00.  It has plenty of space to carry the essentials, and I like the build quality.  Buying the bag separately from the bladder allowed me the option to buy a larger 3.0L camelbak water bladder for $35.  The way I see it, I can still fill it up to 2.0L if I want to have a lighter pack and still have the option of more.

Here’s the story of my inaugural run with the waterpack:

The route:

I didn’t plan on going far, so I eyeballed the bladder and filled it up to a decent volume.  I didn’t know how I would feel with the bag while running so I didn’t want to weigh myself down too much from the get go.

It was hot all day, so I chose to leave late 9pm on Sunday, hoping for better running conditions.  Turns out that I was reaching for the drinking tube very often, showing that it was still rather hot.  As this was an LSD, I tried to jog at a slow pace, and I slowed down to walk every so often.  I kept my stopwatch running the whole time instead of stopping it with each break.

I found the waterpack to be very comfortable to run with, with minimal bounce, and the drinking tube was so easy to drink from.  Each initial sip would be as warm as the temperature was, but the following water from the reservoir was nice and chilled.  I found the waist belt to be riding up too high across my belly, but I guess that can’t be helped as it is a smaller pack.

The only issue I have is with the way the tube hangs, so I have to find a way to finagle with it so that it doesn’t flap around as I run.  Andrea’s North Face system was equipped with a magnet attachment, which looks to be very practical.

When I made it to the entrance of Edwards Gardens along Lawrence, I was witness to a raccoon getting hit by an SUV, which kinda shook me up.

It was getting kinda dark by now, and by the time I got deep into the woods, my depth perception was all but nullified.  I was running virtually blind and every uneven bump on my path made my legs wobble.  I was about 12km by now, and my legs were starting to feel it.  Even though this was an LSD, I couldn’t help but run faster than I should’ve, as it was nearing 11pm and I had to work the next day.

I finally reached the street-lit area at Leslie & Eglinton, and it was time to beeline home.  My shirt was drenched with sweat, and my pack was hydrating me very consistently.  However…

All was going well until I hit 18km at Leslie & Sheppard – I went for a drink of water to prepare for the steep hill that lay ahead, but instead, all I got was opposing suction.  I WAS OUT OF WATER!!!  To top it off, I was still at the bottom of the chasm.  Screwed.

My legs were already sore, and without water to oil my joints, I was up the creek without a paddle.  I walked the rest of the way home.  I should have filled up the bladder more, knowing the conditions.  Hindsight.  It’s still 20/20.  In the end, the reason for the run was so squeeze in an LSD as well as try out how it feels to run with a water backpack.  It’s thumbs up all the way.

Things to remember for next time

  • Always carry the essentials: cell phone, tokens, food, gels.
  • It’s better to carry too much water than not enough.
  • Start the run earlier so you’re not so rushed to finish.
  • Work on increasing lactate threshold.  Lactic acid sucks.

Walking home really sucked, as it was about 5.0+ km to go back.  Even though I stopped by Bayview Village tennis club to freshen up (yes, they were still open at that time!…I used to work there when I was younger), I was in no mental shape to run any further.  It probably took me 45 minutes to walk home on sore legs.

Grimsby Peachbud 10km Run

Grimsby Peachbud 10km Run

This was to be my first timed 10km run, and I didn’t know what to expect.  My plan of attack was very uncertain as my experience thus far has largely revolved around half-marathon distances and above, which is typically a slow pace.  Something that my legs and cardiovascular system have become accustomed to.

Grimsby is a long drive from my work in Pickering, but I requested to leave early to avoid the rush hour traffic of Toronto.  The start of the race is late in the day at 7:30pm; yet another new factor in the equation.  However, I was blessed once again, as the weather forecasters called for low humidity and a high of 20 for the day.

I arrived early at the town hall, right at the start line, which hosts the best parking spots.  So early in fact that I manage to squeeze in a good nap, as I am a bit worn out from the long drive.  I wake up from at 5pm to a hungry stomach, and with no other food in hand, I am scratching my head as to what I should do.  Should I eat now?  Should I wait till after to eat?  I have only 2.5 hours till the run begins.  They say that you should avoid eating roughage and fibre before exercise, as it may lead to digestion issues.  Ignoring those sweeping assumptions, I drive to a nearby Subway and fill my tummy with a healthy sandwich.  I think I should have enough time to be ready for the race.


The other 5km run was to start at 7:00pm, so I had the opportunity to rev myself up by watching both the start and finish of that race.  As this was a smaller race with lax rules, I was tickled to see that the start of the line was littered with some elite runners mixed in with pint-sized children.  Just by judging the participants at the start line, I could tell who was going to win.  Surely enough, my stereotyping assumptions were correct.  The winner of the 5km came in just under 16:00.  With plenty of time to spare until the start of the 10km, I presumed that he might also be joining in on the 10km as well. 

It was nearing the start of the 10km run, and I kept using the washroom to make sure that I would be good to go.  I quickly downed a regular GU gel about 15 mins before the start, to allow it time to kick in.  I did a few warm up jogs here and there beforehand, and I was pumped.  I snaked to the front of the pack (just a 9 second difference between my chip time and clock time, I later learned), and we were off!

I felt confident that I could go at a good pace.  Different race distances are wrought with different mental hurdles to overcome.  The found that the 10km halfway mark was just as difficult to reach as the half marathon halfway. 

The 1km mark felt like it took longer than usual to reach.  Why?  I think it was because I was trying to push myself at a higher than used-to intensity, so my body was struggling more than normal.  My brain was telling me, “Are you sure that you can keep up this pace for 9 more kms??”.  I responded, “I hope so!!!”

2km came around and then the 3rd.  My legs were feeling sluggishly heavy up until this point.  Many of the elite runners do a fair bit of warm-up jogs, including sprints, right before the start of the actual race.  There must be something to that. 

 My legs started to loosen up after 3km, or perhaps it was the gel kicking in?  All I had to do was reach the halfway point, then my mind would be at ease.  I found that my breathing was consistently laboured throughout the whole race.  Again, due to the high intensity.  I started the belly-breathing technique, which I found helped, as I sucked in more oxygen, particularly for the uphills.  This course had a good number of hills, both up and down.

I think that I must also train myself to do better at water stations.  Breathing so heavily made it much more difficult to ingest fluids without interrupting the flow.  I found that my first two attempts were feeble and I managed only a small sip each time.  I must remind myself that it is silly to assume that I will lose copious amounts of running time if I slow down.  It is more important to hydrate oneself, than to save a few seconds by not slowing down. 

I make it to the halfway mark and the official clock shows 21:50.  This is a bit slower than I had hoped for, but now that I look back, I have not adequately trained for anything faster than this. 

We get to 6km, and you can easily see that there is a very long road ahead.  This fares better for us actually, I believe, as it is entirely flat for this stretch.  I slow to a walk for subsequent water stations.  I’m actually feeling much better now than before, as my legs are feeling lighter.  Perhaps the gel is really kicking in. 

8km!  I’m starting to push myself as fast as possible, and I’m feeling really good.  My running group is also sensing the end of the run, and I can feel the collective increase in speed.  I was passed by this older guy in particular, and for some reason, I wasn’t able to catch him.  His technique was a bit errant as his feet didn’t go very high off the ground, but the one thing I noticed was that his cadence was much faster than mine.  Shorter strides, faster cadence, is what they say.  I try to mimic his quick cadence momentarily, but was still unable to match his speed without gasing out.

9km!  I felt awesome.  I didn’t have my GPS watch on me, but I was estimating distances in my head.  9.1……9.2…..  the finish line was so close.  This was certainly a different feeling than the final km of the half or full marathon.  I actually had energy stores to burn!  I pass a handful of people at the end, and hear that glorious beep at the finish line.  The official clock shows my time to be just above 44:03.0 (chip time 43:54.3), and all things considered, I am happy with this time.  It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying, and now I’ll have a time to beat in Montreal.  

Things to remember for next time:

  • We need to do more speed training!  Slow running will train us to do well at slow running.
  • How you start your race will dictate how you finish. 
  • Find out how best to increase cadence.  Perhaps my fast twitch muscles need more help.
  • Hydrating at the water stations is more important than saving a couple of seconds.
  • I’m glad I wore my hat.  The sun was blinding us for a good part of the run at 8pm.
  • Stop getting M-sized t-shirts.  It’s safer to go with L; sizing is not always equal.
  • To run a sub 40:00.0 10km run is going to be harder than I thought.  Baby steps…

Final LSD in June 2010


It was feeling like another hot summer day, but the need to squeeze in an LSD outweighed the less than ideal weather conditions for our run.  I posed a route that ended up downtown, for a myriad of reasons: to check out water backpack’s at MEC, to pick up some food in Chinatown, and to lay witness to the downtown hoopla.  We managed to get going by 3pm, as we had just realized that MEC was to close at 5pm, and this would be really pushing the envelope.

We left our respective homes at 3:15pm to meet at our usual designated Yonge  & Sheppard meetup point. However, this time of day left us vulnerable to the ill effects of the sun and heat.  Even the short 2km warmup to our meetup spot left us both dreading whether or not we would even make it downtown.  Oh yes, it was hot.  Donald was armed with his waterpack and I with my waist bottle and an extra handheld disposable in tow; we began hoofing it across Sheppard to Bathurst.  From Bathurst we would head directly south, leaving North York behind in our wake.

We had to keep reminding each other that this was an LSD to “slow down!”, but unfortunately in the back of my mind, our destination had an expiry time.  Donald listed this distance at about 14km so we’d be able to make it with some time to spare.

The frequent red lights along the small side streets commanded us to slow down and stop, but we blasted through them knowing that there probably isn’t a cop for miles due to the G20.  We needed to make good time.  Donald was cursing his headband for insufficiently soaking up his sweat, while I was lucky that my hat was doing a fairly good job.  My sunscreen was visibly painted along my arms.

We passed Wilson, and then we tackled Lawrence.  “Slow down!”, we kept telling each other.  Eglinton was coming up soon enough.  The road to Eglinton gave us a challenge with some rolling hills, so till this point we kept trotting at a moderate pace.  It wasn’t until the long steep downhill after St. Clair that we really sensed the urgency to boot it.

With each passing kilometer, the running gods smiled upon us as the clouds paid us a long visit, and the temperature decided to retract its claws.

Donald alerted me with the time.  “Holy crap!”, I said.  It was already 4:15pm.  Right after Donald answered the call of nature at the bottom of the hill, we had settled comfortably into a good pace and there was no stopping us from there.  I was very much in doubt that we’d make it by 5pm, but Donald said that we would.  We pushed on.

We banked east onto Harbord to head down Spadina, and we really turned on the jets.  By now, it was 4:40pm and with no chance of having enough time to actually shop around, we made it our goal to simply make it to the door at the projected time.  It’s fun to have a goal.  Donald says that his calf is starting to act up.  He troopers on knowing that we’re so close.

College!  We shoot past the circle at U of T.  A bunch of bike cops ride their peloton past us.

Dundas!  There are so many pedestrians.  I decide to remain on the road for the rest of the way.  I don’t care that I’m technically on the wrong side.  We’re almost there!

Queen!  Donald drops back and tells me to finish up.  He doesn’t want to risk injury.  5 mins to go!  There’s a red light directly ahead of me with more than 8 cops standing around!  My legs carry me to the other side and my brain shoved its proverbial ostrich head into the sand hoping that cops wouldn’t see……whew….they didn’t care!

King!  I swing around the corner and reach MEC with 2 minutes to spare.

A sign reads: We are closed for Saturday and Sunday.


Mission Accomplished.  The route turned out to be 18.1km and with a finishing time of approx 1:45.00, we are elated to suck back on some vitasoy box drinks and Chinatown delights.



After being rained out the day before, and a late night at the casino, I get a message from Jason “Joiners for LSD down to mec before dinner? Wanna check out camelbaks, pickup bun mi, and smash some windows… ;P” (g20 riots were on just the day before). I already had a week off from my long runs, so I finished up my cooking and cleaning, then planned out a route. Down Bathurst all the way down… Apparently down to the lake was only 14k, so I add a few more km by doubling back at the end. I fill up my water resevoir, grab a headband, pack my flip flops, a change of clothes and a reusable grocery bag and head out the door.

Whoomp! One step outside and it hits me right away, the heat and humidity are so intense it feels like I’m in a sauna! I hope we haven’t made a mistake running so late in the day (3:30pm) as I make my way to Yonge and Sheppard I run at a very slow pace, even at that I find myself gasping for air, oh man… I hope it cools down fast. I arrive at our rendevous point, almost instantly the sweat pours out of my pores. I’m so glad that I remembered to wear a sweatband. Off in the distance I see a guy in a red shirt and black hat, that kinda looks like Jason, but he’s just standing around… Why is he just standing around? He turns around and I recognize Jay’s water belt, he’s getting out his phone. I get his attention and he walks over, apparently he was looking on the other side of the street for me.

Off we go, we both complain about the heat and humidity. Jay tells me how he tries to avoid lunch time runs because of the heat. Clip clip clip… “Did you bring any gels? I forgot to bring mine” Jay say. I did, but I suggest that since this is potentially only a 14k run, we probably don’t need it. Jay agrees, but says we should probably go super slow or do 10 and 1’s.

We approach the bridge on Sheppard between Yonge and Bathurst. By this point the head and humidity are really getting to me, each breath I take is super heavy, the hill feels like hell. As we crest the hill a girl runs by, Jay speeds up..WTF!? “Gotta make it looks good” he says… Yah yah… I’m still trying to catch my breath at this point. I try taking extra deep breaths, hoping that they’ll some how expand my lungs, and each breath won’t feel like there’s a ton of bricks on my chest. Soon we get to Bathurst and Sheppard. “Let’s use this intersection as our 1 in our 10 and 1s!” I say, praying for a break in this hellish run. Ok! Jay says, and we take our time getting to the opposite corner before starting again.

Bathurst! We have arrived, the longest and hopefully the easiest (mostly downhill to downtown) leg of our journey. Clip clip clip… Where’s my wind?!? How come each breath still feels excruciating? At this point my back behind my lungs start to feel tight and sore too. I try my deep breaths technique, hopefully this’ll help a little. Nope! I turn to Jay, “dude! We’re not even at the 401 yet! I don’t even know if I hit my stride yet, my lungs still feel super heavy! F’ing humidity!” He tells me something about training in less than ideal conditions, so your body can work even better when conditions are ideal.

After some more running, and pointing out that almost everyone we came across being philipino (probably the maids of all the Jews downtown, I joke). We see it 401! Yay! Jay says this is the place where Cat changed her pants our last run. We pass under the 401 and it hits us, BREEZE! THANK GOD! Almost instantly I feel the energy kick in! Could it be? Is it my wind? Or is it just the lack of humidity? Whatever it is, it feels like heaven compared to the heavy tight lungs I was running with before.

Down Bathurst we go, at this point we definately had hit our strides, as we constantly kept speeding up and had to keep telling outselves to slow down. Within a blink of an eye there’s Lawrence, and so begin the rolling hills. I tell Jay that I had run this little stretch before too, except at the end of a 14km run, not at the beginning. I get to the hill I hated last time… Hmm not so bad, I guess its different when you’re going at it with fresh legs, as opposed to at the end of you long run. There’s Eglinton! We dash across the street once the light changes to beat the advance green light. Clip clip clip, then it comes, the result of over hydration before the run. I gotta pee! Well we’re over half way done, maybe I can hold it. We pass St.Clair… Nope, now I really gotta go. I tell Jay, he laughs. He suggests we stop by somewhere, nah, we’re guys, I’ll just find a corner. I hate going into places, all sweaty and stinky to just ask to use the washroom. I see a little side street with some bushes, “hold on, I think I found a spot” nope, there’s a crowd of people there, just hanging out outside of their house. Crap! No worries, just a bit later there’s a little forest with a path 🙂

Clip clip clip, I check my watch, 4:30! Are we gonna make it to MEC before it closes? Well we’re over half way done, we shooould be ok, but its cutting it close. We pass Dupont, we’re getting close, more landmarks = feels like we’re covering more gound faster. Bloor! We’re almost there… 4:45 uh oh, its getting tight! We also gotta get back east to Spadina, I tell Jay. Let’s pick a street that isn’t too crowded. 4:50.. Oh man! I take a quick short cut though a high school lot, and we’re now on Harbord travelling east. 4:52…. At this point, both of us definately start picking it up, 8 mins! Can we make it? We hit Spadina, and the pace picks up yet again.

We pass College, then it hits, a pang of cramp runs up my right calf, oh no! Not on the home stretch! 😦 we get to Dundas, the pace picks up yet again. Another pang, on no! “Jay you may need to go on without me, if you wanna make the 5:00 deadline” he tells me to fight though the pain, pain is only temporary he tells me… The cramps start to come more and more frequently now, crap! I must drink more water along the way! We pass Queen, 4:55 at this point my leg is fully cramping. 4:58 Just go! I tell Jay, and he takes off to King, I turn left on Adelaide instead, and drop my pace significantly, still a light jog though. I turn on Peter to King. I get a text from Jay, MEC is closed, he’s going to Europe Bound instead. Man… Did we miss the 5:00 deadline?

I turn the corner, King is totally deserted except for Jay and maybe 2 other people. Apparently Mec was closed because of g20, thank God! Europe bound is closing too, they have 2 conflicting signs, one that says 5:00 and the other that says 5:30. Bah! We walk over to King and Spadina and stretch out, great run! Insane pace.

After a nice stretch, I change out of my soaked clothes, and shoes, into the change I brought and a set of flip flops. I take off my headband, and wring it out to show Jay how much water I probably lost. don’t know how Jay is walking around in his gross sweaty clothes. The only thing I couldn’t change was my underwear that was equally as soaked as the rest of me, its very uncomfortable. We head over to Chinatown, Jay buys an aloe drink and downs it asap. I buy some yu choy, and a 6 pack of malt vitasoy, soy milk. 7 g of protien per carton, excellent recovery food! We make our way to Eaton center which thankfully isn’t on lockdown anymore, and I finally change my underwear.

We make it back up town, and its very apparent that it was raining, heavily. Also as soon as I get home, it start pouring. I message Jay, good timing eh? He asks if its about the riot. Apparently there’s another G20 riot taking place as Spadina and Queen! We were just there! Wow, we JUST missed all the action! What a wicked run!

Hot Weather Running is Just Uncool…

My decision to do outdoor lunchtime workouts now needs to be carefully scrutinized based on the weather condition at the time.  The 12pm heat typically does not bode well for runners.  Yesterday was no different.

I thought it would’ve been different though.  In the morning, it was extremely gloomy with heavy rain.  However, by lunch hour it really cleared up and was looking nice.  Just before I get changed to run outside, I normally stick my head out for a few seconds to prepare myself for what’s coming, but that area is well shaded so it can be deceiving.  

It turned out to be sunny, hot, humid, and……HOT.  After 3km of a brisk pace, I was exhausted.  Thanks goodness I had my water bottle.   I almost felt like stopping every km up until my finish of 8km cause the heat was unbearable.  The heat from the weather compounded with the body overheating from the running was just too much.  A headband would’ve been nice to drench up the sweat.  No more lunchtime runs at that temperature!  I’ve heard of elite marathon runners with bags of ice strapped to their chest before a marathon so that they don’t overheat.

An addendum: I biked to Oakville later that day, and although the distance was much greater, the heat wasn’t so bad as there was a constant breeze cooling you off at those speeds.  I passed by many good restaurants that I think Donald has probably already blogged about.  Apache burger, Thai restaurants, Bombay Bhel…and to my surprise, I saw another Pho Dau Bo on Dundas.

How to Train Like Lance Armstrong

Very interesting article, also promotes high intensity training… I think this should be the way to go if we’re going to go for Boston, we can still get our long runs in just to get our endurance up, but I think speed training is the way to go if we’re going to get up to that point. My Dragonboat trainer also says its better to train your fast twitch muscles as well. I also like their bit about active rest, its counter intuitive but it does help the body recover faster as, while you’re moving, you’re also promoting blood flow and quicker recovery.


You might want to train for a 100-mile ride. Or perhaps explore a few local trails. Maybe you’re looking to just save money on your commute, burn a few extra calories, or strengthen your heart. Whatever the motivation, now’s the time to start pedaling. We’ve got the expert training tips to get you started. Few know more about cycling than Lance Armstrong’s coach Chris Carmichael. We asked the man behind Lance’s seven Tour de France wins for his tips to help you pedal better.

HARDER — Goal: Incinerate fat
“Forget those slow, low-intensity ‘fat-burning’ workouts,” Carmichael says. “Unless you’re single and unemployed, you don’t have enough time for that.” Instead, train like the athlete you aspire to be, and your body will adjust. “Increase your workout intensity—go faster or do sprints or intervals. You’ll burn more calories, getting faster and stronger while you get leaner.”

BETTER — Goal: Ride more
“A light 30-minute spin around the neighborhood the day after a killer workout or epic ride will get you back to full-throttle training sessions more quickly than sitting on the couch,” Carmichael says. By boosting circulation to fatigued muscles and raising your core temperature, this kind of active recovery can significantly reduce your down time, which also increases the number of high-quality training days you can get in each month.”

FASTER — Goal: Gain speed
“Don’t be intimidated by intervals. At their simplest, all it means is that you’re alternating between ‘harder than you can sustain long term’ and ‘easy.'” Intervals are also the key to riding faster. Try riding as hard as you can for two minutes, then spin easy for two minutes, and repeat a few times. “The key is that you’re performing work at a pace and intensity above what you can sustain. It is the time spent at these intensities that will force your body to adapt and make you faster.”

STRONGER — Goal: Build endurance
“Training is a cumulative venture. You make progress by stressing your body, allowing it to recover and adapt, and then stressing it again.” But you have to be consistent. “If you leave more than a week between training sessions, your body views each session as an isolated effort instead of part of a progression.” Aim for a couple of rides per week.