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Hey Everyone! *Updated May 3/2010

With a little over 117 days left before Ironman Canada, I’ve seen a lot of people starting to “wake up” to the fact that in a little less 6 months, you’re gonna be doing this little thing called Ironman – maybe it’s time to start training 😉 Ok, well I hope that’s not the case, but one common question I’ve seen popping up is what is the bike course like? How hard is the bike course? How does it compare to Ironman {so and so}.

Well here’s a course profile showing elevation gain as well as a chart with all the IM courses and their respective vertical gain.  I can’t remember where the heck I found this thing but it’s all over various blogs and forums around the web.

*click image to enlarge

Below is a chart showing GPS elevation data from all the IM courses via motionbased (compiled via rcmioga at his blog)

here are the results of that analysis (total positive vertical elevation change in feet):

1. France 11193
2. Lanzarote 10282
3. Lake Placid 7911
4. Austria 7829
5. Australia 7659
6. Louisville 7578
7. Switzerland 7505
8. Wisconsin 7353
9. Canada 6719
10. Coeur D’Alene 5851
11. Brazil 5419
12. Germany 5281
13. S. Africa 5182
14. Hawaii 4554
15. Arizona 3824
16. W. Australia 2538
17. Florida 2007

**update.   Not sure how they arrived at these numbers above but please comment if you have some info you want to share!   Thanks to Sam from iamtri for sharing his own data below.

The courses I did and measured with both Suunto and SRM device:
IM Hawaii: 3600 ft
IM Germany: 3280 ft
IM Austria: 5580 ft
IM Lanzarote: 7800 ft

Attached is the Ironman Canada bike profile direct from the IMC site itself : (click to enlarge)

ironman canada bike elevation map

Hope this helps in your Ironman Canada Bike Race-Prep, Pre-Race Visualization, Mental Channeling, Meditation, etc etc etc…

Leave a comment and let’s see how everyone’s training is going and who is going to be up there for training rides this Spring / Summer!

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Train Different For Better Results

There is only one thing can think of that’s worse than training the same way, year after year. That would be doing the same training over and over again…but hoping for different results.

Sounds simple enough, I know, yet tens of thousands of triathlete are guilty. When things don’t go right on race day, the typical answer is “train more.” But at some point “more” becomes impossible. Maybe you have maxed out your training time; maybe you just don’t want to be there anymore.

But you can always train different.
Read the rest of this entry

Value in Easy Workouts?

* via Team Endurance Nation

Doing less, or nothing at all, is most often the RIGHT thing to do.

Question: If the prescribed intensity of a workout is just not happening, should I just go easy?

Rich Strauss: Rather than going easy, don’t be afraid to just pull the plug, take a day off and not do anything, especially on the bike.

We like to see our athletes get in 4-5 runs per week and we’ll _sometimes_ have them go out and “just run easy” in order to maintain that frequency. However, on the bike we like to see our athletes hit it hard on just about every ride. If it’s just not going to happen, I’d rather have that athlete bail on the ride, take a day off, regroup, and move on with the training schedule.

In our experience, there is value in running easy, for the sake of maintaining running frequency, building resilient legs, etc, but there is little value in riding easy. Feel like you need to ride easy to just get through the session? Consider bailing on the session and take a day off.

Read more at Team EN Blog…

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Endurance Nation – Your Fitness Is Like Water

Coach Patrick outlines why having a plan is only a small part of being a self-coached triathlete…it’s how you manage your body’s response to the training that separates you from the pack. How well do you know your body’s signals for fatigue? Impending breakthrough? Learning to know yourself is a distinct competitive advantage.

Read more at TeamEN Blog…

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Knees Rejoice! Running ain’t So Bad After All

Debunking jogging myths

If you’re a runner, chances are you’ve been told that years of hitting the pavement are tough on the knees. And for fitness fanatics with sore knees, rest — not more exercise — is usually recommended for a speedy recovery.

Turns out both suggestions are outdated. More and more research points to exercise being good for your knees. And in some cases, exercise is just what the doctor ordered to get rid of persistent knee pain.

Stanford University researchers tracked the knee health of 98 runners and non-runners between 1984 and 2002. Imaging scans comparing the joint at the start and end of the study revealed that runners’ knees were no worse for wear than those of non-runners.

Also good to know is that the amount of mileage runners accumulate isn’t a factor in knee pain. A long-term study (subjects were followed for 40 years) noted no difference in the knee health of runners who logged 40 miles a week vs. those who ran 20 miles a week.

Read More About Knee & Running

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