The New Abu Dhabi Doo!

One of the things I like to do in the week before a race, is cut my (generally) shaggy mane down. I’ve been a little lackadaisical as of late regarding my hair, I think I’ve worn out the phrase “I’ll be cutting it this weekend.”

You know it’s time: you lose combs to it!

Well, Jenn and I set out to give me a fast-as-hell doo for the upcoming Abu Dhabi Triathlon this saturday (March 2nd,) and I think we created something that fits the bill! I was a little apprehensive at first, as the last time Jenn cut someone’s hair (which also happened to be her first time,) there was a little bloodshed. Suffice to say, I left it to faith that I’d survive (couldn’t possibly end up with anything worse than a flesh-wound, right?)

“Ready or not, here I come!”

Jenn came at me with a sense of purpose, and the process began.

The ‘fro must go

After a bit of trial, error, some guessing, a few “OOPS!” and me attempting some double mirror free-hand work on my own hair, we popped out the other end, unscathed (for the most part!)

Some free-hand mirror work

It was an experience, but it’s the most bad-ass haircut I’ve acquired to date. It’s definitely the fastest cut I’ve ever received.

Done deal. Fast haircut!

Now it’s time to pack and kick the legs up for Abu Dhabi. At least if I don’t go fast, I can’t blame the haircut.

Happy Training Everyone!!!!


The 2013 Race Bike: Ready to let FLY!

After the early morning email I received last week, only two weeks out from the COOLEST race I’ll have ever competed in (the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon,) it was an absolute MAD scramble to get a bike together. In selling my 2012 Cervelo P3C only a month ago, and not planning on even NEEDING a TT bike until May, that left me with only three options:

1) Ride my Cervelo S2 road bike;
2) Ride my Chiru mountain bike;
3 Try my damnedest to get my hands on a TT bike in only a week!
The bike fit with Björn; ensuring max aerodynamics AND comfort!
Lots of this coming for 2013
As you can probably imagine, I was heavily favouring option 3 (as Abu Dhabi is a mostly flat course, completely on paved roads, it wouldn’t lend much of an advantage over a TT machine.) So, Coach Björn was lucky enough to receive a phone call mere minutes after I woke up, me frantically trying to relay the message that I needed a TT bike in a bad way because I was going to Abu Dhabi, him trying to decipher what the hell this half-asleep asylum-case was trying to relay through the phone. Eventually the message was conveyed, and Björn set out to piece together my 2013 race rig, with the help of MultiSport Science. What he came up with was a magnificent specimen of aerodynamic craftsmanship: the 2013 Teschner 703TT. Weighing in at only 19lbs race-line ready (and with the help of some race wheels, will be even lighter,) it is a thing of beauty.
Pushing hard to break her in
But how does it fit, you ask? After an intensive fitting process with Björn at the shop (he specializes in custom bike fits, just recently working with the most decorated and well-known triathlete in the world, Simon Whitfield, to fit his new Quintana Roo long course TT bike,) I did my first training session on it. 
Ready for battle
It will, of course, take some time to get used to the TT position, as I’m a little out of practice (having ridden a road and mountain bike only since september,) but I’m sure a few “shut-up legs” sessions will have me adapted no problem for the upcoming adventure in Abu Dhabi. I’m excited to get it out on the road and test it out, as it is far more aerodynamic than my ride last year, which should help produce some great results this season.

 If all else fails, I’ll most definitely be bringing my spare back-up race bike. You know, just in case. ALWAYS have a plan ‘B’.

The Back-up, plan ‘B’
Happy training everyone!

It’s Abu Dhabi TIME!!

Late last year, I had been invited to race at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in, where else, Abu Dhabi. There were a few critical factors that were holding me back from guaranteeing my participation, but finally, as of the last two days, it is confirmed that I’m GOING! Extremely exciting news, I am incredibly pumped!!! The distance format is an unusual one, heavily favouring the strong cyclists: 3km open water swim, 200km bike, 20km run.

Some people ask me, “Nathan, it’s not even MARCH yet, are you ready for this race?” Well, ready is really just a state of mind. Of course I don’t have the enormous base of volume under my feet like I did last year for IMC and EPIC, but I’ve already got last years volume under my feet, as well as a fairly substantial amount this year (including a LOT of increased strength and power from a lot of additional strength training, that I’ve never done much of in the past.) That, so far this year, has equalled much higher power numbers than even during IMC last year!
 With a world class field, reminiscent of a World CHAMPIONSHIP field (and I’m talking about the ‘BIG’ show in the lava fields here,) it would no doubt be overwhelming to some. But that’s where I know I’m ‘ready.’ It takes a certain mind-set and mental state to go to a large race, this early season. A lot of the pro field is well into their race season already, being from countries that are enjoying their summer at the moment, or they MOVE to those countries for their training. Going in to the race knowing this, accepting this, and leaving that thought in check will help me maintain mental strength. The mind is a powerful weapon, both for and AGAINST ourselves; utilizing it for positives only can be a real advantage, as anyone who has done a long triathlon (or any long, physically demanding foray of adventure,) knows that the mind can be incredibly negative and demoralizing when things turn tough.
Suffering in the heat
My last final saving grace is my absolute LOVE for the heat. I’m not talking about a lovely sunny late spring afternoon with the thermometer hovering around the 20 celsius mark; I’m talking about the energy-sucking, electrolyte-depleting, brain-melting, water-incinerating numbers that you can come across in the middle east. Some of my absolute BEST training days (and races for that matter,) were in substantial heat (last year in Tucson, AZ, my strongest day was an 8 hour double climb day of Mt Lemmon, with time trialling included for a few hours after, with highs of 44 degrees Celsius (for you imperial folks, that’s a whopping 110F!!)) I also spend hours on end with the heat absolutely CRANKED in the ‘pain-cave’ (that I’ve lovingly renamed the ‘Sweat Shop,’) not so much to acclimatize to the heat, but because I love to hurt in a hot place. 
Pure. Speed.

You might be wondering “what is he going to ride there?” Well, since I am only in possession of a mountain bike and a Cervelo S2 road bike, my amazing coach Björn Ossenbrink of MultiSport Science is currently scrambling to build a Teschner 703TT bike for me to race. It will be a wicked fast rig, helping me squeeze every last watt of power onto the road!
Triathlon Top
Arm Sleeves = Sun Protection
I’m also supported by all my other sponsors, who will be getting me to the finish line in the fastest time possible. Troy Hutchinson of Powerbar has sent out a last-minute supply of nutrition for the race, as my nutrition supplies were a bit low (I’ll be using my favourite staples out on the course: PERFORM, Vanilla and Strawberry-Banana Gels, Energy Blasts, and my two favourite flavours of Powerbars, the PeanutButter and Cookies n Cream!) As for my race suit, since there is not enough time to pull a new one together (in LESS than two weeks I’ll be waking up in Abu Dhabi,) I’ll be pairing up some bits from years past to race in. Due to the pastiness of my nicely winter-bleached skin, I may opt for the Compressport Triathlon Shirt and the white Pro Racing Arm Sleeves, to protect me from the rays of the sun (although I’ve been told by the highly informed nutrition expert Noa Deutsch that my skin will be SOOOOO happy with all the Vitamin D I can absorb! Haha!) If you live in the lower mainland, head to Speed Theory Vancouver to grab yourself some of the extensive line of Compressport products, the fantastic crew there will help you out!!
Powerbar will keep me topped up
That’s it for me now, time to head into the veritable ‘Sweat-Shop’ and suffer out for half the day. Enjoy the good looking weather coming our way, happy training and be safe!!