Ironman Calgary 70.3 2014

As my hometown race and spectacular course, Ironman Calgary 70.3 (#IMYYC) has become one of my favourite and largest races of the year. No other race carries the pressure from myself or others than this one. Once again, 2014 brought a competitive field of male pros including Olympians, World Champions, Ironman and 70.3 winners. Heading into the race I was extremely confident and the right amount of nervous.

The swim started out perfectly. I knew the course really well and the long shallow entry made it tricky for others. When the horn went, I took several running strides before a few dolphin dives and started swimming. To my surprise, I was leading Andy Potts on my left and Will Clarke on my right. This lasted maybe 100m before I got swallowed up by the pack and settled into my groove. Everyone must have taken their happy pills that morning because the swim was ridiculously gentle. I didn’t get bumped or hit once…new record. Half way through I made a tactical error and let the guy in front of me open a gap to the pack as we headed into the sun. I came out just behind the pack after swimming the rest alone…what a loner!

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon

Running into T1 the only thing I really remember is someone yelling “You’re 3mins down on Potts!” My thought “Crap, I just swam 1900m in 23mins…thought I swam well” The bike was also very cordial for the first bit. It took me 30km to catch the guy in front of me and I couldn’t see anyone else on the road. When I caught him we proceeded to shift leads every couple minutes so we would have a carrot to chase. By this time my stomach was a little upset and I had started throwing up my nutrition. This is why I only eat liquids on race day! The ride home was super quick with a tail wind and I came into T2 in 8th place.

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon bike

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon bike


Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon bike

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon bike

In T2 my coach, family and friends were all yelling at me from 2 feet behind. I’m listening for info as Jon Bird and JVD yell “No one can run like you” “It’s time to Unleash!” “Go Hunting G-Force!” I headed out of T2 like I had nothing to lose. One of my cue words for the day was “Unleash” on the run and I started with a quick tempo right away. The legs felt heavy and tired but based on the couple people I saw, I knew I was moving. At the 10km mark, I was in 6th place and 1km down on 5th. I kept the pressure on and embraced the pain of the race. I longed to see the Talisman Centre’s Aid station at the top of Weaselhead hill at 17km. Combine this with seeing Hillary, my family, Birdman and JVD and I knew I could catch 5th. The pain was there, the legs were heavy, but thankfully I had enough to move into 5th with 2km to go.

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon run

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon run

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon run

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon run


Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon run

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon run

I finished in 5th place in 3:54:25. I had the fastest run split by 1min, clocking a 1:14:03. Overall, I’m happy with the day, but definitely need to become a better cyclist.

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon finish

Grant Burwash triathlete Ironman Calgary 70.3 triathlon finish


Thanks for reading and for all the support from family, friends and sponsors, especially Paul at Centaur Subaru.

GB Cycling kits

Hello Friends,

This year I created a “Grant Burwash” cycling kit. This kit is being sold to support my racing goals for the upcoming season. All funds raised will go directly towards entry fees, travel, and racing equipment. As good friends and avid cyclists, I am sharing with you my 2014 racing kit. You are welcome to pass this on to any friends or colleagues that may also be interested.

If you are interested in purchasing a kit or any component of it, please send me an email with your sizing. Payment can be made via e-transfer, cash or cheque.

All orders must be place by Friday February 14.

Image

Image

Image

Image

The pricing options are laid out below.

 

ITEM

SIZES

PRICE

MEN’S

 

 

Performance Pro Jersey (pro cut or elite cut)

XS – XXL

$80

Elite Power Bib

XS – XXL

$110

The Works (Jersey, Bibs, Arm Warmers, Glasses)

$450

 

 

 

WOMEN’S

 

 

Performance Pro Jersey

XS – XL

$80

Elite Power Short

XS – XL

$100

The Works (Jersey, Shorts, Arm Warmers, Glasses)

$440

 

 

 

Arm Warmers

XS -XL

$30

Custom Oakley Radarlock Sunglasses (with 2 lenses, hard case)

$250

Louis Garneau Cycling size Chart 

http://custom.louisgarneau.com/media/pdf/sizingchart/sizingchart_en.pdf

 

All clothing is made by Louis Garneau. The shorts and bibs have been upgraded to a 4-motion chamois for extra comfort. The jersey is very lightweight and breathable with a full zip front.

 

Oakley Sunglasses retail for $325 and come with a black iridium lens for sunny days and g30 lens for low light conditions.

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Orders are due by Friday February 14.

 

Thank you in advance for the support.

Wishing you a great 2014 season.

 

Grant

grantburwash at gmail.com

Hello Intensity!

For the past couple months I’ve been meandering through my off season. This year I’ve been struggling with some issues like motivation, feeling fatigued and struggling to figure out how to make next year happen. I’m looking at where I want to be next year and I’m now putting in the work to make that happen. 

A couple weeks ago, my coach Jack VanDyk, put in a great race at Ironman Arizona. Not only was I ecstatic to watch my coach race, but it also meant I was now getting back into the routine of training. No sooner was he back from Arizona than we got to work. Last week started with the worst run lactate test I’ve ever done. I’m not being dramatic about this, I’ve seriously done better in first year university. I picked myself up and had a very descent bike test later on that week. Mild sense of redemption here, but mostly a pummelling in the face with a bag of bricks. 

I trust Jack and he saw the need to add some stimulus to my training apart from the miles we’ve been putting in. After just a week of doing intensity on the swim, bike and run I’m already feeling more activated and motivated. Nothing has been so hard to leave me wandering around the hurt locker looking desperately for the exit. The intervals have been achievable and I’ve surprised myself with how my body has responded. I guess coach knows best! Sometimes you just need to change it up and add some intensity. 

My future holds less of this

Image

 

Image

And more of this:

Image

 

Image

Coaching highs and lows

Anyone who has ever coached an athlete knows the coach goes through the highs and lows with an athlete. It is very stressful to watch athletes compete and know you can do nothing to help them, except cheer if you happen to be on course. Sitting at home following them online can be euphoric or agonizing, that is if there is online tracking.

Around race day, I tend to do another analysis of their past several weeks and months and really analyze how the preparation went. Are they ready? What went well? What could we have done differently? What uncontrollable circumstances occurred that may affect the outcome? This doesn’t mean a coach isn’t confident, but rather they are willing to critically look at themselves and the athlete to determine what could be done better and to make a educated estimation of performance. Yesterday was a perfect example.

One of my athletes, who has been with me the longest, was racing Ironman Lake Tahoe. Her preparation heading into the race was spectacular. No injuries, consistent training and high motivation, had brought her to the start line in the best shape she has ever been in and well prepped for a PB. So, what happened?….Weather. Snow, frigid temperatures and all around misery for the athletes lead to over 1100 dnf’s or dns’s (about 40% attrition). Throughout the day, as I watched times get slower and slower, I knew the PB was not going to happen. When I saw she had finished though and stuck out a brutal day of racing, that made me very proud.

No, this race didn’t lead to the time we were hoping of. Yes, there were things that could have gone better on race day. However, there are still some major positives to take away. First, she made it to the start line. This is one of the greatest feats because it requires a commitment to a lifestyle and preparation. Anyone can sign up for a race, show up and compete. It take a lot more to meticulously prepare for this race and to alter your lifestyle to a healthy, active one. Second, nothing is more gratifying for a coach than to see their athlete fight for what they want. Starting that race, she knew the time was going to be slow, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be a positive experience. I love a fighter. Third, set goals and be willing to throw them out the window on race day. The night before during our discussion, I was blown away at the relaxed, calm athlete on the other end of the line. When life throws you a major loop, make sure you’re willing to go with the flow. Preparation and routine are great, but you need to have fun and be flexible to.

At the end of the day racing is fun. Yes, it’s incredibly painful and nerve racking, but totally worth it. Whatever or wherever your next race is. Embrace the highs and lows that go along with it and have a blast. A happy athlete is a fast athlete!

 

ImageImage

Tour of Alberta

I know what you’re thinking….”Everyone is posting pictures and comments on social media from the Tour of Alberta.” Well, that is exactly what I want to talk about. This weekend I was so encouraged to go and watch the Tour of AB’s final stage finish in Calgary. The racing was obviously spectacular to watch, but I was more impressed by what was going on on the other side of the barriers.

For the final stage, I heard rumours of over 100,000 people lining downtown. The streets were closed, the crowds were massive and the noise and atmosphere was crazy. It was inspiring to see so many people out for a sporting event. This reiterates my belief that Calgary is an active city. I’m hoping this event excites people to pursue health and fitness, whether that is biking, hiking, yoga, etc. 

Tour of Alberta…Please come back next year!

Centaur Subaru Clinics 2012

 

Centaur Subaru – Triathlon Clinic Weekend

Day 1 – Swim & Bike

Cottage Country -Ghost Lake – Saturday June 2, 2012 – 10:00am

 

Centaur Subaru is proud to support grassroots triathlon in Calgary for the third straight year with day one. Both beginner and intermediate triathletes are invited to attend a free clinic put on by Canadian professional triathetes Jon Bird and Grant Burwash. The first part of the morning will have us test out Ghost lake. We will focus on skills and tips for swimming in a lake, including sighting, entering and exiting the water, swimming straight, pack swimming dynamics and wetsuit information. Following the swim we will dry off and warm up with some goodies from fresh kitchen then hope on the bike. The bike-handling course will focus on skills and tips for bike handling, pack riding, climbing, basic bike maintenance and road safety.  This course is limited to the first 35 people that RSVP, each participant will receive a free catered lunch, water bottle and some PowerBar products. All participants are required to have an Alberta Triathlon Association membership to participate.

Itinerary:

 

10:00am: Arrival and get into your wetsuit

10:00 – 10:15: Brief chat from Grant and Jon about what to expect

10:15 – 10:45: Swim for as long as you can comfortably

10:45 – 11:30: Warm up and get changed – ‘ what to expect on the bike’

11:30 – 1:00: work on drafting bike handling and gearing

1:00 pm: lunch and PowerBar samples and talk on bike mechanics by Speed Theory

 

What you need to bring:

Bike, Helmet, warm clothing, wetsuit, towel, toque, gloves, riding jacket

 
View Centaur Subaru Clinic Day 1 in a larger mapiew Centaur Subaru Clinic Day 1 in a larger map

 

Centaur Subaru – Triathlon Clinic Weekend

Day 2 – Run Clinic

North Glenmore Park – Sunday June 3, 2012 – 10:00am

 

Centaur Subaru is proud to support grassroots triathlon in Calgary with the second day of our weekend triathlon clinic. Both beginner and intermediate and advanced triathletes are invited to attend a free clinic put on by Jon Bird and Grant Burwash of Talisman Centre’s Endurance Training Systems. This run clinic will focus on skills and tips for Calgary 70.3 including race nutrition, staying cool, fast transitions, running form and a preview of the 70.3 run course. This course is limited to the first 35 people that RSVP, each participant will receive a free catered lunch, water bottle and some PowerBar products. All participants are required to have an Alberta Triathlon Association membership to participate.

Itinerary:

 

9:45am: Arrival and light warm up

10:00am: Begin 21 km run preview of 70.3 course (you don’t have to run the full 21km)

11:45 – 12:00: Running school with focus on technical running form

12:00 – 12:15: lunch and talk on transitions and nutrition

 

What you need to bring:

Running shoes, appropriate running gear, warm down gear for post run

 

View Centaur Run Clinic in a larger map

 

Grant Burwash – grantburwash@gmail.com

Cost – FREE * requires a ATA license

Splattered Peacock Ride

This morning I woke up at 6 to observe a beautiful morning in St Croix. The water was gave off a rolling background noise as the island seemed to stand still. The ocean air flowed through my open window as I sat doing work and enjoying the sunny, windless morning in the Caribbean. After it had warmed up a bit and was 28C, I decided to head out for my run. I had a great run and loved the heat beating down on my bare back and face and couldn’t help but smile as I poured sweat onto the pavement.

Then, it was time for the swim. It was waiting to jump into the crystal clear ocean that I got my first glance of Lance Armstrong. As expected, everyone seemed to hover around him, but his body language and posse made it clear he was there to swim and not sign. I found the swim very helpful because I had guessed the currents wrong earlier and had made a mistake on where to swim coming back in. Another chance in the water tomorrow will be welcomed. After that it was time to ride. My legs felt heavy to start, but after a good warm up and some time at race effort, they really started to turn around. I was thoroughly enjoying the ride and the scenery was incredible when I saw Peacock feathers. Then, there were more…and more and then splat, the bird behind the feathers lying flattened on it’s road. I thought it was funny to see the beauty before disaster that lead to them. Not a couple kms later, I got a flat on my tubular. I tried my pitstop, but that didn’t work, so it was a long 13km ride until I met someone who was meeting their wife and gave me a ride home. All I’m going to say is that when you are riding on a carbon rim with no dampening, the roads here in St Croix are ROUGH. So, like the Peacock, my beautiful ride quickly turned to disaster.

The rest of the day was encompassed with driving the rest of the bike course including the 24%grade of the Beast, a pro meet and greet, a local street festival called Jump Up, dinner and rest. What a day. Let’s hope I’m done with all the little disasters of the trip and Sunday goes off without a hitch.

Time to change a tubular tire, so that’s all for today.

Grant

Interesting first day in Paradise

I arrived in St Croix late Wednesday night for the Ironman 70.3 St Croix. I have never been this far South, let alone the Caribbean, so I was excited to get off the plane and feel the warmth and the humidity of the air as it hit me. I didn’t get to my home stay until about 11, so it was straight to bed and deal with everything the next morning. 

Task number 1- when I awoke, I found out that the container and bag I had carried my PowerBar Ironman Perform drink mixture in had been punctured and the crystals were all over my bag. Thanks to the humidity, all the clothes had a sticky powder coating on them…nice. That required a trip downtown later to search out quarters for the washing machine where I proceeded to wash everything I owned, leaving me shirtless for most of the day. Thankfully it’s not cold!

Task number 2- While putting my bike together, I noticed I was missing some very essential pieces of equipment…my skewers. Not really sure what happened to them, but they were in the pocket where the lovely TSA’s “your bag has been checked” paper was. I’m assuming these were taken out to see what they were and never put back in. So, on my tour of the island with DJ in search of food and a road that didn’t rattle our bones to badly, I bought some skewers from the local bike shop.

Task number 3- Training in new places is always a treat. It’s a great way to explore and get a sense of the area and people. I started the day with a nice run that took me through Christiansted (city I’m staying in) and along most of the run course. Legs felt descent for spending 10hours in the air the day before. Later in the day I went out for a ride. When I left it was overcast, which it had been all day, but 30-40mins later I was in for a surprise. The skies opened up and the rain poured down. I can’t remember ever being in such a heavy rain storm, at least not on my bike. The road were flooding and there was water everywhere. A great thing about the Caribbean is that when it rains, it’s still warm, so I wasn’t huddled under a tree shivering like I would have been in Calgary. After some sketchy corners I came up on a deer going pretty fast. He ran on to the road, tried to stop and slipped. I slowed down to avoid him as he went down in front of me. I proceeded to go down trying to avoid him and slid along the pavement. Thankfully, there was so much water everywhere I slid along the pavement like a water slide. Bike, body and deer all left the accident site with no injuries. Phew!

Day 1 is down, I can’t wait to see what day 2 has to offer.

Grant

A quote from Bill Nye

Yesterday morning I ran my spin class through time trials. We use these to set baselines for people and to determine wattage training zones specific to the athlete. I have been known to get quite into these testing sessions and get the occasional noise complaint. Even though the class was small, there was a great energy in it on Monday.

One gentlemen in the class named Ted, was doing his first TT in over a year and not really looking forward to it. Now, there are a few things you  need to know about Ted. First, he is always smiling and in a great mood. He loves joking around and poking fun at others an himself. He started asking me about the seniors discount at the Talisman Centre before he was even a senior and is one of the most chipper guys you will meet. The most important thing about Ted, is that he is Bill Nye…that’s right, the science guy.

He isn’t actually Bill Nye, but he looks surprisingly similar, is a chemist and is always pointing his fingers like Bill in this picture. Jon and I started calling him Bill and even chanting (from the song) Bill, Bill, Bill during training sessions or races.

Needless to say, Ted is a pretty cool cat and usually has something to say that makes me laugh. After his TT yesterday though, which left him speechless for a while, he said something to me that I won’t forget. It may have been one of the best comments someone has given me and couldn’t have come from a better person.

How many Grant’s does it take to change a light bulb?

The answer will be posted tomorrow.

Grant

Back to big Saturdays

One of the many benefits of coaching at Talisman Center is the ability to train with wonderful athletes as you coach them through cycling sessions. Starting yesterday, my 3 hour Saturday rides resumed for another year. These rides have become a key factor in many athlete preparation, including my own for the summer races. Typically, I do a 90-120min long run before the spin, but yesterday I was relegated to a 90min water run.

I entered the ride with lots of energy and excitement at the new faces as well as the old friends I have been coaching and training with for years. Some of the new athletes thought the class was 2 hours, which made my day to see their eyes get big when I told them the actual duration of the class. It’s kind of sadistic, but seeing this look of horror on others and then running them through a great workout, brings me a lot of pleasure. In my opinion, the class went great. This was the longest ride in 3 weeks with my achilles and it held up beautifully. A little athletic tape for some support, keep the cadence and watts stable and minimal standing and 3 hours passed with no pain…YES!

The dynamics of a 3 hour ride indoors are fascinating and over the years I studied them with great interest. When the class starts at 9am, the coach has to pump a lot of energy into the group to get people awake. Then, conversations need to be generated during warm up to keep people spinning and keep their energy exertion in check. This also helps the initial 30-45mins pass by in a blink of an eye. Once I’ve pumped energy in for about 45mins, the athletes start giving it back 10 fold. As they start to sweat, work hard and enjoy the experience of the music, friends and exercise, this is now my time to recharge. I take in the energy they are giving and keep the class at a stable hum. Once you pass that 2 hour, barrier, the athletes start to fade. Fatigue, hunger, boredom and saddles sores set in, which challenge peoples desire to continues. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are bonking, but I need to feed energy back to them. This means good music, encouragement as well as keeping my energy and pep high. This is the only way that most athletes will push themselves for the full 3 hours. When all the work is done and the minutes have sweated themselves away, everyone is in a state of fatigue, hunger, varying levels of pain, but has a sense of accomplishment. “Today, I did something that will make me better tomorrow”.

Welcome back Saturdays!

Grant