Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

the cottage, randomness, and yes indeed holy cow a training update!

Saturday night was a special evening at the cottage (my favourite place on Earth and the home of my pop). My sis, dad, Bre and I, were in the presence of thirty champions for an evening of celebrating, socializing, and feasting. Char and I teamed up our respective businesses, and had LPC (Loaring Personal Coaching) clients and Loaring Physio employees, along with their significant others--over for a perfect evening at the cottage. I spoke about how lucky of a scrub I am to be associated with such great people. Loaring Physio is a team of multidisciplinary experts in the fields of physiotherapy, massage therapy, and fitness training and testing. It is your "one stop health shop". I looked around the room and marvelled over the quality of each person. All of my LPC clients are champions both on and off the field of play. Each LPC client is a well respected community leader, or a junior athlete who is doing very well in school. I am very fortunate to help guide the athletic dreams of such stars. I try my best to inspire and guide them along the wonderful and challenging journey of endurance sport. What they may not realize--is that I am truly inspired by them. One of my favourite quotes is "never drink from the cup of mediocrity". We had a toast that night, raised our drinks, and drank from our 'cups of excellence'. The pursuit of excellence is the only path we know!

Changing the subject, I have been given slack by one of my fellow PTC teammates for producing a terrible and boring blog. I have been guilty at times of infrequent updates and talking very little about myself and very little about what my, for example, TSS score was after analyzing it on WKO+ after an epic week of spending 47563 seconds above my LT, whilst still receiving 212 recovery 'soccer' points and achieving a stable morning resting HR of..... Hmmmm--well I guess a like to talk about other people instead and for the record--I have not had any epic training weeks--nor have I been a champion at recovering due to time constraints.
In my defense--I did title this blog "The Loaring Chronicles" for a reason instead of simply "James' daily triathlon training schedule". The last year has been an incredible whirlwind--one that will continue into the future. When the ball was dropping to enter 2008--I reminisced with my beautiful Bre about how great 2008 was and about how incredibly excited we are for the future ahead. The last year had us moving into a nice home in Guelph and becoming engaged--while starting two of our own businesses. Our wedding ceremony will take place at 'the cottage' on May 31. Therefore: wedding, LPC, Loaring Physio, Loaring Tri, new home, Maverick, and a few other 'projects'--seem to have taken priority over talking about what I did at swim practice this past week :-)

BUT, while we are on the subject--I will take this opportunity to talk about how awesome the PTC is. Craig Taylor is such a great coach. I have really enjoyed learning from him on a daily basis. One of my favourite quotes related to the world of coaching is "coaching will always be more of an art than a science--but ALL coaching must be based on scientific principles". Coach CT fits that quote to the 'T'. The atmosphere at the PTC has been excellent and I have really enjoyed the training and the camaraderie.
My left glute med has been a bit sore ever since the Canadian Cross County Champs so it has been more of a swim focus the past month. Coach CT is very wise with his macrocyle so there is nothing killer at this point of the year. We have spent much time in the pool performing drills, band only front crawl, and playing with lots of swim toys. We have performed much video analysis--which has been so beneficial--that it deserves its on post for me to elaborate on...
Despite the lack of hammering, we have had a couple of 'steady' sets which have turned into a bit of 'go time'. Some memorable main sets over the past couple weeks include: 2000m steady in 23:56--my first time under 24mins for a 2k in practice. Another good set was 2x800m on 10:30 (first in 9:11, then toast for the second in 9:28). Yesterday was a mean wkt. On the board for the main set was 5x300m hard. We had all recently watched the Victor Davis movie and used it as inspiration for working hard that morning. I managed to average 3:22 which is really good for me at this time of the year. In fact--although we have not been doing a lot of 'hard yards', and although it is only January, I think my swimming may be better that it has ever been in the past. I wish I could say the same thing for the bike and run. But hey--it is only January and there are numerous baby steps before I am fit and ready for the 2008 race season. More on my 2008 'plan of attack' but this post is already too long and my PTC teammates probably got bored after the first paragraph (and everyone else?) and didn't even read this blab about training...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Legend of JWL

This is a picture of my Grandpa, John Wilfrid Loaring, taken moments after winning the silver medal in the 400m hurdles at the 1936 Olympic Games.

Yesterday, I received an interesting forwarded email from my uncle, David Loaring:

Dear Mr Loaring, I am the editor of a track and field quarterly journal published in Great Britain. One of the series which we have been carrying is concerned with the imaginary results of the abandoned 1940 Olympics and my colleague, David Thurlow, has written about the 400 metres hurdles. I thought you might like to know that he has your father winning this race in one-tenth of a second outside the World record. I have long been intrigued by your father's track and field performances because he seems not to have run any hurdles races at all between winning the hurdles silver medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and then the gold in the 1938 Empire Games. He also, astonishingly, ran 53.4 for 440 hurdles with very little training in a services' meeting in Portsmouth, in the south of England, in September of 1942. I have only just learned of his war service and his survival from the sinking of the HMS Fiji, and so this Portsmouth achievement is all the more remarkable. I am putting together an article about this for the journal and would very much appreciate the opportunity of sending it to you in advance of publication. Best wishes for 2008, Bob Phillips

Young Johnny Loaring turned 21 during the 36 Olympics and and I have always wondered how he would have faired if the 1940 and 1944 Olympic Games were not cancelled due to WWII...

S0me notable achievements (that I am cutting and pasting from research performed by my dad) include:

1.** 1934-Nov-09 Intra-Empire (Schoolboy) Games, Melbourne, Australia. This was JWL's first international competition. He won two firsts in the 120yd hurdles & 4 x 440yd relay. (There wasn't a 440yd hurdles event.)

2. ** 1936-Jul-10 & 11 Canadian Championships & Olympic Trials, Montreal, Quebec. JWL set Ontario records in both the 400m hurdles (Jul-10) and the 400m run (Jul-11). His 400m hurdles time of 54.0 broke the Canadian record by 1.6 sec. This was the first time he ran the 400m/440yd hurdles event in competition, as confirmed by several publications/documents.

-- "Canada at the XI Olympiad 1936" states:
"Prior to this competition, Loaring had only one 400 metres hurdles race in his life, and that occasion qualified him for the Olympic trip. With such comparative inexperience, competing against world specialists, no one conceded the Canadian a chance. Nevertheless, Johnny in round one finished second in the fastest heat; in the semi-final he again finished second in the fastest heat, and in the final he was beaten only by Glenn Hardin, the world-record holder.... In his three [400m hurdles] races at Berlin Loaring improved in each competition, and his final time was 1-1/2 seconds faster than his first ...."

3.** 1936-Aug Berlin Olympic Games. This was JWL's second significant international competition. His first of nine races, between Aug-03 & 09, coincided with his 21st birthday.
Very long ago, Dr. Mallon verified my belief that JWL was the only male Olympian to have completed all three Olympic Athletics finals involving the 400m distance (2nd 400m hurdles, 6th 400m run, 4th 4x400m relay) in any combination of Olympic Games - which is still true today. And he did so in just the one Olympic Games, deprived of opportunities in the cancelled 1940 & 1944 Olympic Games

.** 1938 British Empire Games, Sydney. Three golds and a fifth place. As confirmed in sports publications, in the 440-yard hurdles, JWL was very far ahead, and he noticeably eased up toward the end, still winning by 15 yards, in 1938's world fastest 440yd/400m hurdles time, missing the 440yd hurdles world record by 3/10ths of a second. I still remember him talking at a family dinner, when I was a youth, about his first failed opportunity to easily break the 440yd hurdles world record.

10. ** 1942 Amateur Athletic Association Meets, England. About a week or so after upsetting a British Olympian in a 440yd race, JWL gave that Olympian a chance to avenge the defeat, despite his entry in a 440yd hurdle event 45 minutes later, for which the press were touting his world record attempt. In the 440yd run, JWL gave his all; this time he lost. 45 minutes later, he easily won the 440yd hurdles, but missed the world record by 0.9 sec. The date was 15 months after his ship had been sunk in the Battle for Crete, where he suffered from oil poisoning, and a lack of training.

How many Canadians have run 48 seconds for 400m? My Grandpa did this over 70 years ago, on a 'slow' cinder track, and without starting blocks, at the young age of 20. Unreal! I wish I have that speed!

JWL would have certainly have been a great triathlete. Legend has it that he could ride around the neighbourhood on his beater bike faster than any kid on the block. His swimming credentials were impressive--he won four CIS gold medals as captain of the University of Western Swim Team and the 50m and 100m free.