Friday, November 27, 2009

OAT Training Day this Sunday at the PTC

Cut and paste from the PTC blog.  Help spread the word and come out to this great event!

A quick reminder that we have our next Training Day, this Sunday, November 29th.
We're close to capacity, but we still have room for a few more athletes (age 10 to Adult).
Registration forms available
In addition to our normal program of swimming, biking and running, we'll have a few guest speakers.
Craig Taylor will be available to talk to the parents about scheduling/programming for youth/junior athletes, and Dorelle Hinton, Connor Hammond and Ian Donald will be talking about their 2009 Canada Games and/or 2009 World Championships experiences.
Doors open at 8:05AM, Swim starts at 8:30AM. We usually wrap up around 2:30PM. Bring appropriate gear for swimming, indoor riding and outdoor running. Don't forget snacks, a water bottle, lunch, and a camera.
Looking forward to a great day of training.
See you Sunday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Big Weekend

This is a big weekend of racing! A must-see event is taking place in Guelph this Saturday for those within driving distance. Come watch the best endurance runners in Canada take on the undulating terrain of the University of Guelph Arboretum Cross-Country Course. LPC’ers Rob Tranter and Coach James will be lacing up the spikes and toeing the line of the Master’s Cross Country Champs, the day’s second event at 10:45am. Olympic Triathlon Champion Simon Whitfield is flying from Victoria to take part in the Senior Men’s Race that begins at 2:15pm. Guelph is home to the strongest running team in Canada--so come out and cheer on the Speed River gazelles.  Timeline of all 7 events HERE

Nov 28 AGSI Canadian Cross Country Champs Guelph, ON

Nov 28 ERCF Super Santa Amherstburg, ON

Nov 29 OAT Training Day Guelph, ON

Nov 29 Ironman Cozumel Cozumel, Mexico

The final 2009 Ironman for an LPC athlete takes place Sunday in beautiful Cozumel. Dennis Masse and Keith Henry were welcomed with a monsoon yesterday.  Go to beginning Sunday morning, and watch the live audio and video. As usual, you can track their progress via the athlete tracker.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Train in Paradise, March 13th to 20th, 2010

Register before Dec 1st to receive the 'early-bird' discount.

Full details at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Techy Tuesday: Steady As She Goes

Let's kick off the Techy Tuesday series with a quick post on data from the Hillbilly Trail Run that I participated in this past Sunday.  Put on by the Running Factory, this was an exciting, and very technical, 5.84k trail run. 

I ran with the Garmin 305 Forerunner, my gps device of choice for running. 

The pre-race goal was to run a consistent effort at very close to what I perceived to be my current running lactate threshold.  I was a bit tired going into the run, having just finished a 90' indoor training ride that was part of the Loaring Group Training Day.  But I started to find my running legs after about 1 mile into the race.

Clicking the graph below will take you to an interactive graph hosted by Training Peaks.  This is the software that I use for myself, and all of the athletes that I coach.  Prior to uploading this data to Training Peaks, I looked at the data using WKO+ software.  I consider WKO+ software to be the gold standard of data analysis for HR, gps, and power data.


The interactive map allows one to re-live the race thanks to a detailed satellite view of the route.  You can zoom in to fairly impressive detail and literally track every few meters of the 5.84k single loop course.  It is not detailed enough to show every little twist and turn, but provides a nice overview map of the spaghetti-like course.

In looking at the data, my HR progressively climbed in the opening mile, and then settled into a very steady HR after 5' into the race.  It pretty much hovered at 170bpm for the final 75% of the run.  The course was quite technical with hundreds of twists and turns along several technical MTB single track--that I only looked down at my watch once during the race.  As I mentioned, the goal was to try and run a consistent effort from start to finish.  I think I achieved that and would estimate my current running "threshold" to be around 170bpm.

Had the footing not been so technical, I might have glanced down at the watch more, but would have only used my HR or avg pace or current pace, as a very rough guide.  I aim to never allow an external device to drive my pacing strategy--but find it helpful at times to provide on-the-fly feedback that can help provide some guidance.  In other words, I left the analysis for after the run, and relied on my gut during.

My k splits were:

1k = 3:23
2k = 4:03
3k = 4:00
4k = 3:34
5k = 4:00
The final 850m was at ~3:30/k pace

In looking at the k splits, that is a large fluctuation in pacing.  However, since the terrain and footing was quite variable, looking solely at k splits will paint a misleading picture.  In a future post, I will discuss more about "normalized pacing".  But for today, what is interesting is how consistent the HR was from 5' until the finish line.  Despite considerable twists and turns, and climbs and descents, my HR pretty much hovered around 170bpm.  Why?  Because I aimed to keep the tempo on the down hills, and not work too hard on the climbs.  During the technical sections, I focused on trying to minimize the slowing of pace--trying to keep the momentum.  Therefore, despite fluctuations in pace due to the undulation of the course, my perceived exertion and HR was quite consistent. 

So this is an example of a solid 20' threshold effort.  I did not go out too hard, nor did I go bananas during the final few hundred meters(when the finish was in sight).  I simply ticked away and relied on my experience to run a consistent effort at a level of perceived exertion that I considered to be around my current running lactate threshold.

So that was my pacing strategy for this fun, low-key grass roots event.  The pacing strategy will very likely be different this coming Saturday when I take part in the Canadian Masters Cross Country Champs here in Guelph.  Tactics will almost certainly come into play.  Or maybe they won't?

Stay tuned for a detailed analysis of the 8k Canadian Master XC Champs next Tuesday.  I plan on comparing gps files between myself and two other athletes who will be competing in the same event (Mike Hay and Rob Tranter).  So it will be interesting to compare 3 athletes in the same race, who possess 3 different lactate thresholds, ages, fitness levels, and pacing strategies.

Until then, keep it nice and steady.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hillbilly Trail Run and Intro to "Techy Tuesday"

I jetted down to Windsor this past weekend for 30h of organized chaos. I met with several of my athletes to discuss their tentative 2010 'plan of attack'. Since many popular events fill up a year in advance, decisions have to be made well before the New Year.

Sunday morning was the first Loaring Group Training Day of the new season. We had lots of fun, and I am looking forward to the next one on Dec 20th.

I also managed to jump into the Hillbilly Trail Run put on by the Running Factory. The race was 6k that ran over Malden Park's technical MTB single track trails. Without question, it was the most technical xc course I have ever run on. It was tons of fun and I will talk more about this race in tomorrow's post.

New Series on the Loaring Chronicles

There has never been a maybe it's time. Or maybe it will fall apart after the first instalment. Time will tell.

I am a big tri-geek. I love the gadgets and love the never-ending search for clues. Since a large portion of my current coaching is web-based, I thought I would start a series that explores analyzing gps, HR, and power data, from occasional work-outs and races. In particular, I will comment on the purpose of the work-out, and what implications can be drawn from looking at the data.

Most might find these posts extremely boring. Some might find it interesting. So these posts might be directed more towards the self-proclaimed tri-geeks out there.

The new series..."Techy Tuesday" begins tomorrow. Stay tuned for a brief analysis of Sunday's Hillbilly Trail Run...through the eyes of my Garmin Forerunner 305.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Loaring Group Training Day this Sunday

A quick reminder that the first Loaring Group Training Day takes place this Sunday at Loaring Physiotherapy & Health Centre.

Sunday Nov 22 Timeline:

8:00am Doors open (register and set-up begins)

8:30am Bike (indoors on trainer for up to 90 minutes)

10:10am Run (outside for up to 45 minutes)

11:00am Core Exercises & Stretches

11:30am Potluck Brunch (onsite at Loaring Physio)

Full details available HERE

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BJAM blog

My lovely wife has entered the exciting world of blogging...and has created her own blog...all about BJAM. Pronounced Bee-jam, BJAM is an acronym for "Breanne, James, Annika, and Maverick". BJAM blog will share the occasional adventure, and every day non-adventure, of BJAM and their closest family and friends.

The Loaring Chronicles blog has always been a blog that offers "morsels of info concerning health & fitness, coaching, and family life". The Loaring Chronicles will continue to offer morsels that concern these different pees in a pod. However, BJAM blog will focus entirely on the most important thing in


Pearls of wisdom from Breanne:

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Loaring Physiotherapy Fall 2009 e-Newsletter

A plethora of exciting news to report on. Read all about it by clicking on the Loaring Physio Fall 2009 e-news below:

12-11-2009 8-48-26 PM

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Depression-era track star John Loaring recognized

By Dave Waddell, The Windsor Star, November 10, 2009

John Loaring, centre, sits with Earl Jones, left, and Robert Ross during a 1943 track meet at Kennedy Stadium in Windsor.

WINDSOR, Ont. -- Forty years after his death, the illustrious track and field career of John Loaring is still being recognized as one of the finest resumes ever put together by a Canadian athlete.

A 1936 Olympic silver medallist (400 hurdles) and a triple gold-medal winner (400m, 400m hurdles, 4x400m relay) at the 1938 British Empire Games, the long-time Windsor resident was selected as one of 15 members of the Ontario Track and Field Association's inaugural hall of fame class.

Loaring, who was named Canada's top track athlete of the year in 1938, is already a member of the Canadian Olympic, Canadian Amateur Athletic, the Windsor/Essex County Sports and the University of Western Ontario cross-country/track and field and swimming and diving halls of fame.

"This was a surprise to us," said Loaring's granddaughter Charlotte Loaring, who along with her father John Jr. and brother James will attend the induction ceremony in Toronto Dec. 5

"To be part of the first group of 15 inductees, with people like Donovan Bailey, is huge for our family. We're so proud to be descended from such a great individual."

Loaring, who moved from Winnipeg to Windsor in 1926 and remained here until his death in 1969 at age 54, still stands alone in one other Olympic feat.

He's the lone male athlete ever to compete in all three of the game's 400-metre events — the 400m, 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay. He finished top six in all three of those events.

Loaring finished second to American Glenn Hardin, the world record holder and defending Olympic gold medallist by 3/10s of a second in the 400m hurdles.

For his unprecedented feat, Loaring was named the toughest athlete of the 1936 games by the German media.

"He was only 21 and he'd only run those races a couple of times, so it was pretty amazing to do that in the Olympics," Charlotte Loaring said.

"You could read in his letters home from the Olympics his excitement, getting to meet Jesse Owens and some of the other competitors. It was a big propaganda games for Hitler and my grandfather commented on that.

"It's unfortunate that World War II prevented him from going to the next two Olympics. Historians feel based on his times and the fact he was so young in 1936 that he'd have been the favourite to win gold the next time."

Full story HERE

Photo gallery HERE

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Trials of Miles; Miles of Trials

This month's Windsor Sports cover photo (by Trevor Booth) was taken outside Loaring Physiotherapy & Health Center--a place that helped rehab Daniele DeFranceschi back on the road of hard training after an unfortunate bike crash earlier this year.  Pages 24-26 of this 'hot off the press' issue cover this month's feature story.  I encourage all, especially those who dare to dream big, to read this story by Dan Grant of Windsor Sports.  You can download the entire issue HERE

Windsor Sports DD on Cover

Below is a prelude to the story by the magazine's editor:

Climbing the mountain

This month’s cover subject inspires one and all to chase the impossible dream.

What moves someone to take up the challenge of achieving something that most his age would say is mere folly? What moves them to essentially put a budding professional career on hold, all in the pursuit of chasing a dream only realized by an infinitely small percentage of the global population over the past 113 years? Well, if you’re Windsor’s Daniele DeFranceschi, it’s simple: you do so because the opportunity is there! And if you didn’t grab that opportunity and pursue it for all its worth, you’d find yourself always
wondering, what if?


I have analyzed several of Daniele's power data files from various training sessions. The numbers are impressive.  However, I can say that Daniele's most powerful asset does not appear on a graph, nor can it be read from an ANT+ Sport device, nor geeked with WKO+ software.  His desire to chase his dreams, and will to succeed, is his most powerful asset--and it is of a power that few possess.

This month's Windsor Sports issue also has an excellent story (pages 21-22) about cross-county running powerhouse Massey Mustangs High School in Windsor.  Massey's dominance at OFSAA allows me to reminisce about my experience swimming with the Kennedy Clipper High School Swimming Team.  During those years swimming for the Clippers, we sailed to victory and became one of the winningest high school sporting teams in the history of Ontario Collegiate Sport.  We never lost a team title.  Never a loss at the local, regional, or provincial level. 

I learned a lot from Coach David Pells.  We all did.  The hard way.  Lots and lots of 'pearls of wisdom'.  He taught us all the value of hard work.  He taught us all the importance of working together as a team.  "You are all a bunch of cogs from the same wheel" he would often say.  "Each cog is equally important".  All a bunch a cogs.  Hard working cogs.  Smart working cogs.  Consistently hard/smart working cogs.  The on-going process of the Daily Grind created the collective end product of a finely tuned swimming machine--a machine passionately designed to achieve one primary goal: the pursuit of team excellence.

My sister Charlotte won 25 OFSAA medals in swimming. 24 of them were gold.  Her first medal was silver in colour.  When she was in grade 9 at her first OFSAA competition, she lost the 100m breastroke by 1/100th of a second.  That defeat helped mold a champion attitude for years to come.  She never lost again while wearing a Clipper bathing cap.  Everyone on the team had that same champion attitude..even the equally important cogs that lacked the talent to qualify for OFSAA in an individual event.  Everyone was considered equally instrumental to the team's success.

Now don't get me wrong.  It was never all about winning or losing.  It was always all about the process of putting forth a consistently hard/smart effort--working hard to best position ourselves to achieve success through the maximization of harvesting our collective potential. 

What was our secret?  We worked bloody hard--hard enough that there were practices that saw us looking at each other to see if lactic acid was oozing out of our ears.  Our coach, "Mr. Pells" always placed a garbage can at the corner of the pool if you felt inclined to cough your brains out of your mouth.  We worked hard enough--that we went into races confident that we would still beat any other high school swimming team in the province...on an off day.  We never lost. 

Countless "Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials" in a 20 yard pool with no lane ropes that was often way too warm or way too cold.  We were convinced that Mr. Pells intentionally and systematically lowered and raised the pool thermostat (the water temperature often fluctuated between a low 61 to a high of 94) in an effort to 'harden' us over time.  But this fluctuation was likely due to the fact that our pool was simply falling apart after years of use...years of 'blood, toil, tears, and sweat' taking place in the 'dungeon'.  We swam in arguably the worst facility of any other swim team in the province--in the same pool that my father and grandfather shredded to pieces with their powerful front crawl strokes many years before us--and we all prided ourselves that our 'dungeon' carved us into modern day hardened warriors.

So what was our secret?  The same secret that Massey XC has used to achieve great success every time they toe the line.  The same secret why Speed River Track & Field Club is now the strongest distance running club in Canada.  The same secret why the PTC is going to continue to be among the best development triathlon squads in the country. The same secret that 61 year-old Margaret Wojtowicz used to help her became an Ironman this past weekend in Florida.  And the same secret why many of the giants of our time become giants.

So what is The Secret?  Author John L. Parker Jr. in Once a Runner provides what I believe to be a very good answer to this priceless question:

What was the secret, they wanted to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trials of Miles; Miles of Trials.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Athletics Ontario Hall of Fame

Athletics Ontario have created a Hall of Fame, and my grandpa, John W. Loaring, has been selected as one of the fifteen inaugural Inductees.

From the Athletics Ontario website:

Please join us in Celebrating Excellence in Athletics on December 5 in Toronto to honour the 2009 Athletics Ontario Hall of Fame Inductees:

  • 1928 Women’s 4x100m Relay Team (Athletes: Florence Isabel “Jane” Bell, Myrtle Alice Cook, Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld, Ethel May Smith)
  • Donovan Bailey (Athlete)
  • Ethel Catherwood (Athlete)
  • Bill Crothers (Athlete)
  • Jerome Drayton (Athlete)
  • Fred Foot (Builder)
  • George Henry Goulding (Athlete)
  • Robert Kerr (Athlete/Builder)
  • John Loaring (Athlete)
  • Brent McFarlane (Builder)
  • Donald Mills (Builder)
  • George W. Orton (Athlete)
  • Paul Poce (Builder)
  • M.M. “Bobby” Robinson (Builder)
  • Joseph R. Young (Builder)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Loaring Group Training Days

Upcoming Loaring Group Training Days at Loaring Physiotherapy:

Sun Nov 22
Sun Dec 20
Sun Jan 10
Sun Jan 24
Sun Feb 21

Loaring Group Training Days are designed for athletes of all levels and abilities. The main purpose is to bring lots of positive energy into one room, take part in some excellent training and learning, and leave with a smile, some extra motivation, and a happy belly.

Directions to Loaring Physio here.

Sunday Nov 22 Timeline:

8:00am Doors open (register and set-up begins)

8:30am Bike (indoors on trainer for up to 90 minutes)

10:10am Run (outside for up to 45 minutes)

11:00am Core Exercises & Stretches

11:30am Potluck Brunch (onsite at Loaring Physio)

Full info available here

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Road2Hope Hamilton Marathon

Simon Whitfield was in town cheering on the runners.  He made Rob and Hilary's day by allowing them to wear his Olympic medals for a quick photo.  I think they still have smiles on their faces two days later.  Simon is a class act who has inspired millions.

LPC athlete Laura Greenaway (co-Head Coach of the Fighting Koala's Niagara Region Triathlon Team) had a fantastic day and qualified for the 2010 Boston Marathon.  Laura had a great year of sprint triathlon training and racing.  After her final sprint triathlon, and despite little time to specifically prepare, Laura signed up for Road2Hope Marathon, and had eight weeks of specific marathon training.  She executed an excellent pacing strategy on race day, and will now look forward to more long course training and racing next season.

Monday, November 2, 2009

2010 Loaring Triathlon set for July 17th

A quick heads up to mark your calendars:

The 2010 Loaring Triathlon will take place on Saturday, July 17th.

back to

Please stay tuned for updated 2010 details on the event website.

All proceeds go to the Elena Loaring Memorial Fund for Breast Cancer Research through the University of Windsor.



What a great weekend. My birthday falls on this day, so it was fitting that I went as an old man. It was tons of fun going out for Halloween with my two Wonderwomen.

Annika sprinting towards the the tunnel of terror--her first "trick or treat".