THE TRIATHLON WORLD has taken notice of the blistering fast bike splits laid down by Lionel Sanders over the past year on his weapon of choice: the Garneau Gennix TR1. The brand, known for its endurance apparel and accessories, first ventured into the world of bikes a few years ago and, after the impressive performances Sanders has delivered on this high- end model, it’s clear they’ve got things figured out. The frame, constructed from RTCC2 carbon, makes for an extremely responsive ride, especially in comparison to some of the brand’s earlier models. After riding the TR1 last summer and fall, we’ve found several key features make it stand out in its class. One of these is the design of the fork. It places the entirety of its ample side surface area behind the steering axis of the front wheel. Why does this matter? The area of the wheel that is in front of the steering axis is considerably greater than the area behind it. The deeper the wheel, the greater that total difference. This counterbalances the effect of crosswinds, providing a much more relaxed ride in windy conditions, even with a 90-mm front rim. Since modern aero wheels are trending wider, some tri-specific frames that rely on tight frame and brake tolerances have had compatibility issues with some wheels. This is not the case with the TR1. Both the frame and the proprietary TRP brake calipers were clearly designed with wide rims in mind. There’s enough clearance to
GARNEAU GENNIX TR1
mount today’s beefy rims with ease.
One of the greatest challenges in fitting an athlete aboard a triathlon bike can be getting the effective length, or reach, of the bike right – basically making sure you can rest comfortably on the aero bars and not be too stretched out or too tight. With its massive seat post clamp rail, combined with the well-designed and easily adjustable 3T cockpit, the TR1 offers lots of adjustment to ensure a truly aero and comfortable fit for any size of athlete.
For triathletes seeking a truly custom ride next year, Garneau offers its Dreamfactory customization process on all its high- end bikes. Working with them to get the bike in my team colours was a breeze. They are also able to customize components at their Quebec assembly centre, meaning that your bike shows up at your local bike store just the way you want it. The Elite Di2 package on the TR1 comes with Di2 Ultegra components, Shimano WH-RS31 wheels and Zipp Vuka Alumina handlebars. There’s also the Elite version that comes with the same wheels and handlebars, but with regular Ultegra components. As part of its customizable flexibility, Garneau offers the option to build the bike with practically any component spec imaginable.– CD
To me, there’s no better feeling of accomplishment than successfully completing a good hard run session. Easy runs with friends definitely have their place, but I find intervals to be the most rewarding.
I use different types of sessions for different times of the year, but the sessions I’m going to share here are very versatile. During the winter ( base season), speed work is kept to a minimum and the focus is usually on long, steady strength work and change of pace efforts. I like to end my easy runs with hill strides in the fall and winter – that’s the extent of my speed work. SESSION ONE My all-time favourite session is a “good old” build run. There are many ways to do this. I personally do 90 minutes as:
20 minutes warm up at whatever pace feels good to get things moving.
20 minutes at 10-km pace plus 45 seconds per km. This should feel quick but quite do-able.
20 minutes at 10-km pace plus 30 seconds. By the end of this you are getting into some solid work but it’s still manageable.
10 minutes at 10-km pace plus 15 seconds per km. This is where it should start to get challenging.
The last 5 minutes is a “go for broke” effort. 10-km pace should feel quite challenging by the time you get to this point. But five minutes is short enough that, mentally, it’s not too much of a stretch to push yourself to your limit.
I usually stop and walk for a few minutes after this, then jog 15 minutes.
If you don’t know your 10-km time, or this pace work feels too complicated, just build your effort over the same time periods (20/20/10/5) for a hard session and an opportunity to practice your pacing skills. SESSION TWO My next favourite run session is from my former coach and two-time Olympic fourth-place finisher in the marathon, Jon Brown. This particular session can be done throughout the year, although I find off season paces have to be a bit more relaxed in order for me to complete it. It’s quite challenging.
Start with a 15- to 20-minute warm-up.
Map out a 12-km flat course with 1 km markers. (Whether this is physically mapped out or measured by GPS doesn’t really matter.)
The workout alternates between two paces in 1-km intervals – just above or at threshold and just below. So the “rest” period is actually quite fast.
Warm down for a few minutes after you’re done.
For this session I alternate between 1 km at 3:30 and 1 km at 3:45.
The tricky part about this workout is that after the first km you are going to want to back off quite a bit more than 15 seconds, but once you get into the flow it becomes more manageable. This will take time though, as it’s one of the tougher sessions I do.
SESSION THREE Lastly, we have the treadmill, which can be a great tool to get fit, quick. My favourite treadmill session is one which works on lactate tolerance, which is pretty much the name of the game in triathlon.
Again after a 20-minute warm-up and some 20-second accelerations we get into the meat of the run.
The main set is 18 x 90 seconds at 5-km pace or faster with 30 seconds rest standing on the side of the treadmill. It should feel a bit too fast at the beginning and then you will find your rhythm. About a third to halfway through you should get into a groove and it will actually become a bit easier. I always find that, no matter what, the last two or three intervals feel like a stretch, but to me that’s a sign of a session well done.
Warm down for a few minutes.
Each of these sessions has a different purpose, but all of them can be done throughout the season. I tend to focus on sessions dedicated to lactate tolerance approaching and through race season. The focus is on base and strength work before the new year. I’m not a supporter of long rest speed sessions for triathlon. From personal experience, I find workouts with short and fast-paced rest periods, along with building sessions translate best to running off the bike. We never have the luxury of running with fresh legs in races, so why would we practice that in training?
Another trick is to perform your hard run sessions the day after a hard bike session. It isn’t as good for the ego to run with tired legs, but it’s certainly practical for triathlon training.
Climate change is a real consideration when it comes to planning your winter training. It might help to know that if you experience a dip in motivation, the “winter blues,” or even fullfledged Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is also called “seasonal pattern depression,” you can do something about it. Just because the thermometer reads -30 C and it’s dark when you go to work and return home, you don’t have to have sacrifice your athletic goals.
Depression is common and a leading cause of disability here in Canada – the annual prevalence is around four per cent. Combating seasonal pattern depression starts with knowledge. It is a medical problem that rears its head in the fall/winter and recedes in spring. It is felt to be due to a number of factors that intersect to create conditions for depressed mood and lack of interest. The good news is that SAD is treatable through a variety of specific and evidenced based styles of talk therapy like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), anti-depressant medication and first line treatment in the form of daily light therapy. While exercise treatment for depression is second line in terms of its research strength, it’s something worth strategizing about and using to your advantage.
Let’s first talk about your health as a person with seasonal pattern depression, then plan how to address this problem as it impacts you as an athlete. Depression is thought to be associated with physical problems relevant to athletes like back pain, high blood pressure and asthma. Having depression is also a risk factor for developing heart disease and cardiovascular problems. Depression not only predisposes us to health problems, it also worsens existing health issues by leading to a more sedentary lifestyle and a greater chance of obesity due to amotivation and fatigue. Taking care of you as a person with depression and planning how to manage the winter as a triathlete intersect.
Changing your exercise regimen can keep you on track. 1.
Take things in stride: When depression contributes to poor sleep, drains motivation and causes fatigue, it is important to be gentle with yourself if you miss a workout. While depression is, in part, biologically mediated and it is about your brain chemistry, depression is also related to your state of mind. Beating yourself up for falling behind in a pool workout exacerbates your depression. If you ever need to give yourself a break, it’s in the off season. Rest doesn’t have to be a bad thing as it can provide immune system rebound and protect against overtraining. You might consider taking a holiday that isn’t specifically to do triathlon training and join friends and family.
There’s an app for that: Mental training is important for sport performance. It’s also crucial for addressing depression. You can exercise your depression-fighting mental powers online or on your smartphone. Online self-therapy sites including moodgym. anu. edu. au and ecouch. anu. edu. au are free and proven sources for cognitive workouts. Social networks recommended include confidential support groups like 7 Cups of Tea at 7cups. com or help through depression. supportgroups. com. Apps for your phone include mood trackers like whatsmym3. com or self-help guidance through trending apps like Buddhify at buddhify. com.
Change it up: You need to vary exercise type and intensity to improve. This holds in addressing seasonal pattern depression as much as it does athletic performance. Don’t expect to get better if you’re doing
the same workouts. Try something different. This could be trying yoga, which helps depression symptoms by turning over body chemicals like dopamine and our central relaxing chemical gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA). You could spin at your local bike shop with popular social platforms like Zwift at zwift. com that introduce you to other sport enthusiasts worldwide. Do cross training with skiing, snowshoeing, or cold-water open water swimming. Mix up the people you work out with to broaden your network. Consider something provocative in the form of psychologist Marsha Linehan’s concept of “radical acceptance.” Truly accepting that you have depression can be a start toward solving it. Acknowledging that you have crushing seasonal pattern depression and that you can get better puts the concept of radical acceptance into play. Trying these new training approaches can invigorate and challenge you cognitively and emotionally, improving your depression.