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September « 2012 « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


Archive for September, 2012

My Cervégnolo P3

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Hey readers – being an age group coach means I have to be able to eloquently discuss upon gadgets and training/racing gear! Triathlon draw’s A LOT of those who like shinny, aero and gnarly equipment that just looks fast when its motion-less!

The copious equipment choices and its variety can be over-whelming, complicated and just expensive. So your best bet is finding advice from an individual who is not only experienced, but practical/logical minded with a touch of style and an intuitive sense of what works for a particular athlete given his goals and race targets!

I do my best to encourage my athletes to use (ear-muffs) anti-fuck-up-equipment in racing. Traveling to a desolate race venue, lack of competent mechanics or finding unique replacement parts can cause all sorts of chaos, wasted physical/mental energy and in the end second guessing your choices or lack off…

Far to often, I see newby triathletes jump the gun on equipment – just like their race progression. You know who those guys are, they spend ~10 000 US before their first triathlon or in their first season just on equipment alone. I do consider this to be some sort of mid-life-crisis for a few ;)

Those athlete are often the one that do an Ironman distance race withing a year or 2 of that they got into the sport.

Hardly a process!!!

My first triathlon bike was a, 8 speed steel Peugot with down-tube shifters! As you will see during this blog, my current bike is much more awesome of which makes me appreciative of my carbon Cervelo with Campagnolo 11 speed R2C shifters!

In the end, it gives me better and broader outlook on old, current and future triathlon equipment!

This is not mine, but it did look exactly like this!

Coming from the ground, not only with equipment but with racing I believe is important in terms of long term development and enjoyment in this hard, time and money consuming sport!

In fact, I did my first Ironman in my training wheels, aluminium road bike with drops and is still arguably one of my best races ever! Before the race, Doc told me I rode a bike like a ‘fairy’ and that I would not get a carbon bike nor race wheels until put-up a result that deserved one – I did and of course he held his word like he always does ;)

Grinning @ Ironman Langkawi 2008 - my first!

This is my 6th Cervelo bike that I have owned!
I’ve had a Soloist, a P2, three P3′s and a P4.

My set-up for the Rudy Project Tri in a couple weeks - only a 30k bike! I really like this aero bottle, its much easier to take-out/put-in its cage and doesn't rattle at all!

My set-up for a hot Olympic Distance or cold weather 70.3!

My set-up for a hot 70.3 or a longer race!

I can proudly say that this was a sponsored bike and I only paid for tires, bar tape/grips, pedals, aero bottle and Cushys!

Here are the specs:

Size: 54cm
Saddle: Cobb V-Flow Max
Wheel-set: Campagnolo Bullet 50mm
Group-set: Campagnolo Record 11
Tires: Continental GP 4000
Hydration: Torhans Aero 20 and Elite Time Trial Bottle
Tri-bars: 3T Mistral width of 42cm
Stem: 3T ARX 120mm

I can fit all of this into this X-Lab Mini saddle bag that goes well around the wide Cervélo seat posts - one good thing about ridding clinchers, is that caring 2 spares is about the same as caring 1 spare tubular!

A chain catcher, in my opinion is an imperative piece of equipment for all serious triathletes!

I like the HED lollipop because it sits on the stem, which doesn't hinder my handling like certain handle bar mounted hydration systems nor get in the way of my hands when I grip my bars low when Im really giving'er!

Thanx to the guys from Triton Endurance Sport for the Tri-Rig Omega brake - looks pretty sweet!

Since my cock-pit-blog I changed the grip tape for some Aero Grips which are more comfortable and thicker to grip!

I chose to ride the 50mm Campanolo Bullet (clincher) wheels because I only have 1 set of race wheels, so might as well get a versatile pair of which can be used on all terrain, conditions and drafting/non-drafting! Since there is an aluminium braking surface, I dont need to dork around with changing the brake pads before the race and when it rains or gets really hot, breaking is well NORMAL!

Valves extenders have also been a stress for me in the past and continues to be a stress for many athletes on race morning in transition. Now all I need is a 70mm valve – voilà – I get an accurate pressure reading and no worries about loosing air nor any 2nd guess if I ever get a flat!

And of course ridding clinchers gives me a wider variety of tire choices, cheaper tires choices versus tubular’s and of course when I travel around, ridding on them for days/weeks in continuous is no worry at all!

Anyway, hope you all, my fellow tri-geeks ;) enjoyed my Cervégnolo bike blog and will take some wise decision’s when buying or up-grating equipment. I have rarely heard anybody after a race say that they had a bad race because of ‘normal’ race equipment.

But I have heard tones of times athlete whine and moan how a ‘mechanical’ caused a DNF or lost of time or a crash or pre-race stress because their abilities where not as sharp as their new gear ;)

The best tip I can give, is to give yourself some small goals, like a particular time, qualification, somebody to beat or event a time table for when you decide to buy some new gear, that way it will feel like a sort of reward!

If your based in the Philippines, hope to see ya there! I will be giving a talk on Sunday sometime around lunch!


Monday, September 17th, 2012

Hey all – if you ready this blog you know that my Magic Bullet see’s a lot of action! Bellow is a recipe I have been tripping over recently!

-1 Large Banana
-Half Regular Avocado
-3 tables spoon’s of Cocoa Power
-3 Small ice cubes
-1 cup of Alaska Milk

Best it to NOT put more Cocoa power.
As it will make the shake bitter…
Its not because a little bit of good that more is better ;)

Put everything in no particular order!

A few seconds later!


The texture is creamy and rich with a deep taste that’s mildly sweet that leaves a crisp after-taste in your mouth all the while filling you up easily. I personally enjoy it sometime between lunch and supper (Merienda) as it hits-the-spot without making me feel bloated before my evening training session!

I have to be honest, I never really looked and/or bought at Avocados at the grocery until recently. It did not really stand out with its dark and bumpy skin. The only time I had any must have been while dipping chips in Guacamole Dip at parties!

How-ever, it turn’s out they are full of good fat (Monounsaturated) that is also found in various nuts, seeds, red meat and other grains! Of which helps the function of our internal organs, helps to regulate high cholesterol/hypertension and of course is a great fuel for endurance athletes ;)

So turns out the Philippines is a decent producer of Avocados, which is good to fuel my recent fix!

Comparatively to a banana, per 100g it contains 25% more Potassium which is a key Mineral in the Electrolyte chain – a very important nutritional detail for endurance athletes!

Enjoy =)

Adrenaline Multisport Off Road Duathlon Report.

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Hey all – yesterday I raced an off road duathlon and tts was EXHILARATING experience! Triathletes can be really up-tight (I’m a triathlete so I’m allow to make fun of triathletes) individuals with their shinny aero and carbon gear.

This race organized by the Adrenaline Multisport group in La Mesa Ecopark which was a nice change of scenery and crowd. It was all about skill’s, brute force and timing!

Joyette and Noy are preparing for the X-Terra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii so we figured it was a good prep for her and an excellent challenge for me. I mean, no swim, off road and in a place I have never been against a bunch of un-know local athletes!

Race morning was dark and muddy – its been raining quite a lot recently so were both dirty before we even started the race!

The course was pretty simple – the only caveat was 2 loops of the bike which meant I will imminently overtake the athletes at the back of the field…

Over-head shot of the race briefing!

The start was fast, furious and DOWNHILL where many ‘el-rabitos’ went off the front immediately. From experience this is typical of Filipino’s so I never even think twice about it as my goal for the first 6k run was to get to my bike without twisting anything while maneuvering over the muddy, technical and un-predictable terrain.

I was still relatively clean at this point!

I got to T1 in 3rd place – once on my bike I eventually caught 2nd place and dropped him soon after which was a surprise because I assumed he was a good MTB’er. At the turn around and half way mark of the bike I crossed the lone leader, Ryan ‘bad-boy’ Mendoza. He was closer than I would have expected him to be because I know hes a very gifted runner, a Sea Games Champion in Duathlon and has a bit reckless attitude!

Right after going around the turn around I was caught by 2 very good MTB’er who where ridding very well – I hung-on and followed their line while taking a few risk’s.

Off road races = draft when you can or when safe!

Muddy now or muddy later - it dont matter cause its the same for all!

It paid off and in no time we had real-led the leader – we rode together for a bit until the very technical, single track and muddy section that was about 3k long.

At this point we where overtaking athletes and it got a bit crowded. The 2 MTB’ers went for it while I did my best to stay on my bike. After a few close call’s I made it back to the main trail in clear 3rd place.

Chasing and being chased at the same time.

The final few km’s of the bike I started to feel the effort from the ride – MTB’ing requires A LOT of dynamic effort, explosion and constant awareness – even drinking water or feeding must be done very carefully.

Once on the 2nd run I had no idea of the gap nor what was in front of me. I ran as hard I as could to at least try to get one of the guys in front in my line of sight – from then I figured it would simply be mental. How-ever the surface was extremely slippery, it was literally like running on ice…

Well I maintained my position and finished in 3rd place which was good enuff for a couple thousand pesos and some free gear!

Putik Kapatid!

Post race clean up - participants where all smiles!

Overall male podium - I never realize how much taller I am than those guys until I see the pictures...I can believe that being smaller with a lower center of gravity is an advantage over such terrain!

All in all it was great to get out of my comfort zone – I suggest every geeky triathlete should go out and join an off road event just to get a taste of it because numbers really mean nothing, nor does high end equipment or a preparation laced with drill’s and/or lifting weights.

It ultimately boils down to who’s gonna go for it, manage taking a bad line and shaking off a near crash!

Tour of Hope Bacolod.

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Hey all – a last weekend I travelled to Bacolod City on the Island of Negros for a very good cause. My girl friend has been a cervical cancer advocate for some time now with this NON for profit organization called Bravehearts.

Its goal is to bring awareness and educate Filipina’s about Cervical Cancer through free lectures by former miss Philippines Abigail Arenas De Leon as well to raise funds to give free vaccines!

Over the years, they have tied it up with cycling in multi-day bike tours all over the region of Luzon in the mainland of the Philippines. As it’s an effective and inexpensive way to cover large distances, inspire every day people, allow locals and foreigners who join the tour to get an up close view of the Philippines and of course promote a healthy life-style!

Here are some fast facts:

-Cervical Cancer kill’s 12 Filipina’s each day.

-Cervical Cancer is the 2nd most mortal cancer amongst women worldwide with over half a milling new cases and ~250 000 deaths reported each year. Over ~80% of cases occur in developing countries.

-All sexually active women are at risk regardless of age and economic status.

-8 out of 10 women will have HPV in their lifetime but not all will get the Cervical Cancer.

-A healthy lifestyle, screening and cervical cancer vaccination are a woman’s best defense but more importantly, it’s the ONLY CANCER WHO HAS A PREVENTIVE VACCINE!

That’s right, getting 3 vaccine’s over the span of 6 months at approx 60 dollars US per vaccine will protect any sexuality active woman for 10 years where then a ‘booster’ is needed.

While this may appear simple and strait forward – few under-privileged women and even well educated women DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS!

Cervical cancer is instigated by Human papillomavirus (HPV) of which is a sexually transmitted disease that has very few signs of infections until the cancer reaches stage 3 – when it’s too almost late where 80% of females who reach this point will die…

While I am no Lance Armstrong – nor would I want! I support this because there are A LOT of important women in my life – well in EVERYBODY’s life so it only makes sense to do our best to spread awareness that there’s a vaccine that’s readily available to anybody who can afford it! So whatever I can do to promote this, by blogging and ridding my bike cleanly – will only sum up to good things =)

Just note, the vaccine is only effective if given BEFORE HPV is contracted which can have an incubation period of many years so it doesn’t mean that you’re healthy NOW that you will be later…

So go see your local gynecologists, get a papsmear and get vaccinated – it’s a cheap way to live longer of which is key for all those around you!

Anyway, bellow are some pictures of 2 days worth of ridding we did here in Bacolod – its was great! I brought my MTB so that I could have a ‘handicap’ over those with their road bikes on day 1 and then be on fair grounds on day 2.

37 riders ready to go ride the Don Salvador route - one of the most challenging and scenic ride on the Island!

Ridding into the un-known mountain range!

Heading into the final pitch to the top of the pass!

Since there was different abilities and sizes of athletes - we would stop every 20ish KLM to regroup and feed - note the angle of the slope!!!

Our SAG support!

The whole group at the top with the Lion!

Me and Joyette!

After quite a bit of climbing is was mainly downhill back to the city - having an MTB make it a vivid disadvantage due to less hears and a higher/wider stance on my bike.

With Coach Frank indulging in the famous Bacolod Chicken Inasal! It was MASARAP and juicy ;)

Day 2 was 100% mountain bike with a smaller group - just like yesterday I had no idea where they where taking me!

Long and gradual climb that went from Sea Level to almost 3000 FT.

A resort is being built at the bottom of the peaks!

This is possibly the WORLDS BIGGEST right footed flip-flop!

A nice pool as well!

Now we can only go back down - on a different path that we came up =)

This is a cock-fighting breeder's yard! Its big business here in the Philippines - some of the fighting cock's can be sold up to 1000 USD $ depending on size and bread!

My local cycling colleagues!

Having some Lugaw near the end of the MTB ride - its rice porridge, with a hard boiled egg, soy sauce and garlic chips!

The famous street Piyaya's for my back pocket! They are thin, flower made biscuits with muscovato sugar in the middle!

In front of city hall where most of the run races are held!

In front of the local running store Cool Running - isn't that the name of that funny movie of the Jamaican Bob-sled team?

Our hotel had a lap pool on the roof top so I did not miss of beat of training =)

Well all in all I had a good few days thanx to our tour guide Coach Frank – I always like to visit new places and this place in my opinion is the best place in the Philippines for both road and MTB!

Kitakits Bacolod 8)

Fueled by Ignite Naturals!

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Hey readers – as some of you may know, TeamTBB has gotten a new nutrition sponsor in Ignite Natural!

Nutrition plays a critical role in endurance training/racing. A quick internet search and you can easily find seasoned and experienced triathletes who still cant ‘dial-in’ their nutrition.

Once I got my sample pack of Ignite Naturals products I was very exited to try them out – the major help though was the very informative emails I exchanged with Bruce and Tyler!

The majority of endurance sports nutrition contains Maltodextrin which is an in-expensive short chained linked glucose molecules derived from carbohydrate drived food such as rice, corn, potatoes and barley.

Its gets the job done – however, some humans maybe sensitive to large amounts of it and can develop an intolerance to it. Some of which includes itchiness, asthma, rashes bloating, gas, loose bowels, stomach cramps, ect.

Does this sound familiar to some of you?
In the middle of a race?

I like how the gels have a power-clip that makes them easy to carry on my fuel-belt!

You can click –> HERE <— for some more information about the Reload gels. Basically they are made of REAL FOOD and have a 'pasty' texture which makes them palatable when taking them it!

Ignite Naturals is not only about race/training nutrition – but also pre/post race/training nutrition as well!

Eating healthy is getting more expensive, time consuming and tasteless compared to ‘junk food’ that are easy, cheap and tasty to eat. I classify food in 3 different groups: The HEALTHY – the NEUTRAL – the JUNK. While perception may vary upon who this which foods fit in which groups, I try to eat the majority as healthy! Often, how a certain piece of food is prepared can easily turn it from healthy to neutral or even into junk…

Bellow, is a series of pictures that shows the process of my choosing and preparing my HEALTHY foods!

Basically, as a foreigner living in The Philippines going to the market to get fresh food is one of my most favorite things! I have seen a lot of funny, interesting and even nasty things there. And of course, I always feel like a ‘celebrity’ when I am there ;)

Ummm fresh poultry and sausage!

Joyette is always a big help for me as she's very good as bargaining prices - here we are getting some fresh sea food! We an easily get HUGE shrimp, tuna/salmon sashimi for very low prices =)

Gotta stack up on coconuts!

Ready to drink goodness for ~50 cent CDN!

Its my own tradition to taste a sample 'buko' before buying some for the next few days!

So much choice, so cheap, so fresh and only 1 and half belly to feed ;)

Now fast-forward to after a rigorous workout – fueling immediately is key in order to speed up recovery, protect the body and of course make sure you dont get overly hungry and eat to much later on…

There is this weird things among certain athletes that the first 15 minutes after a workout is the perfect time to cheat and each junk food and how it wont affect you in any negative way – really? I would love to read some literature on it.

From what I know, eating foods with a high Glycemic Index is important because at that point the blood glucose levels are low and need to be brought back up. High glycemic foods will do the trick easily and quickly.

Most of junk foods tends to be high glycemic so I guess that the rational and of course it feels like a treat after a workout – just like a dog that was good!

How about eating HEALTHY high glycemic foods after a workout? Never would I believe that eating a chocolate bar versus some Pineapple ends up being the same at the end of the day!

Many years ago when I was a teenager training at the Canadian Triathlon Center Lance Watson caught me wolfing down a delicious chocolate muffin between a swim and bike-trainer workout.

He said very casually as we walked by “you wouldn’t put leaded gas in a Ferrari would you Mat?” as he keep walking down the pool deck at Commonwealth Place.

In my head I was like “WTF man im not old like you so I can eat what-ever!”

Funny enuff I has used that quote one to many times to my friends, athletes and peers over the years AH!

Anyway, here is how I have been taking my I.N. Extreme Energy after my workouts!

The usual suspects!

Gotta make sure not to spill any of my chilled coconut juice!

And of course nobody should waste the 'meat' inside - lets go crack-her-open and spoon it!

Scrapped and into the MIX for some extra goodness and taste!


Done in a few seconds - every healthy house-hold should own one of these!

Just like that I am ready to re-fuel immediately after a training session - so you be the judge, is a chocolate bar the same as this in the first 15 minutes after a workout?

The Cocoa flavor has a deep and natural taste to it – like eating into rich dark chocolate!

Anyway, hope I have changed your out-look somewhat! Mine has changed dramatically over the years – nutrition is so personal, difficult to nail sometimes and may need to be optimized as you get older for weight control. Having multiple options is great to give it a trial and error process! Just try to target company’s that are much more passionate where quality trumps quantity – check out Ignite Naturals for refreshing nutritional options!