Sunday, 22 December 2013

Strength change

After trying the Redcord strength system for a few weeks I have all but eliminated Olympic lifting and squats finding the suspension training far superior. Each workout starts or ends with an assortment of Redcord exercises.

After only a few weeks I have found better and stronger stride mechanics. As of yet I have not set up a specific Redcord, for now just using a series of ropes which seems to be doing the trick but I may ask Santa for one.

The following video shows where I started, starting with the easier version progressing to the more advanced and having mastered these have started adding new exercises as I gain strength.

Also, have me a new band, Groove Armada. Be sure to turn up your volume!

PS this is also interesting observation from Marit Bjorgen

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Some Goals Shall We

  • NorAm Canmore - January 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th, 2015


  • National Indoor 3000m Championships - March 15th, 2015

Monday, 2 December 2013

Some good racing on the weekend

Good weekend of racing at Nationals, and at the end of the day I figure I came up about 20 seconds off what I hoped for going in, but having said that, so much progress has been made I cannot help being pleased, very pleased.

On a course which was at the start of becoming a mud bath I put down a time of 28:46 for 8km for thirteenth place overall. I put down allot of this progress down to all the sprint training I have been doing and I look forward to applying these principles to my nordic ski training over the winter and seeing how it translates.

So that wraps up the running season and nordic season gets started next weekend in Vernon with Patrick and Reid heading down with me for a 20km skate race and a 1.7km classic sprint.

I am not going to lie I was feeling like I got run over by a truck yesterday, after the National double down, but today I was back out doing tempo at 10mph so I am feeling better about this coming weekend than I was yesterday:-)

Either way should be good times!

PS what is the next running goal, that is a difficult question to answer due to the issues surrounding my back, it still bothers me, it just bothers me less when I run shorter events so we will see what the body can do and do that.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Olympic lifting back in the mix

With the reduction in volume and the increase in sprint training the body is responding well. One example would be todays workout on the treadmill, 18 x 2 minutes at 12mph or 5 minutes per mile pace with 2 minutes rest, without the four weeks of sprint training proceeding this, this workout would not have been accomplished. Now during this period of adjustment and hip strengthening I have been waiting for the right time to add olympic lifting back into the program.

Everything today pointed that this was a good time to start light, so post 18 x 2 minutes I complete 3 x 2 repetitions clean and jerk with 65lbs working on form and moving the bar quickly. No need to push this and I do plan on keeping the lifting program simple and focus on the clean and jerk as it is a great overall exercise to build power.

This is coming up in two weeks, no big deal:-)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Building the speed

This past week was spent doing a exceptional amount of sprints of various distances, to improve speed and speed endurance. An example of a workout would be 90 x 5sec with 25sec recovery. This week this focus on speed continues and then the plan is to increase length of intervals leading into Nationals at the end of the month.

Some sweet skiing at SWC.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Back on track

Look at that, focusing on the 10km distance seems to be working just nicely. Below are a few pics from the Stewart Cup last weekend at the Provincial Senior Championships. This weekend I will head down to Calgary for the Provincial Masters Championships and then the National Masters Championships in Vancouver at the end of the month.

Sprint begins
Mid sprint

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

We should roll

The past few months we have seen time trials every Wednesday and Saturday utilizing Franks and Saucony's XC series which has been a great boost to training and just good fun. The milage has been high and efforts have been made to keep the efforts controlled in preparation for this weekends marathon in Victoria. This week the milage remains high, will still do 100 miles including the marathon but all intensity will be removed.

Chasing Marty, chasing Frank.
Post marathon we will see an injection of hard intervals to get ready for the provincial and national XC championships as well as the Nordic season.
Well, now we are all by ourselves...
Training has been great, have loved all the milage and chasing Frank all over the parks of Edmonton. Heres hoping this leads to a nice sexy PB come this Sunday.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Pounding the miles

Back to pounding out 100 + mile weeks and will be jacking that up starting this week moving my start point to Fort Edmonton Park from Argyle Velodrome. With this change in start point, mileage will increase to 120+ miles per week. What to I mean by start point, good question, it is where I drive too, to run to the shop and back.

Hard aerobic mileage seems to be the ticket for me with very concise hip exercises combined with two hard efforts per week. The hard efforts that seem to be provide the best stim at present are the Franks Race series on Wednesday's and the Saucony XC Race Series on Saturday's.
Jack and Matt Saucony XC SAIT
As for pure speed I incorporate 5 x 20 seconds with 20 seconds off before and after each race and after every evening run to keep the legs fresh and snappy.
Matt, Jack and Marty Saucony XC SAIT
That's it for now, if interested in the daily grind check out my Twitter feed AthleticsNorth, it is my daily blah blah blah about my running and nordic training:-)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

so simple, but complicated...

It has been all hips all the time as of late, so much so, some days I have over did the exercises and irritated the back but with each week I seem to be getting stronger and am able to handle more training and have been irritating things less and less.

With this I have been at it each day with morning and evening runs, slowly increasing the length of the runs. One thing I have decided is to not let the back issues sway my enthusiasm so I am preparing once again for a fall marathon, starting with Edmonton as a training race and then Toronto in October.

Over and above this I may attempt MYM in September if things progress smoothly.

Training wise I hope to put in 60min to 90min each morning and evening with short intervals on Wednesday and long intervals on Saturday with 2hours on Sundays. The short intervals will be a little faster than goal race pace, the long intervals at goal race pace and the Sunday runs slightly slower than goal race pace.

Fairly simple approach but for all things complicated simple is best, "so simple, but complicated"...

Marathon here we come!

Friday, 2 August 2013

A weekend off

Had thought I might be able to hit the trail for the Death Race this weekend but body just not ready, more time is needed. That said this is the first August Long Weekend Shauna and I have had to ourselves for some time so while we are disappointed to miss the big show we are tickled pink to put our feet up for the weekend and enjoy some wobbly pops on the patio.

Good luck to all! Go Death Racer!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A busy time

A busy few weeks with some great training in Canmore over the weekend supporting Kim with Shauna at the 24 hours of Adreneline. Kim was taking between 1:35 to 1:45 to complete a lap giving me amble time to put in a hard training run and return to help Shauna with Kim's transitions and then head back out for another run with my main focus being putting in as much steep downhill running as possible to prepare the body for a possible attack on the Death Race.

Kim had an amazing race placing second overall for the female soloist's, such great energy!

Sinister 7 was a very positive run for me and with some more work on hip, glute and hamstring strength I might just be ready to try the Death Race. Have not 100% decided as of yet, see what the body says and take it from there.

Heading up to Whitehorse for Madeleine's and Grahame's wedding today and will be back next week, hopefully the trip will see some more good training and strength progression.

Tally ho!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The progression of things

With the progression of the overhead squats and the strength gains I made I stepped back in the ring and headed to Crossnest pass for the Sinister 7 Ultra last weekend. No real goal in mind, just the love of the run and the mind set of meditation and the focus on the moment. From the start felt in the moment, strong, comfortable, enjoying the beauty of the trail.

Back was only strong enough for three legs and weakened through leg four. After pulling the plug there were a few days of unpleasantness but feeling better again now. Now when I say unpleasant, what I mean is, walking on hands and knees to the kitchen, this is no regular back pain, this is you stop running now and you get yourself horizontal stat:-)

Now this may sound serious and while it is at the time, with rest, ice and no walking things calm down and one carries on, as the shirt so aptly states.

This morning I went in to see Craig at West End Physio for some muscle testing to check on muscle weakness and see how the strength program has been progressing. Encouraged by Craig's remarks and motivated to add a few new additions to the program I look forward to getting stronger and getting the foot back on the pedal, so for me thats two runs a day and two strength sessions per day.

What I am I looking at now, well if you been following along my goals are a fluid thing, but I have my eye on a few things, the Edmonton Marathon and maybe the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in the fall.

I know:-)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Stumble upon

In this period of transition what I have come across is that my body is not responding well to the high intensity training and the heavy strength training so I have found dialling things back just slightly is giving me the best training effect.

In terms of running doing the bulk of my milage at 6 minute pace is giving me the best response and in terms of strength focussing on the overhead squat has taken the load off and back strength is increasing instead of breaking down as it was doing squats.

To help with positioning in the overhead squat I have been utilizing the reverse overhead squat which has been simply fantastic in setting things up for the overhead squat and the running intervals to follow.

Another great exercise I have stumbled upon is the "pull through" to increase leg and back strength without over loading the back as with the deadlift.

The take home message here is finding the correct mix of exercises to build back strength without overloading so that the strength sessions are building strength and not re-injuring. Over time as back strength increases these exercise can be replaced with more challenging ones.

As for the pace of the running, the big thing here is to push the system to improve but not to push so hard so that it slows progression so at this point doing workouts at 6minute per mile pace is increasing fitness but doing intervals at 5minute pace or faster is causing the back to spasm and slowing progression.

Monday, 10 June 2013

These things take time...

It always takes a while to get back on track after tweaking the back but things are slowly coming together with two daily runs combined with olympic style lifting with the focus on overhead squats.

The daily runs are on the treadmill at 10% to reduce pounding during this period of tenderness and are in interval format with recovery days at 6 minute per mile pace and hard days at 5 minute per mile pace using the treadmill conversation chart to factor in grade.

I use the olympic lifting as part of warm up and warm down focusing on technique and mobility and increasing weight as body responds.

As for the running I started with 1 x 3minutes at each of the speeds outlined above and have increased to 3 x 3minutes and will look to continue to increase until I can complete 10 x 3minutes with 3minute off at 5minute pace without back tenderness.

My morning runs are also in interval format but speed is based on feel and the lifts are more focused on technique than weight.

For the olympic lifting, specifically the overhead squat portion the biggest road block is my back strength and mobility so while the legs are strong the back is not, so by focusing on the overhead squat it reduces the risk for pushing too much weight and over loading the back.

So for now no goals just training twice a day with daily olympic styled strength training.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Now for something completely different

Returning home from Ottawa, which saw another set back due to back issues I look to the future and I think it is time to play to my strengths and focus on the shorter distances. I have said this in the past and then have been quickly drawn to the marathon thinking it was my best option but if we look at my build and my specific back issues it hits you that maybe I am better suited to the 5 and 10k distances. I have had this “plan B” in the back of my mind for sometime but with each failed marathon or ultra marathon attempt I have found some “what if” to keep me on the long distance path.

I have some ideas on what I might try in my training, as a newly self appointed middle distance runner to prepare for my upcoming 5 and10k’s including more strength, shorter workouts and more race pace work.

What’s done is done, time to adjust and move forward.

As for Ottawa I awoke race morning with back pain and decided not to run, but then decided to take it one step at a time just in case, so completed warm up, still back pain, but better, started race, still back pain but manageable, through 10km in 37mins, but pain no longer manageable so reduced pace to 20km for a warm down and hit the showers as I did not want to go through another week like I did post Vancouver a few weeks back. Now hopefully this conservative approach will allow me to continue with training with no lasting side effects from the back issues.

Now if you thought my training was ridiculous before wait till you see what I have planned in the weeks ahead, this is going to get worse, allot worseJ

Also if you thought attending the Ottawa marathon was out there wait till you see what I have set as my next goal, it will surpriseJ

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


This last week saw some good progression so we are cleared for take off for this weekends upcoming Ottawa marathon, the key being this Sunday's workout where I did a 25Km progressive tempo run with 10km to 20km's in 35minutes.

Monday I took easy and then Tuesday put a light run with 6 x 200m strides at race pace on pavement.

This week I will be completing small amounts of serious speed on hard surfaces. Running on slow, soft surfaces (like grass) during your taper will tune your legs to feel slow and heavy, the hard surfaces will get my  legs (and brain) ready to run fast on race day. 

The last 14 weeks of build has seen the following miles logged with two weeks where the body broke down slightly, the first(84) being from pushing the milage too quickly without adapting to the load and the second(0) after attempting a yoga position I knew I shouldn't but my competitive spirit got the best of me:-);

  1. 100miles
  2. 128miles
  3. 84miles
  4. 111miles
  5. 120miles
  6. 120miles
  7. 120miles
  8. 120miles
  9. 100miles
  10. 100miles
  11. 118miles
  12. 110miles
  13. 0miles
  14. 115miles
  15. now we taper!
This week should be fun!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Well, well...

Well, well indeed! What to do? That is the question of the day in my little world, long prep for Ottawa, great progression then I over do it in a yoga class and lightly jank my back, do a Frank's race the next day and jank further. Things seemingly settled down and then fully jank mid way through the Vancouver Half Marathon and spend the next week unable to run.

Having just spent the last week on bed rest, unable to walk for longer than five minutes, I finally went for a run today and seem to have handled the stress.  I say "seem to" as I went for a walk on Friday and thought all was in order and on the road to recovery but it in the end set me back.

It is all or nothing with disc issues it seems, either you can go or you cannot and there is no discussion.

It was a set back for sure but at the end of the day, it was a good rest and I am happy to be back running and to get on with the training.  Now with this set back do we continue with plans or adjust, it is certainly going to take awhile to get back on track as it is one thing to go for a run and another to be able to put in on the line in a marathon.

Since starting to right this post I have been out for two easy runs and feel better with each run so things look promising that the disc is behaving itself and we can start to work back up. I think for now I will see how the body handles this week and then decide on the weekend.

Certainly great to be back!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Some light janking

So here's the thing, I lightly janked my back last week doing yoga and because of this went into last weeks Franks race and this past weekends Vancouver half a little off my game. Things had settled after Franks but flared up again midway through the half causing some slowing of pace.

I was pleased with my build up and preparation for Vancouver and overall not a bad result, first in category, 1:18 for the half, but having the back issues return is never encouraging and if I had been doing the full marathon I was not far from having to stop and walk and apparently it was noticeable as one spectator close to Shauna, as I was finishing, asked; "why is he running so slow" :-) 

Hopefully things will settle down quickly with a few treatments and I can return to training without too much interruption but with this flare up I think it is best I skip this weeks Franks race and the 5 Peaks event on the weekend. For now until things are 100% I will need to focus on easy milage and reduce the intensity so that I do not continue to irritate the area and prolong recovery.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hard and then easy

Last week saw 118miles of miles logged with the start of this week being pretty steady with 52miles for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday including tonight's Franks race and now we taper things off with short easy runs leading into the half this weekend.

The mileage has been quite high and Wednesday's workouts have been quite taxing with the all out Franks run's being between 4km to 5km in length with 5 to 10 x 5mins intervals at the end of each race.

Tonight's Franks race was a big one coming in third just loosing touch of the lead two feeling slightly off my game and then putting in another hard workout post race with 1-2-3-4-3-2-1min intervals with 2min off on my run home from the shop. With a few days of easy runs this should put me ready leading into this weekend's half.

Once the half is complete we take a few days of easy mileage and things ramp back up with a few weeks over 120miles with a drop in mileage before the marathon.

Of note the limited yoga I have been doing has been helping with focus and pushing through those hard spots in races, similar to holding a pose in yoga and embracing the tightness and pushing through.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Easy shall we

With the the big races getting closer the easy runs have been toned down and the hard workouts have been ramped up to include Franks race and tempo Saturdays. This week saw two big days Wednesday and Saturday. Wednesday included Franks race plus 10 x 5 minutes with 1minutes off for 20 miles of marathon  intensity and Saturday saw 5 x 20 minutes with 3 minutes off for 20 miles of some more marathon specific intensity.

Overall this past week saw 100 miles of running with two big days with the balance easy recovery runs working out the last workout preparing for the next.

This coming week will include Franks race and the 10 x 5 minute intervals on Wednesday and with that we will see how the weekend plans pan out, a few logs in the fire.

Have a good week of training, see you on the trails!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The weight is down

The weight is down to under 160lb and was able to run this past Sundays race completely pain free with no back, leg or glute pain. Finishing up a long build up of 120mile weeks with the St Albert 10miler where I was looking to break 55mins, I came in in 56:34 so was close given the conditions. I held with the lead pack until 6miles but lost contact in the downhills and then gained back a place in back half through the hills.
The gang, looking good!
The aim now is to move the weight below 155lb, reduce pace of recovery runs and increase pace of intervals. My strength is great but seeing the the lead pack slip away on the downhills so easily shows it is time to introduce some speed work.

For the past 8 weeks the focus was solely high end aerobic runs and strength so with a light dose of speed we should see another good jump in fitness in the next 4 weeks.

Writing this post, I am still wrapping my head around the events yesterday and my thoughts are with those affected.

Friday, 22 March 2013

The miles are easy...

For me putting in the miles has always been easy, I love putting in the work but I also love to eat so getting the weight down has always been difficult. Most top marathoners range in the 130lb to 150lb range and at my normal 175lbs I tend to carry a little extra weight around. At best I have reduced to maybe 165lbs for a goal race and this time I would like to go into my goal event in the range of 150lbs to 155lbs.

When looking at the Kenyans runners diet what comes as a surprise is the amount of calories consumed. Given their activity levels, they don’t eat very much, most Kenyans are in negative energy balance in periods of intense training. Almost all Kenyans experience a significant reduction in their BMI in periods leading up to a race.

The same is true of their fluid intake. Most runners don’t drink anything before their 10-15 mile runs in the morning, and the majority of Kenyans don’t re-hydrate during races. At first glance, these practices seem sub-optimal. After all, the importance of carb-loading and being well hydrated have been staples of western training regimens for years.

A re-consideration of the literature on the biomechanics of running suggests these seemingly counter-productive habits actually provide a benefit to Kenyan runners. Because their diet is high in carbohydrates, the majority of Kenyans metabolized extra fat during periods of negative energy balance, which reduces their BMI without significantly affecting their glycogen stores or oxidative capacity. This effect is enhanced by the fact that Kenyans typically eat right after their workout, negating the glycogen depleting effect of negative energy balance. At race time the reduced body mass lowers the energy cost of locomotion without affecting maximal energy producing capacity.

So in addition to running two to three times a day I will attempt to maintain a negative energy balance and see if I can reduce the weight, so far I have gone from 175 to 165lbs without too much difficultly.  Interestingly I have found with the increased aerobic work and decreased strength work I naturally seem to be eating considerably more carbohydrates.  

Nothing overly complicated, "light" bump in milage, "light" cut to calories which will lead to a negative energy balance, which will lead to a slow decrease in weight and will eventually lead to me racing at my optimal race weight.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Drops of rain

"When you follow your bliss, 
doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors" 

Consistency in running is the vital contributor to success. Anyone can achieve personal improvement with steadily increasing mileage,  combined with consistent and intelligent high-end running. 

Of course, each individual possesses different qualities which may impose physical limitations, so I have to experiment to find the right mileage and the right amount of threshold running for my current tolerance, body weight, and state of development. 

Over the spring and summer I plan on staying the course, safely and steadily trying to push the boundaries. Two weeks back I had pushed the gas a little too hard and had to back off for a few days to recover. There will  be some inevitable setbacks during this discovery process, but I will find what's right and will continue to make improvement.

This done-by-feel period will be composed of 120 to 160 mile weeks as the body handles the load and will comprise of mostly high end aerobic running, in which fitness is allowed to develop at a comfortable rate. As Ottawa approaches there will a period of more specialized conditioning, with sessions geared toward target race pace, and intensity, but for now the goal is too build the milage back up after the break I took to build back the strength in the back.

During this process it should be noted, it was not without sore feet, tired knees and starting a few runs simply by walking until the body warmed up but each day and each week the body was able to handle the load just that little bit better.

On the mend!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

And so it returns

Crazy training regime returns once again with a few adjustments, more strength, shorter crisper runs Cam Levins style and tweeked nutrition plan with ideas borrowed from Prof Tim Noakes and the Iditarod. 128 miles for the week with two workouts per day mid week and three workouts on the weekend.

And so it begins, its on!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Living the dream

After a winter of focusing on strength training I am back running twice a day and put in my first 100 mile week this past week and will look to build on this in the weeks to come. Starting to get the mojo back and really want to train hard and build some fitness back and see if we can "live the dream" training wise once again.

To maximize training I love the idea of training three times a day, Cam Levin's style, but that is not an option with my schedule, so the goal is too train twice a day Tuesday to Friday to and from the shop and three times a day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday on my days off, Monday being a paper work day, which gives me the flexibility to complete the paper work on my own schedule.

In some respects time is running out on this and I want to give this one more run and see if I can maximize my training and see what unfolds.

Let the fun begin!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Post Birkie

That was a great week, loads of excitement leading up to the event, tons of fun working with Patrick testing wax and getting everything dialled in for the big day. Now while the conditions did not quite pan out as expected it was still a great day out on the trails.

For my effort, I had moments of pure effortless skiing but mostly my back just did not match or like the conditions and had to adjust pace based on the back pain. Long gone on the days where I try to push through the pain and end up unable to walk the next day or worse bed ridden for a week because I let my ego dictate the pace.
"Let the fun begin", fun which had already begun for Patrick and Tyla:-)
Once I dialled back the pace and the back pain eased I was able to enjoy the day and the pleasure of skiing the Birkie trails and with that was able to go running the next day with no side effects from pushing through the pain.

With the Birkie complete, I will certainly still do some skiing but the focus shifts to running and getting ready for the Ottawa marathon.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Alberta Cup

Good weekend of racing here in Edmonton on my local trails. I can say I have never seen the trails in such great shape and the way they designed the course made for an challenging race.

After Sundays effort I was able to get out for an easy ski with Shauna at SWC to aid recovery and with today's recovery workouts feel strong going into this weekends Birkie, the main nordic goal of the season.

The goal for the weekend was to put in two very solid efforts getting the body ready for this weekends Birkie. The key was to get out after each race to put in some easy skiing so the effort can carry forward to next week instead of sitting in the legs and creating fatigue which I think was accomplished testing binders with Patrick Saturday night and then going for a long recovery ski post race on Sunday.
Cresting ESSO hill!
Strategy wise for the Birkie, it will to be to wax for speed making sure not lose contact with the group over the the first 10km when things settle down and then once things settle focus on conserving energy, fuelling and getting ready for the attacks once we hit the fence line. If I am feeling strong when we reach the fence line, hopefully I can respond to the moves and be in the mix.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Whats on tap

Moving towards the Ottawa marathon, its two and some days three quality workouts per day.  The workouts will be kept short to maintain quality with one too two workouts per week focusing on extending that quality to reflex marathon specific training.

An oldie but a goodie!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Dialling things in

After a solid build of strength based training, I am just about ready to go Cam Levins style again with training and have decided on the following events on the run side.

  • Comox half marathon
  • Vancouver half marathon
  • Ottawa marathon
This is going to be fun!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Volume training

Through progression, adding new elements and adapting ideas from the strength community to run training I have started applying ideas presented on Charles Poliquin's blog. After extensive reading of his methods and seeing how his ideas line up with where I am right now, I am slowly applying some of his ideas to my training and diet. 

Some of the following ideas, in quotes, are a few key areas I am adapting to my training, and will look to add more as training progresses and if we see good adaptation. If it does not work, than we will adjust further.

German volume training

"In a nutshell, GVT targets a specific group of motor units and exposes them to an extensive volume of repeated efforts; specifically, 10 sets of a single exercise. The body adapts to such extraordinary stress by hypertrophying those muscle fibers."

"the goal of GVT is to complete 10 sets of 10 reps with the same weight for each exercise."

I decided to add this idea as ten sets of ten reps to failure seems to relate better to endurance training than 3 to 5 sets of 1 to 3 reps and is a great way to prepare for the heavier lifting just before an event.

Advanced german volume training

"Another major difference in this GVT program is the number of repetitions per set, which do not exceed 5. Due to the increased neurological efficiency of advanced trainees, 10 reps would result in the average intensity level being too low to produce the desired training effect."

I use this concept, increasing weight and dropping to 5 rep and then 3 rep strength as a race nears and then resume 10 rep strength post race.

Training frequency
"And one of the key differences is that the Bulgarians would often train as much as five times a day, allowing them to train at a much higher intensity. The concept was that testosterone peaks about 15 minutes into a workout, and remains at that level for about 30 minutes – which they believe is the optimal time period for training. After 45 minutes, take a break."

I have used this concept with good success, tapering the workouts as a race or time trial effort approaches. At this point have only tried two 45min workouts per day but am looking to try three on days when I am not at the shop.

"When people ask me for the best single dietary tip for optimal leanness, energy and sustained mental focus, I invariably tell them to try the rotating meat and nuts breakfast. The meat allows for a slow and steady rise in blood sugar. The nuts provide a great source of healthy smart fats that allows the blood sugar to remain stable for an extended period of time.  What you eat for breakfast sets up your entire neurotransmitter production for the day."

Have been using this strategy for a few weeks with great success, highly recommend. 

And there we have it, a few ideas.