Ironman Canada training update

I'm basically done with Ironman training for Ironman Canada that's coming up in August.  The rest of the month is called "taper" where we get to work out like normal people and rest up our bodies from the last 9 months of wear and tear.

Last weekend was intense but I've gotten used to it over the years, a 2 hour run and 1 hour bike ride (indoors) on Friday, a 4 hour bike ride up in the hills on Saturday, and then a 8-9 hour workout on Sunday which was 2 hours on the bike and 50 minutes of running times 3 in the heat.

I basically need to watch my weight and nutrition, stretch, stay injury free, and maintain my muscle memory.  The best part of taper and for the next couple months, I'm just a big ball of energy so *everything* else becomes so intense it's pretty sweet.  There's a reason why people keep doing Ironmans.  You can kinda guess why.

11 Replies to “Ironman Canada training update”

  1. Description: The birth of Ironman Canada.

    Article by Jay Winans – Impact Magazine

    Ironman Canada may never have happened had it not been for Ron Zalko, Vancouver fitness celebrity and entrepreneur. “I’m the visionary, the founder, the first race director and the sponsor,” said Zalko. The very first event in 1983 grew out of Zalko’s frustration with the cost of traveling to Hawaii to compete in the nascent Ironman event there. He organized sponsors such as Gatorade and Adidas, and approached Kelowna first, but Kelowna turned him down and Adidas walked. But Zalko didn’t give up. When he met with the mayor and other dignitaries in Penticton, his idea for an ultra-triathlon event was warmly received, and they offered to help with volunteers. Zalko knew he had found just the right spot in Penticton-the hotel was right on the water, the weather and traffic were good, and the community was eager.

    Martin Wanless, one of the founders in 1983 of the Tri Association of B.C., remembers Zalko standing at the back of the room at the inaugural meeting held at G.F. Strong Sports Medicine Centre in Vancouver and inviting attendees to come to Penticton for the first race. A number of people said they’d come if Zalko put it on.

    “It was Ron Zalko’s baby from day one,” said Michael Van Ert. “He did get the sponsors, he was the race director, it was his money that financed the race.” Van Ert explained that Zalko could not have done it without lots of help from people like Lynn Van Dove, Steve King, and a half dozen others, but proper credit goes to Ron Zalko, the man with the iron will, for creating the race that everyone’s celebrating in Penticton.

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    Extreme for the Mainstream
    Ironman – Aug 17
    The Ironman Canada goes next weekend in Penticton. Now, I'm not crazy enough to think I can finish the 3.9-km swim, 180-km bike ride and 42.2-km run, but that wasn't going to stop me from writing about the famed race.

    A lot of things have changed since Penticton hosted the first Canadian International Ultra Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 20, 1983.
    Like the name, for starters.
    The Subaru Ironman Canada celebrates its 25th anniversary next Saturday, with 2,650 athletes registered to compete in the 3.9-kilometre swim, 180-kilometre bike ride and 42.2-kilometre run.
    No other race in triathlon's history has garnered such popularity. And it's a far cry from the 23 men and one woman who raced in the inaugural event a quarter-century ago.
    "The biggest change I've seen is the conditioning of the athletes themselves," says Brian Wyatt, a member of the Ironman Canada board of directors who has been involved with the race since Day 1. "It was a fringe sport back 25 years ago — there wasn't all that many people doing it. That's all changed."
    Outside the lines, the event has also evolved. Originally a one-day meet, the Ironman Canada has since grown into a week-long festival — thrusting the Okanagan city further into the international limelight and providing a massive boost to the local economy at the tail end of the tourism season.

    If not for the man with the iron will, the Ironman Canada may have never came to be.
    "I am the visionary, founder, architect and sponsor of the Ironman Canada," says Ron Zalko, proudly. "I had a bright and clear vision that kept me going. Even back then, I knew it would be a great success."
    The local fitness guru is in his office at Ron Zalko Sports Club in trendy Kitsilano and he's pointing to a wall. There, among the countless pictures of famous clients, hangs a large medallion acknowledging his role in the birth of the Ironman Canada.
    A competitor in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in 1981 and '82, the transplanted Israeli felt compelled to bring a similar event to his new homeland.
    "I wanted to do it for Canada, for triathletes and for love of sport," says Zalko, who was the race director for the inaugural Ironman Canada.
    "It was a very expensive proposition back them to fly yourself, your bike and the rest of your gear to Hawaii. So when I returned from my second trip I just decided we needed one in Canada."
    It didn't take long to figure Penticton was the perfect location, what with its scenic beauty and down-home charm.
    "The city said if I put up the money, they'd help with the logistics and getting volunteers," he recalls of his initial meeting with the city's mayor and other dignitaries. "It cost about $100,000, a lot of money at the time, but I always knew it would be worth it.
    "A lot of people thought I was crazy, but I wasn't going to be deterred. It wasn't about the money."

    For many years the Subaru Ironman Canada was the only Ironman triathlon in continental North America.
    So now with seven other Ironman races on the North American schedule, how then does it remain one of the most popular races in the world?
    Is it the setting, the beautiful Okanagan Valley with clean, clear lakes and verdant wineries throughout the area? Is it the bike course that takes the athletes from striking, and challenging, mountain climbs such as the famous Richter's Pass to desert-like conditions?
    It's both. And more.
    One of the elements that makes pro and age-group athletes return to the event year after year is what's fondly referred to as the "Iron Army." Some 4,500 strong, this group of volunteers is made up of friends or family members of participants, former participants, but mostly the volunteers are members of the community who come out to make the event a success.
    "Subaru Ironman Canada is one of the athletes' favourite races because of the bonding between the community and athletes. It is a 25-year bond, which continues to grow," said Graham Fraser, Ironman North America president.
    "Subaru Ironman Canada offers one of the world's most beautiful courses with a great variety of terrain. It really is a special week for everyone involved."

    – The first Ironman Canada winners were Mike Wagstaff, in 10:41:51, and Dyane Lynch, the lone woman in the field, in 15:36:47. The original course was a straight out-and-back swim, a bike ride that circled Skaha Lake twice and continued down to Osoyoos, and returned to Penticton.

    – First in the hearts of the Penticton community among the winners is five-time Subaru Ironman Canada Champion Lori Bowden. A two-time World Ironman Champion, the Victoria native has posted more victories at the event than any other elite athlete. On the men's side, Ray Browning of Denver, Col., dominated the race in the early years with wins in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

    – A number of special celebrations are planned for the 25th Subaru Ironman Canada Race Week in Penticton. A long list of former champions will be returning to participate in the festivities that will feature a gift to the community of Penticton, a retrospective evening of music, video and remembrance and a charity hockey game featuring an 'Ironman All-Star' team against some former NHL legends. The city has become involved with the local museum hosting an Ironman Canada exhibit and an Ironman Canada Art Contest.

    – Ironman Canada has brought a big production to Penticton in many ways, not the least of which is an economic impact of roughly $15 million a year.

    – For many years Subaru Ironman Canada was the only Ironman triathlon in continental North America.

    Link to this | E-mail this | Digg this | Post to
    Published Saturday, August 18, 2007 2:33 PM by Ian Walker
    Filed under: Vancouver Sun, Ian Walker, Ron Zalko, Canada Ironman, adrenalin, Penticton

  3. Ron Zalko, the visionary, architect & founder of Ironman Canada wishes all triathletes the best in your 2010 training for the next Ironman.

  4. All fitness providers and race providers should be exempt from the HST to encourage health and fitness. A healthy population will take the stress off of the struggling health care system, lowering the rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
    Yours in fitness, Ron Zalko, Founder of Ironman Canada

  5. Hi Ron Zalko!! long time no see!!! Yeah, the first woman to complete the IMC will be there to cheer Sr. Madonna and many others on August 26th! A big one, celebrating the 30th!! May see you at Steve's place?

  6. Ironman was launched and created by Lynn van dove no matter how many people have been ask to say otherwise. All the facts and memorabilia can be viewed at the BRITISH COLUMBIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME – IN HER FOOT STEPS GALLERY, BC PLACE STADIUM VANCOUVER BC. Also GOOGLE…1983 Ironperson for the legal explanation that blows the lid on the thirty plus years of misrepresentation. Sorry

  7. To Lynn VanDove, I read your article & comment, they are an interesting work of fiction. Please don't forget to add in the sequel about how you stole the registration money from the triathletes and the reason you got kicked out of Penticton. Whether you like it or not, I'm the visionary, founder, and architect of the Canadian ironman triathlon. And yes I did own the license and rights to the name for Canada. It was registered Legally in Victoria. If you had any business sense you would not have caved into any pressure or tried to put pressure yourself to change the name, and Canadian Ironman would not have had to go through what it just did. Remember that Ron Zalko fitness put the race together, designed the course, payed for some of the athletes to come and for the event itself. I don't know why I'm telling you this, you know it already. You came along and asked for help to promote your fitness club as an exchange for your help with the race (which you were also paid for) we agreed to help promote your fitness club. We raised money for you and helped bring you new business. Remember when the last triathletes passed through the finish line you said "you made it Ron!" Or perhaps your memory is failing you. I hope this helps clear things up.
    As far as the Ironman Canada race goes today, it's still prospering and I'm very proud of it.
    Ron Zalko
    Founder of Ironman Canada

  8. p.s. at the time in 1981, the race was called Nautilus Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii as Valerie Silk and her ex husband then owned a chain of fitness clubs called Nautilus in Waikiki. The race was moved from Waikiki to Kona in 1981 due to logistical issues. The word Ironman at the time belonged to the triathletes and symbolized the distance they raced, for example just like the word marathon which symbolizes the 26.2 mile distance. Then in 1982 (which I raced again in Kona) the name was changed to Ironman which I don't have any problem with. Then I brought it to Canada and called it Canadian Ironman which showed that it was in Canada and that was the distance (140.6). I had registered the name legally in Victoria for the purpose of finding sponsors besides my fitness club and other issues. I designed this race for the triathletes, for Canada, for the love of the sport, and so it would be accessible to many more triathletes who could not travel the distance or did not have the finances to go to Kona, Hawaii.
    Ron Zalko

  9. I competed in Ironman Canada in 1990 and 1991. I have been searching for any articles, photos, ect…. over the internet but have been unsuccessful. If you have any info I would appreciate it.

  10. Hugh Miller – If this site is still alive I and others have everthing you need .I just dug out the 1981 boxes from the warehouse. Interesting stuff to see all the pieces and how the race and the sport came together. Museum time. Please contact me at when you can.

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