Health Wellness and Endurance

The Fraser Valley’s Wellness, Fitness, and Endurance Sports Podcast.

January 16th, 2018    

Phoenix Velo Presents: Speak and Spin 2018


Coming up this Sunday (January 21st) at the Mission Senior’s Centre is the annual kick off for the Phoenix Velo Training Group. In this Fitspeek Express Interview, we speak with club president Geoff Oram.

And if you want to know what the significance of the picture below is, you are going to have to listen to the end of the interview!

January 5th, 2018    

Fitspeek 25: Setting up your New Year/Wentings Spin Sessions


With a new year comes new opportunities for awesomeness. For many members of the Wednesday Night Spins at Wenting’s Cycle in Mission, their new season is already off to a strong start. That’s because they’ve already been training smartly during the dark season.

In this episode of Fitspeek, we go into the spin-pit at Wenting’s and speak with many local triathletes and cyclists including Leigh-Ann Parker Vanderlinde, Tatania Sean, Paul McLachlan and Dan McLachlan. We ask them about their 2017 season and about their plans for the new year.

And if you are looking to “crush it” in 2018 and need some extra help along the way, the folks at Tri*Joy} The Spirit of Multisport offer one on one consultations and customized training plans to make your season your best yet. Email to get more details.

January 1st, 2018    

Geo Wade & Diella Siemens: Going Long (repost)


Just in case you didn’t get a chance to hear it the first time ’round, this is a re-post of the great interview that Kevin Watt, Zack Neufeld, and I did with Diella & Geo. We get into some great storytelling about how they were drawn to doing ultra-long sporting events and some of the adventures they have had while training for them and doing them. No need to fast forward to get to the interview. Just hit play

December 30th, 2017    

Your new year awaits! What can it mean for you?

Although for some folks in my circle of co-workers, cronies, and training partners, the New Year’s resolutions list has become passe, I think there is still value in making one.

Detractors may say the list is just a way of highlighting how messed up your life has become. Others say that you can change your life anytime. You don’t need a date on a calendar to do it.

Let me challenge those thoughts by examining briefly the first argument. While some may think of a list of resolutions is sort of like a ledger of failure, having a concrete list of things that ain’t workin’ for you is not a bad thing. Taking a sober look at your life on a regular basis is time well-invested. Furthermore, by you making the list, rather than having it imposed on you by some hostile third party (girlfriend, boyfriend, parent, employer) you may have more intrinsic motivation to succeed.

Plenty of research suggests intrinsic motivation is effective to affect long-term change. Humans are, however, pack animals. This is where extrinsic motivation comes in. Once again, this is when a list of New Year’s resolutions may be a helpful first step on the way to positive change. Let’s face it, January the first is the start of a new year. The Christmas season is over. A lot of other people are also inspired to make change in their lives at this time. Why not capitalize on the inertia and join that swell of change. Having a group of like-minded co-workers or friends to motivate you and hold you accountable in those critical first weeks may make the difference between success and failure. Groups like the one below are great sources of positive peer support.

Take a look at the folks around you who you know well and are comfortable sharing your New Year’s goals with, and then do it. You can use each other as motivation and consolation along your path to awesomeness. And if you have a success story of making any long-term change in your life, whether it was a New Year’s resolution or not, let us know about it on our comments section. For the Fit Tip of The Week, I’m Kevin Heinze.

December 25th, 2017    

Ultra 520K Reflections Part E: Road Work Ahead

As usual, it has been a long time since my latest Ultra 520K blogpost. In this post, we make steady (and slow) progress on the run route from Princeton to Summerland.

Day Three: Part C – Hours 1 – 2 Solitary Man

The first thirteen miles of the day went by fairly uneventful. Even though twelve out of the fourteen competitors in the race were ahead of me, I was in good spirits, taking my walk breaks every ten or twelve minutes, having something to eat and drink, and chatting with my crew. At the thirteen mile mark, at about 2:30 into the run, I was delighted to see and hear Steve King announcing my arrival to a crowd of….. five people! : my crew members Kim, Elise, Rio, the race nurse, and myself. The things that guy does to make us back of the pack athletes feel acknowledged.

At that point, I changed running shoes (should have changed sock as well), had a mini-celebration with my crew, and began to run with my wife Elise. This was probably one of the high-points of the day as I was feeling pretty good physically, the weather was quite mild, and I was on pace to get the run done well under the time cut-off.

Day Three Part D: Hours 3 – 5  We are The Road Crew

According to the topographic map of the run course, kilometres 20-40 were supposed to be the toughest of the day, so when we heard Steve King, playing music and announcing to a crowd of – just us – at the 26.2 mile mark, we all were feeling optimistic. We thought that the toughest roads of the day were behind us. We were very wrong.

As the day progressed and the temperature rose, so did the road. And as the incline got higher and higher, the quality of the road got lower and lower, well, at least for running on. The loosely packed gravel and washboard-like surface make it difficult for me to land my foot strikes and I had to prance around the road like a deer, trying not to hit the uneven sections. With this kind of surface, and plenty of fatigue in my legs, my wisest option was to not only walk up the hills, but down them as well. I wondered how the rest of the racers got through this section.

In the picture below, you can see me shouting my defiance at the hill after making it down another one. You can also see Kevin Watt’s steely resolve. You can almost see him thinking “I wish that stupid guy would just shut up & run!”

After a few more of these silly hills, I am pretty sure that I said to my running pacer, Kevin Watt that we were FINALLY done them and it should be easy sailing for the next 30 k. Wrong again. Through this section, Kevin was a real help, listening to me whine and complain and chiming in with a few short comments to keep me on track.

Day Three Part E: Hours 6-9 Her Name is Rio and She Dances on The ???

Once Kevin Watt heard enough of my whining and complaining and there seemed to be no end to the crappy road, it was time to change my running partner and have Kevin enjoy the solitude of his Ford Truck. Rio came to the rescue! Without a doubt this was the most difficult part of the whole event and Rio rose to the challenge. There was one part of the course, after I had a Red Bull and a gel that I thought the best way to make progress was to get mad.

Some rage and the accompanying caffeine rush should be good to get me through this section, I thought. Wrong for the third time! After about fifteen or twenty minutes of shouting insults at the hill, and some rage inspired self-talk, the Red Bull and gel wore off and I was back to my usual, finicky, self.

Maybe I should have trained more for moments like this. Maybe I should have just pushed through the discomfort. Maybe I should have stuck with golf. All of these silly thoughts zoomed through my brain as the miles Progress was slow but progress WAS being made. In spite of walking up hills, my average speed was still above 4.8 miles per hour, the speed I needed to maintain to complete the course by the twelve hour cut-off.

December 22nd, 2017    

Going Long – Fitspeek 24: The “Ultra-Edition”


Geo Wade and Diella Siemens are both amazing people. In addition to holding down regular jobs and being parents and spouses like “the rest of us” they are also ultra-endurance athletes, although they don’t really like to admit it.

In Fitspeek 24 Diella tells us about her first experience of “going-long” when she decided to walk home from work one day (from Vancouver to Port Coquitlam). Since then she has tackled her first half Ironman distance triathlon, developed a healthy interest in long-distance cycling and is preparing to do another ultra marathon.

Geo Wade discovered  in the Victoria Half Ironman that 2 K of swimming was just an appetizer and had an appetite for more. Last year he completed a non-stop bike ride from Port Hardy to Victoria. This year he attempted the swim from the Mainland to Nanaimo.

Geo and Diella are great examples of what Fitspeek is all about, ordinary people doing extraordinary things. In addition to our feature interview we also have our usual features including Kevin Watt’s Social Media Shout Outs, Zack Neufeld’s Between The Ears, and I have your Top 3 heath trends of 2017. Hear it all by pressing play below:

December 14th, 2017    

Fitspeek 23: More than just swim, bike, run!


In this episode, we show that Fitspeek is indeed more than just race results and tri-talk.

Our newest podcast features our first installment of the Top 6 Health Trends of 2017. We’ll sort through the hype & the jargon & give you the straight goods on things like HIIT and “Wearable Technology.” And no, we have not forgotten our usual features like the upcoming events schedule and the race results.

Have you got 20 minutes?  Because Fitspeek 23 has something for you! It’s all at your fingertips below.

And if you are inspired to take your training to the next level for your upcoming fondo, marathon, or triathlon sample our Tri*Joy Tri-For-Fifty promotion.  Get details at

December 10th, 2017    

BC’s BCs: The Brothers Cook


In our last Fitspeek Express interview we heard from Dan Cook: realtor, part time runner and full time father of four.

This time we hear from the rest of this podium dominating family from Abbotsford including: 17 year old Travis, 14 year old (Mr. Energy Saver ) Preston, and 7 year old Fraser. These are names sure to be part of the Fraser Valley’s running scene for years to come.

December 6th, 2017    

The Family That Plays (runs) Together


As a long-time runner, how do you deal with the challenges of being a father? How about turning your 4 children into Team Cook, one of the Fraser Valley’s fastest running families? In this Fitspeek Express Interview, Kevin Heinze speaks with Dan Cook, the very proud father of a very fit family!

November 28th, 2017    

Fitspeek on The Fly} From Wadena Bakery


Armed with a double-espresso from the Wadena Bakery, our Fitspeek experiment continues, ever-Eastward. Today’s ten minutes of fun features Intern Elise and Kevin Watt with the Instagram shout outs. We also hear about the Judy Factor and fun with monkeys on episode four of Planet Mikey.

Remember if 2018 is your year to “Tri” – do it with us at Tri*JOY} The Spirit of Multisport.

Our Tri-For-Fifty promotion gives you a chance to taste test the Tri*Joy coaching experience. For $50.00 for your first month, you get

  • A 30 minute one on one in-person fitness and goals consultation.
  • A customized 4 week training program.
  • Weekly e-mail or phone contact with your coach.

Email: to set up your upcoming season!

November 27th, 2017    

Fitspeek on The Fly} From Hanna, Alberta


Ten years ago Abbotsford’s Marie Lashley took on the challenge as race director of a brand new event called the Santa Shuffle. In today’s Fitspeek on The Fly we hear about Marie’s motivations for investing her time in the event, her recent affinity for trail running, and her changing tastes in post-run nutrition!

November 26th, 2017    

Fitspeek on the Fly: From Calgary


As we travel Eastward, the flow of information on Fitspeek on the Fly continues. Today it’s Zack Neufeld with his latest edition of Between The Ears. We hear about the importance of breathing properly for maximum athletic performance.

November 25th, 2017    

Fitspeek on The Fly – From Revelstoke


Happy Saturday from Fitspeek. We are trying  a new approach for this week it’s Fitspeek on the Fly.

Today’s segment is the roundtable. We catch up with KWs Vegas adventure, hear from Intern Elise, and get the dirt on the Provincial Cyclocross Championships in Abbotsford

November 21st, 2017    

2017 BC Provincial Cyclocross Pre Race Information 2017 BC Provincial Cyclocross Championships!!!!


Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26 Matt Scott of the Famed Valley Cross races will be hosting the BC Cyclocross Championships in Abbotsford at the Mill Lake Facility. Equal Prize Money!! Kids bring your Parents! Parents bring your kids! Volunteers, Fans, Dogs, Cats, Everyone!! Come out for some Crazy Fun and cheer on your Provincial Racers!

November 19th, 2017    

With Grace and With Peace} The Alison Jackson Interview


From growing up on a farm that raised bison, near Vermilion, Alberta, to riding with “the boys” in Phoenix Velo, to the Go Pink/Cogeas cycling team in Italy, Alison Jackson has shown what happens at the confluence of ambition, talent, and grit.

In this Fitspeek Express interview, we hear about Alison’s journey in becoming a professional athlete, challenges she faces as a professional cyclist living in Italy, her Olympic ambitions, and her passion for pastries from Duft & Co.

Just a reminder of our Tri*Joy Try For Fifty promotion. You get a one on one consultation with a Tri*Joy coach, a monthly training program, and a weekly consultation for fifty dollars.

November 17th, 2017    

Coming Soon To Fitspeek: The Allison Jackson Interview


We’re just a few days away from uploading our latest Fitspeek Express interview. Our guest is Be Pink/Cogeas pro-cyclist Allison Jackson. You’ll hear how she made it from a farm near Vermilion, Alberta to The University of The Fraser Valley, to the front of the peloton.

In the meantime we have current UFV student Zack Neufeld (along with Fitspeek co-host Kevin Heinze) with your race results from the Mission Half-Marathon and the Try Events Races from Boundary Bay.

November 15th, 2017    

Overcoming The Dark Season – Fitspeek 21


Fitspeek 21 features results from the recent running races in Mission and Boundary Bay, Bryan Wilkinson from Tri*Joy stops by for a chat on off-season nutrition and training, and we have episode four of Planet Mikey. This week has 21 minutes of Fitspeek fun. Hear it by pressing play below

And remember to check out Bryan Wilkinson’s Facebook Page to support his Movember Challenge.

November 12th, 2017    

Fitspeek Welcomes Bryan Wilkinson from Tri*Joy} The Spirit of Multisport


Would you by a used car from this man? Probably not! But you would be well-advised to give a listen to this Fitspeek interview with him. We hear about his transition from a Rugby Player in Australia to a Triathlete in Agassiz.  Bryan also has some great advice on off-season training and nutrition. He also answers the question, “What’s  with the ‘stache?”

November 4th, 2017    

Ultra 520 K Reflections Part D:

 Walking up another mountain – the gravel doesn’t flow.

Kicks me in the balls and head – and those who see they know.

The grade it grinds, my soul my mind – so mindlessly I toil.

Buoyed up by my selfless crew – their energy on boil.

Some pizza here, some Red Bull there – somehow the miles pass.

Gotta make the finish line – fo’ I run out of gas. 

As usual, it has been awhile since my last Ultra piece. This one starts, just as the second day is wrapping up. Because the seat on my Scott Foil was set too low, I buggered up my right knee. Because I waited too long to sign up for my post-bike massage, I waited two hours to eat anything of substance of my 275 K bike ride on day two. I post-race bonked. All this crap before I attempt to do the longest run of my life. Just freakin’ wonderful!

Once arriving at the Sandman Inn, my crew proved how selfless and well-organized they were. It was almost like a military operation and even though I was feeling like crap, I marveled at their energy level in preparing all my stuff for the next day. All I had to do was whimper in bed. Since my post-race meal had happened so long after I had finished, there was some discussion as to whether or not it would be a good idea if I attended the breakfast the following day. After some texting, or phone calls, or whatever (my mind pretty hazy by then) we decided to skip the breakfast and get an extra thirty or forty minutes of sleep. Since I already had a fridge full of leftovers because I could not finish my supper, this proved to be a wise decision.

The longer I laid in bed dreading the next day, the better my body and spirit began to feel. Pretty strange, eh? One of the reasons that I signed up for this adventure is that I wanted to push myself and find out things about myself and that was certainly happening, at ten at night in a motel in Princeton. From about 10 to 2 I couldn’t sleep too well, so I made the best of it by guzzling water. My appetite even improved, so I managed to finish off a lot of the leftovers from supper. Drinking so much water, naturally meant quite a few trips to the bathroom. To me, this was a good thing as I had a chance to see if my injured knee was doing. I would run on the spot to see what my range of motion was like. Happily, my knee was improving. Around 2:30 or so, I finally fell asleep.

Day 3: Part B – Showtime!

Since we decided to skip the athlete’s breakfast I had an extra forty minutes or so to sleep in. This was a great idea since I didn’t sleep much and I already had some food in the fridge. After having half of a BLT sandwich and some day old fries (yummy) we packed the vehicles for the last day of the expedition. I was very pleased as I jumped into the truck, my injured knee was feeling quite good. We arrived at the run start line very early and had some time to get a short nap in the truck and snap some pictures. Again, I also had to do the usual medical check-in which involved getting weighed, among with my blood pressure and pulse being checked. The nurse told me that my weight and pulse was fine but my blood pressure was quite low. She was going to be keeping an extra close eye on me today. I thought to myself, “she is going to have a VERY long day then” as I anticipated using every minute of the twelve hours we had to run the double marathon.

After the usual pre-race briefing and pictures the gun went off and I started the longest run of my life. I suppressed the many thoughts and feelings that I had including: would my knee be ok? Would my stomach be ok? Would my feet turn to hamburger? Would I be a prick to my crew? Would I be last?

It didn’t take long for one of those fears to be realized. About five minutes into the race, I was in last place. “Whatever,” I thought to myself, “just run your numbers, eat your food, be nice to your crew, and you will finish this thing.” As it turned out I would have another competitor either just ahead of me or behind me for the next eleven hours.

As I have mentioned many, many, times in this race report the main thing that enabled me to finish this who expedition was my crew and day three was perhaps the best example of that. Today was really just a very well-catered hike. A long hike, but nothing really “other-worldly.” Our plan was for me to “run” for the first hour or so by myself to see how I was recovering from the first two days. After that our plan was to have one of our crew members run with me for about an hour or so. In addition to having run pacers, my crew supplied with me a never – ending supply of food and drinks. I had F2C Hydra-Endurance, Glyco-Endurance, Electro-Endurance, Coke, Red Bull, Green Tea, water, Gu Gels, perogies, chocolate bars, and Clif Bars. To make the run more comfortable I had a choice of five different running shoes, four pairs of spare socks, three pairs of extra running shorts, three extra running shirts, a foot bath, and finally, a yoga mat with a foam roller. If I was to not finish, it wouldn’t be because of a lack of food or from being uncomfortable.

November 3rd, 2017    

Jessica Thompson Conquers The Valley Vertikiller


The Abbotsford Trail Runners recently held their first ever trail race, the 25 KM, 1500 ft. of climbing Valley Vertikiller. 

North Vancouver’s Jessica Thompson, thought it would be the idea way to begin her career as a trail run racer. In this interview Fitspeek’s Kevin Heinze speaks with Jessica about the training, her race day experiences, and elephants.

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