Client Profiles

Since opening here in Vancouver in 2005, the Peak Centre for Human Performance has helped thousands of athletes reach their goals. This has included 10 kms, Marathons, GranFondos, weight loss, Triathlons, Ironmans, soccer players, NHL draft players and MUCH more! Follow the links below to read a few words from clients who have benefited from training with the Peak Centre.

Chris Fraser – Cyclist, 2017: Strength Training Program Client

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    Chris Fraser is a keen cyclist who competes in many road, cross and mountain bike races across BC. Chris first visited the Peak Centre back in 2015 and began his strength training program with us in January 2017.

    Photo by: Scott Robarts

    Strength training is an often overlooked, but very important factor in endurance sports. Many endurance athletes such as cyclists and runners have the perception that strength training is unneccessary and is seen as wasted training time. However, there’s plenty of evidence to support the  inclusion of strength training as a regular part of your training program for endurance athletes. Many modern strength training programs are focused on improving balance and building muscular endurance (by repetitions). The reality is there’s no evidence to suggest that this style of strength training actually improves your endurance performance. Here at the Peak Centre we focus our Strength Training Program around improving absolute strength, meaning we look to promote a neurological adaptation. This theory is based on the fact that endurance sports such as cycling are a sub-maximal exercise. Therefore, evidence has proven that by increasing absolute strength repeated movement at a sub-maximal level (such as cycling cadence) will become easier and more efficient.

    Here’s a few benefits of including strength training in your program:

    • Implementing strength training alongside endurance training is correlated to increased force production.
    • Endurance athletes need a strong core for translating power and maintaining overall endurance.
    • Strength training will allow your lower body muscles and core to become stronger, meaning you’ll be less fatigued in the later parts of your race and you can better maintain your technique.

    So how has implementing strength training to Chris’s training program affected his cycling performance? Below we can see a summary of all of Chris’s assessments results for 2017.

    It’s clear from the data that Chris has made some huge improvements over the racing year. The most striking improvement being in his maximal power output. The improvments he had made to his absolute strength since the start of his Strength Training Program were also huge. Before Chris started his strength training his max power output was at 280 W (3.84 w/kg). In just 4 months his max power output had increased by 25 W, making him better prepared for the start of the road racing season. Even throughout his racing season Chris maintained a regular weekly strength training session.  At the end of his road racing season and before the start of Cross-Racing season we had Chris back in the lab for a re-assessment. The improvements he had made were huge. His max power was now at 340 W (4.58 w/kg), this being a 21% improvement from his first assessment in January. His Lactate Threshold (LT) had increased from 245 W to 295 W, another 20% increase from his first assessment. Chris’ Aerobic Threshold (AeT) had also increased by 27% from 185 W to 235 W. It’s also important to note that Chris managed to maintain a stable weight throughout the year. This proves that focusing strength training around neurological adaptations will allow an athlete to maintain a stable weight throughout the racing calendar.

    This year Chris has made some massive improvements both in his physiological profile and race performances. All the improvements are down to the hard work Chris puts into his training and the continued strength training sessions throughout the year. It’s always a pleasure to have Chris in the gym or in the lab. We are really looking forward to building on this year’s success and hoping to see some even greater performances and race results for the forthcoming year. Keep up the hard work Chris!

    Inspired by Chris’ success and want to find out how we can help you improve your performance through strength training? If so, click here here to find out more about our strength training programs, or to read more about the importance of strength training for cyclists read a recently published blog from our very own Lewis Morrison.


    Teresa Polson – Runner, 2017: Intern Training Program

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      Teresa Polson has been a client of The Peak Centre for over 10 years now but started her Intern Training Program in Spring of 2017 with the goal of improving her half marathon time.

      In Teresa’s first assessment of the year, prior to starting her program, she obtained results that indicated she could really benefit from joining the program, especially if she wanted to meet her goals.

      Teresa started a monthly training program with The Peak Centre which allowed us to regularly re-assess the effectiveness of her training. As Teresa’s goals were focused around a half marathon it was essential for her to spend a large proportion of her training in Zone 1 to increase her aerobic threshold. After 8 moths of committed training it was clear that she had made some significant improvements…

      Teresa’s Aerobic Threshold (AeT), at the start of the year, was at 4.1 kph. In her assessment in July she had improved her AeT by 29%, taking it up to 5.3 kph!  Meaning she was able to run at a much faster pace before the lactate accumulation exceeded the rate at which she could remove it. Teresa’s Lactate threshold (LT) also improved by 14%, from 6.3 kph to 7.2 kph! Not only did Teresa improve her AeT and LT but also her max speed! Taking it from 7.6 kph to 8.5 kph, an increase of 12%.

      Teresa recently raced in the Niagara Half Marathon which was the goal she identified when starting her Intern Training Program. Winds of 54 kph and a temperature of 29°C made for an interesting racing environment but nonetheless Teresa pushed on whilst many others dropped along the way. Finishing with a time of 2:45 hrs, Teresa was super happy with her achievement and so are we! We’re excited to see what’s next for Teresa. By continuing to get re-assessed we will get new and updated numbers for her to push herself harder and harder and set new goals! Again, well done Teresa!

      Anne Mackie – Triathlete, 2017: Intern Training Program

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        Anne Mackie has been a regular client here at the Peak Centre, but in April 2017 she started on our Intern Training Program. With Anne’s main focus of the season being the Olympic distance ITU World Age Group Championships in Rotterdam in September, we got to work in planning a training plan that would ensure she entered the race in the best physical condition and put her in the best position to achieve her desired goals.

        “I started at the peak because I was interested in a more scientific approach to my training. Having a background in biochemistry I knew that there was a smart way to train I just wasn’t sure what the exact details were for me. Having the assessments done confirmed some of the things that I knew worked well for me and challenged me in new areas” 

        Before we started to plan Anne’s program we needed to gain an understanding of her current physiological profile. In her initial bike assessment, power at her aerobic threshold was at 67% of her power at VO2max, showing that her max power was not a limiting factor in her potential improvements as there was a lot of room to increase her aerobic threshold power into.  Therefore, through analysis of her race requirements and her physiological profile, we were able to create a plan where she would see the greatest performance improvements by focusing the largest portion of her training time below her aerobic threshold power, in her Zone 1, combined with a smaller portion of high intensity at her Zone 3 power.

        “I feel the training plans worked for me as they took into account all the other moving parts in my life (work, family, travel) and didn’t just pile on lots of extra hours of training I didn’t have. This meant that I was able to stick to the plan with minimal changes” 

        From Anne’s first run assessment we found that her maximal speed was one limiting factors to improving her run performance. Anne’s speed at her Aerobic Threshold was 80% of her speed at VO2max and her speed at Lactate Threshold was at 92% of her speed at VO2max. This meant that there was little available room for her to make improvements as her thresholds were so close to her 100% max. Thus, identifying that we needed to create a program based around her Zone 1 and Zone 5 intensities, to see the biggest performance improvement. After gathering all the relevant information we designed a unique and scientific training program for Anne, giving her the best platform to start developing and improving on her individual physiological ‘weaknesses’.

        Anne had her re-assessment on August 1st and she didn’t disappoint! What was most striking in her bike re-assessment was the improvement she made in all three of her thresholds. Anne managed to increase her Aerobic Threshold Power from 170 W to 200 W a massive 17.6% increase. Additionally, Anne’s Lactate Threshold Power increased from 215 W to 235 W, a 9.3% improvement. Her Maximal Power Output increased by 7.8%, from 255W to 275W and from 3.78 W/kg to 3.99 W/kg!

        In her run re-assessment Anne managed to increase her Aerobic Threshold speed from 10.3 kph to 10.5 kph and her speed at Lactate Threshold from 11.8 kph to 12.0 kph. But the most important improvement was her speed at VO2 max. Her maximal speed increased by the greatest amount, from 12.8 kph to 13.5 an increase of 0.7 kph!

        With Anne having her re-assessment on August 1st and obtaining new and updated results it meant that she could be working with new numbers that really pushed her training in the final 6 weeks preceding her big race. These updated results were imperative for Anne to achieve what she did in Rotterdam at the ITU World Age Group Championships.

        In September, Anne performed fantastically in the Olympic distance ITU World Age Group Championships in Rotterdam! After a good swim, excellent bike and a solid run Anne finished 20th setting a time of 2:23 hrs meaning she also smashed her goal time of 2.25 hrs. She had more than achieved her ‘Pie in the Sky’ goal! Anne was also the first Canadian in her age group! Great Work Anne! We have seen enormous improvements in her performance over this racing season. These improvements come not only from the hard work she put in to her training, but also from the scientifically informed training program she followed. We look forward to having you back into the lab to start working on your next goal!

        “Doing all of the zone 3 run workouts gave me the confidence to push myself on the bike portion more than I usually do. Running has been the weaker of the three sports for me traditionally so I usually hold back on the bike as I worry about the run.  This race I had confidence I could do a solid run on tired legs and allowed me to have a great bike leg which set me up to meet my time goal”

        Kristina Pascal, 2016: First time trail runner

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          With a challenge to run the Golden Ultra, a 3-day trail running festival, Kristina Pascal joined the Peak Centre in May 2016. With the aim to complete the Golden Ultra, Kristina also had objectives to become a more efficient runner, along with becoming fitter, healthier and to remain injury free. Additionally, she hoped to get stronger and leaner in preparation for her races. Kristina was a first time trail runner, but she also wanted to complete the Victoria half marathon in October. With no clear concept of “Training Zones”, Kristina’s previous training was duration based, participating in such activities determined by time, rather than science.

          However, through assessments, the Peak Centre offered Kristina a personalized sport-specific training program designed to eliminate the guesswork, and look at the science behind the training to help her achieve her goals. Reviewing Kristina’s goals and results from the first assessment, the Peak Centre focused her training on Zone 1 and Zone 3. This is because for endurance events such as a 3-day stage race, it’s the aerobic threshold and to a lesser extent, your lactate threshold that play the biggest roles. At zone 1 intensities, this allows Kristina to train her muscle fibres to clear lactate more efficiently, delaying the onset of fatigue. Furthermore, Zone 3 training allows for the muscle fibres to tolerate lactate when it does build-up during high intensity proportions such as a hill climb towards the end of the Golden Ultra race. 

          Through re-assessments with the Peak Centre, Kristina’s progress has been identified. Her lactate and aerobic threshold has increased at higher speeds, in which Kristina smashed the Golden Ultra coming in at an amazing 15th place. Kristina shared that the Golden Ultra was inspiring, in which she now has more confidence in her own ability and knows the benefits of training effectively. From the women herself she states that “science is cool!, setting an example that anyone can do it if you put your mind to it!

          Brilliant work Kristina, keep it up!

          Sean Kearney, 2016: Muay Thia Fighter (Kick Boxer)

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            Sean is not your ‘typical’ person we see at The Peak Centre, but there is no doubt he can improve just as much as any other athlete.  As a Muay Thai Fighter (kickboxer) he came to see us in July 2012 as his father had previously completed some bike assessments with the Peak Centre.  Looking to gain that extra edge for his fight performances Sean understood the importance that training smarter plays in all aspects of his fitness. As a hockey player can’t spend all of their time on the ice, a kickboxer shouldn’t spend all their time in the ring or on the pads.

            Although maximal aerobic speed is a benefit in fight disciplines, his initial assessment showed his physiological profile had plenty of room to move his aerobic and lactate thresholds. Initially Sean’s training prescription focused on his physiological profile rather than his event specific requirements and followed a Zone 1 and 3 emphases.  Thereby, he would improve his ability to remove lactate as well as increasing his ability to cope with it when it began to accumulate – no doubt on the importance of that during a fight as well.

            Sean Kearney Graph 1Figure 1: Lactate curve progression from July 2012 to March 2013.

            Very quickly Sean was making some huge improvements (figure 1). In his first re-assessment in December 2012, Sean’s aerobic threshold had increased by 3.6 kph and his lactate threshold increased by 1.9 kph! This overall change to his physiological profile would increase his ability to endure long fights and maintain high intensity bouts for longer.

            Sean Kearney Graph 2Figure 2: Lactate curve regression from Oct 2013 to December 2014.

            However, Sean left the Peak Centre program at the end of 2013 as he was training and fighting in Thailand during this time.  Without regular assessment of his zones he didn’t continue to see the improvements he had seen earlier and actually regressed in his fitness (figure 2).  Having not updated his training numbers, and continuing to train at old zone intensities, it wasn’t a surprise that Sean’s thresholds declined by his next assessment at the end of 2014.  His aerobic and lactate thresholds had decreased by 13% and 7% respectively showing the outcome when an individual spends time at intensities that aren’t optimal.Sean came back for a re-assessment at the beginning of 2016 to update his training figures and commit to getting his profile back to where it had been a few years back.  During his latest assessment just 8 weeks later (March 2016), Sean saw great steps in the right direction having improved both his aerobic and lactate thresholds by 4% (figure 3).

            Sean Kearney Graph 3 Figure 3: Lactate curve progression from January 2016 to March 2016.

            Sean has been fighting professionally in Thailand for the last few years.  He is further evidence that training scientifically can yield great physiological improvements which can lead to increases in overall performance in any sport, not just running and biking.  Sean’s last few years of assessing and training also show the importance that regular assessments play in ensuring training continues at the optimal intensities as zones do change over time.  Training in the wrong zones can lead to a detrained physiological profile, just as much as training at the right intensities can lead to performance improvements.  We wish Sean all the best in his career and do look forward to seeing him back in Vancouver on his next visit home.

             Tobin McCallum, 2016: Cross Country Cyclist

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              Tobin is a seasoned cross country mountain biker having raced for many years prior to his arrival at the Peak Centre in December 2015 seeking more from his training.

              ‘‘For me, as training is taking more and more time I wanted to make sure I was maximizing the efficiency of it all. I want to ensure I am getting the most for my efforts.’’

              He has competed in six back-to-back Test of Metal (TOM) races and numerous others in BC and across Canada.  Having finished top 10 in his category last year he hopes to secure podium finishes in this year’s series with the TOM race as the major focus.  After achieving a 3:10 finish last year he hopes to go sub 3 hr in his TOM performance for 2016.

              ‘‘As my son Cam moves into racing as well, with so much success I wanted to go that extra mile to keep up with his progress.  One morning I asked myself if I could be doing more to compete for the same!’’

              Tobin had his first assessment with us in December 2015, with encouraging results, but there were definitely areas in his profile that we could focus on for improvements.  His lactate tolerance suggested that his ability to push at the higher end of the intensity spectrum was acting as a limiting factor to his sustained power.  Furthermore, his training log and physiological profile suggested that he was spending too much time training in his Zone 2, the dreaded junk miles zone!  A training program based on Zone 1, Zone 3 and Zone 5 was going to benefit Tobin the most for his profile and for the requirements of his events.  This would improve his muscle’s ability to remove lactate, thereby delaying the onset of fatigue until high power outputs were reached.  It would also improve his mental and physical tolerance to lactate accumulation when grinding out the slog up those mountains!  There’s a fair bit of that happening during the TOM races.  From this information the Peak Centre was able to create a training program focused on his individual needs to ensure he got the most out of the training time he was putting in.

              In his reassessment just 10 weeks later the focused training at the most specific individual intensities had really paid off!  In less than 3 months Tobin had improved his aerobic threshold power by 40 Watts (215 to 255 Watts – 19% increase in the power he can generate all day), his lactate threshold power by 15 Watts (280 to 295 Watts – 5% increase) and his power at VO2max by 30 Watts (305 to 335 Watts – 10% increase)!  Additionally, his maximal lactate tolerance had also improved by a huge 57% – now that’s impressive!

              Tobin McCallum graph

              Training scientifically for 10 weeks has produced better improvements than he could have ever imagined in such a short time.  The saying ‘Train Smarter, Not Harder’ really does hold true for Tobin.

              ‘‘The program has really guided me as to make sure my training intensities are in the right areas which is significantly harder when training indoors.  Additionally it has helped me ensure the other key areas are considered such as nutrition and rest in order to get the most out of my training.’’

              It just goes to show the potential that can be harnessed by training to the correct intensities for the individual and avoiding those physiological junk zones.  And with 4 months still to go until his ‘A’ race things are looking good for a really great racing season!

              Tobin Bike Pic

              Karen Glazer, 2015: 5K Runner

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                Karen first came to the Peak Centre in May 2015 with her goal predominantly aimed at weight loss. However she also had hopes of successfully completing a 5km run in the future.

                During her initial assessment it was clear that the majority of Karen’s training should be carried out in Zone 1 to optimize the rate of lactate removal and delay the onset of fatigue. Additionally, rate of fat burnt is highest in Zone 1 so this would be important in achieving her weight loss goal.  Karen never considered herself a ‘runner’ so was certainly apprehensive of starting a program.

                During the first assessment Karen produced an aerobic threshold speed of 4.3 kph, a lactate threshold speed of 6.4 kph, and a maximum speed of 7.4 kph.

                We started Karen on a run/walk program to aid her in injury prevention and so we could then gradually increase her volume of continuous running as she felt comfortable with it (and at her Chiropractors approval) over the next few months.  After three months of consistent Zone 1 training and following her personalised training program from the Peak Centre, Karen saw great improvements. Her aerobic and lactate thresholds improved by 21% (5.2 kph) and 8% (7.6 kph) respectively, and her maximum speed increased from 7.4 kph to 8.5 kph!

                In her most recent assessment in November 2015, Karen produced yet another very pleasing set of results. Six months on from her first assessment her aerobic threshold had increased by a total of 1.7 kph to 6.0 kph, her lactate threshold had seen a 19% increase to 7.6 kph and her maximum speed had increased from 7.4 kph to 9.0 kph!!

                Great work Karen!!

                Karen Glazer graph

                Jeff Pelletier, 2015: Mountain and Trail Ultra Marathon Runner

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                  Jeff found running and athletics fairly late in life, at the age of 27. Growing up, he had dabbled in various team sports, but nothing really stuck. It wasn’t until a friend mentioned training for his first marathon that he thought it might be something he could do too.

                  Jeff Pelletier lactate curves

                  Fast forward two years, two half-marathons, and three full marathons later, and Jeff had officially caught the running bug but found he was beginning to get demising returns. “The honeymoon phase of my running career was over and the gains weren’t coming quite as easily.”

                  Jeff began working with the Peak Centre in 2010 while training for the Chicago Marathon.  Our initial assessment indicated that he was running his long runs much too slow and his max speed was Jeff’s limiting factor.  We sped up his base runs and started some regular targeted speed work.  In Chicago, just 4 months later, he went on to set a 13 minute PB improving his time form a 3:32 to 3:15, and has been a client ever since.

                  What first drew me to working with the team at Peak Centre was the idea of training smarter to get the most from the time I was already spending in training. I saw gains right away by incorporating speed work using actual lab data, both at lactate threshold and VO2 max – the estimates I’d been using based on the formulas online were way off.

                  In 2012, Jeff ran his first trail race and never looked back. That Fall he completed his first ultra marathon, the Frosty Mountain 50k, and had discovered a passion for mountain adventure.

                  At first I wasn’t sure how this type of training would translate to ultra distances, but it turns out to be just as important. Training on the trails is similarly based on ‘time on feet’, but one of the most commonly neglected training techniques for ultra runners is speed work. In an ultra marathon, everyone is out there running at around 60% – by continuing to incorporate speed work and working to raise my top speed, I can increase the speed at which that 60% effort happens to be. Training your body to burn fat is also important at longer distances, something which is only possible by keeping those long runs in Zone 1.

                  Jeff Pelletier Z1 + LT tableJeff’s running ‘profile’ has changed considerably over time.  By continually focusing his training on the areas of his fitness that would generate the quickest improvements Jeff has been able to continually improve his speed for the past 5 years.

                  Jeff went on to run his first 50 mile and 100k races in 2013, followed-by his first 100 mile race in Fall 2014, which he completed with ease in 25 hours! What he enjoys most is spending time training in the backcountry, while working through a growing list of adventure runs like the Grand Canyon double-crossing and the 93-mile Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier. Being able to complete these events is an achievement on its own! He was recently given the opportunity to join Team Salomon Canada and to become a Sponsored Clif Bar Ambassador.

                  jeff pelletier client profileHe is now targeting his longest race ever this August, the Fat Dog 120 miler. Just 5 weeks later, he’ll toe the line at the start of the 7-day Grand to Grand Ultra, American’s first and only self-supported footrace which takes runners from the Grand Canyon to the Grand Staircase through 273km of desert, canyons, and sand dunes.

                  I take a very analytical approach to my training, recovery, and racing, so I of course love the data that regular testing provides. But what I’ve come to appreciate the most is the way I’m able to now benchmark this data over the past 4 years as a client to track trends from season to season, seeing my numbers improve after regular bouts of speed work, drop after injury or an off-season, but generally trending upwards year after year. As athletes, we’re all just essentially out there experimenting and collecting data, measuring performances, and testing our limits – I just happen to have a little more data than many others.

                  Be sure to check out Jeff’s blog at, which features race reports and videos from his adventures on the trails like the one below.


                  Joan Spencer, 2014: Trained for Prospero MedioFondo

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                    Joan has been with the Peak Centre since 2011. She started by participating in the Indoor Power Cycling Classes once a week and using the Indoor Long Rides during the winter. In 2014 she started the ‘Intern Training Program,’ aiming to build her endurance for the Prospera MedioFondo in July. Joan had already completed the Whistler MedioFondo and the Whistler GranFondo.

                    Joan’s primary focus was to train in her Z1, in order to improve her ability to remove lactate from her system and therefore cycle faster without experiencing fatigue. This was complemented by some training in Z3, to increase her tolerance towards lactate. Zone training was new to Joan, but she quickly got the hang of it!

                    “Previously I have followed the distance plans for the Whistler GranFondo training but never followed the Zone 1 long ride routine.  This is the first time I’ve decided to stick to the Zone 1 training on my long rides – and was delighted that it was successful.  It is finally making sense to me!”Joan s graph

                    In only a few months, Joan managed to increase her Aerobic Threshold by 20%, as well as improving her lactate threshold and max output by 20 Watts! Her performance did not only improve in the lab but also on the track!

                    “I cycled the Prospera MediaFondo  about half an hour faster (officially 4:06) than I had anticipated, and was delighted with how well I managed the hills.  The zone training really worked!”

                    13-Cheshire cat ----best-722310-1054-0003s

                    Great work Joan! We look forward to helping you achieve your next goal!

                    Tun Zan Maung, 2014: Ran a Marathon on each of the 7 Continents

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                      TUN ZAN MAUNG – Member of the 7 CONTINENTS CLUB

                      Tun has raced numerous marathons and half marathons across the world. Recently he joined the exclusive club of runners to complete a marathon in every continent after finishing one in Antarctica!

                      ‘One off my bucket list was to run a marathon in each of the world’s 7 continents and I completed that earlier this year.  Now I would like to go for the Grand Slam of running in both polar zones the south and the north.’

                      Tun’s mission to join this very exclusive group of runners started in Vancouver, 2004. He has completed his hometown marathon numerous times over the years as well as countless others in North America, including San Diego, Chicago and NYC. The next continent was Europe where Tun completed the 2005 London Marathon as well as those in Paris and Athens. Next stop, Asia and Singapore 2007! Oceania followed with the Gold Coast Marathon in 2009 while the Maratona de Rio in 2011 crossed of South America. This left just Africa and Antarctica and possibly two of the biggest challenges in endurance running. Tun battled through the gruelling heat of Kenya in the 2012 Safaricon Marathon, while it was one extreme to the other as he braved the bitter temperatures in Antarctica 2014 to complete the set of medals!

                      worl map

                      Tun was at the very beginning of his quest when he became a client of the Peak Centre back in 2006, after a few years of training on his own and in a group environment.

                      ‘I came to the Peak Centre in 7 years ago and my first assessment was in November 2006.  I was training with a Running Room then and as my time was slow to improve I was looking for and individualized training program rather than the one size fits all plan.’

                      Seeing as his goals were in long distance events, marathon running in particular, our major focus with Tun was to improve his aerobic threshold by training predominately in zone 1. In addition to this, he also started regular zone 3 (at the lactate threshold) and Zone 5 sessions (at his maximum speed) with the Peak Centre Speedwork Clinic. Tun really benefited from this individualized approach and started to see some nice improvements.

                       ‘It took me a while to realize that to run fast you have to run slower.  In fact, only after I increased my zone 1 running time did my marathon time improved.

                      Tun graph

                      Most recently, Tun ran a 4:47 in the 2014 Victoria Marathon, his best time in 5 years and 15 minutes better than his last Marathon in May 2014! Tun also completed the Vancouver Rock n Roll Half Marathon in 2:14:46, his bets time since 2009!

                      ‘This is only the second time ever that I have beaten 2:15. The last time was in 2005 Victoria.  Best half marathon of the last 9 years.’

                      Well done Tun on all your incredible achievements!  We look forward to continuing to work with you and seeing you complete many more events across the globe!


                      Vicki Romanin, 2014: Road & Trail Runner – Strength Training Program

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                        Client Profile – Vicki Romanin – Road and Trail Runner

                        Vicki has been a recreational runner all her life, doing her first marathon aged 50 (2011). After a recommendation from the Running Room she came to Peak Centre in January 2013.

                        “I was looking to find out, specifically, what my zones were and how to train more efficiently. After testing, Lewis was able to unravel the mystery of it all to me, make specific recommendations, and assure the control freak in me that I was training correctly.” Vicki was then started on a strength training program, specifically targeting her weaker areas.

                        After picking up an injury before her 2nd marathon, Vicki turned to Lewis for some advice. “Lewis designed a program to specifically hit my imbalances. Amazingly, I’ve remained injury free and feeling strong and agile. I’ve come to listen to my experts!”

                        After retesting Vicki said “my numbers improved and I am more than thrilled with the results. Lewis continued to change up the strength training program, each one challenging and super-effective!”

                        Vicki felt very strong for most competitions, especially the longer ones. Some of her top results have included #1 for her age group (50 – 54) in the 2014 Vancouver Marathon, and #2 woman (overall) in the Squamish 50/50 (50 miles/80 k with 11,000 ft ascent/11,000 ft descent) on Saturday, followed by 50 k/30 miles (with 8500 ft ascent/9000 ft descent) on Sunday in August 2014.

                        Vicki has many more goals for the future: “I have every confidence that Peak Centre (Lewis) will help get me there, injury free!”

                        vicki romanin client profilevicki romanin client profile 2vicki romanin client profile 3


                        Vicki recently finished 2nd overall woman in the Whistler 50 and took the ‘veteran’ course record! Click here for the race report!

                        Comox Valley Road Runners – Chicago Marathon 2014

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                          Written by Wayne Crow

                          A team of elite masters from the Comox Valley Road Runners travelled to the Windy City to challenge themselves against 45,000 other runners at the 2014 Chicago Marathon. Chicago is known as a fast course with a number of world records being set there over the years. Race day brought almost perfect temperatures for racing, but a cool breeze negated the possibility of records falling this year. Kenyans once again dominated the race with Eliud Kipchoge winning the men’s event in a time of 2:04:11, the eight fastest marathon ever run. Rita Jeptoo defended  her women’s title winning in 2:24:11.

                          The Road Runners team was captained by Wayne Crowe (Extreme Runners/Asics) who was unfortunately on the sidelines due to injury. The team dominated the age group competition, winning first place for mixed teams in this huge international field. Leading the charge for the CVRR team was Les Disher who ran a stellar time and personal best of 2:56:31, 2nd in M60-64. Next was Danny Keyes who shattered his lifelong goal of breaking the magical three hour barrier by running a personal best by more than ten minutes to finish in 2:58:17, 19th M5054. Edmonton native and new CVRR team member Brian Stewart had a solid race, finishing in 3:02:45, 14th M55-59. Roz Smith showed that she firmly belongs among the best age group runners in the world, running 3:47:37, 2nd F65-70. Janet Green continued to show her consistency, even after more than 220 marathons, running 3:58:22, taking 4th F60-64.
                          Crowe stated, “the excellent results by each team member was the culmination of months of hard training and dedication and I am extremely proud of them all.”
                          The Chicago team will now be taking some much deserved rest to let their bodies  recover before beginning training for the upcoming Vancouver Island Race Series beginning in January.

                          Michael Holtz, 2014: Mountain Biker – Competing in the Test of Metal Mountain Bike Series

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                            Michael began mountain biking just over 2 years ago as an alternative to running in preparation for the Tough Mudder.

                            ‘I was 205lb that spring, and wanted to shape up.  I bought a $700 mountain bike and went on a few rides through Seymour.  There was a chance to race in the ‘Test of Metal’ in June and I jumped at the opportunity.  It took me 5:02hrs to complete the course.  I bought a few more bikes and trained hard over the next year and then in the 2013 ‘Test of Metal’ I completed it in 3:23hrs!  I had dropped to 185lb. That winter I spent dieting and cut my weight down to 175 lb. Then in February 2014 I went to Peak Centre on a friend’s suggestion as I figured it was the best “bike upgrade” I could spend money on at the time! Also I competitively wanted to beat my brother-in-law in a series of mountain biking races and wanted some additional assistance in doing so!’

                            Before coming to the Peak Centre his training was on a Spin bike and after his initial assessment it was apparent that the heart rate zones he was previously targeting during his sessions were much too high meaning he was actually riding lots of ‘junk miles’.  Based on the results from his initial assessment Michael focused the majority of his training in Z1 with a smaller portion of training in Z3 also. The graph below shows how his thresholds have improved over a 4 month period.

                            Michael Holtz Graph

                            ‘The Peak Centre at first gave me my zones and suggestions on how to best achieve my goals.  However, once I became part of the Intern Training Program, they gave me more detailed day by day workouts and has given me a “bible” for my daily activities.  I have to put in the work, but everything else has been done for me!’

                             Once the racing season began, on top of the Zone 1 workouts, we started to incorporate some race specific sessions into his program. These workouts involved portions of Zone 2, 3 and 5 with the purpose of them was to get his brain tuned into racing intensity! He did these workouts on the CompuTrainers at the Peak Centre to ensure he was accurately hitting each zone by power.

                            ‘The centre is a friendly place to go have a workout in and the CompuTrainers are first class – I don’t think I’d be where I am without those trainers!’

                            We also made sure Michael was taking it easy in between races to allow time for his body to recover.

                            ‘This plan has given me more time with my family, as before I joined Peak Centre I biked a lot more (too much) and had less rest before and after races. However, now I don’t spend as many hours on the bike but my physical development is continuing.’

                            Nice work in the ‘Test of Metal Series’ this summer Michael! We look forward to continuing to work with you and seeing you compete in the ‘BC Bike Race’ next year!

                            Michael Holtz

                            Andrea Rempel, 2014: Marathon Runner – Training to Qualify for Boston Marathon

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                              Andrea had been in for testing before but had a big goal for 2014 so officially started a training program with the Peak Centre in December 2013. ‘I wanted to see if I could get a Boston Qualifying time.  I knew my PB was 20 mins off of a qualifying time, but I wanted to give it a shot and see if it was possible.  I figured I may as well try now when I know I have the time to dedicate to training, instead of waiting a few years when the Qualifying times would be reduced (at age 35)’ Andrea was already an experienced athlete and after her initial assessment she started training in the zones most important for her individual profile; zone 1 to target her aerobic base and marathon race pace and zone 5 to increase her maximum speed. This was built around her busy work and personal life to ensure she fitted everything in! ‘I have run for years and have done triathlons, so I was always active and training for something, but I generally never ran more than 3 times a week.  It was upped to 5 days a week plus a day of weights.  I started doing mostly zone 1 and zone 5 work with minimal tempo runs, so this was a change.’ Andrea attended the Peak Centre Speedwork Clinic each week to do her zone 5 training and improve her maximum speed, which was a limiting factor at the time. By increasing her maximum speed, Andrea created room in her profile to continue improving her other thresholds which also meant her marathon pace occurred at a lower percentage of her max making it more manageable over the full distance. ‘I learned what zones I should be running in to get the most out of my training.  When you work full time you only have so many free hours of the day so the Peak Centre was able to tell me exactly what I needed to do for training to get the best results in that limited free time.’ ‘I also run with a group in Vancouver that I have for years and am a group leader for the long runs on Saturday mornings.  This is something I didn’t want to give up, so the Peak Centre adjusted my training to coincide with that commitment.’

                              Andrea graph

                              Andrea’s training went very well and all her hard work paid off when she ran the perfect race at the 2014 Run for Water marathon in Abbotsford. Not only did she achieve a qualifying time for Boston, she knocked a huge 25 minutes of her PB! ‘I will hopefully be getting into Boston for 2015, but will know officially on September 12 when I can register. I didn’t really believe that I would be able to qualify until I was much older when the qualifying times would be slower! I don’t expect it to be a PB, but I will give it my best shot.’ ‘The staff are all so great and supportive and it makes the world of difference every time you stop by.  You spend a lot of time training and potentially at the Peak Centre, so it nice to have smiling faces and encouraging words when you are training your butt off.  They have a way of making a Zone 5 run or lactate assessment a little more bearable.’ Andrea pic Well done Andrea! It has been great working with you and we look forward to working with you towards the next goal!

                              Elaine Fung, 2014: Ultra Trail Runner – Part of the Intern Training Program which is offered every spring

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                                August 2014

                                Sport- Running

                                Elaine came to the Peak Centre with the goal of racing the Squamish 50KM race. She had already completed the same event the previous year but really wanted to focus her training this time, so decided to sign up for the ‘Intern Training Program’.

                                ‘I was about 4 months out from my goal race of the year, the Squamish 50k trail ultra, when I signed up for the Intern Program. I had run the race in 2013 and finished, but I wanted to improve my time. I had also never worked with a real plan before and wanted to be more methodical and smart about training this year.’

                                In only her 2nd year of endurance running Elaine had become comfortable with road running up to 10K distances from her fitness in martial arts, and then started to add in trail running to prepare for the Tough Mudder.

                                ‘From there, I began to add distance. I was running one long trail run on the weekend that left me exhausted and I found it difficult to recover from. I was lucky to be able to get in one or two short runs mid-week’

                                The results of Elaine’s initial assessment indicated that she had been training at an intensity that was too high and not sustainable over the distances she now wanted to race. By slowing her down and focusing the largest portion of her training primarily below the aerobic threshold, in her Zone 1, she was able to improve her aerobic base and while also reducing the recovery time she required afterwards.

                                ‘The assessments showed me that I really needed to work on improving my aerobic threshold. I was running too fast during my runs and getting minimal benefit from the work I was putting in. Because my main focus was becoming stronger and faster for ultra-distances, I learned that I needed to slow down…a lot.’ 

                                A portion of Elaine’s training was also done around her lactate threshold (Zone 3) to increase her ability to tolerate lactate during the huge climbs on the trails.  She followed the training plan and responded very well by increasing her aerobic threshold, lactate threshold and max speed massively over the 3 month program.  Not only does this mean that she is able to cover ultra-distances significantly faster, she was also able to remain injury free while building the large volume.

                                Elaine's profile graphGraph 1: Elaine’s lactate response to exercise over time.

                                As part of the assessment we measured Elaine’s metabolic and fueling requirements whilst running so that we could ensure she is replacing the right amount of fuel during her training and race to maintain these speeds.

                                We are delighted that Elaine is continuing to train with the Peak Centre to achieve her goals for the rest of the year.

                                ‘I have two more 50ks planned this season, two weeks apart. I would also like to continue to develop my aerobic threshold and become more efficient and faster.’ 

                                At this year’s Squamish 50k, Elaine improved her time by almost 1 hour compared to last year, from 10:49:41 to 9:53:23! Good work Elaine! Keep it up!


                                Jared Ennis, 2013: BMX – Canadian Champion

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                                  SPORT – BMX

                                  Started a focused Training Program with the Peak Centre in March 2011 and here’s how he has developed over the past 3 years.

                                   Aerobic Power

                                  Mar 11 – AT 150, LT 200, Max 250

                                  Nov 11 – AT 155, LT 205, Max 255

                                  May 12 – AT 150, LT 205, MAX 260

                                  Feb 13 – AT 190, LT 245, Max 300

                                  Oct 13 – AT 175, LT 265, 315

                                   Anaerobic Power

                                  Mar 11 – PP 961 W, PP 11.75 W/kg

                                  May 11 – PP 1309, PP 15.58

                                  Dec 11 – PP 947, PP 11.27

                                  Dec 12 – PP 1328, PP 15.33

                                  Feb 13 – PP 1319, PP 14.82

                                  Oct 13 – PP 1500, PP 16.86

                                   Jared had been working on building his aerobic base with focused Zone 1 training below his aerobic threshold to give him the foundation to build his peak anaerobic power and maximum aerobic power on which are more race specific requirements for his sport of BMX.  These latter parameters have been training through regular strength and power training in the gym and race specific training on the track.

                                   In 2013 Jared became the BC and Canadian Champion!

                                  Here’s what Jared has to say about his experience with Peak: “Before I started training with Peak Centre I found myself just not having what it took to be at the front of the pack. I really wanted to take the next step in my training and start winning races, I had heard about Peak Centre from a friend of mine who had recently been getting outstanding results and so I thought I’d contact them and get started on a program. I had trained with other programs in the past but the minute I started training with Peak I noticed immediately that this is just what I needed. Their programs are a lot more personalized and easy to follow. Other programs just didn’t suit me and get me the results I was looking for. I also noticed that just after the first few weeks with their program that I was already feeling physically fitter and already much faster. Peak are behind their athletes 100% the staff are super supportive and do their very best to help you get the results you’re looking for! I’ve been training with Peak for 2 years now but this past year after training very hard with Peak I was able to win the Canadian National Championships and the BC Championships as well as placing 1st in the BC Cup series resulting in my best year yet!”

                                  I want to thank everyone over at Peak Centre Vancouver for helping me reach my goals and for getting me to where I am today! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the new year!” Awesome work so far Jared – keep it up!

                                  Doug Jeffery, 2012: Endurance Cyclist – Trained to climb Haleakala

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                                    SPORT – CYCLING

                                    Doug came to the Peak Centre after 2 years of doing his own training plan as he wanted to get a sports science perspective to his training. He was initially sceptical of the training that we recommended, but now he “is convinced that this is moving his training further than he would have on his own”. He started at Peak Centre October 4th, 2012 with initial goals of rides for the 2013 season ranging from 120 K to 400 K!!

                                    During his initial 3 month phase of training we were focusing specifically on his most important thresholds, where he would see the most benefit in his training – his zone 1 and zone 3.  His Z1 training was done at home on the trainer and on long rides outdoors (when the weather was nice enough!!) and he joined us in the Peak Centre Power based cycling classes to train his intensity.

                                    His thresholds improved over the 3 month period (October to January) from:

                                    January 2013 – AT 220, LT 265, Max 315

                                    October 2013 – AT 230, LT 275, Max 330

                                    He also crushed his Power Cycling Class time trial wattages from the start to the end of the class.

                                    He decided to take on an additional challenge in late January of climbing Halaekala in Maui.  No easy task to complete that is for sure.

                                    Here are a few words from Doug:

                                    “Last time I was in Maui I thought the people who were riding up Halaekala were crazy. Now I’m one of them!  Sea level to 10023′ – billed as one of the world’s longest continuous paved climbs.”


                                    “The power training classes have pushed me to hold on to higher power level for longer than I would have done on my own.  The base training and Lewis’ advice for the climb left me in a good position to ride up Haleakala and I am convinced that this year will be my best riding yet!”

                                    Well done for all your hard work so far Doug and keep it going well into the rest of the season!

                                    Eric Ramos, 2012: Marathon Runner – Aiming to achieve a sub 3:30 Marathon

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                                      SPORT – RUNNING

                                      Eric started training with the Peak Centre in July 2011 with the goal of achieving a sub 3:30 hr Marathon.  Having never run a marathon previously and with the results from his first assessment, his initial goal was a little above what his thresholds were suggesting he could achieve.  He started out with an Aerobic threshold (AT – top of zone 1) at 7.2 kph, which would predict his marathon time as 5:08 hr!!  You don’t need to be a mathematician to note that that is quite a lot of time to take off.

                                       “As a novice runner who only began running two years ago, I found my way slowly from learning to run in a 10K clinic, then a half-marathon clinic and finally ended up in a marathon clinic by following the training plans suggested by the runners in the clinics.  Their generic curriculum lacked the specificity and did not take into consideration my individual physiology and uniqueness. When I enrolled in the program with Peak Centre, I was provided with a thorough running assessment with an individualized qualitative and quantitative report & explanation.  Consequently, the necessary steps and plan was obtained with the hopes of attaining the desired running outcome.”

                                      Our initial focus for him was to increase his ability to remove lactate by training in his zone 1, developing those slow twitch fibres and raising his AT higher.  Along with this Eric did weekly intensity sessions focused on his lactate threshold (sometimes on the treadmill, and sometimes as part of the Peak Centre Speedwork Clinic) to increase his ability to tolerate lactate when it did build up and create more room for his AT to move into.

                                      “I have been able to train effectively and efficiently with the training zones and pace numbers. Every time I go for a training run, I know that I am hitting the right pace and maximizing my training time.”

                                      This is how his AT developed in one year:

                                      ER table

                                      ER graph2

                                      Keep up the good work Eric!

                                      Alex Troy, 2011: Triathlete

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                                        Alex came to the Peak Centre with the initial goal of running a sub 3 hour marathon. He had attempted this several times but always fell just a little short.  Alex returned to training after a long lay off and we started in ~3:40 marathon shape. Initial results indicated that he was spending too much time in Z2 in an attempt to run “race pace”. We focused primarily on Z1 and Z3 over the first couple of blocks and things moved in the right direction.  We tweaked priorities and zones as the assessment results improved or deteriorated.  End result was a 2:53 at the Vancouver Marathon in 2010.  We did have an injury in Oct ’09 that set us back for the Jan ’10 results.

                                        AT table2

                                        AT graph 2

                                        Alex then decided to take up Olympic distance triathlon and Ironman and has continued to excel with the Peak Centre. Keep up the great work Alex!

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