Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Well Fitted Up


If i'm going to be cycling long, I need to be comfortable and efficient. Enter Retül. A bike fitting concept that maps your motion in 3D, so that set ups that could cause injury are removed and you are put in a desirable position according to your flexibility and training/race goals.




I have always been comfortable on the Tri Bike and thankfully this needed only small adjustment in saddle height and stem length to put me slightly less cramped position. The bike comes with 3 different stems, so hey presto, solved.





On the road bike however, the source of recent pain, I was found to be way to far in the back seat. To rectify this, my position was made more aggressive (and strangely more comfortable) by moving the saddle up and forward but this meant I needed a much longer stem. This also put my knee further forward than the most forward point of my foot, whereas before it was behind.



£280 later + a stem and I was ready to put the new set up's to the test.

I have done about a hundred miles on both bikes and so far no niggles!

Now i'm sure there is a way I can spend similarly ridiculous amount of money on the swim and run!

Pain in the arse

The time has come to make a few adjustments (particularly on the bike), to make sure as I start to increase training volume, I am not increasing the risk of chronic injury.

1st up, I have been experiencing discomfort of the 'i cant feel anything down there' variety. When stretched out on the Tri bars for two and a half hours mans best friend gets a little squashed and without an adequate blood flow disappears, at least in feeling.

Enter the ISM Tri specific saddle.





Granted, it's no looker. The lack of a 'nose' and the 'cut out' middle, does serve the purpose of letting the blood flow and several hundred miles later, the results have 'felt' better.





Thursday, 4 October 2012

Other New Forest Tri reviews & results

It seems that others found the course hard this year......









Official Results:


New Forest Middle Distance Tri - 2012



The New Forest
Middle Distance 
Triathlon - 2012








Preparation
Since the last Half Ironman (Mallorca 70.3 in May), I have progressively built up ride and run distance & intensity with no real aim other than maintaining fitness for the NFMDT.

I have, on the whole, been free other than the re-occurring metatarsal problem and a couple of annoying neck strains (both kids trampoline related - I've still got the moves you know). Knee niggles have more or less subsided and going into this event I felt pretty good.

The NFMDT has a lake swim 1.9K, an undulating 90k cycle and a hilly off road run 13.9 miles (bit longer than a half marathon). The plan was to have a solid race and to use it as a training experience and to not expect to get anywhere near the 5:20 PB (Mallorca).

The weather was always going to be a factor!


Pre Race
Camping at Sandy Balls wasn't the relaxing experience needed but it was close to the registration and briefing and Elliot and Eve loved it. On race morning, I realised I didn't need an alarm clock as the local fox's gave me a wake up call at 4:30. I scoffed down peanut butter bagel, muesli and a banana and got dressed. I joined Rich (Triathlon Wales Coach, and fellow camper) and we boarded a coach that was going to take us to Ellingham Lakes for the swim (Note: split transition, T1 at the lake, T2 in a field near sandy Balls).

The bike was prepared by head torch light and it started raining (as forecast) just as we got our last minute briefing. It was a 3 wave start and I was in the first.


Swim
My wave was about 100 strong and I managed to stealthily get to the front for the start gun. There was about 100m of scrum and then the wave spread out for the 2 lap swim. I didn't really push it or swim off a faster swimmers feet, in fact by taking a slightly longer line, I opted for a clear water swim. I exited in about 10th position. The official swim time looks slow but includes the T1 time.

T1
What a mess! Despite having racked the bike in a great position (1st bike through the gate), I really hadn't paid enough attention to equipment/clothing layout. The wetsuit was taken off quick enough and placed in the T1 bag but putting the 2 cycle tops on was clumsy (snagged zips) and took forever. The biggest f*#! up was the fastener of my helmet getting jammed under the arm pad of the Tri bars. I managed to throw the bike around a lot in an attempt to free it and undid all the good preparation of securing bike shoes to the pedals. I had to re-adjust the helmet as well before I could fir it. Add to this, it was obvious that sun glasses were going to play no part in the days events, so I had to put these in my jacket pocket and they ended up bashing on my knees on every leg revolution when cycling in the aero position.

Bike
The T1 calamity continued as I mounted the bike, I couldn't manage to slip my feet into the shoes and hence had a comical and painfully slow first 100m.

Things improved quickly and I was able to pick the pace up as I entered the forest. I slowly took back some of the positions that I had lost in T1 and settled into a good fairly comfortable pace.

The rain was chucking it down and the air temp had dropped considerably. The two jacket combo didn't keep me dry and probably increased my weight by a few pounds. About 30 mins into the ride I slowed for a left turn. I could see a man hole cover ahead on the bend and tried to scub as much speed as possible before I approached it. Man hole cover 1 Stupid cyclist 0.




I picked myself and the bike up, surveyed the damage (wheels needed re-centring and jettisoned tool kit needed recovering). I had a hole in the left knee cap and through the ripped layers of my jackets I could see that my elbow had also offered some decelleration assistance. Only blood, no breaks. I had a few offers of help from those who had witnessed the crash but I reckoned if I could go hard for the next 20 mins I could test the knee and have a good idea if it was wise to continue, I might be able to make up a bit of time too! This plan seemed to work and I was soon back on the pace.

The cold temperature on my un-gloved hands took its toll, gear changes were getting harder and selecting a gel, opening it, eating it and putting the wrapper back in jersey pocket was proving to be a lot harder than the actual cycling.

I'm pretty pleased with the cycle time. If I hadn't have had such a lousy start and fallen (down for a coupe of minutes) it would have been faster than Mallorca!

T2
This was extremely slow, as I couldn't put my trainers on and tie the laces with no feeling in my fingers. It took about 3 minutes to defrost them by putting them under armpits, between legs and in my mouth (not in that order of course). Looking around, these seemed to be a pretty common occurrence and in actual fact, others seemed to be suffering a bit more.


Run
I opted to keep one of the wet jackets on (heavy but warmer than a vest). My feet were numb for the first few miles that saw the 25% climb and the return to the forest. The run was all trails with short steep hills and quite exposed to the deteriorating weather (in fact the race director stopped the slower 100 athletes starting the run due to a few cases of hypothermia that were being treated). In all I overtook 3 runners and was taken by one. I had to stop to answer a call of nature (of the 1st variety).

I was able to keep a steady pace throughout. At times, it was so quiet that I was doubting I was still on the course, but the occasional marker and marshal kept that in check. The last mile is the road run back down to Sandy Balls and was relatively easy so I was able to finish with a good sprint.


Nutrition
During the bike, I drank 500ml of Powerade (couldn't get Gatorade at last minute) and took a gel every 30 mins. The powerage was so gassy that it brought on a lot of burping and with this, several full mouth chuck-ups. Peanut butter bagels are not as pleasant on the way out!

I also had 500ml of electrolyte replacement drink which was a welcome relief as it was 'flat' and it stayed down.

On the run I took a gel every 4 miles and drank water at each of the 4 aid stations. The wee required after the first 30 mins of running may have been due to too much drink pre- race?


Result



Swim & T1 38:07
Bike 2:53:32
Run & T2. 1:57:14
Total 5:28:54

Position overall. 8th
Position in (M40) age group. 2nd







Lessons learned

  • Dress for the New Forest not Mallorca (Gloves & rain proof jacket... gloves would have saved me minutes!)

  • Stick with drinks that I am familiar (and have trained) with - Powerade is very gassy.
  • Better preparation of the bike in T1 a lot better - lessen the chance of delays
  • 'Go for it' a bit more in the swim.... Just to see what happens.
  • Realise the limitations of a TT bike in the rain (man hole covers) - it doesn't turn & stop as well as the road bike!
  • Numb bum - my current saddle is just about tolerable for the 56 mile rides in the aero position. The under carriage gets a bit numb and would probably disappear altogether after 112 miles! The search is on for an alternative. I will also look to get a professional bike fit for both bikes as an increase in mileage will increase the risk of injury.
  • As crude as it sounds, I must learn the art of 'free wheel weeing'. It's will save 30s having to pull over on the run.
So now time for a post race recovery (2 weeks) and on with the base period training for Ironman!

Ironman Booked

Ironman Sweden (Kalmar)





It's booked and paid for.

August 17th 2013




Family Weeks are starting their summer road trip by taking the ferry from Harwich to Denmark and then driving to Kalmar in Sweden for the Ironman. After this we are driving back to Denmark to go to the original Legoland. We will then take a week travelling home through Northern Europe.

So I have just under a year to prepare by increasing my distances, endurance and most importantly staying injury free!

Friday, 18 May 2012

HD video of my race

Here is a video of the highlights. (may not work on an iPhone) 











it's a bit hard to see me in some shots. The guy picking up his kid in the finish chute doesn't help!


sections of the race I feature in can be viewed online with the following link:




Tonys tri HD video


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Mallorca 70.3 2012 race report


Short version:
All the training and planning paid off and the race ran perfectly without incident.

Swim - bit casual
Bike -  surprised myself
Run -  scorchio (that’s the temperature, not my performance).

My finishing time smashed my predicted time and one day after, the body feels surprisingly good (this can't last).



Long version:
The calm before the swim
I had a great uninterrupted nights sleep and woke to the alarm at 6:00, dozed for a bit and forced down a couple of bowls of muesli (with water not milk - didn't wan't dairy related tummy issues), a banana, 2 peanut butter sandwiches and a powerbar.

I put my tri suit on and went out to the transition area (just outside the hotel) and made sure Ihad trainers, socks, run visor and 4 x gels in the run bag, helmet, shades and race number belt in the bike bag. I then pumped up my tyres to 100psi, there were still other people's tyres blowing in the heat. Each time one would blow, people ran back to their bike to check if it was their tyre. I filled my 3 bottles with drink, clipped (and elastic banded) my pedals to the bike and put 6 gels a power bar and some nuun tablets in my fuel box.

I went back to our hotel, had a quick coffee with Faye and got the wetsuit on. Then it was just chilling out, waiting for my wave to start.


SWIM 1900 metres (32:30)

The beach start was quite a civilised affair and running for longer in the shallow water before  diving in really helped (glad I rehearsed that  the day before). The wash pool start didn't last for long and after about 200m I was in pretty clean water sighting a tight line by the buoys- ideal start. The fast guys got clear and very soon I was pacing with other swimmers of my ability. There was a lot of opportunity to draft off of them for an easier ride. My toes were being tickled so I'm sure I was towing someone along too.

I didn't feel I swam that hard but I was happy with that as racing 70.3 was a new experience. I was able to see the seabed for the entire swim, which meant I could gauge my speed a little. You also saw a few swim caps on the sea bed, fortunately without the swimmers still attached!

I had about 400m to go and was navigating around a slower swimmer  from the previous wave when I took an elbow to the jaw but with teeth and more importantly goggles still intact I was able to sight the finish arch and exit to the beach still feeling fresh. Wetsuit down to waist,  cap and goggles into the wetsuits sleeve and a quick glance at the watch showed the swim had taken 32 mins and was possibly slightly over the 1900m (others I spoke to after the race had the same data on their GPS watches).

I spotted Faye on the swim exit and told her how good I felt. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her run up the outside of transition to get level with my bike - so now the race (within the race) was on.



TRANSITION 1 (4:36)
just 56 miles to go
T1 was smooth, I picked up my blue bag, sat on bench in the change tent, took the wetsuit off, put my glasses, helmet and race number on, left the suit for a helper to put in the bag and sprinted off to bike.













Faye was there waiting opposite my bike (a small victory). I over shot by a few metres, reacquainted myself with the trusty steed and pushed it whilst running to the mount line. Apparently its the longest ironman transition!






BIKE 56 miles (2:48:15)
I had ridden the first flat section of the route (Alcudia to Puerto Pollensa) the day before, it is a long strip parallel to the sea and was windy with road traffic. Race day was still and the roads were closed. It was 30 degrees but over at speeds of 20mph this wasn't really an issue.

This first 1/4 of the bike route  is flat and good for getting aero. For every speed demon that overtook me I probably was able to overtake a couple myself. This was the advantage of having the older waves go out before mine.  Finally all the expense of the aero kit was paying off!

My Garmin was only giving pace and distance for some reason the heart rate and cadence data was not showing. This was potentially a problem as I had planned for 90rpm and approx. 75-80% max HR for the entire ride. I had to work on RPE (rate of perceived exertion) and not get too lazy with the peddling.

The 12mile mountain climb was really beautiful, the roads were smooth and the views great but it was hot. The going was unexpectedly pretty easy and I was able to chat to a few other cyclists on the way up and was still able to overtake a few and take on fuel as required. There was one false summit at the top but spectators did eventually announce the eventual summit and then the fun began.



The next 1/4 of the ride was the best cycling experience I have ever had. It was fast, scenic and dynamic with lots of tight switchbacks up the top. I was able to hold my nerve and overtake whilst most cyclists were showing caution.

The last 1/4 was flatter but still fast, only slowing for a few villages. I took the opportunity to fuel up and rest a little, preserving the legs for the run.

I didn't have to stop a single time to refuel on the ride as taking water from the outstretched hands of the volunteers at the aid stations was easy (great organisation) . I used 3 x 500ml of fluid and all 6 gels in total. The powerbar was not pleasant as it was hard to chew and breath at the same time.



ready for a run?
TRANSITION 2 (4:04)
I got my feet out the shoes, dismounted and ran (slowly) to my bike slot in transition. I put my helmet on the bike and drank the remainder of the Gatorade in my aero drinks bottle.


Running to the change tent was hard and long and my feet took a pounding (maybe they were also a bit sore from the ride).

I got my red bag, sat down, put my socks, trainers and visor on and after being reminded to spin my race belt round to my front exited transition ready for the run.

RUN 13.1miles (1:50:58)
The half marathon was in 3 laps this year which was perfect, one to get some rhythm, one to build pace and one to go for it - we'll that was the plan.

looking fresh.... feeling hot
Did Imention it was hot? The first lap went well with the pace holding steady at 7:30/mile. I had not spotted Faye again (faster on the bike than expected and came into T2 earlier than I had told her). There were 3 aid stations around the course (one every mile and a bit). I was able to get a cup of water/isotonic drink at each as well as putting a cup or two over my head and shoulders - I was dry again by the next aid station. I felt pretty good, just a few stomach cramps (not sure why - maybe due to coughing a lot with the previous weeks cold).

I decided to drop the pace to 8:30/mile for the second lap as I could feel my quads tightening (never had this before, may be a factor of having just ridden for nearly 3 hours or just cramping in the heat) and I wanted to make sure I finished. Also I saw lots of runners who had already completed 2 laps (had 2 of the 3 coloured hair bands they give you on lap completion) walking and stretching.

200m to go

I was on my last lap when I saw Faye and gave her a big high 5 slap announcing I was onthe last lap (her cue to get to the finishing chute). I tried to raise the pace but in actual fact struggled to maintain existing 8:30/mile.

job done
I took care to ensure that my drinks actually went in my mouth by walking the last 3 aid stations rather than just splashing off my face, I also put about 4 cups of water over my head in an attempt to stay cool. This did make my trainers a bit spongy.  I collected my last (pink) hair band took the diversion over the wooden bridge to the blue carpeted finish, a quick glance behind, no one for about 20 meters but two people in front so sprinted like a madman to the finish arch. I saw Faye just before the line, and then it was all over..... 5 hours 20 minutes and 23 seconds.





I was given my medal and was totally out of breath from the last sprint. An official noticed this and offered me the medical tent but I just needed to calm down a bit. I filled my tri suit with ice cubes - I wish I could have done this during the run! 


I had a quick stand under a shower and waited for Faye.


We took the short walk back to the hotel whilst I rabbited like a excited kid.

I will look back at the race later on to see what went well and what areas I can improve on. 


One area that cannot be improved is the support, encouragement and tolerance from Faye and the kids. They have been husband/fatherless for too long without ever complaining and I truly could never achieve this without their help and love, besides, it gets harder from here.... 








Full Ironman?





Saturday, 12 May 2012

5 hours 20 mins 23 seconds

Race report to follow.... and a spectators report from Faye! Until then, here are the stats!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Pre race nerves

Finally got to the hotel at 1:30am as the flight was slightly delayed! There were at least 3 stag doo's on the plane, Mallorca... A venue for stag doo's.... Forgot about that.

Took the shuttle bus across the island to Alcudia (no stag doo's). Couldn't resist building up the bike in the room so got to bed by 2:00.

The hotel is excellent (bloody better be for £150/night to! They are holding the pro press conference for the race at our hotel, however I haven't been approached for an interview yet? I have chatted with a few fellow 'athletes' (that's what it says on my wrist band - and they don't lie!), they range from those who think they will do the race in about 4:20 to those who 'think' they will complete it. After training in the 30 degree heat today, I am siding with the 'just finishing' crowd (even the fish were sweating).

Had a mile sea swim (first open water swim of the season as Leybourne lake is still 11 degrees) and it felt good, salty but good.

I went through registration, bought the obligatory t-shirt (if you look carefully, you can see my name in the pic.) and mug and went for pasta and pizza. Then took the bike out for 10 miles (flat and fast). All is fine but I did throw up a mouth full (nerves???) and I don't need to be wasting all that nutrition!

Went to the race briefing on the beach. Free food & drink etc... All seems pretty clear!

I then checked in the bike. A few of the Tri bikes suffered tyre explosions, where they had left their 100psi tyres in the heat (deflate today, inflate in morning is the order of the day!). The volunteers here are excellent. They said they would fix the tyres in the riders absence and they would never know - how nice!

I mentioned on the last post that I would take a stab at predicting my performance.

Swim
I reckon sub 0:35 would be ok.

Bike
3:10 should be achievable, the 'hill' I keep hearing about is a big unknown!

Run
In this heat, anything under 2 hours would be ok

Transitions
It's over 500m long and 300m from the swim exit so I will allow for 7 mins for t1 & t2 total.

That makes 5:52. So I should get under the magic 6 (I just made that up - I actually thing the 'magic' starts when you go sub 5), however if it all goes perfectly the total time could be nearer 5:30. At this moment, I will just be happy to get the finishers medal around my sunburnt neck!

Oh yeah, as you can see from the balcony shot, Faye is finding all this ironman stuff pretty stressful!






Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Nutrition and bike set-up

Nutrition
I have been calculating my nutritional needs for the race and setting the bike up with all the spares and repair stuff I will need for the race. So far the list reads:


6x Gels bike & 4 gels run (SIS GO)
2x power bars for bike
Aero bottle up front (carb based drink)
2x cage bottles behind seat (electrolite based drink)*
Spare inner tube
2x co2 canisters & inflator
2x tyre levers
patch repairs
chain split link
multi-tool
I will also pick up a Vittoria 'pitstop' (self inflator/sealer) from a bike shop in Mallorca when we get there


*the 2x cage bottles are sacrificial and can be replaced with full bottles at the water stations and decanted into the aero bottle along with an electrolite tablet (Nuun) This is based on needing 300-400 cals/hour and anything up to 750ml/hr of fluid. I will also most probably learn that I didn't need to take half the food and drink as it was available at the feed stations - I was always one to over pack!


Quite a shopping list but it's an expensive trip and I wouldn't want to fail due to puncture or nutritional shortage.


The tools alone add half a kg to the bike and I will probably only have to pick up a few waters from the feed stations to complete the nutritional requirements. The 'sock' (I might patent the idea) holds all the tools and is wrapped around the bottle gave mounting. Note the inspirational 'come on daddy' fixture on the bottle - very cliché.



inspiration?

Rear bottles
The 'sock', between saddle and cage - genius!

The Bike
It's as ready as it's going to be. I really needed to put some more road miles on it before the race. To date I have done about 750 training miles on the this bike but only about 60 of these have been on the road.


Ready to roll!

Spec:
Frame/forks: Felt DA 2010
Wheelset:     Mavic Cosmic Carbone SR's
Groupset:     Shimano DA/Ultegra/105
Bars:            Vision & Profile Design aero bars/bottle
Saddle:         Plannet X
Tyres:          Continental GP 4000s
Cages:         Tacx holder & Plannet X carbon
Pedals:         Look Keo


Packing Up
I picked up the 'bikeboxalan' yesterday (yes it is really called that). These boxes retail at £450 but are only £40 to hire and i've seen how the baggage handlers operate! Squeezed in the box is the nutrition and bottles, bike shoes, helmet, track pump and tools!
Now you see it
Now you don't







I may take a stab at predicting my performance and setting goals for the race....... dangerous game that though.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Last BRICK

Finished my last big session before the taper to the race. It was going to be bigger but I have had Eve's cold for the last 5 days which has meant any effort has resulted in a coughing session. For once I have been a good patient and rested.

So I biked one and a half hours on the turbo trainer and ran for 9.5 miles at 7:45 pace. I tested gel/water intake intervals (which seem to go pretty well - no belly issues or lack of energy) and also some new laces. I found the new elastic laces online and it turns out that the owner of the company 'Flatlines' lives the next street down. The laces are essentially swimming goggle straps. They worked well, the trainers were comfy and the foot pain I have had of late hasn't returned. However the hilly run has tested the calves (they are hopefully just sore not torn this time, still the run next week is flat).

Friday, 27 April 2012

Time to train

With just over 2 weeks to go, my goal this week was to put in a good brick session of 25 mile on the bike turbo trainer followed by a 10k flat road run. Called a brick session because that's how your legs feel after a time on the bike. As far as possible, the aim was to simulate race conditions, not easy on a static bike in a cold garage and a night run with a head torch. 

For the bike, I wore the newly purchased Tri suit and obligatory pointy time trial helmet and for the run (I would say it looks better on but.....) , my new inov8 road trainers (I have the off road version and they are excellent). 


Well, the suit and helmet performed well but the trainers still gave a bit of Met pain (metatarsalgia - inflammation of toe joint under forefoot) but I'm hoping another insole may fix this, otherwise I will run in my 500 mile old Newton trainers. No pains on the bike and the run was surprisingly fast with little knee or calf pain. 






















Next week will be my last big session, 2 hour bike & 2 hour (forced slow) run.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

What's it all about




Background
3 weeks away from my first venture into Ironman Triathlon! Well half an ironman or 70.3 to give it it’s modern title (1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike and 13.1 mi run). Despite all the training and preparation in the back of my mind is that it's only 1 lap of 2 when it comes to the full distance.

The Mallorca 70.3 takes place on Saturday 12th May 2012. Flights, accommodation, even bike travel box have been booked and the training is almost complete. I just have to keep injury free and then prance around in lycra for 6 hours in the sun!  How did I get myself into this?

I've been a keen runner, cyclist and reasonable swimmer all my life, not at a competitive level, that would require real commitment. Like most who venture into triathlon, the holy grail (and my goal) is the Ironman – the daddy of fitness bragging rights.

The swim – I’ve always been fairly quick but I had no real stamina and splashed around a lot. The beach shorts were swapped for racing jammers, I had my technique critiqued by a coach in an endless pool (a secret Santa gift from the mother in law) and with several years of lap swimming,  open water sessions and open water races under the belt I have got my 400m, 1500m, 3000m and even 10,000m times down to a respectable standard. I would go so far to say this is my strongest discipline. I have realised to improve the swim I have had to look at the mechanics of the stroke and have inevitably become a bit of a swim bore!

The bike – I was a fast learner with this sport too. BMXing as a kid (flying off things rather than racing around them), inevitably grew into an interest in mountain biking in my twenties and has recently manifested into a liking of cross country racing. This is where the desire to tinker & upgrade the equipment comes from; well it’s easier than training! So the relative comfort of the road bike (it’s still like sitting astride a fence) has been relegated to a transport/training tool making way for a carbon time trial machine and it’s owner becoming a cycle bore!

The run -  This is where the love/hate relationship I have with sport  comes from. It turns out that I’m not invincible and my body can wear out. It transpires that I don’t have a perfect running style or gait. It doesn’t seem fair, I mean, have you seen Paula Radcliffe run – she looks in pain. My running looks pretty effortless (but isn’t). In 2004 I inevitably developed knee issues, spent a fortune on physio, had the obligatory arthroscopy surgery in 2006, spent another fortune on physio and hey presto, the knee is better. Only for the problem to move to the other knee. The underlying cause has had a variety of assessments; knee muscle imbalance, tight calfs, leg length differential and even no bum (there was no need to get personal - Faye could have diagnosed that one for free). The truth is it could be any of these and probably all.

The best advice I have had and the advice that has really got me back into a decent volume of running is to change the relaxed leggy heal striking technique to a faster mid/forefoot striking one with a much faster turnover and just RUN (it’s not jumping on the barefoot running bandwagon – it just makes sense). By using the foot & knee’s natural suspension I can limit the impact on the joints. The results…. I look like an old lady when I run, I am faster, have more running stamina and have become a running bore too!

Triathlon History- To date I have competed in two Sprint and two Olympic distance triathlons and a number of open water swim races and a couple of MTB cross country races and road sportives. My times have been reassuringly improving and I am playing the same balancing game that most age group (amateur) triathletes play, that is progression Vs wellbeing, the latter becoming a greater factor as the training volume increases.

Gear & gadgets  - This is the perfect sport for geeks! Triathlon can be run on a budget but it can also be a money pit. I fall somewhere in between these statements , trust me Faye, it could be worse. As the great Torquil Mangat says ‘he who dies with the most gadget – wins’  - I’m sure that will be on a t-shirt one day (I hereby declare design/copyright). I have bought, used and discarded a number of goggles, trainers and bike parts and could probably offer up a few words of advice if ever needed.


So follow the blog if interested, I will post my training and race progress for all who care to read it and try to throw in a few photo’s, in attempt to keep it interesting.