A new bike position

A new bike position

A couple of days ago I headed up to Bridgtown bikes (our tri club sponsor) to get a bike fit. I saw James, he and Mike (the owner) are the two senior fitters there. He spent a few hours watching me spin and tinkering with the fit, no computers were involved and the brief of improving head position and back position seem to have been sorted.
The results are above, so far they look pretty good 🙂 feel good on the turbo and I hope the end result will be very good when I get out on the road this weekend 🙂
I cannot recoment them highly enough, a lot has been written about Retul fitting, but that depends significantly on a computer package and tends to be one dimensional, and often without the experience of someone like James or Mike.
If you need a bike fitted I would go here: /http://www.bike-fit.co.uk/
Later
I.

So that was 2013….

So that was 2013….

I had intended to write this blog in early 2014, i.e. January at some point butI failed miserably probably due to the fact that despite having two weeks off I spent most of it trying to do home stuff and looking after the girls…

How was 2013:

Pros
Lost weight 98kgs by Aug for Ely (after I had identified my cushionoid syndrome)
Riding was improved – more consistent >200W output
Running was better when it worked
PB’d at Ely (although the bike was short I would have still PBd)

Cons
Gained weight at the end of 2012 (108kgs in Jan 2012)
Didn’t run enough so when I did I was plagued with injuries
Good swim/bike at Ely killed by a poor run…
Races entered and cancelled
Swiming suffered

However I have managed to get some training in too, just not as much as I would like

Training has been pretty good. I have, in the most part, got in one swim and a couple of runs/rides per week. Most of the riding has been on the trusty turbo – as the nights are too dark and the roads too slippery… Currently I am critically reviewing what I need to sort on the TT bike before the Sierakow Middle Distance race (my first of the year…). It needs a strip and clean, but most things seem okay, however I need to revisit wheel choice, I am finding that I can flex the H3 rear on the turbo, I am seriously considering a disc, which means a limited choice as I run clinchers and would prefer an alu brake track, currently the Circo[check spelling] disc is looking good – will just have to see.

As for the running this has been equally split between on and off road running. The run at Sierakow is a trail run. I purchased a pair of Brooks PureGrit2s early on this year and decided to get off the asphalt – what a revalation! Off road running is hard! It is so much harder than road running, and I thought I was going to break something on my first outing, the mud was ankle deep and the paths slippery even with trail shoes.

As for the Brooks PG2s I have read a lot of mixed reviews on them. They are good – really comfy running, the grip is adequate on mud but I expect it to be superb on dry dirt track. The majority of criticism for it is around wet/mud grip…wet grip on asphalt is good but on deep mud it all goes a bit squirly, however I doubt Innov8 or Salomon shoes would have been better in the stuff on the trails over the past few weeks – spikes would be good!

Overall at the moment I would rate them a 7/10 for performance, and a 10/10 for fit, not surprising as the last is the same as my Brooks PureFlow2s which I love 🙂 Finally, on running, this week I managed an experience I had not tried before – snow running! I was in Espoo, just outside of Helsinki and I did a (sadly) short run in cold snowy conditions. The snow trail was lightly packed by skidoos and I had taken some Yaxtrax Pro snow grips for my trainers – they were amazing. All in all great fun, hard work, but fun. Plus the birds and animals are different there so it made for a really enjoyable run.

The Monster Middle Distance 18 Aug 2013 – please support me!

The Monster Middle Distance 18 Aug 2013 – please support me!

So this year has not gone exactly as planned…I had great ideas about doing a full IM distance race didn’t happen due to a whole host of reasons, then I thought let’s do several 70.3s (like a couple of years ago) – this also did not happen due to work commitments, so finally I thought I would enter a couple of swims and do a half ironman distance race. The swims were cancelled which left a half ironman….The Monster Middle Distance (http://www.monsterracing.net/triathlon2013.html)…. that is this weekend…18 Aug 2013!

Unlike previous years where I have emailed everybody LOTs before a race I thought I would leave it to the last minute this year – I am not sure if that was a good choice this year but we will see! Unfortunately my training has run in a similar vein and this year I have managed a whole four weeks building for this – so anything could happen…

The race is a standard half ironman distance race – 1.9km swim in the River Ouse followed by a 90(ish)km bike around the Fens topped off with a half marathon (21.1km) around the beautiful town of Ely (with its amazing cathedral). It is not a big event – 350 participants – but it is close to home and looks fast…my aim is to try and beat my PB for this distance – in 2009 it took me 8hrs 53mins last year 6hrs 7mins – let’s see what 2013 brings.


Now for a little bit about the charity I am supporting with this race. Last year I met Andrew Howden (another member of the BCTTT triathlon club) and he inspired me to try and raise a little cash for the charity that supports his daughter, Beatrice.

Beatrice has a life limiting disease, Type II SMA – Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This amongst other things means she will never walk, run or play in the same way other children do. She is bright and into everything, eager to explore the world around her and she is always happy and ready to greet everyone she meets with a big smile and a wave.

Unfortunately, the Government does not offer funding for the powered chair that was designed specifically for what Beatrice needs to be mobile at this early age. The early years for Beatrice, as with all children, are very important in learning and development, therefore early access to mobility is imperative. One of the key attributes of children with SMA is that they are exceptionally intelligent. Limited mobility at an early age, however, can limit opportunities for learning and exploring the child’s environment.

So why am I telling you this? Well, every year since I got serious about triathlon I have tried to raised a little cash for good causes please help me to do the same this year.

I am not keen of sending money to an anonymous organisation who loose significant amounts in admin costs and don’t pass as much as they can onto those who need it most, but instead I prefer to find a charity which is small and needs support for the hard work they do. I am raising funds to support Beatrice and her family through the charity A Smile for a Child (Charity Registration No. 1123357).

Any amount large or small will help this small charity immensely so (if you can) please be generous! Please go to my just giving site (http://www.justgiving.com/husbandfatherironman/) and donate. You can also follow me on my blog http://husbandfatherironman.com or on twitter @isainsbury.
Thank you in advance,

Best wishes,
Iain.
Hmmmm….so there goes my plans for the year….

Hmmmm….so there goes my plans for the year….

Well as I guessed would happen, my year of racing is well and truly in bits…..for once not due to injury but instead because of…guess what…work….yep I was asked to step up and support one of the global directors and now my diary is in freefall…between now and mid June I have three trips to Chicago, one to Madrid (for over a week) and one to Mexico City (for two days)…unfortunately these clash with at least two of the races I was planning and another clashes with my eldest daughter’s play….

So….where does that leave me…well…I think I need a new challenge in my diary, I am seriously considering the Bridge to Bridge swim (http://www.henleyswim.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Bridge-to-Bridge-Information-Pack-2013.pdf), their description of it is:

BRIDGE TO BRIDGE is a 14 km endurance downstream River Thames swimming event, from Henley Bridge to Marlow Bridge. This event is more relaxed than a race, and is aimed only at serious open water swimmers who would like to include a long distance challenge in their summer open water swimming season

14km…hmmm….can I do it? Well the longest I have swum ‘open water’ is between 4-5km when training for IMCH…and the furthest I have ever swum is 10km but I was in my teens and it was in a pool…so 14.1km…..could be interesting – I reckon I could keep up with the silver pod or at a stretch the gold pod….hmmm….

Two weeks after this is the Monster Middle….a 70.3ish race near Ely…it appeals as it is close…my biggest concern though is training….I just seem to be in a complete training vacuum…whenever I think things are getting better I seem to take two steps back….either through injury/work or illness…

Regardless I am still keen to race this year and I would like to do at least one 70.3, a long swim and maybe a couple of Oly distance races….let see what happens….

On the plus side the new Huub Archimedes is simply stunning…a 1.8km swim in it was executed with little effort in 28mins…it is supple, buoyant well fitting (in size SS) and the bicep/calf release panels really do seem to work…it is light years ahead of my old Orca Alpha…and I really mean that…

Once I have had a bit more experience I will write a more complete review

Later
I.

Over 10k visitors and a long ride

Over 10k visitors and a long ride

Wow – today the blog went over the 10,000 visitors milestone – I must say I am a little amazed!! Okay some of them will be from accidental clicks/webots but a lot of them are repeat offenders – if you are one of them – THANKS!

So “a long ride”….as I had a few mins waiting fro a Kwik-Fit man to turn up to sort the tyres on Liz’s Volvo I thought I would put a few notes down on my longest (outdoor) ride this year. On Sunday I went out and did what seems to me a slow 50km/2hr ride. It did however include a number of local hills (some of which might almost be called climbs…) hence the low speed – also I was doing a set program of:

30min W/U Easy

5min easy effort (RPE 11)
5min tempo effort (RPE 13)
5 min overgearing (RPE 17+)

The full route can be seen here:

http://app.strava.com/activities/47615836/embed/23386fc7569c3022c3a7b2a6bf75ef8bf2c3efe5

But I thought I would focus on a few of the best bits (hills). The first 30mins is a gentle climb to the A505 and then the ride properly starts with a steady climb to Barley (the first hill of the day). This begins easily and winds up in the last 200m or so:

Once into Barley the route takes a left and heads for the only windmill for miles – obviously at the top of a hill!

This is a simple steady hill which is just long enough to make you puff if you are in the wrong gear – as I was!!

However it is at this point the toughest hill of the day appears – just down hill a little and then up to the infamous Passo d’GranChisell

The last 100m of this is deceptive – all in all a good climb. After this it is a relatively simple bike route which zips down some good descents (ruined yesterday for me as someone had smashed a glass on the road so a few bunny hops saved me…) and skirts along beside a river (where I saw a family of hares – very cool and fast!), before going up again to Wendons Ambo, a really short climb hidden round a corner:

 

After this it is a simple run back to home via some fast main roads – including my favourite stretch between Littlebury and Great Chesterford – great tarmac quality and lots of false flats. The data showed some good efforts on the hills – I use a CycleOps PowerCal HR strap (Powercal at Wiggle) – I was seriously sceptical about it (There is a great review here) but I have to say I am constantly amazed how it computes an extimate of power – I have checked against my calibrated turbo and RPE and it all seems pretty much bang on – seriously impressed!

Anyhow – back to reality, today was a hard run (see below) – nothing in the legs – probably as I worked hard yesterday but at least tomorrow is a core set (and I have a couple of days off to spend time with the girls – they are on school holiday) 🙂

http://app.strava.com/activities/47826914/embed/8cf4b74d752d2731ce77f1ac74dac556ea698b3d

Thanks for reading.

Frustration…..

Frustration…..

Frustration is the moment you seem to be making progress only for it to be whipped away….finally I had a longish period at home and I was looking forward to get some miles on the bike and in the legs, doing some actual running and maybe even do some swimming (gosh!!)  only for my youngest to pass on her bugs. It is not her fault, she has moved rooms in nursery so she is now exposed to a new set of bugs and as a result she has gone down with just about everything….so far she has had back to back gaestroenteritis/chest infection/worse gastroenteritis. I seem to to have contracted most of these…so yet again I find myself with a throat/chest infection..grrr….

On the plus side I have purchased a new wetsuit 🙂 when it arrives I will be the proud posessor of one of these 🙂 http://www.huubdesign.com/product_archimedes.html

A Huub 3:5 Archimedes – soooo excited I cannot wait for OW season 🙂 as a result I think I might be putting a couple of standalone OW swims in the calender….

As for other races I am still pondering what to enter, currently on my consideration list is:

 Looking at the Box End event – one of the UK AG athletes racing at the 2012 event in Auckland did a 22 min swim and a 24min run – with a total time of 47:33….I reckon I could do around a 14-15 min swim and a sub 27min run….you never know…. 🙂 As to sponsorship this year – I am going to race for Team Bea again! This is a group of like minded BCTTT triathletes and other individuals raising money for two charities – A Smile for a Child and Martin House….but more on this in my next post when I have set up the donations page! But first things first I need to get better and then get back to training….. LaterI.

What a week….

What a week….

So as the title says – what a week….

It started out well with training feeling good after getting over the GI bug that I got from Evie only to be pulled back down by a cold she had picked up from nursery…..

Not to be dissuaded from training I tried to keep things going, reducing the efforts and distance but keeping doing something…and this seems to have worked…I felt awful yesterday after 2hrs on the bike (to follow….RHR of 62 (normally 50-52) and my peak flow dropped to 400, which is not good) but this morning my HR had rallied to 58bpm and my peak flow after an hour of cycling followed by running (a brick session) was up to 510 (after 2hrs it was back to 550 – which is good!!).

So this week is all about consistent training, recovering and keeping the sessions up. I am hoping to getting around. To actually entering some events too! – currently nothing is entered and I would liketo do an early 70.3 (maybe the Marshman or the Bedford middle) followed by the Ely Monster Middle at the end of the season. In addition I am thinking of heading back to Dorney for a race (nice and fast) and doing the Great East swim…however this will need a new wetsuit….time to start talking to a new supplier…probably Huub…Dean has been a big supporter of our club in the past – fingers crossed this will continue….

Husbandfatherironman.com

Husbandfatherironman.com

Finally I have managed to get the forwarding working on my web domain so in future please point your browser or link to husbandfatherironman.com 🙂

Also illness (D&V) is now gone so training has started again….the virus made me feel like a 5st weakling going up stairs….so far I have managed a30min turbo set, yesterday, and a short run…this morning’s run was laughable as I got to 3km of the 5km and felt like walking…oh well small steps…..

Wow – February already….

Wow – February already….

It is amazing to think it is Feb already and this is the first post since Oct…

It has been a busy few months – I spent some time falling out of love with training and working on triathlon fitness after IM 70.3 Ireland and after nearly a week off work with a horrible GI bug I feel I need to draw a line in the sand and get fitter again.

So what has ahappened since October? Well I finished off a marathon travel year flying just over 250,000 miles in one calender year (I hope I don’t repeat that it was a killer), and put on 10kgs over my race weight in Ireland…not good. I did start the year intending to do something about that (more training, less bad food, less wine) but that seemed to fall flat on its face out of the starting blocks, so I am starting February as I intend to continue – with an aim – I want to compete in more than one 70.3 this year 🙂

Last year was a terrible year for racing – I manage one OW swim and one 70.3 – failing to compete in my other OW swims and triathlons through a mix of bad weather (most River Thames races were affected last year due to the speed of the current), illness and injury. This year I hope to compete in a couple of 70.3s – one I hope will be the Monster 70.3 which is based around Ely (relatively flast and fast (if it isn’t windy)) and the other may be Marshman in late May – again quite fast and flat but it was seriously windy there when I raced it a couple of years ago…

Lets see what the months bring….

On the kit side of things I am now looking for a new wetsuit as my Alpha needs to retire after seving me well from 2009-2012 (too many holes reparied with Black Witch adhesive), so a Huub looks like a good option. Also I have been playing with a CycleOps Powercal – an interesting development of the HR monitor – it looks like a standard Garmin HR dongle but it has a rather cool algorithm which derives a “calculated power output” from the speed and rate of change of HR and outputs both HR and Power. I was highly sceptical but I got it on a deal for about £20 more than a replacement HR monitor and after playing with it for a month I am fairly amazed by it. It is rubbish for short sprints (below 30s) but to be honest over 30s it reflects my power output on my turbo (which is calibrated off my VO2max data) pretty accurately. I have taken it on several rides and it gives some fairly interesting data  – it doesn’t just reflect HR but goes up and down a bit (it is a 30s smoothed version…) – have a look at the data in the Strava link below:

http://app.strava.com/activities/35918973/embed/994fab6f2bdc7f1e82b1458f7bba54a9eb970a05

Anyway first blog for ages so lets leave it there…
Later
I.