Scar of the week!!

Cycling is a hard sport. Sometimes we crash. Sometimes we pick up war wounds, used as badges of pride and sources of much exagerated disscussions over a pint.

We hold a Thursday night off-road ride here at ATG-Training and there’s been a fair share of quality dismounts during them, so much so that it’s inspired a new feature for the Blog ‘Scar of the week’.

Here’s mine – caused by a big beast that leapt from the bushes and took a swipe at my leg (the truth – hit a puddle that was a lot deeper than expected and pinged over the bars landing on the chainset bizzarly)

So go on – show us your scar of the week!!

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It’s all over!

It’s all over (for now at least…)
So, Sunday was the big day! Training had seemed to be dragging on forever, but sorting out the kit ready to put into the transition areas and giving the bikes a once over the day before, it seemed that it had flown by!
If you are thinking about doing a Triathlon (then it means I must try harder to put you off) then you need to know that it does involve quite a lot of faff. In fact doing the event was the easy bit! We had to make sure that we had the correct equipment in the correct transition areas (T1 was from the swim onto the bike, T2 was from the bike onto the run) so that I wouldn’t have to do the bike stage in a swimming hat and goggles and the run with a bike helmet on.
As Caroline my girlfriend was also doing the event, this meant we had a packed car boot for the journey down!
We arrived nice and early and it was a bit of a hike from the car to the registration tent where we had to sign up, get marked up on the left arm and right leg with our race numbers, pick up a nasty flavoured energy drink and drop our T1 bags off.
It was then a hike back to the car to pick up the bikes and go back to the race start, where we had to wait until twenty minutes before our start time when we could rack our bikes and drop our kit off in T2.
It was then a quick walk to the pool where we lined up in number order to receive our safety briefing and to start the event (we would be set off in twenty second intervals in the pool)
The pool itself was the part I wasn’t looking forward to and true to form the pool was really choppy with lots of wanna be egos giving it the large. Fortunately for me there was the odd breast stroker going up and down the pool, so I took solace from that!
5,4,3,2… the lady at the side of the pool counted me down, which was a bowel loosening experience (maybe I could have had a clear pool that way…) …1, GO! And off I went in a flurry of feet, arms and bubbles and was promptly overtaken by, well, everyone it seemed!
After swallowing copius amounts of water and having the odd cough, I sprinted manfully from the pool and donned my cycle kit and helmet (well, people were watching after all) I ran out of T1 and hopped on the bike with the encouragement of the lap guy who shouted at me to “get on with it” or something like that.
The bike stage went really well (obviously) and I overtook lots of people and even the odd car!
I then honed into T2 and picked up my running shoes and cap and sprinted manfully again onto the running course, where I had to stop for a wee behind a tree halfway round the second lap ‘doing a Radcliffe’ apparently.
The event went really well and I finished in 167th out of 273, with a time of 1h 36mins, which was only 6mins off my predicted time. I’m gutted that Simon got a flat on the bike stage because I know it would have been a photo finish otherwise. Caroline did really well finishing in 81st position out of 136 women.
I’d do another one for sure (in fact Simon and I are looking at one in Oxford early August) but I’m really looking forward to the holiday in Italy where I can do nothing for a week first!

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Jules’ and Simons Triathlon progress…

Hi everyone,

No doubt you’ll be wondering how Simon and myself have been getting on since the last installment, so wonder no more, here’s what’s been happening!

I shall start with an apology for those of you unfortunate enough to witness me in my lycra Triathlon shorts when I decided to go for a run on my lunchbreak a couple of weeks ago. The nightmares will wear off I’m sure…

The reason for my renewed zest towards running was investing in a pair of decent quality running shoes. I had been looking at the running shoes in places like JJB sports, but to be honest with you, had no idea of what I needed or required. I just looked at those that had nice colours!

However on a recent trip to Westfield shopping centre in Shephards Bush I happened across an Addidas store which offered a ‘gait analysis’ this involves you running across a pressure pad (which is linked to a laptop) which shows exactly how your foot strikes the ground when running. Apart from feeling a bit of a plonker, it showed me that I have a ‘neutral’ running style and I was reccomended a selection of shoes to try. Obviously the ones that felt the best were the most expensive, so I was keen to try them out on the 6.8km run back from the swimming pool the very next day, expecting a shoe that made me feel like I was running on down cushioned velvet, and a run time slashed in half.

Well… the only thing that was slashed was the bottom of my foot thanks to a massive blister and a strange bruise to my lower back. Hmmm. Not what I was expecting. But, having braved the pain, the shoes are now living up to the price tag.

The Swimming is going well and I have learnt a couple of ‘drills’ which have made the breathing issues I had during front crawl less of a problem. I am still very good at swallowing lungfulls of pool though… one good website I have found for helping me with my crawl (or freestyle as the pro’s call it) is: http://www.swimsmooth.com/aboutmrsmooth.html it contains an animation of how the perfect stroke should look.

Cycling wise I have managed a couple of 40 mile loops, and have helped my girlfreind purchase a road bike (a Specialized Dolce) which is womens specific and we had some really good service from the Specialized concept store in Ruislip (see the links below for the bike and the store)

http://www.specialized.com/gb/en/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=45719&eid=4951&menuItemId=9336

http://www.specializedconceptstore.co.uk/stores/about.aspx?parent_id=34&page_id=35

It’s a shame that Simons off ill this week, although maybe that gives me a week of extra fitness! Damn my competitive nature! That’s all for now, come and see me in the workshop downstairs sometime for live updates!

Jules

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Triathlon Blog

Thanks for checking out our Triathlon Blog!

Here you will find both myself and Simons musings in the run up to our first Triathlon (ever!) We hope to share with you over the coming weeks and months the trials and tribulations, hints and tips and general all round randomness that happens to us both during training, and of course, during the event itself.

Jules:

The seed was planted back at ATG’s Go Kart event last year, whilst speaking with Russell Barton who convinced me that I would be able to do it, despite the fact that I have the swimming ability of, well, let’s just say that I’m not a very good swimmer at all, and I suffer with flat feet (years of cycling have destroyed my foots natural arch) so running is something that I usually only ever do if I’m late for a bus / train.

So… a Triathlon then, what does it take? Well, so far I have convinced my girlfriend Caroline (a keen runner)  to take part, and having a bit of competition from Simon and Russell helps also! It’s also one of the first things I have done for Charity (mate) and it feels like a good personal goal to achieve.

I have braved the waters of Aqua Vale in Aylesbury and the embarrassment of being overtaken by old ladys who can seemingly swim all day for no effort, whereas it takes all my effort to do a couple of lengths crawl at the moment! So far in the pool my PB (Personal Best) is 30 lengths, and my running is improving to the point where my girlfriend takes a couple of minutes longer to pass me on the run after a headstart!

I seem to be loosing the Christmas bulge, and have a newfound love for vegetables and healthy stuff (still finding it difficult to keep away from the sugary stuff though!) Here’s my latest healthy recipe that’s easy to knock together:

You need:

1 spring onion (finely chopped)

1 red pepper (finely chopped)

½ Cucumber (finely chopped)

250g of Couscous

1 chicken OXO cube in 400ml of water

2 handfuls of pine nuts

Mix the water with the OXO into the couscous and stand for 5 mins, prep the vegetables whilst it’s standing and mix the whole shebang together when the 5 minutes is up, It’s that simple!

Simon:

Due to the recent inclement weather and short days I’ve struggled to get out on the bike as much as I would have liked.  To counter this I invested in a turbo trainer which, when combined with a heart rate monitor makes an excellent home torture implement.  If it had been invented in the middle-ages you’d be using it in the same sentence as ‘Rack’ ‘Thumbscrews’ and ‘Iron Maiden’!  Still, at least it stops you stagnating.

I’ve been hunting for a good ‘training wine’ and I think I’ve found one.  Tescos own Cote du Rhone.  It gets you pleasantly tipsy without leaving you with a sore head that will stop you going out for that early morning session.  Highly recommended.

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