Friday, 23 September 2011

ATHelite Opening Hours

Please note a couple of amendments to our Opening Hours which are now as follows;

Monday 9.30 - 5.30
Tuesday 9.30 - 5.00
Wednesday 9.30 - 5.30
Thursday 9.30 - 8.00
Friday 9.30 - 5.30
Saturday 9.00 - 5.00

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Trossachs Training Camp- Weekend Report

Ten ATHeliteers linked up with Calderglen Harriers for our annual Trossachs Run Training Camp held up in Callandar last weekend. This was Dereks first attendance at the camp & he has kindly scribed us a short report of his experience............

It was with some trepidation that I put my name down for this weekend as I’d never been on an organised run training event before – in fact I’d never run 3 days in a row before!  As for staying in a hostel, well that was also going to be a new experience but Lanza earlier in the year had prepared me for the farting and the snoring.

My first surprise was the hostel.  This wasn’t what I was expecting, well kitted out and not 20 to a room.  I shared with 3 guys and we all got on well and coped with the relatively confined space.  Only on the last night did one have to be woken from his snore fest and reminded we weren’t as deaf or as obliging as his wife was.

On the Friday we went out in packs with a leader dictating the pace and ran almost 6 miles with most of it off road.  The scenery would have been nice but through the rain we couldn’t see too much, although this was a great warm up.  Off to the pub for a small refreshment, some good food and plenty of time to meet new friends as I didn’t know the Calderglen Harriers crowd.

In the morning we went off in our pack for a 9.5 mile cross country run with some testing hills and more rain.  Back for a lecture from Physio David Nugent which was all about injury prevention and after lunch we had the second half from him including the physical analysis of our pack leader Eddie.  Turns out that to preserve the long-term future of runners they should swim and cycle – wait a minute - that means they should become triathletes!  I knew we had it right.

Then off for 6.5 miles, in the rain, which included an efforts session in the middle.  It was as tough as you wanted to make it and I paced myself as I wanted to avoid injury and also save myself for the 16 mile run the following day.  My legs were protesting a bit in the pub later (this is where we had dinner) but I made sure I was stretching and drinking plenty of water.

I was dreading the 16 miler on Sunday as I hadn’t been doing much running before this weekend.  However the pack went off at a sensible pack and took breaks for drinks and gels while admiring the scenery which was stunning.  Unfortunately we took a wrong turn and the run was extended to 18 miles!  Funnily enough the last mile was my quickest all weekend.

This concentrated effort has brought my running on and mentally I was able to tough it out and get through the pain barrier.  A great crowd of all running abilities made the weekend fun and a big thanks to everyone who arranged the event which I will definitely be going back to next year.  I also intend spending a fair amount of time during the winter running on those forest tracks – miles better than on the road.  Great kick start to my training for the South Side 6 in October.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Junior Clothing Clearance Sale now on

Loads of bargains now available online in our Junior Nike & Ronhill Clothing Sale.

Nike Junior Clothing

Ronhill Junior Clothing

Friday, 9 September 2011

Bealach Mor - Race Report

The Bealach Mor – 3rd September 2011

I entered this event because of its reputation of having tough hill climbs – this is part of my preparation for Lanzarote Ironman in May next year. Well it didn’t disappoint.

I travelled up the day before as it’s 1.5 hours north west of Inverness. Over dinner my pals regaled stories of accidents on the Bealach including the poor guy who ended up in a wheel chair 4 years ago. It’s fair to say by the morning I was dreading it and the rain didn’t look like it was going off but they reassured me this was good conditions for the Bealach as there was no wind and one of them had been blown off the top on his bike the day before – very reassuring.

The start is unusual in that you can leave when you want after 9am. The key is that the road to the Bealach Mor isn’t closed to cars till 11am and you won’t get access before then. Believe me that single track road wouldn’t be possible if there were cars on it. Also you need to avoid a train at an unmanned crossing at 10.30! So the start is a 3.5 mile climb rising 700 ft which gets the heart rate going but isn’t too bad. Then it’s a fast ride to the bottom of the Bealach with the exception of one wee tester of a hill just to remind you where you are.

I was looking forward to the views on the Bealach Mor but as cloud base was around your ankles with the constant rain which made it very difficult to judge how far you had to go. It starts with a gentle slope then the gradient starts to get much harder. I had been warned about the 4 hairpin bends at the top and how steep they were so before I got there I was getting really worried as I was starting to really struggle. For the first time ever in my short cycling career I had to step off the bike on the hill or else I would have fallen off. I was dizzy so took 2 minutes to get my breath back. I tried to get started but the gradient was too steep so I had to walk 100 yards before I could get back on – very disappointed with that. Almost immediately I came across the 4 hairpin bends and they were fine. The real challenge had been the steep section before them. Perhaps if I could have seen ahead I may have stayed on the bike but I really felt like I was going to collapse. In total the climb took me 51 minutes and 42 seconds.

I put on a wind cheater at the top as I was told by the bottom I’d be frozen – they were right. The scariest descent of my life with the wet, steep single track road with tight hairpin bends. It wasn’t long before the accidents started to appear and the odd ambulance. Twice the same cyclist in front of me went side-ways at a corner and on the second occasion managed to knock someone over. Getting down in one piece was all that mattered and I’m glad I had put on fresh brake blocks. When you reach the bottom you are only half way and the second half is a lot harder than the first due to the constant hills and the distance.

You always had to concentrate to make sure in the wet conditions you didn’t run out of road on a tight corner. I kept my max speed down to 35 mph not willing to chance anything faster although the opportunity was there is you were daft enough. At 68.8 miles (yes that’s how hard I felt it) there was a climb that my legs really didn’t want to know about as they screamed stop and walk but once was more than enough for that nonsense – rule 5 I kept repeating to myself, MTFU.

The last 3 miles are downhill and very welcome. I arrived back completely (5hrs 58 mins) soaked through and once again needed help off my bike as the legs were protesting. The locals put on a great spread but coffee and cake was sufficient for me as I had to cycle another mile to get the car – by then I was a shivering wreck with the cold. A shower followed by a hot tub, beer, wine, whiskey, fantastic food and excellent company and all the pain vanished.

I had managed the steepest climb I’d ever attempted, the hardest course I’ve ever taken on and exceeded my average speed target (I had set 14 mph but managed 15 mph). Cycling isn’t my strongest discipline but I’ve come away feeling my training is paying off and I’ll be ready for Lanzarote next year.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Strathclyde Standard Triathlon Race Report

Mark Russell had to pull out of Aberfeldy Half Ironman recently with a burst tyre but he has got straight back in the saddle and had a strong performance at the Strathclyde Standard Tri last weekend. Here is his race report.....

Strathclyde Standard

Meeting Jack 10 minutes before the swim to find out that he wouldn't swim in
that water if I paid him was funny if a little worrying, but I had raced in
the park twice before so how bad could the water be?

It's pretty bad. So, I thought if i started nearer the front I would be out
quicker. Hmmm. Big mistake, I ended up in the heat of the nonsense, swimming
over and being swam over.  I reached the first buoy reasonably intact and
had 7 to go.  It was pretty much like it always is in open water swims.
After 5 minutes or so it thins out and you try to get into your stroke.
Surely those early Tollcross mornings would be worth it.  They seemed to
be, I exited the water 3 minutes faster then I had in 2009, with a time of

I haven't really raced this season, so felt pretty dizzy in t1. It was arse
to the ground to get the wetsuit off and bike shoes on, so was out on the
course in just over 2 minutes. They changed the route of the course this
year. It used to be 6 laps of the loch with long straights after the
roundabout.  This year it was 7 loops of the hills out to the roundabout,
turn there and the same hills back to the water centre. It was pretty
difficult to get into a steady pace as the course never really settled but I
entered t2 after 1:13:30, about 10 minutes off 2 years ago when I was a baby
to this triathlon lark.

I guess the run is always where I feel strongest. Just. The run was two
4.25k loops along the side of the loch with a little nasty hilly part on the
far shore. I set out at a reasonable pace, trying to keep it steady. I took
my gel towards the end of the first lap and it seemed to go well for the
first 3/4 of the run.  I started to feel really strong on the final quarter
and began to pass a few of the other guys.  When we hit those hills a couple
of them got pretty religious. 'Oh, Jesus' was all I could hear as I came
over the top of them.  It was a strong run home, focusing on my breath and
form, which I think I've learned from yoga. I hit the finish line in an
overall time of 2:27:46. 5 minutes off the run last time and 18 minutes off
overall.  To be honest, it just felt good to cross the finish line.  I had a
DNF at Aberfeldy but some good advice from Colin and Gen and other Athelite
friends helped me get back on track.

My favourite thing from the race though was meeting Jane Askey who came and
sat on the wall beside me and a friend after her race.  She's an older lady
of the vintage variety who was hoping for 3:45 and completed it in 3:41.  I
do triathlons for a lot of reasons, but meeting inspiring people like Jane
Askey is one of the main ones.

WETSUIT SALE!! Up to 25% OFF!!

All remaining Wetsuits are now on sale with up to 25% off.

There are some BIG savings to be had here so it's worth a look!!

CLICK HERE to see the Wetsuit Sale including Blueseventy, Zone 3, AquaSphere & 2XU models.