Thursday, 24 May 2012

Retul Bike Fit comes to Scotland

Scotland welcomes Retül!! 
You may have heard some rumors about Retul Bike Fitting coming to's happened!!!!! 
This is no ordinary Bike Fit this is 3D Motion Capture Bike Fit which means there is nothing quite like it!!! Nothing as precise, as accurate and as informative.

So, what is it
Retül technology is a cycling-specific motion-capture bike fitting system designed to provide qualified bike fitters highly accurate and comprehensive bike fit data. The system incorporates three-dimensional measurement, immediate report capability, and a millimetre-specific digitising tool to provide the most accurate dynamic fitting solution in the industry.
The goal of Retül technology is to assist bike fitters in making objective and accurate fit decisions, as a proper bike fit is one of the single most important factors for optimal performance and efficiency, injury prevention, and comfort on the bike. A proper bike fit will not only provide a rider with the most economic means of expending energy, but will also prevent pain that is common in the knee, hip, and lower back, particularly with riders who are trying to adapt their bodies to the bike they already have purchased.
The Retül system reads the rider's movements while they are in motion on the bike, and accounts for all three planes of movement (3D). This type of data cannot accurately be captured with 2D video, static fitting, or eyeball fitting. The Retül system eliminates the guesswork and assumptive nature of bike fit. The result is that the rider will have a true fit to his or her bike, maximising efficiency and performance while avoiding discomfort or injury.
Elite athletes and recreational cyclists alike will benefit from a proper bike fit. Retül promotes and encourages accurate and data-driven decisions for bike fit while considering the goals, individual biomechanics, strengths, and limitations of each rider.
What are the benefits of a proper bike fit?
A proper bike fit is essential for injury prevention and maximised efficiency.  An optimal position on the bike will allow for greater comfort and enjoyment while riding.  All bodies are different and your position on the bike should reflect your biomechanics.   
Why get fit with Retul 3D motion capture technology?
The best way to analyse a rider's efficiency is to observe and measure the rider while he or she is pedalling the bike.  Retul 3D motion capture technology simultaneously measures three planes of movement on the rider as he or she is in motion.  Retul averages the rider's pedal strokes to provide a comprehensive data set reflecting the rider's movements.  Only at this point can a bike fit expert properly evaluate changes to a rider's position.  Attempts to analyse the rider in a static position, or only in two dimensions, will not provide data at the same level of accuracy as 3D motion capture.      
Who can benefit from a bike fit?
Generally, if you are serious enough to clip into a bike, you will benefit from a bike fit. Whether you are a professional or recreational rider, getting the proper bike fit is an effective yet economical way to improve performance.  
How is fit data shared with the rider?
The Retul software archives data for every rider and his or her bike/bikes.  The client receives a report of the final fit data, which includes body measurements and angles, as well as bike set-up and measurements.   

The bike fit will take approximately 2 - 3 hours and prices start from £185. 
Please feel free to research Retul more. You can find lots of information at

You will see there are lots of Retul Bike Fitters worldwide. Colin is the 1st in Scotland!!

Bike Fit Session – 1 Bike
2-2.5 hours
Bike Fit Session – 2 Bike
2.5-3 hours
Follow up fit
1 hour
Mobile Bike Fit Session – 1 Bike
2-2.5 hours
To book an appointment call us on 01698 422448 or email us at 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Lanzarote Race Report!!

Lanzarote Ironman 2012 – “where normal limits do not apply”

On Saturday 19th May Gareth & I completed Lanzarote Ironman.  I’ll let him tell his story but here’s mine.  You might want to get a cuppa as there’s nothing short about an Ironman story!

It starts in March 2011 when I went out with a group from ATHelite and the EKRC and was destroyed on the bike - all week I was getting left behind as I couldn’t keep up.  So I decided to challenge myself and take on Lanzarote Ironman which has the reputation of being the toughest Ironman in the world (excluding Hawaii) due to the heat, the strong winds and the 7,500 feet of climbing and ascending on the bike. 

In March this year I travelled to Lanzarote to train with Gareth, Graeme & Dawn for a week and the wind was extremely dangerous.  It turns out this week’s reconnaissance helped me more than I realised at the time.

Gareth & I arrived 5 days before the event to acclimatise as all training had been done in winter gear – the temperature was 41 degrees!  We did light training, mainly swimming in the sea and a couple of short bike rides and runs and it felt like being professional athletes.  Plenty of rest and food was important and by race day I couldn’t wait to get started.  The tension built as I stood with 1,600 athletes all rubbered up ready to run into the sea when the gun went off while “Eye of the tiger” blared out of the speakers at 7am – how appropriate, it was a bit of a punch up!

The key was finding some space and relaxing – you were lucky if you got 30 seconds before someone joined you and the fight continued.  I made sure I did a pee on entering the water and one before leaving as it saves you time not going to a portaloo. Swimming has never been my strength but I have worked hard at it for over 2 years so when I came out in 1 hr 13 minutes I felt great as though it a mere warm up.

Getting through transition took time as it was massive.  My spare tools fell out my back pocket and delayed me when eventually I had to leave them behind – lesson learned, I had never tried them in my race suit and the pocket just wouldn’t hold them.  Then my Garmin gave me problems – no surprise there.  One idiot in front of my fell off trying to get into his shoes,which were already on his pedals on his bike when he should just have been building up some speed first. 

I had studied the bike course and Gareth and I had driven round it a few days earlier working out when to eat – you don’t want to be taking a bite of an energy bar when going down hill at 40mph!  The use of an aero bottle meant I could keep my hands on the handle bars.  Gen has said she wanted me to race the bike course which was against my instinct because I thought it would cause me a problem on the marathon.  But her programme was designed to make me do that so I followed her instruction.

Hydration and nutrition in such a hot place was essential and I drank like it was a free bar and ate like I was on an all inclusive holiday!  Ignore either of those and you’re dead.  On the Mirador del Rio the feed station was 10 metres from the top of the hill so in order not to stop or fall off I only managed to get one bottle of water.  This leaked everywhere as I tried to fill by aero bottle so now I had a serious problem as the next stop was 25 miles away with no water.  I’d pay for the damage later.

My fear about the descents and the potential for “speed wobbles” had been sorted in March and I flew down the hills to make up time.  There are a few poor road surfaces out there and numerous riders were getting punctures but I had changed my tyres and inner tubes to take account of the conditions and it worked.  I was amazed when I go off the bike that I had no pain in my legs – my calves are prone to tightening up but wearing calf guards seemed to have worked.  I had managed it in 6hrs 56 minutes which to me was unbelievable considering the course and how I had died on the same hills 15 months before.

Then to the marathon which was a 19.65km lap out to the airport and back with 2 shorter 11.27km laps.  Running has been my strength and this was the part I was looking forward to except I knew I was dehydrated from the bike and needed to rehydrate myself quickly if that was possible.  My feeding plan with gels went out the window as did the not “walking through the feed station” for the first 10km as I needed to get water on board or I was in danger of passing out.  After sorting my Garmin, again, I saw my time was slower than I was expecting and this plus the heat started to wear me down.  At feed stations I was drinking 2 full cups of water, pouring another over my head if there was no ice, stuffing 4 sponges down my top and eating a gel.  Before the 1st turn point I saw Gareth and I had all but given up on the race – just get me to the finish was all I was interested in.

With this type of race they bring you back to the finish and then you turn away again for the next lap.  Seeing people being cheered in while you know you have another 2 laps to go is tough but Rule 5 and get on with it.  The pain was now starting in my quads and my feet didn’t feel too good either.  I was in a dark place and just wanted to get this bloody race over and done with, assuming I wasn’t going to wake up in the medics tent.  Gareth was still ahead of me but I had noticed I had made up some ground so I made a decision to try and catch him – time for a “super gel” with caffeine.  I also needed a pee which was a good sign but I didn’t want to stop and waste valuable time so when pouring water over myself I had a sneaky pee!  Yuk I know but it must have saved at least 2 minutes and it was so much fun I did it again on the final lap as well – I was averaging 3 drinks at every station.

With my stomach feeling dodgy I stopped the gels and switched to coke (the drink!) around half way which is earlier than normal.  But I had to get the sugar in to keep going.  I then caught up with Gareth who was suffering and offered to run the last 12 km with him but he graciously told me to go on. 

The last 1km was unbelievable as the crowd were going mental as you come down the finish and when you cross the line you get the chance to hold the finished tape over your head and have a photo taken – just like the winning pro!  The organiser greets everyone individually and he said to me “you’re smiling now” – too true I couldn’t wipe the grin from my face. 

It was over an hour before I even looked at my marathon time of 4 hrs and 8 minutes – the time didn’t seem important, I’d finished (12 hrs 35 mins and 44 secs).  I had wanted a sub 4 hours but in Ironman something always goes wrong and you have to adapt.  Perhaps racing the bike course was a mistake but not in my view as that was my biggest improvement over the last 2 years.  I adapted on the run and didn’t end up in the medics tent which was like a scene from MASH with everyone hooked up to IV drips.  My calves felt fine although my physio had prepared me for the pain – those calf guards really worked.

A few closing thoughts.  There were special athletes there on wheel chairs etc and I passed one climbing a hill, on a normal road bike, with one leg! The oldest athlete was 76 and he made it under the cut off of 17 hours – unbelievable.  It’s amazing what we can achieve if we put our minds to it.  The Ironman event is important but the journey getting you to the event is what you should enjoy as not everyone makes it to the start line or the finish line.  I’ve loved it and completing it with Gareth was very special.  Thanks to Gen for her coaching which was superb and I wouldn’t have managed it without her and to Colin for his support.  My wife Fiona and the kids have put up with a lot over the last 8 months so a big thanks goes to them for the disruption to family life.

As for you guys on Facebook, what can I say?  When I was in the depths of despair on the marathon I thought about you every time I went over a timing mat.  I knew/hoped you’d be watching and didn’t want to let you down.  When I came back and saw the response on Facebook I was quiet emotional to see how you were reacting during the event.  You’ve supported me through my training and you were there for me on the day – thank you as this one meant a lot for me.  It was dedicating it in memory of my friend Neil Sutherland who died last year from cancer having completed the Stirling Novice Triathlon. Another unbelievable achievement.

So now it’s your turn.  Have a great season.