Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Horizontal to Vertical

You may (or may not) have noticed that I have not posted recently about my training. There is a reason for this - there hasn't been any. Following a rather unpleasant 5 week period of being mostly horizontal and barely able to stand up, I am now able to start back training very gently. Given that I was training like an animal prior to all this I now have to make a huge adjustment as I am only initially allowed to train very lightly.

Whilst I may now have to adjust my ambitious August Ironman goals, it is a great relief to get moving again. In the last few days I have been able to sit on the trainer & spin easy for 45 minutes, run gently for 20 minutes, and in the last 2 days I have ventured back in the pool to knock out a mighty 1km!!

My return to the world of training has coincided with what I am hoping is the arrival of Spring. The snow has finally mostly melted away and the temperature has dared to creep up to the dizzy heights of above zero. As I write this the sun is shining in through the office window and very nice it is too. We are even hoping to get out into the big wide world and actually ride outdoors this Easter weekend.
Might even include a coffee stop!!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Racing in Scotland - how bad can it be?

It is currently March Break here which means a lot of lucky folks are away on training camps in the sun. Alas, no training camps for us this season so we are stuck here with the intermittent weather. At the start of the week the sun was shining and the temperature popped into double figures. I made the foolhardy prediction that winter was over, but it shows how much I know as although the sun is still shining, it was snowing overnight & the temperature is back down to -8 with a very chilly wind.

We were chatting with a friend this week about the weather conditions that we had to race in in Scotland. We realised how many tales we have of racing in horrific conditions. The worst one for me was certainly the Ben Nevis Trail Half Marathon in May 2012.
The conditions were so bad that on the way to the venue at the Ben Nevis Ski Centre we passed numerous vehicles that had been blown off the road by the wind & were lying in the fields. The race should have been cancelled as it was so dangerous - gale force winds (the worst in 40 years I believe) & torrential rain driving in sideways. The race was started a couple of minutes early to avoid us all getting crushed by the toilet block that had blown over and was making it's way across the car park towards us on it's side. The marshals were all hiding in cars & all the race route markers had blown away resulting in the entire field getting lost and just milling around unaccounted for on the side of a mountain. I got so lost that when I eventually finished I had run over 16 miles in total (3 miles over the race distance). I still managed to come fifth, though this did not alleviate my anger!! Strangely the finish line was moved so it was inside a cafe - you had to open a door and walk in to cross the line!!

Here is a picture from the start line. None of our group are in it as we were still hiding behind a building. Note how hardy the Scots are still racing in shorts!!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Tasting Success

Having a well thought out plan for your nutrition and hydration, both for racing and training is essential for good performance.
You plan your session, what you are going to wear, what you are going to carry…. even what music you’re going to listen to. How is it then that we so often see people falling apart on bike rides because they have not had breakfast or people slowing down on long runs because they never thought to carry any fluids or food. Don’t leave it to chance!
Everyone is different, so it can take time to figure out what strategies work for you.

Try different foods before a session, different timings and different types of energy drinks, gels and bars and so on in training.

Race Day Nutrition should be the result of a lot of trial and error and even when you trial it it still may not quite work out on race day due to variable conditions, however, failing to plan can be more disastrous!

It is important to start early so that you give yourself enough time to find what works for you. Many products are available in single serving packs so you can try different brands and combinations. This can also apply to pre and post workout meals. Try different variations and see what works. Some people cannot stomach food when training and it may take quite a while for you to get used to this without having to slow down or feel nauseous. Also know what nutrition will be available on the race course - it may be easier for you to use that rather than lug your own round the course, but what if they run out?
There is also a lot to be said for being self sufficient.
Eating while running or biking can initially be a bit tricky and getting the fluids or solids to settle in your stomach while you’re bouncing up and down can be a whole other matter!

Nutrition can have a real impact on the quality of your sessions. For shorter training sessions generally less than 60 - 90 minute, you should not need to take on any extra energy. However if you are doing a longer session, for example greater than 90 minutes, then it is essential you take some food with you. You need to keep topping up on carbohydrates so that you don’t run out of energy. Things you can take with you to easily eat in action include: Energy bars, Energy gels, Jelly sweets, Dried fruit, Sports drinks etc.

Practice during training and if this is an area where you are struggling, it might be a good idea to have a session with a sports nutritionist or speak to your Coach about the best place to start.

Happy munching!!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Are your Goals just Dreams?

Most of you have probably picked your races for the year

1) because they fill up so early or
2) because they cost a fortune and it takes you a year to pay it off!

Now your training is fully underway you should have already thought about what you want to achieve from your race. This could be improving your finish time, perfecting your nutrition strategy, finishing on the podium in your age group or simply completing your first race. The list is endless.

No matter what the goal(s) are, you have to incorporate them into your training program otherwise they will remain just dreams. It is no good getting to race day with great intentions, yet along the journey you did nothing to help you actually achieve them. This may sound crazy but we see it all the time.

There are numerous goals you can set in your triathlon training season, however, choose the ones that are most important to you and the least complicated.
You have probably heard of Smart objectives but it is an effective way of working out how to break down and process your plan for World Domination. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Framed. Write your plans down, and reference back to them regularly to ensure you’re on track. And keep everything positive!
This process is always much easier with a coach as it tends to keep everything more specific and realistic!

If for example you want to improve your run splits, this will require some planning, structure and time. You cannot expect to turn up on race day and expect to finish a 10k in 40mins, yet all year you’ve been training at 5min kilometers! (… and people really do think like this!!!) If you want specific run times plan it in, break it down and get training.

Another Goal you may want to work on could be your perfecting your Race Day Nutrition. This crucial area can make or break your race day, especially in longer Ironman distance events, but so many people do not incorporate this into their training, or think about it way too late. Just because you can stomach 4 energy gels on a training run does not mean you stomach 14 on race day! You have to plan your strategy, find what works for you and practice it.

Your race may seem like a long way away but it will be here before you know it.

Don’t leave your Goals to chance - work out what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it.

You know what they say ....
Fail to plan, Plan to fail!!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Retul Bike Fit March Special Offer, Aurora, Canada

Happy March Everyone!!

To celebrate nothing more than the start of a new month we are giving you a Special Offer on Retul Bike Fits.

The first 10 people to book a bike fit this month will receive 15% off the listed price.

This brings the price of a single bike fit from $235.00 down to $199.75 and the price of a double bike fit (eg. Road bike & TT bike) from $330 down to $280.50.

We are hearing a lot of people saying that they are going to wait till they get out on the road before they get a bike fit. This is NOT the right way to do it - get properly fitted now over the winter so that when you hit you the roads you will be fully adapted to your new position. Adaptations can take time so do it now!!

To learn more about Retul Bike Fitting go to the website .....

To book your bike fit go to and enter RETULPROMO as the coupon code at checkout.

Any questions let us know!!