Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Garmin Extended Display Mode: not so useful?

Friday, March 29th, 2019 | Reviews, Sport

Garmin Edge computers come with a feature called “Extended Display Mode” that allows you to relay your Forerunner watch data through your bike computer. This sounds super handy for triathlon because you will be tracking the activity through your watch, so relaying the data you are already capturing makes a lot of sense.

In reality, though, it’s not a particularly useful feature.

The data screens are driven by the watch. That means that you can only have a few fields on there. I like to have a tonne of stuff on my display, and at very least I would like to see my speed, power, heart rate and cadence. So, I think I’ll be sticking with running them independently for now.

LBT Brownlee duathlon video

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 | Sport, Video

Yesterday I wrote about the duathlon I took part in at the Brownlee Centre. I recorded the bike section on my action camera and I have overlayed my speed, power and heart rate onto the video. It’s predictably dull, but I have added some commentary over the top to make it less dull lol. In my defence, this isn’t why I bought an action camera.

The hyper smooth video does a good job, although I find it a bit weird. The background stays fixed in position as everything else dances around. It looks a bit unnatural but does produce something that is easy to watch.

LBT Brownlee duathlon

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 | Sport

The triathlon season is almost upon us! Skipton is but three weeks away and the World Series has already kicked off in warmer climates. In preparation, Leeds Bradford Triathlon Club hosted a duathlon event at the Brownlee Centre that was upon to other clubs.

Myself, Jack, Graeme and Naomi took part from Hyde Park Harriers. Everyone else has a club tri suit but I did at least manage to full on my HPH hoodie before we took the group photo.

The course was roughly a 4.5km run, 10km bike and final 1.5km run. I clocked in with a time of:

47:30

I was pretty happy with that. It represents a pace of under five minutes per kilometre in the run and an average speed of just under 30 kph on the bike. It would have been nice to be faster on the bike, but the course has its technical bits (for a rider of my skills, lol) and I wasn’t pushing everything I had, so I’ll take it.

Hyde Park Harriers spin

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 | Sport

My triathlon club, Hyde Park Harriers Tri, recently added a spin class to their line-up. I went to my first session last week.

On the plus side, it was great to spin with the other members of the club. However, it’s also frustrating to have to pay for the class when I have free classes at The Edge, and while the instructor is fine, she’s not my favourite spin instructor.

Overall, though, I’ll be going back, at least for another session.

Super League Triathlon

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 | Distractions, Sport

Last weekend, the Super League Triathlon final took place in Singapore. Katie Zerefes continued her domination of the women’s event while Vincent Luis managed to hang on to his lead, despite picking up a puncture. Jonny Brownlee was the highest placed Brit in third.

It’s a weird system. Vincent Luis won the overall championship because he came first in the final race, but also because the guy in 6th outran the guy in 7th or something like that. Even the commentators didn’t seem to know what was going on. They need to simplify that.

I don’t like it as much as World Series, as sometimes it feels a bit gimmicky, and the racing is over pretty quickly. But it is a fun addition to the triathlon schedule.

Super Bowl LIII

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 | Sport

Super Bowl III saw the New England Patriots face off against the Los Angeles Rams.

Picking a side was difficult. I don’t like the way US sports teams sometimes just move and leave their fans behind. So, cheering on the Patriots to beat the St Louis Rams seemed the obvious choice. However, a few days before, Patriots owner Robert Kraft came out and said Trump was doing a wonderful job and Rupert Murdoch was the best human being alive. Not sure how to respond to that.

As it was, we were treated to quite possibly the dullest Super Bowl ever. The game finished 13-3 to the Patriots. There was only one touchdown for the entire game. I mean Super Bowl XLVIII was massively one-sided but this was the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history.

Still, every Super Bowl is a chance to party, and party we did. In many ways, it is nice that the sport did not get in the way of conversation.

Leeds Bike Mill bike maintenance course

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 | Sport

Earlier this week, I did Leeds Bike Mill‘s introduction to bike maintenance course. It’a four-hour evening session to teach you the basics. Leeds Bike Mill is based in the same building as the Peddler’s Arms, a drop-in bike workshop that is community run.

It met my expectations: it wasn’t as clean and polished as the Evan’s Fix It course, but it was far more hands on. That is far more valuable than watching someone else do it. So, even though four hours seems a long time to change a tyre, do an M check and fiddle around with the brakes, it’s sort of understandable where that time went.

We also covered gears, which both Evan’s and Woodrup didn’t really do, so it was nice to take a look at that because gears are always my biggest problem on the bike. Unfortunately, I didn’t get time to do any adjustments in the workshop itself and on the way home my chain fell off. Still, a chance to ride my old bike has eliminated any buyers remorse about the one I am riding now.

All in all, I would recommend if you want to cover the basics of bike maintenance.

Evans Fix It course

Monday, January 14th, 2019 | Sport

Last month, I attended the Evans Fix It course on bike maintenance.

It was supposed to be an hour’s course and cost £15. As it was, we ended up getting an hour and a half of tuition for our money. It covers the basics: parts of the bike, the M-check, changing a tyre, cleaning and a little bit on adjusting gears.

There were only two of us on the course, so it extra friendly, and we were able to look at specific setups for our bikes. We call ran disc brakes, for example, so could skip over the rim brakes content pretty quickly.

Plus, we got to see the secret downstairs area, and you come away with a goodie bag containing cleaning products, a multitool, tyre levers and a patch kit. All in all, therefore it was great value: 90 minutes of learning, plus a load of useful stuff that I needed anyway.

The only drawback was that it was a demonstration, rather than a hands-on exercise. I was a guinea pig for a course at Woodrup the week before, and in that we got hands-on, changing the inner tube on a tyre. There is no replacement for actually doing it.

I would still recommend the Evans course, though, because it is still a bargain. Ideally, do both. I’m not naturally mechanical, so I’m looking for all of the learning opportunities I can get.

Lifeline TT 02 turbo trainer review

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 | Reviews, Sport

In this video, I’ll review the Lifeline TT-02 fluid turbo trainer. It’s an indoor bike trainer sold by Wiggle. It’s an entry-level model that is perfect if you want to try out indoor cycling without spending a huge amount of money.

Setup is simple, and I’ll show you in the video. Pop the legs out, lock the bike in place and pop the riser block under the front wheel. You’ll need to replace your quick release skewer with the one supplied. If you have a thru-axle bike, see my review of the Kinetic Traxle.

With it being a fluid trainer, there are no controls to fiddle around with. The resistance gets exponentially harder as you pedal faster.

As it’s not a smart trainer, it’s not compatible with Zwift or TrainerRoad out-of-the-box: you’ll need a power meter or speed sensor on your bike to make it work.

You can listen to the noise levels on the video as I ride at 100, 200, 400 and 700 Watts.

2018: A good year for fitness

Monday, December 31st, 2018 | Life, Sport

It’s been a great year for my personal fitness. I’ve always considered myself reasonably fit anyway, but this year I made an extra effort to take it to the next level. I had three goals at the start of the year:

  • Run a sub-2-hour half marathon
  • Complete a standard distance triathlon
  • Run a marathon

I could have knocked one of the goals off within the first week of January as I was registered for the Sir Titus Trot half marathon. Unfortunately, I picked up a nagging injury in November that didn’t disappear, so I had to do the sensible thing and sit it out.

No worries, as in March I ran a 1:52:24 at the Leeds Liverpool Canal Canter. I also accidentally ran a much faster 1:45:25 in training in October.

Next on the list was a triathlon. I knocked my first race off in April with Skipton, but that was only a sprint. My first standard distance was Wetherby, closely followed by World Series Leeds.

Finally, the marathon. I completed my first marathon-length run in September, and still can’t really work out whether that counts or not. But, in any case, I completed the Yorkshire Marathon three weeks later. Sub-4 hours you say? Why yes, yes I did.

So, all three goals knocked off. But wait, there’s more…

I originally told myself I would stick to those and look at longer events, like a middle distance triathlon and ultra-marathon in 2019. But, having the flexibly to train while I completed my MSc proved too alluring.

In September, I completed my first middle distance (half Ironman) triathlon when I raced Sundowner, finishing comfortably within seven hours, and well before the eight-hour cut-off.

And, two weeks after the Yorkshire Marathon, I completed the Hubble Bubble ultramarathon. Mostly because the idea of going through another marathon training programme did not seem too appealing when I could piggyback of the training I was already doing for the Yorkshire Marathon.

What will 2019 bring?

Probably some more middle distance triathlon. But I’m waiting for the club calendar to come out before I decide. I’ve already signed up for Leeds and Skipton. And my 10km PB is currently the run segment at Wetherby Triathlon so it would be nice to move the chains on that. But, at the moment, I’m enjoying some time off.