Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Allerthorpe Classic triathlon

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 | Sport

In July, I travelled to Allerthorpe, near York, to compete in the Allerthorpe Sprint Triathlon. Despite trying my hardest, a mistake in T1 wasted some valuable time and I came in a mere 17 seconds over an hour and a half. This time, I was returning for the Classic, a standard distance race. Would my performance improve?

For comparison, I managed 3:02:18 at Wetherby and 2:57:40 at Evolve Quarter. However, every course has different distances and every day has different weather conditions, so it’s difficult to make direct comparisons. This is especially true of Evolve which completely messed with the distances.

The swim was a two-lap horse-shoe-shaped course around the lake. This was better than the sprint, which just went around the edge, which is often too shallow to swim in. T1 went well and I was soon on the bike and away. I couldn’t quite maintain the pace of the sprint triathlon (over 30 kph average) due to the distance, but also because it was windier.

Finally came the run. 10km in the blazing heat of midday. I got about 4km in before I decided I was never doing another triathlon again. I had finished the bike in around 1:20, so I knew if I could do a good run I would sneak under three hours.

I started out running a sub-5 minute kilometre pace. But, as with Evolve, the heat got me to and I was forced to drop back a little. Not too much, though. I was running around a 5:10 pace, which would bring me home just within the window, even accounting for grabbing some water at the water stations.

Then, disaster. The 10km marker came and went and I was still 500 metres from the finish line. Despite a sprint finish to try and bring it home, my final time was:

3:00:15

Gutted. At least we were allowed to cool off in the lake afterwards. Although we had to share the lake and grounds with the world’s largest collection of hoverflies, which were everywhere. For my trouble, I got a blister and some sunburn, despite applying suncream before the race and again during the first kilometre of the run.

My official splits and split positions were 40:49 (240), 03:40 (225), 1:20:35 (204), 01:49 (184), 53:19 (94). That put me 191 out of 250 finishers (261 total). The winner, Dan Harbridge finished in 2:01:23 and the last person home managed 4:20:32.

I’m heading back to Allerthorpe at the start of September for another race. I think I’m owed a dry but cloudy day by now.

Pride Parkrun 2018

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 | Sport

Every year, the Pride team turn up to Parkrun to cheer people on and hand out free goodies. Last year, I got a pair of rainbow laces, which I was wearing at this year’s Pride Parkrun.

I had a triathlon to so the day after, but I also felt like I was losing fitness. So, I decided to forgo the “take it easy” approach that would involve resting my legs and instead, go hard and hopefully give myself a confidence boost that I was still performing well.

I did and I got it. Thanks to a sprint finish when I realised I might just make it within the minute, I managed to run:

22:58

This is 19 seconds off my personal best, but it is only the second time I have managed to go sub-23 so I was very pleased with it. Did it give me the confidence to smash it at the Allerthorpe Classic triathlon? Find out soon…

Grenade Carb Killa

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 | Reviews, Sport

According to the marketing people at Grenade, their Carb Killa bar is magic. They don’t say magic explicitly, but they’ve basically produced a chocolate biscuit that contains almost no carbs or sugar.

Each 60g bar of the “caramel chaos” comes with 23g of protein, 1.4 sugar and 1.4g of “impact” carbs. I’m not sure what impact carbs are, but the full nutritional information suggests it means sugar, while the entire thing contains 13.5g of carbs. There is also 7.9g of fat and 214 kcals.

Compare this to the Tribe 10 protein bars I currently use which have 10g of protein, 23g of carbs, 12g of fat and 245 kcals. Even my protein shakes only come with 20g of protein, although it’s more once you mix it with milk.

It tastes great. Indeed, it’s difficult to believe I’m not consuming something incredibly unhealthy. It tastes exactly like a chocolate biscuit. If anything, you may find yourself eating too many of them.

Cost wise, they’re okay. They cost £2.50 individually at Sainsbury’s. However, if you bulk buy them from Wiggle they come down to just over £1.50 each, which makes them comparable to the Tribe products.

South Leeds Duathlon

Monday, August 13th, 2018 | Sport

Recently, the inaugural South Leeds Duathlon was held at Cross Flats Park in Beeston. There were three races: a junior, a Leeds Girls Can and an open adult race. I took part in the latter (obviously), which was 2.3km run, a 4.5km cycle and then a final 2.3km run.

I finished in 36:11. That is about a minute faster than GO TRI Temple Newsam last year. Which isn’t too shabby as the Temple Newsam course was longer for both run and bike sections. It’s not going to get me into ITU either, though.

The worst part is that I forgot to collect my free t-shirt :(. It would be easy to blame Venla for distracting me with her mixture of whining and running into places where she should not be. So I will.

How long do HRM-Tri batteries last?

Friday, August 10th, 2018 | Sport

The HRM-Tri is a chest strap heart rate monitor produced by Garmin. But how long does the battery last?

Garmin gives different estimates. On their website, they say ten months:

Battery life: 10 months (Tri training 1 hour per day)

While on their YouTube page, then say 18 months:

The CR2032 batteries in your HRM-Run, HRM-Swim or HRM-Tri straps will last approximately 18 months, depending on use.

I only got my hands on a Garmin device at the end of January, which means I have been using the HRM-Tri for six months. Today, while running, my watch told me that the battery on the HRM-Tri was very low.

So, that’s somewhat shorter than they claim. Luckily, however, it is easy enough to change the battery and it uses a standard 2032. Here’s a video:

Make sure you don’t drop one of the screws. Otherwise, you’ll be in a desperate search to find it before your toddler eats it.

Finland running

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 | Sport

Going on holiday has always been a tedious chore, but now that I have a training schedule, it’s even more of a headache. What’s wrong with home, where there is an adequate supply of toilet roll in a brand that you have tested and trust?

That said, it was nice to run somewhere other than the Leeds Liverpool canal. As beautiful as it is, a chance is often welcome.

I did two runs while I was other there, one up to Lake Lahti, and one to Soukainen and back. It was so warm that I had to be out the door at 6:30am for my first one and wait until gone 9pm to start my second one.

Even then, I found it hard going. Despite the second run only being 10 kilometres, I couldn’t hold a 5:00 per km pace, and something about the heat or the extra hydration I took on to compensate for that upset my stomach.

Importantly, though, I didn’t get eaten by wolves. Which I found out afterwards that Elina’s mum was quite worried about.

24.1 kilometres

Monday, August 6th, 2018 | Sport

Last month, I went out for a 24-kilometre run. Specifically, I went out for a 24.1-kilometre run, which meant I would set a new distance record by 0.1 of a kilometre.

It was the day the rains came after the long heatwave. I set off at 7:30am and given it was so early on a Saturday morning and raining heavily, you might think I would have the canal towpath to myself. But other endurance athletes are, of course, as crazy as I am.

The rain continued, including two brief but torrential downpours that left me soaked to the skin. Thankfully, I had lubed in the correct places to stop any chaffing and despite my ankles being a bit sore from driving in Finland, I felt fine in all respects after the run. My 162nd Parkrun featured in the middle of it.

The levels in the Leeds Liverpool canal were shockingly low. You can see some of it from the photo, but it’s not the clearest example. At some points, it was a good half a metre below the usual level.

I could clearly see the bottom for long stretches. No bodies, thank god. I did see several hundred tyres, though. They were every metre for a good hundred-metres. There were so many in there, I wondered whether they were put in there intentionally because it must have been a massive fly-tipping exercise to get them all in.

You can check it out on Strava here. And, while you’re there, why not follow me? Please be my friend, your kudos are the only thing that validates my ego…

Tour de France 2018

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018 | Life, Sport

It’s not been a strong start to the season for me. Sure, I knocked out my first metric tonne at the Flat n Fast 100, but at grand tour level, my performance has been lacking. My fantasy Giro team put up a mere 3,878 points compared to John’s 6,091. Despite me picking Froome and him taking Dumoulin.

Luckily, Le Tour has gone much better for me. I thought about taking Froome, but he consumed a huge amount of points. G, on the other hand, seemed rather undervalued given how good he is. Turns out that that was a good decision.

Armed with G and Dan Martin on GC, Kittel and Sagan in the sprints, and Gilbert, De Gendt and Barguil in the mountain break-aways, I set forth. Chad Haga and Wout Poels rounded off the team. In the end, it clocked in at 6,899 points, most of which coming from Thomas and Sagan.

And the racing was pretty good, too. Great to see a Welshman on the top step!

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

2018 World Cup in review

Friday, July 27th, 2018 | Sport

I enjoyed this year’s World Cup. It all flew by so fast, though.

Almost as soon as it has begun it seems like the three games a day awesomeness is cutting down to two. It’s not like I could watch three games a day with university, work and family commitments, but it was nice to know I could in theory.

England didn’t win, and that was disappointing. But at least they went out the correct way. Whenever England score, I always bet on the other team to offset the potential disappointment of fluffing it up. Thus, when Croatia did manage to overturn England’s lead, although I was heartbroken I was also at least in profit.

Football will come home. It was originally invented in England under the name “foot waff”. But, admittedly, it is not coming home for at least another two years.

France were worthy winners. They played a lot of great football and it was entertaining to watch.

Allerthorpe Sprint Triathlon

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 | Sport

Allerthorpe is a village about ten miles outside of York. They are hosting a series of triathlon over the summer, including this one, the Allerthorpe Sprint.

The swim wasn’t great. Few venues have the luxury of the beautiful clear waters of the Blue Lagoon or the size of Waterloo Lake. In this case, the lake was small, requiring two laps for the 750-metre swim, murky and shallow: you could walk a large amount of the swim.

T1 wasn’t smooth, either. I got everything done and then realised that I hadn’t vaselined my toes, so I had to take my shoes and socks back off, do some toe care and then put everything back on.

Once on the bike, things started looking up, though. I was really pleased with my average speed of 28.6 kph that I set at the Evolve Quarter and at the start of the bike section here I thought to myself “if I keep training hard, I’ll hit 30 kph eventually”. As it happens, I did just that. Faster even, as I managed 31 kph.

T2 and the run were smooth, also. I was about 25 minutes in the run, which clocked in at a little over 5km, so I’m happy with that given the heat.

In the end, my time was:

1:30:17

My spreadsheet predicted I would be around 1:33:11, so I was pleased to be ahead of that. But it was disappointing that if I hadn’t made the mistake in T1 I would have gone sub-90.

I am happy enough with Allerthorpe as a venue, too. Which is good news because I am back racing there at the start of August and again at the start of September.