Posts Tagged ‘triathlon’

Driffield Triathlon

Friday, May 24th, 2019 | Sport

Driffield is a town in East Yorkshire and home to one of the first Freebird events of the year: Driffield Triathlon. It is on the same weekend as Evolve Sprint, Harrogate Triathlon and the Leeds Half Marathon. Busy weekend! In the end, a sizable contingent from Hyde Park Harriers decided we would make the trip.

It was a lovely day. A little cold at first but the sun was shining and it got warmer as the day went on. In the end, I came home having caught the sun on my forehead.

I still had a cold so I wasn’t sure how I was going to perform. The swim went well. I couldn’t get into rhyme at Tadcaster but things went much better here. I was placed with competitors of a more similar level, which helped.

The bike was fine, too, the hills were gentle and I took it fairly easy. The course was only around 17 km so it looks like a fast time. My run was just slightly slower than Skipton, which I think is a good result given I was feeling under the weather.

I was the first Harrier home, though some would argue this was because I set off an hour before everyone else. Meanwhile, Naomi won her age group.

My finishing time:

1:15:56

Here are my splits:

Stage Time
Swim 10:35
T1 02:39
Bike 36:36
T2 01:37
Run 24:28
Total 1:15:56

After the race, the club convened at Water Lane Boathouse for a social.

Garmin heart rate monitors: HRM-Tri vs HRM-Swim

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 | Video

Garmin produces a range of heart rate monitors for triathletes. In this video, I’ll compare the HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim. I’ll also talk about Garmin’s new models, the HRM-Run and HRM-Dual.

Both the Tri and the Swim come in the Forerunner 935 triathlon bundle. The Tri is the go-to heart rate for everyday training. It has a stretchy strap that is comfortable so makes the perfect choice for running and cycling. It can also be used in the pool for short distances, such as pool-based sprint triathlons. Just make sure to give it a good rinse when done.

The HRM-Swim is specifically for swimming a pool. It has a non-stretchy grippy strap that is less comfortable but means that it won’t slip down when you dive into a pool or kick off from the side. It is also more resilient to corrosion from pool chemicals.

Both can record heart rate data underwater, although you will only be able to download it when you get out of the water. They both transmit over ANT+, so if you’re looking for something that does Bluetooth you need to look at the HRM-Dual instead. Or the Polar H10, which I have also reviewed.

Hyde Park Harriers Triathlon AGM

Monday, May 13th, 2019 | Life

Last week, I attended the Hyde Park Harriers Triathlon club AGM. It was super dull, even for an AGM. But at least we got this nice group picture.

Tadcaster Triathlon

Saturday, May 11th, 2019 | Sport

For many, May bank holiday was a time to relax. Maybe recover from having cycled the Tour de Yorkshire long route the day before. For me, my alarm went off at 7am, letting me know that it was time to get up and head to Tadcaster for the sprint triathlon.

It’s a slightly unusual setup. It starts with a 400-metre swim in the community pool. There is then a 400 metre run up the hill to the brewery car park where the transition is located. You exit transition onto a 14km cycle route around local roads before heading back into transition and then out onto a 7km run course that finishes back down the hill at the pool.

The pool at Skipton Triathlon was as warm as bath water. Tadcaster’s pool was rather cooler. I couldn’t keep my heart rate down during the swim and kept having to keep my head out of the water for stretches to get my breath. Everyone else in my lane had terrible swim time estimates and lapped my several times.

Once exiting the pool we pulled out trainers on and ran up the hill. You get a swim+ time to account for the extra run.

The bike course was reasonably flat. I tried to keep my power under 200 Watts in the spirit of taking it easy and concentrating on technique. There was one tiny hill. It wasn’t much, but after an entire day in the saddle yesterday, I could really feel it.

The run starts off on the road before turning to the riverbank for some trail. Mostly this was fine although there was one section which involved crossing a narrow bridge with no fence on one side before scrambling over a rocky path. Despite being tired, I managed to run a 5:09 per km without going too deep, so I’m pleased with that.

My official time was:

1:17:38

That breaks down as follows:

Stage Time
Swim 10:33
Swim+ 12:21
T1 02:36
Bike 28:41
T2 01:31
Run 32:32
Total 1:17:38

We timed it just right: it began to rain just as we were packing up our equipment in transition. By the time I arrived back in Leeds, hailstones were coming down.

ROKA SIM Pro II buoyancy shorts review

Friday, April 26th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

In this video, I’ll review the ROKA men’s SIM Pro II buoyancy shorts. It’s the full thing: I’ll take you from the unboxing into a long-term review where I report back on them after a month.

Buoyancy shorts simulate the position in the water that a wetsuit gives you. This means you can practice your open water swimming practice in the pool. This could be a lifesaver for triathletes who don’t have a local lake to swim in and thus only get to practice their open water swimming in triathlon races.

I spoke to ROKA about the difference between the Elite and the more expensive Pro version. They’re very similar but the Pro version is slightly more adjustable and slightly more buoyant, so will give you a slightly better position in the water.

Are they race legal? Not really. They count as a wetsuit. So, you can’t use them in a pool-based triathlon. If it is an open water event and wetsuits are allowed, you could use them. But, in that case, you probably want to go with a full wetsuit instead. So, they’re really intended for training.

They are made of neoprene, which is the same material as a wetsuit. Basically, it feels like they have cut a section out of one and added a drawstring. I was worried about tearing it, but so far, so good.

MUSIC CREDITS

Lostboy & Slashtaq – Elysium
RIVERO & Anna Yvette – Heaven

Skipton Triathlon 2019

Friday, April 19th, 2019 | Sport

The triathlon season is here! After a long wait, Skipton finally arrived. Last year I went to Skipton to do my first ever triathlon. This year I was coming as a seasoned veteran. Because I’m old, but also because I spent all of last year racing.

It was April, so it was freezing. As I stripped off in the transition area and headed to the pool, I was biting myself with the cold. Luckily, the pool was a lovely 28 degrees (like bath water) and the rest of the race was fine if a little windy.

I brought it home in just under 90 minutes, comfortably beating last year’s time.

Stage 2019 2018 Diff
Swim 09:44 09:36 +0:08
T1 04:31 05:46 -1:15
Bike 48:54 53:05 -4:11
T2 01:52 1:56 -0:04
Run 24:10 23:40 +0:30
Total 1:29:13 1:34:02 -4:49

My veteran status showed in the swim: I remembered my goggles this time! I completed it in just over nine minutes, which is a fast 400 metres for me. After that, it was overtaking people all the way, which is one of the best bits of being such a slow swimmer.

The bike segment was where I picked up most of my time, but it was a tough ride. It was in a tonne of lower back pain to the point where I almost had to stop and get off. However, I managed to stretch a bit on the bike and bear with it until I could get back to T2 and onto the run.

It was lovely to be racing with Hyde Park Harriers. Having friendly faces to chat to before and after the race made it feel like a real community event and their cheering on was much appreciated. Unfortunately, I missed the group photo as Venla was a bit bored by this point.

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.

Shimano TR5 review

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

The TR5 is a triathlon cycling shoe from Shimano. In this video, I’ll review and it and show you what it looks like while cycling.

What exactly is a triathlon cycling shoe? It’s a lot like a regular bike shoe. But it has some modifications specifically designed for triathlon racing. First, it has a mesh in the bottom to allow water to drain out. They’re also comfier than some bike shoes. This allows you to come straight out of the swim and jump on the bike without having to dry your feet or put socks on.

They come with a loop at the back of the shoe that allows you to rubber band it to the back of the bike, keeping the shoe the correct way up. Finally, the velcro strap opens outwards to allow the shows to remain on the bike without the strap getting caught in the chainring. This does mean the end of the strap can rub against the crank arm so you may have to trim this down once you have worked out how much strap length you need for your foot.

The TR5 is the smaller brother of the high-end TR9. It’s not clear what additional benefits the TR9s provide, though, other than coming in blue. The TR9 is only road cleat compatible, whereas the TR5 supports both road and SPD (mountain bike cleats). They’re not inset, though, so whichever one you choose you will end up walking like a duck. Not a problem if you keep the shoe on the bike in transition, though.

The sole is very stiff, as you would expect from a road-style shoe. There isn’t much weather protection on top, which makes sense given they are built to let water drain out of the bottom. They come with two velcro straps. Once you have the first one dialled in you will probably never need to touch it.

Kitbrix review

Thursday, February 28th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

In this video, I’ll review the Kitbrix kit bag. They’re not your ordinary sports bag: instead, they’re constructed like bricks that can be chained together in a long line for transporting loads of equipment. Is that something you need, though?

They’re really rugged. They come with a rigid bottom that holds the shape of the bag, and the walls are double lined so that they are way more waterproof than an ordinary bag, or even your waterproof coat. They come with three internal pockets, one of which is transparent for holding paper notes. There are a further four mesh pockets on the outside.

The zip is super heavy duty so that it will keep water out and allow you to chain the bags together without fear. This does make it really difficult to use, though. It’s not broken, as far as I can tell, it’s just built to last and this means sacrificing a lot of ease of use.

One of the key features of the Kitbrix is that you can take two of the bags and turn them into a backpack. I’ll show you how to do this in the video. The zip is a bit difficult to do, but otherwise the system works really well and I use this every time I go to a triathlon race.

Overall, the bag system works really well. Every time I go to a race or cycling sportive I take a couple of them so that I can divide my gear into different sections: pre-race, transition bag, post-race recovery and change of clothes. It is expensive, though. And less convenient than the backpacks and transition bags you can buy. So, it might come down to how light you travel. For me, I travel heavy and these work great.

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.