Friday, 26 October 2018

8 Christmas gift Ideas

It’s that time of year again time to wrap up warm and get them winter bikes out. As Christmas is just around the corner, I have decided to put together some Christmas gift Ideas for you to buy your fellow cycling friends for Christmas.

Giant Surelock Air Loop: The air lock is a super little stocking filler for the festive season. Everyone loves a coffee and cake stop on winter rides. Most importantly you need to make sure your bikes are safely locked when you are enjoying your Cappuccino and Victoria Sponge. This lock is light weight, small and easy to carry. https://www.liv-cycling.com/gb/giant-surelock-air-loop

PourFast EverCool Bottle : A liv pourfast evercool bottle is a must for winter rides as its insulted to keep your drinks warm in the winter and also cool in the summer. This helps with winter ride hydration as it is easier to drink something warm in lower temperatures. https://www.liv-cycling.com/gb/pourfast-evercool-bottle--600cc--liv

Race Day Wind Vest: Personally I would never leave the house without a gillet, having the option of adding another layer is a must. When you have just started your ride, finished your coffee stop or have to fix a puncture you can just add the lightweight, windproof layer. https://www.liv-cycling.com/gb/race-day-wind-vest-2019

Liv Signature Neck Warmer: Great versatile piece of kit, either add to the neck to keep the cold winter chill away or dress the head to keep the heat in. https://www.liv-cycling.com/gb/liv-signature-neck-warmer

Passion Womens Long Finger Gloves: Personally I’m not a fan of big heavy gloves, my hands get to hot and irritated and so these are perfect for me. These gloves are light weight, comfortable and have palm gel padding. A handy feature is the smart phone operable big finger tips. https://www.liv-cycling.com/gb/passion-womens-long-finger-gloves

Liv Quick Fix Kit Road: Keep your friend safe on the roads, making sure if they have any problems with their bike they can fix it with the liv Quick Fix Kit both for road and MTB. This pouch is suitable for under your saddle, in your back pack or back pocket. https://www.liv-cycling.com/gb/liv-quick-fix-kit-road

Rev (MIPS) Womens Road Helmet: Probably the most expensive item is the liv rev helmet a must to keep your family and friends safe. In traditional Liv colours and made with cutting edge technology plus 12 month helment crash replacement service. https://www.liv-cycling.com/gb/rev--mips--womens-road-helmet-2017

A Liv bike: For that someone special take a look at the best range of female bikes, too many to choose from, the new Envie disc range is a good place to start. https://www.liv-cycling.com/gb/enviliv-advanced-pro-0-disc-2019

Bring on Christmas

Friday, 19 October 2018

WINTER CYCLING ESSENTIALS


Cycling in the winter isn’t always the most enjoyable part of an athlete’s life, with high winds and showers, those miserable days can be made more comfortable and more enjoyable with the right equipment. So here are a few of my cycling essentials when it comes to cycling in the winter.


My number one piece of advice is to carry a rain jacket - I always carry one, even if it looks dry, as you can never trust a weather forecast at this time of year. I chose the Liv Delphin rain jacket as its light, breathable and has a snug race fit, so it doesn’t flap in the wind like a lot of other rain jackets.



The second piece of equipment that I think is a must when winter riding is a set of mudguards. They help you and your bike stay clean, and protect other riders if you are in a group. Now not all road bikes suit certain mudguards, the Speedshield Avail fenders fit perfectly as I don’t have the holes to fit normal mudguards. They are easy to fit and reusable but also look great and don’t move or make any noises, no rubbing too.





Finally, I would never go without a puncture repair kit and tools as it’s more likely at this time of year something will go wrong, with all the dirt and debris on the road. I always carry a spare tube and stickers, tyre leavers, gas canister and mini tools. I choose to carry all these in a bottle as it looks nice and tidy on the bike, but when it comes to the long rides I find you always need two bottles to stay hydrated, so a saddle bag is the best way to carry puncture kit and tools. I suggest the Liv Quick Fix Combo Kit with Mini Pump - a great product with everything you need to stay on the road and off the pavement at this time of year.





So if you don’t have these sorted yet, make sure you get prepared before the bad weather really hits


x

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Swimming Drills For Triathlon

Here are some swimming drills to help you improve your stroke over the winter. Ready for tracing next year

Below are some frountcrwal drills that you can put into every swim session for example (4x50 as 25m drill, 25m swim)( 4x100 25drill, 25 swim x2) When doing this only think about one drill at a time.
Skull 1:

  • Improve catch and feel for the water
  • Scull with both arms symmetrically just wider than your shoulders and back into the middle, changing angle of hands, keeping pressure on the water, fingertips about 30cm below surface and lower than wrist lower than elbow lower than shoulder, with pull buoy to isolate your arms


Skull 2:
  • Focuses on the phase of the stroke between the catch and pull through, under the head, helps correct a wide S shape or straight arm pull through.
  • Scull with both arms symmetrically just wider than your shoulders and back into the middle, changing angle of hands, keeping pressure on the water, fingertops about 60cm below surface face forward or down, with pull buoy to isolate your arms.
  • Elbows stable

Skull 3:
  • Developing the final phase of the arm pull through, saving up a bent elbow exit from the water (150° approx.) and prevent elbow pain when swimming freestyle
  • Use a pull buoy, face in the water, keep your elbows fixed by your side and push the water with alternate arms from underneath your shoulders back to your hips, using your hands and forearms, recover under the water

Doggie Paddle:


  • Powerful for developing feel for the water and bent elbow catch, rhythm and timing and keeping hand in line with shoulder throughout catch and pull phase
  • Using pull buoy, alternate catch and pull strokes through to the hip, recovering underwater, extend and catch in line with shoulder by putting the wrist and bending your elbow, no pauses
  • Reach and roll
  • Kick on side
  • Helps you develop good posture, alignment, catch set up and rotation
  • Kick on your side rotated to 90°, drawing your shoulder blades together and back, keeping hand in line with shoulder with finger’s below wrist below elbow
  • Shoulders back, chest forward

6/1/6:

  • Helps develop your alignment, posture and catch set up potion while introducing a stroke 6 kicks on the side, stroke and rotate, breathe and 6 kicks on the other side 6 kicks-strokebreathe-6 kicks
  • 6/3/6
  • Both developing your posture and alignment in the water as well as rotation, catch set up position and full stroke arm aiming 6 kicks on the side, take three strokes and breathe, 6 kicks on the other side 6 kicks-3-breathe-6 kicks

Friday, 17 August 2018

Lactate threshold Cycle Sets


Below I have put together some cycle sessions which I use to prepare for Triathlon races on race week. These are perfect to get your body working hard and also understanding what race pace is. These sessions are in total around 60-70mins long so perfect to do in your lunch break for after work. The aim of these sessions is to get you ready for race season by working at your race pace.

Key:
Cadence:(or pedalling rate) is the number of revolutions of the crank per minute; this is the rate at which a cyclist is pedalling/turning the pedals.
Race Pace: The average speed or power you will hold in the required distance of your race

Week 1
Effort Cadence Minutes
Warm up
80-100

15

Prep set

Steady

90

2
Easy 80 1
max 100 10s
Easy 80 1 Prep Set x3
Main set   Race pace  90 3
Easy 90 2
Hard 90-100 1
Easy 2
Main Setx4 
Cool down 15
Total time 68



Week 2
Effort Cadence Minutes
Warm up
80-100

15

Prep set

Steady

90

2
Easy 80 1
Max 100 10 s
Easy 80 1 Prep Setx3
Main set  Race Pace  90 5
Easy 90 2
Hard 90-100 1
Easy 2
Main Set x 3 
Cool down 15
Total time 66

Week 3
Effort Cadence Minutes
Warm up 80-100 15
Prep set Steady-160HR 90 2
Easy 80 1
max 100 10 seconds
Easy 80 1 Prep Set x3
Main set Just under Race pace 90 2

Just over race pace
90-95 2
Easy 80 2


Race Pace 90 6
Easy 80 2

Race pace 4 Main Set x5

Cool down

Easy 15
Total time 69

Week 4
Effort Cadence Minutes
Warm up 80-100
15

Prep set Steady 90 2
Easy 80 1
Max 100 10 s
Easy 80 1 Prep Setx3
Main set
Just under Race pace
90 1
Just over Race pace 90-95 1.5
Easy 80 1
1st section Main Set x5
Race pace 90 6
Easy 80 2

2nd set x 2  
Cool down Easy 15
Total time 69.5

 

Hope these sessions help 

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Castle Howard Triathlon

At the beginning of every season, I sit down with my coach and plan a race diary. Some of the races are local, some team races and some international. I recently had to change my schedule which left me with no race for four weeks, so I decided to race Castle Howard, an Olympic Non-Drafting triathlon; the race was in 4 days’ time so no tapering. I could see from the start list there was a talented field of athletes. Normally for this type of non-drafting race, you would use a TT bike, but I was happy to have a go on my Liv Langma Advanced Pro 0 .

The race took place in the stunning castle grounds: 1500m lake swim, 45km hilly bike followed by a 10km hilly off-road run. This series is definitely worth taking a look out.

I had a strong swim with a time of 18:57; I was 4th going onto the bike. I attacked the bike leg and managed to finish in 5th. I know I was at a disadvantage not racing with a TT bike, but I still produced a good time on my Liv Langma. The run was a 10.5km rolling off-road course; I took each kilometre trying to hold my position but was overtaken by another athlete on the last half kilometre - I didn’t have anything left. I was very appreciative of the water stations as it was a very hot and humid day. Overall, I was glad I raced. It gave me the opportunity to try a different distance, experiment with drinks and gels, and most importantly gives me plenty to work on.

My next race is the team relays in London

Banyoles Training Camp 2019

Check out my Training Diary with the LTPC Video Below


Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Cardiff Triathlon

 At the end of June, I competed in the National Triathlon Championship held at Cardiff. Going into the race, I knew I was in better form after some good run testing results from the lab. So far this year I have struggled to produce a good race that reflects the training I’ve done, but I’m still positive it will come together.

The race started with a 750m sea swim in Cardiff Bay. I started on the left and I could soon see a large group form on the right. I stayed on my line until the first buoy and concentrated on my swim. After the first two buoys, I could see the leader. The last 300m was a straight line and the field was spread out coming into land. Out of the swim always has to be a sprint into transition 1 (swim to bike) to make the first bike pack. However, I fell over and ripped my wetsuit which meant I lost a few seconds in transition. Now I needed to be quick in transition. I had successfully made the first pack of 14 athletes with one competitor out in front.

When I am in large bike packs, I like to stay at the front, meaning I inevitably help with the share of the work. At the beginning of the second lap, I caught the athlete in front. We worked well as a group, not giving any time away to chasing groups behind us. Coming into transition 2 (bike into the run) I was in 5th position. My transition could have been better - something I need to work on.

The run was 5km, two laps of a run out and back course, so there were opportunities to see all the athletes. I managed to start in a small group of 5, but by the 2nd lap, we had all separated. I finished in 9th position.

This was a small step in the right direction as this year has not gone as planned. I don’t have any excuses as I train at a performance centre; I need more consistency and some small changes so I hopefully will be closer to the front fighting for a podium position.

Thanks to Huub Design for sorting me out with a new wetsuit after ripping my race suit.