Tag Archives: triathlon

Strava debate, my two pence worth!

The Strava debate

I have recently decided to try to simplify my life a bit by not downloading everything to Strava. It has also coincided with a long break from training due to illness, so I have had more time to think about the pro’s and con’s. I found another feature the other day, where there is a leader board for clubs, so that you can see how you stack up against other people in terms of distance, time, etc. This is one of the reasons I dislike Strava. I find myself constantly comparing myself to others, which I am trying to do less of! So here goes my list of positives and negatives

Positive

  1. It allows me to compare my efforts and power data for a certain segment, or hill climb.
My record, while being chased by a dung laden tractor.

My record, while being chased by a dung laden tractor.

2.  I quite like the social side of having been out on a ride with others, it shows up that you had a ride with someone, and also allows you to comment on peoples rides. (I do have friends really!!)

3.  You can see where you are compared to others, however there is a limited women’s pool on Strava.

Negative

1. If you compare yourself to others on Strava you don’t know what the conditions were like, so you are not comparing like for like, they also may have been time trialling while you were on a long ride.

2. Sometimes people can comment negatively on your ride/feed.

3. If you look at what other people are doing it can cause anxiety about not doing enough.

Conclusion

If used wisely it can be fun to use. My husband has just recently entered some of the challenges on there, which got him out riding more than he would normally, so it can be good at motivating people.

I have started making my rides private, then I can still see my results and where I stack up, but I will probably not download everything, ultimately its something else to distract me from other stuff that I should or want to be doing, and I use Training peaks for analysis of data so I don’t really need another programme. However it did show me that I set a personal record on a section of road to Marros, and would have picked up a queen of the mountain had my ride not been private, while being chased by a tractor pulling s**t, maybe I should visualise that in future races 😉

Don't know which is worse, being behind or ahead of one of these.

Don’t know which is worse, being behind or ahead of one of these.

Bucket list, collecting data, and Level 2 assessment complete

Bucket list

Finally entered Ironman Wales (woo hoo!!), which led to the list. I have been contemplating making a list of triathlons that I aspire to do one day, so I thought I’d put it in writing, so that I stop obsessing about them! In no particular order

At that point I will stop, as I know there are lots more I’d love to do….

Collecting data….again!

Not Garmin data, but race data, I have been trawling the internet to find old race results, so that I have a copy of them, here it is;

2007

Fishguard Pembrokeshire Sprint Triathlon   7th female, 45th overall

2008

Bala Standard distance 29th female, 275th overall

Gower Peninsular Triathlon (sprint) 4th female, 50th overall

Pretty sure I did an xterra sprint event at Resolven, but can’t find the results, and an off road Duathlon at Margham park which I was 2nd female in.

2009

Had a baby!

2010

Fed baby

2011

Activity Wales Gower Sprint 3rd in category 7th female, 95th overall

Must have done something else this year, but can’t remember!

2012

Pembrokeshire Duathlon 2nd female, 28th overall

Tri Exercise Pembrokshire Coast Triathlon (standard) 4th female, 39th overall

Kinetica Gower Triathlon (sprint) 1st female, 50th overall

Anglesey Sandman (standard)1st female, 32nd overall

2013

Pembrokeshire Duathlon 2nd female, 22nd overall

Seen to help Slateman Triathlon (standard) 5th female, 70th overall

Ironman 70.3 UK Wimbleball 21st female, 6th in age group, 266th overall

Level 2 British Cycling assessment

Completed my assessment in Carmarthen and passed, so very pleased with that, and then had some fun doing cyclocross with the family on Sunday at Clerkenhill. The sun was out, so we had a lovely day, and all managed to have a race.

Devon, enjoying the race.

Devon, enjoying the race.

Short Ironman loop

On Thursday I had a go at the short Ironman loop to see how fast I could go with a relatively easy effort. It was pretty windy, thats my excuse anyway, and also not being on the bike much recently. Theres a lot of work to do before next year, but I’ll leave it for now!!

DNF and the aftermath

The run up to Bala was a mixture of cramming too much in, and distraction technique for me. The boys went back to school/nursery, and for some reason I got obsessed with photographing food rather than preparing for the race. I entered because I wanted to have an end of season race to aim for, and to see if I could qualify for the European championships.

We camped at Pen Y Bont campsite, which is very convenient for the race, about a 15 min walk to transition, and went to Ruthin for the day on Saturday, the weather was not great, cooler and quite wet!

Ruthin Jail

Ruthin Jail

Anyway, to cut a long story short on Sunday I DNF (did not finish) for the first time. You can read the full race report here.

Getting back home this week I have been looking at the reasons why I DNF; there are many!

  • I wasn’t really inspired by the race, and only entered because I had done it before.
  • I set an unrealistic goal for my swim.
  • I wasn’t prepared mentally.
  • Even if I had qualified for the European champs I wouldn’t have been able to go, as I have entered Half Outlaw 2 weeks before.
  • I sabotaged my race by panicking on the swim.

On a positive note I asked Devon what his favourite part of camping and going away was. He said it was watching me coming out of the swim. I’m sure he said it just to cheer me up, but it brought a tear to my eye! :-)

Abergavenny, Welsh Champs, more visitors and next years races!

Welsh Champs in Abergavenny

At the beginning of the summer, we decided that we would go camping for a few days if the weather was good. As I had entered the Welsh championships in Abergavenny I suggested a camping trip there! We had a great few days and I had a PB on the 10 mile course of 25:36, which I was pleased with.

Results here, and photo’s here

Great park in Abergavenny

Great park in Abergavenny

Visitors again

Patricks brother, wife and daughter came to stay over the bank holiday weekend, we made the most of the weather and it sent me into a cooking frenzy again! So I started experimenting with  some photo’s of my food, (not as easy as it looks), but you have to start somewhere!

Next season

‘Tis the season to be bombarded by emails about events for next year. As I wind down, I have entered Half Outlaw (which sold out in record time) and the Tour of Pembrokeshire, unfortunately Patrick and I clicked on a link for the Wasdale triathlon, and I now have another on my lake district list, (Helvellyn being another). Too little time and too many races !

Pleased with the year overall, but I think I’ll do a bit more high intensity stuff next year before Half Outlaw, as I am a collector of numbers, here is my data from the year….

I just need to figure out which power meter to buy, as I’m hiring one at the moment from the lovely Nick Brown. I suppose I should give it back soon, seeing as I’ve had it for a year!

Performance management chart for last 365 days

Performance management chart for last 365 days

All my lovely graphs!

All my lovely graphs!

Women’s stuff

Found a great site about hormones, which explains quite a lot, like why I just shouted at the kids! There is a bit about men too 😉

The website is here I found it quite interesting, and useful!

Dynamos LEJOG and thoughts on womens cycling

Narberth dynamos lejog and thoughts on womens cycling

Last few weeks events:

  1. LEJOG on turbos with the dynamos.
  2. Devons Birthday.
  3. Thinking about the gender differences.
  4. Time trialling again with Power!

LEJOG

Narberth Dynamos decided to cycle as a Club from Lands End to John O’Groats in 24 hours on turbo trainers. This was part of Narberth Civic week to raise money for Paul Sartori (a local charity). It was Devon’s birthday on Saturday so I managed to get a Friday afternoon slot, and avoid the graveyard shift. We completed hour slots, most people did at least 2 but I didn’t think my husband would appreciate me doing 2 hours! Anyway, people managed an average of 25mph so we made it!! Next year there is a rumour of going further 😮

The boys came up to see me but Devon refused to get his photo taken with me. Milo obliged though

Narberth dynamos lejog and thoughts on womens cycling

Milo, future Dynamo.

Devons Birthday

It was Devons 7th birthday on Saturday, its been a long run up with countdowns from June onwards and early wake ups because of the excitement! Finally the day came and we planned to go to Blue Lagoon, a pool down the road from us with water slides and wave machine. As we were walking from the car to the pool, Devon ran past and tripped, falling on his arm, he was in quite a bit of pain, but soon chirped up when he saw his friends. We carried on with the day, and then the next day took him to hospital, where he had x-rays and a cast put on, a brilliant start to the summer holidays!

Can still do lego!

Can still do lego!

Thinking about the gender differences

I read an article on Total Women’s Cycling, here about the barriers to women cycling, and it got me thinking about the differences between the sexes. My typical male and female sides vary from day to day (probably depending on my hormones!) One thing that came through in the article, was that women don’t like being cat called when exercising. Its threatening and unacceptable, BUT I was cycling with the club the other week, past a pub, and a woman outside the pub shouted out “show em your tits…” to her friend. Nobody called back, I think the woman assumed we were all male. I wondered if the men felt the same way as a group of women would have done, if a male had been calling out to them. I was quite annoyed about it, and chatting to Patrick later on we came to the conclusion that sometimes it is better to behave like a man, and sometimes better to behave like a woman. If we could work out when those situations were and not be pigeonholed into gender stereotypes then we would probably all get along a lot better. Incidently the woman that shouted out was, in my opinion, just rude. Caitlin Moran, has a good theory, that we are all just “the guys” and if you think someone is being rude then you call them on it, then it isn’t labelled as sexism.

Also tweeted a production company about the women’s coverage of The Slateman and received this reply. I think its a bit lame, what do you think? Race is shown here

Narberth dynamos lejog and thoughts on womens cycling

Twitter feed

Time trialling again…

Another time trial with the Velos, improved my time, and got some power data, although I forgot to press start on my garmin and got 1 and a half miles in then realised, so didn’t have the whole distance! Data is here.

I cycled to the start for a change, which made for a long evening. I got about half an hour from home and started to get blurred vision and feel a bit clammy, luckily I had a gel on my bike (in case of emergency) and about 10 minutes later I was feeling OK again. Not pleasant. I have also entered the Welsh championship 10 mile TT in Abergavenny, will probably come in pretty slow compared to others but we might go camping up there for a few days before.

I’m starting to get loads of emails about events for next year now, which to enter?……

A hard week of training time trials and a hill climb.

Have had another busy week this week, and lots of time outside in the fantastic weather.

A few more QOM's

A few more QOM’s

I entered the Pembrokeshire Velos Open weekend Time trials and Milton hill climb after I got back from Barcelona. I checked with my husband who said this would be fine…. A few days before, he mentioned an event at Freshwater West that he wanted to go to on the Saturday, which was the date of the time trial and hill climb. This was fine as my TT was early, but the hill climb was at midday, I ended up doing the time trial going home, packing up for the beach, driving to the beach, dropping the boys off, then driving back to do the hill climb. When I got back to the time trial HQ I had £5 in an envelope waiting for me, as I had won the morning event (only 2 women entered). I stayed on for the presentation for the hill climb, and won another £5 (again only 2 women entered!) My power meter conked out at the start of the Time Trial so no power data for me. Most annoying, as I was going to use these as a test for my FTP! Now I’ll have to do another one 😮

Hill Climb Results

Hill Climb Results

The sea was great afterwards to cool off in. Beautiful clear water at Fresh West. When I got there the Pembrokeshire surf riders were organising their retro surf contest, which involved paddling races, flapping about in a puddle like a dying fish contest, and a mincing walk contest. (there was no surf!)The stars must have shone on us because Patrick (husband) won best adult male. I was so proud 😉 He won some surf wax, a wax comb, a T-shirt, a surf wax air freshener, and a bracelet!! We stayed for a BBQ which started to catch fire after half an hour, and spent lots of time in the water, lovely.

Freshwater West, so lucky to live near these beaches.

Freshwater West, so lucky to live near these beaches.

Got home for an early night for me, and beach party for Patrick, which was going to involve him sleeping on the beach and me picking him up at 6am to drive to the 15 mile Time Trial. I woke up at 2:45am to hear a van dropping him off back home, so I set the alarm for half an hour later, then woke up every hour until 6am, when I drove to Carew again. On the course there was a strong headwind on the way back, so I took it quite easy on the way out, probably too easy, but my legs weren’t working today, I finished 3 minutes slower than last weeks time, but still won my fiver (only 2 women again!) I got home to a very hungover Patrick, who I sent back to bed.

Getting back into the groove!

After analysing and stewing over my data I decided to ask someone about it and emailed Coach Cox to see if he would do an analysis to confirm what I thought. I payed for a report (really good value) where he gave me feedback on the event. I probably gave myself a bit too much of a hard time, thinking I could have done better, but there is always room for improvement. A few easy weeks a trip to Barcelona, and a trip to Abergavenny to do my level 2 cycle coach course later, I am back to training with a bit more vengance! (Only a bit!)

The taper continues!
The taper continues!

Went running in Barcelona and got lost, but managed to get directions in my poor Spanish, all the roads looked the same…. BIG.

Getting lost in Barcelona

Getting lost in Barcelona

Then repeated the experience getting lost in Abergavenny on my mountain bike. Actually the bit I went wrong on was the best bit!

The Blorenge after I missed the turning

The Blorenge after I missed the turning

I made another rare outing with the Dynamos, did the Pembrokeshire Velos 15 mile time trial , and have entered their open events in a couple of weekends time. So should be improving again for Bala. The weather has been amazing and we spent a lovely evening down on the beach in Tenby watching Devon race Taff kids. Loads of bikes around as its the long course weekend. I seem to be the only one not doing something, and the sea looked sooo inviting on Friday, still Its nice to see people out and about doing stuff, and it was great to watch Devon in his own race!

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The Slateman, and rushing around panicking.

Things I learnt this week,

1. Rushing around trying to solve problems often gets you back where you started.

2. I need to drink and eat more on the bike.

3. Tapering works, racing when tired doesn’t.

I have just finished my hardest block of training, and entered The Slateman as a practise race,  before Wimbleball. Last week I was pretty tired, I think the weekend away and some harder training had taken its toll. I started panicking on Tuesday, as my bike had been making a creaking sound, so I tried to get it sorted. To cut a long story short this involved me driving back and forth to Penally swapping wheels, and finding out that it wasn’t the wheel at all and ending up with the wheel that I started off with. I took the bike out on a training ride on Thursday and no creaking :-)

Before the rain and thunder started

Before the rain and thunder started

We drove up to Llanberis on Friday after school, and arrived at 9pm, got the tent up and had a drink with some friends. I had about 4 hours sleep after going to bed late and having freezing cold feet, then the boys waking up at 5 in the morning! We spent a lovely day going round Caernarfon castle until the wind picked up and it got cold, so back to the tent and then out for food. The race was the next day so we had a bit of an early night, and woke up to much better weather. The race was amazing, much harder than I thought, the run was a killer, you can read the full race report here

One more to collect!

One more to collect!

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