Training w/c 27th February

March 5, 2012 Leave a comment

This week has felt pretty good for training.

Monday was swim technique and involved trying to correct my stroke, drills with the kick board and pull buoy plus catch up.

Having my poor arm movement pointed out prompted me to try a different technique. Immediately I noticed an improvement in my efficiency and power. I alternated between 100m pulls, kicks and catch up plus free swimming.

Tuesday – strength and conditioning session. Warm-up of 10 minutes of treadmill, covered 1.84km. Working through the routine with Stewart, from the office, was good. He has a good knowledge of the equipment in the gym and is also good motivation to push the last main set.

Wednesday – 45 minute spin session. These sessions always seem hard, I think the graph below may give some indication.

Thursday – strength and conditioning session. Usual warm-up of 10 minutes on the treadmill, covering 1.65km. The gym was busy so had to make do with making use of any machines which were free.

Friday – will probably be a lunch time run.

All in all, not a bad week given my workload at the office. Rest this weekend – unless I get tempted by a session on the turbo! 🙂


Swim Training: Part 1

January 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Having had a long break from swimming I thought it time to start training again given that it is my weakest discipline.

Each lap is 100m, my warm-up lap is also front crawl.

My session today was a bit rubbish as the pool was really busy and in both roped off lanes there were people doing breast stroke so it didn’t look promising. Lap 07 was particularly bad as I was stuck with three people in the lane making it impossible to get into a decent rhythm or overtake them. Lap times:

Lap 01: 02:11.17 – Warm-up.
Lap 02: 02:36.20
Lap 03: 02:44.87
Lap 04: 02:42.67
Lap 05: 02:25.42
Lap 06: 02:41.22
Lap 07: 02:56.97
Lap 08: 02:29.61

Swim Session 13012012

Click for larger graph.

My previous session was a lot better in that the pool was quieter, although I forgot to hit the lap button so lap 7 includes extra two lengths! Here are my lap times:

Lap 01: 02:41.00 – Warm-up.
Lap 02: 02:26.8
Lap 03: 02:23.5
Lap 04: 02:41.50
Lap 05: 02:51.70
Lap 06: 02:32.47
Lap 07: 02:41.72
Lap 08: 02:32.37
Lap 09: 02:46.47
Lap 10: 02:43.02
Lap 11: 02:45.93
Lap 12: 03:56.27
Lap 13: 02:42.62
Swim Session 06012012

Click for larger graph.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Product Review

October 28, 2011 2 comments

Link: Garmin Forerunner 310XT from BHIP Ltd.

The 310XT is a great multi-sport device designed for runners, cyclists and swimmers but most importantly, in my opinion, triathletes!

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

This is the first Garmin unit which actually feels as comfortable in the water as the user and is water resistant to 50m.

The unit records a whole load of data including pace, speed, distance, elevation, heart rate, cadence and more.

The optional heart rate chest strap, foot pod and bike cadence/speed sensors provide the numbers.

Strictly speaking, the HR chest strap isn’t necessary although I think you’d be missing out on some of the great features available such as heart rate zone training. Also, being able to monitor your HR while training, and indeed, use the HR zones is very helpful to ensure you meet your training objectives.

The GPS function can take care of speed, pace and distance etc if you do not want to shell out for the extra bike and foot sensors.

To record cadence (foot strike) when running you’ll need the foot pod and for cadence on the bike, the bike sensor is required. The bike sensor also provides backup in case satellite connection is lost – not that has ever happened when I’ve been out.

Additionally, the foot pod and bike sensor come in hand if you want to record data from treadmill runs and turbo sessions.

You can set alerts for speed, pace, cadence and heart rate (as mentioned earlier). These can cause the unit to vibrate so you can feel that you need to pick up the pace etc rather than having to keep an eye on the display.

Another nice touch for use in the water is that you can set a countdown to start the timer and also there is a setting that kind of takes into consideration the GPS signal during the swim. If you stow the watch under your swim hat then you should have a decent signal, however, if worn on the wrist then the signal will be sporadic at best as the unit will be in
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and out of the water all the time.

The display is very configurable, depending on the sport selected you can choose pretty much what you want to see. So, if you find while running that you want to see current pace, distance and heart rate, you can set it up to show that.

Virtual training partner allows you to set the average pace that you want to train at and the unit displays your progress in comparison. It shows you how many metres and seconds (or minutes) you are ahead or behind of your virtual partner based on the pace you set.

You can sign up to Garmin Connect – a great website that takes all your data and displays it as valuable information along with a Google map of your route which also allows you to “replay” the session or race.

The 310XT makes use of ANT+ technology which allows for seamless transmission of data from the unit to the computer and via the supplied USB dongle. Providing there is an internet connection, the data will be directly upload to Garmin Connect.

Overall – I really like the 310XT, it comes packed with pretty much all you could want. Having owned the Polar RS800CX I think I prefer the Garmin unit for sports use. One difference between the two units is that you could actually wear the Polar as a watch day to day. During the swim, the Garmin will not record the heart rate as the signal does not transfer through the water, this is also the case with the Polar.

Rating: 9/10.

Images are copyright and courtesy of BHIP Ltd.

Blue Seventy Transition Bag TZ Product Review

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment


I have owned the Blue Seventy Transition Bag (Pack) TZ for the past two seasons and must say that it is pretty good.

It is robust, showing no signs of wear on the bottom, the zips are still all working properly and keeping the contents safe.

The only very minor thing I have noticed is that one of the zip tags has come off the zipper. This doesn’t affect the zip itself and seems to be fairly common as other bags I’ve spotted seem to have a tag or two missing.

I’m sure this can be prevented by ensuring that the bit that the tag slips through on the zip is pushed fully closed, I expect a quick pinch with a pair of pliers would do the job. I haven’t done this as I’m not that bothered at the moment.

Blue Seventy Transition Bag TZ

Blue Seventy Transition Bag TZ

In terms of storage capacity, the bottom compartment for the wetsuit is a good size and has waterproofed sides ensuring that the rest of your gear doesn’t get soaked.

There is a pocket of the front of the pack which is for storing your cycle helmet, the sides are elasticated and there is a clip to ensure that it is held fast.

There’s a zipped pocket on the top where you can store anything anything you need to hand quickly. Also provided is a socket/hole for passing headphones through so you can keep your MP3 player safe while getting in the zone prior to race start.

Inside, the main compartment is of generous size easily accommodating race shoes, bike shoes and your other gear. There are also a couple of pockets inside, one of them is zipped so you can stow your keys, mobile phone and wallet safely.

I have used this bag to carry my gear to a few races on my bike, the shoulder straps are well padded providing a comfortable feel and there is also a waist strap for extra security.

Depending on whether you wear an aero helmet or normal helmet while cycling with this pack will depend whether it catches or not. Although the pack is a good size and has some height, it does not catch on a normal helmet while riding on the hoods. However, if you are making your way to the transition zone wearing an aero helmet you may have to be a bit more careful as it can catch a bit. Not a big problem providing you are aware.

Overall – a great bag, well made and well worth the money. A good, solid investment to keep your gear safe.

Score: 7/10.

Strength & Core Training

October 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Having neglected proper strength training for, oh – I don’t know, about a year, I thought it was about time I started up again. With this in mind, I took advantage of a deal and re-joined Harpers at Riverside, Norwich where they have not only a decent gym but also a 25m pool.

As part of signing up I got three 30 minute personal trainer sessions. At the first session I spent some time with Dave discussing my targets, previous results and also noting various health metrics. We then took a look at a few exercises which I tried out and added to the plan. I followed this session up over the remainder of the week by trying out the exercises – my muscles didn’t know what had hit them!!

The second session we added some more exercises and talked about the weights that I am using. For the first week or two, on most of the exercises I was struggling to complete all the sets with a decent number of reps. I am now increasing the weights on a few exercises while hitting new max reps on the others, once I get to max reps and keeping good form I’ll increase the weight there too.

I have started to get into a routine at the gym now based on two days a week and I’m enjoying the various exercises which are really working the different muscles. Basically, my routine includes a five minute warm up on the treadmill then Smith Squats, deadlift, chest press, lateral pulldown, cable row, shoulder press and occasionally shoulder pulls. After this I do some Swiss ball crunches and then half scorpions, following this is a 10 minute cool down back on the treadmill.

With the above in mind I am hoping to improve my upper body strength (shoulders, arms and chest) and also my core. Really hoping this will help my swim form as well as giving me a little more muscle strength for the bike and run.

More news to follow, back to watching the Ironman World Championships in Kona on 🙂

Categories: Training Tags: , ,

Open Water Swim Swimming

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

I completed my first Open Water Swim (OWS) session the year last Wednesday (1st June). Having not really been in the water much at all since August last year I was a bit apprehensive about it knowing how the compression of the wetsuit can make one feel and also the possibility of fatigue part way round the course.

It wasn’t as bad as I had feared thankfully!

I was number 58 at the session and there were still people registering after me so there was a good few people enjoying the water on a lovely sunny afternoon. Having squuezed into the wewtsuit (which I’m sure has shrunk over winter!) I got into the water to get used to the feel of it again. When wetsuit swimming you let a bit of water in through the collar so that your body heat warms it up which in turn keeps you a bit warmer. The shock of the lake water making it’s way down the suit was chilling!!!

Still, didn’t have to wait around too long before we set off. I took my customary position out wide so that the majority of people didn’t swim over me and set off at a tentative pace. I didn’t want to go off too quickly as I wanted to make sure I didn’t get panicky with the feeling from the wetsuit and struggling for breathing pattern. My plan worked as I crawled further into the lake and found my rhythm.

Whitlingham OWS

Whitlingham OWS

With my Garmin Forerunner 310XT on my wrist I knew the capturing of my route would not be 100% accurate due to satellite signal loss when the unit was plunged into the water each stroke but it wasn’t too bad and gives a good idea of how I went.

I have another session tomorrow and will try putting the unit under my swim cap to see if that gives a more accurate route.

In summary I am pleased to have completed the first session with no problems and looking forward to the next one and also the Fritton Lake tri on Sunday!

Follow this link to see my stats and route:

Janathon – Part 1 – A New Challenge.

January 7, 2011 Leave a comment

First thing to say is thanks to Robbie ( – check it out!) for the inspiration to do my own Janathon. Reading his updates proved enough to get me thinking about some form of plan for the start of the new year.

The idea of Janathon, for me, is to perform some form of exercise each day throughout January. Rest days are permitted and I’ll be taking note of any warnings flagged up by my Polar software for that. So far, exercise has consisted of running and football training, I was hoping to get some swimming in this week but that didn’t happen.

My legs felt well worn Wednesday evening after the 10km round trip for work – knees and ankle aching mostly. Thursday morning brought a tightness to my right achilles tendon, hopefully not a repeat of tendonitis which I got last year. So glad Thursday was my rest day!

I’ll add some graphs soon to brighten up the page, and to give a more performance-orientated view of the session.

So, in brief:

Day 1: New Years day. My lad’s birthday. No exercise. Good start!

Day 2: Treadmill session.
800m @ 10kmh, 800m @ 13kmh, 800m @ 14kmh. Two sets.
455 cal. 175 bpm average.

Day 3: Footy training with my lad – that was enough running around for me, plus my left ankle was feeling sore.

Day 4: Treadmill “hills” session.
1.6km @ 8kmh @ 6.5 incline. 400m @ 10kmh flat.
1.6km @ 10kmh @ 6.5 incline. 400m @ 10kmh flat.
422 cal. 158 bpm average.

Day 5: Run commute.
5.1km. 4:50 min/km average pace.
509 cal. 180 bpm average.
5.0km. 4:45 min/km average pace.
508 cal. 183 bpm average.

Day 6: Rest day.