Tag Archives: decathlon

Cold and slow

21 Jan

I’ve succumbed to the lurgy and have had a heavy cold for a couple of days, which is incredibly frustrating. It has affected my sleep and makes me want to just hibernate.

This morning, Stu ran to Royal Victoria Country Park and I drove to meet him there. We’d chosen to go to Netley Abbey parkrun as it was our friend Dave’s 250th parkrun.

When I arrived, I set up M’s running buggy and then went over to congratulate Dave for reaching his milestone. He was chatting to one of my running heroes, Iwan Thomas. Iwan was there with his adorable French bulldog, Frank… I was so tempted to take a photo because he is the cutest pup (and Iwan’s not too bad either!)

Stu was feeling achy when he got there as 12km is the furthest he’s run since he was doing Ironman training last year, so he said he look after Morgelyn and I could run. I wasn’t wearing what I would usually wear to run in, but as the temperature was -4ºC (39ºF) when I left home, it was probably just as well that I had some extra layers on.

As I wasn’t feeling well, I agreed that I would join Kim and Vicky for a social run. Kim was looking very glamorous all in black, and she was sensibly wearing sunglasses. I hadn’t thought about wearing mine and was blinded for half of the run.

It was a route that I’d not run on before, so perhaps my result could be considered a PB, but I know it was slower than I would usually do.

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I’ve been feeling jealous of all of the beautiful leggings on Instagram recently, so I splashed out at Decathlon this week. I had a £5 voucher to be used by the end of the month, so I went in for a browse and after spending a further £8, I came out with some very jazzy leggings. For the price, I was impressed with the quality – they are quite thick and have a lovely flat waistband that is quite high. My only gripes are that they are designed for people who are taller than me, so they are quite long… and perhaps I could have worn a smaller size as they started falling down. However, if I had worn a smaller size, I think they would have stretched too much and the white lining would have shown.img_1633img_1634img_1635img_1636img_1637img_1638

Tomorrow, I had been hoping for a lie in, but we’re marshalling at the CC6, so there’s no rest for the wicked. I’m then scheduled to go out for a short run with Lou, but I think I should see how I’m feeling. At least I’ve got a lie in to look forward to on Monday, when everyone else is heading off to work!

How are you getting your fitness fix this weekend?

 

Choosing a bike, parkrunning and some exciting post

8 Oct

Following the theft of our bikes in August, we’ve been busy improving our home’s security (along with 1001 other home improvements). We’ve had a burglar alarm installed, locks changed, additional locks installed, secure lock points fitted and various other improvements, so we’re moving in the direction of being able to get new bikes, which means it’s shopping time.

I was really happy with the bikes I had, but it’s not possible to replace like with like, so I’ve had a think about what would best suit my needs. I previously had an aluminium road bike that I used for touring and wet weather riding and a carbon road bike that I used for most of my cycling and triathlons. Some people have recommended getting a tribike, but I don’t have the bike handling skills, like riding in a group and am quite likely to do a reasonably hilly Ironman, so I’d rather have a good aero road bike.

As for my second bike, my Giant Defy was perfect for touring Japan, but with a baby on the way, I’m unlikely to do any multi-day cycling events in the near future, so I don’t have a need for a touring bike. However, I will still want to cycle in winter and I am determined to improve my bike handling skills. I was inspired by watching people do cyclocross training at Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre whilst I was at the running track and would really like to give it a go. The events are not very long (under an hour), so it should be possible to fit in some over the winter months. This means that I have decided to purchase a cyclocross bike as my second bike.

A limitation for my second bike is that I would like to purchase it through the Cycle to Work scheme, which means that it needs to cost under £1000. I looked at various options online and narrowed it down to four bikes:

  • Ridley X-Bow 20 disc
  • Giant TCX SLR 1
  • Colnago World Cup Disc
  • Focus 2016 Mares AX Disc 105
Giant TCX SLR 1 2016

Giant TCX SLR 1 2016

Stuart has also been researching bikes and has produced a shortlist, so we decided to take our shortlists to Vankru, our fantastic local Retul bike fitters. Although they can make (almost) any bike more comfortable, it definitely better to see Garth and Mark before buying something, so that they can advise which bike’s geometry would suit your build and flexibility best.

After having a good look at my data and the specs of the bikes that I was interested in, Mark advised against the Colnago as it’s quite an aggressive bike, however, the small in the Ridley or Giant or the XS in the Focus would be fine for me. I was also told to bear in mind that the Focus is slightly more aggressive. I asked whether Mark had any further recommendations based on my data (and price range), and so he suggested that I might want to look at a Cannondale CAADX. It was really good to get this feedback, and meant that I was able to rule out the Colnago.

This morning, I was able to fit in Southampton parkrun. I met up with Kim at the start and our friend Kate said that she’d join us for a social run as she’s racing the Royal Parks half marathon tomorrow. (Good luck, Kate!) We had a lovely social run, that I really enjoyed.

Finishing parkrun with Kate (and Kim)

Finishing parkrun with Kate (and Kim)

Considering we were chatting (and I’m 39 weeks pregnant), our finish times weren’t too bad either:

southampton-parkrun-8th-october-2016

Next Saturday is my due date, but maybe I’ll be able to squeeze in another parkrun before the big event!

After parkrun, Stu and I joined Tobie and Charlotte for some more bike chat. Charlotte ran a PB at parkrun, which was great and Tobie was saving his legs ahead of a cyclocross race tomorrow… which is precisely why Stu and I wanted to chat to him. Not only does Tobie know bikes inside and out as he runs Bike Guy (bicycle servicing), but he also rides and races a lot. So, we’d spoken to the experts about which bikes would fit us and had moved onto another expert who could advise on which bikes have fewer maintenance issues.

Of the four bikes that were left on my shortlist, Tobie advised against the Ridley as it had the lowest spec out of all of the bikes. Apparently, the Giant wheels may buckle under stress, but this is prefer to the Cannondale wheels, which are more likely to end up with broken spokes, which create further problems. Again, Tobie advised that the Focus is a purer cyclocross bike. So, my shortlist was down to the Focus and the Giant.

I’ve seen both of the bikes before, but thought it might help me to make my mind up if I viewed them again. unfortunately, neither bike is in stock in any local bike store. The guys at the Southampton Giant Store (formerly Wessex Cycle World) have always been really helpful, so I went there in the hope that they might be able to order in the Giant for me, but they said they haven’t been able to get any since about June.

I’ve thought about which of the bikes I prefer and the Giant is the one that appeals to me slightly more. Frustratingly, I’ve had a few battles with the online Cyclescheme vouchers, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to order it online next week.

After our visit to the bike shop, Stuart and I went into town to have a look at bike shoes in Decathlon. I currently own two pairs (a lovely pair of Pearl Izumi Tri Flys that I wear for triathlons and a very cheap pair of Specialized shoes that I wear in winter)… but they both work with Speedplay pedals, which aren’t suitable for cyclocross. Aside from my failed visit to the velodrome, I’ve never used any other pedals, so asked Tobie and Charlotte for their advice. They recommended Shimano M520 pedals and Tobie said they were cheaper in Decathlon than anywhere else, so a pair somehow fell into my basket… I also ended up with a new pair of shoes:

btwin-mountain-bike-shoes

I spent quite a while choosing between these and a black pair of Shimano shoes. The Shimano shoes were slightly lighter, but I found the toe box quite wide (and I’m quite partial to turquoise!) So, I’ve got the shoes, now I just need the bike!

When I got home, I found that some exciting post had arrived – an Energy Snacks box of Sports Nutrition products.

Energy snacks img_7883

You can choose whether to sign up for a subscription to this service or just to order a one-off box. If you sign up for the mailing list, you’ll receive 10% off your first box.

For £21.99 the October box includes:

Energy

  • 32Gi – Sport Chews – Orange
  • 32Gi – Sport Gel – Raspberry
  • GU – Energy Gel – Chocolate Outrage
  • GU – Stroopwafel – Caramel Coffee
  • High5 – IsoGel X’treme – Tropical
  • Mule Bar – Energy Bar – Apple Strudel
  • PowerBar – PowerGel Shots – Cola
  • Sweet Peaks – Energy Sweets – Citrus
  • Tribe – Energy Bar – Cacao & Almond

Hydration

  • OTE – Hydro Tabs – Blackcurrant
  • Virtue – Energy Water – Lemon & Lime

Recovery

  • PowerBar – Recovery 2.0 – Raspberry Cooler

I’ve tried some of the products before (PowerBar cola PowerGel shots used to be my ‘go to’ for marathon training), but there are other products that I’ve never heard of or seen in the shops.

The items arrived in a lovely package, so it was really exciting to open it up, and it would make a great gift for a friend who has just signed up to train for a longer distance race, such as a half or full marathon. The only slight disappointment for me was that the Stroopwafel is Caramel Coffee flavoured – I love similar products, but cannot stand coffee, so I’ll have to get Stu to be the product tester for that item!

How’s your weekend been so far? Are you watching the Ironman World Championship?

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Monday Morning Motivation – What Daley taught me

25 Jan

I’ve always liked Colin Jackson for being such a modest athlete – he seems like a genuinely nice guy.

Bath University 19/06/12 Sam Farr for Mathchtight sam@combehay.net

Bath University 19/06/12 Sam Farr for Matchtight sam@combehay.net

In this short video and accompanying article, Jackson talks about how Daley Thompson (decathlete) was a great influence on his sporting career:

Meeting Daley Thompson at a Crystal Palace event was a major turning point. “I was 17 and competing as a sprinter,” he says. “Daley was there participating and coaching. We were chatting and I noticed his incredible black running spikes.

“I asked him where he got them and he said: ‘If you run 14.21 in your race today, you can have the spikes.’ It was an amazing offer. I ran as hard as I’d ever run and did 14.24.

“I went back to Daley and proudly told him I’d done a personal best and run 14.24. ‘So can I have the spikes?’ I said, thinking it was only 300ths of a second outside the time. Daley shook his head. ‘The deal was for you to run 14.21 and you ran 14.24. You didn’t make it. No, you can’t have the spikes.’

“It taught me a huge lesson. You should be rewarded for achieving your real goal and not for anything slightly less.”

Hurdling_colin_jackson


 

Update:

OMG! Daley and Colin replied to me on Twitter!

Colin and Daley on Twitter