Tag Archives: turbo trainer

PBPB – getting back on form

28 Feb

Well, I’m fully into the swing of marathon training now. On 16th, my buddy Pete managed to get me around 17.5 miles, which is the longest run I’ve done for a very long time. I had been nervous about doing the run after doing Buggy Mums, but that class was cancelled, so I went for a long slow walk with some of the others instead and saved my legs for the run.

Pete is really good at planning routes – we go somewhere completely different every week and I’m seeing parts of the city that I’ve never seen before as well as visiting locations that I’ve not seen for a few years.

Our long run took us through Riverside Park in the dark, which would have been fine, but the river was so high that the path was flooded. Pete and I thought we had found a way around, but in the end we had to wade through freezing cold ankle-deep water. This part of the run was fairly near to home, but the last section of our run was all uphill. We were nearly there when I suggested a minor shortcut, which brought us out by my house. I was delighted, but Pete was less pleased as my house is at the bottom of a steep hill!

I was delighted that the baby slept really well that night… but I was so full of adrenaline that I just couldn’t get to sleep 😦

That weekend, I had my first jogging parkrun with baby M. We had to start at the back (like all buggy runners) and as Southampton is a very busy parkrun, that meant that the first km was tough going. I tried to go on the grass at one point, but that made it even harder, so I went back onto the path.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the run went:

Southampton parkrun February 18th 2017

Southampton parkrun February 18th 2017

I’ve now got a bench mark for future buggy runs πŸ™‚

Last Tuesday, I had another long run with Pete. We covered 14.5 miles, which was tough, but not as tough the previous week’s run. It was also a lot warmer, which was good. At one point, I thought we were heading towards home, when Pete turned towards town. I had a moment of panic, but Pete said to trust him. He then stopped at a friend’s restaurant, where he was able to refill our water bottles πŸ™‚

I had been told that Buggy Mums was cancelled for half term, which was incorrect, but did give me a lazy week last week. Instead of doing Buggy Mums on Thursday, I went for a lovely long walk in the New Forest with my friend Ellie. It probably wasn’t our most cunning plan because of Storm Doris, but we got home safe and sound!

In the evening, Teri came around and we did a turbo session. I can’t say that either of us broke into a sweat, but it was good to be back on my bike… and also to have a catch up.

Turbo training with Teri

The next day, my legs were fine, but I was glad I didn’t have to sit on a saddle again!

On Saturday, I got in some more gossiping with Teri, as we ran parkrun together. Well, we chatted for the first km, but after that our competitive urges kicked in. I was delighted to get a PBPB – post baby personal best.

parkrun PBPB 25th February 2017

I was 344/829 runners, so in the top half. I was also 65/343 women, which is in the top 20%! I was 9/53 in my age category. I’m still 90 seconds away from my ‘real’ PB, but I’m finally making progress. It was also my 29th fastest parkrun (out of 208). I’ve only gone under 26 minutes 19 times, but I am absolutely determined to do it again this year (and to eventually beat my PB of 24:42). I’ve not run that quickly since January last year πŸ™‚

I felt particularly pleased with my run as Teri and I were chatting at the start and the crowds meant that we had a slow start. Teri is still coming back from an injury, so it was also a comeback PB for her.

The following day was Sunday Runday. It was fairly tough as my legs were more tired than I expected after parkrun. However, the distance wasn’t a problem. Stu was pushing the baby, but he joined us in the 10 minute/mile group, which was nice.

Another exciting thing that has happened this week is that I finally ordered a replacement road bike. It’s currently being shipped and should be with me by the end of the week. I deliberated for a long time between a pretty bike and a better spec for the same price point… and eventually bought a pretty bike, with an even better spec at a higher price point – oops!

Today, I booked Stuart and I onto Decathlon 5k in Southampton. It clashes with a local 10k race, but I’ve prioritised this as we’ll be able to run with the baby.

Decathlon 5k 2017

My full tri club membership kicks in again tomorrow, so I’ll be able to get back in the pool. I’ve found another baby friendly exercise class (kettlercise), so there’s lots to look forward to.

How’s your training going?








Some turbo trainer basics

13 Jul

My most popular ever blog post is: My first ever turbo trainer session. I wasn’t sure why it has become so popular, so I decided to analyse the search terms that people have entered that have led them to this post. The top results could be categorised as follows:

  • Turbo training/cycling/Duathlon for weightloss
    • turbo trainer workouts weight loss
    • cycle turbo training for weight loss
    • turbo training for weight loss
    • can i lose weight on a turbo trainer
    • duathlon weight loss
    • turbo training weight loss
    • turbo trainer weight loss
    • cycling shed fat
    • weekly training schedule for aquathlon and weight loss
  • Workouts for turbo trainer
    • turbo trainer dvd
  • Music for turbo trainer
    • turbo training sessions music
  • Clothing for cycling
    • long bike ride training underwear
  • Cycling for the first time in a long time or after injury
    • getting back on the bike
    • getting my bike back on the road
  • Choosing a bike
    • girls ironman bike
    • best bicycle for girls
    • how much is a dassi road bike
  • Specific cycling events
    • There were too many posts to list about the Challenge Weymouth bike course.
    • wiggle new forest sportive
  • Curveballs
    • cycling and food festival
    • who won vankru winchester bike guess
    • fat chick bike blog
    • girl cycling
    • hybrid or road bike with asthma
    • fat bike journeys
    • cutshall weightloss

I’m guessing that many people arrive at that blog post as WordPress uses it as the first link when someone gets notified that I have liked or commented on a post on their blog, but some people also search for something and end up there… apologies to those people who are probably disappointed by what they find! Anyway, in this post, I’m hoping to address some of the things that people are searching for.



Turbo training/cycling/Duathlon for weight loss

OK, first up, I’m going to tackle the easy part of this request: ‘Duathlon for weight loss’. I’m not convinced that a single race will make any difference to a person’s weight loss, although with a strict training plan before the event and continued effort afterwards then it may help as a motivational factor. I also believe that combining sports means that you give some muscles more recovery time and challenge your fitness more than spending all of your time on a single sport.

I think that being on a turbo trainer can certainly make you work harder than just going out for a ride… but it does depend on how you use your turbo trainer. As I live in a city, then if I want to go out for a bike ride, I spent at least 15-20 minutes in stop start traffic trying to get out of the city, which isn’t terribly effective training, whereas every minute on my turbo trainer counts. However, if I were to do some leisurely pedalling on my turbo trainer whilst watching a TV programme or movie then it may not be an effective workout.I try to make sure that I have a clear idea of the workout that I want to do before getting on my turbo trainer.

Another factor that can make cycling on a turbo trainer feel like hard work (and may cause temporary weight loss) is the temperature. When cycling outdoors, there is always a breeze (or at least the feeling of breeze as you cut through the air). As you are static (and usually indoors) on a turbo trainer then there is no cooling breeze, which may cause your body temperature to rise more quickly… and many people end up a hot sweaty mess on a turbo trainer in a relatively short period of time. It is therefore important that you have access to plenty of water/suitable drinks whilst on a turbo trainer and that if possible there is some air movement, whether it’s from open windows/doors or a fan.

Turbo trainer workouts

I tend to do a variety of interval sets on my turbo trainer, so that I have to put in hard efforts followed by short recoveries. If you’ve ever been to a spinning class then you may be able to adapt what you have done there. I don’t feel that I’m qualified to give advice on turbo trainer sessions, so here are some of the best that I’ve found online:

I also like the Train with GCN videos that are available on YouTube. Here’s an example of one:

What’s your favourite turbo trainer workout?

Music for cycling on the turbo trainer

I’m not someone who ever runs with music and I wouldn’t think of cycling with headphones, but I love listening to motivational music when I’m on my turbo trainer. I tend to prefer tracks that I used to listen to in spinning class… and these have the advantage that they are usually about the right rpm for me to maintain good cadence. These are the tracks that can usually be found somewhere on my turbo trainer playlist:

  • Titanium – David Guetta featuring Sia
  • Wake Me Up – Avicii
  • Break Your heart – Taio Cruz
  • Bounce – Calvin Harris (featuring Kelis)
  • Wild One – David Guetta
  • Don’t Wanna Go Home – Jason Derulo
  • Give Me Everything – Pitbull
  • Turn Me On – David Guetta
  • You Make Me – Avicii
  • We Found Love – Calvin Harris (featuring Rihanna)
  • Where Them Girls At – David Guetta (featuring Nicki Minaj)
  • Dynamite – Taio Cruz
  • Sweat – Snoop Dogg Vs. David Guetta
  • Little Bad Girl – David Guetta
  • Hey Brother – Avicii
  • Higher – Taio Cruz (featuring Kylie Minogue and Travie McCoy)
  • She Wolf (Falling to Pieces) – David Guetta featuring Sia
  • Duck Sauce – Big Bad Wolf

Erin at Sweet Sweat Life often recommends All Day by Girl Talk for trainer sessions. If you’ve not listened to it before then I’d strongly recommend it – it’s a free download πŸ™‚ If you use Spotify, you can also find some great turbo trainer playlists there.

What do you listen to when you’re on your turbo trainer?

Clothing for cycling

The question that gets asked a lot is ‘what underwear should I wear when cycling?’ The sensible answer is not to wear any – cycling shorts are designed to be worn without! I have quite a few different pairs of cycling shorts, tri shorts, bib shorts and tights. In very cold weather, I prefer to wear my fleecy bib tights, but for most of the year I wear SOAS Racing tri shorts either with or without knee warmers. I find tri shorts with minimal padding are significantly more comfortable than padded cycling shorts, but it’s definitely down to personal preference, so you may need to try a few pairs before finding out what is best for you.

Whenever cycling outside, I always wear at least mitts (and windproof/waterproof gloves in winter). It may waste time in a triathlon, but I’m nervous that I may have an accident and damage my hands. I also always wear a helmet and glasses (clear or tinted)… but my helmet, mitts and glasses are the first items of clothing that I ditch when cycling on my turbo trainer as they are not needed.

I usually wear a cycling jersey when outside as the pockets are useful for carrying kit/snacks, and it’s good to be able to unzip the neck a bit when it gets hot. When I’m on my turbo trainer I usually find that a wicking t-shirt is fine – I don’t need to carry a repair kit or snacks and I don’t worry about wearing something close-fitting as wind resistance is not an issue!

One advantage of using a turbo trainer for novice cyclists is that it gives you a chance to get used to wearing cycling shoes and clipping in and out. I’ve never ridden my road bike with flat pedals, but I know that it’s something people worry about, so this can be a way of getting used to it without the fear.

Have you got any tips about cycling clothing?

Cycling for the first time in a long time or after injury

If you’ve not ridden your bike for a long time then it’s important that you make sure that it’s in good working order, whether you’re going to ride it outside or on a trainer. If you’ve had an injury then starting off on a trainer means that you can stop immediately if you feel any niggles, rather than having to make it back home.

I’m not qualified to give medical advice, so I can only recommend that you start gently and make sure that you have a good warm up. Make sure that you build up over a period of time, rather than trying to start back exactly where you were before you were injured.

Choosing a bike

The bike you choose will depend on a number of factors, including what you want to use it for. I’m fortunate enough to own a hybrid that I commute to work on, a relatively cheap road bike that I use for touring and a carbon fibre road bike for racing (and most of my long rides). I’d also love to own a cyclo cross bike. I don’t have a tri bike or aero bars because I don’t think I’ve got good enough bike handling skills and most of the courses that I am interested in racing tend to be undulating and hills are not friends with tri bars!

There is a lot of debate about the merits of women specific design. My main road bike is unisex and my other road bike is a man’s bike (Giant Defy). The women’s version of the Giant Defy is a Liv Avail. I compared the dimensions and the only difference I could find was 5mm on the top tube. As someone who used to be a gymnast, I am quite flexible, so I’m fine with the slightly longer top tube. The most important thing to do is to visit a bike fitter and get them to confirm whether or not the bike you are interested in will be suitable for you – obviously you need to do this before you but the bike!

I hope that answers some of the questions that people want answered!






Turbo training at home

28 May

Coach Ant had set me an hour of cycling with a reasonably long warm up and a long cool down with the mid section being an attempt to work out what my 20km TT pace might be. I spent a long time creating a playlist to help me get in the mood for the race and managed to get in a very unattractive selfie whilst cooling down!

New Silvini top

‘New’ Silvini top

A lot of my clothes are in the wash, so I wore my Decathlon bib shorts and a ‘new’ Silvini top. I like the look of the bib shorts, but the chamois is like a nappy (diaper) and I don’t find them very comfortable. The ‘new’ cycling top is one that I bought last year, but have never worn before. I definitely think I need to lose a few pounds before I wear it out of the house, but as it’s mainly white it helped to keep me cool.

Whilst I was pedalling away, someone arrived to collect a portable TV, DVD player and freeview box that I had put on freecycle. Stu answered the door to him and he seemed surprised to see me on my bike, but I didn’t want to stop. I later found out that the poor guy had arrived on his bike and had to cycle home with an old-style TV under his arm!

More SOAS kit and Stuart is a winner!

21 May

I’ve been so busy with work (and am still struggling with pain in my right arm/shoulder) that I’ve not managed to blog as much as I’d hoped this week.

There’s a massive sale on right now on the SOAS website, with items reduced by 30%, 40%… or if you’re built a little more solidly then 50%! I couldn’t resist ordering myself some more items as my SOAS tri shorts are the most comfortable shorts that I’ve ever worn on my bike. The only problem is that I love everything matching and it’s so hard to choose between all of the cute designs. The sale is on to make way for some of the new designs that are on their way. here’s a sneak peek:

New SOAS kit being made

New SOAS kit being made

Yesterday, I was meant to go Open Water Swimming, but as my shoulder is still so painful, I don’t want to exacerbate it by doing front crawl, so I did a turbo trainer session instead. It included some one-legged drills, which I found incredibly difficult. I was annoyed by this as I can usually do them really well when I’m on the road. I also had to keep my cadence high – I don’t find that too bad when I’m in a big gear, but I just don’t seem to be cut out as a spinner. If anyone has any tips for me, I’d love to hear them!

Today I had a choice between running the RR10 (a local cross-country race) or doing an hour-long workout from my coach. I chose the latter for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I could get it over and done with more quickly! I was meant to do three 10 minute intervals at Half Marathon pace. I’m struggling to know what that is at the moment – my HM PB is 1:52:19 (5:18/km) and I think I ought to be able to do 2:00:00 as I ran just over that at Brighton Marathon recently (5:41/km). Unfortunately, I found it really difficult. My three intervals came out as 5:42; 5:39; 5:41, so they were fairly consistent, but definitely at the bottom end of what I was aiming for, and there’s no way I’d be able to sustain that for 2 hours 😦

I’m so glad that the weekend feels like it’s on its way as I’m exhausted by this week already!

Also, today my husband found out that he’d won a pair of Grandstand tickets from Dassi bikes to the ITU World Triathlon Series on London in just over a week’s time. Here’s the schedule for the day:

Saturday, 31 May 2014
06.45 – 07.45 Paratriathlon Swim / Bike Warm Up
07.00 – 18.00 Expo Open
07.00 – 18.00 Open Race Registration
07.00 – 18.00 Media Centre Open
08:00 Start Paratriathlon
10:45 – 11:00 Start Corporate Relay Challenge
12:30 – 12:50 Youth & Junior Aquathlon
13:30 – 14:15 Elite Men Swim Warm Up
14:30 Start Elite Men’s RaceΒ 
15:25 – 15:50 Elite Women Swim Warm Up
15:35 Elite Men Medal Ceremony
16:05 Start Elite Women’s Race
17:10 Elite Women Medal Ceremony

I’m really looking forward to having a day out!

What have you got to look forward to in the next few weeks?

Injuries – 1; First week of Challenge Weymouth training schedule – 0

16 May

I was meant to start the first week of my first half iron distance triathlon training schedule this week, but I’m still struggling with arm pain and my swollen knee doesn’t seem to be deflating, so I’m already behind schedule.

I should have been doing an hour on my turbo trainer yesterday, which might have been manageable, but my bike was off with The Bike Guy getting new brakes and bar tape fitted, so I couldn’t do that. Tonight’s session is meant to be a 2km swim (which might be further than I’ve ever done in an hour), but my arm is just too painful to risk swimming. I feel like I’m being terribly lazy, but I’m also trying to heed my doctor’s words of resting for 2-3 weeks. I think I’ll be ready to train sooner than that, but I don’t want to risk making my arm worse.

This means that I’ve had a bit more time at home than I would usually have, so I’ve entered my first race for 2015. I’ve entered the ballot for London Marathon, but even with a second chance via my running club’s ballot, I probably won’t get a place. As a consequence, I’ve now signed myself up for Marafun Southampton, which is the first half marathon to take place in the city for many years. I am familiar with much of the route:

Marafun Southampton route

Marafun Southampton route

The bridge over the river (Itchen Bridge) is likely to be the most challenging part of the run, although Burgess Road, which is the long straight at the top of the map, is also a long hill. For me, the massive advantage is that it’s a distance that I like and I’ll be able to train in familiar surroundings. I am likely to practise the route in chunks, so that by the time race day comes I am feeling really well prepared.

Today’s other ‘excitement’ was that I got myself organised to use the peak flow meter that I was prescribed. I have to blow into it three times a day and record the data, to see whether my asthma is being controlled. Apparently a normal reading for a woman who is my age and height should be about 442l/min. This morning’s reading was 290l/min, this afternoon it was 450l/min, and tonight it was 480l/min. It’ll be interesting to see how it compares tomorrow.

I also received an exciting parcel today: odlo Evolution sports underwear for women. They’re a fairly long base-layer that I want to try out under indecently short running shorts. I’ll let you know how I get on with that!

My blog has also received a lot of traffic from Poland this week. I don’t speak Polish, but a quick use of Google Translate suggests that I was being used on a forum as an example of someone who is 30kg overweight, but is still able to exercise. The topic was about the persecution of obese people. I don’t mind being used as an example, but I object to the suggestion that I am (or have been) 30kg overweight… if I only weighed 6st (84lbs/39kg) then I would be severely underweight! Maybe I’ve misunderstood the article. If any of my readers speaks Polish, I’d love to know what the discussion was all about: http://forum.gazeta.pl/forum/w,567,150970875,,Dyskryminacja_otylych_wreszcie_ktos_glosno_walczy.html?v=2

My husband shared the following interview with junior pro-cyclist Jasper Styuven with me: http://www.manualforspeed.com/development/blue-or-blue/ He knows how much I love my clothing/bike etc to match!

I’ve been failing in my diet this week, as I’ve been feeling down about being injured and unable to exercise, however, I thought this article on Greatist was worth reading: 67 Science-backed ways to lose weight What do you think? Do you follow any of these tips?


My first ever turbo trainer session

23 Jan

After my post earlier this week where I discussed media attacks on women in sport, I was really saddened to read a storify yesterday which showed that sexism is alive and well when people think they can be protected by the ‘anonymity’ of being online: http://storify.com/EverydaySexism/sky-sports-news-live-q-and-a-with-beth-tweddle-twi/slideshow

Sky Sports news started by sending out a tweet asking followers to send in their questions for the Q&A… What followed was the perfect display of the misogyny, aggression and imbalanced treatment faced by sportswomen in every discipline.

As a former gymnast, Beth Tweddle has been one of my heroes for many years. She may not be the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, but she comes across as kind and hard-working on television. She’s appeared on ‘Dancing on Ice’ and wowed people with her tenacity and dedication – qualities that helped in her sporting career. How people think it’s acceptable to make aggressive sexual comments and cruel remarks about her appearance is beyond me.

After my attempted run on Tuesday morning, I’ve been playing it safe. I have to cycle to work, but I thought that it would be unwise to take part in my club’s Wednesday night training session as although my knee was feeling a lot better, I don’t want to risk missing my long run at the weekend. This gave me the opportunity to try something new…

Last year, when Stu (my husband) bought a new road bike, he was given the chance to buy a half price turbo trainer. I begged him to get it for me, but until yesterday, I had never used it! Last night seemed like the perfect opportunity, so whilst Stu went out for a run, I cued up some music and started pedalling.


It didn’t take me long to realise a few things:

  • It’s not the same as being in a spinning class with a fantastic instructor there to motivate you
  • There’s nothing to look at (would it be bad to set up the trainer in front of the TV?!)
  • I miss the music that we had in spinning classes at Bournemouth Uni and need to invest in some good motivational music (any recommendations?)
  • It’s sooooo much hotter than working outside

Initially, I didn’t have a plan, I just wanted to get on my bike and have a go. I was wearing a pair of Bellwether Newton shorts that I bought from Sport Pursuit last year. I bought them just as the weather started turning and by the time they arrived it was too cold to wear them. They sounded like they would be good, but what particularly attracted me was the fact that they are plain black (and weren’t too expensive). They have an attractive waistband that dips slightly at the front and is not too tight, so there was no ‘muffin-top’. The grippers on the legs were good, but I think my thighs are rather too fat for them at the moment, as there was a hideous bulge – oh dear!


Initially, I thought I’d see how I’d go, but then I started setting myself time, distance and pace goals. My upper aim was to do 30 minutes…


…then I thought I’d see whether I could continue until my husband got home. I finished at 40 minutes:


My stats aren’t impressive compared with a lot of other people’s but it’s 4km/h faster than I’ve ever managed out on the road, so I’m happy with that as a starting point πŸ™‚ On a less happy note, I felt rather sore afterwards and can’t decide whether it’s because it’s been such a long time since I rode my bike, or whether it was the new shorts 😦


I also went to Weight Watchers yesterday, where I found that I’d put on 1/2lb since last week. Although I’m disappointed by this, I was not surprised as we ate out after Stubbington 10k and after hearing the news about my Grandma, I will admit that I turned to food. I’m desperate trying to break my comfort eating habits, but old habits die hard.

I’ve seen lots of delicious kale recipes recently, so I asked my husband if he could find me some dinosaur kale (cavolo nero) to try. He tried to find some, but there was none available, so he improved – what a sweetheart!


Another highlight yesterday was a glimpse of the Team Soas kit!

Production of Team SOAS tank

Production of Team SOAS tank

There is now a fantastic Team Soas Racing blog: http://teamsoasracing.com/ – check it out!

I’m hoping to find the time to watch an episode of ‘Go Hard or Go Home’ this week. It’s where a group of ladies from the Women’s Institute train to do a half iron triathlon: http://www.channel5.com/shows/go-hard-or-go-home/episodes/the-wi-barbs-race

I’m also trying to find the time (50 minutes) to watch this video:

Finally, I read this quote on somuchfattitude:

β€œLosers quit when they fail, winners fail until they succeed.” Robert Kiyosaki

I’m hoping I’ll be able to live by that mantra, as it’s a bit tough at the moment.