Weekend Endeavours in Surrey – Training, Stuff and a sore bottom all for my Ironman Journey

I’ve had a rather enjoyable weekend training.

If you are in the UK you might know that the weather has been pretty awesome recently and that we now have a weekend with a public holiday.

My first visit to the lake was yesterday and it was actually quite warm. Bizarrely so (physics). My first visit is normally a brain freeze earlier in May so the murky depths of one of my local lakes have given me a welcome start to my triathlon season.

I did a sneaky little hour (nearly) in the lake which was reassuringly ‘easy’. Easy in the sense of having to do 3.8k in a few weeks time in an Ironman – which should be as easy as a walk in the park. Or a splash in the bath, there’s a metaphor there somewhere. Great day for a gadget test: the Fenix 5X (review here) was actually pretty decent with the open water GPS tracking of my endeavours, more so than the otherwise GPStastic SPARTAN SPORT WHR (review here).

ironman-logo-iconThen Sunday was a fairly long ride in the Surrey Hills. I was dragged out by some crazy friends who are doing the Dragon Ride in Wales (lots of vertical miles). They invited me to do the Dragon Ride a while back but I used the Ironman as an excuse wimp out as the Welsh hills (mountains?) looked “a bit hard” 😉

I’ll stick with Pru Ride London…much more sedate, flatter and also involving ZERO overnight stays, at least for me.

Sunday evening was a BBQ…3x Fenix 5(X) and 1x Fenix 3….more than in my swim session!

I’ve also been trying out the WatTeam Powerbeat dual-sided, dual-band PMs. And they seem to be blasting out the numbers as any good PM should. This could be an interesting product as it is cheap for what it is…partly justified by the DIY installation on your cranks. Review to follow in a week or so if I can get some comparative numbers…which I am struggling to.

WatTeam PowerBeat Power Meter Review Comparison Garmin Vector 2

WatTeam PowerBeat + Favero BePro

For a complex reason, that I won’t go into, the PowerBeat has forced me to temporarily downsize to Shimano165mm cranks. I’d never used that length before. This actually REALLY helped keep the revs up in Surrey with my otherwise incorrectly geared bike. So that was a plus. But I’m probably a bit of a spinner anyway rather than a masher.  So I might re-think my future crank strategy towards the shorter ones (probably won’t, you never know). A benefit for TT/tri, if you think about it, is that you get the seat a bit higher and hence potentially more aero if your back can handle it.

Q: Are they right for you? A: something to do with femur length, ask Sheldon.

I was actually using a whole different bike to normal and that meant I had a ‘standard’ saddle rather than my Adamo ISM saddle, that was a potential worry. In years gone by I was plagued with a numb bum. However, each of my cheeks would PERSONALLY like to thank Mr Assos (crème, below) for saving my assos on that seat. It also made my hamstring pain vanish too, so I’m happy. And yes there are other branded options for a third of the price. (Someone was Assos-brand-nice to me at Christmas).

I think I was out for over 5 hours and so, on a hot day, my 2 Lucozade Sport limit was reached. Any more than that I find hard to force down. So Mrs SiS came to the rescue

Science In Sport SiS

  1. The SiS GO sachets are brilliant. I was a cheapskate and bought a cheap box of Raspberry flavour from their site on a deal. Obviously no-one else likes Raspberry. BUT I’ve found out that I REALLY like it. Result. The raspberry gamble paid off
  2. My 150mg of pre-ride caffeine tablets would wear off mid-ride on a long ride like Sunday’s ride, so I took the SiS caffeine shot with me rather than carrying tablets around. I used to use Red Bull shots a few years ago before races but Red Bull seemed to stop making them. so the SHOT option returneth.
  3. SiS have asked me to try a relatively new product of theirs: SiS overnight protein. Regularly eating protein every 4  hours or so is a recommended way to grow/maintain lean muscle mass – obviously that’s hard to do at night when you are asleep. So they have  created a slow-release protein high in casein. Despite the unusual-sounding ‘cookies and cream’ flavour it’s quite pleasant and I had some after the ride just because it was handy. I then fell asleep for two hours….undoubtedly the effect of the exercise rather than the protein. Another good thing with a ‘quality’ powder is that they tend to mix better than some of the cheaper ones you can buy at the supermarket these days.

Here is a graphical indication of the sporting effectiveness of that power-nap, complete with professional-looking green AND white lines of differing types. Must be good. (Review: QS EMFIT…actually the hardware/software is rather good, I’ve been using it for almost two years now ish)

The upward trending line is essentially “physiological recovery goodness”. So I took that graph as “obvious proof” that SiS+nap=recovery done, enabling me to have the aforesaid, rare alcoholic-BBQ evening. Followed by a poor night’s sleep and near-zero recovery/adaptation…sigh.

Seriously though I am going to have a few weeks trying to do some more weights and trying some more SiS protein at night

Other stuff I dabbled with today;

  • CurraNz – always
  • Garmin Edge 820
  • Polar M460
  • Garmin Fenix 5X
  • Specialized S-works Evade – far better at cycling than me…but it looks awesome; Aero road helmet…hmmm.
  • Garmin HRM-TRi – awesome
  • Coffee at Westhumble train station (& Pilgrim  bike shop) #thumbsup

But I forgot to take Beet-It. I survived though. Maybe that would have made the last hour a bit easier?

Also quite useful today, I found, were salt tablets. I used H2PROHYDRATE. I find this useful to replace additional salt that I think I sweat out over an above the ‘standard’ amount in normal electrolyte drink. I also find that using them leading up to a big day makes me wee less…ie IMO, supporting the assertion that they can increase hydration states. (That will be one to test with LVL when it comes out). I guess instead you could buy a salty packet of Walkers crisps/fries for a similar effect? Salt & Vinegar would be my sport-enhancing flavour of choice.

Here’s some links to unusual SiS products in the hope that some mysteriously arrive next week in the mail 😉

  • A whey sachet? interesting.
  • A gender-neutral energy drink
  • Christmas selection box – 1 for all the family
  • Hydration tabs for those hot days to come – alternative to the H2PROHYDRATE, above


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