Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Run Breeze Kit - Review

The nice chaps at RunBreeze have sent me some kit to test out and I couldn't wait to get it on and give it a go. The items I was received were:
  • Runderwear - Mens Support Briefs
  • Anti Blister Socks
I've always been skeptical about running in pants/briefs as comfort is really important to me when out on long runs (It should be to every runner) and the less chance of irritation the better. There is nothing worse than hitting mile 10 and finding out your got sore areas in your crutch and the worse news is you've got another 10 miles to get home. There is nothing worse than finding your favorite/lucky/fastest pair of running shorts with NETTING inside... thats never going to be comfortable on those long runs.

As soon as you take the underwear out of the box they look great, the design is really unique and the guys have really taken running briefs to the next level. The first feel of the runderwear in your hands you know a lot of though has gone into the design and the material used. (92% polyamide & 8% Elastane).

Once on there is no tight areas but the pants keep everything thing in place, no uncomfortable or cutting areas where you experience with standard briefs. They are stitched excellently as you don't feel any seams in sensitive areas. They also have thermal technology so your don't over heat with this extra layer.

I wash them at 30'c just like the rest of my kit (It says 40'c on the box) and they look good as new and I train nearly everyday. They also don't give off any unwanted odors.

As a rule of training I try to wear as less as possible and dress for the weather. I have often decided against wearing pants or briefs as I look it the less you wear the less chance of chaffing or rubbing occurring. Since I've worn then under my shorts, tight, bike bib shorts I have never been so comfortable. 

If you are struggling with sore areas then definitely look to invest in a pair, you won't regret it.

The best news is they are available for men and women and are available from HERE (male) and HERE (female) for the bargain price of £16 & £15.

Now onto the socks, anti blister socks to be precise.

Another great product from the team at RunBreeze, just like the briefs a lot of thought has gone into the socks, as soon as you pick them up the finish of them feels great. You instantly get the thought that these arent your bog standard sock 3 for £5 rubbish pushed out by the large franchises.

You feel the twin layers and your first though is my feet are going to be boiling in these, well this isn't the case they have been designed with moisture controlling fabric so your feet stay cool and any sweat is taken away from your skin so less irritation. The two layers rub together rather than against your foot and it gives that extra layer of protection against your trainer too.

Its really important to have a good fitting sock, nothing to tight you cant get it on or off and on the flip side nothing like a wind sock that your foot falls out of. The anti blister socks as been created with this in mind with a supporting arch which keeps the sock in a firm position and wont move so this avoids the chances of getting more blisters.

The socks are designed without a seam at the toe which is brilliant as I for one have worn socks in the past that have rubbed the end of my toes till they have bled and this along with the sweat was a very painful long run. With this in mind it was a great feeling to put them on for my long runs and not have the rubbing or blistering at the end of my feet/toes during the sessions and as I said about your feet feel really fresh due to the fabric used to move moisture away from the feet.

I always wash my socks inside out and at a cool wash just like my other tri kit so they keep there shape and stay fresh. I have used them for well over a month now and I cant complain. they have been up there with the best brands I have used to date. As they were so comfortable I sometimes washed them after a run, dried them and then worn them under my suit for work the following day as there was no irritation in the socks and after a long session its great to wear something on your feet that your comfortable in.

You can purchase the anti blister pair of socks direct from RunBreeze website HERE for £9.99 which is great value for such a great product. They also have another couple of sock ranges available HERE

RunBreeze have some really good kit out there and I'd recommend them to anyone who needs kit that wont break the bank and will keep your session and comfortable as possible.

Thanks again Richard

Friday, 28 February 2014

February Training - Keep Building

February has been a great month for me on the training front and the diet from, I've lost 22lbs since eating cleans and getting back into training. I'm still on 3 sessions a week, but trying to get that 4th one in when and where ever possible. My official training plan started this month for my main race of the year, Long Course Weekend (LCW) raced on the Ironman Wales course over 3 days. I must say I'm really looking forward to the race in July, It takes me that step closer to becoming an Ironman.

Session Reviews

04/02/14 - Spin Session

I've been a member of the gym for about 6 months now so I have decided to take up some of the free classes I get with the membership. One of them was intermediate spin so I thought I'd give it a go. Its up to you how hard you work but the instructor does shout at the class a lot to work hard so I do find myself getting a good work out. Its only 55 minutes but I get a cracking sweat on and I do feel it in the legs the following day.

I don't wear the Garmin so I take the stats off the bike, so they could be a little off but I'll track them in Garmin anyway.

Full Session HERE

05/02/14 - Tempo Run

I'm back out running on the road, the weather isn't the best but need to get the miles back in the legs. It felt great to get out there even though my running partner dragged me around. I hope I feel the benefits come March/April.

Full Session HERE

07/02/14 - Swim Session

Great session in the pool today, 2000 meters felt like a breeze. I blocked the session into 200's which was manageable. I did my drills like my coach said, and the option to bilaterally breath is definitely becoming an option which is great for me. I'm clocking in just over 4 minutes for the 200's which is a great start point for me so fingers crossed I can only go quicker.

I'm glad I'm wearing the Garmin because for some reason I cannot count in the pool...

Full Session HERE

10/02/14 - Swim Session

Another 2000 meter session and I felt it in the shoulders today, warm ups of 4 x 200 and then the rest in 100's. I started the session in good form but by the end my stroke was getting tired and I was pushing well past the 2 minute marker for the 100's as I was getting in an extra stroke per length.

Rest day tomorrow!

Full session HERE

12/02/14 - Tempo Run

Started running the same route in my lunch break in the office, I'm still being dragged along by my Ironmate but I'm really enjoying it. Keeps the run hard and true, no slacking off, a quality session. and I'm 3 minutes quicker.

Full session HERE

13/02/13 - Spin Session

Really enjoying getting back into a spinning class, I'm trying my best to smash it in every session as its only 50 minutes so I need to get the 20km in at least. The instructor is a small lady with a very loud voice! She does shout if your not working enough! She tells me to get off the bars on the sprints.. I hate her.. :-)

I don't wear the Garmin for the sessions, I go with what the spin bikes says, some people say the stats are over some say there under, you cant win!

25/02/14 - Swim Session - HERE

27/02/14 - Free Run - HERE

28/02/14 - Free Ride - HERE

29/02/14 - Tempo Run & Swim Session

1st brick of the season over and it hurt, but a good hurt if you know what i mean - HERE & HERE

Month Totals
Swimming 9.50 KM
Cycling 93.00 KM
Running 29.19 km

Total 131.69 KM

Friday, 31 January 2014

January Training - Back To The Start

At the start of the year I have decided to update the blog with all my months training in one sitting, I'm creating a plan to cope with my planned races this year and my main race for the year will be the Long Course Weekend (Iron distance) which is raced on the Ironman Wales course and is raced over 3 days.

The idea for January training was to build up the sessions per week, starting with 3 and then try and juggle family life to fit more session in. It was also to loose the Christmas indulgence, I set my self a target race weight of 168lbs and I was currently 198lbs so a massive 30lbs to loose, I planned to track my calorie intake to a minimum so I can complete some sort of training and not "bonk" when out on sessions. When I plan to do more than 3 sessions a week I'll eat more calories so I can cope with the extra demands. I will track everything in My Fitness Pal, a decent app so worth checking out!

I'm not putting any structure in my training yet, I just want to get out there and get my body back into training again.

Session Reviews

09/01/14 - Night Run

The first session, you always remember this one as it hurts the most and you always question why you decided to go out in the pouring down rain, but when you get back you feel 100 times better than you left and it should give you the drive to get out there and plan your next session.

I did a simple 6 minute km pace run in the pitch black of the night, I've invested in some new running lights so I now look like an extra from the movie Tron.

A 6km at 6 km minute pace - 6 by 6 session

Full Session HERE

13/01/14 - Turbo Session

Its that time again to start to love the turbo again,and what better way to start then 60 minutes in the saddle. Keep it simple and it was 20 minutes warm up, 20 minutes high resistance with medium cadence and 20 minutes warm down.

Full Session HERE

16/01/14 - Run (Mile Efforts)

I could still feel my heavy legs from the previous turbo session, its been a while since I'd had done 2 sessions so close together and I wasn't feeling great. I decided to do an outside run but mile efforts on the watch. Try and keep the last mile as quick as the first with 90 seconds rest in between efforts. I failed...

This was only a 4 mile session but it felt twice as far, the wind blowing in my face on two of the laps as a rotated the lap direction each time. It was a killer session and as I'm limited on calories I really felt in and struggled on the last lap. 

Full Session HERE

21/01/14 - Turbo Session (Ride Harder 2)

Thank you Chrissie for 60 minutes of sweat...

If you need help with some turbo training and what session to do then look no further than Audiofuel and there ride harder sessions. I used these a lot when I was training for my half iron distance race and they were great. This is a 60 minute interval session with a 10 minute TT at the top of the pyramid, I haven't felt heavy legs like this for some time and lost so much sweat since pre-knee operation days. It was a great feeling! But then the penny dropped its a tempo run tomorrow.. my poor legs.

22/01/14 - Tempo Run

1st outing with my ironman mate, just a quick 5 miler to blow the cobwebs away... I spent the whole run on his coattails. We were lucky enough to do the run out of the rain and no head wind which was great. I'm still on a low calorie intake so I took it easier than the norm as I wanted to make sure I had enough in the tank to get me home. I did the run at 8 - 8:30 minute mile pace, I really need to look at the KM equivalent.

It was great to be out running on the road again, I just hope my knee continues to hold out, plenty of ice when I got home to help with an swelling.

Full Session HERE

24/01/14 - Swim Session

Back in the pool and I loved it!

After meeting up with my swim coach it was keen to get those drills out and put into practice what i was shown. I think I had some lovely looks from the lifeguard while I was tapping my head each stroke.

800m Drills (400m Bilateral breathing & 400m head taps)
12 x 100m (30 seconds rest)

Average strokes is the best but its a starting point!

Full Session HERE

29/01/14 - Turbo Session

Finish the month with a toughy, and it was... 60 minutes pyramid on the turbo. I decided the set was going to be :

10 min warm up, 3 x 1 min, 3 x 2 min, 2 x 3 min, 2 x 4 min, 1 x 5 min, 10 min cool down

I really enjoyed it, covered in sweat and 5 minute TT at the end destroyed my legs, I'm so out of shape on the bike I really need to get more in next month.

HR rate averaged out at 129 BPM and maxed out at 167 BPM, only 87% maximum heart rate, I know I can work harder but I was just happy to be on the bike again and have a fully functional knee.

My cadence stayed relatively high until the PC frozen so I had to get off the bike to get the mouse, to reset sky go. I hate it when that happens, but I still averaged out at 71 RPM for the session.

Full Session HERE

Month Totals
Swim 2.2km
Bike 59.89km
Run 19.74km

Total 81.83km

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Review USN - Honey Energy Bar

The nice people at USN sent me some of there new energy bars to try out and they tasted great. Just lie the other sporting products produced by USN.

First thoughts are does it fit in my cycle bento box and second how does it taste and third how hard is it to open on the run/bike.

You can quite comfortable fit in three bars in the bento box and there is still room for gels which is great, my taste test is does it taste like an energy bar, and does it look like a energy bar, both answers "NO" there is no chemical taste or over sweet so its easy to digest and swallow without the need to gag or drink half of your hydration to get the bar down. I did find the bars a little sticky but nothing to worry about.

All in all a great bar to have on the go and something that can be eaten pre and during workout. Its not to heavy on the stomach and it wont repeat on you while training.

The Energy bar comes in two options Honey, Seeds & Nuts and the other is Protein, Seeds & Nuts.

The Honey bar has the following:

  • 3.2g of Fibre
  • 7.2g of Protein
The Protein bar has the following:
  • 14g of Protein
  • 3.3g of Fibre
  • 25g Carbs
You can purchase the bars HERE

If you are after a great tasting bar which is easy to use and digest then look no further than the new USN range of energy bars. This will be another product I will be adding to training and race day supplements.

Thanks USN

Ironman Wales 2016 - Race Report

Ive been a while writing this one.. Nearly 2 years but its still fresh in memory, like it was yesterday, so grab a cuppa as your in for a...