Bib tights, thermal top, second thermal top, 2 pairs of socks, windproof top, rain coat. Bananas x2 in my back pocket, helmet on, cycle shoes, overshoes, gloves on. Need a wee.
And reverse. Jackets off, realise you need to take helmet off first, can't underdo helmet with gloves, thermal tops off, undo bib tights. Take a pee. Hope banana stays in jacket pocket and doesn't fall down the loo.
Winter Cycling, what an absolute palaver.
And we haven't even got to, the cleaning the bike part.
It was 5pm tonight and just light on the trails during my run, spring is round the corner, I can feel it. I only wore 2 thermal tops and a gilet. Train heavy, race light and all that.
I thought I would take a look back on the last few months, mainly to give a shout out to various people who have been helping me along the way during the winter months.
This winter has been filled with various people helping me in many different ways. Harry Walker being one of them.
I took a trip up north, to Newcastle. I know, there are people who live further North than Leeds, it was flipping freezing, so goodness knows how many layers they wear on their winter rides. I went to see Harry, Cycle Time Trial master, owner and inventor of Revolver Wheels and all round super knowledgeable about getting fast on a Time Trial bike.
I spent the morning with Harry, talking about the best wheels to use in races, at 50kg and 5 foot 2 tall, deep rims and disc wheels are not always going to be my friend. In summary, Harry's advice is; choose the best wheels for your weight and height and the bike course of your A race. Unless you have a lot of money and space to store wheels then you can't have wheels to suit all situations.
For myself, racing undulating 70.3 races in the UK, and a hilly Alpine adventure in the form of Alp d'huez triathlon, I will not be racing on flat smooth dual carriage ways. For hilly, winding, slightly bumpy smaller roads, a 50mm front and 60 or 50mm back wheel would be the best option.
We spent some time trying to get a more aerodynamic position on my TT bike. Harry showed me his race set up and pictures of him racing, the aim being is to make yourself as small as possible to move through the wind as easily as possible, he advised. BUT I am training for triathlon not cycling, the big difference is, the need to be able to run off the bike, so it is a delicate balance between trying to get a good aerodynamic position, that you can still apply power through the pedals and not ruin your hip flexors and glutes, so you can run a good pace off the bike.
Be aero, smash out watts, run fast afterwards.
I never thought I was that demanding but blimey that's one hell of a wish list!
In the garage, practicing trying to get areo, trying to learn the 'tucked in position' from the fast Harry Walker. Thank you Harry for the support with the Revolver Wheels, the Tri Bar Arm rests and the advice. Check out the tri bars below.
So that's the bike training, lots of hours in the garage, pedalling hard, going nowhere, helping my hip flexors get tighter and tighter. Alongside wearing lots of thermals, and cleaning bikes.
Seacroft reliability ride, more rain, more bike cleaning. Moan, Moan, Moan!
Talking about tight muscles, I attending the SMARTT Coaching Level 1 injury prevention course, run my Sarah Pitts at Most Motion. The key take away, muscles tightness causes injury, prevent muscle tightness by moving in a variety of ways. Check out the most motion facebook group and website. I am fully aware, I cause my own injuries, therefore I know I can prevent them, I just need to be smart!
I have been sharing some of the mobility work I am doing on Instagram, it's a great place to find ideas and steal other peoples suggestions! You can find this video here.
I have been making a huge effort to keep my muscles . After my foot operation in May, it is great to be back running, and enjoying it again, because I have no pain, hurrah.
More to come on the running and swimming side of things in the next post.
Enjoy your own winter training.