Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Top 3 Best Sellers in Cycling

The following 3 items are current best sellers on Amazon.co.uk.

 Each item has at least 100 reviews so you know that the items have passed the quality test. Buying through Amazon is totally safe and secure.

Just click on any link to read more information about the product.

Happy browsing!

Polar H7 Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Sensor Set for iPhone 4S/5 - Black

The Polar H7 Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Sensor Set for iPhone 4S/5 - Black  is rated 4.3 / 5 on Amazon.co.uk from 241 reviews.

To start with I want to add a personal note to say that I own a Polar heart rate monitor, though not this model, and I am very happy with it. I think Polar is a great brand for heart rate monitors.

Heart rate monitors are suitable for all types of people from those wanting to lose fat, to those training for endurance, to those recovering from a major ilness.

The Amazon page for the Polar H7 Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Sensor Set for iPhone 4S/5 - Black contains a wealth of information so be sure to check it out

Briefly however according to Amazon.co.uk several features of the Polar H7 are:

  • Provides live, accurate heart rate to any Bluetooth smart ready device and compatible mobile training apps, including Polar Beat
  • Uses Gym Link to connect with the majority of Polar heart rate monitors and with compatible gym equipment
  • User replaceable battery. For optimal battery life, detach transmitter from chest strap after every use
  • Long transmission range (~10m)
  • Compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5/5C/5S, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad (3rd & 4th generation), iPad mini
  • Compatible with selected devices using Android 4.3 or later (HTC: One, One M8, One Mini; LG: G2, Nexus 4, Nexus 5; Motorola: Moto G, Moto X; Samsung Galaxy: S3, S4 and S5, Note II, Note III; Sony: Xperia Z1)

Here are some reviews about the Polar H7 Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Sensor Set for iPhone 4S/5 - Black found on Amazon.co.uk:

Arrived in super fast time. Well packaged and after using this item a few times on a couple of 7 mile runs I found its working perfectly.

works as it should do and Samsung Galaxy S4

First class to the usual standard you get from Polar.
This is the third and best belt I have had from them.

GoPro HERO3+ BLACK Edition - Camcorder - (12MP, WiFi)

The GoPro HERO3+ BLACK Edition - Camcorder - (12MP, WiFi) rates 4.3 / 5 on Amazon.Co.Uk from 121 reviews.

The detail about the product is really quite unbelievable (I mean that in a fantastic way) so click on the above link and read way.

A brief summary would include the following features:

  • Video resolutions up to 4K
  • 1080p60 / 960p100 / 720p120 fps
  • 12MP photos up to 30 frames per second
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • SuperView™ and Auto Low Light modes
  • Waterproof to 131’/40m
  • GoPro App + Wi-Fi Remote control
  • Control your camera remotely—start/stop recording, adjust settings and more
  • See what your camera sees with live preview
  • View Photos and play back videos¹
  • Copy photos and videos¹ to a GoPro album on your smartphone or tablet
  • Share photos and videos¹ via email, text, Instagram™, Facebook or other app
  • Browse and delete files on the camera's memory card
  • 131’/40m Waterproof Housing
  • Higher Capacity Li-ion Battery
  • Quick Release Buckle
  • Vertical Quick Release Buckle
  • 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount
  • 3-Way Pivot Arm
  • USB Charging Cable

As you can see the features are very extensive so click the link to read more about the GoPro HERO3+ BLACK Edition - Camcorder - (12MP, WiFi)

Some reviews about the GoPro on Amazon.co.uk:

A 16th birthday gift for my Grandson Patrick - his grin is looped over both ears and he is in love - the product is amazing

The video quality is amazing. Small and light. Perfect for outdoor sports (up close). The battery is ok, I get around an hour of footage with the wifi off.
I use it for longboarding and get great videos.

Everything about this item is amazing. Hands down. Just get one, you need it, you know it

Kryptonite Bike Lock & Flex Cable

The Kryptonite Bike Lock & Flex Cable is rated 4.3 / 5 from 319 reviews.

Amazon describes the product as thus:

Product Description
Popular lock package containing U-lock and bonus braided steel flex cable. Best security for moderate to high crime areas, with a standard length shackle.Reinforced sleeve over crossbar and cylinder provides enhanced security protection with a reinforced internal housing increases resistance to twisting and leverage type attacks. Features: 13mm hardened Performance steel shackle resists cutting and leverage attacks. Includes 4 KryptoFlex double loop cable for securing front wheel or accessories. Reinforced hardened cross bar design provides increased protection. High security, disc-style cylinder. Anti-rattle bumpers reduce noise during transport. Product dimensions: 4 x 9 (10.2cm x 22.9cm) Product weight: 3.60 lbs (1.63 kgs).
Box Contains
Here is a review from Amazon called 'Superman Proof';
not even superman can take my bike now. I've always known superman one day may turn bad and when that day comes if he wants a bike ride it won't be on my bike haha
For further reading click here: Kryptonite Bike Lock & Flex Cable

Sunday, 20 July 2014

West Cork Emergency Rescue 50 Mile Charity Cycle

West Cork Emergency Rescue 50 Mile Charity Cycle

Whilst on holidays in Schull recently I participated in the West Cork Emergency Rescue Charity Cycle.

I heard about the cycle after registration had closed but I contacted a lovely man called Garry, who was the chief organiser, and he got me into the cycle.

On the morning of the cycle rain hung in the skies so, since I had left my cycling rain gear in Cork, I found the nearest cycle shop and bought a very cool Nalini rain jacket.

Garry had given easy directions to the Skibbereen fire station so finding it and parking was not a problem. Funnily enough I was expecting 20 - 50 people to show up but there were well over 100 people there when I arrived. I guess around 300 cyclists did the cycle.

The route was from Skibbereen - Bantry - Durrus - Schull - Skibbereen, a total of around 50 miles.

Upon departure we were led on a lap around Skibbereen town to the delight of the locals who stopped and clapped in support.

Despite having to navigate Mount Gabriel later in the ride the toughest section was definitely from Skibbereen to Bantry as the headwind was fairly strong and the rain, whilst not torrential, was heavy enough at times. There were some nice uphill sections too but nothing too taxing.

We pulled into the Bantry fire station and were welcomed with tables of food. Sandwiches of various kinds, yoghurt, fruit, sport bars etc plus a multitude of drinks. It was very well organised.

I was pleased to meet Herbie from the Schull Triathlon Club and had a good chat with him. I also spotted a Boards.ie jersey.

The pace car was fairly slow from Bantry to the uphill after Durrus but that was probably a safety aspect as the roads were still wet and there were sharp corners to navigate.

The climb on the side of Mount Gabriel was easy enough and I actually rode the same route, from Schull to Durrus and back to Schull, later in my holiday.

We stopped at the Schull police station for a feed of fruit and yoghurt before jumping back on the bikes and pelting it back to Skibbereen. We regrouped just outside of Skibbereen and were led into and around town by a fleet of rescue vehicles with sirens blaring.

When we arrived back at the Skibbereen fire station there was a huge BBQ spread awaiting us. This wasn't cheap BBQ food either. This was quality food. They even had beer on ice and to top it of the rain had disappeared and beautiful sunshine was out in force.

It was a great day so thanks to Garry and all the volunteers!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Baltimore Sprint Triathlon 2014

One of my favourite endurance training books (click image to Look Inside)

I want to congratulate the West Cork Triathlon Club on hosting a great race.

It was an early start for most of us as we took the scenic drive out west. The tri coincided with the first day of my two week holiday in Schull, hence this late report, so I was pleased to leave Cork City behind for a little while.

The registration area was easy to find and registration itself was straight forward. The goodie bag contained several gels, a drink bottle, swim cap and a great T-shirt. Similarly the transition area was easy to find and set up was nice and relaxed with plenty of space for all competitors.

I bumped into Andy from the Offshore Surf Shop in Kinsale and had a great chat as we had only recently met. Eventual winners Katie Cooke andChris Mintern as well as John O'Connell and Annmarie Power (2nd woman home) were all there as well and I had a chat with each pre-race.

The swim was quite choppy and I got of to a great start, swimming hard for around 50m before settling into my stroke. Unfortunately the guy to my right decided to swim sharply to the left and pushed my head under just as I had a mouth full of sea. I panicked and ended up swimming nearly half the swim doing breaststroke. At the last turnaround buoy I got back into freestyle mode and had an enjoyable swim back to shore.

I swallowed a bit of sea water during the above episode and actually felt quite sick in T1. I actually debated whether or not to throw in the towel but I thought that I'd feel better on the bike. So, unbalanced I jumped on the bike and gradually felt better.

The bike course was out and back and it was interesting to see how large Chris Mintern's lead was. The guy can fly!! The ride to Skibbereen was largely uneventful apart from getting stuck behind a car about five minutes from the finish.

Heading out of the run I still wasn't quite feeling myself so, thankfully, I took it rather slowly. This stood me in good stead for the run up to the beacon. It's a lovely, scenic run and the hills add to the challenge. I had been warned about the final hill in town and had conserved enough energy to climb up without too much problems.

I hit the finish tape behind several people who I finished in front of in TriMonkstown. So while Baltimore was not my best tri it was a very nice race none-the-less.

There was a healthy spread of fruit and sugar-rush muffins at the finish as well as plenty of water. Plenty of athletes stayed behind for a post-race chat in beaming sunshine. All in all I think that the race was a great success.

If you participated I'd like to hear your opinion of the race in the comment section below.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Blog of the Week: 10K Ray

I just came across the 10K Ray blog and found that I was stuck reading the blog for quiet a while.

The 10K Ray blog is written by Ray Lonergan, a triathlete from Kilkenny. Ray is no slow coach on the road. Take his 2014 running goals for example:

Rays aim for a 10K is Sub 35min, for a 10 Mile it's Sub 58:30 and he wants to run a Half Marathon in Sub 80 minutes. A recent 5K race time was 17:27. That's some serious running!!

Ray's blog is pleasing to the eye and well laid out with tags to the left of the posts and tweets to the right. Other links on the right side of the page include blogs followed, images from Instagram, top posts, quotes to inspire, Flickr photos and much more.

The 10K Ray blog includes posts about training, recipes, results and various other elements associated with running and triathlon.

Check out this post for a yummy home-made protein bar recipe.

Ray's race schedule can be found here.

Best of luck with the races Ray!!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Triathlon Nutrition

Triathlon Nutrition

Regular Sport for Fun blog readers know that I'm a big fan of The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing by Phil Maffetone.

Dr Maffetone was the former coach of super triathletes such as Mark Allen and Mike Pigg. As such, he needs to be listened too!

Be aware though for the average athlete Maffetone's ideas could be a little out there. Imagine training slower in order to race faster?!?! That's pretty radical.

What about the notion that in order to fuel your body best you should eat more fat?!?!

Burn Fat

Maffetone's premise is that you should train slower in order to burn a larger percentage of fat, for fuel, than you currently do.

By training your aerobic capacity (any race from a 5K run and longer uses at least 95% of the aerobic system) your body can more easily utilise fat as fuel. This way you stay strong throughout the race and avoid the dreaded 'bonk' as there are no major fluctuations in your sugar levels.

So while the majority of athletes consume carbs, and many bad carbs at that (think of all those post-race muffins and biscuits!!), the smart athletes actually consume less carbs and more fat!

Not All Fat Is Equal

Forget about gorging on plates of ice-cream and eating eight pork chops at once though.

The fats you consume should be healthy fats such as coconut, avocado, nuts and seeds etc.

Maffetone recommends the 2 week test in which an athlete, in the off season of course, cuts out all carbs for 2 weeks and then gradually reintroduces carbs until they start getting old symptoms, such as insomnia, tiredness etc, back again. At this stage they should ease back from the carbs a little until they feel great again.

Really it is much better explained in The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing.

Burn Fat While You Sleep

The great advantage of the Maffetone Method is that you will start to burn a greater percentage of fat for energy during the day.

However your fat burning system does not just shut down at night it just keeps on working so effectively you will be burning a large percentage of fat when you sleep.

Sounds ideal doesn't it!!

Blog of the Week: Triathlon Training Blog

The Triathlon Training Blog

For any coach potato that is thinking of competing in a triathlon Carol Scheible has the perfect blog for you.

Carol's blog is entitled: Triathlon Training Blog - From Couch Potato to Triathlete.

At the age of 20 Carol heard about triathlons but thought that she wasn't athletic enough to complete one. Fast forward another 20 years and an overweight Carol started to follow a 'Couch to 5K' programme.

After completing the 5K run successfully she added swimming and biking to her training until she completed her first triathlon. She hasn't looked back since!

On her blog Carol provides a list of races which she has done, she details her training plus there are some cool calculators for calories burned as well as pace calculation.

Sub-headings on the blog include biking, swimming and running as well as race reports.

I particularly like the recent post about eating your spinach (you know it's good for you!!)

So in summary; If you want to start running, cycling or swimming, or even if you want to read about a tri journey from someone else, then you have come to the right place.

Read on!!

Carol Scheible

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Long Distance Running

Born To Run: A Must Read Running Book

As you can read in my Training Diary (link at top of page)  I have been taking it pretty easy with exercise since I had the flu a few weeks ago.

Today though, I went for a run with a friend and the run was longer than expected coming in at just under 11 miles. The pace was relative easy at around 8:30 minute miles and the weather was sensational.

The pace of the run was slightly above my base heart rate level as described in The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing.

There were other important points to take away from this run:

  • We ran on grass fields which is great for the joints
  • Running with a partner makes the time go so much quicker
  • We drank a little water every 2.3 miles since it was a warm day
  • Afterwards the first thing I did was drink a large smoothie
  • The problems of parenting were solved
Ok, so I was only joking about the last point but since each of us has 3 kids the topic was definitely discussed!

Despite not running for a while I found the run relatively easy. However note that I have a good base level of fitness already.

For those of you contemplating longer runs you'd best increase the distance of your long run by about 5% each week. The key take-away is to take thing easy!

Recovery is very important after long runs. If possible have a cat nap, eat lots of healthy food and sleep 8 hours or more at night. Also on days that you do your long run try not to have any other strenuous activity planned.

Finally if you need some inspiration read Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.

Born to Run is the book that got me to run a marathon. It's a great story about the Tarahumara who live in Mexico's Copper Canyon and how their lives become entangled with the Caballo Blanco (The White Horse) which leads to the greatest race the world has never seen.