Monday, 27 April 2009

Fun in Spain equals triathlon pain

It is all in the preparation.

Nothing can be achieved without putting the hard work in before hand.

Hence a hectic training schedule since the start of January as I prepare for the London Triathlon on Sunday August 2.

But last week, I went completely against every rule in the book prior to my second Sprint Triathlon at Lincoln.

A two-day trip to Spain ended in, well, two days of drinking. And drinking too much.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a right good laugh in the sunshine of Murcia.

But as far as preparations go for a gruelling race, spending last Wednesday and Thursday drinking lager, red wine and whatever else was put in front of me did not help.

Getting up at 6am to arrive at Burton Waters for my 8.26am start time was just another hurdle after a few days of little shut eye.

But despite the partying in Spain, I quietly surprised myself in Lincoln.

A potential problem with the pool led to the swimming leg being abandoned so it was turned into a duathlon.

A 2.5k run, 24k on the bike and a 5k run to finish (Feeling the pain in Lincoln, see top right and middle).

And in glorious spring sunshine, I completed it in 1 hour, 22 minutes. And without being sick, even more of a bonus.

Maybe the partying in Spain in the sun helped my preparation - it got me used to the heat we experienced on Sunday morning.

But while my split times for the run were up there with some of the top 30 finishers, it is my bike time of 53 plus minutes that hindered me.

My town and trail bike is not like the road racing bikes used by most (bottom right). So that hinders me a little.

But with the bike making 40k up of the London race, I plan to get out on the road in the next few months and get some serious miles under my belt.

That will help. But I am sure during the early, steep hill in Lincoln that almost brought me to a standstill, I would have been better off had I not drank beer last week and had plenty of water and some early nights instead.

It is easy to blame the bike!!

So come the week before London, anybody who sees me with a beer in my hand has my permission to take it off me and drink it themselves.

But while I surprised myself and blew off some cobwebs in Lincoln, I am sure I could have gone a little quicker.

Like I said it is all in the preparation - and a 48-hour drink bender in Spain, no matter how enjoyable, is hardly the perfect build up to a big race.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here

For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/

Monday, 20 April 2009

Bike training goes a bit flat

My training schedule went a bit flat on Sunday - quite literally.

With the sun shining, I planned out a 16-mile bike ride to Matlock Bath.

Hit it hard, meet my wife Danielle there in the car and put the bike in the boot after a couple of hours of walking round in the spring sunshine.

But as I got the bike out of the garage, the front tyre was as flat as a pancake.

Stuck in it was a three-inch thorn that had gone unnoticed during the week it had been locked up.

Now, it should not pose such a problem.

A quick trip to Halfords saw me return with a puncture repair kit, tyre levers and a new inner tube for good measure.

But I have never been the most practical of people and what to some would be a simple procedure was like rocket science to me.

Getting the inner tube out was more puzzling than I envisaged, fighting to get the tight tyre off the rim.

Putting it back in, well, don’t ask.

But with it all together, finally patched up and on the bike, I got out the cheap plastic foot pump I purchased when I got the bike.

With one push down, it broke from its base and that was that, it was done for.
By this time, I was getting frustrated. I would have been in Matlock had it not been for this damn puncture.

So I took an executive decision as I did not want to waste anymore of the day with the weather so nice.

I put the bike back in the garage, we got in the car and drove to Matlock Bath.

A nice stroll, fish and chips and then a few beers to finish it off.

I should have just done that in the first place.

But with the Lincoln Sprint Triathlon to participate in this Sunday, I need to get back on the bike tonight and get some miles under by belt.

Otherwise I’ll be down and out - just like the tyre.


To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here


For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.


American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/

Monday, 6 April 2009

On course for London - barring no slip ups!

There I was, donning just a pair of cycling shorts, kissing the morning dew on the grass in the transition zone.

Welcome to the world of Triathlons, I thought.

But no sooner had I slipped on exiting the pool, I was on my bike and pedalling my way round the 14.5k stretch of the Mansfield Sprint Triathlon.

By the time I was felled in the transition zone, the nerves that had built up had been blown away after I had completed the 400m swim.

From that moment, I was intent on enjoying myself on a lovely sunny day but relaxing, I slipped bare footed during that first change over.

Luckily I jumped back up, managed to laugh at myself and I was away - uninjured (Seconds before the slip, middle right)

The hardest part had to the run (bottom right), after getting off my bike the legs felt like dead weights, hardly able to drag them off the floor.

And as I encountered a hill, I was wheezing as I tried to breath.

Knowing I was on the last 1k stretch, I dug in and completed it in one hour, four minutes and 48 seconds thanks to a few cheers from spectators around the start/finish who helped to keep everybody going.

I was delighted with that time for a first attempt.

And in completing the course, I realised there were only three minor things I had to improve on to get ready for the big one in London. Swimming, cycling and running!

I had trained up enough for this event but the swim in London will be 1,500m so I have some serious pool time to get in. And I need to cycle a further 25k and run another 5k.

But, Mansfield proved to me it is not impossible.

Already I am weighing up another sprint triathlon on Sunday May 10 - Woodhall Spa or Grendon Lakes near Northampton?

I’ve got the bug, I’m stepping it up for London.

I just hope next time I can avoid any embarrassment and stay on my own two feet.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here

For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/

Friday, 3 April 2009

Watch out for 75...if I find the right track

Number 75. Lane Three. 8.40am. This Sunday.

After all the training, my first taste of Triathlon action is just around the corner.
Now the start times have been announced, it has all become a bit more real.

Suddenly my biggest concern is not getting round the course for the Mansfield Sprint Triathlon but knowing what to do when I get there.

So many rules and regulations, numbers must be displayed in certain areas, laws regarding the transition area.

I know where Meden Vale Sports Centre is but that is about it. I am sure it will become clear.

And what about my squeaky chain?

I took the bike out for a short spin yesterday and it sounded like it was dragging one of the Krankies along.

I have purchased a few lubricants to try and do the job so the only thing squeaking on Sunday will probably be my aching joints afterwards.

I am sure there will be plenty of pumped up competitors there, desperate to meet big targets and be competitive animals.

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to sport I am as competitive as they come.

But Sunday will not be one of those days, I am a novice. This is about learning the ropes to see where I am on the road to London Triathlon on August 2.

If I am out on the bike and all alone, it will not be because I have raced into a lead. It will be because I have gone the wrong way.

I am almost ready, I have blown off the holiday cobwebs. To a degree.

Now all I have to do is sort out that squeaky chain.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here

For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/