Spinning @ Spectrum

•March 7, 2010 • Comments Off on Spinning @ Spectrum

Well, it has been a while since we last blogged.  Christmas came and went; I was busy, then lazy, then occupied with family, then got a cold and felt lousy (even took to my bed!).  Then I felt better, did some rides and gym sessions and fell ill again so it was back to bed and eating soup!  Eventually I feel better, but sluggish, heavy, stiff – you know the drill!

Last post was about Energicer and I said we’d report on its efficacy in a spinning environment.  It can get pretty hot in the spinning studio and I finally remembered to take some Energicer with me last week.  Lisa took the session on Friday, which I knew was therefore going to be a tough one.  She likes to push us, and because I said it was hard work she seems set on taking all the sessions I book in for!

So, wearing the Zym jersey (which shows up really bright under the black UV light!) and 2 Energicer bands I thought I was ready for it.  I made sure I was near the aircon vents so that hopefully there would be some air movement.  When the Energicer bands went on, there was an instant feeling of coolness, like having a cold can of drink touch the skin.  It seems to work best when there is some air movement, to help evaporation, and it turned out that the spin class was not nearly as good as being in the open air (like I was in Maui!).  It did work a bit, and it smelled nice (nicer than me anyway!).

Hey ho, the sun is out and although it is cold, I think today I need an injection of the open roads and some sunlight to counter the SAD feeling.  Back to the spin studio tomorrow though.


Cool as a cucumber ?

•December 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I get really hot when I exercise.  I get really sweaty when I train – you really wanted to know that right?  I am told that it means my body is good at trying to get rid of heat, but I reckon it is hot because it has too good an insulating layer!

Anyway, apart from loving to ride in the Panache 11 jerseys and bibshorts when it is hot, I discovered a new cooling system.  I used it for the first time in Maui, where it was about 30 Celsius.  With Energicer you have a tin of cool looling blue liquid into which you dip a pair of sweatbands.  You then put the bands on your forearms just below the elbow, where there is a plentiful blood supply.

The initial feeling is very refreshing, as there is menthol or somesuch in the liquid, along with denature alcohol.  I found that the cooling was really good and lasted for a surprisingly long time.

The next test is to use it in a spinning class!  Watch this space …

Spin City

•December 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I did my first ever spinning session the other day!  What a culture shock.  After years of outdoor cycling and going to the gym and so on, exercising in the dark with loud thumping music was certainly different.  I have not been to a night club for years (I know, poor me) but I imagine that they are as dark and loud and sweaty as the spinning studio.

Coach lady said that as it was my first time I could just see how it went.  Well I couldn’t see anything really, as the only light was a black light (I always think that is an odd name for a light – red, green, blue are all lights, but black?).  The logo on my shorts was obviously moving well to the beat, but I could not see my HRM at all.  Maybe that was a good thing, as I was actually working in my 80% zone for a significant part of the session.  I certainly tried to keep well hydrated and I am sure that the Zym helped me yet again.

I promised to go again, and I will, if only to try out the different and various styles of this new form of torture through which I seem to like putting myself!

This Island Race – a great cycling book for Christmas

•December 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I love a play on words.  This book is about cycling on the island of Great Britain and the author Les Woodland is a master at telling a story.  It is great book about a great sport in a great country and although there is sometimes a tinge of sadness that cycling in Britain isn’t as well respected as it is in many other European countries I find it wonderful that someone has taken the time and made the effort to document so well the facts of how cycling has become the sport it is in this country.

“Les Woodland never managed to trouble the judges as a racer, other than by making them hang about in the cold when they wanted to go home.  But he has spent a lifetime in cycling as an organiser, coach and writer – in Britain, in Flanders and now in France.  That, and a passion for the history of the sport, have given him an unusual insight into the dusty corners of British and world cycling.  His books have been published across the world and in numerous languages.”

If you’re looking for a good Christmas present for your cycling friend or just a good read during the colder days of Christmas in front of the fire then this is it.  Only 204 pages but full of facts about the NCU, the BCF, the BLRC, RTTC, UCI, FSGT and the A-Z of cycle racing up and down the country.

Did you know George Holland?  He was the first Briton to ride in the Tour de France.  Did you know about Ray Booty who brok the 4 hour 100 mile record – he did the first sub 4-hour 100mile ride ever and did it in the same year as Roger Bannister.  Or did you know that the first man to break the hour record for 25 miles was an Irishman called Alo Donegan something I’m proud of as a fellow Irishman.  I bet that like me in my naivety you also didn’t know about such things as Neovite colostrum to keep the body healthy nor about safe hydration from Zym ! I only learned about those things after I started my charity endurance events.  Ho hum.

So get yourself a good read this Christmas and learn what made and what didn’t make the British cycle scene so great, or as Les Woodland might say, not so great.  Despite it all the scene today is one where British cycling is heading upwards and has winners both male and female that inspire youngsters to get cycling and get racing.

Enjoy the ride

Tis the season …

•December 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

to be training, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Now that the rain has eased off for a while, get out there on the bike.  I have been a gym bunny recently, and even tried some Body Balance yoga!  Last weekend though, just getting on a real bike and going out on the roads again was a blast.  It is SOOOO different to a gym bike thing.

The wind in the ears, the spray in the eyes, the mud everywhere, and the plain freedom a bike gives you to escape from other things.

Just do it but make sure you keep fed and watered – too many people are getting headaches from not being adequately energised and hydrated.

Lands End to John O’Groats : End to End : Lejog : Jogle

•December 9, 2009 • Comments Off on Lands End to John O’Groats : End to End : Lejog : Jogle

As a complete and total amateur in 2002 I prepared to ride the end to end of the UK, a charity bike ride route well trodden by thousands of similar mad cycling enthusiasts every single year.  However, my challenge was a little different. I rode the end to end in 5 days, yes end to end in five days !  That’s nearly 200 miles per day.  I have dined out on the stories of that ride ever since and it has provided many fond memories.

My training plan didn’t really begin until the last mince pie was downed on boxing day and I realised I needed to lose about 15 kilograms to make a weight that would be managable up the hills and up the country.  At the time I didn’t know about such things as energy bars not to mention the likes of organic energy fuel such as Mule.  Nor was I aware of the real need for maintaining hydration to higher levels to reduce the chances of cramp.

So it was to my surprise and delight that I found a company called Zym that made a tablet to boost hydration levels by replenishing the elements lost thought sweat.  Yes, Zym hydration tablets have been a saviour ever since and as I am more prone to getting cramp than the next guy I love the fact that Zym staves it off neraly completely.

Mule bars came to me later, in fact only last year.  I finally found that the use of energy bars in training and on endurance rides made things easier and allowed me to be more adventurous in going for a day at a time in training.  Mule bar is organic and more importantly to me the ingredients are also Fairtrade sourced.  So here you have a cycling energy bar which is Energy Organic Fairtrade ! how great is that.

So now the end to end ride is called The Race Against Time and sometimes abbreviated to TRAT.  The event is a 6 day challenge through the length of the UK and Zym helps the riders along the way to get there without cramp and feeling properly hydrated.

One day I’ll tell you about how I bonked on the downhill after Beef Tub Summit in Scotland at 30mph heading straight for the ditch !  Oh what fun you can have on a bicycle cycling end to end.

How old do you have to be to be a racing cyclist ?

•December 8, 2009 • Comments Off on How old do you have to be to be a racing cyclist ?

How old do you have to be to race bicycles?  I have a friend called John Rolf who started a business selling cows colostrum to athletes .  The idea here is that neovite is a dairy protein taken in the first 48 hours after calving and includes colostrum.  It’s a natural food that is prized in many cultures.  Colostrum has received widespread attention as a dietary supplement since the 1990s, when it became commercially available.

 The reason I ask is that I wonder if products like Neovite can help you in a slightly older age to get an edge over others and to get yourself up some of those mountains.

 Russell Williams, 41, took neovite daily for three months leading up to the 2002 British Track Cycling Championships and won the National 30km Derney title, beating athletes half his age.

He has had over 30 other track victories this season, his best results in 10 years.

Neovite is available in powder form in the following sizes from Cycling Paradise:

100gram pack
300gram pack
1000gram pack

Neovite is best taken mixed as a drink with milk, water, yoghurt or juice, just plain or with your favourite flavour.

Read the report here and then buy Neovite Collostrum from www.CyclingParadise.com